Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ro Puchal Makeup Artist

Ro Puchal

Have you ever had a friend you know a long time but you don’t realize how long until you decide to write about them?
The first time I remember meeting Rosanne Puchal, I was around 15 years old and Ro opened a hair salon, Heavenly Hair Design, across the street from where I lived in Brooklyn, NY.
I remember going there and getting a funky, little spiky hair cut that made my very fine hair look like I had some body! Thinking back now, it was a kind of new wave mullet and I LOVED it (it was the 80’s)! I loved going to Ro’s salon not only for the awesome hair cuts but I really liked to listen to her no nonsense talk!
I have remained friends with Ro after all these years and she has been somewhat of a mentor, sharing information, encouragement and her experience with me in my own quest in the makeup world. She was one of my earliest supporters when I started Little Goddess Cosmetics and she has offered me guidance on my path to becoming a makeup artist.
Ro has worked as a cosmetologist since 1976 and as a makeup artist specializing in runway, print and bridal since 1981, after opening her salon. As well as doing hair, Ro would have makeup demonstrations at the salon, where she would apply makeup on a model, usually one of her customers or someone from the neighborhood, while giving instruction on what she was doing and I remember sitting in awe at how easily she took someone from average to truly beautiful.
She started doing professional makeup for television and film in 1987 after completing an intensive course in makeup artistry at the Joe Blasco Makeup School in Hollywood, California.

“I applied, tested and was accepted into IATSE 798 as a Journeyman in 1997. Before being accepted into the union, I worked non-union shows. I had taken as many classes as I could from any makeup artist willing to teach any aspect of the art.”

Although she is proficient in any and all styles of makeup, Beauty Makeup is her expertise.

“My favorite thing about being a makeup artist is the ability to completely change someone’s look, either for the better with beauty, or for the worst with character makeup. It is so rewarding when you see other people’s positive reaction to your work.”

She considers Academy and Emmy Award winning makeup artist, Mr. Dick Smith (Twilight Zone, Exorcist, Godfather, Amadeus), along with Rick Baker, Bill Corso and Ve Neill as some of her early inspirations.

“After seeing the Exorcist when it was released, I was intrigued by the makeup so much that I just had to know how it was done. It left such an impression on me, I had to sleep with the lights on! I still do!”

She had the pleasure of meeting her idol, Dick Smith, at a makeup trade show in Pasadena, CA.

“I told him that story. What a wonderful, giving man in addition to being the most talented makeup artist! He was incredibly kind to call me a few weeks after the show to answer a question I had for him. He sent me some of his personal notes. I’ll always be thankful for the opportunity to meet my idol and I’ll continue to be in awe of him. Thank you Mr. Smith!”

Ro was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule and sit down to answer a few questions that will maybe inspire all of my fellow MUA who are trying to make it in this business.

Why did you want to become a makeup artist?
Becoming a makeup artist was the result of a strong desire to be an artist. I always (and still do!) wanted to be a fine artist.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from current trends in addition to classic looks made modern. I go on more "don'ts", meaning I pick apart what I think just doesn't work and try to make it better. I also see inspiration in nature.

Do you feel that it is necessary for someone to attend school to be successful in this field?
Any kind of professional training, including set etiquette, is a plus.

Was there a defining moment when you felt you had succeeded and achieved your goals?
Seeing your name in print or a screen credit on a reputable show is great validation that you have achieved professional recognition.

Another example of professional recognition happened to me while walking down the street. I had been on several seasons of Project Runway when someone stopped me and asked if I was one of the makeup artists from the show. I was surprised and amazed that someone would recognize me from the few seconds on camera. I have to admit, it did feel good.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring makeup artist? Where to start? What not to do? Any thoughts on professionalism?
In my opinion, schooling of any kind, is a plus not a necessity. Mentoring under someone with experience in the field you choose is also a very good classroom. Don't step on toes. Show up to work on time and prepared. Leave your personal life at home. Be respectful and courteous to each other. If there's something you are assigned and don't feel confident to do it, ask for help. Be prepared for a job by reading the script, researching the characters so there are no surprises once the show starts shooting.

Do you have a favorite makeup job that you have worked on?
My favorite makeup jobs didn’t have anything to do with a particular television show or movie. It has to do with the people in your department. You spend many hours on a set and getting along with your peers is very important. Team playing is a must. There have been some sets that were difficult, but all situations are good experiences. The television/film industry is wonderful. It’s far from glamorous and requires constant creativity on your part. An average day is about 12-15 hours. It’s hard, demanding work, but very rewarding.

Who is your all time favorite makeup artist?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with very talented, wonderful artists. One NY/LA based artist, Donyale McRae, has been very generous to me and always allows me to shine in my own light. It’s very rare when you work with a Department Head who gives you the credit before himself. Thank you to the most giving, talented makeup artist I call friend, Donyale!

Another incredibly talented makeup artist, CA based, who deserves recognition is Anne Turk. Anne and I know each other from attending Joe Blasco Makeup Center in Hollywood CA. Although, we don’t work together nearly as much as I would like, it has always been a great experience when we do. Thank you, to my west coast ‘sister’, Anne!

Do you have a favorite celebrity that you have worked on?
There have been many celebrities in my chair, but I can’t say I have a favorite. I’m just so grateful to do what I do on ANY face.

Who would make you star struck?
There really is no time to be star struck if you are on a professional shoot. Most actors chose to be treated like everyone else. They require privacy and quiet time to rehearse their lines.

Although, there were several times I can recall being in awe of multi-award winning actors. The first was a time at the beginning of my career when I was hired as a makeup artist for a benefit. I worked with Mr. Cliff Robertson who was so wonderful, complimentary and charming. The second was when I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Dick van Dyke on the set of Diagnosis Murder while visiting a friend and colleague, Stacey Halax, who was one of the shows makeup artists. Mr. van Dyke was quite wonderful and engaging. He even sang and did a little two step for me. And lastly, Ms. Cloris Leachman, who I had the pleasure of working with on a TV pilot called "Hopewell". She paid me the highest compliment that any actor can bestow by saying she thought it was "the best she's ever looked". I was very surprised and grateful for the generous compliment.

What is your must have beauty item?
Q-tips! I love my Q-tips. Also, a really good concealer palette (I’m still in search of one I truly love). I also treat myself to fabulous makeup brushes by Hakuhodo.

If you had to invent a makeup product that does not exist what would it be?
I would have to say it would be realistic corrective colors, specifically, for under eye concealing, tattoo cover, blemish cover without it looking cakey or overdone. Maybe it's already on the market, but I haven't found it yet.

What is the number one mistake that women make when doing their makeup?
The #1 mistake women make is using too much….LESS IS MORE, especially as you age. Choosing the wrong colors is also a big no-no. Foundation color should blend into the skin flawlessly and without a line of demarcation. You can always pump up the color with a tiny bit of bronzer in the right places.

Any makeup trends that you want to predict?
Perfect skin. A lot less of everything, seems the way to go. Just clean, natural beauty.

What would you be doing if you were not a hair/makeup artist?
If I didn't work as a makeup artist, I would probably be doing something else in the creative arts. I never really thought about it since this is all I ever wanted to be.

To contact Ro:

Thank You Ro!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What is your Nighttime Routine?

For as long as my daytime beauty routine is (usually 2 hours, sometimes as long as 3-don't judge), my nighttime routine is only about 10 minutes long.
I wash my face with Aquanil, floss/brush teeth, apply Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel to my skin and Alba Unpetroleum Jelly to my lips and that's it! Done!
I am starting to think that I am not doing enough! I was watching something on TV the other day and this girl was discussing her nighttime beauty routine. She said she washes her face, tones her face, applies a serum and then a moisturizer on top. She made me feel like I was doing my skin a disservice by not doing all of those extra steps. She kept saying "Don't worry about your skin breaking out, it won't". Oh really? Everyone's skin is different and everyone's skin reacts differently, so that's a pretty broad statement to make. Some women even add in a treatment after the toner and before the serum!
So what are your nighttime beauty secrets? How long does it take you to get ready at night? Should I add some more products to my nighttime routine? I've always wanted to add in a retinoid product! What do YOU think?