Interview for "Broadway to Vegas"
WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES RECOMMENDS YOU TO THE POPE MAKE-UP ARTIST BELINDA MOSS LOOKS GOOD
Make up artist Belinda Moss
It's not very often that a person's resume includes a President of the United State and a pope. The resume of veteran New York based make-up artist Belinda Moss contains just that. It also contains a list of celebrity names long enough to be turned into wallpaper.
While celebrities walk the red carpets and bask in the spotlight, make-up artists and hairstylists usually stay out of sight and out of print. Their semi-anonymity helps preserve the glamour of show business - or politics - which is a form of show business.
Moss has been using other people's faces as her canvas for over 20 years. In 2012 she did the make-up for the presidential candidates debating on television. Those debates can make or break a candidate's election bid. Sometimes it isn't what they say, but how they look. Remember the debate - the one with John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon?
The lesson learned: Don't ever minimize the importance of lighting and make-up.
It's long been stated that one of the reasons JFK won the debate over Nixon was because of the lighting and Kennedy used a make-up artist while Nixon did not, causing him, on camera, to look tired and sweat.
For Moss' 2012 stint of painting, patting and powdering those taking part in the presidential debates, she not only needed makeup and brushes - Moss needed the proper clearances and security checks.
"President Obama suggested me to do the pope since I have done him and I already have clearance," Moss told Broadway To Vegas referring to the September 2015 visit of Pope Francis.
One man recommending a make-up artist to another man - a high profile version of 'who's your barber?'
If somebody clueless comments - "A president and a pope, that's a couple of references - got any others?" She does.
Tony Awards, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Elton John, Holiday Inn: The New Irving Berlin Musical - Live television special, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come TV Special documentary, Grammy Awards, The Sports Illustrated Special 2016, Michael Buble's Christmas Special on NBC, and on and on.
For instance, consider how she spent that last couple of weeks.
For over 11 years she's done the make up for Sir Paul McCartney, including a session on March 21, 2018. "I was showing Paul how to use Mad Hippie skin products and he loved the Amika hairspray. . . . Elizabeth Arden for Nancy," she posted referring to Paul's wife. "Then Meryl Streep arrives so I left some products with her," including the same one which had been provided to Lady McCartney with Moss quipping, "Don’t tell Nancy."
Last Sunday, April 1, the modern, edgy, gritty Jesus Christ Superstar Live! aired on NBC. That meant that for the two week prior to the air date none other than the famed, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was schlepping around New York doing promotional interviews. Following in his footsteps was Moss with her trusty makeup bag.
On March 28 she posted: "It was an honor to work side by side with Andrew for several weeks. He had Glenn Close with him talking about her play with him Sunset Boulevard. The next day it was all about John Legend!!!," was her excited comment about the star who played Jesus on Jesus Christ Superstar.
Promotional tours are necessary but can be tiring and sometimes you don't know what you'll experience.
Bad lighting can ruin the best of everything else.
What does she do if she takes her client into a set where she knows the lighting isn't up to par?
"For bad lighting I try kindly ask the lighting person to bring down their key light," she explained to Broadway To Vegas. "Being kind goes a long way. Most lighting people know me, so they know I’m only trying to give everyone what they want. “Keep the client happy”.
There are some universal skin care rules.
"My main concern either for a woman or man is healthy, clean skin!! I prep their face first with Vitamin C Serum. I love Mario Badescu," she explained, adding that she lets the product "soak in and start painting my canvas. I never have been big on a “beat” face so I’m very light handed and bring out a glow. The Vitamin C helps and a small about of highlighter on the top of your cheeks.
"For more mature skin I use Youth Oil from L'Occitane which makes an amazing glow," she continued. "Always wash your face and use a fine scrub to get all the grime from the day - Mario has a good one. Also your skin care and makeup go on so smooth. It's all about your skin. I baby everyone's because that is really what people see first."
It's long been said that how a woman applies make-up to her face when she was 30 is exactly how she'll apply it when she's 70 - a look which might not be the most flattering on the red carpet. Do celebrities tell Moss what they want, whether it's appropriate or not?
"Most celebrities let me do my thing," she answered. "I make their skin amazing first; then the rest is what color lips. I usually ask what they are wearing and go from there. My style is not over done but always chic and classy, I let their eyes talk and not the makeup."
Advice for the ordinary person who doesn't have a make-up artist on call is: "always wash your makeup off at night and follow with more vitamin C and a nourishing night cream." Moss recommends "Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream at night and your skin will be luminous in the morning."