It's been a big few years for makeup artist Leslie Graham. Not only has she made up some of the biggest names in the biz (Tyra Banks and Jamie-Lee Curtis to name a few) she was also responsible for the makeup looks for the vampires on The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Eclipse, Sucker Punch and Tron: Legacy with pal and mentor Rosalina Da Silva. We were lucky enough to catch up with Leslie to talk vampires and the inspiration behind her favourite beauty looks.
BellaSugar: You created some of the looks for the vampires in New Moon and Eclipse — who did you look after and what were the key products you used to create their looks?
Leslie Graham: For New Moon I was brought in to be a personal makeup artist for actor Jamie Campbell Bower, who played the role of Caius (one of the leaders of the Voluturi). For Eclipse I did the makeup for all of the Wolfpack [Alex Meraz, Julia Jones and Chaske Spencer], Jodelle Ferland and some of the newborn vampires. On set I would take care of Dakota and the other Volturi. We did a lot of air-brushing using MAC Micronized Airbrushed Formula to give the "onion" skin tone. It has a little silicone in it, which works to keep the makeup in place as we were often working in the woods and in the rain — vampires in the rain can be quite difficult!
Read more for Leslie's makeup tips . . .
Bella: One of the key looks in the Twilight films is the perfect pale skin — how can we recreate this look without appearing washed out?
LG: I would say go with a colour two to three shades lighter than your own skin tone and apply it with a wide and flat synthetic foundation brush. Make sure you go right down your neck and over your ears and don’t make it too white or too grey — it shouldn’t be "death" makeup, it should be just enough to lighten your own skin tone. Try Revlon Colorstay in a buff, nude or ivory tone, again depending on your skin.
Bella: You also did the makeup for the dancers in Sucker Punch — what were the looks you created?
LG: I did the makeup for the brothel girls and the dancers. I haven’t seen the film yet, but it was amazing makeup — lots of eyelashes. We would "triple lash" the girls using two sets [of false eyelashes] on the top and one along the bottom, plus tonnes and tonnes of makeup and lots of shimmers, body creams and powders.
Bella: When you're creating a look for a movie, where do you draw inspiration for their makeup from?
LG: Often times we'll refer to current trends depending on the script, or we'll look to period makeup. We usually have a collection of resource magazines and books and refer to them, or even past films with a character has inspired us.
Bella: Working on cult films like Twilight often comes with a certain amount of pressure — how do you stay level-headed and focussed?
LG: Breathe. Apart from the fact they're high profile celebrities and actors, we're there to do our job to the best of our ability — we're looking beyond their celebrity status and try to relate to them as a person. The pressures of being on a film set is really about the time restraints because everything is on a schedule and budget and if things take more time, it means more money. We try to touch up [the actors] when we know they are going to be up close on camera to have them camera-ready. You know what they say — once they're shot, it's forever.
Bella: Do you prefer working on a film or creating makeup looks for everyday women?
LG: I've always loved beauty and giving a woman sense of security and boosting their confidence. I like changing their appearance and embellishing the things they don’t know how to embellish and making them more confident to walk out onto the street — it's a gift I want to share.
Bella: How would you describe the signature makeup look you love to create?
LG: I love the 1940s and 1950s — I love doing period makeup because it takes you back and you don’t get a chance to do it very often when working on a film.
Bella: Lastly, what's your number one makeup tip?
LG: Remember to apply powder to cream foundation bases and shadows because if you don’t, you won't have your makeup for very long.