M.A.C Cosmetics provides artistry and product support to numerous films, television shows, theatrical productions and performances around the world. In addition to supporting such shows as Mad Men, Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty, the beauty house is also the official makeup of Cirque du Soleil.
One of their latest projects is the film production of Twilight, the highly anticipated, #1 New York Times Bestselling books that’s coming to the big screen. Below, we’ve got a peek at a Q&A with the Makeup Department Head Jeanne Van Phue, with some insight into the makeup direction of the movie.
Q&A with Jeanne Van Phue, Head Makeup Artist for Twilight
What was the process for creating the various characters’ looks?
Katherine Hardwicke, the director, and I have previously worked together on a movie called “Lords of Dogtown,” so we know each other very well. I began by preparing sketches of my vision, keeping in mind the descriptions Stephanie Myers (Twilight’s Author) set forth in the books.
Bella’s (Kristen Stewart’s character) description in the novel is very pale and extremely beautiful with large chocolate brown eyes, so she wore colored lenses every day. I also pictured her as a natural beauty, which is exactly what Kristen is. I used a light hand while applying all neutral colors to make her look as though she had no makeup on.
Edward’s (Robert Pattinson’s character) description in the novel is impossibly handsome almost god-like. His skin is marble-pale, hard as stone and ice cold, but perfect and flawless. Edward’s eyes are described as topaz colored when he is normal and black like onyx, when hungry.
Were there any changes to the looks of the characters that weren’t planned?
At the beginning, Katherine Hardwicke visualized Edward with long hair, yet after studying his face and jaw line in the makeup test, the decision was made to go with short hair to accentuate his amazing jaw line.
What was the overall look of the makeup in this movie?
All the vampires had to be pale, but I didn’t want them to look too ghoulish, somewhere between Sweeny Todd and Interview with the Vampire. The choice was made for a denser, more opaque look for the supporting vampires and a lighter look for the leading man.
The challenege was they still had to look beautiful and handsome. The key was striking the delicate shading balance. We had two weeks of makeup test. This is the time for a makeup artist to unleash their imagination. During the testing Katherine let me know when I was on the mark. Katherine has a fabulous eye for detail and everything I did had to be approved by her.
Were there any other challenges you encountered while working on location in Portland, Oregon?
The rain was a huge challenge. We were outside, and it rained the entire time we were there. Most of the shots were exterior; trying to fix makeup in the rain with wet faces and wet brushes was difficult. In the end, I must say I loved working on this movie, it challenged my creativity as never before. The cast was such a great group of talented young actors.
What were your non-makeup related responsibilities in terms of creating this look?
Another one of my jobs was to find a contact lens specialist. So I called upon the expertise of Cristina Patterson Ceret, FX lens/painter from Professional VisionCare.
What M-A-C products did you use on the film Twilight?
The M.A.C products I used on this film were eye shadows and powder for our principles. We had several other characters and day players, I used M.A.C foundations, lipsticks and blushes.