2024 MUAHS Awards Honoring Entertainments Top Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists

2024 MUAHS Awards at the Beverly Hilton
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The etertainment industry is full of unsung heroes – the people behind the cameras helping to bring to life the characters our favorite stars play. One of the most visible and recongnizable parts of a movie or TV show is the way the character looks. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of a character’s looks? I bet it’s their hair or make-up, the basic traits who make up who they are. There is a whole guild of make-up artists and hair stylists making up (pun intended) characters across screens all over the world. These artists aren’t just there to make someone look beautiful, with rosy cheeks and shiny hair. Their art is much more involved than we might ever think.

Melissa Peterman Actress & 2024 MUAHS Host
Red Carpet Host, Val Chermcovskiy interviewing Make-up Artists & Singer, Angie Wells

The MUAHS Awards celebrates extraordinary work in make-up and hair styling and awards artists for their accomplishments. This years ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton and hosted by the hilarious, and sweet as can be, Melissa Peterman. She kicked off the ceremony by sharing a photo of how she looked on the plane ride to LA just hours before the show. It was exactly like most of us look on a plane – casual, no make-up and a little tired and disheveled. She then thanked her glam team who worked their magic and made her look and feel polished and perfect for her hosting duties. It was the perfect nod to everyone in the room creating make-up and hair magic on set every day.

MUAHS Awards Show Presenter, Jenna Johnson (Dancing with the Stars Professional Dancer)
MUAHS Awards Show Presenter, John Brotherton (Actor)

As I said though, it’s not all about glamour. Let’s look at one of my favorite movies, Hocus Pocus. This movie follows 3 witches over many decades, so they have to look different ages. They’re witches too, so they don’t look like everyday people. Their features, like Winifred’s teeth and cheeks, and Mary’s hair, are more prominent. Those are what you would call make-up and hair special effects. Another example, Rocky Balboa in the Rocky films. Sylvester Stallone may have made his fight scenes look real, but no one was actually punching him. He physically had to look like they were though. Black eyes and bruises, torn skin and blisters, those are make-up special effects. Then there is Nyad, where the “glam” team had to make Annette Bening look as though she actually swam from Cuba to Key West, and came out on the other side with sunburns and matted hair. Spoiler alert – she wasn’t actually sunburnt, but the talented make-up artists made her look it. It’s a true talent and art form.

MUAHS Awards Show Presenter, Andrea Savage (Actress)
MUAHS Awards Show Presenters, Cheryl Hines (Actress) & Rachael Harris (Actress)

Hair and make-up may seem like a small part of a character, but it’s often the most recognizable. The MUAHS make sure the artists who share their talents with us get recognized as well. Kevin Hainey, the genius make-up artist behind my favorite movie, Hocus Pocus, among many, many others (Dick Tracy, Austin Powers, Planet of the Apes, Air Force One) was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He acknowledged how this industry can bring with it weird hours and how he missed many moments of his kids lives; but they were sitting in the audience as adults watching him accept his award, he said was his greatest acheivement. Michael Westmore, a former make-up artist, received the Vanguard Award. If you have any affiliation with make-up artists, you have probably heard of the Westmore family. If you don’t, it’s a fun piece of history to know! Since 1917, almost every major studio has had a Westmore supervising their make-up departments. Michael’s grandfather, who created wigs, was a big part of bringing make-up and hair departments to studios. Michael worked on Rosemary’s Baby, Mask, Deep Space Nice and Raging Bull, to name a few.

Oppenheimer: Jamie Hess, Key Make-up Artists

While these men received tops honors, so many other artists were celebrated throughout the night. The show was energetic and the cheers each time someone won were ecstatic. Many of the artists in attendance move from show to show, or film to film, so they get to work with one another and get to know one another. As Martin Short, a presenter, and many of the stars on the red carpet said, the hair and make-up teams are like family. They are the first person the actor sees at the start of the day and the last at the end of the day. They know all their secrets. Just like our hair stylists we go to for cuts and color! You could feel that sense of family from this group, rooting each other on and truly celebrating one another.

Dancing with the Stars: Julie Socash (Local 706 President & Make-up Artist) & Team

I loved talking with make-up artists, hair stylists and the actors they work with on the red carpet and hearing insights behind all of their fun projects. (Side note – you know the hair and make-up is going to be spot on at the MUAHS, but the fashion on the red carpet was too!) Here is a bit of what they all had to say:

Contemporary make-up and hair is for characters that are modern and average, so to speak. Not an alien or a monster, just an every day person. Daniel Curet, the hair stylist for the Oscar nominated film Nyad, said “today’s contemporary work is the next generations period piece.” I love that! What we are living now, is what future generations will consider a period piece (think The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). The make-up team from Abbott Elementary (Constance Foe, Jenn Bennett) told me it’s actually incredibly hard to make people look like they normally do. As much as they may want to play with make-up and hair, the characters on their show need to look like teachers.

The Santa Claus (TV show): Special Effects Make-up Department Head, Erica Preus & Team
Goosebumps: Zabrina Matiru, Make-up Designer & Head of Deparment

There are contemporary and period pieces and there are, what I would call fantastical ones, like Guardians of the Galaxy. It must be so fun to get to think very far outside the box when building characters in movies like this! Cassie Russek, the head of the hair deparment on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 said a movie like this could not have been farther from traditional. They got to do all special effects hair and James Gunn, the writer and director, allowed Russek and her team to truly create something unique for each character they worked on. A movie like this also takes a lot of prep and planning. Hair and make-up departments work closely with other departments, like wardrobe, lighting, etc. to make sure it all comes together as the director envisions. Russek’s team worked for months in advance to prep wigs and hair-styling plans, to be ready for shoot time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Head Hair Stylist, Cassie Russek & Team
Daisy Jones & The Six: Hair Styling Team

The logistics of hair and make-up are often overlooked. The actor or performer has to be able to function enough to bring their character to life, so the make-up has to move with them, even with special effects make-up. Nothing can fall off or come undone! I always think about this when watching Dancing with the Stars, so I had to ask Joe Matke, head hair stylist for the show – “how do you make sure all the dancers can wiggle and bounce and whip their heads around and their hair stays perfectly in place?” Matke said they have it down to a science after all these years, but it still takes prep and a test run before the live show.

Dancing with the Stars: Joe Matke, Head Hair Stylist
American Idol: Hair & Make-up Team

What I felt most from all the artists I talked to is how much they love their jobs. They are excited to work on the projects they are involved in. The stars I spoke with felt the same about the make-up artists and hair stylists they have worked with. They could not have praised them more. The MUAHS family is strong and I am excited to see what the next year yields from these talented people.

For more on the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild visit local706.org. See a full list of winners from the 11th Annual MUAHS Awards here.

Photos provided by Sarah Meyer

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  • Sarah Meyer

    Sarah Meyer is a public relations professional and journalist, with a passion for pop culture, entertainment and fashion.

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About Sarah Meyer 30 Articles
Sarah Meyer is a public relations professional and journalist, with a passion for pop culture, entertainment and fashion.

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