Jody Miller got his biggest break as a successful makeup artist when joining MAC Cosmetics. Jody, together with MAC Cosmetics , developed Seedy Pearl a new eye shadow color. In this interview Jody talks about his journey as a makeup artist, and his dream to do makeup for Elizabeth Taylor.

When did your fascination with makeup begin?
I grew up in and around the beauty business as my parents owned Hair Salons in the Houston area. As far back as I can remember I was always painting using watercolors and other paint mediums. One of my sisters got one of those Barbie head busts for Christmas one year and never played with it. It sat on a shelf in our toy closet for years collecting dust. One day I got it down and started playing with the hair and the colors that came with it. Of course the colored cosmetics were completely dried out at this point. I started using watercolors and things like Kool-Aid powders to create lipstick & eyeshadow colors to use on the Barbie head. I guess that’s were it all began.

How did you get your first big break as a makeup artist?
I started practicing my skills at my parents salon offering free makeup touch-ups to the clients. Then when I was in collge I worked at Marshall Field’s in the cosmetic department to make some extra cash. From there I worked with a regional movie studio doing just about everything from a wardrobe assistant to hair & makeup. That really got me excited about makeup and that industry. My first big break came at M•A•C. I went into a M•A•C store to pick up some makeup for a pageant I was doing that evening. I had some of the contestants with me at the store and was applying makeup on them when the store manager saw me and asked me to apply. A few days later M•A•C flew two regional managers in to interview me and I was asked then to work for M•A•C. Shortly after starting as a makeup artist for them at the newly opened M•A•C Store in Houston I was flown to Dallas to interview for their Artist Training & Development team. I got the position as a Trainer for the Central United States and it blew up from there. This was before M•A•C had Senior Artists so in addition to training the artists I also did makeup for Celebrities & Musicians and Television Interviews on behalf of M•A•C. I would have to say that is were I got my big break. I was getting a lot of exposure and making a lot of new high profile friends.

“I was able to work with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst on “Interview with a Vampire”, and that was great.”

What was the best part working for MAC Cosmetics?
I had so much fun working for M•A•C in the early days. It was a tremendous amount of work and travel covering not only the central United States but also working with M•A•C International opening up stores around the world and training the artists that would work in those locations. I was able to meet so many different and talented people in other countries during this time and it was just amazing. My favorite thing to do for M•A•C was working at all the fashion shows during fashion week all over the place. That was a blast!
I was also a member of M•A•C’s Colour Team where I worked on new colors and formulations for the line, testing and getting them added to their line. Of all of the different projects I worked on I am most happy and excited with an eyeshadow color I develeoped called Seedy Pearl that was added to the M•A•C color line several years ago. It’s a beautiful color, if I must say so myself, that can be used on any skin tone.

What have been some of your most memorable celebrity collaborations?
One of my most favorite memories was working with Blackgama Furs doing their “What becomes a Legend Most” ads as well as doing music videos and films. I was able to work with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst on “Interview with a Vampire”, and that was great.

What is the difference between working with a celebrity and a fashion designer?
Well celebrities have a very specific look that they want and always have a lot of input to offer when getting their makeup done. You have to understand that their face is their fortune and it must be done precisely. Fashion Designers have a vision they are trying to get across so it’s always a collaboration between them and the makeup artist so you have a bit more room to play with the makeup.

How do you describe your makeup style?
Normally this is something that I avoid doing at all costs because it implies that I only do a certain type of makeup. My style of makeup depends on the job I’m doing. If left to my own devices and was just doing a look say for my portfolio I would have to say that I always look at the face I am working on and bring out the most beautiful features in that face. I’ve known some artist that say that they think of themselves as a makeup exorcist. I don’t follow that line of thinking, I’m all over the map!

What are some of your backstage makeup tricks?
I think that the best trick I can share with you is to remember that your work is being seen from a distance and details aren’t that important. Backstage at fashions shows it’s a very fast paced & hectic enviroment. You have to be very fast and very accommodating to the designers.

Which makeup looks are your all time favorites?
I love doing anything that allows me to use a lot of color. Very dramatic smoldering eyes with lots of lashes and pops of color on the lips are my absolute favorite.

What would be your ultimate makeup assignment?
Well I’ve gotten to work with Cher on tour and that was my dream when I was starting out. I also have to say that Cher was amazingly beautiful and a very down to earth person, not a diva at all. Going forward my next ultimate makeup assignment would be to do Elizabeth Taylor’s makeup. If you need an artist Liz, just let me know!

What is the best part of being a makeup artist?
For me the best part of being a makeup artist is being able to give someone the confidence in themselves that a great makeup application always delivers.

What other passions do you have besides making faces beautiful?
As I said in the beginning of this interview, I love painting and try to spend time on a canvas or whatever whenever I can. I also love cooking with lots of friends and family in the kitchen then sharing our efforts with each other, that’s the best!

What’s next for Jody Miller?
There is a lot of things being worked out right now to expand my brand. I’ve been talking with a few publishers about doing a book in the future as well as opening up makeup studios where clients can come in anytime and have a gorgeous face done. I’ve also been approached about doing another makeup line but that takes a tremendous amount of work and is currently on the back burner.

It was a pleasure to interview Jody you can read more about him at his personal website:

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There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. This looks like so much fun! Great work on the Dracula Jody! 🙂 You certainly have a talent. Best of luck to you.

  2. Fantastic work Jody, you are a TRUE ARTIST – WOW!!!

  3. Boy I love your work <3

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