and an established superstar? Well, things can get a little nerve-wracking—which can be challenging for anyone holding liquid eyeliner, or a hot iron.
Beyond doing their duties—applying concealer, eye shadow, curling tresses and the works—these glam squad members lived to tell about their encounters (and thrived)!
Read on, as six makeup artists and hair stylists share the first time they went face to face with a famous face.
Paris Hilton in 2004 at Sundance Film Festival
“There was a salon in Park City that did hair, nails and makeup for attendees during the film festival. A runner said there's a celebrity needing makeup for the portrait studio. I volunteered, walked into the room, and it was Paris Hilton. She was pretty much the most famous person in the world at the time. I almost fainted. My first thoughts were that she was so skinny, and why didn't she have her extensions in? Her hair was chin length. She was in a grey velour sweat suit and green tank top. I was so scared and assumed she would be a nightmare, but she was very polite and sweet. She didn't introduce herself but asked my name and said I had nice nails. I died. I asked what she wanted and she said something natural, lots of bronzer and ‘so much lipgloss.’ I remember exactly what I put on her: MAC eye shadow 'Phoof' on her lid and brow bone, 'Haux' in the crease, MAC brow pencil in Linger, bronzer 'Golden' and 'Pinkarat' lipgloss. She was talking about Nick Carter, on a flip phone, which was novel at the time. I was even more starstruck at this point. I went to a pay phone and tried to call my friend because it was the biggest thing that ever happened in my life up to that point. I'm from a small town in rural Utah, so this was just magical. I [haven't done] her makeup since, but I would jump in a cab right now if she wanted me too.” – Kelly Thompson, Makeup Artist for Kryolan
Parker Posey in 2013 at a Central Park Conservancy Shoot
“I started freelancing as a hair and makeup artist. My first celeb I had the pleasure of working with was Parker Posey. The job was for her to play a cheeky NYC real estate broker selling virtual one square foot plots of Central Park to raise money for the Central Park Conservancy, which desperately needed funds. She arrived to the trailer with her sweet doggy and was Parker Posey-perfect. Her dry wit, quirky personality and love for animals made me love her that much more. It was a tight shooting schedule and the weather did not play nice. It rained, it hailed. We enjoyed random gusts of cold wind. We cuddled on the great lawn between takes to stay warm. I kept her phone nuzzled in my bosom for dry safe keeping. We had many giggles about the ridiculousness that someone had donated a million dollars to the conservancy the night before the shoot and that this was no longer a passion project for any of us. We noshed on munchies between takes with her dog. I couldn't have asked for a better first celebrity experience. It sort of set the tone for my career actually. I haven't worked with her since but would do so in a heartbeat.” – Natasha Leibel, Hair and Makeup Artist, Beauty Ambassador for Star Individuality Foundation and Arkadiance
Cindy Crawford in 1991 at MTV’s House of Style in Los Angeles
A hairstylist friend recommended me for the opportunity because he was not available on the day of filming. I used mousse, Velcro rollers, a blow dryer and Elnett hairspray. It was the early 90s. We talked hair! She liked volume and wave—she's Cindy after all! I loved her fashion work, and it was a dream come true to work with her because she was on the top of my wish list of people whose hair I wanted to do. She was kind, funny and thankful - that doesn't always happen. She taught me how important it is to drink water, exercise, eat healthy, and have a life outside of fashion and the entertainment industry. Cindy and I have worked together for over 25 years and have maintained an incredible working and social friendship. We are close friends, and it was because of this first booking. When we met, we hit it off right away. We've traveled the world together working, doing commercials and magazine covers. I couldn't be more grateful that this one-chance booking changed the course of my career. Richard Marin, Celebrity Stylist for Remington
TLC’s T-Boz in 1993 in Miami
“The first celeb I did was T-Boz. She didn't want me to use foundation, or tweeze her very full brows, and wore a beanie pulled way down. I remember being deflated.” – Brett Freedman, Makeup Artist
Maddie Ziegler in 2015 at New York Fashion Week
“I was headhunted by her PR agency. Maddie attended three [New York Fashion Week] shows, so for each runway show, we created three different looks with hair and makeup. The products I used in Maddie's hair [were from] the Living Proof line...Maddie and I talked about her outfits, her idols for hair, and makeup inspiration. She loves Gigi Hadid. She was 12 years old when I met her. I used Armani Luminous silk foundation, Becca Highlighter in champagne pop and pearl. MAC lips, eyeshadows, cheeks and lipgloss. When I first met Maddie we hugged. She is the sweetest, humble and most talented little girl. She is polite and she listens to you. When fans scream and run up to her, she is engaging and humbled. She handles that level of fame so very gracefully.”– Leah London, Hair and Makeup Artist
Rosie Perez in the early 2000s at a People en Español Magazine Shoot
I was referred to Rosie by the makeup artist on the job. In the room was me, the makeup artist, photographer [Mike Ruiz], stylist, and assistants. Our introduction was pretty basic, 'Hi I'm Johnny. Nice to meet you.' The look I created day was a full windblown curly look. First I blew her hair out with a dryer, then created a spiral curl with a small curling iron. I definitely had to prove to Rosie that I knew my craft. I remember when I was in packing my tools, she was scoping out my setup. I pulled out my curling irons, and she said, 'Did you bring an oven?' I said, 'No, I don't need an oven.' She was skeptical, and I knew I was going to have to prove myself. Once she saw her hair, she knew she could trust me and has never used an iron that requires an oven again! The room is never silent with Rosie—it's usually filled with laughter. I was not starstruck because Rosie is very down to earth and real, although it was an honor, because I felt like I grew up with her. I still work with Rosie regularly after all these years. She has become great friend, so it’s no longer just about a working relationship. Rosie and I have learned a lot from each other when it comes to beauty. She has taught me tricks that work for her hair and I have done the same.” —Johnny Lavoy, Celebrity Hairstylist for PRO Beauty Tools
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