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Make-Up Artist is read in nearly 70 countries around the world and was created in 1996 by Emmy Award-winning make-up artist Michael Key.

The History of Make-Up Artist Magazine

Michael’s vision— a magazine that could speak to make-up artists as a group—began as a two-sided newsletter and has developed into an internationally read magazine, featuring articles on the entertainment industry’s top make-up artists, the most innovative make-up techniques, current product news and invaluable information available nowhere else.

Michael Key
The Beginning

As a member of the make-up artist union Local 706 IATSE, Michael was elected to what was then termed Craft President (it’s now called Make-up Director). He was required to hold an annual meeting in which union artists demonstrated new techniques and discussed new ideas. Michael considered the meeting one of the best things Local 706 had to offer—the Hollywood union make-up artists were some of the best artists in the world, and this was a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other. At the time, the meeting was held in the back room of a church, with only 30 attendees. Michael believed these meetings could greatly expand. He moved them to a hotel conference room, where make-up companies could present their products and artists could make presentations in a more professional atmosphere. Attendance increased to more than 100 participants, and the meetings were held four times a year instead of one. Still, Michael felt there was more information that should reach his fellow artists, so he started a newsletter.

The First Publication

Entitled Craft News, it began as a simple flier, but Michael decided to use his own equipment to produce a better quality two-sided flier. This proved costly, so he asked the Local 706 Executive Board for a $500 donation. They loved the idea, but could not donate the funds, so Michael raised the money himself and created an informative newsletter that was remarkably well-received by his fellow artists. Each newsletter that followed doubled in size, and Michael began working on the project full-time, which led him to discover what the industry was lacking. He wanted to educate the public; he also wanted to show emerging producers and directors how excellent make-up artists could improve the quality of their films. And he wanted to provide cosmetic companies with a forum to reach their target clientele. Thus Make-Up Artist magazine was born.

The International Make-Up Artist Trade Show

Known simply as “the show” to the make-up world, the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show (IMATS) developed out of Local 706 craft meetings, where there wasn’t enough time or space to provide much-needed education. Michael also had many requests from non-union artists wanting to attend these meetings. The writing was on the wall. There were no trade shows specifically for make-up artists. Cosmetic companies had expressed a desire for such an event, and after realizing just how much education could be shared, Michael announced that the First Annual International Make-Up Artist Trade Show would be held in August 1997. The company was overwhelmed by the response. To paraphrase Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Ticket sales soared and people came from all over the world. The show allowed artists to tailor what they wanted to see. It offered a diverse mix of presentations, products, demonstrations and education by some of the biggest names in the business. The whole event was unprecedented. Michael describes it as “a Woodstock of make-up: it was the largest gathering of artists and make-up enthusiasts in the world.” Like Make-Up Artist, IMATS furthers Michael’s mission to educate and connect make-up artists around the world.


Remembering Dick Smith
Good Odds
Get Ready! The Products and Tools Package
Diversity Reigns at IMATS London

Michael Key - Publisher / Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Bressel, ext. 112 - Executive Assistant / Pro-Card Manager
Larlyn Fitzpatrick, ext. 113 - Financial Controller
Justin Gilson, ext. 126 - IT System Admin.
Dawn-Marie Gordon, ext. 111 - Operations Manager
Chantel Heister, ext. 108 - Beauty Editor
Debbi Johnson, ext. 105 - Bookkeeper
Scott Jones, ext. 102 - Sales Director
Grace Mahar, ext. 107 - Sales Representative
Leslie Marois, ext. 104 - Art Director
Jennifer McDonald, ext. 101 - Subscriptions / Registration Manager
Maria Perez, ext. 127 - Graphic Designer
Jeremy Ross, ext. 110 - Director of Technology
Cori Stoddard, ext. 103 - Online Editor
Misty Throop, ext. 125 - Advertising / Events Coordinator
Nick Wiinikka, ext. 124 - Graphic Designer
Heather Wisner, ext. 106 - Managing Editor