On Friday, Sept. 9, Make-Up Artist magazine hosted a party honoring the nominees for this year’s Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Make-Up Artist publisher Michael Key and staff appropriated the Spare Room and an anteroom at the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. To kick off the events, Key said, “We are here to celebrate the great art of make-up. We have 60-plus nominees—all of them are winners here tonight. We have 15 shows to honor.”

2016 Make-Up Artist magazine Emmy Awards Celebration party

M.A.C. Cosmetics and Royal & Langnickel Brush sponsored the event, called the Emmy Awards Celebration. As drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served, Key introduced each team of nominated artists.

Department head Eryn Krueger Mekash was nominated thrice: for American Horror Story: Hotel (for both prosthetic and non-prosthetic work) and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

American Horror Story has tons of gore, tons of time periods, different creatures, and keeping the cogs going at the same time was challenging,” she said. “For People v. O.J., it was about recreating people’s exact looks and struggling to make sure you have the right look for them.”

Kim Ayers, assistant department head for American Horror Story, spoke of her regular tasks. “We shoot out of order—we shoot four episodes in one day, so keeping track of everything, especially blood continuity, can be a real challenge,” she explained.

2016 MUAM Emmy Awards Celebration
FROM LEFT: Michael Key with Gail Kennedy, Joanne Preece, Gunther Shetterer and Danielle Hanson of Fargo

“In terms of the make-up, we had three periods to work with: 1978 and a 1950s Western movie, complete with bad warpaint, and a 1950s-style World War II movie,” said Gail Kennedy, make-up department head on Fargo. “We had a character—he started off as a healthy, vibrant 65-year-old patriarch, who then becomes an aphasic stroke victim, who then becomes an aphasic stroke victim with severe frostbite. Then, we see him in his prime in the 1950s, so we had to take him down in age by 25 years. That was all done without prosthetics.”

Key & Peele nominee Natalie Thimm noted that there was “a lot of laying hair, doing character make-ups, tattoo colors, coloring teeth, some beard laying. Scott Wheeler was the department head.”

Veteran make-up effects artist Jake Garber has been part of a core team of artists creating Walker make-ups on The Walking Dead through all seven seasons. “We try to change it up a little bit, make them a little more rotten,” he said. “We try to get a little more iconic ones in there every now and then when we can. We have a couple of them this season that are going to be pretty impressive.”

Aimee Stuit and Paige Reeves were each nominated for the “Night One” episode of the rebooted Roots miniseries. “Dealing with climate and make-up on location in New Orleans was really hard,” they said. A separate team was on location in South Africa. “We had a lot of blood, a lot of wounds, a very challenging director who pushed make-up very hard, which came out good … It was an emotionally traumatic episode to film as well. Very disturbing on set.”

Michael Key interviews the Saturday Night Live team, lead by Louie Zakarian next to Key
Key (left) interviews the Saturday Night Live team, lead by Louie Zakarian next to Key

Key make-up artist Jason Milani, second key Amy Tagliamonti and department head Louie Zakarian were nominated for Saturday Night Live’s Ryan Gosling-hosted episode. Zakarian, who’s been heading up SNL for more than 20 years, said, “We had to recreate The Wiz Live!, and we are up against The Wiz Live! Then there was an alien abduction sketch.”

In two days, Zakarian and his team of 17 had to build the entirety of Wiz material in his New York shop. “Wednesday night at 11 o’clock, they figure out what the sketch is going to be,” he said.

“Sometimes, the make-ups have to be ready to shoot by Friday for the pre-tapes,” added Tagliamonti, who supervises the show’s host on a weekly basis. “I like the teamwork that we have for everyone to get through it. You have to figure out little tricks to get everything done. It forces you to either sink or swim.”

2016 MUAM Emmy Awards Celebration
FROM LEFT: Sarah Gower, Barrie Gower and Emma Sheffield from Game of Thrones

Next, Paul Spateri and Sarita Allison spoke about their work in Penny Dreadful. “We did everything in silicone, from autopsy bodies, prosthetic bodies, and Sarita did full-body witch make-ups,” said Spateri, noting that he closely worked with nominated special make-up effects department head Nick Dudman.

Nominee Andrew Clement stated that he worked with special make-up effects department head (and nominee) Bill Corso on the Lyndon B. Johnson make-up for the HBO film All the Way. Clement contributed the lifecasting and collaborated on prosthetic appliances. “Bill was the prosthetic make-up artist and sculpted the appliances he wanted, and we talked about how certain things went together,” said Clement. “We supplied all of the appliances and Bill applied the make-up on set. [Actor Bryan Cranston wore] two ear appliances, a front appliance and a back appliance which was a rigid silicone appliance that would blend off. He had nasal labials, a nose and a chin.”

2016 MUAM Emmy Awards Celebration
FROM LEFT: Leonard Engelman, Chloe Sens and Michael Key

Julie Socash created make-up for Dancing with the Stars and another nominated project, Grease: Live. “Sometimes, you have to do five-minute hair, make-up and wardrobe changes,” she said. “Our department head, Zena Shteysel, created make-up for Julianne Hough as Sandy. I had the character of Jan [Kether Donohue] and also did the old Frenchy—we followed them from stage to stage.”

To conclude the celebration’s red carpet events, Sue Cabral-Ebert, president of the Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild (IATSE, Local 706), stated: “It amazes me how year after year after year, it’s getting better and better. The quality of the work is outstanding. It’s exciting to watch television again because you just revel in the work that our people do.”

Follow the link for a complete list of the make-up and hairstyling nominees. Return to makeupmag.com to see the winners. 

Check out the gallery below for more famous faces and highlights from the celebration’s red carpet event!