January 03, 2011

Priscilla:Queen of the Desert & interview with MAC makeup artist Justen Brosnan

A few weeks ago I was invited to watch Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, which has now ended its Toronto run on January 2nd. What a musical! I was dancing in my seat. The makeup, the costumes, the music, and the performers were spectacular. MAC Cosmetics were the official sponsors of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and the makeup was full-on drag. Loved it! You could actually see the performers makeup from afar. Sparkle! Contouring!! A fun night indeed, thanks to the lovely MAC girls for the invite.

I also interviewed MAC's key makeup artist of the musical, Justen Brosnan;
(1) Firstly, the makeup and costumes were phenomenal! Loved all the sparkle & glam. My understanding in theatre is that each actor applies their own makeup, as the key makeup artist for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, how is each character's look created?
Thanks Monica for the lavish praise of our show, and I do have to agree, it is truly fantastic!!! Each look was designed to complement the costumes and hair so the look is viewed as entire piece, not as 3 separate parts. It makes the show look more cohesive and brings out different aspects of the performer and really makes it all pop!

(2) There are over 300 costume changes in this production. How many makeup artists are necessary for each costume change, if makeup is altered?
It takes a team of 4 to run the Makeup/Hair dept. The cast has also been shown how to make adjustments to their makeup so they are self sufficient. Also, a lot of building and layering is achieved throughout the show by adding bit by bit.

(3) Which key MAC products are used in order to create a main character like Bernadette?
Ahh, Bernadette, such an elegant, classy woman...MAC Full Coverage Foundation and Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, MAC Prep+Prime Skin as an underbase, soft eye shadow colours like, Bamboo, Soft Brown, Corduroy, and a variety of soft rose tinted lipsticks, just so it keeps it interesting...
MAC lipstick in Quite Please!
MAC Studio Fix Powder

(4) OK I have to ask, how does all that makeup come off?
MAC Oil Cleanser and THOUSANDS of MAC Makeup Remover Wipes!!!
Thanks Justen!
MAC Cleanse Off Oil
MAC Remover Wipes
I found an awesome video on youtube by CC Swan,  getting into drag makeup. No affliation with MAC cosmetics or the Toronto production of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert but none the less a great vid on the process of applying drag makeup.

(product images via maccosmetics.ca)

1 comment

  1. What an awesome interview! Priscilla is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, and I've been dying to see the theatrical version, so I'm super jealous you had the chance to! Glad you had fun!


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