Makeup Masters

Area experts share stories on how they helped celebrities keep up appearances

“My makeup, my makeup!” was the popular line from the award-winning Detroit Zoo commercial that ran in the 1980s, depicting the animals preparing for their daily “show” for visitors to the park.

What’s funny is how important those lines seem to be for human celebrities these days, with the popularity of red-carpet events, the advent of high-def TV, and aggressive paparazzi lurking around every corner.

Being caught in public sans makeup these days is almost a tabloid-cover guarantee. Because of that, most people in the public eye make sure that a professional with a powder puff is always nearby.

We asked 12 metro Detroit makeup artists to name some famous faces they’ve been called upon to enhance. Their responses:

Barbara Deyo

Owner of Deyo Studio for Face and Body, Birmingham, has been doing makeup for 20-plus years.

The Faces: Bob Seger (an album-cover shoot), Kid Rock, Shaun Robinson, Tommy Lasorda (she ended up watching the World Series with him), and Jane Pauley.

The Story: “I was working for CNN during the O.J. Simpson trials. With Tom Brokaw and crew on our way into the courthouse, we paused for a moment, so I ran into the ladies’ room. When I came out, everyone had gone through security and gone upstairs. I begged and cried to the security guys to let me in, and they finally let me through after confiscating a brand-new pair of scissors, which they promised to return to me when I left the building. When I got off the elevator, I was attacked by the security. Fortunately, Brokaw was standing right there and yelled, ‘No, that’s my makeup artist.’ I was saved, and I got my scissors back.”

Robin Manoogian

…who has nearly 30 years of makeup experience starting at Hudson’s Northland, now owns About Face Beauty Spa in Royal Oak. She has her own product line and has been the house makeup artist for WXYZ-TV for 25 years.

The Faces: Manoogian traveled with Aretha Franklin for 10 years, a decade that took her to Oprah Winfrey’s 40th birthday party, the White House on many occasions, the Grammy Awards, the set of Saturday Night Live, and a visit to one of Martha Stewart’s many homes.

The Story: “When Bill Clinton was running for president, I was called in to make him up for a cover of Newsweek. When I got there, they discovered that Clinton, who had been traveling nonstop, didn’t have a fresh shirt to wear for the photo. My boyfriend at the time was about the same size as Clinton, so I called him and told him to get there with clothes right away. Clinton ended up taking a photo for the cover of Newsweek wearing my boyfriend’s sweater.

David Marks

… a veteran metro Detroit makeup artist, works at HB Salon in Somerset Collection, Troy.

The Faces: Oliver North, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Nadine Labaki, Eugene Levy.

The Story: “I have an agent who books me for a lot of press junkets. I’ve been assigned several times to Elizabeth Berkley. That’s kind of funny, because I first did Elizabeth’s makeup when she was a model in Michigan and only 15 years old.”


Sydni Jones

… has done makeup at the MAC counter at Twelve Oaks Mall for nearly a decade.

The Faces: LisaRaye McCoy, Robin Givens, Clifton Powell.

The Story: “I was called to do makeup for LisaRaye McCoy. Her skin is so perfect; I didn’t want to touch her face. Somehow I ended up not doing her makeup the first time we met. But through a series of events, I was asked to be her stand-in for the stage play she was doing at the time called Gossip, Lies & Secrets. LisaRaye was going through something in her role as first lady of Turks and Caicos the day the show opened in Saginaw. I ended up actually playing the role. I did finally do her makeup, and then we ended up becoming like sisters. I even became her personal assistant for a while.”

Andrea Duchesneau

… is the head artist at HB Salon at Somerset Collection, Troy, and an eyebrow expert, who recently returned to her native Michigan after living in Los Angeles and London, where she honed her makeup skills for print, film, and fashion.

The Faces: Claudette Robinson (The Miracles), Ernie Harwell, Jennifer Aniston, Chauncey Billups.

The Story: “I was called in to assist with makeup for the GM Style event a couple of years ago. When I got there, they didn’t need me to do makeup, but asked me to do some fashion styling. Next thing I know, I’m in a room with a naked Carmen Electra and an $8,000 Dolce & Gabbana gown.”


Dawn Baker

… a freelance makeup artist and former top fashion model in Michigan.

The Faces: Jill and Joe Biden, Tony Curtis (who “arrived with makeup on”), Kathy Ireland, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Joe Montana, Steve Yzerman, Kanye West.

The Story: “They were doing a documentary on Michael Phelps just before the Olympics. During the shoot, the director decided he wanted shots with the water beading up on Michael’s skin, so he said, ‘Let’s get some oil on his body.’ I grabbed a bottle of baby oil from my bag and handed it to Michael. He said, ‘Oh, no, you put it on.’ So there I was, oiling down Michael Phelps in one of his little skimpy bathing suits. Everybody on the set was cracking up. I just turned around and said, “Gotta love my job.”

Belen Sheppard

London-trained Belen Sheppard, a metro Detroit freelance makeup artist/fashion stylist, has had her work featured in numerous national fashion publications.

The Faces: Chevy Chase, Queen Latifah, Michael Weiss.

The Story: “While working on a movie with Brooke Shields, Chevy Chase, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Brooke — arriving late — rushed over to show me the sonogram of her first child. I was the first one she showed it to, even before her husband.”


Jon Lieckfelt

… a 20-year makeup artist, founded and created Priss Cosmetics, Birmingham.

The Faces: Kevin Costner, Jerry Seinfeld, Wanda Sykes, Cuba Gooding Jr.

The Story: “A great thrill for me was to head the hair and makeup for Detroit’s first GM Style event, and to be in charge of executing the on-stage looks for the long list of celebrities that night — everyone from Carmen Electra and Mario Lopez to Cheryl Hines and Nick Lachey.”


Todd Skog

… the nationally known makeup artist owns Todd’s Room, Birmingham.

The Faces: Anita Baker, Tom Jones, Hayden Panettiere, Jason Priestley.

The Story: “One of the oddest things that ever happened to me while doing makeup was when I did Rebecca Romijn. While I was doing her makeup, she was talking on her cell phone, smoking a cigarette, and eating — all at the same time. I’ve never seen that before.”


Gjysta Nuculaj

… owner of Mijo-a’ Beauty Studio in Rochester, has been doing makeup for 15 years.

The Faces: Mario Lopez, Rosie Perez, Naima.

The Story: “I was asked to do Laura Bush’s makeup when she was traveling with her husband during his second presidential campaign. I was so honored and so humbled and so nervous that I got down on my knees to do her makeup. She was very nice. She grabbed me by the hand and helped me up and said, ‘No, dear, please get off your knees’.”

George McKenney

… a professional freelance makeup artist for 12 years, is based out of Detroit, but works extensively in New York and Los Angeles.

The Faces: Jennifer Hudson, The Clark Sisters, Carolyn Clifford, Florine Mark, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Larry King.

The Story: “The best times I’ve ever had with a celebrity by far have been with Mo’Nique. I was with her during a live broadcast of her radio show in Charlotte, N.C. After the show, we painted the town, then returned to our hotel at about 3 in the morning. Mo’Nique decided we should have a relay race. So there I was, running up and down the hall of a five-star hotel at the crack of dawn with Mo’Nique.”

Michelle Beaudette-Grates

… owner of Girlie Girl salon and boutique in Grosse Pointe Woods, has done makeup for 15 years.

The Faces: Kid Rock (for a music video), Eminem (for the cover of Spin), Babyface.

The Story: “I was assisting a makeup artist in L.A., and she got a call to do makeup for Babyface and his then-wife, Tracey. My friend was unable to go, so I went in her place. A limo picked me up from home and took me to the airport to a private jet stocked with sushi. It whisked us off to The Oprah Show, where I did makeup for Babyface and his wife. I couldn’t believe I was getting that kind of treatment just to do makeup.”