Westmore – "The First Name In Makeup Education"

(One on One !)

The Artist’s Way (One On One)

Marvin Westmore has very specific ideas about giving your clients a look that suits them.

Marvin Westmore comes from Hollywood royalty. His family has more film credits for makeup than just about anyone. He’s also the owner of the Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts in Burbank, CA, which has trained some of the finest makeup artists in the country.

Marvin Westmore

That’s why he gets so angry when makeup artists aren’t given the respect he feels they’re entitled to. “Just because a person puts lipstick on another person’s lips, blusher on her cheeks, and eye shadow and mascara on her eyes does not make him or her a makeup artist,” he says. “A makeup artist is someone who creates an individualized and personalized makeup design for a client based on her age, fashion awareness, clothing preferences and color preferences.”

Westmore tends to avoid the word “makeover” since it implies that he’s either a plastic surgeon or God, “which I’m not,” he laughs. “Instead I will use the artistic principles of line, form and balance to create an aesthetically pleasing look for her by enhancing and defining her features, utilizing fashionable colors to suit her taste.”

One thing he’s learned over the years is that a woman does not want to be dictated to despite the fact that she might be suffering silently in your chair as you impose the newest, most fashionable, bright pink lipstick on her. He tells this story to illustrate his point: “A few years back I had two clients who went to a high-end Beverly Hills salon where they were treated like queens, had facials, then had their makeup done. The left with huge bags of products. When they went outside, one of them remarked to her friend that she thought they looked beautiful but that she couldn’t go home looking like that. Her friend replied, “I know what you mean, It’s not me.” They ended up at the Westmore Academy where I redid their makeup, and they left pleased as punch. The point is, you don’t have to sell to a client who’s happy with her results. She will gladly buy whatever you used to make the difference.”

Westmore finds it helpful to conduct what he calls a “guided conversation” with a new client. “I ask each person a series of questions pertaining to her lifestyle as well as what color clothing she gravitates toward when she’s shopping but may not actually buy,” he says. ‘I also ask her which colors of clothing she buys and which colors she avoids. “Next, Westmore does a color profile that assists him in selecting colors for her lipstick, blusher and eye shadow. “Besides my guided conversation information, I try to observe the style and color of clothes she wore in. Now I have enough information to begin to design her makeup,” says, Westmore, who notes that it’s important to observe a client’s face while you’re conducting the guided conversation in order to see if her facial features are in balance and , if not to determine what you can do to create an aesthetic symmetry.

The bottom line, according to Westmore, is that anything short of this approach is not makeup artistry but rather makeup demontation and sales. – MARIANNE DOUGHERTY

*Thank you to Marianne, editor of American Beauty – June 08 – p.24

  • Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.― Napoleon Hill
  •   “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.― John D. Rockefeller

Comments on: "(One on One !)" (13)

  1. Kymberley St Louis said:

    I was referred to your agency years ago by Dr. Gerald Schmidt, one of many plastic surgeons. It’s been years but it was great fun and I’m wondering if you still have cosmetic products available for purchase. I used to buy them by mail in the early 80’s. Please provide me with any information available.

  2. Its a pleasure to write you and am hoping to hear from you
    I really appreciate the work you have done in the movie business.

    Look forward to your reply

    Terry H.

  3. Hello Mr. Westmore,
    I was so excited to see you have joined the ranks on Twitter. I look forward to following your example in business tactics and all else you may post.


  4. Thank you for following Response on Twitter.
    I look forward to browsing through your sites and information.


  5. Hi Mr. Westmore,
    My birth mother, Marianna VanValkenburg worked for the House of Westmore back in, I believe I was told, the 1950’s. I was adopted before she worked for your family, but, have found her/my family since her death and found out these interesting things.

    I dont know who in your family might remember her but I believe they mentioned Bud?
    My uncles have told me interesting stories about her “setting them up” on dates with young stars such as Dorothy Provine….funny.

    I admire your work and the work she did while working for your family. Its great to see how its grown. I’m in design & I paint, my daughter is a hair stylist & paints also, so the “artistic” bloodline flows on.

  6. Cinde Car said:

    Hello Mr. Westmore, I was a competitor in the 80’s at many of the long beach hairdresser guilds shows. I won quite a few of the make-up competitions. I was wondering if you kept any of the photos of the make-up? I lost some due to some damage at my house during a remodel. I own and operate a salon for over 30 years now. would love to get a hold of some of my old competition photos. I know you were a big part of the hair-shows back then. It was always inspirational to see you as one of the judges. Cinde Car, thank you so much

  7. do you ever mentor? i have taken a young woman under my wing whose dream is do professional make up but has no training and has two babies to provide for. Can you help? I am trying to encourage her. Thank You, M Kirwan

    • Maureen, Keep up the encouragement which sounds like it could include babysitting. I currently don’t mentor but should that change I will post it on the website. My time is limited so I am trying to do that with my blog and other websites.

      I currently divided time between the museum and my writing. I hope to complete a number of books. Since, selling the school I have done a few interviews including one last year for KPPC Radio which was broadcasted during the Oscars and is posted on our website; as well as one on camera interview for the Hitchcock release of “Rebecca” that my father worked on. It won an Oscar for Best Picture of 1940. I also appeared for a brief interview at a recent showing of “Blade Runner.” I hope to do more if invited.
      Thank you for your question, Marv

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