Beauty Makeup

Marvel Makeup Artist Sarit Klein Talks Celebrity Beauty

By Chere Di Boscio

If you’re a Hollywood actor, you spend a lot of time with a lot of gunk on your face, and wearing layers of makeup can dry out skin, or lead to breakouts – something  Sarit Klein, the  Makeup Department Head  of  Marvel’s The Defenders,  Daredevil,  Iron Fist,  Jessica Jones, and  Luke Cage knows too well.

After having seen the damage on her clients’ skin due to the harsh chemicals used in mainstream cosmetics, Sarit became a big advocate for organic, cruelty-free beauty products and uses them in her work making up the faces of the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  as well as for movie looks for beauties such as Sofia Vergara and red carpet makeup for Rachael Taylor and other celebs.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Sarit to learn which products she uses, which beauty disasters she’s faced, and which celebs are the coolest to work with.



First up, I’m sure everyone wants to know: how amazing is the skin of Hollywood stars, really? And is that down to nature or nurture?

Nature can give you a good start, but nature needs some help. Nurturing  yourself has a bigger impact. You can  affect your skin long term with healthy habits, a healthy diet, drinking lots of water and a correct skin care routine.  Celebrities are in the spotlight, so they are more aware of the need to maintain their looks and they have the resources to do so.

Why and when did you decide to make a switch to more natural makeup brands?

There’s that old saying  “we are what we eat”. I also believe that we are what we put on our skin. Since our skin absorbs the products that we choose, why not use products beneficial to our bodies and mind?

I work with many actors on a daily basis. A few years ago, actors started requesting “healthier” makeup because they were breaking out, allergic to a certain ingredient or  were “going green”. Around that time, I started leaning towards a healthier lifestyle and an organic diet myself, so I began to research and decided to incorporate natural and organic makeup and skin care products as part of my kit.  “Natural” in the USA is a tricky word, it’s mainly used for marketing and isn’t regulated by the FDA, therefore, I make sure to read the ingredients before I put anything on my skin.

What are some of your favorite natural skin care brands?

Some of my favorite skin care brands  are Living Libations, Vintner’s Daughter, Tata Harper, Herbivore Botanicals, Skyn Iceland (have you tried their eye gels?!),   goop by Juice Beauty, and Scandic Botanica.

And what about makeup brands?

Makeup brands I love include Vapour Beauty, ILIA, RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, Vita Liberata, Juice Beauty, Koh Gen Do, FACE atelier, and Chantecaille.

What would you say to those who claim the effects of natural makeup aren’t as great, and they colours just don’t ‘pop’?

I would say that they need to continue doing research and try more products. There is an ever-increasing number of  companies that are focusing on creating makeup products that nourish without using harmful ingredients and without compromising the quality and effectiveness of their products.

For instance, Living Libations has a great range of plant-based lip and cheek products. Their lip shimmers are to die for and the “Ruby Juice Ozone Lip Gloss” has a beautiful red vibrant color that stays on your lips for hours.

 How should people prepare their skin before makeup application?

If you prep your skin thoroughly before applying makeup, you will use less makeup because you will have a better canvas to work with and less “problems” to cover or fix.

  • Always start with a clean face and some lip balm.
  • Exfoliate a couple times a week – this is key for creating a smooth complexion and getting rid of dry patches (but beware of over exfoliating).
  • Next, use a toner to further clean and balance your skin.
  • Apply eye cream. If you use more than 1 product for hydration, apply the lightest product first (serum then moisturizer).
  • Apply a primer to even out your skin’s texture, fill in line and create a smooth base for makeup.

And how can we make makeup last throughout the day?

Start with a clean face – it’s best to exfoliate to create a more even surface.  Wait 5-10 minutes after applying your serum or moisturizer. You want the hydration to sink in and absorb before laying foundation.  Apply a primer. Curl your lashes and hold the curl an extra few seconds.  Apply makeup in layers. Use powder eyeshadow under cream for longevity.  Use waterproof mascara. After makeup application but before powdering, take a 2-ply tissue, separate it and blot excess moisture from your face.  Dust translucent powder to set your makeup.  For lips, start with lip balm then fill in your whole lip with lip liner. Apply lipstick in layers and blot with tissue in between layers.  Carry blot papers with you  and try not to touch your face throughout the day!

What are some of your favourite makeup application tools?

I recently started using Artis brushes and am obsessed. Their brushes are animal-free and I don’t have to use as much product due to the special patented brush fibres. I’ve had actors comment on how gentle the makeup application is and the end result is a flawless finish.  I also love brushes designed by makeup artists, who have deeper knowledge of what works and what is needed . Some of my favorite are brushes by London Brush Co., Smith Cosmetics, Kevyn Aucoin, and Senna.  And I still love my beauty blender!

Tell us about the biggest differences between doing people’s everyday makeup, and makeup for special effects?

Everyday makeup is beauty makeup.  It enhances someone’s features and is corrective at times. For example, I can make wide eyes appear closer together by applying eye shadow in a different way or make a wider nose thinner by contouring.

Special effects is a broad term, which can mean anything from making someone look sick to using prosthetics to create a monster. It’s part of creating a character or the evolvement of the character.  Some of the products I use for beauty makeup I am able to use for special effects. For example, to make someone look sick I apply red lip liner to the lower inner rims of the eyes.

What are some of the tensest moments you’ve had as a MUA?

One of the tensest moments I’ve had was when we needed to add scenes from an early episode of Marvel’s Iron Fist. The actor’s beard was long but since that episode, I cut his beard to a much shorter length. On short notice, I needed to find a beard that was similar to the long beard he previously had. My team and I tweaked and coloured it and on the day, we laid the long beard on top of the actor’s existing beard. It was something I hadn’t done yet since it’s harder to glue fake hair on top of real hair. That was a fun challenge, but rewarding nonetheless.

And what about some of the most satisfying?

I loved designing the look for Madame Gao in the Marvel Universe. Establishing her on Daredevil season 1 included numerous meetings and hours of makeup tests.  The final look consisted of old age stipple on her whole face, neck, and hands.   Age spots were hand painted on top. It’s a 2-person job and I was very proud of the final look.

What makeup do you yourself wear every day?

I usually do a quick 5-minute makeup routine before work.

  1. For concealer, I use RMS “Un” Cover-up for under eyes and on areas I need extra coverage.  If I feel I need extra help, I love Vapour Beauty or Koh Gen Do foundations.
  2. I curl my lashes then apply Kjaer Weis Mascara.
  3. For eyeliner, I use Roxanne Rizzo Line Fix Eye Gel.
  4. I finish with Tata Harper lip and cheek tints or Living Libations  MaidenFern Blushing Balm and Lover Lips.

Who’s your favourite person to work on and why?

That’s a tough question. I don’t have just one favorite!  I truly enjoyed the collaboration with Sigourney Weaver when creating  the character Alexandra on Marvel’s The Defenders.

I adore Mahershala Ali, he is so talented and humble. Every time Rosario Dawson, who I’ve known for years, sits in my chair, we laugh so much that we lose track of time. I loved working with Edie Falco on Nurse Jackie, she is a true class act. Also, Krysten Ritter who inspires me every time we work together.


What are the biggest makeup trends you see coming up this year?

Shine and Glow all around. Dewy, radiant skin, luminous lips, highlighters in diverse colours on all areas of the face and glitter everywhere! This trend started last year – glittery eyeshadows, sparkly lips, skin and nails.

There is also a big shift in 2018 from the thin or cat eye liners to eyeliners that are black in graphic shapes, colorful, round, winged, negative spaced, upside down, smudged, in the inner eyes and the list goes on.

What are your top 5 makeup application tips?

  1. I like to start with the eyes. If anything falls on your face you can wipe it off without affecting any other makeup.
  2. After applying blush, use the blush brush to do a quick swipe on your crease. It pops your eye color and warms up your look.
  3. To pop the eye colour some more, I like to use coloured mascara on the lash tips. Purple mascara for green eyes, blue mascara for brown eyes, burgundy for blue eyes.
  4. Before applying powder, separate a 2-ply tissue,  use 1 ply lightly on your skin to remove excess oil and blot, use the other under your powder brush while powdering.
  5. To whiten your teeth, use lipstick or lip gloss with blue undertones.

If you could tell beauty lovers ONE thing, what would it be?

Use products with ingredients that are good for you overall. Think long term, nurture your body and mind and you will see the results.

All celebrity images courtesy Netflix/Marvel except image 2, Wikicommons.

Chere Di Boscio
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