Give us a little background on yourself.
Vanessa Blanche Lee is a production makeup artist in Film TV live events and theatre. She is a member of IATSE Local 706 (make-up artist) , BAFTA, NATAS/TV Academy, NASMAH, and WIF. She is also a Covid Compliance Supervisor and Consultant for the USA & UK, and a certified health and safety officer passport holder in the UK. She was a consultant for the British Film Commission's return to work in Covid guidelines, a document that was reviewed by the UK government. Hailing from the UK, with a background in healthcare and adult education( MA Ed) Vanessa has blended her long-standing knowledge of infection control with production-friendly makeup & teamwork in the covid era. She is based in San Francisco and works in SF, Los Angeles, and the UK. She also provides consultations to online makeup academies.
She believes infection control knowledge should be free of fear, sales tactics, product endorsement, it should be evidence-based and available for all. When I work safely, you are safer, and vice versa. We are a community.
What drew you to a career in makeup?
Primarily, that you get to tell a story (film, tv theatre, etc), add to the mood of the story, and this has an influence on a huge audience. To create something as a team, much larger than yourself or your talent, is an act of culture-building, history-making… I suppose, selfishly, it's a bit of longevity too! Also, I feel so lucky to be able to combine parts of my life that add to the job as a whole - health care professional, therapist, art, love of skin and hair, anatomy, and being in service to others. Being in someone’s personal space, and their trust in your touch and know-how is a real privilege, especially nowadays.
What are some of your notable and/or favorite projects?
- Always Be My Maybe
- I’m Dying Up Here
- Working with Peter Fonda
- Women's USA Soccer Team for Sports Illustrated
- Hockney’s Stage design set - Turandot
- SF Ballet photoshoots - an intimate view of the dancer
Do you have any favorite Skindinavia products?
All of them but especially the Primer Spray and Recovery Spray (Editor's note: Similar in formula to The Maskne Control Spray). I use the primer sometimes to add into a mix for an added fix and, I always have the Recovery Spray for myself at home and in my pro makeup kit, especially for male grooming and post-shaving. I love that it doesn't have a perfume and it really keeps congestion at bay.