This time on our Artist Spotlight, we want to highlight the talented Kat McAndrew, a makeup artist from Australia. We have had the pleasure of seeing her in action at BluEye Studio on her visits to California, and you've definitely seen her work, even if you didn't know it was hers.
From clean beauty to statement pieces, Kat's skilled hand creates beautiful compositions that will take your breath away. For 13 years, she has worked and honed her craft, building her business as Kat McAndrew Makeup and Brows.
We were honored to chat with Kat about her career, advice she offers to aspiring artists, and the importance of light in her craft.
The following is an interview between Kat McAndrew and Team TML.
Hello, Kat! So great to talk to you today. Thank you for being our first Artist Spotlight!
Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of the Artist Spotlight! I feel a little bit special.
You are absolutely special. We love your work. Why don't you tell us a bit about one of your recent accomplishments?
Can I tell you a couple?
The first one is kind of a group accomplishment. I was the makeup artist for a brilliant short film called Adele that absolutely killed it on the festival circuit, culminating in it winning (amongst many other awards) the Best Live Short at the prestigious Sydney Film Festival.
My other favorite is getting to shoot and hang out with the super lovely TML (The Makeup Light) crew each time I'm in Los Angeles, which is an incredible privilege every time.
You know we feel the same way about you! Since you brought up our lovely team, you know we feel strongly that every artist deserves the right light. Where does light rank in terms of importance for you?
Right at the top. I can make do with any old product from a drugstore in a pinch but if I can’t see the colors I’m using or the undertones of the skin then my work suffers.
Sure you can get lights that are super cheap, but they don’t allow you to see all of the colors in the same way you can see them in daylight, and that makes all the difference in the work you produce. Wouldn’t you want to be doing the best work you’re capable of?
Absolutely! It sounds like you've had to face some rough lighting situations before. Can you tell us about a time you had subpar lighting to work with?
Oh man… how do I even pick just one? I was working on a fashion film and we were doing a dawn shoot, so we set up in the car park at the beach at about three in the morning and for some completely baffling reason the lights in the car park were not just a warm yellow they were a fiery orange. Trying to gauge skin tone and eye shadow colors under those lighting conditions was the stuff of nightmares.
Sounds like it! Has TML eased that burden at all?
Aside from the quality of my work increasing drastically, being able to show up to a job or a set with my own lighting that takes up such a small amount of space in both the room and my kit makes me look so much more professional in the eyes of clients and crew. It also saves anyone having to rig a lighting setup for me when they have other things they need to be working on.
Sure! There are always so many moving pieces. And you've grown your business quite a lot since you started. Would you mind telling us about that?
After I graduated from the school ... my first job was working for a traveling glamour photography business. I got to travel around Australia and it was surprisingly a great way to really start learning how to handle different personality types, which is such a crucial part of our work.
From there I moved into retail cosmetics, which really helped me develop my product and skin care knowledge and then about seven years ago I took the leap into freelancing and started working in beauty, production, short film and music videos.
That's brilliant. Do you have any words of advice to anyone just starting out themselves?
I know it’s exciting to buy all the pretty color palettes out there, but the most important thing (and ultimately what will save you in the long run) is to invest in the key areas of quality skin care, a diverse range of foundations in global colors so that you have something for every skin type, and great lighting aka TML.
Trust when I say that latest bright pink eyeshadow palette you desperately need to have 'cause the interwebs is losing its collective mind over, you’ll probably use twice and then never again. Start with the basics and you can always add over time.
That is amazing advice. Thank you, Kat.
If you would like to follow Kat McAndrew's amazing work, follow her on Instagram to see her genius work in action.