Sunday, March 27, 2011

Seven Questions - Kat Von Pire

This Seven Questions mini interview features makeup artist Kat Von Pire. You can also find Kat on as Kat Crisp. I'd like to thank her for taking the time to talk to me!

All images courtesy Kat Von Pire.
Skeleton Pin-Up

1) Tell me some of the events you've worked on

First and foremost, I've only been doing make-up professionally for a bit over a year. I'm practically a baby in the industry, and because I'm a non-union artist and not with an agency, there's no big name productions in my list, YET. I'm also not one for name dropping, but I'll give you guys the gist of what's been keeping me busy this past year.

I've done several fashion shows for IMAGO Zine, Toronto's Alternative Arts & Fashion week, for Nuit Blanche and more. Several commercials, music videos (one was for a collaboration with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill) and local TV gigs. I've worked with Miss Canada Universe and Miss Teen Canada contestants. But my passion is film! I did about 10 shorts and one feature film in 2010. Several of the shorts have been submitted to festivals, so keep your fingers crossed for us! As well there's The Dark Side series of original shorts on Corporate videos, photoshoots, print ads, even charity events. I keep busy!

A lot of work went into this zombie. I sculpted and moulded a full face appliance out of foam latex. His upper teeth are a full denture that I sculpted and made out of dental acrylic. He's chomping on a set of fingers I made out of gelatin, cast from my own hand.

A Buffy inspired vampire. I sculpted and cast her forehead appliance out of gelatin, and made the fangs out of dental acrylic.
Buffy Vamp

Chamber's Gate crew member Jason McKendry

Actor Darren Divnich on the set of Chamber's Gate.
On the set of "Chamber's Gate"

Actor Dan Park on the set of SD: Series 1
SD: Series 1

He's actually blond, blue eyed and pale. I also hand sculpted the latex horns.
The Devil

Applying a gas mask to an actor on the set of "Orders."
On the set of "Orders"

2) What is your ultimate goal?

One of the massively talented people who trained me was Candice Ornstein, and I was hugely inspired by the goals she set for herself when she was beginning her career, as I am now. She set herself a 10 year goal to have worked within both film unions here in Toronto (NABET & IATSE) and to key a multi-million dollar feature film (Saw IV). My goals are quite similar. But ultimately my goal is to be happy and continuing to love what I do, where ever it may take me!

3) Where have you been all my life?

Wandering about lost and aimless! I didn't come into my own and figure out my career path until I was about 25. I successfully pursued a BA in psychology, which I knew I would never take further. Those were 4 soul sucking years in which I felt every creative ounce of me disappear. Looking back, I'm thankful for the state of limbo I was in and glad to have a background in psychology. It all helped prepare me for who I am now. Pursuing a career in the film & television industry isn't easy and isn't passive. You have to want it and be able to sell yourself as an artist. Work doesn't always come to you. But I feel that coming into it a bit later in life, and not fresh out of high school or college has better prepared me for all I've had & will have to face.

4) Tell me about your personal style.

This is oddly a tough question for me to answer. I've never really thought of myself as having style, it's more accidental than anything. I'm told I have a signature hair style, long black hair with Bettie Page bangs. The secret, I've had the bangs pretty much since birth, but lucky me they keep coming back in fashion! I was admittedly hardcore goth in my teens, and am still a big horror nerd. I've ditched the velvet, and most of the vinyl, but still favour the dark side. Unfortunately I have to be more about functionality and comfort when at a shoot or on set for 12+ hour days.

5) You recently became engaged. Congrats!

Thank you!

We're a match made in hell. We met over 5 years ago at a horror convention and we started seeing each other on Halloween that year. It doesn't get anymore perfect than that! He's a TV producer by day, and is working on getting his first indie feature film out to the world (see the trailer here: ), and he's always happy to let me practice make-up on him. :P

No wedding plans yet, but rumour has it we'll run away to Vegas for an ultra cheesy but memorable union. A traditional wedding has never been a dream of mine. I'm always happy to do make-up for weddings, but I really don't want to have one for myself.

6) You're a professional - which means you've got makeup us mere mortals only dream about. Tell me the FIVE products you can't be without.

My personal & kit make-up must haves:

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion: It works! I use this every day on myself in Eden, the matte tawny shade with a hint of yellow that helps tone down my always sleep deprived eyes. And I keep the Original sheer shade in my kit. Anything that makes my job easier is a major plus, and not having to worry about eyeshadow moving around on set is wonderful.

Make-Up For Ever Aqua Liners:
- Aqua Lip in Red 8C: My favourite red lip liner by far! It's waterproof, you have to scrub it off! That equals awesome in my books. If you don't wear true or bright reds, but like your reds a bit darker, just go up a shade to 9C. I've been known to wear 8C as an eyebrow me crazy!
- Aqua Eyes in Black 0L: My favourite black eye liner! Again, waterproof, smudge proof, awesome.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator: Forget the powder blush! And seriously PLEASE throw away the Super Orgasm, blush should never have chunks of glitter in it! And replace it all with NARS Orgasm Illuminator. Dab it on your cheeks and sweep upwards towards your temples -after- applying foundation but -before- you very lightly powder set your face. You'll glow. And I don't mean just went to the gym sweat glow, but a beautiful natural healthy glow that even pastey psuedo goth gals like me can get into.

MAC Eyeshadows: I consider these kit essentials for two reasons. One, they're affordable. MAC offers great professional discounts, and even for non-pros they won't break the bank. Two, the colour range is endless (my all time fave: Ploof!). Make Up For Ever also offers a great pro discount, and has amazing shadows. They're a bit more expensive than MAC, but you actually get twice the amount of product.

Make Up For Ever HD Elixir: If you're a make-up artist, get this for your kit! It's quite simply a super instant hydrater, which doesn't sound spectacular but it is. I come across a lot of skin types, and 75% of them are dry. Dry from sun exposure, Canadian winters, baked from tanning, over washing, over treating, acne medications, aging, etc etc. I've got 20 minutes to make this skin camera ready and that 20 minutes doesn't involve a moisturizing spa facial. HD Elixir to the rescue! All you need is a couple drops and a couple minutes to soak in and you're good to go. It's a quick fix, but not a replacement for proper skin care.

I know I'm supposed to stop at 5, but I have one more product I want to talk about. Mascara. There are 90375235 brands and formulations out there. Each drugstore brand has a dozen or more formulations, and then there's the big name brands. Do you want waterproof, lengthening, separating, volumizing, vibrating (!?!?!), millionizing, curling? How do you choose? Well whatever you choose, get yourself a Shu Uemura eyelash curler and a lash comb with -metal- teeth (the Sephora Professional brush line has one). Curl your lashes before applying mascara and comb them before the mascara dries. A metal comb will get rid of clumps, excess and lashes sticking together.

And just for fun, here's my SPFX must haves for those who are experimenting with gore and/or just starting out:

Skin Illustrator FX palette: Skin Illustrator palettes are an alcohol based make-up that's water & smudge proof. They're dry palettes that are activated by 99% alcohol, and are removed with 99% alcohol. The FX palette gives you all the colours you need to create injuries and illness, while not budging even a bit all day. A must must have for creating bruising and aging/weathering an actor. Start with the FX palette, and believe me you'll be wanting more (Fleshtone & Dark Fleshtone are also mucho handy to have!). Great for fake tattoos too!

Fleet Street Blood: I love blood! And this is the best blood you can buy. A bit on the pricey side, but the -perfect- colour, not too red and not to orange. They come in both fresh & dark colours. I favour dark personally! And they dry wonderfully, without flaking off. If you want to play around with buckets of blood, get the cheap stuff. But keep a small bottle of this on hand for realistic close ups of abrasions, small wounds, bloody noses, etc. Or just have the best looking blood on Halloween!

3rd Degree Silicone Modeling Compound: Throw out your mortician's wax, and get this! It's a two part silicone product that you mix in equal parts and sculpt almost like you would wax. You have about 10 minutes of working time before it's dry, which is just enough time for small wounds & injuries. Don't have to worry about wax peeling, melting, moving, none of that. 3rd Degree stays on until you take it off. It comes in a variety of colours, I keep 2oz. kits of medium and dark in my fx kit. A little goes a long way!

Pros Aide Adhesive: Pros Aide is a medical grade adhesive that is non-toxic, waterproof, skin safe and strong. This will replace spirit gum in your kit. It can be used to apply small & big appliances, facial hair, anything! Use it in beauty make-up to apply feathers, lace, rhinestones, etc. Just don't apply your eyelashes with it!

Used-Up-Worn-Out-Near-Death Make-Up Brushes: Keep them, you can use them on the FX side of make-up. So when your fave MAC brush has bristles in every direction that just can't be tamed anymore, make it an FX brush. I've been known to sit around watching TV while smashing & cutting up brushes. Tooth brushes (new ones of course!) make great brushes for flicking Skin Illustrator products. Flat top bronzer & cream blush type brushes, like MAC's 187 & 188, make fantastic brushes for mottling or bruising skin with Skin Illustrator palettes (really, I can't get enough of these palettes!). Dollar store paint brushes are also your friend! Alcohol, adhesives, blood and cream products are all hard on your brushes, so don't stress having Sephora's latest brush line for FX work.

Myself & Make Up For Ever's regional manager, Jacquie Jeffery. We were promoting MUFE's new Aqua Cream line at various Sephora locations.
Make Up For Ever

7) Are you on a first name basis with all the sales associates at your local Sephora?

Kinda, sorta...ya... But only because I do some occasional work in the various Sephora's around here! I've been a guest artist for various brands (most recently one of my fave brands, Make Up For Ever), helping them do in store events for product launches. Otherwise, I'm not in Sephora very often these days. I have a closet full of unopened products, unless I've run out of a product or need something specific, I steer clear. A gal can get lost in a Sephora, and when the last thing she needs is a 37th shade of red lipstick the best thing to do is AVOID!

Lately I've been excessively buying SPFX products, not because I need them, just because I want them. I'm a blood junkie and easily get suckered in by new fancy blood products.

Working on a Miss Canada Universe '09 contestant at their official photoshoot.
Miss Canada Universe 2009 photoshoot

Miss Canada 2009 contestant
Miss Canada Universe 2009 photoshoot

I did make-up for IMAGO zine's runway show at this years [FAT] Toronto's Alternative Arts & Fashion week 2010. Working with them always allows me to do some crazier makeups. Their shows are definitely not for the faint of heart!




And some lovely ladies

A 20's inspired look for Rhiannon



Kat, again, thank you so much for the interview. I know we'll see big things from you in the future....and best of luck with your wedding!


  1. Awesome interview!!!! Such fantastic work...

  2. Kat is not only talented, but a really nice person as well.

  3. AMAZING interview Cin! I loved it! Kat is so talented! Also, the Charmayne look is gorgeous.

  4. Do you know if this is the illuminator that Kat recommends: (in Copacabana)