Emmy Award-Winning Makeup Artist Ann-Marie Oliver's Steamy-Summer Product Solves
Every woman should be lucky enough to have an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist on speed-dial. Especially if you live in Florida, where paint + powder reallllly doesn't wanna stay put.
My good friend Ann-Marie Oliver was a NYC pal who, when we met, worked with my other good friend, WNBC Chief Meteorologist Janice Huff. (Janice is a beloved Gotham institution, btw, who also happens to be a graduate of Florida State.)
Ann-Marie was then hired by CBS News’s The Early Show, co-hosted by Julie Chen. When Julie co-created The Talk, Ann-Marie relocated to Los Angeles. And now this multi-talented multi-tasker also works with Julie on CBS’s Big Brother.
I’ve always admired Ann-Marie’s Zen calm and oh-so-sweet demeanor. And hello, when Yours Truly was being taped for a CBS Sunday Morning segment late January 2015 while gut reno’ing my new-to-me but actually very-old house in Naples, Ann-Marie was the first gal I hit up for on-camera glam tips.
IMFL (in my former life) as a NYC publicist, I put hundreds of people in front of the camera. But moi, I like being B E H I N D the scenes. I was never out front unless I was the bearer of bad news. Sigh. Plus, post-chemo - wait, did I ever tell you FBP-ers I'm a cancer survivor? - my eyes were never quite the same. Constant tearing made eye makeup run right down my face. Grrr.
So when that CBS Sunday Morning segment landed in my lap, let's just say I needed serious beauty help.
Because of weather, the shoot had been moved three times. Initially it was slated to be taped in New York. Then it was Raleigh, where my husband lived. Finally it was Naples, where we had to be on a certain date to move his boat or risk a huge fine. #FloridaProblems
All I had in my makeup bag was stuff that’s not even available anymore. (Including a cherished tube of Nars "Orgasm" liquid blush - now discontinued so I milk it for every last drop.). On that trip to Naples, in addition to the TV shoot, we were grouting our floors and bathrooms. So glamorous.
I packed a few dresses, letting correspondent Tracy Smith pick the most telegenic. And per Ann-Marie’s advice via Facebook messenger, I headed to Macy's and picked up Lancôme's Dual Finish powder in Matte Bisque. Sadly, the Clè de Peau concealer at Neiman Marcus she also recommended was just too far a drive given our timeline.
Ann-Marie totally saved the day, advice-wise. I'm so grateful to her, and I thought that you, dear readers, should also benefit from her straightforward, no-B.S. expertise for getting camera-ready. Whether it’s for a simple Instagram selfie, event glamour shot or wedding video, Ann-Marie has the answers.
FBP: Describe your daily skedge / duties for The Talk. In addition to Julie, do you work with any of the other ladies? Do they show up with a clean face? What is your process?
OLIVER: I only work with Julie, although I used to work with Sara Gilbert for a couple of seasons.
With Julie, I arrive one hour before she does to set up. The wardrobe department puts out Julie’s clothes the night before; when I arrive that morning, I see what she’s wearing - from jewelry to shoes - for the show. Makeup decisions are based on that. Julie arrives bare-faced, then the hairstylist starts her hair, which also inspires me.
FBP: Tell me about your Emmy award. How did it happen? Also, are there any other shows you're currently working on?
OLIVER: The Talk makeup team has been nominated four times and won once. Yay!! It was crazy exciting! And I gave our acceptance speech on behalf of the department. I remember sitting there and we were up against the best, and then I heard, “And the Emmy goes to…The Talk!” I remember someone grabbed me and picked me up and swung me around. We erupted with pure joy!
I also work with Julie on Big Brother. I may be nominated for that as well. Keep your fingers crossed.
FBP: What has posed your biggest challenge for live TV? Is it the weather, the lighting?
OLIVER: We shoot mostly indoors on a soundstage, so weather is not usually an issue. There was this time we shot on USS Intrepid in New York City, and Lionel Richie performed and it poured! We tried so hard to keep up with running liner and makeup streaming down Julie's face, but the hair was the challenge! We just gave in and let it do what is going to do. We laughed so hard throughout the shoot and just decided to embrace it. It was so much fun!
I love love love live TV! Time is the biggest challenge. When you tape a show, you have time to course-correct, make changes, do fixes. But forget about that with live TV. Once Julie goes on, that’s it. Can’t stop the cameras to make any adjustments. That being said, it’s my absolute favorite because it’s exciting and I love the immediacy of it all.
Fortunately, we have an amazing lighting director with whom I work very closely. I always work directly with the lighting director on every photo shoot or TV appearance. But I find the lighting is generally good.
FBP: How do you 'bullet-proof' makeup so it stays fresh in high heat + humidity?
OLIVER: Don’t cringe, but after applying your moisturizer, apply men's Nivea after-shave balm on your face, then apply your makeup. It really keeps your makeup set and fresh in high humidity. OR there’s a spray product by Kat Von D called Lock It Makeup Setting Mist. After you have completely finished your makeup, spray it lightly over your entire face. You can sleep in your makeup and still look great in the morning.
FBP: If you were visiting Florida during our summers, and could only pack four makeup or skincare products, what would they be?
OLIVER: Moisturizer for my face and lips, mascara, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner.
FBP: What - if any - primers do you love?
OLIVER: I really don’t use - or care for - primers. But I have tried Laura Mercier's and liked them.
FBP: On days / nights when we really want our makeup to stay put for several hours (sans major touch-ups), should we skip moisturizer and just use primer on clean skin?
OLIVER: Never skip moisturizer.
FBP: You were in NYC for many years - how do you adjust your makeup for LA's climate? We have LA's heat - but it's much drier there.
OLIVER: Less is more! I don’t use a base at all.
FBP: Throughout your career, you've worked with people who need to be camera-ready. What can the Florida gal do in the age of selfies to make her photos better? It's already high 80s and humid here - think August in NYC with blinding sunshine.
OLIVER: Really, the truth is just to embrace the dewy look, especially since the dewy look is in right now.
FBP: Picture an outdoor wedding on a Florida beach, and you're doing the bride's makeup for her photos + videos. What's in your your clutch for touchups? What's in your client's? Or let's say Julie doing red carpet reporting at the Grammys. What makeup/tools go in her tiny bag?
OLIVER: Instead of powdering every 20 minutes, try oil blotter pads to avoid a cake-y look.