Michele Burke

I’m a Makeup Designer and Department Head for feature films. I do print and advertising as well as designing makeup applicators that are used by many of the leading makeup lines. I specialize in creating unique character designs, beauty, prosthetics and fantasy makeups.

I am originally from Ireland and currently reside in Los Angeles. Prior to that I lived and worked in Canada for 10 years. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to have won two Academy Awards in addition to being nominated a total of six times. I’ve also won two British Academy Awards and an Emmy.

I like to keep my personal skincare regime as simple as possible. My goal is to protect, moisturize and cleanse my skin every day. To do so I use, Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk and finish up with Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Almond Crème.

My skin is sensitive and I’m allergic to some products. I find that alternating the products that I use to moisturize is a really great approach and work around this complex. I love La Mer Hydrating Lotion and La Mer Eye Crème, Clarins Super Restoration Day Crème, Dr. Hauschka Rose Crème and Moisturizing Day Crème.

Sunscreen is an absolute must. My current choice is Alba Very Emollient Sunscreen. After a shower, I use Avalon Organics Lemon Hand and Body Lotion. On my heels I use Coconut Oil; it’s amazing!! Try it. You can also use it on your hair too to tame your flyaway hairs.

After my hair has dried I like to put Oscar Blandi Instant Glossing Crème on the ends. I keep my nails short and apply a neutral color. If they split I use Nailtiques. It’s just that simple… Really!

My makeup application has to be quick, effective, and suit the occasion; similar to my approach for film makeup design. For my day look, I use a MAC Matchmaster Concealer for the circles under my eyes. A Sensai Eyebrow Pencil EBO1 is used to fill in the brows. If rushed, I will use a Jane Iredale Pressed Mineral Powder to even out my skin; this way I don’t use foundation. Makeup Forever Sculpting Blush is my go to blush. Sometimes I will use a MAC Studio Sculpt Lash Mascara. I finish with a Dr. Hauschka 02 Red Lipstick. That’s it!

For work meetings or for going a bit more upscale I will essentially do the above and add a soft smoky eye. I use a Kryolan Brown Pencil and a MAC Dark Brown Eyeshadow smudged with an applicator of my own design. I finish with MAC Studio Sculpt Lash Mascara.

For my night look, I use a Sensei Crème Foundation, MAC Concealer and Visiora Powder. My eyes are usually smoked and pumped up more. I use a By Terry Lipstick called Frenetic Vermillion.

My work in film requires me to prep a special makeup and skin care kit for each and every actor as they all have very individual needs. As early as possible I will get their skin into optimum shape so that I have the best canvas to apply their makeup. I need to know their skin undertone colors (warm or cool) so that I can choose the correct products for them in every category.

The final results that you see on film are very dependent on my preparation of each actor’s customized kit as well as my research (inspiration pictures, sketches, charts). I must have everything that I need as well as planning for the “just in case” items that I never imagined that I would need. Work on a film set is fluid and fast with shifting sands beneath your feet.


Inside Michele’s Makeup Bag:


  • Reply April 21, 2015


    LOVE this ShimmerKit! So interesting. Thanks for posting. x

    • Reply April 22, 2015

      Rach De


      Thanks so much! We are glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for leaving a comment! We love hearing from everyone. More to come!


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