Makeup Artist Chat: B.J. Batterman
One of our favorite celebrity makeup artists, Barbra Jo Batterman, stopped by Camera Ready Cosmetics to show off her male grooming skills, talk makeup and do a little shopping. B.J. is well known as department head of some of television's most watched live events like the Billboard Music Awards, iHeart Music Festival and the Academy of Country Music Awards to name a few. She has also done makeup for some of the most famous people in recent history including Tiger Woods, Heidi Klum, Joan Rivers, LeBron James, President Barak Obama, Paul McCartney, Tina Fey and dozens more!
We asked for her thoughts about the makeup industry, trends that need to disappear, how she preps for a job and so much more. Enjoy!
When did you realize you wanted to be a makeup artist?
My mom was a makeup artist and actually owned a makeup store in Philadelphia, so I was always around it. I was probably about 17 when I decided I wanted to make it my career.
The great chicken or the egg debate... Do you do the complexion first, or the eyes?
When I’m working on a client, I always do the eyes first to prevent fallout. If I’m doing an application lesson, I like to start with the complexion since it’s the first thing you need to learn.
What product do you find yourself refilling the most frequently?
Like most people, I am obsessed with Cinema Secrets brush cleaner. I keep two huge bottles in my kit at all times and I'm always ordering more. I'm obsessed with clean brushes!
What is one trick you use on talent that you think everyone could benefit from?
Don’t neglect your brows! Brows frame your eyes and lift. In fact, part of my business is focused specifically on shaping, filling and educating my clients on how to perfect their brows every day!
What part of working as professional makeup artist have you struggled with, and how have you learned to overcome it?
Judging myself and worrying that I may not be good enough. Through experience, I have learned my value.
What trend are you ready to see disappear?
I don’t know if it’s even a trend, but I’m so sick of heavy lip gloss.
What has changed about the industry since you started?
There are so many new avenues to learn and gather information!
Do you think formal training is necessary in any way, shape or form?
Yes, there are basic rules for color, contour and highlight that are good to learn in a classroom setting, but there are things you can’t learn from formal training alone. There is definitely something to be said about learning on a set. Just because you are good with your own makeup, doesn’t make you a makeup artist.
What advice would you give a budding artist looking to break into your industry?
If makeup’s your passion, give it your heart and soul… Always have an open mind to learn! The industry is always changing, so you will never know everything. I’m still so excited to learn new things and I’ve been doing makeup for over 35 years!
How do you prep for your biggest jobs (fashion week, award shows, etc.)?
As far as supplies go, I tend to be a bit over prepared. You would be surprised what some people ask you for! I was even asked if I had a wine bottle opener once, so now I always keep one in my kit. I mean, what’s better than a glass of wine while your having your makeup done?
If you want to learn more about Barbra Jo and her impressive portfolio, visit her websites at www.bjbatterman.com and www.thebattermangroup.squarespace.com. You can also watch her male grooming tutorial here: Male Grooming with BJ Batterman.