Here’s What It’s Really Like to Be a Makeup Artist to the Rich and Famous

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Celebrity makeup artist Jo Baker (she’s responsible for the faces of beauties like Emily Ratajkowski, Salma Hayek, Nicola Peltz, Demi Lovato and Sharon Stone) is busy—like back and forth from LA to NY in one day busy. Here’s an inside look at her Monday-through-Friday schedule, and what it’s really like to be on a 22-hour shoot.

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Monday: Fashion Editorial On-Location in the Desert

4:30 a.m.: My day starts by driving two hours out to the desert where I have a 6:30 a.m. call time for a cover story shoot for a women’s magazine in Germany.

8:30 a.m.: Do a little Snapchat during breakfast of the amazing desert landscape on arrival and upload an Instagram of our motorhome trailer from which we will be working out of for the day.

12 p.m.: In between shots I check my emails with my agent and make a call at lunchtime to discuss any booking requests.

7 p.m.: Shoot ends at sundown and I make my way back to LA and unpack my car and desert gear. Open packages that may have arrived from various skin care brands, as well as the new Rimmel London product. I’m obsessed with the Super Curler 24hr Mascara. 

9:30 p.m.: Wash my brushes, which I do religiously after each job, and prepare my kit for the next day’s demands.


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Tuesday: Advertising Campaign Shoot at Milk Studios

7 a.m.: Wake up, check emails and head to Milk Studios in LA for a 9 a.m. start. 

9 a.m.: Shooting with an advertising client of mine where we discuss the objective and creative direction with the client. Execute the makeup and hair look for the model and start shooting mid-morning. We always stand close to the monitor to verify with the client and creative team that they are happy and then stand by for touch-ups when needed. 

1 p.m.: During the lunch break, I speak with the Rimmel London team in New York to discuss my upcoming press event with them on Thursday in Manhattan and finalize the day’s expectations and schedule.

6 p.m.: When the shoot ends, I go to the drugstore and restock some of my supplies that are running low for my kit and then go home and wash my brushes. 


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Wednesday: Celebrity Do & Go With TV Interview

12 p.m.: After a more leisurely morning, I start at my client’s house in Beverly Hills. We spend two hours prepping hair and makeup for an appearance on a TV show. 

2 p.m.: We drive to the studio and usually wait in the dressing room area doing final touches before the talent goes on stage. Of course we manage to throw in a couple of social media posts, and this is usually a time where we grab a quick snack if time permits. 

4 p.m.: The TV interview segment usually lasts approximately 30 minutes and then we are done—but today we have a tight turnaround since the actress is going to the premiere of her new movie after the TV interview. We quickly change hair and makeup and wait for the wardrobe stylist to arrive with the premiere dress. While we wait for the dress to turn up, the hairstylist, my client, her publicist and I discuss the look by referring to pictures the stylist sent us the previous night. This allows us to get an idea of the look—if hair should be up or down or how the makeup should either stand out or complement, and how it can flatter the outfit. The dress turns up and my client puts it on. I always prefer that my client gets dressed before finishing her blush and lips so I can make sure the colors look perfect once she is in the full look. I give her the shade of Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss I’d swiped on her lips to keep in her bag so she can touch up throughout the night. 

5 p.m.: My client leaves and I make a mad dash home, pick up my smaller travel makeup kit and head to LAX for a late-evening flight to NYC.


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Thursday: Video Shoot in NYC for Rimmel London

6 a.m.: I arrive very early in the morning on a red-eye and head to my hotel to freshen up.

8:30 a.m.: I make my way to the studio to start our shoot. While I’m in the car, I look over the shooting schedule and the new products we will be featuring. 

9 a.m.: Upon arrival, I start playing with the products and discussing ideas that I merge with some of the teams. 

12 p.m. I have a short break for lunch, so I fit in a couple of telephone interviews with magazines talking about the new products and then continue shooting more makeup videos until we wrap.

6 p.m.: Time to go straight back to JFK and head back to LA. A whirlwind day—and it was amazing! 


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Friday: Music Video in Malibu for Female Pop Star

6 a.m.: Music videos are always long and arduous hours with extremely early starts, lots of changes and often changes of location, so you have to be prepared for anything and everything the director or artist may dream up last minute. I bring extra bags of glitter, body makeup, SPF, wipes, makeup lights, a change of clothes and even another pair of shoes, because often music videos can shoot for 18 hours. (In fact, my longest video shoot ever was 22.5 hours long!) During that time, changing your shoes once or twice and having your creature comforts around you can really help you stay sane. 

2 p.m.: These videos usually have many different looks and hair and makeup changes, and this one is no different. We have an intense day, as usual, with the pressure of natural light and weather not always on our side. 

8:30 p.m.: Once the video is wrapped, I drag myself back to my car and head home. Looking forward to tomorrow, when I’m off! My only obligation: Lounging around my house with my dog, Tuna! 


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