Makeup Monday: Tina Fey’s Beauty Guru Reveals On-Set Secret Weapon
In case of emergencies, Gita Bass keeps her makeup bag fully stocked and incredibly organized.
Celebrity makeup artists are in a peculiar and privileged position. They get to create and practice their art on the most gorgeous faces out there, and are often in intimate situations where secrets (beauty and otherwise) and maybe a salacious detail or two, are shared between them and their client in the privacy of a kitchen, hotel suite or bathroom.
And of course, no artist is truly armed without a thoroughly prepared kit containing the makeup items that make each star shine. Here, Gita Bass, longtime makeup artist to Tina Fey, Debra Messing and Elizabeth Olsen, spills the contents of her kit and what brands get her through any job, big or small.
The New York-based, Aussie-bred Bass is well known in the industry for a fresh and clean approach to classic beauty. Her kit could be considered classic as well, and clean without a doubt. She describes it as “organized chaos” and one look at her stash will make even the most organized person think twice about their approach.
Bass has items separated by type and color-coded, and brushes and applicators immaculate. Her setup is always just so, and considering the chaos that can happen those moments before a big appearance or red-carpet event, it’s safe to assume Bass’ clients appreciate the calm she provides while getting them gorgeous.
In a word (or two), how would you describe your kit?
Clean, organized chaos.
Are there one or two brands that dominate the kit?
No, it's a mini Sephora. I have favorites from brands around the world and I find it really hard to edit.
How long have you been building it to what it is today?
It's a constant work in progress, but I would say about 20 years of research and travel.
What made you want to become a makeup artist?
I was really bored at law school and looking for a fun creative outlet. I'd always been obsessed with fashion and beauty so I started helping my sister, a fashion photographer, with hair and makeup for shoots. We went to Tokyo, Madrid, Milan and Paris shooting models and I was totally hooked. I moved to New York when I was 22 and discovered the endless possibilities for makeup artists here. I dove in and have never looked back.
What would you consider you secret weapon?
I try to keep my energy positive and calm. Makeup is very intimate and it's important to make your client feel good on the inside as well. I'm also not trying to leave my mark on anyone, I just want them to look and feel amazing.
Which few items are you the most excited about at the moment?
How long do you have? I can't live without my Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($66), my Amore Pacific Tinted Moisturizer ($70), my Simple Skin Care Micellar Water ($8), my Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon pencils ($27), my Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Lipsticks ($37) ... I'll stop myself. Oh, and I just heard that Pat McGrath has come out with some new highlighters. I've seen the results, and they are stunning!
If this kit could talk, what would it say considering some of the celeb-filled glam and get-ready rooms you've been in?
Oh, my kit is well trained. It keeps its mouth firmly shut! That's part of our job. We are privy to some of the most intimate moments of celebrities and discretion is a must. My kit, like myself, is a vault!