interview with ‘Scream Queens’ makeup department head Eryn Krueger Mekash

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When your co-workers are a double-headed lady, a bearded woman and a sinister looking clown, it’s just another day at the office for Makeup Department Head Eryn Krueger Mekash who won an Emmy this year for her work on American Horror Story: Freak Show. With over 28 years of experience, she has worked on films such as Eat, Pray, Love and Alpha Dog and TV shows such as Glee, Nip/Tuck and Everybody Loves Raymond. With a long history of working with show creator and Director Ryan Murphy, it’s no surprise that he brought her on to run the makeup department for the new Fox TV Show, Scream Queens. We chatted with Eryn about jumping inside the imaginative mind of Ryan Murphy, from concepting to the final creation of characters and what she loves most about beautyblender.

Congrats on another Emmy win for American Horror Story: Freak Show!! The characters on the show were literally mind-boggling and mesmerizing. What kind of prep work and research did it take for you and your team to visualize that season of characters?
My prep and research begins with the boss which is Ryan Murphy’s concept. We speak about what he wants from each character. I use books and the internet to find exactly what I visualize for each character and present them to Ryan usually as printed photos taped to a board. Then I make a hardback book to keep – one for him and one for my department to reference.

What’s it like to work with the uber creative mind of Ryan Murphy?
I’ve worked for Ryan for 12 years. He has the most brilliant ideas and the most creative. His homages to different films, fashion shows, magazines or books are so vast – it’s never a dull moment. I am always excited to see what he comes up with. He and I are close in age so we have a similar love of modern and past references. I usually get about 98% of what he says without having to look it up. Plus, he loves horror as much as I do.

And now you’re working again with Ryan Murphy for the upcoming show, Scream Queens, with lots and lots of blood and a star-studded cast. Is it possible to even describe a typical day on set?
A typical day on set starts with getting actors in and getting them ready – just like most shows. We have usually prepped prosthetics and blood gags the week/day before unless the schedule has changed overnight (it’s always changing and we have to be ready for anything). I rely on my team to be ready to go on our makeup gags. Having such a huge cast of mostly women, it is very busy most mornings. There is a lot of blood to look forward to for gore fans out there!

What are you makeup product staples that you always carry around in your kit?
I love Senna Cheek Blush in Uplift. It’s great for brightening the top of the cheekbone. I love Estee Lauder’s Ideal Light Brush-On Illuminator in Soft Pink and all Make Up For Ever [products] as well as Besame lipsticks and MAC products.

Can you give us a special effects tip that you would use one of our beautyblender® products on?
I’ve torn bits out of a beautyblender and used it for stippling. It’s no easy task, though! Beautyblenders are durable!

What do you love most about your beautyblender?
I love beautyblenders for their small pores and the reusability. They wash so well and dry fast! A top-drawer product!!!