Behind the Makeup: Fionagh Cush Makeup Designer for Beautiful Creatures

February 6, 2013  |  Backstage with TEMPTU, Featured Artists

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Fionagh Cush, makeup designer for the spring’s biggest blockbuster Beautiful Creatures sat down with TEMPTU to talk beginnings, beauty and behind the scenes on Beautiful Creatures.

Fionagh Cush airbrushing with TEMPTU

Fionagh Cush airbrushing with TEMPTU

How did you get started as a makeup artist?

I started at BBC’s Greasepaint School, anyone that’s anyone in the UK went to this school. I knew at a very young age, makeup was the only thing I was interested in. After moving to London it was difficult to find a job, so I bopped around doing a lot of free work and theatre. On a whim, I applied to get a lottery visa to the United States, I’m Irish, and by the luck of the Irish, I won the Irish Lottery!  My next stop was Hollywood!


So that’s how you made it to Hollywood, how did you make it in Hollywood?

I was so naïve, I came for two weeks for a visit and got the book LA411 – the production guide to film and television. I picked up the phone and called all the studio makeup department heads, like they were going to hire me straight away!  I called the Disney Studio Makeup Department head Bob Schiffer, who is a legend his claim to fame was that he designed Rita Hayworth’s makeup look, among many many others, and was her personal for 25 years. I accidentally got put through by his secretary- he didn’t take calls. I asked him if I could get an interview with him at the studio, and he said, “I can do better than that kid, I can take you to lunch.” That was our first date, and for the next 15 years he took me under his wing.

The tools of the trade - Fionagh's Makeup Kit

The tools of the trade – Fionagh’s Makeup Kit

When did you start airbrushing?

I had airbrushed prosthetics but never really used airbrush makeup for beauty. I actually started airbrushing beauty makeup with TEMPTU. It was the first time I felt there was an airbrush makeup formula that came close to the prestige makeup brand foundations that I was using. I used it on NBC’s Perfect Couples on the female leads Olivia Munn (#6 & #7), Christine Woods (#3 & #4), and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (#3). I haven’t bought any other foundation since


Would you recommend other PRO makeup artist use TEMPTU? And if yes, why?

#1 – Incredible, unbeatable staying power – we shot Beautiful Creatures in the swamps of New Orleans in extreme humidity and the TEMPTU airbrush foundation did not move all day, with minimal touch-ups, it always looked flawless.

#2 – It is amazing for hi-definition any form, it’s flawless

#3 – Cuts down the time it takes to do makeup, in ½ a minute I can do a full foundation face, where with traditional makeup it used to take me 10 minutes!

Would you recommend everyday women airbrush?

Yes, for exactly the same reasons! Initially it seems like more work, but in actual fact it is very simple

Any PRO tips on airbrushing?

beautiful creaturesI always airbrush the TEMPTU blushes before I airbrush the foundation, it is the PERFECT way to achieve an inner, radiant flush that is ideal for the no makeup makeup look, natural and fresh. This was the technique I used to achieve the gorgeous beauty looks in Beautiful Creatures for the natural and innocent Lena played by Alice Englert, and the darker character Ridley, Emmy Rossum’s character.


What were your favorite looks on Beautiful Creatures?Emmy Rossum in Beautiful Creatures

Emmy Rossum’s period transformations, that is what I love about being a makeup artist: working with the director and the costume designer, being creative and creating unforgettable, dramatic characters.

Veruschka Trans-figurationsWhere do you find beauty inspiration?

Primarily in old and new books and magazines. I have a collection of Vogues dating back 30 years from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I love direct from the runway inspiration, back in the day German Vogue had the best news dispatches, I could only get it in the airport. But the body art book with photographs of Verushka Transfigurations was the reason why I became a makeup artist, it changed my life.


What are your favorite TEMPTU products?

First off – the TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System, it’s amazing – every woman needs to have one!

Then specifically AIRpod Foundations in:

#4 for women – it is my most versatile foundation color.

#7 for men, they like to be tan!

And I love the AIRpod blushes Washed Rose, Soft Peach and Peony Pink specifically, they are very natural and healthy looking and versatile, perfect for a period look as well as a no makeup, natural makeup look.

Get a sneak peak at Beautiful Creatures beauty by Fionagh in the trailer for Beautiful Creatures, in theatres 2/14!

If you are in Los Angeles on 2/14, come join TEMPTU and Fionagh Cush for a Valentine’s Day makeover at RonRobinson/Fred Segal on Melrose, 1 – 6 PM. This is a rare chance to get an airbrush beauty makeover from Fionagh!

1 Comment

  1. I thought this interview was amazing.! I have been using TEMPTU for about a month and loved the tips that Fionagh shared in the interview. I think she speaks the truth that the finish is flawless and it only takes a quick few minutes to apply the makeup. Love TEMPTU and their products

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