Donatelle Mascarie - THE Makeup Maven

I’m Donatelle Mascari

My moniker has been “The Makeup Maven” since about 1977, when the furs salesman upstairs at Neiman Marcus, where I worked as a makeup artist and in cosmetics sales, first said, “There she is…the Makeup Maven!”

I liked it right away and…while I didn’t know what “Maven” meant, the alliteration was cool. Two years later, having started up a free lance practice in Dallas, cards needed printing, and I decided it was time to print them, which definitely meant looking up the word prior to committing. So basically, here’s what it said:

Maven…Mavin…a word of Yiddish origin…

Well, that was neat, and it figured; where I’d worked was just outside of Chicago, was in a Jewish neighborhood, and my co-workers and clients were largely such, so…good, so far…and then it said…

An Expert. A Professional…

How wonderful! Yep!!!….and then I got all boastful, inside…until the rest of it appeared:

….Usually Self-Proclaimed.

Deflated, but at least this Maven, out of the hundreds that have followed since (probably most had not yet been born) has by this time proved herself to be an expert, able to solve most, if not all, of your makeup needs for whatever situation.

“JUST ONE THING” workshop is like a VITAMIN to your look! FREE!

"Sometimes all it takes is just the tiniest,
simplest makeup change that really 'ups' our 
happiness and confidence quotient, right?"
JUST ONE THING...At this event, tell me just one thing you'd change, or maybe something about your face or makeup speaks to me and with your permission, I'll show you what I see. Makes a good party with lots to share. Big-time shower, birthday, pajama party, corporate event. 

To book: (214) 552-0312

We’ve debunked the idea of a face being “an empty canvas”, so here’s another crumb of food for thought…

Just a crumb; nothing even as big as a morsel, OK?, but what’s this about using a ring finger for applying face treatments?
I’m not giving you medical advice, here: if your doctor or any medical person has told you to use your ring finger for applying a treatment…what I have to say should be ignored. You do what your medical professional SAYS!!!…but in the “general advice from makeup people” department…

You have to ask yourself if you really don’t trust any of your other fingers or even your THUMB, for crying out loud, to apply makeup without poking or injuring yourself.

Today’s Makeover

Last Saturday, I did a “Just One Thing” item for a musical theater actress. She wanted an eyebrow change, her having done what most of us did when we were young, which was to LOL pluck everything up. I showed her how to get a real brow back, and she loved it enough to come for a consultation. Here we were, doing the brow thing:

Her name is April, and she needs an innocent look for a ca 1912 musical, but she also wanted to know other things in the actor’s skill set: high-def tv…video and live audition and headshot makeup…small-stage theater makeup. She wanted to work up from the required vintage natural look to contemporary-natural, to business, to fun out on the town…the town being New York, where she’s soon auditioning.

We could’ve just gone with the available black mascara, but no: she has a soft look, and I didn’t want her to look like bold, black lashes followed by the rest of her; one of my makeup pet peeves. We’ll wait on mascara, or she can use some make-do brand in the meanwhile, until “just the right brown” is available.

You want to see someone “youthen” before your eyes?

And now many years younger does she look?
I’m saying a good twenty:

At conclusion, she looked up with the brightest smile and said, “I can do it!”…and of course she can.

She has the talent, and now she has the tools.

As a cancer survivor myself, I can tell you this: it ain’t easy. Let’s “Face Up” to it TOGETHER

Fortunate to have worked with a hospital on a shoot featuring survivors, I got to camera-ready and give tips to a woman who is not only a survivor…she’s a thriver, too!

One of the first signs I see when people are getting better from any sickness, disaster, depression…is that we start to take care of ourselves in better ways.

Is makeup “life-changing”? The expression is used so often, it loses its impact, but yes…
Can we think of making up as a step to getting better? Yes. Incrementally empowering.

Here’s a picture with my “Survive and Thrive” badge given by Echo Theater and Soul Rep Theater Company when they presented MONARCH…a beautiful production depicting every stage of the journey we are facing or have faced.
This is a good place to let you know about the sleeve I wear on my right arm…you can see it in other pictures; it’s a medical sleeve for lymphedema (not to be confused with ‘lymphoma’), caused by radiation treatment affecting those underarm lymph nodes. Many, if not most of us who’ve been treated are prone to this condition, and the sleeve helps keep the lymphatic fluid moving so the affected area resists swelling.

If I can help solve makeup problems with and for you, please be in touch, whether individually or as a group.


Allergic to makeup and Sensitive-skinned, here was this Heather…

Beautiful! A case of “so what, you don’t even NEED makeup”

But she was defiant, and so MUCH so that she…probably without realizing…stood there with her arms folded firmly across her chest, as if to dare me. Now, don’t get me wrong: I couldn’t blame her. She’d been to every makeup counter, tried everything…and was disappointed.

No, she doesn’t need makeup…nobody NEEDS it!… but it’s in our very “makeup” to want to play, have fun, change our looks, fit in with others in various locations and for different occasions, and for photographs.

So Heather and I discussed, did some testing, and that was YEARS ago. We’ve since become family, never mind the DNA. Don’t need that kind of testing.

Can I say my products are hypo-allergenic? No. Why? because some people are allergic to air and water. Not going to mislead you, but in the hundreds of faces I’ve worked with, there hasn’t been an issue.
The great photographer, David McGhee, wanted the most natural, makeupless face for a gallery show, so Heather was his first choice. Here's a picture from that shoot, my arm in the way…but since we don't doctor photographs, you get the arm as a sort of GWP…

Recently, three of us got together…
Teresa of Core Talent, Heather of Heather, and myself:


  • Done a couple of weddings
  • Went to cosmetology school for hair or makeup or esthetics or nails
  • Worked at a makeup counter
  • Have done makeup on the cheap for some low-budget films
  • Does selfies with pouty lips

Long story short: I teach every facet of production makeup, one-on-one, with relevance to film, video, photography, f/x, etc. I know what the camera sees.  It’s a full-tilt profession. If you really mean to do this, I have what it takes to teach you. Believe me, any mix of the above is not enough.

Over 50? WAY over 50? GOOD! So am I…and the last thing we want is a twenty-something jumping out at us, or to watch a pouty tutorial!

Let’s meet! Let’s meet one-on-one or in a group, and let’s show you some easy ways to show you’re happy-faced. If you want trendy, I’ll take you there…but not to the point of overdone/scary/drag queen. Want natural? a little bit more? I know what’s good for you at this wonderful age…what projects you as YOU and as it says on our cover page…we don’t pretend you’re an “empty canvas”.

Let’s be vibrant while we’re being wise, right? From a long-ago portfolio page.

But then again, speaking of “drag queens”, Here’s a fun drag image of the great actor, Paul Taylor (of Hellraiser fame), my having had my way ending the shoot night with THIS image!…we did about 1100 frames that night and every one of them was usable.

“THE LOOK THAT BOOKS”…What you need to know to get the perfect headshot!!!

No matter your skill or education, if you want to be an actor, you’re not going to get in without a headshot.  Bottom line…this from casting directors:

“You’d dang well better look like your headshot!”   (I cleaned that up. They’re pretty explicit about this)

This workshop/seminar combines everything you need to know, from:

  • selecting an appropriate photographer
  • what to wear…color…style…
  • research/homework
  • makeup-hair advice
  • how to think through to the look you want
  • second, third looks discussed. Information-deliverer? Character shot?
  • close-up or distant

This is a good class for everyone, actor or not…because everyone needs a photograph these days.
I also hold this class for business headshots. Face it (pun intended)…EVERYONE needs a headshot.

To book this Event or to find out more: (214) 552-0312

Want to skyrocket the look of your low-budget film? It’s all about the faces, you know…

Let’s go over your script, talk about the finished product as you see it, chronology, etc…and meet the cast to provide instruction and help make them and you comfortable with the know-how it takes to do it right. Instead of having a non-production makeup artist, for very little moolah you can have the right advice in the first place to have what it takes to win the look.