Kym Menzies Foster Talks … Makeup Design For TV & Film

Kym Menzies-Foster is a well respected and highly experienced makeup artist …

who has worked with stars from Rihanna to Toni Braxton. Especially renowned for her expertise in makeup for women of colour, Kym’s magic touch is in high demand.

We spoke to Kym about her career and upcoming projects including BBC drama The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies and Three Little Birds

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Kym Menzies-Foster I am of Jamaican heritage and I grew up in North London.

Please share a word or sentence that best describes your life right now …

Blissfully where it should be.

Tell us about your latest project …

My last project was as makeup designer for a TV series soon to be aired called Three Little Birds, which tells the story of Sir Lenny Henry’s mother who came to England in the late 1940s on the Windrush. I am also currently designing the makeup for a show at London Fashion Week and reading a comedy script.

Three Little Birds

Your career spans, fashion, music, TV and film. Where are you most comfortable?

I’ve always loved music and fashion as it’s where I began my career, I know it well and feel comfortable working in that arena as it is very diverse.

Most impactful project or client …

I have many memorable clients and projects but the one that stands out the most to me is when I got a personal phone call from Stevie Wonder who asked me to go on tour with him.

Are you conscious of the role that your work has in allowing actors of colour to feel comfort from you knowing exactly how they should look on screen, without having to second guess your work and without feeling like their skin is problematic?

Yes. I am very conscious – this has been a long time coming – working on Three Little Birds brought that home to me, as I had a diverse main team who were competent in doing hair and makeup for actors of colour. We got a lot of responses, tears and joy from the actors who told us they were relieved that they were able to walk onto the makeup and hair trailer and relax knowing that they were in good hands and didn’t have to end up doing their own hair or bringing their makeup.

You’ve been successful in the industry for long enough now that you no longer need to accept every opportunity that reaches your desk. What do you look for in projects that you want to align yourself with?

Yes, I am very fortunate to be where I am today and thank God each day for my blessings. I take projects that I know I will enjoy working on, with the odd exception of a dodgy one I once worked on. But at the end of the day, I will always align myself with projects that are interesting to me and that I know I will be able to do well.

The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies – BBC

More women of colour have been able to create space in the industry than ever. Where do you see the evolution of makeup artistry going in the coming years with input from more diverse perspectives?

That is a good question. The evolution of makeup artistry from a more diverse perspective will finally address the unbalance there is within the industry. Hopefully, there will be no more tokenism and the industry will be truly diverse. I do think that it will not happen overnight, but the doors have finally been opened. However, we still
need to prepare newcomers to the industry with the skills needed to succeed in this demanding but rewarding career otherwise we are setting them up to fail.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU …

What are you watching right now?

Ray Donavon.

What are you reading right now?

Finding me – the Autobiography of Viola Davis.

What are you listening to right now?

Replay by Tems

The last thing you saw on stage?

I haven’t gone to the theatre for a long time – I did want to see Get up Stand up, The Bob Marley Musical.

What’s on your bucket list?

To do more travelling that is not work related.

Celebrate someone …

My husband.

Celebrate yourself

Transitioned to the role of Makeup Designer!

Whose footsteps are you following in?

My own.

What’s Next?

Who knows? Life is uncertain at the moment coming out of COVID hibernation and now the recession and writers’ strike – I go with the flow and don’t stress about anything anymore.

Where can we find you?

www.kymmenziesfoster.com
Insta @kymmenziesfoster

Where can we see your latest work?

Watch out for The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies on BBC One every Tuesday at 9pm, or on BBC
iPlayer.

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