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Micheal Burnett

As the Makeup Designer for Universal Studios, Orlando, and 30 years of experience, Michael Burnett's top Special FX go-to product is TEMPTU Dura. Michael is no newcomer to the wonders of Makeup FX. Since the 80's he has been heavily involved in Hollywood from top TV shows and film to running Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights who then recruited him to open Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights down in Florida. October is his busiest month, as he and his team of 70 makeup artists airbrush 700 makeup looks a night on the "scareactors" for three weeks straight using just TEMPTU!

How did you get started in the industry?

My interest in makeup started when I was very young. Growing up in the late 60's and 70's I loved to watch the classic horror and science fiction films on late night tv. I would then try to recreate the characters from those films on myself or any of my friends that would let me stipple latex on their face.

When was your big break in the industry?

In the early 80's I was working at an effects shop in Santa Monica, CA when I met Tim Lawrence. He had just finished working on Michael Jackson's Thriller at Rick Baker's shop. Tim invited me to Rick’s shop to go to lunch with the crew and I had the opportunity to show Rick my portfolio. He hired me and I worked there for several years on some very cool projects including "Harry and the Hendersons" and "Gorilla's in the Mist". That was an amazing learning experience!

What do you love most about TEMPTU products?

The durability of the Dura pallets and liquids is great! I often have performers wearing the makeup for over 8 hours in hot-humid conditions and the Dura holds up beautifully!


Any pro tips on Airbrushing?

Most of the airbrush I do is character or creature makeup. I like to mottle the skin and give it a translucent textured appearance. I like to thin down my Dura colors and build up the makeup in layers, often spattering the color to give it a more realistic texture.

What is your favorite FX look?

My favorite FX looks are realistic old age and character makeups. Everyone knows what an older person should look like so that makes creating a believable makeup that much more challenging.

What is your most important makeup tool?

I would have to say my Airbrush. I don't do a makeup look without it!

Who are your most respected or influential makeup artists?

Dick Smith. He has been so generous and giving with information and techniques that he developed. His work is what has made it possible for me and anyone working in makeup effects to do what we do. He is the Godfather of FX makeup!

When did you start airbrushing?

I started airbrushing in the early 80’s on masks and prosthetics.

What is your first makeup-related memory?

Probably watching Planet of the Apes on television. My dad explained that the apes were created with makeup and I have been hooked ever since!

What are the top TEMPTU products that are always in your kit?

The Dura Pallets and the Dura Liquids are my favorite.

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