Speaker Bios

Alex LaMarsh

At 6'2" Alex LaMarsh is a force to be reckoned with, whether she’s wielding a make-up brush or producing photo shoots. LaMarsh moved from Nebraska to San Francisco to study fashion and costume design; she worked as a theater and opera costumer before moving to New York to model. After living and working in Los Angeles for more than a decade, she moved to New York, where she’s now a make-up and hair artist and a beauty columnist.

Alphonse Wiebelt

Alphonse Wiebelt’s career in the fashion and beauty industry has given him a well-rounded background, from make-up artistry and product development to education. Co-founder of Musebeauty.Pro and creator of ESUM Brushes, he is honored to share his expertise and passion for beauty.

Autumn Scruggs

Autumn Scruggs has more than 10 years’ experience. She has worked on such shows asAmerican Idol, The X Factor and Fox's new sitcom Dads. Her celebrity clients have included Leonardo DiCaprio, John Mayer, Melissa Joan Hart and Will Ferrell.  She has also worked on commercials and ad campaigns for AT&T, BMW, Capital One, GE, Pepsi and Audi.
2015 Battle of the Brushes

Battle of the Brushes

The competition is open to students of a recognized make-up school and to those who have graduated 12 months prior to the competition date. Eight competitors will be selected for each competition. Cash and/or prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners for each competition. To qualify, you must fill out and send us the entry form, along with 8-10 photos of different looks you have done. Photos don't have to represent the make-up you plan to enter in the competition. All entries, photos and artwork become the non-returnable property of Key Publishing Group. The character/prosthetic competition takes place on Saturday. Competitors will be given prosthetics on the day of competition, which they must incorporate into their designs. The time limit for the character competition is three hours. No outside prosthetics are allowed, only the ones supplied by IMATS. Our 2018 character/prosthetic theme is Victorian Emporium. The beauty/fantasy competition takes place on Sunday, and the time limit is two hours. Our 2018 beauty/fantasy theme is Wildwood Warrior.
Bill Corso

Bill Corso

Bill Corso has collaborated with industry legends including Rick Baker, Ve Neill and Steve Johnson. His film work includes John Carter, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Planet of the Apes and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (for which he won an Achievement in Makeup Oscar). Corso and Johnson earned two Emmys for their work in TV miniseries based on Stephen King’s The Stand and The Shining. Corso is a governor of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also recently founded the Digital Make-up Group, which aims to combine make-up and digital effects.

Brian Rae

Brian Rae has more than 25 years’ experience as a make-up effects lab technician for film and television.  He has worked in all aspects of physical effects, including environmental and mechanical effects, animation, miniatures and fabrication.   His knowledge of molding and casting techniques and materials has allowed him to serve as mold-shop supervisor, moldmaker and life-casting lead at many effects studios.  Rae has worked on more than 200 film and TV productions.

Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh began his make-up effects career at Steve Johnson’s XFX, Inc. and worked on such films as Bicentennial Man, Red Planet and Species. After eight years, he left the effects world and returned to college to finish his art degree. Walsh has been with Spectral Motion for almost 12 years as the production supervisor and project manager on such projects Hellboyand Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Attack the Block and Your Highness.

Cass McClure

Cass McClure is a make-up and effects artist who got his start in the industry 23 years ago. He has been a part of Spectral Motion in different facets for the better part of 10 years. When he’s not working, he can be found working on his personal fine art and crafting fine rum cocktails.

Claire Flewin

Claire Flewin has been working in the creature effects industry for more than 20 years. Flewin started her career in England working for Jim Henson’s Creature shop as a puppet and creature costumer. Now a U.S. resident, she has worked for Rick Baker’s Cinovation and Mike Elizalde’s Spectral Motion. Her credits include The Nutty Professor, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Men in Black, Hellboy and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Cory Bishop

As the head of pro artistry for Stila Cosmetics, Cory Bishop is one of the top make-up artists and innovators in the beauty industry. With more than 13 years’ experience, he’s collaborated with celebrities, fashion designers, television shows and magazines around the world. A Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week veteran, Bishop has partnered with designers such as Marchesa, Peter Som, Max Azria and many more, sending his trend-setting looks down the runway to critical reception.

Courtney Tichman

Courtney Tichman is the global brand manager and lead make-up artist for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. She has been cultivating her craft for more than 16 years. With more than 13 years of fashion-show experience, she has traveled all over the world supporting some of the world’s most influential designers.

Dani Fonseca

Native New Yorker Dani Fonseca brings more than 15 years of extensive knowledge and experience from the fine art, theater and fashion industries to her business. She has also taught thousands of beginning and professional make-up artists worldwide as a guest instructor at the Make Up For Ever Academy New York and Hong Kong, the Academy of Freelance Makeup, The School of Makeup Art, Complexions and The School of Professional Makeup.

David Hernandez

David Hernandez has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. He has been a personal make-up artist to Courtney Love and Lindsay Lohan and has done theater, TV, fashion, film, beauty, music videos and education. He has worked with David LaChapelle, Brandon Showers, Green Day, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson, Jordin Sparks, John Stamos, Bijou Phillips and many others. His editorial work has appeared in Nylon, Latina, Harper’s Bazaarand Vogue.

Derek Garcia

Derek Garcia has been working the industry for about 10 years alongside his twin brother, Eric. They started out with seasonal work at Halloween Horror Nights, Grinchmas and Beetlejuice Graveyard Review in Orlando, Florida. Derek went on to do commercials and TV shows filmed in Miami, including Burn Notice, The Glades and Graceland. Derek was also a finalist on the third season of Face Off.

Drew Marvick

Drew Marvick has spent the last 10 years working just about every possible job in TV and film. Most recently, he can be seen talking to clients and celebrities while managing some of the industry’s top body painters on the Syfy reality show Naked Vegas. As an avid horror and sci-fi fan, he says he feels right at home in the world of body painting and make-up effects!
Eugenia Weston

Eugenia Weston

Emmy-nominated artist and cosmetics innovator Eugenia Weston is gifted with a remarkable sense of color and design. She created Senna, the first retail pro make-up line, in 1976 and the pioneering Form-A-Brow stencil and in-store brow-shaping services that launched the mega-brow category. Senna make-up is in demand by celebrities and pro artists on productions such as Dancing With The Stars, American Horror Story, NCIS: New Orleans and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Eve Pearl

Eve Pearl is a five-time Emmy winner, author and beauty authority. A leader in high definition beauty, Pearl and her work have appeared on The View, Today, Good Morning America, Live with Kelly & Michael, Saturday Night Live, the Academy Awards, American Ballet Theatre and more. As an innovator and trendsetter, she continues to develop EVE Pearl Beauty Brands. Her Reverse Contouring and signature methods are used worldwide to minimize time and maximize results.

Frank Ippolito

Frank Ippolito has enjoyed more than 13 successful years in the industry, working on The Chronicles of Riddick and the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean, and opening his own shop. He was also a two-time competitor on Face Off. His love of film led him to the most recent phase of his career as director/producer; he has co-directed eight short films and a music video and is now finishing his second feature film.

Heather Aguilera

Heather Aguilera is internationally recognized and published. Her body-art skills were recently featured on Syfy’s hit series Naked Vegas. Her experience as a floral designer emerges in the elaborate headpieces she often pairs with her body paintings. Specializing in prenatal art masterpieces, she teaches her technique of blending colors and texture in classes at the Face and Body Art International Conventions. She has been invited to teach at upcoming events and conventions worldwide.

Jeannia Robinette

Make-up artist Jeannia Robinette has collaborated with the great photographers of our time, including Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz and Herb Ritts. Her work has graced the pages of Allure, W, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, among others. Her advertising clients include Chanel, Aveda, Givenchy and Clinique. She has worked with celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Sienna Miller, Penelope Cruz, Julianne Moore, Kirsten Dunst and many more. She works bicoastally and is represented by Cloutier Remix.

Joel Harlow

Joel Harlow’s career in make-up began in 1986. In more than 30 years as a professional make-up artist, he has been responsible for cutting-edge make-up and prosthetics featured in several high-caliber projects for film and television. His work has been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, garnering him two Emmy Awards and an Oscar. His expansive credit list includes all four of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Alice in Wonderland, Star Trek, Dark Shadows, The Rum Diary, The Lone Ranger and Logan, among many others. At IMATS Los Angeles 2013, he launched his custom line of professional silicone prosthetics through Frends Beauty Supply.

John Stapleton

He is best known for his bold statement looks that deliver an abundance of theatricality, but Senior Artist John T. Stapleton is no stranger to understated elegance, either. From working with celebrity clients, backstage at fashion weeks and on photo shoots, Stapleton turns his hand to a wide range of looks, sometimes all within the space of a single day. It’s a challenge but well within the capabilities of this adopted Californian. Stapleton credits his upbringing in Brooklyn with giving him confidence in his convictions. “My mother always told me to keep my wits about me, which made me streetwise,” he explains. These days he has mellowed and enjoys a wide range of opportunities afforded by his career, whose origins were less than conventional. It was not so much a love of beauty as its polar opposite that first brought about Stapleton’s interest in makeup, as he recalls being obsessed with horror films and Fangoria magazine. “I had a cigar box with products I ordered from the magazine to make scar effects for the horror films I would make with my friends,” he explains. His introduction to the industry could not have been timelier. Shooting onto the scene as a model and working in Los Angeles, Stapleton had an early insight into the role makeup played backstage. He started wearing heavy kohl around his eyes, peaking his interest in makeup and prompting him to apply for a role with M·A·C when his modeling career drew to a close. The ghoulish theme wasn’t to end there, however. While working with veteran makeup artist Rick Baker on his Halloween collection, Stapleton’s work appeared as part of the The Monster’s Bride campaign in M·A·C stores internationally, launching the young artist onto the international stage. Throughout his career, Stapleton has drawn inspiration from films such as The Stepford Wives, After Hours and Female Trouble. He counts Kelly Osbourne, a fellow goth aficionado and daughter of Ozzy, among his favourite clients. Yet it’s a surprisingly straightforward beauty regimen that Stapleton’s prescribes. “Drink lots of water,” as he maintains that no amount of makeup can replace vitality. “While I love to create a beautiful mess, my main drive is to help people feel confident and to be creative,” he explains. It’s this attitude that has carried Stapleton through countless fashion weeks internationally, and won him acclaim early on in his career. It also explains why, of all the items in the M·A·C range, he finds himself returning to key staples such as Strobe Cream as he admits, “It makes me look shiny and young.” Lip Conditioner because “cracked lips aren’t cute,” and Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 “for the sun protection.”

Jordu Schell

Jordu Schell is a renowned American sculptor and concept artist who has been working in the film and television industries for more than 25 years. Films for which Schell has designed creatures and characters include Predator 2, Men in Black, Alien: Resurrection, Avatar, The Mist, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Edward Scissorhands, Creature of Darkness, Dragonball Evolution and more. Schell also teaches sculpting and design at his Chatsworth, Calif. studio.

Jos Brands

Jos Brands learned make-up artistry at the Royal Flemish Opera; during his international career, he has worked for film, TV, stage, fashion photographers, designers and advertising projects. Brands has headed Kryolan Professional Make-up International Creative and Education for more than 10 years. He conducts seminars worldwide on airbrushing, body painting and high-definition make-up. He has developed a comprehensive pedagogical concept for the innovative techniques of high-definition make-up.

Keith Hall

Keith Hall has been a make-up artist for 25 years. He has worked on more than 70 film and television projects, including Collateral, Ali and Avatar. He has also done numerous video, commercial and print projects. He was on the Sebastian International Artistic Make-up Team for five years as a make-up educator and runway and print make-up artist. For the last eight years, he has been the make-up department head for the Showtime series Dexter.

Kelly Belmonte

Kelly Belmonte is a self-taught hair and make-up artist, body painter and special make-up effects artist. Movies, television, fashion shows, corporate events, magazines and countless celebrities have used her services. She began dreaming as a small kid in middle America and later became a wife, a mom, a two-time Emmy nominee and a participant in a show on Syfy.

Kendra Richards

Over a career spanning more than 20 years, make-up artist Kendra Richards’ work has appeared on the red carpet, in advertising and in magazines including Vogue, InStyle, Allure, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. She has done on-camera work for Lancôme and the Popsugar and Perez Hilton websites.  Richards created Heir Atelier Ultimate Make Up Prep, a serum written up in The Zoe Report and DailyCandy.

Kevin James Bennett

Kevin James Bennett is known across the industry as one of the most product-driven, business-focused artists of a generation. Not only is he an Emmy Award winner and incredibly successful make-up artist, he is a leader and educator in all aspects of the industry, an inspirational voice and, without a doubt, one of the most intensive product experts.  

Kevin McTurk

A creature effects artist, cinematographer, model maker and puppeteer, Kevin McTurk has been working in the effects industry for more 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film production and began his special make-up effects career at Stan Winston Studio. He has worked for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop; Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.; Weta Workshop, New Deal Studios and Spectral Motion. In 2011, he made his award-winning puppet short film The Narrative of Victor Karloch.

Lufeng Qu

Lufeng Qu was born and raised in China. She graduated from the top drama university in Beijing, majoring in stage make-up design, with a minor in fine art. She came to the U.S. to study make-up and special make-up effects for TV and film in 1996. Her most recent work with Spectral Motion includes Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and X-Men: First Class.

Luis Casco

Luis Casco has been a make-up artist with top celebrities, models and photographers for more than 25 years. He has led teams at Paris, New York and Russia Fashion Weeks and The Emmy’s. From 2013 to 2016 he was lead on-camera make-up artist on Project Runway, All Stars and Mexico’s Next Top Model. Casco consults with cosmetics brands from Mass, Direct Marketing to Prestige. He continues to be a sought-after brand ambassador, TV personality and beauty author.

Melanie Mills

Emmy Award-winning make-up artist (and nine-time nominee) Melanie Mills is one of Hollywood’s leading style-makers and beauty consultants. She has worked in television (Dancing With the Stars, The Talk, The Dr. Oz Show, Access Hollywood Live), film and editorial (Self, Essence, Allure, Shape, InStyle). She is now running her cosmetic line Gleam by Melanie Mills and heading up product development for the brand. In addition, Mills released her first book, Glitter and Glam, in Sept. 2013.

Mike Elizalde

Mike Elizalde is an Academy Award-nominated make-up artist who owns and operates Spectral Motion, one of Hollywood’s premier make-up effects studios. The dizzying array of fantasy, horror and sci-fi designs created at the award-winning studio spans 20 years and includes work for the films Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Pacific Rim.

Mireille Bertrand

Mireille Bertrand’s work has appeared in some of the most prestigious magazines, includingHarper’s Bazaar, Elle and many others. Her work has also appeared on runways and in commercials and television shows. Her prominence in the field has given her an edge as an educator, and today she continues to lead exclusive make-up events, editorials and fashion shows.

Nix Herrera

For the past 20 years Nix Herrera has been working as a FX make-up artist and body painter with some of the industry’s top companies and premier events. Through his unique vision Herrera blends together special FX and body art, creating award-winning pieces and allowing him to bring to life his art and passion. From the U.S. to Asia he has worked with companies such as Universal Studios, SyFy, European Body Art, IWATA and Gucci.

Philip Luque

Philip has been bringing out the beauty in people for 17 years. His diverse background—including work with top designers Carolina Herrera, Armani, GUESS?, Proenza Schouler and others—has allowed him to travel internationally. His artistry has appeared in the pages of Wand Italian Vogue, at the Emmy and ESPY award shows and on the faces of Lena Headey, Peyton Manning and others. A licensed cosmetologist, Luque creates beautiful effects using Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.

Robert Maverick

Robert Maverick has been working in film, TV, theater, print and commercials for more than 20 years. His credits include all the Hunger Games movies, the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Super Fun Night, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the upcoming film Masterless. He does side work for Universal Studios Hollywood and has taught and/or designed make-up at California State University Long Beach, Los Angeles Community College and Joe Blasco Makeup Center.
Robin Mathews

Robin Mathews

Robin Mathews was department head on Dallas Buyers Club, for which she received an Achievement in Makeup  and Hairstyling Oscar and a Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Award for Best Period and/or Character Make-Up. She also worked on Wild, Into the Wild, theTwilight films New Moon and Eclipse, The Runaways (after which she was offered a Make Up For Ever contract), Oz The Great and Powerful, Django Unchained, The Voice and more. She has been the personal make-up artist for Reese Witherspoon, Melissa Leo, Kristen Stewart and Forest Whitaker, among others.

Sheila McKenna

From premiere make-up artist to global educator, Sheila McKenna’s experiences led her to create Kett Cosmetics. A leading professional brand for airbrush equipment and products, Kett is ideal for all genres of professional artistry.

Siân Richards

Siân Richards is a single mother of two and an award-winning make-up artist. Richards has worked in every avenue that make-up demands, from editorial to special effects. She won The People’s Critics Choice Award for transforming Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas and was Emmy and 706 Guild Award nominated for her transformation of Queen Latifah into ’30s blues icon Bessie Smith. Richards was the personal make-up artist to Chadwick Boseman on Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and others. She wrapped Avengers 4 (Untitled) this year. She also has a successful brand called Siân Richards London.

Steve Prouty

Make-up effects artist Steve Prouty has worked with make-up effects shops Cannom Creations, Proteus Makeup Effects/B2FX, Cinovation Studios and Alterian Inc., among others. His résumé includes HookThe Man Without a FaceMrs. DoubtfireClickZombielandThorMen in Black 3and Star Trek Into Darkness. This year he received his first Oscar nomination for his work onJackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

Terri Apanasewicz

Terri Apanasewicz excels in both hair and make-up. Her creativity and expertise make her the first choice for A-list clients and high-profile projects ranging from advertising to red-carpet events. She is a frequent contributor to print and Internet publications and a featured commentator on TV shows and webisodes. Thousands of fans follow her on Twitter and Facebook and read her blog, Confessions of a Celebrity Makeup Artist. Apanasewicz is represented globally by Cloutier Remix.
Thomas E. Surprenant

Thomas E. Surprenant

Thomas E. Surprenant has been a make-up artist for more than 30 years and has developed products and techniques to further the craft. He has been nominated for three Emmys and has won twice. Surprenant has also been part of two Academy Award-winning make-up crews and has received a Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild award. He has contributed to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the Syfy show Defiance and has designed brushes for the Bdellium Tools SFX line.

Tim Gore

Paint designer Tim Gore has more than 25 years of experience in the make-up effects industry and has worked on many iconic films over the years, including Hellboy, Lady in the Water andHellboy II: The Golden Army, to name a few. One of his latest artistic expressions is the development of his own airbrush acrylic paint line from Createx Colors, called Tim Gore's Bloodline.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is a professional hair and make-up artist whose work has appeared in such publications as Vogue, Glamour, Allure and InStyle. She is the preferred artists for A-list clients including Brooke Burke, Eva Longoria and Salma Hayek. She has worked with various television shows, including Burn Notice and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Taylor is a Temptu Pro artist and shares her expertise as a master-class instructor for the company.

Trina Merry

Trina Merry’s body art has been featured in Time, The New York Times, NBC, ABC and more. Her work ranges from avant-garde performance pieces to photo shoots for private clients.  A San Jose native, she apprenticed under Skin Wars judge Craig Tracey and lives in New York, where she studied under Robert Wilson. Career highlights include creating 10 commercial and fine-art series, executing a national ad campaign for Ford Motor Company and receiving numerous industry awards.  


Award-winning body painter and photographer Vargas has taught at technical schools and seminars worldwide. His work has appeared in international galleries, the Capitol Rotunda and runway fashion shows, and on Good Morning America, MTV and Telemundo. Clients have included Marc Anthony, Placido Domingo, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. His latest work includes the World Cup Calendar 2014 and the Naked Vegas promo reel. With his wife, Anabel, he runs New Jersey’s Vargas Beauty Arts Academy.

Wiser Oner

Already an accomplished graffiti artist, Wiser Oner was introduced to body painting in 2006 by master body painter Mark Reid. Since then, he has completed numerous creative works, including studio conceptual pieces, live freestyle pieces and award-winning competitive works. Clients have included Absolut, Bacardi, Tuaca, Ed Hardy and many others. Oner has also painted at events including the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Fantasy Fest. His work was featured in the Syfy series Naked Vegas.