Screening Mineral Air #2: Nikoletta Skarlatos
Meet Nikoletta Skarlatos, Greek-American award-winning cinema makeup artist, special effects designer and educator who is also making waves these days as a skincare and wellness expert.
Screening Mineral Air: This is second of an ongoing Q & A series where we profile renowned makeup artists in the entertainment industry.
Q: What are your makeup specialties in film and television?
I’m someone who understands all technical aspects of filmmaking and collaborating with directors, production designers, cinematographers and other talented makeup artists. I frequently work as a makeup department head for a wide variety of looks and film genres. I do it all; beauty, prosthetics, fantasy, historical and so forth. I also am known in the business for my makeup work with people of color (Mahershala Ali, Lynn Whitfield, Sanaa Lathan and Destiny’s Child back in the day) and on Indian Bollywood productions.
Q: Where would we have seen your work in film and television?
The Hunger Games (Mockingjay and Catching Fire), Pirates of the Caribbean (On Stranger Tides, At World’s End, and Dead Man’s Chest), Nappily Ever After, Future Man, Free State of Jones and many others.
Q: How does your background help your makeup work?
I trained as a painted which honed my eye for color and shape; I worked as a journalist which honed my talent for narrative.
Q: How did you get started in makeup?
I began my makeup career working on music videos like Oooh for De La Soul featuring Redman, Wifey for Next and To Sir with Love for Melkey Sedeck. Siegfried and Roy then hired me as Makeup, Hair and Costume designer for their 3D film called The Magic Box. After that, I segued into film when Johnny Depp hired me to work on The Brave.
Q: What other sorts of projects do you do?
Since I speak multiple languages (Greek, English, French, Spanish, Italian and some Portuguese), I’m fortunate to work all over the world. I also do a lot of mentoring, educating and public speaking, all of which contribute to my love of the art of makeup as well as spreading the word on health and wellness.
Q: How does skincare fit into what you do?
I grew up in a village in the Peloponnese region of Greece where we are raised from birth to eat beautiful healthy food that leads to a beautiful healthy life. I’ve been aware of taking care of my skin since I was a small child; it’s cultural with us.
Q: What skincare and lifestyle advice do you most often give?
Beauty starts from the inside. This means:
- Reinforcing and lubricating the body from within starting with a teaspoon of cod liver oil in the morning. I know it doesn’t taste great but as every Greek grandmother knows, it’s soooooo good for you.
- Following a Mediterranean diet that includes plenty of olive oil (again, my Greek heritage).
- Enjoying a 40% raw food diet each day.
- Drinking copious fluids (coffee doesn’t count) including at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Using only non-toxic ingredients-based products on your skin, your body’s largest living organ.
- Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, even if this is just going for a walk.
- Breathing deeply every day.
- Avoiding toxic situations, people and information where you can. It’s not easy in the world we live in today but do your best do calm the mind.
- Doing what you love!
Q: What are your future plans?
Doing more mentoring and lecturing globally about skin, makeup, health and wellness. I am also working on starting my own beauty and wellness retreat center so that is very exciting. Stay tuned!
Q: Do you have a personal credo for your work
I’m all about helping skin look dewy, fresh, natural and always glowing. No matter what I work on–even if it’s the most extreme prosthetic or fantasy look–I never want the makeup to show as makeup. It has to be seamless and read real! My job is to make sure the audience is paying attention to the faces, not the makeup applied to it. One flaw and the whole effect is ruined.
Q: Where does Mineral Air fit into the picture?
Beautifully. Mineral Air is totally in line with my philosophy. I never liked traditional airbrushes because of the difficulty in handling and I found the final finish to be too heavy for my liking. But Mineral Air is a game changer. I was first introduced to it as we were pulling out of the pandemic and I took it to Europe to experiment. I’ve been testing it on actors and will definitely be using it professionally in the future. I’ll keep you posted.
What’s the difference?
Mineral Air offers two device-plus-formula categories, one for makeup, the other for skincare.
Mineral Air original (MA) includes its AirMist Device, an easy to use, everyday consumer tool that rivals professional airbrushing in its cosmetic application of our eponymous foundation, blush, or bronzer.
Mineral Air Skin (MAS) features the Renewal Serum System with its ElixerMist Device for lightweight vaporized delivery.
“I’m all about helping skin look dewy, fresh, natural and always glowing. No matter what I work on–even if it’s the most extreme prosthetic or fantasy look–I never want the makeup to show as makeup. It has to be seamless and read real!”
Award-winning makeup artist