Cosmetics Before Cameras

Cosmetics before cameras, in any film or theatre production, is just the way it is. Gather some tips from a pro. Hair, Makeup and Wardrobe always comes before Lights, Camera and Action. Right? 

Several fun links, to share lots of beauty tips from my decades of working in that industry. Who knows, maybe these will be of more interest to you than food!

After all, if we are going to cook on camera, in a barn, with 9 other fabulous cooks, we want to look our best!

Cosmetics Before Lights Camera Action

The news that we would be filming in a barn, for The Great American Recipe program with PBS, caused me to gasp and freak out for about half a second!

A barn, in Virginia, in September meant frizzy hair, sweaty face and who knows what else! Ugh! How does a sixty-something gal, who no longer looks camera ready without much personal maintenance, prepare for this?

Coco Chanel & Cosmetics

Well? Just like I do everyday! There is a saying by Coco Chanel that I framed and have in my boudoir, which I will share with you.

Having been a hairdresser for 40-years, while raising four children as a single mom, taught me much about ‘The Cover’ of the book we present to our family and the world each day.

Hair, makeup and cloths set the mood for our entire day.

Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel

Hair First

Hair first. Of course, I color my hair, who doesn’t! I’ve been playing around with hair color since I was 16-years of age.

I first obtained my apprentice license to become a hairdresser at 16 and I am still licensed to this day (great perks).

I quickly discovered that ‘hair’ was one of those things we can so easily change. If we didn’t like it, it could be changed again, or in a worse case scenario, it grows back. 

Cosmetologists License
Cosmetologists License

I needed to color my hair just before going to Virginia, but also pack extra in case I was there for the entire duration of the filming. The list for packing was beginning to grow.

Cosmetics Before Cameras Mean Hair Too

First tip I will share, is how to Color Your Own Hair. No, we’re not talking about highlights, or the difficult tasks a professional will do.

Just a root touch up, for those now-and-then times.

Did you happen to notice that when COVID first crippled our world, in March of 2020, by June of 2020 people stopped uploading photos of themselves on social media.

Know why?

Hair, for most people, took a turn for the worst.

Roots were showing, blonde was no longer blonde and haircuts just didn’t happen.

I first shared a blog post to touch up your roots during that time, and even drew a sketching to help some ladies cut their man’s hair.

Wow, the numerous people I was able to help!

touchup your roots
Touchup Your Roots

Hairpieces Or Extensions

Second Tip? Hairpieces! Who doesn’t have ‘clip-ins’ these days, to fatten up a bun or fill out a ponytail.

If I was in the beauty industry for 4 decades, that means I started way back when hair was teased into a Beehive, or a French Twist and that often meant hairpieces!

Not to boast but I became the queen of ‘extra hair’! Clip-in strands of human hair are easily purchased online, as are extensions or full wigs.

There are some important tips to know about using or caring for these fun little add-ons, so I will share that with you here too. Hairpiece Tips and Hacks.

Hairpiece Color Tips

Camera Ready Face – Makeup

In previous shows I have done with Food Network, there was always a person on set to do hair and makeup.

COVID and the concerns we will be living with while filming this show may prohibit having a makeup person.

No worries. I prefer to do my own anyway! 

Cosmetics - A gals best friend.
Cosmetics – A Gals Best Friend

While I am one of those weirdos that doesn’t leave my boudoir in the morning before putting on makeup, I’ve learned a thing or two about being ‘face-ready’ for the camera. Eyebrows! 


Last tip and very important; Eyebrows. Eyebrows frame the eyes.

On camera the face could look either pale and pasty or over-made up.

It all depends on the lighting and how close the camera is to the face.

I would have no control over that.

So, I knew I had to color my eyebrows to help give the eyes more definition, and absolutely, I will be taking extra with me as well! Here’s how to Color You’re Eyebrows to look younger.  

Natural Henna Brow Color At Home From A Professional


I am a ‘bright color’ nails kinda gal. You will rarely find me without polish on.

But I was going to be on set, with my hands in food, close-up cameras and probably 12-hour days.

There would be no time for touch-ups after a long day of filming, so I opted for clear polish. Not my favorite but better than risk exposing chipped polish on camera. How gross!

Camera Ready?

Okay! Cloths are chosen and packed. Personal maintenance attended to. Pantry foods and water packed. The day arrived to set out for Virginia on this great adventure! 


Wait! What?

Oh! The first heart stopper came early. Upon arrival, I discover that despite all the preparation, travel and hotel reservations made for each contestant, there were 12 of us. Wait… the show only had 10 contestants!

It then became apparent that my participation was not 100% confirmed. Maybe the detail was in the small print somewhere that I overlooked.

But yep, we each had gone through the same long vetting process, we had all made arrangements to be away from home for nearly a month, and for all but me, flown into location.

None the less, there would be only 10-contestants. 

Within the first 24-hours of arriving at the hotel, never having seen the first director or camera person… TWO WERE SENT HOME!

Boom! Reality hit fast and hard! Can’t tell you how relieved I was, we each were, to have finally been chosen to remain and be a player in this great adventure. 

The Great American Recipe Contestants
The Great American Recipe Contestants
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