Eve Pearl is a 5-time Emmy Award Winner, Author, and Authority on Beauty. She is a leader in the industry with two decades of experience as a makeup professional in TV, film, theater and she has been setting the standards and trends in global beauty industry.
Tamara had a chance to sit down for an interview with Eve, we hope you’ll find it interesting.
TJ: Eve, some of our readers might not know that you were born in the republic of Georgia. How old where you when your family left Georgia?
TJ: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
EP: I was a tomboy growing up, playing sports. I wanted to be a basketball player which is what I did through high school, but I was not tall enough and couldn’t continue as a professional player. I also wanted to be a flight attendant and travel the world.
TJ: When was the first time you did makeup?
EP: In high school I was in the theater, taking parts in plays and musicals. I was usually assigned a minor role since I couldn’t really sing. The character roles needed some extra help with hair and makeup to look the parts, and it seemed no one else wanted to take on that task, so I started helping out and eventually became the unofficial head of hair and makeup. I never really gave this much thought as I pursued business and marketing major in school and college. Even when playing sports, business was what I wanted to go into as an immigrant to the U.S.
TJ: Who were the people you looked to for mentorship or education:
EP: At the time, I didn’t realize the impact my mother, Riva Pichkhadze, would have on me, but it was and still is her. As immigrants to the US, my mother worked as a hair dresser. Since I was 9 years old, she used to take me to the salons on the weekends and I would help her out with things like cleaning floors, shampooing, and helping the other hair dressers. I wanted to be home on weekends like my friends were, watching TV or playing, but instead my mother wanted me near her and she kept me busy (no child labor laws?!). Unless I had a sporting or a theater event, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent in a hair salon after school. The one definitive thing I knew back then is that I DID NOT want to be in an industry of hair and makeup . Well, there was no makeup industry at the time…but basically, I did not want to do what my immigrant mother was doing – she couldn’t type and she certainly couldn’t work in the business field. That’s why it was so important to me to learn typing and acquire business skills – I wanted to be a part of corporate America.
TJ: What was your first memorable work as an artist?
EP: By my 20’s I was a successful business woman. My mother had started working at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, one of the most famous theaters in the world. She had become head of Makeup at the Opera and later also became the head of Hair and Makeup for American Ballet Theater, the ballet company of Michael Baryshnikov. My mother worked there for over 20 years and retired at the age of 73, and that wasn’t even her choice – she could have still run it for many years with her energy.
My first memorable work was working on Al Pacino for a theatrical production of Salome. This came about from my mother telling the producers that I knew how to do makeup (not really!) and recommending me for the job. My mother had 1 week to teach me. That didn’t go very well, but I still got the job. Yes, that was my first job in makeup…and it was working on Al Pacino! By some grace of G-d, he did not fire me. After working on that production, my confidence was high and I was able to get some one-on-one lessons from the NYC Opera makeup supervisor, Robert Baker, and then assist him with some projects at the opera.
TJ: How did you know that the makeup artist industry was where you wanted to be?
EP: I worked as a secretary during the day and I took freelance jobs at the theater in the evening. As I was a single mother I had to take my son to the theater with me, at that time he was 5, 6, 7 years old. Later, I started working in television and realized that the skills I acquired in theater gave me the ability to work fast, reshape faces and help create beautiful looks. When I felt the impact this made on women’s lives and the fact that I could make a living doing something that was fun, creative and gave me the ability to travel around the world, I realized that not only I wanted to do this, but even more – I wanted to become one of the best…by going after the Emmys.
TJ: When did you win your first Emmy Award?
EP: I was nominated 9 times starting in 1999. After not winning the first 2 nominations, I made it my mission to win in the 3rd year, and when my vision and plan finally worked out, it was incredible – in 2001 I won my first Emmy as part of the makeup team on The View. My family was with me at the ceremony. As the department head, I got to make the acceptance speech and I thanked The View on behalf of myself and the whole makeup team. This win was followed by more wins in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 for various works.
TJ: As a makeup artist you worked and traveled with many celebrities. What are some of your most memorable moments?
EP: This industry is amazing. As a makeup artist I’ve worked on Presidents and First Ladies, I’ve been to the Olympics, the Royal Wedding, and I spent many New Years’ Eves in NYC’s Time Square for the ball drop…in a luxury box. I’ve worked on musicians, athletes, models, actors and royalty. But some of the most memorable moments are taking my son to meet The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) to get a photo with him and have it autographed the following year. Years later I got to work with Dwayne for his Super Bowl commercial…Also, I remember being next to Lady Gaga as she performed on the Today show while heavy rain poured…she was incredible. Later, experiencing Justin B when he was just starting out – a very nice boy… Oh, and while at the Canne film festival, working with Selma Hayek and Antonio Banderas, and chatting with Angelina Jolie about our high school proms. I have spent time with Adam Sandler and Jack Black, and worked with the gang from The Fast and the Furious. That’s just some of the fun stuff.
TJ: What are the things about your work that make it the most interesting to you?
EP: I like creating my own rules and keeping things simple with the makeups I do. My reputation is built on creating the flawless look, on making women look like themselves on a good day – not trendy, not over the top. Beautiful, glamorous, classic beauty is what I’m all about. I like the application process, seeing results and then teaching others the simplicity of achieving the same.
TJ: You own a makeup brand “Eve Pearl” – tell us about what led you to develop your own brand?
EP: While working on a TV show, The View, I was doing makeup demonstration segments, giving makeup product advice to the show’s audience. Then I wrote a book to do the same. The women wanted more. I created and tested the Salmon Concealer first, then the HD Foundation, and from there one by one, more products were created. In 2008 I opened the studio in the heard of New York City, and I called it EVE PEARL.
TJ: Your first and most famous product is Salmon concealer. What was your inspiration in developing this product?
EP: I was the department head for the View, working with mature women. A live show with 5 women of different skin tones, ages and skin issues can be a challenge. Even more, the hosts would come in later and later, sometimes leaving the makeup crew only 10-15 minutes to get the hair and makeup ready. I had to find ways to cut steps and still achieve great results in minimal time and so I combined the moisturizer, concealer and almost a blush into one process. I mixed colors and products to combine them so to save me steps and time…as I had to get the ladies ready for camera no matter what.
TJ: How would you describe your signature style?
EP: I’m all about the Classic Flawless Complexion. Reverse contouring.
TJ: What separates EVE PEARL from other beauty brands?
EP: EVE PEARL is all about simple beauty solutions.
TJ: How do you continue to grow as an artist?
EP: Technology is part of our Evolution. As a brand we are always evolving.
TJ: Whose work do you admire?
EP: I admire work of Kevyn Aucoin, Kevin James Bennett, and Sam Fine for their Beauty Makeup work. I admire the minds of Estee Lauder and other trailblazers who led the way for makeup artistry and the beauty industry to be obtainable for all of us.
TJ: EVE PEARL as a brand is beloved by professional makeup artists and consumers as well. How do you manage to meet the demands of a Pro as well as the needs of an everyday makeup wearer?
EP: I consider myself a Pro as well as a woman who wears makeup. As a Pro, I develop multi-functional products to save steps and time in application. The products must be High Definition as well as high performance, long lasting, breathable and create beautiful results. As a Pro who travels the world, I know the importance of everything being made to be compact and travelable, at the same time to be able to go from the Pro’s table to the makeup table at home because more and more high end clients want to have the same luxury products I use. Instead of creating large over-sized palettes, I’ve created super pigmented shadows in luxury sized palettes. The brand is always evolving with the ingredients as well as components to meet our changing needs.
TJ: What should we expect from EVE PEARL Beauty next few seasons?
EP: EVE PEARL Beauty Brand continues to be Beauty Evolved. The focus is more on the skincare aspects of everything from the creams to the eyeshadows to the foundations and concealers. For years we have been an award-winning brand for the best luxury foundation and concealer, the products which are prized for the combinations of ingredients, ease of use, and are made for great coverage and all skin types, especially sensitive.
TJ: At last, as a five times Emmy Award winning makeup artist, book author, beauty expert, entrepreneur, what advice would you give to the Pros and just makeup enthusiasts?
EP: My “Pearls of Wisdom” would be to remind you to Never let the odds stop you from what you know in your heart you are meant to do. Don’t live in the past (it’s behind us and can only keep you stagnant). Don’t live in the future – it’s not here yet and not guaranteed. Live in the NOW and be sure to experience every bit of it. Take every opportunity given to you. Don’t be afraid. I took every opportunity and challenge, whether I was qualified or not…my good attitude and perseverance always got me through. Always show up on time and be willing to work…with a smile. I was hired for my good personality and disposition…the fact that I could learn how to do makeup was an added bonus. This is the same motto I follow in my business…I have always hired people based on their personality, positive disposition, energy and willingness to work. No need to be “fabulous” …because that cannot be sustained. If you can be Good all the time…even Great at times, you will have success. Good luck!!
TJ: On behalf of our readers and myself, thank you so much for this incredible interview
EP: Thanks Tamara. It’s such a crazy busy time. It’s been non-stop…but good things are happening. Hope to see you soon.