Makeup Artist to the Stars

Spending Time with Paula Turner

Paula Turner has been a makeup artist for 25 years. She started in the business long before social media and websites were the norm. After a stint at a makeup counter department store in London that provided her excellent hands-on training, she decided to go out on her own to pursue her makeup career. After moving to Nashville, she hit the pavement herself calling on record labels and photographers with her portfolio. Turner was a true self-starter.

"I just called every head of creative," she reminisces. "My very first job was doing an artist for an album cover for Dreamworks Records." Networking and word-of-mouth then became Turner's best friends. Her energy and easy demeanor with her clients along with her ability to create a natural makeup look allowed her career to flourish. 

A few weeks before awards

The artist sends a photo of the dress. It starts Paula thinking about what kind of hair do she would like to do, and she sends ideas back and forth to the client.

Day before

Paula determines how many artists she's going to be working on. It's usually no more than three. Female clients get about two hours, and male clients get one hour, so it's usually one female and two males. 

She makes sure brushes are clean and she has the right hair products for the style they've chosen.

She packs a female kit (including things like false eyelashes, glue, etc.) and packs a boy kit. 

She may shop for a new product like a new eye color. 

Day of Show

"It's such a long day. I have to coordinate makeup times with artist rehearsals. This year for the ACM's, I did Caroline Bryan first and got her 80% ready," Paula says. "Then I went to another part of the hotel to do Cole Swindell. I cut his hair and got his makeup done. Then I ran back to finish Caroline. And then Luke came in to get his hair cut and take a shower. While he's showering, I'm tweaking Caroline. He gets out of the shower, and I blow out his hair and do his makeup. Then I ride with them to the ACM's, so if anything goes funny while in the car, I can fix it. As we arrive on the red carpet, Cole comes by so I could touch him up before he walked the carpet. Then I walk the carpet with Luke and Caroline."

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