September 23, 2010


Cici Andersen

“Your work should be as perfect as you can get it, every single time.”

Once Make-Up Designory (MUD) graduate Cici Andersen decides to do something, she wastes no time in making it happen. Born in Argentina to parents who worked in journalism and modeling, Cici moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland at a young age. After studying art in high school and college, Cici worked toward fulfilling a passion for hair styling by apprenticing at a salon. To further develop her skills, she attended the Graham Webb International Academy of Hair, graduating from the one-year program six months early. She next traveled to Barcelona, Spain to attend the Llongueras Academy, where she completed the Masters of Hairdressing Program in 2006.

After returning to Washington, D.C., Cici worked as a hairdresser at a variety of prestigious salons. However, ambition and a passion to broaden her make-up skills inspired her to move to California, where she completed the Journeyman program at MUD’s Burbank campus in 2008. While at MUD, Cici enjoyed studying Character make-up with instructor Juliette Loveland, saying: “She was so meticulous in how she taught and worked, she didn’t miss a beat.” She adds, “MUD was useful to me for learning basics and networking with other professionals. Like any school, it is what you make of it. Opportunities only present themselves to those who are open to them.” She also discovered an interest in Special Effects make-up, which she has continued to pursue in her professional career.

After MUD, Cici apprenticed, then was hired full-time at Makeup & Monsters, Inc., a creature shop in Chatsworth, California run by Brian Penikas. Here, she honed her approach: “I am a purist; I don’t rely on Photoshop or post to enhance my work. Brian Penikas once told me, ‘Your good enough should be better than the other guy’s best effort. That’s what will get you noticed. Nobody cares if you’re tired, just broke up with your boyfriend, or are uninspired. When you are on a deadline or on a job, your best is required.”

Today Cici works professionally as a freelance artist for various productions, retail cosmetics brands, special effects houses and companies. Her work spans media like photo shoots, feature films, music videos and weddings. One of her favorite recent assignments involved building a nine-foot Stilt Monster out of foam for a Japanese theme park. She says, “Seeing boring gray sheet foam turn into a rusted armor-wearing fantasy creature is a surreal experience. It was really neat to see our team brainstorm and find new ways to get things done.”

In addition to her hobbies playing bass, drawing, traveling and baking, Cici is inspired by the work of Dick Smith, Rick Baker, Ve Neill and the work for Il Divo done by Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano. She cites social networking as a critical tool to her success: “Seeing what other professionals are doing inspires me…Learning to network is so important; it’s like a secret handshake that, once you learn, you’re in.” Her advice to aspiring make-up artists is to follow their dreams: “Figure out what it is YOU want to get out of this industry – then steer yourself in that direction.”


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