Examiner interview with The Vampire Diaries makeup artist Beverly Jo Pryor


Beverly Jo Pryor is the department head of makeup for the CW’s hit show, The Vampire Diaries. She works on the makeup of Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Katerina Graham. She establishes the looks of the beautiful cast, and in this interview tell us what really goes into developing the looks, and how we can achieve them at home!

What are some of your on-the-go quick tips for makeup?

Beverly: Less is best. That’s my philosophy. People think more is better, but I always say less is best. If a person is on-the-go and ready to go, you can do a couple of things. Put your mascara on and put your lips on. If you want to add to that, you can put a little blush on as well, but that is optional. Then you’re good to go. If you’re wearing sunglasses, then you really want to do your lips since everything else is covered. You just have to decide if you’re going to wear sunglasses and still want to look cute.

Do you believe that makeup should be focused on either eyes or lips? Or can we get away with doing up both?

Beverly: I believe there’s no rule. It depends on the individual, their look, and what you’re trying to achieve. There is no set rule. I’m old school.

Skincare goes hand in hand with the application and appearance of makeup. Do you have the cast on any type of skincare regimen?

Beverly: I allow everybody to do what they do. But I always make sure to follow through. We cleanse, I always make sure they take their makeup off or that they promise me they will. I have hot towels, makeup remover and moisturizer to replenish their skin after they’ve had makeup on all day. If they come in, I use a toner and make sure they have everything they need, whether it be extra moisturizer or something else. Everyone has a different skin types, so that determines what I use. Some things that I do use are Jan Marini and a little bit Kiehl’s. There’s no one line that I use for everybody, everybody has a different regimen. For the guys, some of the main things I use for them is called For His Skin, it’s an ingrown hair solution that they put on after they shave, and that smells good and keeps everything moist and soft. I’m very individualized; I accommodate each person. A few of the girls have things that they insist on using, and if their skin is nice, that’s fine with me. If it doesn’t need to be fixed, don’t fix it. As long as I have a clean face, a clean palette to start with. I don’t use the same line on anyone.

The makeup on the show is excellent.

Beverly: I am so blessed to be working on the show with such wonderful people, that I am really grateful. Everybody, the producers, the writers, all of us that work as a team. Makeup, hair and wardrobe; we all work together. The actors are just phenomenal, they are all just so sweet. I am just so blessed to be on the show. We work long hours sometimes, so it’s so important that we all get along. I love Elena’s character. Not only do I love Elena’s character, I love her. She is just so great and wonderful and so sweet. Just an absolute joy to work with. All of the cast and crew is a joy to work with.

What makeup brands and products do you regularly use on set?

Beverly: I use Armani, Make Up For Ever, Ilona, Napoleon, whatever works. For me, it’s not just one brand, if they work, they work. There’s no one product that works for everybody. I’m a perfectionist, so I always sneak other things in to see if they work, like Bobbi Brown, Make Up For Ever.

What was your vision for Elena’s look?

Beverly: Well, Elena is the girl that is popular, beautiful and subtle, but beautiful. Very natural. Because she is already beautiful, there’s not a lot you have to do. So subtle but poppy. The eyes pop. She’s got beautiful eyes, just beautiful. Beautiful skin. So natural, but it just pops. Natural, not to the degree of homely, but beautifully natural without having to try too hard. Nina is just beautiful inside and out. She’s not only beautiful as a visual, but beautiful as an inside person. Just like all of them are, but she is so beautiful inside.

How can we achieve that at home?

Beverly: Get some nice mascara, a little blush and the lips of your choice. Not red. A nice gloss, a natural gloss. If you do cheeks, very minimal, not a lot. Just enough to give you a little blush. With the blush that you use, you can put a little across your eyelids very lightly. It’ll bring your whole look together, very natural.

What was your vision for Caroline’s look?

Beverly: Caroline’s character is a little more “up”. She’s a little more made up and a little more forward. She’s not as natural and her character has to work a little harder, so to speak. She has a more made-up look.

How can we achieve that at home?

Beverly: That’s when you want to just go for it. Be creative, and go for it. She’s not totally over the top. Just go a little heavier, a little more blush, a little more eyes.

What was your vision for Bonnie’s look?

Beverly: Oh Bonnie’s look, how adorable she is. Bonnie is more subtle. She’s a little shy, and sits back. Her look was very natural, just lip gloss, not a lot of color. Mascara, and eyes. I took her blush and put it on her eyelids. A little contouring but not much. Bonnie is a whole different breed. She’s not homely, but makeup is not her big deal. She’s just an adorable individual.

Is there a blush that can work for anyone?

Beverly: Nars has a blush that I like. Bobbi Brown has a cream I use. None of the blushes are heavy pigmented. Cream blushes work good if you’re wearing foundation.

How is the vampire transformation look done?

Beverly: In transformation, we have several ways that we do that. We have teeth that are built by our special effects guy. We have contact lenses that are put in. The eyes are also put in computerized. For the black around the eyes, it’s a combination between both artists and work. Visual effects, and special effects, we all work together.


4 comments on “Examiner interview with The Vampire Diaries makeup artist Beverly Jo Pryor

    • I don’t think so. “Vampire Diaries” make-up artists just use quality products, that’s why her eyelashes look so long, thick, etc. If you compare real life photos of her to screencaps from the show, you’ll see there’s hardly a difference.

  1. “Is there a blush that can work on everyone? Nars has a blush that I like…”

    Yep- NARS has a blush that every one would like, I’m sure. Question is, WHICH ONE DO YOU LIKE!? sheesh. Could she have been any more vague with her answers? A little blush, a little eye makeup and little lip gloss.

    Really? never would have figured that out on my own. LOL If make-up is your passion, love it enough to give the details, girl! I actually wanted to know some specifics about what she uses. It’s a shame, she does a fantastic job and it would have been nice to hear some actual tips, or specific products I could try at home.

  2. Someone can tell me what eyeshadow did elena used on the first season? In the look that she used a smokey eyes with gold on her eyelids, I want to now where the golden eyeshadow is from?

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