How did you come to work on the sketch-comedy series At Home with Amy Sedaris?
My friend did the first season and couldn’t do the second. I had done two episodes of the first season of Strangers with Candy and Amy remembered me. So, that’s how they asked me to do season two.

How many characters does Amy Sedaris play in the show this season?
Amy played nine characters; she worked her butt off!

Tell me about some of the new characters she plays this season.
There is Cindy Snipes, a southern character. Cindy is someone who would have her nails done, makeup is always perfect and very color coordinated…she matches her lips to her nails type of makeup. A granny character; Granny’s got hair coming off the side of her lip and big mole. Amy loves a mole so that’s always fun. She’s up for anything. That’s the great thing about working with Amy. The gnarlier the better.

What is the process like for creating the looks for Amy’s characters?
It starts with Amy’s idea of the character. Then we see what the wardrobe is starting to shape into. Hair department head Jameson Eaton starts to pull wigs and then we start to get a visual of the character, and it begins from there. Amy tells you the personality of her character so it helps you visualize what the character would wear as well as the color scheme.

How would you describe her main look?
It’s not necessarily a 1950s style but the set has a very ‘50s look to it. It’s very colorful, her wardrobe is very colorful. She likes to do different hairstyles, but her makeup stays the same for her main character. We just keep it bright and colorful and I play up to her wardrobe.

What about the nosy neighbor Patty Hogg character she plays?
We keep her lips very small and thin. Amy wears a dark brunette wig when she’s playing Patty. We draw severe eyebrows with a high arch so when she makes her disapproving face, it’s a really extreme look.

What can we expect to see in terms of prosthetics and other character makeup on the show?
We’ve done it all; teeth, prosthetics, tattoos. It was a very makeup heavy show in addition to all the characters there were some makeup gags that required prosthetics. A lot of time we do different characters in one day. For continuity, I make things like Granny’s mole so we can go back and use them. The day is not geared toward the makeup so most of the time we have to go back and forth between multiple characters. You really have to plan out your looks for the day, as time is of the essence.

There are some fabulous guest stars this season including Matthew Broderick, Fred Armisen, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Justin Theroux. What is the process for creating the looks for the guest stars?
We have an amazing cast of guest stars, and they are all game for anything which makes my job awesome! I loved working with Tom Lennon, he is such a funny guy. The process for creating their looks really stems from the script, and then Amy and Paul Dinello’s concept. From there, I give my ideas and it becomes a collaboration between all of us including the actors.

What are the challenges as a makeup artist on a show like this?
The only challenge was time. We had so much to do in a small amount of time. I had so much creative support that it always worked out.

How large was the makeup and hair department?
The makeup department consisted of myself and my key, Lauzanne Nel, and that was the same with the hair department which was led by Jameson Eaton. Additional artists were hired as needed. Josh Turi and Jason Milani provided the prosthetics.

What were some must-have products when creating Amy Sedaris’s characters?
I used Armani foundation and beautiful lipsticks from MAC in light pink to deep rich pink shades. I always have something to make a mole out of, and a charcoal or black eyeliner pencil. They are the essentials.

Do you have a favorite character from this season?
My favorite character had to be creating Paul Downs into a Doug Henning-like Magician. I loved Doug Henning as a kid. There’s also an episode where Amy puts these mushroom caps into the oven and reads the instructions wrong and the oven explodes. We did that look at the very end of the day. I did prosthetic pieces to cover her eyebrows, a full bald cap, had to color everything, and put the black dirt on her face all in 20 minutes! I was proud of that. I was just running on adrenaline. It was the second or third day of shooting. It was my favorite moment just for what I was able to accomplish in so little time.

What did you like best about working on this show?
The best part of the show is definitely Amy.

Words Shannon Levy
Photos Jon Pack and Phillip Caruso for truTV