Robin Siegel: Revealing Beauty on “Major Crimes”

July 23, 2013

Each week on Major Crimes, Sharon Raydor commands the screen in her crisp Armani, sleek locks, and flawless makeup. Her polished looks are the result of collaboration among costume designer Greg LaVoi, hair stylist department head Stacey K. Black, and makeup artist department co-head Robin Siegel. Robin began working with the team on The Closer, handling series star Kyra Sedgwick’s makeup through seasons 4-6 of the show. After taking season 7 off to work in Prague with Ashley Judd on Missing, she returned to LA to rejoin the team for Major Crimes, where she now does makeup for the spinoff’s new lead, Mary McDonnell.

Robin put down her brushes for a few minutes to answer questions about her work and to offer fans some of her tried-and-true tips for looking fierce.


Robin Siegel on set with Mary McDonnell and Stacey K. Black.
photo credit: @MaryMcDonnell10

Your resume is extremely diverse, with work on music videos, films, red carpets, and magazine shoots. How does working on a tv show differ from those other projects? 

The hours and continuity are the unique aspects of working on a TV show compared to red carpet, publicity, and magazine shoots. Working on a TV show or a movie requires creating and maintaining a look for a character over a period of time depending on the scene, time of day, emotional situation, etc. Another difference is that I’m present to do touchups during TV and movie work, whereas red carpet looks require staying power without my being there to oversee the touching up during the night.

Did makeup play a role in Raydor’s transformation from antagonist on The Closer to protagonist on Major Crimes?

Mary’s makeup evolved through her seasons on The Closer and the first season of Major Crimes through makeup artist Michele Tyminski. As the antagonist we originally met, I think her look was strong and no-nonsense, like her character. For this second season, I’ve changed her look ever so slightly, because we are now seeing a maternal side of Sharon Raydor layered over her empathy, strength, and professionalism. Furthermore, Raydor has been described as the moral compass of the show. With that in mind, for her makeup, it’s important for me to bring out her eyes. I especially like seeing how green they are.

Does Mary give input into her makeup?

Mary and I have a mutual appreciation for each other. When we first met, I talked to her about my intention for her look, but since then, I just do it. She trusts me and understands that my goal is to reveal her beauty with makeup.

Can you give us an overview of the makeup you’ve been using on Mary this season?

This season I’m using an eyeshadow palette from Chanel called Spices. It has a reddish-brown color that really makes her green eye color pop. I line her eyes with a coppery brown pencil from MAC called Bountiful Brown. I’m using foundation from Clé de Peau and Chanel. For a subtle cheek color, I’m using a blush from Chanel called Frivole. On her lips, I use Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle, after shaping with Clé de Peau lip pencil.

I love skin care almost more than makeup. I prepare Mary’s skin with a combination of toner, a massage of nourishing serum, and moisturizer, followed by a makeup primer.

Mary’s green eyes always pop, even behind thick-rimmed glasses. Many of her fans wear glasses too, and we’d love to know your tips for enhancing eyes behind frames.

When wearing glasses, to help make eyes pop no matter what the color, I suggest keeping the makeup simple, clean and blended. Using eyeliner helps define the shape of the eyes. For a natural look, use soft coppery brown pencils to line the eyes. I use a pencil from MAC called Teddy or Bountiful Brown under the lower lash line. I also like a pencil from Urban Decay called Underground. For a more dramatic look, use a navy blue pencil like MAC Blooz, or a darker brown. If using eye shadow, be sure to use a little bit of light shadow in the inner corner of the eye. This helps illuminate the eyes and help them pop behind glasses. For Mary’s green eyes, I use a reddish-brown shadow on her lid so that her eye color is highlighted.

Mary has lamented the invention of high-def TV because it reveals every wrinkle on a woman’s face. Has HD TV made your job more challenging?

HD TV can make my job more challenging. The important thing to remember for makeup on HD TV is to BLEND. Also remember that light goes lighter, dark goes darker, and bright goes brighter. With Mary, I use La Prairie Rose Illusion and Make Up For Ever HD primer. Light layers help to create a smooth base for the makeup without looking thick. Dr. Hauschka Translucent powder gives a beautiful finish over the foundation.

Finally, for the makeup-clueless among us, what’s a basic routine we can follow to look our best before leaving the house?

  1. Keep skin clean, nourished, hydrated, and protected. Apply concealer where needed.
  2. Dust your face with a powder foundation and blush, then apply mascara and lipstick.
  3. Look in the mirror and smile!

Robin Siegel is represented by Alyssa Regulski of the Grid Agency, alyssa@gridagency.com. To view Robin’s portfolio, visit Robin Siegel Beauty, robinsiegel.comFollow Robin on Twitter @robin_siegel.

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