About Sarita

From Björk to Harry Potter

BAFTA team winner and three times Emmy nominee Sarita began her career as a Makeup Artist working on photo sessions for a diverse range of artists and designers.

These included Björk, Bob Hoskins, Sir Ben Kingsley, Vivenne Westwood, Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen.

Pop video promos and album cover shoots were followed with a variety of advertising and TV commercials work—but Sarita wanted to stretch herself  further.

From Harry Potter to X-Men, Sarita works to tight deadlines in adverse locations. Her vast knowledge of materials, team-leading skills and an eye for subtle detail helps take the concept to successful application.

Sarita has worked on a range of projects—from Hollywood blockbusters to low-budget productions. All require a creative, organised, resilient and flexible approach plus great communication and ideas!

From Vivienne Westwood fashion shoots to Touching the Void, Skins and The Harry Potter Studio Tour, below is a detailed account of Sarita’s key projects, skills and industry acclaim.

Sarita Allison Professional Makeup Designer

Prosthetic Makeup for Film

Her first feature prosthetic work was for Judge Dredd, where Sarita assisted Nick Dudman on the foam rubber clones production—a major Makeup effects set piece for the movie climax.

Dredd was a fantastic challenge and I had excellent feedback from Nick. It was a great initiation!

Sarita was subsequently invited to join Dudman’s Star Wars team in Tunisia:

Moving from fashion Makeup design into feature film meant I really had to prove myself—Star Wars gave me a great opportunity to display my skills and commitment. I was subsequently employed as a full-time member of Nick’s team for The Mummy applying prosthetics for the the plague scenes.

Touching the Void

Sarita was now being asked to head up a number of projects, including The Real Captain Bligh. This required severe skin exposure, dehydration and malnutrition Makeup effects, skills which proved invaluable on the 2002 production of Touching the Void.

This true story  told the gruelling tale of two climbers battling disaster in Peru. Their horrific experiences were reproduced in the Alps at high above sea level, with a challenging ninety-minute daily walk from base to apply Makeup effects. Sunburned/peeling skin, blistered lips, dehydration, snow blindness plus severe cuts and bruises had to be recreated and also be waterproof. Products were carried in a rucksack with a few small Makeup pots in pockets for immediate use. In 2004 Touching the Void went on to win the Alexander Korda Award at the British Academy. Sarita relied on heavy research and documented every Makeup trial result during the shoot:

Working at altitude in freezing conditions was a huge learning curve where every day was a challenge!

From Stella Street to Skins

Stella Street (2004) was a full-length feature based on the popular UK television series, followed in the same year by Churchill: The Hollywood Years. Next up was the BAFTA award-winning British teen drama Skins from Company Pictures.

Nearly Famous—a television drama mini-series about a group of British teenagers attending a London performing arts school aired in 2007, followed by makeup design on the BBC3 comedy sketch show Scallywagga. Sarita used wig and makeup effects to create a diverse array of characters from a core cast.

The Tormented

A teen horror movie “zom-com”, The Tormented has a teenage boy returning from the grave to seek revenge on those who bullied him. Creative and subtle makeup was required throughout to build the pace of the story and to ensure the characters leaped from the screen.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

This British thriller about the kidnapping of a young woman by two ex-convicts required suitably dramatic makeup for the female lead Gemma Arterton:

Gemma’s previous roles had beautiful, clean makeup. I wanted to do something different—something edgy and raw. The end result was “broken-down makeup” that allowed Gemma’s natural beauty to shine through alongside the vulnerability of her character.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Dir J Blakeson. Copyright CinemaNX Films Two Ltd 2009.

The Infidel

Written by David Baddiel, British comedy The Infidel stars Omid Djalili & Richard Schiff.  The story revolves around a north London Muslim who goes through an identity crisis when he discovers he was adopted as a child and born to a Jewish family.

One challenge was the facial hair for many of the Muslim characters. There were radical Muslims, religious Muslims (Iman), Arabic and Asian Muslims—careful research was required to establish correct beard and moustache styles.

Application can be very tricky and without great care can so easily look obviously ‘wrong’! Makeup styles had to be accurate for the Muslim women who have a very distinct look. Large crowd scenes included a Bar Mitzvah with lots of glamorous hair and makeup for the  Jewish women, an Indian wedding and a Muslim rally.

X-Men: First Class

Sarita was asked to join the Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) team  for X-Men: First Class.

Shot at Pinewood and on location in the UK, Georgia and Fox Studios, Hollywood, Mystique required full-body prosthetics and airbrushed makeup.

The full-body work took six hours to apply daily—silicone prosthetics and airbrushing.

3am calls gave time to prepare Jennifer ready for the camera and maximise the shooting day.

Amidst shooting, the team were busy art finishing and pre-painting the prosthetic pieces to reduce makeup application time.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

BAFTA and Oscar nominated for Makeup. Sarita joined Nick Dudman’s prosthetics team for the Gringotts Bank sequence. The Goblin silicone prosthetic makeup took up to four hours to apply—despite early calls it was an immensely enjoyable experience.

Next up was ageing Makeup for the character Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton)—the very last scene in the Harry Potter films shot on location at Kings Cross station. Draco’s prosthetic makeup was a silicone forehead piece and two nose-to-mouth pieces. The challenge was to blend the prosthetic pieces into the face, making it as believable and realistic as possible.

 It was such an amazing experience to work on the Goblin scenes—a memory that will stay with me.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter

Working with Makeup Effects Consultant Nick Dudman, Sarita put together a team of Animatronics and Makeup Effects experts to refurbish the Harry Potter creations housed at Leavesden Studios. Ten years of silicone and foam latex characters needed organising and retouching for display to eager Potter fans.

Over ten months Sarita’s roles included hiring crew, organising the workshop and delivering everything on budget, ready to be installed into the tour. Nick said:

After spending 10 years creating everything you see here, I take my hat off to Sarita for preserving everything, and presenting it all so beautifully to the public!

2012 London Olympics & Paralympics

Sarita reunited with makeup artist Amber Sibley (X-Men: First Class) to help shape the look of the iconic and unforgettable opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.

The Hogwarts Express/Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts

Sarita was the key Prosthetic Makeup Artist on these two short films made exclusively for the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, which involved the creation of special goblins not seen in any of the films.

Penny Dreadful

Working for Makeup Effects legend Nick Dudman, Sarita earned two Emmy nominations for her work on this highly acclaimed Showtime series created by award-winning playwright and scriptwriter John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall, Spectre). Read an in-depth interview EvaGreenweb.com conducted with Sarita about her work on this three-season project.

This Victorian Gothic piece incorporated classic horror figures such as Count Dracula, Dr Frankenstein and his monster and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll alongside vampires, werewolves and witches and original creations like the seductive heroine Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), The Creature (Rory Kinnear) and circus sharpshooter Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett).

The episode Grand Guignol (Season One finale) won a BAFTA Television Craft Award in 2015 for Best Makeup and Hair Design, while that episode and Season Two’s And Hell Itself My Only Foe were nominated for an Emmy in 2015 and 2016.

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards 2016 Nominated for Best Special Makeup Effects Fresh Hell. Supervising Producer Chris King was moved to say he was “in awe” of her work, and added that she and her team “elevated the series to a whole new level”.