Spotlight: Patty Bell of Patty Bell Makeup

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Patty Bell has the tools to get you looking your best! She's one of the most sought after makeup artists in Pittsburgh. She's been called the "unofficial" makeup artist to the Pittsburgh Steelers because of her work with Steelers TV for the past 10 years.

She's also worked with Samuel L. Jackson, Kate Walsh, Lance Armstrong and many more celebrities.

She's broken into a highly competitive field with ease and is living her dream!

We're so excited to share her story with you. Enjoy Patty's Q&A!

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Introduce yourself and business as if you were speaking from the cockpit:
Good morning ladies and gents. This is your captain, film and television makeup artist, Patty Bell, and owner of On Location Makeup, speaking to you from the movie set, Elixir, where I am working as key makeup artist. I will be flying here for the next 23 days. Sit back and enjoy a wild ride in the fast-paced world of television movie making... it's lights, glamour and lashes in this ABC family musical.

When did you earn your wings?
I've been a makeup artist since 1986 where I got my first pair of wings on a commercial with director, Glenn Pryzborski. My agent, Deb Docherty plucked me out of the department store and gave me my first job with Hartwick/Przyborski.

My career took off after that and I eventually got into the New York hair and makeup union in 1990, (thanks to my friend, Paula Pappas) and assisted on my first film, Iron Maze.

20+ films later and thousands of commercials and videos later, I'm still going strong and loving the ride where every day is a new adventure.

If you could name a nail polish color after yourself or your business, what would it be?
It would be called: "Not A Shrinking Violet"...Aptly named for my first grade teacher who told my mom that she didn't have time for...shrinking violets, aka, me;)

This color is for all those late blooming violets, who shine brightly in all their glory and make the world a more beautiful place. It's a sparkling, vibrant violet—fun and calming, magically enhancing whomever it touches.

Not all flights are smooth. Tell us about how you handle turbulence in your business.
Being freelance offers its share of turbulence as a makeup artist, as you are basically on call 24/7, always awaiting your next job. There are only so many jobs to go around in an over-saturated, highly competitive market.

The key to survival is learning how to get through the slow periods, which is why I do a little bit of everything: print, film, TV, video, sports, brides...Pittsburgh is a town that can offer a wide variety of makeup jobs and a great place to start.

Looking back, the people that were the toughest on me in the beginning of my career, made me who I am today, and have taught me: patience, strength and professionalism, and to always put your best work out there, no matter what.

Who is the wind beneath your wings?
My mom is the wind beneath my wings and has always been my biggest supporter, fan and confidante...I don't know what I would do without her.

Advice to other women as they navigate the business world?
Women need to support each other instead of knocking each other down.

Success doesn't happen overnight...you have to earn your wings in this business and never stop learning or volunteering your time or skills to help those in need.

More often than not, your attitude and professionalism is what gets you hired and re-hired in this business, so be kind and nice to everyone you meet along the way, as they could be your boss someday!

And most of all, be positive, check your ego at the doorand be open to any opportunity that comes your way.