Māori make-up artist among the best in the business

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Davina Lamont is a make-up artist in the film and television industry who has worked all over the world.  She has just recently returned home to New Zealand to work on a top-secret series being filmed here.

Lamont developed her talent at a young age and at just 18 she had the privilege of working on the set of The Lord of the Rings where she seized the opportunity to be taught by multiple world-class designers in their respective disciplines.  Sacrificing her time to remain on set, Lamont spent days on end observing and learning from these artists.  The time proved to be well spent as her career moved forward.

“I was more employable and it kept my brain engaged ... I wasn’t just into one sort of area, which was either make-up or hair ... so that pushed out onto the European stage really because there are not that many designers that do all of it … so I'm thankful, as that 18-year-old, for being pushed into the right path of learning from these amazing artists," she says.

Lamont was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2017 and twice in the US-based Makeup and Hair Guild Awards.   At a national level, she has won the Best Make-Up Design in a Feature Film awardat the New Zealand Film and TV Awards twice, for 'The Devils Rock' in 2012 and 'Deadlands' in 2014. 

Davina Lamont's work was in full-display in "Deadlands" which screened in New Zealand in September 2014 (Source: DavinaLamont.com).

Among all of the big name directors and actors she has been able to work with, Lamont says her proudest projects are the two that she was Emmy nominated for in the 'Genius' series on Picasso and Einstein.

During her work on Picasso, Lamont received huge admiration from actor Antonio Banderas- ‘aging’ him from 46 to 92.  Since these two projects, Lavont has received more job offers, specifically for aging effects. 

She stresses the need for enthusiasm in anyone looking to make a living out of make-up artistry.

"In this industry you've got to have the drive because nobody really wants to get up at three o'clock in the morning, but that's pretty much the hours that we're awake and we do work 18 hour days," she says.

To see more of Lamont's work, go here.