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February 24, 2024 2 mins

Hey, listen up! Did you know that makeup isn't just about looking fabulous? It's also big business, and one woman paved the way for black makeup artists in Hollywood. On this episode of #IDKMYDE, meet Bernardine Anderson, the trailblazer who broke barriers and beat faces on Hollywood sets in the late '60s.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Listen. I didn't know.

Speaker 2 (00:01):
Maybe you didn't either, but it is some money being
made in makeup. Jack makeup made Rihanna a billionaire. Makeup
has made a plethora of affair maidens memorable. And today
I'd like to introduce you to the first black woman
to do makeup on a Hollywood set, Miss Bernardine Anderson.

Speaker 1 (00:19):
I didn't know you, no, I didn't know.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
I didn't know.

Speaker 1 (00:25):
I didn't know. Maybe I didn't know. I didn't know.
I didn't know.

Speaker 2 (00:32):
Now, no surprise here, but there was a time in
these here United States when black folks couldn't do makeup
on white folks movie sets. And Bernardine Anderson she found
difficulty breaking into the business in the late sixties, but
she was adamant about pursuing her passion. She found a
class action lawsuit and was awarded a three year apprenticeship

with Warner Brothers. It was history because it would be
the final one they would ever offer.

Speaker 1 (00:58):
After she finished her apprentice, she.

Speaker 2 (01:00):
Started her career doing makeup on stunt doubles and stunt
triples and even stunt quadruples. I ain't even know that
was a thing. In the early seventies, she met the
connect that would change her life forever. Jane Fonda see
Jane Fonder requested Bernadine Anderson once and they were locked
in for eight years. At the end of that tenure,
when Jane Fonder said she wanted to chill for a

little bit, she would began her work.

Speaker 1 (01:22):
With Eddie Murphy and dig it.

Speaker 2 (01:24):
She with the head makeup artists in some of our
favorite movies coming to America Boomerange, Vampire in Brooklyn, What.

Speaker 1 (01:32):
Loud got to do with it? Another forty eight.

Speaker 2 (01:34):
Hours, hallm Nights, Police Academy six, and she did TV
shows Head of the Class and we all remember, Amen,
I never knew the words to the intro of that song.

Speaker 1 (01:44):
Turn off the Lights on Heaven, No shine on.

Speaker 2 (01:48):
Me, That's all I would say. I don't think that's accurate, though, Man,
Bernadine Anderson was exceptional. She had to be, I mean,
navigating through race and gender challenges at the time in
the film industry while she was working on white actors
and actresses. The skincare and makeup challenges she faced when
she had to apply makeup to darker skins. Come on, man,
how she had to create alternative solutions. Bam, right there

on the flo she had to be exceptional, and that's
what made Rihanna Fincibrand so popular.

Speaker 1 (02:16):
It got fifty different foundation shades.

Speaker 2 (02:18):
Everybody feels seen, so while Rihanna is counting them cosmetic
coins a special things and salute simultaneously goes to the
trail blaze of Bernardine Anderson, who broke barriers by beating
faces sixty years ago.

Speaker 1 (02:33):
And I didn't know. Maybe you didn't either. No,

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