Pretty in Pink

By Norm Coyne on September 22 2014

A self-proclaimed girly-girl, Mandy Paavola’s home make up studio is decked out with the brightest pink you can imagine.


But despite the seemingly dainty exterior, Mandy has a gruesome side. So yeah, her studio might smack you in the face with colour, but Mandy can actually make you look like you had a run in with a two-by-four. The mother of two behind M.P. Make-up Artistry is a film set veteran and winner of two Leo Awards – handed out by the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of B.C. – for special effects makeup. A P.G. native, Mandy and her family relocated to the city from Vancouver nearly four years ago. But just because you take the girl out of Hollywood North, doesn’t mean you take the Hollywood North out of the girl. “I have a warm spot in my heart for special effects. If I can cover someone in blood, I’m really happy.” Naturally, Halloween is Mandy’s favourite time of year and she’s constantly studying for her next disfigurement, whether it’s taking a peek at injuries online, collecting photos from friend’s nursing textbooks or even documenting her own children’s scrapes and bruises.

“It’s kind of neat because my kids – who are almost four and almost six – they almost always ask to have a photo taken if there’s something going on,” said Mandy, who trained as a visual artist before studying to become a make-up artist. “My

daughter got stitches and that was my first experience with real stitches and we took lots of pictures because it’s good reference material.” But even more than playing with prosthetics and fake wounds, Mandy loves to make people beautiful.

Whether she’s doing face or body painting or preparing a bride for her big day, Mandy said she sets out create a memorable experience. “I want whoever comes into my studio that when they leave we’ve made a connection somehow. I don’t want you to Continued from page 38 just feel like you came in and paid me to do your hair and makeup. I want you to feel like you’ve made a new friend.”

It’s a strategy that pays off, as Mandy said many clients have turned into close friends over the years.

Being a make-up artist can be a little like being a psychiatrist, according to Mandy. But it’s an easy role for the outgoing brunette to fill. “It feels good to be able to help people.” See what Mandy has to offer at

A2014Norm Coyne