Storytelling through makeup
Chicago-based Karen Lynn Accattato’s thoughtful approach keeps her in demand as much as her proven mastery. Her easygoing manner and seasoned professionalism makes her a calming presence on any set or shoot, but it’s her ability to connect with whoever’s in the chair that has solidified her reputation. She approaches makeup as creative collaboration, working intimately with models, actors, personalities and creative clients to interpret story through skin. More than what you apply, it’s what you bring forth, and her touch is natural and intuitive. Along with her collaborators at Karen Lynn+Associates, she continues to set the standard in contemporary, ethnic, period-correct and special effects makeup, grooming and wardrobe collaboration.
From playmates to the president
Karen’s three decades in the makeup world has been as much an adventures as a calling and the range of clients who’ve called on her versatility and vision is remarkable.
After putting in her “10,000 faces” for Playboy Enterprises at home and abroad, she mastered the nuances of multiethnic makeup under department head Beverly Jo Pryor. Her work on all skin types put her in high demand for ever more challenging niches, like the transgendered community and underrepresented charities-all while honing her savvy on motion picture, network television and editorial in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Since founding KL+A in 1997, she’s gained steady acclaim for work across all manners of media. Recent projects in her growing advertising portfolio include print and television with agencies like Leo Burnett, Burrell and DDB for clients like Allstate, McDonald’s, Nike, Budweiser, Max Factor and Macy’s. In early 2015, she became the resident expert and spokes artist for Dove Men’s Plus Care. Onscreen, she’s become known for her knack with leading ladies, adding her touch to shows like Empire, Crisis and Mob Doctor as well as films like Barbershop 2, the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot and sci-fi thriller Jupiter Ascending. Along the way, she’s had the pleasure of collaborating with stars like Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hanks, Terrence Howard, Debra Messing, Courtney Love, Gillian Anderson and Jamie Foxx–not to mention a who’s who of corporate clientele and hometown heroes the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls.
Though she’s no stranger to the back lots of Hollywood or boardrooms of Wall Street, Karen’s always been Chicago at heart. Her gift for helping people feel natural but powerful has made her a go-to for politicians, including Mayors Rahm Emanuel and Richard M. Daley. And when President Obama comes home, it’s “his girl” Karen he calls to apply her touch and straighten his tie before he steps in front of the lights. From print to motion pictures, leading ladies to athletes, editorial to executive, playmate to the president, there’s no one she can’t connect with and no persona she can’t help them create.
These days, Karen spends time giving back to the communities that have given her so much. Her nurturing personality and experience allows her to mentor new talent through Karen Lynn+Associates or as department head on demanding projects and she donates time to campaigns for CURE Epilepsy Research and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. With each new collaborator, client and charity outing, she continues to deepen just what the art of appearances can mean for those it touches, one face, one story, one soul at a time.