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Celebrating my close friends: Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman

A-list makeup artist Angela Levin praises her celebrity friends on International Women's Day


jennifer aniston michelle williams nicole kidman© Photo: Getty Images
Lily Waddell
Premium Content Editor
March 8, 2023
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Meet Angela Levin - she's the amazing makeup artist and woman who works behind the scenes with Hollywood's leading ladies including Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams. Over the years, she built up a strong bond with the stars, who she now considers very good friends. And this International Women’s Day, the celebrity make-up artist has celebrated some the incredible A-listers in her life by sharing heartwarming stories about them.

The beauty guru - who is still in touch with Hollywood legends Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler - told HELLO!: "Some of my girls have been working with me for almost 20 years - we've grown up together, we laugh together, we cry together. We have got to be very close and we share lots of personal things. Spending months together on a movie, it's almost impossible not to become friends." 

Jennifer Aniston

Angela is especially close to her friend of 20 years Jennifer, who she calls "Mama". And it's no surprise that Jen is well loved by everyone on set. "Oh my God, there are so many favorite things about Jennifer," Angela admitted. "First of all, she's genuinely a lovely, gorgeous, incredible soul of a human being. She is absolutely magnificent when I look at her and I still, after all those years, I do her makeup and I tell her, 'Wow, you're so beautiful.' 

"On top of it, she is extremely accessible. We can talk about anything. We laugh a lot and she loves laughing. We love a lot of the similar things and so I really always look forward to spending time with her because she's truly magnificent and you can tell because all the people around her feel the same way. Everybody loves her on such an extreme level. We would just gather around her and take care of her at all costs."

Jennifer Aniston and makeup artist Angela Levin pose together© Photo: Instagram

Angela and Jen have a close friendship

Makeup mogul Angela has also helped bring many of Jennifer’s characters to life through makeup, from Alex Levy for Apple TV’s The Morning Show to personal assistant Katherine in Netflix's romantic comedy Just Go With It. For Angela, it is magical to see the very moment Jennifer transforms into the character she is playing. "I'm enjoying The Morning Show. We're in a third season, and so the character that Jennifer is playing is somebody that we are extremely familiar with," she shared. "We know her so well and we love Alex Levy with all the different, crazy characteristic situations. It almost feels like we are hanging out with an old friend.

"The character becomes a third person in our conversation. Sometimes we'll be talking on the phone and I will say, 'You know my God, I miss Alex.' It's really fun but it helps us visualize the character itself and once you can see the character in your mind, it is so much easier to navigate around it and make it accessible to the actresses as well.

"It really is incredible how it's a collaborative experience because something happens to an actress when she looks in the mirror and she sees the character. It gives them almost this validation of, 'Okay, let's go do this and this is who you are.' It's pretty magnificent that I get to be such an essential part of the creative process."

Michelle Williams looks glamorous in strapless ballgown© Photo: Instagram

Michelle enlisted Angela's makeup for her red carpet appearances

Michelle Williams

Award-winning American actress Michelle Williams is also a close friend and Angela has been proudly showcasing her work with the actress on Instagram in recent days. The makeup artist especially enjoyed working with the actress on Steven Spielberg’s film The Fabelmans. It was an "absolutely extraordinary experience," she said. "Michelle is one of my closest friends. It's been quite a magnificent journey with Michelle because she's played an incredible role in a movie that's directed by Steven Spielberg and it is also a very intimate story from Stephen himself. So just the whole process was absolutely incredible and very emotional."

The Fabelmans is tipped for Oscars' success but, thanks to her years of experience and expertise, Angela knows how to keep her cool in awards season. "I like to be extremely focused because my time is limited and I allow my girls to be with me when I do their makeup," she revealed. "I clear the room so they're not too distracted, that way they can breathe and they can think about their speeches in case they win. I always ask them to make sure they have something in their tummy. We talk about a lot of other things to take away the stress. It's quite nerve wracking, but almost always it's a euphoric experience. There's a lot of laughter and there's a lot of praying. It's very exhausting, normally after the Oscars everybody crawls under a rock and takes a vacation."

Celebrity makeup secrets

Her best advice for her girls? "First of all sleep, as we get older it makes a bigger difference but it is always important if you have a big award," she explained. "If you are going to a party, don’t drink too much, come home in time, clean your face, put a mask on, go to sleep because those days are important. There are a lot of cameras on you. It's surprising how much is determined within those award seasons."

Nicole Kidman having her make up done by Angela© Photo: Instagram

Angela hard at work doing Nicole Kidman's makeup

Nicole Kidman

Another fabulous woman Angela loves working with is Nicole Kidman and their working relationship stretches back almost 20 years. Memorably, they worked on the HBO series Big Little Lies together and Angela has spoken of the emotional experience of being on set with the actress.

"Nicole is a very powerful performer and you never get tired of being in the room with her," she shared. "She truly has a way to dig into some emotional rooms inside of her and really capture you with her performance. Nicole is very character oriented and she's very devoted, she does her homework, she's prepared, she's ready to go and it's business and you have to be on the same level."

Nicole Kidman in character in Big Little Lies© Photo: Rex

The actress pictured in character of Celeste in Big Little Lies

Although Nicole is always very professional on set, she goes out of her way with an incredibly kind gesture to thank the team. "On Friday nights when we’ve accomplished another great week of shooting, she would then invite us to her trailer and open up a magnificent bottle of champagne and we'll just sit there with her and talk about the week that passed, the week that comes, and laugh and cry," Angela revealed.

"I always looked forward to it. It was her way to say thank you to the people around her that took care of her. You would go home and you would feel appreciated. You truly know that you've been part of a very incredible project. I always call her my Queen because we were all there for her whenever, she's an incredible human being and she's an old friend. We've known each other for a long, long time."

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies© Photo: Rex

Nicole's special way of saying thank you to everyone on the Big Little Lies set

Behind the scenes of Hollywood

Angela is well respected and ambitious in her work, so what is the secret to her success with Hollywood’s leading ladies? "I never get comfortable, even though I’ve been doing makeup with the same girl for 20 years,” she admitted. “I always do my research no matter what. I always keep up with the latest trends."

Initially, her success took her by surprise and she can’t quite pinpoint how she first began working with the great and good of Hollywood. "All of a sudden, you just elevate your status from one to another and you don’t really know when that happened. Today I consider my girls some of my closest friends. I am very fortunate I get to work with some really incredible ladies.

MORE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY:

Michelle Obama's 10 most powerful quotes

Kate Moss reveals her life lessons and special way she uplifts women

Elizabeth Hurley reveals how motherhood transformed her life

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