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Changing Faces: From ‘Avengers’ to ‘Saul,’ makeup artist Ashlynne Padilla is ready for the close-ups

Native New Mexican Ashlynne Padilla is a makeup artist blazing her path in the film and TV industry. (Courtesy of Ashlynne Padilla)











Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.

Ashlynne Padilla is used to early call times on film and TV productions.

Lately, she’s also used to getting COVID tested so she can work.

Being on set, she comes alive and looks forward to the final product.

The Albuquerque-based makeup artist is currently working on the final season of “Better Call Saul.”

Her journey in the “Breaking Bad” universe has been well over a decade long. She also worked on “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story.”

Makeup artist Ashlynne Padilla has been working on film and TV sets for 14 years. (Courtesy of Ashlynne Padilla)

“It’s been a wonderful time and I’ve met some amazing people,” Padilla says. “I’ve been part of the universe for so long, I’m sad to see it in the final season. But we’re getting closer to ‘Breaking Bad’ territory.”

Padilla is not one to sit around and wait for work.

Prior to being hired for “Saul,” she did background on Netflix’s “The Harder They Fall,” which is slated to be out later this year.

“It was my first work since COVID,” she says.

Padilla has been involved in the makeup industry for 17 years, though 14 of those has been working behind the scenes in the film industry.

Each production proves challenging for Padilla – an aspect she enjoys.

“The greatest joy about what I do is that every show is completely different,” she says. “Even when I think I know something, I research it and learn. Whether it’s special effects or beauty, it’s never-ending knowledge for me. It’s like Christmas every single day.”

Padilla was born in Santa Fe, but raised in Albuquerque. She went from St. Mary’s Catholic School to St. Pius X High School and then University of New Mexico.

Makeup artist Ashlynne Padilla has been working on film and TV sets for 14 years. (Courtesy of Ashlynne Padilla)

“My dream since I was a little girl was to be a makeup artist,” she says. “That was back in the ’80s. I didn’t even know that career existed. I always played with makeup and being able to do it for a living has changed my life.”

With her years in the industry, Padilla uses her down time to teach a younger generation of makeup artists.

“I try to mentor as many people as I can,” she says. “Now that the film industry is growing so much, we need home-grown New Mexican artists. We need mentors to help protect them and teach them all the ways to succeed. It takes a village and I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t had that same support.”

As Padilla continues to be a force in the industry, here are some things you didn’t know about her:

1 “I’ve painted for ‘The Avengers.’ … Hulk was my character and it was the first time they were mixing computer-generated imagery (CGI) with skin. It was a cutting-edge makeup experience. It was very nerve-wracking.”

2 “I was studying for the LSAT to go to law school when I was hired for my first movie, ‘Gamer.’ Then, I moved to Los Angeles to go to makeup school.”

3 “My extended family is like Hollywood royalty. I’ve had a little Hollywood in me because of my cousins and great-uncle.”

4 “I love ’90s gangsta rap and R&B.”

5 “I have every Barbie from the Holiday Collection. My dad gets me one each year. I have a crazy collection of Barbies.”

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