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From Skincare to the Screen: Our Chat with Ignacia Soto-Aguilar, MUA for Hulu’s The Bear

Amidst the heat of the kitchen, a tangled web of relationships, and a cast of captivating stars, skincare may not be first on your mind as you watch Hulu’s The Bear. But, achieving effortlessly glowing skin for every close-up is no small feat. Seasoned makeup artist Ignacia Soto-Aguilar was up to the challenge.

We sat down with Ignacia to talk about the beauty and skincare behind The Bear — including the magic that had Jeremy Allen White shining through the screen.

Meet Ignacia Soto-Aguilar: Storytelling Through Beauty

Professional makeup artist Ignacia Soto-Aguilar is no newbie to Hollywood. But, with roots as an editorial and fashion makeup artist, it was the art of storytelling that drew her to the screen: “I knew that there was a place for me in a world where people tell important stories”, Ignacia told us.

“Being able to take that skill [as a makeup artist] and use it in a storytelling setting like Hollywood… assisting that world with this specific form of makeup art felt like a natural transition for me to keep challenging myself.”

Ignacia has over a decade of experience as a professional MUA under her belt and is now one of Hollywood’s most sought-after makeup talents. Along with serving as the makeup department head for The Bear and other prominent TV shows, like Claws, she’s worked on blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Heist, Vice, and Project Power. In her work for the big screen, Ignacia discovered that makeup goes beyond the surface:

“Making people objectively more attractive is probably what most people think of when they think of the role of a makeup artist,” she said, “But something interesting happens after enhancing beauty on a woman, or grooming on a man - they tell a different story of who they are with their body language.”

The Bear served as the ideal canvas for Ignacia’s holistic approach: “The Bear is the perfect example of a show where makeup doesn’t just exist to improve on-screen appearance, it’s actually not the focus at all. It exists to inform the viewer of who these characters are, and I love that I get to deliver this information in a controlled environment, while also being able to prioritize skin health.”

Skincare on The Big Screen

Skincare is inextricably woven into Ignacia’s work. With vulnerable close-ups and limited time for touch-ups, it became even more essential on the set of The Bear.

“Skincare provides a proactive approach with long-lasting benefits while makeup provides a short-term corrective solution. The skin health of anyone that sits in my chair is a big priority as is the end result of the makeup application, and by improving the condition of the skin I effectively minimize the amount of effort in making someone camera-ready over time.”

Alongside its lasting benefits, skincare enhances Ignacia’s sought-after work: “[Skincare] will also make any makeup go on so much smoother with a more natural and beautiful finish. Prepping the skin before any makeup application is non-negotiable.”

But, enhancing skin health doesn’t begin in the makeup chair: “The key to success with skincare is continuity”, Ignacia said, “Just like with anything else, consistency with skin health regimens pays off - so why not take 5 minutes a day to help our skin achieve its optimum state?”

Understanding Consistency in Skincare

Let’s dive a little deeper into consistency in skincare – and why it’s become a golden rule for Ignacia.

Active ingredients and skin treatments don’t produce dramatic results overnight. That’s because skin cell regeneration is a weeks-long process.

The skin cell renewal process takes around 28 days in early to mid-adulthood, and it slows down over time. With this in mind, treatments that promote skin cell repair and new cell growth, like red light therapy, can take at least a few weeks of consistent use for noticeable results.

In ditching skincare products or treatments before they have time to work, you may miss out on the glowing results.

An Inside Look: Jeremy Allen White’s Skincare Routine for The Bear

Ever wondered what it’s like on the set of The Bear? We certainly have, and Ignacia’s insights didn’t disappoint. “During shooting, the set of The Bear can be as hectic as the kitchen in the show”, she divulged. “When working on a show with intense story lines, I try to minimize the makeup touch up interruptions as much as possible and be as respectful of their space as I can.”

Ignacia on the set of The Bear with Jamie Lee Curtis


Prepping for The Close-Up

When it comes to crafting a look that’s reliably close-up ready, Ignacia turned to our skincare fav: “This season I incorporated Omnilux Men into Jeremy Allen White’s at-home skincare routine, and it was a game changer. By the second week of daily use, signs of redness were almost undetectable, so much so that I had originally planned to put some coverage on him for the 5-year flashback episode “Fishes”, and on the day we got away with doing just SPF - he looked that good.”

Those improvements led to an unexpected shift in Ignacia’s work: “As shooting progressed, I actually found myself having to add signs of distress to his face on scenes that required it, something I never had to do before. We joked that maybe I should have waited to give him the mask after production wrapped since I experienced somewhat of a switch from a correcting skin approach with Carmy, to having to now add FX color at times to achieve extra signs of skin stress.”

How Does Stress Affect The Skin?

Ignacia had to paint stress onto Jeremy’s skin to illustrate the demands and intensity of a new restaurant opening. But, in the real world, how does stress impact your skin?

Your body’s response to stress involves the release of inflammatory chemicals and hormones, like cortisol. Some of these hormones can stimulate pro-inflammatory skin cells, like mast cells. Mast cells are known to contribute to skin redness, itchiness, scarring, and inflammation.

Stress can also compromise the outermost layer of the skin, which preserves the moisture barrier and protects against outside irritants. If stress disrupts this skin layer, it can lead to irritation and poor skin repair. In acne-prone individuals, stress can also exacerbate breakouts.

By promoting skin repair and curbing inflammation, at-home red light therapy with Omnilux can help offset the effects of stress on the skin.

Omnilux Results for The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White

The biggest difference in Jeremy’s skin after using Omnilux? According to Ignacia: “Texture, pore size, redness, the ability to hold hydration in cold Chicago temperatures…the skin was plumper, there was noticeably less irritation when shaving, pigmentation evened out substantially - and this was all in a matter of a few weeks!”

Take a look at Jeremy’s skin transformation with Omnilux:

Credit: Matt Dinerstein/FX
Before Omnilux, with no makeup on his skin
Credit: Hulu
After Omnilux, with no makeup on his skin

“This is when I started to notice a difference in pigmentation - the skin is much more even and healthy”, Ignacia noted.

As Jeremy’s skin started to glow, Ignacia couldn’t help but add Omnilux to her own skincare regimen: “It was during Jeremy’s second week of using it when I first noticed real results, and when I started to religiously use mine every day. It is now the most crucial and beneficial step in my own skin routine.”

Omnilux is an FDA-cleared LED phototherapy device that works by stimulating skin recovery and repair. The Omnilux Men device that Ignacia prescribed to Jeremy uses the deepest penetrating wavelength of near-infrared light, 1072 nm, to trigger skin rejuvenation in men’s skin (which is 25% thicker than women’s!). It’s been proven by clinical research to improve the appearance of wrinkles, enlarged pores, and discoloration in men.

Rest assured, Omnilux isn’t just for men. Ignacia counts on Contour Face, a rejuvenating device with 132 medical-grade LEDs that emit optimized wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. It ramps up collagen production, refines skin texture, and evens skin tone for a healthy, youthful look.

Ignacia’s Makeup Kit Essentials

Whenever we talk to an industry pro like Ignacia, we’re curious to hear about the skincare products they simply can’t live without. Here are the must-haves you’ll always find in Ignacia’s makeup kit:

“Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and water-based moisturizers are strong hydrators that instantly improve signs of fatigue and give the skin the plumpness needed for a perfect makeup application canvas,” Ignacia said. “For maximum absorption, I apply the sanitized Omnilux mask for 10 minutes on cleansed skin, then follow that up with the Omnilux Hyaluronic Acid Serum - it is so lightweight, yet deeply hydrating, and perfect for using during or after mask use.”

Ignacia’s Favorite Omnilux Topicals

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Peptide Concentrate from Omnilux made their way into Ignacia’s makeup kit. Here’s what makes them so special:

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum is formulated to enhance the effects of LED light therapy. It contains hyaluronic acid to pump and deeply hydrate the skin, along with niacinamide for an even, bright complexion. Antioxidants from green tea leaf soothe inflammation while licorice root reduces redness. Rest assured, this serum is safe for all skin types.

The Peptide Concentrate boosts the rejuvenating effects of Omnilux treatments with potent peptides matrixyl and argireline. Matrixyl promotes collagen production to fade fine lines and wrinkles, while argireline diminishes the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. It’s an ideal topical to lock in moisture and firm the skin after LED light therapy.

Proactive Skincare for Stress-Free Beauty

We don’t all work in an unpredictable, fast-paced professional kitchen, but we all have to face daily stressors. Thankfully, a proactive approach to skincare can leave you camera-ready without ever lifting a makeup brush.

Ignacia’s parting beauty advice? “Sleep. Eat nutrient-rich foods. Hydrate. Wash your pillowcases and try to sleep on your back. But most important of all, always wear SPF.”

“And if you didn’t get the SPF memo in your 20s, lucky for you there’s a company like Omnilux who created a medical-grade at-home therapy device that is clinically proven to actively reverse sun damage with continued use, faster than ever before. And the best part - you can wear them while answering interview questions like I’m doing at this exact moment!”

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