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Makeup artist Petra Battiest making name for herself in LA film, TV industry

Petra Battiest, right, applies makeup to acress JaNae Collins at an Apple Plus/Screen Actors Guild event in Los Angeles. Collins’s acting credits include “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Reservation Dogs.” (Courtesy photo)

Since moving to Los Angeles in April 2024, Petra Battiest has seen her career as a professional makeup artist blossom in the film and TV industry.

Battiest has been busy as she establishes her name in the industry. Among the projects she has applied her makeup talents to include a new film starring Native American actors Tantoo Cardinal and Gary Farmer, a national commercial for Toyota and a music video for Grammy nominated band “Spiritbox.” Recently, she worked on major red carpet appearances – the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards – for actress JaNae Collins (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), writer/director Tazbah Chavez (“Reservation Dogs” and “Rutherford Falls”) and actress Simone Joy Jones (Peacock’s “Bel Air”). She also did the makeup for designer Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2024 bridal show and for Lauren Good Day’s fashion show at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

“Now we are in the thick of awards season,” said Battiest, who grew up on the Hollywood Reservation. “I have a whole routine and schedule with JaNae Collins. She wanted to make sure that her whole team were Indigenous People.”

Battiest made the move to Los Angles after she visited the city in March to do makeup for the GLADD awards. She immediately enrolled in a production makeup school to pursue higher education in film and TV makeup.

“I knew I wanted to further my career as a professional makeup artist,” said Battiest, 19. “After graduating high school at 16, my brother, Spencer, encouraged me to enroll in in a local beauty school in Florida. That really brought me out of my shell and helped me realize this is what I want to do forever.”

Petra Battiest wears a beaded medallion displaying her brand, Painted By Petra. (Courtesy photo)

Battiest’s passion for makeup began at age 8 when she watched her mother’s friend, a makeup artist, apply makeup. She saved Halloween makeup and created fake broken bones, turned herself into an old lady, a zombie and even Bruno Mars to the delight of her mother. When she was 13, her older sister, Coral Battiest, a makeup artist herself, noticed her interest and made her an assistant.

“She showed me what it means to be an artist and the importance of honing your craft,” Battiest said. “She gave me advice and encouraged me to practice more.”

Coral, 26, assisted Petra on her red carpet jobs for the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice awards, since Petra was too busy to take time off.

Applying makeup for a big event is more than just opening up a makeup case and putting it on a client. The specific looks are created well before the event. For example, when creating makeup looks for Collins during awards season, Battiest collaborated with the stylist and attended some fittings. From the shape and color of the outfits, Battiest preplanned the looks and mapped them out on paper. Sometimes she also styles the hair to complete the look.

For Tazbah Chavez’s look on the Critics Choice red carpet, Battiest had seen the striking green sequined gown she would wear. To accentuate it, she purchased numerous makeup products in various colors so she would be prepared for the day.

Petra Battiest working in Los Angeles on a photo shoot. (Courtesy photo)

The film industry in Los Angeles has an active Indigenous community. The faces of their success can be seen on giant billboards throughout the city touting film and TV projects, as well as advertising campaigns featuring Native actors.

“Luckily, from the very beginning Natives here have supported and encouraged me,” Battiest said. “I’ve met many Natives who are out here pursuing their dreams in the industry as well.”

She works to keep her creativity alive by trying various looks and striving to avoid repetitiveness.

“The best thing is getting to do what I love and what I came here to do,” she said. “I didn’t get here to just wait for something. I jumped right in and haven’t stopped. Since I’m doing what I love, it doesn’t seem like a job to me. It’s been very fun.”

Battiest’s sister Turquoise Battiest, 27, moved to Los Angeles to attend culinary school and now they are roommates. Her presence has helped with Petra’s transition from the reservation to the city. Petra is the youngest of seven siblings.

Writer/director Tazbah Chavez, wearing makeup done by Petra Battiest, attends the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles. (Courtesy photo)

“My main concern was leaving my family,” Battiest said. “I had a fear of the environment I’d be stepping into. Turquoise being here has helped me keep that family close by. My family never fails to remind me that my home will always be there if I need it. Many of my family members have come and visited, so I don’t feel as far from home when they are around.”

Battiest said she is happy pursuing her dream in California’s Hollywood and believes the timing is right.

“It’s like every turn, every store, every stop is a sign of encouragement,” she said. “It feels as if I couldn’t have begun my journey in LA at a better time. Representation for us in Hollywood hasn’t always been this way. I see a shift towards a more inclusive future in this industry that I am glad I’ll get to be a part of.”

Battiest’s work can be seen on Instagram. Her handle is @PaintedbyPetra.

Petra Battiest did makeup for models at the Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2024 bridal line. (Courtesy photo)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at