Bud apprenticed under Perc at Warner Brothers Studios to learn hairdressing and make-up. Later, he moved to 20th Century-Fox. He served 3 years in the United States Coast Guard. When he returned, he went to work at Eagle Lion as the Makeup Director. He took position at Universal as Makeup Director in 1947.
monsters, creatures, and mermaids, oh-my!
In 1948, Bud was asked to make Ann Blythe into a mermaid. He cast a sculpture of her legs and hips and made the tail and out of a whipped foam rubber. He shaped the fin by hand and individually carved each of the fish scales. A second fin was also made for her stand-in, but with much less detail.
In 1953, Bud started working on The Creature from the Black Lagoon. From sketch to completion, the Creature took 4 months to create. His team included: Jack Kevan, Tom Case and Millicent Patrick and they all worked to bring the Creature's suit to life. The process began with a full size plaster-of-Paris statue of the underwater stuntman, Ricou Browning. The suit was the largest ever made. It was a baked liquid rubber full body suit with literally, hundreds of latex scales glued on. The head mask was separate from the suit which Bud built goggles into. A separate suit had to made for the actor, Bill Chapman, who portrayed the Creature in all of the scenes that did not take place inthe water. The film had an original budget of $650,000 and grossed over $2m by the end of the year. The film's success gave Universal the bump it needed and was now back in the monster movie business. Universal followed up with releases like; Return of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us, Tarantula, and Mole People.
influencing the standards of beauty: Barbie, the teenage fashion doll
Bud Westmore was asked to create a make-up for the new teenage fashion doll, Barbie in 1959. She was modeled after a plastic German doll named, Lili. Bud modified the "bee-stung lips, heavy eyelashes, and weird widow's peak eyebrows" that Lili had and gave Barbie what he called the "All American Girl look". With his wig-making skills, Bud was also responsible for "rooting" Barbie's hair.