The New More Odoriferous Me

Can I tell you a thrilling aspect of corona induced isolation that you might not have considered?

Two pieces of background you need to understand the thrill. First, you have to know that for decades I’ve worked as makeup artist in film and television. Second, to understand my perspective you would either have to be a woman, a tv reporter, tv correspondent, an actor, or a television pundit.

Ladies first: Have you ever gotten your makeup done at a department store and your artist smelled like he or she had eaten a pile of Roquefort cheese from the compost pile? No. The answer is no you have not! They are a scrubbed cleaned and polished, always hyper aware of their personal hygiene, their appearance, smile, and whether there is any possibility of emitting offensive odors. It’s a thing. This is for obvious reasons especially so we don’t turn off any current or potential clients because of a slight miscalculation from a night of pungent odor producing debauchery. Before work it’s an intense workout of showering, and the heavy lifting all the various personal cleaning products needed for the kind of clean, freshness required to be in close proximity with others.

So imagine this; for the last 40 some years in tv and film I was one of those conscientious stylists. Out of respect for my guests (sometimes called victims – playfully of course) I wouldn’t eat garlic for dinner the night before or heaven forbid at lunch during a shoot! And if I did happen to eat the pungent herb(bulb, vegetable?) during the week, or a Sunday night, I would apologize profusely the next day as I did someone’s makeup at arm’s length (hard to do). I’d lightheartedly say, “I’m sorry, pardon my garlic hang-over.” They would laugh and say: oh I don’t smell a thing, but that would be because I would be holding my breath in between eyelash applications.

Now for the first time in decades because of isolation, I am using far less products, mostly just soap, shampoo, modest amounts of deodorant and…fanfare please…I can freely eat as much garlic as I want!!! I’m so excited for the first time in years I can really reek and I don’t have to apologize!!!  

I never thought about this before but now I can eat garlic anytime I want because of current mask-wearing-etiquette. My clients will think I’m just being politically correct! Genius, thank you covid 19, you just made a huge change in my life, that is if I ever get my job back.

Long Live Norma

I have a coat designed by Norma Komali. I bought it decades ago in the 80’s. It was at a time in my life when I could least afford it but I had to have it. It spoke to me and finally after visiting it three or four times over a couple weeks, it would not let me leave Bloomingdales without it. Continue reading

Cat Eye Eye Liner – Not For Everyone

Cat eyes and double cat eye, eyeliner is all the rage. Why, I have to wonder is it so hot? It’s hard for most people to do. Getting it even on both sides of the eye, getting it dark and smudge-free is difficult at best and if you wear glasses, forget about it!! Trying to put eyeliner on in general using a magnifying mirror is nearly impossible for those of us who wear glasses, especially if you have to hold the mirror while you’re doing it because you don’t want to put holes in the wall by hanging one or you’re just too lazy to put one up at all (obviously I’m talking about myself here). In any case I have a theory that my rebellious and suspicious mind has concluded. Continue reading

The Oaf In Me

Preface: Let me explain, just to set the record straight, I am very average in size. I’m not big and not small. Most of the time I wear a medium at 5’6” with the obligatory ten pound overage, I am so average that it’s embarrassing. Most of the time I’m a size eight jeans with brown shoulder length hair, green eyes and all the things that make someone a standard sized human being. Continue reading

A Life Time of Stupid

I started to think about the times in my life when I did something stupid, acted stupidly, reacted, or blurted out something brainless. I could go back a few days ago and find multiple examples but then I realized I could go back months, years and then the big realization was that I could go back decades and list stupid things all day long, every day, this was going to be way too painfully easy, really…painful. Continue reading

The Makeup Artist That Went Rouge – Make That Rogue: Social acceptance manufactured by the makeup industry

I’ve been involved in the film and television industry as a makeup artist for the past 32 years and just finished an undergraduate in psychology – maybe that was a mistake! Watching talent, actors and politicians and their makeup requirements have been an endless source of fascination for me….until recently. Continue reading

Bronzer and The Number 3?

I have worked as a freelance makeup artist for most of my life and the variety of advice coming from the cosmetic counters, doctors and the guy next door runs the gamut. When I was little my older cousin said to make sure you put the mascara on the top of the eye lashes because guys are generally taller than girls so you want to make sure you can see it from all angles. Good advice I guess. Then there was the advice that told me to put lipstick over the edges of my lips to make them look bigger. Yuck! That was my third grade teacher who inevitably had clumps of lipstick in the corners of her mouth – I hated when she got close to me to tell me something in private. In any case, as usual, if something works for me it may not work for you. Electric blue eyelids were all the rage in the 50’s but would I wear that to the office….okay I guess it depends on the office. Here at NBC no-one would notice but to a corporate office it might look a little garish. My point is, that some advice about makeup and beauty is just plain illogical. Having said that I love the way women experiment and play with what they consider beautiful. That’s another article. Continue reading

Putting On Eye-liner When You Have to Take Your Glasses Off

A spokesperson for a major cosmetics company put out a twitter tweet a while ago that said women with glasses should really make their eyes stand out since so much is lost because of the frames and the lens. Do this by using lots of eyeliner. I answered back and said that eyeliner is very difficult to put on when you have to take your glasses off in order to get to your eyes. The response was less than helpful and in fact said something to the effect of  oh, I hadn’t thought of that, thank you. My response to myself was that this must have been written by a young person who has little to no experience as a makeup artist. Was that too mean? It was to myself she didn’t hear me, it’s okay. Continue reading

Catching up with Al

This was taken last October. I thought I’d put it in for two reasons. One, it’s a cute picture. Two, because I want to fill in this blog and see where it takes me. I’ve never been one to self-promote, however, it looks like I now have to, in order to keep my head above water. The makeup competition is stiff and there are a lot of great makeup artists out there. So in this journal I guess I will be learning to promote myself….that’s even hard to write.

From Years of TV and Film

I am embarking on a new adventure. Although I’ve done many weddings before, this will be more of a concerted effort to do more. Not as a photographer the way I once had but as a makeup artist. I’ve worked several and am just waiting for the photos to come in to show off. Will writing this blog get more work for me or do I really need to beef up my website. I know the answer to that. My website had been created to show off my photography. What happened to that expensive endeavor? Everyone is a photographer and in order to keep up not only did I have buy gobs of equipment but also had to haul it around. I’m 56 and even though I walk constantly and lift weights there is no way that I am going to be a grip for my own equipment. So much for photography, onto weddings!

This was done many years ago but I loved the bride and her groom. It was a cool, grey day but delightful none the less. She was nervous, sarcastic and effervescent all at the same time.  After the ceremony standing by the water, the sun finally began to break through. It was late in the day by then but the glimmer of light was enchanting. I wish I had gotten more photos from the photographer.

Running around with my bag of touch up makeup and a camera didn’t give me much time to get the shots right but the family did look beautiful.

Tribal Markings

I’m noticing a bit of a split in behavior in the world, especially with women. First, all we want is to stand out and look unusual, more of an individual, more creative, smarter, more athletic, energetic and outgoing (a key trait employers want you to have). My question is why do we all follow fashion trends like a herd of cattle? Most every woman has long hair, we all are now wearing boots, Michael Kors handbags and  skinny jeans. Car trends, remember when we all bought Cadillacs because the pimps were doing it, then it was SUVs’ and now it’s becoming ever so hip to go ‘green’ and get a hybrid. With all this social conformity, the need to belong – where then is our individuality? Continue reading