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.

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

Pain in the Pane

How exciting for a lowly cook-only-at-home type of cook to see the inside of the White House kitchen! Actually seeing the inside of most any industrial or commercial type of kitchen is kind of cool. Crazy energy, dreamy aromas, fancy plating, and the quantities! So much fun to observe, I have no idea what it could be like in real life when a kitchen is going full tilt, except for what they show in the movies or television. On this particular day, the Today Show was doing a spot with Giada DeLarentiis and I was hired to do her makeup. I am very pleased to announce that this is a down to earth, upbeat, optimistic and a cheery-as-she-is-beautiful, person. We were there to do an interview with the First Lady (are we supposed to capitalize that?) and more importantly with the first female chef, Cristeta Pasia Comerford or as we were instructed to call her Chris. Continue reading

Cornered in the Makeup room

Makeup artists in the tv and film industry are like therapist or doctors. Everything said is confidential. I don’t tell the media (even though I am right there in the same building) and they don’t ask. There are no signed confidentiality agreements or even a casual conversation about it. What goes on in the makeup room stays in the makeup room, to borrow a phrase.
With both actors and politicians the talk is mostly benign. Kids, the weather, current events but rarely about religion and if it is about politics it is mostly superficial, bipartisan or otherwise harmless. Richard Nixon talked about his dog, Joe Biden had wonderful stories about his mom. Sometimes they tell me what it is they will be covering on an upcoming show but I can’t remember a time that I was lectured to, until recently. 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

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.