Makeup artists are like magicians. While I personally use minimal makeup (mascara and lipstick, sometimes a third product), I am fascinated by the transformation that can happen when the right makeup is used by the right artist. I am also fascinated by the fact that the makeup artists I have had the pleasure to meet remind me of the visual artists I grew up surrounded with thanks to my parents’ involvement in the contemporary art world. Both groups are similarly creative, visual, and creators (cravors?) of beauty. Deanna Melluso, fashion and celebrity makeup artist (represented by The Wall Group), has the added charm of looking like Cher when she was at the height of her youth and beauty, and of having a fabulous sense of humor (follow her on Instagram to giggle daily… one of my favorites, relevant to today: “If Monday had a face, I would punch it.”).
AP: What city were you born in? DM: Brooklyn, NY.
AP: What city to do you live in? DM: New York, NY. Not far from where I was born… (Editor’s note: Another favorite Instagram post admitted “Why go to therapy when I can just live in New York and be weird?”)
AP: What is your middle name? DM: Leigh.
AP: What is your astrological sign? DM: Aries.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? DM: I love classic movies. I get lost in the hair makeup and styling. For example, Singing in the Rain is one of my favorites…
AP: What is your most prized possession? DM: My record collection.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? DM: Tina Turner.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. DM: 80s, sporty, goth.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? DM: I don’t like watches…
AP: Diamonds or pearls? DM: Diamonds, but only if they are vintage, like from the 30s or 40s.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? DM: I love using dry oil mixed with moisturizer. It keeps the skin dewy and fresh.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? DM: My fragrance is Sud Pacifique in Aqua Moto; it smells like then beach and coconut which I’m obsessed with.
AP: Botox or not? DM: I am not sure… As long as it’s not too much, and if it makes you feel good I guess why not.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? DM: Natural but if I had straight hair I would color it all the time.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? DM: Drink lots of water, take probiotics and omega 3 oil, and eat avocado, which will help your skin glow.
AP: What do you do for exercise? DM: I do a lot… I do Pilates, cycling and lots of squats and a boot camp. I love the working out good to clear your head.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? DM: Avocado (see my diet tips recommendation); almond milk; and Justin’s almond butter.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? DM: A great margarita, but without the sugar.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? DM: The secret to work and a balance life is give yourself time, and spend time with friends. I have also started to meditate and that has been helpful.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? DM: My miles per year vary year over year. I hope to fly more this year and get to Thailand. Any takers?
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? DM: 1. When I get on the plane I usually put on a moisture mask or Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream to help with the plane drying my skin out. 2. I drink lots of water. 3. I always carry a mini emergency bag with toiletries.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. DM: Arcade Fire Reflektor, D’Angelo Ain’t that Easy, and Beyoncé Run the World (Girls).
AP: What book are you reading right now? DM: Girl Boss by Sophia Amuruso from Nasty Gal.
AP: Quote to live by. DM: I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” Maya Angelou.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? DM: A 5-floor walkup!
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? DM: My mornings vary depending on my jobs. If I work a full day, I usually get up at 5:30 and go to the gym. If I’m not working I get up around 7:30 or 8. If I had it my way I would sleep for 8 hours every night. I don’t have it my way however…
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? DM: The creativity that the industry breeds, and being able to meet so many interesting people.
AP: Your least favorite thing: DM: Chapped, dry lips.
AP: Who is your mentor? DM: This is a tough one but I would say my Grandma who is a strong women and has been through a lot. Also she loves her makeup.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. DM: Believe in yourself, keep moving forward and stand up for what you believe in.