Skin care is everything, but a little makeup can't hurt…

In the last month or so, I have been on TV and I have taped some videos for our Youtube channel, which means I have probably worn more makeup than in the previous 11 months combined. I am a makeup minimalist – to me, makeup is for color. Being in skin care, I believe in taking great care of my skin, and letting it show through; I think the term tinted moisturizer is a bit of an oxymoron; and I feel claustrophobic with foundation, concealer, and powder on. I have to admit, however, that the right makeup actually feels right, and can make great skin even greater. This past week, I had to go to a Mad Men-themed surprise birthday party and a wedding in Louisiana, so I decided to try a bit more makeup even though there was no camera involved. I moved beyond my favorite mascara and lip pencils… I even tried eyeliner, generating a gasp from my husband who commented on how exotic my eyes are… Here is what is currently in my makeup bag.

  1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude. Like I said, I really don’t like “skin makeup” – but this feels light going on and evens out my skin tone. Not for every day, but nice for special occasions. Unfortunately, it travels poorly, I have been on three flights in 5 days, and it has leaked on every one of them, so I am not sure I will keep this as a staple.
  2. Alison Raffaele True Concealer, #2. This I love for the inner corner of my eyes and to cover up dark circles after red eyes and nights that are too short. (I also love Alison, and her brushes).
  3. Trish McEvoy Loose Mineral Powder Shade 1. Danielle from Beauty & Main (a favorite Alchimie Forever client) turned me on to this, which is great for those days my skin feels extra shiny).
  4. Nars Stick Blush in Orgasm. I can’t remember where I bought this, but the name just was too good to pass up! I almost never use it, but like having it just in case I feel like rosy cheeks.
  5. The one thing I will not walk out of the house without is mascara. After years of searching for the perfect one, Danielle (again) made me try the Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara in Jet Black, and I will never switch. It goes on without clumping, stays on, does not run, isn’t waterproof but can withstand a few years, and tubes off. The best.
  6. I am also really into eyebrows (and super loyal to eyebrow guru Erwin Gomez), so I like eyebrow products. Erika from Jeffre Scott (another favorite Alchimie Forever client) recently talked me into trying the Blinc Eyebrow Mousse, in Dark Blonde. Color and eyebrow gel in one – can’t go wrong here.
  7. I have never used eyeliner, as I have never learned how to apply it. However, for years, I have been using the thick silver end of the Capri Line & Illuminate Pencil by Becca, recommended by Angela of Bellacara (can you tell I do my makeup shopping almost exclusively at favorite Alchimie Forever clients?). It sparkles, makes me look like I have diamonds (or tears) around my eyes, and who doesn’t love a little sparkle. Last night, for this Mad Men party, I actually used the black eyeliner side of the pencil for the first time, prompting my husband’s “exotic” comment. Maybe applying eye liner is not as complicated as I have always thought it was.
  8. The one makeup product my Mom has used all her life (and don’t we learn our beauty must-haves from our mothers?) is lipstick. To me, the right red will make any face look classic and put together. I have been using various NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils for years, and the three colors I always have in my purse to match various moods and occasions are Sex Machine, Cruella, and Dragon Girl.

BeautyView: Alison Raffaele, Founder & Chief Creative Director, Alison Raffaele Cosmetics

I met Alison at one of my favorite clients, Jeffre Scott, a boutique in Charlotte, NC, that carries both of our brands. There, I fell in love with her makeup. Indeed, other than my signature NARS lip pencils, Alison’s makeup is the only makeup I wear. I own her True Concealer, and one of her powders and brushes. And for those who know my minimalist makeup style, that is saying a lot. I like to think that small beauty brands need to support each other, and Alison agrees: we are stronger together than we are by ourselves!

AP: What city were you born in? ART: I was born in New York City at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. There is a flag on top of the building and I see it every time I cross the George Washington Bridge.

AP: What city to do you live in? ART: I currently live in Cliffside Park, NJ, which is directly across the Hudson River from 110th Street in Manhattan.

AP: What is your middle name? ART: Jean.

AP: What is your astrological sign? ART: Pieces, in fact my birthday was just 12 days ago (March 10th)!

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? ART: Nothing! I am an incredibly open & honest person. What you see is what you get!

AP: What is your most prized possession? ART: There are a number of material things I am very sentimental about: a photograph of my father the day he opened his pharmacy in 1955 that hangs in front of me, the pearl watch that my mother gave to me, the jewelry my husband has given me, etc. But truthfully, the things I treasure most are my good health, the love of my family and friends and my peace of mind, for those things are priceless and cannot be replaced.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? ART: My dad. He died about 2 years ago, and I miss him so much. He always had the best stories and was just an amazing person to spend time with.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. ART: Simple, timeless, and comfortable.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? ART: Yes, a stainless steel Tag Heuer my mother bought me about 20 years ago.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? ART: Diamonds.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? ART: 8 hours sleep every night.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? ART: Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia or Red Roses; Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom or Neroli Orange Blossom. I am VERY PICKY about fragrance!

AP: Botox or not? ART: No, don’t need it yet. I’m not against it though, I just don’t believe in doing too much – looks unnatural.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? ART: Not! Nice & Easy Darkest Brown – straight out of the box!

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? ART: I am currently doing a 28 day detox with people from my gym and I am learning how to cook for the first time! I don’t believe in any tricks per se, just healthy, clean eating.

AP: What do you do for exercise? ART: I belong to a “boot camp” style gym and there I do free weights and calisthenics. At home I run on an elliptical machine.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? ART: Seltzer water, some sort of salad and protein, and peanut butter

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? ART: I don’t drink alcohol on a regular basis, but when I do I like a glass of red wine, a Sam Adams beer, Canadian Club & Ginger Ale or a glass of Scotch.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? ART: I write everything down that I have to do and then try to plan my time every day. It’s really hard, but having a 3 ½ year old daughter gives me my motivation.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? ART: I have no idea…it used to be a lot more, but I slowed down my travel after I had my daughter. But I love to travel!  Always up for a new adventure in a new city!

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? ART: lists just about every flight & cost available, try to do/see at least one local thing wherever you go, and when available, I love getting a massage at the airport.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. ART: Only 3???  Are you kidding???  Let’s see…American Boy/Shine, Bitch/The Rolling Stones, Down/311…my elliptical running music.

AP: What book are you reading right now? ART: I almost never have time to read a book, but the last book I read was Negotiate to Close by Gary Karrass – his seminars are always advertised in the airplane magazines, so after years of seeing them, I went on eBay and bought some of his books.

AP: Quote to live by. ART: Oh, I have lots of these as I am a big TwitterHead, but my current favorite is “If you are going through hell, keep going…”  –Winston Churchill.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? ART: A messy house!  I work from a home office, and when things are unorganized I literally cannot think.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? ART: Around 5:30 am, and I am a zombie if I get anything less than 8 hours sleep – so I go to bed early. In fact, I’ve been known to fall asleep on peoples’ couches at parties (embarrassing, but true!).

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? ART: The people – I am a very social person and I love working with female customers. I also love talking shop with other cosmetic entrepreneurs & makeup artists – could do that all day!

AP: Least favorite thing. ART: The lack of working capital available to small companies in the US at the moment. It just makes it that much more difficult to grow.

AP: Who is your mentor? ART: My husband, Glenn Tatem. He drives me crazy, but he’s usually right!

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. ART: Choose your business and personal partners wisely! No one gets to the top alone, and having the wrong people in your life can easily drag you down.