Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: A Passion for Makeup
I love the power and wonder of makeup. Absolutely adore it. There is simply nothing that is more transforming or more glamorizing. Makeup is an instant lift and, on certain days, a real lifesaver. Makeup has also made me dear friends with so many women, yet another reason I love what I do. Nothing bonds women faster than a shared tip, a great new color, or some really good advice. The minute a woman sits in my chair, I know that we'll soon be chatting up a storm and laughing. What's not to love about makeup?
This book is designed to be your own makeup consultation. If you're like many of the women I've consulted with over the years, you're probably excited yet a bit intimidated by the prospect of a makeup consultation. About the intimidated part, let me put your mind at ease right away. Makeup is not some kind of exclusive, rarefied art.
Makeup is something everyone can master. Yes, I am a makeup artist, and my eye is better trained, my hand a little more practiced, but that's because I've been at the trial and error thing a lot longer than you have. I am completely self-taught, and I consider myself to be still learning. I experiment, I play, and I'm open to trying anything at least once.
Have an open mind. Follow my advice and you will have a better understanding of makeup and makeup products. That knowledge will give you confidence about the makeup you choose to wear and how you apply it. Most of all, I hope to show you how much fun you can have along the way. Makeup is all about possibility, the pleasure of discovery, the adventure of creating your individual look.
On an emotional level, makeup is an instant pick-me-up. When a woman comes to me, she's eager to learn. I derive tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction from watching her do it all on her own. I set out to make my client feel better about herself. If you look good, you feel good: it's really that simple and that fundamental. By the time you finish this book, I want you to feel that makeup is your friend.
One of the many other reasons I love makeup is that I truly enjoy the time I spend applying it. My makeup application is the one time of the day that I give myself for sheer luxury. Because we're all so busy, those few minutes can give you the time to collect yourself as you prepare for the day (or evening). Makeup can provide the kind of private time in which not only do you transform your look, but you transform your mood and get ready to face the day.
You Can Do It
When I was a child, I used to spend hours meticulously coloring in coloring books. I discovered that if you pressed harder on the crayon, the line was more defined. If you pressed lighter, the effect was softer. Oh, how I strove to get each picture perfect! And that's really how good makeup happens...with the patience to blend properly, and then blend some more. Looking your best is doable. It's just a matter of knowing your style, organizing yourself, and learning the techniques that truly make a world of difference.
I will walk you through every step, telling you exactly what you need to know, what works and what doesn't. Each makeup product is a building block, applied step by step, Level by Level (a concept of mine we'll soon explore at length). We'll make sure you master the basics before you move on to anything more advanced.
I've put a lot of time and thought into making makeup easy. Easy is key, because if something is difficult, I won't do it, and I suspect you won't either. I've developed and patented the planner a binder of makeup the sole purpose of which is to edit and organize your makeup and tools for use at home and on the road. There's no reason to carry every product you own everywhere you go (unless you want to, of course, and some women do). Nor should you be rummaging around at the bottom of a bag for a lipstick or wondering where you last left your favorite blush. It's great to have all your makeup in one place. That way you have exactly the products you need at your fingertips exactly when you need them. Editing your makeup is simple, and I'll teach you how to do it.
I've also come up with a system of application that I know works. I have good reasons why you should apply products in a certain order, and I will share them all with you. I want you to enjoy yourself, but I also want you to get it right, so that by the time you leave the makeup mirror, you have the confidence to forget about it.
Confidence is the most flattering thing in the world. The secret to achieving confidence is to have peace of mind and be comfortable in your own skin. That's why I'm here not to reinvent your personal style, just to enhance it. You've spent a lifetime cultivating the way you live and dress, and I respect that. I want you to try new ideas, fresh colors, and great techniques, but only within your comfort zone. You have to feel at home in your face, and your face has to complement your total look, including what you wear. My goal is to help you look your absolute Level best and have a good time in the process.
I want you to see that good makeup is an exciting reality you can achieve. It can make you look younger, fresher, and more glamorous. Makeup can be magical. I'm an optimistic realist. I want you to stop looking at what's wrong with your looks and focus on what's right. We'll magnify the positive and minimize the negative. I'm a firm believer that it's all in your attitude. A positive spirit can accomplish anything it sets out to. I've seen it happen firsthand, starting with three special women in my life.
A Legacy of Glamour
Let me tell you about three of the greatest female influences in my life. In their own separate ways, each woman was obsessed with beauty yet used her brain and drive to make beauty work for her.
For the first five years of my life, I lived with my grandparents in Berlin. My grandmother was a strong, dynamic woman who owned and operated a perfumery. There I would play with the beautiful bottles and jars and watch her help clients. Given the day and age, it wasn't easy for a woman to be an entrepreneur. My grandmother encouraged me to play, dress up, express myself, and make believe. I also experienced the magic of scent. I was fortunate to have spent my formative years with this extraordinary woman.
When I was five, my mother took me and my sister to live in France. Our life in Versailles was different and difficult, but my mother always strove to look her best, with her special purse and whatever fashion piece of the moment she could afford. Style was important to my mother. She was a glamorous woman with a sense of fantasy. I can remember being mesmerized while I watched her apply makeup, spray on perfume, and slather on body lotion. I was twelve when she brought us to America, where we began the next chapter of our lives, in Georgia.
As I look back, I can't help but admire how gutsy my mother was to leave her culture, kids in tow, and begin anew. Blessed with a can-do attitude, she became successfully self-employed selling exercise machines. (I'm sure her customers took one look at her svelte figure and bought a machine on the spot.) I still think of my mother as a glamorous movie star. Now in her seventies, she still looks fabulous, still lives in Georgia, and when she goes out driving in her little old white convertible, she wears leather driving gloves and just the right amount of makeup for her style.
The third influential woman in my life is my mother-in-law. She was a homemaker who poured all her energies into her marriage, two sons, and daughter. My mother-in-law, now in her mid-nineties, is as elegant as she is strong. A fabulously stylish woman, she is always done from head to toe, starting with her salon-coiffed hair and beautifully tailored clothes. She tells it to you straight, pulling no punches, yet she's always a lady about it. You have to admire such a spirited, truly beautiful woman.
What I've learned from all of these women is that a sense of elegance is essential. When my mother had tough times, it would have been easy for her not to care about how she looked, but she insisted on looking her best. My mother has always believed that no matter where you are or what you have, you have to have that specialness in your life that elegance brings.
My Path to Beauty
You have to find your own way in this world. Moving from Germany to France and then to America, I learned how to size up a situation, adapt quickly, and stay open-minded. Change can be a good thing, but I turned it into a great thing. I learned that there's no reason to be scared of the unknown. I also discovered that I loved meeting new people.
When I was eighteen, I moved to Virginia and got a job at a makeup counter in a specialty store. Having spent my youth playing with creams, lotions, and color, I learned the application part quickly. I loved my job. I immediately discovered the joy of listening to a woman's concerns and making her feel better by applying her makeup and building up her confidence. After some time, the cosmetic company I worked for promoted me to "visiting makeup artist and skin care specialist," sending me to other stores. This gave me the opportunity to be on local television and radio shows, reaching yet more women.
My next step was New York City. I instantly fell in love with New York, made it my home, and continued traveling to stores across the country, loving every minute of it.
Nineteen seventy-five was a very good year for me. I left corporate life and started working part-time at a trendy make-up/pharmacy store. In the evenings I worked on test photo shoots with new photographers and young models. We were all learning our professions together. The work I did on photo shoots let me see how makeup, different textures, and techniques photographed. One of the models, Connie Cook (who went on to become one of Halston's favorites) became a close friend and started recommending my makeup and skin-care services to her friends.
During this time, I was honing my craft and experimenting with textures, colors, application, and skin care. I realized that there were many gaps in the beauty field. I had ideas about products I wanted to develop. I experimented with items available at that time, subtly tweaking them adding yellow pigment to foundations that were too pink, sheering out foundations, and adding shimmer to lip and cheek colors.
Since you're only as good as the tools you use, I went to an art store to buy brushes and started reshaping them myself. I took the prototypes to a brush manufacturer and had six brushes made to my specifications. Not surprisingly, I'd make up someone's face, and she'd want to buy the brush on the spot because it made the application so easy. A business was born.
Everything I develop starts with a prototype the first version of what I have in mind. Whatever the product, I have to love it and live with it. I use it over and over to know if it's truly right. I need to see how it performs and if it works with other products. For example, if it's foundation, I need to know if it layers well and how it works on the skin. If I'm developing something like sheer lip gloss, I want to make sure the tint of color, the texture, and the fill on the lips is what I envisioned. Should I be working on a skin care product, I want it to work synergistically with my system of products. I will test and retest a product until it is perfect.
My lab is wherever I am working that week my office, my kitchen table, or my hotel room. Next to me, you will always find a million little tubes, bottles, and jars as well as the latest assortment of paint boxes full of different textures and formulas. Mind you, I never have just one project going on. I'm constantly improving existing formulas and developing new products. My business is always a work in progress, and I enjoy every minute of the fine-tuning. The final moment of satisfaction comes when I apply the product on someone else, stand back, and say, "Wow. It's just what I wanted."
My husband, Dr. Ronald Sherman
My husband, Ronald Sherman, is a wonderful New York City dermatologist. I've learned a great deal from him about what can be done for skin medically as well as preventively. He's taught me about ingredients that can truly make a difference and treatments that can dramatically improve skin.
When Ron and I met in the late seventies, dermatology was focused solely on treating problem skin. Ron and I believed that making people look good and feel good involved more than that, and we joined forces. The combination of a dermatologist and a makeup artist/skin-care specialist in one office was nothing short of revolutionary. Our skin care center was one of the first to combine medical and cosmetic treatments; we educated women about their skin and their home regimens and continue to do so today. Over the years, it has given us such joy to see the many generations of patients and clients coming through our doors. We love the fact that the office at 800A always has such a family feel.
Trish McEvoy, LTD.
I incorporated my business when I was twenty-five years old. My brush collection, which had earned a following among professionals and clients alike, was in great demand. I immediately began adding makeup products to the collection. It was thrilling to be able to work directly with the manufacturers and lab technicians to make products to my specifications. Having a hand in a product's development is liberating. You get exactly what you want, and, on my end, it makes my work nearly effortless.
Throughout the eighties, I expanded my business, adding more makeup as well as skin care products, and working full days meeting clients at the makeup and skin center. I started thinking about the next step for my small company. To reach a wider audience, I knew I had to expand my business into retail stores. I remember placing a call to Ed Burstell at Henri Bendel and telling him I thought the time had come. He agreed!
That first year of selling makeup and educating women at Bendel was absolutely thrilling. It was 1993 and the start of my taking my cosmetic line across the United States and eventually overseas. I love traveling and meeting the people who work at my counters, and especially meeting you the customer in all the stores that carry my line, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, and Parisian, as well as many beautiful spas and makeup boutiques. As I look back and see how the business has grown over the years, it's hard to imagine that it all began with just a brush and a dream.
Copyright © 2003 by Trish McEvoy