Always Loved Makeup

Watching the campy, but not-quite-campy-enough-for-me Rocket Man, I was reminded of the first tube of lipstick I ever bought with my own money, and how much I have always loved makeup.

According to the movie, Elton John’s first love worked at Biba, the penultimate London Look shop, of the mid to late 1960’s.

The summer between third and fourth grade, my closest friend Patricia and her family, had traveled to Europe on the Queen Mary, and she brought back an amazing, crocheted hippie shawl from Biba. This piece of finery, perfectly complimented the Fred Segal blue jeans we were all starting to wear. But in that long-ago, pre-Internet time, the probability of my obtaining something from London or Biba? That seemingly, was zero to none.

Especially since the furthest my family traveled in those days was on Highway 101, in a Bonneville, two hours through the mountains to Palm Springs.

One late August day before the school year began, Pat and I rode our matching chartreuse Schwinn String-Ray’s, two sweaty miles to Century City Shopping Center, handlebar streamers flapping out behind us.

We entered the new Judy’s Boutique, and there it was, an instant obsession, the full collection of Biba makeup.

The gorgeous model in the photo accompanying the display was wearing it, and here she is;

Biba makeup conjured visions of alluring old movie stars and black and white films, but it also looked entirely different from anything I had ever seen in actual life.

My ten year-old mind tried to match these fabulous products to my well-used tube of Yardleys’ Frosted Cocoa Mocha, and its spokes-girl, (it was okay to say that then), Twiggy, but it simply couldn’t.

This was a new beauty personified, and Twiggy, her spider-y Twiggy lashes, round pink cheeks, and pale frosted lips, seemed suddenly passe’.

The featured lipstick in the display though, was what really got me. A wonderful brown-ish-mulberry. I felt if I used it, then I would become just like the mysterious, beautiful woman in the photograph.

Even the case was different from other cosmetics. Slick black metal, lettered with a gold Art Deco logo.

Glamour done in an exotic, inventive way,  …and here I am, fifty years (!) later, still loving fashion and still loving makeup.

Still loving the feeling of promise that comes with each fresh tube or case of a wonderful, new something.

With makeup, the possibilities are endless, though the face and features are of course, finite.

Every day in front of my mirror, whether I wear just a little concealer and gloss, or a full application of war paint, makeup makes me feel good.

When I apply makeup on a client, (and I have made up thousands of faces in my career), each time it is the same; in that properly applied makeup brings out, not just the eyes, or the lips, but also a spark, a flame of energy. When my client turns to the mirror, seeing the enhancement, her better self emerges. Her eyes take on a brighter shine and this inner light serves to bring the glow of self-confidence. Then comes her smile.

How can you not love something that can do that?!

I have forty-plus years of being a makeup artist.

Email me with any questions you might have about the art and application of makeup at;

In gratitude for the day,



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