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Modeling Tip: Must-Have Beauty Products

One perk of modeling is inside scoop on the best hair, makeup, and skincare products. Makeup artists’ and hairdressers’ kits are like treasure troves of beauty secrets. Open them and out spill all kinds of wondrous colors and magical formulations. Sometimes the products come from an edgy new brand. Occasionally they are old standbys that we pass up on the drugstore shelves because we think they are too cheap to be any good. Here are a few of my faves:


Mario Badescu Celebrity Clients

Some of Mario Badescu’s Celebrity Clients

Mario Badescu offers a dreamy menu of skincare products for every skin type. The best way to figure out which are right for you is to go in person to the Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon in Manhattan—a longtime hidden gem on the  lower level of an apartment building on East 52nd Street, where the autographed headshots of the supermodels who discovered MB two decades ago decorate the walls. The secret is trickling out to the masses, with products arriving on the shelves of Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, Blue Mercury, and Ulta Beauty.

Going to New York City for a facial and skin assessment isn’t feasible for everyone, but you can’t go wrong with any of MB’s products and it’s easy to order online: mariobadescu.com. Plus, orders often come with several samples to test out. My must-haves include the Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C (it’s super gentle and is the only facial cream that doesn’t irritate the delicate skin under my eyes) and the Seaweed Cleansing Soap (heavenly, and lasts for ages). A model friend with acne (yes, models get acne!) swears by the Drying Lotion.

Hair Products

Jill Johnson Modeling

Me, post-Aveda Kiehl’s Mac and Mario Badescu discoveries (and pre-gray, pre-wrinkles!)

If the texture of your hair resembles straw more than silk, it’s thick enough to lose bobby pins in for days, and it curls in the tropics but frizzes anywhere else, I have the answer for you! This has been my regimen since hairdressers turned me on to Aveda—which of course everyone knows about now—and Kiehl’s—which everyone should know about: After washing and conditioning my hair (focusing more on the roots when lathering in shampoo, and more on the ends when conditioning, and not rinsing out all the conditioner), I towel dry my hair and then scrunch Aveda’s Humectant Pomade into the ends. The curl comes instantly, which is not the case with a gazillion other supposed curl-enhancing products out there; with most, the curl never comes at all. I follow the Humectant Pomade with Kiehl’s Silk Groom, applied lightly over the layer of frizz that starts to form as my hair dries. I reapply once my hair is dry or before I leave the house (often with wet hair, as I never use a hair dryer—too time consuming and frizz inducing, unless I were to blow it out straight, which would take more muscle strength than I have, and I’d have to quit writing altogether as I wouldn’t have the time, not to mention my hair would be fried and my grays more obvious!). I carry a small container of Kiehl’s Silk Groom in my purse to tame the tenacious frizz throughout the day and apply as needed until I wash my hair again (three days later is best for my dry, thick mane).


Kimara Ahnert Cosmetics

Kimara Ahnert Eye Shadow Shades

A couple of years ago, I discovered Kimara Ahnert cosmetics and fell in love. You can visit the store on Madison Ave or order online: Kimara.com. These are a few of my favorite things (sorry, my daughter was just singing “Sound of Music” songs): Mineral Tint SPF 20 Foundation, Eye Fix, Brow Set, the eye shadows (especially the metallic colors), and the brushes.

Nars Concealer (available in 10 shades) is my new best friend for sun and age spots—what you young folk have to look forward to after zits subside!

Mac was always a makeup artist favorite. The lipsticks are great, with a subtle scent that brings back all kinds of memories from fashion shows in Miami in the late 90s!

And what about those cheap old standby’s I mentioned? Stay tuned! I’ll reveal my secret less-than-$10 beauty must-haves later this week ;)

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