It’s New York Fashion Week friends! As part of a two part post series, today I am interviewing the ridiculously talented makeup artist Buffy Saint Marie! I first met Buffy four years ago at a Laura Mercier event for a fashion show in NY- her talents wowed me and even more so was her great sense of humor and kind heart! She gave me a signature red lip that night that I still wear to this day!
First, some background on Buffy:
Buffy has over 10 years experience in the beauty industry. Her make up career began in the salon and spa community of New York City. Frederic Fekkai, José Eber, David Evangelista Salon and Cornilia Spa are some of the high-end salons where she has gained her expertise. Buffy has worked with luxury brands such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Nars, Laura Mercier, Kevin Aucion, and Le Metier de Beaute. Working for some of the world’s elite stores on 5th Avenue in New York City, Buffy has also traveled for the make up brand Laura Mercier and helped launch Le Metier de Beaute at their premiere in Bergdorf Goodman.
Buffy has worked with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the Brooklyn Nets “Brooklynettes” Dancers in their opening season at the Barclays Center, designers Cloak & Dagger, Adam Selman, and Dennis Basso. She is not only skilled in makeup application, but also an expert in skin care and eyebrow shaping. Her clients include: Hillary Clinton, Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton, Brooke Shields, Ajak Deng, Pauline Brown. Her editorial credits include WWD, Elle Magazine, Vogue, In Style, and other print and online publications. One of her recent projects was make up for the Victoria Secret Angels for their trip to London to tape their live pre-show broadcast.
With a true understanding of the world of beauty she is far more than just a makeup artist. She is a beauty expert. I admire and respect her SO much and I can’t wait to share with you her practical tips to make you look and feel beautiful every day!
A: “Buffy!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to speak with me today! I’ve heard you mention before that your makeup looks only as good as the skin underneath! What’s your skincare philosophy?”
BSM: “Well, in all honesty, I’m not a big makeup wearer myself. I want makeup to look like skin. I never want someone to come up to me and say, “Wow, your foundation looks great!” I want them to say, “Your SKIN looks beautiful!” I love Laura Mercier’s line of Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer that’s not heavy or cakey. I want the skin to look like beautiful, glowing skin. For me, for every day I normally wear a tinted moisturizer, sometimes a little radiance primer mixed with a drop of foundation, maybe a red lip and some mascara. As we age we lose radiance, and with skincare oil equals glowing skin. A matte finish is okay for TV or filming but for the young, fresh, flawless face you want a little glow! Laura Mercier herself has Rosacea, and when she designed her line she wanted it not only to conceal the redness but to actually improve her skin. With the advent of social media, the Kardashians, etc; everyone is trying to look completely perfect! As soon as a woman sits in my makeup chair she starts listing off all of her imperfections, like, “Well, I have freckles here, and I don’t like my nose….etc’ and I’m like ‘Stop! It doesn’t have to be all perfect!’ I’ve seen people make themselves look so unnatural with makeup, almost not human! They have their faces contoured like crazy and their brows filled in and every freckle covered! No! It’s your little “flaws” and “imperfections” that make you unique and that uniqueness makes you beautiful! Embrace what you have and love it! It’s part of your character. Face to body perfection is just not realistic and not necessary for beauty! “
A: “I couldn’t agree more! And what a great message to tell women- stop trying to look like you are photoshopped or not natural and embrace all of your natural features! I can remember when I started this blog last month and I made my Instagram account go public. Lots of plastic surgeons started following me and I thought, “Oh no! My nose is a little crooked and my teeth have shifted a little since my days of wearing braces… they are going to see all of that oh no!” And then I realized just how crazy that is!”
BSM: “Right?! I mean… if you are using photoshop for your selfie… I mean…. come on! [laughter]”
A: “Agreed!!!! So- do you have any other favorite makeup lines that you work with?”
BSM: “I don’t have just one favorite line, I like different products from different lines. As I said earlier I love Laura Mercier’s foundations, she has a silk cream foundation that I really like to use on set because it’s a little bit heavier and gives more coverage…I like Becca’s Aqua Luminous Foundation and their Bronzers….Edward Bess you can only find at Bergdorf’s but he has a great Complexion Correcting Foundation that I really like! He has neutral tones for every day women that’s nice and dewy. For eyes, I love the Caviar Sticks from Laura Mercier, Tom Ford and Nars both have great shadows- the pigments are very rich and the consistency is great- you always know you are getting that true, rich color when you work with it. For lips I am absolutely loving Bite Beauty. I think it’s highly underrated- you can get it at the Lip Bar in Soho and also at Sephora. It’s natural and organic, has rich pigment and it tastes great! The color range is excellent too- they have lipsticks, glosses and liquid lips. Another lip line I really like is called Beauty Bakerie. They have a long wear lip color that stays so well I literally have to use eye makeup remover to remove it! Edward Bess also has some great lipsticks that are infused with a rose oil so they are really nice going on.”
A: “That’s awesome! I love knowing what is in a beauty guru’s makeup kit! Do you have any tips for every day makeup for the every day woman?”
BSM: “You don’t need a lot of steps. As I said earlier, you don’t need to make yourself look impossibly flawless. A good foundation, blush, mascara, maybe a red lip and fill in the brows a tiny bit and you are good to go! The number one thing I always tell my clients in the makeup chair is wear sunscreen! It’s the first step after your skincare- you’re going to look older sooner if you don’t protect your skin from the sun! As far as the makeup, one thing is a great red lip. A little pop of color does wonders for the face. That’s my signature- I always wear a red lip. #KissesRedlipstick. A soft blush is great, mascara, maybe one color of shadow across the eye and a neutral brow lightly filled in. This a great starting point and you can build if you are going out later in the evening with more eye shadows, eyeliner, a bolder lip, etc.”
A: “This is great! Now- you are the lead makeup artist for Dennis Basso this year on Valentine’s Day for NYFW! That’s so exciting! I know you’ve seen a lot of celebrity clients as well. When it comes to being a makeup artist, what do you get MOST excited about?”
BSM: “I LOVE being on set. I love photoshoots. I like being behind the scenes; being able to create a look and be creative with it. I love collaborating with photographers on a whole look. Fashion week is fun but it is FAST! You go through a lot of work and then just like that it’s over! I love being on set for photos because I can be very detailed and get the look exactly the way I want it. I like collaborating with my friend Dwayne Michael Campbell (IG: dmcfotonyc) who is a photographer. That’s what I get most excited about! The Dennis Basso show is going to be really fun this year. I also recently did Rebecca Minkoff’s makeup for Project Runway Startup- that was great! I love helping women to embrace what they have and love it- no more criticizing yourselves in my chair!”