In the days before children, I used to design pages and direct photo shoots for the beauty department of a popular African American women's magazine. It was exciting, even though I didn't fully appreciate it at the time (at the end of the day, work really is just that - work). But every week we'd be gussying up somebody (sometimes famous, sometimes not) to appear in the pages of the mag. I've got enough stories about those days to write a bestseller. At the very least, a bad, self-published novel.
First there was the beauty closet (think The Devil Wear's Prada or Ugly Betty's fashion closet, brimming with makeup instead of clothes) that editors and art directors had permission to raid on a regular basis. Hot date? Beauty closet. Bad hair day? Beauty closet. Hating your boss today? Better get your behind to that beauty closet. There was nothing that place couldn't fix. Mind you, I wasn't much more than a lipgloss girl before the job started, but it quickly became addictive.
Sometimes, after shoots, we'd end up having dinner with Roshumba(very sweet) or Tyra Banks (not so much). I only say the latter in regards to the look of disgust on her face as I was telling the table about a special vacation I'd just returned from. It was a look that said "You went to the Carribbean of all places...for your Honeymoon?!". But it figures, Tyra's been all over the globe to all kinds of tropical locations. She probably went to Bora Bora or something for her own honeym- oh wait, never mind. But some celebs were nice, like Beyonce. I'll never forget the surreal moment that the dreamgirl, 19 at the time, politely offered that she liked my hair color but thought I should "go lighter". Not that I asked, but thanks, girl!
Manicured hands down, the best part about that job was not unsolicited advice of starlets, but the free beauty advice from their personal makeup artists. Jay Manuel (you may know him from ANTM, but he was a freelance makeup artist at the time) informed me that bronzer should "look as if it kissed you where the sun hits your face". I once hit up
Oscar James for some L.A.-based hairstylist's cell phone numbers (not that I could afford any of them). And Sam Foine, I mean, Fine, plucked my brows for my wedding (only after admonishing me for overplucking in the first place).
My how things change. I miss those days of fabulousity. This business of stay-at-home motherhood may very well be the most rewarding job on earth, but it's by far the least glamourous. Thank God for Modern Mom. Their latest beauty advice from pro-makeup artist, Ashaunta Sheriff, offers the latest scoop on how moms like me can create a fabulous, everyday, make up look in a flash. Their video step-by-step how-to is simply genius. Not that I think that word should be used in reference to clothes or make-up, but still. Thanks to this cool site, former working girls like me who have recently dedicated their entire lives to wiping noses and picking Cheerios up off the floor can stay fly.
Of course there's nothing wrong with wiping noses for a living, but it can't hurt to look cute while doing it.