Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and those of us holding the mascara wand.

After two decades of covering the beauty industry, I've come to learn what makes it so alluring. Finding the perfect shade of makeup to match your skin tone, adding a swipe of eyeliner to give your tired eyes a lift, discovering an innovative new product line, or indulging in a totally luxurious spa treatment. My experiences have been documented in magazines, newspapers and websites worldwide. I've tested newly formulated products in the lab, explored hair removal options, shopped for lipstick, added shine to my hair and succumbed to massage marathons--all in the name of beauty. I've written press releases, hosted makeover events and co-authored a Do-It-Yourself Beauty book (Alloy). On this blog, I write about products and services that I come across every day as well as those that have been provided by publicists or the companies that make them. Either way, I write what I think. I hope to share some of my insights--and bring you the latest, greatest beauty news right here. Join me in the quest to find all things pretty.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

expert advice: makeup artist sandy linter for lancome, part 1

When you want good advice, go to a pro. Makeup artist Sandy Linter has been in the biz for more than 30 years (though you'd never guess her age by looking at her beautiful skin!). Here's how she got started...

In 1974 I did my first Vogue cover. There were only five other makeup artists who did editorial makeup. I worked in a salon called Mr. Kenneth. I charged $15.00 for an application and $30.00 for a lesson. Soon I went with one of the very first makeup and hair agencies, Kramer and Kramer. Before that, my mom was answering the phone taking my bookings. And I had an answering service (everyone had the same service - the Belles). I had nothing to compare the industry to so I thought it was huge. I didn't know that by the mid-1980's I would be competing with thousands of new artists. Hundreds of agencies opened up. I stayed with Kramer and Kramer for at least 10 years, then went to Elizabeth Watson, the wife of Albert Watson, photographer, for at least 13 years, and I have been with Bryan Bantry since 1996. This agency, founded by Bryan Bantry, is also one of the original agencies in New York City.

I was one of the first makeup artists in the city so I was able to do many covers of Vogue and Bazaar, Cosmo, in all countries. Now it is way more difficult to make a name for yourself. One day I was selling makeup in Bloomingdales, then working at a salon, and then doing Vogue covers.

The makeup artist gets selected, these days by the photographer. When I started, the editor choose the makeup artist, or the sittings editor of the magazine. I worked with all the best editors and photographers--Polly Mellen, Grace Coddington and even Anna Wintour. They were some of the best editors who I was privileged to work with on shoots.

Bobbi Brown was the first editorial makeup artist to have her own line. Hundreds have followed. Most, successfully. Bobbi had one Vogue cover under her belt but she had a plan and everyone knows the story of her success.

My career went on working with the legendary Albert Watson for Details, Italian Vogue, German Vogue and doing many ad campaigns. Then Harper’s Bazaar, Beauty Director Kerry Diamond took me on a shoot to Washington D.C. After that shoot she said she had a plan for me. Sometime later I had a contract with LancĂ´me, Beauty at Every Age.

The business has grown and changed but I always had a place in it. Sometimes my profile is higher than at other times. For instance now it's pretty high. My niche is for the older woman (they certainly did not have a niche for older women when I started).

I remember doing a cover of American Vogue in the heat of summer in Paris 1975. I used to look at polaroids on shoots and I loved them. Now it's all digital, and there isn't that fascinating reaction of the model to the photographer. Not the way I experienced it when I started.

Learn more about Linter at

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