Beauty Shopping with Suzy Gerstein
Posted on 09 February 2017
Fashion and celebrity make up artist Suzy Gerstein is one of our favorite beauty experts. Not only because she's an extremely talented artist, a loving mother, wife and a happy soul, she's also a green beauty advocate. Gerstein shares with us her favorite beauty product destinations.
AGB: Can you tell us how you got started as a make up artist?
SG: I went to a liberal arts university where I was an English and Spanish literature double major. They didn’t really know what to do with me when career resource day rolled around and I said ‘I want to be a makeup artist.’ But I always knew. It wasn’t a direct path to where I am today- is it ever? I got started as a volunteer makeup artist at Dress for Success, a non-profit organization where I got to play with Bobbi Brown makeup on a myriad of skin tones and meet some pretty incredible women. I think I was the first who held that position there thanks to a clever volunteer coordinator, now my good friend Catherine, who watched me obsessing over the makeup and encouraged me to apply it on the clients. That led to a meeting with Bobbi herself and a stint at a Madison Avenue salon. But I really got started in fashion when I met my mentor, Chris Colbeck, after cold-calling his agency and assisting him for several years on shoots. Chris was very generous with his knowledge and time. I also assisted Dick Page, Lisa Butler, Val Garlandand several other industry luminaries on shoots and at shows.
AGB: When did you begin to get interested in healthier make up choices?
SG: I have always been curious about more sustainable, non-toxic, green alternative beauty products, but I began to become more interested in really doing my research about healthier makeup choices when I was pregnant with my son, Harvey. The more I read the more I learned that many of these companies had such beautiful stories and really care about giving back to the world around them.
BEAUTY SHOPPING GUIDE
I have cousins out west so visiting them is all the excuse I need to pop into AILLEA, Denver's beautifully curated clean beauty boutique. Owner, Kathryn Dickinson, a former NYC fashion exec, opened the two beautiful Colorado-based brick and mortars and an online shop that stocks some of my favorite brands such as: RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, ILIA,Kypris, Indie Lee, Josh Rosebrook, Rahua, Osmia, CV Skinlabs, Vintner’s Daughter, Vapour, Battington Lashes, Maya Chia.
Some of my favorites from her store include Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum (smells incredible, calms even the most sensitive of skin types and makes a perfect makeup primer). ILIA lipsticks in Neon Angel (great vibrant pink) and Nobody's Baby (perfect neutral) and Kjaer Weis cream blushes in Sun Touched (ultra flattering peach) and Desired Glow (soft toasted pink).
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