Sandy Linter, celebrity makeup artist and Lancôme’s Beauty at Every Age Expert, made a stop in Dallas last week to visit NorthPark’s Lancôme boutique and its customers. I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with her and Vanessa, the assistant vice president of Lancôme Public Relations, at the Joule, where we talked for hours about the trick to getting glowing skin, how to apply eye makeup in three easy steps, and vibrating mascara. Jump to get these top beauty secrets.
First, let me preface this Q&A by saying that Sandy is as stunning in person as she is in her photo that I’ve posted. It was almost hard to take her seriously when she described herself as “well over fifty” and her lashes as “dry and brittle.” She has bouncy blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, and a giggle that sounds like that of a teenage girl with a crush. If anyone knows how to keep age from stifling beauty, it’s Sandy, so listen up.
Me: Who has been your favorite celebrity to make up?
Sandy: Elizabeth Hurley. She’s a pallet for makeup. Number one, she loves makeup. Number two, she’s photogenic. Number three, she knows how to wear makeup and she knows how to dress. I made her up through the Austin Powers years. I did the makeup for Austin Powers. I didn’t work on set; I created the look.
How did you become the Beauty at Every Age Expert?
I think Beauty at Every Age goes back to that I can do an 18-year-old’s makeup. I’m not going to disappoint her. I’m not going to make her feel like an old lady. I’m going to bring her right exactly where she should be. And if I do the mom, she’s not going to be looking like the daughter, but she’s going to feel pretty and look appropriate.
When women come in for a makeover, what do they want you to do with their makeup?
Women will sit down in the chair and say, “I want something that’s quick and easy, but I want to be able to make it look nighttime when I want.” They all say that.
When women come in with their makeup on to be redone, what are some of the things that make you say, “No, no, no!”
Metallic eye shadow. I don’t understand a whole metallic eye because there’s no depth. Also, the lips. A lot of times the lip shape is wrong, like a thin upper lip with a dark color so the lady looks kind of mean or harsh.
What are beauty faux pas of aging women?
There’s an old-fashioned mentality. Older women, they cut hair off, stop wearing makeup…they give up. And that breaks my heart. It’s true that when you get older your skin quality and hair quality aren’t what they were, but to give up completely and not do anything…the less-is-more attitude simply doesn’t work here.
What is the key to a beautiful face?
The skin should always be glowing. I don’t care what age you are.
How do you get glowing skin?
I use the Absolue liquid makeup, which I always do, but I do this trick with foundation: You put the foundation on, and take a sponge and wet it. It blows up, and after you put your foundation on, you go over the skin with the damp sponge, so you can’t see that you’re wearing foundation. It redistributes the foundation and keeps it from falling in lines and wrinkles. The sponges I use are hard sponges, but when I wet them, they blow up. And the key is you don’t wipe; you just pat.
What’s a key to successful eye makeup?
I’m an eyebrow fanatic. You can’t make them look too thin. Most of the time, you can work with what you’ve got. Don’t take off the sides. It’s a huge problem, over-waxing and tweezing. Instead of gradually taking off the hairs and working to the arch, women start tweezing very thin in the middle. Then you get that surprised look. And it can ruin the whole face.
What is your favorite part of making someone up?
I really love doing the eye makeup. But the confusing part can be eyes.
Vanessa: But one, two, three is easy.
Sandy: Yes. One, two, three is easy.
Vanessa: It changed my life. One, line the eyes. Two, put on a medium colored shadow in the crease of the eye. Three, blend it and put a light shade on the lid. And that’s it.
Sandy: And you can do variations of that. But if you know how to do that, you can’t miss. The darkest color goes on your eyes first. Medium color goes second, and the lightest one goes last. It’s totally the opposite of what everyone’s taught.
Is there a one-size-fits-all way of doing makeup?
I think you have to take pieces from a look. There are subtle things you can do to update your look, and I think there are adaptations of a look for every age. I certainly don’t leave anyone out. If someone comes to me and says they want a smoky eye because it’s in right now, there are weights of it for everyone.
Everyone’s on the hunt for the right red right now. What’s the trick to finding it?
By trying it on. You have an idea in your mind of what the right red is, but until you put it on your own lips, you’re never going to really know.
Vanessa: Go to the counter and play and try.
Sandy: And it’s not the same on the back of your hand.
Is there any one-size-fits-all red?
I had on a red gloss the other day that anyone could wear. Even if you were afraid of a red lip, you could wear a red gloss.
What lip stuff do you suggest for chapped lips during the cold months?
Let’s talk about Ôscillation, the vibrating mascara.
Vanessa: Sandy loves it.
Sandy: I’m an addict of the eyelash curler. I love it. With the vibrating mascara, you don’t necessarily have to have an eyelash curler. And the mascara goes on in the same intensity from top to bottom.
Vanessa: It’s a new gesture. Women are so used to putting their mascara on and zigzagging the way to get rid of the clumps and get the volume. With this, you literally just press the button; put it at the base of your lashes, and go slow and steadily upward. The amount of stretch is amazing. It’s like yoga for your lashes.
Sandy: I had a very good result when I used it on Brooke Shields. The minute I did it on her—and she’s so beautiful and such a good model—she looked in the mirror and said, “Wow.” She was perfect to do it on. The other thing is that the wearability is beautiful. It adheres to the lashes, and it doesn’t chip, or smudge, or run, or bleed. It’s durable.
When I first heard about vibrating mascara, I wasn’t sure what to think.
Vanessa: Well, people think it’s a gimmick.
Sandy: People think, vibrating mascara? Why?
Vanessa: But you have to try it for yourself. And it’s perfect for people who have no lashes. It’s the iPhone of the beauty industry.
Sandy: And the formula’s excellent.
What are some of your other favorite Lancôme products?
I’m in love with the line of Absolue’s lipstick, foundation, and eyebrow pencil. It’s the line that’s meant for women 50 and over. The textures are just beautiful. On a skin that’s over 50, you’ve got to be really careful about texture. The application goes on beautifully soft, and it doesn’t look makeup-y. The colors are beautiful, too.
If you want to keep things simple and you can only use three products, which would you choose?
Mascara, blush, and lipstick.