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By Tee Elle 

I had a habit of establishing myself as a crucial team-player on the job. It was usually unintentional, though. I liked finding ways to make standard processes easier because extra steps annoyed me and I liked working on different projects to break up the boredom that came with crunching monthly sales figures. But I also think an even deeper part had to do with the idea that I had something to prove. Black women are more than capable. We’re not catty and difficult on the job. We get ish done and we can run things better than the white male who earns an average of $21,001 more than we do per year. I wanted those coins. And the maximum annual bonus, too. But my work ethic told my colleagues and upper management a story that was completely different from the one I crafted. 
My last job was pretty flexible. Management allowed us to occasionally telecommute, which meant it didn’t always make sense to use our accrued vacation days because I could log in once or twice during the day, answer emails and say I technically worked. I could save my accrued hours for later. Plus our team became highly visible because we could produce quality reports with minimal turnaround. Soon marketing and sales were reaching out with special requests and I’d filter them, either doing them myself or assigning them to someone else on my team.

We were extremely busy, which wasn’t really a problem because I bored easily and I was quick. The issue was I was tired because I didn’t factor in any real downtime.
 
I found myself listening to my coworker’s tales about their Caribbean cruises and international excursions. I went home and imbibed on their flavored rums and nibbled on their fine chocolates but I didn’t have any stories to share of my own, other than that time my friends and I drove across the border into Tijuana and a member of the bar staff forced gold tequila down my throat or the time my girls and I cruised from Los Angeles through the desert at 100+ miles per hour and had to exchange the rental car by the time we arrived in Vegas. Then I realized those stories weren’t recent.
 
What I had done was taken a “mental health day” here and there, which really wasn’t one because I still worked to avoid playing catch-up when I returned to the office. But I hadn’t taken a vacation in over four years! It made me wonder how in the world everyone else could take one twice per year.

I got my answer when I went out on short-term disability to recover from surgery. I returned home the next day and had settled in my bed to binge-watch the first season of the The Wire. My cell was on my nightstand. I heard the indicator for text messaging and assumed it was another friend or family member checking to see if I needed anything. I picked it up and read it.

“Where did you save the December report?”

For the first time I didn’t reply. In fact I didn’t answer a work-related text for the following eight weeks. I learned no one really cared about my well-being and for several years, I sent the message that I didn’t care about my well-being, either.

I neglected to set appropriate boundaries and allowed my work life to invade my personal space. I showed everyone I worked with that not only was I irreplaceable, but I was also always available even when I’m resting in discomfort after major surgery.

It’s rather difficult to change the narrative once you’ve already written the words. My peers still relied on the fact that I’d always be there, that I’d eventually relent and respond to every single request once I was mobile. I did not. None of it was worth the slight raise or the bonus or my sanity. I resigned less than a year from my return to work and I have yet to return to traditional employment.
 
I recently listened to an episode of the ‘My Taught You’ podcast where host and CurlBox founder Myleik Teele interviewed InStyle magazine’s fashion and beauty editor-at-large Kahlana Barfield-Brown about her rise to her current position. Kahlana shared her story of how she once filled in for an assistant and proved herself to be more efficient during the assistant’s absence. The assistant was soon fired and Kahlana landed the role.
 
“Never take a two-week vacation,” Kahlana advised. “You’re just giving someone an opportunity to take your job.”
 
The moral of her story was to take a day at the beginning or end of a long weekend, if you must, but never stay gone long enough to give someone else the opportunity to do your job better than you can.
 
But my morals are now a little bit different and should I ever return to corporate America, I’m applying them. I can do a stellar job and simultaneously take full advantage of my time off. If the person who assumes my job for a week can do it better, she can have it. We all need a break to regroup. I’m still going to take a real vacation.

Do you have a healthy work/life balance?
                
 

Tee Elle is an east-coast storyteller hoping for her big break west. Her words have been published on xoNecole and Clutch magazine, you can also follow her on Twitter and the blog. When she’s not writing or stalking social media, find her reading a great book, binge-watching reality TV, or pretending to be the next winner of Bravo’s Top Chef.

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-At-Large, Barneys

"I grew up in this grody town just outside of London called Reading, which was an industrial kind of town back then. The environment was so gritty and postwar—there wasn’t an abundance of anything. But from an early age I was interested in fashion and glamour, and my mom was a big believer in maquillage. She was a lot more put together than the other mothers on our street...her style was very 1940s and she kind of looked like Bette Davis, with the upswept rolled hair and the overpainted lips. She always wore a longline girdle even though she was really skinny, and she smoked. She was a very film noir chick.

The '50s were still very grim, but then in the '60s, everything went into Technicolor. My mom used to get magazines, and one that she subscribed to was Nova, which was very avant-garde. When she would get her hair done, I would sit and read it. It was very far out—that whole English flamboyance. You'd see Rod Stewart and he'd be wearing an Ossie Clark blouse with satin trousers. Around that time I became very focused on buying clothes. Back then your parents didn't give you money, you had to get a job, so when I was 16 I got a job in a cork factory making bottle tops. I was like, 'Great! Now I can go into London and buy clothes!' I worked for awhile and then got it in my head that I was going to go to college—my parents hadn't gone, but I had great O Level results, and I got into Manchester University. I went for psychology and art history. It was great because Manchester was much bigger than Reading, and it was kind of like a gateway to living in London.

After college, I worked at a department store in my town called John Lewis with my friend who looked like Ziggy Stardust. We moved to London together to have a fabulous time—we were really focused on being groovy and having certain clothes and going to certain places. I worked in a shop near Savile Row selling women’s fashion, and my friend became a cross-dressing cabaret artist. We got to know all kinds of people...a lot of my friends back then worked for Zandra Rhodes, and I also got to know a lot of people who did window display. I thought that would be something I would like to do since being a salesperson got boring. I did a lot of freelance work on Portabella Road and Savile Row—I would go in and say, ‘Who does your windows?’ I did that for Shirley Russell, who had a shop selling and renting vintage clothes. She had Schiaparelli and Fortuny dresses—incredible things! Another job I had was for Tommy Nutter, who was a very trendy tailor on Savile. Mick Jagger wore a Tommy Nutter suit when he married Bianca. I did a window that was proto-punk with stuffed rats and trash cans and these very glamorous tuxedos. This guy came in and said, ‘I like your window, you should come work for me in LA.' I told my roommate and he said, 'Where's LA?' And I said 'I'm not sure.' But I ended up going!

So, I went to LA to work at Maxfield. People said to me, ‘You’ll never get your green card because they don’t give them to gay people.’ It was open discrimination. On the form it said, ‘Are you homosexual?’ That disqualified you from getting a green card! Of course, I lied. I worked at Maxfield for Tommy Perse, who is a brilliant fashion retailer. Maxfield is and was one of the greatest, most brilliant owner-operated stores. Everyone from Cher to Natalie Wood to Fleetwood Mac would shop there. They paid full retail! That was a mistake, giving clothes to celebrities, because they are the only people who really need them. I always thought that was a bad move. I find kissing a celebrity’s ass utterly unbearable, I don’t know how people do it.

I worked there for eight years and then this friend of mine said to me, ‘We should go to New York and volunteer to work with Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding! I’m an accomplished display person, I’m not volunteering anywhere!’ I went there and I actually talked my way into a paying job working on the Costumes of Royal India exhibit. I slept on a friend's floor and worked at the Costume Institute. It was a four month gig. Back then, at the opening reception, anybody could buy a hundred dollar dessert ticket, so you would get to go to the Met for the party after dinner ended. Hundreds of people did it. All these fashion riffraffs would buy these hundred-dollar tickets and storm the place! It was so fun. It was there that my friend introduced me to Gene Pressman, who owned Barneys. He said, 'I'm familiar with your work at Maxfield, you should come to work for me.'

By then I was 33, so I thought, ‘Maybe I should get a grown-up job and medical insurance and all that stuff.’ I relocated and moved to New York and I’ve been here for 30 years. I was in charge of windows [when I first started out at Barneys]. Then I worked in advertising and store design. I was Creative Director for most of my time at Barneys and now I’m Creative Ambassador-at-Large–since 2010. It’s more of a PR-oriented position, you know, hosting events and talking to press. It was my dream job. It still is!

My book [Confessions of a Window Dresser] came out in 1998 and really started my career as a writer. I wrote columns for the New York Observer for 10 years and I’ve written six books. Fashion is hard to write about because it’s very much a visual thing. I like writing about humorous things, like culture. I write culture for Slate now—I just wrote about the anniversary of the Valley of the Dolls. I never thought I'd be a writer. My career has been about jumping on things and being thrown into them. It’s a millennial thing to have this sweeping vision of your future and your career. No wonder you all have anxiety disorders! It must be horrendous to live with that. For my generation we were all like, ‘Oh, that could be groovy and fun…’ It was about low expectation, good work ethic, and a willingness to throw yourself at anything, basically. The real focus was what you were going to do on Friday night! I think it's the opposite now.

I know the beauty world inside and out—I used to write all the copy for the cosmetics mailer for years. And Barneys beauty is legendary. We launched François Nars! But I'm a believer that nothing is important. I use this Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm, but I use it for everything—if my face is a bit dry I slap it on my face because I can’t be bothered. I once had a facial and I thought I was going to die! I thought someone was clog dancing on my face. I go to this fantastic woman, Grace Pak, once a year, and she just slashes off anything that's problematic. I’ll be with a group of friends and they’ll say, ‘Your skin looks great!’ and I’ll be like, ‘What did it look like the last time? Like shit?’ I just don’t think that way. I’m lucky that I’m aging OK and I don’t think that [having plastic surgery] is serving my interest at all. I think men look fine when they’re craggy.

In the shower, I'll wash my hair once or twice a week with Aesop Shampoo—and I get it on my face, and that’s enough [to wash my face]. I’m so feral! I was raised by wolves. I use Vitaman Hold Factor 2 Pomade to style my hair. I put some on my hands, warm it up a bit and then push it into my hair. The less you do your hair the better, I think, for men...it can look very artificial. If I were going bald I would do a hat or like a Warhol wig, where it’s a wig and everyone knows it’s a wig, and not some surreptitious toupée, which I think is really cringe-making. I would get a wig that’s blue. I used to love to throw on a colored wig!

I go to the gym every day, but I also do tai chi. It’s more meditative and great for your posture. The way to look and feel young is through physical exercise. That, to me, is more important. I love to paddleboard, bike and run, but I do the stairs and elliptical. I’m one of those annoying people who enjoy it. I learned [tai chi] from this wonderful guy called Dr. Lam on the internet because it’s not so complex. He’s based in Australia and everything I’ve learned to this point I’ve learned from looking at the computer. I think it’s one of those things that you don’t fully understand until you’re over 60. It’s both a health thing and a vanity thing. I’ve never eaten junk food, and I also take a lot of vitamin D.

I never got into makeup. I plucked my eyebrows—that's it! It was the glam rock [era] and I had a unibrow! I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I should pluck them,’ because I loved Roxy Music and Bowie, and they were all full-on with the makeup. I always wished that I had [been into makeup]. I was always in a hurry, but I admired when people would do amazing makeup. It wasn’t because I thought it was feminine—I thought it was great! I would sit and get makeup done for those VH1 appearances and then they would say, ‘Don’t you want to look at yourself?’ And I would be like, ‘Oh. Right. I should, I guess.’ I’m not vain, really.

I’m still very into glam rock. I’ll wear sweatpants and a t-shirt when I go to the gym, but never out. I never have anxiety about what I’m going to wear. I understand it, but that’s the thing with fashion today—there isn’t one way to dress. You just have to self-invent and self-create. People care very little about what you’re wearing. I think it’s self-indulgent to stress about how you look—just throw it on! No one really cares, so just have fun with it."

—as told to ITG

Simon Doonan photographed by Tom Newton at his home in New York on February 1, 2016.

Read about how Oribe got his start as a hair salon receptionist and how Linda Rodin mixed her first Olio Lusso in a coffee mug in The Professional.

The post Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-At-Large, Barneys appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Bobbi Brown

"I didn't know I wanted to be a makeup artist until I went to college. Well, I went to three colleges. I graduated high school a semester early, went to University of Wisconsin, and then I went to University of Arizona, because that’s where all the Jewish kids went. After that, I transferred to Emerson College in Boston where I studied Theatrical Makeup and minored in Photography. And so I finished school there and stayed for a year and waitressed, and then I moved to New York. You know, the old story is I didn’t know anyone, but I picked up a Yellow Pages, and looked up models and agencies, and eventually I figured out how to become a makeup artist in fashion. I thought I was going to do makeup for movies, actually. But I did one movie—it was about teenage alcoholism, this kid kept getting bruised, so I had to do continuity shots. It was deadly for me to be focused on the same thing all the time. And I hated having the food all over the place while we would just sit there and wait! So that's how I decided not to go into the movie business.

CAREER
My first magazine actually was Vogue Advertising. I met some woman and she asked, ‘Can you do hair and makeup?’ And I said, ‘Oh yes.’ So I went to the store and bought every hair product I could think of—I do not know how to do hair. On the day of the shoot, the model showed up and she had this short hair. I was really lucky, because I would have been screwed! Buying expensive products or buying all the products doesn't make you an expert. I thought that if you went to Bergdorf Goodman and bought the most expensive products that they would be the best. With the help of my dad—he gave me his credit card—I went and bought all this stuff. I got home, opened up all these beautiful boxes, and it looked awful. At the time, the style was like white skin, red lips, contouring…and I hated the way it looked. I wanted to do more natural-looking makeup. But I couldn’t find makeup that allowed me to do it easily. I would also go to theatrical makeup stores and buy Ben Nye foundation that was yellow and orange and red in order to fix the regular makeup I had. At some point, I discovered a yellow powder that actually fixed everything. To be honest, I wasn’t really a great makeup artist—I wasn’t one of these makeup artists who could transform a face. I just always had shortcuts to make things work because I loved it so much.

I did that for seven years until I reached my big goal, which was a Vogue cover. It was Naomi Campbell’s first cover, too. That same year, I got engaged. I was 30 and I realized because I was so happily in love with my husband that I really didn’t want to be a freelance traveling makeup artist anymore. So I kind of stopped doing those trips, I got pregnant, we moved to the suburbs in New Jersey...and I just got this idea. As a makeup artist, in order to prep for a shoot, I would have to literally lug bags and bags of stuff. Then I would lay it out on the floor and try to organize it and see, there’s 15 taupes! But you just need one. At that point, no one had done a great collection of edited, natural-looking makeup. Lipstick that just looked like lips didn't exist. And one day, serendipitously, I met a chemist and I asked him to make me this lipstick I had been thinking of. I told him, I want to make the best red, the best orange, the best beige—and we did.

After we had produced a pretty small batch, I talked to a friend of mine who was a beauty editor at Mademoiselle, and she said, ‘Can I write about it?’ I thought, Why would you want to write about it? Now I know it’s called PR and Marketing. [Laughs] She did the story and we started getting phone calls. My husband would take the lipstick, put it in a manila envelope with a little sheet of paper with the ingredients and mail it to people. Then a friend of mine invited me to a party and I asked the hostess, 'What do you do?' She was a cosmetics buyer at Bergdorfs—so I pitched her. They were the first store to pick up the line.

We were in Bergdorfs and Neiman Marcus for four years when Leonard Lauder [then-Chief Executive at Estée Lauder] called. We weren’t for sale. But when he said, ‘What if I promised you that you could have total autonomy and do what’s important to you, which is raise your family, and do the fun things…’ I believed him. So we sold it! It's been worth it 150%. We've been an Estée Lauder brand probably 21 years, and you know, just like any business, there’s good, bad and ugly, and tough, easy, great, but… if Mrs. Greenblatt from third grade, who gave me really bad grades in math, could see it, I’d be happy!

SKINCARE
My number one favorite product—if I could only have one thing—would be Extra Balm. If I was that kind of a marketer I would call it youth in a jar. Because it’s like a miracle. And I really don’t like the term ‘ageless,’ but that's not how I think of it. I’m much more about making sure that everyone has really good, even skin. I’m actually completely obsessed with a new product that’s not mine called the NuFace. It’s a handheld microcurrent tool that helps lift your face where you have signs of aging. It’s unbelievable and it works. I haven’t tried this yet, but someone I work with told me it works on hands, too. It's great because I’m not somebody who believes in injectables at all. I think they make you look like you’ve injected something. Like, when do you stop? Where's the line?

At night, I wash my face at night with Soothing Cleansing Oil, and I just rinse it off with water. It's nice because if I’m too tired to put moisturizer on, I just don’t have to—the oil leaves a nice cushion. If my skin is super dry, I’ll put the Extra Balm on and I’ll put oil on top of it—I’ll layer. I don’t have to wash it off [in the morning], it’s just gone somewhere. But I'll probably put on more moisturizer again.

We just launched masks and they’re awesome. I love the way they kind of crinkle in their tubes… You can either do them separately or you can do all three of them. Everyone's nuts for Instant Detox, which is black and has Hawaiian sea water and clay. I love Skin Nourish, which is super moisturizing. I use it with the NuFace and barely have to wash it off when I'm done. And then there's the Radiance Boost, too, which has walnut grains in it. It’s a scrub.

MAKEUP
I almost always do my own makeup and never in the bathroom—I usually do it in the car. If I don’t do it in the car I do it at work. Sometimes I do it during the product development meetings. But whatever I do, I could do it without a mirror. There are different schools of thought on this, but I start with our Concealer and Corrector first because after that, I don't necessarily need foundation. I use the shade that matches my skin exactly, which is Natural Tan. Then I have these products called Retouching—there's a pencil and a powder—that literally make you look like you’ve been retouched. There’s six shades and it just evens things out, but you don’t look like you have any makeup on. I'll draw the stick directly onto my skin, over my whole face. I don’t use a primer. I don’t like how they feel.

Our number one selling product is Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, which is a product category I 100% made up, from the name to the packaging. It all happened because I was in Telluride, Colorado, and someone was coming to shoot me for Architectural Digest. I went to do my makeup. And I opened my bag and realized, I have no eyeshadow, I have no brushes...but I have mascara! So I put mascara on, and because I wasn’t 22 anymore, I needed something else. When you get to a certain age, your eye shape is different. I feel like I need more to make me look awake. So I had this one waterproof mascara and I took a Q-tip, took off the fuzzy stuff, dipped it in the mascara, and I lined my eye. It worked so well! I did the shoot, and it was still on my eyes the next day because I had no eye makeup remover. So I called my head of product development, and I said, ‘Can you do me a favor and ask the lab if I did something really bad?’ She called back and said, ‘No, they said it’s OK because it has a gel base.’ Visually, I was thinking about what gel was, and I had this little inkwell on my desk that we'd been trying to turn into a product. I called her and said, 'What if we pour this in to that inkwell, and what if we call it Gel Ink?' And that's how we discovered gel eyeliner.

In terms of color makeup, I think browns are the easiest for people to wear—but there are different types of brown. Personally, I like cool browns, but that doesn't work for everyone. For instance, I have a bronzer that looks like the later afternoon sun in Telluride that I wear. But I had to make a special bronzer for my Rabbi's daughter because she's so white-skinned. It’s Aruba, and it’s kind of peachy for pale skin. Blush is also one of those things that you need to find your right color—and then it's like a miracle. To find it, you pinch your cheeks and then look to match that. Mine is Sand Pink in the powder. I'll usually switch to our Pot Rouge at the end of the day though, because it reminds me of my grandmother putting lipstick on her cheeks.

I usually don’t put anything on my lips. Instead of doing a lip if I'm going to an event, I'll do a smoky eye with lots of sparkle—not shimmer. The difference is they’re bigger particles that are flat cut, and so they just look so cool. I always use three shadows—Brown Metal, Rock Star, and Slate. And then Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and some Eye Opening Mascara.

BODY
My secret is that I have a big jar of Extra Balm from the lab that I use on my body. I'm not sure what that would cost, but it's amazing. Or I'll use this incredible-smelling body wash from Spain called Magno. When I take a bath, I love epsom salts, but they dry my skin out, so I scoop a ton of coconut oil into the bath too. I'll just hang out in the tub and watch CNN. But God forbid you ever shave your legs in a coconut oil bath… You get such a bad ring around the tub that way. I shave my legs in the shower with our old Bobbi Brown Shaving Cream. It was discontinued but we're bringing it back soon.

FRAGRANCE
That’s the one thing where I don’t always wear my own. I wear Chanel No. 5 and Cristalle. The one in my brand I wear the most is Bobbi’s Party. It smells like Aunt Alice. I remember my Aunt Alice from Chicago… When she would get dressed up and go to a party, that’s what it smells like. And she loves it! She used to wear an old fashioned fragrance called Je Reviens… I’ve tried to buy it on the internet but they don’t make it anymore so it goes bad. And there’s a Tom Ford that I wear—Neroli Portofino. I mix it with patchouli and grapefruit and that makes a great combination.

HAIR
I really love Oribe’s products. He actually did my hair for my wedding, but his products are amazing. I like to switch my shampoos in and out, so I also use Bumble and bumble. Right now my hair’s super, super dry, so I’m trying to hydrate it. I just found a conditioner called Olaplex, which is really good because I color my hair every two weeks. My hair is 100% white, and I’ve been grey since I was 25. Because of it, my hair is thinner than it used to be. To cover my roots or make my part look thicker, I use the Gel Eyeliner in Brown or the Natural Brow Shaper and Hair Touch Up when I need to. I find those easier than root sprays. And light goes right through powder—that's why I hate HD!

So unlike how I do my makeup, I can't do my own hair. I wash it almost everyday because I exercise everyday, and then I probably get it blown out three times a week. And I always feel so much better after that. I would love to be able to curl my own hair to get a wave, but I just can't figure it out. I have a hundred curling irons—I have every one from Harry Josh to mini ones I buy at CVS. My friend got me one from QVC that you clip onto your hair and it rotates by itself. It’s cool but I totally had my hair stuck on this thing. I had to call my husband to get out of it!"

—as told to ITG

Bobbi Brown photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New Jersey on January 20, 2016.

Read on: Charlotte Tilbury shares your new favorite way to apply foundation, Deborah Lippmann explains why nail polish shouldn't be serious, and Martha Stewart has a thing for Tom Ford (the makeup, not the man) in The Top Shelf.

The post Bobbi Brown appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Romain Duquesne, Photographer & Anna Santangelo, Stylist

Last month, we launched Milky Jelly Cleanser, after more than a year of development and hundreds of suggestions from our lovely community of readers. But product development is only part of the story—there's still the campaign, the casting, the styling...everything that makes Milky Jelly into a world. Today, meet two key players in the final stages of Milky Jelly: Romain and Anna. Best friends from Australia, they photographed and styled those great photos of Georgie that live on Glossier.com. Here they talk about careers, inspiration, and why your best friends can also be your mentors (and vice-versa): 

Romain Duquesne, Photographer: I grew up in a little country town of 7,000 people in western Australia, and I hated it so much. As a teenager I was like, ‘I need to escape, I need to do something with my life.’ So I moved to Perth, and then Sydney, and now I’m based in London.

Anna Santangelo, Stylist: I lived in Australia too, but I have an identity crisis about where I'm 'from.' I was born in California, and then when I was 15 I moved to Sydney and now I’m back in the States, but on the other side—New York. Being in Orange County feels like it’s a past life when I talk about it! My dad worked for a company at the time that brought us over [to Sydney]. We were only meant to stay for a year and then the next thing we knew, we were there for 13 years. It’s very much home.

Romain: I remember being this little country kid and saying to my mom, 'Hey mom, I’m going to be a fashion photographer! I’m going to move to this city and this city and then I’m going to end up in Europe!' She was like, 'Cool, great.' I don’t think she really believed me at the time, but I proved her wrong, didn’t I?

Anna: I wish I had that clear of a path! My younger sister was like that—she was one of those kids who knew exactly what they want to do.

Romain: You're like, 'Did I make the right decision?' Because you’re so young. But I just love photography, so it worked out. I first started taking photos when I was 14, and I ended up going to college and studying photo.

Anna: I actually went to school for science and anatomy. My dad was a marine biologist at a university and I’m the oldest of three girls, so I think he was like, 'Yes! One of my girls is going to be a scientist!' Then, as amazing as the degree was, it kind of didn’t resonate with me as something that I wanted to do. But I was always inspired by styling. I’ve always liked the idea of visually expressing things with clothes and the ability to show them in a way that’s not conventionally the way one might wear them.

So I didn't go to school for styling, but I feel like assisting is the best way you can get experience. My first assisting job was for a magazine called Madison. In Sydney it was like one of the Bauhaus Media ones, kind of commercial. I was stuck in this little closet making labels and cleaning adhesive off of shoes and I was like, 'What is my life?' But that was the first thing I ever did working for someone else. I assisted quite a few stylists in Sydney, no one really prolific, but a lot of the people that I really looked up to in Australia had already made the move over here, like Stevie Dance. After that I started doing my own thing and for me it was very important to work with someone that I felt inspired by.

When I moved to New York I got the opportunity to assist Karl Templer. I had just moved here, hadn't even bought a bed yet, and I was going for an interview with Karl! I was freaking out. The interview was intimidating, but you get a tougher skin. I got the job and my first shoot with him was for a Vogue Italia cover with Steven Meisel. It was definitely jumping in the deep end.

Romain: I’d only been in Sydney for three years before I started shooting for Oyster. When I met with the fashion editor at the time we just got along so well and we kept working on so many shoots together. I feel honored to have received so much support from her at a time no one else was really that interested. She saw something, and that was great. Anna’s been working with Oyster longer than I have. I only met her in December of 2014. We did a few shoots with Oyster just in the beginning of the year before she moved. And we always say that we wish we would have met sooner. When we started working together, it was like… You know how you meet those people and you just click? We have similar styles, but just enough that she pushes me and I push her and we create something a little bit different than what we are both used to.

Anna: We speak to each other like mentors.

Romain: It’s true! Our friendship is really good because we tell each other about the good sides and the bad sides. Both of us are always there for the other. There’s so many great creatives on top of their game, but I’m much more into working with Anna. I think that working together on the same level, you’re not dealing with a person’s ego, so you can progress together and push each other and that’s a really healthy relationship.

It's not hard to stay inspired when you love what you do. There’s no method, it’s just your life. There are days when it’s harder to get the ideas, of course, but I’m always quite keen to do it. A while ago I did a beauty story for a magazine and I was given a reference for Glossier’s first campaign and I thought, 'Cool, I like this!' Of course I wasn’t going to copy it. I wanted to do my own version.

Anna: There was a magazine in Australia that contacted me not long after I moved here, and they wanted to do a feature on Annie [Kreighbaum]. It was a very small editorial operation, so they organized a meeting for me to come to Glossier and meet her. I came in and I noticed the moodboards on the wall and so many images were Romain’s! I was like, 'Annie, can I please take a photo of your moodboard and send these to Romain?' She was like, 'I really love his work!' And I was like, 'I know him and he’s moving to London, I can put you in touch!'

Romain: When Anna told me that I was like, OK! A few weeks later I messaged Emily saying, 'Hey, I’m moving to London in a few weeks and I would love to work with you guys one day.' She cc'd me on an email with Annie and Annie said, 'OK, great! Let’s work on something together!' It’s a small world, right?

In Australia, the market overall is very commercial, so making the move to London was the right choice for me. Even with the weather—it’s better for my personal work. That’s what inspires me...to be in a place where I’m not held back from shooting whatever I like. For inspiration, both Anna and I have been saying that we don’t want to look at fashion photography anymore. We’ll send each other films that we like watching or snippets of films or go to galleries. For me it’s walking down the street. The industry is very saturated with people shooting very similar styles and, as much as that is beautiful, we are all being subconsciously influenced by the same things.

Anna: There's so much to be inspired by! I was never really a huge movie watcher until quite recently, but there are so many things that I want to shoot now that are inspired by film. I've always liked to dissect things that are very small and seemingly not important to people, but maybe that’s the science background in me.

—as told to ITG

Romain Duquesne and Anna Santangelo photographed by Tom Newton.

See the full Milky Jelly campaign (and discover the whole story behind the launch) here. Or read about the careers of Oribe, Sarah Brown, and others in ITG's The Professional.

The post Romain Duquesne, Photographer & Anna Santangelo, Stylist appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Paola Kudacki, Photographer

“I grew up in Argentina in a little town an hour and a half away from Buenos Aires. My father was a painter and he used to do signage, but he was also painting as an artist. Ever since I was a child I was always drawing and painting and messing around with his pencils and brushes. For a while, I wanted to be a ballerina. I was obsessed with it and started studying, but one day in school, I was doing the long jump and I broke my leg. I was around twelve and I couldn’t try out for the ballet group in the theater with a broken leg. The doctor was like, ‘You’ll never be able to stand on your tiptoes again.’ I worked really hard to do that, but my dream kind of vanished.

Later on I started studying graphic design and art history in Argentina. To make money, I was teaching aerobics and tap dancing, and one of my students was the owner of an ad agency. She was like, ‘Why don’t you come? We’re doing this casting for Coca-Cola.’ So then I went and they liked me, so then I started to do some TV commercials. Through that, I met some photographers, one of whom asked, ‘Why don’t you come and help me with some tests that I’m doing?’ So then I helped him, I did a bit of styling, a bit of hair and makeup and that kind of opened my mind a little. I can put a few different ingredients that I know from my past—composition and lighting and my input as a woman—to create an image. I’d never taken pictures ever in my life, but I became obsessed with it.

CAREER
Eventually I came to New York 15 years ago, and of course it was hard. I moved to Williamsburg when there was one restaurant, two bars, and that’s it. Nobody in the streets. But it didn’t matter because I was so excited about what I was doing. At the beginning, I was renting darkroom space…I remember a photographer asked me, ‘Oh, so where are you from?’ I told him, ‘Argentina.’ He’s like ‘Yeah, but you're in New York City. If you throw a penny out of the window, you will hit a photographer in the head.’ But if you think that way, you better just die, because it’s not hope. But I think if you are passionate about something, that's just an achievement. So many people don’t know what to do with their lives. And I think the passion also makes you keep going because you love something so much that it doesn’t matter that you're eating rice for months or you have a dollar in your pocket for days. Your dream is not what you can do today. It’s for the future.

One of my first big shoots was for Interview. At that I had some pictures, but it was not the biggest portfolio with celebrities or anything…And then they called me back and said, ‘We have an assignment for you.’ It was to shoot Peter Sarsgaard, so then I was like, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll shoot at my place.’ So he came with his publicist, and it was kind of like a big deal, but for me, I mean…I was excited to shoot for Interview, and I knew he was a great actor, but I was just like, ‘OK, I’m going to do my thing…’ He’s wearing this denim jacket and as we’re shooting, and I’m like, ‘Oh, it would be great to have something else on it!’ So I turn around, and I see his publicist wearing this really weird brooch, and I say, ‘Oh, can I borrow that?’ So I took her brooch and put it on his jacket and took a picture. The story was going to be maybe two pages, and then they loved it so much that became like a spread of six pages. And from then on, I started to work more for them. And it’s funny because I saw the publicist recently and she was like, ‘Oh Paola! I remember that story, 14 years ago, and you took these pictures of Peter and you took my brooch and it was a magical moment!’

MAKEUP
When I was around six I remember my mother would have perfect eyebrows, so I was like, ‘Oh, I need to have perfect eyebrows,’ so I painted them by hand and cut them with scissors because I didn’t know that you needed to pluck them. One centimeter was white, another was eyebrow, another was white–I looked sick! I really quickly went to sleep and my mother went to wake me up in the morning and she was like, ‘Oh my god! You’re sick! You’re losing your hair!’ So then I had to tell her that I just wanted perfect eyebrows. She had to put makeup in my eyebrows to fill the gaps because it looked like my face was falling apart. That was my first attempt at perfect beauty.

Now I like to do a badass cat eyeliner and mascara–kind of dirty. I curl my lashes with a Shu Uemura eyelash curler and put on Diorshow mascara, sometimes waterproof. I’ve used it for years. I tried to buy something else, but they don’t work! If you want thick lashes that stay curled after you curl them, I think it’s the way to go. The brush is really thick and if they try to sell you a brush that is really thin, it’s not going to happen. Then when the night comes I like to use black eyeliner and extend the edges, but it is very important that it’s really black with no blue to it because I like black. When I have pure black, I think it emphasizes the color of my eyes.

I was doing the YSL Touche Éclat, but now I use the Givenchy Mister Light Corrective Pen for concealer. It’s very light and it doesn’t wrinkle under the eyes. Sometimes when they are thicker, it starts accumulating makeup in the wrinkles and I think it looks terrible. Then I put on a little blush from Nars in Liberté and it gives you that excitement in the face where you have a bit of color. It’s enhancing and some people are like, ‘Oh, you’re so tan!’ But it’s just a little bit on the cheekbones.

SKINCARE
For many years I was careless. I put on makeup in the morning and then at night I’d add on some pencil and lip balm. Then I’d go out very late, end up having sex and going to sleep with makeup on and waking up with it all smushy, and then just washing my face with whatever soap is there and keeping on going. All my friends were like, ‘What creams do you use?’ But I just used some soap because I thought it wasn’t that important. Some of my friends were like, ‘Maybe just use something for wrinkles around the eyes?’ So I bought this really expensive [cream]. I think it was Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream—the yellow one, and All About Eyes Cream, the little one for the eyes. A lot of products were causing me to get a rash so I did a test that said I was allergic to gluten, dairy and soy—so I stopped using everything. But the real problem was what I was eating. I figured it out when one day I put some random cream on and nothing bad happened. I think people should consider this because so many times we think that it’s the cream or our skin, but the skin can represent what you eat. Now I can apply any cream I want!

For a while I was using only one serum. I shot the campaign for this YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum and then they gave me some and I tried it and it was amazing. But the experts were like, ‘No, no, no, serum is not the answer.’ I love the texture of serum because I don’t like to feel like I’m wearing a cape of cream on my face. Now I have Belif's The True Cream Aqua Bomb because it feels more like serum than cream. When I can't take that, I travel with a serum from Boots No. 7–the Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum that I get at Duane Reade.

For my eyes, I go for something expensive. I'm using the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 cream, but before this, I was using La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream. The packaging needs to be good [Laughs]. They just need to feel good. A few times I did something that shouldn’t be allowed, but I put lip balm [under my eyes]. If it can heal the cracks in your lips…But you need to make sure it’s unscented because I tried a scented one and my eyes were full of mint scent.

BODY
I usually wake up and have a shower. Then I put the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse on my body. It’s not super strong, the scent is so soft. It penetrates, but it also gives you a shine and it’s light. Sometimes if I am super dry, I have Biafine for my legs. It is supposed to be used for burns. I take it with me on set because if we are shooting in a weird location, people don’t protect themselves with sunscreen so I give them a little bit of this. If you have the great chance to have an aloe plant around you, you can just cut a piece and put it wherever and it’s the greatest thing ever. The bottom part of my legs gets so dry from wearing jeans and boots, so you put one coat of [Biafine] and the next day it is perfect. It’s not an everyday cream. And because I go to Mexico a lot, I’ve discovered Tiger Balm for mosquito bites. You rub a little on and don’t scratch it.

NAILS
Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener is magical for growing the nails. My niece discovered it when she was biting her nails and needed them to be longer. It smells a bit like garlic. Always painting and removing paint from your nails makes them weaker. It’s important to let them rest and not to paint them all the time.

FRAGRANCE
My favorite fragrance, Bvlgari Omnia, was discontinued which was a problem because I always wear the same perfume. They came out with similar ones, but it's just not the same. I had all my friends looking for something similar. One time, I was photographing Ben Gorham [from Byredo] and I told him the story and he was like, ‘Come to the shop and we will find you one!’ There's one called Mister Marvelous that I'll wear. Then I have the Coqui Coqui Maderas that my friends make. But still no Omnia—I'm in kind of a desperate situation."

—as told to ITG

Paola Kudacki photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on September 5, 2015.

Pamela Hanson speaks candidly about trying Botox, Alex Prager loves a mud facial, and Inez van Lamsweerde takes beauty advice from Cyndi Lauper in The Top Shelf.

The post Paola Kudacki, Photographer appeared first on Into The Gloss.