The Beauty Of Jon Stewart

Don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a single bandage dress on The Daily Show, and the show ran through the entirety of the 2000s. What other late-night show can say it never saw Herve Leger as a repeat guest in effigy? What is it about The Daily Show that prompts its celebrity guests to dress down when they’d otherwise sex it up a little?

At its heart, it’s a show about how the news does its business, but The Daily Show has played the celebrity-casting-couch-after-hours game, too, back when it was just finding its political footing in the early years of the Bush administration. As the show gained cred, rep, glitz, and other monosyllabic industry terms meaning “ratings,” it also got to have on with more frequency the people it wanted—political movers and media shakers—and not (as in the case of 2002) the entire available cast of an Austin Powers movie spread throughout the week’s programming. But back in those early, fumbling, scriptless interviews, there was a candor, a freshness, and a corresponding beauty aesthetic that guests—especially women—seemed to cannily and handily channel. They dressed with the kind of abandon you feel when you’re dancing like no one’s watching—maybe because no one was actually watching.

Consider Cameron Diaz promoting Gangs of New York. Her full face of makeup suggests she’s just come from the studio, but her hasty half-ponybun says she drove herself here, windows down, music loud. She’s wearing a nebulously cowl-necked black sweater and green army pants with a little stomach flashing on the walk to the couch (yes, back when that horrid quasi-purple couch was buttressed against Jon’s desk in a feng shui approximation of a tightly arranged dorm room). Sartorially, conversationally, stylistically, and grammatically, it’s clear that Jay Leno’s showroom this is not.

Consider even Kate Bosworth for Beyond the Sea. It’s a tense, terse interview and doesn’t flow as well the next day’s guest (that’s Kevin Spacey, also promoting Beyond the Sea—The Daily Show still in the thralls of ensemble guest casting), but she’s lovely, doll-faced, windswept, and wearing the boots of an equestrian-champion dominatrix and the pearl strands of her grandmother. Her hair is a flaxen mullet of fly-aways and wisps, and it doesn’t seem to matter. She looks great.

And then there’s Natalie Portman promoting V for Vendetta in 2003, where she went full-on Johnny Depp in a gorgeous short-swept back cut, flushed cheeks, velour blazer, decent-sized pendant, and a graphic t-shirt whose message would no doubt be vaguely political if only we could actually read it. It’s an effusively happy, androgynous moment (well, as andro as you can get when your features are as delicate as Portman’s), and it’s a significant departure from her style on other late-night talk shows. Promoting the same movie on The Late Show with David Letterman, she wears a tomato-red spaghetti-strap dress. The same goes for Cameron Diaz, who in the same year of her casual, girl-next-door Daily Show appearance, donned this little number for Leno’s show. Clearly, it’s not just individual style or trends of the time that prompt the more casual, come-as-you-are approach to The Daily Show—it’s something else.

It’s possible that the stars want to play to a more irreverent, younger audience. It’s possible that the comparatively smaller viewing audience at home makes it seem less worth going through a fresh round of hair and makeup. No matter what else plays into it, credit has to be given to Jon Stewart himself. His interview style is playful but never ribald, never getting into the ogling territory of the bigger hosts. He speaks the same way to Angelina Jolie as he does to Sarah Vowell—never breaking the dramatic irony the audience teeters on. We know that one of these women is a staggeringly beautiful actress/activist and one is a brainy, witty author, but Jon never plays either of these epithets for a laugh, preferring to make jokes out of the material that arises from conversation and not from the guests themselves. Maybe because it’s a comedy show and everyone’s fair game, but no one’s treated as the more “serious” person. And when your beauty isn’t the thing on display, there’s no reason to get all dressed up. The message is: Whatever you’ve got will work. It’s a show that’s all about dismantling façade and pulling back political window-dressing. From that lead, the celebrity style followed with guests dressing down, speaking plainly, and looking relatable in a way we hadn’t seen elsewhere on television.

Which is hardly to mention the beauty of Jon himself. There’s the largely invariable fluffy haircut—like a nesting doll, a mini bowl cut at his forehead that gave way to growing waves of bowl cuts, each one cradling in a larger one behind it. It’s a thing of wondrous consistency. For all the times he’s had Jon Hamm on the show, Jon Stewart hasn’t seemed to reconsider his own coif—and it is a coif. (Most men have hair. Most women have ‘tresses.’ Almost no one has a mane. Trump has cotton candy. Jon has a coif.) It’s a thing of beauty, longer and grayer now than ever. His suiting’s gone through a gauntlet of its own—first the boxy Canali days, then the svelte Ferragamos before finally settling cozily into Giorgio Armani. And does anyone else remember that dreamy, narrow green tie circa 2008? I get a tingle down my spine thinking about those green-tied days. God, I’m going to miss him.

And yes, The Daily Show will go on, and I’m sure it will still continue to be conversationally both diplomatic and challenging. That’s thanks to Stewart—he’s made The Daily Show a refuge for the beautiful and famous who are tired of talking about how beautiful and famous they are. A place to wear something that won’t be analyzed the next day by E! or reproduced as a triptych on Instagram. A place to plug your charity or movie without sounding like a puppet or an ass. In a show about the absurdity of what makes news newsworthy, Jon’s cut his famous guests the slack to dress and act unfamous for a few minutes—and that’s great TV.

—Trace Barnhill

Photos courtesy of Comedy Central.

Go behind the scenes with the makeup artists of Amazon Prime’s Transparent.

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Sunny Hostin, Legal Analyst, CNN

“I sort of fell into my job by happenstance. I was a journalism major in college, went to law school, and became a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. I loved it and was with the Department of Justice for years. Then I got pregnant and moved back to New York, which is my hometown, so I was taking care of my son and also working as an attorney at a law firm. It was during that time that I started giving these work-life balance speeches. It was hilarious because I don’t actually have work-life balance—I didn’t then, and I don’t now. Something generally is sacrificed because I am either traveling, at the studio, or on the computer prepping for a story—so something suffers. I have managed somehow to have kids that are healthy and happy, but you know, I was at the studio this morning and brought my little girl with me. She was sitting in the studio, which is probably not the most fun thing for her, but we were able to have time together. I think work-life balance is a little bit illusive, but I was trying my best and giving those speeches at the same time.

So when I was speaking at a conference one time, a producer came up to me and told me I should do television. I didn’t know she was a producer, so I was like, ‘Yeah, from your lips to God’s ears!’ No one is going to pluck me from obscurity to be on TV, and she was like, ‘No, I think you’ve been plucked!’ She was a producer for Nancy Grace. I was literally on television two weeks later. I can say that it felt just as natural as anything I’ve ever done. I wasn’t nervous. I just felt at home. A couple of appearances later, I got a call from Fox News. I was with Fox for a year, and then I signed with CNN the next year, and I’ve been there for seven years. I have been on Steve Harvey, The Meredith Vieira Show, I’ve worked with Wendy Williams…I can’t complain.

MAKEUP
I have a glam squad, as most on-air people do. I think CNN has some of the best makeup artists, quite frankly. I have three folks I go to all the time. Mitch Ely is an incredible makeup artist who comes from theater, so his makeup is very dramatic. Then there is Claudia Pedala who is also an incredible artist—her makeup is less dramatic. Yoko Fumoto did my makeup this morning. She has a very light touch, so depending on what I am doing, I can go to each person for something different. When I want the drama and I am going to be on The View, I’ll go to Mitch. If I’m going to be doing prime time TV in the evening, then I generally go to Claudia. And if I am going to do something a little lighter, I go to Yoko. Today I was doing a lifestyle piece about being a mom and women’s issues. The whole club-drama look doesn’t work for that…although it is probably my favorite look.

I’ve learned to really love the process doing my makeup. The most important thing is concealer. As a reporter, my hours are really fluid, so if there is a big story—like at Ferguson, I was up for 16 hours a day for a week or so—I’m not really sleeping. For me, it shows right around my eyes immediately. I have a Ben Nye Neutralizer and Concealer that I use. It’s for people who are trying to cover tattoos. You’d think you can’t use it under your eyes, but it’s incredible. It’s like using White-Out on mistakes. It’s my go-to thing if I have had a really long day, and I have to go out to an event or host a gala or something. My eyebrows are very thin, so I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. Without it, my eyebrows suck. I don’t know why. They’re just not right. I go to the best eyebrow person in the city—her name is Angela Enu, and she is at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa now, right of Fifth Avenue. People travel from all over the place to see Angela.

I also love this MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone for my skin just because when you’re under the lights at the studio, you get shiny. I don’t like a lot of powder, so I like a good mattifying primer. L’Oréal has a good one, too, called Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base.When you’re on the air all day for 16 hours, then you need something like that. If I’m in a pinch, then I use Shiseido Pureness Matifying Stick. Once you put your makeup on and you know you’re going to have a long day, you use this Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I used to anchor ABC News from 10pm to 6am. I didn’t sleep, so that’s what I used.

When I’m on air, I like my foundation to have a lot of coverage, so I use MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC45. It’s fantastic. But if I am going out at night with my hubby, I use MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark. Even if you’re brown like I am, bronzer only makes you look better—I use Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer from Estée Lauder in Medium. It is the best bronzer. I do wear blush—not everyone does. I have Nars Blush in Orgasm. I think everybody looks good with that. For darker skin like mine, I like the shade Mata Hari, believe it or not. It looks neon, but it’s not.

Another thing I do on the air is wear eyeshadow. If not, I just use NYX Super Fat Eye Marker in Carbon Black—it’s a good, cheap liner! It’s basically a Sharpie. So that goes between my lashes. I actually have eyelash extensions that I need to get redone. I started getting them two years ago. If you’re going to be on air every single day, falsies are too much. I hate the heavy look of it, so they were doing the individuals, but that takes a long time. If I have to be in Ferguson, Missouri, in 4 hours, I can’t chance it. You can’t wear mascara with eyelash extensions, but I do take a mascara spoolie through water to take off eyeshadow powder that falls on them. At night my ritual is Careprost, and it’s basically generic Latisse. I have tons of it. It’s only about $13, and you apply it with the brush.

When I am out on the field, I have to do my own makeup out of a small kit that Mitch put together for me. I keep it in my car because I have had times where I’ve had to pull over to get on Skype from my iPad for breaking news. Recently, I had to be on air at noon and have makeup and hair ready. I was like, ‘Um, I’m in my car…it’s 11am.’ I pulled over and did my makeup a little bit. My car routine to get camera ready starts with the a mattifyer, my crazy Ben Nye concealer under my eyes and on my lids, and Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette to do what I call my 3D eye—I do Venus in the corner and go pretty far out, then I take Faint and go from the outer edge of my eyelid to my eyebrow. I use Crave on the outside corners because that looks really good on camera.

Then there’s blush, and I do my lips. I start with the nude pencil and try to fill it in all over. I have every nude. My lips are so pink! My mom is Puerto Rican and Jewish, and I think that’s part of it. My dad is African American and Native American. I’ve tried these Inglot Lipliner FM…one came close to a good nude. If I don’t do nude, then I do red. I love Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in 8 Iconic Red. When you put that red lip on, you’re done for the day. I use Bite Beauty’s Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Fraise, too.

HAIR
My hair is really easy. I used to wear it very curly on air, but they prefer a smoother look on television. I just flat iron it and do big barrel curls. I have Ellin Lavar Natural Control Hair Spray, which not many people know about, but it is absolutely amazing. She was Whitney Houston’s hair stylist. She won an Emmy for all the wigs she did for Cinderella. She has an amazing line that a lot of TV people use. You can literally put it on and curl it out at the end of the day. I also use her Textures Satin Soft Conditioning Rinse and the Optimoist Shampoo. Really, it’s great.

SKINCARE
I also like Alcone. They’re great. They have the best makeup removers called Make-Off that are also really gentle. I don’t know what they use, but it will take TV makeup off. I also have a Clarisonic that I can’t live without—that’s my first step in the morning just with water to wake up a bit. At night, I use it with Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser because it’s gentle. Sometimes I use Clean & Clear Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash but no other soap. I learned about Clean & Clear from a dermatologist maybe 10 years ago. She told me that salicylic acid is what you get in all these fancy treatment. She was like, ‘Just go right to CVS, get this, and use it every day.’ The blue one is good for sensitive skin, and it’s amazing.

I do a lot of other scrubs, too. I love the Microdermabrasion White Aluminum Oxide Crystals for my face, and then I use the Sara Happ The Lip Scrub in Crème Brûlée. Then, I use La Mer’s Moisturizing Gel Cream around my eyes and alternate with the Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream at night. I love Skinceuticals’ C E Ferulic—it’s a serum, but I use it as my moisturizer. My face gets so oily, so I don’t like to use a lot of stuff.

BODY
I love this Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or. It gives you a little bit of shimmer. I’m not one that wears a lot of sleeveless tops or dresses. If I’m doing Meredith or The View then I can, but if I am doing CNN and talking about death and destruction, I can’t. I have worn this oil on CNN though. It’s expensive but so worth it. When you look pasty you have to throw it on.

My husband is a sports doctor—an orthopedic surgeon. Whenever he sees my shoes, he is like, ‘How are you wearing these heels? You’re going to have all of these problems!’ So I do Arnicare Gel on my feet. It’s a magic thing. It’s from Boiron, which has a lot of homeopathic remedies that I use. I made a little kit of their stuff that I keep around.

I’m often up late at night because I’m an insomniac, So I’ll buy things like Heel Tastic Intensive Heel Therapy from infomercials. Or the PedEgg! Who doesn’t have a PedEgg these days? I don’t let nail salons do anything on me but a polish change. I also have the Aromatherapy Insomnia Relief Scent Inhaler by Earth Solutions. You put it under your nose and breathe it in.  I swear that it puts me to sleep. My husband thinks it’s ridiculous, but I think it is true.

My other big thing I am obsessed with is my teeth. I use Crest 3D White Whitestrips and Opalescence Go. It’s fantastic. It’s 10 percent hydrogen peroxide, but it doesn’t make your teeth that sensitive. I love Rembrandt toothpastes and my Philips Sonicare. Then I also keep these Choward’s Violet Mints around. They’re for smokers, but they’re fantastic when you’re on-air and you’re all up on people. I use the EO Hand Sanitizers, too. It smells so nice, but it’s just hand sanitizer. When you’re shaking hands you don’t want to give them anything—and I’m shaking hands all day.”

—as told to ITG

Sunny Hostin photographed by Tom Newton on April 3, 2015. For more women in news, check out Rachel Crane’s The Face, The Professional with Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, and a joint Top Shelf with Arianna Huffington and her daughter, Christina.

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Michelle Monaghan, Actress

“In terms of beauty, I’m a real minimalist. I can only do really, really simple. It’s fun to change up my look for roles, but I don’t really do it for daily life. I actually prefer as little makeup as possible. And really, that’s just kind of for practical purposes because I do wear so much makeup when I’m working 14 hours a day. I feel like I need to give my skin a break when I can. Also, in real life, I really like my freckles—I think they give women a really youthful look, which is nice.

I got pretty into beauty even before I was acting. Credit goes to my mom. She always looked after my long, thick hair. We we didn’t have a lot of money, but she would get me those Redken hair treatments and put my hair in a hot towel and wash it in the sink—really take care of it. I remember her telling me, ‘You should really brush out those curls. Brush out your bangs,’ and I was like, ‘It’s fine!’ She told me my hair kind of looked like a donut when I didn’t take care of it, and I would be like, ‘Yeah, but I like donuts!’ [Laughs]

Before getting into acting, I was modeling, so I already had a pretty good sense of what worked on my face and what didn’t work on my face. After my senior year in college, I moved to New York and continued modeling and then started doing commercials and then kind of made the leap into television and film. That was sort of my transition, I guess.

SKINCARE
Living in LA, you have to have SPF on all the time! I just went to the dermatologist, and he was like, ‘Yup, everybody’s got more sun damage on the left side of their face because that’s the driving side.’ When I wake up in the morning, I first put on my sunscreen. I wear Supergoop’s Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology Broad Spectrum SPF 50. It’s my daily moisturizer. I have a massive pump of it. I just sort of slather it on. It’s oil-free and doesn’t clog your pores like a lot of them do, so that’s kind of what goes on first. I am also obsessed with Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, which is nice to apply if your skin is a bit dehydrated or even after a flight.

For cleanser, I tend to stay away from products with oil, parabens, or anything with algae in it—that’s the biggest pore clogger there is. I use this MAC Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser to remove any makeup, and I wash my face only at night. I just do like a nice little rinse in the shower in the morning.

For my body, my lips, and pretty much everything else, I use Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream. I put it in a cool, little compact, and then I just take it with me. It’s great because there’s nothing damaging in it, and it’s nice on the eyelids, too. It’s literally magic to me.

MAKEUP
If it’s as simple as waking up and just walking out the door, or when I’m just going out to run errands, I’ll just put on Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Ivory or Beige, depending on how much sun I’ve seen. I also use the Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen. I like it because it’s a little bit more iridescent than Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat. It reflects light a little bit better.

I love Tata Harper’s Redefining Body Balm  and the Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tints—the shade Very Vivacious has a very 1970s vibe, which I’m really into at the moment. There’s something rustic about it, and it has such a beautiful tone. These balms make me feel like putting on a pair of high-waisted jeans, and the fact that they work for both lips and cheeks is just a plus. I like to use those kinds of multipurpose products a lot.

I also love matte lips, especially stains. One of my favorites is Serge Lutens’ Water Lip Color in Chardon. The color is so beautiful—it just truly enhances your natural lip color and makes it look like you have a little bit more depth, so that’s really the best. I’ve used it on the red carpet so many times, and it’s my go-to when I’m doing more of an eye look. I don’t leave home without it in my little makeup bag.

One maintenance thing I keep up with is eyelash tinting. I don’t tend to wear mascara daily. I find that just tinting is really simple and easy and just gives some sort of definition there without having to put product on.

On True Detective, we did a ’90s episode—everyone kept calling it ‘a period piece,’ which is so funny to me. It was like seeing what my makeup should have looked like in the ‘90s. The inspiration was Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford…you know, all that great ’90s makeup and hair. Lots of MAC Lip Pencil in Spice. I just remember thinking, ‘90s makeup isn’t bad as I remembered—if it’s done properly.

HAIR
The first time I ever colored my hair was for a movie called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and I went blonde. My hair is naturally black, so it took about seven hours. I would always shock myself when I would turn on the lights in the bathroom and see my reflection—but I did love that look. My skin tone is kind of fair, so I can go kind of dark or a little bit lighter with my hair—or even get some red tones in there, I find. My husband’s personal favorite is red—like a deep auburn.

My shampoo varies constantly. I like anything from Kérastase, really. In terms of styling, I love Rahua’s Elixir. The scent is truly intoxicating. I also like Bumble and bumble’s Brilliantine for split ends. It’s especially good after you color your hair. And of course, I love Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray.

FRAGRANCE
I got a bottle of Coqui Coqui’s Tabaco in Tulum. It doesn’t last as long, but it smells so good. I also love Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Black Perfume Oil. The older I get, the more I’m liking the heavier scents and less of the other stuff. I love this stuff because it’s really nice for the whole body, so sometimes I’ll just put this on straight out of the shower. Then I have Tata Harper’s Love Potion, which I like because it’s small, and you can carry it in your purse or a small makeup bag.

HEALTH
When I’m not working, I like to exercise as much as I can. I do Soul Cycle quite a bit, and I just ran a half marathon. I haven’t always been a runner, but my friend put me up to it, and I thought, ‘Oh God. OK, I’ll do it.’ I must have been hungover or something when she asked me because I was feeling guilty, but I managed to do it! And I would do another one. Doing the TCS New York City Marathon is sort of on my bucket list, but I don’t know when I’d have the time to do it because training for it is really difficult. I also love to hike. I love to break a sweat. I try to meditate twice a day, 20 minutes at a time. That’s sort of probably good for energy. I’m not really into yoga, so I feel like meditating is a good way to balance it out.

In terms of what I eat, everything’s pretty healthy. I drink so much water—at least 3 liters a day. I also always take a green juice with me that’s made up of kale, celery, cucumber, sometimes some ginger, and lemon thrown in there, but I stay away from apple and the sugary stuff.

I actually am not a sweets person by nature. Give me a bag of salt and vinegar chips, and that’s it. I’m also a Kind bar girl—the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt, in particular. I eat a really well-balanced diet, but I’m also the girl that likes to go to the beach all day and get a Number Three at McDonald’s on the way home—everything in moderation. By default, you want to eat well when you have a family. I’m trying to introduce them to nice, healthy fish and things like that. I have two kids, a 1-year-old and a 6-year-old. I think that if you are healthy, you are beautiful on the outside and on the inside. The best thing to do is just lead by example.”

—as told to ITG

Michelle Monaghan interviewed by Alyssa Reeder and photographed by Zoey Grossman on June 3, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Katie Holmes does her makeup in the car. Read about it in The Face.

Before she was an actress, Debi Mazar got her start in makeup.

Jamie King on what beauty tricks she’s picked up along the way in her progression from model to actress.

The post Michelle Monaghan, Actress appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Behind The Makeup Of ‘Transparent’

Have you seen Amazon’s newish show Transparent? If your answer is no, a follow-up: Why the hell not? It’s only won two Golden Globes, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and a whole bunch of other accolades. And if you’re not particularly swayed by the critics’ opinions (I’m usually not), consider my personal upvote for the show. I mean it’s got Jeffrey Tambor (of Arrested Development fame) as the transgender patriarch of a dysfunctional family—really, the role was made for him. Plus each episode is only 30 minutes long (but given my experience, I recommend you prepare for a binge).

And in the realm of things that make it feel particularly “real,” hair and makeup play a significant role. I mean, figuring out how to master your hair and makeup is hard. Figuring it out when you’ve lived the first 72 of your life as a man? Decidedly harder.

Never not looking for a good beauty tip, I got in touch with the head of the show’s makeup department Emma Johnston Burton and her key assistant, Molly Tissavary, about their experience making the actors look—but mostly feel—pretty. They were kind enough to indulge me and share a few trade secrets. The conversation was long—as all good conversations are—and particularly relevant given how understanding the transgender experience has gone full-speed ahead in our current news cycle (a good thing). Below is what I learned.

—Victoria Lewis

How did you initially get involved with Transparent?

Emma: I had worked with Jill Soloway, the show’s creator, on an independent movie in 2013. Afterward, she kept calling me to do makeup for her for press tour, and we really got along. She told me that her father had recently come out as transgender and that she was going to start living as a woman now. Jill said that she had already been writing a show about her family and that this experience would play a role in it. Transparent is loosely based on that. Her dad—Kerry now—came to set and we got to meet her. She would watch a few of the scenes, but she would get tired of them, so we would offer to take her to the makeup trailer for a few hours some days.

Did Kerry give you any input for your work?

Emma: She mostly told us about her life. She’s pretty new at this as well. She didn’t give us any makeup tips because she doesn’t really wear makeup. But, we had trans consultants on the show—Zackary Drucker, Rhys Ernst, and Van Barnes—who helped every department from the writers to wardrobe to really be true to the trans-person experience. They had tons of research books, plus they’ve lived it themselves. They kept me on track. Because when I was first approached, I thought, ‘Yay, drag makeup every day!’ In my mind, there were a lot of sparkles—and that was totally wrong. As I talked to the consultants, I really came to the realization that this is just doing feminine makeup on men’s faces.

Molly: When I was working with actors like Alexandra Billings, I would ask her about her character. I always approach character work as collaboration with the actor. They have ideas about who their character is, and I think it’s important to help them bring that out with makeup.

So where did you need the most help from the consultants?

Emma: They were so crucial when we did the ’90s flashback scenes to Camp Camellia, the cross-dressing camp. They had all these amazing reference books with pictures of cross-dressers. They would wear these big press-on nails and a lot of pinks and reds—very feminine colors. There’s this one photo that I can still picture where a cross-dresser has really minimal makeup on, just maybe a little eyeliner, and he’s holding his hands up close to his face, and he’s got these big pink nails, and he’s tried to cover his beard up with foundation, and the foundation is like two shades lighter than the rest of his face. It’s an incredible picture. So, that helped us to make the whole thing a little more honest. We didn’t want to present some polished, shiny world where everyone was great at doing makeup and really in control, you know? The consultants really kept us in check reminding us that these are people’s secret lives that they’re getting to live out in public for the first time. So their own experience with it has probably been mostly hidden, and they’re probably not all that good at it.

Molly: I think also what was helpful was to recognize that the trans actors are not caricatures. Alexandra Billings is a trans woman. She’s not a man in drag makeup. She’s not a man trying to wear women’s makeup. She’s a woman who wants to look pretty.

Emma: Yeah, it was stressed to us from the beginning that self-presentation is how you address a person. So if they’re wearing female clothes or male clothes, that’s how you address them. And if you’re not sure, you can just say “them.”

Molly: Right, so for me it was really approaching it as, “OK, I need to make Alexandra look pretty within the character boundaries and within the boundaries of what Jill wants, which is minimal makeup.” She likes a more natural look, which doesn’t mean no makeup, but it means a real look. Not really glamorous. It was good to be reminded. Same with the trans men who transition from female to male—you’re not going to put makeup on them. Then of course we had the scene where we did a talent show and we did do drag makeup on Alexandra and Jeffrey. That was where we really got to spread our wings and do the full drag look. But that was because it was appropriate for the show in that particular episode and that particular scene.

And Jeffrey?

Emma: With Jeffrey’s makeup I remember at the beginning trying to do all these little things to soften his features and feminize his face, and I ended up piling on more makeup than I needed. Halfway through the season, I started using less and, all of a sudden, I took a continuity photo of him in his Maura makeup where he was sitting in a chair and we were looking at it, and Jeffrey was like, ‘Oh! Maura is elegant. Look at her! She looks beautiful!’ It kind of clicked then in my head. You don’t have to work so hard against a person’s face. Really, all I had to do was work with what I had, and she did end up looking like an elegant lady. When I had to go back to an earlier scene, he was very upset because he didn’t want to go back to looking like old Maura. He got used to looking pretty, so it was really a great acceptance moment for me to realize there was no reason to work against anything.

Let’s talk about products. What were your most-used tools?

Molly: Well, good skin prep is the cornerstone of good makeup. I really like Le Mieux skincare. I use it personally, so I’m really familiar with it. And then we used a lot of tinted moisturizers.

Emma: I used tinted moisturizers on Gaby Hoffmann, Melora Hardin, and I started using it on Jeffrey toward the end instead of something with heavier coverage. I really like the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. But for people who have more peach in their skin, I mix the Laura Mercier with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s OCC Tint because Laura Mercier is more yellow and OCC is more peach. Both look great on camera and really even out the skin tone.

Molly: And there’s always RCMA. All you have to do is thin it down with some moisturizer, and it’s great.

Emma: It looks the best on camera.

Molly: It’s old-school tried-and-true foundation. Also, I used the Viseart HD T.I.Q. Foundation. That looks amazing on guys, too.

Emma: That did look good on guys! On the flashback scenes for Jeffrey and Judith, I used a lot of highlighter under foundation. Because we had to take these actors back maybe 30 years without prosthetics and stuff. So, it was a combination of face tape and highlighting and shading underneath their foundation. I really liked this Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand in Gold, which is mostly gold shimmer. I put that under their eyes and on the high points of their faces underneath their foundation. And with Jeffrey, I would put it over his foundation as well. Our lighting was really minimal because everything on the show was supposed to be as natural as possible. So, it helped their faces to look brighter and fuller. I ended up going through at least three or four of those pens.

How was the approach different for the drag scene?

Emma: Well, there was glitter. And we did huge Ardell eyelashes.

Molly: We both tried to stay pretty true to drag makeup techniques for that particular episode. So it was a lot of contour, highlight, and heavy RCMA cream foundation. We had to block out eyebrows. For the eyeshadows I used a lot of MAC and Make Up For Ever.

Emma: I think I used OCC Pure Cosmetic Pigments. I just love drag. I think it’s so much fun. I have a couple of friends who do it, and I think it’s such a great art form. But my only experience with it before this was putting a bunch of makeup on my boyfriend from time to time!

Molly: I have had experience in the trans community for camera stuff and, of course, when I was a punk rocker in San Francisco, I hung out with a lot of cross dressers. So we would sit around and do makeup all the time. That’s pretty much all we did.

What might be some good makeup tips for someone transitioning?

Molly: I would say moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize. I mean, really—most guys don’t moisturize.

Emma: It’s not a joke! For Jeffrey it was all skincare. From the beginning to the end, his skin changed so much with proper skincare every day and cleaning makeup off completely. We had a lot of amazing products from Murad and Mario Badescu that he was using. Doing it every single day totally changed the texture of his skin. It got so much smoother, so much softer, and makeup went on easier—so I didn’t have to use as much. And really, for someone who is transitioning, I think that learning how to pick some part of your face that you like and learning what to put on to accentuate it instead of trying to hide yourself with makeup is most important. Just use it to bring out things that you like, and that will ultimately make you prettier. That’s what makeup is for.

Molly: My only other major advice would be to not over pluck your brows. I tell that to everybody. That’s a humanity suggestion! But other than that, experiment, find what you like, and find the products that work for you that you’re comfortable with. Oh, and make sure that your foundation matches your neck.

Emma: Yes!

Molly: Don’t test foundations on your hand. You need to test a foundation going from your jawline down to your neck. Seriously though, makeup is fun! And it comes right off. If you don’t like it, change it. It’s not permanent.

I’m such a fan of this show. I am so ready to binge on Season 2.

Molly: I never get tired of hearing that. I am just so proud to be a part of this show and the wider discussion about trans people. I think it’s really important, and it’s so timely. I mean, now we have Caitlyn Jenner, and I’m so proud of her. The people of the trans community are warriors, and they’re so courageous and so strong. Everyone who we encounter and are involved with on this show is so loving. There’s no judgment. I feel accepted for who I am because that’s what it’s all about. It’s more about what kind of a person you are inside than what you look like or what you choose to identify with. It’s very refreshing, especially in the entertainment industry in LA.

Emma: I second everything that Molly said. I think it’s such a special show, and it’s such a good education for how you should treat people. You have to be accepting for whoever someone is. And Molly’s right—for us, it does really transfer into the set world. We are all a bunch of weirdos here and nobody is ashamed of it!

Photos courtesy of Emma Johnston Burton and Amazon. For more on male-to-female transition, read Marlyn Alarm’s story on how she used makeup to find her identity.

The post Behind The Makeup Of ‘Transparent’ appeared first on Into The Gloss.

Jessie Kahnweiler, Filmmaker

“My awkward stage probably lasted from when I was born to last week. I was always such a weird-looking kid, but I’m really grateful for that. All of my experiences growing up have ultimately ended up, someway or another, in my work. I think it’s an amazing time to be an artist. You can help people understand and find their identities. I made this short film Meet My Rapist about running into my rapist at the farmer’s market, and now I’m working on a show called The Skinny about my relationship with bulimia. I think it’s really important to be honest about your experiences. If I fucking have this eating disorder, I think we need to start talking about it. I don’t want to be the only one, but I want to start the discussion. It’s about making really personal work but then not taking it personally. And something that I really want to get across in my shows or films is that I’m OK—that people like me are OK. Yeah, I had this disorder, but I was also a  filmmaker, a girlfriend, a daughter, and a cat owner. And I had this big, beautiful life. I’m still kind of reconciling those two sides, but that’s the story I want to tell.

I think it’s really important with beauty stuff to find your one thing. For me that’s when I get my mustache waxed. I did it for a date last night, and it’s just like $12 that makes me feel like I’m OK—like I’m me. It doesn’t have to be this super extreme thing. When I was in the thick of my body image issues, I would just not take care of myself, but when I get my mustache waxed I feel like a child of the universe. Every now and then, I’ll rage against the beauty complex, and be like, ‘Fuck that, I don’t need it.’ But it’s not about them, it’s about you and what you want. So rock that. Sometimes I don’t shave my legs. Sometimes I do. It doesn’t matter. I don’t wear makeup. Actually, I just only started wearing red lipstick sometimes, but it’s when I want to. And I don’t feel like myself when my hair is straight. I have all these things I know about myself, but like with the lipstick I’m starting to explore a little with what feels right to me. I feel like I’ve gone through this second puberty at 30 years old, where I’m like, ‘Oh my god, that’s cute! That’s a new feeling! Oooh that girl is super sexy!’ Like, what is going on? But it feels like my body is waking up to what I want instead of seeking being wanted.

In the morning I wake up and I pray. I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s handle this.’ I channel the goddess. I don’t know what God is, but I know that God isn’t me. So I pray to whatever is not me, and I’m like, ‘No matter what thoughts I have about myself, please let me not abandon myself today.’ I say that every morning. Then I brush my teeth, because I usually forget to the night before. Then I floss. I’m very big into oral hygiene, because that’s something I think young people just don’t do enough of. It’s super preventive. Also it’s your smile—your moneymaker. That’s your biggest asset and you have to take care of it. I quit smoking, so that really helped with the stains on my teeth. I guess it’s also good for your heart and stuff, but most importantly, my teeth are white. [Laughs]

When I turned 30, my girlfriend who works for the skincare company called Arbonne was like, ‘You need to use this shit.’ So when I wake up, I wash my face with Arbonne Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener. I used to think that because I didn’t have big zits, or whatever, that skincare didn’t really matter, but now I literally wash my face like a grownup woman. I’m being serious. It’s such a turning point. I feel like even doing this little thing every day helps me feel worthy of being in the world. I look at it like a spiritual experience. People say, ‘Oh you’re glowing’ when I use this stuff. I live in California, so before that I would just slap on Banana Boat, but now I put on Arbonne’s Nourishing Day Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 20 like five times a day. Then I use their Moisturizing Night Cream. I’m also all about cocoa butter allover the place or Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion.

You know what pisses me off when I get my eyebrows done? Every single time, they show me the wax and they laugh. Every time I’m like, ‘No way, they’re not going to do it this time!’ And every single time whoever is waxing me says, ‘Oh my god, so much hair!’ And I go, ‘Yeah, but you’re a waxing lady, you’ve seen it all! You must have seen more hair than this?’ And they go, ‘No.’ [Laughs] So that’s something I’ve always been really aware of. I can name all the times in my life when someone has out loud made fun of the hair on my face. I have resented it and hated it, but I also know that I may have that, but I also have amazing hair on my head that I love, so it’s a trade off.”

—as told to ITG

Jessie Kahnweiler photographed by Rick Rodney in Los Angeles. Read more about daily routines in The Face.

The post Jessie Kahnweiler, Filmmaker appeared first on Into The Gloss.