Alison Raffaele began her career as a makeup artist at the makeup counter of her family-owned pharmacy before booking her first pro job while still in high school. In the 20+ years she’s been working she’s certainly come a long way! Raffaele became the first national makeup artist and international trainer for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, ran an eponymous and successful makeup brand (Alison Raffaele Cosmetics, Inc.) from 2000 to 2014, has worked for magazines including Rolling Stone, Town and Country, Lucky, More, Real Simple and Vogue Italia, has been the lead makeup artist for fashion shows during Fashion Week, has made personal, television and radio appearances on behalf of mega beauty brands such as Maybelline, Revlon and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, has worked on her fair share of a-listers and is currently on the makeup team at both CNBC and Yahoo!.
Clearly, there’s nothing she can’t do! Here, Alison talks tips for mature women, makeup must-haves and more:
1. What is your personal beauty philosophy?
Be comfortable and be yourself! If it isn’t comfortable and it isn’t you, you will never look good in it, no matter what it is!
2. If you weren’t a makeup artist, what would you be?
I honestly have no idea. It’s all I have ever wanted to be since I was 10 years old and it is as central to my identity as being female. Being a makeup artist is who I am!
3. What’s an easy-to-do, flattering-for-most summer makeup look?
Personally, I think there is nothing more unflattering than a full face of makeup melting in the heat. YUCK! To look your best:
Use a concealer that matches your current skin tone (remember: skin gets darker in the sun, your makeup doesn’t!) under your eyes, around your nose and on any blemishes.
Apply a shimmery peachy-pink blush to the apples of your cheeks (powder for normal/oily skin, creme for normal/dry skin) and blend well.
Curl your eyelashes, apply black water (and sweat) resistant mascara.
Line your top lash line with black-brown eyeliner, smudge.
Apply lip gloss. Smile!
And when you get sweaty and/or oily, BLOT with a blotting tissue to refresh your look.
4. Makeup-wise, is there anything you do differently for more mature women so that they look their best?
As we age our faces lose definition. So for older women, lining along the upper eye lid, filling in brows, using a lip liner that matches their lips and subtle eye/cheek contouring are all important. I also don’t do anything overly trendy (ie: glitter, bright/crazy colors) on women over 30, unless it is Halloween. It just looks silly. But that being said, every woman is different, so the most important thing is to make sure the makeup matches the woman, her personality and her lifestyle.
5) What are your desert island beauty products?
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil ($28) removes everything and then disappears without a trace with a simple splash of water.
6. Who is your dream celebrity client?
I honestly don’t have one. A person’s “celebrity” doesn’t impress me at all – rather, I am drawn to people who are funny, kind, intelligent, honest, hard-working and devoid of a self-serving ego. Those people are automatically beautiful to me & those are the clients I seek.
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