Grooming: Obama and his new dog Bo


Who knew that Bo, the First Dog, would be a point of contact for Making Up America? Granted I do “Grooming” , albeit for the non-canine variety including the President, yet sure enough Obama’s Dog Blog featured a wonderful credit for makeup I did on Press Secretary, Katie McCormick-Lelyveld in Elle. Thank you Moira. For dog lovers out there, she has a fun site that has been following all things doggy about the Obamas.

Often the issue has been raised, mostly by men who get “makeup” for photoshoots why the term “grooming” is used for them. Isn’t grooming for dogs? The industry has yet to come up with a better term to describe male makeup. Some have recommended calling myself a “Stylist” but I feel like that refers to clothing more than makeup. Others thought I’d be offended being called “The Makeup Lady”.

Yet, considering the history of makeup and that in the early 1900’s women wouldn’t consider making up their faces, it’s not hard to believe that most men don’t want makeup for photoshoots. There is an interesting movie (Powder and Glory) based on the book (Paint Wars by Woodhead) about Makeup’s First Ladies: Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein. See a review of the movie below.

For men, there is definitely a list of those who will and those who won’t “get some powder” for  a photoshoot. Usually, those who will are actors and politicians. President Obama, who rightfully  has his own English brand of mattifying concealer that matches his skin tone perfectly, understands the importance of presenting a good image. Anyone who realizes that professional makeup application can make them look rested and natural for photos is a client I appreciate. Those who won’t are often worried about how others will view them. They usually require a little cajoling. If they totally refuse, it’s okay. Sometimes, the photographer doesn’t want men to be made up. For photography, makeup depends on the subject, the photographer, the article being written and other outside variables. After a decade plus in the industry, I still don’t have a good word to describe men’s makeup. Let me know if you do.


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