Carly Fiorina Runs for President


And next up, the award for shortest photo shoot ever.

Ladies and gentlemen I’m proud to announce that the honor goes to…

Carly Fiorina

Before Ms. Fiorina, the head of NASA was reigning king of the shortest photo shoot ever.  Eight clicks of the Canon are all Michael Greene gave the photographer for his official portrait for their website.  However, this particular photo shoot for which I was hired to do makeup and hair on Carly Fiorina for MORE Magazine never even made it into the pages for readers until a second crew, at a different time and location got the shot of her posing outdoors.  Originally, the magazine brought down a New York  City photographer and his crew to photograph her at the National Arboretum on New York Avenue in Washington, D.C.  Later they went with a more controlled look, which you can view through the following link.

On a brisk and windy spring day, I met Ms. Fiorina at her posh Georgetown home at the Ritz Carlton Residences  off 31st and South Streets.  Since my day with her in 2009, she’s became a cancer survivor after an unsuccessful run for Senator of California, with her defeat to Barbara Boxer in 2010. Now she hopes to get a spot on the Republican ticket to run as the first female President of the United States of America. To get a glimpse of the Presidential hopeful, in action, read my blog entry below.


From the blog post in Making Up America:

-April 2009

One of the most inspirational stories of a business person making it in America comes from Carly Fiorina. After her meteoric rise from humble beginnings as a secretary to CEO at Hewlett-Packard, which is well documented in her book Tough Choices, Fiorina is ready for Politics. Republicans here comes Carly!

I had the pleasure to do Carly’s makeup and hair for More Magazine. I was fortunate to observe a tough, yet diplomatic woman in action. Carly Fiorina is the complete package. Smart, kind, assertive, diplomatic, tightly organized and beautiful describes this future politician. She spoke yesterday at a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. and reportedly said she was “seriously considering running”.  I think she was forward thinking to not run as Vice President with John McCain (I was fortunate to do grooming for the Arizona Senator for the cover of Esquire). Carly must have clearly understood the political climate to wait for another shot at running for office.

What people should know about Carly Fiorina is that she makes things happen. She has no fear. She takes risks but in a calculated way with the end result in mind. An example, though seemingly trivial, is when she and I went on location for a photoshoot. After meeting her at her exquisite home away from home in Washington, D.C., I did her makeup and hair. She was quite accommodating and very pleasant to be around. With polish and the utmost in put togetherness, Carly welcomed me into her home overlooking the Potomac River.  As I set up at a glass dining room table, it felt a little formal, like being in a museum or a space where touching anything sets off an alarm.  You stood taller around her.  The space had clean modern lines and art work and vases in well thought out juxtaposition to accent the spacious surroundings.  Large windows let in the natural light as the sun shone through.  She was very kind and warm towards me, realizing the team effort necessary to get her camera ready.  My natural makeup and her pixie cut were in line with her brand.  She wore a smart grey suit and looked the part of the serious business woman. I focused the makeup on her eyes, which are very expressive. Achieving a smokey, almost lavender eye with neutral lips, I was able to fit the makeup to her wardrobe, which was classy and dignified so the makeup blended well with her professional look.

After makeup, we were ready to proceed by cab to the photoshoot at the National Arboretum off New York Avenue. When we got there, after the driver found the remote and spacious location by the unmistakable large Corinthian columns, it was immediately evident that there was way too much wind for an appropriate looking photo of this busy executive. As the huge white columns stood sentry in a vast grassy area of the arboretum, the location the photographer chose for the photo came into clearer view.  We got out of the cab and my mind instantly registered that the wind would be a problem.  Ms. Fiorina’s hair was swirling out of control and was unbecoming for a conservative business woman.  The photographer seemed to be undeterred.  Without a second thought, I mentioned my concern to Carly.  She felt the same and asked the photographer if there was an alternative indoor site for the photo shoot.  The photographer denied having another spot nearby. Carly was very kind and gentle as she rejected the photographer’s plea to do the photo shoot. Had she consented to the photo session, her hair would have been all over the place. Crazy, out of control hair was not the look we wanted to achieve since she was in business attire.  The idea of a casual, carefree, wind-swept look did not represent this in control and accomplished woman. Maybe it would have worked if she were in resort wear on a sailboat, but not that day. For me, the conditions were unacceptable, and I told her so. She knew. In all my years of experience, this was the first and last time a photo shoot would not take place. We left the site unfulfilled. I was a little miffed as to why the photographer didn’t have an indoor shot lined up considering all the time, money and effort it took several individuals, including the crew from D.C. and New York City, to prepare for the shot not to mention the chunk of the day Carly wasted.  Carly accepted a second offer to take the photos and she did end up appearing in the magazine. It’s no surprise that the photographer did not ask me to join them the second time around.

In reflection, for the twenty years  I’ve been in the industry, this is the first and only time that we’ve had to scratch a shoot.  I don’t regret encouraging Ms. Fiorina to deny them the opportunity for a photo that day because she looked unprofessional posing in a setting more conducive to a fashion spread.  Although we all packed up and went home, the magazine later ran a photo, shot at another day and time with a different makeup artist.  I took a temporary hit by being honest.  I also took a permanent hit because MORE has yet to call me back for another chance.  Most likely, the photographer put the blame on me that day. I understand he had to. More important to me, though, is that hopefully Carly appreciates my business ethics and that my professional integrity remains intact.


Carly for your Presidential bid…

Got Makeup? 

Because I’m happy to assist you again! 


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