BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
Lazy Perfection, without being perfectly lazy are makeup artist and author Jenny Patinkin’s watchwords as she spreads the art of looking great without really trying. Her new book, Lazy Perfection, addresses women who like makeup but don’t necessarily like to wear a lot of it.
“When people ask what I do, I say that I am in the beauty business. I am a beauty expert with lots of on-camera work, have my own line of brushes, and have written a beauty book. I have learned that what makeup can do for you is to bring you feelings of empowerment and self-confidence. It is not going to alter the path of your destiny, but it can put a spring in your step that comes from feeling great about how you look.”
In a recent interview, Jenny spoke about changes in how people buy make up today:
“Often you walk into a department store only to be greeted by many salespeople desperate for your business. Don’t let the first person who says hello be the one to do your makeup. If you are not comfortable, move on.
“If you are wonderfully confident about what works for you, digital shopping is great. Read about textures and finishes and look at swatches and color ranges. Read what the user reviews by people who have actually used the product say. Bloggers’ opinions are not as honest—often the author has a relationship with the brand.”
A beauty entrepreneur and mother of three daughters—none of whom she says loves to wear makeup—Jenny mirrors the freshness she says is the goal. She has worked makeup magic on the Today Show and the Rachel Ray Show, and appeared in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Goop, and Glamour. Jenny describes three skincare tracks in her book: simple, sophisticated and sexy.
For each you have to be good to your skin and create a consistent routine: “You begin with what I call face value: ask yourself what is the first thing your eye is drawn to when you look in the mirror.”
How long does it take you to achieve ‘lazy perfection’?
I usually allow 15 to 20 minutes in the morning for skincare and makeup. I prime my skin in the morning with cream and then put a thin layer of makeup on top. I don’t redo for evening; just a little lipstick on my lips and cheeks.
How does social media influence makeup choices?
The brands are so nimble based on trends on social media that often the cart comes before the horse. There is a small group of powerful influencers, such as Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, creating trends like contouring and matte lipstick. Kylie appeals to Generation Z and Kim more to millennials. It is absolutely not lazy perfection, but there is no denying their business savvy.
Who are celebrities who reflect your concept of lazy perfection?
I love a fresh look. Jennifer Garner never looks overdone. She is into her 40s and always looks terrific. Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel are other examples.
New Zealand makeup artist Lisa Ethridge always has a light touch and creates very natural looks. She is age sensitive and does not just work on young skins. She has done beautiful looks for Kate Winslet and the English model Rosie Huntington Whiteley.
Beauty: inside versus outside?
You definitely can conflate being comfortable with yourself and the energy you put out with the energy you will then attract from the world. There are a few brands I won’t support because they may make customers attractive on the outside but do things that don’t show kindness.
What is your favorite product?
Concealer, hands down. They are multi-purpose, working with dark circles, blemishes, and can highlight the shape of your eyes and mouth.
You write about Pretty Purification, otherwise known as purging products.
Try gathering all your makeup from your drawers, counters, cases, office, gym bag, pockets, or the swirling vortex at the bottom of your purse and put all together in one place like a basket or a box.
Next, find an area with plenty of surface space—I like the dining room table with a couple of old towels and sheets on top. That way I can see everything on a clean white backdrop.
Put products together by group: blushes and highlighters, lip glosses, eye shadows, foundations, and the like. Group by group, go through each item and ask yourself: When was the last time I used this product? Is the container broken, crushed, or nonfunctional? Is it ripe for bacteria bloom?
You should stop leaving caps off your makeup products, especially if you store them in a humid environment like your bathroom. They need to be kept closed so that they aren’t exposed to too much humidity, which can encourage bacteria growth. Here are some recommendations:
Sponges and powder puffs—wash or toss them every single week.
Mascara and liquid liners are products that actually do need to be replaced often, usually every three or four months.
Tweezers should be replaced every three to twelve months. And spend the $20 to get high quality ones.
Cream eye shadow and gel eyeliners can last 6 to12 months, and you can salvage them by adding a few eye drops when they are dry.
Lipsticks and lip glosses can last up to two years and can easily be wiped or sprayed with rubbing alcohol to kill germs. Because they are both emollient formulas, most don’t dry out easily.
Companies must send you lots of products. Do you find ones you like that way?
It’s about fifty-fifty that I find one that I like. I cycle through lots of products, and they are fun to play with.
What about perfume?
Being a perfume salesperson in a department store has to be the worst job in the world, God bless them! For me, perfume is one step too many. It is out of my zone.
You have a line of makeup brushes. What should we know about brushes?
If you care for your brushes and keep them clean, a good-quality makeup brush can last for years and years. Makeup brushes need to be replaced when they shed too much, feel rough on the skin, have lost their shape, or have dented, broken, or misshapen bristles. If the bristles don’t look and feel smooth, they aren’t going to give a smooth application.
What is the best part of being a makeup artist?
When the client walks out the door feeling great, having just looked in the mirror and thinking she looks wonderful when I have used a little bronzer and a little mascara.