An interview with Jenny Patinkin of Lazy Perfection

Jenny Patinkin

Jenny Patinkin

Jenny Patinkin is a Chicago-based makeup artist who launched her Lazy Perfection line of makeup brushes last year. Unsatisfied with mass-produced brushes, she developed her own line of luxurious makeup brushes, which are handmade by Japanese artisans.

Lazy Perfection was picked up by high-end retailers Cos Bar and SpaceNK.  In addition, gloss48.com recently held a flash sale (now closed) of Lazy Perfection brushes.

In this interview, Jenny resolves the seeming contradiction in the name “Lazy Perfection,” discusses her hero products, and gives 2 makeup tips that are flattering to all women.

1. How did you get started in makeup? Do you have a background or interest in art? I’ve interviewed several makeup artists, and what they have in common is a background or interest in art.

I started in makeup kind of by accident. After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I wanted to go back to work and was looking around at beauty related business opportunities. Along the way I met a makeup artist who recognized some natural ability and she encouraged me to get some training. I’d always loved makeup, but my artistic abilities were previously unknown to me. Such a fun, exciting surprise to have discovered them at 40!

2. Your bio says that you were trained at the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy in London, England. What motivated you to travel abroad and pursue training in England?

The focus of my time at JK was on makeup history. I didn’t see any other classes offered in the US quite like this one and I knew it would give me a foundation of knowledge that would support any style I chose to do.

3. How did you get signed by Timothy Priano only 3 weeks after graduating from the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy? He has represented some of the most prominent MUAs in the industry.

The artist who trained me in Chicago recommended me to Priano and they brought me in to do 3 test shoots with some of their new models. It was an incredibly nerve wracking day, made all the more so because they expected me to do hair as well, something about which I know very little. But, as soon as the agency saw the test shots, they offered me a contract, which was very flattering.

4. Why the name “Lazy Perfection” for your collection of brushes? It sounds like a contradiction in terms!

The name is absolutely a nod to how easy it is to apply your makeup with these brushes! My collection is made from brush hairs so soft that they pick up less product from the pan and then bend and flex as soon as they touch your face, making the distribution of your product much more even. The easier it is to blend your makeup, the faster you can finish your look and get out the door. That’s Lazy Perfection.

5. Your makeup brushes are handcrafted in Japan. Are there any other aspects of Asian aesthetics that appeal to you?

I appreciate understated beauty and simplicity, so the minimalism in the Japanese aesthetic definitely speaks to me. There might be a lot of detail, but it never appears overworked or overdone. The traditional Japanese aesthetic has a purity and elegance that I very much admire.

6. Your top-selling brushes are the All Over Face, Domed Multi Blender, and Flat Fluffy Cheek brushes. Why do you think that these brushes are so popular?

Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin

Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin

The All Over Face Brush is my #1 best seller because it can do just so much – it’s a makeup brush Super Hero!  Any complexion product you need to apply, whether it’s liquid, cream or powder, applies quickly, every and beautifully. From foundation to blush, to bronzer, contour, highlighter, powder or mineral powder, this brush is a multi-tasking powerhouse that couldn’t make your makeup routine any simpler.

The Domed Multi Blender Brush has a soft but dense tip, which is absolutely fabulous for buffing under eye concealer seamlessly.   You can apply less concealer with a brush like this since it distributes the product so well, and that means less chance of creasing. The thinner the layer, the longer the wear!  It’s also terrific for spot concealing discoloration on the skin and for applying a diffused blend of cream or powder eyeshadow.

The Flat Fluffy Cheek Brush is 100% Blue Squirrel and the softest, most luxurious blush brush ever!  I was so tired of having scratchy dry brushes on my face that made me feel like I was exfoliating instead of applying makeup!  The short edge of this brush can be used for contouring or highlighting; the broad edge gives a 1-sweep application, and the uncut tapered tips of the hair practically blend product for you.

7. What are your views about natural bristles versus synthetic bristles?

At the end of the day, the way a brush blends your makeup is what matters most. Uncut, tapered, natural hairs practically float the product onto your skin, and the ones in my line are amazingly luxurious and soft. People don’t realize that the same way there are different grades of natural hair, there are different grades of synthetic hairs, too. It’s the inexpensive synthetics I don’t care for, because they loose their flexibility over time, start to stick together, and get weighed down with oils and pigments which makes the blending process slower and more difficult.

8. Your brushes are sold not only through your web site, but also through premium vendors such as Cos Bar and SpaceNK. How did your collection get picked up by Cos Bar and SpaceNK?

I cold called them! Lily Garfield from Cos Bar and Nicky Kinnaird from SpaceNK understood immediately what I was trying to do and that my line of brushes is several steps higher in quality than a mass produced line. They both remain wonderful mentors to me.

9. What are your plans to expand your brand?

I am currently working on a range of innovative products, including a new brush concept that is designed to enable Lazy Perfection and simplify and streamline the makeup process for women.

10. As you live in Chicago, have you done makeup for Michelle Obama and Oprah?

I have met them both, but have never been fortunate enough to do their makeup. Michelle Obama’s skin is magnificent – I’d love to have the opportunity to work with her.

11. What is the biggest mistake that women make in applying makeup?

Too often, women obsess about the little flaws only they can see on their faces and pile on product to either cover them up or change them. Once you start messing with nature by trying to fight it or alter it, it can take you into tricky territory. I think we all have to be a little kinder to ourselves and realize that the little flaws aren’t worth the anxiety. That’s part of Lazy Perfection – eliminating the stress.

12. What makeup tips can you share with us?

There are 2 things I think are flattering on all women, regardless of age, coloring, etc. 1) Tight lining the upper lash line gives definition to the eye and creates the appearance of fuller lashes, and 2) very subtly highlighting the outer tops of the cheeks makes your complexion look naturally radiant.

13. Do you have any parting thoughts about beauty that you would like to share with our readers?

Applying your makeup doesn’t have to take forever or be stressful. It’s all about blending. Blend, blend, blend … and then blend some more.

An interview with Jessica of VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica Liebeskind loved shopping for cosmetics at her local drug store as a pre-teen. In college, she founded her first make-up line, which was sold exclusively by college students on campuses across the country. On a visit to Bergdorf Goodman, she saw Bobbi Brown and knew she had to introduce herself to Bobbi Brown. After 3 interviews, she was hired for global product development. She created Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Compact and Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. More recently, she consulted on Estée Lauder’s re-launch of the Pure Color line.

Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica debuted her own cosmetics line VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind on HSN on New Year’s Day.

Inspired by Jessica’s philosophy that women just want to look pretty – VINTAGE products create an updated classic beauty look gorgeously enhancing eyes, lips and cheeks. The highly curated collection is comprised of NEW neutrals that complement a woman’s skin tone – not just match it; NEW pigments that pop her features and catch the light as she moves; and NEW textures that deliver luxurious comfort and long-wear benefits.

It’s apparent that Jessica has inherited her mentor Bobbi Brown’s aesthetic.

The Style Page discussed beauty with Jessica Liebeskind:

TSP: Tell us about your debut on HSN on New Year’s Day.

JL: The debut was amazing! It was so full of energy and excitement. I really couldn’t have thought of a better day or a better way to kick off the new year.

TSP: What was the most challenging aspect of launching a new cosmetics line?  One beauty entrepreneur told me that it was financing; another told me it was production schedules.

JL: Being a consumer products company and manufacturing custom designed and developed goods can take a while, so for me I had to get comfortable with being patient.  I was so excited by what I was creating; the packaging, the textures, the magnificent colors  – I couldn’t wait to get women wearing and enjoying the make-up – so waiting for me was definitely a hard part.

TSP: Your beauty philosophy is “women just want to look pretty.”  What does pretty mean to you?

JL: Pretty is a feeling. It’s a confidence, a knowing. I love it when a woman tries a new technique and her eyes stand out or puts on a beautiful blush and she’s brightened up – there’s a happiness that comes over her in an instant. That’s pretty.

TSP: What is PrettyU?

JL: PrettyU! is a really fun project I’m working that I hold very close to my heart. That’s all I can leak out for now.

TSP: What’s next for Vintage Cosmetics?  How do you plan to expand your line and its distribution?

JL: When [you’re] new it can be very exciting because there are so many options and opportunities. But the secret is to hold tight to the vision and stay focused on who you are. For VINTAGE you’ll likely see a slightly broader (but still edited) shade offering, new product categories and growth in digital.

TSP: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working on your cosmetics line?

JL: I love spending time in flower shops and farmers markets. It’s my second passion. I also really enjoy a great spin class, visiting my family & friends back in California and laughing with my nephew.

TSP: Are there any beauty tips that you would like to share with our readers?

JL: I always say it isn’t about a lot of make-up, it’s about the right make-up.

TSP: Are there any parting remarks you would like to make about beauty?

JL: Beauty is fun. It should make you feel good — and wear blush!

The Style Page reviews How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp

How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times BetterHow Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better by Charla Krupp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read How Not to Look Old after reading Andrea Robinson’s Toss the Gloss. Charla Krupp’s book is more extensive, as it covers fashion in addition to make-up.

Charla Krupp begins this book by saying that looking old negatively impacts you both personally and financially. Not a very upbeat way to begin a book.

I disagree with Krupp’s aversion to nude pantyhose: I feel undressed without hosiery. Krupp also advocates shimmery pink gloss (see the back cover), something that Robinson opposes.

Krupp’s best chapter is on bra fitting. Did you know that the band should provide more support than the straps? For more tips about bra fitting, I recommend reading How to properly measure from my favorite lingerie store Trousseau.

Had I not read Kathy Shaidle’s humorous 50 is the New Crappy, I would not have known that Charla Krupp died in 2012 at age 58. She did not get to live to old age.

View all my reviews

Culling my makeup collection

I’m culling my makeup collection as Andrea Robinson recommended in Toss the Gloss. As I go through my collection, I think of the wonderful creative entrepreneurial people that I’ve met over the years through The Style Page. Their pieces hold special memories for me, and I’ve kept them.

Then there are the products that are no longer around (except in my closet):

  • reflect.com, an abortive attempt by P&G to create “customized” palettes (actually, the options were pretty limited).  My item is not a custom palette, but a limited edition face palette that reflect created for Chico’s (yes, Chico’s)
  • M Professional, an inexpensive line (not tested on animals except boyfriends :-)  that featured eye shadow singles with the screw-top lids that MAC made famous in the 90s
  • Lisa Hoffman Beauty skin care (before she focused on fragrance)
  • B’Box, which featured eye shadow and lip color matchsticks
  • Vital Radiance, which was Revlon’s disastrous venture in creating a cosmetics line for women 50+
  • L’Oreal Paris True Match liquid bronzer: it came in a mini-me glass bottle and looked like malted milk!
  • FYLO (For Your Lips Only), which featured lip gloss cubes that you could snap into a palette.  This brand was created by Heidi Harris, who is now associate concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Hometown hero! Yay!
  • Calvin Klein, a color cosmetic line sold at Sephora that predated his CK Calvin Klein line from Markwins International and his current line CK One from Coty, which is sold exclusively by Ulta stores and ulta.com.  I miss Calvin Klein: no gimmicky or cutesy stuff, just sophisticated shades for grown women, and the Lucite packaging made this line stand out among  color cosmetics lines.
  • Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy, which predates her current line Carmindy & Co.  There was a commentator on my old blog whose hatred of Carmindy came across as pathological.

There was the Givenchy make-up that a PR person gave me to thank me for a story I published about a charity auction for the Somaly Mam Foundation. Alas, Somaly Mam proved to be a fraud.

I couldn’t find those little plastic spatulas (great for scooping out loose powders and creams), but by going through my makeup collection, I found a lot of them.  Likewise, I couldn’t find nail boards and I’d pester the folks at the local TD Bank branch to get nail boards that they give away.  Again, by going through my collection, I found lots of nail boards.

I’m thinking about buying this Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner to organize my newly edited and curated (cough, cough) makeup collection.  Do you own one?  What do you think?

Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner

Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner

I’ll never get my collection down to the size of a Prada black nylon cosmetics bag, as Ms. Robinson suggested. I had a perfectly good knock-off where the emblem looked like the Prada emblem.

The Style Page reviews @TosstheGloss

Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+ by Andrea Q. Robinson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Andrea Robinson has had a storied career in the beauty industry, both as a magazine editor and cosmetics executive. She created The Nakeds product line for Ultima II in the late 80s/early 90s, predating both Bobbi Brown and the UD Naked palettes, which has had numerous knock-offs: see http://www.pinterest.com/thestylepage…. More recently, she was the brains behind Tom Ford Beauty, but was later fired.

First, the negative aspects of Toss the Gloss:

* I find it implausible that Robinson, who is 73, looks that young. This negatively impacts the credibility of the book.

* This book will become dated fast, as cosmetics companies will discontinue products listed as “best bets.”

* The make-up techniques are poorly described and illustrated, no matter how “charming” the illustrations are.

* You can find more extensive coverage of “non-invasive” techniques such as Botox and fillers and cosmetic surgery in Paula Begoun’s The Original Beauty Bible and Allure magazine.

On the plus side, Robinson offers many affordable options as best bets. She also blows the lid off the beauty industry, surprisingly, as she is a long-time beauty insider. Or could she have been bitter after her firing from Tom Ford Beauty?

As for me, I’m acting on Robinson’s advice to cull my make-up collection, but I can’t bring it down to the size of a cosmetic bag.

View all my reviews

Best brow product, ever

When I go to the salon to get my hair colored, I ask my hairdresser to tint my eyebrows; however, a couple of weeks before I go to the salon (I go every 5 weeks), the grey hairs begin appearing on my brows.

I’ve experimented with various products:

Both 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyebrow and TouchBack Brow Marker are good for covering individual hairs.

Paula's Choice Brow Tint

Paula’s Choice Brow Tint – paulaschoice.com

However, my favorite brow product is Paula’s Choice Hair/Brow Tint.  It comes in a tube, much like a mascara, and has a brush that it is flat on one side, enabling it to act like a comb.   I like it because I can groom and tint my eyebrows in one step.

#mystealthyfreedom Iranian women take a stand for freedom

I love Iran: its food, its culture, its music. I look forward to the day when Iranians will remove their theocracy from power.

In the meantime, I’ll have to satisfy myself with My Stealthy Freedom,  https://www.facebook.com/StealthyFreedom, a Facebook page where Iranian women protest compulsory hijab by doffing their hijabs.

#mystealthyfreedom

#mystealthyfreedom

Launched May 3, My Stealthy Freedom now has over 500 thousand fans from all over the world offering their moral support.  The women are frequently photographed in natural settings: mountains, seas, and deserts.  They often turn their faces away from the camera or are photographed at a distance to avoid detection: in fact, a Facebook page was set up to identify these women and put them at risk for reprisal; fortunately, that page was taken down.

There is a support site, Men Supporting Freedoms of Iranian Women, https://www.facebook.com/SupportStealthyFreedoms, where men submit pictures of themselves holding signs indicating their support of these women.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Men’s Stealthy Freedom page, https://www.facebook.com/menstealthysfreedom (“It’s just for fun!”), where Iranian men submit pictures of themselves in drag or in various stages of undress. I love this picture  where a guy looks like a cross between Lana del Rey and Conchita Wurst.  These guys have got to be some of the hairiest guys that I’ve ever seen.  Disgusting, but soooooooooooo funny.  There’s nothing stealthy about it: the men show their faces and are clearly not afraid of reprisal.  Talk about double standards!