Last week, we had Shawn Towne, Global Educator for Jane Iredale in for our summer makeup event. I had the opportunity to interview him about the beauty industry, top beauty picks, and what he loves about Western New York.
Amy: So, Global Educator, that’s a pretty impressive title how did you get into the beauty industry? Was it something you always wanted to get into?
Shawn Towne: I’ve been a makeup artist for twenty five years, I started doing makeup in San Antonio, Texas in the 1980s; they had a vocational program in my high school where students could take cosmetology classes on campus. I was the first male student to enter the program- the year after I graduated they closed the program down! They were like, “no more of that, no more boys in the cosmetology program!” I was the only man to ever be in the cosmetology program in Churchill…that’s my claim to fame.
Amy: I’m surprised you don’t have a southern accent!
ST: I lost it as quickly as I could!
ST: I then built my portfolio as a makeup artist in the Los Angeles industry in the ‘90s doing makeup for magazines, tv commercials, celebrities- I’m not what you may consider a celebrity makeup artist by any means, but I’ve done my fair share…
Amy: So being a makeup artist, what is currently your favorite beauty product, and why?
ST: For me, there are just some timeless products…Jane created a foundation that is the cornerstone of our line called Amazing Base; you literally put it on people and they say “that’s amazing!” What I love about it is that it is the most versatile foundation product: it’s a foundation, a powder, concealer, and sun protection in one. I love using it to get coverage in areas that I can’t go with a cream, it doesn’t crease up like a cream- it just blends seamlessly into the skin. You can make your skin look really flawless with it…it’s gorgeous.
Amy: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since being with Jane Iredale, or in the industry in general?
ST: In the industry, it’s about knowing what the customer wants and not superimposing you desires onto the customer; although I’m the expert at makeup artistry, the customer is the expert at what she likes-I have to always respect that. Since I’ve started working with Jane Iredale, one the most valuable things that I’ve learned is the importance of transparency: that is, working for a company that does what they say they are going to do, a company that doesn’t keep secrets, one that really stands behind their products and has a lot of dignity. Jane uses products that are good for the skin, she won’t use junk.
Amy: So it’s really all about quality. That’s great.
ST: Definitely all about quality ingredients.
Amy: What do you feel is one beauty product that transcends age- what is something that whether you’re 20, 30, or 40 you need to have, or you can use that is just timeless for anyone?
ST: It really depends on your lifestyle…I think our lip plumpers, called “Just Kissed Lip Plumper” really transcend every age. Teens love them because they make the lips look really fresh and glossy, and women in their 40s and 50s love them because it makes their lips appear healthy and youthful. Another one that I feel is really universal is our pure pressed base, it comes in a compact, it’s a powder that covers like a foundation, you can take it anywhere, and it makes your skin look perfect, and it has that four in one quality: foundation, powder, concealer, and sun protection.
Amy: What is your favorite part about visiting Western New York? Have you ever been here before?
ST: I have, this is my second visit to Buffalo. The first time I came it was in the wintertime and as frigid as it was, you come into Tony Walker and it’s this warm, wonderful atmosphere. I also really like that there are a lot of natural elements around here; I saw Niagara Falls- that was dazzling to me! Also, it’s about 95 degrees in Jersey right now and here it’s in the lovely 70s..I really enjoy that!
Amy: What is one item that you won’t travel without?
ST: My Amazing Base!
Amy: Really?! Wow, ok!
ST: I’m wearing a full face of it right now, I won’t walk out of the house without it! A lot of people say that men don’t wear makeup…men wear makeup, they just don’t tell anyone!
Amy: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
ST: Getting a woman that comes in and sits in my chair and for some reason or another doesn’t feel great about herself, and making her feel beautiful. It’s instant gratification!
Amy: Now the fun questions…What’s the last thing you googled?
ST: The last thing I googled….The last thing I googled was Charlotte, North Carolina real-estate. Because I’m in the process of moving to North Carolina.
Amy: Relocating! Jersey to North Carolina, that’s a pretty big change…going back down south.
ST: I used to live in North Carolina and I just fell in love with it, it’s really beautiful there…so yeah, that’s the last thing I googled; although, I did google BB Cream, we’re in the process of coming out with a new BB Cream. It’s going to be called “Glow Time”, it’s really exciting because most companies only have two or three colors, we’re going to have six.
Amy: Amazing! When can we expect this?
ST: We’re launching it in July, so you’ll have it shortly after it’s out. Everybody is going to want them, but Tony Walker Body+Beauty is a priority for us!
Amy: Last question: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
ST: Chocolate Chip Mint…or Cake Batter, but that isn’t always as readily available. I’m trying not to do ice cream right now. When you’re on the road all you do is eat!
Shawn’s experience and knowledge was evident as he spent time with clients; everyone left his chair radiant and feeling great. Shawn had some extra time, so he did my makeup and even gave me a few great tips, “don’t be afraid to use color on the eyes” (usually I’m a mascara and little bit of eyeliner kind of girl). Hopefully, I’ll be brave enough to try some of his tricks!