WHO: Tinsley Mortimer, the most famous and photographed socialite in New York. Fashion entrepreneur and designer. Reality TV star, the CW's "High Society." Beauty Ambassador for Christian Dior. Author (she has a book coming out). Mother of three (chihuahuas). Upper East Side dropout and newly minted divorceé -- see "Tinsley's Turbulent Year, The Wall Street Journal, 2009." Major in Japan.
WHAT: The first ever xojane.com MAKEUNDER, the less-is-more beauty stripdown you might remember from JANE magazine! Yup, it's back.
WHERE: Tinsley's airy, gorgeous loft in a weird neighborhood one might call "Madison Square Garden South." (To those media outlets who gossiped that Tinz was "Slumming It In Midtown," au contraire -- trust.)
WHY: A SOCIALITE?! On xoJane.com, the new website from the founder of SASSY?! Why, sure! Duh, we celebrate all types of women, first of all, and, okay, our beauty editors REALLY celebrate glam ones. (Who do you want us to makeunder, Naomi Wolf? C'mon.)
But seriously, Tinsley is so known for being perfectly made up that Saks once offered two-hour private makeup masterclasses on "recreating Tinsley's favorite night and day beauty looks" with a Dior makeup artist. Oh, and Dior also named a lip gloss after her -- "Tinsley Pink" (obvs).
WARDROBE: "I love jeans, but I feel most confident in a bubble gum pink party dress," Tinsley told us. But she was game to dress down in a vintage AC/DC t-shirt taken directly from an xoJane.com staffer's closet (well, we washed it first). And -- though you can't see her bottom half-- she's wearing her own Paige Denim Jeans. We're blanking on the shoes; she might have been barefoot.
Tinsley is usually made red-carpet ready by a glamour squad of pros before stepping in front of the photogs, but we brought in exactly one: Selene Anderson of Ford Artists, who created the beachy-bedhead hair and the subtle tawny makeup seen here.
WHAT WE DID:
We'd been told that Tinsley "wasn't into mornings" (who is?), and when we arrived at 11 a.m., Tinsley still wore no makeup and was barefoot, dressed in a super-soft green T-shirt and sweatpants. She looked like a sorority president. She sipped from a Starbucks someone had brought her and kindly requested more time "to let the coffee kick in" before she answered any questions about her makeup and everything.
No problem. Selene started in on her hair, which was long, sleek, and Barbie doll-esque ("It dries straight without any interesting wave or texture," Tinsley said.) Selene added volume to flat roots with powdery, oil-absorbing (1) Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo, $20, which she roughed into the roots with her fingers. She had Tinsley flip her head over to evenly distribute the powder. When Tinsley flipped back up, voila -- tons of volume; huge difference. A little poofy, maybe, but not for long.
Next, Selene spritzed (2) Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $23, throughout to add sexy texture. "It will bring out any natural wave," said Selene. She spent two minutes sort of 'freestyling', or coiling, twisting and twirling random sections around her fingers. At our request, she fussed Tinsley's girly-girl bangs off her face and into an unfettered, beachy-looking baby braid. Done.
Makeup! Selene skipped foundation, since Tinsley's skin was intriguingly seamless and glowy and golden. Instead, Selene dotted (3) Cle de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70, selectively on Tinsley's face foundation stick-style. She blended the spots with a concealer brush, then used the same brush to pat concealer under Tinsley's eyes.
Next, with a medium-sized blush brush, Selene applied a tawny, apricot-touched (4) Dior Bronze Matte Sunshine SPF 20 in Spicy Matte, $44 to the apples of Tinsley's cheeks and across her lids, "for a really soft taupe-y eyeshadow effect." Then she used a bigger, fluffier brush to lightly dust the color all over Tinsley's face.
False lashes -- strips, clusters, individuals, whatever -- were obviously off-limits -- as was brow color. And eye shadow. And even eyeliner! So Selene played up Tinsley's already-dark lashes with an espresso-colored mascara: (5) L'oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Black-Brown, $9, dipping a clean wand into the tube for each coat. "This way, you'll just apply as lightly as possible," explained Selene.
Finally, since Tinsley is literally never photographed without meticulously glossed lips -- Google Image her and see for yourself -- we decided to keep her mouth bare. End of Makeunder!
RED CARPET PREP TIME: 2 hours. This includes Tinsley's bath, where she washes her hair, too -- glamorously (we thought) Tinsley only takes baths. "I turned my shower into a closet," she explained.
MAKEUNDER PREP TIME: 15 minutes
RED-CARPET PREP PRODUCT COUNT: 15 (concealer, foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, lip liner, lip gloss, eyeliner pencil, liquid liner, mascara, brow pencil, false lashes, hair spray, blow dryer, curling iron). Or 17, if you count Tinsley's shampoo and conditioner.
MAKEUNDER PRODUCT COUNT: 5 (Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $23; Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo, $18; Cle de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70; Dior Bronze Matte Sunshine SPF 20 in Spicy Matte, $44; L'oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Black-Brown, $9)
TINSLEY ON HER RED CARPET LOOK: "I'm a girly-girl and I dress like a girl," Tinsley told us. "I like, like ... an Oscar de la Renta party dress. A strapless pouf. You know?" (pause) Girly -- we gotcha. "But yeah, the hair and makeup -- it can take a really long time."
TINSLEY ON HER MAKEUNDER LOOK: "I love the hair! I want that surf spray! Omigod, it's so different!" Bumble and Bumble, can you please send Tinsley Mortimer some Surf Spray?! Look how great she looks! Oh, and a week after the shoot when we ran into Tinsley at a party, she told us she'd gone out for drinks after her Makeunder and been told she looked underage -- which seriously, you guys, she did.