Lives: Upper East Side
Misha Shahzada attributes her career in makeup to the early childhood experience of watching her mother get ready for parties: "I was fascinated by makeup's ability to transform one's mood." She moved to New York at 19 and got a job behind a Clinique counter. Since then, it's been an Everest-like ascent. Shahzada's clients now number in the hundreds — from television shows such as "The Real Housewives" franchise, to makeup brands such as Make Up For Ever, to fashion houses such as Bottega Veneta and mega brands like Victoria Secret. This year her Fashion Week shows will include BCBG, Herve Leger and Jeremy Scott, among others. She says she learned what exhaustion is when she worked her first Fashion Week. It's a marathon.
Victoria: What do you normally do? And what's your role in Fashion Week?
Misha: I am a makeup artist based in New York City. My role during fashion week is to make people pretty.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A: A giant cup of coffee or being so nervous about a job that day that I can't sleep!
Q: What's your favorite neighborhood place to shop?
A: Food for Health. It's a small health food market, sort of like a mini Whole Foods but better in some aspects! They carry all kinds of organic foods and supplements, and they even have an amazing juice bar.
Q: Your DO and DON'T of Fashion Week?
A: Do put effort in your outfit, hair and makeup — it's the whole picture that matters. Don't act like you're all that because you're wearing the most current pieces. It's obnoxious.
Q: What do you love about fashion in NYC?
A: I can walk down the street and feel like I'm getting a glimpse of a fashion show. Even people with no money know how to put an amazing outfit together for under 20 bucks!
Q: Describe your style in two words.
A: I consider my style timeless classic — when I make the effort.
Q: Who was the most glamorous person on earth when you were a teenager?
A: Sofia Loren. I use to lock myself in my mother's bathroom and wear her makeup like Sofia Loren.
Q: Who do you think is glamorous now?
A: I am obsessed with Christina Hendricks.
Q: What's a makeup trick that works for everyone? Favorite products?
A: If you're feeling washed out or tired, rub a little lipstick on your cheeks — this makes a world of difference. I love sheer tinted lipsticks by Laura Mercier, as well as Rouge Artist Natural by Make Up For Ever. They're versatile and light enough to apply on cheeks!
Q: What are the makeup trends on the runway?
A: Healthy-looking skin with a fresh glow.
Q: What are makeup trends on the street?
A: This isn't really a new trend to me, but has been popular in the last year or so. I love that women are contouring and highlighting their own skin. It's not that difficult, just takes some practice.
Q: Have you ever had a behind-the-scenes catastrophe at a fashion show? What happened?
A: Nothing too crazy, but one time there was confusion about what look the model was going to be wearing, and both looks were pretty extreme. She ended up having the wrong makeup on, and the makeup artist had about four minutes to remove everything and re-apply before the show. There were three of us beating this poor girl's face at the same time. It was pure teamwork.
Q: What are the three things you want right now?
A: Continued success, a puppy and to buy my mother a new house!
Q: What is a style in makeup that you liked once but no longer admire?
A: Lip liner that was slightly darker than the lipstick (this was in eighth grade)!
Q: What would you never wear?
Q: Who was your favorite designer to work with?
A: Dana-Maxx. She's an up-and-coming contemporary clothing designer and is crazy talented.
Q: Describe a good day at work.
A: Being happy with the outcome of my work. I can be my own worst critic.
Q: Describe your perfect evening.
A: Cooking dinner followed by a great film with my boyfriend.
Q: What is the sexiest look of all time?
A: Just refer to George Michael's "Freedom" video.
Q: Do you think one is born cool, or is it something that can be learned?
A: I think a little bit of both. Obviously things you do in life can make you "cooler", but I feel we are a product of our environment, and the life we are brought into plays a major role.
Q: What's the best piece of advice you ever got?
A: The best advice I received was to never compare myself to others. It's great to set the bar high, but at the same time, everyone's situation is different, and comparing yourself is completely useless.