I’m Sonia Kashuk of Sonia Kashuk Beauty, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life, Skin Care, Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Sonia Kashuk
Location: New York City
Day job/current gig: You know, it’s funny because I know that I came from being a makeup artist, but now I’m more like a makeup creator, or a beauty creator. It’s funny, I’m all these mini subtitles in the world of beauty. I guess day-to-day, it really is about being a creator.
Hangouts online: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, soniakashuk.com, and target.com for the Sonia Kashuk Beauty line.
Current favorite product: I would have to say, one of my current favorite products, which I think is, like, a makeup bag must-have, is my pro pan, Eye on Neutral Matte Palette.
Beauty inspirations: For me, it’s not about places. It’s words. I think refinement, I think polish, I think confidence. It’s more of that type of thing when I think about beauty than it is, per se, a place.
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Polished.




What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

I am a huge fan of skincare products, and I have to say, my Foundation. Because to me, if your skin looks good, you’re already more than halfway there. So I think it’s, like, really owning and working to maintain the quality of your skin, and then really embracing that. And I think that a tube of foundation can perfect any imperfections and kind of take the skin to that “wow” factor of, like, “You’ve got beautiful skin!”

When did you start getting into makeup?

I really didn’t fall into doing makeup as a profession until my early 20s. I was kind of floundering through the fashion and display worlds and trying different aspects, but I was always working with color, shape and form. But I didn’t really find my way into beauty until my early 20s.

The truth is, I was actually doing the wardrobe for the Funkytown video, and at the last minute, the makeup artist cancelled. And the songwriter/director said to me, “Sonia, you’re kind of into all that kind of stuff. You need to do the makeup.”

You know, I was a bit, like, “Are you kidding me?” I had no idea. But, it’s like, you kind of get thrown into something, and I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it. And that was really the transition point that put me into beauty.

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

I think, probably, it’s my Illuminating Bronzer that I have, because it’s super fast and makes skin look drop-dead gorgeous.

I think that bronzer now is definitely a year-round product, and it makes you look alive — or at least like you just came back from a recent trip. Like, I’m always getting, “God, Sonia. You’re skin’s so glowy. Were you just in the sun?”, and I’m like, “It’s my bronzer!” So I feel like when someone gives you that kind of compliment…we all strive to look like we just got back from vacation, and I think the Illuminating Bronzer will do that.

I like applying it with a brush. If you want a lighter application, use my Large Duo-Fibre Brush. I start it on the cheek with a little bit under the cheek to give it more of a hint of contour. Then, around the apples, kind of up into the hairline, and then a slight dusting on the cheek and a light dusting on the neck, so it just looks even. And you have this kind of very fresh-faced, bronzed glow.

The thing I love about this bronzer beyond the illuminating factor is that it doesn’t lay down heavy on the skin, so it has this incredible see-through quality.

I think some people still have this thing about bronzer — what bronzer was as opposed to what bronzer is today. It has beautiful texture, and you get just radiant skin. A bronzer is definitely what I think must be in everyone’s bag as well.

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

Eyelash curler.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

You know, this is going to sound a little bit crazy, and I was like, “Do I even say this?” but I’m going to.

Because I am a grown-up — I have to admit, I am a grown-up — I’m not such a fan of fillers, but I am a fan of Botox when used correctly. When not overdone, I think of Botox as an age-maintenance tool.

And, I think that what happens with a lot of things in our society and in our life is that things get blown out of proportion, out of control, people misuse products. And I think Botox got kind of a crazy rap because of the extremes that we have seen from so many women. But, I think when used correctly by the right professional, it can maintain and help preserve the appearance of your own skin and really make a big difference with age maintenance.

When speaking to amazing doctors and plastic surgeons, people that I’ve had conversations with, plastic surgeons that in the past who were doing lots of face lifts are no longer doing that because they feel that when they’re maintaining things correctly, they can get such incredible results with age maintenance [with Botox].

I’m a fan of it when used correctly, and I think,unfortunately, it’s more often than not misused. That’s kind of a tricky thing to get into, but I have to say that it’s an incredible tool, you know, an incredible product, when not overdone.

What’s your skincare routine?

One thing that I’m adamant about is a facial. I do take the time and do that every month, and I’ve done it for years. It’s kind of like that carved out time in my schedule, and I know that I am lucky to be able to afford to do that every month. But, you know, for me, I would forgo anything to have that facial.

I go to a woman named Vicky Morav here in New York. She has her own private little studio, and it’s literally two hours of calm and bliss, and I really feel like my skin is loving it. And I don’t know…there’s this emotional, physical, connection to it, because I feel like I’m taking the time out to do something really good for my skin.

I’m also always testing products as possibilities for my brand. I have to say, I use in the morning 10 different products. I mean, I’m crazy! I love nothing more than putting lotions and potions on my face, and just feeling and testing different textures and different forms. And also, because of that being a grown-up, I need the hydration and moisturizing. My skin tends to definitely be on the drier side now, and the more I can, like, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, the better.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

I think I tend to be kind of a realist. Actually, I saw that question and I was like…I think I’m too much of a realist. I think if I’m going to do something, it better do SOMETHING.

I guess one of the things I’ve questioned sometimes is, like, when they apply oxygen sometimes in a facial. I’m like, “Is that really doing something?” I don’t know, I’m not usually into the whims… I think I’m too much of a realist [to try any weird things]. I guess with my knowledge of beauty, with all these years in it, you kind of know what works, what’s real, what can work — you know, where there’s a marketing story, and where there’s the real story.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Definitely! Trademark hair. I’ve had my hair wrapped up in a bun, for 30 some years. Maybe longer. I mean, I’m old and it’s been like that for probably 35 years. Um, and I’m lazy. I have very curly hair, so it was an easy thing that got my hair out of my face, and it just became a trademark look for me.

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself “why?!”

I think, you know, when I look back on my pictures in my late 20s, I look crazy.

I wore so much makeup, and I’m like, “What were you thinking?” And I think that’s probably the only time I was definitely like, “What were you thinking?”.

And it was interesting, because I used to wear so much makeup, and until one time I went out without any makeup on, and people did not recognize me, I realized, “Oh, my god, you are so masked. You’re like the masked crusader!” There’s a time and place for everything.

And ever since that time — and I remember it specifically. I was out at a brunch/breakfast, and I had no makeup on, and I was going up to people, and I mean, they were shocked. And that was the transition point where it was like, “You’ve got to de-mask and learn to be comfortable with who you are and what you look like. And that you embrace who you are without makeup, and you embrace who you are with makeup.” And that there’s a time and place for everything.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Antique stores. Home. I’m more of a shopper for home [goods] than I am so much for wardrobe or personal things, because when I’m in antique stores — I have a house in Connecticut, and there’s a few shops there. One’s called Michael Trapp, and he’s an incredible antiquarian with, like, the most incredible objects, and the objects are home-related, but often are an incredible inspiration for a brush handle or something I can utilize for the accessory part of my business. Or interesting colors. I find more inspiration often through home than I do, like, through fashion or, you know, shopping at Barneys or something.

And also, I love to shop when I’m on vacation. I love going on inspirational shopping trips, but more, like, in search of that unique object or item more so. I’m not such the big clothes shopper, I have to say.

Anything else you want to share?

Just that I’m so appreciative of everybody who’s ever supported me and the brand, and that you know I’m constantly pushing to bring you better, better, better, best.

20 Comments

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  1. Chelsea says:

    What an awesome interview, so jealous that you got to chat with her!

    Sonia Kashuk products are working their way into my everyday items. I love the SK eyelash curler, and her illuminating stick highlighter is something I use almost every day. Her brushes are good (and affordable) and she makes some awesome things.

    I also have a Sonia Kashuk hairbrush that I love.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      LOL, yeah…I had to pinch myself a few times because I’ve been such a fan for so long. She was just really nice, really down to earth, and interviewing her made me like her even more.

      Ooh, that stick highlighter is the business! :D I love that one too. Do you have her Bent Liner Brush? It’s one of my staples.

      How was Quincy’s vet appointment, btw?

      • Chelsea says:

        I do have one! I need a new one though, I didn’t take good care of mine…

        QB isn’t going to the vet yet. Not till post-semester, no time right now! (He’s not complaining, although I think going out gives him a big head, everyone loves him)

  2. Erin says:

    This is such a great interview! So many interesting tips and insights. Love SK makeup and beauty tools … I use the eyelash curler, brushes, that illuminating bronzer, too. Thanks for this, Karen!
    Erin recently posted … Clarins Defining Eye Lift soothing eye serum

  3. fancie says:

    This is such a great series! I totally admire Sonia Kashuk! She’s absolutely gorgeous, super talented and very business savvy. Everything a woman should be. And I just LOVE her line! Her brushes are such great quality. This was so inspiring. Thank you Karen! I can’t wait to read more posts like this!
    fancie recently posted … Sedona Lace Black Friday Haul

  4. Stephanie A. says:

    Whoa…THE Sonia Kashuk? What a fantastic interview!

    I owe the fact that I can now apply gel liner w/out looking like a 3-year-old playing w/mom’s makeup to the SK bent eyeliner brush. Matter of fact, some of my most reached for brushes Re SK’s!

    Thanks for the amazing post!

  5. Vanessa Haro says:

    I LOVE Sonia! Great interview. If you’re ever short on artists to interview, I would be honored to be in one of these.

    I don’t get to comment often, but I appreciate you always writing great posts and for staying true to yourself in this sometimes crazy blogging/guru world. I think of you often when I’m asked about what got me into pursuing makeup artistry. Your blog inspired me to create my own blog and then I kind of stepped into being an artist. You’ve been an inspiration to me over the years, thank you <3.

  6. Rachel P says:

    This. Is. So. GREAT!! I was so suprised (in a good way!) to see the Sonia interview as I was perusing the latest posts, and I read every word. I am just enamored with how down to earth and experienced in the beauty world she is! Every SK product I’ve bought, I have loved and used regularly. The marriage of quality, aesthetic appeal, and affordability have made choosing her products a no-brainer. And I have not tried her foundation or bronzer before, so that’s for sure on my shopping list now.

  7. meredith says:

    Wow! Fun to learn more about the woman behind one of my favorite brands. I think I use or wear something from her line everyday. Bent eyeliner brush I’m looking at you!

  8. Agata says:

    That’s so awesome that you got to interview her!

  9. Denise S. says:

    Great interview! I love that Sonia Kashuk makes great products for a reasonable price. I agree with her about good strategic use of Botox.I’ve been eyeing that bronzer for a while and now I’m definitely going to pick it up, it’s so pretty!

  10. Thats such an awesum interview.. loved reading about her.. I liked her makeup.. definitely super quality with affordable prices.. I used SK Multipurpose brush and just love it.. cudnt wait to add more into my stash.. :D :D
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Doubts Discussion: How to Conceal Pigmented Lips?

  11. Kristen says:

    Loved this. I love Sonia Kashuk products especially her brushes, such great quality for affordable prices.

  12. Maggie says:

    Wow…Sonia Kashuk! How awesome to read her interview. I use her brushes every time I wear makeup.

  13. Kat & Kelly says:

    Absolutely loving this interview! Loved reading all about her! Thank you so much for doing it!
    Did you enjoy the interview process? Plan on doing more in the future? :)

  14. Leslie says:

    Karen, absolutely love reading your “This is my makeup life” posts! Beyond excited to learn your current post featured the ever so talented Sonia Kashuk! Big fan of Ms. Kashuk, and getting a little glimpse into her more personal life (Makeup etc.), and what started it all was very interesting! Keep them coming!!

    -Leslie

  15. Hannah says:

    You inspire me with what you do! So jealous of how creative you are Karen, I just stumbled upon this site

  16. Trude says:

    Such a great, honest interview with an inspiring woman. Thank you for sharing!
    Trude recently posted … December Desktop Background

  17. Abby says:

    This is an amazing post! What a great opportunity for you and us!I never knew anything about the woman behind the brand until today!

  18. Ashleigh says:

    Thanks for the interview! I’ve often wondered about the person behind the Sonia Kashuk label on my favorite lip products, and here she is! Seriously obsessed with those sheer lipsticks. The regular lipsticks are great too, so pigmented.

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