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?
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.