Other People’s Makeup: Tracy Murphy

March 7, 2012

“Beauty is important – it turns the world!” Makeup artist Tracy Murphy is intimately aware of the empowering aspects of making up. As someone who works on photoshoots and celebrity faces (she did Kate Upton’s makeup for the latest Sports Illustrated Cover), she’s well versed in the magic – and fakery – that goes into a beautiful image. “I used to have all these issues about my appearance – the typical girl stuff where we’re tearing ourselves apart. But seeing how fake it all is has healed me in a way. I used to worry that I was a bad feminist, but beauty is very empowering.”

Making up for herself is different than for others, starting with poundage: “My pro kit is 60 pounds, and then there’s my own makeup bag. It’s a Ziploc. My non-pro friends can’t believe it – they have beautiful makeup bags, and you’d think I would too. But I travel constantly and things explode, so there it is. It’s my secret shame.”

But this seeming lack of decorum doesn’t preclude drama: Tracy’s lush black eyelashes are her signature, known industrywide. “I’m constantly layering and mixing mascaras. I have about ten to twelve that I’m experimenting with at any given time. I curl my lashes (always with the Shu Eumura curler), start with a fiber base, and from there I just keep working at it. My thing is lashes, and I’m good at it. One woman I showed my eyelash technique to told me months later that she got a boyfriend out of it!”

Of course, all makeup artists know the value of good skin, and minimalists like Tracy have their secrets: “I love the Olio Lusso face oil from Linda Rodin. A few drops and my skin feels perfect. And while I usually like cheap products, the smell of this oil is so luxurious – I feel like a “Rich Bitch” every time I use it!”

Tracy also keeps a closet full of supplies, for both her clients and herself: “I love color but I don’t wear it in my clothes. I have a ton of nail polishes. I like to polish my nails while I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race – it’s a little ritual.” And her love of makeovers is not just work: “Makeup is fun, and it should be fun. If it’s not fun, don’t do it!”


Three Favorites:

Mascara! A current fave is Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies in Blackest Black.

Rodin Olio Lusso face oil.

Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Concealer in Beige III.



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  • Aleya Bamdad March 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    My favorites are Voluminous by Maybeline and YSL, however my friend was wearing the Revlon one today and it’s going to be my next purchase. It really made her lashes stand out.

    • Meli March 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      I await your review on it, Aleya – I’m always on the lookout for the next great mascara myself! Right now I’m on the Maybelline Falsies trip.

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