Kimara Ahnert is a world-renowned makeup artist who has worked with a slew of Hollywood A-listers including Catherine Zeta Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amanda Peet, Brooke Shields, Marlo Thomas, Jordana Brewster, Melanie Griffith, Alexandra von Furstenberg, Christie Brinkley, and Isabella Rossellini. Ahnert runs two makeup and skincare studios, one on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side and a newly opened 3,000 square foot studio in Greenwich, Connecticut. We spoke to Ahnert to find out about her go-to beauty brands, what she thinks women should splurge on versus what they can buy at a drugstore, who gets it right (and wrong!) on the red carpet, and more…
The Fashion Spot: What's the first beauty product you ever bought?
Kimara Ahnert: The very first beauty product was Bonnie Bell Lip Balm that came on a cord you could wear around your neck. They had different flavors…I had watermelon. The first serious beauty product I bought was when my mom took me to Saks in NYC at the age of 13 and bought me my own skincare from Erno Lazlo that came out with a pre-teen line. My mom used their skincare and I felt so important getting the junior version of hers.
tFS: What beauty products do you think women should always splurge on? What can they just as easily buy at a drugstore?
KA: Splurge on face makeup. The trick is finding the right one that works for you and then stick with it. The prestige lines generally have samples or testers to try before committing to the purchase. Drugstore face makeup is a big guessing game to finding the right match. Easy drugstore buy has to be eyeliner and lip liner. Most of these pencils are very similar, no need to spend the big bucks on this.
tFS: Do you have any go-to beauty brands?
KA: Other than my own products, I love these:
- Nars Creme Blush
- Dior Show Mascara
- T. LeClerc lipgloss – The pinks are pretty and the size is small and fits easily in purse or pocket.
- Kimara Ahnert – I can't live without my eye fix primer and chamomile makeup remover pads.
tFS: Are there any brands/ingredients you categorically avoid?
KA: I try to avoid makeup that has a perfumed scent to it. I end up smelling my face all day, not a fan.
tFS: What celebrities do you think always get it right on the red carpet? Who could use a makeover?
KA: Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez, and Halle Berry always seem to get it right on the red carpet, it's not surprising they are faces for beauty lines. Christina Aguilera could use a makeover…she is trying to hard.
tFS: What should women keep in mind when transitioning their skincare regimen from winter to spring?
KA: Keep in mind when transitioning from winter to spring skincare that it is time to make sure you have a good sunscreen during the day and an exfoliant or scrub to use periodically to keep skin glowing. If you use glycolics, reduce the amount of use if you are going to be getting more sun than usual and go back to use when sun exposure is less. You will do more damage than good.
tFS: Any tips for women on a tight schedule who need a quick way to de-stress?
KA: On a tight schedule, get a polish change with a 15 minute neck massage while your nails dry. It relaxes me!
tFS: With summer's heat comes an increase in possible breakouts. Any tips for how to prevent/treat them?
KA: Summer heat breakouts…use a masque with camphor. Great for controlling breakouts existing and as a preventative.
tFS: What beauty products do you never leave home without?
KA: I never leave home without concealer, creme blush, and lipgloss…all 3 can be applied with fingers on the go.