In the Hot Seat – Tricia Sawyer


Beauty News NYC’s exclusive interview series continues this month with makeup artist, entrepreneur and mom, Tricia Sawyer. This 39 year old California babe has been in the biz for twenty years, starting her career in film and working as a personal makeup artist to beauties like Sharon Stone, Gina Gershon and Kate Beckinsale. Read on for the scoop on her most inspiring projects and must- have products for summer.

BN: Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to become a makeup artist?
TS: My Mom and I loved to watch black and white movies. I loved how glamorous they looked. Flawless. I became obsessed and wanted women to walk around everyday like that. I grew up in Pasadena, CA; and even though it is only miles away from Hollywood, the only make up artists I knew of worked at Bullocks’ make up counters. I had no idea you could do movie make up.

Then one day a friend showed me the catalog for Joe Blasco’s Make-Up School…and that was it! I went at 19 and haven’t stopped.

BN: What’s your most memorable experience as a makeup artist? Do you have a project that you’re particularly proud of?
TS: In the film industry a funny thing occurs. The movies that are the most difficult to make are usually the ones you are most proud of. So, the memory becomes a double edge sword, filled with both the pain and accomplishment. Kind of like raising kids!

I am most proud of “Casino.” I did a lot of research, even went back stage with the showgirls in Las Vegas. I was so nervous to work with Martin Scorsese. I was 24. Sharon’s (Stone) make up had to be perfect. We were in Vegas for six months.

BN: You’ve worked as a spokesperson and a consultant to some major beauty brands like Prescriptives and Estee Lauder. What did you take from those experiences that aided in the launch of Tricia Sawyer Beauty?
TS: So much! My time at Lauder was invaluable. I worked very closely with Anne Carullo, head of research and development for the Lauder brands. She is an amazing woman! She showed me how to take your passion and creativity and make it into something people can use.

I was able to create a product and stay with products throughout the entire process. From the lab to packaging to marketing to the stores.

I was then able to go to the stores to demonstrate and sell the products I helped create. Being with the customers in stores was just as valuable as being at Lauder. Watching a product in a customers hands and seeing our original product message come through is the ideal end result.

BN: The image on your home page for Summer is quite striking! Can you tell us what your inspiration was for the look?
TS: This photo shoot was the inspiration for “Clearly Pretty.” I guess we are different than many cosmetic companies in that we create from our own inspiration and need. The photo shoots often come before the products and I create new colors and/or collections on the shoot.

I created the models lip gloss on the spot because I couldn’t find the color I wanted with the right sheen. When ideas and inspiration come together organically like that, it is truly the best. I think it shows in the photo too!

BN: One of your newer products is Eye Slept. Is it a concealer, a highlighter or an eye cream? What’s the best way to use it?
TS: Eye Slept is an under eye brightener. It is for those days when you want to look like you slept. It can be worn with or without make up. Over your normal skin care regime. A little goes a very long way! Apply it with your finger in a tapping motion on your under eye area. Do one eye at a time. Apply on one side without blending, apply to second eye the same way. This allows your body temperature to warm up the product for optimal blending ability. Now go back to the first eye and blend. If you have noticed that your concealer is cutting the darkness but not doing enough add a little Eye Slept on top. You will look amazing!

BN: If a woman’s willing to commit to just buying ONE Tricia Sawyer product today, what should it be? Why?
TS: Either my Primer (Skin Balancing Water Primer) or my Full Potential Foundation with the brush. OR BOTH!!

My Primer is amazing. It creates the perfect canvas for make up application while capturing water on the skin for optimal hydration throughout your day. It is oil free and actually contains captured water. It will plump your skin while hydrating and smoothing. I use it morning and night. Why not look good when you go to bed?

My Full Potential Foundation and Signature Brush are also something I can’t live without. The foundation is highly pigmented so you use very little product and get a lot of coverage. Each shade has 2 colors in it. (I have never been able to use one shade of foundation on any person I have made up-our skin changes colors all the time-weather, hormones, stress all effect our skin color.) Applying my foundation with my unique foundation brush is a must. This brush allows you to buff the foundation into your skin creating a flawless and natural face.

BN: It’s always fun to hear what products beauty pros can’t live without. What beauty goodies can always be found in your bathroom?
1. Crème de la Mer Body Crème
2. By Terry Baume de Rose Lip Treatment
3. Sonicare Toothbrush
4. Sebastian Laminates Hairspray (travel size only)
5. Avene Cream for Intolerant Skin
6. Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler
7. Mariage Freres Candles
8. MAC Make Up Remover Wipes

BN: Last but not least…do you have any “dirty little beauty secrets” that you’ll share?
TS: I have no secrets! None that I want to share anyway. (wink)

Tricia Sawyer Beauty products are available at Sephora stores and via

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