Behind the scenes with Armani Beauty makeup artist Tim Quinn at Fash Bash 2017
By Rachel Schostak and Chelsie Dzbanski – Featured Image by Boswell Hardwick
During Fash Bash 2017, we went behind the scenes to interview the talented makeup artist Tim Quinn from Armani Beauty. Neiman Marcus brought him in to do makeup for all of the models, and we couldn’t wait to find out more about his journey in the industry, makeup trends, beauty tips and tricks, and a backstage look at the models!
Have you ever been to Detroit? And what do you think thus far?
The last time I was here was about 10 years ago when we launched Armani, and we did a fashion show with Saks, here at the DIA (I believe), so this is my first time back since then and I’m really enjoying it. I’m staying at the Townsend hotel in Birmingham and I absolutely love it, I feel very at home there. I forgot how beautiful and charming Birmingham is, and it really reminds me of where I grew up in Connecticut. Downtown Detroit is also amazing and I was shocked to see how developed it has become.
How did you get your start in doing makeup?
I initially got my start in doing makeup, working backstage in Milan, when I used to model, a million years ago. I got very bored of modeling because it’s different for men in the modeling world, you’re treated like an accessory. So I decided it just wasn’t for me and started to play around with the hair and makeup. When I came back to the US, my friend, who was the director of Lancome, needed a guy to go out and do an event and truth be told I didn’t know how to do makeup, but I told her I could, and I just jumped right in! I grew up around art my whole life so I figured how hard could it be? So that’s really how it all began for me.
Do you think the barriers nowadays are harder for young people who are looking to break into the industry?
Yes, I do think it’s harder today because now there’s so many creative outlets. When I grew up we didn’t have cellphones, or Instagram, and all this other stuff you can post on. Back then your expierence was based on your actual real life expierence, not what people see or think is “real.” The bar is set so outrageous in such a small pocket now, and everyone thinks they’re going to be the next Kardashian or the new YouTube star, so I hate when I see people get disappointed because they don’t realize that you still have to do the work to get where you want to be.
How long have you been doing makeup and how long have you been with Giorgio Armani?
I launched Armani 16 years ago, but I would say I’ve been doing makeup collectively for over 20 years now.
Is there someone in the industry that really inspires you or that you’ve learned a lot from?
Tons of different people. Obviously Pat McGrath, because she created the brand and when I used to work backstage with her I just loved her passion. We also currently have Linda Cantello, who is our international artist, and I love her because she’s a cancer survivor like me, so we have a special relationship. I’ve also learned a lot from Mr. Armani over the years, he’s always surrounding himself with younger people because you have to stay connected to whats actually happening as much as you need to know what you know. But to be honest, in the beauty world, I don’t get too obsessed with anyone or anything, and I don’t religiously follow someone, all of that doesn’t really matter to me.
There is so much room for everyone to do their own thing and when I’m working with different women, my authentic thing is, making them feel like whatever it is that they wanna bring out. My career has allowed me to work with and meet so many incredible women from beautiful actresses that I admire, to amazing advocates, to cancer patients, and so much more, but through it all it’s really less about the beauty and more about the passion for what they do and who they are as a person. The connection of doing someones makeup and making them feel beautiful is so valuable and enjoyable for me, and that’s really what it’s all about.
Also, my twins really inspire me everyday just in general. They’re custom dress designers who have worked with a variety of celebrities and are launching at Bergdorf Goodman this week. I’m extremely proud of them.
You do makeup for a variety of people, who are the most fun for you to work on?
It doesn’t matter if they’re a small business owner or a big time actress, if their energy is good then I enjoy working with them. It’s all about their energy. I’ve been very fortunate because with Armani, the type of people that we dress are usually the exact client that I want to work with.
What are the makeup color trends for this season?
We just did an event in LA with Jennifer Klein, and tons of A-list celebrities showed up including, Kerry Washington, Debra Messing, and Halle Berry, and we were introducing a new lip because thing are going back to shine again versus matte. And during the event all of the guests were able to pick out what they wanted and everyone seemed to be gravitating towards our 503, which is a beautiful nude, rose tone, but I thought it was such an ordinary color, so it was very interesting to me that that was a popular pick. But in general I would say our 400, which is our classic red, is a huge must have for this season, and then an earthy color such as our 201, which has a brown tone to it. Also, the deep vampy color is coming back, which I absolutely love (602).
What’s your overall look for the runway tonight?
It’s very Debbie Harry, very bold, a little broke down, almost like they’ve been out clubbing and maybe partied too much. Some will have a wet-like look to them as if they sweated off their makeup on the dance floor. It’s not so polished, which is really fun for me.
If you could recommend one color shade of lipstick for this season to invest in this season what would it be?
Definitely our Shine ecstasy 503 and a deep vampy color such as 600 or 602. Also a red, which you should always just havefor any season in my opinion, but maybe break out into a different texture. If you always wear shine, try a matte, and vice versa.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration really comes from the conversations I have with different people. I travel a lot for work and all of thats amazing, but i don’t go seek out things. All of a sudden I’ll be talking to someone, or someone will say something to me and it reignites something that I want to go investigate, whether its an old movie or even a new movie.
What are the three key items every girl should always have?
I like multi functional things such as an concealer because you can do everything with it, especially substitute it for foundation which is really useful. Number two would be, black eyeliner, especially coming into fall because you have that grungy eye coming into trend, and you can do a lot with it as well. You can fix your browns with it, you can count our with it, you can make a nude lip darker, so many possibilities. And then lastly, a lip because I don’t care what “long wear” lip you’re wearing, you always have to have it with you for touch ups.
Do you think you’ll come back to Detroit?
Yes. Neiman Marcus has this enclave for the beauty world and I told them that I’m dying to come back. Ironically I have a lot of friends here from the industry and even childhood friends as well, so I can see myself coming back sometime in the near future.
For more beauty and makeup advice, follow Tim Quinn on Instagram at @timquinnbeauty.