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Lesson Learned! Why Sonia Kashuk Now Never Leaves Home Without Makeup

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As told by Sonia Kashuk

About seven years ago, I was booked to do a job in Washington D.C. with Ashley Judd. She was doing an on-camera interview with Madeleine Albright and needed her makeup done for the shoot. Often when I was in this situation, I would ship my makeup case via FedEx ahead of time, so I didn’t have to worry about it getting lost in the plane cargo (since you can’t board with carry-on items like that anymore). As I was leaving for the airport, I remember my associate Kristin calling FedEx to confirm the case had indeed arrived. “Yes,” they said, “it’s out for delivery,” and I assumed everything was fine.

Well, I arrived in D.C., my case was nowhere to be found. It was 11:00 p.m., and the shoot was starting the next morning at 7:00 a.m. FedEx wasn’t taking calls, I had no backup with me, and I couldn’t even run to Target because it was too late for the stores to be open. I’ve never been so stressed out—I didn’t have a single makeup product with me! Luckily a great artist—Sandy Linter, who I’ve known for years—was already there to do Madeleine’s makeup. I ran over to her and asked to borrow some products and somehow figured it out on the fly. Never in my life have I been so freaked out, and there I was, working with a huge celebrity, the situation in which you really want to be the ultimate professional.

I walked into Ashley’s dressing room and felt mortified. And just as soon as I started putting some moisturizer on her, my case arrived.

What I took away from this experience is that when I travel, I never leave my house without an emergency makeup kit, full of TSA-approved minis, as backup. You should always be prepared, and have it in the back of your head that something—your kit included—could always be lost or misplaced. And you have to know how to deal with it if that happens. As a professional artist, I learned that being prepared means always having makeup on you. Thankfully, in my 30 years, this lesson didn’t need to be learned again.