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Industry Insider: Ashlee Glazer

Ashlee Glazer has always had a thing for makeup. As a kid, she frequented her local mall’s Glamour Shots and stalked the MAC counter until she was old enough to apply for a job. At her parents’ suggestion, she went to school to master her craft and she’s now considered a beauty guru, working with celebs like stylist Rachel Zoe and fashion designer Georgina Chapman; cultivating a name for herself in the bridal-makeup biz; doing time behind the scenes at Fashion Week; stepping in front of the camera as a guest beauty contributor on The TODAY Show and Amazon’s Style Code Live; and becoming a Smith & Cult beauty ambassador. But it’s her clients that keep her happiest of all. “What I love the most about my work is the human connection,” she says. “It’s an honor to work closely with so many incredibly strong, inspiring women, and able to make them feel beautiful is absolutely priceless.” —Jennifer Henderson

Her beauty story: “I was a girly girl from the start. I remember watching my mom primp in our bathroom where there was a drawer filled with her Clinique bonus lipsticks. I would play with them—and sometimes she would do my makeup, too.”

Her work ethic: “Like my Dad’s: honest and hardworking. He taught me the importance of a solid handshake and that eye contact can tell you everything you need to know about a person in life and in business.”

Her turning point: “I was considering breaking away from the safety of retail, when my whole world turned upside down. My dear friend and mentor told me it was the universe telling me it was time to go out on my own. So I did. I left my job that very same day. Looking back, it was the best decision of my life.”

Her success secret: “Be patient, kind, a good listener, and work quickly. You never know who is sitting in your chair.”

Her L.A. moment: “It was the Academy Awards in L.A. Harry Winston diamonds were laid out like a buffet and the adrenaline rush of getting my client ready was sky high—it was surreal. Afterwards, the hairstylist and I had cheeseburgers and dirty martinis at the Peninsula Beverly Hills bar and watched Ellen DeGeneres open her first Oscars.”

Her color story: “I’ve been using Smith & Cult’s new Book of Eyes Eye Quad in Noon Suite on everyone. I live for the rose gold 1972 Nailed Lacquer and I’m partial to The Shining Lip Lacquer in Life in Photographs. I love to be tan and gold with nude lips—it’s the Long Island Girl in me!”

Her look: “I’m constantly traveling and covered in makeup. I try to be chic, but I don’t quite pull it off. I mean, what do you wear to Rachel Zoe’s house? Or an E! News fashion segment with Zanna Rassi? Or to the Marchesa showroom? So I stick to the basics: a solid tee, Rag & Bone or Frame jeans, and leather Nikes or Vans.”

Her must-haves: “My black Chanel bag, large sunnies, ripped jeans, and my rhinestone seahorse pin and evening clutch from my grandmas. Hush MAC Cream Colour Base, disposable mascara wands, Hakuhodo brushes, and my lash curler. Frank Sinatra. ABC Kitchen ravioli and Ketel One extra-dirty martinis. The TODAY Show, Ellen, and E! News. My phone and Beats by Dre headphones. And hardcover books. I just read The Swans of Fifth Avenue, a novel about Truman Capote and his swans, and I loved it.”

Her bridal “I do’s”: “Create a guideline for your wedding look. Figure out who your celebrity doppelganger is, someone with similar features, and use that. And don’t try any crazy beauty treatments within one month of the wedding.”

Her inspiration: “The glamour and mystery of old Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Elizabeth Taylor are true muses for me. I recently went to The Hollywood Museum, which is in Max Factor’s original makeup studio. I was there the day before the Golden Globes, so Georgina Chapman’s look was 100 percent inspired by that era.”

Her social circle: “On Instagram, I follow Smith & Cult, Violet Grey, Pat McGrath, Kristofer Buckle, Into the Gloss, and Coveteur.”

Her beauty: “Confidence and inner peace. There is something breathtaking about someone who is confident in her own skin. And makeup only enhances what is already behind the eyes and within the soul.”

Her maxim: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. My parents always encouraged my brother and I to follow our hearts. When it comes to beauty, the best advice I can offer is to step away: Sometimes we obsess over the smallest details and fail to see the big picture. Take a step back to assess the look … or the life decision.”