Snapshot: Confidence Woman

Makeup maven Carmindy, on her new cosmetics company and mission to help women celebrate their inner and outer beauty.

For a decade, she gave hundreds of women life-changing makeovers on TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” Now that the series has ended, the 43-year-old Newport Beach native who grew up in Surf City is channeling everything she learned into her own makeup line.

“It wasn’t until ‘What Not to Wear’ that I thought of starting my own line. I realized that the market was all geared toward models and celebrities.
I mean, you can throw mud on a 16-year-old Russian model, and
she’ll look good. But that’s not who
I was working with on the show.
They were moms, businesswomen, cancer survivors—they wanted something for real women that
was easy and worked well.”

Carmindy & Co. products, currently sold through HSN, include her famous “5-Minute Face” kit, lightweight foundations, blushes, highlighters, lip crayons, and more. “Everything is fast, light, and wearable. I don’t want to see women use my makeup to hide themselves, but to enhance their natural beauty.”

She also has a new book out this month, “Bloom: A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous” (Perigee Trade). Written for teens, it offers age-appropriate makeup tips and advice for dealing with the awkwardness of youth. “I was the kid who was overweight, with braces and permed hair, and was always made fun of. This is the kind of book I wish I’d had. I didn’t love who I was
then, and that’s ridiculous. But
you don’t realize at that age that
you won’t feel like that forever.”

While attending Ocean View High in Huntington Beach, Carmindy worked at Merle Norman in Westminster Mall. She was fired, she says, for giving too many makeovers and not making enough sales. A few years later, after apprenticeships in L.A. and Milan, she moved to Manhattan to work with top brands such as Revlon. Soon she was offered a spot on “What Not to Wear.” She credits her SoCal upbringing with helping her survive in the industry.

“People would say, ‘You have such an ease about you.’ [That’s because] you can leave O.C. but it never leaves you. It’s just an amazing, chill way
of living. Whenever I come back,
I always ride my bike to the beach.
It gives me that positive attitude
and sunshiny feeling. And it helps
me remember that we’ve only got
one life. Are you going to spend it going, ‘Oh my God, I hate my dark circles!’ or are you going to celebrate what you love about yourself?”

This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue.

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