I’m an avid Vogue reader, having subscribed to the magazine since I was a teenager. One of my first interviews after college was for a job as an assistant to the assistant to the assistant editor (I didn’t get it) but I did freelance at Conde Nast for at least a decade. Although not for Vogue. Vogue remains elusive, rarefied, the brass ring in the carousel of careers for this writer. So I was curious when, on December 29, 2010, I received an email invitation to “be featured in a Vogue ad.” I clicked the link for more information and learned that Vogue was partnering with QVC and choosing a makeover candidate to be featured in an ad in the April issue of the magazine. Those who were interested were asked to submit a photo. Frankly, I’m camera shy. Painfully camera shy. Pull out a camera and I run for the hills. My friends and family know it, tease me for it, but respect it. Had it not been for this blog, I’d never have clicked on the link. While I shy away from the camera, I’m not one to shy away from the opportunity to tell my readers a good story. And, let’s face another fact. I’ve spent my entire career promoting or reporting on the fashion and beauty industries but, despite what I know about my face and how to play up its assets and downplay its flaws, who couldn’t benefit from a makeover? I was game. I chose a picture that I thought showed “potential” for a successful makeover, wrote a blurb about why I should be chosen and clicked “submit.” I told no one.
Cut to several weeks later. The phone rings and Joanne Lockard, QVC marketing, and her assistant Emily Delvecchio tell me I’d been chosen by Vogue and QVC to appear in their ad. My mind goes blank. I had completely forgotten about the photo and try to make sense of what I am hearing. QVC is launching an eagerly awaited ready to wear line by Dennis Basso, furrier extraordinaire and one of the home shopping giant’s most popular designers. His line of faux fur outerwear adorns and warms I don’t know how many thousands of women every winter - and I - and the three other women who’d been chosen would be wearing one of his new designs in the ad. Josie Maran, who has a signature line of eco- and skin-friendly cosmetics would do the makeup for the shoot and Shoshanna Gruss, who has a line of ready to wear clothing as well as a line of jewelry that’s sold on QVC was outfitting the models with jewelry. Lisa Robertson, beloved QVC host would be joining us for the days of the makeover and shoot. In addition, we would appear on a live QVC show to discuss our experiences. Wow. I agree to participate.
In the following days, I receive email updates from Joanne and learn the names of the other women who were chosen for this adventure. They are Christine, Mary Martha and Rocio. Hmm. I try to imagine what they look like, who they are - but later learn that my mental pictures were all wrong.
First order of business. We are to appear at Tiger J Studio in NYC without makeup and in casual clothing. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding went the alarm in my head. NO Makeup! Are they kidding? I haven’t been seen without makeup in ... well, in forever. I won’t leave my house without makeup. I don’t even look in the mirror without wearing makeup. I wear makeup to the gym. I do. I slick on a coat of mascara, a gloss of lip color - and I fill in my excruciatingly thin eyebrows.
I remove my makeup, gird my loins and prepare for the journey to begin.
Click here for more on my continuing adventure - Next up: Makeover Day, Lunch at Vogue - and I Get to Meet Dennis B...
And don't forget to read Part 3 - the day of the shoot.