Lights, Camera, Sage

Florida make-up artist is an essential staple on sets from Miami to NYC


Florida-based and frequently New York-bound make-up artist, Sage – we’re uncertain whether that’s her first or last name but it’s clear she’s recognized internationally with just one syllable — creates more than artistically beautiful faces. Sure, she expertly highlights features for television, movie and editorial photo shoots, not to mention fashion shows and ad campaigns. But in doing so she brings to life a mood – whether it’s the 1920s vibrancy she recently helped create for an Italian Vogue spread, the smoky-eyed rocker look she captured in the Supermodel Skateboard Project or the fresh-faced appearance she lights up for many of the German department store catalogues. Sage not only glamorizes people but will also enhance our perceptions of the circumstances in which they pose.

“I create stories,” she says. “It’s not just about applying makeup. There needs to be something interesting to the viewer. Everyone has already seen it all.”

Probably even on some of her subjects, as Sage has worked with famous faces including Freja Beha Erichsen, a Danish model who frequents the runways of Prada, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu. And also Jessica Stam a Canadian model who was in 2007 made the Forbes magazine list of the World’s 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. As for photographers, she’s beautified shoots for Regan Cameron on Star Island, Bruce Weber in Davie and Claudia Knoepfel on Collins Avenue.

“Most people think I’m New York, full time,” she laughs. “But there’s important work being done in Miami.”

So how can we ourselves achieve the photogenic success of Sage’s subjects? First, we have to understand our own faces, she says. There are different versions, for example, of a smoky eye. Large eyes can take tons of color and lots of black, but small eyes can carry that weight on the lid’s top and are better lined with copper on the bottom. Choose your blush color to match the one appearing when you’re naturally flush. Use strong lip colors only when they’re not messy or greasy and for less drama consider a Burt’s Bees stick with a tinted color. For mascara, Sage uses Dior show and for hair, she’s devoted to Perfect 10 leave in conditioner.

“It’s easy to do make up on a 16-year old,” says Sage. “But the camera shows everything – so you want to draw out the beauty of yourself.”

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