Tim Quinn’s Postcard From the Inauguration
Celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn received the opportunity of a lifetime over the weekend. His clients Dr. Jill Biden and Kerry Washington invited him and fellow makeup artist Rhona Samuels to prep them for all the celebratory activities taking place in Washington, D.C., including President Barack Obama’s inauguration. As a self-proclaimed “political junkie,” he jumped at the chance. Here Quinn shares his behind-the-scenes experience at this historical event.
Friday: 11 a.m.
Even though we were only in Washington for a long weekend, it seemed as if Rhona and I were there for a month due to the whirlwind of activities! On our first full day, Rhona and I manned the Giorgio Armani Beauty pop-up boutique at the Fairmont hotel in Georgetown. Our incredible D.C.-based team of face designers were on hand to provide beauty touch-ups and inaugural makeovers for hotel guests, VIPs, politicians, athletes and media superstars.
My dear friend, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell (above), popped by a couple times to try out the new Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation line. Gayle King also stopped by and chatted with us after having her brows reshaped by the incredible makeup artist Yasir Bashir.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m.
We’ve worked with Dr. Jill Biden (who loves Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, by the way) for a few years now, and we had the honor and pleasure of working with her all this weekend. Our Saturday morning appointment was a particularly fun event. We traveled to her residence (that’s Rhona in front of the house above!) and gave Dr. Biden a casual and easy look for the National Day of Service, in which Americans from across the country participate in service projects to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Dr. Biden joined her husband, Vice President Joe Biden, and her granddaughters in filling care kits for deployed U.S. service members, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders.
Sunday: 3 p.m.
In the afternoon, we had high tea provided by the marvelous tea sommelier Edwin Vargas. We also enjoyed a few tasty bites with our hot beverages, and even a few “touch-ups” by the illustrious plastic surgeon Dr. Paul G. Ruff!
Inauguration Day. We woke up. Ouch.
At the crack of dawn, Rhona and I headed to a private residence to get actress Kerry Washington ready for the inauguration ceremony. Rhona and I worked with Kerry several times throughout the weekend (Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation in 10 and Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 200-Terra quickly became her new go-to beauty treats), but this morning’s event was definitely the most special.
I spotted Michelle Obama and the first family, who all looked radiant, confident and fresh. At this inauguration, I felt that everyone was much more present than at President Obama’s first ceremony. My sense was that everyone was truly in the moment.
Behind the scenes, I loved hearing all the chatter about bangs, from Kerry’s to Michelle’s to even Dr. Biden’s! Kerry’s bangs, in particular, stirred up conversation and comparison with Mrs. Obama’s new fringe.
Anyone who knows me knows I love to always be on-the-go, so when Joe Biden asked us to provide last-minute makeup services to his sister, Valerie Owens, and her family for the Inaugural Ball, how could we say no?! We were able to squeeze in Valerie and her gorgeous crew at the Renaissance Washington hotel before quickly transforming ourselves. By that time we were running late for the night’s big event!
The delay in the schedule required some tricky maneuvering with the unreal traffic that evening. But thank goodness, our car service that was at our beck and call ended up working like a charm.
After a quick stopover at the Inaugural Ball, which was an absolute madhouse, Rhona and I arrived at the BET Inaugural Gala, where we ran into Vernon Martin, Kerry’s hairstylist. The party was on fire!
We finally left the BET Gala since we had an early call time with Kerry the next morning—and we had been up since 4!
We were up early for the final session with Kerry, who was going to visit the Savoy Elementary School that she mentors. I used more Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 200-Terra for a natural look.
I then dashed back to the Vice President’s residence for an unscheduled appointment with Dr. Biden. She was preparing for the evening’s final inaugural ball for Obama’s campaign staff, which featured Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.
The cold was bone-chilling as we bid adieu to D.C. and boarded our flight back to Orlando. But what a trip!
Photos: Courtesy of Tim Quinn; courtesy of Vernon Martin (Kerry Washington)