It isn't often that you have a tête-à-tête with a bonafide fashion influencer—but I was lucky enough to do so for the second time in a month last night when Janie Bryant, costume designer and stylist for Mad Men, debuted her new style guide The Fashion File (Hachette) at newly opened hotspot The Griffin in New York City. You may remember I first met Janie in September when Maybelline New York invited her to be the guest of honor at an editors' event. Last night, Maybelline once again feted the fashionista alongside a packed room of editors, starlets, and PYTs. Though rumored attendee Jon Hamm didn't make an appearance (in all fairness, he was rehearsing for his SNL hosting gig this Saturday), there was no shortage of eye candy in the room. (And by eye candy, I'm referring to Janie's delectable icy lace Dennis Basso dress.)
A Jon Hamm sidenote: My date for the party (and one of my closest friends) revealed that Jon was her high school drama teacher back in the mid '90s. Excuse me?! Um, my high school drama teacher was 72-years old with a hearing aid and a permanent run in her pantyhose. Well Jon was probably just a scruffy drama geek back then, right? Wrong. "He was just as gorgeous as he is now—all the girls loved him," she said. "And he had that sexy Don Draper cockiness even then." Swoon.
Back to beauty... I asked Janie how she manages to always look as perfectly made-up as the characters she styles. She told me when in doubt, focus on lashes, lashes, lashes. "Thick lashes make you look instantly glamorous without having to put on a lot of makeup," she said. Her mascara of choice: Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Falsies. "People think I'm just saying that for the event, but I really do love it and wear it all the time. Look, I have it on right now!" she said, then promptly tilted her head to show me her lashes, which did indeed look ridiculously lush.
Another guest at the party with eyes to die for was Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr, who told me exactly how she creates those signature smoky eyes of hers: She takes a small, stiff slanted brush (you could try Shu Uemura Natural Brush No. 6ob), dips it in a dark brown powder eye shadow (try Maybelline New York Expert Wear Eye Shadow Single in Nutmeg), and works it back and forth right into her top and bottom lashes. "You don't even need pencil," she said. She then curls her lashes—"That's the key to getting the wide-eyed look," she said—and piles on Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara, which she always keeps tucked in her bag. Jessica also admitted that even though she's usually a smoky-eyes-nude-lips kind of girl, she's been into red lips lately and often wears Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival. But her most interesting beauty trick? She sprays perfume on the back of her neck. "My mom taught me that one," she said. "That way, when people hug you hello or goodbye, they'll instantly notice your fragrance." Cute!