When I was little, I used to dream of modeling. I did, actually, model for a time as a teenager. I was on our hometown mall’s Teen Board. It sounds like the name of a pulp fiction book, doesn’t it? I Was a Teenage Model (Laughable Books, 2016). Clearly, I missed an opportunity there.
But let’s just say my mall runway days have been long behind me for some time. Now, you can find me backstage at New York Fashion Week or inside the shows, taking photos of young women and men who do this for a living. It’s grueling and glamorous, and sometimes I get really great photos. But in all the years I’ve been covering it did I entertain the idea that I would be in a show someday. That was, until Karissa Bodnar of Thrive Causemetics asked me to be in the first-ever beauty presentation at New York Fashion Week.
First, let me admit that, yes, the episode of Carrie walking in a “real people” fashion show on Sex and the City was the first thing that popped into my head. Although the fear of becoming “fashion roadkill” never crossed my mind (until someone put it on Facebook, which I’m certain wasn’t a positive, you-go-girl kind of thing,) a multitude of ideas did come up. The phrase, “Me? A model?” kept creeping to mind.
You know what? Hell yeah. Why NOT me? Let’s get down, Thrive Causemetics. Let’s do this. You want me to wear the beauty look on a runway? I’m totally in.
And so I washed my hair (because models are supposed to come with clean hair, that I know,) and my face (see also: need to come with clean skin,) and made my way to Midtown Lofts for last night’s presentation.
My first moment of joy was that my beloved friend, celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow, had been hired to do my makeup. That was a TOTAL surprise. Also, let me be honest here, because I know people say, “My friend so-and-so,” and they essentially rode in an elevator together once. Tina and I are actually friends. We do things together as friends. We are actually — and here comes my boyfriend in full-on freak-out mode over this one — planning to go get another tattoo together. Tina is one of the sweetest, most talented artists I know. She’s also pretty mean with a camera. Look for us to do more things together.
My understanding was that I was the first look to walk the runway, and my look was “eyes.” My name became “eyes” backstage. The goal of the show was to feature the makeup and its versatility, and we showed everything from a really gorgeous evening eye (or daytime if you’re on reality tv or a soap opera) to lips to cheeks to contouring. There were 15 models planned, and it was a great group of beauty editors walking in the show. We all wore the same black sheath so the spotlight was on the makeup.
Honestly? It was a lot of fun. No nerves at all. I walked the runway and had my little moment in front of a packed house. I wished I’d had family and friends in the audience to see it, but someone somewhere has pictures. I have the memories below. All is well.
I left feeling amazing. Thrive Causemetics is a fantastic, luxurious makeup brand that has an added feature that brings me great joy when supporting them: for every product purchased, one is given to a woman undergoing cancer treatment. The products were created from Karissa’s experience with a dear friend dying of cancer. She turned to her product development background and channeled all that emotion into non-toxic formulations that can stand up to any luxury brand, but without the chemicals that cause most women to react. Think about what that means for a woman losing her eyelashes or feeling the most un-pretty she’s ever felt in her life. When every day is a fight for another breath and a shred of the life you used to know, a set of non-toxic lashes and a little lip gloss might completely change your day. We all deserve to look and feel our best, and it’s always amazing to support a brand that goes out of their way to extend products and a helping hand to women who most definitely deserve that moment of delight.
And yes, now I can say I modeled in a show. I wonder if this will cause me to sip all my beverages through a straw and try for a sultrier gaze in selfies? Nah. It’s not me. But for one beautiful night, it was. It really was.