When I was 12, I was sent to stay with my great aunt for the summer. I did not want to go. I knew I would be miserable.
She had never been blessed with children, or a husband, but she said she thanked God for that. She would then go on to say, "He knew in my heart I cannot abide them."
Once I asked which she couldn't abide, the husbands or the children. She was a teacher, and I thought the answer would be husbands. I was wrong.
I was also wrong about being miserable at her house. I soon discovered that I loved watching movies with her. During commercials, she would tell me the history behind the movie or answer my questions about the actresses, hairstyles and makeup from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
Marilyn, Audrey, Katherine, Brigitte, and all those glamorous and gorgeous women, with flawless dewy complexions and mesmerizing eyes were not my beauty idols. No, their make-up artists and hair stylists were. I couldn't wait until the movie credits to see who the makeup and hair stylist were.
My aunt thought this was odd. She pointed out that actresses were beautiful women, and I agreed they were naturally beautiful, but pointed out the "makeup" made them even more beautiful.
Naturally, the first man to become one of my beauty idols was also the man that perfected stage makeup, Max Factor. His creation of a "greasepaint" that did not crack or cake coupled his development of "Color Harmony" soon had actresses frequenting his beauty salon in order to look as glamorous off screen as they did on.
He believed that all women could be "made up" to look like a movie star. He employed a set of principles based on color collections of a woman's skin tone, hair and eye color. He also used celebrity endorsements when he started selling "makeup" to the public in the late 1920s.
The next man to make my list is Allan "Whitey" Snyder. He was known for being Marilyn Monroe's personal makeup artist since her screen test in 1946. I think we can all agree Marilyn was a natural beauty, but Whitey used five layers of lipstick to achieve her perfect pout.
One of the hair stylists on my list is Chris McMillan. He is the creator of "The Rachel," Jennifer Anniston's haircut on "Friends." His stylish rendition of the pixie was seen on Michelle Williams at the 2011 Oscars. I love the pixie cut. even though, I think hers turned out better than mine.
These three men have influenced me. I always believed they showcased and enhanced a woman's natural beauty, which is why they are on my list of beauty idols. Who is on yours?