You may not have seen Leah Margosis before, but you have likely seen her work. As one of DC’s leading makeup artists for television, photo shoots, and weddings, Margosis has worked with politicians, celebrities, and clients throughout our region to ensure they’re always camera-ready.
We talked to Margosis about her work, her style, and her makeup and skincare advice for women in DC.
Q: Who or what has been the greatest influence on your style?
A: The greatest influence has come from all the amazing women I’ve encountered through my life. Each brought their own strength and beauty,and taught me how to find mine.
Q: How has your style developed over the years?
A: My makeup style has come full circle to my roots as an aesthetician and away from trends. I’m focused on beautiful skin and classic makeup. My personal style has taken the same path. I am most comfortable barefoot, in jeans and a t-shirt, wearing a tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss.
Q: How has being in the DC area influenced your style?
A: Even though I see DC as mostly conservative in style, especially compared to New York and Europe, DC draws an incredibly diverse and fascinating array of people. The influence on my style of makeup is to have it be expressly personalized to each individual. Style varies like personality; it’s an essence of one’s true nature.
Q: What’s been your most memorable style moment?
A: I think the one that really took my breath away was on the eve of an Inauguration. I was standing inside of the Lincoln Memorial where Secret Service had just placed me, and the incoming President, VP, and their wives were at the top of the steps awaiting their introduction to the throngs below. They looked at me–the only other person besides them inside the monument–and winked as they began their descent. I felt incredibly privileged and humbled to be there.
Q: What are your can’t-live-without hair, makeup, and skincare products?
A: I’ve got to have Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant because it’s so extremely gentle, yet brightens and smooths the skin. I use Tarte’s Maracuja Oil every night because I love the beautiful radiance it provides. I absolutely crave L’Occitane’s Lavender Hand Crème. I put it on every night before I go to sleep. Lastly, Bobbi Brown’s lip gloss in buff – always. I’ve been a Bobbi fan since when her entire line consisted of only 10 lipsticks.
Q: What is the most common issue women face in DC with regards to their makeup and skincare? What do you normally suggest to them to help with this issue?
I find women are often using the wrong cleanser. My mission is to implore all physicians to stop recommending Cetaphil because it’s completely inadequate to remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants from the skin. A lot of money is spent on serums, moisturizers and the like, but the appropriate cleansers are often overlooked.
We tend to stay with the same products, even though our skin needs will vary. I recommend adjusting products as necessary, based on factors like age, stress, climate, hormones, and keeping it simple!
Everyone’s looking for the “best” mascara, and it’s definitely subjective. If your lashes are thick but short, go for lengthening and defining. A volumizing formula will produce clumps. That type is best for a thinner lash when you want some va-va voom.
Q: What are the absolute basics that DC women should have in their makeup bag?
A: Accommodate your lifestyle! Most of us don’t have a lot of time due to family and work commitments, so I recommend using products that are multi-use, like a stick foundation or tinted moisturizer, blush/bronzer, tinted lip balms, and a shimmer brick for night that can also be used as eyeshadow.
Q: What’s next for your business?
A: I am excited about my business right now, as I’m focusing on spending more time working with clients individually. I am able to help women sift through the dizzying myriad of choices without an allegiance to any brand, so I can be a liaison for finding the best products while being informative and having fun with them. I love to illuminate good skin care and makeup techniques, along with simplifying and organizing products to fit each person’s life.
We’re fortunate to have every makeup shopping option available in DC, along with some talented, smart people behind the counters, but it can still be overwhelming. I hope to provide my clients with the confidence to go into a store and not be intimidated.