On our Radar: Dana Rae Ashburn


What do Hannah Bronfman’s perfect brows, Claire Distenfeld’s flawless skin and Alison Chemla’s “I woke up like this” look have in common? Besides damn good genetics, that’d be Dana Rae Ashburn, a NYC-based make-up artist who knows how to make a good feature shine. As it happens, her entry into cosmetics started early: between her mother’s regional health and beauty magazine and Ashburn’s personal art school education (she studied painting), she was surrounded by artistry from the get-go, striking up a freelancing career in cosmetics at just 18 years old. “Because I had great mentors who had very natural styles, I never got into heavy, glittery, contoured, colorful makeup,” Ashburn says. “I just wanted people to feel better after they got up from my chair.” Surely, it doesn’t hurt when your “mentors” include beauty powerhouse Bobbi Brown, who offered Ashburn an internship after receiving a direct letter to her attention. “I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just wrote to [Brown] saying I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She ended up having her son find me on Facebook because I had forgotten to put my contact information on the letter!,” says Ashburn. Still, today her beauty secrets and signatures are uniquely her own: namely glow-y skin, fluffy lashes and a cat eye, though she fine-tunes looks depending on the client. “Because I studied painting, I learned a lot about skin colors. I really enjoy working with skin of all colors. I feel most fulfilled when someone looks in the mirror in pure shock saying something like, “Wow, look at my brows!” or “My eyes look huge!,” then moves on to take a million selfies,” she laughs. “A happy client is my definition of success!” Set to debut her own beauty brand aptly named ABLE later this fall (the line will include never-before-seen products dreamt up by Ashburn herself), we’re pretty sure she’s a “success” in more ways than one. Here, we met up with Ashburn for a summer makeover, plus perhaps the best beauty advice and tips we’ve ever received… Ever. Let’s just say we can hardly wait to get our hands on her namesake collection. Check out the full story below.



BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED: I’m not sure how much advice I’ve been given— nobody ever said “Dana, make sure to always XYZ,” but I can tell you a few things that have always stuck with me: 1. LASHES, LASHES, LASHES. Linda Hay used to say, “The more lashes the better!” and I could’t agree more. Top lashes, bottom lashes, tiny, short lashes, long, whisp-y lashes— use an eyelash curler, it will change your life. 2. Everyone has at least one or two great features. It might be a great brow, cheek bones, eye color, complexion, freckles or a cupid’s bow, but everyone has something! Once you figure out what that is, run with it! 3. Cetaphil. A piece of advice I got from my dermatologist, “Dana, I need you to cut out the fancy shit and use Cetaphil.” She was right. Cetaphil is the answer to your skin problems.



BEST BEAUTY ADVICE FROM YOU TO US: Use Cetaphil, drink water (like half of your body weight), find your brow shape (it will change your face), practice your cat eye skills (not only do guys LOVE cat eyes (even though they usually call it “the black line on the eye”), but you will just feel good!) and if you want an easy night look, smudge some brown shadow on your lid and call it a day! I’ve always LOVED browns— they can give you that sultry look without being too dark. I know it’s expensive, but Tom Ford’s Cocoa Mirage shadow palette is the definition of EVERYTHING! I pinky swear. Also, Marc Jacobs’ liner in (Ro)Cocoa is great. Draw a messy line across your lid and smudge.



LOOK OF SUMMER ’15: I don’t ever pay attention to seasons when it comes to beauty. I watch what is happening trend-wise which usually leads me to a look, but just because it’s summer, I’m not going to say wear a coral lip! You can wear a coral lip in the fall and look just as fierce. Right now, the ‘70s are back— you’re seeing girls in bell bottoms and button-up skirts; these looks look great with a bold cat eye. Also, something fun to try is big clumpy bottom lashes! Your boyfriend might not understand them, but you will look cool. And freckles. I don’t know what it is about freckles, but I love them. You can use a brown liner (liquid, gel or pencil) and make tiny little dots (make sure to vary the dots in size and opacity). Long story short: cat eye, spider lashes and freckles… just maybe not all together. Pick one or two!




BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: I can’t live without my Anastasia Dip Brow or Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight Celestial Highlighter— that stuff will make you glow! Apply it to your brow bone, cheek bone, nose and cupid’s bone; your features will pop!




1. You May Want To Wake Up Like This…
Love the look of a lip stain? At night, after you are done washing your face and applying moisturizer, apply a lip moisturizer. Then massage a tiny tab of red lipstick with your finger into your lips. Go to bed sleeping beauties and wake up with a stain! Repeat again in the morning.

2. Don’t Be Stupid Cupid.
Did you know highlighting your cupid’s bow can make your lips look bigger? Add a dab of highlighter (powder or cream) to your cupid’s bow before applying lip product. The highlighter will catch natural light and make your upper lip pop!

3. Color Correct Your Contour Sister.
If you want to contour, make sure you are using the right color i.e. avoid contouring with warm bronzers and contour with a color a few shades darker than your skin tone. Contouring is essentially creating a shadow. Are shadows orange? Nope.

4. Don’t Fill In The Blank.
When filling in your eyebrows, don’t fill them in all the way. Focus on the middle to outer corners. It will look more natural!

5. Let Me Drop You A Line on Lip Color.
Lip liner is your friend! Most people hear “lip liner” and think, “Jenny from the Block,” but did you ever try replacing your favorite lipstick with a lip liner? Pick your favorite color, line your lips (going a little bit outside of the lines) and fill in lips completely. Your lips will look full and (depending on the formula) you can have your desired matte or creamy finish. CP


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