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Interview: Adrian D. Howe, makeup artist 

She doesn't seem like the type to own a large utility tool box from Lowe's

The dainty, prim and polished Adrian D. Howe may not seem like the type to own a large utility tool box from Lowe's. But this isn't just any ordinary tool box. It's a cosmetic abyss filled with pounds of foundation, blush, eye shadows and lip colors. In the case that ruby, crimson or fire engine aren't the perfect lipstick match, she keeps more than a dozen other shades of red to suit her fancy. But priorities are priorities, and if this makeup artist was forced to take a trip with only one piece of makeup, she proudly claims she would choose "SPF ... and lip balm, as unglamourous as that is." Howe, a super fan of Dita Von Teese, is notorious for her own spin on the pinup look and admits she may have been born in the wrong decade. "I love the era when women were ladies and men were gentleman and when appearances meant something. I adore the classic ladylike look." But, no matter the look, Howe can transform blah to beautiful, whether she's hired for a wedding, special event, print work or a runway show. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Howe, who sometimes books her weekends 10 months out, would "rather work than sleep."

Creative Loafing: You do makeup for a living, but what is your personal makeup regimen?

Adrian Howe: For myself, I go fairly simple on the eyes. A little black flipped out eyeliner and red lips. But I always tailor my makeup to the place I'm going and who I'm going with.

What's the reason behind using cruelty-free products?

I'm a vegetarian and a total animal lover. I have four dwarf bunnies that hop around the house and use a litter box. They're my babies and my inspiration.

What is your biggest makeup pet peeve?

Foundation that doesn't match ... you cannot fake a tan by going darker with your foundation. The floating head line ... I can't stand it!

What has been your most rewarding experience as a makeup artist?

This is going to sound really corny, but every client that sits in my chair is the most important client I have. Whoever is sitting in my chair is my VIP and who I give all of my attention to.

If you could give one piece of advice for all women about applying makeup, what would it be?

Be classic. Keep up with the trends but don't necessarily apply them; pick your style and be faithful to it.

How would you suggest that others interested in the trade get started?

The best way is to contact other artists and ask to assist them. Also, look for a retail job working at any counter you can. You've got to want it. It's not easy, but it is so rewarding. It's a profession where you never get bored. Every face you look at is different. That is something I love about this profession.

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