In Jerusalem

Real looks for real women

Make-up artist Andrew Simantov helps women manifest their inner beauty.

Spring makeup trends
Photo by: Courtesy
‘I want Jerusalem to be prettier. Most women want to look better, lovelier,” says Andrea Simantov.

As the creator and proprietor of Jerusalem Bride, her aim is to help women look their best by enhancing their inherent beauty. Be it a hair and makeup appointment for a special occasion, private counseling or a small group seminar on makeup application, Simantov is dedicated to teaching women how to not only look their best but feel their best as well.

“If you take care of how you look, you get the job,” she says.

A prospective employer knows that if you take pride in your appearance, you will most likely take pride in the work you do, she explains. She recalls a job interview she had in her early days in her native New York, where the interviewer wrote “FDA” on her application form. It stood for “front desk appearance.” She got the job.

Jerusalem Bride was originally devoted to weddings, where Simantov would work her magic on young brides and members of the bridal party, making sure their hair and makeup looked picture-perfect for that special day.

But she has since expanded her horizons, widening the circle to include women of all ages and all occasions.

To that end, Simantov leads Makeup Made Easy sessions in her home studio for women who want to learn how to put their best face forward every day. In fact, she makes a point of distinguishing between the word “face” in English and “panim” in Hebrew. While “face” connotes an exterior look, as in the word “facade,” the word “panim” refers to the “pnim” – the inside. And it is that inner beauty that Simantov is eager to manifest, not mask. Hence, “Real looks for real women” is the slogan of 56-year-old Simantov, who is recently remarried, a mother of six and grandmother to an ever-expanding family.

Particularly popular among women who are 40 and over, Makeup Made Easy is a one-time three-hour class for a group of about five participants. Simantov works on each woman individually while the others observe her techniques and listen to her comments and explanations, which are injected with a great deal of warmth and humor.

Basing her use of products on each woman’s skin tone, Simantov goes through the dozen or so elements of makeup application, from toner and moisturizer, foundation and concealer to eye pencil, mascara, blush and lipstick – and a whisk of translucent powder for a lustrous finishing touch. (“Doris Day in a jar,” she calls it).

When Simantov is through, each woman looks beautifully put together but not “made up.” That is, you don’t notice the makeup per se, but you see how attractive each woman’s features have become. It is a subtle but truly marvelous transformation.

And Simantov is all for subtlety. She stresses, “Eye shadow should complement, not match, your outfit.

Wear it to enhance your skin tone.” And if you have blue eyes, she says, “never wear blue eye shadow – it will make you look anemic.”

By the same token, she advises, “Don’t ‘over mask’ a blemish. You might as well draw a bull’s-eye on it.”

As for lipstick, she says, “I love it when eyes are the focus and the mouth remains neutral, perhaps with a kiss of berries.”

Simantov guarantees that once the women have practiced at home and internalized the process, they can work their own magic on a daily basis.

While she does not provide the products, she does make recommendations and is available to her clients by phone or email to answer questions and give advice.

She recommends buying reasonably priced items from reputable companies.

“High prices do not necessarily mean better quality,” she says. She advises clients to go into a pharmacy and look at the labels of upscale, internationally known products. “Then check out the same item produced by Maybelline, Dr. Fischer, Careline, Soft Touch or Pnina Rosenblum. If the first five ingredients listed on the highpriced item are the same as the others mentioned, you should protect your pocketbook. Why should you pay for expensive advertising and PR campaigns?” In that vein, her sessions are filled with helpful tips, such as how to replicate expensive face washes with ingredients that most women have in their medicine cabinets. “My aim is to instill confidence and allow women to look their best and save a lot of money,” she says. “It is important to note,” she adds, “that I am not a cosmetologist” (a beautician who gives hair and skin treatments).

Simantov has several other projects planned as well.

Events for the coming year include broad-based seminars (larger groups of up to 25 women) that will feature topics such as nutrition, mind/body health, fashion and lifestyle.

In terms of her training, Simantov studied dramatic arts at Emerson College in Boston, where she learned to apply makeup for the theater. She then worked as a wig stylist in New York for two years before making aliya in 1995.

She has certification from the Miriam Magen Cosmetic Institute, Yaffa Wig & Hair Design Academy and the Ravit Asaf Professional Hair & Make Up School. Her specialty areas include color theory and morphology, day and evening makeup, brides and photography makeup. In addition, she works with several matchmakers to help their clients with image improvement and is invited to address various women’s groups.

Back in her studio, at the end of the Makeup Made Easy session, each client takes home a number of gifts: a Jerusalem Bride mug, makeup remover wipes, makeup sponges and an eyeliner pencil sharpener, as well as an information sheet detailing Simantov’s skincare and makeup regimen.

As the women walk out the door with a sparkle in their eyes and a newfound spring in their steps, Simantov smiles and says, “I love what I do.” •


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