Judith August made her mark early in life as a New York City fashion model.
“I was booked as the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ type,” the northwest Las Vegas resident said.
Modeling taught her makeup tricks and introduced her to what was then top-of-the-line concealers. Today, she has her own line of products –– all designed to help women hide flaws –– and she has written a book, “Gotcha Covered,” on how to apply the makeup and conceal various problem areas such as bruises, port wine stains, age spots, dark under-eye circles, rosacea and scars.
“A lot of beauty books are out there, but they devote maybe one page on concealers,” she said. “My book is all on concealers ... and it’s 110 pages long.”
The idea of writing a book began 20 years ago. She collected articles and jotted down ideas, knowing one day she would write a book. It took her and her assistant more than a year to sort it all out and organize it into book form. Susan Haller stepped in to help write it.
Categories include Paint the Lines Away, Build Your Own Concealer Kit, Terms of Concealment, Neutralizers and How They Work.
There are tips in the book on makeup in general, such as giving the skin a minute to absorb moisturizer, toner or sunscreen before applying the next step.
The book explains that “When air hits makeup, it becomes thicker, which provides better coverage. This will help create a longer lasting and more polished finish.”
“Gotcha Covered” is available at judithaugustcosmetics.com and at amazon.com. August is reaching out to plastic surgeons in Las Vegas and Los Angeles to pass it out to patients.
In fact, working with plastic surgeons was part of August’s path to creating concealers. Her Everything Pencil was the result of teaching surgery patients how to conceal the bruising and black eyes that can result from a face-lift or rhinoplasty. She worked with a chemist to come up with a formula, found a manufacturer in America and placed her first order for her camouflage pencil. There was one more aspect to unveiling her product.
“I didn’t know what to call it,” August said. “And someone asked, ‘Well, what does it do?’ And I said, ‘Everything.’ ”
That was about 25 years ago. Beauty regimens and scientific advancements have seen new products emerge since August graced fashion magazines. But even models used every trick in the book to highlight or shadow the face with makeup.
Not all tricks were accomplished with makeup.
“We used to go to bed the night before a shoot with Scotch tape on our foreheads,” she recalled. “And I was only 20 ... Products have evolved, but the basic principles don’t. Light (covers) problems, darks recede. ... Max Factor knew what he was talking about.”
A few years after creating the Everything Pencil, August added Orange Masking Cream to the line to address dark under-eye circles. Another item, Special Care Cover, was developed when laser peels came on the scene. About eight years ago, she came out with Killer Cover for what she called “heavy-duty” needs, such as obscuring tattoos. Her latest product is a primer, Wonderbase, which makes skin a smoother palette on which to work.
Las Vegas producer Carole Altman uses the Everything Pencil and the Orange Masking Cream, which comes with two colors in one compact.
“That’s what I do the shading with,” Altman said. “The light part I put under my eyes and down the middle of my nose, and the darker part on the edges. ... I’ve had it, like, eight months. It works very well with shading.”
A newcomer to August’s products, Tana Daugharthy wanted to address her sun damage and age spots. Over the years, she’d tried a variety of different products.
“Hers are much, much better. I noticed better coverage and ease of use, but most of all, better concealment. ... They don’t dry me out,” Daugharthy said.
Although August does no traditional advertising and refuses to participate in trade shows, company sales have tripled from a decade ago.
She runs the company out of her home, with UPS making deliveries. This day, more than 500 units were sent out. August estimated that her website brings in about 300 sales a month. Her products also sell through a dozen catalogs and in high-end department stores.
Carmen Gumm, her office manager, has been with her for nine years. Erin Gilbert handles the online sales and helps in the office. When the products arrive from the manufacturer, August has a small team that adds the printed information, pops everything into packaging and stacks them in plastic tubs already marked for each product, ready to fill online orders.
“She’s great, very creative,” Gumm said. “Every day, you never know what you’re going to get. It might be an idea for a new product or an idea for a new marketing campaign or packaging. It’s a fun place to work because everybody has a say, and we get to play with makeup, and who doesn’t like to do that?”
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.