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When the well-polished tire of the contents of their makeup bags, they turn to Barneys New York beauty guru Jason Ascher. Working out of a cozy, private alcove in the Madison Avenue store, Ascher cherry-picks products across brands. (His favorites for fall are at right.) His advice is decisive: He reserves neutral colors—dark brown, black and steel—for smoky eyes. He favors applying pressed powder with a large brush in lieu of loose powder and has sworn off airbrush foundations and mineral powders, which he feels make faces look flat. He encourages clients to play up their natural skin tone and reserve self-tanner (if they must) for legs only. Though clients have flown him around the globe, Ascher, who doesn’t charge for in-store appointments, is happy to stay grounded. Barneys likes it, too: Since assuming his post in May 2007, makeup studio sales have surged 20 percent.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.