Tim Quinn may be a makeup artist to Hollywood's elite (Glenn Close, Hilary Swank, Camilla Belle, just to name a few) but his 78-year-old mother is poised to be beauty's next breakout star. Quinn, who has been doing his mother Christine's makeup on and off for decades, started live-streaming their sessions on his Facebook page two years ago. Now, both he and "Glams," as her fans have affectionately titled her, receive hundreds of comments per video, from makeup lovers all over the globe.
There's definitely something special about watching their sweet interactions, but the reason behind their ritual will warm your heart even more. Turns out, Quinn started doing his mom's makeup after the death of his youngest brother, Michael. "After I lost my little brother, my mother went into a depression," Quinn says. "I did her makeup for the memorial and it was almost like taking her back... It brought a twinkle back to her eyes."
A few months later, Quinn started broadcasting her makeovers live on his Facebook account. "When I did her makeup, it made her very engaged," he says. "At first she fought me on it, but she gets a kick out of seeing herself. When I'm not looking, she'll stick her tongue out at the camera."
Most of Quinn's live-streams take place in the assisted living home where his parents both live. "My mom has the beginning stages of dementia," he explains. "The nurses and doctors also call her 'Glams.'"
Glams hasn't always been the adventurous makeup muse we see in Quinn's most recent videos, though. According to the makeup artist, it's taken her some time to experiment with dramatic colours and looks. "In the beginning, I could put foundation, lipstick, and possibly eyeliner on her," Quinn says. "She started to see the differences and now she likes color. She helps direct me sometimes."
According to Quinn, there are a few products he always uses on Glams: Giorgio Armani's Crema Nuda and Maestro Glow Makeup. (Quinn is Giorgio Armani's celebrity makeup artist.) "Crema Nuda is my secret weapon for her base because it instantly gives some colour to her skin," Quinn says. To give her face luminosity, Quinn buffs Maestro Glow all over her face. She's also a fan of bold lips, dramatic false lashes, and hot-coral blush (this one is her favourite).
The response to Glams' videos has been overwhelming, says Quinn. "I get so many messages from people who have lost a mother or grandmother who say they love [watching our] interaction," Quinn says. "And, quite honestly, it's what gives me joy. She was in the hospital for a week recently, and I went out and bought all this makeup and the nurses thought it was the best thing to get her to really rally."
Even Quinn's father, who previously had no interest in makeup or skin care, now gives Quinn lists of products he wants. "I think there's some jealousy there," Quinn says with a laugh.
Apart from doing Glams' makeup whenever he can, Quinn also goes to the Mass General Hospital in Boston during National Nurses Week to give each nurse a makeover. "You'll see people bring service animals by to cheer up hospital patients," Quinn says. "I'll bring makeup artists with me and it's almost as fun as having a puppy come by." For Quinn, makeup isn't a source of vanity or materialism — it's a necessary part of self-care. Watching just one of his videos is definitely proof of that.