Judging by the photos and videos, Joseph, who recently turned 60, needs no makeup at all. She’s one of those Emmylou Harris beauties with lovely features, luminous skin and long silver hair, who spends just a few minutes a day on her face before she’s out the door. As women age, she says, looking fresh, rather than made up, is the key.
“The biggest makeup mistake that middle-aged women make is putting on too much under eye concealer,” she said. “At home, it might look OK, but in the daylight, it just looks like a bunch of gunk under your eyes. The older you get, the less makeup you should wear. It’s not a blank canvas anymore.”
After growing up in the Bay Area – Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, class of ’69 – she moved to Paris in the early ’80s and later to New York.
“I was a classic California flower child,” she says. “I went to Haight Ashbury on the weekends, the Fillmore West, the Avalon Ballroom. I was at the center of it all. People still ask me to this day: ‘Are you from San Francisco?’”
Joseph married young, had two kids and began her makeup artist career in San Francisco in the late ’70s, working for Macy’s, Esprit de Corp and others.
“I always had the smallest kit and the fewest products of any of my colleagues,” she remembers. She let her hair go gray in her late 40s, and just like that, she was spotted on a New York sidewalk by a scout for the fashion photographer Steven Miesel and has been a model ever since, featured in ads for Target, L.L. Bean, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY, Olay, Nivea and others.
About a year ago, she went into the cosmetics business herself. “I’d done makeup for two decades and when I created this line, I created what I would want in my own kit,” she says. “I wanted to do a line that was not about hiding, but was about revealing.” The overall effect, she says, is a dewy, glowing face.
“When somebody says to you, ‘Wow, did you fall in love?’
That’s successful makeup.”