ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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VIEW FROM THE TOP Tim Quinn and Giorgio Armani at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York in 2008. ABOUT FACE Tim Quinn shares his Boston inspirations. Favorite place in the city: "MGH Cancer Center, of course. But after that: Manchester-by-the-Sea's Singing Beach." Applause for Boston women: "They take a much more pragmatic approach to makeup. When I come back here from LA, it's so refreshing to see what people actually look like." New England seasons: "You update your wardrobe seasonally, so you need to update your makeup seasonally, too." Life philosophy: "Enjoy the ride, keep it fancy, and be kind." Quinn has undeniably attained that stardom, and now he helps make even the sickest cancer patients feel better about themselves. Cancer-free for the last five years, he recently joined the advisory board of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation (Fawcett was a friend whose death from cancer had a profound effect on Quinn), and he regularly works with the Look Good Feel Better campaign, which helps cancer patients improve their selfesteem. "Cancer sucks," he says bluntly. "But if you look pretty, you don't feel as bad. It's like wearing your best dress. You suddenly have a different confidence." BC 60 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC LEVIN (PRODUCTS); JOHN M. HELLER (QUINN, STEWART) continued from page 59 Quinn arrived at MGH armed with supplies. He brought cashmere blankets and throw pillows, flowering orchid plants, a crystal water carafe, various icons, and framed photos to brighten his room. "I always like things to be pretty," he says by way of explanation. Among his supplies were gift bags brimming with face masks and lip gloss for anyone who wanted some. Armani's fashion group, meanwhile, sent him an assortment of designer skullcaps in navy, black, taupe, and striped green and red. (Hair loss is a common, temporary by-product of chemotherapy, and Quinn never let anyone see him without hair.) On his second round of treatment, Quinn started running impromptu classes about makeup techniques from his hospital room. He invited everyone: fellow patients, nurses, doctors, and aides. Not surprisingly, attendance was very high. At first the classes were just something Quinn did to stay busy and keep his mind off cancer, but they quickly took on a deeper meaning. "I thought that when I got better I was going to have one of those Oprah moments, where I'd decide to go do work in Africa or something. But then I realized that what I do has a lot of value. It makes people feel better about themselves. It was something I had taken for granted." What Quinn does certainly has value, but he fell into such feel-good work almost by accident. After graduating from Albertus Magnus College with a degree in economics, he got a job as a broker trainee at Merrill Lynch in Fort Lauderdale. He had a flair for numbers, but the desk job bored him. He later ran an ice cream store in Pompano Beach and did some modeling in South Florida. "It was the '80s in Miami: Madonna had a BELOW: Quinn with cancer club down there, Versace was still alive. It was a party every awareness activist Alana Stewart at a benefit for night," he recalls. A friend in LA helped him secure a gig as a the John Wayne Cancer production coordinator and makeup artist for the comedy film Institute in 2011. Hijacking Hollywood, starring Henry Thomas of E.T. fame. The movie flopped, but it inspired Quinn's career in cosmetics. He went to makeup school in Milan, then worked for Borghese, the Italian beauty company, for four years. He also did a yearlong stint at Laura Mercier before going freelance. His big break came in 2001 when Serge Jureidini, in charge of launching Giorgio Armani cosmetics, asked him to bring his talents to the brand. "He said: 'I promise you if you come here, I'll make you a star.' I moved to New York City the next day," says Quinn. BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 058-060_BC_P_VFT_Fall13.indd 60 8/2/13 5:39 PM

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