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August 1 2014

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Getting Ready With the Queen of the Night

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Mac Cosmetics Master Class Susanne Bartsch Chelsea Hotel 2014/04/08

“What the fuck is life without makeup?” Truer words have never been spoken, but they somehow seem even more meaningful coming from Susanne Bartsch, the iconic queen of New York City nightlife known for her extravagant fêtes at the Copacabana in the late eighties. She continues to take party planning to an entirely different level, hosting events all week long that draw eclectic crowds that can only be described as equal parts weird and wonderful. On this particular evening, however, Bartsch is letting a few lucky onlookers watch her and her team of MAC pros get ready for (what else?) the evening’s big bash. The beauty brand’s array of intense colors, over-the-top glitters, and tentacle-like lashes are clearly the only products that will do. A sense of organized chaos settles upon the room as wigs are fluffed and pigments are applied. Bartsch switches seamlessly between discussing details with her assistant (“Is the cake here? You have candles?”) and sharing charming anecdotes with the assembled group. Outfits of parties past are sprinkled throughout the room, but nothing compares with the laser-cut leather corset and thigh-high boots that she slides into after her makeup is perfected. People literally burst into applause. She looks fierce, but don’t be fooled by her love of feathers and lace. Bartsch takes her events very seriously and has raised millions of dollars over the years for the fight against AIDS. And after hearing her endearing chatter as she sits among her glam squad, you can see why people would donate hand over fist to any organization that she deems fit. After all, if life without makeup seems unfathomable, then the notion of New York City without Susanne Bartsch is just absurd.

Mac Cosmetics Master ClassSusanne BartschChelsea Hotel2014/04/08

Photos: Helga Traxler

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