Beauty Secrets – Ali Smith

posted in: Beauty Secrets

Photo © Joshua Bright

This week’s muse is Ali Smith, who I met several years ago through a mutual friend. She invited me and my daughter to be featured in Momma Love, her fabulous photographic & essay collection about moms, which has been praised byThe New York Times and Gloria Steinem among others. Photographer Amy Arbus says of Momma Love, “Ali’s work is gripping, uncompromising, and unprecedented…an essential book for anyone searching for the truth.”

A native New Yorker who lives in New York with her husband and son, Ali has danced with Nureyev and toured the world with her rock band, but her true love is photography. She is passionate about exploring women’s lives through her work, which has been featured on Oxygen TV, in New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine and in The Onion.

Here are Ali’s beauty secrets:

  1. “I have colored my hair since I was 15 years old. It’s been magenta, white, hot pink, black and white spider web, rather than ‘blonde to cover the grays.’ For most of my life, though, I have been a redhead. It makes me feel like the type of women I want to be – I have always liked the red-head reputation for being a bit intense and out there. Couple that with green eyes and being a Scorpio, and you could strike the fear of God into most men. In a nice way 🙂 I always dyed it myself until I hit around 35 and had a little more money and realized how much better it looks when Lindsey at Lovemore and Do Salon on East 9th Street in NYC does it. She’s phenomenal.
2. In the old days, I would put on a ton of eye makeup and leave it until it fell off of its own volition. Convenient when your band is on tour. I  definitely DIDN’T spend money on facial cleansing products. My skin looked just fine, but now I really see the difference. As for the makeup, i still do heavy eyes when I go to a fancy event. I like a nice dark smudge with dark browns rather than black. Also a change from the old days. But I take that stuff off at the end of the night with Sephora Instant Makeup Remover. It doesn’t look cute four days later anymore 🙂
3. I smooth out the face with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Tint tinted moisturizer. It’s the most expensive makeup item I have.
4. The only thing I use every day is mascara. I used to have very thick eyelashes and they’re thinner now. I haven’t found a natural one that I like. They’re all wax based an tend to smudge a lot. Which is the opportune of the effect I want now. I really like heavy-lidded top lashes. I think heavy top lashes is one of the most beautiful, dreamy aspects of being a gal.


5. It sounds corny, but i feel the most beautiful when I’m reflected in the eyes of my husband and son who seem to think i look ok no matter what I do (almost).


So, time spent with them and feeling appreciated as myself gives me such a welcome break from trying to present myself well the rest of the time. And when I say “present myself well”, gone are the days I labor that too much. Mostly it’s about feeling my hair looks cute – not like “mom hair”- and that I’ve got some eyelashes happening and maybe a little Burt’s Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm or High Tea lipstick from MAC (my second most pricey makeup item).

6. I spray rosewater on my face because my gay friend told me to and you have to take the beauty tips your gay friend offers you very seriously. It’s refreshing and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent, so that’s good. Then I slather on argan oil, which is super hydrating, and Neutrogena SPF moisturizer. I wish I could find an all natural one that’s as cost-effective, but haven’t been able to yet.”  Note: if you’re on the hunt for organic stores to buy products like Argan Oil, here’s a comprehensive, global list.


MAC High Tea

Follow Ali!
Instagram: MommaLoveAli
Twitter: MommaLoveAli
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Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes,, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.