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Interview with author Daniel Klingler

He’s a cosmetologist. He’s an actor. He’s a business owner. He’s now an author.

Meet Daniel Klingler.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Daniel, cosmetologist extraordinaire, about his thoughts on beauty and life. With over ten years of experience working and training in the cosmetology industry, Daniel has taken his experiences and passion for helping others enhance their natural inner beauty and wrote an instructional book, Everyday Makeup Secrets. This book is filled with tips and tricks of the trade that will help women take their beauty into their own hands. It is my honor to share some of his thoughts with you.

McKay’s: What’s the most common makeup question you get from clients? 

DK: I am commonly asked how to fill in the eyebrows. My answer begins with correct brow grooming. I have a small panic attack when I see a client who has not groomed their eyebrows. It is so difficult to get a beautiful shape when there are stray hairs over the brow bone. Second, find the correct brow shape for your face. You can’t go wrong with a soft angled brow. My favorite brow product would be ANASTASIA (found at Sephora, Ulta or online). Quick tip: With a small brush, apply a light concealer along the bottom of the completed eyebrow. It will strengthen the brow shape and add dimension to the brow.

McKay’s: In one of your descriptions for your book, you say “Women love how makeup can make facial features pop and can hide flaws,” which seems to implicate women as your target audience. Do you think men can find it helpful as well? Do you ever get questions from men about how to hide flaws and take care of their skin?

DK: I am so glad you asked that question. If I were being transparent, I wish I would have included a specific section for men. Although women are my target audience, I want men to know it is OK to wear makeup. If it’s to cover a blemish or to cross-dress, there is information that will help. Now, makeup is 80% corrective and 20% color. Men have issues with acne, dark circles and skin discoloration. The chapters in my book address these concerns and are applicable to me. I’ve included a section on Tattoo Cover as well!

McKay’s: Your book seems to be about everyday make-up secrets. Will readers also get information on how to do theater make-up? 

DK: I wrote this book to be a reference for all things “beauty” makeup related. Although, the roots of corrective makeup (highlights and contour) come from Theater Makeup. I have submitted a proposal to produce a Theatrical Makeup book. Fingers crossed!

McKay’s: If you could only pick one piece of make-up advice to give to someone, what would it be?

DK: I only get one piece of advice!? I suppose I would share my #1 tip…Good makeup starts with a clean palette. Meaning, take care of your skin. I purposely included a chapter on skin care. When you understand your skin type you will be able to find skin care products and makeup that work with your specific skin needs. The rest will fall into place.

McKay’s: Are there any colors or shades of makeup that you detest?

DK: I only detest the wrong “shade” of color on the wrong person. This requires folks to understand their skin tone. If you have strong red undertones, makeup with an orange undertone may completely clash. But that same color could look gorgeous on someone with olive skin.

McKay’s: You seem to wear many hats (both literally and figuratively) from author, to cosmetologist, to business owner/entrepreneur, to actor, to the hats you wear in your personal life. How do you manage to juggle them all?

DK: Lots of Champagne!! Actually, that’s a great question. My salon is in my home which helps a lot. When I am not with a client I am designing wigs for a show. Honestly, I don’t know anyway else to be. Recently, I performed (as an actor) in back-to-back productions while designing wigs for shows and seeing salon guests. I’ll sleep when I die.

McKay’s: I’d love to hear about your writing process. Was it a difficult transition from makeup artist to writer? What were some of the unexpected challenges and pleasures of that process?

DK: I have a background in curriculum and development so the transition wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Also, I taught in cosmetology schools for Aveda and Paul Mitchell for several years. I was very clear about how the book should be laid out from the beginning. Not that there weren’t challenges! My publisher (Alpha) had set guidelines before I wrote my first word. For example, I knew the book would 256 pages. Those pages were broken into chapters with a spread count for each chapter. My editor would send me emails asking me to add more information, add a sidebar or include another tip. That was probably the most frustrating part of the process.

McKay’s: I know that you’ve done quite a bit of work for theater productions. Do you have a favorite play/musical that you like to watch?

DK: On TV, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Ironically, I would say on-stage WICKED; however, I worked the National Tour of WICKED and was able to watch the production for weeks. I may have finally worked it out of my system!

McKay’s: Do you have a “dream production” that you hope to someday be able to do the theatrical makeup for?

DK: I want to share some insider information for those who want to get into theatrical makeup. There are not a lot of “makeup” jobs in theater. You want to become a wig designer with a proficiency in makeup. Most actors are given a design and learn how to apply it to themselves. Unless it’s a musical or play that requires extensive prosthetic makeup like Beauty and the Beast or SHREK. I would suggest going into film work for more consistent work. With that being said, I am designing the makeup for ADDAMS FAMILY THE MUSICAL. This will be a lot of fun, lots of gray-scale makeup! In terms of wig design, I am dying to “re-design” HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. I designed the show prior to it coming on Broadway. I was able to see Neil Patrick Harris as HEDWIG on Broadway. The wig designer (Mike Potter) re-imagined a dozen more wigs for the production. It inspired me to tackle the production again.

McKay’s: In your free time (if you get any!), what do you enjoy doing?

DK: That’s the pleasure of living in your bliss! Even though I am constantly working, half the time I don’t realize it. I was working on a client the other day. It was a beautiful day. While her color was processing, we took our coffee onto my back porch. She said, “Isn’t nice we don’t have to work today?” I said “Yes….Wait a minute, I am working!”

A few months ago I started taking Pilates and Yoga. Stretching has been so good for me, especially in a field where you are standing and using your hands so often.

McKay’s: Any last thoughts that you’d like to share with our readers?

DK: I love makeup and hair design, I love the artistic aspects of the field, I love the connection with my guests and I love how it makes a person feel to transform them. With all of that said, beauty truly begins from within. I have a personal quote I hung on my wall, “I want to make you beautiful so you can be beautiful for others”. I think it would be irresponsible not to point that out. My guests always say, “It’s time to make me beautiful.” and I always respond, “My job is to enhance your beauty.”

McKay’s: What’s next? 

DK: I am about to design four shows in the month of September. CHRISTMAS CAROL (Indiana Repertory Theater), ADDAMS FAMILY (Beef and Boards Dinner Theater), LA CASA AZUL (Gregory Hancock Dance Theater) and ANDREW BROTHERS (Actors Theater of Indiana). I will be appearing in some TV segments featuring Makeup Tips and Halloween Makeup as we get closer to Halloween. I have been in discussion with my publisher about two books, however, nothing has been finalized at this point. Lastly, I am giving myself a well-deserved vacation in London and a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise….I am counting down the days!

Meet Daniel in person at the Nashville McKay’s on Friday, Sept. 25, at 6:30 pm.

 Daniel Klingler
author photo

Owner of Neck Up Designs, Daniel is a AVEDA trained and certified cosmetologist who has worked in the beauty industry for over ten years. In addition, he also taught cosmetology at the Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee. Daniel has received numerous awards such as the prized AVEDA National Talent Scholarship Award and the Instructor of the Year Award from the Institute of Beauty and Wellness. His latest adventure has taken him to Broadway where he’s styled for some of Broadway’s biggest shows. He holds a doctorate in Education Administration from Cardinal Stritch University and currently lives in Indianapolis.