January 26th, 2008
11:06 AM ET

Debate lipstick?

Editor's note: Makeup artist Kriss Soterion has been receiving some national attention for her work. We asked her to blog about her time with the candidates.

NEW YORK - Yup, that's right. More than any previous election all eyes are on the lipstick because a women is in the mix.


I couldn't be a happier makeup artist, celebrating my 20th year painting faces! I will never forget the first time I powdered her face - Sen. Hillary Clinton that is - at the National Democratic Convention in Boston in '04. She was already made up and just needed a little blotting. I looked into her beautiful blue eyes and dreamed that one day I would have a chance to work my full magic on her.


On June 3, I got my chance using my special techniques, and my own product line, that makes women look younger, brighter and more lifted. I went with my intuition that night and custom blended a special lipstick for her, it was not her usual red. After much positive press and interest in "what I did to her that night." I formulated the "Debate Lipstick" - the exact mix which my beloved CNN crew/women love to wear.


After last week's Los Angeles Times spread in the style section, a segment on Inside Edition, radio and assorted national press, women all over the country are beginning to wear it too. A portion of proceeds are blessing New Life Home for Women in Manchester, New Hampshire, a women's shelter that is dear to my heart.


As CNN's freelance makeup artist for special events, I have been in a unique situation to make-up all candidates in all debates across the country. I have seen them strive, endure and evolve from behind the scenes, a place where very few venture.


I have the opportunity to touch them with the stroke of my brush, the warmth of my smile, a prayer and a nod for confidence. I connect with them eye -to-eye. We giggle, meditate and prepare. They are all extraordinary - each and every one of them.


During the debate, I sit backstage and watch the monitor where there is never any sound and I quietly study their faces - waiting for sweat or shine or a need for more lipstick!


- Kriss Soterion, CNN Makeup Artist


Program note: Anderson Cooper moderates as the Republican presidential candidates debate on Wednesday, January 30, at 8 p.m. ET on CNN

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Raw Politics