The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Hot Topic: Should The First Lady Have A Full-Time Makeup Artist?

Michelle Obama wore high-end and mid-priced fashions, like this beautiful J. Crew cardigan and skirt, during her recent trip to Europe. (Photo credit: Huffington Post)

The whole world is scrutinizing First Lady Michelle Obama's sense of style, and now that scrutiny extends to her beauty regimen. New York Post reports that Michelle Obama is the nation's first First Lady to add a full-time makeup artist to her traveling entourage, according to stylist who have worked with presidential wives over the past 16 years. [Source]

The Post article goes on to say that makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, helped Obama look her very best during her inaugural trip to Europe last week (and you must admit she looked pretty amazing!).

Though the Obamas are supposedly paying for the makeup artist services themselves, some people are saying it's a little excessive. Honestly, I just assumed all first ladies always had access to professional makeup-artists, if not 24/7 then at least for all public appearances and special events. How else would they look that good? When you're being photographed from every angle, meeting with foreign dignitaries and living in a time of hi-res digital images that can be instantly disseminated via the internet to millions of people in a matter of seconds, a makeup artist seems like a necessary "tool" for the job, not a luxury. If it helps her get ready quicker and feel more confident so she can get on with her work, then I think it's fine.

What do you think?

I totally agree with you, If she is paying for this herself then why not. She is a busy woman, she is her husband's partner and she goes with him to all these meetings, press conferences, and trips to other countries. I think its perfectly fine, if celebrities do it because they're busy and its easy for them then why not her too.
im not a celebrity and Im not as busy as these women but If I had the income for a full-time makeup artist I would do it in a second haha
#1 neira on 2009-04-14 06:59 (Reply)
I have no problem with this at all. If I was being photographed all the time I would want a full time makeup artist and a stylist. I really never thought about this but now that I have I think it is great and I agree if someone could come to my house and do my makeup, hair and pick our a fashionable flattering outfit I would love it. Thinking back (way way back) to my senior photos I took some after I did my own make and then the lady put on all this heavy makeup for the others and they looked way better - sometimes it takes a professional eye.
#2 Rachel on 2009-04-14 07:10 (Reply)
Honestly this doesn't bother me at all-who cares -they are paying for it and they are under the microscope 24/7!
#3 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 07:55 (Reply)
I think its fine that she has a makeup artist. Besides we all know that if we were the President's wife we would want a makeup artisit too. AND THEY ARE PAYING FOR IT! Even if they weren't paying for it I think she should have one. I can't imagine how painstakingly busy their lives are. I say media crosses the line here.
#4 Talk Pretty To Me (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 08:21 (Reply)
Wow. What a stupid thing to scrutinize the First Lady over. And why complain when they are paying for the woman's services out of their personal bank account? They aren't using public funds.

I mean, Michelle is photographed 24/7 now, and I know if I were her, I'd want a makeup artist. I kind of find it very hard to believe that Jackie Kennedy didn't have a makeup artist in her entourage.
#5 Joann on 2009-04-14 08:28 (Reply)
If I were her, I'd totally have a makeup artist on staff. Good points you made.
#6 Crista (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 08:34 (Reply)
I'm not a fan of Obama, but if they're using their own money, I don't see any harm in it. Just as long as they don't use it as a tax write-off or something. lol
#7 Eileen on 2009-04-14 08:57 (Reply)
Absolutely. She is one of the most scrutinized women alive and deserves to look and feel her best at all times.
#8 Sal (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 09:24 (Reply)
Any woman who's under the microscope to the degree Mrs. Obama is should have their own makeup artist. Since the artist is on their dime and not the taxpayers', I fail to see the controversy.
#9 Shelle on 2009-04-14 09:27 (Reply)
If she's using her own money, then quite frankly, it's not anyone's business what she chooses to spend it on. And obviously, this makeup artist is earning her keep -- Michelle looks so fresh and flawless in that photo!
#10 Nikki on 2009-04-14 09:30 (Reply)
It is 2009 and more and more women, especially super famous ones, have make up artists. I see nothing wrong with it! If I were going to be seen, and so harshly judged, by so many than I would do the same. As long as the Obamas are careful not to spend federal money on this, it is their business and not ours. Basically, I'm with you!
#11 Emma (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 09:51 (Reply)
I don't see anything wrong with it. Especially since the Obama's are paying for it themselves. Now, with the terrible economy, I would think it odd if they expected us to pay for it... In fact, I'm impressed Michelle is paying for it herself. Remember that expensive china Laura Bush bought right before they left?
#12 Nicole Michelle on 2009-04-14 10:01 (Reply)
I, like you budget babe assumed exactly the same! I thought all First Ladies had full time make-up artists. Oprah has a whole village looking after her and she’s not nearly as photographed. I think it’s a great idea. Michelle O, you OOZE with style and your make-up artist is doing a fabulous job :0)
#13 angie cox (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 10:23 (Reply)
I think its awesome! Esp. since she has been escalated to this amazing fashion icon.
#14 Beth B. on 2009-04-14 10:41 (Reply)
As long as I'm not paying for it, who cares?
#15 Tina (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 10:51 (Reply)
I wouldn't care if the tax payers did pay for it. Look, we have paid for much less important things. But we aren't paying for so what! If she didn't have a makeup artist we would have something to say about her appearance anyway. I know if I had to put on makeup everyday it wouldn't get done. It takes alot of time. I did my daughter's makeup for a military ball, I realized I couldn't do makeup everyday.
#16 Tyra (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 11:52 (Reply)
I know if I could afford it I would . Who cares, she looks great.
#17 dina on 2009-04-14 12:10 (Reply)
i think it's great that she has one! i would, too, if i could/needed to. besides, anything to provide another job here. she looks great, as she deserves to.
#18 Michelle (Homepage) on 2009-04-14 13:18 (Reply)
Seriously, aren't there more important issues to worry about. Who cares if she has a make-up artist. Let's put on the best face we can America.
#19 Erika on 2009-04-14 14:15 (Reply)
I agree. I think looking good is really part of the job. If we, as a society, continue to be obsessed with self image, then why should we be surprised that Michelle wants to project a good one? As you've said, we're in a hi-res photo/internet age that allows the media, individual bloggers, flickr users,etc. to share photos on demand. It's her image, and she should decide how she wants to project it.
#20 Erin on 2009-04-14 18:20 (Reply)
I don't care if Mrs. Obama has a makeup artist. What I want to know is why was it a problem when Sarah Palin had one during her campaign. Liberal Democratic women always get a pass. If they're not fashion plates, they're just "practical" or "earthy." Republican women who aren't in runway fashions are "frumpy," "old," and "Stepford wives."

Mrs. Obama is widely praised for her fashion sense, though I think it has a lot more to do with her politics being in line with most fashion writers (that includes bloggers). But if a Republican woman dresses well, she is treated like a modern-day Marie Antoinette who is "out of touch." Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin sure didn't get any gushy praise for what they wore; instead the media sniffed at how the RNC spent $150K (allegedly) for wardrobes for Palin and her family.
#21 StrawberryGirl on 2009-04-14 20:27 (Reply)
RNC funds were used for the Palin family's makeover-wardrobe and Sarah's make-up. There's nothing 'alleged' about it. While I agree the obsessive focus on her family was (and still is) ridiculous, in part due to Sarah's own fault for parading her family around and using them as a token for her stances on certain issues.

Besides that, I personally do not judge a politician, female or not, on their appearance. I could care less what either Mrs. Obama or Palin are wearing or who does their make-up. They both look fine. I'm more concerned with their agenda than the label on their clothing.
#21.1 Roxanne on 2009-04-14 22:06 (Reply)
I totally agree with your second paragraph, SG. The "Empress has no clothes" as far as I'm concerned. The fact that many have compared her to Jackie O is an insult to Ms. O. Anyone who would wear a sleeveless dress to a congressional address has no sense of style.........I don't care how 'buff' your arms are.
#21.2 OR on 2009-04-15 09:16 (Reply)
I would have absolutely no problem with this if Michelle didn't campain herself as a J-Crew wearing woman of the people during the Presidential Race and watched while the press attacked Palin for pricey outfits. Her full time beauty team along with her new pricey designer clothing seems a pretty hypocritical move after receiving standing O's for wearing dresses from affordable clothing stores like Black House White Market just a few months ago.
I think it's importnant for the First Lady to look great, and Michelle definitely looks amazing. But she shouldn't pretend to be someone that she isn't.
#22 Marie on 2009-04-14 20:40 (Reply)
My problem with it exactly.
#22.1 OR on 2009-04-15 09:05 (Reply)
Ummm, Marie. Michelle has always worn more expensive designers, she had a very lucrative job before the campaign remember? It wasn't like she's been hiding that fact. The only reason we know about the cheaper alternatives in her closet is because the press wants to know and makes a big deal out of the less expensive designers. The J.Crew and Talbots could have very well have been in her closet before but we just didn't know about it. Why make it sound like she has an agenda to be seen one way? She wears what she wears, it the press who puts the emphasis and makes the stories bigger than life.
#23 lsaspacey on 2009-04-15 00:19 (Reply)
she had a very lucrative job before the campaign remember?...
She wears what she wears, it the press who puts the emphasis and makes the stories bigger than life.
#23.1 sara ahmed on 2016-02-17 12:11 (Reply)
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