Originally from Boston, she attended Boston University and earned a degree in advertising and graphic design. An internship with an art director led to helping with the makeup on models at various photo shoots and eventually 13 years of steady freelance work as a makeup artist. She moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to do makeup for magazine fashion spreads and print advertising campaigns.
Three months after joining MAC in November, she was working fashion shows in Milan and Paris. Earlier this month, she was among MAC's international crew working the hottest ticket at New York's fashion week: the Alexander McQueen show, an elaborate extravaganza.
"That was the Super Bowl of all shows," Karlyn says. "I did two girls, and both wore full-body makeup."
When her break at the Guerriero show ends, Karlyn is back in action.
"It's like being on a beauty SWAT team," she says about the assembly work backstage. Models volley back and forth from hair stylists tending to every fly-away strand to makeup artists doing damage repair from a cigarette pressed between lips.
Arlt, meanwhile, pencils in a touch of black eyeliner and sweeps a bit of golden eye shadow on Bird's eyelids.
"You're a hottie," he tells her, as she walks away to get dressed for the runway.
"You're not bad yourself," Bird chirps.
Michael Quintanilla can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.