Thanks for suggesting Lovely, this place is adorable. What are you drinking?
It’s half milk, half coffee, steamed. It’s better than a latte. I’m always pouring milk into my coffee. It’s nice because —especially if you go to Starbucks, it’s really acidic there —if you get a misto it tones it down a bit.
We first met you at the MAC store at Nordstrom. What made you take the jump to start your own business?
I worked for MAC for six years and I knew that I needed a change. Whether it was me going to a different line or going to a different store, it was going to be scary. So I thought, “If I’m going to go ahead and take this scary jump, why not do it for myself?” I’m still young enough where I can bounce back if I need to and I have the experience under my belt to take with me. I am going to be terrified no matter what I do, I might as well do the scariest thing and try it out to see how it goes.
Have you always been into makeup?
No. I actually played sports when I was younger. I played softball forever. The whole subdivision of kids I grew up with were all boys so I was pretty rough-and-tumble. I’ve broken every one of my limbs at least once from climbing up dirt mountains, running up stairs, doing gymnastics and things like that. But my mom was always a put together lady. She was brought up in New York and even in the suburbs people would be like, “Where is your mom going? She is so dressed up,” because she always looked amazing with her hair done, nails done and beautiful makeup. Then as I got older I started to become interested in it. It wasn’t until later in high school when I started doing other people’s makeup, which I really liked doing. When you first start doing makeup you make everyone look like you! I remember when I first started, especially with a company like MAC which is super diverse, you are meeting different eye shapes, skin tones, problem areas and things you’ve never experienced before but it makes it such a great learning experience. Every person you learn something from!
We see one tattoo, are there others?
Yeah! I have makeup all over me, I’m sorry. I’ve been working all morning. My tattoo says, “No pressure no diamonds”. You can’t physically form a diamond without pressure so it’s sort of like, “No guts no glory.” I have one regrettable tattoo but that I won’t get into. [Laughs] And then I have one that I got when I was 18. I’m sure they will be gone in 10 years. So that’s where I see myself in ten years, minus tattoos!
You’ve been with your boyfriend Matt Roan for quite some time, right?
We’ve been together five years. It’s fun though because he’s a DJ and his job takes us to really fun places. He’s really an adventure in himself. We honestly have the best time together. It’s rare you can find someone that is your best friend. I think it’s really all about respect. But he’s just wonderful and he’s taught me to be a better person. I hate to be sappy! But when I talk about him I get really stupid. We are trying to tackle the wedding industry by storm. I’ve got the prep, he’s got the party!
What are a few of your neighborhood hangouts in Ukrainian Village?
Big Star is walking distance. They know us by name which is really sad. It’s not that close to here but my other favorite place is Hot Doug’s at Belmont and California. It’s like a sausage joint but it has gourmet sausages. The best day of my life was when I went up there and ordered and [the owner] was like, “Hey Shannon!” I’m like, “Doug knows my name? I’ve made it!” It’s the best alligator, foie gras, lamb and pork.
Every time we see you you’re pulling off a new look. Who does your hair?
I do it! I have my bangs trimmed but all of the color I do myself.
What’s the secret to keeping your hair looking so healthy when constantly experimenting with different colors?
I only wash my hair about once a week. My hair is super thick so day three is a really good day for me. The oil doesn’t do much to the hair but you know what is really great for that? A Mason Pearson brush. It’s boar bristle and nylon and when you brush with it, it takes the oil and brings it down to the ends. So your hair is a little more conditioned and soft all over. It’s awesome, you can get it at Nordstrom.
You are one of the very few people who can pull off green hair. How can someone replicate your look?
I just went to Sally’s [Beauty Supply]. You can actually get a hair paste or a pomade and then you just work it into your ends, make sure you are getting it really coated. The color lasts depending how often I wash my hair. You can also get oil pastel chalk at the art supply store to rub into your hair. There is also a [wipe on, wipe off] product called COLOR.BUG.
From brightly colored hair to black lipstick, is there anything you won’t try?
I hate the way I look in orange lipstick! I’ll do anything though. I’ve blanked out my eyebrows or I’ll fill them in really black. I’ve shaved my head. I’ve done everything! I will do anything.
What are some of your favorite stores?
I love the same places everyone goes to. There are so many great little gems at Zara, Topshop and Forever 21. I do love a lot of the little boutiques around here like Eskell on Milwaukee and Penelope on Division. They have really cool local designers at both stores. Nasty Gal. I’m a huge online shopper, it’s a problem.
Are there products you suggest spending more money on and what makeup do you buy at the pharmacy?
I would say any foundation totally go to the department store for because when you’re paying that extra money, you’re not really paying for the product so much—well, yes you are, it is higher quality and more research goes into it—but you are paying for the experience and the ability to try it on. If you have a decent eye for color I think you can buy color anywhere. If you are really unsure about something then I say go to a department store and try it out. There are things I have in my kit and use even on my high-end clients that are from Walgreens or CVS like that Maybelline tattoo eyeliner. It’s $8!
You started Cheap Frills and Thrills to share your beauty tips and tricks. What are some simple ones that someone would never know about?
The teeth whitening thing. I will rinse with hydrogen peroxide a few days a week and it will keep everything nice and tidy. I also use $6 vitamin E oil on my face everyday. I focus it right under my eyes. And a lash curler, I think everyone in the world needs a lash curler because it’s the easiest way to open your eyes. People who think they don’t have eyelashes are like, “Oh my God! Who knew? Where did these come from?” If you are going to do something fun just wear it with confidence. That’s really what it is.
Are you always in full makeup or do you go natural on a day off?
Having to be in a full face every single day, it’s exhausting! I will go Benefit and get my lashes or my brows tinted so I don’t have to wear makeup. I’ll just throw on some tinted moisturizer and call it a day when I don’t need to be seen or if I’m running errands. I’m crazy about mascara, I’ll sit there for 15 minutes putting it on. If I can just curl my lashes and walk out the door, I’m thrilled!
Do you think you’ll be in Chicago for good?
I have no desire to leave Chicago really. I love the city so much. I love that I can ride my bike everywhere. I feel like the harsh winters make you appreciate the summers so much more. The people are great and I think a lot of the people are really eager to show off their city. Not in like a stuck up way but like, “Hey! Come experience it!” I think the fact that it is kind of under-appreciated by the masses makes it really special. If I need to go do work somewhere I can fly out. I don’t think I’m hard enough for New York and I’m not soft enough for L.A. This summer my boyfriend and I rode our bikes to the [Chicago] Botanic Garden. There are always new adventures.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to have a drink with someone influential in the makeup artist world like Val Garland.
Photography by Neal Agustin
Did you enjoy this feature? Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss a drink, we promise we’ll never spam you!