“I put on makeup for you!” I blurt out to Christine Quinn when we hop on Zoom for our interview this week. It’s one of a handful of times in the past few months that I’ve worn anything other than sunscreen and tinted moisturizer. But I wasn’t about to speak with the actual boss of Netflix’s real-estate drama Selling Sunset (sorry not sorry, Jason and Brett), who notably does all of her own makeup for the so-far-from-my-reality reality TV series, without coming prepared.
Quinn’s hair and makeup, like her self-described “gothic Barbie” designer wardrobe, is her armor. She dons it every day to sell multi-million-dollar homes — and maybe make a few people cry along the way — as the not-here-for-your-bullshit top agent at Los Angeles, California’s Oppenheim Group. Like the former model and actress herself, Quinn’s looks are dramatic and over-the-top, but also really fun. (And she DGAF if you like them.) They are also why we’re chatting today: She’s teamed up with Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart for the launch of For the Love of Beauty, a lineup of virtual makeup tutorials running throughout September. This Saturday, fans from all over the world get to “hang out” with and get beauty tips from Quinn on Instagram Live.
Quinn knows the appeal of a good beauty tutorial — she’s even been known to give her Selling Sunset co-stars advice. “When Davina and I started working together, I was like, ‘Listen, I want to ho you up a little bit, but in a fun way,’” she says of pushing her business-casual co-star out of her comfort zone. “She wanted to be seen as a professional and I told her, ‘You are a professional. You can still wear whatever you want.’” Whether that advice is solicited or not is another story; Quinn has famously butted heads with all of her co-stars because of her “call it like I see it” attitude. Case in point: When I ask her who has the second-best beauty game on the show, her reply is peak Christine. “No one. Literally no one.”
In real life and without editing, Quinn is far more low-key. Because of coronavirus, and with Selling Sunset on hiatus until Netflix picks up the fourth season, beauty and fashion have taken a backseat this summer. Silk pajamas and GlamGlow face masks have replaced Balenciaga and bold lipstick. “It’s been really nice, because I don’t like wearing heavy makeup unless I’m filming,” she says. “I’ve been keeping it a little more low-key, but I’ve been investing time finding out about ingredients and what works for my skin — hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C. I love Origins GinZing.”
As Quinn lists off products the same way she calls up specs on a home she’s selling, I wonder aloud to her if she might start her own beauty line. She demurs. “Makeup is great and there are brands that are good, but everyone’s doing the same thing and marketing it a little bit differently,” she says. “For me, perfume is the only thing that you can really create something that’s totally different. I would do something like that.” (This isn’t the first time Quinn has mentioned her passion for fragrance: She told People in August that she probably has about 350 perfumes, and is partial to Bond No. 9 New York.)
Such success is a credit to a woman who only knows how to be unapologetically herself — inside and out. “Don’t second guess yourself,” Quinn says just before we hang up, of her best beauty advice. “Lots of people like different things. I mean, to each their own.” She pauses and slowly grins. “Not everyone has taste, though.”
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