Anti-theft backpacks, custom water bottles: Cool back-to-school gear
Celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn has made many top Hollywood actresses look radiant during his career, but using his skills to lift the spirits of the special woman known as “Glams” may be his most brilliant work yet.
For the past two years, Quinn, 50, has made weekly visits to an assisted living facility to apply makeup to his mother, Christine, 78, to help boost her spirits in the wake of his younger brother’s death at 38 from alcoholism.
“I had two older sisters who died when I was young, and losing my brother [in 2015] while she was in her late 70s, it really brought that pain back,” Quinn told TODAY.
Quinn, a makeup artist for Giorgio Armani who has worked with Glenn Close, Hilary Swank and Diane Lane, had been doing his mother’s makeup on and off for years.
However, soon after she lost the third of her seven children two years ago, he began making regular visits to White Hall Boca Raton Nursing Home near his home in Florida to cheer her up .
“When you don’t look like yourself, you don’t feel like yourself, and your personality changes,” he said. “When she’s glammed back up, her personality shines.”
Christine, who suffers from mild dementia, has become a bit of a star and earned the nickname “Glams” since Quinn began livestreaming the makeup sessions on Facebook.
“With the elderly, they can really start to become isolated when their friends move away or pass away,” Quinn said. “The Facebook videos allow her to interact, and she loves it.”
Initially Quinn could only get away with putting some foundation and lipstick on his mother, but now he says she’s open to brighter colors and more glamorous looks.
“She gets a kick out of it now,” he said. “Sometimes when people are on medication, it kind of squishes their personality. I tell the nurses, ‘Give me 20 minutes with my mom to do her makeup, and you will see an entirely different person.”’
This past weekend, Quinn and his sister, Mary Ellen, made the decision to move Christine back in with them in Boca Raton after she was initially transferred to a mental health facility in Delray Beach, Florida, because Quinn said the nurses at Whitehall told him she had become combative.
Quinn’s father, Andrew, 78, has multiple sclerosis and still resides at Whitehall Boca Raton Nursing Home, where he regularly got a kick out of his wife’s makeovers.
“He loves to watch it happen,” Quinn said. “Sometimes when you’ve been with somebody so long, you begin to forget why you fell in love with them, but then you see a part of her personality come back.”
Quinn knows the rejuvenating powers of makeup from his own fight against testicular cancer 10 years ago. He also was close with actress Farrah Fawcett, who was open about her battle with anal cancer, which led to her death in 2009.
“I’ve seen the effects makeup can have on women and men going through the ravages of cancer treatment as far as making them feel more like themselves again,” he said.
Despite his work with A-list actresses, he jokes that all anyone now wants to see are more videos of “Glams” looking fabulous.
“I get asked more about ‘Glams’ than I do about some of my red carpet moments, which makes me perfectly happy,” Quinn said. “It’s a different level of joy.”
Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.