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How to style Bernie Sanders: Local makeup artist on beautifying the Bern

Shots from the shoot, which also featured Spike Lee.

Shots from the shoot, which also featured Spike Lee.

Ever wonder what it’s like to style Bernie Sanders? Wonder no more! Makeup artist and stylist Megan Lanoux, a Twin Cities native, just had the pleasure of getting Sanders camera-ready firsthand. After her styling work graced the cover of Hollywood Reporter, we got Lanoux on the phone to give us the behind-the-scenes dish.

First of all, how did you get this gig?

Hollywood Reporter is a client of mine, and they reached out to my agent and asked if I’d d be interested. The shoot was very intense. I’ve never had a background check done on me for a job before. They had to make sure I wasn’t crazy.

Normally shoots are very artistic and everybody’s very lax but this was the complete opposite. They had to inspect my bag, check my coat and my purse. When they were done I felt like I had gone through security and could get on an airplane.

What was grooming Bernie like?

Shots from the shoot, which also featured Spike Lee.

Shots from the shoot, which also featured Spike Lee.

When he got there he was like, “I don’t have a lot of time.” They had 30 minutes to shoot a cover and do the interview. I just had a lint roller, a comb, and some powder. I brushed his eyebrows and combed down his hair, because it’s a lot like the pictures: a little crazy. I lint rolled and I was out.

So is he a pretty low-maintenance beauty guy?

He’s very low-maintenance. His assistant said he doesn’t like a lot of makeup. He was definitely a minimalist.

Was he nice while you were grooming him?

Yeah, he was really nice. He was like a sweet, older man. His wife was there, and you could just tell they were so in love. Before they took a picture, he would look at his wife and ask if his jacket looked okay and she would be like, “Pull your shirt down." When they were done, he’d go give his wife a kiss, and I was like, “They’re so sweet… they’re so in love.” You could tell she’s a very supportive wife.

He was very nice to me as well. We didn’t have a full-on convo, but he shook my hand and was very friendly. He said thank you. [He was] very polite.

As a makeup artist, what would you say is Bernie’s best feature?

That’s a really good question. Even though his hair is a little bit crazy, I would say his hair. Its texture is thick, he has a good amount, and it’s got a nice color.

It gives him that iconic look. We all know somebody who is a wise, older man. He has a very endearing personality, not threatening, intimidating, or snooty. He comes off very nice and relatable.

Have you done makeup for any other politicians?

No, this was the first. The seriousness on set was very different from what I normally experience. Usually I walk in and it’s very relaxed and creative. With this shoot, it was a very different vibe. Much more serious. It’s not about the makeup or the clothes or what backdrop you’re using. He’s a politician — he cared more about getting his point across than about his look.