“Life is very busy right now,” Daniel Klingler wrote in an email. The 43-year-old Indianapolis hairstylist and makeup artist just released his first book, “Idiot’s Guides: Everyday Makeup Secrets.” His book tour kicks off with a launch party on Friday at Indy Reads Books. His expertise in theatrical makeup was just showcased last weekend in the Buck Creek Players’ production of “Music Man.” Klingler played the role of Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn in drag. He answered questions for NUVO via email the morning of opening night.

NUVO: How did you get interested in makeup?

Daniel Klingler: When I was little, I begged for the Barbie head that you could practice makeup on. I think my family thought I was going through a phase. My real introduction came in theater. I loved using makeup and wigs to transform myself into the different characters. While attending Ball State’s Musical Theatre program, I was fortunate to have an amazing theatrical makeup teacher. Theater makeup is where contouring (corrective makeup) was born. When I attended AVEDA’s Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee, I transferred my love for makeup into beauty makeup.

NUVO: What are some of your career highlights?  

Klingler: I started my company, Neck Up Design, LLC, three years ago. My motto is ‘Theatrical Beauty.’ I have been fortunate to have a business where I design wigs and makeup for theaters, makeup for editorial shoots and weddings and maintain a beauty salon. I have done hair and makeup for singer Lea Salonga, actress Ana Gasteyer and Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I have attended The Wig Academy in London and Paris Fashion Week.

NUVO: How did the book come about?

Klingler: A few years ago, I went to my class reunion and was catching up with my former classmate and friend Janette Lynn who is the Acquisitions Editor for Alpha Books/Penguin Random House. I mentioned, as we do, that I would one day like to publish a book. Last year, Janette needed to find an author for a makeup book. She reached out to me and made my dream come true.

NUVO: What is your favorite thing about your job?

Klingler: I love completely transforming people. If it's for a wedding or a stage production, I love the reaction my clients get when it's done well. Not only do I love the artistry and playing with the many products, I love getting to know the client. Beauty is truly from within. A good makeup artist can unlock that door.

NUVO: What will readers learn from your book?

Klingler: Every person has a unique face and each face has different needs. A YouTube makeup tutorial cannot adapt its technique for each viewer. If a person follows my book, they will begin to truly understand their face and how to address each aspect of makeup as it pertains to their unique face shape and skin type.

NUVO: What is your advice for applying makeup?

Klingler: First, you cannot apply a good makeup without the right tools. Everyone should have a set of at least five makeup brushes, which I discuss in my book. Second, start clean and simple. If you begin trying to correct your entire face, you will become frustrated. Lastly, PRACTICE! No one gets it perfect the first time or the fifth time for that matter.

NUVO: What’s next for you?

Klingler: I have been in talks about a second book. I am performing in my first IndyFringe show and started taking Pilates. I have a full life!

“Idiot’s Guides: Everyday Makeup Secrets” Launch Party is Friday, Aug. 7th at Indy Reads Books, 911 Mass Ave., 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 


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