Aida Morano: An artist who creates pretty faces

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on March 6, 2012

Aida Morano of Aida's Custom Cosmetics

Aida Morano, who’s lived her whole life in Menlo Park — “I never left,” she says — views her career as going from one kind of artistry to another. She was a classical ballet dancer until she was 22 when she made the switch to cosmetics, first working at department stores and then for color consultant Carla Mathis.

For the last 15 years, she’s been doing make up, consulting about make up, and creating custom blends from her small storefront Aida’s Custom Cosmetics, located just off Chestnut Street. Even those who haven’t used her services have probably spotted her walking downtown with her 11-year-old dachshund, Hailey, who is also her shopmate.

Clients — starting with teens — come to her for lessons, reviewing the make up they’ve been using, and eyebrow shaping. “I have clients who want me to help them pick out glasses because I know the shape of their face so well,” she says.

We stopped by recently to talk to her about common mistakes women make when selecting or applying make up. Her list:

  • Being stuck in a time warp: “What’s good in your 20s might not be as good in your 40s and 50s. At one time, I could use red lipstick – no more.”
  • Using the wrong tools: “Good natural bristle brushes make it easier to apply makeup.”
  • Be aware of lighting: “It can be an enemy in your bathroom or in a department store when you’re picking out make up. You need natural light to really see what the color is.”
  • Testing products the wrong way: “To test lipstick and blush, use your palms, not the back of your hands.”
  • Wearing the wrong foundation: “That usually means the wrong color, most often too orange. Foundation gives you a smoother, more finished look but alternatively, you can use mineral powder or tinted moisturizer.”

While it’s possible to walk in and catch Aida at a non-busy time, it’s wiser to make an appointment when interested in her services: 650-327-9882.

Photo by Irene Searles

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