The teal-hued walls of Giordano Beauty in Hastings-on-Hudson are filled with vintage cosmetic ads.
The glamorous women in exotic locales captivated a beauty-obsessed Susan Giordano when she was growing up in Manhattan.
“They spoke to me,” she says. “There was this whole lifestyle.”
Little did the girl who used her allowance to buy makeup at Bloomingdale’s know she would one day be a part of that world.
Doing makeup for others as a teen, her interest in beauty only grew stronger, but the practical Giordano began working on Wall Street.
“I had no idea — how do you go from reading a magazine to working on a magazine?”
Then, through a friend, she was asked to participate in a new-talent photo shoot with the Elite modeling agency.
“I did my first one, and I was hooked,” Giordano says, soon after quitting her job to move to Milan.
That leap of faith, plenty of hard work — and a big break working with photographer Patrick Demarchelier for Harper’s Bazaar — eventually brought Giordano her dream career once she was back in New York.
For the next two decades, she was a successful celebrity makeup artist — think Pamela Anderson, Heidi Klum and Stephanie Seymour, among countless other bold-face names — whose work was regularly featured in the pages of Allure, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
Eventually, though, Giordano realized it was time to move on. Budget cuts eliminated days of going to “Bora Bora to do an eight-page shoot.”
But it was more than that.
“After awhile, there’s no challenge anymore,” she says with a laugh. “They’re genetic freaks. Come on! … Any good model will tell you, ‘I got lucky.’”
Giordano was ready to bring her expertise to a new audience.
She wanted women tired of pushy salespeople focused on commissions and drawers filled with expensive mistakes to have an alternative.
“I saw that there was something missing in the landscape of beauty.”
Having moved to Yonkers, Giordano found a space nearby and set up shop some four years ago.
Here, in a serene setting filled with artisanal skincare, bath, beauty and fragrance products often made by or for her, Giordano holds glamorous court.
People stop by for eyebrow shapings and makeup applications or lessons, or to buy gifts and products, including her signature Satin Skin moisturizer.
As Giordano says, “Makeup is elective. Skincare is not negotiable.”
But there’s never a hard sell, she assures.
“No one walks out of here with something they don’t want, you don’t need or doesn’t work for you.”
It’s all about what she calls “easy glamour.”
Customers love her mix of honesty and experience — and way with words (False eyelashes, she says, are “what separates movie stars from mere mortals.”).
“If I had to describe the shop and what I do here: ‘One-stop beauty shopping,’” she says, where offerings constantly evolve.
“You never know what you’re going to find here. I’m a bit of a mad scientist.”
And in this jewel box of a boutique, Giordano has created an oasis that draws customers, including Catherine Saraniti of Irvington.
On a recent afternoon, she tells us she visits the boutique not only for goods and services but sometimes, just to brighten her day.
“It really satisfies a lot of needs,” Saraniti says. “It feels good. It’s a feel-good place.”
For Giordano, it’s been rewarding to connect with real women.
“The average woman wants to look like herself, except the optimal version of herself,” she says. “My M.O. is I want you to trust me. I want you to see how great you can really look.”
For more, visit giordanobeauty.com.