In the Beauty Bag

Being Lara Shriftman means being highprofile, with a capital H. She is both a founder and partner of the hot bi-coastal public relations, special events, and marketing firm Harrison & Shriftman that has rocketed to prominence in the five years it’s been in existence. An average day at work starts at 7am in L.A., and 10am in New York, but Shriftman often doesn’t clock out until 2am (on nights she’s hosting an event).

There’s no such thing as a routine day for this busy 20-something: Shriftman could be in London meeting with shoe wizard Jimmy Choo; in New York orchestrating the seating for 750 fashion editors and store buyers at the Jill Stuart fashion show; in Toronto mingling with celebrities at the Toronto Film Festival; or having lunch in L.A. with rap mogul Russell Simmons. During a typical month, the firm holds about six events, with as many as three weekly during the busy summer season in the Hamptons.

Achieving that highly groomed, girl-about-town look is, for many high-maintenance New Yorkers, an almost full-time pursuit, but Shriftman must produce that look on only a few minutes a day. “Lara does a million things during the course of her day,” says Julie Berman, executive director of global communications at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, which employs the celebrity services of Shriftman’s firm. “She really only has time for a five-minute face. She needs makeup like Bobbi’s—no-nonsense, gorgeous, easy.” Shriftman’s makeup bag is absolutely loaded with a single product: lipgloss, most of it from Bobbi Brown. “I carry about 20 lipglosses with me at all times,” she says. “Along with face powder from Estee Lauder, L’Oreal Voluminous mascara, and Terracotta Bronzing Powder from Guerlain.”

Shriftman’s strategy for keeping herself pulled together while commuting between coasts is to leave a complete set of basics in L.A.: underwear, black pants, white shirts, and ultra-fine knit crew neck tees, only in neutral colors. A duplicate set stays in her New York apartment. Space in her suitcase is reserved for special pieces, like a new Ghost dress. Post-redeye, she’ll come into the office wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a huge cashmere sweater, and high heels. Typically, a post redeye day is a no-appointment day, but should something come up, she has emergency outfits standing-by in the office.

A life-long shoe and handbag junkie (as a teen in Jacksonville, FL, Shriftman would pick up hot Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags on the monthly trips to New York City with her parents), Shriftman estimates her closet currently holds 300 pairs of shoes. Among these, many are from Jimmy Choo and Sergio Rossi (clients), but she also purchases three or four pairs of Gucci shoes a season. In L.A., she buys flip-flops, the only shoes she’ll wear aside from high heels.

“A lot of the stuff on the runways is meant for a size two body; I’m an eight and just wear what looks good on me,” she says.

Scoop NYC’s Stefani Greenfield, a personal friend of seven years, characterizes Shriftman’s style as sophisticated, sleek and minimalist, providing the perfect foil to her vivid blue eyes and blonde hair. The uniform consists of skinny black pants from Gucci, a sweater and a jacket. Suits are verboten. Her highly edited store list includes Scoop for knit tops, fitted shirts and slim Theory pants; the Jill Stuart store in Soho; the hip L.A. store, Curve; and J. Crew for cashmere v-necks. She avoids sample sales, lacking the time and the patience to negotiate mobbed crowds.

Shriftman recently wore a long black beaded stretch jersey skirt from Donna Karan to the Emmy’s. Black tie events necessitate a trip home to change, and maybe even getting her hair blown-out and makeup professionally applied by stylist Herve Bernard, who works out of Frederic Fekkai Beaute de Provence. She and Bernard met while working the Sundance Film Festival a year ago.

After a much publicized 20-pound weight loss Shriftman continues to maintain a rigorous fitness schedule no matter what, working out five days a week, one hour at a time with a personal trainer at the Reebok Sports Club. She finds the L.A. lifestyle conducive to staying fit. New York presents more of challenge, primarily due to the effort spent curbing her desire to binge on late night junk food she finds irresistible after a long day spent running on an empty stomach. Her next goal is to lose another 15 pounds with the help of the Delivery Zone Diet’s prepared meals.