As a longtime makeup artist to the Kardashian clan, Stephen Moleski often got family patriarch Bruce Jenner ready for the cameras or red carpet events. During his years working with the Kardashians – a time when he perfected Kim’s famous “smoky eye” look – Moleski always enjoyed spending time with Jenner but always sensed something was amiss.
“The first day I met Bruce I didn’t feel like he was comfortable with himself,” said Moleski, a Florida native now living and working in Atlanta. “Maybe it’s my intuition. I’m an Aries. He was always against the grain.”
As familiar as he had been with the Olympic champ’s features, Moleski didn’t recognize his former client when he first saw the photo of Caitlyn Jenner of Vanity Fair.
“I thought it was Angelina Jolie,” he said. “I hadn’t figured it was Bruce. I was like, oh my God! It’s amazing. Bravo to her.”
Moleski, founder of the Smoke and Mirrors custom eyelash line, will be at the Lenox Square Bloomingdale’s from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday sharing his trademark techniques. The appearance, covering skin prep, highlighting, contouring, corrective makeup and lash application, is free.
“I’m not there to sell, I’m there to demonstrate,” he said.
Moleski worked with the Kardashians for more than five years, having met Kim through a word-of-mouth recommendation. While he was ready for a career change and wanted to be closer to family, he loved his time with the famous family and keeps in touch.
“Working with Kris Jenner and Kim made me the business person I am today,” he said. “They were good mentors.”
He enjoyed spending time with the entire crew, including the family member then known then as Bruce. The two would chit chat as Moleski got Jenner ready.
“There was always a dad aspect, it was about the kids,” Moleski said. “He would talk about the dogs, a little bit of everything.”
But things always felt a little off.
“As a gay man I’ve had to deal with my sexuality,” Moleski said. “I could walk into a place and at least feel normal. I can’t imagine the struggle of having to feel like you’re not in your own body.”
He was thrilled at his former client’s new identity and new look.
“It doesn’t need to be overdone,” Moleski said. “He doesn’t need cheekbones put in. He’s trying to fit in, not be a character.”