Chic Traveler:  Kimara Ahnert

Occupation:  Makeup Artist

Hometown:  NYC

Kimara Ahnert and her talented team of artists have been helping women gain confidence through beauty by offering customized makeup services for almost 2 decades. Her luxurious makeup and skincare studio on Madison Avenue caters to New York’s A-list and celebrity clientele, offering special event and wedding makeup applications, makeup lessons incorporating her extensive line of makeup, as well as a full range of professional skincare treatments. On weekends Kimara can be found anywhere from Banff to Barbados doing makeup for destination weddings, and is known in the industry for her experience traveling to wherever a bride might need her expert beauty services – whether it is down the street to the Pierre Hotel or around the globe to the South of France.

Dream destination?


What’s always inside your carry on?

Bose headphones, Magaschoni cashmere shawl, chargers for phone and iPad.

What’s on your plane play list?

Cast albums of favorite Broadway shows like Les Miserables and Wicked.

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

Ice cream

The Stephanie Johnson bag / bags that always make the trip?

Train Case for my makeup and briefcase for my toiletries . . . oldies but goodies.

Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?

I always pack my own shampoos (Shu Uemura) and bath oil (Jo Malone).  The smells I am used to remind me of home.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

The Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel in Istanbul.  It was fascinating to see women from every part of the world in one place dressed so beautifully from head to toe.  The bag, the dress, the shoes, the jewelry, the hair was so perfect without trying to be…beautiful women on holiday.

Any travel misadventures you’d like to share?

I was flying to Maine to do make up for a wedding and my checked makeup kit never made it.  Party planner drove me to the local mall in Portland, where I had to buy makeup and brushes.  That evening when I flew back to NY, my makeup kit had just arrived in Maine.

If you were introducing a world traveling friend to SJ for the first time, what’s the first piece you’d recommend they buy?

The Grace Brush Case.  It is deceiving in how much makeup and tools it can hold.  It is easy to pack and flips open perfectly for doing makeup.  I love how there is a separate compartment for makeup brushes.  It keeps your brushes secure and in perfect shape.

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

Miami Side Handle Tube in pink and yellow.  I love these neon clear bags.  I want the yellow for my suntan lotions and the pink for my makeup on the go…bronzer, lip gloss, BB Cream, super wear gel eyeliners.


What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?

Mini Pouch with my 3 best lip gloss shades (Uptown Girl, Date Night, Soirée).

Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels?  What is it?

Jewelry.  I don’t frequently buy it, so vacation makes me feel ok to indulge myself.  I love these pieces, will have them forever, and they always remind me of a special place in the world.

Favorite travel ritual or souvenir: (Do you always visit a local book shop? Hunt down the best cappuccino? Pick up a tree ornament depicting your destination?)

Antique shops.  I love porcelain and cut glass. . . Moser, Lobmeyer, Sevres, Meissen.

Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort? A private hideaway? Do you prefer to lay on the beach? Explore the countryside?)

I love luxury hotels.  Often the hotels will dictate my destination.  I have been to several Aman hotel properties.  At my last Aman hotel I visited, they had a t-shirt for me at turn down that said Aman Junkie!  On my hit list are Oberois in India and Villa Feltrinelli in Lake Garda.

The one thing that you cannot leave home without?

Photos of my six year old son, Jonathan.

Your happy place / Favorite travel destination?

Capri, Italy.  I have been going there every year for last 12 years with my family.  Now when I arrive, it feels like I am home away from home.

Do you have a favorite menu item you indulge in when you’re on the road?  Perhaps a dish or a type of cuisine you can’t get back home?

I am a foodie so I like to indulge in cuisine local to the destination, which usually involves giving into eating more carbs.  I just returned from doing wedding makeup in Harbour Island, Bahamas, a place I have gone to for many years with my family.   I couldn’t wait to have conch salad from Queen Conch, Cracked Conch from the Blu Bar, white Bahamian bread from Dunmore deli and frozen Key Lime Pie from Arthur’s Bakery.

How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?) 

I am an organized packer.  I pack for the different segments of my day.  For example, I start with nights and pack every outfit, shoe, accessory, and shawl for my evenings away.  Then I move to day, pool, workout, sleep.  I make a list for the last minute items that need to go in the end, phone chargers, jewelry to carry on, passport, travel itinerary, Bose headphones.

Go-to luggage brand?

T. Anthony when traveling by car, Tumi when traveling by plane.  Louis Vuitton Keepall duffle for both.

Checked bag or carry-on?

I am a checker of everything but my purse.

Favorite Airport?  Why?

Leonardo da Vinci in Rome. . . best shopping.

Favorite in-flight pastime?

Reading and sleeping.

Window or aisle?

Window and I like the shades up.  My family teases me that I have to look out the window because I think I am flying the plane.

How often do you fly?

10-12 times a year.

Go-to flying ‘uniform?’

Lululemon workout clothes.

Business or economy?

Business on flights 5 hours or more.

Do you work in-flight or use the time to unwind?

I work in the beginning of flight, usually until we reach cruising altitude and then chill.