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Queens Chronicle

Make up supplier to the stars reveals some secrets

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Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:00 am

Ever cringe at the burn victims on "Rescue Me," marveled at the eternal youth of Hollywood starlets, or wondered about the azure body paint of the Blue Man Group? These are just a few of the miracles that the Mallardi family at Alcone, a professional makeup company based in Long Island City, has brought to screen and stage productions for more than 50 years.

And starting next month, Alcone plans to give Queens women a chance to get a makeover from some of the best cosmotologists and makeup artists in show business. On Oct. 11, the company plans to open a retail store and full-service makeup salon at their warehouse on Hunter Point Avenue in L.I.C., joining a retail store already open in Manhattan.

“The women of Queens can now come in and get the same treatments as women in Manhattan,” said Alcone’s president, Vincent Mallardi.

The salon will employ makeup artists and cosmotologists who are in between professional assignments. Patrons can call for appointments with cosmotologists for makeovers, consultations and special services such as eyelash extensions — a lengthy process that involves gluing hairs onto each individual lash —and temporary face-lifts.

Mallardi said that the temporary face-lift, achieved by a creative arrangement of glue and tape behind the hairline, can last several days and is one of their most popular services among celebrity clients.

“Joe Pesci used three of them in ‘My Cousin Vinny,’” Mallardi said. "They can't afford a facelift, that's the problem, and it's just a quick fix."

Tyra Banks, Brook Shields, Vanessa Williams, Glen Close and Lindsay Lohan are also on Alcone's client list.

The Mallardis have catered to Broadway and Hollywood since their father, Vincent Mallardi Jr. bought the company in the 1950s after losing his job in the props department at NBC. Then as now, most of Alcone’s revenue comes from elaborate Broadway productions, with an impressive resume including iconic shows like “The Lion King” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

“‘Cats’ was huge and ‘Les Miserables’ was huge,” said Mallardi of two of the longest-running theater productions in Broadway history. “‘Cats’ was an amazing account and it was very sad when the show closed.”

Mallardi and his four sisters handle individual TV show accounts including “Law and Order,” “Ugly Betty” and “Lipstick Jungle.”

The family also collaborates on product development. Though some companies create their latest products in closely controlled laboratories, the Mallardis take a more homegrown approach.

While Alcone's business has expanded beyond their Grecian-style L.I.C. headquarters to include catalogues, an on-line store and the Manhattan retail outlet, Mallardi says that his father's vision to provide a livelihood for his family beneath one roof remains intact.

“He designed everything so we would all have jobs and he could always be with us, together,” Mallardi said of his father, who retired in 2002 but stops by the office several times a week. “Hopefully, my kids will work there one day.”

The Queens store will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. To make an appointment call 1-800-466-7446 or visit www.alconeco.com.

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