Katie McBroom sits inside a Parisian restaurant at Downtown at the Gardens. As expected, the bistro is rather quiet on a Monday afternoon. And, for anyone wanting to go unnoticed, the intimate setting is perfect. But for McBroom, anonymity is virtually impossible. With her signature red hair framing her fair skin and the electric blue dress she dons confidently, the writer of the award-winning beauty blog, Martinis and Mascara, is hard to miss. And as she begins to unabashedly recount the many twists and turns her life has taken, it’s clear that her fashionable appearance is but a window into the fascinating world of McBroom.
“I have always had lots of interests: the arts, dance and even Taekwondo,” she says. “I was never focused on one specific thing.”
As a teenager, the Florida native spent her summers working as a mermaid in Weeki Wachee Springs. While attending the University of North Florida, she interned at Disney World as Disney princesses. By 20, she was a professional makeup artist. Next, she went to bartending school, simply because she could. And, she performed at the Lake Worth Playhouse from 2011 to 2013. At 27, McBroom is arguably one of the most interesting women in South Florida.
But her artistic journey, the one that led her to start a blog that covers all things related to beauty – and sometimes cocktail recipes, too – began when she joined the yearbook staff in the third grade.
“We used to rubber cement photos to the pages,” she says, giggling. “That is how I started on the path to journalism.”
McBroom continued her journalistic direction throughout high school, and even interned at The Palm Beach Post. But while she was studying communications in college, her interest in becoming a writer took a momentary left turn.
Inspired by her time as a Disney princess, McBroom left college to attend the Joe Blasco Makeup Artist Training Center. There, she trained in beauty, special effects, prosthetics and monster makeup.
One day, she was applying makeup to a woman who had cancer. McBroom and her classmates created lace eyebrows for the woman, and gave her a complete makeover. At that moment everything clicked.
“Makeup is so much more than, you know, lipstick. … You can really help someone feel confident and beautiful,” she says. “It can empower people.”
So in 2007, after graduating from the Joe Blasco school, McBroom began a freelance beauty business. And in 2008, she serendipitously received a call from a former editor at the Post offering her a job as an editorial assistant. It was then that she was able to combine her two passions: makeup and writing.
Among many of her duties at the Post, McBroom was a part of the Gal Friday Product Panel, a group that reviewed beauty products. But after five years, it was discontinued. “I was sad for a minute, but then I thought, I could do this on my own,” she says.
And so she did. In 2012, she launched Martinis and Mascara. About a year later, her blog gained national recognition when it was selected as the second-runner up for Allure magazine’s 2013 Beauty Blogger Awards. She also snagged the title as the Most Buzzworthy Blogger.
Since then, everything changed. Her freelance makeup business has boomed; she has been featured in an array of outlets including BeautyHigh, where Martinis and Mascara was selected as one of the 50 Best Beauty Blogs; she was chosen as one of Lucky Magazine’s New Voices of Beauty; and she now splits her time between Jupiter and New York with her comedian husband, Will Watkins.
It has been an adventure for McBroom. After all, adventures are something the beauty blogger would never turn down.