When it comes to glamour, the tectonic plates of the Georgetown power structure are officially shifting. After 16 years as the in-house make up artist at George, Carl Ray, the man responsible for first lady Michelle Obama’s “I woke up like this” HD-ready look, is leaving the posh Four Seasons salon.
“We’re sadden by it,” said George’s salon manager Sertac Ozturk. “The last 16 years were a pleasure.”
For just about two decades, Ray — who travels to the White House when tending to Obama — has been the makeup artist of choice for society types, visiting celebs and cable-ready congresswomen. His client book reads like the VIP list of that amazing cocktail party no one invited you to. We’re talking about Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Kerry Washington, Madeleine Albright, Natalie Portman, Chris Matthews and Pamela Anderson all in one room.
Ray, who split from his partner of 22 years, George’s long time receptionist Rick Raines, last summer, announced his departure to the stunned salon floor Saturday morning. According to our source, no one saw it coming, although Raines told Page Six last August that the two would be working together “temporarily.” But Ray offered a different reason for the move: Washington’s CityCenter, with all its opulence and energy, came calling.
“I want to be a part of this new wave of renaissance in fashion and beauty taking place in the city right now,” Ray told us via e-mail. He’ll be joining the outfit at One80 Salon, just a few blocks from his most famous client and down the street from Washington’s answer to Rodeo Drive.
Ray’s move to K Street, coupled with the fact that Obama’s hairstylist, Johnny Wright, now spends his non-White House hours at Immortal Beloved on 14th Street, could mark the start of Georgetown’s slow decline as the place for all the right people.
“There is a resurgence and energy that is downtown,” Ray wrote. “I have watched this area grow and I want to be a part of this movement.”