Local woman to give Democratic National Convention a makeover

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NEW OXFORD, Pa. -- For most people attending next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, it will be all about politics.

When Mary Katie Engle arrives, she won't care whether someone is a Democrat or Republican. She only wants to make people look good.

That will be her job, after all.

Engle, who grew up in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, and now lives and works in New Oxford, Adams County, was recently awarded a contract to be in charge of all make-up for Politico.com's television coverage the week of the DNC. Anyone who goes on-air for the political website -- Congressmen and women, Senators, dignitaries and celebrities -- will go under Mary Katie's brush.

Grammy award winner Alicia Keys is expected to perform for Politico, and Engle was told presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton could possible be a guest as well.

"I'm hopeful she'll grace our presence," Engle said of the former Secretary of State. "Fingers crossed."

Engle is quick to make sure there is nothing political about her work.

"I'm here to do make-up, I'm not here to debate anyone," she laughs.

That said, working at the Democratic National Convention is the biggest job of Engle's career. She's only been a make-up artist as a full-time job for the last six years. She went to school for marketing, but was laid off from her first job shortly after getting hired. Instead of trying to get back into the marketing field, she took a chance and went with her passion.

It paid off.

"You know how you just have this 'Ah-ha!' moment where you know what you're meant to do with your life? This was my 'Ah-ha!' moment," she says.

After struggling to make ends meet the first two years as a make-up artist, the networking started to pay off, she says. Eventually, she started booking television commercials, small movies, along with a slew of weddings and formal events.

"I've worked so hard the last six years to make this dream a reality," Engle says. "It is funny when you get a job like (the DNC) to step back and say, 'Wow. I did it.'"