Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why Life is Beautiful

With temperatures reaching record highs in New York City earlier this week, I decided to spend a sunny day in the amazing Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. My friend Kristen and I enjoyed it thoroughly- stopping to smell several chrysanthemums and relaxing under a canopy of cherry blossoms, in sundresses and flipflops (in April),  was perfection!  The kind of day you wear a perpetual smile because you are just sooo inspired and grateful for it all...

Here's to many, many, many more of those ;)

Tribe of Butterflies

The talented designer (and my close friend ;) Ashaka Givens had a fab fashion event this past weekend, featuring her Spring/Summer '09 collection. Ashaka's latest silhouettes are inspired by the resilient nature and colorful, delicate beauty of butterflies! Incorporating her signature, sexy style with comfort and wearability, Givens offered a range of dresses, tops and jumpsuits. I am the fortunate owner of several of Ashaka's pieces, and I get compliments on them all the time. One of my favorite things (and I tell anyone who will listen) is that the fabric she uses for many of the dresses, never wrinkles!!! It just excites me so when I can pull one of them out of a drawer or suitcase, throw it on and look great. Highly recommended, ladies.

If you missed this event and would like to catch the next one, please sign up for Ashaka Givens fan page on Facebook or contact her for inquiries at  

Photo by Ray, Makeup by moi, Hair by Emi, Model is Nazeri

Monday, April 27, 2009

7 Questions For Mykel

There are a few very special people who have mentored me in my career, but the first and one of the most influential, is makeup artist Mykel Renner. I won't forget the day we met, when I stopped by the M.A.C. Pro shop where he was working, to purchase product for my first makeup kit. I had just decided to pursue makeup, so I was reallyyy anxious to get started on my new profession. I remember looking around at 'Pro, feeling overwhelmed by choices and questions. That's when Mykel approached me to help- decked in couture, platform shoes and a flawless 'beat'! His obvious skills and warm personality made me feel comfortable instantly (as I think most of his clients would agree). He left a huge impression on me that day; I was honored to work with him at M.A.C. (a year later) and even more so to call him my close friend and mentor today. Every time I hang out with Mykel, he inspires me with a new film, book, artist or product. His diverse repertoire and willingness to share has made a huge impact on my journey, and I am ever-so grateful!

Renner's makeup talents and credits are extensive, including celebrities such as Jody Watley, Chris Cornell, runway for couture shows in Milan and Paris with Pat McGrath and designer/key makeup artist for the Broadway hit La Cage Au Folle. His authentic Mexican cooking is also amazing!

R: How did you get your start in the industry?
M: I began about 20 years ago in Southern Cali. I was quite enamored by the music & fashion of the 70's + 80's, and it was something that my instinct, spirit, and soul told me to pursue. Back then I was quite painted (if you know I mean) and self-expression was something that was natural, no matter what the consequences were. Right from 11th grade, one of my teachers had encouraged me to go to
Cosmetology school & w/the programs that were being offered then, I decided to follow through. I didn't pay a single $ for my education. The Government did. Thank You! Within 1 week of getting my license, I went to work @ a local salon assisting a head stylist, and also started doing faces & brows for walk-in clients.

R: What is your favorite aspect of what you do?
M: There are several. Meeting and working w/ amazing people, worldwide traveling, and creative gratification.

R: Who/what inspires your work?
M: My inspiration comes from my surroundings, friends, environment, travel, films, books, art, photography, music, experiences.

R: How would you describe your signature style?
M: Hmmm, it ranges from ultra clean to editorial, couture to abstract. I like to explore all aspects of makeup.

R: What's your dream job or who would you like to work with at the moment?
M: To land some campaigns and make some serious $. And continue to travel around the globe paintin' faces.

R: What are your favorite beauty products/trends/tips?
M: My favorites goodies: ARC Professional Peels, Exuviance/Skinrise Tonic, Bioderm/Crealine, Sens' Eyes//Make Up For Ever, Embryolisse/Creme Lait, Kett Fixx+Airbrush MUP+ Sett powder,
Anna Sui Blushes, Hakuhodo Brushes, Shu Uemura Pencils/Lash Curler, & Armani Creme Blushes.
My tips: Take care of your skin. Drink plenty of water, avoid smoking, and if you're in the sun, apply plenty of SPF.
Do the eyes first. Keep your brows clean and curl your's a instant eye opener.

R: Where can we reach you for more information?
M: +

Giving Lip

Hat by Philip Treacy

Clutch by LuLu Guiness

Bracelet by Enigma

80's Phone

Mae West Sofa by Salvador Dali

I love lips! While many see them as a kitschy accessory, the image of red lips evoke instant glamour when done right. I'm sure it's largely a result of my occupation, but I love these fun pieces featuring one of the most expressive parts of the face. 

Shine Baby, Shine!

Friends often ask if I just had a mani/pedi and I, more often than not, have done my own nails! Being a makeup artist, I admit I have a pretty steady hand for painting 'inside the lines' and getting an even finish. However, the reason my nails look like they were done by a pro I attribute to the Sally Hansen MegaShine Topcoat. Not only does it seal and dry your polish in a minute or two, it gives them an incredibly glossy shine. I'm in love with color, I kinda need to have my nails polished at all times, and this product enables me to do that. It's a must have, especially if your like me and dont fancy sitting around waiting for your polish to dry!

Stroke of Genius

I love working with photographer GL Wood because he is endlessly creative with his lighting techniques and post production artwork. When we shoot, I am never quite sure how the images will turn out, as he often prefers to shoot with film (vs. digital) and then modifies the images in post with effects. G's fine arts background is evident in his approach to fashion photography, often adding unexpected elements of texture, color and movement. 

This series was something we shot awhile back and GL decided to revisit and rework. So happy he did! Combining hand painted strokes of vibrant color with graphic shapes and photoshop techniques, Wood totally tapped into his days of multimedia creation. Love it!
Check out his new blog,, Gary will be sharing some of his inspiration and behind the scenes goodies.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I've Been Crowned

Totally honored to be part of the LLQ Queendom! Artist Antoine Scott really showed me love on this piece. Made my day! 

Stay tuned for his site launch...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Clean Beauty

Refresh, Revive, Renew 
Photography by Wendy Hope
Makeup by Rebecca Casciano
Hair by Linh Nguyen
Nails by Honey
Model Christina Ionno @ Trump

Couture Couture

The latest issue of KAREN, a New Zealand-based glossy, is on it's way to NYC and includes a fabulous story I worked on with photographer GL Wood. This one is all about the spectacular fashion and wonderful blurred effects (produced by The GL Factory) but I must admit, I love everything about this shoot! Stylist Anna Katsanis chose amazing couture pieces from Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta and milliner Heather Huey. Our model Ingrid Schram from Elite is one of my favorite muses and I was thrilled to work with her again. (We shot the Oh, Edie! story for Zink awhile back)  Last but not least, hair extraordinaire Linh Nguyen coiffed Ingrid's locks around the elaborate hats and hairpieces. Brilliant.

Hope you enjoy it at least three-quarters as much as I do ;)