Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kaci Battaglia/bebe/OK!

Check out my latest collabo with OK! magazine, this one featuring bebe and rising pop star Kaci Battaglia. Kaci released her first single at age 12 and toured the world with the likes of Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, Bow Wow at age 13. Now 21, Kaci has released a new single "Crazy Possessive" and is preparing to launch an album soon.

This video is so kick a** I truly expected to meet a sassy diva on set (and I told her that ;) But when I arrived I found Kaci was truly as sweet as can be! Just don't mess with her man!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brush Up On This

In my quest for the balance of beauty and wellness, I've delved into the contents of my makeup kit like never before. I'm researching makeup that is more natural, organic and toxin-free, as what we put on our bodies inevitably goes into our bodies through our pores. Not an epiphany, but in the past I've just accepted certain things as the exceptions in my otherwise healthy lifestyle. Go figure! Anyways, now that I'm going deeper and "greening" my kit, one of the first things I wanted to change was my makeup brushes. Many brushes are made of animal hair such as squirrel, pony, goat, sable and mink. Every year millions of these animals are trapped, cruelly beaten and killed for their hair and fur. Not to mention the possibility of dead skin cells, bacteria and chemicals on the brushes that we use all over the face! Yikes. All great reasons to try these eco and animal friendly options:

"The Divinity Collection" of vegan brushes are designed by my good friend and makeup artist extraordinaire, Roque Cozzette. Each brush was created with premium synthetic hair and shaped for precise makeup application. These brushes are an incredibly luxurious and gorgeous addition to any makeup kit!

Alima Pure is my new favorite pure and natural makeup line, which I will report more on later. I'm using their sturdy set of cruelty-free brushes and I love 'em! They pick up just the right amount of product, which gives you more control in your application.

A wonderful treat that you can pick up in your local drugstore, Eco Tools offers this 5 piece set for under $10! Complete with a sustainable bamboo handles, recycled aluminum ferrules, soft taklon bristles and a hemp brush bag, this is a fantastic buy in every way. Veganista Alicia Silverstone has recently designed a limited edition set.

Apply your makeup with peace of mind and elevated consciousness!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Here are the first two (out of three) advertorials featuring Lolene for Sebastian and OK! magazine. Photographed by Wendy Hope, the series was shot in the Esquire Soho apartment, a swanky bachelor pad/event space in NYC. Each room is created specifically by a designer such as Diesel or Hugo Boss, or a major brand such as Heineken or Lufthansa. The space hosts red carpet charity events for non-profit organizations like Save The Children and Faster Cures.

I had a great time shooting with this crew and Lolene was a fun gal to work on. She loves bright colors, especially her trademark pink lip, so we were a perfect match! I airbrushed her with Kett Cosmetics and used some Make Up For Ever, Benefit and M.A.C. to create glowy skin and a flushed cheek. I loved that she suggested a neon blue or green eye, so I gave her a mixture of both for the studio scene. It's not all the time we get to be bold with color, especially in advertising, so it was awesome that both Lolene and Sebastian were all about it!

I also loved the hair/hair stylist on this shoot, Sebastian Pro Anthony Cole. He created all this gorgeous volume and shape using their Volupt product line. Even better, Anthony was an inspiring and passionate person to work with. Look out for our third collaboration of the series in OK! mag soon. xoxo

Up Next

I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Lolene on a series of advertorials for Sebastian haircare. If you haven't heard of her yet, you will- her debut album is due out Summer 2010. Lolene's a beautiful and talented singer, songwriter and producer, soon to claim her spot at the top of the pop charts. Lolene's infectious tunes and funky 80's style is influenced by greats such as Madonna, Rick James, Prince, Grace Jones and Kate Bush. Check out her first single "Sexy People" and look out for the album, Electrick Hotel, this summer. Rock on girl.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beauty is Healing Part 2

Earlier this month, I helped coordinate the second Spa & Beauty Day for Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island. In case you didn't read Part 1, Coler-Goldwater is a long-term medical facility for people who have been paralyzed by accidents or illness and can no longer care for themselves due to their health condition and economic status. I am honored to be a member of Angelica, a volunteer group committed to bringing happiness and fun into their lives. Spa & Beauty Day is an extra special event for the residents because each person receives individual attention and love from makeup artists, hair stylists, manicurists and energy healers.

Stunning portrait by Hanif Abdur-Rahim

The first Spa & Beauty Day took place in September 2009 at the Goldwater campus, so this time we worked at Coler, which is on the other side of the island. I was able to organize a fantastic team of volunteers, many of whom I met for the first time that day. I was so grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment to selfless service. At the end of the day, we accommodated 78 people for hair styling/cuts, manicures and makeup and 54 people for energy healing!

Not only were we able to give each person a bit of pampering, we had a fashion photographer, Hanif Abdur-Rahim, taking portraits of them after their makeovers. This really brought another level of excitement to the experience and the participants seemed to feel a renewed sense of pride as they posed for the camera. It was really so touching to see how hair and makeup transformed them not only physically but mentally and emotionally! Truly, truly beautiful...

Makeup artist Theresa Francine with happy client

Headed by my good friend Teresa Benoit, three energy healers used reiki and customized techniques to help move stagnant energy and ease tension in the patients. They had an extraordinary turn out and worked tirelessly to take care of each person. One woman, who was initially quite skeptical, was amazed that pains in her ear and leg were completely gone after a treatment with one of the gifted healers. I personally have experienced this type of healing and totally believe in it's power! I am so happy the people at Coler were open and able to experience it as well.

Awesome makeup artist Suzana Hallili with elder

We will be producing 3 more Spa & Beauty Days for Coler-Goldwater this year and the next one is slated for late June. I am excited and inspired to make this day better each time! If you are interested in participating in the day or even just volunteering at the hospital, please contact me or visit the site for more information.

Celeb manicurist Myrdith Mccormack giving her gift

I want to sincerely thank my co-volunteers once again- hair stylists Linh Nguyen, Eloise Cheung, Julia Rose, Ronnie Peterson, Jay Palaniuk, CK Karkhanis; makeup artists Kristen Arnett, Jen Myles, Anna Webber, Suzana Hallili, Alex Almeida, Mykel Renner, Theresa Francine and Trace Byers; Energy Healers Teresa Benoit, Rita Castillo, Natalia Ongaro, manicurist Myrdith Mccormack, photographer Hanif Abdur-Rahim and videographer Tony Breznica. I also want to thank the Angelica organization for providing funding for the event and for offering me this extraordinary opportunity. Love you and thank you all!

Spring Forward

Hey everyone! Hard to believe it's been several months since my last post here. It's been a transitory time for me, getting into the groove with a new job, school and freelancing makeup gigs, all at once. When it rains, it pours, but I'm always grateful for the nourishment! I've had some really great makeup projects this year and I'm super psyched to begin my new business as a Holistic Beauty & Wellness Counselor. Spring is the perfect time for growth and renewal and I look forward to sharing my new discoveries and interests with you. I hope you will enjoy the evolution of Life Is Beautiful!