Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Working with Essence

I've recently had the pleasure of doing makeup for Essence magazine, for both the style and beauty sections. It is quite an honor to work with such a prestigious magazine and talented team. Look out for our next collaboration in the January 2013 issue!

December 2012 - Photos by Hannan Saleh

November 2012 - Photo by Bruce Soyez Bernard

Latham Thomas ~ Mama Glow

I feel SO fortunate to be able to work with so many women I truly admire. Being a makeup artist gives me the unique opportunity to help women feel more beautiful, confident and at ease when they are "on stage", whether that is a photo session, video, live appearance or special event. I LOVE this about my job! 

I met Latham Thomas about 15 years ago and she was one of my very first models when I started doing makeup! Since then, I have witnessed Latham's work evolve, from being a yoga instructor, mother, personal chef, holistic health coach, doula and now author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy! She has continuously inspired me on my journey and was one of my biggest influencers to follow my passion and become a health coach, too.

I couldn't be prouder of Latham for her latest accomplishment... Mama Glow is a comprehensive, must-have guide for any woman who is pregnant or wishes to be. It's chock full of holistic diet and lifestyle recommendations from Latham's wealth of knowledge and experience. It's the perfect gift for any mom's-to-be!

It's always fun to makeup Latham's naturally gorgeous face and it was exciting to help her prepare for her Mama Glow Launch Party, which was held at client/designer Rebecca Minkoff's showroom. The event was brimming with beautiful, stylish friends, family and fans of Latham's work. Her 9 year-old son Fulano, who's been featured in the New York Post's Page 6 multiple times, DJ'd the event!

(Latham's sweet words: "I appreciate that Rebecca knows how to bring out the best in my face. She really understands how to make the look subtle, yet totally glam, at the same time. After spending time in her care, I felt more vibrant." The feeling is mutual, Mama Glow, congratulations!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beauty & Wellness Day #8

We recently held our 8th Beauty & Wellness Day at Coler-Goldwater Hospital, at the Goldwater campus. While each time I do the event, I experience a mixture of compassion, gratitude, sadness and joy, this time was especially bittersweet, for a couple reasons. For the first time ever, I did makeup on a woman paralyzed from the neck down, lying flat on her back. As I saw her attendant wheeling her over, my eyes welled up with tears. I took a moment to breathe deeply, then began to apply her makeup. She seemed so happy, my reaction instantly shifted to pure gratitude. What a gift to be able to bring even a few minutes of happiness to this woman's life!
Teresa and me

Another reason this Beauty & Wellness Day was particularly touching was because I learned this would likely be our last one at Goldwater. The location will be closing to make room for a Cornell University Campus. A new, smaller Goldwater will re-open in Harlem, but it will accommodate less than half of the residents. 
Some will be forced to live independently for the first time in years and others will have to find a way to live with family or friends. I wish for them a positive transition and lots of miracles!

View from the hospital on Roosevelt Island
As always, I am so thankful to help produce this special event. Big thanks to all who make it possible: Ron Becker, Director of Therapeutic Recreation, and his wonderful staff, Trisha Duval, Founder of Angelica Organization, the amazing team of makeup artists, hair stylists and energy healers. I also want to thank green beauty brands Kahina Giving Beauty and 100% Pure for donating their products to give away to the residents... awesomeness! 

If you have ever wanted to donate your time, talents... or products, I encourage you to make it a priority! The rewards are abundant and priceless. Please email me at beauty@rebeccacasciano.com to be a part of our next Beauty & Wellness Day. 

Taking it all in at the end of the day

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Veggie in Copenhagen

You know, I couldn't visit Copenhagen without checking out at least 1 out of the 3 vegetarian restaurants listed in my Lonely Planet guide book! With just a short time to explore the city before heading to our next destination, my friends and I set our sights on visiting the magical Christiania. A hippie commune founded in the 1970's, Christiania was the perfect place to enjoy a delicious, home-style, vegetarian meal.

Morgenstedet (translation: The Morning Place) is a cozy vegan restaurant tucked away behind the colorful walls of Christiania. Morgenstedet serves just one meal option per day, along with various side items, salads and soup. The day we visited they had this hearty vegetable curry with brown rice. Simple, yet so flavorful, we enjoyed every bite! I even picked up their local vegetarian magazine, although I would need lots of help translating it...

The Danes eat quite a bit of meat, dairy and fish, yet fresh fruit and vegetables were abundant. It is also customary to bake your own bread, so I took the opportunity to indulge in some of the wonderful whole grains, usually smeared with homemade preserves or avocado. YUM! On my next trip to Copenhagen, I plan to visit their raw, vegan spot 42 Raw, it sounds amazing.There is also one in London, anyone been?

My Holistic Travel Essentials

I love to travel, but it sure can take a toll on your beauty and wellness, if you let it! The recycled plane air, lack of healthy food (or introduction to new foods) and good old jet lag can certainly make you feel (and look) less than fabulous. On my recent trip to Denmark, I put together a pretty awesome travel kit to help keep me on point. 

I posted this picture on social media and had more than a few folks ask for details, so here they are! Enjoy.

Top Row

Herb Pharm Breath Tonic
Organic peppermint, cinnamon and ginger will help keep your breath fresh, clear sinus congestion and settle your stomach with one spritz. It's pretty strong, but I love it!

Bach Flower Rescue Energy Remedy
An all-natural, homeopathic spray, designed to relieve fatigue and stress with no jitters or side effects.
I feel a little more alert when I use it.

Blissoma Chamo-Mint Stress Relief Serum
Roll this cooling, herbal massage oil on sore muscles and pulse points for an instant pick-me-up. Works wonders.

LuLu Hair Powder
Refresh tired hair with this handy, healthy dry shampoo. A must for fine hair or in between washings.

Zand Quick Digest
Chewable digestive enzymes reduce the ever-common bloating and indigestion while on-the-go. Keep them near and eat one before or after a meal.

Bottom Row

EO Hand Sanitizer
Natural sanitizer using thyme and peppermint instead of toxic triclosan. I used this as a refreshing body spray/deodorant a few times too!

NutriBiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract
GSE has countless anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties (including destroying yucky parasites) that are priceless during travel. Don't leave home without it.

ChlorOxygen Chlorophyll Concentrate
Also known as the "blood of plants" chlorophyll delivers and distributes more oxygen to our body. This provides us with more energy, better overall health, digestion and lots more. This formula is perfect for travel, as no refrigeration is needed.

Cramp Bark
Treats muscle spasms of all kinds, especially the menstrual type.Take as directed and don't let your moon cycle "cramp" your style on the road ;)

B-12 Sublingual Supplement
An essential daily supplement for vegetarians. B-12 benefits the immune and nervous system, boosts energy and helps reduce anxiety. Important stuff.

Most of these natural treasures can be found at your local Whole Foods, but I have included direct links to most of their sites. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below, I would love to hear from you!

Happy, Healthy Travels!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spirit's Green Dream Team

My favorite one-stop-shop, Spirit Beauty Lounge, has recently introduced Bespoke Services, a listing of their favorite beauty and wellness professionals. I'm so honored to be featured alongside these awesome green makeup artists and a host of amazing health gurus! Check us out here.

Tried & True: Top 3 Natural Deodorants

If you have ever attempted to swap out your anti-perspirant for deodorant, you know how tricky it is to find one that actually works. Ditching anti-perspirant is important because its active ingredient, aluminum, blocks sweat glands from performing their natural function, detoxification. Trying to fool nature is never a good idea! Not to mention when you shave your underarms, you open the pores, allowing aluminum, parabens, fragrance and other toxic ingredients to travel into your body. And most of us use this product everyday, maybe more than once a day!

I wrote about this awhile back and since, have come across a couple new favorites I thought I would share with you. Keep in mind, everyone's body chemistry is different so what works for me, may not work for you. I know summer is a tricky time to experiment with something as important as smelling good, but feeling good is even more important, yes? Check out my Top 3 Tried & True:

Scoop out a bit of Soapwalla Deodorant Cream with your fingers and just rub it on your 'pits! The application may seem strange at first, but trust me, it's not a big deal and you get used to it quickly. Vegetable powders, clays and essential oils make for a winning combination here. 

Blissoma's Natural Deodorant combines cucumber juice, baking soda and licorice extract to absorb odor and keep you feeling fresh. So impressed with how well this formula lasts throughout the day. Its lightweight spray bottle also makes it perfect for travel and on-the-go applications.

This was the first natural deodorant I got really excited about. LaVanila's Healthy Deodorant goes on smooth and keeps you smelling sweet. It comes in 7 vanilla-based scents and I love them all! Looking forward to checking out the new Summer scent, pictured above.

Do you have any favorite deodorants? Would love to hear what's worked for YOU. Please comment below!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rock Your Beauty

On May 8th I was totally honored and excited to join Lori Fields, Founder of Real Beauty Is, for a night of women's empowerment and beauty from the inside out. Lori is a Licensed Social Worker and life coach, dedicated to helping women know their worth and live a life of passion and purpose. She is AWESOME!

Our complimentary services and common goals inspired our first event together, Rock Your Beauty: Rock Your Life, live in NYC! We were joined by a group of about 25 women, ready to receive our tips, motivation and support, at a lovely space in Union Square. Lori delivered a powerful talk, sharing her personal story and how she overcame fear and doubt to live a rockin', fulfilled life. Her thoughtful and heartfelt words surely resonated with every woman in the room that night.

I talked about my path as a makeup artist turned wellness consultant and my mission to help women embrace the connection between inner and outer beauty. As you can probably see from my many expressions above, it's a topic I'm passionate about! I loved sharing the importance of green beauty and being conscious about both what put on, and in our bodies.

Then I demonstrated how to wear a bronzer with Nvey Eco Compact Powder Bronzer and Eco Tools powder brush. I recommend it as a safe way to get a sun-kissed glow for any skin tone! I also showed the power of a red lip to brighten the face and make a statement, using Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Harlot

I'm so grateful for all the dynamic women I connected with that night. We listened, laughed, cried and beautified! Thank you Real Beauties and I look forward to seeing you at future events. Keep in touch!

Beauty & Wellness Day #7

Last month, we brought our 7th Beauty & Wellness Day to Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, NY. This Spring's event was at the Coler campus, where we saw lots of lovely familiar faces from prior visits. Once again, The Beauty & Wellness Team was greeted with so much appreciation and excitement. We were so humbled and touched by the ability to help people feel GOOD! 

My amazing team of beauty pros included makeup artist colleagues Anny Chow (pictured below), Michelle Carillo, Deidre Grant, Stephanie Albaraccin and Mimi Rizkalla. We all share a deep desire to be of service and promote beauty from the inside out. I so appreciate working with kindred spirits...

We are also thankful for the enthusiastic group of cosmetology students who volunteered through the Aveda-Carsten Institute. The school has been so supportive of our special day, sending large groups of students ready to give countless haircuts, blow-drys and manicures. DJ Kwame was also in attendance, spinning classic soul, R&B and world music that kept us grooving through the day.

Jan Fisher (pictured below) and Raquel Griffin provided reiki healing in a quiet sanctuary away from the bustling "salon". The healers are also part of a volunteer monthly healing day at Coler. Residents receive tremendous benefits from this gentle therapeutic practice!

Beauty & Wellness Day would not be possible without the generous time and talents of the volunteers and my inspiration: Ron Becker, the Director of Therapeutic Recreation, his Team and the Angelica Patient Assistance. You are amazing for all you do. A big thank you to Kahina Giving Beauty for always supporting this and donating to a great cause. 

If you would like to be involved in the next Beauty & Wellness Day in any way, please contact me at beauty@rebeccacasciano.com. Peace & Love!

Eco + Equally Wed

There aren't many things that haven't been done in print, so it was an honor to do makeup for the first same-sex bridal editorial ever published! The shoot was featured in Equally Wed's April Eco Issue. 

Zuza and Sarah made beautiful brides! Check out the full eco wedding story,

I am also a featured green beauty expert in Pro Picks: Eco Friendly Products. Click on the link to read about some of my favorite goods!

Friday, February 3, 2012

1 Year in Wellness

Woohoo! This year marked my first official year as a Holistic Wellness Consultant. This means that not only do I help people LOOK their best, but now I help them FEEL their best too! My signature 3-Month Program "The Art of Beauty & Wellness", incorporates my 10+ years of experience as both a makeup artist and holistic living enthusiast. 

Most of my clients are busy professionals who recognize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but like most people, could use help to bring about positive and sustainable changes. Here's a peek into some of my favorite success stories from 2011:

* One of my clients was a Grammy-nominated songwriter who was already eating vegan, but wanted to transition to a raw food diet. I helped him find convenient ways to make that possible in the midst of his hectic and demanding lifestyle. He loved that "going raw" helped him sleep better, have more energy and be even more productive in the studio. 

* I helped an overworked fashion executive find time for meditation, journaling, exercise and even planting her own vegetable garden in the city. With my support, she created more balance in her life and embraced a holistic approach to healing. She also received a private makeup lesson, using all natural products, which boosted her confidence and added to her happy, healthy glow. 

* My latest client, an internal medical doctor, knew that a plant-based diet would help her maintain her weight and prevent diabetes, but she needed guidance and motivation to stick with it. Not only did she fall in love with vegetables, but she fell more in love with herself! She bought new lipstick and heels for the first time in years AND enrolled in Integrative Nutrition!

Sharing my passions in both beauty and wellness to make a positive impact on the lives of others is incredibly rewarding. I am so inspired by what the future holds for me and my clients. 

If you or someone you know could use my help, please don't hesitate to reach out for a complimentary phone consultation. We will discuss your health and beauty goals and how my signature program could be of service. Email me to set up an appointment at beauty@rebeccacasciano.com

Be Well!

Shiatsu + Buddha Nose

I'm a big fan of massage but had never tried shiatsu... until I met the marvelous Amy Galper! We connected at her Organic Beauty Bar, a unique pop-up shop offering natural makeup and skincare, including her own line, Buddha Nose. A shiatsu practitioner for many years, Amy created self-care products that complemented her healing work, using the powers of essential plant oils. Buddha Nose is a collection of aromatic balms, sprays, salts and scrubs that connect mind, body and beauty... I was sold!

Without knowing exactly what to expect from shiatsu, I booked an appointment with Amy right after the holidays. It was a fabulous way to begin the New Year...the experience was so wonderful and healing.The best way I can describe it is a mixture of massage, acupressure and reiki. I felt both a physical and energetic clearing that was very powerful. I got to take some of that home in the form of Buddha Nose Heart Spray and Girl Balm... heavenly!

If you're in NYC, I highly recommend booking a shiatsu session with Amy (info@buddhanose.com). She is currently offering an awesome deal- 3 Sessions for $200! If you live elsewhere, ask around for recommendations in your area. Wherever you are, definitely pick up some Buddha Nose products and experience the healing essence for yourself!