Friday, February 01, 2013

The Ultimate Hawaiian Volcano

Occassionally I get stuck in the airport due to long connections but this time my delay was caused by inclement weather. The 1 1/2 hour connection turned into a 4 hour delay so I decided to use my time for eats and a drink.

I looked left and right for the closest resturant to my gate and saw a TGI Fridays. Needless to say, I love their food — Their finger-licking BBQ ribs specifically. Not only does the meat fall off the bone, but the sauce has one of those bites to it. You know…the kind that is sweet and tangy at the same time, with a little kick of heat at the end when you least expect it; The kind you just can’t stop eating. Yeah, that’s what I was looking to sink my teeth in.

I had the hostess seat me by an outlet, so I could charge my phone and check my emails. The waitress seemed puzzled when I didn’t bother to look at the menu. “Do you need more time to decide while I get you something to drink?”

Without hesitation I replied “No. I want the ribs with 2 sides of the mixed vegatables.”, but was surprised to hear myself also ask for a strawberry daquari as well.

Okay, you’re probably wondering why it would be a big deal ....

Read more

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bridal Beauty

As a makeup artist I get to be creative and make people look beautiful, but sometimes I’m able to go beyond the basics. This month I had the privilege of working with Editor-In-Chief Dana Powell, as the Beauty Director for Weddings & Travel, the bridal issue of Uptown magazine.

I’ve worked with Dana in the past. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Brides Noir magazine and I’m the Beauty Director. It is currently on hiatus so when she contacted me to collaborate with Uptown, I was excited.

The look I created for the cover was elegant and a bit sexy. I started by contouring her cheekbones to bring out the shape of her face, then went with Nars Super Orgasm blush because it is a cocktail of peach, pink and flecks of gold for a beautiful glow.
On the eyes I went with  ......

Read more about Bridal Beauty story

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Looking Back At the Olympic Team

The beginning of a new year is usually the time when you think about all of the new things you want to do, but I actually want to look back on the wonderful things that happened for me in 2012! You know…count my blessings.

One of the great things that I had the pleasure of doing was being the head makeup artist for P&G on the 2012 USA Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team! The members of the team, also known as the “Fierce Five”, consisted of Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

The makeup looks on the girls were going to be used for their pictures and video in London during the Olympic games so everything had to look great! Since I didn’t have a lot of time I had 3 of my Makeup Artist Workshop students, Candace Matsuda, Latrica Schnepf and Angie Cottone assist me.

We started with......


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Call Me Carly!

I had a great time working with Carly Rae Jepsen this year. It all began with a phone call from my agent asking if I was available to do makeup and hair on a singer for her performance in Rochester New York — “I don’t know if you know her but she is the one that sings that song Call Me Maybe, Are you available?”

Do I know who Carly Rae Jepsen is? I was almost insulted! Unless you’ve lived under a rock all year, not only have you heard the song “Call Me Maybe” about a million times, but you’ve also seen the hilarious music video. Without hesitation I replied “Yes! I’m available”.

I’ve created several types of styles on her but one of my favorite looks was messy wavy hair and smokey eyes with a light pink lip on bronzed skin!

To create her smokey eyes I used bronze, rich chocolate brown and black eyeshadow by .........


Thursday, December 15, 2011

As a beauty director and makeup artist I am always trying new products and looking for ways to make it easy to look your best. This month I wanted to talk about a few tips on how to look great when you need to go from the office to a corporate party.


If you prep properly, you LOOK like you put a lot of time and effort into your style without the hard work.

1. Be Camera Ready!
Many of the pictures from the office parties end up in the Corporate newsletters or are emailed as news blasts to everyone in the company. Make sure your smile isn't full of coffee stained teeth from late night hours of work and holiday shopping. Polish away surface stains with Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste, which is the most awarded whitening brand, to create a brighter smile. Leading up to the party, give yourself a whitening boost by applying Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips. The secret is in the strip to remove up to 14 years of deeply set-in stains.

2. Don't Undo Your Style
The last thing you want are sweat marks on your clothes while shaking hands with a CEO or stains smeared on your garment from deodorant. So choose an antiperspirant that fights wetness but won't leave a trail of white marks when you dress, like Secret Natural Mineral. It uses odor fighting capsules that work with your body to help neutralize odor instead of just masking it. Opt for the unscented version that won't compete with any fragrances that you decide to wear for the evening.

3. Wear The Proper Undergarments.
Celebrities know how to look their best for special events and your office party can be the "red carpet" event for the company, so bumps, bulges and sagging are big no no’s! Instead create a youthful liftwith Bring It Up Breast Lifts. They lift the bust up to 6 inches and eliminate peek-a-bo bra straps or unsightly back fat! It's the secret weapon that celebrities have been using for over 10 years to look their best. Fits cup sizes A to D. Get special saving by using code: CHICAGO50 to receive $15 off of any purchase of $30 or more! VISIT www.BRINGITUP.COM


1. Choose Your Accessories Wisely
A great way to transition your office clothes and into an elegant party outfit is with diamonds. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Stiles and Kelly Osbourn have been spotted on the Red Carpet wearing Forevermark. What makes a Forevermark diamond special is the unique inscription inscribed on every diamond that is invisible to the naked eye. With each inscription you can track your responsibly resourced diamond from the mine to your local retailer. Go to ITunes and download the “Forevermark” app to register for a chance to win a trip to Africa and explore the mines. Forevermark can be found in Chicago, at James and Williams or Fey + Co .

2. Brighten Your Skin
The holiday season is stressful and makes skin look dull and lifeless so before you use your regular moisturizer start with serum like Le Mieux Vita-C which uses a powerful stable form of vitamin C called MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) that penetrates 31% faster into skin. It boosts hydration, collagen production and brightens skin by repairing sun damage and hyperpigmentation.

3. Minimize Makeup Maintenance
Eyeshadow can fade by the end of the day so use a shadows like Covergirl Intense Shadowblast, that is highly pigmented and has a built in primer. Color is waterproof, fadeproof and smudge proof for less touch ups. Create a simply yet sophisticated look by applying color on lid to crease for day, and adding liner at lash line by night.

Instead of a traditional lip gloss use Vaseline Lip Therapy Original to add shine, soften lips and lock in moisture. Since it isn't a color you won't have to worry about it getting on your teeth. Now available in a mini, on-the-go jar that you can keep in your pocket or clutch. Register to win a limited-edition Swarovski Crystal Vaseline Lip Therapy Original jars designed by Mad Fashion star Chris March worth $46 by going to

4. Use Hair Treatments For Better Performance
Salons know that treatments can make hair perform better. Get improved hair moisture and texture with Nioxin DiaMax hair treatment. It is the first to use HTX technology to thicken the hair strand on the inside and also outside for longer-lasting effects. Key ingredients are Niacinamide, Caffeine, Panthenol and Dimethicone to provide added strength and resilience. DiaMax officially launches in salons in February. Visit from December 1st to January 2, 2011 to register for a chance to win a full sized bottle, which is valued at $50.

5.Wear Soft Scents
A fragrance that is too strong can repel people so use a scent that is subtle like Christina Aguilera Royal Desire. It is an Oriental fruity blend with rich floral and warm sensual notes that evoke a feeling of luxury and royalty. Each bottle comes with a silver charm which can be worn on a necklace or bracelet.

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "What model agancy should I contact? I'm 14 and really want to do modeling. Its my dream."- from Chloe in London.

Answer: Talk to your parents FIRST before you contact a modeling agency so you don't get scammed by the wrong one. Some of the top agencies are Ford, Elite and IMG. Models have a certain look and style. Different agencies represent different types of models. There are fashion models, commercial models and even models they call "real people". Ask your parents if the models on the agency web sites that you are interested in contacting look like you. If so, then contact the agency and ask them what is required for consideration. Just remember, even though modeling looks like it is just a fun time taking pictures, it is a business and can be a lot of hard work. So as RuPaul says "You better WORK!"


My favorite thing this month is getting proper rest. Most people are overly stressed and extremely busy, especially in December, so they don't get the right amount of sleep. Lack of sleep can cut into crucial repair time which can create havoc on your health, skin and even effect your weight gain. This month I'm going to try to take my own advice and slow down....and rest more!

Friday, June 10, 2011

We know the old saying, "You get what you pay for". There are many beauty products that provide amazing results but tote a hefty price tag to get them, I consider those "Lust-have" products. You know the ones I'm talking about. You want them...but can't afford them. Well there are other products that are also effective that are more affordable, which I call "must-have" products. Here are a few "lust-have" and "must-have" products to consider for your beauty routine.
The Perfect Finish:
Yves Saint Laurent Teint Majeur is an ultra-comfortable lightweight foundation that glides onto skin with ultimate sensuality. It improves moisture and combats aging with an SPF 18. Lust-Have Price is $99.00
Covergirl NatureLuxe Silk Foundation has a luxuriously light-weight silky texture with a touch of cucumber water, jojoba and rose hip extracts to give you a polished finish that wont make skin look cakey. Oil-free, paraben free, SPF 10. Makeup artist guru Pat McGrath used it on the models at the Spring 2011 fashion shows. Must-Have Price is $11.98

Cleaner Skin:
Looking your best starts with great skin and so proper cleaning is the first step. Clarisonic PLUS Sonic Skin Cleansing System uses patented sonic technology that vibrates back and forth producing over 300 movements per second, flex skin and loosen dirt and oil. Cleansing so effectively that skincare products absorb better. Lust-Have Price: $225.00
Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System uses a micro-massaging action to clean deep, removing clogging dirt and oil, while gently exfoliating to help maximize the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your anti-aging moisturizer. The rotating brush cleans skin 6x better then basic cleansing alone. Must-Have Price: $32.99

Whiter Teeth:
A whiter brighter smile not only looks good, but it conveys good health. Glo Brilliant was created by Dr. Jonathan Levine, through a 12 pantent pending heat and light technology device that you can use at home to give you whiter teeth without sensitivity. Lust-Have Price is $275.00

Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste has a patented dual-action silica system that polishes away 80% of surface stains in just 14 days leaving you with a white smile. Use the toothpaste in conjunction with Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips which provide a professional level whitening equal to a $500 dentist visit by removing up to 10 years of set-in stains. Must-Have Price is $4.25 (toothpaste) $50.00 (strip kit).

Thicker Hair:
Your hair is your crowning glory, but if your hair is thin it can kill your self-esteem. The HairMax LaserComb is an FDA cleared medical device that is clinically proven to treate and promote hair growth. The patented technology uses laser energy to stimulates hair follicles to produce thicker and healthier hair. Lust-Have Price: $495.00.
Another option is with the Nioxin Hair System. This 3-part kit consists of a cleanser, scalp therapy and scalp treatment to remove follicle-clogging sebum and environmental residues that can inhibit proper hair growth. It also contains antioxidants and botanicals to stimulate the scalp so it can be healthy. The lightweight conditioners provide hair with resilience and balanced moisture to cut down on breakage. It's the #1 stylist choice for thinning hair because it guarantees thicker, denser looking hair in 30 days. Must-Have Price: $44.00.

Beauty Questions
Beauty question: "How do u find the right color of foundation for me?...I'm 12 years old"- from Briann in Tennessee.

Answer:    Many times when you are young you want to wear a lot of makeup, because it is fun, but at the age of 12 you normally don't need foundation. Unless you have a skin problem like hyperpigmentation, your skin is usually beautiful. So instead of covering it up unnecessarily, embrace the skin that you have. Instead focus on taking care of the skin that you have by building a good skin care routine. Cleanse with a basic facial wash that contains glycerin, which will hydrate your skin, like Neutrogena and finish with a water based moisturizer with SPF 15 to protect against sun damage. A good beauty routine is the best thing you can do to look good the rest is just icing!

 Now it is time for.....


My favorite thing this month is Wet N' Wild Glassy Gloss. I use it all the time on photoshoots all the time because I feel like it is as shiny and glossy as the $14.99 MAC lip glass, but only have to pay $2.99! So I can get all of the shades that I need without breaking the bank! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

This month The Ellen DeGeneres Show teamed up with HGTV'd to surprise a couple in Killeen Texas and I got to do all of the makeup and hair for both shows.
Giving Jeanie some
bronze eye shadow
Working with Tanika Ray and David Bromstad of HGTV is always a treat for me but it was especially fun to work with Jeannie Klisiewicz, the production assistant from The Ellen show.
When Ellen isn't able to go on a location, Jeannie does it, so she interviewed the homeowners. I start the day off really early doing the hair and makeup on HGTV'd host Tanika Ray, so she can look her best when everyone arrives.
Gotta get the homeowners camera
ready before they see the big reveal

Next in my chair comes David Bromstad. After a bit of moisturizer, sunscreen and grooming with anti-shine he is all set to head over to the construction tent so he can work with the design crew about the needed changes. He never needs a lot of work, but sometimes I have to adjust any tan lines he might get from wearing his sunglasses in the hot sun. One of his favorite skin care items is....

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "How do you determine your best beauty feature to highlight, or is that necessary?"- from Gina in Chicago.

Answer: If you want to focus on your eyes for the day, use deep shades that will draw more attention to them but keep lips and cheeks simple by using a softer color.
When you want to focus on your lips try a darker or brighter color, and keep eye simple by only using mascara or nude colors so they are not as prominent.
There are no rules. It doesn't have to be your "best feature", you can highlight what ever YOU want.

Now it is time for.....


My favorite thing today is Gatorade. Even though we drank water too, I think the TV crew and I went through several cases of it. My favorite flavor is the fruit punch! Yummm!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the end of the year, but that doesn't mean my work slows down. I seem to be on planes just as often as I've been before. This time I'm heading out of town for another episode of "Bang For Your Buck" for HGTV. Each time I work on the show I am astonished at the home interiors, and the value that design plays on your property value.

If you've never watched the show, let me give you a little background on what it's about. The show is about 3 separate homeowners who have remodeled a certain part of their house. All 3 homes have redone the same part of the house...for the same amount of money...BUT the question is, who used their money more wisely according to their design for the room and most importantly resale value! That is where the professional designers like Vern Yip, David Bromstad or Taniya Nayak come in. They look at everything, with a real estate expert to determined...

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "What is a good moisturizer for aging skin?"- from Jamie in Connecticut.

Answer: Dr. Sadick Park Avenue Prescription is a great option because it contains a daytime moisturizer to protect skin, a night time serum and night cream with retinol to renew and rejuvenate all in one set. It targets hydration and anti-aging all at the same time. The formula feels light weight without feeling greasy.

Now it is time for.....


My favorite thing to mention this month is to leave your skin a little damp before adding your moisturizer to add extra hydration since the weather is so cold and dry during this time of the season. A great way to do that is to spritz your face with Evian mineral water.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This month has been quite busy with traveling. I went to North Carollina, Ohio and Seattle to do makeup for E! THS Investigations with TV host Laura Ling. Laura investigated 2 interesting stories. One was about "Teen Depression and Suicide". The second story was about "Military Wives" and what they have been going through.

I was quite moved by the stories, and was in awh with the compassion Laura had while she interviewed people. Each individual story enlightened you on the personal blessings that you may be having right now but may take for granted because of seeing the things that these people had undergone. It was amazing ....

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "Can you recommend a good air-brush makeup applicator for the everyday consumer to use?"- from Cheryl in Pennsylvania.

Answer: Airbrush has been a Hollywood secret for makeup artists for years, but now Temptu has a consumer friendly AIRbrush Makeup System that you can get at Sephora that is great to use. Since a professional airbrush makeup system can be rather tricky to clean, it's great that there is an easy one the people can use everyday to look flawless and natural just like the celebrities. I not only use it on my makeup artist jobs but I also use it on myself as well.


My favorite thing right now is LIFE. After seeing up close what other people have gone through the only thing I can say is that I appreciate what I've had and the family and friends who have been with me through out my life. I'm very thankful!

Friday, October 01, 2010

I got a chance to work with the new Covergirl model, America's Next Top Model winner, Krista White. My friend hairstylist Bestsey Meade and I were prepping Krista for special private event at the head quarters of Covergirl cosmetics.

We started our day at 7am at the Westin hotel so we would have plenty of time to get her hair and makeup done before her limo came to get her. Bestsey started by getting her hair smooth and shiny with a flat iron and then swooped her hair over into an elegant side ponytail. She added soft curls to the end of her hair, that cascaded over her shoulder, for texture and sophistication.

Next was my turn.....

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "Wanna know what your favorite eye cream is for early thirties. hint hint... I'm looking for a new one!"- from Lindsey in Wisconsin.

Answer: You would think that the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles that you see are due to getting older, but it is usually caused by the on-going lack of hydration. Since your body is mainly made up of water, it can really take a toll on your skin. So the earlier you take care of your skin, especially around the delicate eye area, the fewer wrinkles you will have as you get older. Kind of like the saying goes..."it is easier to prevent than correct."

There are a lot of eye creams on the market that I like. A great one to start with should have multiple benefits other than just hydrating skin , like Jan Marini Age Intervention Eye Cream, and include anti-aging and firming benefits as well.

Be careful not to apply too much. You only need a little. The warmth from your body will cause the product to automotically slide inward towards the rest of your eye area so be sure to apply the cream on the orbital bone, which is the edge of the eye socket, so it won't get inside your eye by mistake.


Fall has always been my favorite time of the year because of the great fashion! The best way to look good in your clothes is by starting with great underwear. So my favorite thing this month is the Body By Victoria push up bra. It gives your bust the lift that you want but is smooth and seamless so you look even better in your clothes!

Not sure if you know your correct bra size? No problem! Victoria's Secret has sales people that know how to measure you properly so you get the right size and fit you need.

Here is a little bra trivia! The proper way to put on a bra is to lean forward so your bust falls evenly into the cups, snap the clasps shut, then sit up and adjust the straps as needed. Keep in mind that you usually wear your bra daily. So to ensure that you are getting proper support replace your bras every 6 months because fabric and elastic can become worn out.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

This month I headed to Vegas to work with the Westcott Company for the Photoshop World Convention. When they first talked to me about doing makeup and hair for the event I was working with them on their current catalog of an ice princess. I thought working on the cover was fun, but creating looks for the convention was even more exciting and creative!

The event was 3 days, and each day consisted of 4 mini sets that attendees could do photo shoots on. Each set had a different model with a theme and scene. We did a western girl, a bridal look, and Steampunk.

They even brought in amazing props like a vintage tub and period style furniture for the 50's pinup look, and even a cool red motor cycle for the Catwoman and James Bond themed shots.

One of my favorite looks was the Queen of Hearts. I started the by rubbing white Kryolan pancake makeup all over the model to make her tan skin as pale as possible. Then .......

Beauty Questions

Beauty question: "Best products & routine to take care of your face - does it include toner, stuff for eyes/mouth area, moisturizer, etc. What all do you need to do?"- from Christine Lee in Florida.

Answer: The total basics for a skin care routine would be a cleanser and a moisturizer for face and one for your eyes. Toners can be optional. They are designed to put skin back at the correct PH after cleansing and to remove any excess dirt that the cleanser missed. Kind of like a rinse cycle for your skin. So depending on the cleanser you are using, you may not need one.

When selecting a cleanser for your face choose one that won't totally strip it of all it's natural oils, even if you have oily skin. You want one that only removes dirt and excess oil. If the cleanser is too harsh it will make skin feel tight and dehydrated which can kick in your oil glands, which can be a problem if you already have oily skin.

If you wear makeup, be sure to start with a makeup remover. Most facial cleansers are not designed to break down the complex makeup formulas that we use today, especially if the cosmetics are designed to be long lasting. Great add ons that I would highly recommend for your skin would include serums, night creams and scrubs.

Serums are like vitamins for your skin because they give added boosts of nutrients like vitamin A & E, gloucosamine and nano peptides, to give your skin better resilience especially during times when skin looks stressed and worn down. Your body heals itself during your sleep so night creams are specifically designed to use that time help combat anti-aging and lack of hydration to skin. Scrubs are the best way to remove blocked pores like black heads and dry patches so your skin looks smooth and refined.

If you aren't sure what you want to try first, go with a skin care set like Clarins Multi Active Starter Kit that contains a gentle exfoliating cleanser and two moisturizers in smaller sizes so you can see what you like before you commit to the regular sized products.


My favorite thing this month is Blot Out Offensive Shine + Oil Control cream by Nurturing Force. It hydrates skin, gets rid of shine, blocks oil (especially great if you are extremely oily) and slows degradation of makeup.

I use this a lot when I'm working in hot sticky weather, where oil and sweat can break down the makeup. Great stuff!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This month the commercial for Gatarade that I worked on with Dwayne Wade finally came out. It was a day full of grooming Dwayne, designing wigs, and creating rip away clothes. It was a great time, but I'm sure I'm not making any sense right now so let me just slow down and start from the beginning.

Well it all started on a hot day in June when I got a phone call from my booker from the Opus Beauty agency. They wanted to see if I was available to.....

Beauty Questions
Beauty question: "I'm African-American with a dark brown complexion. I normally wear fuchsia lipstick but I would like to try a more subtle brown lip color, but I'm afraid it will just blend into my skin. What do you suggest?"- from Marcy in Ohio.

Answer: If you feel a typical brown lipstick is not to your liking, try the shade in a different texture like one with shimmer in it. I like the Black Opal Patent Lips Liquid Lipstick in Uptown Brown. The bronze flecks of shimmer give the color additional depth and dimention that won't 'blend in' to your skin town.


My favorite thing this month is the NYX Black Lable Lipstick. I really like how you don't need a lot of it, because it is so highly pigmented. I like to apply it with a brush instead of straight from the tube so I don't waste any of it.

It is a great creamy lipstick to try! Love it!