behind the scenes

Wigs by Number with Ted Gibson Beauty for Carmen Marc Valvo

Picture this: it's 8:30 am on Thursday, September 6th, the first day of fashion week and the Ted Gibson team is searching wig stores all over the city to find wigs and wig caps for the Carmen Marc Valvo show the next day.  At 2pm I walked into the salon to check out Ted's new cosmetic line and get a blowout and right into a prime moment the real hair prep before the big show.  The wigs were found and the team was busy.  Think all of the work goes on backstage?  Think again.

Just the day before Ted and Devon Toth, the Director of Education at Ted Gibson, met with the designer and rest of the glam squad to nail down the inspiration behind the look – inspired by street syle, the vibe was techno tribal for his Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

The vibe at the salon was surprisingly cool, calm and collective.  "Our team found real, human hair wigs in dirty blonde that can be dyed and we're dying the tops platinum and the bottoms black,"  Jason Backe explained.

Check out this breakdown:

 2 # of given days to prepare the wigs

8 # of hours it took for Ted's team to find all of the wigs and wig caps in NYC

5 # of hours in the salon it takes to complete one wig

7 # of team members working on the wigs at all times in between clients

25 # of wigs created for the show

3 # of extra wigs made for just in case reasons

22 # of models


Behind the Scenes with François Nars & A Peek at the NARS Fall Collection

While it may feel like summer just began, I'm already prepping my schedule for gigs during fashion week this fall.  So as you can imagine, when an email landed in my inbox from the NARS PR team about their fall collection, it was more than welcomed.  Here's a peek at behind the scenes with Creative Director, Francois Nars and campaign model, Toni Garrn. Oh yea, and the fall collection which launches July 15th.


11 Days of 24/7 Beauty: Cannes Film Festival's Lead Makeup Artist Talks Behind the Scenes

The Cannes Film Festival has wrapped and while most of the world has their eyes on Best Film Winner, Blue is the Warmest Colour, I bet you're still flipping through galleries full of red carpet hair and makeup looks, which, of course is also why you're here.  Eleven days of red carpet glamour filled the streets of Cannes, France and I got the scoop from L'Oreal Makeup Artist, Karim Rahman, who owned the red carpet, day and night.

What do you keep on hand in your Cannes makeup kit?

I always travel with 2 suitcases full of products. When I fly, I have to check all my stuff because of the liquids. But my brushes are too precious for me, so I always travel with them in my carry-on bags, so that I'm sure they don't get lost.

Who have you worked with so far?

Tais Araujo, Leila Bekhti, Inès de la Fressange, Barbara Palvin, Megan Gale, Isabelli Fontana, Bianca Balti and Tilda Swinton.

What do you do differently for day red carpet makeup vs night red carpet makeup? 

The L'Oréal Paris L'Or sunset collection (created specifically for Cannes and not available in the US) is perfect to design a day look with its transparent glitters in the eye shadows and lipsticks. After that, it is super easy to add another coat of the Golden Black mascara to make it more intense and add gold glitters and to create in a few minutes a real night and red carpet statement.

How do you work with your clients to decide on a makeup look?  

I always start with a conversation with her, talking about her dress, her hair and above all, how she feels and what she has in mind. It is really a team work. The most important part for me is to respect her identity and what she needs. For instance, this week we created a beautiful daring look with Barbara Palvin. She wore this amazing black tuxedo – very feminine and boyish at the same time.  It was all about a 70's feeling in my mind, I was thinking about Romy Schneider. So we focused and worked a lot on the eyes, with Voluminous False Lashes Mascara on the top and the bottom, a sophisticated line of Superliner Silkissime eye liner [The Super Slim Liner by Infallible] and  a touch of Color Riche Les Ombres eye shadows [Colour Riche Shadow Quad]. And we also reinforced the eye brows lines.

How long does it take to complete each look?

In my dream it would be 1 hour but unfortunately we have only 30 minutes... The crazy rhythm of the Cannes Film Festival!

How do the celebs handle touch ups throughout the day and night?

I try to follow the girls until the end, that is to say until the moment they get in the car to walk down the red carpet. But I always give them a little beauty kit: the lipstick or the powder I applied, so that they can have a quick touch up in the car.

 What's one makeup tip you swear by?

The best tip I could give you is to enhance your own beauty. And a little piece of advice: focus on one point, do not always play eyes and lips at the same time, to avoid over make-up. Sophisticated smoky eyes or red glamorous lips are the  timeless statements for red carpet beauties.


Wendy Williams' Makeup Artist Talks Behind the Scenes with Wendy

Since 2008, when The Wendy Williams Show first began, Merrel Hollis has been by Wendy's side creating what he calls her "signature look" every morning at 7am.  I had the pleasure of meeting him backstage when going on the show to discuss celebrity beauty trends and thought you would love to hear what really goes on behind the scenes at the Wendy Show.  Read on to hear what a typical morning is like for Merrel. What’s the most daring look she would ever let you create?

The most daring look that I’ve created with Wendy so far was when I transformed her into Lucille Ball’s character “Lucy Ricardo” and the legendary Dolly Parton.

Describe a typical morning behind the scenes on the Wendy show?

My average day at The Wendy Williams Show studio starts with Wendy sitting in the makeup chair at 7am. After seeing what wardrobe has planned for her, I start with the day’s look before we are bum rushed by 5 producers who all manage to squeeze into my tiny makeup room to prep her for the day. They flood her with the latest Hot Topics and I stay busy trying to keep her attention because I have to have her in and out of the chair in thirty minutes so she can go to the floor to rehearse. When she comes back from the set, I finish her makeup look and then, the door opens to the Queen of All Media.

Unlike her wigs Wendy’s makeup stays consistent, what’s one look your dying to do?

Well, I wouldn’t call her makeup look “consistent” - I would say it has my signature to it - (LOL) but I am dying to do a dark lip on her. She wont let me do it...

Oribe Talks Working with Kate Upton for Italian Vogue & Dishes How to Get Those Waves

As soon as I laid eyes on Kate Upton's Vogue cover I had to know how to achieve the seductive, yet sophisticated look of old hollywood glamour.  It's captivating.  Of course, it's also Kate Upton, but I needed to get the dirt.  Hairstylist to the stars, Oribe was on set at the Marilyn Monroe suite at the Waldorf-Astoria for the shoot with makeup artist, Pat McGrath. The glamorous tone was set and the two worked their talents.  I spoke with Oribe to find out more about working with this new Vogue cover girl and exactly how to achieve those sexy waves. What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think Vogue cover girl?

What’s great about Italian Vogue is that they use models instead of the same celebrities over and over. It’s very special for a young model like Kate to be chosen, and it’s also really special for the hairdresser working on the shoot.

Have you ever worked with Kate Upton before?  What was she like to work with?

I’ve worked with her several times and love her.  She’s great on set – a lot of fun and a little quirky.  She reminds me of the Jayne Mansfield of this era.

What was your inspiration?  

The shoot was very Helmut Newton-inspired.

What's your secret to getting her hair so full and wavy?

I used a 1-inch curling iron and my Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray for the curls.  The spray is an amazing styling product that helped me to create a curl that had hold, even when brushed out.  Steven Meisel, the photographer, wanted her hair to look very full, I used my Dry Texturizing Spray to create the necessary volume.

Who did you collaborate with to come up with her glamorous, old Hollywood look?

Steven Meisel had the concept in mind – it was very Helmut Newton inspired. I worked closely with him, Pat McGrath, the makeup artist, and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, the fashion stylist, on the finished look.




Ginnifer Goodwin's Makeup Artist, Mai Quynh, Dishes About Emmy Day

Imagine being a celebrity makeup artist during an awards show.  Now imagine prepping two A-listers before they hit the red carpet.  We've all seen Rachel Zoe's reality show and watched her style several celebs during awards season, but what about the glam squads?  Truth is, their schedules are just as hectic.  I spoke with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Mai Quynh, while watching the Emmy red carpet to chat with her about her week of prep, Emmy day and accidental embarrassing bagel bonding session she thanks Ginnifer Goodwin for.

Her day started at Ginnifer Goodwin's house at 9:30am, a client of six years, who she only had an hour and a half to spend with considering it was the Emmys and she was booked up.  "I kept trying to woo her with ideas for her look, but she really didn't care about what we did," Quynh commented.  "She trusts me."

Even though Quynh's been collaborating with the rest of the glam squad since she saw Goodwin's dress about a week ago, it wasn't until that morning that she decided to play up Goodwin's eyes creating an edgy contrast to her lady like Monique Lhuillier gown.  "The eyes were inspired by Twiggy. I left the middle of them really light by using nudes and concentrated the darker colors in the crease," she explains.  Key products: Mark Keep It Going Long Wear Eyeliner and Shadow Duo in Entourage and Mark Lash All You Want Mascara.

"“I had to leave Ginnifer with an assistant for a bit to pop over to do another, newer client's makeup," she states.  "As I was running out Ginnifer threw a bagel with cream cheese at my face and I shoved it down my mouth while I was driving.  When I got to the next location the hair stylist told me my skin was flaking off and I realized it was just dried cream cheese on my cheek!"

As crazy as the day was, and as anxious as she gets, Quynh stalks Getty images in hopes she approves her girls finished looks on the red carpet.  I spoke with her after Goodwin walked, which was a huge success.  She was anxiously awaiting the next one... and then, she can relax.

An Exclusive Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes with DKNY Fragrances

Earlier this week I had the honor to spend the day behind the scenes of a DKNY fragrances photo shoot for an upcoming advertisement.  I can't tell you much about it yet, but it comes out next year and if you can wait the year... I'll spill a lot more then!  I'm really excited because I'm working on a project with the brand that you'll be hearing more about very soon!  I know, I know... this post is just one big tease!  Well, here are some really cool snap shots from the day that I can share with you now!  Enjoy!

Mandy Moore Talks Beauty, Fitness & Guilty Pleasures

I think Mandy Moore's a natural beauty.  Her dark hair compliments her flawless complexion and really makes her hazel eyes pop.  It's no wonder that the starlette is a Proactiv spokesperson.  I had the opportunity to talk to her about her fave beauty products and more. What beauty products can't you live without and why?

I never travel without my Proactiv products, I  love Aquaphor (for lips, cuticles, etc.) and an eyelash curler! Even if I’m bone tired, a little curl of the lashes makes me look more awake and refreshed.

I've read that you love Pilates, is that what keeps you in such great shape?  If not, what are your fitness secrets?

I love Pilates, as well as hiking or just taking a walk with my dogs. Mixing it up and not stressing about it all is the key.

You just voiced Rapunzel in "Tangled Ever After," which was a huge success.  What's next for you?

I'm working on another album to be out later this year as well as a TV show.

What's your guiltiest pleasure?

I don't feel guilty about any of the pleasures in life, but I’m a big TV junkie lately and love waiting for a series to make it to DVD so I can watch it all in one sitting. :)


The Secrets Behind Ashley Greene's Shoot with Mark Cosmetics

Ashley Greene recently shot several ad campaigns at Milk Studios in NYC with Mark cosmetics that won't be released until October, but I got the behind the scenes scoop from her makeup artist, Mai Quynh on the days activities, which included creepy, yet laughable tweets from a fake account created by a fan for one of her dogs and Ashley's customized playlist to set the vibe.

Ashley's really easy to work with and the only specific requests she ever asks for is black liner on her upper lash line, which makes her feel more put together," comments Quynh.

The first day started at 8:30am and wrapped at 5pm, Rihanna's voice filled the room pretty much the whole shoot and my buddy, Ted Gibson was on hair.  Six different looks were shot and in between each Quynh relied on Mark Wipes to take Ashley's face makeup off and since it's so gentle, she used Bioderma Sensibio H20for her eyes.  “When you do so many looks, everything has to change, so I’d rather start fresh so the color registers as true,”  she comments.  However Quynh did admit that she sometimes leaves foundation on the forehead and the brows filled in to save time.  Why not?

Throughout the shoot @marlothefierce, the fake account created by one of her fans for one of her dogs was tweeting how beautiful Ashley looked.  Creepy?  Quynh says Ashley was just laughing about it.

On the second day, only two looks were shot, but it was another full day.  One of the shoots was for a new fragrance launch.  Quynh used a combination of Mark Lipclick in TuTu and Lip Gloss in Girly Girl to create a pink lip with a semi-smokey eye to compliment Ashley's overall flirty look.

Ashley made a playlist that included music to set the mood like Muse, TLC and other random 90's music.

*This is a sponsored post, but all of the reporting, comments and actions are true.

Behind the Scenes at L'Oreal's Research & Development Center

When my college roommate, Melanie, would tell me about her microbiology experiments dealing with Botchalism I used to make fun of her as I sat at my desk and wrote trend pieces for my journalism classes.  Today, if I could switch jobs with anyone I know it would be her as she's now the brains behind many of the products that I test and write about daily.  I really got to see what she does yesterday when I visited the L'Oreal Research and Innovations Center in Clark, NJ on an editor trip.  Exploring the labs where many L'Oreal and L'Oreal owned brands products are developed, I got to play Mel for the day!

This trip was the first time L'Oreal ever opened it's doors to outsiders and I was beyond excited to be there.  After six years of writing beauty, I've never gotten a sneak peak into the research and development before.  With 400 employees, this is their number one research center outside of France.  Besides L'Oreal the brand, Matrix, Maybelline, Skinceuticals and many other brands are formulated there and in just one year, they launch about 2,500 new products.  Yes ladies, this is where the magic happens.

Labs are broken down into cosmetic, skincare, hair color, styling and fragrance specialties and the evaluation processes were strict.  While skincare is a passion of mine, I was really impressed by what I saw and learned in cosmetics.

Blackout shades are on the windows for lighting control and specialized lights hang above makeup chairs that switch from day to night and even florescent lighting so the cosmetologists can evaluate shades under all circumstances.  What really blew me away though was learning that there are about 17 ingredients into Maybelline's latest mascara, Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara.  A soft wax is used for volumizing, harder wax for curl, and these little 4mm fibers are spread through out the formula that adhere to the tips of your lashes for length. To reinvent black, the chemists used a combination of the standard colorant, iron oxide and mixed it with carbon black to make the lashes really pop.  After seeing the breakdown of ingredients and manufacturing of the formula, I knew this mascara was the real deal and when I tested it after I got home, I was right.

It's one thing to receive a product to test out and a press release about its ingredients, but to go behind the scenes into the lab and watch them in the making is magical.

Oribe Talks Scarlett Johansson's Vogue Cover Look

There's one word to describe Scarlett Johansson on the cover on May Vogue: Stunning (yes, with a capital "S").  I chatted with Oribe, her on set hairstylist and friend to find out what it was like to work with one of the sexiest women alive and how to get those even sexier, Hollywood waves he created throughout the two day shoot in at a theater downtown in LA (at the same place "The Artist" was shot).  I always try, but somehow end up with separated pieces.  This interview will surely put an end to that nonsense!

How was her hair before you started?

The color of Scarlett’s hair was really beautiful.  She had finished shooting “The Avengers” and had gone back to being blonde.  The length of her hair was perfect and it was this amazing clean blonde.   She looked great, I love her blonde.

How did you come up with the look?

Absolutely, I’ll always collaborate with photographer and the stylist.  For this shoot, the inspiration was “Bringing Up Baby,” a classic movie with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.  It’s hysterical and really chic, so we were going for a late 30’s glamorous look.  It was an amazing shoot, I loved it.

 Did Scarlett have any preferences? 

Scarlett is a very smart, intelligent girl, and I always love to get her opinion.  I’m sure she helped me tailor the style to make it work for her face.  She’s very open and loves to look great.

How did you use hot rollers on Scarlett to start creating the wave?

I did the set with small hot rollers almost like a regular set. I divided hair into 2 inch sections, set it in a finger wave with a part.  The rollers went in before makeup and I left them throughout the makeup process. Afterwards I took them out, brushed hair flat and put clips in until Scarlett was dressed.  Finally, I took them out, brushed through the curls and misted hair with my Impermèable Anti-Humidity Spray.

What type of brush did you use to brush through her curls to achieve the wave? 

Always use a Mason Pearson Mixed Bristle Brush.  It glides through the hair really well for a smooth texture and brushing the curls will help them to look less contrived.  I think the result is beautiful, glamorous and reminiscent of the style of movie stars from the 30’s 40’s.

Circuit Training with Serena Williams is No Joke, Neither is Her Natural Hair

Now this was crazy.  I was invited to work out with Serena Williams last Thursday night and being the fitness junkie that I am I couldn't believe I had the opportunity to train with such an iconic athlete.  It wasn't just a meet and greet, it was a half hour circuit training session and then an interview at 24 Hour Fitness in midtown to try out a new product she's endorsing from her Mission line of athletic products called EnduraCool.  PS: I also scored a video of her kicking butt too! I have to be completely honest, I thought the class was going to be a BS fitness class, because after all it was a beauty editor event and I didn't think we'd be getting down and dirty.  Well I was wrong.  Serena is no joke (obvi) and the class was for fitness beasts!  Could I have kept up?  Yes, but instead I opted to "glisten" instead of sweat and take some pics and video.  I was going straight out afterwards and my dry shampoo would have done my hair no justice if I actually did the entire thing.

The EnduraCool Instant Cooling Towel proved it's magic mid workout.  It's an innovative workout towel that cools once it's wet.  We all soaked it with water and when the water came in contact with the fabric it instantly cooled and stayed cold throughout the rest of the workout. "The hottest I've ever been on the court was in Australia.  It was 142 degrees and we wrapped towels in ice with tape," Williams commented. "The last thing I need is for my dress to be wet and weighed down when I'm running, because it's already is with sweat and it's not a good look."

After Serena sweat it out and I slightly glistened, I got to chat with her for a few minutes.  Check out my interview and the video of her working out below!

What are your gym bag must haves?

"In the Florida sun, where I live, this (EnduraCool) is so important especially in the summer!  I love my wrist bands since I sweat so much and I can't have sweaty hands in my sport, rackets, a hat and SPF.  Mission has a really good SPF that I worked really hard on.  I also always wear a hat so I can avoid wrinkles."

Favorite beauty products?

New eyeliner that my friend gave to me that's supposedly waterproof and it never bleeds.  It's super cheap, from the drugstore but I'm not sure what it is.  My mom introduced me to Lancome mascara.

How do you keep your natural hair tamed and frizz free, especially after a workout?

I don't do anything to my hair.  I just wash it, comb it out and then when I get out of the shower I throw conditioner on it, a Tresemme cream.  It's unbelievable and everyone's always giving me compliments on how good my hair smells and looks.  I've tried all of the stuff, absolutely everything and it's my go-to.

Do you have any rituals before hitting the court?

I have to wash my hands before hitting the court.  I'm always applying SPF a lot, but I don't think that's the reason, but I always have to.  I don't know if it's a superstitious thing, but I have to do it.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

Apple pie, cherry pie, but I never say no to a peanut butter cookie.  I can say no to anything else, but you rarely see peanut butter cookies.

Lunch with Victoria's Secret Models, Erin Heatherton Spills Her Beauty Must Haves & Her Fitness Struggle

Picture this: a perfect spring day in NYC and the sun is shining in through the glass roof of Imperial No. Nine, the restaurant off the lobby of the Mondrian Soho onto different shades of pink roses that lined the long wooden table.  What looked like a chic bridal shower was just another beauty event, only this time I found myself at a garden themed luncheon for Victoria's Secret with three models: Lindsay Ellingson, Erin Heatherton (who I grabbed to chat) and Toni Garrn. 

The beginning of the event we were having cocktails and mingling when I asked Erin if I could ask her a few questions about the new fragrance, Love is Heavenly, and she pulled me over to the bar so we could talk in private.  After noticing her six inch Louboutin's I realized she probably needed to sit down and scored an exclusive, really raw interview.

"It's parallel to this kind of day we're having, a beautiful spring day," Heatherton explained when I asked her how she'd describe the scent.  "Optomistic and feminine, like being in love.  You know, the a quiet, playful happiness you have inside."

I couldn't agree more.  As a fan of Heavenly, which I used to exclusively wear when I was younger, Love is Heavenly is just as light with a citrus twist.  An uplifting daytime fragrance available in Eau de Parfum, Body Mist (my fave), Lotion and Moisture Cream.

As for other beauty must haves, she credits her great skin to Dr. Colbert, who's her go-to derm and loves his skincare.  "I like to have fresh, glowing skin and love cheek stain," she says.  "Besides that I use tinted lip balm and a lash curler."  After long flights or when she feels stressed to prevent pimples she rotates between Ren and the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Face Masks.  I've never tried either and can't wait!

"For a while when I was doing this job I looked right, but didn't feel good," she confesses.  "I ran, but it was a chore, until I started noticing results."  Growing up Heatherton was an athlete and never had to work to be in shape, when she hit her 20's, things changed.  "Now I put in hours sweating and boxing and it adds to my confidence at the end of the day.  Sometimes you don't want to be photographed if you don't feel right."


Behind the Scenes on A Glamour Photo Shoot for their "Best of You" September Feature

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting behind the scenes pics from a photo shoot for Glamour'September issue last Thursday (yes, they're already working on September shoots).  I was honored to get a sneak peek at their "Best of You" feature, an annual article in partnership with Sally Hansen highlighting four inspirational and powerful women and their non-profit work.  From adopting a neighborhood in Atlanta to making the elderly feel special in nursing homes, each of these women had stories to tell, with one goal in common: raising awareness.  Here's what you'll find in Glamour's Sept. issue: Each September for the past 12 years, Glamour and Sally Hansen seek out women to highlight in the next years issue.  After thousands of submissions, ten finalists are chosen and Glamour readers vote on the final four.

Keela Dates, Executive Director of

Nominated by a board member, Keela only found out about "Best of You"when she was in the top ten. Her trip to Kenya at 22 years-old as a volunteer at a school for orphaned and at-risk children inspired her to create the non-profit.  Currently, the school is K-11 with 45 children living in the orphanage.  In the US, Keela speaks at local schools to educate them about life in developing countries and reminds students about how grateful they should be.  She hopes "Best of You" will hope to raise awareness of Reason2Smile, help her get into more schools to continue the education path and raise funds for developing countries.

Rebecca Stanley, Founder of Blueprint 58

Rebecca was nominated by one of her blog readers and I got to meet her and her husband, perhaps to of the most generous people on the planet.  Inspired by the phrase, "Love thy neighbor as thy self," Rebecca and her husband Adam grew up in Atlanta and realized after working at a summer camp with children who lived just a town over that poverty was just around the corner.  Fast forward a few years after mentoring children from the intercity, with children of their own, they decided to pick up and move to the intercity so they could act as the positive role model in the neighborhood.  Neighborhood children visit after school for games, dinners, homework help, attend Sunday mass with them and are taught about life lessons we take for granted.  They're hoping the "Best of You" feature will help to raise awareness that poverty is right in our backyards.  Here's her blog where you can see photos of her children playing with the neighborhood kids.

Rachel Doyle, Founder of GlamourGals

Meeting all of these inspiring women was such a pleasure, but Rachel's optimistic personality and beauty inspired mission instantly drew me to her.  I have to work with her.  When her grandma passed she began volunteering at senior homes by giving the ladies makeovers and manicures.  Only, her volunteering stint turned into a country wide movement when she founded GlamourGals.  Now, she inspires teen women to build chapters around the country and volunteer a few times a month at a local senior home.  To date, she has 68 chapters in 14 states, but hopes the September issue of Glamour will help raise awareness and get more women involved.

Carrie Severson, Founder of Severson Sisters

Carrie had her mom on the shoot with her, who was as you can imagine so incredibly proud.  After being bullied when she was younger, she found internal peace in her 20's and  gives credit to her creative outlets such as cooking, writing and scrap booking.  Today, she's committed to teaching younger girls how deal with self esteem issues and mentors bully victims, bullies and those who are bullied.

Avril Lavigne Designs A Rockstar Collection for Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Last night I attended a Sally Hansen press event at a suite at the Crosby St. Hotel in Soho to celebrate their partnership with Avril Lavigne.  We were all gathered around a table filled with new designs from Avril's Salon Effects Collection when the songstress, who looked no older than 13, walked in and hopped into a chair. She looked... very Avril, with long straight hair, raccoon black liner, a little biker leather jacket, black leggings and pair of black Converse sneakers with dirty white laces that were accented by white socks with little pink hearts on them.

"A lady came in to give me a manicure (with her Sally Hansen Salon Effects) and I just asked her if I could do it myself, because I can do it so much quicker," Lavigne explained as soon as she walked in.

Showing off her DIY mani, a sparkly pink polish with skull pattern, she pointed out her favorites in her 12 piece collection, which are "Fur-ocious Vocals," a leopard print and "You're A Star," a blue star pattern.

I'm a huge fan of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects.  If you haven't tried them yet I encourage it.  They're easy to apply and last about ten days.  Here's a post from the first time I applied them.  Lavigne says she does them on the plane and in the studio.  I do them at home and have even cheated and brought them to my manicurist!  This collection reflects her personality so if you're into grungy rock and roll, these are right up you're alley!

Hunger Games Beauty: Jennifer Lawrence's Makeup Artist Dishes on Transforming Katniss Everdeen

It's Hunger Games Day!  I was suppossed to see it at midnight last night and my flight from Arizona got in a bit late so I didn't make it!  So anxious!  In honor, I'm giving you the scoop on what it's like to work with Jennifer Lawrence straight from her makeup artist, Jillian Dempsey, the Avon Global Creative Color Director, who worked with her for the LA Premeire.  She transformed the girl in the woods into a head turning, red carpet beauty with intoxicating eyes.   Did you collaborate with the rest of her glam squad before creating her look?  What was that like?  

Yes, I collaborated with both the stylist Elizabeth Stewart and hair stylist Mark Townsend to create Jennifer’s look.

Was her look based off of her gorgeous Prabul Gurung gown?

I was definitely inspired by Elizabeth’s choice of the metallic gold Prabal Gurung gown. It was bold and so glamorous, and I wanted that sexiness to be reflected in her makeup. We wanted to push the eyes to the extreme to complement the striking outfit.  That's why I decided to put the focus on Jennifer’s eyes.

How did you create such a striking effect?

I started by by lining them with a deep black liner and then layering a gold eyeshadow on top.  Using a featherbrush, I blended the edges of the liner with the gold shadow. By merging the two textures and colors, I created a multidimensional effect that appeared as a sparkling black to match the graphic elements of the gown. I also darkened Jennifer’s brows to further accentuate her eyes and frame her face. Mark pulled her hair back into a loose, low bun which helped highlight her eyes as well.

Key products used to create the look were: 

Eyes: Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeliner in Black

 Face: Jillian Dempsey for Avon Professional Perfect Contour Powder in Blissful (available in April), Be Blushed Cheek Color by Avon in Tropical Peach and StilaConvertible Color in Peony

Lips: Ultra Color Rich Moisture Seduction by Avon in Nude Perfection and Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Lip Stain in Coral Aquatique

Celeb Brow Guru, Damone Roberts, Dishes on Framing Some of the Most Famous Faces

It was such a pleasure to speak with Damone Roberts.  Known as the brow guru to A-Listers such as Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce and Megan Fox, Oprah's coined him as a "beauty therapist," and with salons in Beverly Hills and NYC, he's unstoppable.  I got the scoop on why he's the stars' go-to, DIY brow grooming tips and his latest project. You've been called a “beauty thearapist,” what does that mean?

I’ve been doing a column for and we came up with this name because women like to feel good about themselves.  Women hold back more psychologically than physically and I bring out the best version of themselves.  Things change from fashions to our age and weight and sometimes you need to let things go and bring back the best thing about yourself.

What's it like to work with such iconic women?

You see these women and they’re all icons and I grew up with posters of Madonna on my wall and now her face is in my hands.  I went to see Madonna in concert at her Blonde Ambition tour and now I’m sitting front row as her primper and friend.  All of my famous clients are like everyone else.  Once you gain their trust you're not just working for them, you become their friends.

Why is it important to have a relationship with your brow guru?

You need to find an artist you like and trust them.  Don’t be adamant about not changing your look.  You’re only hurting yourself.  Find people you trust, make sure you like their work and hand it over at a certain point.

People come to me and give me a picture of Brooke Shields, but have two eyebrow hairs.  I let them tell me what they want, but upon first look I already know what I’m going to do to them.  They trust me, but I hear them out.  The relationship I have with my clients is very important.  I love the OMG moment, right after a service when they realize how much they love their look.

What are your pointers for women who are plucking their own brows?

Less is more.  Take out one row at a time and step back to look at it.  Then go to the other side and do the same.  Never conquer your brows individually.  Then use brow gel.  It helps keep hairs in place and opens up the eye to make you look more alert and younger.

What's next for you?

I'm working with, to curate deluxe sample sized beauty products for members that get delivered monthly to their homes.  I find that there's a lot of product out there and walking into a Sephora can become very overwhelming.  This is a great way to expose people to the latest and the greatest.


A Peek Inside My NYFW Prep: It's As Real As It Gets

It's New York Fashion Week and I'm beyond thrilled to check out another season (it really doesn't get old).  Each season for the past six years I've been going backstage to interview the glam squads before the shows and watching the shows to see the latest and greatest from all of the designers.  This year, I have several fun projects to juggle between the madness.  Here's four ways I prep and that really help to keep me sane... I Have Clones

I have help!  Ever since I've been freelance I've had interns help me for BeautySweetSpot during NYFW so I can focus more on freelance writing assignments and other projects that I'm actually getting paid for.  It's all about the hustle, so I try to clone myself.

I Have A Strict Schedule with An Open Mind

I have a redicilously organized schedule that only looks redicilously organized to me.  I swear if you were to look at it you would only find yourself confused, but I've been doing my schedule this way for about two years and it works.  I attempt (attempt being the key word) to have a plan, a set schedule of events, shows and backstages that I'm attending and potentially covering going into the week.  However being a NYFW veteran, I'm flexible.  I had to learn how to deal with my Type A personality and go with it.  It must change at least twice a day as more invites are sent out and I run into industry friends and make more plans.

I Strategically Pack My Mobile Office

I pack a tote that includes a freelancers must haves for one of the most thrilling weeks of content gathering: camera, iPhone, iPhone charger, mini MacBook Air, Mac charger, flats, notebook, and a Luna Bar.  I also toss in whatever lipstick color I'm wearing that day, blotting papers and business cards.  Having a mobile office is priceless!  There will be days where I'll have about two hours until my next show or event and can pop into a coffee shop or NYFW sponsored lounge and get some work done.

I Fill My Wardrobe

I'm not one to plan out "looks."  Therefore, I'm normally somewhat scrambling to get dressed everyday, but like to be sure that I have something appropriate to wear each day.  By appropriate I mean chic.  I do a closet scan a week before to see what I'm lacking and add fillers (ie: a new pair of heels or an event-worthy dress I haven't worn before).  This season I didn't need any fillers.  I'm good, but what I did do and I do every season was stock up on necessities like tights.  If I'm wearing them daily, I will get a run in them!