When opportunity knocks, open that door!

There is just something so incredibly optimistic about 2013. As we are approaching the end of February, I find myself asking a lot of questions about my goals, what I want to accomplish, what my intentions are and if I’m ready? I really feel that 2013 is full of possibilities. I believe you need to think about and even write down your goals every so often. Remind yourself  to always chase after success. I am absolutely ready to dive in & devote all of my time into my work, and crawl up that ladder in my career. I love what I do! I wouldn’t waste my time pursing it so much, if I didn’t love it. I feel that the world would be much happier if everyone found work in what they love doing. I fully respect all other artists, experts & beginners. Especially the artists that have paved the way before me! I treat people, the way I want to be treated, and I’ll never stop learning. You are constantly learning in this industry. If you think you know it all… Think again, and maybe this industry is not the right one for you. It takes a lot of time. & with time your going to fail.. ACCEPT THAT! Better yourself from your mistakes that’d you have and will make. I love assisting more experienced, professional artists that have so much to teach. It gives you the opportunity to see how a very experienced person handles all aspects of a shoot, show, or job. I am confident that my 2013 will be a more thoughtful, lovely, strict mindset on being positive and thinking positive, and full of possibilities….. When opportunity knocks, open that door! 

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Last Monday, I enjoyed prepping models for the Mark Mcnairy show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Lucky for me the temperatures warmed up after blizzard Nemo… Who name’s a blizzard Nemo? Haha! I couldn’t help but notice Nigel Barkers twitter update during my train ride to NYC: “White is in. Nemo is making a dramatic fashion statement.” Working for a fashion show, always seems to inspire me & I couldn’t help but admire all the handsome, french, “Edward Cullen” vampire look-a-likes surrounding me. HELLO!

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Our lead makeup artist was Victor Amos. Who is beyond fabulous and does amazing work. Be sure to check out his blog: Probeautyblog.com

I was so happy to work next to so many great artists including Tara Pagliara who is not only a friend, but an inspiration! The look Victor created was beautiful skin, with a strong highlight and light contour for both the men and women. For the women they used a deep cherry lip color (I believe a Tom Ford color, but can’t remember which shade).

As for the hair, the girls wore a low side, messy braid. And let’s not forget the fashion… A lot of fun prints and outerwear. I noticed a lot of oversized pockets and blazers. I read somewhere that Mark Mcnairy is collaborating a sneaker line with Adidas (which I didn’t know while I was at the show) but found interesting.

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Last week I also had pleasure working for a Cross Fit photo shoot, doing makeup for Love In Bloom. Love In Bloom is an organization that Vivan Photography started in memory of her step daughter, helping young girls make healthy life choices. This Cross Fit gym was filled with young, smart (strong) girls that were chosen to represent this years Love In Bloom scholarship fund. I was really happy to work with fellow artists, Jenny Greene-Magliano and Tara Pross-Pellegrino and of course my fabulous hair crew from Salon 52! The Poughkeepsie Journal covered the event, which was nice too.

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I’ve done a few more jobs, and making sure to keep staying busy. I’ll post photos of what I’ve been up to .. One of my DirecTV commercials I did makeup & grooming for should be airing during The Oscars .. So be on the lookout ! Starting with this image of Nastasia Scott (America’s Next Top Model cycle 19) taken by Lora Warnick.. Made it to the cover of a magazine! Hair by Anthony HollywoodStylist Terry & Styling by Dawn of New York. Second Image taken by Tess Johnson.

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I was recently awarded Best of 2013 (Makeup artist) voted from local brides of The Knot.. Picked up this magazine yesterday..

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And I will add that it is not easy eating healthy while running around, doing all this work. As much as I dread it at times, I can’t afford to get sick or feel unenergized. My favorite dinner meal is below. Bake chicken, then chop into tiny pieces, put chicken pieces in zip lock bag with hot sauce (no calories) .. Shake it up, then cook on skillet on high heat until the hot sauce caramelizes. To cool it down, I  dip it in Non-Fat greek yogurt ( I add a tiny bit of hot sauce, garlic and pepper ) which is a great alternative opposed to ranch dressing or bleu cheese. Bake sweet potatoes on the side. Nom Nom nom…

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-Lots of water, lemon water & Green tea!

-Protein!

-Spinach

-Sweet potatoes

-Hummus

-Chicken

-Non fat greek yogurt

-Egg whites

-Vitamins

-Almond Milk

-Ezekiel brand cereals & bread

Happy Monday followers! Have a great week… Looking forward to a lot of brides this week.. Bring it on xoxo

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Who runs the world?! GIRLS!

Beyonce once asked, “Who runs the world?”  To which we all unanimously responded from the dance floor “GIRLS!” With the big Beyonce concert last night, (and some football in between ) I was so excited to spend some time with my GIRLS! Let’s discuss how Miss Queen B herself, literally shut it downnnnnn! Like..the electricity and everything… You could definitely tell she was singing her not so little butt off live last night, full of such high energy! I was a tiny bit disappointed that her boo Jay Z didn’t come out and join her during the Crazy In Love performance. But my disappointment was completely gone when the reunion of Desitiny’s Child was on the big screen! The trio looked hot and sang their hit songs, Survivor, Bootylicious & Independent Woman… Nonetheless BeyonceBowl was nothing less of epic!!

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Beyonce wore a shimmery grey smokey eye with a bit of bronze to intensify her eyes. Intensify they did, almost making her eyes look demon-ish to me.. Sorry B! She obviously looked gorgeous & fierce no matter what (especially after having a baby!), but I wish there was a bit more color used in her eyes. Her skin? Flawless as always. Hair? Big and voluptuous. This Hair style is so easy to re create! Create a deep middle part, curl hair in vertical pattern using your curling iron or wand, then gently brush out the curls using a brush with soft bristles, turn your head upside down, shake a bit, add some soft hair spray and wah lah ! Her outfit? Leather outfit with knee socks looking like a modern day version of Xena, Warrior Princess.. Yes please!

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I was so happy I got to spend some time with my ladies, but let’s admit… any big event like “BeyonceBowl” (super bowl) can be a huge calorie FEST and compare to holidays such as Thanksgiving. Ummm.. No thanks! I’m absolutely sticking that New Years Resolution I made and obtaining a healthy life style. Luckily, my friends are on the same page as me, and hosted a fabulous, healthy party. Marissa & Joe prepared:

-Sweet Potato fries with greek siracha

-Salsa

-Black bean dip

-Fresh guacamole

-Baked hot chicken wings (hot sauce on the side)

-Chocolate protein Balls

We passed on the beer (I’m not a beer drinker anyway) and sipped on our tea and water bottles instead. If you did binge on beer, chips and wings like most party go-ers did last night, it’s okay! Nothing a little extra gym time, detox tea, and lemon water can’t fix! I’m following a Fab Ab February challenge I found via Instagram.

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New Vitamin I’m trying out:

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I’m going to post a few recent photos I received this week of recent work I’ve been up to. Lots of bridal trials this week and photo shoots scheduled! Can’t wait to post about it 🙂 Let’s not forget NYFW is upon us….you can find me backstage with my handy dandy brushes and pallets! For now, Happy Monday.. Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

Makeup & Hair for friend & personal client:

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Before & After on a bride’s mother.. wanted a very natural look, so I kept it simple but still enhanced her natural beauty!

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ME & MY GIRLS:

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XOXO,

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Pageant Queens, Makeup, and …Butt glue?

Take a moment, clear your mind and imagine:

Your backstage… Surrounded by mountains of hair extensions, cans of hairspray, countless amount of lashes, enough powder that resembles a dusting of snow had fallen the night before, and let’s not forget …gallons of butt glue. What really goes on during a pageant? Who are these girls? & why do they go to bed dreaming of a crown and bouquet of flowers? Now let’s not be anti-feminist and judge, I mean after all some people may think it’s silly my dreams consist of makeup brushes and the perfect concealer pallet. But that doesn’t make anyone else’s dreams less real!

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This was the first pageant that I was Key Artist for. I spent the week confirming other artists who would be doing touch ups, and discussing the event on conference calls. I was really happy I got my hair girls ( Alyse Camara, Chelsea Harris, Kyra Tarquinio & Lindsay Baxter) to participate also, along with my mua friend Jillian Vandenburg. I loved working with my fabulous team to make the VIPs and title holders look their absolute best. Setting up in the VIP room, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve worked on films and commercials where actresses think they are DIVA’s and the best thing since sliced bread. But this past weekend, that wasn’t the case. These girls were no drama queens, but simply beauty queens. Their beautiful looks are a perfect reflection of who they are; gorgeous, optimistic, intelligent and outgoing.

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My first task was filming a tutorial along side of beautiful Keylee Sanders who is the owner and creator of Style Studio. I demonstrated on Sabrina Mastrangelo (Miss New York Teen USA 2012) focusing on highlighting and contouring (which is so important!). I then made my way back to the VIP room to continue Sabrina’s makeup along with the other title holders. These girls were absolutely gorgeous, with amazing personalities to match! Where are the TV camera’s when you need them? After bonding with these ladies, I’d much rather watch the real stories on pageant girls in a pageant world than drunk, teenage drama on MTV’s Buckwild. These title holders were talented, smart and definitely make a difference in our communities! They do so much charity work and have such high spirits. It’s also nice to see girls support each other! We need more of that!

Photos: Me & Sabrina, I gave her a glam look without over doing it. Her hair by Alyse Camara

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Pageant makeup is such an important part of a winning image. Being a professional artist you MUST know which products will create the right effect on stage, which makeup will photograph beautifully, and which makeup will look perfect and flawless on television. (Especially with high definition these days!) You need to know skin tones, shadows, correcting colors, and shapes.

-MOISTURIZE &PRIME! All about primer. This will help your make up stay long wearing, smooth your skin and help set your shadows.

Good products are important but technique is kingQUEEN! For interview, you want to have a flawless look, being conservative, pretty and age appropriate. For stage, you want to really contour and highlight, defining the contestants features. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND! Looking close in a mirror you might think your wearing too much makeup, but remember, your on stage, the lights are hitting you and your far from everyone. They can see the shape of your makeup but not every detail. I always put lashes on for a stage look! You also want to avoid any shine at all! No shine.

Photo: Second day of pageant Chelsea doing Sabrina’s hair right after I completed her makeup look

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You don’t want to create the same look for every girl. Each person has their own different, beautiful features. Focus on enhancing their natural beauty. Different foundations are used based on the girl’s skin type. KNOW YOUR PRODUCTS! A lot of HD makeup was used. When it comes to eyes focus on which tones will bring out the eyes. When doing pageant makeup, you want to create Glamour -not drag. Remember long-wearing products are key. I also used high pigmented colors, not sheer colors. High pigmented colors will also be best against harsh camera flashes and intense stage lighting. Also want to say thank you to RAIN cosmetics for sponsoring and giving us some great colors to work with!

Photos: (1) I gave Ryanne Harms (Miss New Hampshire 2012) a nice smokey eye, smoothing out her skin tone and adding the perfect amount of blush to create a dramatic yet elegant look (2) Kelsea Campbell (Miss New Hampshire Teen 2013) Chelsea Harris did her hair giving her bounce and volume, as I used shades that brought out her beautiful eye color

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My friend Jill doing Amber Faucher (Miss New Hampshire USA 2013) & Chelsea Harris doing her hair:

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I also had the pleasure of applying makeup as my friend Alyse Camara styled hair for host Julissa Bermudez both nights. You will definitely recognize her from her show Empire Girls on Style network.. Or maybe you’ve seen her co host on BET’s 106 & park.. She’s hosted the MTV after hours and Jersey Shore reunions. She’s a fabulous actress, host and tv personality. This girl had such great, powerful energy. When I did her makeup for the second day of the pageant, she told me she admired the way I contoured her, as she showed me a photo of her on instagram from the night before. I could see why she was so wonderful, after talking to her mother who was also so down to earth and sweet as pie!

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^Above is the photo Julissa showed me, that she took of herself after I applied her makeup giving her the perfect contoured nose!

I then applied makeup for host, Susie Castillo. Susie is a former beauty queen herself! She who held the Miss USA title and Miss Universe also hosted tv shows such as MTV’s TRL and appeared on multiple television shows. Me and Susie clicked as soon as we discovered our mutual love for a healthy life style. I became so excited as we discussed juicing, and healthy regimens. We exchanged numbers of course and I plan to have a healthy lunch date with her when I visit LA.

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Beauty queens are just more than being beautiful. It’s about beauty and brains. These girls are an asset to our communities! I must say I definitely have a new found love for pageants and their queens after last weekend. I want to congratulate 2013’s Miss New York Joanne Nosuchinsky & Miss New York Teen Nikki Orlando. Excited for these ladies to represent New York! Hope to do more makeup for Miss New York again!

Photos: Me on stage right after crowning, doing touch ups for the 2013 Miss New York & Miss New York Teen USA

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^ Letter of recommendation & the VIP hair & makeup room.. Can you guess what movie it’s from? BLACK SWAN!

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Also Congrats to Heather Elwell first runner up in the Miss Maine USA pageant this past weekend. (Even though I think she should be in the next Victoria Secret Catalogue)  & Thanks to Nancy Schuster for being awesome! Can’t wait to see all the professional photos from Tess Johnson !

I also got to be the makeup artist for Music Choice last week. Music Choice is a company that programs music and produces music-related content for digital cable TV & mobile phones. If you have an iPhone, download their App., allowing you to access all 46 music channels and related music videos while on the go. While I was there we filmed a commercial for Valentines Day. Eh, more like an Anti-Valentine’s Day commercial. I can’t wait to see the finished product, the commercial was too funny! What wasn’t funny, was trying to catch a taxi home at 5pm back to Grand Central!

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On another exciting note, I found out my work along with hair stylist Chelsea Harris’s work has been published in the new hardcover 2013 Inspire Book. Salons & brides be on the look out as we take over page 6 & 7 !

Photo:Alicia King

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Here is one of the prints I got back from my shoot I did makeup for with Nastasia Scott.. You’ve seen her on the latest season’s America’s Next Top Model 😉

Photographer: Lora Warnick Stylist: Dawn Notaro & Hair: Anthony Terry

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Okay, that’s enough catching up for a week. Be sure to tune into Syfy’s FACE OFF tomorrow night and root for my friend MEAGAN! She is fabulous and her work is amazing and so creative. This week is filled with brides. Bring on the bridezillas! This week I used RAIN Cosmetics lip sticks, glosses and eye shadows. Rain Cosmetics sponsored Miss New York USA & I fell in love with their highly pigmented shadows, and long lasting lip colors! Xoxo

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A Beautilicious Weekend!

Ahh.. Weekends are always a fabulous time to recharge and relax.. unless your a makeup artist named Alexandria. It’s been a work hard kinda week which is great in my opinion, but exhausting. This week seemed to fly by, don’t you think? I started my week off in Brooklyn shooting a DirecTV commercial, followed by another commercial shoot. The second shoot was a corporate commercial for hospitals around the country. Gary from Christine Studios produced the shoot, and the crew from Moving Pictures directed and filmed it. These guys are legit. I love working with them! I met them working weddings. If your a bride that needs photography or videography, PLEASE check out Christine Studios & Moving Pictures. You won’t be disappointed.

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While we are on the topic of brides, a brief background about me…. I’ve been a makeup artist for about 4 years now, working all types of jobs including entertainment and photo shoots, but I  specialize in bridal makeup. I recently won Best of 2013 from the Knot. I get a lot of brides asking if I travel and I do! In addition to makeup, I work with fabulous hair stylists that I love doing weddings with! Some of these stylists you can find at Salon 52 in Poughkeepsie. This past weekend we threw an event at the salon, “Blow dry bootcamp”. My job was to give mini makeup lessons and tutorials to new clients. 30 minute one on one sessions. I had all the ladies bring their own makeup. I think it’s great for ladies to learn how to apply the makeup they already have correctly, and learn to create their best looks with their own products! All the proceeds we made that night were donated to a hurricane sandy relief. The event was successful and I can not wait to do it again!

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Today, I did a cover shoot with gorgeous model Nastasia Scott, 20, from Cycle 19 of America’s next top model.

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Such a beauty inside and out. Our shoot today was so fun! We didn’t just do our jobs, but singed and danced and laughed all day! She’s still going to school, even though she’s signed with the top modeling agencies in the world which is awesome. She is determined to finish her degree no matter what. I did the makeup, while Anthony “Hollywoodstylist” Terry styled her locks. Anthony and I bonded immediately after Nastasia asked what skin care products I recommended for her and we both quickly replied with “Hylunia!” haha you beauties know how much I love HYLUNIA products and anyone that loves it as much as me! I also want to shout out our lovely photographer today, Lora Warnick ; stylist, Dawn from Dawn of New York ; & videographer, Harry B from HarryBVideos !

 

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Alright, I am a bit of an awards season junkie & I’m about to log off to finish watching the Golden Globes as I’m studying the hair and makeup.. (and loving that Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are hosting this show) but just to answer a few quick questions I’ve received recently….

 

…My favorite foundation: Makeup Forever HD

…My favorite eye-shadow primer: Potion by Urban Decay

…My favorite hair treatment: It’s a 10 Miracle Mask (sulfate free)

…Favorite pressed powder: MAC mineral skin finish

 

 

Everyone enjoy the rest of your Sunday !

XO,

 

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Happy holidays! Inspirational & Motivating

Hello Beauties!! Nothing better than waking up to a snow day, for me at least. Snow in the Hudson Valley is so very magical. The views here are breathtaking. National Geographic Traveler magazine named the Hudson Valley one of the best places to visit in 2013. That’s right, of the 20 places around the world the National Geographic deems most worth visiting, the Hudson Valley made the grade. We’re right up there with Kyoto, Japan, Thessaloniki, Greece, Uganda, Cape Breton Island and 15 other exotic international locales. Crazy right? I love it here. I’m writing this as I’m snuggled with with my kitten, sipping on hot tea facing the window, enjoying this view out back (with a karuna exfoliating mask on of course).

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On another note, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, & have a Happy New Year–Happy Holidays to you and your families! I spent some of my week in NYC. There really isn’t anything quiet like Christmas in New York City. The tree, the lights, the shopping, the store front windows decorated perfectly, & the energy..

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We even stopped to say hello to Kelly & Regis… at the Wax museum 😉

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Here’s some more photos from holiday parties/get togethers with friends:

Me, Ashley, Marissa & Jessica’s annual Christmas fiesta!

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Can’t forget Samantha’s house we had our cookie decorating contest!

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And the salon dinner party!

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Me & Chelsea got each other for our “Secret Ornament” which wasn’t so secret… can you guess who got who which ornament? LOL !

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I bought my grandma this adorable book. It asks her tons of questions then she fills it out, every thing about her favorite memories, and childhood favorites. Once she fills it out she’ll give it back to me to treasure forever and pass down! How freaking cute?!

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& just some other photos:

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Remember this season, it isn’t about the gifts, decor, or even food (haha JK) but being around the people you love! Good people. Friends and family! Then comes all the food and cookies– Yikes..Friends, let me confess: I’m not the best when it comes to eating clean during Nov & Dec! Somewhere between all of the holiday parties, running around like a crazy makeup artist, and shopping marathons, I have completely lost my discipline. Haha, lets just say I could go toe-to-toe with Santa in a cookie eating contest. Not cute!

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Instead of waiting until New Years to make my “healthy” resolutions, why not start early? I’m hoping to find that miraculous cleanse that will take that extra inch around my waist away to get me back in shape to look hot for NYE. But for now, here’s what’s on my grocery list,

-lemons

-green tea

-detox tea

-almond milk

-spinach (a lot!)

-plain nonfat greek yogurt

-low fat goat cheese (for my spinach salad)

-ground turkey or boneless/skinless chicken

-hummus

-honey

-eggs

-asaragus

-yams

-low-carb/low sugar cereal (gluten free options available)

-natural almond butter

-walnuts

-coconut oil

-balsamic vinegar

-salsa

-multi vitamins

-& remember A LOT of water !

After an absolutely amazing 2012, it’s time to celebrate this past historic year! Whether it’s low key or a night out, it’s still a celebration. As I always say, indulge in pampering yourself before the new year! Or start it off by booking a massage or facial! I plan on booking a trip to Cali asap to start my new year off !I also plan on hosting another charity event in 2013. I’m not sure if you know, but I used to host my own charity events. Way back when, I designed clothes. When I was 16 years old I started destroying jeans for fun. Back then, it was fun to spend my time crafting up my jeans. Girls in school started offering me money to customize their jeans and “wrecking” them. I would bleach, rip, cut, sew, spray paint all over them.

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Naturally, people started calling me “Fashion Wreck” so hmmm.. perfect name for my “label” ..no? Before I knew it I had parents from all over the area calling me offering me money to “wreck” their daughters (and son’s) jeans. With that said my Fash!onWreck brand grew without me even realizing what I was doing. I had my first charity fashion show when I was 17 years old with my friend Amanda. What better way to raise money for good cause. I had professional hair stylists and makeup artists come to beautify my models. We raised money for a fellow student of ours Steven, who had passed away terrible brain tumor. We wanted his name to be remembered and live on in a positive way so we had hundreds of people donating and attending our fashion show with a lot of help from Steve’s friends and family. We raised 8 thousand dollars and it was put into an Art Scholarship in his memory. I still keep in touch with his mother, who is very dear to me. I love her.

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Second Charity fashion show I did with 2 other of my girl friends was for St. Jude Children’s hospital, again raising 8 thousand dollars at the age of 18. 

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My last show I did last year with sponsorship from Capri Cosmetology, I raised more than my goal of 8 thousand and reached 11 thousand dollars for St. Jude. 

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My brand had grew, at that point I was designing shirts also that were being produced for me. Some of the cast members of E! & Style Networks Jerseylicious wore my designs and agreed to have the entire cast of the show, travel to my hometown to model for my event and some photoshoots!

The first two shirts I made by hand… On my kitchen floor.. lol second two I had produced in bulk which sold out immediately.

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Over 450 people attended my last fashion & had a lot of people reach out to me! It was the best feeling, I can still cry thinking about it.

Here is Tracy from Jerseylicious cat walking it with my little cousin Lindsay.

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I stopped doing the clothes thing, because, well– it just wasn’t my passion. It was just fun at the time. I love doing makeup and that’s what I will stick with. This past year, I’m so busy with work it’s hard to put another show together although I try to do makeup for as many charity fashion shows as I can. That year I won youngest, independent donator for St. Judes! I also won an award at the college I was attending. 2013 I’d love to put another event together.

haha dad’s face looks funny here!

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Another event that took place recently, has truly inspired me to be kind and do good to others. At the salon I work at, a friend was in one morning last week telling us girls about how she woke up to her apartment crumbling and collapsing. She got out safely with her dog, but lost all her personal belongings and everything important to her. Another young client (20s) that didn’t know our friend, had not said a word during her story. She paid for her color and left. She returned about 2 hours later with a gift card $100 to Victoria Secret and $50 to Sephora for us to give to our friend. Truly inspiring and humbling. So motivated to do good for others!

2013 I vow to do good, work hard and expand with my makeup jobs. In the next year you can look forward to videos! I will be doing tutorials, so if there is anything you want to see please let me know!

Remember these important factors for 2013!

-be the person that makes others feel special

-visualize daily

-meditate everyday

-learn to control your mind

-work hard at what you love

-relax!

-take great care of your skin!

-splurge on good quality makeup

-be mysterious

-stop complaining (esp on Facebook)

-appreciate the little things

-get good at something

-read something inspirational every day

-choose your friends wisely

-make an appointment with me to learn how to correctly use your makeup (haha had to throw that in there)

-LOVE LOVE LOVE! INHALE LOVE & EXHALE HATE

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Cheers!!!

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xo,

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GIVE BIG! SHOP SMALL, SHOP LOCAL!

Hello beauties! I don’t usually do posts on Tuesdays, but waking up this morning to a light snow fall, with my house fully decked out in Christmas decor, definitely put me in the Holiday spirit and inspired me to do a post. This holiday season, I’m feeling some changes. In my business of blogging, being an artist in the makeup industry, organizing events, etc. it can become a bit tiring focusing on things all the time. Things you may ask? By things, I mean the perfect gift guides, the what do i wear to holiday parties, and the latest little must-haves whether it be the hottest new makeup pallets, tools for my kit, or gifts for friends and family. It can become over exhausting financially and physically. So I decided to change things up a bit, and do things a little differently this year. When holiday shopping, I’m choosing to make an important investment in our community! From interesting, brilliant crafted products to original, personal services, my experiences at my favorite small businesses leave me pleased constantly. I’ve met some incredible and inspiring self employed, business owners who are inspiring me to do this post. 
 
GIVE BIG! SHOP SMALL, SHOP LOCAL!
 
Now obviously big businesses are essential to our economy too, since they of course employ locally and give back to the communities, so I’m definitely not trying to bash the big guys here. But this season, I’m going to make the effort to discover some of these unique, admirable additions for gifts to my loved ones. Instead of making your gift guides based on what we normally would, lets try to purchase from our favorite small shops. My favorite small businesses definitely include
Salon 52,
La Tua Bella beauty bar (which you can read about in my previous postings),
Maizies Tea Room,
Cupcake Confessions by Miss V,
and Simply Bee~utiful. 
The Pottery Shack! My friend Marissa’s aunt owns a local pottery shop, we went there and painted our own pottery. It was so much fun, relaxing and I love my tea pot I created myself!
 
I asked some of my readers what their favorite small businesses were and here were some listed:
Gypsy Warrior Boutique, Pink Jewels, PoshBoutique Montville, MSV, Nutz, Joe’s dairy bar, Brassiere 292, Tiramisu restaurant, Steven Amendola, Marlene Weber, Alto music, Tuminaro’s Pharmacy, Rock and Snow, Dedrick’s, Rossi’s deli, Tay, Catbirdnyc.com which features jewelry made by local NYC makers, Beacon bath & bubble featuring all home made bath products from soaps, salts, scrubs, lotions and tons of delicious scents, made with all organic ingredients that are good for your skin, nellys, dana bands, Doughty plumbing & heating, Shadows, Beacon delights for candles, Osmia Organics for natural skincare products, Cocktail perfume, Cesare & Lilly, Babylonian Soap Company, Farmie Market& the list goes ON! 
Not familiar with Osmia Organics? Love her soaps! Watch this video and get familiar!
Here is a head piece I wore today, I bought locally and it was hand made, but forgive me I threw out the tag and CAN NOT remember for anything who made it. :/ But I LOVE it! Perfect for this wintery day!
 
I hope some of you reading this, are willing to support and hop on the small business train for some of your Christmas shopping this year !
 
Now, for those of us who have limited time or limited budgets, can find great items & more affordable, yet comparable substitutions at our local drugs stores. My favorite foundation is Makeup Forever Hd foundation retailed at $42 at Sephora. I am VERY particular and fussy when it comes to foundations. I need something smooth, non clogging, lightweight yet getting great coverage without feeling like your wearing a mask. The ONLY drugstore foundation I found very comparable to makeup forever’s foundation is Maybelline New York Fit Me! Foundation retailing at only $8 !!! I have every shade of this foundation and absolutely love it. 
 
I also love It’s a 10 Miracle conditioner retailing at $16 for 5 oz. At Walmart I grabbed L’Oreal EverCreme intense nourishing conditioner retailing at $6 for 8.5 oz. I LOVE IT! It’s sulfate-free and is filled with natural omegas infusing moisture into the hair. Make sure to always get Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. 
 
Rather than spending a fortune in Teavana which I’m 100% guilty of, purchase local tea at Harney & Sons. Based out of Millerton, NY, they also opened up a shop in SoHo, NY you can read all about Harney & Son’s story here: http://www.harney.com/blog/our-tradition-of-tea/
 
My collection of Karuna facial masks. Retails online for $28 a box of 4, BUT found at Marshalls for $12 😉
 
Happy holiday shopping! Time for facial masks and tea time. Here are a few photos that I recently received in my email from jobs the past couple weeks. Enjoy beauties! 
screen shot from music video last week I did makeup, hair  & grooming for
In action shot of the bride’s mother in law last week, taken from Gary of Christine Studios.. one of my favorite wedding photographers!
Beautiful shot from one of my past bride’s Dina… Unsure of the photographers name but as soon as I find out I will credit them! Makeup by me, Hair by Annaliese Tatulli
Love this bride! Gorgeous vintage look. Makeup by me hair by Nicole Naccarato
So much more to come! Xo

Keep Calm & Give Thanks!

Hey beauties! This week has been crazy with Thanksgiving, my 23rd birthday, and tons of work! Thanksgiving is always the time that it really begins to feel like the holidays. I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving with your loved ones and favorite people. I spent my Thanksgiving (which happened to land on my birthday this year) in Westchester at my family’s house, stuffing my face with fatty foods, opening gifts and appreciating my loved ones. This time of year I tend to reflect on my life and what I’m thankful for. 
  • My family, who love me and support me unconditionally no matter what

  • My amazing friends who I adore dearly

  

  • Andrew, who always seems to guide me in the right path

  

  • My furry friends whom I’ve adopted and love so much and for all the cute things they do, that melts my heart every single day

   

  • The little things in life that make me happy like my daily morning cup of tea

  • Opportunities and experiences that have come my way

  • The support of all my readers & followers that constantly motivate me to work hard and be successful!

 
I am also thankful that I celebrated Thanksgiving not once but twice this year. The day after Thanksgiving I did makeup for an amazing fashion show/benefit, that Rose Kneer put together for Adopt-A-Solider Platoon.
On my way, I couldn’t help but admire the sunset!
For me this event was like celebrating Thanksgiving twice, because it made me realize, and appreciate life and everything in it. The show was hosted by actor and comedian Carlos Gonzalez and co-hosted by Mrs. NJ America 2012, Robin Vitale. Here’s a photo of my Logo on screen of the show…
The show helped raise awareness and funds for deployed soldiers in need. The mission of Adopt A Soldier Platoon is to improve the morale of service men and women, as well as their families. There were amazing performances, and some great designers that blew my mind! Recording Artist Apryl Evans performed and her voice was unbelievable. David J. Bixler who was an injured Colonel during his third tour in Afghanistan, made an amazing speech that was really moving. He shared his reasons for joining the military, and his dedication to fight for the freedoms that have been afforded to him. He described how he felt guilty taking advantage of the freedom we are all given without doing something to earn it. He didn’t complain once, he was very thankful for the Adopt a Solider Platoon contributions. It’s the smallest things that makes the biggest differences, for these soldiers.
I attended this event to do makeup for models, and after David’s speech, I realized I was there for SO MUCH MORE.
  
It made me thankful for everything I have in life, and motivated me to help. During the fashion show part there was a designer that immediately caught my attention. I liked how she came backstage and introduced herself to me, and described to me what looks she wanted me to create on her models. Her designs were lovely. The makeup she chose was bold. Bold blue eyeliner. But… I couldn’t help but notice her age. She appeared to be very young, and made it almost unbelievable that she was the designer! Well, my assumptions were right. Her name? Jazmin Brown. Her age? 14 YEARS OLD! Such great talent at such a young age! Check out this commercial her work is featured in! 
 
  
Alexandria Gilleo: Your such an inspiration, I can’t believe how young you are! What age did you start designing?
Jazmin Brown: Thank you. I started designing about two years ago, at the age of 12. I started off modeling first, then became a designer. I was also on the Tyra Banks show when I was 11 years old. 
 
AG: Ah, something we have in common. I was also once a guest host on the Tyra Banks show ! What is your biggest accomplishment?
JB: My biggest accomplishment was definitely getting booked with Kraft foods!
 
AG: What was it like filming and being chosen for the Honey Grahams commercial?
JB: Amazing! I was sent to San Francisco to film the commercial. My designs were featured in NJ Fashion week. It was a great experience. 
 
AG: What projects do you have in the works, and where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JB: Right now I’m working on my pieces going into boutiques. That’s what I’m working out now. In the future I see myself having my own boutique. I make all the kids pieces myself. For adult wear, I’m still learning. Right now I have someone sit along with me. 
 
Other designers included Dana Bands, Nikkay Fashions, HR Fashion, E & J Bridal Boutique, Stache Haus, Jerzy bling, and a few more. I was truly honored to work this event! This week, I also was booked to do makeup for a music video. Fun! Love these types of jobs. Incredible singer, Michelle Sangalli called me to come on set of her video and do makeup and hair. I got to work with director Edwin Escobar, for the second time. His work is great and I love working with him. He means business! I also got to meet Christopher Lykins, the male actor in the video. He is a model and upcoming actor. Look out for him in tv series Revolution, and movie Safe Haven. Here’s a photo of some of the crew.
 
I am so thankful for my career. I truly love meeting so many different people, and working with young talent CONSTANTLY!
Again, I hope you readers all had a great Thanksgiving. Christmas is next! Christmas is no doubt the most exciting time of the year! I adore everything about this season, except the cold weather 😉 I decorated the whole house, and very excited that I put up my PINK Christmas tree in my closet room. Along with Victoria Secret gifts under the tree (Yes, I’m stocking up on those secret reward cards!) Here’s some photos of my week and Christmas decor! Enjoy!
Celebrating my 23rd Birthday!
  
Christmas Decor! A stocking for Andrew, LaLaa, Buddah, Sonny, Banks, Tom & myself 😉
  
Thanks again for reading! Next post will be on Wednesday ! Xo!