Saturday, March 21, 2015

'Get On Up' movie press tour.

I recently groomed "Get On Up" director Tate Taylor during the DC segment of the film's promotional press tour. "Get On Up" is the highly anticipated feature film biography of James Brown, played by Chadwick Boseman. Grooming for Chadwick was done by the fabulous and talented Saisha Beecham. 
Although he is not a DC native, Chadwick studied performing arts at Howard University and still has ties to the area. At the end of our two days together, the most exciting moment for me was going to the offices of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History (opening in 2016), where the museum staff brought out their collection of James Brown's personal artifacts for a private showing. I touched his shoes, and the old dance nerd in me felt just a wee bit more funky that day. "Get On Up" debuted in movie theatres on August 1, 2014.

'Get On Up' - Let's Talk Live |

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lina, the Bombshell Bride

Makeup by Dana Spence. Hair by Kimya Crawford.
Kimya keeps Lina smiling, while I work on her mother.

All of my brides are beautiful, but Lina was a total bombshell on her wedding day. The photographer perfectly captured a moment where Andrew is checking out the bride and she is smiling confidently into the camera like, "Yesssss honey, I AM FLAWLESS." Every woman should be so lucky to have a photo of her partner gazing at her like that! 
Andrew got caught staring.

Afterwards, I didn't pack up and run to the next wedding, like I usually do on Saturdays. This time I grabbed the dress (thank goddess for wrinkle-free fabric) that was smushed in the car under my makeup kit and chair, and joined everyone at the party. Andrew and Lina are both good friends of ours, so The Dude and I were thrilled to kick it with their families until the end of the event. At one point Persian music began booming from the speakers, the bride and her cousins hit the dance floor, and they demonstrated some serious moves that I would not dare attempt replicate with my prematurely old bones. (I seriously think my hips would break if I tried to shake them like that.) The highlight of my day was meeting and working with Lina's mom, who I want to be adopted by right NOW.
Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Mak. Thanks for letting me be part of your special day.
Hair: Kimya Crawford
Photography: Shane Reighard
Venue: Gramercy Mansion Bed and Breakfast, Stevenson Maryland
Mrs. Mak is wearing Vincent Longo Lip/Cheek Stain in Baby Boo.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A day at the office.

I recently shot with a creative team for Cosmopolitan Magazine at the offices of the United States Senate. There were a few familiar faces that I had worked with or met before, but it was an honor to meet Elizabeth Warren, Susan Collins, Heidi Heitkamp, and Kirsten Gillibrand for the first time. A couple of the senators asked me for advice on how to find a good eye shadow primer. In return the ladies gave me some pearls of wisdom that helped me make massive improvements to my speech for an upcoming Girl Scout leadership convention. (I'm hoping that by the time those teenage Girl Scouts reach voting age, some of the women I met at the Senate building will actually be on our presidential ballot. I wish!) The photos of the Senators will be published in Cosmo later this spring. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

No glow? No problem.

It is the middle of winter, I just ran out of my personal foundation, and I'm not a bit upset. If the polar vortex is sucking all the life out of your skin, here are some of my suggestions to get your smoothness back. 
  • Jumpstart your immune system and brighten your skin from within by eating plenty of citrus fruit, cucumbers, and carrots. I've gotten in the habit of shredding about two cups of carrots every night. The next day they are ready to go, whether it's to blend with fruit and greens for a morning smoothie or to make a quick fuss-free salad to take along with me. Now that I'm experimenting with gluten-free baking, I'm also expanding my knowledge of carrot desserts. (Feel free to send recommendations!) I love to grow cucumbers, and when I have them in the garden they are a mainstay of my summer diet. To make up for that, I'm buying citrus fruits to use as a base for smoothies, salsa, marinades, and sauces. Fresh, canned, or frozen: even in winter, eating a diet rich in brightly colored, antioxidant-rich veggies will increase your chances of having soft and even toned skin. 
  • Juice Beauty is a beauty and skin care brand with a strong stance on organic ingredients, and pure fruit juice is one of Mother Nature's greatest exfoliators. The Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel is available in several different strengths. There is one formula for the sensitive skin client and a different one geared towards customers like me, who prefer a little tingle when they exfoliate. Use it twice a week for the best results because it encourages cell turnover, gets rid of dead skin, and it definitely brightened my dull spots. 
  • Shea butter is one of my favorite ingredients of all time, and I am a huge fan of the Shea Moisture brand of products. I am always enthusiastic about trying sulfate/fragrance/dye/allergy free brands, but every time this brand puts a new product out, they slay the competition. I just tried the Shea Moisture Olive and Green Tea Body Butter, since I tried the shower gel last year. It's creamy, but not greasy, and SO unbelievably, buttery soft. The light, herbal scent is gender-neutral (Dude approved!), and my skin stayed smooth all day. 
  • The Shea Moisture CC Cream looks effortless, feels weightless, and I'm wearing it daily. In my prior BB and CC cream experiences, formulations from other skin care brands ended up fighting on my face. The end result was often the familiar chalky grey sheen negatively associated with the SPF CC creams, tinted moisturizers, and hydrating primers some rival brands are selling to women of color for over forty dollars. This product was under 20 dollars, but the pigment and the SPF work perfectly together. Finally I can protect myself from the sun, hydrate without looking oily, and even my skin tone in one step. (I've added a serum to my evening routine because I am sleeping with a heavier moisturizer at night.) The finish is luminous, but more pearlized than shiny. I'll replace my personal foundation a couple of months from now when I run out of this.