Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Messengers

And in my darkest moment, fetal and weeping'
The moon tells me a secret, my confidant
As full and bright as I am, this light is not my own and
A million light reflections pass over me

It's source is bright and endless, she resuscitates the hopeless
Without her we are lifeless satellites drifting

Today, I have a need to write my heart on these virtual pages, open that window little more.
This is my love letter to inspiration and people who deliver it.

I get visited by moments, where upon seeing, reading or hearing something beautiful, I feel my own life somehow connected in this quilt of overwhelming emotion and expression.

From music, paintings, books or little flower growing in pavement crack. Beautiful wrinkled hands of a smiling stranger, their eyes filled with knowing kindness and gray streets of the city that embraced me as its true daughter, offering peace to restless heart.
That gets me jolted from everyday trance and bustle of endless aspirations. I stop and I can feel warm tears flowing down my cheeks. I cry from beauty.
I get filled with this strange happy sadness and realization that I am surrounded by complex minds and fingers of individuals. The messengers.

They paint, compose, think, build and weave their own letters to universe, reaching me on its journey.
They are reminding me I am alive, leaving me breathless. I am reminded of my own flawed humanity, telling me to never forget.

I see my mother’s soft hands lift me up to the world. With her kisses building an armor to protect me from harm, preparing me to survive most painful blows, for I am loved. Wide eyed child, smelling of promise.

I see my teenage self, dreaming of first crush and wondering what will become of me, will I make difference in the world, will I be loved?
I see the deepest depths of my despair and loss. I still smell fragrant pale flowers that grew out of moist earth of my darkest hours.
I still carry the loss and communicate with ghosts that follow me.
I see faces of lost ones in the smiles of dolphins, and I love them, still.
I feel their life force seeping through my fingers, into everything I am and everything I create.I did not forget.
I see warm understanding eyes of my lover, his soothing voice coating every nick with the balm of endless patience and quiet constant.I see home in his eyes.

I see faces of my friends, my lovers and my family; ones still here, as well as passengers who stopped for brief moment to teach me a lesson, to add another stone to mosaic of my life.  They inspired me, challenged me, hurt me, loved me, misunderstood me, were misunderstood by me, and loved by me. They made me.

I am the clay, shaped with their loving hands and  nicked and bruised by life experiences. That makes my statue complete, with all its flaws.

As life flashes before my eyes, when I hear beautiful song, when I get moved by a painting, or inspired to create something.  I know that I am leaving  trace of me, every time I stop to hear, see, and take in beauty around me. I carve my life experience by being present.

So my friends, when life gets crazy, stop. Turn around and you will see thousands of messages, created by people just like you and I.  Their life, described through so many ways of self-expression paint their loss, love and their beautiful minds. It is a reminder that you are not alone, that most beautiful flowers grow in darkest places. You are not alone.  I know…..I am loved.
So are you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

15 Most used products in my kit

I have so many beloved products in my kit. Palettes and boxes filled with magic potions and fun colors.
We are all creatures of habit and somehow I find myself reaching for certain products all the time, so I wanted to share my kit staples that with you guys.
Please forgive wear and tear and unpolished imagery. These are ACTUAL products from my kit, shot with my Iphone. They appear in no particular order, I like them all!

 1. BATHINA body balm by BENEFIT
Ok guys, if this was edible, I would spread it like butter on my morning toast EVERY DAY!!!
I use this by gallons it seems. It gives skin most beautiful glow and not to mention it smells heavenly.
Models often say they feel like they are somewhere near sea, when I apply Bathina on their skin.
2. AIRFLASH foundation by DIOR
When I got these from Dior, I was little skeptical, since most of these "gimmicky" airbrush foundations don't work.
They spray all over the place or their nozzle gets clogged very fast. Let me tell you, this stuff WORKS and it works beautifully.
Psssssst and whole face is covered, in seconds. Coverage is on the heavier side, so I use it when I really need very even, canvas like skin. I use sponge to ad finishing touch (especially around eyes). It works wonders in covering tan lines and body make up in general. Life and time saver!
3. HD Powder by MAKE UP FOR EVER
I am not fan of powder, I find it cakes on skin very fast, especially in more humid environment.
MUFE solved my dilemma with this finely milled powder that is always on its best behavior. I wait till last minute to finish skin with HD and can keep blotting it on the skin with large brush, without worry it will turn model into scaly lizard.

4. MATTE lipsticks by ILLAMASQUA

When I first discovered Illamasqua, I thought I died and gone to (my goth) heaven. I love so many products from them, but their lipsticks are standout in their vibrant, creamy symphony.
I can't tell you enough how much joy I get in painting these on. I even personally wear their sassy red color called BOX (named after its creative director Alex Box, amazing make up artist).


Proper term for this product is Eau Fraiche Douceur, but I like to call it Rose Water. As the name implies, it is very gentle make up remover.
It reminds me of very hard to find, and expensive in US, Bioderma cleansing water (models are addicted to it).
This is great alternative to Bioderma, it is as gentle and pure. Like thousands of gentle kisses wiping your make up off (ok that was corny, but could not help it).

6. Lipglass by MAC
There is no denying it. The shiniest, craziest, gooiest gloss of them all, I use it so much, I think I need to subscribe to instant refiles.
If I was to be sent to an island and told  to pack essentials, I would pick these little guys.
I can do ANYTHING with pigments. Their vibrant saturated color gives me option to use it as eyeshadow, or mix it to create everything, from body paint to lip colors.Just like painting!

Kudos to OCC for creating most unique products on the market. I am yet to see such vibrant and dense lip product that virtually explodes with color and joyously spreads like paint on skin.
I do mean on skin too, I have used lip tar as body make up and to create interesting effect on face (they run slowly and deliciously, like slow performance art). Yum!

This is flirtatious, sweetest tint of them all. It bats its cute lashes right at you and are in love.
It gives cheeks softest flush from within, it is blue based pink and can be used on the lips for that soft bitten effect. Just make sure you blend it fast, not to stain the skin.

What I love about this bronzer the most is it's matte texture. It gives me beautiful contour color that I can finish of, if I like with something shimmery on to or leave it matte. I use it as contour all over the face, since it has nice neutral bronze hue.

11. VIRTUOSO lipgloss by SMASHBOX

Sadly, this product is not available any more, but I had to include it, since it is probably one gloss I reach out for the most.
It was part of Smasbox MUSE spring collection, it is a perfect sweet pink with fine golden undertones. I am yet to see face and skin tone that it does not flatter.
Pigment is dense and it spreads so beautifully and with incredible shine. When in doubt, this is the color I turn to, when I use last drop of it, my heart will break :(.

12. TEINT IDOLE matte foundation by LANCOME

Colors are so beautiful and fool proof. I mix them on my palette to achieve desired hue, their beautiful matte texture is why I favor them above all sheerer foundations.
You can still build coverage, but there is no fear in losing skin texture. It creates perfect cover without any distracting reflections, thus giving me control in introducing shine to skin "my own way" (hmmm Frank Sinatra is playing in my head for some reason).

13. CREAM eyeshadows by URBAN DECAY
OK, I alwasy say Urban Decay designs their packages with me in mind, all of those skulls and bones....the JOY!
I love putting these cream shadows by themselves or as primer to powder shadow on the lids. Colors are vibrant, shiny and they do not crease like some of the other cream shadows I have.


I use this Potion (I love the name, makes me sound like some great sorceress) after I have moisturized the skin, to ad that very light weight matte layer. It works beautifully.
I go between this primer and one of Benefit called Porefessional (how cute!) which gives me even matter look and can be used over foundation.

15. 24 hour cream by Embryolisse

This cream has many uses, it can be make up remover, after shave balm and is gentle enough to use on children.
My main purpose of this cream is as moisturizer. When it comes to moisturizers, simple is better, especially on shoots.
This cream respects your natural PH balance and is least likely to give model any reaction. More complex face cream is, more possibility of allergic reaction, and that will not do on my watch. No sir!!!

So there is. I have more products and tools to share with you guys and I will keep you updated on new finds as well.
I have recently received some new spring collections and  products in the mail, and I am eager to try them out, so stayed tuned.  But for now, these are my faithful companions! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Urban lash by URBAN DECAY

I have died and gone to lash heaven. In front of me is symphony of textures and colors weaved in blue fun box.
Wanted to share with you guys, new lash series by Urban decay.

I do a lot of beauty shoots, so to me having amazing lashes to play with is essential and you can imagine my excitement when I got these. I love variety of length and thickness and the fact that even blue colored lashes are done with taste and wearability.
So yay for Urban Decay, off I go to bat my lashes :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tyson Beckford for Russel Simmons

I met Tyson when I was working on Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel, that was almost 2 years ago. He was charming, friendly, approachable and generous guy that everyone naturally gravitated toward.
Of all of the people I met trough that experience, he was the one that would always comment on my career updates, send emails and keep in touch. True genuine soul, free of pretense, free of "you are not cool, connected or rich enough for me to pay attention". He always had time to talk to anyone, his physical beauty certainly matches his heart.
So few months ago, he contacted me to see if I am available to do his grooming for Russel Simmons line, he is a new face of Argyleculture. How awesome!!! I am so proud of him, and I wish him to just continue to soar, I am truly a fan and so proud to be part of this experience. Go Ty Ty!!! Thank you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Video

So excited to include this in my blog. I presented Christopher Micaud with a story board for a beauty story called Monochrome. He loved idea so much, that besides still shoot, he did the video. He composed a spec ad for a fragrance, and this is final result. Yay!
Hope you like

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fat bellied Tigers and rambunctious baby Leopards

This is my newest editorial from Marie Claire China, it was quite a magical ride. Amber Gray, my magical fairy princess of photography, upon request of Marie Claire, created Loli/Anime world of child's play.

We had two beautiful models with us, it was fun creating doll like make up on them (blocking the brows off is pain in the butt and I do not recommend doing it if you have multiple beauty looks and time constraint...phew).
True stars of the show, however, were 3 adorable members of animal kingdom. White Bengal tiger who in between shoots slept in her crate with baby Pug puppy (they would snuggle with each other), white horse, who patiently stood while being painted into the zebra and one very loud and inquisitive baby leopard.
My favorite was sweet tiger, when her handler would lift her up, you can see her fat belly full of milk, fat and squishy...the joy!!!

Magic Mushrooms

I forgot to share with you my newest painting. It was birthday gift for my boyfriend's sister Susan, who is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland.
So to make it extra fun, I adopted Susan's little girl photos ( blond hair with bangs), and created big eyed Alice.
Since she does have naughty little brother aka, my boyfriend, I added his piercings to Cheshire cat, to represent him in the photos. I am quite fond of dragonflies and I have decided when ever I am doing original peice, I will always have dragonfly somewhere in the painting to represent me. In this case, her broach.
Body pose and graceful hands were made possible by lovely model Valeria, who was very patient and sweet to pose for me after we were done with a photo shoot!
This was my first original painting, and I am so proud and happy how it turned out. I feel that with every painting I am finding my voice more and more. I want to do series of book cover paintings, so stay tuned....

Behold my dark heart

Being not so secret gothic child, I naturally gravitate toward darker imagery, so to my delight meeting and working with people who share same aesthetic with me, I am in hog heaven.
This new editorial that just came out in Blink (we got the cover, yay) was inspired by Greek god of sleep Hypnos, hope you like it.

Here is the cover, I am still waiting for actual copy, but I was told it was printed in Gold, so tap tap....
And cherry on the top is the video behind the scenes........hope you like it guys as much as I do!
Hypnos - Behind the Scenes,  photographed by Michael David Adams from Michael David Adams on Vimeo.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alexandra Richards for Vixen

Here is my newest. I loved the location we were at, The Gold Bar, you know my goth soul just perked up and I was in my element. This was art directed by amazing Sophy Holland, who is my fellow goth child, so needless to was oh so deliciously dark.  
Working with Alexandra was pleasure, she was very sweet and patient (with the cat, whose name is Fidel, on her head and lying among dead things, fowls and chickens).

Lets talk make up! So as you can see theme was rock princess, to go with the fact she is a daughter of Rolling Stones Keith Richards. As with every assigment I get, I do my research carefully and I noticed that Alexandra's make up was done mostly, smokey eye, light lips, repeat....
Sometimes is so easy to fall into cliche, I know I am guilty of it myself, so naturally when you were given a theme that is described as goth, dark, rock and roll, you would automatically think: Oh YEAH, lets give her black eyes and mess her up to look like rock princess YEAH!!! Dude I am so cool and original (holding the horn sign with my hand).
One thing I loved about Alexandra the most, were her beautiful lips. They look like they have been drawn on, perfectly defined and shaped (so jealous). So I wanted to keep her face warm, and soft, but little bit creepy, by taking out her brows, lightening her eyelashes (my goth heart, begged for it). But give her interesting, dark lips. You can't see it that much on the shot, but in that awesome praying suit she had, dark purple matte lips and gold strip right above her lip. Here is behind the scene photo

Her costar Fidel, needed just a little powder, his skin was flawless! I kid I kid PETA people, ha ha ha.
So I conclude this little story with his highness Fidel. Enjoy the images guys!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Video fun

I did this spec for Ipod Nano with amazing and talented Christopher Micaud quite a while ago. It started as an idea for photoshoot and it just progressed into something more fun and lively.
We decided to costumize looks and eras of different dances and musical styles into the colors of the Ipod itself. We had perfect model - Mack to make all of this come to life.
Video make up is different beast from print, and what made it challenging, that I had to do it very FAST!!! Hair stylist already had wigs prepared, so some of my make up changes took 10 - 15 minutes, if  there was any weight loss to be had from it, I would be a skinny bitch right now lol.
Hope you like it, I do.........thank you Mr. Micaud you are magical :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Marie Claire China

Hello world,
It has been ton of time since I sat down and blogged (working on the new painting, I will keep you updated of course).
So a while ago I worked on a story inspired by Icebergs, that was shot in a kiddy pool of all places LOL!

Perfect example, when there is will there is a way, creative people getting together to create something special.
Not to mention amazing, patient model Britt Bolton who is the one waking around painted head to toe, with blue armpits, neck and hair. Thank heavens for patient gracious models!
I really do love my job, especially when I get to step out of the comfort zone and apply my other passion of painting on human body.

Painting for water can be tricky, once I did waterproof airbrush on a shoot, where models were jumping in the milk. Paint was chipping off (for a very cool effect I might add), but for the life of me, I can not figure out what was going on. I came to conclusion that milk was acting like natural make up remover, so you just have to roll with the punches...and try not to drink milk, or dunk your Oreos in the models pool.....hmmm....I'll be right back...

So for this shoot, I had to keep maintaining the look as well, since color was sliding off as well, but once I added more of a grease paint, things got little more stable.
So here it is, our iceberg in all her glory!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Painting your own world

I was the odd child out, I was chatty (and still am) and often spoke of things that were perceived weird and not very usual for child my age.
 Being the only child too,  my early life was spent in hallways of my imaginary world, safe from judging eyes.
Solitude was not a scary place to me, in that darkness I found most colorful creations., I discovered that I am an artist at heart and that feelings I possessed easily rolled from my fingers,  filling the blank pages of my diary.

Words were pearls that embellished the crown I wore, as a ruler of my own Kingdom. In there child of single, loving and brave mom painted the solitude vivid and soothing.
There, I was free to dive into the pages of my beloved books, ride on the Pegasus, dine with fairies and try to convince Snow white not to eat that apple (it was not organic girlfriend!).

I would often get in trouble in school art class, when I would defly my teacher who would specifically tell me not to use black pencil to outline my drawing with "But sir, it just needs that final touch" - no wonder I became make up artist.

Since written world was most dominant part of my expression, I always admired people who were able to paint, I drew with a pencil a little, but really had no idea where to even start when it came to painting.

I was especially in awe with my friend Rosalida, who has most amazing artistic eye, I have ever seen. She designed costumes, but every aspect of her was living and breathing was art.
She had (and has) ability to find beauty in the most unusual and mundane things in life, like lief fallen from the tree, laying green and dying on the bare sidewalk, she stopped and took it in.
Her paintings were fluid movement of feminine grace, with beautiful vivid colors fusing together to create pieces I wished were my own.

My schooling as painter came years later, in the form of my beloved boyfriend.; He has most amazing ability to throw me a surprise birthday party, year after year (and I consider myself a master sleuth of Sherlock proportions, sans the cocaine addiction). But yet he would get me every year.
During one of those parties (this one was Hello Kitty themed), my beloved boyfriend presented me with red French barrette hat, set of painting brushes and a painting class certificate.  Oh la la! Thus journey began.
 That class was really helpful beginning, I have learned basics of painting. However, my truest education came from mind and hands (and kisses) of my handsome boyfriend.
Michael, self thought painter himself was an amazing artist. His works were huge self stretched canvas pieces abstract and full of statement. His first Xmas gift to me was actually custom made red painting that took my breath away.

He patiently guided me trough different techniques, explained how colors react, pointed what I was doing wrong and showed me how to correct it.
He was detrimental in pushing me when I got stuck. With his firm but loving pep talk, he would guide me trough my mental block.

Some of his techniques were personal ones and not that easily understood by me. I would often revert to that stubborn child outlining everything with black pencil, and try to do it the way I felt comfortable. Take his technique and change it a little, so I can understand better. I was slowly finding my own voice, my own way of painting.
He was more abstract and his movements were blunt and textural, where I found joy in blending everything to death, just like a true make up artist would.

I have started noticing that I was able to view make up differently, thanks to my new hobby. I stopped looking at planes of the face as just that.

Eyes, nose, cheeks and lips. It became sort of canvas to me, where colors bled outside of natural borders to create nice color symphonies, helping me to express myself even more.

My color choices became bolder and more unusual and I found just as I was implementing some of my blending techniques in make up on canvas, I have also picked up some of oil techniques for faces as well.
  Since I am still a novice, I paint things I see, from photographs, books and internet. They are photos that move me, remind me of loved ones or are of loved ones (for example, Phoebe, my cousins adored Cocker Spaniel). I try to make them as alive as possible and I love every minute of it.
 I have a lot of practice and learning to do. My wish is, that one day I will be able to paint out of my own imagination and be able to capture all of those vivid pictures that are floating in my heart, in my own world. They are so loud and waiting to come out.

Even  now as a grown person, I find most comfort in that solitude and silence that surrounds me. A little table, set near the window in tiny NYC apartment became a doorway to my old kingdom.
Once again, I was able to enter the world, where lonely child weaved colorful fabric of imagination, to cover herself from darkness that surrounded her. Protected from the world.
When ever I need to find my center, get away from mad rush of the world, from expectations, from judgment  and find that stillness that coddled me as a child I pick up my brushes and enter.
This time I am not alone, I brought a visitor.

To my kingdom I introduced a man who with his soothing voice and patient hand, led me to find that expression and translate it on canvas - to find my voice again.
I have found a king to rule beside me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

how to save your back and still look stylish

You glam urban warriors know the perils of dragging kit trough the city streets and not to mention subways (insert: dramatic hand over the forehead gazing up to the sky and YESSS violins are present...what?).

I feel like rheumatic 90 year old grandma who wants to cuss everyone out on her way to the photo studio.
So to prevent any innocent blood shed due to my crankiness, I became queen of downsizing.
I still wish I had some gorgeous guy assistant in leopard speedos to carry it all for me, but ain't happening any time soon....sigh
  • I transfer all of my liquids in small bottles. I use glass vials for my liquid foundations
  • De-potting your eyeshadow and placing them on palettes- big help
  • putting your lipstick in metal pots and onto the palettes saves a lot of space
Check out these crafty ones from Yaby

For the longest time I had this little sweet yellow suitcase I got from Brookstone, I wore that poor thing down.

It was all ripped inside, with me trying to cram as much stuff that I feared A&E show Hoarders will ambush me any minute.

Wheels were giving up, I started to sound like one of those hunched horror movie monsters with squeaky wheel for the leg. Hereeeee comesssssssss the crazyyyy make up artist, hide little children, run for your LIVESSSSSsss (cue lightning!!).
It was time to say goodbye to my old yeller, my trusted companion.

I was left with the task of finding another suitcase, that can hold all of my stuff, but be small enough not to give me before mentioned hump trying to go up and down the stairs.

I was flirting with this little handsome fella for a while now (forgive me Old yeller, I was innocent, I promise) by the name Zuca. But he was giving me expensive vibe and was little bit cocky it seemed.

Store had few choices, one of them being Zuca Pro, that had additional compartments inside.
I already had my own bags so I really did not need all of that.
I settled for much more affordable Zuca Sport variation instead.
It was called Zuca Stealth, it made me feel like ninja with that name, I swear. I started dragging it around, it was so silent and then....WOW...wheels started shining! Whooo hooo I am disco ninja!
Thus begun the love affair

Upon seeing how little the Zuca bag was, my boyfriend expressed fear that not all of my stuff will fit in. I was our surprise, it ALL fit with some room to spare. TA DA!!!

I was glad to see that all of my roll make up organizers were PERFECT size for inside of the bag

Did I mention you can sit on it? Its frame is made strong and for sitting. So yay for my lazy bones!

So there, I am happy little make up artist, I am armed and ready for Urban Jungle. Stealthy taking over the fashion world......Now......about that speedo clad assistant.......