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Behind the Scenes: My Allure Magazine Beauty Blogger Awards Photo Shoot


True confession: I have daydreamed about walking into the Conde Nast building since I was the editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook. So, to say that visiting the Allure offices was exciting for me would be a massive understatement.

Since those days I’ve often second guessed my career path… I began on the journalism route then took a severe left turn when I embarked on my journey into the beauty industry… before ultimately ending up trying to make a name for myself in a field that’s a strange hybrid of both.

It was when I was inside the elevator at 4 Times Square, on my way up to the photo studio for my shoot, that it clicked. That every decision I have made, traditional or not, has lead me to this moment. And this moment is awesome.


The studio was incredible – almost as incredible as the rows of designer shoes awaiting my freshly pedicured feet. Cara, Tati (who are both just as sweet and beautiful as they are on their blogs, btw!) and I were whisked into a rotation of fashion fittings, manicures, makeup sessions, and hair styling.


It’s no secret that I am not a sample size… so I was a little nervous about how they were planning to style my wardrobe. Then I laid eyes on my rack of killer dresses from Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jason Wu, and Michael Kors and those fears quickly faded! I ended up wearing a beautiful black, curve-friendly Diane von Furstenberg dress (top left in the style board photo) and…wait for it… a pair of electric blue Manolo Blahniks. Hello, lover!


I am determined to own these heels one day. And by one day, I mean when the Manolo Blahnik Fall 2013 Collection hits stores in September. Can you start a Kickstarter campaign for shoes? Is that a thing?


Nail expert (and longtime Marc Jacobs manicurist) Elisa Ferri toned down my bright summer nails to create a more season appropriate look for the fall issue. She used Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Beige. It’s a gorgeous neutral tone with a subtle iridescent shine. I never want to take it off.


I was a bit nervous about having my makeup done because I’m so particular about how I do it. Well, that worrying was completely unnecessary because brilliant artist Junko Kioka was the mastermind behind my makeup that day. I was furiously taking notes on the products she was using… and will most definitely add some of them to my own kit soon (Kett Fix Crème makeup, Estee Lauder DoubleWear, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage to name a few). I don’t think I’ve ever felt more beautiful!


The amazing DJ Quintero upped the glam factor even more and gave me some major Veronica Lake meets Jessica Rabbit hair. He set it with Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray. My hair was touchable and soft, but the style stayed perfectly intact. That stuff is miraculous!

Each of us had our own set in the studio, brilliantly crafted by Allure Fashion Editor J rod Lacks and photographer Jason McDonald. I won’t spoil too much detail on that – you’ll have to buy the October issue of Allure to see the finished product!

Here are some more backstage highlights from the shoot:











After our whirlwind photo shoot, we embarked on a tour of the Allure offices, complete with a stop at the beauty mecca that is the Allure beauty closet (more on that later). Here’s a peek at my stash:


As if the day couldn’t get any better, we were invited to meet and chat with editor-in-chief (and author of Allure: Confessions of a Beauty Editor) Linda Wells.

Linda Wells

It. Was. Amazing.

Thank you again to everyone reading this for all of your support during the contest and beyond. I would not have been able to experience this memorable day if it weren’t for you!

I’m back in Florida for now… but I’m definitely stuck in a New York state of mind. Stay tuned for more (yes, more!) on my Allure experience… including my top ten picks from the Allure beauty closet!


Filed under Allure Beauty Blogger Awards

Highlights from The Makeup Show Orlando

Last weekend, the Peabody Hotel welcomed swarms of talent and some of the best in the beauty industry to The Makeup Show in Orlando.  Martinis and Mascara had an absolute blast being part of over 2,000 beauty professionals who flocked to the stunning venue to soak up the latest tips and scope out exclusive products.

While it was the show’s inaugural year in “The City Beautiful,” The Makeup Show has traveled internationally to major markets including LA, NYC, Chicago, and Europe for several years. The two-day event, produced by Metropolitan Events & Production, features over 60 pro-focused brands as well as educational speakers, seminars, and workshops in a truly artistic setting. The Peabody’s convention hall transformed into a makeup mecca with walking art, serious shopping opportunities, and amazing talent at every turn.

Here are a few of my favorite sights from the show:

The explosion of artistry on the exhibit floor was accented by the live transformation of several models throughout the show. At the top of my favorites list is Lijah Stewart’s work for MAKE UP FOR EVER and Nick Wolfe’s expert body painting at the Graftobian booth.

A recent grad of the brand new MAKE UP FOREVER Academy in NYC was also showcasing some serious skill around the corner.

Several brands were launching exclusive pro-only products, so of course, I could not resist stocking up my kit with some of the latest and greatest. Participating brands showcasing their work and products included the Alcone Company, SmashboxCosmetics, and Temptu Pro, among many others. INGLOT previewed their Double Sparkle Rainbow Eyeshadows, MAKE UP FOR EVER launched Chromatix Mix (a range of liquid pigments that work to adjust the color of any liquid makeup product), Ofra Cosmetics launched 3D Eyeshadows, and AJ Crimson launched his Crème Foundation. I also couldn’t help scoring some glitter kits from Eye Kandy which carries just about the best mixing medium I’ve found for loose glitter application to date.

The artists on the teaching and speaking lineup included some of the best in the industry. Top artists in attendance included Johnny Lavoy, AJ Crimson, Maurice Stein, and Corey Castellano, and the Wolfe brothers.

One of my favorite speakers included Marietta Carter-Narcisse, makeup artist to Samuel L. Jackson on several of his films as well as other projects including Ghost and more recently, the indie flick Butter. LOVED her attitude in the “Dynamics of Film” seminar. In her responses to audience questions she paired the power of positive thinking alongside industry advice.

Face Off’s Roy Wooley was also on hand to speak about his specialty, prosthetic makeup, where he described how to incorporate prosthetics into beauty makeup and add dimension to avant garde looks. He later tended to his own booth where he showcased some of his work (including the creepiest little greeter I’ve ever seen).

And of course, I loved the Beauty and the Blog forum hosted by James Vincent, Director of Artistry for the Makeup Show, Beauty Editor for On Makeup Magazine, and contributor to countless beauty blogs. Vincent is also a badass makeup artist with a killer client list that includes everyone from Lady Gaga to President Barack Obama.

On the panel were several established beauty bloggers including the adorable Elessa Jade of Pursebuzz (and serious YouTube fame). Loved her in the forum and also enjoyed meeting her and checking out her adorable accessories in person.

Overall, the show was a big ball of fun and incredibly inspiring. Now, I begin the countdown to the next show on my list, the International Makeup Artist Trade Show in LA. Only 68 days to go!

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