Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Love a Man in Make Up!

One of the coolest things about growing up in the 80's was this entirely new abundance of men in make up. I would suggest that it already had a firm foundation (pun intended), with Kiss, Alice Cooper, & David Bowie having already paved the way; however, it was in the 80's that I became most aware.

I was very fortunate that my parents never censored our musical interests. Every holiday/birthday, they would load my brother & I up with records and we would play them endlessly. We didn't get cable until 1982 or 83, when MTV was launching. This was such an inspiration to me...I would study the videos like it was a disection!

My personal Top 3 Men in Make Up picks are: Adam Ant, Billy Idol, & Robert Smith (from The Cure).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Moulin Rouge Inspiration...

It surprises me that my fascination with this scene of Moulin Rouge has never faded away. That alone tells me that it must be a masterpiece, because I continue to come back to it for inspiration. (despite my friend's recent analysis that it is a cacophony! you know who you are, lol!) It's an overwhelming variety of reasons that this speaks to me, but clearly it spoke to many with it's extensive list of awards & nominations world wide.

Let's start with Tom Waits, whose voice echos Roxanne in an almost accusatory way, instead of the pleading nature that Sting used. Tom Waits, whom I consider to be a musical genius, not to mention a brilliant addition to a film cast. Perhaps you remember him as Renfield from Francis Ford Coppolla's Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Or maybe it's my fondness for Argentinian Tango...which is not to be mistaken with American Ballroom Tango. Moulin Rouge won the 2001 American Choreography Award.

Moulin Rouge captivates me like a kaleidoscope. Whirling imagery, recalling a bygone "underworld".

Nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Best Makeup, winner of 2 Hollywood Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Guild Awards in Best Period Styling/Best Period Makeup, Maurizio Silvi & Aldo Signoretti.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Living "Nagel Girl" Experience...

I was honored with the recent opportunity to work in with BlackWatch Photography to create an hommage of sorts to the late artist Patrick Nagel. I know it's a rare thing, but there are times when having grown up in the 80's is a very valuable commodity & this was one of those times!

Patrick Nagel, like Andy Warhol, is synonymous with pop culture, specifically his simplified stylized form of the ideal woman. His Japanese Woodblock meets Art Deco fusion was regularly featured in Playboy, and is collected in such prestigous institutions as the Library of Congress, Biblioteque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, & The Smithsonian. Learn more at:

But...what is Patrick Nagel best known for:

The album art for Duran Duran's, Rio...a world wide number one record! Here's another Nagel image that was considered for the 2001 reissue of Rio:

These are very intimadating factors to consider when Dale Simmons, BlackWatch Photography asked me to be the make-up artist on this shoot! Let's also consider that BlackWatch Photography is one of the most coveted, sought after studios to work with, often spoken of in lowered awe-struck voices which imply respect. Visit them at:

A personal thank you to Dale & Jenn, for making this a fantastic day! The model in the photos: Lucy Dominga.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Signature Scent~ Clean Provence...

Every woman should have a signature that is in tune with not only their personal body chemistry, but one encourages her "branding". When we look at a person, we collect them into quickly into visual memory, forgetting that smell is one of the greatest memory triggers. There is no quicker way to leave an impression of one's self than to project a fragrance that is uniquely fitted to one's style.

I have been using Clean Perfumes since their launch in April of 2003 (by Fusion Brands). Founder, Randi Schinder, created these scents "inspired by soap", batching them in small amounts to maintain freshness.

Their perfume portfolio can be viewed at: I love their celebrity page!

My favorite, and the one I use most often is Clean Provence: The soft, fresh, beautiful scent, captured for centuries by the fine milled soaps of France, is now a very special perfume by Clean. Reminiscent of pure soap and water, freshly laundered linens and open blue skies, Clean Provence is infused with extracts of Provencal Lemon, Cotton Blossom, Rose Geranium, Sweet Lime and Soft Violet Musk. Clean Provence will pamper you with a delicate, just-lathered fragrance.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Changeling ~ Excellence in Creating an Era...

It's no secret that I'm all about movies that recall a bygone era. My latest fascination has been Changeling. Most interesting to me was the DVD feature: The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins.

The movie's theme of the disempowerment of women is compelling enough for me, but the vision of Costume Designer, Deborah Hopper is what brought this movie to life.
Her research into historically accurate clothing & accessories, combined with the hair & makeup trends of the 20's & 30's led to nominations for: The British Academy Film Awards, 2008 Costume Designers Guild Award, & 35th Saturn Awards.

The nostalgia of cloche hats, fur trimmed coats, & drop waist dresses indicative of the 1920's was absolutely spot-on, transitioning into the 1930's expertly tailored dresses effortlessly.

Here's to the costumers, stylists & make up artists who contributed:
Nancy McArdle (II), Cheryl Scarano, Robert J. Iannaccone, Ann Culotta, Jo Kissack Folsom, Felicia Molinari, Sabrina Calley (costumer for Angelina Jolie), Jack Taggart, Shirly Lipscomb, Bryan Moss, Tania McComas (Make up Department Head), Patricia DeHaney, Janis Clark, Colin Jamison (Stylist for Angelina Jolie), Jay Wejebe (MUA), Zoe Hay (MUA), Toni G (MUA for Angelina Jolie).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Artisan's Jewelry & Gallery

When I think about the movie Twilight, I find myself wishing that I was privy to the conversations regarding wardrobe & styling. I am certain that there was a reason for leaving these aspects of the charachters relatively undeveloped, so I won't editorialize my impression.

However, in brilliant contrast to the stark nature of the film, stood out these magnificent pieces of jewelery...The Cullen Family Crest pieces.

These pieces were created by Artisan's Jewelry & Gallery in White Salmon, Washington. This gallery features original jewelry, pottery, glasswork, paintings and features artists from the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. They also have a store in Portland.

It impresses me that artists from the region of the movie's locale were featured, and it anchors my interest in the stylistic intentions for New Moon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Earliest Inspiration: Betsey Johnson

I'm a big fan of role models~ I've had many throughout my life, for a variety of reasons, but this is a little tribute to Betsey Johnson, whose career I've followed since I was 15!

The photos I've posted in here are from my "tear sheet" collection when I was in high school. I keep a Rubbermaid box full of things from back then, and this was among them.

Here are the handwritten notations in the pictures:
"Don't "make" curtains...just "drape" lace over things...
"I find all my flowers alongside the road"...

Sketch of dress entitled "Doves in the Snow"

Growing up in a Cleveland suburb in the 80's meant living vicariously through the pages of magazines for me. Clearly there was no internet, and hopping a flight to shop on Melrose Ave. was completely out of the question!

I was absolutely captivated by Betsey Johnson ~ the ecclectic mix of colours, patterns and textures she designed with. An kaleidoscope of everything attractive to me, plus she was just straight-up completely cool. I can remember thinking, "when I grow up, I want to be just like her!" A complete rebellion to the conservatism around me which resulted in my "re-threading" of all my clothing.

I had never actually considered fashion design or anything like that, but I knew I wanted to be surrounded by people with that type of presence. Here we were in this heavily shoulder padded women's powersuit period in time, and all I could see was this amazing person who made everything come to life!

Her accomplishments in the fashion industry are far to many for me to list, so I encourage you to read her bio at

So, what have I taken from all of this? The courage to spend my life seeking every opportunity to take risks, and the reassurance that it's okay to stay true to your eccentric nature. Her use of colour has been the influence of my ReLoaded Collection.

Every time I stop in a Betsey Johnson store I feel the same thrill of excitement of "oh yes...this is insanely perfect!" Every time I buckle my pink soled shoes, I walk a little sassier. Every time my neck is dripping with multi-layered chains & whimsical charms, I am thankful that someone paved the way for me to be confidant!

Visit the Betsey Johnson sale! It's over on the 19th! Check out her Facebook offer too! (of course we all know that I don't have one!)