Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

The Power Of Transformation With Kendra Richards

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

Professional Makeup Artist Kendra Richards continues to be inspired by and love the transformation power of makeup and its intimate, creative and collaborative process as she prepares someone for the camera, red carpet or stage. Her initial start in the business began as a costume designer and stylist, following in the footsteps of her mother who worked as a fashion designer in NYC. She changed careers as it became evident that her real passion was makeup. Kendra has said that “Helping people to feel confident about their appearance is at the heart of what I love to do”. Her work from timeless to edgy or clean and minimal have been seen in publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and InStyle to advertisers Olay and Paul Mitchell and Target to name a few. Some of her many clients includes Cindy Crawford, Hilary Duff, Anna Paquin, Justin Timberlake, James Franco, Martina McBride and Bella Thorne.

 

In addition to her clients, Kendra frequently shares her professional expertise on camera for E! EntertainmentE! Entertainment, Lancome, PopSugar, CocoPerez and Total Beauty to name a few. Sharing beauty insider techniques is her favorite aspect of reaching people thru the media.

In 2012, Kendra took her love of finding solutions for her clients and hands on knowledge of what truly works for both skin and make up, to develop and launch Heir Atelier Ultimate Make Up Prep, a facial serum that creates the perfect canvas for makeup. Kendra researched ingredients and initially creating her unique multi-tasking serum in her kitchen to meet her own needs as a makeup artist. After gaining a loyal beauty insider following and many requests to purchase from celebrities and other makeup artists, her company HEIR ATELIER was born.

Kendra is represented by CloutierRemix.

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a Makeup Artist and how did it all unfold?

KR~ I began as a costume designer and wardrobe stylist but eventually realized that what I really wanted to do was makeup.  So I went to makeup school and began testing and doing headshots, anything to gain experience. Six months later I started working with one of the top hair/makeup and styling agencies in LA and my career took off.

BB411~ What do you love most about doing your clients makeup?

KR~ Meeting and collaborating with some of the most creative,  accomplished and interesting people is a part of what I love about doing makeup.  I learn something from everyone that I work with and that is personally rewarding.  A huge part of what I love is empowering people, helping them feel that they look their best.

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

BB411~ Who in your industry inspires you and why?

KR~ Creative people in all areas of the industry inspire me from stylists and hairdressers to photographer or art directors with an amazing vision. Other makeup artists inspire me and the model or talent sitting in my chair inspire me.

BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?

KR~ I think it comes from loving what I do.

BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

KR~ A few years ago I added entrepreneur to my resume when I launched my beauty brand Heir Atelier. I love where that is taking me as it grows and I expand the business making it necessary to balance both the makeup jobs and running my company.  But to the spirit of your question I would say probably if I was not a makeup artist and entrepreneur I might want to work with endangered species in Africa or doing work being a voice for those in need in some way.

BB411~ How do you stay balanced with life’s daily stresses that come up?

KR~ Gratitude- that is huge.  Perspective helps.  Few things in life deserve the amount of stress we heap on ourselves, so perspective and gratitude for all I have. Also breathing and Yoga are very helpful. I am learning lately to be tuned in to how I feel and when I need it, take a little time for myself. Honestly it’s something that I am not great at yet but want to be.

BB411~ What charities are you involved with and why is it important to you to give back

KR~ My mother suffered from Parkinsons before she passed so research to end Parkinsons is important to me.  I have cousins who suffer from Fragile X syndrome, that is important to me as well. I’m always all about defending victims and those without a voice – so animals, children, women in countries that don’t value them as much as men and the elderly are of great concern to me and supporting. Mercy For Animals, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, PCRM, ALDF, HDL and St. Vincents Meals for Wheels are some of the organization.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

KR~ Be bold, have confidence, dream big and believe. Also  enjoy the ride! Enjoy the moments.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

KR~ Hmmm, you might have to ask the people closest to me for that.  Brave, hard working, reliable, big hearted are some first thoughts. Optimistic, impatient and tough might be some others.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

KR~ My mothers perfume Arpege by Lanvin

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

KR~ I am 5’2” which even people who know me are surprised by and I am really pretty shy.

BB411~ Describe your style?

KR~ That’s a tough one – not sure how to describe. My aim is hip/comfortable and stylish. Basically I like having a smallish wardrobe that gets a lot of wear. It is important to me to wear clothes that are cruelty free so I have chosen to no longer buy wool, leather, silk, etc.  The clothing that I put together is very important to me, it always has been. I feel that style empowers us and when we feel great about how we look we stand taller and carry ourselves differently.

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

 

BB411~ What does healthy mean to you and how do you stay active?

KR~ Healthy to me is about mind, body and spirit. It’s about the thoughts you feed yourself, people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself as well as others. It’s about having patience with yourself and others. I eat a plant based diet which I believe is healthy for me and the planet, as well as respecting the lives of animals.

As for active – walking my dog every day and as my schedule allows; yoga, hikes or whatever I am into at the time like HIIT, etc. I just joined Equinox gym to give myself more options and motivation to integrate fitness into my daily schedule.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

 

KR~ I have many but here’s one of my favourites: “The universe rewards action”.

BB411~ What are the 3 sites you check out to keep you updated on the world?

KR~ Well+Good, Wall Street Journal and Instagram

BB411~ When you look back at the life you lived, what do u want to be remembered for?

KR~ For being a do-er not a talker. That someone somewhere has been positively impacted by knowing me. That I have been a good daughter, friend, confidant, boss, mentor, etc.  I want to know that my time on the planet has been spent making it and people that I touch better in some way.

BB411~ Kendra, Let me be one of many I’m sure to say that you are an incredible role model and I am inspired by you. You have impacted me more than I could ever express just from this interview alone. Thank you for living such an authentic life with such kindness and grace. Your voice and compassion encourages me to love greater and live better by being an example of the goodness in this world. The world needs more “Kendra’s”.

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

 

BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

KR~ That I don’t have to be perfect, I am fine as I am. And that nobody else is perfect either.

BB411~ What is the top quality that entrepreneurs should have?

KR~ Confidence, persistence, the ability to truly listen and see. It’s also helpful to be flexible, make changes when necessary – markets change, trends change and you have to adapt.

BB411~ Tell us about Heir Atelier and what inspired its creation?

 

 

KR~ I am obsessed with skin and creating the look of flawless looking skin which starts with the right prep of the skin. That is why I have chosen to create makeup primers only. Makeup only looks as good as the skin it is applied to.

BB411~ Who has been your most memorable celebrity/company to work with?

KR~ There are honestly too many to mention. I have had so many memorable experiences from doing makeup on a nominee in a limo on the way to the Golden Globes, to working regularly with the editor of a major fashion magazines while she was in town during awards season. Working with the women who inspired the term supermodel and A-list actors and musicians each experience is memorable in some way and I am grateful for all of them. It has been an amazing priviledge.

BB411~ You are a Dog Momma, what has been the greatest gift your pup has taught you?

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Photo: Cloutier Remix

 

KR~ Ella just asks for what she wants: a treat, to be pet, to approach someone she doesn’t know. She never judges herself and she generally gets what she wants. So I would say she has taught me to ask for what I want!

BB411~ Favourite Cocktail?

KR~ Generally I drink Tequila neat (Casamigos) or Vodka chilled and neat (Devotion) or red wine.  If I drank a cocktail it would probably be a Martini, Lemon drop or Gin & Tonic.

BB411~ When I say “love this”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

KR~ Life!

 

 

Stay Up-To-Date with Kendra by following her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, PinterestSite and Representation.

You Heard It First Here!

Much Love, BB411

Garnier’s Hair Expert – Roger Medina

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Garnier is thrilled to welcome Roger Medina as their Canadian Hair Expert. With over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, Medina will share his expertise from styling how-to’s, to at-home hair colouring techniques to breaking down the top trends seen on runways all over the world. Medina’s work has graced the runways of New York Fashion Week as well at Toronto Fashion Week, with his editorial work appearing in top Canadian Magazines. His roster of celebrity clientele includes Chloe Grace Moretz, Clémence Poésy and Francesco Yates.

“We are so excited to have Roger join the Garnier family as our Hair Expert,” says Jessica Zagari, Integrated Communications Leader, L’Oreal. “With his international experience, we truly believe he’s the perfect partner to bring the top hair trends and looks from around the globe home to Canada. With his expertise, he is sure to become the go-to resource for all things Garnier haircolour and style.”

BB411~ I had the absolute pleasure to meet Roger and what a remarkable and talented artist he is! Every time I do an interview I always leave gaining more insight, wisdom, grace and additional gratitude. It blows me away the level of artistic talent that our world has and I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to share this interview with all of you. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I loved writing it…………..

BB411~ How did your career unfold, when did you know you wanted to become a hair expert?

RB~ I remember at a very young age of 12 when I was at my aunt’s salon waiting for my mom to finish getting her hair done, I would play with her mannequin to pass the time. From there I knew that I had a passion to create art and by choice, hair was my medium. Fast forward to 2012, having 5 years under my belt at this point and achieving great success in Winnipeg shooting all the big campaigns in the city, I wasn’t feeling completely fulfilled and that I wanted more out of my career. My friend who worked for Roger’s media posted onto my facebook wall a casting call for an upcoming web series “Canada’s Best Beauty Talent” looking for the best hair and make up artist’s in Canada. I auditioned, received a call back and was told I was chosen to be one of the top 12 contestants to compete. After filming and when the show aired on Citytv, it caught the media’s attention as well as the beauty industry. That was the turning point in my career when I knew I had to leave Winnipeg and move to Toronto to really pursue becoming a celebrity hair stylist. First off I’m very humbled to be Garnier’s Hair Expert. Having that title and being a part of the team comes with a lot of responsibility, innovation and knowledge. The entire team is amazing; we have a great working relationship – they love the fresh ideas that I bring to the table, while also being super collaborative. The end result has been incredible executions that are organic to the brand, to me, and current.

BB411~ Where does your inspiration come from and who in the industry inspires you?

RM~ It’s hard for me to narrow it down but when I feel like being inspired, I will look at hairstylist’s feeds such as my friend @tokyostylez, who makes the wigs for the one and only, Kylie Jenner. His wig work is amazing! @cesar4styles, who’s in charge of Ciara’s coif; his eye for textured hair is impeccable. @kimkimble, @ritahazan and @nealerinah who are in charge of Beyonce’s hair. There are also the “great’s” that inspire me on an editorial level, such as Guido Palau and Sam McKnight, their work is timeless and inspiring.

fullsizerender-14BB411~ What are the current hair trend do’s?

RM~ There is a resurgence of braids again this season with textured undone curls. Soft Bridgitte Bardot bangs are slowing making their way back as well. For color, deep rich colours are trending, such as rose golds and bronze/ronze (red/brown).

BB411~ Do you specialize in anything or are known for when it comes to hair?

RM~ I am a colorist and hair extension specialist. Best know for my signature curls and voluminous waves.

BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today and you could be anything in the world, what would it be?

RM~ My other passions growing up were dance and graphic design. I wanted to be a choreographer for Janet Jackson, but stopped dancing at 18 to pursue my career in hair.

BB411~ What projects did 2016 bring?

RM~ TIFF, a 12 day stint of hotel runs getting celebrities ready for red carpet premieres.

BB411~ How do you stay balanced with life’s daily stresses that come up?

RM~ Good question! I live by the water so going for a jog/walk with my dog every morning really clears the mind for me. Also getting out of the city and driving to the cottage for the weekend is an essential and is what I call paradise, the perfect staycation!

Bb411~ Describe your style?

RM~ My personal style is trendy, stylish, urban yet comfortable and professional.

BB411~ What does healthy mean to you and how do you stay active?

RM~ Being healthy means staying active, making sure your mentally and physically stimulated as this is what fuel’s drive and stability. Also having a healthy diet is key especially for me when I’m standing on my feet all day. Coconut water and raw almonds on set keep me going.

BB411~ What is the #1 value you live your life by?

RM~ My first value in life is my relationship with my partner making sure he comes first. Second is my career as it’s an extension of who I am but it doesn’t define me as an individual. Third is my family who keep’s me grounded and humble.

BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?

_dsf1720RM~ My drive and focus comes from my late mother who passed away when I was 15. Her drive and ambition in her career and in life as a single mother of 2 sons was very admirable and inspiring. She was the only one who supported me getting into the hair industry. All the achievements in my lifetime are dedicated to her.

BB411~ What charities are you involved with and why is it important to you to give back?

RM~ As of right now, I’m currently not involved with any charities but in the near future I would like to give back to the cancer foundation specifically to colon cancer as this was the cancer that took my mother’s life.

Bb411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

RM~ To never stop pushing and learning in life, there is always more room to grow. This industry is exciting but there are also difficult times where you’ll feel defeated, discouraged and vulnerable but this is natural to happen during growth. Stay strong!

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

RM~ Determined, Creative, Driven.

BB411~ What are your top hair products?

RM~ My top hair products that I’m obsessed with currently are Garnier’s Texture Tease Spray, Beach Chic Salt Spray and Big volume Hair Spray. Also if you’re wanting a shampoo/conditioner that will hydrate and nourish your hair without breaking the bank, I’d recommend Garnier’s Damage Eraser collection. It’s amazing, trust me, I wash all my hair extensions with it!

_dsf1652BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

RM~ Scents that remind me of childhood would be Orange pop, marble ice cream and lip stick!

BB411~ Do you have a best-kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you?

RM~ My aunt told me to always moisturize my body with pure coconut oil as it has high levels of antioxidants that improve your skin.

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

RM~ I’m really good a HTML coding, secretly I’m a nerd.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

RM~ “Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: The future can be better than the present and I have the power to make it so”

BB411~ What is the #1 book you would gift to someone?

RM~ The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

BB411~ What are the 2 websites do you enjoy reading?

RM~ Vice and Rihanna Daily

BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

RM~ Retire when I’m 40 

BB411~ What is the top quality that entrepreneurs should have?

RM~ 

  • Take what you do seriously
  • Manage money wisely
  • Become a shameless self promoter
  • Be accessible
  • Use social media as your platform to increase visibility
  • Take time off

BB411~ When you look back at the life you lived, what do u want to be remembered for?

RM~ I want to be remembered for inspiring other and always pushing boundaries and limits. You don’t have to be mean to succeed in life.

_dsf1747BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

RM~ My aha moment was back in 2014 when I was flying back from LA, my international hair commercial came out and it went viral! The security at the airport stops me and said “Hi, are you Roger Medina from the hair commercial?” I was caught off guard after enduring a 5-hour flight but replied saying “Yes that’s me!” From that moment on, I knew that I was becoming a public figure and impacting people’s lives.

BB411~ Describe your perfect day when you have some down time?

RM~ Being able to shut off my phone and disconnect from the world for a day. During the summer, I’d lay by my pool and sunbath in the sun to gather my thoughts. During the winter, Netflix’s and cuddling with my pup is just as enjoyable!

BB411~ When I say “love this”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

RM~ What comes to mind is an outfit, shoes or a bag when I hear someone say “LOVE THIS”!

Keep up-to-date with Roger on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Website

Remember to say you heard it here first!

Much Love,

Beauty Buzz 411

Fit, Forty and Family with American Grit’s Lisa Traugott

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Full of both beauty and brawn, blonde bombshell Lisa Traugott is sure to be the standout star of FOX’s newest competition series “American Grit” which premiered on April 14th, with new episodes airing Thursdays at 9/8c and at the helm is the show’s host WWE Superstar John Cena. Set in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest (some of America’s harshest weather), 16 of the country’s toughest men and women with backgrounds ranging in fitness to top branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, will be divided into four teams and pushed beyond their limits as they face a variety of military-grade and survival themed challenges to see if they can prove to the world they have AMERICAN GRIT and win up to a million dollars of prize money. Lisa is the only competitor who is a bikini bodybuilder and will use her confidence and strength to dominate the competition.

A New Jersey native, Traugott had aspirations to be a performer and lived in New York City performing in classical theatre off Broadway. Shortly thereafter, she attended college in Allentown, Pennsylvania and in London prior to moving to Southern California where she met her future husband. After getting pregnant with her first child, she and her husband decided to move to Texas to raise their growing family. Like most new moms, she focused on the upbringing of her children and before long she completely let herself go. When she received an invitation to her 20th high school reunion, she realized that a drastic change needed to take place. She took her final maternity leave paycheck of $150 and drove to the gym where she signed up for as many personal training sessions as she could afford. Five months later, she completely turned her life around and lost over 50 pounds, started a health and fitness blog and received her personal training certificate. She has also become a hugely successful bikini bodybuilder competing in some of the most elite competitions in the country including the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Classic.

After her father passed away from cancer, Traugott became heavily involved in running charity marathons in memory of her father which led her to become an ambassador for the American Cancer Society where she traveled to Sacramento to appeal to politicians for the anti-smoking legislation. Over a 3 year span, she ran in 2 Spartan races and 4 marathons including the Nike Women’s Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, collectively raising over $100,000. As a 41 year old mom of two, Lisa is now the author of 2 books: She’s Losing It! and Mind Your Manners Minnie Monster. She currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and 2 children and is getting ready to release a “30 Day Weight Loss Program” available through her website.

BB411~ I was beyond inspired after interviewing American Grit competitor and fit Mom of 42 Lisa Traugott. There were so many similarities with everything that we have gone through in life. Hearing her insights and how she overcame fears was so moving. It gave me some new ways to think and she is definitely a woman to watch out for. Mark my word, you will be hearing a lot more about this beautiful human! In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the interview………

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be in the fitness industry and how did your career unfold?

LT~ My involvement in the fitness industry was a complete and total accident. I entered my first bodybuilding competition when I was borderline obese and age 38 to lose weight before my 20th high school reunion. I didn’t really think it would work. To my shock and delight I completely changed my body and my life. After that I just wanted to get the word out that change was possible, even if your middle aged, overweight, a mom and had no sports background. That’s why I became a personal trainer and wrote my book, “She’s Losing It!”. I wanted to write a “Rocky” for Moms.

BB411~ What do you love about being an author and how did that come to be?

LT~ As a kid I was pretty shy, but when it came time to read our creative writing assignments out loud I remember the class used to clap for me and each week it became a thing, “What’s Lisa going to write this week?” I mostly kept my stories to myself, until one day I was eating at an Italian restaurant in NYC when this kid, he couldn’t have been older than three years old, said, “Mommy, I. Said. No!” and threw spaghetti against the wall. After that I wrote “Mind Your Manners Minnie Monster” to help naughty three year-olds everywhere. It won a silver Mom’s Choice Award.
I started writing a romance novel that would make 50 Shades of Grey readers blush and showed it to some local authors and they told me that the story was good but I needed an online presence to get publishers to even open the manuscript. This was exactly the same time that I started training for my first bodybuilding competition. So I created a blog to document everything. I figured, as a novice, no one would expect me to know much, it would hopefully have a great ending of me looking hot in a bikini (is there really a better ending than that?) and if I didn’t like blogging I could always say it was just for the competition. I ended up LOVING blogging and it’s one of my biggest joys now.

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BB411~ How has it been to be on “American Grit” and what was John Cena like to work with?

LT~ American Grit gave me an even deeper appreciation for our military and what they go through to keep our country safe. The training evolutions we did challenged us mentally, physically and emotionally and exposed everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. I think everyone left that show a changed person; stronger, more resilient.
John Cena was really funny. He made little snide remarks under his breath between shoots and kept the cast laughing. I was lucky because my team, Team Noah, kept winning so I got to spend a lot more time with him. He gave each of us on the green team his wrestling action figure, which I have sitting on my dresser. (I will not let my son open the box to play with it.) I’m still pinching myself really. I got to do whiskey shots with John Cena! That alone makes me the coolest mom at the PTA.

BB411~ Who in your industry inspires you, and why?

LT~ In the bodybuilding world, I love, love, love to watch Ashley Kaltwasser. She won the Olympia bikini division three times, which is unheard of. People have this idea in their head that bikini competitors just eat lettuce all day and do jazzercise. Ashley has a gymnastics background and that woman can LIFT! I love watching her pose. There is almost a sense of dance to it; the transitions are smooth and she has figured out how to look good at all angles and still hold a smile…in five inch heels and a sparkly bikini.

BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?

LT~ When I get an idea in my head I won’t quit until I get it. Hard work doesn’t scare me and I will push through pain and discomfort if I am confident it will bring about the results I want. I’m not a masochist – I won’t suffer just for the sake of suffering – I have to believe in what I’m fighting for and to trust that things will work out. That’s why I didn’t blink when my trainer told me to do 730 squats/lunges/bridges every day before a competition (I won first place.)

But it doesn’t even have to be just a physical task. For example – after my dad died I ran a marathon in his honor and decided I was going to raise money for cancer research through a casino night fundraiser. Everyone told me my vision was too big, it couldn’t be done. I ignored everyone who said no, got a team of 14 hardcore business leaders and all the athletes running in the San Diego chapter of Team In Training to help me and we put on an event that had close to 700 people, raised almost $75,000 and was covered by NBC, CBS, FOX and tons of magazines and radio stations. It was hours and hours of labor and 7x as big as my own wedding, but to know I was helping people with cancer made it worth it.

BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today, and you could be anything in the world, what would it be?

LT~ I would love to be in action movies and TV shows. How awesome would it be to be on Game of Thrones riding a dragon, or being a spy in James Bond or fighting the evil Sith Lords in Star Wars? American Grit taught me that I can do just about anything physically as long as I don’t psych myself out and the universe has been on my side lately, so this might actually work out for me.

BB411~ How do you stay balanced with life’s daily stresses that come up?

LT~ Ha! I don’t! Honestly, I’m very lucky that my husband and I own our own business and he is able to care for the kids when I get the opportunity to fly to New York for an interview or need to sleep in after a brutal leg day workout. The other person in my life who keeps me grounded is my trainer, Robin Johnson Jr. I’m prone to emotional eating and he keeps me in check with that.

BB411~ Describe your style.

LT~ Eclectic and ever changing. Just when you think you’ve got me figured out I’ll do something completely different that looks or feels right to me in that moment.

BB411~ What does healthy mean to you, and how do you stay active?

LT~ Healthy means eating clean and doing a sport or physical activity that you are passionate about. Healthy means finding a balance between delayed gratification (like during competition prep) and enjoying the chocolate chip cookie (after the competition.) When I’m bodybuilding it’s all about the weights. In the off season I like to take pole dance classes, yoga and do obstacle course racing.

BB411~ What is the #1 value you live your life by?

LT~ I believe in helping others. It doesn’t have to be a big charity event either. Sometimes just encouraging a friend not to quit, or hugging a child who is crying or even just looking in someone’s eyes for 30 seconds and smiling can be what that person needed most in that moment. On my blog I write about lots of things, but I’m always thinking in the back of my mind, “What will my reader get out of this post? A good laugh? Useful information? Inspiration?” We are put on this earth to help one another.

BB411~ What charities are you involved with and why is it important to you to give back?

lisa-bikiniLT~ I was very active with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society before I had kids, as a way to honor my dad who died of cancer. I was also an ambassador for American Cancer Society and actually got to meet with my state representatives to lobby for anti-smoking legislation. Since having children my charitable work has been to help the schools. Last Halloween I created a kids Zombie obstacle course fundraiser and worked with local businesses to fund specific academic programs that were cut from the budget.
In honor of my cadre, Noah Galloway, we had a drink special made up during my American Grit watch parties that benefitted his charity the No Excuses Charitable Fund.
As long as you are alive and breathing it is your responsibility to give back. You can give your time, or your money, or in some other way unique to you. The positive and long lasting impact you have on others will be worth it.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

LT~ STOP BEING SO SCARED!!! JUST GO FOR IT!!!

BB411~ Three words that best describe you.

LT~ Quirky, kind, driven

BB411~ What is your top skin care company/product?

LT~ The only skin product I use is Hawaiian Moon Aloe. It plumps up my skin, you forget I’m a 42 year old woman with laugh lines.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

LT~ When I smell the ocean – salt water, sand, sunscreen – it reminds me of the Jersey Shore where we would go one week each summer. Those were the best vacations because it was time spent with my family.

BB411~ Do you have a best-kept beauty secret that has been passed down to you (from maybe your Mother or Grandmother)?

LT~ I have to tell you, my mother and grandmother both looked remarkably young, like 15 years younger than their actual age, their whole lives. They told me to exfoliate like hell on my face with a wash cloth and then use Oil of Olay.

BB411~ Can you give a fun fact that people may not know about you?

LT~ Did I tell you about my birthday scare? Every year for my birthday I do something to scare myself. It’s kind of like a bucket list only instead of doing a hundred things and then you die, I do one cool thing each year and then eat cake. For my 38th birthday I entered the bodybuilding bikini competition despite being size 14. After losing 50 lbs. and fixing my messy life I decided I was going to do everything I ever wanted but was too afraid to try. For my 39th birthday I jumped out of a plane. For my 40th birthday I entered a pole dancing competition. (2nd place – who knew?). My 41st birthday scare was being on a reality TV show, American Grit and for my 42nd’ birthday I did 5 minutes of stand-up comedy. God only knows what I’ll do next year…

BB411~ What is your favorite quote?

LT~ “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – Theodore Roosevelt. It reminds me that circumstances do not have to be ideal or perfect before you take action. Take action Right. Now.

lisa-shes-losing-it-jeansBB411~ What is the #1 book you would gift to someone?

LT~ That’s easy, my book “She’s Losing It!” because it’s funny, gives the meal plan that took me from size 12 to size 5 in a month, and I have some extra copies at home.

BB411~ What are the 3 sites you check out to keep you updated on the world? (news, spiritual, magazine, etc)

LT~ Twice a day I read Yahoo! News briefs on my phone to keep up with world events, when I’m feeling down I will go to Oprah because I can always find something there to lift my spirits, and I really enjoy reading Men’s HealthMen’s Health because they have pictures of hot guys on the cover and I really like the advice given by Jimmy the Bartender.

BB411~ What is the #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

LT~ Since my kids were born I’ve been wanting to take a trip around the world with them when they got old enough to remember it. I have no idea how I will pay for this, but since I can win bikini competitions in my 40’s and do whiskey shots with John Cena, truly anything is possible, and if it’s meant to be it will happen.

BB411~ When you look back at the life you lived, what do you want to be remembered for?

LT~ Helping others overcome their fears so they can be their best self.

BB411~ What has been your biggest “Aha!” moment so far in life?

LT~ This is going to sound dumb, but my biggest Aha moment is that diet and exercise work. Going through that first bodybuilding competition prep was so educational. I never realized how much food impacted my mood, my weight, my sleep and my physique. I had always thought eating a package that said, “Diet-low-fat-gluten-free” meant I was eating well. Once I stepped away from processed food my whole life got better.

BB411~ It does not sound dumb at all, it is encouraging to know others have felt and gone through the exact same thing. You can only do better, when you know better!

BB411~ What is the top quality that entrepreneurs should have?

LT~ Never give up. Never. My husband and I own an apartment building and flip houses. We’ve been turned down by banks, had double-digit vacancies and put up our life savings multiple times to make deals happen. It can make your stomach churn, but as long as you know that failure is not an option you will make it happen.

lisa-swordsBB411~ Describe your perfect day when you have some down time.

LT~ I love being a lazy ass. I’d love to park on the couch, read magazines, scratch my head about what Donald Trump said now, and eat something my trainer would get mad at me for. And then I’d love to play Monopoly or Sorry with my kids and take a walk around the block with my husband. It would end with homemade old fashioned popcorn and binge watching Game of Thrones. WHERE. ARE. MY DRAGONS!?!

BB411~ When I say “love this”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

LT~ Stuff my kids made for me. One time I lost a bikini competition and my daughter drew a picture of me standing in front of a flag holding a trophy and it said, “I am sorry you didn’t get and award but you were the best.” I don’t always win trophies, or the million dollars on American Grit, but I feel like I’m winning in life.

Keep Up to date with Lisa on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and her Blog!

Much Love, BB411

Miranda Lambert Stuns the ACMA’s

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Not only did country superstar Miranda Lambert stun during her ACM performance, the Female Vocalist of the Year (naturally) stunned on the red carpet as well! Celebrity Hairstylist for PRO Beauty Tools Johnny Lavoy explains how he created Miranda’s sexy, wavy textured hair:

“I wanted to create a sexy, wavy texture for Miranda’s look. I used a beach spray for a little texture from the start, then scrunched her hair while drying it with the PRO Beauty Tools Professional 1875 W IONIC AC Motor. Then I curled her hair with the PRO Beauty Tools Professional Gold Curling Iron 1 ¼”, alternating from section to section. I love this curling iron because of its 24 hour curl lock guarantee – which was perfect for a big night like this! I wanted to create a natural, sexy feel so I left out her ends to really get that textured look. To finish, I used hairspray to hold it.

To see more of Johnny Lavoy’s creations, be sure to check out his social: Twitter, You Tube Channel , Facebook and Instagram!

Much Love,

Beauty Buzz 411

Beauty on the West Coast with Erin Cebula

Call it destiny and hard work, or passion with a purpose, Erin Cebula has been gracing our TV screens since 2000 with her infectious smile and charming personality on Global BC. As the go-to reporter on the West Coast for Entertainment Tonight Canada, Erin brings a high level of energy to her interviews. When Erin’s not in front of the camera, she’s giving back by lending her genuine heart to rewarding everyday heroes and changing lives with the various charities she is involved with (Spokesperson for the BC Children’s Hospital Lottery and Host of HGTV’s Makeover Wish , to name a few). Erin shares a passion for life, from her love for animals (especially her late dog Lenny), beautiful marriage to her wonderful husband, strong bonds with her girlfriends and indulgence for everything entertainment. This “former farm girl” & “undercover jock” brings beauty and style to everything that surrounds her!

When she’s not filming you can find her cooking up a storm in the kitchen, enjoying the outdoors or spending quality time with family and friends. I had the chance to speak with Erin and find out a little more about beauty, life and the things she loves……

BB411~Have you always loved fashion/entertainment?

EC~Dress-up has always been part of my life and I still have a well stocked tickle-trunk.  In 86’ I started interviewing my poor family at Christmas Dinner, and I guess I just never stopped.

BB411~How would you describe your style?

EC~I suppose I strive for “sophisticated bohemian”, but I can be really lazy too. My go-to look when I’m not working are leggings, gumboots and a toque! Stilettos just don’t belong in the dog park.

BB411~You rock short hair! Do you ever think you will grow it long?

EC~My short do’ has become a bit of a trademark over the years, but I am open to long locks. I’m just not sure I have the patience to make it through the dreaded “inbetween” stage. Shudder.

BB411~What is your favourite hair product?

EC~I was recently introduced to the Oribe texturizer and I’m hooked.  It gives my hair some grittiness without being sticky. It’s magic.

BB411~Does any certain scent remind you of your childhood?

EC~I wore Samsara by Guerlain when I was a teen, and when I do catch it in the air (which is very rare) it takes me back to awkward high school dances and bush parties.

BB411~Do you have a best kept beauty secret that have been passed onto you?

EC~Healthy food was big in the Cebula home and it’s just as important to me now. I avoid junk food and splurge on good wine and cheese instead. I eat organic when I can and I am a really good sleeper!

BB411~3 beauty products you carry with you always?

EC~Quo Lipgloss in “Captive Fascination”, Jane Iredale Mineral Powder and a big old tube of Great Lash Mascara.

BB411~#1 beauty product you could not live without?

EC~Dermalogia Microfoliant

BB411~ I Love, Love, Love this product too (see post)

BB411~You are in amazing shape, what’s your secret?

EC~First of all thank-you!  But the props should go to my trainer Tom Taylor at T3Athetics. He kicks my butt and Moksha yoga keeps me balanced.

BB411~What does giving back to charities mean to you?

EC~I love to be a part of positivity, and helping others makes the world a better place.

BB411~What does beauty mean to you?

EC~To me, beauty is health and confidence.

BB411~Fun fact that your fans may not know about you?

EC~I can limbo like a hot damn!

BB411~Favorite quote?

EC~ “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching”.-Unknown

To find out more about Erin and keep up to date with what she has going on, check out  facebook or follow her on Twitter

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

Megan Williams: Our Interrupted Fairy Tale

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Megan is the Vancouver based author of the breakout, true love story, Our Interrupted Fairy Tale. If you’re looking for her, you’re likely to see her running the seawalls with friends who (she claims) have saved her thousands of dollars in therapy. She also has a new column in Valley Buzz – “How did you meet”. But if you really want to know Megan, take a look at what her friends have to say!

So what is there to know about 30 year old Megan Williams, that you haven’t already read? “It took me a little over a year to write Our Interrupted Fairy Tale – writing 1,000 words a day and sifting through old emails, diaries, letters and blogs. I moved to the spectacular North Shore with Chad in 2008, and have stayed there ever since. I still live in our mini-castle in the sky (read: very small, very high condo that over looks the ocean and city).

Since moving to the North Shore, I have run thousands and thousands of kilometres on the West Vancouver seawalls. Most of which have been with girlfriends who have saved me thousands and thousands of dollars in therapy – letting me cry through the rain, daydream about “what’s next” and drop minutes off my race times. I also still play tennis. Not as much as I used to – but each time I step on the court, I’ve got Chad’s coaching voice in my head. (Elbow up on the forehand, move towards the ball on volleys). I play one tournament a year – The Chad Warren Mixed Charity Challenge.

As for work, I’m on the communications team at BC Transplant, an organization that I am proud to be a part of, my colleagues are selfless and I have no problem showing up on weekends to work.”

FullSizeRender-15 copyI knew of Megan and her story for some time, but had the honour to meet and work with her for the Big Love BallFur Crying Out Loud” campaign shoot. Megan has this kindness that shines so bright from within – I don’t think this beautiful woman has a bad bone in her body! She is such a sweetheart and an incredible role model for woman and young girls all around.

Megan embodies strength, beauty, focus, dedication and most of all she shows us that the fight’s always worth it, when you believe in it! Her courage inspires you to step outside your comfort zone, listen to your heart and to do it all with love. “Our Interrupted Fairy Tale” is a true love story that shows us how through loss, love will always remain. Megan showed vulnerability in a way that allowed us all to see what a remarkable man Chad Warren was and how Chad’s spirit will continue to live on. As hard as it was to read this book, knowing how it would end, I found healing and comfort for those that I have lost to Cancer. It is with a grateful heart and love that I share our interview here……

BB411~ You released your new book “Our Interrupted Fairy Tale”, what do you hope people get from your love story?

MW~ I like that people will get to know a few things about this great guy Chad who they might have not otherwise had the privilege of meeting. But as time has gone on, I’ve been told that this story has helped others with their own life stories of love and loss – so I’m pleased this story has offered that as well.

megan-062BB411~ At what point did you know you were ready to tell your story?

MW~ It was about a year after I found one of Chad’s diaries. The timing was right in my life that I could commit to writing this story, and the timing was right in my grieving. I guess the pain wasn’t so acute that it would cloud the happiness of the story.

BB411~ What was the best and hardest part about writing this book?

MW~ Reliving our life together. The hardest part is similar – reliving our life together, and recalling the sickness and sadness that came with it.

BB411~ What are the plans to spread the love about “Our Interrupted Fairy Tale”?

MW~ I’ve recently signed with an agent in Toronto – so he’s taking over some of the planning now. We’ll have to wait and see!

BB411~ What inspires you to stay strong and embrace life?

MW~ I’m alive, I’m healthy and I’m loved. I can’t think of any more inspiration than that.

BB411~ What do you want people to know most and remember about Chad?

DSC03293MW~ That he was a kind, thoughtful, determined, good person. He also had the ability to make us blush and belly laugh at the same time with his super off-side jokes.

BB411~ Chad started a foundation called “Chad’s 1 Million“, can you tell me a bit more about it?

MW~ Chad’s $1 Million (for Multiple Myeloma) is a campaign to honour his wish to have his life make a difference for other blood cancer patients. Take a Look!

BB411~ You and Chad met on the tennis court, will you continue to play tennis or have you closed that chapter of your life?

MW~ I still play, but not nearly as much since Chad’s been gone. I play in the summers with my Dad in preparation for my favorite (and only) tournament of the year – the Chad Warren Mixed Charity Challenge up at Hollyburn in West Vancouver. It’s a great event, and for any tennis players who might read this article, I encourage you to consider registering this year! The tournament is set up as Chad wanted, accessible and open to players of any level. Good times only!

IMG_1866BB411~ What has “living on” meant to you?

MW~ I will never get over the loss of Chad. I haven’t met anyone who “got over” the loss of someone they loved. So, I’m living on, not moving on. I live on with Chad in my thoughts, conversations with friends and occasionally in my decision-making. He’s still here in so many ways.

BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?

MW~ Oh, you mean my #1 fans? My parents have cheered from behind the glass watching my tennis matches, with one phone call, and they were at the hospital with Chad and I in less than an hour, and again, this past Friday – Mom and Dad stayed up late with me as they worked through the wrinkles of my SheTalksYVR speech with them. Their tireless support has influenced me tremendously and I wish that feeling on everyone.

BB411~ You have found love again, was that a hard process? How has Brad helped heal your heart?

MW~ I have found love again! While I wouldn’t say it’s a hard process, but it’s very uncharted territory for both of us. Brad (I know, Chad/Brad – I like to keep it simple) as he says, chose to love all of me, not just the parts that apply to him. I’ve never had to “hide” my grieving, or pretend I didn’t have a life with someone else, before him. And I feel the same about him, and I’m confident it’s why we works as well as we do.

IMG_0149BB411~ What does the word “beauty” mean to you?

MW~ We use that word to describe so many things don’t we! So, considering I told my step-daughter that she was beautiful before leaving for work this morning, and I also said the cherry blossoms were beautiful on my run – I’d have to say “Beauty” is something natural. Something that requires a moment of pause as you think how special that person/view/object/moment is.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?

MW~ Paying it forward. Sometimes, I find that a gesture or generosity that has been extended to me, doesn’t always mean I “give back” to that same place – I try to pay it forward where it seems fitting.

BB411~ Are you involved/support any charities that are close to your heart?

MW~ Chads1MillionChildren’s Wish Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis.

BB411~ Describe your style?

MW~  I had to text my friend and ask. I would have said, “comfortable.” Cristina said, “West Coast”. I think we mean the same thing, but hers sounds better.

IMG_7251BB411~ #1 thing every woman should have in her wardrobe?

MW~ Runners

BB411~ Bare feet, socks, flip-flops or stilettos?

MW~ Flip-flops

BB411~ What do you do to stay fit and healthy?

MW~  I run with friends – which doubles as therapy and a workout. I do track workouts with a group called SuperKrun on the North Shore to help get my race times down. Strength training in the gym and skiing and tennis for cross training. I like to keep moving.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

MW~ Whatever the facial people tell me – wax on, wax off.

BB411~ What are your go to hair products?

Butter_Studios_Wedding_Photographers_Vancouver_megan_williams_our_interrupted_fairy_tale_3-900x500MW~ Whatever my hairdresser, Jaelyn tells me – shampoo, conditioner, comb, heat protector?

BB411~ Do you have any beauty secrets or words of wisdom that have been passed down to you from your mother or grandmother?

MW~ Drink water. Add sparkle.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

MW~ Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer – SPF 30. Everything after that is a bonus.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

MW~ Fun question! Halston, my Mom’s old perfume – it reminds me of being able to fit on her lap. Cigarette smoke and smarties – reminds me of my Grandma. Tennis Bubbles – reminds me of junior tennis.

64-450-2BB411~ What is your favourite fragrance?

MW~ Currently: Sugar Lychee by Fresh.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

MW~ I’m not great at answering this question, so I asked Brad’s little girl. She said, “Beautiful. Smart. Nice.”

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

MW~ I have an irrational fear of fish.

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

MW~ You are not fat.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

MW~ “Your absence is like the sky – it covers everything.” – My cousin shared this with me. It’s actually a mis-quote from C.S. Lewis – but I like her version more.

5008_517342854126_51501401_30756267_5004979_nBB411~ Favorite food?

MW~ Brunch.

BB411~ Favourite colour?

MW~ Sparkle

BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

MW~ I’d like to live in France for a few months. But most immediately, I’d like to run a sub 20 minute 5km.

BB411~  What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

MW~ That there will always be more love. I didn’t have to fall out of love with Chad in order to fall in love with Brad. That was a biiiggg moment for me.

BB411~ What are the key points to being a good role model?

MW~ I try to be Kind, Supportive, Empowering.

FullSizeRender-15BB411~ Describe your perfect day (when you have down time)?

MW~ Run with friends (coffee and muffin after – specifically at Crema in West Van), a swim with my step-daughter and Brad, champagne lunch and shopping with girlfriends, and a big dinner out after spending unnecessary amounts of time getting ready with girlfriends, with Taylor Swift on shuffle.

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

MW~ I’d like to still be writing and living by the beach. But, this last year has been another reminder that the course you’re set out on can always change direction, so I really have no idea.

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs (writers) starting out that are following their dreams?

IMG_0159MW~ Ask tons of questions, ask for advice, follow leads, have a plan and take chances.

BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

MW~ My life.

To keep up to date with Megan: Follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and check out Her Site!

Remember to say you heard it here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411

On Point with Melissa Barak

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Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

As one of the most sought after dancers turned choreographers in the United States, Melissa Barak has built an empire cultivating relationships with her audiences via ballet through her cutting-edge dance company, Barak Ballet. Having being featured in such publications as Los Angeles Times Magazine and DANCE Magazine, Barak is continuing to foster the growth of her company by showcasing her talents on February 6th-7th 2015 at The Broad Stage in Los Angeles for 2 shows.

Drawn in to the art of dance at 8 years old, Barak began her career in Los Angeles learning from the illustrious Yvonne Mounsey at the Westside School of Ballet. Her passion eventually took her to New York to study at the School of American Ballet and eventually earned her a spot at the New York City Ballet where she remained for the next 9 years and became known for her linear purity, relentless work ethic, and musicality.It was there that she began exploring her choreographic talents and at the unprecedented age of 21, with her consistently outstanding performances allowed her to be commissioned for an original work for the company, making her the youngest choreographer in New York City Ballet history. Upon realizing her talent for choreography, Barak continued creating new works for various companies including the American Repertory Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet, as well as luminaries such as Misty Copeland, Benjamin Millipied (Black Swan) and principle NYCB dancers Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Robert Fairchild. With this unparalleled success, Barak felt it was time to branch out on her own to build a dance company that flourishes from personal philosophies deeply rooted in true collaboration, individuality and artistic maturity. In 2013, she founded Barak Ballet and has made its mission to envision, develop and perform contemporary dance interpretations for the modern age.

When she’s not busy performing and creating visual art, Melissa can be found volunteering for various animal rights groups and playing with her cat, which she rescued herself while living in New York as a dancer. 

It was such a pleasure to sit down and chat with Melissa. Her incredible drive and passion for bringing emotion alive on stage is irresistible. Melissa puts her heart and soul into creating artistry through her dancers and work. I am so happy to be able to share this interview with you, a true artist and inspiration in my eyes………..

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Photo Credit: Kyle Froman

 

 

BB411~ Has dance always been a part of your life, how did that all come to be?

MB~ It started as a little girl dancing in the living room for my mom. My sister and I would partner together and do shows for my mother and grandmother. My mother watched me dance around the house and noticed I had talent (as every mother does) and got me into ballet classes at the age of 4. I actually didn’t love ballet at the beginning, I found it kind of boring and stopped after a year. At age 6 after continuing to dance around the house, my mom decided to put me back in and it stuck ever since! It was when I was 8 and enrolled in Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica that things got much more serious.

BB411~ Who did you look up to growing up or inspire to be?

MB~ When I was young at Westside, I was 8/9 years old and very impressionable and looked up to the advanced dancers. Many of them went on to serious companies. They made an impression on me and gave me goals for something to work towards. As I got older and was becoming more aware at the ballet world at large, I looked up to Darci Kistler. I saw Julie Kent perform live and she has always been someone I look up to as well. Both women are fantastic.

BB411~ What do you love most about dance and being a choreographer?

MB~ As a dancer- the performance aspect, performing for an audience (live) with the music and being in a role that you love with choreography that really fits you. It takes you to a spiritual place. It’s a very freeing, quite, euphoric place. Dancing provides that euphoria, a real sort of happiness, being one with yourself and getting lost in the music. Choreography is fulfilling but in a different way. I’m very much into competition, my personality is about making sense out of disorder, organizing. I get fulfillment out of creating pictures, images, and an environment on stage using music that I love. What motivated me to move as a dancer, music motivates me to create as a choreographer. To sit back and watch it all come to life on stage is an accomplishment, a real joy.

BB411~ What is the greatest lesson dance has taught you?

MB~ 1. A determined mindset. You need to be persistent, there’s no such thing as giving up. The constant reach for the betterment of your artistry/technique. 2. Practicing patience. Some people rise slowly, others dancers rise more quickly, some have strengths that others don’t. It’s really about being persistent, determined, but also being patient with yourself. Excepting who you are, your abilities and limitations.

BB411~ Living in NYC and studying at the New York City Ballet, you became the youngest choreographer. What was that experience like?

MB~ It was awesome and it was scary. It was incredibly cool, a huge honour and a sense of accomplishment for sure. But being so young I didn’t quite feel ready for all of that attention and to have my work on one of the biggest stages in the world. Lincoln Center (are you kidding), it was a lot of pressure on somebody who wasn’t even quite sure what kind of choreographer she was. I wouldn’t change anything though, it forced me to be brave at a young age and take chances. I felt torn as I still very much wanted to dance but the focus was on my choreography from my director. I am grateful to him for giving me my choreography career.

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BB411~ How was your company The Barak Ballet born?

MB~ It was a few years ago that my time with Los Angeles Ballet was coming to an end. And I was at a place in my life that I was deciding what I wanted to do; join another company, audition, or get into something completely different (interior design has always interested me). But then I had been playing with the idea of starting my own company. Out of all the things I was considering getting into, that really inspired me. It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to start a company of my own. I had thought about it in previous years, coming back to LA and creating a company I grew up in. It was at that time, my dance career had come to an end, and it was at that time that I considered such a move. It just seemed to make sense, it just felt right. As soon as I started putting pen to paper and writing out my mission statement, it all started exciting me. It grew from an idea to people jumping on board. It’s something that inspired me and still inspires me.

BB411~ You have worked with some incredible dancers Misty Copeland, Benjamin Millipied (Black Swan) and principle NYCB dancers Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Robert Fairchild. Who have you not worked with but is on the top of your list?

MB~ Maria Kochetkova is incredible from San Francisco ballet. Actually San Francisco Ballet has a lot of incredible dancers I’d like to work with; Sofiane Sylve, Yuan Yuan Tan, there all exceptional! Wendy Wayland, she’s just an amazing, amazing artist. Also she loves to work with choreographers and would look good in anything created.

BB411~ What advice do you give for young ballerinas or people with a passion for dance that are starting out?

MB~ I’d tell them to just focus on themselves, try not to look around and see how quickly other dancers are moving forward in their progress. Dancers grow at various rates and it’s super important to not compare yourself to others. You look, you watch, and you want to learn from other dancers but you don’t want to directly compare yourself. Because again, you could have strengths they don’t have and you don’t want to diminish what you have. You have to stay focused, better yourself, focus on improving, and try not to compare cause that can really destroy you.

BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?

MB~ My Mom always believed in me and boosted my confidence. She always tried to be very honest and subjective with me. Hearing her encouragement throughout the years really gave me a sense that I had something special.

BB411~ What do you do to stay fit and healthy?

MB~ I try to eat super healthy and well-rounded. I don’t deprive myself of anything, I eat chocolate, fruits, vegetables, I enjoy eating sensible and in moderation. I stay away from anything processed and eat organic as much as possible. I enjoy pilates, I’m really lucky I have my best friend Andie Hecker who owns a pilates studio, Ballet Bodies in LA. I stays active through pilates, hiking and gyrokinesis, which is a form of yoga, tai chi, gymnastics, and dance. I enjoy activities that are low impact.

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Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

 

BB411~ Describe your style?

MB~ If I go out, I would say city-urban chic, east meets west coast sort of vibe. During the day, I’d say California girl.

BB411~ Top 3 things every woman should have in her wardrobe?

MB~ Nice blazer, hot pair of jeans (that make your booty look good and legs look long) and a pair of nude heels.

BB411~ Bare feet, socks or stilettoes?

MB~ Ballet Slippers

BB411~ What does the word “beauty” mean to you?

MB~ Confidence, Graciousness and Compassion define beauty.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

MB~ I get inspired by people’s innovation. So professionally, If I’m observing (especially in terms of choreography), I loving seeing what can be created and done. I love the book that came out on Steve Jobs; he was this guy that had an idea and who just had a knack for business, marketing and product that people wanted. Innovation has really inspired me, other people’s, whether it be artistic, technological, scientific, I find that really cool.

BB411~ Are you involved in any charities that are close to your heart?

MB~ I support various animal wellness charities. My schedule doesn’t allow me a lot of free time, but when I can, I try to attend events that support great causes. Animal welfare, the prevention of animal cruelty are the causes very close to my heart.

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Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

 

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

MB~ I’m an EPICURE girl all the way. I use their facial wash, they have this mask and peel I’m obsessed with. I love argan oil and use Avene sunscreen every day.

BB411~ What are your go to hair products?

MB~ Right now I’m using Pantene, it adds extra moisture to my hair. I like to change my hair products regularly.

BB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

MB~ Vaseline, I use it on my lips, cuticles and sometimes as an eye moisturizer. Vaseline is universal and inexpensive.

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?

MB~ The smell of freshly cut grass, brings me back to being younger. Also the smell of rose, there use to be a store in a mall that was decorated all in pink (girlie) and whenever I smell rose I think of that store. It was one of my favourites.

BB411~ What is your favorite fragrance?

MB~ My scent that I wear is Narcotic V. by Nasomatto. I love gardenia and tuberose is really beautiful. If I want to relax, lavender is great and I’m really into Cire Trudon candles.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

MB~ Loyal, Genuine and Honest!

BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?

MB~ I love the saxophone. I have also always loved the sound of the accordion and bagpipe as instruments too.

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Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

 

BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?

MB~ Not to give up, you have to work your ass off. Nothing comes easy (laughs).

BB411~ Favorite quote?

MB~ Favourite quote I have on my desktop is by Woody Allen “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

BB411~ Favorite food?

MB~ Pizza & Dark Chocolate

BB411~ Favourite colour?

MB~ I know it’s technically not a colour, but I like black.

BB411~ What are the key points to being a good role model?

MB~ Being supportive and honest.

BB411~ #1 thing you want to cross off your bucket list?

MB~ I’d like to go on a safari in Tanzania (Greek Islands is a close second)

BB411~ Describe your perfect day (when you have down time)?

MB~ Start the day with a good, healthy breakfast, pack up a small bag of my beauty essentials and head to Olympic Spa in Korea town, LA. It’s a stay cation, filled with pools, saunas and their milk and honey body smoothie treatment. They also have this warm floor that you can have a nap on after your treatment. It’s pretty Kick-Ass!

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Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

 

BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?

MB~ Take with a grain of salt anything a man tells you, don’t take it to heart!

BB411~ What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting out that are following their dreams?

MB~ Be determined, work hard and you have to make sure it’s something you are going to enjoy putting a lot of time into. As long as you know this is a passion of yours, you’re going to enjoy the hard work. Certainly the bumps in the road can’t get you down. You have to be able to weather any storm that comes.

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

MB~ When I was younger I use to set goals, but now I live day by day. Right now my focus is on ballet of course and in 5 years I’d love to see my company continuing to grow with great dancers, opportunities, exciting audiences around the world by then and being happy (that’s the biggest, most important thing). One, five and ten years all I really want is to feel fulfilled and happy. And what ever way that happens, whether I’m married, single, Barak ballet’s a success or I move to Portland Oregon, I just want to feel fulfilled!

BB411~ When I say the words #lovethis, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

MB~ Funny Cat videos on You Tube, I’m a fan

To keep up to date with Melissa and Barak Ballet: Follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow Melissa personally on Her Instagram Account.

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Much Love,
Beauty Buzz 411