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

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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

Chasing your Passion with Justin Pasutto


14970_10152601363950377_38855323_nJustin Pasutto is a Former Professional Snowboarder and member of the Canadian National Boardercross Development Team. All starting back from grade 4 with a “Ski or Snowboard Day”  field trip, Pasutto has been hooked on the sport. Over the past 10 years, Justin competed and trained around the world and represented his country.

Before standing and racing side by side with the worlds best boardercross athletes, Pasutto at the age of 12 took interest in playing Rugby. In the years between 2000 and 2009 of playing rugby, Justin received an MVP award with his club (CCIAC), MVP award with the Calgary Rugby Union and was named to the Canadian Rugby team for Under17, U19 and U21 teams. Faced with the decision to pursue either sport at an elite level, Justin choose snowboarding to fuel his need for adrenaline and passion.

Originally born and raised in Calgary, AB,  Justin now currently resides in beautiful Kelowna BC.

I first heard about Justin when friend and designer Jillian Harris confessed he was the prince that stole her heart. For those of you that know my blog, you know that I adore little Ms. Harris. So I knew that this must be a pretty special guy to win over such a beautiful person like Jillian. I saw this remarkable glow every time she mentioned Justin or posted a picture. I contacted Jillian to see if he would be interested in an interview and without a hesitation we were scheduling when and where to meet.

From the moment I sat down with Justin till the end of our 2 hour interview (was like talking with an old friend), I was completely mesmerized by his charm, honesty, dedication and passion. Justin has this way that makes it very easy to be around him, he has great energy and such a beautiful outlook on life. You can’t help but feel inspired and in a good mood after talking with him, Justin is a perfect gentleman with a giant heart of gold. Sitting there I was able to hear stories about his amazing bond he has with his family, the endless love for Jillian and how chasing his passion has filled his life with such joy. I am very proud to share this interview with you and to give you a little look into the life of a hard working, solid, genuine guy!

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a Professional snowboarder?

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JP~ I played hockey ever since I could walk, being from Calgary it’s the go to sport to get into. In grade 4  we did a ski or snowboard day and I picked snowboarding, it was blowing up everywhere because of Shaun White. I fell in love with it even though it was the most painful and tiring day of my life, I could not stand on my board for more that 3 ft without falling over. The lifestyle appealed to me. I wanted it so bad and felt that I would do anything to get it. Grade 8 is when I got into competing with half-pipe (freestyle) and then I did a boardercross race and won $500 and was like “I’m rich, what am I gonna buy”. It felt easy. I was playing Rugby as well at this point, and being an older brother I was very competitive. I wasn’t going anywhere in half-pipe so boardercross was more suited for me. I joined the Calgary Snow Board Club and boardercross programs kicked up and coaches were hired. In grade 10 I went to  a specialized high school, the National Sports School for olympic sports only (you have to qualify). There are classes and schedules to follow, but it allowed me to focus on snowboarding and coming out of high school I was giving it 110%.

BB411~ Walk me through a day in the life during the snowboarding season?

JP~ I Wake up around 7am and snowboard till 2ish, break for 45 mins (power nap or lunch), then gym for 1-2 hours either a recovery workout (bike, stretch, hot/cold tubs) or power strength/muscle endurance workout and then I head home.

BB411~ A little tip for sore muscles is to rub pure, organic coconut oil on your body or add it to a hot bath.

JP~ Thanks, that’s great to know!

BB411~ What’s on your playlist?

JP~ Country Music, I’m loving artists like Taylor Swift and my favourite being Eric Church.

BB411~ What is the next step in your career?

JP~ I’m on the National Development team and working hard at my quest to have the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

307653_10150772865850402_5040130_nBB411~ Have you been interviewed before?

JP~ Not like this, not a sit down. You’re my first!

BB411~ Thank you for the opportunity

BB411~ If you weren’t a professional snowboarder and you could be anything in the world what would it be?

JP~ In real life I would probably go into business, maybe commercial real estate like my day or become a Professional Rugby Player. But my dream would be a Country Singer or Cowboy (if I could time travel).

BB411~ Which Athletes did you admire growing up?

JP~ Shaun White and in my sport Mike Robertson (medalist with boardercross Vancouver). He always had a calm, cool mentality and is the friendliest person you’ll ever meet. Mike’s older brother Adam was my snowboard coach growing up, he built me to where I am today. Adam is one of the most intelligent coaches for boardercross that you can come across.

BB411~ How did you and Jillian meet?IMG_3258

JP~ (A BIG Smile goes on his face) I met Jillian in Kelowna this past Summer. I was in Calgary for a friends engagement party and I flew back out that same night, but I almost missed my flight. Everyone was going out in Calgary to party but I decided not to. But what’s cool is how the whole day worked out. I went straight from airport to a water front pub called Rose’s. I was waiting in the VIP line up, Jill and a few of her friends walked up and straight to the front of the line. Then one of my girlfriends came out and saw me in line and commented on how I was dressed up saying “oh isn’t this guy a beauty” to Jill and her gf’s and Jill responded “yes this guy is totally cute”. Jill and I only exchanged 3 or 4 words in the lineup and then I went in before her.

While inside we didn’t see each other all night until the end when it was closing time. We started chatting and as we were getting kicked out I asked her to give me her number so we could finish this conversation later. We went outside and as she was on her phone trying to figure out where her girlfriends were, I couldn’t help but look at her and If I had to say this, it was love at first sight. I really believe it, it was a sensation that just hit me. This was the first time it’s ever happened to me like this. A few days later I sent a text seeing about meeting for dinner and didn’t get nothing back for a while and then she finally responded and said sure and gave details of when and where. The thing was I had no idea who Jill was, she told me she did some work on tv, I figured it was on the production side of things. I had never watched the Bachelorette. I picked her up at her house and when she walked out I was like WOW~totally swept off my feet. When she got in the car she was like “hey how r u”, super bubbly Jill and I was like “I’m going to marry this girl, this girls perfect”. We chatted our faces off the whole date. Our second date was at a family picnic where I met her entire family for her Granny Marg’s birthday.

BB411~ Have you watched any of the episodes of Jillian on the Bachelor/Bachelorette?

JP~ We talked about it and for the longest time I didn’t, but finally out of curiosity I YouTube’d it and watched 3 mins of one episode.

BB411~ You must know about the hotdog theory?

JP~ I found out about it when I went out for dinner with her parents and her Mom asked Jill to tell me about the theory. Jillian asked me what I put on my hotdog and I replied “Mustard~ it’s the go to thing”. Jill lit up and explained the whole thing while saving the mustard guy for last. Well I totally nailed it and the rest is history.

63750_10152434247175377_1675046216_nBB411~ What are the 3 things you love most about Jillian?

JP~ Her positive energy and outlook on life (it’s so moving and inspiring everyday), her family values and her humour ~ She makes me laugh all the time (she gets that from her Dad Glen, he is the funniest, quirkiest guy out there).

BB411~ What is your favourite thing to do as a couple?

JP~ Depends of time of year. We didn’t go to a movie till 7 months. The best thing we love to do together is travel, every opportunity that we have time off we go somewhere (LA, Calgary, Maui or Road trip). We are usually so tired and beat up from our jobs we just love chillin out. As long as we’re together were stoked on doing anything.

BB411~ You travelled to NYC to ring in 2013, tell me about it?

JP~ I went with Jillian and my parents on a trip to NYC. We got to be down in time square and go in the green room to watch Ryan Seascrest at the ABC Studio (my Mom is obsessed with Ryan and being 5 ft away was incredible). The moment when the ball was dropping we ran outside and rang in the New Year beside Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. It was an amazing trip.

BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today?IMG_0156

JP~ That’s a great question. My Dad’s Italian and my Mom’s Irish so I get the fun-loving, sporadic, I want to hug everyone from my Mom and the love of food, big family and drive from my Dad. I was really lucky growing up, my parents come from great families. My Mom was the total “My kids are first” and built us with real true values. Respecting people for who they are, lending a hand, being responsible, growing up thinking what do you want to reflect on other people and what do you want other people to view you as? She’s gone over and above for my brother and I. My Dad he’s the exact way but in a different light. My Mom’s a school teacher and my Dad’s owned his own company which gave him the opportunity to be there for me and my brother all the time. Both him and my Mom have been my #1 fans since the start. He played a little sports in high school (genetically gifted) and was at every practice on the sideline helping run the programs I was in. My Dad  always said “the only thing that beats talent is hard word and time”.IMG_0210

BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?

JP~ I always have and I have to give my Mom credit for that (she’s always wanted a daughter growing up). She’d always ask “boys do you like my shoes” to my brother Matt and I. She would always dress us up in little bow ties, sweater vests and blazers when going to family events and outings. Then when I started dating Jillian, she is so passionate about style and loves her clothes that I have been playing around with different looks.

BB411~ Favorite Designer?

JP~ I love Indochino and Ted Baker, their style is amazing. Since I have big legs I have to get everything tailored, but these two are my favourites.

BB411~ Favourite colour?

JP~  I would say Blue, a flat navy blue. I also like periwinkle (Jillian would be proud).

BB411~ What are the 5 staple pieces every man should have in his wardrobe?

JP~ Bow tie, 3-piece tailored suit, quarter zip sweater, navy blazer and a pair of nice brown dress shoes.

487587_10152177175180402_1267195150_nBB411~ Describe your style?

JP~ I’m very practical for the situation. I go from snowboarding to red carpet with Jill. I’m not an emotional dresser.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

JP~ From the inside out. True beauty is someone who can live in the moment of each day, not worry about the future and not dwell on the past. Being able to stop and take the moments to enjoy life, like smelling the flowers. Jill is the perfect example of this.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

JP~ Professionally and personally it’s the things that impact your life, give you satisfaction, challenge you and help you grow as an individual each day.

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

JP~ In school I was involved with the Mustard Seed in Calgary, I helped the homeless shelter give out food and gifts (toiletry items). I have been involved with Motion Ball and the Covenant House Vancouver (Jillian and I slept out in the cold to raise funds and awareness for homeless youth). I got to meet with the kids that live there, hear about their lives and experiences and take a tour. The Covenant House has inspired these kids and given them a clean slate to believe in what ever they want to believe in. Sleeping outside gave me a different perspective and appreciation for shelter and a warm bed. The cardboard we slept on acted as an insulator, I woke up with my foot off the cardboard and it was frozen. I plan to get involved with other charities in the near future, this is something that is very important to me. I’m thinking after the season ends going to Africa for a few weeks and volunteering, maybe teaching at a school. I’d love to get involved with Right To Play foundation, it’s such an amazing organization.

BB411~ What does it mean to you to give back?IMG_0243

JP~ Seeing that twinkle in someones eyes, that inspiration passed from you to them. You give them hope, without it we would all be miserable. It’s about leaving that person with a goal for the future, a different view on their overall thinking and giving them a light at the end of the tunnel.

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

JP~ Everything happens for a reason, I try to live my life with no regrets. I would tell myself to not stress out about the future, you work hard and good things will happen.

BB411~ 4 words that best describe you?

JP~ Emotionally intelligent (I’m good at reading people), Spontaneous, Drive and Humble.304345_10152183966425377_1874265724_n

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

JP~ Up until 2 years ago I’d go for the odd facial, but now I use the new Nivea mens line for rejuvenation with Coenzyme Q10 (face wash and moisturizing cream). Since dating Jill I also now go for microdermabrasions and use the Clarisonic.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

JP~ Aveeno hand cream, Labello lip balm and Caudalie Beauty Elixir (one of Jillian’s favourites).

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

JP~ Hand cream, there is nothing worse than dry skin. It’s a pet peeve of mine.

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

JP~ This perfume or hand cream that my Mom would wear, it reminds me of the products at a hotel at Emerald Lake that we would go to growing up.

BB411~ Favorite Cologne?

JP~ Lacoste-White 

IMG_2581BB411~ Do you have a best kept beauty secret that have been passed down to you (say from your Mother or Grandmother)?

JP~ To wear sunscreen and drink lots of water. When I was young my Mom bought me and my brother these tank tops from the GAP that said lifeguard on them. We would run around with walkie-talkies and sunscreen on.

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

JP~ Im afraid of the dark and I’m willing to admit it (laughs).

BB411~ Favorite quote?

JP~ Never run from a loss and don’t whine when it hurts (it was in a movie).

BB411~ Favourite food?

JP~ Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

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

JP~ Stoked or Heart (it’s a tie).

BB411~ Where do you see your self in 1, 5 and 10 years?

JP~ 1yr- Hopefully (fingers crossed) on the National Team on route to the Olympics, 5 years-working in a business (maybe commercial real estate), married with a family (or at least starting) and 10 years-happily married with a family (prob 2-3 kids) living in Kelowna or Calgary.

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

JP~ If you want something you have to do it, you have work for it, it’s not going to come easy. Nothing in life is free. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, block out any doubts that someone else has. If you want something bad enough and you’re will to work for it you’re going to get it.

BB411~ What do you want to be remembered for?294297_10152074826285402_994166618_n

JP~ Not just an athlete who has accomplished his goals and passion but a great friend. A good family member who was always thinking about other people. Always looking to have a good time and making sure others did as well.

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

JP~ I’ve been spoiled with my life and have had the opportunity to travel the world. One thing that I would love to scratch off the list is to visit Fiji and stay in those little huts that are out on the water.

BB411~ Any Adventures on the horizon (personally or professionally)?

JP~ At the end of every snowboard season the work thought kicks in for me to figure out a way to make some cash for the following season. This summer I really wanted to make sure I was on my own schedule and be outside. If I am on my own schedule that means I can fit training in for snowboarding easier.
So I came up with the idea to start my own company. Hadn’t decided what yet but I knew I’d come on to something. I’ve been boating my whole life and I had worked in a boat sales place way back one summer in Calgary and the idea to clean boats came up. But the thing that could give me an extra edge was making it a “mobile boat cleaning company”. I would access all if the Okanagan and make it easier and cheaper for people to get their boats clean. I can run the company out of my home, have my schedule to train and make money to help pay for my next season. I hope that I can grow the company and have it open and available for every spring/summer season to come. It’s been a great project and I’ve learned a lot. Check out Scrub Captain  to find the hottest Summer offers and deals for all your boat detailing needs.

It was such a pleasure to sit down with Justin. I want to thank him for opening up about his life and what matters most to him. I know that no matter what life has in store for Justin (both professionally and personally), he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to. I look forward to watching this rising star make the most out of life. I even got the official invite to visit the Pasutto Ranch in Kelowna this Summer. In Justin’s words, the more the merrier~ he’s just that kind of guy, always putting others first!

Make sure to follow Justin on Twitter to keep up to date on his quest for success, check him out on Pinterest for daily inspirations and Swing by Scrub Captain on twitter to book your appointment today.

Remember  to say that you heard it first from BeautyBuzz411!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, email at beautybuzz411@gmail.com or simply leave a comment here

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.

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Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411