Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

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

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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.

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.

Remember to say you heard it here

Much Love,
Beauty Buzz 411

Natalia Anja: Global Degree

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Photo Credit: Britney Gill

 

Natalia Anja is a freelance photographer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada. Natalia was born in Poland and moved to Greece, eventually settling down in Vancouver, her father documented their family’s adventure with a film and video camera. She’s followed in her dad’s footsteps by capturing and cherishing memories through a lens.

While working for a company called ‘The Buried Life’ (A project that encourages people to check off their bucket list items.) ‘The Buried Life’ inspired Natalia to pursue her passion as a Professional Photographer.

The love she has for photography stems from the incredible feeling of capturing unforgettable moments. She takes pride in connecting with people in a genuine caring way, allowing them to feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera. “Always smiling and hoping I can bring a smile to the faces of everyone I meet.”

Eager to learn more and strongly believing that images are very powerful; Natalia’s goal is to capture life-changing photographs! Helping others that are less fortunate has always been Natalia’s greatest passion and she would love to use her camera and experiences to make a positive difference in society.

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja

I have known Natalia for some time and could not be happier for this incredible opportunity she is about to take on. It takes a lot of courage to just drop everything, pack your bag, take a risk and go outside your comfort zone. See, Natalia is a “Gypsy Soul” and the travel-bug flutters inside her. She has this free spirit and her heart has always longed for beautiful adventure. I have had the opportunity to shoot with Natalia and she has some mad talent, she has this way of making you feel so comfortable in front of the lens. From knowing Natalia, I can honestly say that the Global Degree guys have landed the jackpot on having this beauty come on board. Not only is she super funny and gorgeous, she is down-to-earth, gold hearted and truly loves connecting and seeing the good in people. This little gem is going to be missed here at home (by so many I’m sure), but what’s in store for this “Wild Child” is only the beginning to amazing things. What I love most about interviewing is showcasing people who just want to do good, make a difference in this world, and this girl represents all that and so much more. I am grateful to call Natalia a friend and it warms my heart to share this interview with you………….

BB411~ When did you know you wanted to become a photographer, how did it come to be?

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

NA~ When I lived in Italy and I couldn’t find a job because of the language barrier, I spent a lot of time alone…exploring with my camera and fell in love with photography. I took a correspondence course through the New York Institute of Photography. I was always quite fearful of pursuing it and one day two years ago I threw myself into it and I’m so happy I did.

BB411~ What do you love most about photography?

 

NA~ The connection. You can look at a photo and there’s so much more than just an image. It’s a connection between people, a place, or a feeling and there’s always a story. Whether it is as simple as comfort or discomfort, happiness or vulnerability.

BB411~ First off, Congrats on the new adventure you are about to embark on with Global Degree. What inspired you to apply for the contest?

NA~ Thank you! As soon as I heard about the contest, I didn’t think twice about applying. I called my friend Dan Rizzuto, told him I needed to make a short video and without skipping a beat he said “when are we shooting it?” I’ve always loved traveling, exploring and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Global Degree is that in a nut shell.

BB411~ Tell us what it means to get your “Global Degree”?

NA~ Each country is a ‘course’ and once you complete every course – step foot into every country (193 UN Nations) you achieve your Global Degree.

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

BB411~ What are you most excited about and what do you hope to gain from this experience?

NA~ I’m most excited about the unknown, to me there’s something thrilling about that. I don’t know what to expect, I’m excited to see the world with fresh eyes, meet new people, experience different cultures and grow as a person. I’m excited to photograph every country and make a series of photo books each year. The book will highlight each country I explore. I will showcase a landscape, a portrait of a local, fashion, food and animals of each country. Proceeds of each book will go to a charity of choice.

BB411~ Do you have any fears surrounding your upcoming travels?

NA~ Managing packing 7 months of my life into 1 backpack. Other than that, no. For some reason a lot of people feel inclined to only tell me travel horror stories but I’m going in with an open and optimistic mind.

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Photo Credit: Global Degree

BB411~ What do you love most about your brothers from Global Degree Michael and Alex?

NA~ Since my initial meeting with both of them there was a natural, comfortable connection. They’re complete goofballs which I love. Since day one they have treated me like a little sister. They make me laugh a lot, make fun of me like siblings do, but are very protective and caring as well.

BB411~ Out of all the places you will visit, which is the one you are most looking forward to and why?

NA~ After researching the Asian countries we’re about to visit, it’s so hard to pick one. There were quite a few I have never even heard of. I think I’m most excited for India, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.

BB411~ What has photography taught you as a person?

NA~ That having a ‘job’ that you’re passionate about will make you a very happy, fulfilled person.

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Photo Credit: Britney Gill

 

BB411~ Which photographer inspires you and what do u love most about their work?

NA~ There are so many that are amazing but two that stand out are Rob Daly and Kharen Hill. Rob is an absolute genius! I think he creates pure magic. Every photo of his takes my breath away. All of his work is so original and creative. He really inspires me to start doing more passion projects and to step outside of the box. Kharen’s work also speaks for itself, it’s incredible and she’s one of the loveliest people I have ever met. Kharen was super helpful when I was first stepping into photography, I really admire her.

 

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BB411~ Is there someone you haven’t photographed that you would love to work with?

NA~ Shia Labeouf, I admire his outlook towards his art. I think a shoot with him would be incredible! I love how he bares his soul on film.

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

NA~ Definitely My parents. They created this ‘get up and go’ mentality of mine. They were so young when they moved from Poland to Greece and then decided to come to Canada without ever previously visiting…Talk about spontaneous. I admire that a lot about them, and they did it all with smiles on their faces.

BB411~ How did your parents influence the person you are today? They are my hero’s. They’ll never understand how much I admire them for accomplishing so much at such a young age with two kids. They made me realize that anything is possible. I came from a very loving and supportive home and I hope I exude the love they have unconditionally provided me and each other with.

BB411~ Your sister Trish is your best friend, you share a very special bond. What do you love most about her?

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

NA~ I could go on forever about her amazing qualities. She truly has a selfless heart of gold, she gets that from my mom…they’re very similar. She’s the sweetest person I know that has the softest heart. She’s also a little bit of a weirdo like me, which makes for good laughs.

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

NA~ Something she’s very comfortable in, something she feels sexy in and whatever makes her happy.

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

NA~ Stilettos, there’s something about heels that bring out confidence.

BB411~ Describe your style?

NA~ Confused. haha. My style varies from looking like a little boy going to play basketball or dressing up like a girly girl. It all depends on my mood.

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Photo Credit: Britney Gill

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

NA~  “Beauty” to me shines within a person and radiates with energy on the exterior. Everyone is beautiful and confidence and a kind soul exude that.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

NA~ I feel most inspired when I’m alone with my thoughts in nature. I get inspired by good conversation, seeing people in my life working towards and achieving their goals and being a part of a community.

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

NA~ I believe we’re all extremely fortunate. To me ‘giving back’ is providing a smile on someone’s face whether it be a small nice gesture, monetary contribution or physically helping someone. It means to be selfless. I think smiles are contagious and once they start spreading, the world becomes a happier place. I love the quote “Don’t give to get, give to inspire others to give’

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

 

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

NA~ Project Solution Jamaica has become very close to my heart. It’s an organization my friend co-founded. I’m a HUGE fan of it. The breakfast program provides over 500 kids in Trelawny, Jamaica with a meal a day. Most of these kid’s families can’t afford to feed them so they don’t know when they will receive their next meal. This program allows them to receive at least one meal a day and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the breakfast program. I can’t wait till I get the opportunity to go to Jamaica to visit the kids and the school.

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

NA~ I’m not too particular with my skin regime. I usually use The Body Shop Tea tree oil foam face wash and then Garnier moisturizer.

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

BB411~ What are your go to hair products?

NA~ Dry Shampoo and hair spray! ..and delicious smelling Coconut Conditioner.

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

NA~ Toothpaste? Blistex chapstick.

BB411~ What are your thoughts on animal testing? Do you support companies that are cruelty free?

 

NA~ I love animals so I don’t agree with or support animal testing. It’s a topic I’m not very educated about but would like to be. I know some of my go-to products from The Body Shop are cruelty free which makes me more inclined to support their brand.

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja’s Parents

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

NA~ The babydoll perfume, reminds me of my mom. Smells like grapefruit.

BB411~ What is your favorite fragrance?

NA~ I love Escada – Pacific Paradise, Hypnotic poison, lolita lampecka or the Vanilla Oil from the Body Shop. On men…Jean Paul Gautier get’s me every time.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

NA~ Weird, smart ass, genuine

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

NA~ “Nothing is un realistic. Don’t be scared or too embarrassed to speak openly about your dreams and passions.”

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

 

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

NA~ Wake up early, grab a coffee, putting the phone away for the day, go on a hike and play the day by ear. Exploring places I’ve never been to and not be on a time constraint.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

NA~  “Wherever you go, there you are.”

BB411~ Favorite food?

NA~ Domino’s ham & pineapple pizzzza with banana peppers and franks hot sauce.

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

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

NA~ My phobia, fear: I’m terrified of being in front of the camera. I get extremely awkward, my lips start to shake and I can’t be myself.

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

NA~ Being genuine, respectful and having a kind heart.

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

NA~ To take my family on an epic family vacation.

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

 

NA~  I’ve been slacking lately but I try my best to eat healthy, I love spinning, running, hiking, playing sports and anything active and outdoors.

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

NA~ If you’re extremely passionate about something and you’re willing to put all your time and effort into it you’ll do anything in your power to make it happen. You just need to set fear aside and do it!

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Photo Credit: Natalia Anja Instagram

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

NA~ I like to go with the flow. I have a lot of goals but my life is nothing like what I thought it would be even in the last year. In 1 year I hope to have seen all of Asia and have made an amazing photography book. Host my first Gallery event. I’ll have to see where my heart takes me in 5 and 10 years. I hope that in 5 years I would have achieved my Global Degree and have published work with National Geographic and have made 5 books.

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

NA~ Cheesy dad jokes & puns

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

NA~ I would hope that I have added an element of positivity in people’s lives, making them smile and feel good about themselves.

From the bottom of my heart I am so incredibly proud of this girl and can’t wait to follow this amazing journey she’s about to embark on.

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Photo Credit: Britney Gill

 

To keep up to date with Natalia: Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and make sure to check out her Site where she will be posting on her Global Degree Adventure.

Check out Global Degree on: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Website & their You Tube Channel.

You will be able to catch Season 2 on the Discovery Digital Network too!

And a Big SHOUT OUT to their sponsors Flight CentreHostel World, Monstercat & World Nomads for getting them there, keeping them safe and putting a roof over their heads.

Remember to say you heard it here first

Much Love,
Beauty Buzz 411

Something Sweet with Jessica Krueger

JessicaKrugerOFFICIALLise Watier Cosmétiques and its partner Shoppers Drug Mart are proud to announce that Jessica Kruger of Coquitlam, B.C. is the face of the new Something Sweet fragrance. This effervescent young woman dazzled the panel of judges with her infectious enthusiasm, unfailing positive energy, determination and eloquence, and because she so clearly represents the Lise Watier brand values. She is definitely the Something Sweet they were looking for!

“I have all the character traits that Lise Watier is looking for to represent Something Sweet, but choosing me also means choosing to embrace diversity and changing the world’s perception about what a model should be”, said Jessica Kruger. A fourth-year student at Simon Fraser University, Jessica is also Canada’s youngest female player in the wheelchair rugby association. As a quadriplegic, Jessica accommodates her challenges and enjoys life to the fullest. She also gives motivational sessions for WorkSafeBC (sic) and the Rick Hansen Foundation. Encouraged by a friend, this inspirational young woman enrolled in the competition at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Burnaby, B.C. Although she entered for fun, Jessica quickly realized the impact her application had when she garnered huge support from her community.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet and interview Jessica. Her story is inspiring and she is a great role model who shows what it takes to rise above challenges and see the possible in the impossible. I love that I get to share this interview with all of you, Enjoy………!

BB411~ You are currently in university, what are your focused studies and career plans?

JK~ I am studying at SFU to get my bachelors of English. Once I have gotten that I will apply to the PDP program, which is a one year education/teaching program. The ultimate goal is to be a high school English teacher.

Jess-rugbyBB411~ You are Canada’s youngest female player in the wheelchair rugby association, what do you love most about the sport and organization?

JK~ Honestly, I love everything about rugby—my team-mates, the physical challenges, the contact aspect of the game, the strategy—it’s all so much fun!

 

BB411~ What did winning and becoming the face of the new “Something Sweet” fragrance campaign with Lise Watier mean to you?

JK~ It meant that Lise Watier was ready to help make my dreams come true, that they thought the world was ready to see somebody with a disability be a model—an unheard of feat!

BB411~ What do you hope to accomplish being an ambassador?

JK~ I hope to show both girls and women that being different can be beautiful and that confidence is admirable.

BB411~ What do you think it means to be a good role model?

JK~ I think that a good role model empowers those that look up to them. I think that they remember that all of their actions could have an effect on other’s and that they truly embrace the message that they are trying to send.

BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?LiseWatier_Finalists

JK~ Honestly, I think that it comes from my stubbornness, which I suppose comes from my Dad. I have always been one of those people who refuses to accept no for an answer, and being stubborn has made me strive for things that may have seemed impossible just to prove that they weren’t.

BB411~ Who did you admire growing up or do today?

JK~ I wouldn’t say that there is one specific person that I admire, but rather that there are a number of people who possess the traits that I admire. I admire hard-work and determination, positivity and kindness, loyalty and drive. I see these traits in so many of the people that surround me, my friends, parents, sister, and team-mates, that it is nearly impossible to choose just one.

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

JK~ My parents are, and always have been, my greatest supporters. They are the type of people who have encouraged all of my dreams and never ever told me that something seems impossible or stupid. They have raised me to be the person that I am today. When I was six years old they took my sister and I on a four-year sailing trip around the world. In choosing to expose me to so many different cultures they gave me the gift of understanding other’s challenges and struggles. This trip showed me that people can have virtually nothing and still find happiness, it made me realize how ridiculously blessed I am to live the life I live.

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

JK~ I remember that I really don’t have it all that bad, and recognize that this is the life I have been given, it is up to me to make the most of it, feeling sorry for myself will ultimately accomplish nothing.

FullSizeRender-1BB411~ Have you always been in love with fashion and beauty?

JK~ I think that many little girls grow up with an admiration for all that is beautiful and glamorous, and I was no exception. While I have not always been a “girly girl,” I have always appreciated the fashion and beauty world.

BB411~ Who is your favourite designer?

JK~ My favourite designer would definitely have to be Betsey Johnson.

BB411~ Ditto (One of our faves too!)

 

BB411~ Any beauty/fashion tips or tricks you have?

JK~ The best tip I could give anyone is to wear something that makes you feel fabulous. Going out with confidence is probably the most attractive thing you can wear.

BB411~ Describe your style?

JK~ I would describe my style as girly, fun and flirty with the occasional edge. I love, love, LOVE dresses and boots!

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

JK~ I believe that true beauty comes from within. Someone that is truly beautiful is seen as externally beautiful because their spirit shines from within.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

JK~ I am inspired both personally and professionally by people who are not afraid to work hard to achieve their dreams. I have a huge respect for anyone that has “beaten the odds” and remains humble.

BB411~ Are you involved in any charities that are close to your heart?FullSizeRender-4

JK~ I have had some involvement as a speaker for the Rick Hansen Foundation, which is of course close to my heart, as their work is in support of people with spinal cord injuries. I learned about the work that The Lise Watier foundation is doing, and am hoping to be able to contribute to that in some small way. I think that the work that they do with women and girls in need is extremely important.

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

JK~ It means using all of the wonderful opportunities that I have been given to make a difference to others.

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

JK~ It would be that everything happens for a reason.

BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

JK~ Determined, Positive, Loving.

leah+jess_22.jpgBB411~ What is your skin care regime?

JK~ Extremely simple, wash with water and Lise Watier’s Hydra Smart self-foaming cleanser, moisturize with their Hydra Smart hydration gel cream.

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

JK~ My purse sized Something Sweet perfume, Lise Watier Dramatique Intense Mascara, and my Lise Watier Sun Ray lip gloss!

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

JK~ Lise Watier’s feline black liquid eyeliner! Amazing!

BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood and what is your favorite fragrance?

 

JK~ Any sort of baking related scents remind me of my childhood, as that was one of my favourite things to do with my mother, and my favourite fragrance is Lise Watier’s Something Sweet!SSweet_RollOn

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

JK~ I have been to 45 different countries.

BB411~ Favorite quote?

JK~ “May the bluebird of happiness do cartwheels in your oatmeal” I actually have this quote up on my bedroom wall!

BB411~ I absolutely love this, this is going in the vault!

BB411~ Favorite food?

JK~ Tacos and sushi!

FullSizeRender-10BB411~ Favourite movie?

JK~ The Guardian or John Tucker Must Die.

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

JK~ Travelling to India.

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

JK~ Realizing that people in wheelchair’s are capable of doing anything an able-bodied person is, just in a different way.

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

JK~ Spending time with friends, family, and my boyfriend, baking, and curling up on the couch to watch wedding shows with my sister.

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

JK~ I would tell them to remember that achieving them will probably not be easy, but ultimately hard-work and determination are always rewarded. Be patient, never say no to an opportunity, and go get those dreams!

BB411~ Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?FullSizeRender-9

JK~ 1: Starting the PDP program at SFU, continuing to train for wheelchair rugby, hopefully doing some part-time modelling!
5: Teaching, playing on the national wheelchair rugby team, getting engaged (**hint hint nudge nudge** haha!), living in Vancouver.
10: Playing on the national wheelchair rugby team, opening my own cupcake shop, married, living in Vancouver, and starting to have children!

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

JK~ On a non-materialistic level, My family, my dog, my friends, my life!

To keep up to date with Jessica: Follow her on Instagram

To get your hands on the incredible fragrance “Something Sweet” Visit Lise Watier

Remember to say you heard it here

Much Love,

Beauty Buzz 411

Miss USA – Nia Sanchez

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Nia Sanchez is 24 years old, born and raised in Sacramento until age 7! From there, her love of travel began, moving between California and Washington. After high school, she moved to Europe to be a nanny. Not one to stay still for too long, Nia traveled to the Middle East, Austria, and Switzerland! Nia is half Hispanic, which is why she loved having the opportunity to travel to Mexico while on mission trips!

In 2009, she saw a close friend take the title of Miss USA and decided to get into pageantry. She has competed both domestically and internationally with great success! Nia has worked as a full-time model for the past 7 years and was chosen out of thousands of applicants to be a face character for Hong Kong Disney! After visiting Thailand and the Great Wall Of China, Nia made the bright lights of Las Vegas her home! She is modeling full-time and enjoying her reign as Miss Nevada USA 2014!

Interviewing Nia was a breath of fresh air, she is wise beyond her age and has a gentle heart. She is confident, humble and keeps kindness at the centre of her values. Nia wears the crown with integrity and is setting a great example on what it takes to be a good role model. Here’s an inside scoop on love, life and the things that matter with Miss USA Nia Sanchez.

Photo Creds: The Amazing Miss Universe/Photographer Fadil Berisha

(Also personal photo creds: Miss USA and Nia’s Instagram)

BB411~ What inspired you to compete in the Miss USA Competition, what has been the fondest memory so far?

NS~ I was flipping through channels in 2009 and ended up watching the Miss USA competition. While watching, I impulsively picked up the phone and called a recruiter. It was very spontaneous that I even decided to compete! My fondest memory so far has been visiting the children’s hospital in Reno, Nevada and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces. It was very impactful and powerful to see all of these strong kids continuing to smile despite what they’re going through.IMG_9276

BB411~ What do you hope to accomplish with your title as Miss USA and what do you want to be remembered for?

NS~ I Hope that I can inspire and empower young girls and women across the USA. I hope that I can be remembered for more than just my title, but also being a positive and uplifting woman for others.

BB411~ You model full-time, how did that come to be and what do you love most about modelling?

NS~ I fell into modeling through pageants. I just loved being in front of the camera, meeting all types of people and learning different kinds of job roles

BB411~ Tell us about becoming a “face character” for Hong Kong Disney?

NS~ Being a face character was one of the best experiences in my life, besides being Miss USA of course. I had so much fun brightening people’s days and bringing smiles to families, living in a foreign country and experiencing their culture.

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

NS~ My parents have two very different personalities and I feel that those two personalities gave me a good balance in my life. My dad is strict and my mom is more free-spirited and that helped me become a very centered individual. I feel like I look at the world from a broadened perspective because of them.

FullSizeRender-4BB411~ You are quite the world traveler, where did the travel bug come from?

NS~ My first international trip was at the age of 10 when I went to Germany with my grandmother and brother. Ever since then I’ve loved traveling the world! At 17 I went to Africa and from then have been to 12 different countries! I just can’t get enough!

BB411~ What has been your favorite place to travel, and what place have you not been that is on your bucket list?

 

NS~ So many! It’s so hard to decide, there are just so many different places! Number one, besides New York, is Hong Kong. I just had such an amazing experience there that it made it one of the best places I have ever visited. Next, I’d love to go to Japan!

BB411~ Did you experience bullying growing up? What advice do you have for other kids going through the same situation?

NS~ I did experience bullying in middle school and high school. At the time it certainly affected me and I ended up telling my parents about it. My best advice would be what I did at the time, I kept myself surrounded with my really good friends who were so supportive and lifted me up. No matter what, your good friends will always be there for you. Keeping that in mind it helps to tune-out negativity.

BB411~ How do you stay healthy and fit?rs_634x1024-140608204314-634-2miss-usa-nevada-bikini.ls.6714

NS~ I love to have a variety of workouts to stay fit. For example, this month I’m signing up for hot yoga, Taekwondo, and a spinning class on top of having a personal trainer.

BB411~ Top 3 artists on your playlist?

NS~ I love listening to Shakira, Beyonce and Michael Jackson while at the gym!

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

NS~ No! It has never been something that I’ve really focused on in my life, especially fashion, but I do enjoy it. I feel that I’m learning so much during my year as Miss USA!

BB411~ Describe your style?

NS~ I would describe the way I dress as being classic and chic.


article-2652571-1E97635500000578-369_634x842BB411~ 
Key 3 pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe?

NS~ I would say a fitted blazer, a pair of nude paten pumps and a little black dress. Oh, and one more thing… a good bra!

BB411~ Stilettos, Flip Flops or bare feet?

NS~ Flip flops! But if you would have asked me in middle school, bare feet all-day everyday.

BB411~ What does beauty mean to you?

NS~ Beauty, to me, has always meant having a beautiful heart and having your beauty come from the inside out. Beauty is about focusing on who you are as a person not what you look like, or how you think you look.

BB411~ What inspires you personally and professionally?

NS~ My faith has inspired me throughout my entire life both personally and professionally. I just hope to live a good life and be a good example to others. I think my faith has helped me get to where I’m at today.

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

NS~ The most important thing about being a good role model is having integrity. I really learned the value of integrity when I was little through Taekwondo. I think you should do the right thing even when no one’s around, which makes for a great foundation for any role model to start from. Integrity is key.

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

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NS~ I’ve never been asked this before, so it’s interesting. I would tell my younger self to not worry what others think about you and be confident in who you are. I felt I really became myself when I realized that people’s negative opinions of you don’t define you. They don’t know your heart.

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

NS~ Yes! The Shade Tree is a charity that is so close to my heart, it’s a women’s shelter. I lived in a women’s shelter when I was young with my mother so I have a personal connection when it comes to giving back to these places. I was also in a very aggressive relationship in my past, which helps me to relate to the women there. I hope to always give back to them in any way possible.

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

NS~ Giving back, for me, is more than just donating money. Although it’s helpful, sometimes people need more than help financially. Giving back also means giving my time to volunteer or simply by being there to have a conversation.

gallery_photo1404749820_I1T1565copycopyBB411~ 3 words that best describe you?

NS~ Generous, Kind and Positive!

BB411~ What is your skin care regime?

NS~ I use Image Skin Care! I wash my face every morning and night, I make sure to moisturize and use sun block every single day.

BB411~ What are your go to hair products?

NS~ I use CHI products daily! I also LOVE dry shampoo for when I’m on the go, since I’m always traveling!

 

BB411~ 3 beauty products you carry with you always?

NS~ Chapstick, compact powder and eye liner!

gallery_photo1404749820_I1T0070copycopyBB411~ #1 beauty product you could not live without?

NS~ Sun block!

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

NS~ Cucumber melon body mist! I used to think it was the best scent in the whole wide world when I was growing up. I probably wore it from 3rd grade to 9th grade.

BB411~ What is your favorite fragrance?

NS~ My current favorite is Vey Sexy by Victoria’s Secret.

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

NS~ Yes, my grandmother taught me at an early age to always moisturize, especially my face and gave me anti-aging lotions at the age of 15 so I could start early!

BB411~ Got to love Grandma’s! Mine did the same.

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

NS~ That’s hard, I’m so open! I’m a 4th degree black belt in Tawkwondo and I’m a certified instructor!

FullSizeRenderBB411~ Favorite quote?

NS~ “Take the time to find the joy in every moment.” –Nia Sanchez

BB411~ Favorite food?

NS~ Anything Mexican! Especially enchiladas!

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

NS~ Traveling to Japan!!!!!

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

 

NS~ Since I’m living in New York, my perfect day, when I have downtime, is relaxing in Central Park and taking in the beauty of the nature there.

BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?rs_600x600-141006042406-600.Miss-USA-Engaged-JR1-100614_copy

NS~ When I realized that I had no one else to please in life, but myself. I didn’t need anyone else’s approval to be happy. I just had to be who I am!

BB411~ You are newly engaged, what do you love most about your fiancé Daniel Booko?

NS~ Gosh, where do I begin?! I love his faith and that he is such an inspirational person, not only to me, but also to everyone he comes in contact with. He inspires me.

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

NS~ My advice would be to never give up and to always take business cards of anyone they meet. You never know in the future who you might want to contact!

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

FullSizeRender-1NS~ In one year, I hope to be finishing up my year as Miss Universe, or working internationally as a television host, perhaps for a travel show. In five years, I hope to be settling into family life and will hopefully have had my first child! In 10 years, I see myself having a happy, healthy relationship and raising my children while still pursuing my dreams in the workforce.

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

NS~ Nutella!

 

To keep up to date on Nia: follow her on Twitter, Instagram (Personal) and Facebook.

Remember to say you heard it first here

Much Love, Beauty Buzz 411