Saturday, February 27, 2010

Omnipresence in Photography

A reflection of the Path I've walked thusfar.

A reflection of my perspective.

I believe artists (of any kind) are people who were born with a more fine tuned "sixth sense" than some. They are more in touch with their intuition. Photos are a reflection of a person's perspective; what they focus on, what they include and what they leave out. The energy that a photographer puts into that moment when the shutter snaps, is what gives the photo "life", or not. (Also the energy put into any post work)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red-violet, Yellow-green Complimentary colors

I have to add the products and photos later because I have to run! But someone help name this puhleaseeeeeeee! :) TIA

Brooklyn Blog (video)

I'll post photos too when I get the chance. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look from my Blending Basics Video

Products Used:


Untitled Paint (MAC)
Pink Vivid Pigment (MAC)
Burnt Burgundy Pigment (MAC)
Delphic Fluidline (MAC)
Parrot Eyeshadow (MAC)
Beautiful Iris Eyeshadow (MAC)
Pink Opal Pigment (MAC)
Black Liquid Liner (prestige)
Maybelline Mascara
Dark Taupe Eyebrow Pencil (Senna Cosmetics)

Porcelian Pink Mineralized SkinFinish (MAC)

Little Tease Lipliner (MAC)
Heatherette Lipstick (MAC)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I figured it out!! Finally.

Sometimes a great (personal) revelation, can come from something so seemingly meaningless, it amazes me. But the thing is, when you allow yourself to be open, to be conscious and present, you realize that in some way, shape or form, the universe is always conversing with you - even if through other people, through symbols, signs etc. You just have to learn how listen.

I got off the Q today somewhere in Midtown. Yes, I'm currently in New York. I was on my way to see the Tim Burton Exhibit at the MOMA. Totally irrelevant I suppose but moving on, I crossed the street, itunes on shuffle and the song suddenly shifted to "Everything's Magic" - Angels & Airwaves. Again, could be irrelevant but I often walk with music blasting, not to drown out the noises of the city necessarily, but moreso to enable myself to "listen" to the city in other ways. So I'm crossing the street and I see 3 guys hanging on the corner. I can already predict what's coming. For those that don't know, NY guys are for the most part extremely aggressive, and try to talk to nearly any girl they find attractive walking down the street.

As I walk past, one motions to ask if I have a lighter, though I can hear nothing but Angels & Airwaves. I do, so I allow him to use it. I pull one headphone out so I can tell him it's a childproof one because he has trouble with it. Of course, his friends start with the "Damn mami, you're sexy etc etc" I say thank you and continue my walk towards the MOMA.

But it hit me like a ton of bricks. I know many, many men (some living in NY, though most elsewhere) who are intimidated by women. So afraid of rejection that they rarely outwardly express any interest. They allow their fear to control them, prevent them from going after what (or in this case, who) they want.

I've said New Yorkers have a hustler mentality - which is true. But to go even further, I believe that what's different about this city, is that in order to "survive" in any way, a person MUST grasp an opportunity the moment it presents itself, push aside any fears, any insecurities, and any doubt, and just go for it.
And if you get smacked down, so what. You pick yourself back up and try again, and again and again if necessary. However many times it takes to achieve whatever it is you desire. This is what is ingrained in New Yorkers.

But you don't have to live here to have that same mentality. Being frozen by fear, will get you nowhere in life. Instead a person must have utter belief and faith in oneself if they wish to fulfill their desires. Yes a very simple revelation, from a very random, seemingly meaningless interaction, but I felt compelled to write it down and share it.

PS- It's freezinggggg here! Thankfully I love the snow. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Complimentary Colors - Purple & Yellow Eyeshadow Makeup Tutorial

original Look:

Products Used

Untitled Paint (MAC)
Beautiful Iris Eyeshadow (MAC)
Gorgeous Gold Eyeshadow (MAC)
Static loose color concentrate (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics)
Gold Dusk Pigment (MAC)
Lithograph Fluidline (MAC)
Black Liquid Liner (prestige)
Zero 247 Liner (Urban Decay)
#3 Faux Lashes x2 (MAC)
Black Mascara (maybelline)
Dark Taupe eyebrow pencil (Senna Cosmetics)

HD FOundation #110 & #130 (MUFE)
Breezy Blush (MAC)

Vino Lipliner (MAC)
Up The Amp Lipstick (MAC)

Monday, February 8, 2010


Products Used:

Untitled Paint (MAC)
Riot eyeshadow (MAC)
Club Green (Yaby)
Clarey Green eyeliner (delux Beauty)
Psychic Caterpiller (Yaby)
Blue Butterfly (Yaby)
Blu-Noir (MAC)
White Gold Pigment (MAC)
True Chartreuse Pigment (MAC)
2 pairs of #3 Lashes (MAC)
Zero (Urban Decay)
Dark Taupe brow Pencil (Senna Cosmetics)

Fancy Ray Blushcreme (MAC)

Purple Rain (NYX)
Violetta Lipstick (MAC)

Subtle Gray Smokey eye

Products used:

Untitled Paint (MAC)
Cool Pink Pigment (MAC)
Scene eyeshaodw (MAC)
Greystone eyeshadow (MAC)
Carbon Eyeshadow (MAC)
Pink Opal Pigment (MAC)
Zero 247 liner (Urban Decay)
Black Liquid Liner (prestige)
Tendered Eyekhol (MAC)

Cool Pink Pigment
Dollymix Blush
Pleasureflush MSF (MAC)

Doll lipliner (senna cosmetics)
Saint Germain lipstick (MAC)
Tongue In Chic Lacquer (MAC)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tropical Sunset(ish) ?

*yawn* such a boring name...

Old version:

New version:

Products used:


Samoa Silk Eyeshadow (MAC)
Hot Pot #M18 (coastal Scents)
Folie eyeshadow (MAC)
Motif (eyeshadow (MAC)
Taupeless eyeshadow (MAC)
Sunday Best eyeshadow (MAC)
Intoxicate eyeshadow (MAC)
Black liquid liner )prestige)
Zero 247 liner (urban Decay)
Bountiful Brown powerpoint (MAC)
Zoomblack Zoomlash Mascara (MAC)
Dark Taupe eyebrow pencil (Senna Cosmetics)
Luxe Black Faux Lashes (Shu Uemura)

HD Foundation (MUFE)
Bronzeray Bronzing Stick (MAC)
Dollymix blush (MAC)
Foolish Me Blush (MAC)
Motif Eyshadow (MAC)

Pink Fuschia Lipliner (MAC)
Vino Lipliner (MAC)
Show Orchid Lipstick (MAC)
Motif Eyeshadow (MAC)
Like Venus Dazzleglass (MAC)

Monday, February 1, 2010

In New Yorkkkkkkkk

these streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you...

I don't actually think it's the lights (technically), but moreso the energy. Which is something completely indescribable unless you've experienced it first hand. I had a conversation with my friend Daniella a few months back about certain energies that land seems to hold. She was refering to certain parts of LA (which I can say, I'm not a fan of, though again, I don't know too well either) But I knew what she meant.

My first visit to Manhattan was completely spontaneous. My dad is from Boston and back in '97 my cousin was getting married to a woman from New Jersey. We drove down from Boston to some part of Jersey for a few days. We had time to kill on the day they had the rehearsal dinner so my mom bought us bus tickets and she, my sister and I made the 30 minute journey across the state line.

Being a semi-"typical", attitude ridden teenager I was just glad to get out of the boring hotel we were in but wasn't excited in the least. Discman in hand, headphones blaring Lil Kim, I closed my eyes and tuned the world out for the majority of the ride. As we neared the Lincoln Tunnel my mom nudged me "Risa, Look!" She had been to New York many times so it was nothing new to her but she specifically wanted me to see the city skyline as we crept closer and closer.

It was purely breathtaking to me. I'm a city girl and definitely accustomed to skyscrapers but there was something different about this sight. Perhaps it was simply the overwhelmingly large mass of buildings. Because immediately my brain put things into perspective as it's always done. If 1 building is that tall, imagine how many people work in that 1 space. Then multiply that by the countless number of buildings. My eyes remained glued until we made our descent into the tunnel.

Leaving the bus station, I couldn't help but tilt my head back like a typical tourist and take in just how enormous the buildings were. And people were EVERYWHERE. Rushing by, with a purpose. Nearly everyone seemed focused. My mom asked someone where the empire state building was and we headed on over. Again, typical teenager, I contained my excitement (see photo - lol), but inside this
city had made an impact on me.

We sauntered through the Village, ate in Little Italy and made our way back to the bus station. In no more than 5 hours, this city imprinted itself and it's energy into my being.

Once in college, I made trips out there every summer and eventually moved in 2002. 4 months later after depleting any and all savings I had I moved back. I hadn't been employed - though I had looked. I could have found a job, despite the fact that it was 9 months post 9/11. I played the woe is me card at the time, but I had never even tried retail. My pride got in the way. I had worked for a non-profit for 6 years teaching science and helping manage 32 teenagers. I was responsible for scheduling, payroll, writing budget proposals - you name it, I had done it. On top of the fact that my job had meaning for me. I was helping people learn. Helping teens grow. Watching a 6 year olds face light up as she "got it". And I was being paid near 3 times what minimum wage to do so.

To go from that, to making less than SF minimum wage (NY is lower) to sit in a boring office doing temp work. No thank you. I felt I was better than that. Only in (recent) retrospect do I realize this though. Everything does happen for a reason... 9 months after moving back I was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Regardless, I continued my love affair with New York. While recovering from my chemo I spent a month there with my best friend. Every chance I had for vacation, was spent in New York. I can't even recall how often I've been there without really sitting down and writing it out.

"If you can make it here (New York), you can make it anywhere."

I believe this is partially true. For those born there, it can be a much different story for 2 reasons, I believe. First, you probably have family (friends you grew up with are family too) you can depend on to help you out. The second is somewhat of an odd concept. New Yorkers are very prideful people I find. Proud of "being" a new yorker. Yet I believe the majority are raised without the sense of pride I held, which prevented me sticking it out. It's all about the hustle. You do what you can to survive. There is no right or wrong when it comes to survival. I know people who steal fruit from stands so they can eat. Think nothing of asking family (friends included) to borrow money if needed.

I've borrowed money from my parents on 3 occasions I can think of in my life. For my plane ticket to move back home, to pay off my credit cards when I was in the hospital, to pay my phone bill when I moved back from New York. And I have only once borrowed money from a friend to buy my books for school. My mentality has always been "If I can't afford it, I won't spend it."

This last move was hardest to give up on. Once again, looking back, my pride and lack of self confidence were what got me. I looked for jobs nearly a bartender, barback, cocktail waitress or makeup artist. Those were the only jobs I felt qualified for. I once again, never sought out retail as making $6 something an hour seems like nothing when you're accustomed to making %800 cash per week bartending. I could have stayed with my best friend, but it didn't seem right as her living situation had changed and I didn't want to impose or be a burden.

One of my roommates who had graduated with honors from Harvard sat with me for 3 hours helping rewrite my resume. My other roommate overheard me on a phone conversation crying, filled with stress about how I was going to pay my portion of the utilities. The second I hung up, he came out to our balcony and wrapped his arms around me and just let me sob and listened. Offered to take it out of my deposit and jumped on the phone making several calls to people he only knew through other people in search of employment for me. Hanging out with Lottie after the Makeup Show, her photographer friend (who is AMAZING btw - google her work - she's the epitome of an artist - Jamie Nelson), offered to let me stay in her loft in New Jersey. Even up until my final 4 days there, my roommates offered our couch to me free of charge. All of this Love, from people I had only just met, yet I couldn't get over my pride. And even more so, I didn't feel I deserved all of the help people wanted to give me. I didn't want to be a burden.

Over there, it seems everyone is not just trying to survive, but truly going after their dreams. And when in pursuit of your own dreams, you want to see others succeed at whatever it is that they're passionate about as well. There's a certain spark New Yorkers have to them. While of course, there are people with that same spark elsewhere in the world, for whatever reason, there seems to be greater concentration of them there. It took me 8 months to realize it, but he's right. And everything I've said about pride and self worth come into play. Much like in The Alchemist, you just have to go after your dreams. Fuck pride. It's a false sense of self. The belief in your own abilities and the determination to just keep trying, regardless of how many times the universe may "test" how badly you want something, is the key to success. Which, I realize we all have a different definition of, but I believe the formula is the same.

Someday soon I'll be back. This time, lessons learned.

Home is where the heart is

Cliche, yes. However it's true. As I mentioned, I have many "homes". And I find, that many people I know, find it odd. What I find even more odd, is that I tend to feel more "at home" when I'm away from it.

When I first started making videos on Youtube, I did a tutorial talking about what makeup I carry with me so I can "refresh" my face no matter where I wake up. I touched on that again in a recent video and someone made a comment stating that I should "keep it real" and if I have a booty call, say I have one. Some people just can't accept or understand the truth.

I am far from a prude, and yes I had my "booty call" days when I was younger. Wild nights out, stumbling through the door at 9 am, sun glaring in my face while I was still intoxicated from the night before. I've hailed cabs in my clubwear while business people getting their morning coffee glanced up from reading the Times to judge me.I never, however had much shame in it. I was simply living.

I'm getting a bit off track though.

I am a night owl, as are most people I know. If I'm at their house in conversation until 4am, chances are that by that time, I don't feel like going to my own house. Conversation requires more energy than we realize. (I only realized it after my hospital stint) My true friends, or rather "lovers" are family to me. I don't have to ask to stay there (though often times I do) - they insist. They extend their homes to me. Feeling so "at home", even when away from it, I honestly never quite know where I'll end up and I'm completely at ease with that.

There is however a larger concept. Any and every place I've ever visited I've felt at home. It may seem to be almost a hippy concept and sound pretty cheesy, but earth is my home. Some of my friends lack the desire to travel overseas, or do something as simple as camping "Eww, the bugs!" "I'm not staying somewhere where you have to brush your teeth with bottled water" "I need air conditioning"

They are entitled to feel however they want, but none of that is me. Some of my favorite nights were spent sleeping under the stars in the middle of nowhere with animals lurking all around. Humans ARE animals. How quick we are to numb our instincts and truly believe we NEED air conditioning. We NEED the comforts of a 5 star resort.

I'm ranting a bit, but how can you not love and appreciate everything that exists on this planet? Whether in the middle of nowhere or in the midst of an enormous city, LIFE is everywhere. Even a stone cold skyscraper - all the energy that numerous people put into it's existence, from the architect to the construction workers. That building is the product of many people's work. What can I say? My heart is literally everywhere. Perhaps that's why I feel so at home no matter where I am.

Monochromatic Green Makeup...tweaked.

(All MAC)
Untitled paint
Jewel Blue in crease with stiff dome shaped brush brush
Plumage in crease with pencil brush
Sea Myth on browbone with flat fluffy brush
Minted eye khol on eyelid
Metamorph eyeshadow with flat brush
Tealo powerpoint pencil
Dark Taupe Brow Pencil - (Senna Cosmetics)

HD Foundation (MUFE)
Bare Trance lipstick (MAC)
Bronzeray Bronzing stick (MAC)

Bait lipglass (MAC)
Magenta lipliner (MAC)
Bikram Lipstick (Tarte)

Tweaked to this...

Products added:

Beautiful Iris (MAC)
Violet Pigment with water mabsed mixing medium(MAC)
Crystallized Purple Glitter (MAC)
Teal Pigment
Black Liquid Eyeliner (Prestige)

Pink Opal pigment (MAC)
Beautiful Iris (MAC)

B-cup lipstick (MAC)