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November 2, 2015

Rising Stars

Over the years I have helped many people get ready for their portfolio pictures. I often wonder where they are in their career. Some stall out, others give up but a few are “Living the Dream”. I have three model friends working hard in NYC Cat Carney, Isabella Jiang and Dave Williams. From runway shows to movies they are going places for sure.

Last summer I was watching an episode of the ABC show Mistresses and I thought the character named Marc Nickleby played by Rob Mayes looked familiar. I Googled him to see if Eric Mull’s photos came up but nothing did. I just dismissed the idea I knew him. Then when updating my portfolio a couple weeks ago to take to Nashville I saw the photo of Rob right there in my book. My instincts were right, I did work on a shoot with him. Actually twice once at Eric’s and also for The College Store catalog. In the last eight years Rob has not only been a cast member on Mistresses but appeared in the films Ice Castles and Enough Said.

It is awesome to say I remember them when. Cleveland is where many big name stars are from like Monica Potter, Patricia Heaton and  Halle Berry just to name a few. In the past the media has poked fun of us but with the CAVS going strong, films being made here and all our museums I think the educated people know Cleveland is on the rise.

My shoot with Rob





October 15, 2015


As a business women I like to ask people how they hear about me. A referral is best because this means a client was happy with my services. A month ago I received a call to style four people for a Nationwide Insurance web commercial, the art director heard about my services from another Producer. I was hired to do on camera styling as well as getting paid to shop for the talent’s wardrobe. When you get to spend other people’s money it could be fun right? I have done this before and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. On the list to buy was four pairs of jeans for the actors I don’t know, this alone was freaking me out. It takes a few days to find jeans for myself never less a stranger

Armed with a big wad of cash and Starbucks in hand I head out to our high end mall. Once there I stubble upon a problem the summer clothes are just about gone and all new winter clothes are not on sale. I am not sure my budget will make the cut. I give myself all day to shop thinking maybe it would take five hours but it turned into nine hours, 16,000 steps on my Fit Bit and two malls.

It really seemed like a black Friday kind of shopping day. The next morning we were to film at a lake house in Lakewood Ohio. The second day would be at a golf course and  the beach. Working days like these makes me smile because it is SO much fun! I had my associate Moira on set as well and we shared many laughs on our golf cart that just putted along the course. After that shot it was on to the beach. Waiting to shoot we had time to gaze at the downtown skyline. The weather was just beautiful both days, something to savor in September.

The actors were awesome and I look forward to seeing the commercials in full soon. With all the shopping and worry about wardrobe some of the actors ended up wearing their own jeans but many of my other shopping picks were used. I guess I stressed myself out for no reason, but when there is a new client I want to make sure everything goes just right.

October 7, 2015

Girl on Fire

I don't love to fly so I sit here writing this in the airport that I have been in three times over the past nine weeks. I am thinking that this time last year it was a different story, I was sitting in a waiting room of a hospital while my father had brain surgery. It has been a busy five years tending to his many health issues as I juggle a career and family. From the outside you could say delegate and have others help, but when there are "no others" I have no other option but to do my duty as a daughter and be there.

Back in January I had to make a decision to wrap up his affairs and move him into an assisted living home with round the clock care. I also needed help, I wanted to get a hold of my life. My goal by December 2015 was to start my voyage to Nashville Tennessee and with Dad stable now I can do this. I want to eventually move there but I have anchors that keep me docked in Cleveland for now.

It took seven years to really get my career up and running for commercial work in Ohio, this is why I need to lay the ground work for an eventual move down south. I met with an established and well known photographer in Nashville back in September a few days later he booked me for an album cover which  brings me to my traveling today. I am so lucky to have this opportunity. I sit in this Cleveland airport anxious and excited to be reaching another goal. You may think you have tomorrow or that you are too old to make a new start but I am here to say quit making excuses and cha
llenge yourself. Be that "Girl on Fire!"

Nashville kind of day!

Record cover styling

My new en devour 

October 4, 2015


More awareness is being put on cosmetic ingredients that are harmful to us. Studies have suggested lip products might have lead in them. As a consumer I want to know what we are ingesting that can potentially make us fall ill to a disease. Many women put on a long list of beauty products each day do we really know how these chemicals affect our health?

There are cosmetic lines to help consumers find a more natural approach to their makeup items. Jessica Alba launched a cosmetic company called Honest in 2012 the focus is on avoiding potentially harmful ingredients such as parabens and phthalares. Juice Beauty is another company that has been around for some time the actress Gwyneth Paltrow is the Creative Director for them. Juice Beauty specializes in organic skincare, they formulate with certified organic ingredients, which dramatically reduces residue from pesticides, unnecessary synthetic chemicals, and synthetic fertilizer residue in their product ingredients. Juice Beauty has a full beauty line free of gluten and parabens.

With it being breast cancer awareness this month I wanted to write about cosmetics and how we need to be proactive on what we buy. Remember the cheaper the product means it is full of ingredients that we can’t even pronounce. Now if you say you can’t afford organic it is OK, just cut out some of the products that really aren’t needed. Less amounts of chemicals that are absorbed in our blood stream the better we are.

Every day we expose ourselves to chemicals, from gas fumes to air fresheners all pollutants we are inhaling. If we can control it let’s start with what we buy and use. Also ladies please do your self exams and if there are changes don’t wait to call your doctor, early detection is important to help fight breast cancer. Women over 40 years old make sure you have an annual mammogram screening. Genetics can influences many of our illnesses but MAYBE there is a trigger that sets the disease in motion let’s think out of the box.

August 30, 2015


I have worked at Eric Mull's photography studio in Cleveland for ten years now. I am freelance but Eric and I work together a few times a week. How did I get this key makeup artist job? Timing! I brought in my daughter for headshots and asked if he needed an artist. Eric's reply was "Yes; I just lost my last artist because we were engaged and just broke off the engagement."

I started there just as my middle daughter started Kindergarten. I was excited to be back to work full time. Just then after just seven months in I found out I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. HUGE shock, this was unexpected. I was so stressed because I didn't want to be replaced in the job I really enjoyed. I made a decision to keep working the 9 months eating lots of snacks along the way and climbing many flights of stairs into work each day during my pregnancy. My reality was that I was not going to be working full time just yet.

Eric's studio is really fun it could actually make a great reality show. We deal with talent agents, models that don't listen to directions and families that don't mind to argue in front of us over silly things. I once had a girl cry when I put her hair in a ponytail for pictures because she said she looked  like a boy. I had to redo her makeup from all the crying. I’ve also shaved a girls arm pits because she didn't know how to before a photo shoot. Another day I had a model call her shoot off after her zipper broke once she put on a dress she brought in to wear. She was convinced that  being overweight caused the break and wasn't comfortable staying. My opinion was that she looked beautiful and should have continued on.

One time a girl brought in a bag of extensions and glue to have me apply on her. I thought when she told me she had extensions to wear they were clip in ones so I went on to apply her makeup. When she pulled out the glue I just laughed because I am not trained in hair extensions. I told the girl “You seriously don't want me to do that, I have no idea where to start." We had to reschedule her.

The typical thing I hear as a stylist is "Oh guys must be easier to work with?” My answer not really. Many come unprepared with clothes that are the wrong colors, dirty or both. Some men have clothes rolled up and stuffed in a plastic shopping bag. They need pressed and sometimes they don’t fit them. Who brings a shirt that makes you look the the Incredible Hulk? Then there is the uni brow or hair that needed to be cut before they came in. You might think they weren't told but they have been by their agent and by me on scheduling. I think it is selective hearing.

The reality to all this modeling/ talent business is that people are trying to get a hold of stardom. Some have actual talent others have a dream. Many agents take all the people they meet even if they are not qualified, in the hopes they can follow directions and learn the craft. This is where people can prove how much they want this as a career and not just as a hobby on the side. If you can't follow directions to get photos done how are you going to be able to do well on an audition?

My life as a stylist is always entertaining, I love what I do and it mirrors life as a Mom. Here’s how, I listen to young people talk about plans for their future and feel compelled to interject words of advice or experience. I help groom all ages of people as if it was school picture day. Then there are times I well up in tears working as models and I talk about loved ones that are sick or have died and how they miss them. You might get to know someone really fast or have no idea what they are all about once the shoot is done. You definitely need to be a people person to be in this profession. My reality is that I am glad I left cutting hair to be a makeup artist. I get to meet some amazing and sometimes famous people. I never seem to have a dull day and my heart is happy.

Working with great people

Eric and I a few years back

Making faces

An action shot from a great day!

July 26, 2015

Play Ball


Growing up I wasn’t a sporty girl, I was into cheering,  majorettes, ballet dancing and pageants. I was very versed in sports knowing the rules and how it is played but cared less to be involved. Now as an adult I attend many of my girl’s sports events.Football games to see my daughter be a helper/coach for the special needs cheerleaders and also watch their softball games and karate.

I do seem to land jobs with sporty people. Sports anchors and athletes. I never considered myself a “cool kid” in school but as time has gone by I get to hang out with a lot of “cool” kids in the entertainment and sports business. I also have become friends with many of them.I was asked by my friend Jeff Grover to be part of a local film that was shot at the Lake County Captains stadium last week. It was the first production night of three. How fun is it to hang out and do some work at the ballpark? Lots of fun! Sometimes I forget it is work.

BETWEEN THE LINES is the movie title. It is a SAG/AFTRA film with actors Andrew Gorell and Aubree Stone and written and directed by Jeffrey with cinematography by Steven Hacker. Between the Lines is a short film about a young girl attending her first major league baseball game but on the way to the park, something she sees is a real game changer.Production will continue into August.

As I gathered my kit to leave I was walking out to fireworks shooting into the night sky.In that moment I thought back to my goals for my career 27 years ago and I am happy about my journey so far but  I have a bit more to accomplish. Thanks to Jeff and Steve for having me back for a third film. I am very grateful for the opportunity and look forward to many other projects.

Andrew and Aubree

Steve on Camera with crew Vidas, Rick and Greg & Jeff directing

Jeff Directing

My Ah Ha moment

July 21, 2015


A few months ago I asked for nominations for someone to win a free makeover. Color, cut, style and makeup was the prize.  A decision was made and Kelly won pictured below. After hearing Kelly’s story I felt it was time she got a little pampering. Thank you my friend Susan Brandt for the use of her salon Beachland Hair Design in Cleveland.