Monday, November 29, 2010

Betsy Shows Brides the Perfect Way To Get An Idea of How They'll Look on their Wedding Day

Los Angeles- Nov. 8, 2010- Betsy diFrancesca, a hairstylist and makeup artist in Los Angeles, provides brides-to-be a way of showing them how they’ll look on their wedding day. During the trial run , she takes pictures after each look and prints them right there. “I find that this gives the bride an idea of how their look will “read” for the camera. Many of my clients come to me because I offer a natural look, however, they don’t realize how much makeup is required to look good for the camera. By taking a “before” picture, I’m able to show them what the camera picks up when they don’t have any makeup on, specifically red tones and under eye shadows. In the “after” shot she can see how easily I can correct this with subtle changes. This also gives her an idea of how different hair styles work in emphasizing or de-emphasizing the shape of her face and what works best with the headpiece and the neckline of her dress.”

The trial run takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. and takes place in Betsy’s home in the San Fernando Valley. ”I have plenty of room and good, natural light. I find that holding the trial run here shows my client the setting that I like to create for her- a calm and serene atmosphere that I feel is so important

on her wedding day. The day of the wedding, I’ll bring that atmosphere to her.”

For examples of Betsy’s work, you can visit her website at,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Terry Burns and Ron Kristy

While we were in Ithaca, N.Y. in September, we also photographed Patrick's youngest sister, Terry and her husband, Ron for some new publicity shots. They moved to Ithaca from Nashville about 3 years ago with their son, Noah and have been singing in and around Ithaca since relocating. You can see and hear them on YouTube by typing in Terry Burns and Ron Kristy and they''ll have a CD available in the spring. And, you can hear them separately on their websites, and

The Burns Sisters

Annie, Jeannie and Marie Burns

In September, My husband , Patrick and I, went back east to visit my parents in Nyack, NY and then headed up to Ithaca, NY to visit his sisters and brothers. Three of his sisters (he's got 5 of them and 6 brothers) have a band appropriately titled, The Burns Sisters Band, and we photographed them for some new publicity shots (Patrick shot them and I did makeup). They're on tour with Arlo Guthrie right now and will be appearing at Carnegie Hall with him at the end of this month. They are truly amazing singers ( and the best sisters-in-law ever!) and, if you'd like to sample some of their music, you can visit their website at,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Latest from the headshot gallery...

This is Patricia Gillum actress, film producer (her recent film, "Beneath The Blue" premiered this past weekend) and good friend. We had a great time shooting with David Palmer who also had a show this weekend at Gallery 8 in Studio City featuring his amazing photos of the Getty Museum shot with a camera with an infrared converted sensor. They are part of an ongoing exhibit at Gallery 8, 4300 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. You can also see examples of his work at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Art imitating Life

This morning, I received an email from someone I've never met. Not that that's so unusual but, it was from an artist named Miles McGrath. Apparently he had been out walking in Ithaca, N.Y. when he spotted my business card on the ground. He liked the picture of the woman on it and decided to go home and paint her. He said he didn't know how my card ended up in Ithaca ( I had been there last month visiting my husband's family) but he thought that I might like to see the painting and that it might bring a smile to my face. He's right. Thank you, Miles!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gray is the new blonde....

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a a former high school classmate ( thank you, Facebook!), a beautiful raven haired girl, who told me she had decided to stop coloring her hair. Apparently the women in her family go gray at a very young age and she had been covering hers since her early 20's. As her new color was emerging, her old makeup colors just weren't working. She asked for some help in choosing a new palette.
First, I asked her to send me a picture of herself with the new hair color and no makeup.I took into account her coloring ( hazel eyes, medium skin tone and her natural, pre-gray hair color which was a very dark brown). I then put a face map together with the colors and brand names that I used. I chose a dark plum shadow in the crease and outer corners and a soft black kohl liner lightly smudged, a matte beige shadow on the lid, and a soft taupe shadow applied with a brush to her brows. I finished with peach blush and a peach lipstick used with a liner in the same color. As we age, more color is needed- everything starts to fade. However, it's very easy to overdo. It's important that we define the lips with liner. The same goes for lining the eyes. That doesn't mean it has to be a thick, liquid line, just enough to give them definition.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two Products That REALLY Work!

Here are 2 products that, from my personal experience, really do work. I've never been a big fan of Sally Hansen nail polishes so I was really skeptical when I read about this product. This is their "Complete Salon Manicure" also known as 5 products in one bottle. Right. Did the shampoo and conditioner in one bottle work? Or how about the VCR and TV set in one? Okay that worked for one season. Anyway, this goes on streak free and lasts through a number of days washing dishes (my dishwasher is broken). Plus it has an extra wide brush for full coverage with one sweep. Not bad for $7!

My other favorite product is the over the counter eyelash growing serum called Rapid Lash. After using it every night for 3 months I have longer, fuller lashes! You can get it at CVS or Bed, Bath and Beyond for $50, but I recently saw it on Amazon for $25. The deal of the century!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Latest Shoot

Last week I did hair and makeup for the beautiful Carrie shot by David Palmer. She's 17 with gorgeous red hair , luminous skin and the body of a Victoria's Secret model! David and I both thought that she resembled a modern day Rita Hayworth. It's Gilda!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crash the Wedding! A big hit!

Our "Crash the Wedding" show was wonderful and a big hit! It was the first time that a mock wedding was presented as a wedding show. Soon to be brides and grooms were invited to this "green" luxury wedding charity event at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Our group of wedding industry professionals, Wedding and Event Specialists of Beverly Hills, hosted the event and each one of of us carried out our respective jobs as we would for any wedding that we hired for. This gave the couples a chance to see us all in action. In addition, there were other specialty vendors that we chose to participate with us: Lindee Daniel Sustainable Couture, Kirstie Kelly Couture, Vana K Bridal & Fashion Jewelry, Men's Wearhouse, Prairie Organic Vodka, Lattes on Location, Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald Dermatology, Old Oaks Cigar Company, Chatterberries Essential Wedding Planning Site, Vini's Party Rentals and Paperless Post.
We were so fortunate to have the beautiful actress and singer, Katherine Bailess as our lovely bride and model, Daniel Kozz as our groom. In these photos, shot by our amazing photographer Jen O'Sullivan, who also happens to be the founder of Wedding and Event Specialists, Katherine is wearing a Lindee Daniel organic silk gown and a birdcage veil from Kirstie Kelly Couture.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crash the Wedding!

You are invited to Crash the Wedding! It's the hottest new luxury wedding show to hit the bridal industry. Brides and Grooms are welcome to RSVP to be a part of this historical event. It's a mock wedding. It's a bridal show. It's a charity benefit. It's a live auction. And it's all green!
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
from 6pm-10pm
at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

At this new take on wedding shows, you will experience an exquisite live mock wedding first hand with
the top luxury bridal industry specialists in the area at one of the most beautiful locations in Southern California. You will have the special opportunity to get a behind the scenes look from the specialist's perspective as they disclose their secret tips and tricks to help you plan your perfect wedding. The entire event will culminate with an exciting LIVE auction with 100% of the money raised to go to our charity, Step Up Women's Network.

Make it a date night for you and your fiance! You will receive a food tasting, wine and cocktails, along with a swag bag filled with tons of gifts and special offers. Tickets are $100 per couple and are subject to availability. Seating is limited.

To RSVP please go to

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Charity Engagement Shootout, July 13th

Last week I did another charity engagement shootout with Jen O'Sullivan and her crew at the Valencia Hyatt benefitting the HOPE program at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Chris Ellis shot these photos of Parker and Joey. We raised $1000- yay us!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Morgan and Brett, June 11, 2010

Morgan and Brett got married in Malibu on the beach at the Sunset Restaurant followed by
a reception at the Saddlerock Ranch. Makeup by moi; hair was by Desiree from Gentle Touch Salon in Arcadia and photography was by Adam George of Embrace Life Photography.

Crash The Wedding

“Crash The Wedding” is the hottest new wedding show to hit the bridal industry.
Brides and Grooms are welcome to RSVP to be a part of this historical event.
It's a mock wedding. It's a bridal show. It's a charity benefit. It's a live auction. And it's all green!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
from 6pm - 10pm
at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

At this new take on wedding shows, you will experience an exquisite live mock wedding first hand with the top luxury bridal industry specialists in the area at one of the most beautiful locations in Southern California. You will have the special opportunity to get a behind the scenes look from the specialist's perspective as they disclose their secret tips and tricks to help you plan your perfect wedding. The entire event will culminate with an exciting LIVE auction with 100% of the money raised to go towards our charity, Step Up Women's Network.

Make it a date night for you and your fiance! You will receive a food tasting, wine and cocktails, along with a swag bag filled with tons of gifts and special offers. Tickets are $100 per couple and are subject to availability. Seating is limited.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Erik & Julie

Erik & Julie

June 25.2010

La Venta, Ranch Palos Verdes

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bridal Shootout, Robinson Ranch Golf Course

Last week I did a Charity Bridal Shootout at Robinson Ranch Golf Course in Santa Clarita. The weather was perfect, the brides were beautiful and the photographers were great!
I did the makeup on this bride, Katrina Mia Lopez. Her hair was done by Dedra Whitt and the photographs by Wendi Smith Solari and Jennifer Kelley Lublin. Katrina is getting married next month and one of these pictures will be presented to her dad on her way down the aisle.....very sweet!

Busy Weekend!

Two weddings and some
test shots with a new model! Friday's wedding was in Malibu at the Sunset Restaurant where the ceremony was held on the beach in front of the restaurant followed by cocktails. Then, everyone was directed up to the Saddle Rock Ranch for the reception. The day started at 9:30 AM at a house that the bride's parents rented instead of going to a hotel. The view was amazing and it was a beautiful setting to do hair and makeup.

The next wedding was Saturday at the Kyoto Grand Hotel downtown. Emily has a great sense of humor and the most infectious laugh! She even wore a Hello Kitty tiara with her gorgeous fitted gown! Her bridesmaids wore different shades of pink to go with the Hello Kitty motif.


Sunday, I did some test shots with a new model. Maia has natural strawberry blonde hair...really! She's a track star at Notre Dame High School and has legs that go on for days to show for it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

May 19, World Class Athlete, Caren Ware

A couple of weeks ago, I did a shoot with Caren Ware, winner of the Gold and Silver medals at the World Games in Sydney, Australia last year. She's working to develop "age graded adult sports" in America. She is definitely the perfect example of the amazing effect that exercise has on the body at ANY age!
Photography, David Palmer

Monday, May 31, 2010

May 11, Charity Engagement Shootout, Sunset Restaurant in Malibu

Wow! What an amazing day this was....50 photographers, 50 engaged couples, 8 makeup artists, cake vendors, invitation designers, wedding gown designers...all there to try each other out and to benefit the charity, LetMeSail, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the disabled through social and educational events. The positive energy was so wonderful! These are some of the couples I worked on. It was a picture perfect California day and I felt honored to take part in it!

This is Shannon Lee, one of the photographers, who, at the end of the day, sat in my chair for makeup, put on one of the wedding gowns and posed for this very cute shot by Santiago Valencia.

Poranee and Will, May 1, La Venta Inn

Photography by Chenin Boutwell

Poranee and Will came to me in April for Poranee's trial run for their May 1 wedding.
They live in Cleveland, Ohio but Will is from Corona and Poranee is from Georgia so they decided to get married in Palos Verdes Estates at La Venta Inn. They were the sweetest couple and they never stopped smiling! Love that! The day of the wedding, their friends,from all over the country , rented a gorgeous condo a block from the beach- the perfect place to get everyone ready. The view was spectacular, great music was playing,beautiful platters of fruit and vegetables for everyone- it was the
perfect setting for the perfect couple!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Makeup

After reading an article this past Sunday in the L.A. Times about summer makeup, I decided to add a few of my own favorites. I mean, it's still really pleasant out right now. But I'm talking about when it gets REALLY know the kind of heat I'm talking about: muggy, pore-expanding, feels like a hot- flash that's on a continuous loop-hot.

1. Skip Foundation. Giorgio Armani has a foundation ( more like a tinted moisturizer) called Face Fabric. It really gives you beautifully sheer coverage. ( $48)

3. Cream Blush. Stila Convertible Color for cheeks AND lips is a non greasy, sheer tint ($25)
2. Concealer. Lancome's Effacernes ( $28.50) is not only waterproof but is also crease-resistant and has a soft, matte finish.

4. Cream Eyeshadow. Laura Mercier's Eye Basics ($24) are water resistant and crease proof in 10 lovely neutral shades.

5. Waterproof Mascara. Lancome's most popular formulations, Defencils, Le Extreme, Hypnose and Flex ($22) all come in waterproof.

6. Brows. Smashbox Brow Tech To Go ($26) has a double ended applicator that has a long wearing
waterproof pencil on one side and a soft hold gel brush on the other.

7. Lips. Viva Glam Lip Glass ( $14) is a shimmery soft pink that just adds a hint of color without being over the top.

Finish with a light dusting of translucent powder and carry some blotting papers for the road.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bronzed Bombshell

The weather is getting warmer, more skin is being revealed and yikes- it's usually legs that get the first unveiling. Yes, the gams that have been undercover all winter want to be set free- except they're not ready.
They're rather unattractive. If you're Caucasian, they're probably the color of Wonder Bread; if you're Latino or African American they're a tad ashy, and Asian skin is probably sallow.

You could go the self-tanning route. St. Tropez has a spray-on version that almost guarantees that you won't miss a spot. Plus, they've eliminated that nasty post, self-tanning odor. The cost - $35.

For those who still have bad QT flash-backs ( the very first self tanner that came out in the 60's), Michael Kors has a travel size ( $10) of his "Leg Shine" that you apply to your legs like a deodorant stick. It comes in one tint ( Classic Golden Sheen) and even leaves the lovely Michael Kors scent behind as an added bonus.

I finally found the perfect face bronzer. Smashbox Cosmetics has come out with Halo Bronzer ($39). I don't know if any of you are familiar with their regular Halo Face Powder, but their bronzer has the same qualities - it "minimizes the signs of aging with 48 minerals and a powerful peptide and patented hydration system that delivers time released moisturization for a radiant, healthy complexion all day". You twist the shaver once and it delivers the perfect amount of bronzer. Use a large, fluffy blush brush. swirl it around the compact, then shake off the excess and apply it to your face starting with the forehead and easing down to the cheeks going back across the cheeks and and ending at your chin. Basically, think of the number 3 when brushing it on. What I especially love is that there are no mica particles that you see in most bronzing powders that give your face a look that resembles a hologram. Not a good thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discontinued Makeup

Don't you it hate when makeup companies discontinue a color that took you forever to find? Don't even get me started on how much money you spent trying to find that color- you can even hear yourself saying, "they can put a man on the moon, but, blah,blah, blah..."
Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics can match lipstick or nail polish. All you have to do is send your old lipstick tube, lip gloss container or nail polish bottle to Giella, 63 Tec St., Hicksville, N.Y., 11801, along with your name, address, telephone number and a credit card number( with expiration date) or money order. The cost is $27 for lipstick ( 2 tube minimum), $25 for bottle of nail color, plus shipping and handling. For more details go to

Another company, one that takes this concept a few steps further is, Three Custom Color Specialists.In addition to lip color, they also will duplicate blush,eye shadow, concealer, eyeliner and even brow color. You can either send in a dime size sample of your discontinued color or even a snippet of your hair (for the brow color). With the lipstick there is a minimum purchase of two in the same shade for $50. The cost of one pot of concealer, eye shadow, or brow powder is $36.50 and blush is $37.50 plus $6.50 for shipping and handling. If you do not have a sample but remember the brand name and color name of the shade, they can check their archive of over 7500 shades that they've matched for other clients. Their website address is,

Both companies keep your recipe on file for future orders.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

There's Something To Be Said About Beauty Rituals

Amidst all the sad and devastating news in the past few months following the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Baja, to name a few, I remembered that right after Hurricane Katrina, an article in the L.A. Times caught my eye. The article read, "Beauty in the Eye of Katrina" and went on to tell about a beauty salon in Long Beach, Mississippi that was doing a booming business. The women who came in said it was a "way to reclaim a sense of normalcy in an environment where nothing is normal." When residents from New Orleans were evacuated to the Houston Astrodome, they lined up at 4AM to get their hair cut and colored by volunteer stylists.
There's something so reassuring about these rituals, whether it's just a wash and blow dry or applying some mascara and lipstick. One woman said "It's the little luxuries that make you feel human again."
Back when Billy Crystal was a regular on Saturday Night Live, as the character, Fernando, he would say, "It is more important to look good than to feel good." A lot of times you do feel good if you look good. I know that when I just conceal my dark circles and curl my lashes I feel as though I can get to the gym or make some business calls. I'm well aware that it's a mental thing for me and I'm sure that the person on the other end of the phone is not thinking, "I'll bet she's got on some concealer 'cause she sure sounds chipper." But, it works for me. And, no I'm not comparing my inability to face my morning workout or make business calls with the plight of the victims of natural disasters. I just know that we all have things in our lives that are helped along by a little ritual.
So, yeah, I can totally understand how the women down on the Gulf Coast got so much joy from having their hair done or a manicure/pedicure- a ritual to help them feel normal enough to keep going, to help them face their next challenges. They deserve it, they're worth it and, they're speaking my language.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Makeup For the Mature Bride

Mature, meaning over 40 or "I was too busy doing stuff" or "didn't find the right guy till now"....well, you know what I'm saying. It doesn't mean you can't wear the white dress. You just might want to look beautiful, classic and understated. I happen to think that brides of any age would want to look this way but that's just me. First, you want to start with a beautiful complexion. I apply an oil free primer. Laura Mercier's is one of the best ( $30) and creates the perfect surface for your foundation. Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation is pricey ($59) but well worth it. In fact, foundation is the one product that you should spend money on. Next, the Creamy Concealer Kit by Bobbi Brown ($32) should be applied with a synthetic brush in all the dark areas like the inner corners of the eye, under the eye and around the nose.Her kit comes with a sheer, loose powder to dust on after applying the concealer to alleviate shine. Before applying an all over face powder ( Smashbox Halo Powder and brush set, $59) smile, and dab the apples of your cheeks with MAC Blush Cream ($18.50). Brush your entire face with the Halo Powder.The most natural looking brows are filled in with powder rather than penciled in. Anastasia Soare, the Brow queen of the West Coast has Brow Double Duo ($22) , 2 shades in a small compact that you can mix to achieve your own personal brow color. Lightly line your eyes with Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee by Lancome ($24.50) as close to your lashes as you can. Line underneath the eyes, too. Brush your entire lid with a neutral eyeshadow in a matte color such as Brule by MAC . Brush a rosy brown, Haux by MAC, into the crease and apply Embark( a reddish brown ,also by MAC) to the outer corners, blending all three colors with a large fluffy brush. MAC shadows are $14 each. Curl your lashes with a Shu Uemura Eyelash curler ( $19) and brush a few coats of L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara in Black Noir ( $7.99). Line your lips with a lip pencil, Whirl (Mac, $13) and apply Viva Glam VI lipstick ( a terracotta plum w/pearl lustre, MAC, $14).You'll be looking at the most beautiful version of you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Engagement Shootout!

Get in on this once in a lifetime chance to get some great photography of you and your fiance from multiple wedding photographers! Absolutely Free!

When: Thursday, April 22nd from 2:30-7:30pm
Where: The Sunset Restaurant in Malibu
What: Get photographed at no cost with some extraordinary photographers (up to 6 shooters will work with you for 15 minutes each.)
You Get: All your files from each photographer at no cost! A donation of any size to LETMESAIL will be encouraged.
The Catch: There is none! You get to test drive some really great shooters BEFORE you hire one with no strings attached.

Please RSVP to me no later than April 14th via email.
You must be engaged to be married with an actual date set
You cannot have a photographer already booked for your wedding.
There is limited space so please get your RSVP in soon to

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Schedule Trial Run on the Same Day as your Engagement Photos ( what a concept!)

To get a really good idea of how your bridal look will read for the camera, why not schedule your trial run the same day as your engagement photos? Why waste a beautiful camera- ready look for the "all dressed up with no place to go" routine? Here's how it works: Give yourself at least 3 hours with your makeup artist/ hair stylist ( moi) before the shoot. Bring some pictures of how you'd like your hair and makeup styled for your wedding day. After each look I'll take some digital photos and print them right there for you to take home. At the end of our session, I'll style your hair differently than what I did for your possible wedding looks. That way you'll still be able to surprise your fiance on your wedding day. When you get your engagement photos you'll really be able to see what works and if there's anything different that you'd like to try, I'll be happy to schedule another trial run, free of charge of course!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Faux Lashes- Individual or the Full Strip?

I always ask my bridal clientele if they'd like to try false lashes.
Nine times out of ten they jump at the chance. I particularly like individuals rather than the full strip. I think that they look and feel more natural and that by mixing in different lengths, you can really give the illusion that you were born with them! Ardell carries them in mini, short, medium and long. And at $3.99 per pack, available at most drug stores, they are makeup's deal of the century! Ardell also makes my favorite adhesive in clear which comes in a little glass vile.

Before actually making the decision to wear them on an important night out, I suggest you try a few practice sessions.

1.) Apply all your eye makeup first and leave the lash application for the final step.

2.) Using an eyelash curler, curl your own lashes, then brush one or two layers of mascara, combing though each lash with an eyelash comb to remove any clumps.

3.) Pour a tiny bit of eyelash adhesive onto a piece of paper and with a tweezers, take one cluster and dip the base of it in the adhesive. Wait about 15 seconds till the glue is tacky, and then wedge the base between your real lashes starting with the outer corner and working your way in. You can alternate the sizes, starting with the long or medium lengths and ending with the short or mini. You can also just leave two or three on the outer corners. This will give the eyes a nice little lift.

4.) When the lashes are dry, apply a final coat of mascara.

5.)When you're ready to remove them,massage an eye makeup remover over the lashes to soften the glue first. Then gently pull the lashes off.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now You See It...

This is one of those items that makes me want to scream, "Why didn't I think of that?" They're liquid filled cotton swabs made by a company called Swab Plus. The liquid in this case is makeup remover that's released into one end of the swab after you snap the striped tip on the opposite side. No spills, no waste - hygienic and disposable. They're perfect for the mascara smudges you might have under your eyes in the middle of the day or for when you sneeze right after applying mascara. They also come filled with antiseptic ointment, nail polish remover, cuticle oil or tooth whitener!
I bought a box of 72 for $8 at my local beauty supply store, however, if you go to their website,, they'll direct you to a store in your area.