Michela is Zooting

A beauty & lifestyle blog by creative Michela Wariebi

Category: Uncategorized

Roque Cozzette – It’s So Much More Than Makeup

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I’ve battled with how to approach this post; this letter of appreciation.  I was not sure how to give these flowers.  Somewhere over these years that I have become a part of the pro beauty community in NY and specifically a part of The Makeup Show family, I became acquainted with the amazingly talented Roque Cozzette.  And initially, that’s was the extent of what I knew about him.  I knew his work, which was nothing short of phenomenal, and I knew he owned a brand Cozzette (get the brushes and get them now), but a hi and goodbye was the extent of it all.

Something in this world saw fit that I should be able to become more personally acquainted with Roque. And that I should have the opportunity to share conversations and interactions with him that have proven to always be thought-provoking, uplifting and absolutely sincere. It is an undeniable pleasure to respect an artist for their artistic vision and creations only to come to know more of them and to be equally if not more grateful for who they are.

So fast forward to my having a desire to want to learn how to airbrush, correctly.  I reached out to Roque, encouraged by a previous conversation with him sharing this very desire. (The laws of attraction are real).  He agreed to give me a lesson and we scheduled to meet at Alcone Co. in NYC for a little pro beauty education.  To say that I was excited may be the euphemism of the century.  I was elated at the thought, but Roque had so much more in store than I expected.

Roque is a spiritualist and is known to incorporate some of his practices into his makeup education, however I had no expectation beyond receiving basic technical instruction.  Prior to our meeting date Roque reached out informing me of the spiritual/personal development aspect that would be a portion of my class as well as asking me to develop a makeup affirmation statement regarding what would happen as a result of me learning to airbrush.

Y’all!  I was not even ready!  I’ve come to understand the importance of conscious thought, affirmation, and documentation in creating your life. For an educator to recognize the importance of including that element along with technical development was beyond inspiring.  The levels of elation continued to increase.

The class itself was absolutely wonderful.  We began with Roque giving a demo on a full beauty airbrush including perfecting skin, contouring and even eyes.  Using a synergy of traditional application techniques with his Infinity cream foundation then topped with airbrush makeup using Kett Cosmetics, he completed a stunning face while we did a live Periscope session!  The demo was extremely informative, but not so much so that it was overwhelming.

The ease with which Roque speaks about airbrushing, both the application technique and the mechanics of the equipment are a true testament to his vast knowledge on the subject.  He also gave me a manual he created that is so chuck full of invaluable information that it could easily be a published book (cough, cough). This man know his stuff if a way that will have you wanting to step you entire skill set up.

Next, myself, Roque and the staff of Alcone did a Wheel of Life exercise to help us gain a clearer understanding on areas where we should focus our energies in improving the quality of our respective lives.  Who has that in a makeup class?  Roque does and that is why what he has to offer is so one of a kind.

Every wonderful artist is not an educator.  And every educator will not give you more than technical knowledge.  Roque has the gift of being an artist, educator and spiritualist who greatly understands the importance of total growth as a person in order to truly grow as an artist.  He understands that we must strive to be our highest selves in order to execute our greatest potential.

I’ve said so much and I really could say so much more.  I don’t know if my experience with Roque is the same that others may have, but I do know that who he is and what he has to offer as an educator of artists and simply to any person, is invaluable.  He just has a way of helping others to see the world, life and themselves in a new and infinite way that is subtle, non-intrusive and so sincere.  He has a gift that is never-ending and he is so open to pour some of it into others.  If you are looking to ascend wholly as an artist, I strongly suggest you seek to learn from Roque Cozzette.

Roque, I thank you for you.

Now, go check out his site and support this amazing artist and educator! Shop Cozzette

-MW

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33 Beauty Pros to Follow on Periscope #probeautyscope

There is no denying the power of social media.  Whereas a few years ago we could just brush things off as “just the internet,” we can now clearly see the influence and reach that can be garnered from a major social media following.  This very fact has caused quite a bit of conversation and debate within the professional beauty community.  Many hobbyists with a large following are now pegged as pros and experts and are disseminating egregiously incorrect and sometimes dangerous misinformation to the masses.  When you are an actual professional artist who has and continue to put int he work to make room for yourself in this industry, this new phenomenon can easily make you propel yourself into a new dimension due to massively strong eye rolling.

My perspective is that we can not change what is happening with social media, but we can definitely work the system to our advantage! We are the real experts, so why are we allowing hobbyists to compromise our craft?  One of the potential ways I see to remedy this is to have strong pro beauty presences on all social media platforms.  My current favorite is the new and very popular Periscope.

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Periscope is alive streaming app linked to Twitter that allows you to interact real time with you viewers.  When you broadcast, your viewers can chat real time with you and you can respond real time as well.  What I love about Periscope is that it is raw; there is no editing and what you see is what you get.  Slowly but surely, the pro beauty community is growing on “The Scope,” but it can be a bit difficult to find our beauty folks because the searching capabilities are still limited.

In an effort to bypass this shortcoming I came up with the hashtag #probeautyscope.  You can’t search hashtags on Periscope, but you can search them on Twitter.  If you use #probeautyscope in the first 140 characters of your scope title, it will show up as a hashtag on Twitter making it easy for anyone looking for a #probeautyscope to find you! Simple enough, right?

In the meantime, in between time, I came up with a list of 31 beauty pros, or pro beauty resources to follow on Periscope.  Some have yet to broadcast and some broadcast regularly.  If the person, place or a thing is included on this list, they have something of value to offer to the pro beauty community. Read on and follow!

  1. Lottie Makeup Artist
  2. Margina Dennis
  3. Jaleesa Jaikaran
  4. Heather Chapman Hair
  5. Michael Key
  6. Makeup Artist Meet
  7. Roque Cozzette
  8. The Body of Art (Dani Fonseca)
  9. YvonneThe Artist
  10. Deshawn Hatcher
  11. HuffPostBeauty
  12. KatAragon Makeup + Hair
  13. Lacy Redway Hair
  14. Pat McGrath
  15. JVincent Beauty (James Vincent)
  16. Danessa Myricks
  17. Orlando Santiago
  18. Diva Does Makeup
  19. Eugenia Weston
  20. Teague Vivolo
  21. Kilprity
  22. ThisThatBeauty
  23. Bethany Townes
  24. AJ Crimson
  25. Magnolia Makeup
  26. Nigel’s Beauty Emporium
  27. Danielle Gray
  28. Monae Everett
  29. Marietta Carter – Narcisse
  30. Michela Wariebi
  31. Erica Carr
  32. Joy Fennel Makeup
  33. Val Garland

Show support and follow these pros for real expert advice on all things beauty and for great behind the scenes looks into the life of a working beauty pro! And don’t forget to hashtag #probeautyscope!

DIY Makeup Expo – Guess Who’s a VIP Influencer

Super excited to announce that I have been selected as a VIP Influencer for the DIY Makeup Expo being held by DIY Makeup Mag. The team at DIY mag selected a group of pro makeup artists and bloggers in the NYC area with unique social media presences to be part of the influencer circle connecting us with brands and tapping into our expertise.


This expo will be the first cosmetics expo powered by social media and I am so excited to see what the DIY Mag team has in store! Find deets about the event below.

Name: DIY Makeup Expo

Location: The Attic NYC

251 West 48th Street

Date: September 26, 2015

Time: 5PM – 10PM

Tickets for this event are FREE.  With FREE admission you get access to free makeovers, product samples and products available for purchase.  You also have the option of purchasing a VIP ticket at $99 which gains you access to the VIP mix and mingle portion of the expo. But…you know I love a good discount.  Use my name “MICHELA” on the eventbrite page, here, to get a 25% discount of VIP tickets.

I hope I get to see your beautiful faces there.  If you are coming, make sure you let me know!!

Blackness in the beauty and fashion industry: the makeup artist perspective

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the increasing racial tension growing in the U.S. due to multiple instances of violence against black bodies by police and citizens. Not that any of this is new, but thanks to mobile technology and social media, we have been able to see it in a manner that we never had before.

This has resulted in many choosing to no longer remain silent or to scream a bit louder about the daily struggles associated with blackness in the U.S.  This conversation is especially gaining momentum in the beauty and fashion industries.

Yesterday, model and activist Nykhor Paul read the fashion industry their rights in a manner that resonated with manyand had many of us screaming YESSSS at our screens!  She articulated the truth of the matter perfectly.  Her words were praised, eye were opened, edges were snatched.

See her full rant on IG here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 2.31.00 PMNeedless to say, her post went viral.  It was shared in a Pro Makeup Artistry group I run on FB and it began a dialogue on another perspective, the role of the black makeup artist in a very white and exclusive industry.  We all shared very similar experiences and I thought it was important to share with my readers.  (Yall out there right?)

Here is some of what we shared:

–  Black models are often surprised and extremely grateful that we have product to match their complexion.

– We regularly encounter other “professional artists” who are not prepared with skills or product to do makeup on any skin with a color deeper than a paper bag.

– When working in a group setting of makeup artists it is automatically assumed that because you are a artist of color, you will complete makeup for all black models.

– Non-black artists are especially celebrated and valued for being able to do beautiful makeup on black models.

– If a black makeup artist were to show up on set with no makeup for white skin, all hell might actually break lose on set or backstage.

Granted, certain artists specialize in certain things and that’s to be expected.  However, in a fashion setting there is another expectation. It is not okay to only have product to suit white skin because there is a lack of diversity in fashion.  That lack of diversity in runways and in magazines is problematic, so to act in a manner that supports that discrimination, is also discriminatory.

As a professional artist, one should be well-versed and skilled on doing a proper, professional caliber makeup application on the full global skin range…as in, on all humans.

Being able to do a beautiful application on black skin is not a special skill because you are not black.  It is the standard and not a specialty. There is no denying that we are drawn to that which looks most like us, but I encourage and challenge every artist that may read this to truly be a professional and be prepared to meet the needs of the diverse world we live in. Which artist will you be?

A Night of Mehron Makeup

So, thanks to my Twiggy-inspired shoot, I was invited to participate in “A Night of Mehron Makeup,” a celebration of almost 100 years of Mehron.  The event was held at the Manahattan Wardorbe Supply Pro Beauty Store and featured a stellar team of artists all creating makeup looks inspired by iconic inspirations over 10 decades.

1920s – Flapper

1930s – Film Starlet

1940’s – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

1950’s – Lucille Ball

1960’s – Twiggy

1970’s – Diana Ross

1980’s – Dynasty

1990’s – Courtney Love

Current  – Fashion Editorial

Future – Extreme Makeup

The night was the official kick-off to the 1 week celebrating 10 years of The Makeup Show NY.  I was incredibly honored to be a part of the team that included these heavy hitters in beauty like James Vincent, Joe Delude Javier De La Rosa, Danessa Myricks and David Hernandez.  Can we say PRESSED?

Check out a few pics from the night below.

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With my modeling sporting my Twiggy-inspired makeup look.

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A close-up of my Twiggy look.

The team.

L to R: James Vincent, David Hernandez, Jinny, Orlando Santiago, Joe Delude, Paloma Romo, Danessa Myricks, Michela Wariebi, Javier De La Rosa, Bethany Townes.

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L to R: 1930’s by David Hernandez; 1960’s by Michela Wariebi; 1920’s by Orlando Santiago; 1930’s by Bethany Townes; 1980’s by Joe Delude; 1990’s by James Vincent.

Dear Javier De La Rosa, I know you were doing a bald cap, but you didn’t have to snatch ALL of our edges. DAMN!  This is so good.

With my beauty woes, Delina Medhin and Danessa Myricks. #blackgirlsrock

10 Tips for Surviving The Makeup Show NY

UnknownIt’s that time again!  When all your favorite pro makeup brands come together in the fashion mecca, NYC for 2 days of shopping, sharing, and shennanigans.  Well, shennanigans aren’t a guaranteed a part of my TMS experience, but I’m always sure to infuse a little foolery into those two days.  Regardless, it’s important to be properly prepared so that you can make the best out of the show!  Here are my 10 tips for surviving The Makeup Show NY!

  1. Plan ahead. This is hands-down the most important thing to do before you get to The Makeup Show NY!  There is an incredible schedule of demonstrations, classes, lectures etc. taking place during The Makeup Show and the amount of product available for purchase can overwhelm the most experienced show-goer. There is no better way to navigate the show than to have a plan!
  2. Make a Shopping List. Remember tip #1?  Meet it’s little sister, tip #2.  Once you’ve gone through the vendor list provided by The Makeup Show, look at your kit, then back at the vendor list, then back at your kit again.  Take some time to figure out what you need to add to your kit and formulate a shopping list based on your needs and what is going to be available for purchase at the show.  Now you will have a clear idea of exactly what you need to buy versus what the product junkie in you wants to buy!
  3. Bring Cash. In the age of technology it’s safe to say that every vendor will be taking credit cards, but you will be able to get in and out without dealing with processing times.  This also helps you stick to a budget for what you actually need to buy.
  4. Dress comfortably.  Although you want to be a great representation of your own brand, this is not the time to wear your new sequin halter and 6 inch Louboutins. You will be walking, standing, and maneuvering through a massive amount of bodies, so it’s best to wear something that is breathable and comfortable to wear all day. Also, black is not necessary!
  5. Network.  The Makeup Show is not just an opportunity to learn and shop it is also an incredible networking opportunity.  See you favorite beauty blogger, or that celebrity artist who you’re friends with on Facebook?  Go say hi! Make sure that you have your own business cards in hand and collect as many cards as you can.  If you need help remembering who’s who, write a little note on the back of each card you collect to remind you of who each person is.
  6. Take pictures. Do I really need to explain?  Inspiration and worthwhile memories are literally bursting out of the Metropolitan Pavillion!  Trust me that you will want to commemorate every single moment!  
  7. Be social media savvy.  Social media material doesn’t get much better than The Makeup Show.  Leverage every opportunity to make yourself visible to brands and people via social media platforms such as, Twitter, Instagram, Viddy, Vine etc.  Making a purchase, taking a class, or a chance meeting are all perfect instances to make a post via any social media platform and to tag said brand/person in question!
  8. Be courteous and professional.  Everything is a representation of your brand and reputation will get you incredibly far in the beauty industry.  Be polite and professional in every single interaction because it is the proper thing to do and because you never know who you may be dealing with. Trust me.
  9. Ask questions.  This is your chance to get in person demonstrations and product knowledge from industry experts.  This is also your chance to speak directly with representatives from brands and with artists with which you may want to work.  Take advantage of every opportunity to have brand reps give you product knowledge and to find out about opportunities to advance your career!
  10. Come visit I Make You Beautiful.  This last tip is completely biased, but I want to see all your beautiful faces and all your new purchases!

Rant: Your Path

It’s so easy to lose focus and become consumed by what is happening in the lives of people around you.  One can easily begin to compare your own accomplishments or lack there of, to those of others.  Thus beginning an epic pity-party where you and your feelings are the only attendants. One of the many problems here is that if you are focused on what others are doing, how can you be focused on what you need to do to improve the very situation that makes you compare your life to the lives of others?

We must remember that we are individuals who are fated to traverse a life that is and will always only be our own.  You can not walk anyone else’s path and they can not walk yours.  Celebrate the opportunity to live a life that no one else can live. 

Zooting Defined

Zooting is a Liberian colloquial term for being stylish, well-groomed, and smartly dressed.  Back home, when someone say “you like zooting business,”  they are referencing your consistent delivery of keen ensembles accompanied by a demeanor that perfectly matches your well executed style without being contrived.

Zooting also stems from the zoot suits of the 1940’s where the broad shoulders, small waist, and ballooned pants were an out right act of rebellion from men of color who at the time were expected to be unseen and unheard.  What we wear can easily effect how we feel and zoot suits bred a sort of confidence that was invaluable to a group of people that were battling for their very existence.

And ultimately isn’t that what we battle for on a daily basis?  For our very existence?  For the opportunity to truly be ourselves?  One of the fundamental ways to express oneself is through one’s appearance.  It’s a part of your message that you constantly send to the world.

I for one, choose to send a message of my freedom to be who I am and everyday coming closer to who I want to be.  I like zooting business.

Why I’m zooting and why you care.

I am Michela Wariebi, a makeup artist and vintage dealer based out of NY with roots in MD, but born and partially bred in Liberia. WEll, being rasied in a Liberian household is pretty close to being raised in Liberia, but I digress.  I love to dress up and live for a well beat face.  I wear sequin in the day time and can stuff a cornish hen at least 5 different ways.  I am a master thrifter and I literally salivate at the thought of good crafting.  I like zooting business.

Watch me work!