As a makeup artist I've beautified everything from bruises and bags, on movie stars and hags. Making grey skies blue was my calling from the time I was a young girl. I was born a vegetarian and raised in NYC to African American and Trinidadian parents at a time where there were no veggie burgers, vegan restaurants or Whole Foods. Vegetarians ate fruits and vegetables. It was not glamorous and I was always the outcast, especially in the African American community. I used to sneak fried chicken the way kids nowadays sneak cookies. I guess you could call my parents hippies, following Eastern philosophies in a Western world. I was raised with a spiritual foundation based on the teachings of Yogananda, and I grew up going to ashrams and farms, believing in nature and the natural. I didn't know who Jesus Christ was until I was seven, and I thought it was a scavenger hunt when people asked 'Have you found Jesus?' Most of my family is in music. My late great aunt wrote ‘Good Morning Heartache’ for the legendary Billie Holiday, and my father played trombone with Eddie Palmieri, Archie Sheep and a bunch of other jazz greats. Somewhere between my birth and age ten my dad went corporate and my mom went off the grid. She currently lives in Hawaii on a farm making a living as an astrologist.
Alternative Medicine and Becoming the Mother of Jazz
I have always believed in alternative approaches to taking care of the body andI have had the same doctor that I trust with my life for 20 years. (How many people can honestly say they trust their doctors with their lives?) Besides being an MD, he only practices homeopathic medicine and acupuncture. At 19 when we met I had no health insurance and relied on clinics. He told me that doctors don't really care about poor people at clinics. He told me not to drink alcohol but to smoke marijuana, so taking his advice I lived on a Rastafarian camp in Jamaica and channeled Bob Marley while farming ganja everyday for six months. At 27 that same doctor told me that having a baby would be the best thing I could do for my body, so I became the mother of Jazz one year later. Vegetarian at the time, I gave birth with midwives while drinking herbal tea and listening to Patsy Cline. I did not look at birth the way Western doctors do. Pregnancy is not a disease and birth is not a surgical procedure. The midwives allowed me to experience the delivery my way.
The Clean/ Organic Makeup Artist is Born
I fell in love with makeup early, I just loved how the women in ads always looked happy and full of love. I felt that if I put it on I would be happy too. That today is still my goal, I just want to inspire love with lead-free lipstick. Two Emmy nominations later (for my makeup artistry on the chatty ladies of The View), I stumbled into my current organic avenue when an allergic reaction to my lipstick almost killed me (a trip to the ER and all). Since then I've worked with most of the organic makeup companies out there, and was briefly the makeup and skincare educator for Whole Foods Market Chelsea. Didn't love doing organic beauty for 'the man' (corporate health food chains), so now I educate women all over the globe with my Low Beauty artistry.