Category Archives: interviews

Beauty - "The Lovely" - interviews

Orange is the New Black’s Jackie Cruz talks hair, lipstick, making out with a Kardashian, etc.

August 2, 2014

Jackie Cruz has every reason to be full of herself. Let’s just put that out there. The Domincan-American beauty, who plays the goth and often unaware Flaca Gonzalez on Netflix’s #1 series Orange Is the New Black, is a talented actress, (real-life) singer and songwriter who you would I expected to be sitting in a VIP corner when she recently hosted Überliss‘ braid bar at the Paramount Hotel in NYC. What I found instead was a disarmingly funny and down-to-earth interview that felt a lot more like talking to a bestie I was trading makeup and boy secrets with the first ten minutes (true story, although the latter is off-the-record). She was down to dish all with no pretense. Read on for her favorite new hair brand she recently partnered with, beauty secrets from her grandma (apparently vapor rub is the new Windex solution for everything), and yes, her infamous kiss with a certain Kardashian.

Jackie Cruz from Orange Is the New Black



Beauty and the Feast: Tell me a little about why you decided to partner with Überliss.

Jackie Cruz: I have crazy curly hair that I’m always using straightening treatments on, so that’s really how it started. Überliss has a lot of products that’s really helping with my dry hair. Their Rituoil is my favorite. My hair gets really frizzy in the summertimes so this keeps it nice and smooth.

BATF: What are your must-have beauty products?

Cruz: I’ve perfected the cat eye with Chantecaille’s eyeliner. I love it, it’s perfect. M.A.C.’s Ruby Woo lipstick is a must. I really can’t live without a luminizer. I love the one by RMS. When I wear it, I’m just glowing. I use it everyday, not just on the red carpet.

Jackie Cruz's must-haves



BATF: Do you have any beauty secrets that were passed on to you from your mom?

Cruz: I’m Dominican and we have curly coarse hair. I’m big on avocado treatments and egg whites to keep my hair shiny. You just apply it and shampoo wash it off and it makes your hair really glossy. My grandma puts vapor rub on everything. Dominicans mix it with baby oil and apply it on a zit. I also have a problem with bags under my eyes, so I just put a cold spoon on freezer and place it under my eyes for a few minutes to minimize them.

BATF: What’s one of your favorite story lines from OITNB?

Cruz: I love Lorna. In the first season, she was sweet but you don’t know why she’s in prison or her obsession with Christopher. [Yael Stone] is such a great actress and amazing person. We read lines to each other. She’s a great person to work with and a great friend. Just very talented.

BATF: How did you prepare for your role as Flaca?

Cruz: I have a friend who’s Flaca. She’s the real life Flaca from back in the day. We used to waitress together. I told her, you’re going to own a Black Card one day. She’s like, ‘Aww that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever told me!’ That’s Flaca right there. She used to do crazy things and I told her one day I’m going to play you on TV. For two years I’ve been imitating her. So thanks to her, I’m Flaca. I don’t mention her name, because she wouldn’t want me to. But only me and her need to know about that. She’s always representing that, she posts my things and supports me unconditionally. Now she’s in college and a motivational speaker – Flaca! She’s Flaca’s future.

Jackie Cruz as Flaca on OITNB



BATF: Let’s talk about the other half of my blog — food! Do you cook at all? What are your favorite things to make?

Cruz: I was also raised Italian. My Italian family taught me how to cook. I can make a mean lasagna and spicy meatballs. I can’t cook Dominican food sadly– I like to go to my aunts house in the DR and have the real thing. I was so spoiled.

BATF: Let’s do a speed round. Finish the sentence with the first thing that comes to your head. One of my worst habits is…

Cruz: Salt and vinegar chips

BATF: I don’t understand people who don’t like…

Cruz: Mexican food

BATF: My style is…

Cruz: Edgy, different.

BATF: My style role models are…

Cruz: Sophia Loren, Cher.

BATF: I get inspired by…

Cruz: French magazines.

BATF: My favorite place in the whole world is…

Cruz: My home. It can be anywhere. I’m a gypsy. That’s why my album’s called Hollywood Gypsy.

BATF: My celebrity crush is…

Cruz: He not alive though — does that matter? Elvis Presley.


BATF: Last question. I looked up your character on a site, and all it said in your bio was, “once kissed Kourtney Kardashian.” Any comment?

Cruz: (laughs) We need to change that! It was something that happened five years ago. I was just a girl having fun. I’m sure you’ve kissed a girl in your life…

BATF: I can’t say that I have…

Cruz: Wow, you must be one in a million! I used to practice. It’s just something you do randomly in the moment. I’m focused on my career now. Now I have a name for myself, people bring that up but I say let it go.

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Thanks to Jackie Cruz and Uberliss for a fun interview!


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interviews

Steve Nash hosts 7th annual Showdown charity soccer game in NYC

June 25, 2014

It’s becoming a fun tradition to interview Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Steve Nash about his annual charity soccer event, The Steve Nash Foundation Showdown, where NBA and professional soccer players come together to play a game on the LES (on the same field Nash plays pick up soccer games). Right in the midst of FIFA-fever, the event (TONIGHT in NYC) attracts fans from all walks and gives them a chance to check out NBA players outside of their usual settings. Now in its 7th year and recently helping raise awareness on child abuse prevention, Nash was game for some questions ahead of the event for BATF:

A shot from last year -- Joakim Noah and Steve Nash


Beauty and the Feast: Let’s get this out of the way first: Which team are you rooting for in the World Cup?

Steve Nash:
My family’s English. I’ve always rooted for England, but they’re out. So I’d like to see Brazil do well in their home country.

BATF: When you’re watching the World Cup, what do you think about the sequence of events with the USA team?
Nash:
I thought they did exceptionally well. I thought in some ways they were lucky to beat Ghana, but they were unlucky not to beat Portugal. If you look at it, they’re probably right where they should be, it just hurts when it’s taken away on the last tick [in the Portugal game], but I think they’re still in a good position.

BATF
: Who do you expect to show up this year?
Nash: So far we have Dirk Nowitzski, Kyrie Irving, Giuseppe Rossi, and Thierry Henry to name a few.

BATF
: Is there anyone who you’ve played against in the past Showdowns who you’d want a re-match with?
Nash: For me, as a grown up who still dreams of soccer and to who it’ss till special to play against professional soccer players, to just be out there with Rossi and Thierry Henry is just phenomenal.

BATF
: What are you most excited for this time around?
Nash: I’m excited that Dirk’s coming! It’s his first time coming, he’s one of my best friends and to have him come and support means a lot to me. So I’m thrilled for him to be a part of it.

BATF: I know you’re doing a lot of work with children in the community. What do you relate to them about what life lessons they can learn from sports?
Nash:
Sport is a fantastic mirror of life. The more kids we have participating in sports, the more they’re developing their skills, similar to playing a musical instrument, they’re learning a new language. I think it’s fantastic for their self esteem, learning characteristics of hard work, dedication, team work, learning how to win or lose, learning how to be a part of a group, a teammate, a leader — all those are qualities are basically the ingredients of life. Sports are a great way to teach all these values to kids.

BATF: When you first started putting these games together, were you surprised at the interest of fellow NBA players?

Nash
: I think what’s cool about the event is for the soccer players, it’s fun to meet the basketball players, and for the basketball players it’s fun to play against professional soccer players. There’s a unique motivation for guys to get involved. Everyone who comes and plays has a blast because it’s a small environment right in the middle of Manhattan. It’s not only a great atmosphere but a unique experience for all.

BATF
: Why did you choose to hold it in NYC?
Nash: I’ve lived in Manhattan for 10 or 11 summers now. I play on that park with one of the teams I’m on. It was a very natural and organic idea with a friend of mine thought up. It was just natural to have it on the park I actually play in.

BATF
: What’s the status on your health?
Nash: I feel great right now. I haven’t been with limitation as far as my training. I try not to overdo it so that I can allow my nerves to settle down and be less irritated, and it seems to have worked so far. It’s hard to say once I begin the rigors of an NBA schedule again. I’m doing everything I can to succeed in that environment.

BATF: My blog has a lot to do with food, so I have to ask what if there’s anything in particular you’re most excited to eat while you’re out here in New York…
Nash:
Well it’s hard to beat New York City for food! There’s so many options and amazing places– not just food wise, but atmosphere wise– it’s always special time of year for me to be here.

BATF
: Is there a favorite restaurant you frequent while you’re here?
Nash: Lots of places. We live in Tribeca, so there’s a ton of places here. But one of my favorites is ABC Kitchen.

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BATF Giveaways - Beauty - "The Lovely" - Fashion - interviews

That time I met Tim Gunn + a Walgreens P&G Beauty Giveaway!)

March 13, 2014

Not going to lie, when I set out to meet Under The Gunn/Project Runway’s fashion guru, Tim Gunn, I was equal parts excited and nervous. Excited because, well it’s Tim Gunn and just by watching PR you just know he’s the designers’ biggest cheerleader. Who wouldn’t want a fashion mentor like him? Nervous because, well, it’s TIM GUNN and what are you supposed to wear? Also, there was that little part of me that was afraid he’d ruin my exceedingly favorable image of him from the shows. Luckily, I quickly found him to be the most delightful, warm human being to interview which made getting out of bed at 7 AM on a Saturday morning all the more worth it.

Me with Tim Gunn!

We first got a tour of some of the new products from Crest, Olay, and CoverGirl from P&G’s North American beauty ambassador Marsha Chilko with Gunn. This is also when he told us he’s “all about skin products,” and said he’s been using Olay for years himself (which he discovered once he ran out of his expensive brand of cream and found Olay from a gift bag he received — he’s been hooked since). Afterwards, we sat down with Gunn to talk about how to achieve some of his favorite spring looks AND some juicy inside scoops about the show. Read on:

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Trying CoverGirl's TRUblend TRUMagic on an orange to show how it covers indents in the skin



Beauty and the Feast: I feel like for a lot of people, fashion can be really intimidating. As an expert, what are your opinions on navigating that for people who feel this way?
Tim Gunn
: The wonderful thing about American fashion today in particular is that it used to be so narrowly defined as an aesthetics swath. What I love about fashion today is it’s so incredibly diverse you really can dress however you want to dress. The only limitation I find is size, especially for women who are petite and those who wear larger than a size 12. it can be very challenging. I’m set on helping fix that. You just need to be who you are. Clothes are a message to how the world perceives us. How do you want the world to perceive you? Whenever anyone says to me ‘that’s so shallow, that’s not true, people don’t really judge other people based on how they’re dressed.’ I say, if someone you don’t know comes into a room, what’s the first thing you notice about them? Probably their gender, and second how they’re presenting themselves. It’s not just clothes, it’s also grooming. I see grooming and clothing as inextricable partners. It’s about accepting responsibility for it. We need to be comfortable in our skin, literally and metaphorically. Don’t let this intimidate you, I’m the anti-trend guy. The trend is only good if it works for you.

BATF: Speaking of trends, are there any trends that you absolutely abhore right now?
Gunn:
I’m horrified that the gladiator sandal is back. I was on Good Morning America with Nina Garcia and was asked us what should every woman go out and buy? Nina declared the gladiator sandal, and I just had this visceral reaction. I was like gladiator sandal? Most woman don’t have time to lace that thing up!

BATF: What are some tips for a fashion novice to creating the best look possible?
Gunn:
It’s useful when a woman or man have a fashion mentor. That person should have your coloring, hopefully have your physique. It’s someone you can look to and ask well what would she wear? If she doesn’t have that, it will look completely different on you. The look needs to speak to you and need to you need to be who you are.

BATF: Do you have any guiding principles for dressing?
Gunn:
The key to getting our fashion right has to do with three priciples: 1) silhouette, 2) proportion, 3) and fit. When they’re in harmony and balance, you’ll look great no matter what you’re wearing. People ask to de-mystify it, so silhouette meaning your shape. Show off curves. Proportion: I always say, look at yourself as a series of thirds from your shoulders to your toes, and dress according to thirds. If you think about a dress for instance, 2/3 on top, 1/3 on bottom. Top and pair of pants, 1/3 on top, 2/3 on bottom. Don’t cut yourself in half. That’s why men who wear their shirttails out, they look schlumpy because their cutting themselves in half. And fit, have clothes that skim you. You don’t want things that are too tight, or too much volume. If you’re wearing separates, you can have slimness in one, volume in the other. Let your viscerous speak to you. If your viscera says I don’t know about this, it’s probably right.

BATF: Have you ever had any fashion disasters?
Gunn
: The 1980s. Acid washed jeans, oversized tops — it was horrible, for everyone, men and women. The whole notion of revisiting it? No thanks. Acid washed jeans are just unflattering for everyone. Who looks good in them?

Trying on some of Olay's Illuminating cream



BATF: What are some things every guy should have in his closet?
Gunn:
A suit and tie. I can’t tell you how many guys in New York don’t have a suit and never had a tie. It’s about respect, respect for yourself first then everyone else. Providing the fit is correct, which is the whole other issue with men. So frequently their clothes are one or two sizes too big. I mean, what guy doesn’t look great in a suit when it fits perfectly?

BATF: Can you tell us anything about what to expect from Under the Gunn this season?
Gunn:
It was an incredibly wonderful experience to make the show. You’re gonna see the mentors are on rollercoaster, and you’re going to see the biggest outburst from me ever. Ever. I lost it. If they keep it in, it’s going to be in the Marvel challenge. I LOST it.

BATF: Wow! What set you off?
Gunn:
I only want the designers to succeed. I only want their work to shine on that runway. Not only was the designer, I felt, derailing him or herself (I don’t want to give away the gender), but the mentor was supporting it. I was like, ‘Wait a minute, this is not going to be well received by the judges. In fact, this could send the designer home, so stop it.’ And actually, it was makeup related! The blowout happens in the makeup room. Be on the lookout for it.

BATF: I have my DVR set. Do you have any advice for young designers?
Gunn:
No matter what, if they don’t have an unbridled passion for it, they shouldn’t do it. It’s too difficult and daunting. It’s the love that will keep you in it. If you’re knocked over and you stay there and you whine and cry, not the industry for you. You need thick skin. Doesn’t mean you can’t be a sensitive little marshmallow, but you have to have a very thick crust, and I believe that’s acquired. I don’t think anyone comes in with it. In any creative area, you have to have a point of view and you need to know who you are. It’s about passion and love, it’s true with whatever we do in life.

BATF: I’m really curious, how does it feel to coin the catchphrase, “Make it work”?
Gunn:
Who knew, right? I used to say make it work in my classes for years. I couldn’t help myself on Runway. In the first season of show, I never dreamed I’d even make it to the edit, I thought I’d be on the cutting room floor because I was a consultant for the show. I was never intended to be on camera. Never. My role in the show didn’t exist. It was in no one’s in vocabulary. A little less than a week before designers arrived, producers asked how would I feel to be a mentor? I asked…well, do I have to live with them, cuz that would have been a deal-breaker. [laughs]

BATF: I really felt like your parts were some of my favorites because you can really tell you’re rooting for the designers instead of tearing them apart.
Gunn:
Why thank you. I feel like I’m the voice of the people. I feel like generally the comments I make are what people at home are thinking.

BATF: What was one of your high moments from Project Runway?
Gunn:
For me, season 1, episode 1 when we went to the grocery store. I’m watching Austin Scarlett fill up his shopping cart with ears of corn, and I’m thinking ‘this is pathetic.’ On top of the ears of corn, he piles all these bags of potato chips. And I’m like I understand the ears of corn, but why the potato chips? He’s like, ‘For the ride home in the van!’ [laughs] But that dress he created was so magnificent, I’ll never get over it. Ever. Ever.

BATF: For a fashion expert like yourself, who’s your mentor?
Gunn:
Diane von Furstenberg has always been an incredible mentor. She’s always been there for me. She’s so grounded. She’s amazing. And she always says to me whenever I’m in an impasse, Listen to your own voice. Never lose your voice as an educator, it’s who you are, it’s what you are, and it’s what you do well, so why ever stray from that. We all have our moments when we need someone.

Thank you Tim Gunn for the lovely interview! And now you have a chance to win all of these products below to get ready for your spring look, courtesy of P&G and Walgreens!

Giveaway: Goodies from Olay, Crest, Secret, and Head & Shoulders


TO ENTER: (Do either of the following to qualify, both to increase your chances):

1) LIKE Beauty and the Feast’s Facebook fan page and leave a comment on this giveaway’s post
2) FOLLOW @BeautyNDFeast on Twitter and tweet “I want to win the P&G beauty/Walgreens #giveaway! http://ow.ly/uyJHJ”


MAKE SURE to leave a comment below letting me know how you entered (either on FB or with your Twitter handle).
This giveaway is US-only and ends March 21st at 11:59pm. The winner will be contacted directly. Good luck!



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Beauty - "The Lovely" - interviews

La La Anthony, Roselyn Sanchez more celebrate P&G’s Nueva Latina campaign

March 2, 2014

Last Thursday, celebrity guests La La Anthony (VH-1 Single Ladies), Roselyn Sanchez (Lifetime’s Devious Maids), Angie Martinez, and Paula Garces, among others, came out to share their support of the Nueva Latina Monologues, written and directed by Linda Nieves-Powell. The monologues personifies the unique journey of the bicultural Latina experience through emotion, comedy and authenticity.

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I caught up with La La Anthony on the carpet about her thoughts on the night:

La La Anthony



Beauty and the Feast: Why was it important to you to support this event?
La La Anthony:
Part of it was my own background of being Latina. That’s who I am and I wanted to show people that we come in all shades – we don’t just look one way. It’s great to represent that. I’m also a big fan of Roselyn Sanchez, and it’s just great to be here and connect with people.

BATF: What do you think it’s the biggest obstacle for Latin women in your industry right now?
Anthony:
I think it’s an obstacle for all women to be in the forefront of anything – to be in film, to be in TV…what you’re seeing right now is such a wave of African American women and Hispanic women doing that. Now’s the time to really take advantage of that and I’m glad to be a part of that movement by being on television and breaking the door down for young up-and-coming women who aspire to do that as well.

BATF: Congratulations on the success of your book, The Love Playbook, being a New York Times’ best-seller! What has been the best feedback you’ve gotten on it?
Anthony:
The best response is when young women, some who have been in abusive relationships, have told me it’s changed their lives. The book is really about loving yourself first, and not looking for a man to make you feel whole. I really preach that.

BATF: Finally, what is one beauty product you can’t leave the house without?
Anthony:
It’s sooo ridiculous, but I can’t leave the house without Carmex! I’m obsessed. I hate chapped lips. I have it everywhere. Between me and my son, we go through a tube every other week.

BATF: Is that what you’re wearing right now?
Anthony:
I have my own makeup line – so yes, underneath my own Motives lip gloss, of course ☺.


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - interviews

Molly Sims goes red with Nexxus!

February 26, 2014

Model Molly Sims recently made a bold move with the help of Nexxus celebrity colorist and ambassador, Aura Friedman, who transformed her from blonde into a redhead. I almost didn’t recognize the stunner when she walked in (the last time I met her she looked totally different!).

Molly Sims and Aura Friedman

About the transformation, Sims said she was “so nervous” about going from blonde to a copper red, but she said, “I turned 40 and I wanted a change.” Might I add, for 40-years-old, homegirl looked totally stunning in a floral Suno dress. The red tones somehow brought out her green eyes and she looked positively radiant. As a newly minted redhead, Sims also said her makeup routine changed completely.

Nexxus Color Assure line


As a redhead, I had to go darker on the brows,” she said. “I also mix foundation and apply it with a wet Beautyblender sponge for just a light coverage, and started using more gold and brown eyeshadow tones on on my eyes.” Also fun fact, the first person she sent a picture of her new hair to? “Believe it or not, it was my dad!” So cute.

To keep up the color, Sims, the new spokesperson for Nexxus’ new line Color Assure swears by their Pre-Wash Primer, which you use before you shower on your hair to form a protective film over each strand. This keeps the color locked in and shiny. In several tests, they showed us how the primer seals and microscopic holes in your strands so keep hair looking and feeling stronger. Their Radiant Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner are also sulfate-free so it won’t strip strands of color (and smells divine). Their Glossing Tonic is a finishing touch that Sims says she uses for even more shine.

Aura Friedman with Molly Sims


Aura Friedman was also on hand to talk about how platinum and reds seem to be the new trendy colors based off the runways this season…in case you’re looking for a change…

Before and after

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - interviews

The beauty routine of Olympic Alpine skier, Mikaela Shiffrin

December 11, 2013

On the heels of the heavily applauded ad Pantene released illustrating the stereotypes of how men vs. women are viewed (Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the message it sends is one of the most powerful she’s ever seen), it’s only fitting to introduce yet another young, powerful woman who’s joined as their latest spokesperson: Mikaela Shiffrin.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Touted to be a likely pick for Team USA, Shiffrin won the slalom title at the world championships in Schaldming, Austria at just 17, becaming skiing’s youngest female world champion since 1985. Although heavily preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the bright-eyed Shiffrin was game for some beauty and food questions from Beauty and the Feast!


Beauty and the Feast:
As the new spokesperson for Pantene, what’s your own personal earliest memory of the brand?
Mikaela Shiffrin: From the time I was a little girl, I remember seeing Pantene everywhere in our bathroom. Pretty much immediately after I stopped using baby shampoo, I started using Pantene. I’ve switched back and forth through the years, trying to find something that tames my unruly hair. But I keep coming back to the brand because it makes my hair feel more soft than anything else does.

BATF:
What products do you like to use on your skin to keep it from being dry in the harsh, cold conditions that you ski in?
Shiffrin: Every night before I go to bed, I put on the Olay Night Fortifying Cream, lots of it. When I wake up, I slather on the Olay All Day Moisture Cream. Then I mix it with the CoverGirl CC cream so I can even out my skin tone. After skiing all day, my skin tone is like 5 different shades. It gives me extra hydration and a more an even tone and pretty looking skin.

BATF:
What is your daily beauty routine like?
Shiffrin: I just put on a tiny bit of light colored blush and a little bit of black eye liner. It’s simple, but it brings out my best features. I feel so much more confident taking helmet and goggles off. I don’t look like I’ve been skiing all day – the products last throughout training session.

BATF:
How do you combat helmet hair?
Shiffrin: It’s just something that I live with! I spray a little bit of Pantene’s Flexible Hold Hairspray, before I go out, just at roots. It stays in my hair, pretty much all day. Then, after I take off my helmet, I just pull up at my roots a little bit and the helmet hair pretty much disappears.

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BATF:
What are some foods you always like to incorporate in your diet as an athlete?
Shiffrin: I have Barilla plus pasta at every single meal, but not an entire dish of pasta. Many people think of athletes carb-loading and having a huge bowl of pasta with 2000 calories. I don’t do that. It’s more of a side dish, that complements the protein and I have a little bit of salad. Barilla Plus has extra protein so it helps replenish my muscles.

BATF:
What are some beauty products that will be traveling with you to Sochi the Winter Olympics?
Shiffrin: I’ll be bringing the Pantene Repair & Protect collection. They have rough water there so it will help keep my hair looking good. I’ll also bring Smoochies lip balm. It’s a natural lip color, so it doesn’t look like I’m trying so hard to look good. I’ll also be bringing the face creams I mentioned earlier.

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