Behind the Scenes with GQ & Vogue

This was a fun shoot I just did with Guggenheim Productions in New York City, working behind the scenes with GQ magazine and Uniqlo for Vogue TV. Stylists Brett Fahlgren and Cara Crowley showed us how to dress and accessorize for spring. I prettied everyone up!

photo 4

Images and tips from the day: Brett is GQ's stylist who introduced the male looks from Uniqlo. This boyishly handsome male model is Lorenzo Vargas, who has perfect skin. A little Laura Mercier concealer to brighten his eye area, Fashion Fair pressed powder to take down the shine and Lorac Bronzer to add some warmth and contour. 


Gorgeous Marina Theiss is originally from Brazil. Here she is with Amanda Beczner doing her lovely long locks. (Amanda and I are both petite so Marina towers over both of us.)

Marina Theiss

Marina Theiss

For Marina's fresh makeup look, I used:

Chanticaille Compact cream makeup on areas as needed.

A pinky nude lip.

Kevyn Aucoin concealer (the Sensual Skin Enhancer) to brighten under her eyes.

A soft brown eye shadow washing the lid and a touch of YSL eye liner pencil in black on the top eye line.

Lots of my favorite mascara, Laura Mercier Faux Lash and lots of my favorite bronzer from Lorac. Voila.

Once it's up on Vogue TV, I'll put it up here too!

On the Red Carpet: Laura Benanti

Laura Turned Back

Who gets to be gorgeous, talented and have a great personality? An old friend of mine used to say you get one or maybe two but not all three – she said the gods just don’t allow it. Which seems fair enough. But I recently had the opportunity to work with Tony Award winning Laura Benanti and I can tell you right now she is as kind as she is beautiful. And winning Tonys doesn’t happen unless you’re exceptionally talented, so guess what - she has all three.

This fall, Laura stars in the new NBC show Go On with Friends' Matthew Perry. 

When she first arrived to NYC, Laura was cast as an understudy for the Broadway role of Maria in The Sound of Music - a show she would go on to star in. From there she went on to many roles and became one of Broadway's brightest stars, picking up awards and accolades all along the way. After learning I was in the presence of Maria I couldn’t help but hum My Favorite Things (really corny of me, I know, but I actually wasn't thinking about it) as I did her makeup - and Laura and hairstylist Kristan Serafino joined right along with me. Then off she went to the red carpet looking glowing and beautiful.

Makeup Tips for Laura's Red Carpet Look Laura wanted more natural makeup so I stuck with warm nude and earth tones and added small touches of brightness to keep it fresh and glowing.

Laura Up Close
Laura Up Close

Moisturize before applying makeup. I used a light moisturizer and Origins GenZing eye cream. Moisturizing helps smooth on foundation so it looks soft and natural. Because her skin is already so smooth and even, I used foundation sparingly and only to create a "palette" for color. To make sure it lasted throughout the night, I set the makeup with a sheer face powder and the under eye concealer powder from Laura Mercier's Undercover Pot.

Highlight eyes with a touch of light shimmer. I used Matisse Elite Star Dust Powder on just the inner corners to draw attention to her eyes. If we were creating a dramatic look I would use shimmer more liberally, but using it just as an accent is perfect to keep it soft and natural.

Warm the face with a bronzer. I used a bronzer in place of a blush on cheeks, around the sides of face and on the forehead area. Again, to keep it natural, it's important to blend any bronzer well.

Add soft color to lips. Laura is wearing coral shoes - I didn't mean to match her lips to them, but now that I'm looking at the images I kind of did! Matching lips and shoes is, of course, in no way important or necessary, but keeping lip color in the warmer tones helps blend the warmer eye and cheek color together.

Hairstyle Laura's hair is elegant, softly relaxed and pretty. If you'd like your hair to look like Laura's, click here for Kristan's Hair Tips.

Look for Laura this Fall,  Tuesdays at 9pm (EST)!


Hair by Kristan Serafino, Makeup by Robyn Tamura

Sneak Peeking

Today my brother was – I think – trying to motivate me by telling me how delinquent I have been on updating this site. He acted horrified. He has a point. The problem is that the more I have things going on to talk about, the less time I have to tell anyone about anything. But he has sufficiently motivated me to at least say that I’m posting something soon! So "posting something soon" is today's post. Ha! Here are also some “Coming Soon” images of a couple of things I have been working on (just to give you a peek).




Architectural Design 

Fred & George Weasley

Sparkles & Bangles, Pretty in Pictures

These are some of the images we created for Kelly Bruggema's Soo Ihn Kim Jewelry. Kelly is a talented jewelry designer who also photographs her beautiful designs. Or you can say she's a talented photographer who started her own jewelry line. And though it's a fairly young company, her collections have already been seen on celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Zoe Saldana – as well as featured in magazines such as Vogue, InStyle and Harper's Bazaar.

Kelly Jewelry

Hair is by Kyung Min Chon. I love Kyung's story because she really followed her heart to become a hairstylist. She began her university education in Korea as a German Studies major. But once there she realized her true passion was to be in beauty. Being Asian myself I know that any career implying "artist" is not one most Asian parents get that excited about. So she somewhat independently applied to the prestigious Osaka Mode Fashion College, was accepted, and moved to Japan to study hair and makeup. Kyung has since become an accomplished hairstylist and makeup artist with numerous celebrity and corporate clients. She currently works at Warren-Tricomi in NYC.

Amsterdam Two

And myself...well, you already know about me. I just had so much fun working with Kelly and Kyung - and seeing those gorgeous pieces of jewelry too.

Kelly’s designs can be found in boutiques throughout the world and with online retailers ShopBop and The Gilt Groupe (where I will soon be looking for some pieces myself).

On Side

Side Look


Beauty Is: Women Who Inspire - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

For awhile now, I've wanted to write about the remarkable women I meet, know and work with. I know so many, and each inspires me.

These are women who show us what and how we can be in the world and how dreams are made true. They are the essence of beauty – they do and create things of beauty, they show us what it means to be ourselves and what we someday hope to be. So in tribute, I thought why not start with someone near and dear to my heart - who also happens to be one of the most influential and powerful women in the world.

Recently I worked with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a Today Show segment that chronicles her life story. It starts with a poor but bright little Puerto Rican girl who one day dreams of doing great things. The odds are stacked against her. She lives in the Bronx, being raised in the projects by her single working mother (who is obviously also a remarkable woman). She is Latina and, at the time, has few powerful female role models she can identify with and she has to compete with others who started life with privileges she never knew. But she is more than determined and perseveres, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class. She is accepted to Princeton University and then to Yale Law School. After law school she works first as an attorney, is eventually appointed by President George H. W. Bush as a U.S. Judge for the Southern District of New York and later to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President William Jefferson Clinton.

Then the day comes when she is chosen by President Barack Obama as one of the nine justices in the United States Supreme Court. She is the first Hispanic and only the 3rd female Justice. When I saw her on TV standing next to the president, I was so proud. And a little jealous that she was standing next to him and told her so. She said it was like being in a dream.

Today those projects she was raised in are named The Sonia Sotomayor Houses. She has been chosen as one ofTime Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and been featured in countless books, articles and magazines. Next week her personal memoir, My Beloved World, is being published. Reviewers have said that the book is surprisingly candid and personal. "Sotomayor tells her fascinating life story with the hope of providing 'comfort, perhaps even inspiration' to others, particularly children, who face hard times" writes The Boston Globe.

I believe that among the most important things in life are honesty, integrity and kindness. For many reasons, I can tell you that Sonia Sotomayor is these things. You can feel the strength of her character and she is kind and genuine (but don’t kid yourself, she is tough, too - she is, after all, a United States Supreme Court Justice).

Sonia Memoir
Sonia Memoir

Writing a book so personal takes courage and a certain level personal awareness rarely seen in a woman of her stature. How lucky are we that her life is one of obstacles overcome and the dream of making it all happen - and she wants to share it with us too?

Doing her makeup, I was trying to rush to get her out the door but she calmly told me we had time and went on ask me about my life, wanting to make sure I told Jeff to get more sleep and that I set up Lucy with a college fund. So in additional to everything else, she is, in fact, that kind of person.

For the  record, I used my trustedLorac Eye Shadow, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot Concealer, Laura Mercier Mascara and Clinique Blush. The Justice prefers to look natural so I kept it light but did encourage a bit more for camera. So get up and watch for her on NBC’s Today Show this Monday, January 14 at 7a.m. EST. And then tell me how fabulous she looks!

You can also see Justice Sotomayor interviewed on the following upcoming shows:

60 Minutes Sunday, January 13 on CBS at 7p.m. EST

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Monday, January 21 at 11p.m. EST

CNN with Soledad O’Brien The week of January 21 (check online for updates).

Oprah's Next Chapter in January or February (check online for updates).

Finally, if you’d like to meet her, she will be in the following cities for lectures and/or book signings over the next several months: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles and San Diego. If you need help finding where, let me know. And if you do see her, tell her I sent you (via this site)!

We visit the New York Historical Society Children's Museum each week. Sonia Sotomayor is featured in a section called "American Dreamers" - and here is Lucy, dreaming right alongside her.

LOFT Loves Teachers Makeovers!

If you didn't already know, Ann Taylor LOFT has a teachers' perks program that includes every day discounts, special events, as well as sweepstakes and a cool 50K grant program in support of educators! If I were a teacher, I'd be heading off to LOFT to be appreciated.

We took a trek to Connecticut to do the hair, makeup and fashion makeovers currently featured  in LOFT Loves Teachers. I had not been in a high school since...a long time ago. So being in the gym, walking halls through the halls and seeing those little desks brought back memories of Spanish class (Me llamo Robyn), dreading algebra and hearing the bell ring (running to get back in the classroom on time). Memories good and bad, of course. It's high school!

If you're looking for "before" shots, we don't have any. The makeover was more about letting the teachers have fun with a new look, so it's just the "after." See some images below. Enjoy!

Photos by J. Ryan Roberts and Guggenheim Productions. Hair by Katie Ambrose, makeup by Me.