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

Behind the Scenes: The Journey of Hope Fashion Show

Established in 1973,  Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center is recognized as one of the world leaders in clinical and laboratory research, education, community outreach, and the prevention and control of cancer. The Journey of Hope Fashion Show was part of the One Night One Show One Cause event hosted by PRS Guitars and headlined by Journey - all in support of the cancer center. The show was led by Pamela DePalma of DePalma Enterprises and her celebrity fashion team of stylist Chamisa Lamm, hairstylist Kristan Serafino and makeup artist Robyn Tamura (a.k.a. me). We created the event's runway looks to reflect the spirit and rock band style of Journey.

STYLING Years of working at MTV and music-driven fashion shows made Chamisa Lamm the perfect stylist for this event. Using clothing from Andy Hilfiger of Andrew Charles, and an assortment of designers from Boutique 1017, Chamisa wanted to create a show to “energize, inspire and entertain.”

Her philosophy is that “killer shoes, killer walks and stand-out accessories” are necessary for any fashion show - Sugar Scout jewelry vamped up her looks. Nicholas K footwear and Luichiny gave the models extra attitude. Journey loved Chamisa’s styling so much they requested the clothes!

CHAMISA'S TIP: Have lots of accessories! When an outfit's too plain or needs a little extra something, having a collection of accessories to choose from allows you to be able to finish off any look.


The look I created focused on eyes and lips. Because the clothing made such a statement, the makeup needed edge to match but still simple and not overdone. Having two talented students from the The Temple Paul Mitchell School, Robin McDonough and Ashley Creighton to assist were essential to make it all happen. A big thank you to Robin and Ashley!

Cat-Eye Drama 

  • LORAC Eye Shadow in Taupe blended in the crease contours eyelid.
  • LORAC Pro Liquid Eyeliner in Black on bottom and top lash lines extended past brow adds drama to eye shape.
  • White shimmer on inner corner and tops of cheekbones gives a glowy contrast.
  • Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara gives, as its name implies, a faux lash look. With 12 models to do in very little time, false lashes were out and Faux Lash Mascara was in!

Rich, Deep Lips A deep plum lip liner to line blended with a rich, wine-colored, creamy lipstick.

MY TIP: LORAC's liquid liner is cream-based so it's easier to apply than a traditional liquid liner. But if cream or liquid liners are too difficult for you you can still use a sharpened eye pencil for this look.


Kristan Serafino's elegant Twisted Top Knot completed the high fashion styling. Here's how to recreate it:

  • First smooth hair with Kiss Silicone Protection Flat Iron.
  • Then brush hair into a high ponytail with a hair band. Use the crown of the head as a reference for ponytail base.
  • Twist loose hair from ponytail until hair coils and secure it with bobbi pins.
  • Apply Elnet hair spray to control fly-aways to finish the look.

KRISTAN'S TIP: Criss-cross two bobbi pins into an "X" to secure Top Knot from moving. Once hair is secured use hair-pins to hide bobbi pins.

With the hard work done and the fashion show a success, we sat down to a concert with Journey. Before it began, the group asked who in the audience had been affected by or knew someone affected by cancer. Every person raised their hand. It made me tear up and feel even more honored that we were able to come together for an event dedicated to make a difference.

Robyn, Kristan & Paul Mitchell National Educator Dana Ratliff Howson in action.

Michaele Salahi of the Real Housewives of D.C. - Guitarist Neal Schon proposed to her on stage that night.