Showing posts from 2014

Starting My Own Makeup Line: Cielmiera

What's starting your own makeup line like? Scary, expensive, time-consuming, and yes, exciting. I can't clock the moment I started this journey, but it began in my head about five years ago when I began to think about what made me love makeup products and hate them, where I saw holes in the market, what I knew the consumer wanted and wasn't being given.

My first investor was my father: The Bank of Dad. He hates makeup, has zero interest in it, and thinks it's a waste of time. When I approached him for help with start-up funds, I expected I'd have to create Powerpoint slides and flow charts to explain my business idea. He glazed over in seconds, then he offered me the money as a loan. I don't think he believes in what I'm doing, but he believes in me. Once someone else's skin is in the game, you take an endeavor very seriously.

I had one vision to start: a contour and highlighter product that would change the game. This product has gone through multiple …

Robin Williams: One of the Greats

When I first heard of Robin Williams' suicide, my initial thought was, He was so talented and accomplished. What would he have to be depressed about? That is the complexity and misnomer of depression: That it only afflicts those who have something to be depressed about.

I once asked an actor friend what makes a great actor. She explained that "You don't see the celebrity or the actor; you see a really great character."

Williams had that talent, able to move seamlessly between the comedic genius that got him established and into serious and even dark roles with equal talent and intensity. Some comedic actors struggle with the transition. Williams made it look easy. As famous as he was, as distinctive as he looked, you didn't see Robin Williams when he was acting: You became so pulled into the character he was portraying, he disappeared and a great character took form and walked around inside your mind. I read one fan's description as he was one of the few act…

Am I Daughter Enough?

My sister estranged herself from the entire family two years ago. Long, complicated, tumultuous story, but the fact remains that she and her husband cut off all contact. I truly believe none of us will hear from her again.

They say when a person leaves your life, you slowly learn to live without her. This is both sad and soothing to know. The truth is, I have: She no longer comes up in conversation, and I think of her less with time. Because her name starts with the letter B, I mentally remind myself to not mention the "B word."

If someone asks about my family, I still have to momentarily stop and concoct an easy answer: Yes, I do have one. It's slowly dissipating, but it exists. End of questions?

If someone asks if I have any siblings, my heart sinks a little and my mind scatters: There is the legal answer (yes, I do); there is the technical answer (yes, I do); there is the emotional answer (no, I don't).

The hardest part of her leaving has been trying to be essenti…

Swat Makeover


My Horrible Day

So I believe that no matter your age or your experience in another field, when you dip your toe into a new profession, you're back at square one: That means pay your dues, do grunt work, even offer to work for free.

And that's exactly what I did yesterday. I offered to help a relatively well-established wedding makeup artist in Western, MA who had double-booked her day. That meant two weddings back-to-back. And when I say back-to-back, I mean that there was literally no wiggle room between finishing one wedding and going to the next.

I was happy to offer to help her in whatever way I could, even if it meant solely doing the grunt, unglamorous and sweaty work with no pay. When I have a passion, just being in the vicinity of it makes me happy. And if I get more responsibility than I asked for, I feel weightless.

The day started very early, around 6 a.m., since we had to drive to a location more than an hour from her house. Even on little sleep and not an adequate amount of caffe…