Archive for May, 2011

A star is born on Hoku night

May 29th, 2011

Whitby Bierwolf photo
Kiani Ventura-Tampos, left, and Mailani Makainai are in a silver Niho Mano Cuff and silver Kapa Cuffs from the Paradisus Sonny Ching Collection. Mailani also wears Kamapua’a Tusks with silver lashing, from the same collection.

No matter what the outcome of the Hoku Awards, Kiani Ventura-Tampos—nominated for Female Vocalist of the year and Reggae Album of the Year—was a winner before she set foot in the Hawai’i Convention Center Kalakaua Ballroom.

As a new artist from the Big Island, she said she doesn’t really wear make-up and “fashion isn’t at the top of my list due to not much fashion choices as the Hilo mall is limited.”

Even so, with all the stories I’ve written about Ralph Malani and the work he’s done with Polynesian models and artists like Raiatea Helm and Anuhea, she decided to contact him through Facebook to see if he could help her make a good impression on an audience of her peers in Honolulu, as well as a television audience.

Kiani before.

“After talking to him and mentioning how I love Rihanna, he said he was interested in helping me.”

For his part, Ralph said, “At first, wasn’t going to do it because I’m so busy.”

But then he had a change of heart because he was already performing a makeover on last year’s Hoku Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Mailani Makainai, and Kiani was so eager to make an impact. “She is sweet and never been on TV or in the paper,” he said. “She is a Big Island girl with Big Island style, but the night of the Hokus she will be a star.”

Mailani Makainai before her makeover.

Kiani, right, dressed for the Hoku Awards in a Tiare Teiti dress, pictured with Mailani Makainai, who Ralph Malani also styled for the occasion.

Beauty Spot: Ross Burton’s favorite things

May 27th, 2011

Nadine Kam photo

Makeup artist Ross Burton’s favorite things have a way of becoming Oprah’s favorite things as well. He’ll be presenting master classes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 28 at Nordstrom.

A woman I just met asked me for some cosmetic advice because she feels she needs a total makeover. Well, her timing is perfect, because there’s no shortage of makeup and skin experts in town for the Nordstrom Cosmetic Trend Event taking place in-store May 28.

I was able to catch up with some of them early, including Hylton Lea of ReVive Skincare, George Smart of Osmotics, and Ross Burton, whose favorite things often become Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things because she relies on her makeup artist’s advice.

Prior to working with Oprah, he was the artistic director for Lancome Paris, accustomed to working for a single brand. His work has intensified as he’s now inundated with product from every brand imaginable and says it’s his duty to “vet, test and try” products before he can recommend them to Winfrey.

One of his favorite things that has also become hers is the Clarisonic brush, which helps to cleanse and exfoliate.

His favorite things tend to be multi-use products, like YSL’s Touche Eclat pens, which can be used as an eyeshadow base, mask skin imperfections, cover dark circles under the eyes and highlight the eyes.

Other favorite products:

NARS Illuminators: Can be applied directly to the skin or added to any moisturizer to add a sheer, natural glow to skin.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine: Lip color that combines the best attributes of a lipstick and gloss, adding sheer color to lips, with a transparency that allows one’s own skin color to show through, for an individualized color effect. It’s really beautiful.

Bobbi Brown bronzers: in multicolors to suit any skin tone, to highlight and contour.

Going back to the woman in need of a makeover. A lot of times, it’s a matter of keeping up with trends, whether in hairstyle or use of color cosmetics. Burton said many women get stuck in a rut. “They keep using products that don’t work for them anymore because they felt most beautiful when they were using it.” It’s pretty obvious when you see 40-year-old women with hair and styles and makeup styles that were last “in” when they were in high school.

The three tips he dispenses all the time are:

1. Organize: Clean out your drawers and shoe boxes; discard cosmetics that don’t work and keep what does work.

2. Take your cues from fashion: Just as you update your wardrobe with a new belt, shoe or handbag, update your cosmetic wardrobe with a new lipstick, blush and eyeshadow in the latest colors and formulations, and learn to use them in contemporary ways. For instance, as skincare has improved, foundation has become light and sheer, often no more than an SPF-tinted moisturizer that allows you to see skin, not makeup.

3. Do your research: Keep up with the latest beauty blogs and magazines, which seasonally offer their own hot lists of products that work.

As to whether proximity to Oprah is putting Burton on a path to having his own OWN television show, he plays it coy, only saying only time will tell, but adding, “Makeover shows are always popular.”