Co-written by: Julie Tortorici


Have you guys heard about California’s recent law banning discrimination based on hairstyle? The CROWN act, which passed in the California State Assembly and Senate, is the first such law in the United States—and it’s about time! Nobody should worry about not getting hired because of their hair’s natural texture or style. As a licensed stylist in Natural Hairstyling, my hope is that this will encourage people to embrace their hair’s natural state and their own preferences. There are many protective styles that promote healthy hair, look fantastic, and allow a person to express themselves. Nobody should feel forced into a harmful treatment laden with worrisome chemicals like formaldehyde or lye just because they’re worried about being judged for something as personal as hair. There are beautiful styling options (such as braiding), as well as healthier keratin treatments (if you so choose), that are healthier while looking just as good.

Have styling questions? Get in touch for styling tips or a consultation.


Feeling Beautiful at Girls Rising Game Changer Awards

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Roslyn, New York


I deal in beauty, every day. Makeovers. New hairstyles. After an appointment with me, I want my clients to look in the mirror and see that they’re beautiful. And while seeing beauty is important, feeling beautiful is vital. That’s why I took my daughter, Madison to the Girls Rising Game Changer Awards. Created by the all-female band, Antigone Rising, Girls Rising was created to help inspire girls and kids in the LGBTQ community to pursue roles in STEAM fields. These women understand that one of the best ways to show a child that they can follow their dreams is by introducing them to people who look the same as them, and are doing exactly what they want to do. They achieve this through outreach workshops and performances. They also throw two incredible parties each year: the Game Changer Awards, where they give out college scholarships to well-deserved high school students, and the Girls Rising Music Festival. 


This year’s Game Changer Honoree was hitmaker singer-songwriter, Paula Cole. I’m a fan, so I was pretty thrilled! Then I was able to watch my daughter sit front and center as Lucy Kaplansky and Sophie B Hawkins performed. She watched Antigone Rising bring down the house (with accompaniment by the North Shore Middle School’s select brass band), Madison was in absolute awe. As a budding percussionist herself, she was particularly impressed by Kristen, or as she referred to her as, “the girl in the sparkly, silver sweater.” 


After the show, Kristen greeted a starstruck Madison and then introduced her to the other performers. It was a night she will never forget! I know, as she practices on her little pink drum set at night, she’s thinking of Kristen, as well as all of the possibilities she’s been awakened to.  

Like I said, feeling beautiful is vital.

Special thanks to Gill Associates Photography for capturing my daughter’s special moment! Although the Girls Rising Festival is over, you can still participate by donating to help uplift self-esteem for other girls within our community. 


Backstage Broadway Bares

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Broadway Bares: Take Off was an amazing experience- not only with makeup but the event had raised $2,006,192! Check out the spectacular broadway dancers in this video!

Backstage was a thrill with dancers all joining together for a great cause raising money for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. The atmosphere was fun and positive with excitement!

Key artist Cesar (IG: chamakit0) created the looks for the Spanish themed number featuring Nina LaFarga (of Frozen) and Henry Byalikov (of Hamilton) choreographed by Luis Salgado of Salgado Productions. Shantel Mayhew (mua_tellz) makeup artist was apart of our trio for “Tame The Bull”. 

The look for the women was using ProLongwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation that is transfer proof- perfect for wardrobe changes. For the eyes Blacktrack Fluidline (a water resistant and crease resistant cream eyeliner and base), and Carbon eyeshadow for that deep black sultry eye. For lips we used Retromatte Lip Color to create a long wearing red lip. To enhance the dancer’s already beautiful bodies, we did a soft layer of Face and Body Foundation. The men’s look included Face and Body foundation for the entire body and a soft smokey eye for that sexy gaze in the “tame the bull” number. 

I’m truly grateful to have been included with the team of 70 other MAC artists. I am so appreciative to have done the makeup for Nina LaFarga, Lauren Dalal, and Erin Weinberger, Nicolas Masson, and John Paul LaPorte.



If this interested you, you can still donate at ! And look out for next year’s production!

MAC Viva Glam Fund and Broadway Bares: Take Off

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

Hammerstein Ballroom, NY

Big news! This Sunday, lil ol’ me (along with my brushes) will be hopping on the train to do makeup for Broadway Bares: Take Off . Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS puts on this annual show, and this year I will be backstage at the Hammerstein Ballroom joining other makeup artists who are helping these incredible performers get ready for the stage.



As many of you know, I began my career as a makeup artist with MAC Cosmetics, and it just so happens that the MAC Viva Glam Fund is a presenting sponsor of the show. By the way, MAC Viva Glam is in its 25th year, and if you haven’t seen Winnie Harlow’s stunning recreation of the original campaign with RuPaul, go check it out. It’s gorgeous.

Want to join me on Sunday? Tickets are still available for Broadway Bares: Take Off. If you can’t make that, then consider treating yourself to a MAC Viva Glam Lipstick. Buying just one lipstick can contribute in a big way—100% of the proceeds goes to the Viva Glam Fund. For example, one lipstick purchase can provide a full meal to two homeless LGBTQ+ youth. That’s just beautiful! Click HERE to get more information about all the cool things the MAC Viva Glam Fund does and what organizations they work with!

See you on Sunday!

P.S.: This is not a sponsored post or anything… I just think both causes contribute to the world in a meaningful way.





Beautiful Memories: Becoming A Wish Granter Through The Make-A-Wish Foundation

Co-written by Julie Tortorici

New York

For today’s post, I’m going to stray a bit from my usual must-have styling tips to write about something that I just had to share. On Thursday, June 6th, Make-A-Wish New York, will be holding their annual Power of a Wish Gala . As I’m sure many of you know, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to critically ill children. This organization has been very close to my heart since having the chance, seven years ago, to serve as a Wish Granter through the Make-A-Wish Foundation Hawaii. One of my proudest moments was being able to help fulfill a child’s wish of meeting Justin Bieber in New York. More important, was having the chance to speak with some of the children and their families who have had to face the tremendous challenges that come with severe illness. I have no doubt that the upcoming gala being held here in New York will be just as impactful to its guests as it was for me way back when in Hawaii.

Make A Wish Press Photo

I’ll be back here giving you hair and makeup tips in no time, but if you have a moment, check out this wonderful organization. Better yet, if you can, consider becoming a Wish Granter yourself. Become a Wish Granter. Trust me, it’ll be a beautiful experience.

Winter Hat Hair: Classic French Braids

The winter can do some damage to our hair for condition and appearance, so it’s important to wear protective hairstyles during the season. In this post, I show how to create a winter hairstyle that protects the hair, keeps it out of the face, and stays put! The French braid is a tighter, less exposed finish versus the Summer popular Dutch braids/boxer braids which are inverted. I did the classic French Braid on a client recently prior to her soccer practice, and her mom came back and reported that the braid lasted for three whole days!

Tools you’ll need:



Elastic hair ties

Detangler/ leave in conditioner


Watch the video for your guide of the winter hat approved style of the classic French braid!

Our winter fun activities included having fun in upstate New York walking around on snow covered trails, antique shopping in New Paltz, and warming up at the cozy bed and breakfast called Audrey’s Farmhouse.Audrey’s Farmhouse

There are many braided styles that can be worn during the winter and I love them all! The French braid can be shaped into a crown, a single side style, or a single middle style. The classic can have many variations!

If you’d like to have these styles for yourself or your little one (it makes getting ready in the mornings MUCH easier) you can book with me at Morel Hair Designs in Locust Valley! 516-676-7644.

Interested in other braids? I can do them!

– French braids

-Dutch braids/ Boxer braids

– Fishtail Braids

– 4 stranded braids

– Rope braids

– Braids with extensions

– Colored Braids

– Yarn Braids

– Braided Updos

– Box Braids

– Cosama Braids

– Cornrows

– Ribbon Braids

Winter Hat Hair: Turned into Classic French Braids

Hygienic Practices for Makeup Artists

As a makeup artist, carrying products for all occasions, skin types, and various pigments, can create a big chaotic mess. Furthermore, using products on multiple people can warrant a fear of spreading germs and other harmful bacteria. Which could lead the client to wonder…how do you know your makeup artist is implementing professional hygienic practices? Here are a few things that you will ALWAYS see when using my services: sanitized products, cleansed brushes, disposable applicators, and organized items.

Sanitized Products

Lipsticks, lip pencils, eye pencils, and eyelash curlers are amongst products that are sanitized with alcohol. Products that can be squeezed or scooped out onto my artist’s palette are done so that the makeup is your own, untouched, and unshared.

Prepping brushes and tools

Cleansed Brushes

Brush Cleanser from MAC Cosmetics is my personal favorite to sanitize and condition my brushes. My brushes are washed with hot water and sudsy soaps to give them a thorough cleanse after appointments. My brush belt is also wiped down for a fresh and neat appearance.


Disposable Applicators

Have you ever seen someone use their mascara or lipgloss wand directly onto another’s eyes or mouth? If you’ve ever witnessed this less than sanitary and unprofessional technique, you’re not alone. I’ve seen this happen too many times and cringe every time it does. Be assured that I carry ample supply of lip and mascara disposable wands and I never double dip.


Organized Items

When I first started out building my kit, there weren’t these fantastic bags and cases as readily available as now. My kit is completely organized with my Zuca bag, with each compartment categorized.

I basically imagine how I would want to feel when getting any service done- cleanliness, professionalism, efficiency, and personal customer service. I keep the client in mind the entire time. Getting ready for a special event shouldn’t be stressful, uncomfortable, or dirty! It should be fun, fresh, and relaxing! If you haven’t yet, make an appointment and experience my makeup services. You can book directly through me, Facebook, or Salon Solis.


Spring Cleaning: For Your Makeup?

It’s that time of year when the sun teases us with somewhat earlier mornings and later evenings, the weather gives us hope of sun-kissed skin, you start to purge the old clothes and odd pieces from your home, and get into a cleaning dust-ridden scrub away frenzy. While all this cleansing is happening from your home and most likely your soul, don’t forget to show attention to your makeup! Here are some ways to clean your tools in your makeup kit.


Cleaning your brushes is so easy and very important! Clean brushes can save you from dirty makeup applications resulting in breakouts and uneven blending (ew). CONFESSION: I like to have that semi-dirty brush for some pretty shading in my crease, BUT ultimately having clean fresh brushes is imperative for a makeup artist. I make sure to prepare and clean my brushes after each and every client. I use liquid brush cleanser. You can purchase some from here (NYX brush cleanser) or here (MAC brush cleanser). These brush cleansers clean and sanitize your brushes and can be used on all kinds, from real hair to synthetic brushes. All you have to do is pour a small amount out on a paper towel or wash cloth, then run your brush back and forth on the cleanser. For extra dirty brushes, just position your brush on the towel and pour the cleanser right on the brush, with a good back and forth motion to follow.
Notice your brush is starting to look like a broom? For high traffic brushes or brushes that haven’t been properly cleaned in a while, take a mild shampoo (preferably a non-sulfate shampoo), wet the brushes in the sink, suds the shampoo amongst the bristles, and rinse until clear. Just make sure to hold the brushes downwards, not letting any water get into the handle. This could compromise the quality and longevity of the brush bristles.

Makeup palettes
Sometimes our palettes can get dusty and not very appealing anymore. Shape it up with a good dusting… wipe your mirror off, and clean the crevices of your palette with q-tips! Everyone can appreciate a clean palette. Same with sharpeners

Product bottles
Product bottles such as moisturizers and setting sprays can get smudgy fingerprints all over them. Wipe them down with a makeup wipe!


Makeup bags
That’s right you guys… clean your makeup bag! Who knows what’s hiding in there from old false lashes to broken powders…. Take all your product out and set it aside. Wipe it down with a quality makeup wipe or q-tip as needed. Some makeup bags can be washable (if so just toss that bad boy on delicate cycle!) if not, then wipe it down with a makeup wipe and soapy wet cloth. Think about what stains are on the bag and fight it with what would remove it on your face; remember, oil breaks down oil!

Once you’ve cleaned and sanitized all your tools, be sure to give them some organization. Weed out the products that are old or that you won’t use anymore. Broken powders that can be salvageable- save those. I’ll explain in another post what you can do with those. Don’t forget about MAC’s recycling program also- turn in old containers to get a free lipstick! Ah, now doesn’t that feel better? Clean, professional products all ready for your next application!


Should I wear makeup to the beach?

When it comes to the beach and makeup, there are two types of people. There’s the “no sense in wearing any” type and then there’s the “don’t care if my face melts” spirit. Well I’m here to say that it is totally ok with either mindset! Here’s a few tips for both. 

Less is more…

For those who do not feel comfortable wearing anything on their face, let’s remember that we must protect our skin! No matter how dark or light your complexion, keep in mind that all the sunbathing will deteriorate that precious natural collagen- so let’s preserve it. Wear non-comedogenic sunblock. What is non-comedogenic? Basically products that DO NOT clog your pores. Here’s a brief explanation about comedogenic and non-comedogenic products in another article Comedogenic vs. non- comedogenic

My favorite non-comedogenic sunblock is by Cera-Ve (dermatologist recommended), and Sun Bum face stick and body lotion because not only can I use it on myself, but my entire family including my toddler! 

Don’t forget to protect those lovable lips, too. Get lip protection with SPF 15-30. I’ve used lip protection with SPF of 50 and wanted to gag- it was disgusting. The lower the SPF though, the more frequently you’ll need to apply. Get the good stuff, too. Don’t just get waxy or petroleum products. 
Full face 

So let’s say you’re going to the beach, you’re not going to sun-bathe and surf but you may go for a bike ride on the boardwalk and have an ice cream on the sand. 

If you have a few blemishes and spots you’d like to cover up there’s a few things you can do. First and foremost- prep with sunscreen (read above) . You can use a sheer foundation with high pigment like Face and Body from MAC Cosmetics, or you can just spot treat with a concealer like Studio Finish Concealer SPF (don’t forget to blend it out and start with little product and build as this is full coverage). 

If you don’t like shine, I suggest not to use anything too heavy and matte. Being in the sun will warm up the skin, open up those pores, and let the sunshine in…along with sweat, dirt, and product. So be smart about what you’re putting on your face, if you must wear something. To get a no shine look, use Blotting sheets like these from Shiseido. MAC also carries a blotting powder, that has a sheer tint to match your skin. Use water resistant and smudgeproof/waterproof eye products. I like NYX gel liner and waterproof mascara. The wunderbrow product works great too! I don’t need to put a link up for that because I’m sure you’ve seen their ads all over facebook already!

Tinted SPF lip conditioners with blush toned lip liners are great for adding color and completing the sun look. 

What are your favorite beach or sun friendly looks? Any products you would recommend?