Youngblood, Tara Buck and Vanity Girl Hollywood in Fred Segal, Santa Monica

How excited were we to be a part of the Youngblood/New Beauty event last week. If you haven’t been to Fred Segal, it is one of the coolest shopping experiences here in LA (in fact, Will Smith Hollywood ex Sheree did a whole storyline on it last week during Hollywood Ex’s because she wants to get her product called Whip Ash into the store … but I digress).

Anyway, it was a very pretty in-store event complete with champagne. They had artists on hand doing makeup touchups, eyebrow waxing, and the beautiful Tara Buck (True Blood) was their Fall makeup look model. One of my faves MUA’s, Philip Luque, did Tara’s makeup and she looked gorgeous. (And did you catch the True Blood season finale? OMG, so so good.)

And the lighting they used to glam out the already super glam spot? Our Black Table Top Broadway of course. They were going to use two of them (they own a few … here’s a backstage glimpse of them using them at KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball), but the other one is in … get this … Croatia! I swear, I always say that my vanities have a more glamorous life than me.

Fellow beauty entrepreneur Pauline Youngblood was also on hand giving bloggers her inside scoop on Fall Makeup Trends for her mineral line (I myself was rocking their mineral tint and mighty shiny lip gel).

Click here to check out the photos

Stay tuned for that post! Here’s a hint: Teal will be huge this season.

xoxo
@VanityGirl

Click here to buy a Black Broadway Vanity of your own! 

Survivor Spotlight :: Ida R

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One of the main components of Making Strides, is celebrating survivorship. And we define survivor as someone who has been diagnosed, and takes their very next breath. Well, I am humbled by the following woman’s story. She’s recently diagnosed (May of this year) and currently undergoing chemotherapy. On top of that, she is our largest fundraiser (raising OVER $3,000 and counting). If you have a chance to talk with her – she is so positive and upbeat. In her own words, please meet Ida.

I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Breast Cancer a few months ago on May2nd, four days before my 55th birthday and the day before my dog of 15 years died. I don’t know if the news really hit me at the time because I immediately began to worry about my family. How was I going to tell my mom, my 3 sons, my sister, niece & nephew? How were they going to deal with this? I was the one that always took care of everyone, the thought that I may have to be taken care of upset me more then the reason behind it.

Regardless, I knew worrying couldn’t change the situation so as is my nature I looked for the positive. I will live, and I looked for the humor: I may get two new breasts; which at 55 years old could only be an improvement since for some time now my breasts have only looked great when my hands were above my head anyway.

Less then 7 months prior I had a normal mammogram so it was truly a fluke that I found my breast cancer when I did. Unlike breast cancer that starts in the breast ducts, as it does with 80% of women, breast cancer that starts in the lobules, which effects 10% of women doesn’t show up on a mammogram in the early stages.

I had leaned my forearm across my breast to scratch my shoulder blade and as I did so it had hurt as I reached across my breast. Normally I wouldn’t pay attention to this because I have Fibromyalgia & this is an area that hurts, but this time it wasn’t in the usual spots. As I began to feel around one moment it felt like a lump, then it felt like a tube and then it felt like it was moving around. Of course, I pushed, pulled and prodded and wound up playing around with it so much that I made myself nauseous. So I had no choice but to stop annoying myself and finally I stopped worrying about it because my mother had always told me if it hurts it’s not cancer; where she got this bit of information neither one of us knows (probably a Jewish thing LOL). Ironically the next day I had a gyno appointment & although the doctor thought it was probably a cyst she ordered a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound to be on the safe side. Since my doctor wasn’t alarmed I schedule the appointment for 3 weeks away when I was less busy. Typical.

When I went in for the appointment I was told by the tech that she would be doing the mammogram, show the films to the doctor and then she would come back in to do the ultrasound, except when she came back in she told me the doctor was going to come in to do the ultrasound instead. I can’t explain why but it was at that moment that I knew I had breast cancer. I don’t know why I felt so certain about it but in my heart I just knew I was right. After the doctor did the ultrasound he told me he wanted me to come back in to do a biopsy. My first thought was a needle aspiration, but that was not the case as a small incision was going to be made, 4 samples were to be cut out and a clip was going to be inserted for “any possible surgery.” Four days later my breast cancer was confirmed and even though I felt from the beginning that was what I was going to hear the words were still surreal sounding.

Once you’re diagnosed life becomes a whirlwind and since May 2nd I’ve had surgery, I am currently going through chemotherapy, I am scheduled for about 35 radiation treatments that will be given to me every day except weekends and when all is said and done I will have 5 years of drug therapy to hopefully prevent a future reoccurrence.

As I said, I’m an optimistic person by nature and will ALWAYS find the positive in things. I truly believe laughter is the best medicine, so I’ve been doing a lot of laughing and very little crying which didn’t even happen until the day before my first chemo treatment. I was driving alone in my car thinking of my dad who passed away from cancer some years back when the song “You are the Sunshine of My Life” came on the radio which was his song for “his girls”.) It was at that time that the magnitude of it all hit me. So I pulled the car over, gave into the moment and cried my eyes out.

After I stopped, I took the timing of my melt down as a sign that my dad was going to be with me when I had my first chemo treatment the next day, which I then realized would have been my parents anniversary. On that day any fears vanished when I found out that my chemo nurse’s name was Honey; which is what my dad’s side of the family calls my mom. Her actual name is Marilyn but evidently nicknames were popular in “her group” and Honey became her hers . Thank G-d because Bunny and Toots were her other friends in the group.

I consider myself the luckiest women in the world because of my family, and it is their existence that expands my heart every day. From the beginning I knew that I’d rather live without breasts then die with them. I knew I would do whatever it would take to kill my cancer. So I’m doing all that I can and I know I WILL LIVE to dance at my grandchildren’s wedding (not that I have any at this point, but why should that stop me!)

I will not let my breast cancer define me, but I will be defined by having it. I am and forever will be a survivor!

As for why I picked Making Strides and the location of West Hollywood … I wanted to do something about having breast cancer but I didn’t know which organization I wanted to be part of. What I loved about Making Strides is that this event is a Celebration of Survivorship and Hope. When I saw that there was a walk in West Hollywood, I knew that was where I wanted to walk because I feel that is West Hollywood is about.

All too many of the population had to survive before they were able to hope. I am an upbeat person that likes to have fun and enjoy life, what better place then to celebrate my survivorship then there!

As for how I raised funds, I have a Jewish mother and I’m her baby … need I say more? So between the mahjong ladies and the friends she has made over the years, she was relentless. I have family and friends who love me dearly. I used Facebook and posted on my own personal page, my college page, my summer camp page and probably to my children’s chagrin their pages. I sent out emails via MSABC and from my own personal emails to raise funds.

This is a sample of what I sent out:

I will be walking in the MAKING STRIDES FOR BREAST CANCER walk on Saturday, August 25th
I am walking in celebration of my own survivorship.
I am walking honoring all of the women who are fighting this battle along with me.
I am walking honoring all of the women who have fought this battle and won.
I am walking honoring all of the women who have fought so very hard and lost.
Please honor me, a loved one, a friend, and all of the women who have ever had Breast Cancer with a donation to this event
Click on my link below to go to my page and become part of TEAM BOOB-A-LA (you have to find the humor in life) and support this wonderful cause.  Thank you all in advance.

Thank you Ida for choosing our event and our community to join you in this journey. It’s only fitting and now you can celebrate your new “birthday” with us every year as a fierce, gorgeous, strong survivor. 

Please join us tomorrow at our first annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at 9:30 as we celebrate Ida, Stacy and each and every breast cancer patient and survivor that chooses to walk (and or just hang out) with us.

xoxo
Maxine, Doug and the entire
West Hollywood Volunteer Planning Committee

Survivor Spotlight :: Ida R

One of the main components of Making Strides, is celebrating survivorship.  And we define survivor as someone who has been diagnosed, and takes their very next breath.  Well, I am humbled by the following woman’s story.  She’s recently diagnosed (May of this year) and currently undergoing chemotherapy.  On top of that, she is our largest fundraiser (raising OVER $3,000 and counting).  If you have a chance to talk with her – she is so positive and upbeat.  In her own words, please meet Ida. 

I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Breast Cancer a few months ago on May2nd, four days before my 55th birthday and the day before my dog of 15 years died. I don’t know if the news really hit me at the time because I immediately began to worry about my family. How was I going to tell my mom, my 3 sons, my sister, niece & nephew? How were they going to deal with this? I was the one that always took care of everyone, the thought that I may have to be taken care of upset me more then the reason behind it.

 

Regardless, I knew worrying couldn’t change the situation so as is my nature I looked for the positive.  I will live, and I looked for the humor: I may get two new breasts; which at 55 years old could only be an improvement since for some time now my breasts have only looked great when my hands were above my head anyway.

 

Less then 7 months prior I had a normal mammogram so it was truly a fluke that I found my breast cancer when I did. Unlike breast cancer that starts in the breast ducts, as it does with 80% of women, breast cancer that starts in the lobules, which effects 10% of women doesn’t show up on a mammogram in the early stages.

 

I had leaned my forearm across my breast to scratch my shoulder blade and as I did so it had hurt as I reached across my breast. Normally I wouldn’t pay attention to this because I have Fibromyalgia & this is an area that hurts, but this time it wasn’t in the usual spots. As I began to feel around one moment it felt like a lump, then it felt like a tube and then it felt like it was moving around. Of course, I pushed, pulled and prodded and wound up playing around with it so much that I made myself nauseous. So I had no choice but to stop annoying myself and finally I stopped worrying about it because my mother had always told me if it hurts it’s not cancer; where she got this bit of information neither one of us knows (probably a Jewish thing LOL). Ironically the next day I had a gyno appointment & although the doctor thought it was probably a cyst she ordered a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound to be on the safe side. Since my doctor wasn’t alarmed I schedule the appointment for 3 weeks away when I was less busy. Typical.

 

When I went in for the appointment I was told by the tech that she would be doing the mammogram, show the films to the doctor and then she would come back in to do the ultrasound, except when she came back in she told me the doctor was going to come in to do the ultrasound instead. I can’t explain why but it was at that moment that I knew I had breast cancer. I don’t know why I felt so certain about it but in my heart I just knew I was right. After the doctor did the ultrasound he told me he wanted me to come back in to do a biopsy. My first thought was a needle aspiration, but that was not the case as a small incision was going to be made, 4 samples were to be cut out and a clip was going to be inserted for “any possible surgery.” Four days later my breast cancer was confirmed and even though I felt from the beginning that was what I was going to hear the words were still surreal sounding. 

 

Once you’re diagnosed life becomes a whirlwind and since May 2nd I’ve had surgery, I am currently going through chemotherapy, I am scheduled for about 35 radiation treatments that will be given to me every day except weekends and when all is said and done I will have 5 years of drug therapy to hopefully prevent a future reoccurrence.

 

As I said, I’m an optimistic person by nature and will ALWAYS find the positive in things. I truly believe laughter is the best medicine, so I’ve been doing a lot of laughing and very little crying which didn’t even happen until the day before my first chemo treatment. I was driving alone in my car thinking of my dad who passed away from cancer some years back when the song “You are the Sunshine of My Life” came on the radio which was his song for “his girls”.) It was at that time that the magnitude of it all hit me. So I pulled the car over, gave into the moment and cried my eyes out.

 

After I stopped, I took the timing of my melt down as a sign that my dad was going to be with me when I had my first chemo treatment the next day, which I then realized would have been my parents anniversary. On that day any fears vanished when I found out that my chemo nurse’s name was Honey; which is what my dad’s side of the family calls my mom. Her actual name is Marilyn but evidently nicknames were popular in “her group” and Honey became her hers . Thank G-d because Bunny and Toots were her other friends in the group.

 

 

I consider myself the luckiest women in the world because of my family, and it is their existence that expands my heart every day. From the beginning I knew that I’d rather live without breasts then die with them. I knew I would do whatever it would take to kill my cancer. So I’m doing all that I can and I know I WILL LIVE to dance at my grandchildren’s wedding (not that I have any at this point, but why should that stop me!)

 

 I will not let my breast cancer define me, but I will be defined by having it. I am and forever will be a survivor!

 

As for why I picked Making Strides and the location of West Hollywood … I wanted to do something about having breast cancer but I didn’t know which organization I wanted to be part of. What I loved about Making Strides is that this event is a Celebration of Survivorship and Hope. When I saw that there was a walk in West Hollywood, I knew that was where I wanted to walk because I feel that is West Hollywood is about.

 

All too many of the population had to survive before they were able to hope. I am an upbeat person that likes to have fun and enjoy life, what better place then to celebrate my survivorship then there!

 

As for how I raised funds, I have a Jewish mother and I’m her baby … need I say more?  So between the mahjong ladies and the friends she has made over the years, she was relentless. I have family and friends who love me dearly. I used Facebook and posted on my own personal page, my college page, my summer camp page and probably to my children’s chagrin their pages. I sent out emails via MSABC and from my own personal emails to raise funds. 

 

This is a sample of what I sent out:

 

 

I will be walking in the MAKING STRIDES FOR BREAST CANCER walk on Saturday, August 25th 
I am walking in celebration of my own survivorship.
I am walking honoring all of the women who are fighting this battle along with me.
I am walking honoring all of the women who have fought this battle and won.
I am walking  honoring all of the women who have fought so very hard and lost.
Please honor me, a loved one, a friend, and all of the women who have ever had Breast Cancer with a donation to this event 
Click on my link below to go to my page and become part of TEAM BOOB-A-LA (you have to find the humor in life) and support this wonderful cause. 
Thank you all in advance! 
Ida, thank you for sharing your story.  I am humbled and inspired.  Thank you choosing our event and our community to your breast cancr with you  It’s only fitting, since you can celebrate your new “birthday” with us every year as a fierce, gorgeous, strong survivor.
Please join us tomorrow at our first annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at 9:30 as we celebrate Ida, Stacy and each and every breast cancer patient and survivor that chooses to walk (and or just hang out) with us.

xoxo
Maxine, Doug and the entire
West Hollywood Volunteer Planning Committee

 

Scarf_number_nine

Donor Spotlight :: Susan James & Associates

Posted by Susan on April 30, 2012 in Entrepreneurial Skills, Marketing, Start A Business |

Once you’ve gotten your idea off the planning table and into action, you need to create a buzz about what you’re offering. Traditional Social Media and advertising outlets can be VERY expensive, particularly for a first time entrepreneur. Here is where startups and small business’ have a bit of an advantage. Both these types of businesses have to constantly rely on their imagination and personal branding in order to get their ideas off the ground. Marketing and/or advertising is no different.

First, consider directly marketing yourself to the big players in your market niche creating the perception of coordination with the top companies. Local Bigwig, a New York based business for executive temporary housing, used this method to grow. They contacted the big players in their industry including Homes.com and Zillow and offered a way of providing them with clean inventory and content that streamed to Local Bigwig’s website when clicked. They were then able to tout their working partnership with the big guys in their field as well as gain credibility on prominent websites with tons of existing traffic.

Another avenue is more of an organic growth through social media. Use games or sweepstakes to get yourself “Liked” on Facebook or to gain more Twitter followers by giving away free services or products. Communicate with bloggers and online news sources about your product or service showing off your expertise and knowledge and letting them know you offer something that will benefit their readers and, by connection, benefit their blog or news site.

Finally, don’t skip steps by trying to promote your business as bigger than you are.  I’m not saying to underestimate your potential, but if you are a new business, embrace the stage of business and opportunities and expectations of a young start up.   Starting a business is a lot like raising a child. From conception to baby steps to planning and organizing the direction of their growth to the sleepless nights worrying about what’s going on when you’re not looking – watch your business grow into self sufficiency, enjoy every step and mis-step and remember each stage comes with its own benefits.  The levels of forgiveness at a start up or small business stage are often far greater than at higher stages of company growth.  You’ll miss opportunities – both with growth and direction – if you fail to embrace the stage of business that you are in.  And you will lose the opportunity to create a flexible roadmap of where you want to go if you skip the growth and discovery phases.

Susan@susanjamesandassociates.com” target=”blank”>

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One of the joys of being a business owner, is that you typically only have to work with people you like. I was referred to Susan by my friend and colleague Arich B. of Live Nation … and she has been great.

For me … she has been patient, funny and warm and obviously generous … as she exercises her good corporate citizenship and supports Team Vanity Girl Hollywood in our quest to beat breast cancer. Thanks Susan!