January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

ron galella

The 2010 documentary titled Smash His Camera is about Ron Galella, a “pioneer paparazzo” who is hated by some and praised by others. His work is debatable: is it art or newsworthy? Is it slanderous uninvited intrusion caught on film? You decide.

Ron Galella got his start in the early 60s as a curious art-driven photographer who then became fascinated with chasing celebrities — screen actors, political figures and musicians. His pursuit of Jackie Kennedy Onassis quickly developed into his life’s mission; in fact his fascination went so far it landed him in several court battles with the recovering widow of JFK.

From the eyes of an outsider looking in, the fascination seems unhealthy. His photographs were used without her permission and on a number of occasions she either told him to stop, or tried to avoid the snap of his lens—most times even running or quickly walking away from him. To Galella’s credit, he did help build Jackie O’s legacy, her pictures were sold to dozens of magazines, keeping her in the spotlight. After all–THAT IS what helps keep publicity alive, the constant mentioning and sharing of (most of the time pirated) images or works of art. Whether it was ultimately a positive or a negative thing for the widow is a mystery; however, this should be weighed in terms of right and wrong. I wouldn’t be happy about being in the spotlight without first giving my consent. She did not give her written consent, so it’s wrong as far as I’m concerned and she wasn’t doing anything newsworthy.

At some point you have to wonder: Is the paparazzi morally right or wrong for chasing screen workers who some say are “celebs by choice and love the cameras” and is it OK that the paps (in Galella’s case) make millions for invading personal space? I still think that there is a time and a place for photo snapping and most importantly, safety. Even those that choose a life in the public eye should at all times have the freedom to choose the images that are broadcast.

I picked an attorney-friend’s brain about it because I was uneasy about the film and the idea as a whole, as many others are. I asked “why can’t celebs sue the paps for profits of their photos?” Seems more than fair right? This would substantially reduce the occurrence of paparazzos chasing down their subjects, right? Why would they if their profits were eliminated as the dangling carrot? His stance was this:

They’re public figures and paps photos are considered newsworthy, same reason why news shows like Catch a Predator don’t need signed release forms.” In this case, I completely understand newsworthiness, exposing predators serves the good of public safety, but what makes a pretty face or a bike ride through a park or city street newsworthy? Who decides what is newsworthy? The people that are paying the big bucks for these images are ultimately magazine editorial teams, but WHY? Sure to each his own, but sometimes I just cannot understand the decision making process that chooses to publish a photo that was taken without the subject’s: 1. participation 2. consent and 3. desire to have the image broadcast to potentially millions of readers.

I question their interest-range and really their judgment of what they think is news worthy. Has this person cured cancer, is a famous person walking down the street really worth sharing and publicizing. Are they thinking: “Is this the kind of image I want to project onto sponge-like minds?” Do they realize they are in fact influencing the thought processes of their readers?

It made me think about what drives people to buy gossip mags. It surely keeps me from throwing any dough their way, but what about you–what are your thoughts? Would you like to see a shift in publishing? Would readers as a whole benefit from more thought-out publishing practices and standards?


Best of 2011 in Beauty

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo courtesy of

covergirl beauty bar

Now that I can sit down and think about the year as a whole, I have to admit–it was pretty fantastic. Filled with so many opportunities, I’m almost skeptical 2012 will be as good. Regardless I leaned from it all and have key takeaways and some in the beauty arena, here they are.

COVERGIRL’s Rebecca Restrepo, a celebrity makeup artist recommends applying moisturizer when skin is still wet and pores still open to get the best results from moisturizer, then applying foundation onto dewy skin to get the most natural look. This way moisture absorbs into pores and doesn’t just cover them while foundation blends evenly with that dewy moisture. I’ve been using this technique since and it makes a huge difference.

Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution by Olay is an exceptional  go-to summer moisturizer. It softens the skin around wrinkles which reduces their appearance–two wrinkles between my eyebrows are now almost invisible. It feels light, non-greasy, absorbs quickly and is just the right amount of moisture for summer skin which tends to be oilier during warmer weather, for all skin types.

We experienced a few very cool weeks here in L.A. believe it or not; the Santa Ana winds blew in very chilly (and treacherous) gusts, leaving my skin dry and irritated. I switched to a heavy cream, as everyone should during cooler weather. Dryness hardens skin which causes it to crack and wrinkle. It also irritates skin, causing breakouts so use a heavy facial cream like Risarium’s Black Rice. This label hydrated my skin from one day to the next, clearing up irritation within one week.

LipFusion Infatuation Lip Plumper might just be the best plumping gloss ever. It goes on like paint and tingles, so you can actually feel it working. Its ingredients include peptides that enhance collagen synthesis to naturally plump lips and menthyl lactate which creates a mild cooling sensation. I have Screen Siren Red and love smearing it on. This new staple will be in my beauty tool box for as long as it is on store shelves: My lips officially have a new best friend.

Best overall beauty advice was from the great Maria Antonetta Collins who I had the honor of interviewing. The veteran Univision anchor had some classic last words of advice any woman can take a queue from: “No pones todos tus guebos en una canasta,” is her philosophy –in English– don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and, “nunca, nunca tienes demasiado trabajo. Hay que seguir luchando.” Translated it means, you can never have too much work. You must continue the fight… Words to live by señora.

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