Beats Music: The Latest In Music Pairing Technology

January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

photo credit: sarmaaye.com

photo credit: sarmaaye.com

Beats by Dre has been working on a new music service that launches tomorrow (Tuesday, January 21) and it stands to rival the services of Spotify and paid music pairing by Pandora.

I love everything out of the veteran rap star’s headphone empire, so I can’t wait to see what his team has done in terms of advancing music algorithms.

Beats Music Technology

Beats Music Technology

According to Wired, “Your age is especially important to Beats Music. Tell it when you were born, and it figures out when you were in high school. The music of your youth — the stuff that was popular when you first got a Walkman or an iPod, the band that made it big when you got your driver’s license, the record that was all over MTV just before your freshman year of college — is the music with the strongest memories for you. It’s a fixed point in time that’s the most culturally and musically relevant to you. And it’s being crunched by the company’s algorithm.”

If that’s the case, I can’t wait to test out its 80’s pop mix.

“Things are coming together magnificently. #BeatsMusic is blowing my mind right now. Its personalized recommendations are perfect,” says Arjan Writes the Head of Pop/Dance Programming at Beats Music.

Give me some Exposé and Taylor Dane, OKAY? In the meantime, do follow all that is relevant to the Beats crew on Twitter.

Have a happy Monday, my babies!

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My Shoot with Edward

December 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

A few months ago I was lucky enough to become acquainted with a local photographer named Edward Duarte at a crowded bar during Downtown LA’s monthly Art Walk.  Hipsters lined the walkways and I don’t remember what brand of funk was playing but it was a perfect mix of old school in this new setting, for me.  Maybe it was James Brown but it escapes me. Let’s just say it was James Brown for effects sake, shall we? We exchanged some silly jokes and smiles and he slipped me his business card kindly offering to shoot me. Little did I know how seasoned Edward was when I slipped his card into my back pocket.

A few months later I finally collected the balls to take him up on his offer; I mean it took a nudge from my inner child to call him after seeing his portfolio, which you can see here.

On the day of our shoot I remember having a mini melt down trying to decide what to wear. It wasn’t glamorous, it was chaotic. After trying combinations of every one of my pant, dress, short, skirt and capri outfits, I decided on four basic black and white pieces to switch around. Then I met him at his Downtown LA studio.

It was exactly what I expected. The sun was shining through his wall to wall loft style windows. A bed covered only in white sheets against two picture windows screamed — get naked. Naturally, I got nervous while retouching my hair and make up, gagging a little bit but it passed when he turned up the Rolling Stones. CAN YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING put a smile on my face being the easy to please kind of girl that I am. And we started shooting. It was beyond awkward for the first half hour — not knowing how to pose, not feeling at ease with him. Don’t judge though, I’m really shy underneath it all, OK? He suggested some tequila, so I took a couple shots and it helped. And it was liberating. And it was loud music, a camera shooting my every move, in a Downtown LA loft. And I was young and it was fun. I HIGHLY recommend giving in to these experiences if they ever come along.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the two hour shoot.

 

 

mellow

 

BALMAIN STUNS WITH THEIR NEW MUSE

December 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

style dot com

Photo credit: Style.com

I’m resurrecting this blog in honor of Balmain‘s new muse, the almighty Ri-Ri. Sure it’s a little dramatic, but occasion calls. This Spring 2014 campaign blew my slippers off last night.

Not only are musicians increasingly being used in brand campaigns, they are also adding a new longer-lasting impression of their respective brands across a number of channels because their image becomes forever tied to it.

CoverGirl stands out as a brand that weaves musicians into their campaigns, too. It’s such a smart move for marketers to recruit musicians as brand spokesmodels because music ties into emotions and leaves impressions. Musicians aren’t just models, they represent something unique to each consumer. Each one of us has some kind of an emotional tie to their music. And music, as we all know, resonates with individuals on a base–inside-the-soul–level. Don’t you agree?

Rihanna is a total rockstar, and now, so is Balmain.

style 2

Written to the tunes of: DEAD OR ALIVE

Best of 2011 in Beauty

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo courtesy of Latina.com

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.

Who is Banksy??

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thierry Guetta's LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL piece on Highland in Hollywood

Cruising through Hollywood late Tuesday night, running errands, this mural pictured here catches my eye. What a great idea. Life is beautiful, really it is. The message rings true in more ways than one, and the symbol of it painted on the wall is expansive and beautiful in its own right.

Like all art, it’s subjective and meaningful to you, to me and to all of those who see it. So, who painted this? I did some investigating and found that this mural is by Thierry Guetta, a French filmmaker who is known for incorporating irony into his pop style graffiti.

Hm, interesting, his work sounds familiar no? Any connection to Banksy, the anonymous graffiti artist that has been underground for years? There is. The documentary film about Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop hints at Guetta being Banksy’s “biggest work of art” and Guetta’s street name is Mr. Brainwash – hint, hint!

In my humble opinion, their work is too similar for it not to come from the same artist.

Guetta is currently in Los Angeles, creating his murals throughout the greater Hollywood area and yes I’m looking-out for the next piece. If you are an art lover too, now is a great time to see the work of the most mysterious and creative artist of our time.

Kat DeLuna at The Globe Theatre

October 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

Kat DeLuna

I had the chance to listen-in on and party along with Kat DeLuna, an up and coming female vocalist from the East Coast. She was the headline performer at Latina Magazine’s 15th Anniversary event in Los Angeles, an event that was headlined by Pitbull in New York, and I see why she fit the bill.

She sang some serious dance beats and completely stole everyone’s heart with her renditions of Selena’s Como la Flor and Las Mañanitas. Not just any vocalist can do Selena’s classics justice, right? She’s really that good.

Find her in Latina’s upcoming issues. She’s definitely one to watch.

My Red Carpet Night with COVERGIRL & Latina Magazine

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Latina Magazine Red Carpet

It was Tuesday night and I was making spaghetti for dinner, when I answered a phone call from Fleishman-Hillard’s Jose Resendez from Miami. He asked if I would be interested in getting a make-over from COVERGIRL. “It will be filmed,” he told me and I immediately said no. He mentioned I would meet the ladies behind the 15 year old Latina Magazine, a publication I’ve been reading since its first year. So then I said, yes.

I arrived at the Sheraton Universal at Universal Studios and was immediately greeted by Patty, the director of marketing at Latina and Eva Antoniadou, COVERGIRL’s makeup artist. I was briefed on the day’s activities that would not only include a filmed make-over, but a debut on the red carpet. I was blown away and a little excited thinking, “Yay me! I get the royal treatment and I didn’t even have to ask for it. YES!”

The film crew came to my room along with the director, Micah Walsh and production began. I was taped entering the hotel lobby, hanging out in the lounge and then entering my room – all while trying to act totally natural of course. I mean, I was being filmed, so I put my best foot forward. Little do we really know about this process until actually being thrown-in, right? Eva then began applying my makeup, this was the easy part. I just sat there and enjoyed the process. I asked typical makeup questions, maybe not so typical because I’m something of a connoisseur but I was schooled in NatureLuxe, Shadow Blast, Lash Blast and Perfect Point Plus by COVERGIRL.

virginia chavez covergirl

Me (Virginia Chavez), Micah Walsh, & Eva Antoniadou (Right to left.)

We wrapped the makeup application portion of the shoot and took a break for a bit. I first checked my Twitter feed (of course) to catch up on the day’s happenings, when I learned of Steve Jobs’ passing. A devoted Apple fangirl, it hit me – we have to let his life be a reminder of what we can do with our ideas. That epiphany will always stay with me. It was just that kind of day.

I then went on to curl my hair, got dressed and awaited the crew to continue shooting. Not quite feeling butterflies, but I definitely had a little bit of an awe-inducing moment to myself.

The paps

The film crew showed up, shot my final look and followed me into the Towne Car which took us to Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre where the official Latina Magazine 15th Anniversary event took place. I tried my best to glide onto the red carpet to face the cameras and paparazzi. While I was at it,  I snapped some photos of the paps with my iPhone.

After this HUGE bucket-list moment, the night proceeded to amaze me. I re-united with some of my favorite bloggers: Monique of Click Latina, Cid of Cid’s Style File and Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect. I went on to click glasses with Evelyn Lozada of VH1’s Basketball Wives, Tatanya Marisol Ali who played Ashley on Fresh Prince and Maria Canals-Barrera who has an amazing filmography under her belt. I drank. I mingled. I partied. The night was a total success and I couldn’t have walked away happier.

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