Tag: katey denno

My super fantastic visit to the Burt’s Bees labs

June 16th, 2014 — 6:15pm

burts_lab_visit5 I know I’ve mentioned to you my affinity for the line of all natural lip colors made by Burt’s Bees – from their barely-there, super moisturizing tinted lip balms, to their richly pigmented lip glosses – on quite a few occasions, however, I don’t think I’ve shared with you the other component that makes the brand so over-the-top special to me. It’s the fantastic employees, and those who run the company, whose love for what they do, that is so contagious and inspiring.

Since we started working together nearly 2 years ago, I’ve really valued my visits to their headquarters in North Carolina.  The offices – which include their in-house lab- sit on a beautiful campus, and are staffed with forward-thinking, eco and health conscious, all around nice people, each of whom work extra hard towards the common goal of making Burt’s Bees the best brand it can possibly be.  They’re the kind of company you’d expect: with recycling stations on each floor so that ‘throwing something away’ is a thoughtful practice, with lovely, open, communal areas in which to meet, a large skylight over the cubicle areas, complete with ergonomically correct chairs and/or yoga ball seats, which are great for the spine, and for keeping stomach and leg muscles engaged.  They also host community volunteer days – building houses, cleaning up neighborhoods – that kind of wonderful stuff we all should be doing.

burts_lab_visit1 On top of all of that, one additional, very unique feature that sets this personal care/beauty product company apart from most others is this: their open-air laboratory, in which in-house chemists create, develop, and test new products, and seasonally work with staff to update, add to, and tweak the range of lip colors.  With no toxic fumes from scary chemicals to pollute the air, the chemists are free to tinker and mix and cook to their hearts’ content, with no worry of noxious chemicals invading their coworkers’ noses or eyes. I met with two lovely chemists,  Cheryl Hilll and Abena Antwi, who invited me into their workspace to become intimately acquainted with the process of creating a tube of Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm. They even let me experiment with pigments, and create a shade of my very own. burts_lab_visit2 Witnessing the mysterious back-end of product development has meant so much to me. Seeing the beakers and saucers filled with the raw ingredients that, when blended together just right, result in the perfect tube of what I press into my lips, and into the lips of my clients, has made me feel even more certain of my decision to ‘go green’. I love that I can share a glimpse of my experience with you, here. Below are some shots I took while in the lab on my most recent trip. Is it what you’d expected the lab to look like? One last thing I’m excited to share with you: I helped pick the shades for an upcoming launch of lip color. Eve Fusco, the Product Development Manager at Burt’s Bees so generously welcomed me into the mix and taught me how it’s done. It’ll be a while before these new products hit the shelves, but oh boy, was it fun to be a part of the process. I’ll keep you posted. burts_lab_visit3

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Look perfectly polished and gorgeous…

October 31st, 2013 — 10:31pm

Back in March I spent the afternoon with Shiva Rose in her spectacular Venice Beach home. Shiva has a really fun, informative, and aesthetically beautiful blog called The Local Rose, where she writes about living her best green life, and others living theirs.

I love Shiva’s vibe.  In her backyard there were the most vibrantly colored chickens (or were they hens or roosters? Why don’t I know the difference?) running around, and her house was that perfect blend of styles: relaxed bohemian, mid-century modern, rustic, and multi-cultured. (I immediately started daydreaming about moving in and throwing parties to show it off).

Shiva’s beautiful and talented daughter shot a little video of us as I gave Shiva a face oil massage with a delicious oil from La Bella Figura, taught her how to use her eyelash curler to its fullest potential, an then gave her a little makeover using products from an all –green makeup line called W3LL People.

Thanks again, Shiva. When can we film episode two (or at least just hang out again?) I’m back in LA!





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TONIGHT!!! It’s finally here! A Night for Green Beauty!

September 4th, 2013 — 3:57am



Tonight marks the first ever gathering of green beauty product creators, fans, and those who are open to knowing more, just in time to kick off NYC’s Fashion Week. Hurrah! This one-of-a-kind green beauty pop-up hosted by La Bella Figura is taking place tonight, September 4th, from 5-9pm, at the James Corbett Studio, and will cost you nothing, but promises to be extremely rewarding. Plus, I’ll be there introducing you to your new favorite lip color.

Pressed Juicery will be treating us right by providing us with delicious refreshments.  Plus, you can have your hair braided at the braid bar, and try out all of the very best in safe beauty products from brands including – but probably not limited to:

Dr. Alkaitis, Lina Hanson, Olie Biologique, SW Basics of Brooklyn, Joanna Vargas Skincare, Hope Gillerman, Annee DeMamiel, Lurk Perfumes, Tela Organics, One Love Organics, Vered Botanicals, CV Skinlabs, Revolution Organics, Ilia Beauty, Kjaer Weis, May Lindstrom Skin, Kahina Giving Beauty, and La Bella Figura.

Some of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to a NYC non-profit called Hair2Help, (thank you James, Corbett!) which offers free beauty and wellness services to cancer patients and their caregivers.

See you tonight!




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VOGUE.com features my guide to going green for Spring!

April 19th, 2012 — 11:08am

I couldn’t be more excited to share this article from Vogue.com:  Makeup Artist Katey Denno’s Guide to Going Green for Spring

I really believe in the brands I recommend in the article, and have actually had the pleasure of getting to know some of the people behind the different product lines, as I always want to know the story-behind-the-story of how they got their start, and what keeps them going.

A HUGE thank you goes to the beautiful and brilliant Catherine Piercy, Beauty Editor at Vogue.

Thanks to photographer Jason Brownrigg for snapping these shots while I was working last week, and to the lovely model McKenzie Raley for sharing the photo with me.


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Natalia and the Smokey Eye

February 20th, 2012 — 6:00am

I’ve loved Brazilian model Natalia Costa since I first met her almost 5 years ago on what’s called a ‘test shoot’. For those unfamiliar: a test shoot is when a hair / makeup / photographer / model get together with the hope that they can create images that they’ll be proud to put in their portfolios.

Generally this is not the case, because often one or more of the parties are usually still really new to their craft and when one element is off, whether it’s hair, makeup, modeling, photography – it makes for ‘it’s almost good, but not quite’ pictures. This wasn’t the case with my test shoot with Natalia, despite all of us variables being really new to the industry.

I even credit those pictures of her as being part of the reason my agency signed me. I don’t ‘think it’s possible for a bad photograph to be taken of this woman. I chose her to make this, my first how-to video for my blog, both because I love the way she looks – particularly because she has the perfect large, almond shaped eyes for a makeup instructional film- and because I love her for who she is. I also think it’s super adorable that towards the end of the video, her alluring accent has her saying that she was “cheesed” instead of “teased” about her eyes.

There are countless ways to accomplish a smokey eye. I’m sure I’ll post a number of other techniques in the future, so that you can pick the one that works the best for your eye shape and your ability to work with shadows/liners/brushes/your fingers. A smokey eye can come in any color, density, and a multitude of shapes.

This one was created with:

  • Eyelash curler: Shu uemura
  • Shadows: Chanel quad, Mac Carbon (a medium black that’s easily blendable for that smokey look)
  • Mascara: Covergirl lash blast, the orange tube, in very black
  • Eyeliner: Georgio Armani, black (the formula is creamy and blendable, which is important for this look)

And I used these brushes:

  • MAC #239 Eye shader brush to build up the base light color all over the lid.
  • MAC #219 to draw the shape with the dark shadow.
  • Smashbox  Definer Brush# 15, which is a little fluffier and more dense than the MAC 219 brush, which will help diffuse the edges of the shape you’ve drawn with the dark color, and to pack on more dark color where needed,
  • Smashbox Crease Brush #10, which is really fluffy and airy and blends out the edges of the shape you’ve drawn perfectly,
  • Smashbox Double-Ended Smudger Brush #20 used to blend the eyeliner down into the lash line and ever so softly upwards onto the lower part of the lid so that there are no harsh edges.

Special thanks to videographer, Jason Brownrigg & to Sandbox Studios.

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Hi! It’s so great to finally meet you.

February 19th, 2012 — 6:40pm

I love being introduced to someone for the first time. Whether it’s the new client I’m working with, the model who’ll be posing for the pictures, or the celebrity I’m getting ready so she can look her best as she walks the red carpet, I delight in every part of it.  I love the feeling of the unknown, of the: wow! anything-can-happen-here.

A first meeting presents a world of opportunities for all of us: we get to choose which parts of our personality we want to show that day, and we get to work on bettering our listening, connecting, and sharing skills. Plus, the sky’s the limit on what amazing new things Mr. or Ms. New-To-Us is going to bring into our lives.

As a makeup artist in the fashion and beauty industry in New York City,  I meet at least 1 if not 25 new people a week at work. It’s a lot to keep organized in the address book of my mind. However, out of all of these 1st time meetings, It’s pretty much a sure thing that at some point, whoever sits in – or hangs around – my makeup chair is going to ask me something about moisturizer, lipstick, or how to best curl their eyelashes. By the time we’ve known each other for a little while (often this happens within the first 30 minutes of meeting) we begin mixing in other topics – from love, old hurts, nutrition, yoga… The list of things I’ll yap about is endless.

This blog is like all of that for me. I imagine you as a new person in my makeup chair, ready to let me help you look and feel your best, both through the stuff I’m going to put on your face (or in this case, write about putting on your face), and through the way I’m going to relate to you, and the information I’m going to share with you.

I have many ideas about how this blog will go over time, but I’m not tied to any of them. I’m just open to possibilities and excited to be here. I’ll be telling you about everything from my day-to-day work as a makeup artist, complete with how-to photos and videos, as well as products I’ve found, researched the heck out of and believe in, and in addition, information about ways to keep yourself feeling good physically and emotionally. Finally, because I still have a lot of social worker left in me (my prior career), I’ll be sure to include posts about ways we can all be more actively involved in affecting change in our communities, and highlighting how people I know and admire are making a difference in their worlds.

I’m also very much in to living a healthy lifestyle, so I’ll be incorporating non-toxic beauty products and  things of that ‘green’ nature, in posts whenever I can.  I feel like there’s a real push in the collective consciousness towards this and I’m super stoked to be following on the path of the short list of other makeup artists and skin care experts who are pioneers in this realm.

Thank you for reading my first post. I hope you’ll read more.

I don’t know where I first heard this saying, but I really love it:

Every best friend was once a stranger.

Welcome to my life, my new friend!

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