Friday, April 10, 2009

Get The Look of Sasha Fierce

This is Nik Pace from Americas Next Top Model. We had a lot of fun this day as I turned her hair into a look that was inspired by Beyonce's altar ego " Sasha Fierce".After you master this look hopefully "All The Single Ladies" will no longer be single.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My day with Miss Universe.

Often times I hear " Your so Lucky" from fellow artists who are just starting out in this industry. I think some have the perception that once you reach a certain level in your career its smooth sailing. Let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth. You have to always challenge yourself and set new career goals. Another thing you have to remember is no matter how good you think you are, there is always going to be someone that doesn't agree with what you might consider beautiful. What is important to remember is a situation like that doesn't make you any less talented ,nor should you ever feel defeated. Use situations like this to grow and learn,but at the same time eat a slice humble pie and never let them see you sweat.

With that said , Ill share this story.

My Agent called me to tell me that She booked me on a shoot with Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007 with the amazing photographer Fadil Berisha for Stiletto Magazine. As you can imagine I was excited to get to work with both. So I show up to the studio ready to go. The first person I meet is the super friendly Isabelle, she is the makeup artists. She works with Fadil all the time and has a great relationship with him . The next person I meet is Fadil himself and he was super nice too. Then Riyo came in and she was so lovely and friendly. The next person is the stylist / art director of the magazine , she was from France and spoke NO English. Her assistant did all the talking for her.

We started to talk about the vision of the story and all shared our ideas. When we thought we where all on the same page Isabelle took Miss Universe into makeup. I watched and studied her hair and face so that I could do my thing when it was my time. As I start to do her hair and Riyo looks at me and said "wow your really good" This is always a good thing to hear from the model . Then Isabelle chirps is with a " You Better wurk" So at this time I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. Then Fadil comes over and says." I want BIG hair,make it big" . Now rule of thumb is you always want to make the photographer happy . So big hair it is. As I put the finishing touches on the look . The french lady comes over with a look of Horror on her face and starts to whisper to her assistant. She never bothered to fill me in on what was whispered but I'm not thinking its anything I'm gonna want to hear. So we start to shoot and everything seems to be going well. I was happy with want I was seeing and assumes everyone else was too.

Fadil prints out a few swipes of some of the shots we did to get a idea of a layout and the French Lady comes over with a sharpie and starts to scribble all over the hair in the pictures , with a look on her face that said nothing but ''ewwwwwww''. She soon starts the whispers again and starts rubbing her hands from the top of her head down the sides of her face trying to spit out the word "Strait". What do you do when your being told two different things from two different people? Listen to the one who speaks English lol. I could have pulled a diva or panicked ,but I did neither . I tried to make them both happy. and I changed the hair often till everyone had a smile on their faces.

However I think the best picture is the one I posted. The one with the BIG hair.

April's Russian Tatler

Seems like April is a good month for me so far. Not only because its my birthday month.(yes 29 again)But also because I have 3 Editorials that came out this month.
The funny thing about this story is we Traveled from NYC to Turks & Cacaos to shoot it and it ended up running in Russian .
We shot a couple of different stories for different publications down there at the same time. This story was actually a add on because we had a little free time on our hands , rather then do something insane like lay relax on one of the most beautiful beaches on earth we said "Oh what the heck. Lets work. " The photographers Tiffany Walling McGarity & John McGarity wanted to so something a little more fun and creative. So we talked about it a bit and decided to do a beauty accessory story. The look we agreed to do was something more sculptural and fun. Me thinking that it was going to be really close cropped beauty story ,I decided to paint her face gold and only parts of her body that I thought would show. Well things changed, because when we got onset they started shooting full length. ughhhh. That's the beauty of this business, you always have to be prepared. Lucky for me I had just barely enough product to paint her entire body. I used MAC Minerlized Skin Finish in Gold Deposit. I slicked her hair with gel into that Dairy Queen looking knot. Even thought this story was a after thought , it was my favorite thing we shot. The Model is Mayra Suarez from Elite. And styled by Zoe Shana Engelberg.

9 Questions with Johnny Lavoy

This was featured on The Powder Groups blog "For The Love Of Makeup"

How long have you been doing makeup and hair? OK I already see where this is going. I started in the business over 20 yrs ago . Yes, I was just 5 yrs old. lol!

How did you get started? It all started when I was about 10. I got a haircut that i could not restyle when i got home. So my mom took me back to the Barber and told him to teach me how to style my hair. I guess she got tired of me complaining every morning. I learned how to style my hair so well that, when the same thing happened to my sister It was me who had to wake up every morning and Do her hair. And that was the start of my career . I knew hair was my passion at that point. I found out that in order to get a license, you had to have your 9th grade education. So that's when I started to train.I won a bunch of competitions while i was in high school and took a job for a product company doing platform work at the age of 18. I was doing shows over the country. I became friends with the make up artist that worked with us. And that's where my interest in make up started.

How does the preparation process differ for you when you are doing hair or makeup? Well actually the prep is pretty much same for both. The first thing I do is research. I try to gather as much information about the job as possible. If its working with a celebrity for the first time I go right to and to see them made up at different recent events. If its a editorial I try to get a idea of what the team is thinking in terms of a story and research appropriately.

What is the last trip you took for pleasure? Well I kinda cheated. This Summer I went to Italy to do Giuliana's wedding.[Depandi-Rancic's, host of E!News] So I went a week early to enjoy Rome. So it was a work/pleasure trip.

What is the last trip you took for work? I guess that would be The Makeup Show Miami. But I was also in Mexico and Turks and Caicos within a three week period. All good trips for a cold February!

What one makeup product can you not live without? This is hard . But I guess moisturizers because if the skin looks healthy you almost don't need anything else.

In one word, can tell me something about yourself that few people know? A.D.D

Is there one thing you do for every makeup application? Yes. Groom brows. If the brows are a mess it throws off my Mo Jo.

What are you doing tomorrow?
I recently reconnected with a old classmate. I learned that she is now teaching hair at the school we graduated from. I also learned that 5 of the students qualified to compete this competition called Skills USA. It was the same competition that I won over 20 yrs ago that launched what would become my career. I asked to meet the students that are going to Skills USA and offered to help them - she was saying that they use me as an example of what you can accomplish with hard work and determination - and they love that i work with famous people - lol. So, tomorrow I am going to the school to coach the kids for their big competition before I have to go to the Salon. It feels so good to able to give back and help the artist of tomorrow try to get to another level. So wish them all luck....

Join Johnny Lavoy at The Makeup Show NYC May 17,18. Johnny will be presenting Event Makeup - a hands-on workshop open exclusively to attendees of the show. Additional fees apply for hands-on events. You can also see him at The Powder Group booth thorughout the day Monday May 18
Posted by The Powder Group at 1:32 AM

My 9x9 Collection.

When OnMakeupMagazine asked me to do beauty story for the first Spring issue I was both flatterd and excited. One thing I have always noticed in this industry was a lack of women of color featured in beauty stories. It was my goal to find a model with really dark skin and show how you could use color on it. The model I used is named Samira she is from Brazil and repped by Ford Models as well. The photographer Eric Basilio and I wanted to show color but keep the skin clean ,healty , shiny. I was thrilled with the finished product.

The Powder Group asked me to design a color collection inspired by this beauty story . This limited edition collection consist of versatile, multiuse products including Pressed Color Powders for eyes, lips and face, Loose Shimmer Powders to use straight or mix with other mediums to create unique new shades and textures,are ideal for creating subtle sheen on the skin, or as a mixing medium for powder products. My collection is completed with two fabulous nail enamels to really complete the look. It is available for sale at It will also be availale at The Makeup Show NYC , May 17th and 18th ,2009.

Femme Fatale in Florida International

This story just hit the news stands. Photographer Gian Andrea Di Stefano wanted to great a modern version of a Old Hollywood Starlet. My model Heidi had long, fine ,damaged hair, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I decided to set it on hot rollers with a thermal spray and then brush it into a soft fingerwave. I cheated the the bob by rollinng the hair under. It was a beautiful rough texture that was perfect for the look we wanted to achieve. Hope you enjoy. Pick up a copy of April's Florida International to see the complete story.

Welcome to Johnny's World

Hey gang. I did it , I created a BLOG. Thanks for checking it out. It seems some of the most asked questions that I get everyday is "So whats going on? Whats new? What have you been doing?" I'm sure most of you hear the same. And usually the answers I give are " Oh nothing. Same ole thing . Or Just working." I think the main reason I give such vague answers is because I'm tired of repeating myself 50 times a day.
So I had a light bulb moment and thought a blog would be a fun and great way to let anyone who cares exactly what I'm up to. What I plan to do with this blog is fill you in on some of the things in my life , personal and professional, like tricks of the trade, How to Videos, Story behind the Story, Backstage at events, My Favorite things, My favorite people , and more. So please come back often to visit and tell a friend.
Johnny Lavoy

P.S. And for those of you that don't know who the heck I am. Here's a little video to let you know.