Friday, May 8, 2009

Sports Illustrated Glamazons

Getting to work on some of the most beautiful women in the world can my job pretty easy at times. How could you possibly screw up on those 5'10 genetic freaks? Ive worked with quite a few SI Swimsuit models. Selita Ebanks, Angie Everheart, Fernanda Motta, Ariel Merideth,Tori Paver,and Yasmine Brunet. In this video im getting Tori and Yasmin ready for the SI Press party . And below are a couple pictures of Fernanda Motta from the 2 years I did her hair and makeup for the same Party. What I love about Fernanda was she let me do what I wanted both times. She is so gorgeous it was fail proof. The first year I went fresh with the makeup and gave her hair more defined waves. The next year I decided to change things up. I went smoother with the hair and a bit more sexy with makeup. I think both looks fit her well.
Fernada is now the Host of Brazil's Next Top Model. And is With Next Models.

When I work with these Glamozons I cant help to laugh to myself thinking of all the guys that teased me at a young age for chasing my passion . I bet they wished the knew how to create supermodel waves now .

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blue Baiul

It was in 94. I sat in my living room glued to the TV watching the figure skating competition during the winter Olympics . I was anticipating the show down between Nancy and Tonya. My focus quickly turned from the 2 Americans to the little pixie from the Ukraine.

It seems like yesterday when that black swan took to the ice, and at the same time took the breath from my chest. I had never seen skating like that before. Where did the ballerina on skates come from? She not only captured the hearts of everyone watching (except for Nancy fans) with her skating, but she also had a heart breaking story of being a orphan. Seeing her win the gold was like a perfect ending to a Cinderella story.

She stood on the podium tears pouring down her face, doing what Oprah describes as the “Ugly Cry.” She held her gold metal up to the heavens so her proud Mother who was watching could boast of her talented daughter to all the other angels. It was a moment I will never forget.

As I watched with tears in my eyes I couldn't’t help but notice another thing that stood out to me. It appeared to be a halo. Was it her guardian angel? As I moved closer to the TV I figured it out . It was back lit frizzy pony tail from a bad over processed perm that hung right below her occipital bone. Her bangs where formed into a crisp sculpture that stood high on the front of her head. It resembled a title wave that was about to emerge with the tears flowing down her face. I looked into the TV and said “Gurl I got to do your hair.”

It was shortly after that day , all the news stations where reporting that our new Olympic champion would be moving to a new skating rink in Ct. She was going to be only a short distance away. Do I have the power of the “SECRET”? Did I will this to be? Was I actually going to be this gifted child’s coiffure?

As fate would have it, I got a call at the salon one day. The voice on the other end had a strong Russian accent that was requesting an appointment with “Jonny”. It was Oksana Baiul. The day she sat in my chair the day our friendship started. And I’ve been doing her hair ever since.

Oksana and I have been through a lot together, and have become super close. I’ve traveled the country with her doing her hair for numerous shows, shoots and commercials. And I often tell her if she wasn’t a skater she most likely would be doing hair and makeup. My nickname for her is “Product Whore.” She cant get enough of it. The down side of her passion is that sometimes she thinks she is a Hairdresser. She not afraid of change nor is she afraid of doing it herself.

This past weekend I got a voice mail from her. She sounded desperate as she begged me to caller her back. I call her worried that she has some tragic news, and tragic it was. With a quivering voice she says “John can you help me?” I ask “what’s wrong”? With hesitation in her voice she answers “John I turned my hair blue. I think I got the wrong blonde color.” I start laughing at her as I have done in the past when ever she has turned her hair a funny color. She tells me its not funny and that she has a show the next day, and doesn’t know what to do. I make the suggestion of a blue dress or something that going to match her new hair. When that failed to humor to her I give her secret formula to try to take her sapphire hair back to blonde. My concoction worked enough for her to get through the weekend.

I promised her I'm going to fix it. I will hound her the entire time with “ I told you so” all the while knowing this wont be the last time I get this same phone call. I guess it’s a good time for us to catch up seeing as we both are always busy.Yes, this ice queen will once again be blonde with no guarantee that it will remain that way for long.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hello Mexico

Our far south North American brethren can’t seem to get a break these days. Over the last couple of years they have gotten pummeled by hurricanes, when they finally rebuild and make attempts to once again welcome tourist, they are then faced with a drug war, when the media attention starts to become less informative about the violence ,they have new drama, the Swine Flu. With all the media attention Mexico is getting ,it got me thinking of my last visit.

Mexico has been a vacation destination for me several times. It’s inexpensive, beautiful and in most cases easy to get to. I say "most cases" because up until my last visit, my Mexico travel always seemed like a hop, skip, and jump. I have been for work, and for fun. Direct flights to Cozumel or Cancun usually make for an easy trip. My last trip to Mexico was for work. It was a cover shoot for Hello Magazine with Geri Halliwell. Being a product of the 80's 90's I was excited to get to work with the petite lady once known as Ginger Spice.

This time I was going to a different part of Mexico. Me being geographically challenged I just assumed it would be the usual 4 to 5 hour trip. I could already taste the virgin Pina Colada that always greets you at the door as you check into any Mexican resort. After taking a glance at my travel schedule I realized that the taste of coconut and pineapple would not be quenching my thirst any time soon. I first landed in Houston and had a 5 hour layover there that seemed like forever. Finally at some point late afternoon I touched ground in Puerto Vallarta . I was so happy to finally get off the plane and feel the warm humid air and the smell of salt water.

I collected my luggage and made my way to the airport exit. I did not know exactly where I was going, or what I was supposed to be doing. I just followed the herd that seemed to have the same urgency as I did. I noticed a bright pink card with my name on it waving through a crowd of on lookers. I make my way over to person holding my name and he starts instructing me in Spanish. I looked at him and tilt my head, like a puppy that heard a high pitched sound. I do not understand a word he said. I decided it would be easier to just follow him. He walks over to a little airport cafe and sitting there is the rest of the crew. In this crowd is my very good friend Billy B. He is doing the makeup and is the one who referred me to do the hair on this job.

We board a white van and I'm trilled to be arriving at this exclusive resort that I looked up on Goggle before my departure. Billy has made this trip before and suggest to the driver to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up snacks. I ask how long before we get to this tropical paradise and I'm told it’s a 3 hour drive. Ughhhhhh. It didn't help that we found ourselves in a traffic jam due to the fact that we where following a pickup truck filled with natives dressed in white tank tops and bright orange gym shorts. In front of this truck was a girl dressed in the same theme running with what looked like the Olympic torch. I'm thinking to myself "how the hell are they going to get that to China?" During our long ,long ,long drive Billy is warning us with stories from his last visit. 'The last time I was here I was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider and had to have my ass drained".

We arrive to the resort in total darkness and I'm already itching with the thought of a spider bite. I get into my room and pull down the sheets looking for any critters that might contribute in the possibility of me having to have my ass drained. I notice a fact sheet on one of the tables and there is a picture of some fierce looking animal on it that looks like something between a anteater and a raccoon, it is standing on its hind legs with the caption underneath it that says "Do Not Feed Me" I was OK with that request. I try to sleep with one eye open not knowing what might enter my room or my bed without permission.

I wake up bright and early and head over to Geri's suite that is right across a tiled hallway. We are all half asleep and with Billy's arrival we start the process of turning Geri into a bronze beach goddess. We fight the humidity trying to keep the hair curled and the makeup on her face. It’s not long before she is ready for her close up. Her post Bluebell body was looking amazing as she tried on one swimsuit after another. She finalizes her wardrobe and we begin 2 days of shooting.

Although there where a few bumps in getting to my final destination, the trip itself was amazing. I got to shoot with a the great photographer Richard McClaren, work with one of my best friends Billy B and play in the tresses of one of the nicest pop stars of our time Geri Halliwell. Here are a couple of the pictures from our Mexican excursion. Trust me it was as hot outside as she looks in these pictures.
Geri and her beautiful dauther Bluebell.