Video~~Backstage Lights~~Roxanne DeNobrega


I first met Roxanne on the set of a calender shoot that I did for a hair salon based here in Toronto. She was the make up artist that day and she did a brilliant job on my skin, which is tricky to match to foundation at times but she had me looking like an actual model….(y’all know I don’t model)….

So when I ran into her again on a test shoot that I was visiting I had to take the opportunity to ask her about her trade.  In the midst of that conversation the subject of being an agency artist or remaining freelance came up and the following video is her response to that question. Hope you enjoy!

Roxanne DeNobrega on Agency vs. Freelance in her own words…



Backstage Lights Interview~~Ford Make-Up artist~~Evgeny


It’s no big surprise that I meet people all of the time, and recently I made the acquaintance of two awesome young ladies, Andrea and Jenna, who work for Ford Model Management (see my post on the P&G Beauty awards to check out their pics) anyway, Andrea and Jenna were so great that night. We chatted before the ceremony started and Jenna let me know that she runs the artist division at the Toronto office. Naturally, I gave her a confused look, who knew that Ford a name synonymous with beautiful models represented artists! I’m sure Jenna didn’t see the drool slowly escaping from the corner of my up turned lips.

In my promise to reach out to her and send my regards and thanks for being such great company at the awards ceremony, I emailed Jenna. Jenna responded and suggested I meet and interview one of her artists. Yes, I’m skipping parts of the story, you will just have to wait for it.  I saw some of his portfolio and lost my mind, well at least momentarily. I emailed back and said “YES” as loudly as I could through the Internet and told her that I would be glad, neigh honored, to interview him. So we set something up and this post is a result of that meeting. His name is Evgeny and he is one of the most talented make-up artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Get to know him a little bit – you’ll be glad you did. Meet Evgeny in his own words…

How did you become a Make-Up artist?

Chasing girls, which is kind of unusual in my work.  I started because I was in art school and I had a lot of friends who were in the fashion industry, but none of them could draw, so they would come to me and be like “Evgeny, can you draw this design for me, can you sketch this out” so I would.  In the process of sketching the clothing for them I would also design the hair and the make-up of girls in the sketches.  I would go to their fashion shows and be back stage giving out my sketches to the hair stylists and the make-up artists.  But, then I would watch what the make-up artist was doing and I would say “No, add this colour here.” or “I think this line should be more like this – well let me show you.” I would take the brush and make the changes so it looked more like the sketches I had drawn.  My friends were like “Evgeny are you a make-up artist?” and I would always say no. But because of art school it was an easy transition for me and well being young and spending all my time around beautiful girls, I said why not, at that age what more can you ask for?

Who is your make-up Icon?

Serge Lutens, he was a make-up artist for Christian Dior in the late ‘70’s  and it was the first time I thought of the idea that you can transform a person’s face in a picture into an art form. 

 Name a beauty product that you can’t live without?

Mascara, because you can fake the rest, but the eye is the mirror.  Without mascara it’s not done.

On set with Chantal Kreviazuk

Which tool is your favourite?

My blending brush (the blending brush from Evgeny’s line of brushes)

Favourite make-up trends for this season?

I don’t follow trends because I don’t want to be stuck in one season or have to make a transformation from season to season.  I like what I like, I like the bold look meaning a very structerd and complete look, not necessarily bold colours. I like that my clients tell me they can recognize my work.

5 things every woman should do to create the perfect face?

Concealer or skin corrector to clean up the magic triangle area that includes eyes, nose, eyebrows, in yellow or orange, but not green it doesn’t work.


Bronzer or blush


Lip gloss that you put on the crease of the eye which is the same colour you have on your lips, smudge it a little bit it looks not totally fresh but gives you a good look.


Who is your favourite fashion designer?

Vivienne Westwood, she has a charisma, you can wear her things in 20 years from now and it will still be cool.  I also like her for the cut of her clothes.

Where do you derive your inspiration from when you’re preparing for a shoot (given free reign), where would that come from?

With my commercial clients, I try not to have them tell me that I can do whatever I want.  I always ask for direction, like a picture, because my vision of beauty is not the same as another person’s vision of beauty.  With my private clients I use their face and my vision of beauty to create the look. 

On set Degrassi goes to Hollywood

The ideal make up job?

After having my brush line I would love to have a great makeup line, where I could work with the colours and work with the pigments and develop the product.  Where I could explain to the average woman how she can create a beautiful face with a simple product and simple tools.  I don’t want to work with a company and say that something is a great product when I know that it’s not.  I’m trying to be more concious of the make-up companies I deal with. 

Beginning sketches

How did Evgeny Cosmetics start?

I started with brushes because it seemed like the simplest way and easiest way to start.  I had a client tell me a long time ago that when I was ready that she had the manufacturing contacts that I would need to get started, so I went and met with her.  I had been thinking about doing my own thing for a while and it happened at a point when I was ready.  It took me a while to finish the brushes because I wanted to find the right quality product.  For example, the Blue Squirrel that I use in my brushes; it had to be real.  A lot of people would say (in their brushes) that it’s Blue Squirrel that’s in the bristle, but it’s not.  I didn’t want that. So, I waited until I found a farm in the Yukon. I went there to see the hair, and the process of removing it.  The hair grows long and soft because it’s cold year round, it’s not really blue, it’s black but when the light hits it, there is a blue tinge to it.  This is where it gets its name. All the brushes are hand shaped so it takes a while to make them. 

Where can people purchase your brushes?

On the website and two locations in Yorkville sell the brushes as well. 


All aspects of Evgeny’s brushes are made by hand.  Even the chic brush pouches are hand made, how’s that for quality.  Believe me when I tell you that his brushes are an MUA’s dream come true, well worth the investment. 

A funny or interesting experience you’ve had while working?

A few months ago I had a client during the film festival and when I arrived at the hotel to do her make-up she says to me “Oh, you’re here, great! Before we start can I ask you a favour, can you use my brushes?” Now, I like to use my brushes because I figure if I use them and my clients like them, they might purchase them.  They can see how the brushes work, and a lot of the time clients fall in love and they want them for themselves.  So, this client is holding the brushes and going on and on about how much she loves them.  She tells me that she got them as a gift a little while ago and that since then every time she travels she takes them with her.  She then says “But, I have no idea who makes them.  Who’s Evgeny?” I say “I am Evgeny”  She was very surprised and shocked when she discovered who I was.  The funny thing is the whole time she was talking about the brushes neither of us realized that she was talking about my brushes.  I personally thought this was an awesome story!

So that concludes this post on Evgeny, I hope you liked reading it as much as I enjoyed presenting it to you. 

For booking information contact Ford Model Mangement.  Also, to purchase his brushes or learn more about him visit his website

What’s Alexxuss doing?~~P&G Beauty Awards 2010

On November 11, 2010 I will be covering the P&G Beauty Awards, I’m super excited about this.  So yeah, what the heck are they?  Up until recently I didn’t know they existed either, since Fashion week I’ve been looking for other fashion events to cover, (building up the resume you know…) and in my travels I’ve discovered quite a few, sadly most of them had already passed.  Who starts a blog in the middle of the Fashion calendar anyway? Because I did start my blog in the middle of the calendar I did miss out on quite a few awesome events that happen in Toronto but not this one. 

The Awards

The P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards  were first held in 2009 and are in their second year.   The awards were created by P&G Beauty and Grooming to recognize the contribution to fashion editorial content by Canadian editors, photographers, models, makeup artists, and  hairstylists. 

The Awards have 13 categories, and when the announcement was made that the awards were accepting nominations,  they received 220 submissions.  The Categories are:

  1. Best Magazine Cover
  2. Best Beauty Editor of a Magazine
  3. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper
  4. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine
  5. Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper
  6. Best Fashion or Beauty Blog
  7. Best Male Fashion Feature
  8. Best Male Grooming Feature
  9. Best Fashion or Beauty Website
  10. Best New Face
  11. Photographer of the Year
  12. Hair Stylist of the Year
  13. Make-up Artist of the Year

What I love about these awards is the fact that they recognize  the same people I’m always talking about!  They fit the focus of my blog to a T. 

Well this year the awards have called in Hollywood royalty to host the event.  None other than The Grammy Award® and Golden Globe Award® winning singer, actress and COVERGIRL spokesmodel Queen Latifah.  The Queen will be holding court for us lucky enough to be her subjects for the night.  All Hail the Queen!

My goal in covering the event that night is to talk to a few of the winners if not all of them.  Get some photos of the event and of course have fun!

I will update yall on what went down and who the winners were the next day…pinky swear!


The Venue

The awards ceremony will be taking place at one of Toronto’s most historic venues, (clearly I’m all about the production so naturally I would mention the venue) Just saying…The Carlu.  The Carlu has been one of the venues in the city that I have really wanted to see for myself, and well unless you’re at society events all the time (much unlike myself) then you don’t have these opportunities everyday, and I can’t wait to see if the pictures do it justice.  Check it out

To learn more about the P&G Beauty Awards visit their site

Now is when the real drama begins, I have no idea what to wear! Insert crying icon here!

Until next time… oh one more thing for up to the minute behind the scenes details follow me on twitter @backstagelife