My first makeup event was in 1996. I was so excited to be the lead makeup artist for Jazzy Cuts, a Beauty Salon, participating in a hair show, Genesis, The Evolution of Hair. I had five girls to prep. Everything went well and from that point on, I was hooked on makeup artistry. I continued freelancing all over northeast Ohio, doing weddings, proms, and working with a finishing school applying makeup for photo shoots. Through networking, I became friends with a local clothing designer and assisted with local fashion show productions, such as makeup, styling, coordinating, etc. Those experiences inspired me to channel my energy into event planning and to come out with my own line of cosmetics, in 2000, Blanco Cosmetics. Blanco (my name in Spanish) Cosmetics is infused with vitamins and minerals; with lipsticks enriched with antioxidants; blushes infused with vitamin E, which is known for its soothing and healing effects; and foundations with SPF 18 and aloe vera. The entire line was created to improve the condition of your skin.
As I perfected my skills in makeup artistry, I also worked on developing my career in fashion and event planning. Though currently taking a break, my plan is to return to school in order to obtain my certification in event planning in 2010. “What Women Want”, a beauty and health expo and “Style and Glamour Pamperfest are two beauty conventions that I’ve created, coordinated and held twice a year. These events are made up of over 20 vendors from different genres of the fashion and beauty industry. What makes these beauty conventions so different? I personally interview every vendor for professionalism and quality of product. No two vendors are ever alike. I also in the past have partnered with The Cleveland Clinic and other health care providers to administer free health screenings to the public. I know the expo titles are geared more towards women but men are always encouraged to come. While waiting for their significant other, they can receive a massage, a free health screening, and/or take pleasure in selecting a gift for that special someone. For these two events, my goal is to help women and men understand the importance of taking care of themselves from the inside out.
My knowledge and experience as a beauty professional continues to evolve. On this never-ending journey, I’ve learned about good eating and exercising habits, which I am eager to pass along as a beachbody coach and image consultant.
In 2000 I landed a job as a Sales Associate, soon after promoted to manager, at an upscale boutique called Sweet Threads, known for its great selection of formalwear dresses. It was a great experience! I learned how to run a boutique/business from the ground up. I was able to assist with buying, selecting new vendors, pricing merchandise, helping in the development of a new website, planning events, trunk shows, fashion shows, news ads, etc. This work experience, in part, inspired me to create “The Tricks of the Trade”, which is an opportunity to provide coaching and fashion tips to young, ages 11 through 14, underprivileged women. One young lady a year is selected. She must be transitioning into Junior/Middle School or High School. We go through her closet to find the keepers and donate anything that no longer fits or doesn’t fit well. Then we go school clothing shopping. To complete the makeover, her makeup is professionally applied, along with instructions on how to maintain the look and her hair is styled by a local hair salon artist. Year after year, seeing the smile on their faces is simply priceless. To date we’ve been able to help 3 young women. Because I’ve been helped and mentored by so many people, this program is my way of giving back and saying thank you. It reminds me of the quote “I am because we are.”
In between my three greatest passions - makeup artistry, fashion and image consulting - I found time to get married to Ian C. Cunningham and have two children. My first Reina Nole was born on January 27, 2005 and my second Braeden Christopher was born on May 13, 2007 (Mother’s Day).
I am a woman who wears many hats. I’m now in the process of developing plans to open my own boutique which will infuse all of my passions. Makeup artistry/Blanco Cosmetics, Fashion and Image Consulting is what I love and how I plan to beautify the world one person at a time.