Me At 43 ~ A Vita Liberata Makeover!

by on Thursday, June 30th, 2016 with




Milk Studios, Los Angeles, CA

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June 22, 2016… 6 days before my 43rd birthday.


Wondering what it’s all about, what it all means in the bigger picture.  I’m turning another year older in the midst of an increasingly chaotic world. I thought things would get easier in my forties, but think again.  No, I’m not getting any younger, but am I getting any wiser?

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Fresh faced, no makeup! My “Before” Selfie


Birthdays are a funny beast, don’t ya think?  For the most part, they’re fine and dandy up to oh… about 39 and then all of a sudden when folks ask “how old are you turning?” You kinda mumble back your response and hope the passing firetruck and accompanying sirens drown out “43” making it sound more along the lines of “34” (or anything in this ball park). I mean when you get right down to it… age is simply just a number.  It shouldn’t be the number that defines you, it should be YOU!  But truth of the matter is… we’re all human. Inevitably, there are those days, the self doubt creeps in and for some weird reason you want to weap watching James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke… one of the best things to ever land on TV.  Makes no sense, but at times life just doesn’t. Okay so lets back up to Wednesday, June 22nd, 6 days before my birthday. And this, in a  nutshell… was me that afternoon. Just add in one big migraine, and you have the perfect recipe for a self loathing, pity party.

NOW CUE: (1) Troy Jensen, his glam squad of (4), (2) kick butt publicists: Ryan Mary Clark & Marilyn Heston, The BEST Self Tanning Brand EVER… Vita Liberata & Belusso Resort Wear AND you have the ingredients to turn my energy and self image completely around well before I knew what hit me.


  1. So Troy Jensen amongst the blogging, YouTube and beauty influencer communities is the stuff legends or Fairy Godfathers are made of.  You choose, either works. Troy’s a real boy. He started out as “Pinocchio” on the streets of Hollywood working as a portrait artist. He rendered a sketch of Farah Fawcette, displayed it on the slab on concrete he considered his “office” and that’s when Farah, herself, spotted it. She asked Troy to work on her next photoshoot with her doing her makeup and the rest as they say is history. That’s the short version.  However needless to say, Troy has vested his blood, sweat and tears over the years into becoming the best overall groomer (hair, makeup and fashion) AND photographer he can possibly be. He works tirelessly to inspire his team and photography subjects to deliver and match the same passion and enthusiasm he generates. His results are in the photos!  Talk about magical! But what was the most magical = the way he made me feel throughout the afternoon. No one mentions he’s an adept therapist too.  Making over your attitude as well as you frizzy hair and pale skin. I think this is where his impact is the most felt and not realized until after you’ve gotten back in your car and are driving home.
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Follow Troy on Social Media @itstroyjensen

2  Vita Liberata Is a brand of self tanner that exists in a class all by itself. Why? Because over a 4 year period from 2007, when Alyson Hogg first launched Vita, to 2011, they become the first completely non-toxic tanning brand, developing a collection of tan solutions free of parabens, perfume, alcohol and all chemicals of concern. Natural, certified organic extracts are the key to their formulas. The other aspect they innovated and perfected is their “odor remove technology,” so we don’t smell weird in the process of giving our bodies some safe color. I’ve been singing their praises since I first reported about them on the KTLA Morning News back in 2012. I’ve featured them in 3 segments over recent years and blogged, tweeted and instagramed them frequently. Their hero product phenomenal 2 -3 week tan is the longest lasting self tan you can apply to your body and face.  The color is as subtle and natural as if we just arrived home from a week in Maui. It’s something I’ve been telling TV Viewers to get on their radars first and then subsequently on their bodies second.  The brand’s Body Blur is new addition to the collection, and it’s fantastic!  It’s a wash off, skin finishing body makeup that perfects skin giving it a natural looking tint and reflects light for a photo ready finish. It’s perfect to diffuse bruises, spider veins and stretch marks. Trystals is also really neat. It’s the world’s first self tanning bronzer using actual mineral coverage for a subtle sun kissed tan (think along the lines of mineral makeup but for a tan).  Vita Liberata decided to put this shoot together for a group of bloggers, TV producers, TV correspondents and YouTubers to promote and amplify how impactful, healthy and confidence building the whole collection is. Trust me, time spent using these products makes you look sleeker and thinner and the best part?  It’s way, way cheaper than therapy!  Prices range from $30 to $55 per product. LA Therapists charge $150 to $200 for 50 minutes. So compare 50 minutes VS 2 to 3 Weeks!  You do the math.

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Trystals (Mineral Bronzer)

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pHenomenal 2-3 Weeks Tan Mousse (Vita Liberata’s Hero Product)


Belusso Resort Wear We had to sport more than our tanned and toned birthday suits to take out photos because Playboy… we’re not. So Belusso Resort Wear was at the shoot to style all of us in some pretty spectacular bathing suits & cover ups in these unique, one-of-a-kind fabrics and pops of stunning Technicolor shades. From sleek one pieces to bikinis, from coverup to resort wear… the brand offers tons of options that love all kinds of curves and body types and everything translates amazingly well from pool/beach to lunch, dinner, errands… wherever your day takes you. Plus this is a woman owned and operated business! Meet Kristen Sarkisian. Gotta support and amplify ladies who are doing it for themselves!

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One of the gorgeous coverups from Belusso!

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Meet Belusso Owner & Designer, Kristen Sarkisian. We’re wearing pieces from the Black Shagreen Collection


Belusso Rash Guard!

Belusso Rash Guard!













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Head Wrap Scarf Paired W/A Fun Belusso Jacket


It’s always going to be an interesting experiment to sit with a glam squad and a seasoned photographer and absorb how they see you. It’s an exercise in perception and most importantly self perception. The moment Vita Liberata’s “Tan Master” and Senior Vice President of North America, Ms. Jana Bobosikova applied everything from phenomenal Tanning Mousse on me to Body Blur to Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50 W/Marula I instantly felt taller (yes taller), thinner and healthy.  It’s quite amazing what slathering brown mousse and dry oil all over can instantly do to up level your whole outlook and  your attitude.

Once this step was complete, I met with Troy and we put our minds together about what look we would aim for during my time in front of his lens. Troy stood there thoughtfully for a few moments. Then the next thing that came out his out his mouth stunned me… “Cher!” Whoa wait a minute! Cher as in “Cher of Sonny & Cher?” Cher as in “Moonstruck Cher who won an Academy Award Cher?” “Cher who sings ‘Turn Back Time’ Cher?”  The next thing I heard myself exclaim (this was an out of body moment) was “Cher? Me? Yes!” Guess I spoke my organic truth there. I wanted to unlock my inner “Cher” at Vita Liberata’s Summer Photo Shoot, and so this is how things began to unfold and proceed.

I borrowed an evening gown that had to be carefully lowered over my head… like where’s a good crane when you need one? My hair was straightened and glossed up.  Any signs of gray where painted over. My makeup was smokey and nude all at the same time, with not one one set of Ardell Lashes but two! Dos!  Would my mama even recognize her kid after this transformation?  When it was time to pose for Troy… well gosh of course I was a little nervous (or a lot!). “Cher!” I kept thinking… “What would Cher do in this moment?” I could hear Cher, in my head, singing “Turn Back Time” while straddling a cannon on that war battle ship… remember that video from… was it the 80s?  Yes 1989, I just googled the date.  I stood on an apple box in my fancy dress and tried by best to “bring it” and make Vita Liberata proud for picking me to be a model.  See what you think… I can keep typing, trying to explain what a wonderful experience I had, how my final photo made my Mom so happy and how it’s one of the nicest birthday presents I ever received… however, the proof is in the images Troy shot, and in the look on my face and the tan on my body.

Thank You To: The Amazingly Talented Troy Jensen, Vita Liberata/Jana Bobsikova, Kristen Sarkisian/Belusso, Ryan Mary Clark of Behrman Pr & Marilyn Heston on MHA Media… you’re all superior human beings!  You made my migraine go away and my smile reappear.  Looking at my picture I feel pretty dope for 43!



My Final Shot!

My Final Shot! Photo by Troy Jensen. Natural Looking Tan = Vita Liberata


Surrounded by a very talented "Glam Squad"

Surrounded by a very talented “Glam Squad”

Troy in the midst of setting the shot and setting me up for success!

Troy in the midst of setting the shot and setting me up for success!

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“If I could turn back time, if I could find a way…” Troy fusses, I sing in my head!

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Ah Vita Liberata’s Body Blur! Such a great balm to perfect skin and conceal little imperfections like bruises and spider veins quickly and inconspicuously.

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Belusso’s Sexy “Eivissa” Tank

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Me & My Longtime Girfriend & Colleague… Melissa Meyers

DISCLOSURE: I was gifted the photographs, hair, tan, makeup, Vita Liberata Self Tanning Products to take home and enjoy. I was gifted (3) pieces of Belusso Resort Wear to don this summer and rock!  HOWEVER I WAS NOT PAID to model in this shoot. The thoughts, opinions, heaps of cleavage and little bit of cellulite are mine and mine alone.

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