About Me

NEW YORK, NY, United States
Im a freelance makeup artist and skin therapist. www.ginanicora.com


Sunday, September 27, 2009



The truth about most over the counter "Fountain of Youth" creams is they just can't produce the  same results as a medical grade product. Most products you can purchase at a department store counter or at your local Duane Reade don't have a high enough concentration of the the ingredients that can actually give the results they claim. The FDA requires that all cosmetic and skin care products list all of their ingredients in order from the highest to lowest in concentration. Most of the ingredients that are actually active in the product are in the  first five ingredients and the ingredients they boast about being the "wrinkle cure" are at the bottom of the ingredient list.  The most effective ingredients that can actually treat the  skin discoloration caused by sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and even deeper wrinkles known as fissures which come with age are AHA, BHA  and TCA acids.  The AHAs are known as alphahydroxy acids  which include glycolic and lactic acids. These acids help unclog pores, help with deep exfoliation and cell renewal as well as hydrate the skin, promote collagen production and improve tone and texture. The BHAs are known as betahydroxy acids,  also known as salicylic acid which are much gentler than glycolic acids and are excellent for people with sensitive skin and acne who are looking for the same results as glycolic acids but are more sensitive to their  effects. The TCAs are known as trichloracetic acid which is a more  which can be used as a deeper peel and are particulary good for darker skins and skins with more damage and need more intensive results. In order to actually penetrate the deeper layer of the skin know as the dermis,  where collagen and elastin production happens, the concentration of these acids needs to be high enough. In addition to over the counter products not having high enough concentrations of the active ingredients the products have lots of other filler ingredients which can actually irritate and dry the skin when used on a regular basis. The other downside is that most products are pricey and use a marketing trick known as "puffery"which is packaging products in a larger package but the actual amount of product is not as large as the package. 

The question is " So how can I get optimum results without spending so much money?" The best way to get results is to get a medical grade peel done by a licensed professional several times a year at a reasonable price for optimum results. As well as follow up with a treatment program at home that is specifically designed for your skin.

I recommend PCA Professional Skin. They have been in business for over 20 years. They were the first cosmeceutical company to provide professional treatments to medical and clinical aestheticians. The founder of PCA Skin, Margaret Ancira, helped create professional formulas only available to doctors and licensed skin care  professionals. The chief scientist, Jennifer Linder M.D., is also a Dermatologist and Skin Cancer Surgeon. 

The peels are  medical grade but are gentle enough to address acne, psoriasis ,hyperpigmentation, rosacea, fine lines and wrinkles without irritation. They also offer follow up skin care products to enhance the results of the peels at home. All of PCA's products are fragrance,  color , alcohol and oil free as well as free of any harsh ingredients that can sensitize the skin. The PCA peels can only be administered by a licensed  PCA Certified professional. The PCA at home products are also only available through physicians and licensed professionals and are not available at the retail level.

I'm very excited about becoming trained and certified with this company in November. Check back for information on peels, skin treatments and packages I will be offering soon!! Stay tuned for "HOW TO READ PRODUCT LABELS. " COMING SOON!!


A very Nouveau Riche concept of "more is more" was the inspiration for the couture shows in Paris. The look is very Hollywood glam from Bardot to Barbarella. Tom Pecheux (who is one of the most sought after makeup artists in the industry and one of my true inspirations) created a dramatic smokey eye paired with either a nude lip or for a very sultry look he used crimson on the lips for the Jean Paul Gaultier show. Pat Mc Grath (who has been named one of the most influential make up artists by Vogue magazine) went for a more bold fifties inspired look for the Dior show. She created dramatically arched brows and exaggerated liquid liner with bold bright lips in shades of red and fuchsia.

So the question is: How do I take these dramatic runway looks from catwalk to sidewalk?
A great way to stay current and follow the trend is to pick one element of the runway look and focus on either eyes, lips or brows. 

Here I chose to focus on Morgan's lips for a soft yet bold glamorous look. I started with  flawless skin by using Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I also used Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Illuminating highlighter to sculpt and highlight the face www.GiorgioAmrmaniBeauty-USA.com. I created the bold red lip using  Blazin Red by  Yves Saint Laurent  www.YSLBeautyUS.com

One of my new favorite reds is Devil  by Dolce and Gabbana.  The new Dolce and Gabbana line was launched at Saks Fifth Avenue by none other than Pat McGrath. This lipstick is definitely a splurge priced at $50 but it is totally worth it!!! The color is gorgeous and the gold case and embossed D+G logo on the lipstick is simply FABULOUS!! Every woman needs a little something special in her going out makeup bag!! www. DolceGabbanaMakeup.com

Some other helpful tricks to use when creating a bold red lip in addition to choosing  the right red lipstick are smooth lips, long lasting color and a precision application.

 I like to use both a lip  exfoliant   and a lip primer from Smashbox Cosmetics www.Smashbox.com. The exfoliant  is an emulsion of sugar granules as well as lip conditioners like Shea butter which gently exfoliates and conditions lips at the same time. The primer helps to keep lips from feathering and keeps the color in place longer. The primer is definitely a "must have"! It's not only a lip primer but a 2 in one product. One end is for the lips the other is for the eyes for $24.00.

Another "must have" when doing a bold red lip is a precision liner and a lip brush for a perfect application. Dolce and Gabbana has another 2 in one product- one end is a liner and the other end is a lip brush for $30 www. DolceGabannaMakeup.com

Monday, September 14, 2009


Photo# 1 Backstage @ Maria Grachvogel

Photo#2 Toni Maticevski Runway@ Altman

Photo#3-4 Backstage@Toni Maticevski

Photo#5 Finale Toni Maticevski


I've had the privilege to work with this amazing photographer. We have shot a beautiful fashion spread together and just finished our first New York Fashion Week show working together backstage. She was the key photographer for the Purple Event for the runway and the red carpet. Keep your eye on her because she is one of the newest rising stars!!

Photo#1 Maria Grachvogel Runway@ The Altman

Photo#2 Rachel Zoe @Thakoon already workin it on the blackberry

Photo#3 Rad Houvrani Runway@ Milk Studios

Photo#4 Julian louis Runway@ Milk Studios

Photo #5 Karlie Kloss@ Thakoon

Photo#6 Chanel Iman@Thakoon


The look for Spring 2010 is soft and feminine. The skin is clean and luminous. Cheek color is used more to sculpt the face rather than as cheek color. The tones are soft neutral beige and pink. Lips are matte neutral pale tones. Eyes are also soft neutral shades of browns, beige, gold tones with some shimmer and some matte finishes.

The look that I designed for The Purple Event was a soft chocolate smokey eye with a pale pink cheek and a soft beige matte lip. The look was sponsored by Mac Cosmetics.


PREP: Crealine H2o Hydrating toner to cleanse the skin www.TotalBeauty.com
Embryolisse Moisturizer to hydrate the skin http://www.Embryolisse/
Fast Response Eye Cream to  prep under eye http://www.Maccosmetics.com/
YSL Touch Eclat Pen to highlight the cheek bones, the brow bone and bow of the lip http://www.YSLBeautyuUs.com/

FACE: Mac Face and Body http://www.Maccosmetics.com/
Studio Moisture Cover Concealer

EYES: Mac Paint Pot Quiet Natural as a base for the eye swept up to the crease and underneath the lash line, then layer Constructivist Paint Pot over Quiet Natural, blend up to crease then sweep Chocolate Brown pigment in soft feathering motions, then line water line with Teddy kohl pencil, then use Shu Uemura Lash Curler http://www.ShuUemura-USA.com/ and black Dior Show Mascara http://www.Dior.com/ and clear brow gel and brush up brows to finish the look.

CHEEKS: Blush Baby blush used as a contour. Start at the top of the cheekbones and sweep into hairline www.Maccosmetics.com

LIPS: I used Mac Lip Erase in pale to nude out the lip, and then Bamboom lip paint dabbed on with a finger and no liner for a soft romantic look www.Maccosmetics.com


Sunday, September 13, 2009



Dear Diary, "How do I get that flawless makeup look?"

Flawless makeup starts with flawless skin. In order to get that smooth luminous glowing makeup look you need to start with a good canvas. Beautiful skins starts from the inside so you want to start by making sure you are getting the right nutrients. Beauty Scoop is the latest development in skin care supplements. Beauty Scoop is a beauty cocktail created by a renowned New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Michelle Yagoda. This formula contains peptides and lipids that are key for optimum skin health. Beauty Scoop has been featured in In Style, Bazaar and New Beauty Magazine. I love it! I've seen a major difference in my skin in just a month! If you order a 3 months supply you receive a free gift with purchase and free shipping. Go to www.beautyscoop.com.
Another key to a good canvas is clear skin. I have suffered from sensitive acne prone skin all my life and when I was in my 20's I literally must have tried every product on the market to no avail. I eventually gave in and went on Accutane which did clear up my skin but gave me awful side effects such as migraine headaches, depression, fatigue and super dry lips. Now that I'm in my 30's, I started dealing with hormonal changes and started experiencing breakouts again, nothing like in my 20's but still enough to want to find a solution that would work without all the side effects. I found an amazing product for $ 9.90 (yes under $10 dollars!!) It is a natural vitamin spray made from vitamin B3 and pure aloe vera. I know, it sounds crazy but it works like a charm and  has no side effects. You can order it online at www.naturallyclear.com. This is a "must have!" 

The next step for a good canvas is smooth and hydrated skin. If your skin is dull, dry and flaky, foundation will not go on smooth or look luminous. The key is to exfoliate gently but thoroughly and make sure your skin is hydrated. My favorite exfoliant is from Dermalogica. The  Daily Microfoliant is gentle enough to use everyday. It is made from a rice based enzyme powder and also contains salicylic acid as well as green tea, ginkgo and colloidal oatmeal to help calm skin so it's great for sensitive skin and all skin types.  My other life saver is also by Dermalogica which is the Skin Hydrating Masque. This mask is an amazing treatment to use before a big night out before putting on makeup or whenever you need a boost. It is also for all skin types and restores suppleness to the skin, calms redness and inflammation and contains anti-oxidant vitamins C and E. You can go to www.dermalogica.com to find a location near you.

Now that you have some of my "must have" skin care treatments stay tuned for " The Flawless Makeup Look Part II" for the step by step flawless face complete with my favorite makeup products, tips and tricks.