Hi, I’m Rachel.

I’m a sister, aunt, makeup artist, Halloween aficionado, former freelance writer for MANIAC Magazine, and a handful of other things; both good and bad. As a makeup artist I’ve worked weddings, photo shoots, backstage at Pittsburgh Fashion Week, and on a team with other artists doing the makeup for the wives and girlfriends of MLB players during the All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio. While writing for MANIAC, I was a co-editor, published in the bi-monthly print magazine, and wrote for their online publication.

MANIAC allowed me to meet and interview amazing, creative people from many diverse backgrounds. In addition to those experiences, it was extremely trendy and the layout/photography looked like it was based out of New York City, not Southwestern, PA. Unfortunately, MANIAC is no longer in publication, but when it was, it felt like Pittsburgh’s own version of Vogue. There are other print magazines in Pittsburgh, but I believe MANIAC left a void (at least in my heart) when they closed up shop.

I enjoy beauty and fashion because it allows you to constantly recreate yourself. I’m a licensed esthetician, the manager of a MAC Cosmetics counter, and I have been in the makeup industry for over a decade. My cup of tea is editorial and avant-garde makeup which is what draws me to MAC. They are the backstage authority at New York Fashion Week and the amount of talent associated with the MAC brand is mindblowing.

Growing up, fashion was something I admired from a distance; I was an awkward, chubby Italian girl. While I am still very much that person, through fashion I have learned how to make myself feel more self-assured and outgoing. When I was younger, I would often cry in the dressing room while shopping. It’s still challenging choosing outfits for my body type. However, I no longer try to disappear under layers of baggy clothes. I have learned to accentuate the details about myself that I feel confident about to balance out the details that make me feel insecure.

My relationship with makeup is a bit different. Before learning how to make clothing work for me, I was at odds with it, but makeup has never let me down. Makeup is special because whether you’re a size 2 or a size 20, it doesn’t discriminate. You can wear all the new trends without worrying if they’ll accentuate your belly pooch and a red lip never goes out of style. Makeup and I are tight.

I hope that readers of this blog will find my experiences in this industry motivating, interesting, and ultimately relatable. I want my readers to know that I struggle just like they do. I want to share the challenges that I’ve faced and the tips and tricks that I’ve learned that have helped me gain more self-love and acceptance. I believe it is something we have to work on our entire lives, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But while we’re at it, let’s have some fun with fashion and beauty, shall we?