Virtzy: A Revolution

Imagine an app that can be your beauty destination for all things inspiration, business, wellness and so much more. Sound like your kind of personal app?

Beginning of March, Isak Mirzak and Kristina Aran came with the idea to build a social media platform devoted to the beauty/wellness industry.  Think of it as your personal realm to stay in touch with artists and their ongoing creativity.

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But it doesn’t stop there. I had a phone interview with the two co-founders in the concrete jungle of New York City.

www.virtzy.com

Download the app here!

“Our main goal (the mission) is to help beauty and wellness professionals run their businesses better…beauty professionals are able to build their portfolio from scratch and include their education, specialties and share videos/photos,” Kristina said.

Who better to trust than individuals who have been themselves, working in the industry?

Isak Mirzak is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a specialization in advertisement and graphic design. He is also a professional hair stylist with 20 years of experience.

Kristina Aran is a psychology undergrad from Queens College and later took her studies to a Masters at NYU in mental health counseling. Juggling all of that while working as a skincare and makeup researcher for private companies.

Follow their journey on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram here!

Isak mentioned the struggles he faced working as a hair stylist and managing all his portfolio work in several places at once. He also noted it was hard to balance his personal and professional life under one platform. As Isak and Kristina emphasized, your audience determines your business.

With Virtzy, your profile is strictly professional keeping new on-coming clients interested in your creativity. Making this your one-stop resume galore.

“We understand the challenges these professionals face. With this, we created a platform…We want to study the behavior of the professionals and think of how else we can make this platform a better place,” Isak added.

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How is it possible to get the right audience for the right business? These strategic experts have confessed their secret. It’s all about the tools, behavior and feedback. AKA people like you and me!

“For right now we want to focus on the individuals, not businesses. We want individuals to be able to express who they are and share their unique touch/specialty,” Isak explained.

And that to me, is one of the best catches. Beauty professionals can sometimes feel swamped and overlooked by huge advertisements from businesses on other platforms. But to Isak and Kristina, it’s about us, the producer and consumer.

No gimmicks, no lies. Just truth and creativity. No more cringe-worthy ads popping up about the latest Fit Tea plan 20 percent off if you use someone’s code; This platform is about your purpose and contribution to the industry and clients.

Ok but what if I’m just a raging beauty junkie? What’s in it for me?

Virtzy has been discovered as a two-sided market, meaning it was made for you and me.

By having more professionals use Virtzy, you can stay connected with your favorite stylists and see what they’re up to. If you had trouble remembering who did your nails last week, you can look them up if they have a profile on site. Never miss out!

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Use their profile to hunt for your next look as they upload their pictures or even book an appointment right on Virtzy.

Ahhh, a new weight has been taken off your shoulders. Search for professionals by location, name, industry or specialty. You won’t have to rely on how to search for a certain niche (like Google or Facebook) because with Virtzy, one click is all you need to find your destination.

“We have more than enough professionals to give something clients to search,” Kristina added.

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What if you’re not ready to make a commitment? Virtzy has organized their app to give you a Pinterest-feel even when you’re not so sure what to look for yet. Scroll through specialities listed at the top with endless pictures and profiles like makeup, hair, tattoos, nails, personal trainers and more! 

“Our purpose was personal. I put in my 20 years of cutting hair and four years of college learning how to market and advertise. I want to do this not only for myself but for others. I have a gut feeling we’re going to be successful and make it big,” Isak concluded.

My time away from blogging and reading has mostly been spent on Virtzy just scrolling through pictures for my next summer-glow hairstyle. Not only is this app free, but it’s reliable when you’re on the search. Virtzy has you covered.

New launch of false lash brand, Baby Coco Lash

When it comes to false lashes, you either love them or you can’t be bothered to poke your eye out by them. Not only is getting into the crevice of your eyeball intimidating and terrifying, but having to pay more than $10 for a long-lasting pair is not ideal – not to mention when shipping fees aren’t included, not exactly how I imagined spending all my money.

Breaking news, a new lash brand is in town and ready to save you of your false lash nightmares! Internet sensation and CEO of Baby Coco Lash, Courtney aka Coco, has just revealed her secret project with a purpose. “I practiced (false lashes) for months and went through dozens of different brands and styles…only to find they were almost all overpriced, too short or just too heavy,” Coco explained.

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The new lash brand has claimed to be 100% cruelty-free, high quality and long-lasting all while keeping your wallet and budget intact.

“How is your lash line set apart from the rest?”

“The Baby Coco lashes are aimed for ladies and gentlemen who want beautiful lashes

while still keeping their look casual enough for everyday wear. Natural but noticeable, and most important: COMFORTABLE,” Coco said.

It’s no secret Coco has had such a huge hit with her upcoming brand. With a strong social media background, Coco has 51,500 followers on Instagram and 42,000 on Twitter making her launch that more public to her fans and viewers, including myself.

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Instagram @glitterytearz

Coco reached out to me and sent me her lashes to try and review for the past few weeks and the results were stunning.

Before applying, I trimmed the lash so it could fit my eye prior to application (I encourage you to measure the band length and trim it best to fit your eye shape) and applied my Ardell lash glue adhesive to the band, which I might add, was so incredibly thin! Having a thin lash band made the application process easier and gave it a natural look opposed to a thick lash band anyone can see from a mile away.

I managed to apply the lashes so quickly, it cut down mascara time by half! I applied eyeliner (NYX Matte Liquid) over the lash band to hide any traces of left-over glue and finally, curled my lashes to blend in with my new falsies. Voila, all done!

As far as comfort and longevity goes, these babies stayed glued to my eyes for well over five hours and I did not feel a thing. I usually have a hard time finding false lashes that don’t look heavy on my top lid as I have hooded eyelids (skin that drapes over your crease making your eyelid nearly visible) but to combat this, I applied mascara to my bottom which seemed to balance out the semi-volume and length I had going on with my falsies on top.

I found that I was obsessed with the lash length – practically touched my eyebrows which to me gives that extra, flirty look. They’ve lasted me eight wears and to be completely honest, they could be used for a few more nights out.

“How do you see your new brand influencing your mark in the beauty industry?”

“I am not a makeup artist by any means but I do know what I like and I think you guys will love how light-weight but poppin’ they are. I am so thankful for all of you who stand by me, I see you and thank God for you,” Coco concluded.

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Instagram @alexiskenzie

These lashes are perfect for nights out and days in. The lash design created by Coco was intended to space out the lashes, giving room to see your bomb eyeshadow at any time of the day. Although Coco has not released an official date, be prepared to hear anything sometime soon early April. I know, I can’t wait either!

Click here for Baby Coco’s official Instagram page & official Twitter page to stay up to date with new launches and giveaways!

Congrats Coco!

Mandi Fisher : Hair Stylist

Born into a family of artists, Miss Mandi Fisher described in a personal interview her creative soul from her roots emerging into the beauty industry and how she was able to become a success story. image2

Realizing Mandi’s full potential at an early age, she enlisted into a cosmetology program during her high school career and began working at a salon at 17 years old. WOW.

“I specialize in creative color, balayage and undercuts in the Westminster, Maryland area from Tuesday – Saturday,” Mandi added.

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Balayage: actually french for ‘to sweep’. A digression of color from dark to light in natural strokes from ear proximity to ends.

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Undercut: A buzz-cut appearance usually on the lower half of the head. Many artists offer designs to the undercut like the one pictured below styled by Miss Mandi!

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Miss Mandi Fisher along with several other stylists will be hosting a hair education class in Washington, D.C on April 23rd. This special event will include workshops ranging from creative color techniques/skills to building strategies for social media and clientele.

Click here to purchase your ticket!

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“What would you say is your favorite part of your career?”

“My favorite part is building relationships with my clients and making them feel great. This confidence has helped me chase my dreams and reassured me I’m good at it and to trust in myself no matter what,” Mandi concluded.

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Not only are these transformations out of this world but Miss Mandi has gained 14,000 followers on Instagram for her unique style of service.

Follow her on Instagram here!

I know I’ll be seeing Miss Mandi plenty more in the future. If you see her at the workshop, tell her I sent you!

Xoxo

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MAC Cosmetics will be available at Ulta Beauty this Spring 2017

If you know anything about MAC Cosmetics, you know this world-famous brand has been around for decades since 1984. It’s been around longer than I have, and it was actually one of the first makeup products I bought as a little girl following in my mom’s footsteps.

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Courtesy of Disney Springs

MAC built its brand off of exclusivity, meaning if you ever shopped at a MAC Cosmetics store, the only brand you can purchase is MAC itself. Which also had a high demand because let’s be honest, MAC has everything you could hope for in a beauty basket.

By huge surprise, MAC Cosmetics is joining the wave of other brands this Spring and coming to Ulta Beauty, a chain of beauty stores carrying both high- and low-end cosmetics for men and women.

Although everyone is cheering and getting their paychecks ready to splurge, I can’t help but wonder why is it that a makeup brand as prestigious and store exclusive as MAC Cosmetics is joining this cosmetics chain. I am not for one bit saying MAC is a dead-beat cosmetics line, but I have noticed a significant increase in other makeup brands and advertisements for them. So my question is, is MAC Cosmetics falling behind on this beauty phenomenon we are having now?

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Courtesy of Pine Tree

Well first, MAC Cosmetics is one of the only companies still standing tall since the 1980s. Many have dropped or gone bankrupt like King Cosmetics, mainly because some brands don’t follow trends. I don’t mean seasonal trends, I mean following the artistry trends as years go on.

Second, it’s important to know that MAC Cosmetics is actually a child company of Estee Lauder. Did I just blow your mind? Estee Lauder is actually the parent of brands like Clinique, Aveda and DKNY.

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Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

But let’s talk numbers. The net worth of Estee Lauder as of 2017, reported by Forbes, is set to be $10.6 billion, and this is also a family-run company so they distribute the wealth. According to Fast Company, a website giving annual reports on brands, MAC Cosmetics alone holds a net worth of $6.3 billion, a little over half of the money for the entire company of Estee Lauder.

So what does this mean? 

I think this is the start of the beauty business booming. Estee Lauder can’t afford to lose such a wealthy business like MAC. If all brands are suddenly being put into beauty trade stores like Ulta beauty and Sephora, Estee Lauder needs to grab a surfboard and follow the wave.

This is no longer a one-shot deal of manufacturing the product and simply selling it. Now we have huge trade stores like Ulta Beauty being that middle man, getting profit in return.

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Courtesy of Drug Store News

Although this may not be ideal to some brands, this is the future of the beauty business. All the beauty products you could think of conveniently in one place, who’s the genius behind this?

Huge props to Estee Lauder company for noticing this huge transition in time and getting it settled before it’s too late. As far as I can see it, MAC Cosmetics will be slaying the beauty business for the next coming decades. They’re here to stay and joining an Ulta near you this coming spring!

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Avri Mae : Makeup Artist & Esthetician

Following in the footsteps of her mother as a young girl, Miss Avri Mae has traveled along the East Coast to provide clients a magical, self-loving experience of a lifetime.

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Licensed Makeup Artist & Esthetician, Miss Avri Mae

Competing in the field of cheerleading for five years prepared her for one-on-one makeup application on others (in a timely manner) and some extra dazzling secrets/tips to be seen from afar. Little did she know this passion for show makeup would soon open doors for an industry that is sky rocketing as we speak.

“I didn’t actually realize how much I loved esthetics and how important of an organ our skin was until I started my program at Boca Beauty Academy,” Avri said.

Boca Beauty Academy lies in the city of Boca Raton, the beautiful sunshine state we all know as Florida. This academy is also ranked #1 in cosmetology programs in FL, assessed by Cosmetology-License Company. Both professional and respectable!

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“How did Boca Beauty Academy help you gain expertise in this booming industry?”

“I had an amazing teacher who worked under some of the best estheticians and plastic surgeons in Boca Raton and Miami – two of the top plastic surgery capitals in the world. Because of this, the standard of my education was held very high and I learned so much,” Avri explained.

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Miss Avri Mae is available Monday through Saturday in the Leesburg, VA area. Give her a call at (571)-286-7921 or email at avrimaemiller@gmail.com to discuss potential openings and scheduling.

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Follow her on Instagram to keep up with her latest looks! /www.instagram.com/avrimaemua/

Not only is this special commitment for beauty and self-love seen within herself, but also in the lives of clients who now feel their best and look their best by the magic touch of Miss Avri Mae.

Congrats! Xoxo

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Penelope’s Boutique in Farmville, VA.

Right in the heart of Virginia lies Penelope’s Boutique, a jeweler and clothes store. It’s located right on Main street next to Uptown Café anytime you’re down to shop after some nice, hot coffee. Manager at Penelope’s, Amy Welch said, “We’re only in Virginia and we currently have nine stores all spread out through the state.”

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Penelope’s Boutique was founded in 1988 by Penelope Searcy herself in Lynchburg, VA and is now run as a family business. Farmville just celebrated their 29th year of having Penelope’s Boutique a part of their town.

Welch said, “We specialize in gifts pretty much for whoever you need to shop for. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can get it for you as well.”

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Walking into Penelope’s, I was blown away by the amount of accessories they had. They had multiple racks filled with necklaces, scarfs, wallets and plenty more! The whole store was organized by color scheme which made it that more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

All along the walls were hangers and shelfs filled with casual and sports clothing. Around the center of the store had a clearance rack (smart shopping never hurt anyone) and a foot-wear display which they also sell the popular shoe brand, TOM’s.

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Towards the back of the store were display windows that kept all expensive jewelry like sterling silver, etc. If you’ve ever walked into Kay Jewelers (every kiss begins with Kay), you’ll know the feel of how Penelope’s Boutique is.

Welch said, “Ever since we added jeweler brands like Pandora and Alex & Ani, we’ve been receiving more Longwood students. Most students usually stop at boutiques closer to Madison street, but we’ve got a lot here too.”

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I must say, although I was walking around the store mesmerized at all the merchandise, it’s definitely not cheap. Let me put this into perspective. I walked towards the apparel clearance rack which had a sign at the top saying “50% off” and I thought to myself heck yeah! But looking at the tags, most of items stated “WAS $60.99, NOW $30.99” and I don’t know about you but that’s not really a sale or clearance item according to my wallet.

Welch said as a first-time customer, you’ll be asked for your name and email to start a clientele profile and receive weekly emails on hot deals and new products coming in. Hopefully these hot deals come sooner now as we approach Spring because as much as that store may hurt my wallet, I can’t resist. As we come closer to graduation, Penelope’s Boutique would be the perfect place to shop for gifts!

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Penelope’s Boutique is opened from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and is closed on Sundays. Go check it out and tell Amy I sent you!

Jasmine Urioste : Makeup Artist

Since Jasmine was four years old competing on her local gymnastics team, she dove head first into the makeup world and hasn’t looked back.

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“I love everything about makeup. During my down time, I would practice for HOURS on myself, my sister, mom, and friends. After I graduated high school, I had people asking me for advice on prom, homecoming, and senior portrait makeup. So I took it upon myself to start my own makeup social media and build my brand,” Jasmine said.

Jasmine soon realized her destiny involved makeup and empowering others.

“What’s your favorite part of your career?”

“I get to do what I love every single day. From a young age, I never wanted to dread going to work or coming home from my miserable job…I never feel like I’m working.”

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Miss Jasmine is a graduate from Paul Mitchell The School Woodbridge, VA. Becoming certified from a well-known school has given her a marketable edge in business.

Check out her YouTube Channel!  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3cLF4GgaI1j7kYKBvkM4hQ

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Her availability in the Woodbridge, VA area is mainly flexible and available. Miss Jasmine said moving into the Spring weather means a lot of bridal makeup on her plate. (Hint Hint for anyone looking!)

“I also work as a lead makeup artist for Amazing Occasions, a hair and makeup studio in Manassas, Va.”

Miss Jasmine also informed me of receiving one of the first Kylie Jenner Lip Kits as a present from her boyfriend. Which sold out UNDER 1 MINUTE. It gets crazier! A couple days later after trying them on and snapping a few pictures for Instagram, Jasmine’s picture was featured on Kylie Cosmetic’s Instagram page in 2015! “I’m still in complete shock. I always got my inspiration for beauty and fashion from her,” Jasmine said.

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Follow her on Instagram @21lashes to see more of her work and check her availability!

It is without a doubt Jasmine has been slaying the game. Not only is she sweet and ambitious, but her professionalism has WOW’ed me.

Good luck Miss Jasmine! Xoxo

 

 

Samantha Schick : Hair Stylist

Samantha Schick is an aspiring hair guru currently studying at Paul Mitchell The School Tysons Corner in McLean, VA. Not only does she focus on hair but she is dedicated to all aspects of beauty such as makeup, skin care and therapeutic services.

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Samantha is available for hair services Tuesday-Saturday at Paul Mitchell The School Tysons Corner in McLean, VA.

“A fun fact about me is I blowdry with my left hand so I started training myself to write with my left hand also,” Samantha said.

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Being able to get to know people and put a smile on their face after the finished masterpiece is her favorite part about working in the beauty industry.

Miss Schick has had numerous incredible reviews by her clients and is expanding around her area, specializing in color.

It’s no secret she’s taking the power of color to a whole new level.

 

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Follow Samantha on Instagram @ stylessbysamanthaa or give her a call at (703)-986-4182 to discuss what she can do for you!

Check out these transformations done by Samantha!

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Congrats Samantha on all your success so far! Xoxo

Rebecca Ligon : Hair Stylist

Rebecca Paige is a soon to be graduate from Chesterfield Technical Center and will be finishing cosmetology school in June! Rebecca is specializing in cut and color AND is also learning the magic of nails and waxing.

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Her favorite part about her career is having the power to make others feel and look beautiful! Rebecca said, “That’s what really makes me love what I’m doing and shows me that I chose the right path in my life.”

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Rebecca is a new team member of Design One Salon and Spa in Midlothian, VA. Starting in April, she will be working one-on-one with her clients on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. via request.

Check out her Facebook business page!  https://m.facebook.com/Rebecca-Stylist-at-Design-One-Salon-Spa-1227142647400115/

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Cool fact? Rebecca has a twin sister! They’re fraternal twins, she says they look nothing alike but are practically attached at the hip like bff’s.

Follow her on Instagram @ rebecca_paigee to see more of her work!

Show Rebecca some love!

Artist icon, Rihanna releases debut beauty line for Fall 2017

After a $10 million deal with LVMH (Louis Vuitton) last April, singer and songwriter Rihanna will be launching her new beauty line with a complete makeup collection this upcoming Fall online and in Sephora’s near you. If that doesn’t make you want to save your money, I don’t know what will.

If you’re wondering how this collaboration came about, keep reading.

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Diana Espino, LVMH global president of marketing said, “what she produces has the authenticity of a fashion icon and an entertainment trendsetter. She is really a developer.” Rihanna has been awarded eight Grammys, 12 Billboard Music Awards and not to mention is the youngest solo artist at the age of 28 to complete these.

Recently, Harvard University has named Rihanna as Humanitarian of the Year 2017 for promoting human rights back home in Barbados. So it’s no wonder how Rihanna is making waves in all aspects of entertainment.

Surely Rihanna has already been exposed to the makeup world with her limited-time collection with MAC Cosmetics, “RiRi Hearts MAC” in 2014. Also her on-going perfume collaboration with Parlux Ltd. is now at their seventh launch from Fall 2015 profiting almost $75 million, so to say Rihanna is an amateur in the field of beauty chaos would be a flat-out lie. She clearly knows what she’s doing to keep us running back for more.

Kendo, a Sephora affiliation with Fenty Beauty seeking to develop and advertise the brand has been on the hunt for world-class makeup artists to join the team of Fenty Beauty. Erik Soto, global educator in beauty, posted a ‘help-wanted’ on Instagram calling all makeup- artists to come out to locations of either New York City, Dallas, or Los Angeles to audition for the chance of a lifetime late February. Anyone down for a road trip?

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Rihanna’s new line, Fenty Beauty, have revealed their first product to be a holographic lip stick (clear and shiny formula) inspired from her Fenty x Puma Spring show from early 2017. Although LVMH haven’t released any other news regarding her collection, we’re dying to see what Rihanna has in store for all us crazy fanatics!

Stay tuned to Pauly’s Beauty Community for updates.