What can you say about someone who takes their personal tragedy and turns it into a way to help others? Someone who deals with their own grief by finding a way to ease the road for those that are dealt a similar, devastating hand? We think you could say she is fiercely loving. Or maybe bravely compassionate. Definitely Naturally Gorgeous!
This month’s Naturally Gorgeous model is Regina Ellis, founder and CEO of Children’s Cancer Association (CCA). CCA was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1995, by the Ellis family after their daughter Alexandra died from cancer. As the only organization of its kind in the nation, CCA helps inspire kids to meet the challenge of facing a life threatening illness by providing JoyRx delivered through non-medical programs of chemo pal mentors, bedside music medicine, tailored support and resources. CCA's innovative brand attracts powerful, strategic partners and global leaders such as Apple iTunes, Converse, Genentech, Blazers, Gatorade, Nike, Fader, Atlantic Records, Anomaly and others who support CCA's initiatives helping thousands of kids- transform a moment and have a better day.
AP: How do you describe what you do for a living?
RE: I deliver joy.
AP: What do you want to tell us about the journey that brought you to your current position?
RE: Life, my children, family, my daughter’s courage and joy in life facing cancer and then death at 5 years old; hope, laughter and passion to leave the world a little better than I found it. Oh, and my type A personality.
AP: Do you have kids or pets?
RE: Alexandra, my oldest, died of cancer in 1995. Zach is 20, Kate is 16. Max is our 1-year-old Golden Retriever.
AP: Anything you really want to tell people about yourself?
RE: I don’t take myself too seriously. Most people don’t know that I have a secret crush on …rap and hip-hop music!
AP: What do you really care about?
RE: Family dinner and laughter.
AP: How do you define beauty?
RE: The width of your smile.
AP: What makes you feel beautiful?
RE: My reflection in my children’s eyes. And always being around my momma.
AP: What is always in your handbag?
RE: Alima Pure lip balm in Cranberry.
AP: What movie have you seen lately that you really enjoyed?
RE: I watched “Queen to Play” on Netflix last weekend. My all-time favorites are “Life is Beautiful” and “Chocolat.”
AP: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
RE: My daughter Alexandra, who died in 1995, Mary Oliver; Van Morrison, Oscar Pistorius, Juliette Binoche, Mario Batali, Bobbi Brown, Ghandi, Morgan Freeman, Bob Marley, Kelley Corrigan, Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, Roberto Benigni, Stevie Wonder, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller and my crazy, Italian family!
AP: If you were given an all-expense-paid, weeklong vacation that you had to take next week, where in the world would you go and what would you do?
RE: Florence and Lucca, Italy. I go every chance I get, to walk the cobblestone streets, hear the church bells, go to the Mercato to get dinner, and breathe in the simplicity and music of life.
We applied Satin Matte Foundation in Beige 5 with our #25 Foundation Brush, and added a tiny bit under her eyes with the #3 Concealer Brush. We highlighted Regina’s cheeks with Satin Matte Blush in Antique Rose on our #17 Blush Brush.
We swept Luminous Shimmer Eye Shadow in Chai over Regina’s entire eye area with the #37 Eye Blending Brush. From the lashes to the crease, we used Pearluster Eye Shadow in Grace to bring out her eye color. We lined her upper lash line with Satin Matte Eye Liner in Onyx on a damp #33 Angle Liner Brush, and used a bit of Onyx to fill in the brows. We finished the entire look with Organic Nourishing Lip Balm in Cranberry.
If you live in Portland and listen to 97.1 Charlie FM in the mornings, you probably already feel like you know our latest Naturally Gorgeous Model Nicolle Camarata, as she is the host of "Mornings with Nicolle Camarata from 6-9am." That’s one of the beautiful things about Nicolle… her bubbly personality (which we think comes across on the radio and in a photo almost as well as it does in person) makes everyone feel like a BFF.
AP: What is your favorite part of your job?
NC: Making new friends! People come up to me all the time and say how something I did made them laugh, or gave them good advice, and you feel like you just made a new friend. Mornings have always been my favorite day-part because you have a chance to cheer people on at the start of their day.
AP: We also know you have another job, and that it is related to something you care very much about. Would you like to explain that?
NC: I am the director of Nicolle Shops Portland, a popular shopping website that promotes Portland and encourages people to buy locally. I really care about this city—its economic growth, its advancements in green technology, its national appeal for tourism, and all of the people and places that make it so special. I started Nicolle Shops Portland ten years ago to promote the Rose City and it is still exciting to cover my first true love, Portland, Oregon. I have been all over the world and I can honestly say that this is heaven on earth to me.
AP: Do you have children or pets?
NC: Oh yes! We have a busy household full of fun and laughter. I got married last summer and now in addition to my daughter Kaden, I have my husband Cory and his two kids, Justice and Lanie; two energetic dogs, Mojo and Rosie (named after the Rose City); and Lola and Billy Idol, our two cats. Our house is a constant whirlwind of activity!
AP: What do you do for fun?
NC: Playing by the water is my idea of fun. It is so soothing and I’m not even picky--rivers, lakes or beaches; boating, sun-bathing or swimming...if it's in the sun, I’m having fun. We moved over the holidays and are now two miles from the shore line and I am really excited about this summer!
AP: What inspires you?
NC: I’m inspired by possibility, the ever-evolving nature and limitlessness of our potential.
AP: What scares you?
NC: That something will happen to our precious children. Their safety and well-being is our top priority but as any parent knows, only in our control to a degree. Being a protective parent of kids who are getting older is always scary!
AP: How do you define beauty?
NC: Beauty comes from the inside and makes you shine on the outside. It’s a glimpse of someone’s genuine and loving spirit combined with their strong sense of self and purpose that makes them beautiful.
AP: What’s always in your handbag?
NC: My camera! I use it daily to remember and record what is important to me. Just yesterday I took pictures of my children all eating ice cream out of the carton, the dogs snuggling in front of the fire, and several store fronts and shop owners on NW 23rd for work.
AP: What surprises people about you?
NC: I’m not sure. Most of my life has been an open book since I grew up here and I’ve been doing radio and television for so long. People usually feel like they know me way before we’ve even met. But, I think it surprises some people that I like to sew, scrapbook, garden and bake. I am going to be really good at being a little old lady!
AP: What book have you read lately that you really enjoyed?
NC: I got The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm for Christmas, and have really enjoyed reading it. It is written by James Napoli, the executive vice president of the National Sarcasm Society) and he has a ridiculously unapologetic sense of humor that is hysterical.
AP: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? (Living or deceased, from different eras—no rules!)
NC: I would invite my dad, Babe Camarata. He passed away suddenly when my mom was pregnant with me and naturally I would like to meet him. It broke my mom’s heart and she never remarried. She was going to name me after him, but she jokes that I was too ugly of a newborn to be named Babe! But I kept my maiden name to honor his memory and I inherited his eyebrows.
AP: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
NC: Don’t let the small stature and big smile fool you. I am older and smarter than I look!
One of Nicolle’s favorite Alima Pure products is our Pistachio Color Balancing Powder. We applied some Pistachio with a #15 brush to her cheeks and nose area to tone down a little redness. Then we applied her Warm 2 Satin Matte Foundation with a #25 Foundation Brush and added a bit of Mimosa Satin Matte Blush to the apples of her cheeks with a #17 brush. Because Nicolle was wearing a turtleneck for some of the shoot, we contoured along her jaw-line with a bit of Mauna Loa Bronzer and the #17 brush.
On her eyes, we applied Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Venus with a slightly damp #37 brush from her lashes to her brows. Her crease was contoured with Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Raven on a #36 Crease brush. We swirled a little more Raven at the outer corner of the eye for a little added drama. Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Paparazzi was applied along the upper lash line with a damp #33 brush. To finish the look, we slipped on a bit of Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Sugar Plum!
To get Nicolle's complete look or to shop Alima Pure collections, click here.
During December, we offered a special, limited edition Organic Nourishing Lipbalm with purchases over $50. Sugar Plum was a huge hit, it seemed to be a new favorite for just about everyone who was lucky enough to try one. The plum with a hint of brown and just a touch of shimmer was perfect for many complexions. We received many requests to make it a permanent part of our lipbalm line-up.
That seemed like a reasonable request, so starting today, you can now purchase Sugar Plum lipbalm year 'round. And to celebrate, we have priced it at an introductory $5 from now through January 30.
Welcome to the family, Sugar Plum!
It's been two years in the making, and we are thrilled with the result - we hope you are too! Our new Organic Nourishing Lipbalm is the perfect combination of incredible organic ingredients from certified producers and premium natural mineral pigments. We wanted it to feel amazing, smell great and deliver rich color. We also wanted it to be a great green beauty tool – elegant enough for any natural makeup lover to carry and use. Organic White Tea and Pomegranate antioxidants nourish and protect your lips for hours.
Though the formulation, ingredients, and packaging are new the colors are familiar favorites - including Acai (soft shimmering pink), Cranberry (sheer deep red), Fig (shimmering bronzed plum), Holly Berry (sheer neutral red), Mango (shimmering coral pink), Natural (untinted), Rhubarb (medium neutral pink) and Sweet Pea (shimmering copper rose). The lipbalm comes in an adorable slim tube and sells for $7.