Category Archives: Famous People

Frida’s Nail Polish and Lipstick – Part Two

My Frida Kahlo doll surrounded by “her” nail polishes and lipsticks.

Last year, right before Day of the Dead, I was browsing through Instagram when I spotted a photo of Frida Kahlo nail polish and I was intrigued!!! Or maybe I should say, I was obsessed! I had to find this polish and as it turns out, lipstick too!!! You can read about this more in my original post – Frida’s Lipstick and Nail Polish.

Last month, I got an email from a young woman interested in finding out more about the Frida nail polish and lipstick.  She stumbled upon my blog post and asked to interview me for an online magazine.  Again, I was intrigued…!!!  We set up a time to talk and I went into my original story and my search for the nail polish and lipstick from this icon in the Hispanic community.

As it turns out…the hunt for the nail polish and lipstick is secondary to the reason finding something that “belongs” to Frida is so important.  That became the focus of our conversation.  Frida has long been an icon of strength, perseverance and independence for many women.  So having a nail polish or lipstick with her iconic artwork or her portrait really seemed to be a way to capture this strength, perseverance and independence for ourselves.

Frida had a unique beauty.  Who doesn’t know about her “unibrow-?”  But even with a unibrow – something that was so defining for her but would have the rest of us reaching for our tweezers…she was mesmerizing to people.  I recall going to Atlanta’s High Museum a few years ago with a friend to view the Frida and Diego exhibit.  I could have stayed for days reading all the descriptions and going through all their art creations.  At the end of the exhibit there were photos of both Frida and Diego.  There was one though…Frida was in a white dress and leaning on a wall.  It was in black and white, of course.  I just remember I stood and stared at it for the longest time.  I had never seen this photo before and she was simply breathtakingly beautiful in this photo.  I couldn’t get enough of it…  And at which point I was saying to myself…”what unibrow?”

Having these different Frida inspired nail polishes and lipsticks seems to be a way to be a little bit  like “Frida” ourselves.  I was becoming fixated again…  So after the interview, I began wondering if I could find any more lipsticks and polishes at my local CVS.  As luck would have it…I found some that I didn’t already have!  So now, I think I have everything that was offered through CVS and that makes me very happy.  And…I have the pictures to prove it too!

Meanwhile…I’m keeping my eyes open to anything new.  Who knows?  Maybe there will be a line of eye shadows next?!

 

Prince and Sheila E

Purple Rain album cover - released in 1984

Purple Rain album cover – released in 1984

Around noon today I took some Tylenol sinus meds, grabbed a mug of hot tea and settled into my recliner with my pup, Lucy. I grabbed my laptop to check a few emails and wait for the meds to kick in when I saw the first post about Prince.  A friend had shared a story that Prince was dead at age 57.  The news was stunning and not quite believable.  Could it be an internet hoax?

With the way social media spreads – wildfire comes to mind – I decided to wait to see if Associated Press and other news sources confirmed the news. A number of times I’ve seen friends post RIPs for actors or celebrities who have already passed on thinking it was recent.  But soon there were more posts and finally confirmation with the report coming from Prince’s publicist.  It was true…Prince was gone.

Prince was my soundtrack in the 1980s with the release of his album “1999.” I mean, who didn’t want to party “like it’s 1999?” His album was released in 1982 so we had plenty of time to plan!  Then he released Purple Rain followed by his movie of the same name.  So much great music and still more to come in his incredible career.

Prince and Sheila E perform at The Alma awards in Pasadena, CA - June 2007 - AP Photo

Prince and Sheila E perform at The Alma awards in Pasadena, CA – June 2007 – AP Photo

I think what I loved the most about Prince is the many collaborations he made throughout his career. All the artist he worked with and who made a name for themselves because of his help.  One artist that is high on my list is Sheila E.

Sheila E is the daughter of Pete Escovedo, a Mexican-American musician percussionist who has performed with Santana. Sheila is from a family of musicians so I guess it isn’t surprising she chose this path too.  It seemed predestined for her in fact.  Her relationship with Prince began in 1978 when they met at a concert where she was performing with her father.  She and Prince began their collaboration during the Purple Rain years (1984) and her vocals can be heard on several of his releases like “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Erotic City.”  Her own first hit was “The Glamorous Life” which was a chart topper in 1984.  She opened for Prince during his Purple Rain tour and was with him through 1989 as his drummer and musical director.  Since this time, when I think of Sheila E, I always think of Prince and hoped to one day meet them both.

Sheila E. ends at the end of the concert she gave for the NCLR conference in Chicago - 2009.

Sheila E. ends at the end of the concert she gave for the NCLR conference in Chicago – 2009.

Fast forward to 2009 and I got my wish – part of it. .  In 2009, I attended the National Council of La Raza conference in Chicago.  NCLR is known for drawing great speakers and performers.  One evening is always devoted to music and this particular time the artist featured was Sheila E!  I was so excited as our group headed over to The House of Blues to hear her perform.  I was able to get very close to the stage with my camera and started clicking away.  Yes, I DID stop to get in a dance or two!  Sheila wore a red form-fitting dress, her black hair was long and wavy and she had a white floral percussion set.  I was mesmerized by her.  I couldn’t believe my good fortune to be so close to this incredible artist…someone who was guided by Prince and worked so closely with him.  It was such a thrill….and then this happened…

Photo opp with Sheila E in our hotel lobby in Chicago after her House of Blues performance.  What a treat!  My friend Isabel Rubio and I were thrilled to meet her!

Photo opp with Sheila E in our hotel lobby in Chicago after her House of Blues performance. What a treat! My friend Isabel Rubio and I were thrilled to meet her!

Back at our hotel, a group of us gathered at the bar in the lobby to enjoy a few drinks after the concert. We were a lively group – well, we ARE Latinos – and then suddenly Sheila E walked in!!!  Everyone got even louder and excited as she walked toward us and was sweet enough to pose for pictures!  I still had my camera with me (when don’t I have my camera with me?!) so I became the official photographer for our lucky encounter.  Thankfully, someone offered to take a few pictures of me with Sheila and my good friend Isabel Rubio.  What a night!  Unforgettable!

I’ve wanted to tell the story about meeting Sheila E for some time now. Today seemed like the right time to share it with Prince’s sudden passing.  We lost a musical giant today, but his influence lives on in the many people who love his music, the artists he mentored and the many who were fortunate enough to collaborate with him.

“There are no accidents. And if there are, it’s up to us to look at them as something else.  And that bravery is what creates new flowers.”  RIP Prince.

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Sandra and Aunt Luddy

Okay…so this isn’t my usual post…but I couldn’t resist…and it all started with this picture…

Which one is Sandra Bullock...and which one is my little sister?

Which one is Sandra Bullock…and which one is my little sister?

Take a look at this picture on the left.  Tell me…which one is Sandra Bullock and which one is my sister, Kanista?  Separated at birth maybe?  I think resemblance is uncanny!  Several years ago when my kids were little and the movie “While You Were Sleeping” was first out, my kids thought Sandra Bullock was their Aunt Kanista!  I didn’t say she wasn’t…in fact, I rather encouraged this with them!  At one point, my youngest, Emily, would get excited when she’d find the movie on TV and come running to us and say, “let’s watch the movie with Aunt Kanista!”

It’s not just the similarities in they way they look.  I also see a lot of Sandra’s mannerisms in my little sister, especially in her early years and in particular in the movie “Love Potion Number 9” which is where the photo in this post was lifted from.  The picture of my sister Kanista (on the right) is probably from the same time period and turned up recently when she was in town.

Our family LOVES Sandra Bullock.  We eagerly await every movie she stars in and began collecting them all many years ago.  Interesting fact…many of the characters she plays in her movies are named “Lucy.”  So when we got our puppy 8 years ago, you guessed it…we named her Lucy after all those Sandra Bullock characters!

Another interesting fact…I used to work with Sandra Bullocks’ aunt in Birmingham.  Luddy Bullock Spender was the sweetest woman and somewhat of a matchmaker in our office.  She just wanted everyone to be happy.  She made the BEST bourbon balls at Christmas and would bring a huge platter to the office for everyone to enjoy.  She did this even after she had retired and we loved her for it.  When I graduated from college, she hosted a luncheon for me at her house on our lunch hour.  This was the sweetest thing!  Of course, this was WAY before cell phones and when everyone took pictures of everything (including me!) so I don’t have a photo of it but I do have a wonderful memory of this sweet woman and what she did for me.  She told me she was just so proud that I had worked full-time and finished my college education at the same time and wanted to do something special to recognize this effort.  See what I mean…the sweetest!

At my lingerie shower in 1985...Luddy is on the far right.

At my lingerie shower in 1985…Luddy is on the far right.

Luddy also helped host my lingerie shower before Eddie and I got married.  She was such a gem and always in the middle of event planning.  Honestly, none of us knew she was Sandra’s aunt until way after she had retired from work.  Sandra hadn’t hit it BIG yet in films.  I remember when several of us found out about her relationship to Sandra – there was an article in the paper about a high school reunion in Birmingham – and one of the quotes was about “the movie star’s aunt” – that would be Luddy.  I remember reading and thinking – HOLY COW!  A friend at work – remembering her love of matchmaking said later “yeah, thanks for setting me up with your niece, Luddy!”  We had a good laugh about that one!

Miss Luddy passed away several years ago but those of us who worked with her for all those years have fond memories of her and the unintentional funny things she would do.  She used to lose her car in the parking deck frequently.  We would see her looking and would roll down the window and help her find it as we were driving from floor and floor.  Recently, a friend and I were talking about Luddy and he said some so perfect… “she is sharing her recipes in heaven now and searching some celestial parking deck for her car…”

Luddy at one of our office Christmas luncheons. Here she is with another co-worker, Bettye.

Luddy at one of our office Christmas luncheons. Here she is with another co-worker, Bettye.

So, all this to say that I feel like I have a bit of a connection with Sandra Bullock…from my look-a-like sister to her Aunt Luddy.  She is one of my favorite actresses and maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to meet her and tell her how special her Aunt Luddy was to me.  Meanwhile…I have my sister Kanista who could very well be Sandra’s doppelgänger!