Make-Up at the a lot of it

Bela. Marin County. May 2017.

I love Bela, she’s so real and doesn’t hide who she is. Ask any woman if they wear make-up to the gym, most will lie. Here’s my mini-interview with Bela, mom, make-up artist & a whole lot more:

Mara: “In your opinion, what’s the most essential item of make-up you need?”

Bela: “So I can’t just pick one, I feel every girl needs concealer, a touch of blush, defined brows, a little bit of eyeliner (although I cake it on) mascara and powder. My favorite translucent powder is Beauty Counter’s loose powder, it’s great for oily skin.”

Mara: “I’m crying of laughter, this is make-up you would use on a film set, or on Broadway!  And this is your normal, every day routine -So What about BB cream, oils, stuff that you can wear to the gym?”

Bela: “Mara, I mean let me be clear, I do FULL face all day, everyday, gym, no-gym, school drop-off or no school drop-off, EVERYDAY”

Mara: “Can I quote you verbatim on Haute Drop-Off”

Bela: “Hell yea”

Bela and I volunteered together, our job was to put make-up on women in a charity fashion show. The women who sat in my chair, came out looking like they were on serious drugs or they lost in a street fight.  Obviously, I tried to convince them of my theory that, “black and blue makes the eyes appear 20 years younger”, horrified because my lie wasn’t sinking in, I gave Bela the ‘save me’ look, and so she did. Bela dove in and fixed my terrible make-up job.  From then on, I knew she had my back -and we became quick friends.

A row of lower back stars.. and how about this delicious kid? Bela grew up in Southern California, and visits her brother in West Hollywood frequently – apparently, he also is head to toe G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S.

Sexy shoulders.

Loooong legs..and this gorgeous child was so fun and delicious.

I love Bela’s pop of tattoos  – you don’t know she has them – and then they just appear


Bela knows how to look good for the camera, and I think I should be her agent :).

Those low ankle boots are a 90’s throw back.. love them, flattering and make short cut-off’s look rock-n-roll…(do people still say that?)

When your mama has legs as long as a super model, you hold on to those things for support.

I always had friends much taller than me, it’s always a funny combination. It’s helpful to have tall friends for so many things, especially if you are trying to get the attention of a bartender. They ALWAYS see the tall people first, weird.

And as mothers, we can’t always pose for photographs – I mean, these kids want to do things, they want to climb  – I love how Bela’s holding her daughter’s faux fur jacket, so she can climb the play structure.





Haute Restaurateur Mama. Weekend Drop-Off.

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Vanessa. Mom. Model. Restaurateur. Marin County, March 2015.

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Vanessa is one of the owners of the Real Restaurants Group, – They include local and famed, Picco, Buckeye Bungalow and Bar Bocce. When I stopped Vanessa, I knew she was a model. She’s a woman you notice, her beauty is obvious, but her smile, warmth and charm are what captivated me.

Sometimes beauty can be intimidating.  Individuals I know who are model beautiful have explained (don’t roll your eyes) having to play down their looks to seem more approachable. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I once wrote about beauty being intimidating in this HuffPost piece,


This is why I believe in the power of a smile. I smile at people all the time — I’m sure it seems weird.  When I was eating at Elio’s on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a group of people sat eating dinner – a woman looked in my direction, I gave her a huge smile, taken by surprise, she looked at me and reciprocated. As she walked out to leave, she walked up to me and said “I was so taken a back by your beautiful smile – no one does that anymore.  It’s a simple gesture, that means so much, so thank you for reminding me of that.”. She then mentioned the huge piece of broccoli stuck in my teeth.

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Fashion Notes: Boots: Enzo Angiolini, Top: Ralph Lauren, Jeans: Avedon by Citizens of Humanity, Sunglasses: Gucci imported from Italy, Handbag: Pikolinas

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I love Vanessa’s handbag.  It’s nice to carry something that’s so unique with no logos. Although I love a classic designer bag – especially vintage, I usually wear bags with no obvious labels.

I have frequented many of Vanessa’s spots, they are bustling and alive – kind of like The Smith’s song “take me out tonight, because I want to see people and I want to see life”.