Friday, September 28, 2012

Dedication pays Off: Kiri Stevens’ Story

At Barbizon of Akron, all of our students come from a wide range of ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Kiri Stevens, one of our graduates, was no exception. But truly, Kiri’s differences shaped him into a person destined for success! 

Born the middle child of three boys, Kiri jokes that he was born overweight. His parents, Stilianos and Angela, immigrated to the United States and have always been in the restaurant business. By the time he was 12, he was already well over 200 pounds. 

After losing his father to skin cancer, Kiri decided that enough was enough and he had to take control of his life. At 424 pounds, he knew that his weight loss journey was going to be a long and strenuous one, but the payoff would be sweeter than anything he could ever ask for. There is no better gift than life, and he knew he had to cash in. 

“It really is a lifestyle and a mindset. My plan was to write everything down. I kept a food log, enrolled in a gym, and changed my eating habits. The key is eat what you want, just small portions and in moderation. Exercise.  
I started using the elliptical machine at the beginning and saw weight drop almost immediately. It encouraged me to add more time everyday. I started with half an hour per day, and added more time as I became stronger and more confident. When I started to get attention from girls I felt awesome, because for so long I was the ‘sweet friend’ and that was tough!” 

Losing ANY amount of weight takes a LOT of dedication. In the end, Kiri lost over 250 pounds and gained so much more! The confidence gained from his life change allowed him to pursue some other dreams he had never before considered; he wanted to act! 

Kiri became involved in local theater groups and began working with Barbizon of Akron to help develop the skills he needed to be successful. Living in Cincinnati, Kiri would drive three hours to go to a four hour class and then make the three hour trek back home. With perseverance like Kiri’s, obstacles are only something to be laughed at. 

Today, Kiri is living in Los Angeles. The move has kept him quite busy as he is constantly getting work! Many credit his success not only on his dedication but his positive attitude and happy demeanor that just fills the room. You can’t help but smile with Kiri around! 

Kiri’s biggest advice: 
The biggest piece of advice I have is to be realistic and to be good to yourself. I will never say, “I can’t” again, because it’s not true… Today should be the day where you say “no more excuses!” 

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to take Up the Make Up: Simple do’s and don’ts to get the best out of your look!

Wearing make up shouldn’t hide who you are it should enhance it! The goal is to minimize your flaws and let your natural beauty shine through when using these great make up tips. 

Do: Apply eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible. Having a gap between your lashes gives a certain “unfinished” look to your make up and having an uneven line, or a line that is randomly floating across your eyelids somewhere is going to throw off the natural shape of your eyes.

Do: Buy a foundation that matches the skin tone on your face exactly. Having an off tone foundation almost guarantees that you’ll have lines when applying your make-up. Foundation is just that, the foundation of your face and you’ll want a stable one for a polished look. Women tend to want to use a darker foundation to help cover flaws, not realizing that one in their same skin tone will do just the trick! Keep in mind for summer many women will go with a slightly darker foundation, if they are out in the sun and getting tan. Also, if possible it is always good to invest in a good foundation from a department store.

Do: Use make up brushes, not the applicators packaged with the make up you buy. Using professional make up brushes help make up glide on better and allow better control for placement. A good brush could mean the difference between raccoon eyes and a well polished, defining smokey eye. You can get a set of good brushes at any of the major department stores.

Do: Be conscious of matte vs. shine make up. In the humid summer, using too much “shine” could make your face look oily or sweaty while in the cooler months it would look dewy and refreshed, like you have a “glow” to you. In the colder months, wearing matte make up can dull your appearance.

Don’t: SHARE MAKE UP!!! It’s hard to do, especially when you want to experiment with different colors or products and don’t want to invest in something you may never wear again but this is one of the worst things you can do you your face. Moist make ups (creams, liners, mascaras, gloss, etc) promote bacterial growth which can cause infections of the skin and eyes. If you really want to try a product or new color out, there are always beauty experts at local malls that can help you out in a controlled and hygienic environment. Also, a good rule of thumb to follow is to throw away any unused make-up every 6 months.


Don’t: Forget to wash your make up brushes, just use light soap and hot water. Brushes can hold onto all kinds of gross bacteria and pathogens, plus, applying new make up while some old make up residue is still in your bristles will cause a dulling of your colors. Taking proper care of brushes will also help them last longer and ensure that your product will go farther too.

Don’t: Overload your mascara. Just a coat or two is plenty, anything over that can start to look messy and clumpy. Applying multiple coats of mascara also kills the shelf life of your mascara. More coats means the bottle is open to air for longer meaning your mascara is going to dry out much quicker. Once your mascara starts clumping after multiple applications, those clumps will make it from your brush and back into the tube compromising smooth application for the next day.

Don’t: Go heavy on lip gloss. You want your lips to have a nice healthy shine, not the appearance of drooling. Keep gloss light and flirty and you’ll also avoid having the gloss clog the pores around your mouth. Nothing is more annoying than having to explain that you have a pimple and not a cold sore!

We could give make up tips all day, but in the end, you are only as beautiful as you feel. Keep your head held high, keep a smile on your face and no one will question that glowing beauty pouring out from within! Remember, make up or no make up, you are beautiful!