One of the things I enjoy the most about the beauty industry is the amazing people I have a chance to meet, and stay in touch with through the years. I met Neil (or Aniello, as I still like to call him) back in to 2008, when I needed help with the Alchimie counter at Henri Bendel’s. Over the years, we have stayed in touch (even though neither of us are at Bendel’s anymore), and I have come to think of him as my little brother. He has since become a celebrity makeup artist, and now I can say “I knew you when…” We caught up in NYC last week, enjoying some wine and guacamole at Sarabeth’s.
AP: What city were you born in? NS: Queens, NY.
AP: What city to do you live in? NS: I live in Manhattan, NY, down in Little Italy.
AP: What is your middle name? NS: Alessandro.
AP: What is your astrological sign? NS: Virgo.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? NS: Two things: I hate elevators (and always have). And I am a songwriter.
AP: What is your most prized possession? NS: My dignity. It slips away sometimes but I always find it again!
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? NS: Oprah. Love her. Or Britney Spears.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. NS: Classic, edgy, comfortable.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? NS: Yes. It is a gold Timex with a fun vintage-looking band.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? NS: Diamonds!
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? NS: WATER! Concealer is also a beauty must-have. And confidence.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? NS: Molecule 01 by Escentic Molecules.
AP: Botox or not? NS: Not. Lots of serums instead.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? NS: Natural. Lots of leave-in products.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? NS: I eat low-carb. I remove the bun from everything. Protein and veggies is the answer.
AP: What do you do for exercise? NS: When I do it, I do 20 minutes of cardio at the gym and then I lift.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? NS: 1. Some kind of fruit, usually oranges. 2 White wine. 3. Coconut water.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? NS: Tequila ginger with lime. Maybe with Cointreau.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? NS: Staying humble and being true to yourself. Also, cardio is like a therapist – totally necessary.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? NS: Not as many as I would like…
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? NS: Love to travel, would love to travel more.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. NS: My Kind of Love by Emeli Sande. The entire album by Sara Bareilles. And The Truth about Love album by Pink.
AP: What book are you reading right now? NS: I always read three at a time… All non-fiction, all have lessons to them. The latest is Creative Mind and Success by Earnest Holmes.
AP: Quote to live by. NS: I’m a big believer in The Secret and whenever I need to re-focus I always think: “where energy goes, energy flows.” It reminds me to put my thoughts in the right direction.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? NS: Rudeness.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? NS: As a makeup artist, that changes a lot. I have had 3:30 am call times for which I have slept 2 hours, and later mornings. On average, I try to get at least 6 hours.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? NS: That we all have an appreciation for beauty and art and want to further that vision.
AP: Least favorite thing. NS: Some of the egos…
AP: Who is your mentor? NS: Christina Zilber, the founder of Jouer. I have gotten to know her personally and it has been wonderful.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. NS: Always follow your vision and find your passion.