We are so excited to introduce the Beauty Squad, a team of four beloved bloggers who will be covering everything you adore about makeup, hair, skin and just plain getting gorgeous. Now here's an in-depth beauty chat with each member, starting with Lauren Cosenza. Lauren, aka LDIVA, got her start at Shape and Cosmopolitan magazines. She is now a professional makeup artist for Victoria's Secret and runs her website, DivaliciousBlog.com. Makeup, to her, is a form of art and she is so obsessed with her products that she prescribes feelings to them.
Tell us how you first started your website.
I did makeup for friends on the side, and people always asked me questions about it. So in 2007 I started a blog where I would write these beauty posts based on these questions that people would ask me. A lot of people who were in beauty and fashion started reading it. And it just started getting more attention, and I started getting opportunities based on the blog.
What were some of those opportunities?
One of the biggest things that happened right off the bat was that Victoria’s Secret got in touch. I knew someone who was running PR for beauty at Victoria’s Secret at the time, but I had not seen her in ten years. But when we met back up through a mutual connection, she mentioned that she thought my makeup was always impeccable and it was so perfect that I was doing this blog. I was still working full-time then. But she told me, “When you quit, definitely give me a ring.” I did, and that relationship and partnership has continued since. It’s been amazing.
What do you love about beauty?
The art of transformation and self-expression—being able to look differently and portray something different every single day.
It’s also noncommittal. You might spend a ton on something in fashion and then you don’t wear it a month later. Whereas if you buy a shade of makeup and then don't love it a month later, it probably didn’t cost you that much and you can also figure out a way to then blend it with other products or use it in a different way. There are so many creative options.
What is your stranded-on-a-deserted-island beauty product?
That’s so hard. Because I’m on an island, I’m assuming I’m beautifully bronzed. So I’m not going to go with bronzer. I’m going to go with a mascara instead. I love YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils.
Who is your beauty icon?
I don’t really have one, but the types of women I would pick would be Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Salma Hayek or J.Lo—women who are not afraid of their femininity.
What is your most embarrassing beauty mishap?
This might not be considered a mishap, but I have separation anxiety with my makeup. Even if I go on a vacation for a weekend, 50 percent of the weight of my luggage is filled with eye shadows. I prescribe feelings to my makeup. It’s like it would be mean not taking one.
Did you ever have a boyfriend who had an issue with your makeup obsession?
I did have a boyfriend who felt strongly that women should be natural beauties and they shouldn’t need makeup. He didn't have an issue with what I did for a living and my passion, but he posed this question as more of an intellectual debate. And I feel like makeup is no different than art. People look at paintings and sculptures, and that somehow gets respect. But when you paint someone’s face, that’s art, too. And when you look at some of the best makeup artists out there, that’s fine art.
What was the first beauty product that you ever used?
It was a Lancôme lip gloss. I begged my mom for it. I wanted a bright pink lip gloss, but I got a sheer one because I was seven.
Speaking to that, are you a lipstick or a lip gloss girl?
I am an everything girl. I use cream blush on my lips. I use lip liner and blend it with my finger for a stain. I use lip tars. I use everything and I could never wear the same makeup every day. Even when I worked in an office, I could never do it.
Even as a makeup artist, is there one technique that you still can’t quite master that you wish you could?
I’m not a hair person. I get my hair done if I need to look nice. People gawk at me for the smallest blending technique, but I’m like, how do you even do a blowout?
What do you think is the character trait that’s most important for inner beauty?
Love and compassion. I think that radiates in someone. An act of love or an act of compassion feels beautiful.
Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Cosenza