Kara Reade Gomez (Co-Founder/ Lead Skin, Makeup and Color Artist) After watching her mother Susie, Kara also developed a passion for skin care and cosmetics. For 14 years, Kara has developed loyal clientele for general services throughout Virginia. She is well known for her skin care expertise and often referred to by her nicknames, “The Acne Assassinator” and “The Skin Whisperer.” After planning her own wedding in Oct. 2010, Kara understands the importance of making your prep time stress-free and fun! She heads up our Northern VA team, but travels throughout VA and is the primary coordinator of our event services in both areas. She has been trained by industry professionals including Jordan Liberty, Erica Carr, Rick DiCecca, and Michelle D’Allaird. Her clients include local celebrities, newscasters, COO and all other executive staff of the Newseum, several Miss District of Columbias, and two Miss Americas.
Susanne Mayer- (Lead Hampton Roads Skin Expert and Pro Makeup Artist- Peninsula) Susanne is a Skin Care, Makeup and Color Analyst professional with 30 years of experience using Artistry Cosmetics. Susanne’s passion is bringing out every woman’s natural radiance, in a fun and relaxing way. She loves educating clients about ideal products for their needs and sharing her expertise in Gloucester/ Williamsburg and surrounding areas. Susanne has lead our team coordinating makeup styling for fashion shows, as well as local pageants, in addition to being one of our most popular Bridal Makeup Artists. She has been featured on every major bridal blog in the industry and her work has been seen regularly on CBS News.
Larissa Norris- (Lead Northern VA/ DC Makeup Artist/ Budding Skin Pro) Larissa started her love of all things beauty at a young age. She started early by trying new looks on her friends for impromptu photo shoots. In high school, she often did hair and makeup for concerts, theatre shows, and dances. Continuing this into college at Indiana State University, she finally began taking theatre makeup classes, as well. Turning this fascination into a profession, Larissa went to Media Makeup Academy and HEX Makeup School in New York and was trained by Nika Vaughan, Bryan Lynde, Diana Solomon, Gen Nishino, Judie Tallman, and Angie G. Ford. Larissa’s talents include: Bridal Make-up, Proms, Actor headshots, Basic make-up application, Airbrushing, Individual & Group Lessons, Theatre and some special effect, Film & Television, Fashion & Runway Shows, Photography & Print, and Special Events! She has been nominated multiple times for her makeup and hair work within the Washington DC Theatre community and has serviced elite clients for us such as Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen as well as for major events like the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Karen Vergara-Vaughn- (Lead Hampton Roads Makeup Artist/ Budding Skin Pro- Southside) A full time medical biller, wife and mother, Karen is also a part time freelance makeup artist in Virginia Beach, VA. She began as a self taught makeup artist. After joining our team and participating in our training program, she has earned a certification in Skin Care as well. She and her sister Tracy own a freelance makeup business called MakeUpAndSmile (MUAS) specializing mostly in weddings and boudoir. Her favorite parts of a client’s face are the eyebrows and eyes. The rest is a piece of cake. Her philosophy in this industry is to bring the inner beauty of a woman and make her the center of attention. Our clients rave about her personality and product knowledge.
Satria Fulton -(Lead DC/ MD Hairstylist) Tria is a highly talented stylist who has been mastering her skill for over nine years. Her specialties include: Natural hair treatment and styling, weaves, wig styling, coloring, hair health care, and precise hair cutting (long and short hair). She attended Dudley Beauty College and has been working as a freelance stylist in the DMV area, where she met MUA Larissa along the way. She’s participated in several projects such as photo shoots and fashion shows for non-profit organizations, as well as with hair queen Charis on the YouTube phenomenon show “The Queen Charis show.” Satria hopes to continue to broaden her horizons in the hair care industry and transition into the business side of hair. She has her Business Management Degree from Norfolk State University. She serves the DMV and is based in the Landover, MD area. She has worked with some of our more elite clients like Miss America, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, and the executive staff of the Newseum, as well as other local area celebrities like Sole and Desean Jackson of the Washington Redskins.
Mandy Montgomery- (Lead Hampton Roads Hairstylist- Southside) Mandy graduated Rudy and Kelly Paul Mitchell Academy in 2009 and has always had an interest in hair and makeup. She enjoys learning and staying up on the latest trends and has been taught by multiple celebrity stylists including Paul Dejoria (of Paul Mitchell fame) himself. She even hosted a charity hair and makeup show while in school. Mandy specializes and most enjoys wedding and special event hair, but her skills also include all color, cuts, extensions and styles. She is trained in all hair types and textures and has quickly taken on a leadership role with our team. Mandy’s work with our brides has now been published on several of the largest wedding blogs on the internet.
Brianne Jenney- (Lead Hampton Roads Hairstylist- Peninsula) During high school Bri attended a 2 year cosmetology program, having to complete 1000 hours of training. Not long after, she became a licensed cosmetologist! She used to service clients in a local salon and was in high demand among the clientele. After marrying and having her sweet little girl, Aria (now 1.5 years old), and pregnant with baby #2, Bri continued her talents through her own business. Bri services her large book of clients from throughout the Peninsula onsite through the week and can do anything from color and cuts to the most intricate updos. If you ask her, her personal favorite is servicing our luxury brides with updos… her nickname is the “updo queen!” Our brides absolutely rave about her friendliness and hair skills. We are so pleased to have her on our team!
Markia Robinson (Lead Hampton Roads Makeup Artist & Stylist- Southside) Markia began doing makeup and hair at a young age and went directly into cosmetology school after graduating high school. She’s now been in the industry for about 12 years. When she’s not beautifying clients, she’s mom to a sweet little girl named Vivian. While being a pro at all kinds of looks and styles, her favorite work is in the bridal arena since no two wedding days are the same. The energy of a wedding day is unlike any other! Fun fact- she actually ministered a ceremony for clients in a last minute emergency situation! Just call her Rev. Markia! Markia is the life of the party, and secretly dreaming of one day doing makeup and hair for TV personality, Tamron Hall.
Antonia Richardson (Lead DC/MD/ NoVA Stylist) Antonia was born in Trinidad and Tobago and came to the states at the age of 7. She always knew she wantedto be a stylist. Her mom was a salon assistant so she spent many long nights there. At age 20, six months after having her first son she attended cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell School- Tysons Corner. She began building her career, butquickly returned to Paul Mitchell as an instructor. In that position, she taught a six-week beginner fundamentals course. Now she serves as an advisor, assisting those future pros with their skills and general business knowledge, for over 150 students. She enjoys freelancing and has hopes to be able to take her fantastic work with our team onward to a full-time basis.
Giannina Caraballo (Lead Northern VA/ DC Makeup Artist/ Budding Skin Pro) Giannina has been enjoying sharing her craft with clients for over 2 years. She’s always had a passion for makeup and through the years has developed a desire to turn that into a career. She was mentored by a friend in the industry, and that lead her to joining the Best Face Forward team. When she isn’t doing makeup, this full-time nurse enjoys traveling and spending time with her new puppy, Lola!