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5 Places that “Make-Up” My Best Life


Malia.jpgIf you are like me, you have days where balancing your freelance career (or in my case, my TWO freelance careers) and your day job can get to be too much and you are left feeling exhausted and uninspired.  My cure for this is pretty simple; all creative inspiration comes from life experiences and the people we meet. Your life is the sum of every experience and every person you’ve met, who wants to look back and say you only ever spent your life working? Staying creatively inspired and happy comes from having a full life, from going out and finding those places of sanctuary and beauty that feed your soul. By doing so you will be a more interesting person and will be MAKING UP your best life.

Here are some places in this lovely city of Los Angeles that I like to escape to for both creative inspiration and for my soul.

1. The Arts District in Downtown LA

I have found that a lot of people avoid downtown like the plague but nestled in the south end of Downtown is to me, a creative haven of color and originality. Between Alameda and Santa Fe from 2nd to 8th is an explosion of incredibly, colorful, loud and imaginative street art that has inspired some of my most avant garde make-up looks. Small restaurants and bars make this a great place to feed your inner foodie especially places like The Pie Hole where you can get a pot pie that will transport you right back to your childhood. You can take in some local art at the many galleries or even see a show at the many hidden theatres. Even Angel City Brewery has ever changing art installations that will leave you inspired and a selection of board games that will make your inner child squeal with delight. The Arts District really is a neighborhood of artists, no matter what you venture there for I can assure you that you will leave there inspired, with a full belly and a smile on your face.

2. The LakeShrine Self Realization Center in Pacific Palisades

If there was ever a place in Los Angeles that could be considered Heaven on earth, it would have to be the LakeShrine. Just off the PCH on Sunset is a magical peaceful world complete with a lake, meditation spots, sprawling garden,swans and a museum. Once a part of a film studio, the LakeShrine is now a place for people of all religions and walks of life to come together and reflect.  Whether you are a religious person or not this a great place to come if you need to quiet your mind or need an escape from the daily hustle and buzz of LA. I also once saw Dolly Parton there sooo…….you know it’s awesome.

3. Hollywood & Highland

I don’t know about you but as a child dreaming of my move one day to Los Angeles I would always think of Hollywood Blvd. Graumans Chinese, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The El Capitan, the Capitol Records Building all of these landmarks to me represented the dream that I was so passionately chasing. So many people avoid the entire area and think going down there is reserved for tourists, but I challenge you to go down there and sit for a day and watch people, listen to people, observe the happiness they get from seeing these historical places and remind yourself why you came here. I still feel the buzz and can see the old Hollywood Glamour in the façade of Graumans, it inspires me to put on red lipstick, reinvigorates my ambition and I leave refreshed, excited for my future and completely inspired from a day of people watching.

4. Griffith Park Observatory

The Griffith Park observatory is one of the coolest places you could ever go. For me, it’s always been a great place to go and write or to sketch out new make-up looks. On a clear day you can see as far as the ocean. Being up there as the sun sets is like watching a beautiful time lapse as the orange glow blankets the city as the millions of glittering lights flicker on in every direction and as far as the eye can see. Being up there is like sitting atop of an amazing, crazy and bizarre kingdom full of misfits and dreamers and it’s where I go to remind myself that I live amongst my people. That in a city this big and chaotic where at times everything seems so unorganized and impossible, you can sit up there and watch down below and realize that everything moves in a sort of dance and remember that everything happens for a reason and how it should. Whether you seek out the park for exercise or for emotional therapy I have never left the Observatory unhappy.

5. Mission St. Farmer’s Market in South Pasadena

The one thing that can get tiring in this line of work is how most the people you are surrounded with only talk about work and their dreams, key word is their. It’s hard not to get self involved when you have big dreams and almost everything you do is a calculated step to achieving those dreams. Sometimes I just need to throw myself and all my thoughts out the window and surround myself with love, and for that I head to the farmers market in South Pasadena. Taking place from 4-8 every Thursday right off the Mission St. stop on the metro Gold Line, the South Pasadena farmers market is probably the most family oriented event in all of LA County. South Pasadena in general feels like a small town in a big city but Mission St. in particular looks like the backdrop of some Hallmark movie. The charming quaintness of the street only enhances the warmth you get from watching the countless families eating, and playing and enjoying each other. In the least creepiest way possible I love to sit up there and watch as these people enjoy not only the moment but are thinking about people besides themselves. You may be thinking, “ughhhh….what are you getting at?” I am getting at this; think about how often people you know think or do things for someone else just because? How often do you yourself do something or just enjoy your time with someone else in a capacity that is NOT career related? Watching families is almost like getting back to the basics, it reminds me to stay human and to not lose sight of the things that REALLY matter. Success is what we all strive for, but success is empty if there are no loved ones around to share in your excitement.

These are just some of the places that I retreat to to make-up my best life. Where do you go? Share in the comments!! If you would like to see more of my happy places follow me on Instagram @MaliaMiglino or @BeautyandtheBrushMakeup !!

Malia Miglino

About Malia Miglino

Known to most as an actor and make-up artist - Malia Miglino considers herself a creative above all else. Her passion to create and chase her dreams brought her to LA at 18 where she attended the Makeup Designory and received her Journeyman Certificate. After years of both acting and doing make-up for web series and indie film; she was inspired to open her own freelance beauty and consult service, Beauty and the Brush in 2011. In 2014 Malia decided to start taking her career into her own hands and created her first web series “Macabre Mondays.” Whether it’s illustrating a children's book, filming an old haunted location, delving into a character or making up an actor on set; happiness comes from living the life of your choosing. For Malia that means creating something everyday and inspiring other women to do the same.