An encounter with Authentic Beauty® at Sundance

January 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm 4 comments


Park City, Utah attracts thousands of people for their annual Sundance Film Festival.  The Main Street is lined with small boutiques, cafes, and cinemas.  The roads are clear, but the snow has been plowed high along the curbs.  People rush along with their snowboards in arm, heading up to the slopes, waiting in line for tickets to the next show, or sneaking outside for a quick smoke.  Everything feels electric and alive.  I kept scanning people’s faces looking for Robert Redford!  Then suddenly, a woman passes by me with an MTV cameraperson along side her and microphone in hand.  Word on the street is that Jack Black, Colin Farrell, Josh Peck (from my kids favorite Nick show “Drake and Josh”), Paris Hilton and several other celebrities have been spotted. 

Alyson Hoag was gracious enough to invite me to visit her Authentic Beauty® booth at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.  Alyson has several years experience as a Master Makeup Artist for Lancome, Borghese, Revlon, Sebastian, and Aveda. A few years ago she read the book “Simple Abundance” by Sarah ban Breathnach, and it took her life and career in a different direction.  She was inspired to create her own business to assist individuals striving for their best selves, their most authentic selves.

“After a certain point in a woman’s life,” says Alyson, “she isn’t concerned about trends.  She wants to look great.  She wants to feel great.  She wants professional guidance not one more trip to the department store to be sold another bag of goods that may or may not be what she needs.”

I met Alyson in Park City at the Treasure Mountain Inn, home of the Slamdance Festival.  Slamdance is an offshoot of Sundance, and was created as a showcase for new and emerging talent and is dedicated to inspire new filmmakers.    At the Alive! Expo Green Pavilion Alyson’s booth was set up next to  Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Booth and Alyson’s close friend who makes beautifully-bangly colored glass jewelry from recycled bottles.   Alyson had her lights and all her makeup set up; she was busy applying makeup on an Expo goer.  Although we had never met, she immediately recognized me and greeted me with a warm hug.  Alyson has a gorgeous head of yes, naturally curly hair!  What I had read about her is how she really is, the genuine article.  I quickly realized that Alyson has a wealth of information when it comes to makeup colors and the how to’s for great makeup technique.  She really has a lot to offer for any one trying to look their best.

At the end of an extremely busy day at Sundance, Alyson took the time to make me over!  As we began, Beth Stolarczyk from the original cast of MTV’s The Real World, came storming into the room in a panic.  She explained to Alyson that someone had just done her makeup and could not stand it!  Apparently, Alyson had done her face and eye makeup the day before and she loved it and received several compliments.   Alyson quickly remedied the situation by removing her existing eye makeup and starting over.  She created a custom dark neutral brown liner, placed a purplish gray shadow on the lid and neutral skin tone on her brow bone as a way to accentuate her eyes and not detract from their natural beauty.  Alyson said that women need to learn good makeup brush techniques and emphasized the importance of blending.   She also placed a beautiful gold shimmer liner underneath her eye, to really make her eyes light up and “pop.”   Beth was extremely relieved and happy with the end result.  Then her personal entourage came and whisked her off for the evening Sundance events and a photo shoot.  Crisis averted! 

“I truly believe that every woman is beautiful. When she looks in the mirror, she should recognize her inner-self shining through, rather than a face dominated by makeup.  I love guiding her through that journey.  Watching a woman fall in love with herself is the best job anybody could have.”

There is so much to say, and Alyson Hoag shared some great makeup advice and information with me.  All this week I will continue to share my experience with her, and encourage you to ask any questions.  She has been writing about her own experiences at Sundance at her Authenic Beauty blog, and had a hilarious run-in with Woody Harrelson in a public restroom (what a dork)!

We both agreed that we share the same vision.  That is, taking the time and effort to really get to know and appreciate yourself and discover the true authentic and beautiful person inside of you.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bionic beauty  |  January 22, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Oh you lucky, lucky, lucky duck!!!! 🙂 Did you get any pics?!?!

  • 2. Jen Hill  |  January 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    A photographer took some pictures; so I will post them when I get a hold of them.

    Alyson is just an incredible person! I had the best time going. Next year, you have got to plan a trip to Sundance!

  • 3. mo mommy  |  January 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Very, very cool. I would love to go to Sundance! You’re so lucky!

  • […] first met Alyson this January at the Alive! Green Expo at the Sundance Film Festival.  In April 2008, Alyson’s group made a successful trip to New Orleans and took on the […]


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