Riche Magazine And The Nation’s Top Ten Fitness Models


“America’s Top Ten Fitness Models 2016” is the big feature in Riche Magazine’s July 22nd issue! You can get your copy of this publication by clicking here:…/riche-magazine…/0763834001469056114

Guess who took the #1 spot? Drumroll please…



I am so blessed and grateful for this honor! Thank you Alex Deal and RHK Publications!

Onstage and in the Wings

With the amazing Liz Fitchner at Team Universe, July 2013

With the amazing Liz Fitchner at Team Universe, July 2013

People often ask me what it is like to be up on stage, very scantily clad and fully cognizant of the fact that I am being scrutinized by a panel of judges. There is so much about competing that is appealing, fascinating and inspiring, but there are also many strange and frustrating elements which competitors deal with which can challenge their determination in the sport.

The thrill of strutting out onstage and showing off a hard-earned physique is incredibly empowering, especially when a competitor gets first call-out. The obvious physical transformation is invariably accompanied by an emotional and spiritual overhaul. The audience sees the best of this since they are attending a show. But the backstage world which they don’t see is incredibly colorful and revealing.

Before the competition, many competitors look like hoodlums, bums or like they just crawled out of bed, clad in baggy, dark clothing. The dark skin hues which competitors must sport are more reminiscent of mahogany furniture than human skin. Food coolers are packed with chicken, nut butter, rice cakes, and possibly booze for the celebration afterwards. Every show starts out with a mad scramble after the morning meeting for a prime spot backstage to prep. The ladies cluster around the few full-length mirrors that have been placed around the perimeter of the room. The men cluster around the weights.

It can be maddening and stressful to be in the company of competitors who are so carb-depleted that they are cranky, forgetful and unable to focus on basic streams of conversation. Some are so weak and dehydrated that they are on the verge of passing out. A competitor may have a meltdown because his music cd was misplaced. The overpowering odor of spray tanner admixed with the telltale gaseous emissions of very high protein diets is commonplace. Some abdominals are grossly distended by creatine bloat. A competitor may be freaking out because of a broken suit strap, or makeup being spilled onto a suit, now ruining it…with no backup suit on hand. There are meltdowns with makeup and hair. There are lost earrings and shoes. The fear of water exposure is at an all-time high.

Then once everyone is prepped, there is the interminable wait. When a division and class are announced, there is a mad scramble to get in line. Individuals who bring Bikini Bite suddenly become the most popular people backstage.
Then suddenly a competitor is onstage. Somehow all the stress from being backstage, from dieting and training for months all melts away as that person now has a chance to do turns and show off a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Those few moments make it all worthwhile.

Posing Essentials For NPC Figure And Bikini Divisions

Originally posted on RxGirl on Sunday, 17 February 2013. The original post was published with white text on white background, so the only way to read it on the site is to highlight the text. To make things easier for everyone, I have copied and pasted the article here for you to read.

Figure Front
With so many ladies vying for top placings at NPC local and national shows, a primer on how to pose is essential. When I serve as trophy girl at Jon Lindsay’s contests, I notice a lot of girls who do not have a clue on how to pose and who clearly do not know how to display their hard-earned physiques to their best advantage.

I have broken down posing essentials by division, describing each mandatory pose as well as transitions. I also STRONGLY advise you to do the following:

1. Watch videos on YouTube of competitors who have done well at competitions at your level, whether it be local or national.
2. Practice, practice, practice! Schedule regular practice sessions so that you are comfortable with walking, posing and doing comparisons. Practice IN YOUR SUIT AND HEELS in front of a mirror! It makes a huge difference when you pose in the outfit you will be wearing onstage. You will be able to see the lines of your body when you practice in your suit and the heels will shift your center of gravity as well. In addition, you will be able to break in your shoes before contest day. It is also helpful to have someone shoot some video footage so that you will have feedback on how you look when you pose.

With the Figure Division, the steps taken are very small and the hips are kept level in an effort to preserve the competitor’s symmetry. Figure poses are defined by a close foot stance.

Quarter Turns = Mandatory turns, front, sides and back. In side posing there is a slight torso twist. Make sure to hold each pose for two seconds (“one one thousand, two one thousand”).
FRONT: Feet and legs together, can turn toes out and turn knees out slightly to accentuate quad sweep. Keep hips slightly bent, stretching out abs, lifting chest out and engage your abs and quads. You will also flare out your lats. Arms will be out to side and forearms and hands graceful and relaxed.

SIDE STAGE RIGHT: Feet and legs together. You will twist your torso slightly toward audience while keeping a slight bend at the hips. Place front arm slightly behind you and back arm in front of the body and make sure those hands are graceful! Engage those abs! You will be looking stage right and NOT at the judges, but be sure to smile and keep your chin up!

BACK: Stand with feet and legs together with your bodyweight shifted onto your toes. Stick your butt up and out to smooth out your hams and glutes, and tighten your hamstrings and glutes. Whatever you do, do NOT squeeze your glutes together or you’ll enhance ripples and other imperfections back there. Make sure to engage your entire back and flare your lat region while also keeping shoulders extended to sides to enhance their caps. Tighten upper arms with a very slight bend in the elbow, but also keep forearms and hands relaxed and graceful, with your hands within a few inches from your hip line. If you have long hair, you will need to move it to the front so that you can display your back fully.

SIDE STAGE LEFT: Feet and legs together. You will twist your torso slightly toward audience while keeping a slight bend at the hips. Place front arm slightly behind you and back arm in front of the body and make sure those hands are graceful! Engage those abs! You will be looking stage left and NOT at the judges, but be sure to smile and keep your chin up!

TRANSITIONS: Transitions are even more difficult to master as they should look graceful without losing your body lines as you do so. You can transition one of two ways:
1. Step slightly forward and to the right with your left foot, slightly crossing in front of right foot. Pivot one quarter turn to the right on your left foot, then plant right foot into next pose.
2. Step to the right with your right foot, then pivot body one-quarter to the right as you step with left foot and then hit your pose.

With both methods, you need to make sure that the arm which faces the audience should be held behind you slightly so that you are not covering the side of your body. This is also known as “opening up” the arm.
STANDING ON THE DIAGONAL: You will stand at the diagonal with a slight twist to the waist so that your upper body is angled more toward the audience while your lower body is angled towards the center of the stage. Make sure to hold the arm that is close to the audience out to the side so that your body lines are visible. Your other hand can rest on your hip. Also make sure that no matter how you stand that your competitor number is visible! The entire time, you should be keeping everything tight and smiling!

The Bikini Division is defined by larger steps and a shifting of weight onto one hip during the front pose and turns in order to increase the illusion of an S-curve. The standard front and back poses involve a wide stance with feet wider than shoulder width apart.

Half Turns = mandatory turns, front and back. Make sure to hold each pose for at least two seconds (“one one thousand, two one thousand”).
FRONT: Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and angle one hip slightly back. This increases the S-curve in your torso. Stretch out abs, lift chest out and pull shoulders back. You can place your hand on the hip that is angled back, while the other arm can hang gracefully at your side.
Bikini Front
BACK: Stand with feet shoulder width apart or wider and stick your butt up and out to smooth out your hams and glutes. I always tell my contest prep clients to think of themselves as cats in heat, with their butts high up and an exaggerated curve in the low back to emphasize the roundness of the glutes. Whatever you do, do NOT squeeze your glutes together or you’ll enhance ripples and other imperfections back there. Your upper body must be completely upright – do not hunch forward! Most girls will place their hands on their anterior thighs for extra stability while holding this position.

Another position which is very popular in this division is to stand with one foot crossed in front of the other, while popping that butt up in the air.

TRANSITIONS: The cleanest bikini transitions are similar to a salsa pivot turn.
1. Step forward with the leg that is further back on the stage.
2. Step slightly forward with the other foot and pivot to the other side so you are facing to the side of the stage. In other words, if your first step was with the left foot, you will step with your right foot and pivot to the left so you are facing stage left. When you transition from front to back, pop your butt out towards the audience to enhance its fullness.
3. You will then do a two step sequence so that your feet land in your next pose stance.

STANDING ON THE DIAGONAL: This is the same as for Figure.

This is not meant to be a full primer but is designed to provide basics for ladies who are new to competing in figure or bikini. I always stress the importance of watching videos because they yield valuable information on how to pose.

Now get out there and strut your stuff!

Perfect Stage Makeup

The original post was published on on Monday, 30 July 2012. The text was white on white, so the text is tough to read unless you highlight the entire body of the article. To make it easier for everyone, I have copied and pasted the article here.

Let’s say you have decided to compete in your first contest and have already chosen your suit and accessories, booked your tanning appointment and, in an effort to keep costs down, decided to do your own makeup. If you have done stage makeup for other competitors then you most likely know what colors and techniques to use in order to avoid looking like a ghost onstage. However, if the extent of your makeup application skills has not ventured beyond bridal makeup and a nice going-out-on-the-town look, you might want to read on.


First and foremost, the foundation you use needs to be DARK. I mean really dark. Generally speaking, the color on your face needs to be only a shade or two lighter than the color on your body after you get your spray tan. For those of you familiar with MAC Foundation colors, Studio Tech NW43 or NW45 are excellent foundation shades for the majority of competitors. However, I do not like MAC foundations because 1) they are extremely comedogenic, and 2) the compacts dry out very quickly. Instead, I use Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation in Warm Walnut and that works very well onstage.

Make sure to gently exfoliate your skin prior to the day of the competition, and use moisturizer and primer immediately before applying foundation. Though I usually use a foundation brush to apply foundation for photo shoots, when working with very dark foundations for stage I find that a makeup sponge works better than a brush in applying a nice, thin yet even layer. Make sure to extend foundation onto your neck, ears and hairline, feathering out and blending. Once this is done, dust some translucent setting powder over the foundation to set it. Chanel makes an excellent loose powder which I love both for daily use and for shows.


Usually I will do my eye makeup first, then apply foundation since using a lot of black eyeshadow can often create a lot of dust which will ruin your foundation if you have applied it prior to your eye makeup. When choosing eyeshadow colors, avoid blues, greens and purples as they tend to look garish under the stage lights. Your best bet is to stick with neutral tones. You can never go wrong with a dramatic smoky eye. If you don’t know how to do a smoky eye, check out YouTube for some great smoky eye tutorials. Also check out the image in this article which shows a perfect smoky eye for the stage. Ideal colors to use for a stage-ready smoky eye are black, champagne or platinum, a beige base, brown and perhaps a warm pink.
Here are some guidelines for creating a smoky eye with the above colors:

1. Apply eye shadow primer. I like Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
2. Sweep a beige shadow (recommended: MAC Grain) over entire lid and up along browline.
3. Apply black eyeshadow (recommended: MAC Carbon) over lid but be careful NOT to extend beyond lid crease. Extend shadow beyond outer corner of eye in a V, angling towards brow. Blend well with a blending brush. Also apply black eyeshadow to the outer portion of the lower lash line.
4. Take a brown eyeshadow (recommended: MAC Brown Down) and work into crease at outer corners. Make sure to blend this well.
5. Take a warm pink (recommended: MAC Da Bling) and sweep it over the inner and mid-portion of the lid.
6. Apply the champagne (recommended: MAC Ricepaper) or platinum shade on the browbone, the center of the lid, and the inner corner of the eye.
7. Apply black liquid eyeliner along the upper lash line, sweeping up into a cat eye at the outer corners. Please refer to the image of cat eye liner for a guideline.

Don’t forget false eyelashes! Finish off with liquid eyeliner and lots of mascara.

Make sure to also fill in your brows. I find that shadows work much better than pencils at creating a flattering look.


Make sure to use a blush which is dark enough to show up on your face. MAC Dollymix is an excellent color for stage. I tend to extend the blush a bit into the side of the cheek below the cheekbone to avoid a hollowed out look, and will add a bit of bronzer to the blush when I do this.

Your contouring powder also needs to be dark, making MAC Deep Dark mineralized skin finish ideal for such a task. Apply contouring powder in an “E” on each side of the face, starting at the temple, then sweeping under the cheekbone and then along the underside of the jawline and under your chin. Make sure to blend well! A bit of highlighting powder also looks lovely when dusted lightly on the apples of the cheeks, forehead and chin, but be sure to use a light hand.


For your lips, choose pink or red matte shades. Avoid frosted formulas, oranges and corals as they do not translate well onstage. Also apply clear or pink lip gloss over your lipstick for a nice finish. Before you go onstage, make sure to blot the inner part of your lips with tissue to ensure that no lipstick ends up on your teeth.


If you are nervous about how your makeup might look on the day of the show, practice your techniques until you feel comfortable. Also, make sure to give yourself enough time to apply your makeup on the day of the competition without feeling rushed. It is far better to start very early and have extra time to relax AFTER your makeup is applied than to be rushed and perhaps unable to complete your makeup application before stepping onstage.