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Getting Ready With the Girls Behind Alchemy, Bushwick's Next Beauty Startup

Welcome to Beauty Diary: Seven days of getting glam with an industry insider. From publicists to professional makeup artists, this is a week in the life of someone who lives and breathes beauty.

What do you when you've already landed your dream job? You dream even bigger, of course. That's what Barbara Alcazar and Christina Hiatt did after they became the lead stylist at Bushwick's Self Salon and colorist at Whiteroom Salon in South Williamsburg, respectively: Last year, the duo joined forces to launch Alchemy Cosmetics.

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The brand currently focuses on lipstick and includes matte, highly pigmented colors with Bushwick-centric names like J Train Journey, Woke Up On Wilson, and Myrtle Avenue Mermaid.

For one week, we asked the pair to document their beauty routines, from their daily haircare products, latest lipstick obsessions, go-to smoothie recipes, and what's been bumping through their headphones recently.


Song of the day: "Goddess" by Banks.

Barbara's morning go-tos: "As long as I can remember, my mother said, 'You will get stretch marks if you use body lotion every day.' A few years ago, I discovered Bio-Oil and its many uses, and it has become my daily must! I love using it as a makeup remover, or when my skin is feeling extra dry, I leave it on overnight."

"The Moisture Infusion Serum Hydrant (left) works wonders as a primer. I use it on my eyelids, which helps to keep my eyeshadow on all day and crease-free! Natural Radiance Base Lumiere (right) is the best product I have come across for the perfect healthy dewy glow."


Song of the day: "Day Too Soon" by Sia.

"Today is the first day of my work week, so I thought I'd start off with a quick selfie. Today's lipcolor? Knickerbocker Nightmares." — Christina

Barbara's morning smoothie recipe:

  • 6-8 ounces of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter or cashew butter (don't skimp lol)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil (same!)
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen)
  • Blueberries
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cubes of ice if the banana isn't frozen (very important!)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp of cacao powder, handful of spinach

"One of the things I look most forward to every morning is my smoothie. I spent so many years skipping breakfast, ignoring the fact that it truly is the most important meal of the day. Finally, I found a way to get my morning fuel, and definitely can't live without! My recipe was inspired by my favorite smoothie at Juice Press, Heaven on Earth, and a recipe from the book The Clean Diet." — Barbara

"Some hair painting I did on a client at Whiteroom." — Christina

"Several months ago, Self Salon started carrying a line of products called R+Co. They were an instant hit amongst myself, the stylists, and clients! Outer Space is, hands down, the most AMAZING hair product I've used. It is unlike any other hairspray I have worked with over the past nine years as a stylist. You can brush through it, it leaves no icky residue, and gives your hair gorgeous body and texture. Mannequin styling paste is another beloved product—it creates a fun, pliable, piece-y look while nourishing the hair." — Barbara


Song of the day: "What We Done?" by Austra.

"My room gets great sunlight in the morning—really helps get me out of bed in the morning. But not until I spend a few moments hanging out with Meow." — Christina

"This is the one cosmetic I could never go without. I've used it for years and I buy it in bulk. When I get low I start to panic! I wear it 99% of the time and always get compliments on it." — Christina

"One of my co-workers introduced me to these face masks. I try to take the time to do it once a week because they are so worth it. Leaves my skin feeling so fresh and hydrated—a must for these winter months!" — Barbara

Barbara's finished look.

A few of Christina's favorite things: "Maria Hernandez Red is my default lip color; I wear it most days, along with the watch my mom gave me several years ago that no longer works (but I refuse to discard) and a ring I haven't taken off since 2008. Oh, and that's a chicken dinner on my thigh that a good friend did for me."

"Santal 33 is my signature scent. Anyone who knows me can confirm my obsession with this scent! It's the perfect combination of sweet, a little blunt, mysterious and passionate—so me!" — Barbara


Song of the day: "One More" by Elliphant.

"My clients always ask how I get my waves. Here's how: Aircraft by R+Co at the roots on wet hair, followed by Mannequin squeezed into the ends. Gently dry the roots upside-down with a warm blow dryer on medium speed for about five minutes. Let hair air-dry completely, then shake it out." — Christina

"Today is a special makeup day because I'm not wearing my signature Dior azure mascara. I went for the same formula but in black, because I wanted to wear our Troutman Trick lip color, which I then topped with a bit of our new Betsy gloss." — Christina

"Death Valley (left) is the BEST dry shampoo you have ever smelled. I don't know what exactly makes up Vicious (right), other than MAGIC. When I read the label ("strong hold flexible hairspray") it made no sense to me. After using the product, it all made sense. This hairspray is exactly what it says. If you want to lock in a style or bangs, Vicious allows you to comb through it, with a strong hold, and no greasy residue. It also has a slight powdery texture so I like to double its use as a dry shampoo or a hairspray." — Barbara

A few of Barbara's favorite things: "My friend Ben stayed with me for a couple of days. Here are some pictures of Ben with a few of my favorite things—there's Izzy, my babygirl, black nail polish, and my plants!"

"These are the objects of my bedside table, primarily my favorite books. Oh, and lip balm. Always lip balm. Right now I'm obsessed with the Recovery Balm by Flynn & King." — Christina


Song of the day: "Academia" by Sia.

"On Saturdays I apply a special color conditioner that I make to keep the slight peach tone in my hair. It needs to be left on for a few minutes so I use this time to exfoliate. I like the Alba Bontanica because it uses salicylic acid but it's gentle enough to use all over."

"It's always a busy day for those of us who live the salon life. Here's a quick selfie in the Whiteroom apothecary, wearing Flushing's Finest on my lips."

"Today is the one-year anniversary of Self Salon Bushwick opening. I have been in Bushwick since day one and I cannot believe how fast one year has gone by. It's been a great year! I feel so lucky to be able to work in the same neighborhood I live in, and have such amazing clients who make every day exciting and rewarding. I have lived in so many different places, always searching for a city that feels like home. Finally I can call this home." — Barbara

The Alchemy Cosmetics display at Self Salon in Bushwick.

"I'm not usually one for photographing meals, but this meal [at Delaney BBQ] was notable for several reasons: 1) These are the best damn collard greens I've ever had. 2) My dad is in town and dinner with Dad always rules. 3) We are celebrating my 32nd birthday (it's on Thursday!)." — Christina


Song of the day: "Drop the Other" by Emika.

"Loving this nail color from Smith & Cult called Dirty Baby. It stays on forever, which is awesome because as a colorist, I spend a lot of time in the shampoo bowl." — Christina

"Today is my day off! Izzy didn't want to get up." — Barbara

"I started the morning at my favorite bakery, Champs. Black coffee and a pumpkin cream cheese cupcake. Then the day led to crafting (thank you, Pinterest) so I decided to attempt making a dreamcatcher—here she is!" — Barbara

"The essentials of my handbag, featuring our new gloss, Henry. On the far right is a necklace made of a raccoon clavicle I'm bringing to my friend Elizabeth, the owner of Whiteroom, to repair. She's a woman of many trades." — Christina


A few more of Barbara's favorite things: "Tom Ford Santal Blush and my Docs, of course."

"Since it's my day off, I'm going to slack a bit while getting ready to go to the city with Barbara. My quick fix hair involves a little love from my boar bristle brush, some Death Valley dry shampoo and few pins. Top it of with JTrain Journeys and I'm out the door!" — Christina

"Barbara and I at Tacombi after getting pedicures to cure our 'winter feet.'" — Christina


What's currently in Barbara's purse: "The best ear buds I've ever purchased are from Brookstone at the airport in North Carolina. Also ibuprofen, Smart Water, Bobbi Brown hand cream (serious must have), Alchemy glosses in Betsy (red) and Henry (nude), Vaseline, business cards, Alchemy lipsticks in Knickerbocker Nightmares (red) and 11221 (eggplant), MetroCard, keys."

"Showing off yesterday's pedicure before doing my fitness. I had a few extra flowers left over (I always keep a mason jar of fresh flowers in the window by my bed) so I scattered them above my mat, alongside my Tatine candle." — Christina

"Even on my days off, I'm always working. This a mood board I made of some hair color I'm digging right now. I've always been obsessed with redheads!" — Christina

"The Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté is my favorite beauty item for summer. It can be used head to toe, it's UVA/UVB protective, and so not greasy. Also, it smells awesome!" — Christina