Page 1

Volume 1, May 2010


more than just a pretty face

Marissa Nguyen A smart girl in a model’s world

Best of ...

beauty, the bay area, music and more

DOCKERS eyewear


What’s inside... 4 What These Chicks Have to Say Letters from the editors

6 On the Web All the latest happenings on our website 8 One Shirt, Four Ways How one shirt can create four fabulous outfits 12 Hunk of the Month Our eye candy for this month 13 What Guys Think We attempt to find out what is going on in their heads


15 Our Favorite Products A rundown of our favorite beauty products

Marissa Nguyen

24 Teen Mom Miranda Barber tells us about her life as a teenage mother 28 Stuff We Like We review the latest books, movies, CDs and DVDs


Summer Trends


Miranda Barber

30 Escape to Beauty Go behind the scenes at a Nordstrom fashion show

“One of the funniest blogs I have ever read.�

33 Listen Up! Local musicians to watch out for 34 Sing it Loud Check out one of the hottest up-and-coming bands 38 As I See It Our guest photographers show off the beauty of the Bay Area 41 Best of the Bay Our favorite places to eat, shop and play 52 Bridezillas A local couple gets ready to get married on TV 54 Cover Story Model Marissa Nguyen talks to us about school and work 64 Trends Our favorite looks for summer 78 Ten Things I Love About... What we love this month

Right Side Ad

32 Sounds of Summer Concerts you will love coming this summer

- Kelsie McClain Editor in Chief, CHICK Magazine


What these



have to say...

Working on this magazine has definitely been a labor of love. As a two person team, Angela and I have had to do all of the work that a normal magazine has an entire team of people to do. That said, we have had a lot of fun. From doing the photo shoot with our wonderful cover model, Marissa Nguyen, to scouring the Bay Area for the best stores for our Best of the Bay story, we have had a blast! Although this is our first-ever magazine, I feel

as though we have really done something have we can be proud of. Angela and I have put our hearts and souls into this project, and I feel as though we have created something that encompasses “us,” true Chick girls at heart. We truly feel that we have created a magazine that can be about more than just fashion or beauty, but meets the interests of all of our readers. We hope you love it as much as we have loved creating it for you.

Creating and designing for this magazine has been an absolute blast! It has always been a dream of mine to work for a fashion magazine, so this was an amazing experience for me. I love doing everything from setting up and directing photo shoots, designing the layouts and brainstorming for ideas of what to include. For a few months, Kelsie and I lived and breathed for this magazine. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than

Kelsie to work with on the magazine. Kelsie and I both have strong interests in fashion, which we included in the magazine, but we wanted to do something different than just creating a straight fashion magazine. We wanted something that would be unique and geared towards the Tampa Bay Area. I think our ideas and personalities have definitely been brought out in this magazine. I hope that you, our readers, enjoy it as much as we do.

Love, Kelsie

Love, Angela

International Plaza, Tampa



sign up for beauty updates, breakng news and more!

Behind the scenes at the photo shoot with our cover model, Marissa Nguyen.

Find out what happened at the Bridezilla wedding of Julie Jones and Edwin Maisonet.






Check out the accessories featured in this month’s CHICK on our website. You can even enter to win prizes!

Guys answer YOUR relationship questions on!

One of this season’s hottest colors is teal! Check out this and other summer trends on the website.

CHICK Editor in Chief Angela Moneck

Editor in Chief

Kelsie Elaine McClain

Photographer Marc Vosburgh

Directors of Photography


Amanda Walters Kelsie Elaine McClain Angela Moneck Tiff Tayloe Farnum

Guest Photographers Angela Moneck Kelsie Elaine McClain Bianca Dockery Simple Flores

please recycle me!

Contact us/Submissions:

Kelsie Elaine McClain Angela Moneck

7 C


one shirt,

four ways



Who says school has to be boring? For this outfit, Angela accessorizes her do-it-all outfit of a white shirt and jeans with funky zebra print shoes and a bright pink Vera Bradley bag to comfortably carry her books and still keep her looking chic.

Make getting ready for work fun! Dress up your professional outfit with adorable ballet flats, a cute, but roomy-enough-to-hold-everything bag and sleek silver jewelry. You’ll be ready for a day at the office, and still look great for a lunch date.


Stretch your wardrobe (and your budget) by creating four outfits out of one piece. Our model (and editor) Angela makes her favorite shirt work for several different occasions!



Think a white shirt and jeans are too boring for a hot date? Think again. Dress up your outfit with sexy black accessories, like sky high strappy heels and a roomy purse. Add a funky, but sweet sweater and you’re ready for anything.

Cover up your swimsuit and still look great. Throw on some capris with your white shirt, add a great pair of sandals, a trendy beach bag and statement jewelry and every eye on the beach will be looking your way.


e saf

e su



Name: Ricky Rose Age: 22 Hobbies: Soccer, going to the beach, hanging out with friends and “typical Florida stuff.” Status: Single What he looks for in a girl: Her personality. “A sense of humor is a big one because I like to play around so if she can’t handle that part of my personality, it’s just problems.”


What’s the first thing you notice about a girl?


Her demeanor and how she carries herself. As in, does she have style, confidence and so on. But natural beauty always stands out. -Kyle, 21

Natural beauty. And tattoos that are showing. -Tyler, 21

Her smile. It gets me every time. -Jimmy, 19

The way she carries herself. I can tell if I girl is a snob by the way she walks. -Troy, 30

I notice her personality first. -Steve, 25

13 C

anthropologie hyde park, tampa


Best of e h


beauty our favorite beauty products of the season

15 C

HAIR Best Of...


5 1 4




1. Pantene Pro-V leave in conditioner. 2. Garnier Fructis surf wax. 3. Aussie 3 minute miracle. 4. Oscar Blandi dry shampoo. 5. Vitamin shampoo & conditioner 6. Glisten shine serum. 7. L’Oreal Everpure leave in treatment

NAILS Best Of...



6 4 7



5 9


1. Miss Manicure on-the-go kit 2. Perfection nail polish remover 3. Covergirl boundless polish 4. Nicole by OPI polish. 5. L’Oreal clear base coat 6. Sally Hansen complete manicure 7. Revlon nail polish 8. Look Ma, New Hands lotion from Bath and Body Works 9. Nail Life strengthing treatment

BODY Best Of...



3 6




1. Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil 2. Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 sunscreen 3. Philosophy caramel apple 3-in-1 shampoo, body wash, bubble bath 4. Johnson melt away stress body lotion 5. Skintimate shave gel 6. Aveeno daily moisturizing body lotion 7. Dove Deodorant

FACE Best Of...










1. Acne Free kit 2. EOS lip balm 3. Aveeno positively ageless night cream 4. Pond’s cold cream 5. St. Ives apricot scrub 6. Evian facial moisturizer and toner 7. Clean and Clear dual action lotion 8. C.O. Bigelow rose wonder cold cream. 9. Burts Bees wax lip balm

MAKEUP Best Of...






3 4


9 10

1. Maybelline liquid eye liner. 2. MAC lip gloss 3. Kat Von D eyeshadow 4. Neutrogena 3 way concealer 5. L’Oreal telescopic mascara 6. MAC eyeshadow 7. NARS lip gloss 8. Neutrogena healthy skin makeup 9. L’Oreal voluminous mascara 10. Goldie lip gloss

9841 Gulf Blvd. Treasure Island

chase the open road

the all-new Chevrolet Camaro

Teen Mom

Miranda Barber had her daughter Hayden when she was just 18 years old.

28 C

REAL LIFE In many ways, Miranda Barber’s life is the same as other girls her age. The nineteen-year-old is a full time college student. She works full time in the evenings. She enjoys date nights and going out to the movies. And she’s a mommy. Miranda found out her senior year of high school that she was pregnant with her daughter, Hayden. By Kelsie Elaine McClain

The Hardest Test

In February of 2009, Miranda noticed that she hadn’t been having her period, and felt dizzy and nauseous in the mornings. Even though she was on birth control and used protection, she realized that she could be pregnant. After taking three at-home pregnancy tests, all positive, a state of near-panic set in. “I was totally crushed at first because all I could think of was how my life would change forever,” Miranda said. Miranda went with two of her friends to Planned Parenthood, where she saw the first ultrasound image of her baby. She had been considering an abortion, but seeing the picture of that “little peanut” changed her mind for her. “I couldn’t relish the though of killing something so small and innocent,” Miranda said. “After finding out that I was 9 1/2 weeks pregnant, I realized that the hardest parts were still ahead.

Breaking The News

Immediately after confirming that she was pregnant at Planned Parenthood, Miranda called to tell her boyfriend, Jodge, that they needed to talk. He claimed that he was busy, and Mi-

randa had to tell him the news over the phone. He was silent. She burst into tears, and had to hang up the phone to compose herself. He called her back to tell her that he thought she needed to get an abortion.

“All I could think of was how my life would change forever.”

Her mother felt the same way, and also told Miranda that she believed having an abortion would be the best option. Although her parents were disappointed in her for getting pregnant, and for her decision to keep the baby, the were supportive of her and vowed to stand by her.

Pregnant in High School

High school is stressful enough as it is. Being pregnant doesn’t make it any easier. Many of Miranda’s classmates either stared at her and talked about her behind her back or were excited for her new baby. Teachers took a different approach. “They all of a sudden became concerned for my life,” Miranda said. “They thought I was going to drop out and let my scholarship and grades disappear.” One teacher in particular hurt her feelings when she had to reorder her gown, since she would be six months pregnant at graduation. “She asked me why I needed a new gown, and I told her because I was pregnant,” Miranda said. The teacher was not very supportive, but Miranda knew that being judged was something that comes along with being a pregnant high schooler. “School got very weird when my belly started to grow, but I never gave up on my studies,” Miranda said. Miranda was determined not to become a statistic. She refused to drop her regular classes to take ones designated for expectant mothers. She started taking college classes her senior year of high school so

REAL LIFE that she would not fall behind. She continued to work full time during her pregnancy to save money for things her baby would need.

Missing Out

Senior year is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. There is so much to look forward to and celebrate. Being pregnant can put a damper on the fun. While Miranda was able to go to prom, and participate in graduation, there was a lot she missed out on because she was pregnant for much of her senior year. “I wasn’t able to go out and hang out with my friends,” she said.

She also missed grad night because it was at an amusement park, and she couldn’t ride any of the rides. She missed prom parties and graduation parties. She said, “I became more focused on school, work and reading up on being a mommy.”

Life After High School

Hayden Marie Kastel was born on September 18, 2009 while Miranda was just 18 years old. Hayden is now almost seven months old. Miranda is working on her degree in the nursing program at St. Petersburg College. She will be a sophomore at the end of this semester. She works full time at a

Miranda plays with her daughter at a park by a friend’s home.

26 C

car dealership to make money to support her family. Although the last year and a half has been hard, she keeps a positive attitude, and is looking forward to the future. “I love everything about being a mommy! I love waking up and seeing her smile and I love experiencing new things with her,” she said. “Every time I feel like giving up, I just look at her little smile and then I remember why I am doing all the things I am doing. She has definitely made me love being a mommy, and I will never let her down.”

Jump start your morning


Stuff We

CD to buy CYCLES



By Cartel



Starring: Rob Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart

28 C

Although there’s a few more slow songs on their new CD, you can still rock out with your windows down in your car to your favorite fast, upbeat Cartel songs. Cycles proves the guys of Cartel are growing up. The songs, including “Faster Ride”, sound much more ripened than songs from their earlier CDs. Cartel will be touring around the country for the Bamboozled show with bands including LMFAO, Boys Like Girls and All Time Low.

Anybody who has not been living uder a rock for the past few years is aware of the Twilight Saga. After the success of the first movie, Twilight, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer, fans anticipated the release of the second movie in the series, New Moon. The movie was a huge hit in theaters, and after viewing the movie, many fans looked forward to having a copy to watch at home. The DVD did not disappoint fans eager to see more of their favorite charaters, especially vampire hottie Edward Cullen (Rob Pattinson) and newly-buff werewolf hunk Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). The two disc edition of the DVD contains an entire disc of special features, including a six part documentary on the making of New Moon. Behind the scenes footage of the stunts, creation of the sets and interviews with the cast keep fans of Edward and Jacob coming back for more.


movie to watch REMEMBER ME


Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin

book to read



Remember Me presents itself as a romantic drama, with comedic moments intertwined. Tyler, played by Twilight’s vampire heartthrob Robert Pattinson is a disheartened bad boy after his brother commits suicide and his parents split. He meets Ally (Emilie de Ravin) after being dared by his best friend to talk to her. Ally lives her life in each moment after seeing her mothers’ murder ten years ago, and seems to help heal Tyler’s pain. The ending comes as a complete surprise, with a twist that leaves viewers in shock. The ending would fit better in the plot if the time period was more obvious throughout the movie. Final word: Twilight fans, get ready to fall in love with Rob all over again. Things I Wish My Mother Had Taught Me is one of the hottest British imports since the Spice Girls. Lucia van der Post presents advice on how to live “with impeccable grace and style,” with a witty tone that will keep you giggling as you learn how to behave like a lady. Section one focuses on how to dress. Learn how to be glam, wear black and pick out the perfect accessories. Once you’ve got fashion mastered, move on to beauty., home decorating, gift-giving and cooking. It isn’t all about looks and glamour, though. Post also gives some advice about relationships, marriage, and how to balance one’s social and work life. Not only will the reader finish the book more prim and polished, but it is a delightful read that will keep you wanting more.

29 C




On April 17, 2010, Nordstrom in International Plaza held a fashion and trends show to display this season’s hottest clothes, accessories, makeup and beauty products. Here’s your behind the scenes look!

Bright colors and prints are one of the hottest looks this season.

One of the Nordstrom trend show models holds up a prize that an audience member will win.

31 C


Sounds of Summer BAMBOOZLED ROADSHOW May 23 Ford Amphitheater

SILVERSUN PICKUPS June 15 Hard Rock Live

VANS WARPED TOUR July 23 Vinoy Park


August 11 Ford Amphitheater

JACK JOHNSON August 25 Ford Amphitheater

SING IT LOUD May 18 Common Grounds, Gainesville

MAXWELL & JILL SCOTT June 16 St. Pete Times Forum

RIHANNA featuring Ke$ha July 30, Ford Amphitheater

KINGS OF LEON featuring The Black Keys and The Whigs September 18 Ford Amphitheater

Listen Up!


Bay Area acts to watch out for

BEFORE THE TIDE Kyle Owen or “KO”, as he refers to himself, has been rapping since his middle school days, but in the past few years realized that it wasn’t just fun and games. He wants to make it a career. “I guess I just realized a lot of things can happen in life and sometimes you just have to find your path and go with it.” His inspirations include DMX, 2Pac and Lupe Fiasco, but he said his greatest inspiration comes from within himself and his life experiences. “I always strive to stay true to myself whether it’s in life or in music. A lot of times I even avoid listening to other artists just to keep my mind with a clean slate.” Although there are artists who inspire him to make music, he doesn’t want to sound like something that’s already out there. KO’s goal is to take the internet by storm and to ultimately make it on his own and open his own label. “I want to make timeless music. I wanna live forever and change lives along the way.”

THE LINEUP: Darren Root, 20: Vocals Miguel Velasquez, 19, Lead Guitar Cameron Heinssen, 20: Bass Will Baird, 22: Rhythm Guitar Alan Williams, 22: Drums

Before The Tide has gone through some lineup changes since forming in 2007, but the group has finally hit their stride with the current lineup. Although they haven’t been together for very long, the five guys from the Bay Area seem to be coming into their own. The self proclaimed “hardcore/screamo/pop punk scene” band has booked shows at Gasoline Alley in Pinellas Park, and has a show booked for May 13 at the Orpheum in Ybor City. Before The Tide has been working on recording songs for an album and currently has a live CD from their show at Gasoline Alley. They are hoping to book more shows and get on the road.



Sing It Loud!

One of the hottest bands of the summer is touring around Florida this May. Don’t miss your chance to see Sing It Loud! The pop/rock band Sing It Loud, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is currently touring with Motion City Soundtrack and A Rocket to the Moon. Fans are awaiting their new album, Everything Collide, releasing May 11. They have already released two singles from the new CD, “Sugar Sweet” and “Addicted to When You’re Gone.” If you don’t get to check out Sing It Loud this summer, they will be touring with Mayday Parade in the near future. 34 C

Sing It Loud band members: Kieren Smith-Lead guitar/vocals Pat Brown-Lead guitar/vocals Chris Lee-Drums Benjamin Peterson-Keyboard Nate Flynn-Bass

Converse by Sailor Jerry




see it

Photo: Justin Carr, Tampa “The dichotomy of the natural and the urban are everywhere in Tampa: the crawl of the Hillsborough as it snakes through downtown and alligator woods; the glassy beaches that form the life blood of steel and glass Clearwater; or the light streaming through yellow petals in a suburban sunflower garden. Amidst the sprawl that has come to define Tampa, there is still some of that natural Florida beauty that first struck conquistadors and Calusa.�

38 C

> >

Photo: Nick Gould, Tampa “This picture is the very last frame I shot of the series. I arrived there about 90 minutes before sunset at a parking garage at Davis Island.”

> >

Photo: Marc Vosburgh, St. Petersburg “I took this photo of the University of Tampa from across the Hillsborough River. I love the way the building is outlined by the vivid Florida sunset.”





Home Improvement


Best Store for Inspiration: IKEA Location: Tampa

Since its opening in Tampa last year, we have been obsessed with IKEA. Known for DIY home decor and Swedish meatballs, this store has a little something for everybody. The huge building feels more like an amusement park than a furniture store. The second floor showroom is full of ideas, including several fully-decorated mock apartments. Check out the Marketplace, where you can pick out all of the goodies featured upstairs. Our favorite: Thursday nights you can eat in the restaurant, and get a giftcard for the amount that you had for dinner to use in the store!

Best Kitchen Store: Williams-Sonoma Locations: Hyde Park & International Plaza

Best Furniture Store: Pottery Barn Locations: Hyde Park & Westfield Citrus Park

Salons and Beauty


Best Mani/Pedi: Aveda Institute Location: St. Petersburg

Getting a manicure and pedicure at the Aveda Institute in downtown St. Pete is one of the best values in the Bay Area. The nail technicians are all students in the school, so the prices are very reasonable. Also, since they are in training, the students use every customer as an opportunity to get better at their jobs. This means extra attention during massages.

Best Salon: Practically Frivlolous Location: St. Petersburg

The staff at this salon is absolutely amazing. They’re always friendly and always understand exactly what you want. Not only do they specialize in hair, but they also have several nail technicians available. They provide services such as facials, massages, makeup, and updos for special occasions.

Night Life


Best Restaurant and Bar: Green Iguana Location: Tampa, St. Petersburg

With many locations around the Bay Area, Green Iguana is the place to be Wenesday nights for $1 drinks all night long.

Best Night Out: Splitsville Location: Tampa

Best Bar: Gators Location: Tampa

Outdoor Life


Best Beach: Fort DeSoto

Best Park: Freedom Lake Park Location: Clearwater

Known for the Verteran’s memorial and “big jet”, it is a great park for exercising and for bringing your kids to play. It even includes a doggy park in which your dog can have fun too!



Best for Drinks: Z Grille Location: St. Petersburg

Z Grille is the perfect place for a girls night out. The restaurant includes a bar and chairs made out of a halfpipe. They have $3 deviled eggs for lunch, which are some of the best deviled eggs you will ever have. The drink menu involves a lot of originality with drinks such as a jalepeno mojito. Where else would you find a drink like that?

Best Fondue: The Melting Pot Location: St. Petersburg If you’ve never tried fondue before, the Melting Pot is a great place to have your first fondue experience! The restaurant has dim lighting, creating a romantic atmosphere. Even if you don’t have a date, the restaurant is a great place for any occasion.

Best Dessert: Rita’s Location: several

Rita’s is a summer staple. The mixture of Italian ice and custard is a delicious combination. Try gelati, which is half custard, half ice. Or perhaps a blendini, which blends together your favorite ice flavor, custard and a delicious mix in. Our favorite flavor: Swedish Fish.



Best Indian Cuisine: Tunduree Location: Tampa

Best Sushi: Hiro’s Tokyo Steakhouse and Sushi Bar Location: St. Petersburg

Not only does Hiro’s have an amazing sushi menu, it also includes a hibachi grill for people who may not like or want sushi. The restaurant gives its customers a $20 credit for their birthday dinner, which includes drinks as well. What more could you ask for on your birthday? For those of you who crave sushi late at night, no problem! Hiro’s offers half off sushi rolls after 10 p.m. The sushi menu is reasonably priced, so this offer makes it even better. The restaurant also includes a nice bar, providing good entertainment.



Best Clothing Store on a Budget: XXI Forever 21 Location: In malls around the Bay Area

Best Mall: International Plaza Location: Tampa

Best Boutique: Marion’s Location: St. Petersburg



Best Makeup Store: Sephora Location: International Plaza, Tampa

Best Fancy Dress Store: Jessica McClintock Location: International Plaza, Tampa

Best Vintage Store: La France Location: Ybor, Tampa



Best Store for Splurging: Anthropologie Location: Hyde Park, Tampa

Best Fun Store: Adrenalina Location: International Mall, Tampa

Adrenalina, located in our favorite mall of the Bay Area, is probably the most interesting store. It includes clothing, sunglasses, surf boards and a separate room for indoor surfing. If you don’t know how to surf, the store even offers lessons!



Here comes the


by Kelsie Elaine McClain

An elegant white dress. A decadent cake. Fragrant flowers. A film crew? For Juile Jones, 26, and Edwin Maisonet, 30, all of these elements will be a part of their wedding day. The couple from Seminole has been chosen to be on the WE hit reality show Bridezillas. A week prior to their May 1st wedding, camera crews will start following the couple around while they put the finishing touches on their big day.

REAL LIFE The process began shortly after their engagement, when Julie and Edwin’s sister were discussing which reality wedding shows they liked watching on TV. Their favorites included My Fair Wedding, Whose Wedding Is It Anyways, and, of course, Bridezillas. Edwin’s sister told Julie that they should try and be on one of the shows. Many of the shows said that they weren’t casting in the Tampa Bay Area, and that they wouldn’t start booking shows that far in advance. Nine months after applying for Bridezillas, they were contacted by casting producers for the show. After a grueling interviewing process, Edwin and Juile were “pitched to the producers of Bridezilla. They were a little concerned about being portrayed like many of the other women who have been on the show, whom Julie calls “not nice and very petty.” They were assured by the casting director that they show was going in a different direction and looking for more “down-to-Earth” girls, per the request of their new executive producer. Then the adventure really began. Julie and Edwin are very excited about being included on the television show. Edwin is a local DJ, and loves the attention, and potential business that will come with being on national TV. They are also happy that family and friends who will not be able to make it to the wedding will be able to experience their special day. Julie said “My mom and dad think this is a great adventure and will make a wonderful story to tell kids and grandkids.” The couple is also being compensated for being featured on the show. They received $4000 towards their wedding, and are also being given an all expenses paid honeymoon. Many of their vendors have also gone out of their way to make sure that the couple is going to have an amazing day, fit for TV. But the show has also created a bumpy road for the couple. After being informed that they, and their products, were going to be featured on a show that is notorious for fit-

throwing brides, some of the couple’s wedding vendors backed out. “The stress began when Bridezillas sent all the paperwork for our venues to sign. Our reception location was hesitant about signing the paperwok, which sent me into an immediate tizzy,” said Julie. She contacted Bridezillas, who put in a phone call to the reception location, and smoothed things over. There have been more problems. The reception venue overlooks the beach, and Julie hired steel drummers to play during the cocktail hour, for a “nice, tropical feel.” After hearing that they were going to be featured on the show, the steel drummers decided to double their price, which prompted Julie and Edwin to have to find new entertainment. Their location for the rehearsal dinner has decided that they did not want to be part of their wedding, and have also backed out. Perhaps the most devestating event came just over a month before the wedding, when Julie found out that the woman doing alterations on her custom wedding dress decided that she did not want to be associated

with the couple, or with Bridezillas. When Julie went to go pick up her wedding dress, she found it ruined beyond repair. After many tears, and hours of searching, Julie finally found a dress that would be ready in time for her to wear on her special day. While they have had problems with many of their vendors, there have been others who have worked especially hard to make sure that they have a wonderful day. One of their vendors helped them find more entertainment. “My hair stylist has given us free reign over her salon which allows us to have a catered breakfast and a makeup artist come in the day of the wedding,” said Julie. The couple has managed to stay grounded and not become too stressed thoughout the problems and issues that being on Bridezillas has brought upon them. “All in all, a wedding is a stressful and joyous event,” said Juile. “Thankfully the love and support of my family and friends gives me the tranquility I need during my most frantic times so my ‘zilla tendencies are stifled a bit.”

Edwin and Julie share a quiet moment at their nephew’s birthday party, just a few weeks before their wedding day.

53 C


MARISSA From valedictorian to professional model

54 C



In high school, Marissa Nguyen wasn’t interested in boys or being the most popular girl in the school. Instead, she was constantly focused on getting straight As and passing AP classes to get college credits before even stepping foot inside a college classroom. After graduating being named Valedictorian of Pinellas Park High School, Marissa loaded up on credits for her first two years at St. Petersburg College. Now, besides attending the University of Tampa, she’s working as a professional model in the Tampa Bay Area. She’s gone from being an amateur model to working at this year’s Fashion Week Tampa Bay. Marissa’s taking the Bay Area by storm. >>

ON MARISSA: shorts, G by Guess; earrings, Forever 21; top, Jordache; shoes, Jessica Simpson

CHICK: What was your life like in high school? MARISSA: High school was a lot of fun, but a lot of work. I was in the middle when it came to the social hierarchy. I wasn’t the weird, quiet introvert but I sure wasn’t with the popular crowd either. I had my handful of friends and I was more than satisfied. I loved senior year the most because of all the dances, activities nights and knowing I was getting the hell out soon (which is probably why I had some senioritis). There was also a lot of hard work that I did all throughout. I remember countless nights talking to my best friend Elysse at 3 a.m. trying to work out calculus questions and studying before exams. My schedule was pretty odd too. I’d come home at 2, sleep from 6 to 9 and studied and did homework until 3 a.m., only to get up at 6:30 for class. Odd, but when I add it all I was able to operate on six hours of sleep a day. I’m such a nerd but I miss that….kind of. CHICK: What was it like being named Valedictorian? MARISSA: It was awesome at first. I was so excited because all of my hard work paid off. But then for a while it seemed that I was just in

shock and didn’t feel anything at all. That is, until I realized at 1 a.m. that I was graduating in eight hours and I still hadn’t written the speech. My family was extremely proud. They’re very Americanized so I don’t have typical strict Asian parents at all.

“Education is just as important as following a passion.”

CHICK: When and how did you first know you wanted to model? MARSSA: I was always told I should model since I can’t even remember. I sure had my awkward stage for the longest time so I doubt it was because of my looks. It had to be because I was long, tall and lanky. High fashion likes weird so I guess it worked for me. I sure hope people will agree when I say the awkward stage is over.

CHICK: How did you start modeling? MARISSA: I guess you always have to start somewhere. My cousin’s friend was putting together this little fashion show wearing traditional Vietnamese dresses for Chinese and Vietnamese New Years. This was about two and a half years ago. She saw my pictures and asked me to do it. Ever since then I started doing little shows here and there. This past summer was when I really got into modeling. There’s a modelmayhem. com site. Lots of “models” and people with fetishes and digital cameras who call themselves “photographers,” but I sifted through the bad and networked, did awesome shoots to build my book, did better shows and eventually Tampa Bay Fashion Week.

CHICK: What was your first photo shoot like? MARISSA: It sucked. Just kidding. It wasn’t that bad. Don’t ask me to show you those. I remember being so nervous. I didn’t want to disappoint the photographer, even though he was freelance and wasn’t doing it professionally and my friend hooked it up. It was fun but I still have the CD of images and although I got some good images, I get squeamish when I look back.

CHICK: How has your life changed from high school until now? MARISSA: I really wanted to take a year off. High school wore me out. I was exhausted from all of the long nights of studying and doing work. I felt like because I was Valedictorian that everyone expected no less than me going in the academic direction. I wanted to model and wanted to see where it would go. But things have their way of working out and I’m so glad I went to school first. I learned that my dreams didn’t have to end just because I’m going to school. Education is just as important as following a passion. How many other models can say they graduated with a B.S, majoring in biology and minoring in art and chemistry? I really never cared about boys but my sophomore year of college, I did a charity fashion show and met my first boyfriend (and definitely my last… and that’s a good thing). He was definitely worth the wait. It’s been a year and a half, we’ve been living together in this little studio apartment for about a year and next month we’re moving to the Skypoint in downtown Tampa. He’s in the Air Force and I’m so lucky to get my own personal man in uniform. Now I know why people say such sappy things

when they’re in love. He’s definitely the best thing that’s ever happened for me. He’s very loving and supportive and he’s always at my shows. (I’d like to think it’s because he cares and not because of the free drinks.) CHICK: You’re going to school full time and modeling on the side. What is that like? Is it hard to balance school and having a job? MARISSA: I went to SPC for my first two years and I loved it. I’ve always been the overachiever and in the two years I was there, I loaded up on 93 credits, way more than needed for an associates. You probably won’t believe me, but I did have a life and I did pretty well. Clearly handling school isn’t a huge problem but it is a little different now because I’m taking classes for my minors and pre-professional biology concentration and I go to class Monday through Friday. I don’t know how I’m so lucky to say this but it’s not bad at all. I still have a life and sometimes still make time to procrastinate [laughs]. I make a little extra money being the unofficial receptionist at Mom’s shop and I study while I’m there. I keep shoots and modeling strictly to the weekends. There aren’t lots of paid jobs in Tampa at all and that’s bad for me.

CHICK: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to modeling and your career? MARISSA: I’ve got quite a delusional ambition and I still fully believe in it. After my B.S, I’ll study and take my MCATs and apply for the health profession scholarship program and hopefully be accepted. That means the Air Force will pay my way through medical school and give me a monthly allowance to live on. I’ve always wanted to join the Air Force. My grandfather was an air traffic controller, my great uncle was a pilot, my uncle was a mechanic and my boyfriend has a job on an active duty contract and does reserve weekends in the hospital as a certified ophthalmic technician. I’ll come in as Captain after med school and I plan on staying in the Air Force after I do the time that’s due. I plan on taking a year off, or however long, after my B.S to fully pursue modeling before I head off to med school.

CHICK: What has is been like walking in fashion shows? MARISSA: It’s such a toss up on which I like more, runway or shoots. I can’t count the times I’ve been on the runway but it’s so amazing. The biggest one I’ve done is Tampa Bay >

ON MARISSA: shorts, G by Guess; earrings, Forever 21; top, Urban Outfitters; shoes, Gianni Bini

Fashion Week and a show for a designer in Miami at the Hard Rock. Not only did they pay me, they always gave vouchers for food and paid for a room. The runway is something else. You get all made up, dressed, and pray to God your heels love you as much as you love them, and that you won’t fall on your face. So far the prayers have been answered. I don’t get nervous anymore but extremely excited. It’s the only time you know everyone in the room is looking at you. My selfesteem and selfconfidence is at its peak when I’m on the runway and I take my sweet time to strut, pose and smile. Maybe I’ll wink at someone at the right time and a Kate Moss moment will happen. The best thing is that depending on what you wear, you get to play a character. It’s like Halloween almost. You can be fierce and sexy in lingerie or bikini wear, or straight-forward and fast-paced for high fashion. CHICK: What has been your favorite photo shoot to date? MARISSA: This is so wrong to ask! It’s not fair! I love shoots. I’ve made friends with a lot of photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists. My two favorite photographer teams to work with are Janelle and Oh Snap Photography. I’ve gotten so many wonderful images from them. They are very editorial. As for more commercial, sexy, bikini, I love working for It’s nice to get to smile and be cute unlike editorial shoots where it’s all about being on point, awkward and fierce. When it comes to playing dress up in vintage

clothes, I loved TheUrbanCollection. com. My favorite picture thus far is the one I took for Smooth Photography. I also did a full day shoot for Mikel’s Hair salon in south Tampa. It wasn’t paid but they fed us well, and I think I like good food more than money I would’ve spent on it anyway.

CHICK: Have you worked with any local designers? Who? What was that like? MARISSA: I have a good relationship with a lot of designers in the Tampa bay area. I walked for six of them for Tampa Fashion Week. The first well known designer in Tampa I worked with was Ivanka Ska for Dunedin’s Fine Art Center’s 5th annual wearable arts show. That’s when I knew I was getting good. She chose me to walk for her again for fashion week. CHICK: What’s your favorite and least favorite parts of modeling? MARISSA: I hate the waiting with a passion! If you don’t bring snacks or water, you’re dead because nine times out of 10 they do not feed the models. They give you a time to arrive and there’s no point. Twenty other girls are there on time and there are probably two people to do makeup and hair. Also, fashion shows are slated to start at a given

time and it never happens. No joke, when my boyfriend asks what time he should arrive I tell him to leave an hour after a show is supposed to start. My favorite part is making friends. I see a lot of the same girls at shows and shoots now. I’ve always been social but because of modeling shows, shoots and castings, I’m even more so. I’m not afraid to talk to random people in public. I love that I get to be different due to different looks and concepts at gigs. I even did my first promotional modeling for IAQA (Indoor Air Quality Association). Their 13th meeting was at the Tampa Convention Center and I had to be the pretty face asking everyone if they perhaps did mold sampling. I was representing a microbiology lab, right up my alley. It was great. I made a lot of connections and this time, for science related things. It was a win-win and the pay was the best I’ve ever gotten for 3 days of work. CHICK: When people find out that you’re an aspiring model, what are their reactions? MARISSA: I wouldn’t say I’m aspiring when it comes to the fact that I’m getting work and booking jobs in the Tampa area. But I’m completely and totally “aspiring” when it comes to making money that I can live off of, being signed with an agency in Miami or New York and booking national campaigns. I want to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I’m good friends with one. Now I want to be one. When I tell people, they seem very curious. They ask who I’ve worked with, jobs I’ve done and how I got started.

CHICK: How do you curb the negativity you receive from people? MARISSA: Sometimes there are people who don’t agree. No one has said anything negative to me but friends have told me they’ve seen dirty looks from a few people.

Some who are jealous, some who see no art or effort in it. I laugh it off. A lot of the looks are as if they’re scoffing, “YOU’RE a model? Ha!” I don’t have the money to dress like a model in my everyday life. And if they feel that way because they think I don’t have the looks, they’re

wrong. Not because I’m vain and I think I’m attractive, they’re wrong in that they think all models have to be pretty to be successful. Have you taken in a look in those high fashion magazines? I did mention earlier that weird and awkward is good right? Well, there you go.

“You get all made up, dressed, and pray to God your heels love you as much as you love them.”

Lighten Up!

Don’t let the gloomy rainy season get you down. Lighten up and brighten up with the seasons hottest fashion and beauty trends.

65 C

TREND: Patterns

This trend is so easy to pull off. Just make sure not to overdo it. Wear just one patterned item at a time, like the skirt of Tiff’s adorable printed dress.

TREND: Animal print

Release your inner animal! Mix and match severaly different animal prints with your favorite basics for a fierce look. For a tamer look, just add one animal printed accessory.

TREND: Cute workout gear

Working out no longer means that you have to put on grungy sweats and an old t-shirt. Shape up your workout outfit with a cute skirt and tank with feminine details.


Oranges, pinks and golds usually rule the summer season. This year liven up your wardrobe with splashes of teal.

TREND: Peachy-pink makeup

Warm up your face with rose tinted makeup. Try NARS The Multiple in Orgasm for all over use.

72 C

TREND: Aviators

This season, buy this classic staple with brown lenses for a modern and feminine touch.

TREND: Vintage-Inspired

This hat would fit in perfectly in the 1940s. Pair it with modern clothes and accessories, and you’re good to go.

TREND: Bright colors

Enjoy the summer! Pack up your neutral colors until next fall. Break out the bright colors for clothes, accessories and jewelry. Mix and match. It’s hard to overdo this trend.

74 C

TREND: Rain gear

The rainy Florida summer doesn’t have to dampen your spirits. Brighten up the gloomy weather by using bright rain gear, such as this patterned umbrella and rain boots.

TREND: Bold jewelry

Spice up your casual summer outfits with bold, statement jewelry. Use one or two complimentary pieces and keep the rest of your outfit simple.

10 love summer!


things we


1. Brightly colored clothes 2. No school 3. The smell of sunscreen 4. Summer movies 5. Vacation! 6. Fruity cocktails 7. Vans Warped Tour 8. Baseball season 9. A deep, dark tan 10. No shoes, no problem

International Plaza


Chick Magazine, Volume 1  

A beauty, fashion and lifestyle magazine geared toward young women in the Tampa Bay Area.