Stacy Provines is that rarest of all human specimens, a true brown-eyed blond. The 30-year-old native Miamian is also a makeup fiend and an inventor, which serves her well in her current job as CEO and chemist-in-chief of ten-year-old Tinte Cosmetics. Provines's soon-to-be explosively popular line of eye shadows and lip glosses was tapped this past summer for a lucrative distribution deal by Nordstrom.
When The Bitch went to talk makeup with Provines and her business partner and fiancé Matthew this past September 26 in Miami Beach, she was honestly expecting foofy pinks and boring neutrals. But Provines, who just packed in her gig as national distribution manager for Lucky Brand Jeans, recently returned to Miami with inspiration from Los Angeles and New York. Stationed at a friend's Island Avenue condo that is outfitted with a refrigerator full of sugar-free Red Bull, a large-screen plasma TV set, and nothing else save the makeup, Provines whipped out some startling, inky eyeliner powders black flecked with gold, pewter with a touch of emerald and dramatic lip stains in both very deep brown (Haute Chocolate) and sparkling, coconut-flavor white (South Beach).
The Bitch, who had been staring at the giant TV screen even though it was not turned on, was suddenly alert with admiration for this bold palette.
"I couldn't find these colors, so I just decided to make them," explained Provines, as Matthew uncapped Red Bulls for everyone. "And when I say 'made,' I don't mean 'bought from a trade show and slapped on a label'; I experimented with pigments, materials, packaging until I came up with some unique colors that are presented in a girly, nostalgic way."
"That's right," chimed in Matthew, an affable fellow whose easygoing manner belies his many years as a stockbroker. "I had a friend who was a broker I worked with who, um, had to leave the trade out of necessity, you might say ... so I decided I'd get out on my own, and support Stacy."
Matthew and Provines named some colors in their collection for South Florida locales, most notably Mynt Kiss, a Victoriana pale lip butter. "We met at Mynt one Wednesday in the summer of 2003...." confided Matthew. "Three dates later, we shared our first kiss there...."
Noting The Bitch's wince, Provines quickly interjected, "Remember, that was when Mynt was still cool!"
"And we've been together ever since," Matthew finished. He and Provines had to leave to fly off to Los Angeles that very hour to collect the rest of their stuff in preparation for their move to Miami Beach, but they left the hound with hugs, a good feeling, and some samples of the squid-ink black eyeliner.
"We'll see you next month when we get back," Provines promised, and The Bitch, sensing sincerity in the glamorous entrepreneur, believed her.
The Bitch is also fond of intellectually omnivorous & magazine, which launched its fall "gender wars"-theme issue on a recent Wednesday with a party at Casa Malinka on Hibiscus Island. The arrangements for the party, though, were a pre-advance recipe for chaos. With no parking available on the private/public island, guests were supposed to meet at the parking lot of the Miami Children's Museum and be shuttled across the MacArthur Causeway by limo caravan. Right.
The hound, clad in black per the invitation (and also because she always wears black), saw the expected: a group of dapper individuals indignant about not being able to board the waiting limousines. A well-dressed security man who nonetheless resembled Aleister Crowley was in the process of telling Miami News Service's Tsitsi Wakhisi: "I'm sorry, but you're not on the list. You're not getting in the limo. You're not going to the party."
Wakhisi, who looked to be nearly in tears, resourcefully phoned &'s editor, Jorge Arauz, and began a negotiation. The Bitch, meanwhile, photographed the ongoing drama (which included a tall woman in a red dress screaming into another cell phone, apparently to her agent: "This is the model Tiffany.... No, the black model Tiffany! I'm supposed to appear at this party!")
When the Crowley doppelganger noted the strobed flash of the cheapest Canon camera in the world, he came storming over to the hound, who at that point would've been more than happy to head home and watch the rerun of Prison Break. "Hey!" the bruiser bellowed, goatee bristling. "You know it's illegal to take pictures! Who are those photos for? I'm really good friends with Manny Diaz and I'd hate to have to call him."
As The Bitch began offering assurance that she absolutely would not risk any type of altercation or bothering of the mayor on behalf of the footage, Wakhisi suddenly achieved a diplomatic breakthrough with the people in charge of the party on the island: The heavily policed guest list would be disregarded, provided attendees were dressed appropriately.
Limos were loaded, guests were delivered (The Bitch began wondering immediately how she would be able to make a getaway), and things at Casa Malinka were ... not yet rocking. Fortunately, though, the minglers were exceedingly pleasant; not the usual party crowd but more the friends and families of the & staff, who are from Amsterdam, Dubai, and Mumbai, plus the youthful street teams from corporate sponsors Cavia wines and Elini watches.
A trio of Elini kids did something unprecedented in Bitch history: They approached the dog and demanded to be photographed and quoted.
"Can we be in the New Times? Could you ask us something outlandish and ridiculous?" asked one giggly, dark-haired princess. Before the hound could answer that pretty much all her questions fit that description, the boy third of the group blurted, "You could ask us if we're old enough to be drinking!"
The Bitch decided to stick with the photo and skip the damning evidence of names. But where was that alcohol? The situation seemed pretty dry, actually. The hound sniffed out some cases of room-temperature Piper-Heidsieck Brut tucked behind one of the mansion's granite outdoor wet bars, and since there were already some plastic flutes on the counter ... well, with the help of several fellow guests and some cork-twisting males, champagne-serving was soon in progress. Always awkward at parties, The Bitch was happy to have something useful to do. "I'm only an amateur bartender," she reminded while overfilling the plastic flutes so that they frothed over and onto the countertop. A few thirsty partygoers were annoyed by the warmness of the champagne, so The Bitch made sure they got an extra dousing of foam. Pretty soon the hound was covered in sweat and sticky dregs.
A pretty blond woman swam into view. "Hey, we're back," called Provines. "We found a place to live just today." The Bitch smiled and handed Provines a whole bottle of Piper. Lowry appeared.
"Is that the product you have on?" he asked the drenched dog. Indeed the Tinte black eyeliner having endured hours of limo stampedes, photographic confrontations, and a thorough dousing by grape-derived liquid remained intact, barely smeared, on the hound's eyelashes and lids.