Inside and Out

By Heather Dunhill January 1, 2012

Dr. Lisa Grain (My Union House/Jennifer and Salvatore Brancifort)Dr. Lisa Grain

A former orthodontist, Dr. Lisa Grain and her husband, telecom-munications businessman David Grain, moved to Sarasota with their two children a few years ago. Lisa’s beauty quotient is as high as her IQ; she’s stunning in a classic yet natural way, with skin that glistens and a style that recalls Jackie Kennedy. Your beauty ideal? My grandmother, who lived 104 years. She taught for 50 years—and still put her family first. Even a month before her passing, she was still asking David Jr. to fax his English homework to her. She was a natural beauty—no operations, no cosmetic updates, just Ivory Soap. She radiated from within. And she died just as gracefully as she lived. Your philosophy about make-up? I barely wear make-up. I like long eyelashes and great lip gloss, and I allow all my freckles to shine through. My freckles make me feel youthful. I’m so much more comfortable with myself now [at this age]. This is who I am! What makes a woman beautiful? Confidence, for sure. It’s how you perceive yourself and what emanates from within. A confident woman has an aura about her. How do you stay healthy? A vegetarian diet with occasional fish. I also stay active with tennis and golf and I teach Zumba at Studio 20; it works out mind, body and soul. Guilty pleasure? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. A particular weakness is Roy’s Chocolate Lava Cake.


Rita Greenbaum (My Union House)Rita Greenbaum

Rita Greenbaum has looks that harken back to the golden age of Hollywood glamour. Rita, who supports many Sarasota causes with her husband, Ron, recently added a degree in creative writing to her resume, which also includes professional dance training. This was evident at this fall’s CAN Dance competition, where she captured the trophy for her sizzling jazz/swing routine. Your friends say you look like you did 20 years ago. How? No one can avoid aging, but one can smooth unsightly wrinkles by changing one’s attitude. I’m not bitter and I don’t hold a grudge. I believe that anger takes a toll and tends to show on the outside. How do you take care of yourself? My physical routine includes the elliptical, treadmill, bike, weights and tennis. I also stay active mentally and enjoy reinventing myself through outlets such as writing and painting. Also, doing for others [helps create] a sense of well-being.What mistakes do women make as they age? Scrutinizing the mirror too much and searching for ways to look better on the outside. Favorite make-up product? Lancome’s Brow Expert. It’s a gel that keeps my brows in place and comes in four different colors. Favorite wardrobe item? I love, love, love, shoes! Shoes are my way of playing dress-up.

Kristen Farrell (My Union House)Kristen Farrell

Mother of two school-age children, Kristen Farrell is married to Joe Farrell, who owns Wings Winery in Napa Valley. Despite their busy lives, Kristen has a down-to-earth sensibility that fits perfectly with her natural, glowing beauty and easy-breezy Casey Key island style. She makes having it all look simple and effortless. Your biggest beauty secret?My Coola Organic Suncare. Living in Florida and walking the beach every day, I apply this mineral sunscreen that has a light tint every day. I even put it on my kids before school and give it as gifts to my girlfriends. How do you maintain a healthy regimen? The reality is that everybody cheats—you can maintain a strict program only so long, then you fall off the wagon and vow to be better. It’s fun to cheat! define your personal style: Comfortable, maybe a little lazy. I live in Tom’s shoes, Vince Tees and Joe’s Jeans, and I never go anywhere without my Heather Moore necklace. Guilty pleasures? In the evenings I enjoy a glass or two of wine from my husband’s vineyard. On Thursday afternoons, I look forward to watching my two favorite shows, Modern Family and The Middle—I record them ahead—while the kids are at school.

Yara Michaels (Troy Plota/Hair and Make-Up: Eri Vincent/Ana Molinari Salon & Spa)Yara Michaels

Yara Michaels can walk into a room and stop conversation with her exotic beauty. Yara came to America eight years ago from Syria, and she says her heritage and family are a tremendous source of strength. The fiancée of opthalmologist Dr. David Shoemaker, Michaels will soon publish a cookbook, From Carrot to Carat, that celebrates healthy eating and living. Your beauty ideal? My 95-year-old grandmother; she’s healthy, glowing, sharp and strong. She has beautiful skin and hair and I love her lifestyle—she still grows her own olives and makes olive oil. Your skin is flawless. What’s your secret? My mother made her own creams and masks from an old remedy book. She passed this book down to me; I have it in my kitchen and continue the tradition. Any favorite make-up product? Sheer Cover. It’s mineral make-up that is light and natural looking. How do you stay healthy? I admit to some cheating, but I follow an old-fashioned diet of whole-wheat grains, fruits and veggies. Every morning I have wheat-grass juice; it’s truly a miracle food. Exercise? I like to be outdoors. I walk the beach in the mornings; I love to take in the sounds of the birds and the water—beautiful! What makes a woman beautiful? Love and happiness. If you love yourself and those around you, life is amazing. Any guilty pleasures? Sometimes I indulge in reality TV.


Adrienne Vittadini (Luca Guarneri)Adrienne Vittadini

Hungarian-born Adrienne Vittadini built and sold a multimillion-dollar women’s fashion business, then began designing houses and home fashions, including here in Sarasota, where she lives seasonally. Named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 1992, Adrienne is a style icon who lives her brand of casual luxury. Your beauty ideal? Audrey Hepburn had incredible style. But Audrey’s beauty was also in her charm, warmth and elegance. your biggest beauty secret? I don’t consider myself beautiful. I just try to be the best of me, which has everything to do with energy and exercise. It’s important to feel good and project a positive image. What mistakes do women over 50 make? After 50, women should cover their arms, unless they’re incredibly toned. Also, avoid make-up that is too heavy, like a mask. Advice for fighting jet lag? Not drinking on planes, then exercising after landing. Favorite styling trick? Everyone has sluggish days; for those I suggest lighter and brighter colors. Avoid darks, which make you look pale and fatigued. My go-to is a crisp white shirt and accessories. White gives a glow, whatever your color complexion. guilty pleasures? Wine and chocolates.

Heather Dunhill’s Fashion IQ appears in our monthly print edition and every week online at

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