Fashion Editorials

Kona, Hawaii: A Behind the Scenes of the SEXIEST Issue

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GUNAS New York
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Kona, Hawaii: The Sun Shines Brightly in This Tropical Paradise

If you were to imagine a place where the sun shines daily, colorful tropical birds fly overhead, and vastly different landscapes are all represented on one exotic island, you would be describing The Big Island of Hawaii.

The Big Island is the largest island located at the southeastern-most end of a chain in the North Pacific Ocean called Hawaii. With over 4,028 square miles, it is larger than all of the other islands in this archipelago combined. It is also the largest island in the United States. Hawaii features Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain that is even taller than Mount Everest. With diverse cultures and geography, the Big Island of Hawaii has been an ideal destination for tourism since the 1950’s.

The VIVA GLAM dream team traveled to Kona, Hawaii for a glamorous photo shoot that took us throughout this beautiful island over the course of a week.

The dream team for this week consisted of VIVA GLAM founder, Katarina Van Derham; photographer Sarah Orbanic; hairstylist Angelica Curiel; makeup artist Jade Marie; VIVA GLAM supermodels Kimberly Cozzens, Anna Katharina, Jesse Golden, Greice Santos, and Alanna Kollette; Allure Plus travel specialist, Donna Wong; and myself. This was the first time we had embarked on an all girl’s photo shoot, and there was clearly excitement in the air!

Jesse golden, Anna katarina, Angelica curiel, Candace kita, Katarina van derham, Donna wong-Kona Hawaii photoshoot viva glam magazine sexiest issue

We were met at the airport by The Four Seasons Hotel representatives and were whisked away to the resort; only a short, five-minute trip. The lush, tropical foliage, geese, wild goats, and other wildlife that we saw along the way amazed us.

Upon arrival, the staff at The Four Seasons greeted us warmly with leis, refreshing Mai Tais, and cool towels. Then, we were driven to our luxurious accommodations on site. The first thing you notice while on the premises is how friendly and helpful everyone is. In fact, they know you by name. And, as many of us are either vegetarian or vegan, they made certain to have several, tasty plant-based options available, such as meatless meatballs, soy chicken patties and my favorite, Chinese orange chicken!

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You might have seen me as the face of Stila, Clear Essence, Nars, Herbalife, Youthful Luster Skincare and Classified Cosmetics. I was a model with the Wilhelmina Agency in Los Angeles for several years. I’ve also been an actor for over a decade and learned a lot about beauty, skincare and fashion in the process. I've worked with everyone from "hairstylist to the stars" Chris McMillan to makeup legend Paul Starr. I’m asked by women, “Excuse me, what lotion do you use?” “What do you use on your hair? I’ve been stopped on elevators, in the mall, restaurants, you name it. And I’ve received emails from as far away as Japan and South America from complete strangers asking me about beauty tips. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but to illustrate the fact women ask me about skincare, makeup and fashion. A lot. I believe in every woman's ability to be beautiful. And what I’ve learned, I’d love to share with you.

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