Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Talent Resources Suites Returns To Sundance To Gift And Give

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Annalynne McCord (Photo credit: Michael Todaro)

Tight jeans, moon boots, and fur coats–welcome to the Sundance Film Festival! Once again the gracious Talent Resources Suites was the place to be at Sundance. For the fifth consecutive year, the hospitality suite was filled to the brim with incredible products and buzz. From tea by The Teaologist and dips by Sabra hummusto free blow outs and hair touch-ups by Dove and make-up enhancing by Cover Girl, the suite was bound to have something for you.

Just like last year, I managed to walk in right next to another contestant from ABC’s The Bachelor. This year it wasn’t Ben I was following around as I enjoyed all of the exclusive gifts, but newly single Utah native Jef Holm, who was Bachelorette Emily Maynard’s pick last year. As a co-founder of People Water, which I drank last year at Sundance, Holm’s company builds wells. The do-good company matches each bottle purchased in the United States with an equal quantity of clean water for people in the developing world. The company sponsored a well in Nicaragua and has two more planned for Ghana.

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Karina Smirnoff (Photo credit: Michael Todaro)

Countless models, actors, and filmmakers were making their rounds at the TR Suites, like Paris Hilton and the band One Republic. Annalynne McCord made a cameo to get her nails done while sipping on ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water drinks.  Octavia Spencer was out promoting her new movie Fruitvale. While enjoying Sundance, she munched on Sabra snacks while picking out Sean Jean jackets. I picked up a pair of styling Sean Jean sunglasses and was happy to learn that Sean Jean, created by music icon Sean “Diddy” Combs gives back too. For every coat that was given out during the weekend, Sean Jean donated a brand new coat to at-risk New Yorkers as part of the New York Cares Coat Drive.

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Mario Lopez and wife (Photo credit: Michael Todaro)

Karina Smirnoff charged her phone with her new Duracell Powermat smart phone charging station (which is just about the coolest tiny charging mat I have seen out yet. It can slip in your purse and literally you just lay your cell on the mat to charge) while munching on Macaron Magnifique, a customized, gluten-free Parisian macaron.  Meanwhile, Mario Lopez and wife Courtney Mazza stopped and picked up Sensa Weight Loss Systems (where you sprinkle the product right on your food and it suppresses your appetite) and COVERGIRL products. Lil John stayed warm in the TR SUITES and munched on LYFE Kitchen delights while listening to the sounds of DJ Series at the Monster DNA DJ booth. He was later spotted loading up on Gillette products.  Brie Larson stocked up on all her new tech gadgets by Duracell Powermats and Lenovo Laptops Powered by IZEA.

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Writer Melissa Curtin with Michelle Katz enjoying a Lipton Tea (Photo Credit: Lipton Tea)

I enjoyed tasting the new coffee flavored coconut water by Zico and spent my whole three days in Park City drinking Hint, water with a hint of flavor. These drinks are so delicious, but most importantly, hydrate you! As we meandered across the way, Sears (yes Sears!) was giving away some of the coolest gear, like the new Isotoner SmartTouch gloves that allow you to use your iPhone with the gloves on with their touchscreen compatibility fingers.  We picked up some beautiful scarves, hats, and even super soft sleek hoodies designed by KK, the Kardashian Kollection at Sears. Lipton Tea kept us warm with their numerous fresh tea leaf concoctions.  You can’t go wrong with affordable COVERGIRL. We were excited to take home and try some new products, like Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast, Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss, and LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm. I was actually surprised how amazing the mascara looks, way better than my expensive brand. The Talent Resources Suite was definitely one of the top places to hit during the day at Sundance.

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Michelle Katz, Bachelor winner Jeff Holm, writer Melissa Curtin (Photo Credit: TR Suites)

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