Author Archives: PghMakeup

Ambush Makeover Day X 2

We did things a little different today. We had two amazing ladies we whisked away to the salon for a little TLC. The “Ambusher” also unknowingly became the “Ambushee.” Here are the letters we received that made us want to choose not one person, but two for a double ambush day!

Hello, I’d like to nominate my mom Karen for the Ambush Makeover. She’s been wanting a makeover for a while now and she is DEFINITELY very deserving of one. Being the mother of five, she never had much time for herself. Now that we are all grown up, she still always makes it a priority to not only put us 5 first, but she also has 6 grandchildren too. This sounds like a perfect opportunity! Regardless of if she is chosen, I think this idea is fantastic and such a great thing you all are doing in the community for deserving people.

Thank you! — Keriann

Fast forward to letter #2!

Hi Ladies, This is probably an unusual request, but if possible can you do a double ambush makeover? My sister, Keriann wrote to you about our very deserving mom, Karen.  I just happened to come across you yesterday and was going to write in about our mom as well.  I would also like to nominate my sister Keri, who wrote the initial letter to you.  Keri is a bride-to-be, getting married October 27, 2018 here in Pittsburgh, so a combined mother/bride ambush would be perfect.  I think Keri is beautiful, inside and out. She is the kind of sister and friend anybody would be lucky to have. She will drop anything at any time and travel no matter where to help family or friends. So, I am hoping you would consider ambushing her along with our mom. I would love to see her just get pampered with hair/makeup/nails especially with the wedding approaching. She is an amazing person and she deserves a little pampering as well.

A million thanks, Andrea

Done and done! We really had such a blast today with these amazing women. Karen is the mom of 4 girls and a boy and we had the pleasure hanging out with all the gals today at the salon. Here are a few pictures to document our lovely morning. We didn’t have a Photographer for this go-around but we managed to capture some amazing moments via my cell phone! Truly when it comes down to it, its about giving back to people just like this and giving them some great memories even if its only for a few hours!


The surprise — because we really like to make people wonder what is happening…



So back at the salon, we then told Keriann she was ALSO in for a little day of pampering! She was really shocked to say the least. With her wedding day fast approaching in October, Brooke took the time to trim her hair and then do a little bridal trial to play around with possible wedding looks.


It turned out so pretty!



The makeover for mom went great. She doesn’t wear too much makeup in her daily life so just kept things soft and pretty. Less is more! Brooke freshened up her color and gave her a few high-lights to brighten things up!





Keriann also looked like a million bucks. With her updo and a soft and natural makeup look she was ready to go!


A little before and after shot…


Karen with her 4 amazing daughters ❤


The Glam Team — Brooke Rockwell and Julie Marckisotto


Our job is always fun but some days are just a little more special. If you know someone who you’d like to nominate for an upcoming Ambush – don’t hesitate to write us ❤ ❤


A Special Mother’s Day Ambush

If we had to describe our recent ambush makeover in a few words it would be — What a perfect day! Truly. Or as Katie, the nominator or our Ambushee called it “Good Vibes Day”. We love that.  That was exactly what it was. A group of people with good vibes to pamper a wonderful lady, Sheri. Here’s a little excerpt of her daughter Katie’s letter to us on our Facebook page which lead us to choose her amazing mama!

First, I just want to say that I am so moved by what you ladies do. I’m literally in tears as I write this message to you. A day of pampering would be a massive deal to my mom. I live in California and would gladly fly home to help make this day as special as it possibly can be for my amazing mom. She’s given me everything she’s ever had to make sure I had a good life and was able to follow my dreams with gusto. When I saw this post I enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to do something that would help take care of her. Please consider her as your choice for this year’s recipient. Always good vibes, Katie

So this is awesome…Sheri had no idea Katie was even coming home from California until she saw her waiting outside her home that morning in a car picking her up. That was the best surprise of the day I’m sure. Shortly after, we Ambushed Sheri at a cafe near by the new home of Brooke Rockwell hair salon. To say she was surprised is an understatement.


So after the shock wore off and a few happy tears were shed {by all of us!} we were off to start the day at Brooke’s Salon in the Northside.
First line of business — hair! After consulting with Sheri, Brooke added some fresh new hi-lights for summer and gave Sheri a really chic and modern cut ❤
More (((hugs)))
Now time for makeup — Julie kept Sheri looking fresh and glowy and accentuated her own natural beauty. Sheri’s everyday makeup routine is pretty natural so we kept everything in line with that but just made her pretty blue eyes pop!
Evey person we start out with is beautiful for sure — but who doesn’t love a before and after shot!? We’re so happy with how it turned out and hope she loved it as much as us!
before and after
Just when she thought she was done, Jordan Hauser Digital did a little photo-shoot with mom and daughter. You can really see the love these two have for each other a mile away and you can’t help but be in a good mood around them!
The Makeover Team! Julie Marckisotto & Brooke Rockwell
And we can’t forget the man behind the camera, Jordan Hauser! Without him none of these amazing moments would of been captured — Thank you Jordan!
If you have a special person you’d like to nominate for an upcoming makeover, reach out! You can find us on Facebook under Ambush Pittsburgh! It’s simple, just message us why you want to nominate someone and tell us a little about them!
 Until next time ❤

Back In Full Swing

What better thing is there than to reward a deserving person with a day of complete relaxation and pampering? Yesterday we did just that. Ambush Pittsburgh has been on a little hiatus but we are back in full swing! This is too good not to keep up. When we reached out for letters asking for some new nominations recently, Kelley and Amanda were quick to respond nominating their sweet mom.

“My mom could really use a day for her. She had to retire from her job to take care of my dad — she would do anything for my dad, my sister and myself. One day to herself is exactly when she needs. She is a beautiful woman but this would really lift her spirits. Thank you so much for considering my mom – she is so very deserving!”

DONE. A day to herself she got and what a day it was. We all had a wonderful time with our Ambush gal, Colleen and her two daughters. Here are just a few pictures that were taken to capture the eventful day!

The Surprise — she thought she was going to a routine eye checkup with her daughter {he-he}…


We explained, nope your not here for that. But your going to be getting a facial treatment, makeup, hair and shopping spree — yep this is better!

Kristin giving Colleen the royal treatment in our relaxing spa room at the studio…



Next up, hair! A little trim & style by Brooke…

blog4.JPGblog5.JPGA little makeup by Julie to accentuate that “glow”…

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Tag team…


Feeling pretty!


Now that her glam session was over, we all went to Target for a little retail therapy! Colleen was styled by our Stylist, Alexa and they found some great new pieces for her wardrobe…


Colleen with her two lovely daughters, Kelley & Amanda…


Our Glam Team from Left to Right with Colleen… Brooke Rockwell, Kristin Radacsy, Alexa Freeman, Julie Marckisotto & Nikki Braun.  Shout out to Nikki for taking all of the amazing photos from the day!


Do you know someone you’d like to Ambush? Write us and tell us why they could use a day of beauty! Email: — they could be next 😉

Springing Forward

What an amazing day Monday was. We are thinking of changing Ambush Pittsburgh to Pamper Pittsburgh — it really isn’t like these women really need a makeover. It’s more about treating someone who really needs a day to themselves and making them feel good. It’s doing things like this for people that makes us really feel like we have the best job in the entire world! It’s been a little while since we were able to do an Ambush and we really couldn’t wait to jump right back in!  So meet Liz, our Ambush nominee who was treated to a day of pampering that she truly deserves! Liz was nominated by her best friend, Christy…

Dear Julie & Brooke, I love that you two do this makeover for deserving ladies. It is so incredibly kind and wonderful of you to put your time, resources and energy into blessing these people. I have a nomination for a beautiful friend of mine, Liz. I would love to see her honored and blessed by this makeover.  She has endured so much hardship in the last three, going on 4 years. To see her feel great about herself would be awesome — she is a beautiful person inside and out. — Christy

We surprised Liz that morning at Panera Bread, she thought she was just having a cup of coffee with her BF!


We then took the ladies shopping at H&M — we had $100 to play with and they have such great pieces for the prices…



Next! Off the salon where the real fun begins…hair and makeup =)

Liz’s cut and color already looked great, so Brooke gave her a relaxing shampoo and styled her hair just perfectly!





Now time for makeup! Liz is a natural beauty…makeup just accentuates the great features she already has…



She literally looked like she was glowing from within — so pretty!



Now for some outfit changes …Liz got a couple adorable Spring dresses for those warmer days ahead!






Love this picture of Christy and Liz — too cute!


Below, our Ambush Team!

Photographer — Matt Quinslik [“Q”], Hair — Brooke Rockwell, Makeup — Julie Marckisotto


We really had the best time with Liz and Christy — thank you guys so much.

Last, we would like to dedicate this blog post to Liz’s husband Matt who lost his battle with Cancer last July. He is pictured with Liz’s two beautiful children, Grace and Griffin ❤


Know someone who you want to nominate for our next Ambush? Email us!

Mother’s Day Makeover!

We have been sorting through emails and really wanted to reward a special mom this week with a surprise Mother’s Day Makeover! So Monday, we were excited to do just this for Tiffany, a busy mom of three little ones! Her sister Heather wrote such a lovely letter to us, we knew she would be perfect for it.  Here’s what she had to say….


Tiffany is a beautiful person, wonderful sister, wife and amazing mother of three! She is not only all these amazing things, but she is also my best friend!  I thought what better way to show her some love then to nominate her for an amazing make over? My sister is so beautiful already, however, as we all know it can get very hectic to say the least in taking care of a household and three young children (5, 2, and 5 months). Tiffany has very  little, if any, time to do special things for herself let alone a haircut. She is such a wonderful person and you never hear her complain about the lack of time she has for herself. She is so amazing at what she does, and I want her to have a day to realize how much she is appreciated!   We love her and would love for her to have a day of her own getting even more beautified! I cannot imagine someone more deserving of something so special! It would be such a blessing if you picked my amazing little sister for the make over. I know that once you meet her, you will immediately see the beautiful spirit in her and see why I want her to win. Thanks so much!
We Ambushed Tiffany at Peet’s Cafe — we are starting to make a habit out of ambushing people here…they do have great coffee! She immediately knew something was up when we walked directly to the table and asked are you Tiffany?! After we explained what would be happening for the rest of the day, her excitement put a smile on all of our faces and we couldn’t wait to get the party started!
The surprise =)
First we hit up H&M because Tiffany mentioned she wanted relaxed, casual pieces she could feel good in while running around town with the kids! This store is great and there were so many nice things to choose from — not to mention she looked great in almost every single thing she tried on.  We also had a few surprise pieces for her as a gift back at the salon!
Already looking good in the first outfit she tried on…
Back at the salon, we always like to get a little before pic!
Brooke did a nice cut for Tiffany since she didn’t really want any color change.  But after just freshening up the ends and curling her hair,  she looked so great!


Tiffany is very natural with her makeup, so just working with a  few key products to bring out her natural beauty was all she needed.  Also just shaped her brows!


The finished look — pretty and polished mommy on the go!



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Tiffany and Heather –cutest sisters ever!


Where the magic happens =)


The team for today, Brooke and I went solo – I think the pics turned out good just from the phone =)


So much fun! Thank you ladies both — we felt like we knew you guys forever, we all need to meet at Pete’s again for coffee soon! XO


Celebrating St. Patty’s Day With a Makeover!

This past Monday, March 17th we were excited to get back into full Ambush mode and celebrate a fun day of beauty for our 8th Ambush winner, Missy! Missy’s husband Matt, of 11 years, wrote in and we instantly knew she would be just perfect for this experience and have full day just to herself. This busy mom has 4 little ones all under the age of 7 which includes twins in the mix! Here is what Matt had to say that won us over…

Missy is a hard working stay at home mom who, though having the craziness that can ensue with so many little ones at home, has somehow found a way to work at losing weight.  Missy is very near her goal of losing 60 some pounds.  It would be my hope that I could see her rewarded with something of this sort for all of her hard work.  She would be ecstatic and sincerely blessed to hard a day of the sort!

That morning our makeover team surprised Missy at Peet’s coffee in the Southside where she thought she was just having coffee with April, her sister in-law that also happens to be her best friend!  She was a little confused and very surprised when her husband Matt came walking in with all of us.  To say that she looked shocked is an understatement! We quickly explained what was going on and she was so excited to finally hear she could get her hair done — which she mentioned has been a challenge finding the time for lately.  Here are some photos of the day, although there were many, these capture what a fun day we all had doing this for her!

Hubby presented Missy with a card and also some play money to get some new clothes to fit that new figure!


The Hardings — love this one ❤


Missy with April, who joined along in the fun for the day!


A quick “before” shot at Peet’s before the makeover begins…


 Picking out some color ideas with Brooke, we were excited she wanted to try an ombre look with some brighter red tones! Brooke also freshened up her cut =)





Time for makeup…




The finished results —







The Ambush Team ~ Julie Marckisotto [makeup], Brooke Rockwell [hair] — we were happy to have Marcy Elder come along this time to help with styling for the day!


And can’t forget the man behind the camera who helped us out so much, big thanks again to Dan Speicher!

dan s

Everyone had a blast with Missy and we can’t wait for our next one in May.  If you know someone who would be perfect for an Ambush Makeover, don’t hesitate to write us at Thanks =)

Mother’s Day Ambush!

This past Monday marked our 7th Ambush! We wanted to honor Mother’s Day and choose a special nominee for the occasion — so meet Carol Liska! What a fun and rewarding day it was from the very start when our team ambushed her at the Panera Bread that morning.  What she thought was going to be a quiet cup of coffee quickly turned into a day of hair, makeup and clothing — but hopefully lots of fun as well!  When we received the nomination from her daughters Melissa and Tina, we knew this beautiful mother was in need of a little pampering.  Carol has shown tremendous strength and perseverance through many difficult family times.  We were truly touched by what this amazing lady has been through in her life, but also by what she has accomplished.  After 45 years she just recently quit smoking and that is truly amazing and something to be so proud of! Since this was our Mother’s Day tribute makeover, it worked out so great because Tina and Melissa presented their mom with a gift card to JC Penny’s.  Below are just a few pictures taken that day by Jaianne Lowden who generoulsy volunteered as our Photographer.  Thank you so much to everyone who helped pull off a fantastic Ambush and special day for Carol.

A few tears were shed when she found out what was going on, awe I just love this part …

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The “before” picture taken at the salon for the day begins …

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Brooke gave Carol a fresh cut and a few hi-lights to her already pretty hair-color …

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Now for some finishing touches in the makeup department …

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Checking out the finished product …

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A quick pic before leaving the salon with her hair and makeup team, Brooke and Julie 🙂

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Off to Penny’s where we met up with Colleen, our Stylist who arrived early to select a few pieces for Carol that she could easily incorporate in her wardrobe.  Thanks Colleen, you did a great job!

As you can see we all jumped in, it was fun picking out clothes and accessories for her …

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A couple finished looks that she ended up with … green is her color!

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Just a few minor things done at the salon and she looks amazing …


 Our little team with Ms. Carol — Brooke Rockwell, Jaianne Lowden, Colleen Boyle and Julie Marckisotto

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All of us at Ambush Pittsburgh would like to dedicate this to Carol’s son Christopher who recently passed away from Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Ambush February 2013

Yesterday was our 6th Ambush and it was a very special one! When we received an email about Olivia, an inspiring woman who has recently overcome challenging obstacles in her life, we were excited to give her a pampering day of beauty that she’ll remember.  Olivia is a busy mom and is currently trying to re-enter the job market.  Our goal was to give her some extra help in creating a professional look with hair, makeup and clothing.  We were lucky enough to have a $200 gift-card donated from an organization to Lane Bryant in Monroeville Mall, so Olivia could get a few great pieces started in her work wardrobe. We had a great time getting to know this wonderful lady and hope she had just as much fun with us!

A special thank you to Dan Speicher, who volunteered as our Photographer yesterday. He did such an amazing job and we can’t thank him enough for helping us out – we hope to work with you again soon!

I also would like to welcome our new Stylist to the Ambush Team — Colleen Boyle, soon to be Colleen McKeever this October! Colleen is a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she studies Fashion/Retail Management.  Thanks so much Colleen for all of your help with yesterday’s Ambush, we can’t wait to have you do more with us!

Ms. Olivia when she got to Brooke’s Salon …



Done with hair and feeling good so far …


A few touches to bring out Olivia’s natural beauty …


Hair and makeup completed!


She has such a great smile 🙂


The polka – dot makeover team … Julie Marckisotto & Brooke Rockwell


Next we were off to Lane Bryant in Monroeville Mall to take advantage of that gift-card. Olivia was able to get some great new items for her wardrobe and she looked amazing!




The before and after ~ go knock ’em dead girl!

before after

Ambush September ~ Jenny!

So we are back after our summer hiatus, and thought we’d switch it up a little for this month’s Ambush! We took Jenny, the nominator of our February Ambush, Becky.  We knew Jenny was really wanting a new look and an updated picture to include on her blog…Crossing the Bugger Dixon Line, which is super cute by the way, so check it out! A big thank you to her best friend Becky who was instrumental in helping us coordinate this and also bringing in Jenny’s husband so all ends were covered.  Jenny didn’t suspect a thing and thought she was just meeting us for a little “thank you breakfast” for past nominators.  Little did she know…the whole day was shaped around giving her a day of hair, makeup and shopping! Since Jenny’s birthday was just last Tuesday, Becky donated a $100 Gap Giftcard to the shopping spree…it was an all around great day!

The letter we surprised Jenny with~~

We appreciate you coming to our “thank you breakfast” although; it’s actually YOUR OWN AMBUSH! We’re taking you away for a few hours to give you a well-deserved makeover! And it gets better, after hair and makeup…we are going shopping with your $100 gift-card to the GAP given to you by BFF Becky!  It’s all about you today – we know you’ve wanted this for a long time and we’re going to have so much fun!!

Brooke starting Jenny’s hair transformation…

Now time for a little makeup to bring out Jenny’s natural beauty even more…

After only an hour at the salon 🙂

Next stop…Monroeville Mall for a little post-birthday shopping spree! We found some great pieces for Jenny to add to her wardrobe…

We think Jenny looks so great and had such a blast today! XO

April Ambush!

What an amazing day we had Ambushing our 4th person for a free day of beauty.  Meet Marilyn – we surprised her early this morning at Pamela’s Restaurant in the Strip District where she was enjoying a quiet breakfast with her husband and two children.  With the restaurant pretty packed we had to look around but then spotted Paige waving for us with a big smile on her face.  After introducing ourselves we informed Marilyn that she was nominated for a deserving day of pampering and that she was coming with us after breakfast for a full day of fun!  Needless to say she was a little surprised! Her daughter even said that on the way to Pamela’s she was talking about how much she needed her hair done ~ we couldn’t have planned it better if we tried…LOVE IT.

“I’d like to nominate the most deserving and selfless person in the Steel City: My mom! My mom has been an amazing mother to eight (that’s right eight!!) kids and one grandson for many years! She never does ANYTHING for herself and would SO enjoy getting a make-over. She gave up her career as a special education art teacher after I was born to be a mom! She thought she was done having kids, but six kids later she learned differently! 🙂 In order to give us all the opportunity for private schooling, my mom has taught PRO BONO at a school where she exchanges her teaching gifts for tuition. All eight of us kids are EXTREMELY blessed by her sacrifice.” ~from her daughter, Jaime

The surprise 🙂

Marilyn with one of her EIGHT kids, Paige…she helped us coordinate this and it turned out perfectly, thanks Paige!

Makeover Madness ~

With a complete haircut, color, wax and makeup … we think Marilyn looked great! It was now time to go shopping 🙂

Marilyn was able to get two complete outfits at Target … her kids came together and got her a pre-Mother’s Day gift card for a little shopping spree.

The team of the day (Brooke Rockwell & Julie Marckisotto) with Marilyn ~ Thanks to everyone who made this day go so smooth.  Even the strange man behind the desk at the fitting room – you were memorable!

If you know someone who deserves to be our next AMBUSH PITTSBURGH makeover, please email us.  We can’t do this without you, so keep them coming!