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Arts & Culture

Being Barbarella: Going Behind the Lipstick of 'Diary of a Diva'

Being Barbarella

For the past decade, Barbarella Fokos has been writing her popular column Diary of a Diva for the San Diego Reader. Now she has released her first book, "Diary of a Diva: Behind the Lipstick."

Barbarella selected 50 stories from an archive of some 500 and then paired each with behind-the-scenes commentary where she shares the stories behind the stories, new revelations and old secrets. As does her husband, David. As she put it, he finally gets a chance at rebuttal.

Barbarella, herself, is a force to be reckoned with. She's a blogger, a columnist, an Emmy winner, a whimsical observer of life and, of course, a diva. But the good kind, the kind who's fast with a quip and bitchy in that fun kitschy way.


When I suggested doing a video story on her, I knew I wouldn't have to do much because Barbarella loves to talk and to comment on everything and to obsess over small details and to, well, just be entertaining. I went over to her house before her book launch and signing party on Tuesday at Solare Ristorante at Liberty Station. I wanted to catch the Diva getting ready.

She showed me how she does her make up, emphasizing her signature eyebrows and lips. Her look is so iconic that her logo reduces her down to practically just lips and eyebrows, yet you immediately recognize it as her. I found out she uses three lipsticks on those distinctive lips — two expensive ones and one cheap. And she constantly reapplies it. She also loves sequins and feathers, and arriving very early.

Here's a video portrait of the fabulous diva Barbarella. You won't see or hear me in the piece because, quite frankly, a diva needs her space, and I didn't want to get in the way.