Colorful, fantasy hair color might be all the rage right now, but decades ago the trend was truly having its first moment in the spotlight. And that’s largely thanks in part to a pair of sisters from New York City.
In the 1970s, Tish and Snooky Bellomo were living and breathing the punk lifestyle that had made its way across the Atlantic ocean. The two toured the UK as backup singers for Blondie, dyed their hair fantastical colors and, in 1977, opened their first punk boutique on Saint Mark’s Place, dubbed Manic Panic NYC.
In the decades since, Tish and Snooky have continued living the punk lifestyle while growing Manic Panic into an iconic hair color and makeup brand. Their vibrant hair color options and tongue-in-cheek names like “Bad Boy Blue,” “Cotton Candy Pink,” or “Electric Lizard,” have helped numerous celebrities create iconic looks.
In this week’s “Shortlisted,” we ask Tish and Snooky to share the power mantras and beauty products that help them keep up the rock n’ roll vibes they love so much.
We have two!
“Live fast and dye your hair!”
We’ve always believed in making the world a more colorful and happy place! Color can change one’s mood and boost self-confidence. It’s a powerful tool, way more powerful than some might think. Our mother, who single-handed raised us in a less-forgiving time period, was a teacher, a commercial artist, an art therapist, and then the head of the art therapy department at the School of Visual Arts.
Her involvement in the art world and in art therapy made us aware of how positively various tones can affect one’s mood. She actually thought of the name Manic Panic!
“Dye for Peace!”
Since we were young girls we’ve always loved to help people and animals. It was our dream to be in a position to help. Well, now we are! We donate 15 percent of our profits to various charities every year. We’re so happy we can do this.
We both love Tracie Martyn facials and products. We try to stay out of the intense sun because we’ve both had problems due to sun damage. Since we’re always working, mostly inside, it’s not too much of a sacrifice. But as an added precaution, Snooky always uses a sunblock with at least SPF 50.
The Rock School Podcast
About the podcast (according to the podcast): “Rock School is a weekly, one-hour radio show, hosted by Joe Burns and his wife Tammy. The show takes a new music topic each week and explores it playing the songs that fit into the topic area. To this point the show has produced over 500 episodes having never repeated a topic or aired a re-run.”
The Coverville Podcast
About the podcast (according to the podcast):“Every good song deserves a cover, and Coverville has been bringing them to you since 2004. Every week, Brian Ibbott brings you a show featuring the best in cover songs. It’s free to listen, and free to subscribe!”
Favorite Fashion Splurge
50 percent off sale at our favorite thrift store. We love scouring through the racks and shelves of thrift shops, rummage and yard sales. The excitement of not knowing what you’ll find is half the fun! Most of our favorite outfits are vintage and we’re always finding cool things to pass on to our friends. It’s also great fun to re-purpose old things and make them your own.
Currently Reading + Listening
Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dennis Dunaway. It’s all about his adventures in the Alice Cooper group. His wife, Cindy, who works for us at Manic Panic headquarters, designed and made all of the costumes for the band! The book is an amazing collection of true stories from the dawn of the glitter rock, glam rock days.
Right now we’re listening to glam rock songs in preparation for a glam show we’re singing on November 30 at City Winery in NYC. It’s recreational, and always soooo muuuch fuuuun, but we’re still working!
Green tea latte! We both love coffee but too much is just too much. We, like most people, start to feel a little slump around 3:00 or 4:00. Our office manager Sarah (or else Lianna in the accounting department) somehow psychically know when we’re getting sluggish and bring us in a nice hot green tea latte!
Good thing we shared our recipe with them a few years ago! We have so many projects going on and have so many deadlines. This little pick me up is essential to our productivity.
My favorite Instagram post
It’s a mug shot of a tabby cat with a sign that says “I sold the dog on Craigslist twice!” Stripey Malone.
Secret Weapon for Fab Hair
Manic Panic hair color and coconut oil. We both love using more than one color at once. It’s so much fun to try new colors and mix and match.
Coconut oil gives a great shine to all hair and helps to control frizz. It’s great for the skin, too, and so good to eat.
Go-to pair of shoes
Tish: Vibram five finger shoes. I got these shoes and it changed my life! They are total foot freedom, especially for your toes. Some people laugh at me, some go crazy and want them, and my husband called them “reason for divorce shoes” until he got used to them.
Snooky: Purple Doc Martens. I love my old Docs! Purple is one of my favorite colors and the fact that they’re so nicely “warn in” only makes them better still!
Self-care Method of Choice
Zumba! It’s always great to dance and sweat!