Before Dina Racciatti became the wonderfully spunky glam girl at the syndicated weekday morning radio program, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show- and touched the lives (and faces) of many - her life was far less glamorous. Dina invited the For the Hayters team into her colorfully cozy and chicly inviting studio - the aesthetics of which, no doubt, reflect her personality – to share her story of turning tragedy into triumph.
When Dina was only 13 years old, she’d received unimaginable news: her beloved mother, Lorraine, was diagnosed with Cancer. Less than one year later, and weighing just over 80 pounds, Lorraine had sadly lost her battle.
As a then-high school freshman, news of the diagnosis and subsequent passing of her mother rendered Dina emotionally withdrawn - resulting in her seclusion during what is, no doubt, a formative time in any child’s life.
“I was severely depressed,” reflects Dina of this time period. “But I knew my mother would be mad at me if she were alive and I started to go south, or make poor choices.”
Having endured an inconceivable tragedy, even at a young and impressionable age, Dina knew to channel her grief into her work. She was a stellar student; when she wasn’t in class, she was working as many hours as she could at whatever jobs would take her on at such a young age. She considers the anguish she’d been stricken with as a teenager as being the impetus for her future success:
“I was like, ‘I’m gonna continue living as if she were alive.’ If I changed, I would be totally dishonoring all the work she put in to raising me. So, I worked hard.”
Just when she thought the worst was behind her, Dina, encouraging herself to break from her busy schedule and revel in her high school’s senior year trip to Disney World, was allowed no such respite. She’d received more heartbreaking news as soon as she’d landed in Orlando: her childhood home had been burnt beyond repair.
“I had two big hits back to back, only a few years apart,” Dina tells us. “But I knew I needed to keep going.”
She did just that. Today, Dina is a celebrity make-up artist and hair stylist, and owns the highly-praised Dina’s Kiss & Makeup in Secaucus, New Jersey.
But her success hasn’t been without its own complications.
Dina joins For the Hayters to tell us the many ups and downs of her powerful story, reminding us all that life comes with its ebbs and flows. With lessons anyone and everyone can afford to heed, Dina’s episode is a refreshing reminder that setbacks can be turned into success:
“There’s no shot I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for my struggles,” says Dina, right in the center of the storefront she proudly owns.
Tune in to Dina’s episode on Wednesday, May 1st, to learn of additional obstacles Dina’s faced, and the grace with which she’s faced them. The accomplished MUA and stylist certainly knows how to make something beautiful out of a tragedy.