Diana Elizabeth Barton was born in the remote desert city of Palm Springs, California, but her ambition has taken her all over the world. This statuesque beauty left her hometown at the tender age of seventeen to pursue modeling in Paris, which she parlayed into a very successful acting career. With talent to match her good looks, she landed a role on the hit ’80s show Fame, which was followed by numerous television appearances on all three major networks.
A whirlwind journey it has been for Ms. Barton, whose claim to fame is the character of the sexy vixen Mari Jo Mason on the iconic CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. In the midst of it all, a nineteen year-old Diana even managed to have a hit song, Tango, which topped the Italian charts for three months. These days, you can find this “Jill of All Trades” in her garden or in her office running a successful beauty line, Diana B. Beauty, which has found loyal fans worldwide.
We are well aware of the pitfalls of modeling, so how did your parents feel about your decision?
They were very supportive. I had a lot of family structure, and they made me feel very secure. It was a family sit-down dinner, and we all discussed it. There was a lot of support from everyone. My mother always traveled with me until I was a legal age. She was always with me, so there were many words of wisdom every day. She had nothing but careful wishes for her daughter. Her physical presence was plenty.
Was it ever a challenge to be a healthy model?
No, not really. I had my mom with me all through those years. She would make me breakfast. I would go out on go-sees and come back to a lunch that she had prepared. She was always there giving me vitamins and healthy meals. It’s nice to have mom by your side.
In your opinion, how has the modeling profession changed over the years?
I don’t know. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t been a model for a long time, so it’s not something I can speak to. The last modeling assignment was when I was seventeen, and I really haven’t kept up with the industry.
How did you get involved in showbiz?
It all started with director Oz Scott. I had a modeling agent and a theatrical agent, who sent me out on an audition, and I met him. He chose me for the role he was casting in Fame. That’s how it all began for me.
Did you ever feel any pressure to be thin during your soap opera days?
I had a schedule where I would get up at 4 a.m. and be memorizing thirty pages of dialogue a day and shooting two shows on two different sound stages five days in a row, so I didn’t need any more than that to keep my weight down.
Showbiz has placed an even greater premium on youth. How do you feel about this?
I would ask Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep, who seem to be doing very well. That’s my perception of how mature women are being portrayed today. That’s how I like to see it. I think the cream rises to the top.
Do you have one piece of invaluable advice for aspiring models/performers?
Stay healthy, focused, and surround yourself with protective people, who always have your well-being in mind. Very important!
You’re obviously multi-talented, but what is your greatest passion?
My greatest talent or passion, other than what I’m doing now, would be singing, because it connects very well with people.
What is the source of inspiration for your beauty line?
Fragrance. Fragrances that are around me in my life, in my travels, and when I’m in my garden…they all inspire me. People and the way the environment smells are connective tissues in most people’s memory, and I’m no different.
What is your hottest product?
The Diana B. 60 Second Instant Miracle Tan. It’s chocolate-scented, so it doesn’t smell like harsh chemicals. The cocoa colored foam works in the shower on wet skin. After the foam is applied, you rinse off with water, pat dry and go! It’s the only tanning product that goes on in the water and rinses off leaving you tanned!
What is the motto of your beauty line?
When you open the packaging for Diana B., the tag line or motto is Be Beautiful, which is an inside and outside job. It’s an offering gesture that goes from one woman to another woman and on and on….
How did you prepare yourself for the business world?
I took advice from my partners and my mentors regularly.
Who is your go-to person for beauty advice or fixes?
There is a well-kept secret in Hollywood, and her name is Tricia Dikes. She does an amazing peel on me, which is her own concoction. There is mutual admiration because she herself uses the Diana B. Maple Sugar Lychee Nut Scrub. I discovered her about a year and a half ago, and she is a gifted girl that I call a friend. That peel has been transformative for my skin.
For hair, two people come to mind: Koji Toyoda and Chris McMillan. The best colorist I know is Koji Toyoda. He is officially opening up his first salon next month. We’ve been working together since I was seventeen. The other person is a childhood friend and someone I grew up with. He did my first French braid at my place. His name is Chris McMillan, and he does an amazing job of cutting hair. I’m very proud to call him my friend. And finally, life without MAC makeup is unimaginable!
With such a busy schedule, how do you maintain a healthy balance?
I make sure to take the time to find balance every day of the week. Three times a week, I will take a yoga class. The other four days I will do Pilates or a combination of Pilates and yoga for one hour a day. This is what keeps me balanced. I like Maha Yoga Studio here in Brentwood. It’s Ashtanga Yoga, which is rapid breathing and some cardio. And I spend a lot of time in my garden.
Is there a passion that remains unfulfilled?
Motherhood. Yes. I think that would be a one-word answer.
They say great artists are often tortured souls. Assuming this is true, what kind of person would make an ideal mate?
A great artist. Definitely!
As a globetrotter, is there one place that is incomparable?
You know if there is, I have yet to discover it. Every place has its own unique magic. I couldn’t compare Italy to Japan, or Japan to America, and so on. Each one is amazing in its own way.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
For information, visit http://WWW.DIANABBEAUTY.COM
Tricia Dikes can be reached @ 310-400-2734
What is your favorite beauty line?