Archive | November, 2012

Creative Makeup

29 Nov

I would like to introduce Mika. Mika is not only a friend of mine, but she is a wonderful model who has been featured in calendars, playboy golf events, and various fashion shows and print media. She also does work for charity. She’s awesome. 🙂
I knew Mika would be a great candidate for this look, because of her skin tone and elegant features. Using Makeup Forever Products and a few other amazing products, we were able to achieve the pictured look above.

Here are the products I used.

Makeup Forever HD Primer and Foundation (175)
Makeup Forever HD Powder
HD Microfinish Blush in 11

Manly Cosmetics 120 Eyeshadow Palette (This ENTIRE palette is about $15 on Ebay and is a MUST have) The shadows tend to break apart a bit easily, but the pigment is amazing!

Colors used – pale yellow, traditional orange, and brick red.

Eyeliner – Revlon Colorstay in dark black

Mascara – Blinc Kiss Me in Black

Lashes – 138 Nicole, Makeup Forever is closest.

Lips – Rouge Artist Intense, 11 paired with a shimmery gold lipgloss at the center of the lips

The quest for long(er) lashes

28 Nov

Every girl dreams of longer eyelashes. It seems most of us ladies are born with barely there lashes, or they become that way over time. If you are tired of wearing strip or individual lashes all of the time, then perhaps a little intervention is what you need.

In the quest to lengthen my lashes, I found a tremendous amount of products which promised to do just that. I wanted something that would lengthen, and thicken my lashes without causing any medical issues. I had considered Latisse, reading the side effects, I changed my mind. Yes, the results on Latisse were proven, and the product is FDA approved but reading that your eyelids may darken, in addition to your eye color turning brown, was enough to turn me off. I even asked a few of my skincare clients who used the product  if they experienced the side effects. And each of them had. I decided to turn to other alternatives.

I settled on a product called Maxolash, from Dermagevity. It’s a little pricey ($80 for 0.33 ounces) and the reviews are mixed. There are no known side effects from the product, other than stinging a bit if you get the solution into your eyes. It is clinically proven and uses ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, provitamin b5, and glycoproteins. They promise results in three weeks. I ordered it, and decided to give it a shot.

The product goes on easily, and doesn’t have a strong odor to it. It does sting a little if it gets into the eyes, but it goes away relatively quickly. I use the product once a day, at night. It has been four weeks since I started using the product, and I have to say that I actually do see a difference.

I am not losing as many eyelashes that I was before, and my lashes can actually be seen even without mascara. Some of them are longer than others and they are definitely longer than they used to be. It isn’t the dramatic event I was hoping for without mascara on them, but I am happy with the results. When I use my mascara, I can see the total improvement. My lashes are thicker and longer and I get compliments on them now, and women asking what type of mascara I use. I would definitely purchase this product again, and recommend it to my clients. It will change your lashes slightly, but not as dramatic as Latisse.

I give it 3 out of five stars.

Top Products for this Makeup Artist (with skincare in mind)

28 Nov

In being a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist over the last couple of years, I’ve been fortunate to try various different skin care products and makeup lines. It’s always nice to get educated on a new line and have free samples (I think my cousin Carol would agree) for the expensive stuff, EBAY it. Its way cheaper. At any rate, due to everyone always asking my advice on some of the things I regularly use (either on myself or clients) here is my current list of faves:

  1. Anything that isn’t MAC Cosmetics. Sorry, I guess I should clarify here. The makeup artist in me absolutely adores MAC, but the skincare professional side of me and MAC has a love hate relationship. Sure, on camera and in photos your skin looks flawlessly amazing, but wait a few weeks after regular everyday use and see how great your skin looks. I saw it all the time in the spa, red cheek area, breakouts, and just really uneven skin tone. You might as well take regular powder and mix it directly with mineral oil and then put it on your skin…oh wait, you are using MAC (specifically Studio Fix?) Oh, than you ARE ALREADY DOING THAT. MAC eye shadows, liners, etc. are fab. But their foundations and powders are a huge NO NO if you want to have decent looking skin.
  2. So, what’s my favorite foundation? Hmmm…as of today, I love the GloMinerals Gloprotective foundation. It’s not your typical powder foundation that gets all over the place instead of on your face. It’s a liquid and it’s AMAZING. A bit on the heavier coverage side, so it will cover dark spots and scarring. I would recommend their lighter coverage liquid if you have flawless skin.
  3. My other favorite foundation. Jane Iredale, amazing base. LOVE LOVE LOVE this. HATE that it’s a powder, but it gives an amazing coverage, doesn’t look like you have a lot on, and comes in various colors. Plus it’s SPF 20! It’s a bit pricey at around $45 but well worth it.
  4. Concealer – Okay, so if you are like me…which means you never get quite enough sleep, or even when you do, you still look tired (thanks dad for those genes!) you know that a concealer makes a HUGE difference. I really like Amazing Cosmetics brand, Amazing Concealer. It’s about $40 I think at Sephora and Ulta but I’ve literally had mine for over a year and there is HALF a tube left. You need so little of this stuff and it can cover tattoos.
  5. My absolute favorite concealer – Yves St Laurent Touche Eclait. They make a claim that’s its like 10 hours of sleep in a bottle, and you know what? It totally is (imagine my giddiness here). Its way expensive. I think I spent like 60 on this, but it should last awhile, and after using it honestly have to say there’s a reason it’s one of the TOP concealers professional makeup artists use. LOVE this and completely hooked. Now I just have to work more so I can afford it.
  6. Primer. Do you really need one? Um, unless you have porcelain skin that looks like the models in the magazines that are so airbrushed they don’t have pores anymore, then yes, you NEED a primer. Smashbox has an EXCELLENT selection of primers. The green primer helps combat redness. You all know that right? If you have a pimple and it’s red, put green cover up on it – the green cancels out the redness and voila! You look amazing…that’s a color wheel lesson for another time though…My absolute FAV primer is currently Veil by Hourglass. I got my smaller size one on eBay for around $20 I think, and I can’t say enough about it. Flawless skin, not greasy, eliminates fines lines and wrinkles, makes your pores smaller AND keeps your makeup on ALL DAY.
  7. Powder. This one is a bit difficult for me. There are a lot of quality powders out there. Old school classis is Coty Airspun. LOVE the smell, and the coverage. Plus it’s super cheap. Guerlian Meteorites is amazing, but weighs in at a whopping $55 at Sephora. It is WELL worth it. I also love Physicians Formula powders. But the current one that’s won my heart is Makeup Forever HD powder. Its lightweight, one color, and superfine. Doesn’t make u look chalky and better yet, it’s made for high definition TV so you will always look great. High Def film doesn’t have to be so scary anymore – yay! Also at Sephora
  8. Eye shadows…FINALLY, something NOT at Sephora. I am a HUGE fan of Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics. My new fave color is Sunset Blvd in the eye dust. Their eye dusts are absolutely amazing and not over $2.50 each! You can buy these online (and if you do – they send you a TON of samples of all the colors) or at your local Rite Aid. Every time I wear Jesse’s Girl – people always comment on how great my makeup is. I pair sunset blvd (all over eye) with a purpley black shadow from MAC and it looks great. I also love the white Jesse’s Girl. All the colors are high in pigment so you need very little and they last all day.
  9. Eyeliner – Um, one and only one. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen. I think it’s around $8 and you can get it just about anywhere. It’s like a felt tip marker and super easy to put on, plus it stays where you put it. Nuff said.
  10. Mascara – This is a huge decision for me to just pick one. I have naturally LONG lashes, and depending on the mascara, they can look even longer. I rarely wear false lashes. I have tried probably EVERY single mascara out there, and there is only one that makes my list. Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume (the fat orange tube). The waterproof is horrible for you to wear on your lashes…tsk tsk…and the purple tube sucks…stick with the orange and you will be happy

I’ll get to the other stuff later…hope this helps…stay tuned for the skincare blog…and some homemade skin care products that are cheap and easy to make, but better than most of the expensive stuff you would buy…

Stay Beautiful

Tired of that bumpy and dry skin on the back of your arms?

28 Nov

 

The truth about Keratosis Pilaris and how you can finally be free from those unsightly bumps on the back of your arms or legs.

If you have from little red bumps, or itchy skin on the backs of your arms, thighs, or backside you may suffer from Keratosis Pilaris. In this condition not only does the skin suffer, but so can your self-esteem. Many people who suffer from this condition try to hide their bumps with makeup, self-tanners, or clothing. But fear not, KP is just a minor skin disorder and relatively manageable and you are not alone. Nearly 70% of all adolescents and 40% of adults have the same thing you do. The key to healing this disorder is to know how to manage it.

Most people affected by KP also have some type of seasonal allergy, or allergies in general. This means that certain times of the year you might notice an increase in the amount of bumps you feel. By taking measures to not use bar soap, or any types of soap that is too drying on the skin will greatly improve the chance that these bumps will stay away. Once the bumps occur, it’s completely normal to try to scrub them off with your washcloth, loofah, or anything that feels like it’s scratching the itch for you. However, treat it like you would a rash, and rubbing it will just make it worse. Treat the itch with creams, cool water, and liquid soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. This is a great, inexpensive product that can calm the bumps without adding to the irritation.

So what about lotions or creams? In my practice as an Esthetician, this is a common ailment that I see involving the skin. So many of my clients are at their wits end when it comes to creams, because there are so many out there that claim to treat this disorder, but fall short in the performance department. The one treatment cream that I recommend to nearly all of my clients, and that I use myself, is Body Therapy by PCA Skin. This lotion can run a little pricey ($30 for a 7 ounce bottle) but it’s highly effective, and in a timely manner. PCA skin is result oriented and they have a great customer service department, not to mention Jennifer Linder is the owner of the company. Her resume alone as a successful dermatologist made me a believer. The reason this product works is the extensive research behind it, plus the combination of ingredients mixed with a silky, luxurious cream. The main ingredient is 12% lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid naturally found in milk and apples, and increases the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, reduces buildup from the cells, decreases bacteria on the skin, and has a naturally lightening effect. This means, if you are prone to scarring, you essentially have a gentle skin lightening treatment while moisturizing your skin.

There are other alternatives to PCA skin Body Therapy. AMLAC 12% lotion is another alternative and often recommended by Dermatologists. One brand in particular is Amlactin. The main ingredient in this lotion is alpha hydroxy acid. It can be found over the counter at your local drugstore and for about half the cost of the body treatment from PCA skin. The only concern with this product is that it does contain parabens which have their own controversy surrounding them. The main issue with parabens is they can often mimic the hormone estrogen, which is a known link to breast cancer. Before you invest in any type of skincare line, it is very important to research your products and try to become an informed consumer. Using this knowledge will not only help cure the issues you may be having, but will make you feel better about the products you are putting on your skin. This not only gives you the peace of mind to look beautiful, but the resources and ingredients to assist in perfecting your outward beauty.

 

 

 

Just some tips from me :)

26 Nov

So…you want to have perfect skin? Well, since I am an Esthetician, I can help you with that, right? Um…no. Having perfect skin is a result of great genes no matter what any laser doctor or plastic surgeon (etc) tells you out there. If you aren’t born with it, chances are you are never going to have it. Scary thought, right? Well, the good news is that for those of us out there who weren’t born with perfect skin, you at least have a chance to per-fect the skin you are in

Here’s where I can actually help you. Yay! Before you get too excited though, this doesn’t make me an expert by any means, as the industry changes every day. However, I have 8 years’ experience as both a medical esthetician in a Doctor’s Office, and in a spa setting that has given me some of this knowledge. It is simply stuff that has worked both on my clients, and me.

1. Drink a LOT of water. This is something that even my grandma (who had the most beautiful porcelain skin) used to tell me. And, it’s true. You need to stay hydrated. Water nourishes your cells. Nuff said. If you are questioning whether you drink enough water every day, then you probably need to drink more. Alkaline water is AMAZING for the skin.

2. Don’t ruin your skin by purposely dehydrating it. This is the rule that everyone hates. Try to refrain from stress, no sleep, sugars, caffeine, smoking, the sun, and alcohol. Well, that pretty much just made your life boring, didn’t it? The good news is that in MODERATION these things are okay, just like in life – the same applies to your skin care. If you insist on ingesting sugar, alcohol or caffeine well then you need to go back to rule #1 and do more. If you are out in the sun, wear a hat and apply your sunscreen correctly (see step 3) get enough sleep (this means 8 hours!) and try to not be so stressed out. Usually men are the cause of this stress, so do yourself a favor and ditch the dude. LOL.

3. Sunscreen. This is a HUGE one. Most skin care professionals don’t advise to use sunscreen, but they don’t want you to NOT use it either. The problem is that there are chemicals in your sunscreen, and chemicals aren’t great for your skin. Also, studies have proven that most sunscreens have vitamin A in them, and vitamin A can actually cause cancer when used in the sun because it makes your skin more susceptible to burn. So, using sunscreen makes you more apt to get cancer, but not using it also gives you risk of cancer. Huh? Got to love the FDA. Make sure your sunscreen isn’t one that contains Vitamin A, or is mineral based. Most important, follow the rules of how to apply it. Remember, when you were little and you pretty much put sunscreen on once right when you got to the beach and that was it all day? And you would leave the beach like eight shades darker…oh wait, I’ll just show you the picture.

LOL…I about cried  when my cousin Carol dug out this picture. There are so many things just wrong about this photo, and that’s not even including my haircut (that I gave myself) or my big bird shirt. But, seriously, we look like an episode of The Jersey Shore, the younger years. What were our parents thinking?! Well, like I said…they were thinking that one application of sunscreen all day is A-Okay. And it’s not. You need to apply it 30 minutes BEFORE sun exposure. This means BEFORE you even leave your house, because you know that even in your car and through the tint, you can STILL get sunburn and sun exposure. Check the left side of your body (if you are a driver) and side of your face; do you have more sunspots there? Hmmm….makes you think, doesn’t it? And to really be effective, you should be applying it every two hours.

One of my favorite sunscreens is Jane Iredale Amazing Base (SPF 20) paired with La Roche Posay Anthelios Extreme. But, get this one of eBay and save yourself $30.00!

4. Eat your vitamins, DON’T swallow them. What does this mean? That you are what you eat? Well, yes and no. But I can tell you that dark leafy greens are amazing for your skin. Just like they are also AMAZING for your body, plus they keep cancer away. One of the best ones for your skin is wheatgrass. I think I literally just heard a groan even from my dog on that one. I know, it’s disgusting. It tastes like when I used to mow my grandmas lawn, and it didn’t have the bag on there to catch all of the clippings that just flew all over the place, that I would rake up. Ugh. How can something so gross be so good for you?! Well, it is. Mix it with something though. Buy the powdered version if needed. I don’t advise the pills because you have to take so many. Here are a few products that I would recommend.

  • Vibrant Health Green Vibrance – it actually doesn’t taste THAT bad if you mix it with juice. (100% juice though)
  • Probiotic Pearls (Yes, you should be taking these to balance out the good/bad bacteria in your body)
  • Cleansing Green Smoothie (recipe in my next blog!) Not only will this provide nutrients that your skin and body needs, it’s also a natural way to cleanse and lose weight even if you JUST add this to your daily meal, without changing anything else.

Speaking of that….I need to go and make mine for the day. Until next time, stay beautiful!