Friday, November 03, 2006

He thought I was 24!!!!





I am literally weeks away from turning 30 years old and to tell you the truth….very excited about it. I’m not all caught up in feeling like I’m getting old and all that hoopla. I’ve always thought I’ve looked young for my age and have enjoyed growing up and maturing. I was taken aback recently when somebody I see on a regular basis due to work related duties commented on me being the same age as they were after telling me they were 24 years old….I was shocked. I was like, “honey, you’re just a baby!” and he commented back about how we were the same age and I was like, “NO……I’m hitting 30 here!” He was really surprised.



Well I thought about this little fortunate exchange of words for a while. What about me make people think I am younger than what I actually am? I’ve always been on more of the mature side. My best friends are all older than me….even by 8 or more years. So it’s not me acting immature that makes me look young. I’ve had two kids so I don’t have that cute hip body anymore that might make me look young. Hmmmm……Ah ha! I know what it is. It’s my skin. I take very good care of my skin and drink tons of water. By taking care of my skin I mean, I take great care in choosing good products to lavish my skin in. Most recently I have been using these awesome Dr. Brandt products day and night and the most fabulous Sanoflore products at night.



My regime has gone a little like this: In the morning I cleanse my face with this wonderful rose infused shea butter soap that I buy at Trader Joes. It smells so good. Sorry I don’t know the name or brand off hand but I’ll get back to you on that. My cleanser changes often since I love trying new stuff all the time….but the rose infused soap has been used the most lately. Anyway, after my face is cleansed I always do some kind of antioxidant treatment. For example I love Dr. Brandt’s lineless gel and “c” gel which have healthy doses of green tea, grapeseed extract, and vitamin C. The green tea ingredient, which contains caffeine, is a great way to perk up your skin and tighten it a bit, while the grapeseed extract is a natural botanical with anti-aging properties. Love it! I told ya, I’m growing old gracefully!








Next, of course, I moisturize. I can not speak highly enough of the Lineless Cream and Infinite Moisture by Dr. Brandt. It is sooooo lightweight and absorbs into your skin so quickly that you almost forget it’s there….until you stroke the side of your cheek and your skin feels silky smooth. Now the canvas is ready to be painted.(We’ll talk makeup another time, of course!).

Now, when the evenings come and you need to unwind…this is a great treatment. I like to do this at least once a week. Draw yourself a nice hot bubble bath, grab a great book or magazine and soak. If you’d like you can put a few drops of lavender oil or chamomile oil for calming effects in your bath. I also like eucalyptus and peppermint for a more invigorating scent. Burn some candles and unwind. Once you feel totally relaxed and calm and you start your nighttime skincare regime give these products a try once or twice a week: Sanoflore Firmness Mask followed by Moisturizing Oil. These are totally organic products from Italy and they are absolutely amazing. I feel like I’ve been to the spa after using these products…especially the Moisturizing Oil. I massage it into my face and onto my neck and décolleté (the delicate skin on your chest beneath your neck). After I used it the first time my husband was even stroking my face! He was like, “can you put this on your whole body?!” Your skin will feel baby soft!




And this…is what I attribute to the deception of making people believe I am only 24!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Who wants beautiful skin?



I'd like to take the time and share some information I have on some wonderful skincare products. There are so many different directions I can take with this subject and instead of doing a generic general synopsis I would like to take my time and dissect the different areas of skin care and focus on specifics. So with that said, here we go!

I've been doing an experiment over the last few months that I'm excited to share with all of you. Kline-Becker, the makers of StriVectin-SD, sent me a very generous package with several different pieces of their products. I had always been curious about the "miracle cream" that I heard so much about. Especially since I've had a couple of kids and genetics proved to be unfortunately cruel with my UN-elastic skin. The stretch marks came and never went away. Faded of course but still remained. I decided to give StriVectin a go. I have to admit, I was totally skeptical and pretty sure it wasn't going to work. But I made a decision to remain faithful to my new regime of applying the light minty smelling cream on at least 3-5 times a week. I liked the consistency of the cream right away. It was light weight and absorbed very quickly. The scent was light enough for me to still wear my other favorite body lotions (which I'll post about later) and perfumes. After about six weeks I was personally able to see a difference. Crazy, huh?!



Whoa! This stuff really works. So I started using StriVectin-SD eye cream along with a powerful antioxdient face moisturizer they sent me. Even with the summer sun taking a toll on my skin and delicate eyes from all the squinting I think I can really see a difference. My skin looks pretty and clear and my pores are tiny and almost nonexistent! Gosh, I am so impressed by these products. I also have StriVectin HC and NE which are hand treatments to help with dark spots and the look of aging hands. I may not necessarily need these two pieces of product but I am loving how soft my hands feel and how good it makes my nails and cuticles look. Especially when I am touching the faces of brides and other clients. My hands are very important in how they look and feel.

My expectations of StriVectin have been far surpassed--to say the least. I recommend this product to anyone who has stretch marks that make them feel uncomfortable in the skin that they are in. This product can really make a big difference. If stretch marks aren't an issue for you but some fine lines around the eyes are, you won't be disappointed in the eye cream. Seriously, these products are amazing. I am currently using them all. I even just started using some deep wrinkly serum on a scar that I have to see if it will smooth it out at all. I'll keep you posted on my my findings. Go check out this stuff at: StriVectin!





Saturday, September 23, 2006

Viva Glam!....I Heart Viva Glam!


Due to the recent launch of MAC's latest addition to their Viva Glam family, Viva Glam VI, I would like to share with you about Viva Glam from MAC Cosmetics!
My email is "i.heart.vivaglam" for a very special reason. I really love MAC products and I'm extremely proud to participate in their awesome charity program. For those of you who don't know,
"First introduced in 1994, VIVA GLAM lipstick has become one of the fashion
world's most glamorous and successful fundraising initiatives of all time. A
success since its red-hot launch. The VIVA GLAM program was further enhanced by
the introduction of VIVA GLAM II in 1997, VIVA GLAM III in 2000, VIVA GLAM IV in
2002, and VIVA GLAM V in 2004. M·A·C Cosmetics continues to underwrite all VIVA
GLAM related expenses and along with its retail partners, contributes 100% of
the retail selling price of each VIVA GLAM lipstick to the M·A·C AIDS Fund."

This program is really helping lives. Where ever a MAC counter or store is located, 100% of the money made by their sales of Viva Glam collected go to a local AIDS charity in that area. For example, the area I am in, the sales of Viva Glam have gone to a charity called, "Momma's Kitchen." It's like having a meals on wheels organization that is helping feed men, women, and children living with or affected by AIDS. AWESOME! Thank you MAC Cosmetics for your support and generosity. And I thank all of you who go and and purchase the VivaGlam lipsticks.

You will most definitely find a shade and texture that fits your personality and complexion in this line. I love all the colors and I own them all, of course. The new lipglasses are absolutely beautiful. I can use Viva Glam V lipglass with everyone. It's a beautiful neutral color with just the right amount of shimmer and shine. Go find your perfect Viva Glam shades and wear your lipstick proudly!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Beyond Blushing!!!



Beyond Blushing, literally! We are talking cheeks, baby! Summer is coming to a quick end and Autumn is setting in. Our sun kissed complexions start to fade a bit this time of year. We darken our hair a bit but we're not ready for the intensity that the winter brings out in our beauty scene. So I like to take this time of the year and really focus on cheeks! Cream blush, powder blush, cheek stains, highlighters, shimmer or matte? Whoa, what a lot of choices for the cheeks. Well, I'm about to share with you all the formula I use for beautiful blushing! I personally use a three step process that consists of a core color, a highlighter, and a contour color. It's a winning combination and a stunning finish. Really, sometimes this is all I do in the morning along with a couple of coats of mascara and a great gloss. It's so fresh and pretty!



Depending on your skin complexion the color and textures you use will vary. I personally love using Nars orgasm almost everyday. I tend to use it as my base color on the apples of my cheeks. On darker complexions you can use this color as a highlighter. When you smile there is an area of your cheeks that plump up and or out. This is the apple of your cheek! This is also a great area to use a Matte textured blush, a stain like from the makers of Tarte or BeneFit's Benetint. If you like creme blushes this is a great area to apply those too! And when it comes to applying creme blushes, it is certainly okay to use a brush....I do. I know a lot of people think they need to use their fingers because they don't know that it is okay to use a blush brush with an emollient product. It is! And I find that it makes for more even coverage.



Next I contour my cheeks with either a bronzer or a darker blush. I usually use a matte texture or a MAC sheertone blush as a contour. To know that you are contouring in the right place I usually start where my ear lobe begins and then follow my jaw line down curving up the bottom of the apples of my cheeks. This creates a beautiful sculptured high cheek bone. Depending on the drama you want to create...the more of a darker color you use the more intense your look will be. Please do me a favor....even if you are looking for intensity....be sure to blend your contour line well. You want to create a look that blends together effortlessly and naturally. Really, we are talking everyday, not theater!

Lastly a highlighter is in order. Something with a little bit of shimmer or iridescence is always really pretty. Again, I have to go with MAC cosmetics creme color base for a great highlighter. I sweep a light color like "hush" or "shell" on the top of my cheek bone and up into my temple. Sometimes I even highlight right above the top of my outer eyebrow. It is such a pretty luminous effect.

Facial anyone?




Need a good facial?



My goodness it's been a busy couple of weeks for me. Too much work and not enough relaxation. Does this sound familiar to anybody else? I decided to treat myself to a manicure, pedicure and a facial last night. The manicure and pedicure I left up to someone else to give me but I really do find pleasure in relaxing at home, putting the kids down, uncorking a bottle of Stella Rosa,** and giving myself a great facial. My sister taught me this great facial regime that I'm going to share with all of you! I seriously have the most awesome sister ever. I love you, Sis!

First you take some chamomile tea bags and boil them in a pot of water. If you have lavender oil or another oil you love you can add this in with the pot for the fragrant aroma and sensory experience. Meanwhile, you are turning on some candles and soft music and finding a good magazine to thumb through. You're wine should be nice and chilled and ready to be poured! Once your pot of water with the tea bags has come to a boil turn the fire off and let the water cool for a few minutes....but don't wait too long because you want the water to still be hot. Next, we pour the water into big ceramic bowls and find a couple of towels. We then take our bowls to the coffee table and put our faces over the bowls with the towels draped over out heads. Is this making sense? We are creating somewhat of a tent for our face which allows the steam to open our pores. The scent of the oils and the effects of the chamomile is very soothing to your skin. It may get a little hot....like a sauna beneath your towel so you might want to take a break and have a sip of wine! We like to take a good 20 to 30 minutes during this time. You can do it in as little as 15 minutes if you don't have the time to spare.



Now that your pores are wide open and your skin is soft and hydrated it's time to purify with a great mask. One of my favorites is PURE EMPREINTE MASQUE a Purifying Mineral Mask with White Clay made from Lancome. This is one I have used for years. I LOVE it! I have a couple of new masks by Sanoflore that were just sent to me by Heather with Tractenberg&Co that I will be reviewing in the next couple of weeks along with some other skin and body care. Thanks, Heather! Come back and see what I think!

After you mask has set and then been washed away with a nice warm washcloth I like to tone. I've been using a rose water toner that Benefit Cosmetics used to make. It has been discontinued which I'm so bummed about but I'm out on the prowl looking for a replacement!



Last but not least a good moisturizer is in order. I am a moisturizer whore! I admit it. I have at least 20 different ones that I actually use on a regular basis. I guess which one I choose depends on my mood and what time of day I'm using it. You know, day vs. night moisturizers. Our skin has different needs during the day then it has at night. Anyway, the one I seem to usually gravitate to after this facial routine is Caudalie. I have many of their products and one of my favorite moisturizers is the C20 Moisturizing Cream. I love their products. Chalked full of antioxidants and are made from the "vine." Check out their website!

So you are now down with your "at home" facial. You should be feeling nice and relaxed having beautiful glowing skin. Now go finish your glass of wine!

**To those of you who either are under the legal age limit for drinking or just prefer not to drink alcohol a great spa water in place of wine is also divine. I like to add cucumber, lemon slices, lime slices, and orange slices to a big pitcher of water and ice for a great spa water!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Let's "play!"

Jouer, "to play" in French, is a new line to me that I just tried out this summer and I have to tell you how pretty the colors are. So soft and sweet. Quite innocent really. I love the "I'm not wearing makeup" makeup look that I was able to achieve by using these great products. The line is innovative with how the products are uniquely packaged. The colors are in individual cases which the containers slide and snap together which are ideal for making your own custom palette. You could snap together an entire look for the evening and throw it in your purse so that after your day at the beach you could quickly find your palette and apply your makeup effortlessly! Brilliant! I'm looking forward to trying their new powder eyeshadows that they just came out with along with some other goodies. I'll keep you posted on how much I'm sure to love them! Oh, and a big shout out and "thanks a million" to Veronika with Jouer.

In My Makeup Bag


Okay you all. Hold on tight because I have an awesome product to share with you. It's Matte by MAC Cosmetics.

This product is something I've carried in my kit for a couple of years but for some reason it had gotten pushed to the back of my case behind everything else. Kind of like that always great fitting t-shirt that you love and from time to time it gets misplaced or forgotten about but when you find it again and wear it, it feels so right! That is Matte for me in the makeup realm.

I was reminded of it today. I was finishing up a consultation that I had with a client and soon to be bride. She looked beautiful. Stunning really! She was perfectly satisfied with her makeup application and felt gorgeous.....but I knew she was missing something. I couldn't put my finger on it at first because of her beautiful blue eyes that were so striking because of the soft smoky plum colors we had applied to her lids and her perfectly pouted peachy glossed lips and her sun-kissed bronze complexion. But as I examined her closely I realized the one thing that was throwing her off for me was the fact that she had just a few large pores around her nose and on her cheeks. Ahh ha! Instantly I knew what would literally erase that problem (no, not airbrushing her pictures) Matte texture! So I asked this beautiful bride to take a seat for another second. She did and I performed my magic trick. I erased those few large pores on her otherwise flawless face with a sweep of my 190 MAC brush. She was speechless. "What the heck did you do!?" She exclaimed. "Oh, just a little trick I had up my sleeve. How do you like the way your skin looks?" I asked. She could barely even speak. She was so amazed at the results a quick second and a single product could do. Once again I am a believer. I vow to never push my beloved Matte to the back of my kit again.

FYI: A little bit of this product goes a long way. I apply it by squeezing a small amount onto my brush and then softly dabbing it on the area I want it to cover instead of just brushing it on. It's also a great product to use on your eyelids if they are shiny due to having more oily skin.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Gorgeous Locks!



Beautiful Hair for Brunettes!


When a dear friend of mine, Distressed Jeans, went to a wonderful little shindig a.k.a.: Melanie Segal's Platinum Luxury Suite for a pre-Emmy party, she was able to snag up all kinds of goodies. Read her post about the wonderful event and all her goodies here . Anyway, Distressed Jeans is a beautiful blonde while my head of hair is more of a mix of browns, reds, and a smidgen of blonde highlights. So I lucked out when she gave me her Bed Head shampoo and conditioner in Brunette Goddess. First of all, this shampoo smells good enough to eat. Like sweets that were freshly baked. I don't know, every time I've used this stuff I've craved a cinnamon roll! The sweet smell is surprisingly long lasting.....which I love! My hair feels like pure silk and is so shiny and pretty! I only like to wash my hair a few days a weeks and with this shampoo and conditioner my hair still looks fresh and clean even if two or three days have gone by between washings. It's a new favorite of mine. If you're a brunette or somewhere within the vicinity you have got to try this stuff. You'll be happy you did!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A M A Z I N G, seriously!

Kiss Me by Blinc



Whoa! Have I got an awesome liquid eyeliner for you! This stuff goes on so smooth, so fine, and SO black! It dries quickly and stays on like no other liquid liner I have ever used before. Seriously, I did some major "cat eyes" on myself over the weekend. We had a late night out and although I broke the cardinal sin of skin care by going to bed without washing my face, I woke up the next morning and my eyeliner looked as perfect as the moment I had originally applied it! Crazy! I'm a believer. Hallelujah! Rejoice! Check out their stuff at http://www.blincinc.com/.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

In My Makeup Bag






One of my favorite everyday scents is Maybe Baby by Benefit Cosmetics. Here's what the company has to say about their alluring scent:

"Do you want to know a secret? Maybe Baby. Benefit's classic
eau de
toilette captures a tumble of white blossoms in this romantically
spirited
fragrance. Maybe Baby is playful and flirtatious, like a wink across
the
room, a lingering gaze or a shy smile.
Tips and tricks: Layer maybe baby
body lotion and the eau de toilette for a flirtatious fragrance that lasts
all
day long!


Voted best fragrance to
give or get by Elle magazine!


Top notes: apricot and white ginger; Middle
notes: water blossoms,
lychee, bergamont; Base notes: white musk and warm peach

This is a fragrance that I can throw on for an everyday scent and feel pretty and flirty all day! Or wear out at night feeling sexy and knowing that I smell irresistible! What are your favorite scents? Let me know ;)

A little bit about....me!


Hello lovely dolls!

First off, let me thank you for visiting this new blog. I know there are a million and one to choose to look at and read and I really appreciate you time, interest and support. Thank you :)

I have been doing makeup since I was a young girl. My Aunt would go through her makeup once a year and give me all the cosmetics she didn't want anymore. It was like Christmas for me. I would then patiently anticipate snagging my sister's Vogue magazine when she was through reading it. Naturally, for me, the next step was putting those tossed out magazines and cosmetics to use! I would find a girl in the magazine whom I thought had cool makeup and then attempt to copy the look on my face with the colors I had. It was so much fun. Oh, and by the way....this was in the 80's so you can only imagine all the vivid blues, purples, greens, thick eyeliner, bright blush and heavy lipstick.

Only if my mom would have taken pictures of my creations along with the tears from the magazine. It would have been classic! Most of the time my mom would just take a look at me, shake her head slightly, and smile softly. I know she was my creative potential. Of course she never let me even near the front door with my copy cat Vogue face but that was okay with me. I enjoyed trying to figure out technique and mimicking those gorgeous pictures anyways.

As I became older and was permitted to wear makeup to school, I never missed the opportunity. I would wake up early and do my makeup everyday. I was only allowed to wear natural/neutral colors but I made them work. I was also allowed to wear eyeliner. Remember the maybelline eyeliner? The red pencil that you had to use a lighter to soften the pencil with the flame in order for it to go on smoothly? That's what I had to work with. I made it my goal to master putting on that eyeliner. I eventually did and realized this when I was receiving comments from adults and friends at how well I could apply eyeliner! As the time went by I started doing my friends and family makeup for special occasions. I was always satisfied with the results and the way it made me feel to make somebody else feel and look good.

As I graduated high school I decided to take a route that at the time I considered to be more of a sure thing: college. Makeup artistry was fun but I didn't see the security in it from the small town that I was in. I would still do makeup for friends and family for whatever special event that they had but nothing consistent. I eventually graduated from college and unfortunately was not satisfied in my career choice or should I say lack of choices. So I went and applied at the local Macy's to work in the cosmetics department. It was a blast meeting people and being able to do makeup on a daily basis. I learned a lot during this time. As a couple of years went by I was convinced that I was truly satisfied being a makeup artist but not being in cosmetic sales. So I quit my job and started to do freelance makeup. It was ideal. I could work when the makeup counter needed me and for their special events and I had freedom to go out and do more special event makeup on my own.

I had been doing makeup for random weddings for years and this was now my opportunity to really seek business in this area. I love wedding makeup. It's my favorite. Brides are usually gleaming which makes what ever makeup you do that much more beautiful. I went and advertised myself at the local bridal expo and met a lot of people both in the industry and also potential brides. It was so exciting. I made a lot of contact and started doing even more makeup. Most people always asked the same common question or had the same concerns in regards to cosmetic products or technique. I love helping people find what's best for them in these areas. I have a great friend who runs a very successful blog in fashion and beauty who encouraged me to start this blog to get those common questions and product reviews out there. So here I am now.


I would like to gear this blog around cosmetics obviously sharing tricks of the trade and technique with an emphasis on the best products out there that are tried and true. I happen to love bridal makeup. So I welcome all you potential brides and your questions and comments. But really, all makeup is fun. From everyday wear to special event. There will be no discriminating here. I do have to warn you, I've worked for one main cosmetic line for the last three years and tend to use most of their products. I'm not trying to be bias it's just what I'm familiar with. I'm currently working on expanding my kit and using different brands. As I do this I will post my reviews along with how the products worked for me and my clients. I hope you enjoy! Also, if you have any questions and/or comments about any products or techniques you would like to know about email me. I'll do my best to post questions and answer them to the best of my research and knowledge. Thanks!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Trick of the Week:



Are you looking for that, "I'm not wearing foundation!" foundation look? Well, one good trick of the trade is to spritz your foundation brush with a product like Fix + by MAC Cosmetics after applying your foundation or while you are applying your foundation. Just brush over your entire face up into your hair line and down the base of your jawbone, chin, and neck. This will give you nice coverage but with a natural sheer radiance. Set with some blot powder and your skin will look refined and poreless!

Tried and True



Tried and True: A basic summer look

Although I am not really one to bask in the sun and get super tan, I still love summer for it's long days and warm nights. My coloring usually turns a shade or two darker and my freckles come out. I find myself not needing to spend too much time on being creative with my makeup since my new summer color is pretty all on its own. A simple sheer SPF Foundation/moisturizer along with some mascara and a peachy gloss and my look is simple and pretty.



On other days I get away with just spritzing myself with some Fix+ by MAC Cosmetics and adding a little bit of tinted lip conditioner with an SPF of 15. Of course I don't ever forget to add a bit of mascara. I love "X" by MAC Cosmetics. It's one of those mascaras that I like to use as a undercoat during fall, winter and spring but during the summer it's all that I need.



I would love to hear your favorite summer looks and products. If you are a makeup junkie like me, you can't get enough of this stuff!