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 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 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!