Archive for May, 2016|Monthly archive page

My Beauty Must Haves – Part 2

In beauty, makeup on May 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm

So a few weeks ago, I shared my skincare must haves – those things I will not live without.  Before I knew it, that list began to grow into an even longer list of some of my favorite make up must haves.  Now this is not an exhaustive list – besides you would be reading forever and let’s face it, I would have to keep writing.  Anyway, as I promised, here is Part 2…

Clinique Superprimer Face Primer (Universal).  For years I have been looking for a really good primer that wouldn’t break me out.  I have always been able to get by with good skincare prep – my makeup always looks nice and stays put until I take it off but I just wanted something extra.  I found that something extra with the Clinique Superprimer (Universal).  I like the lightweight formulation and I only use it in my t zone, cheek and forehead area whenever I wear foundation.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation (11.0).  This is one of my favorite, most frequently used foundations.  I like it because although it is lightweight, it  gives really nice buildable coverage with a demi-matte finish.  I apply this with a Beauty Blender.  Speaking of Beauty Blenders, this is another product/invention – whatever – that I was not feeling initially.  I always thought to myself, “I use a foundation brush for a flawless finish.  Who needs a dumb, pink, egg-shaped sponge?”  Not sure what possessed me to even try the Beauty Blender but I have not turned back.  As a matter of fact, that is all I will use on myself and on my clients.

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss (Walk of Shame).  It’s the perfect shade of pinky brown nude goodness that I can wear by itself or layer over a nude lipstick for a little pop.  It’s not sticky or overly shiny.

Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer (#14).  I really like this concealer because it has a thin texture and is super lightweight so it doesn’t leave my under eye area cakey or with a lot of texture.  It also stays in place and has properties to brighten and improve the skin under the eye.  I use the applicator to apply and blend it in with my little green Beauty Blender.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Auburn).  I really like the texture, finish and shade of this brow product for when I’m not doing one of my signature colored brows.  It gives me soft definition – just short of being an invisibrow.  It’s also a perfect look/shade for when I’m not really doing foundation.

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain (Always Red).  This is my signature lip color and is perfect for a multitude of looks that I like to create.  The applicator is perfect for creating extra definition.  This lip stain is extremely matte so I have to make sure my lips have been prepped or sometimes I will dab some Carmex on top.  My alternative is Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lip Stick in American Girl.  This liquid lipstick is not as drying (on my lips).  I wear whichever one I can get my hands on first when I’m on the go.

Sephora Collection Lashes (Hipster).  I love the perfect length, volume, and wispiness of this lash for when I want a little flutter action without going over the top.  Sometimes I stack two pairs for extra volume or I wear Huda Beauty Lashes #7 Samantha.  These are similar to Hipster but are a little fuller with an outer flair.  For full face slayage, I will rock Eyelure Vegas Nay (Grand Glamour) or Huda Beauty Lashes #8 Scarlett.  If i want to keep my look eau naturale, I will use Too Faced Better Than False Lash Extreme fiber system.  It’s my lash with a little bit of help.  Either that or I don’t put anything on my lashes at all. It depends on my mood,look, and time factor.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (m-928, m-846).  These are two of my staple eye shadow colors that have multiple uses.  M-928 is a rich deep eggplant color that I use to contour (I mix a little dark gray with it if I want to look extra snatched to the gawds) and I also use it as an eye shadow.  M-846 is a beautiful reddish burgundy that I love to use as my blush.  I use this as an eye shadow as well.

Nars Blush (Taj Mahal).  This blush makes my skin look like glowy, melon, golden brown sunshine. On the beach.  With clear sunny skies and blue sparkling water.  With a white bikini and flowing sarong.  White sandy beach.  Or lying poolside.  With a sparkling drink with an umbrella.  Anyway.  I like to place this high on my cheekbones and just under the corner of my eyes with a fanbrush.  As an alternative or as a pairing I like to juxtapose that sparkling finish of Taj Mahal with the matte finish of Nars Eye Shadow in Persia (as a blush).  Gives a nice contrast.




My Beauty Must Haves – Part 1

In beauty, how to, skincare on May 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

I was in my bathroom the other day looking around at all of the product sitting on my shower caddy, bathroom counter and bathroom storage bin and thought to myself “This is a lot of product”.   Not that it’s a bad thing.  It’s just an observation.  And during this observation, I realized that yes, I might be considered a product junkie (and so what?) and yes, to many people, it really is a lot of product but these are some of the products that I will not live without.  You know why?  Because they give me results. They have helped me establish a routine for my skin which, for the most part, keeps me looking younger than my age and has delivered me from NEEDING to wear makeup.  That’s a big deal considering the fact that I used to look like a cross between a Nestle Crunch Candy Bar and a spotted leopard.


From creams, lotions and potions to lip gloss, eye shadow, hair care and fragrance, I have found my personal holy grail of beauty products that keep me – well – beautiful.  You want to know what I’m into?  Continue reading Part 1 of this series to discover my must haves. #slay


Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser.  Every good skincare routine must include a cleanser for your skin type.  I love this cleanser because it’s a clean lightweight gel cleanser that is perfect for cleansing an purifying my skin. It clarifies my pores, controls excess sebum production and I don’t experience any irritation.  I use twice daily.

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask.  I’ve been using this mask for a few years now.  It has recently been reformulated to include charcoal which draws out impurities.  Although it can be used on all skin types, I find that it is perfect for toning, cleaning and spot treating my oily skin.  This is the only mask that I have tried that makes my skin soft, smooth and refined and keeps breakouts and oil at bay. It also contains Umbrian Clay which takes down any inflammation I may experience from travel, etc.   I use this twice a week.

Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream.  I must admit that I have developed a particular mindset that if an eye cream is cheap it doesn’t work.  Not so with Clinque Pep Start Eye Cream.  This small tube packs quite a punch – all for $26.50. It hydrates, smooths, brightens and refreshes as well as some of the higher priced products I had been using.  I use it am and pm.

Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel.  When I tell people I use this product, they always say “But you don’t have acne” to which I say “Exactly”.  This oil free power house contains some powerful active ingredients such as licorice, salicylic acid and glycolic acid complex to diminish whiteheads, blackheads, residual discoloration such as acne scarring and other un-invited activity on the face.  It promotes cell turnover and anti-aging, keeping my skin bright and clear.  What more could I ask for?  I use it am and pm, applying a thin layer over my entire face and neck.

Clarisonic Mia 2.  So let me say that for years I have thrown massive amounts of shade and ill will towards the Clarisonic.  In my mind I thought ” I have hands.  I know how to wash my face.”  “I don’t need a fancy machine to help me take care of my skin.”  Mur Mur Mur.  Yap Yap Yap.  Roll eyes in the back of head.  Then it happened.  I received a Clarisonic Mia 2 a few months ago and it has truly been a game changer for me .  It really does clean my skin better than my hands (6x better) .  My skincare does work better – because absorption and efficacy of products is increased.  My skin is smoother, brighter more clear.  Whenever I travel, I take it with me.  It beeps to tell you when to go to the next quadrant of your face (4 beeps) but I complete my entire face within one beep then move to my neck, decolletage, and shoulders.  I use it every evening.  Just an FYI, your neck, decolletage, shoulders are extended areas of your face and should not be neglected.

Sephora Collection 8 hr Mattifying Moisturizer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20.  Although I prefer a much higher SPF, I love how this product moisturizes and gives a bit of sun protection.  I don’t find that it provides the most effective mattification but it does give a little oil control.  I use this in the morning before my primer.

Blue Mercury M-61 Power Glow Peel.  I have used several peel pads before which were very disrepsectful to my skin, leaving it irritated, unbalanced and severely broken out so needless to say, I was apprehensive about trying these.  Let’s just say that I am obsessed.  These exfoliating peel pads are very gentle yet effective and they help with the occasional hormonal breakout as well.  I use these 3-4 times a week (although they can be used daily) in the evening prior to any serums, treatments, oils and/or moisturizers.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil.  I like using oils because they help to balance my oily skin (you read that right).  This oil contains actual rose petals as well as omegas 3,6,9 and vitamins A and C.  It keeps my skin soft and bright and helps to even out my skin tone and texture.  I use it am and pm by pressing into my skin and then apply my moisturizer.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brighten Enzyme Water Cream.  So as you can see, there is a recurring theme here with hydration, brightening, smoothing, clarifying, purifying, etc. but anyway… I actually just started using this cream.  I like using this cream because it provides intense hydration where I need it without being too heavy.  The hyaluronic acid leaves my skin plumped skin.  It also brightens and helps with hyper-pigmentation.  It can be used am and pm but I only use it in the evening as my final step.

Kate Somerville EradiKate.  I don’t break out much but I will occasionally get a pimple here and there.  Not acceptable!  When that does happen, I take a cotton swab and dab the formula on the offending eruption.  It’s also perfect for the pimple you can feel but can’t see.  I only use this at night or I leave it on all day if I’m not leaving the house.

Sephora Collection Triple Action Cleansing Water.  This is technically a cleanser but I believe in lather of some sort to cleanse the skin.  I use this as my toner because I like the way it removes any residual dirt, etc off my face. It also leaves my skin feeling soft and clarified, ready for the rest of my skincare routine.  I use this am and pm.

If you are wondering about the order of application of these products, the order is usually as follows:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone
  • Essence (Currently not using.  I will let you know if and when I do)
  • Serum (Currently not using)
  • Treatment/spot treatment
  • Oil
  • Moisturizer

Hope that clarifies any confusion.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in my Beauty Must Haves Series to discover what my favorite make up products are.


Overcoming The Inevitable Beauty Rut

In beauty, how to, lifestyle, makeup on May 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

 Quick hacks for the inevitable beauty rut…

How many times have you looked in the mirror and have been brought to tears with the person staring back at you?  Same boring makeup from a year ago.  Same hairstyle from high school that never really did anything for you.  Same you. Different day.  Getting ready in the morning should not feel like a chore or make you cry.  It should be a time where you feel inspired to be your best.

Beauty ruts happen to the best of us.  Feeling bored and uninspired with your current look are some telltale signs however, breaking out of your beauty rut doesn’t have to be difficult.  By doing some research, a little planning and setting aside a few extra minutes in the morning.  It doesn’t have to take a complete makeover (although that is a great idea) or a lot of extra time.  In fact, changing one or two things in your beauty routine can reap considerable feel good and sexy rewards.  Consider some of the following ideas:

Go for a different eyeliner.  Been using that same liquid eyeliner?  Try layering your liners.  Use the same black liner that you normally use then layer a different color liner on top for a pop of color.  Or try smudging your liner for a smoky look.  You can even skip the liner (and eye shadow) all together and do a fringe lash for a defined yet slightly deconstructed look.  If you usually line with black liner, try a fun color like cobalt blue.

Try a new lip color.  Same boring lip color?  Like you, I have my signature red lip (Sephora Creme Lip Stain in Always Red) that I wear 99% of the time.  As great as it looks, even I go through periods of eye rolling boredom so I have to switch it up.  You can do the same by trying a glossy nude lip, an unconventional color such as purple or gray or even a red lip if you don’t usually wear that color.

Switch your mascara.  Not in the mood for the same black mascara? Try a different color like brown, blue or purple.  You can even try getting some lash extentions or even opt for a strip lash.

Don’t skip the blush.  Don’t use blush? – try some.  I know, some of you may hear circus music when you read that but you don’t have to look like clown.  Using blush is a great way to add warmth to the complexion.

Switch up your perfume.  There are new fragrances out there so you can probably put your Samsara and CK1 back on the shelf.  Or maybe the garbage.

Try a different body wash.  While you’re at it, switch to a luxurious body wash – one you may not usually go for that can make shower and bath time a wondrous experience.  One that leaves your skin soft and luxuriously scented is always a plus.  While you are at it, light a candle during your shower/bath time to elevate the experience.

Try a new hairstyle.  Perhaps you have been thinking about trying a new hair color or haircut.  Step out of your comfort zone and step up your beauty game because when you look in the mirror, you should think “Yaaasss gurl get em” instead of “ugg you disgust me”.  Try a new updo.  Curl your hair.  Try some pretty hair accessories.  Get on Pinterest, or IG for some hair inspiration and take said inspiration to your local beauty professional.  Take control of your beauty fate and don’t make any more excuses.

Change your nail color.  Yeah you have your signature nail color that everyone thinks looks amazing on you but you don’t have to wear it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME  you do your nails.  Dior Vernis Gel Shine And Long Wear Nail Lacquer 754 (a beautiful bright red) is my signature color but if I look at my hands one more time and see that color on my nails, I’m cutting my hands off.  See what I mean?  So go ahead and switch it up.  There are so many amazing colors out there for you to become acquainted with.

Change your skincare.  Hopefully you aren’t using the same skincare you used in high school.  You do have a skin care routine don’t you?  As you get older, your skin care needs will change and there are new skin concerns you should be addressing.  So go ahead, switch out that Clean and Clear today.  I’ll wait…

Rearrange your makeup.  How many times have you attempted to go do your makeup only to be greeted by what looks like a filthy swap meet?  Dirty makeup brushes.  Eyeshadow crumbs.  Blush with that questionable film on top.  Heck, you can’t even distinguish between lip liner and eye liner because everything is a big jumbled mess.  This type of disorganization does not make beauty time fun.  Consider some storage options (I live at The Container Store) so that you can organize your makeup.  Sometimes, just the thought, let alone the task of having to rummage through all of your makeup is a complete turnoff – making you want to go back to bed.

Schedule some “Me” time.  Be intentional about scheduling time away from the daily grind to recharge.  Get a massage at your local day spa or make a weekend of it and go to a spa resort.

These are only a few ideas to spark inspiration.  What are some things you do to overcome your beauty rut?