Archive for the ‘makeup’ Category

Clean Up Your Act With Farmacy Green Clean Make Up Melt Away Cleansing Balm

In beauty, makeup, skincare on August 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

When I first started hearing about the benefits of using facial oils as a moisturizer, I was not the least bit interested.  For someone who is very oily, somewhat of an Exxon Valdez oil spill to be exact, I wasn’t trying to hear it. Yeah, yeah, oil cuts oil but whatever.  Long story short, I eventually started using facial oils as moisturizer for my skin and discovered a world of difference.  By using oils, my skin became more balanced, less oily and had never looked better.

Now those oil cleansers – that was another thing.  Yes I understood the benefits of oil cleansers but I just never felt they cleansed my skin the way I was accustomed to.  All I felt was residue on my skin that made it feel like my skin wasn’t clean.  My skin just felt slick which then made me have to double cleanse anyway.  So pointless.  As someone who is an avid makeup wearer (and make up artist), I need to be sure that whatever makeup and pollution is on my face is gone and that my face is squeaky clean.  That’s just me.  And those cleansing balms didn’t seem to be any better.  It just felt like I was swishing Crisco around on my face.

Then One day curiosity got the best of me after getting a demo on a new product from Farmacy  – Green Clean Make Up Melt Away Cleansing Balm.  Although I was impressed with the demo, I still wasn’t sure.  I was given the product to take home but I didn’t use it right away.  It actually sat on my bathroom counter.  I stared at it.  It stared back at me.  This went on for two weeks.  Then one evening I decided to use it.

I had on a face full of makeup so I figured this would be a great time to put Green Clean to the test.  I scooped out a small amount and apprehensively applied to my face – eyes and lips included and hopped in the shower to continue my evening beautification rituals.  I rinsed the Green Clean off my face which was, at this point, a colorful mixture.  My face actually did not feel slick and greasy.  It actually felt clean. Hmmmph.  Ok.  Interesting.  I still decided to use my regular cleanser and Clarisonic cause I’m looking for a reason to discredit Green Clean (remember, I’m a skeptic and a double cleanser anyway).  When I rinsed my face off, THE. WATER. WAS. CLEAR.  I was done.  I had been won over.  Super amazed, I told everyone I knew about green clean.

So what makes Green Clean so good?  Made with green echineacea evny, Farmacy’s own proprietary blend, Green Clean is great for all skin types.  It is a balm made from all natural ingredients that literally melts pollution, debris, and All makeup away, including the smokiest of smoky eyes.  This product also is not animal tested, and doesn’t contain unfriendly ingredients such as formaldehyde or artificial coloring.  What I also like about Green Clean is that it doesn’t drip all over the place when you apply it to the face nor does it irritate my eyes.  Just scoop out a small amount with the included spatula and apply to your face.  When it makes contact with water it turns milky and rinses away clean.

As I have said before, I am a double cleanser and always will be however I will now always include this cleansing balm as part of my beauty line up. Not only am I fascinated with the fact that I have found a balm that I actually love, it will also help me conserve my regular facial cleanser as well.


Quick Beauty Product Solutions

In beauty, how to, makeup on June 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Here are quick solutions for when two common beauty product start to run low and you haven’t had the time to replenish …

  • You know what happens when you start hitting pan with your favorite foundation or bronzer compact…the slightest jolt or bump can make your product shatter into a big mess all over the place.  To prevent that from happening, take a few cotton rounds to put in the compact to absorb impact.  If you carry  your product with you, I would also suggest putting that compact inside of a zip lock bag and then putting it into your cosmetic bag so the contents don’t get all over your other makeup.

  • You can also use a sifter jar to put the contents in.  This is not necessarily the most convenient if you carry your product with you for touch ups but it conserves your product.  You can find these jars here here or here.
  • What do you do when you have a tube of something like a moisturizer or foundation that is running low?  Many times you may not be able to squeeze anything out however many times there is still a great deal of product left in these tubes.  Just cut the tube open with a pair of clean scissors (if you can’t screw or pop the top off) and scoop the contents into a travel jar.  Usually if it is a bottle of product, you can screw the top off and pour the contents into a sample jar.

What are some of your beauty product solutions?

Makeup and HDR Cameras

In makeup on June 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

The other day a friend of mine who is a filmmaker texted me asking if I knew anything about makeup for film in high dynamic range (HDR) which then sparked a discussion about makeup for film, etc.  I had not heard anyone in my circles discussing the topic (not yet anyway) but this made me start doing some research for which honestly I didn’t see much information.  From what I gathered from our conversation (and the workshop she attended), this seems to be the next big thing in television and film, possibly replacing HD (which is already hyper-focused) camera technology.  HDR is on our camera phones and if we are taking photos, selfies, etc, we have the option of editing with facetune, etc to smooth out, color correct etc.

But what does this do for the art of makeup/makeup artists in film and the ability to make skin look flawless.  I did say that from what I know about makeup and skin and how it translates in real life and especially on camera, it may come down to, in part, the condition of the skin and skin prep before you get to the makeup (but this is standard or at least should be prior to a makeup application).  Makeup can only do so much to hide texture in the skin such as pimples, larger pores and wrinkles.  For instance, there is a very famous, talented actor whose name I will not mention (Shades Of Blue) who has very textured skin which is visible, regardless of how much makeup he may have on. Like I always tell my clients, foundation can only do so much to make you look flawless.   Anywho, the technology for makeup (and application techniques) my have to change very quickly in order to adapt to the increasing demands of camera technology.  Case in point –  when Make Up For Ever (forerunners in creating makeup for HD camera) went from original HD to Ultra HD for the increased focus of 4D camera lens.  That change is fairly recent so I’m curious to know how they, and other brands will adapt foundation if they do that at all.

As far as application techniques are concerned – it may mean increased demand for airbrushing  because traditional application techniques show brush strokes which HDR (HD, even the well trained eye, can detect).  Maybe sheet foundation masks?  Who knows?  We shall see.  All of this is just me thinking out loud…






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.



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?

Lip Action

In beauty, how to, makeup on April 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

 I have become obsessed with liquid lipsticks. I love the way they glide over the lip and dry down to a beautiful matte finish and the color usually stays until I take it off.   I actually prefer a matte lip, unless of course it’s a nude color because to me matte nude can look more ashy crusty as opposed to a matte color in other shades.  Matte finishes look very sophisticated and bring attention to the beautiful texture of a full lip.  The best way to wear a matte shade of any kind is to make sure the lips are exfoliated and hydrated.  While doing the rest of your makeup, let a lip balm penetrate and soften the lips.  This acts as a buffer to the sometimes aggressive formulations of a matte finish.  I always like to use a liner to shape, define and fill in most of the lip and then with careful precision, apply my liquid lipstick.  For extra precision, I take the tip of the applicator and re-line the lip.  Afterwards, if necessary, take a concealer to go around the lip for clean up.  Are there any rules for choosing a color?  No.  Choose a color that resonates with you.  One that excites you.


Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer

In makeup on August 13, 2015 at 12:38 am

  Everyone who uses concealer, especially under their eyes, knows about all of the concerns that go along with a concealer search:  Will it match?  Will it crease?  Will it give enough coverage?  Will it change my life?  The list goes on.  Now, while I don’t have dark circles per se, I do need a little illumination under my eyes.  I have tried many products – some of which were ok and others that were a complete fail but I never stopped searching for a concealer that would give good coverage and provide a bit of a “matte” highlight .  So when Sephora recently launched their new Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer, I gave my usual side-eye.  Like many other concealers, It promised to brighten, treat and smooth but it had a $14 price tag so I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I applied some under my eye and wore it for a day to see if it lived up to it’s hype.  And my standards.  It did.  Not only did this lightweight concealer give good coverage and brighten, it didn’t settle in any fine lines, or fade away at the end of the day.

Having said all of that, I will say that there is room for improvement with the applicator wand which isn’t as “juicy” meaning the wand doesn’t grab much product.  I have to keep pumping the wand to grab enough product to apply under my eye.  Other than that, I really like this concealer.

Available in 20 shades at

Cleansing Oils – Are They Worth The Investment?

In beauty, makeup, product reviews, skincare on June 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm


You know the importance of cleansing your face every day, especially at night before going to bed.  To be able to quickly and efficiently cleanse your face of the daily layers of makeup, dirt and other environmental pollutants can sometimes be a feat in and of itself.  Sure you can use tons of your favorite cleanser, scrub, or makeup wipes to take all of that off, but if you wear a lot of makeup, including lipstick, eye shadow, liner and etc, using the traditional method of facial cleansing can waste a lot of product.

A method of cleansing that can be used alone or in conjunction with your traditional way of cleansing is to use a cleansing oil.  What?  Why?  Why would anyone want to use oil to take anything off the face?  What if you are oily already?  Won’t that make things worse?  These may be some of your initial concerns but I encourage you to give it a try.  Using an oil cleanser, which is not a new concept but has gained a lot of traction over the past couple of years, is a great way to to break down everything on the face without stripping the skin.  And if you are oily like me, remember, oil cancels out oil and can actually balance the skin, leaving it less oily.

There are many oil cleansers and balms on the market to choose from. Generally speaking they perform the same way by binding with the good oils in your skin to remove the bad oils thus rinsing away impurities.  They also contain skin friendly ingredients such as botanicals, extracts and vitamins to help your skin.

I must say it took me a while to even get on the facial oil bandwagon.  I use Nude Progenius Treatment Oil and have found that my skin is actually more balanced.  Go figure.  It still took me some time thereafter to use a cleansing oil.  I thought it was going to be – well- messy.  Not so much.  Its great actually.  Again my skin tends to get oily throughout the day and I wear makeup so a good cleanse is a must.  I am currently using Clinique Take The Day Off Oil Cleanser.  Simple and lightweight, with just a few pumps, it breaks down my makeup in seconds.  With an oil cleanser, you can just rinse off and follow up with your moisturizer however, I actually prefer to rinse/wipe off and then follow up with my regular cleansing method (Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser and Eco Tools Cellulouse Facial Sponges works wonders for my skin.)  I find that my skin doesn’t feel as dry after cleansing and my skin looks radiant even before I moisturize.

So are cleansing oils worth the investment?  They can be but don’t take my word for it.  Try an oil cleanser for yourself.  I would love to hear what you think.

Woman On The Go

In beauty, fashion, hair, how to, lifestyle, makeup on April 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

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You are a very busy woman – constantly on the go.  Work. Meetings. School. Dates. Family. Plotting world domination – the list goes on.  With all of the things that you have to do , your beauty and well being shouldn’t have to suffer or take a back-burner to the other important things in your life.

The following tips are not exhaustive however they can definitely begin to help you fine tune your lifestyle routine by taking some time out at the beginning of your week to plan accordingly.  You can even do these things at beginning or end of your day.

1. Select your clothes at the start of the week.  Think of coordinates that you can mix and match and do double duty such as a three piece suit that you can break down into separate outfits or tops and bottoms that are interchangeable.  Consider any activities or events taking place that you may attend so that you can plan those outfits accordingly.  Make sure all your underwear, accessories, shoes, etc. are prepped – polished, cleaned, ironed, etc. and ready to go for the upcoming week.

2. Choose a couple of hairstyles that you can do quickly and flawlessly, especially if you don’t have a short hair cut (which actually still takes a lot of maintenance).  Whether you wear your hair in a top knot, chignon, braids, weave or other type of style,  it is  important to figure out what are the best methods, techniques, products and tools for your hair.  It may mean you prep your hair at night before you go to bed.

3. Decide on a few simple make up looks.  Some weeks it gets super intense so all I have to give to the world is a cat eye and a red lip (supported by a good foundation, lashes and blush).  If foundation isn’t your thing, think in terms of  a

Also, I am quick to turn a purple eyeliner into a lipliner and add gloss so also consider makeup and other beauty products that can multitask such as

  • Nars Multiple which can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks
  • Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer which is a sheer illuminator, available in several hues, which gives skin beautiful radiance.  It can be used alone on the high points of the face (think center of forehead and nose, cheekbones, chin as well as cupid’s bow) or mixed in with your foundation or face moisturizer for an all over glow.
  • Smashbox Always Sharp 3d Liner – it is always sharp with the twist of the cap and the creamy formula can be used as an eyeshadow base.
  • Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment and even Rosebud Salve which not only heals and soothe skin but can be used on brows, lids, or mixed with powder shadow to create a creamy shadow.

In addition to using products that multitask, make sure you are working from a well organized space and/or set up your products.  To save myself time in the morning, I line up my jewelry and makeup, including makeup brushes, on my vanity so I don’t have to shuffle, rumble and fuss my way through my morning beautification process.

4. If you take your lunch, consider prepping it at night and put your keys in your lunch bag (just don’t forget where your keys are when it’s time to leave in the morning).  You can also prep your meals for the week on your day off.  This will take some discipline and planning ahead but can save you some time and money at the grocery store as well.  Also think of quick breakfast options which you can find Pinterest and even here.

5. Create a to do list.  Get a notebook, planner or use your phone to write down the important tasks that need to get done the upcoming week and break that down into daily goals. Have a perpetual grocery list and a personal items list so that you don’t forget anything.

6.  Don’t wait until the last minute to get up in the morning.  It is extremely tempting to hit that snooze button and roll over however train yourself to get up when the alarm goes off.  In addition, give yourself extra time to read, pray, meditate, workout, etc.  It makes for a smoother transition in the morning.

Can Adding This One Thing Make Your Eye Concealer Work Better?

In beauty, how to, makeup, skincare on March 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

How many times have your looked in the mirror and thought to yourself that you need some concealer to brighten and cover up dark under eye circles?  You then go to apply your concealer only to find that your application is not as smooth as it should be.  Perhaps your concealer is cakey, splotchy, creasing or it looks downright dry.  Well, with the many things to consider when you choose a concealer, from formulation, to weather you want it to match your skin tone or give a subtle highlight, there is one more thing to consider – your eye cream.  Yes.  Your eye cream.  It is one of the most important steps in a skin care routine and is a very important step in prepping the eye area for a smoother, more flawless concealer application.

Having said that, when selecting an eye cream, consider what your primary concern is for your under eye area.  Are you concerned about hydration, anti aging, puffiness, wrinkles, or brightening?  Whatever you are looking for in an eye cream, whether it is a product that addresses one or all of your concerns,  there is an eye cream just for you.  Consider the following:


Origins GenZing – Perfect for dark, stressed and puffy eyes.  Contains caffeine to stimulate and optical brightners to wake up and brighten the eye area, especially after a long night.  Great for all skin types.



Philosophy Eye Hope – This is great if you are looking for an eye cream that does some of everything – tackle fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness and dryness and strengthens the eye area against future damage.



Caudalie Premier Cru – The Eye Cream – Hydrating and refreshing, this eye cream will also tighten, firm and brighten.  It’s proprietary ingredients, Resveratrol – Oleyl is responsible for firming and lifting, while Viniferine brightens.



Boscia Enlivening Amino AG Eye Treatment – Great for hydration and cell renewal, this natural line is great for all skin types including sensitive skin.


Multi- Purpose Serum

Dr Perricone Cold Plasma Eye – Addresses the multiple signs of aging around the eye – dryness, lines, wrinkles, sagging, dark circles.   This serum cream, which imparts a beautiful glow, can be used by itself or layered under your favorite eye cream to amplify results.


And for more information on concealers and their proper application, click here, here and here :0)