Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


Back-to-School Must-Have Makeup

Heading back to class? Here are my recommendations for products to keep tucked in a makeup bag with you during the day or stashed together to make that early morning routine a little more streamlined! I also tried to keep my recommendations with a student’s budget in mind! :)

  1. Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trios ($2.99) are extremely affordable but still pack a good punch of color and offer plenty of options from bold to neutral. They wear best over an eyeshadow primer, but if you’re spending eight hours at school, you’ll probably want to opt for an eyeshadow primer anyway!  The price point is so palatable, it’s feasible to keep your favorite (or a go-to trio) at home and in your bag.
  2. MAC Blot Powder ($23.00) will help minimize shine and oiliness throughout the day. It’ll mattify your face, giving the illusion of a fresher face, even if it took just fifteen seconds. If you’re on a tighter budget, you could also try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Oil Control Powder ($10.23), which should work well, but I like the inclusion of a mirror and more robust packaging of MAC’s when it comes to a makeup bag staple. If you have very dry skin, this is a product you could skip.
  3. Makeup Remover Wipes are nice to have on hand in case of any makeup mishaps or post-gym sessions. There are a ton of brands that make them. My advice is to find a brand that offers both bulk as well as travel-sized options–buy in bulk and then re-fill the travel size to keep with you. You can also store a couple of them in a zippered plastic bag. Keep a lookout for trial sizes of eye makeup removers and take along cotton swabs (kept in a plastic bag, so they don’t get dirty). It’s a little less convenient, but on the upside, it can be a more precise way to fix mistakes.
  4. Jack Black Lip Balm ($7.50) is something I can’t recommend enough. It’s not cheap compared to a lot of lip balm options, but it’s so much more effective than the many other balms and sticks I’ve tried over the years. I have at least five in my bathroom cabinet right now and always have one at my desk, pocket, night stand, and purse!
  5. Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliner ($6.49) is one of my favorites for budget-friendly eyeliners. I like to keep a black or brown one for longer days, in case the lower lash line needs a touch-up. It’s also a good way to add more definition if you went makeup-free that day and have an impromptu afterschool event. You might also consider a tube of your favorite mascara!
  6. Your Favorite Lipstick/Lipgloss so you can reapply as necessary. I like to keep a go-to gloss in my bag (for me, it’s Cle de Peau #2, which is not a recommendation for this post–it’s just my favorite), but I’ll often start off with a different lipstick (or even lipstick + lipgloss combination).

What are your recommendations for back-to-school must-haves?

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This post was written by Renée Rouleau, who is a skin-care expert and celebrity esthetician who has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.

Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.  Her skincare line embodies this same approach and follows her dos and don’ts.  In relation to this post, I fully recommend her AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel!

She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!

Cleanser Dos and Don’ts by Skin Care Expert, Renée Rouleau

Cleansers all have generally the same basic function, which is to clean dirt, debris, oil, bacteria and makeup from the skin. But, there are definitely some things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right cleanser and using it correctly.

Do choose a cleanser made exclusively for your skin type

It’s difficult for me to understand how skin care companies are able to say that their cleansers are “suitable for all skin types.” All skin is different and therefore, each individual has very unique needs when it comes to skin care products. Because a cleanser is a staple in a day and evening skin care routine, it’s essential that you’re using one for your skin type.

When talking to your skin care professional or whomever you purchase your products from, don’t say “Is this product good for me?” because chances are a salesperson will more than likely tell you yes. Instead, say “What type of skin does this product work best for?” With a specific question like that, you’re sure to get a specific answer that will help you decide if the product is right for your skin needs. When a cleanser is not a good fit, your skin will let you know. For healthy skin, never work against Mother Nature, always work with her.

Check out more tips!  Share your dos & don’ts in the comments!  Continue reading →

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011


IMATS Pasadena 2009

IMATS Pasadena 2011

This weekend is IMATS in Pasadena, California, and while I may not be there physically, I’m so there in spirit!  I thought it would be fun to compile a list of tips, tricks, favorites, and the like to help make your IMATS trip an enjoyable one.  Feel free to add your own tips on Twitter with either #IMATStips or #IMATS.  I know I’ll be following to see some of my favorites tweet from the show.
Aspiring makeup artists and artists, ProCharts is having a special deal for IMATS online since they won’t be at the show in person.   Their face charts will be £14.00/$22.83 for 1 pad and £25/$40.77 for a pack of 2, plus free shipping when you use the code IMATS.  The deal is valid from June 24th through June 30th.

My Must-Haves & Tips

  • Get there REALLY early or be prepared to wait in a massive line!
  • Have a game plan; it really is that serious.  IMATS is totally fun and you can walk around at your leisure, but if there are certain products you have your heart set on, make buying a priority and then enjoy yourself.
  • Lists are good–several exhibitors are so popular that spending time shopping at the show means longer lines and a higher likelihood of products selling out.  Make Up For Ever is one of the most popular booths, and even though we had gone there first with a list, the wait was over 45 minutes.  I know brands like MUFE do not restock during the show; once they’re out, they’re out.  OCC also sells out of certain shades of Lip Tars quite quickly!
  • Be polite & courteous, as everyone tries to accommodate the crowds, ring customers up in a timely fashion, and just generally trying to manage what is a very high energy and fun show.
  • Cash can save you time rather than using credit/debit, but a lot of vendors definitely take credit/debit if you’re uncomfortable carrying a lot of cash (like I am!).
  • Brands to check out at the show:  Clarisonic, Inglot, Make Up For Ever, NYX, OCC, Stila, and Sugarpill (Full exhibitor list here.)  Each of the links to the brand will take you to any reviews/posts I’ve done regarding them.   Also, if a brand isn’t doing anything special for the show, I’d keep moving.  You can buy at full price any time!

Twitter Tips

  • GerdaSpillmann: Visit Booth 310 to see our NEW Bio-Fond Colors – Cacao and Bijou! 21 total colors every Make-up Artist needs!
  • Start2FinishMUA: I heard that it’s better to bring a wallet instead of a purse/handbag because of all the extra bags you’ll collect, more to lug.
  • hollysaysheyy Holly wear comfortable shoes!!
  • PerfectcoverSL: I’ve made my list and checking it twice :) Can’t wait to check out @occmakeup@EvePearl@crownbrush@MAKEUPFOREVERUS@INGLOT_USA
  • PerfectcoverSL: (4) Be polite. This is my 3rd year there and ppl are generally very nice so let’s reciprocate the love! (5) NETWORK
  • SatelliteDrmr: I wrote a huge post on MUG Forum. Feel free to use any of these tips! makeupgeek.com/forum/viewtopi…
  • ImpressDee: I heard most of the booths give out free samples
  • meilily: Must check out MUFE and OCC on sale, and the synthetic kabuki brushes @ IMATS
  • MaddyLovesBlog:  Get there as early as possible because it will get busy as the day goes on. Some line-ups will be as long as 1 hour waits!
  • MakeupJungle: make a list of the things/colors you want to make lines move quicker & so you don’t forget anything! ;)

Are you attending? What are you most looking forward to?  Do you have any tips/tricks to share for first-timers?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011


7 Summer Beauty Tips

Summer has kicked off (well, for some of us; even in California, it’s rather gloomy!), and the change in weather means a change in beauty routines!

Go waterproof! Nothing is more budge-, crease-, and smudge-proof than something that is also waterproof or water resistant. You might not be swimming, but the sweat and humidity can take a toll on things like eyeliner and mascara.

Powder, powder, powder! Whenever you apply a cream or liquid product, make sure you set it with powder. I find this is true of my routine year-round but even more so during the warmer months. Keeping a pressed powder compact in your bag is an excellent way to freshen up your face after being outside, too.

Less is more! When it’s just sweltering out, you might just want to wear less makeup. Get creative with the “minimal” look to get you through the hottest days.

Consider cream/gel blushes. These kinds of blushes tend to last longer–blushes that are designed to stain will last longer than your average powder blush, because the sweat won’t break it down as easily.

Apply in layers for all-day wear. For occasions that you want to wear a full face of makeup, remember to layer. For face, wear a primer, followed by your foundation, and if it’s liquid/cream, set with powder. For lips, use a lip liner and apply lipstick with a brush (and top with gloss if desired). For eyes, do mascara last and allow foundation to fully set before applying.

Find a good sunscreen that works under makeup. Ideally, you want a sunscreen with a matte or semi-matte finish. You don’t want anything greasy or that takes forever to absorb. It’s also important to give it enough time to sink in before applying any base makeup to ensure the makeup sits on the skin well.

Try a tinted moisturizer! This is one of my favorite products for the summer, because most tinted moisturizers also contain SPF, so you can quickly apply it and achieve sheer coverage–enough to even out minor imperfections and give skin an overall more polished appearance (for those of us not blessed with perfect skin!).

Feel free to share your summer beauty tips in the comments! :)

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

This post was written by Renée Rouleau, who is a skin-care expert and celebrity esthetician who has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.

Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.

She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!

Renée Rouleau Shares Her Five Favorite Sun Protection Tips

It’s a fact: The #1 reason why the skin shows signs of premature aging (wrinkles, lines, brown spots) is due to sun/daylight exposure, since the UV rays destroys collagen, creates inflammation and negatively alters the DNA of your skin cells. As a skin care expert and esthetician, I am pretty fanatical about avoiding unnecessary exposure to the sun and UV light, both for anti-wrinkle reasons as well as for preventing skin cancer. While some of these practices may seem a little extreme to you, they are tips that I personally live and swear by.

Sun Protection Tip #1: Be aware of daylight coming through windows.

There is a belief that the only time you get sun exposure (and therefore sun damage) is when you are outside. I’m here to say that this is just not true. UV light (that damages your skin) can penetrate windows at any daylight hour. For example, my bedroom has big windows all around it, so I always wake to sunlight (or just daylight on cloudy days) coming through. The moment I wake up, I immediately cover my face with my sheets until I’m ready to get out of bed, since I’m not wearing sunblock. Crazy I know, but every minute counts when it comes to skin protection and as someone who is in a profession where having good skin matters, I take it very seriously. I also have shades on the window in my office to filter out daylight during my working hours.

Sun Protection Tip #2 – Apply sunscreen or sunblock to the entire face, neck and chest – GENEROUSLY.

Did you know that an SPF 30 only protects the skin 4% more than an SPF 15? And as you go up in number, this percentage lowers. The real truth behind sun protection is not the SPF number, but how generously you apply it. Published medical studies have shown that most people apply 1/3 to 1/2 the recommended dose of sunblock. A little dab won’t do ya! First thing in the morning, I apply a thick coat to the face, neck, ears, tops of hands and chest (my exposed areas of skin) for an important defense against the UV rays given off from the sun. Since the skin on my face is oily and acne-prone (I’m a skin type #2 in my nine skin types), and since sunblock should be applied generously, it is so important to find one that is formulated for your skin type and won’t feel greasy or cause breakouts. I use my Daily Protection SPF 30, which gives both UVA and UVB protection and dries to a matte finish on the skin. It works amazing under my makeup since it’s so light–I love it.

Check out three more tips!  Continue reading →

Thursday, April 28th, 2011


Christos

3 Wedding Day Hairstyles from Fall/Winter 2011 Bridal Fashion Week

Redken Session Stylist Giovanni Giuntoli created three distinct looks at Fall/Winter 2011 Bridal Fashion Week at Christos, Kenneth Pool, and Amsale.

End-of-Day Waves @ Christos

“This season the traditionally preppy Christos look evolved for the next generation, and the hair embraces this edgier attitude,” Giuntoli said. “The look is down, when it is typically up, resulting in a youthful, casual after-wedding look that’s flattering and flirty.”

To achieve the look, prep hair to add texture and extra hold with Redken wool shake 08 gel-slush texturizer and then layer on spray starch 15 versatile ironing spray. Part the hair wherever it best reflects the face shape, whether it be left, right or center. Set the curls with a 1-inch curling iron and pin in place until dry. Let the curls out and pull until you have soft waves, finishing the style with fashion work 12 versatile working spray to achieve a silky matte finish. “These waves are not tight, they’re fresh. We’re trying to get away from the corkscrew,” Giuntoli explained.

Cutting Edge Pleat @ Kenneth Pool

“This up-do reflects the high-end Kenneth Pool look, with a luxury finish to the hair. This line is more avant-garde, more high-fashion, and so we created a striking, contemporary up-do that pushes the envelope,” Giuntoli said.

To create this look, prep the hair by blow-drying with aerate 08 bodifying cream-mousse, applying at the roots and through the ends for all-over body and texture. Then fold all of the hair except for the front section two inches from the crown into a pleat. Curl small sections of the front two inches with a one-inch barrel and pin each up in place atop the head. “The curls add a softer silhouette for height and a light, airy texture that you can almost see through.” Giuntoli said. For added shine and hold, finish the look with pure force 16 non-aerosol fixing spray.

Statement Pony @ Amsale

“This season of Amsale reflects another evolution and a new approach, with a natural, youthful ponytail with soft with volume at the crown for added glamour,” Giuntoli said.

Obtain this look by first sectioning off the hair at the crown, misting with forceful 23 super strength finishing spray and then back brushing for height. “Play with the shape and height at the crown to keep it tailored to your face shape,” Giuntoli explained. Next gather the hair into a pony and wrap a one-inch section around the elastic. Leave a natural wave in the pony tail and mist with shine flash 02 glistening mist for a glossy polish.

See more photos!  Continue reading →