Monday, March 9th, 2009


Marco Santini pictured on the right (in blue)

Marco Santini is the co-founder of Ion Studio, and he has been in the beauty industry since 1986 (that’s the year I was born!). Ion Studio recently opened up in 2008, and it is Manhattan’s first green salon–it used recycled and eco-friendly building materials and it is powered by wind.

“There is magic behind a good haircut,” says Marco of the switch. “Very few things can make a person feel as beautiful and confident, and I have yet to find something more rewarding than styling.”

Marco shared these awesome how-tos on getting the best curls at home for Temptalia readers:

Hair How-to: Waves

To create Botticelli waves, prep damp hair with a product like Davines Defining Texturizer to help hold the curl. Dry hair completely. Facing the mirror, hold a one inch medium-sized curling iron with the tip of the iron facing down. Take large sections and twist hair around the iron, rolling the sections of hair perfectly down to the end. Hold each section around the iron for 20 seconds. After each section, use a mild hairspray like Davines Defining Invisible Hairspray. When all of the sections are complete, use a soft brush to brush out the curls. This will soften curls, achieving a more natural wave.

Hair How-to: Spiral Curls

To create spiral curls, make sure to have hair pins close by. Separate hair in large sections from the hairline at the neck to the middle of the ear and from temple to temple. Hold the curling iron with the tip facing upwards towards your head, take a small piece of hair from one of the sections. Use the blade of the iron to hold the hair in place while you wrap each section around the iron. Let the hair set on the iron for 20 seconds. When it is done, keep the curl intact by pinning the section close to the scalp. Repeat this technique until all sections are complete. When you’re finished with all of the sections, remove the pins. Run your fingers through the tights spirals to loosen them up. Flip your head upside down while shaking the curls. This will add volume to the top and defined spiral curls throughout the head.

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I thought I’d share some lessons I learned while traveling this past February to NYC. Some beauty related, some not so beauty related… but hopefully they’re either entertaining or helpful (maybe even both, if I’m lucky!).

Lesson #1:  Pack Lighter

I am a master packer. Seriously! I do an incredible job of cramming everything I need into one carryon suitcase and one carryon “personal bag” (aka super large shoulder bag). I don’t like to check in my bags, because so many bags get lost, and I know makeup (especially MAC) is often stolen out of bags as they make their way from point A to point B. So if I can, I carryon! Both my carryons were quite heavy, which made lugging them up the jetway stairs kind of a drag, so definitely need to look into lessening the actual weight! I also packed more makeup than I used, and if I had been more forward-thinking… I would have realized I wouldn’t have needed all that makeup!

Lesson #2: Travel Size Everything

I actually would say I learned this lesson several trips ago, but I think it’s a good one to share nonetheless. Buy empty travel sized containers for all of your beauty products. Things like shampoo, conditioner, cleansers, toners, etc. often come in larger sizes than we actually need for our trip. For four days, I certainly didn’t need an entire 8 oz. bottle of cleanser! MAC came out with several travel sized containers a year or two ago, and I really love them. I frequently use them when I travel, so I can lessen the weight of what I take, plus the room they take up!

Lesson #3: Bring a Pillow

If you’re able to, bring a pillow on the plane. Whether it’s inflatable, a neckwrap, or a stuffed animal… BRING IT! Especially if you’re taking a red-eye. I didn’t think I would sleep on the plane, but I just might have dozed off for an hour or two had I had a pillow of some sort. On the way back, I used the hermit crab stuffed animal I bought at FAO Schwartz as a makeshift pillow and got an hour of shut-eye. Consider this a lesson learned!

Lesson #4: Re-Shape Your Body

Since it was Fashion Week, I wanted to slim down, but quite frankly, I suck at getting my fitness on. So, instead I cheated and wore Yummie Tummies underneath my sweaters. It was perfect, though, because I needed to layer with a tank top underneath anyway to add some warmth, but the shapewear kept my waistline looking a little more svelte! They’re comfy and not restricting at all; just feels like a tank top almost!

Lesson #5: Minty Fresh Mouth

Fashion Week is not for the fainthearted. It’s go, go, GO! the entire time you’re there. This translates into lots of treks to the nearest Starbucks for some delicious caffeine-infused concoction. Unfortunately, coffee-breath is not so happening when you’re meeting supermodel Heidi Klum. But neither is chewing gum a particularly sophisticated habit! Solution? SuperSmile Whitening Gum! Conveniently packaged in individually wrapped (like sealed entirely), I can toss a couple in my purse, a few in my camera bag, and some in my pocket. Very high in minty freshness, your mouth is no longer the coffee-shop-of-horrors within a few chews. I kept meaning to try their Quikee, but I only was able to pop in a piece of gum during my on-the-go travels.

Lesson #6: Less is More

I originally feared that I didn’t have enough events, meet-ups, etc. planned, but goodness gracious, I had just enough! Any more and I would have collapsed on the spot. So my new rule of thumb is plan, plan, plan for delays and impromptu opportunities along the way!

Lesson #7: Do Research Beforehand

I really wish I had done some more research regarding places to eat in NYC. I had wanted to get some amazing Italian food, but it didn’t really pan out. So next time… I will have it! But I know now that I need to get a list going and mark down the areas they’re located so I can refer to it on-the-go! (Also need to get some New York Cheesecake… hello!)

Lesson #8: Don’t Get Lost

This seems like an easy thing to say, but don’t get lost! Don’t get on the subway when you’re not a seasoned public transportationist! (Totally made that word up!) You’ll get lost and miss your event! Pay up and take a taxi!

Lesson #9: Plan to Blog

I planned different events and the like, but I didn’t plan time to blog. I just assumed I would have the time, and it turned out I really didn’t. Next time, I’m definitely going to set aside times to blog so I can do more blogging while I’m busy adventuring and it isn’t a bunch of posts all at once!

Lesson #10: Give More Kisses to Loved Ones

Gotta get in more lovin’ with the loved ones before I leave. Includes the boy, the familia, and the puppy!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Go ahead! Ask your questions–now’s the time to get product recommendations, comparisons, or just find out what my favorite moisturizer is. You can ask whatever your heart desires, and I’ll do my best to answer:) I’ll be keeping an eye out on this post so I can answer questions quickly aka today! :D Feel free to chime in with your answer to someone else’s question, too!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Eve Pearl Made Us Over!! Celebrity make-up artist Eve Pearl used her expertise to turn us from exhausted little lilies into fabulous ready-to-take-on-NYC femme fatales You really don’t know just how much of a challenge I posed to Eve! I arrived at the hotel at 7am and checked my bags at concierge since check-in wasn’t until three, and by the time I checked in (around 5pm)… I had totally broken out. Like ALL OVER! In places that I’ve never broken out before!! I don’t know what caused it — everyone’s been saying it’s probably the weather, but ugh! I was 90% cleared up, and now it’s worse than ever. So, Eve had to contend with covering up a slew of blemishes and spots!

Look for me in an upcoming episode of Koren’s Be-YOU-tified! :) Elessa from Pursebuzz will also be appearing in an episode of the show, too!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

So what do you do when you’re staying in for Valentine’s Day? Pamper yourself, of course! To the utmost. Here at Temptalia, if you’re single, Valentine’s Day is PAMPER YOURSELF DAY! I’ve had many a single Valentine’s Days before finding the love of my life. Last year, I wrote up a good guide to making the most of Pamper Yourself Day, and I pretty much think it covers it well, but I’ll reiterate and add some things here as an update :)

Indulge yourself. The day is about making yourself feel like a goddess, whether that means giving in and having a decadent molten chocolate cupcake or your favorite pasta. Get take out from your favorite restaurant and chow down with your favorite movie (and maybe curl up with a pet, if you have one!). Give yourself an at-home manicure and pedicure, or take a luxurious bath.

For a relaxing bath, Liz Earle tells us, “For the ultimate relaxation add a few drops of essential oils to a warm bath. For a Valentine’s Day treat, we recommend Bliss. Its joyous and sensual blend transports you to a calmer, more contented space. With floral accents of jasmine and ylang ylang to enhance your mood, sensual rosewood and patchouli to banish stress and sandalwood to soothe.” If you’re feeling a little feisty, opt for Philosophy’s Cinnamon Hot Dots three-in-one gel for a fun bubble bath. Or body wash, if you’re pressed for time!

One thing I always loved to do on Pamper Yourself Day was to hang out with my best friend. Then it becomes a total girls’ night in/out, and you can gab and dish on all that’s going on in your lives.

How do you like to spend Pamper Yourself Day?

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

We all know that Valentine’s Day can either be a really romantic day, loathsome day, or just yet another day for some (those who are more immune to the overwhelming amount of hearts and commercials of love!). Here are some tips, tricks, and product suggestions I’ve gathered up over the past month that I thought might be useful for those of you who are getting ready for a little lovin’ out.

First and foremost, what are you going to wear makeup-wise? I’m always a fan of the ever-classic smoky eye, but sometimes tweaking it a little really adds another layer to it–like going vintage gold and smoky brown. Or maybe you want to go full-on pink? Then, of course, there is a sultry cat eye and glam red lips sure to catch your beau’s eyes.

For those who want to go more minimalistic this year, you can get sheer, glossy lips with Philosophy’s Candy Hearts Lip Duo, which is a combination of Pink Bubbly and Angel Food Cake. If you know me, you *know* I adore these lip shines! Want a little more color? Try out Kiehl’s Lip Gloss Sets in either warm or cool.

When it comes to concealing any imperfections, think layers and patience. To help tired eyes, Liz Earle suggests, “To help tired eyes regain that sparkle, fill a basin with icy-cold water and splash over closed eyes 15 – 20 times. Your eyes will be visibly brightened and refreshed and much more likely to sparkle for that special night out!” Conceal tired eyes by using a concealer brush and a concealer color just a shade lighter than your usual shade. Depending on your preference, you may find applying concealer before or after foundation to work better for you. You’ll want to pat the concealer on, then blend out with a fluffy brush (think the 217, 222, etc.–yes, seriously!). For dewy skin, contouring, and blush application, check out this thorough tutorial.

If you’re planning to show a little skin, you may want to try adding a little Bio-Oil with your favorite bronzer to give you color and glow! (Think NARS’ Monoi Glow, but way cheaper!) And if you need to slim your figure down to fit into your favorite slinky little black dress, I fully recommend Yummie Tummie for shapewear that doesn’t make you feel like a sausage casing.

Of course, if you want to be pampered before you go out… Frederic Fekkai is offering a Valentine’s Day Package, which includes manicure, blowout, and makeup for $160 throughout the month of February at Frederic Fekkai salons. Makes me wish I lived much closer to a Frederic Fekkai salon!

What are your tips for this heart-filled holiday? What are you wearing? What are you doing for your makeup?

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