Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Most-Feared Beauty Tool

What's so scary about an eyelash curler? A lot, say many girls I've worked with. You may have a foreign object coming at your eye, but I say this makes everything ok. To me, this is a miracle beauty tool and I can't live without it. Even if I don't have time for mascara, I'll still be sure to curl my lashes with my eyelash curler (my eyelash curler of choice happens to be the cult-favorite shu uemura).

Recently I was doing makeup for one of my best friends before a night out on the town. LRS wanted her eyes to be simple and subtle so a simple golden brown palette was definitely in order. When I finished there, I moved on to the lashes. At first, she was nervous (she always gets nervous when I even pull out the eyelash curler). But once I prepped her lashes for mascara with the eyelash curler, we were good to go. I put on her mascara and her lashes were looking great. The final step was to curl the lashes again for extra length.

Tip: Let your lashes dry for a few minutes before you use your eyelash curler again so that your lashes don't stick to the eyelash curler and you don't need to yank it from your eyes.

As I went to curl her lashes, I pinched her a little and her reaction was to jump back because she got very nervous. As soon as I felt her move I let my grip go. I didn't want to hurt her. In the end, all was well. A few lashes were lost, but it was all good. This just goes to show you that you always need to talk to your client and understand them, their needs, and even their fears. Next time, I'll definitely have LRS use the eyelash curler on herself!

See below for some of my Twitter followers and what they had to say about eyelash curlers (I think those scared of it were too intimidated to answer.. only kidding)! And don't forget to follow me on Twitter!!

@CoverFX: I love my eyelash curler b/c my lashes do not have a natural curl and are short!

@ChicRen: LOVE them! With 2 minutes (60 seconds each eye) I'm able to go from "blah" to "cute"...

@amyaubrey: Dont really have feelings either way but we've been together a while and aside from an occasional pinch to my lid it's always been good 2 me

@GinaLaGuardia: I actually used to NOT mind eyelash curlers. I'd even heat it up with the hairdryer first. No wonder I have extensions now. LOL.

@CaitPLUSlin: Survey says: I cannot live without them. Literally. I have about 3 or 4 of them because I never want to be without one.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sharpen Your Eyeliner

Upon working with a bride this weekend, I perfected an eyelining technique. The thing is that I love liquid eyeliner because it is much sharper than an eyelining pencil and really stands out above carefully-curled lashes. But sometimes, it may not look completely uniform - especially on someone who likes to squeeze their eyes together in fear of foreign objects being placed quite close to their eye by a stranger. This is completely understandable; hence I decided to use both the eyelining pencil and the liquid eyeliner.

Use an eyelining pencil with good pigmentation. I love Prescriptives' Softlining Pencil in Jet. As you close one eye and pull out your lid so that it's pretty smooth, run the pencil from the inner corner to the outer corner of your eye in short, little movements. Once you have your straight line, use the liquid eyeliner (I enjoy Maybelline's Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner) to give the line a little more definition. For the liquid liner, I usually start in the middle of the lid so as not to have an excess of product on either end. Be sure to smooth out the line from end to end. And there you have a sharper, more cohesively-lined lid!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Face for Facials

I got a facial yesterday - my second ever - and my esthetician told me that my face was looking much improved from the first time I came to her. I was completely thrilled. I did switch up a few things in my routine since that day and I'm going to tell you about them right now!

1. Cleanser
SEV told me about this absolutely divine cleanser that she couldn't live without. It's Bliss' Steep Clean Deep Pore Cleanser. She went on and on about it so much, I just had to see what the hype was all about. She was definitely right. You put this cleanser on your dry face, which seems extremely strange but seriously does wonders. If you think about it, you really get the strongest possible product this way, as you're not diluting it with water. And, although it feels strange at first -- to have this dry product not gliding along your face with ease -- your face will feel so smooth once you wash off the Steep Clean Deep Pore Cleanser.

Tip: Occasionally (or more often than not), you can use your Clarisonic brush with the cleanser. Just wet the brush head after you apply the product to your dry face…

2. Toner
I didn't use toner until I left my facial last time. Apparently moisturizing is not enough. You need to also tone your skin. This will ensure that you use less moisturizer than you would need. I bought one of the toners at the salon and have been using it pretty religiously (we all have our off days) each time I wash my face. I have noticed a difference.

Tip: There are some toners that are spray-on so you don't need to go through the annoyance of using a cotton ball each time. If you have the cotton-ball-necessary toner, then you can put some in a spray bottle and use it that way -- saves a little time if you're in a hurry.

3. Moisturizer
Moisturizer is so key. The first time a makeup artist told me that even oily skin needs moisturizer, I was hooked. It really is true. If you don't moisturize, your skin tends to overproduce oil - and then you are left looking like a greaseball. I'm still looking like this anyway, but I can definitely bring down the degree to which I'm oily.

My favorite moisturizer? Prescriptives' All You Need + SPF 15 for Oilier Skin.

4. Mask
I haven't been keeping up with using a mask the way I should be. My esthetician told me yesterday that I should use one at least once a week. This will help cut down on oil and keep me looking nice and fresh. The one I want to try was also recommended by SEV - the Steep Clean Facial Mask by Bliss. Once I try it out I will let you know what I think!

My skin has been looking so much better in the past few months and I really do believe it's due to my routine and the occasional facial. And since I'm not made of money and can't go quite as often as I'd like to get facials these are just some of the things I can do in between to maintain a healthy, glowing face.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Multi-Functional Primer

I've found a new product. And it's a foundation primer that is multi-functional. I think I may be in love (though we do know that sometimes I can fall out of love just as quickly). However, I think this one should be around for some time. It's the Cover FX Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer. Here are its jobs:

Upon using Clearprep for the first time, I felt exactly what they meant when they said matte -- it's nice and light. The product goes on your face extremely smoothly and doesn't feel like those excessive oily products. Hey, I can't afford to be throwing more oil on my face!

Clearprep advertises an anti-acne feature, which we can see on the ingredient list in the form of salicylic acid. I'm not sure if it actually has helped get rid of my problem areas, but it certainly can't hurt, right?

Shine Buffer
I must say, I am one of the oiliest people I know and it grosses me out. I've tried so many products to stop that oil from coming through my pores, but many do not meet my expectations. I definitely saw a difference when I used Clearprep. It didn't solve my problem, but I was blotting a lot less throughout the day and felt that this was in large part due to Clearprep's presence.

I'm definitely an advocate for priming before applying your foundation. It keeps a tighter hold on the product and helps fill in any spaces before you apply your foundation, whether it's liquid or powder. This mattifying primer certainly does a nice job and I like the staying power it has.

Clearprep may not solve all of my problems (ie, I do get oily eventually), but really I'm just so oily -- it would seriously take a miracle. I definitely recommend checking out Cover FX Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer.

Available at Sephora, $39.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flawless Skin

Sometimes when you're on-the-go, you need a quick touch-up. But you can't take your entire makeup case with you everywhere, which is why it is always important to have some sort of compact product to get you out of a bind.

I know that as they day wears on, my concealer tends to wear away. We all know I've already proclaimed my deep love and affection for Prescriptives Camouflage Cream so I went ahead and picked up another bestseller - Prescriptives Flawless Skin Total Protection Concealer.

It's perfect for me because it's smaller than a powder compact and has a tiny mirror inside. It's also more of a cream than an actual liquid so I don't feel like I have a lot left over after I'm done applying. Additionally, the silver case helps me find it easier in my giant handbag (did I mention I have a thing for bags and shoes too?!).

And don't think this product is at all inferior to its sister Camouflage. It's just as good at hiding my flaws - after all, it IS called Flawless Skin!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LOOK: Lauren Conrad

It was Lauren's birthday last night on The Hills. Her look was typical of what has been trending since the fall season: simple face and eyes, with a stand-out lip color. Although it seems rather BAM and you may not think you can pull it off, you may be surprised. With just the right products you'll have this look in a matter of minutes - seriously!

I really do believe that this look can be achieved super quickly. When I try to do my eyes up with lots of color, it can take a while to really exaggerate my look. But with this look, all I need to do are my basics and just jump in the car with my lipstick, which I can apply in the mirror anywhere and anytime!

Face (these are basics that I would use no matter what look I'm trying to achieve)
Concealer - Prescriptives Camouflage Cream
Primer - Smashbox Photo Finish
Foundation - Bare Escentuals bareMinerals
Bronzer - NARS in Laguna

I don't think you need blush in this look; you don't want to look like a clown. And if you want to accentuate your cheekbones, try using a little extra bronzer on the apples of your cheeks.

Eyes (the goal here is to look natural)
Primer - Laura Mercier Eye Basics
Eyeshadow - MAC's Ricepaper (it's a neutral base)
Top Liner - Maybelline's Lineworks (liquid liner used to make a winged line will look the sharpest)
Bottom Liner - Prescriptives Softlining Pencil
Mascara - Clinique High Definition Lashes; Sephora Brand Lash Plumper; Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Mascara

Lips (here come the dramatics)
Lipstick - NARS Sephora Flame (semi matte deep red brown)
Lipgloss - Cargo blu_ray High Definition Timestrip Lip Gloss in Laredo (shimmering nude)

Lauren's birthday look is really a simple one that is accentuated by your choice of lip color. Just remember to keep the eyes simple if you're going for dramatic lips; use a neutral gloss on your lips if you're going to accentuate your eyes. It's simple! And hopefully, unlike Lauren, you need not worry about waterproofing in case you cry on your birthday!


Friday, April 3, 2009

CVS or Sephora in a Recession?

Even in a recession, I find myself walking into Sephora and department stores way more often than into a drugstore for my beauty products. Why is this? Well, it's tough to test products when they are closed up and none are on display. Actually, it's impossible. And who wants to spend money on a product that may be a candidate for one-time use?

Beauty products are not really the place where I feel the need to skimp. This is my face after all. This is not to say that there are no good products present in the drugstore. I have come by quite a few that I really have enjoyed and have picked up based on the recommendation of others. Here are some great drugstore products that I've come across through my trials:
  • Maybelline Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
  • Maybelline Cool Effect Eyelining Pencil
  • Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Curved Brush Mascara
  • Rimmel London Extra Super Lash
  • Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser
Now, just because a product costs more money doesn't necessarily mean that it can do the same exact job. For instance, I really do think that the Maybelline Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (about $7) does a fabulous job when you compare it to MAC's Liquid Eye Liner ($16.50). Both have a felt tip and are rich in color. I find, however, that MAC's liquid liner is a bit more difficult to get off than Maybelline's and the latter is waterproof! I love MAC's products, but this is a case where I'll take a little trip to my drugstore.

My lesson to you here is to be careful what products you buy. Although it may be tempting to buy something because it's cheaper (especially in this economy), it may not have the effect you expected; but a pricier product doesn't mean that it's better either. Do your research and try to make an informed decision!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mascara Drugstore Gem

I found yet another mascara that I just needed to tell you about. Except this one really trumps all my other mascaras and is now at the top of my list. And it's a drugstore mascara, which means it's perfect for the recessionista beauties!

Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Curved Brush Mascara is fabulous. I used to use this one as my third mascara each day for my routine, but now I realize that I really can just use Cover Girl Professional All-in-One by itself and I'm good to go. One day I was running out the door and decided to use only this blue tube and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked at lengthening my lashes and not clumping. Cover Girl Professional All-in-One is a mascara girl's dream.

I picked this one up at Target one day for a few bucks because I needed a change from my usual suspects. I picked it because it had a different shaped brush - it's actually curved, which helps give you more coverage on your lashes. This mascara is true to its all-in-one name because it lengthens, darkens, and thickens. I usually follow it up with my shu uemura eyelash curler, but even if I didn't, my lashes would still look fabulous.

Find Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Curved Brush Mascara on for $4.79.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Top 5 Tools For Your Makeup Bag

There are just some supplemental tools that every girl needs in her makeup bag. Here are the top five products that you should always consider having on hand when doing your makeup. Every makeup professional is bound to have these tools in her makeup bag!

The Q-tip - mistakes happen and sometimes you need to make a tiny adjustment to a beautiful job you have just completed on your lids. Don't mess up your job with your fingers - use a Q-tip to correct a liquid liner gone wrong or to even apply some eyeshadow primer that doesn't have an applicator, like Benefit's F-Y-Eye, to your lids.

Brushes - it is an excellent idea to invest in a good set of brushes. Although they may be quite pricey, they will certainly last you a long time, especially if you properly care for them and clean them frequently with brush cleanser. In fact, there are lots of brush sets that are available at Sephora and other department stores, especially around holiday time. This can help keep the cost down. The only thing you need to keep in mind with a set is that these brushes are factory processed, rather than put together by hand (as is the case with single, more expensive brushes), but still work just fine!

Wedges - these are perfect to help spread any liquid product, like foundation or primer, evenly onto the skin. Oftentimes, as you spread a product with your fingers, it will get stuck in the crevices of your fingerprints, leaving a lot of your product wasted and washed away. Additionally, the natural oils from your fingers can easily be transferred on to your face, unnecessarily greasing up your clean face. Save time, money, and frustration with these friendly sponges.

Tweezers - even if you get waxed, you'll still find some unfriendly strays growing in prematurely. To keep up with your brows in between waxing appointments, pluck the few strays you've got. But be very careful not to mess with the shape of the brow - that means don't go above the brow or attempt to get a hair that might mean plucking more than needed. Only obvious ones should be tweezed.

Lash Curler - on days when I'm barely wearing makeup, I still manage to use my lash curler to give my lashes a boost. Of course, I think the best one out there is the shu uemura curler, hands down. Use before and after applying mascara so that you really get the fullest and most voluminous-looking lashes possible. And although lash curlers may be intimidating to some, it really makes a difference in your face - promise!

What are some of YOUR fave tools for your makeup bag?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mascara Tube Extensions

During the holiday season I received lots of beauty products as gifts and I can't wait to discuss them all with you. But before I get into any more of my favorite gifted products, I'd like to tell you a little bit about my discovery of a drugstore mascara beforehand.

I had heard a commercial on TV about adding lash extensions to your eyes with just mascara and having them come off when you washed your face, but I wasn't sure what this meant exactly. I had really enjoyed doing up my lashes for events with fun fake eyelashes, so I decided to check this out.

It turns out that what they advertise is kind of true and I enjoy using L'Oreal's Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara from time-to-time. This two-step mascara provides a primer and mascara to finish off your extended look. I think that my lashes are pretty clump-free and lengthened, but their commercials are kind of exaggerated.

The Double Extend mascara uses "tube technology" to essentially enclose each lash with an extension, which comes off when you wash your face. And they aren't lying about that. I was in the shower one day and I saw all these black things in my hands and was very confused. Then I remembered I had used the Double Extend mascara. But taking it off usually proves to be quite a chore and there are a lot of leftover pieces around my eyes. This doesn't make me happy.

All in all, L'Oreal's Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara is ok. I don't use it every day and don't really recommend it for a quick application (you have to do it meticulously, one eye at a time). It's nice to have options, but when a drugstore mascara costs $10.99, you might as well go straight to Sephora and get some Stila or Smashbox.



Friday, February 6, 2009

The Lip Gloss Chronicles: CARGO

Ladies, I never thought I'd see the day, but I've found the perfect gloss. This is quite a momentous occasion because, as you may know, I am very hard to please when it comes to a lip gloss. And there are lots of reasons my praise belongs to CARGO's new line of
glosses with Timestrip® technology. Let me list the ways…

  1. My favorite feature of the CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses is that they aren't sticky! Finally, I can honestly say that I don't feel like my lips are getting stuck together when I'm walking around with my hair down. It goes on so sheer and feels very light on my lips. I seriously want to buy up every color of this because I think it's the best thing ever. I had attempted the NARS glosses because JPM swears by them, but I find that they are way too sticky. CARGO Timestrip® is completely different.

  2. The big draw to most of the CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses will be this latest technology. Have you ever switched purses and found a plethora of lip glosses in your bags that have been left behind from times past? Do you even remember how long it's been since you first opened them?

    Well, CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses help you remember because they basically time you from when you open up the gloss for a nine-month period. By inserting the strip, you activate the time sensor and the window begins to turn red. When the window fills up this means that it's time to toss this gloss and get a new one. I mean, you don't want to apply bacteria-filled gloss to your lips (did you know the average woman will ingest about four pounds of lipstick over her lifetime?! Crazy!!). Do you really want to be swallowing bacteria? I think not.

  3. The CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses are created with the same great formula as your favorite CARGO lip gloss tins. So you will find both the Classic and blu_ray collections around for a great variety. As an added convenience, you have an applicator with which to apply the CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses, as they are now featured in tubes. And CARGO has ensured that these glosses are paraben-free, which makes it less harmful to your health!

I had always hoped this day would come and I am very excited to continue using this new product. The CARGO Timestrip® lip glosses actually cost $22, which is a bit on the pricey side, but for all they are offering me (not to mention the money I'll be saving on trying out new glosses) I'm pretty willing to dip into my pockets for this one.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Latest Eye Combo

Continuing with the beauty immunity theme, I wanted to tell you how I get my eyeshadow to stay on longer now than ever before. I have always loved Benefit's F-Y-Eye, but I think it was just time for a change. My face is so seriously oily so it's important to really prime the you-know-what out of my eyes. I started using a combination, which yes takes a little longer, but seriously helps me not have a crease until a while after I leave the office - that's more than eight hours of work that this combo needs to do for me and I'm certainly pleased.

This combination is of concealer and primer. Now, I haven't really attempted to shy away from this particular combination for the simple fact that it's working so well. My fave concealer is Prescriptives' Camouflage Cream and I've coupled it with Laura Mercier's Eye Basics in Flax. These two creams, once blended in, give me a nice clean eye to work with.

I first got the idea to use concealer when I was working with a client and she told me she used concealer on her lids to cover up some redness. I had never done that on myself before (as I don't have much discoloration), but I started and it proved to be a great start to this method of priming my eyes for regular eyeshadow. This is especially perfect for when I go out and really need to exaggerate my eye makeup. Who needs raccoon eyes after a fun night out?

Different methods work for different people so if you find that this combination doesn't work for you then try switching it up. There are lots of primers and concealers out there on the market - you just need to find the one that you like the best.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beauty Immunity

I love It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product. I actually have been using this leave-in conditioner for almost two years now every day when I get out of the shower! However, I think I have to stop using it. It was making my hair soft and shiny, but I don't think it's doing what I need it to do anymore. Does that ever happen to any of you? You use a product for so long that you eventually become immune to it?

This beauty immunity, if I may, is so frustrating! It has happened to me countless times. I think this is worse than when a product is discontinued! I fall in love with a product, but then it stops working on me. Other people can continue to buy and use it, but I cannot. I get so jealous! Now, I must find a new product to replace it. In the meantime, what do I do? I spend countless dollars trying new things. Sure, I can read the musings of my fellow beauty bloggers (thanks everyone!) and I can even try out some samples (but they may not always be available). Speaking of samples - have you ever walked into a store and they have the shampoo and conditioner on display with a "Try Me" sticker on it? I mean, how can I try shampoo when I'm walking through a store? I just think that's funny.

So now, I'm left to my dilemma. Last week, when I was on my cruise, I didn't bring my It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product. Instead, I just used some Chi Silk Infusion and occasionally some mousse. My hair had a lot more volume then. I think I need to switch up my hair product routine. If anyone out there knows of a fabulous leave-in conditioner, please let me know! Until then, I will forgo the extra product and try to get my hair looking livelier.

I have other beauty immunities too, but what are some of yours?



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Clarisonic and Clean

After some time trying out my beauty products provided to me, courtesy of Santa, I have lots of reviews for all you Makeup Lovers out there! Today's topic of discussion will be my favorite and most exciting gift: the Clarisonic skin care brush.

I had heard really good things about it and I really wanted to get something that I could use every day for healthier skin. I hate having dry patches (though we already know how oily I am) and using my Clean and Clear benzoyl peroxide wash twice a day. I've come to feel that although benzoyl peroxide works the best on me, I shouldn't use it more than once a day to prevent unnecessary drying, which in turn overproduces oil.

I love the Clarisonic skin care brush. It only takes one minute out of my shower each day. It's waterproof and easy to use. Just press the button and you are instantly on your way to healthier skin. The brush times your intervals accordingly and beeps when each interval is up: 20 seconds for your forehead; 20 seconds for the nose and chin; and 10 seconds a piece for each cheek. Use the various cleansers for your skin type that come with the package and are available in larger sizes at Sephora. Once you rinse your face after you've finished, you will notice how soft and smooth it feels. In the three weeks that I've been using the Clarisonic skin care brush, I've noticed a decrease in acne and blackheads, which is certainly due to the good cleansing power the brush has. It really gets into those pores!

This is a great way to nurture your skin and since it's waterproof, you can do it in the shower. Why not start on your face as you wait for the water to warm up? This saves a bit of water and time for you. It's great!

I know the Clarisonic skin care brush is a bit pricey at $195, but I feel like it's totally worth it. Like I've said before, I think taking care of your skin is one of the most important parts of your beauty regimen. If you have glowing, healthy skin, everything else will certainly fall into place. Check out the Clarisonic skin care brush soon!


I think this image (from says it all: