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What I Am Loving Right Now—Sassy’s Top Five

11 Sep

A fabulous artist in the makeup industry recently made an observation that the retail market for cosmetics in the United States has slowed down considerably. There is a decrease in revenue, and there is thought that the boom may have reached—and passed—its peak. This isn’t slowing down big-names and companies from releasing their latest launches however. In fact, I personally have noticed that EVERYONE is having a launch. Of something! Honestly? It’s getting a little dull and repetitive. How many new lippies do I really need? How many palettes with duplicate colors need to be in my bag? As a writer, it is becoming borderline insane to keep up with all of the items coming onto the scene. The cosmetic industry needs to just calm down. An overload in the market doesn’t generate revenue, it creates confusion. And that’s not good.

With that being said? I am still finding items, thanks to my subscription boxes, that have been great additions to my skincare and makeup. What are my latest faves? Let me show you!

1) LA Girl HD Pro Conceal in Light Yellow & Lavender – I have been to The Makeup Show enough times to say I have learned my share about color theory. I know what needs to go where to correct the tone issues that I have. Some days the dark area under my eyes is worse than others. When regular concealer won’t do the job good enough, I don’t need more concealer… I need to color “correct” the problem! Dark circles come from blood vessels showing under the thin layer of skin under the eye. Although blood is red, the reflective light bouncing off the skin makes the circles appear a dirty brick or purple color depending on how fair you are. I am super fair, and my circles are a blurred purple tone… so to correct that, I use yellow concealer on rough days. If that problem isn’t enough, there are days when my entire face has a yellow undertone. (Thank you strange health condition!) On those days, I put a thin layer of the lavender concealer under my foundation to balance out my sallow skin. It’s nice that these great coverage products aren’t steep in price so I can have the colors I need for minor tone adjustments. (Available at LA Girl’s website or at Ulta.com)

2) essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara – There are a lot of makeup companies out there that claim that they have the mascara that will end everyone’s search for the best one ever. And we believe them. We don’t have to worry about throwing out our mascara every three months because we keep finding a “better” one. Or so we think. I follow a lot of chats and websites that talk about makeup and, of course, that includes mascara. I’ve noticed that one brand’s name comes up more often than not. I decided to research that one a bit more, but when I saw that the price of all of their formulas were less than $5, I thought that must be a mistake. No good mascara could cost under five dollars, so I continued to buy other expensive ones, and went on my merry way. After an epic fail with a high end waterproof mascara, I finally gave in and decided to try it. I got the essence False Lash Effect and waited to say “Ha!” but I couldn’t. It was everything I wanted in a mascara and more. The formula doesn’t budge, the brush combs and fluffs the lashes, and I especially love that the tip of the wand is thin enough to get the bottom lashes without clumping. I can honestly say that this great mascara isn’t “cheap”… it’s just inexpensive and I’m now a fan. (Available online at the essence cosmetics website or at Ulta.com

3) Victoria’s Secret “Crush” Rollerball – Perfume used to be a staple in my beauty routine. I had countless sprays, spritzers, rollerballs and body lotions in all kinds of fragrances. Now that I am involved in industries where I am working very closely with different people each day, I don’t wear fragrances as much. I don’t want to overpower people that may be sensitive to certain smells. I did, however, smell a really nice perfume while I was out shopping one day and knew instantly that I loved it. I asked the person wearing it and she said it was Victoria’s Secret’s “Crush”. I wanted to order a few things in that scent, so I waited to get a good coupon code before I placed an order. I was able to get two rollerballs, a body mist and a body lotion for less than $20. I wear it to work a few times a week, and always moisturize after bath time. I love the fresh notes of peony and peppercorn, and is a perfect pick-me up for a light day-to-day scent. (Available at the Victoria’s Secret website.)

4) TwinMedix Pro:Refine Moisturizer – I will always stand strong when I say that TwinMedix saved my skin. Their original Pro:Essentials line helped to nourish my skin back to health after years of struggling with sensitive skin and various retail brands. I was super excited to see the introduction of the Pro:Refine line for some added TLC to the face as well as target areas. The Pro:Refine Moisturizer is now my one-and-only go-to daytime moisturizer. Not only does it give your face the rich hydration it needs, but it is also full of B5 and Hyaluronic Acid to smooth and plump your skin. You actually feel the increased smoothness as you apply it. My face and makeup stay fresh all day and my skin continues to say “thank you” with TwinMedix’s pharmaceutical-grade formulas. *Note* – This is a reformulated version of the previous moisturizer that I had reviewed in March. The packaging is different and the ingredients & vitamins are even more beneficial to the skin! (Order TwinMedix products by clicking hereSend Sassy a message for a super secret promo code! ❤️)

5) Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water – Probably out of ALL the items that I have gotten a sample of in the past 10 years, this is the one thing that I thought I would never buy a full size of. Who the hell buys water… in a can… to spray on their face? Well I guess the answer is me. I do my entire skin care routine, then apply my primer. Next, I spray my face with a layer of the Thermal Spring Water, then apply my foundation with my brush. It glides on with no streaks and helps hold moisture in my skin. Even on hot and humid days, that light layer of hydration keeps my skin balanced. I will say this step is not for everyone, but I have come to like it very much.

So those are my newest faves on my vanity. With subscription boxes giving me all kinds of new things to try, it’s nice to see what is out there that I normally wouldn’t even look at. Some things, however, will always be staples that I won’t give up. Let’s see what fall has to bring to the table with changes in skin condition and the colors of the season. But for now? Let’s ride out the summer for another few weeks and enjoy great products while we continue to look and feel amazingly sassy!

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Five Things I Learned This Year At The Makeup Show…

5 Jul

Every spring, I take my annual trip to NYC to attend one of the premiere makeup and glamour events in the country. The Makeup Show makes it stop at the beginning of May in the Big Apple which is not too far from my actual location here in Upstate NY. Ever since the first one I attended in 2016, I am always amazed by the talent and education The Makeup Show brings to the stage as well as the brands that go. This year was no exception. We heard tips and tricks from the industry’s leaders with insight into what is new and hot for the seasons ahead.

There are always exceptional products that never cease to amaze me as well as new trends to follow. I always feel honored to have the inside “T” in regards to make up looks, hot colors, trends, ingredients and tips. Sometimes I just hear something that gives me a “No kidding!” moment. And that happened more than once this year.

So what shockers did I experience? Let’s see….

1. “If you don’t have glitter adhesive for your eyes, use some clear eyelash adhesive and gently pat glitter onto the lid with a small, flat, synthetic brush.” This was kind of a “Wow! No sh*t!” moment for me. I have a few different glitter adhesives (that I actually got from The Makeup Show last year!) but this was a great tip for someone that may want an easy backup plan who needs a bit of sparkle to hold during an impromptu meeting, lunch, dinner, club date or even a glam moment. It makes total sense… if it is safe enough for your lashes, it’s safe enough for your lids. This is an inexpensive way to play with different glitter looks you want to try as well. Also, synthetic brushes don’t “absorb” as much product, so the majority of the product you pick up with gets to the eye. Especially glitter!

2. “For a dewy look on your body (neck, shoulders, cleavage, chest), use a simple sunscreen rather than a ton of different products.” I have done many reviews on different types of sunscreens over the years, but I never thought that they could be used as makeup. The ingredients of sunscreen tend to be slightly thicker than general makeup, and are needed for long term wear to block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. This richer formula is perfect for giving you that soft, silky, dewy look without needing a ton of time with brushes, bronzers or highlighters.

3. “Do not use an HD powder when doing a photoshoot. HD powders tend to use shimmering agents that actually causes the flash to bounce off your face.” Whoa. THAT was a serious “Ah-Ha!” moment for me. In the past year, I have been doing a lot of professional photos with photographers. I always thought that the fine grind of HD powders would give me a flawless finish. That’s true, but not if cameras are involved. What can happen is your powder can cause flashback, which shows up on film as a white or oily look, coming from the flash of the camera hitting reflective surfaces. Products with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (natural sunscreen ingredients) can cause this to happen as well, but to a lesser extent. I stopped at one of my favorite vendors to discuss what I had just heard, and to ask what I needed instead. They felt my pain and directed me to the powder that I should use. Phew!

4. “Yes, you can find a long-lasting lip color that will stay true for over 8 hours without drying out your lips.” For years now, I have loved the idea of a lipstick that will not transfer onto my coffee cup, straw… or someone else’s face! I have definitely found a few brands, but with my unusually dry lips, the colors tend to cause more problems than they are worth. They dry out my lips causing cracking, peeling, and unappealing blotchiness. I usually end up exfoliating them with sugar and honey to get the uneven color off then just apply a moisturizing gloss tint to try and repair the damage. A company was there that asked me if I would try their long-lasting liquid matte lipstick with a glitter topper to see if they could convince me that theirs was “different”. Sure… why not? After long hours of running and rushing to and from seminars; from classes to subways; to trains then driving home, I gave my lips a look on the train to see how they looked. Holy ah-may-zing. The color was strong, the coverage was even, the glitter had no fall-out and I was still getting compliments on how they looked. I touched base with this great company and placed an order for my favorites within days. Kudos to this great crew for introducing me to my new fave lip color. (To see the brand, click here!)

5. “Choose gain over gossip.” No matter how well you do in your industry, people will talk. They will talk about how you are handling yourself, how you handle your business, how polite you are, how bitchy you can be, your mistakes, your successes, you name it. But the bottom line is that those who want to further themselves in their industry only make up 10% in that line of work. The other 90% are making excuses. Tabatha Coffey held a great seminar this year, not just talking about the makeup industry but how you respond to those around you that like to cut you down. I have said for years that if you don’t like me, yet still watch everything I do?… Bitch, you’re a fan. It’s nice to be reminded that if you are investing in yourself, you are already a step above the rest.

I continue to support those that I am proud to call my friends in this industry and am honored to be with them as we all continue to grow. I have seen amazing things from companies that I have been working with for over the years now, and am so glad that so many have taken me under their wing and shown me things I’ve only dreamed about. This amazing field of makeup and skincare continues to grow, and I look forward to the years to come as we all fly higher than we ever have before!

(Thank you to Glamorous Chicks Cosmetics for their glitter tutorials and the introduction to their long-wearing liquid lipsticks; to Danessa Myricks and Matthew Jordan Smith for the great class on working as a team with your photographer & tips for artists and models of all kinds; Kryolan with suggestions for achieving a great looks on film and in print; and Tabatha Coffey for her inspiration and motivation. And as always… thank you for all of those who do such a great job organizing one of the best makeup shows ever.)

How Organic Can Impakt Your Life!

3 Apr

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

Over the years, especially when my skin went south into the “sensitive” zone, I have become more aware of what I use on my skin. Certain ingredients I specifically look for because I know if they are in a product, I can’t use it. If the label looks good, the ingredients are ones I can handle, and the reviews are decent, there is still a chance I won’t be able to use it. Anything can trigger my sensitive skin, and it takes knowledge and patience to see what will happen.

Another thing I learned quick enough is that there can be a big difference between a product being “natural” and a product being “organic”. Organic skincare products that have been made with organic ingredients, grown and processed without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or chemicals are he only ones that are allowed to call themselves organic. What matters most are not the ingredients present in skincare products but rather the ones that are absent. Organic skincare products typically don’t contain parabens, sodium laureth sulfates, synthetic chemicals, dyes, preservatives, fillers, petroleum-derived ingredients or artificial colors and fragrances. And those of us with sensitive skin knows those ingredients specifically can cause havoc on our skin.

A few months back, I had found a lip conditioner that made my lips feel fantastic. It was a sample in a subscription box that I had received. It’s one thing to protect my lips from the elements… it’s another thing to get something that heals them as well. I was so amazed by the performance of the product that I immediately ordered two more lip products. I even told them that if they had samples of other products that they made, I’d be willing to try them. They sent me some GREAT things to get my opinion on, and I have been using them long enough to really let you know what fabulous results I got with them.

Impäkt Organic Skincare takes pride in saying that their Ulta Pure, Professional Skin Care offers “truly effective solutions to difficult skin care issues.” Their products are “sourced pure and made fresh by hand in small batches. Pure. Elevated. Effective. Thoughtful.” Not only do they address specific issues, but they stand by their word of being organic, powerful, with no fillers or chemicals. Let me give you some first hand experiences with some of these gems from Impäkt Organic Skincare:

Foaming Clay CleanserI love the days when I would treat my face to a deep conditioning mask. I used to think I couldn’t get that fresh, deep, detoxifying clean unless it was mask day, but this cleanser gives it to me daily. This is the perfect cleanser for not just people with normal/sensitive skin, but it is great for those with blemishes, uneven skin tone and area with eczema or psoriasis. You can mix a quarter-sized amount with a bit of water and wash with a circular motion avoiding the eyes. It will clean your face throughly while gently exfoliating. What I do? I apply with an even, thin coverage directly on your face (avoiding eye area) and watch as it turns a white as it dries… which doesn’t take long! Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. If you find that your face feels a bit too tight after cleansing, cut the mask amount in half and add Vitamin E or Jojoba Oil with a little water. Depending on your skin issues, you can buy this in different strengths. I use the full strength formula, but when my skin is super dry (like after the head cold I just went through) I just add a moisturizing and healing component like a few drops of Vitamin E and/or jojoba oil. Ingredients include: glacier-fed marine clay, coconut husk charcoal, sea kelp, aloe vera, pure shea oil and hyaluronic acid.

Moroccan Rose Clay Cleanser – Clay is a renewing and purifying organic cleanser, but different types of clay are out there to do different things. If your skin is more on the dry, mature, uneven-toned or patchy side, this may be the better clay cleanser for you. The rich Australian pink clay gently draws out impurities and detoxifies while algae and kelp helps to restore cell damage. Like the foaming Clay cleanser, just take a small amount and add water to it to create a creamy cleanser. Wash face avoiding the eye area and rinse clean. I like to apply a thin amount to my dry face then jump in the shower. Let the steam allow the mask to deep clean then rinse clean. It leaves my face feeling deep cleaned and nourished with stripping it down. Ingredients include: Australian pink clay, organic glacial living marine clay, hyaluronic acid, organic hand-ground rose petal powder, red algae-derived sea minerals, aloe vera, pure honey, shea butter, and goat’s milk.

Under-Eye Serum & Facial Toning OilFor the first time in years, this past winter season has been rough on my face. The air and heat has made my skin extremely dry and even cracked in some areas. After being involved with the skin care industry, I know that nothing will show your age more than the wrinkles caused by dry skin. The first thing I did when I noticed was to increase my water intake. Hydrating from the inside out will help even more than just your skin… you know that! But my regular moisturizer just wasn’t enough right then. I needed something deeper. I had been using the Under Eye Serum for almost a week when I noticed that the rest of my face was barking for attention too. In addition to using the oil straight for under my eyes, I began putting about four drops of the serum into my nightly moisturizer. This made a HUGE difference, and I began seeing results in about a week. My face was softer, more plump and definitely not as taught. Even though my face is definitely not as dry as it was before, I still continue to use the serum around my eyes each night and as an addition supplement to my nighttime face moisturizer once or twice a week. Always remember to shake well to blend the botanicals and oils for the best results. Ingredients include: rice bran oil, camellia oil, Immortelle Flower essence and hyaluronic acid.

Molten Botanical Body ButterLike I had mentioned before, my skin has suffered greatly during these cold and dry months. Of course, my first concern was my face since I could feel it getting drier and tugging almost every minute. But it didn’t take too long for me to notice that the dry, cracking skin that my face was suffering from was also happening to my body. I even noticed that a scar that I had gotten from a foot surgery several months ago had cracked, split open and had begun to bleed again. Although I had tried several hydrating skin treatments for my face, my body usually needed nothing more than a light layer of fragranced hydration. That had to change! I started with my feet, seeing as how it was critical for me to get them moisturized to avoid a trip to the foot doctor. I put several pumps of the Molten Botanical Body Butter onto my feet for several nights and covered them in clean white socks. After about the third day, they had already softened and the cracks healed. I kept that up for several weeks until even the callus that I had were softer and less thick. With such great results, I moved this Botanical gem into my body care. I upped my after-bath moisturizer to an enriched cream, and added several pumps of the Body Butter to it. Not only did this help to hydrate my skin better, but I didn’t have to repeat it as often. Now, I don’t moisturize with anything that goes on my body without some added Botanical Body Butter mixed in. And if nature’s taking its toll a bit? I use it straight up! Ingredients include: organic lanolin, raw fresh beeswax, American oryza sativa, organic African shea butter, raw silk extract, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts.

Glossing Lip Treatments – I am the poor soul that has to deal with chapped lips… all year long. Because of allergies, TMJ, and other issues, I am mouth breather. And that causes me to have dry lips 24/7-365. Then you add in the occasional cold, stuffy nose and allergies and you can guarantee I will have not just chapped lips but cracked, bleeding and sometimes scabbed lips. Skin care and cosmetics make up a big part of my life, between writing, endorsing and modeling. To say that my lips need to feel good as well as look good is an understatement. Many lip colors on the market right now are very very drying, yet I do not feel complete unless I have some sort of lip color on my face. A running joke is that I will not even go outside to get my mail without mascara and lipgloss. It’s easy to find a lot of lip products that will give me some moisture as well as color but for the most part they do not last. And they definitely do not heal the problem. I first started using the glossy lip treatment sample that I got in my subscription box while I was at work during the day. It is very dry area and I found that a little bit of the glass over my lip color helped to not only moisturize but to heal them as well. I noticed the biggest difference in my lips when I started using the Treatment at night. My lips (and the skin around them) began to get softer, less cracked, and stayed hydrated longer. Not to mention, the SPF helps to prevent sun damage to dry them out even more. It didn’t take long for me to order several more sample sizes as well as a full-size glosses in my favorite flavors. To date, I have four minis scattered across my house in rooms where I may notice I need one, as well as a full-sized tube at work, in my purse and next to my bed. My favorite go-to flavors are Raw Cocoa, Spiced Coffee and Jasmine Vanilla. Available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic raw African shea butter, sativa oil, Japanese camellia oil, and organic botanical extracts.

Deep Detox Deodorant – I have been a tester of MANY organic, natural and/or vegan deodorant. Most are the swipe on kind, and a couple of them have been spritzers. For the most part, I have liked only a few. Most of them don’t seem to neutralize an odor as much as I’d like them too. And of course, they aren’t anti-perspirants so the sweat still happen. This one, however, definitely controlled the odors better than any I have used in the past. Application was smooth, and its light scent is pleasant and natural. What I did notice was I didn’t seem to sweat as much when I wore it. I should say I very seldom have to wear deodorant like I used to, but there are times and occasions when it is necessary. It will be good to see if this holds it own as temps start to rise. But so far? It is in the tops of my favorite natural deodorant. It is also available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic African shea butter, waxes, organic glacial clay & coconut charcoal powders, and organic lavender, chamomile, broccoli seed and cacao extracts.

Headache Hope Nutrient Oil – Chronic pain… whether it be headaches, migraines, joint or muscle—can debilitate you and take over your day. The things that cause us these pains can not always be pinpointed. All we know is that they hurt. Whenever possible, it would be nice to have an option when we don’t feeling like taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication. This little bottle of “Hope” might be able to offer some relief to those who might like to try just that. There have been studies with oils and extracts that have shown to help with increased circulation, blood flow and pain relief and muscle relaxation. That, in turn, can help ease pain. This Oil contains three levels of these ingredients which work together at different times to combat the triggers that cause pain. I will be honest, after I used it the first time I had a headache, I didn’t think I would ever use it again. It’s STRONG! The scent is a little strong, the “tingling” can be a bit overwhelming, and the warmth can be hard to get used to. But after I debated washing it off my temples, I noticed it began to work. I felt less pressure, I relaxed a bit, and the warmth turned to a cool refreshing feeling. So let’s just say it takes some time to find the amount to use that’s right for you. Come to find out, a Q-tip dotted on the end of the roller was enough to put a quick dot on both of my temples for a headache. What was REALLY awesome? It helped with pain in other joints and muscles. I have had reoccurring tendinitis in my one foot. I can rub regular moisturizing lotion on my foot then use a Q-tip to apply a small amount to the Hope oil to my foot and I will notice not only the pain ease but the swelling as well. This past week it was a knotted muscle in my neck that needed a couple of drops. But it worked. There is a LOT in a rollerball, but don’t think you will need it all. Start VERY small… like one drop on a cotton swab… and go from there. Be careful around the area of the temples too, as the scent is strong near the eyes. But think beyond just a headache for this organic pain elixir. Ingredients are organic oils and botanicals including: Indian peppermint, lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and more.

The more we become more aware of the products, the more we take notice of the ingredients in them. It is important for many of us to not just think of ourselves when selecting quality items but we tend to think more about the environment as well. Impäkt Organic Skincare products are eco-friendly, sustainable, truly natural and organic which make positive changes in the environment as well. No fillers are used and every ingredient can be traced back to its origin. Even the packaging focuses on recycling with minimal footprints. Plus, rest assured that no animals were ever harmed or tested on from Impäkt. In fact, they are Leaping Bunny Certified. Rest assured, when you use these product in your skin care routine, you aren’t just helping yourself but helping the world as well.

You can find Impäkt Organic Skincare online at impaktorganic.com, or Instagram at @Impakt_Organic

Watch here and on my Instagram feed (@SassyAuburn) for a chance to win TWO of my favorite Glossing Lip Treatments in April!!

Great Products for the New Year…

8 Mar

Let me start out by saying this redhead has been busy! Over the past year, I have taking on two more writing positions, have become a brand ambassador for two fabulous companies, am a full-time promo model for a hot magazine and I still continue to hang with my friends while managing a fab tattoo shop in town. Everything I have learned over the years in regards to fashion, skin care, make up, glam and the tattoo industry is helping me to live my dream. Not only am I evolving my life, but I’m also the healthiest I have been in years while I am doing it. I have a great support team and I thank them every day for lifting me up with their encouragement. I am truly blessed.

I know that it is way past the beginning of a new year, but I have still been testing and trying new products and styles that help me keep up with my cool yet chaotic life! Because things are so crazy, I definitely need things that are going to do their job. And if they can save me time (and of course money), then hip hip hooray! Have I found new super products that do just that? You betcha!

Here are a few goodies that anyone could appreciate in their daily routines:

1. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray – Preparing your makeup for a photoshoot can take a LONG time. The last thing you need is anything like sweat or rain to cause your look to start sliding off your face. I have used setting mists in the past, but they have either fell short or turned my skin into a potato chip. You don’t need a lot to set your look and it will stay out for hours. Just spray your face in the shape of an X , keep your eyes closed for about 60-90 seconds and touch-ups will be reduced to slim-to-none. It has become a life saver in my travel bag. (Ulta.com)

2. Youngblood Mineral Rice Setting Powder – When I first got this from the How to be a Redhead Subscription Box, I really wasn’t sure if I would use it since I have my fair share of non-talc setting powders. Plus the tint in this one made me hesitant since it was more of a yellowish powder. After the first time I used it, I knew it was going to be a go-to during my makeup application. The rice powder and corn starch base helps this powder keep the shine away all day and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The powder sets perfectly clear with no color at all, leaving your face with a nice matte finish. (YBSkin.com)

3. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – Aren’t we all really just in search of the ‘be all, save all” mascara of all time? I am and I’m sure I may never find it as long as mascaras keep improving their formulas. This one, however, is certainly damn good. One coat for daily wear, two coats for special occasions will leave your lashes looking long and luscious. The brush is really fat which gives you a nice even, full coat from base to tips. You may find the brush is hard to maneuver on the bottom lashes—I do—so I have disposable skinny wands for precise bottom lash and corner lash applications. (Lancôme-usa.com)

4. Kryolan Contour Pencil in 971 (Black) – I picked up some of these great pencils last year when I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I saw them used by a fabulous makeup artist and thought that any pencil that can have that many uses and be that inexpensive must have some sort of down side. I have yet to find one! I learned that by lining the water line of my upper lid can help my hooded eyes to have more pop. And this pencil does it perfectly. I get a line that stays strong all day and comes off easily with eye makeup remover. Plus the tip can sharpened to your liking, and is soft enough to not tug at the skin around your eyes. (Kryolan.com)

5. No 7 Instant Illusion Wrinkle Filler – There are only so many miracles we can fix without hiring a plastic surgeon. I expected a full-blown face lift when I bought this product. Because I didn’t see that immediately, I put the tube off to the side. After a week or so, I decided to try it again with more realistic expectations. That’s when I saw what amazing things this actually does. Although it can’t hide deep deep laugh lines, it does fill in fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes, lips and forehead. It helps to defuse and reflect light giving my face an all-over smooth look. (Ulta.com)

6. Impäkt Organic Skin Care Glossing Lip Treatment – This winter has been hell on my skin. Especially my lips. I have always battled the chapped lips devil all through the year, but this year has been terrible. They haven’t been getting just chapped either. They split, peel, bleed and even get blotchy. I was lucky enough to try a sample of this (thanks to my friends at How to be a Redhead) little gem in Raw Cocoa and noticed an improvement in just days. Ingredients such as raw beeswax, sativa oil, raw honey and shea butter put healing nutrients into the skin and not just over it. The healing begins on a cellular level, which helps to prevent the problems before they occur. (impaktorganic.com) ** Watch my blog for reviews on more products from Impakt Organics soon!**

7. TwinMedix Pro:Refine Primer/Moisturizer – When time is of the essence, it is helpful to have products that can do multiple things at the same time. This is a nourishing moisturizer that not only preps and primes the face for smooth makeup application but it also plumps and firms giving your skin a nice all-over glow. Packed with rich hydration from shea butter and jojoba oil, this gem also gives your face boost of nourishing B5. Finish those great ingredients off with a touch of hyaluronic acid for a youthful appearance. (TwinMedix.com)

8. Crown Brush Tapered Concealer Brush C425 – Since I have been getting very precise and detailed with my eye looks, it is important to me to have a good concealer brush that is tight enough to get around my eyes with intricate accuracy. I have A LOT of brushes that I have picked up over the years, but this one is always clean and close by during my makeup application. It is small, fine and flat enough to hide skin imperfections while cleaning up any last minute fall out or errors in the area. (Crownbrush.com)

I wish the contents of my vanity only showed these few products plus a little more to be able to have everything I needed to do a full skin care and makeup look each day. Unfortunately, depending on a number of factors, I need all of that and MUCH MORE. No worries, though. I have managed to get my supplies organized in a way to have access to whatever I need at any given time. It is important for all of us to remember to keep our items clean and fresh. Remember to go through your entire product drawers once in a while (when you change the clocks is a perfect time!) to look, test and smell each item you have. Things can go bad, as well as pick up bacteria to make them “spoil”. One thing that is good to help you avoid the transfer of ickies is to scrape out just what you will need with a (clean) makeup spatula, put that on a stainless steel mixing plate (crownbrush.com, $8.95 for the combo) and apply it from there. Not only does this reduce the chance of your makeup acquiring bacteria but it also prevents color mixing.

With these new goodies, I plan on having fun trying and developing new looks for myself in the future. Do you have any new goodies to share that you have discovered are “must haves” in your glam box? Share with me and others so we can all know what is hot on the shelves!!

“I Hit Pan” + “Look What I Found” Items

16 Oct

I would think the majority of people I know in the makeup and skin care industries understand the term “I hit pan”. It’s a simple way to say that you have used your favorite makeup product so much that you can see the silver from the container it is in. In other words… you better go shopping. I actually experienced that a few times in the past couple of months. In the process of restocking some of my almost-empty faves, I have also discovered some great NEW items that are now must haves. Let’s take a look at what needs restocking and what is new on my vanity:

RESTOCKING…

1. NARS Smooth and Protect Primer SPF50 – I have tried a lot of primers over the years. Some have worked, some haven’t done such a great job. This came across my way several months ago as a sample in an Ulta order. I loved how it went on, hiding and blurring pores and imperfections on my skin. Because it is necessary for this redhead to keep the bad rays of the sun as far away from my skin as possible, this has actually become one of the steps in my daily skincare routine. When I realized I was using a clothespin to get as much as possible out of the draining tube, I figured it was time to get another. (Ulta, $36)

2. RAD Soap Co. OUCH Salve – I fell in love with the RAD soap company after picking up one of their body creams (you can see the review here)! When I stopped by their flagship store which isn’t far from me at all, I picked up some favorites as well as this little gem. I was told it cuts healing time of small scrapes, scratches, bites, blisters and more WAY down. And it is true! I actually use this on my tattoos when they are healing. It keeps new ink moisturized and helps it to heal easier. I knew I was getting more work done on my leg tattoo so I picked up a second jar. Good thing… I’ve finished my first and I’m on to the next! (Radsoap.com, $10)

3. Make Up For Ever XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner – I will admit, I have collected my share of liquid and pencil eyeliners over the years. I am always looking for the ultimate stay-all-day liner for my bottom waterline. Many work great, but not all have that kind of stay power. I finally admitted to myself that it would just be better to stick with the first long-lasting one I tried. This one! Because I don’t use it for anything else, it lasts! Plus you only need a little for a deep matte black look. All the others can take a back burner as I replenish this treasure. (makeupforever.com, $21)

4. Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – I am a firm believer that every bath or shower should immediately be followed by a rich, emollient body cream. I have a few favorites and usually will change them up with the seasons. One thing that I noticed needs a little extra TLC is your tooshie. You know, your bum. Buttocks. Behind. Derrière. Rump. Fanny. Rear end. You get what I’m saying. Not many people would say that it is feasible to buy a special “cream” just to moisturize your bum. But if you think about it… it is probably the one place (not counting your face and neck) that needs a cream that will keep your skin smooth, soft, firm, and “tight”. I remember friends saying, “You could bounce a quarter off that a$$!” This cream? It helps to make that happen. Stocked with guaraná – an Amazonian plant whose fruit contains the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet. That, mixed with cupuaçu butter, açaí antioxidants and coconut oil will help give you irresistible touch-me skin. You will love this fast-absorbing cream that is lightly scented with pistachio caramel leaves, and formulated to leave your skin feeling its smoothest and tightest! (Sephora, $45)

5. Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème – I think we all know the day when we realize we need a concealer in our life. It’s not a good day. It might be needed after a night with very little sleep, tired eyes from studying, droopy eyes from allergies…you name it. And you’ll notice it. I’ve tried many concealers over the years, but this came to me as a sample in a Sephora order and I’ve been hooked ever since! To me, the formula is a bit drier than many concealers I have used and this seems to help keep it in place longer. It has a great applicator, but I use it only for “dotting”… I will use my finger or use a good small concealer brush to press it in. Because you need so little, one tube lasts and lasts. I don’t think I’d switch at all now. I found my saving grace in Kant’s concealer and it couldn’t have happened at a better time! (Sephora, $26)

NEW FINDS:

1. RAD Soap Co. VIBES Natural Deodorant – Ever since I was a teen, I have always had a hard time finding a deodorant that is effective, smells gentle, and doesn’t leave nasty white marks on my clothing. Let me just say it has been VERY difficult over the years to get that in one product. When I went to get my OUCH Salve, I found this off to the side. I’m trying to find products for my vanity that are more natural, so I took a sniff of the Oatmeal & Vanilla bottle and was hooked. Of course, the real decision maker was going to be if it worked or not. It did! Easy to use, completely natural and perfect for those with sensitive skin. I went through a hot summer using this and was not disappointed. It’s nice to have an environmentally friendly product that works as good as this! (Radsoap.com, $10)

2. Miss Spa Chocolate Self-Heating Clay Mask – It is a fact that face masks are ALL the thing right now. You have peel-off masks, detoxifying masks, deep treatment masks and so many more. This mask was included in my H2BAR subscription box last month, and it took me no time to order more! Dark chocolate is very good for your face AND body because it has a high level of antioxidants to help repair and protect your skin from damage. The clays work together to absorb any excess oils and the lactic acid helps shed dead skin cells. And that awesome warming feeling? That is your circulation being stimulated to help get good blood flow to your face, which assists in an even glow to your skin. Smells decadent too… just don’t lick your fingers! (Ulta, $4)

3. Wet n Wild Perfect Pout Gel Lip Balm – If I sorted out all of my lip products in my vanity, I would say that I probably wouldn’t need a new type or color for years. YEARS! Does that stop me from trying new ones? Hell no! I found this at my local drug store. Of course, it has a “new” sign on it and I had to stop and look. Over the past few years, the rage has been the long-lasting matte lipsticks. Although it is fun to mix and match the colors, the fact remains that they are extremely drying to my lips. For times like work or a pick-me-up walk, I like having a lip product that will not just give my lips some long lasting hydration but also great color. I picked up one of these in the shade Love which is a pinkish rose and loved it. I could put it on without a mirror and it lasted, keeping my lips looking and feeling great. I picked up two more colors before the end of the week—Rule and Tease. A great grab and go items when you need to make your lips feel and look good. (Wetwildbeauty.com, $3)

4. TOULLGO 3D Fiber Lash Mascara – I have never hid the fact that I cannot master the technique of the false eyelash AT ALL. The glue is messy, I can never get them in the right spot, half sticks & half doesn’t, and every other problem that goes with them. I have good long lashes, but they are thin and straight. So I am always looking for a way to get a false-lash look without the hassle. This mascara is a two-step process but doesn’t take much more time to apply. I love the look I get from this product. My eyes look dramatic without any clumps, fiber fall out, or running. I will definitely buy this again! (Amazon, $15)

5. Embryolisse Re-Densifying Eye and Lip Contour Cream – I have been using products from Embryolisse and TwinMedix for years now, and I am happy to say that my skin has never looked so good. I have a smooth, even-toned complexion that looks younger and younger each day. When my awesome girl, Michelle, told me I should really give this eye cream a try, I agreed. In the back of my mind, however, I was skeptical. I am always looking for the “miracle eye cream” and as much as I have seen a slight improvement with most creams, nothing has really floored me with a dramatic change. But I did what I promised Michelle I’d do. And like other eye creams I have used in the past, I was slightly pleased with the results. But it was only week two. I think I was looking for a miracle… not an eye cream. So, regardless of what I saw, I kept using it. After a while, I did notice that the skin around my eyes was firmer, less fine lines, and my dark circles definitely weren’t as dark as they were. Had I found my miracle? I’m not sure. But I am sure that I will be using this regularly—day and night—to keep my younger looking eyes around for a while. The price may seem steep, but to slow the aging process of my eye area down is seriously priceless to me. Plus the bottle lasts forever!! (Embryolisseusa.com, $55)

With fall finally here, we glamouristas need to take some time to evaluate our skin care, hair care, body care and makeup to see if we need to make any changes to keep up with the changing seasons. Lower temperatures and frequent changes in the humidity can wreak havoc on our standard beauty routines. Check to see if you need to incorporate some extras or eliminate some items that may or may not be needed now. Also check your makeup colors that you are currently using. You may find that you need to push the pastels to the back of your vanity and bring out or pick up some deeper colors for the cooler months. Have a fabulous fall everyone and rock your sass!

Steady and True… Fabulous and New!

17 Aug

Hello summer! I can’t tell you how busy this sassy redhead has been over the past few months. So many new endeavors going on. I am still managing the tattoo shop; I was asked to be the writer and editor of a small, upcoming magazine which I gladly accepted; and I was chosen to be an alternative model for a well-established magazine. Thanks to me taking a leap of faith, I put myself out there a little more than I am used to and because of that, I have now been featured in three magazines with another spread coming out soon. I guess all I can say right now is WOW! It’s amazing what possibilites are out there for you if you just reach for the brass ring. I am extremely blessed to have these fun opportunities… and I plan on making the most out of all of them.

In addition to taking all these great breaks I have been presented with, I am also taking the time whenever I can to continue to write about my endeavors in the glamour and fashion industry. And there has been many! My yearly trip to New York City for The Makeup Show was such a success in May. I made some fabulous connections and will be working with some big names in the makeup industry in the near future. In addition to going to see my glamour guru friends, I also learned some great new makeup tricks. This has actually come in very handy when I need to prepare my face, skin and makeup before a photo shoot. Let’s take a look at some of the tried and true products that I fell in love with last year and still have a place on my vanity. Those are:

* Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

* Make Up For Ever Waterblend Face and Body Foundation

* Crown Brushes

* NYX Butter Gloss & Epic Ink Eyeliner

* TwinMedix Skin Care System

Then there are the items that I tried, fell in love with and have been using ever since. They have earned their place on my Vanity of Love. So what am I crushing on big time right now? Let’s take a look:

 

NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50 – I have used many primers over the years. Many of them were just okay, a few were worth a second purchase, and there was the occasional product that did more good in the garbage than it did on my face. This little gem was a sample that came in an Ulta purchase a few months ago. It was instantly obvious that I had found my primer of the lifetime! Being a redhead means I need to protect my skin from the sun whenever needed, and this primer with a high SPF actually helps my skin in two different ways. It gives me a nice, matte, consistent finish all over my face to prepare it for whatever foundation I choose to use. Plus, the high SPF protects my skin no matter what foundation I wear… even if I choose to wear none at all. It doesn’t clog my pores, isn’t irritating to my sensitive skin, and the large tube lasts for a very long time (even with daily use.) It is going to be a challenge for any product to try and replace this in my daily routine. A definite multi-purpose must have! (Ulta, $36)

Pixi Glow Tonic – We all know how awesome it feels to put on our skin care and makeup right after we have exfoliated our skin. In order to not irritate our skin, we should only exfoliate our skin 2-3 times a week and deep treat with a mask once a week. So does that mean our skin can’t feel freshly fabulous during those off days? Not anymore. Glow Tonic is a highly concentrated facial toner that gently exfoliates and purifies your skin each morning with a small amount of Glycolic Acid. Packed with natural ingredients like ginseng & aloe vera, this toner helps to remove more of the renewed cells on your face that have shed during sleep. Use a small amount on a cotton ball then sweep it over your freshly cleaned face to give you a smooth surface that your makeup will appreciate. (Pixibeauty.com, $29)

OFRA Pro Mixing Palette – If anyone was to see this item in my work room, they would probably laugh their asses off. The fact is… I have no artistic ability. Sure, I can write, take photos, do my makeup, edit pictures, design outfits, lots of different types of art. But when it comes to drawing? Painting? Nope, nope, nope. My statement always is that “I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler.” So why would I have a mixing palette in my glamour room? For just that… mixing! Working in a tattoo shop has made me very aware of the color wheel and what colors create specific shades. I may have a look that I want to put together for a formal event, but don’t have the shades of eyeshadows and/or lipsticks that aren’t available on a retail level. That’s when I get out my palette and start blending. Having a palette is very helpful with foundations as well. Putting a small amount of your foundation on a palette lets you control how much you are putting on with a brush or a sponge. It also enables you to add a little color corrector to your foundation if your skintone needs a touch of altering for whatever reason. It is also perfect for creating shades of lipstick that I would want for an specific look but don’t own. Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is a great example. I will put a “swipe” of the colors I am looking to blend and then take a lip brush to mix them. Voila! A new shade that will last all day. After you are done mixing on your palette, just wipe it off with a disinfecting cloth and you are ready for the next day! (Make Up For Ever, starting at $6)

Kryolan Dermacolor Camouflage Creme Erase Stick in White – I am very happy with the concealers that I use on an almost daily basis. They have a long wear time and stay put. After a while, however, I began to notice that under my eyes sometimes had an oily shine in some of my photos. I tried mattifying powders and balms but nothing seemed to work when a flash was involved. After a great class at The Makeup Show by Kryolan Cosmetics, I found this gem of a stick to hide not just under-the-eyes discoloration but also heavy laugh lines, wrinkles and discolorations. This little baby worked like a gem!! Even though it is pure white, it doesn’t have an oily consistency and blends well into your other makeup. A lot of time has been saved during my makeup prep time, thanks to this little diamond in the rough. If you go to Kryolan’s website, take some time to browse around. They also have some wonderful makeup pencils, primers and other makeup must haves! (us.kryolan.com, $14)

H2O + Beauty Oasis Hydrating Treatment – It isn’t easy for me to find a good face moisturizer that doesn’t make my face feel greasy in the summer. I know, no matter what the season is, my face needs hydration. EVERYONE needs hydration for their skin. You can help it by drinking more fluids, especially in hot temperatures, but you still need something to protect it on the outside. I recently got a sample of the H2O Hydrating Treatment about two months ago. The product made sense—-a gel that absorbs quickly but is long lasting. Infused with Sea Grass and Water Lily extracts, this hydrating gel gives your face the moisture it needs without heavy creams or oils. Your face feels soft and smooth without a greasy texture or shine.

I never leave The Makeup Show without learning about some great new products or skin care items that target my needs. And I am getting great leads on new, top-of-the-line products to try out. Plus it allows me to come on here and share these tips, tricks and new items with you. This year, since I have doing some occasional modeling, it was important for me to learn about techniques and products that would be helpful for the shoots. As time goes on, I am sure I will find some tips about photoshoots that I can share with my modeling friends around the world. Not to mention? I’m sampling stuff more often than ever. So stay tuned, beautiful people! Who knows what epic items I will have to share with you next time!

Sassy’s Lifesavers (Part Two)

14 May

In a previous post, I wanted to share my skin care routine with my readers and followers. I know that many of us are dazzled by makeup and all the colors and techniques that go with it. Before you can have any glamour look amazing on your face, you need a good canvas. A clean, fresh slate to work your color magic on. When I first got into the skin care and makeup industry, I learned how important it was to have your skin in the best condition possible. Otherwise, your makeup just won’t look its best. I’m often reminded of the story of the farmer that couldn’t understand why his barn always looked old even though he would try to put a fresh coat of paint on it every year. Why did it look sloppy? Because the farmer didn’t “prep” the barn before painting it. He didn’t remove the old paint, sand down the rough spots, wash it thoroughly or treat the wood properly. He just kept slapping on new paint without taking care of the barn first. Your face is the exactly the same way. You need to treat your skin to give you the best base you can before you add any color.

I mentioned before that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:
• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

An evening skin care routine show be:
• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)
• Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Although it sounds simple—and it should be—it can be difficult to get into the routine if you haven’t had one before. You need to take some time to make sure you are getting what your skin needs, with ingredients that are pure and healthy, targeted to do what you need for your skin’s concerns. I am an exception to the rule with my skin being “normal”. I will say, however, that it took MANY years of right’s and wrong’s to get it that way. When you do some research, try some products and get what is right for you, you will notice the change in the way your skin looks and feels very quickly. The clock is going to keep ticking when it comes to your skin… the best we can do is give it what it needs to slow that down as much as possible.

Part One we covered my morning routine. Today let’s talk about the evening:

Before Bed Routine

Cleanse:
Same As The A.M.

You don’t need special products to clean your face in the evening. Your morning cleansers work just as good. Follow the directions and use them just as you would before you put on your daily makeup.

Exfoliate:
This is where things can get a little “sensitive”. Literally. Anyone who has sensitive skin knows that many exfoliators can have ingredients that can be irritating, burning, harsh or down right painful for your face. This may take some different trial products to find the ones you like. I seriously suggest you go to a makeup store (like Ulta or Sephora) to get samples of the ones you may want to try, just to use them a few times before making the final purchase. Another idea may be to sign up for a glamour subscription (like “Ipsy” or “How to be a Redhead”) and try some of their suggestions. The only negative about that is you have no idea what you will get and won’t be able to research ingredients or reviews first. Depending on your skin type or what you want your mask to do, you may just want to do a search of these products and read which ones are fan favorites.

For me, I absolutely love Albertini International’s Warm Love Exfoliating Mask. This came as a sample in my H2BAR’s October subscription box and it was not just great for fall but for any time of the year. It does say “mask” however I tend to just rub it on my face (it will get a little warm and tingly as it stimulates blood flow) and rinse off with cool water. It’s a gentle scrub that doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

Another one of my favorites is BeFine’s Exfoliating Cleanser. When you use this product 2-3 times a week, you can eliminate your cleansing step that day as this does both. This natural gem is filled with brown sugar for a light scrub, ginger root extract for detoxifying, sweet almond oil to keep your skin’s moisture balance, and orange oil to help heal skin imperfections. This non-irritating healthy cleansing scrub clears away dull damaged skin that can accumulate after a couple of days. Your skin will feel soft and will instantly brighten your face.

Mask: Well, that depends…
Masks are essential in your weekly beauty routine because they get “down and dirty” to target problems with your skin. Because of the different brands, formulas and types of masks that target specific issues, giving your skin a treatment mask will help you ultra-nourish your skin with a weekly dose of goodness. They tend to have more precise/stronger ingredients than daily products do. That is why you really only need them once a week.

There are times when I can feel the buildup of environmental “ick”. I think you know what I mean. This is when I use my newest find. Last year, I posted about a new body cream by a company called Rad which I love. A few weeks ago, while killing time at a local mall, I actually saw Rad’s flagship store! I was SOOO excited to go in and meet the owner to rave about how much I loved her products. We chatted and talked for a while, as she remembered me writing about her products. She knew I had sensitive skin (from the article) and insisted I try this face mask that she thought I would like. She was right! Rad’s Skin Psyche Detox Face Mask is incredible. Enriched with ingredients such as Marshmallow Root, Coffee Bean and Jojoba, this mask is blended with essential oils to detoxify the skin by opening pores and drawing out accumulated toxins. After the first time I used it, I can’t begin to explain how soft and healthy my skin felt. The jar is large and you don’t use a lot. Just apply—avoiding the eye area—let sit for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse.

When I am getting ready for a week of photos and need my skin to feel a little more tight and fresh, I fall back on an old-school style peel-off mask by Labotica called Transforming Liquid Foil Mask. There isn’t much this mask doesn’t do, but my main attraction to it is how well it brightens and firms up your skin. Made with nourishing botanical exracts that calm inflammation, this luxurious pearlescent saint goes on like a creamy liquid and dries to a silvery, shiny, peel off mask. I like to make sure it is doing its job, so I let it set about 30 minutes then peel. Get off as much as you can, being careful around the eye area. Any little specks that you can’t peel off will come off with a cotton ball and water or micellar water. I love how my skin looks and feels after this relaxing treat!

Night Serum: TwinMedix Pro: Essentials A15
I bet by now you are seeing a trend with my love of the TwinMedix products. That’s because they work to keep my skin healthy and young looking—hands down. TwinMedix Pro:Essentials A15 night serum is formulated with 0.15% Retinal (pure Vitamin A) and antioxidants to help improve and diminish the appearance of aging skin by softening the look of existing wrinkles and increasing cell turnover to bring younger skin to the surface. Using a small amount over your clean face before bed will leave you waking up to softer, fresher looking skin.

Moisturizer/Night Cream: Lumene Artic Lumenessence Valo Light Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream
Way back, when I first began writing, I had used several of the Lumene products since they were easy to obtain at my local CVS drug store. After a while, two things happened: 1) CVS began to carry less and less Lumene products and; 2) because my skin was way more sensitive than it had once been, I was concerned that this product may not agree with my skin the way it once had. One day, I received an email from a beauty company that asked me to try a moisturizer and give them my feedback. I got a coupon, and out I went. It was Lumene’s Overnight Cream. Awesome! I went out, grabbed a jar, and took it home to try. The first thing I noticed about it was that it had a great citrus scent to it. It wasn’t heavy but it did feel enriching. The jar is decent sized and the amount you need is very little. Plus the added benefit of it containing Vitamin C helps to even skin tone and brighten my face while I sleep.

So that is how Sassy tends to her skin–keeping it soft, smooth and young looking as I try my hardest to fight the hands of time. For someone my age?…. I think I’m winning. Some of my skin care products are a necessity due to my sensitive skin. Others, however, can be used by anyone. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If you would do everything you could to make sure your heart and brain were in tip-top shape, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whatever you choose to buy, just make sure you do your research first. Keep yourself looking your best (and youngest) with natural products and ingredients that will fend off Father Time for as long as possible!

Foundation Fundamentals From A Pro!

30 Jan

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show (www.themakeupshow.com) in NYC. I had gone the year before and it literally changed my life. I learned about makeup, skin care, glamour applications, and so much more. I was privileged to be invited back to learn what new products were out, what new makeup techniques were being used and to learn more about the artistry side of the makeup industry. As a sensitive skinned redhead, one of the most challenging things for me to find is the right foundation. Over the years, I have found that MANY individuals are faced with the challenge of finding the perfect foundation. Some have skin that is easily irritated, skin tones that are hard to match and past foundation experiences that do not make us smile. Ugh. The horrors. When I asked the PR director for The Makeup Show who would be the best person or organization to get information about foundation, she immediately said I should talk to Sebastien Tardif, co-founder of Veil Cosmetics (www.veilcosmetics.com). After reading about him more, I knew he would have tips and tricks to help me as well as followers & readers.

Talking to Sebastien was fabulous…he was a plethora of information! He has been working in the skin care and makeup industry for over 15 years. Originally from Canada, he started his career with a well-known brand in the industry overseeing top-tier education for artistry managers oversees. In addition, he was also a key makeup artist and brand ambassador for New York’s Fashion Week. In 2011, he launched Veil Cosmetics and, to date, oversees all aspects of the brand: brand activities, marketing strategies, sales and business development as well as developing the products themselves. He even mentioned that he had worked with many sensitive skinned redheads over the years. In fact, he himself has sensitive skin and understood the problems when it came to foundations and our skin:

Sassy: What made you want to get into the product end of the makeup industry?
Sebastian: “I have always loved makeup and skincare, but wanted to see them integrated a little more. I, too, have very sensitive skin. I knew I could develop products that could do more for the skin than what was out there. That’s basically how Veil Cosmetics came to be. I was inspired by my passion for skin and a fresh, new take on weightless, complexion solutions. My mission has always been to modernize the traditional approach to makeup by revealing gorgeous skin not masking it.”

Sassy: It is very difficult for many to find a perfect shade of foundation. Sometimes it is too dark, too light, too orange, too pink…just not right. What is the best way for people to find the one we need?
Sebastien: “The best way to find the right foundation is to test them! Foundations are mostly based on three hues: pink, neutral and gold. Find a few shades of a foundation brand you like that seem to match your skin tone. Swipe a small, thin swatch of your choices from your jawline towards your cheek–make sure you have no makeup on already! Remember which ones you are wearing then go outside! You want completely natural light around you when you choose your foundation shade. With a mirror, see if the ones you have applied look natural on your skin. If they seem off, then that is not the right one for you. Natural lighting is always best when choosing shades.”

Side note: You can usually find out which hue you are by holding a white tissue up to your clean face and seeing what ‘tint’ your skin has compared to the tissue. Even though I thought my skin was pinkish, the test actually showed I was a neutral! Just that small discovery changed how my foundation now looks on my skin.

Sassy: How does someone goes about picking out the “right” foundation formula? How do we know if we need something with moisture, something oil absorbing, something organic or something else…?
Sebastien: “Many people think price is a major factor, but it doesn’t have to be. You really need to know what your skin needs and what it doesn’t. If you have oily skin, you are most likely going to want a water based formula of foundation. If your skin is normal or dry, you want ingredients that naturally hydrate or moisturize, but avoid products that contain oils—they can clog pores.”

Side note: Since we need need sun protection more than others, it is important to know about different brands and the ingredients they contain. Researching what is in a foundation is important. Ingredients in a product are listed in descending order of what is the majority ingredient followed by smaller, less portioned down the list. Look for things don’t seem right, and if you aren’t sure what it does, research!

Sassy: Why is Veil Cosmetics foundation different from others?
Sebastien: “It has always been easy to cover your skin with a foundation, but what I wanted to create was a foundation that had skin care in it as well. That way, the foundation doesn’t just sit there…it is actually working with anti-aging ingredients built in to keep your face looking smooth, fresh and young!”

Sassy: So a big question that most people have is what is the best way to apply foundation to your face? Any suggestions?
Sebastien: “For starters, begin by putting just a few drops of the foundation on the back of your hand. If you apply foundation directly to your face and use too much, you can over-apply and end up with a cakey look. Put the foundation on your hand, and use your fingers to dot-dot-dot the foundation into your skin by gently pressing it in slowly and precisely. Apply another thin layer if you want to build it up a bit.”

Side note: If your foundation needs a color adjustment, an oil-mattifier or an SPF, you can add it to the drops on the back of your hand, mix it until blended then apply by dot-dot-dotting. If you want more coverage, keep building until you get the coverage and natural look you want.

The composition of foundations is always changing. Newer formulas are always being developed to help people with a variety of concerns for their skin. Veil Cosmetics is different than many foundations on the market right now. It became a popular item amongst makeup artists for films and television. Infused with ingredients that are perfect for brightening, hydrating and soothing, Veil’s products didn’t just look natural under all those bright lights but also enhanced the skin’s natural beauty. It is important that your foundation works well with your skin care routine to continuously smooth and brighten your skin even while wearing all your makeup.

Veil Cosmetics have two ingredients that are extremely helpful to the health of someone’s skin: White Water Lily Extract and Cinnamon Bark Extract. White Water Lily Extract helps to soothe the skin, reducing redness and inflammation. Cinnamon naturally plumps skin by increasing collagen levels. Both ingredients help to reduce the signs of aging, stimulate healing (like what can occur around wrinkles), smooths & hydrates skin and has antiseptic properties fighting off bacteria. This is very important when keeping the skin smooth and toned to prevent aging. If you have had issues with foundations in the past, it is very important to research, read labels and look for ingredients that actually help keep your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, toned and young. And not just in skin care either but also in color cosmetics as well!

It was great meeting Sebastien Tardif and picking his brain about what us sensitive skinned glamouristas should be looking for in a great foundation, the correct application and ingredients to look for. I enjoyed our time together and he promised me he would keep me updated if he learned or found out anything that would be of help. I look forward to hearing, talking and working with Sebastien again in the future!

If your are interested in the three great products Veil Cosmetics have (Sunset Skin foundation in 12 shades; Sunset Light Primer Serum and Complexion Fix which also comes in 12 shades), you can find them at VeilCosmetics.com. A huge thank you to Sebastien for his generosity and incredible knowledge, and I looking forward to working with him more closely as he continues to develop products and techniques that everyone can benefit from!

It begins…

4 Dec

Coffee of the Day (COTD): French Pressed Triple Chocolate with frothed Amaretto Creamer, dusted with Cocoa Powder. My mug of choice is a pink polka- dotted mug that says “HERS”:

Happy Monday Sassinitas!
You may notice a new section to the right of of here. It’s entitled “Coffee Talk”. Anyone who knows me knows I have a not-so-secret obsession with coffee. I like to make different flavors in different ways, enjoyed in different cups. It has also become a routine for me to make a fab cup of coffee, grab my iPad and start writing. I don’t need it to stay awake or jump start my writing process. It has just come to the point where coffee and writing go hand in hand. Like now.

Starting today, I will be posting the occasional piece in the “Coffee Talk” section where I may talk about anything and everything. It might be an inspirational quote, it might be a description of my day, it may be a pretty picture I took or found, it could also be just me ranting or raving about anything and everything or nothing at all. You just don’t know!

So I encourage you to look out for my “Coffee Talk” posts. There is only one catch…

…the posts will be password protected!

So if you want to see what I post – just in this section – you are going to have to request the password from me! Trust me, there will be nothing sketchy posted. It may be serious, it may often be funny. It may have to deal with a personal frustration, or it may have to do with a success story. It could be anything, but I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

So what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email or “Contact Sassy” so you can get the password to keep up with my rants and rambles!

Let’s have some fun!!!

Sassy’s Faves for August & September

26 Oct

Fall is officially upon us which means things are really changing when it comes to skin care, hair care, make up and anything in the glamour department. The colors get bright and warm with shades of red, orange, burgundy, purple, green and all neutral browns being front and center in the fashion and make up department. It is also time to think about our skin—both face and body. This is the time of year when days are warm and nights are cool. Your skin can easily get confused, and your fashions can go from a tank top one day to a hoodie the next. These things don’t help our skin either, bringing out the worst for those with combination skin. With that in mind, I had a basis on what to look for during the last months of summer. Here’s what I found:

Deviant Cosmetics Eyeshadows: Finding eyeshadows is a difficult task for me. Almost all “commercial” shadows contain ingredients that have a tendency to irritate my eyes and skin. Because of that, I look for mineral shadows from indie companies that are more pure than those found in the cosmetic department. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girly girl. I am all about the shimmer, the glitter, the gloss and the shine. And that includes my eyeshadows! I had come to a time a couple of months ago where I needed a bright white, super sparkly eyeshadow that had little or no fallout but didn’t irritate my eyes. Deviant Cosmetics had exactly what I wanted: a loose shadow named “Loose Diamonds”. When it came, I fell in love! It didn’t take long for me to order a few other shades that were bold and shimmery. Their website splits the shadows up by color which makes it super easy to find what I’m looking for. They also have hand-pressed glitter shadows with a gel-like consistency that helps to keep them in place. I love those for bold lining and face decorating because they stay on longer and look amazing. These shadows are a great buy for less than $6 each!

NYX Hydra Touch Primer: Primers are definitely where it’s at in regards to your skin right now. There are ones that help to adjust the tone of your skin and there are some that fill in large pores for a more even look. There are even primers that can give you a matte or glowing look to your skin. I tried the Hydra Touch Primer in a store to see if I would like how it felt. It was not thick and sticky—it’s light and soothing. Filled with moisture and skin-refreshing ingredients, this primer enhances your complexion giving you a flawless canvas for your look. It is a perfect hydrating base for either liquid or mineral powder foundations. A nice addition for my sensitive, combination skin at a very reasonable $14.

Korres Lip Butter in “Wild Rose”:
Even though I have red hair, I have to admit that I am horribly afraid of wearing red lipstick. I never think it looks good on me, I feel I look paler, and the ones I do have seem to bleed or look blotchy. True, this could be the type or brand that I am wearing, but it just doesn’t look right to me. I needed something that was “red” but a very sheer red. I got a Korres Lip Butter in Guava which was clear a while back and loved it. I liked it so much that I ended up going through three of them very quickly. It makes my lips super soft for a very long time, especially when I put it on before bed. When I decided to get another one this year, I saw that it now comes in different “flavors” and tints. The “Wild Rose” has a very slight rose scent and feeds my lips tons of moisture while giving me a super sheer red tint. It’s PERFECT! It’s not a red overload—just a right amount of color with a super shiny finish. It is just enough red for this redhead! This can easily be found at Sephora stores and at Sephora.com

NYX Butter Glosses: I know I just raved about Korres Lip Butter, which is amazing for when I want something extra hydrating (and the color red when I need it!) but I absolutely love wearing smooth, creamy glosses when I need a pop of color with a nice amount of shine and moisture. That’s usually what I choose for my lips during the daytime when I’m at my shop, running errands, or just hanging casual. The NYX’s Butter Gloss color selection is awesome with over 30 shades. They go on with a tint that is a bit sheerer than a liquid or regular lipstick but still a noticeable color. The scent a nice and light and it isn’t overly sticky like most glosses. For a more intense look, layer it over the top of your lips lined and filled in with your lip liner. My newest favorite shade is Angel Food Cake. It’s a true mauve with a sweet scent! A great purchase for only $5!

Tallie Frayed Waist Guess Jeans: I get that a pair of jeans can’t really be a super find, but I have to give kudos to these. I changed clothing sizes over the summer (in a good way), and a large amount of my clothes went into the donation bin. The main thing I had to look for jeans. And jean shopping can frustrate the hell out of me. My favorite line of denims are Guess? Jeans. What is awesome about them is I know exactly what size I wear and can shop online. These skinny jeans have a great frayed waistline that doesn’t ride low. They are comfortably tight without squishing the air out of you. Although they only come in one wash style, they can be dressed up or down, and they are perfect with a cropped top that allows the designed waistline to show. I bought three pairs! Find them on GuessFactory.com before they are gone!

Rad Soap’s “Love” Body Cream: It is definitely the time of year when our skin goes from warm and oily to cold, cracked and dry very quickly. Although I have a few lotions, creams and body butters, I usually like something a little richer for the beginning of the colder months. That’s when I usually bump myself up from lotions to butters. When I found this local company’s products in a gift shop near where I live, I had to give it a try. First, if I can “shop local”, I do. I love supporting businesses in my area and watch them grow and succeed. In addition, I like products that DON’T a lot. What does that mean? It means I like products that DON’T contain parabens, sulfates, gluten, nut oils and harsh chemicals. I have had issues with things like that in the past, so to know that the products are safe for my sensitive skin is important. Rad Soap’s always list the things you won’t find in their products. And the scents? Amazing! My favorite is the “Love” Body Cream which has the tasty scents of Spanish almonds and Acerola cherries. My skin stays super soft with this highly moisturizing, quickly absorbing body necessity. Check out their website at radsoap.com to order online or to find a retail store near you. A great find for $18 in a large tub.

With fall here in all its glory, I’m sure I will be finding some great new skin care, makeup and fashion/glamour items that will be perfect as my looks change for the season. Not to mention, being a redhead makes fall that much more fun — I match the trees! Make sure you keep an eye out on my blog this month. Like last season, I will be doing a giveaway of one of my favorite makeup items that I mentioned today. Hmm… which one will it be? Stay tuned and get ready to WIN!