Tag Archives: color

Fave Beauty Companies-2016

19 Feb

sephoraaislesAround this time, I start thinking about the products that I fell in love with last year. As I sat at my vanity today, I realized I fell in love with A LOT of things in 2016! Skin care, makeup, fashions… you name it. I think I have my visit to The Makeup Show in NYC last May to thank for that. I learned about so many big companies as well as “indies” that had products that were above so many others. Not to mention, I was able to ask questions about their ingredients so it could help me decide on possible items that my sensitive skin wouldn’t protest. So instead of me singling out each product that I am crushing on big time (and trust me—there are many), I thought I would talk about some of the companies that have given me items that are now a part of my regular beauty and glamour routine:

twinmedixTwinMedix: None of my makeup products would look or feel good on my face if my skin wasn’t in great condition. I had been using a “variety” of skin care products from different companies to try and get my skin to a place where I was happy. I admit, I am fighting the clock when it comes to anti-aging skin care for my face. I thought I was winning, but then I began to realize that all the different products I was using were usually created to work their best with other products from the same brand. Sometimes those sister products were hard to find, very expensive or even irritated my skin. I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. That was until I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I was honored to meet and be able to have a little one-on-one time with the fabulous makeup artist, James Vincent. I asked him what smaller, unknown companies at the show should be on my “must see” list. His first answer?—TwinMedix. I stopped by their booth and met their fabulous President, Michelle, who was a sweetheart. I told her about the problems I was having with my skin and what I wanted to achieve in the long run. She introduced me to the ENTIRE line from TwinMedix. If I was going to try this brand, I was going to do it right and use ONLY that product….and I am so glad I did! My skin has NEVER looked and felt as good as it does now. I have been using each product faithfully since last May and I love the results. Their state-of-the-art technology enables them to create the purest and most professional formulas that integrate pharmaceutical-grade vitamins to treat and protect your skin. It is so high tech that there are very few products that are needed—a great cleanser (O2), a phenomenal exfoliator (X), and vitamin enriched serums (C10,E5 A15) that are used each day and night. For a redhead with sensitive skin, I have to say my face has never looked and felt so good. The vitamins they use are known to help fight against aging, and they are abundant in the TwinMedix line. As hesitant I was to try a skin care line without research, Michelle told me how to use each product and why! She even told me to let her know what I thought after I used them for a while… and I did. I am glad I found the TwinMedix line of skin care products. I still don’t like getting old but now I have the goods to help me help kick over the hourglass in the aging process!

katvondKat Von D: Being in the tattoo industry made me aware of the KVD line of cosmetics as soon as her line was released. Anyone who follows her knows that she doesn’t blend in with the crowd and she is proud of it. After many years of “blending”, I finally found my voice (and pen!) and began being the sassy redhead I am now. When I am out in public, I like doing my makeup in different ways. No matter what the attire is for the day, my makeup always has a pop to it. Sometimes it’s a bold lip, sometimes a rocker eye look. When the winged eyeliner look took off, I was lost. VERY lost! I couldn’t get it to look good like some girls that came to the tattoo shop. I watched videos, I played dress up, I tried. Then I learned that it might be easier to get the look I want if I used a better liner. What did everyone suggest? You got it… Kat Von D’s. It all started with her famous Tattoo Liner. I fell in love immediately! The long wear formula and easy peasy pen design let me get the winged liner look the way I liked. It even gave me the precision of the thin pen design to create some fun, “out there” looks. My next love was her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. It is no secret that I like to talk. If I am out and decide to have a cup of coffee with a friend, I don’t want my ordinary lip color to end up on my teeth or all over the coffee cup. I want it to stay put for a long time. KVD’s Liquid Lipstick does just that! If it is on, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The colors she has are awesome—bold, flawless and long lasting. She even has colors that are REALLY bold, like purple, hot pink, blue and black. What I like to do is create my own color of the day. I pick the shades of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick that I want to blend, use a clean lip brush, and apply my own shade that will last. I don’t think I have ever created the same color twice! The possibilities are endless. My lip look can be as neutral or as strong as I want. In fact, when I went to order my latest KVD lip color, I had the opportunity to get a sample of her Lock It Concealer Cream. When it came, I thought I would just try it out since I don’t really have dark circles under my eyes. Well, that may be true but I couldn’t believe how “bright” my makeup looked on my face when I used it. The color was spot on (which is difficult for a redhead to find) and it carefully hid the flaws that I didn’t know I had! I was in awe and I ordered the full-sized product that week. I will be looking forward to sampling different things in the KVD line when I get the chance to get to a Sephora and adding to my favorite cosmetics. (Oh, by the way? Do not overlook her makeup brush collection. She may not have many of them but the ones she does have in her line are FABULOUS!)

makeupforeverMake Up For Ever: This is a big name when it comes to cosmetics. That’s probably because they are masters of just about everything in the industry! If you are looking for a product that you loved from another company and it recently got discontinued, I suggest you look at MUFE. They even have things I never knew about or thought I needed… but now are part of my makeup routine. One of those items is their Aqua XL Eye Pencil. I love my liquid liner on my top lid, but when it comes to the waterline on my bottom lid, it is hard to get any liner to stay there for a long time. The Aqua XL is perfect for just that. Not to mention, it is a pencil you have to sharpen yourself so you can get a nice tip for precise application. It is a product I use EVERY day. I am also a big fan of MUFE’s Aqua Seal, especially since almost all of my eye shadows are mineral loose powders. If I need to keep my eye look in place through the craziest of situations (all-night dancing, tear-jerker movies, photo shoots…in the rain), I will use a just a little on my eye shadow brush and pat it on using my shadows. It does dry quickly, so have an idea of the look you want before you start because it is meant to stay and IT DOES. This is also great to use if you want to create eye liners in wild shades. Using an angled liner brush, dip the tip in the Aqua Seal, pick up a bit of pigments from shadow pot and apply along the top lashes or in/below the bottom lash line. The bottle lasts a long time, just keep it sealed tight. When it comes to finding a foundation, I will take and suggestion or recommendations (let’s not forget about samples!) really help me decide on one I might like to try. I find my skin to be very sensitive to department store & drug store liquid make-ups. When I had the chance to pick the brain of a professional makeup artist, I asked what his go-to foundation was. He didn’t hesitate: Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face and Body Foundation. It is SUPER light but buildable. It doesn’t “hide” my skin but in fact makes my skin look natural and flawless. Again, the bottle is REALLY big and lasts a long time. Some might be put off by the price, but if a bottle lasts an entire year, that breaks down to pennies a day. Then, to complete my look, I like to give my face a nice dusting with an HD powder. It sets my makeup and leaves my skin flawless. The finishing powders I had used in the past left my face looking “cakey” so I was hesitant to try them again. Then I received a sample of MUFE’s HD Microfinish Powder and I’ve been using it ever since. It was hard to process that a powder could be white but it truly is colorless and anyone can use it. A nice, light finish for all day wear and perfect for movies, videos and photos. I always keep an eye on Make Up For Ever to see if they have any new items that I might love as much as these.

lamineralsLA Minerals: “Who?” you ask. Exactly. LA Minerals is a small indie company that I stumbled on while looking for products that wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin many, many years ago. I was able to try many different formulas and shades (which they have many of!) to see what mineral powder foundation would work for me. They have samples available for almost all of their products so it was nice to try ones I liked and see after a couple of uses whether it would work for me. Well, they did. They ALL did! I ended up getting hooked on a light coverage formula (Valley Girl) for summer when I just need an all over dusting in the heat; a heavier coverage mineral makeup foundation (Hollywood) during the colder months when my skin is a bit is a little paler and uneven toned; a pure, no talc blush in a color that goes with everything I wear without giving me itchy skin; an oil-controlling finishing powder that keeps the shiny-ies away when my skin gets a little oily in the summer and during workouts; “diva dust” that works as a fantastic high-sparkle cheek, lip and eye highlighter; and pure mineral eye shadows that can go on wet or dry, contain no talc, and requires very little product for a great look. What is nice about LA Minerals is that they have a “frequent flyer” code every month for returning customers. You will never see this company in magazines, on TV, or in cosmetic stores. It is all done by one fantastic woman with a great product that thrives on referrals. I have been singing her praises for MANY years and will continue to do so! (Footnote: LA Minerals just released a pure mineral LIQUID foundation which its AWESOME, especially on my dry, winter skin.)

Paul Mitchell: If your skin and makeup are looking great, you might as well make sure you have beautiful hair too! After a horrid hair decision over 3+ years ago, I had to find someone that would fix my mistake and get my hair healthy again. My BFF at the time said he knew just the person and set up a time for her to come discuss my options. She was a miracle worker! She still keeps my hair, even today. I still have a bit of damage to my ends, but they are almost completely grown out. Whenever I would go see her for my appointments, I would ask her what items would work best on my hair to do this or that. The first item she suggested was a Paul Mitchell spray called “Hot off the Press”. It was a multi-function styling product that could be used with hair appliances to hold the style or after I was completely done with my hair for a good hold that wasn’t sticky or damaging. It was exactly what I needed and there is always 1-2 cans in my loft at all times. Since I had been “enhancing” my hair color over the past several years, it was important to find the right products that would extend the life of my color without causing more damage. PM came out last year with a fabulous line of products just for that! The Ultimate Color Repair line not only helps repair current damage but also seals in color preventing fading and keeps hair shiny & soft. This has been my go-to line ever since it came out to keep my auburn tresses bright and healthy! In addition to those favorites, I also have other Paul Mitchell styling products that I love that helps give me a fab look for the day/night. You will find Super Skinny Serum, Stay Strong, Thicken Up, Extra Body Finishing Spray in my collection at all times. Even with that chaotic hair experience, my stylist along with Paul Mitchell’s great products has helped my hair to get healthy again… and has what I need to keep it that way!

We all know that when we see an advertisement in a magazine or on TV for a beauty product, our ears perk up and we try to justify how this great product could fit into our beauty routine. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. As I have gotten more mature, I have learned that new doesn’t always mean better. Although for us makeup junkies, it is hard to turn away from something new that looks great. Nowadays, I find myself asking “Is it worth the time and money to try this or should I stick with the product I already have that I KNOW does exactly what I want it to do?” Sometimes I do venture off and try something new, but I am also finding that loyalty has its privileges…and results!

Let me know what you think about this: Do you have a brand that you are completely loyal to? Do you have any “must have” products from different brands that do what you love and won’t try anything else? Or are you an “I have to try it!” person who is always looking for something newer/less expensive/better? Let me know your thoughts on brands or products you LOVE!
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30 Days Of Beauty…Day 4

5 Jul

30DaysHapply Fourth of July everyone! Today is the day we celebrate with picnics, fireworks, family and flags. I feel like I fit right into this day: Blue Nails, white sparkle eyeshadow and bright red hair. Speaking of hair, we are up to day four: Hairstyle. Of all the things I probably could have the most trouble writing about, this topic will most likely be the one. Over the years, I have had issues with my hair. Between chemical treatments, over processing, bad products and more, re-establishing my long, soft, luscious auburn locks has taken time. I’m thankful my new stylist has taken care of me to get my hair back on track. A lot of teaching, a lot of pampering, and a lot of good products to give my tresses some TLC!

Red hairSeveral months ago, my writing and my love for good hair products caught the eye of the infamous Paul Mitchell company. They asked me to be a Paul Mitchell Insider, trying and testing new products they were getting ready to launch. They also would send me items from their line that might help me with my quest to rebuild my healthy hair. My challenge was always to find styling products that would help me hold a look without them drying out my hair or leaving it feeling sticky. With all the goodies that they had me try, I was able to do that.

After a while, I found the products I needed to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy. But now I was faced with a different challenge: the damage that had happened over the years had caused my hair to frizz, thin and break. I needed my length back. I read all kinds of articles on how to speed up my hair growth. I tried sprays, oils, waters, and vitamin-enriched products. I guess they helped, but I’m impatient. I’M A REDHEAD!!! I wanted long hair now. That’s when my stylist suggested I get a Halo Hair Extensions system. This new product is not damaging to your hair like extensions, clips or glues are. Basically it’s just a clear headband with real hair that sits on your head which is gently tucked under the top layer of your own hair, blending and flowing with your natural stands. Because it is real hair, it can be wash, dried, colored, curled, flat ironed or styled just like it was your own hair. I jumped at the idea of adding several inches of new hair to my head and got a Halo. I love it! It’s easy to work with and feels natural. So, until my own hair catches up, I can give my hair some waves and length to keep me feeling sassy!

So, the question becomes what am I using right now to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy? It’s involved so here is the list:
PaulMitchell

Halo Hair Extensions in #33 Dark Auburn in the 16″ length
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
Paul Mitchell Products Super Skinny Serum
Paul Mitchell Products Thicken Up
Paul Mitchell Products Fast Drying Sculpting Spray
Paul Mitchell Products Hot Off The Press Spray
Tool Structure Bone Super Rattail Comb from Sally Beauty Website
The Wet Brush from Sally Beauty Website

That sums up my hairstyle on Day 4. My hair is and probably always will be my signature feature to my look. Blazing red tresses hanging down pass my shoulders makes me stand out in a crowd. Even if you can’t remember my name, you never can forget me. I’m that sassy redhead with flaming, flowing hair and the feisty attitude to match!
Redheads

The Redhead, The Disaster and The Extensions….

14 Oct

Sassy AuburnOnce upon a time, there was a sassy redhead who loved her red tresses. They were her signature “accessory”. She loved to design her look with her fiery locks in mind. Not to mention… she had the attitude to match!

Then, tragedy occurred.

Somewhere in her clouded mind, this feisty redhead thought that a head full of long, red, wavy curls would look fabulous. And just like she was back the 80’s, she spent hours in a salon with stinky processing solutions and tight rollers that gave her a migraine headache. When she was done, her hair was full, curly and bright with color.

To quote the title of a S. E. Hinton book: “That Was Then, This Is Now”.

After a few weeks, her color began to turn a bland red with no shine or finesse. Her waves turned into a huge hairball of frizz. And every time she would brush, comb or wash it, hunks would break off in her hand. Eventually, the damage became so bad, she needed to cut away most of her marred mane just to salvage what was still in tact. The sad part? To do this she had to cut off about 6″+ of her beautiful ruby stands. Unfortunately, what was left wasn’t very healthy and needed continuous TLC. It was going to be a long process.

It didn’t take a lot of thinking to convince the sassy redhead to go to a new salon. On a referral from her friend, she found her hair savior beautician who worked magic better than Houdini. The red tresses got stronger, the perm s-l-o-w-l-y relaxed and her hair became more and more healthy. The only thing that was still frustrating? The length of the locks seemed to be taking FOREVER to grow. She wanted her long hair back…now! (Did I mention redheads are impatient too??) So she asked her magical hairdresser what she could do to get her long hair back sooner. The answer was obvious and not cheap if she was going to do it right. The only option: extensions.

With samples from her beautician, the sassy redhead thumbed through the options for her extensions. Colors, materials, grades, textures, the works. This Sassinista decided these were going to be an investment, something she would utilize for years to come, so she wanted the best of the best. She had worked hard for the money she was going to use to buy them, so the decision was hers: another pair of Manolo Blahniks that she’d wear only twice a year… or gorgeous long, red hair that would lift her spirits daily. The decision was easy. Hair it was.

Two weeks later and five sets of real hair auburn red extensions in hand, this sassy girl–moi!–got the hair she had always wanted. It was long, bright and soft, and it felt like it was made just for me. I was in tears, so happy that I had my long hair back…and then some. But now I was faced with a new challenge: keeping my new hair looking fresh and natural. With the proper instructions and the right products, I actually have found this to be very easy!

So what are some necessary items to keep my new long hair investment looking and feeling fresh, natural and healthy? Check these items out:

pure Image Shampoopure BLENDS Color Depositing Shampoo – This shampoo is part of the pure blends fade prevention and color correction system. The shampoos come in a variety of shades so you can create the tone that you like best and keeps your natural or enhanced color looking bright in between trips to the salon. It is sulfate & sodium chloride free, created with an herbal blend, plus is keratin and collagen infused to create a hydrating formula that will eliminate color fade and color washout. I use a combination of two parts Red and one part Marigold to give me the bright red I love with a hint of copper. The pigments are strong, the scent is appealing and the color is perfect to keep my hair blended perfectly with my extensions! A fab find for my hair. (Check salons in your area poor ones that sell the pure Blends line.)

RouxRoux Color Refresh Mask– If you are finding that you need a major “oomph” in your color that your shampoo can’t keep up with, this is a great way to get a mini blast of temporary color that can hold you over in between freshen-up dye jobs. This product is sold in a packet with a reclosable tab so you can get almost two uses out of a packet. Follow the directions exactly for the best results, especially about timing how long to leave it on. Although the color selection is very limited (only four!) I have found that by mixing the Fire Red with some of the Light Beige Blonde gives me the shade for me. This with the pigmented shampoo really keeps the frenzied fading reds in line! (Sally Beauty, $3.99)

Miracle 7Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist For Extensions – When I got my new hair, the one thing I was told was, before I combed it with a wide-tooth comb, to spray it with a healthy detangling spray. This one is just for extensions and is great. It helps to reduce static electricity, frizz and tangling while helping to blend your natural hair with the extensions. It also protects against UV damage which can cause fading and increase a natural looking shine. This is a must use for me every morning and every night before my routine comb out. (Sally Beauty, $13.99)

Wet BrushThe Wet Brush – Okay, ever since I started really taking pride in my hair and its health, I knew that the ultimate no-no was to brush your hair wet. It pulled, it broke damaged strands off, and it weakened even healthy ones. The Wet Brush does help reduce that, but I’m still a wide tooth comb after washing girl however. What I do love about The Wet Brush is that it is super gentle on my natural hair and extensions when they need a brush fluffing. The tips are super soft and the bristles are über pliable so the hair–real or extensions–aren’t pulled, tugged, or ripped out. A super gentle brush to give your hair body and shine. (Sally Beauty, $8.99)

Paul MitchellPaul Mitchell “Hold Me Tight” Hair Spray – Some hairsprays I think are in a competition to see who can hold your style the best in the middle of a hurricane. I’ve used “solid hold” sprays that actually held my hair in place because it turned my hair solid! With my new extensions, I needed a spray with a light, manageable hold with flexible control while still locking in moisture and shine. I’ve had many sprays over the years on my bathroom counter, but to keep my hair in place, maintaining a natural look, without causing buildup or dryness…this is my one and only, go-to spray! (Target, $17.99)

There you have it–the story of the redhead, the disaster and the extensions. Although I am sad that I had to “buy” myself long hair again, I have to say, at the present time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It’s an investment, no doubt. An investment in yourself. But just like a house is an investment, you do what you need to do to keep it looking its best. And if you do?…it will hold its value for a long, long time. Which is exactly what I plan to do with my “new” accessory!

Take Care Of That Tat!!!

20 May

imageSo I’m at the tattoo expo and one of the main reasons I’m here is to get information on skin care–before, during and after the tat is done. I was trying to explain to my new friend Brian, a local tattoo artist, that it literally drives me insane that people don’t take care of their piece of art–a pictorial expression of a piece of their life–after it’s done. He agreed. “They get it done, and literally forget about it. Most of the time they don’t even use the post-tat cream I give them. Then they either come back [complaining] that I did something wrong or worse…. they take their mess to someone else and [complain] that I [messed] it up. That’s the worst.”

imageWhile at the expo, I had the privilege to be able to talk to Casey, an employee of one of the expo’s sponsors, Spaulding & Rogers. She was not just a doll but she was VERY informed about the tattooing process and the care involved with it. We talked about the skin on the area that you want tattooed. Her and I agreed it should be taken care of beforehand. Me, being in the industry for as long as I have, believes targeted skin care should begin at the age of 18–head to toe–but that’s me. It’s important that the skin you want to tattoo is not dry, not cracked, not scarred. Skin like that can easily split open under a tattoo needle. Not good. After your tattoo is done, the healing process is really important. How you take care of it will make or break the condition, the design or the color intensity of the art. It’s really important….let me say that again…..it is really important!…that you follow your artist’s post tattoo instructions to the letter. TO THE LETTER!! Plus, be aware of the sun. A lot of people don’t realize that the sun is a drastic evil to any tattoo, especially a fresh one. If possible, keep a new tattoo covered when out in the sun for at least four weekss afterwards. Then Casey explained it a bit better: “A tattoo is really just a burn on your skin. You will heal the same way as if were to burn your skin on a stove.” Certainly a different thought process than thinking it’s a scraping filled with colored ink, isn’t it? But it certainly made sense. If you had a sunburn, would you go back outside tomorrow to hang in the blaring sun? Yeah….ummmm…..NO!

imageOnce you’ve healed, now comes the make-it-or-break-it time, believe it or not. Remember, what is on your body is a piece of art. If you inherited an Andy Warhol original, would you hang it in the basement next to the cat box and Christmas lights? Hell no! You’d have it front and center, protected from the elements. DO THE SAME WITH YOUR TATTOO. Keep it moisturized with a lotion that is dye-free and perfume-free. And nothing that contains alcohol. All of those are serious culprits for not just irritating a tattoo even after it’s healed, but can also cause fading of the ink with prolong use. Just because that skin has ink, doesn’t mean it’s “covered” from the sun either. In fact, just the opposite. It’s a burn, remember? Burned skin, no matter how old, has less pigment in it than it would naturally. Tattoo professionals recommend at least an SPF of 50 for smaller tats, a higher SPF for bigger pieces. This also has a lot to do where the tat is. Bony, drier areas like knees and elbows will take much longer to heal so it is important to watch these areas carefully and tend to them exactly how you are instructed.

Remember everyone…this isn’t the lucky tattoo prize that you got in your box of Cracker Jack. This is yours. You own it. And you will have it forever. Think about it: if someone said that you could have ONE car for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you be very selective in what you chose? Wouldn’t you want the person selling it to you to be reputable with satisfied clients and photos of other cars they sold? Wouldn’t you take care of it every day so it stayed in its best condition possible for as long as possible? Yeah….think about just that when you start thinking about a tattoo. Wear it well, wear it with pride, and keep it looking as fabulous as the day you got it!
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