Tag Archives: James Vincent

Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

If you don’t, I’d understand. My blog has been slacking for WAY too long now and since I finally have a break in the action today, it’s time to sit down, break out the iPad and write! There are so many things changing, growing, building, etc. My time is a whirlwind right now. In addition to writing my blog, I have also found myself doing some writing for new magazines, going on new adventures to learn about different genres to write about, traveling a bit, hiding in my loft because winter sucks, and stuff like that. Oh…. and I’m modeling! Yeah, this “32 and holding” blogger has had the opportunity to do some photo shoots, be featured in a few magazines, and I am loving every second of it! (I’ll show you all a picture or two at the end.)

So I am hanging out here in the Northeast, coming out of a horrible winter of weird snow storms, cold temperatures and unusually wicked winds. I’ve been near ice jams and flooding, had a tree limb fall on my brand new car after a very heavy 15” snowfall, and winds that have knocked down trees and power lines. The calendar says spring, but we are still working on getting there weather-wise. This means the sweaters are still out, boots aren’t tucked away yet, face moisturizers have gotten a little more intense, hand creams are a necessity in every room, and eye creams are being used constantly. During this nasty winter season, I had to reevaluate my skin care routine just a bit to make it a bit more hydrating since the cold temperatures, slapping winds and dry indoor heat really took a toll on my face. I actually signed up for a continuing ed course that helped me organize my skin care routine to make sure I got exactly what I needed to prevent dry skin and wrinkles and keep my skin hydrated. It was such a help!

I learned that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:

• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

My evening skin care routine should be:

• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)/ Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Sounds simple, right?? Well, it is if you are in the skin care/beauty industry because you know what you are looking for. You know your skin and you can tell from the ingredients on the products if it is right for you. I will say, for the record, that I have what the experts call “normal” skin. I seldom have dry skin on my face (or body) with just the occasional dry patch. There is no oil in the T-Zone and blemishes are few and far between. The only thing I do have is sensitive skin. And that is common for most redheads. I think that ingredients in some products can do more harm to sensitive skin than using the wrong products for a special skin type.

After going through my entire routine today, I thought I would give you a list of the products in my skin care line for my face so you can see what I use. Every item in my program can be used by ANY skin type. There are no harsh chemicals, heavy ingredients, drying agents or dyes. Fragrances in the products are either naturally subtle or non-existent. So if you are looking for some great products to get your skin ready for spring, you may want to consider some of the ones I have on my vanity.

Because the list I have is kind of long–explaining each product and why I use it–I’ll post my MORNING routine first, and next week I will post Part Two which will be the evening routine.

Let’s start with the A.M.:

Cleansing: Derma E Essentials Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil
Just because the name of this products says “oil” doesn’t mean you will feel greasy instead of clean after its use. This cleanser literally dissolves any type of makeup (even long wearing and waterproof) and impurities while nourishing it with skin conditioning organic oils and subtle rose water. Just apply a dime size amount of the Cleansing Oil onto your fingertips, and massage into your face and neck. Rinse with a cloth and warm water. You can also use a pre-moistened facial cloth like Simple’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes. This can also be used to loosen hard-to-remove eye makeup by massaging a bit onto your eyelids and lashes before wiping clean. Both products can be found at Ulta stores and Ulta online.

Tone: Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Bring your skin to a healthy balance by using a toner before you start to fight the hands of time. This toner contains Vitamin C, Fruit Stem Cell Complex (to increase cell turnover) and super fruit antioxidants to help with improving the skin’s tone and texture. The added boost of Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and calm skin sensitivity. Just a few spritzers on a cotton ball, wiped all over the face (avoiding the eye area) will balance your skin’s pH factor. Available online at Ulta.

Vitamin C/Antioxidant Serums: Twin Medix Pro/Essentials C10 & E5
There is a reason why I am a brand ambassador for this fabulous company….the products are AMAZING! I discovered them at my first Makeup Show in NYC three years ago. I explained to Michelle Shaffer, one of TwinMedix’s founders, that I was looking for a good skin care line that worked together but had formulas with ingredients that could keep myself looking young (even younger if possible) but wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I was given a set of the TwinMedix line and headed home to try it. Wow, the way my skin looked and felt was noticeable right away. The C10 serum is formulated with 10% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) to counteract the look of hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles for brighter, more even toned skin. The E5 serum is filled with 5% Tocopherol (pure Vitamin E), a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from oxidation and free-radical damage by locking in moisture and soothing skin exposed to harsh weather and environmental pollution. This is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin because it puts up a “barrier” locking in the skin’s natural moisture and locking out the damaging elements. Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Cruelty-Free, these little gems can be used alternatively from day to day or worn together for extra protection. Available at TwinMedix.com

Moisturizer: Freedom Naturals Calming Moisturizer
Finding the perfect moisturizer isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult if you have sensitive skin. Sometimes the weather or environment can give your face a tingling or burning sensation… even after just a calming wash. When I opened my “How To Be A Redhead” subscription box in October, I discovered the best moisturizer for when my skin needs hydration but no irritants. This non-greasy formula gets absorbed into the skin so quickly that there is no time to even say the word “oily”. Containing only natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Allentown, Arnica and Beeswax (but free from cortisone, parabens and steroids), your skin is sure to thank you. If you are looking for something a little lighter, give Clinique’s Moisture Surge a try. This extremely lightweight gel-cream is infused with aloe water which actually helps skin create its own moisture to give you a plump, dewy, healthy-looking glow. This oil-free moisture magnet continues to generate hydrated skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face. Allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and Paraben free for all skin types. Freedom Naturals Moisturizer can be found at FreedomNaturals.com and Clinique’s Moisture Surge can be found at most cosmetic counters as well as Ulta and Sephora.

Your eyes are a different entity altogether. The skin around your eyes is very, very thin. It’s often referred to as crepe-ish. Because of this, it’s easy for the eye area to get dry which causes wrinkles. Squinting, tugging and aggressive washing can all contribute to wrinkles occurring. Eye creams are specially formulated for that area to give it the hydration it desperately needs. Like other skin products, formula is everything, so test some if you can. If you can’t, check it’s the store to see about their sample or return policy. I have found two eye creams that don’t irritate my skin or eyes and give me noticeable results. Ole Henriksen’s Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel and Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream. I find that the Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel is PERFECT for mornings–it helps to reduce the puffiness with its cool gel formula. I like to use Benefit’s Potent Eye Cream since it helps to fade dark circles and restore elasticity and firmness around the eyes while providing much needed moisture. Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel can be found at Sephora stores and online; Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream can be found in Ulta stores as well as Ulta.com

Sunscreen: A MUST-HAVE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen to your face EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your face is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays even if you aren’t going to the beach for some tanning (which isn’t great either!) The sun’s rays will find you just about anywhere—through your car windshield, through your living room window, coming into your office windows, walking out to get the mail. Face it… even when the sun isn’t out? It’s rays still get through. Some people find that adding this step to your beauty routine just adds another step which can become tedious. That is when it would be better to make sure you can find some SPF in another beauty product that you would normally use every day anyways. I find it easiest to get a healthy dose of facial sunscreen in a product I already have to use. Skincancer.org recommends a broad spectrum (protecting you from harmful UVA & UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 or higher. Some ways you can get this important protection without adding another step to your routine is to find it in a moisturizer, a primer or even a foundation.

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
Although this product can be optional for some people, I find that a primer is a great way to prep my skin for foundation and makeup, giving me a soft, smooth canvas to “paint” on. Not only do I love this primer for how it makes my skin look and feel, but it also has that high SPF to give my skin the protection it needs. This skin-smoothing formula blurs my skin’s imperfections, prolongs and enhances the look of my makeup, and fights against the sun’s cancer-causing rays. In addition, it contains antioxidants to fight off pollution and environmental aggressors to support healthy skin. Available at Ulta and Sephora, in store and online.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
I have to thank my Makeup Show guru, James Vincent for this fabulous recommendation years ago. Yes, I will admit this is an odd name for a foundation, but it does just that—it provides a sheer yet buildable coverage with a natural-looking, dewy glow and flawless finish. Formulated with 80% water and enriched with pro-vitamin B5, this foundation actually hydrates and improves your skin’s elasticity. With an array of 20 different shades to match all skin tones, this foundation can be used not just on the face but anywhere you want to hide “imperfections”. The formula has a water-gel texture and applies easily, then sets quickly to ensure a transfer-resistant look that will last all day. You may think the cost is a little pricey, but I can tell you that I bought my first bottle—that was not tiny—over two years ago and I JUST ran out. A little goes a long way for a perfect finish.

You are now off to a perfect start for your day–keeping your skin smoother, softer, hydrated and looking younger with a good skin care routine. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for samples, write down product ingredients, keep track of your favorite products then begin to assemble your daytime skin routine. You may have a few items already that work perfectly for you. That’s awesome! Find where your favorites fit into your routine then go from there. Before you know it, you will have a skin care regimen to help stop the signs of aging, and even reverse some of those tell-tale signs of time.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2–Sassy’s PM routine!!

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The Makeup Show “Must Try” List…

13 May

IMG_8406Well, it has been a week since my trip to NYC to attend The Makeup Show and I think I have decompressed enough to start talking about it. To say the least?…. it was AMAZING! It’s like a tattoo—once you get the first one out of the way, you are officially hooked! To start, The Makeup Show is the largest pro-only makeup event in the United States. Two days are set aside to focus strictly on Artistry, Networking, Community, Inspiration and Education. I will certainly be looking for ways to keep myself up to date with the who’s, what’s and where’s when it comes to this industry. The people I met, the companies I saw and the new products I fell in love with were endless. If you like the beauty, glamour and cosmetic industry, it is easy to get to the edge on a personal level. To go to a show like The Makeup Show? That is something that will officially push you over!

The Makeup Show was amazingly organized. Kudos to Melody who was my go-to girl when I needed any information regarding the event. She got me my press pass as well as invites to the gala beforehand and the after-party following the event. Unfortunately I was unable to attend either this year but look forward to going to these events next year. The vendors included big names that I have be familiar with ever since day one with my writing career and so many new brands that I was honored to learn about and try. The people I met were phenomenal. On day one, I was so excited to meet James Vincent—a world renowned makeup artist who has worked with names and companies bigger than the mind can conceive. Not only was he full of knowledge of what items are necessary and what are not in a makeup, but he also gave me his scoop on what brands will do the job best! I was also privileged to meet Wende Zomnir, one of the co-originators of Urban Decay cosmetics; Angela Wilson, COO of Mustaev Cosmeticts; and Michelle Shaffer, President of Twin Medix Skin Care. I learned so much—especially small things that you don’t think make a difference in your skin and glamour look but actually help prevent aging! That was major.

James Vincent and I hanging out before the fun began!

James Vincent and I hanging out before the fun began!

Wende from Urban Decay and myself having a chat!

Wende from Urban Decay and myself having a chat!

Angela from Mustaev telling me the details of her company!

Angela from Mustaev telling me the details of her company!

Michelle Wilson introducing me to her great skin care!

Michelle Shaffer introducing me to her great skin care!

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The goodie bag that the press was given was huge. I have been using new stuff day after day after day. I try and test to see how I like it and how it reacts to my skin. There are foundations, lip colors, mascaras, pencil and liquid eye liners, dry hair shampoo, brushes, eye shadows, HD powders and so much more. I like to compare them—the items that well knowns in the industry like James Vincent use—to items that I use on a daily basis. I ask myself, “Are they affordable?”, “Are they worth the extra money if they are on the expensive side?”, “What do they offer that no one else does?”, and things like that.

Today I just want to touch on a couple of the items that I looked at and tried at the vendor booths that have interested me quite a bit. I am going to see if I can try them for a bit to see if they live up to the famous artist’s hype. They are unique and special, and it was hard to find anything that compared to them. Let’s take a glimpse:

IMG_8355Urban Decay! B6 Vitamin Infused Complexion Prep Spray: This vegan spritz is the perfect skin pick-me-up before you start your glamour routine. Containing stabilized vitamin B6, this spray will absorb excess oil throughout the day, minimizes pores and quickly reduces redness. UD will say you probably don’t think you will need it, but once you try it, you will wonder how you survived without it. This spray is perfect for the morning to “wake up” your skin before you begin your makeup routine or even during the day without messing up your makeup. In addition to the B6, it also vitamin E will provides antioxidants that helps cells turn over faster, keeping skin young. Urban Decay says the more you use it, the better results. I hope to be trying this out soon since tired, red skin is one thing I battle on a daily basis. (Urban Decay, $33)

IMG_8358Senna Cosmetics Moisture Drops Gel Primer: I recently switched face primers from a standard primer to a lavender tinted primer to help adjust the color in my face. I think it is working?…. but it is not something someone is going to run up to me to say, “OMG, your purple face primer looks great under your makeup!” The one thing that most primers have is silicone. It’s great if you need a layer down before you paint your bedroom walls. But on your face, it can cause clogged pores, breakouts, irritations and skin reactions. It also does something that isn’t good for your skin: prevent natural moisture from getting to your face. Senna’s Moisture Drops Gel Primer not only creates a perfect canvas for your foundation but also boosts your skin’s moisture. Encapsulated water droplets “bust” open when you apply it and blends with the primer to prevent dehydration, plumps the skin and tightens pores while nutritious Argan oil softens the skin for a radiant look. I was lucky enough to try this on my hand at the convention and it felt great! It was light, silky and you can feel the moisture without excessive dewiness. I am anxious to try this soon!! (Senna Cosmetics, $40)

IMG_8361Static Nails Reusable Nails: I help out in an industry where my nails need to look good, but I blow through a manicure every day or max two. I have tried the stickers which do okay, but some tend to be a little over the top. Not to mention, my nails are thin and tear easily. I need different base and top coats just to get them firm enough to not be overly flexible. The creator of Static Nails is a 22 year old beauty guru who knew what women wanted and went out and made it happen. These nails are beyond your average press-on nails. These are reusable. They are paintable. They will not break down when removing the polish with non-acetone remover. They look more natural than salon gel nails without the thinning and the damage—and the heavy cost! The have a few different looks, but my favorite is what I call the Louboutin style: black tops with red underneath! Très chic! They also have designs and styles with Swarovski crystals. Pretty!! I really want to try these and put them through the punches of my daily routine. If I can get them to stay on and last for a week then I have found a glamour life saver! (Static Nails, $16 and up)

IMG_8367Model in a Bottle Setting Spray: So, you have perfected the look you want for the day. Your usual course of action is to pack a ton of extras in your bag to make sure it stays that way—a setting powder, more foundation, extra blush, you name it. Well, from what I have seen and heard, that may be a thing of days gone by. At The Makeup Show, some of the more famous artists were raving about this product called “Model in a Bottle”. What does it do? Simple. You get the look you want then spray it with Model in a Bottle. Done. All day hold for whatever you are going to do: photos, modeling, work, play, a night out. You name it. What makes this even better? They have a SENSITIVE SKIN formula. Yeay for us redheads! I get busy during the day and don’t always have a chance to look at my skin or check my look. This would help me keep that look solid without worries or issues! A must try & review soon. (Model in a Bottle, $21)

CleanerCinema Secrets Brush Cleaner: I have a LOT of makeup brushes. Different hairs, types, styles, shapes and sizes. They all get used. From foundation to lip glosses, I have a brush for the job. The one thing I am not that good about doing, however, is keeping them clean. Shame on me. Anyone who has been in this industry for a while knows that dirty brushes breed bacteria. And if you use your brushes all over your face then you are putting nasty bacteria all over YOUR face! Eww! Cinema Secrets showed me the most awesome brush cleaner I’ve ever seen. I think what I find a pain is the time involved. Their brush cleaner is a breeze: dunk the brush quickly in their cleanser, take it out (no pushing, swishing, swiveling) and wipe two to three times on a paper towel….. done. The brush will be dry in no time. You now have a clean, sanitary brush in a minute. What every artist needs—professional and personal! (Cinema Secrets, cleaners start at $8)

I can’t wait to tell you more about The Makeup Show over the next few weeks. These are just some the products I want to try—wait till I tell you about the ones I DID try and fell in love with. So many great names with great products that do great things. This was certainly an event that I am glad I attended and can’t wait to tell you all about it. Get ready… the ride is about to begin!!!
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