Tag Archives: makeup artist

This or That……

13 Aug

I have been studying and reviewing glamour and skin care products for over ten years now. I have tried a LOT of things. All different things too, from head to toe. As the cosmetic industry evolves, so do the products. New ingredients and formulas can make your favorite life savers almost obsolete. Of course, that does not mean you have to go out and buy every new product that has just been released. It can, however, give you other options depending on what you feel you might need or may want to improve. This can be especially important when you have sensitive skin. Something may be okay one day and then cause irritation the next. You need a back up. You need alternatives.

You also must remember, though, that many skincare targeting products can take up to 6-8 weeks to show any improvement in that area. Try to give the products you are choosing time to work the way they are supposed to. If you notice something new is working better than your previous product, hooray for you! Go ahead and switch if you want. But do not forget your previous faves. You may need to fall back if something in your routine goes off the rails.
Here is a list of my skin care “this and that’s” which have worked their way to the top of the list over the years, as well as some that are super new that I am loving right now. Especially with summer causing my skin to become finicky depending on the heat and humidity. It is really important to have products that are lighter and gentler close by. Alternatives are a must, and here are mine:

CLEANSERS

MAC Cleanse Off Oil – A perfect oil cleanser that loosens up everything from foundation to waterproof mascara. I apply it all over my face with a circular motion then remove it with a pre-moistened cleansing cloth. It comes off easy and my face is soft and clean. ($24)

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Banila Co. Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm – This balm is the bomb! Packed with healthy skin ingredients, it feels like a light-weight gel. It melts from the temp of your body, loosening up any daily makeup or dirt. Rinse with water, micellar water or a wet face cleaning cloth to remove thoroughly. ($19)

SERUMS

Skin Inc. My Daily Dose of Glow – Just a small amount on your fingertips is enough to treat your face to what it needs each day. Pink and blue “bubbles” pop open to fortify your face with Vitamin A, Chlorella extract to combat damaging free radicals, and hyaluronic acid. This instantly combats aging and calms the skin while hydrating and brightening your skin. Light weight and gentle for all skin types. ($65)

LUE Balance by Jean Seo – This is a very thin serum that helps to hydrate as well as calms the skin from incidental irritants. If you want to use this with a heavier targeting serum, put LUE’s on first. It is thin and easily absorbed into the face without a heavy greasy feel. It also is a great base to minimize pores while still helping to restore optimal moisture retention. ($15)

TwinMedix Pro:Essentials E5 – I have been using TwinMedix Skin Care for over 5 years and I cannot tell you how amazing my skin has become because of it. Its medical grade vitamins keep your skin looking amazingly young. The E5 is formulated with pure vitamin E to help soothe, protect and heal & protect damaged skin. It’s the perfect last layer before your moisturizer. ($90)

TONERS

Pixi Glow Tonic – I had stopped using toners many years ago. A waste of time, I thought? Not so. Toners have been reformulated over the years and are now an essential part of a skincare routine. This is my daytime toner because I like the way it removes the last traces of dirt and cleanser, getting the skin its cleanest before you apply your serums. Filled with skin brightening natural extracts, this product gives your face a nice, natural glow. ($18)
Ulta Watermelon Facial Mist – I admit it, I am a sucker for anything watermelon scented. I have been since I was a kid! Even on “no makeup days”, a spritz of this will help keep my skin fresh and hydrated. Need a quick cleaning? Spray the mist on a cotton ball and go over your face to give it a quick detox. The watermelon extract balances the skin’s hydration while giving you a scent you will absolutely love! ($10)

MOISTURIZERS

TwinMedix Pro Refine Moisturizer – After YEARS of oily skin, I just thought my skin would never need anything with any type of moisturizer in it. Well, that was wrong! First, maturing skin definitely needs some type of moisturizer no matter what condition my skin is in. Second, there is a BIG difference between moisturizer and hydration. It is good to use products that give and create both. Not only is this moisturizer great for all skin types (especially sensitive skin) but it also gives you a nice, even matte finish to your face. A must have in my vanity. ($18)

Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – Even with all of the products that I have been able to try and use over the years, I am still reminded that money can be a deciding factor when purchasing makeup and skin care. The Sunday Riley brand is known for how good it hydrates and pampers your skin, but many see the price tag and shy away. I get it. I definitely get it! I was lucky enough to get TWO small sample jars of this moisturizing cream in one of my subscription boxes over the winter, and it came at the perfect time. It is more for dry, mature skin. But when my face is dealing with dry, tight skin from the weather, indoor heat, or cold winds… this is the pampering my face needs. ($65)

*H2O Hydration Oasis (Honorable Mention)* – In the summer (especially this year), it can feel too hot to wear any makeup. That does not mean that your skin should be neglected. This gel moisturizer goes on cool and extremely light to replenish much needed hydration without it feeling heavy on your face. A couple of dots is all my face needs to keep it smooth and dewy. It is also a great base to add a bit of my mineral foundation to so I can blend it together for a slightly tinted skin hydrator without that sweltering makeup feeling.

MASKS

Sand and Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Face Mask – There is something special about taking the time to give your face a pampering session. Because clay is a great ingredient to help reduce oil on the face and helps to tighten pores, this is a nice mask to use in the summer to keep your skin in check. Apply it to a clean face, let dry, then remove it by splashing it off in the shower or sink. Your skin will feel firmer and give you a wonderful glow.

Hey Honey Sweet Treat Wild Berry & Honey Yogurt Recovery Mask – Packed with tons of antioxidants from dark skinned berries, this creamy mask not only gives you a boost of hydration but it also contains the healing properties from the honey to build your skin’s protective barriers as well as restore its elasticity. Added Vitamin E also helps to heal and restore your skin’s moisture balance from this 15-minute pick-me-up treatment. ($48)

EYE CREAMS

TwinMedix Pro:Refine Eye Corrector – I think many of us are waiting for that love all, save all, spend all eye cream that will bring our eyes back to looking like they did when they were 19. When it comes to keeping your eye area looking young, you need to look for good ingredients. After that, however, it is all on you. Consistency is key. This cream comes in an easy to dispense bottle and the results were noticeable to me in just two weeks. The skin is lighter under my eyes, has helped to reduce the fine lines in the corners as well as plumps the areas were deep lines tend to settle. This quick-absorbing light cream is perfect for anyone and works during any season. ($35)

Soroci Spot Light Eye Cream – Here is another little gem that was found in a monthly subscription bag and now has become a mainstay in my daily routine. A little goes a long way when using this cream that is packed with various peptides to give the area around the eye elasticity to help avoid “tightening” skin that can cause wrinkles. It does not bother my eyes, even wearing contacts, and its skin-toned cream goes on translucent giving the eye area a nice smooth look.

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This may seem like a LOT to process when it comes to finding the right products that work with your skin type, the results you are looking for, and the ingredients you may or may not be able to use. As always if what you are using is working? Feel free to stick with it. You need to remember, however, that products and ingredients are constantly evolving, some giving you even better results you may be getting now. Do your research, do not hesitate to ask for a trial size if you want to see how a product works, and read reviews. Including mine! Hopefully, you will find the latest skin care items that can keep your face looking amazing, becoming the perfect canvas for the look you want to achieve!

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.)