Tag Archives: moisture

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!!

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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!!!
IMG_8405

Is There Ever A Limit?

16 Jun

Overload

Today, I had an unexpected day off from my j*o*b*. I wasn’t too upset. A weekday to myself to do what I wanted is something that hasn’t come my way in months. Don’t get me wrong–I love my job at the tattoo shop. It’s fun, it’s different, I get to meet great people, and it keeps me out of the makeup aisles at drug and department stores. Except today.

I don’t think I was off the phone with my boss for two seconds before I was grabbing my comfy shoes, keys, purse, cell phone and credit card and was in the car heading for the mall. It was like old times. In my early days as a writer, I would grab my tablet, pick up a drive-thru coffee, then head out for hours at a time testing, trying, sampling and sniffing the latest and greatest additions to the glamour market. Now, I don’t get to play makeup as often as I used to, but when I do get the chance–like today–I take full advantage. And I did.

I did have a goal in mind when I left the house: find a rich, deep, violet purple lip gloss with a lot of shine and sparkle. That was it. One thing. Simple, right? Wrong. Not when someone releases a glamaholic in a local Sephora store. Opportunities? Endless. Overwhelming? Not a chance.

With one item to find, I entered my makeup Mecca and began my search. I went right to the department of the brand I liked the most, but to my dismay they did not have the color I was looking for. So, the worst case scenario followed: I had to search the ENTIRE STORE–front to back, top to bottom–to seek out what I wanted. The question remains…did I find what I was looking for? Not really. Did I find other mind blowing cool shit? Ab-so-freaking-lutely!!!

So, what did I land in my makeup haul today? Let’s take a look:

Purple glossSEPHORA COLLECTION Ultra Shine Lip Gloss: I know I talked about these in my last blog post, but seriously I can’t get enough of these little gems. Sephora’s ultra shine lip glosses come in a huge variety of colors, including sheers, shimmers and glitters. I got one as a free with purchase with my last order (#11-Shiny Pin-up Pink – bright fuchsia pink shine) and turned around and in less than a week, ordered six more: #07 Shimmery Purple Red – raspberry with opalescent shimmer; #13 Reflex Miami Pink – sheer pink opalescent shimmer; #17 Shimmery Golden Beige – light caramel with opalescent shimmer; #19 Shimmery Black Currant – rose wine with opalescent shimmer; #49 Metallic Copper – dark bronze with a hint of shimmer; #50 Rose Petal – rich rose shine. So I was covered right? Wrong. I wear a lot of purple in the summer and found I was scrambling to find a shade for those fashion items. When I went to the store today, they did not have the Sephora gloss in a shade I liked. Phooey. But that didn’t stop me from grabbing two others that will work as well: # 21 Shiny Honey Purple – sheer grape shine; and the very evasive #24 Reflex Dazzling Violet – sheer purple opalescent shimmer (sold out online for over two months!). They weren’t exactly what I wanted, but they were still awesome. ($14.00)

LipstickSEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Shine Lipstick: With a deep purple lipgloss by Sephora being out of reach, I decided to try the next best thing: a good lipstick. I found a great color with #47 Heartbreaker – Glossy – sheer royal purple. This lipstick is very similar to the shade of gloss I wanted, plus the lipstick is glossy as well and not your usual matte. I’m not anti-lipstick at all, just more if a fan of a gloss. I am in fact an odd bird because I am one who does love the mega high shine and stickiness you get from a gloss. I know, call me weird. But this great lipstick color certainly can be jazzed up with one of those high shine glosses I purchased as well. A great combo of endless possibilities. ($12.50)

Grey shadowSEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow: I was going to BROWSE the store for a not-to-dark, definitely-not-silver eye shadow. While I was looking at the Sephora line of lip products, I couldn’t help but to glance over the eye shadow section. And, of course, Sephora has samples of every color of every item, so I began finger painting my hands and arms with shades of greys (no book title pun intended) till I actually found one I liked. The #58 Winter In London – Grey Shimmer was exactly what I wanted. Not too dark and smokey so it would look great for daytime blending. It had enough shimmer to make my eyes pop but not too much glitter to make me look like a stri… umm… girl wearing too much glitter. This will be an awesome color to play with! ($13.00)

SpongeSEPHORA COLLECTION The Perfectionist Makeup Sponge: Not too much to say about this purchase. With warmer temps coming soon, I wanted a makeup sponge so I could apply a nice thin coat of foundation and build when and where necessary. This sponge was on clearance, was the perfect size, and hell… it was purple too. ($7.00)

BrushSEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Mineral Powder Brush: This was an item I had been considering buying for some time, and since I was already at the store, I said why not. Being able to pick up, try, feel, touch all of the brushes made the decision to get this one easy. I knew I want a powder brush that wasn’t too big and too loose. It had to be somewhat dense to get to the areas I wanted with precision but still soft to gently apply either my mineral foundation or loose setting powder. Plus I wanted a flat–not rounded–top. This brush is perfect. The antibacterial synthetic bristles makes it perfect for picking up light or dense powders. Easy peasy! ($24.00)

Acqua di gioiaGIORGIO ARMANI Acqua di Gioia Hydrating Body Mist: ALERT! ALERT! TOTALLY UNEXPECTED PURCHASE! Of course when anyone goes to a makeup counter, they always sniff a few if the newest scents that have come out. Typically, I like to buy my fragrances in rollerballs. That way they don’t “spoil” and loose their original scent if I don’t use them up quick (and I never do!). None of the newest rollerballs tickled my fancy. In fact, many were heavy on rose notes which I am not a big fan of AT ALL! A couple were too spicy or woodsy for me in the summer months, a few others were similar to others I already had. Then I picked up this bottle. Without reading the description, I sniffed the bottle and I liked what I smelled. Then I sprayed it on my wrists. *GASP!* It was white! Yeah, not clear like other perfumes, it was watery white. Then I rubbed it in. Ooooo, it was silky! Totally fascinated and intrigued by this point, I read the bottle: hydrating body mist. So, it wasn’t drying like an alcohol based fragrance. It actually provided some moisture. So I decided to break out the iPhone and get some further deets. I discovered the scent “begins with a “mojito” inspired sensual blend of crushed mint leaves, warmed by brown sugar and mixed with the zest of Italian Limone. Then, feminine floral notes emerge with joyous hints of aquatic Jasmine, dew of Peony and subtle traces of pink pepper.” Now, we take those scents which I like, infuse it into an all-over moisturizing body mist, and you’ve got my newest love for the season! Yeay me! ($36.00)

Okay, okay, so I dropped some coin today. But I can easily say nothing I bought will go to waste. I’ve already used one of the glosses (broke it open in the car, what can I say?) and spritzed my skin twice with the Body Mist. I’m sure, depending on my attire tomorrow, most of the makeup items will get used as well. That’s the difference between a new makeup rookie and a glamour guru like myself. Makeup rookies make a purchase to try a new look. Glamour gurus make a beauty investment to enhance and accessorize an already established ensemble.

Of course, then there’s me. I just like to buy cool stuff!

Do You Prepare For Your Mani?

15 Jul

Tonight, my family and I decided to go out to a nice dinner. Mr. Sassy selected a nice restaurant which wasn’t too fancy but still very classy. I chose to wear nice capri jeans, a patterned “cut out” shoulder top, and strappy sexy sandals. I added a nice smoky eye look with some bright wine-colored lips and I was working it in a good way. Err, well almost. I realized my latest manicure was chipped and splotched, and I had no time for a touch up. When faced with this situation, a fashionista knows it is better to go with NO polish then a sloppy manicure. So I took off all my neon pink polish and thought I was good to go….

…till I got outside in natural sunlight.

My nails were yellow–almost orange!–from dark polish stains. In addition, they had ridges & rough edges and my cuticles felt like bunions. Ewww….. not good. Thank goodness the restaurant was dimly lit so you couldn’t really tell my “clean” nails were stained and uneven. But I knew they were. And I couldn’t wait to get home and get them cleaned up.

Having a perfect home manicure needs to start BEFORE the colored polish even comes out. And I have learned this from experience. So what do I do to prep my nails before the mani begins? Here are some tips you can follow to keep your nails looking just as good bare as they would with color:

  • Have yellow staining from dark polishes? Base coats can help but not completely. If you have some yellowing, brush on a light coat of Clorox Bleach. The Bleach Pen works awesome! Leave a light coat on for about 5 minutes. Then give your nails a good brushing with some whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush. Bleaching your nails often can make them soft and irritate your cuticles if you do it often so try to only do it every few weeks. Brushing them with the toothpaste, however, will help keep them clean and also stimulate growth.
  • File and buff! When your nails are at their cleanest, that is the best time to shape them and shine them up. File them so the tips are even, cutting down any super long ones and smoothing out any jagged edges that can get caught and tear. Use a buffer to even the tops out getting rid of any uneven ridges or rough spots (this includes any rough spots on the skin around the nails too.) Finally, use a polisher to give your nails a nice, healthy shine. Want a great tool that does all three? Sephora’s 3-Step Ergo Buffer is the perfect tool to get the job done!
  • Use a moisturizer made especially for hands and nails. I’m absolutely loving Sally Hansen’s Nails and Cuticle Hand Cream. It is infused with shea butter to help keep the delicate skin around your nails soft and your cuticles pliable. If your hands are super, super dry, coat them with the Hand Cream then soak them in warm olive oil for 10-15 minutes. Once a week, exfoliate them by adding a teaspoon of white sugar to the olive oil and rub it in on the backs and palms of your hands, and in between the fingers. Then rinse with warm water. This will help removed the dead skin cells that keep your hands from looking young.
  • Keeping your manicure fresh longer will allow you to change and/or remove polish less. That, in turn, will keep you from having to paint your nails more often which can cause staining. Wear gloves when doing dishes and housework, moisturize every morning and night, and protect them if you plan on working outside or with harsh chemicals. If you can keep your mani looking fab for a week? That will keep your nails from staining as much and also keep them strong!

Now I’m relaxing watching TV and taking care of my nails before I put on my next coat of polish. I have removed the yellowing from old colors, brushed under and over the nails to remove any dirt and chemicals, and softened the cuticles and ridges by deep moisturizing my hands–coating them with hand cream and putting them into warm socks for several minutes. Now, I don’t have to be ashamed to go without polish. If my fingers want to take a vaca from polish for a while (which is a good thing now and then), I can make sure they look their best when they are “naked”!!