Tag Archives: skin care

How Organic Can Impakt Your Life!

3 Apr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Products for the New Year…

8 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 Oct

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

RESTOCKING…

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

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

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

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

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

NEW FINDS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steady and True… Fabulous and New!

17 Aug

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

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

* Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

* Make Up For Ever Waterblend Face and Body Foundation

* Crown Brushes

* NYX Butter Gloss & Epic Ink Eyeliner

* TwinMedix Skin Care System

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sassy’s Lifesavers (Part Two)

14 May

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

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

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

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

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

Before Bed Routine

Cleanse:
Same As The A.M.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!!

Foundation Fundamentals From A Pro!

30 Jan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeay!….Spring?

24 Mar

According to the calendar, spring came on Monday this week. As I sit here at my desk, you might not believe that. There is a still a coating of snow on the ground from a two foot storm we got LAST week. Some of it has melted but today the temperature is bordering on freezing so the rain that is falling right now is a combination of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Fun, fun. Let your inner self feel my excitement. Can you? Yeah… I can’t either.

With the date saying one thing but the skies saying something else, what are glamour and fashionistas to do when they want to add a few new things to their fashion/glamour collection but don’t know how to integrate them into this fickle weather? I have been looking carefully for things that I can use now but can also transfer into my regular spring routine (or even summer!) when the temps balance out to where they should be. It can be frustrating, but if you do your research there are a few things you can grab now that will be great for this time of year AND continue to be a plus as the weather continues to brighten up.

So what has Sassy been using lately? Here are a few things you may want to check out:

**Victoria Secret PINK Hoodie** – A hoodie of any sorts is a great seasonal transitioning piece. If it’s cold, wear it under a warm jacket. If it’s warmer, wear it under something lighter like a leather coat. If it is getting “warm”, wear a jazzy tee and leave the hoodie opened up. The thing that is nice about a hoodie is that they are so versatile that you really can wear any type and any color in ANY season. Since spring is here, I thought I would add a really nice pastel pink hoodie to my collection. I own no pink clothes. No really…nothing. I never thought it looked good with my auburn hair. But the shade I recently got looks really awesome. The color is flattering, the hoodie fits well, it is warm…. oh! And it was on sale! Cha-Ching! This is a great item to find on sale now so keep your eyes open for one you like.
Victoria’s Secret, prices vary by style.

**DSW’s Black Ballet Flat** – A few days ago, it was nice enough out for me to put aside boots and high-top sneakers and actually pull out a pair of flats to wear with my skinny jeans. Woo Hoo! Well, that was until I tried on the pair I wanted to wear. I couldn’t even get my toes into them! I have put on a couple of WANTED and NEEDED pounds over the winter and it seems some of it went to my feet. Maybe? It could also be from the foot surgery I had almost two years ago. I went through and tried on all my flats and realized I need about three different styles of black flats. I ordered a pair of ankle lace ups, a pair of fancy small wedges and a cool pair of flats with “studs”. Thankfully, all the other flats I have fit just fine. Flats are a must-have shoe style when the temperatures start to rise. It may be too warm for boots, but it may be way too cool for sandals. Flats come in all styles now so don’t be afraid to add a couple of pairs you like.
DSW.com, $39.95

**Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème** – I haven’t been one to use concealer much over the years. I’ve been lucky—the eye creams I have used have treated my eye area nicely, kept away dryness, and have prevented dark circles and fine lines. In my last Sephora order, I got a nice little sample of the KVD Concealer Crème and I put it on my vanity to try. This winter took its toll on my eyes a little bit. Over tired, stress, eye strain, even the sun. But after I tried the sample, I was VERY impressed. I will be honest…my face brightened right up! Not only does it do a great job at hiding little imperfections in the eye area (especially underneath) but it does an amazing job at illuminating my eye area AND face! This is great for this time of year because we often find that we need to moisturize our eyes more during the colder weather, but forget to use a product to brighten the skin around them. As it gets warmer, we can protect them from the sun to keep the eye area bright but often forget to use a gentle moisturizer. While we find the right product(s) that will help keep our eye area from aging, a good concealer can hide little tell-tale signs during the process. Kat Von D’s Concealer Crème does just that! The formula is gentle and the coverage is fabulous!
Katvondbeauty.com or Sephora, $26.00

**TwinMedix Pro: Essentials E5** – About a year ago, I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. It truly was a life changing adventure, both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to meet with world-renowned makeup artist James Vincent who was a plethora of knowledge for me. When I mentioned I was frustrated with my sensitive skin and not being able to get my hands on good skin care near me, he told me to talk to Michelle Shaffer with TwinMedix. She was a doll. I explained to her that my skin gets irritated easily and I had to switch out brands and products depending on the season. She introduced me to the TwinMedix Pro line, explaining what each product did. Five simple products was the entire routine for day and night. Easy peasy. I have been using it faithfully ever since that day and my skin has never looked better! The one item, however, that I did not know how to put into the routine was the Essentials E5 product. Come to find out, this product is actually a MUST HAVE especially when seasons are changing. It contains pure Vitamin E which protects the skin from environmental damage while hydrating and soothing skin especially when it is exposed to harsh and changing weather conditions. It also calms sensitive skin like mine. I began to use it like a primer and I have noticed that no matter what it is doing outside, my skin feels soft and protected. I use it daily, along with my other TwinMedix products. It’s nice to have a great base to my look that doesn’t just smooth my skin but nourishes it as well!
TwinMedix.com, $90.00

**Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum** – Winter can do job on our hair. The heat, the cold, the wind, the dry air, you name it. I have a shelf… okay two… of products to use depending on what is up with my hair. Right now? I’ve got some dry ends to deal with. But earlier in the week, my hair felt oily and gummy. Ugh! I can’t keep a ton of things in the shower, so what do I do? Not to mention, my hair is color treated which doesn’t help me try to find products that won’t hurt my “enhanced” auburn tresses either. I try to find the best shampoos and conditioners for what my hair is going through and help it get healthy with those. What’s a challenge is, without extensive research, those two items can either help a lot or do even more damage if it contains chemicals that aren’t good for my hair. But when I get out of the shower, that is when I need a good product to keep my red hair in check. I need something that will smooth without leaving it feeling greasy. I need something that will give it shine without drying it out. I need something that will keep it soft without making it fly everywhere. I need something that will protect it without weighing it down. I need something that can gently “coat” each strand to keep it healthy. Oh…and I need something that can do ALL of that no matter what the weather or temperature is outside. It needs to give me what I need without checking a forecast first. PM’s Super Skinny Serum does just that. No matter what is going on outside, a small dollop of the Serum will smooth fly-away hair on dry & windy days, it will lightly condition and seal your hair strands keeping them healthy, and it will control your hair with a formula that keeps your hair shiny, silky and frizz-free in any weather. It is also an added bonus that the Serum will speed up your drying time so you hair is not wet in unhealthy elements, giving you the results you want in less time. The Super Skinny Serum is perfect for ALL hair types so it allows you to not just get the look you want but will also allow you to add it to your haircare routine without any interference. So no matter what the weather is outside, your hair doesn’t have to become damaged from it–just a bit of Paul Mitchell’s Skinny Serum will lock in the results you want.
Paul Mitchell Salons (see their website for locations), prices may vary.

So, are you ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome in the sunny days of spring? I know I am! Gently convert your wardrobe, skin care and hair care with these items and you can cut out some of the frustration of flip-flop weather and keep your routine on the straight and narrow!!

Please share!—Sassy wants to know what YOU have that helps you transition your fashion and beauty routine between seasons. Do you have any products that helps make these changes easier? Let me know!!

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!
makeupaisles

PRODUCT REVIEW: ‘Tis the season for…. Exfoliation & hydration

21 Dec

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

Oh joy, oh joy—winter is upon us. Don’t bother looking at the calendar. I can tell you first hand… it is winter. It’s cold, I’m layering, I’ve been wearing a heavy coat for weeks, I bought new gloves. Three pair. And I even invested in a mini ceramic heater for my vanity room for extra warmth when I put on my morning makeup. When it comes to winter, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…. then it probably flew south already. Just saying.

When the temperatures get colder, taking care of your skin becomes very important. Not only do you need to moisturize more frequently but you will need to possibly use something a bit heavier. This not only applies to your face but to your whole body–head to toe. I recently was sent some items after a product from a distributor in my hometown was featured in the How to be a Redhead subscription box few months back. It was a salt scrub with a nice, gentle scent. When I asked the distributor if there were other products that she liked herself, she sent me some great items to try. I was quite impressed.

shemenlogoLet’s talk about the company for a little bit. Shemen Amour is a woman-owned company that offers a great line of Certified Organic Israeli Dead Sea products. They carry products for face, body and hair for both men and women which is great because men sometimes forget that skincare is just as important for them too. The ingredients in their products have great healing benefits that naturally occur in the minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea. Every product they carry is 100% cruelty-free—part of the Leaping Bunny Program as well as “Beauty Without Bunnies” program certified by PeTA–and is environmentally conscious with each item they carry. That is something that is very important to me.

The local US Distributor was sweet enough to send me a few face and body products to try. I got them very quickly! My first reaction was WOW!—the packaging is huge. You certainly get a lot for your money! I decided to work my way “up” the line in order to give myself a chance to really try them all and see their benefits. Some results took some time to see, some were immediate. I’ll share about each:

img_2922img_2921FEET: Summer is over and it’s time to get rid of “sandal feet” and get them ready for winter. The first thing I used was the Mineral Foot Peeling Cream. I will admit—this was weird! I have used many foot scrubs over the years, but this one confused me at first because it had nothing “gritty” in it. So I wasn’t really sure how it was going to shed the dead skin off my feet. I put a decent amount of the cream in my hand and began to rub my feet with it. HOLY SMOKES! In a matter of seconds, I saw “beads” of dead skin falling off my feet! At first I was shocked but then realized what was happening: I was giving my feet a “chemical peel”. I rubbed the Peeling Cream into both feet for about a minute each then rinsed them with luke warm water in the tub. I could already feel a difference in how smooth my feet felt. It was amazing. Afterwards, I applied the Mineral Foot Cream. I loved how this moisturizer felt on my tootsies. It absorbed quickly, wasn’t sticky or heavy, and made them feel even smoother than before. Again, you don’t need a lot… just a small dollop was enough to moisturize for a day. The scent was gentle as well. I liked that it kept my feet soft even after a few days. It is a really great formula. If you do like things with a soft scent for your feet, they also offer a foot cream with a lavender scent. I tried that one as well and liked it. It seemed to give my feet a gentle cooling sensation as well which was nice.

img_2919-1img_2918BODY: One of my favorite scents when it comes to body products are fruit scents. They awaken my senses and leave my skin feeling and smelling fresh and sweet. When I saw that I got two body products to try from Shemen Amour in a passion fruit scent, I was psyched! The first item was a VERY large “tub” of Aromatic Body Scrub. Enriched with Dead Sea Salt, herbal extracts and nourishing oils including olive, avocado, jojoba, sesame and sunflower, this body scrub exfoliates AND moisturizes at the same time. I found that before I use it, it is really important to SHAKE THE CONTAINER! It will separate if it sits around, so to get the oils into the salts, mixing is really important. It even contains aloe vera so as it removes the dead skin, it soothes too. After the shower, my skin felt smooth and silky… not dry or irritated at all. That is how you want your skin to feel after a mineral salt scrub. When the shower is over, you want to lock in the benefits of the soft skin you have just achieved, and the best way is with a matching body butter. I was sent a “tub” of Shea and Passion Fruit Body Butter to try with it. Again, the scent was awesome! A nice fruity scent without being overpowering. The body butter is enriched with the Dead Sea Minerals as well as vitamins, oils and fruit extracts. It wasn’t “heavy” but it was super moisturizing. The formula did not irritate my sensitive skin, absorbed quickly and didn’t feel greasy. My skin felt noticeably softer to the touch and eliminated dryness immediately. This product is gentle enough to use on your body daily or when you need a boost of moisture… especially this time of year.

img_2920HANDS: I was also sent a tube of the Mineral Hand and Nails cream. We all know that there are endless hand creams on the market with all kinds of ingredients. The thing I like about this hand cream is it doesn’t just moisturize and condition my hands but it also conditions my nails and cuticles. There are a lot of separate products for your nails and cuticles but this one product does both, saving you time and money. The tube is LARGE and I leave it right next to my couch so I can just give my hands a little bump each day, especially this time of year, to keep my nails from splitting, my cuticles from cracking, and my hands from getting rough and dry. If they need a good exfoliating treatment first, rubbing & washing them with some of the Aromatic Body Scrub helps shed the dead skin first before applying the hand cream. An extra boost for those cold months!

img_2924EYES: One thing I learned early on in my glamour career is that there are three areas of the body that will tell your age better than your driver’s license: your hands, your neck and the skin around your eyes. For that reason, you can imagine how many products I have tried for each of those area just to keep my lie about my age as “realistic” as possible. Because of my sensitive skin, the hands and the neck areas aren’t too bad to keep in check. My eye area, however, has been a challenge. I wear contacts, I have allergies, and random things can make my eyes burn terrible. I find that the more natural a product is, the less problems I have with it. That is why I was eager to try the Shemen Amour Black Mud Eye Cream. This cream was actually designed for the sensitive skin eye area. The Black Mud Eye Cream states that it rejuvenates the skin in the eye area, smooths wrinkles, improves elasticity and increases blood circulation which decreases puffiness and dark circles. A product like this doesn’t show the results immediately. Plus, it is the responsibility of the user to make sure it is used day AND night. Apply it with a gentle tapping of the finger under the eyes and around the edges near the temples. Do not get disappointed when you don’t see results in 24 hours. I had been using it about once a day a couple of weeks and did notice some improvement in the fine lines in my eye area, but it wasn’t until I became truly faithful about using it day AND night that I began noticing a significant difference. My fine lines were very less predominant, the skin was much smoother, the dark circles that were beginning had stopped and even lightened. Concealer was now an option—not a necessity. I like the fact too that it is suitable for all skin types. So in the winter when my skin is dryer, I can give my eye area a double dose at night. In the summer, a light layer is more than enough. The jar that it comes in is VERY large and a little goes a long way, but don’t think you have to be stingy with it. It absorbs quickly and if it absorbs very fast, the skin around your eyes may need more than you think. Don’t be put off by its color in the jar either. Just because it is dark like mud doesn’t mean it stays dark on your skin. Once it is absorbed, the color is gone. I really like the Black Mud Eye Cream. I can already see a difference and my sensitive skin and eyes are very happy with it as well!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try these products, thanks to the lead from my family at How to be a Redhead. You don’t have to be a redhead to enjoy these great beauty products from Shemen Amour. They are on track with other, more known brands as far as treating you with ingredients that will help you achieve or maintain younger, healthier skin. The state of the art minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea give you the anti-aging benefits without heavy chemicals. Anyone who likes to use natural products which are good for the skin would not be disappointed with the product list from Shemen Amour! I am very happy I was able to give them a try and will add them to the products I have come to love over the years.

You can check out their entire line at www.shemenamourusa.com!