All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go

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Let’s face it, at some point or another we’ve all experienced the sting of being stood up for a date. The circumstances may vary, but the result is the same; you’ve taken the time and effort, and in some cases gone to expense, to put together your very best outfit, you’ve spent a good amount of time on your hair and makeup and you are eagerly anticipating whatever the evening holds. Then you sit yourself down and await the call or the car to arrive. The agreed upon time comes and goes, yet there you sit, all dolled up, still waiting. If you are like me, you may even wait far past the point where it’s obvious he isn’t going to show – eventually becoming angry at both him for being thoughtless and yourself for continuing to hold on to that tiny bit of hope.

Well dear readers, this very thing happened to me this evening. As embarrassing as it is to admit, this is not the first, second…or third time something like this has happened to me. Every now and then I go against my better judgement and find myself attracted to the type of men who don’t know how to pick up a phone to let me know their plans have changed (simple concept right?) But since this is a beauty related blog and not a place for bad relationship advice, I will tell you how I turned a negative evening into an opportunity for some self care and some much needed self love.

After I finally realized tonight wasn’t happening, I took an inventory of my skin and hair care supplies. I realized that this would be an excellent opportunity to try out some of the new beauty products I had acquired over the past week. I had received a Vox Box product from Influenster with a full size sample of L’Oreal Ever Creme. It’s a 6in1 cleansing balm for “dry damaged hair”, which fits the current situation on top of my head perfectly. I also picked up a skin care set at Sephora today by Belif – it was one of their “Winter Moisture Land” kits that they still had in stock from Christmas. It came with their Aqua bomb moisturizer, Hungarian water essence, and Creamy cleansing foam.
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Bringing my new finds with me, I ran a nice warm shower with a few drops of grapefruit oil on the shower floor for an instant mood lift. I washed my hair with the cleansing balm and immediately felt how soft my curls were becoming from the moisture injection – they sprang back to life. I then washed my face with the creamy cleansing foam which took care of the rest of my makeup and cleansed thoroughly. After I finished my shower and dried off, I added a very small amount of the Ever Creme to my hair as a leave in conditioner. I then used the toner and moisturizers included in my skin care kit.
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I now finish writing this blog entry feeling stress free from the comfort of my bed with soft supple skin and hair that feels repaired and smells wonderful. I would encourage any woman who has been through a similar experience to turn to self love, taking the time to care for yourself as it can do wonders to lift your spirits. It is a much better alternative to letting yourself waste any more time lamenting over someone who, to be honest, wasn’t worth your time in the first place. You will always attract people who treat you the way you treat and value yourself, so why not choose to start loving yourself right here and now so that next time you can spot a waste of time from a mile away. Please don’t evet forget you are all goddesses and you are worthy of being treated as such and should accept nothing less. I thank you for taking this journey with me this evening.

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Thumbtack “Best of” Award

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I am so proud to announce that Thumbtack.com has named Brittany McClelland MUA as one of their “Best of” service providers for my second consecutive year for both 2015 & 2016! I am grateful not only for my wonderful clients,  but also for my amazing beauty team!

If you would like to book an appointment with my team and I for hair and makeup services for your next wedding, film or special event you can reach out to me in one of several ways:

1. Leave a comment on this blog

2. Click on one of the above badges to take you to my Thumbtack page and look for Brittany McClelland MUA

3. Send me an email at brit.mcclelland@gmail.com

We offer many different packages and price points to fit just about every budget!

Natural Hair – Overcoming the Struggle!

So since I last left you, I was beyond frustrated with my natural hair and almost ready to throw in the towel. Well, I am happy to report that I have overcome the tug of war struggle with my natural locks, and we have called a truce.
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I realized that all I really needed to do was figure out what my hair needs at this stage in the game is. As you go natural, there are many different stages with their own individual needs – this is true especially if you decide to keep letting your hair grow, rather than sricking to a particular style. I had to assess what my hair needed in order to thrive, and with a little trial and error and some ingenuity on my part – I found my answer.

First off, no matter what you are doing, you must keep your hair moisturized!  I wasn’t giving it the moisture love it needed. So I put together my own hair spritz, moisturizer and revitalizer into a spray bottle and went to town. I mixed 1 part safflower oil to 3 parts water, about a half dollar sized amount of conditioner and  a few drops of peppermint essential oil and shook vigorously to mix all ingredients.

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After washing my hair, I used this hair spritz all over my towel dried hair and then added my secret weapon – face primer! Sounds crazy right? But what I discovered is that Younique cosmetics “Glorious Face and Eye Primer” is a fantastic all natural protector for heat styling, blow outs, etc – as well as being a nice sealant for my hair spritz. You only need about 3-4 pumps (depending on your hair type) in your hand to distrubute evenly throughout your hair.

After I moisturize and seal my hair, I put it into several twists to dry and curl and the next day I can do my twist out. Healthy hair, better style, happy girl!

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My advice to all natural divas, no matter what stage you’re at – do not give up and don’t give in to the temptation of going back to the creamy crack if you are still desiring to maintain your beatiful natural tresses. A little extra work and time spent on your hair now,  will keep it manageable and easier to work with later. So keep at it naturalists – if my lazy butt can do this,  I know you all can!

To order Younique’s Glorious Face and Eye Primer (by the way it is incredible when used as  was meant to be as an actual primer lol) check with younique.com to find a local sales associate.

Natural Hair – The Struggle

A little while ago, I wrote about how happy I was to be going natural with my hair. In fact, when my one year “natural anniversary” came around in April – I felt like a new woman. I had made it a full year without putting any harsh straightening chemicals in my hair – I felt like I could conquer the world!

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Fast forward just under six months later, and my elation and excitement about being natural has begun to wane a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very happy and proud of myself for staying off the creamy crack for such a long period of time. The problem is, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. Do I cut it and rock a short natural doo, or do I continue to let it grow and try to get like some of my hair crushes with long beautiful natural tresses. In the meantime, I am not doing my hair justice by keeping it in pinned up twists 24/7 that usually end up with fuzzy edges – BORING.

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Some days I am so close to walking around the corner to CVS and getting myself a Dark n Lovely relaxer kit, turning off the phone, closing the curtains and blinds and just slathering it all over my head . Other days I just want to break out the clippers, chop it all off and start over. In this journey, I am discovering that there is so much more than just going natural. I thought I would stop relaxing and that would be the end all be all of my story. But I am here to tell those of you just starting out or maybe considering it – that when these women talk about their “natural journey”, that is exactly what it is, a journey that is ever evolving.

Even though I have had my temptations to undo all the progress I have made,  I do not regret it for one second. No matter what style I embrace next or when putting in the extra work that I now realize is required for proper care, I have ultimately taken a huge step in rediscovering myself. I love washing my hair and seeing the true texture that God has blessed me with. When putting in the good smelling natural oils and creams that I make or buy, I know that I am nourishing my hair and scalp rather than stripping it.

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So yes, this is a journey that I, and I’m sure many others struggle with from time to time – but at the end of the day, I know it is an investment in myself and that I am revealing the person I was meant to be.

And I most certainly do not miss those chemical burns on my scalp due to my hair dresser running her mouth while I sat in the chair squirming!

The Art of Aging Gracefully

When you are young and in the prime of your life, we don’t often give much thought to the adjustments we will have to make as we age. I longingly remember my high school days – more specifically, my supple creaseless skin. I could easily walk out of the house without a bit of makeup, not a care in the world about who I might run into. (Sigh) Those were the days! But alas, as I head into my mid 30s, I find that those days seem like a distant memory. These days, if I leave the house with anything less than concealer, brows and at least a dusting of foundation – I know that the laws of the universe will inevitably require that I run into at least 3 people that not only recognize me, but also know that my job is to make people beautiful. I also get the expected question, “Wow Brit, you feeling alright? You look tired. “

What are you gonna do though, we all start aging from the time we leave our mother’s womb – so you can either fight it tooth and nail, or put on your big girl panties and try to age with some grace. Personally, I choose the latter. Afterall, I have had one of the most amazing examples of how a lady should act, how to exude class and kindness, and most relevant for this article – how to age with effortless grace. All of these lessons have come from the most important woman in my life, my mother.

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My mom in the 80s

This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of doing my mother’s makeup for her to go see the diva herself, Ms. Diana Ross in concert (now there’s another classy woman who has aged with grace).
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Even though this is what I do for a living, it never ceases to amaze, excite and make me nervous all at the same time when my mother requests my makeup services for a special event. I am always reminded of all the time I spent as a little girl, perched on a seat in the bathroom as I watched with awe and wonder at this beautiful woman put on her face to go somewhere. She was and remains the most beautiful person in the world to me, so it is quite an honor for her to trust me with making her up.

As she would (literally) kill me if I posted her age for the world to see, I will just state that my mother is “a woman of a certain age” – who with one flash of her drivers license, can legally take advantage of every senior special a restaurant or store may have to offer. She doesn’t look her age at all, and good genes notwithstanding, I attribute this largely to the fact that she has taken excellent care of herself and has a beautiful personality that easily shines through.

All makeup artists know that it is easy to slap a bunch of makeup on someone and make them look like a completely different person – which is fine if you are doing character makeup and that is the purpose. But to enhance one’s beauty and looks, you must understand your client’s individual needs to give them the best results possible. Each canvas (or face) is different and with different age groups and skin types, there are adjustments to be made. My mother, while beautiful, does have mature skin and that has to be taken into consideration when working with your older clients.

One very important thing to remember when working on mature clients is to moisturize before you do anything else. Makeup has a tendency to settle into any fine lines or pores it can find, so it is extremely important to hydrate the skin adequately as a base. Next, it is a good idea to stay away from overly dark colors as this can have an effect of sinking in areas of your clients face that they’d rather fill out. I love using shimmery or pearlescent shadows, light reflecting highlighters (I.e. MAC cosmetics mineralize skin finish) along with blush on the cheek bones to bring out the features. Lipstick should also be kept lighter and glossy to make the lips look a litttle more pouty and full, but not clown like. A clean and neat brow that is a relative match to your clients hair shade (whether they are dyeing or letting nature take its course) is very important to frame the face. Last, but not least, don’t forget to add in some controlled dimension to your mature client’s face with well placed and light handed highlight and contour. As we age, our skin loses some of its elasticity and gravity can work against us. By using tasteful highlight and contour, we can remind the face of where its underlying bone structure is, keep that jawline where it should be and bring out those killer cheek bones. The key words to remember are light and tasteful. You can put on a full face of makeup, just don’t use a heavy hand.
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For my mother’s concert look, I enhanced her beautiful deep set eyes with shimmer shadows, a little more contour on her outer corners and added some light false lashes. I smoothed out her overalll complexion with a mixture of cream and powder foundation and thinned out her eyebrows a bit with a shade a step darker than her hair color. Finally, with just a bit of trepidation, I handed her a mirror so she could approve the finished product – and she loved it! (Score one for my ego!)

The most beautiful finishing touch to any clients makeup is the satisfaction and self confidence that shines in their eyes and countenance when they are pleased with what
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they see in the mirror. That can’t be bought or found in any bottle of product, as it is their own personal brand of beauty. It is the ultimate reward for a job well done (and my only reward as I can’t in good conscience charge my mother lol) and why I absolutely love this job.

Hair Tips: “Pineappling”

Have any of you lovely ladies ever heard of the “Pineappling technique” for keeping your styles fresh while you sleep? Well, I happened across this technique on a curly girl website and I am so happy I did. The basics of it is throwing all your hair into a loose high ponytail or bun on top of your head, and wrap a scarf around the sides (optional: spritz a little leave in conditioner to moisturize) and you’re ready for bed!  (see picture below)
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By using this simple technique, you can achieve fabulous 2nd and even 3rd day hair from your initial styles. Girls, I can’t begin to tell you how much time this has saved me in the morning. All I have to do after my shower is take down my hair, fluff, and I am good to go!

Give it a try the next time you have a cute style you’d like to save for a couple of days. I would LOVE to hear how it works for you!

Respectfully yours,

Brit

Follow me on Instagram: @faces_by_brit