Easy Breezy Weekends

Ahh, the weekend is here and I can finally exhale a bit. If no jobs are booked, Saturdays are my day to be a little lazy and sleep in, enjoy a delicious brunch, then head out to do whatever I please. It is also a perfect time to wear something comfortable and lighten up on the makeup, or forgo it altogether.

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Today, I opted for throwing a flowing silk poncho over a pair of my infamous fat girl stretchy pants (fear not, for I was working the look), adding a pair of fun dangly earrings, and donning a pair of oversized sunnies.

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I kept my makeup pretty light (for me), however, it goes without saying that no matter what level of makeup I choose, I will be drawing in a full brow – this girl must frame her face. As for the rest of my makeup, I did use a very light hand. I made my cheeks nice and rosey, using a bolder blush than I normally wear, as that was the feature I chose to highlight. I lined my eyes with kohl liner that I smudged out a bit, used a brown shadow to add a slight contour to my nose, nude lipstick, a little BB cream and light concealer – and I was ready to go in 10 minutes.

By spending less time and energy on my outward appearance, I had the opportunity to focus on spending time with the ones I care about most & the flexibility of joining in on an unplanned, yet enjoyable activity.  Which, in the end, isn’t that exactly what weekends are all about?

Unfiltered Beauty Project

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Being that it was my day off, when I awoke this morning I had every intention of letting my skin “breathe” and skip the full face of makeup. Then I remembered that I had to go to MAC and Sephora to purchase some supplies. (No, the irony of wearing makeup to go makeup shopping is not lost on me). I believe that most makeup artists would agree, that when you go into a beauty eatablishment, putting on your best “face” is a way of communicating with the employees that you know what you’re doing and you are all part of the sisterhood (or misterhood – as we all know there are some Fab-u-lous male MUA’s to be found at MAC and Sephora *finger snap*!).

However, when I was sitting at my vanity putting on my face, as I have done hundreds of times – I stopped to look, and I really mean look, at myself. As I sat there letting my face bake, I wondered how I may be being perceived by those who don’t personally know me and my strong feelings about the importance of inner beauty.

Yesterday at work, I spent a good two hours speaking with this woman, whom I immediately thought was gorgeous as soon as she walked into the room. When I told her so, she gave this self – deprecating laugh and and went on to list everything that she disliked about herself. She ended by saying rather emphatically, “YOU’RE the one who is beautiful, look at your makeup!” It made me more than a little sad to see a woman with such beauty inside and out who had not only convinced herself, and consequently let others convince her as well, that she wasn’t.  Despite my furtive attempts to assure her of how beautiful she in fact was, I could see that the many years of lack of self love had taken its toll and left a negative lasting impression on her. I also repeatedly tried to impress upon her that I was wearing a FULL face of makeup, yet to her, that was what made me beautiful.

I was reminded of this encounter while yet again putting on another full face of makeup, despite the fact that this was to be the day to give my skin some much needed rest. It was at this moment that I decided to follow in the footsteps of a woman that I have so much respect and admiration for – plus sized model Tess Munster (the force behind Eff Your Beauty Standards). I decided to start a movement of my own (I say movement, because although it is just me at this point – most movements start out with a party of one) for those of us in the beauty industry. I am calling it the Unfiltered Beauty Project

I will start using the hashtag #UnfliteredBeautyProject on twitter, instagram & facebook whenever I attach a picture of myself, one of my models or anyone else that depicts one of the following: 1) No makeup 2) the makeup process (I.e. unfinished face, before and afters) 3) Somone who has so much inner beauty that it is just bursting forth and far overshadowing any cosmetic enhancement (a child laughing, an elderly woman with lively dancing eyes, etc). The most important aapect of all of the images tagged in this project, is that they won’t be retouched in ANY way whatsoever. I love those instagram and photo editing software filters just as much, if not more, than anyone else, but they do their job just a little too well – they filter out a lot of the natural beauty to be found in any image.

This is not to say I will abandon my beloved filters full stop, nor am I encouraging anyone else to follow suit. What I am encouraging everyone, eapecially beauty professionals, is to show the real you every now and again. Be proud of those baggy shadowed morning eyes, honor that zit smack in the middle of your forehead, and resist using that brighten tool to erase those coffee stains on your teeth. Let people know that beauty is about so much more than what we wear and paint on ourselves, and that we truly can be comfortable in our own, real, skin.

We are artists and have a talent that should certainly be showcased. But lets also honor the other vast forms of beauty that are found in each and every individual, starting with ourselves.

(stepping down, and putting away my soapbox)

Teasers: Spring Beauty Editorial

I  am so giddy with excitement over a collaboration with my talented photographer friend Sara Strimpel on an upcoming Spring 2014 beauty editorial, that I simply HAD to share a few small details with my readers!

We are currently hard at work in pre-production, and although you will have to wait a little while to view examples of the finished product – below you will find a little teaser of where I am drawing my inspiration for my makeup designs!

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Now I mustn’t give away all my secrets, but rest assured that this editorial will be nothing short of the title of my favorite lipstick color – “Flat Out Fabulous!

Fashion: Lotta Stensson

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I recently had the pleasure of working with an amazing fashion designer by the name of Lotta Stensson. You may not recognize her name right away, but chances are you have seen her beautiful silk batik robes, ponchos and kaftans on some of your favorite celebs. The Kardashian sisters, Halle Berry, and Paris Hilton, along with countless other famous faces have all been spotted out and about wearing Ms. Stensson’s designs.
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When I did the makeup for the Lotta NYC 2014 Spring lookbook, Lotta gifted me with a beautiful silk batik poncho. It is so beautiful that I usually save it for special occasions & it had been a while since I had last worn it. However, while I was getting dressed for work yesterday, it caught my eye and with the drab weather we have had lately, I simply couldn’t resist putting it on.

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I love the way Lotta’s designs are cut, so that they flow gracefully over the body, making them a wonderful choice for women of all shapes and sizes. They can easily go from a casual day at the beach to a night on the town with the girls or your guy. I am already in the process of selecting a few more of these versatile wardrobe pieces to my collection.

Each of these pieces are as unique as they are beautiful, and reflect Lotta’s love and passion that she has for her work. If you would like to own one of these beautiful wearable pieces of art for yourself, you can visit www.lottanyc.com and check out her collection.

I am quite sure that you will be very pleased with whatever style or design you choose from this luxurious collection!

Review: Younique Cosmetics

I love Instagram. Never before have I had the opportunity to discover and try products from so many different makeup companies.

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The latest company I have had the pleasure of giving a test run, is Younique Cosmetics. Independent Consultant Shannon Youmans was kind enough to send me some eyeshadow, blush and concealer samples.

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I couldn’t wait to dig in and start trying the products right away, so for my first time out I used three eyeshadows (Heartbroken, Regal, & Glamorous) and a beautiful spicy blush (Scandalous). These beautiful colors helped me create a soft romantic look that I feel could easily translator into bridal makeup or a night on the town.
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I loved the ease of how these pigments blended and I was even able to dip my eyeliner brush into a setting liquid and then use a little of the “Regal” shadow as a bottom lash liner, which produced a beautiful smokey eye.
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I was extremely impressed with Younique’s mineral makeup and will definitely be adding some of these products to my kit. If you would like to try Younique for yourself, you can visit Shannon Youmans Facebook Page and order from her direct.

Remember ladies, it is your beautiful spirit shining through that gives life to these outward enhancements. Refine your hearts, and nourish your body and your true beauty will never fade.

For Sexy Glowing Skin, Use Hairspray!

This beauty tip is brought to you from the makeup artists working behind the scenes at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show!

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Everyone knows you can use Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Sheen Spray to revive dull hair in a flash, but did you know it can also be used on your body?

To achieve that healthy model glow, just spray a little on your arms, legs and any other exposed flesh – and voila! You will have that sexy cat-walk shine in 60 seconds or less.

Caution: This product is very flammable. Do not use near open flame.

DIY Lip Exfoliator

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Want kissable smooth lips? Try making your own lip scrub using this easy recipe!

Ingredients
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Sugar (pref. white sugar)
1 tsp Honey

Directions
1) Combine and mix ingredients completely
2) Apply to lips
3) Wipe off with damp towel
4) Moisturize

Kiss someone!

Cultivating Your Smile

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Are you unsure or nervous about your smile in pictures? Try practicing your smile at home in front of a mirror. Many of you are professional selfie takers anyway, which is a great time to start “cultivating” your smile.

Work on smiling with your eyes and your mouth will generally follow. Let your smile come from within and you can never go wrong. Once you devplop that confident smile, you might surprise yourself the next time those impromptu girls night out or family pictures pop up on social networking sites. You may just find yourself re-posting instead of cringing.

The Evolution of My Face

At night, as I’m staring into the mirror wiping off my makeup, I often reflect on the words of my beauty icon Gwen Stefani, “the magic’s in the makeup”. It truly is magical how drastically a girl (or boy) can transform herself (or himself) with mere liquids, creams and powders. I am the first to admit that I look a bit strange underneath the full face I often wear, yet I am not self conscious about this. My face isn’t symmetrical. I have hyperpigmentation and some acne. But I am just as comfortable going out of the house without makeup as I am with it. The reason for my comfort level is a result of my practicing what I preach, in that I place more value on inner beauty. Below, I share with you my readers (all 5 of you) the evolution of my face.

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Do I feel that I may look a little more aesthetically pleasing with makeup? Yes. Do I feel the need to wear it every day? No. Does it sometimes cheer me up to wear makeup? Yes. What can I say, I’m an enigma at times. I stick by the importance of inner beauty, but I also realize that my career revolves around makeup and that it is a key part of my job to advertise my skills on myself. I mean, would you want to go to a hairstylist with crappy looking hair? No, I don’t think you would.

The most important thing to me about putting on makeup, is the fact that I enjoy it. If wearing makeup was a task that I took no pleasure in, or felt like it was something I was obligated to do – I would never have chosen this line of work.

At the end of the day when it’s all said and done, I look forward to cleansing my skin and letting it breathe. I also look forward to trying a new look the next morning. I think its awesome that I can wake up as picture (1), half an hour later walk out of the house as picture (6), and go to bed as picture (1) again.

Magic.

DIY Makeup Remover

Are you in search of a powerful makeup remover that will get rid of all the waterproof eye makeup that you pile on, while still being gentle to the sensitive skin around the eyes? Well, you needn’t look any further because I’m going to give you the 411 on how to make your own! All you need are two edible items that most people can currently find in their kitchen: extra virgin olive oil and aloe vera juice.

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First, take a bottle of aloe vera juice and empty out a little if completely full. Next pour in about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), the oil will rise to the top. Now, although I would love to make my knowledge sound more vast than it is, that’s it as far as instructions. Just be sure to shake the bottle well prior to each use and pour onto cotton pad/puff immediately while it is still mixed to remove your makeup.

Check back soon for more helpful tips like this one!