Unfiltered Beauty Project

image

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)

Fashion: Lotta Stensson

image

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.
image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.
image

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.
image

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!

image

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.

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.

image

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.

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)
image

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