Fav N Rave Fridays: Fall & Winter Skin Care

Have you noticed that as the days grow shorter and colder, your skin is changing right along with the season? Maybe it’s going into a full blown seasonal depression and you barely recognize the dull lifeless skin covering your face and body. Are you wondering how you’re going to be able afford to buy all new products when it feels like you just bought the final product to round out your summertime skin care regime? Well, don’t worry (it gives you frown lines) because this week’s Fav n Rave Friday is all about tweaking your warm weather skin care products with just a few inexpensive additions that will take you right into Groundhogs Day!

First, let’s talk about products for the body – this is where you can get away without having to change much of anything. The biggest issue my skin tends to have with colder weather, is that it starts to dry out big time (picture that 5000 year old frozen “Ice Man”.) So the key to keeping my skin from cracking is to moisturize, moisturize… and moisturize! Do you have a delicious-smelling body lotion that you just can’t part with during Fall and Winter? You don’t have to! Just make sure you crank up the moisture content and you’re golden. 

As shown above, I really love the Hempz body lotion brand – they smell divine and are very adequate warm weather moisturizers. All I do when the weather gets drier is add 1 part virgin coconut oil to 2 parts lotion and that adds in just enough extra moisture to make my parched skin happy. For my feet I like to take things a little further and add an intense shot of moisture to my easily cracked soles. When I get out of the shower and after I use my body lotion, I will rub a little Extra Emollient Night Cream from Mary Kay on my feet and immediately cover with thick socks for at least 15 minutes. 

So now that we’ve talked about the body, let’s get down to business and discuss the facial routine. As a sidebar, the products described herein are what work for me at the moment. We are all unique and have varying skin issues and needs to take into consideration – please use common sense, caution, and if unfamiliar with how you may react, do a skin test on the inside of your elbow overnight. If you are going to have a nasty allergic reaction – better to have it on the inside of your arm rather than all over your face. The principles of adding in extra moisture still apply when it comes to taking care of the skin on your face. I happen to have combination skin but once authentic Fall weather kicks in, I get much drier. So as to avoid my face tightening up like a recent face-lift recipient, I have to walk a fine line between getting enough moisture but not getting that slick greasy look where the product just sits on my skin. 

For my skin, I find the two most vital steps for me are daily (gentle) exfoliation and toning. I can usually get away with keeping my regular foaming face wash as long as I use it with my “broke girl’s clarisonic” as this provides regular exfoliation without being too harsh on my skin. After cleansing, I use a Moroccan Rose Water Toner mixed with just a hint of apple cider vinegar. This toning step serves to close my pores, calm my skin and slough off any remaining dead skin cells. Right now, I am not using a serum so in place of that I massage a few drops of grapefruit Essential oil into my skin to treat the little bit of acne I still get from time to time and as a serum of sorts. Since I have some major acne scars under my chin, I have been using a dark spot fade cream from Avon just in the areas with heavy acne scarring and on the rest of face I use a retinol moisturizer that is a little thicker than what I would wear during summer, this is also from Avon. Twice a week I’ll use a sulphur mask from Origins before toning and mmoisturizing to purge my skin of any toxins that may be just waiting to spring a surprise attack.

And that’s it folks! None of the products listed are going to set you back more than $20 at the very most, and others like the coconut oil and essential oil have multiple uses other than those listed here. So dear ones, this has bwent my Friday Fav n Rave product reviews and beauty tips. It is my sincere hope that your skin and your wallet can make it through the cold months ahead unscathed by applying these simple principles.

In closing, I leave you with the deep and insightful quote on inner beauty below…

Until next time Xo 

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Face Saving Tips for Keeping your Makeup Fresh all Day!

This past weekend I spent three days at my annual religious convention. I had a chance to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while, take in some great spiritual “food” for the soul and scope out the *ahem* single men (I’m only human!) Throughout the weekend, I wanted to (literally) put my best face forward which meant keeping the face I started the day with (see above image) as fresh as possible. This was more than a notion when you consider my makeup had to last anywhere from 10-12 hours in 80°+ southern California weather. It may sound daunting, however, I was quite successful at keeping my face from melting by the end of the day. How, you may ask? Well, as you may have guessed from the title of this article, I fully intend to share my tips and tricks with you!

As it is true with most things in life that are intended to last, the quality of materials used and the foundation are the most important aspects. The same is true of a long-lasting makeup look. As you can see from the preceding image, I put some thought beforehand into what products I wanted to use and laid them out in advance. It may not seem like it from first glance, but this is a streamlined product assembly for me – I am a makeup artist after all. Since I knew that I was going to be in a warm & humid environment, I decided to go with airbrushed foundation as it tends to provide a longer lasting yet lighter feeling look. Like I do with any foundation, I primed my skin first using a primer that I could feed through my airbrush gun. I took great care to set my foundation thoroughly with translucent setting powder to lock it in and make it easier to blot later on in the day. I decided to forgo heavy contouring and even blush (since I forgot to pack my blush pallette – boo). As I was keeping the focus on one feature, bold red lips, the rest of my makeup was kept more neutral. I lined my eyes and used a few coats of mascara but eyeshadow was fairly light.

Now we get to the secret weapon – my touch up kit. This is essentially a personalized version of what I give all of my bridal clients to keep on hand. It is very simple: blotting papers to soak up excess oil, lip balm that will truly provide long-lasting moisture, a long wearing lipstick or cream, & a translucent powder to reset your makeup and erase shine. Not pictured is a makeup refreshing spray that I did use one day. The specific products I used are as follows:

  • Nyx Cosmetics blotting papers
  • MAC Retromatte in High Drama
  • Ben Nye Banana Powder
  • Wild Herb Soap Co Lip Balm in “Spearamint” 

My two favorites from this mini kit would be the lip cream and lip balm. I honestly cannot say enough about the lasting power of the Retromatte formula. I only had to touch up my lips twice in 12 hours… that includes eating, drinking and wiping my mouth in between. Part of the lip cream’s power has to do with the moisturizer you use underneath it. That brings me to my second product rave, the lip balm from Wild Herb Soap Co – it’s been my personal favorite for 2 years now. I keep it stashed Everywhere so I am never caught without it. There are no nut oils used so it never gives you that dry feeling you can sometimes get with other natural lip balms, it’s all natural and organic, and you never have to worry about any unwelcome allergic responses. I use it with all of my clients. For the quality and performance, it is surprisingly very inexpensive. Don’t just take my word for it, you can try it for yourself by clicking here. Trust me, it will change your life!

So what did my face look like at the end of the day? See for yourself! The picture below is of my mother and I at around 5pm, after we had been wearing our “faces” since before 6am. Naturally I shared my extensive face-saving knowledge with my best girl. 

As you can see, keeping your makeup looking fresh throught a long day is pretty easy as long as you put a little thought and planning into the types of products you use beforehand. Not having to worry about my face turning into something that resembled those oil stains left behind in the driveway after a leaky car has been there, allowed me to focus on the reason I was at my convention in the first place – to enjoy the association with good friends and feed my soul. I hope these tips will be of assistance to you dear readers – all 5 of you – the next time you have an event that requires you to put your makeup to the test. Most importantly though, remember that no matter what your face or clothing looks like – the most beautiful thing any of us can wear is a genuine smile!

Until next time, keep smiling 🙂

XOXO 

Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers!

Ladies, I’m in love. I have finally found the one… and I ain’t talking about a MAN! Lol My love affair is with the one and only eyelash product that I have ever found that actually delivers what it promises – banging lashes!

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Girls, the struggle is real when it comes to my eyelashes. Due to a little cooking “experiment” when I was in the 5th grade (there’s a reason why cooking shows say kids need parental supervision) I singed what little eyelashes I had to begin with, and I have been cursed with ittty bitty lashes ever since. I have tried just about every mascara on the market (as my Tupperware container filled to the brim will confirm) only to find that all those promises of long thick lashes are actually for people who have decent lashes to begin with.

Eventually I realized that my only hope would be false lashes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my falsies. I could be a different gal every time I applied that strip. Only problem was, it added at least an extra 15 minutes onto my makeup routine. Then there’s the glue issue – finding out after many itchy eyed days and nights, that I was allergic to the regular DUO so I had to get non latex adhesive. And let’s not forget the dreaded scene where you are chatting up a cute guy only to have one of your lashes choose that exact moment to start running away from the corner of your eye. Also, quality lashes aren’t cheap and you have to keep buying tubes of adhesive if you are a regular wearer… it quickly adds up! But fear not ladies, for I have found the holy grail of solutions!

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Younique cosmetics 3D Fiber Lashes is my new boo I told you about earlier. This kit comes with a sealing gel and a tube a fibers that attatch to your lashes giving you lashes up to 3x longer and thicker. This has saved me SO much time on my makeup application and there’s no worrying about glues or aligning the lashes right or them coming off – because they are your lashes! You also needn’t worry about allergies because this product, as with all of Younique’s line, is all natural,  organic and vegan. It will not irritate your eyes. Oh and for my divas on a budget – this kit is only $29! I have mascaras that cost more lol.

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Something else you will love about this product and the company, is The Love It Guarantee.  If you don’t love it, you aren’t stuck with it. Although,  after you try it for the first time I have a feeling you will be hooked for life just like me.

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Combating Stressed out Skin…With Oil?

This week has delivered more than its fair share of stress. I have had quite a large workload in addition to a FAST approaching menstrual cycle (ain’t it grand being a girl!) There has, however, been a silver lining to it all, because despite everything else going on – stressed, broken out skin has not once been something I’ve had to worry about. I attribute this, not to any pricey miracle skin care system, but to a few common ingredients that I always have on hand – oil.

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Yes, you heard me correctly. I actually take oil, and rub it into my face on purpose! It is really not as crazy as it may sound, for this is actually a tried and true skin care method that has been around for centuries. It is called the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM for short). There are articles all over the interweb that go into laborious detail about this routine, its history, and the thousands of oils you can use – I do encourage you to take the time to read more about it if you would like to know the technical, chemical and historical side. However, so as not to stress YOU out with tedious details, I have chosen to give you the simplified version.

The Process
1. First mix about half a tablespoon each of Castor Oil & Olive Oil (I prefer extra virgin) in your hand and massage into your face.

2. If you have a Clarisonic brush, this would replace the little facial brush shown, however both will accomplish the same thing. Use the facial brush to massage the oil further into your skin using soft circular motions. This will serve to exfoliate and stimulate the circulation in your skin and dislodge any dirt or clogged pores.

3. Take a clean washcloth and run it under very hot water from the sink faucet (as hot as you can stand to hold). Squeezing out the excess water, place the heated cloth over your face to steam in the moisturizing oil. Once it cools, simply whipe away any excess oil.

4. Your skin should feel incredibly smooth, soft, and moisturized. However, for those who have more dry skin problems, you can dab on a bit of vitamin E oil in areas that feel a little dry. I also like to use the vitamin E around my eyes and on my forehead to prevent fine lines.

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And that, dear ones, is all I do to keep my skin in good working order. I would like to point out the side by side comparison photo above from October of 2013 to the picture I took this evening. It isn’t a drastic infomercial type difference, however you will notice that my pores are smaller and my skin texture has become much smoother. Oh and did I mention my cycle starts in 2 days! (No major breakouts)

No matter what your skin concerns, I firmly believe you will be very impressed with the effectiveness of this skin care regimen that has stood up to the test of time. Suitable for all skin types, not only will it save you a great deal of money, but you can also rest easier knowing that what you are putting on your skin is something natural,  chemical free, and safe enough to ingest – if you are so inclined (Note: Castor oil is a laxative, if you do feel like ingesting any of these oils – please keep that in mind!).

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.