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Pretty Polished Perfect

For Real??

Like I have mentioned in the past, I am not devoted to any one line of makeup. I can’t commit, I like to experiment and I always have my eyes open for a great bargain. I am one of “those” who could spend hours in Shoppers Drug Mart, Winners, Walmart or any drug store really, taking my time, browsing, color swatching, price comparing all while convinced that I am being watched by store security because who honestly spends that much time in a drug store? Luckily I have a son who doesn’t mind these lengthy trips and usually can entertain himself people watching (a trait he surely gets from me). For the past few months, or more, I have been obsessed with finding the perfect hot pink lipstick and have not wanted to spend the money on the brands that most of the magazines or other beauty blogs recommend and convinced myself that it was out there for atleast half the cost. On a recent jaunt to Walmart ( I know, horrible) I was wasting some time waiting for my sister and chose to take a quick peek at the lipsticks. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Only the best hot pink lipstick ever, among other fabulous colors! And believe it or not it was by Wet n Wild and was priced amazingly at $2.84. I furiously scrambled through the shelves and picked 4 shades that I knew where must haves…but logic kicked in and I vowed to only purchase the pink and would come back for the others if it was any good. So the next day I got myself ready, like most other days, and finished off my look with my new Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in #966 (Don’t Blink Pink). With the first stroke on my top lip I knew I had to plan another trip to Walmart…ASAP! The lipstick slid on beautifully, was rich in pigment, had the most perfect matte finish and was surprisingly comfortable for a matte texture. I spent the entire day out, drinking water, coffee and enjoying a fathers day dinner of BBQ and wine and more coffee and it STAYED PUT! and I even got a shot out on the street “Love your lipstick girl”. Megalast it was and mega excited am I to be adding quite a few more of these inexpensive gems to my lipstick arsenal. So for reals ladies, this lipstick is no joke, who would of thunk it?

Couture? I think so!

One of the perks of being a makeup artist, and dabbling in cosmetic retailing, is having the opportunity to help launch specific products within different brands. I have done oh so many launches in my years working with makeup and most, I have to say, are not worth the hype. Many many…many dollars are poured into these launches with the hopes that the new “must have” products will hit home with their target market and the cosmetic junkies will hit the ground running on launch day. Today was a different kind of launch day and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to be part of it! Today I launched “Noir Couture Mascara” by Givenchy and Couture it is! From its sleek and luxe packaging, to its innovative formula, to its unique and architectural brush, this mascara is the “ultimate eye enhancing accessory”. Having a tri spherical brush adored with varying lengths of bristles it targets each individual lash coating each one perfectly with a single stroke creating undeniable volume, length and curl all while providing a nourishing lash treatment. What I am most impressed with is how my lashes feel after the 4 in 1 product has dried! Extremely light weight, silky smooth and elastic to the touch unlike most formulas which leave your lashes feeling hard and brittle. Noir Couture will launch exclusively at Sephora in September and will retail for $35…a small price to pay for absolute elegance!

Pearls of Perfection

Being a makeup artist, and having the opportunity to work with many amazing brands, I have been able to build up quite a collection of lotions and potions over the years. Many of these products sit, never opened and never used, and some I give away to family and friends who will always welcome them with open arms. Some I hold on to, thinking I will use them in my kit, or because I like the packaging or because they are expensive and if someone doesn’t understand the value of such a precious gift then what is the point in offering it up? I have always heard the talk about “the pearls” or “meteorites” and how amazing they are, how perfect they are, how luxurious they are, but to be honest I am not one who is swayed by packaging or smell or what the “experts” say. One day while going through my tickle trunk of beauty treasures I came across Guerlain’s Meteorites in “Tient Rose” which I had been holding on to, not because of what I heard, but because they are expensive!

After having my baby I found that my skin and face looked different! I couldn’t put my finger on the difference, no new hormonal acne or dark patches and not too many new lines but something was off! I tried new application techniques, new products, new skin care and nothing seemed to work. So into my bag of tricks I went and decided it was maybe time to bust out my “pearls of perfection” …as they are sometimes called. Guerlain claims that these meteorites, multicolored balls of powder in a stunning silver metal box, will add a dazzling radiance to a womans face…and they DID!  The idea behind this product is that when light passes through a prism it separates into a spectrum of different colors. All of these colors together recreate real light and white light, which is used in TV and film, erases imperfections and softens features.

I am so happy that I didn’t pass this product on and saved it for the “right” time. It offers subtle radiance while still creating a soft matte/airbrushed finish. I especially love it under my eyes where I use it to set my concealer, it never looks cakey and it doesn’t exaggerate the texture of the skin which most “brightening” powders do, leaving my under eye area bright and smooth. The price of this powder is up there, but these little gems will last a lifetime considering how little you need.  In the case of Guerlain’s Meteorites, the cost actually does reflect the quality and performance of the product! 

Prime Time

Wow, time sure flies when you have a baby, are back to work, have started a new business and want to maintain your relationship and social life! Phew, it has been way too long since my last post and I have been dying to talk about PRIMER! Primer is something that I always preach to my clients, it evens out the skin texture, makes your makeup go on better, and makes your makeup last, but something I rarely use myself…until now! Last month I started a business with a very successful Network Marketing company called ARBONNE. I was quite skeptical at first, not knowing much about how these types of businesses work, but I knew I wanted/needed an extra source of income and I thought “why not?, fabulous products, fun with great people and extra money…a no brainer!”. One of the first products I tried when doing product research was their primer and it was love at first touch. This vitamin rich primer visually diminishes fine lines and pores and feels unbelieveably soft and smooth. My foundation glided on effortlessly and looked fresh all day and into the evening and even those pesky expression lines on my forehead were softened. Arbonne uses botanicals and science to produce products that are the best of what is pure, safe and beneficial. Not only does this primer use hyaluronic filling spheres, horsetail extract, green tea leaf and grapeseed extract it also encorporates “Optilight Technology” which diffuses light to create a soft focus effect, blurring imperfections so skin looks flawless while letting skin breathe and glow! My life is forever changed, not only by this fabulous company but by their AMAZING primer:)

Domo Arigato

It has been too long since my last post, family life has gotten the best of me and time, like sand, has slipped quickly through the hour glass. Dealing with a sick baby and heading back to work has taken its toll and my posts have suffered. I can honestly say I feel a few years older and think I look it too! So I say thank you, scratch that, Domo Arigato to KIMIKO beauty.  I was generously given the KIMIKO beauty “hydrating tint SPF 20” to take out on a test run and it has been a true lifesaver over the past few weeks of this beautiful thing called life. This water based, hypoallergenic, frangrance-free tint gives beautiful  coverage, a radiant glow, is light weight, rich in antioxidant protection and provides chemical broad spectrum sun protection! In just seconds my lifeless complexion was transformed and lucky for me had a lasting finish…definitely no time for touch ups! I have used many tinted moisturizers over the years and usually end up mixing them with foundation or concealer because the coverage is usually lacking, and usually anything with a “glow” looks to sparkly for my discerning taste. The “hydrating tint SPF 20”  looks perfectly natural on freshly cleansed skin and gets an A+ in my “school of life” and I am confident it will score high in yours! In addition to this top ranking product, check out more at http://www.kimikobeauty.com.

Pin-spiration!

I am sure that by now most of you have heard of Pinterest! Many months ago a friend mentioned Pinterest, suggested I should join, but I didn’t really look into it. Time passed, a few more people mentioned it, then my sisters joined and every day at least one message would come through on my phone telling me that I had to join. If you know me, you know that I LOVE magazines and nothing tickles my fancy more than curling up with a stack of lifestyle, fashion and decor mags and tearing out the pictures which inspire me. The problem is that I fold up these pieces of glossy paper and tuck them away like tiny treasures in places that I soon forget. When my sister told me that Pinterest is like fingering through all genres of magazines on-line and then having the ability to pick which pictures inspire me and organize them in categories for future reference on a “Pin” board, my ears burned with excitement. “How brilliant” I thought and immediately requested an invite and before I knew it I was exploring the plethora of breath-taking images. After four hours perusing the site’s content I was able to set up some substantial pin boards. Months later I have used many of my pin boards in my daily life, especially my “makeup” pin board which continually inspires me. I use it for ideas for clients, ideas for my kit, for creatives for my portfolio and to try new looks for myself!  If you are not already addicted, I suggest you join and like me find inspiration to experiment with your look and make your life a little more pinteresting!

Game Changer

It is a new year and the times are changing! Isn’t it time you changed your game? Shake it up, add a little spice, work some glamour…and SAVE time?? “No way” you say…”Yes way”! One of the number one “How to” questions in the beauty world is how to create a smokey eye. But not just any old smokey eye, one that lasts and doesn’t drip, smear and smudge all over your face making you look like a HOT MESS! Back in the day, 1997 to be exact, I was taught in makeup school how to effectively create a smokey eye. It was probably the most difficult and tedious task of any of the “looks” that were on the curriculum. Layer upon layer of white, gray and black shadow, piles of loose powder under the eye to collect the “fall” and stroke after stroke of the fluffy “blender” brush…what a work out! Over the years products have changed, technique has changed and on the first day of 2012 I tested a “game changer”. Working mostly in the bridal industry, I am always looking to save time but also maintain a pretty, polished and perfect look. The more time I save, the more faces I can conquer but it is important to me that I also maintain my reputation of an application that stands the test of time. Drum roll please…welcome to the world “Caviar Stick” by Laura Mercier, http://www.lauramercier.com. One swipe of this deeply pigmented eye color stick with a texture like buttah and you will be hooked. Considering how easy it went on I really didn’t think it would last like I was told it would, but to my content it DIDN’T move and looked just as good when I sadly washed it off as it did when applied. Use it as a final touch on your look to seal the deal and create that intensity at the lash line or use it alone with a swipe of your finger to blend for a long wear liner. Seven glorious shades, just minutes to apply and many glorious hours of glamour! Laura Mercier, it was love at first sight and twelve years later you still ROCK my world. xoxoxoxo

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