Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Favorite Product Friday - Mascara (High End)

I’ve been a Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara user since the age of 16; and I still use it for my lower lashes. My two main reasons for never going without it are the wand size, which is small and fits perfectly on my lower lashes; and second, I never end up with raccoon eyes because it doesn’t transfer on me. With sensitive skin and eyes, I was reluctant to try any other type of mascara. I have never liked the feel of thick, clumpy lashes, but felt like I needed more volume and length on my top lashes than the Clinique could give me. That’s when I went on my search for a new mascara…

After trying a plethora of high-end and drug store mascaras, I have to say my favorite is the Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara.

Please Note: This product works well for my lashes, which are short and thin. As with any product, some will love it and some will hate it.

What does Benefit Say?
Sexy, sultry, pure unadulterated black mascara for full, voluminous lashes. It's as BAD as you want to be! Famously big, bodacious brush coats lashes with our super black formula. For extra full lashes, coat both sides of the upper and lower lashes, then flutter away!

What does this product cost? 
$19.00 for 8.5g

What do I think about this product?
First, let me start off by saying that I love the effects that a mascara wand with a big brush gives you. This oversized brush makes it very easy for me to add volume to the base of my lashes by wiggling the wand at my roots and moving upward. The volume I get from this mascara is amazing, so I definitely think it is more volumizing than lengthening.

As with most mascaras, I noticed it drying out around the end of the 3rd month, which is when I usually toss them anyway. I think Bad Gal Lash goes on smooth with no clumps, gives me major volume and nice length, doesn’t flake or transfer and is the perfect black color.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Get your Hair & Skin Ready for Fall

Do you have split ends? Is your hair feeling a bit dry? Does your skin look and feel a little weathered from the sun? In this video, I talk about some ways to prep your hair and skin for the upcoming fall weather.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Say Goodbye to an SPF over 50?

In case you haven’t heard, on June 14, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new SPF guidelines as it relates to how sunscreens are marketed in the US. The old rules specifically focused on the protection against sunburn. The new rules are intended to help consumers select products that will protect against sunburn, reduce the risks of skin cancer and early skin aging.

Here are the main changes:
-In order to be considered a “Broad Spectrum SPF”, sunscreens must prove to the FDA that they are effective in protecting against UVA rays as well as UVB rays.
-“Broad Spectrum” formulas with an SPF of 15 or higher can claim that, if used with other sun protective measures, they can prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer and reduce the risk of early skin aging. Non-Broad Spectrum sunscreens and Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 2-14 can only claim to help reduce sunburn.
-Sunscreen manufacturers will not be able to label products as “waterproof”, “sweatproof”, or “sunblock”.
-Sunscreens will be labeled with the amount of time they have proven to be water resistant (40 or 80 minutes). If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the manufacturer must instruct consumers to use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
-All sunscreens must include standard “Drug Facts”. (See sample picture below)
-There is also a proposal that suggests sunscreen manufacturers do not exceed an SPF of 50 because there is not enough data to support that a higher SPF provides better protection than other ones.

Most companies (with the exception of very small ones) will have to adhere to these new guidelines by the summer of 2012. Remember sunscreen is only one form of protecting yourself from the sun and should be applied to all exposed areas of the skin and then reapplied every two hours. You should also wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses when headed out into the sun.

For more information about these proposed changes, check out this article by the FDA.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Did You Get Shiny Overnight?

I am not sure where you live, but on the East Coast, we hit 95 degrees yesterday. Can you say HOT?!? A friend of mine called me and frantically screamed, "Help, my face is so shiny! What should I do?" I told her to run out and buy some powder and she did! What I really wanted to tell her is that our skin types can change from season to season. In fact, heat tends to increase our pore size which then produces more sebum (oil) secretion. This could be that "shine" she was talking about. Now that summer is here, there are a few items you may want to look at in terms of your skin care routine and the type of makeup you are using to help reduce the shine:

Look at the formulation of your foundation. In the hot summer months, I like to use a tinted moisturizer because my moisturizing foundation is too heavy. My favorite Tinted Moisturizer is still by Laura Mercier. (Don't want to spend that much? Try mixing two parts foundation to one part of your favorite moisturizer and you have your "home made" tinted moisturizer.) 

Re-evaluate your skincare regimen. In the winter months, my skin is dry and I use Dermalogica's Skin Smoothing Cream which is a medium-weight moisturizer. In the summer, I switch to Dermalogica's Active Moist which is a light, oil-free lotion. You may also want to switch facial cleansers to adapt to your summer skin.

Ever tried blotting papers? I always thought these were bogus until I tried them and saw for myself how much oil they actually soaked up. This is a MUST if you are going to re-apply makeup during the hot summer day, otherwise you are just spreading the oil around your face and onto the puff or brush. (Gross!) No need to spend the big bucks on these, I think the cheaper versions work just as well.

Try setting your foundation with powder. I find that a light dusting of powder on my t-zone helps control most of the shine on my face during the summer months. One of my all time favorites is the Loose Setting Powder in Translucent by Laura Mercier. If you are going to re-apply more powder during the day, remember to blot and then re-apply.

Invest in a good, oil-free sunscreen. Since you are wearing it everyday during the summer (hopefully), look for a sunscreen that is oil-free so it won't clog your pores that could be increasing in size from the summer heat.

Wishing all of you a "shine-free" summer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Says Women over 40 Have to Cut their Hair?

I always thought when I turned 40 that I would cut my hair because of the “women over 40 should not have long hair” rule. Who made up that rule anyway? Personally, I’ve had long hair most of my life and when I turned the big 4-0, I just couldn’t cut it. I do think women over 40 can have long hair and look fabulous if they keep these simple guidelines in mind.

Keep your hair healthy. Get a trim every 8-10 weeks and invest in good products for your hair type.
Maintain a current style. There is nothing worse than 3 feet of long hair with NO style. (That will make you look older.) 

Select and maintain a hair color that is flattering for your skin tone and eye color. (If you don’t have to color your hair at all, keep rocking what the big guy gave you.)

Look at these gorgeous women (all over 40) who wear their hair long and still look amazing!

Jennifer Aniston
Cindy Crawford
Julianne Moore
and Christie Brinkley who is still stunning at age 57.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Favorite Product Friday - Sunscreen

With spring finally here and summer right around the corner, don't forget to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. If you are looking for a great sunscreen to protect your beautiful face, search no more. Last summer, I purchased Peter Thomas Roth's Ultra Lite Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30 and I've never reached for anything else.

Please Note: These are products that work well for me and my skin type. As with any product, some will love it and some will hate it. Just for reference, I have sensitive, normal to dry skin.

My favorite product this week is Peter Thomas Roth Ultra Lite Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30

What does Peter Thomas Roth say about this product?

This fast-absorbing, greaseless complex delivers maximum sun protection without leaving behind any sticky residue. The secret to the formula's weightless protection is the advanced ingredient, Parsol® 1789. This smooth essential is ideal for everyday wear. Infusions of skin-calming allantoin; soothing aloe vera; moisturizing pro-vitamin B5; and vitamins A, C, and E offer antioxidant protection against free radicals.

Formulated without:
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

How much does it cost?
$26 for 4 oz.

What do I think about this product?
This non-greasy formula is so light on your skin that you don't feel like you are wearing anything at all. In the summer, I wear it daily under my makeup and it works great as a primer. It doesn't have a harsh smell, nor does it leave a white residue on my face like many sunscreens do. I love the fact that this product has never caused a break-out, clogged a pore, or left a white cast on my face. A bit pricey for a body sunscreen, but well worth it for your face.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Not All Brushes are Created the Same

With so many hair brushes on the market, it’s good to know what each brush does so that you can achieve your desired look.

Paddle Brush 
Flat, wide brush
Best for medium to long hair
Works well on fine hair
Creates straight, smooth look
Great for detangling dry hair

Cushion Brush 
Similar to paddle brush, but more oval in shape
Great everyday brush for short, medium and long hair
Cushion is great for distributing oils throughout your hair
Most popular cushion brush is the Mason Pearson

Vent Brush 
Works best on short to medium hair
Vents allow air to flow through and create root lift
Can also flip out the ends on naturally wavy hair

Round Brush
Works well on all hair lengths and textures
Come in a variety of barrel sizes and bristle types
Creates lots of body and fullness

Teasing Comb 
Perfect for back combing or “teasing”
Creates lift at the roots
A must for any up-do

In this video, I explain how different hair brushes can be used for specific styling techniques.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Favorite Product Friday-Hair Spray

Ok, let me just say that I love BIG, voluminous hair! I guess I can blame that on my Texas roots. Whether you like big hair or not, most of us need a little hold after styling. My favorite hair spray for the past 5+ years is Redken Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray.

Please Note: I purchased this product with my own money.  This product works well for me and my hair type. As with any product, it will work well for some and it may not work for others. Just for reference, I have thick, coarse, naturally curly hair.

What does Redken Say?
- Fast-drying spray instantly controls and completes any style
- Provides healthy shine and a firm, no-fuss finish
- Dispenses in a wide spray pattern to ensure uniform application
- Sets quickly for lasting hold
- Same great formula - a stylist favorite for the last 10 years

What does this product cost?
$14.50 for 11 oz

What do I think about this product?
I have been using this hair spray for about 5 years and it is my favorite every day hair spray! I love the fact that as soon as I spray it on my hair, it dries so quickly that I never have the wet, crunchy look. It provides a flexible, medium hold without the flakiness of some hair sprays on the market. Perfect for creating volume at the crown, holding curls in place, and taming those fly-aways.

If you like the hold of Sebastian Shaper hair spray, you will LOVE this one because it doesn’t have the same harsh smell. The only problem you may encounter with this product is the nozzle; some days it just clogs. No worries, just run the nozzle under hot water and you should be good to go!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Favorite Product Friday-Eye Makeup Remover

As many of you know, I have been and will always be a "Hair Product Junkie". In recent years, I've also tried many different types of skincare lines & makeup products. Every Friday, I am going to tell you about one of my favorite products. These products will be ones that I've purchased myself, tried for at least a couple of months and absolutely LOVE!

Please Note: I purchased this product with my own money. These are products that work well for me and my skin type. As with any product, it will work well for some and won't work well for others. Just for reference, I have sensitive, normal to dry skin.

What does Kiehl's say about this product?
This lightweight and non-greasy lotion is specifically designed to gently remove eye make-up without stripping or stinging the delicate eye-area. Contains cooling Cucumber Gel, Antioxidants (Lutein, and Beta-Carotene) and Apricot Kernel Oil while utilizing a preservative especially selected for its use in ophthalmic products. Ophthalmologist-Tested. Safe for contact lens wearers.

What does this product cost?
$16.50 for 4.2 fl. oz

What do I think about this product?
First of all, this product is a lotion - yes a lotion! I pour a dime size amount in my palm, apply with my fingertips and massage gently to my eye area. Then I wipe off with a soft tissue or cotton pad. It is one of the only eye makeup removers that removes all traces of mascara and eyeliner without leaving an oily residue. This product is so gentle that it does not sting or dry out my eyes like most liquid removers do. The best part - there is no fragrance and the bottle lasts for a long time!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

J.Lo's Sexy Locks

I absolutely LOVE Jennifer Lopez's hairstyle in this picture! Many of my friends come to me for advice on their hair, and I love giving it to them. After being in the hair industry for 10 years (not as a Stylist, oh how I wish!), I hope I know a thing or two about hair.

To get her style in this picture, this is what I would do:
  • Shampoo and condition your hair with hydrating products. (Right now I am loving the Joico K-Pak.)
  • Put a golf ball size of Mousse in your hair before you blow it dry and use a heat protectant. (My favorite is Cibu Shang High Volumizing Mousse and It's a Ten Leave-In Miracle Treatment.)
  • Section your hair and use a round brush about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and blow dry all of your hair under. Concentrate on the crown of your head to create some lift at your roots.
  • For the bangs, she has a very far left part that sweeps across her forehead. To achieve this look, blow dry your bangs all the way to the opposite side that you want them to go and when they are dry, flip them back over to the direction you want them to lay. (Sounds crazy, but trust me on this one.)
  • Use either large Hot Rollers or a large 2 inch barrel curling iron to curl your hair. For the back, comb each section and roll the hair around the roller or iron curling it all under. For the sides, comb each section and roll the hair around the roller or iron so that it goes away from your face. (The roller or iron will be vertical to your face.)
  • As you release the hair from the iron or take out the curlers, let your hair sit for a few minutes so it's completely cool.
  • Mix a pomade and a shine serum/Argan Oil in your palm and use to smooth the ends of your hair and fix any fly-aways.
  • Then, "tease" or back comb your hair at the crown and on the sides to get the volume JLo has in the picture. (You can NEVER tease too much :-)
  • Finally, get out that hairspray and spray away!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

6 Tips for a Perfect Salon Blow Dry

1. First, Let it Air Dry
Let your hair air dry for about 5-10 minutes. Never start blow-drying soaking wet hair. If you don’t have time to let it air dry, put your hair dryer on a low setting and blow it dry using your fingers to get it about 40% dry.

2. Use the Right Hair Products
Use hair products that are formulated for your hair type.

Want to reduce the frizz? Try an Argan Oil like Moroccan Oil, Rusk Deepshine Oil, or Cibu Ancient Serum.

Want to add volume? I love Cibu Shang Hi Volumizing Mousse.

Does your hair feel dry? Try a leave in conditioner like It's a Ten Miracle Leave-in product.

Want your hair sleek and smooth? Try Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream.

3.  Invest in Great Tools
A good hair dryer will last you a couple of years. Do some research and invest in some of the latest technology (i.e., ceramic, tourmaline, ionic, etc…) that will decrease drying time and give you the best results. My favorite dryer is the Velecta Paramount TGR 4000i. Be sure to invest in a few good brushes, too. My favorite round brushes are by Olivia Garden.

4.  Section Your Hair
Use clips to section your hair so that you can fully dry each section before grabbing more hair.

5.  Use a Nozzle
Use a nozzle to point the airflow from the roots down to the ends of your hair. It will feel like an arm workout, but this technique really helps to eliminate frizz.

6.  Cool Shot
After you completely dry each section, hit the “cool shot” button on your dryer to lock in the style.

I know this can be a challenge. Keep on practicing – it’s well worth it in the end!