Friday, October 30, 2009

Benefit Benetint

This is a product that has been around forever, but I've never gotten around to trying until a few months ago. Benefit Benetint is a waterproof liquid stain that can be used on lips and cheeks. It comes in a bottle similar to a bottle of nail polish. The liquid is a dark red, but looks much lighter when actually put on the skin.

The product dries VERY quickly, so make sure to blend right away.
There are many stain products out there, but this is the original.

The great thing about this product is that it's a stain, so it doesn't smear, run, or fade like other products can.

* I love to put this on the apple of the cheeks to give a glow that looks like it's coming from within. ( I usually use 3 stripes on the apple, and layer to add more color)

* On the lips, the stain gives a "just ate a cherry popsicle" look

* Another way I like to use this product is by putting a Neutral/Light Colored lipstick (or a dab of foundation in my case) and to put a spot of the Benetint on the middle of the lips and blend out. It looks natural, but very pretty.

* I've decided to put away my self-tanner and go au-natural for fall/winter. I'm gonna rock the pale skin/rosy cheeked "Snow White" look. This product is perfect for that look. And it'll still look great even if you're not into looking like a Disney princess~* =)

Retail Price: $28

Benetint Pocket Pal
This glossy color wand is your best beauty pal. A mini Benetint-the original and still the best rosy lip and cheek stain- is paired with a shiny clear gloss on the other end. Carry it in the handy pocket protector and you'll have kiss-proof, smudge-proof color with you wherever you go.

Retail Price: $20

Tinted Love
It's love at first tint! Get a full-size Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip and Cheek Stain and Pocket Pal Double-Ended Benetint and Gloss Duo packed in a chic ruby red clutch.

Retail Price: $38

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lush Honey I Washed the Kids Soap

Now I’m not a fan of bar soap. I feel like many of them tend to leave a film on the skin, or leave my skin too dry. This is one soap that I love. I first discovered it on the streets of London back in 2003 when I would roam around the high streets. This was way before they had LUSHes in America, so it was awesome to find a store filled with bath goodies and delicious smelling products.

I’ve never really been a honey scent kind of girl… but it was love at first smell. First off… the soap is a light yellow with a honey comb end~ SO CUTE! Second, it has a sweet but not overpowering honey/milky scent. It’s kind of hard to describe a scent, but it is just DI-VINE!

The soap has a great scent, gives lots of nice bubbles if used with a loofah or the Korean bath towels, and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling filmy OR dry! It’s a little expensive for soap, but get a small one and it’ll definitely be worth it. I just bought mine the other week and can't wait to open it up and bring back lovely memories of London~* Get Honey I Washed the Kids and have a BEEE-autiful day! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yoga and Pilates

Beauty is not just about having a great haircut, wearing a hot outfit, or having flawless makeup. I truly believe that beauty does emanate from within. The way one looks is a big part of beauty... but there are so many other aspects of being beautiful. Now, I can go into a whole thesis on this topic, but I will spare you. Instead, I will say that an enormous part of beauty is your self-image.
How healthy you are can also have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself.

I never used to exercise~ in fact... I hated it. When people told me they worked out, I would say, "Oh.. you're one of those people..." But as we get older and metabolisms slow down... you can't eat Wendy's cheeseburgers at 1 in the morning and still expect to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning with a flat stomach (oh... how I miss those days)!

I actually started doing yoga about 3 years ago. It eventually led me to venture outside the world of "anti-exercise". I LOVE yoga. Those that know me know that I am an extremely high-strung person with a lot of energy. And when bad things happens... I can get extremely stressed out and am a mess. Yoga is one of the very few things that keeps me calm and relaxed.

There were many benefits of Yoga that I experienced, but here are my top 3:

1. A Calm and Relaxed state of mind- After doing a lot of bendy moves, there's nothing as calming as relaxation pose. Basically, you lie flat on your back with your arms to your side and legs open. Even if you don't do yoga, this is a great thing to do at the end of a hard day. Even a minute or two makes a huge difference

2. Healthier lifestyle- Not only did I feel physically better, I also wanted to live better~ quit smoking, eat healthier foods, exercise more. Yoga makes you feel better both mentally and physically

3. Better Body- I have been pretty skinny for most of my life and I fluctuate in weight a lot... but one part of my body that I HATED were my calves. I had skinny chicken legs... but big calves... so my legs basically looked like a drumstick! After doing yoga for a few months, I noticed that my legs were a LOT slimmer and I actually started wearing shorts and skirts!

Now I actually started doing yoga with DVDs because I didn't want to embarrass myself in a class. These are a few really great DVDs for all different uses. I have two favorite instructors that I absolutely love ~ Sara Ivanhoe and Ellen Barrett. They have many DVDs and have been featured in countless magazines and shows as experts in their field.

Sara Ivanhoe is great because she's very calming, encouraging, and doesn't push you. She's a perfect yoga instructor who's not boring, or too demanding. She's JUUUSSST right. And you WILL get a great workout without even knowing it (Pop some Advil the next morning.. you'll be fine) If you're in the California area and can take a class with her... RUN to the yoga studio!

Ellen Barrett is just as great as Sara. She does more Pilates workouts mixed with Yoga. She's good if you want to get more of a cardio workout. She has great energy and really keeps you motivated. I was lucky enough to take a class with her and she is so awesome. If you live in Connecticut, go to her classes!

These are my favorite DVDs from them:

Crunch- The Perfect Yoga Workout: The Joy of Yoga and Fat-Burning Yoga
This was the first DVD I used so it holds a special place in my heart.

* It has two workouts in one~ I actually find the Fat-Burning Yoga workout to be easier for me... but it may be because I started off with that one. I do the Joy of Yoga when I feel like I want a little tougher workout
* They are both around 45 minutes of workout. Sometimes I like to just do 20 minutes and I still feel a burn the next day. I actually only did 20-30 minutes the first month and then eventually I found that I could do the whole DVD without having a heart attack!
* This workout is great for beginners and more practiced Yogis alike.

Sara Ivanhoe's Yoga Body Makeover Series

* This is a series of 20 minute Yoga workouts for all different areas. I love these cause you can get a good workout in only 20 minutes, or do a lot of them if you're buff Yogi!
* They are in the flow style, so you're never holding a pose too long. It's not too difficult, but it definitely pushes you and you can go at your own pace
* You can choose what problem area to work on- legs, arms, stomach, etc.
* The scenery is really nice~ She does Yoga on grass with trees and ocean in the background

Crunch Burn and Firm Pilates

* This is the DVD to use if you really want to get toned and get a good cardio workout. I still can't do the whole DVD, but even 20 minutes of this baby 2 or more times a week makes a big difference! I usually finish around the time the Pilates Mat Section starts and I skip over some of the hard stuff
* The lady Erin in the back is so cute! Very smiley~ Follow her for the easy version
* I like to do about 10-20 minutes of this ('cause it totally kicks my butt) and then do a quick Yoga DVD so I get both cardio and stretching~
* This isn't easy (and it's harder than you'll think) so start out slow and work your way up. A few weeks of this and you're body will be SMOKING.... or at least better than it was before! ;)

Crunch SuperSlimdown: Pilates Yoga Blend

This is my favorite Ellen Barrett DVD. It's a good mix of Yoga and Pilates moves. It's very free flowing, but not too difficult. There's one or two moves that I feel really stupid doing... but you're doing it at home so who cares!

*This one is for all levels~ Beginners can stop at whatever point and work their way up. People more advanced can always get deeper into the stretches
*This DVD is good for people who may think Yoga is too slow or doesn't like holding stretches for a long time. You're moving from one position to the next at a little bit of a quicker pace. Great for people who have no attention span like me!
*My favorite exercise is the Willow because I feel like it gets everything stretched out at once

So... I hope you are able to check out these 2 amazing women. They will help you get healthier, happier, motivate you, and hopefully help you to exercise on a regular basis. These women changed my life. I hope they change yours too! Namaste~* (The Light Within Me Honors the Light Within You)

Eyeliners and LORAC Front of the Line PRO Review

Eyeliner. Ahhh how I love eyeliner. From the first time I started wearing eyeliner at the age of 12... my life (and eyes) were forever changed. For those that have seen me without eyeliner, you know what a difference a little eyeliner (or a lot in my case) can make
I don't understand people that don't like eyeliner. IT'S AMAZING! Forget lipstick. Forget blush. If you want to add a lot of oomph with little effort~ eyeliner is the way to go. My love of eyeliner has earned me the nickname of "Eyeliner Girl" and I wear it (and my eyeliner) proudly!

So, as you can obviously see... I love eyeliner. When I was younger, I started out with pencils, but I was never quite happy with them. Then in High School, I discovered my favorite Maybelline Eyeliner. I used that up until a few months ago... WHEN I FOUND OUT IT WAS DISCONTINUED!!!!! And the worst part was that I ...the Queen of Hoarders... was unable to stock up in time. I was extremely disappointed... but since I had to find a new eyeliner... I am able to give all my beautiful readers (is anyone out there???) my reviews of eyeliners that I now use.

Waterproof: MAC LiquidLast Eyeliner- My friend Grace Woo Lee (who I am forever indebted to) introduced me to this marvel 2 years ago.

* I did my eyeliner test at a water park and it LASTED. If anything, it's really hard to get off (You either need to get an oily eyemakeup remover or use a cold cream like I do).

* The texture is a little thick (almost a little plasticky), but if you are going to a wedding or a funeral, this is the eyeliner to wear. It does not budge. This is the eyeliner I will be buried in. not to be too morbid or anything.... =T

Retail Price: $16.50

Everyday: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner- My dear friend Angela (who apparently knows her stuff in makeup!) used to use this in college. I had tried it and hated it. But over the years, I'd heard so much about this product that I decided to buy it on duty free on my way to Africa. Best duty free purchase I've ever made! I tested out that eyeliner working hours and hours of carrying stones, shoveling dirt, on the dusty roads of African Safari and let me tell you~ I've never been so dirty in my life, but BOY did my eyes look fabulous!

* The texture takes a little getting used to and it may take a while to get used to using an eyeliner brush if you haven't before

* The product goes on really smoothly. When it first dries, make sure not to smudge it because once it sets.... it is set. for good.

* The gel eyeliner has very good staying power but it is not as strong as the M.A.C. This is good for almost everyone for everyday or special occasions.
Retail Price: $21

Now here is my review of the LORAC Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner

I just recently came upon this eyeliner after reading reviews on Sephora. It was sold out. That was a good sign. I was able to find the last one in store.

* This eyeliner is good for people who don't like/aren't used to brushes. It is similar to a felt tip pen. A lot of people are nervous about wearing liquid eyeliner... this is perfect for newbies. If you can make a straight line with a pen, you can use this eyeliner. If you can't make a straight line... I suggest you practice because if you're reading this.. you're old enough to make a straight line! ;)

* The eyeliner is almost like a stain. It places it wherever you put it and doesn't budge. If you don't have a steady hand, it might take some work, but this is a great eyeliner to learn with.

* I don't use this everyday, so I'm still new to the product, but I find that when I do wear it, it lasts pretty much all day. Even when I rub my eye back and forth as a test, my finger is clean.

* This eyeliner is really good for people on the run. You literally swipe it on, and you're all set. No waiting. No drying. You put it on and you're good to go. It just may become my favorite~*

Retail Price: $22

So... those are my reviews of my favorite eyeliners. For all you ladies who don't wear eyeliner because you're afraid, you think it smears, or you've never tried it.... There's a whole world of eyeliner out there and there's one just for you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

So I'm very lucky to have good skin. My face is usually pretty clear and I don't really get pimples. However, sometimes I'll get reddish bumps that don't go away for a few days.
I've never really found a product I like that gets rid of them until recently. I'd seen advertisements for Mario Badescu Drying Lotion since I read Seventeen magazine in high school, but I never tried it until recently. Boy am I glad I did~*

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a product that comes in a small jar. It is pink on the bottom and an oily looking liquid on top. You put it on at night because it'll leave pink/white marks wherever you put it. You put this on and overnight, you're skin looks better!

The way to use this product is to dip something into the solution so you get to the pink part. It says to use a cotton swab/q-tip, but I feel like it soaks up too much excess liquid. I prefer to dip a small brush (such as an eyeliner brush) instead. Place directly on spots and you should see results pretty quickly. Oh, and don't shake the bottle! it's supposed to be separated!

*Warning* This product can be painful~ It's like putting alcohol on your skin, so it can sting... but you get kind of used to it... and I actually kind of like it because I feel like it's working... But if you have a low pain tolerance, this might not be for you.

So, for skin blemishes, I say go with the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. May all your spots and blemishes disappear!

Retail Price: $17

*** An alternative to this product that was recommended by a friend is Clean and Clear's Persagel to get rid of pimples because the Mario Badescu only works for "super tiny ones". Let me know what you think!***

Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder

If you are to only get one powder, the Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder is the one to invest in. What makes this powder so great? Well ... let me tell you!!!!

1. It is universal- it is a powder that is invisible, so everyone can use it on someone whether they are as pale as a vampire or as dark as a Nigerian princess!

2. The texture is amazing- The powder itself is ultra-fine and amazingly sheer. It's so fine that a lot of it can go to waste, so the best way of using the powder is to get some into the cap and dip the brush into the cap. When you feel your skin afterwards, it's like butter!

3. You don't need a lot of product- It's so light and sheer, but leaves a nice matte finish. You don't need a lot to see results, and even if you do put on a lot, you won't get the completely powdered down feeling you can get with other powders. It also doesn't look or feel cakey.

4. It can be used to take away shine or to set makeup without changing your skin tone. Even translucent powders tend to lighten the face a little bit. This one doesn't.

5. Is made for HD, so it won't look funny if you're working on film or television. (And you DO need different makeup for HD TV... which is why some newscasters look awesome... and others ... not so much)

The Microfinish Powder is made of 100% silica. RUN to Sephora and try it out for yourself. Seeing is believing. And use sparingly... You only need the tiniest amount to look and feel flawless! And the Make Up Forever HD Kabuki Brush is heavenly. Definitely worth the investment. Now go!

Retail Price:

Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder- $30
Make Up Forever HD Kabuki Brush- $39

Friday, October 16, 2009

Using a Sponge for Foundation

Hello everyone! It is getting VERY cold here on the East Coast...Dress warmly!!! The only thing I like about the cold is the natural glow we get~*

So I was doing a makeover the other day and I decided to try something different. Instead of putting on foundation with a foundation brush as I usually do, I decided to try with a sponge. Instead of using the plastic wedges, I used a Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge that I bought from Target.

I fell in love. I've used other sponges on me, but luckily, I have pretty good skin so I couldn't tell the difference as much (although I was happy with the results). My model Kayla also has great skin, but it's easier to see how products work better on other people and I was definitely able to see more of a difference with her.

Using the sponge had a few perks that made me prefer it to the foundation brush:
1. I felt that I had to use much less product. Sometimes I feel like I'm smearing foundation all over a person's face when I use a brush. On the other hand, a sponge places foundation exactly where they need it with minimum amount of product
2. There's less work with a sponge. Since you're using less product and the sponge doesn't have the lines that foundation brushes can sometimes create, you have a lot less blending to do. Makes my job easier and is better for people who don't really know how to put on makeup!
3. The sponge gives almost an airbrushed quality. I guess because it's rounded, there's no place that it really starts or stops... so the makeup has a very nice, flawless look that reminded me of the effects you can get with an airbrush. It's a lot more work to achieve that look with a foundation brush

Now I'm not sure yet how well the sponge works with problem skin. For people that have lots of acne or pimples, they may find it easier and quicker to get coverage with a foundation brush or their fingers.

I have used the Sonia Kashuk (Blue) Blending Sponge. They also have a purple one that one reviewer said does not work as well (I will post as soon as I test it out). The Make Up Forever Ellipse Sponge is shaped differently and has a different texture, but seemed to have the same outcome.
They are both thicker and different material than the wedges that come in packets. They are also more expensive, but I think they are worth the investment. Make sure to wash them well with soap, squeeze out all the excess soap, and you should be able to have the sponges for at least a few months!

The original sponge was the Beauty Blender . I haven't tried it yet because I really wonder if I want to spend over $20 on a sponge... but I will have to see if it worth all the hype.. or if Sonia Kashuk's $10 sponge works just as well.

I have become a sponge convert. Will you too? ;) Let me know what you prefer!
Ways to Use the Sponge
1. Depending on the sponge wet and squeeze out all excess water. You want the sponge to expand, but don't want it to be wet.
2. Apply foundation to your hand or palette. Putting it directly on the sponge may give you too much product.
3. I like to use the rounded side of the sponge for all over and the sharper parts for corners of the face (by the nose, around the eyes, and specific problem areas that need more work)
4. Use little product at first and add more as necessary.
5. When washing the sponge, use soap and keep squeezing until you don't see foundation on the sponge anymore (or as much as you can wash away). Squeeze out all excess water and let dry. I think that it will last longer (or have less foundation on the sponge) if you wash every time you wash it... but it's really up to you as to how you care for sponge

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Loreal Double Extend Mascara

So I've found my favorite new toy!

Loreal Double Extend Mascara is Ah-MAZING!!!!!

It has two ends - one is an "ultra nourishing base coat that protects and strengthens lashes- creating the perfect base"

The white part of the mascara wand has a white primer that creates fibers/"tubes" on your lashes to extend them. You can add one coat for emphasis or keep layering on for full on drama. It's pretty much false eyelashes without all the mess.

The red part of the mascara is plain black mascara and it works well.

Honestly, you don't really need to be spending lots of money on mascara, since it's something that has a pretty short life span (they recommend you should throw it out every 3 months... although you can use it for longer).

I have never tried this product until recently and I LOVE it. I know there are other products that have primers, but this one REALLY creates longer lashes. I've been using it on all my models lately and their bottom lashes look deliciously long and fabulous! It is especially good for women with teeny tiny lashes since you can keep layering until you get a nice, thick set.

In the future, I'll be testing out Makeup Forever's Lash Fibers which is basically the white part of the mascara. I'm sure I'll love it, but as Loreal Double Extend Mascara was my first foray into the world of Lash fibers (other than the Imju Fiberwig... which is also great but doesn't have the same oomph), it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Grade: A

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Return from Miami

So... I just got back from Miami and I'm excited to try out all the new things that I learned. Once I've organized all my notes (and I have a ton... I ask a million questions... unfortunately for the presenters) I will share some of the tips I have learned.

The Artist Summit (from the Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine) was an amazing experience. I was able to learn from some of the best: Orlando Santiago (my sensei!), James Vincent, Jon Henessy, Kevin James Bennett, Daven Mayeda, Airbrush with David Klasfeld, Christina Farrell, and Crystal Wright. These are some of the best and most talented people around and I was sooo lucky to be able to learn from them.


After passing out at 5:30 am, waking up at 7:30 am and frantically packing, catching the plane to NYC at 10 , we (Crystal, Esther, and I) finally had our "OUR HEARTS MELT FOR AFRICA" benefit at Bar Nine. It was an amazing turn out and we were able to raise over $2,500 for the people in Africa. We sold all out of our "I Love/Africa Africa" shirts, but they are still available to the public!!! We were truly blessed to have such an amazing night and be able to raise so much. Thanks to everyone for all their support.

So now... I am ready to get my makeup on. I have a Sweet 16 for 6 women and 8 girls (yikes!), a bridal photo shoot, a shoot with Kayla Jane Danger next week, and a face painting event at Harrington Park Library the following week. Non-Stop all the way!

I will start reviewing products soon, so if you have any specific products ones you have questions about, please let me know and I'll be sure to test them out. Use me as your guinnea pig!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to smile! =)

Have a Beautiful Day!