I am really, really fortunate that I have an amazingly talented and professional team of makeup artists and hair stylists who work for me. Each artist and stylist has a different beauty background, and I love that. It brings a great mix of product recommendations for our clients. For wedding work, we only see our clients a few times (although sometimes we are lucky enough to work with them as bridesmaids, then brides, then bridesmaids again!) But skincare and hair and makeup routines go beyond the wedding day. So we are always happy to recommend products to use.
Alexis is one of the rockstar makeup artists who works for me, and she is also a longtime Sephora beauty consultant. You should see this girl’s makeup kit–it is fabulous. She is always up on the newest products and she gets to try out a lot of what they carry. Alexis has a wealth of knowledge, and our clients just soak it up.
Below is a list of skincare and makeup products that Alexis recommends, along with a short description of each. If you are like many of the people who walk into Sephora and are immediately overwhelmed, this list is a great place to start.
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm: Alexis’ favorite eye cream that she recommends to everyone. She calls it the 360 because it addresses all eye issues, and you see instant results. Great for all skin types. Wears well with makeup.
Fresh Lotus Eye Gel: This is ideal for fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. Great for all skin types and wears well with makeup.
Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream: This non-comedogenic moisturizer has an amazing texture and is an effective early wrinkle corrective cream.
Stila One Step Correct: This primer has ribbons of green, lavender, and peach that instantly improve skintone, with anti-aging properties that fill in pores and lines. A legit beauty product multi-tasker.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black: A true black liquid liner that is easy to use. It won’t smudge or run, so it’s perfect for all day events or if you have oily eyelids.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils: Super creamy, easy to work with pencils that never are dry. (Because no one likes that tugging feeling!) They come in a range of colors and are perfect for smoky eye looks.
Stila Smudge Pots: These are a cult favorite for a reason! The double duty gel liners/cream eyeshadows are incredibly easy to work with and stay on all day.
Foundation: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup, Lancôme Teint Miracle, and YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat Illuminating Foundation all offer great coverage and a wonderful finish.
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer: Great coverage that’s not too thick or heavy. Conceals imperfections with a natural finish.
Powders: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder and Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder. Perfect lightweight, colorless powders that leave skin velvety smooth. They soften the look of pores, lines, and wrinkles and help makeup stay in place.
Eye Shadows: Urban Decay and Stila. Both offer great pigments, stay on very well and are super creamy formulas that are easy to work with.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer: A makeup artist favorite. The creamy formula does not dry out, and one tube will last you a while. Unlike some other eye primers, it is not tacky or greasy.
NARS Blush in Orgasm: A universally flattering shade with great staying power.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: A good product to use daily to help keep lips hydrated and smooth.
Long-wearing Lipsticks: Lancôme Rouge In Love Lip Color, Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense and Sephora Cream Lip Stains are great for all day wear.
Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum: Can be used twice a day. Apply before mascara as a primer to extend the lashes for a much longer look. It also hydrates and has anti-aging benefits that help with lash re-growth. Apply at night as a mask for your lashes.
Dior Diorshow Mascara: This bad boy does it all. It gives the lashes length, volume, and curl, has longevity, and doesn’t clump up. Comes in a variety of colors and also in waterproof.
Thanks to Alexis for sharing her faves!
Want that “glow from within” look? Then you, my friend, should consider cream blush.
Cream blush, especially when layered between liquid foundation and powder, gives your cheeks a gorgeous, soft focus glow. I can’t think of anyone this wouldn’t be flattering on. Cream blush is great for dry or mature skin, and it also works on oily skin (as long as you set it with a powder blush).
Here’s how I do it:
After my eye makeup is done, I put on a primer on my skin (if you aren’t oily and/or don’t have a problem with face makeup fading, you can skip this step). Foundation goes on next. I either use a sheer foundation, like a MAC or Make Up For Ever Face & Body foundation, or I use a medium coverage foundation, like Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. Sometimes I use a medium-heavy coverage foundation, like NARS Sheer Glow, and cut it with some Face & Body. Whatever you choose, as long as it is liquid, you’ll get the desired “glowing” result. I use my hands to apply the foundation, then I buff it into the skin. My absolute favorite brush for that is the Real Techniques Buffing Brush.
Next, I apply cream blush to the apples of my cheeks, using my fingers and blending slightly upward onto the cheekbones. I love Sonia Kashuk Creme Blushes, as well as MAC Cremeblend Blushes.
If I have used a Face & Body only, I then go over the entire face with Benefit Hello Flawless powder foundation. I use my Buffing Brush to press the Hello Flawless onto the skin. I avoid buffing it at this point, especially over the cheeks, because I don’t want to move the cream blush. Cream blush is a slippery little fella, that’s just the nature of the product.
If I have used a fuller coverage foundation, I do the same step, but I use a powder instead of Hello Flawless. My current favorite powders are Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder and MAC Blot Powder.
After that, I apply my contour (usually Benefit Hoola or NARS Laguna). Then comes the powder blush. I most often reach for Make Up For Ever Sculpting Blush, NARS Blush or MAC Powder Blush in a peach or pink shade. Adding that layer of powder blush amps up the cream blush and kind of seals it into place. I have oily skin, and I find that my cheek color really stays on when I do this. Not to mention, people always seem to compliment my “glowing” skin when I do this look.
Cream blush is ideal for dry winter skin, and a pretty, glowing look is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Give it a try!
Newport, RI – January 17, 2013 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding
marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Allison Barbera Beauty has been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 for Beauty Services in Newport, RI!
The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism.
Allison Barbera Beauty’s selection as a Bride’s Choice Award 2013 winner was selected based on the positive experiences expressed by past clients on WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over one million reviews. While many industry awards are given by the host organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Allison Barbera Beauty.
The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on professional achievements from the previous year. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients. As a Bride’s Choice Awards winner, Allison Barbera Beauty is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of over 200,000
wedding professionals throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
“Each year, WeddingWire looks forward to celebrating the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Now in its fifth year, the Bride’s Choice Awards® program continues to recognize the elite wedding professionals who exemplify a commitment to quality, service and professionalism. These businesses were chosen by our bridal community for their responsiveness and dedication to their clients over the past year. We are honored to recognize Allison Barbera Beauty for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”
Allison Barbera Beauty is thrilled to be one of the top Beauty Services companies in Newport, RI in the WeddingWire Network of sites, which include leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® for 2013.
For more information about Allison Barbera Beauty, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/allison-barbera-beauty-newport/2fd8029397da9264.html.
To learn more about the Bride’s Choice Awards®, please visit http://www.WeddingWire.com/brides-choice-awards.
About WeddingWire, Inc. WeddingWire®, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding
vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge.
For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.
Combination skin–the best of both worlds, right? Us combo girls shine in the summer (literally) and flake out in the winter (hopefully not literally). Every year, two things happen to me when the weather starts to gets cold. 1) I beat myself up for deciding to move from FL back to New England several years ago and 2) My skin starts to dry out and flake off. The drying out is typically concentrated on my chin and forehead, but my whole face usually feels at least a little dry, and my skin looks dull.
But not this year! I have a new skincare regimen that has saved me from the woes of winter skin. My secrets? Read on…
Every morning, I use Lancome Bienfiat Multi-Vital moisturizer. It’s thick but it absorbs quickly–no sticky-ness or tight feeling. It is quite perfume-y, but because it works so well, that doesn’t bother me. If you are sensitive to heavily scented products, another good moisturizer for dry skin is Total Moisture Cream by Benefit.
I play with more dramatic makeup looks in the winter, but that has nothing to do with my skin. The only skin-related makeup change is that I need less powder touchups during the day. I also tend to use cream blush more often in the winter, because my skin is less oily, so the product stays on longer.
I cleanse once every day, at night, and I use Fine Herbal Cleanser True Geranium & Lavender by Farmaesthetics. An esthetician friend of mine recommended this for my combination skin, and I love it. In years past, I have switched over to a creamier cleanser during the winter months, but I have not needed to do that this year.
Every night, I use Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. I don’t think it makes any difference in terms of my combination skin (but it is an AMAZING product for lightening pigmentation), but I am including it because it is part of my nightly routine. After that has absorbed, I apply Garnier Ultra Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer. This product feels amazing, and I do think it makes my skin softer.
But the biggest change I have made to my skincare routine is consistent exfoliation. I exfoliate with the Laura Mercier Face Polish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I have not seen one patch of dry skin on my face this fall/winter. It’s a miracle! I’ve always recommended consistent exfoliation, but I am ashamed to say I don’t always practice what I preach. In the past, I sometimes only remembered to exfoliate once each week, or once every other week, and although it made a difference, my newfound commitment to exfoliation has really paid off.
If you have dry skin and it’s driving you nuts, give this routine a try for a few weeks. I think you’ll notice a difference.
Have a beautiful night
Most people have a makeup bag for their personal use, but I have a makeup table. If you’re going to do something, do it big, right? I have a coffee table in my bedroom, and it is covered with the products I use most often. I have seen a lot of “What I Have In My Makeup Bag” videos, so I thought I’d do my version via this blog.
I’m going to share with you the products I have been using lately. Some are old favorites, others are new crushes. I am always trying new things, and have a box filled with samples on the table, because I like to switch things up. I refuse to get stuck in a beauty rut–I think that is the kiss of death for a makeup artist.
I have currently have three moisturizers that I’ve been using. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion was my summer moisturizer. It has an SPF 28 and I believe is targeted to oily skin (which my combination skin definitely is in the summer), so it worked well for me. I recently started using a heavier moisturizer because my skin will become dry as the colder weather comes in. It’s a mini-jar of Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital. It feels nice on my skin and does a good job moisturizing, but I don’t love the perfume-y scent. And my go to moisturizer has been CVS Oil Free Moisturizer in SPF 15. It’s not fancy, but it’s a good basic.
I have done several eye primer tests over the years, and Too Faced Shadow Insurance is still the best, in my opinion. So I always have one of those on the table.
My current face primer is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. Love it. I don’t use it every day, but if I am going to have my makeup on for several hours, it’s a must.
One of my essential products, for both my personal and professional kits, is the POREfessional pore minimizer by Benefit. This stuff is magic. It really mattifies the skin and gives the appearance of smaller pores. I use it on my t-zone.
I have a few foundations on the table, and I usually mix them. I have NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Make Up For Ever Face and Body Foundation, MAC Face and Body Foundation, and Benefit Hello Flawless. I also have a Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. When I use a Face and Body, I set it with the Hello Flawless powder foundation, because I like more of a medium coverage. The Sheer Glow Foundation is on the thick side, so I like to cut it with the thinner Make Up For Ever Face and Body. If I am just going for a run or don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, I wear the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer alone, but I usually mix that with a Face and Body. (I wear something with SPF when I go for a run during the day, because the sun is out, and I’m all set with sun damage and pigmentation.)
I do my initial undereye concealer with MAC Select Coverup (with a thin layer of moisturizer underneath). It is a cream concealer that sets to a powder, but it can still look a little shiny after it dries, so I set that with my pressed powder. I find that the Select Coverup can get a little cakey if you put too many layers on, so if I need to touch up later in the day, I use Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer. It doesn’t last as long on its own, but it has good staying power when layered over the Select Coverup. If I am having a real dark circles day, I use Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener instead of a moisturizer, prior to applying my initial concealer.
To set my foundation, I use MAC Blot Powder. It’s only a visitor to the table, though–its real home is in my purse, because my t-zone usually needs a couple of touchups during the day.
To contour or bronze, I use NARS bronzer in Laguna. I currently have three powder blushes in rotation–Benefit Dandelion (a pretty soft pink), Make Up For Ever Sculpting Blush in 22 (peach) and NARS blush in Orgasm (peachy pink with shimmer).
For eyeshadow, I often reach for NARS Duo in Madrague. This duo contains a cream and a caramel color. It stays in my travel bag, since it is compact and a great go-to combination. I keep the Coastal Scents 88 Color Palette on the table, since it contains most every eyeshadow color I would want to use. The shadows don’t have the greatest staying power or pigmentation, but if I know I will only be wearing makeup for three or four hours, they do the job.
I have three pencil eyeliners currently on the table. MAC Kohl eyeliner in Smoulder, Topshop Kohl in Saddle, and Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Blue Boom. Smoulder is my favorite inky black liner for the waterline. I also keep one in my purse, because let’s face it, waterline liner needs to be touched up. You can read my recent review of Saddle (in “In The Name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Eyeliner”), but I’ll just say I love that eyeliner for almost any liner purpose. I use Blue Boom on my waterline as an alternative to black or brown. Sometimes I want a pop pf color on my eyes, but don’t want to do a full on colorful eye.
To fill in my brows, I use a matte dark brown shadow from the Coastal Scents palette.
I use two mascaras on my top lashes–Dior Diorshow and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash. On my bottom lashes, I use Smoky Lash only.
I have three lipliners on the table–Covergirl Lip Perfection in Passion (for red lip days), MAC Lipliner in Subculture (matches my natural lip color) and a new one that I am trying, Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Lavender Lite/Grape. Lavender Lite is a subtle light purple-pink that works with one of my lip glosses (next section), and I wear the darker purple Grape as a lipstick (I color my lips in with it and top with a clear balm). I recently had some blue extensions put in my hair, and the Grape lip color works well with those.
The two lip glosses currently in rotation are Buxom Lips Lip Polish in Princess (a shimmery pink pearl, looks nice over Lavender Lite liner) and Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Baby Doll (soft pink shimmer). I always have a red lipstick on the table, and right now it is MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger. I’ve got a bright pink MAC Lipstick, Girl About Town, on the table as well, although I haven’t worn it for a while. Looks like I just thought of a look for tomorrow…
If I want my makeup to really last, I spray on some Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. That stuff is phenomenal.
My face brushes are by Real Techniques, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. My eyeshadow brushes are a mix of Sonia Kashuk, CVS Essence of Beauty, and MAC. I use an angled brush from ELF for my brows. Lip brush is from Michael’s Craft Store. I use Bioderma Eye Makeup Remover, because it is so gentle on my eyes. I’ve got a pair of Ardell 117 False Lashes patiently waiting for my next night out, a Duo Eyelash Adhesive, and some small silver stars I sometimes lash glue near my eyes or on the tops of my cheekbones.
Also on the table are some hot rollers, a Global Beauty Flat Iron, Minardi Subdue Styling Cream (to calm down any frizz), Batiste Dry Shampoo, Lamaur VitaE Brushable Hold Hair Spray, and a fine tooth comb so I can tease the crap out of my hair.
Of course, I do not use all of this stuff every day, but it is a good solid mix of products that give me plenty of options without having too many options. Because if I were to look at my professional makeup kit every day and decide what I wanted to do, I would never leave the house.
So, just some ideas for your own makeup bag. These are all products I like enough to use regularly, so I feel like I can vouch for them. I’m always looking for new products to join the table, so I would love to hear any recommendations you have!
If you are Catholic, a history buff, or an excellent Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy player, you may have heard of Saint Maria Goretti. I also have a cousin named Maria Goretti, who I consider to be the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts. She mails me surprise makeup packages, like Lipstick Queen glosses, Sonia Kashuk eyeshadows, and Kevyn Aucoin books. She also emails me links to great makeup articles and blogs.
My Saint Maria Goretti and I both share a love for beautiful makeup, quality skincare products, Sephora, and YouTube tutorials done by Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoos. A few years ago, she told me that having a makeup artist in the family was better than having a doctor in the family. Hence her nickname for me, Dr. Allison Barbera.
Saint Maria recently sent me a brown kohl pencil eyeliner from Topshop. It is in a color called Saddle, and we both heard about it from a Pixiwooos review. It was on my mile long list of products to try, but before I had the chance to order it, it came to my mailbox one happy day recently.
I use brown eyeliner on some clients, but very rarely on my own eyes. I tend to go for black, because my eyes are brown and my lashes and eyebrows are black, so most browns just don’t do anything for me. But this Topshop eyeliner in Saddle is something special. The color is a deep bronze brown with red metallic undertones, and it is spectacular. It draws on easily, without pulling on the skin, and is easy to smudge, if that’s the look you are going for. But I found that when I drew a more defined line, it still stayed in place. It works on the waterline too, and although it is not waterproof, it holds up well. This eyeliner really changed my mind about wearing brown eyeliner.
Topshop products are available at Topshop stores (in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas), some Nordstrom stores, and us.topshop.com. Or, you could try praying to the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts, the modern day Saint Maria Goretti, and maybe something wonderful will end up in your mailbox…
Look, I realize that most women do not want to spend a fortune on beauty products. And for everyday purposes, most want a quick, easy routine. One of the best ways to save money and simplify your daily routine is to stock your makeup bag with a few staples that can be used for multiple purposes. Moisturizer is definitely one of those staples.
We all know that moisturizer is used to moisturize the face (duh), but it has other uses. I always use a tiny dab of it under the eyes before applying under-eye concealer. It helps the concealer apply more smoothly, so the makeup doesn’t cake up.
If you have a foundation that you love but you don’t want as much coverage, you can mix in some moisturizer to the foundation you have dispensed, and you will get more of a sheer finish. It basically converts your foundation into a tinted moisturizer. This is great for warm weather days, when many people find it more comfortable to wear lightweight makeup.
If you are having a bad skin day, or want a flawless finish, you can mix moisturizer in with your concealer and use that as foundation. I do this a lot with my MAC Select Coverup. Mixing a concealer with moisturizer will give you a medium-full coverage. This is great for someone who typically only uses concealer but occasionally has breakouts or redness to cover, or just wants full coverage some days.
There’s no reason you can’t use your face moisturizer on your hands and cuticles, or even in your hair in a pinch (I’ve used it to calm frizz or flyaways–but you only need a tiny bit).
Moisturizer should be a staple in all makeup bags (and make sure your moisturizer contains SPF!) There are so many to choose from, depending on your skin type and concerns, and price points from under $10 to $100+. I can’t think of one good reason not have a moisturizer in your bag.
Have a beautiful day!
I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t know someone who has or had cancer. Thankfully, there have been major strides in cancer research–my own mother survived brain cancer–and it is not the death sentence it was even 15 years ago. I think it’s safe to say we all also know people who have beat cancer, which is awesome. But it’s a tough fight, and anything us non-doctors can do to help is, in my opinion, totally worth it.
The little bit I can do comes in the form of the American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better Program (LGFB). LGFB is open to all women going through cancer treatment. Sessions are held at hospitals or clinics, and they are free. Huge cosmetics companies–like Chanel, Lancome, MAC, Dior and dozens more–donate beauty products to the program. At the session, each woman receives a bag full of cleanser, moisturizer, and makeup. Trained volunteers like myself (all licensed estheticians or cosmetologists) walk the women through the makeup application process. So they do a self makeover, with us volunteers there for guidance. There is also time devoted to wigs and sometimes head coverings that can be worn if someone has hair loss and wants to cover it.
The sessions are non-medical, and we are not selling or endorsing any particular products. They are a great place for women to connect with other women they can relate to. I have seen friendships start at these sessions, and that’s one of the things I love about being there. I agree with the name of the program–I think most women feel better when they look better. It’s not a superficial thing, it’s a confidence thing. Whether it’s makeup, hair, or clothing, looking put together tends to make the majority of women feel better. And especially when a person is dealing with the appearance side effects of cancer or cancer treatment–loss of hair, eyebrows or lashes; dark circles under the eyes; dry skin; dull skin; etc.–a little boost on the beauty front may actually make them feel better. Those side effects can be extremely hard to deal with, and I don’t think that’s something you really think about unless it happens to you. Much of our confidence is tied into how we look and present ourselves to the world. If you’ve ever cried over a bad haircut, you know what I mean. But imagine your hair fell out, or your eyelashes, or your eyebrows. This program can help bring some of that confidence back, and that’s a big part of what makes it so important.
I can’t explain how much I love doing these sessions. To know that I am contributing in a small way to making someone’s life a little better or easier or more fun…it’s a great feeling. And the women who I have met through LGFB the last few years have been amazing. Talk about positive attitudes! Here are women who are going through a serious illness, and they show up with smiles on their faces, and laugh and joke throughout the session. And they are always so grateful, and so kind. They thank me effusively, and I’m not even doing anything hard! They are they ones dealing with tough circumstances. I’m just sharing what I know, and hoping that it helps.
The reason I’m writing this post is because I want people to be aware of this program and how amazing it is. If you have cancer, or know a woman who does, please pass on the website link http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/. LGFB really makes a difference, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
Did I get that song in your head? Try searching YouTube for Saigon’s version. (That’s my favorite version, but WordPress doesn’t like to let me link.)
I’ve been the worst blogger ever this year–business has been BOOMING, so it’s hard to get to the many blog posts I want to write–but I’m trying! Today, I’m going to do something a little different. I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite things from Summer 2012. Some are new (or new to me), some are old standbys, and they are not all beauty-related. I know this is a beauty blog, but I’m trying to be well-rounded…
In no particular order, I am loving:
Exfoliation. I have always been a big proponent and user of exfoliators. Three times per week seems to be my skin’s magic exfoliation number, so I try to make it easy for myself and exfoliate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My absolute favorite face exfoliator is ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville (Sephora). It’s both a physical and enzyme exfoliant, which means you can use it to either manually exfoliate, or you can let it sit on the skin and it will do the job itself. It doesn’t feel sandpapery, but it makes a huge difference in the look and feel of my skin. It ain’t cheap, but it is AWESOME.
Cupcake Wine. My friend Julie and I discovered the Red Velvet one last fall, and we were hooked. I’m not a big drinker, but I would find myself thinking about how good that wine was for a few days after whenever I drank it. It tastes like dessert, but somehow not in a super sweet way. I can’t write anymore about it, because it’s making me want a glass, and it’s 8:15am.
Pinterest. I’ve been on this website for a while, but it’s one of my staple sites. I don’t go on it every day, but usually at least once a week. It’s a great place to post ideas for my clients and for photoshoots, and I created a “Quotables” board that I love. I fill it with positive quotes, and sometimes I read them when I need a little mood boost. If you’re not on Pinterest yet and are thinking about signing up, just be warned–it can get addicting! 30 minutes can go by very fast when you are pinnning. And 30 more minutes won’t hurt…
Brazilian Blowout. I know, I know–formaldehyde. But I’ve had it done four times, and I feel fine! It really has made a huge difference with the way my hair feels. I still have to round brush straighten my hair every three days, but the Brazilian Blowout makes my hair dry quicker, it almost completely eliminates frizz, and my hair just looks prettier.
Orange Leaf. Oh my God, this place. I have a soft serve addiction, and Orange Leaf is my dealer. These self serve, soft serve frozen yogurt places are popping up all over the country, and I am thrilled. They switch the flavors out so you get variety, but my favorites so far have been Peanut Butter, Hazlenut, Cookies & Cream, and Wedding Cake. There are a ton of toppings (which I don’t use, because I’m a soft serve purist) and you can sample any of the flavors. So.friggin.good.
“Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss. I am big time into the connection between our emotions and how consistent negative thinking can cause disease, and this book thoroughly explains those theories. I borrowed it from the library and liked it so much that I bought a copy, because I knew it was something I would re-read many times.
Shellac Manicures. They are long lasting, they don’t chip, and they stay shiny. To me, that’s the Holy Trinity of manicures, so I will look no further. I feel so much more polished–no pun intended–when my nails are done, and the no maintenance upkeep for the shellac manicure fits right into my lifestyle.
The Diamond Ultrasonic Toothbrush. I bought one a few months ago with a Living Social deal, and I love it. My teeth feel so clean, and I feel very futuristic using it It took a little getting used to, but I caught on fairly quickly. It’s timed to turn off after a few minutes, so I don’t even have to think when I’m brushing.
Blueberry Vodka & Lemonade. This was my favorite drink during the summer, and I don’t see why I can’t carry that through the fall. My tastebuds don’t change just because there are leaves on the ground. I realize it’s not low calorie, but I typically don’t have more than two drinks per outing, so I’m cool with that.
Subdue Styling Cream by Minardi. I use this product before blowdrying, to get a smoother blowout, and on dry hair as needed, to smooth it down when necessary. It smells good, isn’t sticky or heavy, and a little goes a long way. It is the only product I consistently use in my hair. I used to buy it from my hair stylist but she carries a different product line now, so my next tube of Subdue will probably come from Amazon.
LARABARS. I’m gluten-sensitive hypoglycemic and have a job that doesn’t always allow for sit down meals (or the whey protein shakes that I usually have for breakfast and lunch) so I am a nutrition bars girl. A few years ago, I was big on Zone Bars, then I switched to Luna Bars, and I recently discovered LARABARS. They are dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and never contain more than 9 ingredients. Best of all, they taste GREAT. Some of my favorites are Peanut Butter & Jelly, Blueberry Muffin, Banana Bread, and Pecan Pie. When I’m on a film or photoshoot set, I sneak them between takes and during setups, and they are my saving grace after wedding jobs where I haven’t eaten for hours.
Jergens Natural Glow. I tried this self tanning moisturizer years ago when it first came out, and every few years, I remember how much I like it. I got back into it this summer, both when I had my normal pale skin, and as my maintenance lotion during a spray tan. This stuff really works. Yes, it has a slight self tanner smell, but I think they all do. But it doesn’t really get streaky, and the gold flecks in it really do give a “glow.”
So, those are some of the tangibles that made my summer a little more enjoyable/prettier/easier. What are your favorites?
Ah, the simple glamour of the 1940s. From the working woman of the war to the femme fatale of film noir, the 1940s were about minimal makeup and a natural look. During this time, women were expected to look put together, but never overdone. During WWII, they took on new roles in America, working in factories or taking part in war efforts. The new roles brought forth a new look, and the theme was practical yet polished.
In the early 1940s, the cosmetics available to women were limited due to war time rationing. Ingredients necessary for products like mascara and eyeliner were needed for war materials, so those products were off the market. Resourceful women used boot black as mascara, shoe polish to color eyebrows, and rose petals soaked in alcohol as liquid blush. Castor oil, a main ingredient in lipstick, was needed for war materials, but somehow lipsticks were still available. In fact, lipsticks became the number one most popular product of that decade–it’s estimated that 90% of women at that time wore lipstick daily. Women in the military were expected to wear lipstick, and Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden even created specific reds to match or compliment uniforms.
As far as face makeup was concerned, the idea was to make it undetectable. Foundations were applied lightly, and minimal rouge (if any) was used. Powder, one of the makeup products not affected by war time rationing, was still widely used. The 1940s skin was matte, and that stayed constant throughout the decade.
When eyeshadows were used, they were natural and well blended. Eyeliner was used on the the top lashline only, and the line was very thin. When mascara became available again, it was used sparingly, in staying with the minimal makeup look. Gone were the shaved off and re-drawn eyebrows of the 1930s. 1940s brows were usually naturally shaped and only stray hairs were tweezed.
If a woman had a thin top lip, it was often overdrawn to be equal in size to the bottom lip. Reds were popular for the early and middle part of the decade, but pinks started to become popular in the late 1940s. The lipstick was the only real noticeable makeup on the face.
1940s hair was often in soft curls and parted to the side. Victory rolls–think Rosie the Riveter–were popular during the war, especially with working women. Many women wore their hair longer in the 1940s, as a show of femininity during a time when many of the products and clothing they were used to were not accessible.
The film noir femme fatale came about after the war. Her makeup was still pretty natural, no huge departure for the war time look. It is my opinion that the lighting, styling, acting and general cinematography of film noir is what gave these women their seductive looks. It wasn’t about a smokey eye or shimmery bronzed skin. The 1940s femme fatale look had less to do with makeup and more to do with those other factors.
I think 1940s makeup was beautiful, and I love the refined styles of the time. The makeup is classic, and for those of you who want to try it, it is certainly day-time appropriate. The thought of wearing a matte, red lip scares a lot of people, but I think it is classy and instantly brightens you up. And the eye makeup and brows are simple and natural, two things I have found that a lot of people like. Give it a try–I think you’ll like it