NuFACE NuBODY Skin Toning Device Review

If you want to tighten your body-ody-ody skin.

Taking a break from my Shop My Shelf series to post this long overdue review.

If you’ve been a follower of this blog for a while, you know I love the NuFACE Mini. I also really like the NuFACE Fix, which I’ve yet to review. (Give me a break! I’m a busy gal.) I got the NuBODY Skin Toning Device in 2021 and have been using it regularly again lately, and I’m really thrilled with the results. So just in time for bathing suit season, here we go!

Like the NuFACE devices, NuBODY uses microcurrent technology to smooth, tone and firm the skin. It’s a handheld device and as long as you use the proper amount of conductor (their gel or any aloe), it’s completely painless. The NuBODY targets cellulite and loose and sagging skin, and I’ve found that it really works.

Not only do I see immediate results when I use it, but consistent use means I get to enjoy longer term results. I’m not as consistent with it as I was with the NuFACE Mini, but I’ve been getting to it most days lately and it’s absolutely working. It’s recommended that you use the NuBODY 5 times a week for three months, then 2 – 3 times a week after that, and the reviews I read from people who had the discipline to stick with that program seemed to have the most drastic results.

To use the NuBODY, you first need to apply a thin layer of conductor on clean, shaven or waxed skin. (It feels prickly if you run the device over an area with hair.) It runs in a five minute cycle, and you can hold it on a stubborn (aka dimpled) areas longer. For the how-to, it’s easier to just watch this.

I only know how the NuBody worked on me, so I want to let you know where I started from, as that could impact my results. I’m petite and have an 18.7 BMI, which is on the lower end of the “normal” range. I have decent muscle tone but I don’t lift heavy weights or work out a ton. I run a couple times a week at most, walk everywhere, regularly do at-home ab, glutes, thighs and arm workouts and eat very clean (both due to food restrictions and a desire to physically feel good), so I don’t have a lot of extra fat.

I do have some though, particularly on my thighs and upper arms, and I have some cellulite on the backs of my thighs. I’ve also noticed recently that the skin on my stomach is not as firm as it used to be. I’m mentioning this because I don’t know if someone who has more or less cellulite, body fat, or sagging would experience the same results as I have. I do know this device doesn’t cause weight loss and it’s not plastic surgery, so be realistic with the expectations!

I use the NuBODY on my upper arms, thigh and stomach only. Each area takes five minutes (plus the time it takes to apply gel or aloe then remove it or massage it in after). I typically only have 15 minutes to devote to it, so I use it on my stomach and either my arms or my legs, but I do all areas when I have the time.

I’m not doing any Before & After photos here because I have a strong no-photos-of-my-body policy, but you can Google Before & Afters if you don’t trust my review.

This isn’t a cheap device, but I’ve found it to be absolutely worth it. If you have cellulite, loose skin or sagging that bothers you and you can commit to consistently using this device, it may be a game changer for you. If you have that stuff though and it doesn’t bother you? Save your money. No body shaming here, boo. Just sharing my honest opinion of a device I’ve found to be effective that makes me feel better in my summer wardrobe.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

Shop My Shelf: Skincare Essentials

Photo by Shiny Diamond

Have you checked out my Shop My Shelf yet? If so, you’re a peach. Thank you!

If not, give this a read first so you know what’s up. The head over to my shop so you can peruse all of the categories.

I said I’d post about the products in each category and I’m a woman of my word, so here we are. The first category is Skincare Essentials.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

First up is Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm. This is my go-to cleanser, and I recommend it for all skin types. It not only removes makeup but cleanses the skin. You apply it to dry skin, massage it in, then rinse it off. It does exactly what it’s supposed to, and it smells divine.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF15 has been in my personal makeup bag for years. It’s a solid, affordable daily moisturizer for normal to oily skin (that’s includes you, combo skin peeps).

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. There’s nothing like facial oil for overall dry skin or isolated dry patches. This can be used daily on dry skin or on dry patches as needed on all skin types. I have combination skin but get dryness on my chin and cheeks when I’m in cold climates. When that happens, I apply a small amount of this Argan Oil on those areas, leave it on overnight and in one or two days, the dry patches have completely disappeared.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water. A fantastic, gentle product to remove non-waterproof makeup. I’m not big on micellar water for face makeup removal, but I find it works well for making eye makeup disappear. This has been a pro makeup artist fave for years.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Hyaluronic acid is an all-star hydrator, and this product delivers it perfectly. Even oily skin needs hydration (that’s water, not oil), so this is really a product that can work for all skin types. Apply it to damp skin then immediately layer moisturizer over it for best results.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Unless you have a spray tan, severe acne or are on prescription retinoids, exfoliation is should be a regular part of your routine. I recommend using this twice a week. You apply it to damp skin, gently massage in, leave on for a minute or two then rinse off. I like this exfoliant because it’s both physical (a scrub, which sloughs off the dead skin cells) and chemical (an enzyme exfoliant, which essentially melts the “glue” that binds dead skin cells to top layer of the skin).

Dermalogica Precleanse. If you’re using an oil cleanser or a cleansing balm, you don’t need this. But if you’re using any other type of cleanser, it’s probably not removing your makeup and cleansing your skin, which is where Precleanse comes in. It’s an oil that you apply to dry skin and massage in. Then you wet your hands, massage in a little more, then rinse off with lukewarm water. It removes all of your makeup so your cleanser can really get in there. I was trained on the Dermalogica line in Esthetics school, and this was one of my favorite products from it because I could see how well it worked.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. This is a great exfoliant for sensitive skin, as it’s gentle and has no fragrance or color.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. A fantastic vegan cleanser for sensitive skin. If you’re using this as your daily cleanser though, I’d suggest using Precleanse first to remove your makeup, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc. I like this cleanser because it doesn’t leave a film or make the skin feel dry like some of the other cleansers that are marketed as gentle.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre. If you have dry skin, this is the moisturizer for you! The fatty acids in this pro makeup artist fave really moisturize and plump up the skin.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. If your skin is looking tired or dull, using Beauty Flash Balm as a mask will perk your face right up. (I say “using it as a mask” because you can also use it as a foundation primer.) This is the only mask I currently use because yes, it is that good!

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser. Another great cleanser for sensitive skin. This can be applied to dry or damp skin then rinsed or tissued off. If you’re using this as your daily cleanser though, I’d suggest using Precleanse first to remove your makeup, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser. This cleanser removes all makeup from the skin and cleanses beautifully. I used it for a long time before switching to Farmacy Green Clean. The Argan Oil Cleanser can be used on all skin types, but I think it’s best for dry skin.

That’s it for now! I’ll update this post if I add any products.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

*This post contains affiliate links*

Shop My Shelf

I’ve used a few products over the years… Photo: Yuri Vaysgant

Do you remember what happened in 2008? I’ll give you some refreshers.

  • Barack Obama was elected president for the first time
  • Beyonce & Jay-Z tied the knot
  • Sex and the City: The Movie was released
  • Hulu came onto the scene
  • I became a makeup artist and started giving product recommendations on the reg

We’re three elections past 2008, Beyonce and Jay now have a trio of children, SATC came out with another movies plus a series reboot, Hulu has really gained traction, and me? Still giving product recommendations if not daily, at least weekly.

I’ve never been a secretive makeup artist. If I find something that works, I want to share it with my people (that’s you!). This blog is chockfull of reviews, tips and tricks to help you level up your beauty game. I’ve always linked to products I write about in my blog posts so you click on them and purchase, should you feel so inclined. I’ve never made a penny off of that, until now. Let me explain!

A really cool social media maven, @thebuzzingblonde (check her out!) told me about Shop My Shelf. It’s a website where beauty pros (and I think non-pro’s, but I’m on the pro site) can share the products they recommend and people can click on them to purchase. Shop My Shelf experts get a little kickback, if you will, for any purchase made through their “shelf.”

I was psyched to hear about Shop My Shelf because I love the idea of having all (or most, since not every line is part of it) of my recommended products in one place. Experts can make lists so people can browse by topic or product type. Organizing things into categories is easily one of my favorite things in life, so all of this spoke to me. I began building my shelf/shop last week and will continue to add to it as I find new product faves.

If you click on any of the products in my shop and buy them from there, I get a percentage of the sale. (Full disclosure: I also now have some products listed on my blog affiliate linked via Shop my Shelf as well.) If I’m being honest, at first, I felt a little weird about making any money this way. But then I thought about all the free advice I’ve given out for the last 14 years. I paid for an Esthetics education, passed my exams and got licensed and long ago surpassed the 10,000 hours some say you need to be an expert in a given field, so why should I feel bad about getting a cut of a sale?

To be clear, nothing would be different on your end if you decided to buy through my Shop My Shelf or via one of the links in my blog posts. On my Shop My Shelf page, when you click on the product, it brings you directly to the company’s website or an online store that’s selling the product, and you can purchase it from there, exactly as you would have if you had gone to that website yourself. If you click on it from an affiliate link in my blog, it does the same thing. If I didn’t tell you about the affiliate links in my blog, you wouldn’t know it was any different from clicking and being brought to a different website like it’s always been, but not disclosing that would be bad business.

If you buy a product from my Shop My Shelf or one of my affiliate blog links, there’s no impact on pricing, shipping or anything else. On your end, it’s exactly the same as if you were buying directly from the site.

If you don’t like the idea of a kickback to me, you can just Google the product, go to the site and buy it that way. I won’t know! If you do that, the money you pay will all go to that company or online store. If you go to my Shop My Shelf or buy through one my blog affiliate links, you’ll be helping a small business owner who has been happily giving out free beauty advice for 14 years. It’s not a guilt trip, boo. Just a fact!

Whether or not you buy through my Shop My Shelf or blog affiliate link, I want you to have great quality products. I’ll be doing a series of posts featuring the products from each category with info about who I recommend them for, why I recommend them, how to use them, etc. Because what good are product recommendations without that info?

In the meantime, you can take a little looksie here.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

21 Things I Learned in 2021

Have you missed me? I haven’t posted for over a year, but don’t get excited–I’m not planning on making this a consistent thing. My friend Mairin, founder of Solivagant Legal, wrote this blog post about 28 things she learned in 2021. That inspired me to write my own post, but I’m only going to do 21 things because, well, I’m not as wise as Mairin!

Some of the things I learned last year were more general, while others were more life lessons for me. You might read some of them and think “Really, Allison? You didn’t know that?!?!,” but give me break. I might find it absurd that you don’t know DMX’s Christian name or have no idea what tightlining is, so let’s just agree that we all have our own areas of expertise.

Ready, boo?

  1. When you rent, your landlord can turn your world upside down with little notice. Of course I knew theoretically that there’s no guarantee that a renter doesn’t always get the option to renew an apartment or business location, but I’d never experienced that until 2021. I’d always been the one to initiate the breakup, you know? Last summer, I ended up in this situation with both my apartment and my business location after the company I was renting my office from was bought out. and my landlord put my apartment building on the market. It was a trying time for me–and part of the reason I signed a two year lease for my new office space–and now I’m a little skittish. Sure, I’m decorating my new apartment and I really love it, but I’m not buying any big pieces of furniture, and I saved all my moving boxes. I’ve got my guard up!
  2. It’s easy for a family to become obsessed with a new family member. My niece was born during deep COVID in 2020 and even though we were instantly in love with her, we understandably didn’t get to see her a ton in the early-ish pandemic days. 2021 gave us many more opportunities to see her perfect little face, which made my parents and I so happy. When my parents first started babysitting her, I’d drive an hour and a half to be part of the new Babysitters’ Club, and if I couldn’t make it, I’d call my mom after to ask her to recap. I wanted to know every new sound and move our little queen made, and I’d get lots of pictures and videos that I could look at/watch a million times. My parents were and still are the same way. We love this little girl so so so much.
  3. Decaf coffee contains caffeine. I might have known this before 2021, but it didn’t affect me until this year, so I’ll taking it as a lesson. I have a rare vestibular disorder and my vestibular attacks are triggered by several things, including caffeine. I’d been drinking decaf coffee since late 2018 when I realized caffeine was a culprit, but decaf didn’t bother me. This year though, I could feel the caffeine and my health was suffering because of it, so I had to cut out decaf. That was a sad day, but I’ve recently found a replacement which–don’t worry–I’ll tell you about soon.
  4. Hot water opens stuck jar and bottle lids. Okay, okay–I might have heard this one before too. God knows my mother has been telling me for long enough! But I’ve actually listened lately and have successfully opened two items that I thought would be sealed forever. Thanks, Mom!
  5. I can have a totally different relationship with someone over text than in person. Can we all agree that texting is not an ideal form of communication? Tone, responsiveness and length of a reply can all make a conversation (or lack thereof) seem totally different than intended. A “K” or thumbs up can seem rude, which may not have been someone’s intent. A crazy late response can make it seem like the recipient doesn’t care about what you texted. And when someone leaves you on “read” when you expected a response? That will make a girl like me livid. When text mishaps repeatedly happen with the same person, especially when they’re someone I don’t see in IRL often, they feed into how I view my relationship with them. Then I see them and realize it’s not at all like that! In the future, I’m going to try to avoid concocting a negative story based around a flawed communication medium. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?
  6. The Law of Attraction requires thoughts and feelings to work. I’m no stranger to manifestation and the Law of Attraction, but I hadn’t thought too much about it in recent years. I got back into it this fall and learned something new (or maybe something I’d forgotten along the way). The Law of Attraction doesn’t just require you to think positively and visualize the things/future you want if you want it to work. It requires you to feel good too. From what I understand, everything is made of energy and things vibrate at different frequencies. If you want good things to manifest for you, you need to get on that feel-good frequency to attract them. It’s certainly easier said than done, at least in my experience, but it makes sense to me that feeling is as important as thinking. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into focusing on the things that make me feel happy so I can tune into that feel-good frequency and I have noticed a difference.
  7. You should always check your credit card for cashback rewards. I’m big on credit card miles. I haven’t paid full price for a flight in a longggggg time. But I’m guilty of neglecting to check my credit cards to see what that current cashback rewards are available too. In 2021, I learned to start doing that more often and it’s helped. Who doesn’t love a little cash back?
  8. Moving to a new, non-bordering state is a bitch. My snowbird move each year was never a walk in the park, but it was usually more annoying than difficult. Moving full-time to a whole new state though? Different ballgame. I was lucky enough to have a lot of help from friends and family with booking a moving company, physically moving items out of my apartment, meeting my movers at my new apartment when I couldn’t be there, and everything in between. And even then, it was time-consuming, expensive and stressful. I’m still in the settling in process in my new apartment and am eager to cross all the new resident stuff off my list, but this phase is much easier than the move itself. I’m so glad that part is over.
  9. Ignoring the news and social media is a gamechanger. Getting off social media wasn’t something I thought about until one day when I said to myself, Enough!. The catalyst was the amount of COVID-related articles and posts, because at this point, I just don’t want to think about the pandemic any more than I already do. I was also sick of the negativity, divisiveness and obsession with celebrities in our society and realized I didn’t need to subject myself to it. I haven’t had a television for almost 20 years and I don’t get any newspapers. If I could figure out how to make the new alerts on my laptop toolbar and my phone stop popping up, I would! My goal is not to truly understand the “ignorance is bliss” way of life, but to stop giving my attention to things that don’t make me feel good (see Lesson #6) or don’t have any value to me (Pete Davidson is hilarious, but I don’t care who he’s dating). I still do business Facebook and Instagram posts but I haven’t looked at anything besides the first post in my personal Facebook feed (because I see it when I go to check messages) since before Christmas. I’ve scrolled a little on my Instagram–which is a business account–and watched a handful of stories, but Insta was never really my thing. I have to keep a personal Facebook account to run my business pages, and I wouldn’t delete any business FB or Insta accounts, but I’m good with keeping things as is. When it comes to news, maybe my head is in the sand a little, but that’s great for exfoliation.
  10. Salt candles will sweat in humid climates. Of course it makes sense, but I’ve had the same Himalayan pink salt candle for years, often in top floor apartments that felt like hell’s kitchen during the summer months, and it never started sweating until I brought it to Charleston! It’s been under 60 degrees for days, and the damn thing is still molting its salt skin.
  11. To flatten out turned up ends of an area rug, roll it in the opposite direction. My father taught me this during this fall’s move into a new AB Beauty location. It really works!
  12. Trentinoin can be topped with petroleum jelly to make a souped up eye cream. I heard about this in a few YouTube videos from estheticians and dermatologists, and I ran it by my own derm last month. She gave me the okay, so I’ve been applying a thin layer of Vaseline over my undereye Trentinoin. I’m surprised I can even use Trentinoin under my eyes, as a lot of people find that too irritating and I’m historically a sensitive little entrepreneur, but I’ve never had an issue with it. The idea behind this layered eye cream is that because petroleum jelly is an occlusive, meaning it basically locks in what’s beneath it, it helps the Trentinoin absorb better. This isn’t a good option for people prone to milia, those with sensitive eyes or anyone who’s just started on Trentinoin, but may otherwise be a great eye cream alternative. If you have questions, feel free to comment and I’ll try to help.
  13. Golden Milk is a good alternative to coffee and tea. I like warm drinks, but as mentioned, I can’t have even decaf coffee. Hot chocolate is also out, due to the caffeine, as are caffeinated teas. Un-caffeinated teas make me crazy nauseous, so also not an option. For the longest time, the only other warm drink I could think of was hot apple cider. I like it enough to drink it once in a great while, but not as an every day thing. I did some research and discovered Golden Milk, which you can make with several different ingredients, as long as it includes the golden-hue providing turmeric. I use turmeric, cinnamon, a dash of black pepper and agave nectar. It tastes great and supposedly has some good health benefits, so I’m happy to have found it.
  14. Scripting works. I went down a rabbit hole of manifestation videos on YouTube last fall and came across a few on scripting. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it’s right up my alley. Scripting is when you write a letter/email from your future self to whoever you’d like, but you don’t actually send it. In this email, you write from whatever point in the near future you want, and you talk about something you presently don’t have but want. Vying for a promotion at work? Write (but don’t send) an email to your sister as if you’d been given that promotion, and how happy you are about it. Ready to meet your dream guy or gal? Write (but don’t send) an email to your best friend about how you met your partner and how great it feels to be with them. You get the point. There are various recommendations about how often you should read the email, but most say you should stop after a month, as you need to cross over from asking for what you want (which is what you’re doing via the email) and being in the accepting mode. I scripted the new apartment I wanted, read it daily for about a month then pretty much forgot about it. I went and read it again recently–after I found my apartment–and I shit you not, so much of it “came true.” I’d completely forgotten about the details I’d scripted and when I looked back, I couldn’t believe how many were exactly what I had scripted! I’ve tried this again for some other areas of my life and I look forward to seeing how the scripting magic works for those.
  15. Being quad dominant is a thing. I have naturally muscular legs, which I haven’t always loved on my petite frame, but you can’t fight genetics, baby. I lost some weight this year and didn’t like that my best ASS-et was looking smaller, so I started doing a lot of lunges and squats. Unfortunately all that did was make my already big quads look huge. I did some (panicked) research and realized I was what they call “quad dominant.” I found some glutes exercises that don’t build the quad muscles and they’ve been making a difference. Once I stopped the squats and lunges, my quads thankfully went back to a size that looks more proportionate on me. Phew!
  16. Most people aren’t going to live up to my expectations (professionally). Sounds harsh, but hear me out. I’m not referring to anyone who works for me. I’m talking about the people I’ve hired or gone to in the past for personal things, like cleaning services, medical appointments, property management, etc. It’s not that I think I could do everyone’s job better, but in my opinion–I’m sorry, in my experience–it’s not difficult to answer a direct question in an email, be prepared, or show up on time for a job. I came up with something I call the Barbera Principle, and it is this–70% of people are bad at their jobs. Go ahead and try to change my mind.
  17. Packing paper trumps bubble wrap. My friend Carol, who could really be a moving consultant, told me this during my recent move. I’d always been a bubble wrap kind of gal, but Carol said packing paper was the way to go. And right she was! My stuff was moved from my RI apartment into a UHaul, unloaded and moved into a trailer which was driven to SC, unloaded in SC and loaded into a moving truck, then brought into my new apartment–and nothing broke! Carol is a smart woman.
  18. I’m old because I wear a side part and skinny jeans. I’ve never been into trends, and a bunch of people born between 1997 – 2012 are not about to change my mind. You think I’m going to do a middle part with this bone structure? Get the hell outta here! And bootleg jeans? Already did those in the 90s, honey. I’m a staunch believer in wearing things in a way that flatters you personally, not what’s en vogue. So I’ll continue to do what I want, as per usual πŸ˜‰
  19. This technique to make downturned lips look better. Lisa Eldridge is a genius. I’ve been doing makeup for almost 14 years and I wasn’t aware of this technique until 2021. It makes total sense!
  20. A handheld lemon squeezer is really the way to go. A temporary character in my 2021 world gave me flak for using bottled lime juice in my tequila, and he was right. Fresh lime juice, courtesy of one of those handy dandy squeezers, is much better. If only fresh fruit juice could heal Peter Pan Syndrome, that temporary character could have been more permanent…
  21. I love being around people. I’ve long considered myself an ambivert, meaning I equally enjoy alone time and being around others. I don’t know if it was the decrease of socialization due to COVID or the years of working alone that caught up with me, but last year, I realized I’m definitely happier around people. Even having a conversation with a nice grocery store cashier instantly gives me an energy boost. This recent discovery works well with my 2022 goal of having more fun.

I know there are so many things I’ve already learned and forgotten, but I’m happy with this list. 2021 had its chaos, sadness and rough days for me, but there are always lessons to be learned.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

It’s All Over

No, not COVID. But 2020 is. And so are my weekly blog posts. I think the weekly posts have come to their natural end. I made it a goal to do one blog post a week in 2018, then I renewed that goal in 2019 and again in 2020. It was a real struggle to make that happen this year, and not just because of the pandemic. I’ve run out of advice to give, so I feel like I should shut up for a bit.

If there’s something I think would be helpful or if I feel like writing, I’ll pop back on here. But the weekly posts are not going to be a part of my 2021.

I’m a big believer that things WILL get better in 2021. I hope that’s the case for the world collectively and for you individually, dear reader.

Have a beautiful year πŸ™‚

This Year Is Finally Almost Done: The December Wrap Up


December was a quiet month for AB Beauty. All of our weddings postponed, trials were scarce and corporate shoots are still on pause. We’re getting a lot of inquiries for fall 2021 and early winter 2022 though, so I’m grateful for that.

I got to (safely) see my immediate family this month, which was the best part of December for me. I’m off to Charleston for the winter very soon, so I think about that, oh, only every five minutes. I’m very ready for warmer weather, my Lowcountry friends, and grits.

December is the time to look back, right? And although much of this year has been absolute dogshit, there was some good there in my life. My niece was born in the summer, and she is the center of my family’s world now. I met some new friends in Charleston In January and February and strengthened my friendships with some New England friends. I connected with a lot of Rhode Island wedding vendors and got my business through a year that could have crushed us.

I realize things won’t automatically get better as soon as we usher in 2021, but I do think things will improve as the year goes on. I have a good feeling about that, and I will not be swayed.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

Youthful Looking Makeup Tips

There’s nothing wrong with aging, looking your age or not wearing makeup. We need to stop shaming people for that.

There’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to look older than you are, and that’s where I can help. These seven makeup tips are here for you if you’re interested in a more youthful makeup look.

Skip The Bottom-Lash-Only Liner. Applying eyeliner at the bottom lashline only gives the appearance that the eye is drooping. Using liner at both the top and bottom lashlines provides balance and definition to the eye, and can even make the eye look lifted. That being said, a thinner, diffused liner at the bottom lashline–whether it’s done with pencil or eyeshadow–is generally more flattering than a thick line.

Powder Minimally. If you have any type of texture on your skin–fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, large pores, etc.–product can settle into those lines and magnify them. Powder is especially good at highlighting texture, so I use it very sparingly (if at all) on those areas. If lines, pitted acne scars or large pores are a concern, you can also use a pore minimizer on those areas before applying any other face makeup. Pore minimizer temporarily fills in those areas, allowing for a smoother application of face makeup.

Add Some Blush. What’s more youthful than rosy cheeks? Many people had a natural pink or red flush on their cheeks as children and teens, and blush can be used to mimic that natural flush that may have once been there. Cream blush works especially well on those with dry skin or texture on their cheeks, as it doesn’t settle into lines or grab onto dry patches as easily as powder blush does.

Think Twice About Contour. Contour products are made to help emphasize bone structure, or give the illusion of a different structure that some may find more flattering. A lot of people automatically contour under the cheekbones, which isn’t the most complementary look on some face shapes. As we age, we lose some of the fat and collagen in our faces, specifically from the cheeks. This gives a more naturally contoured cheekbone appearance on some people, and adding a contour product on top of that can cause a face to look gaunt. If you’ve found that your face has gotten a lot thinner as you’ve aged, I’d suggest skipping cheekbone contour.

Fill In Those Brows. Eyebrows tend to thin out on a lot of people as they age, so filling in the brows can be a flattering, youthful look. I don’t suggest going for a heavy brow, but filling in your brows to make them look more like your natural shape from 10 or 15 years ago turns the clock back a little and helps frame your face.

Consider Lipliner. Lips also tend to get thinner as we age and can lose the plumpness that helps give them their shape. Lipliner can help you bring back that shape. It also helps lipstick stay put so it doesn’t feather out into any fine lines that may be visible around the lips.

Double Up The Mascara. Lashes also–you guessed it–tend to get thinner and more sparse as we age. Sure, you can fix that with lash extensions or false lashes, but those can a little too high maintenance or tricky for some. In that case, there’s always good ol’ mascara. Try an extra coat or two to see if you like how that looks.

I hope that’s helped, if any of this was a concern to you. You already look great!

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

Mascara Tips & Tricks

We’re seeing a lot of peoples’ eyes, and not so much of the rest of their faces, in this masked up world. So it makes sense to help you with eye makeup techniques, right? And when it come to eye makeup, I think a lot of people would agree that mascara is an essential.

So let’s talk about that, shall we?

Pump Up The Volume. Thick, full lashes can really emphasize the eyes. Sure, you can get there with false lashes or lash extensions, but those aren’t doable for everyone. A good, volumizing mascara makes a big difference though, and it’s more user-friendly and wallet friendly than falsies and extensions. My go-to for years has been Dior Diorshow Mascara. To get the biggest payoff, I wiggle the wand at the lash roots to really coat the lashes with the thickening formula.

Go To Any Length. Most people benefit from the look of both full and long eyelashes, which is why I double up. I get my volume on first with Diorshow, then I use a lengthening mascara like Clinque High Impact Mascara over that. For the lengthening portion of my mascara application, I hold the wand at the midway point of my lashes and blink into it, which coats them from mid-lash to tip.

Smudge Proof. You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I use a third mascara on my bottom lashes. My bottom lashes will hit my undereye area and smudge if I use a regular mascara there, but I don’t like waterproof for everyday use (more on that next). To prevent that from happening, I use Blinc Tubing Mascara. The beauty tube technology makes the product water resistant, but also easy to remove without causing lash damage.

Say No To Waterproof. Waterproof mascara is great for an occasion that may include crying (like a wedding, funeral or when watching Queer Eye), but it’s not good for everyday use. It takes more work to remove waterproof mascara, causing wear and tear on the lashes. Repeated wear and tear will eventually cause lash breakage, and no one wants that.

Keep ‘Em Separated. You can use the best mascaras with all the right techniques, but clumpy lashes will ruin your hard work. I won’t tell you what I use to separate my own lashes because it’s semi-dangerous, but I use a clean spooly on clients. Lash combs work well too.

The Three Month Rule. Mascara is no good after three months. By that point, that product has likely started to dry out, which will cause it to flake off and smudge. Also, by three months, the tube is filled with bacteria from wand-to-lash contamination, and that bacteria can cause eye irritation and infection. So after 90 days, it’s time to get rid of it.

Toss The Tissues. I know some people blot their mascara wand on a tissue to remove excess product before applying, but I can’t condone that. Tissue fibers will stick to the wand and either get painted onto your lashes, causing uneven texture, or fall into your eyes. If you must blot, use a paper towel.

I hope this has helped you with your mascara woes, if you have them.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

20 More Things About Me

Back in 2016, there was a popular “Things About Me” type of post going around for bloggers. I jumped on that because, hey, your girl basically has a PhD in Introspection.

Now it’s four years later, and it’s time for the sequel. So let’s dooooooooooooooo this!

  1. I’m quasi-ambidexterous. I write with my left hand, type with my right hand, do makeup with both hands and use whatever hand is closest to the item I want to pick up to do so. This is my superpower.
  2. I can’t parallel park. I’ve made it this far in life without that skill, so take that, driver’s license tests!
  3. I’m an HSP. Just read this.
  4. I’m a speed reader. This bothers the hell out of my father because I can read and answer the Jeopardy clues I know the answer to before he’s halfway through reading the clue, which makes me love it even more.
  5. I’ve never seen The Notebook. And I never will. Romantic movies are not my thing.
  6. I have a rare nervous system disorder. Don’t worry–I’m fine! I’ve been working on a blog post about it for a year, so maybe I’ll finally finish it in 2021.
  7. I don’t cook. Other than scrambled eggs, I don’t cook anything. Domestic goddess I am not.
  8. I never know what day it is. And this was even in the pre-COVID days! Google Calendar gets me where I need to be.
  9. I have lip balm with me at all times. Purse, nightstand, kitchen–I’m never far from some pucker hydration. Glossier Balm Dotcom Original and Mango are my faves.
  10. I have a horrible singing voice. I was part of an Italian singing and dancing group when I was 14, but even though I learned every song in Italian, they made me lip sync because my voice was so bad.
  11. My nail beds are the size of a ten year old’s. No nail art for me!
  12. I’m bad with numbers. If we’re out to eat together, you might want to figure out the tip.
  13. I love taking silly quizzes. I’m looking at you, Buzzfeed.
  14. I’m an ambivert. I need equal parts alone time and socialization to be my best self.
  15. I like washing dishes. Weird, I know. But there’s something that I find relaxing about it, and I do thoroughly enjoy a productive task.
  16. I have a very detailed plan for what I’d do if I won the lottery, but I rarely play. Go figure.
  17. I learned how to ride a bike and stopped riding a bike within the same six months. Unusual for a child, but I never said I was normal.
  18. If the wrong dΓ©cor colors are next to each other, I get uncomfortable. I used to have an office I couldn’t work in because there were gray curtains too close to glass table that had copper legs.
  19. I’m not competitive with others. With myself and my past accomplishments, yes, but not with other people.
  20. Sometimes I write irrelevant blog posts when I’m out of content. Case in point.

And now you can continue your day knowing that if you ever had to take a quiz about me, you’d probably ace it.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚

The End of The 2020 Wedding Season: The November Recap

Keeping with the spirit of gratitude that I associate with Thanksgiving, I’ll start by saying I’m grateful for the awesome–if shortened–wedding season we had this year. There was a point early on when I was afraid we wouldn’t get to do any 2020 weddings from March on, but that luckily wasn’t the case.

We had a few weddings this month, as well as several trials, new 2021 wedding bookings and 2022 wedding inquiries. I hired a new hair stylist, LuWayne DeMoranville, and I’m so excited to have her on the team.

Personally, I’ve been laying low socially, but am very much looking forward to my Charleston winter, which starts after Christmas. I’ll be ringing in the new year in my favorite city. (Not that I’ll be going out, but at least I’ll be in a place where grits and Southern accents are never too far away.)

I don’t love November in Rhode Island, with its bare trees, cooler temps and short ass days. But at least I have my family, my business and my Newport/Charleston life. For that, I am truly grateful.

Have a beautiful day πŸ™‚