Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer's Scent

Looking for a lovely summer fragrance? Love the old-school Coppertone tanning lotion scent? Well, try this one on: BOBBI BROWN beach.

Step out of the shower, slather on the beach Body Oil, then spritz on the spray parfum. This is so light, that I find the scent sticks around longer if you layer.

Whether you're stuck at your desk, at a meeting, or carting kids to summer camp, this scent will give you the sensory experience of being at the beach. Amazing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Get Your Summer-Face On!

Today is officially the first day of Summer, so I've been thinking about what sustains my makeup needs for this time of year.

Here are my requirements:

* A routine that is relatively quick, that can be done in 10 minutes or less.

* A neutral palette that can be adapted or "brought up" for evening time.

* A look that will last throughout the day. . . whether beach-bound, office-bound, or running errands.

Here are my products, in the order I use them:

1. Make Up For Ever's Full Cover Concealer. A tiny dab will do; apply over clean, moisturized face to cover up dark areas around eyes, blemishes, or wherever you feel you need extra coverage. Use fluffy eye shadow brush (such as a MAC #216) to blend out edges of concealer.

2. Mineralize Skin Finish by MAC (in the compact. . . travels better, less mess than loose mineral powder). This is the ticket! Swirl your fluffiest kubuki brush over the top of this beautiful dome / baked powder, and then apply in circles over your face from forehead down to chin. Want more coverage? Swirl some more and apply. You'll find redness decreases, even skin tone increases.

3. MAC's Bronzing Powder in "Golden." There are several shades of this bronzer in the black compact, but my personal favorite is the matte-finish of Golden. It's a great all-over bronzer. Where to apply? Where does the sun hit you naturally? Forehead, cheeks, top of nose, chin, collarbones / decolletage. You can use the kubuki brush, or your blush brush to apply.

4. MAC's Paint Pot in "Rubenesque." This golden-peachy cream shadow, with a little shimmer is a phenomenal multi-tasking product. A little goes a long way; it's crease-, fade-, and water-resistant. This product hangs on all day. The color is perfect for summer; it enhances that beach-goddess look we all love. Use a fluffy #216 or #224 brush to swirl on, beginning at lash line.

5. MAC's Eye Kohl in "Teddy." My all-time favorite eye liner. I have not come across any one who could not wear it. At its base, it's a brown eyeliner, but with copper overtones. Use it boldly as a true eye-LINEr (draw line along lash line), or soften it by smudging this color into lashes and go for a smoldering look. **This is the product you can "bring up" your makeup for evening time by defining the eyes, perhaps even applying to water line (lower lash line on top of lashes).

6. Blinc Mascara
(formerly "Kiss Me" Mascara) in black. This is my mascara du jour. It's unique in that it's one of the "tube" mascaras that literally create small tubes around your lashes. It lengthens, volumizes, and stays put without being waterproof. . . you can actually go to the beach or pool and not have the raccoon effect. This is an amazing mascara that stays put until you use warm water to gently rub off.

7. And lastly, give your lips some love with MAC's Clear Lip Glass. Especially if you've been blessed with naturally-pigmented lips. You can make them as shiny or subtle as you want. A great stand-by.

So, that's it. It sounds like a lot, but you can have this entire routine down in less than 10 minutes. The versatile Mineralized Skin Finish and Golden Bronzer are the real quickies in this group.

May your summer be as beautiful as You!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clean Makeup Brushes = High-Performance Applications

For those of you who know me in my professional capacity, you know I'm a makeup brush snob. I have to be because they are the tools of my trade. I don't do cheap brushes. I firmly believe the quality of my brushes extends to the quality of my applications. And an extension of that philosophy is taking care of my brushes.

Perhaps you don't give much thought to cleaning your makeup brushes, but I'm here to extoll the virtues of clean makeup tools. This was instilled in me during my tenure with MAC. Part of my job as an artist was to thoroughly clean my brushes after each customer. It was part of what MAC calls "good counter practices," and it follows me today through my freelance career with my own clients.

How long has it been since you cleaned your brushes? Granted, you don't need to clean them as often as I do, but if you're the only person using them, once every week or two is a good idea. Cleaning your brushes cuts down on bacteria and product build-up. It also extends the life of your brushes if you use a good cleaner.

Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner is high-octane for your makeup brushes. I discovered this AMAZING brush cleaner at The Makeup Show this past May. Parian Spirit was one of the "mom and pop" booths at this trade show. Their demonstration pulled me in immediately. The mom-half of this duo showed me how quickly this formula cleaned a lip brush that had plenty of product still on it. Then she showed me how to use the cleaning tub to remove creamy products from eye shadow brushes and blenders. By the time she got around to demonstrating on a blush brush, I was completely sold. And before I left the booth, all brushes were dry!

They had a special package just for the show, and I bought 2 of them. The package contained an empty jar that holds a cleaning screen; a 16-ounce bottle of cleaner; and a 2-ounce bottle of spray cleaner (for on-the-go cleaning). I gave one away, to a thoughtful critic, my sis-in-law Amy, who is quality-oriented in all aspects of her life. Once she tried it out and declared it "GREAT," I knew I had a winner on my hands.

In addition to the amazing, quick cleaning results, your brushes are left with the most amazing citrusy scent. Since I've been using it, every one of my brides has commented on how great the brushes smell.

OK, so here's the only drawback, and it's in the process of being taken care of: you cannot purchase Parian Spirit directly from their website (it's in development). However you can find it at Amazon.com and Alcone.com (a makeup artist's Wal-Mart). I'd still recommend visiting the Parian Spirit site to read the pdf file about this amazing product. . . it includes directions for use, ingredients, and product descriptions. Happy cleaning!

Monday, June 7, 2010

NYC Bride Charmed by Charleston

Luke Wilson Special Events knows how to put on a grand affair. It's nothing short of fantastic working with the team that Luke puts together for one of his weddings. This weekend was a reunion with some of the best vendors I've worked with.

Karyn Iserman Distinctive Portraiture. Such an amazing lady. I've worked several weddings with Karyn, and now my reaction whenever I see her is that of reassured contentment. Karyn possesses that unspoken quality that says "everything's going to be better than all right; it's going to be great." The proof is in her photos.

Katherine Bailey Price of A Stuart Laurence Salon. Katherine is a top-notch Charleston hair stylist. She's fashion-forward, progressive, and a perfectionist. I have a deep affection for Katherine and she probably doesn't even know it. She is the stunning redhead who is the cover girl of my website; I did her makeup for her wedding last spring. A shout out also, to Michael Varnadore, who heads up the talented team down at SLS on King Street.

I'm sure we all agree that this was a very special bride. Kathy, a designer for Aeropostale, lives and works in NYC and chose the beautiful backdrop of Boone Hall Plantation as the site for her wedding. She is such a sweet, dear heart that everyone wanted to bring their best to the table to make this a wedding she'd never forget. I believe her wishes were met and exceeded.

Thanks to all involved!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to Attain "Glow" Status. . .

There are many ways to attain a glow. Hot yoga; great sex; an unexpected compliment; contentment with where one is; or the quick cosmetic way: Smashbox's Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion.

I "discovered" this wonderful highlighter at the NYC Makeup Show's jam-packed Smashbox display. It comes in three shades: "Diffuse," "Flash," and "Glow" are luminous pearl, peach, and bronze colors meant for light, medium, and deep skin tones, respectively.

One pump of this water-consistency highlighter is all you need across the tops of cheekbones to give you a dewy, youthful glow. Because of its intense pigmentation, I swipe it on before I apply foundation to give faces a truly believable glow. The effect still shines through.

This is a must for nearly every bride on her wedding day.

www.Smashbox.com (Click on the "best-sellers" link;)