Thursday, February 26, 2015

Don't be So SENSITIVE! Three ways to remove makeup that won't sting your eyes....

I'm talking about your eyes, not your feelings!
 Do you have sensitive eyes?  I do!  For the longest time, I was on the search for any makeup remover...literally ANY I could find that didn't sting my eyes when I took off my eye makeup each night.  Everything I tried, from expensive to drugstore, no matter how highly recommended....just stung like crazy and made my eyes red and watery!  After years of trial and error, plus some research and in one case... a trip to the eye doctor....I have three makeup remover options that work well for me.....

Baby Your Eyes!

Years ago, I scratched my cornea and had to go to the eye doctor.  I got meds (drops, I think) and the doc told me to not use any makeup (gasp!) and no cleansers of any kind except baby shampoo. Um...what?  At the time, I thought it was a weird suggestion, but it really makes sense if you think about it.  If baby shampoo won't make your 4 month old cry, surely it won't make YOU cry, right?
So, for about a week I wore no makeup and washed my face with baby shampoo.  A little drying on my skin, but definitely no irritation on my skin OR eyes.  Once I started wearing makeup again, I thought I'd try removing my eye makeup with it....and it worked really well!  The PH balanced
formula doesn't sting.

The Good: 

  • Cheap!  Get a big bottle of J&J brand at Target for $4.50, (cheaper if you get generic) the price is tough to beat. 
  • Multi-purpose - use on your toddler's hair, use as body wash, use to wash out lingerie (check out my article here for more on this beauty hack, plus others!)
  • No tears, Ph balanced formula is gentle on your baby, and you
  • Did I mention it's really cheap!?!
The Bad:
  • It's a little have to smear it all into your eyemakeup and then wash it off.
  • Doesn't remove waterproof gel liner and waterproof mascara very easily
  • Make sure you get plain, traditional baby shampoo...if you choose one with fragrance or other things added to it, you'll negate the "no irritation" aspect.  I always choose Johnson and Johnson No Tears...kickin' it old school.

Those Awesome Green Wipes

When working with clients, I need makeup wipes for quick cleansing before an application or a lesson.  There are tons on the market, but Garnier's The Refreshing Remover Wipes are my hands down favorite (clearly!  I've mentioned them here and here)!  Why?  Obviously, they don't sting my
eyes, but there are a whole bunch of other reasons too:

The Good:
  • Great smell - very fresh and clean
  • Affordable - About $5.99 for a pack of 25 (often on sale for $4.99)
  • Portable and easy - I pack them in my kit, my purse, even my nightstand for quick makeup removal before bed
  • Easy to find at Ulta, CVS, Target, etc.
  • Gentle formula - no residue.  Many wipes leave an oily film, these don' feels very clean
  • Removes makeup really well...even waterproof stuff.
The Bad:
  • I go through soooo many of them, that they cease to be affordable to me.  Last year alone I bought 75 packs, so at $5 a pack? of the more expensive options.  You wouldn't go through as many as I do, obviously, but you do pay for convenience when you purchase pre-moistened wipes.  That's about it!  No other negatives I can think of.
Remove your Makeup....with Water?

Yep, water!  How you ask?  Well, not just ANY water, but Micellar water.  Micellar water has been around for years, it's really popular in France and Korea, and makeup artists love to use it backstage for fashion shows where makeup has to be done and then redone quickly.  Why?  Micellar water cleanses with little micelles...molecules suspended in the water that attach to dirt and oil like a magnet!  Simply apply to a cotton pad and swipe to remove makeup...keep going until the pads aren't
dirty anymore.

The Good:
  • It's water, so absolutely no stinging or irritation of any kind!  Love that...
  • Super gentle on the rest of my skin as well
  • Perfect used with a Q-tip to clean up winged liner or a random mistake
  • Removes makeup pretty well, without using a lot of chemicals and no dyes or perfumes.
  • Pair with a sleeve of cotton pads and you're all set...easy and quick
The Bad:
  • Somewhat expensive.  I purchased Bioderma Crealine Cleansing water on Amazon for $14.42 for 100 ml, a fairly small bottle.
  • Not as accessible as other cleansers.  I checked a few beauty stores that had no idea what I was talking about before I ordered online. You can't pick this up at CVS.....
  • If you have a full face of makeup, it might take 5-6 cotton pads to get it all off, which takes longer than other methods.
So there you have it, not one, not two, but THREE options to remove your eye makeup for those of us with sensitive eyes.  Do you have another favorite remover?  Have you tried any of my favorites? Share in the comments below!

Monday, February 16, 2015

5 Tips for the Most Memorable and Kissable...Lips! (Today Show Feature)

This Valentine's Day, I got a lot of calls asking for my opinions on how to get kissable lips and I was only too happy to share!!  I'm a bit obsessed with lips...clearly, and I tend to feel naked without my bold red lip color to polish up my look.  But when romance is on the menu, a bright and bold lip shade may not be the best route to take.  And, what other steps CAN you take to have the softest, most kissable lips around?

Well, check out this article featured on the Today Show for tips from me, and other makeup artists and beauty experts!  Everything from exfoliating, prepping your lips and choosing the right's all here.

Valentine's Day might be over, and you might not be the leading lady in an iconic chick flick.... but that doesn't mean in between work meetings, carpool and the hectic pace of real life, you can't score the most memorable kiss of YOUR life!

Monday, February 9, 2015

3 Ways a Bold Lipstick Makes Life More Fun! ( Feature)

I started wearing bold red lips over 20 years ago and it's become my signature much so, that my logo is designed with that in mind!  I often stick to shades of red, but vary between brands and tones...a bright fire-engine red, cherry red, a deep crimson. It makes me feel confident and ready to face the day, and it helps people remember me too.
Nyx Simply Red Lip Cream in "Candy Apple"

When I got a call from asking for my thoughts on wearing bold lipstick shades, I definitely had an opinion or two to share! Clients often say that they "just can't" wear a bright color, especially red....not true!  ANYONE can wear a bold red just have to experiment to find the shade that works for you, as well as the formula....some are easier to wear than others.  For example,  even if they are the exact same color...a sheer gloss can be easier to wear than a highly pigmented matte shade applied straight from the tube. My advice?  Start with a bright berry (works on everyone) and then work your way up to the fiery, intense reds, gaining confidence as you go.
"Hellbent" by Kat Von D

One thing is for sure, be ready for attention....if you choose to wear a vivid red....people WILL notice!  A few of my favorite reds are: Hellbent by Kat Von D, Infrared by Smashbox and the classic Ruby Woo from MAC....all are intense, matte shades that last all day and are true reds, not too orange.   A current affordable favorite is Nyx Lipcream in Candy Apple....easy to apply, it's a gorgeous shade and it's only about $6.50 too!
Click here to read the feature for three reasons I think wearing a bold lip makes life easier and more fun....and then go shopping and find your perfect red!

Are you brave enough try out a sexy red lip for Valentine's Day later this week?  I can't think of a better time.....  ; )

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Your Hot Date Makeup Strategy - Just in time for Valentine's Day! (Daily Makeover Feature)

Valentine's Day is less 2 weeks you have a hot date?  If romance is on the horizon, it's time to think about your date night look....clothes, hair and!  There's nothing more romantic and fun than a full on DATE...drinks, dinner, dancing....a date that lasts all night and into the wee hours.  So, how do you get your makeup to play along and last too?  Daily Makeover asked me and some other fab beauty pros for our's what I had to say:

PRIME - for a long night out, you can't skip the primer step! Use a silicone based primer to prep skin...this gives everything else something to "grab" onto so it will last, plus it gives skin a smoother, sexier appearance.
FOUNDATION - choose a highly pigmented liquid or cream foundation, apply with a dampened sponge or foundation brush. Set with long-lasting setting powder (Mac Prep and Prime or Bombshell
Smooth Criminal are favorites) for staying power. For touch ups on the go, an easy trick is to use a bit of mineral powder in a shade that matches your skin...I like Sheer Cover or Bare Minerals. You'll need it if an impromptu makeout session rubs off a bit of your original foundation!

SMOKY EYE- Let's get real....if you plan on kissing a lot, focus the drama on your eyes! A smoky eye with plenty of liner will anchor your whole look...even when your lipstick is long gone.  I love a smoky eye in's warmer and sexier than black.  Don't forget either smudged and soft liner
for definition (upper lids and water line) and then finish your look with faux lashes or even lash extensions! With either option, you can skip mascara and still fluttery, dramatic lashes that last all night.

LONG LASTING LIPS -  For long lasting lip color, prime lips with a bit of foundation first...then use a lip stain to lay down a base color. Once the lipstain is dry, apply a creamy lipstick or gloss. blot and reapply.  After drinks or stolen kisses, the lip stain will still be there and will help you avoid the worn off look!   If you're doing a smoky eye, stick to a softer, nude pink or sheer berry lip.
SETTING SPRAY - When your makeup is done, set it all so it doesn't move! I like Model in a bottle fact...Oprah's makeup artist uses it! Simply close eyes, hold the bottle about 10 inches away from your face and mist lightly. This sets your entire look for 10-12 hours, more than long enough to romance the night away!

Want to see the tips in the article?  Click here....I had to laugh when I saw that the tip that was published was the one about kissing off all of your lipstick! Well....I've been and am currently in love, so I've definitely #beentheredonethat, and clearly I'm a little obsessed with LIPS. Thanks to Daily Makeover, Aly Walansky and the other beauty pros around the country for contributing....these are practical tips, ladies!
Just remember, these makeup strategies can work for anytime you plan on having a long night out, whether that's with your favorite man on your arm, or with a bunch of your besties for a marathon showing of Fifty you've got the insider info to look good from dusk to dawn!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Secrets to Making your Forehead look Smaller...really! (Daily Makeover Feature)

Ever heard the term "fivehead" in reference to someone with...ahem...a lot of real estate north of their eyebrows?  As someone who actually has a fairly high forehead.... I completely get that!  When my hair is pulled back, I just feel like there is a LOT of space between my eyebrows and hairline.  Tyra Banks is one notable celeb who has commented on her acceptance of her high forehead..she's so down to earth, and beautiful, of course!  If you feel your forehead is too high, what can you do? Recently, I got a call from popular beauty blog Daily Makeover wanting tips to share with their readers on how to utilize tips and tricks to minimize the forehead they are:

Cut Bangs - #1 tip and the quickest solution
Bangs easily cover forehead surface area and bring the focus back down to your eyes... the best feature on most faces.  Bonus?  A soft, modern fringe can make you look years younger, and can totally negate the need for Botox!  Make sure your stylist cuts bangs in a flattering shape that blends into the rest of your hair, and get frequent trims to keep them in shape.  Check out the before after on Christina Ricci below....when she ditches the center part and wears bangs, her eyes command so much more attention, and her overall appearance is much more balanced. 
Since your
eyes really will be the main attraction, so be sure to play them up with plenty of shadow, liner and mascara! A soft bronze or shimmery taupe shadow with classic black liner and mascara looks good on everyone and works for any situation.  Feeling bold? Go for a smoky eye in plum or gray....universal shades that work on anyone and are easier to wear than black.

Subtle Contouring -  Use contouring techniques, but keep it subtle

The key is to use two shades of foundation...the first one should be just 1 shade above your natural skin tone, the second one should be 1 shade darker than your skin tone.  Let me repeat...just one shade difference!  You're looking for a very subtle trick of the eye, so don't go too dark or too light, or it will look too harsh.  Dot the lighter one in the center of your face nose, forehead, cheeks chin, and blend well with a dampened Beauty Blender or foundation brush.  Lightly dot the darker one
around the perimeter of your face...very top of forehead, temples, jawline, under on sparingly and blend well, so that the two shade are blended perfectly.  There should be no obvious lines or streaks on your jaw!  This technique is a more subtle version of highlight and contour, but when done correctly, it results in a soft and flattering "halo" effect that will pull the eye towards the center of your face and minimize your forehead.
Eyebrow Love -  brush those babies up

If you have a larger forehead, it's vital that you ensure your brows are shaped, properly, defined and brushed upward. Brushing your eyebrows up and into place can lift your face and minimize the distance between your eyebrows and hairline, plus it opens your eye area and creates a balanced look.  If your brows are sparse, fill in a bit with pencil, powder or pomade....just be sure to use short, hair like strokes in a shade that matches our brows for the most subtle look, and keep it all in place with a dab of brow pomade or clear mascara on a spoolie or eyebrow brush. Brows frame your entire look!  If you don't do anything with your brows now, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes when you give them a little attention....

Wear a Bright Lip - it always works
If you have medium to full lips, this technique works especially well. Wear a bright red or berry lip (tip - a sheer berry works on every skin tone) to pull focus from your forehead and call attention to your rosy pout and pretty smile.  Color on your lips prevents a "monochrome" look....If your face is all neutral, your forehead will really stand out. Remember, it's all about creating balance in the face and calling attention to features you like, while distracting from those you don't!

Some of my tips, plus more from other beauty pros were featured in Daily here to read this article, plus tips on everything beauty from A to Z!