Emmy 2013 Red Carpet Breakdown

Last night was the Emmy's.  As much as I enjoy seeing the winners, I LOVE the red carpet.

The make up could be categorized into two trends: Bold Eyes and Bright Lips, while Nude Nails were the color of the evening.

Bold Eyes

Using rich greys, navy, charcoals, and deep browns, eyes were smokey with color concentrated heavily on the top lid and smudged slightly below the lower lash line.  Lips were kept subtle with a semi matte texture varying in color from mauve to light peach.  Blush echoed a reflection of the lip color to create a slight flush to the cheeks.


Bright Lips

Deliciously bright lips ranged in color from orange to watermelon to hot pink.  These opaque lips were the pop of color that had to be noticed.  A defined upper lash line kept the eyes clean, while the cheeks had barely a hint of blush if any at all.


Nude Nails

Nude, Neutral, Naked; no matter how you describe it celebs like Giuliana Rancic, Sofia Vergara, Kaley Cuoco, and Allison Williams chose to keep their nails on the lighter end of the color spectrum wearing varying shades of pale nail polish.  It was an understated, albeit glamorous look this evening.


The Buzz about Birchbox

I have to stay up to date on new products and industry buzz; one of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to do this is with a monthly Birchbox subscription.  Somewhere in the second week of the month a box of deluxe (and sometimes full size) samples are delivered to my door.  There are always products from major brands, but many are smaller companies that are just entering into the market so it's a great way to be "in the know" before the rest of the world is. There’s everything from make up to skin care to hair care and a few extra bonuses like tea, chocolate, nail polish and hair accessories.  Each box has a theme and the products are selected to complement it (ie back to school, spring break, the holidays, etc.). I’ve discovered there are times I try a product, love it and use the sample so quickly I have to order the full size product (like the SuperGoop City Sunscreen Serum – a skin care treatment, plus sunscreen.  Amazingly perfect for the summer!  Works great alone or under make up!).

If you want to know what’s new on the market or you just love beauty products, treat yourself to this monthly subscription ($10 a month and that includes the cost of shipping).  It's such a treat when you open your mailbox and the hot pink box is just waiting to be opened!!!


Have you tried Birchbox or any other monthly make up subscriptions?  If not, try this one and get ready to discover some great new products!


L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain - Product Review

"Discover a stain that thinks it’s a gloss"

That’s the tagline that lured me in so I was curious to see how true that statement really is (bravo marketing department).

My lips are dry so I’m constantly reapplying my lip products whether lipstick or lip conditioner, but of course (as all women want) I don’t want to have to reapply.  I want something that’s going to last and be comfortable on my lips.

  • The applicator seemed a bit strange to me at first, as it is shaped like a flattened oval, but I found it was quite easy to get a defined edge and an even application of color.
  • Even though there is some transparency to the product, the color was more pigmented than I expected for a lip stain.
  • It was very comfortable to wear; my lips didn’t ever feel like they were dry.

I tested this on 2 specific occasions where I knew I would be eating, drinking and speaking.   Overall I was pleased with how the product wore.

  • The color barely transferred to my glass so I didn’t have to worry about those little upward facing lines that lipstick on a glass or cup can leave on the sides of your top lip.
  • Both times this product lasted for 4-5 hours (see proof below).  Of course it wasn’t as fresh at the end of the night as it was at the beginning, but it had faded evenly so it was nice to know I still had color on my lips.

There were only a couple of downsides to this product:

  • The pigment intensity – I chose as darker color and was happy with the intensity it gave, but a lighter color at the same pigment intensity may look a little flat and fake on certain skin tones.
  • Reapplication – I found once this product had been on my lips, even for a few minutes, it seemed to “set”.  Once it was set, touching up a spot or reapplying a second layer just made it feel thick, slightly tight and a bit uncomfortable.

Overall I liked this product.  It’s definitely one I’ll keep in my purse when I need a quick color on my lips that I know will last.

I'd love to hear your reviews if you've tried this product!


"Cannot Live Without" Beauty Items

I'm constantly trying new products that claim to be the best and the greatest, but I've found over the years there are somethings I just continue to go back too.  Here are a few of my "cannot live without" beauty items.

MAC Bulk Wipes

These are a lifesaver!  One wipe will remove every stitch of make up including mascara no matter how much make up I'm wearing.  It's EXTREMELY important you remove your make up before you wash your face.  Your face wash was never meant to do double duty by washing your face and trying to remove make up.  (A bonus with these wipes is if you're in a time crunch or just too exhausted they can be used as a one stop shop-removing make up and hydrating your skin.  Great for those nights when you just want to get to sleep!)

La Roche-Posay Toleraine Purifying Foaming Cream

I have been obsessed with this face wash for years!  As someone who has sensitive, dry skin I have to be cautious about what products I use and this one has never let me down.  This cleanser is so concentrated, just a small pea size amount is plenty to wash your face so the bottle seems to last forever, plus it has a nice rich lather and does not strip my skin of moisture. (La Roche-Posay in general has amazing products.  Check out one of my favorite sunscreens in this post)

Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream

Trader Joe's Honey Mango Moisturizing Shave Cream

You know those shaving commercials...the ones where the girl's leg is completely covered in a foam shaving cream minus the one strip she's already shaved off?  For years that was me, shaving my legs like the girl in the commercial.  A non-foaming shaving cream just seemed so bizarre to me that I resisted trying anything else until one of my guy friends (yes, even guys get beauty too :) ) mentioned how the Trader Joe's Shaving Cream kept his face from breaking out after shaving.  From my first bottle I knew I was never going back.  As one who shaves my legs every day (I really hate prickly legs) this product is perfect for continual use on your legs...and all other delicate areas that need shaving.  A little goes along way with this product, so you need just enough to create a barrier between your skin and the razor.  Also, a bonus is that it's Paraben free and 100% Vegetarian. (For those who don't live near a Trader Joe's you can order it off of Amazon here.).  Get ready for silky, smooth legs!!!

MAC Brush Cleanser

Oh, I cannot stress the importance of properly cleaning brushes!  Next to my hands they are the most important tool in my make up kit and that is why I use this both personally and professionally.  There are plenty of other brush cleansers on the market (and even some DIY Pinterest boards), but I DON'T suggest them.  For me this brush cleaner packs a triple punch-it cleans/shampoos, disinfects with an anti-bacterial agent and most importantly it conditions the bristles.  It's not as imperative with a synthetic brush that the bristles be conditioned, but it is with a natural bristled brush.  Just imagine washing your hair and never putting a conditioning agent on it; it might be clean, but it's probably not going to be the softest and silkiest it could be.  Trust me after you feel how soft the bristles are after you've washed your brushes, you won't go back to another brush cleaner.

 These are just a few of the beauty items I can't live without.  Let me know what are some of your "Can't Live Without" items!


Broken Eye Shadow? Here's how to fix it!

Has this ever happened, you open up an eyeshadow and it's disintegrated into small pieces?


I always I thought I had two options, pour the loose shadow into a small container or throw it away.  Neither of those options were very appealing until I discovered this ... you can re-solidify your shadows.


Using rubbing alcohol fill the metal container 3/4 high (I prefer 99% alcohol, but 90% or 91% should be fine) .

Don't over fill, you can always add more alcohol if it's not full enough.


Gently press the shadow with a Q-tip mixing the shadow and alcohol together.

Make sure the shadow is completely saturated with alcohol even if this means the breaking the chunks of eye shadow into smaller pieces.


The eye shadow should be completely saturated.

Lift the container and tap it against the counter.  You should see small bubbles being forced to the surface as the alcohol/eye shadow mixture settles back into the container.

Let the eye shadow container sit open so the alcohol can evaporate.

Voila!!!! Amazing that with a little alcohol an eye shadow can go from this to this!


Hope this little trick can keep you from needlessly throwing away a broken eye shadow.


Bright Eyes!!!

Spring is here and it is in full effect! 

With the arrival of warm days, I find I want to lighten and brighten up my make up both in color and the amount worn.  A fun and easy way to do this is to change your eyeliner to a brighter color.  Before you say "I could never wear something like that", I urge you to read the steps below.  (**You'll see that by blending a darker shadow into the colored eyeliner it makes a bold color flattering enough to wear every day.)

Let's begin...


Begin this look with a very neutral eye make up or possibly no eye make up at all.

Draw a line with the pencil across the top of the eyelid and 2/3 of the way across the lower lash line.


Using the end of the 242 brush gently smudge the edge of the eyeliner on the upper eyelid and lower lash line.


Any time I use a pencil eyeliner, there is almost always a small space between the lashes and the pencil eye liner (look at the first set of pictures).

**Using a 266 brush and a dark eye shadow (black, navy, deep purple, etc.) draw a thin line just above the lashes.  This is just to fill in the small space.  Also add a small line of dark eye shadow about 1/3 of the way across the lower lash line.


Gently soften the line of dark eye shadow using the 266 or the 242 brush.  This should not make the dark shadow line thicker, but instead it will be blending it into the pencil liner.  Use the same technique to blend along the lower lashes.

Add mascara and your look is finished.


This next look just oozes with spring colors because of  the green liner and the pink tint on the lips and cheeks!

I followed the same steps as the above look.  The only step I left out was not adding the dark shadow to the lower lashes.


If you don't know what eyeliner color to wear 2013's color of the year, Emerald Green would be perfect.  It's a universally flattering color on all skin tones, plus it has just enough oomph to make a statement, without being too over bearing.

When using a pencil liner make sure it has a nice slip to it (if possible test it on your hand before you purchase it).  The skin around the eye area is delicate and you don't want the pencil to pull or tug the skin while you're trying to draw a line.  I recently discovered these eyeliners from Sephora.  This is the turquoise eyeliner I used in the first look.  They are really creamy, but they will "set" and become waterproof after they've been on your skin for a few minutes.

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Flashy Liner Waterproof

I'd love to know if you try this look and how you're brightening up your make up this spring?


I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for...Sunscreen?

Sunscreen, we know we need it, but do we really know what to use and why?  When I began researching this topic I expected to gain a refresher about sun safety, discover a few advancements and present you with a brief summary.  Boy was I wrong!  The refresher part was easy, but the discovering new advancements was like opening Pandora's box.  There are some very opinionated debates about what sunscreen you should wear, how you should wear it, and why you should wear it. Sun School 101

There are two types of UV Radiation being giving off by the sun, UVA and UVB and you need protection from both.

  • UVA - These are the rays that cause AGING This is the dominant tanning ray whether tanning out doors or in a tanning bed and it is strong enough to permeate through glass and clouds.  This ray penetrates the skin deeper than a UVB ray, thus causing cumulative damage to the skin over time. 1
  • UVB - These are the rays that cause your skin to BURN as they tend to effect only the superficial epidermal layer (or the top most layer).  The intensity of these rays vary by time of day, altitude and season. 1

According to the FDA's new labeling rules for 2012, if a bottle of sunscreen just has an SPF + a number it will not block out a significant amount of UVA rays.  To be sure your sunscreen is going to block both UVA and UVB rays, the bottle has to read "Broad Spectrum" and have an SPF of 15 or higher.  Any sunscreen not labeled Broad Spectrum or with an SPF between 2-14 the product will be listed a warning  “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert:  Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”  2

Types of Sunscreen

There are two types of sunscreen, physical blockers and chemical blockers.   Physical sunscreen, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, sits on the skin's surface and physically blocks both the UVA and UVB rays.  A chemical sunscreen is absorbed by the skin so the sun becomes deactivated once the rays come in contact with the chemicals in the sunscreen. 3 There is much debate as to the safety of chemical sunscreens and every article and opinion you read will tell you something new.  If you have used any major brand of sunscreen at any point in your life, you've used a chemical sunscreen.  Two chemicals that seem to be least controversial are Avobenzone and Mexoryl (see here and here). 1  Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate seems to be two of the more controversial (see here and here).


  • Strip down, yep I said it, strip down to your birthday suit and apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go outside.  Applying sunscreen in the buff will ensure your swimsuit won't get in the way and you can cover all the hard to reach areas.  There is nothing worse than thinking your skin is covered, your swimsuit unknowingly shifts one way just a little too far and you end up with a lobster red sunburn in one small line.
  • Apply 1 ounce (equal to 2 tablespoons or a shot glass full) of sunscreen to your entire body. 1
  • Reapply every 2 hours.  "Waterproof" sunscreens have been approved to last for 80 minutes, but may need to be reapplied sooner when swimming or with heavy sweating.  "Water Resistant" sunscreens have been approved to last for 40 minutes. 4
  • Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your ears (front and back), back of the neck, back of the hands and any exposed areas in your hair (like where your hair is parted - you do not want that to burn and then turn into a peeling, flaky scalp). 4


  • Always choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15. 1
  • Sunscreen can loose it's potency over time so be cautious using sunscreen that has changed color, smell or consistency. 4
  •  If you are concerned about potentially toxic chemicals avoid any sunscreens containing oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. For a list of sunscreens without these chemicals, see here.
  • Remember this phrase from the American Cancer Society: "Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap".  Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen, Slap on a hat, and Wrap on sunglasses. 4

My Recommendation...

The two companies that I have trusted for the last few years is EltaMD and La Roche-Posay.  Unbeknownst to me they were the top two selling sunscreens of 2012 (see the list here - I cannot guarantee that the products on this list are free of some of the aforementioned chemicals.).

The sunscreen that I use almost every day...yes I don't wear it every day...is EltaMD UV Facial Broad Spectrum SPF 30+.  If I know I'm going to be stuck in side all day without being in the sun at all, I don't wear sunscreen.  This product is wonderful under make up.  It soaks right into the skin and leaves no greasy residue.  It's a constant in both my personal and professional make up kit.  This product is only found in a dermatologist office, but this link will tell you where it's sold in an office near you.

EltaMD UV Facial Broad Spectrum

La Roche-Posey is a company that I recommend for multiple products (I've used one of their face washes for years and I love it!).  Their sunscreens are some of the best on the market because of the Mexoryl SX technology.  The Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen is one of their best sellers.  This product is usually found in the dermatologists office, but in the last few years CVS has started carrying this line.  If it's not in a store near you then the products can be found on the CVS website.

Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer

So as I told you in the beginning, what I thought was going to be a simple post was anything but.  Hopefully this gave you a refresher about information you already knew and introduced you to some new information about what's currently on the market.  I'd love to know what your favorite sunscreens are.

Removing Gel Nail Polish

I love Gel Nails, but it is a MUST that they be removed correctly. Once the gel polish starts to lift or chip, it is soooo tempting to want pick the polish off.  Should you be tempted to remove the polish improperly, you could damage your nail.


(See, I've already sacrificed one of my nails. Don't do this to yours. :) )

Removing Gel Nails at home is really quite simple.  There are a few items you will need:

  • Pure Acetone
  • Cotton Balls or Cotton Squares
  • Orange Stick (used to push your cuticles back)
  • 10- 2.5"x2.5" squares of Aluminum foil (I prefer heavy duty as it holds it's shape a bit tighter once the nail is wrapped, but the regular will work too.  Also, the measurements don't have to be exact, but this size works best for me.)

 Ready to remove the color.


 Dampen 1/2 a cotton ball or 1/2 a cotton square with acetone.  This doesn't need to be dripping with acetone, but it needs to be completely saturated.


Place the aluminum foil on top of the cotton covered nail.  Make sure the aluminum foil is placed so the corners are pointing north, south, east, west.  This will give you the longest area of the foil to wrap around your nail.


 Turn your hand over and wrap the foil around your finger.


Bend the top of the foil towards the back of your finger.  Turn your hand over and give the foil a small squeeze just under the cotton, about where your first knuckle is located.  This helps the foil from coming loose.

Depending upon the brand of Gel Polish the "soak" or removal time will differ.  I've been using the Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Polish and I usually let it soak for 4-5 minutes.  I always want to minimize the amount of time my skin comes in contact with the acetone, so that is why I start checking sooner than suggested.  To remove the foil I don't unwrap it, I just slide it off my finger.  Usually the polish starts looking something like this ...


There will be areas that have completely lifted so the polish is gone and then there will be some areas that are still attached to the nail.  Take the orange stick (or a just use a finger nail on your other hand, assuming it's not wrapped in foil) and GENTLY scrape away the polish. 


If you still have polish remaining, do not force it loose from the nail.  Just reuse the foil wrap to soak your nails again.  You might need to add a little more acetone to the cotton.


It may take a few times for the nail polish to completely release from the nail.  The important thing is DON'T RUSH.  You can damage and weaken your nail should the polish be removed incorrectly.


Ta-da! Perfectly removed polish.  Once the polished is removed wash your hands.  Moisturize your cuticles and nails (plain Vitamin E Oil works wonders) and use a heavy hand cream (L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is one of my favorites). 

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about this process!


Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Polish - Product Review

  I LOVE painted nails, but I HATE chipped polish.  Because of my job, my hands are in pictures all the time so my nails need to look prefect.  Regular nail polish had never failed me ... until I had professional gel nails applied.  After having weeks with no chipping, it made regular nail polish just not worth the trouble.

When Sally Hansen released their Salon Pro Gel Polish that promised no chips for 14 days, I was intrigued.

Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Kit
Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Kit

Verdict: I love this product.  It's one of my favorite beauty finds.


There are other at home gel kits on the market, but here are my reason I prefer this one.

  • It's very easy to use and the color lasts.
  • As soon as the color is cured, your nails are done.  No smudging!!!
  • This product is sold in almost every store so it's readily available (Target, CVS, Ulta, etc.).   Budget tip-Some of these stores have 20% off coupons which are perfect for items like these.
  • It uses an LED light, which is safer for the skin, instead of a UV light to cure the polish.
  • These do not weaken my nails like I feel some of the professional gel polishes have.
  • 100% Acetone is all that's needed to remove the polish.  These must be removed properly, see how here.  *See Tips.
  • 99% Alcohol soaked wipes are what's in the packets you use before and after applying the polish. *See Tips


  • The range of colors are a bit limited.  Assuming this product does well in the market, I'm hoping they will expand the color range.
  • I've found my right hand (the dominant one) does tend to chip a bit quicker than my left hand.
  • The LED light has a preset 30 second timer to cure the polish, but each nail really needs a 60-90 second cure time.  **See Tips


*Some of the other at home gel polishes have specialty removers made only by their brand.  Sally Hansen does sell prepackaged 99% Alcohol wipes and small bottles of acetone, but if you're budget savvy just purchase the CVS or Target brand of Acetone found on the bottom shelf with the nail polish removers.  99% Alcohol is a medical grade alcohol that can some times be found in the pharmacy or can be purchased from one of the make up supply houses in larger cities (West Coast peeps - Frends, Nigel's; East Coast peeps - Alcone)

**Cure the polish for the first 30 seconds with the light shining directly on the nails.  For the next 30-60 seconds, rock the fingers/hand slightly side to side so the light will shine on the edges of the polish and fully cure.  Do this with all 3 steps.

Have you ever tried gel nails either at home or professionally applied?


CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara - Product Review

Mascara, the one product that I find women have a love affair with.  We love it ... but very few of us are in a committed relationship to just one brand.  I too fall into this category.  There may be seasons that I go back to the reliable ones, but I'm quite certain I've never purchased the same tube of mascara twice in a row. Now in all fairness I'm quite harsh in my judging.  I expect the trifecta of drama to happen with every swipe of the brush; it must lengthen, add volume and curl.  If any one area falls short, I'm not buying the tube again.

This mascara for the most part has passed the test, well at least enough that I've bought this type 2 or 3 times before.  It's CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara.  It's the one in the orange tube, don't get the other colors . . . (see the last comment about the green tube)

LashBlast Volume Mascara

Here's the proof


Length - Much longer lashes

Volume - Each lash appears to be wider, but they aren't clumped together.

Curl - I do not curl my lashes with an eye lash curler and this mascara still gives me pretty good lift.  I have noticed they will straighten a little through out the day.  If you did curl your lashes, this mascara would help the curl stay.

This mascara can be a little thick, but I tend to prefer a thicker texture to a thin one.

The plastic brush can take some getting use to.  It seems to be a little fatter around than a regular mascara wand, but I find I've adjusted to it by the 2nd or 3rd use.  (Note-When running late in the morning, do not get in a rush applying your mascara quickly with this brush.  One's eye, when poked by the little plastic bristle will water profusely, potentially ruining your eye make up and making you even later.  I may or may not know this from experience. :)

Occasionally, I've noticed the mascara flaking off my lashes as the product is running out and I'm getting near the end of the tube.

As for the green tube, CoverGirl's LashBlast Clump Crusher, it does exactly what it says.  It's so good at removing clumps it also removes all the product from your lashes meaning I had some length, minimal curl and no volume.  I made the tube work, but was happy to toss it when it was empty.

What's your favorite or most current mascara?


Gel Eyeliner that lasts all day, to good to be true? (I think not)

I'm always on the lookout for products that will last, but will still look fresh when my day is over.  When I heard this new company, Inglot Cosmetics, had a gel eyeliner that outlasts any other on the market my interest was peeked.  The official product name on their website is Matte Collection AMC Eyeliner Gel.  I used number 77.

The test was a 15 hour day (applied at 7AM, removed at 10:30PM) and the application was a 50's style winged eye liner.  This application requires exact precision, with this look no mistakes can be made and covered with with a smudged line.  I used a synthetic bristled, angled brush to apply this product, similar to the 263 brush referenced in my essential brushes post.


-Budget friendly - There's a large amount of product for the price. (0.19 oz vs 0.1 oz which is about the average size)

-Tons of matte colors (as well as metallic colors not shown on the website)

-Simple, easy packaging.

-Opaque, velvety color.

-Paraben free and no animal testing.

-The texture is great!  This is my ultimate test for gel liners.  It's has a nice slip to it when painting it on the skin and it's not too thick.

-At the inner corner of my eye, on the bottom near the tear duct, a small amount of product that transferred to the skin midway through the day.  This is not an uncommon place for a product to transfer/run because of the amount of moisture near the tear duct.  I simply used a q-tip to remove the product.

Final Judgment

-This is a product I will use both personally and professionally.  This product wore for 15 hours without budging.  All the pictures here were taken at the end of the 15 hour day!

*Because this product is so new it can only be found in select markets.  Nigel Beauty Emporium is the only place that I know of in LA that sells this line of cosmetics.  This store one of the amazing make up stores that I use when I'm purchasing products for my kit.  You can use the Inglot Cosmetics website to research their products.  If you're local, head on over to Nigel's or place an order because they literally ship make up supplies all over the world!

If you try this product, let me know.  I'd love to hear your reviews on it!




Fresh faces rule the red carpet at the 2013 Oscars!

Spring is in the air and that was very apparent tonight on the Academy Award's red carpet!  This awards show never disappoints with all the glamour and the fashion.  There seemed to be a light, freshness in all the beauties that graced the red carpet as neutrals and pastels were the color du jour. Subtle plums created sweet, but statement making smokey eyes; while nude lips provided a lovely complement to their overall look for Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Garner.

Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Garner

Their ashen grey smokey eyes, though light in color never lacked any drama for both Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.  Both ladies kept the skin youthful and fresh with hints of pink on their cheeks and lips.

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington
Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington

Continuing with the neutral trend, but adding her own flair to it, was the lovely Jessica Chastain.  She was my favorite of the evening oozing old Hollywood glamour with her make up, hair and dress.  The eyes were kept very simple with a shimmery nude eyeshadow on the eyelid, a warm, but very faint contour in the crease and a clean but dramatic black eyeliner on the upper eyelid only.  Her skin was flawless and her cheeks had a soft pink glow.  The finishing touch to complete her look was a perfectly, classic red lip.


Below are a few products to help you recreate this look.

Eyelid Color - Chanel OMBRE ESSENTIELLE Eyeshadow - Lotus (Champagne shadow with a slight shimmer)

Crease - MAC Eyeshadow - Soba (Gold Brown with Gold Shimmer)

Eye Liner - Bobby Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink

Lashes - Ardell - #123

Blush -MAC Cosmetics Sheertone Blush - Pinch O' Peach (Warm Peach)

Lips -MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Lipcreme -Prolong (True Red)

Let me know if you had a favorite red carpet look and you want to recreate it!


Blooming Brushes, what are the essentials?

Hands down (pun intended), my brushes are the most important tool in my make up kit. The right brush with right product can achieve beautiful results! This is one item that I will tell you DO NOT scrimp on your brushes. Bite the bullet and spend for QUALITY; the results are well worth it. It's a small investment with a major payoff. There are brushes that I've had for 10+ years and they are in just as good of shape today as they were the day I bought them (now this is also because I'm meticulous in taking very good care of them, but that is for another post coming soon! :) The 5 basic essentials ...

193 Angled Foundation Brush

This brush is a synthetic bristle perfect to be used for a cream or liquid.  I like that the over all shape of the bristles are wide enough to be used over the whole face, but because they come to a slight point it can double as a concealer brush for a little spot concealing when needed.

129 Powder/Blush Brush

This is a natural bristle brush perfect for a pressed or loose powder.  The bristle shape of this particular brush is large enough to be used as a powder brush or small enough to be used as blush brush.  (Either use the brush for blush or powder.  Trying to use the same brush for both could have a disastrous ending.)

266 Small Angled Brush

This is one of the most multipurpose brushes I own.  This brush is a natural bristle brush.  It's perfect for using a powdered product to line your eyes, smudge your eyeliner or even add a little color to fill in your brows.  There is a synthetic version of this brush (263 Small Angled Brush) that is ideal when using a cream or liquid liner.

242 Shader Brush

This has been a staple of mine for years.  It can be used for any make up product that is powder, liquid or cream.  The bristles are stiff enough to give a bold, intense payoff of color, yet soft enough to you could lightly brush product onto the skin to get just a hint of the color showing.  I use this to apply color to my eyelids or brow highlight, to smudge eyeliner for a smokey eye or even use it as a concealer or lip brush. (As stated above with the powder/blush brush, you must designate what this brush will be used for.  You can't jump between smudging eyeliner one day and then using the same brush for concealer the next.)

217 Blending Brush

I've saved my favorite brush for last!  This is a blending brush for the crease of your eyes.  It's a natural bristle so it's best used for powder products.  The dome shape of the bristles are perfect for flawlessly blending colors together and achieving that airbrushed look.

If you have any question about these or any other brushes, let me know and I'd be glad to tell you how to use them!


Can a new hairstyle really change your life?

Have you ever been in a beauty rut, like the kind that even on your best day you just know something’s off? I have been there and let me tell you it’s no fun. A few years ago I thought I should let my hair grow long. I had long hair until after college so long hair was not out of the ordinary for me, plus I figured “I’m living in LA where long hair with soft curls are tres en vogue so lets just fit in with the rest”. (Now I like the soft curls, long hair look, but it’s not my style and you NEED to know your own style … but that’s another post for another day).

The longer my hair grew the more un-me it felt. Even on my best day (which I didn’t think I looked bad) I just always felt off.

I eventually realized that the hair had to go; I had lost my confidence and I was literally hiding behind it. So in October of 2011 I chopped it off…12” to be exact…shorter than it had ever been. I figured go big or go home, right?

Wow, I was back!!! In the length of time it took to for a haircut, I felt I had found me and my style again. Nothing miraculous happened during the 2 hours in the salon, but my confidence and self-assurance was back.

No looking back now. It was gone.

 I swear when I left the salon it felt like I could take over the world. This change brought back a self-assurance I had lost; it then gave me the momentum to conquer and try some things that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before I cut my hair.


So what’s the importance of a story about a haircut? It’s to get you to think about what rut you might be in. What change do you need to make that could be the catalyst for monumental growth?

Is there something out there (a bold lipstick, a leopard print shirt, starting a dream job, a cross country move) that you want to do or try but you think you lack the confidence to do so? Let me tell you – you are braver and bolder than you think. Let me repeat that again – YOU ARE BRAVER AND BOLDER THAN YOU THINK!


You don’t have to do something as drastic as cutting off your hair… or then again you might need to do more.

Trust me on this one; we all have reservoirs of untapped strength and confidence.

For me it took cutting off my hair to find one of those untapped reservoirs.

It’s a new year; maybe a chance to be a new you. Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone, be brave and bold, to attempt that thing that will bring you a more strength and confidence?



Life lessons learned as a Make Up Artist!

It’s a new year, new adventures and a new beauty blog! I have been working as a professional make up artist for 10 years, and I believe our outer appearance is a reflection of our inner self and I believe that these two things are connected closer than we realize.

This beauty blog is something I’ve been considering for the past year and now that it’s a new year I’m ready to start it. I have not arrived a the pinnacle of my career or skill set as I believe one should be the constant student in one’s craft, but I do know a quite a few things and I would LOVE to share with you what I know.

With this blog, I hope to encourage you to look at yourself not just outwardly, but inwardly and recognize you are much more than just the face the world sees.

I will teach make up techniques, tell you what’s new on the market, cover what’s trending as well as explore a smattering of other beauty related topics.

If you’re ready to improve your make up skills while learning how our beauty truly radiates from the inside then join me on this journey and welcome to my beauty blog on jlhess.com!!!