Tag: Beauty

Good Morning Beautiful Skin

Without a doubt, the number one question clients ask me is what foundation I use because they often comment that my skin is so clear. My immediate answer is that I do have a top rotation of foundations that I love (planning on doing a foundation favorites post soon) depending on where I’m going, how long my day is and what look I’m going for but truthfully it’s not my foundation but my obsession with skincare that keeps my complexion looking fresh.

photo“classic Rochelle” bold lip, glowing skin & a well groomed brows.

In the morning, my skin care philosophy revolves around two major thoughts: instant hydration and longterm protection. Even with a bare minimum timeframe to get ready, I always prep skin with a few trusty products. Work mornings I wake up first and bring my daughter to school which means a micellular water followed by a face mist for a fast and efficient cleansing routine. The cleansing water instantly removes residual dead skin and impurities that may appear (summer skin means night sweat and constantly changing skin texture) and a face mist helps with antibacterial and re-hydrating purposes. Once I take her to school, I start getting ready by applying a serum, moisturizer, eye cream and a straight sun protection shield.

My current morning skin care favorites:

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I purchased Le Couvent des Minimes 3 In 1 Micellar Water with 3 Beneficial Roses on an impulse ‘add to cart’ click when shopping on beauty.com and enjoyed it so much that there is a second bottle in my makeup kit for use on clients. It’s no secret I have a rose obsession and this one has a mild aroma of rose petals while leaving the skin comfortably purified.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir was a product I used to see pop up all over professional makeup artist recommendations in different beauty magazines but was never compelled to try it. The invigorating mint and signature organic grape water blend perfectly to wake up the skin on tired mornings. It can also be used to refresh makeup mid-day but I mainly use it to perk up my skin before applying any treatment products.

Chantecaille Stress Repair Eye Concentrate Tired eyes are always a struggle as a mom and working professional. This creamy eye concentrate has a lovely texture and is infused with anti-puffiness, wrinkle fighting and dark circle relief via caffeine and plant stem cells. Yes, please.

I recently fell in love with ORGO skincare all over again from initially trying it out last year. As with anything in my beauty stash I don’t always use the products as intended. The 7 days a week treatment set is a rotation of serums you are basically supposed to change daily in order to introduce new nutrients to the skin. Currently, I’ve been using the ‘Friday’ Oxygen Infusion Serum every morning instead of every Friday and it’s keeping my skin looking youthful and hydrated.

Chantecaille Rose De Mai Creme A new product launch, the Chantecaille Rose De Mai Creme has the perfect melt into the skin cooling feel that skin craves during summer season. It contains naturally antibacterial and vitamin C from the Rose De Mai flower, probiotics for environmental protection and plant stem cells to fight aging.

Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 Primer There is no doubt driving all over Socal exposes my skin to the sun on the daily and my belief in a straight sunscreen over moisturizer is always an essential every morning. The broad spectrum SPF 50 protects skin from UVA and UVB rays and the unique texture and finish of this product leaves skin looking healthy, smooth and plump without an ashy white sunscreen residue.

This entire routine literally takes five minutes and makes a major point of difference when applying makeup. Applying foundation on top of any skin type without a proper skin prep can lead to makeup meltdown, products clinging to dry spots and a not so flawless longevity throughout the day. No makeup primer or foundation in the world can magically make change the appearance of poor skincare habits.

If time permits, a face mask is always a morning treat which I leave on 10-45 minutes while completing other tasks – cleaning, styling my hair, nail polish change, mom/ wife duties – the usual.

My favorite Morning face masks stimulate the skin by increasing clarity, hydration level and circulation. Currently, the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask (which I reviewed in a previous post) and Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturizing Cream Mask are what I reach for when I have some extra pampering minutes. Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask is amazing for mornings when skin may feel puffy or appear dull. It instantly increases blood flow leaving skin with a youthful glow. Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturizing Cream Mask has a gorgeous aromatherapy quality to calm the senses and provides a major surge of hydration.

Stay tuned for a “Good Night Beautiful Skin” post revealing my night time best skin care practices.

3 Skin Loving Products for a Flawless Summer Complexion

For a working professional in the beauty industry in both the editorial media and makeup artisty sectors, a bad skin day is totally unfavorable.

After spending time away from home in Palm Springs for a much needed mini-vacation with family and a recent windy night at the beach, my skin is understandably feeling out of sync. 105 degree heat and gusty dry air are a couple rare factors that bring my normally fresh skin into a not so pleasant appearances. Currently, my complexion has been suffering from dehydration and a couple small breakouts.

I’ve fallen in love with two life-changing face masks that literally improve the skin’s appearance overnight: Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask and Elemis Lavender Herbal Face Mask.
When used once or twice a week, these two powerful products reverse the signs of problematic skin without any type of irritation.

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Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask is a rather new discovery in my skincare arsenal. Made with a happy skin formula of potent antioxidants and organic ingredients it is a perfect addition to my beauty routine. It purifies and refines the skin’s texture while offering a youthful, refreshed comfortably firm look that brings instant gratification especially after a bad skin day. Apply all over clean skin, let the mask work it’s magic for 30-45 minutes and rinse off! The post face mask result is a noticeably healthy glow to the complexion.

Elemis Lavender Herbal Face Mask is a great treat for skin needing a quick turnaround from breakouts, oily spells and other unmentionable clogged pore problems. The spa-like aromas of rosemary, lavender and thyme essential oils make for an enjoyable at home facial via a creamy supple face mask. For sensitive noses, I do have to mention the natural scent is a bit intense during the first application but the results are worth enduring the vibrant lavender sensorial experience.

As far as physical coverage, the foundation I reach for when my skin needs some extra love is Becca Cosmetics Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme. The formula is the idea texture and pigmented beautifully to camouflage skin without a heavy feeling heavy. Testing out foundations is something I often do to update my own beauty routine for myself and also my kit for personal clients. What I love most about this particular Becca Cosmetics Foundation is that the color range is flexible and the fluid creates a gorgeous canvas that makes for a flawless skin every time.

What is your go-to product arsenal for problem skin?

Cheers to happy skin, Enter REN Skincare

Two things that put a smile on my face is a great chat with passionate people and a pair of charming British accents. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a desk side chat with Daksha Chikhal and David Delport from REN Skincare. Since I’ve always had a fascination with the UK’s incredible blogging culture, REN skincare has been a brand in my radar of products to try thanks to Caroline Hirons. (If you love skincare, she is the queen of breaking down skincare regimens and you must check out her blog! )

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Focusing on a philosophy of merging pure ingredients with the expertise of an in house biochemist and cosmetologist, REN Skincare stands out as  brand truly serving immediate benefits and complexity of results.

Pioneering the trend for using clean face and body treatments the brand offers a complete range of products with natural essential oils, floral waters, Acidic regenerating acids and Bio Extracts made for all skin concerns including anti-aging, blemish control, radiance boosting, detoxifying and various targeted products to suit both men and women. For the daily makeup wearers, there is the Rosa Centifolia™ colletion of maximum efficacy cleansing products that purify the skin from 100% natural Rose Extract Complex in every desired texture: a hot cloth cleanser (which I’m so excited to try!), a traditional cleansing gel, cleansing foam, 3-1 Cleansing Water, Express Makeup Remover, Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser and No. 1 Cleansing Balm. A firm believer in clarified skin = more youthful skin, a complete selection of daily cleansers is a plus in my book.

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Most impressive is a quite unique approach to treating skin while still using naturally derived ingredients. A new launch coming September 2014, the Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial is a high potency water activated Vitamin C treatment that refines the skin’s overall appearance immediately. It’s an absolute essential for a Socal woman like me who lives up and down the 405 freeway. the Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial reduces the effects of environmental ‘urban grey’ cast on the skin and minimizes signs of sun damage and fine lines and other unfortunate skin imperfections that come with aging.

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Find REN Skincare at Sephora, Space NK and RENskincare.com.

A full review on the 1 Minute Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial coming soon!

*** All photos are original photos taken on my iPhone 5

Work, Work, Work, Repeat.

Is it me or has this last month been extra busy? I feel like I haven’t had a moment to reflect on some of my latest clients. Thankfully, my calendar has been filled with many new makeup clients for prom, weddings and special occasions taking me all over SoCal with all my favorite luxury makeup favorites in my kit within the last few weeks. I just wanted to do a quick post with a few of my favorite makeup looks I’ve done:

 

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Above is a couple soft eye looks for a wedding coordinator, bridesmaid and mother of the bride. I’m planning to post a full makeup post on this bridal party once I get some photos back from their amazing photographer. I used mostly Anastasia Beverly Hills, Chantecaille, Dior and Becca Cosmetics to achieve the looks above.

Processed with Moldiv

My client was celebrating her birthday and usually wears a soft neutral work makeup. She said ‘let’s go for it’ and we played with jewel tones to complement her beautiful skin. I used a combination of OCC Makeup, Chantecaille, Urban Decay and Makeup Forever to create her ultra-glam look.

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This natural beauty has gorgeous eyes and wanted a celebrity inspired makeup look. I used soft bronze and rich browns from Cargo Cosmetics to accentuate her eyes, Tarte Foundation and Dior on her lips. She was ready for Prom!

More to come with photos of my recent makeup work. Are you ready for the weekend? Happy Friday!

No Filter Necessary Contour & Highlight

With the right tools, anyone can recreate a perfectly contoured and highlighted complexion without playing with extreme photo-tricks.

Probably the biggest mistake is applying too much product at once! Thin layers and building intensity where desired is the key to looking flawless on camera and in real life. Of course, product choice and application method contribute to the end result but using small amounts of product makes a major point of difference between amateur and professional results. Unless you plan to be on stage or under harsh editorial studio lighting, less is always more.

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The images above are not filtered/photo shopped, just some old fashioned blending!

1. Prep the skin per usual with appropriate skincare and primer first to perfect the base.  (More on my current skin care faves coming soon).

2. Next, perfect the skin. My current foundation favorite is Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. is a buildable coverage botanical based foundation that gives a skin-like appearance with a weightless texture. I dampen my Beauty Blender with Caudalie Beauty Elixir and bounce the sponge all over my skin. I typically only use about less than a nickel size of the foundation, dot it on the center of my cheeks, chin, forehead and nose then blend well until the product looks invisible.

3. If you are anything like me, a multi-tasking always on the go mom/wife/working professional, dark circles are always an issue. Use a color corrector to illuminate and bring life back to tired eyes. I’m loving Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener – see my last post for a more in depth review. Apply in an inverted triangular shape directly below the bottom lash line and extend out to the lower temples.

4. Highlight the parts of the face you want to emphasize. I reach for Cle De Peau Concealer Stick because it’s very pigmented and easy to apply. Apply a thin sweep of this below the eye brightener, in the center of the forehead. Sometimes I apply this on the bridge of my nose and the middle of my chin but in the photos in this post, I was suffering from a minor cold and did not want my nose to be a focal point from constant sneezing.

5. Blend, blend, blend! My take on highlighting is to look glowing and fresh faced without a mess of sparkling glitter. I believe the skin should look like skin. Spritz the Beauty Blender once more with Caudalie Beauty Elixir and use the pointed end of the sponge under the eyes and the rounded end every where else you placed the lighter shades. Blending is quick but it gives the complexion a natural transition instead of harsh demarcation lines. Taking that extra few seconds to smooth the areas between the highlight and base makeup is what perfects the skin.

6. Use a contouring shade along the hollows of the cheeks to add shape to the face, at the high temples of the forehead and below the jaw line. As mentioned above, in the photos below I did not what to do anything special on my nose because I was having irritation from sneezing/congestion but I sometimes slim my nose with a bit of contour and highlight. In general, I use either the Makeup Forever Cream Camouflage Palette #4 (pictured in the images in this post), OCC Makeup Conceal in a deeper shade or Sleek Makeup Cream Foundation. I like to pick up the cream with e.l.f.’s small stipple brush and apply a very deep color in the hollow of my cheek and on the temples. I then place a deep but slightly lighter shade right above the darkest shade on the cheeks and blend with small circular motions with the same stippling brush until the product looks smooth. Using two deep shades makes for a smoother blend.

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The images above is not filtered/photoshopped & is taken with a flash.

Since I typically am not a fan of contouring/highlighting with powders as I find them to look too dry and overly made up, I use all cream products and set with a fine translucent loose powder in the center of the face if I’m just working on myself. The photos shown in the post, I used a small amount of Koh Gen Do UV Powder applied with a fan brush. Generally, my makeup wears well and don’t have a problem with makeup migrating or separating but on my clients I set the skin with a deep powder over the contours and a translucent shade over the highlighted areas with a loose bristle brush and light patting strokes.

*This probably sounds like a long process but on average, this takes me less than ten minutes in the morning.

 

 

Get Stronger Lashes in just 3 weeks

I’m quite skeptical when it comes to eyelash products that claim to grow natural length because number one, I have asian eyelashes and number two my lashes fall out a lot since I curl them daily – again the curse of straight and extra short asian eyelashes. Although I frequently love to wear a pair of false lashes my eyes have been easily irritated from spring allergies and I have been leaning toward taking my time with applying mascara in the morning over a strip of falsies. To be fair, I have never tried Latisse or any growth treatment besides the one I am about to mention but I do know there is a laundry list of hazards attached to those type of prescription grade treatments such as discoloration and redness.

A few years ago, while I was working for Dior I helped launch the Dior Lash Maximizer which claimed to grow lashes in length, gradually increase curl and give the lashes an overall plush appearance. It’s made with soy protein which conditions and is the main ingredient that makes the lashes noticeably longer in length. A major plus to the product is it is convenient to apply as it is a mascara wand that deposits white product that turns clear in seconds – simply brush on the lashes first and follow up with your favorite mascara.

Personally, I’ve tried it under Dior mascaras (Diorshow New Look is my favorite of the Dior family), other luxe brands and even under drugstore mascaras and it still works beautifully to give the lashes an immediate difference in thickness, length and separation.

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Top photo was taken 3 weeks ago prior to using the Diorshow Lash Maximizer & the bottom is from today after using it daily for 3 weeks!

I highly recommend the Diorshow Lash Maximizer to anyone who has problems with lash fallout, short lashes or is just looking to amplify the look of their natural lashes. I cannot say that I notice a big difference in natural curl after using it over the years but I do notice a change in the length and thickness when I have gone without this product. For $28.50 it is worth a try!

 

Getting Electric Inspired

Wile browsing through Instagram in the last week, there has been a flood of bright eye makeup looks in my feed with the latest launch from Urban Decay, the vibrant and ultra-pigmented Electric Palette.

Although the intensely saturated ten hues housed in a gorgeous piece of signature Urban Decay abstract art is a makeup palette fit for the true makeup collector, the extra bright shades didn’t intrigue me enough to make a purchase. I do however love a creative eye look and decided to pull out an assortment of colors I don;t normally wear and post my own colorful creation.

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What I used:

>>> prior to doing this eye makeup I had a small amount of Dior Airflash foundation in shade 300 under my eyes and 400 on the outside of my face, EOS minty lip balm (my lips are naturally pretty pink), Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Ebony, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Black.

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Radium

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Eye Pencil in 7L

Butter London Wink Colour Mascara in Jaded Jack

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Mehron Makeup Intense Eyeshadow in Ocean Breeze, Metallic Powder in Copper, Earth Pressed Powder Pigments Palette

I love, love, love the Mehron Eyeshadows! They blend true to color from what is in the pan and since they are a beauty to theatrical brand made for the stage and film a tiny amount of product leaves a major impact. In the above photo I blended them all over my eyes without a primer. Have you tried the bright eye makeup trend?

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Sometimes I get a little overzealous and consume my calendar with multiple projects and have to remind myself that it is okay to have a moment to myself.

The last few days I really challenged myself to listen closely to what my daughter was saying without focusing on ten different things – which not surprisingly her comments are lighthearted and comical. What comes out of a five-year-old’s mouth and especially my beauty loving mini me always makes me laugh.

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Here are three things my princess Tessa said in the last 10 days that describes our relationship:

1. “Mommy can you please make my hair super straight and put Morrocanoil in it for picture day?

2. (As I open a box of press samples) “Which one are you sharing with me mommy… I mean which one is mine to keep in my makeup station?”

3. “Do not wear a smokey eye again tomorrow Mommy that is 3 times already this week. How about a wing – but not to big okay!”

Yup. I’ve created a little monster; not to mention she did cry for a good fifteen minutes over me not letting her swatch a box of eyeliners. Is that weird?

 

Engagement Shoot 3/22/14

Although I can appreciate the skill behind a solid graphic eyeliner and a detailed cut crease, I do still believe in an ethereal more discreet approach to bridal makeup. Wedding makeup – or occasions related to the big day including bridal showers and engagement photos require two main points of difference from a daily makeup look. Number one is longevity (point in case why a major eye statement can sometimes be an unrealistic look) and two is flawless blending in both photos and in real life.

Here are a couple photos of my beautiful bride to be Louraine and her lovely Maid of Honor Sister during a makeup trial this past weekend:

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My bridal client Louraine seemed anxious about our makeup consultation since she has cystic acne and acne scarring which can be difficult to camouflage. My pro kit has a variety of different complexion perfecters which offer high coverage without the heavy feeling of some not so skin friendly foundations. She right away noticed that I was not using MAC which she loved since MAC typically triggers breakouts for her skin and that a lot of the products I use contain organic or natural ingredients.

Here’s a breakdown of what I used to create a flawless canvas that translated in person and on camera.

BECCA Cosmetics Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector : This is my favorite primer to use if I know my client has oily skin or if the event they are attending is in a hot/humid environment. This is a silicone, fragrance, oil and alcohol free primer making it idea for a lot of different skin types. I used this on both Louraine and her sister mainly in the center of the face (cheeks, forehead, nose and chin) using light patting motions. This product prolongs makeup wear, controls shine and minimizes any uneven textures on the complexion.

Chantecaille Future Skin : This foundation is so innovative as it is an oil-free formula but holds a lot of hydration from the rose water base and soothes any type of irritation with the green tea, arnica and chamomile. It has a weightless feel making it idea for long events and the HD finish makes it beautiful in every type of lighting. On Louraine I used shades Wheat all over and Cammomile to highlight. For her sister, I used shade Cream all over and Alabaster to highlight.

OCC Skin Conceal: I have two darker shades of this concealer in my kit that I use for contouring the skin. It is a vegan formula, ridiculously pigmented and has a long lasting wear. I used a small stipple brush to contour the face and a small eyeshadow blending brush to slim the nose. A tiny bit of this product goes a long way and does not look shiny, ashy or obvious on the skin.

Bobbi Brown Corrector: I love love love to use this product especially for photoshoots as it hides dark circles if used in small amours buffed onto the eye contour. Too much of this product will crease under eyes and can really migrate if its not set with a fine loose or pressed powder. Less is definitely more!

Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder: Sheer, colorless and in compact form this is my kit favorite for setting the skin. I applied this all over Louraine’s skin as she has oily skin but with a fluffy face brush so skin still looks fresh and non-cakey.

I was so happy to meet these two ladies and boost Louraine’s confidence for her engagement shoot! Here are a couple shots from the photoshoot:

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I can’t wait to glam her entire bridal party in May!

To book me for your next event, please click the “Book Me” link in the menu above.

 

Makeup Essential Tools for Looking Flawless

Over the weekend, during a bridal makeup trial appointment I was reminded that I’ve really incorporated a lot of new favorite beauty tools into my pro kit. Since I finally have a quick minute to devote to writing, here is a post about new essentials that make painting a flawless face an easy task.

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(Pictured from Top to Bottom)

Le Metier De Beaute Blush Brush I Typically am not a fan of short stem brushes but this one is so luxe with a matte black finish and ultra-soft bristles that it is hard not to be obsessed with this tool. Though I mainly use this soft tapered tool for applying bronzer and blush it is also a beautiful brush when used with loose finishing powder. Find this beauty at Neiman Marcus and beauty bar.com.

Japonesque Heated Mini Lash Curler As a self proclaimed eyelash curler hoarder I must say I was surprised to see how often the Japonesque Heated Mini Lash Curler has replaced my favorites from Tweezerman, Sephora Brand, Shu Uemura and Chanel for the last three months. Get a fully fanned out curl without a deep crimp competitors may lead from a traditional metal eyelash tool. Find this beauty at Ulta and ulta.com.

Tweezerman Pink Perfection Slant Tweezer Aside from being hot pink, this precision tool keeps my brow game on point plus is so perfect for placing individual false lashes – enough said. I got this beauty from Sephora last year and its still available in store and online.

Beauty Blender What I love about this tool is that it is non-latex for my sensitive clients and it blends foundation, contour and highlighting creams with such a quick application. My favorite way to use a beautyblender is to first dampen the sponge with rose water and use a stipple/rolling motion to blend the complexion. Beautyblender is available all over shop some of my favorite retailers: Sephora, Frends Beauty or Camera Ready Cosmetics.

Sephora Pro Brow Comb #21 Eyebrows and lashes are so important to the total makeup look – or even a bare face- because they frame the eyes. A perfectly groomed brow is easy to maintain with the stiff bristle end which pushes brows into the right shape. Use the opposite end to de-clump mascara for elongated lashes.

Morphe C139 Stiff Tap Brush Whether you are just getting into makeup or are a makeup pro, Morphe Brushes are affordable, functional and great for building an essential beauty wardrobe. Currently I have three C139 Stiff Tap brushes and I use them frequently to define the crease and apply loose and pressed pigments over the lid.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Crease Brush 011 Made from super soft natural goat hair, this is the perfect brush for blending any eye look from subtle to full on dramatic. The dome shaped bristles make it incredibly easy to create a perfect smokey eye. Find this beauty at rougebunnyrouge.com.