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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Welcome, Fall! (it's still really hot)

With another Texas summer under my belt, I find myself relishing in the beauty of cinnamon apples, boots and scarves, and pumpkin everything. I live for fall, and especially the makeup looks that come along with it. The deep plums, the sultry jades, and the smokey greys are just a few of my favorite things. A few trends I'm digging right now... everything is multi purpose! For us moms (or students, or worker bees, or... pretty much any woman I know) always on the go, this is amazing. THe potted cream shadows that double as a long lasting primer, the chubby lip pencil that wears as a glossy, saturated lip color, and the shimmery blush that acts as a highlighter. Whatever your need(s) are, they are sure to be met two fold this fall! Here are a few collections I'm looking forward to:
Two Faced 'Pretty Rebel'
I've always loved Too Faced, but I feel like they've really stepped up their game here lately. With their new Lip Injection Color Bomb lipsticks, you can plump up your pucker and add a balmy, glossy satin color all in a convenient chubby pencil.
Nars is all about the modern matte this year, which is right up my ally. I love the sophistication and edge of a matte nail, a suede lip, or a shimmer free, smokey eye. What I'm not a fan of is their campaign this fall... it's a little tired looking, and is sort of a turn off for me. Step it up, Nars!
MAC Has a few new collections for Fall, but the one I'm most excited about it their new Pro Longwear collection! If you're anything like me, you don't want to have to touch up your makeup any more than necessary, and I LOVE a great 5 minute face. This product helps me achieve a pulled together look without spending 30 minutes wrestling toddlers off of my legs in front of the mirror. Thanks MAC! Check out 'Perky' (cream coral with white pearl), and 'Tailor Grey' (muted grey). I don't think you can go wrong with these! 

So, that's it for me... what collections are you coveting this fall? Or are you already looking forward to Holiday collections like I am? Haha. Seriously, how pretty would the last look from MAC look for a holiday party?! Just gorgeous.

Please check in next week, I'll be posting my results from the TCA peel I did last week. I was aiming to get it up sooner, but the website states that it takes 10 days to fully recover, and I want to be sure to give it a fair shot. Stay tuned!
-C




Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation Time!

It's summer, so with that comes Family Vacation Time! We are heading to my hometown of San Francisco (East Bay, woop woop!). We will be traveling all over California for 2 weeks, spending time Sonoma county, San Francisco proper and West Hollywood. I know I want to hit up a lot of flagship stores, any recommendations for me? I'm also thinking about bringing my kit, any California peeps need their makeup done? I'm up for a TFP shoot! Wish me luck as I travel with my young boys, and I'll try to get a blog in while I'm out and about... happy Summer, everyone! -C

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Giveaway!

Hey all! This is a big one, you will WANT to be a part of it, I promise :)

I am part of a group of ladies with wonderful beauty blogs, and we decided it would be awesome to collaborate on a giveaway (super jealous of whoever wins this, but the way) that feature our favorite things! Another bonus? You may end up finding your next favorite beauty blogger!



blog URL


Box 1: NAILS INC. Nail Polish in Cambridge Terrace, Physicians Formula wet/dry formula eyeshadow, brown Tarte Eyeliner, Givenchy Nail Lacquer in Fuchsia Irrésistible, Reach vivid Dimensions Mascara, MCA Reality Cosmetics Eye-liner, Urban Decay Tint Blush, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip stain.

Box 2: Kate Spade mini polish set, Jouer cosmetics tinted blush, Jouer cosmetics crème eyeshadow stick, Urban Decay Palette Mariposa, 6 china glaze nail polishes, Shu Umera eyeshadow, Too Faced shadow insurance sample, Maybelline Illegal length mascara.

Box 3: Real Techniqes brush, Urban Decay Naked Polish set, EOS lip balm, Tarte Lipgloss, NYX sparkly eyeliner, STILA Spring Collection eyeshadow,

Box 4: Japonesque precision lash curler, Dior Nirvana polish, Bumble & Bumble Shine On spray, Sephora Pantone Universe Gleaming Lipgloss Collection, E.L.F 14 piece nail polish cube, fragrance flower ring. 

Enter now, and good luck!

-C


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

A review! My take on makeup artists choice Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum

I really wanted to review the TCA peels first, but I haven't had a chance to do as many as I would like to do to get optimum results. The downtime on them is a mother, and I just don't have time for it with what we have going on with vacations and stuff (life's rough).

So I decided to go ahead and review this stuff now that my bottle is nearly empty. I have a hard time usually remembering moisturizer. I have crazy oily skin, and typically unless I see results immediately, I get bored. What's great about Hyaluronic Acid is that it is SO great for your skin long term, but it also has that instant gratification most of us love.

So, if you don't know exactly what HA is, let me tell you. From WebMD:


Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.

People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional.

The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries including cataract removal, corneal transplantation, and repair of a detached retina and other eye injuries. It is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace natural fluids.

Hyaluronic acid is also used as a lip filler in plastic surgery.

Some people apply hyaluronic acid to the skin for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, and as a moisturizer.

There is also a lot of interest in using hyaluronic acid to prevent the effects of aging. In fact, hyaluronic acid has been promoted as a "fountain of youth." However, there is no evidence to support the claim that taking it by mouth or applying it to the skin can prevent changes associated with aging.

How does it work?

Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. In addition, it might affect the way the body responds to injury.

Hold up... did someone say 'Fountain of Youth'? I'm in.

Really, though. It has a plumping effect, due to the fact that it holds 100x its weight in water. I have been using it as a primer on my oily skin and it just absorbs any oil my skin produces. It's literally amazing. I'm amazed.

So, this product I've been using is from Makeup Artists Choice, and you can find it here. It's $26.95, and in my opinion that's a very fair price.

There is little to no scent, and a little goes a VERY long way. I use one pump for my whole face. Here is an excerpt from their website:
When the air is dry and less humid, your skin will lose moisture.  Regular moisturizers typically give about 30 minutes of topical moisture...and they *feel* moisturizing for a brief period of time until environmental elements dry the skin once again.  Humectants work by helping the skin retain natural moisture from the liquids you drink and work as a "water-reservoir" for skin cells....they bind water within the intercellular structure of the skin.  When skin cells can't get enough water from the reservoir, aging issues are more pronounced.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is the most effective humectant available and is found in most hospital burn units for the hydration of severely damaged skin. 
The addition of MDI complex helps to protect the skin's matrix levels and ensures
proper bonding of hyaluronic acid to the skin's water reservoirs for maximum benefit.


Benefits:
  • Deep hydration of skin cells.
  • "Plumps-up" skin tissue to soften wrinkles, lines.
  • Great for plumping lips.
  • Reduces appearance of spider veins.
  • Reduces the appearance of varicose veins.
  • Reduces dark circles around eyes.
  • Reduces appearance of Rosacea.
  • Protects against environmental skin irritation.
  • An excellent post chemical peeling humectant


She also addresses the issue of looking for 100% pure HA:
Let me address some very misleading claims other cosmetic companies may make regarding product percentage.  Hyaluronic Acid cannot be "pure 100% hyaluronic" as it must be mixed with water to become a serum or gel.  It's raw form is a thick pastey consistency that is too high in molecular weight to be an on-the-shelf skin care product in its raw form.  It must be diluted... and diluted with water, the product is no longer 100% pure.  Period. 

We could certainly claim our HA is 100% pure *active* ingredient.  Yes, the active is 100%.  BUT, once the water is added, it is then diluted... thus making it a lesser strength.  In our case, our FDA/EPA registered chemists/lab have formulated our product to a very high 95% concentration.

Those offering convuluted explanations as to how their product becomes a 100% pure hyaluronic acid product *after* adding water, alcohol, and preservatives mislead readers into thinking they are getting a stronger product.  It's a ridiculous claim and quite simply a misleading ploy that doesn't provide you with a true understanding of what you are purchasing.  


So, there you have it! I love this stuff. I've seen a huge difference in how my makeup wears, as well as the feel of my skin when I don't have makeup on. I feel like it has probably decreased my oil production by at least 30%. 

Do you think you might give it a try? They have samples, too! 

-C




Monday, June 3, 2013

Before and after: beautiful moms edition!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of making a few ladies feel their best for a small photo shoot with my MOPS group. Myself and a friend who happens to be a hobbyist photographer thought it would be a great idea to get the moms and kids together for pictures in the park. As moms we are always the ones taking the pictures. A lot of times I think that we hide because we aren't dressed right, have no makeup on, feel fat, etc. We wanted to help these moms make memories with their kiddos. I loved the way these turned out, but left he pictures of the kids off of my portfolio and blog for privacy reasons. Here are a few I can share!

This is Chelsea. Chelsea has a 2 year old boy and a sweet 3 month old girl. She has the most perfect skin, and beautiful eyes, so I wanted to bring a little bit of glow to her face, nothing to distract from the flawless perfection! I evened her out a bit, added a peachy pink blush and a little bit of highlighter on her cheek bone. I finished it off with tight lining and a little bit of mascara. A lip stain added to her naturally pink pout, and she was ready to go!

Sisha is a lovely mom with 2 gorgeous boys. Needless to say, with 2 toddlers, makeup is not high priority. I wanted to show her how to achieve a natural and polished look in just 10 minutes. I evened out her skin tone with a cream foundation, which worked well for her having skin on the dry side. I filled in her brows a bit to frame her face, and bring out her gorgeous eyes. A dusting of a depp pink blush for her yellow undertoned skin really makes her glow! I created a lightly smoked eye using brown eyeliner and bronzer, then topped it all off with a little gloss... voila!

Thanks for taking a look, this was a fun day for me, and I got to multi task a little, since I had my own kids with me, too!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lush!

I would like to preface this post by saying that I am no Lush expert. You can walk into any Lush store and the peeps there can tell you SO much about every product they have... especially if you are near the Dallas Galleria location! My great friend Meagan works there and happens to be incredibly knowledgable about all of the amazing, handmade cosmetics you will find in their lovely boutiques. That being said, here is a little review of my most recent Lush purchases!

Feeling Younger Skin Tint- This product is the first, because it is amazing! I have only had it a few days, but love it as if I've known it my whole life... when you know, you know! lol. Here is the Lush website description:
We wanted a highlighting skin tint that would give a gorgeous glow wherever it was applied, so we started with a base of beautiful ingredients (as we like to do). Soothing oatmeal decoction, cocoa butter and some of the best oils for the skin, jojoba and almond oils are blended together for a nourishing base that’s good for your skin. Blended in is a pigment that reflects light, brightening cheek bones, brow bones, the inner eyelid or even your décolletage for a sexy glow.

It's also vegan! 

My take? I have used it mainly under my eyes and on my brow bone to brighten things up. I even wear it to the gym (I typically run errands to and from and don't want to look a complete wreck) and love that it is great for my skin and looks great too! It's not obvious or glittery, but it does help me look as if I didn't just roll out of bed clocking 4 hours of sleep due to teething baby. 5 stars from this tired (but not looking it) mama!

Blousey shampoo- for the longest time I wouldn't use a shampoo from Lush that wasn't a solid... I loved the novelty of these and wouldn't give it up, thinking that spending $25 on a shampoo was a little self indulgent. Well, I decided to splurge, and I am SO glad I did. This shampoo is amazing. Most of you know that I have purple hair, but do you know how I got it? Lots, and LOTS of chemicals. Bleach, developer, toner, dye... my poor hair was so fried and sad. I wanted a shampoo that would be gentle but still clean it of the daily styling products needed to manage my frizzy locks. 
Enter Blousey... This stuff is amazing. It doesn't fade my vibrant color, is cleans without stripping, and it smells heavenly. Here is what Lush says about this stuff:

Here is our gentle, non-stripping shampoo for damaged, over-processed, colored, bleached and fragile hair. It cleanses hair in the gentlest way, while locking in moisture with a huge helping of mashed-up fresh bananas, cocoa and cupuacu butters. These rich, nourishing and softening ingredients help bring damaged hair back to life and keep your locks in top shape.

I say go get it... now! Whether or not your hair is in as serious need as mine, you need this. Summer is coming, and your future is chlorine, sun and saltwater. All of those are going to dry your tresses, so preemptively strike and grab some Blousey!

R&B- This is one of those things you buy and your husband uses as much as you do... especially if he has a beard like mine does (and if your husband doesn't have a beard, you might consider a new husband... lol) I got this as a gift from my friend who works at Lush, and never used it until I caught a whiff of my husbands face one day. It smells so good! He said even the guys at work have commented on it (he works a very manly job... so this cracks me up). The tiniest bit makes your hair feel shiny and soft... so worth the splurge considering a tub will take at least 3-6 months to go through. Here is the Lush websites take on this wonderful hair product:

Enjoy some of our smooth R & B hair stylings to control your frizzy, flyaway hair. An instant best-seller, our easy-to-use “hair finisher” uses softening ingredients of organic avocado butter, oatmeal, olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and candelilla wax because they are extremely effective for conditioning the hair and scalp. Three of our UK shop managers came up with R & B to revive and balance their wayward follicles. It works well with African American or curly hair because it conditions with a lot of moisture. And once you smell the seductive orange blossom and jasmine fragrance, your hair will truly get its groove back.

Perfect for you if you are a guy, have a beard, have ethnic hair, have extremely fly away hair, or just like people to stop you and ask to smell your hair. 

Did I mention that every product I reviewed today is certified vegan? Thats right vegan friends, this ones for you! They also actively fight animal testing. Awesome company with great ethics... yes please!

-C


Monday, April 29, 2013

a new obsession, er... hobby?

It's music festival season! And amidst the fringe vests and cutoffs is a delightful accessory... the flower crown. I love the way these look so much, that I decided to look at grabbing one from one of the many talented designers on Etsy. Alas, though they are certainly worth every penny, they were far too expensive for my liking. Hand painted silk flowers are wonderful, but I have to be able to actually buy tickets to said festival... oh, and the kids gotta eat, too ;p

Once in a while I decide to get crafty, and more often than not I throw in the towel 5 minutes later (remember my furniture upcycling... 1 piece out of 7 painted isn't horrible, right?!). Well, that isn't the case here. Once I started making them for myself, for a photo shoot I have coming up, for a friend... well I just couldn't stop. I thought I may as well see if anyone want to buy some pretty head flowers for themselves, and sure enough, they do! So, that's where I'm at now. Taking custom orders, and loving it. Oh, and I decided to make mine about 1/2 the price as the ones I found on Etsy (again, their craftsmanship is superb, just not in my budget, and many attach the actual flowers the same way I do).

So, I did a little mini iPhone photo shoot to capture all of the glory of my first 4 pieces!




So many thanks to my gorgeous friend Meagan for modeling for me! love the juxtaposition of her edgy style with these delicate pieces.  And just for fun, a little close up of her makeup, done by me of course!



Are you wondering what I used on Meagan? Stay tuned for a breakdown tomorrow!

Thanks for looking, comment if you would like a custom flower crown!

-C



Thursday, April 25, 2013

a giveaway on my Facebook page!

As some of you may know, I recently started a Facebook business page where I advertise my services as a makeup artist. I also link to the blog, have giveaways, and post deals on skincare and makeup. Well, when I reached the milestone of 100 'likes' (eep!), I decided to give the 100th fan my very favorite summertime product!

Are you wondering what it is?

Have you ever seen it? Maybe not.

It's not carried in any department store, or Target, but it IS available online at makeupartistschoice.com 
They sent it to me to review last week, and since I already have a half full tube, I decided it would be the perfect giveaway with summer heat coming on strong! I worried at first that perhaps if my winner didn't have oily skin, she may not appreciate this, so I do have a backup prize, but honestly, this stuff is magical, and I cannot imagine even a slightly combination girl (or guy!) not loving it. I say guys, too, because this works great to stop shine without adding makeup. It's a miracle in a tube, coming from the oiliest girl I've ever know (me, lol).

So, here's the deal, it's a little pricey at nearly $30 a tube, but it will LAST. A little really does go a long way. You dab a little on, it feels liquidy at first, but will dry to a paste in a few seconds. I recommend dot, blend, dot blend, as opposed to dot, dot, dot, blend blend blend... make sense? Great.

Careful not to use to much, but if you find yourself with patches of pastiness, simply wet a sponge and dab to blend out.

I can pretty much guarantee (except not, for legal reasons, ha!) that your makeup will go NOWHERE.

Oh, and I have better news! Right now they are having a 24% off sale! That's right, with the code spring2013 you can get this, AND the peels I'm always yapping about for 25% off!

Take a look over there, the customer service is fantastic, and their products are so great as well as inexpensive. They can also walk you through exactly what to get to achieve your desired results.

Thanks, Andrea, for being my 100th 'like', and I hope you love SuperMatte as much as I do!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great deals... yippee!

It's been a week since my last post... I blame teeth. The babe is getting FOUR at once, and it's making the household a little nutty these days :)

So, I decided to indulge in a little retail therapy... and found some amazing deals (with the help of my good friend Kim, AKA enabler, ha!)

So, here are a few great steals we found. Happy shopping!

Tarte Cosmetics has a HUGE sale going on! I personally love all of the Amazonian Clay collection. Great for hot summer nights!

Sephora has 15% off for their beauty insiders using the code 'chic' now through 4/21... go! I have been dying to try some OCC lip tars, so I think I'm going to make that one of my Sephora purchases. I've also been eying the Smashbox BB cream everyone is raving about. Anyone have a coin I can toss?

Ulta has some really great gifts with purchase right now with UD and Benefit, but they also have buy one get one 50% off Eco Tools AND Real Techniques brushes! These are two of my favorite brush companies, so I am SO swooping some of these guys up.

Urban Decay speaking of gifts with purchase... UD has a GREAT one right now. If you spend $50, you get a free bag of goodies worth $50! It looks really amazing, too... not like those gifts you give to your little sister. I would totally get the Showboat Nail kit, but you just get what you want. What do I know.

Naimes If you haven't shopped Naimes, you should. Customer service is amazing, and they have EVERYTHING. Some pretty great deals there, but more for the makeup professionals. Unless you wanna have a kryolan cream color palette in your arsenal... I won't judge.

So, there you go. Will you go shopping tonight? What will you buy?

-C



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

at home chemical peels... worth the ouch?



a few weeks ago I decided that unlike a leopard, I can change my spots... my sun spots, my acne scarring, my hormonal blotchiness... away with you! I am not a noob to this spot fading business. Ive tried several lotions, potions, and belt sanding (kidding! kind of), but nothing has satiated me.

If you've never tried an at home chemical peel, more specifically a TCA peel, it's amazing. If you have any issues with your skin... large pores, oiliness, fine lines, spots, sun damage, etc... this stuff is a godsend. It requires some downtime, but I don't mind going to the grocery store looking like Freddy Krueger.

On March 22nd I applied the peel. I used a 24% TCA, which you can find at makeup artists choice. Now, if you have not done one, I would suggest you start with a lower percentage, maybe an 8 or 12.5... but don't take my word for it, they have amazing customer service and will actually walk you though every step and help you determine which peel is right for your skin... seriously, the best customer service, guys.

Okay, So I put this burn-ey stuff on my face, wait a minute, then decide it isn't burning enough and do a 2nd layer. My skin it thick and tough, I can take it. At this point it's been 3 minutes and I am on FIRE. In a good way. In a this-is-for-sure-working way. I noticed my skin get all frosty looking, and remember that I read that would happen. I wait another 3 minutes and douse myself in baking soda.

Way to play it cool, Chantee.

After I gently rinse the baking soda off, I slathered my skin with moisturizer. I used Lush 'Dream Cream', because I know how gentle it is. Again, if you don;t know which to use, the folks at MUAC will help you.

Day 3-5 after was the worst... peeling, flaking, tightness. It literally felt like I was walking around with a mud mask on my face on day 3, lol. By day 7 I was fine, and my face was smooth. Not a single clogged pore! This is amazing, considering the state of my skin before the peel... major congestion. May-JOR.

Here we are 2 weeks later, and I do have a few pores back to their dirty tricks, but nothing to crazy. I noticed that the spots are faded quite a bit, and my pores are altogether clearer.

I wish that I had taken a few after pictures, but I didn't. What I will do is post my before, from a few months ago before I reviewed another product, and I will post after shots of the next peel, April 22nd.

Would you guys wanna see the 'during' pictures? When it's all gross and peeling?

What do you think? Is it worth it? Would you go through a week of peeling for clearer skin? My hope is to not feel the need to wear any makeup all summer.

Leave your comments below!

-C

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dark Spots, part 1... cover 'em

I know we want to get to the good stuff... getting RID of dark spots, but that takes time, my friend. Let's just cover them up in the meantime.

In my makeup loving existence, I have tried roughly 4000 concealers. I have patted, I have dabbed, I have rubbed, I have tried it all. In the end it comes down to a few good tricks. The first? A primer. Most of my friends (the ones who aren't makeup junkies) have caught on to the eye primer craze, but haven't delved into the world of face primers. To them, I say welcome... it's about damn time.

You can pile on makeup for 45 minutes every morning (if you are toddler-less), but if you don't have primer, by noon your dark circles, spots, and oily forehead are going to smack you in the face as you're walking past any reflective surface. They're gonna be all "um, hello... you thought you got rid of us?! oh no girl, no. you. did. not"

Yes, my skin problems talk to me, and they have an attitude.

So, there is a TON to decipher when you walk into Sephora/Ulta/CVS. Where do you start? Well, if you have dry/normal skin, you are pretty lucky. You can pick up pretty much any silicone based primer and call it a day. The most popular being Smashbox Photo finish primer. There are so many dupes of this that I really believe are going to work just as well at a fraction of the price. Most notably (due to sheer hilariousness) is Monistat chaffing cream. Yes. Yup. No, I haven't tried it because my skin hates silicone based primers, but apparently it works well. Again, I haven't tried it, so this isn't a recommendation, but google it and draw your own conclusion. Yes, I'm still giggling. Now, I know this product isn't actually for your lady bits, but simply to stop any sort of friction in areas that may, um... rub? I don't know, but the idea is that it sits on your skin and fills in any sort of line or pore to help your makeup glide on, and stay put. It should also help you use less since it won't be sinking into your skin.

A few more for the normal/dry skin ladies:
Urban Decay


Now, for the oily skin gals, like me... sigh. It's a rough life. You don't know me, you don't know what I've been though. My makeup slides off, my liners fade away, my blending gets blotchy. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. One of them, is this bad boy...

Now, does anyone NEED SPF 55? No. They do not. However, did you know that using a physical (as opposed to a chemical) sunscreen will mattify your skin? Yeah, I know. Mind blown. 

Ive been using this on and off for years, and I just found out its discontinued. Sad face. But, lesson learned. I'll search for a dupe and update later.

Another one I really like is Lorac Oil Free Neutralizer. I think it may be getting discontinues as well, though (come on people, seriously?!). I love that it has a green tone that cancels out redness and it dries super matte. This is for the REALLY oily ladies, though (and gentlemen, too!), as it can really dry you out. I wear it without anything over it sometimes but usually a little BB cream and I'm good to go. Great, GREAT product.

A few honorable mentions:
No parabens- TimeBalm (also the winner of most under rated cosmetic company ever, in my opinion
Best for large pores- Too Faced 
Brightening- Laura Mercier

Tomorrow we will go over what concealer to use, and why!


So there you have it... all I know about primers. Let it be known that I am not a skin care professional, I just know what I have worked with and what has worked for myself and my clients. 

What's your favorite primer? 

-C


My first contest... and it's a great one!

I've been debating on when to do my first contest, and I think now is the time! I am working with a lovely photographer next month, and we decided to raffle one of the opening spots we have left. So, this is a local contest only... sorry! What better way to give back to the community that has embraced me over the past year (yup, a year since we moved here last week!), than to pamper one of you with a day of beauty you won't ever forget... because it'll be hanging on your wall! lol

So, here's the deal. Fill this bad boy out, and win! This will include hair and makeup, as well as a 45 minute mini session with Kristi Bracewell. If you don't know her work, check it out... she is amazing. She captures every perfect moment flawlessly, and is the sweetest, most gracious woman you will ever meet.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can't WAIT to see who wins! Please note that you will have to be available when we have a space open for a scheduled shooting day. THis prize IS transferable, so if you can't use it, give it to someone who can!

-C

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

yo brows, take 2 (let's fill 'em in)

I talked a little about brow shaping yesterday, with the promise of updating today on products/techniques that I use to fill in clients an my own brows. So, with that said, I don't have a video of my own to show, but instead am going to link y'all to a few that I love... no need to reinvent the wheel, right?

If you like the gradient brow look (which I love), seen here:
What I like about this tutorial is that she does have brows, they are just very sparse, which a lot of us have. Notice how she 'carves' her brows out with the concealer? I love the crisp look of this. Of course this looks pretty 'made up', so if you are looking for a more natural look, this may not be for you. I would say the more important everyday makeup techniques to take from this video would be to darken the lower line of your brows, and make the 'tail' of your brow the darkest color.

Of course while I was searching for this tutorial on YouTube I came across this one (after watching 2 hours of tutorials, lol), which I really liked! I love that she is using drugstore products, and I also love that is looks so natural!

Both of these ladies have awesome tutorials, by the way... if you have time definitely watch a few more from them!

Now, as far as product, here is what I use, and have been using for quite some time:

(my model Courtney, with her awesome filled in brows)
MAC 263 brush- you would think any angled brush would work, but for me this is worth the $19. It's lasted me 13 years, and I don't think it's going anywhere, lol.

MAC fuidline in 'dipdown'- I use this as the initial brow filler, like that first video. I'm thinking that the Wet n Wild version shown in the 2nd video is probably just fine. What you are looking for is a nice dark base with a little bit of creaminess to hold on to the powder you are going to be setting it with.

Sadly, the "MAC brow shader I use is discontinued (super sad face), but any eye shadow that is completely matte, and no more than 2 shades darker than your haircolor will do.

TimeBalm concealer- I use this to carve out the brows, lining under and over to get the clean, crisp look I like. Also, this concealer is great for under eyes... and on sale on Amazon, woot!

Lastly, any bone colored matte shadow to set the concealer. I use Bone by Bobbi Brown, or one from my favorite Stila palette 'In The Know'. If you don't have this palette, get it. It's my go to for everything. I even bought a back up for my kit, and have used it almost every time since.

So, that's it! By now you should have a pretty good idea on what to do with your brows. Next up is going to be dark spots. I am going to go over covering them, but as I am NOT a skincare pro (boy do I wish I was... trial and error for me!), I am inviting a guest blogger to help me out with that question!
(of course me, and my brows ;p)

Stay Tuned!


Monday, April 1, 2013

yo' brows!

I asked my 'likers' on Facebook (I ALMOST said 'fans', but who the heck am I? lol) what they would like to see a blog post about. The very first who answered said BROWS! Which is great, because I am obsessed. I have major brow envy, as my own are an anorexic mess (not a whole lot to start out with, over tweezing, tattooed, etc), and every time I see a chick with amazing natural brows, I want to praise her for days... but I don't, cause that would be weird. No one gets me... sigh.

Anywho, there are SO many amazing tutorials for brows out there, but really only a few basic rules (which of course are only rules as far as a conventional look goes... have ya'll seen my friend Stace or Shrinkle rock the colored brows? Amazing). So, here goes.

See this generic face diagram?
So, what you're going to do is give your brow a basic shape... you don't want dreaded sperm brow
See how heavy they are toward her nose? It totally throws off the balance of her face. Not great.

So, back to generic face diagram. You're going to take a marking tool of some sort... a white eyeliner pencil works great for this. You're going to take another pencil and line it up from the base of your nostril (see that blue dotted line?) to the inner corner of your brow. This will be your starting point, make a little line there, marking the hairs you'll pluck away. Next, line that pencil up again, this time looking straight ahead, you're going to use the outer edge of your iris as your gauge (the white dotted line up there), this is where your brow should arch. Again, do the same going to the outer corner, being sure to line up with the outer corner of your eye. This will assure that your brows aren't to long or short for your face.

Now, you're all set as far as the shape is concerned, you're also going to want to make a pretty straight line from line 1 to line 2 (see that dark blue line?), this will give you a great shape, not to spermy (gross, lol).

Another thing you might want to try is to brush the hairs up toward your hairline with a brow tamer (or a clean mascara want sprayed with hairspray), and trim with cuticle scissors the long hairs that extend over the shape of your brow.

As far as filling them in, there are some really great youtube vids addressing that. Maybe I'll make one another day, lol. Basically, I think most people can benefit from filling in their brows a bit, it frames the face, and really does add such a finished look.

Thats all for now!

-C

Sunday, March 24, 2013

commitment

Commitment means different things, to different people. I've been married for 6 years, that's a commitment... but it isn't the one we are talking about today. Today, we talk purple hair (again). I went to Walmart today, and I was stared at, snickered at (small town) and scowled at. Was I dressed offensively? No. I simply have purple hair. Hair that makes 4 year old girls smile, and wave, and I love that. To the people who think that it's okay to make fun of me with your 12 year old son... shame on you. I am committed to my purple hair. My 'my little pony' esque locks bring joy to me, and my kids (Crue cried when he thought I was going back to blonde), and my husband thinks it's hot, so there.

Anywho, I've made such a commitment, that I asked my favorite graphic designer to whip me up a logo based around my tresses. Lekit came up with a design even more stunning than I had imagined!

Isn't it glorious?! I can't wait to don my business cards, comp cards, and website with this lovely, violet hued cameo.

What do you think?

-C

Friday, March 22, 2013

Purple hair... trial and error.

So, I have purple hair. Over the last few weeks it's been everywhere from bright, in-yo-face purple, to pale violet, which I LOVED. Unfortunately, that faded to grey-white pretty quickly, so I pretty much started over with a new band of dye last week. In case you're interested in my journey (a woman too cheap to pay a pro), here's an outline:

First of all, here is my 'natural' hair color (your average highlights and such)

So, I had to bleach it out to get it as close to white as possible if I wanted to achieve my desired look, which was that of Ms. Kelly Osborne, as seen here
Isn't it gorgeous? I think so. Although, I've reevaluated my feelings about her. She has gone on and on about bullying, yet she made an ugly comment about how she has 3 years to do fun looks like purple hair, because only some sort of idiot would be 30 years old with purple hair. To that I say, YOLO. No, seriously, I shout it.

But I digress.

I decided to use a box 'non bleach' I found at the grocery store first... so, that was a mistake. It didn't do much, but at least it didn't force me into hiding

So, as you can see, it was lighter, but not NEARLY what I needed it to be. That's when I really started my research. See, my biggest DIY fault, is that I am a measure once, cut twice kinda gal. I know, I know... I just get so excited that I completely forget to do things right, ha!

Okay, so I went to Sallys and got a packet of bleach, and a little bottle of 20v developer. Mixed it up, and took my husband up on his offer to do it for me. Can anyone else spot the mistake here? Yeah, not only was it not enough bleach, but he sucks at hair. Why, oh WHY did I do that? So, enter patchy orange hair. I skipped the gym all week until I could get to Sallys again. 

This time, I got a TUB of Quick Blue, a liter or Wella 20v developer, and Wella toner in T18, to make it extra pale. I also picked up Special Effects 'Wildflower', planning to dilute it with conditioner to make it a pretty pale violet, like I wanted.

Everything went okay, except the color turned out much darker than planned...

But it grew on me, and my husband loved it, and YOLO.

Eventually it faded into this
which took maybe 2 weeks? Again, it was super uneven... some parts faded darker than others, so (here comes the part where you think my hair might actually pack up and move away from my head, or at least file a restraining order for abuse), I bleached it out again. Yes, two weeks after all that bleaching, I did it again. I was really hoping to get it even so I could finally get the color I wanted, using Pravana Violet and Silver together. 

The hairdresser friend I have that sent the Pravana to me told me to use a DOT of violet, and the whole tube of silver. I (not knowing how to measure a 'dot') used a 1/8 of the tube... this was again, WAY to much, and I'm back to bright purple... ugh. But, as I said, my husband likes it, and it's already beginning to fade (much more evenly this time), so maybe I'll keep it around for a while.


So, what do you think of the pastel hair trend? Would you ever do purple, pink or blue?

-C





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Courtney's head shots!

My friend Courtney wants to get into theater acting... she also looks like Marisa Tomei, dontcha think?
She is super gorgeous, and always lets me do her makeup, which is always fun. When it came time to get her headshots done, we chose 4K photography because we absolutely adore their work, and them! They are a couple who work together, and always create the most intimate images. And they're sweet as can be, to boot!

Here are a few images we captured, and later this evening I will be reviewing some of the products used, from bloom.com.


Monday, March 18, 2013

A marathon shoot!

I am so excited to announce another partnership... I will be working with a very talented photographer in June for a 2 day marathon photoshoot!

I am so excited to show y'all the pictures from this shoot, because I LOVE Kristi's work so much. 

Stay tuned!

-C

Saturday, March 16, 2013

C takes on... change

In an attempt to spruce up my neglected blog (isn't every post at least 2 months apart and has the same apology?), I am going to be moving in another direction... beauty reviews and set talk from photoshoots pretty much exclusively right now. I can't be trusted to go off track here. So, in my latest review, I bring you... My latest Bloom.com purchases!

Here's what we have in my late January purchase to review:

Stila Stay All Day Liner in Snow

 I am so impressed with this liner. I would estimate in the past 10 years or so I have purchased approx. 9 million white liners, and none, not ONE of those achieved my desired effect, which is a stark white line with one pass. Stila got it right with this one, delivering an opaque, solid line, with no tugging or pulling... Bravo! I have read reviews that these dry out rather quickly, so I will report back on that one. So far so good :)

Stila Smudge Crayon and Primer in Antique I typically use paint pots myself, but on clients in sometimes those can be difficult.. scooping out product and all to preserve cleanliness. What I love about the Stila smudgestick primers is that I can scribble one on the back of my clean hand and use a brush to pick up product. I have used this exact shade my last few shoots, and really loved it's effect for a smokey gold eye. It goes on smoothly, and primes quite well. I have not seen creasing or fading, but I also use primer potion underneath. The color of this is a nice gold, with not too much yellow, which I appreciate. It has a rosy undertone to it, and looks beautiful on pretty much any skin tone.
Cargo Lip Gloss Quad in Argentina and Oceania I love the Cargo line all together, because it's really made with a makeup artist in mind. All of their products are easy to stack, compact, and without a lot of packaging to take up space. This is no exception. Their lip quads are 4 beautiful shades, that are really easy to work with. They have a sheer finish with just enough sparkle to make the lips appear fuller, but not so much that you look like a disco hooker. I really like every shade in both of these , which is a rarity for pallets... right?

 
  soft shimmering berry, deep rust, deep burgundy, and golden copper
  soft icy-pink, vibrant wine, cotton-candy pink, and bright berry

Next post will have my reviews for the remainder of this order, as well as a recent haul, including Benefit's High Beam and more! If there is anything you would like to see, please let me know.

-C