Cleaning Makeup Brushes

It's been four months since you bought those makeup brushes and some of them are probably floating around the bottom of your purse with loose change, chewed gum and other fantastic surprises.

Brushes harbor dirt, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria.  If you can't figure out why you are breaking out, perhaps its because your brushes need a little deep cleaning!  You can wipe them after regular use with a paper towel and a little brush cleaner, but once in a while you need to actually shampoo them.

Ten minutes, once or twice a month will make a difference.

Use brush cleaner or baby shampoo (way less expensive) and warm water, swirling the brushes around in a soapy cup several times.

Rinse thoroughly.

Wipe gently and swirl on a soft cloth or paper towel.  For the larger, more soaked brushes I like to tap the edge on the sink to get the excess water off.

Lay to dry overnight on a towel.  In order to elevate the end of the brush to make the water flow out of the bristle side of the brush, just roll the towel on one end.  Or, I like to use my window sill as I am killing two birds with one stone.  Drying and drying.


5 Ways To Prevent Breakouts Naturally

If you are wondering why the f*#& you are having zits and you are past your teenage years, you are not alone.  Mine like to  pop in and say hi the day of an important shoot or hot date.  Its only natural to have gorgeous glowing skin on a rainy cold Tuesday where I am sitting at home with nowhere to be organizing my shoes and watching Dr. Oz.  That's how it always works.

Rather than treat and cover the problem.  Lets try a few tips and tricks to aid in PREVENTION!  Just like pregnancy.

1.)  Change your pillowcases often - Bacteria and drool and leftover makeup from a dizzy night will be stuck to your face for several hours.  Your face's bed should be clean and fresh!

2.) Clean Your Cellie- Your face makes constant contact with this..... So does your hands that just touched the men's urinal at that dive bar because the ladies line was too long. Antibacterial wipes are super handy for your hand-held phones!

3.) Stop Touching Your Face- Have you seen Contagion?

4.) Watch Your Diet- Greasy foods lead to a greasy face.  Things like red meat and dairy should be kept at a minimum, as these foods are harder to digest and can also contain hormones.  Eat more vegetables and fruit, as well as nuts.  Nuts are GREAT for your face. (:  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Water is the key to life.  Dead, dry skin has more ability to clog pores.  H2O can also flush out toxins!

5.) Hit the Gym- (but shower after!)  Your skin is your largest organ.  Exercise is good all around and as long as you drink a lot of water and wash off the sweat after, effects will be great on the skin.  And your butt.


New Yorkify Yourself In Winter

I came to NYC from Myrtle Beach, SC.  Where boob jobs, spray tans, fake nails and bare legs are abundant.  I'll never forget the first month moving here when I had girlfriends in town and we wanted to have a girl's night out!

It was December and about thirty degrees out.  
We wore....dresses, spray tan, open toed heels and cleavage.

At every stop on our escapade to the clubs.  
People were stopping us left and right..."Where are you from!?" 
I would exclaim, "I live HERE, asshole!"
They would say, "Uhhh, no you dont."

I did not comprehend this, how could this be?  I am a NEW YORKER dammit! 

Fast forward to now.... 2 Years later and I get it.  

Here are a few things you can do to New Yorkify yourself:

-Rock the vampire look. 
 Tans are not cool in NYC.  (Which saves me money and wrinkles, score!)
-Lose the stilettos. 
 You walk a lot, and can always spot tourists on the cobble stones of Meatpacking, for they drop like flies.
-$10 Manicure.  
Fake nails are rare...and manicures are cheap!  Short, natural nails are in.  
-Cover those pasty legs
  Unless it is Summer, tights and leggings are the way to go! And you will not have to shave as much, yessss.
-Dark colors. 
 Its a sea of gray and black and neutral shades at the club.  I guess NYC just generally looks "cooler" in the Wintertime.
-Get a good coat and boots. 
Comfort and warmth look better than a frozen barbie.  
-Schlep Bag. 
Girls are carrying around those big ol' black purses for a reason.
-Less Makeup
 If you paint on your face (I love to do occasionally) you will stick out.
-Less drastic hair. 
 "Not too blonde" (as agents have told me)  Not too much pouf or product!
-Less Cleav. 
 Put the Miracle Bra away for South Beach.  
-Get a job! 

New York

Recurring themes?  Natural. Warm. Ninjalike?  



The only problem with happy hour is that when you leave the bar, stores are still open and ready for your lowered inhibitions.  This oftentimes leads to drunken shopping, coming home with the most absurd items I would never buy sober.  
The other day, I stumbled out of Calle Ocho on the upper west side and into....a fantastical store called LUSH.  Whether it was the appropriate store name or the candy-like product stacked high with all of the colors of the rainbow, something drew me in.  I blah-blahd with the sales lady and pretended to listen to her, squinting so she didn't have two heads.  I know she said something about "soft" and "smells amaaaaaazing," so I bought this:

and one of these:

Hours later after the mojitos wore off, I found them perfectly wrapped in their recycled paper bags and decided to give em a go.  The mushroom is for the bath.  Its good for 2 baths, so you have to cut or break in half.  Yes, it made me soft and it smells like strawberry shortcake.  Most importantly, it gave the bath a gorgeous pink foam with sparkles, and I felt like I was swimming in a bowl of sherbet punch.

Being a big self tanner fan, these sugar scrub blocks are AWESOME to use pre tan.  You can give yourself an entire new silky glow after scrubbing down with one of these in the shower.  My skin was softer than after my drunken korea town spa exfoliation escapade. (Will share at a later date)

This was one of the best buzzed purchases I had ever made!

After loving the product and researching further, I found this out:
Lush is all organic, using no animal products (Im a big fan of that)
All of their products are hand made
They are SUPER eco friendly, which explains why you cut your soap here like fruitcake and buy it by  the pound.  No packaging=less trash.



Summer Hair: What's Hot According to David Harrington

Hair Trends.
Some of my personal favorites:

1992 Yearbook.  Big Hair=Cool.

My Turner Classics Debut

Curious about this season's fresh hair trends, I tracked down David Harrington, a stylist out of Cali to get the scoop on whats HOT for this Spring and Summer.

According to Mr. Harrington:
"Scarfs in the hair . I think that a casual weekend look, or on the beach you can have a fabulous look using silk scarfs. I like to use them in many ways intertwining in the hair like in a soft braid or pulling your hair into a twist and rapping the scarf around . Dress it up or down, day or night . It's your call, I love the summer look ."
No Pants Richie Rocks The Scarf Often

In regards to hair color

"Highlights for the summer I feel are going to be much more natural using coppers and gold together . I love warm blondes in the summer ."

Top 3 Summer Must-Haves according to David:
1: Davines has a wonderful line that he truly loves:
 It is the Authentic Formulas , having the highest percentage of naturally derived ingredients possible . This product is so fab David recommends using int on your face and body as well! 

 2: A good sculpting lotion.  
Great for that "wet look" on a beautiful girl laying around the beach or pool. 

         3: A Boar bristle brush . 
Harrington loves to use them on all hair types because they give so much shine . If your into round brushing this is a must have item!

David freelances out of LA and San Francisco. 



Oribe Hair Care: Portfolio Brief

Check out this article/interview I wrote regarding fab hair stylist David Harrington and this high fashion shoot.


Make Me Glow

Whenever I see celebrities on the red carpet they always appear so healthy, radiant and glowing.  Yet you know they don't get any sleep.  When I see tabloid photos of them strolling in central park or picking their nose (I love you Britney) they look much more relatable.  Makeup is a wonderful thing.

J Lo has two kinds of Glow.  

Achieve the glow without being pregnant, ovulating, or in love.
  (Why do people say that anyway?) 

 Now this gleaming attribute is all packaged nicely in a cosmetic form.  These nifty complexion enhancers are called illuminators, or highlighters.  They have light reflecting properties that when applied to the cheekbones and areas of the face you want to highlight, producing a gorgeous radiance.

One of my favorites is made by Arbonne, called Sheer Glow Highlighter.

You can get your Arbonne cosmetics, skincare and more at www.arbonne.com

Arbonne products are great because they are all vegan certified, using no animal or animal by-products.  They are made with botanical ingredients and quality reigns supreme.  So even though this bad boy is $40, a tiny bit goes a long way.  
According to Arbonne's Linda Feldbrugge, "Remember less is more with Arbonne. We want your skin to do what it should be doing naturally."


Cat Eyes- Right Meow

Aside from the startlingly bold lips, there was a slight Sixties revival on many of the runways of New York and Milan this year.  The bright coats and the colorful prints, along with pastel makeup, doe eyed models with large lashes and heavy top liner was abundant.

The cat-eye, made popular in the Sixties by icons such as Bardot and Twiggy is one of my favorite makeup trends of all times.
Brigitte est belle ici.

There are a few ways to achieve this eye....either with your traditional pencil eyeliner (must be sharpened nicely) , with a liquid liner (which I find messy), or with a gel liner and brush (my preference)

Liner should be applied after the eyeshadow, so that there is not any fallout of the shadow that ends up on the liner.  You really only need a nice neutral shade of shadow to contrast the liner. Starting on the outside of the lid: Use an angled brush or eyeliner brush at a 45 degree angle from the outside corner of your eye and work your way in.  The line should gradually become thinner all the way to the inside of your eye, making sure the line is distinct and as close as possible to the lash line.  Sometimes it is useful to take a q-tip and clean it up if you are not used to it or drank too much the night before.  Add a couple coats of mascara or some falsies.  Natural makeup and a nude lip is quite complementary to this eye.

Nice Neutral Makeup Here

Here is what not to do:

Eaaaasy Amy...easy.  Put the eyeliner down!  Down!  Bad Kitty!  Rargh!


Bronze Your Bod in 60 Seconds

Self tanner has been my savior.  There are so many types and products out there, if anyone has tried them all, it is me.  For over eight years now I have been consistently using the same thing when I need a tan, and I need a tan that is fast!  Mystic Tan developed a spray tan booth in 1998 that has been a huge hit with everyday people and celebrities alike.  DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is the main FDA approved ingredient that most self tanners contain.  Tanning salons and spas all over the country have this unit and charge anywhere between $15-$40 a tan.  I buy mine in packages to get the best deal.  If you think about it; you spend money to tan in a bed that takes several visits to achieve your ideal color, add on the crazy hyped up $60 bottle of tanning lotion and you will find that spray tanning is in fact less expensive and much faster.  Oh, and you wont look like Clint Eastwood later down the road.

I will never be tan naturally (thank you Irish genes!)  It took me over a decade and a bout with squamous cell carcinoma  to figure that out.   I slapped on the oily lotion and fried in tanning beds for years trying to be a bronzed, exotic beauty.  Instead, I got more freckles and a few wrinkles.  As a child, I aspired to look like Brooke Shields on Island of the Blue Lagoon.  But no, I was better off aspiring to be casted in Children of the Corn, as you can see.
Albino with a perm?

Tanning in the Mystic Booth:

You literally disrobe, apply a barrier cream to your hands and feet, step in, assume position, spray one side, turn around, the knobs move up and down spraying evenly and efficiently.  After the spray is complete you step out and towel off and get dressed. Ta-da!  In under 10 minutes you are done.

Some tips from me:
*Exfoliate heavily before you do it
*Do not wear any lotion or cream the day you do it
*Wait as long as possible before you shower-while they say 4 hours, I say let it marinate over night.
*Maintain your tan by moisturizing twice a day and not exfoliating.
*Face backward away from the sprayers your first time when you start so you do not get too startled and pee.
*Do not plan on having a hot date the same day you spray.

Thank you Mystic Tan.  And Photoshop.



Ole Ole Oribe!

One of my agencies sent me to this fabulous hair workshop/extravaganza last week that featured styling instruction by the iconic Oribe himself.  Pronounced "Or-Bay"

If you are not in the hair and beauty industry, he is a styling genius- who has been in the business for more than three decades, dresses to the nines and has that silver fox/ambiguous age thing going for him. My favorite part; he has both arms tattooed with sleeves.  Um,  hot?!  His hands have touched and perfected celeb manes including Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford and Jennifer Lopez to name a few.   His work is seen in all the major fashion magazines across the globe.  Read more here:  http://oribe.com/index.php/pages/119

With Frank Sinatra blaring, hair spray so thick in the air you could taste it and see it manifesting into clouds under the spotlights, it was ON!
Several hair models were lined up with a stylist, who then performed two looks on the model with Oribe running around to each station, critiquing, praising, rushing and flailing!  Both looks were photographed with Oribe on the sidelines screaming, "TOO PRETTY!" and running up and tugging our hair, smearing our makeup a little bit more and pinning strange accessories to our head.

Two of Oribe's signature products were used during the demo.  The styling spray was sturdy and used for the initial pin curls in the beginning.  Best part about the hairspray:  YOU CAN BRUSH IT OUT.  From there, to create  more volume, my wonderful stylist Sara sprayed Oribe's texturizing spray throughout the hair in 2 in (or so) strips.  She teased a bit and whipped this  reverse Audrey Hepburn inspire up-do in less than 10 minutes:

With my stylist Sara and Oribe

After the event, I hopped on the A train to get to work, slung drinks for several hours and got home in the wee hours of the morning.  
My hair STILL had drag-queen envied volume.... See!

Actual photo taken at 1AM the night after the Oribe event.  Not even extensions!

My Point
You do not need an hour to clip in those extensions or set your hair in rollers to get an extra vavoom volumizing lift.  In less than 10 minutes this fizzy lifting potion will do the trick.

  They gave all the models product that included $39 shampoo and conditioner.  I just started using it but will surely give an update when I run out and have to switch back to my Pantene.  Unless they start paying their models a little bit more.....haa.


Plump Yo' Pout

Bigger lips=hotter mouth.

Don't believe me?
Who would you rather make out with?  Angelina Jolie or Jodi Foster?
 That is, if you were a guy, a lesbian, or drunk in college. 
 (Assuming the majority of my audience is female)

I have done makeup on models with lip injections many times.  Some look great, some look fake, and then there are the ones that look uneven...and lumpy.  So temporarily, until a more natural remedy comes out, I have a couple tips on creating the illusion of fuller lips, as well as a couple of plumping products that I recommend.

Makeup Artist Jodi to the Max out of Atlanta did a great job here in creating a fuller lip.
And thank you lighting, spray tan...and photoshop for the rest of the look.  PHOTO: Seraphim Studios

Just as you would contour your face to create cheekbones and highlight the areas you want to stick out, you can also play with light and dark to shape your lips.
  Here is a step by step guide if you have no idea what I am talking about.
1.) Start with a lip pencil the same shade as your natural lips.  Outline your lips where they meet your normal skin- no clown-mouth!  Lightly fill in the lips especially at the corners creating your lips distinct shape. 
2.) Lightly feather the outside of your lips with either a concealer (Lighter than your natural skin tone) Or CARGO's magnificent reverse lipliner.  (It hi-lights the area around your lips )
3.) Apply your lip color as you normally would (I prefer a creamy lipstick applied with a lip brush)
4.) Put a small dot of concealer on the center of your bottom lip and rub together.  (Creates fullness)
5.) Add a tiny dollop of clear gloss, centering it on your lips. 


I have tried alot, I mean A LOT of lip plumpers out there on the market.  Essentially they all do the same thing- create bloodflow to the lips using oils or ingredients that may irritate or cause swelling.  All results are subtle and last only an hour or two but hey they sure beat chapstick.  Here are my top 3:

  •  Lip Venom by DuWop- Stings a little, but effective.  Uses oils such as wintergreen to increase circulation to the lips.
  • Lip Fusion- Pricey but smells fantastic and is creamy and moisturizing.  Comes in some great colors and has subtle plumping effects.
My Personal Favorite
 ( I may as well factor it into my monthly budget because I go through it like I go through TP)

Buxom Lips by Bare Minerals.  $18 at Sephora;  It is all natural (no parabens, sulfates, etc) infused with antioxidants and minerals.  Comes in an array of fabulous shades, smells great and you can feel the cooling, tingling sensation when you apply it.  Its really fun to sip off of a guys beer and then notice how he starts to feel it too. 


Staying Pretty in Sin City

Vegas, both fun and exciting, is also probably the most physically and mentally draining city in America- not to mention it is like picking up your liver and playing badminton with it.  I have been so lucky to have frequented The City of Sin several times for both work and play.  Work is rather difficult because between the oxygen pumped casinos and hotel rooms to the ding ding dings and festive nightlife- you are lucky to get a good nap in before you have to be up for the next day of work.  Going to Vegas to work seems just silly to me...but if you can squeeze in both party and work time equally you are pretty much a rockstar. In my case I work trade shows.  Giant sausage-fest laden conventions, standing in a busy booth under bad fluorescent lighting in often unattractive attire.  Work all day, then cocktails, then dinner, then club, then dance, then blackjack, then waking up in a strange place that looks nothing like the hotel you checked into.  

 SO!  I like to have my handy Sin City Survival Kit ready to go! 
 You can use all 5 of these items in less than 10 minutes.

*Bottled H20- Like, a gallon a day....the 8 oz. bottles on the sensors on your mini bar for $10 aren't going to cut it.

*Vitamin E face misting spray from Body shop-  Its small, smells pleasant, is an instant moisture mist you can spray right on over your makeup for a nice refresher throughout the day.  Vegas is in the desert. You will be like an old peach if you do not moisturize heavily while you are there....especially if your body is not used to it.

*Emergen-C - These packets of 1000mg of Vitamin C can be found at several drugstores everywhere.  Add it to your bottled water to get a great boost and replace some of those nutrients you killed the night before at the craps table.

*Baby Powder- For your hair because quite frankly when you go to bed at 5AM and have to be up at 6AM to work you will not have time to wash your hair.  If you do not already know the trick, sprinkle a little bit on your scalp and rub it in.  Gets rid of greasy mugs in minutes!  If you have loot, spend the extra dough and buy a fancy dry shampoo (Bumble and Bumble make a great one).  Although I've even used face powder effectively.

*Preparation-H- Yes, people do put this under their eyes to help with the bags.  It reduces swelling.  The cream NOT the gel.  The gel is straight grease and will cause breakouts.  Found this out the hard way at one of my first photoshoots in Atlanta.  (Thanks Natalie)

All of this combined and you will look like this!!
Day 3 of Vegas trade show last week.  

The FDA has not reviewed or approved of any of these statements.  


Brighten your grill on the go.....

Spot a hottie across the bar?  Been drinking merlot for the last hour?  (5 hours if you are me)  Fear not for there is a nifty little product that will brighten your red wine stained smile in about 60 seconds.

Touch Up, by GO SMILE
These fantastic little ampules come in convenient travel packs (I keep them in my purse) holding 7 of the little grill sparkling tubes that you "Flip, Pop, Touch Up" when you need it.  The end of the mini tube has a polisher on it so you can scrub, whiten and freshen.
CAUTION:  Do not do this directly at the bar.  Although you could, because I have, but my friends pretended they did not know me.

For just $10 you can get this mini pack that could get you through at least a week of happy hour and speed dating events.  Oh!  Did I mention they come in fantabulous flavors such as Watermelon Mint and Green Apple?  Skip the cheese fries, this could be like a meal and appearance-improver all in one!

You can buy these bad boys at Sephora and other beauty related stores!


A Formal Introduction....

Since I am popping the blog cherry I figured it is only appropriate to meet each other before we take our relationship to the next level.  Since I have been involved in the modeling industry for several years now,either as a model or makeup artist,  I feel it is only fair to share the tips, tricks and shortcuts that can be achieved in just 10 minutes.  Living in New York City, you learn a whole new perspective on moving fast-   just look at the scary, yet efficient Nascar-like movement of pedestrians in the streets. 
"Not enough time" is not an excuse anymore; with this, you can find things to make your life easier, and yourself more confident....all in ten minutes or less.

All of these opinions are mine.  All of the products have been tested and used myself.  If you are a PR or have a service or product that you feel I should introduce, please email me below.

PHOTO:  Vegas Bathtub.  Gin and Sake Productions