Friday, March 27, 2009


I always say, the best remedy for a dull, lifeless complexion is to exfoliate and hydrate regularly. Once you’ve got that down, you don’t want to ruin all of your TLC by using makeup that does nothing to compliment your skin do you? Here’s how you can crank up your makeup’s fabulosity (is that a word?) while still maintaining a naturally fresh appearance.

The Latest and the Greatest

For most of us, wearing some type foundation is a must. Dark under eye circles and skin discolorations are never in style! Luckily, the days of spackling on the old fashioned “pancake” makeup are gone for good. Most modern makeup formulations are skin-friendly and relatively easy to apply. First you need to decide how much coverage your skin needs, and then choose your makeup accordingly. If your primary concern is racoon eyes, and your complexion is otherwise pretty even, then you may be able to get away with just using a concealer and a light dusting of powder. My favorite is MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35 ($15.50). The coverage can be as sheer or as full as you need it.
D.I.Y. Start applying concealer with a brush, sponge or the pad of your finger, from the inner corner beside your nose and blend outward until the dark shadows disappear. You can also blend concealer onto other areas of the face to cover imperfections. Find a color that matches your skintone exactly, or a shade lighter. Powder is a must to create a truly flawless appearance. Whether it’s multi-tasking as a powder/foundation combo, or doing its thing in a more sheer translucent formulation, make sure your skin is well hydrated underneath, especially if it’s dry. A great one to try Illusions Cosmetics Loose Powder or Oil Free Pressed Powder ($15-18). Both absorb shine without causing skin to look dull and lifeless and are great for all skin types. D.I.Y. Always dust on powder (loose or pressed) with a fluffy brush for a fresh finish. Don’t overdo it around the eyes or you’ll emphasize any fine lines. Illusions vitamin-enriched Lustre Lip Gloss ($10) in Carmen is my color of the moment. Named for favorite actresses and films, this gloss feels great on the lips and its non-sticky texture helps to create a glowing complexion…no wonder it’s become a favorite of many Hollywood actresses!

The latest trend in foundation is mineral makeup. Mineral powder is being touted as the best option for a pure foundation, and some say it’s actually good for your skin. One of the best I’ve come across is Valana Minerals Luxury Mineral Cosmetics. This line of mineral makeup has a fantastic color selection, is completely vegan and contains no artificial or harmful ingredients. The Stardust Luxury Foundation ($28) is a concealer, foundation, loose powder and drug-free sunblock all in one! Who could ask for anything more? Apply it with one of her Vegan and Cruelty Free synthetic brushes in the Faux Collection ($17.99-29.99). Just swirl, tap, sweep and viole… radiant and flawless skin. Sample packs and starter kits are also available for purchase. The One of the great things about this line is that it’s formulated for a wide variety of skintones, from fair and creamy to deep-dark brown, and will not appear chalky or "ashen" on the skin like many others on the market (believe me I’ve tried them all). The line also includes Vegan lip, eye and cheek colors and Oasis-Oil Control Powder ($15) a neutral toned formula that won't make your skin feel dry. Now you can look fabulous and do your part for the environment at the same time! D.I.Y Be sure to tap off the excess from the brush before applying to avoid fall-out on your clothing. For severe under-eye circles (like mine) it's best to use a bit of concealer first if you want them to truly disappear.
Airbrush to Perfection

Are you surprised to hear that your favorite actresses and entertainers may not actually have such flawless complexions? By now I’m sure you’ve heard of airbrush makeup. It’s been a staple on television and film sets for years. But it’s not just for the professional makeup artist anymore. Now you can get absolutely flawless skin at home, and it may not be as complicated as you might think.
An airbrush makeup system is basically an airbrush (stylus) attached by an airhose to a compressor. You put in a few drops of foundation, plug it in, turn it on, and airbrush your way to beautiful skin! That’s really all there is to it. Of course, as with any makeup application, it takes a little practice. But you will be absolutely amazed at the results. The “big deal” about airbrush makeup is that it gives you full coverage with a sheer texture, so it looks like you’re not wearing much of anything. And you can apply it in a matter of seconds. But be prepared, the cost of a good system will run you a couple hundrd dollars (comparable to buying a good foundation, powder, concealer and a few brushes). But it’s well worth it because with airbrush makeup, you won’t need those things to get beautiful looking skin!
A great one I found is O2 Cosmetics Personal Delivery System ($319). Comes complete with six foundation colors. Perfect for the novice, this system is easy to use and has a nice range of colors to match most complexions. Their airbrush makeup ($25) is water based, goes on smoothly and evenly, feels light as a feather and leaves a beautiful matte finish. Its humectants help skin stay softer, smoother and younger-looking. The system is compact and won’t take up a lot of room on your vanity. They also have a Tanning Mist($9.99 4oz) for the face and body that you can use alone or over your foundation for that sun-kissed look.
If you’re a true makeup diva, you’ll love the airbrush system by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC $389). Its water-based, oil-free foundations contain no alcohol or silicone, and are completely Vegan and Cruelty Free. The OCC Skin Airbrush Makeup ($20) mimics the finish that healthy skin has naturally (its neither mat nor dewey), and has one of the widest selections of shades available, including a collection of color adjusters, blushers and highlighters to allow you to achieve virtually any skintone or color you can imagine. Set comes complete with 12 foundations, 12 blushers/highlighters, 6 primary color adjusters, skin primer and airbrush cleaner.
D.I.Y. Shake your airbrush foundation bottles vigorously to ensure the colors are blended well. Test your foundation colors the same as you would traditional foundation…on the jawline. Wear it alone or lightly dust with powder. Make sure you clean the stylus (airbrush) after each use to prevent clogging.

And as a final touch for perfect foundation that lasts day into evening, Model in a Bottle Makeup Setting Spray ($18). As seen on Oprah, Tyra, and Extra, a few quick sprays will hold foundation and eye makeup in place all day and is resistant to smudging, tears, humidity and water. In the original or skin sensitive formula it dries quickly and won’t clog pores. You should also try their uniquly shaped Eyelash Curler ($9) which fits perfectly into your makeup bag and their Long Lasting Eyebrow Sealer ($12) that you can use to hold natural or enhanced brows in place.

Now there’s no more excuses for not looking flawless and fierce! Until next time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you long for a vibrant, glowing complexion? Who doesn’t, right. So you exercise regularly, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, and yet your complexion still appears dull and lifeless! Let’s face it, healthy looking skin requires a bit of effort. Now that springtime has just about sprung, it’s time to take a look at what you’ve been doing (or not doing) to put your best face forward.

A great cleanser is a good way to start down the road to glowing skin. Carol’s Daughter (no relation) allows you to Bring in the Moisture or Wash Away the Oil ($20), depending on your skin type, with her new foaming cleansers and matching toners . Get rid of dirt, dullness and excess oil with delicious ingredients like Patchouli, Willow Bark, Lemongrass and Acai Berry extract. They’re all petroleum and paraben-free with no mineral oil or artificial color. How can you go wrong?

Exfoliating, or removing dead skin instantly brightens your complexion. Getting rid of that weathered skin from the surface of the face will not only allow your other skin care products easier access thus making them more effective, it will help your makeup look fabulous! Scrubbing your skin until it's raw is not necessary. There are many skin polishers that will do the job gently yet effectively. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Detoxifying Facial Scrub ($7) exfoliates and removes dirt, oil and impurities at the same time. Formulated for all skin types, it won’t cause excessive dryness so you can use it daily if you like. Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini-Peel ($21)
is like a spa treatment at home. This self-heating formula gently polishes the skin with glycolic acid and micro crystals. You’ll feel hydrated, nourished and utterly pampered.

And don't underestimate the power of a good makeup trick! A shimmering powder in your skin tone dusted all over the face can enhance lack luster skin. One to try: Blazing Bronzers by Valana Minerals
($12) in Bahia Tan or Rio Sun. Formulated for all skin tones, these bronzers provide a sun-kissed glow without making even the deepest of skin tones look ashy. Free of irritants and containing no animal products, it looks just as flattering on the eyes, cheeks or lips. Applied with one of her vegan Faux Brushes ($17.99-29.99) it looks like you've spend a day on the beach. Switching from a foundation with a matte finish to a luminous finish can also give the illusion of a brilliant complexion. Remember to use makeup colors that enhance your skin's own natural undertones. Until next time!