RMS Beauty, Finally, An Effective Organic Colour Line

tumblr_m0edgfUcld1rr5f7co1_500-e1348601959136I came out of the womb with a love for animals, and as a result became a vegetarian many years ago as a child, once able to articulate this desire to my mother.  As an adult I feel it is a healthier option, in addition to, my affinity toward animals.  Of course, a vegetarian lifestyle usually leads those living it to ponder other areas such as beauty and fashion.  Today I’ll keep the focus on beauty.  Although I’m not legalistic about it as many I know, I have made many adjustments to create balance.  Most of my skin and body care products are organic with the exception of a few creams…Revive and Alpha Hydrox which keep my skin luminous and smooth…I personally feel a few active products are necessary to target specific concerns.

I decided the best way to create balance would be to transition to organic make-up exclusively.  I have had many challenges on this front…”It isn’t dark enough,” “It doesn’t stay well!” “Where’s the pigment??”  I’m happy to announce, I can lay those questions to rest thanks to celebrity make-up artist, Rose-Marie Swift, owner and creator of RMS Beauty…consider it skin care with mineral colour.  It is based on living and organic principles and contains absolutely zero toxins or chemicals.

Rose-MarieLet’s start with the “un” cover-up.  Used as a concealer or light foundation this product gives the skin a youthful, fresh appearance while minimizing the look of pores.  Each shade is created to self-adjust to the skin, the result is flawless, even coverage.  The shades offered are 11, 22,33, & 44 which work with most skins.  This product won Allure “Best Concealer” for 2011 & 2012

IMG_5340RMS cream eye shadow is a veil of sheer, reflective colour leaving the lids dewy and healthy looking.  I love the fact they are easily applied with the fingertips and contour naturally…a few of the shades also double as highlighter and lip shimmer.

IMG_5337Lip2cheek colours combine hydration with protection, the intensity of the pigments range and the results are natural and clean.  The colours settle as if they are emanating from your own skin, leaving a flushed, modern look.  Don’t be afraid of the deeper pigments, they are quite blendable with just a swipe of the finger tips or a dusting of “un” powder over…more on “un” powder in a moment.

IMG_5335The lip shines are super emollient and hydrating and can be used on the cheeks also, they provide antioxidant protection and keep the lips looking super sensuous.

IMG_5343Now that colour is covered, which are all ‘must-haves’ in my humble opinion, the following are ‘must,must-haves’ and belong on every girls vanity from the east to west to the north and south.  Clockwise, the beauty oil is chock full of goodness for the skin, exotic oils and herbal extracts.  I use it as a nighttime treatment and sometimes as a primer.  It absorbs into the skin almost immediately and provides a velvety surface for make-up or skin care products.  Next, living luminizer is amazing and unlike most…it doesn’t contain glitter particles or sparkle, but allows for highlighting by way of a unique satin pearl finish and looks great on every skin tone.  It also won Elle “Best Beauty Product.”  Finally, the “un” powder is virtually invisible!  It is ultra fine and lightweight, minimizes pores, softens the look of the skin and clearly, the ONLY powder you will ever need.

IMG_5338Visit RMS Beauty for yourself to get more information on the products and company.  These products have had a beautiful effect on my skin, so much so, when I use products laden with chemicals, my skin repels.  After much deliberation and great reluctance, I finally parted with my Chanel, Laura Mercier and the multitude of other toxic lines once used.

Finding new homes for everything was effortless as a few of my girlfriends seized upon the goods like vultures; ostensibly afraid I’d change my mind!  Someday, maybe I’ll get them to come around…

Advertisements

DHC Skincare, An Ideal Step Toward Radiant Skin

As a makeup artist, I am always excited to try new and innovative cosmetics, however, I learned years ago if the skin isn’t it’s healthiest, the makeup won’t look it’s best. I have always had an affinity toward Japanese skincare, which has led to experimentation with a myriad of products. Currently DHC is on my bathroom sink, I began using the Cleansing Oil years ago, and it remains on my list of favourites. About 3 weeks ago I began using the DHC Pore Lotion, Pore Essence and Pore Milk, the results have left me very pleasantly surprised, here’s my DHC regimen:

After cleansing, I follow with the DHC Pore Lotion, which is a toner. Typically, I’m ambivalent when it comes to toners, either I feel too much of my natural oils have been stripped, or that it hasn’t done anything at all. The DHC Pore Lotion seems to be an exception, after applying it, my skin feels as if I’ve moisturized, and it looks nourished. The ingredients are also appealing with: brown algae and mushroom extract, not to mention a natural grapefruit scent.

Next I use a small pea-sized amount of the DHC Pore Essence, a serum which is supposed to minimize the pores. I’ve always been trepidatious about products claiming to minimize the pores and, up to this point, have not stumbled upon one that has worked for my skin. However, after 3 weeks of use, my skin has a very smooth, velvety look and texture. How DHC has achieved these results in a serum is beyond me, all I know is both the texture and clarity of my skin have changed for the better. Again, I’m drawn to the ingredients in this product as well, with artichoke leaf extract, Vitamin C and Vitamins B3 and B6 among them.

Finally, I finish off my regimen with DHC Pore Milk, a moisturizer which controls excess sebum in the skin without depleting it entirely. I really like the texture of this moisturizer, it doesn’t sit on top of the skin, but seems to absorb immediately, and an added benefit is it also combats blemishes. It contains many of the same ingredients as the Pore Lotion.

After Completing my DHC regimen, it feels as if I have nothing at all on my skin, this can be a negative, but in this instance it’s a good thing. My skin doesn’t feel weighed down with product, yet it definitely has a glow and feels hydrated. As far as “cons” for the products, I’d like to see larger quantities offered, however, on the flip side, so little of the respective product is needed, it seems these standard sizes will have longevity. However,  I feel the Pore Lotion is a bit steep in price at $35 for 4 ounces, it should definitely be at least 8 ounces at that price point.

DHC is an amazing Japanese skin care line developed in excellence. Since I began using these products, I’ve lost count of the number of compliments I’ve received on my skin. I realize everyone’s skin is different; so there are no guarantees these items will serve you as well as they have me. Nonetheless, I feel confident recommending them to anyone searching for an effective, yet simple skin care regimen.

Revlon’s Just Bitten Lip Products

A friend of mine recently recommended Revlon’s Just Bitten lip products (Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm & Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain). In the past, my experience with drug store brands has not been favourable, either because of the quality or lack of testers. As I did my household shopping at Target yesterday, I saw one of the two items recommended (Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm) was on sale for $6 and change. I decided to give it a try and as I checked out, I received a coupon for $2 off the other (Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain) and promptly picked it up as well.

Top: Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Forbidden/ Bottom: Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adorable

The following are my thoughts:

REVLON JUST BITTEN LIPSTAIN + BALM

Pros

* Stays on for hours

* Doesn’t cake

* Looks very natural

* The colour does not transfer to the balm

* Feels light and satiny soft on the lips

* Available in a variety of shades

Cons

* Testers are not available in most drug stores, I ended up returning two before settling on Forbidden because they were too pigmented

* The Balm broke on my first one, no problem, I simply exchanged it

Update: The balm also broke on the second and third time as well, suffice it to say, chances are you could be balmless within a week. I’ve just opted to use my Rose Salve Balm in lieu and it is fine, however, I wouldn’t purchase this again simply because having the balm attached is what makes the product so appealing for me.

* The felt tip dispensed the colour in splotches with my first tube, however, I’ve not had this happen with the Forbidden

Update: The colour began drying out within one week, this could be a defective tube, however, it may be wise to hold on to your receipt if you decide to purchase it.

Overall

Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm is not for me, however, with a few modifications I’d surely try it again.

REVLON JUST BITTEN KISSABLE BALM STAIN

Pros

* Goes on very smoothly

* Looks quite natural

* Stays on for hours

* Colour won’t transfer to hubby, glasses, etc.

* Lightweight in texture

* Does not require anything over it to add moisture, it is moisturizing on it’s own, although I use a neutral gloss over it

* No need for sharpening

* Available in a variety of shades

Update: After using this for a week, I can say I really like it, and in addition to Adore, I have added Honey and Crush, they are both very flattering.

Cons

* The only negative I have at the moment is there are typically no testers available in drugstores, therefore, you’ll have to make your best efforts to choose the correct shade, the shades seem to go on lighter than the colour represented on the packaging, which makes it a bit challenging to choose accurately. However, if it doesn’t work, most stores will honour a return or exchange.

Overall

Again, the pros outweigh the cons. I actually prefer this over the Lipstain + Balm and will definitely be purchasing more shades. It has such an ease of use which I feel the former does not.

Top: Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Forbidden/Bottom: Just Bitten Balm Stain in Adorable

These products retail for about $8.99 on the Revlon site, I opted to purchase them from Target where I spent a little over $6

xoxo

Five Faves

I have always loved turning my girls onto the little treasures I come across, and now that I have this blog, I am excited about passing these finds on to you;)… Here are todays Five Faves:

Alpha Hydrox products have been around for decades, I remember getting turned onto them back in college, when my budget was tight and I wanted excellent results for minimum pay.  This product left me amazed by the results, which is the reason I continue to be loyal long after my college days.  I use the foaming wash and the AHA Souffle pictured here, which has 12% AHA.  It smooths my skin and has cleared the discolouration over the years.  The price is astounding for all this product offers, at $15 per jar, I have plenty left in my budget to spend on my ever growing list of must-haves.  I order directly from the site because it seems they always have a promotion.  I just ordered a replenishment and received my facial cleanser complimentary!  It’s almost too good to be true, but true it is.  I urge you to check out the site and explore options for your individual skin needs, if you need assistance, phone the customer service number, they are always pleasant and ready to help answer your questions.  If you decide any of the products use the following code at checkout: NC-US-319

Next up, Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder.  Bumble and bumble hair products are among my favourite, and the hair powder is a gem.  It dry cleanses and adds great tint and volume.  For those who have greys sprout up long before the next salon visit for touch ups, this powder is a great way to camouflage, and if you are in between shampoos and the oil is building up, problem solved with this dry cleanser.  This is a great product for set work or if you plan to take photos because it gives the appearance of a thick, healthy mane when sprinkled on side and middle parts in the hair.

Target Up & Up Baby Wipes are a staple in my car, home, purse and set kit.  They are handy for spills, makeup removal, cooling the skin on hot summer days and a multitude of other uses you haven’t even thought about until the moment arises.  They are under $2 and so very handy.

Denim, denim, denim… yes, it has now become the wardrobe staple in the closets of women all across the globe.  Being from a city where dressing up to go to the grocery store was the norm, it took me a while to jump on the denim bandwagon, and now I’m pretty much committed.  I have every style and cut you could possibly imagine from Sevens to AG and Current Elliot, however, my favourite brand is Joe’s.  First off they fit like a glove and secondly they are perfect for those of us with long legs.  I’m 5’8″ and prefer my jeans drag a bit so this coupled with my height can make it challenging to find the perfect denim, not anymore, Joe’s rarely miss the mark for me, and for those who don’t necessarily need the length, you’ll appreciate the comfort.  The material is so soft and feels like a second skin, definitely worth a trip to the tailor.

Last, but surely not least, with hot summer days comes the desire to wear the minimum amount of fabric, especially when you live in areas where humidity is common.  James Perse tees are my answer during these summer months, and of course they are great for layering, as the weather cools.  The cotton is high quality, super soft and thin.  The tees are also offered in a wide variety of colours and styles, and they look great with jeans, trousers, shorts and skirts.  They have become a staple in my wardrobe, and by now, you may know it’s all about the quality for me, so yes, they last forever and a day… not really, but you’ll surely have them for years to come;).

Classic Specs, Serving Up Panache, With Stylish Frames

Remember the old cliche? “Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,” or how frames meant acquiring the unwanted moniker of ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’?  Clearly, this is no longer the case, apparently it is cool to be a nerd these days, hence the new hip label, ‘Geek Chic.’  Glasses have become quite the fashion accessory, and there are sites sprouting up by the day, offering them at the most reasonable prices ever imagined.  Although, I’ve ordered from many of these sites, my personal favourite is Classic Specs with a showroom based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The website is easy to maneuver through, the frames are durable (handmade using premium acetate and reinforced hinges) and the customer service is excellent.  Many wonder “How can frames be ordered online?  I’d have to try them on to know whether I like them.”  Classic Specs factored this in and makes it super simple, upload a photo and use the virtual try-on feature to see how your frame choice(s) will look, this has been fool-proof for me, as the frames look very similar in person.  Next, when you fall in love with the ideal frame, fax your prescription over or request to have someone from the Classic Specs team call your optometrist for it.

The frames are $89 for everything, which includes polycarbonate prescription lenses (high index lenses are an additional $20 per pair), anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings and free shipping both ways in the event they don’t work out as planned.  They also cover any adjustments your new frames may require, and if there is a charge, they will gladly reimburse you.  If this isn’t enough, each frame comes with a one year warranty from defects, and if they are accidentally broken, just send them back and receive a fresh pair for $25.

I’m on my second pair, added to the many overpriced styles I acquired long before discovering Classic Specs, and eagerly awaiting new styles so I can continue to build my collection.  Another amazing perk is they gladly replace the lenses in your old frames, with each new pair ordered from them, for a mere $47.  I jumped on this, and so happy I did, a couple pairs of my old frames are like new again.

Lastly, but certainly not least, 6% of the proceeds for every frame purchased from Classic Specs is donated to New Eyes For The Needy, a brilliant program which assists children, the working poor and the elderly within the United States.  This is surely my favourite part of all, with clear vision, children are able to effectively learn in school, adults are able to embark on employment opportunities and the elderly are able to coexist safely.  Please check out the New Eyes For The Needy site, there is so much great information you may want to pass on to someone in need.

When I first discovered Classic Specs a little less than one year ago in a Vogue article, this all seemed way too good to be true, now I know better, I just wished I’d discovered them sooner.

To browse the many different frames styles, visit Classic Specs on the web or in person, at 85 North 3rd Street Suite 112 Brooklyn, New York 11249

Photos Courtesy of Classic Specs

Quick Tips On The Fly…

Bounce and Static Guard are excellent remedies for static in the hair when you are in a pinch…

When schedules are hectic, and a trip to the hair stylist is more than a notion, dry shampoo is the answer.  Batiste is the original and continues to be my all time favourite, although it is available in a variety of formulas, I prefer Diva.  It refreshes and adds great volume…

Preparation H is the excellent solution for under eye puffiness…

A dry latex sponge is effective for removing makeup and many other stains from clothing, especially when water stains may be of concern…

Topstick (hair piece tape), or double stick tape from any fabric store, is a great addition to your handbag for the occasional wardrobe malfunction.

Flattering Hairstyles For Your Face Shape

Face shapes come in many different shapes and sizes, and factor in largely with the hairstyles we choose.  There are definitely hairstyles more flattering than others depending upon face shape.  The most popular face shapes are the heart, long, round, square and diamond.

The Heart Shaped Face like Scarlett Johansson’s is widest at the forehead and tapers to it’s narrowest point at the chin.

Flattering hairstyles for the heart shaped face are those which create the illusion of a narrower forehead, and stronger jaw line.  Bangs either straight across or swept off to the side will achieve this, while shoulder length or longer is ideal to create volume around the jaw line.

The Long Shaped Face like Sarah Jessica Parker’s is longer than it is wide, with a long straight cheek line.

The most ideal hairstyles for a long face are either short with volume on the top with bangs, or longer with volume around the jawline to create more of a balanced effect.

The Round Shaped Face like Drew Barrymore’s is curved at the hairline and chin lines with a wider width.

Becoming hairstyles for a round face are those which give the illusion of a narrower face like a short style with wispy bangs or longer with soft curls or layers close to the jawline, round faces should keep volume to a minimum unless the style is a shorter option.

A Square Face Shape like Kiera Knightley’s is straight at the hairline, with a squared jawline and wider face.

Hairstyles most enhancing for a square face are those with layers and length.  Flowy layers or soft beach waves and side swept bangs soften the angles on a square face.

The Diamond Shaped Face like Halle Barry’s is narrow at the forehead and chin with greater width through the cheekbones.

A diamond shaped face has many options, shorter styles look great, as well as longer, since the structure of the face is already quite balanced.

Sunkissed Bronzer For Face & Legs

With Summer fast approaching, we all want sun-kissed, healthy looking skin.  In fact, most of us want this skin year around.  Bronzers are a great way to achieve this while protecting your skin from the harmful effects of too much sun.

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powders have been a favourite of mine for many years.  I’ve veered away from it a few times to try a litany of others, and although they served the purpose, the results were just not as appealing.

Being one of the first  bronzers on the market, Guerlain is the pioneer when it comes to them, they seemed to get it right at the outset.  These bronzers don’t leave an orange undertone and they are enriched with moisturizers so even the driest skins can use them without feeling like it is cakey on the skin.  The results truly do look sun-kissed, and they can also be used solely as blush.  Every skin tone from fair to ethnic is covered with 8 shades available.  Although Guerlain Terrracotta Bronzing Powder is a bit on the high end, the price is easily justified by the fact you will surely get a good year or more use from it. Available at fine department stores $50

Legs having not seen the light of day for months, may require special attention when it’s time to switch out the wool gaberdine slacks for summer shorts and skirts.  Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is a treasure packaged in a can.  The coverage is fantastic and the shades mimic the natural undertones of actual skin (novel approach huh?), leaving the legs looking smooth and flawless.  The formula is also waterproof, however, in the event it transfers to clothing, it washes out easily.  Although the dispenser is a spray can, I usually spray the product in my hands first, then smooth it onto the legs, use is more controlled this way.  Available at drugstores nationwide $13


Stylista Muse

I was going to save this for next week’s “Stylista’s Muse Of The Week,” however, I simply couldn’t resist.  Beatrix Ost, artist and writer, encompasses quintessential style and beauty.  Someone once said “Either you have it or you don’t.”  Clearly, style flows out of every pore of this lovely lady.

This photo is one of many included in “First Looks: Advanced Style’s” Ari Seth Cohen’s first ever photo book, which I will surely be picking up hot off the press.

Photo: Courtesy of Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen/PowerHouse Books

The Eyes Have It

There are various reasons we sometimes suffer from red eyes, whether it’s lack of sleep or allergies.  What ever the case may be, it’s an annoyance, and Z! Eye Drops are an amazing remedy.  The eyes are whitened within seconds of applying the drops.  However, they definitely take some getting used to, the first time I used them, I thought a cruel joke was being played on me.  They have a cooling effect, and menthol feel in the eyes.  Once this subsides after about one minute, you are left with bright whites.

After several months of use, I have finally acclimated to the drops.  Although they are not recommended for daily use, they are perfect for those occasions when you need to look your very best.  Z! Eye Drops are also available for contact lens wearers and a pro formula, which is much stronger than the regular version.

Available on amazon.com