New Year, New Life, New Products!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update. To be completely honest, I’ve been so busy with work, life changing events and haven’t been motivated.  But guess what? I have some exciting news. Probably the most exciting news I’ve shared on here. I am finally pursuing my dream as an esthetician and makeup artist. Yes, this is for real!

I’ve always been passionate about skincare along with makeup artistry. Ever since I was 15 years old, I have been dreaming of this. The first time I touched someone’s face doing makeup for theater, I knew I had a gift. I loved transforming someone into a character they were playing and I was damn good at it. Now, I want to help people with the health of their skin and help them feel confident and beautiful.

I left my job of 3 years to pursue an esthetician program full time.  I have to say it was a difficult decision because I had an awesome boss and coworkers. However, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. A good friend of mine went through a traumatic experience this year (Alan, hey there!) and we both realized we need to start taking action to fulfill our dreams. That led me to this decision and this exciting new chapter in my life. I’m so excited!

With that said, it’s a new year with a new beginning. So of course, I’ve been testing some new products to kick it off! Here are my favorites so far!

“Eye” love these for the windows of your soul!

Green Tea Eye Patches by ToGoSpa

Extremely soothing and relaxing!

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Shiseido’s Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

You can also use these around the mouth for those frown lines!

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For glowing and radiant skin:

                Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Face

 Exfoliates and really makes your skin smooth and glowing! I love these so much!

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                Karuna’s Age Defying Face Mask

 Okay these are brilliant! I’m so into cloth face masks right now and this moisturized my skin after one use!

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I’m looking forward to writing more posts!  I’m feeling great and extremely motivated now that I’m starting to live my dream!

 

 

Shiny, happy hair! Finally!

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my hair.  People are constantly telling me how shiny and healthy it looks.  Two years ago that would not have been the case.  It used to be so brittle and dry.  So what’s changed since then? Well I broke some bad habits and started using the right products!

Gone are the days of blonde highlights and daily flat irons.  And I don’t brush my hair with a fine tooth comb while it’s wet.  I use a wide tooth comb and I’m extra gentle.  I have to treat my hair like a baby.  Our hair gets more and more delicate as we get older so we really need to give it some real TLC.  I also decided to go back to my original hair color so I don’t have to dye it as much.  I use less heat styling tools, and if I do, I use a heat protectant.

I’ve searched EVERYWHERE for the best shampoos and hair products.  I’ve spent more than I could afford on products that promised healthy, shiny hair and have been left disappointed.  But recently, I’ve struck gold!  Loreal came out with an awesome line called Total Repair 5.  It promises to repair hair even the most wicked, ugliest hair.  And guess what? It works like magic!

In addition to the amazing shampoo and conditioners, I use a deep conditioner twice a week.  I also alternate with Joico’s Revitaluxe.  Also a fantastic deep conditioner.

One thing I’ve noticed ever since I’ve stopped highlighting my hair is that it doesn’t break off as easily anymore!  Which is good news because my hair has grown pretty long (I felt like it never would grow ever again!)

Now I’m left with healthy shiny hair.  Yay!

Photo Shoot: Sarah Arnold

I had the pleasure of doing makeup for another shoot with my photographer Phil, and our beautiful model Sarah Arnold!  We had so much fun! Check it out:

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Photos by Phillip Kyle Briggs

Let’s get one thing straight: Your hair!

hair4My hair naturally

First off, I’m  going to say that I’m lucky to have been born with straight hair so I don’t really need to worry about straightening my hair.  Even though as a kid, I always wanted curly hair soooo bad.  I remember I would spend hours putting my hair in rollers and begging my mom for a perm!  I wanted to look like Tina Turner with a big curly fro!  For real!  But as I got older I realized that straight hair is actually a blessing.  It’s easy, simple and classic.

I have many friends and family that have been struggling with curly, wavy and frizzy hair.  My mom being one of them.  But years ago I introduced her to the flat iron and showed her how to use it correctly. She’s been thankful ever since! I have witnessed many friends straightening their hair with just a flat iron.  No brush, comb, or hair product.  But today, I will give you some tips on how to do it right.  In no time, you will walk away with straight, shiny, frizz free hair.

Smooth straight hair starts in the shower.  I recommend Joico’s Smooth Cure shampoo and conditioner.  These two will change your life!  The whole line is fantastic and they also have a straightening balm that works wonders.

hair7I HIGHLY recommend this product!

Coming from the shower, some of us can get away with blow drying our hair straight and be done with it.  I am one of them.  I don’t ever use a flat iron unless I want stick straight results.  However, if you have wavy or curly hair, you will want to blow dry your hair straight as best as you could.  I recommend using a big flat brush.  It may not be completely straight, but if you start with the blow dryer, it will take you less time with a flat iron.

When women flat iron their hair the biggest mistake they make is not sectioning the hair.  So you will need hair clips to section your hair off.  Use 1 inch to 2 inch sections and run the flat iron through it.  Secondly, women either put too much product or none at all.  You can use my favorite Bumble and Bumble’s Defrizz if you have wavy hair, or you can use Bumble and Bumble Straight if you have curly hair.  Don’t use too much because you don’t want to weigh your hair down or make it look too greasy.  I also recommend using a heat protectant so you don’t fry your hair.

hair6This should be your best friend when straightening hair :)

Another big mistake women make is just running the flat iron through their hair and not following it up with a brush or comb.  Following the flat iron with a brush or comb makes a huge difference.  I cannot stress how important this is when using a flat iron.  It tames the hair cuticle to lay and stay flat which reflects light and eliminates frizz.  Basically, it makes hair shiny and beautiful!

hair3cropFor best results, follow the flat iron with a brush or comb.

If you still have flyaways, I learned this cool trick from a hairstylist.  Take foil and spray it with hair spray.  Run the foil over your finished hair to hold the style and to tame any hairs that may be sticking up.  Finish the ends with the Bumble and Bumble defrizz for softness and added definition.

hair2cropMy hair nice and straight!

April Photo shoot: Malin Bylund

Boy, oh boy, it’s been a very long time since I have posted something on here.  Things have been so hectic with my life!  But I’m back in the game and I have some very exciting news!

I’m starting to do makeup for some photo shoots with my coworker, dear friend and amazing photographer, Phil Briggs.  He invited me to do my first shoot with his friend Malin Bylund.  Malin is a musician from Sweden living here in Los Angeles.  She is a joy to work with, and not to mention so beautiful!

I have to say as much as I LOVE doing makeup, I was extremely nervous for this shoot.  But as soon as I met Malin, I was at immediately at ease.  She has a very warm personality and a positive attitude.

Phil had requested that I create a soft, casual and playful look on Malin.  Because of her very fair skin, I decided to do a light smoky eye using mainly golden browns and rusty brown colors to make her blue eyes pop.  I used a black brown mascara on her already long lashes.  Black mascara would have been too harsh, I think.  Then  I defined her eyebrows with a light brown eyeshadow to lift up the eye area.  For this look, I really wanted to make her skin glow because I knew we would be shooting outside.  So I used a bit of bronzer to give her a beautiful glow, but also focused on contouring her face with it.  I used a bright pink blush on her cheeks topped with some highlighter.  For the lips, I kept it neutral with a pink gloss.

We did change up the makeup a bit for the second part of the shoot.  She slid into a dark plum sweater and we had her hair cascade in front of her face.  We started to get a more alternative vibe from the outfit, so we just went with it.  Phil had me darken her eye makeup and give her red lips.  The result was beautiful, dark and almost eerie.  I thought it was interesting how we went from casual and playful to dark and statuesque.

Here are some pics from our shoot! Enjoy!

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Photos by Phillip Briggs: http://www.pkbstudio.com

Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year!

Two years ago I made a new year’s resolution to start my own beauty blog thanks to the support of my wonderful family and friends.  So happy 2 year anniversary to my blog! It’s been a fantastic ride, and I’m looking forward to writing more! Thanks to everyone!

I also wanted to share some of my new year’s resolutions for 2013!

1.  Take ballet classes:  Believe it or not, I took ballet classes for about a year when I was 6 years old.  I wasn’t the best ballerina (even my ballet teachers will tell you that), and I lost interest quickly.  Now fast forward 22 years later…I wish I had stuck with it because it’s truly a beautiful art form.  I also think this would be a fun way for me to stay physically active but also tap into my creative side.  Just as long as I don’t end up like Natalie Portman in Black Swan.  Yikes.

img073crop(Yes, the little brat in the tutu is me)

2.  Travel:  I hardly ever travel or go anywhere.  And there is so much to see and do.  If I can at least get out of California for a bit, I’ll be happy!  (Meg and Rob, I will make it to Chicago this year!)

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(I want to travel to a different place!)

3.  Publish my comics somewhere or incorporate it into my blog:  For those of you who are Facebook friends with me, you know what comics I am referring to.  Most of you have begged me to seriously consider publishing these, and I’m grateful for the support.  So I’m going to take the steps to do it!  Thanks again, and hope you are as excited as I am!

cover(Yes, that’s me pregnant eating ice cream from my comic “Oh baby.”)

4.  Explore LA more: I know I just said in #2 that I need to travel and get out of LA, but while I am in LA, I’m going to make the effort to explore this city!  I’ve been living in LA for almost 10 years, and I know a lot of good spots.  But there’s definitely more out there.  This city is fascinating!  Specifically I’d like to see a good show at the Pantages because I haven’t been.  I missed Wicked when it was in town.   Oh, and I HAVE TO GO TO A LAKER game!  On top of that, I really want to be part of a Supper Club.  All this may take some time…

IMG_3761I wish you all a wonderful and Happy New Year!  Here’s to 2013! Cheers!

Beauty shipped straight to your door? Yes! I’m in love with Birchbox.com!

This post is long overdue, but one of my best friends, Diana, surprised me with a Birchbox subscription about 6 months ago.  I had heard about Birchbox, but I didn’t know too much about it.  Shame on me, a self proclaimed beauty addict, for not discovering this brilliant service soon enough!  (And thank you, Diana!)

If you are not yet familiar with Birchbox, you are missing out.  For $10 a month, you will be shipped a cute box of beauty samples.  In addition, you can fill out an online profile about yourself and answer several questions about what types of products you are most interested in.  You will then be sent samples straight to your door that are tailored to your preferences.  It’s a great way to try out products and figure out what you like and don’t like.  And if you like it enough, you can order it online!

I have discovered many products that I absolutely love love love! Here are just some of the goodies I’ve received in my box:

Bliss Incredi-“peel” pads for exfoliating the face.  Works pretty well!

Pink lipgloss and cute ear buds to match.  Now I can listen to my music in style.

Blender Cleanser brush cleaner and fun nail colors by Color Club.

Eyeko’s liquid eyeliner:  Ultra thin applicator, smudge proof and a beautiful teal color.

Birchbox is awesome, and it’s great for both women and men wanting to discover different beauty products! Since the Holidays are coming up, it also makes fantastic gifts!  To learn more, check out Birchbox: http://www.birchbox.com/

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