Category Archives: Best Of

Favorite products, tips and tricks and advice for makeup application.

Creme De La Mer

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Even though I hate to endorse ridiculously expensive products I must tell you about my all time favorite face cream. You can use it all over as a face cream, eye cream, and lip cream. And yes, it is ridiculously expensive, but when you consider that it is an "all in one" product it makes the price a little more reasonable. Actually, that's the excuse I tell myself to justify the money. But, the thing that is ironic is that I have spent more money trying out "inexpensive" face products in the hope of not having to shell out money for my favorite expensive counterpart. Jeesh!

Creme De La Mer is the product. I am telling you ladies, the hype is true.  This stuff is a "miracle" just like it claims to be.

I know it looks scary to put a cream on your face, but it works. I have acne prone skin, that is also massively dry.The problem with this is that most acne products are extremely drying due to the sulfur, salicylic and glycolic acids . Quite the conundrum! But this cream solves all my problems.  My skin is firmer, clearer, and softer. It actually helps to clear up my cystic acne, and tighten my pores, all the while making my skin incredibly soft.

The great thing is that Creme De La Mer also makes a gel version which has a lighter feel for the summer time.  The gel version is also a wonderful alternative to the cream for oilier skin types. So you can try either one, and still get the same amazing results.

So, what's the price you ask?  It runs about $230, but I promise it is well worth it.  The secret is in the "miracle broth" as they call it.  The ingredients are actually quite simple, with the base concentrated on sea kelp.  The difference is that the cream is started out as a broth and fermented for over 6 months.  Every jar goes through this process.  The cream was originally developed by Dr. Max Huber, a NASA scientist.  After an experiment gone bad, Dr. Huber was left with burns all over his face.  He spent the next 10 years trying to create a cream to heal his scars.  It is said that by the time he died, he was virtually scar-less.  Hence the miracle.  

There is a theory that the German based Nivea cream is the same (and less expensive version) of this product.  I have tried both, and will be giving my review of the Nivea tomorrow.  But I can tell you for sure that nothing will ever beat the original in my book.  Now, if only I could convince my accountant that this cream is worth it!

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Everyday Loose Waves!

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Your wedding day can be completely stressful, especially when it comes to bridal beauty.  I thought that I would be ok, since I work in the beauty industry...but I was wrong. So very, very wrong.  For the month of June and July I am going to be sharing all my bridal beauty tips and I am going to start with some easy tips for beautiful and super simple bridal hair.  For my wedding, I wanted to do simple loose waves.  Luckily for me, I was able to try out some new products by Suave Professionals that helped me get my bridal look down pat!

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NEW Suave Professionals® Sea Mineral Infusion collection is a salon-inspired range of products infused with a carefully chosen blend of rich minerals from the sea for effortless volume.  During your wedding, you want your hair to withstand humidity and look full and luxurious.  Since wedding costs can be overwhelming, I welcomed the chance to try out an affordable products that would give me maximum results. 

  •  Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Buoyant Body Shampoo & Conditioner system provides hair with 24-hour body and moisture that is easy to style.
  • Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Buoyant Body Shampoo contains no heavy silicones and helps remove build up from hair for natural looking body and bounce.
  • Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Buoyant Body Conditioner offers just the right amount of conditioning for natural, healthy looking body and bounce.

The Texturizing spray is also key.  I didn't want my curls to loose too tight...I wanted sexy, loose waves that screamed romance.  After shampooing and conditioning your hair, spray the Texturing spray all over wet hair before you blow dry your hair. 

  • The Sea Mineral Infusion Texturizing Sea Salt Spray helps create a loose, textured look with full-bodied waves that last up to 24 hours.
  • Salon proven to add texture as well as Bumble and bumble. Surf® Spray

Below are 3 easy steps to do this for yourself at home, or for your big day! 

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STEP 1: Separate your hair into small sections, as you work a 1 1/2 inch curling iron around your head, starting from the front.  Curl from the ends up to the middle of the hair shaft. Hold for 10 seconds. 

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STEP 2: Always remember to alternate the direction of the curling iron barrel.  You don't want uniform curls that look old fashioned. Keeping the curls loose, and going in different directions will give a more natural and sexy look.  

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STEP 3: (and you can have a friend help you with this part!)  Use a large 2 inch curling iron for the back of the hair.  Start at the top of the head, with the curling iron facing horizontally.  Curl four sections from top to bottom for volume. 

FINISHED LOOK:

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So let me know, how do you #StyleItYourself

POST DISCLAIMER 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Suave Professionals® . The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Discover the Beauty of the Sea with NEW Suave Professionals® Sea Mineral Infusion products. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Suave Professionals® . The opinions and text are all mine.

 
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Gluten Free Cosmetics

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With one in every 133 people living with Celiac Disease, this is a wonderful resource to help survive and thrive gluten free. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Cosmetics - Five Ingredients You Never Saw Coming

By: Erika Krull

You walk away from the cosmetic counter with swagger.  You've snagged a fabulous lipstick, "firming" moisturizer, and life-saving eye cream all in one trip.  Still smiling from your cosmetic coup, you take a glance at the ingredient list of one of your new products and noticed some really funny looking words. 

 Tocopherol, triticum vulgare, and hydrolyzed malt extract.  What the heck are those?  Snapping back to reality, you remember that gluten can be found all over the place in personal care and cosmetic products.  Did you just contaminate your makeup bag?

Unfortunately, you just did.  Three different times, in fact.  Your doctor told you to watch for gluten, you know, by watching for wheat, barley, rye, and oats (because of cross contamination).  That's right, except for one sneaky little problem.  Gluten doesn't always come with a "Hello, My Name Is..." badge. 

Nope, in fact it often gets the drop on you by staying hidden and keeping you confused.  Until you figure out what you're looking for, you'll stay a step behind and feel the sucker punch when gluten slips in.

Don't worry, getting on the good side of your cosmetics isn't as hard as it seems.  You just need to know how to spot gluten when it's using an assumed name.  Take a look at the lineup.

  •  Vitamin E/Tocopherol - This is used as a skin conditioner with anti-aging and moisturizing properties.  It's often found in lipstick, powder cosmetics, skin care products, soaps, hair products, and lotions. 

Before you start visualizing Vitamin E as a complete villain, it's important to understand the catch to this ingredient.  It can be made from gluten free sources, but this is not always labeled clearly.  It's so important to ask because this is an easy ingredient to overlook. 

If a company either can't guarantee its source or can't even tell you where it comes from, then consider those products unsafe.  Gluten free sources of Vitamin E aren't completely uncommon, so you should be able to find comparable products without the risk.  Companies that are known to be friendly to gluten-free customers are also more likely to use gluten free Vitamin E sources.  They know this detail matters to many of their customers.

  • Hordeum Vulgare - This is derived from barley and may also be labeled as hordeum vulgare extract, hordeum sativum, barley extract, or flour.  It would be great if this was always labeled something straightforward with the word "barley" in it, but that would just be too easy, right?

This ingredient is used for its skin protecting properties.  You might find this in sun care lotions, specialized skin serums, or other anti-aging products (including lips). 

  • Triticum Vulgare - This ingredient is derived from wheat germ and may occasionally go by the far more helpful and obvious name of "wheat germ oil".  Because of its high Vitamin E content, triticum vulgare is used in products that moisturize and condition the skin. 

Because we humans don't love having dry skin, this stuff is in a lot of products (especially those for extra dry or aging skin).  You'll typically find this in lipstick, hair conditioner, hand and body lotion, eye creams, various anti-aging products, and more.

  • Hydrolyzed Malt Extract- Because this is malt, it is yet another ingredient derived from barley.  While this ingredient name contains fairly normal looking words, the word "malt" may or may not trigger your memory until you spend more time looking for it. 
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Paula’s Choice Skincare

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I don't know why, but as I have gotten older my skin has gone from somewhat dry to alligator dry! It is often tight, itchy and dull.  Not pretty at all.  I have become stuck in a skincare rut, with some products doing ok and others just not working at all. 

So, when I got the chance to try out a new skincare set for dry skin, I said "why not!". I was glad I did.  I have been hearing about Paula's Choice skincare for some time, but never made the jump to try it out.  For me, the best thing about these products was the simplicity.  It never irritated my skin, or clogged my pores.  I liked them so much that I even took these with me on my honeymoon! If that is not trusting your skincare, than I don't know what is. 

Paula's Choice provides you with access to a skincare expert who can go through your concerns with you and recommend products that would be best suited to your needs.  After having a consultation, I was referred to the Skin Recovery line for dry skin with the addition of the Resist Moisture Renewal Oil.  Now, I will admit that some of the products didn't blow my mind (I have never been a toner gal), but I ADORED the concentrate serum, gel exfoliant, replenishing moisturizer and the oil. LOVE LOVE LOVE mixing the oil with my replenishing moisturizer.  It is an amazing combo that never left me feeling greasy or lacking in moisture. 

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Here are the details:

Products in the Skin Recovery Advanced Kit Include:

  • Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser:
  • Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner:
  • Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant:
    • This lightweight gel increases skin cell turnover rate, revealing a smooth, firm and radiant appearance.
  • Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum:
    • a gentle alternative to retinol
  • Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30:
  • Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer:
  • Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask:

Active Ingredients: 

  • borage seed oil
  • Aloe barbadensis
  • ceramide NS, and vitamin E
  • Chamomilla recutita flower extract,
  • coenzyme Q10, and licorice extract
  • macadamia nut oil, and grape seed extract
  • soy oil, vitamin C, beta-glucan, olive oil/olive fruit oil
  • cucumber extract, apricot kernel oil

Now you can try out these sets for yourself (and don't forget my personal favorite, Resist Moisture Renewal Oil)

Horizontal Perk plus free shipping for blog

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Interview with Kristofer Buckle

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Recently, I was able to connect and interview master makeup artist Kristofer Buckle, who counts Christina Aquillera, Charlize Theron, Sheryl Crow, and Demi Moore as clients.  He is known for his glamourous take on makeup, and his talent for making the eyes look stunning.  His theory of "more is more"  has given him the great reputation of creating a fantastic look worthy of any diva.I was happy to finally be introduced to Kristofer, and to find out what a warm, charming, and hilarious artist he is.  Is is no wonder the stars want him in their inner circle!  I loved his fresh take on makeup trends, and his firm belief in following your own inner guide as an artist.  Please enjoy this interview as much as I did. 

In all your interviews, you are very open about your love of drugstore beauty finds.  Is there a reason you flock to these brands?:  I do that intentionally, because for a long time, beauty magazines assumed everyone lived a certain lifestyle, spending 350 on products. Looking great has nothing to do with budget.  It’s a choice.  As far as drugstore products go, it’s really the travel aspect of the shoot and my job that dictates the products I use. 

What type of products do you love for travel?: I love RCMA crème foundations. They don’t spill or leek. You can apply over well moisturized skin for a sheer coverage, or full on for a lot of coverage.

What types of trends are you expecting for this years red carpet?:  Traditionally, I don’t take major risks.  I don’t do “stand out” statement looks.  Actresses make their living playing someone else, the red carpet is the one time for them they get to be themselves and express themselves as a woman. It’s all about the dress and navigating the makeup so it’s seamless with the gown.  I am known for the eyes. So I play up the eyes with lashes, and concentrate on flawless skin.  My feeling is that “If you look great, and do whatever makes you feel great, than you are ready”.

How do you keep the makeup lasting on the red carpet and for award shows?: Everyone loves a dewy skin, but at the same time you have to be smart on how you keep that up during the long hours in front of the press, and during the shows.  Everyone is kissing everybody all night, so by the afterparty you would only have makeup on one side on your face.  So you need to set your makeup well, and strategically place the dewiness in places where you want the shine to reflect.   Just making sure the makeup doesn’t get overly shiny or muddy is key.

What type of moisturizers or primers do you use to impart that glow?  It is important as makeup artists to keep our ears open to what other people use, but also trust the products that work for you.  Follow your own personal artist.  At the moment, I use the Decleor Night balm, and massage the skin with it.  It is emollient, so the foundation doesn’t die out on the skin, or suck the moisture out of the foundation.  I also use Embryolisse for longer wear shoots, such as burlesque with Christina Aguilera. My main moto is: “It’s about creating an illusion, and making the skin look pristine.” 

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?  You have to stick to what you do best. Be well rounded, but don’t loose yourself.  “if you stand for nothing , you fall for nothing”

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5 Quick Beauty Tips

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The Fast and the Beautiful - 5 Quick Beauty Tips

Nothing's worse than having to get up early just to apply makeup. I loathe getting up any earlier than I have to. I used to “rise and shine” about 20 minutes earlier to ensure I looked my best before heading out. Now, I'm a bit more casual, yet my face looks better than it used to. Believe me when I say there is such a thing as spending too much time on your makeup, especially for the daily grind.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS:

Tinted Moisturizer

I combine my moisturizing and foundation with a BB cream. The tinted color blends away redness and many minor imperfections. My face is moisturized, protected from the sun (ensure SPF is included) and covered all in one step. Since BB creams also have antioxidants, you're making your skin look better while you wear it. If you don't need a full out treatment, a tinted moisturizer with SPF will do the trick.

The Perfect Mascara

Even though I'm not a morning person, the right mascara helps make me look like those actresses when they wake up looking perfectly awake and made up right after a restless night. At least that's how I feel I look. Find a mascara that will make your eye color pop. Use one that curls and/or lengthens. It helps make your eyes look more open and brighter for that fresh look. Mascara takes only seconds to apply, so it's a quick pick me up trick.

Multi-Color Eye Palette

Don't waste time digging around in your makeup case looking for just the right color. I saved quite a bit of time by purchasing a eye shadow palette with all my favorite shades. It actually has 20 some odd colors in pinks, purples, blues and greens. Of course, you should choose one that includes your most often used shades. I whip it out, choose my poison and look great. Simple, right?

Tinted Lip Balm

Okay, I'll try to keep this short, but I am absolutely in love with tinted lip balm. It's perfect for any day time look. I have several shades of red, pink and peach. You moisturize and get just the right amount of color without looking over done. Plus, if you apply regular lip stick later, your lips will already be primed. My favorite is Carmex since it provides moisture and SPF protection.

All in all, I spend less than five minutes. A few quick touches of concealer and finishing powder and my face is ready. Not too bad, especially if you're in a hurry.

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Secrets to Flawless Foundation

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 Secrets to Flawless Foundation

Want gorgeous skin? Fake it! Sure, a proper skin care regimen, smart diet, regular exercise and never even looking at a lit cigarette (much less smoking one) will give you good skin. But to get to great, you need to bring in some artifice: foundation.

How to Choose the Best Foundation for You
The right foundation is what gives stars who walk the red carpet the look of poreless, airbrushed skin. And it can be yours too. First, choose the foundation that’s right for you in both texture and color. If your skin is oily, you’ll want to control your T-zone with an oil-free formula or a powder foundation. Mineral makeup is a good choice too. Those mineralized particles suck up extra moisture.

Opt for a cream or liquid foundation if you have dry skin. Look for words like “hydrating,” “moisturizing” or “luminous” in the product description. 

Hate makeup? Get the benefit of foundation without looking like you’re wearing any with a lightweight tinted moisturizer or a BB cream. These “beauty balms” are all-in-one wonders, acting as primer, coverage, moisturizer, skin treatment, sunscreen and even concealer. Find a shade that matches your skin exactly. When you swipe it across your jawline it should melt into your skin invisibly. Step into natural light to check it. (Yes, you want to go foundation shopping in the daytime.)

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Application Secrets of the Pros
Borrow a few tricks from makeup artists for perfect application. Brett Freedman, a Hollywood makeup artist who has worked on stars like Emily Blunt, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lisa Kudrow, says prepping your skin before your apply foundation is key. He likes to lay down a veil of lightweight oil-free foundation with a flat-top brush, allow it to dry for a few seconds and then use the same brush to apply foundation. “That way there’s still a touch of moisturizer on the bristles when I’m smoothing foundation over the skin,” Freedman says.

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