Support Our Amazing Guest Editor, Jenny Karl & Enjoy A Makeup Giveaway!

What’s more exciting than getting something done in 10 minutes? Makeup, that’s what!

Introducing Jenny Karl’s “Red Carpet Ready in 10 Minutes” really cool makeup giveaway. Tell us your tip for looking red carpet ready and enter to win a free download of Jenny Karl’s video tutorial along with some of her favorite products. Just “like” Jenny Karl’s Facebook Page and post your makeup tip and you’re halfway there. A winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day just in time for you to use Jenny’s tricks of the trade for your big date!

What are you waiting for, let’s hear your beauty secret!

In the meantime, enjoy a gift from Jenny.  Check out her dream list of Favorite Affordable Beauty Products.

Jenny KarlJenny Karl owns and runs Jenny Karl Hair and Makeup Agency based in Los Angeles. The agency has a highly trained team of hair and makeup artists, specializing in Airbrush Foundation, Print, Film, Television, Beauty, Fashion, Special Event, Mens and Ethnic hair and makeup

Jenny Karl Hair & Makeup Agency

 

A Brush-Stroke of Genius by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

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When joining a popular social-media site last spring, one of the get-to-know-you questions was “What is your most shameful secret?”.  I’m sure they were expecting a more salacious answer, but here was mine: I once spent $190 on a hairbrush.  I remember the day very clearly, Saks 5th Avenue, on Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills,  the beauty department.  I was financially sweating over the purchase, but so excited and thrilled to finally be a part of the hair elite- today was the day I was buying my first Mason Pearson hairbrush.  I had read about Mason Pearson brushes in every beauty magazine, all the celebrity hair stylists insisted they were so amazing, how every supermodel has one in her purse, the shine, the luster, the hefty price tag.  I am no wimp to big-ticket beauty, I have shelled out for the Creme De Mer concentrate, the Natura Bisse Diamond cream,  and SK-II everything, but I had never spent that much money on something as simple and obvious as a hairbrush.  I paid big bucks for the promise in a jar,  the priceless dream of turning back the clock and having that dewy skin so ripe with youth and future.  But a brush? Like I could get at Target for $8? Was I really going to say goodbye to the Goody aisle and turn the corner into “that girl” land?

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Well, that bright and shiny morning in Saks, I did.  I received my first Mason Pearson hairbrush in it’s charming vintage style box, as though I was receiving my winner’s bouquet of roses at a beauty pageant.  There had been a very in-depth discussion as to which size and bristle I was to have.  Mason Pearson brushes come in an array of sizes, handle colors, and bristle.

From the Mason Pearson website:

Pure Bristle brushes: For fine to normal hair, fine long hair.

The models: Large Extra, Small Extra, Handy Bristle and Pocket Bristle.

Mason Pearson Boar Bristles

Bristle & Nylon Mixture brushes: For normal and short thick hair.

The models: Popular, Junior, Handy Bristle & Nylon and Pocket Bristle & Nylon.

Mason Pearson Boar Bristles & Nylon

All Nylon brushes: For very thick hair.

The models: Universal, Handy Nylon (Detangler) and Pocket Nylon.

Mason Pearson Nylon

I have fine long hair, so I went with the pure bristle, and I got a large size.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  That was about 2 years ago, and I have to say, I didn’t think about it much after the initial sticker shock wore off.  It definitely was excellent quality, all Mason Pearson brushes are handmade, and if you look at the website graphic regarding sizing, it is more like an aeronautical diagram than a design for beauty.  And it is a lovely brush, helpful for smoothing bumps from a ponytail, nice for calming down a frantic overcurl.  But I really didn’t get it.  I honestly didn’t see what the big deal was, it was nice, my hair looked soft, but was that more to do with my arsenal of shine serums?  My scalp seemed healthy, but it always had been, I had never been an oily scalp or dandruff sufferer. Had I just bought into the status symbol of the brand, without receiving the admiring and envious side eye from toting the latest Chanel?  I had listened to all the experts, I swiped the credit card, I brushed my hair, and no one, not one single skinny bitch ever said “your hair looks amay-zing” in that tone that simultaneously exhibits both desperate longing and murder inducing jealousy.  So what was the point??

AND THEN.

I am not a big blowdryer- I have had the same model hairdryer for 15 years, I own one round “blow dry” brush, and I blow my hair out maybe once a month.  Maybe.  I have that wimpy straight hair that if you use one drop extra of styling cream, the whole thing goes limp, and every time I have blown out my own hair I have been incapable of inducing volume.  So I do a natural air dry, and then hot rollers.  That had been my routine for 18 years.   Until the day I could not find my blow dry brush.  I looked around my bathroom, with 10 minutes to get myself coiffed and out the door, and panicked.  I could not arrive at my boss’s house with wet hair, I had cut my primping time way too close, and a big hat was not available.  But my eye fell on the plain brown Mason Pearson, sitting quietly, waiting to unleash it’s simple magic.  I turned on the hairdryer, picked up the brush, and within 5 minutes had the most beautiful, shiny, glassy straight, volumized, gorgeous mane of hair I had ever seen.  On my very own head.

Zoe Saldana

It’s like hot cocoa and marshmallows, cheese and macaroni, eggs and bacon, you could not think of a better combination than a Mason Pearson hairbrush and a damp head of hair.  I don’t know how or why, but it’s two strokes with a hairdryer, and the hair is dry.  It literally makes my hair smoother, shinier, and swingier than any shampoo commercial I have ever seen.  And it does it so fast! With my old round roll brush it took at least 20 minutes to get my hair 80% dry.  This simple, albeit expensive, hairbrush does my whole head in under 5 minutes.  I now blow dry my hair 4 times a week, just so I can marvel at the magic of the Mason Pearson.  This sucker is worth every dang penny.  There is no longer shame in my hairbrush game.  If my house was on fire, it would go in my purse with the cat. And boy would she come out shiny.

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*Do not use your Mason Pearson on animals. They will be unable to verbalize it’s genius.

Mason Pearson brushes are available at Nordstrom, Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys NY, and many other retailers.

www.masonpearson.com

Michelle Brookhurst

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

8 Holiday Makeup Do’s & Don’t

1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’re not one for makeup, this holiday season add a touch of gold or bronze to your bottom lash line for an easy, fun holiday look.

2. Don’t worry about that summer sweat anymore! Find a foundation that is right for you…and the season. During the winter don’t be afraid to put away the tinted moisturizer and try a more full coverage foundation for a flawless long lasting winter look.

3. Do keep a nude gloss and an Elf Eye liner pen in your purse for a quick day to night change.

4. Don’t hesitate to go for a bold lip! If you use a liner and matte lipstick combo your touch ups are going to be minimal! Gloss alone works great, but it makes touching up more frequent. (Favorite tip, after eating completely take off lipstick and reapply. It will last longer than trying to touch up what’s left!)

5. Do give your skin a gorgeous glow. Just because it’s the winter doesn’t mean you can’t look sun kissed! A touch of MAC’s Give Me Sun right below your cheekbones, as a contour gives the perfect finish.

6. It’s winter; DON’T worry about washing your hair every day. That’s why dry shampoo was invented. Suave Dry Shampoo is $3.49. Pick up a bottle and make Saturday night drinks with the girl’s hair last into Sunday’s brunch with the boyfriends parents!

7. Don’t forget to add a touch of color on your cheeks when going for a bold lip. You don’t want the lip to wash you out. Try a mauve for evening and baby pink for day time and it will really make your face pop!

8. And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to moisturize!! From your skin to your lips, try Maybelline’s Baby Lips chapstick for the lips; and L’Occitane 25% Shea butter face cream for night and day. (If your skin is on the oilier side, try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer.)

Elle Favorule is a Makeup Artist based in Los Angeles. Her celebrity clientele include Shannon Elizabeth, Kathy Baker, Jessica Lowndes, and Briana Evigan. Elle has traveled all over Europe doing makeup demonstrations and currently works on Film & Television.

artistry@ellefavorule.com

http://ellefavorule.com/

Winter White Blues by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

I am descended from a long line of blue eyed, fair skinned europeans. Some of us have black hair, some of us blond, I myself am a dusky auburn, but one thing none of us have, is the ability to get a tan. I spent my youth baking in the sun, coconut scented oil on my body, and hair drenched with Sun-In. All I got for my hours laying prone on a towel, were more freckles, and orange bangs. Since my first trip to the dermatologist for a nerve-wracking freckle check, I wish I could say I never tanned again; with skin cancer in my family I knew the risks I took every time I exposed myself to the sun. Still I used tanning beds every now and then, before a vacation, or a special event. All that got me was a sunburn, increased fine lines and wrinkles, and an unpleasant smell that lingered on my skin for a good 48 hours. It didn’t matter what method I chose, I could only ‘pinken’, never ‘golden’.

You might think the obvious solution was a self tanner lotion, but I have extremely sensitive skin, and every tanner I tried gave me hives, a rash, or horrendous streaks due to a mid-application burning itch that sent me running for the shower. It didn’t seem fair that every summer I would be the last one to give up my jeans; I thought maxi dresses were the antidote, until my boyfriend let me know that he needed a break from my “muumuus”. As I got older, my skin liked the sun less and less. I spent weekends in Palm Springs with heat rash, and sun poisoning if I even attempted to lay out. I could get a little color on my arms from just walking around outside, and I could use a bronzing powder (Josie Maran makes my current sensitive skin-safe favorite) for my face, but I never had tan legs. At every summer wedding, graduation party, and 4th of July BBQ, I looked longingly at the bronzed limbs of the other guests, wishing I had a solution that would give a little coverup to my burgeoning varicose veins, the red spider veins sneaking their way around my thighs, and that lovely layer of cookie guilt that lumped around under my butt. And then I found it. The solution to my tan-envy, without a rash or an itch to be found. No stink, no streak, nothing but golden bronze perfection, all brought to me by the goddess of Tan LA, a blond perky genius named Shannon.

Spray tans were nothing I wanted to fool with, summers of Sun-In had let me know that tangerine wasn’t my color, I had no idea of the pure excellence of the custom airbrush tan, but the tan is only as good as the airbrusher. At Tan LA in Thousand Oaks, there is a magical being named Shannon, who has a fantastic smile and kind heart, and she took pity on my sad tale of skin allergies and summer desperation, and so we embarked on a path to bronze beauty. The first visit, Shannon mixed her magic concoction, leaving out the bronzer that irritated my skin, and only airbrushed my legs. It took about 6 hours for the color to appear, but once it did, I immediately bought 6 new pairs of summer shorts. Suddenly my legs looked longer, thinner, and smoother, thanks to Shannon’s application- she uses the airbrush machine in such a way that carves out your inner thighs, lengthens your calves, and she makes sure your heels and hands get babywiped so you have no tell-tale signs of the secret source of your sun-kissed glow.

Our next phase was legs, arms, and face. I wore boy short underwear and a spaghetti string tank top, and again, Shannon custom blended a very light natural color with no bronzer, and just for a second let the solution mist on my face and décolletage, the usual allergy target zone. That afternoon I closely watched for a rash to appear, and all I got for my keen observation skills was the joy of watching myself transform into someone who could wear a summer dress and sandals, and for once, would not look like an arctic monkey. I understand for some, pale is chic, and I completely understand all the fears of sun damage and skin cancer. I do not leave the house without spf 30 on my face, and I no longer lay in the sun in the hopes of that back-from-the-beach bronze. But as my mother always said, tan fat looks better than pale fat, and having that smooth coat of bronze certainly does seem to give a little shelter to the effects Father Time has had on my body.

Shannon and I completed our final stage of “Operation: Airbrush Tan” last summer, and I wore my bikini with pride. No hives, no streaks, no stinky residue, I looked as relaxed as I felt; I did not look like I had spent 15 minutes in a small room getting squirted with Jersey Shore orange paint, I looked like the tawny-limbed goddesses I had seen cavorting on the beaches of Brazil, when I had spent that vacation covered in sarongs. While an airbush tan is not as cheap as a tanning bed, or a machine activated spray tan, for me, I needed the assurance of a custom blend of colors, and a personal process. Shannon at Tan LA Thousand Oaks has changed my life, I can wear cocktail dresses in the winter, I can wear shorts in the summer, I can enjoy my vacations doing other things besides baking on a beach, though I do enjoy a good book under the umbrella. Most important, I feel comfortable and confident in whatever I wear and whatever I do, and to me, that’s worth more that any magic in a bottle, though I have to say, those bottles of Shannon’s might contain some magic for you too.

For the L.A. Folk:

Tan LA has 3 locations, Shannon is at the Thousand Oaks location. Ladies, it’s worth the drive. http://tanla.la/ Thousand Oaks location: 805 373 5335

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

“Know It All: Brush Edition” by MakeUp Artist, Elle Favorule

My two biggest pet peeves revolve around makeup application. Don’t use your fingers, and don’t buy cheap brushes. (I didn’t say inexpensive, I said cheap!) It’s all in the way it’s applied. You are never going to get a flawless finish if you are applying foundation with your fingers! Now, it’s not just about me trying to sell you on brushes… Applying with your fingers is also not the sanitary.

So, to make your life easier, and your face flawless here are my top 3 brushes, how to use them and what they are for. (You can pretty much do your entire face start to finish with them!)

1. Duo Fiber Face Brush- Multi use face application brush. I prefer to use this brush for foundation but it works well for blush or bronzer. This brush allows you to see any lines and streaks where the foundation isn’t blended and makes it easy to correct. A great tip for dry skin is to use the brush to apply moisturizer before and between, as touch ups. The residual foundation on the brush mixes with moisturizer for a great finish.

2. MAC #217- This brush is the one brush I MUST HAVE in my kit! Your smoky eye will never be the same. This is the perfect combination of a blending brush and an application brush for eye shadow.  I love this brush for any application of color in your crease. Whether you are doing the outer most corners of your eyes, the lash line, or the crease, the 217 applies and blends perfectly. The trick to this brush, just make sure to tap off excess powder!

3. Blender (fluff) brush- (Duo fiber or real hair) Blender brushes are commonly used to blend harsh edges or color for eye shadow. This fluffy brush doesn’t stop at the eyes. My beauty trick for this bad boy is concealer! After the foundation is applied I like to use the blender brushes to apply concealer, under the eyes and all over the face. The brush allows a light touch of color but with great coverage. It helps to blend the concealer effortlessly into the foundation.

*Makeup Brush Steals and Deals*

My top two spots for discounts on brushes are online.

Hautelook.com and Groupon.com

They are not available all the time, but if you sign up you will get email notifications for the sales. They sell brushes individually for great prices but the steals are really in their sets. My most recent purchase was for 3 brush sets (all come with brush rolls and carrying cases.) I spent $69 but I saved $147. Can’t beat that bargain!

 

Elle Favorule is a Makeup Artist based in Los Angeles. Her celebrity clientele include Shannon Elizabeth, Kathy Baker, Jessica Lowndes, and Briana Evigan. Elle has traveled all over Europe doing makeup demonstrations and currently works on Film & Television.

artistry@ellefavorule.com

Want Gorgeous Hair Color The Safe All Natural Way? Here’s How!

Photograph by Annie Edmonds

Since October is breast cancer awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the dangers of using unregulated cosmetics, especially synthetic hair dyes! According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “Based on the data regarding bladder cancer, it has concluded that workplace exposure [to hair dye] as a hairdresser or barber is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” I assume that women who use hair dyes on a monthly and consistent basis are also at risk.

Conventional hair dyes are loaded with deadly chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems and even cancer! Not to mention testing on animals. I do not advise using synthetic permanent hair color, ever! Whether it’s from a box or your local hair salon it is hazardous to your health. It could affect the lymph and endocrine systems as well as your bladder and breasts, if you are exposed to it on a consistent basis. Here is a list of the deadliest chemicals in synthetic hair dyes: P-Phenylenediamine (PPD or coal tar, which is a known carcinogen), aminophenol, ethanolamine, hydroquinone, and 2, 4- diaminophenoxyethanol.

As soon as these toxins are rinsed from our hair, they are leached into waterways and the ground. Not only does this hurt our health and well-being, but it hurts our environment.

For years, my mother used black synthetic hair dye, and her mother before her. Every month she would dye her hair with these toxic chemicals, unaware of the dangers lurking. Black hair dye is one is the most toxic because of a higher concentration of the ingredients listed above, as well as ammonia, peroxide, sulfur, and harsh smelling fragrances. Every time she used the dye it would penetrate her scalp via the pores and enter her bloodstream. I finally convinced her about three years ago to change her ways. I was worried for her health because long term use can affect a person later in life.

So, you are probably wondering what your options are:

Henna dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Indian times and has been used as a safe alternative to dye the skin and hair. It comes from a small shrub tree also known as the Lawsonia Inermis. The leaves are dried and milled down into a soft powder to create a paste that makes a natural hair color. One of my favorite ways to be a beauty who loves nature is by using henna to color my hair. It’s all natural and leaves my hair looking shiny and feeling incredibly soft. There is also neutral henna, which is a non color henna. It can be used to make the hair shiny and soft without adding color.

Surya Brasil is a wonderful henna hair coloring brand that I came upon in Whole Foods one day. They have premixed henna colors ranging from light brown to black. The brand is completely vegan, sustainable and provides a pair of gloves and a hair cover with easy directions and use. It took me about an hour to complete my hair process and when I was through, my hair felt amazing! Oh, and the smell is lovely! Every time you wash your hair a little color comes out, and you have to reapply about once a month to keep up the richness, if you so choose. It is completely safe for pregnant moms as well, according to Surya Brasil’s claims. Although, it’s best to check with your doctor if you are going to change anything pertaining to your health.

Check out your local health food stores to see what options they have for natural hair coloring. I suggest this one because it is the easiest to use. Other brands have you mix your own henna which takes a while and is quite messy.

Tips: If you are coloring your hair with a dark henna, it’s best to wear clothes you don’t care about staining. Use dark or old towels and follow the directions. When you rinse the product out of your hair for the first time, your shower will be covered in color! Don’t worry though, it rinses off easily.

Be Advised: PPD has also been linked to “Black Henna.” It is approved by the FDA for use in hair color but not on skin because of adverse reactions. Which makes absolutely no sense to me because, if it contains coal tar- a known carcinogen than why does the FDA approve it at all. If you are purchasing a henna hair color with PPD in it, it is not natural and you should NOT buy it. Just to clear the record whether or not the FDA approves the safety of cosmetics, they do not. It is the responsibility of the companies and individuals who manufacture and market the products they are selling. This is a statement straight off their website:

FDA’s authority over other cosmetic ingredients:

“Except for color additives, FDA does not have the authority to approve cosmetic products or ingredients, although the use of several substances in cosmetics is prohibited or restricted due to safety or environmental concerns. Importantly, cosmetic products and ingredients are required to be safe for consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use. Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility for the safety of their products. FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that violate the law.”

Links and resources:

http://www.suryabrasil.com/en/linha.php?id=16

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/Category/24_1/Color.aspx

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/hair-dyes

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm108569.htm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-Beauty-Guide-Fragrances/dp/0757307477

Home

Megan is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic Makeup Artist, based in LA. She is one of the first pioneers in the eco cosmetics movement and is part of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She teaches her clients about how they can make eco conscious cosmetic purchases that will help them and the environment. She loves to hike, kayak, workout, and hang with her handsome hubby and doggie Hobo.

Please visit her website at: www.meganporschen.com

The Sexiest Woman in the Room by Perfumer Natalie Bolton

As women, we ALWAYS spot the sexiest woman in the room. There are some core key factors that are in place. She dresses well, maybe even a bit controversial. She owns herself and the room with ease. And if you have the pleasure to get to close enough to her in proximity you might be graced with a waft of her “essence”.

A confident woman chooses her fragrance wisely.
To express her truth.
To push her own envelope.
What could possibly be any sexier?


Scent is so magical to me which is why I created Corpus Dei Perfumes to encourage women to live in their power. The aroma-therapeutic properties of pure essential oils can heal your body at the surface and even soothe you down to your soul. Just think of a time when a familiar scent warmed your heart and took you immediately back to a sacred time.
And since we are quickly welcoming fall, I am going to give you a few suggestions to help you become “fall fragrance ready”. With some of my perfume picks and a few of my favorite essential oils and their magical healing properties –you are sure to have a slew of  opulent olfactory options to wrap yourself up in.

Here are some of my favorites:
VETIVER: It is a warm and earthy scent so if you’re bold you might like experimenting with a fragrance that holds vetiver. This oil has a soothing effect on the nervous system. So you can calm yourself and simultaneously tame your prey to obey your every command!
PATCHOULI: This is my absolute favorite, and I know people have a love or hate relationship with this oil. This oil is also an earthy scent that is quite a powerful aphrodisiac, not to mention its mood enhancing properties. There are so many fragrances that hold patchouli, as it is a fixed oil that supports the fragrant release of other scents in which it is blended. So give a patchouli -based fragrance a try for fall. If you’re feeling exceptionally saucy, go ahead lift your mood and “lift” something else, if you know what I’m sayin’. It’s a very sexual scent.
SANDALWOOD: Aaah, sandalwood. This oil is rich, woody, and smooth. It has such a pleasant, non-intrusive smell that this may be a first choice if you are still afraid of patchouli. Sandalwood is extremely sexy and welcoming. If you feel like going out and being in control, a sandalwood blend might be perfect for you. Just be ready to welcome all those smitten suitors!
BERGAMOT: This oil is a very beautiful scent. It is citrus-y with a hint of floral spice. It creates an exotic yet graceful fragrance when it is blended with complimentary notes. It also has anti-depressant qualities that are sure to put you in the right zone. Bergamot blended with vanilla creates a smooth, buttery “so good you can taste it” smell…So this oil is perfect for the time when you are ready for that “anything goes” zone. Be careful-Bergamot is sure to make them crazy and want to devour every inch of you.

And being immersed at all times in all things fragrant, I am also including a few scents that are my favorites off the shelf. From” frugal to floral”, here are my picks for the budget conscious to the indulgently fabulous.

COTY VANILLA MUSK In a pinch, you can get this at any drugstore for a quick pick me up-a simple, classic blend.
For a middle-of-the-road; no-buyers-remorse price of $14.00.

FRESH CANNABIS SANTAL and SERGE LUTENS DAIM BLOND are my sexy go-to’s. Cannabis Santal is a complex fragrance labeled for men but with my unisex background in blending, I have worn it for years for its smoky, heavy yet citrus-y burn off. DAIM BLOND is a fruity fragrance that has a strong suede influence. It feels like a nice sweater. This sophisticated perfume is available at Barneys.
For a rich floral indulgence I LOVE FREDERIC MALLE CARNAL FLOWER! This is NOT that nauseatingly overpowering floral, we can all name one of those! This is sex! This tuberose blend captures the real scent of the flower with a little dirty grit. This yummy creaminess is also available at Barneys New York or at Frederic Malle. So go ahead, get gritty.

Now, it is time for YOU to be the sexiest woman in the room! It all starts from within. Believe in yourself, honor yourself, welcome love into your heart, and worship the body of God in you.

The power in me salutes the power in you,

Natalie Bolton

Natalie Bolton’s line Corpus Dei Perfumes has 3 signature omnisex scents that are retailed in Los Angeles. All Corpus Dei Perfumes are blended by hand using the finest oils and molecules to persuade one’s own natural pheromones (be them male or female) to cast spells upon those who are within the danger zone. For more information on essential oils and their benefits: www.corpusdeiperfumes.com

Red Carpet Skin by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

As a celebrity stylist and former red-carpet walker, I know firsthand that even the most beautifully put-together outfit won’t make up for less than perfect skin. While the focus these days might be on “who you are wearing”, none of that matters compared to how you are feeling. Skin is skin, and it reacts to stress, weather, hormones, food, etc; there are some events in your life that might be hugely important to commemorate, but you’d rather the unflattering pictures not live on for eternity.

The only way to give yourself a little extra boost, is by being prepared. When a celebrity is on a press tour, you can bet they are ready for anything. They have a team: a stylist, who selects and tailors the ultimate outfit, a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a publicist to help with the interview questions, an assistant to make sure someone is walking the dog while their owner is stuck in a hotel conference room for 8 hours at a time. They have spent time getting facials, teeth whitenings, they are airbrush tanned for the perfect sun-kissed sparkle, they work with personal trainers and pilates instructors. They juice. They cleanse. They exfoliate.

So when it’s time for your big red carpet moment, whether it’s your best friends wedding, or the big office party, why don’t you take the time to give your skin some extra attention? I’ll bet you run around the mall looking for the perfect outfit, or try to squeeze in extra crunches during “The Good Wife”. Why don’t you take a few minutes, and spend a few dollars to make sure your skin is red carpet worthy too? Why is it we have special make-up for a big night out, but not special skin care at the ready? Everyone knows how to do a “smoky eye”, but what good is that when you have dull skin, or a breakout, or a T-Zone oil explosion? You can carry the clutch of the season, or keep your balance in the latest wedge heel, but who’s looking at that when the focus of every picture should be your face?

My two ultimate products for red carpet skin are simple, user friendly, and won’t break the bank. I don’t know about you, but when there is a big to-do happening, I don’t have time for a bunch of appointments, I’m lucky if I can do my nails on the bathmat at 1 am the night before. So my two red carpet picks are ones you can do at home, no muss no fuss, and they are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. I can say that, because I have the most sensitive skin on the planet, and these two specialty items did not send me running for the benadryl or the dermatologist.

The first one is Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit.


From the Sephora website: “The Microdelivery Peel Kit not only exfoliates the skin, it delivers vitamin C and peptides to the skin. This completely new approach to skin rejuvenation resurfaces and replenishes the skin at the same time.” It gives you a little scrub, and a little peel, just giving you brighter, softer, glowing skin in two steps. This is great for men too.

My second step for skin star-power, is the SKII Facial Treatment Mask. It looks ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun. No one said beauty is glamorous.

From the SKII website: “Radiance, Moisture Enhancing Mask by SK-II. Revitalizes. Comforts. Provides intense hydration. A 100% cotton mask that soaks skin with Pitera’s fusion of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. Immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool. “

After your skin has been scrubbed and peeled by Philosophy, let it soak in all the amino acids, vitamins and nutrients of this SKII mask. You will be so happy you did, because now, you are truly dressed for success.

Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit available at:

Philosophy

Sephora

Skinstore

SKII available at:

SKII

Saks Fifth Avenue

Bliss

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

“The Skin I’m In” by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

I’m the person that “sensitive skin” labels were made for. Unfortunately, most products aren’t “sensitive” enough. I am allergic to every synthetic fragrance, every bubble bath, every laundry detergent, every make-up, every self-tanner, every everything.

I have horror stories of getting on a plane and using a beautiful, “healthy” cucumber hand lotion from an extremely reputable brand, known for it’s true to nature philosophy, and breaking out in hives 20 minutes into a 5 hour flight. When I go to a hotel, I have to bring my own towel, so I don’t get a red itchy rash all over my torso from the hotel bathrobe and towel sets. I have to pack my own blanket plus full length pajamas and socks, to keep me protected from the hotel linens. So much for a romantic getaway when you are covered head to toe, in the hopes of protecting yourself from a blanket. I am terrified of the Snuggle bear, and the wrath his scented dryer sheets can inflict on my skin.

So needless to say, I am extremely paranoid and picky when it comes to my skin care. For a long time I used Olay sensitive skin face wash, and moisturizer with sunblock, but when I wanted to make the switch to paraben-free skin care, I was lost in a sea of essential oils. I am always nervous to try anything new on my skin, I patch test everything, with a dime size scoop of any new product on my inner wrist for 24 hours before it goes anywhere near my face. So when a friend suggested DeVita skin care, I took her advice with a grain of salt; everyone always thinks they can outsmart my skin allergies, but my puffy eyes and swollen lips the morning after a “I swear it’s all natural” lotion test have always told me the truth. However, I started paying attention to her repeated suggestion, not because I necessarily believed the line wouldn’t affect my skin, but because her skin looked so fantastic.

My patch testing began on a summer afternoon, after reading everything I could on paraben-free allergy safe skincare. DeVita was the clear winner. It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and they have their own website, www.devitaskincare.com. It’s a little more expensive than the average drugstore skin care products, but for someone like me, it’s truly priceless. The packaging is beautiful, and not only is it paraben free, it’s vegan safe, gluten sensitive safe, never tested on animals, and the products are fantastic! My personal favorites are the Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser, the Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, the DeVita-C Serum, the Perfecting Time Age Defying Moisturizer, the Hyaluronic Serugel, and the super duper High Performance Glycolic Acid Blend. I am way too sensitive to use Retin-A, but this glycolic acid serum does the trick! My skin has never been calmer, clearer, brighter, and happier. The line has every kind of troubleshooting product you can imagine, from under eye cream to capillary support. DeVita has “try-me” kits on their website, which are also ideal for travel- because the bottles are a beautiful thick glass, some of the full-size products are not great for squishing into a suitcase.

I don’t feel lost or embarrassed about my skin anymore, I’m just a sensitive gal in general. As I have matured, I am grateful for my emotional sensitivity, it makes me a better friend, daughter, parent, sister. And I am thankful, for every hotel towel, and well-intentioned bubble bath, for all the itchy and red days and nights, because they brought me to a safe, healthy skin care line, that looks beautiful in my home, and even better on my skin.

 

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire),  turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer.  She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

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“How to GLOW from the inside out” by Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation

Think of the most beautiful person that you know.  Go on… picture her. What is it that you find beautiful about her?  While physical tastes may differ there are a few things that most of us find attractive across the board – confidence, joy and kindness. These things turn on your inner glow in a way that everyone around you will notice.

So how do we add more confidence, joy and kindness to our lives? Meditation. Yep, Meditation!  Why?  Meditation is a powerful stress relieving tool.  Stress will zap your inner glow and rob you of the experience of enjoying the RIGHT NOW.  Stress is making us sick, it is making us crazy and it is aging us at alarming rates.

One hundred bucks says that the beautiful person that you pictured earlier is NOT running around complaining, busy and stressed.

“But I don’t have time to meditate, I don’t want people to think I am a freak, I can’t stop my mind from thinking…”

Here is the good news.  No one can stop their mind from thinking, so take that pressure off yourself.  The only time the brain activity totally stops is when we are dead.  The time that you invest in meditation will pay of in dividends with what you are able to accomplish afterwards.  More people than you think are already doing it, loving it and getting their inner glow on.

How does meditation help you get your glow on?

Meditation is custom designed to dissolve stress.  We all know that a good night’s sleep is one of natures best beauty secrets.  What if you knew that meditation delivers rest that is 5 times deeper than sleep!  The body wants to thank you for that deep rest, and it thanks you by dissolving old stresses lodged in the nervous system.  Less stress in the nervous system allows you to be more present in the right now which is the only place that happiness actually resides.

Meditation also reverses body age by up to 8 YEARS! Sounds crazy right? But here is the thing.  Stress ages us in an expeditious fashion.  If you want proof of that, look at a picture of any president when they take office and a picture of them one year after being in office.  All of them seem to age ten years in just one.

If you want to practice right now here is a simple exercise you can try.  Let us know how it goes for you.

1. Find and comfy chair and close your eyes

2. Take 30 seconds of just chilling

3. Gently start thinking the word “one” silently to yourself

4. Repeat for 5 min (feel free to check your watch, don’t    set an alarm)

5. Know that thoughts will come, that is ok.  Keep coming back “one”.

Just five minutes a day of quiet time can do wonders in an age of ever increasing demands and distractions.  Take charge of your inner glow and try it now!

 

Want to learn more? Check out www.zivameditation.com to attend a free 1 hr Intro to Meditation.

Ziva Meditation was founded by Emily Fletcher who began her extensive training in Vedic meditation in Rishikesh, India under world-renowned meditation instructors, Thom Knoles and Will Dalton. Emily was inspired to become a meditation instructor after experiencing the profound physical and mental benefits it provided her during her 10-year career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, AChorusLine and many others.

With a unique combination of training in Western psychology (7 years of study under Thomas Jones, founder of The Paradox Process) and 4 years of meditation training Emily is perfectly suited to teach busy people how to incorporate this simple and hugely effective practice into their lives.