“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

“To Comb or Not to Comb, Messy is In!!” by MakeUp Artist, Jenny Karl

 

So, you spent the day at the beach frolicking in the salty water and sunbathing on the warm sand, and you just lost track of the time.  Now you have less than ten minutes to get ready for the big party you need to look fabulous for.  Well no worries, because messy is in style.  The beach look or even the just rolled out of bed look seems to be the new fab hair style.  Its simple, it works with any outfit, and it takes no time at all to achieve.

Many celebs have rocked the messy hair look.  Jennifer Aniston took her long, straight locks to beach-y waves many a time. Jessica Biel and Mandy Moore have also followed suit.  And if they can do it, you can too! If your hair is long and naturally wavy, this is an easy look for you to accomplish.  However, if your hair is short or straight, you may need to create that beach-y look with products.

Most beauty supply stores, salons, or websites that cater to hair care carry products that emulate that sandy salt water that is the bread and butter of creating this look. If you have access to the ocean, bottle up some of that all natural hair potion and use it as needed along with my good friend the blow dryer to recreate this style.  You can also cook up a batch of your own salt water potion at home by combining some Aquafina, or your bottled water of choice, and a pinch or ten of household salt.  I prefer the kosher variety.  Combine the water and salt in a large spray bottle, shake it up, and spray it on your lovely locks until you smell the seaweed.

Although you may need to do a little hairspray action or a minor wet down, whatever you do, don’t even think about putting a comb or brush to those chaotic locks! Let your hair flow naturally and give it the freedom to do its own thing.  You can also coordinate your makeup and wardrobe with your funky beach hair. Give yourself a bronzed glow on your cheekbones, put a dab of sheer, shiny gloss on your lips, and lastly, apply a vibrant eyeliner and some mascara to finish off the look. Once your makeup and hair are complete, choose a casual but trendy sundress or a cute tank and jeans from your closet and wear it with confidence. In a time where fashion do’s and don’ts depend more on the person than the season, just remember that confidence is always a fashion do and your best asset no matter what season.

The moral of this story, embrace the knots and the mess. Give your hair the power. Let it wear the pants once in a while. I personally never try to argue with my hair because I never win!  Once in a blue moon I muster up the energy to try and tame the beast. But who has time for that!  So, I have learned to listen to my hair.  It has a mind of its own and I respect that.

Jenny 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

http://jennykarl.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

3 More Beauty Tips from MakeUp Artist, Jenny Karl

1. The Classic Rosy Cheek

The old fashioned natural rosy cheek will never go out of style and is oh so easy to do. The look is best described as the flushed, just ran a marathon, or the I’m blushing with embarrassment cheek. There are many ways to achieve this look. If you have drier skin, try a cream blush or rouge, as my mother would call it. Choose colors that are similar to the color of a natural flushed cheek, such as rose or brighter pink colors. If you are a bit oily, you might want to opt for the powder version. A gel based cheek stain is also a great option for any skin type. Try to stay away from anything too shimmery. Matte colors work better for this look.

2. Quick Fix for Puffy Eyes

Whether you have been attacked by allergies or just didn’t get enough sleep, you have a few weapons against those puffy eyes. Some natural remedies include applying cold cucumber slices directly over the eyes for 5 – 10 minutes. If you’re low on produce that day, then cold damp teabags are a great alternative. Hydration and proper diet are also huge factors in preventing those pesky puffy eyes. So, drink lots of water, keep your diet full of fresh fruits and veggies, and stay far away from sodium and alcohol. Now, if you don’t have time for any of these natural remedies, then just apply a hydrating eye cream sparingly around the entire eye area and layer a light cream or liquid concealer under the eyes. If you must use a powder to set your concealer, then use it in moderation. Powder tends to sit in the lines of the eye and accentuate any imperfections.

3. Green Skin – Try going green for your skincare regime?

It has become more and more convenient to find organic skincare products and increasingly affordable to try them on for size. Next time you are in Whole Foods, glide through their beauty aisle. You will be pleasantly surprised by the selection of all natural beauty and body products to choose from and test out right in the store. Not only are these products good for your skin, but good for the environment as well. I call it “No Guilt” skincare. Now if only we could find chocolate cake in that variety.

 

Jenny 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

http://jennykarl.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.