Not gonna lie. Wasn’t expecting the immediate visible results. Blows my mind how effective using this beautiful grooved tool is. The curved side can be used around your cheekbones, jawline and throat, while the comb-like side can break up muscle tension along the sides you neck or your forehead. This ancient detoxifying Bian stone contains over 40 healing trace elements and minerals. Now yes, it does require a small commitment to a brief daily practice, but the results are just as fast as Botox, without the atrophying of facial muscles caused by long-term botox use.
As you essentially foam roll, or in this case, stone roll your skin, you quickly stimulate circulation by loosening up the overstressed tight fascia (the connective mesh-like tissue right below the skin that supports and encapsulates our muscles and organs). This process of firmly rolling the skin drains and detoxifies the lymphatic systemon a cellular level and releases muscle tension, while lengthening the fascia that are preventing optimal circulation. This in turns softens, sculpts and rejuvenates theskin. Think of it as deep healing bodywork for the face. The lymphatic drainage alone that releases those pockets of fluid retention instantly depuffs and lifts your skin, making frown lines disappear. Not exaggerating. It even works wonders for headaches, TMJ and tight neck muscles.
What makes me love the Wildling Empress Stone even more thoughtful is that the system is the well-rounded brainchild of an herbalist, an acupuncturist, and a holistic aesthetician. They have created a delicious Empress Oil and Tonic that pair beautifully with Gua Sha.And lucky for us, their site and Instagram are chock-full of great tutorials on how to use this insanely effective tool.
Does latex irritate your skin? Would you rather not chance it? Alcone Non-Latex Make-Up Sponges are the perfect solution.
This is a discovery that I have to credit my sister-in-law with. These velvety staples are water-based, making blending out shadows or applying foundation a joy. You’ll end up using less product since they won’t soak all the water out of your makeup. And they’re washable and biodegradable, with zero yellowing and no crumbling. These wedges are anything but flimsy. It’s no wonder they are an In Style magazine and industry favorite.
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?
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.
Bristle & Nylon Mixture brushes: For normal and short thick hair.
The models: Popular, Junior, Handy Bristle & Nylon and Pocket Bristle & Nylon.
All Nylon brushes: For very thick hair.
The models: Universal, Handy Nylon (Detangler) and Pocket 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??
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.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
I don’t know about you but my eyebrows have a mind of their own. Getting them to stay in place has never been an easy task. I’ve tried products geared toward eyebrow wrangling, but they either don’t hold effectively enough, or they get crunchy and flaky. Here are two easy and cheap tricks for taming those brows into submission, while repurposing something you already own.
1. Grab a colorless natural lip balm, like the Weleda Everon Lip Balm (review to follow) or the Jao Lip Balm my beauty partner, Jaclyn Ferber, recommended. Swipe it lightly over each brow. Then take a spoolie brush and brush those brows into the shape you want, while working in the balm.
2. Another great brow groomer in a pinch is using your hairspray. Grab that spoolie brush again, spray it lightly with your favorite hairspray and run it through your brows.
And presto, beautifully groomed brows that last, without needing to add another product to your arsenal!