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

thumb33796-mason

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?

 mason-pearson-pure-bristle-brush-handy-size-350x350

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.

4aea6078adac4401_January-Jones

*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.

http://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.

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

False Lashes Cheap and Easy: Full Strip and Individual Lash Application

Hollywood lash experts, like my fabulous team at Jenny Karl Hair & Makeup Agency, are known for their 10 second flat lash application using inexpensive drug store products, like Ardell brand lashes and glue. It’s a relatively simple technique that with the right products (and practice, of course) you too can master false lash application easily and economically.

First of all, you will need to invest in a few keys products, all of which can be purchased at your local drugstore and within your budget.

1. Ardell LashGrip Eyelash Adhesive: Is white in color at first, but dries perfectly clear.  It’s also water soluble, so it’s gentle and easy to remove. However, if you have a latex allergy, look for Ardell Lash Tite Latex-Free Eyelash Adhesive as an alternative.

2. Ardell 100% human hair, full band lashes: You may want to start with more natural looking lashes verses the really dramatic ones until you get used to the look, feel, and application technique.  Fashion Lash # 105, 108, 109, and 110 are all great choices. Rule of thumb: Darker hair colors should use black lashes and lighter tones should opt for the brown shade. Also, look for the Ardell Fashion Lashes Starter Kits with glue and lashes in one.

3. Ardell Duralash Naturals Individual Lashes in medium length.  These also come in shades of black or brown. If you’re feeling daring, look for Ardell Duralash Naturals COMBO Pack containing 3 sizes of individual lash clusters, using the shorter size toward the middle of the eye and the longer length at the ends, creating that elongated cat’s eye look.

*All products mentioned average around $4.00 each in most drug store beauty sections.

Application Steps: Full Strip

1. Curl your lashes and apply most of your eye makeup first, so that once your lashes have adhered to your eye, you do not risk loosening them with brushes, etc. Gently slide the lashes out of the container and hold the band of the lash at both ends, flexing it lightly for a moment to soften it. Measure both lashes before fastening by lying the lash on top of your natural lashes as close to your lash line as possible, starting at the outer edge. If the band is too long and is intruding on the inside corner of your eye, remove the lash, and sparingly trim the outer end with scissors to fit your eye shape exactly.

2. Holding the lash gently, exposing the band, apply a thin, even layer of adhesive along the band using a toothpick or a q-tip stick with the cotton ball torn off the end.  Make sure you do not neglect the corners.  Wait 15-30 seconds for the adhesive to get tacky.  Apply lashes one at a time, making sure the first is on correctly and has adhered properly to the lid before starting the other.

3. Using a mirror, look downwards a bit, but try not to close the eyes at all during this process. This action will dramatically change the shape of the eyelid, risking the lash to pop off or become misshaped (blinking is ok however!) Press lash band onto the skin, on top of your natural lashes, as close to the roots as possible. Gently press the corners with your fingertips or tips of fingernails until the full lash is secure. Wait 1-2 minutes for glue to dry clear. It also may take a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the weight of the lashes, so you may feel a heaviness that will eventually subside.

4. After the glue is completely dry, you may apply a bit of mascara to affix your lashes with the false ones (making them one) and giving a bit of lift and luster.  You may also want to apply a liquid, cream, or powder liner gently to the lid with a soft brush to conceal the band (no hard pencils though!)

5. To remove, gently peel off the lash, starting at the outer corner, slowly working your way across the eyelid. Shed the old adhesive from the lash band and place lashes back into their half moon shaped tray for reuse. Treat your lashes with care and respect and you can use them multiple times, getting more for your hard earned money.  

***Opting for individual lashes is also a great choice. You can use them just at the ends for a cat’s eye look, create your own unique shape across your entire lid, or just naturally fill in your lashes just where needed to enhance length and volume.

Application Steps: Individuals

1. First visualize the look you are going for.  Do you want to use the individual lash clusters just on the ends to elongate the eye? Or do you want to use them sporadically across the whole lid to add some volume and length to your natural lashes? Curl lashes and apply a coat or two of lengthening and thickening mascara.

2. Gently lift one lash cluster at a time from the tray with tweezers. Rest the individual lash on top of your natural lashes to make sure you like the placement and look.

3. Holding the lash gently with your clean fingernails or a tweezer, apply a tiny dot of glue to the end of the lash cluster and place in desired area on lid. Press the lash down lightly with tip of your clean finger or nail until the adhesive sets. Apply 5-10 lash clusters gradually from the inside out until blended.

4. The adhesive is water soluble, so lashes will come off easily with a bit of cleanser and water or makeup remover on a q-tip. Pull off gently after softening, diligently avoiding your natural lashes.  Ardell also has a lash remover formulated specifically to remove their lashes and adhesive called LashFree Adhesive Remover.

PS… Using a decadent eye cream like Vivid MD SkinCare “Perfection C” serum under and around the eye area in the evening after you remove your false lashes will soothe and smooth the whole eye area as you snooze!

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/