Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Another Amazing Multi-Tasking Cleanser: Eminence Stone Crop Gel Wash

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

There are so many amazing Beautyfix selection this season, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But Eminence is always a tough act to follow, and their featured winter product—Eminence Stone Crop Gel Wash—is honestly kind of life changing.

Now, depending on what type of skin you have, a gel cleanser may or may not be your weapon of choice for everyday use. I get it: when it comes to facial cleansers, we all like what we like! If you absolutely adore cream cleansers, this may not be for you. (But if you’re willing to try it, you just may become a convert). And if you love gel cleansers, I dare you to find one that’s better than this. Here are 4 reasons why it’s tops in my book.

1. SCENT: This stuff smells like heaven! (And, um, stone crop plants.) Seriously though, it’s a nice, fresh scent that smells clean—not artificial or perfume-y.

2. TEXTURE: I love a great gel wash, but many of them can feel drying, especially during the winter. Not this one! It produces just a little bit of lather—nothing crazy—so that you feel like you’re getting that deep, wondrous clean without disrupting your skin’s moisture balance.

3. SURPRISE BENEFITS: I’ve worked with estheticians who have told me that the Eminence Stone Crop products have been known to succeed at correcting dark spots and other pigmentation issues where more traditional, clinical solutions have failed. (Intriguing, right?) While I have not been using this long enough to report on such results, I can tell you that this formulation has helped clear up some holiday season breakouts—another reason this is one Eminence’s best-loved offerings.

4. INGREDIENTS: The first ingredient listed for this one? “Stone Crop Plant.” The second? “Stone Crop Juice.” Not only does this let us know that Stone Crop Gel Wash is not simply a clever name, but that this is a legit “natural” product with quality ingredients.

Did you receive Eminence Stone Crop Gel Wash in your most recent Beautyfix kit? Tell me about your experience!

New Year’s Resolution: My Mane Story

Friday, January 4th, 2013

I always get stuck when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. I love working out (weird, I know) and eat pretty healthy, so the standard resolutions are not really my thing. In the past, I have tried to limit my vice- a post work and/or workout drink. But then a voice of reason (or a voice of no self-control) kicks in and says “life is short, drink wine!”. So, in an effort to not set myself up for failure, I opt out of the No Drinking resolution. This year, I decided to set a different type of New Year’s Resolution- a beauty resolution! I, Amy Bailey, queen of lazy and sole advocate of making wet hair in public acceptable, will make an effort to blow dry my hair on a daily basis!

I do have a confession about this beauty resolution. I didn’t decide to do this, nor would I even fathom blow drying my hair on a daily basis, until I discovered the most amazing blow dryer ever.  Working in beauty PR I have been lucky enough to test out some pretty high-end hair tools. Until now, none have made me look at doing my hair as anything other than a chore. Honestly, I have always ranked blow drying my hair right next to going to the bank or folding laundry- loathsome chores. All that changed when I tried BLOWOUT BEAUTY’s blow dryer. If I had to describe it in two words, it would be “AMAZINGLY FAST!!!!!!!” (yes, the multiple exclamation marks are necessary).  I first used the BLOWOUT BEAUTY hair dryer on a recent business trip, in which I actually had to do my hair as to look somewhat professional. The blow dryer worked so quickly that each morning in the hotel, I would put an English muffin in the toaster, blow dry my hair, and my hair would be dry before my English muffin was toasted. True story.

BLOWOUT BEAUTY’s dryer actually projects an airflow that reaches up to 50 MPH, is extremely lightweight, durable and easy to use. Did I mention it is also made in Italy? Talk about high quality!

So am I going to stick to my resolution and not leave the house with wet hair in 2013? I don’t know if I can hold true for ALL 2013, but I DO know that the 3 minutes it takes to blow dry my hair is totally worth it!

5 New Year’s Eve Glamour Eye Makeup Tips

Friday, December 28th, 2012

So as the holidays draw to a close, I’m definitely looking forward to the New Year. I will pass on the New Year’s resolutions but I’m excited because it’s my favorite time of year to really glam it up with the perfect outfit and a fabulous eye makeup application. I definitely love using glitter eye makeup to sparkle and shine. Here are a few tips to create a glamorous eyeshadow application sure to turn heads!

flickr source: Tody ve makeup artist

  1. An eyeshadow primer is a must! You definitely don’t want your eye makeup to fade, crease or smear before the night’s even begun. Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance is an amazing primer that leaves a soft glowing finish while smoothing out your eyelids for a perfect application.
  2. Once you’ve applied primer, use a light matte eyeshadow shade as a base over your entire eyelid. This is a great way to help even out your eyelids.
  3. Use a blending brush to blend and layer a dark or smoky eyeshadow shade over the crease of your eyelid. I’m obsessed with Diego Dalla Palma Deep Dark Eyeshadow. This rich black shade leaves a silky finish that transforms your eyes with an alluring look.
  4. Turn up the glam factor! A loose shimmer powder works perfectly for that extra oomph of glamour to your eyes. Simply blend shimmer powder over your existing eyeshadow application to achieve desired look.
  5. And finally, a fun pair of faux strip lashes to finish off your festive look. They come in different lengths perfect to accentuate your eyes with a little flair or big drama. They are easy to apply and with a few coats of mascara they blend in perfectly with your natural lashes.

When Blowouts Go BAD: 3 Truths For Anyone Who Wants It Done Right

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

These days, it seems like there’s a new blowout bar on every street corner. And all of us here in the office are in love with the concept.

I mean, for an average price of $35, you can pop in to one of these places and relax with a glass of wine while someone with professional training shampoos, dries, and styles your hair in such a way that—if things go as expected, anyway—you’ll be rocking awesome hair for days to come.

What’s not to love, right?

Well, nothing, really. So long, that is, as you can manage to steer clear of the dreaded (pun not intended, dreadlocks not involved) blowout gone bad—something I had the distinct misfortune of experiencing myself this past weekend.

Here’s how it went down.

I told my stylist I wanted Victoria’s Secret-esque waves—no cheesy barrel curls!—with lots of volume.

That wasn’t really what I walked out with.

She used a small metal round brush—a tool I’m not a fan of and definitely don’t recommend using on a day-to-day basis—to blow my hair dry in sections before setting it on Velcro rollers, which can be great tool for achieving volume. Then she used a huge curling iron on the ends. (I’d like to tell you what for, but honestly, I’m not sure.)

There were three glaring problems with the process.

One, the Velcro rollers were too small. You want volume? Use big ones.

Two, the stylist didn’t make sure my hair was completely dry before rolling it. Frizz city.

Three, the curling iron on the ends. Just. Why?

The result? Misshapen soccer mom hair. A bad rendition of “The Rachel.” Peculiarly placed volume. Curled ends.

Awfulness.

If you think bad hair doesn’t age you, well, you didn’t see me leave the salon that night. And I’d post a photo to prove my point, were I not so vain. (OK, so I didn’t even take a photo. You wouldn’t have wanted to take a photo of this either, if it happened to your hair. Promise.)

It was nothing 20 minutes with a flat iron and a 1-inch curling iron couldn’t fix. Not the end of the world. And there are a couple of truths to be taken from my experience:

1. The cardinal rule of getting one’s hair done—assuming the desired cut/color/style is not the same ol’ thing one’s regular stylist is used to—involves bringing in a photo of the desired outcome. I failed in that regard. Sure, the salon probably should have offered photos from which to select looks, but whatever. Lesson learned.

2. No blowout in which the hair is not dried thoroughly and completely is a good one. If there’s one thing you should bear in mind when you’re drying your hair at home, this is it. And if your stylist makes this mistake, call him or her out on it—especially if you have any kind of natural wave, kink or curl.

3. Most of today’s styles don’t call for curled ends. And really, waves can easily be achieved at home, if you start with straight hair and wrap it, section by 1-inch section, around a 1-inch or 1 1/4-inch curling iron.

Have you ever fallen victim to a blowout gone bad? Ever left the salon feeling 15 years older? Let’s start a support group in the comments section!

How To- Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Hair

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a mild obsession with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.  The stage, the over-the-top costumes, the performances, the crazy wings, super models galore and who doesn’t love a million dollar bra covered in jewels? The backdrops and themes may change every year, new models and Leo DiCaprio’s future girlfriends come in, while his exes and the old ones bid adieu, but a few things always stay consistent- gorgeous girls with gorgeous hair! While I might not have the genes to look like Miranda Kerr in underwear, I DO have the proper supplies to achieve that perfect, bouncy, bombshell hair she and the other  Victoria’s Secret Angels sport while sashaying down the catwalk.

The first product in my arsenal? Nick Chavez Advanced Volume Shampoo.  I love this shampoo! Not only does it smell fantastic but it gives my hair some serious lift! Soy protein, acai extract and keratin strengthen and expand each strand for a lightweight, full-bodied look. I follow it up with some volumizing conditioner. Next, I blot my hair and apply a light weight mousse and blow dry. Once my hair is about 80% dry, I start using a big round brush (the bigger the better!) to lift my hair up and out while continuing to dry. The next step is to roll my hair into large Velcro rollers. This may seem old fashion, but there is a reason rollers have been around so long- they work! Rollers provide even more lift at the root while keeping hair smooth and natural looking. Once the rollers are out, I add just a few more waves and curls with a large barrel curling iron. The final step? Add a little bit of spray for texture and a light mist of flexible hold hair spray. Viola! Bombshell hair suited for the runway… or at least a fun party! Check out this article for some more tips on how to copy the Angel’s awesome makeup.

Eye Reviver

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

I celebrated my birthday last week and realized that although I don’t necessarily feel “old” being in my early thirties, I definitely have noticed changes to my skin and hair. I can’t say I’m too excited about seeing some gray hair or the tiny crow’s feet I can visibly start to see around my eyes. Lately, my eyes have started to look a little more tired than usual with slight dark under eye circles appearing. Knowing how to get rid of tired eyes can be a challenge because of all the rejuvenating and restoring potions that promise to deliver miracle results. It can be an overwhelming feeling walking into a beauty store or shopping online not knowing where to start. I wasn’t using an anti aging eye serum before but felt now was the time to start. I was introduced to Snowberry Smoothing Eye Serum. I really wanted to use a serum that would quickly be absorbed by my skin to be able to put my makeup on right after. I noticed the lines that made my eyes look like I hadn’t had my beauty rest were smoothed away and gave me a brighter appearance. It also hydrated the little dry patches I get around the outer corners of my eyes making my skin ready for a smoother makeup concealer application. I also discovered this serum is formulated with hibiscus extract, which naturally gives the skin a firming and lifting effect. It also softens and is a great antioxidant to protect against premature signs of aging.  I’ve only been using it twice a day for a week now, and love how it’s made my skin feel.

CONFESSIONS OF A BEAUTY EDITOR: I DON’T LIKE BRONZER

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Look, everyone’s got something to say about Christina Aguilera’s weight, and I’ve no desire to chime in on that. It’s her face I’m concerned with.

I mean, there’s contouring, and there’s self-tanning. There’s also that natural-but-not faux glow. That there below? Something else entirely.

To be fair, unless a wig in that shade that is placed on a supermodel, it’s almost certainly classifiable as the kind of thing that looks good only when met with a full face of makeup—a truth Christina’s glam squad, clearly, has duly noted. And as much as I love a full face of makeup, I just can’t get down with this.
Does this image not make you want to just … wash her face? Or is it just me?

Being a beauty editor and being someone who follows all the rules—you know, the body of conventional wisdom that urges us against using a brush on wet hair, shudders at the thought of pairing a red lip with heavy eye makeup (or heavy anything, really) and begs for reapplication upon reapplication of sunscreen, EVERY SINGLE DAY OR ELSE—aren’t always one and the same.

I didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it until now, but I—Liz, the beauty editor—definitely fail to follow certain rules. I ostensibly hate Christina’s makeup here more than you hate it because I have an aversion to bronzer. Even though the rules say I should, I don’t use it. Ever. And not even because I’m lazy. I just don’t like it.

In the grand scheme of things, my beef with bronzer doesn’t much matter. Of that, I’m well aware. But trust me, it garners nothing but astonishment—horror and disbelief, actually—from fellow industry types.

You should see the look I get when I inform a makeup artist I don’t desire the illusion of more chiseled cheekbones any more than I care to cop some sort of faux “sun-kissed” glow. (During the spring and summer months only, I DO have a love/hate relationship with spray tanning. Let’s save that for another post.)

I know I’m pale. I recognize the fact that, were I to abstain from sunscreen, certain areas of my face—my nose, my chin, the tops of my cheeks—would, over time, grow darker or more tan, which apparently (and ironically) is synonymous with healthier, to some. But I don’t wish to recreate such effects with makeup. Sorry, but I’m perfectly healthy, with or without burnt sienna-hued powder patted down the bridge of my nose, and I happen to think I look better sans.

I also understand that applying bronzer in the shape of a 3 on either side of my face will help define my bone structure, particularly when combined with a little bit of well-placed highlighter. And, believe me, I’m aware of all the facial bronzers on the market. There must be hundreds. But really, I’ll pass.

Although I’m firm in my anti-bronzer stance, I understand the incredulous reactions it elicits from makeup artists and other beauty professionals. I mean, I do consider beauty a passion of mine—but it’s not like I’m some kind of makeup artistry wizard; if I were, well, I suppose I’d have become a makeup artist. Right?

That said, I’ll boldly assert that I like my makeup better when I do it than when a professional does it at least 9 times out of 10. Probably because I know my own face and have spent years experimenting, figuring out exactly what it is that works best for me.

And I guess that’s really what this post is about. Bronzer doesn’t do it for me, and if Christina’s face in the above photo is any indication, it doesn’t always do it for everyone else, either. Hey, I don’t make the rules, but I’m not ashamed to break ‘em when I deem it necessary. Anything to avoid a brown nose, you know?

Guinot Gommage- The Perfect Peel

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Remember sitting around with your friends as a tween, feeling oh-so mature and slathering on face masks and peels while chowing down on popcorn and swooning over the Behind the Scenes Backstreet Boys vhs? Was that last part just me? Did I just date myself? Well, the moral of the story is that was the last time I ever used a face peel; it was me, a jar of St. Ives, my 7th grade bestie and Nick Carter circa 1998. Fast forward 14+ years. Since my St. Ives heyday, my skin has always been pretty normal, if not downright resilient.  However, as of late it has been flaring up thanks to an onslaught of traveling and weird weather changes. I have developed a red dry patch around my nose and mouth and tried a pretty wide array of the products in the DermStore beauty closet. Finally, after face washes, serums, moisturizers and creams, I decided to try a peel.

The Guinot Gommage came highly recommended (hello 5 star DermStore rating!), and all the reviews said it is perfect for sensitive and easily irritated skin, which apparently my skin has morphed into. This Guinot product is a wonder worker! It gently exfoliates and hydrates at the same time. The Shea butter is so soothing and rejuvenating while the glycolic acid helps to banish dead skin cells. Not to mention, it is extremely light, goes on smooth and smells lovely! I have used it 2-3 times per week for the past two weeks and my red dry patch is practically gone and my skin looks brighter, as well. The Guinot Gommage has definitely earned a spot in my weekly skin care routine. Now if only I can find the Backstreet Boy VHS…

Celebrity Look Alikes – Animal Style

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I don’t know about all of you, but this holiday season has already been exhausting and it’s only just begun. Just like everywhere else, holiday time at the DermStore offices is one big bag of crazy that we all have a love hate relationship with. To remain sane in our cubicles, a few of us girls started talking about random talents. While the majority of our team has awesome skillz with things like, being able to pick things up with their toes or super braiding skills or knowing their spirit animal, I was at a certain loss. I surely must have some oddball talent other than sarcasm. While perusing the American Music Awards photos for gorgeous makeup and hair inspiration it hit me. Christina Aguilera kind of looks like a warthog… I have an uncanny ability to find less than accurate animal doppelgangers for people! In the spirit of Thanksgiving week, we all deserve to have a good chuckle and of course, we shan’t leave celebrities out of this. Here some animal slash celebrity look alike photos to help you get through this short week.

Let’s get animal! (Animal!)

It’s nice to see Kesha wearing something lovelier than a trash bag, but here she is with her new bff the muskrat.

 

If only it was this easy for Chris Brown to go back into his shell.

 

Ginnifer Goodwin, so cute and cuddly like a Koala.

 

You can squint all you want Carly Rae Jepsen but we know those eyes.

 

Uncanny right?

Want me to find your animal look alike? Send me a request at Jenna@DSBeautygroup.com!

Happy Thanksgiving!

4 Tips for Healthy Hair

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

I try to keep “bad hair days” to a minimum especially since I have naturally curly hair. I can remember as a kid telling my mom not to brush my ponytail because I didn’t want my hair to look like a puffy cloud.  Just like our skin, hair also needs to be nourished, moisturized and protected especially if you heat style it with a flat iron every day like I do. Check out these healthy hair tips that have definitely helped prevent hair breakage and frizz without the pricey salon treatments.

  1. Resist washing your hair every day! Shampoos with sulfates can strip away natural oils our scalp produces to keep hair healthy and soft. Refresh your hair and scalp with a great dry shampoo such as Batiste Dry Shampoo. It’s a perfect way to make your strands stay fresh in between washes while getting rid of that greasy feeling.
  2. A leave-in treatment is a must! I recently discovered Liquid Keratin Filling Leave-In Conditioner. I simply spray it on my towel-dried hair and comb through it before going to bed. This helps soften and detangle my hair to make it more manageable. Formulated with keratin and panthenol, they keep your tresses strong to prevent breakage.
  3. A hair mask is also a great way to keep your hair soft and shiny. I mash two avocados and add a teaspoon of both olive oil and honey.  Once the mixture is ready, I simply use my hands to apply it all over my hair and put on a shower cap to prevent a mess. I leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off.
  4. Look for conditioners and hair moisturizers with argan oil, shea butter, glycerin and any other natural oils. These ingredients are great for nourishing and repairing dry, damaged ends from heat styling.

flickr source: FYhairspa