Posts Tagged ‘cosmetics’

The Perfect Post-Holiday Nail Lacquer

Friday, July 5th, 2013

These days, prepping your nails for the 4th of July is more of an ordeal than prepping them for your own wedding – thanks to Pinterest posts, glitter stars and the oh-so-trendy firework nail wraps. However, the brutal pain I endured from scrubbing off my festive red, white and blue sparkles left me wanting a simple, summer shade to kick off the post-holiday weekend! SpaRitual has a gorgeous lacquer called I Am The Light which is just what I was looking for… and luckily I found it in this season of BeautyFix!

The bottle looked like a soft baby pink shade with a hint of blue undertones, but when it dried on my nails (in no time at all, might I add) the shade actually deepened to more of a lilac and lavender hue. It painted smooth in each controlled sweep as the patented Plum Cap™ has a non-slip grip to allow for the best mani/pedi possible. One coat wasn’t too transparent; however, I used two since I like my lacquer to be a little more obvious. I almost forgot to finish with a clear top coat due to the polish’s own shine and luster!

I always find myself doing some homework on a brand after deciding how much I really like one of its products, in hopes of falling in love with its mantra and more products from its collection. To my surprise, I learned that SpaRitual is actually a vegan-based brand with nail lacquer bottles made from Italian-crafted and recycled glass. Healthy and green? My attention had been caught! Free of synthetic dyes, parabens, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor and DBP, (and probably other nasty ingredients I can’t pronounce) the entire SpaRitual line is the epitome of a top-grade beauty brand.

I’m sure I’ll be adding some more SpaRitual items to my cart sometime soon! Did you add SpaRitual’s Nail Lacquer to your summer BeautyFix bag?!

EMANI Cosmetics Made My Catalina Trip Amazing

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

It’s almost summer which means it’s time to plan mini getaways, warm trips, and long vacations! Personally, I spent my weekend on the gorgeous island of Catalina; Avalon to be exact. Of course, I did my homework ahead of time to determine what I needed to bring per weather restrictions, the verdict you ask? Sunny in the mid-70’s! Sounded like perfect sun bathing weather, however I remembered that Catalina weather is always iffy. A beautiful sunshine-filled afternoon can have a wind chill leaving me freezing cold!

I decided to bring my new eco-friendly EMANI cosmetics with me, not only because the colors are brilliantly tropical (and healthy – 100% vegan!), but also because they have breathable products which are designed to perform in all kinds of elements; extreme heat, humidity or cold temperatures. They seemed like a perfect fit for my Catalina getaway!

EMANI is a rare breed: 100% vegan, 100% gluten free, 100% American made, cruelty free, PETA certified and award winning, paraben/talc/mineral oil/etc. etc. FREE! These stats made me think the company must create great green products, however I questioned if they would provide good enough coverage or rich enough shades. They actually wear very light but provide deep coverage just like our favorite, expensive, luxury brands. I was shocked.

A few of my favorite products I used this weekend were the Crushed Blush in Cancun Heat, the Flawless Matte Foundation in Nude Beige, and the Mosaic Eye Shadow in Feeling Mischievous. I was really glad I brought my EMANI round-up because Saturday was gorgeous and hot (mid-80’s), but Sunday was sunny and freezing (the wind made it feel like low 60’s!). Regardless, my makeup looked flawless throughout. Aside from the high-performing pigmented shadows like the gorgeous Crushed Mineral Color Dust in Bamboo, the best item I brought was the Vegan Travel Brush Set. This set should actually be incorporated into my daily beauty regimen, not just for travel. Unbelievably soft, the brushes allow for an even and easy application for all kinds of product. They even have a top secret way of affixing each individual bristle to the wand to ensure they never leave stray hairs on your face!

Thanks EMANI for making my Catalina trip full of luminous color, coverage, and all around excitement!

The Best Beauty Trends (and the worst!) of 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Flickr user limonlucikolata

flickr user chicagophotoshop

2010 was a pretty beautiful year, literally speaking. Aside from a few missteps and casualties (Bump-its anyone? Jersey Shore-esque tans? Anything from the Taylor Momsen makeup bag?), this past year has ushered in some gorgeous new looks and brought relevance to retro trends as well. Below is a list of some of the best beauty trends 2010 had to offer.

  • Ombre Hair- Good news for those who despise the monthly trips to the salon for touch-ups! Perfectly maintained hair is out and ombre hair is in!  Celebs like Nicole Richie and Rachel Bilson started bucking the beauty rule of root maintenance this summer.
  • Retro hair- Think beehives, a la Scarlet Johanson, and Veronica Lake waves made popular by beauties such as Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie.
  • Cat eye makeup and winged eyeliner- A favorite of everyone from Lauren Conrad to the make up artists at fashion week, this easy-to-achieve look dominated the beauty pages in 2010.  With a steady hand and an easy-to-use liquid eyeliner (I prefer Hourglass Cosmetics Calligraphy Liquid Eyeliner) anyone can perfect this subtle, yet sexy come-hither look. Again, please remember, you are going for subtle, not Little J!
  • Pixie cuts- For the past couple months, stars have been chopping off their long locks one-by-one to reveal a gamine and gorgeous, yet classic do. Celebrities such as Michelle Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Elisha Cuthbert and Rihanna have all made the cut, literally. Beware though; this hair trend is not for everyone.
  • Braids- The braided hair style is my personal favorite look from this year. The mixture of simplicity and versatility, mixed with my laziness and unruly mane, has turned the braid into my go-to hair style.

The worst? There were some doozies! The aforementioned Bump Its, Oompa-Loompa tans, raccoon eye makeup, also snuggies, neon makeup and scraggly extensions (again, bad year for Taylor Momsen) … but the absolute worst beauty trend of 2010? Vajazzling!

Working Overtime- Eye shadow can play almost every role in the makeup bag

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Flickr user Jacklyn DL

As you might be able to tell from some of my other blog posts, I’m not exactly the biggest of beauty junkies. Don’t get me wrong, I do like makeup and feeling feminine but I simply detest spending time, energy and money on pampering. My makeup bag is pretty bare, not because I don’t need that much makeup, but because I have found my no-fail products that work double and sometimes triple duty- cutting down on clutter, cost and time. The MVP of my makeup bag? Eye shadow! There are so many different uses for eye shadow that with a few different shades and pigments, you could practically toss half of your beauty product arsenal! Read on to learn about them.

  1. Eyeliner- Eye shadow is a great substitute for actual eyeliner, plus there is a far greater selection of shades! Simply wet an angled or pointed brush, dip into your eye shadow and voila—custom eyeliner!
  2. Eyebrow pencil- Very similar to the previous tip, applying eyeliner, eye shadow may also be used as a great eyebrow pencil.
  3. Blush- Red and pink eye shadows are not the most popular shades, but if you happen to have a color that suites your skin tone (perhaps it came in an eye shadow palette with various colors) it can be a great blush.
  4. Lip gloss- Making lip gloss with eye shadow can be really fun and produce great results! Start with Vaseline on the back of your hand and start mixing in different shades of eye shadow until you create the perfect color
  5. Nail Polish- This use of eye shadow was news to me and I have yet to try it. However, one of my cosmetically gifted coworkers told me about this little trick and swears that it works wonderfully! Simply mix your favorite color of loose eye shadow with clear nail polish to create your desired shade. Try a vampy burgundy or purple, one of this winter’s hottest trends!

Beautyfix Spotlight: Redpoint’s MegaLash Mascara

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Source: Flickr user .Michi.

All of our Beautyfix members mean so much to us, and when you say something, we listen. You’ve been asking us every season to give you one thing, and that’s mascara. Now you can try what we feel is the best mascara for everyday use: MegaLash Mascara by Redpoint, a brand dedicated to delivering anti-aging benefits in all of its beauty products.

I was definitely very cautious at first, because I hadn’t heard much about Redpoint. But the line impresses me with every new item I try! My first beauty product from Redpoint was the NOC-Out Concealer compact from the first season of Beautyfix—and now I SWEAR by it. It’s one of the best concealers I’ve ever used. From bronzers to mascara I haven’t found anything from this makeup line that I don’t like. The best thing about Redpoint cosmetics is that each product has effective anti-aging benefits and is hypoallergenic. Each of Redpoint’s makeup formulas is designed to smooth fine lines, firm and give you a more youthful appearance. Who doesn’t want makeup that also makes you look younger?

I’m so excited to have Redpoint’s MegaLash Mascara in this season’s kit because it truly does work wonders. My lashes are short, light and very thin to begin with, so it’s been hard to find any mascara that actually does its job. I was completely shocked to see that it only took one swish and my lashes were fully coated with a blacker than black hue. Another swipe across my lashes and the mascara application was done—and and volumized, silky lashes was the result. MegaLash mascara is also formulated with conditioning antioxidants for a super rich, glossy look increasing your lash volume and length. Another plus is that it’s long wearing, so there’s no need to apply again after a few hours and it doesn’t flake off. The number one thing that I hate about most mascaras is that they don’t come off well with remover, but MegaLash was a pleasant surprise. No flakes and no mess when taking it off. Beautyfix fans, rejoice:  we’ve found the best mascara for anyone of any age. Lash mission accomplished.

Longer Lashes in the Blink of an Eye

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I, like most women, love the look of luscious, long eyelashes. (Wouldn’t we all love to walk around every day with Kim K’s stunning lashes?)  Although, due to clumsiness, laziness and lack of time, I rarely make an effort.  My unsteady hand generally results in mascara on my nose and eyeliner smudged on my lid and cheek (don’t even ask how it gets there, I have no clue). Fake eyelashes? Please, there is NO WAY I trust myself with eyelash adhesive around my eye region.  I toyed with the idea of trying a product such as Latisse or RapidLash—but I don’t want to deal with a prescription and both of these products contain Prostaglandin, which can alter the color of your eye. Even though I don’t have gorgeous blue or green peepers, I’m kind of partial to the boring brown eye color that I was given.

I recently decided to try Smartlash, a new eyelash enhancement which utilizes VisiLash Technology to create a gentle product that produces serious results. SmartLash is prescription-free formula that replaces harmful ingredients, such as Prostaglandin, with mild peptides to improve the look of lashes and brows without affecting the remaining eye area and skin. Although, what really sold me were the clinical results.

A 30-day independent clinical study yielded the following results:

  • 100% saw an increase in the appearance of eyelash length, fullness and thickness
  • Participants experienced up to a 68% increase in the appearance of lash length!
  • 100% said they feel like they need less mascara
  • 100% indicated superior performance compared to previously used eyelash enhancers

SmartLash is so incredibly easy to use. I just apply it to my lash line, as if I am applying eyeliner, twice a day and I’m done. I have only been using the product for about 4 days, so will check back in after a month and share my results!

Lessons from Lesley. Lesson 2- Seven Easy Steps to Smoky, Sultry Eyes

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Sultry, smoky, come-hither eyes is a look that has been in for decades and some of us (ok… probably just me) have been attempting to perfect it for almost as long. My first attempt at this dramatic eye makeup look resulted in a high school classmate inquiring as to whether I had a black eye. Never one to be easily deterred, I summoned some good old fashioned if-you-don’t-succeed-try-try-again attitude and attempted smoky eye makeup for the second time. This time, causing my younger sister to take me to the MAC makeup counter at the mall and receive a crash course in eye makeup application. My first piece

Smokey Eye Makeup Image by Flickr user dreamglow pumpkincat210

of advice from the makeup pro? Smoky eyes are never a good look for school, or just about any day time function for that matter! Point taken. Her other easy to follow eyeshadow techniques have served me well over the past ten years. However, since it has been a decade (depressing) I grudgingly admitted that it was time to add a few new tricks to my repertoire. Eagerly, Lesley, my outspoken and cosmetically inclined cubicle-mate, offered some Amy-proof eye makeup tips.

Eye shadow techniques for smoky eye makeup

  1. Prep your peepers. Apply a base or primer on the eyelids and brow bone, which will prevent the eye shadow from streaking. If you are in a bind and don’t have a primer, concealer will work too.
  2. Apply a base coat to your lid and brow bone using a light and shimmery color. The trick to creating the perfect smoky eye makeup is to use contrasting colors, so using a light base will help accentuate the darker shadows.
  3. Apply black, charcoal or brown eyeliner starting at the inner corner of your lash line and work outward. Don’t be afraid to go a little thicker on the eyeliner! Once you finish, smudge and blend the liner using a q-tip.
  4. Apply dark eyeshadow onto the lid by beginning at the lash line and extending into the crease of the eye.Remember, the darker the shadow, the greater the contrast and the more dramatic the look.
  5. Blend! The key to creating the perfect dramatic eye makeup effect is to seamlessly blend the colors together, using an allover eye shadow brush and blend upward and outward until there is no distinct line.
  6. The final touch for the perfect dramatic smoky-eye look is serious mascara. Swipe on several coats until your lashes are as long and lush as you like.
  7. Admire! You created gorgeous smoky eye makeup in less than 5 minutes!

Product Spotlight – Pamela Ford Makeup Brushes

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

By Jenna

If you happen to own mineral makeup of any sort or any makeup at all, you probably own a few makeup brushes. If you’re serious about your makeup routine, you probably own a few professional makeup brushes and it’s either natural or synthetic. A gorgeous eyeshadow palette like Pamela Ford’s 5 Well Eyeshadow Palette has a gorgeous range of 5 colors that can be blended and combined for the perfect look. Luckily, if you happen to have picked up one of her amazing brushes you can do the job as well. Here’s the low down on the cosmetic brushes offered in your latest Beautyfix selection by Pamela Ford.

Source: flickr user Jazzylolo

Blender Flat Brush – This brush is designed to easily blend eye shadows together for a seamless transition between each color. The handle is 8 inches, made for easy handling and application without messing up your foundation underneath.

Concealer/Foundation Brush – This brush is soft bristled and made for applying foundation for a perfectly flawless look every single time. If you weren’t a full time brush user before with you foundation, this may just change your mind. It’s easy to use and clean and really does give a flawless look each time.

Eyeshadow Angle Brush – If you’re going for a night out on the town and want a sultry smoky eye look, this is the brush to use. It’s cleverly angled for the eye crease and lid to achieve an effortless natural or dramatic eye look. It’s also a multi-functioning brush. The top part of the brush is perfect for applying crease colors while the flat part is ideal for color on the lid.

Precise Angle Eyeliner Brush – This kind of brush is my type of brush. It’s diagonal and thin making it perfect for liner and gliding along the lash line. This super soft brush isn’t harsh and won’t hurt on your delicate lash line, which is a problem I’ve run into a few times with these kinds of cosmetic brushes. It works great with gel based liners or cream to powder eyeshadows. It’s perfectly precise for the perfect cat eye.

Highlighter Brush – If you’re looking for that one brush to turn your ordinary brush set into a professional make up brush set this one does the trick. For me it’s been hard to find a really good highlighter brush, because they’re usually not the right shape or too harsh for my eye area. This one is wonderful and can be multi-use as well which is more than convenient. You can use this ultra-soft brush for the brow bone, for the inner corners of your eye, eyeshadow crease brush or for a powder liner brush. It will put a hint of shimmer on the inner corner or brow area for a gorgeous illuminated look. This brush usually finds its way into my purse, because I use it for just about everything making my makeup application easy.

Pamela Ford’s unique cosmetic brushes are made from Takelon which is a silky, ultra-soft, cruelty-free fiber. Each of them is soothing and extremely gentle on your eye area. Each one is shaped especially for precise control and stay in perfect shape after multiple uses. They are also the perfect weight and meant to be used by you for the perfect eye shadow application. Not everyone can be a makeup artist so anything that makes makeup application simpler grabs our attention and these brushes definitely did the trick. The best part about these is how soft they are, how they grab color and powder and that they always keep their shape.

Summer Makeup Palettes – Go Bold!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

By Tasha Reiko Brown

Summer Color Palette - Bright Lips

Summer is here! As the days get brighter, so should your makeup palette.  Take a cue from the recent runways ….go bold.!  Choose a bold lip or bright eye — think shimmer, sheer textures and fun!

The key to a brighter palette for summer is knowing which colors to choose for your skin tone.  A good rule of thumb is the darker your skin tone, the brighter the colors you will be able to pull off.  Darker complexions can wear bright colors with ease without going overboard.   Think jewel tones, and for the adventurous, neons.  If you keep the texture sheer, the whole rainbow is yours to play with. Light to medium skin tones should try deep pastels to get their pop of color.  Keep in mind to only choose one feature to highlight.  Choose either bold lips or a bright eye but never both.

For lips, pick up pink and berry shades.  Save the nudes to balance your smoky eyes at the office holiday party.  CARGO lipstick in CeCe is a great summer berry shade.  Bonus points: the package is eco-friendly.  Skip matte textures and use satin or sheer lipsticks.  Glosses are always my number one pick for summer!  The shine makes lips look fresh and you can always find one with a lot of pigment to rival lipstick.  Check out Clearly Pretty from Tricia Sawyer Beauty. It looks like clear gloss in the tube, but turns your lips the perfect color for your own skin tone. For waterproofing at the beach, choose a lip and cheek stain.  You’ll get long lasting, easy-to-apply color.

For summer fun with eyes, choose either a bright shadow or an adventurous liner.  My favorites for summer are bright cream shadows.   Try a royal purple for darker skin tones and a bright lavender for medium skin tones.  Mascara is a must for all seasons but at the beach try a waterproof formula from your favorite brand.  Add ice cream, sand, and enjoy!


Tasha is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist whose work can regularly be seen on the red carpet and on your favorite magazine covers. She is a member of the Beautyfix Panel of experts. Check out Tasha’s Portfolio here.

Spring Makeup Tips: Melt Proof Makeup

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

get melt proof makeup

By Tasha Reiko Brown

Spring has sprung!  The flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining and your face is …melting?  Time to switch up your makeup techniques to keep them heat and melt proof.  For truly melt proof makeup, think layering and textures.  Your warm weather look should be more sheer and a lot less heavy in colors, texture, and application.  Does applying less product mean constant retouches and easy fading?  Not with the right products!

Try a lighter base such as Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer.  The less foundation you wear, the less likely anything over it will slide off in the heat.  Textures will be able to truly ‘grab’ onto your skin.  Apply sparingly with clean fingers and blend into areas where needed.

For eyes that stay put try a lid primer before applying a light layer of liquid shadow.  The liquid shadow will dry to a powdery finish and have more staying power than a cream but with the same sheer finish.  Try Chanel’s Ombre D’Eau. Follow with two coats of black waterproof mascara (I like L’Oreal’s Voluminous) and as Tyra Banks would say… “Smize” – smile with your eyes!

For cheeks and lips that keep glowing I like stains.  A good lip and cheek stain will last all day and can be layered over with a powder blush on cheeks or gloss on lips for an extra glow.  On cheeks apply and work quickly to blend in.  Layer the applications if you want more intense color.  On lips simply fill them in and let set for about 10 seconds before applying gloss.  If you prefer your favorite lipstick, put on a layer, blot with tissue and repeat making a more creamy stain on the lips. I like Josie Maran’s new Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stains.

To finish your sunny day look, add a glow with Cargo’s Water Resistant Bronzer.  With a fluffy natural hair brush, apply bronzer where the sun would normally hit on the forehead, temples, bridge of nose and chin.  Swipe under your cheekbones for a more dimensional look. Now enjoy your day in the sun. :)

About Tasha Reiko Brown:

Celebrity Makeup Artist and Beautyfix Panelist Tasha Reiko Brown’s work has graced countless celebrity faces and red carpet events like the Oscars and the Golden Globes. You’ve seen her eye popping editorial work in magazines such as Elle, Vanity Fair and Flaunt and on the runways for top designers including Badgley Mischka and Richard Tyler. Check out Tasha’s portfolio here.

A beauty expert, Tasha is a constant mention in InStyle magazine and regularly provides media outlets with beauty tips and product mentions. Her knowledge of makeup through and through has lead her to appearances on several fashion and makeover shows including “How To Look Good Naked”, “How Do I Look?” and countless WE network “Beauty Secrets Revealed” episodes.