Posts Tagged ‘makeup’

Murad Hybrids: Skin Care Meets Makeup

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

When I think about Murad, the word “makeup” isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind.  I’d think “anti-aging” or “acne solution” or “comprehensive skin care regimen.” So when I heard about Murad’s Hybrid line, Murad’s ambitious attempt to combine skin care and makeup into one product, I was definitely curious.

The strength of Murad Hybrids lies in its ability to conceal imperfections and even skin tone while improving the skin’s health over time. That sounded too good to be true at first, but then I read so many rave reviews in several publications about two of its products—Skin Perfecting Primer Matte Finish and Eye Lift Perfector—so I decided to try them!

I’m very particular about using primer, not only because it acts as a barrier between my skin and the chemical compositions of my other makeup products, but also because of the slew of benefits it provides like balancing oil production, filling in lines and pores, evening out skin tone, and holding my makeup in place throughout the day. Sometimes, it’s all the makeup I use.

As a primer, Murad’s Skin Perfecting Primer – Matte Finish does its job so well! It’s refreshingly cool on my dry skin, hydrating it while delivering skin-nourishing ingredients that would eventually refine the texture of my skin and shrink my enlarged pores. When it dries up, I get a smooth and shine-free finish that’s ready for makeup. What’s more, this product comes in one, universal shade, so it takes the guesswork out of finding the right primer that matches your skin tone and type. And because it’s oil-free, it doesn’t clog my pores and cause breakouts.

Murad’s Eye Lift Perfector is another wonder product, and it perfectly complements the Skin Perfecting Primer. It has a light, sparkly tint that not just conceals dark circles and discoloration, but also brightens my eye area and makes me look more awake. As a bonus, it features an advanced formula that hydrates, smoothes, firms and nourishes the skin, providing long-term solutions to skin issues under the eyes.

Overall, I’m very happy with my new discoveries. Using products that act both as a treatment and makeup don’t just save me money and application time, it also reduces my skin’s exposure to potentially toxic ingredients that come with applying too many skin care and makeup products.

Lady Luck

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The work week is almost over and I’m eagerly awaiting my annual girls’ trip to Vegas this weekend. 110 degrees…what better time to go to a hot desert and sit out by the pool in the scorching sun? Might not be the best idea, but what the heck, I’ll go with it. To prepare for this adventure I have been going down my Beauty checklist.

Aside from eating right and hitting the gym extra hard, there are a few beauty essentials that are a must when preparing to be in a bikini by a crowded pool for the weekend: Mani/Pedi, spray tan, cry baby mascara and packing the right essentials to easily transition from a day to night look.

To start, I did a DIY mani/pedi, due to lack of time and the fact that I’m saving money for the Black Jack tables (hopefully lady luck is on my side). SpaRitual has a wonderful collection and my color of choice for this trip is Poppy Crème. This will come along for the ride in case I need to do any touchups. As for the other beauty products, sunscreen is a MUST and I will be slathering it on several times throughout the day to ensure maximum coverage and protection. In case my friends or I do get a burn, the Hydrating Aloe Continuous Mist Spray by Hampton Sun is a great way to soothe, hydrate and cool the skin. This will help transition our sun-kissed (or burned) skin to the night time fun!

After a long day of…“lounging” by the pool the last thing I want to do is take a long time to get ready for the night, so I try to make this process as easy as possible. With the crybaby mascara, I can check lashes off my list, as I have no need to even worry about applying additional mascara for at least two weeks! I got this process done yesterday and I’m good to go. The only other essentials I will need to bring is a good tinted moisturizer and/or BB cream as both are extremely convenient, eyeliner, a good lipstick and last but definitely not least, my No More Shine Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray. There it is the day/night transition-Vegas here we come!

What are some of your beauty tips for an easy day/night transition?

Red white and Blue Beauty Ideas

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Source: Flickr User Bob Haarmans

By Jenna

Can you believe it? July is already here and the 4th of July is right around the corner and on a Wednesday. Let’s repeat that and all groan together. The 4th is on a Wednesday, so we all get 1 day off in the middle of the week. Most of Europe – 1, America – 0. Each Independence Day, you can usually find me smack dab in the heart of the Mojave Desert sipping on a few cocktails watching the 4th of July Fireworks, happy that makeup and cute outfits are not needed. Really, the only thing I ever need is a festive bikini and amazing sunglasses. Since leap year has ruined my usual plans, I’ve spent the last week brainstorming amazing 4th of July makeup ideas to help the fact that I must wear clothes this holiday. To the good stuff! Here are 3 trendy beauty ideas to usher in another USA birthday in style.

One of the hottest beauty trends of the season is to temporarily color your locks a pastel shade. I’ve seen a lot of pink, lavender and purple on ladies these days. Instead of taking the color plunge on the day to day, this is the perfect time to add a little ‘wild-child’ into that mane. Try using Streekers temporary hair color in blue or red. Take the applicator wand and paint just a few streaks on a couple 1 inch strands in the mid-section of your hair. This will create a perky pop of color without going overboard.

If you don’t want to wash your hair more than once in a week, you can always turn to your nails. Red, white and blue nails are a no-brainer to pair with any drink in hand! Give everyone on Pinterest a run for their money by creating a gorgeous polka-dot design or build your own color block mani.

Dare I say it? The most classic makeup trend alive… the red lip. If there’s any appropriate occasion for this look, it’s this one. Since most of us will be enjoying beverages and BBQ, I prefer to go with a red lip stain instead of traditional lipstick. I’ll be wearing 3 Custom Color Specialists Lip and Cheek Stain in Rose which is a poppy red, perfect for my Independence Day pout.

How will you celebrate the 4th of July this Wednesday?


Stila Scores with My Skin!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Stila Set & Correct Baked Powder Trio came to my rescue just when my skin needed a little pick me up. It would be amazing if I could wake up every day with perfect skin without having to touch it up, but the reality is we all have our flaws whether it’s the dark under eye circles, blotchiness or a dull appearance. This amazing new powder illuminates, highlights and works as a complexion corrector to even out skin tone. The 3 built-in blended shades include peach to brighten, green to minimize redness and lavender to offset a sallow appearance on your skin. It comes in a sleek black compact with a unique built-in lever that turns clockwise to shave the pressed powder turning it into a silky loose powder. I put the powder to the test on my skin buffing a little extra with my kabuki brush on my nose and cheeks, which is where I get the most red. It quickly diminished the red and left my skin smooth, I was hooked! I’m now using it as a base too before applying my mineral foundation. It leaves a velvety finish for a smoother foundation application with better coverage. I noticed that it also helps minimize the appearance my large nose pores.


The other amazing thing is that it’s also great for your skin too! Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection to prevent free-radical damage, which can cause premature aging. Jojoba oil moisturizes and is great for acne-prone skin. This is a definite must-have for all you beauty junkies!


Summer Kiss with jane iredale

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Summer makeup is all about looking natural, especially if you’re planning to spend most of summer lounging by the beach. The same rule applies with summer lips.

I usually try to steer clear of makeup during warmer months, lipstick especially, because I get dehydrated easily and that shows on my dry, chapped lips. Usually I’d go for a medicated lip balm—or if I need some color when I go out at night, a medicated lip balm with a hint of tint. Yes, that’s all the makeup my lips would usually get.

That is until I tried jane iredale’s Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Milan. The first thing I loved about this lip color is its shade—a natural-looking, nude pink shade. Its sheer color is so summery; it looks effortlessly pretty. It’s perfect if you want to wear a little bit of color without looking too made up.

I also like that this creamy formula glides smoothly on my lips—it’s buttery, but not sticky. Plus, its gorgeous, light-catching shimmer stays on for the most part of the day, whether at work or play. But more than that, I also find that minty feel (as well as that slight tingling sensation) so refreshing on my lips. It’s almost like that fresh, clean feeling you get when you just brushed your teeth.

Of course, I must admit that I have some biases when it comes to jane iredale products. I did my research before I picked this product. I already know that jane iredale’s entire makeup line comes from naturally derived ingredients, with no harmful ingredients like talc, perfume, alcohol, dyes or anything that can harm my skin.

True enough, this lip color is enriched with vitamins so your lips would feel as good as they look. It features natural oils from shea butter, sunflower and aloe vera to soften and moisturize your lips; lemon and tangerine oils to exfoliate dead skin cells; and unique time-released peptides to encourage healthy collagen production. And as if that’s not enough, it features ginger root extract, as well as spearmint and peppermint to oils, to stimulate blood circulation and plump your lips naturally. Whew! That’s a slew of benefits from a lipstick!

Honestly, when I got this lipstick, I wasn’t looking for something to plump my lips. All I needed was a lip enhancer that could moisturize and give it a slight hint of color. But with this product, I got those and so much more! I got smooth, healthy, plump and soft lips! This is definitely going to be one of my beach-bag staples.

Beach-Ready Makeup for Summer

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

As summer approaches, I look forward to the warm weather, wearing cute sandals and the endless fun trips to the beach. I don’t skip my makeup application when I go to the beach but I do tend to wear a lot less. I just can’t imagine having tons of makeup under the sun! Aside from my natural makeup look, I definitely lather on tons of oil-free sunscreen all over my body, wear giant sunglasses and a big hat. My must-have essentials to complete my beach look are very simple and don’t make my oily skin feel like its melting.

flickr source: maanmaad

A tinted moisturizer with SPF is great because it provides your skin with light coverage and also moisturizes as it protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. For extra protection on my skin, I sweep on a light layer of mineral powder with SPF over my face with a great kabuki brush for a flawless finish. My lips get a hint of color with a tinted SPF lip balm so that stay protected during sun exposure. I curl my lashes and apply a few coats of clear mascara instead of black mascara so that my eyes don’t look too made up, and because I definitely don’t want the mascara to give me raccoon eyes on my face if I start to perspire under the sun. I finish off my beach-ready look by adding color on my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead with a powdered face bronzer. The face bronzer highlights my skin and gives it that perfect sun-kissed glow.

Hope for Ho-Hum Hair

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Hair can make or break a look—that’s coming from a girl who has always been plagued with limp, lifeless hair: ME. I used to think that the problem was not having the best hairstyle for my face shape. But then, after trying just about every possible hairstyle—long, shoulder-length, pixie, bob, layered and shaggy—the limp look lingered. So on days I couldn’t spare an extra 10 minutes to blow dry my hair, I’d just tie the whole thing up in a messy pony or bun to add volume to hair and simulate a textured look. Most of the time, my hair would just look, well, messy, as if I was wearing a bird’s nest as a hat. But this was before I came across Nick Chavez Amazon Hair Body Building Styling Clay.

I’ve always been impressed with Nick Chavez’s hair products, not only because he had a pretty colorful history. (I mean, who would have thought that grooming his family’s horses would eventually make him one of the most sought-after hairstylists in Beverly Hills?) But more than that, I like that his products are very gentle to my sensitive scalp, like his Volumizing Shampoo. Regular shampoos tend to make my scalp itch uncontrollably, but that shampoo doesn’t. Plus, this shampoo contains a powerful blend of protein- and vitamin-rich botanicals to strengthen and thicken my ultra-fine and color-treated hair.

If your hair is like mine, the best limp hair advice I can give you is to use Nick’s Amazon Hair Body Building Styling Clay together with Nick’s Volumizing Shampoo. This hair clay is so easy to use. After I towel-dry my hair, I blow-dry just the roots of my hair. Then, I take a pea-sized amount of the clay, rub it between my hands, and then rub my hands all over the roots. The result is almost immediate. Once the rest of my hair has been air-dried, I get is a nice round plump shape that frames my head—and it stays that way all day long! And since this product is highly concentrated, I don’t use up that much product, which means I’ll probably hold on to the tube I have for a really long time.

Of course, I’m still on the lookout for that one defining haircut—the same defining hair moment that catapulted Jennifer Anniston’s layered locks into instant stardom. Maybe one day I’ll meet a genius hairstylist who will pave the way for that. But for now, I’ll let Nick Chavez’s hair clay work its magic on my stubborn head of hair.

Beauty Tips for Brides-to-Be

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Last night, as part of our pre-wedding anniversary celebration, my husband and I saw The Five-Year Engagement. First, let me compliment Emily Blunt’s perfect ringlets, which stayed shiny, bouncy and immaculate throughout the film (even when she was preparing to go to bed!). Second, although the movie got me cracking up for the most part, I must admit I got misty-eyed when Violet (Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segal) finally got married after everything they had been through. I remembered my own wedding, which also took 5 years to plan.

So to all brides-to-be out there, let me just say that I do understand the ordeals you’re all going through—the physical, mental and emotional strain you all had to endure to make this 4-hour celebration an affair to remember forever—and that’s on top of the pent-up anxiety all engaged couples go through. So to make sure you look your utmost best on the most important day of your life, I’d like to share with you a few bridal beauty tips I’ve learned from my own wedding experience.


1. Six months to a year before: Avoid Wedding Crashers!

You have to start your beauty and workout plan as soon as you get engaged. Crash diets never work—especially with all the food tasting and pre-wedding parties you’re bound to attend. The same goes with skin care, as your skin needs time to adjust to a new regimen. So as you book your wedding suppliers, remember to book a series of regular facial appointments and hair treatments as well, with your last appointment set no later than 2 weeks before the big day. If a chemical peel is on the agenda, get it done no later than a month before. If you’re planning to try out a new beauty product or experiment on a new hair color you’ve read from a bridal magazine, this is the best time to do that.


2. A month before: Leave No Room for Trial and Error

Once you’ve decided on which makeup artist and hair stylist to get, schedule a hair and makeup trial session at least a month before the wedding. This way, you’d know right away if the kind of hair and makeup you envisioned suits you. This will also give you the opportunity to get comfortable with the two most important persons who can make or break your wedding day look.


3. A Week Before: Here Comes the Groom

All facial and body waxing, including getting that perfect eyebrow shape, should be done at least a week before. That should give your skin enough time to recuperate from the redness and swelling that usually come after the procedure. This week is the most crucial. No matter how stressed out you get, try to steer clear of sweets, salty foods, soda and alcohol.


4. A Day Before: There’s a Reason You Have Maids

The things you’re only allowed to attend to at the last minute are your nails. Get a massage and sleep. Should last-minute problems arise, if you don’t have a wedding planner, let your maid of honor and bridesmaids handle this. This is the reason you have them in the first place.


5. On the Day: Waterproof Everything

By now you’re skin has already adapted to your current beauty regimen, don’t change anything! Also, photographers and videographers love capturing those tearful moments. So to make sure you’re picture-perfect even during your most vulnerable moments, you need to waterproof as much makeup as you can. Finally, relax, breathe and trust that you did everything you can to make this wedding a success.


6. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your Day-of Emergency Kit, which should include facial tissue and baby wipes, small mirror, bobby pins, Tide-to-Go, fashion tape, facial mist and oil blotting paper.


Spring Cleaning Time: Tips From a Makeup Artist

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Spring is here! Which means spring cleaning. As a Makeup Artist, that means going through my kit and performing what I like to call, “The Sift and Ditch”. I go through each and every product, checking how old it is, giving it the smell test and tossing anything that has expired.  How do you know it’s time to ditch your old products? Here is the basic breakdown of how long you should hold on to makeup in your bag:

Foundation- 1 Year
Facial Moisturizer with SPF- Check the bottle for expiration date
Any powder products (Face Powder, Blush, Shadow, Bronzers, etc.)- 2-3 Years
Lipstick, Gloss, Lipliner- 1 Year
Cream Shadows and Eye Primers- 1-2 Years
Eye Pencils- 1-2 Years
MASCARA- 3 Months, Tops!

I also suggest washing your makeup brushes. (When’s the last time you did?!) If you can’t remember how long ago it was, it’s time. What to use to clean with? For natural bristle brushes I love the Beauty Blender Cleanser diluted with some water, and for synthetic bristle brushes (concealer, lip, cream liner) use dish soap. Yes, dish soap, it’s the only thing that truly gets those brushes residue free. After gently squeezing out the excess water, reshape the brush and lay flat to dry on a towel. To increase the life of your tools, I suggest washing them at least every two weeks. Also, inspect the condition of your brushes, get rid of any misshapen or frayed brushes.

A couple more tips on keeping your cosmetics clean and bacteria free:

-If your makeup bag is machine washable, turn it inside out and give it a spin.
-Clean any tools such a tweezers, scissors or lash curlers.
-Sharpen your eye and lip pencils before use.
-Give all your products a smell to make sure there’s no funky odor. If there is, toss!

Now is the perfect time to replace any old products with some new spring goodies, happy cleaning!



Noel was born and raised in sunny Southern California. Growing up she pored over beauty and fashion magazines and knew from a very young age she would be a Makeup Artist. She enrolled in makeup school at the age of 17 and has been creating beautiful faces ever since.

Her clean style with a creative edge has brought her an ever expanding variety of clients including print advertising, music videos, editorial work and celebrities. Using both her own unique techniques and some borrowed from industry leading makeup artists she has assisted, such as Fiona Stiles and Aaron De Mey, she has done faces for fashions “It Girls”. Models Arizona Muse, Lily Donaldson and Dree Hemingway have all been in her chair.

Noel is based in Los Angeles and lives with her husband and two cats, Lulu and Olive.

Celebrity clients:Arizona Muse
Dree Hemingway
Lily Donaldson
The Pussycat Dolls
Nichole Scherzinger
Adam Lambert
Katharine McPhee


Vitamin C and E for Healthy Skin

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

It is by now an acknowledged fact: A balanced and vitamin-rich diet is your foolproof ticket to healthy glowing skin. In the words of dermatologist Ellen Marmur, “our skin is constantly under construction,” and to repair and rebuild itself, it uses vitamins and nutrients from food, particularly vitamin c and vitamin e. After a little research, I discovered the specific benefits of vitamin c and e on skin:


  • For Acne -  Both vitamins are anti-inflammatory, and have a calming effect on skin.
  • For Wrinkles, Fine Lines and Hyperpigmentation – As antioxidants, these vitamins block the damages caused by free radicals (a.k.a. unstable molecules responsible for the appearance of visible signs of aging). Both vitamins also assist in the skin’s healthy production of collagen and in encouraging cell regeneration, thereby improving the appearance of skin tone, texture and firmness.
  • For Sunburn and Sun Protection – Because broad-spectrum sunscreens only block up to 55% of UV-induced free radicals, antioxidants make the perfect supplement in protecting our skin against sun damage and skin cancer.


Now I do know for sure that stuffing myself with vitamin-enriched fruits and vegetables will make my skin look and feel healthy, but I was a little apprehensive about getting the full benefits of vitamin c and e on my skin when topically applied. This is why I tried SkinMedica Vitamin C and E Complex.

The premise of this this serum is very promising. It boasts 15% stabilized vitamin C and E that are encased in a sophisticated silicone suspension system, which gradually delivers these nutrients to the layers of the skin every time you need it throughout the day. That alone is impressive!

When I first applied it, I immediately fell in love with its scent. It smelled like honey, and it sort of gave me the assurance that I was putting something really good on my skin. I also liked how a single pump of this cream was enough to fill up the surface of my freshly cleansed face. Usually, after applying moisturizer, I had to layer different products to give me a smooth and even canvass for makeup. But because the serum left a silky smooth finish, I decided to skip the first few steps of my routine and moved on to the next. For someone who’s always in a hurry to get somewhere, this was a huge help!

To be honest, I was quite surprised at how instantly this serum worked. It gave my skin a matte finish without drying it. I have an acne scar right above my upper lip and a really obvious brown spot under my right eye that just won’t go away. Both appear to be less visible now after just two and a half weeks of applying this product. In fear of slathering my face with too much chemicals, I try to limit my skin care products to sunscreen and moisturizer. But in this particular case, I think I’ll make an exception.