The RCMA Legacy

RCMA – The Research Council of Makeup Artists – was founded by renowned makeup artist Vincent JR Kehoe in 1962. RCMA was organized to further the research and development of specialized professional makeup products for the film, television and stage industry. Mr. Kehoe developed and designed a special foundation formula for professional working makeup artists which he called “Color Process Foundation.” It is considered the number one choice of foundation by professionals. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #10 series on my blog.

Professional Makeup is primarily judged on foundation and RCMA has major differences from all other foundations, commercial or theatrical, on the market today anywhere in the world. The basic qualities of RCMA “Color Process” foundation are: 

  • It’s manufactured under very stringent, small batch conditions where the ingredients are weighed out to the gram to maintain both consistency and color standards exactly. 
  • It contains vegetable oils, pure waxes and FDA approved colors. It does NOT contain any perfume, lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil – the first two have caused allergenic reactions on some skins and the last two are not absorbed by the skin so remain to cause excess oiliness on the surface.  Note that other theatrical foundations contain mineral oil or petrolatum as a major ingredient. 
  • Exact color standards are maintained in RCMA foundations from batch to batch and tested on each run against standards. To a makeup artist this is most important for color-matching. 
  • The selection of colors or shades varies throughout the required skin tones for all skin types and undertones. Plus, the same base is employed for RCMA counter shading, shading, cheek colors and color wheel rainbow shades so that they all “powder down” with the same degree of reflectivity. Therefore, the cheek colors are not greasier or of different consistency from the foundation, nor are any of the special bright color wheel shades. 
  • In manufacturing, they’re all made with a high percentage of pigments to waxes and oils so that a very little goes a long way on the skin and produces as “skin color” rather than a heavy coat of makeup. Most commercial liquid foundations have a ratio of about 18 to 23 percent of pigment to the liquid and, in general, theatrical foundations normally run between 30 to 35 percent of pigments to waxes and oils. In this way, RCMA foundations cover better than others and more makeup applications can be done per cake of makeup. 
  • As such, RCMA foundations last better throughout a long shooting day than comparably employed theatrical or commercial foundations, and require less touch-up. When they do, there is no caking on the skin and RCMA “No-Color” powder is all that is required to slightly dull the low shine. In many cases of performers with dry skin, due to the low halation of RCMA foundations, no powdering is required – especially on men’s makeup that is seldom, if ever, powdered. 

Go ahead and try it for yourself and you too will see why makeup artists across the world will tell you “RCMA is the professionals’ makeup!”

Oh La La, Lingerie

Slip into something seductive with Lip Lingerie, the weightless liquid lipstick with a plush matte finish. Available in a range of color-kissed nudes—from cinnamon pink and chocolate brown, to warm mahogany red and classic nude beige—each sultry shade will coat the curves of your lips with irresistibly creamy color.

All 24 shades are infused with vitamin E and cover the lips in luscious and lightweight color.

Purchase NYX Lingerie liquid lipsticks

Have you tried these liquid lipsticks? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

HUDA BEAUTY New Nude VS. Focallure Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette

The New Nude Palette by HUDA BEAUTY is versatile and wearable in equal measure. Delivering infinite possibilities, this unexpected palette encourages you to experiment, empower, and express yourself however you please. The online brand Focallure wastes no time in creating alterntives to HUDA’s palettes, and Sunrise is their answer to New Nude.

The all-in-one eyeshadow palette consists of 18 highly-pigmented shades, ranging from flattering mattes to shimmer-drenched hues, and has everything you need to transform your lids. The carefully-curated lineup is studded with easy-to-use combinations—from soft berry to dusty copper, and rosy pink to golden taupe tones. The New Nude Palette boasts a variety of game-changing textures and colors, balancing cool and warm tones to complement the best of both worlds. 

The formula of the two palettes is borderline identical. HUDA’s shadows are highly pigmented, very easy to blend, and last all day long (with the right eyeshadow primer). Exactly the same can be said about Focallure’s palette – it even mimics the cream concealer at the bottom left corner and pressed glitter shades.

Buy HUDA Beauty New Nude eyeshadow palette
Buy Focallure Sunrise eyeshadow palette

Have you tried either of the palettes? What do you think about the formula and the colors that aren’t traditional “nude” shades? Let me know in the comments below!

Professional

Smoky party glam on gorgeous Alena.

Products:
Guerlain Meteorites primer
– Dior Makeup Backstage primer, Diorshow mascara
– Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation
– Nars Radiant Creamy concealer
– KVD Vegan Beauty loose setting powder
– Make Up Forever sculpting powder, Mist & Fix setting spray
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso baked blush
– NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink eyeliner, Wonder contour stick, white Slide-On eyeliner, contour palette, Strobe of Genius highlighter palette, suede nude lipliner
Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 eyeshadow palette
– MAC Cosmetics Soft Ocre paintpot, Lust lipglass, Smolder Eye Kohl eyeliner
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Ash Brown
– Ardell Wispies lashes.

(Disclaimer: I do have Alena’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Best Beauty Foods

Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver.
But what you eat also affects another organ — your skin.
As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.

  • Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, and herring, are excellent foods for healthy skin. They’re rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining skin health.
    Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized. In fact, an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can cause dry skin. The omega-3 fats in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
    Some studies show that fish oil supplements may help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions affecting your skin, such as psoriasis and lupus.
    Fatty fish is also a source of vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants for your skin. Getting enough vitamin E is essential for helping protect your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation.
  • Avocados – associated with more supple, springy skin. Preliminary evidence shows that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage. UV damage to your skin can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging.
    Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that helps protect your skin from oxidative damage.
    Vitamin C is also essential for healthy skin. Your skin needs it to create collagen, which is the main structural protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy.
  • Walnuts – they’re richer than most other nuts in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
    Zinc is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier. It’s also necessary for wound healing and combating both bacteria and inflammation.
    Walnuts also provide small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, in addition to 4–5 grams of protein per ounce.
  • Sunflower seeds – One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds packs 49% of the DV for vitamin E, 41% of the DV for selenium, 14% of the DV for zinc, and 5.5 grams of protein.
  • Sweet potatoes – one 1/2-cup (100-gram) serving of baked sweet potato contains enough beta carotene to provide more than six times the DV of vitamin A. Also helps keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock, preventing sunburn, cell death, and dry, wrinkled skin.
    Interestingly, high amounts of beta carotene may also add a warm, orange color to your skin, contributing to an overall healthier appearance.
  • Red or yellow bell peppers – Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. One cup (149 grams) of chopped red bell pepper contains the equivalent of 156% of the DV for vitamin A.
    They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong. A single cup (149 grams) of bell pepper provides an impressive 211% of the DV for vitamin C.
  • Broccoli – full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C (for collagen production).
    It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta carotene. Lutein helps protect your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled.
    But broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including on some types of skin cancer.
    Sulforaphane is likewise a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: neutralizing harmful free radicals and switching on other protective systems in your body.
  • Tomatoes – a great source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene. Beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene have been shown to protect your skin against damage from the sun. They may also help prevent wrinkling!
  • Soy – contains isoflavones, a category of plant compounds that can either mimic or block estrogen in your body. One small study involving middle-aged women found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8–12 weeks reduced fine wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. These isoflavones not only help to protect the cells inside your body from damage but also your skin from UV radiation — which may reduce the risk of some skin cancers.
  • Dark chocolate – After 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day, participants in one study experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn, and had better blood flow — which brings more nutrients to your skin.
    Another study found that eating 20 grams of high-antioxidant dark chocolate per day could allow your skin to withstand over twice as much UV radiation before burning, compared with eating low-antioxidant chocolate
    Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa to maximize the benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum!
  • Green tea – help protect your skin from sun damage and aging. Green tea also improves the moisture, roughness, thickness, and elasticity of the skin.
    While green tea is a great choice for healthy skin, you may want to avoid drinking your tea with milk, as there’s evidence that milk could reduce the effect of green tea’s antioxidants!
  • Red grapes – Resveratrol helps reduce the effects of aging by slowing the production of harmful free radicals.
    This beneficial compound is also found in red wine. Unfortunately, there’s not much evidence that the amount of resveratrol you get from a glass of red wine is enough to affect your skin.

What you eat can significantly affect your skin health.

Make sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients to protect your skin. The foods on this list are great options to keep your skin healthy, strong, and attractive. Remember to drink enough water, as well!

Reference: HealthLine article

NYX High Glass Collection

Glass skin, defined: Evolving from K-Beauty’s dedication to a healthy, glowy, hydrated-looking complexion, “glass skin” refers to skin that looks translucent, smooth and reflective—just like a pane of glass.

High Glass Face Primer – creates a perfect base for an all-day luminous look, the formula is infused with light-reflecting pearls to create the illusion of translucent glass skin. Silky to the touch, it glides on smoothly, creating a fresh and healthy look that can be worn alone or under foundation for glowy, prolonged wear. Available in three flattering shades for a wide range of skin tones.

High Glass Finishing Powder – blurs imperfections and keeps skin glassy all-day long, this versatile formula was designed to be worn over High Glass Face Primer or the foundation of choice. Available in three light-reflecting shades which stretch across light to deep skin tones (light, medium, and deep), each shimmering setting powder sets your makeup and gives the complexion a sleek and polished glass-like glow.

High Glass Illuminating Powder – spotlights the features in a gorgeous, glass-like glow, this pressed-gel highlighting powder is packed with luminous micropearls that catch, reflect, and refract the natural light for a multidimensional, mirror-like sheen (formula similar to Colourpop’s Super Shock Cheek). Specifically designed to go with the Korean glass skincare regimen, this highlighter comes in three inclusive shades (light, medium and deep) to highlight and complement a range of skin tones.

The collection also comes with a primer brush & radiant setting spray.

Have you tried anything from this collection? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Glow + Red Gloss = Yes Please

I had an incredible opportunity to collaborate with Matte & Glow Edmonton to create this absolutely gorgeous makeup look with some of the industry staple products.

Products:
Kevyn Aucoin & The Balm base & sculpt
OFRA Pillowtalk highlighter & foundation in 0.25
Kevyn Aucoin Essential Eyeshadow Set in Palette #1
OCC Makeup Lip Tar in Deep Burgundy.

This is what my dreams are made of!

Lisa Eldridge – You Can Do It All

I have been personally inspired by Lisa Eldridge throughout my career as a makeup artist. I have used her as inspiration for my own looks as well as my clients’. From her skincare advice, successful makeup line and YouTube channel, to work with some of the most well-known celebrities and models – she’s one of the best artists who isn’t afraid to try new techniques and styles. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #9 series on my blog.

Lisa Eldridge is an English-New Zealand makeup artist, businesswoman, author, and YouTuber. She had her first big break when she was booked by ELLE magazine to work with model Cindy Crawford. From 2003 to 2013, Eldridge was Creative Director for Boots No7, where she was responsible for developing, re-designing and re-launching the brand. Eldridge, since 6 January 2015, is currently the global creative director of Lancôme, working across product development, advertising campaigns and digital strategy. In October 2015, Eldridge published the book Face Paint: The Story of Makeup.

Following a move to London, Eldridge took a course in photographic makeup artistry at Complexions, began building her portfolio and eventually signing with a makeup agency. She had her first big break when she was booked by aforementioned ELLE magazine to work with Cindy Crawford. Crawford and Eldridge subsequently worked together on several more shoots. She has been based in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, and now lives in London. Her work has appeared on the pages of British, Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese Vogue, Love, Allure, Glamour, Elle, Numéro, Harper’s Bazaar, Pop, and Lula for covers, fashion, beauty and celebrity shoots.

Eldridge has worked with the photographers Tim Walker, Mert and Marcus, Regan Cameron, Sølve Sundsbø, Rankin, Paolo Roversi, David Sims, Mario Testino, and Patrick Demarchelier. Aside from her editorial assignments, Eldridge collaborates with fashion houses and beauty brands on their international advertising campaigns and runway shows. These include Lancôme, Chloe, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Donna Karan, Moschino, Yohji Yamamoto, and Pucci. Eldridge was named by The Business of Fashion as one of the people ‘Shaping The Global Fashion Industry’ in their Fashion 500 list for 2013.

Lisa Eldridge has a successful YouTube channel, on which she creates various makeup looks on herself and other models, shares tips and tricks, discusses skincare, and visits past decades of makeup history to recreate the looks of the times. When I attended makeup academy, I was often referred to her videos by instructors, to recreate her looks or take in her knowledge. Ever since then I’ve been a huge supporter of hers!

In February 2010, Eldridge launched her website, which has become one of the go-to sites for make-up tutorials, beauty advice and insider knowledge.

Lisa Eldridge wrote her first New York Times bestseller Face Paint, which she describes as “all about the history of makeup – something I’ve always wanted to write. It’s a hardback book (8 x 10 inches), with 60,000 words – full of fascinating, surprising and at times unbelievable stories of how and why the items in your makeup bag got to be there. I also spent a long time sourcing the right images – beautiful paintings, illustrations and iconic photography – to tell the story.”

Lisa’s blog
Lisa’s book
Lisa’s YouTube channel
Lisa’s Instagram page

Sunshine & Gems

Model Morgan Emily for a shoot with Jennifer Peters.

Product highlights:
– MAC Cosmetics Bronze bronzer, Doublegleam highlighter, Melba blush, clear Lipglass
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dark Brown Brow Wiz & Brow Gel, Soft Glam eyeshadow palette.

(Disclaimer: I do have Morgan’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

5 Tips For Healthy + Glowy Skin

Following the post about K-beauty & skincare, I was inspired to write about tips for healthy and glowy skin. Following are my top 5 tips that should be added to the typical “drink more water & exercise” that we hear day in and day out.

  • Double-cleanse – to effectively break down all of the makeup layers that we wear, it’s important to remove the makeup first with proper removers, micellar waters, etc. followed by two cleansers (can be the same or different products). The first cleanse gets rid of makeup removers’ residue on the skin, while the second layer penetrates the skin more effectively.
  • Exfoliate – whether physical or chemical, exfoliants get rid of the dry skin layer and increase cell turnover. This should be done no more than twice a week, especially for people with sensistive or acne-prone skin. I have normal/combination/sensitive skin and I use exfoliants as needed, which is about once a week. For more information about chemical & physical exfoliants, check out my blog post:
  • Focus on your nighttime skincare routine – this is the longest period of time when the skin is able to replenish and recover, therefore make sure you’re using the most effective and beneficial products to wake up with better skin every day. Make sure to wash the nightime skincare off in the morning with a light cleanser and then apply daytime moisturizer.
  • Self-tan – this point can be controversial, but most of us enjoy the look of our skin when we have a tan on. It makes the skintone more even and gives a better feeling overall. This is especially beneficial for people who have quite thin, translucent skin, which shows veins a lot more. I recommend using products such as Jergens Tanning Lotion or Mousse, St. Tropez, or Loving Tan with a mitt, over tanning salons or prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Highlight using facial oils – place a drop or two of a facial oil on the back of your hand, swirl it around and dab it with a finger onto the cheekbones and around the brows to give a healthy, glow-from-within appearance. Make sure to use an oil that will not disrupt the foundation underneath, such as the Moroccan Oil Pure Argan Oil.

Colourpop’s 9-Pan Eyeshadow Palettes

ColourPop’s 9-pan palettes have taken the makeup world by storm; from monochromatic color stories to complementing colors that make great looks – they’ve got it all. At this point it’s safe to say there are over 20 of this style of palette made by ColourPop, with new releases every week!

Each collection has a cute pun-ny name and usually comes with blushes, highlighters, lip glosses, lipsticks, and even some of their FourthRayBeauty or SOLBody products.

The palettes I own:
MAR (part of SOL + MAR Collection)
Uh-huh Honey
Main Squeeze
– Brown Sugar (not available on the website)
Strawberry Shake

The formula is incredible, and not just for the price. The shadows are pigmented, easily bendable, and last all day long on the eyes with the right eyeshadow primer. More than half of the palettes in this shape come with at least one pressed glitter, which may turn some makeup lovers away from the product.

Overall, these shadows and color stories sometimes resemble their expensive counterparts very precisely (HUDA Beauty), while others have their own unique color story.

At $12USD, 10/10 recommend!

Have you tried these palettes? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments below!

Tips For New Makeup Artists

  • Hand placement – never place your hand on top of a client’s head while working on their face, put it on your hip, hold another brush in it, or place it on the client’s chin. This is especially important with brides or models who have their hair already done. Plus, we tend to focus a lot on the step we’re doing that we might not notice just how hard our grip is on the client’s head.
  • Your pinky finger is your best friend – it serves as a resting point for your hand while blending eyeshadow or applying eyeliner, lipliner and lipstick. It’s a balancing tool to be used instead of resting the side of your hand on the face, or hold their head.
  • Apply false lashes easily – have the client look down and to the right for their right eye, and down to the left for their left eye. This method stretches the inside corner of the client’s eyelid allowing for perfect placement of false lashes and eyeliner.
  • Use dense eyeshadow applicators for glitters/pigments – you know those cheap ones that come with palettes? They’re so dense and impactful, they’ll be able to apply the glitter/pigment with less fallout and product loss than a traditional brush.
  • Choose the right eyeshadow transition shade – this shade is placed slightly above the socket of the eye under the browbone to transition into an eyeshadow look. The best bet is to use the bronzer shade you’re using on the client. This allows for cohesiveness and sculpting.
  • Avoid and correct eyeshadow fallout – it’s recommended to do eyeshadow first and wipe off the fallout without disrupting the base makeup. Apply skincare and primer, followed by eyeshadow. Clean up the fallout by wiping it off with a cotton round with some skincare on it – that way you’re not wiping off the initial skincare.
  • Apply skincare & primers strategically – skincare should help balance out dry/oily areas while helping to prolong the wear of makeup. Many people have oily T-zones (forehead, nose, and chin) while having dryness on the cheeks. Use hydrating, mattifying, and smoothing primers in areas where they’re needed. One primer may be all that the client needs, but may be not.

Red Lips, Always

Beautiful Ashley!

Products:
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette, brow powder duo in Taupe
– M·A·C Cosmetics ProLongwear Concealer, StudioFix powder, Russian Red lipstick
– BECCA Cosmetics Moonstone highlighter
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– Maybelline New York Superstay 24H foundation.

(Disclaimer: I do have Ashley’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Scott Barnes – the Secret of Hollywood Faces

OVERVIEW

With over 260 music videos, over 450 magazine covers, author of two iconic industry changing books (About Face, Face to Face), Hollywood’s top celebrities, five movies, Oscar consideration (El Cantante), creator of the international sensation Body Bling, shoots with the world’s top photographers (Annie Leibovits, Ruven Afanador, Patrick Demarchilier, Francesco Scavullo, Gilles Bensimon, Tony Duran, Peter Lindbergh, John Russo), world famous editorials, Scott has established himself as the preeminent celebrity makeup artist in the world. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #8 series on my blog.

NOTABLE CELEBRITY CLIENTS:

Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Céline Dion, Christina Aguilera, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Rowland, Malin Åkerman, Mariska Hargitay, Hilary Duff, Kesha, Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford, Brooke Shields, Courtney Love, Michael Kors, Paris Hilton, Lizzo, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Leah Remini, January Jones, Raquel Welch, Adrienne, Bailon, Gabourey Sidibe, Uma Thurman, Jane Fonda, Nicole Richie, Kimora Lee Simmons, Julianne Moore, Mary J. Blige, Lucy Liu, Shakira, Nina Agdal, Anna Nicole Smith, Penelope Cruz, Pia Mia, Sheryl Crowe, Donatella Versace, Carrie Underwood, Mandy Moore, Becki Newton, Erika Jayne, Bar Refaeli, Renee Fleming, Kristin Cavallari, Naya Rivera, Emily Sears, Bebe Neworth, Brandy, Kate Hudson.

NOTABLE MAGAZINE COVERS:

GQ, Vogue, Rollingstone, Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Elle, Billboard, Allure, Cosmo, Vibe, InStyle, Emmy, Xiox, Latina, Icon, Essence, Nylon, Redbook, Marie Claire.

NOTABLE PUBLICATIONS:

People, Popsugar, E Now, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Glam, Who What Wear, Refinery 29, The Hollywood Reporter, Galmour, MSN, Shape, Hollywood Life, Women’s Health.

HISTORY:

Scott arrived in New York City in 1984 determined to fulfill his dream as a fine-arts painter. After attending New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Design, Scott began assisting on fashion photography shoots and quickly became one of the most sought after makeup artists in the industry.

International beauty guru Shu Uemura selected Scott to revamp his Atelier Made line, which became a huge success at Shu Uemura. Scott launched his own twenty-one-piece color cosmetic line, Scott Barnes Cosmetics, on QVC in April 2004. Five months later, Scott introduced 130 products at Holt Renfrew, in Canada; Saks Fifth Avenue, in the U.S., and other high-end specialty boutiques. A year later, the collection launched in Europe and Australia and became an overnight success, for which Women’s Wear Daily named Scott the “Newcomer of the Year”. He was also a finalist for the Fashion Group International’s “Rising Star” award.

Scott Barnes has worked with world-renowned photographers with his work gracing the covers of the world’s leading magazines Scott has also appeared on top national and regional television programs, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Extra, Access Hollywood, and Good Day L.A.

Although Scott has worked with a variety of Hollywood talent over the years, including Kate Hudson, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Celine Dion, it’s his work with Jennifer Lopez that birthed the new monochromatic look featuring bronzed skin and pale lips. Described as “The Glow” this signature look became known as “lit from within” and helped launch Scott’s best-selling beauty product, Body Bling bronzer.

In addition to numerous ad campaigns and music videos, Scott’s work on set includes such films as El Cantante, which earned him Oscar consideration. Scott was also responsible for Jennifer Lopez’s memorable Cinderella moments in Maid in Manhattan. Scott continues to shine on the big screen following Jennifer into Second Act, as well as her latest feature film Hustlers.

Scott Barnes Makeup Line

Let’s Ditch Sheet Face Masks!

WHERE DID SHEET MASKS ORIGINATE FROM?

Sheet masks originated from Japan and South Korea, known for their dedication to cosmetics and skin care. Today, sheet masks are widely popular in Asia as a whole. Sheet masks have recently began to change the beauty industry and gained popularity in the U.S by various celebrities utilizing sheet masks and posting about it on social media. From the recent study conducted by NPD Group in the USA, the sale of masks increased by about 60%, overwhelming other categories in the skincare business (ORGAID).

HOW DOES A SHEET MASK WORK?

There is a sheet fully soaked with concentrated serum, which consists of many beneficial ingredients to the skin, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. These ingredients are in the water phase as dissolved. The sheet prevents quick evaporation of the water phase and extends the time frame the ingredients require to penetrate deep into the skin. This results in the sheet masks outperforming the effects of the traditional serum-type skincare even when applied once.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

They bring fast effects in regards to enhancing the skin. The serum is filled with various vitamins and minerals, and doesn’t dry out the skin compared to the paste-type face mask. The sheet on the face helps the serum to soak into the skin a little longer. Some of the sheets also claim to brighten and make the skin firm. Basically, sheet masks are an inexpensive alternative compared to going to a spa: convenient, easy to apply, and brings a glowing effect to the skin.

WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS?

Their purpose is to nourish, not exfoliate or cleanse the skin. Sheet masks are probably not as effective at exfoliating or cleaning the skin compared to the paste-type mask. In addition, serum from low-quality sheet masks evaporates quickly, even before it gets soaked into the deeper layer of the skin. Currently, ORGAID researchers are using sheet masks made with high technology to avoid those problems (ORGAID).

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE USED IN THE SERUM?

Depending on what function the sheet mask is made to perform, the serum contains various different ingredients and concentrations that are commonly used, such as aloe vera and vitamin C, to more unusual ones such as pearl, snail extract, and seaweed. Also, for prevention against bacteria/fungi contamination, most sheet masks contain chemical preservatives such as parabens, and recently phenoxyethanol, which are not good for the skin.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE THE SHEETS MADE OUT OF?

Diverse types of fabric are used for the sheet masks. Four most used materials from worst to best: 

* Non-woven fiber – Inexpensive, difficult mobility, low capacity to deliver serum into the skin
* Cotton – Inexpensive, difficult mobility, low capacity to deliver serum into the skin (but better than the non-woven fiber)
* Hydrogel – Little pricey, great absorption system, gel-type consistency, two separate parts (top and bottom) to apply on face, difficult mobility, fits the shape of the face well
* Bio-cellulose – Expensive, all-natural material, adheres to the skin well, better absorption properties, comfortable mobility.

MATERIALS END UP IN LANDFILLS!

First, you have the plastic or foil packaging. Then more plastic wrapped around the mask itself. In ten years, there’s probably going to be a whole trash island made entirely of sheet masks. 

Sure, there are brands out there with compostable options – though most people probably end up throwing them out anyway – and ones made from plant fiber. Be honest, though. If you’re looking at a $3 plastic-laden mask or a $10 plant one, which would you choose? Besides, many of the sheet masks on the market are soaked in things that may make them non-biodegradable (INSIDER).

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU WANT TO BE MORE ECO-CONSCIOUS?

The easiest answer, hands down, would be to avoid using non-recyclable, non-compostable, single-use sheet masks altogether. But that’s not so easy for everyone. 

If you absolutely love your sheet masks and can’t give them up, just know there are other options out there that will yield similar results. As mentioned above, you can try to find products that use organic, biodegradable and recyclable materials. Korean beauty brand Innisfree has a line of biodegradable sheet masks, for example. Andalou Naturals, another beauty brand, also carries masks that are said to be biodegradable. The outer packaging, however, isn’t necessarily recyclable. 

You can also look for masks sold in packs, as opposed to individually wrapped ones. They do exist, and they don’t generate as much plastic waste as the single-use masks. Some people even make their own sheet masks by soaking clean face cloths with their own serums or mixtures of desired ingredients (HUFFPOST). 

At the very least, do your research. If you really want to be more responsible, look up your local municipality’s recycling and composting guidelines. 

ORGAID Article
INSIDER Article
HUFFPOST Article

Rimmel London #BossBabe

Rimmel London Power Palette in #BossBabe – I like the simple design and the lightweight packaging. The eyeshadows are pigmented, blendable, and crease-proof all day; the lip & cheek gloss doesn’t disrupt the makeup underneath; the highlighter is subtle yet gives a natural glow and complements the eyeshadow tones very well.

Rimmel London Wonder’Ink Eyeliner – the formula of this felt-tip liner is extremely black, dries very quickly preventing smudging and is easy to work with.

Definitely recommend to check out this collection when it hits the shelves!

For more eyeshadow palette shades in this line, visit their website.
For the eyeliner, visit their website.

The Brows Though

Smoky party glam on gorgeous Alena Sergeevna.

Products:
– Dior Backstage primer, Diorshow mascara
– Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation
– NARS Cosmetics Radiant Creamy concealer
– MAKE UP FOR EVER sculpting powder, Mist & Fix setting spray
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso baked blush
– NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink eyeliner, Wonder contour stick, white Slide-On eyeliner, Contour Palette, Strobe of Genius highlighter palette, Suede nude lipliner
– Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Basics 2 eyeshadow palette
– M·A·C Cosmetics Soft Ocre paintpot, Lust lipglass, Smoulder Eye Kohl eyeliner
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Ash Brown
– Ardell Beauty Wispies lashes.

(Disclaimer: I do have Alena’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

100 Posts!

100 POSTS
500 LIKES
93 FOLLOWERS

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed/followed my blog and to those who I engage with in the comments under my posts. I put a lot of thought and research hours into my skincare tips, brand/artist history, and product reviews.

Your support and engagement means a lot to me, and I invite you to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages for more content.

I look forward to welcoming new members to my lovely community!

Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

  • Please seek expert advise from a dermatologist or a skincare expert if you feel conflicted with all of the different product reviews, or have specific skin needs/concerns.
  • Give a new product enough time to see results – sometimes it might take from 1-3 months to see the results of a new product in your skincare routine.

    Cleanser – should see results immediately – up to 4 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and moisture levels.

    Toner – should see results immediately – 2/3 weeks, pay attention to skin texture and hydration benefits.

    Serums – should see results in 3-5 weeks if it’s a hydrating/anti-aging product, 2-3 months if it’s a skin brightening/hyperpigmentation product, 1-3 months if it’s an acne-targeted but not prescription product.

    Eye creams & Sunscreens – should see and feel immediate results. Pay attention to improvements in fine lines and texture.
  • Don’t overuse physical exfoliants – rubbing in the beads can cause irritation and skin sensitivity, make sure you’re gently gliding the product over your skin or use a chemical exfoliator on a cotton round instead.
  • Don’t remove clay masks with a cloth – the skin will look red and feel irritated when removing a dried-out clay mask. Instead, keep removing it with water until it’s gone.
  • Rinse off the micellar water – especially cheaper products are formulated in a way that can cause dryness and clog pores. Also, make sure the micellar water is not your only makeup-removing step.
  • Don’t rely on popular skincare websites to check skincare product ingredients – they’re not a trustworthy source, they list all of the ingredients and give them a rating. But we have to look at the formulation as a whole with dominant and recessive percentages, “it’s the dose that makes the poison” (referring to alcohol in products being seen as a drying agent). Also, the ingridients are mostly uploaded by users, not companies, which can be misleading.
  • You might not need to use a specific product at all – understand what all active ingredients are doing for your skin and whether you need it or not. Figure out what you need for your personal skin concerns and benefits you want to see.
  • Remember that skincare can only do so much – don’t rely on skincare alone to fix your concerns, take into account your diet, exercise, water intake, genetic conditions, and always seek professional help if you feel the need to.

Video referenced

Robert Welsh: Doing My Makeup Using Techniques I Hate

I’ve been watching Robert Welsh on YouTube for years and I really enjoy his content on Instagram as well. On his channel he creates amazing makeup looks, gives professional makeup advice, reacts to popular beauty trends, debunks popular makeup myths, and much more!

Robert is a professional makeup artist and his mission statement in the beginning of every video is “to help you become a pro yourself or just someone that’s really good at makeup. Here we learn how to separate what we see online from what’s actually useful in real life.” Welcome to Artist Spotlight #7 series on my blog.

I came across this video and it made me laugh so much that I decided to share it with you!

Check out more of his videos on his channel.

Evening Bronze

Evening bronze look on Jessica.

Products:
MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD foundation, cream concealer palette, translucent loose & pressed powders, lip pencil & lip palette, Smoky Lash mascara, single eyeshadows, Mist and Fix setting spray
MAC Cosmetics Canada Bronze bronzer
Milani Luminoso blush
NYX Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius highlighter palette
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Book
Physicians Formula Eye Booster liquid eyeliner pen.

(Disclaimer: I do have Jessica’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

My Favourite Beauty Podcasts

Sometimes we are so caught up in running errands, cleaning the house, or spend countless hours in the car. Reading blogs is a lighter alternatives to books, especially when it comes to beauty and makeup topics. But even easier to consumer are podcasts. Here I put together four of my favourite beauty podcasts for your listening pleasure. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #6 series on my blog.

Fat Mascara – Hosts (and friends) Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein bring you the big, juicy, world of beauty on their award-winning weekly podcast. With day jobs as beauty editors, Jess & Jenn are plugged in to the industry’s latest news and share their inside access along with candid stories of their beauty adventures, from celebrity interviews and freaky new facials to miracle products and epic beauty fails. Each week, they also get advice from their favorite people in the beauty business, including influencers (Olivia Wilde, Miranda Kerr, Jaclyn Hill, Emily Weiss, Christian Louboutin, Bianca Del Rio, Patrick Starrr), makeup artists (Mario Dedivanovic, Lucia Pica, Sir John, Charlotte Tilbury, Bobbi Brown), hair stylists (Serge Normant, Jawara, Orlando Pita, Ursula Stephen, Frederic Fekkai), and other industry experts like dermatologists, colorists, manicurists, perfumers, and more.

Listen to it here.

The Beauty Brains – They’re here to help us cut through the confusing, misleading and sometimes false information that the beauty companies bombard us with. Their goal is to explain cosmetic science to us in a way that’s entertaining and easy to understand. They believe the more information we have, the better we’ll be able to find products that we like at a price we can afford. So, we can listen to the advertising. Or advice from a friend. Or what our stylist tells us. But if we want to really understand cosmetic products in an unbiased, scientific way, ask The Beauty Brains. You’ll get answers from a team of scientists who have no sales pitch and nothing for you to buy.

Listen to it here.

That’s So Retrograde – Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari have been coined “the Ab Fab of the new age” with good reason. Effortlessly merging pop culture and wellness, the ladies of That’s So Retrograde seek out their most authentic selves, one mistake — or mindful awakening — at a time, while graciously bringing their listeners along for the ride.

Listen to it here.

You Must Remember This – This is the podcast dedicated to exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. Since launching as a passion project in April 2014, You Must Remember This has become one of the top film podcasts around. This podcast is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction. Every reasonable attempt is made at accuracy, but quite often when it comes to the kinds of stories they explore here, between conflicting reports, conscious and unconscious mythologizing and institutionalized spin, the truth is murky at best. That’s kind of what the podcast is, ultimately, about. 

Listen to it here.

Do you listen to any of these? Do you have favourite beauty podcasts? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Beauty Tips That Make A Big Difference

1. Shave your face – removing peach fuzz allows for a smoother application of foundation and other products; it also gets rid of rough texture and dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling renewed. Hold the skin with your fingers and genly, in short strokes, shave in the same direction as the hair grows. Follow up with a facial oil or a moisturizer for optimal results!

Get facial razors at Sephora or Amazon.

2. Apply concealer before foundation – it helps you avoid applying excessive amount of foundation because you’ve covered your major problem areas with a full coverage concealer; overall it gives a more lightweight result.

3. Moisturizer with foundation? – place some moisturizer on the back of your hand, stipple the brush in it, then apply your foundation with that brush; it sheers out the foundation for a lightweight finish and helps it blend in with your skin.

4. Matching blush tones – use the same product on your eyes, lips and cheeks to create a cohesive look. It’s quick and easy! Apply a cream blush color on your cheeks with a brush or fingers, then do the same on the eyes in the crease and lips. It provides a monotone look, both cream and powder products work for this trick.

Get multitasking plush products from MILK Makeup or Nudestix.

5. Cut your hair every 6 weeks – it provides the perfect timeframe to chop off the dead ends and leave the hair looking strong and healthy.

Do you have any tips and tricks you use regularly? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Mario Badescu On Steroids?

The plainly packaged line markets itself as a “botanical” brand by an unseen facialist from Romania who founded the company in 1967. It’s sold in popular stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie and has managed to get a fair share of celebrity and social media endorsements over the years.

The Issue:

But “disappointed” customers is an understatement. The number of people who reported feelings of dry, itchy, red, irritated, and broken out skin after using Mario Badescu products is significant enough to constitute a trend. Considering this is a brand claiming to use only “simple, gentle, fresh-botanical-based ingredients,” it’s even more intriguing to dive into.

Mario Badescu has been hit with legal repercussions for the excruciating, disfiguring results of some of its formulations. In 2013, the brand settled a class action lawsuit brought against it for failing to disclose the inclusion of strong steroids in at least two of their products. The steroids, hydrocrotisone and triamcinolone acetonide, can trigger enlarged capillaries and dermatological misery, including skin atrophy. This is where the skin becomes so thin that it easily perforates, leading to infection, diseases, fungal growths, rashes and blistered skin that oozes, burns and peels. Of course, this looks as awful as it sounds. Worse, skin atrophy can cause problems with other medical issues; even removing a bandage can rip open the afflicted skin.

Should You Try Their Products Now?

According to beauty guru and self-proclaimed Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun, the answer is no. Out of the 60 Mario Badescu products her team reviewed for Beautypedia.com, 55 achieve only one or two stars out of five. Five nabbed three stars, but none made it to four. Phrases like “incredibly irritating” and “no-go” are found all over in the detailed reviews.

More worrying, Begoun’s team found inaccurate assertions about product formulations. “This does not contain any type of AHA, as claimed,” Beautypedia notes of the brand’s Kiwi Face Scrub. Her examiners were scathing in their audit of Mario Badescu Glycolic Skin Renewal Complex, saying: “Lubragel CG on the ingredient list is a trade name for the film-forming agent glyceryl polymethacrylate (think hairspray)…Why does Badescu ignore FDA and European ingredient regulations? Perhaps he’s ashamed of his formulas?”

Packaging Issue:

The products are not the brand’s only problem. As noted by Hirons and other industry players, Mario Badescu doesn’t seem to invest many pennies in user-friendly packaging. Meanwhile many cult brands prove you can deliver superb skincare in protective, functional packaging that is both streamlined and easy for customers to use (think PIXI). Mario Badescu’s approach seems to be taking the highest possible margins for poor products contained in the flimsiest, cheapest vessels available.

Overall, always make sure to read labels, evaluate claims, and do at least a cursory Google search before investing in any brand.

References
Lawsuit Filed Against Mario Badescu Skincare Product Line
Is Mario Badescu Destroying Your Skin? You’re Not Alone

MAC Velvet Teddy VS. Wet’n’Wild Bare It All

My first ever lipstick and makeup product was MAC’s famous Velvet Teddy matte lipstick. This flattering nude shade has been lusted over by beauty lovers for years, and other makeup brands have tried to come out with their own spin on this product.

The closest alternative that was discovered a few years ago to this product, is the Wet’n’Wild’s 902C Bare It All matte lipstick. They’re pretty much the same product, formula and longevity-wise! The shade is described as a “deep-tone beige” on the MAC’s official website. The pricing comparison is $24 vs. $3.

Get MAC’s Velvet Teddy here.
Get Wet’n’Wild’s 902C Bare It All here.

Have you tried this Wet’n’Wild dupe or do you prefer the original? Have you found other dupes to this color? Let me know in the comments below!