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!

The Mother – Pat McGrath

The queen of American fashion, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, proclaimed her “the most influential makeup artist in the world.” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the fashion and beauty industry. It’s undeniable: Pat McGrath is the most influential and sought-after makeup artist in the world.

For more than two decades, Pat McGrath has been concepting, launching and developing luxury cosmetic brands, countless runway shows, breakthrough advertising campaigns and editorial spreads. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #5 series on my blog.

Her ascent to the pinnacle of fashion began in the 1990s with an introduction to legendary lensman Steven Meisel by supermodel Amber Valleta. Fast friends and symbiotic collaborators, they’ve created every cover and lead editorial story for every issue of Vogue Italia, indisputably iconic images for leading global publications and countless brand-defining campaigns.

Each season, Pat McGrath conceptualizes and creates beauty looks for more than 60 ready-to-wear and couture shows in Milan, Paris, London and New York for a luminous roster of the world’s most prestigious brands and visionary designers: Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Gucci, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Maison Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci, Calvin Klein, Loewe, and Alexander McQueen, to name a select few.

With her incomparable mastery and iconoclastic vision, Pat McGrath has transformed the beauty industry. Name any trend of the past two decades, and you’ll find her at its origin, from 1990s dewy skin to no-retouching-necessary foundation specifically designed for this decade’s selfies.

When Giorgio Armani hired her to develop and launch a line of cosmetics in 1999, the minimalist maestro said, “I was struck by the way she interpreted colour and by her ideas about beauty and femininity.”

Engaged as Global Beauty Creative Design Director by Procter & Gamble in 2004, Pat McGrath oversees Covergirl, Max Factor and created Dolce & Gabbana: The Makeup. Recently, she also designed and launched Gucci’s debut cosmetic collection. “She is a terrific business partner. Our success is her success, and vice versa,” says Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President and General Manager of Procter & Gamble Cosmetics.

A true creator and innovator at the forefront of the multi-billion dollar global beauty industry with an ever-expanding reach on social media, her recent blockbuster success with PAT McGRATH LABS further proves that she’s poised to elevate beauty to even headier altitudes.

Currently, there are 37 products on Sephora.com listed for PAT McGRATH LABS brand, even more can be found on their official website. Surely, the prices are extremely high, unreachable for some. But from the color stories, to packaging, to longevity, to formulas … there’s very few people in the world who ever declutter this brand’s products out of their collection due to dissatisfaction.

With a creative vision that’s made her a tour de force that touches everything from couture to club kids and street culture; her influence is everywhere, from screen to stage to digital: it’s undeniable, Pat McGrath knows no boundaries.

References:
Sephora.com
Pat McGrath Labs website
Allure article
Vogue article

All About MAC’s VIVA GLAM Lipsticks

In 2019, MAC Cosmetics celebrated the 25th anniversary of the MAC VIVA GLAM campaign, which has become a piece of beauty history. MAC was started by Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan in 1994 in reaction to the AIDS crisis. “We developed a great lipstick color we called VIVA GLAM,” said Toskan. “This little lipstick gave people dignity and saved lives.”

Since 1994, MAC VIVA GLAM has raised more than $500,000,000 USD, partnering with local organizations to ensure that help reaches those who need it most. In particular, those affected by AIDS are being helped through various services while researching and developing further into the symptoms, causes, and treatments of it.

Over the years, VIVA GLAM lipstick campaigns have included celebrities such as RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and more.

In 2020, as part of MAC VIVA GLAM’s recent $10,000,000 USD donation, local organizations are providing essential healthcare services and preparing and delivering nutritious meals to vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19.

Currently, there are 3 shades of the VIVA GLAM lipstick:

– An intense brownish blue-red
– A creamy subdued pinkish beige-mauve
– A muted brownish-plum

(descriptions taken directly from MAC website)

Sources:
MAC Cosmetics
BeautyMatter

Do you own any VIVA GLAM lipsticks? Did you know of this initiative? Have you become inspired to purchase these lipsticks? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

Gunmetal

Following Lisa Eldridge tutorial on Cara Delevingne’s makeup, in love with this look!

Products:
– M·A·C Cosmetics StudioFix foundation, ProLongwear concealer, Mineralized Skinfinish powder, Doublegleam highlighter, Blacktrack eyeliner
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– MAKE UP FOR EVER single shadows
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder & Brow Gel
– L’Oréal Paris Plump & Shine lipstick in Coconut.

The original tutorial:

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty Free Anymore And Vice Versa

Brands That Are Now Cruelty-Free

– Covergirl – announced on November 5, 2018, that they changed parent companies and pulled their stock from selling in China (read more here)

– Stila – since 2017 (read more here)

– Charlotte Tilbury (update) – there was some confusion regarding the stand of the brand, as they were selling in China where customers can touch the products but order online only, which would make the brand cruelty-free by Logical Harmony standards; they have stopped doing this completely

– Smashbox – pulled their stock from China over the past couple of years (read more here)

* Fenty Beauty – the brand sells in areas of China where animal testing is not required, however, some people still will not consider the brand to be cruelty-free due to this ambiguous practice (read more here)

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty-Free Anymore

– NARS – started selling in China to increase their consumer market a couple of years ago (read more here)

– Wet’n’Wild – in 2019 they were caught in odd practices: some of their products are manufactured in China (which doesn’t require pre-market testing) but they can be tested at any time post-market (read more here)

– Physicians Formula – owned by the same company as Wet’n’Wild, and exhibit the same procedure as that brand (read more here)

Here is my original post from several weeks ago about cruelty-free brands:

Video referenced
Logical Harmony
Cruelty-Free Kitty
Harper’s Bazaar

Do you know of any other brands that changed their cruelty-free status?
Do you shop only cruelty-free brands or any brand?
Let me know in the comments below!

She’s Got It On

Model: Dominique Kachkan 

Products:
Maybelline New York Fit Me foundation
– Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil bronzer
– Tarte Cosmetics Paarty blush
– COVERGIRL highlighter palette
– Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure eyeshadow palette
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe
Maybelline New York lipstick in Beige Babe with NYX Professional Makeup butter gloss in Fortune Cookie.

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

8 Historical Makeup & Beauty Products That Still Exist Today

  1. L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation (since 1994) – the first of its kind to match 40 different complexions that also adapted to your unique undertone.
  2. Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara – the packaging hasn’t even changed that much since 1971, but popularized in the 80s. It was the first water-based mascara, making it much easier to remove and having a faster drying time after initial application; it’s also free of chemicals and oils to avoid irritation.
  3. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Lipstick (since 1950s) – it’s a blue-based red, making it universally flattering on many different complexions, but depending on your skin undertone it may pull a bit more raspberry or true red.
  4. Carmex Original Lip Balm (since 1937) – one of the best tried-and-true products to bring the chapped/dehydrated lips back to life overnight. The first jar of Carmex sold for $0.29!
  5. Coty Air Spun Transluscent Powder (since 1935) – gives the skin an airbrushed, flawless finish, while having a neutral undertone (which is hard to find still to this day). The first Coty Air Spun Powder box was introduced in 1925, and it was revolutionary because it was the first to be spun by air, giving it a finer texture and greater fluffiness. The only thing that repelled people from it was the scent, however, now they make an unscented version!
  6. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Nail Polish – in the past it was a trend among women to have their nails match their lip colour, so both products gained popularity simultaneously and are still sold today.
  7. Noxzema Skin Cream (since 1914) – it wasn’t marketed as a skin cleanser until the 1950s, when a company secretary realized how beautiful it made her skin look.
  8. Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser (since 1846) – one of the oldest skincare products to exist today, it does a great job at removing makeup, leaving the skin very moisturized. The term “cold cream” comes from the cooling feeling it leaves on the skin.

Video referenced

Bobbi Brown: Making Natural Beautiful – The Contrast Of The Time

If you’re a regular in the beauty sphere, then you may have heard about (or comparisons to) Bobbi Brown products: shimmer bricks, vitamin enriched face base, crushed liquid lipsticks, etc. Ring a bell? Well, there’re 75 products listed on Sephora.com for this brand, which cover every step of makeup application, including skincare and brushes.

But there’s much more to the brand than just high price tags and simple/professional packaging. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #3 series on my blog.

The Overview:

Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a self-directed degree in theatrical makeup. In 1980, she moved to NYC to work as a professional makeup artist. Brown became known for a makeup style that included moderate and natural tones, which was a stark contrast to the bright colors used at the time.

A chance meeting with an NBC Today Show producer led to her 12-year run as a regular beauty consultant on the show. The revolutionary success of her makeup line prompted Estee Lauder to buy the company in 1995, retaining Brown as an employee. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self, and Town & Country. Brown was inducted into the New jersey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. Brown served as Yahoo Beauty’s Editor-in-Chief from February 2014 to February 2016. In November 2017, Brown received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award for her work in Beauty.

The Beginning:

In 1990, Brown worked with a chemist to come up with ten natural lipstick shades. In 1991, the ten shades debuted under the name Bobbi Brown Essentials at Bergdorf Goodman. She was expecting to sell 100 in a month but instead sold 100 in a day. The following year, she released yellow-toned foundation sticks. Estée Lauder Companies Inc. bought Bobbi Brown Essentials in 1995; Brown retained complete creative control of the makeup line. In 2007, the first freestanding Bobbi Brown Cosmetics retail store opened in Auckland, New Zealand with a makeup school in the back. In 2012, Bobbi Brown’s cosmetics were estimated to represent approximately ten percent of Estée Lauder Companies’ total sales. As of January 2014, there were approximately thirty free-standing Bobbi Brown cosmetics stores.

Why Did She Leave?

Flipping through Bobbi Brown’s latest book, Beauty from the Inside Out, you’ll notice the makeup section is all the way at the end, practically an afterthought. That’s because Brown’s newest chapter in life is more about inner beauty than outer appearance. “In all my books, there were things about how food, drinking water, and lifestyle are going to make you the best version of yourself,” (she tells SELF), but the advice was complementary to a central focus on cosmetics. This time, she wanted to go all in. “I really tried to talk my publisher into letting me do a full-on health and wellness book,” she says. “We had to compromise and put some makeup in the back of the book.”

At the end of 2016, Brown announced that she was leaving her namesake makeup brand. To say beauty industry insiders were shocked would be an understatement. After two decades as the first and last name in makeup for many women, Brown had expanded her presence even more in recent years. She served as the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty’s ambitious editorial relaunch in 2014 and still found time to for a personal blog, Everything Bobbi, where she gave readers an inside look at the inspiration behind her product launches, as well as her sartorial favorites.

But behind the scenes, Brown’s mood was shifting. Makeup no longer felt to her like the be-all-end-all of beauty, and the trends of the day were starting to wear her down. “It was not an overnight decision,” she says. “I was able to move into something I believe in 100 percent and not have to argue with people about another contour palette that I refuse to do.” As of January 1, 2017, Brown officially stepped away from her role as chief creative officer of the brand, her name the only remnant of her influence.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Sephora
SELF Magazine

Milani Rose Blushes

I absolutely adore the formula and the look of these blushes by Milani. They’re creamy, long-lasting, buildable, and the color payoff is fantastic.

The first photo shows shade 01 Romantic Rose.
The second photo shows shade 08 Tea Rose.

More of these blushes on Milani’s website!

NYX It Up

I adore the formula of these NYX palettes! They’re great for travel and offer a wide variety of shades.
Even within the Warm Neutrals color family there’s a definite distinction between the shades, none are completely similar.
The Ultimate Brights does require a little bit of work, otherwise they show up pastel, still love it though.
Great palettes for a great price!

Products from the top:
Ultimate Multi-Finish Palette in “Sugar High”
Ultimate Shadow Palette in “Phoenix”
Ultimate Shadow Palette in “Warm Neutrals”
Ultimate Shadow Palette in “Brights”

Have you used these palettes? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!