Healing Chicken Skin and Bacne

Posted on 16 September 2013 (0)

Everyone always “oohs and aahs” over porcelain skin. What everyone doesn’t always realize is that super fair skin can be a real pain in the you-know-what to take care of. You see, really light skin shows everything. If I have a zit, a rash, a hive– you’ll be able to see it a mile away, along with just about every vein in my body. (Can’t say that isn’t sexy, now can ya?) Prince Charming has the same skin tone. Our kids will be the permanent fixtures under the beach umbrellas someday. Lucky ducks.

So I guess what I’m trying to communicate is, that what for most people is minor skin issue is an S.O.S. for us. I call this #fairpeopleproblems– maybe it will catch on in the Twitter sphere. Prince Charming struggles with bacne. It’s a stubborn case and his light skin does nothing to mask it. I have stocked our shower with every doo-dad and wash promising healing but to no avail.

Between you and I, I think Prince Charming has gluten and lactose intolerances– which he has chosen to ignore. (Giving up that cheese is hard!) But I think one of the ways these intolerances is manifesting is bacne. He also has upper arm chicken skin bumps. Another sign of gluten intolerance. I was kind of stumped about how to help Prince Charming’s skin with his resistance to revamping his diet until I stumbled upon Max Green Alchemy.

Max Green Alchemy is all about solutions for skin, body and hair using natural ingredients. They carry a product called Skin Rescue Shower Gelee that was like a “Eureka!” moment when I read about it. Promising to be both soothing and conditioning, while using safe ingredients like olive oil, aloe vera leaf gel and a variety of essential oils– I thought, “why not?” It’s paraben-free, lanolin-free, and petrochemical-free, as well as vegan. It also happens to have some killer reviews on the site. We really didn’t have much to lose at this point.

I’ll preface this by saying, I really thought this would clear up the chicken skin and that would be it. (Which to be honest, would have been a triumph all by itself.) However, a few weeks went by and Prince Charming was walking around in a towel after getting out of the shower. I looked up and was like, “Whoa.” The bacne was significantly dissipating. About a month and a half in, I’d say 70% of the issue has resolved and the chicken skin is about 60% resolved. These are issues that nothing has been able to really penetrate, mind you. And they just keep getting better with time. We’re tickled. I love that we didn’t have to shell out big bucks to send him to the dermatologist and

have tons of gross chemicals prescribed to temporarily “fix” the problem. Now in the long-term, yes, Prince Charming will have to face the music and investigate those intolerances (by the way, the gelee is gluten-free, I forget to mention that explicitly earlier)– but in the meantime, Max Green Alchemy really did the trick.

Check out their website for more skin, body and hair solutions– including a dandruff shampoo and conditioner!

Everyday Minerals: Big Fan

Posted on 22 August 2013 (0)

It’s no secret that I’m really making an effort to make my makeup bag as clean and green as possible. But sometimes, when you go clean and green, you sacrifice quality or color or all the other things I have come to expect as a makeup artist when I open a tube of something.

Many people are mega-fans of bareMinerals. Truthfully, I think that stuff is crap marketed brilliantly. There, I said it. It’s crap. They market their products as so green and safe, when in reality, some of their products are actually flat out toxic. And if you’re one of the few that live in a cave and don’t care about toxicity levels, I’ll speak even more plainly: bareMinerals photographs awfully. I will not use it on my clients.

However, not all mineral makeup is created the same. I have developed a very, very deep love with Everyday Minerals. Not only is this makeup remarkably non-toxic, but it photographs beautifully and is so inexpensive– like inexpensive to the point where I want to pinch myself. You can afford to splurge on multiple colors if your heart so desires. Can you beat that? I think not.

Everyday Minerals also does what’s called a Custom Kit. You choose any five full-size products and they take thirty three percent off your order. Inexpensive with a discount, um, YES please?! I’m especially taken with E.M.’s Finishing Dust and their blush in Rhapsody in Peach (just the right amount of color for daytime and flattering on virtually any skin tone). I have my eye on loads more to stock up on over there– including their Everyday Bronzer. Beautiful and would be perfect for contouring.

I cannot even emphasize my joy at what quality this green product is at such a low price. My heart is aflutter times ten.

Nude Lips and Dark Eyes

Posted on 12 August 2013 (0)

I know dark eyes and nude lips have been “a thing” for over a decade now. I’ve done them on hundreds of women upon request. But can we just take a minute to talk about how generally, utterly unflattering this look is?

Take this look of beautiful Victoria Beckham on the cover of Vogue, for example. Beckham is a strikingly attractive woman with unique angular features that make her stand out from the rest of the “cookie cutter” types in Hollywood.

If I had this face, I would either go around with minimal makeup (because why wouldn’t I?) or I would be wearing some fierce lipstick shades. Burgundy, raisin, maroon. Maroon! Makeup is supposed to be fun and playful–not make you look like you walked out of (or into!) the grave– which it’s worth noting, ladies, that the beige-hued lip products do 99.9% of the time.

To be clear, I have nothing against smokey eyes. I think they’re sexy. It’s that nude lip trend that appalls me. It washes people out in photos. It makes teeth look yellow. It makes flesh look dead. At best, it can give you a drug addict-y look (and not in that weirdly coveted ’90s heroin chic way). It’s flat out B-A-D.

Take the Beautista’s advice, toss your nude lippies and invest in some hues close to your natural lip color or go for something bolder– we are nearing fall: all the best colors are coming out!

The Concealer Question

Posted on 07 August 2013 (0)

I must get asked this a dozen times a week at least: “What’s your favorite concealer?” Well, actually, I have three. They’re varying price points and are used for different things. So, without further adieu…

1.) Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat: An industry staple, this concealer is light coverage and is mixed with a highlighter for the ultimate feather-light looking touch. It’s ideal for areas like under the eyes and under the nostril wings. Many women keep this in this in their to-go bags and I applaud their shrewd thinking skeels. Yes, I just wrote skeels.

2.) Maybelline FIT Me Concealer: The ultimate zit cover up and SO stinkin’ cheap! The doe foot (read: lip gloss applicator) brush makes getting into crusty, dry crevices easy and the liquid consistency doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to untoward texture.

3.) RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up: Great for covering up areas of mild discoloration

(like redness), this natural concealer is great because is shows your skin beneath. Nothing heavy looking or mask-like!

Happy concealing, Beautistas!

Multi-Use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Liquid Castile Soap

Posted on 23 July 2013 (0)

Let me just preface this by saying that when Prince Charming gives me beauty or hygiene tips, I generally disregard them. I’ve been disregarding them for years. Literally almost seven years of disregard. He’s the king of using tea tree oil for just about any ailment and for many years, I was the chemical and paraben queen. I scoffed at natural products (I was a fool).

Well then, as I’m sure every naturalista’s story goes, I started doing research (mine was spawned by a horrific migraine problem that had me down and out for months) and I learned just how dangerous most of those chemicals were. It’s eerie to think of how many chemicals were exposed to every single day and for the most part, how little control you have over it. But I did realize that I had control over what I was putting in and on the ol’ bod and I’ve made some big changes as result.

I eat vegan for one. I use as many natural beauty and hygiene products as possible on my bod (including the Diva Cup, which is fabulous by the way, but a post for another day). So while on this journey, I’ve had the pleasure of coming across Dr. Bronner’s Magic Liquid Castile Soap.

Prince Charming has been telling for years how great this stuff is. I was appalled. It looked like dish soap. Everything about this stuff screamed Dawn to me. I’d give him looks like, “Um, you’ve got to be kidding me.” After x number of years he laid off the insistence. What can I say? I’m skilled at wearing a man down.

Fast forward to a couple months ago, I was in the bath and beauty aisle in Whole Foods. We were out of soap. We go through soap in this house like it’s water, mind you and I was getting tired of it. So I happened to look down at a shelf and saw a huge bottle of this Dr. Bronner’s stuff and had gotten to the point where I really didn’t care if it was dish soap-ish or not, I just didn’t want to be out of soap in two days.

I must take this moment to give my mea culpea to P.C.:

you were right. But don’t get used to me saying that!

This stuff is breathtaking in every way. My skin feels nourished and silky and it smells delicious (we have the citrus)! I use it as a body wash, a face wash (I know, I know: who AM I?! But it’s really gentle and leaves zero residue) and a shaving gel. I also use it as a shampoo for my dogs– one of whom has horrific skin allergies and this doesn’t exacerbate his condition at all. Which if you knew Harold would be reason enough, all by itself, to celebrate! It can also be used as laundry detergent (which I plan on doing because this stuff smells to-die-for and I have it seen it take out a terrible stain that I hand washed), dish soap (LOL) and shampoo. I tried it as a shampoo and truthfully, that was it’s one short coming. My hair was left looking funky and not in a good way. Many also use it as an all purpose house cleaner. Allegedly, this has eighteen uses. I’m still plowing through ‘em.

Dr. Bronner’s is USDA organic and uses recycled materials in its packaging. It also is cheap. Like $2.99 for 2 oz (which is great for travelling!) cheap. I stick with the 32 oz. size which retails for $16.99. Well worth every penny.

Cheapie Mascara That Absolutely Kills It

Posted on 30 June 2013 (0)

Well, after… a bit of a hiatus The Beautista is up and kickin’ again! I’ve been so jazzed about a drugstore mascara my fellow makeup artist friend, Christa Lee turned me onto, that I just couldn’t wait a second longer to share with you!

Now I’ll be honest, DiorShow mascara on my lashes is lackluster. I have long lashes that are light and super, super fine. Not to mention ridiculously straight. (I really pulled the short straw in the gene pool, huh?) While DiorShow has the rest of the market on fire, I’m a little bit like “eh” about. I think it’s good if you’re looking for length, but fahgettaboudit if you’re looking for thickness. It just doesn’t cut it.

As I’ve said on here before, there are products out there that are just as good cheap as they are expensive. Sometimes, they’re even better cheap. That’s how I feel about Rimmel’s Volume Flash ScandalEYES mascara. For a little over six bucks, my lashes look killer. And to those fellow straight-lashers out there, one of the best perks of this mascara is that it holds a curl! Ah!

I use this mascara exclusively in my day to day life. Finding a cheapie product that performs exceptionally is like Christmas morning to any makeup artist, and I’m certainly no exception.

Angelic Soaps

Posted on 04 April 2012 (0)

Have you ever wondered what a $12.95 bar of soap would feel like? Well, let me tell you, it feels heavenly. Leave it to me to find another expensive beauty habit…!  This Pure Castille Soap by Angelic Soap is so deliciously luxurious and utterly lovely that I find myself thinking, “How did my skin manage before this?” Colorless, scentless and gloriously aged for over a year, this creme de la creme bar is ideal for all skin types. Silky and nourishing, I find myself having to reach less and less for body lotion when using this olive oil based soap. (Hasta la vista, snake skin legs!) Safe for face and babies too, this makes for an elegant “one-size-fits-all” cleanse for the whole family. And as an “icing on the cake,” when stored properly and allowed to drain between uses this Pure Castille soap will far and beyond outlive any soap you’ve ever known before.

Angelic Soaps also has a wide offering of scented soaps as well.

Cinnamon Sugar Shea, Coco’s Little Black Dress (a gorgeous homage to the Coco by Chanel fragrance) and Tahitian Vanilla Shea were all particular favorites.

If you’ve never lived beyond Dove (or Irish Spring, gasp), it’s time to take a walk on the wild side. Your skin will say thanks.

Mind Blowing Shower Experience

Posted on 27 March 2012 (0)

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never had a mind blowing shower. I’ve had good showers, maybe even a great shower, but certainly nothing mind blowing. Though it was my second shower of the day (which I usually don’t like to do because it dries out the ol’ Irish skin), I was excited to try out some new products. Prince Charming even claims I did a fist pump in the air when I got them in the mail. I guess I was doing my best Situation impression…. Sunnybrook Gardens Sampler Gift Set, you had me at hello.

Now, I have an eensy weensy bathroom with a very unglamorous shower. I’ve done my best to spruce it up, but to put it quite honestly: there is nothing farther from luxurious. But somehow, this sampler gift set (packaged so nicely that even P.C. commented) managed to have all the trimmings inside to transform this very un-luxe space into something suddenly tranquil and dare I say spa-like?

Now, mind-blowing or otherwise, I consider the shower to be somewhat of a sacred space. I’ve hatched some of my best ideas in the shower– it’s the one constant place where I can get my gears turning without distraction. So it’s sort of extra nice to have a little something special in there. Especially when all the goodies are handmade and not laden with chemicals!

What comes in said sent-from-Heaven sampler pack anyway? For $28 you’ll get:  one Hand-Milled natural soap, one facial scrub with 100% cotton scrubby, one small jar of an organic sugar scrub, one small jar of Sea Clay body mud, one lip balm, one Lava lip gloss, one small bottle of body oil, one cocoa butter solid lotion/massage bar, one small jar of body butter, a single use package of bath salts and one package of  bath fizzie.

All of the products are great. I’ve become a sucker for a thorough rub down of the body scrub (which smells decadent), followed by a nice sitting with the body mud and finally, finished off with the chamomile lemongrass body butter– forget about it….I’m relaxed, brain jammin’ with good ideas and my skin is looking swell. The soap, loaded with blueberry seeds, is the perfect everyday exfoliant. And if I could, I’d have one of Sunnybrook Garden’s lip balms in every drawer, handbag, car console, makeup bag and jacket pocket that I own. It single handedly, brought my lips back to reality– no more strips of dead skin hanging off (I assure you, it was as sexy as it sounds).

Truly, the epitome of a pick-me-up– everyone I know is getting these as gifts. Really, they’re THAT good.

Naked Palette: Cult Favorite

Posted on 28 February 2012 (0)

Ah, I know I am so behind the times getting this up, but hot DAMN, do I love the Naked Palette by Urban Decay. Featuring twelve neutral eyeshadows in a mix of matte and shimmer finishes, this has become a staple in my makeup bag. Complete with a clear, creamy primer (which is fabulous) and a versatile brush that doesn’t suck, I consider my fifty dollars well spent. Mostly brown, nude-y colors, with a few gray ones peppered in, you can easily take your look from day to night in an instant. Perhaps what I was most impressed with, however, was that I haven’t experienced any fallout when applying these. No stray crumbs, no ruining my cheek highlighter, no giving myself an accidental “black eye.” A rare find, indeed.

I’ve stated in previous posts that I have cool coloring (dark hair, pale skin with pink undertones and light eyes)– I look AWFUL in warm colors. So when I first opened this palette, I saw a few “red flags,” if you will: a gold shadow and two rusty ones. A fourth of the palette suddenly seemed unusable. But hell, I tried them anyway.I found that combining them with a few different colors (always with “Sin”), was the ticket and adding them as “pop” color in the center of the lid as a final finishing touch added the perfect amount of glam. (And didn’t make my lids look like they were having liver failure.)

Recently, Urban Decay put out a Naked2 Palette featuring 12 different taupe and griege shadows. Receiving rave acclaim, this much anticipated sequel has sold out online temporarily. But not to worry, it’ll be back soon– Urban Decay isn’t one to miss making a buck.

Pick up one (or both) of these cult favorites and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about! You won’t be disappointed.

Organic Hair Cleanse

Posted on 22 February 2012 (0)

Recently, I started getting exponentially creeped out by how much crap goes into beauty products. I mean really, they chock full of cancer causing, downright horrendous ingredients and the only reason companies use them is because they’re cheap. And it thoroughly rubs me the wrong way. So as part of my continued cross-over to natural, organic products I have invested in deodorant and shampoo. It admittedly took me several tries to find the right deodorant. As I’d go to bed smelling like a 13 year old boy, I say to myself, “Is this really worth it?” Yes, it is and I finally found the right product. After doing some investigation online, I came across Bubbleandbee.com. What a resource! What is really neat about them is they

stand behind their deodorant– which is natural and organic– so if it takes you a couple tries to find the right one, no problem. I’ve also been using their “Really Good Shampoo” which smells like fresh squeezed lemon juice. Loaded with only wholesome ingredients, this takes a little getting used to as it doesn’t leave you with a “squeaky clean” feeling the way a synthetic shampoo (i.e. Pantene, Herbal Essences, etc.) does. It also requires a vinegar or lemon juice rinse in place of a conditioner (took me a couple tries, but lemon juice is definitely the better pick where my hair was concerned and I didn’t end up smelling like a salad). The tough part is that you have to go through a “detox” period where your hair looks…rough.