A Gorgeous Bridal Updo in 6 Easy Steps

Wedding Updo hairWith engagement season in full effect, a bridal updo post is in order. I’ve been doing wedding trials non-stop, and I recently did an updo that is perfect for anyone with shoulder length to long hair. This classically pretty style can be done in about 30 minutes and is sure to last throughout the whole day. For this style you’ll need: a 1” curling iron, medium hold hairspray, a brush, a comb, and plenty of bobby pins.

  1. Start off by spraying the hair with a medium hold hairspray of your choice (ECRU New York is one of my favorites), and brushing it through to distribute it evenly throughout the head. This gives hair memory, so that the curls that you create last.
  2. Use your 1” curling iron to curl all or your hair in the direction going away from your face.

  3. Take a horseshoe section of your hair in the middle of the crown, tease it with your comb to create a little height, and pin it into place in the back.
  4. After you pin the section at the crown, you’ll be left with two sections hanging on the sides in the front of the head. Twist each one of those sections and pin them in the center back of the head.
  5. Finger-comb through all of the curls in the back to break them up create texture, then pin the curls up loosely in the back. Use as many bobby pins as necessary until the style feels secure.
  6. Pull out a few wispy strands out around the face and at the nape of the neck to create a romantic look; and give the hair a final spray to hold the style in place.

Pretty Holiday Lipsticks That Won’t Break the Bank

lipsticks

 

As the holidays approach, so do fabulous events and parties that we want to look amazing for. If buying gifts alone puts most of us in serious debt, why bother spending money on a new party dress? A gorgeous holiday lipstick is an affordable way to totally revamp your look, while still allowing you to keep a few extra coins in your purse.  Whether it be a family get together, or an office party, there’s no better way to stand out from the crowd, than with a festive lip color. Here are some great drug store lip products, ideal for the holidays:

 

Milani Amore Matte Metallic Lip Crème in Pretty Problematic

This creamy liquid lipstick feels awesome on your lips, and goes on really smoothly. The gorgeous metallic cranberry hue is the perfect compliment to your holiday dress.

amore-matte-metallics-10-pretty-problemattic

Pretty Problematic, $8.99

 

Revlon Love Is On™ Lipstick

Revlon has created the perfect universal red;  this stunning shade was specifically designed to attract more love into your life. If a lipstick can help you get noticed by the guy you’ve been crushing on, I say bring it on!

 

love-is-on

Love is On, $8.49

 

L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Bombshell

Think pink this holiday season! Bombshell is a bright, glossy bubble gum pink shade for the girl who wants to slay.  Glazed lip paints are so pigmented, that you only need a few drops to completely cover both lips.

bombshell

Bombshell, $5

 

NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Karma Kiss

NYX has outdone themselves with this high voltage berry color. The gel formula will last all evening, so you can eat, drink, and be merry without having to worry about your lipstick budging.

Karma Kisses, $7.99

Karma Kiss, $7

 

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Lip Color in Deep Plum

Personally, I don’t think that there is a more festive shade than purple; this is why this Neutrogena color stick is one of my favorites. In addition to killer color, this lip color delivers moisture beyond belief – not too shabby in the cold winter months.

Dark Plum, $8.49

Dark Plum, $8.49

 

 

 

 

 

Fix it Jesus! Top Celebrity Makeup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

They say money can’t buy happiness (personally, I’d like to test out that theory) but it also can’t buy good taste. Although celebrities usually look gorgeous strutting their stuff on red carpets, they do get it wrong sometimes…horribly, horribly wrong! Sometimes these makeup fails come from stars trying to take a risk, sometimes their Makeup Artists screw up, sometimes it’s because they have a team of yes men, and sometimes it’s just that their taste level is terrible AF. I often think the latter is responsible for a lot of the grotesque makeup looks that we see. We’ve compiled a list of five of the worst celebrity makeup mistakes ever, and how to correct them.

1. Wrong – Tyra’s Sloppy Smokey Eyes

Image courtesy of www.ranker.com

Image courtesy of www.ranker.com

Tyra Banks is best known for being a gorgeous supermodel and fierce business women, but in this photo, she looks like a toddler applied her smeared-on eye makeup.

Right – Well Blended Smokey Eyes

Image courtesy of www.chatadegalocha.com

Image courtesy of www.chatadegalocha.com

A dramatic black smokey eye does not have to look vampy. As you can tell by this photo, when blended well, a dark smokey can look absolutely stunning. When placing the color on your lids, do not go above your natural crease.

2. Wrong – Angelina Jolie’s Powdery Face

Photo: Said Elatab / Splash News/Corbis

Photo: Said Elatab / Splash News/Corbis

My girl Angelina knows how to give good leg on the red carpet, but in this photo she looks like she’s in love with the coco! Her MUA probably used a lot of HD powder when setting her makeup. HD powder looks fabulous on a motion camera when filming, but has a tendency cause flashback (a powdery, white look) when photographed by a camera with flash. This is a common mistake made by some Makeup Artists, so I can’t be too hard on her.

Right – Smooth Matte Skin

Image courtesy of www.lorealparisusa.com

Image courtesy of www.lorealparisusa.com

A matte skin finish can be achieved by using a setting powder only in the T zone (forehead, nose, and chin) of the face. Make sure that the powder that you use does not contain silica, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide – those are the ingredients that cause the dreaded flashback!

3. Wrong – Lindsay’s Muddy Contour

Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images

Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan showed up to her court date with the worst contour makeup I’ve ever seen! The judge may not have shown her sympathy, but I felt bad for her poor face. The Mean Girls actress’ mistakes were using a color that was way too dark for her fair skin, and not blending out the harsh lines she created.

Right – Subtle Shading

Image courtesy of www.womendailymagazine.com

Image courtesy of www.womendailymagazine.com

The purpose of contouring is to sculpt the face. When contouring the cheeks, use an appropriate shade for your skin tone. Once your contour is placed, blend it out with a fluffy brush to emphasize your cheekbones.

4. Wrong – Leighton’s Pale Face

Image courtesy of www.gossipmembers.com

Image courtesy of www.gossipmembers.com

A pale face and tanned body is never a good look, even if it is on our favorite Gossip Girl. Leighton Meester usually stuns on the red carpet, but here, her two-toned skin complexion just looks crazy.

Right – An Even Skin Tone

Image courtesy of www.makeup.vidalondon.net

Image courtesy of www.makeup.vidalondon.net

As you can see in this photo, having an all over bronzed glow is beautiful. Your face and your body should be as close of a match as possible. If tanning your face isn’t your thing (I totally understand, wrinkles are not sexy), you can achieve more color in your face by using a bronzer or a darker shade of foundation.

5. Wrong – Diana’s Neon Blush

Photo Credit: REX

Photo Credit: REX

Although there are many things wrong with this makeup, lets just concentrate on this Marionette doll on acid blush. Ms. Ross is a living legend, but this hot pink blush is just unacceptable.

Right – A Pop of Color on the Cheeks

Image courtesy of www.wed-host.com

Image courtesy of www.wed-host.com

When used correctly blush can totally transform your face, and make you look younger. There is nothing prettier than a little blush on the apples of the cheeks – especially on women of color. The key to wearing blush is not applying too much, and making sure that the color adds warmth to your face.

A Smart Mirror That Makes Sure You Always Slay

Image courtesy of www.panasonic.com

Image of smart mirror courtesy of  www.panasonic.com

Panasonic has developed some really cool beauty technology products recently, but their latest is sure to be the biggest hit yet. The Japanese tech company has answered every woman’s prayers, by creating a smart mirror that identifies your flaws…and immediately corrects them!

In true Snow White fashion, this mirror is completely honest with you about your reflection, so proceed with caution. Once you sit in front of it, the mirror scans your face to analyze your flaws (blemishes, wrinkles, etc). When it’s finished lowering your self esteem assessing your skin, it prints out the exact amount of makeup you’ll need to be applied to your face on temporary tattoo patches. Yes, it prints the actual products that it wants you to use, to stick to your face! How fierce is that? Don’t get too excited yet, the mirror is still a prototype, so it currently takes 24 hours to print the makeup patches. But we’re waiting with bated breath until they work out all the kinks, and bring it to market.

A Cool Way to Wear Your Hair Down On Your Wedding Day

 

crop-close

More and more brides have chosen to pass on the super-structured wedding updos of yesteryear, in favor of styles that give them that coveted, “I woke up like this” look. As a bridal hairstylist, I’ve noticed that a lot of brides-to-be are requesting to wear their hair down, and they want it to look as if it hasn’t been fussed with. Loose waves are an extremely modern look for exchanging nuptials on the big day, but hair that looks effortless, often takes a lot more effort than you’d think.  As with anything else, having the right tools are essential in order to make it last all day. To get gorgeous boho bridal hair, you’ll need:  mousse or a root lifting spray, a blow dryer, a medium hold hairspray, a 1” curling iron, texture spray, and finishing cream.

 

  1. Start of by saturating your hair with either mousse or root lift spray, and brush the product through the hair to distribute it evenly.

  2. Flip your head upside down and blow dry the hair with your head flipped. This will give the hair height and volume.
  3. Section your hair whatever way is easiest for you to when curling. Next, spray your favorite medium hold spray to each section, and brush through the hair.
  4. Curl each section with a 1” curling iron is alternate directions, so the curls won’t be too uniform.
  5. Once your whole head is curled, run your fingers through them to loosen them up, and apply a texturizing spray (my favorite is DrySpun Finish by Bumble and Bumble) to the waves to give them a lived in feel.
  6. Shape the hair until you reach your desired look, then lock in the style with hairspray.
  7. Finally, use a finishing crème to tame baby hairs and fly aways, and you’re all done!

Although wearing your hair this way alone will be a gorgeous wedding style, a fun accessory (such as a hat, flowers, or a clip) elevates the style to the next level.

 

 

Why Beauty Lovers Are Mixing Oil With Foundation


One of the most seemingly strange makeup trends to surface, is mixing oil with foundation. To all the oily gals, I know this may sound gross, but trust me – it’s a thing! Several of my clients have been asking me about this, because they are seeing it everywhere as a part of makeup routines online. Instagram, You Tube, and Facebook have been swarming with countless videos of makeup enthusiasts using this tactic. Video after video show girls (and guys) with their trustee oil filled droppers, lubing up their foundation. Why would anyone do this? There are 2 good reasons why, and here they go:

Mars_Sep 22 2014_Mila12291 copy

Dry Skin

The most obvious reason for implementing this makeup trick is to add some much needed moisture to parched skin. When applying foundation on dry skin, the product can build up in the patchy areas, leaving a very uneven finish. Adding oil to foundation is also a way to temporarily “plump up” fine lines for a more youthful look. The oil moisturizes the skin, and gives it a healthy glow for a smoother appearance.

Easier Blending

While most would say that mixing oil into foundation sounds like it would clog pores and lead to breakouts, what most people don’t know is that a high percentage of foundations already contain oil. Mixing in a little oil to your cream or liquid foundation changes the texture of formula, and actually helps it spread easier.  Adding 1-2 drops of oil to your base, allows you to effortlessly blend it out to achieve a skin-like finish.

 

Clearly this trick isn’t for everybody, but it’s worth giving a shot. Just make sure that you use a carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil). One of my faves is the coconut oil by Measurable Difference.

 

 

Quick Tip: Brow Color

brows on fleek

We weren’t all born with gorgeous brows like my model’s. But with the right tools, we can come close.

When most people try to fill in their brows, they try to match the color of their brows as closely as possible, or follow the oft-recited rule of “two shades darker if you are blonde, two shades lighter if you are brunette.” This isn’t bad. It’s just not what I do.

I take into account my model or client’s skin tone when choosing their brow color. My own skin, for example, is on the fair side, but my eyebrow hair is black. I use a light, ashy brown to fill in my brows, and it gives me a way more natural look than using a dark brown or black. I’ve used the lightest blonde shade I have on some fair skinned brunettes (some of whom have been bridal clients who insist it’s still too dark…gotta love weddings). But on a model or client with a deep skin tone who has the same hair color than me, I will go in with  black. Meanwhile, someone with blonde hair and very tan skin would probably get the same color I use on myself, or perhaps something even darker.

The other big mistake I see people doing is choosing colors that are too warm. Always opt for a cool color. Back in makeup school, most of my classmates would either make my brows too red or too black. Here’s how to avoid that! And for all you pro’s and makeup lovers out there, my absolute favorite brow palette is the Anastasia one.

xx Dana

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

clean makeup brushes

If you read this blog, you know that I am a stickler for sanitary makeup practices and that even cleaning your brushes isn’t enough. But it IS a start, and since I get a lot of questions from models and clients alike on how to clean makeup brushes, it seems that a lot of people aren’t sure how to do it or how often.

Pros like me and anyone sharing makeup brushes need to sanitize their brushes after every use. I use liquid brushes cleansers for this–a lot of companies make them, including Cinema Secrets and Bare Escentuals. They are fast drying (we’re talking mere minutes), and even if you are the only person who uses your brushes, I would recommend using them after every application. Dirty brushes will give you muddy results, and no one wants that. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had the experience of dipping a brush in eyeshadow and a different (old) color surprising us once it makes it to our lids. Yuck.

The best way to use these brush cleansers is to get a small container, like a medicine cup, and spray or pour a small amount of it. Swirl your brush around in the liquid, and then on a towel or folded over paper towel, gently brush your makeup brush back and forth. Repeat until your brush doesn’t leave dirty marks.

Now for the deep clean. This has to be done once a week, for everyone. Yes, if you have used your brushes even once during the week, you’re going to need to wash them. For this, you really don’t need to buy a new product. You can use a face cleanser, hand soap, or shampoo. I dispense a small amount into my palm, and then swirl all my brushes around in it, one by one. Once they all have shampoo (or whichever product I used) on them, I rinse them one by one, massaging the bristles to make sure they’re super clean. Then I lay them flat on a towel for them to dry. You never want to dry them standing up, or it will loosen the ferrule and damage your brushes.

While it’s time-consuming, it’s well worth it to take good care of your brushes. Stay clean!

xx Dana

Why You Should Start Tightlining Your Eyes

tightlining

You probably line your lower waterline on a semi-regular basis, but if you’re like most people, tightlining isn’t part of your makeup routine. Perhaps you don’t even know what it means! To tightline is to line the upper waterline–that strip of skin underneath your eyelashes and above your eyes.

“Why do I need to put eyeliner there?” you’re probably asking. Here are a few reasons:

  1. It helps your eyes stand out more by creating contrast. As we get older, the skin underneath our lashes gets more exposed. Lining it helps eyes pop in a way that is subtle and natural.
  2. It gives the illusion of thicker lashes.
  3. It will help the liner on your lower waterline stay put. Yes, really! When it wears away, most of it is really just transferring to your upper waterline. If you already line this area, this won’t happen.
  4. It’s a great way to line your eyes if you have small lids or hooded eyes, because it takes up literally no lid space.
  5. If you want to rock a no-makeup look but secretly wear makeup, this is a great way to draw attention to your eyes, and no one will suspect your secret.

If tightlining is too uncomfortable for you because you flinch a lot when a pencil is coming at your eyes (guilty), here’s a trick–line your lower waterline, blink quickly and firmly, and repeat. The eyeliner will transfer to your upper waterline. Done!

 

xx Dana

Keep Cardio from Killing Your Hair

run

You already know that cardio messes up your hair. Whether you’re rocking a blowout, a bunch of bouncy curls, or something else entirely, your style and texture probably won’t make it through your HIIT class (unless you are one of those superhuman non-sweaters…oh, how I envy thee). But did you know that sweat actually does long-term damage to your luscious locks too?

I’m training for a marathon and noticed that all this running (or really, sweating) is turning my hair into straw. I am heat styling less often than before to make up for the extra shampooing, but realized that duh, salt is drying, and sweat has salt in it. Plus, it makes color fade faster.

Dry shampoo can be great for saving a style, but will only further dry out your actual strands, and besides, after a 12+ mile run, there’s no magic save for my drenched tresses. So here’s my tip: if you know that you will be sweating to the point where you will have to (ARGHHHH!) wash your hair, use the time to baby it too. I’ve been putting deep conditioner in my hair and putting it in a braid or bun. On days where I don’t think I’ll be sweating as much and really have no intention of washing my hair, I use a leave-in conditioner.

Condition your body; condition your hair.

xx Dana