I was just minding my own business while picking up a few items at Ricky’s New York City, when a random item caught my eye. Out if nowhere I saw Placenta Eye Patches in the Korean skincare section, and would have never forgiven myself had I not picked them up. I had to do it, so I purchased the $4.90 eye patch set, and went skipping out the door. Oh, how I love the Koreans so! I couldn’t help but to say to myself, “who’s placenta is this” and “are there girls out there selling their placentas for extra cash when times are rough?” I needed answers.
After doing a little gumshoe work, I learned that they aren’t human placentas. How disappointing. In my own morbid way, I wanted to see what it felt like to place the reminisce of someone’s after-birth on my fine lines. I guess I’ll never know now…pitty. These placentas come from plants. Maybe the New York City school system failed me here, but I had no clue that plants had placentas!
The package said to begin with a clean face, so I used my favorite micelle solution and a pillow puff to remove all the dirt from my face. I then placed a placenta under each eye, to let it sit for recommended 30 minutes. The patches legit felt like jello! They have a sweet, perfumey fragrance, which caused me to worry about my skin feeling irritated, but surprisingly not even a slight tingle. I will say that I felt a cool sensation underneath my eyes – that I quite enjoyed!
After the half hour was complete, I peeled the patches off, and gently tapped the remnants into my skin. Overall, the placenta patches left my under eyes feeling soft and refreshed. I’m so doing this again.
When it comes to deep brush cleaning, we all try to find an option that will be gentle on the brush hairs. After all, no one wants their brushes to end up feeling like sandpaper against their face because of crappy maintenance. Initially, I used to use plain soap and water, then I upgraded to baby shampoo, followed by conditioner in the rinse water to keep the hairs as good as new – but it didn’t. I always say that if I become a mom, I hope to love my kids as much as I love my brushes…totally serious by the way!
After being frustrated with my brushes becoming increasingly course despite my efforts, I tried something new. I tested the same cleanser that I use on my face (especially when it resembles alligator skin) on my brushes, and it worked like a MF. The miracle product I’m referring to is Hydrating Cleansing Oil by Simple Skincare. It’s infused with vitamin E and grape seed oil, so your brush hairs get a lot of extra love. Cleansing Oil gets all of the makeup out of your tools, while leaving them super soft. This drug store item comes in at only $9.99 , making it the most affordable option ever.
To get your brushes in tip top shape, squeeze a dime sized amount of Hydrating Cleansing Oil in the palm of you hand, and rub your fluffy friend in the cleanser in a circular motion. You will notice that suds will begin to form, and all the yucky build-up on your brush will disappear. Once your tool is cleaned to your satisfaction, rinse it off with lukewarm water, and repeat for the rest of your brushes. For the smaller ones (like lip and liner brushes), I like to clean several at a time to speed up the process.
Once your brushes are dry, they’ll be immaculately clean and softer than ever!
It’s spring again – although your skin may need some reminding. The drying cold, coupled with the lack of sunshine in the winter, are a perfect recipe for hot mess skin. Luckily, even the dullest skin can be brightened up with the magic of highlighter. Just a few swipes can take your skin from scary to lit AF. Here are some of the best highlighters – in all price points – to help you get your glow on this spring.
Glossier Haloscope – This highlighter adds the benefits of skincare into your makeup. The dual-delivery formula infuses genuine crystal extracts on the outer halo, while inner core is enhanced with vitamin-rich moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated.
With 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.
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.
Use your 1” curling iron to curl all or your hair in the direction going away from your face.
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.
Start of by saturating your hair with either mousse or root lift spray, and brush the product through the hair to distribute it evenly.
Flip your head upside down and blow dry the hair with your head flipped. This will give the hair height and volume.
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.
Curl each section with a 1” curling iron is alternate directions, so the curls won’t be too uniform.
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.
Shape the hair until you reach your desired look, then lock in the style with hairspray.
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.
Ladies, let’s talk about lashes. We all want full, flirty eyelashes, but few of us are blessed with them naturally. Long, voluminous eyelashes are super feminine and really open up your eyes. Over the years, false eyelashes have been a great way to make up for what Mother Nature didn’t bless us with, and what mascara alone can’t compensate for. For many women a full strip of eyelashes is the way to go, but some just like a few individual flares in the corner. Flares are a great way to add some volume and length without looking too dramatic. As a professional Makeup Artist, I often get asked to apply individual lashes in the corner as an alternative to a full strip. To be honest, I used to pretend that I didn’t know how to apply them because I found it too time consuming (don’t judge me). The process of applying flares took way longer than applying a strip lash, so I did everything that I could to get out of it…until now! I recently found a product that rocked my world, and made the request of individual lashes way more bearable for me. iENVY by Kiss has created a brilliant product called Trio Lash, each trio = 3 flares so it speeds up application time exponentially. Trio Lashes have cut my application time down from several minutes, to literally a few seconds! Since they are so small and light, there’s practically no waiting time for the glue to get tacky (like you would have with a full lash strip). What I like best is that each package contains two different lengths of trios, so that you can customize your look – and the packaging even has a glue pocket compartment for you to squeeze out some adhesive into (brilliant). There have not been many eyelash innovations over the years, so whoever came up with this idea is a genius!
All of the beauty and fashion powers that be, say that contouring is out, and strobing is in! What is strobing, exactly? It’s pretty much a trendy word to describe good old fashioned highlighting. Whenever you see cheekbones that look dewy (and in some cases slightly metallic) that is achieved through highlighting. I’ve always been a fan of a dewy skin, there’s nothing better than a fresh healthy glow. Strobing looks best when it’s not overdone; concentrate on the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, the center of the forehead, and the center of the chin – that is it! If you do more that than, I promise you that it will look crazy. I’ve compiled a list of a some of my favorite highlighters (for women of all skin tones) that will have you rockin’ the strobe look in no time.
When it comes to finding a highlighter on skin of color it can be a difficult task. A lot of highlighters are lovely for fair to medium skin but make skin of color look ashy, especially the pearl and pink shades. It’s best for women with deeper skin tones to use highlighters that are gold and bronze; it gives such a gorgeous glow. There was a bronze-colored, baked eye shadow that I used on myself and my clients as a highlighter that was recently discontinued (I hate when that happens) so I’ve been on a hunt to find a comparable replacement. On a routine trip to Ricky’s NYC yesterday, I hit the highlighter jackpot when I discovered the Dose of Colors highlighter in the color Sunkissed.
Dose of Colors highlighter in Sunkissed, $28
This dreamy highlighter can be used on you cheekbones and the bridge of your nose to add light and warmth to your face. Like my former highlighter of choice, the Dose of Colors highlighter is also a baked product; and it has a velvety texture. It incorporates several shades of gold and bronze which is awesome because that makes it flattering on a wider range of skin tones. I live in New York City and it’s currently 16 degrees here, so Lord knows I need a little sun kissed glow right now!
It’s definitely not a cheap date, it has a $28 price tag, but it’s quite large and you only need to use a small amount. I am definitely a fan.
A few months ago I found a replacement for my eye cream that is super inexpensive concentrated, and most importantly works! I’m talking about Jamaican Black Castor Oil – it’s my can’t live without product. You can find it at most beauty supply and health food stores, and it’s only about 12 bucks for a very large 8oz bottle. I use my JBCO as an eye cream every single night.
Let me tell you a little bit about my eye cream journey. I started seeing visible lines under my eyes and freaked out, so I decided to start using eye cream. I don’t have bags (yet), my lines were right underneath the bottom lash line which is pretty close to my eyeballs. After using a few eye creams (which shall remain nameless) I noticed that they all made my eyes burn and get really red when I used them where my line were. Is it just me or is expecting a product made specifically for the eyes not to feel like scorching acid too much? I did a little research and learned that Jamaican Black Castor Oil was supposed to be extremely gentle. I also read that it was all natural, and it stimulates elastin and collagen production. The price was right; it was almost $20 cheaper than most eye creams I tried, so I gave it a shot. What I noticed first was that there was no perfume like smell, and I was able to get right up to my waterline with no irritation at all–winning!
I began using it every night and got really great results after only a couple of weeks. My lines plumped up and were way less visible; thank goodness because Botox was calling me. I was a little afraid that it may cause me to break out but it never has. It’s really thick so one bottle of JBCO can last you over a month, even when applied generously. My favorite brand is Tropic Isle Living, give it a try it will change your life and save you some serious cash.
I was lucky enough to be chosen to do hair and makeup for an editorial with our very own 2015 Miss America, Kira Kazantsev for a feature in the NY Post. In addition to being beautiful and talented (did you see her singing and doing percussion with those red cups) she’s also smart and funny, so we had a blast together. Kira’s shoot was Thanksgiving themed so we decided to keep the makeup and hair very holiday looking. The photos turned out great, and I’ll give you the goods on what I used to create it.
I started off with my favorite foundation on the planet, FACE atelier Ultra Foundation Pro – it’s amazeballs. FACE atelier foundation sits on top of the skin so it doesn’t crease and has such a natural finish. I followed up with another product I’m obsessed with by Veil Cosmetics called Complexion Fix. It comes in pen form and color corrects dark circles beautifully. I set the skin with FACE atelier pressed powder and her complexion looked absolutely flawless.
Courtesy of the NY Post
I’ve loved Urban Decay’s Naked palette ever since inception and still own it, but ever since Maybelline made a great dupe and came out with their lovely (and economical) rendition of the palette called the Nudes, it’s been my go to. I only used shadows from the Nudes palette to create Kira’s subtle smoky eye. The one down side of this palette is that the colors do not have names like the Naked palette so I can’t tell you exactly which ones I used, but what do you want for 10 bucks.
We lined her top lid and waterline with a black eyeliner from Gorgeous cosmetics and finished off the look with a strip of falsies.
I love me some NARS multiple sticks, and couldn’t resist using Portofino on the apples of Kira’s cheeks. The coral color has a little sparkle in it so it adds color while also giving a nice glow.
I used amika Perk Up dry shampoo to absorb and excess oils and create volume at the crown. Next I sprayed amika’s Touchable Hairspray to the hair and brushed it through to distribute the product evenly. Then I used a 1” curling iron and curled all of the hair going back, strectching each curl before they cool to loosen them up. Finally I brushed through all the curls to break them up and applied a little finishing crème.