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Support Our Amazing Guest Editor, Jenny Karl & Enjoy A Makeup Giveaway!

24 Jan

What’s more exciting than getting something done in 10 minutes? Makeup, that’s what!

Introducing Jenny Karl’s “Red Carpet Ready in 10 Minutes” really cool makeup giveaway. Tell us your tip for looking red carpet ready and enter to win a free download of Jenny Karl’s video tutorial along with some of her favorite products. Just “like” Jenny Karl’s Facebook Page and post your makeup tip and you’re halfway there. A winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day just in time for you to use Jenny’s tricks of the trade for your big date!

What are you waiting for, let’s hear your beauty secret!

In the meantime, enjoy a gift from Jenny.  Check out her dream list of Favorite Affordable Beauty Products.

Jenny KarlJenny Karl owns and runs Jenny Karl Hair and Makeup Agency based in Los Angeles. The agency has a highly trained team of hair and makeup artists, specializing in Airbrush Foundation, Print, Film, Television, Beauty, Fashion, Special Event, Mens and Ethnic hair and makeup

Jenny Karl Hair & Makeup Agency

 

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Sweet Tarte by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

21 Dec

tarte+lipsurgence

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we went into a research frenzy; culling articles about hormones in poultry, aluminum in deodorants, and parabens in cosmetics. In the decade since her diagnosis, we have made a lot of environmental and nutritional changes. I checked out options for paraben free cosmetics, and after a life of cheery bright happy lipsticks, and colorful packaging filled with promises and allure, I found the “natural” options to be a bit blah, and rather depressing. Well, natural is nice, but I think make-up should be about fantasy and fun, drama, seduction, getting to play the red-lipped femme fatale, or the apple cheeked girl next door. I am well aware of the harsh role chemicals and toxins play in our current state of health, but I don’t want to lose my five minutes of fun in the morning, where I get to “put on my face”. I enjoy being in touch with my feminine girly side, reminding myself I can be sexy and sweet, before I walk out my front door to go kick some butt.

tarte-cheek-stain

I found the perfect solution in Tarte Cosmetics. All their packaging is super flirty and fun, it is a pick me up to look at, the colors are fantastic, and that’s before I even put it on! All Tarte products are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, and I also appreciate that they don’t spend money on advertising, they spend it on research. The company is eco-friendly, and I highly suggest reading about the values of both the company and the cosmetics- you will be amazed at the amount of research and care that goes into every product; even the cheek stain, which is a water based gel blush, is packed with vitamins for your skin. There are some natural beauty lines that are all about health, but do absolutely nothing for either your face or sense of fun- Tarte delivers the true “whole package.” I have never been asked by so many make-up artists about my mascara, had friends borrowing my lipstick, or given away so many tubes of the tinted moisturizer.

Tarte-Lights-Camera-Lashes

Tarte Cosmetics was created by someone who loves make-up, and you can tell. Everyone I have turned on to the Lights Camera Lashes mascara has never gone back to the itchy, overly fragranced mascaras of other companies, and it even comes in a purple snakeskin tube! That’s my kind of “natural.” There is never a new product I don’t like, and every color is flattering. I swear by their cheek stain, all the Lipsurgence lip pencil/gloss sticks (i don’t even know what to call them except tubes of perfect textured heaven), and my biggest secret weapon is the Smooth Operator waterproof concealer, which easily outperforms Touche Eclat..

Smooth-Op-Clay-Concealer-ALL-mdn-70191227I don’t know if it’s the Amazonian clay, or the Marajuca oil that is used to create such perfect textures, but the foundations are never cakey, all pencils glide on smooth, and the cheek stains are so user friendy. This is what I was looking for in a “natural” beauty line: fun packaging, great results, and 5 minutes in the morning where I get to feel good about what I put on my skin, and beautiful when I look in the mirror. (And with this sale, my wallet is looking good too!)

Available from:

Tarte

Sephora

 

Michelle Brookhurst

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

A Brush-Stroke of Genius by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

7 Dec

thumb33796-mason

When joining a popular social-media site last spring, one of the get-to-know-you questions was “What is your most shameful secret?”.  I’m sure they were expecting a more salacious answer, but here was mine: I once spent $190 on a hairbrush.  I remember the day very clearly, Saks 5th Avenue, on Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills,  the beauty department.  I was financially sweating over the purchase, but so excited and thrilled to finally be a part of the hair elite- today was the day I was buying my first Mason Pearson hairbrush.  I had read about Mason Pearson brushes in every beauty magazine, all the celebrity hair stylists insisted they were so amazing, how every supermodel has one in her purse, the shine, the luster, the hefty price tag.  I am no wimp to big-ticket beauty, I have shelled out for the Creme De Mer concentrate, the Natura Bisse Diamond cream,  and SK-II everything, but I had never spent that much money on something as simple and obvious as a hairbrush.  I paid big bucks for the promise in a jar,  the priceless dream of turning back the clock and having that dewy skin so ripe with youth and future.  But a brush? Like I could get at Target for $8? Was I really going to say goodbye to the Goody aisle and turn the corner into “that girl” land?

 mason-pearson-pure-bristle-brush-handy-size-350x350

Well, that bright and shiny morning in Saks, I did.  I received my first Mason Pearson hairbrush in it’s charming vintage style box, as though I was receiving my winner’s bouquet of roses at a beauty pageant.  There had been a very in-depth discussion as to which size and bristle I was to have.  Mason Pearson brushes come in an array of sizes, handle colors, and bristle.

From the Mason Pearson website:

Pure Bristle brushes: For fine to normal hair, fine long hair.

The models: Large Extra, Small Extra, Handy Bristle and Pocket Bristle.

Mason Pearson Boar Bristles

Bristle & Nylon Mixture brushes: For normal and short thick hair.

The models: Popular, Junior, Handy Bristle & Nylon and Pocket Bristle & Nylon.

Mason Pearson Boar Bristles & Nylon

All Nylon brushes: For very thick hair.

The models: Universal, Handy Nylon (Detangler) and Pocket Nylon.

Mason Pearson Nylon

I have fine long hair, so I went with the pure bristle, and I got a large size.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  That was about 2 years ago, and I have to say, I didn’t think about it much after the initial sticker shock wore off.  It definitely was excellent quality, all Mason Pearson brushes are handmade, and if you look at the website graphic regarding sizing, it is more like an aeronautical diagram than a design for beauty.  And it is a lovely brush, helpful for smoothing bumps from a ponytail, nice for calming down a frantic overcurl.  But I really didn’t get it.  I honestly didn’t see what the big deal was, it was nice, my hair looked soft, but was that more to do with my arsenal of shine serums?  My scalp seemed healthy, but it always had been, I had never been an oily scalp or dandruff sufferer. Had I just bought into the status symbol of the brand, without receiving the admiring and envious side eye from toting the latest Chanel?  I had listened to all the experts, I swiped the credit card, I brushed my hair, and no one, not one single skinny bitch ever said “your hair looks amay-zing” in that tone that simultaneously exhibits both desperate longing and murder inducing jealousy.  So what was the point??

AND THEN.

I am not a big blowdryer- I have had the same model hairdryer for 15 years, I own one round “blow dry” brush, and I blow my hair out maybe once a month.  Maybe.  I have that wimpy straight hair that if you use one drop extra of styling cream, the whole thing goes limp, and every time I have blown out my own hair I have been incapable of inducing volume.  So I do a natural air dry, and then hot rollers.  That had been my routine for 18 years.   Until the day I could not find my blow dry brush.  I looked around my bathroom, with 10 minutes to get myself coiffed and out the door, and panicked.  I could not arrive at my boss’s house with wet hair, I had cut my primping time way too close, and a big hat was not available.  But my eye fell on the plain brown Mason Pearson, sitting quietly, waiting to unleash it’s simple magic.  I turned on the hairdryer, picked up the brush, and within 5 minutes had the most beautiful, shiny, glassy straight, volumized, gorgeous mane of hair I had ever seen.  On my very own head.

Zoe Saldana

It’s like hot cocoa and marshmallows, cheese and macaroni, eggs and bacon, you could not think of a better combination than a Mason Pearson hairbrush and a damp head of hair.  I don’t know how or why, but it’s two strokes with a hairdryer, and the hair is dry.  It literally makes my hair smoother, shinier, and swingier than any shampoo commercial I have ever seen.  And it does it so fast! With my old round roll brush it took at least 20 minutes to get my hair 80% dry.  This simple, albeit expensive, hairbrush does my whole head in under 5 minutes.  I now blow dry my hair 4 times a week, just so I can marvel at the magic of the Mason Pearson.  This sucker is worth every dang penny.  There is no longer shame in my hairbrush game.  If my house was on fire, it would go in my purse with the cat. And boy would she come out shiny.

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*Do not use your Mason Pearson on animals. They will be unable to verbalize it’s genius.

Mason Pearson brushes are available at Nordstrom, Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys NY, and many other retailers.

http://www.masonpearson.com

Michelle Brookhurst

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

8 Holiday Makeup Do’s & Don’t

23 Nov

1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’re not one for makeup, this holiday season add a touch of gold or bronze to your bottom lash line for an easy, fun holiday look.

2. Don’t worry about that summer sweat anymore! Find a foundation that is right for you…and the season. During the winter don’t be afraid to put away the tinted moisturizer and try a more full coverage foundation for a flawless long lasting winter look.

3. Do keep a nude gloss and an Elf Eye liner pen in your purse for a quick day to night change.

4. Don’t hesitate to go for a bold lip! If you use a liner and matte lipstick combo your touch ups are going to be minimal! Gloss alone works great, but it makes touching up more frequent. (Favorite tip, after eating completely take off lipstick and reapply. It will last longer than trying to touch up what’s left!)

5. Do give your skin a gorgeous glow. Just because it’s the winter doesn’t mean you can’t look sun kissed! A touch of MAC’s Give Me Sun right below your cheekbones, as a contour gives the perfect finish.

6. It’s winter; DON’T worry about washing your hair every day. That’s why dry shampoo was invented. Suave Dry Shampoo is $3.49. Pick up a bottle and make Saturday night drinks with the girl’s hair last into Sunday’s brunch with the boyfriends parents!

7. Don’t forget to add a touch of color on your cheeks when going for a bold lip. You don’t want the lip to wash you out. Try a mauve for evening and baby pink for day time and it will really make your face pop!

8. And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to moisturize!! From your skin to your lips, try Maybelline’s Baby Lips chapstick for the lips; and L’Occitane 25% Shea butter face cream for night and day. (If your skin is on the oilier side, try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer.)

Elle Favorule is a Makeup Artist based in Los Angeles. Her celebrity clientele include Shannon Elizabeth, Kathy Baker, Jessica Lowndes, and Briana Evigan. Elle has traveled all over Europe doing makeup demonstrations and currently works on Film & Television.

artistry@ellefavorule.com

http://ellefavorule.com/

Winter White Blues by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

16 Nov

I am descended from a long line of blue eyed, fair skinned europeans. Some of us have black hair, some of us blond, I myself am a dusky auburn, but one thing none of us have, is the ability to get a tan. I spent my youth baking in the sun, coconut scented oil on my body, and hair drenched with Sun-In. All I got for my hours laying prone on a towel, were more freckles, and orange bangs. Since my first trip to the dermatologist for a nerve-wracking freckle check, I wish I could say I never tanned again; with skin cancer in my family I knew the risks I took every time I exposed myself to the sun. Still I used tanning beds every now and then, before a vacation, or a special event. All that got me was a sunburn, increased fine lines and wrinkles, and an unpleasant smell that lingered on my skin for a good 48 hours. It didn’t matter what method I chose, I could only ‘pinken’, never ‘golden’.

You might think the obvious solution was a self tanner lotion, but I have extremely sensitive skin, and every tanner I tried gave me hives, a rash, or horrendous streaks due to a mid-application burning itch that sent me running for the shower. It didn’t seem fair that every summer I would be the last one to give up my jeans; I thought maxi dresses were the antidote, until my boyfriend let me know that he needed a break from my “muumuus”. As I got older, my skin liked the sun less and less. I spent weekends in Palm Springs with heat rash, and sun poisoning if I even attempted to lay out. I could get a little color on my arms from just walking around outside, and I could use a bronzing powder (Josie Maran makes my current sensitive skin-safe favorite) for my face, but I never had tan legs. At every summer wedding, graduation party, and 4th of July BBQ, I looked longingly at the bronzed limbs of the other guests, wishing I had a solution that would give a little coverup to my burgeoning varicose veins, the red spider veins sneaking their way around my thighs, and that lovely layer of cookie guilt that lumped around under my butt. And then I found it. The solution to my tan-envy, without a rash or an itch to be found. No stink, no streak, nothing but golden bronze perfection, all brought to me by the goddess of Tan LA, a blond perky genius named Shannon.

Spray tans were nothing I wanted to fool with, summers of Sun-In had let me know that tangerine wasn’t my color, I had no idea of the pure excellence of the custom airbrush tan, but the tan is only as good as the airbrusher. At Tan LA in Thousand Oaks, there is a magical being named Shannon, who has a fantastic smile and kind heart, and she took pity on my sad tale of skin allergies and summer desperation, and so we embarked on a path to bronze beauty. The first visit, Shannon mixed her magic concoction, leaving out the bronzer that irritated my skin, and only airbrushed my legs. It took about 6 hours for the color to appear, but once it did, I immediately bought 6 new pairs of summer shorts. Suddenly my legs looked longer, thinner, and smoother, thanks to Shannon’s application- she uses the airbrush machine in such a way that carves out your inner thighs, lengthens your calves, and she makes sure your heels and hands get babywiped so you have no tell-tale signs of the secret source of your sun-kissed glow.

Our next phase was legs, arms, and face. I wore boy short underwear and a spaghetti string tank top, and again, Shannon custom blended a very light natural color with no bronzer, and just for a second let the solution mist on my face and décolletage, the usual allergy target zone. That afternoon I closely watched for a rash to appear, and all I got for my keen observation skills was the joy of watching myself transform into someone who could wear a summer dress and sandals, and for once, would not look like an arctic monkey. I understand for some, pale is chic, and I completely understand all the fears of sun damage and skin cancer. I do not leave the house without spf 30 on my face, and I no longer lay in the sun in the hopes of that back-from-the-beach bronze. But as my mother always said, tan fat looks better than pale fat, and having that smooth coat of bronze certainly does seem to give a little shelter to the effects Father Time has had on my body.

Shannon and I completed our final stage of “Operation: Airbrush Tan” last summer, and I wore my bikini with pride. No hives, no streaks, no stinky residue, I looked as relaxed as I felt; I did not look like I had spent 15 minutes in a small room getting squirted with Jersey Shore orange paint, I looked like the tawny-limbed goddesses I had seen cavorting on the beaches of Brazil, when I had spent that vacation covered in sarongs. While an airbush tan is not as cheap as a tanning bed, or a machine activated spray tan, for me, I needed the assurance of a custom blend of colors, and a personal process. Shannon at Tan LA Thousand Oaks has changed my life, I can wear cocktail dresses in the winter, I can wear shorts in the summer, I can enjoy my vacations doing other things besides baking on a beach, though I do enjoy a good book under the umbrella. Most important, I feel comfortable and confident in whatever I wear and whatever I do, and to me, that’s worth more that any magic in a bottle, though I have to say, those bottles of Shannon’s might contain some magic for you too.

For the L.A. Folk:

Tan LA has 3 locations, Shannon is at the Thousand Oaks location. Ladies, it’s worth the drive. http://tanla.la/ Thousand Oaks location: 805 373 5335

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.

“Know It All: Brush Edition” by MakeUp Artist, Elle Favorule

9 Nov

My two biggest pet peeves revolve around makeup application. Don’t use your fingers, and don’t buy cheap brushes. (I didn’t say inexpensive, I said cheap!) It’s all in the way it’s applied. You are never going to get a flawless finish if you are applying foundation with your fingers! Now, it’s not just about me trying to sell you on brushes… Applying with your fingers is also not the sanitary.

So, to make your life easier, and your face flawless here are my top 3 brushes, how to use them and what they are for. (You can pretty much do your entire face start to finish with them!)

1. Duo Fiber Face Brush- Multi use face application brush. I prefer to use this brush for foundation but it works well for blush or bronzer. This brush allows you to see any lines and streaks where the foundation isn’t blended and makes it easy to correct. A great tip for dry skin is to use the brush to apply moisturizer before and between, as touch ups. The residual foundation on the brush mixes with moisturizer for a great finish.

2. MAC #217- This brush is the one brush I MUST HAVE in my kit! Your smoky eye will never be the same. This is the perfect combination of a blending brush and an application brush for eye shadow.  I love this brush for any application of color in your crease. Whether you are doing the outer most corners of your eyes, the lash line, or the crease, the 217 applies and blends perfectly. The trick to this brush, just make sure to tap off excess powder!

3. Blender (fluff) brush- (Duo fiber or real hair) Blender brushes are commonly used to blend harsh edges or color for eye shadow. This fluffy brush doesn’t stop at the eyes. My beauty trick for this bad boy is concealer! After the foundation is applied I like to use the blender brushes to apply concealer, under the eyes and all over the face. The brush allows a light touch of color but with great coverage. It helps to blend the concealer effortlessly into the foundation.

*Makeup Brush Steals and Deals*

My top two spots for discounts on brushes are online.

Hautelook.com and Groupon.com

They are not available all the time, but if you sign up you will get email notifications for the sales. They sell brushes individually for great prices but the steals are really in their sets. My most recent purchase was for 3 brush sets (all come with brush rolls and carrying cases.) I spent $69 but I saved $147. Can’t beat that bargain!

 

Elle Favorule is a Makeup Artist based in Los Angeles. Her celebrity clientele include Shannon Elizabeth, Kathy Baker, Jessica Lowndes, and Briana Evigan. Elle has traveled all over Europe doing makeup demonstrations and currently works on Film & Television.

artistry@ellefavorule.com

Want Gorgeous Hair Color The Safe All Natural Way? Here’s How!

19 Oct

Photograph by Annie Edmonds

Since October is breast cancer awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the dangers of using unregulated cosmetics, especially synthetic hair dyes! According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “Based on the data regarding bladder cancer, it has concluded that workplace exposure [to hair dye] as a hairdresser or barber is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” I assume that women who use hair dyes on a monthly and consistent basis are also at risk.

Conventional hair dyes are loaded with deadly chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems and even cancer! Not to mention testing on animals. I do not advise using synthetic permanent hair color, ever! Whether it’s from a box or your local hair salon it is hazardous to your health. It could affect the lymph and endocrine systems as well as your bladder and breasts, if you are exposed to it on a consistent basis. Here is a list of the deadliest chemicals in synthetic hair dyes: P-Phenylenediamine (PPD or coal tar, which is a known carcinogen), aminophenol, ethanolamine, hydroquinone, and 2, 4- diaminophenoxyethanol.

As soon as these toxins are rinsed from our hair, they are leached into waterways and the ground. Not only does this hurt our health and well-being, but it hurts our environment.

For years, my mother used black synthetic hair dye, and her mother before her. Every month she would dye her hair with these toxic chemicals, unaware of the dangers lurking. Black hair dye is one is the most toxic because of a higher concentration of the ingredients listed above, as well as ammonia, peroxide, sulfur, and harsh smelling fragrances. Every time she used the dye it would penetrate her scalp via the pores and enter her bloodstream. I finally convinced her about three years ago to change her ways. I was worried for her health because long term use can affect a person later in life.

So, you are probably wondering what your options are:

Henna dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Indian times and has been used as a safe alternative to dye the skin and hair. It comes from a small shrub tree also known as the Lawsonia Inermis. The leaves are dried and milled down into a soft powder to create a paste that makes a natural hair color. One of my favorite ways to be a beauty who loves nature is by using henna to color my hair. It’s all natural and leaves my hair looking shiny and feeling incredibly soft. There is also neutral henna, which is a non color henna. It can be used to make the hair shiny and soft without adding color.

Surya Brasil is a wonderful henna hair coloring brand that I came upon in Whole Foods one day. They have premixed henna colors ranging from light brown to black. The brand is completely vegan, sustainable and provides a pair of gloves and a hair cover with easy directions and use. It took me about an hour to complete my hair process and when I was through, my hair felt amazing! Oh, and the smell is lovely! Every time you wash your hair a little color comes out, and you have to reapply about once a month to keep up the richness, if you so choose. It is completely safe for pregnant moms as well, according to Surya Brasil’s claims. Although, it’s best to check with your doctor if you are going to change anything pertaining to your health.

Check out your local health food stores to see what options they have for natural hair coloring. I suggest this one because it is the easiest to use. Other brands have you mix your own henna which takes a while and is quite messy.

Tips: If you are coloring your hair with a dark henna, it’s best to wear clothes you don’t care about staining. Use dark or old towels and follow the directions. When you rinse the product out of your hair for the first time, your shower will be covered in color! Don’t worry though, it rinses off easily.

Be Advised: PPD has also been linked to “Black Henna.” It is approved by the FDA for use in hair color but not on skin because of adverse reactions. Which makes absolutely no sense to me because, if it contains coal tar- a known carcinogen than why does the FDA approve it at all. If you are purchasing a henna hair color with PPD in it, it is not natural and you should NOT buy it. Just to clear the record whether or not the FDA approves the safety of cosmetics, they do not. It is the responsibility of the companies and individuals who manufacture and market the products they are selling. This is a statement straight off their website:

FDA’s authority over other cosmetic ingredients:

“Except for color additives, FDA does not have the authority to approve cosmetic products or ingredients, although the use of several substances in cosmetics is prohibited or restricted due to safety or environmental concerns. Importantly, cosmetic products and ingredients are required to be safe for consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use. Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility for the safety of their products. FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that violate the law.”

Links and resources:

http://www.suryabrasil.com/en/linha.php?id=16

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/Category/24_1/Color.aspx

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/hair-dyes

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm108569.htm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-Beauty-Guide-Fragrances/dp/0757307477

http://safecosmetics.org/

Megan is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic Makeup Artist, based in LA. She is one of the first pioneers in the eco cosmetics movement and is part of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She teaches her clients about how they can make eco conscious cosmetic purchases that will help them and the environment. She loves to hike, kayak, workout, and hang with her handsome hubby and doggie Hobo.

Please visit her website at: www.meganporschen.com

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