Tag Archives: Michelle Brookhurst

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.

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

7 Dec

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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.

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.

Red Carpet Skin by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

28 Sep

As a celebrity stylist and former red-carpet walker, I know firsthand that even the most beautifully put-together outfit won’t make up for less than perfect skin. While the focus these days might be on “who you are wearing”, none of that matters compared to how you are feeling. Skin is skin, and it reacts to stress, weather, hormones, food, etc; there are some events in your life that might be hugely important to commemorate, but you’d rather the unflattering pictures not live on for eternity.

The only way to give yourself a little extra boost, is by being prepared. When a celebrity is on a press tour, you can bet they are ready for anything. They have a team: a stylist, who selects and tailors the ultimate outfit, a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a publicist to help with the interview questions, an assistant to make sure someone is walking the dog while their owner is stuck in a hotel conference room for 8 hours at a time. They have spent time getting facials, teeth whitenings, they are airbrush tanned for the perfect sun-kissed sparkle, they work with personal trainers and pilates instructors. They juice. They cleanse. They exfoliate.

So when it’s time for your big red carpet moment, whether it’s your best friends wedding, or the big office party, why don’t you take the time to give your skin some extra attention? I’ll bet you run around the mall looking for the perfect outfit, or try to squeeze in extra crunches during “The Good Wife”. Why don’t you take a few minutes, and spend a few dollars to make sure your skin is red carpet worthy too? Why is it we have special make-up for a big night out, but not special skin care at the ready? Everyone knows how to do a “smoky eye”, but what good is that when you have dull skin, or a breakout, or a T-Zone oil explosion? You can carry the clutch of the season, or keep your balance in the latest wedge heel, but who’s looking at that when the focus of every picture should be your face?

My two ultimate products for red carpet skin are simple, user friendly, and won’t break the bank. I don’t know about you, but when there is a big to-do happening, I don’t have time for a bunch of appointments, I’m lucky if I can do my nails on the bathmat at 1 am the night before. So my two red carpet picks are ones you can do at home, no muss no fuss, and they are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. I can say that, because I have the most sensitive skin on the planet, and these two specialty items did not send me running for the benadryl or the dermatologist.

The first one is Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit.


From the Sephora website: “The Microdelivery Peel Kit not only exfoliates the skin, it delivers vitamin C and peptides to the skin. This completely new approach to skin rejuvenation resurfaces and replenishes the skin at the same time.” It gives you a little scrub, and a little peel, just giving you brighter, softer, glowing skin in two steps. This is great for men too.

My second step for skin star-power, is the SKII Facial Treatment Mask. It looks ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun. No one said beauty is glamorous.

From the SKII website: “Radiance, Moisture Enhancing Mask by SK-II. Revitalizes. Comforts. Provides intense hydration. A 100% cotton mask that soaks skin with Pitera’s fusion of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. Immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool. “

After your skin has been scrubbed and peeled by Philosophy, let it soak in all the amino acids, vitamins and nutrients of this SKII mask. You will be so happy you did, because now, you are truly dressed for success.

Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel Kit available at:

Philosophy

Sephora

Skinstore

SKII available at:

SKII

Saks Fifth Avenue

Bliss

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.

“The Skin I’m In” by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

14 Sep

I’m the person that “sensitive skin” labels were made for. Unfortunately, most products aren’t “sensitive” enough. I am allergic to every synthetic fragrance, every bubble bath, every laundry detergent, every make-up, every self-tanner, every everything.

I have horror stories of getting on a plane and using a beautiful, “healthy” cucumber hand lotion from an extremely reputable brand, known for it’s true to nature philosophy, and breaking out in hives 20 minutes into a 5 hour flight. When I go to a hotel, I have to bring my own towel, so I don’t get a red itchy rash all over my torso from the hotel bathrobe and towel sets. I have to pack my own blanket plus full length pajamas and socks, to keep me protected from the hotel linens. So much for a romantic getaway when you are covered head to toe, in the hopes of protecting yourself from a blanket. I am terrified of the Snuggle bear, and the wrath his scented dryer sheets can inflict on my skin.

So needless to say, I am extremely paranoid and picky when it comes to my skin care. For a long time I used Olay sensitive skin face wash, and moisturizer with sunblock, but when I wanted to make the switch to paraben-free skin care, I was lost in a sea of essential oils. I am always nervous to try anything new on my skin, I patch test everything, with a dime size scoop of any new product on my inner wrist for 24 hours before it goes anywhere near my face. So when a friend suggested DeVita skin care, I took her advice with a grain of salt; everyone always thinks they can outsmart my skin allergies, but my puffy eyes and swollen lips the morning after a “I swear it’s all natural” lotion test have always told me the truth. However, I started paying attention to her repeated suggestion, not because I necessarily believed the line wouldn’t affect my skin, but because her skin looked so fantastic.

My patch testing began on a summer afternoon, after reading everything I could on paraben-free allergy safe skincare. DeVita was the clear winner. It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and they have their own website, http://www.devitaskincare.com. It’s a little more expensive than the average drugstore skin care products, but for someone like me, it’s truly priceless. The packaging is beautiful, and not only is it paraben free, it’s vegan safe, gluten sensitive safe, never tested on animals, and the products are fantastic! My personal favorites are the Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser, the Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30, the DeVita-C Serum, the Perfecting Time Age Defying Moisturizer, the Hyaluronic Serugel, and the super duper High Performance Glycolic Acid Blend. I am way too sensitive to use Retin-A, but this glycolic acid serum does the trick! My skin has never been calmer, clearer, brighter, and happier. The line has every kind of troubleshooting product you can imagine, from under eye cream to capillary support. DeVita has “try-me” kits on their website, which are also ideal for travel- because the bottles are a beautiful thick glass, some of the full-size products are not great for squishing into a suitcase.

I don’t feel lost or embarrassed about my skin anymore, I’m just a sensitive gal in general. As I have matured, I am grateful for my emotional sensitivity, it makes me a better friend, daughter, parent, sister. And I am thankful, for every hotel towel, and well-intentioned bubble bath, for all the itchy and red days and nights, because they brought me to a safe, healthy skin care line, that looks beautiful in my home, and even better on my skin.

 

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.

Devita Skincare & Cosmetics Available at:
DeVita

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