Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Many clients of mine have asked me how to clean your makeup brushes and how often. I know many of you out there probably have cleaned them once maybe or not at all.

It is a bit of a chore to do, but your face will definitely thank you when you are using germ free brushes on your skin. 

This is especially necessary for brushes used with liquid products such as foundation brushes. Just imagine how much product stays behind after each use, day after day. Not a pretty thought. 

The best way to keep your brushes clean and so they have a longer life is to clean them every two weeks. If you use foundation everyday it wouldn’t hurt to clean your foundation and concealer brush every week. 

If you are a makeup artist and use your brushes on a different person everyday or multiple people in a day; your brushes should be cleaned after each face. The best way is to have brush cleaner or alcohol in a spray bottle for in between each use. Then that night give all your brushes a thorough cleaning.  

When using brush cleaner or alcohol to clean your brushes, spray some of the liquid on a paper towel and then rub the brush in it and repeat until there is no product that comes off on the paper. A great brush cleaner is Cinema Secrets Professional Brush cleaner or you can just bye straight up Isopropyl Alcohol (which is cheaper). 

I would not use the alcohol approach on the reg. because it will eventually damage your natural hair brushes over time. 

For a thorough cleaning you can use one of the following: Dawn Dish washing soap (I prefer the Dawn with Olay the Hand Renewal), Baby Shampoo or regular Shampoo (I like the Tresemme Split Remedy version). 

How I start is by twirling my brushes in a bit of the soap in my palm. Then I take one brush at a time (with the bristles facing down in my palm) with the faucet running, I swirl the brush in circular motions until the water runs clear. Then repeat until all the brushes are finished. Do not submerge your brushes completely in water because that may cause the glue to loosen the bristles therefore leading to shedding (one thing I hate and can’t stand). 

When you are done, re-form your brushes and then place them so the brush is hanging off the edge of a counter so the air can circulate around them and dry them completely. 

And there you go! Nice clean brushes and happy skin! 

Enjoy & Be Beautiful! 

Images from:
Carolyn Thombs (mine)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Makeup Magic: pH Balanced Products

pH Balanced Products from Physicians Formula

Recently I was shopping as Target and came across some interesting products. I always like to peruse the cosmetic aisles to see if there are any products worth trying, Physicians Formula happened to have some eye catching products!

What caught my eye first was the fact that the compact actually lights up! This is perfect for touch-ups when you are out in the evenings.

The product was a bronzer and not just any old bronzer but one that reacts to light and your pH to create your perfect bronzed glow! I got the light bronzer and use it every day to add a nice warm glow to my skin. 

Technology behind it:
Fluorescein based dye: it senses the pH level of your skin and adjusts within 60 seconds to create your perfect bronze glow. 

Photochromic powders: light adjusting pigments adapt to your environment so color looks the same indoors and outside.

They included the same technology in a beautiful lip gloss  It changes to become your perfect shade of pink and even after the gloss texture fades you still have the color on your lips for up to 14 hours. 

If you are looking for something that is easy and doesn't involve knowing which color to pick, then these products are perfect for you! 

Enjoy & Be Beautiful! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Great Gifts for the Makeup Lover Part II

Another great place to find wonderful sets for that special person who absolutely loves makeup is Nordstrom. Each brand in the cosmetic department has beautiful sets including skincare, makeup and bath sets.

This is always the best time to try a new skincare regimen that you have been thinking about, a new fragrance, or even get a beautiful eye shadow palette.

I couldn't pass up getting the Laura Mercier ‘Smoky Effects’ Mini Kohl Eye Pencil Collection ($48) with shades including: Jet Black, Antique Jade, Black Violet, Brown Copper, Black Gold, Black Navy, Black Turquoise, and Stormy Grey.

I also got the Laura Mercier ‘Soft Nudes’ Mini Lip Glace Collection ($48); which was great for stocking stuffers as well as some perfect shades for Weddings!

Click here to check out the other great gifts Laura Mercier has to offer!

Other great brands that have gifts as well:
Brush Set

Holiday Sets from Nordstrom

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!

(Photos from

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gifts for the Makeup Lover Part I

Stockings hung above the fireplace

The holidays are the absolute best time for buying amazing beauty sets! So for all of you who are makeup lovers or have some on your Christmas list, Sephora has many sets to make their (or your) Christmas colorful and beautiful!

I had to pick up as few of their sets because they were just too good to pass up:
The Kat Von D Star Kissed Lipstick Set, which included 6 beautiful lipsticks for only $28.00! These are great additions to someone’s present or can be used as stocking stuffers; or you can of course gift the whole set to someone who loves to try new lipsticks ( I gifted a few to myself :)).

The other fabulous set I got was the Laura Mercier Artist’s palette for eyes($48). This is perfect for anyone who likes having multiple eyeshadows, but wants them in one palette and likes to have the option of matte or shimmer colors. I love it because it is comprised of the perfect shades for doing everyday makeup as well as bridal, which I do quite often. So whether this palette is for your kit or a friend in need of an amazing versatile palette, it truly is an amazing buy!

So armed with this knowledge, go out and knock out those last presents you need to complete your holiday shopping and pick up something special for yourself as well!
Check out the other sets Sephora has to offer:
click here!

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dior's National Artist Joel Marriott Event

Join Dior tomorrow, December 4th, at the National Event with Joel Marriott at Pentagon City's Nordstrom from 11-6pm 

Learn some great ways to spruce up your makeup wardrobe and fall in love with the magic that Dior cosmetics and skincare has to offer!

Make sure you don't forget to stop by the counter! 

Enjoy & Be Beautiful! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cinnaberry Tresses

 The cold weather can sometimes feel a bit dreary at times and I feel like my hair starts to mimick the weather and lose all of its dimension and spice. 

So to jazz things up I like to warm up my hair by using a temporary hair color usually on the auburn side. This weekend I was starting to feel that itch to change something to spice up my look so I used the hair color that I had, Cinnaberry (Medium Auburn) by Clairol Natural Instincts. 

I like the Natural Instincts version because it doesn't dry out my hair and actually makes it silkier that it was before. 

Now I have a nice spicy hair color like my cute little dog, Chloe! 

The perfect amount of spiciness to survive the cold months ahead. 
Two Red Heads! 

If you are feeling about dull from the chill go add some spice to your hair color!

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Birthday USMC!!!

I just wanted to do a quick shout out to the Marine Corps:
Thank you for keeping this country safe!
Semper Fi!

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!

Purifying Mask: A Nice and Relaxing Treat for Your Skin

photo from

I decided to treat myself to a mask treatment yesterday. I used the WEI Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask that I had gotten in my Birchbox. I absolutely love this mask! It makes your skin feel rejuvenated and clean without the tight dry feeling that some masks leave your skin feeling. 

The mask eliminates debris and toxins from your skin and can be used on all skin types. 

The China Clay in it exfoliates and cleans the skin without the tight and dry feeling. The Golden Root is a botanical that has been used by Chinese Royalty for centuries. It helps the skin look younger by reducing the oxidative stress placed on your cells as they age. 

WEI East is a beauty line developed by Wei Brian. It is the largest Chinese Medicine inspired company in the United States. They use real traditional Chinese remedies in their amazing products and use 100 of nature's best herbs. 

How to use: brush on a clean face, avoiding eye area (I used my fingers since I do not have the special brush)
Leave for 10 minutes
Then rinse with warm water and follow with your normal skin care routine.

WEI offers many other products that will give your skin a relaxing vacation every time you use them. 

Check out the link below to purchase your own mask and peruse their other products. Check out Birchbox as well and try it out! You are sure to find some new products to add to your beauty wardrobe. 

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Peppered Lips & Cozy Wool

Winter is definitely coming and bringing that icy cold weather with it. I am not the biggest fan of the cold but love to take advantage of cozying up in my warm wool sweater in order to stay warm. I got this sweater in Ireland and highly recommend to anyone traveling over there to make sure you don't leave without without finding your own sweater to bring home! They have so many beautiful choices ranging in many different colors and patterns. 

I chose to wear my ankle boots today and to add some extra warmth and add the illusion of height to the shoe I added my leg warmers to the mix! I know they are a flash back to the 80's but if done in the right way they can add a nice element to your outfit. They are a great way to add versatility to your boots and to add warmth to your life. Try it out!

The Rusk leave-in treatment is amazing! I use it after every shower and it has helped my hair to stay healthy and shiny even though I am a big fan of waiting forever to get my hair cut. The product helps control frizz, smoothes, detangles, moisturizes, strengthens, adds body and more to your hair. If used with heat it will act as a thermal protectant. 

For my lips I chose a color that is brownish in color for a subtle but present lip color. I am wearing Pepper from Bite, which can be found at Sephora. It is very moisturizing and has a nice creme finish. Over top I put the Dior Lip Polish in 002 for a nice non-sticky shine. 

Since I am going for a more subtle makeup look I just put on some mascara, Diorshow Extase in Black, to give myself nice big lashes. 

All in all this is a great casual day outfit to keep you warm and cozy. 

Leather Gloves: Merona at Target

Hair: Rusk 12 in 1 Miracle Treatment W8less Leave in Treatment-- spray on wet/ or damp hair concentrating on ends, keep hair healthy during the cold winter months

Lips: Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper at Sephora
Dior Lip Polish 002

Mascara: Diorshow Extase in 090 (Black)

Shoes: M.P.S. from DSW

Leg warmers: my own

Jeans: Cabi Jeans

Sweater: Carraigdonn in Ireland 

Top: Talbots

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Fall Essentials from Target

Yesterday I did a nice shopping trip to Target with one of my very close friends Jenna after a fantastic lunch at Panera. I had not been to Target in quite some time and was pleasantly surprised at all the fabulous accessories they had to choose from to add to ones fall and winter wardrobe. 

 I found some amazingly cute leather gloves with a bow on the wrist part of the glove and a very fashionable fedora. Normally I am not much of a hat person because generally I feel that they don't look that great on me. But once I put this beauty on I knew it was meant to be! 

I purchased both for around $32 including tax. I have to say that is quite a steal! 

There are a lot more styles of hats and gloves to choose from at Target so don't hesitate and go get some accessories to top off your fall and winter looks! 

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Cat Costume Tutorial

The final look for this Halloween series is how to look like a cat! 

This is actually pretty much what I am going to dress up as for a party I am attending this weekend. Only difference is that I am going to be a cat burglar and be draped in jewels. So fabulous!  

Check out the video and try it for yourself! 

List of Products used:

Nars Eyeliner Stylo in Carpates
Diorshow New Look Mascara
Nars Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto

Laura Mercier Universal Setting Powder
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

Lancome Le Lipstique in Sundried Berry

Dior Blush in 

Red Cherry Lashes in #40 in Black

Enjoy & Be Beautiful!