22 May

Fashion First Aid: A Stylist’s Beautifying Secrets

Summer’s almost here and my fashion-stylist roommate of four years is graduating and moving out. As a tribute to what I’ve learned from her, here are some styling tips she uses on set that are guaranteed to make you look your best in real life!

{love this photo of Audrey Hepburn on set}

Keep Your Clothes Stain-Free

A clean, dry makeup brush will remove deodorant markings from fabric. If the fabric is a dark blue or black, you can also fold up the material and rub out the marking with more dark fabric. (I don’t know why this works, but rubbing clean black fabric on dirty black fabric is the easiest way to remove any deodorant or other chalky blemish!)  You can erase lipstick stains with white vinegar.  Mascara can be rubbed out with a paste made of water and crushed aspirin.

Tame Unruly Summer Hair

Spray your hairbrush with hairspray before your brush to avoid hair static.  Another option?  Rub a dryer sheet over your hair to keep it static-free.  (Bonus: it also smells great!)

Get More Out of Your Makeup

Sometimes on photo shoots, stylists need to be creative to get the perfect look.  Fortunately, many items in your makeup bag can work double time.  Use your bronzer as eyeshadow for a natural, smoky look.  A light, cream-colored eyeshadow can go on the fullest part of your lip to give a plumping appearance. De-clump your mascara by going over your lashes with a shadow brush.  My favorite?  Use clear lip gloss on your eyebrows to tame flyways!

What are your fashion tips and tricks? Do you have any secret on-the-go saves? Let us know in the comments!

3 May

Makeup Meets Skincare: BB Cream Debunked

Magazines and makeup counters alike are raving about the latest beauty phenomenon, BB Cream. It may not be a miracle worker but it will save you a lot of time (and money!) while benefitting your skin in the process.

BB cream, otherwise known as “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” is a multi-purpose wonder that combines products you’re probably already using – moisturizer, skincare, primer, foundation, and SPF. Somewhere between a tinted moisturizer and a medium-coverage foundation, these balms incorporate skin-saving ingredients like botanical antioxidants, luminous pearl extracts, or hydrating hyaluronic acid.

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You can apply this all-in-one package alone for sheer coverage or under liquid or powder foundations (including mineral) for more coverage and longer-lasting makeup. So, if you’re looking for some versatility in your beauty routine, BB cream might just be your new go-to product.

Here are three that, while similar in some ways, target different skin concerns and preferences.

For great oil control: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream (Available in five shades)


This BB cream glides on smooth and evens out skin tone without feeling heavy. It has an uncharacteristically high SPF for makeup—a 35—so you can feel confident that your skin is protected. Smashbox’s formula also helps control oil without looking chalky. In fact, emollients and pearl pigments hydrate skin, giving a natural glow rather than a flat, chalky finish. The big bonus? It’s fragrance-free, dermatologist tested, and non-acnegenic, so all skin types (even the acne-prone, oily, or sensitive) may just fall in love with it.

For a dewy, luminous finish: Too Faced Beauty Balm (Available in four shades)


When it comes to this one, don’t confuse “dewy” with oily. Light diffusing pigments—not oil—give skin a radiance from within, and a multi-mineral complex provides long-term anti-aging benefits, antioxidant protection, and increases skin’s elasticity over time. With a chemical-free SPF 20, hydrating vitamin E, and soothing chamomile, sensitive skin folks need not bat an eye. I found that when I tried different BB creams on clients, the color range of this one seemed to fill in the gaps of Smashbox’s color selection. So if Smashbox doesn’t make the right shade for you, try this one.

For hydration and treatment: Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm (Available in one shade)

This oil-free, 50% water-based BB cream is a burst of hydration for your skin with a combination of glacial and deep ocean water, hyaluronic acid, and seaweed extract. Additional skincare benefits include aloe that will, of course, soothe irritation and redness and a porous powder that absorbs oil. Listed as a “blemish balm”on Dr. Jart’s website, it may actually cover up blemishes and help lighten dark spots. The high water content gives a cooling sensation when applied, maintains healthy moisture levels, and enhances your natural glow without being greasy. Now, that’s one happy, healthy (and hydrated) face!

These are just a sampling of many beauty balms available. Other brands to check out include MAC, Stila, Boscia, Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Dior. Happy hunting!

Have you tried a BB Cream? What’s been your experience? Tell us what you loved (or didn’t love)!

19 Apr

Double-Duty Beauty: Must-have products with two (or more) benefits

When it comes to beauty, wouldn’t it be nice if there were something that served as a one-stop-shop to looking and feeling your best? Well, one power product may be a stretch, but there are a few that have dual usage. Say hello to four goodies that will simplify your life without weighing down your makeup bag (or breaking the bank!)

Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser

This three-in-one product gently cleanses, tones, and removes all traces of makeup (including eye makeup). Plus, with oil extracts that condition and hydrate, your skin will feel moisturized and refreshed.

Doubles as a makeup brush cleaner. To get all the buildup and bacteria out of your brushes, clean them with Purity and warm water. Then, lay flat to dry. Clean brushes increase your chances of clearer skin and your pretty makeup will go on better, guaranteed!

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer

Erase pesky pimples and signs of too many late nights with this matte-finish concealer. I’ve tried many concealers, and I think this one trumps them all in terms of hiding even the worst of blemishes, darkness, or redness. As a full coverage and waterproof concealer, it’s sure to cover any imperfections with fabulous staying power.

Doubles as an eyeshadow primer. Not only will this make your eyeshadow last all day (and night) and prevent creasing, but it will also neutralize the skin tone on your eyelid. Even if I’m not wearing eyeshadow, I like to use this to even out my coloring. Just doing that instantly brightens the eye area.

Sephora Collection Pro Air Brush #55

The secret to an airbrushed look starts with this liquid foundation brush. Its shape and high-grade synthetic hairs perfectly blend foundation, provide buildable coverage, and give better results than natural-haired brushes.

Doubles as a powder, bronzer, and blush brush. I use this brush to apply my liquid foundation and then continue using it with powder, bronzer, and blush. At 34 bucks, this brush is totally worth it since you get four different benefits from of it. Plus, it feels really good on your skin!

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer


The name alone gives away this product’s dual purpose. As a primer, it creates an even canvas for your makeup by filling in fine lines and pores. Use it under foundation, powder, or tinted moisturizer to prep your skin and help makeup last longer.

Doubles as an illuminator. Who doesn’t want radiant skin? This primer will give you a natural, luminous finish without looking shimmery or adding any color. I particularly like using it on special occasions when I need my makeup to stay put and really want my skin to glow. A final (third) side benefit: jojoba seed oil will also help to hydrate your skin.

Have you found any miracle products that you use for more than one purpose? Or, maybe just a product you absolutely can’t live without? Please share your tips and tricks with us!

10 Apr

Real Life Photoshop Makeup Guide

My sweets, I am so excited to announce that there are two new ladies joining the {blending beautiful} family as contributing writers!  Today, I’d like to introduce Juliette, an LA native living in San Francisco until her plot to take over the world pans out. She is an advertising copywriting student who is into tall boots, Harry Potter, and her dog, Laika.

Check out her guide to getting photoshop results from your makeup:

My little sister and I had power struggles for years over our bathroom. Eyeshadow was stolen back and forth, wars were waged over whose brush was whose. And yet the ability to try out someone else’s makeup is rarely given to me now that we’re grown and in different cities. The cost of trying a new foundation is usually too high and the errand of returning it too inconvenient.

Luckily there are those products that, when you find them, do more for you than just pink up your lips.

Some makeup products go beyond regular beauty and slip into the realm of flawlessness. I’ve smeared a lot of drug store makeup on my face and stolen a lot of eyeliner from my sister, and now I’ve compiled a list of products that will have you looking like a model who’s been re-touched…

{via}

Zap Zit Drying Gel

This product is unlike any other I have ever tried simply because of its staying power. Within hours, this astringent that is free of mineral oil, alcohol, and perfume will dry up any blemish. You need less than a pea-sized dab on the affected area, and that’s it. Just wait. I’ve applied this in the morning, made coffee, gotten dressed, and found that my pimple was already less red. Apply it at night and you’ll never remember you were breaking out when you awake in the morning. (Get it here.)

Foundation Brush

I didn’t use a foundation brush until recently because I didn’t think I needed it. After all, in a world so overflowing with beauty products, some must certainly be unnecessary. It turns out, this one is important— talk about Photoshop! Essentially it’s a blending tool, smoothing out your face and perfectly layering on your foundation.  Pick up this Sonia Kashuk brush from Target and see for yourself!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

This product keeps your eyeshadow from disappearing into your skin, leaving you with makeup that won’t budge for hours and colors that are as bright as promised. No more creases, no more glitter on your cheeks, no more reapplying eyeliner in the bathroom at work. You really do look the same at end of the day as you do at the beginning. It’s like a perfect Photoshop base upon which you can layer color upon bright color.  Pick some up at Sephora!

DiorShow Mascara by Dior

If your eyelashes are thin (or even if they’re long and beautiful) you can always make them darker, longer, thicker. This mascara does it all for you. Even on a day without any other makeup it will make you look like a celebrity faster than a Birkin bag.  Try some for yourself!

Any one of these products will touch you up so well you won’t need to be retouched. If you try them out, don’t forget to let your sister play with them too. Because if something should run in the family, it’s looking flawless.

What products do you use to get great looking skin?  Have you tried any of these?  Got another favorite to share?  Let me know in the comments!

27 Mar

Beauty Review: Awesome Mascara On The Cheap!

I’ve been a diehard fan of Lancome mascara for years.  But at $26 a tube, I’d been wondering if there was a less expensive alternative.  Good news…

Enter: Maybelline’s the Colossal Volum’ Express!

A friend of mine swears by this stuff and suggested I try it, so I picked up a tube last week and I’m thrilled with the results!  It’s a thin formula with a thick brush, meaning it gets into all the nooks and crannies.  It’s easy to layer without clumping up.  And it lasts all day without flaking!

It comes in both regular and waterproof versions and the best part: it costs only $4.79!  That’s less than a fifth of what I was paying for Lancome!

Needless to say, I’m thrilled with this find.

What’s your favorite mascara brand?  Have you tried Maybelline’s Colossal Volum’ Express?  Got another recommendation?  And do you wear waterproof or washable?  Tell me in the comments!