Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bare Minerals vs. Physicians Formula

Happy Sunday!

How's everyone feeling after that extra hour of sleep?  Of course, my plan to sleep in and catch up on rest fell through as soon as my dog pounced on my face and woke me up. SO, I will blog instead :)  Hope y'all had a restful, fun and safe weekend.

Let's get down to businessss!  Foundation.  I have a love/hate relationship with.  On one hand, I know it's necessary for a full face of makeup and on the other hand, I know my skin needs a break from my pore-clogging favorite liquid foundations.  My solution?  I use mineral makeup on my skin for the daily grind (work, working out, errands, etc) and liquid for going out or "special" days (aka my skin needs more coverage due to breakouts).  I have been using Bare Minerals Matte for the past few months and I like it.  Notice I say "like".  I feel like there are SO many products out there that you need to LOVE your makeup.  That's when my research began.  I started to look up some other mineral makeup lines--professional and drugstore brands.  I decided on Physicians Formula MineralWear Talc-Free Airbushing Loose Powder. 

It promises:
  • Ultra-fine mineral powder delivers impeccable coverage for a flawless airbrushed finish. 
  •  Visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores and sun damage. 
  •  Formulated with soothing plant extracts, protective antioxidants, nourishing Vitamins C and E and SPF 30. 
  • The result is a visibly firm, smooth, healthy and youthful complexion.
It is also hypoallergenic, fragrance free, paraben free, dermatologist approved., and non-Comedogenic. 

For starters, you can toss the Kabuki brush it comes with.  Too tiny to do any good.  I use my bare minerals brush.  My first impression?  LOVE.  The coverage is unbelievable for a powder.  The "airbrush finish" in the title is what attracted me because I airbrush clients with Temptu airbrush liquid makeup and although the results are slightly different, I will say that this is a very matte, creamy finish.  Once I first applied, I had to wear it all day to see how well it lasts. I have an oily T-zone so it's important for me to see how well the foundation lasts through my day of work and gym.  After a full day of work, I noticed slight wear but I also noticed that with Bare minerals.  My skin was a little shiny but that is a quick fix--blot with oil-absorbing sheet or a dust compact powder. 

I use the shade "Natural Beige".  It's a little light but I warm it up with some bronzer.  I told my co-worker about it and she bought and LOVES too!  Alrighty girls--go get you some!!!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tip from Lauren

Hello loveys!

Another amazing part of my job and writing this blog is the feedback I get from all you lovely readers. I am grateful for all of the inquiries and responses. WELL I have a treat for you. One of my amazing FaceFirst readers emailed me this tip on concealers and her success with finding a perfect color for her fair skin complexion.

"hey girl...after reading in ur blog ab colored concealers i wanted to suggest u try one of my personal faves! laura mercier concealers, primers, & "pre-makeup" products work wonders for me (esp w/ fair, oily skin-thx mom hah) k so the under eye perfecter in mauve/rose---amazinggg! its so hard to cover any sort of 'i didnt sleep much last nite' undereye coloration on fair skin! but this stuff is great lol and then my #1 all time, CANT live without...laura mercier secret finish mattifying--one pea size dab literallyyy soaks every ounce of shine present w/out drying- and it literally feels like silk on ur face! kinda pricey @$42-ish for 1oz tube, but worth every. single. penny.--lasted me from beginning of humid summer, to end--and the bottle still has some life to it but anyways...keep posting!! i <3 it!"

Thank you Lauren for this awesome tip. Now I'm going to run out and get some :)

For all of you online shoppers:



Hi Guys!

I always feel like I sound so cheesy when I am constantly gushing about how much I love my job.  I love it even on the craziest days--which is my fault for scheduling myself with so much.  I adore the clients and especially working with brides on their big day.  I always try to make it a fun experience.  It's the most touching feeling to have a bride look in the mirror and tear up with how beautiful she feels--while I sensitively scream "don't cry! it'll ruin the makeup" hehe.  I have a rewarding job on so many levels and have such a bond with each and every client and bride.  I am endlessly thankful for having this opportunity.  I have gotten many "thank you" notes over the past year or two and always save them to look back on.  I wanted to share a few.

I had the pleasure of working with Angela on  her wedding day.  We set up and got glamorous out at her amazing beach house on Folly Beach.  Her sisters, niece, and entire family was out there from Cincinnati.  They were such a fun crew and we had a great time!  Throughout every makeup application or hairstyle I am doing, I try to give helpful hints to the client so that they can walk away with some useful tools that will last them a lifetime.  Here is an email I received from Angela:

"Thank you so much for making me pretty.  I got so many compliments.  I know you don't remember this, but while you were doing my make-up you gave me a tip on eyeshadow colors and technique.  So when we got back to Cincy (Cincinnati) after the wedding, I went out and bought the color you mentioned and a new brush, right?  So I've been doing what you suggested with  my eyes. I  kid you not, just the other day, my NEW husband says "what's going on with your eyes??"  So I thought something was wrong with them, of course!  And he said "your eyes look AMAZING!!"  Thanks for the tip"

How rewarding is that?  Love her.


I work with many middle-aged women.  I love this age group because they need tips on how to apply makeup; because, let's face it, we all age, unfortunately (grrr). Although, if we are lucky, we age gracefully by taking care of our health: eating properly, limiting sun exposure, using the proper facial skincare products.  I had the opportunity to work with Patti, an extremely beautiful middle-aged woman with an equally as beautiful family.  She was so excited to marry her true love and the energy in that room was contagious.  After making her beautiful (she was stunning without makeup), she looked in the mirror and felt like the young, glowing bride that she was.  I was happy.  My job was complete.  I got this email from her the next day:

"Dear Sabra, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you did yesterday in transforming me into a princess.  My husband told me how beautiful I looked and I received many compliments thanks to you.  I wore my tiara all day and did not take it off until I went to bed that evening.  Thank you again for making a middle aged woman feel young and beautiful and like a princess on her wedding day.  It was a perfect day.

No matter the age, color of your skin or hair, skin type, problems skin, insecurities, or the occasion; my job requires more than just make-up.  It is about creating a bond with your clients and helping them find tools to create the look for years after that one special day.  
I am lucky. I am thankful.  

Love. Xo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Latest Obsession

So, right on up there with plumping lip glosses, I have always been fascinated with long eyelashes.  Even if you have a completely bare face, if you put on some lengthening mascara, you look put together.  They're Real mascara by Benefit claims:
  • 94% saw dramatic length and volume
  • 90% saw base-to-tip curl
  • 94% saw visible lift
  • 100% saw long-wearing results
So, naturally, I had to run out and get it the day it came out (end of August). I've been using it for about a month now and have gotten so many compliments on my lashes.  The price is a bit steep ($22) but it's worth every penny.  
 I LOVE!  One coat and you are good to go!  For a false eyelash look, apply 2-3 coats (do not allow drying time in between applications).  Here's a great before and after picture I found.

Go get you some!  Buy here!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Top 3 Favorite Lipglosses

Hey there!

At any given point, you can reach in my purse and find about eight different lipglosses.  It's an issue and I'm working on it :)  I'm going to give you my top three favorites that have been found due to lots of trial and error!

1:) NARS Lipgloss

This is Kim Kardashian's signature look lipgloss (in the shade of Turkish Delight).  They are super pigmented and creamy.  They come in tons of colors!  My favorite colors are Turkish Delight (Pale pink, nude) and Orgasm (pink with gold tint).   

2.)  Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips
Lord KNOWS I love me a plumping lip gloss and these really do make my lips look bigger!  They come in lotsof different colors and are free of parabens and other harmful ingredients.  Melanie is probably my favorite color -- a warm bright pink and looks great on everyone.

3.)  MAC Cremesheen Glass
Ob-sessed. They’re ultra creamy and pigmented, kind of like liquid lipstick.   These aren't as sticky as MAC's lipglasses. love it. My favorite color for fall is Double Dare--mauve-ish.

Hope this helps :)  Back to work for me.  Have a wonderful week guys.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pink Pout

Hi All!

Phew, we are clear from the hurricane, aside from some sick swell and rain, which is all good news to me! My first appointment cancelled so I am bored and have time to blog.  Pink lipstick is a trend that has taken some trial and error for me to master. I am tan, so light shades don't work for me.  Today, I am rocking Passion by Revlon.

Throw this on with some black mascara and voila!  Perfect look for transitioning into fall.  Try the pink while it's still warm.  You'll love. 

Here are some pics of me playing around.  I can't take myself too seriously hence the cheeseball faces, but thought you'd like to see it on my skin tone too. Showing off another trend I'm loving --two tone nail polishes.  Paint one nail a contrasting color.  fun fun :)

creepy duck lips.
Until next time...MUWAH...Xo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quick fix

Hey there!

With summer, dare I say it, coming to an end...we are all soaking in the sun as much as possible. So listen up sun bunnies! When you know you’re going to be laying out + getting some sun (drenched in sunscreen of course) use your time wisely! Shampoo your hair before you lay out and then apply a deep conditioner, but don’t rinse it out. Brush your hair out and put it in a bun. The heat from the sun will warm up the conditioner and allow it to really get in there.

My favorite hair mask is the It's a 10.


Hope you enjoy :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Urban decay sale

Hey guys!

Urban decay is having a huge sale!! Time for me to stock up on some great glosses, shadows, and polishes.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!,default,sc.html


Monday, July 4, 2011

Eye Primer Confidential


What is upppp?  I hope that everyone is doing great!  I have been so slack when it comes to blogging so I will try to post a few times this week.  I get busy and have been trying to enjoy my summer.  Happy 4th, by the way.  This has been an insane weekend for me so I am taking today to get my schedule organized and clean my filthy house--wish me luck ;)

Since as long as I have been wearing makeup, I have been on the hunt for the perfect eye primer.  After dozens of failed attempts, I found THE ONE:  NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

When I finished my first tube of lightweight, colorless NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($24), I tried a few others with no satisfaction.  I am a tough girl to please, BUT NARS base did the trick :)  

We’d been inseparable since we met last November and I was impressed from the start. Pro-Prime intensifies the color of products applied on top of it and extends wear time, too. It grips cream and powder shadows, eyeliners and brow pencils tighter than teeth on a night guard.
When I start with Pro-Prime in the morning, my eye makeup still looks fresh and crease-free at dinner, even on hot, muggy days.

I wouldn’t complain if NARS slashed a few dollars off the price, perhaps down from $24 to $18, but for what it’s worth, a little does go a long way. It took me seven months to finish my first tube.  Don't over use this product--a tiny dab will cover the lid with a thin layer.
After years of experimenting with different primer products, I’ve just never found anything better, and that includes Urban Decay’s also excellent Primer Potion line. 
Hope everyone has a FUN and safe Holiday.  GOD BLESS!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Latest Obsession

Hey guys! 

I only have a few minutes to post but I hope everyone is doing well!  I was in NYC at The Makeup Show a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to stop by the Anastasia booth and have them "make-over" my eye brows.  Anastasia is famous for taming eyebrows for huge celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. 

While at the booth, I picked up the Anastasia Brow Pen and fell in love :)


The pen is soft-tipped and long-wearing.  My favorite part is how easy it is to apply.  Using short strokes, it covers both skin and hair (so if you have any fall out from powder it covers it right up).  It gives your brows such a natural, lush look and works better than any eyebrow pencil or powder I have ever used.  I have used it as a base for my pencil or powder and that works great. On days when I'm in a rush, I use it to fill in sparse areas to give me a fuller look.  It lasts ALL day and doesn't budge.  It's also easily removed with your nightly facewash.

I am hooked.  Thought I'd share. Now, go get you one :)

Have a great week. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May Travels/Vanessa Shoot

Hey guys!

Wow, it's been a while. 

I went to NYC for The Makeup Show.  I got to experience makeup heaven and learned SO much about products, trends, and application techniques.  Very fun :)   I didn't take many pictures at the show (my hands were too full of products) but here's one from a Fall 2011 trends class.  Think dewy finish, bold brows, and deep red lips!

After NYC, I hopped on a plane to St. John to meet my mom, Uncle Doug (her brother), his wife Lynn, and my cousin Jen (and her husband--Jeff).  This was such an amazing vacation.  Every view there is picturesque.  I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to go on these trips--the gratitude has not escaped me.  Here are a few pictures from that adventure.


Now back to business.  I have the fun job of doing hair and makeup for a photo shoot with the beautiful Vanessa Sandler (she owns Monkees on Daniel Island--go check it out!) and photographer Mark Pelekakis.  For this shoot, she wanted a really bohemian, bronzey look.  Her hair was to be a beachy, messy wave.  Pictures turned out amazing! 


Vanessa has naturally wavy/curly hair.  It is really fine though, but she has a lot of it.  It's gorgeous.  I used a 1 inch barrel curling iron and curled her entire head. I used Moroccan Oil Hair Spray and sprayed it all over. I teased her crown and loosly tousled the ends.  Easy-Peasy.


Vanessa has stunning blue eyes, so browns look GREAT on her.  She is also heavy lidded so I can put hardly anything on, and her eyes look AMAZING--I hate love her ;)  I used Urban Decay's Primer potion on her lids.  Dusted MAC Bronze all over the lid and blended MAC Corduroy into her crease.  We used a matte finish highlighter (I think I used MAC Vanilla).  Key to this look is applying eyeshadow to the lower lash line.  Completes the smokey eye and gives it an "I just slopped this on and look gorgeous" kind of feel.  I airbrushed her with Temptu Silicone base foundation in 004.  Dusted some blush (NYX Expresso), applied a nude gloss (Bobbi Brown in Nude) and voila! 

She is beautiful without makeup so my job wasn't difficult.  Hope everyone enjoyed.  Let me know if you have any questions.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flaw-Erasing Concealers

Hey guys! 

How is everyone?  Great, I hope.

Concealer is my best friend. I rarely leave home without it.  Since few of us have truly perfect skin, concealer is a must-have in most makeup bags.  Different from foundation and powder, concealer is thicker to better cover flaws. 

If you're using concealer to hide under eye circles, apply concealer to the inner and outer corners of the eye, and the inner corner of the bridge of the nose, gently patting it in.


With a blend of anti-puff ingredients, like peptides that target the fluid that causes tired-looking eyes, Chanel Life Lumiere Concealer instantly lightens dark circles to perfect the eye area. 


The Benefit of Colored Concealers

Concealers come in a variety of pastel hues, and each serves a purpose.  When applying them, use only on the discolored area, followed by your regular concealer so that the color doesn't come through.  

Green: Light green concealers will cover redness in the skin, common of acne, scars, and birthmarks.

Pink: Pink shades balance out blue and gray tones, which tend to show up under eyes.

Yellow: Yellow-based concealers brighten by evening out pink tones.

Orange and Peach:  Great for darker skin, orangey shades correct blue tones under the eyes.

Purple and Blue:  Cool colors like purple and blue counteract yellowness in the skin to brighten. 

I hope this helps.  Concealer is a weapon that is commonly misused.   Use it the right way, in the correct color, and it can work WONDERS.  Have any questions?  Ask away...

Until next time....Xo 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring/Summer Switcharoo

Hiiiiii dolls!

This week has been crazy and this weekend is going to be crazier.  Yesterday, I was a part of an AMAZING photo shoot for an up and coming jewelry designer: Caloju.  The jewelry is fun and colorful so I got to have fun with the makeup.  I also did the hair for this shoot.  Here's a preview:

This week I get to work with several brides for wedding day trials and this weekend I have two BIG weddings and I am working on a fun photo shoot on Easter Sunday.  It's with an amazing photographer, Jolie Connor and the theme is "heartbreak".  I can certainly relate so should be a creatively challenging and fun day. 

Alright guys, now that you know what I've been up to, I want to give you some quick information about changing up your summer makeup.  Think: Less is more.  Take your beauty cues from the ultimate authority: Mother Nature.  She changes things up; so should you!

Play with floral shades like roses and pinks; put away dark shades like wines and burgundies.  Sweep a little shimmery golden bronzer over tanned skin to accentuate your glow :)

Pink lips look great on tanned faces.  This combo also makes your teeth appear whiter.  A bright coral lipstick topped with a sheer, shimmery bronze gloss perks up your entire face, no matter what your skin tone. 

For a relaxed and pretty day time look, add a subtle wash of eye color (I like pearly whites and pinks) and a dab of lip balm.

Keep it simple.  I hope everyone has an amazing Easter weekend and enjoys their time with loved ones. 

Until next time...Xo

Friday, April 15, 2011

MAC purchases

Hey loves!

YAY it's Friday!  I'm ready for a fun-filled weekend. I have my first Saturday off in months so I am going to redecorate my spare bedroom--exciting stuff ;)

Ok, let's get down to business.  If you had $100 to spend at MAC, what would you get?  Let's face it, I put A LOT of makeup suggestions on here and you would go broke purchasing every item I love.  I decided to put together a list of items I would purchase with a $100 spending limit.  This is affordable for everyone, you will LOVE the products, and thank me later :)  I hope this helps!

Fix + Spray

Love, Love, Love!  I use it everyday after I finish my makeup to give my skin that youthful glow.   You can also mix it with pigments to get a wet eyeshadow look, or spray on your sponge before applying foundation.

Price: $19

217 Brush

My all-time favorite brush.  I love it because it’s stiff and dome shaped which is great for smoking out eyeshadows, blending colors in the crease, or feathering colors together.  You can even use it to apply cream products to the lid as it gives a soft application.  This brush is a staple in my everyday kit!

Price: $22.50

219 Brush

This is another favorite brush of mine that I use every day!  It’s the perfect brush for smudging eyeshadow along the lashline, defining the crease, or creating the perfect “outer V”.  

Price: $24.50

Expensive Pink Eyeshadow

MAC has well over 100 eyeshadows, and most all of them are pretty.  But… this one is very unique to me and looks great on just about anyone!  It’s a medium pink color that works well for an everyday look, and since it is a warm pink, it is flattering.  I can’t think of any other brands that have this exact color.

Price: $11.00  (for the refill pan)

Amber Lights Eyeshadow

This is another gorgeous color that looks good on everyone, and I mean EVERYONE.  I haven’t found a client yet that this doesn’t look great on.  It’s a warm golden bronze color that can be toned down for an everyday look, or paired with a black shadow for a fantastic date night look.   There are some brands that have colors close to this, but it’s not quite the same texture or richly pigmented like this one!

Price: $11.00

Blacktrack Fluidline

I am a 100% addict to gel or cream eyeliners.  They glide easily, last a long time, are rich in color, and are easy to apply.  I like this MAC one since the gel formula doesn’t dry out and look cakey on my eyes.  I love to dip an eyeliner pencil in it to line my waterline, or use a bent liner brush for that perfect winged liner.  You can choose from 6 colors of fluidlines, but the black one can be used everyday.

Price: $15.00

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Q & A

Hey loves!

So another week has gone by in my little world of beauty & makeup and what an action packed time it’s been!  Weddings, photo shoots, and the salon, it's hard to consider it work when I love it so much.  I've had a lot of questions so I'm going to take a few and answer them now.

Q:  How can I be more adventurous with my makeup? 

A:  First, accept that most of us can only wear colors within a fairly narrow spectrum.  The trick is to find which shades flatter you, be they browns, pinks, or apricots, and then experiment with new products within this range when you feel like a change.

Q:  How do I find the right concealer for me?

A:  Using the wrong shade will highlight rather than hide your flaws, so follow the basic rules: Concealer with a greenish tinge will hide redness; a blue tone will complement fair skin; a yellow concealer is good for dark or uneven skin; while a pinky color will illuminate a dull complexion.

Q:  When it comes to skin, is matte always better?

A:  Not necessarily.  It depends on your skin type.  If you have oily skin, matte foundation will help control oil. Dry skin does not need this formula.  To get the fresh-faced, dewy look that is popular at the moment, try a foundation or concealer with light-reflecting pigments.  It's particularly flattering on older sins and will stop you from looking caked.

Q: Where should I apply highlighter?

A:  Under your eyebrows, down the middle of your nose, just about your cupid's bow and in the semicircle from your outer eye along the line of your cheekbone.  Avoid blemishes at all costs as you don't want to highlight them too.  


I appreciate the questions.  Keep them coming.  Hope everyone has a great day!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Hello Lovelies :)

Well, like I said in my previous blog, I've been super busy with work.  I want to share some of the make-up I've done on recent shoots with photographer Jason Benjamin.  This is for the e-sy-lum 6 month calendar. Here they are...Hope you enjoy!

I am lucky to have worked with such talent.  They challenge me and keep me growing :)  Hope everyone has a great week!