Posts Tagged ‘makeup’

Makeup Tips: When to Throw Out Old Makeup

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

beauty-school-makeupLike most women, you probably have invested in a number of pricey skin care products that aim to help women achieve healthy, clear skin. But have you ever stopped to think about how your makeup might be affecting the quality of your skin? If you are still using makeup from the last decade, you could be contaminating your skin. A recent study performed on British women revealed most women continue using their old makeup well past the product’s expiration date. Furthermore, the study also revealed that 89% of women were unaware of the fact that their makeup has an expiration date, although in many cases it is not listed clearly on the product.

While most women understand the risk of sleeping in makeup (although 81% of us regularly do so), few actually understand the implications that can arise from using expired makeup. Old make-up can cause a host of skin problems including skin infections, acne, sties and peri-oral dermatitis, a condition that causes the development of rash-like red bumps. If you are one of the 60% of women who shares their old makeup with friends, you are not only exposing yourself to harmful bacteria, but also exposing your friends as well.

Considering the staggering cost of most makeup, it is understandable why many of us, 68% to be exact, only replace make-up once it runs out, opposed to when the product expires. So the next time you get ready to apply that year-old mascara and eyeliner, think again. If you’ve been using old makeup, check out some of our recommendations for proper makeup usage and disposal.

Eye Makeup
Of all makeup items, mascara is the one you will need to replace regularly. According to the study, most women kept their mascara for a year, even though it should be replaced every two to three months. Mascara can breed icky bacteria that can lead to eye irritation, conjunctivitis and sties. While most women keep their powdered eye shadow for 180 months, it should be replaced each year. Cream-based eye shadows can grow bacteria more quickly than powders and should be replaced every 6 months. Liquid or pencil eyeliners should be replaced four times a year.

Foundation and Concealers
The study of British women also revealed that women tended to keep their concealer for two years, even though it should be replaced every 12 months. Generally, powder and stick concealers can last up to a year, while liquid concealers, which are more prone to breed bacteria, should be tossed after 6-12 months. If you buy your foundation in bulk, don’t worry. Unopened foundation can last for a few years.

Storage and Cleaning
Unfortunately, most of us store our makeup and makeup brushed in our moisture-rich bathrooms. You can extend the life of your favorite products by storing them in a dry, dark place. If you find you have frequent acne breakouts, you might be one of the 72% of women who never wash their make-up sponges or brushes. Be sure to wash these items regularly and you will surely see a difference in your skin.

Sparkle in your eyes: The dos and don’ts of Halloween eye glitter

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Courtesy of deansloan65 via Flickr

Courtesy of binababy123 via Flickr

Going to a costume party this Halloween? If so, chances are you have some accessories to spice up your costume – maybe a witch’s hat, crazy jewelry or some festive makeup. If fun Halloween makeup is in your costume plans, you might want to read some of our tips before you go hitting the glittery eyes for that awesome Ke$ha costume you’re planning.

While glitter can add instant glitz and glam, it can also cause eye injuries, discomfort and infections if not used correctly. Big chunks of glitter that fall into the eye can scratch the cornea and leave your eyes bloodshot. Unless you’re going for monster or zombie makeup, you probably don’t want that.

Here are a few Halloween makeup tips on how to have glittery, yet pain-free, eyes:

  • Never use glitter that isn’t intended to be makeup! Don’t think you can sprinkle craft store glitter on your eyelids. It is often cut in bigger chunks and made out of metal which could scratch your cornea or irritate your eye.
  • Before you pile on a bunch of glitter, test it out on your skin. Does it irritate your skin? Does it fall easily into your eyes? Make sure you know before you wear it all night.
  • Is it a loose glitter or liquid? If it’s a glittery “goo” that has to be applied with a brush or stick, it’s better to put on your eyelids than “loose” glitter. Loose glitter will fly into your eyes and irritate you – or worse, scratch your eyes.
  • Read the instructions! If it says, “not intended for use around the eyes” or “avoid eye area,” don’t put it on your eyes! Some glitter is made to brush on your cheeks but not meant for eyes. Stick to the directions.
  • Apply the glitter over a layer of liquid or cream eye shadow. If glitter has a “sticky” base to hold on to, it’s less likely to fall into your eyes throughout the night. A bonus is you can make some cool colors combinations!

Enchanting, sparkly eyes can really add to your magical Halloween costume. The trick is using the right kind of glitter and applying it correctly so your Halloween makeup looks beautiful from start to finish.

5 Bedtime Beauty Tips

Thursday, October 13th, 2011


Wish you could get up out of bed and be instantly prettier? Of course you do. If you could altogether avoid or cut in half the daunting task of dolling yourself up for the day – wouldn’t you? Absolutely!

Well, now you can with this list of 5 ways to wake up prettier. No more of those days at work having someone tell you, “Ooh, you look tired.” Nope! You can kiss those days goodbye.

Shower it – then braid it

If you want to achieve that nice wavy look, then stick to this old motherly secret. You’ve heard the saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this bedtime beauty secret is old school for a reason – it’s not broke, so don’t fix it!

Double layer it

Wearing primer over skincare products at night might sound odd, but it allows them to sink in and work their magic. Try it out if you’re a non-believer and see how good you look in the morning.

Keep it tamed

Want to protect yourself from the reincarnation of ‘80s riot hair? Then flip your hair upside down, pull it into a ponytail and secure it tightly (but not too tight – you’ve got to sleep comfortably after all) with a hair tie. No more striking a morning pose looking like Madonna.

The rub

You’re not the only one who wants to be comfortable when you lay yourself down to sleep at night. Your skin wants – no, deserves – to be comfy, too. Next time, moisturize yourself all over – elbows, knees, toes, ankles, armpits. If you can name it – moisturize it.

Get the glow

Self tanner is an important beauty product for maintaining exceptionally vibrant skin throughout the year. The best time to apply it? Right before bed. By self-tanning before bed and letting it dry overnight, you’ll find yourself waking up radiant-er.

By utilizing these 5 beauty-before-bedtime tips, you’ll be well on your way to waking up prettier and saving yourself that bothersome task of getting ready in the morning.

Visit The Makeup Show LA and NYC in 2010!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

makeup-show-2010When it comes to producing amazing events for makeup pros and fans alike, no one does it better than The Powder Group! Founded by makeup industry veteran Michael DeVellis, The Powder Group creates and produces shows around the country that educate professional and aspiring makeup artists. One of their most popular shows is The Makeup Show which takes place in New York and Los Angeles this year.

The Makeup Show is a two-day event full of seminars, lectures and hands-on workshops that makeup artists and students in makeup artist training can’t afford to miss! (more…)

Is your makeup artist kit toxic?

Monday, October 5th, 2009

If you’re in makeup school or thinking about going, chances are you love makeup. But as many of us already know, all makeup and cosmetic products are not necessarily created equal.

Maybe you’ve already stopped to think about what those cosmetic ingredients actually mean. But if you’re not an expert scientist, the words might seem like mumbo-jumbo. (That’s how I feel most of the time, anyway).

Now, there’s a website to the rescue! It’s called Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database, and it’s brought to you by the Environmental Working Group. No matter what type of product you’re interested in learning more about – makeup and cosmetics, skin care, hair care, eye care, nail care or fragrances – Skin Deep can tell you what products to buy, what not to buy, and what can be downright dangerous.

If you’re serious about becoming a makeup artist or other beauty professional, but also serious about keeping your clients healthy, the information you find on this site might change your mind about the products you use. Next time you’re beautifying yourself or one of your makeup clients, this new knowledge might come in handy!

How did your favorite makeup and cosmetics products fare on this site? Spread the word about the good, the bad and the ugly in makeup and other beauty products.

Makeup Artist Recreates Rape Injuries for Domestic Violence Campaign

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009


Sarah Hunt is a professional freelance makeup artist based in Omaha, Nebraska who has styled a variety of clients from U.S. Senators, to sports legends, to actors and actresses.

I am a professional freelance make-up artist in the second half of my 30s. I’ve been working as a make-up artist in the film and print industry for 14 years. I have had the pleasure of styling a wide spectrum of personalities – U.S. Senators, sports legends, journalists, CEOs, billionaires, actors, actresses, and everyday people. Two years ago I approached my local YWCA about their domestic violence awareness campaign. I wanted to donate my talent to the women in need at the YWCA – a need I recognize, because I myself am a survivor of sexual assault.

Here are some startling statistics that illustrate the growing epidemic of violence:

• 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men are victims of sexual violence in their lifetime.
• College women are 6 times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault.
• In 2007 248,300 people reported a sexual assault in the U.S. That’s 1 person every 2 minutes.
• 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
• Approximately 73% of victims know their assailants.
• Only 6% of rapists spend even a day in jail.

The YWCA provides help to women, including survivors of rape and domestic violence, in times of crisis. They work to eliminate racism and empower women through counseling, career training, health and fitness, and childcare. This is how I met Felicia, the most beautiful person I have had the chance to style. She is my age, married young and raised five children with her husband – who beat and raped her repeatedly for more than a decade. Eventually, she made the decision to rise up and free herself and her children from this violence with the help of the YWCA. He is now in jail.

For one of their domestic violence awareness campaigns, I was asked to re-create the injuries she sustained the last time he beat her using makeup techniques. Law enforcement would not release the actual injury documentation photos because they were considered state evidence and could only be obtained by paying a fee. Because the cost was too much for the not-for-profit YWCA to pay, and they still needed to make a graphic statement about their awareness campaign, I was presented with a perfect opportunity. I used several products to re-create her injuries:

Ben Nye EW-4 master bruise wheel
Ben Nye CK-5 FX burns and blisters color wheel
• Modeling putty/wax
• Fake blood
• Neutral setting powder
• Dappling sponge, and my favorite brushes

Felicia handled the experience with strength and grace. I applied the bruises and gashes as she explained to me each injury and how it happened. In the span of 30 minutes we traveled back to the darkest time of her life. My work complete, I asked her if she wanted to see – she picked up the hand mirror and looked deeply at her reflection, nodding with approval as she looked back at me with satisfaction and spirit in her eyes. We quickly snapped the photos and removed the make-up with Bobbi Brown skincare products:

Lathering Tube Soap
• Exfoliating Cream Wash
Soothing Face Tonic
• Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer

Then, for the next half hour we talked about her children, her family, her goals and dreams, and how far her personal journey had taken her as I transformed her back into the stronger, even more beautiful woman she has become. We went full circle, from normal to nightmare and back, in 60 minutes. This was a difficult journey for me as a survivor and a professional makeup artist, but it illustrates to me the power of the human spirit.

Top 5 Strangest Fragrances Your Girlfriend Probably Won’t Want

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Girls love to smell pretty. Don’t argue – it’s science. “But high-profile aromas in cute bottles can get pretty pricey,” you’re thinking. Stop right there. Wherever your thought process is leading you, it’s wrong. Don’t be frugal when it comes to fragrance. This goes double if you’re buying a special someone a swanky gift for a steamy occasion. So listen carefully: Do NOT buy these fragrances for anyone. Ever.

#5 – Whale Vomit
What do you mean it doesn’t sound like it smells good? This one probably makes you the Bell Of the Ball at SeaWorld. Who wouldn’t want that title? And honestly, whale vomit is used in almost any fine fragrance in the world, so why not just get a bottle directly from the source?

#4 – Republican
Yes, it’s true – the Grand Old Party just barely beat out whale vomit on the scent scale. After losing the Presidency earlier this year, they’ll take any good news they can. This fragrant oil is a complex blend that stands for conservative values, love of country, and a strong family unit. Translated into scent, the Republican fragrance smells like apples and roses.

#3 – K.I.S.S.

Just to clear up any confusion, this scent isn’t named after the act of love, but after the act of Dr. Love. Yes, you too can own the personally-endorsed smell of the rock band K.I.S.S. to wear to special concerts, night clubs and for trips to Detroit Rock City. Don’t worry, guys, the K.I.S.S. fragrance line is made for both men and women.

#2 – Play-Doh
Searching for that fresh, just-out-of-the-can, “eau de Play-Doh” aroma? You’re in luck. To make your gift extra special, Play-Doh Perfume also comes in a  50th Birthday Limited Edition bottle. Classy!

And finally – #1 – Burger King!

Yes, the King created an entire line of foodstuffs, a website, and a video game named after his legacy, but it just wasn’t enough. Something was missing from his empire that discriminating consumers demanded. Meat perfume. World, meet FLAME by B.K. So the King waved his bejeweled hand and voila! – a perfume that promises to be a “scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”

Does Your Makeup Cause Cancer?

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

When it comes to health, you’re proactive. You don’t smoke cigarettes, you exercise and you even steer clear of cleaning products containing harsh chemicals. But, have you taken a look inside of your cosmetic bag? The laws regulating the ingredients that can be used in makeup and personal care products are more like loose guidelines. It’s up to you to be an informed consumer or beauty professional.

Find out exactly what you’re primping, priming and preening with. Environmentalist and author, Adria Vasil, gives us a list of ingredients to avoid when it comes to cosmetic and personal care products.

Here are the top 10 culprits, their crimes, and their aliases:

Culprit #1: Diethanolamine (DEA). Commonly found in bubbling, foaming and fizzing products like shampoos, soaps and body wash.
Crime: Suspected carcinogen. Repeated use has been linked to increased cases of kidney and liver cancer.
Alias: Look for names like Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA.

Culprit #2: Formaldehyde. Found in many brands of skin, hair and body care products, antiperspirants and nail polish.
Crime: Known carcinogen. Besides increasing your risks of getting cancer, exposure may cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, loss of sleep and more.
Alias: Look for names like DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea and quaternium-15

Culprit #3: Parabens. Found in shampoos, conditioners, skin creams and deodorants.
Crime: Endocrine-disruptors. Parabens mimic female hormones and have been found in breast cancer tumor samples.
Alias: Look for the word “paraben” or any other word with the suffix “-paraben”, including methylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, etc.

Culprit #4: Petrolatum. Commonly found in lip products.
Crime: Interferes with skin’s natural cell development and can cause chapping, irritation and premature aging This substance is derived from a non-renewable crude oil, which people aren’t even supposed to breathe. Mineral oil is also petroleum-based.

Culprit #5: Phenyledediamine (PPD). Found in permanent hair dyes – especially darker shades.
Crime: Suspected Carcinogen. Frequent use has been linked to bladder cancer.
Alias: Also called P-diaminobenzene.

Culprit #6: Phthalates. Found in deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care body care and baby products.
Crime: Hormone disrupting chemicals. Many of the compounds that fall into the “fragrance” category are suspected carcinogens and toxins. Reported symptoms have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, allergic skin irritation and more.
Alias: Often listed as an ingredient called “fragrance.”

Culprit #7: Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS) (SLES). Found in detergents, car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. And, also in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioner and most of the products that bubble and foam.
Crime: Known skin irritant, suspected carcinogen. Linked to both malformation in children’s eyes and to immune system damage.

Culprit #8: Talc. Commonly found in blush, baby powder, garden pesticides, antacids and more.
Crime: Suspected carcinogen. Talc may contain asbestos-like fibers and has been linked to ovarian and lung cancers.
Alias: Magnesium Silicate Hydroxide, talcum powder

Culprit #9: Toluene. Commonly found in nail polish.
Crime: Long-term exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, liver and kidneys.
Alias: methylbenzene or phenylmethane

Culprit #10: Triclosan. Found in everything from dishwashing detergent, trash bags, footwear to antibacterial liquid hand soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, face and body washes, acne treatments and more.
Crime: Suspected hormone disruptor and carcinogen. It has been associated with thyroid dysfunction and can convert into carcinogenic dioxins when exposed to sunlight in water.

Have you thought about the beauty products in your makeup bag? If you want to do some more in-depth investigation, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep offers a safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products. You can type in any product that you’re interested in and it will give you a hazard rate.

So, how will this list affect your makeup bag? Will you pay closer attention to what you’re buying in the cosmetics aisle? Will these potentially cancer-causing ingredients affect your buying decisions? Share your thoughts here!

NVEY ECO – Organic Eye Shadow

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

I was blessed with sensitive skin, particularly in the eye area. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if I didn’t love to wear eye makeup! Ever since I was twelve and my aunt took me to the makeup counter at the department store to get my first makeover, I was hooked on eye makeup in particular.

Unfortunately, I started having reactions to eye shadows and creams during my teenage years. My eyelids would get red, puffy, and itchy, and after a few days, the skin would even start to flake off. I always chalked it up to cheap makeup or not properly cleansing my face and eye area before bedtime. But after years of trying both high and low-end brands and various cleansing techniques, I still had reactions!

It wasn’t until I went to my local Sephora store and had them try two different eye-shadow bases on my eyes that I discovered the cause of my eye makeup troubles. After wearing both bases for a couple hours, one eyelid started to get itchy and red. I immediately looked up the ingredients list on each product label, and I found one glaring difference: the itchy eyeshadow base contained a pigment called ultramarines.

Eureka! Of course this is my problem because most of the eye colors I wear are either greens, blues, or purples, which would all contain a blue pigment. So I began the quest for ultramarine-less eye shadow. It was horribly unsuccessful as pretty much ALL shadows use ultramarines for cool-hued shades.

Finally, I discovered NVEY ECO Organic Eye Shadow in Indigo Gunmetal shade, which is a lovely, medium blue-gray shimmer. I attempted it for the first time last weekend, with ZERO reaction except from others saying “I love your eye-makeup tonight!” So I continued on and have worn it every day this week, with the same success. I would highly recommend this as a healthy option for people with sensitive skin, as well as for people who just want another way to “greenify” their makeup bag. They have tons of nice shades that you can bet I’ll be adding to my collection in the near future!

Beth’s Best Beauty Buy – eye shadow control cream

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

For the last 3 weeks, I have looked shabby by noon. Let me rephrase, my eyes have looked shabby by noon. And I don’t mean shabby chic, I mean plain ol’ shabby.  I found out that I was allergic to my $25 shadow control crème. I stopped using it in hopes I would quit looking like I moonlight at a night job.

My allergic reaction was that my eyes were tired and red by the time I was ready to eat my left-over lunch. But, I think that I found a remedy for my crazy eyes.  While at Sally Beauty to buy hair products for my son (which was great, and look for the post on that one), I happened upon Claudia Stevens Eye Shadow Base. It was only $2.49 on sale!!

After checking Sally’s return policy (just in case this made me look like a mad woman as well) I purchased the eye shadow base and since then have been quite pleased. Not only does my eye shadow go on better, it actually stays on until the end of the day. Yep, when the work day rolls to a close – I still look gorgeous. All the while knowing that I still must cook dinner for my family. Maybe a woman can have it all!

p.s. I would even purchase it for the 7 bucks I found it for on the web.