Self tanning options

It’s that time of year again, when the birds start chirping and your bum get burned sitting in your hot car. Everyone whips out their various products: TIME TO START TANNING. I don’t know if there’s an actual memo email that goes out to women all over the states, but it seems like we all know just about when, and join in.

VS 1
Victoria’s Secret Self Tanning Tinted Body Lotion

The Options- There are several ways to achieve an Adrianna Lima-goddess-style tan.

1) Self-tanning at home with products

2) Mystic or Airbrush tanning at the salon

3) A tanning bed

4) and of course the old-fashioned way, but lounging around at the beach or pool.

The Products- There are two different kinds of products for faking a tan on the market. One “stains” the skin for about a week, the other is simply a colored lotion with bronzer that washes off at the end of the night.

My two favorites: St. Tropez Tanning Mousse and Neutrogena Mico-Mist Spray.

My absolute fave, as posted above, is St. Tropez Mousse. The mousse comes out a deep dark brown and develops into a golden tan on the skin. The mousse texture makes it easy to fix if you make mistakes over the elbows and knees. Moisturize your arms legs. On days I don’t use St. Tropez, I touch up with the Neutrogena Micro Mist spray in Dark or Deep Dark. The reason I run out into the backyard when I’m using the Micro Mist is because I’m not a fan of the harmful stuff that comes out of an aerosol can. I don’t want my doggy breathing it in!


I always recommend Mystic or Airbrush tanning for special occasions. What’s Mystic, you ask? You go into a machine naked with a bonnet over your hair and are blasted with micro-fine mist of tanner liquid. This process takes 2 minutes tops and develops throughout the day. Don’t shower for at least 8 hours to get the full effect. Most places offer a Groupon for it, keep your eyes peeled!

The other option is Airbrush Tanning. This is where you hire a professional at either the salon or someone who comes to you with their airbrush machine and compressor. They will spray you down individually with the same type of bronzer liquid. Just like Mystic, Airbrush Tanning will get darker throughout the day, so avoid showering for about 8 hours. Airbrush Tanning is preferred as it’s more of a “service.” Do whatever fits in your budget.

The last two options will expose you to harmful sun rays, leaving you susceptible to melanoma (skin cancer) and aging your skin (those tiny wrinkles around your eyes? Yup, that was the sun). Just avoid them at all costs! And at the beach and the pool, SPF 35 and above for your body. Reapply every two hours. Floppy hat? Check Dark sunglasses? CHECK.

The Steps For Self-Tanning At Home

For an even tan, use a body scrub with a loofah in the shower to slough off dead skin. Pat dry and apply a light lotion to your arms and legs. This will help your tanner go on smoother and avoids drying or cracking into the skin later. Here’s the tricky part: Apply your mousse or tanner lotion with the QUICKNESS. This stuff dries very quickly so you have to be fast. If you are using a Mist, you won’t need to rub it in, they are designed to melt right into your skin. Rub the bronzer mousse or lotion into the elbows and knees sparingly…these areas get dark and splotchy very quickly. Have a friend help you if you can’t reach your back.

Voila! Enjoy your glow for the next 3-4 days, then repeat this sunless and harm-free routine again and again.


MANi-Pedi: Men’s Edition

This one’s for the men! It has recently come to my attention that most men do not know how to properly take care of their feet. While more men are going in for pedicures than every before (insert collective sigh of relief here), most are still lacking in the at-home maintenance department. And I don’t blame them- it’s not like they give a class in college on this stuff.

Men, stay with me on this post and I’ll walk you through some simple things you can do at home to get- and keep- your feet approachable.mens-grooming-hands--feet

1) Scrub a Dub-dub (Weekly)

I know it’s a pain to reach all the way down to your toes in that cramped shower stall, but I promise it will be worth it. Invest in an inexpensive foot brush like the one below from Eco Tools (any drugstore chain will carry this or similar items). Squirt a little shower gel on the wet brush and scrub the tops, bottoms and the “in-betweens” of your toes. This will not only ensure your feet’s cleanliness but will exfoliate and lift off any dead skin that’s been sitting on your tootsies for God knows-how-long. Get your heels too while you’re down there. Feels nice, doesn’t it?

Eco Tools Bamboo Foot Brush $3.99

Now use the pumice side of your brush (or purchase a pumice stone separately) and rub this back and forth against the balls and heels of your feet to remove tough calluses. If they don’t come off all the way you can try buffing them again after your shower with semi-dry feet.

2) The Scoop-N-Scrape (Bi-Monthly)

Immediately after your shower, pat your feet dry with a towel and get down to business. It’s important to do this right after you get out so your cuticles (a.k.a. the dry skin around your toe nails) are soft and easy to trim and remove. Use the spoon end of a Cuticle Remover (peep the photo below) to gently push down and back on each toenail to remove that dry crust that’s been sittinecg on top. Use the pointy end of the Cuticle Remover to scrape under each nail to remove what I call the “Sock Lint Bunnies.”

Ulta Cuticle Pusher, $12

3) Clip & File (Bi-Monthly)

Everyone knows how to clip your toe nails. But don’t stop there. File those ragged edges down to avoid snaring your socks, your bed sheets or a possible sleepover buddy. You may laugh, but it happens!

You may want to get a pedicure kit, which includes all the tools you will need for presentable feet. This one from Amazon is going for $16.35!

Body Tools Deluxe Mani-Pedi Kit, $16.35
Body Tools Deluxe Mani-Pedi Kit, $16.35

4) Lotion (Daily)

Nothing beats a long day like taking a hot shower, slathering your barking dogs in lotion and hitting the sheets. Lotion will moisturize your feet and keep them in tip-top shape, helping your MAN-i-Pedi last longer. I always suggest doing the lotion routine at night right before bed. You’ll wake up with soft amazing feet! My favorite foot lotions include peppermint as an ingredient. Try this one from Lush, it will keep odors away!

Fair Trade Foot Lotion
Lush Fair Trade Foot Lotion

The Do’s and Don’ts of Gel Manicures

Hi beauties! Today we are discussing the ever-popular gel manicure. Gel manicures are fantastic for the girl on the go and women who are hard on their hands. Everyone from moms to executives are fans of gel mani’s for this reason: they last up to two weeks. The polish literally will not chip or budge until you take it off.

Gel Nails
My Wedding Gel Nails đŸ™‚

And just like any other beauty fad, there are do’s and don’ts for this look. I want to walk you through how to properly rock and remove a gel manicure.

Do’s & Don’ts

Do apply a sunscreen on your hands before going under the LED light at the salon.

Alba SPF 45 Sunscreen
Alba SPF 45 Sunscreen

The lights that harden the gel polish contain UV rays and not only cause your skin to age, but also produce harmful carcinogens. Treat your hands as if you were going to spend the day at the beach and protect them with an SPF of 35 and above.

Don’t scrape off the polish—this is terrible for your nails and will strip them!

You can have it removed professionally at the salon OR do it yourself at home: it’s possible! I learned how to do it myself from this helpful video:

Do trim your nails as they grow.

File off the top, then apply a clear top coat to seal the edges. My nails grow like weeds so I file them at least once a week

My favorite top coat: Seche Vite
My favorite top coat: Seche Vite

Don’t keep the gel manicure on past two weeks.

PET PEEVE ALERT: Something that really bugs me is when I look at people’s gel mani’s and see half-an-inch of new nail growing out from the bottom. GROSS! Just because the polish hasn’t chipped doesn’t mean you should keep your gel polish going for a month. It’s tacky.

Yuck! Grown out nails
Yuck! Don’t let this be you.

Do get gel pedicures: they are especially amazing on the toes!

I cannot say that enough. Since toe nails grow slower than finger nails, gel pedicures are a great option. You actually CAN keep your gel pedicure going for a month!


Beach-Theme Maternity Shoot

Hello again my beauties! Today I’m excited to share with you some beautiful photos from a beach-themed maternity photo shoot I got to be a part of. Photographer Alyona of Anokiart Photography took first-time mommy Alexandra to El Matador Beach (Malibu, CA) where Debra of Purple Meadows Events had a gorgeous layout ready for the shoot. Here’s 7 months-preggers Alexandra, giving us some fierce eyes.


We did brown smoky eyes with airbrush foundation and pink-mocha lips to compliment Alexandra’s red undertones in her hair and olive skin.


We also touched up the belly, although she was lucky enough not to have a single stretch mark!

I love this shot of her in this fun floppy hat.



SO glam!A_0246

For more pictures and inspiration from this stunning shoot, head over to Anokiart Photography.


Pantone Color of the Year Giveaway-Winner


Thank you everyone who entered the giveaway for Sheswai Nail Lacquer! We had over 15o entries and The winner of this Pantone Color of the Year green shade (called DIG IT!) is…..


Youtube user MistyFuji ! 

Congrats! I hope to do another giveaway for your guys soon! What would you like to win? Nail polish, makeup, skin care? Let me know in the comments below.


Makeup Tips for Looking Younger

Hi beauties, I know many of us are looking for younger-looking skin and need to freshen up our makeup routine. Here are a few tips I use on my clients for a youthful appearance.

1) Concealer

Use a sheer, moisturizing formula that will just smooth out and cover up dark circles. Avoid the kind of concealers that come in a pot- these are too thick and will settle in your lines, making them look worse.

MAC Cosmetics Select Moisturecover Concealer, $18
MAC Cosmetics Select Moisturecover Concealer, $18

2) Lighten Up Your Lip Color

Skip the dark hues, like deep plums and brick reds. Instead, swipe on a creamy formulated lipstick in a peach, mauve or pink shade. Add gloss in the center on the lips for a fresh new look.

Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Canvas, $28

3) Curl Your Lashes

Curling your eye lashes with an eye lash curler will instantly lift sagging eyelids. I suggest warming up the metal on the curler in the palm of your hand (or on your arm) before curling. This will intensify the curl and make it last longer.

Shiseido Lash Curler, $19

4) Skip the Powder

As you get older, your skin gets drier. If you suffer from an oily T-zone, dust a translucent powder lightly just on that area to control shine.

HD Powder
Makeup For Ever High Definition Powder, $34

MAC Pro Baking Beauties Event

Hello beauties, today I’m bringing you a MAC Cosmetics’ Baking Beauties extravaganza! Each year, MAC Pro in Beverly Hills throws a special event to pre-launch a major collection. This year, they pre-launched THREE. As usual, the party was packed to the capacity. Here’s a view of what it looked like from the street:


Baking Beauties is MAC’s new spring collection that features- you guessed it- a baking theme. Cakes in pastel shades lined the perimeters of the store and the air swirled with sweet scents. Senior artists and trainers came up with these three lovely cake-themed body paint jobs. So delicate and pretty.


It was…beyond packed. To avoid crowds, I always suggest coming to these events early, or at the very least, on time. That way you’ll have time to purchase the new items and enjoy the ambiance.IMG_4438

The waiters couldn’t even make it past the registers before all the food and drinks were snatched up! Tasty treats and bubbly pink champagne are popular for the makeup crowd.IMG_4440

Chef Andrew was the cake decorator of the evening, steadily working on this masterpiece amidst the glitter and flashing camera lights.IMG_4442

These four insanely talented ladies rocked the house with their string quartet version of hip-hop and top 40 songs. The crowd absolutely loved them. IMG_4447

Nothing says GIRL POWER like a lady bringing down the house on a violin!IMG_4451

A pink Swarovski crystal-embellished violin- stuff only dreams are made of!IMG_4452

Now for all the new products.

I am really digging these liquid-powder highlighters from In Extra Dimension. My favorite way to use them is with a #190 foundation brush. Great for the cheek bones!IMG_4454

I’m also obsessed with Opalesse Extra Dimension eye shadow. Reminds me of Pink Opal pigment, but creamier. All the shadows in this collection look white-ish in the pot, but give off a different reflective color on the skin. This one reflects pink.


Here’s a Pro-only exclusive collection called Nudes & Metallics. Four shades of beige lipsticks in different textures with a matching blush and four eye shadows, as well as four metallic red-based lipsticks with a complimenting blush and four shadows. I’m pretty sure everything from this collection is already sold out.


Here’s a quick swatch of the metallic lipsticks. I love the super dark one called Dominate! (Top left swatch)

*It was a little difficult for the true colors to show up in these photos because all the lighting in the store was pink.*


Here’s the motherload: Baking Beauties!IMG_4460

Anytime glitter is given the spotlight, I’m a happy girl. I was very excited to see that this collection included not one but TWO! I’m also a huge fan of the five Pro-Longwear Paint Pots. They each have a gorgeous shimmery finish. IMG_4461

It was so packed, I almost missed my MAC Pro buddy Jorge whizzing in and out of the crowd!


I crowd-surfed my way up to the registers where I found MAC Pro managers Candice and Jason in rare form.IMG_4464

Thank you to my beautiful friends, makeup artist Nicole Wittman and Jennifer Castaneda of Refine LA for accompanying me on this MAC-venture!IMG_4467

I wish I could have taken more photos of the lovely staff and swatched more products, but it was wall-to-wall people so I’m lucky I got what I did on film.

See you next year!IMG_4434