Contour Makeup Brushes

Hi beauties! Contouring the face has made a huge comeback on the runways and the red carpet. Everyone from models to celebrities are chiseled to perfection using matte bronzers and darker-toned powders. But the key to making this look work for you is in the tools: brushes. We are going to go over the three different kinds of contouring brushes below. And of course all of them are from cruelty-free brands– why use animal hair when synthetic works just as well?

Contouring Diagram
Contour & Highlight Diagram

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush

This is a great brush for people with oval, narrow, elongated face shapes or those of you with very tiny features.

Illamasqua’s brand-new addition to their brush collection is the Blush Up Blush. This brush has a genius ellipse-shaped head, designed to tuck directly under the cheekbone. The special shape creates a soft diffusion of color up onto the cheekbone and it’s still small enough to drag down the side of your nose (a slimming trick!).

Illamasqua Blush-Up Brush: Sold online and at Sephora stores nationwide.

Bdellium Tools Precision Airbrushed Effect #957

This flat-top Kabuki-style brush is fantastic for contouring wider or round -shaped faces.

1) Dip the flat edge of the brush into your bronzer/dark powder and pull down on your cheekbone, starting from next to your ear. It may seem strange to put bronzer by your ear, but it actually looks much more natural starting from there. Bring the edge of the brush down the sides of your neck so you look even.

2)Blend everything in with the top of the brush.


Cozzette S120 The Diamond Blender

This tapered blending brush is ideal for all face shapes.

The Diamond is a soft couture blending brush that was designed as a foundation brush, but also performs beautifully as a contour brush. The unique tapered shape creates seamless blending. Dip the tip of the Diamond into your bronzer/dark powder and buff this under your cheekbones starting from the ear and down. The tip of the brush will map out your contour and the fluffy texture is great for blending.



Mascara All-Stars

Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Memorial Day weekend! I was pretty slammed with clients but I’m definitely not complaining 🙂 Today I wanted to go over some of my favorite mascaras with you. There’s a mascara out there for everyone, whether you are looking to thicken, lengthen or curl. Read on for the Mascara All-Stars!

Revlon GrowLuscious Mascara: $7.99

This is my all-time favorite drug store mascara. As much as I love trying new beauty products, I don’t even bother anymore. I buy this time and time again. It conditions your lashes and helps them grow longer and thicker. I’ve noticed my lashes always look fuller when I go back to using this mascara. The brush is full and helps separate your lashes. There is a tapered end, making it easy to get to the nook-and-cranny corner lashes. It dries down to a velvety finish, leaving your lashes soft, not brittle.

Revlon GrowLuscious Mascara

Eyeko Curvy Brush Mascara: $19

I love this mascara for the innovative packaging. The squeeze tube keeps the mascara fresh- no more scraping the bottom for dry old mascara bits! The tube also helps you get every last bit of the product out, so more bang for your buck. The formula instantly lifts lashes for a 90-degree curl and definition. The brush has triple-tiered bristle clusters that are designed to plump up your lashes. What’s not to love? FYI this is only available online.

Eyeko Curvy Brush Mascara

Makeup For Ever Smoky Lash: $23

This mascara is pretty underwhelming when you first look at it. Simple packaging, it could easily be overlooked. But it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite mascaras. The formula is a quadruple threat: it gives your lashes curl, length, volume and intense pigment. One swipe of this stuff and your good to go. The tough, dense brush is designed to penetrate the roots of your lashes for complete “coatage.” This one is in heavy rotation in my home studio right now. It also comes in brown, green, dark blue and plum!

MUF Smoky
Makeup For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension: $30

The spherical shape of this brush allows you to apply mascara from below, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. It helps reach every single lash from every single angle. Those of you with tiny-to-non-existant lashes will LOVE this stuff! Simply roll it along your lash line and poof! Your lashes will magically appear. This formula will extend and fix any lash problem. It’s also a great mascara to use along with your every day one, for additional “oomph.”

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System: $35

This is a three-step lash extension system that comes with an activation mascara and Flexistretch nylon fibers. How to use: 1) Prime- Apply a coat of the activating mascara (gold bottle) to give the nylon fibers something to stick to. 2) Build- apply 1-2 coats of the Flexistretch nylon fibers (white bottle). They will stick to the mascara on your lashes. Focus the fibers on areas that you want the most volume and length. 3) Seal: Apply one more coat of the ultra-black activation mascara to cover the fibers. This final coat surrounds each nylon-coated lash and melts the fibers into a long, thick, dramatic lash.

This is a great product for those of you who suffer from barely-there lashes because it adds to the lashes you already have by building them up.

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes

Summer Festival Makeup

Heading out to EDC or other raves and clubs this summer? Stand out in the crowd with these glow-mazing UV makeup products! Glow-in-the-dark cosmetics isn’t just for Halloween anymore. These  products look nice and normal under regular light, then super bright (and fierce!) under black light. With so many options, you can choose to light up your eyes, lips or nails.

Stila After Glow Lip Color:

Stila’s lip crayons come in six brighter-than-the-80’s shades that will come alive under UV black light. The formula’s secret ingredient is fluorescent pigments which allow it to glow. Other ingredients include algae extract, sunflower seed oil and vitamins C and E, so it glides on and hydrates your lips while you dance the night away.

Stila DayNite

Makeup For Ever Fluo Night

These super fine powder pigments come in eight shades, including an “invisible” white that shows only under UV black light. The powders can be used on the eyes, lips or body. I love using these as eyeliners! I recommend wetting them for a more intense “glow.” Check out the beautiful editorials below…if they don’t want to make you run out to the nearest rave in some tacky furry go-go boots I don’t know what will.

Fluo fluo-Night- make-up-for-ever-fluo-night-black-light-pigment

Illamasqua UV Glow Nail Varnish

I wrote about this in a recent post, and just had to mention them again here. Illamasqua debuted three shades of these UV Nail Varnishes in their “Paranormal” summer launch. They have a beautiful opacity under regular light, then turn into neon “monsters” under black lights. Illamasqua also carries a clear top coat version of this formula called Geist, which will turn any nail polish you have into a UV black light masterpiece. Who needs glow sticks when you got glow-fingers?!

uv_nail_varnish_-_ouija-_300px_web ouija ouija_uv

Would you wear any of these products?

Products to Control Shine

Hi Beauties,

Summer has already reared her unforgivably hot head in some parts of the United States, and that means a major increase in face grease. If you live in super humid areas or suffer from an oily T-zone, there is help. There are a ton of products out there made specifically for this problem and can help control your oil and keep your foundation from dripping down your chin.

Philosophy Total Matteness Oil-free Pore Eraser: $40


This natural product is made with bamboo extract, which absorbs 200% of its weight in oil. Lentil seed minimizes the appearance of large pores and salicylic acid helps remove build-up of dead cells around the pore wall, brightening its darkened appearance. Since this is a serum,  all you have to do is pat in a small amount just in the areas you are oily- normally the T-zone (forehead and nose, possibly the chin and upper lip area too). Do this first, then apply your primer and foundation. You can also wear this on bare skin!

MAC Cosmetics Matte Creme: $20


This clear silicone-based product is a matte-ifying cream that acts like a powder, M·A·C Matte can be used on bare or made-up skin. I’m a huge fan of this stuff. It literally changes the texture of your skin, making it velvety soft while also soaking up all the oil. Apply this after your moisturizer, and before primer and foundation. It can also be used on bare or made-up skin.

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray: $29

De Slick

De-Slick is a makeup setting spray that mists on to control oil and deflect surface shine. This stuff will also help keep foundation, shadow and blush from smudging, sliding or fading. Developed in an exclusive partnership with SKINDINĂ„VIA, this formula features a patented Temperature Control Technology that actually lowers the temperature of your makeup to help it stay put while also keeping your skin oil-free!

Gold Glitter & Teal Makeup WITH VIDEO

TGIF Beauties!

Since it’s Friday and some of you are probably planning a fabulous night out, I thought I’d bring you a “going out” makeup look. This makeup is super -wearable but still has nighttime elements like glitter and smoke.  Ooh-la-la!

This is a great makeup look to try if you have a ton of bold, bright eyeshadow colors and have no idea how to use them. Don’t be afraid of color! Instead of smearing it all over, line your lower lid with it. You will get a pop of color without feeling like you went overboard. Balance everything out with a light lip and natural skin. I skipped lashes for this look, but if you’re feeling a little vixen, go for it. Lashes have a way of finishing the look, kind of like the frame around a masterpiece- it’s also the reason celebrities always look so put together on the red carpet.



Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Palette

Urban Decay’s Naked Palette

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

Urban Decay “Junkie” 24-7 eyeliner

Makeup For Ever Star Powder in Gold

Makeup For Ever Aqua Brow in #3

Youngblood Cosmetics Pink Cashmere Creme Blush

MAC Springsheen Blush

MAC Soar lip liner

MAC Viva Glam Nicki and Creme de Nude lipsticks


Understanding Eczema

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to put up with eczema, or any other unsightly skin rash that has left you feeling ugly.


It’s so frustrating. Every time it goes away, it comes back with a vengeance. Well, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone. Chronic skin conditions are common for people of all ages, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There isn’t anything you could have done to prevent it, but luckily, there are ways to treat it. There are a variety of chronic skin conditions like Psoriasis and Rosacea, but the most “popular” (and by popular I mean most suffered-from!) is Eczema.

I have had patches of Eczema set up shop on my body for the last 15 years. They usually show up around my elbows and on the back of my thighs (yuck), but about a year ago, it reared it’s ugly head on two fingers on my right hand. I took the photo above after not treating it for about a week, just to show you what it looks like (dedication, I know.)

What Is Eczema?

Eczema shows up as very dry, rough and thick red scales and scaly patches. It’s often associated with allergies and asthma, so if you got either of those, chances are you are susceptible to Eczema too. Many newborns are born with Eczema but will outgrow it by their tenth birthday, while it still affects 3% of children and adults.Eczema patch

What Causes Eczema?

Dermatologists I have spoken to say that eczema can be caused by factors such as stress, environment and even allergies. My eczema flared up in my teens when I lived in Las Vegas, a dry desert. And probably because I was taking all honors-level classes and was at school with student council duties from the crack of dawn to midnight. When I moved back to humid Los Angeles in my twenties, my skin cleared up for a while. Oh, the joy of soft, clear skin! But last year, between being laid off from my full time job and planning a wedding, my stress levels went through the roof. And being a long-time allergy- sufferer didn’t help.


1) See Your Doctor: If you think you may have patches of Eczema, make an appointment with your dermatologist first to go over your options. There are many topical creams ranging from steroid to immunomodulators that your doctor can prescribe to fight the condition. Another reason to see your doctor first- you may think you have Eczema but it could be another type of skin condition, like Psoriasis. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic treatment to fight off infection-causing bacteria caused at the scene of the crime (the scales).


2) Over The Counter Relief: Hydrocortisone 1% is often prescribed over the counter by dermatologists to treat your eczema during and in-between flare-ups. If my eczema shows any signs of returning, I immediately start a hydrocortisone treatment to shut that thing down. If your Eczema is like mine and on your fingers, apply your ointment then cover the affected area with a vinyl glove. Do NOT use latex-it eats away the medication and many people are allergic to the material.  I wear disposable vinyl gloves I got from Rite Aid every night with my hydrocortisone 1% cream.

Latex-Free Vinyl Gloves
Latex-Free Vinyl Gloves

Neosporin also carries a special hydrocortisone version of their ointment specifically for Eczema that works well.

Neosporin Eczema Essentials Anti-Itch Hydrocortisone Cream

Last but not least, Aquaphor is every Eczema patients’ best friend. I blend the hydrocortisone cream with the Aquaphor then wear the vinyl glove. If your Eczema is somewhere other than your hands you can cover the affected area with plastic wrap or even a tissue to keep the ointments in place. Aquaphor does have a greasy texture, but you will wake up with the softest hands/skin ever! So worth it.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment- Mix in with your Hydrocortisone cream and cover the affected area with a glove or clothing.

Extra Tips

1) Moisturize Often- I’m talking 3-4 times a day on the affected area. Keeping the skin hydrated with fragrance-free and unscented lotions. Aveeno Eczema Therapy is my favorite- it’s steroid and fragrance-free and made with colloidal oatmeal- a skin protectant. I carry this around in my purse all day.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

2) Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them- to get rid of chemicals that can irritate your skin. I use Tide Free and Gentle– it’s dermatologist- tested and free of any dyes and scents.

Tide Free & Gentle

3) Keep the showers short and warm (not hot) Use a gentle body wash instead of harsh soap and avoid any abrasive scrubbers. Pat your skin dry with a towel, don’t rub. And apply moisturizer all over within three minutes to help lock in water. I’ve been switching between this one by Aveeno and Dove’s Sensitive Skin Body Wash.

Aveeno Body Wash
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

I know this seems like a lot of products and information, but the good news is ALL  of these items can be purchased with coupons from any drug store. And in my experience, the creams and antibiotics prescribed by dermatologists were all pretty affordable ($8-10 for a tube of ointment) but of course this also depends on your insurance coverage.

I hope that these tips help you find a way to live with and treat your Eczema. No one knows better than me how irritating it can be! If you have any Eczema-related questions, I’m always open to chat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let’s band together and be good to our skin!

Summer Collections: Illamasqua Paranormal

Illamasqua is known for their out of the ordinary campaigns and this summer’s “Paranormal” launch is no different. Check out the beautiful visuals for this haunting collection!


Alex Box, head makeup artist for Illamasqua, created these enchanting makeup looks


“Why be normal, when you can be Paranormal?”


Paranormal Palette: $46.50

These four unique water-resistant eye shadows are combined in a cream-to-powder formula.


Illamasqua Gleam in Supernatural: $26

The Gleams are light weight iridescent creams that are perfect for highlighting cheekbones. Here’s Supernatural, a beautiful bronze. Peep Aurora, a bone-pearl shade, HERE.gleam_supernatural_image

Illamasqua Lipstick in ESP: $24

ESP is a vivid violet with a matte finish.image

Illamasqua Lipstick in Posture: $24

Posture is a cool mauve with a matte finish.image_1

My favorite part of this collection are these limited edition UV Nail Varnishes!p-gallery03

There are a total of three shades and one clear polish. Click HERE to check them all out!

Here’s Seance, a plummy pink shade that turns neon under blacklight. I NEED THIS!