How to clean your makeup brushes

So you want beautiful skin. Who doesn’t?! You’re willing to pay big money for the best skin care products and beautifying treatments out there, but did you know that the quality of your makeup and the makeup brushes you use play a huge role in how healthy your skin is?

Yes, that’s right! The makeup brushes too! Because with each use, dirt, oils, dead skin, and bacteria get trapped in between the fine bristles, and if we don’t clean them regularly, we apply all of those things on our skin with each makeup application.

Therefore, I will detail here how to cleanse your makeup brushes effortlessly.

First of all, you need to wash your brushes once a week. They take a few hours to dry out, so make sure you have spare ones to use or wash them after you have applied your makeup for the day. You could also use a hair dryer to dry them out quicker.

So you’ll need:

1. Warm running water

2. Baby shampoo or a sulfate/paraben free shampoo

3. Paper towels

You apply a few drops of shampoo in the palm of your hand, run the brush under lukewarm water until it is wet, then swirl the brush in the palm of your hand for a few seconds lathering up the shampoo. Rinse the brush and repeat this procedure until the foam and water in your palm is clear. Shake extra water off your brushes and lay them flat on a bed of paper towels until the next day.

And… Voila! Not hard or time consuming.

Secondly, I’d like to mention that after each use, it is recommended that you spray a disinfectant spray on each brush, and wipe off the residual makeup on a paper towel. I personally use the Color Science disinfectant spray, but you can use any daily brush cleaner you like.

 

Believe me, your skin will thank you!

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I’m all about healthy skin…

One of my go to looks I’ve created with the makeup products I wrote about in my previous post. Easy! In 20 minutes I was ready to go! I love makeup and I love it even more when it’s easy to use and it is skin and environmental friendly.

Here are my favorite brands I wrote about, which are not going to damage your skin if you love wearing makeup.

1. Colorscience  2. Physician’s Formula 3. GS/Gerda Spillmann

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My latest makeup favorites

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Heart collage1. Colorscience Bronzing Primer. You’ll never find a better one! It comes in a few shades for different skin types, such as rosacea skin, oily or sensitive skin. My absolute favorite is the Bronzing one because my skin is naturally very pale, so I start building up my sun kissed glow even from the first step in my makeup application. Plus it has an SPF 20!

2. MAC Spice Lip Liner. This is such a creamy easy to use lip liner, true to color (a soft brown) and it lasts pretty much all day. I can combine it with natural, nude lipstick shades or sometimes I even mix in a pale pink lipstick. I don’t think I can use any other lip liners after using this one!

PicMonkey Collage 4.3. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara. Over time I probably have tried 50% of the mascara brands out there. I always seem to come back to L’Oreal though. Easy to use, very accessible price wise, it builds up my lashes’ length, without leaving them looking heavy and clumpy. I also love the Waterproof one, but it’s a bit hard to remove at the end of the day, so I use that one only when needed 😉

4. Lancome L’Absolu Rouge. The most creamy, moisturizing and hydrating lipstick. Besides the fact that it feels really good on the lips and the color is amazing, the ingredients in it are some of the best, likePro-Xylane to enhance and lock in moisture and Vitamin E (one of my favorite most potent anti-oxidants out there), to protect against environmental aggressors.  PicMonkey Collage 2

5 and 6. ColorsciencePressed Mineral Eye Colore. I keep recommending Colorscience to everyone I meet. It’s a very environmental friendly and “healthy” makeup line out there…if there is such thing. These two palettes are all you need if you are like me and like more natural looks.

7. L’Oreal Lineur Intense. I believe that a good eye liner can change your life. There are days, (well majority of my week days) when all I wear is some concealer under my eyes, eyeliner, blush and a lipgloss. Easy! If you want one which gives you a lot of control and an intense black color, you might love this one as much as I do!

8. Benefit Speed BrowI love the easiness of this product. As soon as I apply, it dries out in seconds, giving my eyebrows a bit more of an organized look, since they are a bit unruly naturally 😉

9. Gabriel Concealer. Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Whole Foods. There was a time in Miami where I would eat every lunch there. So pretty much every day I was visiting a store, and pretty much every time I’d discover amazingly healthy options to not only regular food, but sometimes, makeup, house stuff or health supplements. This is how I discovered this super amazing, gluten free concealer that now is my go to concealer every morning.

10. Colorscience Pressed Mineral FoundationLet me tell you. If you don’t like to use powder foundation because it feels heavy and it makes you look older, I am exactly the same. But this powder is completely different. I love applying it with my Kabuky brush in big circles, very gently, so I obtain a natural flawless look in seconds. Again the ingredients in this powder are the best ingredients for your skin you’ll find in any other powder foundation!

11. L’Oreal Brow Stylist SculptorThis is what I sometimes use to shape my eyebrows for a more dramatic look, right before applying the Benefit Speed Brow Gel. Easy Peasy!

12. Physicians Formula Argan Wear BronzerI’ll be honest. Lately I’ve been traveling a lot and on one of my trips to Miami, my old bronzer broke. Went to Walgreens  and purchased pretty much the first one that looked better and to my surprise this is becoming my new favorite bronzer of all times, by far. Smooth, easy to apply, paraben free, gluten free, hypoallergenic, it even feels moisturizing, and the fragrance does not bother me at all. It has a light scent to it, but I love it and it makes my skin look sun kissed with just a few brush strokes.

13. Bio Fond Highlighter Whenever I need more coverage under eyes (because of my genetically inherited dark circles), this is my go to product. It’s more of a professional product I discovered in a skin care/makeup trade show and ever since I’ve been ordering it all the time. It covers all imperfections, while it has this silky/creamy consistency and it allows your skin to breathe. And of course, the ingredient list which obsesses me on every product I buy, is beautiful. Love this concealer/highlighter!

O.K. That’s all for now. Enjoy!

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I said once that I will not publish anything on this blog, regarding my views on life, world, people, relationships and personal matters…And I stand by that as much as my fingertips are itching to write about my newest heart ache. Which probably convinced me for good that as women, we need and we owe it to ourselves to trust our instincts. Which is probably why I will remain forever single. Well…divorced!

Let’s just say that I have been burnt in life. Burnt so much that I can’t look at you or at the camera straight.So I have decided to do a semi selfie shoot, without showing my eyes too much, because they are embarrassed to face the world these days 😦

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Here is what I wore: O.P.I. “Purple with a purpose” nail polish, MAC Heroine matte lipstick (my new obsession), MAC Dazzleglass lip gloss and MAC Magenta lip pencil. And….Wallaroo FRANKIE hat. Simple.

 

 

 

 

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New Year without Dark Circles

Hi ladies and this time gentlemen as well,

eyes

I know how annoying dark circles and bags under the eyes can be. I am one who always had to deal with one or another or both at the same time.

Unfortunately these are problems that we inherit genetically most of the time. And there is not much that can be done about them. Attention, I did not say that there nothing you can do…

You have to know that if you have sinus problems, allergies, thyroid or kidney problems, the under eye bags and circles can be more pronounced.

Also, the skin around the eyes is the most sensitive and thin skin on the face. This could as well be an inherited trait, or it could be dehydration. If the skin is dehydrated, it loses the elasticity and it gets that crappy look, which will allow more transparency unfortunately. If you have naturally very skin transparent skin under the eyes, the body fluids but mainly the blood circulating through that area, are going to be more visible and you’ll get that dark, shadow effect under your eyes.

Other common reasons could be a sodium rich diet, not enough water intake, too much alcohol intake and not enough rest. Recently I have found out that sleeping on your stomach does not help, on the contrary.

Here are a few remedies I happened to try and I loved.

  • First of all if you have allergies or hay fever, some over the counter or prescribed medications might help.
  • Sleeping faced up and placing an extra pillow under your head, so that you allow some fluid drainage during sleep will also help. Plus 8 hours of sleep every night will feel devine on your body and your tired puffy eyes.
  • Avoid sodium rich foods (even if the sodium comes from soy sauce) and alcohol before bed.
  • Try frozen cucumber slices placed over the eyes for 30 minutes in the morning and also green tea (rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids) cold compresses over the eyes.
  • In terms of products, I rarely ran into an eye cream/serum that actually works for these two common issues. I’ll tell you though that you have to look for some specific ingredients known to stimulate the blood circulation under the eye area when you purchase your eye cream, and for some with brightening properties: These ingredients would be caffeine, ginseng, licorice, green tea, nitroffeine, centella asiatica, peptides, anti-oxidants and flavonoids.
  • Using a good eye concealer will also help. Mainly to cover up as opposed to fix, but hey, as long as it has good ingredients, gives you that flawless look and covers imperfections, why not!

Personal tip: When you apply your eye products, use the ring finger and try to apply as less pressure possible, in order to not stretch the skin around the eyes, over time.

Some of my favorite eye products: 

 

               

          

     

                      

 

And my favorite two concealers of all times are:  Dior Nude Hydrating Concealer and Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer. I find this one less hydrating but it provides great coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

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Christmas shoot at St. Regis Mexico City, wearing Darell BCBG Dress in New Red, Dsquared2 pumps (old), makeup and hair by moi 😉

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I hope all of you had a wonderful year, full of accomplishments, health, laughter and happiness! 

May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wish you all lots of love, joy and happiness this Christmas and the entire 2014!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dare to wear Red Lips

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Different shades of red I wear all the time!

Obviously for all who know me and for those who don’t, I love makeup. Love wearing it and love teaching ladies how to play with it. And probably first and foremost I love a red lip, well contoured, which stays in place. I don’t know anything else that can make such a great impact as a well done red lipstick. Not to mention that it can be a great pick-me-up for most of us 😉

Here are a few easy steps for you to implement into your makeup routine in order to accomplish astonishing results.

1. Exfoliate the lips a few hours before applying the makeup or even the night before. You need this in order to avoid dead skin flaking off your lips and in order to create a smooth hydrated canvas. Your lipstick is going to go on much smoother. Trust me! 

  a) You can use a soft bristle tooth brush to brush your lips softly. 

  b)You can use a regular face exfoliating scrub or you can make one. Yes ladies, It’s very easy. Take a dime size face moisturizer and mix it in your palm with a teaspoon of white or brown sugar. Rub this onto your lips for one minute or so. 

FYI my fave face scrub so far is the Skin Ceuticals Micro Exfoliating Scrub. You can get it here.

 2. When ready for the makeup, apply a primer for longer lasting results and to prevent “bleeding” and “feathering.” There are some specific ones for the lips or I sometimes apply the face primer over my lips as well. My favorite one for the lips is KISSKISS Liplift by Guerlain. For the face the best primers by far are the Color Science ones. This line has a very healthy concept for the makeup they create and the ingredients are very healthy for your skin. 

3. Follow with lining the lips with a lip pencil. It has to be the same shade as your lipstick or it could be one shade darker. But attention! Don’t go much darker than the lipstick in order to avoid looking older. 

 a) Draw a horizontal line in the middle of the vermilion line of the lower lip.

 b) Draw two dots on the top angles of the “Cupid’s Bow”. Top of your upper lip

 c) Connect the dots and the line on the lower lip. Attention. Don’t try to draw long lines at once because more likely it’s going to go wrong. Use short strokes, patiently, until the lips are contoured nicely and perfectly. 

 4. Use a lip brush for more control and apply the Red Lipstick of your choice. Of course, coordinated with the Lip Pencil you applied already. 

 Here are a couple of my favorite Reds of ALL time: Mac Ruby Woo for a dry/matte velvety finish. Dolce and Gabbana Venere, for an opaque coverage and satin finish. For something more affordable yet very good quality, try L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipcolor in British Red. 

5. A dust of face powder/powder foundation over the Red Lipstick is going to set it in place. 

 Personal tip: Use your pinkie finger to dab a small amount of creamy/powder highlighter (the one for your cheeks and brow bone) in the middle of your lower lip. I recommend Jane Iredale In Touch Highlighter Complete

 

And Voila! You are ready to wear those Red Lips proudly and confidently, all over town!

 

Kisses, 

Bianca