Makeup

Top Faves Friday: Makeup Brushes

I have hundreds of brushes. Some I never even get around to using. I always say you need to keep your brushes separate and have a brush for every single makeup step. It keeps things organized and, also, it helps keep me in a routine so I can do a quick makeup look on those early mornings when I barely want to do my makeup.

Brushes are so important to every makeup application. I think there is a misconception that you need to spend a ton of money on makeup brushes, when in fact it is the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I have a handful of high end makeup brand brushes in my stash, but one of my all time fave brushes actually $5! Who knew!

Today, I want to give you the scoop on my five favorite brushes that I use daily and that are a must in any makeup application.

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  1. The Sephora Collection #56 Foundation Brush– I’m pretty sure I described this brush as “delicious” to one of my girlfriends. I got a sample brush of this kind in a gift offer with Sephora and I ended up loving it so much I had to get the full size. This brush glides on any foundation smooth as butter and buffs into the skin helping your makeup look flawless rather than that cakey look we all try to avoid.
  2. Crown Brush Crease Detail Shadow Brush– I can’t talk about this brush enough. I’ve even gifted this brush to girlfriends. It’s one of my favorite brushes for darkening the outer corners of your eyes and also to blend shadows along the lower lash line. It’s a great brush as it’s a semi-tight dome shape, but yet blends shadows so well.
  3. Stilazzi Angle Liner Brush– I love a good thin angled eyeliner brush. I tend to wear a lot of gel eyeliners so a tight, thin brush helps create the perfect wing. This brush is super tight and the bristles are bendable and soft enough to glide any gel liner across the lid. I have multiple of this same kind of brush on hand for clients and myself. This is a staple in my kit and my personal makeup bag at all times.
  4. MAC Blending Crease Brush– I have had this brush for years and have always loved it. It’s the perfect brush for blending that crease color shadow into the eyelid flawlessly. The dense, thick fibers in this brush create the right amount of shading for any look. I love using this on clients as it works for all types of makeup looks.
  5. Crown Brush Chisel Shader Brush– I can’t even see the numbers on this brush anymore I use it so often. This brush is great for getting shadows on the lower lash line and doing a smudged look. I also like to do a liner look using dark shadows with this brush on the top lash line. This creates a softer liner look that anyone can achieve. I love love a tight smudge brush for all makeup applications. Its a must brush to have.
Makeup

How I Clean My Brushes and Why You Need To Be

Clean brushes are key to good skin and even better makeup. I am a firm believer of sanitation almost to the point of craziness. If you don’t have clean brushes to work with, you’re doing yourself and your clients an injustice. As a makeup artist, I’ve found it beyond important to have clean brushes, to insure my clients are getting the best application possible and to be sure there is no cross contamination from client to client. If you think about it too long, it’s disgusting. It’s just proper hygiene that we all need to be aware of when it comes down to it.

Heavy bacteria can grow in your brushes if you’re not careful. Oil, product, and daily build-up happens with our brushes, especially if you use a foundation brush. I like to wash my brushes every few days just to make sure I’m keeping them healthy and my skin healthy. You wouldn’t wear a shirt for weeks on end so why wouldn’t you clean your brushes?

I’ve tried multiple products to clean my brushes over the years. Top of the line brand brush cleaners, sudsy soap bars with a gripped mitt, soap and water, the list goes on. I happened to be on set of a commercial years ago and a gal mentioned she used the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner. I was intrigued. Of course, I ordered a bottle and instantly and HAAAD to try it. I was beyond impressed! The fact that you can just dipped a dirty brush into the solution and the old product seeps out with zero effort, I literally couldn’t believe it. It still blows me away to this day.

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To clean my brushes, I get a disposable cup and pour a good amount (this stuff goes fast depending on how many brushes you’re cleaning) of the solution in. One at a time, I dip my dirty makeup brush into the solution. Just a quick swirl (if that) around the cup and my brush is as good as new. Wring out to excess solution, reshape your brush, and let it air dry for a few hours. After a few brushes I dispose of the old solution and pour more in my disposable cup. If your using brushes on clients, a great way to quickly clean your brushes, spray a little solution on the brush, wipe it off with a paper towel and let it air dry for 3-5 minutes. It even comes in a travel size with a small aluminum tin to clean with and make cleaning super easy.

The Cinema Secrets brush cleaner is anti-microbial and is a rinse-less formula so there is no need to do a second cleaning with another cleanser. I completely trust that both my synthetic and natural hair makeup brushes are getting the best care. This cleaner has totally changed the way I clean all of my brushes, personal and business. I couldn’t be happier with the results of clean, healthy brushes.

Skin

The VI Peel Precision Plus: My Thoughts

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and decided to do the VI Peel Precision Plus. I am no virgin to this peel as I did a series of the original VI Peel’s before my wedding last year, and absolutely loved my results. The peel helps with texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and helps lift the melasma or hyper-pigmentation you may have. I ended up doing three peels (one a month for three months) and all I can say is my skin literally never looked better and I felt super confident about my skin walking down the aisle.

I have done a few laser treatments in the past and to be honest, I’d take a peel any day over it. Laser is one of those things, I feel, you’re either really into it or you’re just really not. You have to literally plan to not leave your house, prepare to look like a moon pie, and have your face completely shed off in a horror film type of way. Yes, your skin looks totally amazing after, but unless your a “real housewife”, who has time for this?

The VI Peel Precision Plus is the exact opposite. Yes, you still have a peeling moment, but it’s doable. Trust me! It’s less invasive where you aren’t quarantined to your residence, there’s zero swelling, AND the peeling happens super slow, but it’s nothing anyone can’t handle. Not to mention, if you do the peel on a Thursday, it’s perfect timing to peel over the weekend and no one knows! This time, I chose to do a step up from the original VI Peel to the VI Peel Precision Plus to really get in to the skin and help with pull my stubborn hyper-pigmentation to the surface to slough off.

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I love the way my skin feels after these peels. The texture is more even, my laugh lines are smoother, and my sun spots are a touch lighter. My makeup goes on and doesn’t settle into my lines, that my sister loves to point out, which I have always despised. The only thing I wish this peel helped more with is my hyper-pigmentation. It is beyond stubborn and takes more than one peel to help combat it, but I’m not mad about having to do multiple peels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend this type of peel for anyone looking for a less invasive way to boost their skin needs and give them that little bit of confidence they’re wanting. All of these opinions are completely my own and I am not being compensated for any of these comments. I just really believe in this peel, y’all!
Makeup

Travel Necessities

My husband and I are coming up on our ONE YEAR anniversary this Sunday. I can’t believe it, y’all! This past year has totally flown by! It feels like just yesterday we were gearing up for friends and family to come together in Orlando to share our most special day. We had the best time; I just want to relive it all over again!

This year we decided to take a trip to a place at least one of us hasn’t been to. Jeff travels a lot, but hasn’t ever been to New York City, whereas I have been a few times with my mom and sister and have so many great memories. NYC is the most magical city with always something to do and a new place to see. We’re going to be doing a lot of site-seeing with jammed packed days to do as much as we can. When in NYC, right?? I’m so excited to be his tour guide and enjoy the best places to eat, shop, explore and best of all make our own memories together.

When traveling to New York, I feel like you have to break out your best goods. Shoes, jewelry, clothing, and, let’s not forget, makeup. You have to be “on point” with your look if you ladies know what I’m talkin’ bout. I always feel the need to bring my best products since you never know what you’ll be up to. Buuut, at the same time I like to keep it light when packing and I try to bring only the essentials. This is always a challenge for me.

My makeup bag sometimes looks like shoving ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag. It’s ridiculous if I may say so. I am making it a point to do better, especially since I have so much makeup.  This trip, I’ve been planning ahead of time so I can map out what we’ll be doing and how I can prepare for it. A minimal look by day with a sultry look by night, because visiting the Statue of Liberty and going to a fancy dinner are two different looks, y’all!Processed with VSCO with v5 presetProcessed with VSCO with v5 preset

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  • I always grab as many mini size products as I can. I like to stock up throughout the year so that when it comes time to hop on a plane I’m not panicking to get everything in travel bottles
  • I like to grab the free mini’s from Sephora to gather for trips. They’re the same product without all the bulk
  • I also like to keep everything in containers that I know will handle a long trip. I try to keep most glass products at home, but of course this can be hard. Only if I know it’s a sturdy glass product will I add it to my bag
  • Bringing a smaller eye makeup palette is key. I try not to get crazy with eyes on vacation, so I try to pick a palette I know will work for every and any situation

 

What are some of your travel essentials that you HAVE to travel with??