What's In My Beauty Bag

What's In My Beauty Bag
Less shimmery than its well known sister "O", Deep Throat gives the perfect natural peach flush for summer!

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Want moi to review a product? Email browwhisperer@gmail.com for further info! My reviews are filled with warmth, wit and intelligence- & are always honest!

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This make-up artist and esthetician has a (bordering on unhealthy) addiction to all things beauty! No amount of eyeshadows or cream liners will ever be enough! I go giddy for all things girly. Lipgloss might not be able to heal the world, but it can lift a gal's spirits!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Theatre of the Nameless

You girls know I feel naked without my cat eye. Ever forget your watch or your cell phone at home & you feel lost without it? That's sort of the feeling. I turn to my little black cake liner from Illamasqua every morning to finish my peepers. I've read articles about the line that say it's for 'after hours' wear- for those a little more on the wild side. I say bring it. Theater of the Nameless is their latest collection.
The collection includes their Intense Lipgloss in Facade(top) & Belladonna(bottom). The lipglosses remind me a bit of the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' Lip Tars in their opaqueness- they are incredibly intense pigment wise, but feel light as air & super silky on the lips. Belladonna is a gorgeous pink that would brighten any complexion. Facade I could see intimidating most. A trick I use flesh colored glosses for is to tone down other lip shades. Professional Make-Up Artists often use concealer to soften shades or in steps to create the perfect nude lip, Facade would be perfect for this.
Theatre of the Nameless also includes their New Masquara in Raven & Precision Ink in Havoc. I'm quite picky about my mascaras{I know- shocker!} The brush on the New Masquara is fluffy & fabulous catching all of your lashes- lifting them up, as well as opening the eye.
The Precision Ink glides on quite effortlessly & boosts some serious staying power. Sorry for the lazy eye shot, but I had to take one for team because it shows the rich mahogany shade with a hint of plum. Auburns & redheads run, do not walk to get this liner. It was made for you! I'm smitten with line in general- it makes me feel a little naughty. I often hop over to their website just to get my creative juices flowing. Whenever I'm working with a client who says I can't do make-up well or I'm not good at it, I always remind them that make-up should be fun. It's a means of self expression. Besides they're very few mistakes in life that can be rectified with a simple swipe of cleanser! I say be bold.

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

*Items gifted for review

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nars Arabian Nights

As a make-up artist, I tend to steer away away from pink shadows. Often pinks, when used near the eyes can make them look bloodshot. However, upon spotting Nars' limited edition Arabian Nights {$45} trio I was pretty enchanted.
I had held off scooping it up until I swatched the palette at Sephora. The colors appeared like regal jewels on my finger tips & the collection had to be mine!
The next day I eagerly delved into the compact, ready to create a major bejeweled smokey eye. The oddest thing happened. After applying my standard eye shadow primer, I patted the magenta shade on inner portion of my lid. What appeared? A deep, matte black color. No sparkle whatsoever. Confused I tried the purple shade on the middle of my lid- matte black again! Just to round out the trio I tried the deepest shade on the outer corner of my lid. Want to guess? This picture shows all three shades applied, which all look the same. Not one to give up without a fight, I attempted again without the primer, thinking that might have thrown the colors off. Nope. Still matte black appeared. I have no idea why this happened, but I must say I was extremely bummed. Alas, these shadows are not what they seem- I'd recommend taking a pass on this one.

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Class

This week I went to a Thanksgiving Centerpiece decorating class at my favorite floral studio, Crimson & Clover. Seriously could you ever be sad being surrounded by such beautiful flowers? This bounty was ours for the taking in terms of selection for our arrangement- my eyes went straight to those gorgeous coral roses!
I went with Mrs. Everglam {my nickname as she's always so stylish!} to the class, she's moving to Chicago *sigh* in just two weeks... I'm trying to soak up every moment I can with her! With white wine at our side we began the arranging process.
Each student had the option of choosing a longer style centerpiece or a more modern arrangement in a square glass vase. Mrs. Everglam & I both went with the longer style, which you can see at right started of as a brick shaped piece of oasis. We started by using greens at the bottom to cover the oasis base. Then we selected the top focal point flowers- I went with these mint green hydrangeas. I wanted to go with white hydrangeas, but was told the white tend to not be as hardy. From there, we kept inserting smaller blooms until the centerpiece became full & lush.
It was fascinating to see everyone's pieces evolve & take shape as the night went on. Here was the work station at the end of the night with everyone's arrangements.
Mrs. Everglam went with a vibrant burst of autumnal colors, sprigs of berries & even a pomegranate completed the look.
Here's my masterpiece! I love it- yet it's not at all what I originally thought I would do. It's funny how the arrangement took on a life of it's own. I would love to tell you the names of the ball things & the drapey stuff- but alas I have no idea what they're called!
An aerial shot of the centerpiece to show off the two gilded pheasant feathers I added for a little sass! I hope you & those you love having a Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Make Up For Ever

Let's face it: most lips products, no matter how much they promise to say put- just don't. Often brides ask how to boost staying power & I offer a layering process of stains, lipstick, setting powder ,etc... However gloss, by its very nature & texture glides off the mouth. Think of how often the average female chats, sips her Starbucks & nibbles- it's asking a lot for a product to hang on through oil & vinegar salad dressing! Make-Up For Ever's aqua creams are impressive in that department. So when I saw an ad campaign featuring their Aqua Lip pencil I knew I had to try it out! The color in the campaign looked nothing like the photo in person- so I would look at these liners in the store to make your selection.
I ended up picking #2c, a nice neutral pinky nude. I always go with liners that are your lip color with a little bit more oomph. This is due to my kindergarden teacher Mrs. Carson who always had a magenta clown like outline around her lips that scarred me, but I digress. Unless you sport a signature red lip, nude liners will always take care of you! I fill in the entire lip & top with whatever gloss I'm feeling that day. This liner doesn't dry out your lips the way most long wearing do. I thought it held up very well. But the true validation of this was running into my sister & her commenting on the shade. It had been 4 hours after application & I had just finished lunch. Sold.

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nails Inc Magnetic Polish Tutorial

I have to say I was more intrigued than anything else when Nails Inc launched their Magnetic Polish. I was a little fearful that I would feel like Ke$ha sporting the manicure- she's a look that I don't strive for. However it got glowing reviews in a magazine recently, so I gave it a try!
There's nothing like feeling old when the instructions on how to use the polish are the size of a postage stamp that you can barely see! I actually watched a Youtube video, that's how small it was. You apply your normal base coat, then apply one coat of the polish. I selected the Trafalgar Square shade, it also comes in teal(Whitehall Teal) & purple(Houses of Parliament) shades .

The cap of the polish which houses the magnet {that creates all of these nifty effects} pops off. As you can see, there's a little rounded edge at the top of it. You apply a generous second coat of polish, then place the little lip of the cap at the top of the cuticle, facing the nail for the magnet to work its magic.

You do one nail at a time for this, since the polish needs to be wet for the particles in it to be able to move from the magnet. It's pretty easy, the trickiest part is not hitting the lid into your polish- which I ended up doing on both ring fingers. Luckily, the pattern deflects the mistake- which you can't really touch up anyway. This shot is before I removed excess polish from my cuticles, too. I must say, I like it a lot more than I expected! It's definitely a conversation starter - people can't wrap their head around the concept. Even the cashier at Target commented & said she had to go get it. What do you Beauties think?


Peace. Love. Polish. M

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bubbles and Baubles

It's time for our second annual Bubbles & Baubles Jewelry Trunk Show tonight! Shipments have been arriving all week. We have been like kids in a candy store discovering all the baubles that will be on display this evening!

I was captivated by these druzy & quartz bracelets! I'm on a druzy kick as of late & at least one of these from Mikala's Designs will be mine!

One can never have enough chandelier earrings & these from Calico Juno Designs will go with just about anything!
These initial necklaces from local jewelry designer Lotus Jewelry Studio are such classics! I have one. I gave one to my sister when she had her first baby with her & her hubby's initials + their little one's. They make the perfect bridesmaids gifts, too! Of course Medusa's Heirlooms hair baubles will making an appearance, as well as Tres Bon Bons to nosh on while sipping champagne. So if you're a Baltimore reader, we'd love to have you pop by La Papillon Spa from 5-8pm tonight! We'll see you there!

Peace. Love. Baubles. M

Monday, November 14, 2011

Philosophy Oxygen Peel


Ever have a month that makes you feel like you've aged 10 years? That's how October was for me. When I saw Philosophy's Oxygen Peel kit offered as a today's special value, I literally thought my skin could use a breath of fresh air! The kit also comes with Philosophy's best selling cleanser, Purity & a new antioxidant lotion called Oxygen Boost.
For step one of the peel, you break apart a capsule & mix with warm water in the enclosed container.
The resulting gel is like unflavored gelatin if you've ever made homemade jam!
After applying the gel, this potion is next. While the second step already feels whipped in consistency, after you layer it onto the gel it becomes a shaving cream like frothy texture.
Gorgeous shot- I know! After the peel, I noticed my skin looked lighter & a little brighter- though no real smoothing in terms of skin texture. This peel also helps with clarifying congested skin. While I think it was fun to play mad scientist in initially mixing the peel, I think the novelty might wear off & lead to inconsistency in my using it. No matter how great a product is, if you don't use it regularly- the results won't happen. This is why I rarely recommend masks to clients- unless I know they're extremely dedicated to their skincare regimens.

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Friday, November 11, 2011

Files From the Brow Whisperer

I loooovvveee first time waxing clients! As soon as they step into my treatment room, I get to work on a blank canvas & create their shape. This young teen already had strikingly fabulous brows. It was just up to me to enhance them. For me it's like unearthing buried treasure.
She & I were doing a happy dance with this 'after' shot. We left her brows strong & clean. With a stunning head of long, curly dark hair her new brows were the perfect compliment to her features! Have a great weekend girleens!

Peace. Love. Brow Whisperer M

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Zoom Teeth Whitening

I guess people are trying to tell you you have a problem when two of the La Papillon Beauty Team come in one morning saying they saw a segment on the Today Show coining the term 'Bleacharexic.' So I like white teeth. So my teeth are never white enough- is it a bad thing to want pretty pearly whites? In my defense, it's not like I 'whiten' every day. In fact, I hadn't for a while. So when I saw a groupon on Zoom teeth whitening, well I jumped on it!

The Zoom whitening machine.
Here I am being prepped, wearing my awesome orange protection goggles. It's kind of hard to see, but the technician (who was super sweet) had pretty much taken the SPF 30 lipgloss & smeared it all over the lower portion of my face. Well it felt like all over my face & my neurotic esthetician self kept thinking,"That is so going to break me out."

Here I am starting to feel like Hannable Lechter with my mouth propped open. They do this for even distribution of the light.
Since it's a UV light that activates the gel, another precaution to protect the gums is taken by the technician painting a setting product that hardens over my gums. Sexy, I know- this is why I took my face out of these pictures, so no one could blackmail me at a later date!
Side shot taken by yours truly- the technician found me quite entertaining.
Speaking of entertaining, they had a tv mounted on the ceiling- so I was able to watch the Ellen show! The entire process ranges from an hour to an hour & fifteen minutes.
I have to say I was somewhat nervous about tooth sensitivity {especially since seeing an episode of Party Down- hysterical series BTW} & having had some brides say they experienced 24 hours of discomfort. But I was good to go. My bottom teeth were a little bit sensitive- totally bearable though! I didn't see a drastic amount of whitening, but the girls said I didn't need in the first place... I say one's teeth can never be too white!

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Friday, November 4, 2011

John Frieda 3 Day Straight

The quest for good hair days continues... I saw that 3 Day Straight got raves reviews in Lucky Magazine, so of course I had to try it! To most my hair appears already pretty straight, but there are certain sections that have some serious wave. I knew I had to be up at the crack of dawn for a tv segment when I first used this product the night before. Brave, you say? I just wanted to have good hair & have part of it already done since I am sooo not a morning person!
I sprayed the product generously through my hair (they suggest 15 or more sprays depending on length) the night before & blew dry my hair pretty much with my fingers. I was headed to bed so I wasn't doing a 'blow dry style.' It was straight, but not ridiculously sleek- but again I didn't use my paddle brush.
The next morning I ran my straight iron through it, with very straight & shiny results!
This is technically the third day in the morning -my hair really held it's shape even after sleeping on it, which it often doesn't. Usually part of my natural wave will pop up somewhere! I don't know how this product would perform on super curly hair. However, I think for people who don't wash their hair every day or those who aren't ready to experience a keratin treatment at a salon- this might be a no brainer to add to your regimen.

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kerastase

My hair & I have a contentious relationship. Don't get me wrong- I actually love my natural hair color & it's healthy. But we both kind of do our own things. Often I swipe my glorious GHD straight iron through it to make it succumb to my will & look a little bit more polished. While skin & make-up are my area of expertise, hair is not. Enter Erin Vajda, owner of Fraiche Studio. Erin is one of those super cute {read annoyingly so} always perfectly coiffed girls. Even on her days off, her hair looks perfectly tousled, in the 'I'm not even trying to do this with my hair' way. Yup, I would want to beat her- if she wasn't so awesome.
So Erin put the fear of God in me recently. Not so much with guilt, but more of a "That's fine. I don't care if you strip the cuticles of your hair & have a frizzy mess- it's not my hair" sort of nonchalant comment. Turns out when I don't put a protective coating on my hair before passing the 400 degree iron over it, I'm roughing up my hair strands & creating a never ending cycle since I'll then always need the straight iron to smooth back down the damage. She introduced me to Kerastase's new Fibre Architecte Serum. Though the line is well known, I've often found it confusing & never knew what was right for me.
The serum was the perfect texture, not overly greasy for my somewhat oily hair. You apply it on dry hair. It smells like Heaven. Or a vacation. Or a heavenly vacation. It's a very clean scent, with some exotic citrus. The product made my hair super cooperative & sleek. It also was free from pony tails 'kinks' the next day- which it never is! It's an investment at $42, but in my cabinet full of hair potions that never deliver- I will reach for this one again & again!

Peace. Love. Lipgloss. M