Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Celebrity Beauty Inspiration: Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede is the Ethiopian-born supermodel who has graced the covers of nearly every fashion magazine!! She is also the only black woman to ever serve as a representative for Estee Lauder Cosmetics. The definition of modern beauty and a celebrity beauty inspiration to me. Liya takes it back to the days of the real supermodels. Let's take a look of the elements of her beauty.

1. Radiant Skin

Her skin always just seem to glow. It always looks healthy. In this case, I think genetics plays a more important role than the products that she uses. Let's not get it twisted though, I am sure she invests in skincare products to preserve what she has.

2. Deep Chocolate Lip

This is an Ethiopian beauty aesthetic. She can always be seen with a deep berry colored lip. It looks really great on her. Try these colors: Bobbi Brown gloss in Chocolate, MAC Photo, Estee Lauder Black Truffle and Autumn.

3. Full Brow

We all know that a thin brow will make even a 20 year old look 40. Liya keep her brow full and groomed (notice...I did say groomed). It keeps her looking youthful.

4. Fresh Pop of Blush

Blush always seems to be expertly blended in just the right place. It isn't overpowering, but it is just enough so that it add that extra bit of youthfulness. Try Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera and Petunia.

Email me to let me know which celebrity inspires you.

Photo taken from Zac Posen's Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear show. www.style.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Wish List

I know its early, but I am doing my Christmas Shopping today (for myself of course). With all the stress that has been going on in my life....I need retail therapy (this day was planned anyway). I like to call this day Mona's Black Wednesday. I would rather shop in peace and avoid long lines (maybe even a sale...but when do cosmetics ever go on sale?) than to dare venture into a store on Friday. Yep, I am making my way out to Tyson's Corner to get my shop on!!! I am sooo excited!!! The weather is nice, and I feel inspired!! So What's on my list, you ask???

1. Sony Cyber Shot Digital Camera

Well, I am finally buying one!! I need this to document my work and keep you updated with all my trips to sephora, Target, and fashion shows.

2. Dermablend Liquid Foundation

I use this to cover tattoes. This formulation is sooo densely pigmented that it covers tattooes,without looking thick and cakey. It is transfer resistant and waterproof...so I don't have to do too much upkeep.

3. Japonseque Double Sided Palette

I need this in my life!!! I hate carrying alot of stuff with me on jobs. This helps to compact your supplies. I will store my foundations and lipsticks all in here!! Genius!!! This can be found at www.alcone.com.

4. Phyto 9 Ultra Nourishing Cream

My hair NEEDS this!!! My hair is sooooo dry!! I have natural hair and I have been eyeing this line for a while, but I was a little apprehensive because of past products that have failed me (Curly Pudding, Bumble and Bumble, Redken...the list goes on). I think that I am ready to jump back in and take a risk at falling in love...with a new hair product that is. This line contains botanical extracts, which would be a change for me and my poorly hydrated locks.

This list could go on and on....but unfornately my bank account doesn't (LOL...someday!!!). My weekend is going to be lovely!!! Shopping today, Thanksgiving tomorrow!! I can wait to prepare my Thanksgiving dinner and play with all my new purchases!!!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Look: Metallic Eyes

With Thanksgiving and a boat load of other holiday parties just around the corner, it is time to gather the looks that you will be wearing!! I didn't even realize how fast the holidays were approaching, until a co-worker informed me last week that Thanksgiving was a week away. So what's hot to wear to family gatherings??? What to wear to the holiday party that your job will be hosting?? Don't worry...I have you covered. Just keep reading.

1. Metallic Eyes.

Metallic eyes are a great way to look festive during the holiday season. By metallic, I mean bronze, silver,gold, sage....basically anything with a hint of bronze, gold or silver shimmer to it. I love Bobbi Brown's new Metallics Collection. The palettes come with 3 metallic shadows that can be worn individually or combined. Be sure to pair these with liner on the top during the day and amp it up with liner in the waterline for night.

2. Smokey Eye

Well, enough said. You can't go wrong with a smokey eye. The type of smokey eye depends on the time of day. You can keep it PG during the day with a lighter color on the lid and just a tad bit of darker shadow in the crease, of course with liner on the top only.Pair with a nude lip and a warming blush or bronzer and you're set!! During the day try Bobbi Brown Best of Chocolate Collection. This palette comes with four eyeshadow shades on the bottom and four lipgloss shades on the top. You can even use the darkest shadow as your liner.

3. Red Lip

The red lip is oh so sexy. It's soooo sexy that it has to be worn alone!! Pair it with a nude eye and just a hint of blush. I think red or any color derivative of red needs some type of lip liner. The liner really helps to give that definition. As long as you find that perfect and appropiate shade of red you should be fine. My favorite lip combo for a red lip is MAC Nightmoth liner, Viva Glam I Lipstick, and the new 3-D lipgloss in Boundless (I love this gloss). Remember that you can always adjust the liner and gloss color to adjust the shade of red. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Bobbi Brown Lipcolor in Wine (name does it justice) paired with Aubergine gloss

MAC lustre lipstick in Dubonnet (red brown) with MAC Auburn Lip Liner (for fair girls) and MAC Currant Lip liner for (for Brown girls)

Lancome Juicy Tube in Cherry

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Celebrity Beauty Inspiration: Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington is so gorgeous, talented (she directed Common's new video), and stylish. Her over all look is soft, classically progressive, and pretty. Skin is always radiant and bronzed to perfection. Her bone structure looks like a sculptor took a chiesel and went to work!! I love how she looks "done" but without too much of an effort. Kerry wears looks that the everyday gal can wear. She can normally be seen working the following lip/eye combos:

1. Smokey Eye/ Nude Lip/ Slightly Contoured Cheek Combo

2. Nude Eye/ Nude Lip....With a pop of color on the cheek (usually a coral or pink)

3. Silver or Bronze Eye/ Pinky Brown Semi-glossy Lip/ or Brick-red Lip (Don't you just love her lips?!?!?)

Her lips always seem to be nice and polished without a liner. This is what makes her look "classically progressive." The elements of her makeup are always current, but yet still classic.

Who is your celebrity beauty inspiration??

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Must Have Product: Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted Moisturizer is such a lovely product!!! It can even out your skin tone, gives you a dewy radiant complexion, all without screaming FOUNDATION!!! Basically this product is foundation diluted with moisturizer. You can really make this at home (which is what I do!!) by taking your foundation (liquid or stick) and mixing it with moisturizer. This is an alternative to those who want to segway into wearing foundation and for those who have next to perfect skin. It gives a sheer and slightly buildable coverage. During the summer, it is a great way to create a faux "I just got back from St. Tropez" look by using a shade darker (this can also be done in the winter to keep your tan). Perfect for the already present cold months, because as it gives your skin the coverage that it needs to look flawless, it is also providing it with hydration. Although tinted moisturizers hydrate the skin, I would still recommend using a light moisturizer underneath (even for oily girls). Oil-free version work well for extremely oily girls. Let's take a look at the brands that I love!!!

1. Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

This is my pick for those with oily skin. It will help to maintain your skin's moisture needs while giving it a glow (plus it has an SPF of 15)!!! It is oil-free so no need to worry about break outs. It comes in 8 shades. When first applying For those of us with a deeper complexion try MAC NW50.

2. Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

This product is so rich!! Perfect for people with dry skin!! It evens out the skin while hydrating it to help dry skin to heal. This product is used by the Bobbi Team at fashion shows to create that healthy model glow.

3. Prescriptives Traceless Skin Responsive Tint

I remember the first time I tried this product (Level 6). I looked in the mirror and was surprised the image looking back at me had such a nice glisten!! Needless to say that I purchased this product immediately. This is perfect is you have sensitive skin. There are only 6 shades, so if you need a slightly darker or lighter color try their Virtually Fress Skin Refining Makeup. It too is very light and gives a sheer coverage. It will leave your skin looking like skin.

4. Clinique Super Moisture Makeup

I am sooo impressed by this formulation!!! It blends so well and feels so good on the skin!!! The color selections are excellent and it is perfect for those with sensitive skin. The tube packaging is so cute and modern. This is hands down one of my favorite. It is not quite a tinted moisturizer, because the coverage is buildable, but it is definitely worth a try!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Under The Radar: IMAN Cosmetics

Iman....The Somalian-born Supermodel who is married to David Bowie (strange couple I know). She made her modeling debut in the 70s. Twenty years later, after being fed up with the lack of color selection available to women of color developed her own cosmetics line- IMAN Cosmetics.

This line is absolutely amazing for women of color!!! I love that the line contains no red undertones, that are commonly found in other brands. All of the foundation shades have golden undertones. In addition to the undertone, the foundations are oil-free and contain silica derivatives, which help to absorb excess oil is commonly produced by ethnic skin. All of the names of the foundations are "earthy" names, such as Earth, Sand and Clay. The brand is sold primarily in Ulta stores, by Color Me Beautiful Reps,Sephora and my favorite place....Target. The price points are VERY reasonable, but vary depending on what retailer you purchase from!! You may notice that if you purchase the products from a Color ME Beautiful rep that the products are packaged a little differently, due to the brand being sold to Proctor and Gamble. Here are a few of my must have items in the line:

1. Iman Second-to-none Foundation Stick:
This stick is a must have for makeup artists and regular gals alike.It has medium to full coverage with a matte finish and can be thinned out by using a damp sponge or brush.I love, love , love that the foundations have golden undertones.You can swipe it on, and not have to worry about looking red by the day's end. It also helps to absorbs excess oil. If you have dry skin, don't fret!! Just moisturize really well before applying the stick.

2. Oil Blotting Translucent Powder-
Translucent Powder is excellent way to "set" your makeup. It absorbs oil very well helping to maintain a natural matte finish, but will deposit a little color. Since the powder deposits some color, the powder can be worn alone for a very small amount of coverage. I recommend choosing a color one shade lighter than what you would normally choose under the eye area (which is mainly the only place I "set" my makeup).However, if you wear a foundation that is a tad too light, use a darker color powder. The sponge that comes in the compact should be thrown away, because it can deposit too much powder (invest in a small powder brush). There are four color selections to choose from.

3. Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder
This was one of my beauty staples during the summer!! It is the perfect bronze color with a slight shimmer!!! I dusted this on my arms, legs, eyes.. EVERYWHERE!! Especially on those nights when I was out on the town. It gives the perfect bronze glow. You couldn't tell me that I wasn't Beyonce!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Makeup...Such a Touchy Subject!!!!

I know this is the second post within a couple of hours...but I was thinking, after having a discussion with a friend that I haven't spoken with in years about makeup. What is the big deal with women and makeup??? I don't understand it. Makeup is so taboo!! Women pride not wearing makeup like they pride being virginal at age 35. I can understand embracing your natural beauty, but walking around looking like you haven't slept in 15 years is not cute!! Here are some of the reasons I feel women don't:

1. Time

I can completely understand this reason. I admit that I don't wear face products everyday ( I am entitled...I do other's makeup so much). Sometimes I am running late and taking the time to put on concealer, eyeshadow, blush, etc. would just be downright inconsiderate (especially if someone is waiting). But I try to wake up an extra 30 minutes to do something that enhances my beauty. As women we spend time doing so much for others (the men in our lives, the children, the job...) that we neglect ourselves.When will it be ok to invest time into yourself? Spending an extra 30 minutes to add that "extra-ness" to your look is not selfish or vain.

2. Knowledge

I get asked to do beauty forums all the time. The women out there are clueless as to how to apply makeup. I know it can be intimidating standing in the mirror with no clue how to get a nice line with a liner brush. If you don't put in the time, you will never know. It can be discouraging not getting it right the first time. Rome wasn't built in a day. If you need someone to assist you then visit a local beauty counter and get help. I don't know about you, but I hate always being someone else's cheerleader. You know what I mean....There is always that one woman who seems like she has it all. Everything from her perfectly manicured nails, trendy clothes, and beautiful makeup seems to be in place. She even has the confidence to match. When will that be you?

3. Invalidation

Wearing makeup seems to make women appear to be artificial. It almost seems to invalidate their beauty to some. Taking out your sophisticatedly packaged compact to touch up your makeup seems vain. Face it...we are!! All the women in Hollywood would not make special appearances without makeup. It's why we have them as beauty inspirations. I hope no one thinks that they look like that naturally. Their cheeks are enhanced by blush, brows are filled in and shaped to perfection, and their weave is done by the industry's best. Makeup enhances your own natural beauty. Just because you wear foundation doesn't mean that you have bad skin.

4. Poor Representation

I know I have seen women on the street with blush from their cheeks all the way down to the jawline. Women who are applying their makeup incorrectly are representing what we don't want to look like. New York is a prime example. If I didn't know what makeup was and someone pointed to her as an example, I would run to the hills. Don't let their poor application taint your view. This is why we should trust professionals. Some times it isn't a good idea to listen to girlfriends, who are sometimes just as clueless as we are. I have over heard girlfriends telling their friends that they do not need concealer or foundation when clearly this person looks like they can hold $50 worth of groceries under their eyes. Sometimes mascara and lipgloss is not enough!!!

Do we agree with some of the points that were made? Post comments!!
Next week, in an effort to show that makeup does not have to consist of a full face of makeup, I will post a 15 minute face on myself (i hope i can find a digital). Just as a tip:

To save time putting on your makeup, get your products and tools gathered the night before. Put them in a central location so the next morning you aren't wasting time looking all over the place.

Under The Radar : Prescriptives

I write alot about MAC, Bobbi Brown, and NARS. I just realized that I leave out another brand that I absolutely love....Prescriptives!! This brand is completely under the radar by most people. Prescriptives is good for sensitive skin, and it's the only place in a department store that you can get foundation, concealer, bronzer, and lipgloss custom made just for you!! We all have different undertones and Prescriptives speaks to that, so if you are one of those who are having a hard time finding your pefect shade...this is for you. I love the texture of the eye pencils and eyeshadows. They feel so smoooth and are so pigmented!! Since it is officially the "Holidaze," Prescriptives has come out with Holiday sets. This is a good way to try out the line without investing too much $$$. Here are some of my favorite things in the line:

1. Virtually Fresh Skin Refining Makeup

This is such a weightless foundation. It really feels like a tinted moisturizer, but with the coverage of a regular liquid (medium coverage). This is good for those who have minimal imperfections. My favorite characteristic about this foundation is how the foundation looks seamless. It gives your skin a radiant glow!!! There is also a nice shade selection.

2. Vibrant-C Skin Brightener

This cream hydrates the skin while giving it a healthy natural glow!! It has tiny pearlized luminizers that gives skin a pearlescent finish. There is a set that comes with the brightening eye cream, cleanser,super liner preventer, and cream. This is a must have in the beauty arsenal on those cold winter days when you wake up and your skin looks like "blah."

3. Tint Balm

For all the gloss girls!! I love these!! My favorite shade is Smoothie. It is a translucent pink with a hint of shimmer. All of the glosses have a nice glisten. The packaging takes me back to when I purchased my first lipgloss.

4. Powder

We all know that I am not a powder girl, but Prescriptives' Virtual Matte Oil Control Pressed Powder is great. It looks and feels so light on the skin. It doesn't give you that powdered look. It can be worn alone or dusted lightly ontop of foundation. The best thing is that it is an oily girl's best friend. Please use a powder brush!!

I didn't mention the concealer, because I prefer the custom blended concealer.
If you get the opportunity this weekend, do yourself a favor and stop by the Prescriptives counter or check out :