Posts Tagged ‘Maria’

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NVEY ECO: The “ECO” is the Only Part to Envy — Guest Post by Maria Luxen

If you follow my blog you know Maria Luxen is a longtime BFF and has always been very generous with her mad makeup skills. The founder of Makeup Mayhem, Maria is a busy little bee doing makeup for fashion shoots around NYC including  the likes of Vogue Italia and ASOS.  Since I’m stranded here on the West Coast I miss out on product launches and such and since the NVEY ECO is a new makeup line I figured I would send the expert to the launch party…

When Janna asked me to attend the North American launch of NVEY ECO, an organic makeup line founded and based in Australia, I was psyched!  I am yet to find an organic makeup line that has the texture and pigment I need as a makeup artist.  Having done some research before I attended the launch party, I discovered that the line was founded in 2005 with the expertise of Rohan Widdison whose mother Helen Abicair founded the acclaimed Melbourne Beauty College in 1958. Rohan has been director of the Helen Abicair Beauty college for the past 21 years.  With these credentials, I was sure this line was going to be flawless!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Farewell, Warlock Brows: Sania’s Brow Bar Angled Mechanical Brow Pencil

Haven’t we all been there before? You try filling in your brows just like the makeup artist at the counter showed you and instead of natural-looking bold brows you end up looking like Hannah on Girls, or worse, like one of the models from Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2013:

Girls Bad Eyebrows

Hannah made the tragic mistake of allowing her co-workers to excessively pencil her eyebrows, morphing her once normal brows into the dreaded “warlock brows”

Marc Jacobs brows

Holy brows, batman! I know MJ was going for Edie Sedwick in his SS2013 Collection, but this is just plain scary.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Bliss Rubberizing Mask: Great As Long As You Don’t Lose the Measuring Cup

I was thrilled when I found out that Bliss was coming out with an “at home” version of their famous rubber mask, Bliss Fabulous Skin-Reviving Rubberizing Mask ($38), which I’ve enjoyed too many times as an expensive upgrade to their in-spa facials. (I find it’s tough for me to say no to upgrades and add-ons when I’ve been lulled into submission with a good neck and shoulder rub.  It’s like the aesthetician can smell blood in the water and knows precisely when to slap me with a $60 upgrade option)

What’s so great about this mask? It goes on cold (which instantly soothes irritated skin) and calms the anger and redness right out of my skin, leaving it glowing.  Its main ingredients (via Sephora):

Algin: Rubberizes the ingredients to allow key ingredients to be optimally absorbed by the skin. 

Seaweed: Draws out dirt and oil while exfoliating skin. Refines pores and reduces inflammation. Aids in natural hydration of your skin. 

Bilberry: Acts as an anti-inflammatory to soothe and nourish skin while reducing free radical damage that contributes to skin aging. Calms skin to reduce irritation and redness. 

Vitamin C: Brightens skin discolorations (hyper pigmentation), helps promote collagen building, and provides superior antioxidant action.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Revived from the Archives: The Horrors of Halloween (…I’m talking about my skin obviously)

Since Halloween is upon us, and I know better than anyone how much your skin can take a beating during these times of extreme makeup (I’m not proud to say that after my run-through of my Day of the Dead makeup Wednesday, I woke up yesterday to an angry, hiding-like-a-coward-under-the-surface pimple), I wanted to revive this post from Halloween past.  I made some updates to ensure I’m arming you with the best weapons to battle the terrifying oil fields that threaten your skin when you are most vulnerable…

The only thing scarier than Maria in this picture from last Halloween is imagining the damage the cheap makeup did to her skin. I was lucky enough to escape the grease paint (just saying those two words out loud clogs my pores) last year with my bad kitty costume. But this year, I am dressing up as a Lichtenstein Girl and Maria intends to cover my face and decollete with grease paint and other synthetic poisons.

I had a heart-to-heart with her about this yesterday:

Me: So, I don’t suppose you have any sensitive skin Halloween makeup you can use on me?

<<Maria gives me a blank stare>>

Me: Yeah, um, I’m a bit worried about breaking out from that cheap drug store stuff

Maria: (after another lengthy stare) Janna, you just need to prepare yourself for a breakout.

<<HALLOWEEN HORROR = MY LOOK OF REPULSION>>

Maria: I’ve tried gentle, natural Halloween makeup in the past and it just doesn’t stay put, and it doesn’t have the same pigment as the cheap stuff.

I’m still reeling from our conversation. There has to be something I can do!!  First thing first, I ordered a Mineral Halloween makeup set from Elegant Minerals.  Maria has many doubts and won’t make any promises about using it, but she’s willing to give it a try. That’s worth the money for me. (2012 UPDATE: MARIA WAS BEYOND RIGHT.  THE ELEGANT MINERALS SET WAS A JOKE.  WE ENDED UP THROWING IT AWAY AFTER SEEING HOW IT BARELY SHOWED UP AFTER THE FIRST SWIPE)

“DAY OF” PREP: I will prep my skin by giving it a mild exfoliation with CosMedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask and then a nice moisturizing, nourishing mask like Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask .  I will then use a soothing, anti-irritation, anti-redness moisturizer like Skin Medica Redness Relief Calmplex and prepare my skin for battle with my new favorite primer Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer.

POST-EVENT: The second I say my last goodbye Saturday night I am running to the bathroom to cleanse my skin. First I will take my makeup off with EVE LOM Cleanser and tons of  Cotton Clouds. Then, I will cleanse with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and my Clarisonic Skincare Brush(which I never use anymore since my skin is so sensitive, but this is an emergency situation).  I will complete my regimen with a soothing spritz of Fresh Rose Marigold Tonic Water, and massage in my soothing, balancing Decleor ‘Aroma Night’ Neroli Essential Night Balm (which is like a spa service in itself).

NEXT MORNING: Fingers crossed, I will wake up without a single clogged pore.   If I wake up congested I will sit rocking in a corner for a few hours crying, then apply my Boscia Luminizing Black Mask.  If “congested” actually means “breakout,” I may end up having to book an emergency facial, pop a couple leftover miniature Snickers in my mouth while brainstorming my makeup-free costume for next year.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Visit to The Braid Bar at the John Barrett Salon in NYC

Last week Maria and I visited The Braid Bar at the legendary John Barrett Salon  in the Penthouse of Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.   This is one of those iconic NYC celebrity and socialite salons where you have to wait several months for an appointment and it’ll cost you once you’re there (a cut with Barrett starts at $400). Unless of course you’re visiting The Braid Bar, which will only run you $45 for a braid. I love a good bargain! Now you’re probably thinking, “Is she kidding me? I know how to french braid. Why don’t I save myself the cash and do it myself?”  Ladies, these are no ordinary braids.  My talented stylist Kayley Pak gave me braids I’d never heard of (like The Valentino braid. Say what?), and Maria’s stylist Isabel Guillen took Maria’s one request for braids going up and turned Maria’s hair into a sexy pin-up coif.  We both came with clean, dry hair (Kayley says it’s easier to brain clean hair and obviously it lasts a lot longer), and I styled mine curly because I like the way the texture plays with the braids.
Side Valentino Braid

Kayley gave me the Valentino braid by french braiding around my head and then braiding the end and weaving it into my hair.

back of valentino braid

Back view

first-4

Other side of Valentino braid

janna-braid31

I'm obviously feeling quite pleased with my braid.

waterfall

The popular Game of Thrones-esque waterfall braid

watfin2

Kayley added some skinny random braids throughout to add some dimension and texture.

DSC010512

Maria's gets her wish...

eeeee1

Voila! Up-do!

vv2

The Pin-Up is pleased.

mar3

Once our hair was done, we were hanging out in front of the windows, admiring the incredible view up Fifth Avenue when we were treated to a special surprise. The silver-haired legend himself, John Barrett, came over to meet us and compliment us on our new looks. He took one look at Kayley's fine workmanship and said, "What's great about the Valentino braid is that it's like a fine wine, it gets better with age. Wait until you see how it looks when it loosens a little." It didn't even have to loosen for me to love it, though the legend was right, after day two the braid looked ever more romantic. Now Maria on the other hand, couldn't sleep on her elaborate updo so after taking out all the bobby pins and going to sleep, her next day hair looked like this!

Side Valentino Braidback of valentino braidfirst-4janna-braid31waterfallwatfin2DSC010512eeeee1vv2mar3
My only regret about  The Braid Bar is that it’s the only one.  I’m moving to San Francisco next week, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.  I mean, how am I going try more aggressive looks like the basket weave braid and the braid-wrapped bun?   Perhaps this is just the start of a phenomenon like all the blow-dry salons.  A girl can dream…   John Barrett Salon, 754 Fifth Avenue, 877.515.5595
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City: Neon, Neon Everywhere

From the runways to the subways, I’m seeing nothing but neon.

Neon makeup and hair started lighting up the runways last year, and since then this 80s staple trend quickly blinded  the masses with an explosion of day-glo fashion and beauty products.  Walking down the streets of NYC, I see everything from young girls with fluorescent hair streaks and matching lipstick to career fashionistas furiously typing away on their smart phones with nails painted in the season’s latest electric colors.

Don’t be intimidated into thinking that if you incorporate a little neon, you’re a couple of leg warmers away from becoming Pat Benatar. Just be careful to tone down your outfit and the rest of your makeup (think neutrals across the board) to avoid anything aggressively offensive.  Kidding.  (kind of kidding)

Eyes

If you’re not in the mood to do a full eye of makeup, just add a little pop of color with neon mascara, as seen on the models at Stella McCartney AW 2012 Paris.  Makeup Artist Master Pat McGrath used Cover Girl Lashblast 24 Hour Mascara coated with a blue pigment gel to achieve the look. At home, apply two coats of your favorite volume-pumping mascara in black, let it dry, and then coat with an electric blue mascara like Tokidoki Punk Lash Mascara in Baby Rocker.

Backstage beauty at Stella McCartney AW 2012 Paris (photo via WWD)

Or, for a more subtle look, you can swipe a brightly-colored liquid liner along your upper lash line like my minxy blonde friend Kat (see below).  Kat used Sephora Liquid Liner in Fancy Blue to achieve her look:

Kitty Kat in her electric blue liner

 

Lips

Go bold or go home.  Maria rocks a different day-glo shade every day. She doesn’t care if it’s 8 AM in Midtown Manhattan on a Monday, she’ll be wearing a fluorescent fuchsia.   Try a bold pink like Mirabella Lip Colour in Over the Top, which is highly pigmented color yet doesn’t bleed.  Or, add a pop of orange (after all, Tangerine Tango is the Pantone color of the year) try  MAC Pro Amplified Creme Lipstick in Neon Orange, or go for a more sheer shade like Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Lip Gloss in Citrus.

 

Milly Backstage Beauty Spring 2012, photo via Creative Nail Design

 

Twinkle by Wenlan Backstage Beauty, Spring/Summer 2010, photo via nymag.com

 

Nails

If you feel like you’re on the cusp of being too shy to pull off this look,  take baby steps and paint your nails a different blinding hue every week (or day, if you happen to have the time and dedication). Every brand seems to have a color story this Spring involving neon. Have fun experimenting with the under $10 brands like China Glaze Poolside Collection ($6.50 per bottle / $17.75 for set of 6)  and invest wisely in the premium lines like Dior ($23 per bottle).  Make sure you test the level of opacity.  It may look bold in the bottle, but sheer once its on your nail.  To make a neon pop even more, apply an opaque white like Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in White On as your base coat and then paint two coats of your neon.

 

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet Makeup Artist Maria!

I thought I should introduce Maria since she will be making many appearances on this blog.  She is a close friend and a very talented makeup artist.  She loves experimenting with color (she uses a different eye palatte everytime I see her) and she can take a puffy-eyed, hungover me and transfom me into a glowing beauty (And yet I watch her apply the makeup every time and I still cannot duplicate her efforts).  She scolds me often for buying the same product again and again and for using too much product (for example I told her I needed to stop by Saks to pick up more Armani eyeshadow and she said, “What, are you eating it?  There’s no way!”).  Get to know Maria, her talent, and  her saucy attitude…

By the way, if you have a question for the lovely Maria, just submit it in the “Ask Me Anything” tab above.

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