Note: the pictures of these lovely ladies below are NOT examples of looking old or doing things wrong…in fact they are evidence of the opposite! Plus, let’s be honest, the pictures break up my long winded soap box! Thank you Lydia Photographyfor the amazing shots from our previous photoshoots!
You asked for my honest opinion, “Am I looking old? Honestly Jess, tell me. I can take it. I know you’ll tell me the truth!,” you said. So here it is. And listen, regardless of my answer, you should ultimately do what you love…how you feel is what is most important, so if you do something in this list and you love it then be my guest! It’s your right to look haggard err umm I mean everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion—uh What I mean is, more power to ya! And yes friend I know you think I’m a little snarky, but it’s only to emphasis my point and because I would NEVER be this unfiltered with a client…but since we are friends, I know you can handle the truth.
1. Your brows are way too thin. Maybe it’s over plucking, maybe you’re just not particularly hairy, or maybe they’ve thinned with age but they are too thin. It seems counterintuitive but fuller brows actually make your eyes look more lifted! Thin brows overexpose the orbital bone and makes your eyes appear droopy. A fuller brow is an instant face lift, so grab some filler and make them fuller! Or head to an Anastasia counter for some brow rehab–Don’t worry, we can tell the press it was just for “exhaustion.”
2. Your lipstick is too brown or too dark…Honestly women are pretty religious about their lipstick. I get it. That shade is perfect right? You’ve been wearing it for years ya? Well that’s just it, you’ve been wearing it so long you don’t know any other way to view your lips. That doesn’t make it the best shade for you. Dark lips age, period. Sometimes that’s ok if we are going for a vampy look. But for everyday, you should go with something a little more rosy with more life in it! It will brighten your complexion and your smile.
3. You’re still wearing the same mattifying or oily skin formula foundation from years ago. You’d be surprised at how many women when discussing their skin type claim to be oily when what they really mean is, I was labeled as oily in my teens and I never reevaluated that as I got older. Oily skin formulas tend to combat shine, sucking out radiance…which when we were much more oily was great, we had radiance coming out the wazoo! But now, you aren’t anymore. I mean ya, you may still get shiny or even the occasional zit, but you are not the oil slick gal you used to be (thank God right?!). So using those formulas is essentially making your skin look dull and tired. And you don’t need that mega coverage anymore! Something lighter and more radiant is going to make your skin look fabulous! I know I know, it’s a total paradigm shift. It’s the right thing to do though, I promise.
4. You’re not concealing under your eyes. “But I feel like it makes me look wrinkly, or I feel like it settles in my lines.” First, let’s do some hunting to find a good formula that works best for you! Not all concealers are created equally. Second, darkness under your eyes will make you look more old and run down than a few lines ever will. The lines are there whether you care to acknowledge them or not, the darkness doesn’t have to be.
5. You’re not using good skincare. Whether it’s because you think it’s too late, or you’re in denial of it being necessary…you need to pay attention to your skin. If you’re thinking to yourself: should I start using an eye cream? The answer always is: yes you should of started years ago, regardless of how young you are. It’s never too late to give your skin what’s best for it. That’s like not watering a wilting plant…it’s not dead yet, so give it what it needs! And if you’re old enough to question if you should be using reparative creams or nutrient packed serums, then your answer is yes.
So there you have it friend, I’m only telling you this because I love you…and because you asked my advice. I mean, I think you’re fantastic and have great taste (after all, we are friends!). But you know I will always tell you truth when you ask for it, that’s why we are such good friends.
PS- if we really do know each other personally and you saw something on this list and wondered, “Is Jess talking about me??” Yes, yes I am talking about you. Coffee next week?
Cheers to Honesty, Friendship, and Aging Gracefully,
February 19, 2014
Do you ever smell something and immediately you’re thinking of a certain person, or time in your life? Sometimes the memory even surfaces before you realize what you’re smelling, “What is that, smells like Christmas!” A diesel truck goes by and I’m mentally transported to Santiago, Chile. Coconut Lime Verbena body spray…I think of my sister. Chanel Chance Eua Fraiche and it’s a hot summer night downtown with Andy.
If we naturally link scents with people or events, then why not use that to your advantage and be purposeful about your scent during important times?! Since scent is so closely tied to memory, I encourage my brides to pick a new unique scent for their wedding day (bonus points if you wear it on your honeymoon too!). All of the amazing emotions of the day get intertwined with that scent. And every time you bring it out (on a special event or anniversary) you’ll be reminded of all those feelings of love, friendship, and celebration!
I do this in my own life, not just one my wedding day, but whenever there is something significant I want to remember. I recently had a birthday and we decided to celebrate by going on a cruise to Mexico! The perfect opportunity to make a scent-memory connection!
Jenn from Garden Apothecary was sweet enough to send me some birthday treats from her amazing product line. When I saw the Cacao + Cardamom Flower Essence perfume oil I just knew that would be the perfect scent for my Latina Holiday! Its like sugar and spice with a warmth. I made sure to apply it morning and night…Here is a peek into the memories my scent and I made on vacation:
I had never been to Catalina Island before so it was so great to visit a new place. We drove around in golf carts, visited the little shops, and ate ice cream. It reminded me of Sauselito a little!
Mexico was of course great! Full of shopping and delish local food! I even was surprised with a mariachi serenade for my birthday…wow! I felt so spoiled.
Halloween happened while at sea…and it was so thrilled that Andy let me paint his face! So much fun!
It’s not a vacation in my opinion without some poolside sunshine.
I love getting dolled up and going out with my husband. More formal sit-down dining happens every night on the ship, so every night felt like date night! There was a vanity desk in our cabin, so doing my makeup and hair seemed extra fun and my Cacao roller ball fragrance made me feel vintage and swanky!
Of course, vacation always ends too soon…but I returned to amazing friends and family that wanted to continue celebrating, so I really cannot complain!
I think I’m going to bust out the cacao fragrance again at Christmas and add some more memories to that scent! What about you? What scents remind you of good times?
What if you wore the same scent on every date night…or found the perfect fragrance for your wedding…or graduation…or promotion…and the list goes on and on! You’d literally be able to bottle those memories. So stay tuned next week for my fragrance hall of fame top picks so you can find the perfect one!
And special thanks to Garden Apothecary! Jenn, your special scent helped make my birthday perfect!
Cheers to Memories, Mexico, and Scent,
November 14, 2013
Meet my friend Christi of Christi Reynolds Makeup Artistry! With over 17 years of experience in the beauty industry, she is the definition of a pro! Her skill and expertise have helped me both personally and professionally…in fact, Christi is the makeup artist I hired to do my makeup for my wedding 6 years ago! (See! EVERYONE needs to hire a professional makeup artist for their big day!)
I love Christi’s style of artistry…with a focus on complexion and a fresh aesthetic, her artistry really lets the person shine! I’m so thrilled she is sharing some of her must-have products with all of us! Here we go…
1. Elf eyelid primer: “This sheer formula doesn’t interfere with the color or texture of your shadows…use it and nothing will budge!
2. Benefit’s High Beam and Benetint: “I love to mix them together! Looks good on every skin tone and gives a natural healthy flush. Instant red carpet glow!”
3. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish: “I love this powders beautiful coverage, it’s not too much, and provides subtle luminosity! Great for setting foundation.”
4. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: “Love it! I reach for this when I know that my skin needs that wide awake, fresh, just had a facial look! Instantly snaps my skin back from looking dehydrated.”
5. Lingering MAC brow pencil: “This is super precise so you can mimic the natural shape of the brow hairs.”
Christi sums up her beauty philosophy well,”I like to make-up, not make over. I like to correct, define, and enhance…enhance…not create! There’s a difference.”
So Cheers to Correcting, Defining, and Enhancing,
July 1, 2013
Happy Makeup Monday everyone! I thought today would be the perfect day to blog a quick trick of mine that I use all the time! It’s fast and easy and can be done a few different ways…it’s the easiest way to exfoliate: sugar! So if you’re not sure which exfoliating products to buy, stuck away from home without your face and body scrubs, or like the more natural approach, then this is for you!
All you need is…sugar! Well, and a little water too. Mix a few pinches of sugar with a small splash of water and create a paste…then scrub onto your face, body, or lips for silky smooth perfection! Sugar is great for exfoliating. Not only is it obviously granular and works fantastic as a manual scrub, but it’s natural properties give you some added benefits! Naturally occurring glycol help with cell turn over…and sugar is also balancing to the skin! Hooray! So easy right?
A few variations:
–add a pinch to a pump of your cleanser for a gentle scrub while you clean your face!
–scrape a little lip balm and mix with sugar for a creamy lip scrub!
–brew some green tea and mix with sugar for even more amazing skin benefits while you scrub!
The video below is an oldie but a goodie! Watch it for more info on the benefits for your skin and a bonus easy step for a DIY face toner!
Cheers to Mondays, Makeup, and Skincare!
March 11, 2013
It’s so hard, letting go. I swear I am a bit of a hoarder. I have such a hard time getting rid of things! What if I need it?! And without fail, whenever I get rid of something I find a reason soon after why I should have kept it!
One thing though we just cannot justify holding onto too long is cosmetics: you risk your health in doing so! As time goes on the product warps, breaks down, stops working, doesn’t go on as smooth…and worst of all, collects bacteria. Eye infections, rashes, breakouts? No thank you! So here’s a chart to help you remember when to toss things!
A few more helpful hints:
–Take a small stick on circle and label when you open something if you’re probe to forgetting! Slap it on the bottom and that way you’ll know.
–If you’re unlucky enough to get some sort of infection (like pink eye, a cold sore, et cetera). Do yourself a favor and toss whatever came in contact with it. It’s not worth reinfecting yourself.
–A lot of products have a small symbol showing an “open” jar and a number next to it under the ingredients or somewhere on the box. This number indicates the number of months you should keep it after opening it. Follow that number as products shelf life varies depending on ingredients!
–This chart is just a guideline. Where you keep your products, the temperatures they’re subjected to, et cetera affect their lifespan.
–If something smells funny or off or just wrong, toss it. Just because you haven’t had it too long doesn’t mean it hasn’t gone bad. Often times expired products smell like crayons or playdough or rancid oil. So take a sniff of what you’re using. Any change in texture or smell is not a good sign.
–I really can’t think of anything you should keep more than a couple years, so if you’re past the 24 month mark stop deliberating and toss it!
Hope this was helpful! Remember, when in doubt toss it! Keeping your skin beautiful, and your face infection free is worth it! Just think of it as an excuse to try something new!
Cheers to Trying, Timing, and Tossing,
March 9, 2013
My biggest annoyance on my face is my under-eye area. I’m always puffy and always super dark under there…I can recall in elementary school someone saying I looked like a raccoon because of my eyes (ouch!).
As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely picked up some tricks to help with this problem. And while I cannot say that these tricks erase them 100% they at least hide them much better and make me feel suitable for public! 😉
Here is my everyday under-eye routine…hopefully it’ll help you if this is a problem area for you too! Now, I’ve included my shades, but every face is different. The steps and types of products will be the same, but the exact shade may vary.
–A depuffing eye serum (I love Clinique’s All About Eyes! It REALLY helps! Look for something with caffeine in it.)
–A corrector. This essentially neutralizes the colour under your eye. It’s important to neutralize those blueish purple tones/redness etc first instead of just packing on concealer! You’ll be able to use less concealer this way and get a more believable bright natural effect. The general rule of thumb is that peach (or pink) will neutralize. The deeper your skin, the deeper the peach you use. Very fair or pale skin will prefer light pinks. (I’m using Revlon’s Age Defying click pen in #4)
–A concealer. I’m obsessed with Maybellines FitMe concealer. I use #20 Sand. It’s very golden and works perfect for me. Pick something near your skin tone or a shade lighter. Don’t go too light though, that will have the opposite effect and bring bad attention to your under-eye area.
–A brightener. This is optional. If you’re super dark under-eyes like me, this is necessary. Totally up to you. This will help add that pop to your under-eye and cheek bone area and will “distract” and lighten everything up! (I use Flower’s Brightening Concealer in BC2)
–Highlighter. This may be part of your usual routine for eyeshadow already. If not add this step in for an extra pop of light!
1. Yikes! My under-eyes in all their glory! Ha!
2. Apply your peachy (or pinky) corrector
3. After each step of applying more product, use your ring finger (it’s the weakest finger, so it’s more gentle), and gently pat (don’t rub) in the product.
4. Apply concealer in a triangular shape under your eye. You want to bring it a little lower than where your darkness stops.
5. Dab brightener along the “seam” of where your under-eye area ends and bring up your cheek bone to your temples.
6. Dab a highlight (anything vanilla colored and shimmery will do!) in the inner socket of your eye.
7. There you have it! So much better, right?
There is the side by side before and after. Hope this helps! Give it a shot and let me know!
Cheers to Correcting, Concealing, and Brightening!
March 7, 2013
Stocking are probably my favorite part of presents at Christmas! Sure, big pricey presents are nice too, but all those little things that you like or need, your favorite treats…all in one giant sock…I mean, what’s not to love?! And I don’t know about you, but when I’m the one filling a stocking I like it to be as full as possible, and to have the most fun and legitimately enjoyable things inside!
Christmas socks, chocolate, magazines, maybe a small gift card…Hmm what else? Skip the weird cheap gift baskets in the holiday aisle and grab some of these instead!
1. WetnWild Eyeshadow Trios $2: Biggest shock ever that these shadows are amazing! They come in singles and larger palettes too…so affordable.
2. ELF Shine Eraser oil blotting sheets $1: It is far better to touch use this way, rather than packing on powder on top of the oil and bacteria on your face throughout the day
3. WetnWild Megalast Lipstick $2: Great pigment, long lasting wear, totally amazing!
4. Sephora Facial Cleansing brush $6: Consider this the poor man’s Clarisonic. Gets my face so much more clean than when I just use my hands and is great for exfoliating too!!
5. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny $2.75: Currently my favorite bronzer! Buildable colour, matte, and none of that annoying red that’s in most bronzers
6. ELF powder brush $1: Of all of the brushes that I use on my clients, the one that people compliment the most for how amazing it feels is not my $45 brush, not my $29 brush…it’s this one! Go figure.
7. Ardell Fashion Lashes $3-$5: flirty fun for New Years Eve perhaps?
8. Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipsticks $4: No1 is the perfect Holiday Red! Love these and cannot get enough!
9. Sally Hansen InstaDry nailpolish $3: great colors, wears fantastic, and dries in about a minute
10. ELF Zit Zapper $1: tea tree oil and salicylic acid to give blemishes the ol’ one two punch!
Aaaaand a few more special extras if you want to turn this stocking into an amazing gift instead…
1. Rimmel Gel eyeliner $7: waterproof, black, and a brush built into the lid…I used this on my Fall brides and loved it!
2. Philosophy Shower Gels $5: Love these travel size gels they do at Christmas time…they ACTUALLY smell like what they say they do! If you buy 3 they’re only $5 each! Hot buttered rum anyone?
3. Naked Basics Pallete by Urban Decay $27: The latest and greatest in the Naked family…already in love with these 5 matte shades and one satin finish highlight…neutral perfection!
4. MAC Viva Glam V lipstick $14.50: This lipstick looks great on EVERYONE. I mean everyone!! It’s the perfect neutral everyday colour, it looks like “lip” but with a little extra pop.
5. Designer Makeup bags $7-$25: Ross ALWAYS has fantastic makeup bags, many from my favorite designers and are a fraction of their usual cost. Have you priced makeup bags lately? Even no-name bags at Target cost a pretty penny…why not get one from Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, or Calvin Klein for cheaper instead? Plus, a makeup bag is cuter to stuff than a stocking anyway!
Happy shopping and Merry Christmas everyone!
Cheers to Stockings, Makeup, and Christmas,
December 21, 2012
Skin care is by far the most important thing when it comes to beauty. Someone once told me that makeup is who you want to be, but skin care is who you are. As of late the trend is for skin to actually look like skin…and while foundation does wonders, doesn’t it make more sense to invest the time, money, and care into your complexion? You only have one face!
Honestly, my skin care routine changes depending on the season, what’s given to me, and what my budget is…but here are the things I’ve been using over the last 3-4 months. I should note that all of these products have lasted me a minimum of 3-4 months, some even as long as a year goes by before its time to replenish!
1. La Mer The Eye Balm Intense: $165 of pure decadence. My eyes feel so smooth and moisturized with this! Tackles puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and clarity.It’s like gold (and is priced like it too!) so I only use it at night…I only have about 3 more nights left of this. Yikes!
2. Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Fluid: $150 Has SPF 15 and a great lightweight texture. Moisturizing and reparative. I use this during the day under my foundation.
3. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream: $46 This is my daytime eye cream. The perfect level of hydration without messing with my concealer.
4. Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer: $39 Says its for normal to dry skin. I’m oily though and this feels rich to me, so I use it at night.
5.Clean and Clear Antibacterial Face Wash: $4 Gives me that squeaky clean feeling I love and kills all the nasty breakout causing yuck on my face.
6. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock: $12 Want to stave off wrinkles and pigmentation? Then be religious about using sun protection! Almost all signs of aging are due to environmental damage…remember that!!
7. Clinique All About Eyes Serum: $28 Eye puffiness is the bane of my existence. This rollerball of cool soothing depuffing goodness is my lifeline!
8. Facial Wipes: $1 I get these at the Dollar Store! They have basic ingredients and help remove my makeup so that my face wash and other skin care really gets to do its job!
9. ELF Zit Zapper: $1 Every morning and night any blemishes or pores that give me trouble get a dose of this! Salicylic acid and tea tree oil dry out and soothe the problem spots! There are a lot of more expensive blemish treatments out there, skip them! This has the same active ingredients.
10. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: $50 Mix this rice based powder with a little water to make a paste or add to your facewash for gentle exfoliating action! I keep mine in the shower. This product has totally changed my skin I love it!
What skin care are you crazy about right now?
Cheers to Skin that Looks Good, Feels Good, and IS GOOD!
August 24, 2012
BB Cream…I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of this innovative product…and if you’re like me, you’ve had some questions! (Umm like, what does BB stand for?) Today I have the pleasure of being on Smitten With Pretty where I will be giving you the whole BB Cream Breakdown: what is it, what makes it special, and who should buy it! So make sure to stop by Smitten With Pretty so you can get the 411!
I have definitely been on the BB cream bandwagon for some time now…testing and trying and comparing. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about! So here are the ones I’ve tried so far (in the order I tried them) and what I think about them…
1. Smashbox $39: I liked it. “Hmm…so this is BB Cream, huh!” Felt nice, covered well for something that doesn’t call itself a foundation, and it’s oil absorbing properties were a pleasant surprise! Didn’t feel slick or overly shiny like I do with tinted moisturizers. Great to know that despite the SPF it is camera friendly. I was intrigued to try other brands to compare…
2. Estée Lauder DayWear $38: A little sticky, didn’t spread as nicely as the one by Smashbox. “Perhaps I bought too dark of a shade?? I think I’ll go back to using the Smashbox one.”
3. Clinique $37: “Hellooooo BB cream I officially love you!” Covers amazingly, anti aging benefits too? Yes please! I didn’t feel the need to wear foundation and loved that it was actually bettering my skin. Stays put all day. Instant love!
–insert me trying the Lauder one again, “I’m a little more tan now, maybe I’ll like it? Nope.” Even more dissatisfied after trying the Clinique.
4. Diorsnow $60: “Dior you never let me down!” Texture was great, I love that it’s in the Diorsnow line (corrects tone) and the SPF 55 packs a wallop! Only currently available in one tinted shade tho. So if you have deeper skin it’ll look ashy. And if you’re tan, your face will look lighter than your body. So for most this will not be a stand alone product, you’ll want to use it under foundation. But if your fair complected, it’s perf! Consider this your sporty BB, your go to the gym or hiking or beach makeup option! I’m curious to try their Hydralife BB now…
–insert me trying Lauder again, ” I will like this, I will like this! Ugh, no I feel splotchy and like it just doesn’t settle right!” Boo! I really wanted to like you! BUT what I will say is that I think a dryer or more mature skin may really like it. Just not right for me I guess.
–Continued to alternate between the Clinique and Dior. Oh ya what about Smash? Used it again for a couple days…nice! I still think Clinique is better tho.
5. Garnier $12: “Ok my drugstore dare, what do ya got? Hmm…” Not bad, definitely a good budget friendly option. But not as good as the others I tried. More sticky, not as great of coverage. Reminiscent of tinted moisturizer–insert Lauder flashbacks–So comparable to Lauder’s I suppose.
Well, there is my honest detailed journey with BB cream…which took well over 2 months by the way! I definitely liked Clinique the best, and loved the Dior for those extra sun-filled days. When it’s all said and done, I’d say BB is a must for everyone! Make it your Summer best friend (It’ll probably end up being your favorite for every season! It will be for me!). You just can’t beat the benefits!
Cheers to BB Cream, Best Friends, and Benefits,
May 18, 2012
Still needing more pick me ups for your summer look? Here’s what’s on my list for the warmer weather…
1. Kate Moss for Rimmel London: these lippys feel amazing, wear like a dream, and are under $5. My favorite is shade 12
2. Maybelline FitMe foundation: a long time favorite of mine. With a lightweight, luminous finish, you can consider this tinted moisturizer’s big sister. Perfect for those days when you don’t want to feel too “made up.” Around $6
3. Kiss Nail Decals: lasts up to ten days, tons of fun patterns and less than $6 a box! Good for nails and toes…or be daring and do the “accent nail” trend. I love this floral pattern!
4. Jergens Natural Glow: Skip the damaging sun and use this daily for a believable tan! LOVE this stuff! Definitely in my top 5 self tanning products! Under $8
5. ELF cream liner: $3 and lasts ALL day! Summer-proof liner to be sure.
6. Forever21 Hair Clips: Aren’t these yellow roses cute? $2.50
7. Clean and Clear Antibacterial Face Wash: one of my favorite face washes, this $4 miracle will take care of any extra yuck (ie: sweat & bacteria) that comes along with the heat.
8. Color Club in Jackie Oh!: less than $3, and free from all of the poisons in typical polishes! Love this electric shade!
So many beauty treats, so little time! Pretty nice though for only $35 right?!
Cheers to Sunshine, Summer-Proof Makeup, and Beauty Pick-me-Ups,
May 15, 2012