Monday, August 31, 2015

A Historical Moment: 1995 MAC Announces Rupaul as Face of Brand

In 1995, MAC Cosmetics makes history by announcing RuPaul as their first ever face in NYC. Beginning the campaign for VIVA GLAM, which has gone on to raise millions of dollars to help men, women, and children affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS worldwide. A move that was perfect for their credo of: all ages, all races, all sexes.

When asked about how she can be relatable to the everyday women, Ru captivates viewers with an eloquent response which truly solidifies my ongoing respect for Ru:

Jeanne Beker: As the new face of MAC, do you think the average women is really going to be able to relate to you?

RuPaul: I think so, I think RuPaul speaks to the individual in everyone. I think that it says that if this makeup can make a big ole black man look like this *laugh*, "what can it do for me?!" I think it says a lot. I think it says a lot to the possibilities.

20 years later and M-A-C is still committed to their fight against AIDS.  To learn more about the VIVA GLAM campaign visit:

In 1994, as HIV and AIDS continued to spread across the globe, M·A·C made HIV/AIDS organizations the beneficiaries of the company’s charitable focus and the M·A·C AIDS Fund was created. To date, the VIVA GLAM campaign has raised over $380 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS, with spokespeople such as Lady Gaga, Pamela Anderson and Nicki Minaj.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Product in Focus: Ferulic + Retinol Serum Triple Correction Eye Serum

Ferulic + Retinol Serum Triple Correction Eye Serum
Price: $68
Size: 0.5 oz / 15 ml
What Is It? A corrective eye treatment that firms, brightens and fights wrinkles while being gentle enough for use on the eyelids.

What Does It Do? Using professional grade ingredients, this serum targets three aging complaints: wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles. NYC dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross found the combination of the potent antioxidants ferulic acid and retinol helps stimulate collagen, reduce wrinkles, and repair eyelid crepiness. Licorice root extract brightens dark circles and deflates under-eye puffiness while caffeine provides instant firming and tightening. Plus, the weightless, silky formula allows for a smoother makeup application and gives you a rested, refreshed look – with or without makeup.

How Do I Use It? Gently tap around each eye including the lids, morning and night. For optimal results, follow with Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream.

In a Consumer Study:

*93% agreed that the fine lines around their eye area were diminished after three weeks of use.

*92.9% noticed an improvement in texture around their eye area in just two weeks.

*84.6% agreed that the product appeared to brighten their entire eye area, creating a more youthful-looking appearance after three weeks of use.

Key Ingredients: 

Ferulic Acid (Sun Damage Protection), Retinol (Anti-Aging), Azelaic Amino Acid (Fades Dark Spots), Caffeine (Depuffs), Licorice Root (Lightens), Mandelic Acid (Anti-Aging), Salicylic Acid (Pore Reduction), Willow Bark (Skin Clearing), Glycolic Acid (Exfoliant), Hyaluronic Acid (Hydrates), Arbutin (Lightens Dark Circles), Vitamins B & E (Prevents Collagen Breakdown), Phospholipids (Seals Moisture into Skin), Quercetin (Brightens), CoQ10 (Builds Collagen), Peptide (Firms & Tones), Mulberry Extract (Lightens), Bearberry (Corrects Hyperpigmentation), Centella Asiatica (Healing)

REVIEW COMING SOON! I am so so so excited about this product.  Tried it tonight, and it's oh so gentle.  Check out the before and afters from the Dennis Gross Website are phenomenal!!!


New Product HAUL

So excited!
I love trying new things and adding them in to my regimen and I am so excited to test these and give you a full review on my result findings, I will use this until completion and let you know my impressions and reviews.  
These products I did find from Caroline Hiron's blog postings and I just knew I had to try them.  Visit her page at

  • Clinique: Take the Day Off - Cleansing Balm $29
  • Clinique: Liquid Facial Soap (Extra-mild) $17
  • Dr. Dennis Gross - alpha beta peel original formula $85
  • Dr. Dennis Gross- ferulic + retinol triple correction eye serum $85
  • Dr. Dennis Gross- ferulic + retinol brightening solution $88
I have heard nothing but amazing things about the Dr. Dennis Gross product line and I am so excited to share my experiences with these products.  Let's just say that so far, AMAZING!  I think these will become new staples to my regimen.

Tomorrow I will dedicate a whole posting to the cleanser(s).  I have only used each of these products one with the exception of the cleansing balm.  So as I continue to use them I will review each one and then share the benefits of each for those of you who may be interesting in trying these.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

M-A-C Haute Dogs: Collection and Event First Impressions

MACs newest Haute Dogs collection can only be summed up in their own words (insert tons of DOG related verbiage... cute and funny, but still effective):
(Wo)man’s best friend is barking up the right tree in a well-groomed collection of new hues from M·A·C that are sure to enhance your pedigree, featuring luscious, buttery fur tones for eyes and regal berries for lips. Flaunt your natural beauty through the power of subtle sculpting. Try velvety soft Mineralize Skinfinish in the beloved frost-finished shades, Soft & Gentle and Gold Deposit, or sheer matte Sculpting Powder. Apply with our new Duo Fibre brushes – for those who fancy a new bag of tricks. From aristocratic to collars-off cool, you’ll be lapping up accolades as best in show!
This collection basically proves that MAC can quite literally release anything that they want and people will buy it, no matter how ridiculous it sounds or how strange of an idea it may be.  I thought the sound of this collection was at best cute, and at worst strange, but hey I'm a dog lover so it instantly appealed to me.  Yet I was tempted to keep pronouncing HAUTE as HOT... It's like in Legally Blonde 2 "...makes me want a hot dog reaaaal bad."

But let's get down to the collection, marketing and funny verbiage aside.

The shades are decent and I'm happy that MAC is highlighting it's Mineralize franchise more (I mean it's the most expensive and Luxurious that MAC has to offer so why not!).  And the brushes, oh the BRUSHES.  They are amazing and I mean the new hair colour alone is enough to sell me, I also enjoy the new shapes and style of the duo fibrous bristles.  I would buy the brushes in a heart beat.

The shapes are good, the hair is good, and the quality here is amazing.

Now Quality.  Let's go in to that.  

I feel MAC does lipsticks really well, and in limited Collections I never have much complaint about the lip colors (beyond the at time random colors, or too high fashion shades they sometimes release). Yet this collection doesn't disappoint, I love the mix of more natural shades with the bold plummy tones.  And then my favorite lip products, MINERALIZE GLOSS.  The glosses are amazing.  The best way to describe Mineralize Gloss, is color in water.  They nourish, they wear well, they are cushiony and aren't sticky.  I don't know why anyone wouldn't like them.

Now my pet peeve.  The shadows.  I love the colors MAC released in this collection; however, they don't really perform the way I would want them too.  I feel like you really have to scrub in to these shades to make them work and if your skin tone is anything darker than NC25 (CHANEL BASES BEIGE30) then these shades may just disappear, or you have to put so much on and use a Macgyver approach to make them work.  And really the eye shadows should just work.

I mean you charge us for full quality, why not give us full quality.

 With so many amazing products on your shelves and other Estee brands with such advanced shadows.  I really wanted these to be AMAZING.  And I mean it is hit or miss with mineralize (likewise with VeluxePearlFusion)  I want to love them so badly.  But honestly, if I was to buy things for my pro-kit, I would be attracted to the colours but thrown off by the pigmentation and lack of advanced technologies.  

Give me something long wearing, with pigment, but softness, and then I would be a customer for life.

I'll stick to my Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Estee Pallets for now.  But I am hopeful and excited to see what MAC comes out with next. 

Just get it together with the quality of your limited life products.  

Next let's move on to sculpting powders.

The sculpting powders are a must have. They shade, they give soft but effective definition.  They also make great shadows.  I was skip the pallets here and dive in to the lip products, brushes and sculpt powders.  See MAC is still making a profit off of me, regardless of their crappy Mineralize pallets in this collection.

Now the Event.

Let's just say. It's beautiful, it's glamourous. But then POW it becomes the things of nightmares.  

Let me just show you and decide for yourself.

Here are images taken from an event.

Gorgeous setup and cute doggie sculptures

Cute right.

Keep scrolling.....



It sure will turns heads, and I mean it gets us talking.  So well done in that respect.

Kind of reminds me of Egyptian folklore with the half human, half dog thing.

But really...


So scary.

So to sum it up, stop by your local MAC and check out the findings of it's newest collection, it'll have been on counter a few days and you have to scrounge up what's left.  But it's fun and has a product category that I adore.

Comment with your feedback and let me know how you feel about Haute Dogs.

And you attend one of these events, RUN!!!! haha or Post your favorite Chimera Puppy moments.

Until next time...

If you would like to see the collection further head over to the M-A-C Cosmetics website for more well groomed fun.


The Basics: Morning Routine

What goes where and when?

We all have had that moment with our products where it just becomes overwhelming, especially now with cosmetics company going mad with new innovative products with fancy names such as essence, micro serum, lotions, emulsions, and then now it's even going so far as adding two or more booster serums to get the desired result of flawless, radiant, healthy skin.  It all sounds great, amazing and dare I say the most over used term in cosmetics, groundbreaking (honestly there is no more ground left it's been broken so many times); yet, it seems that not even the sales reps know what the products do or how they are supposed to fit in to our routines.  We are sold so many products these days and there is literally something for everyone.  So let's simplify and here will be a guide to how I would layer them and the theory behind it.

Let's get this routine rolling (if you don't have a routine, here's what you'll need to start...and you had best start, no one wants to look like the crypt keeper at age 40).

What you'll need and what to put away:
  • A washcloth (put away the sonic brushes, save them for your weekly exfoliations -- I just recently repurchased one and it's time to take in for a landing and use it sporadically -- you don't want to strip the skin off of you face, especially since my new discovery of an old concept -- acid based treatment lotions/toners -- they will change your life)
  • A good creme cleanser, balm, cleansing oil, or two or more of said cleanser(s) depending on budget; if you can only afford one reach for the balm *especially acne prone skin Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is a great solution or Clarins Cleansing Milk with Gentian (Nothing foaming...ever) If you are questioning please see Caroline Hirons's Blog to hear about it alkalines the skin and is breeding ground for bacteria, dries out the surface, and just ages the skin, a good cleansing and facial massage routine is essential, Caroline is a huge inspiration for this blog and I feel like she will do this more justice than I could, I will post about it later without beating a dead horse and without plagiarizing another's work, might as well just link to it.  Check her out).
  • Absolutely, positively: NO FACIAL WIPES -- They are great on set, backstage, on a plane, or simply for your @$$ (You cannot expect to clean your face with wipes and then have this pipe dream of having beautiful skin, it just won't happen - I BLAME MAC whole heartedly for spreading the lies of wipes to clean your face; the whole notion "it's better than nothing" -- actually it may be better to do nothing than strip your skin with aggressive wipes and then call your skin clean.  
  • I don't like mattifying products (if you're oily, there's other ways around it.  MATTE is dead. It resembles dead skin...let's not go there with skincare, do it with makeup if you must).
  • Mineral Oil be careful with, it's not suitable for everyone and essentially should be omitted, if you can tolerate it, it's up to you.  There's a huge debate on it.  I find it cheap, shiny, and non beneficial.  Big Oil strikes again. 
Morning Routine:

Think of morning skincare like breakfast for your skin, it's the time to prep for the day ahead.

It should become second nature like brushing your teeth and breathing (let's say breathing, because I know a handful of people that don't get dressed or brush anything, scary but true).  

Wash your face after you shower, not in; only because the water is too hot and aggressive.  You only have one skin, take care of it.  Treat it like a precious diamond, or better yet, like a newborn child, it needs to be nourished and watched after.

Cleanse: Use your balm, milk or creme here.  And wash it off with a clean dampened ( with warm water ) washcloth.  This will give gentle exfoliation and will take off the sweat and grime from the night.  *no foaming...repeat no foaming*

Exfoliate: If you're going to use a Clinique lotion exfoliator, go for the Clarifying Lotionmild.  It's the only one I would use and it's alcohol free.  I prefer to gravitate towards acid based toning products such as Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta® Daily Face Peel (safe for AM and PM -- I personally use PM and use a cheaper / more gentle alternative in the day -- suitable for all skin types - everyone).
* Wipe all around the face even the eye area. It'll say don't but it's fine, it's just for legal purposes brands say avoid eye area because it contains an acid; however, don't get it in your eye -- they are gentle and designed for skin.  It's fine.
* This stage kickstarts your skin, it will literally CHANGE YOUR SKIN
*A tingle is normal, a burn is a reaction. Remember that.  There's an acid exfoliating treatment for everyone, find the right one
* As we age the cells turnover slower and slower.  We need to help out nature, especially because the environment we live in also slows down cell metabolism and skin's purification.  Exfoliation is like buffing out the scuffs off your leather shoes, it's essential.

Hydrating toner/softener/essence/sprays: It's all about hydration, this is where those softeners, spritzes, and hydrating toners go.  You can use traditional products known as toners here, but just make sure they aren't heavy in alcohol.  This stage is for hydrating. Don't prune your skin.  This stage essentially calms and boosts the skin. 

Eye Cream/Serum: Eyes are windows to the soul.  Don't save them for last.  Start here so that your creme/serum is effective and doesn't have to fight serums or creams and penetrates to where you need it most.     If it doesn't absorb then you are wasting your money.  Under eye first, face later.

Serums:  Serums are so so important.  This is also where I spend all of my money.  They treat the skin, nourish them and contain cell communicating ingredients that work deep within the skin to aid it's like underwear for your face, it protects the goods.    A little goes a long way, do a pump on to your finger tips, press your fingers together, pat it on your face and then massage it in.  Simple.  Don't warm it up.  If you warm it, you're wasting it.  Your hands will be beautiful, but all that money just goes down the drain.  If the serum needs to be warmed, you're using the wrong serum.

What about Oils?

I would use them after serums.  Plant based oils penetrate the skin but think of it only going halfway. The serum is your concentrated benefits, the oil will nourish skin, and then moisturizer protects and pads the surface.  If you do the oil first, then skip the serum, it won't be as effective and honestly would probably not even be necessary that day.

Moisturize: Choose based on skin type and even texture preference.  Just don't load it up with mineral oil.  Moisturizer is your protection. Think of it as a screen protector on your iPhone.  It protects the cells underneath.  I think people spend way too much time and money on an expesnive moisturizer and then go cheap on the serum.  As Willam Belli would say: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.  

Yes a good expensive moisturizer is a luxury.  But just get one good for your skin type. You can't spend $400 on a cream and think your skin is going to dramatically change.  It's the ROUTINE that changes the skin, it's consistency and addressing inflammation that really gives your turn around.

But it's not your fault you think this way, it's marketing.  I was the same way.  But that doesn't stop me from indulging on Re-Nutriv super creams.

Quarter sized amount, massage it in.  You're good to go (adjust to your face size).

*SPF in face creams is an added benefit but it's not really going to protect you much, you would need to reapply every few hours, and really who is going to do that.  Women have suncreen in makeup and that for day to day is usually enough.

If you're in the sun a lot.  Please invest in a good SPF.  It doesn't have to be an SPF 50 but I usually suggest 25-30, unless you are read head with freckles, then 50 and above is necessary.  See Caroline Hirons's Blog for more details, or google search.

Creams with SPF are basically expensive sunscreens.  Get a good moisturizer without SPF and then invest in a good mid priced sunscreen like Clinique or Shiseido suncare creams.  

Don't use SPF as a moisturizer.  That is the most ridiculous thing that oily skins do.  You're doing your skin an injustice.  It's like leaving the house with just an umbrella. No clothes.  No nothing.  

This routine will take less than a few minutes.  Don't complain about time. It's not going to take much time at all.  

Store all of your products in a linen closet or somewhere other than the bathroom.  You don't want the heat of the shower and restroom to spoil your products.  Cleanser is the only thing to leave in there.  Period.

I am going dedicate a whole other blog post to MAKEUP and NIGHT ROUTINE.  So stay tuned.

Also credit to Caroline Hiron's for inspiring me to begin a beauty blog.  She is awesome, knowledgeable, outspoken, and my kind of woman.  Please subscribe to her.  If any of my posts seem similar, it's well because we have a very similar philosophy on skincare, and she did inspire this post. Subscribe.  The more I learn, the more I'll share.  I'm excited to take this blog journey with all of you.  Thank you for visiting.  Until next time :D


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Makeup Tutorials/ Reviews: Coming Soon...

I will be working on tutorials and product reviews on makeup as well as skincare products, please bare with me whilst my page goes through a few growing pains.  I am excited to share with you all of the lovely products and techniques that I have come to love.

First makeup tutorial / review will be my rendition of a Rocker Style utilizing fabulous cream textures  inspired by Charlotte Tilbury.  If you know anything about me, you have probably heard about my obsession with this woman, although I don't have products from her range yet, I would love to share with you my opinion on products to create the look and how I approached it with a hint of my own flare added.  

Below is an image of the style we will be creating.  I am excited to get working on this.  Until then, I will see you all really soon.

Model: Gary Brink
Rockchick inspired eye 

Coming Soon.  Makeup Tutorial / Product Reviews


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

My go to nighttime product!

(Sometimes Day Too!)

Meet Advanced Night Repair by Estee Lauder. This is truly one of my absolute favorite products that I have been using for years (true story since I was 18 years old). This amazing serum was launched over 30 years ago, and has paved the way in the serum market ever since. Lauder has reformulated this product on three occasions and each version comes out leaps and bounds above the previous version.
With each version I have come to love it more and more, the consistency gets lighter and less tacky feeling on the skin, and the science and technology more advanced, the results are instant and leave the skin glowing with radiance and health. 

I cannot say enough amazing things about this serum. 


1.0 oz. $65
1.7 oz. $92
3.4 oz. $155

It's definitely worth the investment in my opinion.
I have bought and will continue to purchase this amazing product.


For myself:

  • Brighter looking skin (GLOWING!)
  • Less fine lines around eye contour (Yes they make an eye version too)
  • More retained moisture (I can get pretty dry seasonally)
  • My skin just looks healthier when I use it!

Disclaimer: (As of August 2015) I do happen to work for Estee Lauder at Nordstrom Santa Barbara, and though I do represent the brand at Nordstrom, I was not paid to endorse this product.  I only review products that I have physically tried and will continue to be as open and honest about my results experiences as possible.
Here is what Lauder has to say about their amazing product:
(Information found on
Reveal a smoother, more radiant, younger look. Wake up to more beautiful skin every day. 
Tested and proven: Advanced Night Repair dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging.
It maximizes the power of skin's natural nighttime renewal with our exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. 
Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced. More than 75% of women felt their skin looked more youthful in just 4 weeks. Skin feels smoother, hydrated, stronger. 82% felt their skin was immediately hydrated. Skin looks younger, radiant, more even toned. 83% felt their skin looked healthier, fresher, more rested in just 4 weeks. 
25+ Patents and Patents Pending Worldwide. Effective for every ethnicity. 
*Based on NPD Group Inc. unit sales for department stores for 12 months ending January 2015
Apply on clean skin before your moisturizer. Use several drops. Smooth in gently all over face and throat.
Try This Nightly Ritual
1. Apply a drop on each fingertip of one hand.
2. Touch fingertips of both hands together.
3. Massage serum over face and neck, starting at the center, outward.


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