Dry skin? Try this DIY sugar scrub, you'll love it!

Dark, dreary days, blistering cold wind, dry cracked skin…do you have the winter weather beauty blues?

Its a little early to be dealing with intensely dry skin symptoms. Its not even Christmas yet?! But with the holidays in full swing, now is the time to pamper yourself to hydration so that you can shine through the festivities. 

 

Here, the best DIY skin treatments that ease dryness, flaking or dullness using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen pantry:

 

DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup of sugar

Juice from half of lemon

Start by mixing Olive Oil and Lemon together.  Mix ingredients directly in a small glass jar that has a lid.  Cover. Shake well until ingredients combine.  Open the jar, add honey.  Cover and shake well. Add half of the sugar(1/4 cup). Mix well, then add the second half of sugar. Give it one last shake and voila!

 

These portions will make just enough to fully exfoliate your face and body once.  The batch may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For skin that begs to be touched, use twice a week on face and body followed by your favorite moisturizer.

 

A few other budget friendly, aesthetician preferred dry skin favorites:

Cerave Moisturizers

Coconut Oil as face moisturizer

Sesame Seed Oil on Body

Cetaphil Cream Cleanser

 

Hope you enjoy these tips. Stay warm. Stay hydrated. Shine brightly!

Are you hiding your beauty in plain sight?

Is your beauty in hiding?

Over a very fun but exhausting weekend with a regular client and dear friend, a drag queen, a comment flew off her lips and hit me squarely on my ego. "Why are you hiding?" she asked, referring to my simple styling and natural makeup choices.  Her comment, although intended to inspire me to flaunt my inner diva more outwardly and regularly, provoked a more serious inquiry.  Am I indeed hiding behind the label of natural beauty and comfort?

I've always been a fan of the illusive standards of beauty and fashion, completely enamored by the female rituals of beautification and the laborious effort involved in presenting oneself to the world. Could this self proclaimed fashion and beauty fanatic have slipped away into mediocrity, skipping the hour+ of primping and opting to go out sans makeup? Am I truly not wanting to put my "best face" forward?

My personal evolution of self care, attention to my outward beauty, fashion and social relevance has taken many forms over the decades.  Being one who has suffered from insecurity, feeling the need to perfect my outer shell to gain more approval and acknowledgement, wanting to prove my worth and skill as an artist, I have been guilty of putting more emphasis on the labels in my closet, neglecting to recognize the beauty of being truly vulnerable in my natural, unadorned state.  

It's taken years to get comfortable in this unique body and I am very happy to say that I feel younger and more confident every day.  I feel equally beautiful wearing bold makeup looks and choosing to keep it soft with only moisturizer and mascara.

So, am I hiding my beauty? With a mischievous grin, I respond, "No, I am not hiding!" I confidently and quietly proclaim that the mask of perfection has been lifted; the veil of mystery that hides my true beauty, my real self - good ole me - is proudly being flaunted in plain sight without layers of "perfecting makeup", the latest fashion or a freshly coifed 'do.  I am delighted to say that after years of feeling insecure in my own skin, pressured to keep up with the latest beauty icon, I now embrace my natural beauty.  I still passionately love the art of makeup, fashion and ornamentation but not as a means to cover or change ourselves rather to playfully indulge in the joys of being alive and female!  Have fun experimenting with new colors. Express yourself with makeup, hair and fashion. It can be liberating!

As we start the new year, let us bow with deep appreciation to the beauty that radiates from us all.  Embrace beauty in all forms, whether she is flawlessly made up in sexy stilettos and a bold red lip or keeping it simple in her tinted moisturizer and cozy sweater. This is a call to not use beauty and fashion as a measuring stick on ourselves or others. Take another look, you just might be surprised at the beauty each of us has to offer.

image-1.jpeg

Signing off in pastel hair and fuchsia stained lips!

Beauty Basics: Smokey Eyes Tutorial

Create this basic smokey eye look in 5 minutes.

You will need a neutral eye shadow primer, at least 3 eye shadow colors in medium to deep shades(shown here in a range of brown tones), black eye liner and mascara.

Step 1: Prime the lid with an eye shadow base or neutral color.  Top 3 artist faves: -MAC Paint in Bare Canvas www.maccosmetics.com -Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Cement www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com -Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion www.sephora.com

Step 1: Prime the lid with an eye shadow base or neutral color.  Top 3 artist faves:

-MAC Paint in Bare Canvas www.maccosmetics.com

-Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Cement www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

-Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion www.sephora.com

Step 2: Contour the outer lid with a medium matte eye shadow. Shown here in Afterglow Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow in Impasto. www.afterglowcosmetics.com

Step 2: Contour the outer lid with a medium matte eye shadow. Shown here in Afterglow Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow in Impasto. www.afterglowcosmetics.com

Step 3: Deepen contour color with a dark matte eyeshadow to desired intensity. Press this same eye shadow into the inner rim for smoldering impact. Try Urban Decay's Naked Basics Palette for a great range of light, medium and dark neutral matte eye shadows. www.sephora.com

Step 3: Deepen contour color with a dark matte eyeshadow to desired intensity. Press this same eye shadow into the inner rim for smoldering impact. Try Urban Decay's Naked Basics Palette for a great range of light, medium and dark neutral matte eye shadows. www.sephora.com

Step 4: Sweep a shimmery mid tone eye shadow across the lid and smudge into the lower lashline.  Shown here in Afterglow's Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow in Lustre. For a super glamorous party look, use glitter instead of eye shadow. Makeup Forever's Diamond Powder #5 is a fine micro glitter in gorgeous multi-dimensional shades that will make your smokey eye sparkle. www.sephora.com

Step 4: Sweep a shimmery mid tone eye shadow across the lid and smudge into the lower lashline.  Shown here in Afterglow's Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow in Lustre. For a super glamorous party look, use glitter instead of eye shadow. Makeup Forever's Diamond Powder #5 is a fine micro glitter in gorgeous multi-dimensional shades that will make your smokey eye sparkle. www.sephora.com

Step 5: Define the upper lashline with a bold liner and generously coat lashes with mascara.  Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink withstands tears, oil and lots of dancing. www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Step 5: Define the upper lashline with a bold liner and generously coat lashes with mascara.  Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink withstands tears, oil and lots of dancing. www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Voila! Apply a few individual lashes to the upper lashline and you have a glamorous party look!  

Voila! Apply a few individual lashes to the upper lashline and you have a glamorous party look!
 

These photos were originally created for an Afterglow Cosmetics tutorial.  Check out the full range of organic cosmetics used in this tutorial at www.afterglowcosmetics.com. 

Special thanks to the lovely Zoe Shear for modeling this look.

Makeup and photography by Stephanie Sevilla.

Getting your glow on...Simple steps to gorgeous skin!

We all know radiant, gorgeous skin is one the best beauty assets.  We also know that true beauty shines from the inside out. So how do we get that coveted gorgeous, glowing skin?  Well, it truly does start from the inside...meaning how we nourish our bodies  impacts the way we feel and how our skin looks. 

Fresh, glowing natural beauty....

Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water is a great start to achieving gorgeous, glowing skin and you can take it further with a simple skincare routine.  My go-to 3 step daily routine involves a great cleanser, toner and moisturizer.  How do you find these great basics? 

The best way to find a product that works well with your skin is to be consistent and observe how your skin looks and feels immediately after use.  Try to introduce one new product into your daily routine at a time to test its compatibility and performance. After a week, its ok to begin using another new product. Confused by mixed messages from salespeople who advise results after weeks or months of use?  While its true that the best results are measured after continuous use, its also true that the products you use should feel comfortable on your skin from day 1.  The right cleanser should feel refreshing, thorough and balanced.  Avoid cleansers that feel dry or tight after washing, even if you have oily or combination skin. Over cleansing (stripping the skin of a healthy level of oil) the skin triggers your sebaceous glands to produce extra oil to compensate for the imbalance.

My favorite facial cleanser is an old-school classic: Lanolin-Agg-Tvaal Swedish Eggwhite Soap. Best used daily for combination/oily skin types. Dry skin types may want to use this soap sparingly.  For a real treat, try working up a good lather and letting it sit on the skin for a few minutes and rinse with cold water. Glow skin, glow!

Swedish Egg White Soap. www.victoriasoap.com   

Swedish Egg White Soap.

www.victoriasoap.com

  

If you have sensitive, dry skin or live in cold, arid climates a soothing balm cleanser can do wonders. Try Bobbi Brown's Extra Balm Rinse. Liberally rub a small amount in the palms of your hands to warm the balm and apply to a damp face.  Use warm water to lather and rinse. Repeat rinse with cold water.

 

Clarisonic Cleansing Brush www.clarisonic.com

Clarisonic Cleansing Brush

www.clarisonic.com

If you want to splurge, the ultra luxe face cleansing experience has to include the incredible Clarisonic Face Cleansing Brush!  The electronic spinning facial brush gives you a deep, thorough and gentle cleanse that feels like a facial massage and clears impurities from the skin quickly.

Most cleansers today provide a balanced PH to the skin, so traditional toners are no longer essential. However, Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Face Tonic with Chamomile, Lavender and Vitamin B5 leaves my skin so soft and prepped for moisture, I can't resist including it in my daily routine!

Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Face Tonic www.bobbibrown.com

Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Face Tonic

www.bobbibrown.com

Last, but not least: Moisturizer!!! With science and technology rapidly expanding our selection of high-to-low end products, finding the best moisturizer can be a daunting and sometimes irritating experience.  Most reputable companies want their clients to feel free to try their products commitment free to build trust in their brand and often supply a sample of the moisturizer you consider trying.  

Creme De La Mer  

Creme De La Mer

 

I prefer to keep my skincare simple and effective and stick to formulas that are relatively straightforward.  My favorite mid-range moisturizer for oily, combination, or normal skin for years has been Bobbi Brown's Protective Face Lotion and I still love it.  It hydrates without leaving the skin greasy, sticky or heavy.  As an added bonus, it even provides a light primer for smooth foundation application.

Darphin Aromatic Care www.darphin.com

Darphin Aromatic Care

www.darphin.com

To pamper the skin, try adding Darphin's Aromatic Care just before moisturizing.  Press a small drop of the aromatic care oil into freshly cleansed skin and inhale its healing properties deeply. Follow with your normal moisturizer.

Dry skin types will appreciate the rich, hydrating cremes like La Mer or Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm Spf 25.

 

I hope these simple suggestions help your skin feel more radiant than ever!  Questions and comments are always welcome!