In the spirit of Earth Day, today we’re sharing a chat we had with makeup artist and founder of The Beauty of It Is, Katey Denno. In addition to being the lead makeup artist for Burt’s Bees and being an advocate for the use of natural and organic products, she’s the go-to makeup master for It Girls like Mindy Kaling, Olivia Wilde, and Lena Dunham. Katey joined us in our photo studio to show us some of her techniques for applying gorgeous, glowing makeup (all those secrets coming soon!) and while she was here she dished on how she got started, why she loves natural products, and what products she really uses on herself.
Gloss Daily (GD): You started out in social work and moved to makeup artistry from there. That’s a big jump!
Katey Denno (KD): Yea, it’s weird right?! I did social work for ten years. I worked in inner-city D.C. in battered women’s shelters and at universities’ sexual assault services. Then when I came to New York, I worked in a women’s health clinic in the Bronx. I saw a lot of young girls coming in and I also worked with a large transgender population and I learned how to do makeup from them. It was the best thing ever. I realized I wanted to pursue makeup as a career—I liked the idea of helping women feel their best, that’s what it’s about. It’s about confidence.
GD: Love that and we totally agree! So, you’re a makeup artist who uses primarily natural products, how did that come about?
KD: I was raised in that kind of a family. I was the kid with the brown bread and fruit instead of dessert. But when I first got into makeup natural products weren’t on my radar at all. Then one of my girlfriends was diagnosed with cancer at age 35 and that was what did it. She was not well and what could I do to fix her? The only thing I knew was how to do makeup and I thought, well this is what I need to do for her. So I just started researching and finding out what was natural that was really good.
Then at some point I remember she was lying on my couch and we were brainstorming because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the beauty industry. Apparently I just kept answering her by saying “well the beauty of it is” because finally she said, you should start a website called The Beauty of It Is. She went home and bought that domain and called and said I have a present for you, I bought the name for you. So I launched a blog called The Beauty of It Is and I started writing about natural products.
GD: Let’s talk about some of the products you use. I know you have mentioned you’re really into the right brushes. If someone could only afford three brushes which ones should they be?
KD: Definitely an eyeshadow brush, like the MAC domed eyeshadow brush. Also a cheek brush—the Muji squirrel cheek brush or the Makeup Forever tapered cheek brush are great. If you wear foundation you really need a good brush. I like natural bristles just as much as synthetic but not all synthetic bristles are good quality and you need that quality for foundation. Try the foundation brushes from Lancome, Chanel or Kevyn Aucoin. And you have to have a Beauty Blender—that could take over for anything. Even if you just use your fingers for most things, you should try a Beauty Blender.
GD: What are your go-to products that you actually use on your own skin?
KD: It’s all about skin care for me. There’s a brand called Marie Veronique Organics that’s all organic and so awesome. I also like Amala, their skin care line is delicious. I use Kjaer Weis foundation if I need to be on camera. Vapour has great cheek color that I use, and their foundations are the first natural foundations I ever loved. And Burt’s Bees’ tinted lip balms were some of the first natural products I bought and gave to my friend who was sick. I keep about 10 in my pockets at any given time.
GD: It can be tough if you have no knowledge of the industry to find products that are truly natural and worth the money. Where do you look online to find those truly great products?
GD: We think a lot of women are hungry for more information on natural products. Are most of your clients receptive to natural products when you use them?
KD: Yes! Or they don’t care either way. Mostly my clients just let me do my thing. But sometimes I thoroughly enjoy wearing a lip color that isn’t natural and that’s fine. But if you think overall about all the stuff we subject our bodies to, if you can lower your toxic load a little why not do it? I think natural is the way things are going.
Whenever this time of year rolls around, I’m overcome with the sudden desire to purge my wardrobe, clear out my medicine cabinet, and coax those pesky little dust bunnies out from hiding under my bed (I’ve made such a safe home for them, they never want to leave). This strange phenomenon, my friends, has been known throughout time as “spring cleaning”. The laziness I usually feel miraculously subsides and I start tackling my to-do list like it’s nobody’s business. But if you’ve gone ahead and started cleaning your brushes…you’re a better person than me.
Cleaning my makeup brushes is the one chore that I’ll use every excuse under the sun to avoid. “Wait, I can’t wash them today—I have a party tonight that I’ll need my favorite brush for,” and “I was just too distraught from that Game of Thrones episode, I need a breather tonight” are regulars around my household. I also don’t tend to break out, so it’s easy to pretend that I’m not using dirty brushes (yak!) on my face.
It wasn’t until I chatted with NYC dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, Dr. Debra Jaliman, that I kicked my brush-cleaning routine into high gear. “You really should be cleaning your brushes once a week,” says Dr. Jaliman. Doing so gets rid of all the icky things, such as dead skin cells and bacteria, which can destroy the bristles of your brushes. Besides that, even if you think you’re not breaking out, the excess makeup can absolutely be adding to the gunk and debris on your face and in your pores. Alright, we’re thoroughly terrified.
So with “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background, I hopped to it and stumbled on these new innovative brush cleaning tools and products that really made the process…not so bad! Not bad at all, actually! This was my first time cleaning my brushes in…longer than I’m proud to admit, so they definitely needed a deep cleansing. But they were so easy to use that I’ll be incorporating them into my weekly routine—all year round.
You’re probably already familiar with brush cleaners, but this guy is my new favorite (it smells so fresh!) for everyday quick cleansing. Spray on a tissue and wipe product from the brush fibers. The formula dissolves highly pigmented (even waterproof!) product residue and dries incredibly quickly, leaving it ready for your next application. You can also soak the bristles in the cleanser for very dirty brushes.
Stop. The. Presses. This dual-sided oven mitt look-alike is made up of a bunch of different textures and grooves for you to run your brush over, ensuring a deep cleaning from every possible angle and depth. Each area of the glove is sectioned off by steps (wash, rinse, refine, rinse again, and shape) to take the guesswork out of an alien-looking object. Plus, the silicone material doesn’t stain from product. Ingenious, right?
These solid brush cleansers are popping up everywhere (we also like this one from Japonesque), and it’s honestly my superstar. I cleaned about a gazillion brushes with this one compact, and it’s still intact. It’s so much easier swirling your brushes around into this solid form instead of guessing and squeezing a liquid cleanser out over and over.
How many ways have you found to dry your brushes? These clever brush trees come in three different sizes, three different colors, and save an infinite amount of space. It looks modern on your bathroom counter, but also can be taken apart in two quick pulls to tuck away for next time.
Honestly busy, and not just putting off the chore? Grab these travel-size packages to instantly clean your brushes if you’re a jetsetter or always on the go. They’re alcohol-free and individually wrapped—no need to sacrifice your hygiene because of a crazed schedule.
TV personality Megan Meany has reported on everything from the hottest celebrity news for E! News Live, to the latest fashion trends for the Style Network, and even traffic reports for WNBC. Today Megan is a lifestyles expert and host who appears on some of TV’s top national programs such as “Today” and “The Rachael Ray Show.” After all these years under studio lights, Megan has come to rely on some no-fail beauty products to help her look her best for every single show. She’s guest-posting on Gloss today to tell us more about her must-haves.
Megan Meany’s Must-Haves:
As a lifestyle reporter my beauty must-haves are like guardian angels. They never fail me. It’s how I shine (not melt) in the spotlight. Over the years, spinning through many a-makeup chair I’ve collected insights from my on-camera comrades and the professional artists who primp us to perfection.
Here are my Must Haves for an A+ appearance …
1. I never set foot on a morning show without smoothing my skin the night before with Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel. I used to pay for pricey chemical peels until a make-up artist at NBC told me a trip to Sephora could improve texture, lighten sun spots and fight wrinkles. I’ve been using this product ever since.
2. Proper highlighting is a must for serious star power. Mally’s Light Wand Eye Brightener in the inside corner of the eyes and just under the eyebrow makes me look like I got 8 hours of sleep even when I was reporting the traffic at 4:30 a.m.
3. One day during an appearance at VH1 the music stopped, we took a commercial break, and they touched me up with Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminator–it’s a must on cheekbones for that luminescent, J. LO- perfect glow.
4. Here’s a trick you can use from the studio to sidewalk: Individual fake eyelashes are a natural way to extend your lashes. Ditch the strips. If you’re a first timer, black glue like this one from Lus is more forgiving with mistakes than clear.
5. When I don’t have time to hit the salon, I’ve learned how to blow-dry my own hair and it’s all about the brush. 3ME professional brushes are Italian-made in metal or hair and they cut static. People ask me all the time if I’ve just come from a blow out.
6. On a recent TV trip to Los Angeles a producer begged me not to scare West Coast viewers with my white East Coast gams! We drove to the nearest CVS and bought Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs. I got an instant five day Malibu beach tan for $12. Compare that to $65 professional spray tan and you know why this is a must have!
Read more from Megan on her blog, www.MegansMustHaves.com
How many of you can relate to this eyeliner sob-story? You go to so much effort to get the perfect cat eye or super fine line… only to find that it’s smearing and smudging within hours. Why let that work go to waste? Before heat and humidity throw another monkey-wrench into the mix, pick up a liner that can be applied with ease and that will last until you take it off. Check out these tried and true favorites that will suit any preference, and they’re all under $10!
Best Liquid: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Liner in Black Vinyl ($6.97, Walmart.com)
I’ve tried a lot of liquid liners, and this is by far the most long-wearing. The rich black color is totally waterproof! While the same can’t be said for all of the other liners in Milani’s Ultrafine line (see this blog post for more details), Black Vinyl is my holy grail. It quickly dries to a matte finish and the fine, felt-tip applicator will help you pull of winged liner with ease.
Best Cream/Gel Liner: Essence Gel Eyeliner in Midnight in Paris ($3.99, Ulta.com)
If you love gel eyeliner, you must check out this one from Essence! It gives you amazing black intensity in one stroke and will not smudge away until you make a point to remove it. It’s also not quick to dry up in the jar like a lot of the gel liners I own. At 3.99, it’s an amazing bargain. If you’re looking for a great liner brush to use with creams and gels, try the equally affordable Fine Liner brush from Real Techniques.
Best Color Selection: NYX Slide On Liners ($7.99, Ulta.com)
Featured shades- left to right: Jet Black, Tropical Green, Purple Blaze, Azure, Glitzy Gold
How about some great pencil liners? Whether you’re looking for basic brown and black, or a whole rainbow of colors, the Slide On liners from NYX have you covered. There are 18 total shades available! Once you apply them, they set to a totally smudge-free finish. These pencils are so similar to the 24/7 liners from Urban Decay, but cost about $12 less!
Shown here: Essence Gel Liner in Midnight in Paris on upper lashline, and NYX Slide On Liner in Glitzy Gold on lower lashline.
Hopefully this post gives you some ideas for liners that can outlast the busy spring and summer months ahead! While I love the black liquid or gel liners for my upper lashline, it’s fun to add a pop of color to the lower lashline with one of the colorful pencils. Feel free to experiment and have fun! And for more makeup reviews and tutorials, check out the Beauty Broadcast blog and YouTube channel. Have a great day! – Emily
Though a self-professed beauty junkie, I do have a tendency to stick to my rituals, and shop within my tried and true brands. I wouldn’t say that I’m in a beauty rut; it’s more so that I know what I like and tend to be loyal. But sometimes a girl needs to freshen things up, test some products, and possibly find some new favorites to add to the mix. As it turns out, that time is Spring. After trying out a slew of products, I’ve added these skincare and makeup winners to my Spring lineup:
1) Foreo Luna silicone facial brush: I’m a big fan of my Clarisonic Mia, but sometimes forget to buy refills of the brush (which can get pretty gross, over time – even with lots of cleaning). I don’t see myself getting rid of my Clarisonic anytime soon, but I have loved using the Luna. It has different levels of pulsation for cleansing and anti-aging – and the bonus for me is that the anti-aging side relaxes my muscles when I have a headache or a locked up jaw!
2) Biologique Recherche P50 - I finally gave in to trying this cult-favorite toner (thanks to a push from my friend Helena), and it’s worth the hype. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for me might not work for you. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many starlets with glowing complexions swear by this product. After thoroughly cleansing my skin, this still manages to pick up so much dirt and makeup that was left behind. Note: I use the original formula (P50 1970) but the new formula is made without Phenol, if that ingredient worries you.
3) Fresh pressed, unrefined, virgin coconut oil – Oil pulling is all the rage, and after hearing about it from just about everyone and their mother, I went out and bought a jar of coconut oil. I tried oil pulling a few times, and though I didn’t mind the actual process, I can’t see myself committing to it long enough to see any results – I’m too forgetful! But here’s what I discovered: it’s an amazing moisturizer. I’ve replaced my normal facial moisturizer with coconut oil, and it makes my skin so soft. Bonus: it makes my face smell like Girl Scout Samoa cookies.
1) Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in “Clementine” (as worn above) – As a pale girl who leans toward cooler tones, I felt left out of the orange lips trend. After trying several different shades and finishes, I finally found one that works for me. I love that it’s orange but not too orange, and the pointed tip gives precision without having to buy an extra lip pencil.
2) Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in “Melted Peony”: This goes on like a gloss, looks like a creamy lipstick, and leaves behind a lovely stain. This creamy pink shade is perfect for Spring!
3) Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade: I’m brow obsessed, and I bow down to Anastasia the brow queen. Used in conjunction with their Brow Wiz pencil, this gives me perfect brows that won’t melt or disappear with the rising temperatures. I used to use brow powder, but now I’m hooked on Dipbrow. Tips: use it with primer for extra staying power, and remember that a teeny bit goes a long way!
4) Mirabella Colour Vinyl Lipstick in “Rosy Rouge”: I usually go for matte lipsticks, but something with a little sheen feels (and looks) more appropriate in the warmer months. That being said, I still want lots of color! This lipstick has a beautiful, opaque rosy hue, with an abundance of shine.
Are there any praise-worthy products you’ve been using? Now that you know my new-to-me favorites, please share yours!
Somebody ring/text/Skype Nancy Drew! — because it is truly a mystery why it took me so long to find MAC Warm Soul Mineralize Blush ($25), the most perfect everyday blush ever.
As a blush hoarder (#makeupaddictproblems), I’m kind of like the Easter Bunny…except that I hop from blush to blush. But ever since I landed on golden beige Warm Soul at a MAC counter, I haven’t wanted to wear anything else on my cheeks.
With its hints of peach and pink, and the soft, subtle glow of its golden shimmer, it was love at first swatch.
And just wait till you get it on your cheeks. One word: magical.
Warm Soul looks so natural, so sun-kissed on cheeks, that passersby might think you spend every day chillin’ on a chaise lounge at the pool.
Best of all, it’s wonderfully low-maintenance. Warm Soul doesn’t even know the meaning of the word, “drama.” It just takes a few quick swipes of my trusty blush brush to create a fresh-faced cheek look that lasts all day long.
Oh, and it goes with just about everything, too. Whatever eye or lip colors I’m in the mood for on any given day, Warm Soul just works. It has a knack for not competing with other colors.
I have it in my go-to bag of makeup basics now. Whenever I need to hurry up and get out the door, I fill in my brows, cover my dark circles with concealer, pop on some mascara, Warm Soul Blush and gloss and BAM! — finished in less than five minutes.
And because Warm Soul orbits in the makeup Goldilocks zone (isn’t too light, dark, cool, nor warm), it also works on most skin tones.
I hope you give it a whirl one of these days. I love it year round, but I love it extra in spring in summer when paired with summery coral, pink, teal, gold and bronze.
You can find Warm Soul now at MAC counters, stores and maccosmetics.com.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
It’s that time again! Time to store your dark lipsticks, black nail polish, and full-coverage anything and stock up on spring essentials. Lightening up your routine is essential to making it through the warmer months looking fab (instead of like a sweaty mess). We’ve tested these products over the last few weeks and they’ll certainly be helping us toward a beautiful spring.
RMS The Un-Powder – Your favorite setting powder can quickly turn into a cakey mess in the heat. However, this ultra-fine powder is like nothing we’ve ever seen before–it’s our new go-to for spring and summer. The product goes on light and airy and leaves no white residue. We’ve even worn it during workouts and it stays completely invisible, even through a sweat session.
Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in Summer Twilight – The last thing you want on your lips in the spring and summer is a thick, sticky gloss. That’s why we stock up on these stunners from Burt’s Bees. Each gloss has a gorgeous tint that isn’t too sheer, nor too intense. The best part, however, is that the non-sticky formula feels weightless on lips.
Revision Skincare Intellishade Broad Spectrum SPF 45 — By the time winter ends, we’re so pale we’re practically glowing and that usually means our foundation just looks a little off. Instead of struggling to mask slightly orange-tinted skin we’ve turned to this smart tinted moisturizer. It adjusts to our skintone whether we’re pale or lightly bronzed. Plus, it works as a moisturizer, SPF, anti-aging cream, and foundation in one!
SoCal Curls Tie – The worst thing in the hot months is taking a cool shower only to get out and sweat while you dry and curl your hair. Skip the curling step and try this genius head wrap from SoCal curls instead. Microwave the tie for 30 seconds then wrap dry or slightly damp hair around the it and secure it. Thirty minutes later you’ll have gorgeous beachy waves. We like to do our makeup while we let our hair set but you can wear it overnight, too. Here’s a tutorial to help you master the wrapping technique.
Spring is upon us! It’s the perfect time to perk up your skin with a new blush… and blush palettes are making it easy to do that. They combine a variety of blush shades, giving you options and more bang for your buck. Whether you prefer powder, cream, or both- I’ve found some great options for you! While the swatches shown will give you an idea of how pigmented these blushes are, you probably wouldn’t wear them so concentrated on your skin. If you’d like to learn more about each blush and see them in action, I’ve linked to additional videos where you can do just that!
E.L.F. Studio Blush Palette ($6, eyeslipsface.com)
The brand Eyes Lips Face or “E.L.F.” has become the mother of all bargain makeup brands, and every so often they release a product that just makes my jaw drop. This blush palette is one of them! I have it in the shade “Light” and there’s one called “Dark” available as well. If you love powder blushes, this will be right up your alley. You’re getting a matte light pink, a matte golden/bronze, and a matte berry shade, along with a coral that contains just a hint of shimmer. All are very pigmented, but can easily be sheered out for a natural look. For $6, you’re getting a generous amount of product, not to mention a large mirror. Also, each shade pops out of the palette, leading many to wonder if ELF will soon release more shades, allowing users to create their own custom mix of shades! Click here for an extended video review and tutorial.
The Balm How ‘Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream Palette ($32, thebalm.com)
If you’re a fan of cream blushes or the thought of a palette that can multitask, you might want to look into this newly released creation from The Balm. This palette pairs adorable packaging (did you notice those cowboys?) with high quality blush creams that can double as lip colors. I personally don’t love cream blushes that have a tacky/dewy feel on my skin once they’ve been applied, so I was really glad to see that these blushes kind of dry on the skin once you blend them in. They don’t change your skin’s overall texture, which translates into great staying power. Only one of the shades (Crisp) contains shimmer. It’s also fun to coordinate your look and apply your cheek color on your lips as well! For my application tips and a full review, click here.
Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Pink Lemonade ($14.99, sleekmakeup.com)
If you’re not familiar with London-based makeup brand Sleek, their blushes are a great introduction. This particular blush palette combines two powder shades with one cream (in the center), for a surprising amount of options. You can layer the powders over the cream for enhanced staying power and intensity, or just apply any of the shades on their own. One thing that I particularly love about this palette is that while your cream blush is a classic pink, each powder takes on a different tone. One is a soft, baby pink and the other is more of a warm, coral-toned pink. So you can take the tone of your blush in two totally different directions. Keep in mind that both of the powder blushes contain shimmer, so that’s something you like to steer clear of, you might want to scope out the other options. Click here for more details and my tips for application.
If you’re needing a blush update for spring, hopefully one of these palettes can help you out! Thanks for taking time to check out this post, and have a great day!
I’m not about to eschew my coffee or red wine, but my spring sartorial concept doesn’t go with dull, could-be-whiter teeth. Whether your goal is a stunning selfie or you just want to take your smile to the next mile, at-home whitening products make a giant difference and cost much less than a treatment at the dentist office. Here, my favorite DIY whiteners.
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit whiten as well as a $500 in-office professional treatment at $65/28 strips. They work really quickly – a one-hour session yields brighter, whiter teeth. If you’re prone to it, you may feel a little sensitivity when you drink/eat things that are hot or cold for a couple days, but it’s definitely manageable.
Tanda Pearl Gentle White Ionic Teeth Whitening System It’s a bit pricier at $130, but massively effective and takes just 50 minutes. If sensitivity is more of an issue, go for this one. My sensitive teeth were barely affected.
Rembrant Deeply White + Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste will run you $6 and is ideal for those who don’t want to inhibit their speech or water/food intake in the slightest by walking around with contraptions on their faces for an hour.
Listerine Whitening Freshening Rinse Even easier than brushing is rinsing with this smile-sparkler that freshens breath simultaneously. At $7, it kills germs with that signature Listerine clean, removes stain build-up and gets you kissable, stat.
In the beauty world there always seems to be a new buzzword floating around. Between the BBs, the CCs, and the HDs, your skin can now be treated to a full range of high-end treatments to target imperfections. But, before you hunker down with your skincare routine as it stands, consider the newest buzzword on the block when it comes to the search for a flawless face–”blur.”
Tubes of product promising to blur imperfections and create a smooth canvas for your foundation are hitting the shelves of our favorite beauty stores at lightening speed. But, are these pore-minimizers really all they claim to be? We tested five of top brands and our verdict is….maybe!
Let us explain. The best way to understand these products is to think of them as a new category of primer. Regardless of your skin type, we’ve all got a few problem areas or skin issues to deal with and if you’ve got oily skin and/or large pores this new set of blur products could be the best new weapon in your skincare arsenal.
These products are slightly thicker than other primers on the market and offer a stronger mattifying effect. They also have a distinctly smooth, silky texture and finish. The look these products give is airbrushed and, yes, your fine lines and pores will look blurred–like a photoshop job well done. What these products won’t do is completely camouflage blemishes so don’t ditch your concealer just yet. Also, we wouldn’t recommend these blurring primers for ladies with dry skin or small pores; we found that on these skin types, the products were just a little too visible. Make sure not to over-apply a blur product and concentrate it only on the areas where you need it. A pea-size amount should do it for your whole t-zone and forehead. If that’s not enough product, add to the amount slowly so you don’t over do it.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and try a blurring formula, here are the five we tested:
Benefit The Pore-fessional PRO Balm — This was one of the silkiest and most mattifying of the group. If you’re looking for full coverage with a lightweight feel, this is a good bet.
Garnier Skin Renew 5 Second Blur Instant Smoother — If you have combination skin, this product adds a little moisture while still maintaing a silky, light texture.
Kiehl’s Mirco-Blur Skin Perfector – This blurring product from Kiehl’s aims to not only perfect, but also to improve. In a consumer test performed by Kiehl’s, 84% of women who used their Mirco Blur believed their pores had become noticeably smaller and their skin tone more even.
Lancome Visionnaire 1 Minute Blur – This skin smoother has an extremely velvety finish. Our tester noted that it had a nice air-brushing effect even when worn alone, without makeup over it.
L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Eye Smoother – If your biggest complaints are dark circles and dull skin around the eyes, L’oreal’s eye-specific blurring product offers a lightweight, airbrushed look for under eyes. We liked how smooth it made our skin and while it won’t cover deep, dark under-eye circles, it’s a good quick fix for eyes that need a little help.