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May 12th, 2014  |  Comment   

CEW Awards: Get the Inside Scoop on the Best Beauty Gear!

April 22nd, 2014  |  Comment   

Celeb Makeup Artist Katey Denno Talks Natural Beauty

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 LancomeChanel 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?

KD:  Spirit Beauty Lounge is my number one. Environmental Working Group is a great one, too. You can also read about all the natural beauty products I love (and what I’ve learned) on my site.

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.

April 4th, 2014  |  Comment   

Lupita Nyong’o for Lancôme!

Certified stunner and newly-minted Oscar-winner, Lupita Nyong’o, is on a role. Not only is she Hollywood’s new darling, she is now a brand ambassador for Lancôme. After seeing this video of Nyong’o describing her struggle to accept her looks as a child we couldn’t help but think that she’d be an inspiring and genuine spokesperson for beauty at all ages and in all forms.

Speaking about her new position as a brand ambassador for Lancôme, Nyong’o said, “I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for  women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.”

Nyong’o joins an already prestigious group of leading ladies who are Lancôme ambassadors including Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz, and Lily Collins. Nyong’o will be featured in the brand’s summer campaigns. Congrats, Lupita!

April 1st, 2014  |  Comment   

Fabulous New Spring Perfumes

With the departure of sweater weather (finally!) we’re transitioning our wardrobes, makeup, and perfumes to the lighter side. We’re storing our warm, spicy fragrances in favor of florals, clean scents, and sweeter smells. Sound a little too girly for your taste? Never fear, our favorite fragrance giants have released a gorgeously varied group of scents this year that satisfy everyone from the feminine to the edgy. Take a peek at a few of our favorites and find your new signature spring perfume.

For the Fashion Forward – Alien Eau Extraordinaire by Thierry Mugler
Trendsetting ladies who love to smell like no one else in the room will fall for this intriguing scent. It’s much lighter and fresher than Mugler’s previous fragrances. Its floral note from Tiare flower is warmed by Italian Bergamot tea and white amber to reveal a rare woody/floral combination that is sophisticated without being overly girly.

For the Flirt — Daisy Marc Jacobs Delight
Fresh, light, and reminiscent of wandering through a meadow, this floral is flirty and light, not overly pungent.

For the Purist — Clean Cool Cotton
If fresh laundry blowing in a summer breeze is at the top of your “Favorite Smells” list, this is your dream perfume. Fresh, airy, and yes, clean, this scent is for those who like their fragrance to whisper, not yell.

For the Sophisticate — See by Chloe Eau Fraiche
This refined, ladylike scent is a new favorite around our offices. It’s green floral notes and refined base notes of vetiver and musk make it a fresh, modern scent that is perfect for work and weekend.

For the Romantic — Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance
Darker and more sensual than it’s predecessors, Midnight Romance is a sexy date-night fragrance with notes of black vanilla and peony.

For the Sun Worshipper — Philosophy Sunshine Grace 
With this fragrance, Philosophy has somehow managed to capture everything that is wonderful about summer in one little bottle. While the top notes are floral, this does not smell like a flowery perfume. The unique solar musk base notes give it the smell of sunshine, sand, and a warm summer breeze.

For the Girly Girls — Viktor and Rolf Bonbon
Encased in a bottle meant to look like wrapped candy (and in fact named for the French word for candy) this scent is sweet but not cloying. Designed for women who like to indulge, this perfume, with its key note of caramel, is a playful follow up to the brand’s best-selling Flowerbomb perfume.

For the Glamorous — Avon Femme
This perfume is a balanced scent that has a gorgeous blend of both fruity and floral notes. It’s a crowd pleaser that is perfect for those who want a daily scent or a flirty night-out fragrance.

March 25th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

Should You Try the Trendy New Blur Products?

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.

March 24th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

5 Hair Trends for the Spring

I’m all about changing up my hair this season. Just two months ago I chopped 6 inches off my hair to create a huge change. I absolutely love it. It’s been different for me, but it’s something I knew I needed to do. With Spring here, I’m having a blast checking out some of the trends for hair. Last year it was all about length, this year it’s all about color, up-dos, and chopping away! It’s fun to see. I have a hair appointment booked for April 6th, so I’m really looking for something ultra-cool and ultra-trendy to try next.

Here Are 5 Hair Trends for the Spring:

1. LONG BOB - This is what I ended up doing this Spring. It’s chic. It’s trendy. It’s easy. Perfect for that person (like me) who doesn’t want to do ultra short, but doesn’t want to do long anymore. It’s the happy medium.

Image from Pinterest.

2. LOOSE WAVE - I love a loose wave, so I think this trend is awesome. Natural hair that is wavy or if you’re good with a hair wand–wave away!

Image from Pinterest.

3. BLONDE OMBRE - Ombre! Ombre! Ombre! I love it! This spring, the ombre trend is taking a walk on the lighter side.

Image from Pinterest.

4. BRAIDS — I have to get better at learning how to braid this Spring because braids are trending like CRAZY! Side braids, pony braids, French braids–have fun with all of them! It’s s bohomeian look that is very cool and can be dressed up and dressed down.

Image from Pinterest.

5. MESSY UP-DO - This is probably my most favorite trend for the Spring. It’s an up-do that is “messy,” but fabulous. This is part of the reason I needed my hair long enough for an up-do! Regardless if it’s a bun, a ponytail or a quick clip and go, a messy up-do is something you literally do on-the-go! It’s chic and fabulous!

Image from Pinterest.

March 17th, 2014  |  Comment   

5 Products for St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Are you wearing your green today?

I sent my 4 sons off to school dressed in green and some glitter in their hair. My daughter is decked from head-to-toe in green and rocking rainbow tights. I’m even getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with some green workout gear on this morning!

But what about your beauty routine? Is there a way to bring on some luck of the Irish with your beauty today?

Oh, yes! I plan to have some fun “decorating” my face tonight for a St. Patrick’s Day Party at my girlfriend’s house!

Here are 5 beauty products to rock and get yourself into the spirit and fun for St. Patrick’s Day :

1. Diva Chics Be Glitzy Glitter for Hair & Body, Gold
Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.11.30 AM
Sparkle like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Add some gold glitter to your hair and body. I love this because it’s so much fun and so easy to use! I used this last year for St. Patrick’s Day and LOVED it. All you have to do is spray it on.

2. Hair Color Chalk
Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.13.27 AM
Oh, yes! Be a little bold and have some fun with this green hair chalk! It’s something that is different, but will definitely have a dramatic effect, especially if you have light hair. Go for it today!

3. NEW almay shadow softies by intense i-color
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I love this new shade of eyeshadow from Almay. It’s soft, sheer, and  just about perfect.

4. Bobbi Brown Crystal Glitter Lip Gloss
Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.18.04 AM
Let your lips sparkle with this gorgeous gloss! It’s beautiful and lightweight and just the perfect addition to your makeup routine today!

5. Green Color of Luxe Glitter Powder for Eyeliner and Eye Makeup
Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.20.52 AM
OK, want to have some REAL FUN!? Try this gorgeous green loose glitter. This can be applied over eyeshadow or on the lashes–it’s the ultimate look if you wan to make an impact this St. Patrick’s Day!

March 10th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

5 Spring Beauty Trends for 2014

Spring, it’s ALMOST here! I can feel it coming. The snow has finally melted, the sun is out more, and the trees (dare I say it) are beginning to bud. And, with each new season comes new beauty trends!

I’m excited to try a few and change my regular routine up a bit. I’m such a regular lip gloss and smokey eye girl throughout the spring that I thought it would be fun to do something a little different once in awhile.

 Here are 5 beauty trends worth trying this spring:

1) Orange Lipstick – Oh, yes… bright like the sun. I’ve never been someone to deviate from my normal pinks and reds, but orange is making a bit hit this spring. It’s a fun color, one that maybe I wouldn’t wear to work, but I definitely would wear out with the girls!

Recommended: Maybelline – Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor – Extreme Orange

2) Golden Lids – With the Olympics just wrapping up, I feel like this trend is oh-so-appropriate! It gives your eyes such a gorgeous glow.

Recommended: Eye Shadow Gold Devotion

3) Cat Eyes – It’s still fierce and it’s still trending! Have some fun with this trend. You can make it as dramatic as you want–no need to be over the top all the time. My mom used to do this to her eyes when I was little, so it totally brings me back!

Photo Credit: TotalBeauty.com

4) Blue and Green Eyeshadow – We’re not talking peacocking it up… but blues and greens are trending this spring when it comes to pops of color for your eye makeup. I think it’s one of those trends that needs to be worn when the time and occasion is appropriate, but it’s SO MUCH FUN!

Recommended: Eye Studio® Color Tattoo® Pure Pigments Loose Powder Shadow

5) Neutral Nails – Last spring and summer it was all about bright pops of color, this year it’s all about going neutral. Since I’m someone who will either go with black or dark gray on my nails, this is different for me, but I like it. I think neutral colors on your nails is a classic look.

Recommended: essie 2014 Resort

February 27th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

Hair How To with Tommy Bucket and Garnier: The Perfect High Ponytail

 

As we mentioned in our trend forecasting from NYFW, ponytails are going to be big this fall. High, low, sleek, and messy–the whole gang’s coming to a pinterest boards and fashionable heads of hair near you! While most of us mastered a basic pony in grade school, it can be tough to get that oh-so-sleek style that we loved during NYFW. For help on that front we turned to Tommy Buckett, hairstylist extraordinaire at the Serge Normant Salon. This season he crafted incredibly chic, “uptown” ponytails in partnership with Garnier for the Kate Spade Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Fashion Week.

The key product behind the look was Garnier Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish. We watched it completely knock out any frizz in the models’ hair and create gorgeous shine, too. “A lot of people are scared of oils but this is actually really light and it sinks into the hair because it has no silicone,” Buckett explained about the Nourish oil.

Here’s how to get the look:

1. Begin by blow drying your hair straight. Once the hair is dry apply 4-5 pumps (for long hair, less for short) of Garnier’s Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish. You can also apply a little heat protecting spray.

2. Use a flat iron to smooth out your hair so it is as straight as possible to get a sleek look.

3. Flip your head upside down so your hair hangs down over your face. Gather it together in one hand, smoothing with a brush as needed.

4. Holding onto your ponytail, flip your head back upright.

5. Tilt your chin up and look at the ceiling while keeping your ponytail as tight as possible. This is Buckett’s trick to get the tightest possible ponytail.

6. While your chin is still tilted up, secure your ponytail by wrapping it with a hair bungee--this type of hair tie will keep the ponytail as tight as possible without creasing the hair.

7. Use Garnier Disorder wax spray to smooth any flyaways or baby hairs.

8. Wrap a strip of leather over the elastic and secure it.

February 26th, 2014  |  1 Comment    

Feelin’ Feline Fierce Wearing Katy Perry Lashes by Eylure

Feelin’ Feline Fierce wearing Katy Perry Lashes by Eylure in Feline Fierce ($6.99)

Katy Perry: pop star extraordinaire, cat lady, false fringe aficionado.

Uh…what?

Yup, you read that correctly. Katy Perry has a line of false lashes, appropriately named Katy Perry Lashes, which are both 1) super affordable ($6.99 each) and 2) all kinds of awesome.

I was a little surprised when I found out about them, even though they’ve been out for a while, but I guess they just hadn’t crossed my radar until now.

I wish they had.

There are four new styles out now for spring — Feline Fierce, which I’m wearing in the top pic; Punk Princess; Banging Beauty and Lovely Lolita — and I’m infatuated with them all. I like them just about as much as the false lashes I usually wear when I wear false lashes, the $16 33 Lashes by MAC.

Feline Fierce

 

Lovely Lolita

 

Banging Beauty

 

Punk Princess

Compared to the 33s, these cost less than half as much ($6.99 versus $16), and because they’re carried at most drugstores and Ultas, they’re very easy to find (sometimes I don’t want to trek all the way to the mall).

These new spring styles also have something of an edge to them… Nothing too crazy, but I like the range of options Katy gives, from the more dramatic Feline Fierce (perfect for a night on the town) to the more natural Lovely Lolita, which still has some kick.

That one is my favorite pair from the spring line because it’s fine for daytime but still only about two seconds away from hitting the club.

Not that I hit the club very often (*cough*, anymore, *cough*).

A closeup of Feline Fierce…

Also in the plus column, these are 100 percent natural, and they don’t look plastic or fake, unlike some other drugstore brands that shall remain nameless…

But I think what really makes them stand out is how easy they are to apply, especially for someone (like me) who’s normally all thumbs when it comes to applying false lashes, and especially full strip styles like these.

No drama at all.

Seriously, they’re a breeze. I just run a tiny amount of the adhesive, which comes with them, by the way, along the lash strip (I’m serious. You only need a tad.), wait for about 30 seconds, look down into a mirror, set the lashes directly on top of my natural lashes, and squeeeeeeeze the false lashes together with my real ones.

A closeup of Lovely Lolita…

They even comfortable! — even the dramatic styles, which is unusual, I think. Most of the time with other false lashes I’ve tried, in particular super long, thick lashes, I get a headache after a while from how heavy they feel (I’m very sensitive about anything near my eyes), and I end up having to take them off halfway through the day.

These, on the other hand, don’t feel heavy at all.

Lovely Lolita — my favorite style

They’re a great drugstore find. I only wish I’d discovered them sooner.

I definitely plan to stock up on Lovely Lolita next time I see them at CVS or Ulta. They’re also available online.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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