Hey There Bright Eyes!

Watching the news for 30 minutes is tough these days.  Not only is the news sad and discouraging, so are the all ads!  The evening news is the worst as we hear everything that could or will go wrong with our bodies as we age.  Depressing!

But there is a BRIGHT spot.  When it comes to skincare we are winners!

As we all know developing eyelid wrinkles is common as we age.  And!  As in anything else we do genetics can also play a role in developing our wrinkles especially on our face and around our eyes. Ugh!

I am so thankful we have such wonderful skincare available to us to help lessen the effects of what I call ‘creases’ in our skin.  I never liked the word wrinkles.  When I was a teenager I had to do a lot of ironing for my mom and I always envisioned I was removing wrinkles in the pillow cases! Creases were on our face!  Oh those were the days!

Modifying lifestyle factors, such as exposure to cigarette smoke and harmful sun rays, reduce our risk for developing these creases. Of course, the decreased production of natural oil in our skin as we age makes the eyelid skin appear more wrinkled. Repeating facial expressions around the eyes also leaves fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, skin loses flexibility and has a difficult time returning to its place.

It’s time to rethink certain habits, such as always drinking with a straw (wrinkles around the mouth) or squinting because you forgot your sunglasses (crow’s feet). The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, making it more prone to those awful creases!  Try to avoid pulling, tugging or stretching that skin each night and choose makeup products that go on and come off easily. As a contact lens wearer I have learned to be cautious not to tug too hard on my eyelid skin when putting in my lenses as well.

“When your eyes look younger, your entire face appears more youthful”. That is the tag line Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare has attached to their new eye cream and serum and honestly I have to agree totally.  C+Collagen Brighten + Firm Eye Cream and Serum.  The super hero eye duo!

I picked up these jewels at the Trend Show last month with Karen and I must say this energizing eye cream which is infused with vitamin C complex dramatically improves the look of tired, aging eyes. It instantly works on fine lines and eye creases and brightens dark circles. I use it after my Alpha Beta Peel Pads and Glow Pads when my skin is clean and ready for treatments.

I apply it in the morning and at night. This super duo can be used around the eye in the orbital area too.  I would suggest however doing the whole eye at night and then under eye only in the morning. When I applied the cream over the whole eye in the morning it did affect my eye makeup.  So just a word of caution if you wear eye makeup like me, use this at night only! Then you can wake up and be amazed at the transformation in your… uh creases – or lack of!

As a side note – Jimmy recently told me about a really cool Beauty App from Sephora.  You can do virtual makeovers and when you find one you like, click on the products and put them in your cart!  I went to Sephora and had the Beauty Stylist apply the products on me and wow! I love this cool way to shop! Great idea Sephora! ** (Then quickly grab your phone and take a selfie while you look fabulous!)

Smile.  Your eyes sparkle when you do. – Pintrest

Highlight YOU!

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of  Kevyn Aucoin Beauty.  I first discovered it on a shopping trip to Nordstrom where a few products were displayed on an endcap and was just blow way by the offerings.  Kevyn, and well known makeup artist,  passed away in 2002 but his style and amazing products keep his name in the forefront of the world of beauty.

Many of his products are available at Barneys New York, Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman, Nigel Beauty Emporium, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and many other retailers.  If you run across them, I know you will not be disappointed in them.  They are just a little bit different and definite keepers.

I recently purchased the Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting Fluid in Candlelight and it is one of my new favorites!  Just a drop around your eyes highlights the beauty of your eyes and will pick out just the tone within your eyes to make you look your best.

You can use this all over your face over moisturized skin.  It adds radiance and a delicate highlight wherever it is placed. The highlights created are never harsh and the look is as if you are glowing from within!

I love it as a highlighter most.  You can lightly apply it to cheeks, your brow bone, and décolleté and blend with fingertips.

Feeling creative?  Use it as a developer and mix in with your favorite Kevyn Aucoin foundation to add a subtle hint of shimmer to the skin.

Just a few of the celebrities who use his products include Cher, Liza Minnelli, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lisa Marie Presley, Courtney Love and Vanessa L. Williams.

I’m getting ready for the Spring Trend show this weekend at Nordstrom and have had my tickets for almost 2 months.  I cannot wait to see what new products my friend Karen and I discover and trust me – you will know soon after what we find.

Smile happiness looks gorgeous on you. – Unknown


Primers and a Virtual Trip To Sephora

There are so many products on the market today to make your eyelashes grow long. And even longer.  And there are even more that make you brows either fill in or grow thicker as well.  I have tried several of them over the last 20 years and I will tell you that a few of them have worked so well that they carry the ‘wow’ factor to a whole new level.  But!  In saying that, I must also add they carry a pretty hefty price point.  Then the disappointment comes when you no longer want pay the price and what you have achieved disappears at the stroke of midnight.  Much like with Cinderella – the ‘pumpkin’ ie. your long lush lashes and sexy eyebrows are no more.

So, I smile as I give you a little tidbit I learned at the Dior counter a few weeks ago from the Beauty Product Specialist.   Remember the Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer we discussed in a previous post?

This mascara base from Dior gives your lashes up to three times the volume by combining the immediate enhancing effect of a mascara with the benefits of daily lash care. Your lashes are left intensely curled, thickened and lengthened, ideally primed to heighten the effect of mascara and optimize hold. Day after day, its enhancing formula helps lashes look their best by combining hyaluronic acid with plumping properties and the brand’s unrivalled Lash Maximizer™ ingredient. It’s white so you use it first and follow with your favorite mascara which for me is DiorShow.

Plus, I learned that not only is it great as a primer it’s can also be applied as an intensive deep conditioner for lashes and brows at night. These are two uses for optimal results.  I apply each day before mascara for immediate results, and on its own each night as a deep conditioner to pamper my lashes and my brows.  You will be surprised at the results.  And even better, the price points compared to the other products I used are much lower.

And! Another tidbit I received was from my amazing hair stylist and color specialist, Jimmy Moreau.  If you have not added the Sephora app to your phone, do it!  Inside the app Sephora has created is an exact replica of its chain cosmetic store. There are dozens of rows of every imaginable kind of makeup, surrounded by walls of perfume, skin cream, and beauty gadgets. Everything is there – on your phone!

This is Sephora’s new Innovation Lab. Right when you walk in the front of the virtual store, there’s an array of augmented reality videos that play on the Sephora app on your smartphone. Continue through the store and these reality background videos will pop up strategically throughout.

Be sure and visit virtually reality makeovers.  With the addition of your camera you can view yourself in a variety of makeup looks.  See one you love?  Click and your cart fills with the products to achieve it.  And!  If you don’t want everything you can sort and delete those in your cart and then purchase.  There are even tutorials available to show you how to achieve the look as well.  I spent a rainy afternoon playing with everything this app offers and had such fun.  Trust me, you will too.

Just have fun. Smile.  And keep putting on lipstick. – Facia

The Jewel In My Sample Box

In the middle of all the glitz and glamour of the holiday season, Sephora offers a real jewel to shoppers each year and if you blink they are out of stock!  Ask Ana my friend and co-worker.  She missed it one year but got it the next! My suggestion is to program your calendar for October 15 and become watchful for their special box of holiday samplers:  Lashstash (mascaras) Give Me Some Lip and Liner (lipsticks) and Draw the Line (Eyeliners).

I purchase these for my two daughters and me (of course!) every year.   It’s a favorite for all of us and it’s under the tree Christmas mornings waiting for my girls to arrive.  There are sample-sized and full-sized products from all of our favorites such as Kat Von D, NARS, Clinique, Dior and many many more.

One of my favorites is a pigment-packed liner from Clinique which goes by the name of High Impact Custom Black Kajal.    Its tip is very tiny and as a result I am actually able to draw my line sooo close to my lashes which I love it!  Note the name – it is a kajal liner which is somewhat different from kohl and eyeliner.

Kajal liner consists of combination of natural ingredients and soot. It is organic in nature, making it soothing for the eye and it also helps protect eyes from infections.

Kohl liner pencils are typically made from powders, pigments and waxes. They have the smooth glide of kajal, but can be as messy at times.

Eyeliner can be found in a liquid, gel or pencil form, and can be harsher on the eyes compared to kajal, since it is not generally made from organic ingredients. It doesn’t have as soft a texture compared to kohl and kajal, or that silky finish many of us like as well.

I have noticed that it doesn’t crumble or shatter into pieces when applying it. It stays put on my water line for my entire workday. And!  What I really like is the color, texture and longevity.

You never know what you will find in a sample box.  It may be just the ‘jewel’ you are looking for!

*By the way, I wrote about Boots No. 7 products last month and I wanted to give you a quick update.  Since I have only used the Youth Oil and the Triple Serum Lift and Luminate, my good friend, Linda, has taken on the task of testing their top five products for comparison.  She is a makeup artist and has worked for Lancome for several years.  Over the next month, she will rate these products and have an article in the coming weeks for us!

It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you wear a smile. – Chibird

My Wish List

Have you started making your Wish List for Santa, yet?  There are so many products on the market these days that I want, I want… but price points can make it a WISH at times for me instead of a NEED.  Besides this is the season to give, so I make a Wish List and refer to it from time to time. And! when I have that “all about me moment’ I splurge on something on my Wish list. And, when I attend beauty events that list becomes even longer of products I want to try.  Trend shows do that to me as well.

One ‘wish/wants’ at the top of my list a few years ago was my Sonic Makeup Brush by Michael Todd.  The brush is designed for any facial sculpting, highlighting or even applying your makeup.  The results are ahhhmazing.  You can place a couple of drops of your foundation onto the brush or your face and begin your application over your entire face.  And!  I use the brush to also apply my liquid bronzer to add a touch of glow to my face – after all it is the holiday season, right?  Actually you know me… I love the look of the glow all year long!


Another favorite of mine this year is what everyone calls “the BLUE mask” by Dr. Dennis Gross.  Talk about hydration!  You will love the coolness of the mask.  And! you will love the look of your skin after you remove it. This mask was developed to deeply hydrate, cool, and visibly plump the skin.  It’s a two-step process like many of his products and what can I say?  Blue goes with everything… especially your pj’s and a cup of hot cocoa on these cold winter nights. Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask – it’s a must for your list and mine!

Another favorite from this year is the company, Patchology!  They have masks for your face, your eyes, your feet and your lips.  These products are amazing and they work instantly!  If you order from their site you get samples of their other products, too.  Try them all.  You won’t be disappointed.

Now, you can thank me as you sit in front of the fireplace and toast me and your beautiful glowing skin – Walt Sierra Mar Pinot Noir, please.  And maybe a bite of chocolate?

Sometimes when you smile, it’s not because you’re happy. It’s because you’re strong. ~ Pamela Denise Anderson

Go Team Go… Win Team Win!

I am a big football fan, both college and professional.  Wait.  Let me rewrite that opening sentence.  I am a HUGE football fan.  My daddy and I spent countless hours watching the game together from I guess about the age of 5 until his death –in my late forties.  We spent most game days together and my mom would watch my babies… later my children so Daddy and I could share those moments together.   He taught me the game, from the beginning kickoff till time ran out.  So it’s not surprising that I have found a group of serious fans to watch the game with either online chatting or at my home.  What might surprise you is that as commercial breaks happen, many times the talk turns to skincare and makeup.  Even the guys in the group will partake in the skincare talk, unless there is discussion over play calling.

Last week one of my female friends had asked me about products for eye bags.  I gave her three product samples that she could try before the game resumed.  See? There is always time for skincare and makeup talk.  It ranks right up there with football, wine, and my baby loves.  There are sooo many companies out there that market skincare – especially skincare for our eyes.  We all can have eye bags, dark circles, sunken eyes or the standard crow’s feet.  I encourage you to go to a beauty specialty store and get some samples.  Try them and see what addresses your concern.  A Beauty Advisor will be able to steer you into the right direction for sure.

So! I wanted to share a ‘new to me’ product line that I have recently received some samples from that I am excited about.  Kevyn Aucoin.  Heard of him?  I asked my Beauty Advisor, Meredith at Nordstrom recently about the brand.  She compared him to Elvis.   (I can assure you that got my attention!  Love love love Elvis.  Notice the present tense… never past when it comes to Elvis. ) She said Kevyn is to makeup what Elvis was to rock and roll.  (Ok, yes, there is a past tense used in that sentence.)  I actually received the sample from Sephora, but have also seen the product as part of the NK Boutique at Nordstrom.  Light It Up – The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting is really a fun product to use.  It comes in three shades – Candlelight, Starlight, and Sunlight and they are beautiful additions to your foundation  – on your cheeks, eyes and on your temples.  You can even put a dab on your décolleté on a date night – especially if wine and candlelight are a part of your evening! It contains ultra-fine pearls with micronized spheres to add a candlelit radiance and delicate highlight to your skin.

Check it out… and have fun with it… whether you having dinner with your favorite guy or cheering on your favorite team.  Go Team!  Now glow, girl!

A little smile can go a long long way, and turn a cloudy day to skies of blue; You’ll have a glow no matter where you go if you just take your smile along with you! – Pintrest

Cheers to a Great Deal

Two of my favorite segments on Good Morning America these days are Ginger Zee’s Food Forecast ( especially the last two episodes featuring Napa Valley since this is my home away from home) and Deals and Steals featuring Tory Johnson as The Deal Wizard.

A couple of weeks ago Tory introduced Michael Todd’s Skincare and I snagged two amazing products which now have a permanent place in my Beauty Bag.  A sonic makeup brush and a new eye serum.

Have you heard of the Sonic Blend Antimicrobial Sonic Makeup Brush?  Sonic Blend is the first of its kind makeup brush that applies makeup at sonic speeds up to 200 times per second plus it has a built-in protection against microbial contamination so the brush stays cleaner and  fresher longer.  I just put a few drops of my liquid foundation on the back of my hand and dab a little with the brush and apply it to my face. What you see in the mirror is natural looking airbrushed-like results every time.  They ad says it creates better coverage, too, so you use less makeup. For me I will say I use about the same amount.  But that’s ok.  I love the air-brushed look!

Tory’s eye serum deal  was the KNU Serum Eye Treatment.  It can be worn under and over the eye and wow does it smooth out the lines.  KNU (pronounced new) is long-lasting and is applied twice a day.  FYI – It’s a dark-colored serum which is due to the face that it is made from Reishi mushrooms!  The active ingredients are formulated with proven ancient remedies and botanical Super Hero extracts. Key ingredients include but are not limited to, skin smoothing Matrixyl™ 3000, firming Eyeless™, rejuvenating Retinol, youth preserving Reishi Mushroom & nourishing Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice.

It really brightens my under eye darkness, smoothes under my eye puffiness, firms loose skin and erasers fine lines around the eye area including the crow’s feet area.  Plus I still see the effects the next morning when I wake up.

Quite the ‘steal’ on both of the products I must say. So to my new find Michael Todd Skincare … I toast you with a Napa Valley Walt Pinot Noir! Cheers!