Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How To Choose Your Perfect Shade Of Blonde

Taylor Swift Vogue 2016

I love love love Taylor Swift's new blonde hair.
It's fresh, it's modern, it brightens her up - it's just fantastic! And it got me thinking, how do you find your perfect shade of blonde?

Summer and blonde go together like gin and tonic. They are a perfect pairing. But only if you get the right shade of blonde for your complexion.
Ever wondered how to get the absolutely perfect shade of blonde for your skin tone? Or maybe you tried blonde and it looked awful?

One of my good friends, Heather Strange,  is a celebrity color specialist who worked forever on Rodeo Drive perfecting some of the most most famous blondes in America, so I figured she would be a good person to ask how to choose your perfect shade of blonde...

When you are choosing a blonde the most important thing to remember is that your shade of blonde has to compliment and set off your complexion. The wrong shade of blonde can wash you out and make you look awful, so we are going to break it down by skin tone.

Pale Skin


Pale skin girls can pull off platinum shades and shades close to their skin tone, but need to be careful not to lose their facial features or look washed out. If you are going pale think about balancing it out with a strong eye makeup or a bold lip. 
OR go with a warmer, more sandy toned blonde to brighten you up. Think about the shade of butter or the inside of a banana peel.

Pink Skin Tone

Pink toned girls look great is ashy blondes and beige blondes. The blue and green undertones help balance out the rosiness in the skin.

Yellow Skin


If your skin has a yellow undertone your best bet is to go with a neutral blonde, not too ashy and not too warm.

Darker Skin


Darker skin tones need to stick with darker blonde shades. This not only keeps the maintenance down but also keeps the hair looking more natural.


Think about honey blondes and butterscotch blondes. Color Melting is fabulous for darker tones.

Summer Blonde Hacks

Heather also gave me a couple of fabulous hacks for summer blondes.

1. Even when doing darker or rooty shades she pops a few highlights on the hairline to keep her clients looking bright. Lightening up around the face is always a good idea.

2. No matter what shade you are you want to keep a blinding shampoo on hand to keep brassy-ness at bay. The summer sun can bring out those unwanted orangey tones, but using a blinding shampoo 3 or 4 times per month will keep your color true.
Try SachaJuan Silver Shampoo from Sweden, available online at Space NK

Silver Shampoo, , large
You can find Heather on Facebook at Scottsdale Colorist
See some of her blondes on Instagram @ScottsdaleColorist
Or go see her yourself in Scottsdale at Carolyne's Salon

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Hot New Blondes For Summer

Are you thinking about upping your blonde game for summer?

Blonde and summer go together like gin and tonic - they are a perfect pairing. 
But not just any old blonde.
You are a modern girl, you love fashion and beauty, and you want to be sporting the blonde du jour, so I got the downlow for you.

One of the super cool things about being a working makeup artist is having access to some of the leaders in fashion. So when I wanted to find out about the most fashionable blondes for summer 2016 I asked Rodeo Drive celebrity color specialist Heather Strange (who now takes clients in Scottsdale) what the 4 biggest trends are this season for the super chic blonde.

Here is what she told me.

1. Color Melting


This is the cooler, sleeker sister to ombre. It's more subtle, with a shade in between your root color and your ends color, with the shades blended seamlessly which makes it look more natural.


2. Rooted Blondes


This is the best option for girls with naturally darker shades. You won't have to run to the salon every 3 or 4 weeks to get a touch up, and it has a great subtle sexiness to it.
this works on bother paler and warmer shades.

Add caption

3. Nude Hair.


This is a very new and sultry color for 2016.
Although it's "new" it actually takes hair color back to shades found more naturally in the hair. And it suits pretty much everyone!

4. Pastels.


Fun, flirty pastels are all the rage for summer!
You can cut loose, choose something fresh and fun and not have to be married to it forever, because they usually fade quite quickly, especially if you are getting some beach time or pool time this summer.


If you want to have Heather color your hair (she is the best!) you can reach her at Carolyne's Salon in Scottsdale.
Find Heather on Facebook at Colorist

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm Crazy About These New Highlighters

So this was my Sunday morning. Finally a break from working incessantly, finally a Sunday off. 


An espresso, some pink roses, finally getting a chance to look through W magazine, and playing with these 2 new makeup products I got from Memebox with my most recent order.

As much as I obsess over their Korean skin care products I have never ventured into the other side of K-Beauty, the makeup products.


If I was to be completely honest I would tell you that I bought the panda bear thing as a gift for my friend's daughter.
Because let's face it, it looks like something a super young teen would like, right? And it cost $10.
It's called the Panda's Dream Brightening Eye Base.

So I decided to open it, then intrigued at the white, glowing product inside, I decided to try it because once again, let's face it, how could a white, glowy product do anything functional on the face?

But guess what? It's brilliant. As in seriously brilliant. Not "pretty good for $10"  kind of brilliant, but "are you kidding me???" kind of brilliant.

It is an under eye product designed to pop a fresh light out from the under eye area. It softens fine lines and wrinkles, depuffs and soothes the under eye area, somehow diminishes dark circles and bags under the eyes - it's pretty amazing! I totally don't get it - it is packaged for 12 year olds, costs nothing, and delivers a multi layered, hard core punch like you cannot even imagine! 
This is a product for women of all ages.

I have worn it every day this week in lieu of concealer. I could still do with a little color corrector if I felt so inclined, but realistically the way it lightens, brightens and awakens the under eye I just think why bother?
On a shoot I would lay a color corrector above or below it, but for everyday (and night) it is just fantastic! Touche Eclat style fantastic.

I have also been looking for a highlighting product that isn't too shimmery or glittery. Most highlighters have particles that are too big and cause a mad flickering or shimmering on the skin that makes it look like you've highlighted and don't have a clue what you're doing.
I seem to universally hate 95% of them, especially the ones touted by Instagram stars.

Side Note

I teach a pro makeup artistry program and constantly get into battle with students who think that because a "makeup enthusiast" on IG has 2 million followers and endorses a highlighter or bronzer, they must be right.  No, they quite possibly know that product is junk, but they make huge dollars from affiliate marketing with that brand, so they will say whatever it takes to sell the products and make the commissions. That's how they make money.
I have affiliate marketing on this blog, but only talk about products I actually use, which is why you see the same products talked about over and over. 
I talk about what I use. And Memebox has never sent me free product or tried to have me shill products for them.

Anyway, I decided to try the I'm Multi Stick ST01 Luster Light highlighter out - it's only $15 so no big deal if I didn't like it. And again this product too is fabulous!


It gives you a very controllable highlight that glows from within rather than sparkles from the surface. In fact it has no sparkles at all. With this product you don't look like you've been at Sephora trying on highlighters, you just look like your skin glows, picks up the light and looks absolutely radiant. Even older skin. Again they are probably only marketing this to 20 somethings and younger, but this is fabulous for all skins, even mature skin.

I am ordering another for my pro kit as well as another of the panda bears (before they run out). I'm also going to try the I'm Multi Stick ST20 Luster Bronzer  with my next order too. 
Because it only costs $15 so there's not exactly a lot to lose! And if it's as good as everything else I've tried from Memebox its going to be another winner.


I'm obsessed with cream blushes, and I read recently on another blog that I'm Cream Blush is really good so I'm going to add that in as well.


If you want to try any of these products you can find the here on
Memebox offers free shipping over $35, so if you need to add a couple of dollars to your order to reach $35, try adding in a sheet mask or two. Just look up your skin concern - acne, blackheads, too much oil, dry skin - whatever it is, and find the mask they have for that concern. They are only ever a couple of dollars, are brilliant, and can put you into free shipping!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas From Tatcha

Japanese luxury skin care brand Tatcha makes the perfect Mother's Day gift sets!


Every year I treat myself to a Tatcha gift set for Mother's day, and then that gift set becomes my travel skin care for the summer.

No one knows how to make a gift set feel special quite like Tatcha does. From the exquisite packaging to the stories about each product, printed on vellum, to the beautiful products themselves, every detail is taken into consideration, and everything about these gift sets is honed to perfection.

For me opening my Tatcha set on Mother's Day is a ritual.
I take my time and luxuriate in each step of opening the box, opening the Tatcha seal on their signature purple tissue paper and then unwrapping each item inside. It's fabulous.

This year the Tatcha Mother's Day Gift Set is a beauty set designed to pamper mom from top to toe on her special day.


The Set contains: Indigo Soothing Silk Handcream, and Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter. Indigo is famous for it's healing and soothing properties. (The ancient samurai would wear a layer of cotton soaked in indigo next to their skin under their uniforms, so that if they were cut with a sword in battle the indigo would immediately initiate the healing process.)
Also included in the set are the Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask, which is a very luxurious sheet mask that makes your skin glow from within, and a travel sized Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream, Tatcha's world famous antioxidant rich deep moisturizing cream. The set is rounded out with a Japanese Kimono stationery set.

Tatcha makes several different gift sets, check them out here

If you want to pad your gift a little with some extra products, or if you want to take advantage of the free shipping and try some Tatcha products for yourself either in full size or travel size, my favorites are:

Luminous dewy Skin Mist

Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist

Gold Camellia Beauty Oil  ( my favorite dry finish facial oil!)


Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum - the holy grail of serums.

Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum

If you don't spoil your mother with this gorgeous Limited Edition gift set, buy it for yourself! After all gorgeous, you deserve to be spoilt...

Tatcha Plump and Protect Set

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Modern Moms Want More Than Flowers

Actually I didn't think that one up. It was the subject line in an email I got from Best Buy, but I thought it was pretty cool.


With Mother's Day right around the corner it makes sense to see what we can order online for mom.
This is a combination of their ideas and mine, with a link to the Best Buy Mother's Day Deal at the bottom of the post.

1. A Smart Watch.


The Apple 38mm Sport Watch in a rose gold aluminum case with a lavender band is super chic, don't you think? One of my makeup assistants has one very similar and it looks gorgeous! This one is only $299

2. An iPad Mini

An iPad Mini is genius because it slips easily into your handbag and doesn't take up any space. They are perfect to travel with, whether it's on a plane or sitting in a car outside school.

3. Mophie Power Reserve 1x Portable Charger


The Mophie Power Reserve Portable Charger in rose gold and white is lightweight and small, and for Mother's Day is on sale at $19.99 (down from $34). I always have a portable charger in my handbag because I am always burning through my iPhone battery.

4. iRobot Roomba


I would soooo love an iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot! I can't imagine coming home after a long shoot to a perfectly vacuumed house! 

5. The Fitbit Alta

I'm obsessed with my Fitbit Alta! It is slim enough that it becomes part of the accessory stack on your wrist rather than being the sole focus of your wrist. I'm going to order a pink leather strap for mine too.

Best Buy has loads of Mother's day deals, from discounted Mac Books, cameras, headphones, accessories, TV's - you name it. There's free shipping too. See their Mother's Day deals here

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Get Kule for Spring!


I absolutely love navy and white stripes for spring.
And summer.

The Kule Modern T

There's something very Parisienne chic about a navy and white striped T.
The Kule Classic T

Short sleeve or long sleeve, paired with jeans, white linen pants, a white skirt or a pair of cut offs, a navy and white striped T is just super fresh and super cool.


Check out the most fashionable, style-savvy girl ever, Kate Moss, in Paris wearing her navy and white striped T. 
It's perfection! Kate never makes a fashion mis-step.

I have several navy and white T's already,  but I'm always looking for more, always looking for that perfect cut and that perfect cotton.

While searching I stumbled on this brilliant website,
At first I thought it was a fun play on cool, but in the "The Story" section of the website I found that the designer's name is Nikki Kule. Her classic Parisian vibe is blended with her years working in Italy and layered with her years working in New York. And it's super cool!
I love The Modern, the short sleeved T pictured above, and the long sleeve version, The Classic. On the website there are other options too, inspired by fashion icons Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, Sofia Coppola and Alexa Chung.


Kule also has accessories. I love the Brady Two Stripe Resin Bangle, especially with the short sleeved T. 
The pair would make a fabulous Mother's Day gift too. (In my case from me, to me! )

From the top image try pairing a Kule navy and white striped T shirt with a Nic And Zoe Cool Breeze Wide Leg White Linen Pant or a Nic And Zoe white linen Summer Fling Skirt. Super stylish with a Rag and Bone Cutoff Denim Short and a Sam Edelman Camilla Wedge, the perfect finishing touch is a classic true red lip like Charlotte Tilbury
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Korean Skin Care - Where Do You Begin??

I've been getting tons of messages from readers telling me that they want to try Korean skin care, and that they go on the Memebox website but get totally overwhelmed and don't know where to begin.
I hear you!
That's how it was for me too. For me the foray into KBeauty didn't begin with a box of freebies from any company, it started with me stumbling upon the Memebox website by chance, and then trying to figure out what to buy and where to start.

I didn't start with a 10 step regimen either - I just added in bits and pieces along the way. 
I'm not an easy sell with skin care, because if I don't see a near immediate difference to my skin then I don't want your product. And that's where Korean skin care got me. The difference to my skin has been amazing. My skin has never, ever looked better! 
I sometimes take a side-step over to Tatcha for some high end luxury Japanese skin care, but for the most part it's a little too pricey for me to use on a consistent basis. My everyday skin care game is K Beauty.

So for those of you who are as confused as I was in the beginning, here is a mini guide to where to start on the Memebox website, or in trying Korean skin care for the first time.

My most recent order from Memebox

Start by identifying your skin care concern. Is your skin oily or dry? Do you have breakouts and blackheads? Are you worried about aging?
When you click the skincare tab on the Memebox site it will offer you those options, so you can dive into products specifically to meet your skincare needs.

Korean skin care technology is vastly superior to the skin care technology here, so the products get very very specific.

Try An Essence


One place to start is by adding in an Essence. Essence is comparable to a serum, targeting specific skin care concerns, but it is much more concentrated and is delivered in a lighter, non greasy formula.
They have an Essence for every skin concern under the sun.
I start my day by rinsing or cleansing my skin, (normally just rinsing, if we are going to be completely honest). I follow that with a skin mist, which softens the skin and has some essence in it.
I have been trying out a different mist each time, and have loved them all. My latest order has the Scinic Aqua EX Jelly Essence Water. I use it after cleaning at night and after rinsing in the morning. Sometimes if my skin is feeling tired I will spritz it on during the day (it's a great product to keep in your desk drawer!) to revive you and make you look fresh again.

I layer my Essences. I normally follow the mist with another formula, in the mornings I use a Vitamin C based Essence so that I can maximize on the antioxidant, skin protecting benefits of Vitamin C, or maybe I go for something lightening and brightening. In the evening I use an Essence that is more about anti aging and extra hydration.
These products are not at all expensive. The It's Skin Essences that I have been using (pictured here) cost between $10 and $13 each. I have yet to see a $100 product here that gives the same kind of result!
Pictured above are It's Skin YE Effector Essence, It's Skin VC Effector Essence and Scinic Aqua Jelly Essence Water.
If any of them are out of stock I just get another one that deals with my specific skin concerns.

Add An Ampoule


In the Korean layering system an Ampoule is used after an essence. Ampoules are even more concentrated powerhouses that get the ingredients penetrating even deeper into the skin. Again you can get really specific to your own skin concerns, and layer things. For example if you feel like your skin is dehydrated and dull you can use an essence for lightening and brightening and an Ampoule for extra moisture.
Or maybe your concerns are blackheads and extra oil and dark spots. All you need to do is layer your concerns one over the next. I get my biggest concern in Ampoule form and the others in Essence.
I try a new Ampoule each time, and each time they have been fabulous. With this order I chose the Scinic Propolis Ampoule, because it's full of antioxidants and nutrients. And because I liked the bottle.

Add A Sleeping Pack


This one took me a while to get on board with, largely because the crazy names they use don't translate so well (Snail Slime and  Donkey Milk Yogurt for starters!) and in the description it sounded like a pillow case ruining step. 
But I'm so glad I did add in sleeping packs. What it is is a final step in the night time skin routine. After you have layered on your mist, your essence, your Ampoule and your emulsion (a lightweight but power packed moisturizer) you seal everything in with a sleeping pack.


The ones I have tried have a slightly gel like texture, but disappear into the skin, creating a fabulous barrier. None of it winds up on your pillowcase!

Try A Peel

I am not a fan of exfoliating scrubs. I always think they scratch up the baby skin underneath and keep you in a perpetual state of rough skin. I prefer to do enzyme peels that gently lift away the dead skin. I dont like peels that feel like fire ants are crawling over your face and I don't want to look like I'm shedding skin either. 
They have peels for every possible skin concern, from oily skin to blackheads, to dry skin, to dull skin - you name it!
I've been using this SNP Peel every other week. It makes my skin look amazing (and feel super fresh), but there is no stinging involved and no flaking. It takes about 10 minutes, and I follow it with a sheet mask.

Add A Sheet Mask


I'm pretty obsessed with these! They are just so very convenient and your skin loves you for it. And they are perfect for travel! After a long flight a sheet mask restores your skin and makes you feel lovely.
My Sunday night routine when I'm not working is to use the peel if it's the right week, and follow it with a sheet mask. I buy several different ones with each order I place, because they only cost a couple of dollars each. Sometimes I want brightening, or tightening, or collagen or anti aging - I often buy them just because I like the look of the package! Regardless, I always see a big difference to my skin.
Check out all the different sheet masks they offer here

If you want to try K Beauty, but are unsure of where to start, or if you don't want to do a 10 step skin care routine, but still want to find out what all the hype is about, try adding in any one of these items, or more, to you daily skin regimen. You will be blown away by the results!
I haven't looked at the K Beauty items available at Sephora, so don't know their pricing, but one of the great things about Korean skin care is that it is so ridiculously affordable! My last entire order from Memebox, pictured at the beginning of this post, only cost $100, came with free shipping, and because it ships out of California it arrived in 3 days!

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