Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Because my hands are rough and wrinkley, they are my least favorite feature. An ex-boyfriend used to call them 'Freddy Kreuger' fingers.” -Tyra Banks

I'm sure most of you don't have Freddy Kruger fingers, but according to Tyra, you can tell a woman's real age by her hands or neck.

Since hearing this (and the fact that its winter) I apply hand creme daily- sometimes up to 3-4 times a day! There is nothing worse than the feeling of dry hands! Not to mention you don't want to be compared to Freddy Kreuger- he has gross hands AND bad skin. Yikes!

Add applying hand creme to your daily morning and night routine. You will definitely notice a difference in your skin. Keep a creme in your desk at work or your purse and apply throughout the day when they feel dry, or after you've washed your hands- the winter can really be a burden on our poor hands.

For your neck- when you apply your daily moisturizer, spread some onto your neck and chest. You can even rub any extra onto your hands.

It's best to use non-scented lotions for your skin, because they can actually dry it out more. Some hand cremes have a light scent, which is fine- but body lotions with a strong scent (like perfume lotions, Victoria's Secret/Bath and Body Works)are not the best to use for dry hands.

My fav's:
Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream ($18). This is the best hand creme I've used. It makes your hands feel silky and soft. You can buy the "to-go" version- I keep one in my purse ($8). You can find this at Sephora.

Kiehl’s Unusually Rich But Not Greasy At All Hand Cream with SPF 10 ($15.50). This makes hands feel smooth and soft with no greasy feel! Find at Nordstrom or Kiehl's online store.

Nivea Hand Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream ($8). This is actually what Tyra recommends! I use this daily and keep one in my bathroom and desk at work. AND this is currently on sale at for $4.79!

Lastly- wear gloves! Exposing your hands to the bitter cold only makes dry hands extremely worse!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Thankfully, I've since learned about the dangers of sun exposure and now rely entirely on bronzer to fake the glow I crave." -Bobbi Brown

Back in September my dermatologist recommended I get a mole removed on my stomach that was worrying her. I complied and had the mole (that was once small and round- turned big and not so round) removed. The process does not hurt and only takes like 5 minutes, but the scar that was left will last forever.

I used to be a tan-a-holic. In fact I have pictures where I look like an oompa loompa from tanning bed overdose- scary! I was young and had the whole "that will never happen to me" mentality about skin cancer. The mole I had removed was NOT skin cancer, but it still scared me out of the tanning bed- that and my dermatologist told me, "You can still go to the tanning bed, but chances are you WILL get skin cancer," with a completely straight face.

I know, being pasty doesn't feel too appealing- but it's better than suffering from skin cancer later in life! Plus, look at Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, Dita Von Teese and Amanda Seyfried- they do not tan and they are still gorgeous!

What I do now is before an event or party that I am dressing up for, I go spray tanning. You can get a Mystic Tan done now at almost any tanning salon and some will even offer bundle packages- buy 2 get 1 free sort of thing.

A few tips on spray tanning:
*Shower before you go spray tanning and do not wear any makeup.
*Wear dark clothing to get it done- sometimes the spray can stain lighter clothes orange! I always wear black yoga pants, a black tank top and a dark zip-up hoodie- aka workout clothes.
*To take full advantage of the color- Wait as long as you can before taking a shower. I usually get it done at night, sleep and then run errands the next day before showering. This way the tan has completely soaked in and you will look much more tan than if you washed it off after 4 hours.
*There are two options- regular or bronze. Do the bronze in the highest level it offers. The regular does not work as well.

For some bronzing tips from the fabulous Bobbi Brown, go to:


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The danger of ACRYLIC NAILS......

Last week on the Dr. Oz Show a woman from the audience asked him about acrylic nails and how to fix the damage they did to her real nails. The camera zoomed in on her battered nails and they were so bad, Dr. Oz wouldn't touch them without gloves on- EMBARASSING! They were brittle, chipped, and yellow from fungus. I admit, I know it is bad to wear fake nails, but I would still wear them anyways...well, up until I saw this poor woman's nails on TV!

After seeing the extreme damage it can do (Dr. Oz told her that she would have to get them professionally treated by a dermatologist) I decided mine HAD to come off. Going to get them removed at the salon is fine, but I researched online and found a way to take them off at home that will save you the $15 it cost to have them removed! Plus, this way you can go at your own pace, so if your nails are sore you can take it slow. Sometimes the ladies at the salon work so fast they don't care if it hurts you.

You will need:
*Acetone nail polish remover
*Nail file
*Buffing file
*Wooden cuticle pushers

The process: This can be time consuming so make sure you have at least an hour of time to do this. I sat down and watched Law&Order:SVU to keep me entertained. Also, you will need to be in plain sight of a clock (the cable box is perfect for this!)

*Pour acetone into a medium glass bowl.
*Remove any polish on your nails and file your nail down.
*Cover your fingers with the Vaseline- middle of your finger to the tip (front and back), leaving your nail exposed. This will block the acetone from getting on your skin and drying it out.
*Place both hands in the acetone and let them sit for 10 minutes. The acrylic/gel will start to melt on your nails.
*After 10 minutes, take your hands out of the acetone and push off melted acrylic/gel with the wooden cuticle pusher.
*Repeat the last step 4-5 times until only a very thin layer is left on your nail. Leave the thin layer on your nail to keep it strong until it grows out- otherwise the nail will most likely break.
*Wash hands free of Vaseline.
*Use the buffer to smooth your nail of any bumps or remaining chunks of acrylic/gel.
*File your nail down to your desired length and apply a strengthning polish. Your nails are now free to breath and will thank you!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"When I die, they`ll probably auction off my false EYELASHES" -Bette Davis

Apparently, when Bette Davis passed away her fake eyelashes really were auctioned off and sold for $600!

I decided to write about mascara today because it is my FAVORITE makeup item and I just got a new one yesterday. I have tried TONS of mascaras- some great, some mediocre and some blah. I love mascara because it is one of the only things (other than concealer) that will instantly make your face look different.

While some people prefer brown mascara, I think everyone looks great in black. Its more intense so it opens your eyes and makes them sparkle. You can buy the drugstore brands of mascara- some of them work really well, however with those you will find they clump and flake more so than the designer brands will.

My FAV Mascara:
Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara ($22). I just got this yesterday and it still looks as amazing as it did when I applied it at 7am this morning- 12 1/2 hours later! It elongates the lashes and makes them really full. BUY THIS!!!!

Fresh Supernova Mascara ($25). I've blogged about this one before- it's one of my go-to products. It makes your eyelashes super long, full and dramatic- people have asked me if my eyelashes were fake while wearing this! WORTH the $25- buy at Sephora.

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes ($28). The applicator is a small ball with bristles so it is good for the lashes in the inner corner of your eyes and bottom lashes. It even comes with a how-to "Stroke Guide" in the box!

Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara ($19). This is similar to the DiorShow mascara- works just as well and is cheaper. This fattens up your lashes and is supposed to look like you have false lashes on. Layer this on top of another mascara- it can clump on bare lashes.

Waterproof: MAC Splashproof Lash ($13). I swear by this at the beach/pool. It's hard to find a good waterproof mascara that looks good and stays put. This does both.

Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara. It works and it makes your lashes long- but a big downside is it flakes, clumps and stings your eyes when you take it off. I use this as a last coat mascara- after I have applied another mascara, I finish my eyes off with just ONE coat of this. Anything more than one coat will clump and flake.

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mascara. It looks good and separates your eyelashes. If in a bind, I would buy this mascara in a drugstore.

Random fact: I thought of this today when browsing the Nordstrom website for sale items and I saw a horseshoe necklace. The lucky horseshoe should NEVER be worn with it's tips down and the arch up. Wear the horseshoe with the tips facing upwards so it catches the luck (a la picture below). Wearing the horseshoe with the tips down will cause the luck to fall off. Can you tell I'm superstitious? ;)

The CORRECT way to wear a horseshoe via Carrie Bradshaw:


Monday, January 25, 2010

It's all in the BRUSH

I personally have a ton of makeup brushes varying from Sephora, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, Essence of Beauty (aka CVS Brand) to E.L.F.

Brushes can be expensive, but there are some brands that have more affordable brushes- like Sephora brand (around $10-15) and E.L.F. ($1-3!!). I have both brands and they work very well. In fact, the E.L.F. brushes were given to me as a birthday gift from a co-worker (she gave me literally like 15 brushes). You do not need to spend mad $$ on makeup brushes- but it is worth it to splurge every now and then on brushes that really make a difference and will last a long time.

The brushes that are WORTH splurging on:
Eyeliner brush (for gel eyeliners): I SWEAR by Bobbi Brown's Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush ($25). It is great because it is easy to control and you can create a small line (for work) or a bigger line (by night) perfectly. It also makes the eyeliner glide on smoothly.

Concealer brushes: Smashbox Concealer Brush #4 ($26). It is worth it to have a nice concealer brush because let's face it: you'll use it everyday.

Be sure you properly care for your brushes (esp the $$$ ones!) by cleaning them often. It is very easy and they dry relatively quickly. This will also help to avoid break-outs or stye's because bacteria can build up in them.

How to clean brushes:
*Rinse brush with warm water until bristles are wet.
*Apply a antibacterial handsoap (Softsoap/Dial) to the palm of one of your hands.
*Brush the bristles in the palm of your hand, applying to the antibacterial soap and throughly brush in circles.
*After the brush is void of color (you will see some color build-up in your hand), rinse the brush under the warm water.
*Leave them on a hand towel to dry on your bathroom counter.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

“I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray EYEBROWS.” -Janette Barber

Sorry, beauties! I've been sick with a horrible cold/fever and am just now feeling normal enough to blog!

Eyebrows. Another thing that all of us hate. I swear, it's painful to be a woman! Let's face it: we gotta keep them shaped up. You can pluck- but you can only do it one hair at a time, so doing something like waxing or threading is much more useful of your time. Plus, it looks a lot cleaner than when you pluck. It's best to save the plucking for shape-up's in between waxing/threading.

Personally I prefer threading. It's painful, but your brows look great and you do not risk the hot wax ripping your skin. The last time I got my brows waxed (literally, the LAST time, I'll never do it again) I came home and had to ice my brows for a few hours and they were sore until the next day. The wax was way too hot and burned my skin. The skin around your eyes is delicate, so sticking to threading is a little better since it will not hurt your skin. Yes, they will be a little red, but once it's done you don't feel a thing.

I go threading every two months and in between I pluck the stray hairs. I pluck after I get out of the shower because yours pores are open and the hair doesn't hurt as badly to pluck! This is also when I pluck the random chin hair that grows like an inch before I ever see it- ugh SO embarassing!

Threading: Since it is getting very popular most malls have Threading kiosks and only charge around $10. If you want more privacy (threading at the mall brings unwanted onlookers) you can find a salon that offers it.

Waxing: Stay away from the small nail salons that offer waxing- that's where all the horror stories about waxing come from. Get them done where you get your hair cut/colored. The wax they use is most likely a better quality and some offer a sensitive skin wax in case you break out around your brows after. Getting them done professionally is a bit more expensive ($15-20), but your brows will be safe!

Does the wax/thread lady always asks you to do your "upper lip?" Yea, me too, but I always have too much pride to walk out of a salon or be in the mall with a red upper lip. I use a mini-razor to fix it at home. It's called a "Finishing Touch" and you can buy it at Bed Bath & Beyond or the As Seen on TV store. Trush me, it works!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Look Honey! I've got a run in my pantyhose...but I'm not wearing pantyhose!" -Pretty Woman

Dreaded pantyhose. They run, they're expensive, hard to clean and uncomfortable. I have a theory that pants were created for women so they would never have to wear pantyhose. Ok, maybe not, but they really can be a pain in the a$$.

Personally I almost NEVER wear pants. I live in skirts and dresses. I think I picked this up from my mom, because I almost never saw her in pants, so I think it just stuck. Don't get me wrong, pants can look great on women, but lets face it: Women look amazing in dresses or a great skirt. They look soft and feminine and I've heard that in the workplace, men respond better to women when they are in a dress or skirt.

In the spring wearing a skirt is easy- you can wear open toe shoes and not worry about being cold. In the winter, this is a completely different story. You have to wear closed toe shoes and are freezing! This is where tights come in: they look lovely with skirts/dresses! And, believe it or not: they keep you just as warm as a thin pair of pants will!

If you are wearing a solid color, opt for a fun design in the tights! If you are wearing a patterned outfit, opt for a solid shade (black ALWAYS works).

The "how-to's" of panty hose:
1. NEVER buy the control top hose. They are the epitome of uncomfortable and will cause a "muffin top" line where they sit on your waist. Plus, I personally don't think they do too much except make you unable to breathe or sit!

2. Hose always run small. Buy a size larger than you would normally wear. I do this all the time and it works! This makes them more comfortable on your waist and ensures they will come up high enough.

3. When putting them on: do not use your nails to pull them on, use your finger tips instead. Using your nails can rip your hose- I've done it a trillion times.

4. AVOID colored tights- if they are a color of the rainbow- leave them for a Halloween outfit.

5. Do NOT wash the hose in the machine. Hand wash them only in the sink with some detergent and let them hang in your shower to dry.

6. If they have a run- just toss them. Yea, clear nail polish kinda works, but would you wear a pair of pants to work if they had a hole? Didn't think so.


HUE Tights: I have like 6 pair of black tights and a bunch with fun designs. They are good quality and last awhile. You can find them at most department stores- 2 for $20.00.

Calvin Klein pantyhose: They are a little delicate, but look really nice on and have some pretty designs. You can find them in any department store.

To be FIERCE: Buy a pair with a black seam running up the back of the leg. Ohh la la.


Monday, January 18, 2010

"I want your everything as long as it's FREE" -Lady Gaga

This summer after turning 25(eek!) I had a meltdown and started to see signs of aging on my fore head and decided to spend $100 on anti-aging cremes. Now, I will not say what product it was because I do not want to alter anyone's impression of this line, but it RUINED my skin for a good 2 weeks. I mean bumps, HUGE pimples- I literally did not leave the house unless I had to. So, I finally returned it and luckily the counter did refund me my money- if they hadn't, I would've been blasting them on here, haha. Hey- good customer service makes a difference!

It's happened to all of us: the temptation to buy a new perfume or skincare item without ever trying it. The other day I contemplated buying a $36.00 skincare item from the Bobbi Brown website. I was tempted to buy this item because I knew she has outstanding make-up, but it also had great reviews. Now, my problem is I have sensitive skin and I never know if a product is going to make my skin break-out, like the one I bought this summer.

I asked one of my friends at work what she thought and she said, "Why don't you get a free sample first?" Yes, what a good idea, I thought. If I had done this from the beginning with the anti-aging creme, I would've seen the product was no good for me.

Moral is, you never know how a product will react with your skin or how a perfume is going to smell on you. Most counters will give you a free sample of a face creme or perfume for you to try out to see if you really like it before dropping a load of money on it.

Sephora will give you 3 FREE samples with any online purchase. In store, if you sign up for the Beauty Insider you can get one FREE sample with any purchase- but they subtract your beauty points in-store.

Nordstrom Make-Up counters will most of the time give you a free sample if you tell them you are interested in the product, but would like to try it first.

For perfumes: test it on your fore arm and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before deciding to buy it. Half the time they smell good at first, but after 15 minutes I get a headache because they are too strong.

You can usually find name-brand perfumes at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Filene's Basement, etc. Since you cannot test these because they are usually in plastic wrapping, make sure you have tried/owned it before. If not, they may not let you return it since it's been opened and you are out of $30!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Helping Hand

The disaster in Haiti is completely heartbreaking. I watched live coverage on NBC the other night and it made me want to cry. People are starving, dehydrated, can't find their loved ones and have no shelter.

In and effort to help I contacted the Red Cross yesterday and the best thing to do is donate money because they get it quicker than supplies, etc.

Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross- I did it yesterday and it is legit. The $10 will show up on your next phone bill. If you wish to donate more, you can do it directly at

If this happened to you, wouldn't you be thankful to people who helped support your country?

Beauty Blogging will return tomorrow, but for now, helping those in need is more important.


Friday, January 15, 2010

"I just want your extra time and your KISS" -Prince

So it's winter. This means two things: 1. It's freezing outside (unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere exotic)and 2. Your lips stay chapped constantly. It's pretty much un-avoidable, however there are a few things you can do to fight off winter's threat to your lips!

After you brush your teeth and clean off the paste on the toothbrush, wet it with warm water and rub it gently on your lips. This helps to take off any dead skin that's peeling if they are really dry and also helps avoid getting the "white gunk"- as I call it where your lips crease.

Apply a lip balm or ointment at night before you go to bed. It will help to condition your lips and it's good to put it on at night because some of them leave a weird color on your lips and don't look good under lip gloss. Plus, it will stay on longer since you will not be drinking, eating or talking.

Last, try to buy chap stick with SPF. The sun takes the moisture out of your lips, which will make them chapped.

My fav's:
Blistex DCT- Daily Conditioning Treatment. I have been using this since middle school! You can find it in any drugstore or supermarket and the tube lasts fairly long.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E, Swivel Stick. It does not have SPF, but it makes your lips feel great. I have one in my car, purse, jackets, make-up bag- you get the point. I love it. You can find it in drugstores in the lotion section near the cocoa butter.

ChapStick Moisturizer- the blue one. You can usually find this in a pack of 3- I buy them at Target in the check-out aisles for around $3.00 and keep them in my desk at work.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

"If you have it, you may as well wear it." -Heidi Klum

Last night Heidi Klum was a guest on The Jay Leno Show. Jay Leno was teasing her about the diamond rings she was wearing (they were huge and gorgeous) and asked her about her wedding band- which he said was, "buried under the diamond," from her engagement ring. Heidi Klum responded with, "Well if you have it, you may as well wear it." Believe it or not, my Grandmother has told me the same thing and I have told my friends this too.

A friend of mine was once telling me about how she feels bad about wearing her expensive jewelry in front of others because she does not want to look as if she is showing off. PSH. If you have a brilliant piece of jewelry, a stunning pair of shoes, or an impressive handbag- WEAR IT. What good is it doing you collecting dust in your closet or jewelry drawer? Using the excuse, "I'm afraid I'll lose it," or, "I don't want it to get dirty," is not good enough either. What is the point of having it if you don't wear it? Even if it is a gift or was passed down by a relative (how I own most of my stunning pieces), do not be afraid of looking too flashy- it's YOURS. Be proud of what you have and keep your head high. Plus, if you think it's stunning, others will too ;)

Moral of the story: Take Heidi's advice. She is just too marvelous to ignore.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Show Some Skin!

Today a friend at work was telling me about one of her beauty tricks and it reminded me of something I do as well, but never really considered it giving advice until I realized that she did it too!

When you take a shower, ALWAYS wash and condition your hair first. After you have washed your hair, then continue onto body wash and wash your face last. When you wash your hair last, the dirtiness you wash from it drips down your body and the shampoo/conditioner can leave unseen residue on your skin which can cause break-outs on your back. The same is true for your face- espically on your fore head.

After you shampoo/condition, rinse off and apply body wash with a loofah. The loofah will help scrub away dead skin cells and help polish your skin.

Lastly, wash your face in the shower with Cetaphil on a washcloth. Gently scrub your face in circular motions. Doing this will clean off any shampoo, conditioner or soap that may have gotten onto your face and avoid it from blocking your pores.

Some fav bodywashes:
Caress: Daily Silk- you can always find this in my shower! The smell is amazing and it lasts all day.

Neutrogena: Body Clear Body Wash- If you tend to break-out on your back/chest.

Victoria's Secret: Endless Romance Exhilarating Body Wash. Great scent and you can usually find them on sale in the store!

Loofah: you can find one at any drugstore. I saw some at Target the other day for $1.00!

Random fact:
RSVP is derived from the French saying, "répondez s'il vous plaît," which in translation means "please respond."

Moral of the random fact: Always RSVP, even if you cannot attend. I work in events, so when people don't RSVP I consider it very rude. It only takes 2 seconds to say you will attend/not attend and no one is "too busy" to do that. Especially for events where you will be eating- it is very hard to estimate how many pizza's to order if you have no head count! Always be sure to thank your friend for the invite. It will guarantee you are invited to the next event they host ;)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Wake up in the morning feelin' like P. Diddy" -Ke$ha

If you are anything like me, you definitely don't wake up feeling as fabulous as P. Diddy every morning- and in most cases are running late. Story of my life!

On mornings when you oversleep because you are in sleep heaven dreaming about winning the lotto (hey, I have this dream often!) or just can't get out of bed and keep hitting snooze (that extra 2 minutes makes a difference!) you don't have to skimp on make-up to try to make it out the door quicker.

If you are in a rush, take something out of your routine- maybe instead of shaving your legs in the shower or completely drying and straightening/curling your hair, save those extra minutes for makeup application. Who is honestly going to notice your hairy legs at work behind a pair of pantyhose/tights or pants? Put your damp hair into a bun with a cute clip and add some substance to your face- people notice that before anything else.

You don't have to completely "put your face on," but at least throw on some eye concealer, some mascara and a bright plumping lip gloss to make you look awake. Eye concealer is almost ALWAYS needed- especially when you may have had a few Martini's at HH (happy hour) the night before. Mascara makes your eyes "POP" without having to add anything else. Lip gloss will add the color to your face you need. If you are looking too dull, throw some blush on the apples of your cheeks and you are good to go! Best face forward.

Some fav's:
Amazing Cosmetics- "Amazing Concealer." The price is a little steep, but it will last you FOREVER. Trust me. A little bit goes a long way. Apply with a concealer brush and blend with your ring finger or a sponge.

Fresh Cosmetics: "Supernova" mascara in black. Best Mascara- EVER. Worth the $25 price tag.

BareEscentuals: "BUXOM" lip polish- Kanani, Trixie and Destiny are pretty colors.

Nars: "Orgasm" blush

On a side note: I watched Ke$ha on George Lopez: Live last night. Did you know she was the female voice in Flo Rida's "Right Round" song and she was not given a cent from any money he made for the song? She said she used to be so broke that she could barely afford to eat, yet she would hear the song with her voice on the radio, in the supermarket and blaring from people's cars. Now, with her single, "TikTok" she has the most downloaded single as a female artist- beating the fabulous Lady Gaga! Eat that, Flo Rida (like Florida, the state).

Moral of the story: Always give credit where credit is due. People will like you more ;)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Fresh Face cont'd....

Think of make-up as an art with your face the canvas. Before you start to paint, you start with a fresh piece of canvas. No one wants to paint over top of exsisting colors or sketches, so why would you want to do the same with your face?

It has taken me awhile to learn that washing and moisturizing your face is the most important thing to do. Washing your face is not only refreshing, but it clears away dead skin cells and clears your pores of bacteria (yuck!) that cause breakouts. Ok, maybe everyone already knew that- but it never hurts to hear it again to remind you to do it! After washing comes moisturizing. Would you want a cracked piece of canvas to paint? No. Without moisturizing cream, your face becomes dry and makeup will not go on smoothly- trust me, I have been a victim of dry face and it's not pretty. ALWAYS moisturize- it will help keep wrinkles away!

The face wash and moisturizer I SWEAR by is Cetaphil- and for the price, you will swear by it too! I was turned onto it by a dermatologist when I was 15 and going through acne and this cleared my face completely. I have been using it since- 10 years later! I have even read in magazines that Cameron Diaz is an avid user and it was just featured on Yahoo's Shine web page as the top drugstore product. You can find it in any drugstore, grocery store, or Wal-Mart. Wash and moisturize twice a day with Cetaphil and your skin will thank you!
Fav's: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser & Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15


Fresh face

I have decided to name this blog "Martini's & Makeup" due to my love of Martini's and my passion for Makeup. Comeon, who doesn't love a good martini and some great mascara?

Stay tuned for updates, I plan to make this BeautyBlog a point of reference for my friends, family and anyone looking for some down-to-earth advice on beauty, make-up products and fashion.