Go for the glow!

Ah November, you are here and creeped up on me way too quickly. I can’t believe I find myself holiday shopping already! I started buying gifts and goodies for my girls. Oh, how I will miss summer dearly but can’t say the beginning of these crisp days and nights excite me. Every year when the weather turns cold, I find myself craving hot baths, hot showers, and of course hot tea. Sure it all sounds fabulous and feels nice, but I’m trying to refrain myself from doing so (besides the tea part!).  Let me tell you why. The hot water may feel amazing when it’s cold outside, and a great way for warming you up from this chilly weather, but it is an absolute NIGHTMARE for drying out your body and scalp. I’ve mentioned before in one of my previous posts that I used to suffer from psoriasis. I have to work extra hard to keep myself hydrated to avoid any dryness that can trigger dry skin and psoriasis. Hot water can suck the hydration right out of our bodies, leaving us with dry skin and dandruff. If you absolutely love taking hot showers like me, then here is a few pointers to keep yourself hydrated this winter!

Exfoliate! Exfoliating helps the skin absorb products better, giving you a smoother appearance. The three most important things  you can do for your skin are clean it, moisturize it, and protect it from the sun. Exfoliation helps to deep cleanse your skin, which will help it retain more moisture and look fresher, younger and healthier. If exfoliating at home is just not enough then I definitely recommend having your skin polished at the spa! One of my favorite services to receive would definitely be microdermabrasion. I feel that it really improves skin texture and eliminates discoloration making your skin very even toned. Microdermabrasion also erases fine lines ! You want to make sure you go to a very reputable establishment before receiving this service. Your task should be performed by a licensed esthetician  or even a dermatologist. If you suffer from rosacea, I wouldn’t recommend getting Micro because it can leave your skin aggravated and cause redness. The micro process removes the very top layer of your skin, so some people’s skin will turn pink after for a short period of time. ( This doesn’t happen to me ) I like to get this done a couple days before a big event, leaving my skin polished and glowing. DO NOT go into the sun after getting Micro! Your skin will become easily irritated and more susceptible to sunburn. Regular removal of dead skin cells and surface impurities or exfoliation helps prevent excessive thickening of your skin which makes it look pasty and not fresh. EW! For my at home exfoliations I use Ole Hendricksen’s Walnut Complexion Scrub found at Sephora. I also LOVE Karuna’s exfoliating mask, which I use once a week. Use gentle circular strokes when exfoliating and don’t SCRUB or work on any area for too long because it will cause irritation. I exfoliate at home once a week. For your body you can use stronger scrubs and brushes. I use a loofah. I also love sugar scrubs. I exfoliate my body every time I shower and moisturize as soon as I get out so my whole body feels ultra soft. 

 Getting micro in this photo! I look like a mummy lol

Moisturize within minutes of stepping out of the shower. People think the best time to hydrate is after your skin is dried off….wrong. The best time to lather on facial moisturizers and body lotions is when your skin is still slightly damp. Your body absorbs the product better and in turn you end up using less product then you normally would!

 Simply Bee-utiful Lavender Honey lotion.. All natural.. feels so good !

-For shampoos stick to brands without sulfates. Sulfate is not good for your scalp and very drying. A LOT of shampoos have sulfate. I use Onesta shampoo & Nature’s Gate shampoo which are both natural and sulfate free. 

Argan Oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and sesame oil is my best kept secrets to smooth, soft skin…especially in the winter months. I mix a few drops into my body lotion, rub into my cuticles and layer on top of my moisturizer for added hydration.

    This oil is what I use to shave my legs 🙂 

There are many things to love about this time of year.. My birthday 😉 Thanksgiving, Christmas, crisp snowy mornings, holiday parties, festive lights, hot tea and cocoa, ice skating, jingle Ball, fireplaces with a room filled with lit candles, so much.  

 Jingle Ball’s After party last year with Redfoo

 My birthday last year.. dressed as batman lmao

 Ghetto fire place … haha we ran out of real fire wood

But unfortunately with these cold months ahead also brings on puffy eyes, headaches, runny noses, etc. So irritating to deal with, and takes a toll on your beauty routine as well. Make sure to take your vitamins, especially Vitamin C during these months, drink herbal teas, and keep warm. But here are some easy tips to help these beauty issues for the winter. 

 New tea cup 🙂

Puffy eyes? You need a soothing product to give them a quick boost. Bliss has some great eye treatments to help energize for an instant eye lift! Try fresh sliced cucumbers and frozen green tea bags for an at home remedy.  

Headache? Try an essential oil to dab on your temples, back of neck and under nose to inhale. I learned this at the spa. They usually do this before a massage. Also, eye pillows help! For an at home remedy drink apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water 😉
 
Dry, Raw nose?  Drink water! Also, Saline water is best natural remedy for dry nose. Saline nasal drops are available in pharmacy stores. Inhale steam, all you have to do is boil water in a bowl, once it has started to boil remove the vessel from the stove. Inhale the steam. The moisturizing effect of steam will help to relieve pain and dryness in the nose. It will also open the pores. 
 
Colds and sore throats? Sip on a cocktail of an immune-boosting squeezed lemon juice with warm water, ginger and raw honey (must be raw as this preserves healthful enzymes). Mix together one small tablespoon of raw honey with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. 
 
Increase your intake of healthy fats and oils this winter: avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseeds and oil, chia seeds, nuts, oily fish and fish oil!  Ok time to get ready for bed and catch up on my shows. Sorry for posting so late tonight, I had a surprise birthday dinner to attend for my favorite lady, Monica! Here are some photos below… Enjoy 🙂 
      
Another thank you card from one of my gorgeous brides 🙂
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Xo
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Eyes Need Special Care

Hello beauties! Thank you for reading 🙂 This week has been crazy, busy and so hectic! It feels amazing to wind down with an exfoliating facial on, and lay on my couch with my furry friends. This week was filled with bridal makeup… Weddings, trials, more weddings, & more trials. I’m now booking bridal makeup for 2013. I am happy to announce that I am soon to be, a featured vendor on The Knot! The knot is an exclusive website that contains everything you need to plan your wedding. Dresses, ideas, photos, vendors, inspirations, etc. I’m currently in the process of setting up my profile, but by next week it should be up. My profile will also be featured on Kleinfeld’s site, which carries the largest selection of beautiful, couture wedding dresses and gowns. I quickly posted Friday morning, of an incredible wedding video which I did makeup for. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do! The video was done beautifully by Moving Pictures. Definitely made me cry both times I watched it. Sniff, sniff. 
Here is flowers from Friday’s wedding, perfect for Fall and so pretty! And photo of Saturday’s bride, Lindsay. I love her! Also a photo of Erin, one of my past brides who just got her professional photos back!
          
 
I can finally say that I have completed all my weddings for October. I only have a few weddings booked for next month and the following. During the winter months is when I’m really recommending my future brides to set up trials, while I have the open slots and free time available. Because once spring comes, I’m back in full force busy for the wedding season. Seems that everyone is getting engaged! If you are, or know anyone that is please send them my way and have them check out my site if your in the tri-state area 🙂 When wedding season comes to an end, it allows me to pick up jobs doing makeup for runway shows, commercials, events, films and shoots. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up within the next two months, which I can’t wait to share with you when the time comes 🙂 Besides from bridal makeup, I’ve done my fair share of Halloween makeup this month and I’m finding a lot of my clients wanting completely different haircuts and styles for fall! It’s nice to change it up! I’m working on Halloween this year, so I had to celebrate my Halloween last night. I went to Studio square in Long Island city. Music was so good, view was gorgeous, the set up was done great and we got there early to enjoy all the drink specials. Through out the night it got busy but wasn’t too crowded where you can’t breath or move, thank god because I like my space, nothing worse than a room filled with hot, sweaty strangers in costumes dancing and rubbing against you. ugh! Music by Ed Polido & then Miss Jennifer. ❤  
 
                Follow me on Instagram @Alexgill ! 
 
I decided to be a kitten, since 1. I only had 10 minutes (literally!) to figure out a costume and throwing on old black leggings from Metropark a couple years back and a black tank top were KEY &  2. all my friends and coworkers have been calling me the “cat lady” since I rescued these adorable two little kittens that were living in my yard. I just HAD to take them in, it was getting so cold out and it’s been so rainy, they would crawl up into my car to stay warm from the heat in my engine. What kind of person would I be to deny these cute little creatures a warm, loving home, as they sat outside my windows looking in?! I had to keep them. When we took them to the vet, he said that there was quite and age difference (buddah just over 6 months and banks around 2-3 months) and also informed me that they were not liter mates, and told me how incredibly rare it is for these two stray kittens to find each other, and interact with each other becoming best friends. Once I took them for shots, and brought them inside I had to introduce them to my pup Sonny. He adores them. He’s so gentle with them and I’m pretty positive he thinks he’s the kitten’s mother, which is perfectly okay with me. 
 
              
 
Friday night, my good friend Monica and I attended a fundraising event at Marlene Weber Day Spa, in Poughkeepsie. We purchased a $25 ticket which was donated to Miles of Hope and included two complimentary services, along with raffles, food and cocktails. Is that an amazing deal, or what?! Even better, since it goes to such a great cause. Of course for one of my services, I booked a massage, hunching over all day doing makeup is obviously not the best posture for my back. For my second service, I booked an eyebrow grooming with my glamorous friend Stephanie (who has the best brows EVER may I add) If you need your brows waxed and groomed and you live near the Poughkeepsie area, I definitely recommend you going to her. We all know how important our brows are, which frame our faces! Remember thin, is NOT in anymore. This year full, thick brows is what it’s about. So try to grow those brows in and go get them shaped! I wish I took more photos of the event, but I was too busy indulging delicious food, complements of Rossi’s, Brasserie, La Puerta Azul and more. To make the night even better, I won a raffle for a wash, cut & blow-dry and waxing. Oh la la! I never win raffles so I was beyond excited. Marlene Weber Day Spa was also offering 20% off gift cards, and since my birthday is next month, why not treat myself to an early birthday gift?! I purchased an $80 service for $64. Good deal! Over all Beauty Night Out was a success, many donations made to Miles of Hope, I won a raffle, and got to enjoy time with my girlfriends while being pampered!
        Fall headband piece perfect for these cold months ahead!
 
 
So how do I cut & style multiple clients hair,  do makeup trials on my future brides, apply makeup to brides and their full bridal parities, wander off to NYC, attend beauty fundraising events, along with many meetings, dinner dates and errands in between without looking tired, even though I’m BEYOND EXHAUSTED? By taking special care of your eyes of course! 
 

The skin around your eyes is much thinner than the rest of your face so it requires special attention! Dark under-eye circles can make young people look old and tired. Womp womp. They can be treated very successfully with prescription topical creams and lasers. But I obviously prefer natural eye care. 

 

Puffiness: under eye puffiness can be caused by a variety of reasons including diet, allergies or extra fluid in your system. In the morning to treat puffiness, Splash your face with very cold water. Tap gently around your eyes to help move away fluid in eyes. gently press along your eyebrow and around your eye socket with your middle. Place a cold compress under your eyes for 15 minutes. I like to use cold green tea bags that i keep in the freezer over night or cold cucumber slices. Tannin, which is found in teabags, will lower the swelling and discoloration around the eyes. You need to place two teabags in the fridge overnight to chill them; in the morning, get them damp, and then lie down with them on your eyes. Keep your eyes closed and body still for 10 to 15 minutes each day – you’ll see results immediately 🙂 If you don’t have teabags, use an ice cube wrapped in a cloth. Never put ice directly onto the skin around your eye because it can cause blood vessels to burst, which causes more dark circles and discoloration.

 

Dark circles: The skin under the eyes is so thin that in some people the blood passing through the teeny tiny veins near the surface show through, giving that area a bluish or gray cast aka dark circles.  Heredity, fatigue and illness and make under eye circles dark as well. Sleep and concealer is the best options. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Beauty sleep is NO MYTH! If you want to look good, do everything you can to get a good night’s sleep. And perhaps invest in 100% silk pillowcases. Always use natural eye creams morning and night. 

 

Lush lashes: All your hair, grows in cycles. Eyelashes grow for approximately six months then falls out by a new lash. Never rub your eyes. Even when removing makeup. Be gentle. Before bed, treat your lashes with castor oil or other light oils to keep them clean and conditioned. A friend recommended I try a product called Lash Max which was a conditioner for your eye lashes making them grow longer and healthier. I tried it for about a month and loved it. 

 

Remember to always wear sunglasses in the sun. One of your best beauty tools. It also prevents crow’s feet and eye wrinkles! I like the eye cream by Hylunia and Lilly B. Lily B has a great natural eye cream I adore, which is infused with vitamin K and arnica that helps reduce any puffiness and under eye circles! Lily.B Skincare Multi-Action Rescue Ultra Eye Cream is a great eye cream for those looking to remedy tired, puffy eyes. It’s non-jar packaging makes it an eye cream I highly recommend to anyone!

 

My favorite under eye concealer is Erase Paste by benefit. which is a concentrated, creamy brightening concealer for eyes and face. Application is key. Use your finger and pat the product from the inside corner of the eye and out to give a smooth, natural coverage. You only need a little because too much concealer can actually bring focus to the under eye area. Always start with an eye cream first to hydrate the eye area before applying concealer so it goes on smoothly and evenly. For extreme under eye darkness, start with a concealer that is pink or peach in color. Pink concealers help to brighten a dark blue or purple under-eye, and peach colored concealers brighten a green or gray under-eye. Don’t use a beige or white concealer, It’s only going to make the darkness look gray.  Once you have applied the pink or peach, layer concealer that matches your skin tone on top. Dust the under-eye with a sheer, pale yellow powder to help to set the product and make sure it doesn’t crease. 

 

Okay, time to remove my facial mask off and get my blankets ready to sleep on the couch, with my tea! Everyone be safe during this hurricane sandy storm! Hopefully it doesn’t hit us too hard. Perfect opportunity to stay inside and enjoy “me” time! Xoxo 

Morning Rituals

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical” 
 
Hey dolls! Thank you for taking the time out to read my blog 🙂 I am genuinely thrilled about all the messages, emails and other feedback I’ve been receiving since I started blogging. I’m glad some of my home remedies has helped some of you! I have so many beauty secrets to share and it definitely keeps me motivated that your willing to continue to read what I have to say and try some of these remedies I have to offer at home. The best feeling for me, is making other people feel good about themselves. I LOVE when people feel good about themselves. When you look good, you feel good.I really stride to make other ladies feel beautiful on the outside, as well as the inside. This is probably why I love doing bridal makeup so much, because I really work to achieve the brides goal by making them look and feel  NATURALLY beautiful by bringing out their best features. Make sure to always look at the bright side of things, stay positive, count your blessings, avoid negative people, and never talk bad about others, some pointers that can help anyone feel good! With that being said, please feel free to ask me anything to do with my career field, I am very open to conversation and a pretty good listener 😉 
 
        I had two other brides but didn’t take photos, so I’ll have to wait until they send me the professional pics 😉 
 
This past weekend I was booked with bridal makeup, as I also am this coming weekend. One of my favorite eye shadows I use on a handful of brides is Sable by MAC. The only liner I use for my clients is MAC’s Black Track gel liner, which is applied using a small angled brush. MAC is one out of a million product lines I use. Walking into a store like Sephora is definitely relevant to a child walking into a giant toy store. I can say I use at least one product from every product line in that store. 
 
 
 
So I’ve received a lot of messages recently about my “morning routine”. After I wake up & wash my face in the morning, I have my morning ritual of herbal tea, lemon water and vitamins before breakfast. People ask me all the time exactly what vitamins I take, probably because I post photos constantly on instagram (@alexgill) of tea and vitamins in the morning lol ! I am not a health expert or a nutritionist, I just consume what the talkative, saleslady at Vitamin World is always selling me at the mall. Right now I’m talking a multi-vitamin, Vitamin C chewable vitamins (which taste so good, like sweet-tarts), Biotin, Omega & Folic acid. I take vitamin C because it is EXCELLENT for your immune system, and helps prevent and fight common colds. Vitamin C is a powerful and effective antioxidant that protects our bodies. I take biotin because it is great for your skin, nails and hair 🙂 Folic acid is mostly found in leafy green vegetables and is useful in fighting acne, it’s also great to take if your pregnant (I’m not preggo, but just thought I’d throw it out there for anyone who is) My doctor recommended Omega-3 Fish Oil. If I can exaggerate slightly for a quick minute, it’s probably the closest thing we have to a miracle pill. I think everyone should take these no matter what their diet is like. Omega-3 reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, lowers blood pressure, reduces joint stiffness, lowers cholesterol, prevents (or improves) alzheimers disease, depression, heart disease, arthritis, adhd, and SOOO MUCH MORE, I could go on, and on. I will add it that taking this, will better your skin and hair and it helps eczema. I also take raspberry key tone which is not necessarily a “vitamin” but a natural supplement made from red raspberries.  It’s considered a super fruit and burns fat, and excess calories. I first saw Raspberry Keytones on Dr. Oz and read up and did my research. I bought it and love it. It’s part of my every day routine. 
     
 
I drink green tea every morning. It seems scientists discover a new benefit from green tea every other week! I stock up on green tea! I drink Yogi’s Green Tea that I buy from Nature’s Pantry or Mother Earth. Green tea aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism, it also has amazing benefits for your skin. It is full of antioxidants that prevent skin cancer and protects against free radicals that age skin.  Green tea is not a cure but a preventive, so KEY is to start drinking it at an early age and drink it every day. Many believe it has antiaging benefits. I drink 8 cups of water daily and 2-4 cups of tea. They also make green tea supplements that also work well for the body. If you add lemon to your cup of green tea it increases it effectiveness. Second, green tea is an anti-inflammatory so an application of green tea soothes irritated skin or a mild sunburn. I don’t recommend drinking green tea after 6pm if you don’t want a good night sleep ( or any other products that contain caffeine this is why I only drink green tea in the morning ) I also use green tea bags to help my under eye circles! I place them in the freezer at night and place them on my eyelids in the morning, WAH LAH! Say bye to tired eyes 🙂
 
After my vitamins, and green tea, I chug a warm glass of water with lemon and a teaspoon of honey. I think honey is the key to beauty. Honey is great for your skin. Sometimes I’ll add it into a facial mask and apply it to my face, it really hydrates the skin. Honey soothes sore throats, calms coughs, boots immunity and is excellent for your digestive system. It also contains tons of enzymes and contains antioxidants. I buy my natural honey from a local farmers market. Always support and buy locally ! 
 
My last post I discussed products from Dr. Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skinfood, which I really am loving. My skin feels so fresh. I discussed how I used one of their masks. Then I read on their site that if you use
 1 tbsp of Dr Alkaitis Universal mask, then ADD 1 tbsp of raw organic honey, 1 tbsp of organic goat milk yogurt and 2 pumps of Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing treatment oil then your skin will be even more amazing! Mix it up and apply to your face using your fingertips, Allow yourself to relax and love your skin ❤ 
  
Phone shot of what my phone alarm clock looks like… Hello, #LifeOfAMakeupArtist
I decided I’m going to do a blog post every Wednesday and Sunday, and sometimes I’ll post fun weekly photos in between! Remember to take a moment every day to stop, breathe, and get back to the core of who you are and what you believe in.
Thanks for reading! Xo