When opportunity knocks, open that door!

There is just something so incredibly optimistic about 2013. As we are approaching the end of February, I find myself asking a lot of questions about my goals, what I want to accomplish, what my intentions are and if I’m ready? I really feel that 2013 is full of possibilities. I believe you need to think about and even write down your goals every so often. Remind yourself  to always chase after success. I am absolutely ready to dive in & devote all of my time into my work, and crawl up that ladder in my career. I love what I do! I wouldn’t waste my time pursing it so much, if I didn’t love it. I feel that the world would be much happier if everyone found work in what they love doing. I fully respect all other artists, experts & beginners. Especially the artists that have paved the way before me! I treat people, the way I want to be treated, and I’ll never stop learning. You are constantly learning in this industry. If you think you know it all… Think again, and maybe this industry is not the right one for you. It takes a lot of time. & with time your going to fail.. ACCEPT THAT! Better yourself from your mistakes that’d you have and will make. I love assisting more experienced, professional artists that have so much to teach. It gives you the opportunity to see how a very experienced person handles all aspects of a shoot, show, or job. I am confident that my 2013 will be a more thoughtful, lovely, strict mindset on being positive and thinking positive, and full of possibilities….. When opportunity knocks, open that door! 

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Last Monday, I enjoyed prepping models for the Mark Mcnairy show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Lucky for me the temperatures warmed up after blizzard Nemo… Who name’s a blizzard Nemo? Haha! I couldn’t help but notice Nigel Barkers twitter update during my train ride to NYC: “White is in. Nemo is making a dramatic fashion statement.” Working for a fashion show, always seems to inspire me & I couldn’t help but admire all the handsome, french, “Edward Cullen” vampire look-a-likes surrounding me. HELLO!

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Our lead makeup artist was Victor Amos. Who is beyond fabulous and does amazing work. Be sure to check out his blog: Probeautyblog.com

I was so happy to work next to so many great artists including Tara Pagliara who is not only a friend, but an inspiration! The look Victor created was beautiful skin, with a strong highlight and light contour for both the men and women. For the women they used a deep cherry lip color (I believe a Tom Ford color, but can’t remember which shade).

As for the hair, the girls wore a low side, messy braid. And let’s not forget the fashion… A lot of fun prints and outerwear. I noticed a lot of oversized pockets and blazers. I read somewhere that Mark Mcnairy is collaborating a sneaker line with Adidas (which I didn’t know while I was at the show) but found interesting.

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Last week I also had pleasure working for a Cross Fit photo shoot, doing makeup for Love In Bloom. Love In Bloom is an organization that Vivan Photography started in memory of her step daughter, helping young girls make healthy life choices. This Cross Fit gym was filled with young, smart (strong) girls that were chosen to represent this years Love In Bloom scholarship fund. I was really happy to work with fellow artists, Jenny Greene-Magliano and Tara Pross-Pellegrino and of course my fabulous hair crew from Salon 52! The Poughkeepsie Journal covered the event, which was nice too.

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I’ve done a few more jobs, and making sure to keep staying busy. I’ll post photos of what I’ve been up to .. One of my DirecTV commercials I did makeup & grooming for should be airing during The Oscars .. So be on the lookout ! Starting with this image of Nastasia Scott (America’s Next Top Model cycle 19) taken by Lora Warnick.. Made it to the cover of a magazine! Hair by Anthony HollywoodStylist Terry & Styling by Dawn of New York. Second Image taken by Tess Johnson.

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I was recently awarded Best of 2013 (Makeup artist) voted from local brides of The Knot.. Picked up this magazine yesterday..

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And I will add that it is not easy eating healthy while running around, doing all this work. As much as I dread it at times, I can’t afford to get sick or feel unenergized. My favorite dinner meal is below. Bake chicken, then chop into tiny pieces, put chicken pieces in zip lock bag with hot sauce (no calories) .. Shake it up, then cook on skillet on high heat until the hot sauce caramelizes. To cool it down, I  dip it in Non-Fat greek yogurt ( I add a tiny bit of hot sauce, garlic and pepper ) which is a great alternative opposed to ranch dressing or bleu cheese. Bake sweet potatoes on the side. Nom Nom nom…

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-Lots of water, lemon water & Green tea!

-Protein!

-Spinach

-Sweet potatoes

-Hummus

-Chicken

-Non fat greek yogurt

-Egg whites

-Vitamins

-Almond Milk

-Ezekiel brand cereals & bread

Happy Monday followers! Have a great week… Looking forward to a lot of brides this week.. Bring it on xoxo

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Who runs the world?! GIRLS!

Beyonce once asked, “Who runs the world?”  To which we all unanimously responded from the dance floor “GIRLS!” With the big Beyonce concert last night, (and some football in between ) I was so excited to spend some time with my GIRLS! Let’s discuss how Miss Queen B herself, literally shut it downnnnnn! Like..the electricity and everything… You could definitely tell she was singing her not so little butt off live last night, full of such high energy! I was a tiny bit disappointed that her boo Jay Z didn’t come out and join her during the Crazy In Love performance. But my disappointment was completely gone when the reunion of Desitiny’s Child was on the big screen! The trio looked hot and sang their hit songs, Survivor, Bootylicious & Independent Woman… Nonetheless BeyonceBowl was nothing less of epic!!

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Beyonce wore a shimmery grey smokey eye with a bit of bronze to intensify her eyes. Intensify they did, almost making her eyes look demon-ish to me.. Sorry B! She obviously looked gorgeous & fierce no matter what (especially after having a baby!), but I wish there was a bit more color used in her eyes. Her skin? Flawless as always. Hair? Big and voluptuous. This Hair style is so easy to re create! Create a deep middle part, curl hair in vertical pattern using your curling iron or wand, then gently brush out the curls using a brush with soft bristles, turn your head upside down, shake a bit, add some soft hair spray and wah lah ! Her outfit? Leather outfit with knee socks looking like a modern day version of Xena, Warrior Princess.. Yes please!

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I was so happy I got to spend some time with my ladies, but let’s admit… any big event like “BeyonceBowl” (super bowl) can be a huge calorie FEST and compare to holidays such as Thanksgiving. Ummm.. No thanks! I’m absolutely sticking that New Years Resolution I made and obtaining a healthy life style. Luckily, my friends are on the same page as me, and hosted a fabulous, healthy party. Marissa & Joe prepared:

-Sweet Potato fries with greek siracha

-Salsa

-Black bean dip

-Fresh guacamole

-Baked hot chicken wings (hot sauce on the side)

-Chocolate protein Balls

We passed on the beer (I’m not a beer drinker anyway) and sipped on our tea and water bottles instead. If you did binge on beer, chips and wings like most party go-ers did last night, it’s okay! Nothing a little extra gym time, detox tea, and lemon water can’t fix! I’m following a Fab Ab February challenge I found via Instagram.

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New Vitamin I’m trying out:

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I’m going to post a few recent photos I received this week of recent work I’ve been up to. Lots of bridal trials this week and photo shoots scheduled! Can’t wait to post about it 🙂 Let’s not forget NYFW is upon us….you can find me backstage with my handy dandy brushes and pallets! For now, Happy Monday.. Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

Makeup & Hair for friend & personal client:

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Before & After on a bride’s mother.. wanted a very natural look, so I kept it simple but still enhanced her natural beauty!

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ME & MY GIRLS:

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XOXO,

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Hylunia

Hi beauties! 2 years ago I was introduced to an amazing, natural, organic skin care line called Hylunia. If you know me personally, then you definitely have heard me RAVE about this line or have seen my posts about Hylunia on my facebook page. When I was introduced to Hylunia, I was working at a salon nearby and they had just hired a esthetician named Lillian. Lillian & myself bonded quickly. She reminds me of my grandmothers, very loving, welcoming and sweet. She’s been in the industry for years and had used Hylunia for over a decade. I was always skeptical of facials and messing with my skin because my skin tends to be sensitive & I can break out easily. After researching and looking over reviews on this product line I was finally convinced I needed a facial from her & it probably was the best decision I’ve made for my skin. The products are so light weight and smooth. My skin feels so fresh and radiant after using Hylunia. My facials from Lillian went from non existent to getting a facial once every two weeks. OFFICIALLY ADDICTED! Unfortunately as time went on, Lillian moved and I started working at a different salon. I miss her amazing facials but will be forever hooked on Hylunia thanks to her!

I use Beyond Complex C on my face every morning & night after cleansing. After 2 weeks using this product, I can tell you that you WILL notice a difference in your skin. This light-weight orange lotion packed with Vitamin C is a rejuvenating bio-active serum that evens out your skin tone and minimizes fine lines & wrinkles. The texture of your skin WILL improve! You only need a tiny amount. A little bit of this product goes a long way. Beyond Complex C is organic, vegan and cruelty-free. No matter what skin care line I’m using I mix the Beyond C in it as well. I’m truly addicted.

Hylunia’s anti-oxidant vitamin mask is also one of my favorites. Sometimes I wear it to bed and wake up with such soft, smooth skin. I use the The Colloidal Silver spray containing Lavendar Floral Water every day after exercising, yoga, if I’m hot, during work, after work, (lol) also addicted.. It eats away bacteria and is so refreshing and cooling! The Colloidal Silver has healing properties and is PERFECT for all skin types (yes, even sensitive!) It helps keep skin soft, clean and refreshed. I love the day lotion, keep your face feeling very moisturized and contains SPF which is a must! The Night Serum is the best night treatment I’ve ever tried on my skin.

   

I’m proud to say I got most of my friends equally addicted to Hylunia!  & hopefully after reading this post some of you will try it out ! It can be pricey for the whole line but I promise it’s worth it.. And remember a little bit of product can go a long way. After reaching out, Hylunia was even kind enough to donate samples to me for my blog launch party! Thank you Hylunia for being the BEST!!!

  Here’s a photo after I had a hylunia facial, no redness or irritation !

Do you plan on trying hylunia products? Have you ever tried it? What are your opinions & thoughts? So many exciting things in the works, my next post will be on Sunday ! Xo

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

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