MIAMI 2012

December is a hard partying month. Especially this December… Isn’t the world “supposedly ending” in 2 weeks? Who makes these ridiculous accusations up? But, “Bob” forbid it is, what better way to kick this December off than a four day weekend in the sun? Not to mention, who doesn’t love a little bit of warmth and sunshine during the winter holidays?! I have completed well over 60 weddings this season, and a ton of makeup jobs in between so I NEEDED this weekend get-a-way. And Miami is the perfect place for a mini vacation.  I do not claim to be the best packer, but I must say that I have made strides in overcoming the need to pack my entire closet room, into my luggage for a weekend trip. When it comes to figuring out what makeup and skin care products to pack, I STRESS! Yeah, packing clothes, bikinis and shoes are easy. But packing makeup and beauty supplies is definitely more daunting. I had to pack light. So what are my travel beauty essentials?

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– Harney & Sons Green Tea & a tiny jar of honey

-BLISS oil free makeup remover

-Secret deodorant

-Betsey Johnson shades

-MAC blacktrack gel liner

-Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with 20 spf

-Benefit Erase paste

-Benefit Bad Gal lash

-Benefit Highbeam

-NARS blush in Orgasm

-Smashbox Photo OP

-Model in a Bottle setting spray

-Somme Institute travel pack 5 step cleansing routine

-Visine

-Lily B eye cream and travel sized moisturizer

-Hand Sanitizer

-Simply Bee~utiful lip palm

-Aura Cacia lavender oil

-Sample sized Hylunia Beyond C

-NARS mini primer

-Caudalie spray

-Kiss my face sunscreen

-Redken Powder refresh

We booked our trip during the busiest weekend of the year in Miami, thanks to the Art Basel. The Art Basel features thousands of artists with hoards of collections and exhibits. You can only imagine how many people flew in from all over the world to attend this event. In the week leading up to the Art Basel, I had to mentally and physically prepare. An oxygen facial at La Tua bella beauty bar was a necessity the night before my Miami arrival, along with lash extensions from Phyliss and a full body massage to prep myself for the plane ride. Yes its only a 2 1/2 hour flight but come on! Being a makeup artist I’m hunching over enough as it is, sitting in place for too long kills my back and butt ! So I needed the knots OUT! Going to Miami, also meant going to an insanely nice hotel that overlooks the water. We chose Fountaine Bleau on Collins Rd. Rates for Miami this past weekend were not favorable since the Art Basel was taking place, so we figured we might as well book a luxurious room way up high in the Miami Skyline making the night more than worth while and convenient, considering we were attending LIV (nightclub) also in our hotel. This was a gorgeous hotel and I’d absolutely recommend and would love to stay here again. Oh Miami, how I’ve missed you so! Sunny skies and an incredibly breathtaking view of the ocean from my friend’s balcony where we stayed the remainder of our visit.

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Thank you Zack and Rob for welcoming me and my girlfriend Alyse in their dreamy penthouse. Zack is a “Zack-of-all-trades” haha. But really. He is. He is too much fun, whether it was going out and partying or just lounging around, I’m so happy I got to bond with him and his friend/co-worker Cesar. I can’t wait to visit and spend more time with them. Rob Scheppy, the other roomie was nothing less than fabulous. First impression, he had amazing shoes. Loved him from the start. He had us peeing ourselves laughing later the next night while sitting on the balcony as he shared his hilarious stories. These guys have incredible energy that I just loved to be around. Taking you back through a bit of my Miami holiday vacation, my time was split between laying on the beach, hanging out the crew from my favorite show on E! I’ll let you do the guessing 😉 , eating at my buddy Flavio’s AMAZING restaurant La Lupa di Roma (please eat there if you haven’t), a performance by Jay Z, jungle dancing to house music at some of the hottest clubs, shopping was a must, hanging out with my friend Skeery Jones and his co-workers from Z-100, meeting new friends and lounging around enjoying the weather. I’d call it a total success. With cute boutiques and shops spread out all over, shopping is a fabulous way to discover some of Miami. Miami is literally a party every day. It’s also a city that always gets my creative juices flowing. So much beauty, fashion, and flamboyance gets my mind thinking of new inspirations and ideas! I created two short videos from our trip. All content was recorded with my iPhone. I wish I recorded so much more! But check them out!!! ENJOY!

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Do you instagram? If you do follow us! Check out our talents 😉

MY instagram: @Alexgill

ALYS instagram: @alysecamara

ZACKS instagram: @Zackelcott

ROBS instagram: @robscheppy

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Intraceuticals Oxygen Infused Facial

Hi dolls! What an exciting week! Bridal trials, special fx makeup, and spa treatments! My friend Jason from this past season of Face Off called me over to watch him create a new fx character. I’ve been meaning to go to his workshop and learn for a while now, but with both our busy schedules, it seemed impossible. It was so fun! He’s so talented. 
  
 
Ok ladies…Lets talk beauty! Spa treatments, for most of us, are something of a treat. Anniversaries, Christmas presents, birthday surprises…. —a girls favorite gift. I take my spa days seriously, since most treatments are pricey, I need good technicians that are educated and can perform amazing services. Which is why, my beauties, I can’t wait to tell you about my Oxygen Infused facial at La Tua Bella Beauty bar in Rhinebeck, NY.
Luckily for me, I was invited for a complementary 2 hour infusion service. *Perks of a beauty blogger. I feel like this is exactly what I needed. I am a work-a-holic! Even when I’m not working at the salon or beautifying my clients, I’m still working, whether it’s networking, advertising, prepping for a shoot, cleaning my brushes, emailing back and forth with clients… It never stops. With all that work, comes stress, and with stress comes congested skin crying out for help (no matter how much time I spend at home giving myself homemade facials),  an Oxygen Facial was exactly what I needed. Who doesn’t love a bit of pampering? A little pampering goes a long way. Indulging in any beauty treatment, at home or at the spa can give you a feeling of instant glam and a pick me up confidence booster for sure!
 

La Tua Bella is not your local makeup store, or your idea of a regular spa/salon. This “beauty bar” is a unique blend of affordable services that combine professional salon/style pampering with such a wide range of services and products. I arrived early, sporting my cotton leggings and an off the shoulder, comfy sweater from h&m. I love everything about Rhinebeck, & in my opinion the location of this spa is perfect. In the middle of a cute town I adore. So walking up to La Tua Bella, I’m already in my glory, sipping on hot green tea, wearing my fingerless gloves made by UGGs. Open the door and you are in princess glamy land that is suitable for ANY age. I was welcomed by Megan, the owner, who made me feel right at home. Soft music played as she offered me a beverage and a mini cupcake (which I indulged in after my services). The set up is perfect. A new sink & chair under a canopy, to give you enough privacy for your relaxing blow out. It features a beauty bar (literally) filled with products to test. Megan carries so many of my favorite products including Model In a Bottle setting spray, Benefit makeup products, Hylunia skin care, Somme Institute just to name a few, which are displayed on wooden shelves, and very neatly arranged. There are stylish, yet comfortable chairs, perfectly bright lighting in the main room, followed by low lighting in the spa room, which immediately relaxed me. Everything about this place is pleasing to the eye, and VERY CLEAN! 

      

As I got ready for my Intraceuticals Oxygen Infused facial, I noticed all things were in place. A warm candle-lit room, with a familiar scent that greeted me.. “Chill Pill” one of my favorite lavender essential oils that I actually had with me in my purse. The bed was heated, which was a nice touch. I then embarked upon nearly 2 hours of sheer BLISS. An oasis of calm, came over me and all the stresses of modern life left me. Intracueticals Oxygen Infusion treatment involves a machine that infuses atomized moisturizers and high powered serums onto your skin by using a stream of pressurized oxygen. It hydrates the skin immediately, temporarily diminishes all fine lines and tiny imperfections, while plumping and smoothing the skin’s surface. It’s recommended to receive 6 treatments for optimum results. There are 2 different types to choose from. 

    

Rejuvenate ~ Achieves a youthful glow and visible reduction of fine lines and wrinkles through deep hydration, promotes natural collagen and elastin production for improved skin texture 

Opulence ~ Super concentrated vitamin C and natural plant extracts safely and naturally treat hyper-pigmentation with deep hydration. It’s a botanical brightener to reduce hyper pigmentation and lighten dark spots, scars and other imperfections. 

 

The Intraceuticals Infusion Oxygen Facial boasts a long line of celebrity fans including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Eva Longoria and even Justin Timberlake. It uses hyperbaric oxygen (which is basically pressurized oxygen) along with Hyaluronic Acid to deliver specially formulated serums deep into the skin’s structural layers so skin becomes instantly brighter, firmer and younger. Hmm… An oxygen system that claims to deliver this “miracle treatment” …without needles? Sounds not only weird but also bogus… right? This experience, truly vanished my doubts. This treatment was completely painless, as a matter of fact the cool, tingly, sensation almost tickled. No discomfort, redness or irritation. Megan was even nice enough to even offer me a lip infusion. 

 

When I saw the results, my jaw literally dropped! My face looked visibly and instantly plumper and any tightness that I had on my forehead, cheeks and chin was completely gone. My skin immediately had a gorgeous glow. I didn’t notice much of a difference with my lips, but Megan said if I follow up with 2 to 3 more treatments, I will. Afterwards, my skin was incredibly soft, and still is. I got so many complements on my skin yesterday and today! It was such a lovely experience and something I could get used to every month. Actually, scratch that… EVERY WEEK! I think this would be a nice treat for a best friend, or if your a guy looking to get your girlfriend a gift… this is definitely it! This perk me up treatment was a revelation! I can see why Madonna is so in love with this! She even bought the machine so she can do the treatments at home. Katy Perry gets this treatment before every performance. Eva Longoria even says this is a “necessity before every major event.” Here is a clip from celebrity makeup artist Gina Brooke demonstrating the exact facial treatment I got done. Check it out! 


 I want to thank Megan at La Tua Bella Beauty bar for making my first oxygen facial such an amazing, pleasant and memorable experience. I am officially loving this product line, and a fan which means I’ll definitely be going back for more. Remember, you can go to any spa for a facial, but not many have Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion treatments. I recommend this La Tua Bella Beauty Bar 100%. It’s so unique, and perfect for any spa day, ladies night out, or even a young girls birthday party. Actually, a group of young girls were walking in as I was leaving to have a birthday party there! Every now and then everyone deserves a relaxing, pampering day. (even guys)

 

$165 initial treatment

Series of 6: $800 ($190 savings).

 

Please check out La Tua Bellas website at http://www.latuabella.com

If you decide to book a service after reading this, please let them know you read this article. 

 

Have you ever tried an Intraceuticals treatment? Want to try it after reading this post? Was my review useful? Please beauties… Do tell! 

 

Xo

 

Disclosure: A treatment was provided for review. 

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

Cure to Chapped Lips!

Hello again! Thanks for checking out my blog 🙂 Hope everyone is keeping warm and drinking lots of herbal teas on these cold, breezy fall nights!
So many people have been asking me about Halloween makeup… I’m booked with Halloween makeup this year, and I’m absolutely stoked about it. Halloween is my FAVORITE time of year!
I went to the The Great Jack O’Lantern  blaze in Westchester last weekend. It was freezing, but so fun! So much to look at, & gets you in the Halloween spirit for sure! I definitely recommend going.
             
Ahhh I love this season! Yesterday I was in New York City with a friend, and randomly met up with my friend Jason. We met last year, both doing makeup on set of a movie. He was on this season of SyFy’s Face Off, which is a special FX makeup show, where the contestants have to complete challenges every week, creating a character based on a a movie, director or some sort of cool inspiration! He now works for Saturday Night Live, making and applying prosthetics. Sweet! So after he left the NBC studios yesterday, he took me to a small makeup store in Manhattan.
There, I bought a few supplies I’ll be needing for a Halloween application I’m doing on Friday evening. I purchased Collodion, a syrupy solution that is often used in theatrical makeup. You can create old-age wrinkles or scars with this product. I’ll definitely post photos of all the Halloween makeup once I complete the applications, and share application tips with you 🙂
          Jason, Harry the video guy, myself and our model on set of a photo shoot..
Halloween makeup I did to myself last year!
I wasn’t sure if Batman and Patrick from Spongebob were walking around in costume because it is Halloween time… or maybe because it’s NYC and it’s pretty much ALWAYS halloween time in the city… lol
Mirror photo at the W… Red blazer from H&M
Although I adore Halloween and Fall, this time of year is definitely Chapped lips season. (ughh gross) I have to share a remedy that I use and find really helpful to fix chapped lips almost immediately! I have to say, I am a fan of a lip scrub called Sugar found at Sephora, but it’s definitely pricy for a tiny amount of it.. This remedy works JUST as well, if not better. If you try it, let me know what you think!

1/2 teaspoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of castor oil

Mix all ingredients together. Spread over your lips and leave on overnight. In the morning awake to smooth, soothed lips! Any extra that you have left over should be stored in the refrigerator because it contains fresh lemon juice which can spoil. To exfoliate your lips take a bit of honey mixed with a pinch of sugar and lightly scrub in circular motions. Apply lip balm after.

****I tell all my brides to do this the night before their wedding so they have smooth, kissable lips.

My favorite lip balm is Simply Bee~utiful’s all natural lip balm. Their lip balms are made from beeswax and honey. 

Okay, time to get comfy and get ready for the return of American Horror story tonight!! Love that show, Can’t wait 🙂

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ps. here’s a new video of Samantha DeRosa singing a new original…. She’s one of my wonderful clients! Check it!