Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something A Little Darker: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Artwork: Beresford Egan
The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is home to pretty much the most unique and amazing perfumes in the ENTIRE WORLD.  If you're the discriminating sort who's unhappy with mainstream fragrances and wants something entirely different, this company was made for you.  I've literally spent hours poring over their website, reading all the fantastical descriptions of each scent.  These mini-vignette descriptors are seriously incredible.  A lot of them take cues from literature, with collections of scents inspired by Neil Gaiman (favorite author shoutout!), Alice and Wonderland, Lovecraftian mythology, Shakespeare, and countless others.  The sheer amount of perfumes they offer is mind boggling, not to mention the variety.  Even if you find Lovecraft or Lewis Carroll less than appealing, I guarantee there's at least one scent from Black Phoenix that will make you positively giddy. 

I ordered up Marie from the Diabolus collection, which is described as "a blend of sinuous violet and elegant tea rose: the chosen scent of France's demigoddess of debauch: Marie Antoinette."  Violets and tea roses sounds exactly like a recipe for Eau de Old Lady, but reviews I read about the fragrance kept insisting how complex, dark, and unexpected it is.  I trusted the reviews and am pleasantly thrilled with my purchase!  The scent really is complex, so much more than just violets and roses.  I can't tell what else is in the blend and Black Phoenix doesn't say, but I know that I definitely want to order more from this company.

Luckily, they also sent me two tiny perfume samples at random.  I've got Inferno, "the Dark Side of Fire: cinnamon, bitter almond, and neroli. Heavily spiced, torrid, and possibly conflagrant."  I have no idea what neroli is, but I swear this is like fire in a bottle if only fire smelled like delicious spicy candy.  I'm sure you're thinking, "Who wants to smell like that?!"  It sounds completely weird, but it's surprisingly wearable.  It's sweet then spicy, exotic, mysterious, and downright amazing.  The other sample, Lilium Inter Spinas (literally, lily among thorns) is just as complex but somehow not quite as appealing (though that's really just a matter of personal preference). 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab now has an actual brick-and-mortar shop in Burbank, CA!  The perfumes are also available for order online and in certain select stores across the U.S.  Although the proprietors warn that shipping will take 14-21 business days, that was simply not the case at all for my order!  I had my Marie perfume within the next week.  Another plus for Black Alchemy: what they sell is actually perfume oil, which is about 70% fragrance.  In comparison, eau de parfums are about 15% fragrance, while eau de toilettes are about 8%.  Not bad for $25 including shipping, hmm?   

Is it just me or do department store perfume counters suddenly seem awfully boring?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview: Brittan Yeager

 Brittan Yeager is a gorgeous up-and-coming interior designer I've had the pleasure of knowing since high school.  She has incredible mile long eyelashes and her makeup always looks flawless and classic, whether her day is occupied with lighting concepts or playing with her many adorable Welsh Corgis.  She's got some enviable skills!  But for Brittan, her beauty isn't just skin deep.  She truly possesses a much sought-after inner beauty and is one of the most genuine people I've ever known.  While Brittan can't give away all her secrets, she did agree to answer my questions about her makeup routine!  Read on for her amazing and clever tips.

At what age did you first start wearing makeup?

How did you learn to apply it?
By observing my mother :) She taught me how to choose the correct colors that worked well with my skin tone, eye, and hair color. She stressed blending of the foundation!!

What products were your favorite back then?
Maybelline Volume Boost Mascara! Love it!!

What are your current favorites?
I swear by the Maybelline Volume Boost mascara, it's amazing. I love experimenting with eye shadows as well. L'Oreal, Cover Girl, and Maybelline. Also, I have recently purchased the new Cover Girl 'Nature Luxe' foundation. I think it's my new favorite! It applies so smoothly, with less shine.

What is your usual makeup routine?
Wash my face, apply moisturizer if needed, lightly apply concealer under my eyes, apply foundation, blush, powder in shiny spots, eye shadow, liquid liner on my top lid, (I use a dark brown eye shadow for my lower liner so that it is not so thick and over powering), mascara, and lip gloss :)

What product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?
I love my mascara, and Maybelline water proof liquid eyeliner. I try to avoid water proof mascaras, they are so difficult to remove. This is horrible for your skin to continuously scrub and rub your eyes. 

Got a special tip or trick you'd like to share?
hmmm,.. I have always been told to apply your darkest shadow in the crease of your lid and blend up. I try to leave space between the shadow and my eye brow often applying a light shadow to give the appearance of a larger eye. This also helps when attempting the "smokey" look :) Groom your brows! Waxing/Plucking your eye brows can make a huge difference. This also allows the shadow to apply more evenly/smoothly.

How do you take care of your skin?
I am ashamed to say that I don't remove my makeup every night before going to bed. That has to be one of the best things that you can do for your skin besides using moisturizing cream!! I am however working on this! :))

Who are your beauty inspirations?
My mother, My sister, and My grandmother. They are three classy, beautiful ladies on the inside and out with flawless skin (which they wash every night and take care of!).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Pick: Sonia Kashuk Paris Night Eyeshadow Quad

This Paris Nights eyeshadow quad from Sonia Kashuk at Target is calling my name.  I stockpile grey and silvery eyeshadow shades the way some women collect shoes.  More is more, and therefore better (come to think of it, that goes for lipstick, too).  Anyway, you get the idea.  Grey eyeshadow is such a chicer, more unexpected neutral than brown.  I love ALL the colors in this palette, but what I love most is the lower left super glittery silver shade.  I'm not really in the habit of wearing glitter eyeshadow, but doesn't this look fun to wear for spring?  For those of you who fear looking like a disco ball, I leave this picture as photographic evidence that Audrey Hepburn pulled it off amazingly well!  There's no reason you can't, either, so don't be afraid!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Pick: Too Faced Pink Leopard bronzer

Bronzer kind of intimidates me.  Rather than imparting a sun-kissed glow, I usually end up looking orange or like I attractively streaked some dirt on my face.  Too Faced's Pink Leopard bronzer changed all that!  It has just enough pink and lighter powders to make the bronzing effect subtle and believable on my pale complexion.  I like to dust a little bit over my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin.  It blends wonderfully and I'm in love with the leopard packaging.  Now it's even available in a pocket sized version that's only $12.50!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Pick: Philosophy's Keep The Peace line

keep the peace
Confession: I have a lot of redness in my skin. My complexion can sometimes even be optimistically described as "blotchy".  It's gotten worse as of late and I'm honestly at a loss on how to fix it.  Foundation and concealer work miracles to disguise it, but of course I'd rather have a lovely smooth, even skintone.  Naturally, I couldn't be more excited about Philosophy's new skincare line, Keep The Peace, which features four products specifically designed for those with red, sensitive skin!

Keep The Peace includes a Protective Color Corrector with SPF 20, Super Soothing Moisturizer, Super Soothing Serum (who thinks up these names?), and an Instant Relief Mask. They're all designed to calm irritated skin, replenish depleted nutrients, and provide a barrier to prevent further damage.  These sound like tubes full of mini-miracles.  I especially want to try out the color corrector.  It sounds like the perfect product to apply under makeup.  And if the mask really provides the instant relief that it promises, I think it just might be, hands down, the best product in the world.

Does anyone else have a problem with redness or sensitive skin?  I'd love to hear how you treat it.  Let me know!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Pick: Hello Kitty cosmetics

hello kitty

I'll admit: I was not prepared to love these products.  Yes, Hello Kitty is wonderful and adorable, but I couldn't get over the cutesy packages occupying shelf space next to Make Up For Ever and Dior at Sephora.  How could this possibly be serious makeup?  I suspect the Sephora people must have gotten similar reactions from other customers, because soon they offered the Glittercute Eyeliner in Grape Soda as a 100 point perk free sample.  It's an awesome glittery purple shade and I've been in the mood to experiment with eyeliner, so I thought "Why not?" and redeemed for it.  You guys, I am now completely sucked into the adorableness of these Hello Kitty cosmetics.

The makeup is legit.  Since my foray into Glittercute eyeliner, I've been able to experiment with all the other products, too.  Everything in the line is subtle, shimmery, and ultra girly.  The colors are fun and pretty, and application is amazing.  With shade names like Pink Bow, Grape Frosting, Kimono, and Cupcake, it's all perfect for spring!  I'm particularly loving the Charmmy Eyeshadow Sticks, but what I've really got my eye on is the Say Hello Super Fun palette.  The eyeshadows are gorgeous purples and greys and the lipgloss is in a variety of unique colors.  Another standout is the super moisturizing Sweet Gloss.

What also sets this line apart from the Hello Kitty cosmetics I loved as a little girl is that they all contain fruit extracts like apple and grape seed oil to keep your skin amazing and healthy.  How fabulous is that?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Pick: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

I adore blush.  I always have.  It was my go-to product when my mom let me rummage through her makeup drawers at age six, and my appreciation continues (though thankfully, I've learned to properly apply it!).  Lately I've been wearing NARS Orgasm blush and I love it, but I've been searching for a perfect shade of pink, too.  I also want a blush that lasts as long as my foundation does.  Is it too much to ask?


I thought this was too high an order to fill, but it seems Tarte read my mind with their brand new Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush.  The Amazonian clay is said to minimize oil on your cheeks and in your pores, so the blush balances your skin and lasts much longer than other brands. It's also rich in Vitamins A, C, and E to protect your skin against dreaded free radicals and signs of aging.   Best of all, it comes in a perfectly pink shade called Amused, as seen above.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eyebrow Threading 101

Today's guest post comes from the super cool and lovely Chandra, who is busy making a name for herself in the world of magazines!  She moonlights as a fabulous girl-about-town and loves trying new restaurants.  She's also an expert on eyebrow threading, so I invited her to share everything she knows.  I think I'll be booking my own threading appointment soon enough!

I have always been very particular and perhaps slightly obsessed with how I want my eyebrows to look. When I was younger, I remember noticing how the eyebrows could flatter a person’s entire face and bring out your best facial attributes.  
From the time I was a kid, my mom taught me how to shape my eyebrows naturally with just my fingers. After I took a shower, my mom always told me to shape my eyebrows because over time they would begin to look more defined. She was right as usual. Once I hit my teens, I begin noticing my eyebrows taking on a more defined appearance.

I didn’t start threading my eyebrows until I started high school mainly because when I was in middle school; I dealt with a lot of skin problems that would have made threading or even waxing a tortuous process. Waxing was something that I actually wanted to try first before threading, but after much persuasion from my mom, I opted to do threading.

Just to give you a little background about threading…It’s a technique that originated in the Middle East and parts of India. A cotton thread is used to remove the hair. The cotton thread is essentially twisted and rolled along the skin’s surface, which allows the hairs to be lifted from their follicles. It’s a very precise way of removing hair and attaining that “perfect brow” that can ultimately transform your face.

Like waxing, the first time that I had my eyebrows threaded was a little painful. I remember wincing every time she pulled my eyebrows. However, by the time she was done, I felt like my face had been transformed. My eyebrows had a lovely arch that really brought out my eyes. My overall face just looked brighter and less tired. 
What I love about threading is that if you are particular about your eyebrows, then you can specify how you want your eyebrows to look. I tried this with waxing and I didn’t get the same results. Keep in mind this does vary with every person.
A word of caution, remember to find an aesthetician who is experienced at eyebrow threading. Inexperience in this technique can result in uneven brows, hair breakage, and ingrown hairs. Also, if you do decide to try threading, make sure you apply some moisturizer around the area that was threaded to keep the skin from peeling.
Some benefits associated with threading include:
*No redness
*More defined eyebrows
*Typically cheaper
*Usually lasts longer (once again this varies with every person) for me, it lasts about 2 ½ weeks.
*No chemical ingredients involved
*More sanitary compared to waxing
*Takes years off complexion
*Long-term process of permanent hair removal

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspiration: Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette
She passed through the palace of Versailles with scented gloves, gowns as wide as twelve feet, and a tower of blonde curls atop her head, leaving a cloud of perfume in her wake.  Over two hundred years later, the name of French queen Marie Antoinette is still synonymous with luxury, indulgence, and a certain je ne sais quoi that continues to captivate the populace.  How did La Reine keep a step ahead of beauty trends in her day, and what products might she use in 2011?  Applied Glamour explores...

 Delightful Fragrances
In spite of the grandeur, 18th century Versailles was not a pleasant-smelling place.  Put lightly, there were hardly any restrooms for the hundreds of peasants and aristocrats who visited the palace daily.  Standard operating procedure was to sneak behind a curtain and hope for the best, regardless of your class or station.  Can you imagine?!

It's no surprise, then, that Marie Antoinette surrounded herself with fresh flowers and fragrant herbs and oils.  More than a luxury item, fragrances were a necessity for daily living in Versailles.  Marie was partial to orange blossom, rose, violet, lemon, and lavender scents.  She also loved to take baths, which was unusual in her time.  She even had a special bath mat filled with almonds, pine nuts, linseed, marshmallow root, and lilies. Finally, she always slept in gloves lined with wax, almond oil, and rose water to keep her hands silky and soft.  How glamorous!

A little Versailles glamour can be yours with these gorgeous perfume bottles.  Betsey Johnson's signature eau de parfum is housed in one of the most beautiful bottles I've ever seen and has notes of citrus fruit, black currant, pear, freesia, apple, lily of the valley, sandalwood, amber, and praline.  French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique eau de parfum is described as "sensual and sophisticated" with notes of vanilla orchid, rum essence, bourbon vanilla, rose essence, amber, tonka bean, sandalwood, and daffodil.

For a lovely soak, fill your bathtub with Philosophy's Vanilla Birthday Cake three in one shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath.  (Side note: Marie never actually said "Let them eat cake," but she was fond of the confection!)  To moisturize your skin just like the Queen would, try L'Occitane's Peony Beauty Milk infused with shea butter, grape seed oil, and an exclusive peony extract imported from France.  For extra indulgence, sleep in these gloves lined with moisturizing gel from True Blue Spa.

The Regal Look
Before applying any cosmetics, Marie Antoinette would first cleanse her skin with Eau Cosmetique de Pigeon (if you reeeally want to know how it's made, ask!) , then apply Eau des Charmes as an astringent derived from grapevines (a precursor to grape seed oil?).  Finally she would use Eau d'Ange to gently whiten her complexion.  Today, I'll wager Marie would choose skincare products from luxury French brand Clarins.  The products are botanical based and the company is motivated by a love of nature and the environment, something the Queen would undoubtedly appreciate.  I also imagine she'd be into foundation from Givenchy, and maybe even tinted moisturizer.       

After whitening her skin, Marie would use scented powder on her face, lightly line her eyes with kohl, and dust rouge on her cheeks.  Scented pomade sticks were used as lip color, to tame eyebrows, and darken her eyelashes.  The beauty industry has come a long way since 1783, but Guerlain still used Marie as inspiration for their incredible Meteorites powder.  It's lightly lavender scented and the container is modeled after one of her own jewel boxes!  Of course today she would use DiorShow mascara for her eyelashes, and a gorgeous pink powder blush from Chanel.  Marie would probably add extra radiance to her complexion with YSL's Touche Eclat, and finish with Guerlain Kiss Kiss pink lipstick.  All French luxury brands, naturellement!

That Famous Hair
Marie Antoinette's legendary hair could easily be the subject of an entire blog post (this one is long enough!).  More than a fashion statement, her hair was used to impart current events and even political messages.  There's a reason she wore a miniature ship on her head and tiny American flags in her pouf!  The responsible party for these creations was Leonard, her very own hairstylist who was always at hand.  Leonard supposedly even used a mechanical pouf so the height of Marie's hair could be raised and lowered as needed to pass through carriages and doorways!  

Today the Glory of Big Hair is achieved with a good teasing comb and L'Oreal's Elnett hairspray.  It's a staple at every fashion show and red carpet event, but has only recently been available stateside; people used to smuggle in this cult favorite!  I think Marie would also like the gold package, don't you?          


Monday, March 14, 2011

Interview: Kylie of Everblossom Bath & Beauty (plus special offer for readers!)

Introducing the amazing Kylie, who is the creative genius behind Everblossom, aka the BEST body butter I've ever tried!  I won my very own jar of Free Bird body butter in a giveaway contest Kylie held and I have been hooked ever since it arrived in my mailbox.  The texture is fluffy and amazing in the jar, but on my skin it's suddenly thick and moisturizing and luxurious.  And the scent!  It's fresh and citrusy and perfect.  I'm obsessed.  

Somewhere between making fantastic products, listing them in her Etsy shop, and introducing them in her blog, Kylie had time to answer a few questions I had for her and give us the inside scoop on everything Everblossom.

The best part is that she's offering up a special deal when you order an Everblossom product from her Etsy shop!  You have the perk of FREE SHIPPING when you use the code APPLIEDGLAMOUR01.  This will only last seven days and is exclusive to you lucky readers, so go order something lovely and indulgent!  I promise you'll be glad you did.  

Tell us a little bit about your products!
I make bath and body products using cruelty-free, certified organic ingredients. My lotions and body butters are fragranced with pure essential oils, which I absolutely love because they contain therapeutic properties as well as smelling amazing.

How did you get started making them?  How long have you been doing this?
I've been making lotion and even makeup since I was in middle school, just for fun, and because there came a point where my dad wouldn't buy me any more girly stuff and I had to get creative. I even remember making perfume out of flowers and plants I found in my aunt's yard when I was about 10!!  I'm 20 now.  I only made things for my personal use, and it didn't even occur to me to sell some of the things I make until last year. I started sorting out all of the practical details of running a business and developing recipes and opened my etsy shop at the end of January!

What are your favorite ingredients to work with? 
I go through phases of obsession with new ingredients, but I suppose that's good because it means I will always be coming up with something new! Lately I've been developing salves, so I'm discovering an appreciation for beeswax. Past favorites include tea tree oil, lavender, jojoba oil and shea butter.

Where do you find inspiration for scents? 
Either from people that I know or from a feeling I want to evoke. Sometimes a little of both.
Which is your personal favorite?
Whichever I'm wearing at the time! Honestly, it would be like picking a favorite child.

Can we get a sneak peek of scents that are coming soon?
I'm releasing Ghost Blossom soon. It's a lavender and cedarwood based scent that's very different than my other two.. The only way I've been able to describe it is that it's an 'older' scent. Also very relaxing and calming where the other two were more uplifting.

What about makeup?  Do you have any favorite brands or products?
I have a LOT of Almay products in my makeup bag. I really love their nearly naked foundation and their eyeshadows. I'm a huge fan of the pink and green mascara from Maybelline. 
How do you take care of your skin?
I cleanse with a lavender and tea tree oil cleansing oil that I make. I also use a rosemary and shea cream for extra moisture about three times a week. And every once in awhile I'll make an oatmeal and yogurt mask that makes my skin really really happy. 

What beauty product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?    
It's not really a beauty product, but if I could only use one thing it would be extra virgin olive oil, just because it's so versatile. I have never had any luck with over the counter acne creams, they just make my face peel off. So I won't be trying any of those again.

Thank you Kylie!  And don't forget about her free shipping offer in her Etsy shop when you use the code APPLIEDGLAMOUR01!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Haute Look & My Face Works

Pictured: my latest beauty treatment. Seriously!

If you haven't been to yet, you are seriously missing out.  The beauty deals on this website are incredible.  I recently took advantage of the deals they offered from My Face Works and ordered the starter kit for half price!  The package arrived early and now I have six different new masks to test out!

I love face masks, maybe even more than I love weird mascara wands.  What makes My Face Works interesting is that the product is contained within a "facial sheet".  Each sheet is a thin fiber cloth in the shape of a face that has been soaked in concentrated nutrients to benefit your skin.  It's a mask without any mess at all, no rinsing required!  I was instantly on board for this, even if it does look a little creepy and Michael Meyers-esque (I can't be alone in thinking this, right?).

Choosing which mask to try first was difficult.  I finally settled on I Need To Relax, a lavender mask with aloe leaf juice to "provide comfort and relief to stressed skin."  The sheet mask was completely saturated with product, which absorbed into my skin nicely and felt cool and soothing while it was on.  After, my skin was noticeably calmer.  The usual redness was diminished, my pores appeared smaller, and my face even felt tighter.  I can't wait to try the other masks included, especially the ones to boost collagen and restore dull skin.  Great product!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's In Diana Prince's Makeup Bag?

MAC Wonder Woman
Check out MAC's new collection for spring 2011! They've packaged eyeshadow, pigments, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, lipgloss, blush, and nail polish in striking comic book inspired primary colors with Wonder Woman's signature logo!  Wonder Woman has had quite a few makeovers in her day, but MAC is clearly most inspired by her vintage superhero (and most recognized) look.  To own one of these fantastic products, you'll have to act quickly; they're selling out fast!  In addition to the makeup, there are also bags, brushes, and online exclusives.  I love this!  It's going to take some superhero willpower to keep from purchasing the entire collection!   

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Better Eye Brightening Trick

Lining your lower lashline, waterline, or inner corner of your eye with white eyeliner is a pretty well known eye brightening trick.  But you know what's even better and looks way more natural?  Beige eyeliner.  It eliminates the look of a stark white line, which can look weird if you don't blend it well.  In addition to brightening effects, beige eyeliner also makes your eyes look much bigger.  Unfortunately, it can be even more difficult to find than white.  Tarte makes a beige pencil specifically marketed as an inner rim eye brightener.  It's waterproof and stays on for ages, but it's kind of pricey at $18.  A more affordable option at only $5 is Sephora's Nano eyeliner in Pearl Beige.  If you're at a loss for eyeliner, a pale shimmery neutral eyeshadow will also work well.  For best results, apply it with an eyeliner brush like this one from ELF that's only $1 at Target!           

Friday, March 4, 2011

Seriously Works: Infotone Face Mist

I won a chance to test out a brand new face mist called Infotone from a Beauty Bets giveaway!  For one week, I spritzed my face four or five times each day with the miraculous water.  In the interest of maintaining objectivity, the only other skincare product I used on my face that week was my eye cream.  Surprisingly, it was enough!  Read on to learn what else I discovered while using Infotone...

Sunday: I finally bothered to check the mail, and hurrah!  My package arrived!  I took off all my makeup as quickly as possible to spritz my face with this magic water.  First impression?  It felt really refreshing.  My skin already feels more hydrated, and dare I say smoother?  But I'm afraid I misted a little too much...I got my hair and clothes as well as my face.  Whoops.

Monday: You better believe I took this baby to work.  I sprayed to my heart's content and extolled the water's supposed powers while my co-workers shook their heads in amusement and disbelief.  Whatever, this is the easiest beauty treatment ever.  I feel self-congratulatory, like I'm doing something amazing for my skin.  Whether it really is amazing or its effects are all in my head remains to be seen, but so far no complaints.

Tuesday: Misted my face after a short walk in the sunshine.  It occurs to me that this product may save my life this summer.  It gets HOT where I live.  Summer is a misery and I'm already dreading it.  But now that I have this lovely little bottle to carry in my purse and refresh my complexion, maybe the heat will be a little more bearable.

Wednesday: Thank goodness the little clay mineral ball makes Infotone refillable with natural spring water, because I'm halfway through the week and halfway through the bottle.  It's good for about a year, so I feel compelled to spritz away. 

Thursday:  YOU GUYS.  MY SKIN IS CLEARER.  I had the beginnings of a painful bump on my chin two days ago and now it is gone.  I had a weird little minor breakout making its way across my left cheek and that's gone, too.  Consider me a convert, I'm ready to proselytize the benefits of this magic water to anyone who will listen.  It's not just my imagination anymore; my complexion really does feel smoother and the redness in my skin is minimized.  For real!

Friday/Saturday: And here come the compliments!  This weekend I got to see a ton of my friends and sorority sisters I haven't seen in a few months.  I heard variations of, "Your skin has never looked better!  What are you using?" from many of them.  They were amazed when I pulled this little spray bottle out of my purse. 

Final Verdict:  I am so glad I had the opportunity to test out the Infotone face mist.  It did wonders for my skin!  It kept my face hydrated, cleared up breakouts, and made my complexion look radiant.  The $35 price tag may sound a bit steep, but not when you consider that it can be refilled for a year.  Especially with results like this, it's completely worth it.  This product is truly wonderful!     

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Interview: Melina Bee

Photo courtesy Malin Laney Photography
The very first in Applied Glamour's interview series is from the lovely blogger Melina Bee!  A few times each week, she allows readers to peek into her life by way of gorgeous photoshoots showcasing her favorite outfits and makeup looks.  The way she combines clothing and accessories is truly unique, and the way she ties in themes like poetry, trains, and the circus keeps every post fresh and entertaining.  Her "Eight Lipsticks + One LBD = Eight Holiday Looks" series got me completely hooked.  It's evident Melina has incredible individuality and sense of self, not to mention a fantastic stash of beauty products!  She was kind enough to indulge me in an interview!  Read on to discover her favorite products, and make sure you check out her fabulous blog!

At what age did you first start wearing makeup?
I first started wearing it around 15 although I'd been interested in it for years.  I stopped wearing it for a couple of years when I first went to college and got back into it at 21.

How did you learn to apply it?
Reading beauty magazines and books mostly, and practice over the years.

What products were your favorite back then?
Wow, there was the most electric blue mascara by Caboodles at Target for like $4.  It was so vibrant and saturated, people thought I dyed my lashes.  Seems like they stopped making it. (fyi: great alternative is Maybelline Great Lash in royal blue).  I also loved the hair dye, black nail polish, and hot pink eyeshadow by Manic Panic.  There was a shade of acid green eyeshadow by Urban Decay, too.

What are your current favorites?
I love Nars eyeshadow duos, I have a couple and most all of them thrill me.  Mascara by L'Oreal and Maybelline's Lash Stiletto are great.  My favorite lipstick is Dior Haute Couluer in "red muse".

What is your usual makeup routine?
Don't have a standard look really, so it can vary except I almost always wear mascara.  Most days I use some concealer and translucent powder.  Often I use black eyeliner and/or bright eyeshadows.  A lot of days I wear lipstick, too.

What product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?
Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap (in lavender).  That's technically a cosmetic, right?  I would never use the fragrance "Angel" by Thierry Mugler again.  Not to hate on the product, but I wore that and super sweet fragrances in my tween years and now they make me gag.  (I know I am not the only person to have gone through this.)

Got a special tip or trick you'd like to share?
Use fine granulated sugar as scrub by mixing it into your normal face wash once a week.

How do you take care of your skin?
See the answers to previous two questions.  Also, French clay mask once in a while.  Lavender and tea tree oil profusely.  I've worn moisturizer with SPF since 14.

 Who are your beauty inspirations?
Sofia Loren, Gwen Stefani, Ziggy Stardust, my favorite painters