Friday, February 10, 2012

Two Faced

Today's post is called "Two Faced" for a few reasons. I have two things I want to discuss. You'll understand the title after you read this. I assume you're intelligent enough to get it!

Part one is about skin care. Hints the word "face". Get it?

You have had the same face since you were born. Your body grows and changes shape. Your hair can change colors, lengths, and styles. Your face doesn't change, with the exception of plumpers, fillers, and invasive surgeries. Shouldn't you take special care of your face? I personally would like to avoid using knives and needles to restore my face.

Women of all ages neglect their faces. It's not until we notice a flaw that we start worrying about skin care. Once the flaw is there, it is hard to get rid of. The key to a fresh face is early intervention. I like to call it Skintervention. So many of the things that we hate about our skin are preventable.

The number one culprit to many of your skin's misfortunes is the sun. I know that hearing about the sun damaging your skin is like hearing a song on repeat, and you can't make it stop. But there is a reason so many people preach about the sun. It's killing your skin! Recently I was at lunch with my family, and we ran into a woman whom we have known for years. I remember as a child thinking how beautiful and tan her skin was. Now her lovely tan face has deep lines and wrinkles all over it. She is probably five years younger than my mom and looks ten years older. And I haven't even mentioned the dark spots on her face. It's not my intention to talk badly about this woman, but the way the sun had aged her really struck me. I should also note that when I saw her it was January, and she was quite tan. So I'm assuming that the tanning bed played a role in this, too.

I'll admit that I used to love a tanning bed. I have freckles, and as we determined at the Clinique counter today, ivory skin. There is nothing about me that says "This girl should bake in a tanning bed and lay in the sun." Even if you don't burn after sun exposure, it is still damaging your skin. Put on some sunscreen! Not wearing sunscreen is like saying "I want to look older than I am and die younger than I should". It's harsh but true. While I've harped on the aging aspects of the sun, skin cancer is a real thing. There isn't a tan body out there that is worth skin cancer. If you have fallen victim to the sun, I strongly recommend a visit to a dermatologist. They will check you for suspicious moles and sun spots, and they can give you some really awesome facial sunscreens that you can't find in stores. I got one that is super gentle on my sensitive skin, and it's even tinted so that I have light foundation-like coverage. It was only about $15 and well worth it.

The other major way that we neglect our skin is in the way that we cleanse and moisturize. I understand that the majority of women don't want a 5-step skin care routine (Mine is 6 or 7 steps!). I think that everyone can handle two things: Cleanse and moisturize! Please, please, please wash your face before you go to bed. If you don't wash your face, then all of that makeup, oil, and environmental pollutants are staying on your skin. Even worse, all of those things are getting on your pillow. So night after night you're adding more nastiness (It's a real word!) and laying on your old nastiness. ICK! Aside from being completely unhygienic, this is what causes clogged pores, blackheads, pimples, and oily skin. You don't want any of that, now do you?

As far as moisturizer, it's quite simple. The right moisturizer balances and evens out your skin tone. When shopping for one, read the bottle. It will tell you what type of skin it is for, it's active ingredients, and how it works. I prefer to moisturize morning and night. And guess what, the one I use in the morning has sunscreen in it!

My preferred skin care line is the Clinique 3-step system. The three steps are cleanse, tone, and moisturize. It's very simple and takes less than five minutes. Your consultant will ask you questions about your skin and determine what will work best for you. There is also a 90-second skin quiz on the website that helps you determine which products you need if a Clinique counter isn't available in your area. They will mix and match products to best meet your needs. During my consultations, I've added steps to take care of my puffy eye problem and my super dry skin. I love that it is completely customizable and can change with your skin. You can do as much or as little as you want.

My drugstore picks are Johnson's Purpose and Neutrogena's Fresh Line. Both of these lines have been recommended by every dermatologist I've ever been to. They are extremely light, gentle, and effective. My skin is extremely sensitive, and I have used both of these lines without any irritation.

Now it's time for your Skintervention!!!

And now it's time for part two. If this was it's on post I'd call it "Haterade". I'm talking about woman on woman hate. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, but we all know that we are guilty of hating on other women. I will be the first to admit that I am very guilty of this. I am a people watcher and being in the beauty business, I pay close attention to how people look. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's what comes out of my mouth after I make the observation that is unacceptable.

I don't understand why we feel the need to talk about each other in a negative way. I do it, and I don't even notice it. The little things like "Look at her hair!" or "What is she wearing?" are not okay. It's going to take a conscious effort for me to stop doing that, but it is my mission to stop being that girl. I am constantly saying that you should be yourself and present yourself in a way that makes you feel beautiful and confident, and I really do believe that wholeheartedly. So it is my goal to stop making side comments about how a woman looks but instead to appreciate the beauty she possesses.

Ironically, many of us also speak negatively about women who we think look amazing. Somehow when you see a woman who you think is beautiful with amazing skin, hair, and style, you feel like all of your insecurities are out for show. I promise you that no one is comparing you to her. Elanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Her words couldn't be truer. The only reason other women can make you feel insecure is because you let them. Your beauty and worth are not from other people. They are within you.

So this is my challenge to you: Stop being so harsh. Even if the person never knows you said it, those mean-spirited words are still on your mind and most likely can be read on your face. Have you ever stopped to think that with every negative word you say about someone, someone else is saying just as many terrible things about you? It makes you cringe, doesn't it? This is a huge challenge for me which I gladly accept. There is enough negativity around us every day. Let's not contribute to it any longer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bubbles and Fragrance

Recently the owner of a salon came to school to talk business with us. His salon is fairly new, only about two years old. He is also an educator and specializes in color. He had two "associates" with him who were actually his assistants. I liked what he had to say, but I felt like he was putting on a show for us. Being a color specialist, I assumed he had some favorite go-to product lines. So I asked what products he uses and retails in his salon. He paused and said, "You know all products are really just bubbles and fragrance." WHAT? I looked at him and said "Blasphemy!". No joke. I really said it. He proceeded to talk about how it's all basically the same, and the products that you retail should match the demographic and budgets of your clients. I can agree with the latter, but I will never say that all products are the same. He lost me after that statement. How can a color specialist perform a $100 color service on a client and then tell them to use whatever products they like?

There are three products that I believe are worth the money: Shampoo, Conditioner, and Heat Protectant. Let's start with shampoo. If you color your hair, the wrong shampoo can strip your color. You might as well put the money you spent on that service down the drain. For color-treated hair, I love sulfate-free shampoos. They don't have the chemicals that all of the others have, and the chemicals are the stripping agents. The proper shampoo can prevent breakage, give your hair body and shine, intensify curl..the list goes on. Another tip, don't shampoo your hair every day. Your hair needs its natural oils. If you're using the proper shampoo then you won't need to shampoo every day.

Conditioner. The biggest myth when it comes to conditioner is that if you have fine, limp hair you don't need conditioner. False! You just need the right kind of conditioner. Also, you don't need a hand full of it. A little goes a long way. Start with a dime-size amount. Don't apply it directly to the root of your hair. Start mid-shaft and work your way to the ends. This will prevent residue and oiliness at the root. If you need more, add a little bit more. If you use the right conditioner, then you'll need less styling products. The best method for using conditioner is to let it sit on your hair for a few minutes. When I get in the shower I shampoo my hair twice and run the conditioner through it. Then I do the rest of my showering and rinse the conditioner out at the end with cool water. Cool water closes the cuticle and seals the product in.

Finally, heat protectant. I cannot express the importance of this product enough! It is rare to find a woman that doesn't use heat on her hair. Most women use multiple forms of heat. We are constantly blow drying, flat ironing, and curling our hair. So much damage! Look in the mirror. I bet you'll see a lot of tiny hairs around your hairline. That is broken hair. The solution is heat protectant. These products come in a variety of formulas from a fine mist to a heavy cream. Take time and read the back of the bottle. It will tell you how to use it and what hair type it is for. Your stylist is your best resource, so don't be afraid to ask.

One of my friends told me that your hair is the outfit you wear every day. You can wear a bad outfit and never have to wear it again. But if your hair is damaged and faded, you have to wear it every day. You're going to shampoo your hair anyway. Why not use the right products and make your hair look great? Bubbles and fragrance. I don't think so.

I recently discovered the JOICO product line, and I'm obsessed! I have been using their Smooth Cure products for about two weeks, and people have noticed that my hair looks better. This collection is sulfate-free, so it doesn't strip my color. It has been amazing on my coarse, curly hair. My hair has been softer and smoother than I have seen it in years. I also use their K-PAK Revitalize conditioning treatment. It has completely restored my hair. I'm excited to try some of their other collections on different types of hair.

My favorite line of bubbles and fragrance!

Click here to watch Tabatha Coffey talk about K-PAK Revitalize on The Dr. Oz Show.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jacking My Style

I'm going to try not to turn this into a complete rant, but bear with me. As I've previously stated, nothing bothers me more than people who do not have their own style. If we were all supposed to look alike, then we would. Right?

Being in cosmetology school, I see people experimenting with their looks every day. I admit, I've done some experimenting myself. That's how I ended up with red hair. About two days after I debuted my new look, at least five girls attempted to achieve the same look. One girl even got my same exact haircut.. or at least her version of it. I was beyond annoyed, and honestly I don't know why this bothers me so badly. I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer and never cared if what I was doing or wearing met others' approval. I just like to be different.

There are so many ways to experiment with your look. Your options are endless! Don't stay in the box and duplicate what you just saw walking past you. Let's say you saw a woman with amazing eye makeup. You loved everything about it. Why not draw inspiration from her and try a similar look with different colors? You could even pair it with a new lip or cheek color. It's hard to know what will look great until you try. You might create your own signature look. To avoid the morning panic if the look doesn't work, try it at night before you wash your face. You can play around with it. No one will see it, and you can experiment until you get it right. If I'm trying something new, I also like to take pictures in different light to see if it will work for me everywhere. I just grab my iPhone and go into different rooms of the house and snap quick photos. You can do it with your hair, too. Experiment with new styles before your next shampoo or on the weekend. Easy enough!

I feel the same way about clothing choices. I know this isn't a fashion blog, but this is just a part of my rant. I can't stand it when I see a pack of women who all have the exact same style. It happens at every age. With teenagers it's the "I worked really hard at trying to look like I didn't work really hard to get this look." With 20 somethings it's "I spent my whole paycheck on this super trendy fashion-forward outfit so that I could be the trendiest girl here". You catch my drift.

You'll hear me say it more than once, and it might annoy you... BE YOURSELF! It doesn't matter if anyone likes it. You like it. When you are your most genuine version of yourself, you exude confidence. Everyone you encounter will be able to see that you are comfortable in your skin, and you are secure with who you are. I don't ever want anyone to look at me and think "I wish I had her hair, makeup and clothes". I want them to know that they are looking at a confident woman who wouldn't want to be anyone else but who I am. Don't jack my style. Jack my confidence!

This is the red hair I keep talking about. I was going for a classic look on this day and paired liquid black eyeliner with red lipstick. The liner is Maybelline Line Stiletto. The lipstick is "Fire" by Chanel.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some of My Work

I want to share photos of some things I've done. Most of them are either of special events or working on my favorite guinea pigs. I've got to get better about taking pictures!

The first group are photos from a wedding I was in. I did the makeup for seven bridesmaids and the bride.



She liked a more natural look, so I kept it fresh and neutral.


After- She asked for a subtle smoky look with browns.



Plum eyeshadow with black liner and a soft pink lip



Deep Green with Gold and Emerald Liner



Green and Gold

Me working on the bride



The rest of my photos are of work I've done at school or at special events.


After - This is what happens when you tell a stylist to do whatever she wants!

Jamie doesn't like to wear a lot of makeup so I put it on her every chance I get!

Smoky eyes for a fashion show

Fun with bright yellow for a wig show!

"Special Occasion Eyes"

Silver and Slate Blue Eyeshadow with Black Liner

Lots of curls for a dancer at a Women's Conference

More curls!

Hair and makeup are so much fun! I love using them to bring out a different side of a woman that she may not see all of the time. With every session I want my client to feel beautiful and confident, and hopefully she will be inspired to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This is Kiki

Why I'm here...
I have been in love with all things beauty since I was a small child. I remember sneaking some of my mom's Estee Lauder makeup to school in the third grade and putting it on in the bathroom.
I am kind of a product snob. When it comes to most beauty products, I believe that you get what you pay for. I love trying new products, techniques and styles, and I am always looking for people that will let me experiment on them!
I believe that everyone should develop their own sense of style. I'm constantly drawing inspiration from others, but I am never mimicking their stlyes. To be honest, it drives me crazy when I see someone perfectly duplicate someone else's look. Style should be individual to what you like and are comfortable with.
Beauty isn't about looking nice for others or fitting into a mold of what you should be. Beauty is about finding what works for you and makes you feel your best. If you love having purple hair, then rock it!         
I'm here to show what I have loved (or hated!) and hopefully inspire you to experiment and try something new.

Beauty for Boys: An Oxy-Moron

I've always said that women get all prettied up for each other, not for men. Say this to most females and they will say "No I don't. My man thinks I am beautiful. I don't care what other women think." Yes, he does think you are beautiful. He better! Does he think you're new eyeshadow, lipstick or haircolor is beautiful? I doubt he even notices them. I'm just being honest here, ladies. Who are the first people to notice and compliment your new look? Your girlfriends! And you love it! I know I do. Sadly, women are pretty hard on each other. So when another female compliments you, it means something. There are exceptions to what I am saying, but for the most part, men don't notice your new blush that you spent $40 on.

I am in a relatively new relationship with a man who thinks I am beautiful. We were set up, so we talked on the phone before we ever saw each other. He asked what I looked like, and I thought very carefully about what I would say. A few months ago, I became a redhead. So my first thought was to tell him that I have red hair. I then thought, what if he doesn't like red hair? What if he thinks that it's a different shade of red than it actually is? So I said, "I have red hair but not orange-red hair. It's like dark burgundy-ish red. Well not burgundy but red. You'll just have to see." Cute, KI, real cute. You just went on and on about your hair color. When I met him, I asked if he liked my red hair and he said, "If you like it, I love it." Cute, I know. But honestly, he didn't notice one thing about my hair. Last Saturday night, a little over a month into our relationship, we were sitting on the couch and he randomly said "Your hair is  red." No comment.

One night he came to my house after I had already washed the day's makeup off. I threw on some powder and mascara and prayed that he didn't run away screaming. What did he say? "You look the same to me." Liar. The point is, it doesn't matter to men. The only thing I've figured out is that they don't like drastic change. If it was up to them, we would never change our hair or makeup. It's comfortable for them. Think about it. When was the last time he changed something about the way he looks? It's probably been years, if ever. Don't get upset if he doesn't notice that you changed something. He's most likely sitting there thinking that something is different, but he doesn't know what. The poor guy is waiting for you to start crying because he didn't notice the two highlights you put in your hair.

Now that you are completely bummed out because I said that he doesn't care about all of the effort you have put into your beauty regime, let me tell you some things that I'm sure he'll notice. The way you smell. He may not say it all the time, but I guarantee that he notices your perfume. I dated a guy once that referred to my go-to perfume as "The Kristin Smell". I never knew that he paid attention to it until then. Something else he'll notice? Your soft hands and soft lips. Think about how often you grab his hand or touch his arm. He'll know if your hands are rough. As far as the lips, he is aware of them every time you say hello, goodbye or I love you. Finally, he will always notice the way you smile at him. It's etched in his memory. And that smile really accentuates your new lip gloss!

"The Kristin Smell" is Ralph Lauren Blue

 My soft lips secret is a layering process. First, Burt's Bees Lip Balm.

On top of that is a generous amount of Aquaphor Healing Ointment

 For soft hands, I rely on a classic: Johnson's Baby Lotion

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rainy Days, Big Hair, Puffy Eyes

I'm just going to jump right in. Instead of doing a "get to know me" post, I'll start talking, and you'll get to know me that way. Oh, my name is Kristin, by the way. Kiki is a nickname I was given. I'll tell you about it some other time...

Today was not my best beauty day. An excellent thing to hear from a self-proclaimed beauty blogger, I know. It was raining. It was cold. I was tired and having a pretty nice allergy attack. None of these things compose me at my most fabulous self.

I have naturally curly hair. Most people say "Oh I am so jealous! I would love for my hair to curl!" Ok, that may be true. But if I'm being completely honest, curly hair is both a blessing and a curse. On most days, it's a blessing. When I'm running late or just plain lazy, I can throw some product in it, diffuse it a little bit and go. It holds curl and style like a dream..on most days. Then there are days like today. My hair was especially cantankerous today. It was extra course, extra dry and extra big. I did my usual product, diffuse and go. I thought it was cute. By the time I got to school (I'm in cosmetology school. See, you're getting to know me already!).. right so by the time I got to school, my hair was this frizzy, sort of wavy, red fuzzy mess. I admittedly am obsessed with my hair. It's always been my thing. So today was not my best day. I felt incomplete without a perfect hairstyle. I wanted to go home and start over. Curly hair. Epic fail.

Then there were my lovely, allergy stricken, puffy eyes. They were watering, itching, burning, and not a friend to the amount of eye makeup that I am used to. To me, smoky eyes are for any and every occasion. But today there would be no lining my inner rims with my favorite eyeliner. There was no smudging my liner-shadow combination into the perfect smoky eye. Unfortunately, I had to settle for minimal eye liner and only one coat of mascara. Puffy, allergy eyes. Epic fail.

I tell you all of this for a reason. Everyone has an off day every now and then. The day when you just can't get it right and you feel like poo all day. You don't want to look in the mirror (Lucky me, I'm surrounded by mirrors at school.), and you really don't want anyone to look at you at all. I'm pretty wrapped up in how I look. Not in a vain way, but I just like to feel put together and presentable at all times. People often comment about the fact that my hair is always done and makeup is always "perfect". I've heard it so often that it has given me a complex. I feel like I always have to get it right and look perfect because I have set that standard for myself. In all actuality, it is perfectly fine to have an off day. It feels great to wear no makeup and let your hair be a mess...Although, I in no way condone making this a habit! But sometimes it happens, and it's ok. It shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself. It shouldn't make you feel like you want to hide. You are a real person. You have rough days, and sometimes it shows. Luckily, you get to wake up in the morning and start all over again. Chances are, by tomorrow, no one will remember that I had big hair and puffy eyes today. I'll use more hair product tomorrow and dab on a little extra eye cream. I feel better already!

My cure for today's issues?

                                                             Moroccan Oil for the hair

 Clinique All About Eyes for the puffiness.