Monday, September 30, 2013

NYFW Serves Up Nail-tinis

If you thought I was done talking about all the cool products used during NYFW you were sadly mistaken. Our show for Fashion Designer, Naomi Spindel had great makeup thanks to Key Makeup Artist, Dana Arcidy and great hair thanks to Key Hairstylist, yours truly (shameless plug). Naomi also wanted great nails to complete the look but since this is not my specialty I had to call my girl Omary G (who is a fabulous Manicurist) to be part of the team. As Key Nail Stylist she created some really beautiful nail designs and gave the models the cutest pedis using Nailtini products. Nailtini is a brand under the Tini Beauty umbrella so of course this line too is inspired by cocktails.

The models hands and feet were prepped by massaging them with Nailtini’s Hot Buttered Rum Cream. The cream smells like exactly what you think it would - rum and butter. I love just sniffing the stuff it’s yummy. While the cream is designed to moisturize the hands and feet, it can also be used on rough areas such as elbows and knees to soften skin.  A lot of the girls were sad when their messages ended because the Hot Buttered Rum Cream feels awesome when being rubbed on. If I wasn’t so busy doing hair I would have begged for one too! 

While polishing nails it’s not uncommon to got some polish on a model’s skin or have a nail smudge. This is why the Manicurists were all armed with nail polish remover wipes that Nailtini calls Cocktail Napkins. Such a cute name! They are different from other wipes because they are acetone free so they don’t have that strong odor (these wipes smell like oranges) and they leave the cuticle conditioned instead of dried out.

It was really interesting for me to watch the nail team work. The first thing that I noticed was that Omary came with pre painted nails. As I scratched my head Scooby Doo style, she explained to me that when creating nail art this is a common practice to save on time and to ensure accuracy. Acrylic nails are painted ahead of time and applied to the models hands on the day of the show – it's really smart if you think about it. The nails were polished with an adorable limited edition pink color called Blushing Lady , had a glittery gold color called Gold Haze around the border, and a clear top coat called Vodka.

Last but not least, all of the ladies got pedicures using the shocking pink color Grenadine and top coat of Vodka.  The toes were kept simple because the color itself was so beautiful and attention grabbing. All of the models wore clear shoes (that Naomi referred to as stripper heels, LOL) so the feet really were all about the pedi. The models feet looked soft and touchable; and the super bright color complimented the collection beautifully. Nailtini rocks!
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Colon

Your colon has to be one of the more forgotten parts of your body.  Its certainly one of the bits nobody loves to talk about.  The girls don't make group appointments for an after brunch colonoscopy but maybe we should.  According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the US.  Not to mention there are over a million colon cancer survivors in these fifty states.  And while its better to be a cancer survivor than not, its also better to never have the cancer at all.  So enough with the big C.  Lets just say its time to pay attention ladies.  There are other reasons you should pay attention to your colon.  And there are easier ways to do it rather than snaking a camera up there.

Your intestines is something like 30 feet all stretched out.  And for all of my meat eaters out there (and yes that includes fish.  Fish is a meat, kids) you should know that there is no fiber in meat.  Fiber comes from veggies and grains and seeds but not from meat. That means there's nothing to push the meat along and it has a tendency to get stuck in the folds of your intestines and rot there.  Are you cringing yet?  There are ways to combat the daily assault your body.  

The easiest way is daily fiber.  Fiber Fiber Fiber.  And these days your grandmother's Metamucil is out.  It's all about naturally fibrous foods like grains, seeds, leafy veggies and fresh fruit.  Your heavy hitters are flax seeds and psyllium husk and you can put them in your smoothie sprinkle them over your salads and pasta.  My favorite I learned from a good friend who told me a great way to get some fiber is psyllium in grapefruit or orange juice.  Just drink it fast!  The psyllium becomes gelatin quickly. 

Now the next step you can take to make your tummy happy and fight bloat is the colonic.  I can hear the thunder and horror movie style screams but listen, its not as bad as it seems.  Firstly colon hydrotherapy has been around forever.  Seriously, the ancient Egyptians used to do an old school version of it.  And while your bowels are great at removing waste, it can't clear everything and it affects your skin, your hair growth and causes slight bloating and puffiness.  A colonic, in my opinion, needn't be performed more than three times a year.  The breakdown of the process is such that a small tube with en even smaller tube inside is inserted (ahem) down there and water is used to flush out the colon and make it all squeaky clean.  Throughout the whole process your abdomen is being massaged and when its all done you really do feel lighter. 

So in conclusion, please take care of your colon because cancer is the pits.  Also, overall health is important.  Its super simple to increase the amount and variety of fibrous foods in your diet.  And of course after the holidays a great time to flush out all the leftover pumpkin pie that somehow got left on the digestion conveyor belt. 
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

4 Things to Consider Before Coloring Your Hair

1.  Be conscious of your emotional state.
We have all been through either a breakup or a shift in our careers where it has driven us to the salon for a change.  Stop right there.  Think.  Consult.  And then wait.  Rash decisions often times lead to regret and being in the beauty industry we want you to love your look long after leaving.

 2.  Be conscious of your skin tone.
When looking for color inspiration, try to find images of people with similar skin tone.  Then determine which shade would work best for you and your complexion.  Cool undertones should choose warmer shades and vice versa to create a more balanced look.  

3.  Be conscious of product residue.  
The remnants of dry shampoo, hairspray or any other products can create a barrier between your hair and the color resulting in a shade you may not of expected.  Keep in mind though, that oil can help protect your scalp from burning so don't worry about showing up with squeaky clean hair either.

4. Be conscious of maintenance.
We spend a lot of money to look good so making it last is key. Be sure you are using the correct products to ensure your shampoo and conditioner isn't do more bad than good for your hair and hair color.. Also, when choosing a look, be sure you can commit to the recommended time you need to return for your next visit because certain techniques or looks can yield a shorter period between visits to maintain.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Best Makeup Brushes Ever!

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am a creature of habit, if I find something that works for me I usually do not deviate. As a Makeup Artist, I know first-hand that mastering your brush collection is a long, arduous task. This is why I have had the same makeup brushes for over 2 years! In an attempt to show others (and partly myself) that I’m open to trying new things…ISH, I begrudgingly agreed to try out 3 sets of Sigma Beauty brushes: the Kabuki Kit, the Precision Kit, and the Performance Eyes Kit. The brushes in all 3 collections are incredible! No one is more surprised than I am that I LOVE these brushes, but I have forsaken the brushes that have served me well for the past couple of years and have replaced them with these beauties.

When I got the brushes in the mail, I was so struck by the packaging. The boxes have such a fun design and they were wrapped in a bow, I felt like I was getting a special gift. Upon opening the box and touching the brushes I was overwhelmed by how soft the fibers were. I guess after having the same brushes for as long as I had, I forgot how soft new ones feel. I could not stop touching the bristles – for reals! To top it all off the brushes were beautiful. I couldn’t wait to take the brushes to work with me and put them to use.

After using my fancy new brushes on several clients, I love them all but had some clear favorites. I can’t live without my P86 PrecisionTapered brushes.  The shape makes it the perfect brush for powdering hard to reach areas such as the inner corner of the eye, the sides of the nose, and around the mouth.  I thought my Sephora blush brush was the best thing ever… I was an idiot. The F84 Angled Kabuki brush is hands down the best tool ever to apply blush. Using blush can be tricky because if a brush picks up too much product it can be hard to blend out the color. What I love about the Angled Kabuki most is that it not only places the blush on the cheeks but it also blends it out with minimal effort. I’ve been waiting for this brush all of my life. Another wonderful brush is the E 47 Shader Crease brush. This is the smallest crease brushes that I have ever used but there is a method to its madness. The size allows you to position the product directly into the crease and guide the eye shadow exactly where you want it to go for perfect placement. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

I doubted that I would find brushes that would work for me as well as what I had, but not only did the Sigma brushes match the functionality of my personal collection they surpassed it. I have replaced 95% of my beloved tools with these beautiful Sigma brushes simply because they’re superior.  My new babies are fabulous and I can’t begin to express how thrilled I am that I gave them a try!
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Model of The Week: Anna Papadakis Talks Beauty

Meet Anna Papadakis, up and coming fitness model from NYC, Yoga instructor, and Well, Hello Pretty's very own "Model of The Week".

Age: 27
Height: 5'6
Weight: 125

Thank you for allowing us to interview you Anna, Let's get started with you telling our readers, a little bit about yourself.
 Hi, my name is Anna. I am a Yoga/Fitness Instructor, along side of that I am currently now in NYC pursing my lifestyle/fitness/commercial print modeling career. I've been practicing yoga for 6 years which I feel it now helps me maintain a well balanced, active, healthy life style here in NY. I practice about three times a week, along with light weight training to keep my muscles healthy and strong.

Please tell us, How did you get into modeling and Yoga?
I started practicing Yoga in the winter of 2007 when I completely fell in love with the art of mediation and the physical benefits of this exercise. Several months after, I had then decided that I wanted to teach and share my experience with the world. I enrolled in the Jimmy Barkan teacher training levels 1 and 2. Completing 350 hours of yoga alliance standard certification. 

My modeling career and dream took a new turn when I had met Johnny Rodrigeuz (a cousin of singer Mark Anthony). Weeks after my first photoshoot with him, I had networked with some of his recommended agencies and landed some exciting auditions, one which whom I worked on a set with Katherine Heigl on the Anderson cooper day time talk show. Currently working with MMG model management as a fitness model..[sic] some exciting new projects ahead.

So as a fitness model, how does yoga help to benefit your career?
Yoga helps me maintain a fit body for my fitness gigs. As an aspiring fitness model, it can be a handful maintaining a good body and making sure I am on point for my auditions, casting calls, and up coming photo shoots, etc.

That's awesome. Congrats on all your success so far! Thank you for sharing that with us. As you know, we are all about beauty here- so I have a few questions for you to get a little bit of your take on the genre.

What is your definition of “Beauty”?
Beauty to me is knowing and being able to see that underneath it all we are all the same. Beauty is maintaining a humble, compassionate soul while still having style and grace.

 What’s your favorite hair product and why?
My favorite hair product is [sic] 'Not Your Mothers' (brand) 'Clean Freak' refreshing dry shampoo. Being that I am always on the go I barely have time to shampoo my hair, plus that being said, my type of curly course hair can become dry if I over wash my hair.  This dry shampoo gives me that clean fresh feeling without the time to completely style and wash my hair every time I shower.. and I shower sometimes twice a day!! If they only made something like this for my laundry, LIFE would be way easier! Ha!

That would definitely be nice! So, since you're always on the go, do you have a go-to hairstyle?
My go to hairstyle is up in a bun, with a couple of strands loose, dangling earrings and I'm out the door.

What is your daily skin routine and what products do you use?
I shower with pepper mint or citrus body wash, the aroma of these products helps me to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. After, I follow up with Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Lemon Brass body oil which is one of my favorite holistic body care.

What is your favorite beauty secret/tip?
I drink a glass of water every morning BEFORE any Tea or Coffee, and of course staying hydrated trough out the day.

In your opinion, how important is diet in regards to beauty and exercise? 
I feel your consumption of what type of foods you eat plays a huge role in how we look physically; For example: shiny hair, strong nails, and healthy glowing skin. In conclusion, food is our fuel so it should be chosen wisely.
What's a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you?
Breakfast: avocado egg-whites, a cup of oat meal and tea. Lunch: green salad with beets; iced green tea. Dinner: grilled salmon and quinoa salad; water.

What is something you receive the most compliments about?
People say that they love my energy, maybe because I tend to have an extra positive outlook towards life. That radiates on others.

What is something you would typically compliment someone about?
I tend to give compliments about people's attitude towards life.

When it comes to dating, do you prefer beauty or brains? & Why?
I prefer neither of them solely; I prefer a little bit of both. In the end, brains can give you beauty, but beauty can't give you brains.  

Very well put. What advice do you have for people on the path to beauty and wellness?
If you don't like yourself, how can you expect people to like you? Respect and love yourself and that will shine through your beauty.

Thank you Anna, for taking the time to share your beautiful perspective on beauty!

For more Anna Papadakis, you can follow her:
Twitter: @annapapadakis
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The Modern Girl's Guide to Being Zen

Of all the trends in effect these days the healthiest has to be the Zen Trend.  And let me tell you, everybody is doing it.  I cannot tell you the number of tees adorned with floating Buddha men or the word "Namaste" printed on the front. Now, as a New Yorker I can honestly say that not everyone donning Mala beads is working on their inner peace. That isn't to say that you can't.  I imagine that people who make time to chill out are healthier than people who don't acknowledge their stress. 

Be active
As we know stress is like cancer to the body.  So calming down and taking some moments to heal ourselves is a must.  And its perfectly simple.  First you need to get a good workout going.  Everyone has heard of runners high and we all know about the bazillions of studies and articles linking exercise to the release of endorphins.  It seems that after a tough day we're told we just want to relax.  But the body hasn't physically worked out all of the day's tension.  So you have to make moves: yoga, running, swimming, dancing- pick your poison. 

Show gratitude
Next you want to take the time to really think about all the little things you should be grateful for.  I feel like every morning while you're brushing your teeth or walking the dog you should spend the time thinking of why you're fortunate.  It's the really simple things like running water, being able to take a taxi, having motor skills or sight, a nice family... just take some moments to really appreciate what you have.  Thank God, the universe, mother earth, your parents, Darwinism or whatever you believe in.  The point is when you take time to realize what you have, even the little things that we forget about like brain capacity, your friends, freedom; Just know that there is so much of the world living and enduring without the things that seem ordinary.  When you realize you should take nothing for granted you may find it soothing to see just all that you have.

Spend time with animals
Speaking of walking the dog, you may want to consider getting a pet.  Get a fish or a bird or a cat and if you can't have pets for whatever reason spend time with your friends pets or volunteer at a shelter or even go to the aquarium.  So studies have also shown that pets are pretty freaking soothing.  And there isn't a formula for what kind of pet you should have.  Universally our furry, feathered and scaly friends lower our anxiety and blood pressure levels and just make us smile.  I have a cat who is always happy to see me and a friend who's had her chinchilla Pepe for almost a decade (apparently these little guys live forever) and these guys are so calming.  And all of my friends with pets seem to be so calm.  But hey, if you can't have one because of allergies or house rules or finances follow some on Instagram or Tumblr. There are some really cute pet accounts.

Get out there and do some good
Oh man sometimes it seems like there isn't time to volunteer.  I know I am not a lady with any real free time but there are little things you can do that help on a smaller scale and make you feel better.  Little things like recycling, giving a couple dollars or a sandwich to the homeless guy on the corner, smiling at strangers or giving a genuine compliment. It makes you and someone else feel good and that's important.  Even just holding the door for the dad with a stroller and a 4 year old struggling to exit the Duane Reade.  Lending a helping hand is good for everyone.  And positivity begets positivity.  Call it karma or whatever but when you put good in you get good back.

See the world
Save your money and travel.  Fly to London for the weekend, see the Grand Canyon, even get lost in different parts of your city.  Nothing puts things in perspective more than seeing a different culture and allowing yourself to experience something new.  

Its all so simple.  This is seriously a bandwagon you should leap onto.  Nothing feels better than realizing you're happy and focusing on the positive.  The world can be an ugly place and people can really get to you and break you down.  But if you actively pursue "calm", you can pacify the "crazy" and spread the love.

Sound good?  Let's get zen.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

7 Healthy and Delicious Game Day Snacks

'Tis the season to embrace football!  Every so often, when my attention span allows it, I enjoy an engaging game of football. More than watching, however, I enjoy making the food the boys snack on during all what seems to be three thousand games that come on for the day.  It makes it feel more like quality time rather than the intrusive, ever expanding, man-cave of the day.  And if you're like me, sometimes you just prefer the comfort of your own home in comparison to a crowded bar or restaurant with over-priced and greasy food. Plus! Cooking at home is so much cheaper... I like cheaper.

So here I've collected a few tasty and healthier snack options to share with you that are easy on the stomach, pleasing to the tastes buds, and will be sure to make you the MVP.

1. Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings

Baked, not fried! Packed with a tangy lemon flavor and spiked to add a little fun!

Calories: 173
Ingredients: Vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, chicken wings
Click here, for the full recipe.

2. Zucchini Fries

Half the calories of regular french fries, plus a boost of Vitamin C!

 Calories: 181 per 11 Fries
Ingredients: Zucchinis, eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs
Click here, for the full recipe.

3. Mini Turkey Burgers with Gorgonzola

 If you're looking for a protein-packed finger food, try these delicious mini burgers!

Calories: 169
Ingredients: Garlic powder, ground turkey breast, Gorgonzola cheese, reduced-fat mayonnaise, gherkin pickles, dinner rolls, curly leaf lettuce 
Click here, for full recipe. 

4. Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip

 Get everyone to eat this yummy low cal and iron-rich snack. They won't even realize how healthy it is!

Calories: 59
Ingredients: Olive oil, lima beans, cream cheese, Tabasco sauce, capers, mustard, artichoke hearts, frozen spinach, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, green onions, lemon juice 
Click here, for full recipe. 

5. Twice Baked Sweet Potato

 Oh beta-carotene, we love you! Sweet potatoes are not only loaded with this orange goodness but it cuts out a lot of the fat from the traditional way of making this dish with regular baking/russet potatoes.

Calories: 341
Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, sour cream, chives, shredded cheddar cheese
Click here, for the full recipe.

6.  Smokey Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dip

Baking these chicken strips keeps the fat low, but the breading and seasoning creates a delicious faux-fried texture.

Calories: 190
Ingredients: Flour, milk, barbecue smoked seasoning, bread crumbs, quick-cooking oats, garlic and herb seasoning, skinless boneless chicken breasts, Dijon mustard, honey
Click here, for full recipe.

7. Fudgey Chocolate Brownies

C'mon! Game day isn't complete without some form of dessert.. The trick to keeping the fat content low on these is to use unsweetened cocoa.  Yup, that's it and it doesn't make them any less decadent.

Calories: 132
Ingredients: Margarine, unsweetened chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder
Click here, for full recipe.
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Pixi Beauty Products for Target's Fall Commercial

I was fortunate enough to be selected as a Makeup Artist for Target's "Fall Trends" commercial. This was an interesting job because it was a commercial and an actual runway show all wrapped into one. My dream as a Makeup Artist has always been to do makeup for a Target billboard, this is definitely a step in the right direction. The Lead Makeup Artist was the amazing Petra Strand of Pixi (who has a line for Target). Since Petra has a line sold at Target we got to work with a lot of her products  for the taping. I was familiar with some of the products prior to working on this commercial, but I was able to try out some that I had never used before as well. 

When I first arrived I was super early (a trait that I pride myself on as an Artist) so I was able to pick what group of models that I wanted to do makeup for and I chose "tailored". The models that wore the tailored look had very clean makeup that concentrated on gorgeous skin and lips, which really spoke to me. The makeup required the MUA's to create a flawless complexion, a contoured eye, and bold red lips. Pixi makes a lovely sheer liquid foundation called Flawless Beauty Fluid that creates gorgeous natural looking skin without it appearing cakey. The eyelids were contoured with Lid Last Shadow Pen in the color Graphite Glint. The models lips were created with Succulent Lip Twin which is a lipstick/lip gloss duo in the color Poppy Red. My model was a gorgeous blonde who was actually featured in the commercial. 

After the show I was able to select some swag (complimentary products) to take home and found one of my new favorite beauty products in the process - the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen! OMG!!! I have never used a pencil that glided on so beautifully and finished like a liquid liner. To say that it is pigmented is an understatement, I'm absolutely in love. This is a product that I will be using sparingly and only on select jobs - my apologies to my brides but you can't have any!

Overall, I enjoyed taping the Target commercial but what I was most excited about was the opportunity to work on a team with Petra Strand and discover some cool new products from the Pixi line. We were only allowed to utilize makeup from the Pixi brand which was scary and exciting at the same time. Using products that you  have never worked with before forces you to venture outside of your comfort zone but in this case I enjoyed every moment of it. I found Petra to be such a lovely and warm woman which is not always typical in successful businesswomen. The Pixi line is vast in its options and really delivers on quality. Working on this commercial was so much fun and I'm grateful to have been a part of it!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Say Farewell Chap, Get Kissably Soft Lips

The air is getting colder ladies and that means two things! 1. Our lips are more prone to dryness and 2. Cuddling season is approaching and the last thing you wanna do is graze your lips across someone's cheek and accidentally cut them.  Can that really happen?  Well, with these surefire tips you won't ever have to know (you're welcome):

Drink Water
I'm sure by now you've noticed this is the first step in a lot of our how-to guides. That's because water is so important!  Having dry lips is a number one sign of some form of dehydration. Providing your body with internal moisture can help battle the external lack of moisture in the air. Be sure to get your 6-8 glasses of water daily for the best results!

Just like with any other form of body care, you want to create a routine that's relatively quick, effective, and easy to stick to.  Some people are blessed with soft and smooth lips naturally without ever having to do anything to them. However, there are tons of people- like myself, who need to create a basic routine in order to maintain baby soft lips.  First rule...

Stop Biting and Licking
Unfortunately, this is one of those habits that are hard to even notice you're doing in the first place.  Try to keep your mind on it enough to at least stop yourself when you start doing it. Licking your lips drys them out and also removes any form of moisture you placed on them, like balm.  Biting your lips tears the skin and helps to create that crinkly, uneven, and rough appearance.

Prep Your Lips
Here is the first official part of the routine. Before doing anything, you always want to prep your lips by holding a warm cloth to them for about a minute. This helps soften your lips in preparation for the next step.

Exfoliate Your Lips
There are two types of exfoliation for your lips: Daily and Weekly, both should be incorporated carefully and accordingly.

Daily: Take a toothbrush, dip it in water, and gently scrub your lips for about 30-60 seconds depending on your sensitivity. Doing this will gently remove the dead skin cells on your lips and smooth out any surfaces that you have decided to snack on.  Be careful not to scrub too hard or too long as you can accidentally take off too much skin which will leave a slight burning sensation and/or bleeding.

Weekly: Weekly exfoliation can be done up to 3 times per week (every other day never back to back).  Combine honey and sugar and apply to prepped lips. Gently massage the mixture into your lips for about 60 seconds.  The sugar works to remove dead skin cells while the honey works to heal and soften. A bonus with doing either of these exfoliation techniques is as you're rubbing your lips you are drawing more blood to that area which will temporarily lead to plumper, fuller, looking lips!

Apply an Effective Lip Balm
Stay away from "chapsticks".  The chemicals in chapsticks actually dry out your lips instead of moisturizing them.  Use lip balms like Softlips, Burts Bees, and Evo for best results.  Carry one with you everywhere so you can reapply as necessary. I recommend looking for lip balms that have beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and/or jojoba oil in them for best results.  Avoid Petroleum based balms if you can.

Protect Your Lips Before Bedtime
After you finish your nighttime face cleansing routine, prep your lips as described earlier and then apply a large amount of lip balm before going to bed so that your lips are continuously softening during the night.  Another cool trick is to coat your lips with either coconut oil or honey before bed and leave it on overnight for super soft lips in the morning.

You can switch up your routine accordingly whether you choose to exfoliate at night or in the morning so long as you are applying these basic steps.. you will begin to notice a difference in your lips. Happy Kissing!

[photo1, photo2, photo3, photo 4]
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

9 Essential Fall Skin Care Tips

Just a couple more days until it is officially Fall!  Although most of us have already considered the entire month of September to be fall, truth is... it's still summer & it's time to kick start our official fall skin care regimen.   As you know, days will be cooler, nights will be colder, and the air will be drier.  Adjusting your skin care routine with the seasons is crucial in order to maintain beautiful, clear, and glowing skin. After all, that's what we all want, right?

1. Drink Water!
The number one source of hydration is water. It works from the inside out and helps to flush out the very toxins that would prevent clear skin. Water adds elasticity to your skin, keeping it soft, smooth, and supple. For a complete list of beauty benefits of drinking water, click here.

2. Oil Based-Exfoliation!
Exfoliating helps to remove built up dead skin cells, helping to unblock clogged pores and allows the skin to breathe.  While majorly beneficial for your skin, it can also be very drying. Try using an oil-based exfoliant. This will help moisturize the skin in the process, it's a win/win!

3. Eat Lots of Fruit!
This one may come as a little bit of a surprise to you, but there are so many fruits that are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A, C, and E... all of which are phenomenal aids in beautifying our skin and restoring its natural glow. Fruit also help to boost the immune system, so while you are eating for good skin you're also fighting off colds in the process. Sounds like another win to me.

4. Get a Humidifier!
Another somewhat quirky but useful tip, putting moisture back into the air.  A humidifier can help your skin remain supple instead of cracked and dry. You can buy a humidifier at your local drugstore or superstore.

5. Ditch The Soap!
A common misconception is that all body washes and/or "soap" bars are actually made with soap. Surprise, surprise, they aren't.  The soap ingredient is actually very drying and stripping for our skin. Look for "Soap-Free" and "Sulfate-Free" body cleansers in order to restore and maintain moisture even after a nice clean shower... follow up with ...

6. Use a Cream, Not Lotion!
Creams provide a stronger oil barrier, meaning they both reduce water loss from the outer layer of the skin and provide hydration at the same time.  Try sealing in the cream with virgin coconut oil by first applying the cream and then applying a light amount of the coconut oil over it and rub it in.  You may even skip the cream altogether and just the coconut oil.

7. Protect Your Lips!
Using a non-petroleum based lip balm (not lip gloss) regularly will aid in keeping lips soft and moisturized. Avoid licking your lips, with the dry air this will only help to speed up the dry and chapping process. Keep your lip balm with you every where you go and apply as needed.  Be sure to lightly exfoliate your lips each morning before applying your balm.

8. Pamper Your Skin!
Whether at home or at the Spa, treat yourself to a nice facial mask once per week! Slice up some cucumbers and place them over your eyes to hydrate them, keep them looking younger, and help with those dark circles.  After removing your facial mask you can take some carrot peels and place them all over your face while lying down to let your skin absorb all of the wonderful beta-carotene. Not only is all of this fun, it works wonders for your skin!

9. Use a Toner!
Colder weather, drier air, drier skin.  A hydrating toner will finalize the cleansing process and balance the skin’s pH.  Having a balanced pH level helps reduce proneness to dry or oily skin, irritation, and/or breakouts.  Try this awesome DIY toner, click here.

[photo, photo, photo]
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Monday, September 16, 2013

NYFW Hair Made Simple With Scunci Pins

Every September and February I look forward to working shows for New York Fashion Week. Twice a year New York City turns into a crazy place for Fashion Designers, Models, Makeup Artists, Hairstylists, and Manicurists alike; as fashion houses show their latest collections in runway shows and presentations. Some of you may or may not know that I am co – Founder of a beauty and grooming company called Metro Look, my partner and I were blessed enough to be chosen to be key makeup and hair for Naomi Spindel’s NYFW presentation. As Lead Hairstylist for the Naomi Spindel show I was armed with a secret weapon that made NYFW a little easier for my team and me,  Scunci No-Slip Grip bobby pins! These pins simplify hairstyling because they really clamp down on hair to hold styles in place, and work well on all hair types.

Upon meeting Naomi for the first time she showed my business partner and I pictures of her beautiful collection.  After seeing photos of the clothes we designed a cool hairstyle together to compliment her line. We decided on an updo reminiscent of a beehive, with a cool Dutch braid in the back and a ribbon as an accessory. The hairstyle required the hair to be sleek and secure so I knew that we had no choice but to arm ourselves with Scunci bobby pins. During our run through the pins were utilized on the model  to mold the hairstyle and to keep the ribbon in place. They did a wonderful job for the test run, so I was extremely confident that styling on the show date would go smoothly. Due to the way the Scunci No-Slip Grip pins grasp the hair, I used way less pins than I would have with pins from other brands.

The day of the show proved to be extremely chaotic initially, but once our team got into a groove we were knocking out our modern beehive style on our models with no problem. The Scunci pins were an integral part of executing the style beautifully. From the heaviest head of thick hair to the slipperiest head of baby fine hair, the pins locked the hair down to insure the style would not budge. Our favorite hair trick for this hairstyle was to spray the pins with hairspray and criss cross the bobby pins for ultimate security. All of the models looked great and their hair endured for the duration of the presentation.

The next day after the show I woke up to the great news that Naomi’s show received press from WWD, Elle Russia, and Nylon magazine, a huge triumph for all parties involved! The hair photographed so well and I know that without our Scunci pins it wouldn’t have held up as well.

(Photo Courtesy of
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Model of the Week: Jesus Matias Talks Beauty

Meet Jesus Matias.  An up and coming model from NYC and Well, Hello Pretty's very own "Model of The Week". 

Age: 22
Height: 5'10
Weight: 145 lbs

Thank you for allowing us to interview you Jesus, Let's get started with you telling our readers, a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jesus F. Matias and I have been modeling for a year now, I am a fairly new professional. My goal in the fashion industry is to become an entrepreneur, currently I own a fashion line. I combined fashion and modeling since it's the same industry. Basically, I am always working, I love it and my background is film making. I grew up all over NYC and I have always been into face products and fashion since grade school. As a kid I grew up around film but I was always into the arts and beauty too.

Being fairly new to the modeling industry, what are some of the challenges you face and why do you enjoy it most?
It's quite the challenge being new because, you have no idea how to start. Being in my 20's I'm like wow, all my old high school mates are in college to become lawyers, doctors, etc. and I say; where do I go for modeling? lol well I started with buying books, watching documentaries then to test shooting for free, to networking events, getting rejected by casting directors & agencies. Now I am signed with Smart Models, I enjoy the challenges, I still face many today. There is always something new to learn when it comes to the clients that hire me & in general about the fashion industry.

You also said you own a fashion line, tell us about it and what’s your inspiration behind it and what do you hope to inspire with it?
My fashion line is called "Verum es Corrupta" which in Latin means "Truth is Corrupt". I hope to inspire people to express more of who they are and stop caring of what people think of them. VEC is all about expression whether it's odd or not. We are corrupt youth, my partners and I, were kids who were always judged, always compared to others, always forced to do what everyone else does. At a young age we decided to be in the streets and learned how to take action and stay ahead and now we are entrepreneurs, doing what we dream in all aspects. None of us have a fashion background, we have no one to teach us anything, nor do we look at other brands. We are isolated in the dark creating vision, art, and fashion. This is why we are VEC & our culture is to inspire. 

Very well explained. Thank you for sharing that with us. We'll be posting the link to your brand at the end of this interview for all of our readers to check out! As you know, we are all about beauty here- so let’s get a little bit of your take on the genre..I have a few questions for you so let's get started.

What is your definition of “Beauty”?
My definition of beauty is personality. "Looks" has its limits, I do admit I take a hard interest in women for their looks, but that is just the first step. Personality is key for me in actually considering them to be part of my life, and I am picky in looks/character!

What’s your favorite hair product and why?
My favorite hair product is ECO Styler (Hair Gel) I have been using it for years, it's rated 10 on Max Hold and it's very convenient for sculpting. The finishing result looks wet and natural and it stays the same for a long period.

What is your daily skin routine?
My favorite facial product brand is: Peter Thomas Roth, which is a high end skin-care brand that specifically focuses on certain skin problems, unlike proactive. They have a variety of products. Currently I am using the clinical peel & reveal dermal resurfacer, which I only use once a month to renew my skin. For daily use, I use the chamomile cleansing lotion which is a daily wash with natural herbs that extracts for most skin types.

To keep in shape, do you have a specific workout regimen?
I pretty much lift weights 3 times a week, 2 body parts a day and 2 days a week I sprint and jog. Then I'll switch it up by powerlifting and for cardio I'll do a 2 hour class of Muay Thai Kickboxing at Sitan Gym.

Wow! Muay Thai Kickboxing? That sounds fun and most certainly must work up an appetite! In your opinion, how important is diet (food) in regards to beauty?
Food is very important to beauty, eating greasy foods can cause you to look oily, sweat a lot, which all cause break outs. Yuck! Then you'll have skin marks & uneven tones. When you're on a big time veggie/lean meats diet your skin appears very smooth, with drinking lots of water, it comes out beautiful. It is very important to eat right, that way you can have your cheat days.

We all love cheat day!  So what's your favorite healthy meal?
My favorite healthy meal is, a turkish salad with a variety of chopped kebab meats, steak & chicken, with a bowl of fruits and a smoothie. It's a nice balance of proteins and vitamins! 

Your diet sounds like an awesome beauty tip within itself, care to share another beauty tip with our readers?
My favorite beauty tip, would be to go expensive when it comes to beauty, whether its going to a salon or buying skin products, always shop the best. You seriously get what you pay for when it comes to beauty! Beauty is an investment of self!

What is something you receive the most compliments about?
 I receive lots of compliments mainly on my charismatic personality and my facial features, I'm quite the catch I guess lol. 

Speaking of being a "catch", When it comes to dating, do you prefer brains or beauty? Why?
 I'm all about beauty. I believe everyone is smart in their field, people are great at what they do. She might not know anything about physics or politics but if she's a success in her field & makes me happy, that's what counts. 

How about, makeup or natural?
I love a dolled up woman, I enjoy seeing make up on women, It just shows how much they care about their appearance, which is what I am all about. I love confident women. 

What makes a person attractive to you?
What makes a person attractive is their personality & of course, how they present themselves.

What advice do you have for people on the path to beauty and wellness?
I would recommend people to go to a spa that focuses on skin, and get to know your type of skin! See what needs to be done in order to improve and to maintain it.

Thank you Jesus, for taking the time to share your beautiful perspective on beauty!  

For more Jesus Matias, you can follow him:
Instagram: @gooseroxxz

Don't forget to check out his awesome fashion line "Verum es Corrupta":
Instagram: @vec_ny

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Friday, September 13, 2013

A Guilt-Free Dessert, It Will Make You Go BANANAS

Back in college, I learned that I had become somewhat intolerant to milk and soft cheeses (Boo!). Not wanting to sacrifice my cheese addiction, I gave up milk and went the soy route. For the past few years though, it's been all about the Almond Milk (love). This recipe is the epitome of what I love to do in the kitchen: to "recreate" gluttonous favorites, without the guilt. My ultimate goal is to deliver flavors that satisfy cravings and ignite nostalgia, not indigestion. So here is my take on the classic Bananas Foster, with chocolate of course.

Chocolate Bananas Foster Ice Cream

2 cups Almond Breeze (Vanilla) 2 Bananas
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (opt: 1/2 Chopped Organic Dark Chocolate Bar)
1 tsp Water Tools: Immersion Blender and Ice Cream Maker
* (If you don't have I.C. Maker, just place in freezer-safe container)

Pour almond milk and vanilla extract into saucepan and warm on med-lo heat. Once warmed, mix in cocoa powder, extra chopped chocolate if you wish, and 1 banana (sliced). Let cook for 5 min. and then use immersion blender (or regular blender) to smooth out ingredients and set aside to cool.
In a saute pan, place second banana (sliced and then halved) and then the tsp of water with the brown sugar on med-lo until it begins to caramelize (roughly 5-7 min, depending on your burners). Once caramelized, take off heat.

Pour ice cream base into mixer and let it churn about 5 min. and then add caramelized banana pieces to the mixture. Let it go for 7-10 min. longer in machine until incorporated and chilled. Remove mixture and place into freezer-safe container and place in freezer to set (about 15-30 min.) until desired texture is reached. I personally like my ice cream on the softer side, so I took mine out after 20 min. Let the brain freeze begin!

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