Tag: Beauty

The Makeup Show LA 2013

k150_19Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDI can’t think of a better way to spend a day than surrounded by makeup. All those little jewel-tone colors, powders and brushes just waiting to make us beautiful. I was a kid in a literal candy store at The Makeup Show this weekend where beauty brands come to showcase their products, launch new ones and cater to the makeup artistry industry in the quest to make people gorgeous.

Along with the wealth of product displays and head-turning looks on everyone from the attendees to the workers in the booths to the made-over models, there were panels to teach everyone new techniques, new products and a little business sense for professionals in the beauty industry.

I made a point to catch demonstrations from two of my favorite brands, NARS and Stila Cosmetics and they didn’t disappoint. Here’s what I learned:



One of the most respected brands out there, NARS offers top-notch quality, colors that are innovative and on trend, and the wear is long lasting. I learned about their Botan brush that buffs their triple-milled loose powder into the skin for a flawless finish, the spring launch of their new light reflecting, translucent powder – great for under the eyes for no creasing and slight highlight, and their new satin lip pencils – the smooth, long lasting sister of their awesome velvet matte pencil, which I’m absolutely in LOVE with. You won’t believe the moisturizing, non- smudging color that comes from these little pencils. I wish I could afford them in every color!



Being a fan of ‘60s style, I couldn’t resist a demo in “Mod Makeup” done the Stila way. I learned about their Beauty Balm, applied over moisturizer and under foundation for a slight dewy glow of mannequin-smoothness all over the face. I was impressed with the Stay All Day Foundation (applied with a spatula – now that’s a serious foundation!) with a matching concealer in the bottle cap that is high definition at its finest. And the glory of the Smudge Pot in black for the ultimate smoky eye paired with a pink Barbie lips for a look that screams Brigitte Bardot! Makeup artist and Stila Executive Director, Dominick Briguglio was also hilariously charming in his demo.

I was tempted to blow out my credit card on the deep discounts offered at all the booths but I had to control myself and just make a wish list.

Some other product discoveries I found included

Skyn Demure Temporary Tattoos

Ja’Maal Buster Lashes and cute hot pink Applicator

Senna Cosmetics Brow Palettes


I stopped by the Beautylish Business Forum to catch a presentation on Social Media and the Internet in the Beauty Business and learned a few tricks on self-branding. The hot tip I learned – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Look at what some of the most successful makeup artists are doing on the web and model them. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instragram, you can show your talent as instantly and easily as uploading a photo.

Walking around, I was blown away by some of the special effect makeup being done on the spot and of course all of the creative and beautifully made-up faces in the crowd. Check out the gallery by clicking the image below:


What a great event! Check it out as it moves on to New York, Chicago, Orlando and Europe.  I’ll be back next year for sure!

Kiss and make up,

Tags: , ,

Tag: Beauty

Beauty-ful Holiday Gifts Sets

k150_16heel iconEvery year, my mom asks me to send her a list of what I want for Christmas and the tradition began that the list is always beauty products –

for one, because she loves shopping for them as much as I do and for two, there are so many ultra cute beauty box sets that come out for the holidays.

This year I put together a list for YOU of some of the great sets I found to put on your wish list or gift to someone else.

Click here to check my list of products from Benefit, Kat Von D, MAC, Too Faced and Sephora in my report for Yahoo!



Here’s to a beautiful holiday!

*Photos provide by Sephora PR

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Lip Color That Lasts

There’s nothing like a kisser that goes POW! Color-drenched lips can really define a look. But I find so many lipsticks go on full of color and disappear a few minutes later. I recently discovered two fantastic brands that make highly-pigmented lip colors that LAST.

Read on to my article for Yahoo! Beauty – your lips will thank you!

Pucker up!

Products mentioned in this blog were sampled at an event and purchased by the author. See Disclosure.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Nail Files: The Painted Nail Party

Nothing like a last minute party invite to liven up your week! I got an email from my pal Maxine from Vanity Girl Hollywood* to join her at her makeover station at a party celebrating the new hair salon & blow-out bar at The Painted Nail, home of the “Nail Files” reality show on the TV Guide channel. If you haven’t seen the show, owner Katie Cazorla brings a whole lot of Hollywood glamour to the land of mani-pedis, with a big celebrity clientele and spa-like experience — you never know what’s going to happen! But what I like best is the surprisingly affordable prices for service in a ultra hip atmosphere! My kind of place!

The party was an Alice in Wonderland-theme with Katie decked out as Alice herself and lots of beautiful girls and handsome dudes in Wonderland glam for a surreal tea party complete with whimsical treats and amazing decor. TV cameras and boom mics where swinging around everywhere following Katie and her music producer husband, Walter Afanasieff  wherever they went. I’m sure we’ll see what drama ensued in the next episode of “Nail Files”!

We were also treated to music by girl trio The Goods and Alex Hughes, who got the crowd going with her great energy. Each guest was given a beauty card to visit all of the makeover stations for a little primp treat. I had my lips done in of-the-moment tangerine at Maxine’s Vanity Girl makeup station by makeup artist, Zarah Villarreal. She did a fantastic job – thanks doll! The Vanity Girl “glam squad” also included, makeup artist/blogger Olivia Danielle and makeup artist Crystal Strayer.

Then I was off to get a hot pink hair extension and a splash of blue hair chalk coloring. Lastly, was the nail “Ice Cream Bar” before I could pick up the amazing gift bag stuffed to the brim with all kinds of beauty samples and goodies I can’t wait to try out and write about in future posts.

Check out the pictures from the party by clicking the image below:

Read more about Vanity Girl Hollywood in the Stiletto City interview.

Shop for your own Vanity Girl Hollywood Makeup Mirror* as seen here!

Nails on ladies!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Hair Stylin’

It was time for a haircut. I’ve had my hair long pretty much since high school and I’d had enough. I’m a big fan of pinned-up retro do’s and with my long hair, I just didn’t know what to do with it all. Plus, long hair is heavy and high maintenance. I realized it had grown all the way down to the middle of my back – it just had to go.

But what to do with it? I searched for images of bob-cuts to shoulder-length and one look kept jumping out at me – Sophia Loren in the ’60s. Click here for my inspiration photo. Really can’t go wrong with that look! While I’m no Sophia, the style was what I wanted – full, thick hair that could work from bedhead to super styled.

So off to my hairdresser I went. Elizabeth at Bella Bella Hair B’tique in Pasadena did a fantastic job, and also comforted me when I just about had a panic attack after the big snip of my giant ponytail. I decided to keep my hair so I could make it into extensions – hey, I can always clip it back in when I want it!

For tips on how to make your own hair extensions, check out this YouTube video.

I originally wanted to donate my hair to help make wigs for cancer patients, but I learned they wouldn’t accept hair that had been colored, and boy has my hair been a few colors! If you have virgin hair that’s long enough that you can spare 8-12 inches, check out Locks of Love or Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths hair donation programs. It’s a fantastic way to put your hair to good use!

I’m loving my new bouncy cut and I’m getting the hang of styling it. Stay tuned for lots of photos of fun new hairdo’s!

Hair today, gone tomorrow,

Tags: , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Mini Makeup Palettes: Looking Good on the Go

A much as I love the ritual of getting ready, putting on makeup, experimenting with color, trying a new look, using just the right makeup brush, sometimes I simply don’t have time. As a working girl and blogger-about-town, there are occasions when I just need to rush out the door with my heels in my hands because I can’t run fast enough. It’s those times when little cosmetic shortcuts really come in handy. Find out my secret to “getting my face on” when I just don’t have time, in the video below!

[youtube http://youtu.be/HWWPs3KXA2A]

The hurried glamourpuss,

* Products mentioned in this blog were purchased by the author.  See Disclosure.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Katy Perry Lashes: You Too Can Be a “Cool Kitty”!

Whether she’s rockin’ some blue hair or using her assets for her own version of cutesy sensuality, Katy Perry has a unique sense of style that seems to come with a little nod to retro pinup glamour and tongue ‘n’ cheek humor.

She’s been building a beauty empire with nail polish, perfumes, and she recently launched a new line of Katy Perry signature eyelashes that are perfect for a boosted sweet ‘n’ wholesome look or a dramatic night out.

Click here to read more about them in my report for Yahoo!

Learn some false eyelash application tips and see me wearing Katy Perry’s “Cool Kitty” lashes in the video below:

[youtube http://youtu.be/aNs-Dt4bEP0]

The eyes have it,


Products mentioned in this blog were purchased by the author.  See Disclosure.
Photos courtesy of Eylure

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Besame Cosmetics & the Book of “Classic Beauty”

Creating a retro look is not just about finding a great dress in your favorite vintage store, it’s also about having the right hair and makeup.  And that means studying up on styles of the past because they vary with each decade. Should your hair have finger waves, victory rolls or be teased up big? Should lips be red or neutral? And what about that eyebrow arch? Nobody has a better handle on historical looks than Bésame Cosmetics and that’s validated by the fact that most of the vintage stores in town carry the line.  From the packaging to the colors to the application, Bésame has been giving aspiring pinup girls an authentic retro experience since 2004. Each item is like a little piece of jewelry – lipsticks in ornate metal bullet casings (Red Velvet is my favorite!) and equally pretty refillable powder compacts.

So who better to write the book on makeup than Bésame founder Gabriela Hernandez? She recently released, “Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup,” a sleek, substantial  book that explores the varying definitions of what’s been considered “beautiful,” through the years, including the color palettes that defined different eras and some amazing contraptions such as the “Hollywood Lift” skin lift bands (1964) and the “Lip Stencil” (1938) that women have used to create a desired look.

I got a chance to speak with Gabriela when I went to her book signing at ReVamp Vintage. She told me it took a few years to put together this chronicle of cosmetics, that by the way, makes a fabulous coffee table conversation piece!  She pointed out how the little details were lovingly researched, such as the history of the mascara spiral brush applicator that was invented and patented in 1939 only to become a staple of the cosmetics industry in the late 1950s after the originator’s patent expired.

Gabriella was a joy to speak with, it’s clear how much she loves  makeup and creating authentic looks based on some serious research. So pickup up “Classic Beauty,” it’s a great read for those who love retro looks as well as professional cosmologists and makeup lovers in general.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go powder my nose,

Products mentioned in this blog were purchased by the author.  See Disclosure.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Bella Bella Hair B’tique: You’re Invited

Every girl loves to get her hair done. A hairdresser becomes part of the inner circle, you talk to them, they know your secrets and more importantly, they know your hair. And it’s important that the environment where you get your hair done is a comforting one – worthy of you letting your hair down and feeling confident you are in caring hands. That’s why I was thrilled when my hairdresser, Elizabeth and eyebrow waxer/makeup artist/hairdresser Rachelle moved to Bella Bella Hair B’tique in a charming converted house in Old Town Pasadena. The place has a shabby chic elegance and ease of your own home. Elizabeth and Rachelle love to play “fix up” as they did when I went in last week to go from blonde to brunette for the winter. I got a full makeover, with color, brows and a set in big ol’ rollers for a sexy va-va-voom do.

See the photos of Bella Bella and my transformation by clicking the link below.

 Bella Bella Hair B’tique

Photos by Kastle and courtesy of Bella Bella

And you’re invited to see the place for yourself  THIS FRIDAY, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. for their HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE PARTY. Stiletto City has donated a raffle prize of a bedazzled rhinestone stiletto keychain charm. Other prizes include gift certificates from local business. Bella Bella is located at 49 W. Bellevue Dr., Pasadena, CA 91105

Celebrate the holidays with us – and find your makeover sanctuary that will leave people saying, “Bella Bella!”

See you there!

Tags: , , , ,

Tag: Beauty

Happy New You!

It’s a new year, a time to start fresh, recover from the holiday madness, and make resolutions. One of mine for this year is to take better care of my skin. I found a great place to conquer this at a new, all-organic spa in Los Feliz. Heaven Skin Spa was opened by two sisters, Suchana and Tanawan, who both perfected their skills working at other spas around town. This intimate space is focused just on treatment with two rooms – one for the face and one for the body. Their prices are extremely reasonable, which makes it affordable to schedule on a regular basis (be sure to check out their special deals!)

Their services include facials, massage and waxing. I go for the facials, which are so relaxing I usually fall asleep for part of it – I swear Suchana has magic hands! They will examine your skin to determine the best treatment to do at that moment. The products they use are all natural from the Éminence Handmade Organic Skin Care of Hungary line and everything smells delicious. Every time I walk out of there, my skin is glowing, not just for hours, for days. Heaven really is a good name for this place!

Keeping up your looks also requires a good hair stylist. When you find one you like, you’ll stick with them for years and I found Elizabeth at Ellouise Salon in Pasadena after another salon’s hairdresser destroyed my hair by applying the wrong color then over-bleaching to try to get it out. A co-worker saw my ravaged hair and gave me Elizabeth’s number telling me she was an expert colorist. She took my damaged locks and reworked the color (see “after” photo above.) She’s been gently nursing it back to health for the past couple of years. She’s also great with cuts – I love the way she does long layers.

Another treat I discovered at Elloise, is makeup artist Rachelle. There’s nothing like having a professional apply your makeup to learn new tips and tricks. Rachelle taught me how to do smoky eye with a pop of color. I also have her wax my eyebrows – quick, painless, and at a great price. They look so good when she’s done I don’t  have to shade them in at all!

I also love the atmosphere at Ellouise, the place looks like a gothic loft you’d find tucked away in an old castle – owner Sandi is an animal activist, world traveler and supporter of the local arts community. The salon has rotating art installations and opening receptions, as well as jewelry sales by local designers, which often sparks some lively creative conversations while you’re getting your hair and makeup done.

Here’s to a Happy New YOU!

Tags: , , , ,