Make Up Monday: My Blowdryer!

It’s time for my Make Up Monday post.  I’m cheating a bit since today I’ve chosen to write about blow dryers, which are more hair than make up.

I am a big believer in spending some money for a  really good blow dryer.  I use the T3 featherweight.  It lives up to its promises to dry fast and reduce frizz… plus it has the cool blast button, strategically placed, that sets in the style.

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It uses something called ‘tourmaline ionic’ as part of its magic.  I have no idea what that is – but I do know that it reduces my drying time significantly.  Styling my hair is the biggest getting ready time suck for me so I love any help I can get in cutting that prep time down.

I purchased this blow dryer because it had a lot of the features that my stylist’s blow dryer had at a pretty good price point (at or just under $130).

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Though…I am looking into the new Harry Josh that is all the buzz.  It’s expensive at $300 but all the reviews say worth it because of the power and the look it gives your hair.

Stay tuned… if I break down and invest I’ll be sure to share.

What are your blow dryer recommendations?  Share Please!

-Rose

Make Up Monday: ARMANI FLUID SHEER

Another new week, another Make Up Monday post!

My latest find that is making me happy and helping me to have a ‘glow’ (yes- true feedback from more than one person so it’s a FACT!) is Giorgio Armani’s fluid sheer or “fluide embelliseur.” My friend & neighbor Lindi does freelance makeup,  and she recently  invited me to come and try some Armani makeup.  She has a great touch, and she’s the one who introduced me to one of my new beauty essentials!

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Light and easy to use with a brush (another of my beauty favorites- did you see this post?) it gives a soft, natural boost to your skin.  Better yet it lasts for hours without fading…. So even if your usual blush disappears by lunchtime, using fluid sheer ensures you won’t be caught looking pale or washed out.

Of course, I also love it for the light, natural look it gives.

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You can dab it on your lips or even as eye shadow if you want ….  If you mix it with your foundation it can give you an all-over glow, or you can apply it strategically.  My favorite spots are on the side of my face (above my cheekbones next to my eyes) and just across my cheek bones.  Sometimes, I swipe just above my eyebrows.

Even InStyle agrees with me! This is a winning find for sure.

What new product have you tried lately that you just love? Share Please!

-Rose

Make Up Monday: TAN TOWELS!

Nothing is more forgiving than a tan.  We all know that.  

So… being the vain and strategic woman I am, I have dedicated many hours to finding…

the perfect self tanner.

Here’s my criteria for self tanners: (1) they cannot smell, (2) they must give a natural looking color, (3) there must be an even application method, (4) and the drying time must be reasonable.

Tan Towels have been the consistent winner.  I even tried their lotion, and I think the towels are the best shot for a good even application.

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Here are my tips:

Exfoliate.  One of my favorite methods is to use Epsom scrubbing salts mixed with lotion.  Rub all over and then sit in the tub for 20 minutes.  If you don’t have time to sit in the tub…rub and rinse in the shower.  (*And if you don’t have time to exfoliate, tan towels will still look good.  But give yourself a treat sometime this week and hang out in that bathtub for a bit!)

Do your feet last — careful on the sides and around your ankle bone.  As soon as you are done with the application to your feet, apply a little bit of moisturizer from your ankles on down so it looks more natural.

Scrub your hands and nails with a scrubbing brush as soon as you have finished applying.

Let it dry for about 10 minutes before getting dressed.  This will allow you to keep from ruining your clothes.  And even a bit winds up on your clothes, it’s incredibly easy to wash – no need to use anything special to get it out of your clothes.

This is one of the few products that I am 100% in love with, and if I find a box, I will grab it. I buy mine at Nordstrom’s.

What are your tanning tricks?

-Rose

Dior Airflash: My Latest Favorite Foundation

I am a recent Dior Airflash convert.

I had been hearing rumblings …. Then while on a trip this summer, I met a lovely woman, Sue from Dallas whose soft look belied her 60 years.  She had just gotten off the phone with her beautiful 26 year old daughter who had run out of Airflash and was desperately seeking her mother’s help to get some more!  I was sold.

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So…I headed to the Dior counter at my neighborhood Nordstrom’s and asked if I could give Airflash a try.  By the way, never be shy about sidling up to the make-up counter.  The staffs there are more than happy to help and show off all their good product.  Generally, I find this to be a low pressure sales situation and a great way to test out what is new and might be helpful and fun to start using.

Irene at the Nordstrom’s counter in Austin suggested applying Airflash lightly using a kabuki brush, and showed me how best to do this.

First spray on the side of your hand.

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Then dab the kabuki brush and begin spreading evenly over your face.

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For a bit of a heavier application, you can spray Airflash directly onto your face… in a “Z” motion.  Then spread with your hands or a brush if you prefer.

Airflash gives a really smooth look.  I find that it brightens my skin.  And it passes my critical ‘not heavy looking’ test.  NOTE! Be sure to use a face cream with a good SPF before applying Airflash since it doesn’t have its own SPF.  For me, it’s been a small price to pay for the look it gives!

What are your favorite foundations?  Application techniques?  Share Please!!

Six Favorite Make Up Brushes

Rule number one- Don’t apply make up without brushes unless you have skin that is under 25! 

Brushes soften everything, allowing for lots of smudging and blending.  I love the forgiveness they lend.  An added bonus is how easy they are to use.  You will never over apply – the cardinal make up offense!

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So, over the years I have accumulated a collection of makeup brushes.  My hands down favorites are Bobbi Brown’s brushes.  They are pricey but worth it.  They last and last and last and are simple to clean.  I have recently purchased my first Armani brush and so far, so good….  though it would take a lot for me to abandon my Bobbi brush loyalty.

So, start collecting now!

If I were running from the house due to flood or fire I would grab these six:

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Foundation  – Perfectly shaped and lets you apply foundation LIGHTLY.  That is especially important for us ladies of a certain age.  No heavy hands here.

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Eyes shader – The size and shape of this brush are perfect for applying an eye shadow sweep — on whatever part of the lid you choose.  It is a particularly good brush for applying to the bottom half or your lid – though I find I use it to highlight just below my eyebrows as well.

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Eyeshadow applied with this brush is the perfect compliment for accenting or changing the base color applied with my next favorite brush… the

Cream Shadow – I am a big fan of creamy eye shadow. This brush is a must for applying and blending.  Mistake proof, too.

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Eye Liner – I save the Amy Winehouse (may she rest in peace) look for evenings. Most of the daytime, eye liner looks best when applying darker eye shadow with this eye liner brush, which allows you to go heavy or light.  Smudge for a smoky softer look.  Also great for lining your bottom lashes.  Same heavy or light idea applies.

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Armani (small foundation brush) – This is my first foray into Armani brushes.  This particular model (a bit smaller than a foundation brush) is perfect for applying concealer or highlighter, another Armani product I recommend trying.  Small enough for blending on your cheek bones and the sides of your face – subtle spots that brighten us all up.

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Bronzer – This big fluffy brush allows for blending color all over your face – and allows you to avoid looking like a clown (or Tammy Faye…. though I know that dates me!).  Get one now.  By the way – it feels great to have this many bristles softly brushing across your face.

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Which are your most essential brushes? Do you have a brand you’re most loyal too?

-Rose

Routine Hair; Healthy Hair

I know, I know – HAIR!!  Always about the hair!  No use fighting how much it matters to our overall look.

I have developed a hair care routine that addresses all my issues. I have longish hair, aging hair, colored hair and I live in a sun harsh climate.  So how to keep these tresses of mine looking healthy?

First, no more daily washing for me.   As much as I hated to stop it, it wasn’t helping my hair anymore. So like a lot of other things,  I gave it up.  On the days I do shampoo my hair, I use my Redken Extreme more often than not, then apply Redken Extreme conditioner.

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Next I put on a shower cap and leave the conditioner on using the heat of the shower water to boost the therapeutic softening effects of the conditioner.  I leave rinsing until very last, letting the conditioner stay on as long as I possibly can.  If I’ve got some time to spare, I get out of the shower, cap and all, and sit for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing off the conditioner.

Before blow drying, I use ‘It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product.’  

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Those days when I don’t wash, I use a dry shampoo.  Oribe is among my favorites.  Another is Oscar Blandi.  To keep the ends fresh, I apply U Luxury Argon Oil and finish by styling with heat; sometimes curlers, sometimes the flat iron.

What are your rituals for managing a health look for your hair?  Share Please!!

-Rose