Monday, October 31, 2011

Sleeping with Makeup can Make Your Worst Dreams Come True

After a long, tiresome day of work or a night out having fun, running to bed and jumping under the covers seems like the best idea in the world. However, before getting some shut eye, it is of utmost importance to remove makeup and wash your face. Of course, an occasional falling asleep with makeup is not harmful. However, if you develope a habit of sleeping with makeup on you run the risk of facing some undesireable side effects.

Pinkeye is usually thought to only be obtained by sharing eye makeup. Well, if you sleep with makeup on you may cause conjunctivitis (pinkeye) on your own because rubbing against your pillow can cause makeup to go into your eyes as you sleep and thus cause an infection.

Sleeping with your makeup on can also cause clogged pores and breakouts. Resting your head on your pillow can cause your makeup to be pushed into your pores and allows bacteria to grow, thus making it oh so easy to clog your pores, get black heads, blemishes and in extreme cases: acne.

As we sleep our skin goes through a process that can benefit the skin's complection and appearance.
"During deep sleep, the skin's metabolic rate speeds up and many of the body's cells show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins.
Since proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for the repair of damage from factors like ultraviolet rays, deep sleep may indeed be beauty sleep" -Angela Epstein for the Daily Mail UK

Night time is usually the best time to apply serums, treatments and heavier moisturizer or creams. How will this be posssible if you fall asleep with a day's worth of cosmetics on your face?

Indeed, taking a few minutes to remove makeup and washing your face before bed is definitely worth it. I prefer to use Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil to breakdown makeup, then I wash my face with my Clarisonic and Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel. If you don't have the time or desire to do a multi-step process, opt for a all in one cleanser that removes makeup, tones and cleanses such as Sephora Collection, Supreme Foaming Cleanser.

Remember to wash your face and remove makeup before sleeping and you can rest assured that you will be doing your skin a favor and avoid any harmful effects sleeping with makeup can cause. Sweet Dreams!

*Image obtained from Getty Images.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Importance of Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Okay, so you made a huge investment and bought high quality makeup brushes but how often are you cleaning them? Noticing a few blemishes here and there on your face? It may actually be the transfer of bacteria, dead skin cells and pollution from your makeup brush to your skin.

Washing and cleansing your makeup brushes on a frequent basis is of extreme importance. After all, you only have one face and anything you put on it should be clean, germ and toxin free. Makeup brushes should ideally be washed once every two weeks but if possible on a weekly basis would be best. Our makeup brushes can transfer germs, old makeup, bacteria and dead skin cells. Especially when you use on your face to touch up after you have been walking around the city or running errands.  If you have blemish prone skin, then washing brushes is a must because if you have acne or blemishes, every swipe with a brush can be transmitting bacteria from one location of your face to another.

Using a daily brush cleaning spray is a good way to maintain brushes clean every day in between washes. My brush cleaner of choice is Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner. You simply spray a paper towel and lightly swipe your makeup brush back and forth. It is great to do after applying your makeup so the next time you are ready to use the brush, it is clean and ready to go.

Now, for a deeper cleansing of your brushes, a little more time is needed and some patience depending on the manner in which you opt to wash your brushes. Many people have various methods in cleaning and disinfecting their brushes. Baby shampoo or regular shampoo is a popular method but to me, it is not an ideal form of cleaning them because most shampoos are not antibacterial. Others opt to use water and vinegar. I am not a fan of the smell and it really doesn't remove all of the makeup nor condition the brush hair, synthetic or natural.

Dawn dishwashing soap is also a popular favorite. I like this method because just about everyone has this product at hand in their home. It cleanses, smells great (especially the green apple scent) and disinfects while cleaning. I like to add a bit of Dawn on the palm of my hand and dip the tip of the brush bristles into the dawn. While the water is running I place my hand under the water and swish my brush back and forth in a gentle manner and in a circular motion. I make sure not to get the handle wet and never place upright under faucet because this will trap water inside the handle, loosen the glue attaching the brush to the handle and also loosen brush hairs. I continue to rinse and then gently press excess water. Lay your brushes over a towel on a flat service, preferribly the end of a table or desk and make sure to have the hair end of your brush overlapping the end of the table so they dry evenly. If you are opting for this method, it is best to do before going to bed, this will allow brushes to dry over night.   (You can do this same exact thing with Philosophy's Purity Made Simple face cleanser.)

My absolute favorite brush cleaning method is a little more expensive but a lot quicker and easy to do. I use Monda Studio Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner. With this cleaner,  you simply pour a small amount into a bowl, dip brushes then wipe on a paper towel, and place on a table to dry. They are dry and ready to use in about thirty minutes or less! This is my absolute favorite brush cleaner. My clients always tell me that my brushes smell nice. Another one of my top picks in regards to makeup brush cleaners is Parian Spirit. This is a popular pick for makeup artists because it removes dried latex, acrylics, spirit gum and other adhesives.

Another benefit besides the hygiene pros of regularly cleaning your brushes, is also the more flawless makeup application a clean brush gives, no streaks and easier to blend makeup. Now beauties, although it may be a bit time consuming and a hassle, make the time to clean and wash your brushes. Your skin will thank you. If you are a pro MUA, clean brushes speak on behalf of you as an artist, always be sure to clean your brushes and let them speak of your hygiene practices.

***Brush photo taken from & Monda Brush Cleaner photo is copyright of Maria Ortega Makeup***

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maria Ortega Makeup: Makeup Kit Essentials Besides Cosmetics in Your Pr...

Maria Ortega Makeup: Makeup Kit Essentials Besides Cosmetics in Your Pr...: The main focus of your kit is obvously makeup, but there are additional items that are key in a professional makeup kit. Besides makeup pale...

Makeup Kit Essentials Besides Cosmetics in Your Pro Kit

The main focus of your kit is obvously makeup, but there are additional items that are key in a professional makeup kit. Besides makeup palettes, foundation bottles, primers, lipsticks, glosses and liners there are additional must haves.

Below is a list of items I carry in my kit aside from cosmetics:

* Brushes- not just one set, take an addtional set if you are working on more than one client

* Skin care-eye cream, moisturizers for each skin type, toner/witch hazel, Evian spray or water in spray

Removers-makeup wipes, makeup remover, Sens'eyes
* Disposables- disposable mascara wands, disposable makeup sponges, q-tips, tissue, paper towel roll,  cotton rounds and cotton balls

* Tools- tweezers, mini scissors, eyelash curler, pencil sharpener & nail clippers

* Lashes-full strip lashes, individuals, lash glue

* Nails- polish remover, clear/nude, red and black polish

* Cleaning- hand sanitizer, baby wipes, brush cleaner spray, alcohol in spray bottel, Beauty So Clean

* Skin/Face extras- vaseline, argan oil or baby oil, eye drops, blotting paper, lip scrub, baby powder, body lotion, lip balm,

* Misc Extras- hand held mirror, hair clips to pin hair back during makeup application, mints, protein bar, water/Gatorade, also a plastic bag to dump all of your trash, mini towels to set on table prior to setting up

* Business Cards- these are a must and are a great way to network and keep in contact

These are the things that I carry in my kit, not mandatory but do make your job a lot easier and make you look more professional. Also, a clean kit is appealing to the client and can make or break your deal. I hope this has been some help in those individuals starting to put their professional kits together!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Makeup Tips for Mature Women

Up until recently, being considered a muture woman and aging was viewed as a completely negative thing and everyone wanted to avoid it. Today, we still do everything possible to avoid aging at a premature rate. However, we find that even Hollywood is more accepting of mature women and includes a few mature women to their "hot" lists or "best bodies" list. Women can be beautiful, admired, gorgeous and hot at any age but in order to do so, applying the proper makeup is key. I personally that mature women are a delight to work with and are very gorgeous, inside and out because aside from natural beauty they posses life wisdom, experience and are care givers.

Perhaps coloring your lids with electric blue, hot magenta, canary yellow or bedazzling your lids with tons of glitter may not be as great of an idea as it may have been during your teens or while in your twenties, you can still apply makeup that is flattering to you and age appropriate.

Skin Care:
  As we age our skin tends to loose hydration along with collagen and elasticity. It is of extreme importance to have an excellent skin care regimen to prevent any future premature aging and to maintain healthy skin. Also, the better you take care of your skin, the better your makeup will look and feel.
  Opting for a cream cleanser might be more suitable for dry skin and should be used at least once a day, I prefer twice. An oil cleanser can be a great alternative, such as Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser, or Shu Uemura's variety of cleansing oils.
  An eye cream should be included in your nightly and day routine to combat dark circles, dryness, under eye puffiness, signs of aging and to prevent future environmental damage. Some of my favorites for mature skin are: Philosophy Miracle Worker eye cream, Bliss Youth as we Know It eye cream,  and Perricone MD Cold Plasma Eye. Use your ring finger to lightly dab the eye cream on the contour of your eye, avoiding the eye lid unless you are using an eye lid lifting cream such as Bremenn's eye lift cream.
  Face cream with anti-aging benefits are a great choice. My top picks for this are: Perricone Cold Plasma, Bliss Youth As We Know It anti aging cream is a great deal because it doubles as an eye cream. You can use your day cream as a night cream but most opt for a night cream that is heavier.

  When I am doing makeup on a middle aged woman and older I usually opt to massage the face with Argan Oil prior to makeup application. I usually then proceed with a tinted moisturizer because it gives just enough coverage but leaves skin supple and with a healthy glow. My go to tinted moisturizers are: Cargo, Laura Mercier, & OCC. I prefer liquid foundations vs. powder for mature skin because powders can enhance the appearance of wrinkles, large pores and isn't ideal for dryer skin types.
  If foundation is preferred I like foundations that give full coverage without feeling heavy or cakey on the skin. Prior to any foundation application make sure to apply an eye cream, face cream and if desired a primer such as Smashbox's Anti Aging primer with Dermaxyl. Proceed by dabbin a bit of foundation on on bridge of nose, forhead, cheeks, and chin, blend foundation from center of face outward. My favorite foundations for mature skin are those that are hydrating and give a glow, Tarte's Recreate-Anti Aging (this one is a fabulous choice because it contains rewind technology that helps retain moisture by over 50% and helps reduce the apperance of wrinkles with continued use), and also Chanel's Lift Lumiere foundation becuase it has anti-aging benefits, and ingredients while hydrating skin and giving a flawless finish.

  Avoid a heavy concealer and opt for more liquid like concealers such as Cargo's One Base or YSL Touch Eclat. Both light to the touch but conceals just about anything.

Eye Shadow:
  It seems like just every shadow today has multitudes of shine, shimmer of glitter, however, bypass these and opt for the matte shadows. If you already have some shimmers and do not want to dispose of them, limit yourself to using them on the inner corner of eyes and just on eye lids. I prefer matte shadows because they do not enhance any fine lines or drooping lids. Countour your eyes with darkest shadow on the outter corners. If you have a droopy eye lids, no need to worry, simply countour eye in a  sideways "V" shape and go upward to somewhat hide the extra bit of skin, avoid using a highlighter color in that area becaue it will only emphasize it. Neutrals would be your best color choices. Powder shadow or smudged liner is better than a harsh line.

Creams are my preference for mature women because it is hydrating and gives off  healthy glow. You can layer your cream blush by topping it with a powder blush. Once again, I would avoid over the top glittery blushes of shimmery highlighters. My pics for cream blushes are: Nars the Multiple, can be used on lips, cheeks and lids, also Kevyn Aucoin's creamy Moist Glow. If powder is a must, Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are hydrating and long lasting. One quick tip for blush application is not to suck in your cheeks, or smile when applying blusher because this alters the shape of your face and when you release from such pose, usually your blush will end further down your face, instead apply on cheekbones without making a face.

As we age, our lips loose that plump, full look and tend to get a bit thinner than in more youthful days. Not to worry, simply avoid harsh, strong and deep lip colors that are not flattering on thin lips. Instead opt to line lips with a nude lip liner and apply a lipstick and top with gloss to give a fuller look. In a rush? No worries, simply line line lips and top with gloss. Skip the plumpers as they are only temporary and sting a little. My favorite liptick choices for mature lips: YSL, Dior and Chanel they are all hydrating, long lasting and make everyone woman feel like a million bucks! (side note, always line lips to prevent feathering of lip color)

Fuller brows are usually associated with youth and strong women. Opt for a powder to brush color on brows and then set with a colored brow gel. Anastasia is your go to brand for all things brows.

Setting Powder:
You can lightly dust a setting powder after all your makeup is done, my favorite for this is Amazing Cosmetics setting powder.

I hope this blog posting was helpful for those gorgeous mature women reading it, or if you are an aspiring MUA, or simply to give your mom, grandma some makeup tips. 80)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quality Makeup Over Quantity

Makeup is usually an important part of the vast majority of women in this day and age. Many women, do not even leave their home without a bit of foundation, a coat of mascara and at least some gloss. Living in a rather vain country, obsessed with looks and concerned with the opions of other's about us and how we look, we turn to makeup to make us feel pretty. It is true that beauty is only skin deep, but it makes us feel good about ourselves when we use cosmetics to enhance our best features and facial attributes.

I decided to write up a posting regarding the quality of makeup vs. the quantity we have because many women and makeup artists just love to buy, buy, buy makeup and accumulate it. Most of it which is seldomly used. In fact, almost all women own makeup they may have bought on impulse and will never use. The same can be said about makeup artists. I, myself am totally guilty of this. I purchase for myself, purchase for my mom, purchase for my kit. However, although I am not a huge fan of drugstore makeup or products that cost less than a McDonald's value meal, some actually work well and give women the results they love. I actually swear by the eyebrow powders Wet & Wild makes and use it on myself frequently.

For an everyday woman, the drugstore can provide you with an array of products that can give great results and make you content with them. It would be absurd to splurge on an "in" color you are looking to try out for the season, in these cases as well, more economical makeup is a great idea and deal.

My concern is actually for makeup artists whose entire kits consist of  Elf, NYX, Coastal Scents and Drugstore brand products. Although these products may give the every day woman the results she is looking for, we must be realistic and admit that these do not give the same results such as quality makeup especially designed for professional use with better quality ingredients, pigments etc. Trust me, I am not disrespecting any MUA that has a few of these products in their kits. I am simply pointing out that those who have entire kits of such brands can not expect to charge as much as those makeup artists with professional kits, with pro grade, HD, high quality makeup. The difference is almost always noticeable in photos or length of wear.

So if you are an aspiring MUA, instead of buying tons of inexpensive makeup, it might be a better idea to invest in a quality brand neutral eyeshadow palette, a few good liquid foundations, or even Graftobian HD cream foundation palette, corrector/concealer palette, neutral lip pencils, a couple of glosses, one palette with shadows that have pops of color, a translucent setting powder, water proof mascara in black/brown, water proof eye liner in black/brown and a blusher palette.  With these basic items, along with skin prep products, you will be more than set for almost every job with the exception of crazy avant-garde makeup which is very rarely required on paid jobs or agency testing. Neutral, natural and fresh face is usually what you will find yourself needing to do.

For an everyday woman, simply finding a great foundation appropriate for your skin type and needs is essential. You may find that purchasing a superior quality foundation although, a bit more cash demanding upfront, may actually save you some $ in the long run because a little goes a long way and in turn, you use less product. Also, purchasing an eyeshadow quad that is simple and easy to apply yet also flattering to your skin tone and eyes can be a great investment that can transform your look. Obviously not all your makeup need or should be expensive, but with only a few products from Sephora or from a department store counter, you can rest assured they will make you feel like a million bucks but these cosmetic products will also transform you into a diva.

What are your drugstore makeup must haves?

How about your makeup splurges?