How to Use a Bronzer

I think bronzer is amazing. I also think most women should be using one. Let me go a step further and say that most women are using bronzers the wrong way.

If you’re using a bronzer all over your face, or as a blush click HERE to read my tips on how to correctly apply a bronzer so you can get your glow on.

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How to Host a Beauty Swap; Carissa on Channel 2’s Everyday Show

I had a fantastic time today chatting with Natalie Tysdal and Crystal Egger about how to host a beauty swap on Channel 2’s Everyday show here in Denver. It’s so easy, just clear out all the makeup you don’t use and trade it for something you will with friends. It’s a great way to de-clutter and get a few things you need without spending a dime.


We’re hosting swaps for beauty, kids stuff, maternity wear, and clothing in Boston, L.A., and Denver this spring with more cities popping up. Click HERE for The Swapaholics newsletter or ‘Like’ them HERE on Facebook for the latest money-saving swap info.

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Another Day in Paradise; Choosing False Eye Lashes

Here I am, still in Mexico. We’re actually in the same resort as Heidi Klum and Seal and they’re here to renew their vows like they do every year. I got some secret stalker shots of them to show you.

She’s in the flowey pinkish dress peeking around. Click to enlarge it.

Seal is in the orange shorts. He’s a big dude actually and really sweet.

They were at the main hotel pool/ beach area for several days with the rest of us. They did have security, mostly to keep the paparazzi at bay. Photogs actually chartered a yacht and anchored it near the shore to snap photos of them and their family throughout the day. Any pictures that you see not released to a major mag like ‘hey, here’s our wedding photos’ from their photographer came directly from that boat, or just people staying there. It gave me a glimpse into how photos like these are born.

I was right where their ceremony was and it was all red, even her dress. They had a karaoke party the night before they renewed their vows until the wee hours. for their party the theme was to dress like a bride and groom so all of the guests were all done up like they were getting married too. Our bride and groom were in the home next to theirs so we could hear the music play all night.  I’ll post more photos of them and the action later.

But I digress.

Today we’re talking lashes. I’m like a surgeon when I apply lashes, dead on and precise.  I’m the undisputed self-titled Queen of getting lashes to stay on for days on end. It’s not uncommon for a bride to tell me that she wore them from the wedding up until the first few days of the honeymoon. It’s all about finding that notch barely above the lash line so they rest comfortably and don’t budge, well that and selecting the right lash for you of course.

For years I only used these lashes, which I still do occasionally but I’ve gradually moved over to using Ardell.  I’ve found that their lashes are longer so you can cut them down to fit any eye bed. They’re also made with 100% high quality human hair that looks natural on. Here are the 3 that I use most.

Their ‘Demure’ lashes are my choice for women who have very little or no lashes- even   post-chemo (just make sure your skin is strong enough to handle the glue). They’re shorter in length so they look real against a bare eye with just enough length and bulk to look like a completely natural lash.

These #110 lashes from Ardell are what I use on 90% of my brides. The strip is so long it usually needs to be cut down so it’s barely shorter than your lash length. I’ve found that when lashes aren’t cut this way they feel more uncomfortable and you’re always aware they’re on. #110s look best on girls who have average lashes overall because they add volume to what you already have for a look that’s undetectable, even to those who are up close.

When the brides want drama, they get Ardell’s #120. They aren’t nearly as extreme as they look and they photograph really well. You don’t need super long lashes to wear these, but some natural lash will serve you well so they look natural.

When you’re choosing lashes to wear, consider how much drama you’d like and how long your natural lashes are. Use a fine strip of glue and wait a few seconds for it to get tacky and then place the lash on the middle part of your eye first, then slowly press each end to the corners of your eyes. Don’t rush it, you have a lot of play time with the glue- it takes a while to dry completely.

I’ve been using mostly Ardell because of how natural they look and how long they wear. My bride the other day wore them for hours and even had them on after several hours in the pool. They have that type of potential, just a little practice is all you need. 

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How to Wear Shimmer; girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles

When you want your eyes to dazzle, few products can make a splash like sparkle can. Nothing obnoxious of course, just something that adds interest to your eyes when you glance down.

I’ve probably tried buckets of glitter, shimmer, and sparkle, over the years and I’ve found that I really like girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles the best because they have 2 key traits that are important to pull of a shimmer look; dry, loose sparkles, and a really fine glitter size. When the size of the actual glitter gets too large (or when it’s encased in goo to help it stick on the face) it becomes a little costume-like and brings the age-appropriateness factor waaay down. What I’m saying is, unless you’re 12 wearing chunky glitter isn’t for you.

Here’s a look at the Sparkle Singles all boxed up.

On top is Yellow Gold and on the bottom color is Rust.

See how fine the pieces of shimmer are? When it’s placed on the eye, you’ll see the reflective quality and not the pieces of glitter themselves which makes a huge difference in the overall look.

In order to get the Sparkes to stay on the eye, they need to ‘stick’ to something. I used BECCA Cosmetics Creme Eye Color in Quartz as a base. I love its easy texture which isn’t too glossy or heavy looking and it really stays on the skin well without creasing.

Lay down the creme color first.

I dipped a small brush into the Rust shade and patted it over half of the creme shadow. The finish is beautiful, it’s just enough to catch the light and make your eyes stand out.

Now for the Yellow Gold shade on the bottom half of the creme eye color.

I love how dense the gold looks and how much coverage it offers. You want the shimmer to be fine enough to coat over the base shade so it looks cohesive, not chunky.

Now you know the difference between sparkles a 7 year-old would paint a picture with, and fine shimmer for a special night out. But there are a few guidelines.

- Don’t wear shimmer like this during the day unless your job requires you to also wear clear heels.

- Keep the sparkle confined to the lid (anywhere you can feel an eye ball) and no higher. I’d also keep it away from your lower lash line too. Lid only is the easiest (and most appropriate) way to wear it.

- Resist the urge to dust it on your chest no matter how pretty you think the sparkles are. Find a body gimmer lotion like this one that’s meant to highlight and compliment the skin.

- Keep in mind the look as a whole. Red lips might not be the best pairing with a shimmery eye so go with a nude color instead. Think understated for the rest of the look (lips, cheeks, and liner), and let the shimmer do most of the talking.

$10, 14 Shades, Online and in select boutiques nationwide.

girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles

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DIY Foaming Brown Sugar Scrub

Although I know that buying a sugar scrub is comparable to buying bottled water (you already have it, why pay 1000x more?), I’ll still spring for the occasional store scrub now and again. It’s usually the scent that draws me in, but I’m always left wondering why I didn’t make it myself. Recently I made a big batch of foaming scrub for client gifts which reminded me how easy the process is and how just a few minutes can save some cash.

There are several variations to what you can use, but I used granulated sugar, olive oil, Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Soap, brown sugar, a dash of almond extract (just for the scent, you can add essential oils too), and a little honey.

I used my own precise measuring system which goes like this; dump a bunch of brown sugar into a bowl, add some white sugar, mix in several glugs of oil until it’s easier to stir, then splash in some soap. I’m not big into measuring as you tell- just more stuff to wash.

Mix it all together with a spoon until you get the consistency you want, I like it a little runny and not so firm.

I got these little plastic jars at Michael’s which are just the perfect size for little gifts.

I dropped them in little white paper bags and tied them up using ribbon with my business card and recipe attached,

Here’s what the recipe looked like.

I’m not an artsy-crafty sort of girl so if I can do something like this, you can too. This might be my new thing for gifts too since I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a sugar scrub. Good luck!

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Highlighting & Contouring the Face; Video

I get a ton of questions about contouring and highlighting the face. It’s a big part of what I do as a Makeup Artist, but it’s also a great thing for women to know. Even if you don’t use the technique daily it’s a good lesson on how to use light and dark in makeup to do things like bring out your cheekbones and slim down your nose.


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