All Hail the Sun!

I’m a product of the slather on the baby oil and lay out in the sun for hour’s era. I shudder to think of it. But in the words of Ms. Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.” May is Melanoma Month, so what better time to remind ourselves of the importance of protecting our skin against the sun as we approach the summer months. The options for practicing “safe sun” are endless. Here is a list of skin care products to ensure you are well-protected during the summer months, but more importantly, healthy afterwards.

Peter Thomas Roth Sunscreen in a Brush. This super cool, mineral-based powder protects you from the sun, while also fighting against the aging process. Small in size, it will fit perfectly into your summer tote or beach bag.

Sunscreen in a Brush

Tocca Stella SPF 30+ Sunscreen Towelette. I love these! Not only do they protect you from harmful UV Rays, not only are they so compact that you can carry them in the smallest clutch, but they are also scented in Tocca’s classic scent ~ Italian Blood Orange! Bella! tocca stella Soleil Organique. This 100% natural sunscreen is made for you more eco-friendly dolls, and is available in both face and body formulas.

EcoFriendly Sunscreen_Instyle

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. If you’re not in to tanning at all, this exfoliator also gives you a little color ~ “glow” ~ upon application. I recommend trying one of the pads on your inner wrist first, which tends to be the same color as your face. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the results.

Beautiful, well-protected skin gives the option of forgoing makeup or playing with beachy, bronzy summer color palettes. Love this Beach Lover Set by NARS with gold, copper and peach hues. NARS Beach Lover_Sephora Two of my FAVORITE all-time “go-to” products for the summer are NARS Body Glow and Michael Kors Leg Shine. A little of each on your legs, arms, and chest and you’ll radiate sun goddess! nars body glow leg shine Finally, summer wouldn’t be summer without the appropriate sunglasses. I tend to favor the classic Ray-Ban Aviator. No one rocks them better than my Daddy and Brother; but I love them too with my hair slicked back in to a neat ponytail.

dj and daddy

And for a more dramatic look, I always reach for a classic Jackie O. inspired larger frame.

Jackie-O-glasses-

Image: Femme Fatale

What’s on your summer beauty checklist?

Until Then,

L.

~ The Pretty Domestic

Pretty Face: Hello Gorgeous!

I am addicted to beauty products ~ makeup, skin care products, nail polish, hair treatments, body creams, fragrances ~ you name it, I’m always in search of something new. In preparation for my spring and summer “look,” my latest purchases are these absolutely adorably packaged eye shadow collections from Two Faced Cosmetics. [HINT: They are also available at Sephora if you wish to use your Beauty Insider Reward Points.]

Natural Eye/Neutral Eye Shadow Collection

Natural Eye

Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection

Naked Eye_1

I’ve also started experimenting with the cat eye. I love the vintage ‘60s look! But a little note of warning; if you are moved to attempt the cat eye, start early, lest you’ll surely be late to your event, office, etc. It takes time and practice to get it just right!

Cat Eyes

Anyway, no matter the time of year you’ll see a reoccurring theme with me around my makeup ~ one, I’m very monochromatic, and two, whatever I purchase is usually in the brown or neutral family.

Now I recognize that not everyone has the same aesthetic sense as I. Nor is everyone attracted to the same color palettes or style of makeup. So I decided to sit down with my longtime friend, sorority sister and certified makeup artist, Karen Nikki, for a “Q & A” on what spring and summer makeup trends she’s seeing. Check out our conversation.

Karen Nikki

Karen Nikki with a flawless spring face!

Q. How long have you been interested in make-up? A. I’ve had a love affair with makeup ever since I was 17 or 18 years old! I even had my makeup professionally done for my senior portraits.

Q. Do you have any formal training in makeup artistry? A. I attended the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics in 2008, where I became a certified makeup artist. However, most of my training came from my time as an artist with MAC Cosmetics.

Q. How long were you with MAC Cosmetics? Have you worked for any other cosmetic companies? A. I signed on with MAC as a Freelancer in December 2008 and resigned as a permanent artist in June 2010. MAC is the only cosmetics company I’ve worked for. Working for MAC was an amazing experience, but working EVERY weekend began to take a toll on me. I was also beginning to lose my love for the art of makeup because it started feeling like a job. As a freelance artist, I pick my own jobs, my own hours and most importantly, makeup is fun again!

Q. On to what’s hot for spring and summer. I’m seeing a lot of pastels and neon colors, particularly oranges, in makeup palettes this season. Are those the “go to” colors for nails and makeup this season? What else are you seeing? A. Absolutely! Fashion directly influences the season’s makeup trends. Color blocking and neons are hot right now! It gets me so excited to see women (especially women of color) wearing bold, bright hues of color! Coral cheeks and lips are very on trend at the moment. While the classic red lip is trendy, yet timeless, embracing orangey reds will be hot for the summer. My favorite is MAC’s Lady Danger.

Bronzer has become the new blush! My fave bronzer is by Covergirl Queen by Queen Latifah. It comes in 3 shades and can be found in your local drug store. Metallic eye shadows have also made their way to the forefront of makeup for the upcoming seasons.

Q. What’s the one secret for keeping makeup looking dewy and fresh, and not heavy and caked during the warmer months? A. For many women, there is a very fine line between dewy and oily. I’ve never been a fan of adding powder when the skin gets too oily because this can make the face look very cakey. Rather, I prefer to remove the oil by using blot paper. This removes the excess oil without disturbing the makeup. You can also separate a 2~ply tissue into 2 thin sheets and use one to soak up any extra oil.

Q. What are the one or two items every doll on the go must have in her bag to look her best this spring and summer? And how do we take it from day to evening? A. I always find this question kind of difficult to answer because a woman’s makeup bag reflects the features she likes to accentuate. If you’re a person who loves to feature your lips, I would say, a good lip conditioner and lip gloss/lipstick are essentials. If you like to play up your eyes, liner and mascara are must haves! Some women prefer to stay pretty “clean~faced” and show off their beautiful skin. If this is you, keeping a nice tinted moisturizer and bronzer on hand are key. Transforming makeup from day to night can be as simple as adding a dark liner to the inner rim of the eye or switching that natural colored lip gloss to a bold color.

Q. And for our more natural dolls, who are in to little or no makeup, what are the musts for beautiful skin? A. Beautiful skin starts from the inside out, so water intake and a healthy diet are essential! Again, tinted moisturizer is my top recommendation for the woman who needs very little coverage, yet wants a finished, even complexion. Laura Mercier makes an excellent tinted moisturizer. To add a little color to the face, cheeks stains are great. A cheek stain is just a cream blush, but these are awesome because they can almost always be used on the lips as well. Two for the price of one! Can’t beat that!

Check out some the very animated Karen Nikki’s YouTube posts at http://www.youtube.com/user/ameritrini.

Thanks Karen Nikki!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic