Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Current Obsession


Kittens!
I hope you had a brilliant weekend. I am in the process of moving my office so I apologize for the delay in posting; however, I have a big surprise for you all.
I have been obsessed with this Limited Edition Acid palette from Sleek Cosmetics. I have been contacting the company to find out when they will be distributing in the United States and thus far, no joy.
What's a cat to do? I am going all out to appease myself with alternatives until I can get my paws on the real deal.
I have found the closest images I can find thus far, and I will have to go to Hot Topic to get colors close to what they have in that palette. Here's what I have come up with:

If you have the same eye for colors, you can see, per their website, these colors may work as dupes until I can get the real version.
I plan to go to Hot Topic tonight straight after work, I hope I'm not let down and these have decent payoff and aren't chalky. I will report back asap!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!



B.P.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What will your Legacy Be?


Hi Cherubs,

I know the past 24 hours have been a lot for many of you to digest. So many deaths of people we admired. I was reflecting on how I cope with death and it really surprised me. I found I don't like to acknowledge it. For example, I was at work when heard about the passing of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. The first time, I let it marinate in my brain before I did some research about her. I had heard she had cancer, and I was curious about where she had it and for how long. I convinced myself she was finally out of pain. I did the same with Ed McMahon, I told myself he had lived a long life and had struggled with some unfortunate situations due to his alleged drinking.

Then I got the news about Michael Jackson, and I put my headphones on and busied myself with a to do list, and so on. I got on the train, and poured myself into my book and told my girlfriend to not watch the news and made small talk about her recent engagement to a really lovely gentleman. Once I was alone, I began to do everything I could to avoid radio, television and people I knew would be talking about the news of the day. Death.

I rang my father and he was his usual self absorbed jerk, and it made me sad. Rather than he and I finally communicate about my mother's terminal illness, my past health issues, he wanted me to do him a favor I could not do so he hung up on me. Instead of feeling sad, I went shopping. I didn't want to "feel" sad. I hate (yes, I know it's strong) feeling anything uncomfortable such as: sadness, depression, anger, insecure, etc. So, I walked around aimlessly until my feet were too sore to persist.

I got home and played with my dog, and did what I always do, I turned to eating, cleaning, reading, experimenting with makeup, all kinds of busyness. I guess I've said all of this to say, I don't cope with death. I don't. I like to ignore anything that deals with it and I know part of it is natural. The other part is, I think of the families and the enormous amount of grief they must be feeling and there is nothing I, or anyone else can do to make things better. As a makeup artist, you are constantly taking something and improving it. The feeling of making someone smile is like a drug it's so contagious. But, when someone dies, you can't "fix" it with a product, technique or trick. You just have to let them feel. I also don't like to see anyone cry. It really gets to me, and I've seen loads of people cry sad cries but it never gets easier.

Death forces you to think about how you're living as well. What will I be remembered for? Will anyone miss me? What impact will I have left, if any, on the world I leave behind. What is my legacy? Ed McMahon, television host, and the phrase, "Heeeere's Johnny!" Farrah had a role as the original Charlie's Angel, and a megawatt smile. Farrah was what Pamela Anderson was emulating in Baywatch. Michael's music has touched the world as well as his dance moves and subsequent unfortunate headlines.

What's your legacy?


B.P.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gay Pride 2009


Hello Cherubs!

Today is a post dedicated to all of our friends in the GLBT community. I don't know where my brain has been that I forgot the month of June is dedicated to Gay Pride and hosts many celebrations all across the world for the civil rights of the gay and lesbian community. It feels sort of odd referring to people who are human as a "community." I digress.
It was in 2000 when then President William "Bill" Jefferson Clinton officially named June in honor of Gay Pride as a result of the Stonewall riots in 1969. Gay Pride is a celebration of awareness of discrimination and segregation of equal rights for same sex couples. Gays and lesbians host parades, parties, and other celebrations to join together in the fight for equality. It's also a time when people educate the public regarding the gay movement and the many social challenges the gay and lesbian community face in everyday life.
There are also memorials for the people who have died or are suffering from HIV and AIDS. The gay and lesbian communities hope to break the stigma attached of having those diseases. That does not mean you have to be gay to get AIDS or HIV, these disease!

Meow for now my darlings,


B.P.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pores no more?


Hello Cherubs,
I feel compelled to discuss the topic of pore size. I loathe my pores. In my field, I'm exposed to some of the most breathtaking aesthetically pleasing people all day long. To be quite honest, this tends to take its toll on me over the course of the week and that's why on weekends, I don't blog. I give myself that small part of the week to not think about trends, upcoming collections in clothes, jewelery, makeup, shoes, bags and so on. It's too much and I really admire people who are truly comfortable in their skin.
I have been reading a lot about products and their claims. I've mentioned the goal of marketing is to get you to buy product(s). No matter how catchy, implied, colorful, etc. the ends don't justify the means if you don't buy the product. Sometimes that means one must make someone feel inadequate. For instance, if I want to sell a skincream to you, I'm going to tell you how your skin will improve if you use this cream. I'm going to you someone with the most amazing skin and tell you they use the product and they too had (insert whatever skin issue) too until they found (insert product name).
One of my big concerns if the skin on my face. It's oily, sometimes it's dry, I have large pores and I have spent a small house on creams that offer promises to get rid of my large pores.
Stop! You cannot change the size of your pores! Say that again to yourself and if you aren't convinced, do research on a forum, website or search anything pertaining to dermatology, skin, and not products. If you click on a product, it's going to "sell" you into believing there is a remedy. There isn't, there is just gimmicks all over to convince you there is a miracle in a bottle, jar, elixir, etc.
Why? Pores provide the natural oils to keep your skin hydrated. The amount of sebum your body produces is directly related to the size and appearance of your pores. Over active oil glands will swell the pores and once this has occurred, you can't erase what's been done.
What then? You can shrink your pores temporarily by unclogging the oil and particles (build up) which cause them to stretch. Their are toners, and astringents which can remove the buildup, but get something with alpha hydroxy, salicyclic acid, retinoids, and BHA can all help to minimize the appearance temporarily. Again, the pores will swell as they become clogged by dirt and bacteria, oil within the pore begins to accumulate, causing the pore’s diameter to expand thus the increase in the look of the pores once again.
Microdermabrasion can help those who have large pores as well as old acne scars, but it will not eliminate your pores completely.
This post is not meant to dampen or challenge the effectiveness of treatments, but to educate you all on your skin before you waste money hoping for a miracle.
Remember, we all have flaws, and you can survive with large pores in society, many faces who have covered magazines have had imperfect complexions. To read more, click here and find out ways to make the best of your skin. All hope is not lost, most people don't see your flaws they see you and really, as long as you're keeping a regimen for your body, mind and soul, the size of your pores will become less of an issue.

Stay beautiful!



B.P.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fate of your Mane!


Hey Kittens!
Much like me, you've been bombarded with so much information regarding sulfate free shampoos. Many people don't get it, so today's post will address that. In the most simplistic of terms, we are going to discuss sulfates so you can decide on what, if any, changes you may want to make to your hair regimen.
There are two kinds of sulfates in most shampoos, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). They are chemical agents found in many household detergents.
Why are sulfates put in hair products if they are bad for your hair? Well the answer is simple. One of the chemical agents is largely responsible for creating lather, not to mention it's cheap. The shampoos with sulfates have been approved by the FDA; however, we are just now being swarmed by advertisements against sulfates. People with dermatitis and other sensitive skin conditions have long been avoiding the "fates" in their hair products. If you find your skin dry and itchy after shampooing your hair, you may be having an allergic reaction to the sulfates in your shampoo.
So, which shampoo is right for me? That you have to answer for yourself. Again, sulfates are detergents, if you have baby fine or thin hair with oiliness, sulfates may be a God send for you. If you have thick, coarse, relaxed, dry ... hair like mine, you want to leave them out as best you can.
I should advise you that shampoos sans sulfates are a bit more expensive than those which contain sulfates, but if it improves your hairs health, it may be worth cutting out something in exchange.
More hair talk to come...



B.P.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hello Sex Kittens!


The eyes have it!
Felines, it sucks that we have to learn the hard way that embracing our natural beauty also means, accepting some of our flaws. Well, flaws or not, we're quite blessed if all we have to worry about is concealing our flaws.
Some people have gotten confused when they come to me about their goals when trying to conceal the area under the eyes. Short of a lower blephorplasty, there is only so much makeup can do to hide under eye imperfections.
First, it's important to differentiate between darkness, under eye bag and under eye hollows. Darkness is the easiest.

See the purple area underneath the eye? That's what is referred to as "dark circles." I wish this were my only problem. Largely genetic, the way to conceal this is bar far the easiest. You will apply your foundation first. This way you have a good grasp of what if anything is left to conceal. Depending on your foundation's coverage, you may be fine. If not, you will select a corrector based on the opposite on the color wheel to neutralize or "cancel" the color out. For this little guy, we want to use either a light or dark yellow depending upon the intensity of dark under the eyes. Behold our color wheel:

The other complaint is under eye bags. These are caused by many things such as aging, hereditary, sodium, diet, allergies, etc. Unfortunately, they are a bit harder to conceal as they are fat pockets or fluid stored beneath the surface of the skin. Behold:

I know, it looks bad, but there are some people who have reported success using over the counter things which contain caffeine, tea bags, and creams catered to shrink the size of the pockets. If this is really troubling you, speak with an ocular specialist about it before spending boat loads of money on creams with false guarantees. Companies prey on the insecure and desperate. Also, be careful when concealing this area, do not be fooled into using an eye concealer two shades lighter than your foundation. Remember when Black Panther told you some posts ago, light draws attention as in highlight you want to use the same shade or one shade darker with setting powder. Never, ever go light here.
Next we have my issue. Under eye hollows. Yuck! I know we all have something, but when I look at mine, I have a love/hate relationship here. I get that I will never be perfect, the image above? She's been photo shopped! She has no pores, lines, wrinkles, etc. That is the image used to make us humans feel inferior in an effort to get products off shelves. She doesn't exist. Take this to any photographer and they will reiterate this. Hollows? Here:

Like that? Yeah...lovely. I look tired when I'm refreshed, and look deathly when I'm tired. So what can you do? Hollows are tricky. Some times hollows are accompanied by darkness and bags, so you have to call for back up and cross your fingers that you don't look like there is cake batter under your peepers.
What causes hollows? The same, genetics, allergies, fatigue, stress, eyestrain, weightloss, you name it.
You will conceal these but only to a point. Whenever you keep your head down and eyes look up, you'll see your "friends" looking back at you. I joke that I wish I could inject air in there to give my face fullness. I haven't considered having fillers yet, but I'll never rule it out. Concealer the same shade is what you'll use, but it should be the same color as your foundation, but you want to make sure it's budgeproof as well as not too oily as it will settle into lines and separate. Again, application is key as is a slight dusting of finishing powder.
Keep the questions coming, and if you wish to have a tutorial or photos, please let me know.


B.P.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why we love the U.K


Hello Gorgeous,
We raise our paws to our friends in the United Kingdom today. They have Topshop, Selfridges and the most gorgeous bangers and mash, but they also have.

Gosh cosmetics!
My favorites from this brand=eyeliner. I have seen swatches on other blogs and salivate at the notion of using this creamy, smudgeproof excellence on my waterline, as a shadow base and more.
We also love

Why can't we have a Barry M counter in the USA? Well, we don't and if you're like me, you are desperate enough to find swatches, cross your fingers, pay the shipping, have patience with customs and hope your order is to your liking. Well done Barry M.
We also can't get

Sleek!! What? Yes, we want Sleek here in the USA. Have you seen the Acid palette? I encourage you to watch Pixiwoo, she's not just beautiful, not just smart, not just a makeup artist, but she's informative, knowledgeable and has a CV that I would love to follow. Sleek isn't even interested in applications for distributors in the US. We still <3 you!
The holy grail of all reasons we envy our British brothers and sisters *church bells*

Illamasqua, life is not fair!!! I always knew this, but this line has driven it home like A-Rod on the mound. Illamasqua knocked the makeup industry out of the bl**dy ball park when they developed this line. Matte eyeshadows that apply like butter. Yes! A dream come true, as my dark skin looked ashy on most mattes, and I found them to be chalky.
So, that is why we love the UK and with that, God save the Queen kittens,


B.P.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Colour Craft


Hello Gorgeous,
Sorry for my absence, won't dare bother you with excuses, but I must remind you IMATS 2009 is in less than one week! I am very excited and nervous at the same time. Excited at the opportunity to build my skills, network and learn new techniques and get information about questions I have not gotten answers from and would love a seasoned professional's insight. I even wrote them down, as I have a client who contacts me constantly (bridal nerves) and sometimes I'm questioning my answers as I say them aloud.
I heard about a website called BJOOTI.NET, and though it's not in English, the information via photos is nothing short of stellar. Look at these:

I've never wanted to sample a lipstick so bad in my life. I'm not going to include the color story, because most of you have been to Christine at Temptalia.com and witnessed her ability to obtain insider trading information as it pertains to forthcoming MAC launches.
I am intrigued by this collection solely because I love MSF eyeshadows. They remind me of pigments in solid form. They can handle being applied wet whilst not turning into hard form unlike regular shadows.
If you are wondering the price tag for this whole set? I stopped when I was at $700! Eek!

Meow for now felines,


B.P.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hair It Is!


Hello Gorgeous,
I don't know about you, but I'm really not feeling this new hair era. African American women have so much more knowledge, resources and products than our ancestors, but we can't seem to come together when it comes to certain issues.
The other day I was having a conversation with two beautiful sisters and the topic of hair came up. One woman was under the impression black women should never wash our hair more than once a week. The other woman and I protested immediately! "What?" we were a bit frisky, "You can wash your hair everyday if you care for it properly," I told her still looking at her like she immediately grew a second head on her shoulder. She then went on about white hair versus black hair. It reminded me of the old, "good hair, bad hair" arguments I had grown tired of. Why do people believe African Americans are deemed to hell for having a coarse texture of hair. No, we don't all have 4 a/b hair, but even so, with proper care and maintenance, you can grow your hair to your waist and I have done this and I don't have any Dominican Republic or another ethnicity I can trace.
That said, the conversation got a bit more interesting when another sister came and scolded us for having "relaxed" our hair!
I knew where the conversation was going, so I'll speak my peace here. What anyone chooses to do to his or her hair is their business. Why does our "crowning glory" determine our Afrocentrism? I am no less black for having relaxed hair than a person is for having natural hair. I'm not going to become any less black by chemically straightening my hair than bleaching my skin. I'm not brainwashed and I don't think Madame C.J Walker was either. If I want "natural" hair, I don't think I'm going to be embracing my race any more or less than I do with it relaxed.
I remember being in Texas and being "educated" about how white America had brainwashed me. Well no, I wasn't brain washed when I marked "black" on the plethora of applications for school, work, etc. I knew I was black. I wasn't in denial the first hundred times I was called a "nigger." I don't think when I was called a "black bitch" by a woman in the mall that she meant me. So...I am pretty sure I'm black.
It should be infuriating this is even a blog post, but it's sad. I am not in denial the black culture has a lot of issues in terms of afrocentricity. If we aren't fighting over light skin vs. dark skin, we are ghetto or sell outs, we are representing or perpetrating. When will be just be?

Peace,



B.P.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sexy Red Lips!


Hey Cherubs,
There is a misconception that red lips only look good on "certain" women. I am here to dispose that myth. The only thing you need to wear red lipstick is CONFIDENCE! It takes confidence to pull off red lips. I will agree there are factors to consider when sporting a bold red lippie, but the fear of the red lip is greater than the actual wearing a red lip.
As creatures of habits, we tend to stick with things in our comfort zone. In that same vain, soft pinks, neutrals, and anything that is viewed as soft is what we tend to feel we look our best in. Add to that the attention bold or bright colors tend to arose, it's natural for people to get nervous about wearing a bold red lip. So, today I'm going to give you some tricks to help you rock the red lip.

First of all, reds come in a wide range of shades ranging from yellow based to blue. An example of a yellow based red, is an orange red. Blue based tend to be brick red almost, think of a red Gwen Stefani would wear. The colors in between range from strawberry red to rasberry red and so on.
Next, teeth play a very important role. If you are wearing a yellow/orange based red, your teeth are going to look YELLOW. That's not a bad thing, the only people with winter white teeth, are those who have used chemical agents or had dental procedures to remove the stains from their teeth. Teeth change color due to trauma, aging, diet, tobacco, caffiene, etc. It's normal so don't be embarassed, just go to the store and get some white strips, mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide if you are uncomfortable with your teeth.
The next tip is to make sure your skin is as close to flawless as possible. I don't mean you need perfect skin, but if you are having a particulary bad day and your skin is being tempermental, forego the red lipstick for another day. Not that bad skin=boring lipstick, if you're confident, go for it! But to those of us who are a bit new to bright, bold lips, not having too much going on on the rest of the canvas is a way to avoid doing a belly flop from the deep end.
What you'll need is a base/concealer, a red lip liner and your favorite red lipstick.
Assuming you have already exfoliated and moisturized your pucker, dab some concealer or foundation lightly over your lips. You want to cancel out any pigment and start with a clean base. Pat the concealer lightly and make sure your lips are somewhat dry. Take your lip liner and trace your lips being careful not to go out of your natural lip line, this will cause the lipstick to bleed or feather. Once you've traced your lip line lightly fill your lips in with the same lip liner. The next step is to take the lipstick (ensuring it's the same shade as the lipliner) and apply it to your lips. You can use a brush, apply it from the tube, dab it, whatever you feel comfortable doing. Now, take a tissue and place it between your lips and gently press your lips onto the the tissue. This step is what you need to ensure your not left with lipliner and no lipstick as you go about your day. Now, once again, apply the lipstick and you're done!
* Red lipstick is thought to be a risky look for daytime, but if you wear it right (i.e. neutral face) you can go boardroom to bedroom without raising a brow.

Meow for now,


B.P.

Monday, June 8, 2009

MAC Friends and Family!


Hello Cherubs,
I mentioned June would be tough on the wallets earlier, and MAC is also giving a discount, so we're all friends here. Use the code "SUMA" June 16th - June 18, 2009 and you will get an extra 25% off of your order but you must order online at here and be patient, I'm sure there are people waiting until 12:00 a.m. June 16th to place their bi-annual orders and quantities may be limited so get your list together and keep logging on, Makeupalley members have been known to crash many a beauty website :)

Love and purrs!




B.P.

Bobbi Brown Discount


June is going to be madness for those of you who love to collect and buy makeup. First, I received the above e-mail and wanted to share it with you, as you are all my friends and family. I mean that, not just words, I have a small blog and small following but if you are reading this I appreciate you, and soon you will know this, as I have a give away for ALL of you!!!

Happy shopping loves!





B.P.