Tuesday, 1 September 2015

How To: Apply Strip Lashes (Easily)


I love pictorials. I am impatient and like to get instructions out of the way FAST! So I tried my best to condense my entire process so that it's simple and easy to follow.

Here is my step by step guide to applying strip lashes!

Tips before we begin: 

1. Do NOT attempt to apply lashes when you are in a hurry. Especially if you're new at this thing, just apply a few coats of good quality lengthening and volumizing mascara and go!!
2. Frustrate NOT thyself. It does require a measure of patience AND practice so exercise both!
3. Tweezers are your friend. However, if the thought of a sharp metal object close to your eyeballs makes you queasy, try only using your fingers OR invest in an eyelash applicator.
4. Don't start out with cheap lashes (i.e. dem hard tail chinese ones dat does got ya fightin wid dem like dem is tough pork).
5. Don't start out with mink lashes, too expensive for you to toss if things go awry.

Let's get cracking:

The tools you will need:

Lashes, scissors (to trim edges off), Brushes for gel liner, gel liner/ liquid, needle nose tweezers, good quality lash glue.

Step 1: Select your lashes. This can be based on your eye shape, length and volume preference. I recommend you ask a makeup artist what shape best suits your eyes AND the look you are going for. Here I have two brands: Kiss iEnvy in 'Diva 02' ($8.00BBD) and Miss Adoro #42 ($4.50 BBD). Both retail at Moden Makeup.

Notice that both brands carry a thin lash band, for ease of use and application. IT does not affect the durability. Just handle with care. 

Step 2: Select your lash glue. I never use Weave bond/ hair glue. Watch here to see why. 

Duo is available locally. However, I much rather use the Eve Pearl as drying time is shorter and the lashes stay on much longer. 
 Step 3: Clean your tweezers. Use a cotton wool ball with some alcohol and wipe off the tips.
This is my preferred type of tweezer. Do not be alarmed. 
Step 4: OPTIONAL: Use a gel liner to camouflage any excess glue that won't come off OR to add a 'seam' or wing to the eye look. You will need a 'push' or an angled liner brush to do this.

Inglot Gel Liner #77 (Inky Black and sooo gorge) 

Step 5: Gently remove the lash from the case. USUALLY you can tell which is for the right or left eye by looking at the gradient of the lash. I find that as with contacts, if the lashes are placed on the wrong eye, you'll know.
Smaller to larger lashes on the band . this lash is for the right eye. 
Step 6: Wrap the lash around your pinky finger to bend and shape. Or use the end of one of your makeup brushes. This improves flexibility and helps it settle in the groove of your eyelid better.

Wrap the lash GENTLY around the end of the brush. 
 Step 7: Squeeze a tiny drop of glue out of the tube.

Step 8: Apply a THIN LAYER to the band of the eye lash. Take care however to add a little extra to each corner, as these are the areas that lift the fastest.

Notice the glue appears thicker on the ends. 
Step 9: Apply the lash to the centre of your lash line, and LEAVE IT ALONE for 2 seconds.

Once it's there leave it! 
Step 10: Apply the outer corner to the lash line (space between your natural lashes and your eyelid) using tweezers OR your fingers.


Step 11: Apply the inner corner, same method as above. TAKE YOUR TIME.

There should be no gap between your natural lash and the falsies.

Step 12: use the back end of the tweezers to push the lash in place GENTLY and squeeze your natural lash and the falsies together.

Completed look.
And there you have it! This post is especially for our Paula of PauPrints, who requested this tutorial on Instagram last night. Thank you P. Hope this helps.

To everyone else, if you have any questions or need to know 'How To', do not hesitate to comment below!!! 


Learn how in September

Hola  Mavenz!!

I decided to launch this series in September because for some reason as soon as the summer is over, I want to learn/try new things. 

Maybe it hearkens back to my school days; ya know new school year, new uniforms, teachers etc. (here in Barbados at least). Or perhaps it's a case of my longing to make the rest of the year count. 

Either way it's good for me AND you. I refresh my knowledge and HAVE to research some new topics or trends, and we keep you informed. So ask us some questions down below or on our Instagram page so that you can end this year with a bang! 

First up: Strip Lash Application for Beginners!! I promise it's way easier than it looks! 


Monday, 31 August 2015

Summer Standouts

August is over and that usually means that Summer is too...although it sure still does feel like Summer in Barbados. Since my last haul post I've gotten quite a few items; you can check out my keeks for full details. Here are a few new things I've tried that became fast favourites.

Maybelline Creamy Mattes

Gone are the days of the powdery 'Ruby Woo' esque matte lipstick formula. Today's iterations contain more silicone so there's no tugging on the lips but we get the same longevity. I had heard a lot of rave reviews about these Maybelline lipsticks before I bought them and as soon as I tried them I was a believer.

Hempz 'Vanilla Plum' Herbal Body Moisturizer

I've heard MakeupbyTiffanyD talk about Hempz moisturizers so much that when I saw this mini size in Bio Beauty my hand picked it up automatically. This particular scent smells amazing and the texture of the lotion is light yet very moisturizing.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I'm a huge fan of Vitamin C serums and treatments. Regular readers would have seen me rave about the Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu line before. This Ole Henriksen serum leaves the skin less tacky/sticky feeling than the one from Peter Thomas Roth.

M.A.C 'Washeteria' LE

This was my first M.A.C cream polish purchase and I am surprisingly pleased with the formula

As I said on Instagram, if you love the smell of homemade mauby - wid de hard spice, cinnamon sticks and orange peel - you're gonna love this scent.

Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap 'Jungle Passion Fruit'

Don't you just love when Bath & Body Works does special packaging for the seasonal scents? 'Jungle Passion Fruit' is described as "juicy pink passion fruit, pomegranate & sugar cane". It literally smells like something to eat.

Summer is the time when the highlighter products really come out to play. I've really enjoyed applying Bobbi Brown's 'Bronze Glow' with this fan brush because it's wispy enough yet not flimsy in the slightest.  

Bath & Body Works Home Concentrated Room Spray 'Island Margarita'

I guess you figured by now that I'm really into smell goods. Last year I bought a mini candle in this scent and I have been hooked eva since. I really like these room sprays because they're very potent...like don't walk into the room after you've sprayed it twice potent. I prefer the room sprays over the Wallflowers.

Let me know what products you've been loving recently in the comments :)

Live Love Polish Haul

How often have you heard that nail polish or perfumes can't be shipped? Well, that's not the case. I even contacted Laparkan about it; they said "...a hazmat fee will apply to the shipment. Please note that all hazardous cargo, being delivered to our warehouse, must be accompanied by an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and/or an IMO". That's if you're using their sky box services.

Or you just order your polishes from Live Love Polish cause they ship internationally. *fistpump* They're based in New York. You can see the list of brands they stock here...a lot of brands that aren't locally available.

In my confirmation email, they said it was their first order from Barbados. It came with a hand written note. How sweet is that? I heard about this company from watching Jessface90's swatch videos. I think it was late one night when I saw her apply 'Chillax' I was like: that's it! I must have it!

'Point Me To The Party' LE Electric Nights Collection
China Glaze 'Point Me To The Party' is a glitter topper with neon green, pink, blue and orange hex and micro glitter in a clear base. There's a party going on wherever you wear this polish! Wear over any polish for an instant neon pick-me-up!

Picture Polish 'Chillax' is a seafoam green creme

Colores de Carol 'Pinwheel' is a holographic multichrome shade that shifts from cyan to blue to purple to copper.

'Pinwheel' is so beautiful. That picture isn't doing it justice.

So is worth it to order polishes online? The subtotal was $32.50USD (China Glaze - $7.50, Picture Polish - $15 and Colores de Carol - $10). I was surprised that the Picture Polish wasn't full sized - only 0.37 fl. oz. instead of the standard 0.5 - and yet was the most expensive. But I guess that's because that's an Indie (Independent) brand that's made in Australia. Standard shipping was $14.99USD. You can read more about their international shipping here. That's $47.49USD total; my Visa Debit was charged $96.35BDS. It was sent to my local post office. I was told by someone that works at the post office - over the phone; I didn't collect the package myself - that the duty calculation on nail supplies is 20% x total and then 17.5% VAT on top of that. As I didn't collect them myself and they had no clue as to the value, the package only incurred a $5.60BDS charge. That's $101.95BDS grand total. I ordered on July 23rd and it was shipped the next day (standard shipping states 10 - 30 business days). There were shipped via USPS. The notification to collect the package from the post office came August 8th (if memory serves me correctly).

I'd say yes, totally worth it. If you're thinking of ordering I'd suggest getting polishes that would be unique to your collection. At Live Love Polish there's a lot to choose from.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Let's Talk Shop

Hi Mavenz,

This is going to make some people hate/text/whatsapp/Facebook me. I am NOT pointing fingers. I am NOT drawing a reference to any particular situation or incident. This is a post I was hesitant to upload/discuss. However it must be addressed. Things are going way left!

I hold body blows daily I am sure, dust it off, take what I need and keep it moving is my movement.

Kim K, Rihanna, Beyonce, Ciara etc. get talked about by the minute. As a makeup artist well anyone in the limelight really, you MUST expect criticism, harsh words and the occasional insult. What you should not engage in is idle gossip or nastiness and sometimes intolerance. You're an 'MUA' and DON'T expect criticism?? Well blow me down!! What makes you so special that you can't be 'talked about' or criticised? If you're in this business it's going to happen constantly so you better go get some armour; or crawl in a hole. Either way, people will talk. We should listen and take the advice/criticism with a pinch of salt but our egos very often get in the way though don't they?

I've done my fair share of criticising other MUA's based locally and internationally. However, it's not with malice. IF you know me you know I say what I mean and I rarely recant. I, like everyone else, have preferences. I am entitled to air them as I see fit so I expect the same from my colleagues.

The fact is, we all have to start somewhere. I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, the best artist ever. However, I am a good makeup artist. I've worked with and under the best in the business, locally,regionally and internationally. I study this game and technique hardcore. Makeup is a HUGE part of my life. I also took the classes and did the studying. So I am more than qualified to offer an opinion. I also have to be humble enough to accept yours. 

I was a junior artist on Britain & Ireland's next Top Model, BB Fashion Week and at Girlfriend's Expo. My style of makeup may not be popular. However, I and my work are respected and recognised. I give credit where it's due, and I have taken lessons and tutoring from some of your and my favourite artists, such as Ackeem Francis (Faces by Ackeem) and Shanelle Estwick and Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup). I've collaborated with Dee Blackett, chatted with Mandy Cummins, heck I even had a heart to heart on set with Joann Jones (when she was at CBC and black|Up Cosmetics). As long as I do makeup and post a photo, it will be judged, liked or disliked. Fair play.

Here's what I realise. People/clients like who they like and like looks they see on other people too. Bajans are fad/trendy people. Both artistically and socially. Understand that and you have the game on lock. Being thin skinned is not an option. They will hop from artist to artist depending on the situation and often under recommendation because their regular artist is unavailable or they did something they didn't like and they didn't have the guts to speak up and be honest at the time. Plus we loooove talking about people to get some 'juice'. 

Man there's a plethora of reasons they 'artist hop'.That's none of your business though. So maintain your integrity. You are in control of the appointment, keep it professional and fun and they will come back to you/share their time between you and their main artist. All of us have to eat and we will ALL make money. TRUST!

Artists like Renny Vazquez and Sam Fine work on different celebs all the time. They aren't wasting time mulling over which client went with what glam squad. It's about the SUCCESS and of course the money honey. SO get it together!! 

Suggestions for Clients:

Select a primary MUA - For whatever reason, their work is fab, you like their online persona, word of mouth. 
Select a secondary MUA - S/A. Be honest. Most of us know and are on familiar terms with each other, and Instagram doesn't lie. Your pic will pop into the feed.
Remain Loyal - Let them both know that they are YOUR preferred choices. You don't buy clothes from one store do you? If you choose/have an artist and you have a problem with their work tell THEM. Don't walk away unhappy, go to another artist and complain, or moan to your family and friends. Cattiness is catching and gossip falls on itching ears. Even the most well intentioned comment/criticism can be delivered in the wrong tone or just plain changed to suit the convo.

Suggestions for MUAs:

Select your clients carefully - Don't just grab at an appointment or potential because you're on the hustle. Maintain your standards. Some people book you to cook;  you...dig?
Select your colleagues carefully - This is a cut-throat business. Don't start nothing won't be nothing. Maintain your standards. Keep your comments honest TO THE PERSON if you must say anything at all.
Critique each other's work - WITH EACH OTHER. Clients can be deadly! 
Maintain your composure - Please stop airing your grievances on social media people! It's played out. Clapback season needs to die!!!
Finally: ENJOY your craft. Beauty is a huge business. We are supposed to be enhancing it not fuelling fires and feuds of ugliness. 

Let's be a little more understanding and accepting of each other. WE were all created differently and that's why all of us are still making money. WE are UNIQUE. Our styles are unique. Our philosophies are varied and our aesthetic is exactly that: OURS. Keep testing yourself  - I do. Keep criticising yourself. Stay motivated. Stay focused and in your lane. 

Our community is small; let's make it vibrant, healthy and beef free!! 

Yours in love and beauty, 

Weekend Beauty Time

Hi Mavenz!!

I thought I'd share my most used and loved products for my weekly grooming ritual. The process is usually simple and I generally don't switch up my products unless I get a new one to try out, or I come across something intriguing.

Given the vicissitudes of life, grooming may very well be a thing of the past. However, taking good care of ones body should always be a priority, after all #yolo. So I firmly believe in looking after this lil soul case while I have the strength and fortitude.

Enough babbling, I'll go in stages so I don't miss anything out. If this is #tmi OOPS sorry, but I will leave no stone unturned in my quest to get you to use the weekend to address your necessaries (is that even a word?? lol)

Shaving/Hair Removal

VERRRRY sensitive subject for me. I am INCREDIBLY hairy. As I tell people, there can't be an abundance on the head and nowhere else. That's called a UPART (no shade and I own one).  My uncle used to tell me he knew I was my Dad's child from my bushy eyebrows and sideburns (kill me now). Talk about emotionally scarring!

Anywho, I prefer to use the NAIR Hair Removal Creme for coarse hair on the following body parts, judge me if you must but I bet ya'll have seen Queenii Rozenblad gettin her moustache and brows with the facial hair version of this sucker.

Here's where I remove hair from:
Nether Regions: (pubic area and my tummy)

I have been using NAIR since my Lodge School days. It's easy to use, effective and long lasting. The smell is a bit obnoxious but the results are fabulous. IF you find the skin surrounding the area of application gets tender, use a little Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly.

The NAIR retailed for $14.55BBD.
Now more recently given my weight gain (ahem) I find it quite difficult to shave my legs using my Venus Razor. I do however, bust it out when these little spiry hairs start affecting the little leg rub I get from my husband Anderson. Onstan? Good lol.

My mainstay from the time I was about 18.
Haircare & Treatments

Then there's my hair. Having worked in a salon and paying attention to what my stylists have done over the years, I have been able to mimic their HAIRCARE techniques. I am by no means good at styling my own hair. Short of hot rollers and a flat/curling iron; I'm mehh ok at doing hair. On an average day my hair is in a bun/ponytail. It's way too thick and outside too hot to be messing around with a bob/shoulder length hair ya'll.

I digress. I am allll about haircare. I have many products and buy more regularly. So much so that I find myself rediscovering a conditioner or keratin treatment that wasn't used up. Can you say #shopmystash?

The Tresemme line of products is my go to. When I travel I stock up. There's usually a sale on their shampoos and conditioners at Walmart, Walgreen's or Target and I make it my business to get a good supply. I've found that three or four 32 fl oz of each product last me a year if I visit my stylist every 2 weeks with me washing and treating my hair weekly.

Left-right: Tresemme Luxurious Moisture Shampoo, Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe Scalp Shampoo, Tresemme Perfectly Undone Conditioner, Vitale Hair Mayonnaise (small almost empty tub in the middle), Africa's Best Super Gro Hair & Scalp Conditioner, Vitale Olive Oil 4 in one Growth Treatment
(great for itchy scalp and moisturising purposes)
Over board with the shampoo? Nah, I sweat in my head AND my hair texture and scalp do not allow for me to go past a week and a half without a good deep wash and conditioning. Smelllllly and dusty are NOT the business.

I also treat my scalp with an ointment/oil concoction I mix up. As well as an anti itch something or other usually from VITALE or Design Essentials (see photo above), just to keep the dry scalp under control. I love lil grease too, so after I wash and air dry my hair, it's a grease down de roots sitch.

Keratin treatments are my fave! I love the effect they have on the cortex of my hair and as soon as I am physically able I'm going for a Beautox/Keratin Treatment! It keeps my hair shaft smooth, silky and easy to wrap at night too! Want me to talk more about keratin? Comment below!! Shout out to my girl Tomi! An old schoolmate of mine who writes an amazing blog about her hair journey, check it out here! She is way more thorough and committed than me and  her hair growth? Phenomenal!

This is the comb I use when I detangle after regular conditioning for 2-15 minutes (depending on how long I can stand the cap on my head) and this Aphogee Keratin Treatment smells good is inexpensive at $6.99 and provides two sachets so I can treat my hair twice for the price!

During my hair removal & washing processes I use a face mask. Typically the Queen Helene Mint Julep or a turmeric or oat mask. I have large pores AND oily Combination skin soooo  I need to address that on the regular.

Sun Protection

I am not going to lie. I am hardly ever in the sun. HOWEVER I am not about to start looking like a ream of crepe paper by 35 see? So I am currently using a primer with SPF and for my body these two products right here. The banana boat for when I'm going to the sea or in a car with no ac/tinted windows and the L'Oreal for every day.

Sun Protection Products.
Once the hair and skin are taken care of it's time to relax. Since Lucinda introduced me to these BBW candles I've been like a woman possessed. I keep them in stock (of course my stock is slim compared to hers, I need to go and raid her stash now). I also have a love affair with washing my hands. So the Gentle Foaming Hand Soaps are in every bathroom in my house AND the kitchen (obsessed).

Just placed an order for some new ones. Will haul as soon as they come in!
I usually don't paint my toes. BUT I love a good pedi. I am not able to get pedicures at the moment and for a few months yet I'll have to look after my feet myself so the MR Pumice man made foot scrubber does the job quickly and effectively. They can be purchased on line (Amazon.com) or at Paradise Beauty Supply, Broad Street (Next to Cave Shepherd where Mademoiselle was located).
Yes, extra coarse lol.
For my hands I moisturise with any old lotion I have on hand. I do a hand scrub (olive oil & brown sugar) monthly or when my hands are super dry. I am in need of a good cuticle oil though. I love the papaya one from Cuccio, but if you have any recommendations, please comment below!

With daily application lasts me about a month.
And that is a rundown of my Weekend Grooming/Beauty rituals. Now it's not every weekend that I have the opportunity to do the WHOLE thing. I must admit if I miss something out, I usually correct it before midweek. So give yourself a break and do one or all of these things. If you're into your skincare, treat yourself to a facial sauna (hot pot of water with lil lavender and vanilla in it) and
de-stress. Paint your nails or apply a little self massage to your tired feet. You deserve it.

What is your weekend beauty ritual that prepares you for the gruelling task filled week ahead?


Monday, 24 August 2015

Instant Repurchases

Recently I was watching Mary from ALoveTart's video and it got me thinking: which products do I repurchase before they've even run out?

Some things are just staples.

Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream

Shay from Magnific Hair first introduced me to this brand a few years ago and I've been hooked eva since. I haven't seen it available locally but you can get it on Amazon and even sometimes on Hautelook (a flash sale site that offers a wide variety of products at reduced prices).

M.A.C Prep + Prime Highlighter 'Peach Lustre'

Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap 'Black Cherry Merlot'

This scent is simply divine...but I'm sure you're tired of hearing me say that.

NYC In A Minute 'Grand Central Station'

These are also available in The Marketplace.

Berkley & Jensen 100% Pure Cotton Rounds 100 Count

The packaging has changed but the product better has be the same. These are best cotton pads I've found locally. Shopsmart has them for the best price (approx. $7) but I've also seen them in Bio Beauty for about $12. International readers you can find them easily on Amazon.

rms beauty lip & skin balm 'simply vanilla'

Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel

I've always found the Gillette Satin Care range to be heavily fragranced and a bit messy to deal with. I have none of these issues with this one and it's also cheaper.

Chanel Chance 

I hear sooooooooooooo many women raving about this, and with good reason. Katrina gave me my first bottle one Christmas and I mean now that I am never again to be without it.

Eden's Choice Naturals 'Peppermint' Soap

I just ordering by the batch now.

Maybelline Define-A-Brow 'Medium Brown'

I had heard someone say on YouTube that this was being discontinued. I don't know if that's true. For many years I would only be able to find it in pharmacies in Jamaica. Thankfully now it's readily available in Collins, Paradise Beauty Supply, Rachel's Health and Beauty and Massy Stores. This was the first fine tip retractable brown pencil I ever used. 

 REN Clean Skincare Micro Polish Cleanser

Too Faced Lip Insurance

Take any smearing, smudging lip product from zero to hero *real quick* with this baby right hurrr.

I can't be the only one that does this. Let me know which products you instant repurchase in the comments.