Beauty Sleep Strategies

Beauty Sleep strategies and makeup tips for faking it.

While it would be ideal to boast 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, for most of us with busy lives, it just isn’t a reality.  Restorative sleep not only benefits your mood, coping capabilities, problem solving skills and overall health; your skin and eyes will noticeably give away your lack-of-sleep making you not only feel bad but look less than radiant when sleep is elusive for more than a few nights a week. This makes us not only feel groggy but we are visually reminded of our previous nights’ tossing and turning every time we look in the mirror.

beauty sleep strategies

Tips and home remedies to help you achieve restful sleep each night

Turn off blue light-emitting electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Or if you absolutely have to work on the computer you can download a blue light filter or try these blue-light-busting-glasses so you’re not sabotaging your circadian clock.

Drink a cup of warm tea such as Chamomile or Nighty Night about an hour before bedtime.  While a glass of wine can take the days edge off, more than one can cause you to wake in the wee hours due to your body burning off excess sugar.  Try this soothing anti-inflammatory drink that not only tastes great but lowers inflammation which will reduce puffiness and redness.

Soothing Anti-Inflammatory Milk  –  Makes 2 cups
2 cups of non-dairy milk of choice
3 star anise pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1 knob of ginger
Add all ingredients to a saucepan, bring to a simmer then let steep for a few minutes. Strain and enjoy!

Make sure you’re getting your magnesium.  If you’ve ever been kept awake by restlessness a likely culprit could be a deficiency of magnesium.  Try Calm Natural Vitality.  Known to induce a state of Calmfulness.  You can thank me later.

Tart cherries contain melatonin and are anti-inflammatory -a winning combination for sleeping throughout the night.  Oftentimes I will mix a tablespoon of tart cherry juice with Calm for an effervescent and tasty sleep aid.  Frozen tart cherries also make a guilt-free evening snack.

Dark and cool is the best way to keep your bedroom for optimal sleep.  Black out curtains are excellent when you live in the city and setting your thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees is best for deep sleep.

Diffusers or cotton buds filled with lavender or ylang ylang will dispense a calming scent throughtout your room and promote relaxation.  This diffuser is as beautiful as it is useful.

When beauty sleep isn’t an option use these makeup strategies to give you a wide awake appearance  …even when you’re not.

Puffy eyes are women’s biggest complaint and are largely due to allergies and water retention especially if they dissipate within a few hours of being up.  To speed up the deflation process try keeping eye cream in your refrigerator or a set of spoons and apply for a few minutes before proceeding with concealer.  The cooling effect will de-puff by constricting blood vessels and diffusing fluids.  Another option, try 100% Pure eye cream with coffee bean and green tea.  It smells as good as it works and is exactly what the name implies -100% pure.

Dark circles are the most obvious and problematic result of not sleeping well.  Banish them with a peach tinted concealer which counteracts the blue tone around the eyes.  Be sure to blend concealer up into the inner corner on the side of the nose and only use where needed to avoid creasing in outer corners.

Open up your eyes by curling lashes and concentrating mascara on the middle lashes.  This makes eyes appear rounder and more open.  Try a product with a round spooley on the tip for detailing or use these disposables with your favorite brand -with the added benefit of keeping your pricey mascara germ-free longer.

Get the red out with a neutral liner applied along the lower rim of the eyes.  Lack of sleep can cause redness in this area.  Try this product to brighten the inner rim and revitalize tired looking eyes.  Stick with lighter eye shadows as darker tones can add to the sunken appearance.

Keep it peachy on the lips to cancel out the blue tones under the eyes.

May you sleep soundly tonight.   zzzzzz

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Makeup & hair for good cause

Makeup & hair for philanthropic article

A long time client and someone I greatly admire recently asked me to do her makeup and hair for a photo shoot for Modern Luxury Magazine featuring her and two adorable baby goats all in the name of a good cause.  Michelle Lerach who is a lawyer by training, and while she doesn’t do it full time anymore, helps out on causes she deems worthy.  She also gives of her time and money for environmental and agricultural causes giving back to her community in a way that is very important to her.  She believes access to good food should be available to all and has started a foundation with the help of others in the farming community called Berry Good Food Foundation. The Berry Good Food Foundation educates, connects and supports food producers and consumers integrating a healthy food system.

Modern Luxury Magazine

Fun was had by everyone involved in the shoot which took place at Michelle and her husband Bill’s sprawling estate in LaJolla, California complete with aviary, thick foliage and sprawling cliffside garden.  She hosts many events and fundraisers on site giving freely of her time for worthy causes.  I had the pleasure of working with the photographer Jennifer Siegwart from Jen and Bec for the first time. She was amazingly undemanding and a real doll.

The goats, who were barely a week old, were oh so tiny and playful and completely adorable -no makeup required.   But for such small critters they have very loud bleats!

If you would like to learn more about the Berry Good Food Foundation or find out how you can make a contribution please visit their website http://berrygoodfood.org/

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Featured on Ceremony Magazine’s Blog

Ceremony Magazine’s Blog

Ceremony Magazine’s blog recently featured a wedding at the newly remodeled Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in which me and my team were hired as the beauty crew working behind the scenes to get everyone ready for the big day.  The bride and her family were so warm and welcoming, making it a relaxed and festive event for everyone.

The couple celebrated and honored both of their heritages by having an Indian ceremony on Friday evening and a Western ceremony on Saturday.

The couple’s wedding coordinator, a veteran of the industry, Susanne Duffy of Crown Weddings was able to pull together the bride’s vision and orchestrate all the details effortlessly making it a stress-free day for the couple and their families.  Flowers were artfully arranged by Jennifer Cole Florals.

Photographer, Paul Barnett of Barnett Photography is a natural at putting couples at ease with his warmth and sense of humor.  Not to mention, he’s got a great eye.

Thank you to Ceremony Magazine’s Blog for featuring this wonderful couple and all of the vendors who pulled the event together for them.

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Makeup for musicians

Makeup and hair for beautiful music

I recently was hired to do makeup and hair for a talented singer/songwriter named Lena Belle.  She would be photographed by Darin Fong  for her new CD cover titled “My Own Way”.  When she arrived for her session I was delighted by her warm personality and down to earth attitude; yet she was somehow worldly for such a young person. Unfamiliar with her music at the time I asked her when the CD would be available.  I offered to pay her in advance if she would mail me a CD when they became available.  Much to my surprise, in the hustle-bustle busy world we live in where much is forgotten and promises are left unfulfilled, she followed through by mailing me her CD accompanied with a super sweet handwritten thank you note  …I’m a huge fan! (both of her and her music)

You can check out her work here

You can purchase her latest EP here

makeup for musiciansMakeup for musicians combined with hairstyling and wardrobe design play an integral role in achieving the image and persona the artist wishes to portray to the public much as an actor would do to get into character for a major role.  So whether the artists’ style is Lady Gage-dramatic or Taylor Swift-soft, makeup and hair play a big part in achieving that image.

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Easy fixes to revitalize your Mane Attraction

Easy fixes to revitalize your mane attraction with inexpensive products you probably have on hand.

hair beauty recipesMake your Mane Attraction all it can be!

Let’s face it, our tresses are what define us.   Spiky pink-tipped or long, beachy waves say a lot about who we are.   Without ever speaking a word you can make a major image statement and give huge insight to the viewer about your personality.  That’s not to say we should be judged by our exterior but it is something that everyone notices within seconds of laying eyes on us.

So we should all strive for healthy looking hair whether you wear yours in a short layered bob or with long luscious locks.  Dry, brittle, over-processed hair ages us and over styling, sun damage and poor quality products can all reek havoc on even the healthiest locks.  Here’s some tips on how to regain bouncy, beautiful hair and bring back the shine and lustre of youth with products you probably already have at home.

If you haven’t heard this by now it’s time you try it.  Coconut oil is amazing!  This stuff is wonderful, inexpensive (at least compared to some pricey hair products) and it’s all you need to revitalize dull hair.  Depending on the texture of your hair is how you’ll use it.  Coconut oil is heavy so I’ve created several recipes you can use depending on your hair type.   If you have an oily scalp you may fear that this will only exacerbate the problem. Quite the opposite is true.  It will actually help control the sebum production by removing excess product build-up and dead skin cells balancing the skin’s natural oil production.

Recipe for happy scalp if you have thin, fine hair with an oily scalp

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil available here
4-5 drops of essential grapefruit or lemon oil available here and here

Melt the coconut oil.  This can be done bit by bit with small amounts warmed in your hands then adding a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice.  Rub this mixture on your scalp paying attention to distribute evenly and then pull through to ends of hair.  Now massage your scalp for a few minutes.  Not only does this feel remarkable it also increases circulation promoting hair growth and removal of excess sebum.  If time allows let it saturate for a minimum of 15 minutes but longer is more beneficial.  This recipe is best used during the day as the grapefruit and lemon are invigorating and do not promote sleep.

Recipe for healthy scalp free of dryness and flaking and luxurious shiny strands for course, thick hair

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 drops tea tree oil (optional) available here

Melt the coconut oil and mix in the baking soda and tea tree oil, if using, creating a paste which you’ll then apply to your scalp.   It’s okay if some of it gets in your hair but you want to focus the solution on the scalp.   This recipe works because the coconut oil sooths the scalp by creating a moisture barrier and the baking soda exfoliates the scalp of product build up and eases dandruff by killing the yeast and fungi that cause the itch.  For added effectiveness add a few drops of tea tree oil which is a natural anti-fungal.

 Why dry shampoo may not be your best friend after all.

If you reach for dry shampoo more than once a week you may want to reconsider.   Many of us have come to rely on dry shampoo as a stand-in to daily shampooing thinking it’s perfectly healthy and convenient.  The latter being true, the sad fact is that it’s not so good for your scalp.  How healthy your scalp is sets the tone for how healthy your hair is since that’s where it originates.  Diet and genetics play a role too but that’s a topic for another blog.  By using a dry shampoo regularly you are suffocating the hair follicle which over time can completely clog the follicle leading to thinning and slowing of hair growth.  If you shampoo less, every other day is optimal for most people, your hair will eventually quit overproducing oil in an attempt to compensate for your daily stripping with shampoo and harsh chemicals.  There will be an adjustment period but it may just be a matter of getting used to yourself with your own“natural” hair product rather than squeaky clean hair.

These days most of us have limited time for beauty regimens.  I think you’ll find these hair tips beneficial and easy to do just in minutes by keeping the products on hand and easily accessible.

Enjoy!

Paula Mayer is a makeup artist and hairstylist and founder of AirPro Makeup.  She’s shares a studio with photographer, husband and business partner Seth Mayer in San Diego, CA.

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Choosing the right brush for expert makeup application

Choosing the right brush for the job is the key to an expert makeup application. 

Cosmetic brushes

One of the questions that I’m asked most often by my clients is what type of brushes I use so as I’ll explain here it’s more about the quality and variety than the brand when considering your purchase. As you probably know, the airbrush tool is my favorite for a super-smooth application on the face, neck and chest.  And while it’s the key to a well-blended contour -which is enjoying the spot light right now- sometimes a fine detail brush is just the ticket for eyeliner, lipstick or concealer.  Here’s my recommendation for the best brushes and how to care for them.  While many options are available and there’s more than one correct tool this will give you a good starting point.  Click here to read the article

 

I hope you find this no-fluff guide helpful!

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Homemade Toner Recipes

Three Simple Homemade Toner Recipeshomemade toner recipe

Support the inherent vitality of your skin with these simple and inexpensive two-ingredient recipes.

Sometimes the simplest things can be the best things for us.  As is the case with skin toners.  There’s an array of prepackaged products on the market to choose from.  Some with long ingredient lists containing things that may actually cause more harm than good.  That is not always the case but why spend a lot of money on something when you can quickly whip up a batch in your own kitchen using inexpensive, natural and organic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.  Here are three of my favorites and you can experiment by adding a few drops of essential oils if you prefer a scent.  I use mine morning and night so I prefer to keep it unscented.  Read the article and get recipes here.

 

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One of my favorite models

Working with one of my favorite models

At a recent catalog shoot at our studio in central San Diego, partnering with my husband and photographer Seth Mayer, we had a productive shoot with our client and tons of fun to boot.  One of the models hired for the shoot, Veronica, is not only a beautiful and talented model but she is full of vibrant and interesting conversation making what can otherwise be a long day, flow by quickly.  She recently made her movie debut in a comedy called Now What which premiered on March 10 and is set to release on April 3rd.

Mayer Studios model

Here she is in a collage image shot and composed by Seth.Seth Mayer Photography - Model VeronicaVeronica is also a AirPro Makeup owner, which I developed and am still owner of.  She uses it for many of her jobs to get that “picture perfect” skin!

Can’t wait to work with her again!

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Scripps Seaside Forum wedding

Airbrush makeup and hairstyling for Scripps Seaside Forum wedding party

Alex and her bridesmaids chose a polished yet relaxed beauty style for the seaside event.  Everyone gathered early at the brides parent’s lovely home in LaJolla for a relaxing morning of pampering while enjoying overnight oats and coffee prepared by the bride’s brother’s girlfriend (soon be to sister-in-law  -wink, wink).  Their day started with lots of laughs and reminiscencing of pre-engagement days and then led into fun pre-ceremony photos by the wonderful team at True Photography.

airbrush makeup and hair

beauty servicesmakeup for Scripps Seaside Forum wedding

Alex chose a lovely brooch passed down to her by her grandmother to finish off her hairstyle so I made sure the treasure was well secured to withstand a night of dancing and living it up.  Alex has perfect hair for the style she chose -no extensions necessary- to create this bouncy mass of golden curls which tied in beautifully to their seaside wedding at the Scripps Forum.  The event was put together by long time family friend and professional coordinator Anseth Richards of Creative Occasions.

 

Her gown was simple and understated, a perfect tie in to a seaside event.

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Beauty tips for glowing skin

Beauty tips for healthy glowing skin

Perhaps you have a momentous event just around the corner,  are having a professional photo taken, or want your skin to look it’s best for a new job.  Here are some tips that will get you glowing and pay back your skin for all the wonderful things it does for you; like act as a barrier against dirt, germs and harmful toxins.  It absorbs energy from the sun converting it to Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone.  Then it sweats when you’re over heated removing toxins from within.  That’s a lot to ask of your largest organ so why not treat it with the respect it deserves!

healthy skin care

Here’s how you can show your skin some love.

Use oil as cleanser

As strange as it may sound oil dissolves oil and is a great pre-cleanser to your regular wash and can even be the only product you need on those no makeup days when it’s mostly dirt and pollution that needs to be removed.  There are many ready made versions on the market such as Dermalogica precleanse, Origins clean energy, & Shu Uemura cleansing oils to name a few.

Not all oils are created equal.  There’s the good ones that are nourishing and because they’re derived from seeds, kernels, nuts and plants they possess numerous skin benefits that help to restore barrier lipids that can be depleted in harsh environments or from over washing.  They’re loaded with antioxidants that protect your skin from the environment.  Good ones to look for are grapeseed, olive, sweet almond, jojoba and apricot kernel.

Try this homemade recipe for precleansing – Use 1 Tbsp per application

1/4 cup sweet almond oil
1/4 cup jojoba oil
1/8 cup olive oil
5-6 drops essential oil (optional)

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

Exfoliating is key to keeping the dead skin cells from piling up and clogging pores.  It should be added to your routine at least once a week and for those over 40 2-3times would be optimal.  Nothing perks up tired skin better than a lactid acid exfoliant or powder version ground from seeds, kernels, or oats.  Remember, the finer the grit the more gentle and it needn’t be harsh to work.  Find one that works best for you and use it!  The body benefits from a salt scrub enhanced with a few drops of essential oil.  Skip the oily versions if you don’t have time to wash the tub after as it can create a slippery mess.  Good for the body, bad for the tub.

Nourish your skin and body

It is important to nourish your skin from within by adding plenty of nutrient rich oils to your diet which will feed the fat layer of your skin making it appear firmer and fuller.  Coconut oil is a medium chain fat and is excellent for the heart and a great source of energy so add a dollop to the blender when making your favorite green drink.  Another excellent choice is olive oil loaded with antioxidants and oleic acid.

It is also important to feed your skin from the outside with quality oils and moisturizers derived from natural sources and preferably without parabens which can be disruptive to hormones.  While parabens can serve to keep nasty pathogens out of your facial skin care items, on the largest area of the body you’re better off sticking with shea butter, jojoba oil or even castor oil.  Try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils such as lavender in the evening to help you drift off to Planet Z or grapefruit in the mornings to awaken your senses.  Your coworkers will appreciate the soft scent over a heavy perfume as well.

Treat yourself to a facial

This can be an at-home version although a spa treatment will be a mental treat as well and will help to circulate the blood and drain the lymphatic system reducing puffiness and bloating in the face.  There are many at-home facial  masks on the market designed to deeply nourish such as Caudalie cream mask which harnesses the polyphenol in grapes to treat dry skin or Dermalogica multivitamin masque concentrated with vitamins A,C, E and F.  These can be used in the convenience of your home and usually in less than 15 minutes a week.

healthy skincare

Try this recipe made with ingredients from your refrigerator – Makes one application

1/2 avocado mashed (eat the other half)
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp ground oats
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients, apply generously to face and décolletage,  find a quiet spot, relax and reflect for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Soon you’ll begin to enjoy the rewards of naturally glowing skin with a fresh even tone and texture that requires minimal makeup.

 

 

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