You know how they say, "You must suffer for beauty..."Goddess Granny firmly believes you must also suffer for air-travel in this day and age! Without boring y'all to tears, I will simply say that my Holiday travel plans were tough to execute without losing my patience and what's left of my mind: un-planned hours spent at JFK, lost luggage that included carefully-packed gifts, and the feeling that no matter how hard I scrubbed, the scent of cheap fast food and too many people in winter clothing would never come off my skin! I was however grateful for my iPad, my Amex card, (which granted access to the more comfortable skylounges...) and for the carefully chosen/TSA allowed cosmetics in my bag because without them, I would have truly been miserable! I would have no doubt have looked as bad as I felt when my luggage took a different trip-route along with my necessities...
It's damn HARD if you're a product of your products like I am to even capture the bare-basics when the "rules" insist on small sizing and textures that are more suited to baking than beauty! I manage to keep a doable "face" of sorts into a tiny MAC "Hello Kitty" cosmetic bag in my carry on which includes a Lorac brow pencil, a MAC lipliner, a Tarte eyeliner, a small tube of Tarte waterproof mascara, a Liptini lip/cheek stain, a cherry Chapstick, a tiny glass vial of scent and a small tube of concealer. Without it, I'm doomed to look like I've slept sitting upright under florescent lights! My Lorac compact provides powder and a great mirror and so far, this small bag has passed he toughest scrutiny and I swear by the contents: with these few items, I can honestly make myself look presentable no matter what or where so I'm stickin' to it!
I traded out the small tube of concealer that was in my magic-bag of trix for one that Meg had recently sent to me and wow am I glad I did: I have been a HUGE fan of the Makeup Forever line of products for a long time but honestly had never tried their "Lift Concealer" before although I simply will not be without my MUFE HD Foundation which I use daily! This line is legendary for good reason as well as effective, professional-grade quality, simply the stuff of a makeup maven or artist's dreams! Since 1984,this French-based line founded by Dany Sanz, one of the truly great makeup artists and cosmetic-visionaries has set the stage and the bar for all products colorful, glittering,and high-performance! It's used by stage-professionals, celebrities and of course, by those of us who simply insist that our products do it all without fail! It's absolutely one of my favorite lines and many of their pro-products simply have no rival...
Baby it's COLD outside in much of the U.S.! I know many have heaps of snow as well so although it's still sunny and fairly mild here in South Texas, Goddess Granny is packing to go North. I'm actually staring at a pile of gear fit for the frigid: reindeer-motif sweaters, chunky lined boots, heavy knit scarves and gloves and of course, a full length mink to insure that I literally won't crack and die from the temperatures in my near future! Seriously, my skin hates the cold and I'm gearing up both mentally and physically with every oil, cream and balm the damn TSA will allow me to carry. My suitcase actually has more tubs of goo packed inside than apparel at this point...priorities.
A MUCH needed and VERY appreciated product came to my rescue last week in the form of something SO totally delicious and decadent that I literally would cover myself in a tub of it and lay there for hours if I could! The beautiful people at "Farmhouse Fresh" located right here in Texas have yet again hit it out of the ballpark with their latest potion: a luscious and extravagantly elegant new cream named "Hello!"
"Hello!" is a yellow shea butter cream that's lightly scented with natural vanilla and citrus oils and they say it's their "happiest cream!" Do you know that the integrity and freshness of a product is MUCH enhanced by a glass container? Hello! comes in a fat 10 oz. glass jar that just feels SO rich in the hand! Adorable "jumping on the bed" graphic on the box that would get a smile from anyone! I wanted to literally EAT this stuff when I saw the texture: like that of the whipped cream I make using tons of real heavy-cream and a Kitchen Aid mixer and beating until it's almost stiff? Sorta' like heaps of pristine snow that you want to dive into? Seriously, it's just perfection!
Bath: the original "sense" of the word in many origins appears to come from the phrase "to warm or a place of warmth"Goddess Granny really likes this thought and will add that to me personally,a bath is my therapy, my excuse to indulge, (okay, one of them!) A way to heal, nourish, or sooth my body and soul depending on what I add to the water! I have a large 3-tiered shelf of potions, lotions, concoctions, and scents ranging from a humble bag of detoxifying Epsom salts for aches and pains to a few products I only use here and there because they are SUCH an indulgence! Etsy satisfies my hand-crafted product needs and if it floats or dissolves, lathers or bubbles you can bet I will love it! My husband actually added an addition to our home just so I could have the bathtub of my dreams! He knows I am a sweeter, saner, person after a bath. I guess he figured it'd be a small price to pay, HA!
Sea salts are a gift from nature and found in many forms and places:the minerals are perfect for soothing and healing the skin and also for replenishing much needed nutrients and yes,minerals! They are many kinds and ways to use and the really cool folks at the "San Francisco Bath Salt Company" have pretty much zeroed in on and make available the bath salts of my and maybe your dreams! Since 1999, this delightful company has focused on the powers of salts to relieve stress, renew the skin, sooth achy muscles and in general have become the best at the biz of bath salts anywhere to be found! Their 24 "flavors" of Artisan bath salts are sold in San Francisco and online and you and literally can buy anything from a small amount to enough to start your own line of products as they also sell in bulk and have several types of salts to choose from. The company supplies many top spas with their products as well as producing their own and "private label" lines of soothing goodness for the tub!
I was TOTALLY blown away when I opened my San Francisco Bath Salts scented with "Acai Berry Infusion": the bamboo tub itself is literally "art for your bathroom." The picture simply doesn't do it justice: it's smooth and silky in feeling and heft, has THE cutest little wooden scoop attached. It is refillable as well as being environmentally sustainable in it's presentation! Bamboo is great in protecting the beautiful salts within without any moisture retention which might cause swelling of the product...It looks SO nice near the tub and believe me, looks a LOT more elegant and special than the price would have one believe because it looks so VERY expensive and chic, very Euro-spa and luxurious! Charming "belly band" with an adorable mermaid-motif announces the scent of the contents and there are quite a few to choose from...the site is REALLY delightful to browse and I learned a lot about bath salts because that IS what they focus on-in every imaginable form!
Almost every person I've talked to is "downsizing" (or trying to!) this Holiday season: Goddess Granny can confirm that even THE most privileged of fashionista's are thinking twice these days about how to have it all for a helluva' lot less!
I'm personally being more creative when it comes to gifts and I'm combining small items in pretty packaging that will surely get as loud a WOW as items costing much more and I'm doing some "theme" gifts revolving around say a color or something sparkly,with a card and picture attached to let the recipient know exactly why I thought they'd love and or how to wear...it's non-stress fun and I'm not going over budget!
One of the themes I'm doing is of course, related to beauty/makeup and I'm combining some goodies for that oh so coveted "smokey eye/nude lip" look that I believe just about everyone wants to wear at one time or another? I don't think this look is going anywhere anytime soon and pretty much defines "modern classic." In terms of a style of makeup it's a safe bet that anyone would love to receive the "ingredients" perfectly chosen to flatter them all in a sweet little package! HOWEVER, as un-fussy as this lip-look appears, it can be a bit of a beast to get JUST the right color and shine without looking ghastly or like you've been sucking sticky-caramels all day (although that's not a bad idea...:) Of course, top notch cosmetics with beautiful formulations and perfectly-crafted shades are an investment but that doesn't mean they have to be expensive. For over 18 years, the Bijou family, based in Los Angeles, have been personally involved and successfully creating a fabulous line of products that really DO deliver "department store quality at budget pricing." They have a huge following that rely on Jordana Cosmetics every season to be right on trend! I will admit, I had never tried anything in this line before but am absolutely AMAZED at how wonderful everything I now have really is. It's just so nice to feel all snug about getting the goods and still having enough cash for other things without guilt or remorse!
The makeup-fairies that send my products for review must have really worked overtime because when the Jordana Easyliner lip pencil and Pretty Shine Lipgloss landed in my lap, everything changed. For the FIRST time, I had a pair of magical products that went on like a dream almost without even trying. They gave me THE most perfect nude lip EVER I kid you not! Do you even KNOW how many dozens of liners and glosses I have tried in hopes of prancing about like Kim or Angelina or the countless others whose lips manage to look natural only REALLY better? I now have the perfect nude pinky-beige with a slight shimmer look too!
If this isn't the time of the year when that fine-quality known as "multi tasking" comes into play, I don't know what it's good for! Goddess Granny has her glitter-nail polished hands full these days and I know y'all do too so I'm very excited to be able to share something dare I say TOTALLY UNIQUE to the beauty/skin care/cosmetic world as I know it? I see you sighing and rolling those pretty eyes but hear me out: is there really very much at all "out there" that IS original and if so, is it good for you?
You're gonna' like this...
Nestled inside the plush offices of "Sunset Cosmetic Surgery" on yes, Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles' hottest "strip" is a gorgeous esthetician/makeup artist/author named Geri Giagnorio aka "Geri G." or "The Skin Trainer." She has an incredibly impressive list of celebrity clients and offers some of THE most To Die For skin care treatments I've ever seen...her menu of services is just amazing in in terms of variety and focus!
Geri obviously knows her biz and her formulas and skin enhancing products are some of the most sought after in the world of beauty:she is not only skin-skilled but is the author of a book, "Eating for Better Skin: 10 Simple Steps" with another book due out in 2011 as well as her own line of cosmetics. She is one talented lady to watch and I'd absolutely LOVE to visit her offices! Her proven holistic yet modern-tech approach to the business of beautiful skin is not only refreshing,it's ridiculously original in her products to date!
I have a list of wanna' do's all earmarked for my next visit to LA and a visit to Geri G has recently been added for sure!
The Geri G. Mixer kit is a multi-tasking, hard working, unbelievably practical yet modern way to not only make every single item in your cosmetic kit "better" but also a truly unique way to add vital nutrients and vitamins to your skin as opposed to depleting it in any way because you too love your makeup! I have spent the past three days "playing around" with this kit and it has changed the way I will use some of my favorite products forever!
The "kit" comes with a sleek pump-dispenser of "mixer" along with a REALLY cool antimicrobial synthetic-bristled "M" brush, a nifty spatula for scraping powder or mixing! All you would need to play makeup artist including an instruction booklet and a DVD! Geri believes you shouldn't complicate your beauty routine but rather that you can do more with less using this kit and she is right. The paraben-free non-comedogenic "mixer" is a revolutionary and original product that contains 21 natural botanical ingredients and that allows you to re-texture and better apply EVERY product you use no matter the brand, type or color and regardless of skin type or shade. This gorgeous product nourishes your skin with a "Namomarine-5" organic compound while you enjoy natural sunscreen protection and add water-resistant quality to every bit of your makeup! I told you you'd like this: you can customize your colors with ease, use as a base, primer, and hydrator on every part of your face! Including lashes and brows, turn powder into concealer, loose shadows into long-wearing creams, and add incredible thickness to your lashes by layering between mascara applications! Did I mention you can even use the mixer to turn mascara INTO liner as well?
You can. Seriously, if it sounds pretty much like a genius-miracle beauty product it's because it is. Unlike moisturizer which contains oils that actually break down your makeup, Geri's mixer binds and enhances your cosmetics and enriches them into delicious skin care products as well!
I am freaking out that it's already mid-November: it's like time speeds UP a the end of the year and try as I might, I can't get my brain and feet to catch up! Goddess Granny feels the stress like everyone else although I tend to hide it under an extra layer of mascara whenever possible...
We all have our unique ways of "coping" and some tend to rather creative: I for one am looking forward to an afternoon with my glam-girl friends drinking wine in a dark theater watching two AMAZING diva's in "Burlesque!" Who cares if the movie may not have an award-winning script? The makeup, costumes and sets alone will inspire me for months! I also tend to bake cupcakes and bask in the tub more this time of year!
Some I know LOVE to have a "spa day" and while I have sampled what spas have to offer in many places with many ways to spoil and encourage relaxation! !I am still torn as to whether or not I love the process. It's great to go with a group and really indulge for an afternoon but I find that's a "party" and not relaxing and I won't even get into the cost. My favorite "spa" in the US is near my small hometown and it's rated among the very best if you can believe it!
One of the things I love most about this place besides the breathtaking grounds and gorgeous interior is that they offer "specials" for some of their amazing spa-services that INCLUDE all taxes and gratuities and I think it's brilliant: I get TOTALLY stressed out when some spas hand you a selection of tiny envelopes for "gratuities" after I'm stripped naked and who wants to do math in your head when you're supposed to be relaxing?
So, for the most part unless I get to indulge with some of my favorite people! When I'm not visiting NY, I do my own "spa services" at home: with everything available, it's really easy and the results can and do rival some treatments I have paid way too much for in the past.
We adore Zakia's here at Megsmakeup.com and I'll tell you why: this company is committed to the beautiful products they offer !The owners are lovely people and their products which include the amazing original "Argan Oil" (you NEED some of this during the winter months-trust me!) are held to the highest possible standards of organic purity. They continue to support women's co-ops and provide jobs as well as promote the social-responsibility of sustaining their resources in their native Morocco! I am a ridiculous fan of the Argan Oil and shampoos and now I have yet ANOTHER incredible Zakia's product on my list of favorites! They also love Meg's back and we are very thankful for their support.
"Moroccan Black Soap" sounds rather mysterious doesn't it? Based on the traditional and centuries-old "Hamman" spa treatments the gorgeous woman of Morocco have held dear for centuries, this is a unique and absolutely INCREDIBLE way to indulge yourself a bit right in the privacy of your own bathroom! It is a cleansing treatment-soap named "BELDI", a 100% natural plant product that is naturally rich in in vitamin E and has the restorative powers to regenerate your skin like nothing else! It removes toxins and I can't imagine what it might cost to experience this sort of luxury-treatment in an actual spa! It's low-lathering and can be used to cleanse but that's not the "best" way to reap the benefits.They refer to it as a "wondrous body treatment" and it really is so here's how you use it...
"So long as a woman has twinkles in her eyes, no man notices whether she has wrinkles under them..." Dolores Del Rio (1904-1983)
Spoken like a true legendary beauty of the 1930's whose lovers are a who's who of Hollywood and the world! Goddess Granny suggests you read about her and discover what a "Beauty Legend" REALLY might be? SO different from today's standards and levels of acceptance! I don't however totally agree that no one will notice the mess under one's eyes simply because they are incredibly captivating although it's something to strive for!
Honestly, under-eye circles aren't my worst beauty-nightmare personally but I know the issue is annoying to many! I have other nasty fish to fry when it comes to my flaws. There is however nothing like the power of a GREAT concealer and with SO many on the market, it's easy to overlook the ones who might actually be the stuff of legend. "Innovative Technology Cosmetics" or IT Cosmetics is a brand I knew little about: an expertly created line of cosmetics that are not only somewhat "clinical" in nature in that they were designed to help perfect the skin after surgery both elective and non with incredible formulas that also allow the user to look fabulous while healing without looking like there's anything to hide! This is a new idea to me: most of the "clinically based" makeups out there are not something most would choose to use everyday. They are known to be thicker, heavier, harder to apply-simply not really great for one's skin! I know many believe in "minerals" but for some of us, they aren't our best option.
I'm trying to remember the last time I spent an entire day without makeup on. Goddess Granny simply can't remember the last time I didn't wear something, even if it was around the house or to run to the dreaded "Not So Little Shop Of Horrors" aka Walmart. I dummy-down to go there because it seems like every single dweeb, pervert,and freak of nature in Texas can smell it when I walk into the place (no matter the location!) and immediately begin to follow me through the aisles or to try and chat me up over the bags of onions.
Usually I go in workout clothes on my way to actually workout or jeans and a ratty black tee with huge sunglasses and no lipgloss: God forbid they think I'm trying to be seductive? I do however have enough vanity to at least spare the world my more visible flaws and try to cover them up. I LOVE my "face" and wearing makeup to me is one of THE great joys that being a girly-girl allows! I'm damn good at applying my own makeup and even better at doing it for someone else...false eyelashes are effortless when you can actually see where they are going-HA!
One of the biggest bugaboos of recent product-years for me has been the fact that no matter how or by who they're made, most makeup primers wreck havoc with my fragile (okay...truly annoying and just plain ornery!) I've tried dozens with great results the first couple of days before the red bumps and itching or blotching starts...My derma-doc says the silicone-based ingredients are the culprit although some say "it's not possible" and that silicone can actually be good for the skin, helping it to heal while smoothing.
My skin apparently despises anything with silicone in it although I try to fake it because some of the primers out there are SO amazing! I lose in the long run every time though...
I am not very "green" and LOVE that our sweetassgal covers that area of beauty SO fabulously well but this product recently rolled into my life and I just have to share as a recent convert to the green-side :created by a LOVELY company called "Exuberance" that has such a clean and joyful way of presenting their delightfully-crafted line of products that I find myself feeling calmer just visiting their lovely site! "Cutting edge, result-driven, certified organic ingredients...""Helping to remind women of the brilliance within and helping them to celebrate it through beauty" Not just nice words because this company means business in a big way! I love their philosophy, their ingredients, and the way that they have managed to define "holistic and pure." They do it without making it sound like yet another brand without preservatives! Elegant and easy and if this product is any example of how effective their products are, I just might become a LOT more green! MANY beauty editors are giving "Exuberance" HUGE props for quality and because they are really, really, good products!
These days for a cosmetics-based business to have a successful "run" of ten years is really something especially when you have SO many beauty brands to chose from! Goddess Granny tries probably way too many products both seasoned and recently hatched! Of course, I have my favorite lines including the amazing "Tarte": Who can forget when their iconic cheek-stain hit the shelves (SJP first wore in on "Sex In The City" lighting up the lines with women calling to find out WHAT she had on her cheeks!) resulting in women everywhere to "blush like they just got lucky?" Recently their "Lip Surgence" colors were the talk of every beauty-editors and maven, myself included! I could go on and on about just about everything Maureen Kelly the founder and CEO creates!
Tarte's "earth-engineered beauty" philosophy and healthy formulas continue to be totally chic in THE most refined and purest manner possible and the company manages to use natural and good for us all ingredients in everything they make! I sometimes wonder how anyone comes up with products SO effective, beautiful and gorgeous in their presentations. They never sacrifice quality and style and Tarte always comes to the front of the list! I can't live without their lip colors shades, eyeliners and cheek stains period.
How about a little brown sugar, vanilla, soothing aloe and some sweet sensual oils to start your day? The VERY unique "FRXTION" (yes, that is the correct spelling) treatment that is on everyone's lips! It's full of good for your skin stuff but also does a rather dicey job better than anything else I've ever tried! You need a smooth and primed "canvas" for any makeup product to glide on and provide lasting results-right? Well...a coat of greasy lip balm simply doesn't cut it at least around my vanity and I've found that especially when darker shades of lippy are involved. DARKER LIPS? You absolutely MUST exfoliate those flakey-lips and then prime them prior to application and kissing the mirror!
Have you ever caught yourself literally starring at someone? Recently Goddess Granny was recently guilty of doing this. A young woman at a sushi bar had the cutest boots on and her outfit was also really adorable. What captured my attention was her "essence." She was chatting to a guy and everything about her simply radiated good health and confidence....In a word she GLOWED! I decided that if there were a product at any time in the history of the world that could capture her youthful excitement and charm in a bottle that it would indeed be priceless and all would kill to own it!
To my amazement, a package arrived the very next day that included this funky-precious little purple (very well made and with an excellent mirror!) compact. It had such a darling little embossed smirking-skull on the cover I squealed in delight before I even had it out of the box! it could ONLY be something fabulous, fun (and of course amazing) from our BFF's at "Urban Decay!!!" You know I love this company and they just keep getting better to the point of serious cult-status! I follow UD on Facebook as well and their updates, contests and casual yet intriguing posts literally have people stalking them to see what's next! Their eye shadows and palettes? Legend if you can snag them before sellout...Their primers and glosses? I don't know anyone who doesn't have them in their pro-bag of tricks! They are irreverent without being over the top and original to a fault! This brand consistently rocks the makeup world with color and cool and the fact they their approach to beauty as a whole is their "why not?" attitude! They recently re-introduced the art of false eyelash-wearing to many who would never have considered it before because they made it fun and new again to apply lashes as well as making it easy for a novice!