Saturday, March 21, 2020


Well well well, things have taken quite the turn, eh? Just one week ago, something like this current Covid-19 situation seemed like it was only possible in the movies...but the world is ending AND there's no Jake Gyllenhaal to save us? Lame. I'm not gonna lie, this is tough. I know that I'm not alone, either. I have a lot of friends who work in the service industry, and we're all taking a real hit right now. I truly don't know what the future will hold for CDB-this is probably the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. I'm doing my best to just take life one step at a time because I have no idea what else to do. What I can tell you is that I'll be here to talk too much and share beauty info with all of you no matter what (unless the zombies show up, then I'm out). I figured that since we're all stuck at home and unable to get our favorite services done, I'd share some ideas for maintaining ourselves until it's safe to go outside again. PLEASE, put down the razor and wait for me! 

I'm going to start with some tips for maintaining brows, because that's my most popular service and I know that even if you're not allowed to leave the house, some of y'all are going to go crazy when they grow in. Basically, I want you to do as little as possible. Fill in the brow as you normally would if you were doing your makeup, and tweeze the hairs that are outside of that shape. Even if you don't fill in your brows, this is still a good technique to keep you from removing the wrong hairs. If the hair is super close to the brow line, leave it be! Don't get too crazy tweezing between the brows either, because you may end up tweezing too far in on one side and then we'll have a lot of work to do to grow it back in. Put the tweezers down after each hair you remove so that you can assess the situation before continuing. As for anything on top of the brow, don't bother. Simply grab the stragglers and get the heck out of there!

My second most popular waxing service is the brazilian, and I know that letting the hair grow in is going to be a challenge for some of you. I beg you to do it, though. Instead of resorting to shaving, trim the hair down if it's simply too much to go au naturale. On the plus side, if you've never been waxed and have been waiting for the perfect time to grow out your hair, this is it! It's also the PERFECT time to finally listen to me about proper exfoliation and hydration. No one is rushing off anywhere, so you can spend as much time in the shower as you'd like! Everyone's skin is different, but I recommend exfoliating about twice a week. Hydrating the skin is a must every day, but especially after exfoliating. When my clients take my advice, they always come back and tell me that a.) their wax hurts less, b.) their hair takes longer to grow back, and c.) they experience less ingrown hair issues. This advice goes for all waxing services, really. Start following these suggestions and see what a difference it will make!

As you know, I've spent a lot of time making it very clear that influencers who sell products to the masses despite not knowing anything about skin type, skin conditions, ingredients, etc. are not trustworthy. Giving skincare advice is difficult to do online, where you have many people reading your posts but don't have a way to check in with them personally to see if it's appropriate advice for their specific skin. I love to design routines for clients who I've worked on and who I can easily check in with, but just posting "Vitamin C is great, use it!" can cause problems. Vitamin C is great, but it's strong! Many people need to be eased into it. Some people may experience purging when they add it to their routine, and if they can't text you and ask if what's happening to their skin is normal, they're going to let that serum collect dust in the back of their medicine cabinet while they privately question your knowledge. The personal connections and trust formed in this line of work are really the key to making the magic happen. If you're about to use a product that you're unsure about, or you're noticing that your skin doesn't seem quite right, reach out to your esthetician. Don't have an esthetician in your life? You're missing out! If you're not a current client because you don't live close by or just aren't sure that facial treatments are for you, I do offer a Digital Consultation for $20. I can analyze your skin via photos and ask you questions that will help me to build you a regimen using the product lines that I have accounts with. If you're a current client, you can do this at any time for free. Don't hesitate to ask! ANYWAY, I digress. While you're stuck at home, this is a good time to clean out your beauty supply graveyard, aka the medicine cabinet. Most products have a little symbol that tells you how long it lasts before it expires, but if it doesn't and you know it's older than 6-12 months, definitely toss it. Better safe than sorry! It's also a good time to test out some products that you've maybe purchased but never really used. That way, if you have a reaction, no one will be around to see it!

I know that a lot of you have products at home but aren't consistent with using them. There is no better time to organize your bathroom to ensure that they're right there so you can remember to do so! Think about how glowy your skin will be when we come out of hibernation if you take care of it now. So many of us are going to come out of this looking a little worse for wear because of all the stress and frozen pizza, but this doesn't have to be you. The best thing you can do right now is make sure you're cleansing your skin morning and night, and hydrating with moisturizer. If you have a breakout but no products at home to combat it, see if you have some calamine lotion to spot treat. Use a lighter oil like jojoba or grapeseed to give yourself a little facial massage once or twice a week. Those sheet masks you've been hoarding? Have at it! It's so basic but it's honestly the best advice I can give, other than to be sure you're using your SPF when you go outside for fresh air. And yes, I know that every day is feeling like Sunday right now, but if you actually designate Sunday as an exfoliation day, you'll notice a difference in texture for sure. When this is all said and done (if I still have a business to go back to), we'll be able to do some more results-driven treatments in the studio. Until then, just do your best to keep the skin healthy at home!

Makeup wise, I've been feeling the need to purge my kit for a long time. Essentially, I retired from makeup artistry last summer, though I'll still take the occasional one on one session. I had a lot more to get rid of than most of y'all at home do, so it took me some time, but it felt awesome to get rid of it. I encourage you to spend a little time going through your bag and throwing away anything that you've had for a while. There are many guides for this online (hello, Pinterest!). Powder products can usually last a year or two, liquids 6-12 months, lipsticks about two years, mascara about 3 months. When in doubt, toss it out! Professionals are trained to remove products from their containers in a sanitary way, but at home, we aren't using spatulas to scrape lipsticks or squeezing foundation onto palettes. We're using our fingers, and fingers have bacteria. If you touch your foundation tube to your fingers, you've contaminated it. Please don't think that just because you use foundation once or twice a year that you can hold onto it longer. It doesn't make a difference to the bacteria multiplying away in there. And formulations have a certain shelf life before they start to break down and won't perform properly anyway. If you don't wear makeup often, consider switching to a powder foundation so that it's more cost effective for you.

Once you've gone through your products, wash your makeup brushes! You can use a makeup brush cleanser for this, or you can just use a little baby shampoo mixed with a few drops of antibacterial dish soap. You'll want to do this carefully, so as not to destroy the glue holding the brush together. Don't submerge the whole brush, but instead hold the bristles under tepid (not warm, not cold) water and massage the water through. Put a little of the cleanser mixture in your palm, and massage the bristles. Squeeze, then keep massaging water until there is no soap left in the bristles. You may have to do a second cleanse if you don't do this on a regular basis. Once clean, Lay brushes flat on a clean surface (such as a kitchen counter). I don't suggest laying them on top of a towel, but a paper towel is okay. Bigger brushes may take a day or so to dry, so be patient. Make sure you don't shove a bunch of wet brushes into your brush bag. I use a fresh ziplock bag for my brushes instead of a brush bag, but if you do have one, be sure to clean and sanitize it before putting your brushes back in. After doing all of this, I literally felt like I lost 5 pounds. It was not just physically cleansing, but metaphorically cleansing too. Give it a try!

My last couple of tips are free and for everyone. First, I 100% think that we should all be meditating. It's been such a help for me over the years and with all the stress we're currently feeling, it will probably help you too. Even just 2-5 minutes makes a difference. Go on YouTube and look through their meditation options. There are tons of them, guided or otherwise. Stress does terrible things to the skin, and meditating is a free way to combat it. Another thing we can all be doing is yoga. Yoga is the sister of meditation, and though I could not tell you one single pose, I do several of them throughout the day to help with back pain. YouTube is also a great free resource for this. Any pose that has your head upside down is also really good for the skin, as it increases circulation. Get your downward dog on, guys (okay fine I know one pose).  Lastly, although I'd love nothing more than to be totally wine drunk throughout this craziness, let's make sure we're drinking water. I've frequently told you that drinking water doesn't do much for hydrating the skin directly, however, it does help to keep our internal organs working better. If our bodies don't have to work as hard at dealing with all the sludge inside, it does mean that the health of our cells improve and therefore our skin can see benefits. So drink up, bbs!

I know that this is a tough situation for those who are unable to work right now, and I can't deny that I've shed some tears myself. I have so many friends in the esthetician community who don't have any other income to rely on, and it breaks my heart to see so many people struggling through this. I hope that you are all doing your part by staying home so that we can return to our regularly scheduled programming as soon as possible. Please continue to support your local small businesses the best that you can-I've had so much takeout this week that I'm going to need to LIVE at the gym once it opens back up. Lots of people have asked me what they can do for me, and I'm grateful for the kindness, but because the future is so uncertain, I ask that you refrain from buying gift certificates or prepaying for services. Instead, I'd love for you to leave reviews on my Facebook page, share my posts on your Instagram stories, engage with me in the comments, and give me some suggestions for what you'd like to see in the future. All free ways to support me and help me to build my base! I love you guys so much and I hope that I have some good news to report soon. Until then, I'll be working on the next blog post. A little birdie asked me about ingredients, and I will be delivering. See you soon!

love & lipstick,

Monday, March 16, 2020


There's a fair chance that song will be stuck in your head now. Sorry, y'all. If I have to suffer, we all have to suffer!

I thought I'd make my first official blog post one highlighting a few things that I love the most. My 'desert island' beauty must haves, if you will, not by any means a comprehensive list of my favorite products. And the best thing is, they are items that are relatively affordable and easy to buy. Yes, the skincare products that I talk about have to be purchased through me in order to get them at a discounted cost, but what's easier than sending me a text with your order and picking it up a week later (or, if you aren't local, having me ship them to you)? Pretty much the same amount of effort as going to your local drugstore and picking up products there...except ordering through me means you'll be getting professional products that will actually do something for the health of your skin. Alright, enough with that. Let's dive in, y'all!

The first thing I do on an average morning (after shaking off the existential dread) is head to the bathroom. I grab my trusty Image Skincare Vital C Cleanser and massage away the night's sweat and dirt. A lot of people skip a morning cleanse, and I don't recommend that. While you sleep, your body temperature fluctuates. Your face is smushed up against your pillow, and unless you're changing your pillowcases daily, you're smushing it into several nights' worth of bacteria. Think about the stuff in the air, floating around and settling onto your skin. Do you really expect any other product that you put on in the morning to absorb properly if there's a layer of sweat, dirt, bacteria, or last night's drool? Wash your face! The Vital C cleanser is so creamy and gentle-perfect for a morning cleanse.

After cleansing, I dry my face gently with a fresh towel. I have a stack of small hand towels that I use for this purpose. I never ever reuse a towel. I wouldn't dream of picking up a towel I'd used the day before, damp and filled with bacteria, and then putting it on my freshly cleansed face. Yikes! I have the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. If you struggle with breakouts and reuse towels, changing that habit might help! You can even use a fresh paper towel if you don't want to run out to your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond right now. ANYWAY, yes, gently dabbing my face dry with a fresh towel, check. Next up, I apply my Image Skincare Prevention + SPF Daily Moisturizer. I'll be completely honest, they recently reformulated this (higher percentage of zinc oxide now) and I haven't tried the new version. I will definitely update you guys when I do, but I'm crossing my fingers it's just as good as the original. I literally cannot leave my house without it, rain or shine. Most sunscreens smell weird or can leave a chalky feeling on the skin, and this doesn't do that. If I happen to be stranded on a deserted island one day, Prevention + will definitely help keep my skin looking youthful and prevent sun spots until I can be rescued. No matter what sunscreen you prefer, it's an absolute must 365 days a year. 

After my easy peasy morning skincare routine is done, I spend about two minutes on my makeup. This is definitely just a "need to seem like I care about what I look like but I pressed snooze 3 times" routine. My holy grail mascara, L'Oreal Voluminous original formula in Black, is as good or better than the $25+ mascaras you can buy at Sephora, and I've tried pretty much all of them. I always go back to Voluminous. Even when I find a high end mascara that I like, there's always something that makes me think, "hmm, this is good, but is it that much better than the Voluminous?" and I go back to my trusty drugstore mascara that costs me less than half the price. It doesn't flake, it doesn't give me raccoon eyes, it gives me perfect volume without looking clumpy, and gives them a little length too. Plus, it's not like a lot of high end mascaras where it looks great for a week and then you have to throw it out because it gets dry. I do find that the first few uses of it are kind of meh and that it takes about a week for the spoolie to have the right amount of product on it to work its best, but stick it out! It's definitely worth the buy! After lashes are done, it's time to give my super light brows a little color and lift. I've been using Maybelline Brow Fast Sculpt gel mascara and while I'll admit that you have to play around with it a bit at first, once I figured out how much pressure to use and how little product I needed on the spoolie, I became obsessed. My brows aren't just sparse, the hair itself is also light. Pencils can work okay, but having the gel that can cover each hair and also the sparse areas where skin is exposed is a GAMECHANGER. I prefer an imperfect brow these days, so it works for me. I don't like the super sculpted "Instagram Brow" and I discourage my clients from getting their brows shaped that way too. As we age, our precious brows will thin out the same way that our head hairs do. So I'm doing my best to keep as many of them around as possible. I suggest y'all do the same. Alright, off my pedestal. Onward! Luckily, this step isn't always necessary thanks to my good skincare habits. But I'm human, and I have acne-prone skin, so I do get breakouts from time to time. I'm also vain and absolutely cannot just walk around without covering them up. The best concealer I've ever tried is also by L'Oreal. True Match is exactly what it says it is! You can buy it for warm, cool, or neutral undertones, which is awesome. I'm definitely cool (hardy har har), and their lightest shade works perfectly for me. It covers blemishes well, isn't thick or chunky or hard to blend, and doesn't feel cake-y at all. If I do use concealer under the eyes, I always press a little Rimmel Stay Matte powder (the best there is!) to help set it, otherwise it can crease. Most of the time, I put on a little lipstick as a last step. When I want the perfect neutral-but-not-nude lip, I grab my NYX matte lipstick in the shade Natural. Honestly, I think it will work on every skin tone, it's really versatile. I rarely have to touch it up, it doesn't feather into my lip lines, the formula isn't too drying. There are a lot of shades that they offer, and I've never tried one that I didn't like. After checking the mirror to see that everything looks okay and winking at my reflection, I'm out the door!

My nighttime routine changes fairly often, so I wanted to highlight the one evening product that I'd have with me if I was stranded (and it kind of feels like I am, due to this coronavirus situation. Yeesh!). Image Skincare's Ormedic Bio Peptide Creme feels so good on the skin. It's slightly thicker than some of my other favorite night creams, and you'll definitely feel the difference. If you're wondering what a peptide is, you're probably not alone. I'd never heard of them until esthetics school. Peptides are chains of amino acids that are vital for collagen and elastin, two things you definitely want plenty of. I had a teacher explain it to me using a really simple analogy-if you're thinking about it as a mattress, collagen is the stuffing, and elastin is the spring. If you pinch your skin and it immediately bounces back, you have great elasticity. If you pinch your skin and it takes a little time for it to go back, there is less elasticity. If your skin seems like it's losing volume, it's probably a lack of collagen. We'll get into this in a later post, but for today, just know that you want to maintain both and that peptides are a great way to do that!

I'm a beauty junkie, and I have countless skincare and makeup products at home. If someone were to force me to grab just a few to get me by, these would be my choices. It doesn't take much to look and feel your best! I'd love to hear about what you guys keep on hand, too. Is there something amazing out there that I need to test out? Let me know!

I'm going to be bringing in some new lines soon, and I'm always trying products, so this is just a current list. When I find something that I absolutely love and think you should know about, you'll find a full review with before & after photos here. And now that the studio is closed due to the current pandemic, I'll have plenty of time to overshare beauty related goodness with you guys. I hope that you all use this social distancing time to take care of yourselves, and as soon as I can, I'll be opening back up to take care of all of you. Stay safe!

love & lipstick,

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Welcome to my blog! I know that you probably already follow me on Instagram, like my page on Facebook, read my newsletters, etc. and are wondering why on earth you'd want to hear me ramble on (and on and on) another platform...but I think is the best way for me to relay bigger pieces of information that you can refer back to at any time. I mean, I can discuss the importance of exfoliation and how the skin functions better because of it on an Instagram post, but will you actually stop scrolling to read that long caption? Not likely.

So here's what you can expect from this blog: me talking too much (a given), me going off on tangents (you already expect this if you read my newsletters), me finding a pun in everything...but also the good stuff. I'll be sharing my reviews on makeup and skincare products, my thoughts on current beauty trends, things I think you should stay away from, how to make your beauty routines work for YOU, overviews on certain treatments, FAQs, why staying consistent is the key to results, etc etc etc. Honestly, I won't be following any rules with this, other than that everything in this blog will align with my business' mission-combining affordability and quality so that EVERYONE has the chance to add a little luxury to their life. Because let's be real, no matter how many pros out there say that "skincare is not a luxury, it's a necessity" we all know that's not the case. Necessities are food, water, shelter, etc. Of course, taking care of ourselves is important, however we choose to do so. But I'm aware that spending your hard earned dollars on beauty treatments is a choice, and I'm so honored that you choose me. I love this industry and I'm proud of the way that I run my business. Rest assured that I am 100% upfront with you all and will never try to sell you something I can't actually provide. Let's leave that to the car salespeople, shall we?

I hope to post every other week, but I work a lot so I can't promise that. I'll do my best to try, though (which is pretty much the same thing that most of you tell me when I remind you that you should be exfoliating😝). I would absolutely love for you to send me some questions or things you might want covered in future posts, so don't hesitate to let me know if something is on your mind. Everything I talk about on the blog will be written in a way that everyone can understand, too, so I hope to be able to teach you a couple of things along the way. I'm excited! I hope you are too. Be on the lookout for the first REAL post coming next week(ish)!

love & lipstick,