Friday, October 29, 2010

KBB Glam Session #1

Welcome to the first KBB Glam Session, where I pull real women off the street and glam them up! Well not literally, but in this case, Michelline was running errands and stopped by Karen's Body Beautiful to say hello. A few minutes later, I had her in my chair giving her the "Glam Goddess" treatment! 

Michelline has expressive, almond shaped eyes, so I really wanted to accentuate them with something smoldering. I used deep pewter eyeshadow and chocolate brown eyeshadows by Tarte and Jane Iredale. I kept the rest of her look neutral, just adding a bit of color on the cheeks and lips. I contoured her lovely bone structure with the airbrush, then added a very full lash to make it certified Glam!




Michelline Chassagne, 37 yrs old, works in Music Programming & Management, Arts & Entertainment.

What's your dream?
Finding solutions to help another improve the quality of their individual lives. (Health, literature, music therapy, arts, etc...that's the inner-philanthropist in me speaking. :)

What makes you feel beautiful?
Sunshine...Moonlight...oh, and eating well plus exercise!

What's your favorite feature?
My brown eyes because I think they tell a story.

What's your favorite food?
Leafy greens, pineapple curry tofu, and vegan pizza....I'm so sorry, I can't choose one, lol :)

Michi also said:

"I LOVED how creative & selective you were with your color palette.  You truly treat the human face like a canvas & you go for it.  You assessed what hues would look best on my face. Not too mention, how quick you turned my everyday look into a GLAM GODDESS look. I'm hooked on RC beauty services ;)"


Thank you so much Michi! You are truly a Goddess! 


To book an appointment and find out more about my new Beauty Services at Karen's Body Beautiful, please visit the site at http://www.karensbodybeautiful.com


Looking forward to seeing you and stay tuned for the next KBB Glam Session!
Photos by Tracy Toler http://www.tracytoler.com

So Fresh and So Clean

When it comes to our personal care products, I really believe the ones we use every day can have the biggest impact on our health. In our culture, being well groomed is of the utmost importance and most Americans regularly use deodorant to keep us feeling fresh and clean. 


The issue is, most anti-perspirants and deodorants contain toxins that have been linked to breast cancer, respiratory disorders and Alzeheimer's disease. Obviously designed to keep you dry, anti-perspirants/deodorants are composed of aluminum compounds that close pores, stop sweat and odor. 


Here's the thing- like it or not, sweat glands are there for a reason, to purge toxins! When that process is blocked, the toxins don't disappear but become trapped in lymph nodes under the arms. On top of this, when we shave, we open the pores and can also create small nicks in the skin. This clears the way for all the undesirable chemicals such as aluminum and parabens to be absorbed by our bodies. Yuck!


For me, the evidence was inspiration enough to switch out my Degree for a natural alternative. Let's just say, I tried "several" brands before I found a winner! The thing is, I can get used to a little dampness, but not smelling 100% fresh was a little beyond my comfort zone!  Many of the natural brands I tried didn't do enough to neutralize odor and some actually irritated my skin after shaving. For awhile, I went back and forth between the Degree and the natural deodorants, feeling torn between making a healthy choice and an effective choice. 


Then I found The Healthy Deodorant by La Vanila and I LOVE it! It's totally toxin-free, but loaded with antioxidants, botanicals and essential oils. The ingredients work together really nicely to keep you smelling sweet, feeling dry, comfortable and confident. It's very soothing after shaving, so no burn or irritation at all. And, it's available in 4 luscious scents, Vanilla Lavender, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Coconut and just plain Vanilla. They all smell sooo good that I switch between the scents each time I buy.





The Healthy Deodorant is $18 and it's available at a Sephora near you or directly through La Vanila's website http://www.lavanila.com. Obviously, I highly recommend it. However, everybody has a different body chemistry, so I would love to hear about YOUR experience with it, or any other natural deodorants you like! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's New and Good

In January 2009, I began my blog, Life Is Beautiful as a way of celebrating all the beauty in life. Being a makeup artist, it's easy to find inspiration in art, creativity, my models, projects and people who I meet along the way. While I help create outer beauty in my makeup work, I was always in tune with the aspect of expressing inner beauty. To me, this means having a beautiful spirit or energy, self confidence and treating oneself with love and appreciation.

photo by Tracy Toler

Through personal experience, I learned the benefits of honoring my body (and beauty) by choosing a holistic lifestyle. It all begins with what you feed yourself, because what you eat creates your muscles, blood, bones, skin, hair, nails etc. But food affects your mood, thoughts, energy level and overall vibration! The holistic approach incorporates the whole self- mind, body, beauty and spirit- and I wanted to apply this concept to my life's work.


About a year ago, I blogged about my new mission to help people not only look more beautiful, but feel just as great. Since then, I have graduated from the amazing Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I am now a Certified Holistic Wellness Consultant. During this truly wonderful and transformative experience, I put "Life is Beautiful" to the side...temporarily. But I love blogging! I'm back now and energized to begin my mission, spreading more Beauty&Wellness!

Thank you for following and supporting the continued evolution of Life Is Beautiful. I will still be posting about my latest makeup projects and inspirations in both Beauty and Wellness. You can expect to see an additional influence of Beautiful Foods, Thoughts and Products that reflect my philosophy on inner and outer beauty.


So what's new and good?
- Stay tuned for a fabulous makeup series featuring my first ever "before and afters"
- Check out my recently updated site and services at www.RebeccaCasciano.com
- Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter

Live Beautifully,
xo Rebecca

Be Naturally Gorgeous!

On my pursuit of more natural makeup options, I found this fabulous mineral makeup line, Alima Pure. I was impressed with their extensive website, color options and I even love that cute lil' bird logo! The site contains an awesome ingredient glossary, ingredients to avoid list and more on mineral makeup. Their foundation color range was among the largest I've seen among the natural brands. Alima's price points are totally reasonable, with eyeshadows at $9 and foundations at $20. They will even send generous samples of all their products for $1- $1.50 each! Also loved the fact that have a gift incentives for recycling their packaging. Then I ordered some product!




I received a beautiful range of foundation samples, which I found to be very true to a variety of skin tones. I haven't been a huge fan of mineral powder foundations, but Alima's does give a "Satin Matte" finish, as its name indicates. It's not too flat or too reflective like some others I've tried. I also got several lush eyeshadows, in matte and shimmer finishes, that go on smooth and give a great color-payoff. 


Alima Pure is created free of potential irritants like bismuth oxychloride, talc, dyes, fragrances, parabens, phthalates and preservatives. They have also been certified by the BDIH, which is a highly regarded German certification for natural cosmetics. The European Union has a strict regulation on what's considered "natural" banning more than 1000 harmful chemicals. The US FDA has banned 10...but that's another post!


All that, plus Alima Pure does have a lovely selection of color options for face, cheeks, eyes and even lips. Definitely worth checking out their site and ordering up some samples to determine your "colors". Click on that sweet "I'm Naturally Gorgeous" badge on the right column of the blog or here, http://www.alimapure.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

7 Questions for Karen of Karen's Body Beautiful

As you may know, I have recently joined forces with the amazing Karen Tappin-Saunderson of Karen's Body Beautiful in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. She has welcomed me into her sweet smelling boutique and spa, which I now call home to my new Beauty & Wellness Services! I've enjoyed Karen's luxurious bath, home and body products for years and I love the fact that she uses simple, natural and few ingredients. You can actually pronounce everything on the ingredient list! I'm so excited about partnering with Karen to offer you a multitude of ways to keep your inner and outer Body Beautiful!

Karen in her boutique with products. Did her makeup here ;)

1) What is Karen's Body Beautiful?
Karen’s Body Beautiful is an authentic brand which takes a healthy, holistic approach to beauty by creating handmade hair, body and bath products made from a diverse selection of the highest quality natural ingredients from around the world.  
I firmly believe that health, beauty and wellness are entwined and so nature supplies us with all of the ingredients we need to create products to enhance your natural beauty.  

2) What inspired it's creation?
The inspiration came to me in the summer of 2003 while  I was on summer vacation from teaching high school history, Karen's Body Beautiful was born!  I spent the summer researching and experimenting with the many oils, butters essential oils and herbs we use, and I discovered my passion.
In the fall of 2003 when I returned to teaching, I offered my creations to our friends, family, and co-workers and the response was overwhelming!  Six months later in February, 2004 I opened my Clinton Hill, Brooklyn body & bath boutique to share my creations with the world.

3) How would you describe natural beauty?
Natural beauty ultimately comes from the inside and beams through to the outer appearance of a person. Karen’s Body Beautiful is a brand that wants to continue to build upon the true beauty that our customers already have from within. Our goal is just to continue to nourish it.

4) What is your favorite aspect of what you do?
My favorite aspect about my business is interacting with the customers. I hear numerous stories from hair frustrations to self esteem. By me owning my own business I get the pleasure to build quality relationships with my clients.
I also love knowing that I am selling high quality products that will enhance my customer’s life.

5) What changes would you like to see in the beauty industry?
The beauty industry must take responsibility for what they give consumers. From what signs their sending to young women to what ingredients that are being placed on the body, it must be conscious of how much power it holds in today’s society. It is key they are using that power to create a positive foundation rather than feeding off of people’s insecurities.

6) Where do you see your brand in the future?
Our branding is constantly expanding! We recently just opened up our new, chic full spa. In the future we will be launching a makeup line and also a clothing line.

7) Where can we reach you for more information?
You can find out more information from us at our website www.karensbodybeautiful.com or stop by our flagship store located at 436 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn NY 11205.

Karen with her precious daughter

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going More Green

While I've been organic, green and natural in most aspects of my life for awhile, I'm on a new mission to "green" my makeup kit! While I know a good deal about the ingredients to avoid in my foods, I've haven't gone all the way with my beauty products. Call me vain, but I felt that the natural alternatives were boring, sheer and wouldn't do what I needed them to. And some of them don't, especially for professional jobs requiring more pigment and longer wearability. But for most of us wearing the basics everyday, there are tons of options. Why continue to slather our skin with toxic ingredients that inevitably end up in our bloodstream? While I'm not a purist, I do believe in making small changes where we can.



This cute but powerful video gives a fantastic explanation about what goes into the making of our makeup and beauty products. If you haven't seen it yet, it's a must watch and share!




I also want to share the "Dirty Thirty" list with you but it's quite long! Take a peek at the Teens for Safe Cosmetics site at http://bit.ly/c6bd1G. You may want to keep it in mind when choosing your next shampoo, deoderant or lipstick! Stay tuned to Life Is Beautiful for product reviews on my picks for "greener glamour"!