Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take It Off

Being the kinda gal that wears makeup "on a regular", I love using makeup wipes to take it all off at the end of the day. I find they remove everything, including mascara, quickly and with little tugging on the skin or eyes. (Then I can follow up with my favorite "Veritas" Purifying Bar by Elena Rubin for a deeper cleanse. Check our her Holistic Skincare Line)

Plus, wipes are a must-have for any makeup artist's kit! We have to provide the talent with the option to leave how they arrived. Needless to say, I've tried all kinds of makeup wipes and found so many of them contain lots of chemicals and leave your skin feeling kinda gross. Keeping in line with the natural options, I found these wonderful wipes that are good for your skin, the environment and get the job done!

Blum Naturals Towelettes come in different kinds for different types of skin: Daily Combination/Oily, Dry/Sensitive, Normal, Exfoliating and Pro Age. Each contain super ingredients like grape seed, chamomile, orange peel extract and tea tree oil, according to skin type. They are paraben, alcohol, synthetic fragrance, preservative and sodium laureth sulfate free! I found them at Ricky's in NYC for $6.99, but check their site on where to buy near you.

Love the name and packaging of the line Yes To Carrots! Yes to Cucumbers is their Soothing line, which includes these really fresh Natural Glow Towelettes. They use organic cucumbers, aloe vera and green tea to sooth, reduce puffiness and cleanse and tone the skin. They smell delicious and really make the skin feel clean, without any residue. They are biodegradable, oil free and exactly 98.7% natural! Pick them up at your local CVS or Target for $5.99.

I had heard so much about Josie Maran's Bear Naked Wipes and I finally got a chance to try them out! Verdict- love 'em! They are infused with all good stuff; chamomile, Vitamin E, aloe vera, argan oil and cucumber. They feel very gentle on the skin and eyes, have a subtle sweet scent and 1% of the proceeds from their sale got to saving the polar bears! Not to mention they are also biodegradable, paraben, artificial fragrance and petrochemical free! Can't got wrong. At $12.99 a pop, they can be purchased at Sephora and on Josie's site.

xo RC

Monday, November 29, 2010

7 Questions for Arganica

I met Bianca Beldini, one of the founders of Arganica, through a mutual friend of mine and I am oh- so grateful for the intro! Not only is Bianca a passionate, intuitive healer of 15 years but she is committed to creating a holistic, sustainable beauty product for all skin types. Initially, I wondered about using an oil on my already oily and acne-prone skin, however after talking with Bianca and doing some research, I recognized that not all oils have the same properties. I started using Arganica months ago and I love it! It feels and smells wonderful (infused with Frankincense ;) and disappears into the skin without any residue. I wear it as a moisturizer under makeup and to nourish the skin while I get my beauty zzz's! 

I'm honored to present this fantastic lil' interview with Bianca and hope it inspires you to get some Arganica ASAP! This stuff is the TRUTH! Enjoy ;)

1) Who are the founders of Arganica, Nature's Age Defying Skin Food? 

Arganica was founded by Bianca Beldini and Jodie Tassello “accidentally” during their trip to the Moroccan Casbah in August 2009 when they met a medicine man who shared with them the “secret to what makes all Moroccan women beautiful”. What woman doesn’t want to know the answer to this question??? Jodie is Arganica’s botanical mixologist. She takes nearly 2 decades of research science to the formulating table in which her experience with immunotherapy, cancer and viruses gives her first hand knowledge of how the effects of toxic chemicals can change the human physiology. Bianca is a certified Aromatherapist and Oriental medicine practitioner whom understands botanical chemistry and how to use its therapeutic synergism. 

2) What inspired the creation of Arganica? 

The inspiration of Arganica was threefold. 1.We wanted to use only that which comes from the earth: SUSTAINABILITY...the use of ingredients that are whole, pure and complete, just the way they are found in nature without destroying our ecosystem. 2. We wanted to help and support those that cultivate what we receive from the earth: EMPOWERING...we source our Argan oil only from women’s cooperative in Morocco to ensure the highest quality grade cold pressed oil as well as engaging in fair trade practices. 3. We wanted to really listen to the secrets of mother nature’s botanical story of longevity: AGE DEFYING.

3) How does Arganica benefit the skin?  

One unique property of Arganica is that the composition of our argan oil is high in botanically sourced squalene.  Squalene has a chemical similarity to human skin sebum. So, it is essentially “like feeding like”...you will notice when applying Arganica, your skin literally “drinks in” the oil often saying thank you by becoming soft and balanced.  Our skin is our armor against a world of environmental pollution, food degradation and stress and it needs to be nourished in order to stay healthy.  Arganica is ‘natures age defying skin food’. 

4) What do you want people to know about natural skincare? 

Mother nature gets it right. EVERY TIME! Every flower knows how to blossom.  Every tree knows how to extract nutrients from its roots. Nature cannot be processed, changed or made better in a laboratory.  Human ego, getting in the way, changes the complete perfection of what is pure and good.  Staying true to the source, whether it be what you eat, what you clean with or what you put on your skin is the ultimate form of thriving and surviving.

5) What sets your line apart from other Argan oils on the market? 

Arganica is an artisinal brand in which we create small batches of argan oil infused with therapeutic grade essential oils to ensure potency, uniformity and botanical synergy. We created every piece of our company: logo design, recycled packaging, labeling, miron glass bottling, infusing, decocting and shipping. We are truly proud of being the source of Arganica.  

6) What are your future plans for Arganica? 

We were given a golden piece of advice: stay contained. We are not interested in creating a multiple line of fragmented products.  We are evolving our line in progression. With that being said, our near future plan is to create an oil based face cleanser that will blast the myth of needing something that foams or suds to equal cleanliness.  We intend to undo the brainwashed belief that scrubbing, rubbing and sudsing means clean. In actuality, this strips our own natural oils thus leaving our skin open to degeneration, dehydration and the need to rapidly produce more oils! Our far reaching plan is to be a major positive force and change agent in the world of the skin care industry. 

7) Where can we purchase your product?  

Arganica can be purchased through our website  HYPERLINK "http://www.arganicaoil.com" www.arganicaoil.com We are also presently being carried at Townhouse Spa in NYC and the Tobit Wellness Center in PA. You can find us on Facebook under Arganica and to follow us on Twitter @ArganicaOil. 

Be sure to check out the site for loads of info and scientific research on the many benefits of this amazing product!

Friday, November 19, 2010

KBB Glam Session #4

Miss Ellisa is the total sweetheart who helps run Karen's Body Beautiful with style and smarts. An avid writer, Ellisa not only contributes to 4 online mags, but has created her own site, highlighting inspirational people, ideas and images. At just 22 years old, I would say she is already quite an influencer in her own right!

Ellisa has a natural approach to beauty, so I wanted her makeup look to reflect that. I treated her to the Naturally Chic service from my beauty menu at KBB, which simply enhances the features in a subtle yet noticeable way. I used Tarte's matte almost black, deep shimmering chocolate and vibrant shimmering copper eyeshadows to accent Ellisa's amazing eyes and gave her lips a pop of peach with Jane Iredale's Pure Gloss in Cotton Candy. I loved the results and so did she!

Ellisa Oyewo, 22 I am currently the manager at Karen's Body Beautiful with a hidden written talent. I currently write for Coco & Creme Magazine, Clutch Magazine, In Her Shoes Blog,the blog editor of Styleaholics.com  and run my own site ChasingtheFame.com

One day I'm striving to be a full time culture writer while traveling across the world indulging and covering a variety of music, literature, fashion, food and just overall the complete lifestyle of global cultures.

What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I am in my most vulnerable and honest state. If I go through a situation that makes me pull all of my  barriers down  and I can simply just be me, that's when I feel most comfortable & beautiful. This is usually either when I am immersed in my passion of talent of writing and dance where I feel like I can be completely free.

What's your favorite feature?
Hmmm...my favorite feature I have to say are my eyes.
What's your favorite food?
This is a hard one! Let's see, I know this is not original but there's something magical about super nachos :) 

Ellisa on her Naturally Chic: "I loved the fact that when I was finished that I felt like a whole new person! I adored how she personalized my make up to fit my personality and style! Not only did I feel beautiful but comfortable too!I wish I could look like that everyday!"

To book an appointment and find out more about my new Beauty Services at Karen's Body Beautiful, please call 718.797.4808

Looking forward to seeing you and stay tuned for the next KBB Glam Session!

Photos by Tracy Toler

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Loving Eco-Chic Living

Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying Spirit Demerson, founder of Spirit Beauty Lounge, to Ecover's "Thirty Under 30" Event at the Environment Showroom in NYC. First off, I am a huge fan of Spirit Beauty Lounge, an online boutique for eco-chic, organic skincare, cosmetics, bath and body products, so hanging out with the creator was a real treat! Spirit is a former model and a totally gorgeous person inside and out! We had awesome conversation about green beauty and I learned a bunch from her expertise.

Spirit & I

I was also thrilled to be in the room with so many leaders in the green movement! Spirit introduced me to a few of her friends; Rachel  Sarnoff, the founder of EcoStiletto- one of my favorite online eco-mags, Starr Vartan- author of the fab Eco-Chick and Amanda Walker- creator of the lush A Perfume Organic. WOW! I plan to feature all of these inspiring women here on my blog but please visit their sites now to see how amazing they are!

While rubbing elbows with the "eco-eilte", I enjoyed the refreshments provided, including a Chilean white wine called Lapostelle that is 100% organic, biodynamic and environmentally conscious. Everything from their vineyards to their packaging, to the design of the winery is all eco-friendly! If you want to drink responsibly, this is the way to go ;)

Ecover hosted the party to celebrate 30 years of creating ecological cleaning products and the winner of their "Thirty Under 30" contest. The contest was open to anyone under the age of 30 who is making contributions to sustainability. The winner, Ryan Arnold, helps low-income Idaho residents reduce their energy costs. Way to go Ryan!

The evening left me feeling completely inspired and grateful to be joining this amazing mission to make a change in the world! Every little bit counts and each one of us can make a difference. Please support sustainable living!

Friday, November 12, 2010

KBB Glam Session #3

I met the darling Bonney while working for Organic Avenue at the Paul Labrecque Salon, earlier this year. We clicked right away, but especially connected when she told me of her desire to follow her passions in cooking and gardening. A recent transplant from Seattle to Brooklyn, Bonney actually maintains the sweetest herb and veggie garden right in front of her brownstone! So inspiring.

I did two different looks on Bonney to show the variation of emphasizing lips, or eyes. I really wanted to see her in a berry lip for Fall, so I created the first look using Vapour Organic Beauty's Ravish Lipstick and Hypnotic Elixir Gloss. Vapour's line is amazing! Check them out at www.vapourbeauty.com.

For the second look, I gave Bonney a sexy, smokey eye, which is closer to her signature style. Using Alima Pure's Satin Matte Eyeliner in Black along with their Luminous Shimmer in Stone and Mink, I gave Bonney's bright eyes definition and contrast. She's stunning in both looks, right?

Bonney Rowley, 24, Receptionist
My dream is to own my own business as a Holistic Health Counselor in Brooklyn, NY. I would love to help others find health through the power of food and herbs while teaching people how to cook using whole foods.

What makes you feel beautiful?
Friends, helping other people, cooking, gardening.

What's your favorite feature?

What's your favorite food?
Walnuts, Kale, fresh Turmeric Root.

Bonney also commented, "I was very interested in seeing that gorgeous professional makeup looks could come from organic/natural makeup. Also I enjoyed seeing myself transformed with different makeup styles that i would not typically wear. "

To book an appointment and find out more about my new Beauty Services at Karen's Body Beautiful, please call 718.797.4808

Looking forward to seeing you and stay tuned for the next KBB Glam Session!

Photos by Tracy Toler

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Go Jane!

Prior to creating her makeup line, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Jane Iredale was a prominent casting director for television, film and theatre. In the early 90's, Jane was inspired to a create safe, natural  alternative to the chemical-based makeup she saw being widely used in the industry. Jane Iredale was one of the first mineral makeup lines on the market and remains focused on quality ingredients that promote healthy skin while enhancing it's appearance. 

While I haven't had a chance to try the entire line, I can vouch for the following products, which I have been throughly enjoying in both my personal and professional kits! Must- haves:

In my opinion, good under-eye concealers are hard to come by because they have to 1) actually neutralize the darkness and 2) be just the right texture- smooth and hydrating yet not too oily. The Circle/Delete under-eye concealer has not only good coverage but great ingredients- jojoba, avocado oil and green tea extract to nourish the delicate area. The fact that this goes on creamy, lasts AND it's natural? Love it.

Oooh, this stuff is great. The PureGloss for Lips helped ween me off of my "toxic" lipgloss! Nice shine, color payoff and I love the way it feels and smells. They've added mint and ginger for "plumping" plus extracts of green tea, pomegranate and grape seed for antioxidant benefits. Yumm! Oh yeah, and no petroleum :)

Check out the extensive line at www.janeiredale.com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

KBB Glam Session #2

When I decided to do the Glam Sessions, I knew I had to get Latham Thomas in my chair. Latham was one of the first models to get photographed with my makeup and has continued to be an inspiration on my journey. Her work with women includes Green Culinary, Holistic Nutrition and Yoga services, with a specialty in maternal wellness.

When Latham came to visit me at Karen's Body Beautiful for her "Naturally Chic" session, she was on her way to a meeting then to a martial arts class. We decided to keep the makeup natural yet sexy. I lightly shaded Latham's expressive eyes with my Alima Pure Satin Matte and Luminous Shimmer Mineral Eyeshadows and gave her cheek a pop of color with their Satin Matte Blush. 

Latham Thomas, 30. Entrepreneur in women's wellness, founder of Tender Shoots Wellness.

What makes you feel beautiful?
Embracing my feminine qualities. Making time for self care- like a hot bath by candle light, adorning myself in beautiful clothing. 

What's your favorite feature?
On my face or in general? Hmmmm, for my face I think my freckles. In general, lips and eyes are also very intriguing.

What's your favorite food?
Brussel sprout greens, they taste like a mix of cabbage and collards...so tender and sweet.

"I like that Rebecca knows how to bring out the best in my face. She really understands how to make the look so subtle yet, glamazon at the same time. After spending time in her care I felt more vibrant." 

Much thanks Latham! I love doing your makeup and look forward to many more Glam Sessions with you!

To book an appointment and find out more about my new Beauty Services at Karen's Body Beautiful, please call 718.797.4808

Looking forward to seeing you and stay tuned for the next KBB Glam Session!

Photos by Tracy Toler

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Picks for "3 Free" Polish

One thing a true glam goddess can't live without is a glossy manicure! If you're like me and love to rock fun colors on your fingers and toes, you will appreciate these "Big Three Free" nail polishes. Absolutely free of three toxic chemicals that have been used in polishes for years: Toulene, Formaldehyde and Dibutyl Phalate. Thankfully, many lines are going "Three Free" but here are a few of my tried and true favorites:

Why avoid these chemicals? Take a look at their potential health risks, courtesy of Teens Turning Green. I would say definitely worth staying away, especially when you think about how often some of us have our nails polished (always ;) Plus the alternatives are sooo fabulous!

Function: Antioxidant, solvent to improve adhesion and gloss.
Present in: Nail polish and hair dye.
Health concerns: Liver toxin; probable developmental, nervous system and respiratory toxin; possible cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, renal and sense organ toxin; possible carcinogen and reproductive toxin; irritant; highly flammable. 

Function: Disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, preservative. 
Present in: Deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, shaving cream. Restricted in Canada. Banned by EU. 
Health concerns: Immune system, repertory, hematological, and skin toxicant; probable carcinogen and cardiovascular toxicant; can damage DNA; may trigger asthma; animal studies show sense organ, brain, and nervous system effects; possible human development toxicant. 

Function: Fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, solvent. 
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Banned in EU. 
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; developmental and reproductive toxin; respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor; bio-accumulative in wildlife. 

Get Glowing with EFA's

If you want glowing skin and shiny hair (and who dosen't?), get some Omega- 3 Fatty Acids in your life, ASAP! They are essential for creating radiant beauty from the inside out. Most of our diets are lacking in Essential Fatty Acids and because the body does not produce them on it's own, we have to supplement them. Omega 3's have numerous health and beauty benefits, responsible for skin repair, moisture and elasticity. 

They have ben proven to reduce inflammation, improve skin texture/acne, hydrate very dry skin, reduce cellulite, treat psoriasis and strengthen hair and nails. If that's not enough to convince you to get your Omega 3's, read up on the amazing and extensive health benefits here!

Get your glow on by incorporating oils such as flax, evening primrose, safflower or quality fish in your daily routine. I really enjoy this blend by Udo's that incorporates several oils in one and taste great drizzled on salad. You can also add more yummy flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, wild salmon and sardines to your plate. Be well, be beautiful and enjoy!

Behind the Scenes with Tyson

What a fun way to begin November, World Vegan Month! I had the opportunity to meet and work with one of the latest celebs to go vegan, Mike Tyson! I was hired to do makeup/grooming for an editorial that comes out in March 2011, alongside Mike's new show on Animal Planet, Taking On Tyson. 

The show features one of Tyson's  favorite pastimes, raising and racing pigeons. Apparently he has a few hundred birds at lofts in Brooklyn and New Jersey, where we shot this. I didn't learn much about racing the birds, but they were really pretty and they seemed well loved and taken care of :)

Of course, Mike didn't need much in the makeup department, but I just HAD TO ask him about his new vegan lifestyle. His whole face lit up as he described feeling energized, lighter (he lost 130 lbs), clearer and happier than ever! He even pointed out that his alligator-looking shoes were faux leather and tries to buy vegan as much as possible. I told him I thought it was so cool for "Mike Tyson" to speak about how going vegan has changed his life for the better! I believe his message will help inspire many others to try it. 

Despite the chilly temps outside, we had a great shoot with a lot of laughs. I look forward to checking out the show in March and I will keep you posted about the editorial!