Jam on it!

TINte Flavored Lip Color Miss Pepper - Pop open for a brick red color and strong bold flavor.I never do this, okay? But today I received some goodies from TINte, and I just have to say I found my new favorite lip balm! TINte Flavored Lip Color in Blackberry Jam is the just-right deep berry shade loaded with tons of moisture. Shea Butter and vitamin-enriched, Blackberry Jam is packaged in one of TINte’s signature vintage tins. Long lasting moisture and perfect, sheer color…my lips look like I just finished a glass of Chianti. Oh so sexy…and I am in love with TINte’s Flavored Lip Color! $14

A huge thank you to Stacy, creator of TINte, for the sample of Blackberry Jam…

Refuse to Have Bad Hair pt. 2

Drying your hair with a hair dryer can actually be challenging and sometimes even a little intimidating, if you don’t have experience with hairdryers, for lots of gals (and guys, for that matter). One of the most important things to remember, and it is true of most anything in life, is to have the right tools…the best tools you can afford. GirlPaint’s favorite hairdryers are made by Infrashine, T3 Tourmaline and Chi.

Following is a fabulous article by Misty Rodriguez…’cuz I couldn’t have said it better myself, frankly. So thanks, Misty. Shine on!

So, you aren’t Farah Faucet, and not even close to being Jennifer Aniston. Well, that doesn’t have to stop you from have good hair. How do they do it? They know the techniques, the have the right equipment and they spend the time. You, too, can have straight, shiny locks. Here are two methods that I have used to straighten my hair for at least ten years now.

First, you will have to have the right utensils. A good hair dryer is essential to blow drying your hair straight and still keeping your hair strong and healthy. There are so many blow dryers out there now, it is impossible not to find one that is right for you. I recommend one that has a setting for low and high heat.

A lot of the stars are using ionic hair dryers which put out negative ions. These ions flatten the cuticle and leave it protected. This is apposed to regular blow dryers that put out positive ions which push up the cuticle and let out the moisture. These are more expensive, and I personally have not tried one for that reason.

For the first method, all you will need is a good blow dryer. For the second you will also need to add a round styling brush. There are many of these also, however I would recommend one that is large. The larger the brush, the more volume your hair will have. I also recommend that the brush be ventilated, meaning it contains holes that allow the air to pass through the brush.

The first method is meant to save time. It will not work as well as the second method, but will suffice for many women and will save a lot of time. Simply blow dry your hair with your head turned over. This will add volume as the hair dries with the strands positioned away from your scalp.

Start with the roots and as they start to dry you can than use a regular brush to straighten the rest of the strands while you are blow drying them. It is important to use the high heat setting, as the harder your hair is to straighten, the higher the heat will need to be. It is also important to position the hair dryer at least five inches from your hair, so you don’t cause any damage to the strands.

For the second method you will need to blow dry your hair in sections. The sections should be held on your brush and be a thin enough layer to dry easily. In fact, the thinner the sections, the better the end result. The sections should be held straight out away from the scalp to maximize volume.

Start with the hair dryer pointed at the roots of your hair until you see it drying. Then you will gently pull the brush away from your scalp while pointing the hair dryer at the new section. When you get close to the ends of your hair, twist the brush around. At this point it doesn’t matter if the hair is secured to the brush or only held loosely on top of it, either way is fine.

Whether you want to spend 5 minutes or 30 minutes, you can have that straight, healthy hair as long as you follow a proven method. The methods listed above have worked for my hair and I know they will work for yours.

Rough Week…Holy Merde

I’ve been AWOL from GirlPaint this week due to several late-night events (I’m an event planner in my “real life”), plus I got no sleep and as a result, a big zit on my cheek popped up and won’t go away…NOTHING in my skincare regimen is working.

However, some fabulous cosmetics came to my rescue. My saving graces this week in no particular order (like my life…no particular order) are:

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Warm BeigeBobbi Brown Creamy Concealer I dug out my Bobbi Brown concealer to see if any aid and/or comfort could be found inside it’s shiny black confines. And, oh yes. I had actually forgotten how well this almost-sticky full-but-natural-coverage concealer really conceals. I owe my job (and my self-esteem) to Bobbi this week. Bless you, Bobbi, bless you.

Next up…NARS Blush Cheek Color in Penny Lane goes on so perfectly. Soft, subtle color. And so smooth…like a baptism for my cheeks. You’d never guess my complexion was a wreck. Really…no, really. And thank you, St. Francois.

My third savior in the week’s Holy Trinity cosmetics is Paula Dorf Lipsicle Degas. Paula Dorf’s Lipsicles are that perfect blend of lipstick and lipgloss–long-lasting, subtle color with that just-right touch of shine. Not too gloppy (is that a word?) or slick. And Degas is that perfect shade, the color of your lips only better…a sandy mauve-pink. Paula, you are a goddess.

This week was all about giving praise to the gods and goddesses of makeup. Let’s all genuflect, confess and give thanks. Amen.

Lip Sexy

Booty Parlor, well-known in celebrity circles for their sexy underpinnings, bedroom toys and body treats, also features a line of sexy cosmetics! I was lucky enough to recently try their two spicy and flavorful lip glosses…I mean, wow! As Paris would say, “That’s hot!

I’m So Sexy Lip Gloss: Peppermint Pink is a nude/pink peppermint gloss with sexy sparkle. Booty Parlor’s sweet and minty lip gloss enhances lips with a pout-plumping ingredient to make you feel kissable, flirty and irresistible….and fresh breath to boot!

I’m So Sexy Lip Gloss: Cinnamon Shine With a spicy cinnamon flavor and scent, Booty Parlor’s pout plumping Cinnamon Shine is a favorite of Cameron Diaz. Cinnamon Shine features a red tint, so your lips look like you’ve been eating red cherries or pomegranates…unbelievably sexy and kissably delicious.

The packaging on these glosses is beautiful…probably the prettiest I’ve seen for lip gloss. While neither gloss was particularly shiny, they both moisturize and plump for a good 4-6 hours. And hotness in a tube can be yours for only $14, just in time for Valentines Day.

One dab, and who knows what you’ll inspire?

a big “thank you” to Meghan Holston at Spotlight for the samples

Refuse to have bad hair…seriously Pt. 1 of 3

With the major advances in hairdryer, curling iron and flat iron technology, there is really no excuse for bad hair. Good quality versions of each of these ‘handy’ (pun, intended) hair tools is available at a price to suit most any budget. My guess is that many of you simply do not know how to properly use a hairdryer, curling iron or flat iron (by the way, a flat iron can be used to straighten OR curl your hair…did you know that? didn’t think so.)

As a former professional hairdresser and makeup artist, I feel it’s my duty to pass along a few tips on how to use these tools so that we may no longer have bad-hair days…or at the very least, reduce their frequency. In this three part series, I will attempt to give some basic guidelines for using these hair tools and also share my favorite picks in each category.

Since the introduction of ‘ceramic’ technology, flat irons have seen a dramatic boost in popularity. They heat up so quickly–many in a matter of seconds–and no longer scorch the hair as they used to. Having soft, shiny straight or curly hair is a breeze!

Before you start ‘ironing,’ your hair should be clean and completely dry. If your hair is particularly course or damaged, feel free to work in a little anti-frizz serum or lotion, but use the least amount of product possible or you will end up looking like you dumped a bucket of grease on your head. Recommended products include Alterna Hemp Straightening Balm or Chi Biosilk Silk Therapy.

You’ll need the following items:

* A flat iron: A wide range of irons is available–and size counts. If you have short or fine hair, use a one-inch flat iron. For medium-to-long hair or for hair that is thick or course, use a wider plate size, up to two inches. My favorite irons are the new Infrashine Redline Professional Line. Personally I feel that Infrashine is the best manufacturer period. Even their consumer models are far superior to many other company’s “professional” models. Sedu, Wigo and Isinis also make good irons. Honestly, spend what you can on your iron–it’ll last if you take care of it. If possible, invest in a ceramic iron.
* Sectioning clips allow you to section your hair so you can focus on straightening your hair evenly.
* Rat Comb. These are the combs they used to use to create your grandma’s bee-hive hairdo. When flat ironing, the comb end is used to comb through the hair so it’s tangle-free while the tip of the handle is used to section hair off.

How to use your flat iron to achieve optimal results:

* If you are new to using a flat iron, practice using it while it is turned off to get the technique down and to “feel” it out. This’ll make getting the perfect result much easier once your iron is on.
* The temperature setting is important in achieving the best possible results. The higher temperature settings are designed for straightening very curly and/or very course hair. Using the graph to the left, set the temperature according to your hair type.
* Brush or comb through your hair until you have no tangles or knots.
* Next, use the pointy end of the comb handle to section your hair. The number of sections you have and the number of sectioning clips you use depends on the thickness of your hair…thicker hair=more clips, thinner hair=fewer clips. Also, the smaller the sections, the lighter, more weightless the hair will appear.
* Remember that you will start with the lower sections and progress to the top.
* Time to iron (finally, right?!). Starting at the roots, go over each section with the heated flat iron slowly and evenly. Keep the iron moving through the hair. As you finish ironing each section, comb through the just-ironed hair. Move on to each section and repeat.
* Before applying any finishing products, i.e. serum, wax or spray, let your hair cool completely.

To curl your hair with your flat iron, be sure to use a one-inch iron–the larger irons will not work.

Soft Curls
Insert a 2-inch section of hair between the plates gently squeeze handle together and glide iron to the ends, then wind hair around plates.

Flip Out
Insert a 2-inch section of hair between the plates, then squeeze the handle together and glide slowly together hair beginning at the roots, slightly flip out the ends.

Flip In
Insert a 2-inch section of hair between the plates, then squeeze the handle together and glide slowly together hair beginning at the roots, slightly flip in the ends.

Lastly, take care of your iron. Once it is completely cool, wipe it clean and keep it clean.

special thanks to Kelly Taggart at Purely Visual for introducing GirlPaint to Infrashine

What's Great Out in the Blogosphere…

It must be the cold weather or maybe fewer hours of daylight–or lack of exercise due to below-freezing temperatures outside for a couple of weeks, but gosh darnit, I’m tired these days.

I mean I can barely pull it together enough to publish a post to my favorite spot in the world…yes, I mean here…GirlPaint.

But guess what? The whole blogging world is really fun these days–thank goodness or my lack of inspiration would simply mean nothing to post, right?!

Here are a few of my favorites of late:

  • GoFugYourself did my favorite piece on the Golden Globes. While you’re there, check out the entire Fug History on Fergie…it’s hysterical…and spot on!
  • One of my new favorite haunts, BlogFabulous, gives the goods on owning (and running) your own business. I’ve been there, Fab….for 10 wonderful and exhausting years, my hubby and I got the darn thing off the ground, profitable in less than two years and we were there every day running the show. I wouldn’t trade for it, but I’m not sure I’d do it again–in this lifetime, anyway.
  • You can’t miss this one: Stargazer HOT PINK EYE LINER AND MASCARA. Check it out over at Kiss And Makeup
  • TheMakeupGirl had the enviable task…how could I say task…I mean, privilege, of shopping with the beauty blogger most sought after and most recognized, the beauty addict herself. I’m so jealous I could spit…
  • Speaking of the beauty addict, her picks for the Golden Globes were perfect (and right in line with mine, so all the better) and you have to love HER style–I know I do.

I’m going to go veg on the couch now and watch Roger Federer spank some Russian dude. Or maybe I’ll watch Idol on Tivo and report back tomorrow. What am I saying?! This isn’t THAT kind of blog…I must be tired. Signing off…

Golden Globes Best in Show

Jennifer Lopez, without a doubt, wins the award for best hair and makeup. I can’t say I’ve ever seen her look so beautiful. Marriage agrees with her.

Is that Aphrodite? Venus, perhaps? Oh, it’s Ellen Pompeo. What a goddess!

Makeup…fabulous. Hair…fabulous. Drew, you look amazing.

Sendhil Ramamurthy’s my Hero, hero of style. Is he gorgeous or what? Good messy.

Perfect Penelope. Her hair and makeup are perfect.

Leo and Eric…separated at birth? I give the edge to Mr. Dicaprio, though, for his cool demeanor and better choice of tux.

Don’t you wished your family was this good-lookin’? Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and daughter, Sosie

photos courtesy of AP and Reuters

Golden Globe Beauties and Oh My's

Cheryl and Heidi: Pretty and blond and back in style…

James Woods, put her there. You look amazing, D’ahling!

Little Miss Sunshine, Amy Breslin, struttin’ her stuff like a true pro’.

Jennifer, you’re stunning (and talented). An idol worthy of our worship.

Definitely NOT ugly. America the Beautiful looks amazing in grape with toned-down makeup and hair.

Younjin Kim looks lovely and glowing. Understated elegance.

Jessica, simple and stunning. Simply stunning.

Djimon and Alejandro…international men with impeccable grooming.

Aaron and Forrest…Americans do it right, too.

photos courtesy of AP and Reuters

Golden Globes Oopsies and Oh No's

Arquettes, what’s with the eyeliner? And streaky blush? And bad hair? Three strikes, you’re out, Ladies.

What was Cameron thinking? She’s newly single, and her new look may give us a clue as to why. This hints at “All About Eve.” This dress, well, whatever…it’s just a good thing that GirlPaint’s focus is makeup.

No comment.

Chloe, please find some concealer. And for goodness sakes, get your hair done, it’s the Golden Globes.

This is Edward Zwick; he’s a Golden Globe-nominated director. He is not, I repeat NOT, a recent escapee from a sleep study clinic. Perhaps Mr. Zwick started ‘celebrating’ his nomination when it was announced…and simply never stopped?

Renee, for the last time, eat something! And please, quit pursing your lips.

Two words: powder and hairspray

Guys shouldn’t wear makeup–Michael C. Hall’s been hanging out with undertakers again it seems.

But they should have their hair done–dude, you’re Lost! Bad-messy.

20th Century Fox’s Newest Release: Count Dracula meets the Emerald Queen. No? Mr. & Mrs. Murdoch, you say? Yikes.

photos courtesy of AP and Reuters

I'm Addicted…Nail Down the Lid

I admit it. I’m totally addicted. It all started innocently enough…just the one time, ya know, and then I’d stop. But now I can’t. It’s been months since I first started my habit. Now I’m up to twice a month, just like clockwork. Do I stop cold-turkey, do I ask for help, or do I just keep going, spiraling into addiction?

What is it, you ask? Well, a few months ago I was so sick of looking at my ragged, flimsy fingernails that I…I…I started wearing fake nails (gasp). Now before you judge me or give me your “tsk, tsk, tsk,” I want a chance to explain myself. I really thought they’d look stupid or cheap (good reasons to try them, don’t you think?)–but I also thought they would help me grow my own nails out (another admission I must make: I’m a nail-biter…it’s terrible, I know, but I’ve been doin’ it since I was five) and then I’d ditch ‘em and life would be wonderful.

Well, the truth is that they made my hands look…nice. And I did stop biting my nails (my cuticles are another story I’m afraid…sigh). And I get the ones they sell at the drugstore–did I just say that? Yes, I did. And now? Now, I actually receive compliments on how good my nails look…from people who have good taste. I have never in my life been complimented on my nails…ever. And now people actually tell me how pretty my nails are? Okay, you tell me: do I stop wearing them and go back to my ragged, flimsy, nail-biting self? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Here come the justifications and excuses: In the process of my addiction, I’ve tried ‘em all–different brands and different styles. They’re all about the same price, $5-10 per kit…so it’s not like I’m going into debt feeding my addiction (yet). They all come in a kit with about 24 nails, glue, cuticle-pusher (either plastic or wood) and the cutest little nail file you’ve ever seen! And the ones I use are the “natural” ones, in short or active lengths only. They’re (almost) all available in a variety of flesh-toned “colors” (sort of like Crayons?), so they suit most any complexion. It’s funny, though, ‘cuz each brand looks just a little different, has a different application method with pros and cons, just like any other “cosmetic.”

I purchased my first set, Nailene Short Cut, which are very short, French manicure-style and really attractive. The tip of the nail extends just past my fingertip and they make my fingers look longer, more graceful. Drawbacks include the fact that because they are so short, the nails are a little difficult to get ahold of and apply–I ended up with a few bubbles under them and could never quite get them to adhere all the way (very close, folks, but no cigar). The glue included in the kit is the consistency of water (well, almost), and it tends to run all over the place; my bathroom counter now has permanent glue drips, plus it was tricky getting the glue off my skin once it dried. One other minus is that the little white French manicure stripe tends to wear off fairly quickly. In spite of these deficiencies, they’re still my favorite because they look the most natural and in my opinion are the prettiest.

Another brand I tried and liked is Broadway’s Real Life French Nail Kit. They don’t look quite as natural as Nailene Short Cut’s, and I have to file them down a little bit to get them really short; but they come with a great gel glue that stays where you put it and holds well. The nails have these little tabs on the tips that you can grip to make the application a breeze…very quick…and then the little tabs just bend right off and the nails look pretty darn good–and no bubbles.

Yet another brand I used for a time were the Broadway 2-Step Sporty Round Kit. Great, only two steps–my “fix” is getting quicker, I think! Alas, I did not like these at all. The shape was not quite right and the nails were thick and sort of a translucent-whitish color. They didn’t look natural, and I didn’t like the look of them, at least on me.

My least favorite part of this whole addiction is taking the little buggars off, which I do once my nail starts to grow out…for me about every two weeks. I cut as much of the fake nail off as I can, but then I have to soak the remainder off in an acetone bath. Yuck. This part is messy and smelly. But I hear they make a special product just for this purpose…some kind of nail and tip remover. So my addiction takes me deeper down the rabbit hole.

But as I said when I started this post, I’m addicted….happily. So nail down the lid on my habit and pass the glue, at least my hands are pretty!
What we won’t endure for a little beauty, right? ;)

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