Over-lining can be challenging; lip plumpers can be expensive… So today’s Magic Beauty Hack is how to get perfect lips: thick, plump, and full. With this hack, Kylie Jenner won’t have anything on you!
Or Maybe Not...
Growing up as a performer, there has always been a pressure to be thin. I’ve been told by various producers to lose weight or tone my muscles in different ways on various occasions. I’ve been told to get a boob-job, told to “figure out how to get my ass smaller”... Been criticized for being too skinny, and I’ve been called gross for my shoulder blades sticking out too far.
I just figured that that’s the business of show business, and that everyone (and I mean everyone) has an opinion. Typically, I’ve just held my own, done my own thing, but such comments can weigh on you and warp your perspective. I’ve struggled with eating, and am actively striving to improve the situation.
Clearly, though, these pressures are present everywhere, beyond working in entertainment, and much of that comes from media and advertising, which you’re already well aware of. While there are new campaigns that boast a lack of retouching, it hardly scratches the surface.
Furthermore, there are new mantras being spewed into our consciousness such as “strong is sexy,” but this still adds layers of most of us not feeling good enough. Now not only do we feel the pressure to be thin, as that hasn’t gone away, but there’s also the pressure to be fit. We have to have guns for arms, washboard abs, and perfect glutes. Most of this, still, is unattainable in an average setting.
The bottom line is that feeling comfortable in your own skin is sexy… “Healthy is sexy” is what we should be touting. However, healthy looks different for each of us. And because it's so individualized, you can’t standardize it, which means it’s hard to monetize it, i.e. come up with products to sell for it, which may mean that you can’t publicize it, i.e. media and advertising. But I’m not giving up. The real thing we should be working on is self-love, which is from what true confidence stems.
For me to be healthy, I need to eat three full meals a day with snacks in between, work out in a non-judgemental way for thirty minutes a few times a week for my mind, as well as my body, get enough sleep, and enjoy a happy beauty regime focused on my tastes. I work on practicing self-love, and concentrate my efforts on finding what’s fulfilling for me.
Add a Little Sparkle
Today I wanted to talk about how to get that inner-sparkle to grow outward. For me, it all starts with skin care. We all know to drink a lot of water (about two liters a day, i.e. two large size Smart Water bottles), and we all know to cleanse our faces daily, etc.… So I wanted to talk about my favorite glow products that really help me up my sparkle quota.
Once I’ve cleansed (which is either First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser or Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel), I apply No7 Early Defense Glow Activating Serum. The packaging claimed that you would see a “difference” using it twice daily for a week. It was a little nebulous as to what that difference would be, but ultimately, I was fairly impressed. Not only were my worry lines diminishing, but my skin was actually more radiant and plump. For the price of twenty-five bucks at Walgreens, it’s hard to beat.
Next, for day time, I apply Glam Glow’s Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. I got this as a sample initially, as I’m hesitant to indulge in a fifty dollar product before making sure I’m in love with it, but I totally fell in love. Firstly, it smells great. I’m also sensitive to that, and I was pleasantly surprised. Second, it really works as a moisturizer. My skin feels supple but not slick; like, ample dewiness but not sticky. Although the real factor with this is the sparkle: it’s very fine-milled, so it’s not like, annoying, you’re-wearing-glitter-LOL sparkle. It’s more like a shimmer that I can absolutely get on board with. And because the moisturizer is technically in the color “Nude Glow,” it offers a little bit of pore blurring action, and is a nice base for my primer.
Yes! My primer! The product I’m most excited about. I use Becca Cosmetics’ Backlight Priming Filter Face, and it has changed my life. Layered on top of any moisturizer, it’s flawless; layered on top of the moisturizer I mentioned above, it’s sparkle heaven. It helps your makeup cling to your face all day, as you want a primer to do, but it adds this element of glow that I’ve found to be unparalleled. AND on casual days I’ve been finding that I don’t even need to use proper foundation; I can just layer everything right onto it. Between its light tint and its general gleaming elements, I have a beautiful luminescence, if you will, simply from this primer alone.
Now I change my foundations depending on what I’m doing during the day, but the one thing that remains in my regime is Farsali Rose Gold Elixir. (They say this is a moisturizer and primer, however I’m not a fan of that product being an oil.) It has 24k gold flakes, and vitamin E and rosehip oil, which have a lot of anti-aging properties. What I like to do is mix about three drops of it into my foundation. This adds a nice glow to whatever foundation I’m using, and additionally, it helps to reduce any cakiness that may have otherwise occurred. Voila!
Lastly, exfoliation. When old skin cells build up on your face it can start to look dull, so to maximize glow, you have to minimize this happening. Exfoliating two to three times a week refreshes everything and keeps your skin ready to shine. (But not like, gross, oily shine, of course… Ideally it’s apparent that all of this shine I’m discussing isn’t that…) The other thing is that by not exfoliating you are more prone to blemishes from excess oil and clogged pores, which nobody wants. I’ve been using Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub for years. It’s gentle enough to not leave you feeling like you just did a chemical peel, but sufficient enough to do the job… And do it well.
I hope some of this may help you in your sparkle journey. Feel free to reach out to me with your favorite glow products, or if anything I mentioned struck your fancy, and you tried it, let me know that, too!
Cut Your Hair...
Cut Your Baggage.
Set with the task of asking how a female in magic manifests herself in this day and age, I was linked up with Scotty Cunha, who is an expert in all things chic: the mastermind behind many celebs from high-end fashion to on-trend beauty… And HAIR… Did I mention hair? I must admit, I was slightly intimidated by his talent and influence, but once I met him, I knew it was meant to be.
Scotty has an infectious laugh and is quick witted and fun. I loved him immediately. I had an upcoming show, and felt ready for something new. We went through my closet, and pulled pieces that could build a look that was prime for performance, but fresh and unexpected as far as the traditional sense of “magic” is concerned.
Then finally it came time for the hair. First we tried beachy waves, as I’ve always wanted that look and have never quite been able to achieve it despite watching endless tutorials. He added extensions, and I was in my comfort zone. I’ve had hair down to my waist for for years, and this style was slightly longer than my real hair just below my shoulders.
But I secretly desired something different yet. Ever since I first saw The Royal Tennenbaums, I wanted Margot’s vibe. However, I never had the courage. My long hair was something I sort of hid behind, I think. It was as though I felt people could look at my hair and kind of ignore, well, me. It was a big deal when I swapped the extensions for my natural hair this past Summer of 2017. I felt naked for a long time, but as I knew I was seeking a refreshed approach to my art moving beyond what I had done in the past, I was growing in conviction.
So when I confessed that I had always loved Margot’s flair, he was on board in an instant. He felt it would revamp my style, and give an edge that he thought I could pull off (which is flattering, because Margot is a badass). And we went for it right then and there. I was nervous when he took out his razor blade, ready to cut.
I know it’s not technically that much of a jump from the length my hair was at that time to what it is now. However the significance of the event was substantial. I was severing ties to what I was… Who I was in a lot of ways. My hair without extensions seemed transitional, but transitional back to the extensions; like, it was a prolonged stint in between hair appointments. People would ask me all the time when I was going to put them back in.
Now it’s as though there’s no turning back. Sure, long hair is always an option, but having a definitive look with short hair is a step in a new direction. Scotty helped reassure me in my confidence that I can be bold in my style and have a laugh along the way.
Janie was the name of my great-grandmother, i.e. my mom’s mom’s mom, and she was quite the character. With a vibrant personality ripe from Texas, she would be adorned in fur and jewels even in the thick of summer. It was just her taste, and I admire her commitment!
When I started performing, my mother slowly began handing down some of Janie’s pieces to pair with my costumes (although her real jewels are in a safe). Displayed over antique magic books, here are the ones I like to make a habit of wearing: