Beauty Essentials Roundup Winter 2017

Artis Brushes: Change Your Makeup Routine

The first time I saw the radical new shape of Artis Brushes I was skeptical. They have large, funny shaped heads, flat handles...were they even a brush? Then I felt them, I used them, and saw what they could do. They are actually some of the most versatile makeup brushes you could ever own- personally or professionally. They can be used with creams, liquids or powders. You can buff, draw and spot your product as you wish, but I think my favorite and my clients' favorite the luxurious facial massage you get from the buffing movement.

The Artis brush feel comfortable in handling and application. It may take a little getting used to I recommend getting the 5 piece set. Here are some facts on these modern brushes:

Makeup applies more uniformly due to the revolutionary material CosmeFibre®. The uniform structure of this engineered fibre plus the tapered ends help apply the cream/liquid/powder more consistently than animal hair. (Did I mention these are cruelty-free tools?) Artis brushes are chemically resistant, so go ahead and use whatever alcohol, detergent, water and acids you use for cleaning or application. (* I recently used a goat milk soap and it left a residue on the Artis brushes, so I would not recommend that type of cleaning method)

A Chemical-Free Perfume to Attract your Crush before Valentine's Day 

While most women wear a daily perfume, I usually save it for special occasions...or rather special "someones." I've worn the usual brands, everything you can find at Sephora or a department store. I remember when I was only wearing Armani scents when I was in my early 20s. These days I find myself more interested in products and foods which are chemical-free, gentle, food-based and organic. Why should perfume be any different? My mom always instructed the importance of what I put on my skin, since it is the largest organ of the body. So I got interested in the idea of a natural perfume. That same week I was sent a sample of "aphrodisiac" perfume  from Good Clean Love. This company specializes in various health products aimed to enhance your sex life. All too ready to give it a try, I placed the spiced scent on my inner wrists and elbows and took a deep breath. I could sense the exotic blend of essential oils which included East Indian Sandalwood, Omani Frankincense, and Bulgarian Rose. While I admit my boyfriend doesn't need any outside assistance to "get in the mood," I can tell you that hours later he found the scent to be intriguing and mysterious and I felt sexy.

Good Clean Love offers 2 scents of their aphrodisiac perfume blends. They contain no fixatives, so they respond to the unique body chemistry of the wearer. They also are made without petrochemicals, unlike most commercial brands.  

RenPure: Treating Hair with Our Favorite Nut

Coconut products have taken over much of the beauty & food industries, we see these nuts & their health benefits featured on all types of packaging and labels. It's no surprise that it found it's way into hair care. For some, using straight virgin coconut oil on your hair is the perfect remedy. But if you have fine hair like me, it gets too heavy and greasy and I end up looking like I need another shower. Luckily, RenPure found a way to use all the benefits of the coconut without all the grease. My boyfriend and I both have fine hair, but his is wavy and unruly. He also had some frizzy bits, which have been difficult to handle. (I can't even list all the products I've tried using on him!) But when we switched to RenPure Professionals Coconut Water Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, we noticed a difference right away. Because the shampoo is sulfite free, you won't get tons of bubbles from lathering, but be confident in knowing it is working it's magic. The directions on the conditioner say to leave in for a few minutes and that's a must- the nutrients from the product need time to soothe and hydrate the hair follicle. Because the shampoo is sulfite free, you won't get tons of bubbles from lathering, but be confident in knowing it is working it's magic.  Afterwords, your hair will feel silky smooth.  The other product I tested since my hair is a wavy-pixie cut is the Coconut Créme Curl Defining Cream. I thought this would be too heavy but I loved the instant hydration, definition & body this cream gave my little locks. Used on wet or dry hair, I found it to perform well. Plus it smells delish! 

Cruelty-Free Hair Tools for You & Your Hairstylist

We were excited to try these amazing hair tools by Kareco which makes hair brushes, combs and professional shears for the animal-conscious. We asked Cici Andersen, a professional hairstylist & beauty blogger in Los Angeles to give them a whirl:

"With thirteen years of experience under my belt, I’ve tried many different shears and styling tools. Until recently, I’ve been loyal to my preferred brand of shears for over 7 years now and have multiple pairs. Kareco was generous enough to let me try their Stiletto 6.0” cutting shears. As any hairstylist worth their salt will tell you, having a good pair of shears is crucial for precision cuts, texturizing and adding movement to the hair.

These Techtanium™ 100% Japanese Stainless Steel Shears feature razor sharp convex edges, an easy to adjust tension control dial and ergonomic handle design. When you purchase your new shears they come in a lovely leatherette case which will protect your investment—and YES, they are an investment. The shears run $479.95 on their website but are sure to last you through multiple sharpenings and for years and years to come. I always recommend you have a trusted professional sharpen your blades, and be careful not to drop them as it can permanently damage the steel.

I’ve used them on several of my clients and like a mini samurai sword, have loved how easily they glide through the hair and have seemingly perfect balance.

The only downside here is that the name of the shear is a little confusing. The entire shear (including handle) is 6.0” long, not to be confused with a 6.0” blade.

I also had a chance to use the Kareco Ionic Tourmaline Plus styling brush to finish off my clients style. I used the 3.0”  round brush and found that the bristles are marvelously bendy! It kind of reminds me of the ever-popular Wet brush but with the added power of ionic and thermal styling. The hair dried quicker than with my regular ceramic round brush or even boar bristle brushes and found that I could work great bounce and smoothness from the blowout."

Chemical-Free Vegan Nails that Last

Like many of you, I am a gel-manicure fanatic. I can't get enough of the benefits of a polish that lasts for weeks. However, I don't make the extra expense for my pedicures and I often take breaks between gel applications to let my nails "breath." Then I started thinking about the kind of polish I was using... is it really letting my nails breath? Is it healthier? Sadly, formaldehyde polishes are not the answer I was looking for. Then I was sent a bottle of TFB: Trust Fund Beauty Vegan Nail Polish and I feel like my prayers were answered. First, I loved the deep, intense shade of Red I received. When applied, it went on smoothly and both manicurist & I were shocked at the color payoff. We didn't need layers of coats of paint; only 2 coats to have a vibrant, sparkly color! I wore mostly closed-toe shoes for a couple weeks and I didn't have any damage to the polish. I think more and more salons should catch on this great product. Meanwhile, you can order your own bottles and bring it with you to share to magic. TFB polishes come in over 60 colors! Plus they offer some other really cool beauty products: all cruelty-free & vegan.