Bask & Bloom Essentials

Another brand that has stolen my heart and my hair is Bask&Bloom Essentials.  All of the products that I have tried have a high end feel to them.  The aroma of naturally sourced products helps to tie everything together.

Before I highlight what I have tried and my reaction I must say the scents from this product line seem to work in tandem to relax.  With blends of ginger and orange or including lavender each applications feels like an escape.

I have applied the hair products to my daughter’s hair on wash day and in-between and she loves the outcome.  I also apply the hair oil and cremes between washes when restyling and the results are amazing.  My daughter complains of less dry and itchy scalp.  De-tangling and styling is a streamlined process.

Personally I hide out in my bathroom to apply the nourishing amazon hair and body butter.  It has a soft bouncy texture.  It glides on and melts into my skin.  I have tried the Berry and Ginger Orange scent and they leave me feeling refreshed.  Yes, it also moisturizes.

So here is what I have tried (its a lot, you’ve been warned!)

  • Nourishing Amazon Hair and Body Butter- I’ve already talked about how amazing this product is.  Bouncy, soft and heaven to apply.
  • More Moisture Cream- This product helps to define and lock in moisture.  This really shows off my curl pattern.  It helps hair spiral into its natural curl pattern.
  • Brahmi Root Hair Masque- A healthy dose of nutrients and moisturizing.  Thick and whipped.  I leave this on under my Hot Head Thermal Heat Cap for a deep condition that doesn’t require me to sit in one spot for an extended period of time.
  • Mango Castor Twisting Cream- This is a favorite of my daughter.  It keeps her twisted styles in place.
  • Ease Leave-In Conditioner- A great leave in product.  No greasy residue.  No crunch and certainly no flaking.  It has a creamy texture that is quickly absorbed into hair.
  • Stimulating Hair Oil- This oil is great for sealing ends when using protective styling.  I use this on my scalp to prevent flaking due to my frequent washing during the week.  Some might prefer a heavier hair oil for the scalp.

Check them out on their website or on Instagram.

As always I am sharing my unsolicited and unbiased opinion on any products I can get my hands on (mostly make-up, some hair products and then whatever sparks my interest).  #one2paintface #MUA #brandambassador



Oyin Handmade Hair and Body Products

I learned of this brand late in 2017 and I began using their products.  After almost six months of use I decided its about time I write a review.  Oyin Handmade is a line of natural hair and body products.  They include a newly emerging line of beard care (I have not tried anything from the beard line.  I would like to talk about the items I have tried.

  • Whipped Shea Butter- DEFINITELY moisturizes.  This kept my usually dry and peeling skin in check.  I tried the unscented version.  I will admit that I probably should have order one of the scents.  It would have made for a more luxurious moisturizing process.
  • No Ash At All- this is the brands lotion.  This is an amazingly rich product.  Initially I was using too much product and I had difficulty rubbing it into my skin.  Since I have scaled back the amount I have been using and it is a great fortifier against dry skin.
  • After bath oil- I Love this product.  It has a slightly thicker texture than other bath oil products.  I love to use this at night or on a day when I will just lay around and I can let my oil seep into my skin.
  • Boing- This is a curl defining styling product.  I did define my curls.  I found that my hair looked amazing when I layered this with the burnt sugar pomade.  My hair had a very light hold with some curl definition.
  • Juices and Berries- This is a spray used to moisturize dry hair.  I usually use this product to prep my hair for re-styling.  This helps add nutrients and allows me to prep my hair for a new protective style.
  • Burnt Sugar Pomade- This is a sweet raw sugar scented product used to add moisture and shine.  The texture can feel a little greasy however when applied to my slightly damp hair it allows my hair to dry soft and shiny.  Smelling sweet is always a plus.
  • Grand Poo Bar- By far my least favorite product out of the many items I have tried.  I was just under-whelmed by this shampoo bar.  It left my hair clean however I did not identify any added benefits.  For now I will stick to what  I have been using to cleanse my hair.
  • Honey Hemp Moisturizing Conditioner- This is the “bomb dot com!”  I use this conditioner to de-tangle my hair prior to applying my deep conditioner as well as for a quick in shower conditioning treatment.  The scent is delicate and calming.  It gives great slip for the de-tangle process.  This product is a great foundation for the application of other styling products on top of it.

On a more personal level I had an issue with one of my online orders and the response that I received to my customer inquiry was swift.  The issue was resolved and I continue to be a committed client of the brand.

In an ever expanding world of natural products this brand is certainly raising the bar.

Check them at



As always, my unsolicited and unbiased opinion on the things I experience.  #one2paintface #MUA #brandambassador

The Makeup Show NYC

On Sunday, May 6, 2018 I attended the The Makeup Show NYC which was hosted by The Powder Group.  I have been attending this annual event for several years; this year featured more luxury brands.  I attended on a mission and I got a surprise.  For those of you on the makeup circuit there are some staple brands that are always available.  For the first time in NYC were Marc Jacobs BeautyHourglass Cosmetics and Pat McGrath Labs.  There was lastly a true stunner, the re-launch of the pro program from Stila Cosmetics.  With more luxury under one roof than I have ever seen anywhere I felt like my life had come full circle.  To anyone on the beauty scene, having the mother of beauty Pat McGrath Labs present made it a red carpet event for sure.  Hourglass brought its American based luxury presence to the party.  At Marc Jacobs Beauty it was more like a boutique experience.  The new shade of coconut dew drops was only available via online order (yes I did order the new, darker shade) was slightly disappointing.  Overall all I would say this continues to be one of my favorite events.  The pro only aspect continues to set this show above others.  Being among other professionals creates an opportunity for networking.  In addition to the amazing seminars from industry pros there is vision all around.

I plan to do a special post for the products that I snagged during my visit.  Stay tuned for my review of the Smith Folio (new smaller size).  This is a total game changer.  Travel just got easier.

As always, I give my unsolicited and unbiased opinion on yet another aspect of beauty.


Another Trade Show

As is customary Spring is the time of year when makes-up trade shows abound in NYC.  A few weeks ago was IMATS and this past weekend was The Makeup Show New York and it was AMAZING.  One could argue that I am a beauty enthusiast and they would be correct.  I am a budding MUA that loves to embrace new trends and products.  This year was no disappointment. There were some staple brands there which always bring me joy and then there were the new comers that help encourage me to try new things and push the boundaries.  Let’s jump right in to some of my favorites were: 

Charolette Tilbury- very hands on and happy to see this brand present.  It gave me an opportunity to test the textures and see the expanded color range.  As a professional in the field this luxury brand would not have been one that I routinely reach for.  After this show I will be sure to use it more. 

NYX Professional Makeup- As a New Yorker I have been looking forward to checking out their recently opened Union Square boutique.  Since I hadn’t made it there, the booth at the Makeup Show New York was amazing.  They brought almost every product include a LARGE range of the new drip foundation formula.  I must admit the coverage on this product is very impressive.  I was truly surprised.  Also the brow gel is easily giving my tried and true Anastasia Beverly Hills dipbrow a run for the money.  I was previously a fan of the NYX Lip Lingere so I snagged ALL of the shades available.  My non industry peeps will thank me this summer when they reach for a nude.  They’ve got plenty.  

AJ Crimson- the pro palette here is one of the best I have ever come across.  It was lovely to see the smooth skinned founder out encouraging his brand.  I also got a few replacements for my kit. My well used creams needed some rescuing.  I must also admit that I was rather impressed with the liquid lip color coverage.  I am still debating about this.  

While not a favorite I must give Frends Beauty a nod for consistency.  They ALWAYS have some items I haven’t been able to get my hands on.  This time around they did not disappoint.  I grabbed two MELT stacks that have been sold out for months online.  A few hit or miss items and some kit quickies makes me give them two thumbs up.  

Now for the misses…

MAC every year there is less and less product present and a strenuous review for membership into the pro program.  This year they provided you with a ticket to receive the pro discount if you left the trade show and made your way to the NYC Flatiron boutique.  All I can say is after a day at a trade show full of vendors and patrons I have no desire to travel to a brand’s boutique.  For me this was disappointing.  

Nigel Beauty also has a small stock of available product.  As a beauty warehouse their setup was more like a beauty speak easy.  Just too small for me. 

And finally for my desires……… I just want more independent, small brands to come out to the show.  I want to see Sugar Pill, Dose of Color, Sigma Brushes, Moni B, Colloured Raine and the like get a little more show presence.  

For the final thought, Yes, I will see you all at The Makeup Show New York in 2018.  There is still some thrill to these trade shows.  

The adrenaline rush of a trade show

For the first time in while I attended The Makeup Show NYC.  Oh how I’ve missed it so.  Usually time gets away from or travel renders me unavailable for the dates.  There continue to be some vendors that are staples like MAC and Makeup Forever; then there were some beauty and cosmetic emporiums like Ricky’s NYC and Nigel who aim to fulfill an artists dream.  In addition to my facial talents I pride myself on being a brand ambassador which is much of the work that I do here. As I struggle to find the words to explain Just. How. Excited. I. Get…. about makeup I am truly thankful for each and every brand that fights for a place to entice us professionals.

The best way to get through this is to just put it all out there, brand by brand and share some of the amazzzzz-balls products out there.  Let us jump right in:

  • Glamcor- they make these AMAZING mirrors with HD lights.  If you want to develop a YouTube channel with tutorials, you need this.  They have a stand that you can attach a cell phone, tablet or camera to.  The lights are bright and eliminate shadows.  Great to achieve amazing beauty looks and make it easy to apply makeup anywhere.  I didn’t purchase one this time because honestly I just could not carry it but I will have one very soon.  Tempted to put a tip jar out to get me started.  This was one of the most innovative products I saw.  ENDORSED!
  • Alcone- a professional artists dream.  They offer essentials in BULK.  I have to say the customer service goes a long way.  I have been to the brick and mortar location in New York City but their location at The Makeup Show had all the things that I keep on hand to keep my look flawless.
  • Smashbox- amazing service as a vendor.  This makes them worth engaging.  The priming water makes sponge application a breeze.
  • Zuca- wheeled bags and travel cases.  Spacious and compact.  Lots of pockets to haul all the products and some tools for a busy MUA or hairstylist.
  • KatVonD- a brand on the rise.  They offer a depth of shades in foundation which makes them attractive to women across ethnicity and race.  I snagged a double sided blush/highlighter brush.  
  • Inglot- Duraline, if you want makeup that DOES NOT MOVE, this is a must get.  I’ve tried it once but event season has arrived so I will make great use of this in the months ahead.  

I have several additional items to talk about but I am still playing with my new found goodies.  

This will be continued and I would like to warn you all that next up is PRIMERS…

Micellar water 

As promised I’m talking about the alleged all in one face product. So far I’ve noticed that they are generally reasonably priced. Today I am able to report on the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water Waterproof and Vichy Purete Thermale. 

I began with the Garnier and honestly it does a good job with a few easy swipes of an oval pad to remove my makeup. Truth be told I wear A LOT because I love the flexibility of different looks. I must say it even removed a stubborn matte liquid lipstick and I mean STUBBORN. I have no greasy/oily residue after using this formula even though it is designed to remove waterproof makeup. Since I am prone to inflammation I am always compelled to do more cleansing. If I must confess I would use this on a lazy late night and skip my extra wash. Since this is considered a drugstore brand it can surely hold hits own. If I had to choose now I would say this product is ENDORSED! 

Now on to the Vichy product. I tried this a few times this weekend to remove makeup and tonight before I put on my sheet mask. I really like the ease of this cleansing water. It’s barely any work cleaning my face. My face felt really clean but because I am also on the dryer side during the change of seasons I immediately followed up with my night cream. I was skeptical of this would work or was I drawn to the name and packaging. It definitely works, no gimmicks here. This product is also ENDORSED! 

Still to come are the industry leader Bioderma, La Roche Posay and Model Co. Bioderma should be delivered this week. I will be sure to weigh in on it because I am headed to a trade show and will need a quick way to remove looks between vendors without drying out my skin. This will be a great opportunity for me to drag this product along. 

In case you can’t tell I LIVE for these moments. 

Next Up, Micellar cleansing water 

For everyone that has been patient with me during the past two weeks I say thank you. I’ve been working on some branding strategies. This has required my full attention and lots of sweat equity. I am still here and I have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon. 
Next review and possible endorsement coming this weekend. The science behind this cleansing water and its results are kind of impressive. 

I will also be providing some amazing feedback and an endorsement for Boscia items. 

What’s to come…

This amazing #beautyhaul is just a preview of things to come.  Some call them first impressions but I use review.  Some of these products are in heavy rotation in my daily routine while others are new to try.  I should probably confess that writing here has given me the gusto to try things that I’ve not been bold enough to try now.  I’m talking about loose pigments held by adhesive and glitter 🙃. I’ve already raved about my favorite primer Hourglass mineral primer, if you missed it).  While these would be considered premium and luxury brands I am working on quite a few things for a drug store #beautyhaul which will highlight some of the usual favs and many secrets.  Please also know that Morphe will be in heavy review as I just received my first palette and now have a brush subscription (yes, I plan to review this services).

I strive to provide an unbiased opinion and assessment of the products that I come across.


I’ve been distracted 

These lashes arrived and I love the packaging. I’ve been playing with the bottom lashes because let’s face it. I love the old Liza and Barbara looks. Can’t wait to review these House of Lashes. Still awaiting the arrival of the mink lashes that are on back order. Since I’m planning to talk about lashes rest assured that I will be giving updates about the various adhesives. 

Clean face makes for a beautiful canvas 

My daily skin routine has been a frequent request for everyone that knows I enjoy an artful face daily. If I had to select a focal point of the cleansing routine it would be the night time use of Shu Umera Cleansing Oil. I’ve been using this for more than 10 years. This brand is one of the first to have a cleansing oil on the market. The different formulations help to address multiple skincare needs. This product is non stripping so my skin doesn’t feel parched and dry. 

I use this to fully remove all make-up. It reminds me of the cleaning effects of “cold cream” without the thickness and weight. It also foams up once water is added to help the oil bind to the grit and grime and wash it away. 

While the sponges do an amazing job with application this oil helps me reverse the flawless effects of a well applied look. 

The routine is complete with eye serum or eye cream depending on what’s going on with my skin (Northeast weather or allergies), a serum and night cream. For my lips I use Aquaphor overnight to lock in moisture and keep chapped lips away. 

Seriously, this oil is hands down the best of the many that I’ve tried. Believe me as a product endorser I’ve tried many. No brand even comes close to this.