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Six Products I Cannot Live Without

Danielle Bisbano - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Drawers, cases, plastic bins.  Wicker baskets, Tupperware, glass jars.  Carts, boxes and pouches.  I have makeup everywhere.  And lots of it.  It’s a sickness.  I get it.  I accept it.  I am working on it.  It is hard to resist all the colors and textures.  I am only human after all. 

We don’t need to address my skin care product graveyard just yet, either, smarty pants.

With all these choices, there is probably something to be said for the products I keep coming back to time after time.  The staples of my kit.  The things I buy in multiples and often give away just to share the joy.  I figured you might want to know about them so here goes . . .

 Beautycounter Every Night PM Hydrating Cream (a.k.a. the best facial moisturizer ever)

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This was the first product that turned me onto Beautycounter.  I had been actively searching for the perfect moisturizer for my kit.  I needed something that wasn’t “active” so it wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin.  It needed to absorb completely without leaving any residue and it needed to play well with makeup.  This product does it all.  The difference in the softness of your skin after even just one use is remarkable.  For really dry skin, you can literally apply layer after layer and it will completely absorb and soak in until the skin is soft and supple.  It has worked wonders with rosacea and eczema and is gentle enough even for really sensitive skin.  It works great mixed with foundation to create a hydrating, fresh look that is perfect for summer.  Although this is technically a night cream, both the day and night creams are interchangeable.  Every Night PM Hydrating Cream retails for $44

 Beautycounter Countertime Vibrant Eye Perfector

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Same deal here.  Long list of “must do”s for my kit.  The most important of which is that it fully absorb.  You can’t apply eye makeup to greasy skin.  This one is perfect.  It absorbs completely and leaves the eye area refreshed and ready for the next step.  This product retails for $55.

 Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator

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Koh Gen Do does highlighting right.  Such a subtle, soft shimmer.  Nothing too shiny or sparkly.  Less than one pump will subtly highlight the high points of your face.  Dab under or over makeup and gently blend.  I love this under airbrush foundation.  If you want to feel like a goddess, mix a few pumps of this with your body lotion for a barely there, all over shimmer.  This also comes in a golden tan shade.  This product retails for $39.

 MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture

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This is the most amazing nude shade ever.  I use this on almost every single person in my chair.  It is the perfect blend of pink and light brown and it goes well with pretty much every lipstick or as a base for a layer of gloss.  The texture is perfect; not too moist, not too dry.  I can’t live without it.  This product retails for $15.

 Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze

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I got this when I did makeup for a RISD fashion show a few years ago.  Maybelline was one of the sponsors and in addition to getting actually getting paid (!) each makeup artist got to take the entire line home with them.  I shared most of those products with some appreciative friends but these babies stayed in my kit.  This particular color is another one that flatters almost everyone.  Sometimes I just use it as a base for darker shadows due to its staying power but it is awesome on its own, too.  This is a cream shadow that you can apply with your fingers or a synthetic brush.  Ironically, you can also blend and buff it out with a fluffy brush.  Apply one layer for a soft wash of color or add additional layers for intensity.  It is a very versatile product at about $7.

 Jordana Squeeze’n’Shine Super Shiny Tasty Lip Gloss in Honey Luau

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Wow, that name is a mouthful and kind of makes me feel like a 12-year old for using it but I am telling you it is a cheap little wonder!  This gloss is a golden beige with shimmer and it smells like vanilla.  The color is so pretty and it looks amazing over everything.  Extra bonus for it being $1.99.  I like it better than my $25 gloss that is the same shade and half the size.  The only place to get Jordana is online or at Walgreens.

 Well, there they are.  Six of my all-time faves.  I hope a few of them will make it into your rotation.

The Real Girl

Makeup and Image Seminar on Marthas Vineyard

Danielle Bisbano - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

“Come to Martha’s Vineyard to talk makeup,” they said. “It will be fun!” they said.

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Well, yeah!  Of course it was! How could it NOT be? Talking makeup and image to a group of female business owners, like myself? What’s not to love? 

This event was the maiden voyage for the speaker series entitled Sustainable Marketing for the Small Business in the Modern Advertising Space. This is an educational initiative started by Tamar Russell Brown of Sitka Creations and The Martha’s Vineyard Guide to promote, educate and inspire Martha’s Vineyard business owners on various relevant topics including marketing, design, networking and our portion, which addressed personal presentation. I was invited to present this part of the series with another speaker, Susan Norton.

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Susan is a psychotherapist on the Island and she also created and markets her own skin care line called Sashabelle

Susan started us off by sharing her own story of how she came to the decision to create her own skin care products. As she became more educated about the many dangerous chemicals in the products she had been using, she felt inspired to create something she could feel good about putting on her skin. She spoke of an inner voice that was impelling her to pursue this path and how we need to pay attention to our own inner voice when we are being nudged towards change. It is always a treat to meet women who care about safe skin care as I do, especially when they are doing their part to make a change.

For my portion of the event I wanted to focus on the psychology of appearance; how the way you look affects how you feel, how the way you feel, in turn, affects how others perceive you and how a few simple changes using just a few products can make a big difference. Doing research for my presentation was fascinating. There is seemingly endless data regarding the effects of color, makeup, clothing and grooming in regards to the impressions one makes as a job candidate to a potential employer or as a business owner to a potential customer.  In any and every aspect of life, actually.

After Susan and I finished our speaking portions it was time for a makeup demonstration. We drew a name from the list of attendees to be our model. The lovely Nicole Friedler, a professional photographer from the Island, was chosen and I was able to show the ladies an easy, five-minute makeup application using just four products. This is a routine that everybody has time for and can really make a big difference in helping you look polished and professional. Here is what I used:

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 

Beautycounter Every Day A. M. Hydrating Cream

Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Plum

Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara 

Jordana Fabubrow Eyebrow Pencil 

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These are the core items you need for a simple look. I mixed the foundation with the day cream to make it even more hydrating and natural and buffed it into the skin with a foundation brush. You could use your fingers or a makeup sponge (I recommend the Beauty Blender). Then I used the amazing Plum Lip Sheer as a blush and lipstick. The color may seem really dark when you look at it, but the texture of these products is fantastic. They are sheer and buildable. So you can literally just swipe the tube on your cheeks and blend, add more as you want to intensify the color. Technically they are a lip product but they are the best cream blushes I have ever used. After you apply it as a blush, just sweep it over your lips.  Again, this product is buildable. Use just one layer for a soft wash of color or go over it again to make it deeper. They feel like heaven and smell like vanilla. As a side note, every shade can be used on the cheeks as well as the lips. Plum just happens to be a favorite of mine. 

I then lightly filled in Nicole’s brows with a brow pencil. My staple brow pencil happens to cost $2.99. Go figure. Let me use this as an opportunity to say that filling in your eyebrows is one of the simplest and most dramatic things you can do to bring structure to your face and attention to your eyes. It will seem “scary” at first but once you see how much better you look, it’s a step you won’t ever want to skip.  Everyone will notice how great you look but they probably won’t realize why. It might take some getting used to, but it is worth it.  Baby steps. Just do it.

Once Nicole’s makeover was complete, I had a blast color matching everyone for foundation and doing mini-makeovers on all of them! What a wonderful group of ladies.

Special thanks to Joanne Sardini and The Vineyard Square Hotel for hosting the event and allowing me to stay in one of their absolutely gorgeous suites. Between Joanne and the hotel and Chesca’s Restaurant I didn’t want to leave … so I made a weekend of it. What a fun time.

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Thanks also to Dawn Marie Temple of Bellaria Designs Photography for coming out to take these wonderful photos for us.

Great job, Tamar!  I hope we can do it again soon!

www.daniellebisbano.com

Beautycounter Every Day AM Hydrating Cream

Danielle Bisbano - Friday, June 28, 2013

There are like a gazillion face moisturizers out there, right? So how can it be so hard to find just the right one? I don’t know but it is! They are either too greasy or too heavy or too light or too sticky or smell like old perfume or make your face shiny, the list goes on and on. I have literally been searching for the perfect moisturizer for my kit for years. I needed one that would replenish and hydrate but also absorb completely without causing any irritation. It was harder than I anticipated.

The way I heard about Beautycounter was such a fluke. Talk about coincidence. Having an opportunity to actually try out the line was a gift. I was like a kid in a candy store. Real world testing with no strings attached. Perfect. Exactly what I needed for my seemingly never-ending moisturizer search. I have been a huge facial oil fan for years and I have oily skin so a “regular" moisturizer is my first item to skip on myself, for all the reasons listed above! When I tried Every Day I loved how it totally absorbed with no residue and made my skin so soft. It created an ideal base for my makeup and it has been absolutely perfect for my kit.

Every Day AM Hydrating Cream is also remarkably versatile! If you want a little extra moisture, you can mix it with a few drops of your Lustro facial oil or apply it after you have applied your facial oil. It also works great for making your own tinted moisturizer. Simply mix 1-2 pumps of Every Day with a small amount of your favorite foundation and you have a more lightweight and hydrating version of your makeup. I have already seen this product work wonders for people whether their skin is dry or sensitive or both. One try and you will see what makes this product so great. Just add it to the ever-growing list of products that I love in this line!

www.healthyskin.beautycounter.com

The Real Girl

 

 

Love the Skin You're In!

Danielle Bisbano - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You are what you eat.  How long has that phrase been around? A long time.  You know why?  Because it’s true!  The same reasoning goes for what we put on our skin.  Our skin is our largest organ and what we put on it goes directly into our bloodstream minus the benefits and protection of our digestive system.  We really need to be aware of this and cooperate by making sure we are using safe, natural products whenever possible.   

Have you ever heard this one:  “Don’t put it on your body unless you can eat it.”  Great advice and a noble venture but it’s not entirely practical for a lot of women.  I like to pick my battles and here is how I do it.

As I started writing this, I realized that there are several factors that I consider every time I make a skin care, body care and/or cosmetics purchase whether I am aware of it or not.  The basic considerations are: surface area, duration and permeability.  Let’s go through them one at a time, shall we?

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 Surface area:  are we comparing a body lotion to a cuticle cream?  Let’s be realistic; it is much more important that what you are slathering over your WHOLE BODY be natural than something that covers three square inches.  I’m no math whiz but this is basic stuff.  This is the reasoning behind why I am more likely to use whatever eye shadow without obsessing but I probably won’t use a “junk” moisturizer on my whole face.

Duration: are we comparing something that you are going to be using every day or only once in a while.  How about how long you will have it on your skin?  Like the difference between a face mask that you wash off in 20 minutes versus a serum that you have on for 16 hours.  To me, it matters. 

Permeability: this one is really important to me.  It’s the products that I use in the shower that I am the most discerning about.  When you are in the shower or taking a bath, your pores are open and every square inch of you is getting washed with something (hopefully).  You really want to be careful here with soaps, body washes, shampoo and conditioner.  You’re like a little sponge soaking everything up and when you are taking a bath, it’s like your own private marinade.  Don’t use this opportunity to drown yourself in chemicals!  There are so many other options and they are all easily accessible.  No excuses!

With all of these factors, there is one more to consider.  It is what you do on a daily basis that really matters.  You don’t have to go crazy worrying about every little thing.  It’s all about balance.  On that note, do yourself a favor.  Buy yourself one bottle of natural body wash, shampoo and conditioner and you will give yourself months of chemical-free cleansing.  Want to do one better?  Do the same for a friend.  How easy is that?

Here are just a few products that I have tried and love.  No, I do not work for these people.  I’m just a happy customer.

Savannah Essentials:

Free shipping if you spend $75.  Treat yourself to deliciously scented body washes, soaps, lotions, bath salts and more.  These products are amazing!

John Masters Organics:

Salon quality natural hair and skin care products.  I have not tried the skin care products but I love the shampoos, conditioners and pomades. 

Beautycounter:

Okay, I actually DO work for these people now but only because I fell in love with the products first.  The most amazing, clean skin care line I have found.  The results are just phenomenal!

Oh, and tell your skin I said “you’re welcome” ;-)

The Real Girl


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