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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

Who Needs Vegas?

Danielle Bisbano - Monday, December 30, 2013

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Okay, so I am usually one of those people who likes to share, especially when it comes to my beautiful brides.  I can keep a secret, though, and this was a big one . . . and a first!  Doing makeup for a bride who was eloping and I was on the very short list of people who actually knew about it.  No worries, Sarah, your secret was safe with me.  

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And now that the cat is out of the bag, here are some of the beautiful images from Sarah and Joe’s special day courtesy of Chad Hansen of First Mate Photo.  Sarah is so beautiful and her now husband loves her just the way she is so she opted for a "no makeup" makeup look.  It was just perfect for her.  Enjoy!

www.thedelbuonos.com

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Have I mentioned how much I love my job???? 

Sarah is a photographer herself!  Check out some of her work at  www.sarahharnedy.com

The Real Girl

Linger Magazine Photo Contest

Danielle Bisbano - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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Put me in a room, or in this case a field, full of creative and talented people and I am one happy girl!  I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to work with Dawn Temple of Bellaria Designs Photography.  We have been trying for months to collaborate and we finally made it happen.  Dawn had a concept in mind for a shoot that she wanted to submit to a contest for Linger Magazine.  The winner would be featured in a ten page spread for an upcoming issue.  How fun! 

The team consisted of:

Dawn Temple, photographer, of Bellaria Designs Photography

Stacie Waleyko, model, of The Beauty Within Model Management

Regina Garnett, hair, of Faking it Salon

Candice Wu of Candice Wu Couture who made the amazing clothing which was complemented perfectly by the stunning pieces from House of Cach jewelry

After Dawn shared her vision I was thrilled that she gave me an opportunity to create my own concept for the makeup.  When I work with brides I get some creative license but not always; and certainly always within reason!  Often times on shoots, the photographer knows exactly what they want.  To be able to help create the image is a real treat.  I had been dying to create a look using just two colors; black and violet.  I have a violet pigment that I have been wanting to use forever and I had this idea in my head about a true violet blush.  Here is my face sheet for it (I saved it because I had a feeling this shoot was going to rock).

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The violet blush was something I hadn’t seen before and, in my head, I thought the shade would look perfect on Stacie’s beautiful face!  I was playing around with creating my own lipstick using the pigment but once I knew I would be applying it in the woods, I decided it was smarter to just go find the lipstick color I wanted.  To get more mileage out of the shoot, we did some of the shots with a neutral lip as well.

I evened out Stacie’s already flawless skin with Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation, using lighter and darker shades for contour and highlight.  Dawn wanted a dark look for the eye, which I achieved using a combination of Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Liner, Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Corrupt and Inglot pigment in 88, a beautiful slightly sparkly black.  To complement the amazing House of Cach jewelry, I used a pair of jeweled lashes to bring just enough light to her eyes.  Finishing off the look I gave Stacie a strong, full, perfect black airbrush brow.  An absolute must for this look.  Her lips were finished in a true electric violet shade for one look and a nude, shimmer gloss for the other.  Stunning!

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I am so thrilled to have been given this awesome opportunity to do what I love with so many talented and passionate artists.  We beat out 75 other teams to win this contest and had a blast doing it.  We can’t wait to see the issue!  I will share it as soon as I can!

 The Real Girl

New Jordana Stain is the Balm

Danielle Bisbano - Sunday, September 15, 2013

The next time you go to Walgreens to stock up on your fave Jordana mascara, you are going to see that they revamped the whole line!  I'll give you the lowdown on the new mascara formulas later. Right now, there are more important things to talk about.  Like their new Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain.  In a word?  Wowza.  These things are amazing.  Part lipstick, part lip balm, part stain and all the best parts!  They go on super smooth and pack quite a punch as a stain.  This is me wearing Cranberry Crush; my favorite shade for fall:

My favorite thing about these little guys is their versatility.  You can apply a full coat for rich, intense color or pat on and blend with your fingertips for a soft wash of color.  Or you can just use it as a stain.  Put it on, wait a minute, wipe it off and top with clear lip balm or gloss.

I don't have a whole lot to complain about with these little miracle crayons.  I will say that not all shades are true to color.  Sweet Pink seems like a soft pink but it goes on just about as bright as Tropical Frenzy.  Terra Crave also wears much redder than the tube looks. I haven't had these long enough to comment on the packaging.  The product twists up and I am not entirely confident about how well the mechanics will hold up but for $2.99 you literally can't lose.

My favorite shades are Nude Chic (a cool-toned neutral with a hint of shimmer), Tropical Craze (a pure hot pink for when you're in the mood for a bright) and Honey Love (a neutral warm brownish-pink). Rock’n’Rouge is also a phenomenal shade of red but you know me and red lipstick.  It takes a miracle to make it out the door with it on.  Oh, yeah, Cranberry Crush is pretty awesome, too.

Here is a picture of MOST of the shades:

Honey Love and Nude Chic are missing because I already gave them away.  I like to share!  Interesting side point; these are paraben-free. At least they are making an effort!  Here is the link to the product page.

 So, there you have it.  Off to Walgreens you go . . .

The Real Girl

 

 

REAL Head Shots (finally!)

Danielle Bisbano - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It has been a long time coming but I finally made a plan to get some real deal photos done for my website.  As a consumer, I always prefer when I can actually see who I am considering working with.  I figure my clients might feel that way, too!

Liz (hair), Heather (massage) and I (makeup) had so much fun working with Amy at Olivia Greene Photography.  It was brutally hot  and humid out but I must say that everyone's airbrush makeup held up beautifully.  See why everyone wants this stuff?!  You can check out the rest of the images here.

We will be choosing our images from these photos that Amy picked.  Look for updates to my site very soon and let me know what you think!

The Real Girl

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara

Danielle Bisbano - Friday, June 21, 2013

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It just so happens that mascara is one of those products that is not easy to make “healthy”.  Dr. Hauschka makes a great one if you are willing to shell out a few extra bucks for it but if you are looking to save some money or, if you’re like me and you need five for your kit, one of my favorites is just $2.99 and it is great.
 
Jordana Best Lash Extreme doesn’t come with a bunch of claims.  None, really, since there is actually no packaging to speak of; just a clear plastic seal around the tube.  You have to discover for yourself what it does.  I kind of like that.  Going in not expecting anything as opposed to outrageous claims and ridiculous photos of airbrushed models sporting fake lashes.  Case in point: look at this ad for a Dior mascara.  I’m sorry but a mascara ad sporting a photo with lashes THIS fake should come with an asterisk, a disclaimer AND an LOL! 

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Call me crazy but doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?  It’s like a shampoo ad where the model is wearing a wig.  False advertising much?  Anyway …
 
I think this mascara was the first Jordana item I ever bought.  It makes sense because there was some reason why I went back to buy practically everything else in the line.  It is that good.
 
This mascara makes your lashes long and thick with just one coat.  It’s not considered waterproof, at least it doesn’t say so on the tube but my own test says it sure is.  Smear some on the back of your hand and then try to rinse it off.  Not happening.  Yet it doesn’t feel hard and stiff like most waterproof mascaras.  The brush that comes with it works well but sometimes dispenses a little too much product so you may have to wipe some excess off first.  I like it even more when I use one of the disposable brushes in my kit. 

I did a before and after picture for you!  Top pic is my nothing special lashes with no mascara.  Bottom is after one coat of Best Lash.  Not bad, right?

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Of all the cosmetics we use, mascara has the shortest shelf-life so don’t waste your money on “designer” mascara.  All you are really paying for is their fancy, phony ads.  Try this instead and you can ensure that your mascara is nice and fresh for a fraction of the cost.  Beauty steals like this just have to be shared! 

Jordana is only available online or at Walgreens or Kmart!

The Real Girl

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