Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Looking Good In Photos

With Spring having (finally) made an appearance, what might be called "The Celebration Season" is upon us. First Communions, Confirmations, Graduations, Passover, Easter, Baptisms and Christenings--all events to be marked with some good wishes and lots of photo opportunities. The pictures taken now will last a lifetime (or several lifetimes now that family photos are being saved in digital archives) and if you want your great-great granddaughter to think you were gorgeous, here's a few tricks to help make those of us not naturally photogenic look our memorable best:

Stand Up Straight: Your mother was right. Don't slouch. Breathe normally, push your shoulders back, then relax them. You will look healthier and in a group setting you'll come out looking better than the your droopy cousin.

Put Down The Plaid: As the weather warms up, we want to break out the bright floral or printed fabrics but, while strong color can be good in a photo, patterns can overwhelm you. Horizontal stripes make you look wider and closely-spaced stripes can create weird effects (and tend to run together when printed.) Solid and neutral colors work best, though watch out for red, black or white—they present too much contrast in digital photography.

Improve On Nature: Hide those dark under-eye circles, annoying zits, and any skin redness with makeup. Come on into Believe and we'll do a makeup consultation with you, featuring our incredible GIELLA custom blended cosmetics, before the big day. Or make an appointment to stop by early in the morning and we'll do all your makeup for you. For now, here's some makeup-for-photo tips:  keep blotting papers and a soft brush with a little loose powder on hand for last minute touch-ups on-site and, if the day is warm, run a little antiperspirant over your forehead and upper lip to avoid sweating. 

Get The Red Out: Use eye drops to clear the red from the whites of your eyes. Staring at a light source (not the sun) for a few minutes before the photo will shrink your pupils and reduce the chance of red eye. (A professional photographer or even an amateur with access to Photoshop software will take care of this problem in the final product anyway.)

Haircut Time:  Come into Believe for a haircut a few days before the occasion for a cut and color, giving your new “do” time to settle in before the big event. We'll not only give you a cut that will flatter the shape of your face and a color that will play well in a photo, but suggest some products like AEstelance's Butter or Keratin products like Ricci and Latte to keep down the frizz on a humid day, Agadir Moroccan Mousse or AEstelance's Volume (sans alcohol) to pump up the volume so your hair doesn't go flat, and White Tea Embrace hairspray to keep from looking wild and windblown.

When to Blink:  Halfway through a count of three (if the photographer gives you one) is the answer, so that your eyes won’t be mid-blink for the shot. 

Work The Angles:  Known as the model's pose, stand so your body is 3/4s towards the camera and put one foot in front of the other, with one shoulder closer to the camera than the other. Turn your head slightly to the side and look straight ahead—you’ll look like your are looking straight at the camera. Look slightly above the camera when the picture is taken (unless the photographer is at a lower level—then you'll have to look directly forward or it will look like your eyes are closed.) Lean slightly towards the camera to improve facial definition and minimize the look of wrinkles and flabby skin. Oh and your “good side” is usually the side where your hair parts.

How 'Bout That Double Chin? Everybody's nemesis can be hidden by tilting your head up slightly and position yourself so that the camera is a little above or at your eye level. Or put a hand under your chin like you are resting your head in your hand (keep your thumb side out of the camera’s view) and don't put any real weight on your hand—you'll smush your skin and make things worse. Lastly, put your tongue up on the roof of your mouth. (Our makeup expert at Believe can also help you cheat a little with shading makeup for under your chin and to narrow your nose and slim your cheeks. Cheaper than liposuction and your secret it safe with us.)

Smile And Relax: Don't hold your breath and don’t clench your teeth and don't say “cheese” no matter what the photographer says. Try a relaxed closed mouth smile or an open mouthed smile with the lower lip relaxed and down (you might have to practice) and make sure your smile reaches your eyes. If you have to pose all day, you might try a trick taken from the Miss America pageant—Vaseline on your teeth to help your lips slide smoothly for hours of smiles. Best of all, think happy thoughts. Your state of mind will shine through into the photo.

Remember to make your makeup ad hair appointments with us at Believe early—particularly at this time of year—and we will do our part to help make sure you'll be looking your very best for your special (and memorable) occasion.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Red Carpet Ready Hair

Were you glued to your TV for the Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys and Oscars? With Hollywood's award season just past, you may be itching to swap your ho-hum hair for some high-wattage glamour. Every star needs an entourage...Why not make the team here at Believe your own personal stylists and come in for a fabulous cut and color for spring? 

Till then, here are some celebrity hair tricks and hints we can use in the salon and some that you can try at home to create your own kind of superstar hair:

Check Your Toolbox: Make sure your brushes are clean (run one of our complimentary brush cleaner tools through the bristles to remove hair and give your brushes a weekly soak in hypoallergenic soap and ammonia, then rinse thoroughly and air dry on towels) and of the right type--a mixture of nylon and boar bristles is the choice of many celebrity stylists. Nylon untangles the hair and boar brushes smooth hair out, giving you Anne Hathaway shine and letting your hair partially dry naturally before brushing helps eliminate breakage. Also make sure your drier, curling and straightening irons, and electric rollers are still giving out heat at the proper temperature. Old appliances sometimes overheat and harm hair. Pay attention to your tools and the result will be shiny, healthy hair.

Try Some Waves: True, Believe does offer the greatest Keratin straightening system in the world, but why not change it up a bit for Spring and try out some waves? (They work for all the Kardashian sisters.) Bend over and blow dry your hair in sections, using a round brush and pulling from the nape of your neck. Spritz some hairspray to hold. Then take a one and quarter inch curling iron to bend the hair out. Now sit up, flipping your hair over and roughing it up for that "I just got out of bed look" and finish with some shaping serum like Chromastics Repair Light or Extreme. Want to see how it's done? Come into Believe and we will make your a tousled headed beauty in no time.

Everything is not as it appears: Not all the actresses are born with gleaming, flowing tresses (ever wondered how they can go from short hair on one red carpet to long waves the next time they appear in public? J. Lo's tress length seems to change daily.) Most now fill out and lengthen sparse or short hair with extensions, bonded to their natural hair. At Believe we will blend in the extensions so carefully, no one will know it's not your own gorgeous mane (Unless, of course, you choose to help out with one of our charity events where we give you fake fun colored extensions like Dandelion Yellow or Crayon Red in exchange for a donation.) Or, if you can't quite commit to the longer length, you can get clip-ons for temporary length. The trick to using clip-ons is color-blending for a natural look and parting your hair where it naturally recedes. Then tease one-inch sections where the clips are, let you natural hair fall over to hide where they are attached, and style from there. Extensions or clip-ons—either way it's Voila! Instant Reese Witherspoon.

Hooray For Natural Texture: Whether you are a woman of color or born with naturally kinky hair, why not take a page from the Beatles lyrics and let it be, let it be? Quit straightening and relaxing your hair (Queen Latifah recently did) and see how you like au natural styling. This type of style requires maintaining your waves, curls, and natural style with a fabulous cut and moisture-enriched salon treatments, like Oil Complex or Agadir's Moroccan Moisture Masque that we offer at BelieveAlso, remember, there really is no need to shampoo hair daily. It dries your hair shafts out and makes your natural texture look frizzy and frazzled. Try a weekly at- home protein mask for your hair, too. Be sure to comb the conditioning treatment all the way to the end of each strand for full coverage.

Bangs Are A Blast: Sandra Bullock gave them a go this season and as every woman with beautiful eyes knows, bangs frame your face and draw attention to your eyes like nothing else can. Let the team at Believe cut them for your the first time to get the proper shape, but then, if you find that the warmer weather is making your hair grow faster (yes, it does) and you have to trim them at home, here's how: Make sure your hair is dry. Only cut from the iris of your eye to the other iris of your eye (else you'll be cutting into your hairline, making your next visit with us for a real haircut more complicated) and cut the bangs vertically, not horizontally. You'll get a flirty fringe and keep your favorite Believe hair stylist from going crazy next time you come in for a full cut.

Make the world your own personal red carpet and please stop by Believe – here all our customers are superstars!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

GIELLA Keep Your Cuticles In Tip Top Shape

This week, we are delighted to welcome a guest blogger and a leading light in the world of beauty--the founder of GIELLA Custom Blend Cosmetics herself...Giella Poblocki. Giella will be hosting several blogs during the year since we carry her fabulous products here at Believe) where they are always a customer favorite.

Here's a little bit about Giella herself and then let her introduce you to a new product that takes care of an old problem which crops up this time of year...dry cuticles:

After graduating with high honors from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Giella began her career in the fashion and beauty business.  

“My experience is quite varied – make-up artist, fashion stylist, personal shopper, image consultant, retail manager, cosmetic product developer  – all of which helped prepare me for my current position where I use a combination of all those skills,”  she says.

Giella has gained a loyal following of clients by hosting seminars and providing private lessons to teach people how to adapt new colors, trends, and products to their lifestyle. Giella is dedicated to completely satisfying a woman’s beauty needs. As a color, makeup, and beauty advisor, she looks at each individual objectively, recognizing that each woman is uniquely different. She does not propose to limit a customer’s choices, but rather to aid her in creating customized palettes and products based on her personal traits. 

Giella also does not believe in animal testing and all of her products are cruelty-free. She stands behind her products as being the finest in quality, texture and shade selections.  All GIELLA products are non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and allergy-free. Giella is also an active member of the National Association for Female Executives and has completed her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Beauty and brains--a winning combination--and she put those smarts to work when she developed GIELLA’s Custom Blend Cuticle Clicks. 

Let Giella herself introduce the product:

You know one of the basic rules for achieving and maintaining a healthy nail begins with a well cared for cuticle, however you don’t tend to them as you should. Every visit to the manicurist begins with her scolding you about your ragged cuticles. But now you can hush her up and have gorgeous nails with GIELLA’s NEW Custom Cuticle Clicks, a portable cuticle oil pen that can be customized to keep your cuticles soft and smooth and your nails healthy and strong.

GIELLA’s Custom Blend Cuticle Clicks are slim wands with a brush-tip applicator that you can have filled with your own personal cuticle oil blend depending on your nail care needs. With a simple “click” or turn of the wand’s rotating handle, a smooth flow of oil is dispersed through the brush, letting you paint it onto your nail and the surrounding cuticle. This will allow for a moisturized cuticle and a healthy nail bed.

Choose from four cuticle oil varieties that can be mixed and matched or used on their own:
·        Kukui Oil – A Hawaiian plant oil that is high in essential fatty acids that aid in maintaining healthy skin. It is light and non-greasy and is easily absorbed by the skin. This tropical oil is great for strengthening the bond between the upper and lower nail plates, producing a healthy, flexible nail.
·        Avocado Oil – An intensive healing and skin nourishing oil that contains vitamins A, D, E and K. This oil deeply penetrates the skin’s surface and is great for softening seriously dry cuticles and nails.
·        Grapeseed Oil – A lightweight, silky moisturizer that is easily absorbed into the skin and contains a high value of essential fatty acids that aid in maintaining healthy skin. This oil is a great choice for those with nut allergies.
·        Tea Tree Oil – An antibacterial oil that is good for treating nail fungus.

Just as slim as a tube of mascara, easy to use, and with no messy spills to worry about, GIELLA’s Custom Cuticle Clicks will easily fit into your makeup case, allowing you to care for your cuticles whenever the mood hits you.

Thanks to Giella for informing us all about this great new product. All of us at Believe are always happy to let our customers know about Giella's wonderful line and to offer solutions to real life problems (like winter-dry cuticles). Stop by and try GIELLA's Custom Cuticle Clicks today.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lashing Out (In A Good Way)

Batting your eyes has long been a woman's prerogative (too bad hiding the rest of your face behind a fan while you flutter went out of style. Perhaps we should resurrect that flirtatious move?) The come-hither power of a well-directed glance has shone from behind belly dancer's veils for centuries, and glancing down demurely has as much power today as it did during Jane Austen's time. Nowadays a woman's eyes get put to other uses, too. Your mother was right when she told you to look people right in the eyes during a conversation, and a direct glance is as important as a firm handshake during business dealings. 

So if eyes are the windows of the soul, consider the lashes are the silk draperies and care for them accordingly. True, genetics plays a part in eyelash length and just like the hair on your head, eyelash hair gets more sparse as we get older, but there are some things you can do to get the longest, most luscious lashes possible:
Take it easy on them: If you find yourself rubbing or scratching your eyelids--especially at the time of year when all the plants are releasing pollen-- invest in hypo-allergenic eye drops and an over-the-counter antihistamine to fight hay fever. Wash your face with cold water (lashes too) when you come in from outside, particularly on a windy day. That will wash any stray pollen out of your lashes, before it irritates your eyes. If your allergic reactions get worse, see your doctor. (Remember allergies can develop anytime.)
Keep things clean: Never go to bed with mascara, eyeshadow, or eyeliner on. Always remove every speck with a gentle (hypoallergenic is good here, too) eye makeup remover. Believe carries a wonderful one by GIELLA.  Disposal pads or cotton squares are better than cotton balls (which leave little fibers behind). Replace your eyeshadow, liner, and mascara every 2-3 months. Bacteria breeds in old makeup and can lead to eye inflammation and possible infection. Every month or so, give your eyes their own spa treatment. Hold a clean hot washcloth over your eyes (reheating several times with hot water as the washcloth cools) and then scrubbing along the lash line with one of the PCA cleansers sold at Believe. This opens the glands along the eyelid which get clogged with dirt and oil, giving the lash follicles the best chance to grow.
Speaking of oil--Just like all the rest of your hair, your lashes need moisturizing, too (they have just survived a long, dry winter). After cleansing at night, use an eyelash brush (available in any drugstore) to coat your lashes with olive or almond oil (no perfumed oils here) or plain old petroleum jelly. Let the oil soak in overnight and your lashes will be moist, shiny, and stronger by morning.
What goes in, comes out: Drinking enough water (take a sports bottle with you wherever you go) not only keeps your skin hydrated, but your lashes, too. Taking your vitamins, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and making sure your diet includes fish oils helps your lashes grow healthy--and healthy lashes break less. What you put in your body shows on the outside. Playwright Oscar Wilde wasn't kidding when he said our faces are our autobiographies.
False eyelashes: From individual lash extensions to full-out black fringes and Swarovski eye crystals, false eyelashes are all the rage. If you must channel one of the Kardashian sisters, be sure to follow the package directions and remove all the glue carefully (and as quickly as possible). Leftover residue can harm your real lashes.
Growing eyelashes with pharmaceutical serums: True, some users grow long, thick lashes from using one of the serums now available like LATISSE®. Other users report permanent eyelash discolorations, scaling, redness, irritation, and even eyelash loss! We recommend talking over using any of these products with your ophthalmologist or eye care professional before deciding whether to give any of them a try. Also, do your own homework. Research on-line consumer reports, reviews, and advice from users. Be smart and get informed.
Eyelash Tinting: We are thrilled to be able to offer this service now at Believe. You can kiss your mascara goodbye with eyelash tinting. Vegetable-based dye (black, brown, blue, gray or a combo to suit your complexion) is used to make your pale lashes dark and bold. A patch test is performed to make sure you have no allergies. When that is done, upper and lower lashes both are painted (this takes about 15 minutes), then the dye sets (penetrating for about five minutes). When the dye is washed away--voila! Darker lashes! The color lasts for 3-5 weeks and means you'll have glamorous eyes around the clock. If you have light lashes or an active lifestyle (swimming or tennis anyone?) or barely enough time to swipe lipstick on in the morning--lash tinting is perfect for you. Best of all, it is safe (yes, even for contact lense wearers.) After getting your lashes tinted, you'll be batting your eyes with the best of them—with no streaks, smears, or raccoon eyes. Give Shannon a call to set up an appointment or ask about lash tinting at your next hair appointment. Everyone can use a little more (positive) drama in their life.
Here's looking at you, kid --and your lush new lashes,
Lisa (owner of Believe)