Beauty Favorites for Summer!

It may not be officially summer, but here in California it is in full swing! We’ve already had two 100 degree days and there’s probably more to come, so no matter where you live, if you are looking to stay looking great without much effort, I got you.

Though I am a makeup junkie, the hot weather makes me want to pare back on the amount of products I use for a fresher looking face. So far, these products have made it into my “Go To” drawer for summer! It’s a mix of budget friendly and higher end goodies.

  1. FAVE FOUNDATION: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. 

neutrogena foundation

Though technically this is a tinted moisturizer, it does build to a medium coverage if you want that extra cover. It’s lightweight, not greasy, and the color stays true throughout the day. I especially like that it includes a SPF 20 to help with sun protection and Retinol for anti aging (great for my late 40s skin!). I have sensitive skin and have to be picky about my foundations, but this does the trick for a lightweight, dewy (but not oily) finish without breakouts! Budget friendly, ranging from $8-12, depending on the vendor. The only downside? It comes in 6 shades, and I feel there could be more deeper shades offered.

Here is a pic with me wearing it! My skin still shows through, but I’m still evened out. Note: I do use primer with this, so there’s less likelihood of it melting away.

ALSO – Neutrogena’s Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen in SPF 55 is a MUST for my Irish fair skin!

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2. MOISTURIZER – GLAM GLOW  Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer

Glam Glow Glowstarter

Nude Glow

I discovered this moisturizer from a sample in my Sephora PLAY subscription, and I LOVE it. Available in three shades (Nude Glow- above, Pearl Glow, and Sun Glow), this moisturizer not only hydrates my skin, but also adds a healthy warmth to my color without me looking “self tanned.” I use Nude Glow for that effect, plus I like it to give myself that Victoria’s Secret model “is she wearing makeup” look (and yeah, they do!).

A jar IS pricey – anywhere from $39-$49. You can also get the mini from Sephora for $15, or just ask for a sample to try!

I wore this with just a little concealer, mascara, and nude lip color when we were on a date!

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3. MASCARA – Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir and Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise (tie)

Who doesn’t love a great mascara? Even if you are not a big makeup person, mascara opens the eyes and makes you look more awake. Depending on what you want from a mascara, there’s a ton of options (thicken, darken, lengthen..), but these two are the ones I’ve been using the most lately. Both are long wearing but easy to remove with a makeup wipe or cleanser, non irritating, and don’t dry out your lashes. Both have great wands to build your look and easily coat those hard-to-get-right lower lashes!

The big difference between the two is the price – Marc Jacobs retails from $20-$26, Loreal ranges from $9-$12. What makes Marc Jacobs worth the purchase is it gives you the “are those real?” lashes while still looking natural. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these.

marc jacobs

Lash Paradise

4. Finishing Spray – Urban Decay All Nighter and E.L.F. Makeup & Set Finishing Spray

A finishing spray is a MUST if you are planning to be out for several hours without access to a makeup touch up, or if you are in a warmer climate. Both of these sprays have worked very well for me; but if I had to pick just one it would be Urban Decay’s All Nighter. This sealed in my makeup without any weird fragrance or making my skin feel tight. No creasing of my foundation or eye shadow for HOURS.

Urban Decay

Downside? It is expensive for a full size bottle ($33), but it will last a long time. I usually stick with the small size ($15) because it’s easy for travel.

Don’t have the budget for that? No worries! I bought E.L.F.’s Makeup Mist & Set spray and it worked almost as well as Urban Decay’s spray. The main difference would be it does have an alcohol smell and you have to spray it lightly, or it could feel a bit sticky to the skin. Best part? It’s only $4-$6:)

ELF spray

And there you have it! These are the types of items I’m reaching for over and over again during this warmer weather. What are some Must Haves for your summer beauty regimen? 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. Everything is my own opinion from my experiences!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and lipstick,

Melanie.

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Please Stop Hating Yourself!

Hello Lovelies,

Tonight I chatted with some friends in my Facebook Messenger, and the topic of our bodies came up. Some of the conversation went like this:

“I think I look gross. I did a boudoir for last year. And Had to wear something that covered my stomach and still hated how I looked in all of them. The photographer was amazing but ya…”

“I don’t have the balls to do a shoot-

I barely have sex with the lights on.”
“I’m just not comfortable with my body.”
These are mostly 20 and 30 something women who are absolutely gorgeous. Being good friends, we were telling one another how crazy we were to talk this way about ourselves (which was true! These ladies are HOT!).
But I remember that loathing. The feeling of not being good enough; judging myself in dressing room mirrors, cringing at the slightest extra few pounds on my stomach. Endless dieting. As a performer, I felt that extra pressure to achieve that coveted size 2-4 (and I did – but developed an eating disorder in the process).
I’m no longer living off the coffee and protein bars to stay small (thank God), and I’ve stopped the size obsession. It’s exhausting. Could I stand to lose some weight? Of course. I’m working on dropping some pounds, but I really just want to be healthy.
How did I stop the loathing? This quote from RuPaul did it:
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?”
(can I get an “Amen” in here?)
rupaul
It’s true. Mama Ru knows a little something about acceptance! I finally had to learn to accept who I was, right then – not the “someday” version of Melanie I fantasized about. I deserve to be happy.
As women, we are fantastically hard on ourselves. We’re not tall enough, thin enough, curvy enough, busty enough, young enough, bootylicious enough. If it’s not our bodies we’re hating, it’s feeling like we don’t measure up as mothers, wives, or deserving of success.
PLEASE STOP.
Generally, men don’t do this to themselves. They work on their “trouble” areas, but the self loathing is not nearly as much as what women do to their self-esteem.
So, what do we do about it? Focus on things which we love about ourselves. Start by playing up those legs if you love those. Enhance your beautiful skin. Show off your shoulders. Let your hair hang down.  Give back to others. Surround yourself with those with good energy. Realize that all those models are airbrushed and photoshopped!
zendaya
If there’s one advantage to being a forty something, it’s that knowing that I am comfortable and fine the way I am. It took me a long time to get here, and I want to face the second half of my life feeling good.
Let’s give ourselves a break and enjoy life!!
Until next time –
Love, laughter, and shoes –
xo Melanie
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September Makeup Launches I’m Stoked About!

Hello Lovelies!

Fall means so many things: back to school, cooler weather, pumpkin everything, and NEW MAKEUP!!!

As a makeup artist, I am stalking the You Tube beauty community, searching out the latest makeup launches….and holy moly, there are so many exciting launches going on!

So what is getting my attention?

  1. Kat Von D’s Saint and Sinner eyeshadow palette. (Launching Sept 19) This palette – probably the most interesting design I have ever seen! When I saw the video on You Tube, I got REALLY excited over these colors – a nice variety of matte and shimmer in lots of colors. You can bet I’ll be getting this!

2. Fenty Beauty – Killawatt Highlighters

RiRi seems to get what we are coveting – foundations in several shades and highlighters as well! I am loving how these are looking in the videos, as they can be subtle or the blinding effect that Jeffree Starr loves.

3. Too Faced x Kandee I Want Kandee eyeshadow palette

Sometimes influencer collaborations with companies go well, sometimes they don’t so much. However, popular YouTuber makeup artist Kandee Johnson seems to get it right. This new palette is full of lush color and I LOVE the candy inspired names! Can’t wait to pick this up!

4. TOM FORD Girls Lipsticks (launching September 15)

Oh yes – these are on the pricey side ($36 a pop!) but if you treat yourself to a little luxury, these lipsticks have been getting raves from beauty editors everywhere. Tom Ford decided to create a large collection of 50 shades, each one with a woman’s name. Who knows – maybe there will be a Melanie?!!

5. Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham

Estee Lauder has been in the business since the 1940s and this company knows how to make a luxurious product. It seems fitting that Posh Spice herself would align with this company! The collection is simple, on the higher end of price, but if I were to buy one item I think it would be the Morning Aura Illuminating Creme. It is supposed to do double duty as a primer and moisturizer, so I will be interested to see the reviews!

What launches are YOU excited about? 

DISCOUNT ALERT! : I am excited to announce I am now a Brand Ambassador for Unicorn Queen Cosmetics, a distribution site for brands such as Too Faced, Tarte, Kylie Cosmetics, and more! Go to unicornqueencosmetics.com and save 10% with my code: Crazyhrgal

Love, laughter, and lipstick –

xo Melanie

The Truth About Direct Sales

Direct Sales. Some people love it; others roll their eyes at the idea. I have several friends who are consultants for direct sales companies, and I belong to two companies as well. If you have thought about joining a company to make a little extra income or to expand on a hobby, read on.Or, if you are curious why your friend is selling bags, scents, makeup, etc., you’ll find this interesting. I will share my experience, lessons I’ve learned, and things to consider before signing on.

  1. They are not all pyramid schemes. Yes – there have been a few companies who have got into legal trouble for basically being pyramid schemes and leaving people with a lot of inventory on their hands with not much to show for their efforts, but this is why it’s important to research a company before signing on. Many direct sales companies are reputable and have been in business for awhile due to a strong customer base. If the company you are looking at seems to value recruiting more than the products, watch out. Recruitment should be a bonus, not the focus.
  2. What’s the true cost of joining? That cheap introductory kit will be more than what you’re paying for. Most companies will charge a one time technology fee (anywhere from $10 – 25) and sometimes a monthly website fee to stay in business. Do you need to meet a quota to stay active? Is there a yearly fee? These are not negatives, but real factors to consider. Depending on your intent, the cost could add up if you are not planning to actively sell.
  3. Who are you signing up under, and do you get training? Personally, I want to talk with the consultant a bit before I join her team and feel out her intentions. Will she be a supportive guide or a “ghost sponsor?” Are there resources to learn how to be successful with your business? I am blessed to have great sponsors for both of my businesses, and they have become good friends. Both companies I work with have supportive networks and plenty of resources for me to get ideas and information. You are making a business decision, so treat it like such and do the research.
  4. What is the track record for customer satisfaction? The last thing you want to do is piss off your friends and family if the company doesn’t deliver on their promises! Does the company have a good return/exchange policy? An easy way to contact? Are these quality products?
  5. Is this something you want to dedicate time towards?I would be really wary if someone told me, “all you need to do is share pics and make money in your pj’s!” Oh, if only it were that easy! The truth is, you need to establish your credibility with people. Your customers will buy if they feel they can trust you and that you care. Building a direct sales business takes time – so please don’t think you’re going to make thousands of dollars in a matter of months. BUT, if you are consistent,  positive, and offer great service, you will build a strong customer base.
  6. Family and friends might not be on board at first. Of course, you will have friends who will be excited for you and love the product you are selling. However – don’t expect your sales to come from just those close friends and family. Sometimes people feel funny giving money to their friends, or family members are nervous about showing favoritism. Let them know you do not expect them to buy, but if they could refer your name if someone is looking for your product/service, that’s all they need to do.

These are the main things I’ve learned over the course of a year in the direct sales biz! Most of all, find something that you are passionate about. People will feel your authentic love for what you do.

And friends who have friends in the biz – don’t roll your eyes at her. She is trying to do something to better her situation. If you don’t like the product or are not interested, just be honest and say so. Don’t “ghost” her! I can tell you that being ignored is MUCH WORSE than being told no. Chances are, she is a big girl and can handle it! I do!

I hope this was helpful! Enjoy your new adventure!

Love, laughter, and makeup (my new tag line!) –

xo, Melanie.

Avoiding Makeup Meltdown

Ah, summer! The time for picnics, the beach, road trips, and parties!

Also the time when it’s tricky to wear makeup when the temperatures soar. The truth is, when the seasons change, so must the type of makeup you wear. What looks flawless in the cooler months may end up running down your face later on!

No one wants that! However, I have hit upon a couple techniques and products to keep you looking like you are cool, collected, and flawless!

Start with proper care for your canvas!

  1. EXFOLIATE A FEW TIMES A WEEK

Regardless if your skin is oily, dry, or combination – since your skin is “sweating” more, the skin cells are shedding faster and can create blackheads and/or blemishes more often. Apply a mask a few times a week to keep the cell turnover from clogging the pores.

2. USE THE RIGHT MOISTURIZER

That’s right. Even if you are fighting oily skin, you still need a moisturizer so the skin isn’t OVERPRODUCING oil to compensate for any acne medication or drying agents to prevent pimples. The skin will revolt if it’s not receiving healthy hydration – so check with your derm what may work right for you.

What I use: Skin Therapist by Limelight by Alcone. I am SUPER sensitive to many products and this is the first one that hydrates and makes my skin look dewy and younger without clogging my pores. It’s chemical and cruelty free:)

3. CLEAN YOUR FACE EVERY NIGHT!

I know, I know – sometimes you are just dead tired and another 10 minutes just is too much to deal with. I get it. That’s why makeup wipes are handy. For those occasions, I suggest Pond’s Wet Towelettes. These are gentle and get all the makeup off with one towelette! HOWEVER – don’t only use makeup removers! They don’t substitute for a deep cleansing.

Drugstore Face Cleansers With Good Reps: Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar, Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash.

What I use: I have used Neutrogena and it worked well for me, though after moving to Guam the hard water in the building really dried out my skin. I had to make a change to products with no chemicals and more natural ingredients. I use Quench Cleanse (Limelight by Alcone). It’s great for my dry, 40 something skin!

PREP YOUR SKIN FOR MAKEUP!

This is something a lot of people forget to do and that is a big reason why your foundation quits on you during the summer. Start with a primer – it should be lightweight and oil free. You won’t need much, but a primer allows your foundation to adhere to the face, verses melting into the pores.

Next – after applying foundation, use a setting powder for the forehead, chin, nose, and under the eyes (to avoid creasing). Setting powders should be translucent and applied with a brush with a light hand. You don’t want to end up with cake face!

Lastly – I ALWAYS set my makeup with a Setting/Finishing Spray. This acts as a “seal” to your makeup but should not make you look like “varnish face.” There are many setting sprays to choose from and you’ll find plenty of recommendations. My Go To: 10 Years Younger Finishing Spray (click on link to shop). This oil free, lightweight spray keeps my face on for HOURS and after running around in the sauna that is Guam! Nothing else has ever done this – and YES I know this seems like a big commercial for Limelight, but DAMN these products kick ass!

Seriously – THIS STUFF WILL HOLD YOUR FACE TOGETHER!!

 

The Takeaway – Exfoliate, Cleanse, and Prep Your Makeup. 

Doing those things will make a drastic difference on your makeup’s staying power. Use a light hand when applying product, and since it’s summer – why not go with a look that says fresh? These are my fav looks to rock right now:

A berry lip with lush lashes!

Sun Kissed for night!

Rose lip and peach shadow.

The rousing 4th of July is approaching (HOW is June almost over?!!) and I’m ready to review some summer fashion! Check out my next post for my Fashion Ups and Downs!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes-

Xo, Melanie.

 

May Makeup Challenge and Marilyn

Hello lovelies!

I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy to fall into a rut when it comes to doing my makeup. Same colors, same techniques, and though the makeup looks fine – it can get borrriiing after awhile!

So I decided to join the #MayMakeupChallenge!

Each day is a new look or technique to try. I started a couple of days late into it, but today (the 3rd) is 50s Glam.

Marilyn Monroe was my first Girl Crush. When I was 17, I saw The Seven Year Itch during a Saturday afternoon movie on TV and I was struck by her ability to be sexy, funny, and vulnerable all at once. I was a fan. That Christmas, my parents gave me an “Complete Encyclopedia” of Marilyn – I cannot remember the name of the book-but I spent many days reading through the close to 1000 pages. Her look, style, and story influenced me in so many ways.

So I thought it would be appropriate to channel her for this first challenge.

Her look is simple, but a bit deceptive in its simplicity. It’s glam without looking “glam.” It’s all about luscious lips, lots of lashes, and carefully shadowed creases in the eyes.

I decided to go all in with her classic red lip! Here, I am wearing Limelight by Alcone’s Enduring Lipcolor in Candy Apple, a matte color, with Limelight’s Signature Jeweled Lipgloss in Love over it for that sexy pout.

Lashes for days!

I think there’s a little bit of Marilyn in all of us. Even a purple haired chick!

She was ahead of her time – championed having pale skin and curves. Marilyn did things her way, even if it was controversial or rattled cages. She wasn’t perfect and didn’t pretend to be. We can all relate to that.

Get the tools to my look here: Limelight by Alcone (chemical and cruelty free makeup and skincare, originally created for makeup professionals).

Tomorrow – Bold Liner!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie:)

Spring is Here – Refresh, Reboot!

Hafa Adai Lovelies!

SPRING! A time to clear away the blahs, to reassess goals, to clean out closets! Here in Guam it is an endless summer (which may sound great to a lot of you!). however, the weather can be a motivation killer. That “sameness” is kind of what has happened with me lately. The lack of a season change made me a bit stuck with my mindset and goals. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I noticed that I hadn’t written anything in awhile or planned something new. So – presto!

Presenting the new look to The Divine Mz M! I am back, baby! New beauty tips, reviews, fashion, fitness, body image discussions….and GIVEAWAYS! Yes!!

As of late, I have really worked on my makeup skills and started a side gig as a makeup artist! Being able to create while making someone feel amazing is such an fantastic feeling. If you are on Instagram, please check out my work and let me know what you think! @DivineMzMel

What are you planning to do differently this spring? I’m going to get more fit (planning on 15 more pounds gone by my July birthday), focus more time with friends, and saving cash towards a December trip to Australia!

I would love to know your goals!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie:)