Review This!


As a makeup artist I often get gifted new products coming to market; to try out for myself.  Of course I try them all out on myself first.  Yes, even the lipsticks.  This way I know how a product feels, performs, and looks on the skin.  If it doesn't pass my tests on my skin, then into the "give away box" it goes.  This doesn't always mean the product is crap and should never be used, mind you.  It just means that it will not be going into my makeup kit, to be applied on celebrities, or photographed on models.  Men's skin is different, thicker and with at least 25% more collagen than women.  That being said, if a product test well on my skin, it usually works flawlessly on women's.   

It was a pleasure and exciting to receive the new Glossier line from the creators of Into the Gloss; a fantastic think tank and beauty blog.  Over the years, Into the Gloss has interviewed top of the line makeup and hair stylists, beauty experts, and editorial stylists.  I often turn to them for interesting reads on new products, hair styles, or makeup colors.  The Glossier product line was formulated with makeup experts in mind, after years of interviews backstage during fashion week, or on set.  Which, with armed with all that great information, should lead to the development of a revolutionary new skin care and makeup up approach for the every day consumer.  Right?  Well, in my humble opinion and with regret, Glossier misses the mark on a few things. See my review of the Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, and Balm Dot Com below.


All products are tested on myself and I am not endorsed by Glossier.

Soothing Face Mist:

I love a face mist.  I have pure rose water from Saudi Arabia and Avéne Thermal Spring water in my fridge to have on hand whenever I have the urge to splurge on my skin. Which is often.  So, it was a huge surprise that I had so many issues with Glossier's Soothing Face Mist.  My skin is fairly normal, maybe with a touch of t-zone oiliness.  I generally do not break out or have complications with skin care products.  For me, this face mist is not soothing in any way, shape, or form.  It actually irritated the hell out of my skin, leaving it red and splotchy not to mention a burning sensation all over for at least 10-15 minutes.  Just for the sake of argument, I tried it after freshly washed skin (once with a high end soap, and once with a face cleansing gel), I tried it on my skin after the gym, during the gym, at the beach, after the beach (not fun) and first thing in the morning.  Each time, the tingling/burning sensation was moderate to severe.  The list of ingredients are seemingly innocuous with simplicity, such as Aloe, Rosewater, Glycerine, and Honeysuckle Extract.  Granted there is Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (a white salt) and something called Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate which is a persecutive found in a lot of beauty products.  My skin feels ok, texture wise, but looks ruddy.  I have no idea, it has me baffled as I am sure results may vary.  Speaking with other makeup artists, they've all stated a client or two has mentioned the tingling.  I cannot recommend this product or even give it to a friend.  Sorry, this is huge miss and needs to be brought back to the drawing board.

Priming Moisturizer:

I generally do not use primer on the skin unless it is on the eyes.  Even then, I only use one or two specific products.  However, this product isn't a primer.  Its acts as both a moisturizer and a primer, prepping the skin for whatever product you want to apply.  Its also buildable, so if you need more hydration or if you need more plumping to the skin this is a nice "feature".  The "glow" it provide is a rather nice by itself, but expect an overly dewy finish in photographs if just used by itself.  In other words, it can get shiny (gasp!).  It feels nicely on the skin, but it does take a bit of time to absorb.  Application of foundation or tinted moisturizer right away is just not going to happen.  Rushing this step leaves streaks, or spotty application due to the movement of the product.   In my case this isn't a huge issue, as I always apply the eye makeup and brows first.  Now here is the tricky part.  What type, or what brand of foundation works best with this Priming Moisturizer??  After many, many, tests I'm still on the fence on what works best.  I found often using Foundation Powders such as  Make Up Forever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation  leaves your skin looking silky and soft. Almost etherial.  This is good.  However, when you use a higher pigmentation and/or something with medium to full coverage such as Dior AIRFLASH Spray Foundation workability is right out the window.  Using a foundation brush ends up looking sloppy, so I suggest using a beauty blending sponge slightly misted with water.  Rolling the sponge as you apply will create a seamless finish, but runs the risk of looking heavy handed (cake-y) if you aren't careful.  Its great however in high heat or sweaty conditions, as it does have some holding power.  Overall, its best used in moderation or best on a client that doesn't like foundation.  It probably works best for clients with flawless skin, or a photoshoot on the beach.  I suppose I will give it a score of Ehhhhhh.

Balm dot Calm (and Coconut Balm do Calm)

As most balms go, not bad.  Rather commendable actually.  It will be best used in the Winter or seasonal changes of course but does nicely on tattoos, sunburns or dry elbows.  I've used it on (or had a friend or two try) those areas of dry skin that need either a bit more protection or a bit more moisture.  Being that I often work with my hands and they get dried out from all the washing, I tried it on that area first.  Cuticles loved it, albeit they would love any moisture.  I tried it on my finger nails too, but it was slightly suffocating on them so I had to wipe it off.  Absorbs nicely into the skin and doesn't leave little finger prints on everything.  Granted, my hands are rather dry and need about a gallon of balm to begin with.  DO NOT apply to your face unless it is for your lips or protection against wind burn.  It just too heavy for that and will clog your pores.  I used it to try and soothe my skin after the Face Mist Fiasco and it helped considerably.  This will be handy in my kit, as models often have really dry lips.  I think it has something to do with all the lipstick they wear. 

I also got Perfecting Skin Tint in the package from Glossier.  I'm not sure what the point of this product actually is.  I understand it is not supposed to have coverage, but it really doesn't "correct" skin tone either.  Its like a very sheer tinted moisturizer.  Very. Sheer.  It provides a nice glow, but so does exfoliating your skin.  Save your money.  

Overall, Glossier is hit or miss on their products but then again its a new brand and have some kinks to work out.  I think the philosophy behind the creative is there, but the execution of the product isn't.  Just one man's opinion.




Try this Look!

Zosia Mamet of Girls fame is a dream client I've had the pleasure of working with.  I love to do hair and/or makeup on her for events or red carpet!  Getting her glamorous is always a treat for many reasons including her sweet personality and her willingness to push the boundaries with fashion and beauty.  She is also wildly experimental with her hair  I've seen her with hair down to her waist and brown, to this adorable and 90's -esque one length bob.  I love the dark root actually.  This homage to the grunge era was modernized for her appearance at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards.  Emulate the look below.  


  • Start prepping towel dried hair with a blow dry spray like Oribe Foundation Mist or Garnier Sleek & Shine Primer Style Prep which will help detangle and protect the hair from heat.  
  • Next, with a flat boar bristle brush (Mason Pearson Bristle and Nylon Brush is always in my kit) blow dry your hair in a "wrap dry" format.  Which is basically blow drying the hair with the hair growth following the shape of your head.  If you choose to blow against the hair growth direction, this will give you a bit more volume.e
  • Next, use a serum to protect the ends of your hair from the heat of a flat iron.  I actually used two pumps of the Lissea Leave-in Smoothing Fluid from Rene Further and rubbed between my palms.  Use on all the ends first and then whatever remains on your hands distribute evenly. The heat of the flat iron will burn off any excess so don't spazz out that there is more product than you are used to.
  • Lastly flat iron to your preference.  I actually completed the whole head for a bit of a sophisticated balance to her look.  I had her toss her head upside down when I did a final tussle with a dry shampoo, just for good measure.  Mainly because I wanted it a touch piece-y. 


  • Prep the skin by cleansing with Avéne Thermal Spring Water and a cotton ball.  This product is used on all my clients because it is suited for sensitive skin.  Every. Single. Client.  Next, moisturize with your favorite.  Again, I used Avéne because I like how it feels on her skin.  She is very light skinned and delicate.  Ahhhhh, youth.  
  • Brows:  This part was tricky.  If I matched her root, then her makeup came across as very "goth".  Which isn't bad in a sense, just not appropriate for the clothing or the event.  Too light with a blonde brow pencil and gel, washed her out and changed the shape of her face.  I ended up using the taupe color (the middle one) in the Style Eye-Con No. 3 from Marc Jacobs Beauty.  It was in the same tone as her natural brow color and roots, but it was a happy medium between the roots and the bright blonde without having to dye her brows.
  • Eyes:  all over the lid I did a simple bone color from another eye shadow kit from Marc Jacobs Beauty-- Style Eye-Con No. 7
  •  Eye Liner:  DiorLiner in Black winged out at the ends.  Yes, its been said that winged out eyeliner is very 1960'w but Kate Moss and Courtney Love rocked it out all the time.  
  • Foundation:  Also, Dior.  They have this amazing foundation called DiorSkin Airflash which photographs beautifully, is super easy to apply and has coverage you can build. It also works as a lightweight concealer, which is what I did here.  It really is a fantastic brand and I use it often, albeit a touch pricey.  
  • Lips: Zosia's lips are fantastic, and with her skin tone you can pretty much put any color on them.  This time I went with (color) Trompe L'Oeil 123 in the Rouge Dior Line its essentially a perfect nude lip.  I lined it with Nyx Retractable Lip Liner in Nude
  • Bronzer:  Guerlain is a cult classic when it comes to its powders and bronzers.  They just nailed it.  So, in my kit I am loaded up with their bronzers, some with and some without shimmer.  In this case I used Terracotta Bronzing Powder in Clair Brunette just under the cheekbone ridge, and whatever remained on my brush in the areas where the sun would naturally kiss your skin.  That would be along the bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and clavicle.