INTERVIEWS

MEET THE GLAM, COOL, SPUNKY SAMANTHA OF BATALASH BEAUTY!

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Sometimes a beauty blog just captivates you with its humor, content and, obviously, creative beauty. Batalash Beauty has done just that – what can we say? We’re hooked. We spoke to the hilarious founder, Samantha, about the site, her not-so-routine makeup routine and more!

Hi Samantha! Tell us about your blog, Batalash Beauty, and what sets it apart from other beauty sites?

Batalash is all about being who you are – we like to promote the idea that beauty doesn’t have to be so cut and dry, like it is sometimes portrayed. We want people to try new things, think outside of the box, and be confident in who they are.

Why did you decide to get into blogging?

At first, it was something to fill my time. I like keeping busy, and that was a way to spend my free time while doing something productive. The more time I spent on the blog, the more I enjoyed being able to teach people new things, answer questions, and interact with our followers – so that’s my motivation now!

How did you get together with your blogging partner, Angela?

I had seen her work on Reddit, and I noticed we had a similar style of makeup. I started following her on instagram, and eventually reached out to her to start working with me, and that was that! I wanted to bring someone else onto the team that had different features from me (different eye color/different skin tone/etc) which helps us to appeal to a larger audience.

Love how you’re such a risk-taker when it comes to your makeup! Where do you get your inspiration from?

Thanks! I gain inspiration from all over. Other artists, fashion, nature, paintings. Sometimes I’ll just pull a random product and figure out how to use it in a way other than what it was intended for (ie. using lipstick as blush, blush as eyeshadow, etc.)

What are your must-have beauty products?

My must-haves are ever-changing, just like the beauty industry. Right now, I’m loving Anastasia’s Contour KitAnastasia’s DipBrow, the Make Up For Ever Flash Palette, and OCC Lip Tar in Divine!

To create beautiful looks, you need a beautiful, clean canvas. What’s your skin regime like? Any skin care products you’re obsessed with?

I wash my skin with warm water and a face cloth, and moisturize like CRAZY. I’ll usually exfoliate once a week. This is just what works for me – my skin is very sensitive and very dry. My absolute favorite, must have skin care product is MAC Complete Comfort Creme. It makes my skin so soft and smooth!

What spring trends are you excited to rock?

BRIGHT LIPSTICK! But I often wear whatever I want, regardless of season.

Are you more of a drugstore or luxury beauty lover?

Both! I love all different kinds of products from any price range. I believe that a good artist can make any product work for them.

Take us through your daily makeup routine.

My makeup routine is different every day! That’s the fun in posting your makeup for the world to see. I usually decide what look I want to do that day by grabbing my newest product and figuring out how I want to show it off.

Do you have any advice for girls who want to get into beauty blogging/vlogging?

Make sure everything you post is something you are 100% proud of. Post every day on some form of social media – people love consistency, and this will also help you to improve your skills and creativity.

We know you take your own photos – do you have any lighting/camera advice or tips for aspiring bloggers?

If you can, invest in a good camera – it’s worth it. You will get the use out of it, and they last for a very very long time. I’ve had my camera for about 6 years, and still use it every day. As for lighting, I always use natural lighting. Stand near a window during daylight hours, and take your pictures facing the light. This will show your makeup most clearly and true to color.

MEET THE WOMAN BEHIND OUR FAVORITE NEW BRAND

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We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Nancy Twine, the founder of Briogeo Hair Care, our favorite new natural hair care line. Read on to see what she has to say, and remember to enter our giveaway to win a set of Briogeo products!

Hi! Tell us about your line Briogeo Hair Care, and what sets it apart from other hair product lines.

When I first began creating the Briogeo Hair Care line — a major importance to me was ensuring that our line wasn’t just another natural hair care brand  I wanted to create naturally effective hair care products that perform as well as salon quality brands do.  It’s something that me, my friends and family struggled finding.  Despite the numerous number of natural hair care lines that have launched over the past several years, we weren’t happy with the actual performance of the products.  I spent over two years developing alongside my research team our first four products:  Be Gentle, Be Kind sulfate-free shampoo, Blossom & Bloom volumizing conditioner, Curl Charisma curl defining conditioner, and Don’t Despair, Repair! deep treatment mask.  Not many people know this, but we actually held product focus groups before we launched any of our products to gain real insight about our formulas from females with different hair texture types.  We used that feedback to develop our products further to ensure they are the best they possibly could be — while adhering to our natural standard and being fully free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, artificial dyes and synthetic fragrances.  Plain & simple — the products really do perform.  Our Don’t Despair, Repair! treatment, for example, has clinical results that show 81% less hair breakage after three uses which is phenomenal for a highly natural based product.  We are also one of the first (if not the first!) hair care product line to use Maltodextrin, a natural sugar derivative, that coats the hair without sticky or stiff after effects to increase the diameter of each stand of hair, thereby increasing the overall appearance of fuller and thicker hair.  We also use a very unique blend of mollis leaf extract, rice amino acids, and tomato fruit ferment in our Curl Charisma conditioner to reduce frizz and ensure consisted curl formation.  We were very thoughtful about the natural performance ingredients we chose to use in our products — ones you don’t typically see in other natural hair care lines.

Also, it was really important to me to create a product line that resonates with a diverse array of hair types and ethnicities.  Briogeo is not an ethnic line or a non-ethnic line — Briogeo is for everyone.  Whether your hair is coarse, curly, thin, wavy, color treated or chemically treated, you can find your perfect Briogeo product for your specific hair type.  I am also excited to announce that this year we will also be launching styling and finishing products, as well.  Stay tuned!

How did you get started, and what inspired you to create your own line? (I know that your grandmother used to make personal care products at home – that’s amazing, please tell us more about it!)

Briogeo was really inspired by a family tradition that began way before I was even born.  My mom was one of eight children in a 10-person family household living in rural West Virginia.  Her family didn’t have a lot of money or resources and my grandmother was always looking for ways to cut corners or do things more efficiently to provide for the family.  One of the most inspiring and brilliant skills she developed during that struggle was learning how to make our family’s personal care products, things like soaps, lotions, and of course hair care products, from scratch in the bathtub of their home.  The tradition of making natural products was later passed down to my generation and I learned how to make natural soaps and a few more luxurious beauty items like body scrubs and hair treatments.  At the time we were doing this, the awareness and demand for natural beauty products was pretty nonexistent or more of an “underground” thing.  I knew someday I wanted to take the passion and tradition for natural beauty products beyond our kitchen and about three years ago I put the wheels in motion for doing so by creating Briogeo.  

Why did you decide to go the natural route? What are the advantages of using natural hair products?

Going the natural route was provenly better for my hair.  I must admit — I did go through a rebellious stage in high school where I bleached, permed, and heat treated my hair everyday.  It was what pretty much every other girl was doing in high school at the time, and sometimes you just get sucked in trying to keep up with the trends.  My hair ended up in a tortuous state and ultimately my road to recovery was going back to my roots (no pun!) of natural hair formulas that didn’t contain any of the harsh synthetics to get my hair back on track.  In addition to keeping my hair healthy, I’ve been able to stay clear of things like sulfate, phthalates, and parabens which have been linked to health concerns like skin lipid damage, hormonal imbalances, and endocrine disruption, to name a few.

Coming up with a final product that you’re satisfied with takes a lot of work, time and effort – what challenges did you face in coming up with your magic formula?

The biggest challenge for us was figuring out which naturals were really performers — and which were not.  Making high performing hair care can be restricting when you’re aiming to uphold a natural standard.  Silicones, for example, while they’re great at providing slip, shine, and softness, can cause serious hair build up over time and there’s been question about the ingredient’s impact on the environment.  So we needed to find a way to use a natural alternative to produce those same great results, but without the side effects.  Doing so requires a lot of trial and error, research, and testing.  Also, many natural alternatives are more expensive than their synthetic counterparts which has to be factored in as well — especially when you aim to create affordable and achievable price points.

Are you a fan of using different products for your hair, or do you think a minimal routine is better?

I definitely think a minimal route is better.  Some hair care brands can be overwhelming — it’s like you have to use this specific shampoo that goes with this specific conditioner and this specific leave in and then this finishing product and then that styling serum or spray.  You really don’t need to choose from dozens of products to get the look or desired result you’re looking to achieve.  Briogeo is hair care simplified – a straightforward product selection that gets you the results you want.

You’re pretty much a hair expert: any tips to share with our readers for keeping hair in top form?

Don’t over wash your hair.  Depending on your hair thickness and length, you actually may be able to get a few days in between shampooing.  I recommend using dry shampoo to carry you between washes.  The natural oils produced by your scalp glands keep your scalp balanced and your hair follicles healthy.  Also, using a regular deep conditioning treatment or mask is a must.  No matter if you consider your hair healthy or if you regularly color your hair or use heat tools frequently, using a deep conditioning treatment every 1-2 weeks will help keep your hair hydrated, shiny, soft and will prevent the look of aging hair.

What hairstyles and cuts should we expect to see a lot of in 2014?

It’s hard to predict what happens next in beauty, but I think we’ll continue to see a lot of experimenting with cuts, most recently Katy Perry and Julianne Hough, for example.  Ombré lightening seems here to stay for a bit, but I’m hoping this spring we’ll see more experimenting with color.  One of my favorite ombré looks is a pastel ombré pixie that we pamped a few months ago – I hope we see more of it!

If we looked inside your makeup bag right now, what would we find?

I have a myriad of products in my beauty bag right now!  I am transitioning to a more natural makeup routine and I really love W3ll People’s Universal Colorstick 5 – the deep crimson color is absolutely gorgeous – plus it’s free from chemicals and artificials which is a huge plus.  I always keep a bottle of Olie Biologique Huile Moderne 004 in my bag – it’s such a universal skin moisturizer and especially comes in handy for my cuticles in this dry, cold NYC weather!  I also love those beautiful little vials of incredible perfume oils by Lurk — I am touting RSW005 at the moment and I absolutely love the unique scent.   I always like to keep a great read in my bag for those extra-long subway rides – right now I’m reading How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank by Glamour beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig and I can’t put it down!  I’ve been learning some incredible budget friendly beauty tips and beauty insider secrets – definitely a must read!

Any plans for expansion, or products you envision adding to the Briogeo lineup?

Briogeo is just getting started!  Though we want to maintain a simple line that isn’t overdone or overwhelming to our customer, we do plan on rolling out some styling and finishing products this year which will help the Briogeo girl really complete her hair routine from start to finish.

Tell us a bit about your beauty routine.

My beauty routine has really evolved over time.  I used to be the gal who wore a full set of makeup every day – even if I was at home just hanging out.  I really don’t know what was with that, but it was like putting on blush and lip color was as regimen as washing your face in the morning.  As I’ve transitioned into my late 20’s I’ve definitely been adding more skin care products into my morning and nightly regimen.  I actually aim to go for as many makeup free days as possible during the week so that my skin can really breathe.  So instead of touting makeup, I’ll apply a nice face oil or serum during the day and let my skin just be.  I really only wear makeup for meetings and events these days (so that I don’t look so sleepy!) and when I do, I love experimenting with indie makeup brands, especially clean ones like W3ll People and ILIA Beauty.  Maintaining good skin care is a balance to makeup wear and I think I’m finally learning how to balance the two.

MONICA’S BEAUTY ADVENTURE

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Before Monica Barnett was a renowned style guru, she was a clueless college girl who didn’t know where to start in a department store’s beauty section! She recalls the story of her first beauty shopping spree…which led to somewhat catastrophic results! Read on to discover what happened….

“As I mentioned previously, I like to fashion myself a “low maintenance” chiquita thus my hair style is generally zesty and doesn’t require much daily work and I don’t do a ton of makeup either.


Hmmmm Beauty Adventure…..I had to think kinda hard to find something that would be worthy of sharing.


The year was 1990 and I was a sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!). I wasn’t a girly-girl at the time, didn’t do anything when it came to makeup, and barely found time/energy to apply moisturizer to my face. I ran track so my life was classes, track, dinner, occasionally work, and socialize. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I had the idea that I needed to look “older” and more like a woman. I was a fresh-faced girl who was just happy to be….well, no more!


I jumped on the bus to head to the local mall and I was determined to up-my-game. I made two stops: the beauty counter and then the skin care section. In hindsight, if I had done it the other way around, I suspect that this story wouldn’t have happened. Anyway, I went to the beauty counter and while secretly I think they always find something you “need”, I listened to everything the woman said. Clue number 1: I should have looked more closely at how crazy she looked. That said, she applied no less than 6 things on my face from foundation to blush to eyeshadow to mascara and showed me my reflection in the mirror. Clue number 2: the lighting in those department stores then was very dim and not true-telling. When I looked in the mirror, it looked very “different” but she assured me that I just needed to get used to it. SO I handed her my credit card and she handed me a bag.


Off to the skin care section. Big at the time was Clinique and I remember thinking of “fresh faced” when I thought of the brand so that’s where I started. The lady behind the counter saw me coming and either thought I had “mark” written all over my face, or was just concerned about the amount of crazy looking makeup all over my face. Without really looking at my skin, she made some immediate recommendations across a few lines that included something to prevent breakouts (which I had never had), remove makeup, that wouldn’t clog more pores since I did a lot of extracurricular activities, and to create a natural glow. She used everything on one side of my face and since it amounted to basically removing everything the other lady had just applied, I thought it looked great…and it was even tingling a bit!


I handed her my credit card and left with a bag the size of a small tote bag.


I got home and dumped the spoils of my trip on the bed, and just marveled at what my new “life” was going to be like. Fast forward to the following day, I used everything she gave me in the bathroom and while I wasn’t sure I did everything in the right order, I did it. My face was tingling. I headed back to my room and applied my new womanhood to my face. My roommates didn’t say anything to me…..but one of my best friends did! She looked at me as walked the hallway and said “What the hell did you do to your face dude?” I asked what she meant even though it was obvious I had all this crap on my face (and it hadn’t stopped tingling). She continued, “Dude, your face is like red and you’ve all this color crap on. You clearly have no idea how to apply makeup!” I told her I wasn’t a professional yet but it made me look more mature. Her response “It makes you look like a drunk clown.”


I ran back to my room, grabbed my shower caddy and headed to the bathroom with my girlfriend in tow. I washed off the makeup and looked at my face. It was splotchy and red. My girlfriend proceeded to berate me a little more and then helped me re-apply my makeup. It took so long.


I came back to the room after the day was over and threw everything out! It took too long to look “older”, my face was still tingling, people had commented throughout the day and none of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and it all came off during track practice (and my coach asked me what was going on too).


I was done…until I got my credit card bill. While it was over twenty years ago, I swear it was like $384! I couldn’t imagine what I had purchased and had nothing to show for it! I was annoyed because I didn’t have the money to pay for the credit card.


Moral of the story — you have to be true to yourself. Listening to someone tell you what you are doesn’t work unless it actually resonates with you. I left that store happy because I had spent money (it creates an endorphin release!), but not fully sure it was “me” and after $384, I discovered it wasn’t.”

 

MEET MONICA BARNETT

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The Daily Pamp had the pleasure of interviewing the sassy and charming founder of Blueprint for Style, Monica Barnett. Read on to discover what her site is about, her skin care regime (she’s a skin care lover!), what’s in her makeup bag at the moment and much more…

Hi Monica! Tell us a little about yourself and your site, Blueprint for Style.

I’m a fairly laid-back, but (undercover) intense when I’m dealing with Blueprint for Style, the brand, and it’s furtherance. I’m very chillax about most other things. I’m a bit of a homebody so all of my PR/marketing/friends constantly remind me to “get out more”. That said, when I’m out I am there to have fun so if it’s drinks with the ladies, movie night, a vision board session, etc, I’m likely making everyone laugh!

How did you get the idea for creating the site?

The site was started almost as an afterthought and it’s been through a few iterations at this point. My general style ethos is simple and classic with a touch of edge and pop so when I look at the iterations of the site and where I want to take it going forward, I knock myself in the head because if I had just remained true to my style personality, I would not have wasted so much time. I wanted the site to be a vehicle for me to share what I saw as essential to style.

Helping someone discover their distinct style must be feel great. Do you any particularly gratifying stories to share?

Too many stories to mention (and a few tidbits in the book) but I wake up and LOVE what I do. The idea of helping individuals feel good about themselves is like sunshine. My saying on my business card is “When you look good, you feel good; and when you feel good, it changes the game.” What I do when I help people think about what looks best for them and represents them more authentically is make them feel good about themselves – WINNING! The best story whether working with individuals or lecturing major corporations is that “light” that goes on when someone sees what I’ve been talking about and gets it, and is ready to internalize it.

A big congratulations on the release of your book, Without Saying a Word! What is it about?

Thank you so much- it was a lengthy but fun journey, and now the real work starts: to share it with EVERYONE! So the book is a style guide for the professional woman (I define what that means in the book), so she understands not only how I view style, but also the most essential elements she needs to consider at any age to develop a true sense of style. The book doesn’t advocate big spending or being thrifty, but focuses on understanding yourself, your goals, your lifestyle, and being intentional about how you use ALL of the resources that are available to you.

Take us through the process of writing your first book.

Whew….mine was fairly uncomplicated. I started by writing down things that were on my mind. I added all of the fun advice I gave to my clients and early summer, I decided I was going to pull the trigger. So I started putting aside time every weekday morning to write. I didn’t cut anything but just penned my thoughts as they came to me. By early fall, I stopped writing on the advice of a client and friend and focused on what “story” I wanted to share. It came together quite nicely. I’m actually re-reading it now and aside from some spelling errors (ugh!), I think it’s truly a great compilation of insight and advice!

Style doesn’t only relate to your clothing – beauty is a major component of it too! If we looked in your makeup bag right now, what would we find?

Lots of people automatically put fashion and beauty together, and for me they are very different. First, fashion is different than style, and style is a more all-encompassing concept for me. Style is the selectivity of elements that come together to create an image and there’s no way you can see someone and not see their face! A chapter in the book focuses on skincare because I believe you need a beautiful canvas on which to paint (aka makeup).

My makeup bag is very light. I have three glosses, two different hand creams, NARS Multiple, eye drops, Aleve, and plaque removers (I’ve become slightly neurotic about my smile including using Crest Whitestrips religiously every week!). I just scheduled a makeup bag makeover session with my girlfriend so we can do some purging and add a few new fab items, so stay tuned!!

Do you have a must-have beauty product that you can’t live without?

I can’t say everything is a must-have beauty product, huh? LOL. I would say there are two must-haves for me: eyelashes and lip color. I get lashes put on every so often because they just make the face pop, and at some stage, lip color just adds a bit of finish at a minimum. I am also not opposed to permanent makeup and strongly considering doing my brows because i have like ZERO facial hair!

We know you adour skin care – so do we! What are your skin care necessities?

Skin care necessities depend on who you’re talking to, but I notice the difference in my face when I’m not hydrated and when I don’t moisturize properly. Even if you don’t like the concept of oil because you think it’ll make your face look too oily, do it at night or on the weekends. Plus African-American women, on the whole, have been graced with one leg-up because of our melanin and I don’t take that lightly.

What’s your skin regime like?

It’s quite simple: I wash, use my Clarisonic maybe once or twice per week, do a mud mask twice a week while I’m in the shower (to avoid complicating my life), and then everything else is outside the shower. I use a serum followed by eye cream, a vitamin C serum, a few dabs of argan oil (if it’s cold outside), and then a moisturizer. Since I don’t wear foundation, I can usually roll out and add my lip color en route! I do mix up my moisturizers every so often, but more so my skin doesn’t get to used to one. And there’s this one serum by Natura Bisse that costs like $400, and I use it some sparingly because I’m not ready to re-up for another one….lol

I like to believe I’m low maintenance….

Who are your beauty icons?

My mom, Iman, Julia Roberts, Christy Turlington — they all have glowing skin and look great for their age and lifestyle!

NICK’S RED CARPET ADVENTURES

The red carpet is a natural habitat for makeup artist to the stars, Nick Barose. Nick has glammed up many to look their best in front of the cameras, from Lena Dunham to Jessica Biel to the always fabulous Kim Catrall, and most recently, has been the key makeup artist for breakout style star, Lupita Nyong’o. He explains how there is an art to working the red carpet, and experience is key when finding the right look that’s kept fresh for the whole evening.

“When it comes to the red carpet, it is easier to work with experienced clients. They know what works for them and understand certain nuances. For example, when an actress has never walked the carpet before, she might ask to keep the makeup light because she is worried that she won’t feel like herself, however she might not realize that under the camera lights she needs more coverage. I would use slightly more foundation and fake lashes that look natural to produce that fine balance between looking naturally pretty both from afar and close-up. 

Red carpet makeup is also much different than the fashion runway. It is not the time to experiment with trends of the week! Actresses need to look like themselves. It’s ok to stand out on the red carpet but you don’t have to look like a fashion victim; the makeup needs to be classic in a way. Some beauty icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn had a style that still works today. You never want to be associated with a certain era or a passing trend.

I give my clients suggestions and they normally go for it, but I try to respect their taste as well. I know, for example, that Lena Dunham likes strong brows, Sarah Paulson needs her blush, and Kim Catrall will never go for dark lips (rightfully so). 

Once I send them out on the red carpet more surprises can occur…the actress might decide that she doesn’t want that red lipstick and she’ll literally wipe it off or she doesn’t feel like having her hair up and she’ll manually let it down. I usually send them off with some lipstick and powder to freshen up, but they might forget to use it, and later in the night their skin is shiny and their lips are dry. Or they decide to hug everybody on the carpet and mess up their hair! But, this doesn’t happen with the experienced ones. The longer they have done it, the better they can work it!” 

MEET LAURA BRONNER, FOUNDER OF GLOSS48

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This week, we introduce you to a founder of one of our new favorite beauty shopping destinations, Gloss48! Laura Bronner talks to us about what it’s like running a successful new website, how they decide what beauty products to feature, and gives us a sneak peek into her own makeup bag!

For our readers who aren’t familiar with your website, tell us about Gloss48.

Gloss48 is paradise for product junkies! We provide a daily dose of must-have niche beauty brands for you to discover and shop.  For the first seven days that we feature our brands, we offer them at an introductory price so that you can try a new product without breaking the bank.  We also keep a permanent collection of our favorite products at regular price so that you can continue to buff up your beauty arsenal. 

How do you curate the products featured on the site?

One of the members of Team G48 or our circle of trusted beauty professionals tries every product we feature on the site.  At a minimum, the products we offer have to be high quality, safe and effective.  We don’t just stop there.  We seek out brands that are doing something truly unique or innovative – whether that’s a rock star creating a super pigmented lip gloss that won’t stick to her microphone or a new skincare line that is based on biological studies of arctic animals!

The Gloss48 team seems so fun. What’s a typical day in the office like?

We are a big bundle of crazy, sassy, girly chaos. We have an open office that we share with a bunch of other startups in the PayPal Start Tank program.  Let’s just say we’ve been accused of having a few “loud days.”  We probably talk about food almost as much as we talk about beauty.  Almost. 

I used to work for a corporate real estate consulting firm.  It’s pretty much the polar opposite of that. 

How did you get the website off the ground? Did the entire core team have prior experience in the beauty industry?

The three founders all had some experience in the beauty industry.  Jill Kravetz founded a high end nail and waxing concept called MiniLuxe.  She hired me about five years ago because I was working on a similar concept in Chicago.  

Since neither of us had online experience, we brought in Jodi, our tech guru.  We often refer to Jodi as our tech “unicorn” because, unlike most techies, she had a lot of relevant experience working on websites like Ippolita and Urban Decay.  She is also a next-level, hard core beauty junkie!

In the past few months, we hire four more, amazing team members:

  • Kellie Van is our Creative Producer. She also happened to work with us at MiniLuxe.
  • Brittany Fischer is our Beauty Correspondent.  She was a blogger and freelance writer with a perfectly edgy style and wit.  She’s hilarious.
  • Mara Chernin is our Beauty Brand Scout.  Mara was a superstar in Nordstrom management before we met her.  She has an incredible knack for finding exceptional niche brands and helping to bring them to Gloss48.
  • Guisell Smith is our Shipping Maven / Resident Makeup Artist.  Prior to Gloss48, she was an educator at Sephora.

We came up with the concept for Gloss48 about two years ago.  Our MiniLuxe clients loved the selection of hard-to-find, unique beauty brands that we carried in the salons.  At the same time, beauty channels like Sephora and the department stores were moving away from niche brands.  Our niche brand partners were struggling to find effective marketing and distribution opportunities.  Gloss48 brings together beauty junkies who crave authenticity and newness with amazing, indie brands. 

If we peeked inside your makeup bag, what would be find?

It would probably change on a weekly basis!  I keep discovering new stuff!!  Right now, I’m obsessed with Kevyn Aucoin mascaraGirlactik cream blush, and 29 Cosmetics lipstick.  I also keep a spritzer of Shamanuti toner at my desk.  It comes in handy mid-afternoon when I’m feeling kind of grimy.

I can go on!  You might need a few more blog posts for my makeup bag!  We could spend a year talking about the products in my bathroom! 

What is the one beauty product that you can’t live without?

One?! Our Beauty Editor Brittany recently pointed out that finishing a beauty product is a good indication that it’s an amazing product.  Based on Brittany’s Empties Theory, the product I can’t live without is Skin, An Apothecary Soy Body Whip.  It comes in an enormous tub and I go through it faster than any other product!

Any new beauty trends you’re particularly excited about?

I love that the modern beauty consumer holds skincare companies accountable for ingredients, safety, and effectiveness.  I think it’s causing skincare companies to be more straightforward and honest.  I am also seeing some incredible, scientific innovation on the skincare front.

On a less serious note, I LURVE all of the sparkles and textures in nails.  Just when I think we’re about to turn the corner and head back to a life of Ballet Slippers and OPI Red, an indie nail brand comes out with a new brand of glitter that makes my heart race! 

Tell us about some products or brands recently featured on Gloss48 that your’e particularly excited about.

Where to begin!?  The hard part about working for Gloss48 is that, by the time the brands are featured on our site, we are already so in love with the owners and products.  Some of my recent favorites are:

  • 29 Cosmetics: these skincare and color cosmetics all contain grape seed oil, which is known for anti-aging properties.  I love their lipsticks because they are rich, smooth, and highly pigmented – but also contain nourishing grape seed oil. 
  • SewLomax beauty bags are absolutely adorable.  I bought six of them for holiday gifts and I will probably regret not buying a few more!
  • Rainbow Honey nail polishes are endless, glittery gorgeousness!
  • I’m also excited to shop Rain Cosmetics for some fun looks.

What’s in store for Gloss48? Any exciting updates you can tell us about?

We are always up to something!  Right now, we are offering one to two brands per day.  We’re hoping to gradually increase that throughout the year!  

We are also working on a personalization engine that will help us recommend products to our members.

LAURA’S BEAUTY ADVENTURE

Gloss48 founder Laura Bronner shares a really hilarious Beauty Adventure documenting one of her first forays into beauty… 

When I was little, I watched everything that my big sister did.  Everything.  When she was 13 or so, she started wearing makeup.  I am pretty sure she was only allowed to wear a few things – or maybe she only chose to wear a few things.  This was the late ‘80’s (yes, I’m old) and I distinctly remember that she wore Silver City Pink lipstick (sooooo cooool), blue eye liner, and clear gel mascara.   

I have no idea why she was using clear gel mascara.  To this day, I’m not sure why one wears clear gel mascara.  But I had to try it.

 I waited until I was alone and seized the opportunity to test out her magical mascara.  I brushed it on one set of lashes – and found that it BURNED!  I ran to the sink and tried to rinse it off, but my eye lashes were stuck together.  

I knew I wasn’t supposed to be using her mascara so I suffered in silence (well, probably a few whimpers) – rinsing my eye and picking apart my lashes. 

Turns out I had used clear nail polish as mascara.  And so began my illustrious beauty career!

MEET EVA JANE

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What does an Emmy-winning celebrity makeup artist do when she has a dream? Turn it into a reality! Meet Eva Jane Bunkley, creator of our new beauty obsession, The Makeup Bullet. Read on to learn more about the innovative Bullet, what it was like to launch a new product, her beauty routine and more!

Tell us about your new product, The Makeup Bullet.

Well…The Makeup Bullet is my dream makeup applicator.  I am an artist who prefers to use sponges for a lot of applications over brushes.  For example, I never use brushes to apply foundations and creams…I prefer to use a sponge.  My challenge is two-fold though with traditional sponges…usually wedges…I am either dropping them constantly or while I am working, I lose track of where I layed it down.  The Makeup Bullet is perfect because fits snugly on a finger so while you are applying makeup you don’t have to set it down and you can still hold your other tools such as brushes.  The tip is pointed to reach every part of the face such as the corners of the eyes with ease.  I also made it black because that was just the little added touch of “sexy” that adds to the sleek design. 😉

What makes it unique compared to anything else on the market?

The fact that you can “wear” your Makeup Bullet sets it apart from any other sponge or blender on the market.  It gives the most control and precision you are going to achieve from an applicator.  The fact that you can “get in there” with only one finger is a game changer!

How did you come up with the idea?

I created The Makeup Bullet out of desire for a tool that I wished existed.  I came up with the idea sometime in the late ‘90’s out of personal desire and it took me until the beginning of 2012 to walk the path to have it created.  It took me so long to DO IT because I was seeking confirmation outside of myself.  It was a lesson learned but I do believe that I acted when the time was right in the market it and when I was mature enough to go through this process.  It’s tough and I receive a lot of discouraging news along the way…still.  It is a challenge some days to keep my emotions off “the roller coaster.”

What was the process of turning your idea into a reality?

First, I created a crude prototype on my own.  I bought a Dremmel and took some foam and sculpted it the best I was able so that I could get it to a company that could work out the kinks of producing it.  I called a number of companies here in the U.S. that work with foam and received a LOT of NO’s.  They really just didn’t do what I needed as far as the method to create my design and to tell the truth a lot of them won’t work with a start-up or a small individual because of the time and effort it takes and the risk that it might not work.  They don’t want to invest in a “maybe.”  I still have companies that tell me, come back when you have a larger order.  It can be a huge financial investment…from the patent process to the package design.  I worked as I went and put money into it as I could.  Eventually, when things began to look more promising, I took the big leap and cashed out my entire retirement account.  I figured that it wasn’t enough to retire on anyway and I really believe in this product!

If we looked in your makeup bag, what would we find?

Well, to tell you the truth, my “makeup bag” morphs.  In my purse, I keep a tube of MAC lipstick (Speak Louder Crème) and Maybelline “The Rocket” Volume Express Mascara in Black.  I love the rubbery wands for heavy deposit!  For anything deeper, I reach in my massive makeup kit!  My basic face staples are Iman Clay Medium (for my highlight) and Clay Medium Dark Pressed Powder which I apply with a dry Makeup Bullet for the heaviest coverage.  I used a damped brown eye-shadow for my eye brows using a fine angle brush and if I want a more dramatic brow, I may dip a little into a pot of my black eyeliner to mix very subtly for extra contrast.  I usually add wings to my eyeliner and have been using Maybelline’s black crème “Eye Studio” eye liner in the pot.  If I want to put a little extra effort in to my lips by using a lip brush then my fav right now is “Pretty Boy” Lip Tar by OCC!  I love the long wear and that literally a drop of product does my entire mouth!…and I have LIPS!

What products do you use everyday?

I am very “basic” when it comes to makeup on myself for every day.  Some days are, no-makeup days.  I enjoy turning it up for events though!

The Makeup Bullet ensures your skin has a flawless, beautiful finish. Can you tell us about your skincare routine?

I make sure I moisturize very well all over every day while my skin is still moist from cleansing.  Some may not agree with using a “body moisturizer” on the face but my St. Ives Collagen- Elastin has been a winner for me!  I am still wrinkle-free at age 42!  Hopefully at 50 I can still make the same claim 🙂

Where do you see The Makeup Bullet going? Any ideas for expansion?

As far as expansion of the product, we have a lot of overseas interest from women and artists.  Hopefully we will attain distribution in Canada and the UK soon.  I am also very open to licensing with other companies.  It would be a wonderful compliment to any foundation, BB Cream or face powder purchase rather than the traditional discs or wedges. 

LENA’S BEAUTY ADVENTURE

Apparently, makeup has been an interest of mine ever since I was a child! I vaguely remember it happening, but after hearing it in detail from my parents a thousand times over dinner parties, it is by far my favorite beauty story. I was about 3 years old and my mother went to my daycare to pick me up. She noticed that my right eye had a black eye. She panicked, thinking that someone at the daycare had hurt me. She demanded to talk to the head owner of the daycare. The owner and a teacher explained that I came to daycare looking like that and they even questioned if there were any other people at home who may have done that to me. My mother was appalled and explained that she and my father would never lay a hand on me. My mom said that she kept asking me if my eye hurt and that I continuously responded ‘no’ with a puzzled look on my face. Then she looked carefully and noticed that there was a little shimmer on my eye. She touched my eye with her finger and the black eye smudged! It was eyeshadow! My mother grabbed my hands and also noticed eyeshadow embedded under my fingernail and faintly on my fingertips. I guess I had watched my mother apply makeup and wanted to mimic her behavior, but the way I applied it made it seem like I had a black eye! 

It’s a funny story when I think about it in retrospect, but it’s also endearing as I reflect on that now. My interest and passion for beauty and cosmetics has grown throughout the years. Even at the young age of 3, I understood from watching my mother apply her cosmetics, that makeup could be used as a vehicle to enhance our beauty. That statement might seem vain to some, but I think cosmetics can be helpful when it comes to building self-confidence. It can allow us to change how we look and feel. We can feel fierce, innocent, feminine, sexy, sultry- all by using the right products and that concept fascinates me. Makeup has allowed many women to feel empowered and build their self-confidence. I have given some of my friends makeovers and their reaction to the end result is priceless. We are all beautiful in our own way and I want women to realize their importance and self-worth. I hope that makeup can be that tool that allows them realize how beautiful they are- inside and out. Makeup definitely gave me confidence to radiate and I hope that through my videos, other women can find their shine as well. 

THE LIFE OF A BEAUTY VLOGGER

Meet Senorita Xlena, a prominent YouTube vlogger, whose fun, easy-to-follow makeup videos have garnered thousands of views. We talked to her about vlogging, new products and all things beauty!

Your videos are so fun to watch! Why did you decide to become a vlogger?

Vlogging was something that I had been interested in for a while, but I held back until the beginning of this year because I worried about what my peers, family, friends, and strangers on the web would say. However, I decided to go forward with the decision to become a vlogger because I realized that it was important to make my own decisions, rather than influence my decisions based on others’ thoughts. As a result, I started vlogging in January of 2013 as a new hobby to kick off the new year. 

How do you decide what products to feature?

When you watch my older videos, you’ll see me use whichever products I felt like incorporating into my video. For example, I once did a sapphire eye look, so I used a Maybelline palette that had amazing eyeshadows for the tutorial. Recently, I’ve been focused on swatches and demos of new products out on the market. I think it’s a helpful guide that can allow women to see great visuals of the items before they decide to purchase it.

Do you rehearse your videos, or do you kind of wing it?

I do a mix of both. Sometimes, I feel like it’s necessary to rehearse; other times, it feels more natural just to wing it.

What are some of your favorite vlogs and blogs. Why?

For blogs, I love Temptalia.com. It is hands-down my favorite blog. I love how detailed and informative the blogger (Christine) is. She posts high quality pictures of the products, writes helpful reviews, and answers any questions that you may have very promptly.

For vlogs, I’m in love with ‘itsjudytime’, ‘fashionista804’, ‘jlovesmac1’, and ‘hollyannaeree’. I’ve been following these ladies since they started on YouTube and they are so entertaining to watch! I also love how I have been able to witness their progression and success on YouTube throughout the years.

Tell us about your daily makeup routine.

My daily makeup routine is comprised of a neutral eye with a bold lip. I think lipsticks are great statement pieces. If you want an innocent look, pop on a baby pink lipstick. If you want to feel sexy, wear a bloody red lipstick. If you want to feel fierce, try a wine-colored lipstick. If you want to feel ultra feminine, wear a fuchsia-colored lipstick. I am able to alter how I look and feel, just by switching up my lip color and I love that.

What’s your ideal look for the holidays?

For the holidays, I will definitely be incorporating glitter into my eye looks. Whether it is with a neutral eye or a dark smokey eye, I think glitter gives any look that “oomph”. I think red lipsticks are also perfect for the season!

Any new products you’re excited about?

Benefit just came out with a new tinted lip and cheek stain called Lollitint. I just placed my online order, so I’m waiting for it to arrive. Based on the pictures, I think I am going to be in love with it! I am also excited for the new Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I just wish they would release it already! 

If we looked inside your bag right now, what beauty products would we find?

You would find an EOS lip balm, mascara, a black eyeliner, and oil blotting sheets.

What are your all-time favorite products?

My first all-time favorite product is my Urban Decay Naked palette (#1). That palette is amazing. I’ve been able to create numerous looks ranging from neutral to smoky, for day or night. Its convenient size has also made it a great palette to take while traveling. I’m also in love with Red Cherry #48 lashes. I think I could live the rest of my life using those lashes; they’re amazing. Lastly, MAC’s Fix+ is another all-time favorite product. I recommend it to everyone! It adds moisture to my skin, helps set my face so that my foundation doesn’t look too cakey, and leaves my skin feeling fresh! The smell is also very pleasant as well.

Are you more of a drugstore girl or high-end lover?

I am a drugstore girl when it comes to mascaras, eyeliners, lip balms, and brow pencils. I am a high-end lover when it comes to foundations, primers, lipsticks, and eyeshadows.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into vlogging?

If vlogging is something that you’re very interested in doing, go for it, but make sure you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. There can be mean people on the web who may leave rude comments. But remind yourself that even though one person may leave a rude comment, ten other people will be pouring you love! In addition, great lighting is so important. It can really alter the quality of your video, so keep that in mind when you start filming.