Shahada’s Little Helpers: Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base (Yellow)

This is one of those little ‘tricks’ that makeup artists use to correct either a foundation or a skin tone, to make it look like they (or a client) were born with perfectly ‘color balanced’ skin. Koh Gen Do makes several makeup bases for color correction, including pink and pearl white. One of my staples is the makeup base in yellow.

Although many companies make color correcting bases, I prefer Koh Gen Do because of the consistency. I find that all of their bases, from foundations to color correctors, have the same consistency. So they play very well together. Sometimes, color correcting bases are too thin or watery, and change the properties of the foundation you’re using, or change the surface of the skin (if you apply it directly to the skin instead of mixing it in the foundation), so that the foundation doesn’t lay the same. When you mix Koh Gen Do bases, they sort of ‘harmonize’ and let you create your personalized foundation or concealer or corrector, without ever compromising the consistency of the original formula. For me, at least, this is kind of a big deal.

You can see the base is very opaque, and still quite yellow, even on my warm skin tone. I didn’t blend it in because I wanted you to see how ‘dense’ this formula is. Some formulas, the minute you warm them on your skin, disappear right into your skin. But this one holds on. In addition to mixing it with foundations, I’ll also use this makeup base for extreme highlighting purposes on someone with distinct yellow undertones. I’ve found that it’ll even ‘warm up’ a peach color corrector or concealer that may pull too pink on certain skin tones. Truly, the possibilities are endless, and I honestly chalk that up to the formula. It’s strong enough to maintain its own identity when used alone, but versatile enough to mix and blend with other liquid and cream formulations.

You can find out more about Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base HERE.

Beauty On The Inside: The Three Day Juice Fast

I really want a slice of pizza right now.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to ‘detox’ physically, mentally and spiritually. I’ve been taking each endeavor one day at a time.

Now, I’m still recovering from the effects of too many Glutathione shots (my skin will never forgive me), so I decided to clean out the old pipes the old fashioned way: with juice.

Here in Los Angeles, it seems like there’s a juice bar on every corner… and everyone is claiming to change your life with just one swig of their mystery elixir. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t wasting my time (or my money), so I did a little research.

I hit up some of the majors (BluePrint and the newly formed/celebrity driven GLO Bio)… and for about 300+ they’ll promise to change you from the inside out. I looked for lesser (read: cheaper) known companies, and found Pressed Juicery… but there’s so much controversy about the fact that it’s not 100% organic and ‘when’ they press their juices (they are pressed off site), that I passed it by.

Then I found The Real Juice:

The first thing that got my attention was the process. The juices are 100% organic, cold pressed (never heated) and unpasturized. The second thing that got my attention was the size. Each bottle is 16 ounces (not 8 ounces like some of the others). The third thing that got my attention was the price.

I caught a fantastic deal on and got a 3 day cleanse (which I’m told is the most practical… more effective than a one day cleanse and not as excessive as a five day cleanse) for little more than $100. And the best part about The Real Juice… is the owner. Shila is quick to respond by phone or email, and offers unlimited support while you cleanse.

So I told her I would chronicle my journey, and she says she’s happy to answer any questions for the blog or the magazine as needed.

I chose the second level cleanse, because I’m no stranger to juicing. But, I’ve never done a complete fast in this fashion, so this extreme cleansing process is new to me. The difference between a first level and second level cleanse, is the amount of ‘green’ juice that you have to drink. For me, it’s 3 bottles a day.
They arrived on my doorstep with more freezer packs than one will ever need, and a lovely little freezer bag to carry the juices with me when I travel.

The first day was pretty easy. It’s a LOT of juice — and you drink a bottle every couple of hours. I was not hungry… not once. In fact, I couldn’t finish all of the bottles. I did polish off the last bottle this morning during yoga. My energy level hasn’t changed, and I’m still not hungry.

I’m now at the end of Day 2. Today was a little more difficult. I really did NOT want to drink any more of the green juice after about a bottle an a half (there is still a bottle and a half in the fridge as I type this. I will likely polish off half a bottle before bed and leave the other for tomorrow when I work out.

I’m still not hungry. I’m not thirsty either. I’m not… anything. I have absolutely no appetite. But I do want some pizza. At this point,  I think it’s more of a texture thing.

There is the wonderful side effect of an utterly flat belly, a few pounds and maybe half an inch… but I’ll wait until after Day 3 for a full assessment.

So far, so good. I’ll report back when it’s done!

Favorite Things 2012: Lashing Out

I came across some of the coolest formulas and little ‘additions’ for making your lashes utterly fabulous this year.

Here’s what topped my list:

Mascara: Chanel Le Volume de Chanel

Did Chanel REALLY surpass Armani in terms of a quality mascara? My answer is yes. The Volume de Chanel Mascara is, in my opinion, the best mascara Chanel has ever dreamed up. It not only lengthens and builds volume, it also ‘curls’ your lashes! Seriously, I can put this mascara on without curling first, and still end up with long, lush curly lashes.

Individual Lashes: MAKE UP FOR EVER Individual Lashes

These Make Up For Ever Individual Lashes have been a life saver! It takes a little practice, but adding individual lashes can become about the simplest thing in any given beauty routine. I’ve used a ton of these to open up clients eyes without the drama of a strip lash. They work beautifully and look totally natural. You can use them alone or with a little mascara. I highly recommend these babies.

Strip Lashes: VELOUR Mink False Lashes

This is a lovely way to add a little luxury without breaking the bank. What I love about Velour Lashes is that they’re so light and comfortable! And, they don’t cost an arm an a leg. Most mink lashes can run you in the hundreds of dollars (no, seriously). Plus, you can use these up to 25 times with proper care. And for those of you worried about the lovely little minks that these lashes came from… worry not; The hairs for these lashes come from the what the animals naturally shed when they are brushed.

That’s it! Those are my top ‘lash’ picks for 2012. Ciao for now!

Favorite Things 2012: Shahada’s Little Helpers

I thought I’d start the ‘Favorite Things’ series with some of the things that I truly feel have helped this temperamental skin of mine. Through detoxing and messing around with this face for no freakin’ reason… several things have come to my rescue.

The EVE LOM Rescue Mask is amazing.  My sister actually introduced me to it when my skin was really at its worst with the detox. The camphor in it (it smells like medicine) really went to work on my skin, and it looked better every time I used it. I went through my first jar pretty quickly (I probably  used too much), and immediately went out and bought another jar. This is excellent stuff. I love it.
Coral Actives makes a spot treatment with 6% dose of Benzoyl Peroxide. Since my detox meant an inhuman amount of cystic pimples, this stuff quickly became my best friend. It’s powerful stuff, so I had to use it very sparingly. I’d put it on before bed, and wake up to find my pimple sizes reduced  by half. Now I use it whenever I get a minor flareup, and it takes care of the problem right away. This stuff made a believer out of me. Love it.
I’ve been using the REN Bio Retinoid Anti Ageing Concentrate for a while. I use it at night as the final installment in my skin care routine, and it has consistently delivered. I always wake up looking refresed, brighter and a with a more even skin tone.

This stuff is GOLD. I mix Sunday Riley Good Genes with everything: cleansers, masks, moisturizers. I even ‘layer’ it under a drawing mask to really push the serum into my skin. This is the ultimate booster. Ever since I discovered it, I’ve been a true believer. Good Genes is Good Stuff.

Sisleya Eye & Lip Contour became a staple when I started taking hydration seriously, especially around my eyes. Since I have oily skin, I never really paid attention to ‘extra’ hydration. This is a pricey formula, but I find it highly effective. Plus, a little goes a really long way. My little jar has lasted me a year. Seriously.

That’s it! Those are my favorite ‘helpers’ for 2012.  Ciao for now!

Shiseido Holiday 2012: Camellia Compact

Shiseido has released the most gorgeous multi-use compact, with a price tag that won’t shut down your wallet. Normally, limited edition compacts come with a hefty price tag that can reach and even exceed $100 (Ahem CHANEL, Guerlain, and Sisley… I’m looking at you). But for $36, the Camellia Compact can come home with you.

Don’t panic. All that shimmer you see is just overspray. It comes right off with the tiniest swipe.

As I understand it, You can use this compact as for any part of the face… either as eyeshadow or blush. And you can swirl the colors together to get a deep rose flush…

I love this little palette. It’s functional and really easy to use, and it’ll flatter a wide range of skin tones. You can adjust that blush to go as light or as deep as you like. It’s perfect for the holiday season.

Apparently, this is a Macy’s exclusive. You can find out more about the Shiseido Camellia Compact HERE.

Eye Adore: Chantecaille Shadow in Malachite

It started with the hunt for a black based color that would not run ‘black’ without the help of a cream. I had this smoky eye look in mind for an upcoming shoot… but I wasn’t sure WHAT color I wanted to use for the smoke (not black or brown or grey, as per the usual).

And I found this:

What’s awesome about this color is that it’s not black or green or grey… but sort of a combination of the three. It swatches a STRONG greenish grey with just a hint of subtle shimmer. It’s so intense, that you can easily use it as an eyeliner.

Love this color. I don’t have a color like this anywhere in my kit (I thought it was like Rock & Republic Lawsuit… but this shade is much richer and darker), so I felt like I did a good thing. You can learn more about Chantecaille single eyeshadows HERE.

FOTD: Notorious

Okay, this is my first full attempt on myself with Notorious. I used it on several clients last week, and it was nearly invisible in its fabulousness. Okay, that doesn’t make sense. But it does… because the point of this product is that no one should really be able to tell that you’re wearing it.

I took this picture with a raggedy camera that we have laying around the house… because it picks up shadows very well. Can you see Notorious? It’s right under the hollow of my cheekbone.

With the flash, you can see the shadow, but not the product. It’s brilliant that way. And I PACKED it on, so that you guys could see it. But because it’s so sheer, it just kind of blends in. It’s really hard to mess up with this contour. I also ran it through the crease of my eyes, just for fun.

I took a stiff brush and ran it down the side of my face, JUST so you could see it. LOL. Now, even packed on with a stiff brush… it still tries to look like a shadow.

This product is brilliant. I highly recommend it. On the up side, it’ll  probably last forever so although it’s limited, I don’t think it’s worth a back up. I’ve found that every time I back something up, by the time I get to the second one… someone has come out with something EVEN BETTER. So one will do just fine.

Shadows and Light: Chanel Ombre Contraste (Notorious)

Chanel released a cozy little limited edition collection of contrasting colors. Most of it was a pass for me. But the Ombre Contraste in Notorious… a strange purple grey concoction… was a no brainer. Meant to be used as a contour, I was curious about how it would translate on my warm skin tone. 
Since Chanel used it on the palest models on earth for a fashion show, I had a pretty good idea of how it would translate on cool tones. Not a good look, because it has the potential to look like purple dirt. HOWEVER, now that I’ve seen it in person, I have to say that with a light touch, just about anyone… cool or warm… can use this product.

Looks like  a dark taupe, right? It’s not. There is a the faintest hint of red, and grey, and I’m fairly sure BROWN in there as well. That’s why I think it’ll be universal (I initially believed this would only be suited to warmer skin tones). What’s also noteworthy about this contour is that it’s sheer, so the skin will show through when you apply it.

I applied it very heavy so that you can see the true effect of this color on my skin tone. On my face, it will be much more subtle. I played around with contouring and was blown away by how effective this formula is.

I can confidently say that there is nothing like this on the market right now. This formula and the subtle mix of colors is unreal. And it’s REALLY kind of idiot proof. I dare say you can kind of slap this on, blend it in, and look contoured like a pro. I think that’s because the formula is so sheer, that it’s really hard to mess up. I am blown away by this stuff. Really.

It was sold out on the site for a few hours, but now it looks like it’s back up. So you can find out more about Ombre Contraste in Notorioius HERE.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream (MATTE BLACK)


I have finally gotten the MUFE Aqua Cream in Matte Black (#27). It’s been consistently sold out in my area. But by some stroke of dumb luck, there was one more left at Naimies. I didn’t even hesitate.

It is as awesome as I thought it would be. This formula is sooooooooooooo good. I’m in love! You can find out more about MUFE Aqua Creams HERE.

Beauty By Night (PM Skin Care Routine)

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about my skin, and specifically… my skin care routine. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have acne prone and oily skin (and some of you have seen the photographic evidence), and that keeping it under control is a daily exercise.

Day or night, I never make a move without my Clarisonic. I know that a lot of people use this device to help remove their makeup. I would never. I just think it cuts down the effectiveness of the ‘deep clean.’ I always remove my makeup first, with a remover oil or cleansing water. THEN I pump a little face cleanser on the Clarisonic, and deep clean  my skin.

I took this picture of my bare skin after removing makep and using the Clarisonic. I purposely took the picture at night, before beginning the moisturizing routine.                                                                           
My daytime routine has almost never changed… Habibi Oatmeal & Peppermint Wash and Moisturizer, and sunscreen. I did change my sunscreen for a stronger version at the beginning of summer. I now use Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30. 

But at night, I tend to layer. And every few months, I alter those layers a bit because my skin adapts… and just like a workout plateau, I have to shake things up to continue progress.

So I start with Habibi Oatmeal & Peppermint Face Wash and Moisturizer, then I follow with Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Ageing Concentrate.
This is the strangest little miracle product for me. I press half a dropperful into my skin and give it about 5 minutes or so to sink in. It has a slick feeling, but absorbs very nicely. Normally, I’ll brush my teeth and floss while I’m letting it absorb.

 Then I seal it with this little concoction:

I use half a fingerful of Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants balm, and one pump of M Steves Rose Hip Seed Oil Boost. If it’s really hot and my skin is in the mood to reject anything too oily, then I just use the M Steves. But if it’s feeling particularly dry and I know that I need a nice dose of moisture to work through the night, then I’ll mix the two.

I constantly pay attention to my skin. I know that its needs change with weather, hormonal changes, mood, circumstance (lack of sleep, stress, ect). So although my basics always stay the same, I’ll switch up by adding or subtracting ‘boosts’ or helpers along the way.

I’ve kept this routine pretty much through the summer. Although it’s hot as all get out, I still moisturize my skin at night. Even oily skin needs moisture. And as I get older, I’ve found that I need more moisture at night. Hopefully, this helps answer questions about  my skin care routine. Ciao for now!