Scrub-a-dub-dub

Off the top of my head, I could think of 50 things I'd rather be doing than deep cleaning my brushes. It's probably THE bane of my existence but it's a necessary evil. The skin is our largest organ, our first line of defense and the first thing people see – so we gotta protect it! Besides keeping our skin in better shape, clean brushes also makes it easier to blend. I can't lie and say I deep clean them EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK (which is recommended), but I have a handful of brushes so I tend to push off deep cleansing for a hot minute. Eye brushes are especially crucial to clean after/before each use because having product build up is 1. Gross and 2. Can muddy the colors (that means awful blending). To get a marvelous clean without the pruney hands in-between deep cleaning, I'm OBSESSED with the Cinema Secrets Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner. It's easy, quick, incredibly effective and dries super fast. Which I LOVE! I can clean my brushes with this product about 5-10 minutes before sitting at my vanity and they're ready to go. I still love my MAC Brush cleaner as well, but it just takes to long so dry. So I think we know who I feel is the real winner here. (find it in 4 sizes here!)

Ideally, you're looking to deep clean your personal brushes every 1-2 weeks, maybe 3, depending on how often you use them. I know it's such a drag, but this Cinema Secrets brush cleaner is only going to get your brushes so clean. You definitely have to bust out the big guns from time to time.

Things you'll need

  • Soap – you spend money on your brushes, and they're gentle creatures, so straight up dish detergent ain't treating your babies right. I recommend the Beauty Blender brand liquid cleanser (find it here) to be kind to your sensitive bristles and just a TOUCH of a gentle and moisturizing dish soap. I'm sure plenty of my makeup artists are gritting their teeth at this suggestion. But hear me out! Those "tough on grease, not on your hands" commercials are right – they're incredibly moisturizing, but they're heavy duty. I particularly like to add just a small squeeze of dish soap to really help break up stubborn products like foundation, concealers, liquid lipsticks, gel liners and glitters.
  • A plastic bowl or dish – I like to do this step to create my liquid, soapy concoction to dip my brushes in before swirling them around on my hand or mat
  • Brush Cleaning Mat or Glove (*optional) – you don't need this item, but let me tell you – you need it if you want to maintain your sanity while washing your brushes. It makes your life 1000% easier and your hands much less pruney than if you were to not use one. A quick Google search can give you tips on making your own, but shout out to my boo, Anna for hooking yo girl up! (It's a great birthday present, y'all… find it here for only $25!)

Easy as 1,2,3 (4,5,6…)

  1. Pour 1 part dish soap to 3 parts Beauty Blender liquid in your bowl
  2. Wet your brush under warm to luke warm water, careful to JUST run the water on the bristles and not too close to the ferrel (the part where the bristles come out from)
  3. Lightly dip in soap mixture
  4. Gently swirl around in circular motions and back and forth on Sigma Spa mat/glove till suds turn more white than dirty from the makeup
  5. Rinse out soap, again careful to not run water too close to bristles
  6. Holding your brush with bristles facing down, gently squeeze out water making sure all soap is out and that the water runs clear. If not, repeat steps 3-5 til it does
  7. Reshape bristles
  8. Lay flat to dry! – I especially like to lay them flat along my countertop or table top with the bristles hanging slightly off so that the air can circumvent and dry the brush thoroughly from all sides

 

I like to let them dry overnight so they're ready to go by morning!! This isn't the most glamorous part of makeup, and I wish I could hire a professional makeup washer… but it's like dishes or undies y'all – you gotta clean them to reuse them.

Who's interested in a post about my favorite makeup brush brands? 🤔

xoxo
The Glam Greek

Classic American Red Lips

I think the best way to complete your All-American look, is to reach for a fire engine red lipstick.

I know that the search for one is pretty daunting on your own, so here are a few of my favorites:

Clockwise from the top || MAC “Feel So Grand”; Anastasia Beverly Hills “American Doll”; Coloured Raine “Cherry Blossom”; Two Faced “Lady Balls”; MAC “Ruby Woo”

  • MAC “Feel So Grand” – liquid lipsticks are my jam and when MAC came out with their own, I had to give them a try. MAC was one of the first companies to come out with stand-out, stellar reds, so I knew this one would be good. It’s a bright red, not too blue not too orange, and very long wearing. Be sure to exfoliate and moisturize before hand because this formula is pretty drying. Find it here
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills “American Doll” – the name alone could be why I picked this color – but this truly is one of my favorite red lipsticks and I think the Anastasia Beverly Hills formula and their applicator make her line of liquid lipsticks my ultimate liquid lipstick crack. It’s a deep, but bright blue-red with a smooth even formula that’s long-wearing. Find it here
  • Coloured Raine “Cherry Blossom” – THIS RED Y’ALL!!! It’s a beautiful deep cherry red color that’s perfect for any skin type, which is exactly what the founder of this company wanted, and she hit the blue-based red color and the longwearing, non-drying formula right on the head. Find it here
  • Two Faced “Lady Balls” – It’s always a little scary when one of your favorite makeup brands jumps on a makeup trend bandwagon, because you hope that their formula doesn’t suck and make you regret your purchase. But Two Faced did a GREAT job on their liquid lipsticks, and their red is a classic true matte red. This formula is a smidge drying, so remember to exfoliate and lightly moisturize before applying. Find Lady Balls here
  • MAC “Ruby Woo” – Last but not least, an oldie but a goodie – the OG CLASSIC RED LIPSTICK – Ruby Woo by MAC. This isn’t a liquid lipstick, this is your classic retro matte MAC formula, it’s pretty drying and I highly recommend a lip pencil to line your lips first (like Brick or Cherry by MAC) to enhance the shape and give the color a nice outline of where to go, but this color is highly universal and looks beautiful on every skin tone I’ve seen it on. Find it here

Not everyone is comfortable with a red lip, but I say push past your comfort zones and never give up on finding the right red shade for you, because nothing can make you feel like a boss a$$ b!tch like beautifully painted red lips.

xoxo

The Glam Greek

Chic & Casual – The Graphic Tee + Sneakers

I might be revealing my age a little here, but I remember when I was in middle school EVERYONE had Adidas Superstars. Most people had the classic black tri-stripe, some had red, green, fuschia… I remember half not wanting to give into the trend, and half wanting to beg my mom to buy me a pair as well. But being that we were in intermediate school, I knew it was a fad and the next shoe craze would come along and I’d be begging for a new pair of shoes.

The classic Stan Smiths

Fast forward a decade and a half, and here were are again. This time though, it’s not only Adidas, but all sneakers in general – Converse, New Balance, Steve Madden, Nike, etc! And good golly am I excited.

Sneakers are the answer to everyone’s outfit. Not sure what to wear with that sundress? Already wore those sandals 4 times this week? Wanna be dressed up but not too much? What says “I’m classy but also a little edgy and always ready to party” better than a pair of sneakers?

When I tore my ACL back in Junior year of high school, I needed to wear sneakers because I needed the extra support while my knee healed. Unfortunately for me at the time, track suits with the butt billboard and Ugg boots were more in trend than my beloved “Athleisure”. So I was pretty much confined to a pair of running shoes and an assortment of Soffe shorts to fit over my brace and allow more comfortability when using crutches, especially immediately following my surgery.

This time around (even though it’s just a meniscus tear vs an ACL), I can be chic AND comfortable while having that closed toe shoe support to help with my knee!

hehe! my left knee is still swollen here

As an adult, sometimes we have to get up and do things and go places. A lot of those times, it’s a little inappropriate to show up in sweats (although yoga pants are now becoming more acceptable especially at post barre class brunches)! The best part about sneakers is that they go great with a graphic tee. The best part about graphic tees and sneakers is that paired with the right accessories, you can take something that’s usually very casual into something pretty chic!

Here I tucked my tee up and under into a slight midriff top, paired it with my favorite whatever-season appropriate suede skirt, pulled my hair into a pony after teasing the crown slightly and jazzed it all up with a statement lip with matching statement earrings!

This tee is a special edition Walt’s Wardrobe, and was the wedding favor from Bae’s sister and now brother-in-law’s wedding (also where I aggravated my knee dancing to the point I needed crutches). Love that it’s simple & white, and can be paired with these gorgeous purple Artemis tassle statement earrings from Baublebar.

Lips : Anastasia Beverly Hills Vintage & Madison liquid lipsticks mixed

The possibilities of dressing up or dressing down a pair of sneakers and a tee are endless. What are your faves?

xoxo

The Glam Greek

To Infinity and Beyond

The hopeless romantic that I put to sleep years ago after a parade of pigs and failed relationships tore my outlook on love down to bits has been resurrected since I met Bae. I’ve been swooning over weddings since I was a little girl (I even spent time planning my own to Backstreet Boy, AJ McLean for a while), but when the reality of dating hit hard in my young adulthood, it was like I had a vendetta against the single male population between the ages of 20 – 35.

But I found someone who makes me feel SO cheesy romantic. Gross.

This past weekend was my own Prince Charming’s sister’s wedding, and as my favorite Disnerd couple, their nuptials were quite the magical affair – I definitely felt the love that night.

face

Foundation/Concealer || Urban Decay Naked (shade 7.0); Maybelline Age Rewind (shade Neutralizer)
Powder || Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre (30 Naturel) to set highlight; Nars Pressed Powder (Beach)
Contour || Nars (Laguna); MAC (Blunt)
Blush || Nars (Deep Throat)
Highlight || My Beauty Bar (Beauty Queen)

 

eyes

Brows || Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow (chocolate)
Shadow Primer || MAC Paintpot (Soft Ochre)
Crease (in order of application) || ABH (Blushing), MUG (Cupcake), ABH (Dusty Rose), MUG (Bitten), MUFE (M-928)
Lid || My Beauty Bar pigment (Love Letter), Stila Metal Liquid Glitter (Rose Gold Retro)
Brow Bone || MAC (Carefree)
Inner Corner || MUG (Shimma Shimma) + Coloured Raine (Clutch Pearls)
Liner || NYX Matte Liquid Liner
Lashes || Tarte (Goddess)
Undereye || MAC (Smolder); MUFE (M-928); MUG (Bitten)

lips

Anastasia Beverly Hills (Dusty Rose) + Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint (Low Key)

But… the night didn’t end so magical. A couple of months ago I’m pretty sure I reinjured my left knee, THE same knee that I had ACL reconstructive surgery on back in high school. I was doing a pretty ridiculous plyometric workout and my trainer challenged me to jumping donkey kicks… Youtube it… which is what I should’ve done before attempting, but I just started going at it. Eventually I would land incorrectly during one of them and my knee popped out of place and wouldn’t pop back, but I usually would be able to walk on it and feel better within half an hour. After a few weeks of rest, I decided to get back into training legs, but my knee would slip every once in a while. I didn’t think much of it because my knee’s always done weird things during the time since my surgery. But at Bae’s sister’s wedding, my knee slipped out of place and locked… while dancing. Literally my favorite thing in the world.

I sat, changed into flats, elevated my leg and iced it for about 15 minutes, but the FOMO kicked in when I saw all my friends on the dancefloor without me. And the DJ was just SO GOOD…

so I kept dancing on it

But it was SO worth it!! I ended up not being able to bear any weight on my left leg for the following 3 days and had to use crutches and wasn’t able to sleep well from the knee pain. But hey.. it was a good time.

Moral of the story – never stop dancing.

xoxo

The Glam Greek

The Brave Never Die, Though They Sleep in Dust

“Their courage nerves a thousand living men”

– Minot J. Savage

People get the call to do many incredible things in life that are bigger than them; teachers, priests/preachers, doctors, those in monastic life, and soldiers, just to name a few. There are those that despite imminent sacrifices, know they will heal the sick, will spread His word, will help to mold the minds of our next generations, and will possibly lose their life for their country. When someone decides to leave the comforts of civilian life and become property of their government, they chose to serve others in a way we could never imagine. They are choosing possible aftereffects of being in and seeing war, they are choosing to remove themselves from milestones in their own family’s lives to put themselves on the front lines so that others can enjoy being a free civilian, so that others will not have to suffer as they do, so that their families can enjoy important milestones.

There are a handful of holidays on our calendar that seem a little frivolous to me – used as a tool by the greeting card or beer companies so that we throw parties and spend senseless amounts of money. But the reason behind the holidays can’t be ignored. Take Mother’s Day for example, we all come from the womb of our mothers, she raises us despite any hardship and we give her only one day of thanks on the calendar. Same goes to the fallen heroes of our country. I don’t know how to say thank you enough to the men and women who decide to take that path, and often times give everything they have, right to their very last breath, to a much larger purpose in life – to serve others and their country.

We spend this long weekend, usually the kick-off to the summer season, barbecuing, sun-bathing, enjoying time with our families – which is exactly what I was blessed to do this weekend, without spending too much longer than a moment of silence for those that have lost their lives preserving this very right for celebration. On our way home from the beach, I had ample amount of time to reflect and became very inspired…

FACE
BASE || UD Naked Foundation (7.0), MAC Prolongwear Concealer (NC42), MUFE Duo Mat Powder (207)
HIGHLIGHT || Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (Neutralizer), Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette (Lucio & Lyrie)
CONTOUR || KVD Shade + Light (sombre, shadowplay & subconscious)
CHEEK || MAC MSF (cheeky bronze) for blush, Milani Runway Eyeshadow (golden touch) on cheekbones

LIPS
Dose of Colors “Scarlet Lace”

EYES
BROWS || ABH Dipbrow (chocolate)
BROW BONE || MAC “Blanc Type”
CREASE || MUG “Peach Smoothie”, “Neptune” & “Nautica” + Juvia’s Place “Chi” + Colourpop “Too Shy” + MAC “Contrast”
LID || MAC “Amber Lights” + “All that Glitters”
INNER CORNER || MAC “Gesso”
STARS & WHITE STRIPES || Limecrime “Lunar Sea” [d/c] RED STRIPES || Dose of Colors “Scarlet Lace”
LASHES || Lashes in a Box “E1”

Thank you to the brave everyday, for preserving the land of the free.

xoxo
The Glam Greek