Respect

Martial Arts are a way of Life, no matter their origins, their focus, their techniques. At their core, they are – heroically and with grace – brimming with precious words of wisdom. . .ones which transcend all temporal confines.

That everything begins, and ends, with respect is not relegated to the Arts, but to Life, our relationships, our interactions, and ourselves.

To maintain respect in the face of adversity and calm alike is at the heart of being a warrior. . .and a solid human being.  Like integrity and honesty it is a key pillar of a fulfilled, happy, and healthy Life.

Spring 2017 – YSL Touche Eclat Le Cushion

Ever building on the Touche Eclat empire, YSL will be launching the coveted glow-getting formula in a new format for Spring 2017.  Yep, you guessed it…a cushion.  LE Cushion, to be exact. 😉 The product will be offered in 7 shades designed to enhance radiance with natural coverage. 

Chicprofile.com

Chicprofile.com

In addition to that exciting news, the Company is also brining in three Touch Eclat Glow Shots, a highlighter boasting the hefty promise of a 10-hour strobe effect AND ultra hydration, via hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and Ruscus.  Glow Shots will come in 3 shades:

  • No.1 Daylight – Create a reflective, mirror effect (light skin tones)
  • No.2 Sunrise – Create a rosy glow (light skin tones)
  • No.3 Sunset –  Create a healthy glow (medium to dark skin tones)
Chicprofile.com

Chicprofile.com

And…one more dashing add…the YSL Touche Eclat White, Limited Edition.  I’m already chomping at the bit for this one because a “porcelain effect” is like music to my goth-y ears… It can be used for adding a beautiful sheen, or for more extreme strobe and contour effects. 

Chicprofile.com

Chicprofile.com

Urban Decay Prime Time For Holiday

Newness from Urban Decay *possibly* in time for the Holiday (supposedly available from Belk.com, but I don’t see any of these listed as yet.)  Otherwise, they are launching on urbandecay.com January 1st. 

It isn’t just one product, though, or one kind of product.  UD is releasing five new primers. Yes, five. (Once again, my inner ballroom-dance-competitor-self is wondering why they’ve arrived so long after I stopped competing!) 

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allure.com photo

The five, which will retail for $34 each, include:

1. Optical Illusion – Designed to blur flaws, reduce fine lines, minimize pores, smooth skin
2. Bright & Tight – Aims to provide brighter, firmer skin
3. De-Slick – As with their other De-Slicks, designed to absorb and minimize shine, and to make your makeup last loner
4. Self-Adjusting– A color-correcting formulation with encapsulated pigments that adjust to your personal skin tone
5. Urban Defense – A translucent, SPF 30 sunscreen base

They do already have quite a lineup of setting sprays, as well as eyeshadow primer – all which seem to manage rave reviews – but I think these will do rather well as a natural expansion for them.  Thoughts?

Autumn / Winter – Cushion Correction

You know how trends go…they generally hit the mainstream and go through countless innovations and iterations until they are exhausted.  Cushions are a format that many have taken to, though, and given the popularity of multi-use single products (whether with respect to format, such as palettes, duo splits etc; or formulation, such as concealer and primer, or moisturizer and foundation etc), it makes sense that someone would come out with a half and half cushion.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Cushion acts as a color corrector, and a primer in one – the color splits offered include a green and yellow (a traditional pairing) and a peach with lavender.  

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Of the four, lavender is always the color I’d use the least – it works really well for brightening on sallow skin, but I actually LIKE the yellow undertones in my own.  Peach often comes in handy too, to brighten dark patches and circles (I guess it’s fair to say I wish there was a peach with yellow combination…)

As for yellow and green, yellow often can stand in place of green, because it does calm redness a bit, and definitely helps to brighten and even skintone.  Green is a shade you do have to use with a gentle hand because it can become too cooling and “show” more so than a yellow might.

In any case, I love the idea… These boast an SPF 20, which is always nice to have, and they are non-comedogenic (something I make a point to find on the label!)

Illamasqua – SOPHIE Anti-Bullying Campaign

If there is one thing I don’t like to do, it’s engage in political diatribe, or proselytize my own views.  While I’m not opposed to important discussions, I have found that one or the other can often turn out heatedly, but generally not with good resolve. I try to keep my opinions about such things to myself, and simply listen when others care to share (or ignore the vehement postings if I must.)

That said, I am really big on anti-bullying, and because I work with children in Marital Arts, I like to encourage education about what seems to be more and more prevalent these days. Having been the subject of several forms of abuse from partners in my past, I can safely say it is a topic that some have a hard time speaking up about, particularly as the victim.  Bullying in and of itself is a very primal act…and one you might expect humans would have the wherewithal to override.  While dominance is oft exerted in the animal kingdom, I feel that the deliberate taunting is something human beings have added to the mix. 

I like that Illamasqua – a brand that stands apart in a multitude of ways – is so outwardly supporting this cause.  I can’t say that I was outrageously divergent aesthetically, but I got to a point where I was enough so, that I got teased, talked about, harassed too… That wasn’t the “abuse” in my own life so much, but it was pretty terrible.  While I managed to sidestep most of it (mainly I was distracted by worse!) I understand what it’s like.

Illamasqua has been honoring the memory of Sophie, a young lady who was the horrifying subject of bullying gone to the extreme, since her passing in 2007.  Each November they run a campaign to spread the word, and to take proceeds and donate them to a worthy cause. 

I have no affiliation with this company in any way, and in fact learned about Sophie some years ago through them.  But again, I respectfully share because it’s important that no one is alone in their suffering.  

Halloween Shoppe…Meow!

It’s that time of year! 😀

No matter the enormity of the selections out there for foundation – whether color, or formulation, mass market, or prestige – I only ever use Meow.  I’m a cat lover, tis true (the fact may indeed be responsible for me finding the Company many years ago). . .but I stick with Meow not because I love the names (marketing can sway a lady easily – you know who you are!)  

No, they are my must-have because they straight up deliver.  Their mineral foundations contain VERY little – something that tends to be like an elusive butterfly these days.  An ingredient list that’s short, to the point, and pronounceable?!  SIGN ME UP!

The formulas last too – as an athlete and Martial Artist it’s fair to say I’ve put these to the test.  Often. And not just any old paces – full on Jiu-Jitsu, ballroom competitions, leg day, HIIT on occasion…those minerals work hard!

With all that activity, why wear any at all? Wouldn’t my pores be clogged?!  I happily – and emphatically – say “NOPE!”

These minerals are skin-loving – it’s almost like doubling up (let’s be honest, with me, quadrupling up!) on skincare.  My skin manages to breathe and stay even with the added benefit – thanks to zinc oxide and titanium oxide – of natural sun defense, and protection from daily aggressors.  These aren’t full of fancy pants ingredients but they don’t have to be – they give me an extra layer of armor, so to speak, over all of my lotions and potions (with which I am equally as discerning!)  It’s nice not to have to peel back a label just to read the rest of the ingredient list.

That aside, the color selection is ASTOUNDING – WELL beyond what most mass or prestige companies will ever offer.  Meow accounts for countless undertones (86 shades with coordinating concealers – read that number again!) I know! What?!?! 

Another major point? The products are non-comedogenic – for someone who’s active, that goes a long way.

Did I mention you also get a TON of minerals for your money (the larger containers are enormous! – don’t count on finding the same generosity at a Sephora or Ulta!) 

Anyway…to my Hallows point!

…Meow is currently offering Halloween Foundations – a nice departure from greasy, pore-clogging face paints of old – so definitely check them out if you have sensitive skin. . .or you don’t want to coat yourself in something ultra-unnatural!

The colors are designed to be opaque, and layerable, so you can achieve whatever level of zombified or goulish that you are aiming for…without clogging your beautiful peau. I mean what’s the point of haunting around if you’re dreading post-Halloween breakouts!? Talk about freaky!

Rimmel Fresher Skin

One of the most important things about color cosmetics for me – as an athlete (and once performing athlete in dance and figure skating – is the lasting power.  I don’t wear much because fresh-faced and natural is so much more appealing to me.  But when it is required to pull myself together, I still want something that will hold up – to humidity, sweat, heat, rain…whatever.  Being a porcelain doll is lovely – but for me personally, having to worry about my face melting off is just not something I am willing to deal with.

I’m not sure this is a USA release, or whether it will be – no word of it ’round here.  But thanks to ReallyRee, I caught wind of it, and felt the need to share for those of you who have also not seen it – in store or online.  (There are other blog posts for sure, if you feel like snooping.)

This actually reminds me of a pot that L’Oreal had back in the early 90’s – I can’t remember the name of it but it felt like skincare, which totally appealed to me (even at an incredibly young, and non-makeup-wearing age.)

The Fresher Skin formula is humidity and sweat resistant, starts as water-gel, and transforms into a “refreshing cream,” a la many Japanese products before it.  It doesn’t clog pores – another HUGE point for me, absorbs shine, and doesn’t settle into lines.  It happens to look really nice on her skin – and she has other photos, so definitely check it out.

 

MAC Studio Fix Newness

I’ve seen two or three posts about the new adds to the MAC Studio Fix lineup – for those of you who love MAC, or the cult Studio Fix-ins…check out Britishbeautyblogger’s post, complete with swatches.  ReallyRee also shares swatches and comments.

The three new products are:

  1. MAC Studio Fix Perfecting Powder
  2. MAC Studio Fix Perfecting Stick
  3. MAC Studio Fix Fluid

These are supposed to be launching this month so keep your eyes open!

10 Powerful Tips from Joel Almeida

I recently saw this article from Tiny Buddha, written by Joel Almeida, and it resonated very deeply with me.  I feel blessed to have experienced the hardships I have in relationships – alarming that may sound to some – because they has given me far more gifts than they have taken away.  

Being a better version of myself is a quotidian reflection for me, and a pursuit I have committed to for a lifetime. I make countless mistakes, have as many shortcomings as the next person, and feel as frustrated with human beings – strangers, friends, family alike – on a daily basis.  I fall victim to the dreadful habits of minimizing, justifying, and making excuses for everyone else ALL the time on top of it – one of the reasons I landed in such painfully damaging situations to begin with.  But, as a result of countless treatment methodologies, the understanding of what a healthy relationship *should be*…and the actual applications to myself came together.

ottmag.com

ottmag.com

I have a ton of growing yet to do – learning, retraining, healing, and beyond. . . But the moment I recognized that I deserved better than the horrors I had, things began to fall into place rapidly – conceptually, physically, emotionally, and REALLY... But having a healthy relationship after a lifetime of dysfunctional and abusive ones?  It actually isn’t as easy to navigate as you might think!  It has taken a lot of adjusting to even allow someone to do something nice for me (my incredible fiancé can attest to the struggle – it’s real! 😉 ) 

It matters to me that our love flourishes, that he feels good about himself, and that he knows, no matter what, that he can always rely on me.  For that to happen, I have to also work on myself – whether in loving, forgiving, respecting, or being brutally honest, I owe myself as much as I do my significant other.  It is only then can I really give all of myself. 

A relationship itself is also work – not work in the sense of utter drudgery, mind you!  But it takes nourishing, understanding, and compassion.  Relationships are built on trust, respect, and appreciation.  With those things in place, it becomes and endless wellspring of love.

I loved the points Joel touched on – I’ve never come across his work before, but I really appreciated this piece.  Life is so fast paced and crazy that it’s easy to lose sight of things – or control of ourselves!  I know I’ve not always reacted in the way I’d like to, but I take each failure – in sports, school, work, relationships, whatever! – as an opportunity to learn and grow.  

Sweatproof Minerals Designed By (And For) Athletes

The concept behind this Company is one near and dear to my athletic, but womanly, heart – products designed for athletes that will stay on, stay true (in color), and don’t cause havoc for your skin.  

But…the reviews for this newbie – Sweat Cosmetics – range from terrible, to “not worth it,” to five-star.  It’s a little tricky to tell where this really will average out, but overall the reaction hasn’t been stellar – hopefully that will change (I’m rooting for you, ladies!)  

The line is made up of just four products so far – the Translucent Mineral Powder ,  Mineral Foundation with SPF 30, Mineral Illuminator with SPF 30, and the Mineral Bronzer with SPF 30.  I have seen a lot of water-resistant, longer wearing products in the last year or two, which is definitely a-ok by me – I need products that live up to their claims of staying power without making my skin freak out.  But…not all of the offerings out there manage to be a home run in both categories…  Their twist brush also makes life a lot easier, another plus for women on the go.

sweatcosmetics.com/

sweatcosmetics.com/

I love that this was created by five Olympic and pro athletes though – they GET the struggle active women face! 🙂 For many years I wanted my own product line too (not that I was noteworthy as a public sports figure, but I sure as heck have knowledge and experience!)  I was managing the Fragrance section of the Cosmetic Department in NYC in a massive department store, so my exposure to the cosmetics arena at the time was daily.  I was frustrated by the lack of products that could lend a more natural feel, last through rigorous training, and long days.  I’m seeing more of it but I still have to rely on random pieces from specific brands – I can’t get all products from the same brand because it doesn’t really exist.  

So overall, the idea is wonderful – I’m just not sure these particular formulas have caught on as yet, or that they are delivering quite as they need to…but I really hope that they do, and that more women try them out.  I’m reluctant to switch what I use currently because my formula (my collection of go-to products) really works for me.  I also have my wedding coming up in October and trying to avoid any potential skin woes – product-induced clogged pores, breakouts, acne, whatever! – beforehand!

The reason I personally get it?  HERE!