Personal Life

How to make Acai Bowls at Home

Moving to LA was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I get asked a lot by my Midwest friends, “What is the best thing about living in LA?” There’s no way to answer because the list would be 10 miles long. One overwhelming positive thing about living here is the abundance of healthy food and the overall celebration of healthy lifestyles. Coming from St. Louis & Chicago, where late night bars and 5AM pizza places were on every corner, Los Angeles is much more focused on a healthy active life for it’s residents. There’s free hiking all over the city, a groupon deal every day for new places to burn fat and an overwhelming growth of healthy “restaurants” such as Sunlife Organics, Beaming and The Harvest Bar to name a few.

While these places are popular stops for smoothies and organic cold pressed juices, my favorite thing to order is the Acai Bowl. It’s probably the healthiest thing I’ve ever eaten and you can feel the energy your body produces as you digest it. The downside is that these cost anywhere from $10-$15 a piece. Fed up with my $80/mo acai addiction, I went to Whole Foods this week and bought the ingredients to start making them myself. Trust me you guys- this is the easiest, most delicious healthy treat you can imagine! The best part is all of these health restaurants post their menu online so all you need to do is duplicate the ingredients.

The benefits of acai (not to mention the other ingredients) are plentiful! I’ve noticed a big change in my skin as well as hair growth. According to Global Healing Center, acai also has the following benefits:

Heart Health

Resistance to Harmful Organisms

Weight Loss

Skin Health

Helps with Digestive Issues

Helps with Respiratory System

Improves Cellular Health

Fights Cancer

Anti-Aging Effect (fights free radical damage from inside out)

Energy Boost

Better Sex!

Improves Mental Function

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So let’s get started! Here’s my personal shopping list, but feel free to adjust according to your taste

Bullet Blender (best buy ever!)

Organic Strawberries (frozen)

Organic Blueberries (frozen)

Fresh Fruit: Bananas*, Strawberries, Blackberries whatever your favorites are.

Acai Powder

Almond Milk (or Cashew/Hemp/Coconut/Soy)

Fresh Peanut Butter (or Almond/Cashew/Coconut Butter)

Toppings:

Chia Seeds

Cacao Nibs

Dried Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)

Hemp Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Bee Pollen

Raw Honey

Granola

I don’t use all of these ingredients in one bowl, but this gives you plenty of options to keep it exciting. The only thing you need to buy fresh is whatever fruit you want to put on top, the rest stays good for a long time.

Step 1:

Blend handful of frozen strawberries, handful frozen blueberries and half of a fresh banana (save the other half) with acai powder (1 TBSP), nut butter (1 TBSP) and 1/4C almond milk (or milk of choice). Sometimes I’ll throw 1/2 TBSP of chia seeds in the blender. (Because I HATE blenders, I actually use a bullet which works perfectly for 1-2 portions.) You want the mix to be consistent to sorbet so start with less vegan milk and add little bits more if you need to get to right consistency.

Step 2:

Add blended fruit mix to bowl. Slice up fruit and arrange around the top. I love fresh strawberries and blueberries on top. Top with 1/2 TBSP each of Hemp Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cacao Nibs. Add granola if you’re extra hungry. Top with a swirl of Fresh honey (optional) and indulge!

UPDATE: more acai I’ve made this week:

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Base: frozen blueberries, banana, #acaipowder, almond milk. Top: #granola#hemp#plums, topped with #TAJIN.

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Base: (all #organic) frozen strawberries, fresh banana, acai powder, cashews, almond milk. Toppings: #granola, banana, strawberries, #hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, #cacao nibs, blackberries

Some other recipes:

Ultimate Acai Bowl from Beaming

6 Different Acai Bowl Idea’s from SunLife Organics

As I’m typing this I just found this “Backyard Bowls” website and am about to freak out with excitement… 

Namaste!

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New Career, New Outlook + WINTER SKIN ADVICE!

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I’ve needed to step back and absorb everything and reflect on how incredible life can be when you find yourself in the right place. I moved here 13 months ago and have had two career changes already. Each a stepping stone to whatever my destiny has in store. My Beauty Stylist history and knowledge led me to work for one of the best makeup companies in the world, but once I was there I found it really hard to be true to myself and my clients/fans. I believe that being open minded and filling yourself with as much knowledge as possible in whatever business you do is the key to success and not being able to use a different brand or different colors for clients (when necessary) aside from what my line offered became too much of a personal internal problem for me.

I not only love to style my clients in the perfect makeup for them, but also in the perfect skincare regimen. Finding the perfect red lipstick for a night out gives so much confidence, but that feeling only lasts so long (trust me, I’m addicted to that feeling). What keeps me confident the most is getting compliments on my skin. As an artist, I always ask people what kind of makeup they are looking for and sadly about 75% of the time I hear “FULL COVERAGE!”. Why are we so obsessed about covering up our insecurities? I became obsessed with fixing the problem first, then using makeup to enhance, NOT just cover it up!

If I can prescribe someone the right skincare to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin, makeup becomes FUN not a hassle. It’s been a dream of mine to be able to teach other people that work in retail (Nordstrom, Sephora, etc) how to share this view of mine and be successful in sales not because of the paycheck, but because they are finding a client exactly what they are looking for and building a personal relationship that promotes retention. I have some of the best clients in the world. They support me and many have become like family. Being honest, knowledgeable and genuine is the only secret to how I got where I am.

The last couple months have completely transformed me. I accepted an education and management position with one of the best skincare lines in the entire world, Caudalie. I’m now training the Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Hawaii markets. I still have my favorite products from other brands, but this company has changed so many outlooks on skincare that I have held in the past. I have learned more about skin in 2 months than I have in 2 years. I can’t wait to share my reviews and tutorials on Caudalie products as well as other favorites. I have been so busy adjusting to my role that I haven’t had any time to blog or make new videos. As soon as this holiday season is over I have a lot planned for my personal projects such as Beauty Styled. Until then, here are some tips and product recommendations that I can share to get you through this Winter Season.

1) Stop Over Peeling!!!

I know, I know. I’m the chick that posted a video and link to 40% Glycolic acid and how to literally burn the living flesh off of your face. If you insist on peeling I still recommend that product, but in a lower % and only once every few months. I’ve learned that your skin only needs a little under 3% to peel the dead skin off with Glycolic acid. Anything over 3% is taking off living skin. 40% is absolutely insane. You can do a quick peel but let’s basically compare it with getting lipo to lose weight instead of changing lifestyle and working out. You can get that instant result sometimes, but it’s better to do a much smaller % weekly and make it part of your lifestyle. Since using Caudalie I haven’t needed to do a chemical peel whatsoever. If you want that quick fix here are some great options:

Caudalie VinoPerfect Enzymatic Peel (once a week)

Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Peel (once every 2-4 weeks)

Skin Obsession 20% Glycolic Acid (once every 12-16 weeks)

2) Compare your skin to your bed.

When you are young, your skin is like a brand new mattress. Firm, fresh springs holding it up. Pillow top.

As you sleep on your mattress for years, the bed starts sinking in a little, the top gets grungy and you need to flip it, etc. Now let’s compare that to what happens in your skin. The springs are like your collagen and elastin, they get worn out and start loosing their strength. The surface of your skin is being attacked all the time by free-radicals, they are like little bedbugs that make your mattress gross. Free-radicals cause 4 out of 5 wrinkles and 80% of the visible signs of aging. So while our mattress is thinning out and collapsing, we are also doing necessary peels sometimes, as well as retinol that is shaving off layers of our skin. Over peeling causes our mattress to be super thin. Thin skin = sagging skin. We want to get rid of the “bedbugs (free-radical damage)” while boosting/restoring our springs. That’s why using products that boost your own natural collagen are so important. Using products with collagen in them is completely pointless. You want to grow your own!

Dr. David Sinclair from Harvard has named Resveratrol the most corrective-aging ingredient ever discovered to date.

Guess who owns the patent on Resveratrol… Caudalie! YAY! Okay so here are my recommendations for boosting your own collagen:

Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum (570 Clinical Trials. Skin density and natural collagen doubled in 6 days)

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum (has 10% Vitamin C Ester)

Dr. Perricone Cold Plasma

3) Free-Radicals are the Devil!

Free-Radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons out of our skin cells causing them to die off faster. I’m sure you know of them in their English non-scientific form: The Sun, Smoking, Drinking, Stress, Pollution. I feel like people in LA look really old at young ages because of this. We hate free-radicals because they cause 80% of the visible signs of aging, not to mention cancer. What combats free-radicals? Antioxidants!!!

I’ve changed my skincare outlook once I realized antioxidants are literally the most anti-aging thing in the world. If you block free-radicals, you aren’t aging (or at least showing it)! I compare antioxidants to the potion in Death Becomes Her (my favorite movie of all time by the way).

SCREW THE NATURAL LAW!

If you stop signs of aging, you don’t age. Lot’s of products have high anti-oxidant content. There’s one antioxidant that protects against 100% of free-radicals. It’s called Grapeseed Polyphenols. It’s the first patent that Caudalie made. Are you realizing why I’m so obsessed with this line yet? Good. Here’s my recommendations for antioxidants you can incorporate into your routine:

Caudalie Overnight Detox

I call this the Brita filter for your face. It filters out the free radicals overnight, not to mention smells amazing, and makes skin glow in the morning.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Serum

Perfect for first signs of aging since it has 15% Vitamin C Ester, or for anyone wanting to protect skin from the pollution. This is bubblewrap for your face. Nothing is going to attack that beautiful skin!

Amore Pacific Green Tea Oil

HUM Turn Back Time Supplements!!! OBSESSED! These Organic Supplements are incredible and full of anti-oxidants that work from the inside-out!

As always, stay hydrated by drinking tons of water. I’m going to buy a gallon jug and try to drink a gallon of water a day. I’ll blog about that later.

XX MDMA

New Contributors to BeautyStyled means more info and more experts!

I wanted to take a moment to share that I’m going to be changing up this blog for the better. Working full time and running a business full time on the side is so much work that it’s hard to find extra time to write for you guys. I have met and continue to meet so many people that inspire me and challenge me in new ways that I want to share them with you! I have a close group of people that are similar to me in the sense that they are professionals and experts in their craft whether it’s skincare, makeup or hair. I have invited them to share their knowledge on beautystyled.com and they couldn’t be more excited!

Lauren Clark is a Celebrity Hair Stylist from Beverly Hills (and my personal hair stylist). She was one of the first connections I made here in LA and is the only person I trust to touch my hair from now on. We have worked on many projects already and she has so much knowledge about hair and health that she is excited to share.
megan dugan lauren clark pins and ponytails mdmamakeup

Dena Thurston is one of my best friends and a Regional makeup artist for Trish McEvoy. She has brought so much joy to my life not only as a friend but a partner in business as well. She is from Minnesota but is currently living in St. Louis. She is a stellar makeup artist and her organic recipes and lifestyle tips are just as fab as her skills behind a makeup brush.
megan dugan dena thurston makeup artists trish mcevoy

Kelly Kossakoski is one of my oldest friends in the biz. She has worked for many different brands and is currently one of the top people at TARTE Cosmetics. We met when I worked for MAC over 6 years ago. She sees life in a way that I am envious of. She finds beauty in everything and is one of the most inspirational and motivating people I know.

megan dugan kelly kossakoski makeup artists tarte trish mcevoy

These people are my dearest friends and colleagues and while I am very private with my personal life and friendships, I feel it’s best to share these people and their knowledge with you. We all have one goal in mind and that’s to make the world a more healthy and beautiful place, one post at a time 🙂

XX Megan

What does “Cakey” mean to you?

I feel like there’s a revolution going on in beauty right now. Everyone wants to cream contour themselves (STOP.) and everyone wants something “that’s not cakey”. What the hell? What does that even mean?

Cake makeup was coined from the MAX FACTOR Pan-Cake makeup originally introduced in the 1950’s. Cake makeup is still sold for theatre today. It was called cake because it came in a round disc and resembled.. a cake! Cake makeup is a powder that can be applied wet for more coverage and has a truly disgusting finish in person. It looked good on the kind of film used back then.

Ad for Max Factor Pan-Cake makeup starring Judy Garland

Ad for Max Factor Pan-Cake makeup starring Judy Garland

Cakey does not mean what you think it means, I assure you. I have done a perfectly blended beautiful finish with TINTED MOISTURIZER on someone not used to makeup and was told “well it’s kind of cakey”. Powder was not even applied to the face. I can assure you, just because you can see you are wearing makeup does not mean that you have a cakey face.

I just spent the last 5 20 minutes on Google images and found one picture… ONE… that represents cakey makeup, and it’s a very drastic example. Behold…

Scary. That, my friends is cakey.

This also came up when I googled “cakey makeup”…

That is not cake, that’s getting your makeup done at a certain makeup counter when you can afford a professional artist that knows how to do makeup on women of color, and throwing a sh*t load of loose powder on without buffing it in. So unless you think cakey makeup is supposed to mean throwing flour on your face, you’re using the term wrong.

“Cakey Makeup” also drew these results:

All of those are beautiful makeup jobs that are not cakey. So this makes me curious… what does cakey even mean when you’re describing it? Is is the fact you can see that you were once not wearing makeup and now you are? Is it a full coverage, and if so what do you not like about it other than “it’s cakey” (wtf?? lol)?

As a professional makeup artist, I’ll let you know what “cakey” means to me. Cakey is something that happens after a liquid or cream product such as foundation or concealer is applied or touched up over the top of already set makeup. It kind of cracks the surface. Learning makeup technique over the years it has happened to all of us. I remember a time years ago when a client wanted extreme coverage under her eyes, and even though a minimal amount of corrector and concealer covered the darkness, she wanted more. I had already set the eyes and made the mistake of adding more concealer. It cracked the entire thing and became very tacky and thick and looked like total crap. I learned my lesson that day and starting all over was the only thing I could do. It was a humbling but necessary experience every makeup artist has learned.

The only other time I use the word cakey is when the makeup looks very dry and emphasizes pores, dry skin and wrinkles.

There is a new trend emerging because of a youtube blogger (Gossmakeupartist- whom I adore). He is out there telling everyone to put powder on their face and then foundation. O M G. I CANT. The video has 429,000 views at the time of this post. That means potentially 429,000 people are walking around like a hot mess if this isn’t done Exactly the way he is saying to do it (which is very likely). As someone who loves his videos and has learned lots of savvy tips from him, I’m disappointed as he should know better now that he has that much influence over viewers. That said.. I tried Goss’ tip and my makeup stayed well .. but was a bit cakey 😉

Let’s use the word “heavy” from now on when you think it’s too much coverage. Let’s use the word “dry” when you think it’s too dry looking. Let’s retire “cakey” and expand our beauty vocabularies together shall we?

XX MDMA

1K Celebration Contest!

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The past year has been completely chaotic and amazing. A year ago I would have never believed you if you told me I would be in my new home in LA writing this blog.

So much has changed and I’ve adapted along with it. In the past year my followers have quadrupled and it’s made me more confident to upload these videos and editorials. I’m all about working one on one with clients but I’m learning quickly how great it feels to share not only what I know but also my true self online- exposed to the world. It’s help me learn a lot about who I am, and what I want.

I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my friends, clients and I guess now, fans (?? so weird!).

The other day I was seeing how my posts were doing and came across the realization that I have almost 1K likes on Facebook. I then checked YouTube and saw the same, then instagram.. the same.

It’s February 18th. Let’s get to 1,000 on each platform by the end of the month!

My makeup artist kit is HUGE. So huge, that I neglect a lot of it. I have so much that I would love to give back to you guys. I’ve made up 4 swag-bags that are full of new and lightly used (everything is sterilized with BeautySoClean and alcohol- as if I were going to use it on a job) products. There’s skincare, makeup, brushes.. etc.

As soon as I hit 1K on YouTube, I’m sending a package to one of my YouTube subscribers. Same goes on Instagram and Facebook.

By sharing my videos, following me on instagram and sharing my fb posts you could win BIG.

I don’t really know what’s going on with my Twitter. I have it linked to anything but don’t really use it as much, but hey, if that get’s to 1K I’ll send out something HUGE. If you want to follow me there I’m @MDMAmakeup.

I’m at 985 on instagram at the time of this post… the first package may go out today.

Share this post with the hashtag #winMDMA

XX Megan

Photo on 2-18-14 at 4.17 PM #9

Note: I’m choosing a follower at random on each platform at the time I hit 1,000. This isn’t a “be the 1000th person to…” contest. I’ll do my best to get a hold of you and announce the winners on each platform as well as on twitter @MDMAmakeup.

This blog is now officially WWW.BEAUTYSTYLED.COM

As more individuals are subscribing to this blog, I know it’s due to the content I’m posting and not because you’re a fan of my work. I get that- and love that. I decided to switch the site to focus more on content rather than myself since there are plenty of places you can keep up with me and my makeup artistry (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter).

I wanted a name that people can remember and be able to access without going through my personal sites.

There are so many things that I’m passionate about. Makeup Artistry, helping people with their skin, being an educator and also being a personal stylist for beauty. That’s what made me want to create “Beauty Styled”. I’m proud to be constantly trained in so many makeup and treatment lines and want to give you the resources and expertise needed to make the often confusing decisions about which moisturizer works better for you or which eyeliner won’t run.

Any questions or topics you would like me to address, please contact me at MDMAmakeup@gmail.com

XX Megan

My Experience with At-Home Exfoliation and Chemical Peels

Ever since I had my first experience with Chemical Exfoliation I’ve been hooked. I’ve taken it upon myself to become educated in skincare, specifically with AHA/BHA and Peptides. There are really amazing things out there that work and the first thing I look at on skincare labels is the Ingredient List.

Here’s a quick little background on different exfoliators:

AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods. Alpha hydroxy acids include citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid(found in sour milk), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others. Alpha hydroxy acids seem to work by removing the top layers of dead skin cells. They can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness.

via WebMD

BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid):

There is only one beta hydroxy acid – salicylic acid.Beta hydroxy acid works mainly as an exfoliant. It causes the cells of the epidermis to become “unglued” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off, making room for regrowth of new skin. Beta hydroxy acid is reported to improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation of photodamaged skin after at least 6 months of daily application.

The difference you need to know:

The main difference between alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid is their lipid (oil) solubility. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only, while beta hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble. This means that beta hydroxy acid is able to penetrate into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. Because of this difference in properties, beta hydroxy acid is better used on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads. Alpha hydroxy acids are better used on thickened, sun-damaged skin where breakouts are not a problem.

via dermatology.about.com

Glycolic Acid:

Due to its excellent capability to penetrate skin, glycolic acid finds applications in skin care products, most often as a chemical peel performed by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or licensed aesthetician in concentrations of 20 to 70% or at-home kits in lower concentrations between 10 and 20%. In addition to concentration, pH also plays a large part in determining the potency of glycolic acid in solution. Physician-strength peels can have a pH as low as 0.6 (strong enough to completely keratolyze the epidermis), while acidities for home peels can be as high as 2.5.[9] Glycolic acid is used to improve the skin’s appearance and texture. It may reduce wrinklesacne scarringhyperpigmentation and improve many other skin conditions, including actinic keratosishyperkeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis. Once applied, glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis, weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together. This allows the stratum corneum to beexfoliated, exposing live skin cells. Highly purified grades of glycolic acid are commercially available for personal care applications.

via Wikipedia

Now that you are basically an esthetician, here’s my thoughts on my at home 40% glycolic peel!

Warning: I’m not responsible for you hurting yourself with this stuff- if you purchase it read the directions and always do a patch test.

IT’S AMAZING. It’s only to be used every 3 weeks but I’ve been finding little uses for it as well. I started by applying rubbing alcohol all over my face (this was totally terrifying) and letting it air dry. Afterwards I performed a small patch test on my jawline using the acid on a thick Shiseido cotton pad. I left it on for about 90 seconds and while I got a bit red and tingly it didn’t burn. I went ahead and applied the acid all over my face, neck and décolleté and turned on the timer. It said to leave on 3-10 minutes. Even though I’m a bit of a daredevil I set it for 3 minutes. The instructions said to have baking soda in water to restore pH. I didn’t have baking soda (I always buy it and I never know what I do with it?!), so I used my organic coconut oil since it has a pure pH. I had distilled water and a washcloth on standby.

Holy crap this burned so bad. I had my hairdryer on my face on the cool setting the entire time. I first felt it burning around my nasal fold and I should have removed it then as thats where I always get dry patches- it’s just a weird part of my face. I left it on for the entire time breathing lamaze-like. As soon as that timer went off i had that cold wet washcloth on my face. This made it burn even more!! Apparently that is what happens. As soon as I was sure I had the acid off I had my organic coconut oil on. It was immediately soothing. My face looked insane.. (see pics) but the next day the redness had subsided yet I did have exposed skin in my nasal fold from burning it.

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I did not pick anything over the course of the next few days. My skin was very dry and felt almost velvety although it looked alright with makeup. By the 5th day my skin was perfection. My dark spots were gone, I didn’t have a single blemish and I was inspired to tell you guys the tale. Everything I used is listed below, exactly where I ordered it from.

NARS Multiaction Hydrating Toner, or Shiseido Eudermine (http://amzn.to/1eQwfuZ)
Kate Somerville Exfolikate (http://amzn.to/1m8ACpa)
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels for face (http://amzn.to/1eQvvGr)
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Smoothing Body Towels (http://amzn.to/LIkJVM)
Philosophy Microdelivery Peel (http://amzn.to/1jxYG33)
The PMD (Personal Microdermabrasion) (http://amzn.to/NCXmPl)
40% Glycolic Acid (http://amzn.to/1hcALG2)

Products to have on hand for treatment during after Chemical Peels:
Shiseido Cotton (http://amzn.to/1eHRNZp)
Organic Coconut Oil (doing a video on this product- it’s life changing) (http://amzn.to/1eUvNub)
Baking Soda
Distilled Water

Creme de La Mer (Contact me to order)

I went to my first Korean Spa… and lived to tell the tale!

Lately I’ve been working so much that all I do when I get home is sleep. I feel like I’m missing out on so many awesome things I could be doing. I promised myself that on my next day off I would accomplish 2 things: Laundry and KOREAN SPA!

Let’s just say I accomplished 50% of that.

When I first moved to LA someone told me about Korean Spas. I was told it was under $20 to get in and you can spend all day there and even sleep there if you want. There are pools and saunas and mud masks and they scrub you down etc. I was all about it.

After planning which spa had the best deals via Yelp.com, we chose Natura Spa in the heart of Koreatown, LA. I met a new friend there and after figuring out parking during the beginning of rush hour, we were ready to be pampered. Having lived in NYC before Los Angeles, my friend had been to a Korean Spa before and told me to bring different skincare products like masks and peels, as well as a bathing suit. As we entered the spa we were immediately greeted by super Korean women that asked us what services we wanted. The way it works is that you pay admission, but then the admission gets waived if you buy 2 or more services.

They offer services for men and women (men’s spa is totally separate, there are no co-ed areas).

Womens Services Included (taken from www.Natura-Spa.com):

B O D Y   C A R E

Body Scrub$30 + $15 Admission Fee

Massage$40 + $15 Admission Fee

Scrub & Massage$80 + Admission fee waived

Aroma Package$100 + Admission fee waived

Silver Package$130 + Admission fee waived    

A C U P R E S S U R E

30 min. Session $30 + $10 Admission fee

55 min. Session $55 + Admission fee waived

85 min. Session $80 + Admission fee waived

110 min. Session $110 + Admission fee waived   

A C U P R E S S U R E   W I T H   O I L

30 min. Session $35 + $10 Admission fee

55 min. Session $70 + Admission fee waived

85 min. Session $105 + Admission fee waived

110 min. Session $140 + Admission fee waived    

F O O T   M A S S A G E

30 min. Session $30 + $10 Admission fee

55 min. Session $55 + Admission fee waived    

S K I N   C A R E

Regular $60 + Admission fee waived

Special $100 + Admission fee waived

Special Plus $130 + Admission fee waived    

N A I L   S E R V I C E S

Color Only $10

Manicure $15

Pedicure $25    

T A N N I N G   B E D

1 Session $15

Since it was my first time there, I wanted to know what I was getting myself into so I opted for no extra services and just the admission fee. They handed us each a wrist band with a key attached for our lockers. As I undressed and began to put my bathing suit on as privately as possible in a room full of naked women, my friend then said to me, “I don’t know if bathing suits are allowed. Some spas don’t allow them.”

My reaction:

As I approached the entrance to the spa pools, there it was…  a sign that said “No Swimsuits beyond this point”

As I looked around, no one seemed to care whatsoever. There were so many naked people I had to tell myself that I would be drawing more attention to myself if I didn’t go along with it. I walked back over to my locker, slowly removed my swimsuit under my robe, and began my journey.

My friend was all about it. In a split second she was robed then, BAM! We just got to know each other very quickly. Her bravery and self confidence was super inspiring so I dropped my robe then immediately turned the shower on, grasping my girls. I felt like everyone was staring at me, that was, until I noticed they weren’t. No one cared. There were boobs and vaginas everywhere! I suddenly felt like I was part of this secret sisterhood of liberated free females! I felt so empowered! I COULD BE NAKED IN FRONT OF STRANGERS.

The first place we went after showering was straight to the first hot tub. It was like taking a bath with my friend, but in a totally normal way (?!). As I began to relax, and more and more boobs crossed my vision, I began to realize how dependent upon covering ourselves up we are. Literally everyone in that room had the same number of breasts, the same piping, lots of love handles, and apparently open minds. It was not only physically rejuvenating, but also psychologically. I felt more accepting of my flaws than I have in a while. I also felt much more cultured.

The next hour or so we went from hot tub to freezing tub to hot tub to steam room to sauna to clay room, back to freezing tub and so on. We took a break from all this nekkedness to do a face mask and have some fresh juice. My friend had fresh grapefruit juice and I had strawberry and kiwi juice. We relaxed, watched some Korean soap opera and then went back for a final dip. After feeling totally comfortable and not self conscious before, the fear returned all over again. I ignored it, showered, got super naked again for a while then showered again before drying my hair and getting clothed (thank god!).

The experience was so different for me, and had to be one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Ultimately it was awesome and I look forward to it again in the near future. My skin is glowing, my pores are non-existent and I feel like a stronger woman.

THE THINGS WE DO IN THE NAME OF BEAUTY!!!!

The 2014 International Makeup Artist Tradeshow (IMATS) Los Angeles Post (Haul Included)!

It’s been 2 years since I attended the IMATS in LA.

Imagine walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (if you love chocolate), or the world’s largest hang out with orangutans (if you would love this so much then you and I are more alike than you may think!), whatever the case the IMATS is total paradise to a Makeup Addict like myself.

Other than the awesome fact that they turn the Pasadena Convention Center into an explosion of everything Makeup related, what I love is the feeling I get when I walk in the doors. There is a mix of people ranging from young girls interested in makeup, to beauty bloggers, to “fakeup artists” (basically they cover themselves in glitter, every color of Sugarpill eyeshadow and glue upside down lashes on their upper cheeks), to *I do this for a living* Makeup Artists, to the most insanely talented SFX makeup artists on earth.. and oh yeah, Jeffree Starr was there too.

I go to the IMATS to get inspired. Just being in a room full of people with the same passion and ambition I have makes me get really competitive and hungry. The second time around wasn’t as magical as the first but I expected that. I went mainly for two reasons: to gawk at the incredibly amazing special fx characters and prosthetics- THE SHOPPING!!!! I gave myself some limitations this year as my budget is pretty tight due to moving to LA, and just you know, living in LA and eating food in LA. I was not allowed to buy eyeshadows (except for sugarpill- I can’t stand not owning any anymore – damn you instagram!!!), primers of any kind, face setting spray, mascara, foundations (unless airbrush set), or skincare or anything from Naimies, Frends or Nigels’s (I can go there any time and their deals for pro artists weren’t really any more exciting than they already are).

I had some specific brands I wanted to check out: Anastasia (the makeup- not just brows), Sugarpill eyeshadows (because if I see instagram posts with 3439104831 likes and all they used was tako and bulletproof I would feel like a failure if I didn’t own some), Inglot, Chella, Limecrime, NYX, OCC, Parian Spirit, Senna, Stila Pro, Wolfe, and any brands with Mink Lashes.

How good did you think I did? Here’s the scoop-

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia’s makeup was “just okay” to me. I didn’t jump up and down with the eyeshadow palette they offered at IMATS, and was about to buy some of the new Dipbrow Gel Brow pots (obsessed). I had to tell myself that I still had three gel brows from MAC’s brow launch last year that I need to go through and they are literally the same thing. I was interested in the contour palette, but it just reminded me so much of the terrible contour and blush palette from BH Cosmetics that I wasted money on. After getting home though, and seeing more posts about it I do regret not purchasing it. I ended up leaving with the Brow Pro Palette, which normally is not sold, and the new brow fix primer (wax pencil that you use before applying color to brows).

Via Google

Total: $72

Sugarpill

I stood in line for Sugarpill and when it was my turn I was kind of amazed how small the line is. Granted, it’s relatively new but for such a huge name I was like “oh this is it?”, until I swatted the colors. They are so pigmented it’s ridiculous. I bought 4 shadows (Tako, Bulletproof, Poison Plum and _), and 2 loose shadows (Birthday Girl and Tiara). While I don’t think I’m going to be rocking the colorful goth look anytime soon, or ever, these shadows are fantastic and are a much better quality and value than MAC’s Gesso and Carbon (sorry, MAC!). Also, I usually de-pot all my shadows but I’m leaving these as they are- the packaging is too cute, down to the box!

Insanely Pigmented Shadows

Total: $54

Inglot

Even trying to approach Inglot was a hot mess. There were swarms of people and I literally got pushed trying to look at some regular looking eyeshadows, so I left. I can say that I was only interested (and still am) in two products- their gel eyeliners and their new setting powders that provide a soft glow and are HD approved. They were the same price at IMATS as I can get with my pro card so I’ll scoop up some of the fun gel colors later on.

Chella

Walked by, not interested.

Limecrime

Cute display as always but looked rummaged over and I still have an electric blue and grey lipstick I’ll never use from 2 IMATS’ ago. Passed.

NYX

The only thing I cared to pick up was the Milk fat pencil, and they were sold out. Too much of a headache to even look at anything else. Passed.

OCC

I love lip tars but I have so many already that I never wear, and I wasn’t allowed to buy any lip color anyways! I was interested in the pencils, and still am, but it was late and I couldn’t decide on what colors I wanted so I passed.

Parian Spirit (apparently best brush cleaner)

LOOKED EVERYWHERE, COULDN’T FIND IT. Left pissed.

Senna

I came ready to buy their cream blush palette and also check out their other cosmetics as clients of mine have raved about how great the line is. I would have definitely purchased some, if the employees weren’t so extremely rude, stuck up and unattentive. I will never buy anything from them, that isn’t how I do business with them. Plus, their cream blush palette was redone to be larger and it was super dry. I had to rub a stipple brush extremely hard on it to even get it to show color on my hand. PASS.

Stila Pro

The way Stila Pro was advertised, I was so excited to see what products they had in their pro line. Turns out there isn’t a pro line. It was just Stila. Which is great but I could get that anytime with my pro card. Passed.

Wolfe

I wanted to buy some body paint starter kits. Wolfe is known for them. Sadly, looked everywhere couldn’t find it so  I passed. Maybe next year!

Mink Lashes

There were two brands that had amazing mink lashes. Flutter and Velour. I will definitely be getting some of these, but their discount at IMATS was less than the pro discount at Naimies/Frends/Nigels so I passed.

Sounds like a sad day but nope… I found so many great things from other brands I didn’t plan on being in love with!!

Image via Instagram

Face Atelier 

The last thing I need is any new foundation but I had to stop and see what all the fuss was about. Face Atelier has been in magazine after magazine and on celebrity after celebrity. I asked them what their other favorite stand out products from their line were. They said the Airbrush thinner to make any foundation into airbrush. I already have the Make Up For Ever one but what the hell. They also recommended the Matte setting spray. They said that after spraying on top of airbrush, you can tweak little things without screwing it up. The only thing I didn’t like is that I asked how their airbrush thinner compared to other brands and the lady (who certainly acted like the brand owner) said very snotty, “I don’t pay attention to other brands.” I seriously had to force myself not to walk away. What a stuck up bitch, seriously. My forces prevailed and I left with some seriously good product, although I had a bad taste in my mouth.

I picked up both the airbrush base and the matte finish. I had to get a mini of my color foundation to test on myself before I would put it on a client. I like that they sell minis of their foundation- very important to a pro MUA.

Total: $62

Morphe Brushes

Hi my name is Megan and I’m a Makeup Brush snob (“HI MEGAN!”). I have more brushes than I know what to do with. The last thing I needed was any more but these prices were crazy low. In my head I just wanted to feel the terrible quality but as I caressed these brushes against the back of my hand.. that feeling never happened! They were so soft and Excellent quality. The handles aren’t the fanciest thing in the world but it didn’t matter I couldn’t pass up a fat fan brush, a flat kabuki brush, a new lip brush and a mascara brush.

Morphe Brushes

Total: $20 (HAH)

Gleam by Melanie Mills

Melanie Mills is a well known, emmy winning makeup artist that worked on “Dancing with the Stars” for several years. Her claim to fame was how much the cast members’ glowed from head to toe. She intelligently decided to market that and created “GLEAM”.  Gleam is a body makeup that basically turns you into JLO the second it touches your skin. Unlike other body glow brands, GLEAM stays on once it sets and doesn’t rub off. It also doubles as a lotion. They also sell body highlighting powder and the most amazing huge brush I’ve ever seen/touched.

After talking with Melanie herself, I picked up all three products and didn’t look back! Melanie, by the way, was so humble and sweet and went out of her way to give me genuine good advice from MUA to MUA. She also cut me a good deal, which will keep me buying her brand in the future.

Total: $120

THE MAKEUP LIGHT

Do you remember being like, 7 and that new Barbie came out that had the COOLEST dress, and the COOLEST hair, and the COOLEST car? Like you would have done anything to have that damn doll?? That is how I feel about The Makeup Light. Oh my god. I could take down my entire studio set up which takes up a quarter of my living room, and have better lighting with this product. It’s perfect for photographing makeup and recording videos. (I bought the GLAMCOR light set a couple years ago and I hate it. It makes everything yellow and blinds you. Also the lights fall apart and I’ve had to superglue it back together twice.) The Makeup Light closes right up and you can take it on jobs. I would have bought it in a heartbeat if it was in the $200-$300 price range but it is retailing for $650, and they were selling it at the show for $450 with free shipping. With only having a 6 month warranty, I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t. This was the most heartbreaking thing of the day.

Total: $0 😦

themakeuplight

Perfect selfie lighting with The Makeup Light

TAT2U

Basically badass sharpies to draw all over yourself with. The inner child in me couldn’t resist. I had to get 3 of them. Will I ever use them realistically? Probably not. But I HAD’TA.

Total: $25

Beauty So Clean

Makeup Pro’s can’t have enough of this stuff. I spray it on all my product before it touches my client’s skin. I picked up an extra bottle for less than half off the retail price.

Total: $10 (retail $25)

Kryolan

Oh boy. The love affair began. Kryolan is serious makeup for serious makeup artists. It’s a brand from Germany that unlike many of the biggest makeup brands in the world, actually make and manufacture their own product. The result is absolute perfection. Most pro’s already have the Derma Palette, which I had to pick up. On top of it I wanted so much more but in due time. I also splurged on their setting spray, which is in a hairspray type of can. It was a super fine mist that locks on makeup all day long and makes it waterproof. Their gel liner colors were amazing and since I didn’t get any Inglot, opted for these instead. I bought Aubergine (dark burgundy brown), (a light pink) and they were out of Sienna (red brown) but she gave me the tester (barely touched, and nothing Beauty So Clean can’t handle!). I was still bummed about Senna and that damn blush palette but REJOICE- Kryolan’s was so much better!! The colors are beautiful and blend together to create almost any color you like. Picked that up!

They have a new product that is for body art called Aqua Color + and when I start exploring that artistic side I’m definitely getting it. You can layer other colors on top of each other without them blending together. They weren’t available for sale yet, but were super fun to play with. Another product I got to test out is their new Derma Liquid Foundation. It’s the liquid form of the Derma Palette and dried to a total matte finish that looked just like perfected skin. Powder unnecessary. Right now they have US locations in San Fransisco, Chicago and Boston. Maybe soon there will be one in LA!

Derma Color D1 Palette

Total: Around $85

KETT Cosmetics

When I airbrush people I generally tend to use Silicone Based Makeup. Here in LA, a lot of people don’t like Silicone or are scared of it (mmhmm… no reason to be). I have been leery about going back to water based after using OCC, which I cannot stand. After speaking to lot’s of pros out here, they all recommended Kett. I picked up a starter set of their Water Based Airbrush foundations. Generally speaking, if you’re drier you go with SB, if you are oily or breakout prone, you go with Aqua based. That said, it is truly a preference and both work for both skin types. Can’t wait to try it out on myself, and if I approve, on my airbrush clients!

Kett AB Starter Set

Total: $70

Model in a Bottle

Super famous for their setting spray, I stopped by this booth to see what else was new. I stopped myself from picking up their famous setting mist, because I already have a new bottle of fix + at home and didn’t need it (thank god because I later found Kryolan!). What I was super interested in was their lip fix. It seals any lipstick color without drying out your lips. Perfect for my brides that love that YSL or MAC color, but don’t want to reapply and definitely don’t want it to kiss off! I bought it and then after my purchase, they were so nice to gift me the eyebrow sealer as well. I can’t wait to try these products out and review them!!

Total: $8

ZÜCA

One of the best purchases I’ve ever made was my Züca Pro Bag. I use it on every job I do. It quickly overflowed and I bought a Stilazzi Large Set bag, which works but it very heavy on my shoulder once it’s full of all the extra supplies, brush set, cleaning stuff, palettes, etc. I wanted to know what they have been up to the last 2 years, and fell in love with this cute little bag that fits on top of your Züca! It even has space inside to keep your iPad and other media devices. Problem was it was $160. I waited until the very last minute of the show, and swarmed back around and offered $120. They finally accepted as they were packing up then DUN DUN DUN Chase turned my card off for fraud protection. Haha. So I awkwardly stood there on hold making these people wait on me but all prevailed and I got my new baby.

Zuca Skipper Artist Bag

Total: $120

All in all, it was a great day. There were so many more booths that seemed to have great products, I just didn’t need them at the time. I wish I would have been able to see all the classes and lectures. A cool part of the day was helping my friend Ashley get into her costume.

My first cosplay experience

My first cosplay experience

Ashley Transformation IMATS

Finished Product!

Finished Product!

She modeled for Frank Ippolito (Face Off) and wore a skeleton prosthetic that was applied on stage. I spent around $700 including my IMATS ticket and parking. It was a pricey day, but the value of the products I received, and the extra options I can now offer my clients was well worth it. See you next year, IMATS LA! If you’re in the NYC area, the IMATS are coming to you next. The show is April 11th through the 14th. Tickets are available at http://www.IMATS.net.

MY IMATS 2014 HAUL!

I met Makeup icon Charlotte Tilbury (oh, and I moved to Los Angeles)!!!

Wow. In the last week I’ve turned a year older, did my first official LA red carpet makeup for the Golden Globes, and most importantly met one of the people I look up to the most with my career and aspirations. I ran into Charlotte Tilbury, a very famous makeup artist from London, at a Golden Globes after party. Amidst all the stars I spotted her from across the room and couldn’t resist an introduction. Charlotte, along with artists like Val Garland, Kevyn Aucoin, Gregory Arlt, and Ve Neil, is someone who has changed the beauty industry. I say beauty rather than makeup because so many ideas about beauty in general, high end makeup, red carpet looks at work, etc. have been brought forward by these innovative and talented artists. The secret mystique of celebrity beauty has gone from being Hollywood Secret to easily discovered via books, backstage videos, and even youtube videos from artists themselves.

A new respect for the makeup artist profession has emerged over the last decade and specifically the last few years. It’s one of the most sought after careers these days but it’s a job based not only on talent you truly have to be born with, but also creative vision and stellar networking skills, as well as being a generally genuine and true person that your clients love working with.

Charlotte has accomplished every dream I currently have for myself and has even started her own brand of cosmetics that is seriously SMASHING (imagine that in a dreamy Brit accent). I have to say, I’m truly grateful to have been given a mix of talent, luck and ambition that has finally gotten me to Los Angeles where I can really begin my journey.

Image

via @MDMAmakeup on Instagram

I met her again at Nordstrom the day after, and I had a chance to get her advice about a lot of things, as well as learn all about her makeup and skincare line she has. She has me obsessed with her “magic cream” and I’m yet to even try it! Her products vill a void in an immensely saturated industry. Her videos are remarkably easy to follow and she’s downright fab. Check out her website at http://www.CharlotteTilbury.com and keep your eyes open, her products may be available near you soon 😉