Accentuating Beauty: Part 3

I hope you have enjoyed the last few weeks with Ariel. This was such a fun series. This week Ariel will answer your questions, but first I wanted you to know a little bit more about her. This was a stretch since she doesn’t like to talk about herself. She is always focused on others. Truly, Ariel is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

Where are you from? “I am from Richmond, Kentucky. I was born and raised there until I was 19. I got married (ya, I was young) and moved to Atlanta. I have been happily married and lived here with my family for six years.”

When did you start doing make-up?I started doing makeup on myself and my sisters when I was young, but I was TERRIBLE! I didn’t know a thing. Then when I moved to Atlanta, I didn’t have a job. I walked in to a Dillard’s actually looking to buy clothes for interviews and someone stopped me and asked me if I was there for the job fair. I said no, but she continued on like she didn’t hear me and took me to the cosmetic manager. She then proceeded to say that I would be great in cosmetics. Long story short, I worked for Lancôme for almost a year at Dillard’s because, well, I loved it and learned a ton! I then went to Neiman Marcus (a whole new world) where this country girl adapted to the city just fine. I worked there for four years for several lines and then specializing in Bobbi Brown.”

Why Bobbi Brown? “Like I said before, I am not making a plug for Bobbi Brown and I no longer work for them. I just honestly fell in love with a lot of their products and their philosophy about makeup. Check out their website and read up on the brand. They are one of the few lines who have a foundation/ concealer for every skin color. That is just one of the reason I love that line. I have tons of other favorite products that are not Bobbi Brown; I just tend to use mostly their stuff.”

What is your favorite thing about doing this? “If you ask any makeup artist they will tell you they have seen it all. You meet people from all walks of life and I LOVED that. I learned so much about how to talk with people and I learned from them. That was my favorite thing about working, was meeting new people and learning their story. Sometimes I felt like a therapist. That leads me to my favorite thing to do now are my friends makeup and some events. I don’t work much more outside of that because I am focusing on my family. I love being able to make someone feel great about themselves. Make up is not needed, but it can accentuate the beauty that is already there. I love being able to make someone realize how truly beautiful they are.”

What is one random fact about you? “I was somewhat of a tom boy growing up. I played softball from age five through my senior year of high school. I also played soccer for six years. I love to be active and be outside. (well, with no bugs) I run and play golf. (When I have the time) This seemed to shock most of my clients when I told them, but I would tell them that I have always loved to dress up and be girly too.”

“I don’t pretend to know all the answers or to be the best makeup artist. I was just thrown into doing makeup by events that could have only been orchestrated by God. I want to use what I know to help people feel better about themselves and to be confident in their beauty.”
She may not know all the answers, but she knows a lot. Let’s look at your questions from the past three weeks and her answers.

This is in response to Cat’s question about eyeshadow color (especially for hazel eyes.)Eye shadow can be very tricky to pick out and very hard to recommend without talking one on one with someone. Just like any kind of makeup, you can make a statement with the colors you choose to wear. For specific color recommendations for hazel eyes, I would say to wear gold, brown, green, and violets/plum colors. These are pretty basic go to colors that will complement your eye color.

 Now, for everyone you should have your three go to colors for your day look. A light color that you apply all over the lid, this includes under the brow all the way to your lash line. This helps to take darkness out of your lid and make the other colors you apply stay more true to color. If you use an eye shadow base apply that first and then your light color. You can get eye shadow bases in light colors, like the one I used on Melissa to serve two purposes. Then you should have a neutral color that complements your eye color that you can place all over the lid or in the crease. You can stop here and not put another color on, but if you like to have more on or want a night look you can add in your third darker color. This can be a brown, black, purple, green, etc. (Just a color that is darker than your first two). This color serves as your eyeliner or crease color.

    I am all about getting the most out my cosmetic products and most cosmetic companies get that you need a few colors to complete your eye shadow look. That is why you see several eye shadow kits at the cosmetic counter and at the drugstores. You don’t have to do the same thing every day or use the same amount of colors every time. These are just some easy steps to get your started in your makeup experiments. I will be the first to tell you that there are going to be some awesome looks and some not so awesome, but just practice and see what you end up liking. Just remember it’s makeup and it’s supposed to be fun!”

This is in response to Elizabeth’s question about her lipstick not staying put. “Everyone has the issue with their lipstick fading or smudging…believe me I wish I could recommend the perfect lipstick! The truth about lipstick is the longer lasting ones tend to be dry and don’t look great unless a gloss is applied afterward. Then you have the moist lipstick that we love the feel, but it is off our lips onto our face or teeth in a second. I would recommend choosing a lipstick color that you love and then wearing it a few times and see what it does. If it tends to get dry, apply a lip balm or gloss over it (not before, this will cause smudging). If your lipstick jumps all over on ya, then apply a lip liner all over the lip first. You can put some of your foundation/powder on the lips as a primer. You can also limit the coats of the lipstick on; more is not always better. The lipstick feels so good going on, so try and resist applying too much. I love lipstick, but for day my go to is a gloss. I love the hint of color and hydration that it gives my lips.”

Several have asked for a list of products used. For a PDF version, click here

We have received messages regarding booking information for Ariel. We will respond via email. As Ariel said, she is in a season of life where her little ones need most of her, which requires that she be more strategic about appointments. Please give as many details as possible when inquiring (date, event, time commitment) and I will return your email as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the winner of the eyelash curler, primer and mascara is… Liz! Congratulations Liz! If you will forward the mailing information via email for your prize, I will send it out right away.

Accentuating Beauty: Part 2


You’ll remember from last week’s post, Ariel gave us a step by step tutorial on how to accentuate our beauty while highlighting our best features. Today, we will transition from “day” to “evening” make-up.

* Add darker eye shadow all over the eyelid making the eyes look smokey.
* Smudge the eyeliner and thicken the line on the top lid

This also helps the smokey look and adds more drama to the eyes.
* Place eyeliner on the inner bottom eyelid.
This frames the eyes making them stand out.
* Add a little more concealer for a clean look under the eye
Having a clean fresh look under the eyes with a night look is important.
Darkness under the eyes (especially with dark eyes) can make you look sick.
* Apply the Shimmer Brick (Bobbi Brown) along the cheek bone.
This adds shimmer and when the light hits the cheekbones it is gorgeous.
* Define the lip with lip liner.
This helps the lip color last longer because it acts like a primer.
* Brush a darker lipstick on the lips, two coats.
This makes the lips look full and more pronounced.
Lipstick makes a statement and completes the night look.
Annnnnnnd the finished product
Stunning, right?

Let’s recap:


Day look


What do you think? Is it feasible for you to do these steps?
What’s holding you back from trying something new?

Ariel is a busy mama to
two beautiful girls.
She is always on the go.
If anyone knows how to make a process more efficient, she does.
There is no need to compromise looking your best when
you become a mom.
In fact, we think it’s a
reason to celebrate.
Take a minute to comment, ask a question or tell us about your favorite beauty product in the section below.
We will choose a name at random next Wednesday to win
an eyelash curler, a tube of Bobbi Brown primer and mascara.
How fun is that?!
You must leave a comment below to be in the drawing.

Next week, Ariel will answer all questions asked from
Accentuating Beauty: Part 1
and today’s post.


Accentuating Beauty: Part 1

Today’s post is the first in a series with Ariel Barrow, former make-up artist for Bobbi Brown. Now a wife and busy mother of two, Ariel is a freelance artist and available by appointment only.

Melissa Cazorla is our model for the day. Ariel is going to go step by step, showing how she transformed Melissa’s clean face into a canvas of art.

Do you have questions? We have answers! Please ask in the comments section. Ariel will be answering them next week and showing us how she quickly turns day make-up into evening. She demonstrates how with the right products, we can look our best with minimal effort.

Start with a clean face.* Prep the skin with eye cream and moisturizer.
This hydrates the skin so that the makeup glides on easily.* Apply primer on the face and eyes. (Two different products.)

This creates a barrier between the make-up and skin that aids in uniform application and prevents make-up from being absorbed into the skin throughout the day.

* A light eye shadow is applied to the lid.* A darker color is placed on the outside corner of the eye.(Depending on the size of the eye area, Ariel decides whether to apply a darker color to the entire crease or just the corners. Because Melissa has such a prominent eye area it would detract from her eyes to apply the darker color across the crease.)

* Eyeliner was placed (with a brush) on the top lid only and not too thick.This is an important step to remember.
(You can always add more if needed.)

* Curl lashes with eyelash curler (do not use heat as this can damage the lashes) Apply lash primer and add several coats of mascara.* Go back under the eyes with eye cream.
This adds hydration while cleaning up any powder dropped during application.* Apply Corrector (pink based) to correct the dark circles.
Then place the concealer (color of skin tone) over the corrector
to blend and add more coverage.

* Foundation is blended (with a brush) all over the face to give the skin an even toned look. (Ariel explains that she applies foundation last which offers a flawless look to the skin.)* Set the concealer and foundation with a loose yellow powder.
This helps keep the look fresh, longer.* Dust the T-Zone with bronzer. This warms up the skin tone.
(We were having fun. Who says you can’t laugh during beautification?!)

* Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks.
This gives the face the pop of color needed to complete the look.

* One coat of lipstick is applied.
Try not to lick your lips throughout the day and your color will last longer.
You can always reapply, but the first application provides the cleanest look.(Lip color is so personal, the color is all about your preference.
If there is a color you want to wear but don’t think you can “pull it off?” Try a liner as base to tweak the color. You would be surprised what colors anyone can wear when the undertones are changed ever so slightly to compliment the skin tones.)

The finished product is exquisite. Don’t you think?That wraps up the “how to” portion of the “day” make-up.
Ariel has answered several questions below that are commonly asked.
Hopefully her answers will be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Remember to ask your questions and come back next week for the answers and another tutorial on transitioning your “day face” to your “evening face” with few steps and big results.

1.) How important is foundation/concealer/primer for the overall look?
I would definitely say that, concealer is most important. Putting concealer under your eyes can immediately make you look refreshed. You can also cover up any trouble spots (blemish, sun spot, etc) on the face with concealer too. Foundation would be the next most important because it allows you to even out your skin tone. Primer is not necessary every day, unless you really need your makeup to stay fresh.

2.) If you could only have 3 items in your makeup bag (not including cleanser or moisturizer) what would they be?
Lipgloss! (I love lipstick and chapstick too) My favorite thing is lip gloss because it gives a hint of color and shine quickly. Keyword is “quickly”…being a mother of two, I need to be efficient in every area. I would then say concealer because I can touch up any trouble areas. Last, but not least, mascara. I love what it does, but I also just love putting it on.

3.) What benefits are there to using brushes to apply make-up instead of pencil and sponges?
Good brushes are made to pick up the product and place it onto the face. They won’t absorb too much of your product, unlike a sponge. Also you can clean your brushes, unlike a sponge that can harbor bacteria. Can you tell I am not a fan of sponges? I think they can be used, but they need to be thrown out often. I love lip and eye pencils. I just don’t use them as often because that is not what I am used to anymore. Working for Bobbi Brown I didn’t like the eye pencil’s so I used their gel eyeliner or a powder eye shadow. So I guess I don’t prefer one over the other, just a habit. I really like Lancôme’s waterproof pencil eyeliners.

4.) What advice do you have for someone just starting to wear make-up? I’ve heard the saying, “Less is more.” Do you agree?
Go to a cosmetic section of your favorite story and just look around at the different brands. Try and find what you like and then talk with the representative at the counter. They should be receptive to someone who is new to makeup and willing to give a tutorial if it’s a good time. You may have to book an appointment. I love TONS of different cosmetic companies and am not trying to push Bobbi Brown, but they are a great teaching line. The representatives are used to walking clients step by step through the makeup process. I was someone who wore WAY too much makeup, I think I still struggle with this. I do think “less is more” unless you are going for a more dramatic look.

5.) What is the rule about dark eyes and dark lips? Can one wear both? Should one choose one or the other?
This is tough. I would say during the day, don’t do both, but at night it can work. I always try to decide what the client wants to focus on – their eyes or lips. I think that is a great rule of thumb, to think about what you want to make a statement with. I typically focus on my eyes, rather than lips. I don’t think you have to choose one or the other because it can work, but I would say the results are often better when you pick one or the other.

6.) What is one tip or fact you wish everyone knew when it came to their particular eye color and shape?
I want people to understand that there is not a science to it. I would recommend trying different colors and then taking a step back and saying, “What did this look do for me?” If you feel pretty and uplifted then it’s probably a good color. If you feel blah and like you have a black eye…probably not a good look. I love eyeliner on every eye shape. If you apply this one step to your makeup routine then you can really frame your eyes. The eyeliner doesn’t have to be dark! This is a misconception that often keeps people from trying it at all.

7.) Is there a trick for keeping lipstick off your teeth?
Make sure your lips are not too moist to hold the color. You may apply foundation or powder on the lips as a primer. My first choice would be applying a lipliner first throughout the lip and then applying the lipstick always makes the lipstick last. Don’t glob it on. Only put on a few layers and try to avoid putting too much on the inner lip because as soon as you close your mouth it is going on the teeth. Also, if you put a lip gloss over your lipstick (which I love) this can make the lipstick run. It’s better to reapply your lipstick than walk around with it on your teeth! Yuck! If all else fails you can do the index finger trick. You purse your lips around your finger and pull it out. It’s messy, but in a pinch it will get excess color off your lips.

Want to know what brushes were used? How to find the right foundation for your complexion? What if you don’t like foundation and just use concealer? Does it need to be expensive to work? Ariel can answer all of these questions and more, so ask away. We will see you next Thursday (same time, same place) for another beauty installment and answers to your questions with Ariel.
(If you would like a detailed list of products used, including specific brushes, please comment in the section below.)

Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Cleanser

It’s Monday and you know what that means…

It’s time to reveal another product that I will forever have in my beauty arsenal.
A great BIG thank you to Ariel Barrow, who we will hear from in a couple of weeks in a Thursday beauty post. She is a Bobbi Brown make~up artist and drop dead gorgeous so when she makes recommendations, I listen.

I asked her about moisturizer because my skin is SO dry and nothing seems to help, especially since I had children. Her first question was, “What are you using to cleanse?” “Ummm…you mean when I don’t fall asleep with my make~up on?” was my response.

That’s when she led me to this incredible product that I am now on my second bottle of. That’s saying a lot as a bottle lasts a very long time.

Drum roll please…
What? Soothing Cleansing Oil
Luxury meets simplicity – Bobbi’s new Soothing Cleansing Oil is a quick yet luxurious way to cleanse skin. Made with soothing jasmine flower extract (sourced directly from France), moisturizing kukui nut oil, and a blend of Italian olive, organic sunflower and jojoba oils to dissolve surface impurities and makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or dry. Can be used in the morning to wake up and refresh skin, and at night as a soothing end to a long day.

Where? Online at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics or a cosmetic counter at one of these stores;

Why?  Simple…because it works. It is the first thing that has worked for me! Remember when I told you about the Neutrogena Wipes? I still love those and don’t hesitate to use them when I’m too lazy to actually wash my face. (Don’t judge me. I’m the girl who would fall asleep in her make~up every night. These are huge strides.) Another thing I love about this product is that it washed off all of my eye make~up so no extra steps.

Cost? Right around $40 (one bottle lasts me at least 3 months) It is so worth it!


About this whole beauty thing… It’s easy to play. Here’s what you do:

1. List your favorite product or routine in the comments section below (it has to be something that you have tried.) Answer these 4 things, 1. What (Is the product or routine?) 2. Where (can you find it?) 3. Why (do you love it?) 4. Cost (ballpark figure, less than $10, less than $20, and so on.) Let me know if you want me to write about it in a future product post.

2. You may have 100 things, like I do when it comes to mascara, moisturizer and the things we would have a hard time choosing between if asked, “Out of these things, what 1 thing would you take if stranded on a desert island?” You can list a new one each week. Start with your favorite.

3. Before you know it, we will have an amazing list of products loved by real people. We will pick one favorite each week.

Before you go, why not participate in the beauty question poll.

Read about more beauty picks by clicking the links below:
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Sunscreen
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Moisturizer
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Lips
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Brows
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Mascara
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week

In Her Skin

As I said in yesterday’s post, my beautiful Bella is the author of this week’s post on self-image. She told me to edit anything that I didn’t think should be included. I think all of it should be included. Some of it made me sad yet hopeful. Bella is unique. She has a rare gift that makes people uncomfortable to talk about. She is exquisite. I’m so grateful that she’s mine.

I asked her seven questions. I told her she could add and/or takeaway. I also told her to write whatever came to mind. Here are her answers.

What would you say is the most difficult thing about being a 14 yr old female today?
The hardest thing for me would be insecurity. In these circumstances perfect model images – don’t help. I often find myself comparing my image to everyone else.

What is your biggest fear right now?
Fear itself. I have constant anxiety, so there is no biggest fear. Practically everything can trigger an image-or as you people call it fear. When I am in darker times I try to remember 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts away all fear. The one who fears is not made in perfect love. It’s also hard because sometimes I feel OCD which causes me to obsess over even the smallest things. For instance a phone call from a stranger that goes unanswered would be obsessed over for who knows how long.

What does the word “beauty” mean in your world?
In my eyes the first thing that comes to mind is image-but then I think about inner beauty. My friends sometimes tease me about my boyfriend who they do not think is attractive. I think he is very attractive. There is a soul to this comment. I have never wanted a guy unless I fall in love with his personality- who he is. If a relationship is based off of image, I might as well be a cat lady. Now let me get back to the part where I have found what my friends could not find in him. With the inner beauty locks the worlds image from my eyes, I find what others can’t see, and that is attractive. It even helps me see the person in the attractiveness God gave them. For a fourteen year old, the word beauty, in the “REAL WORLD” means, how do I look-what’s wrong with me?

On a scale of 1-10, how important is the way you look to you? To your friends?
To me I would say it was about a ten-same probably for my friends. That dose not mean I don’t care about my “soul” image. I still want to be as beautiful on the inside as was meant to live up to my full potential.

How important are the relationships in your life?
They are extremely important to me and it is particularly hard for me because I try to balance them out. A fault of mine is that I am intensely open with people and for that I got stabbed in the back. (Figuratively speaking of course.) I had a situation in fifth grade that shows just how open I was. I had a truth or dare thing at my birthday party, and it did not end to well. I kept being nagged to tell someone and I did. I can blame whoever I want for it but it was originally my fault. What happened was that rumors got spread about me, and the worst part was that one of the people was one of my closest friends who knew everything about me – and it was used against me. I never forgave myself for that – and there are many other things I am not going to say over the internet that I will probably never be able to forgive myself for, but the best part is that Jesus does. That is another relationship that is important to me. I have trust issues with Jesus, and for what he does, I have no right not to trust him. I want strong relationships with friends and family, and I still need to work on them. I want to build a relationship, not to knock it down, but to build it up. In other words, yes relationships are extremely important to me.    

What is the first thought that comes to mind when you think about God?
Father. He is the dad you always wanted but never had. He is love, He will not turn his head from me when I mess up- he forgives me continuously and approaches me with open arms every time. I have no reason not to trust and love Him. I want my life to be built on his unconditional love, and so I want to work to get there. I have to move.

What is one thing you hope this next year will bring?
I want stronger relationships with friends and family (and my boyfriend). I also hope to become more mature and humble in God’s presence. Oh, and I want to make mistakes so I can learn, because if you stand back and watch-you will never experience the change and growth. YOLO.*

* YOLO is an acronym for “You only live once.” You probably knew that, but I had to do a Google search to define it.

Is there anything that you would like to ask Bella? Something that you wish I had asked? She loves reading your comments and hearing your thoughts on her writing. Please take a moment to leave her a note.

Other guest posts by Bella:
You Are Not Alone 
Secrets are to Sickness as Openness is to Wholeness
Guest Post: Bella’s Cross


Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Sunscreen

Summer is here!
I am reminded of that every time I look down at my oh so white legs. The funny thing is, I don’t care as much anymore. I guess having 3 pre-cancerous freckles (notice I said freckles, not moles!) removed from various parts of ones body before the age of 34 will make baking in the sun seem less appealing.

SO, I am dedicating this weeks beauty pick to sunscreen and protecting our beautiful skin from the damage that the sun can do. I’m a big fan of vitamin D and it’s great in small doses, but I am also an overdo-er and moderation has always been a challenge.

Here’s the skinny on skin cancer…

Let’s look at how sun exposure relates to skin cancer. The two most common nonmelanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), are directly correlated with sun accumulation over many years. Indeed, the most common locations for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma tumors are sun-exposed areas: the face, ears, hands, etc. (However, it is not unheard of for a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma to appear on a non-sun-exposed area of the body.)

Melanoma is different. The sun exposure pattern believed to result in melanoma is that of brief, intense exposure – a blistering sunburn – rather than years of tanning. (Some studies now indicate that basal cell carcinoma also may be triggered by this exposure pattern.)

Other risk factors are also associated with melanoma, such as a family history, skin type and having a large number of sizable moles on the body. Like nonmelanoma skin cancer, melanoma can arise on any area of the body, regardless of whether or not a sunburn occurred in that location.

Preventative Tips:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for this seal

For a pdf version of this list, click seal-brand-list-may-2012

I thought I would spare you the graphic pictures of skin cancer. However, if you have something you are concerned about and would like to get an idea of what irregular spots look like, click here         

If you like quizzes (and who doesn’t?!) click here and discover where your skin fits in.

If you are a “Nothin’ but the facts” kind of person, click here for some bullet points that are sure to set your mind thinking more about your epidermis.

So tell me…do you love the skin your in? If so, are you protecting it for the long haul or just trying to look like a hottie now? Hottie now (can) = Not-So-Hottie later. Do you agree?

Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Teeth

Whether you brush your teeth compulsively or just like to try new things, this product is for you.

What? Colgate Wisp

Where? I have found them at Walgreens, CVS and Target. Read more at Wisp

Why? Why not? These are the best for travel. If you are like I am and don’t want to lug a toothbrush and toothpaste around, but still want pearly whites, these are ideal. Keep a couple in your make-up bag. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Cost? For a mere $2 – $4 a pack of Colgate Wisps can be yours!

How would you like to have a product that you love featured? It’s easy to play. Here’s what you do:

1. List your favorite product or routine in the comments section below (it has to be something that you have tried.) Answer these 4 things, 1. What (Is the product or routine?) 2. Where (can you find it?) 3. Why (do you love it?) 4. Cost (ballpark figure, less than $10, less than $20, and so on.)
2. You may have 100 things, like I do when it comes to mascara, moisturizer and the things we would have a hard time choosing between if asked, “Out of these things, what 1 thing would you take if stranded on a desert island?” You can list a new one each week. Start with your favorite.
3. Before you know it, we will have an amazing list of products loved by real people. We will pick one favorite each week.

Please share this with your friends and in no time we will have a list to rival anything that the magazines are flashing.

Before you go, if you would like to participate in the beauty question poll click here and scroll to the poll at the end of the post.

Other weekly beauty picks:
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Moisturizer
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Lips
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Brows
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week: Mascara
Beauty, the Beast and the Product of the Week