Beauty Bounty!

Before I get ready for the weekend festivities, I thought I’d give you a look at what I got my filthy little hands on from the Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. Expect some tutorials shortly. For now, feast your eyes on my new products. I’m getting chills just thinking about them.

For my skincare, I mentioned my new products in the previous post. Just so you know, Caudalie uses vinotherapy. Yes, wine! It’s genius! I just read this on their website: “Caudalie is an oenological French term that quantifies the duration of a wine’s flavor in your mouth. One second of time equals one Caudalie. The finer the wine, the longer its flavor lingers on the palate – thus meriting more Caudalies!” If my skin continues looking as good as it does, I’ll be Caudalie-ing for a very long time.

Caudalie Catch! Plus the adorable tote bag I got as a gift with purchase.

Below, you see Candlelight Softly Illuminating translucent Powder. It doesn’t look chalky because it has glimmering gold in the formula. That’s right. Gold. You’ll want to rob my face. There is also the Natural Eye Palette. The palette contains 9 eye shadows that create a natural looking or a dramatic eye. Primed Poreless is fantastic- my skin looked great with just that on. Perfect Lips Liner in Perfect Nude-I usually don’t call things perfect, but this gives me a run for my money. Finally, Glamour Gloss in Plush- it tingles. I’m always down for a cheap thrill.

Free from the boxes and into my clutches.

Too Faced Cosmetics before I tore them open.

Finally, my Smashbox products… since I didn’t get my makeover with Smashbox, I didn’t get most of my products from the brand. Lucky for me, I know a great product and I know Smashbox delivers. I was itching to try Be Legendary Lipstick. I got it in Primrose. It lasts forever! Then ChaCha hooked me up with Limitless Eyeliner in Indigo Ink. I L-O-V-E it. I’m so getting into blue eyeliner.

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick and Limitless Eyeliner- for a woman on a mission.

Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be sure to get some more goods! (Waiting on a special perfume delivery- any guesses as to what it might be? I’ll give you a hint- I hope I don’t get a MONSTROUS zit before I go back to work.)
Stay glossy!

Sorry my pictures aren’t as fab as my sister’s. I lost my real camera- these are from my phone. (I love the 21st century.)

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Product Hoochie Event @ Brooklyn Make-Up Studio, Part I

Brooklyn Make-Up Studio @ the Venetian

August 26, 2012 was a day that will go down in Brooklyn’s beauty history. Stacey Catapano of the studio and Product Hoochie hosted an event at the Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. Stacey Catapano’s new location created a perfect setting for a day of all things beauty, from facials, to hair, to make-up applications. The Brooklyn Make-Up Studio is the only one of its kind- it is rare to find a cosmetics store in Brooklyn where the owner and employees are actually make-up artists that know their products. Here is a round-up of services at the event: Mini-Facials by Jessica of Caudalie, Makeovers by Cha-Cha of Smashbox, freelance artists Ivan and Tricia, and in-house artists Stacey and Christina. Laura, owner of L’aurang Jewelry, was there with great up to the minute accessories. The atmosphere was and is always professional but customers really felt like they were having a spa day with their closest friends.

ChaCha of Smashbox making over Joan.

Jewelry from L’aurang.

Caudalie Logo

Brooklyn Make-Up Studio’s interior is white with modern amenities. Pictures of glamorous icons Audrey Hepburn and Madonna adorn the walls. The crystal chandelier is in the center of the room’s ceiling and gleams. There is a room for facials and a chair for in-house stylist, Denise. There are stools at each cosmetic station. Brooklyn Make-Up Studio carries Smashbox, Stila, Too Faced, Vincent Longo, Paula Dorf, ColorScience, Deborah Lippmann and Blinc cosmetics. As for skincare, they carry Caudalie, Philosophy, and Anthony Logistics. It was at the studio that I learned about the MoroccanOil brand, making frizzy heads happy everywhere. As for fragrance, Brooklyn Make-Up carries the always exclusive Bond No.9. Usually only found in stores like Bergdorf, it is a luxury line of fragrances you can mix and match.

Smashbox!

The crystals of the chandelier

Lip glosses by Stila

Nail polish by Deborah Lippmann

Philosophy Bath Goods!

When I arrived at the studio with my sister and favorite photographer, Shannon, we were greeted by Stacey. Customers were bustling about, asking questions to the highly skilled make-up and hair artists. A table in the back of the studio was filled with fresh fruit, cupcakes from Sweet Treats by Christina, Bellina Chocolates, and of course cheese and crackers. Stacey started to help one woman who seemed a little shy. She applied some make-up with her ever-talented hand. By the time the woman left the store, she had a huge smile on her face. This was an auspicious sign.

Sweet Treats by Christina ; 

I was soon whisked to the facial room, where Jessica, an aesthetician from Caudalie, started on my mini-facial. “What are your concerns?” she asked me. I told her, “I’m oily and my pores are so big.” As she examined my skin, I almost expected some tsk, tsks. Instead, she said that I have very few problems and little congestion. I mentioned that I felt my skin looked dull and was missing a glow. She explained that she was going to apply a light peel to my face. I never had a peel before. I have to admit I was a little nervous but I know Caudalie products are excellent. With a gentle hand, she applied Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser. After I was cleansed, she applied a 5% peel and as that did its work, she massaged my hands and arms with Caudalie’s Divine Oil. It smelled delightful and my arms were smooth and not sticky. Once she removed the peel, she sprayed my skin with Beauty Elixir. Being of Sicilian descent, my pores are huge. The elixir tightens pores and brings back skin’s natural radiance. “Victoria Beckham swears by this,” Jessica said. “I’ve always wanted to be Posh.” We laughed. She then put on the Anti-Wrinkle Serum (it’s inevitable.) It wasn’t greasy at all. When I looked at my reflection, there was me at almost age 25. My skin was glowing. In fact, I used the elixir and serum after I washed my face last night and my skin looks better today.

Face wash

One of the many things Posh and I have in common.

Wrinkle Serum

This is just the start to my day at Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. I have so much material; it’s going to take a few posts. I bid you adieu for now, but expect some of the tricks later this week. Stay glossy

Product Hoochie Always Saves the Day!

I was thinking about my life this morning. I won’t get all mushy or philosophical, it’s just that most mornings before I have caffeine, I get a little pensive. I haven’t been writing this blog for long and I know about products. I know about products. I buy them, I use them, I judge them. Then I started to think about how little so many consumers know about what they buy. With make-up, it’s okay because it is disposable, but who wants to spend a lot of money if they are uninformed? The answer  is almost everyone. My husband checks things on consumer reports and reads reviews. I’m a snap judgement person but I’ve gotten smarter. Unfortunately, when you hit up a cosmetics counter or *gasp* Sephora, a lot of the sales people have no clue what they are selling. That’s where I come in.

I pay for my products. I take advantage of discounts and gifts with purchase so I can up  my bounty. I have recently been very annoyed with cosmetic representatives. Some of them know their products, most do not. For example, I was at a Clinique counter asking about an eye creme. I asked what the difference was between the one I currently use and the other kind they carry. The woman behind the counter stumbled over her words. She did not know how to answer me or offer me some kind of pamphlet. She wasn’t quick enough to say, “Here are the basic differences. Check out the website for further product description.” In the age of smartphones, I could have done that in two seconds. She lost my money.

Another time, I was at a grand re-opening of a Sephora in NYC. These beautiful women were all over the place, reps from companies that Sephora sells or Sephora higher-ups. When I went to the Dior section to get Lip Glow (eh!) and the apricot nail creme (another eh!),  two women reps stood there and asked me what I was looking for. Once I picked it up, they seemed excited but clueless. “Oh, what does that do? Do you know if it works?” I asked them if they worked for Sephora or Dior. Of course they did! NOT. A. CLUE.

My favorite save the day was at another Sephora. A very confused woman was looking at lipstick and was asking a Sephora employee for help. I won’t lie- the lady was a little annoying but was looking for help and if she got it, would probably be out of the employee’s hair. I wanted to see the display and went over to the woman, suggested some lipstick finishes and picked out 3 colors for her. She was so grateful and happy.

I spend a lot of money on make-up. I’ve made friends with the woman that handles the cosmetics department at Walgreen’s. She knows her inventory and the products. She’s also younger than me and asks me about stuff she sees me buying. It’s fun talking about make-up when someone else knows about it.

Please email me or comment your beauty product questions and concerns before you decide to spend $15 on nail polish. Seriously.

Oh, and today come down to the Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. I’ll be there doling out information. And the

Do you know what these do?

people there know the brands they carry. Support local business!

The Product Hoochie’s Nine Necessities (Because it take a village- or a lot of Argan Oil)

1) Philosophy Bath, Shampoo, & Shower Gel: From Guava to Full of Grace, these multi-purpose gels are a definite beauty necessity. Start your morning off with some Senorita Margarita, minus the salt and the hangover. Finish your day with a slathering of Crème Brulee. The aroma envelopes you in the shower or bath and you can lather up anything! The best part- the scent will never clash with your perfume or body lotion.

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2) MoroccanOil: MoroccanOil Treatment is hair oil that works well on my curly locks. It moisturizes without weighing hair down and cuts back the frizz. I use this on my freshly washed mane before I put in any other products.

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3) Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel: When I know I am going to be out for the day (or night) and need to look fresh, I use this gel. Since my skin is super oily, this cuts back the grease and keeps me “bone-dry” all day without actually drying me out. I used this on my wedding day. Between this and Stacey’s expert hand, I looked fabulous.

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4) Blinc Mascara: Blinc makes two products, mascara and liquid eyeliner. I can’t attest to the eyeliner yet BUT I can tell you the mascara is crazy! Blinc creates “tubes” around your lashes and doesn’t run, flake, or rub off until you wash your face with a lot of water. (I was a little freaked out when first washed it off, as little “spiders” were in my sink. Alas, it was Blinc just doing its job.) If you desire long, black, glossy lashes this is for you.

5) Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss: Shiny, without being goopy, this gloss has it all. Its gleam along with a little shimmer is classy, not juvenile. Wear it alone for a pop of color or over lipstick to add a little dimension.

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6) Too Faced Shadow Insurance: This is an eyeshadow primer that is a can’t live without. Keeps my eyeshadow on my lids, exactly WHERE I PUT IT! Since it has a silicone base, you can blend your shadow and then let it set. It also evens out skintone and smooths lines, creating an impenetrable barrier between you and Tammy Faye.

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7) Vincent Longo Rejuvenating Velvet Riche Lipstick: There are times I just need a creamy lipstick. It’s timeless. This is where Vincent Longo’s lipstick comes in. It is moisturizing and has collagen so lips stay firm (because a lot of things can start to sag and I’m not shooting up my face with fillers, just sayin’). The colors are gorgeous, from nudes to merlots, so there is something for everyone.

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8) Stila Long Wear Lip Liner: I don’t use lip liner everyday but when I do, I hit up this one. It glides on the lips and lasts and lasts. Stila carries a red, hot pink, and a rose but I use Aspiring, a neutral beige. It works with any color in a pinch.

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9) Fearlessness (guts, chutzpah, or spit-fire!): Realize you can wear whatever you want. If you aren’t sure about something, try it out anyway. Life’s too short to care if someone doesn’t like your lipstick. Remember, stay glossy!

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My mom and I dancing at my wedding last year.

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My sister and my “sister” (her best friend!)

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My grandmother telling my husband he was dancing too slowly.

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Two of the most important and influential women in my life- My mom-in-law and my mom!

All of these products and more are available at

The Brooklyn Make-Up Studio

447 Avenue P @ The Venetian, Brooklyn, NY

(718)333-3482

I can’t put that in my carry-on?!

Since it is now the beginning of August, I figured it would be a good time to write about travel. I love to travel. I live for it. Nothing makes me happier than globe-trotting with the one(s) I love. I have been very fortunate to have visited most continents, though I think I have yet to make a real dent. Anyway, though I  have a tendency to over-pack, I figured I would share some ideas that make sense, save me some room in my suitcase, and follow the rules of the TSA.

You are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item: Ah, yes. The dreaded one carry-on bag that must fit in that cube thing at every gate with the sign that reads, “Your bag cannot exceed…” How about those people that exceed the annoying rule? I digress. Bringing anything with you on a plane is a pain. Since many airlines now have a checked bag fee, people now bring on those rolling suitcases and don’t care if they put them in the overhead bins without making room for everyone else. I usually check my bag. It’s not worth the trouble to me and I usually am in no mood to argue with people when I might be sitting with them for an hour or 10. I do carry a tote bag. I have a bunch that I can choose from and I like to use one that wipes clean because I  stow mine under the seat in front of me. I toss a small (usually a cross-body) pocketbook in it to use during my trip.  In my tote I carry the usual: book(s) or my Kindle, i-Pod, snacks,  and all the other crap I require. Here comes the fun part… I carry my make-up with me. There is no way I am checking my $26 tube of Blinc mascara. Besides, I go on the plane bare-faced. I need to fix myself up before landing. I store my cosmetics in a Ziploc. It’s simple and cheap. I bring my mascara, lip stuff, blush, shadow palette, and tinted moisturizer. Sometimes, I use two Ziplocs and throw one in my husband’s bin at security. I’m usually carrying some off his stuff, and he rarely notices. 

Any liquids or gels cannot exceed 3 ounces: Three ounces? Really? Do these people know what it’s like to have curly hair? I require 3-4 liquids everyday to get this thing under control. Since I am clever (most days) and since I am a Product Hoochie, I have amassed enough samples to last me at least 10 trips. Probably more, but who’s counting? I just try to bring things that I normally use and don’t care about the brand. Usually whatever I bring works pretty well and if it stinks, I throw out the rest. I know just about how much I need and always bring an extra packet or two of products I know I can’t live without. Shampoo and conditioner are at hotels and so is soap. You can either not bring any or just use the hotel stuff if you run out. Keep in mind, you can always use shampoo to wash yourself and conditioner to shave or as a de-frizzer. My biggest concern is face wash. I bring a lot of packets of that and I bring cosmetic wipes. Baby wipes work in a pinch. If you need perfume, roller balls are great but I use those little vials and try a bunch of new stuff. Maybe I’ll like the new scent. Maybe I won’t.  Either way, I can throw it out. I throw all this in a Ziploc and if I am checking my bag, away it goes. If not, it can come with me and I have my arsenal.

Only bring what you need: HAHAHAHA! My grandmother tells me this all of the time when I go for a visit. It’s true- she has pretty much anything and I know I can just buy if I happen to need something. If I’m not visiting family, it just gives me an excuse to scour stores in different cities. They always have different stuff! Besides, I’ll have extra room in the Ziploc bags since I used all of my samples.

My make-up favorites: These work on pretty much any trip. Trust me.

-Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush- it really bounces and the texture is light and soft. The color is subtle but it’s easy to build up.

-Bobbi Brown Nude Shadow Palette: Mattes, Satins, and Shimmers in one package. You can do a smoky eye or just a simple wash of color. Since the colors are neutral and nude, the palette can work anywhere.

-Blinc Mascara- I can’t say enough. The. Best.

-Burt’s Bees Lip Balm- my stand-by.

-NYX Lip Gloss and Lipstick Queen Lip Medieval Lip Treatment

Bon voyage! Stay Glossy!