Grammys Makeup Tutorial & CoverGirl Giveaway


I can't wait for the Grammys this year (big announcement coming soon!) and in anticipation, I decided to create a Grammys inspired alternative music look.  Don't laugh at me!  While I love all types of music, I grew up listening to Nirvana, Bush, Coldplay and The Killers.  Check out my video below to find out how to get my "chick in rock and roll" look and oh yea, there's a big CoverGirl giveaway, too! When I first thought of creating a look based off of alternative music, women like Courtney Love and Avril Lavigne came to mind.  The second – eyeliner.  Inspired by their creative use of makeup as self expression and effortless attitude, I decided to use new CoverGirl products to create my look.  Check out the video!


You can visit Ulta and get makeup like the CoverGirl products I used to recreate my look or win them here!  I'm giving away CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara, Eye Shadow Quads, Bombshell Pow-Der BROW + Liner, Outlast Lip Color and a $50 gift card to Ulta so you can shop more products that'll help you get red carpet ready.  To enter, check out the video above and let me know your favorite part in the comments section below.  I'll announce the winner on Monday, February 9th, right after the Grammys in the comments section below, too.


And of course, good news for all... everyone's a winner, because from February 1st to February 21st, if you purchase any CoverGirl product on Ulta, you can get  an additional CoverGirl product for 50% off!

*This post is sponsored by P&G and Ulta, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

Mascara Tips for Bombshell Lashes

bomb·shell n. One that is sensationally shocking, surprising, or amazing.  One who is very attractive.  When thinking of what makes someone look like a total bombshell the first things that come to mind are a head-turning blowout and long, thick lashes that compliment enticing eyes.  The blowout?  I like to cheat and leave it up to the pros, but there's a new drugstore mascara on the market that's a real game changer – an impressive 2-step wand by CoverGirl that takes lashes to the next level. The mascara's called Bombshell Volume, which is part of CoverGirl's new LashBlast collection that also includes ShineShadow and Intensity Liner.  It's dual ended, but unlike other dual ended mascaras which have serums on one end and mascara on the other, this one has mascara on both sides.  Step one is a fat brush with short, plastic bristles that helps to build volume on your lashes and step two is a thinner, tapered brush with longer bristles that help to intensify the volume and shape your lashes.


It's genius, really.  How many of you normally use two or even three different mascaras at a time, because they each deliver something different?   This one wand, really is the answer to that.  Here are some tips for use to make sure you're really getting bombshell lashes.

  1. Take your time.  We often rush through applying our mascara, but truth is, achieving bombshell lashes is an art.
  2. Wiggle at the base, then drag.  Treat the brush like a comb.  Place it at the base of your lashes and wiggle it so the bristles sit in between them and then pull up.  This helps to define and separate them.
  3. Don't forget the outer corners.  The lashes on the outer corners of your eyes are often skipped.  Make sure to coat them as they help to make your eyes appear bigger.
  4. Skip pumping the wand.  Never pump your mascara wand in and out of the tube to get more product. It creates air in the tube, which causes it to clumping.
  5. Stick with two coats.  Believe it or not, less is more here, too.  You don't want your mascara to dry in between coats and when over-applying it's a risk you take.  Say hello to flakes.


You can find the new CoverGirl Bombshell collection at Ulta.

Want to try it?  Of course you do!  I'm giving away the CoverGirl Bombshell collection and a $100 ULTA Beauty Gift Card.  Follow @BeautySweetSpot on Twitter & RT my tweets about the giveaway for a chance to win!  The winner will be chosen at random on 1/10. 

Also, from January 5th through January 25th, all CoverGirl products are buy one get one 50 percent off at Ulta!  Happy Shopping!

*This post is sponsored by Blue Chip, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.


The Capitol's Official Makeup Artist Talks Catching Fire

The suspense is killing me.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be in theaters in less than a month and thanks to CoverGirl, the series is already top of mind again. Not only did the brand come up with a new, limited edition Capitol collection, but they even have a "Capitol makeup artist" on the roster, Dotti, who created a look for each district.  I had the opportunity to chat with her about coming up with the looks and found out how you can recreate them for Halloween. It's such an honor to be asked to create the looks for 'Catching Fire!'  How did the creative process start and who was involved?

There were so many people involved! Of course the creative team from the ad agency, hairstylist, stylist, photographer and more – we were all involved in the process.

I reviewed the 12 looks from an artist perspective so we bounced around ideas with play on words and visuals to fine tune the looks I created. We all did intensive research on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and although as a make-up artist I was responsible for the make-up looks, we truly collaborated as a team.

When did you read the series and what other research or preparation did you do to capture the characters of each district?

Reading books and seeing a film have quite a different effect on how you see the districts and the Capitol. I think a mixture of both was a good place to start for myself personally.

Which look was your favorite to create and why are you partial to it?

I was partial to more than one look for reasons being texture, the color palette, and the district itself and what it evoked in me to create their looks. I can’t pick just one so here are a few of my favorites:

Mining, Livestock, Masonry, Technology, Textiles, Grain, Agriculture.

I love how you added canary yellow in the corners of the eye for District 12: Mining.  It's unexpected.  Where did that come from?

Without sounding morbid, miners would take a canary with them always into the mines so as to gauge the danger levels of the air in the mine. So there is true referencing to canary yellow with this look.

About how long did it take to come up with and perfect each look?

Some of the looks came together on the first go but others took a few times. Sometimes you just have to walk away to see everything with fresh eyes. It was an ongoing organic process.

They're fun to recreate for Halloween!  Do you have any tips for those who want to try them at home?

Check out the Capitol Beauty Studio for how to recreate the looks. It’s so fun to explore – I love it!


Modern Day Retro Hair & Makeup Tips

It's true.  This season, what's old is new again.  Surprised?  As the fashion cycle goes, clothing inspired by the 1940's walked the runways and of course, hair and makeup completed the looks making retro styles a major fall beauty trend.  I got the scoop from Celebrity Makeup Artist, Katie Robinson and Celebrity Hair Stylist, Jennifer Brent on how to rock the look in the modern day. Makeup: "Whether grunge or mod, most of these trends lend themselves to experimental eyeliner, which is so fun,"  Robinson explains.  "Experimenting with various styles of liner can take your look from the everyday to the exotic."  She recommends trying CoverGirl Ink It! Perfect Point Plus Eye Liner to create different looks.  "You can draw a precise cat eye or smudge it before it dries for a rebellious ‘90s look."

Hair: "My favorite retro look this season is the glam side sweep ala Veronica Lake," Brent states. "For bombshell waves, use a fat barrel curling iron or wand and curl away from your face. Then, after curling each section, gently tug on the curl until it cools for a loose, wavy look." She recommends finishing with Pantene’s Anti-Humidity Maximum Hold Hairspray and smoothing the All-in-One Styling Balm through the ends. "They’re great holding tools with lots of shine when applied to a deep side part or big waves."

5 Favorites

It was hard to pick five favorites for this post, but trust me when I say this... everything that goes into these posts is worth every penny.  Being that I receive packages upon packages of new beauty loot daily, I can't possibly cover it all.  So here I bring you my fave moisturizer, the body scrub that's keeping my skin fresh this summer, a breakthrough in hair styling and of course, some new nail products.  Enjoy!  I've been using Restorsea's Rejuvenating Day Cream and their night cream for quite a while now and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.  Even though the consistency of the day cream is a bit thicker than you'd expect for summertime, I'm not going to switch anytime soon.  My skin's smooth and radiant.  What more can a girl ask for?

Now this is innovative.  Last week I attended an event for Color Wow and was amazed by their Brass Banned Correct & Perfect Mousse demo.  There are two different colors; a purple mousse for blondes and a teal mousse for brunettes, which both correct brassiness.  I've never before seen color correction in a styling product and am super impressed by the technology.

While it's called a body scrub, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of suds it created.  Nivea's Lathering Body Scrub feels luxurious.  Normally when I use an exfoliant in the shower I always use a body wash afterwards, but that wasn't the case with this.  It did both jobs really well.  The microbeads are so tiny and gently and vitamin E even moisturizes as you pamper.

Julep's Freedom Polymere Top Coat is the perfect hybrid between a gel and regular clear polish.  You swipe it on just like you would a clear top coat, but it's just a bit thicker and formulated with polymers that act like gel.  Besides leaving your nails chip-free for about two to three days longer, the shine factor is covetable. I'm also kind of obsessed with their Nail Growth Revitalizing Serum. It's no joke.

My go-to mani color for the summer isn't coral for once!  CoverGirl's Outlast Stay Brilliant Polish in Mint Mojito pops even against my alabaster skin and I'm sure will look great with a tan, too.  Plus, it lasted a full week.

Spring Beauty Trend: Pastel Manis

While the runways declared nude and shiny, metallic manicures must-haves for Spring, celebrities like Jessica Alba, Beyonce and Ginnifer Goodwin prove that pastel polishes are still all the rage.  The spring staple has been spotted on the A-listers on red carpets throughout awards season and they all chose ones that compliment their skin tones. Despite popular belief, all pastels aren’t created equal.  The shades to covet this season are creamy pastels, which look as if the pigment’s been mixed with a white base.  Think shades like creamsicle, mint, lavender and eggshell blue that pop (yes, even on fair complexions).  If you have an alabaster-like complexion like Ginnifer Goodwin, chose a cool shade like Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Green with Envy.  A peachy shade will compliment medium skin tones like Jessica Alba’s, opt for a polish like Butter London Kerfuffle Nail Lacquer in Opaque Pink Coral Crème.  Consider yourself lucky if you have a darker skin tone, as all pastel shades will look flattering.  One of our favorites: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Lav-endure.

Spring 2013 Beauty Trend: Flawless Faces, Get the No-Makeup-Makeup Look

Backstage at NY Fashion Week this September I took note of the top beauty trends for Spring, some of which included buff nails, nude lips, electric eyes, deep side parts and flawless faces.  Flawless faces, which to me is more than just a trend, it's a way of life.  It's your skin! I got some tips from CoverGirl Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jake Bailey, on how to achieve the no-makeup-makeup look, flawlessly. 1.       Start by removing any excess oil or makeup with a toner or astringent.

2.       Apply lip balm at the start of your makeup routine so it has time to be absorbed. Then, when you’re ready to apply lipstick, lips will be soft and supple, but not sticky.

3.       Spread a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer over entire face as a primer and then blot with a sponge to remove excess.  I'd recommend Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Free Moisturizer, $16.99.

4.       Using a flat-topped brush, dab a creamy foundation like Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation SPF 20, $65, onto your face and décolletage.

5.       Conceal under eye circles with a light reflecting concealer.  Be sure to keep the product away from your lash line  It will only highlight puffiness.

6.       Use the sponge to blot away excess foundation before applying blush and bronzer to prevent a “cakey” look.

7.       Using a brush, apply cream blush to the apples of your cheeks, then blend it out around your entire cheek for a natural flush.  The brush gives it a more natural look.

8.       Warm up the look with bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks and around the perimeter of your face.

9.       Use an oversized, soft brush to set the look with a light powder.  The soft bristles provide less resistance, helping keep makeup intact.  I use the CoverGirl + Olay Pressed Powder, $10.49, because it's a bit moisturizing and doesn't make my skin look cakey.  Check out my review here.

10.   Finish with mascara. For a smudge-free application, place a business card at the base of the lash line, then brush mascara over top lashes. The business card helps separate lashes and prevents clumping and excess.


Breaking My Number One Rule, Thanks to CoverGirl

Sometimes you need to make exceptions to the rules.  After all, they're made to be broken.  Right?  Well I've always sworn against powder.  I firmly believe that face powder sits into fine lines and ages you.  Therefore, whenever I'm on set for a shoot, I use blotting papers to control shine.  Powder is the enemy... until now.  Before presenting at the CEW Beauty Awards back in May, I had a CoverGirl makeup artist do my makeup and she wanted to use powder, "It's moisturizing, I promise, it won't cake."  I trusted her and found a new favorite product. She was right.  It controlled my shine and oil all day while I was at the awards ceremony, presenting under the bright lights so I immediately emailed the publicist to find out what this new, mysterious product was as I had to have it.  It's CoverGirl + Olay Pressed Powder.  The PR girls sent it over to me and I've been using it for TV appearances ever since.

I like that it comes in a compact so I can throw it into my bag for touch ups without worrying about it spilling all over the place.  What I really like though is the way it feels on my skin – lightweight.  It doesn't crawl into the creases around my eyes and even provides a little bit of coverage.  It really is a finishing touch for my skin.   What genius came up with the idea to combine the cosmetics from CoverGirl with the skincare from Olay I'm not sure, but it's working.  Perhaps the best part is that it's a true bargain buy!


2011 Emmys Best of Beauty

I love awards shows, but the Emmys holds a special place in my heart because my very first national TV segment was two years ago on the E! red carpet live from the Emmys breaking down how the A-listers prepped for the red carpet.  Now, I'm bringing you the BeautySweetSpot Emmy Beauty Awards – the top 5 looks and how to get 'em Christina Hendrix

I give props to any red head who can pull off a daring shade of red lipstick.  As soon as I saw her on the red carpet, I knew she'd be my favorite look of the night.  Makeup artist, Vanessa Scali used Dior Beauty to create an "effortless chic" look.  Her champagne eyes were complimented by siren red, Rouge Dior Lipcolor in Blazing Red #638.

Nina Dobrev

The Vampire Diaries actress looked stunning in Donna Karan, but I loved 40's inspired her hair done by Andy Lecompte of Wella Professionals.  A dramatic side part is key to this retro look.  He curled her hair in 2" sections with a 1" barrel iron and used a dollop of Wella Professionals Pearl Styler to keep it in place.  Bobby pins kept loose strands over one shoulder for the night.

Sofia Vergara

She's so sexy she never fails to impress.  I love how her lipstick matched her dress and her lashes were like wow!  Makeup artist, Kayleen McAdams used CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Very Black with Liquiline Eyeliner in Black Fire along the top of her lashes to create definition.  On her lips, McAdams used LipPerfection Lipcolor in Rapture #280.

Julianna Margulies

While I wasn't crazy about her Armani Prive grown, I did love her coif. Inspired by old Hollywood, stylist, Matthew Monzon worked his magic by first creating tons of volume with Lenor Greyl's Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice,  blow drying with a 2" round brush and then setting with velcro rollers.  A deep part was key to the retro feel and using a 1 1/2" barrel curling iron, Monzon curled the bottom sections in rotating directions.  To hold, he used Lenor Greyl's Laque Souple Light Styling Spray.

Olivia Munn

"We were channeling Olivia's inner 1940's siren," commented her makeup artist, Uzo for NARS.  I like how Olivia looked like a more glamorous version of herself for the red carpet.  Highlighted skin, filled in brows and a pretty lip was all it took to get her ready for the big day. The key product – NARS Orgasm Illuminator.  It took three lip products to achieve this feminine, flirty lip all by NARS: Rosebud Lip Liner Pencil, Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick and Piree Larger Than Life Lip Gloss (new for fall).

Futuristic Luxe at Ports 1961

  The New York Public Library isn't just for book worms - it's where Ports 1961 showcased their Spring 2012 collection.  I think the library first received major fashion cred thanks to Sex and the City.   Before I dish on the backstage beauty I wanted to say thank you to Jeannine for letting be in her shoes for a week! It was so great being a part of SS 2012 NYFW and most of all being able to share my experiences with you!

The theme for hair, makeup and nails: futuristic luxe.  As soon as I heard that term from Nonie Creme, Founder of Butter London, I just had mental flashbacks of The Jetsons and how I thought that by now I would have owned a flying car.  To complement this theme, for the nails, Nonie used one coat of Chimney Sweep, a dark charcoal with a metallic finish, topped with matte top coat.  Doing this created that velvety texture without completely losing the shine (Nonie was the hand model for the above picture).  The focus for the makeup was having a bare face with a burst of color on the eyes using a vibrant metallic green eyeliner.  Pat McGrath, lead makeup artist for Covergirl,  used Intense Shadow Blast in everlasting green and create a thick line across the eye.  Quick tip: if you're a beginner start off by playing connect the dots;  make dots along the lash line and then connect them.

Lastly, the hair imparts a heroic sentiment with an east coast feel, says Guido, lead Redken stylist.  Guido accomplished this by creating a  'faux ponytail'; he simply pulled the hair back without tying it.  Guido also used barrettes, that he painted white, to hold the hair back.  The look is no-frills, modern and elegant,  a common theme I've seen this NYFW season.  Thank you again for checking out my posts for Beauty Sweet Spot - hope you enjoyed them!  xo

Backstage Beauty at Diesel Black Gold

It was a nice change of pace from the NYFW headquarters at Lincoln Center to check out a new venue – Pier 94.  After taking a peek at the Diesel Black Gold Spring 2012 collection it was evident that the ginormous warehouse was the perfect venue for their show.  The clothes had a utilitarian feel with a heavy emphasis on metallics.  In contrast, the hair and makeup with loose ponytails and fresh faces hinted at a sexy beach vibe.

To recreate loose, sexy waves that you get when going to the beach, Redken's lead stylist Guido used Guts Volume Spray Foam throughout damp hair and allowed to air dry.  Afterwards, Guido made a low ponytail and purposely took out a few strands for the desired look.  CoverGirl lead makeup artist, Pat McGrath, took things back to the supermodel era with the likes of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.  She achieves the look with a shimmery gold eyeshadow around the eyes and bronzed glow on the cheeks with nude lips.  For a lasting effect, McGrath used Covergirl Intense Shadow Blast in beige blaze.  





Easy Mascara Trick for Longer, Thicker Lashes

Last week I had dinner with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jake Bailey, known for perfecting Taylor Swift's flirty lash look in the Cover Girl ads and Katy Perry's signature cat eye. While I learned a ton of great makeup application tips and tricks from him throughout the meal, there was one that deserved a post on its own – the best mascara tip ever! Somewhere in between testing out an eyeshadow on my hand and drinking a glass of red, Bailey began doing a mascara demo that changed my life (well, changed my makeup routine).  His secret was a prop – a business card.  Here's the how-to:

1. Place a business card behind your upper lashes to protect your lid from the pigment.

2. Place the wand at the base of your lash line and wiggle it in between your lashes for added definition.

3. Next, as you pull the brush up throughout your lashes, rotate it so you're continuously coating them with fresh mascara and lift your lashes up with it for added length.

4.  Allow the brush to continue past your lashes and run onto the business card so the excess mascara doesn't clump on the tips of your lashes.

You don't have to use a business card to pull of this trick.  A match book, credit card, or anything thin and small will work.  As far as mascara goes, work with what you like, but I recommend trying CoverGirl's Nature Luxe Mousse Mascara, $8.49 at drugstores.  It's what Bailey used for the demo and created dimensional lashes.


Conquer the Bright Lip

Bold, bright lips are in. Even though I’m a huge beauty geek, I’ve never felt confident enough to try rocking the look.  My eyes are my best asset anyway so I tend to always play them up. Bright lips can be intimidating, but if you follow these simple steps from makeup artist Victoria Stiles as told to DailyMakeover, you can easily create a bombshell lip that will last the night away--and the morning after!

  • Be bold and choose a color that is matte in texture. Matte lasts longer than satin, cream, frost, or shimmer formulas. One of my all time favorite red shades is MAC's Ruby Woo Lipstick. If you are nervous about wearing red, this may be a great choice because it has a subtle pink undertone. For warmer skin tones, try a shade with a slight orange undertone such as Nars' Heat Wave.
  • Instead of using a traditional lip brush, stain lips with your choice of color by applying the lipstick with your fingertip. Simply rub the top of your index finger on the color and press into the heart and pout area of your lip, avoid a sweeping motion.
  • To ensure your lip color lasts, avoid placing gloss on top. Gloss makes it easier for the lipstick to transfer on to your wine glass, or your date.
  • If a straight stain is what you seek, try CoverGirl's Outlast Lipstain. It's not your traditional lipstick as it looks and operates more like a magic marker, making it very easy to use. Simply apply one coat to your lips for a softer appearance or two for a bolder look. When applying two coats, be sure to let the first coat dry completely before applying the second.

Celebrity Summer Trends

Nicole Richie is absolute favorite A-Lister to date because I love her style, but then there's Kate Hudson who always looks effortlessly chic.  I always look to the runways and celebs to seek out the latest trends and am lucky enough to get the inside scoop for BeautySweetSpot. Allow me to fill you in on some of the latest celebrity inspired trends for the summer season. The Smokey Eye

I've seen this look backstage at New York Fashion Week and on celebs at red carpet events all over the world.  I like to rock it on Friday nights out in the city and finally conquered it with CoverGirl's Smokey ShadowBlast. On one end it has a color for your base shadow and the other has a matching shade for your liner and crease.  I simply apply it and smudge it with my fingers.

Dewy Skin

Glowing, bronzed skin is definitely in (as long as you achieve it the safe way), but you need to get the natural dewy look, which can be hard for those with skin care problems like acne. Starletts like Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne love Proactiv because it's been the number one acne treatment system for the past 15 years.  The three-step system targets, clears and prevents acne.  Once you have clear skin, you can achieve that dewy complexion!

Tight Body

Those white skinny jeans don't look good on everyone!  If you want to rock this summer's latest trends, but are feeling a little less than body confident you can use every celebrities secret weapon, Hanes Smooth Illusions. The Waist Smoother automatically sucks in your stomach, hips and thighs (where we need help most) and are only $15 in the hosiery section of any department store.  Compared to other shape wear I've seen, that's a bargain!

*Note: This is a sponsored post.