Sally Hansen

Behind the Scenes on A Glamour Photo Shoot for their "Best of You" September Feature

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting behind the scenes pics from a photo shoot for Glamour'September issue last Thursday (yes, they're already working on September shoots).  I was honored to get a sneak peek at their "Best of You" feature, an annual article in partnership with Sally Hansen highlighting four inspirational and powerful women and their non-profit work.  From adopting a neighborhood in Atlanta to making the elderly feel special in nursing homes, each of these women had stories to tell, with one goal in common: raising awareness.  Here's what you'll find in Glamour's Sept. issue: Each September for the past 12 years, Glamour and Sally Hansen seek out women to highlight in the next years issue.  After thousands of submissions, ten finalists are chosen and Glamour readers vote on the final four.

Keela Dates, Executive Director of

Nominated by a board member, Keela only found out about "Best of You"when she was in the top ten. Her trip to Kenya at 22 years-old as a volunteer at a school for orphaned and at-risk children inspired her to create the non-profit.  Currently, the school is K-11 with 45 children living in the orphanage.  In the US, Keela speaks at local schools to educate them about life in developing countries and reminds students about how grateful they should be.  She hopes "Best of You" will hope to raise awareness of Reason2Smile, help her get into more schools to continue the education path and raise funds for developing countries.

Rebecca Stanley, Founder of Blueprint 58

Rebecca was nominated by one of her blog readers and I got to meet her and her husband, perhaps to of the most generous people on the planet.  Inspired by the phrase, "Love thy neighbor as thy self," Rebecca and her husband Adam grew up in Atlanta and realized after working at a summer camp with children who lived just a town over that poverty was just around the corner.  Fast forward a few years after mentoring children from the intercity, with children of their own, they decided to pick up and move to the intercity so they could act as the positive role model in the neighborhood.  Neighborhood children visit after school for games, dinners, homework help, attend Sunday mass with them and are taught about life lessons we take for granted.  They're hoping the "Best of You" feature will help to raise awareness that poverty is right in our backyards.  Here's her blog where you can see photos of her children playing with the neighborhood kids.

Rachel Doyle, Founder of GlamourGals

Meeting all of these inspiring women was such a pleasure, but Rachel's optimistic personality and beauty inspired mission instantly drew me to her.  I have to work with her.  When her grandma passed she began volunteering at senior homes by giving the ladies makeovers and manicures.  Only, her volunteering stint turned into a country wide movement when she founded GlamourGals.  Now, she inspires teen women to build chapters around the country and volunteer a few times a month at a local senior home.  To date, she has 68 chapters in 14 states, but hopes the September issue of Glamour will help raise awareness and get more women involved.

Carrie Severson, Founder of Severson Sisters

Carrie had her mom on the shoot with her, who was as you can imagine so incredibly proud.  After being bullied when she was younger, she found internal peace in her 20's and  gives credit to her creative outlets such as cooking, writing and scrap booking.  Today, she's committed to teaching younger girls how deal with self esteem issues and mentors bully victims, bullies and those who are bullied.

Spring in Full Bloom at Tracy Reese

The Tracy Reese collection for Spring/Summer 2012 is full of flowers, pastels, and ladylike skirts. The nails, hair, and makeup enhanced the clothes, giving it all a polished look. The makeup was done by Mally Roncal, the creator of Mally Beauty. She wanted the look to be fresh and youthful (which worked great with Tracy's pretty play suits). She gave all the model's skin a satin finish, "No translucent powder!" she repeated twice. She then set the skin with Mally's Face Defender. Keeping the brows strong, Roncal went kept to a natural arch. She made the eyes very special.  She described the style of eyeliner as that customized style that the coolest girl in class could pull off, but you couldn't, thin with a small kick up at the end. (Everyone nodded in agreement and nostalgia when she said that). The lids were kept naked and the lashes long and spiky. The blush, in 24/7 medium, was placed high and strong, well above the apples of the cheeks. The lips were the most interesting of the entire look. They were very glossy and in two different shades.  The top lip was a color called Life is Fuchsia pink and the bottom was Be a Peach orange. The models were instructed very carefully not to roll their lips, but to marry the two colors by going "MA MA MA". Mally's advice to those wanting to try the look at home, "Just go for it!"

The hair was by guru, Jeanie Syfu for TRESsemme. To go with the floral print of the clothes, Jeanie created a soft, romantic hairstyle that showcased the best of the '30's, '40's, and '50's. She created a windblown effect by adding texture and waves to the models hair using TRESsemme's 24 Hour Body Mousse and lots of heat. The hair was first rolled into sections and clipped the the head, then ironed. Finally it was finger combed out and finished with high heat. TRESsemme's Curl Activator Spray was used to help with the heat styling so that the final product was touchable, not fried.

The front of the hair was absolutely gorgeous! There were one to two rolls off center on the top. Lucky for us, the rolls are easily created! Using a chopstick, roll the hair from the end of the hair to as high as you want and pin.  Jeanie emphatically stated after giving me the directions to "tease the hair first." Got it Jeanie!

The nails for this show were particularly special. Jin Soon Choi for Sally Hansen did the manicures, but it was Miss Tracy Reese herself that designed the color. The colors were inspired by "pure delight."  Tracy created a collection of seven different polishes for Sally Hansen that will be available in April!  The color used for the show was "Temptation," a beautiful pink that is light enough for Spring and will be sure to stand out on your fingers. The best part is that the line is part of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure, an all in one formula that has the base and top coat in it.  As a nail polish junkie and a lover of all things Sally Hansen, I can't wait till April to get my hands on the collection!

Tracy couldn't wait until April either and got a "Temptation" manicure backstage.

Tried & True: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips

Getting manicures is a pain in the butt because unless I get CND Axxium (the gels) my polish always chips within two to three days.  Therefore, I find myself getting a polish change and a manicure in one week because I can't stand the thought of having unkept hands.  I've heard about the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips, but was very skeptical about them until I gave them a whirl.  Now, they're my latest must have. As usual, I had my weekly manicure on Wednesday and all my polish chipped by Friday so my nails were neatly manicured and instead of opting for my weekly polish change I decided to try out the strips.  The kit comes with detailed instruction (even though the process is pretty self explanatory), a mini nail file with different surfaces, wooden cuticle pusher and about 14 strips.

I opted to try the leopard print design (hey, why not?) and while applying them I was also conversing with my best girl friend on the phone.  Since they're strips, you don't have to worry about concentrating too hard on messing up.  I have extremely tiny nail beds, which is why I was skeptical about these strips working for everyone, but because the kit came with a few different size strips for each hand, I was able to match them up best I could to my nail beds and throw the extras that were too big out.

The steps were simple, buff, peel, apply and file.  After I stuck the strip on, lining it up to my nail bed, I was left with quite a bit of length at the end.  I like to keep my nails really short and square with rounded edges.  To remove the excess, I filed it away and around the shape of my nail.

All in all it took about 20 minutes and I do think they can accommodate people with different nail bed sizes and nail shapes.  Is my DIY mani perfect?  No, I have some spaces around the edges, but they're barely noticeable.  I'm anxious to see if they really last the 10 days they claim to.

Get Holiday Party Ready in A Flash

Tis' the season.  Let me tell you.  With the holidays approaching I haven't had a chance to breathe!  Normally work events slow down a bit, but this year, it seems every brand wants to have new launch events and holiday parties this season and on top of it, I have so many parties with my friends and family!  I haven't been able to breathe since Thanksgiving!  I'm sure you're feeling quite the same way between shopping, entertaining and party hopping.  Because of all of the madness I've had to cut the corners on my primping this year and do a lot of it myself.  Thank God for good DIY products.  Here's what I've been doing, it can save you too! L’Oréal Paris Root Rescue 10 Minute Root Coloring Kit , $7.99

I haven't had a second to make a salon appointment during the week and they've been totally booked on Saturdays so this came to my rescue and it only takes ten minutes.  Not only did it do the job matching my color but it was really easy to use for the every day girl (like me) because the applicator allows for precise control.  The best part – it only takes ten minutes!

Lancome Flash Bronzer Body Gel, $33

Well it is December, but that's no excuse for me to look absolutely see through!  I can literally see the blue veins on my hands.  No lie.  So of course, once again it's self tanner to the rescue!  I've been using this Lancome body gel at night before the day of a party so I wake up glowy.  It leaves a natural, subtle glow instead of a very tan look, which is perfect for this time of year.

Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Chrome Pen, $7.79

Of course I get mani's regularly, but you'll notice I always complain about them chipping within two days, so no - they don't last me through the week.  When I need a quick DIY fix this is my go-to. I love the Chrome color for the holidays because it mimics the minx mani and the best part – it dries in a flash!

My Top Beauty Buys

Being in the world of beauty has been far from boring.  Every day I receive packages of new products to try, test and share with you.  I receive emails, tweets and facebook messages from friends and fans (even guys) asking questions about their skin concerns and what I'm using.  So I decided to dedicate a post to share some of the products I'm using right now.  Even though this may seem like a lot to you, this isn't even half! Fragrance: Pure DKNY

Makeup: Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens in Super Natural, MAC Zoom Lash Mascara,Nars Blush in Orgasm

Skincare: ROC Multi Correxion Skin Perfecting System, Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask

Hair: Moroccan Oil Restorative Hair Mask, Pssst Dry Shampoo, Blow Hair Spray

Body: Degree Natureeffects Invisible Solid, Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotion, St. Tropez Self Tanner, Schick Intuition Plus

Nails: Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment Hardening Formula

Treat Your Pout to More Kisses

Did you know the lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your body?  Because your lips are an extension of your inner mouth, they don't produce their own oil like your skin. Therefore, you need to exfoliate and moisturize to keep them luscious. Here are some tips on how to get a pair of soft, healthy pink lips just begging to be kissed:


Your skin lips are is the thinnest on your whole body so they tend to flake and peel.  Exfoliate at least once a week with a lip exfoliator.  They tend to be gentle.  Try Lush Lip Scrub in Bubble Gum, $8.95.  It's made with vegan flavored sugar that you can simply lick off when you're done. Trust me, you'll want to, it tastes that good!


You should never leave your lips bare.  Like you moisturize your face in the am and pm, you should do the same for your lips.  During the day use a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sun damage on your lips can lead to burnt, peeling lips, thinner lips and yes, even skin cancer. Try Blistex Massage Lip Balm SPF 15, $2.99.  For night, try Sally Hansen Overnight Lip Recovery, $10.49, is loaded with antioxidants and keeps moisture in your pout while you sleep so you wake up with a perfectly plump, supple smile.

Paint or Plump

Post treatment, every girl needs a little color to her pucker.  If you just like gloss sans the plump, check out Rimmel Royal Gloss, $3.99 (my favorite color is Twinkle Pink).  However, if you're looking for a bit of a volume go big or go home with Maybelline Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper, $7.09.