Beauty, Brushes, Grooming, Hygiene, Makeup, Prevention, Set Etiquette

Dirty Makeup Bitches

I have zero fucking tolerance for anyone with access to makeup and faces that is not just unprofessional, but dirty. ZERO.

Having heard countless complaints from friends/clients about the horrors of filthy brushes, disorganized messy kits, post-application breakouts, rashes and, worse, infections – I have seen some heinous shit myself.


And then we have this past weekend. I was so stoked to work with my favourite makeup and hair friends on a shoot in Orange County [please note that I despise the OC for all of its plastic, gaudy, suburban splendour which makes this story that much worse] because we have the same aesthetic and sense of humour. These things are important on all shoots, let alone places that require them to survive.

Then walks in what I can only describe as a heavily made up human suit stretched over the alien from the movie Alien.


Immediately the three of us knew this was a MAC artist. This was reaffirmed by her MAC Zuca case and the skills she possessed which I will indubitably school you on.

I won’t get into the fact that she started rearranging my coffee cup and glasses without asking [apparently that’s her shady modus operandi], or that she didn’t ask us nor the producer what it is the, now, three of us should have been creating in unison. What I will tell you about is how she whipped out her busted up caboodle and started cleaning her disgusting brushes.

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My immediate reaction.

I nearly fucking vomited.

Perhaps instead of spending hours on herself that morning painting on a tranny face mask, she should have been washing her fucking brushes and not insulting the rest of us with her lack of professionalism. Oh, but then there is that.


So, she came in with two “hair stylists”. One was very pleasant and nice and had on a smile and was very eager to cooperate. The other was so wet behind the ears she looked like everything was a surprise and brought about three cans of BigSexyHair she probably picked up at Ulta. *Note to all newbies in the business: smile, nod and learn. Bad attitude will get you as far as sanitizing brushes if you keep it up. Humility is the way forward.

To make this all easier to swallow let’s divide this into teams: Team Awesome and Team Ding Dong. No explanation necessary.


While Team Awesome was kicking ass and churning out excellent work and running around on the two sets [one photo and one video], the Ding Dongs were DOING EACH OTHER’S FUCKING HAIR AND MAKEUP in the dressing room. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. And Alien had so much as, without flinching, giant rollers in her hair for hours. So, while we, the ones with decades of experience are running around and sweating, the newbie tards are hanging out and having a great time together. Did I mention they were the first ones to attack the lunch spread?

Every time Team Awesome walked back into the dressing room all would get quiet and dagger eyes would come out.

Then let’s talk about the work. Specifically how there is a special talent in making white skin look ashy. There were 5 girl models and 3 guys. Two of the girls had the most delicious dark chocolatey skin ever and I was fortunate enough to grab them first. My girl Cathi had a German girl who looked Brasilian. Alien grabbed an actual Brasilian girl and a white girl. Both looked looked like they were wearing gray face masks. Dark dark eyes and lips so light they looked dead. Mind you this is loosely the look we’re going for…

Calvin Klein Underwear Fall 2009 Ad Campaign

Dewy, sleek, contoured.

Oh, yeah, and she added guy-liner to one of the dudes. Epic. He looked like the Prince of Persia.

There was one incident where she grabbed one of my girls and put her in her chair “for touchups” and I immediately asked the model to kindly play musical chairs and sit in mine. Alien wasn’t happy.

Then there was another incident, about an hour prior to wrap, where Alien succeeded in “touching up” one of my girls. Luckily I caught whiff and remedied [I mean if you saw this you would die – homegirl looked like she was wearing a Day of the Dead mask]: walked her ass back into the dressing room, took a face wipe to her and started all over. Needless to say Alien bitch had her jaw on the floor the entire time.


This was one of my girls. Not the victim. Look at that skin colour! I die.

So in order for you not to be a dirty makeup bitch, here are some tips:


Shampoo copy

  • Baby shampoo or Bronners soap are gentle enough to clean your brushes with without buying crazy expensive stuff.
  • Wet the brushes.
  • Dab a drop of soap onto your palm and swish the brush around gently in circular motions.
  • Wash with lukewarm-to-cold water until it runs clear.
  • Lay flat to dry.


parian-spirit-2-oz-professional-makeup-brush-cleaner copy

  • For a quickie, in-between-thorough-washing situation, these two are my fave.
  • Parian Spirit and Cozette both smell like freshly sliced citrus fruit and leave your brushes looking and smelling just as lovely.
  • Spray the brush or paper towel and gently wipe the brush in a circular motion.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary until the brush wipes clean.

3. Sanitize your makeup between people.

269235 -2265-WHITE-RUBBING-ALCOHOL-12oz- copy

  • Even if you’re not a makeup artist but you like to play one with your friends.
  • Rubbing alcohol and a cheapie mist bottle from the dollar store are your friends.
  • All of your powder/pressed eyeshadows can be sprayed, lipstick, cream blush, etc.

4. Don’t double dip!


  • This is a Make Up Forever spatula.
  • If you want to try your friend’s lipstick or cream shadow, or cream blush – whip out your spatula, scrape scrape, try.
  • If a spatula isn’t on hand, you can use the end of a brush – the plastic/wooden end if you need me to chew it up and swallow for you.

5. Sanitize your hands before touching anyone’s face.

steps for sanitizer

  • This is a diagram for those that don’t know how.
  • You may replace hand sanitizer with soap and water if it pleases you.

And if your makeup artist looks like the MAC counter exploded on their face – run very fast and very far.

Body, Grooming, Health, Hygiene, Moi

Vagina doesn’t REALLY rhyme with anything.

Nobody likes a stinky pink.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve vomited in my mouth from clients who sit in my makeup chair, legs spread eagle, radiating musty-basement-full-of-dead-fish from their tacos. Sweet Geezeus.


For the love of breathing to stay alive, please take care of your lady bits!

When I was a kid [and only a few inches shorter] we lived in Kiev, Ukraine and I predominantly stayed at my grandparents’ house. They had a room with a toilet next to a room with a sink and tub. Communism, baby!

piano 91

Mum and I back in Kiev right before we fucked off across the pond. This is a clean-vagina face.

In that little room with a toilet my mum and grandmother taught me hygiene. To an extreme.

gma 50th

Babushka and I circa twenty years ago.

We had this frosted white plastic cup that I was taught to fill with warm water [in the bathing room next door] prior to peeing to be used post peeing, like a ghetto bidet. This was the cornerstone of my many psychoses OCD moments.

Without getting into the evolution of my hygienic practices, you better believe I keep my vagina clean and pretty. Needless to say I always carry baby wipes in my purse.

I’ve recently discovered SebaMed Feminine Intimate Wash that is an organic gel and mimics your body’s natural pH. This stuff smells delicious and the soap-free formula won’t strip you of the gooey good stuff. Squeeze a drop or two onto a washcloth, massage your bikini part and wash away. Voila! Happy pussy.


They also make products for hair, face and body!

Then, there’s this other new sexy company that makes sexy products without any fake additives. Good Clean Love has a lube that is aloe vera based, 100% natural/organic, edible, safe for knocked up ladies, and simulates natural lubrication like a champ. Ding! Sexy time.


Also comes in flavours like lavender and cinnamon vanilla. Can you say yum?

And then I have this friend called Hana Lash. Hana is not only a hottie-boombalattie and talented musician/performer, but has recently launched an Etsy shop with the most original vagina cards you ever did see. There’s one for every occasion and they are fucking brilliant. Please buy me some [please include the Bundle Up necklace too]!


Current status of my vagina: undergoing laser treatment at the Hot Spot Laser Center in Pasadena. Best husband in the world got me the wedding gift that keeps on giving – 6 sessions of Brazilian baldness. Cue angels singing. This place is awesome and ran by two adorable sisters, Marine and Narine, who don’t have a website [gasp] and don’t advertise [double gasp] but kick serious ass when it comes to ridding of unwanted sprouts. It says something about a business when you’re overbooked just by results and word of mouth.

bald pussy

Stay classy, ladies and wash that snatch! Singeing nose hairs has never been in.

Body, Health, Hygiene, Moi, Skin, Sunscreen

Backpacking is romantic until everything hurts.

My husband loves climbing shit camping. He’s hiked and camped his entire life.

I have not.

I prefer doing my nails. In a city. In civilization. Preferably sitting down.

But don’t get me wrong – I do love an adventure and Josh and I have already camped twice! Well, three times now.


Specimen #1: Somewhere by Carmel.

Big Bear

Specimen #2: Somewhere in Big Bear.

And adventures = fun. And camping = drive to location, walk 12ft, pitch tent, start fire. Backpacking means something completely different.

We drove thirty minutes out of town, parked our car and started walking. Mostly downhill at first. Then a little incline. Passing through what should be little streams but are now just rocks awaiting spring rainfall. We held hands and laughed; strolling deeper up the mountain and listening to the sound of nature all around. It was treacherous and my backpack was heavy [food, clothes, 0° sleeping bag, some butt wipes and my husband’s heavy as hell camera; believe me – he had it worse].


We found this tree. Behind us is a rock this giant tree grows around.

tree bitch

Tree bitch.

Then we got to the camp site and we shoveled things into our faces. And I doused myself in a Deet cocktail and took a nap on a picnic bench with the sun shining on mah face. And it was glorious.

But nothing is this simple.

We had to go further up to reach a scenic point on top of the fucking mountain. But now the terrain became even worse: switchbacks, unsteady dusty dirt slides, steep inclines. F. M. L.

Josh and I were in a car accident a few years back where the bone in the T went inches away from me and my back has been a nightmare ever since. Carrying shit in a backpack bigger than me made the nightmare a reality once more. By the time we got to our gorgeous campsite I was whining and throwing all my toys out of the pram. But it was gorgeous. And quiet.

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My shitty phone cam panorama.




Husband takes amazing pictures. This was our home for the night.

Morning came too quickly and it was time to down my coffee, pack up and hike a different way down than the one we came.

And by down I mean scaling a fucking mountain.

Here are the details I remember:

  • sending evil glares in Josh’s direction
  • telling Josh he’s a horrible human being for torturing me like this
  • sliding down in my shorts and getting my vagina massaged by sharp rocks
  • having my arms and legs mutilated by sharp leaves [scroll down for photographic proof]
  • sliding down in my shorts and getting my vagina massaged by sharp rocks
  • sliding down in my shorts and getting my vagina massaged by sharp rocks
  • sliding down in my shorts and getting my vagina massaged by sharp rocks
  • twisted ankles and the nail beds on my toes bruised from the incline down

So, a walk in the park.

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These are my legs post branch lashings. Pictures don’t do this justice.

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Quarter of the way down. Stunning scenery. I love that man. I hate all of those bushes.

When we finally made it down I was pigeon-toed and covered in baked on sweat-dust. Sexual. I know.

But enough about me. Let’s get to product…

Murad Balm

Murad Essential-C Sun Balm for quick application on the nose and forehead [don’t forget the tops of hands].


Whish Deodorant Swipes were perfect for refreshing [contains hair inhibitors – not too shabby] .


Kiehl’s Lip Balm with SPF 15 because your lips need balm to be bomb.


Shea Moisture Joint & Muscle Relief Dead Sea Salt Soak with Lavender & Wild Orchard – you better believe I was soaking [and emailing from my phone because it never ends].


My Frida Kahlo impersonation.


This was on my face while I was naked and covered in water. I get these at the Asian market downtown.


Love of my life [sorry Josh] Osea Malibu Undaria Alage Oil to soothe and repair the skin.


Ioma Soothing Gel For Legs – this stuff has been a life saver. As a makeup artist and professional backpacker.


Nip + Fab Post Workout Fix is a topical muscle cooling gel made especially for my tired shoulders and buns.

And now I must go do my nails because they look like I’ve been climbing rocks. Wait. I can actually say that now!

Owie! Owie! Owie!

Evil, Hygiene, Men, Remedy, Skin

Backne | Retour D’acné

Today’s cheerful topic is bumpy backs. The fortunate humans who have received this gift should gather round and heed these admonitions…

First, let’s break it down and talk about how your back skins are much tougher than, say, the face. How backs undergo a lot more abrasive stresses like bras, chair backs, tight clothes, harsh scrubbers and etc. Thus irritation chances are greater and treatment times longer. This is the suck. But there is a light at the end:

  • though sponges/scrubbers aren’t a terrible idea, overdoing it is – be gentle with the cleaning of your dermis as not to cause further inflamation
  • wear looser fitting tops, preferably cotton – this removes sweat from skin
  • make sure your bras are clean, ladies, and the straps aren’t chafing away – strapless may be your best option
  • if you are a sweater – try showering as often as possible, but keep in mind that you don’t have to exfoliate each time
  • look for body wash with salicylic acid – this is your bacteria fighting friend
  1. shower
  2. rub Tea Tree Oil on affected area [wait 5 minutes to dry]
  3. rub Apple Cider Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar on affected area and on top of the Tea Tree Oil [wait 15 minutes to dry]
This is excellent when done nightly with great results. You’ll get used to the smells – a small price to pay for clear skin me thinks.

Hair, Hygiene, Powder

Dry Shampoo | Shampooing Dec

Oh, the horror of greasy hair!

Didn’t you just wash it yesterday? Didn’t your stylist tell you not to indulge in daily rinses because they will damage your hair? But as much as you want to be good – the oil dripping down the back of your silk blouse is a dead giveaway of your sadness.

I’ve found some pretty wicked products for you that can help cheat your way into shimmery faux-clean follicles.

Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo: this is one of my favourites! At around $7 a pop, you can find them at your nearest Sally’s store. Incredibly easy to manage and leaves very minor residue that washes away with your next shower. I’ve gone for 5 days without washing my hair once thanks to this product.

KMS California Makeover Spray: is pretty frakkin’ awesome. Smells deeeelish. Doesn’t leave residue. Excellent for shoots where I just need a bit of dry texture to add onto the model’s noggen. Ranges from $10 (on Amazon) to $25. Definitely worth it.

TiGi Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo: although a bit pricey at about $22, you can find it at Walgreens! Smells yummy and does its job as promised.

Fekkai ‘Au Naturel’ Dry Shampoo: is very gentle and, c’mon, it’s Fekkai! $23 for salon quality product that has natural ingredients like rice and corn starch as well as cotton fibers. Perfection for a hippy like me. Oh, and you can find it at your nearest Ulta!

TIP: if you’ve run out of the above products, baby powder works just as well. Shake some into your roots, massage with fingertips and brush with bristles. Voila!

Now you have no excuse.

Beauty, Hygiene, Inspiration, Makeup, Nails

Donation Station | Station de Don

Yesterday I met some pretty amazing people. Women. Women that are amazing. Women that work in the cosmetics industry and are full of love and empathy for the world. Women that are going to be empowering other women through colour.

Milani Cosmetics is donating makeup and nail polish to a small community in the upper Amazon jungles of Peru called Yantaló.

Samantha, Susan, Ericka and I chatted for a hefty chunk of time and I am bubbling with ideas…that I will be keeping under wraps at the moment…but I promise you the outcome will be stellar. Swears.

And so, stay tuned as next week will be dedicated to reviewing new Milani products.

Just so you know, I’ve been a huge fan since they started nearly a decade ago, coinciding with the beginning of my career. Yes, you can find them at your local CVS. Yes, they won’t break your budget. Yes, they are high quality goods with incredibly durable packaging. Yes, they feel like high-end lines. Yes, they apply beautifully. Yes, they’re just all around cool.

See you Monday!

Be a friend of Yantaló!


Hair, Hygiene, Skin

Tub Stuff | Baignoire Commandes

Here comes another installation of what’s in my…

…or rather on my bath tub area.

Strap yourself in, we’re off:

JOICO Moisture Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner set: new fave and absolutely amazeballs on my poor heat-induced-always hair. You can feel the difference without getting out of the shower. A must.

Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soap in Patchouli from Whole Foods: LOOOOVE. Yes, I’m a hippy. This stuff is incredibly nourishing and gentle, smells like heaven.

AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask: gentle, dead sea, skin = happy. ‘Nuff said.

Biore Steam Activated Cleanser: as I’ve written before, I love this product. The shower heat initiates a minty tingling and yummy smells. Cleans great without drying out. Takes care of makeup residue.

Plus White 5 Minute Whitening Gel: referring back a couple of entries – this stuff is cheap and awesome. I slap it on before shaving my legs and rinse right after. The results are beautious.

Salt Based Exfoliating Scrub for the face: this is my own mix that uses all natural/organic/vegan ingredients. You can replicate something non-organic yourself by mixing a gentle shampoo + salt.

Mineral (line) Body Scrub: another dead sea product I trust and love. Currently working on my own version. Stay tuned, kitties.

Karyn’s Raw Coconut Oil – I don’t have an image for you, but I do have a link where you can order it: Coconut Oil 30 fl oz $24.50. At the end of the shower moisturization station, pat of with towel. Done.


And now you know.

Hygiene, Teeth

Smile | Sourire

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” -John Ray

Can’t have a rusty sword, can we?

I love coffee. (In moderation.) I obsessively bake vegan chocolate cake weekly. (And eat it for breakfast with my coffee.) I adore a nice glass of red wine. (Sometimes not so moderately.) I smoke. (Cue gasp and anti-smoking campaign bombardment.)

I have to keep my teeth a virginal shade of white. Would you trust a makeup artist with piss teeth? Didn’t think so.

Now, I have friends who have gone to the dentist and traded hundreds of green papers for heightened sensitivity, headaches, occasional chemical burns and “professional” products.

Toothpastes that promise whitening are lying to you, my dear consumer. In order to achieve this – the lightening agents need more time, 3 minutes daily just won’t cut it.

I do, however, have two favourites:

These are awesome and easy 5 minute strips that you use daily and notice considerable results in two weeks time…then the upkeep is minimal.

But I have sensitive teeth and have, at one point, fallen asleep with these strips gripping onto my face bones – waking up to very annoying pain. So, I found another, even cheaper, alternative:

No joke. This stuff costs pennies and works just as well as any other products I’ve tried. As simple as Q-tip-gelling your teefs while in the shower shaving legs, rinse, done. Eeeezeee!

Make your chompers pretty without hurting your face or your wallet.


Health, Hygiene, Makeup

Expiration | D’expiration

Unlike our foods, cosmetics don’t come with expiration dates.

I think it would be stellar to have it imprinted on the side of the actual lipstick, or engraved into the plastic casing of your shadow duo. Or someone just needs to come up with a makeup line called “Expiration” and part of their genius would be to stamp the exact moment of demise on each item. I know, I’m astonishingly brilliant.

So, without further adieu…

Mascara and Liquid Eye Liners: 3 months.

Liquid Face Makeup, Cream Eye Shadow: 3-6 months.

Natural/Mineral Cosmetics: 6 months, the shelf life for these is short due to the lack of preservatives in the product.

Powder Face Makeup, Powder Eye Shadows, Pencil Eye Liners, Lipstick, Lip gloss: 2 years.

Eye and lip pencils: discard when they become dry, crumbly, and hard to apply – otherwise you can prolong their lifespan if you sharpen them regularly.


  • Make sure to always keep your makeup in a cool dry place – eye/lip pencils and lipsticks you don’t often use can be refrigerated.
  • Pumping your mascara will dry it out much faster and spread bacteria inside the tube – try swirling the wand instead.
  • If you have a stye in your eye or a cold sore on your lip – immediately discard of products you have used on the are, otherwise you are just spreading the love and perpetuate lack of healing.
  • Don’t share your cosmetics with anyone unless you are fully prepared to disinfect them instantly.

Grooming, Hair, Hygiene, Moi, Remedy, Skin, Tutorials

Wax | Cire

Being from rather large cities my entire life didn’t exactly prepare me for a pilgrimage to the jungle, but I tried to prepare myself as much as a city girl could.

From the previous post you may have been warned of my two-week excursion to the depths of a community set within the dense Amazon jungles of Peru. This means goodbye hot shower. This means good bye thorough washing. This means hello whore bath. This means hello hairy pits and bikini sprouts.

Now, just in case I went scaling a high cliff at the end of the coastal mountain range [true] but got trapped at the top by rainy mudslides and had to tumble down whilst losing my sticky clothing to various rocks and branches [false] and make my way back to the nearest signs of civilization in my knickers – I couldn’t possibly be discovered pullulating shrubbery if I had to protect myself with high kicks and karate chops.

Days prior to my deployment into the wilderness I invested in a gem: honey wax.


GiGi All Purpose Wax

Muslin or Paper Wax Strips

Epilator Sticks (Popsicle Sticks)

  1. You’ll need a dry, clean surface to work with – baby powder the area in need for extra aridity.
  2. You’ll need to warm up the wax – my method is the hot bottom of a standard American coffee maker or a super duper low flame on a stove.
  3. Dip the stick into the wax briefly and make sure all the excess goo is off and it has cooled down – apply in the direction of hair growth.
  4. Immediately apply the piece of muslin/paper atop the wax, also in the same direction.
  5. Pat down the material for about 5-10 seconds, depending on the density of your hair.
  6. Hold the skin at the bottom of the strip nice and taut.
  7. Breathe in…breathe out and…
  8. Quickly pull the muslin against skin growth.
  9. Repeat.
  10. When you are bald and happy – massage oil…any oil all over the area, this will remove any excess wax and calm any inflammation.

The more you wax – the less and thinner hair grows back. I swears. My armpits have now forgotten all about razor burns and ingrown hair. My veejay is also very happy, though maneuvering a full Brazilian on your own is no easy feat. Needless to say, the jungle nor its inhabitants were offended.

Please visit Yantaló and volunteer your time for an excellent cause, now that you know the bare minimums. No pun intended.

Atop of El Morro, Peru. Waxed. Loved. Exhausted. Happy. True story.