Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ohh, Social Media

It's been about almost 8 months since I left the comfort of Kaiser... my home for 6 years of my business life.  As you know, I took the leap & ran to Sephora last November in hopes of finding my footing in the beauty industry.  I've been blessed with freelance jobs here & there to keep me on top of my makeup game, but I also love being behind the scenes at corporate.  For a brief period, I started to wonder if I made the right choice leaving the stability, flexibility & pay from Kaiser... but praise the Lord, He provides.  

A month back, a position opened up on the Social Media side of Sephora.  While I certainly had the background, I was the newbie & up against a handful of just as qualified candidates who've been there longer.  Actually getting the position was amazing.  I got to switch over & be a part of something new & fresh.  The Social Media community is amazing.  A lot of companies aren't hip to the impact Social Media has on products, businesses & consumers.  I look to Yelpers when I need advice on food.  I'll check a place out after I see a pic posted on Instagram.  I'll Google reviews on companies I've never heard of to make sure its legit.  I check out the latest product buzz from Beauty Bloggers on YouTube.  I'll check the local food trucks around with Twitter or Facebook.  I really utilize the resources out there to get the most bang for my buck & its ridiculous!  Who would've anticipated the impact of iPhones, Androids & the internet?!

It's a blessing to be part of that now.  The internet is an outlet.  Not only for finding resources, but giving feedback as well.  So many people complain into the air & wish for results.  The community of people that avidly give their opinions, feedback & take the time to ASK questions makes a difference.  I really am proud that I'm a part of turning those complaints into positivity.  Basically what I'm getting at, is you have a voice.  If you want results, say something.  People are listening.  Companies are listening!  However I do suggest you do so in productive ways.  Don't just troll & look for trouble.  You're not helping yourself or anyone else by being a Negative Nancy.  The other thing, anyone in customer service get it that you're frustrated... but they, physically, didn't piss you off.  Try to keep that in mind.  They'd love to help you, so try to refrain from being rude, calling people names, telling them what the NEED to do for YOU.  You'll still get the same results, but will probably enjoy the experience much more!

Your Social Media Climber,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Must Haves for a Basic Face

I don't know about the rest of you, but between work, the kids & everything else, I have seriously no time to do a full face.  I'm the kinda girl that likes to snooze as many times possible before I'm late for work, then basically run out the door after getting dressed.  "Umm, you call yourself a makeup artist, but don't do your makeup?" Hahaa, no, that's not what I mean.  I simplify my routine as much as I can to reduce that "getting ready" time.  I can be ready in 5 minutes flat, if I need to.  I have a few "staples" in my makeup bag that are my absolute go-tos for my everyday look.  I'm almost debating a youtube comeback (dun-dun-duuuuun) to do either a 5 min face tutorial or at least my go-to products.  But for now, this'll just have to do!  

All in One Flawless Face:  Dior Hydra Life BB Creme - $56
BB Creams are amazing.  If you haven't tried one yet, I suggest running out & grabbing one.  Theres a ton of different brands that carry Beauty Balms now from drugstore to high end, so you definitely cant complain about price point.  For a product that replaces your moisturizer, primer, SPF, foundation & concealer, I honestly don't mind forking up the big bucks.  I've tried a few diff brands, so expect a post dedicated to the newest "Asia inspired" product soon!

Correct & Conceal:  MAC Mineralize Concealer in NC30 - $19
I cant lie, my skin is nowhere near perfect.  I've got acne scaring, redness, dark circles... you name it, I've experienced it.  Its not constant, but there are days when building my BB Cream isn't quite enough.  On those days, I'll dab a bit of concealer where its needed.  I've used the Select Cover Up by MAC for years, but this, is beyond better!  Smooth, creamy & flawless.  Perfecting my imperfect skin!

Oil Controlling Compact:  MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder - $23
A quick dust over my face is all I need to set my Dior BB Creme.  Generally I don't use anything to set it because I love the dewy natural look, but I will keep it handy for a touch up mid afternoonish.  Its a great product to keep you fresh all day.

Beautifully Blushing & Bronzed:  NARS Highlighting/Bronzing Duo in Orgasm/Laguna - $41
A serious time-saver.  Who has time (or the space!) to carry separate bronzers & blushes?!  Orgasm is my all time must for blushes.  I'm sure you're all aware of the gorgeous peachy-pink blush with gold shimmer flecks... the absolute perfect shade for everyone.  I would recommend it from just about everyone, with the exception of mature skin.  In that case, I would say to pick up the something matte, so that the shimmer doesn't settle into those fine lines we all try so hard to correct!

Must have Mascara:  Mally Beauty Volumizing Waterproof Mascara - $20
I've tried a TON of mascara.  I ended up picking up the original formula after hearing RAVE reviews on QVC & I am so glad I did!  The only true downside to the mascara was that I felt like it somewhat flaked toward the end of the day.  I dont know about you, but I dont have time to worry about my mascara being anywhere BUT on my lashes.  So I much prefer the waterproof formulation that will stay until I say otherwise!

Eye Definition at its BEST:  Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner Black Matte - $23

I didn't discover eyeliner until I was well into my 20's, but now that I have, I'll never let it go!  The felt tip point gives me that perfect matte winged liner.  Its one of the best ones I've been able to find & is absolutely water-resistant.

Brow Babe:  Urban Decay Brow Box in Honey Pot - $29
Have you ever looked at someone with  their full beautifully put together face & realized you were staring down their brows?  Lets be honest, brows MAKE your face.  Whether you like fuller brows or pencil thin ones, is completely your own preference... but you NEED brows.  I'll be the first to admit that I've over-plucked what I thought were caterpillars, but now prefer a more natural look, so the brow box is a necessary item on a daily basis!  The wax holds the brows I do have in place & the 2 shades perfectly fill in what I may be missing.

Eye-Love:  Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 - $50
My must have palette is the Naked2.  I have both palettes, but this one is a bit more favorable with me because it seems so much more wearable.  The matte colors are great for everyday use to quickly define my lids, yet theres a wide variety to play up my eyes when I have a bit more time.  You cant go wrong with this palette & the lip gloss is a great little bonus!  And like always, don't forget to PRIME your lids with the UDPP :)

Lip products are far & wide, but I'm pretty in love with my MAC lipsticks/lipglasses.  It changes on a daily basis depending on where I'm going, but more often than not, its MAC!!

So I know this post was a bit long, but hopefully it was helpful so see a few of my favorite products!    I listed the prices for all of the products for reference, so it looks like I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on makeup, which seems SUPER vain... but keep in mind I have my discounts from Sephora & MAC, so it wasn't nearly as much as retail!

I'd love to see or hear what some of your must haves are, or even find some new products you recommend I try out!

Love & lipstick, 

Monday, February 6, 2012

MAC Pre-Launch Madness: SHOP COOK

So the other night, I had the please of attending the pre-launch of MACs new Spring Line.  The Shop-Cook line looked like a lot of fun, so I dragged along my sister to Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton.  This was the very first event that I've been to, so I wasnt exactly sure what to expect.  Whew... lemme tell you...
Our appointment time was 8pm-830, and we arrived promptly.  The store was gated off & there was a line wrapped around the side of the store.  I was able to take a quick shot of the line as we waited patiently. It was kind of cute the way they had a guy standing outside talking to the ladies & checking ID's for the alcohol inside... he was our "bouncer"!

Once inside, it was an absolute madhouse!  Barely able to look at the displays, cast members grabbing products & putting little "sold out" stickers on all the good stuff, girls with drinks, products & purses everywhere.  It was cute that they were giving out related items (ie the rubber gloves & sponges for cleaning).  The employees in aprons was a nice little touch.

Getting the products I wanted was a little hectic & the one thing I really wanted, ended up being left out of my bag & is most likely now sold out since the color was gorge, but ohh wells.  The line wasnt anything out of the ordinary, a lot of very similar colors that I was able to dupe with one of their existing colors.  I most likely will attempt to get that beautiful lipglass later, but it wouldnt be the absolute end of the world if I couldn't.  Here's a couple shots of the nights purchases... enjoy <3

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hair Antics

So for those of you who personally know me, you are aware of my long locks that I have a love-hate relationship with.  I grow it long & love all of the different things I can do... but I tire of how much work I have to put into it.  So what do I do?  Chop that sucka!!

I'm notorious for messing with my hair right before an event, mainly the holidays.  A few years back, I tried to "trim" my own bangs to get my typical wispy bangin' bangs like I normally do, only to use one of those razor combs & cut off too much, resulting in lovely full on bangs, lookin like a 6 yr old Chinese girl.  And while there's nothing wrong with that look, it wasn't what I was going for.

Another issue I have is the color.  Since I was 17, I've colored my own hair, from a box.  Simple yes?  That would make it roughly 12 years of hair color experience!  Well, I've ruined my hair... twice now.  My norm has always been a nice light brown color, very different from my natural dark brown color.  For some reason, I decided to go dark for the winter & then tried to go light in the summer... I'm not sure what was different from pervious years, but I ended up with an amazing reverse ombre.  Not cute.  My hair stylist was not amused.

So I decided as I near my 30's, I'm done playin' with my own hair & ponied up the bucks to have someone do their job.  I made the appointment the day before Christmas & cut roughly 8 or so inches off in length & went 2 shades lighter in color.  I love that my hair feels lighter & healthier!  Its also amazing to shower before bed & have my hair air-dry completely before I wake up in the morning!  We all LOVE leaving the salon with that fresh cut & style... but what happens when we go home? 

A couple times in my life, I've had short hair, yet I tend to forget how much more work it is to make short hair look amazing.  I'm used to being able to braid my hair the night before for some natural waves, or air dry & add product for a bedhead tousled effect.  But short hair, I wake up with a ball of fluff on my head every morning with hairs pointing in every direction except the one that would look best!  I've tried youtubing some cute hairstyles, but at this point, I miss my lovely long locks.  I dont know how to put it up in a bun, I cant stand the little stub ponytail & I especially was not fond of my attempt to curl my hair, which resulted in my looking like Johnny Depp a'la Alice in Wonderland: Mad Hatter. 

I'm not 100% sure of where I was going with this blog, other than ranting about the trials & tribulations of short hair living.  A couple products that I'm hoping works wonders for me:

Charlotte Ronson - A Pefect Mess Beach Hair, Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine, Carols Daughter Mimosa Honey Hair, Carols Daughter Healthy Hair Butter, Bumble & Bumble Straight Blow Dry... the list goes on & on!

Here's to gorgeous locks in 2012!

xo, Mia

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ohh Sephora, How I Love Thee...

Whew, the holidays are done & the busiest shopping season has finally subsided! This was this first time in my life that I've worked in a call center-esque environment where it was all about servicing clients... It's pretty crazy having people literally say horrible things to you constantly for things you did not do, not have any control over. Yet I pushed through those angry birds & still love working at!
A few of my favorites i heard so far would be the people who insisted I ruined Christmas because they waited til the 12/22 & we were all out of an item and they didnt want to pay overnight shipping to get it by 12/23... Smh. The holidays are super stressful all around & this has definately taught me a little more compassion & restraint.
The best thing about the holidays being over would be the little contest we employees had. Based on attendance, performance & sales, every week we received a token. At the end of the season, management would have a little "store" where we could redeem said tokens. In less than 4 weeks, I accumulated 16 tokens, and THIS is my reward!

It really felt amazing to be rewarded & appreciated for showing up on time, performing well & doing your best! A lot of companies take that for granted & employers just expect you to "take it because it's your job". I'm grateful that I found a company that values its staff and what we do for them. Here's to a long relationship! Xo, Mia

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Birchbox at Last

Today my very first birchbox came in the mail. I was super excited the day I signed up, I mean, who wouldn't love brand new products popping up in their mailbox like magic! I can't remember exactly what boxes I checked off, but I think I indicated I had some interest in makeup & skincare. So this is what came in: 

1)  Anastasia Bevery Hills:  Lash Lifting Mascara
2)  Befine:  Night Cream
3)  Kerastase:  Elixer Ultime
4)  Supersmile:  Professional Whitening Toothpaste
5)  Alex & Isabelle:  Classic Hair Ties

I was getting pretty anxious to get my 1st box, & I definitely wasnt disappointed.  The sizes are pretty much "deluxe samples".  The item I'm MOST excited for is the Kerastase.  The description is "A glam addition to your hair regimen, this conditioning oil hydrates, smoothes & sleekifies strands".  It regularly retails for $54, so this item alone makes up for the $10 a month price.  I cant WAIT for the next box to come in!  If you're not signed up, give them a try.

xoxo, Mia

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brand Familiarity & Goodies

With most jobs, there are perks. At Kaiser, there was always some event where we'd get pens, notepads, lanyards, squishy stress balls, etc... I absolutely loved those event days! Well, at Sephora, it seems like everyday is promo day!! One of the lovely & luxurious perks is that there is a wealth of products on hand for us Beauty Advisors to try out & test. One of my main concerns was my lack of "counter experience". There are a ton of high end products at Sephora that I generally would bypass & not even bother to test because I know I wouldn't necessarily want to drop THAT much money on a product. I'm pretty hyped that I have the opportunity to give some new products a shot & that I can get to know a variety of brands! So Ive made the decision to test out a new brand each week :)

This weeks testers: Bumble & Bumble and Murad.

I have this long, thick, color treated hair with a ton of baby hairs, frizz & flyaways... It could really benefit from some serious TLC! My top three items I was drawn to were the Creme de Coco Masque, Mending Masque and Straight Blowdry by B&B. I'm wishing for long gorgeous hair that people are drawn to touch... Ok maybe I don't want people to randomly touch my hair, but it would be nice to have someone ask me how I keep my hair so soft & healthy!

As far as skincare, I've struggled the last couple years. Throughout my teenage years, I never had any acne issues. Never really needed acne medicine. Then I hit my late 20s, and my skin has become a nightmare. My forehead totally breaks out, I used to have dry skin, now I constantly need blotters, and the worst, I have a ton of acne scars plaguing my face. I decided to give Murad a chance, after remembering a sample I had received a few months back. I picked up the Clarifying Cleanser, Clarifying Mask, Resurgence Age Balancing Night Cream, Anti Aging Moisturizer for Acne by Murad. I'm also testing out the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector as well to take care of these darn acne spots that have popped up in the last year.

I've been using the products for at least 4 days now, and I didn't take any "before" pictures for comparison, so I'll just have to take one now. So here is my face before bed... Washed, serumed & moisturized... Dark circles, freckles, red eyes, scaring & all. Sigh. When I run out of this set of samples, I take another pic before hopping on the next brand, and hopefully, there will be some improvement!

Off to get my beauty-sleep, Mia