Archive | November 2011

Morning Makeup….easy as 1-2-3

A typical morning makeup routine should not take more than 8 to 10 minutes to complete.  With the assumption that you complete your skin care regimen at night, as well your face being previously washed and moisturized in the morning.  Having a makeup kit or pouch is essential, if your products are in one place this will cut down on application time.  Begin with applying your foundation, making sure to blend the edges.  Then follow with an eyeliner and eye shadow.  Next, apply 1-2 strokes of blush to your face to brighten it.  Followed by 2 strokes of mascara to the lower and upper lashes.  The final step is lining and applying lipstick or lipgloss to your lips.  I know it seems like a bit, but trust me if you follow this routine you will have your makeup application done in less than 10 minutes in no time. Remember ALWAYS BE CUTE!

Put on your holiday face :)

All this week, I will be featuring posts from guest blogger, Lisa Holland Morgan, owner of ABC Cosmetics by Lisa.  Lisa, a licensed cosmetologist and make-up artist with years of experience, will bring you insider tips and tricks that will leave you looking pleasingly pretty both day and night, without spending hours to do so.  Take advantage of this unique opportunity and feel free to ask Lisa any questions you may have about make-up application or anything related to make-up in general.


Create with a Clean Canvas

Consider your face as being a blank canvas…have you ever seen an artist begin a work of art over a dirty canvas? Then why would you dare apply makeup over an unclean face? I like to think of myself as a work of art, once my makeup is applied I then refer to myself as a “Masterpiece”. In order to have a flawless look, you must first start with a clean face. Be sure to remove any dirt, oil or makeup from your face daily. It is important to have a skin care regimen, nothing too complicated. Simply begin with a mild cleanser that removes dirt, oil and makeup. Rinse with lukewarm water until all residue is gone, then follow with a cool rinse to close open pores. Apply a moisturizer to your face and neck. I like to use a mild scrub once a week, to help rid my face of any dead skin cells. Doing so will allow your face to be smooth and eliminate blackheads and enlarged pores. I also like to wait 15 minutes after washing my face before starting my makeup application to avoid smearing or smudging due to perspiration.

ABC Cosmetics by Lisa

The Pros and Cons of Laser Hair Removal

The process of removing unwanted hair from the body has evolved in many ways over the years.  Women have used everything from hot wax, to razors to smelly, sticky cremes.  Remember the EpiLady??  Are those things still around?  Anyway, for those of you who want longer lasting results, laser hair removal may be your next step.  These types of services are offered at medical/day spas, your dermatologists’ office or even your family doctor’s office.  But before you take the plunge into laser hair removal, consider these pros and cons.


Laser technology can be used on any part of the body…from the legs, face,underarms and even the bikini area.  It is great at treating large parts of the body at one time. It is a relatively quick procedure and can be done during your lunch break. Laser hair technology leads to permanent hair reduction. not exactly hair removal.  Over time, laser treatment can make your hair texture finer which leads to longer lasting results.  It is particularly effective underarms, on your upper lip or your chin.  I have to warn you, the results can be very addictive,


Optimal results, however, only come after multiple treatments.  My good friend found this out the hard way.  Not only did she have to let her hair grow out on her chin (without tweezing) for a couple of weeks, she didn’t see results until after her third treatment.  Which brings me to my next con, price.  Laser hair removal is NOT cheap.  Prices ranges from $100 to $800 per visit, depending on the area of the body you are having done.   You may also experience a stinging feeling during your treatments.  To me, it feels like hot grease popping on your hand from the frying pan.  It’s tolerable, however.

Do your research on laser treatments before your first visit.  Consult your doctor if you are pregnant, on medication or any kind of skin care regimen. Not all types of skin responds to laser treatment.  It is best to consult your physician to make sure you and your body isn’t at risk for any adverse reactions. After all, it is LASER hair removal and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

Waxing vs. Threading

So, I was having a conversation with my girlfriend, Lisa,  the other day about the benefits of waxing vs threading. Lisa is a make-up artist and owner of ABC Cosmetics.  She’s learning how to thread eyebrows and we were discussing why it’s such a better alternative to waxing.  I’ve been threading my eyebrows for several years now, although not consistently.  My threader is 20 minutes away, which isn’t convenient for last minute touch-ups.  Anywho, now that threading is becoming more and more common, I suspect that will change in the near future.

Waxing, just as the name suggests, uses hot wax applied to the skin to remove unwanted hair.  It is quick and relatively painless and is usually the preferred method over plucking and shaving.  The problem, however, is that waxing can lead to skin irritations.  People with sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction to the wax.  Certain topicals, like Retin-A, can also make your skin ultra-sensitive.  I found that out the hard way a couple of years ago.  I forgot  I used Retin-A around my eyes the night before I got my eyebrows waxed.  The wax ripped off a layer of skin underneath my eyebrows!  Ugh…it was an eyesore (no pun intended) for a couple of weeks!  😦  If you are on a skin regimen from your dermatologist, check to make sure if it’s okay to use wax on your face.

Threading, on the other hand, involves less contact with the skin.  It is an ancient hair removal method, used for years in the Middle East and Asia.  A cotton thread is used to pull unwanted hair in a twisting motion.  Like waxing it is quicker than traditional tweezing or shaving.  But unlike waxing, it’s great for people with sensitive, delicate skin. Plus, the results last longer because threading pulls the hair right out of the follicle.  Some people may find threading a little uncomfortable at first.  But I don’t think it hurts any more than waxing.  The more you thread, the more comfortable you become with it.  The price is comparable to waxing, depending on where you go. Here are some general prices:

• Eyebrow (both eyebrows, including in-between) $12 – $50

• Lip (skin right above upper lip) $6 – $20

• Full Face $35 – $60

• Chin $6 – $15

Threading is generally done only on the face. Which method do you prefer, threading or waxing?  Why?

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

Massage Therapy 101

Imagine entering a warm, candle-lit room, filled with soft, floral scents and the tunes of soothing music. Getting a massage can be a very relaxing and indulging experience. It is the perfect release for your mind, body and soul. One of the biggest questions I had when I first started getting massages was: Which one should I choose?  There are many different options, from deep tissue to hot stone.  Each one offers specific benefits customized for your body.  So, if you ever find yourself asking the same question, here’s a quick rundown the five most common types of massages to help you figure out the best choice for you.

 Swedish Massage-This is a great choice for someone who’s new to the massage therapy experience. Expect the tension to be gentle and relaxing, with smooth and circular strokes and movements.  Your masseuse may also use lotion or oil to enrich the experience.

Deep Tissue Massage-This is on the other end of the spectrum.  Where the Swedish uses light tension, the deep tissue is just that.  It targets tight, sore muscles and tissues.  The strokes will be slower, deliberate and repetitive.  It’s the perfect choice after a long week at work or if you’re recovering from a sports injury,

Aromatherapy-If you like the scents of oils and lotions, this will be perfect for you.  This type of massage therapy uses scents like lavender and vanilla to either energize you or relax you.  If you find yourself stressed out lately, this should be your choice.

Hot Stone Massage Therapy-This one is my favorite.  Heated, smooth stones are placed on specific zones on the body to loosen muscles and induce balance.  Your massage therapist may also use the stones to apply light pressure and tension.  The heat can be very relaxing and calming.  This is great for tight muscles.

Reflexology-Sometimes called a foot massage, but it is really much more than this. Specific points of your body are connected to organs, tissues and muscles all throughout your body.  Reflexologists apply pressure to those points to address your specific needs.  If you are on your feet all day, or just plain ole tired from your “two-hour pumps”, this is the one you should go with.

Which one is your favorite?   Please share.

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

Penny-Wise Pampering

We all like to be pampered from time to time.  I always look forward to my facials and massages and I try to book them as often as possible.  But I don’t want to break the bank doing so.  The average cost of a massage, facial or other body treatment can run you upwards of $100 an hour.  That’s no small change, especially if you are on a tight budget.  There are ways, however, to be pampered without the hefty price tag.  Consider the following ideas:

If you are really in need of a massage after a long day at work, consider going to a massage school for your service. You can get an hour long Swedish Massage or a Deep Tissue Massage for a fraction of the cost.  It’s a win-win for both you and the massage student.

Facials, waxing and manicures are other services that can be done for a discounted price at a reputable beauty school.  Usually these students are willing and eager to do an outstanding job, so they can establish relationships with future customers.  Why not give them them an opportunity to give you moisturizing facial, manicure or pedicure at a good price?

Does your nail salon also offer massages?  My nail salon does and the prices are about 20 to 50  bucks cheaper.  Plus, the massages are excellent!  It may be worth looking into.

Some day spas may offer you a discount or special price if you plan on purchasing several services at once.  So for instance, you may be able to negotiate a bundled, less expensive price for a manicure, facial and a massage during one visit.  It can’t hurt to ask. 🙂

Take advantage of spa week deals or e-coupons online.  Sometimes spas and hotels run special promotions if you register your services online.

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

The kind of customers hair stylists love

Have you ever watched the Bravo channel’s reality series, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover”?  I watched it for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  I only intended to watch it for a couple of minutes.  But after the first minute or so, I found myself sucked into the program. Tabatha is a no-holds barred, abrasive and brutally honest salon consultant who’s sole purpose is to whip salons into shape across the country.  She identifies bad behaviors that lead to poor customer service and financial missteps.  Some of the things she corrects are common sense:  loud conversations between stylists, eating on the floor and unprofessional customer interactions.

It is easy to identify bad service, especially when it comes to hair salons.  We don’t need a professional to do that.  But what about when the spotlight turns on us?  What are some of things we do, as customers, that make us less than desirable to serve?

One of the things I’ve noticed is how many customers talk on the phone, text or surf the internet while in their stylists’ chair.  Their heads are tilted and they are clearly distracted.  I don’t know about you. But if my stylist has a pair of scissors in her hand, the last thing I would be doing is talking on the phone. If you give your stylist your full and undivided attention, it will be the best thing for the both of you.  Trust me!

Another thing is being on time.  If you respect your stylist time by being punctual, more than likely he or she will respect your time.  Showing up more than 15 minutes late to your appointment not only affects your time with your stylist but it also impacts the rest of their day.

Set realistic expectations.  If you haven’t had a trim in a year and a half, don’t get upset when your stylist says you need a trim.  Having pictures and photos are a good guide but make sure the person in the picture has a similar facial structure and shape.  Your hair stylist may be able to work magic but not miracles!

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella