Tag Archives: Beauty Tips

6 Hair Tricks to Get Through Summer!

hair braidAs of this past weekend it is officially Summer ya’ll!  This is hands down my favorite time of year for hair because the weather forces me to get more creative with my hairstyles out of sheer practicality (having long, thick, curly black hair that has an aversion to getting frizzy and unmanageable is the perfect combination to kick start anyone into hair creativity, am I right?).

Summer is all about being outside enjoying the beautiful warm weather while sipping cocktails at the pool or jammin’ out to your favorite DJ or band at a music festival.   For a long time I use to let my hair dictate what outdoor activities I’d participate in because of the haunting vision of a big frizz ball on top of my head.  Over the years I’ve picked up few tips and now I’m spreading the wealth because no one should have to experience what I call FBR (Frizz Ball Rachetness).  Check out my tips and give them a whirl and be sure to tell me which one became your absolute must because lord knows these have all come in handy in so many ways!

1.  Get rid of static with one amazing tool: A dryer sheet!  With one sheet, smooth it over your entire head going from root to ends.  To avoid getting static altogether, rub the dryer sheets on your brushes and combs before using them on your hair.

2.  Wild & unruly baby hairs? Spray a toothbrush with strong hold hairspray and comb down the baby hairs and this method works extremely well with taming cowlicks too. 

3.  Best trick to avoid chlorine hair? Pre-soak your  hair and ensure that you drench it with spray on conditioner.  This will ensure that when you are in the pool your hair will soak up the chlorine free water and conditioner and not the pool water.

4.  Frizz your biggest problem?  Reduce frizz by drying your hair with cotton tee instead of a towel.  Towels can cause a lot of friction which disrupts the hair cuticle and in turn will frizz.  You should then follow up with blow drying it on a cool setting.  Drying on a cool setting keeps the cuticle closed which will prevent frizzing.  Heat opens up the cuticle which means FBR.

5.  Natural Summer highlights?  Don’t waste your money at the salon, instead squeeze an entire lemon into a dish, dip clean toothbrush into the juice, and gently comb it through your hair.  Sit in the sun for 45 minutes-don’t forget to put on some SPF because why have highlights if your skin becomes leathery.  Repeat as necessary to achieve the highlight color you want to achieve.

6.  A clean scalp is a healthy scalp! Keep your scalp clean from all of the oil and product build up that can clog your scalp by cleaning your hair & scalp by mixing baking soda in water to create a paste that you use to wash your hair.  Then rinse out your baking soda paste with a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar.  Yes it smells fun, but your hair will feel so fresh and so clean!





#WWAW: Pampering is The Cure For Anything!

Being always on the go traveling for work coupled with a hectic work schedule that demands a lot out of me during the week it’s such an amazing treat for when the weekend hits to spoil myself with a little pampering.  This past Sunday not only did I indulge myself in a blow out but I topped my day off with champs, lots of laughs and all while feeding my nail crack fix with stunning nail art.

meFirst Stop: I’ve been a fan of the Drybar ever since they tamed my tresses for New York Fashion Week last year.  Long story short, I committed a major hair faux pas and forgot my hair product.  I literally did a small prayer to the beauty gods that I would be able to get in on a last minute appointment and with a lot of amazing customer service from the Drybar team they secured me an appointment with plenty of time for me to get my tresses treated before I hit my long day at the tents.  When I heard they were opening a location in Chicago I squealed with joy because with that one accommodating appointment they had secured a customer for life (I mean seriously, the pricing is unbelievable and coupled with customer service that is out of this world what more can a girl ask for right?)  So on this trip I decided to change up from my ‘Cosmo-Tai’ and opted for some glam & volume and chose the ‘Southern Comfort.’

me 2Second Stop:  Set with my Hollywood glam hair I made my way over to the #AuthenticBliss being hosted by Authentic Noise PR media event.  What better way to continue my day of pampering than attending an event all about mini massages, make-up consultations and nail art manicures by Astrowifey & Notable Nails featuring beautiful nail lacquer by LVX.

photo 3

photoAll in all Sunday was such an amazing day filled with glam hair, some new nail crack and all with bottomless mimosas and bellinis with amazing company.  Never underestimate the power of little pampering treatments and I would highly recommend treating yourself to some glam hair & nail crack!


The Artistry Behind the Brushes: Keke Vasquez

A medium used by millions yet, only a select few have mastered the skill.  Using the human body as their canvas these artists transform and create breathtaking temporary works of art that give all of us the supple opportunity to partake in the constant excitement of the evolution and change.

Keke Vasquez, a trailblazing Pasifika woman of Tongan/Samoan/Hawaiian decent is defining her place in the beauty industry as a dual threat.  This immensely talented hair and make-up artist is highly sought after not for her brilliant artistry behind the brushes but for her uncanny and unique ability to translate the beauty within all of her subjects.

I had the incredible opportunity to chat with Keke on her views of Pasifika Fashion, the different roadblocks and barriers she’s had to overcome, and what her advice would be to young Pasifika youth who have aspirations of following in her footsteps.  Check out CSM’s interview of Keke Vasquez, the artist behind the brushes:

CSM:  What inspired you to pursue a career in the beauty industry?

KV:  I’ve always love the beauty industry since I was young playing with my mom’s makeup and on a family member… I had a real painful past and felt if I covered what was from the inside out, no one can see the true pain I endured as a kid. I was also discouraged to continue down the beauty industry and it became a huge issue with me and my mom. I decided to pursue my first career for over a decade plus which was in technology. I worked as an engineer for quite sometime for Fortune 500 companies in the Silicon Valley here in the Bay Area. As years passed about 9 years ago I decided to go and do what I love which was makeup. By a fluke in meeting a mentor of mine that did primarily special effects… I continued to assist on movie sets, special effects and got educated in makeup schools and mentors. I met my main mentor Michael DeVillis with The Powder Group and past VP of the Pro Division at Make Up For Ever who was another ‘game changer’ that taught me presentation, portfolio and reel marketing, etc.   I secretly hid this from my family because it was taboo and wasn’t really a favorable subject because I grew up in a home that was religiously strict and also the preacher’s daughter.  Unfortunately I decided to keep myself from a distance with my family and decided to push harder with my makeup career taking in a different level… I started working as an assistant and making the assistant roster for almost most big agencies all over California and got to meet a lot of celebrities and awesome people. As I grew, I kept working on my portfolio of images and reels. I decided to get better with hairstyling by going to a Paul Mitchell school thanks to my my mentor Michael DeVillis and another Poly brother Mark Jason Solofa (barber owner in Berkeley and Samoan/Tongan decent) that went to Paul Mitchell the School East Bay in Pleasant Hill for leading me to pursue my education at Paul Mitchell the School East Bay. After joining I worked everyday as an engineer from 12am-8am, an hair/makeup artist from 9am-3pm for photoshoots and TV spots then 5pm to 10pm I would go to night school. I did this for almost a year and won a lot of hair shows and best overall for hair and makeup and then with Professional Beauty a Association I was a BEACON award winner where I was the first for my school to win overall over all cosmetology students in beauty school selected few. During this time I became less of an assistant and started heading hair and makeup departments in commercial/music… I lost my job as an engineer and my mom became really sick as well. After crying and getting on my knees praying for God’s direction, I get a call from my agency. The next day my agency, Look Artists Agency from San Francisco signed me on their full time roster. I have the best agent in the world and Rose and I have worked together seamlessly on amazing projects I haven’t dreamed of yet so early in my career as a full time artist on the roster.


CSM:  What was one of your most memorable styling appointments and why?

KV:  I have two that topped the list. The first one was meeting Tiesto and doing his men’s grooming for a few commercial spots….. I was his biggest fan and I nearly died after hearing that I was to work with him and his manager Kelly. It was the most memorable gig ever and honestly at that time I said I can now retire cause never in my life I would meet my favorite DJ.

My second one I wanted to talk about and why I mention it because it was a ‘game changer’ in my life getting me coming back to my roots and getting in touch with my family. My shoot with HM Princess Virginia Tuita of the Kingdom of Tonga. I worked with an all Polynesian crew which was the first for me in my career with photographer Ralph Misa, my cousin Monte, Mua with hair and myself with makeup. Working with her reminded me of the beauty, the honor and integrity of my culture. I looked at her and it reminded me of my family, my past… Who I am.


CSM:  As a pasifika female what obstacles have you had to overcome in order to create your niche in this beauty industry?

KV:  As I mentioned before, it was tough being a Pasifika women within my own family (my parents) because it was hard breaking their understanding of what the beauty industry was to them which was not a good picture…. Also being islander not a lot of people knew of any makeup artists or hair stylists that were polynesian decent! I often was classified as ‘The Rock’ or even ‘Troy Palumanu’ to give them an idea of an image of where and who I was… I just started to be me which was a proud Pasifika woman and worked really really hard.  I created a Facebook fan page and just worked along the way, but saw my fan base growing and getting heartfelt and touching emails and letters from Polynesians all over the world. I came into the realization that I wasn’t only working for myself, I was working for our people as a whole. Being the first Pasifika woman agency represented hair stylist and makeup artist, I have to strive for higher heights and push forward all I can because I guarantee I will not be the last Pasifika woman/man in this beauty industry. Many more will follow and also succeed!


CSM:  As not only a woman of color, but specifically a pasifika woman of color what are you Top 5 beauty must haves that should be in all of our make-up bags?


  • Top must have is moisturizer (my favorite is called embryolisse) the alternate to it is either Cetaphil or Olay face moisturizer.
  • Second, would be a good face wash.  All time fave is Ceptaphil face wash or my other fav with celebrities is Koh Gen Doh Cleansing Spa Water.
  • Third, would be a lip balm which I use a lot on myself is Baby Lips by Maybelline.  A higher line and more costly would be Face Atelier lip putty from New York 
  • Fourth, would be a good sunblock for the face and body (any) it’s important to use daily even on a gloomy day.
  • Fifth, would be a great toner.  What usually works on all skin types is witch hazel.  Other alternatives would be from the Jan Marini line that I truly love and a fav with celebrity clients.
So usually what works is cleanse, toner, moisturize (face and lips) and minimal makeup.  I have an eyebrow pencil, mascara, gel liner and lip balm.
For hair (I’m cheating with adding some more must haves for hair) all from Paul Mitchell:
  • Awapuhi Styling Treatment Oil that quenches and smooths any frizz, leaves the hair smooth , silky and shiny
  • Awaphui Shine Spray if you have only three seconds in your day uses three seconds spraying this weightless spray that transform any dull strand with reflective shine


CSM:  The beauty industry/world are constantly changing and evolving, what are your favorite trends for fall/winter should we all be trying?

KV:  My favorite trends for this fall is just adding a little darker lip color like the Bobbi Brown Blackberry depending on what skin taupe you are but I love Bobbi’s line especially her lipsticks.  The focus on the lips having it darker berry almost with a purple hue would be an ideal look for this fall.


CSM:  What pasifika fashion designer would you love to collaborate with? And who have you worked with thus far that has been the most memorable experience?

KV:  I love all my Pasifika designers especially Tui out of Sacramento and my cousin Monte out of Sacramento as well. I’ve worked with them both and love their style, drive and passion to fit our culture in their designs.

Designers outside of my Pasifika collaborations, would be my awesome clients thru my agency: Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Calvin Klein Performance and Bentley.  My favorite repeat client is Giorgio Armani.  Every gig I work with them they’ve been nothing but classy, beautiful and awesome.


CSM:  What advice would you give to our young Pasifika youth wanting to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in the beauty industry?

KV:  Never let anything stop your dreams from coming a reality.  No matter how rough it is regardless of your past, be who you are, and do what makes you happy regardless what anyone says.

Check out some of Keke’s stunning work:

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Morgan Marie Beauty dishes on their ‘Top 5’!

I had the amazing opportunity to chat with 2 beauty aficionados taking the Chicago beauty industry by storm. Morgan Byrne and Marie Neri are the dynamic duo behind, Morgan Marie Beauty, offering mobile makeup services and finer quality cosmetic products.  With well over 23 years of beauty industry experience it goes without saying that these ladies have plenty of tricks and tips to help make our beauty lives a little easier.  So with their undivided attention I picked their brains for a solution to solve an age old conundrum that I along with many of you have struggled with throughout the years: What are the ‘Top 5 products’ that they believe should be in every woman’s makeup bag that can take your beauty look from day into an evening look.  Well ladies here is what these beauty mavens had to say:

These are our top 5 products that every woman should have in her makeup bag to take her from a day look into an evening look. We feel that in order to have a polished and fresh face from day to night, you need to address all the major features of the face.

  1. Starting with complexion, use your favorite foundation or tinted moisturizer. Perfecting your complexion makes your eyes and lips stand out more.  So to create the perfect complexion, we recommend using our foundation brush, which is designed to seamlessly work liquid or cream foundation into your skin to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. This duo fiber brush creates a build-able coverage while also providing an airbrush finish
  2. Next, follow with a blush to the apples of your cheeks to give a healthy glow to your face.  Using a Morgan Marie Beauty blush brush, apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to give yourself a healthy glow. Our blush brush is an ultra soft, duo fiber brush, uniquely designed to create the perfect “watercolor” blush application that adds stunning dimension.
  3. Apply a lengthening, thickening mascara to your lashes. This helps to open and define the eyes.  We recommend perfecting your mascara application with our metal lash definer, which separates and individually defines your lashes.
  4. To add dimension and color to your lips, we recommend using Morgan Marie Beauty lipstick finished by a MMB lip gloss. They both give long lasting color and shine to lips.  Color
  5. All the steps above will be effortless and flawless using Morgan Marie Beauty brushes. To get the best makeup application, you need to use  high quality brushes that are approved and used by professional makeup artists.


Want to get more info about Morgan Marie Beauty?  Check out there site here www.morganmariebeauty.com