Makeup Brush Cleaning Tips from Makeup Artist Lauren Snyder

Gail Lewis
Tips for cleaning your makeup brushes from makeup artist Lauren Synder via @agirlsgottaspa One part of our beauty routine that we tend to neglect quite often is ensuring that our makeup brushes are kept clean and bacteria free.  Dirty makeup brushes can transfer old makeup, germs, and bacteria to your skin each time you use them, so it is important to regularly wash your brushes to get rid of buildup. As a bonus, washing your brushes also makes them work better as well.  When it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely clueless, so I decided to consult with an expert and consulted LA based Makeup Artist Lauren Snyder for her tips on cleaning and caring for makeup brushes. A Girl's Gotta Spa!: What are some of your favorite makeup brush cleaning tricks? Lauren Synder: Mixing warm water with brush cleanser is a good way to make the cleanser a little more flexible when it comes to cleaning while also helping the product last longer. Products can be expensive so any way to make the most out of them helps. Another tip I have found useful is when using a cleanser, let the brush soak for only a couple of minutes. I mix warm water with the cleanser (pretty equal proportions) in a bowl, swirl and mix the brush for about 30 seconds, and then let the brush soak with the actual brush at an angle. I keep the brush at an angle because as long as there’s movement in the brush, there’s movement in the liquid, which means there’s movement in the makeup that needs to come out. Movement is key when it comes not only to cleaning, but coverage as well. After the brush has soaked at an angle for a couple of minutes, I continue to work it through the cleanser just to quickly break anything up from soaking and then a very good rinse with the brush head facing directly under the faucet. Thoroughly dry with a towel and then I suggest letting the brush air dry overnight because no one likes unnecessary moisture. Especially when it comes to blending. AGGS: Which makeup brush cleansers would you recommend? LS: Neutrogena Cleansing Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – I started using this almost on accident because I was out of MAC Brush Cleanser. It was the only liquid makeup remover I had that I could actually pour into a bowl and I didn’t want to use up pure alcohol. After cleaning my foundation brush with it, I don’t think I’ll use anything else. The remover really gets into the brush without sitting in the head and also doesn’t leave any residue. The best part is that the cleaner doesn’t leave any scent either. Just like any cleanser, working the cleanser and the brush is crucial – the cleanser doesn’t do all the work for you. Plus it’s not nearly as expensive as most brush cleansers. Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner – This cleaner is a little more on the expensive side, but it’s definitely worth the money. The liquid is fast acting and you don’t have to put much muscle into cleaning the brush and making sure it’s getting worked in throughout. Scent is a very subjective and preference based thing. With that being said, this cleanser has a fairly strong orange scent to it that will stay with your brush to some extent. While the orange is certainly a part of the cleanser that contributes to the actual cleaning, if you don’t like the scent then it may not be for you. AGGS: Which brush cleansers do you think are not really worth the price? LS: MAC Brush Cleanser –This unfortunately is an overrated cleanser in my opinion. While there is no strong or lingering scent to it, that doesn’t make up for the fact that is doesn’t really clean brushes at all. In my opinion, it seemed more like I was giving my brushes a light rinse without actually doing anything, like removing makeup, bacteria, excess product, etc. It isn’t a very expensive cleanser considering its size, but it is expensive considering it doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to do.  Lauren Snyder is an LA based Makeup Artist who has been doing makeup for film for six or seven years and specializes in  practical effects makeup artistry. Have any makeup brush cleaning tips you want to add or a brush cleanser that has worked for you? Leave a comment and let us know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: affiliate links

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Aging Hair Myth and Signs of Aging Hair

Shannon Smyth

One aging hair myth and the 5 signs of aging hair. #haircare #AGEbeautiful

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at Zotos Professional's headquarters to talk with their colorists and hairstylists. My focus during the visit was to learn more about the AGEbeautiful hair care line, which is the first salon quality, professional hair color intended for use at home. It's also the first hair color that targets the 5 signs of aging hair. Check out the video below of my interview with Christine from Zotos, as we talk about one hair myth and some of the signs of aging hair:
Many thanks to Christine for taking the time to speak with me, and the whole Zotos Professional team. You can find AGEbeautiful anti-aging hair color exclusively at Sally Beauty. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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Fall Makeup Tips From Los Angeles Based Makeup Artist Stacy Rosas

Gail Lewis
Fall #Makeup Tips Summer is at an end, which  means that Fall, with all of her sophistication and polish, is officially upon us.  I, perhaps like a lot of you, look forward to the process of transitioning my wardrobe, beauty products and makeup bag to a fall state of mind.  While I absolutely relish this process for the most part, when it comes to transitioning the contents of my makeup bag to Fall, I can do with a little...actually a lot of help.  I am absolutely clueless as to where I should even begin the process of Fall Makeup Transition, which is why I sought out the expertise of  uber talented Los Angeles-based Celebrity Makeup Artist Stacy Rosas.

Stacy Rosas Makeup Artist

Stacy Rosas is a Texas born, Los Angeles based Makeup Artist who started doing makeup for the love of art. Her career began eight years ago after meeting a celebrity makeup artist who pushed and introduced her into the world of makeup artistry.  Seeing the face as a 3 dimensional canvas, Stacy loves the many possibilities that texture, color, and effects that makeup can create.  I was introduced to Stacy's work for the first time about a year ago after I saw published images and videos of the makeup she did on Hope Dworaczyk. The makeup was flawless and beautiful, but the model did not disappear behind the makeup, which I found to be just brilliant.  I was an instant fan and was excited about consulting Stacy for some of her expert tips and suggestions for achieving great Fall Makeup looks.

A Girl's Gotta Spa!:  How can we begin the process of transitioning our makeup from summer to fall? What are some products that we can start with? Stacy Rosas:  Transitioning your makeup to a fall look is easy. Spring and summer had us wearing bright colors and bronzy bronzers all through. You will want to darken your lipsticks, add in more cool tones (depending on your skin tone) that you have been itching to use after those seasons. By now, you should have your bronze tan from the summer! So ditch the bronzer for fall, and if you still like some contouring, you could purchase a concealer that is one or two shades darker than the one you use for under eye and blemishes. Put it under cheek bones to define the bone and above brow this will give a lift to the eye and cheek bones. I tend to leave the eye more clean especially if you have a long work day and don't have time to mess with your makeup creasing or fading. I do a cat eye, fill in your brows ( I'm hooked on Kevyn Aucoin's Pencil Brow Pencil), and waterproof mascara, nothing expensive (you can't go wrong with Maybeline mascara's).  But first use an eyelash curler then apply the mascara (the waterproof mascara will keep your lashes curled!) I used to dislike waterproof mascara...until I found a great eye makeup remover by Neutrogena.

Stacy Rosas Makeup Editorial

A Girl's Gotta Spa!: What are some of your favorite makeup trends for fall? Stacy: The trends for this fall are to be bold! Don't be afraid to use bold colors! A Girl's Gotta Spa!: What are some bold colored products that you would suggest? Stacy:  I have to rave about a favorite makeup line I love! That is not everywhere YET. Face Atelier is a Canadian based makeup company. Many celebrity makeup artist's use their makeup products in their kit, but it's for the every day woman as well! First favorite is the ultra foundation. It's silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease, clog pores, or flake, and lasts all day long. It hydrates the skin and you get that dewy look that you will definitely need for the cold dry weather to come. Also check out their facades in Godiva and Livid! Façade is liquid-to-powder cheek/lip. It's highly pigmented, so start with a light hand and build as needed. It delivers beautiful, silky-soft color, that also stays all day because it's silicone based.

Stacy Rosas MUA Editorial

I cannot wait to begin transitioning my makeup to fall with Stacy's awesome suggestions, I am now on a mad hunt for Face Atelier's facades! For all things Stacy Rosas follow her on Twitter @MUAstaceface, Instagram @Makeupstaceface or online at Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure

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How to Get a Better Hairstyle: Tips From Salon A.K.S

Gail Lewis

Many of you can most likely relate to this scenario.  You have in your minds eye the perfect haircut or color that you think will look just absolutely amazing on you. You go into the salon and think that you do a pretty good job of explaining to your stylist what it is that you desire, but then you leave the salon feeling like somehow something got lost in translation because the cut or color you are leaving the salon with is not exactly what you had pictured.

So what happened? Did you not communicate clearly? Should you have brought in a better picture of what you wanted? Did your stylist think that what you wanted might not have been the best look for you? Maybe none of the above or maybe all three?

Either way, this scenario is all too common and with spring and summer fast approaching, many of you much like myself, will be looking to update your 'do a little...or drastically. In an effort to help our readers better communicate with their hairstylist so that they look and feel their absolute best this spring and summer, we reached out to the industry experts at Salon AKS in New York City for some of their tips on better communication between clients and their hairstylist.

We hope this will also shed some light on what your hairstylist, (if they are a good hairstylist), should consider before cutting and coloring your hair. 

Q:  What do you consider to be the key elements in the communication between client and stylist in achieving a client's desired cut, color or style and why? 
A: The key to great communication between you and your stylist starts by choosing the perfect person for you. If you see someone’s hair that you like, ask them who did it! Recommendations are the best way to find your stylist match. As in any relationship, honesty is the best policy. Be open about what you like and dislike about your hair and what your stylists have done in the past. Explain in detail what you’re looking for, but be open to your stylist’s advice as well. After all – we are the professionals! Listening to each other is key, and we take our time during consultations so that there is clarity in what exactly will be done to ensure your expectations are met.

Q: Do you find it to be helpful when clients bring in images of celebrities as a reference point?  If so why?
A: Yes, this is so helpful because sometimes clients have a hard time articulating what they are looking for. We like to start by referencing pictures, and then defining what it is about the hair style that the client really likes. Sometimes it turns out they really don't want the hair style at all, and that they really like the color or the dress she is wearing!
Q: Is it important for clients to be open to modified versions of the cut/color/style that they desire? If so why?
A: We encourage clients to always be open to modifying the look. A good stylist knows that every haircut should be tailored to the client’s face shape, size and skin color and it should accentuate their best features – so it is important to trust them.
Q: What about a client's lifestyle, how much of an impact does a client's lifestyle have on the type of haircut/color that you would recommend?
A: We always ask how much time the client is willing to put into their style. When someone tells me that they have no time for styling, I say a new look is exactly what they need. Not every style has to be high maintenance. It’s a win-win when we can choose a color and style for a client that when it grows out, it still looks great on them.
Q: Why do you think Salon AKS excels at meeting their client's expectations on a continuing basis?

A: At Salon AKS, we train our staff to have a fine-tuned vision of the most flattering style for each client during the consultation phase. We account for all variables, including bone structure, height, body frame, hair texture, etc. so we can highlight the most flattering elements of each client.  We team up a stylist and colorist to consult on the client’s dry hair and take their time doing so, to also see exactly how that client’s hair grows out after each cut. We feel it is important to have two sets of eyes focusing on one look, and pride ourselves on providing the ultimate look for each client, knowing that consistency is key!

Salon A·K·S has been providing professional salon services in NYC  for 15 years.  They combine a relaxed, downtown attitude with uptown cutting-edge techniques and styles performed by the best stylists in NYC.  

In addition to having the best stylist and best colorists in NYC  and offering the best keratin and Brazilian blowouts in New York City.our full service beauty salon also offers eyebrow, makeup, and nail services as well as bridal services.  You can visit their website at or call 212-888-0707 to book an appointment. 

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