Beauty & Skin Care



“Do I look fat in this dress?” It’s the notorious question every women hates to ask and every man hates to hear. Whether you’re 105 lbs or 305 lbs, a majority of Americans know they would be lying if they honestly said they have always been secure and proud of their body. Last Monday, Darryl Roberts showed his documentary, America the Beautiful: Health for Sale, at Iowa State University Memorial Union. In the film he brutally exposed how outrageously obsessed Americans are with being beautiful.

The trailer for Robert’s film begins with a 20-something year-old guy that says, “My idea of a perfect women is A. She’s got to be hot.” Then it cuts to the Statue of Liberty being drawn with a tube of lipstick. With the lipstick, suggestions are written on her such as; widen mouth, larger eyes and two words: nose job! Clips of interviews with various people in the media are shown, along with clips of models walking down the runway.

Roberts brings up an interesting topic in the beginning of the film. BMI: Body Mass Index. This is how some doctors determine if they need to have the “fat talk” with you. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s website, if your BMI is under 18.5 you are underweight, if it is between 18.5 and 24.9 you are normal weight, if it is between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight, and if your body mass index is over 30, you’re OBESE! How does this calculation of weight in pounds times 703 divided by height in inches squared tell a doctor how healthy you are?

Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet invented the formula for body mass index between the years of 1830 and 1850. It was intended to be called the body mass indicator originally used to collect statistics and get a rough estimate of the average body mass of countries as a whole. He never created the formula to be a set in stone tool to determine if a given individual was unhealthy.

In Ohio, two schools sent 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 9th graders to the nurse’s office once a year to be weighed. Their BMI was calculated and sent home to their parents as a health report. Statistics from the documentary said that 25% of 5-year-old girls don’t like their body and 50% of 3rd grade girls and boys are unhappy with the way they look. If lining kids up like cattle to be weighed in the middle of their school day isn’t a self-esteem knock, I don’t know what is.

I have plenty of friends who could eat cookies and ice cream meal after meal while completely neglecting their gym membership for a month and not gain a pound. I, however would gain 12 lbs or more if I did that. Is that really fair? No, but everyone has different genes and different metabolisms. I could be more toned with a healthier heart than my friend that is skinnier than I am however, the body mass index formula would tell them that they are healthier than I am.  Skinny people who eat fast food are under the impression they are healthy because their BMI falls into the normal range.

Obviously skinny does not mean healthy, but will Americans ever stop associating the two?


Featured Artist: Katie Glass Application

Katie Glass Shows her favorite smokey eye with plum purples, pink lips, and a soft facial highlight.


Lips & Cheeks..

Featured Artist: Katie Glass

How long have you been a makeup artist?

I’ve been doing makeup professionally for 2.5 years.

Is being a makeup artist your only job?

No I am also a graphic designer at Meredith.

What made you want to start doing makeup?

I always did people makeup in high school for proms and dance recitals and always shopped at MAC as a freshmen but I had a bad experience at the counter at Valley West so I went to Omaha all the time. A friend of mine wanted to go MAC so I went to the counter with her and helped. The artist working heard me giving my friend suggestions and gave me an application.

What is your most memorable experience doing makeup?

I have three..

This one time I had this black lady come in and she wanted lashes on. I immediately formed a bias because I had been treated rudely by a lot of black women. There were a few more people in front of her at the counter so I told her I would love to put her lashes on her as soon as I was helping the customers before her. She ended up being so patient and sweet, I shouldn’t have prejudged. I applied her liner and lashes and she looked in her mirror. Tears literally came to her eyes. She told me she has never looked so beautiful. It was just really neat that doing something as simple as putting lashes on her could make her feel so great about herself. It was extremely rewarding.

I was fairly new at the counter and these two ladies were going out together. One of the ladies wanted fun makeup so I put yellows and greens on her and she ended up buying the yellow and green eye shadow I had put on her. She came back a year later and told me someone at the counter put yellows and greens on her the last time she was in. I recognized her immediately. She ended up telling me that the last time she was in when I did her makeup she had recently found out her husband was cheating on her. That night was the first time she had gone out since she had found out. She told me that I absolutely made her night. After leaving the counter she felt so beautiful and confident. It was so gratifying to hear that I had such an impact on her evening and I didn’t even know it.

I had an appointment with a lady that told me she had a boudoir photo shoot and wanted really smoky eye shadow. Two of her girlfriends came in with her to watch. She was probably about 50 years old. I asked her if this was for an anniversary or a birthday present and she said no. She told me she wanted to give the pictures to her husband as a gift before she had her double masectomy and both of her breasts were removed. It was so touching. I just felt really connected to that women after she told me what she was going through. You never really know what is going on in someone’s life. I will never forget meeting that women.

How has your experience doing makeup helped other aspects of your career as a designer?

Well most definitely color theory. In the past couple year I have been known for color pallets. I just see colors, colors, colors. It has opened my broadened my understanding for color. Obviously what looks good on someone’s eye will look good on paper. My drawing skills have become crisper and more precise. It has also given me an advantage working with photography. I’ve become pickier about makeup and skin in photography. I can look at a photo and decide what needs to be done to fix it.

Do you prefer doing freelance work or working at a counter and why?

Freelance, the reason being its much more personable and there is a greater fulfillment. People are much more appreciative. You go to their home where they’re most comfortable and they are usually familiar with your work because they have to seek you out to book with you. I love weddings and that is the majority of freelance work my partner and I do. It is so much fun to be a part of someone’s special day. Seeing them put their dress on and watching people ooo and aaah over them. I have met so many amazing people as well as amazing families. I also absolutely love my partner. She is extremely talented and trustworthy, which is important. I am so greatful for that. We choose what we wear and how much we charge. We can also turn people down if we don’t feel respected. You don’t get that option at the counter, and that can burn artists out. However, I would not have been able to branch out on my own without the reputation and education working at the counter provided me with. I just really love  the freedom and independent choices I have as a freelancer.

What is your favorite facial feature and why?

Eyes. They can completely transform the face and the focus. It directs how the rest of the face will look. It sets the tone for everything else. It’s the basis of everything and you can change someone’s look 100% by manipulating the eyes.

What advice would you give people first starting to use makeup?

My biggest pert peeve with high schoolers is when they go crazy with eyeliner and give themselves raccoon eyes. It doesn’t make you look older. I wish they would embrace their young beauty and great skin, you don’t have that forever.

What is the one product you would never want to be without?

Mascara. I just cant live without it.

What is the best tip or trick you have learned in your career?

There are so many! They most useful tip anyone can use from day to day is to use concealer to perfect someone’s lip line after lip liner and lipstick as applied. It is flawless. It creates the perfect lip and no one can screw it up. You really can’t create a crisp lip any other way. I do it on every bride.

Top 10 Ingredients to AVOID

I shared with you some of the best ingredients to look for when reading the back of your skin care bottle. Now here is a list of ingredients that should throw up a red flag when buying your beauty products.

Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone (silica)

These two ingredients are used to give products a silky smooth texture. A lot of the time it is used in primers to smooth lines and creases in the skin. They are not very easily absorbed and can result in clogged pores and blackheads. Many people have had side effects such as  irritated eyes and skin due to the use of these ingredients. The FDA and Cosmetic Ingredient Review have declared it safe for cosmetic uses under 15% and its toxicological properties have not been thoroughly investigated.

Mineral Oils (Paraffin oil and wax, Liquid Paraffinum, Petrolatum)

Used to “seal” in moisture, this ingredient acts as a plastic coating to completely seal the skin. It clogs and suffocates pores, and prevents the skin from getting rid of toxins. Using products with this ingredient will result in acne and premature aging.

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol

Rancid oils that form free radicals and damage the skin. These ingredients penetrate the skin, weakening protein and cellular structure. PG is considered so toxic that workers in contact with the ingredient are required to wear protective gloves, clothing and eye protection. the EPA has concluded that brain, liver and kidneys can be affected by this ingredient through skin absorption.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (coconut)

This ingredient is CHEAP so a lot of products include it. It acts as a foaming agent and it dries out the skin and causes irritation. Other effects that animals have been exposed to during the testing of SLS are damage to the eyes and nervous system. These animals also experienced depression, difficulty breathing, diarrhoea, and even death. Sulfate is also used in a lot of shampoos and actual clogs the hair folacle causing your scalp to suficate and your hair to fall out more frequently. Other ingredients that fall into this category are:

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Disodium Oleamide Sulfosuccinate
  • Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate etc
  • Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine
  • Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
  • TEA (Triethanolamine) Lauryl Sulfate
  • TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate
  • Benzalkonium & Benzethonium chloride
  • Cetrimonium chloride
  • Cetalkonium chloride
  • Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen
  • Stearalkonium chloride

Cocoamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine

This is a multi-use ingredient that aids in foaming, conditioning, thickening and anti-static. It can cause stinging, redness and even burning of skin if sensitive. Since this product is very effective in helping deliver the other ingredients deep into the skin it can be more harmful if the other ingredients its combined with are toxic.


This ingredient is used to balance pH in cosmetic preparations. Triethanolamine can severely irritate the body’s tissues, be corrosive to the eyes, as well as effect the immune and respiratory systems. It turns into a carcinogen after reacting with nitrosating agents.

Volatile Alcohols (Isopropyl)

This ingredient is often used to cleanse and disinfect. Though some companies may use ingredients that naturally have alcohol in them, volatile alcohols should be avoided. They irritate, dehydrate and strip the skin of its natural barrier and bacteria.


This is used as a preservative in cosmetics, specifically for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is actually harmful by skin absorption. This ingredient can cause corrosion and burns to the eyes and skin and the damage done to the eyes could be irreversible. It is also a nitrosating agent.

Phenoxyethanol, or Ethylene Glycol Monophenylether

These are often used in cosmetics to kill bacteria and keep the formula stabilized. It is possible to derive this product from natural sources but is too often not the choice when very cheap synthetic equivalents are available. Phenoxyethanol is toxic to the kidneys and bladder. It may cause problems with the reproductive system and serious damage to the eyes. In several animal studies its toxicity was apparent when, used in moderate doses, caused degeneration to the brain and nervous system as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage. Japan and the EU have restricted its uses in cosmetics.


This may be one ingredient on the list but it in itself can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients and should definitely be avoided. Allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, violent coughing and even vomiting might result.

Now I know it’s difficult to find products without all of these ingredients but there are some companies out there that are concerned and successful in offering products that don’t contain toxic chemicals and use beneficial and natural ingredients in their place. Cosmetic products should not last forever, the companies used ingredients to prolong their shelf-life for their own benefit not yours. Just like food, natural nutrients will go rancid but chemical preservatives are very toxic. Stay away from these toxic ingredients as well:

  • Bronopol
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Butylated hudroxyanisole (BHA)
  • DMDM Hydantoin (contains formaldehyde)
  • Eugenol
  • Germall 115 (Imidazolidinyl urea)
  • Germall II (Diazolidinyl urea)
  • Isothiazolinone
  • Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Nitrosamines
  • Phthalates
  • P-Phenylenediamine
  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • Sodium Sulfosuccinate
  • Thiomersal (contains mercury)

Top 10 Ingredients For Your Face

When shopping for a facial cleanser, it is important to know your personal skin type. Dry, oily, sensitive, and combination skin all have different needs and problem areas. Be sure to check the ingredients and stay away from anything containing man-made chemicals. Some red flag ingredients to stay away from include artificial fragrances, alcohols, and parabens. The best thing you can do for your skin is to use cleansers with all natural ingredients. Here is a list of the top ten things to look for in a great facial cleanser.

Cynergy TK

This is a fairly new ingredient that is able to deeply moisturize. It contains antioxidants that will elliminate free radical damage. The best part about Cynergy TK is that it stimulates collagen production, which will naturally fade fine lines and wrinkles. This will also make your skin thicker and restore its natural pH.

Bentone Gel

The gel, made naturally from a special type of clay, cleanses skin from within. The cleansing process is greatly enhanced when used in combination with Kaolin.


One of the most important ingredients in cleansing or hydrating mask is kaolin. Kaolin is a special extract from clay native of the foothills of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Kaolin is effective for healing pimples, blemishes and acne,drawing out impurities, dirt and grime, increasing localized circulation to help sooth irritated or damaged skin. Kaolin is in facial applications and masks because it has very high mineral content. Masks with kaolin are not meant to be used regularly, but it is ideal for all skin types, even the most sensitive of skin.

Manuka Honey

This is native to New Zealand and contains more antioxidants and antibacterial qualities than any other type of honey. It helps to soften and smooth your skin and replenish lost nutrients at night especially. It is great for dry skin as it can penetrate so deeply and help to improve your complexion.

Tangerine Oil

Tangerine Oil is best known as a great antiseptic. Besides killing bacteria this ingredient clears the pores as well as promotes cellular regeneration. Using Tangerine oil can reduce breakouts soothing your skin. Moreover this natural ingredient allows your skin to absorb essential compounds and nutrients more easily.


Chamomile which is exceptional anti inflammatory that prevents acne and soothes your skin. It calms the skin as well as reduces the discoloration by protecting your skin from sun burn and free radicals.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil  is an amazing ingredient used to help heal dry skin. It is rich in potassium, proteins, omega 3 and vitamins A, D, and E which brighten your complexion. It has been used to relieve itchy dry conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Macadamia Oil & Shea Butter

Both of these ingredients are great to look for when you want to prevent your skin from aging. They are natural moisturizers which soften and sooth the skin.

Olive Leaf Extract

This ingredient is an astringent and an antiseptic. It kills bacteria and heals any open lesions on the skin caused by acne. This natural substance helps to protect your skin from everyday toxins and chemicals.

Classic Red Lips

What you need:

  • Lip Brush
  • Lip Moisturizer
  • Primer
  • Fluffy Brush
  • Concealer or Foundation in your appropriate color
  • Red Lip Pencil
  • Red Lipstick
  • Angled Brush
  1. Apply lip moisturizer with your lip brush to your entire lip. I like to go outside my natural lip line to condition any area that could potentially be dry. Blot extra moisturizer.
  2. Apply primer with a brush to your whole lip. Be sure to carry the primer outside your lip line so that the color will stick.
  3. Use a fluffy brush to apply concealer or foundation to the entire lip. This will create a bare lip canvas so that the lip color be more true.
  4. Fill in the whole lip with the bright red lip liner. Start in the center and move out to the edges. Feel free to get creative with this step. The natural lip line is covered leaving ample opportunity to experiment with different lip shapes. Apply the liner using light, small strokes on the outer line to create crisp definition.
  5. Use your lip brush to apply the bright red lipstick to the center of the lip. This will create a lot dimension. Rub lips together.
  6. If you have made any mistakes use your angled brush to erase the mistake with concealer or foundation.

Gory Halloween Makeup

October is my favorite month for makeup, there are endless opportunities to spice up any costume, whether it be glamorous or scary. For all of you gore-seekers, I have provided a step by step video on how to gross your friends out with scars and cuts. Enjoy!!


Here is an easy way to have fun flirty toe nails without spending time and money in a nail salon!

What you Need:

  • A bright colored nail polish base coat (My personal favorite it China Glaze “Rich & Famous”)
  • Stripe Rite polish (I prefer black because it gives the most crisp defined look)
  • A top coat or sheer glitter coat of your choice.

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  1. Apply base coat of your choice in color. I love black and pick together, so I chose hot pink. I like to apply two coats so the color is as true as possible.
  2. Use the Stripe Rite fine brush to draw zebra stripes on the toe nail. I like to start my triangles on the skin side so that I can wisp the brush over creating a fine tip. Repeat this so that there are two triangles on each side of the toe nail facing each other.
  3. Apply a top coat or sheer glitter coat of your choice and let them dry!

Vitamin E

Recently, I have become very interested in natural ways to look my best. So many factors in our crazy lives can affect the way our skin will look in 30 years. Smoking, drinking and zit picking affect the way your skin appears. Ultraviolet radiation also has a huge impact on the way you age.

What exactly does sun damage do to our skin?

When these radiations enter our skin, they attack the molecule of oxygen. Oxygen is ESSENTIAL to healthy looking skin and when it is attacked it’s separated into free radicals which have a high reactivity and are toxic. This causes the free radicals to attack proteins, lipids, and DNA molecules stopping the collagen protein from doing its job. Collagen makes the skin smooth and supple. When this process happens the skin starts to appear leathery and wrinkled with age spots.


Vitamin E is a natural oil that when applied to the skin acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent the formation of free radicals that cause skin damage and aging. It also can be an anti-inflammatory. Vitamin E’s essential qualities can work wonders on anyone’s skin.

Anti-Aging: Because it prevents damage to collagen proteins, Vitamin E can reduce visible fine lines and wrinkles. It is proven to be a valuable key ingredient in many anti-aging creams.

Sun Burns and Sun Protection: Vitamin E oil is used to treat sunburns. The vitamins are absorbed by the epidermis layer of the skin. It soothes the ultraviolet damage. Most sunscreens contain this oil because it enhances the effect of sun protection. To get the best results, you should apply it 20 minutes before sun exposure.

Treating Scars: Vitamin E oil is used for scar removal. When regularly applied, the agents soften the skin and lighten the mark within a few weeks. It can also be used to reduce stretch marks.

Other Benefits: Vitamin E oil prevents water loss from the skin and helps to retain its natural moisture. Thus, it makes dull, dry skin look healthy and moisturized. When used for the purpose of deep pores cleansing of dry skin, it helps to sustain the skin’s oil balance.

Home Recipes

I have used two at home recipes containing Vitamin E from “The Big-Ass Book of Crafts” to make face scrub and lip shine. I like making my own products because it allows me to know exactly what I’m putting on my skin.

Vitamin E Face Scrub

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup finely granulated sugar
  • 15 drops of vitamin E oil
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 bar unused glycerin facial soap (or your regular face soap)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cheese grater
  • Moisture-proof container

Here’s How:

  1. Grate bar of soap with cheese grater.
  2. Pour salt, vitamin E oil, and olive oil into large bowl, and mix well.
  3. Add grated soap, mix thoroughly
  4. Pour mixture into container.

Lemon Lip Shine

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons Crisco or vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon grated paraffin wax
  • 10 drops vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops lemon oil
  • Bowl
  • Small, handsome containers

Here’s How:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in your bowl.
  2. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds. If that doesn’t melt everything, then nuke it for another 10 seconds, until completely melted.
  3. Pour mixture into containers, and let cool to room temperature.

For more ways to naturally take care of your skin visit d.i.y. naturally.

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