Monday, March 5, 2012

Beauty Myths Uncovered: Fact vs Fiction

It's true ... Sometimes you just have to draw the line. Too bad they don't teach these lessons in school, because there is a whole lot of fiction to beauty advice. Here are some Beauty Myths you need to know. 

Spot Reducing Exercise Works or You can turn Fat into Muscle 
This is scientifically impossible ... fat and muscle are two completely different types of tissue and nothing can convert one to the other. The layers are: Skin. Fat. Muscle. In that order. To see that six pack ab you need less fat over lean muscle! (Check out my Post about Skinny Fat)

Rinsing Hair in Cold Water Makes it Shinier & Cutting Hair Makes it Grow Faster
These ideas have been around a long time, but hair is dead and water is water. Although a splash of cold water will wake you up, if you want to make your cuticle smoother try a proper conditioner instead. Cutting or not cutting cannot stimulate growth, nor can brushing it 100 times a day ... more likely it will just pull more strands from your head.

Chocolate and Greasy Foods Cause Break Outs
According to dermatologists this is untrue, unless maybe you are smearing it across your face. The only foods known to exacerbate acne are those that contain high amounts of iodine like sushi, shellfish and soy sauce.

Tanning Clears up Bad Skin
For a brief moment a tan may mask the appearance of your acne but the sun can make the skin dry and irritated leading to more breakouts in the future! Plus, the sun's rays can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Scrubbing your face or washing it too much,  can also irritate the skin and lead to more eruptions.
Cucumbers or Preparation H Deflates Puffiness Under Eyes
There is no magic ingredient in cucumbers that will depuff your skin, but anything cold that is placed under the eye will help and because cucumbers are able to stay cold for long periods of time out of the refrigerator ...  "cool as a cucumber" is notably why this seems to work. The truth is that anything cold will do the trick so try placing spoons in a glass of ice underneath your eyes in the morning to reduce swelling.

Make up artists have long touted the magic effects of Preparation H to reduce inflammation under the eyes, but the active ingredient responsible for this, phenylephrine, is no longer found in the version available in the U.S. so unless you ordered in from Canada it is not present. (Check out my post about How to Depuff and Conceal Under Eye Circles)

Matching Eye Shadow with Eye Color Makes Your Eyes Pop
The fact is that it's the colors directly opposite of your eye color on the color wheel, called complimentary colors, that will compliment your eyes and give you your most dramatic look. Your shoes can match your outfit, but your eye color should match your complexion.  (Check out your best colors in my post Beyond a SHADOW of doubt ... the perfect color for your eyes!)

Organic Beauty Products Are Safer
Not always! There is no evidence that organic beauty products are better for your skin and some have a short shelf and could be harmful if the ingredients expire. This is a highly unregulated area and just because something is marked natural it still might contain bad stuff.

Misting Your Face with Water During Long Flights is Hydrating
Actually, the opposite occurs. After the water evaporates it makes your skin drier. Better to choose an actual moisturizer or a mist that has glycerin.

Cold Water Will Shrink Your Pores
Although you can temporarily make them look smaller with certain products, pore size is genetic and cannot be altered. Cold water constricts so the skin feels tighter, however, when pores are clogged with oil and dead skin they look bigger so clean them out!

Dry Skin Causes Wrinkles
If only moisturizers could keep the lines away! Unforunately, wrinkles form when collagen breaks down way beneath the surface of the skin. Sun exposure is the number one cause of collagen degeneration so use a moisturizer with a high SPF and an anti-aging antioxidant like Vitamin C. 

Shaving Will Make Your Hair Grow Back Darker/Thicker and Plucking a Gray Hair Will Make 10 More Grow in its Place
You are born with a certain number of hair follicles at birth. It is an urban legend that anything can create more. Plus only hormones can change the color or thickness of a hair. Uncut hairs thin at the tip naturally, they may appear thicker after cut when they begin to surface again until they taper.  If they seem darker it is only the perception as it grows in next to the paleness of your complexion. Neither is a reality. (Check out my post about Defuzzing the Myth of the Female Moustache)

Don't become over zealous when plucking out a gray hair on your head or your eyebrow, only one will grow back, but you may damage the root and a hair that can be colored at the salon is better than no hair at all! :)

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bracelet Style Arm Candy. Layering Rules of the Wrist!

Photos via Pinterest

This is the season of the Wrist! 
Layered bracelets have been on trend for about a year, but in case you've been hesitant in doing it yourself now is the time to look through your jewelry box to dig out old charm bracelets, family heirlooms,  friendship beads, or if you're lucky, a gold Cartier love bracelet ... anything that is important to you! In fact, the more you have the better!

 There are no rules here, but here are some tips:

In my opinion, 5 to 7 inches is about as high up as you want to go, but make sure you have at least 3 layering pieces.

From glam to ethnic to biker rock ... everything goes!

Women are stacking mixed metals, varying widths, vintage, bangles, leather, fine jewelry, embellished costume jewelry, beaded, braided or different colors.

At the center of many of these looks is a great watch! 

Keep in mind that you will probably be questioned about the meaning of these stacks ... add something personal and tell the story, reliving the moments each time you do! 

One important tip is to make sure your bracelets are fitting snug and not overlapping each other too much.

Remember to keep the statement on your wrists and not to overpower the rest of your look with big necklaces and earrings or you will start to look like a walking Christmas tree! 

                                                                                                                        via Michael Kors 

Think of this as chaotic arm candy and head over to places like Forever 21 and H & M to fill in any missing pieces. Mostly, have fun creating your very own chic signature look!

If you liked this check out my new blog about the new ruler in town ... The statement necklace!

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Move for a photo - Coco Rocha style! Take pictures like a model.

                                                                                        photo by Christopher Barr Photography

It is not true that a beautiful girl just naturally takes a beautiful photo.

Many times the prettiest girl doesn’t make it as a model because she has no clue how to work a camera. She is sweet, humble, modest … and because she hears all the time how beautiful she is, this girl says "ok, I’m gorgeous" and bounces around making all sorts of goofy faces, falling into old habits like slouching or weird poses during a test shoot when the pressure is on. None of which translates into a beautiful photo.

Any girl is capable of more than this, which is why not only the beautiful girls get modeling agents. You have to become arrogant when the camera is turned on you. You must give an attitude to the photographer like “I am doing you a favor letting you take my picture!” Leave the sweet, innocent vibe at home … it will be there waiting for you when you walk through the door, but at a photo shoot you MUST be in control. Think to yourself, they could have picked any girl, and they chose ME! I am going to remind them of the reason why! 

Ahhhh, Yes... Confidence! This is what it is about and it radiates from within your head all the way to your fingertips. Last month I did a photo shoot for the Phoenician (behind the scenes photo above) and the photographer gave me the most wonderful compliment. This is what he wrote: 

     "By the way, you were awesome ... it is such a pleasure to work with pros that bring more than just genetics to a shoot. The shoot archive is strong and your one of the reasons why."

Out-takes from another commercial shoot that my makeup artist, Giselle Fox, took with her camera phone. 

When the Camera is ON so are you. When the camera is DOWN you can go back to being yourself. 

What to do? You are on the beach in a bikini. You have a top and a bottom. No props, just you and your confidence. Sounds a little intimidating doesn't it? Rather than only striking a pose and giving a smile ... you can play with your hair, toss your head, arch your back, stick out your butt, turn, dance, crack up laughing, splash the water, the options are really endless when you free your mind and let yourself really model.  Check the stupid faces at the door, and think arrogant attitude … own the photo with your face, oozing confidence and control the entire time. 

Watch and Learn - Coco Rocha as she gets the cover shot in less than 20 moves - This is how you Move on camera!

My friend and fellow Ford model, Katie Reed says, 

"Models don't just pout their lips. They have to be willing to open up. They have to show us a little of their soul. Their secrets. Nobody wants to see photos of weak people. We look at great models because they open up from a position of strength."

There are a lot of books out there to tell you what a model does, types of models, how to get an agency, modeling lingo, etc but really EVERY girl wants to know how to take better pictures and my book can tell you the secrets behind the science of doing so. Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and make up artist on how to become Picture Perfect! is available for $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as a paperback on What are you waiting for? Time to OWN my book and YOUR photos!