Balanced Guru Detox Scalp Review

Balanced Guru Detox Scalp
Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing some of my recent favorites for hair care. My hair has a lot going on, I color roots every six weeks, have Keratin treatments every six months and also I like to do my own blowouts. Also, I had a baby last year so this means that while I was pregnant my hair looked incredible thanks to the hormones and in this past fall/ winter I experienced significant hair loss (boo) – all this is normal. Chemicals and heat tend to weaken the hair and dry it out so I am trying to add more natural treatments, conditioner and less styling although the latter is awful hard for me personally. In the name of going more organic with the hair situation, I decided to give this Balanced Guru Detox Scalp treatment a try. My scalp can be oily after a few days of not washing and also parts of it feel dry sometimes.

One of the best haircare tips I’ve ever been given is to not wash everyday, as this strips the hair of natural oils. Between washes I manage by using dry shampoo, sometimes baking soda on its own and doing ponytails, seems to work well. However, by the time I wash my scalp is a little greasy mess, which is normal so this when the Detox Scalp came in handy. Balanced Guru Detox Scalp has oregano, tea tree oil and rosemary essential oils to help the root of the head have a fresh clean feeling. Topically, essential oils like tea tree aid in the removal of sebum and buildup of product, things that happen when you style your hair like I do.

This product works best when applied onto the scalp and gently massage with fingertips (I did after washing my hair). No need to rinse. It is very soothing and does not leave any residue or sting-like sensation. Balanced Guru Detox Scalp is 100% cruelty-free, recyclable, and biodegradable, uses certified organic ingredients.

Retails $23 and for half an ounce bottle $12, can be bought at Balanced Guru and Amazon.

**This product was given to me for editorial consideration as a press sample, opinions all my own.

Five Makeup Tips From A Pro Makeup Artist

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“What are your top five makeup tips?”. I get asked this question A LOT. Over the years and after applying makeup on different continents, weather patterns, skin tones, ethnic backgrounds, age groups from young to mature, I’ve learned a few tricks, so here they are.

“Your makeup is almost done and you make a mistake on makeup application”. AKA lip lines not clean/straight, brow filling in, eyeshadow fallout, too much bronzer. Do you use foundation to correct the color? NO! Use primer. Primer is colorless and clear, so any mistakes you make on application will NOT be corrected if you use foundation or concealer. Color on color will not cancel out a mistake, it will make it worse. So if you do make a mistake, dab a small amount of primer in the area, I like using a pointed q-tip to clean up.

“I want my lipstick to last a long time without touching up”. No lipstick is going to stay on all day without any touching up, period. Unless you planning to not eat or drink any fluids all day, this is pretty much guaranteed, a touch up is needed. What you can do to allow the lips to have some color and possibly hold a few more hours before touching up, is using a lip stain on exfoliated pre-moistened lips. Usually when I start applying makeup on a client, I will make sure I apply lip balm and towards the end of the makeup being done, I will blot out excess moisture AND apply my first layer of lip stain, followed by a semi-matte lipstick. Your lips will hold a nice color under and this can easily be touched up with gloss.

“My concealer and under eye eyeliner always run!!!”. The under eye area is tricky. In all the experience I’ve had my most effective way to ensure this does not happen is to first of all, use a waterproof eyeliner like Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes and make sure the under eye is hydrated and if you are oily, use oil free primer/ moisturizer mixed with concealer. My next best suggestion is to use makeup setting spray like Skindinavia. Spray a napkin or a Kleenex tissue with Skindinavia setting spray and very gently press on your under eye area a few times over to set the eyeliner and the concealer with the tissue. You can also use a q-tip and go over it with setting spray, like the tissue and gently dab over the eyeliner.

“I want my lashes to look longer”. Use a lash curler (I like Shu Uemura’s). Don’t like eyelash curlers? Use a heated spoon. Either way, this ensures the eyes look more voluminous and open with full lashes in sight. My mother used to curl her lashes with a warm spoon, you can do this by blowing heat on a dryer or simply by running hot water. Test the temperature before putting it on your eyelashes. Press the edge of the spoon gently while holding your lashes to curl them nicely. I also suggest separating lashes with a fan brush, after your mascara is on, if your lashes are sparse it won’t look clumpy or like they are stuck together.

“I have a party, event, wedding, photo shoot, or special dinner and want my skin to look amazing”. Skip alcohol, lower your caffeine intake and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Eating your water hydrates your body much better than drinking it. Eat up watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and melon, all mostly water vegetables. Skip salty meals, soy sauce, fizzy drinks, soda, sugary drinks, ease up or have no dairy, all these bloat the skin or cause breakouts in some way. This is how skin will photograph well and look radiant. If you think it is all in the makeup, well some of it is, but tired skin has a particular appearance and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had brides and models show up to makeup with bad skin as a result of not taking these precautions.

What’s your thoughts on these tips? Do you have any you want to share?

Browhaus NYC Lash Curl Review

IMG_5192This a review of a Lash Curl service at Browhaus in Soho. Browhaus NYC offers a lash curl service that I got to try last Saturday, the Lash Curl Up (see my before and after photos). Back in Singapore I used to be a regular client of Browhaus for my brow and lip threading. One of the things I loved was their high level of salon service.  True to form, my lash curl at Browhaus NYC did not let me down!  The service itself took about 45 min and while it is getting done, you drift off as your eyes are closed for that length of time.  Your lashes are literally curled from the root up and a solution is placed while your eyes are shut. This procedure does not hurt, sting or tug in any way. Lash expert Santi explained the entire procedure step by step and gave me great tips on aftercare, he really knew his stuff. Essentially, Santi advised no water for about two days on the curled lashes and avoid using mascara because of the wax.  Once the two-day wait period is over makeup can be used and the lashes can get wet again. Other tips are to refrain from tugging or pulling on lashes. This lash curling treatment can last up to two months.

My thoughts on this – if you are blessed with long lashes and wear a lot of mascara, this treatment will definitely add extra OOMPH factor, your eyes will pop! For brides and a special events, this is also a fabulous idea just plan ahead and make sure this isn’t a last minute thing. If you don’t want to wear mascara everyday, this will cut your getting ready time considerably, I haven’t had the need for mascara since getting my lashes curled, they look pretty spectacular.

 Browhaus also offers a full salon range of services brow treatments, eyelash extensions, eye and lip define as well as threading and tweezing experts. I can’t wait to go back to try more stuff! Thanks Browhaus NYC. **Treatment was complimentary

LA Girl HD Concealer Review

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This is one of my most favorite budget concealers. The LA Girl HD Concealer is a great budget find. Always on the hunt for a good affordable concealer to recommend my budget conscious readers, this will cost $2.80 (thanks to Ebay) plus shipping, less than $10. Incidentally per my suggestion, thanks to fellow beauty blogger 15MinBeauty and a website called Babble, the LA Girl concealer got picked up as a beauty steal in this article. And LA Girl HD Concealer is a winner offering excellent coverage, a good range of colors for different skin tones, from light to dark and a super finish before or after foundation. One of the reasons why I like this particular concealer lots is the formula allows blending smoothly, a good balance between cream and medium to full coverage sometimes a tough find in a concealer. If you happen to love highlighting (cupid’s bow, cheekbones and the top corner of your brow bone), the LA Girl HD concealer is also excellent for that purpose, just pick up two shades lighter than your tone.

For a guide on highlighting and concealing, please go see my Pinterest boards, I have lots of diagrams to help you understand the how-to’s.

** This is a cruelty free brand and not tested on animals
***I bought this product and opinions are my own
****Available at Drugstore.com

Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids Lipsticks

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This is a drugstore find under $10, so good I bought several colors after trying them out on myself and a client. The Maybelline Vivid lipsticks have been around for a few months. There are about ten colors all ranging from various pinks to orange/ red, ideal for a statement lip, they photograph super well (see my Instagram – Norahlovesmakeup_mua). My verdict is MUST-BUY. Maybelline Vivids are bright and packed with a lot of pigment for a long lasting tint. One thing to remember, these are not super moist lipsticks, they are a semi matte in finish, not a lot of moisture so make sure your lips are not dry or else it will not look pretty. What I liked most is that there is not much feathering or a greasy feel to it, I removed the color using a baby wipe and still had a nice lip tint underneath!

Pro tip – Use a lip liner that is matte for a long lasting effect, blot and re-apply as needed. I used the L’Oreal Colour Riche LeMatte lipcolour as a base before applying the Maybelline Vivid Electric Orange shade 912, the finish product was gorgeous. ** See my own I-phone selfie IMG_4178.

Skincare Favorites Day and Night

IMG_2595A few months ago, I posted this image on Instagram. Here is a short version of my skincare favorites, used both day and night (the cooler temperature has a lot to do with the choices).

1) Mario Badescu Facial Spray (Good for refreshing skin texture day or night)
2) Hada Labo Lotion (My daily shot of hyaluronic acid, an essential ingredient for the best moisture)
3) Embryolisse Moisturizer (No matter how dry the skin, this is fantastic for making skin feel radiant)
4) Bioderma Sensitive Skin Makeup Remover (I will not use another remover on clients or myself, it is the best and it does not feel harsh).

If you want to follow me on Instagram, go to Norahlovesmakeup_mua

Brush Love For Bdellium Tools

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“The brush is an extension of the hand and is a fundamental tool for a makeup artist whether he/ she is a professional or amateur makeup artist, his canvas is the face.”
– Dany Sanz Make Up Forever creator

When I first started using brushes to apply my makeup I had no idea what I was doing or the importance of having a decent set of brushes, my first brush ever was from MAC cosmetics. FYI – a decent set of brushes do not need to be fancy or expensive, these days drugstore brands make really good ones. The average user needs five at most [blusher, eyeshadow blender, foundation and an angled for eyeliner/ brows]. A makeup artist depending on the level, craft, field needs a lot more variety of brushes especially if you are working regularly and with different mediums (TV, bridal, stage, editorial, film, HD cameras). I must also point out, cleaning your brushes is essential! If you do this regularly, your brushes and application will always remain good. In my case, I have brushes more than 10 years old and I clean them religiously.

This post is just a recommendation for Bdellium Tools brushes which had been on my radar for a while. Unfortunately, Bdellium Tools was not for sale in Singapore and shipping costs made it twice the cost. This year while at the Makeup Show NYC, I spent time looking and testing as well as being fortunate enough to receive a complimentary brush in my goodie bag.

I ended up buying several eye blending and shading brushes from the Pink and Yellow bambu series, my pro-discount at the show was very generous. For retail I also think Bdellium are totally affordable much more accessible than MAC or Sephora brand. The Pink and Yellow series are eco-friendly and vegan soft synthetic bristles, they are amazing and so far, I am very happy with my purchase. For a while I’d been looking for an alternative to my MAC 217 blending brush and the Real Techniques shading brushes. If you are looking to buy/ try these lovely makeup brushes, here is a list of where they are available.

I’ve Been Away

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Sometimes we need to take time out from the stress and I did exactly just that. January was pretty busy with work then I embarked on a break and two journeys which were much needed but fret not, I have new skincare reviews coming up! BTW, my Pinterest boards have been en fuego – I have been very active on them, please check them out. I have a super popular Karl Lagerfeld board, plus my other hugely followed Makeup How-To where I’ve assembled advice and guides on how to apply your makeup and skincare, infographs and useful information for all types.

How To Keep Your Makeup From Melting This Holiday Party Season


It’s been a hot minute since my last entry and updates there will be, as in some minor cosmetic changes to my blog plus more. I have been trying new spas, going to events, working events all throughout the month of November.

I have compiled some GOOD advice on very simple steps that will keep your makeup fresh and looking pretty this holiday season. This is my personal routine when I am out and know there will be little time for touch ups.

Before applying makeup – Prep your skin with a good primer! This is basic makeup 101. A primer will create a nice first layer to hold that foundation or tinted moisturizer. If you are going out in the daytime, use something like Dermalogica Age Smart SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30, I blogged about it back in November, great product for the most sensitive skin types.

For an evening event, I like Smashbox Photo Finish Light Primer, it is an oil free formula and very good for those of us living in humid conditions or if you are going out to a party where lots of dancing, eating and/ or drinking will be involved.

Seal your makeup – once the eyes, face, blusher, lips are done, I highly recommend using makeup setting spray, one of my top favorites is Skindinavia which ships worldwide and is a staple in my kit. Of course makeup primer will be very useful in this party prep process but for the ultimate all day/ night secret weapon, use makeup setting spray at the end. I spritz using a tissue under my eyeliner, over my eyelids and all over the face. One word of advice I give is to make sure you cleanse very well before bed, use a makeup remover like Bioderma or if your eyes are closing and you can’t get to a sink, use makeup remover wipes! Do not sleep with makeup on, that is an open call for clogged pores and bacteria.

Blot. Blot. Blot – I love blotting paper, it is the best invention since makeup spray! Blotting paper removes a thin layer of shine and oil, it is so easy and practical, I feel it is infinite times better than applying powder. Months ago, I also blogged about my love for blotting. I use Gatsby, Muji and Clean and Clear, found at most pharmacies and beauty stores. When you blot, focus on the T-zone and pat gently to remove excess shine.

Image credit coterieinc.tumblr.com

Want To Learn From The Pros? (Makeup and Styling)


Want to personally learn from the makeup pro? If you are in Singapore, join me and Carla K stylist on August 30th, 2012 from 6-10pm for a very unique workshop on learning how to dress according to your body type, shape, skin colour AND incorporate your makeup look. You get to work with a stylist and a professional makeup artist for the evening! Do you want to learn how to shop for your body shape, colour tones and personality? Get all the latest trends and how to wear/ mix them? This is your chance.

To get your advanced ticket, go to this link, book your space. This will sell out!

If you have always wanted to book a stylist/ makeup artist, our event is an informative and fun way to experience being styled while learning what suits you best from a fashion and makeup perspective. All important aspects of personal style will be addressed in one evening of fun, friends and good wine. Attendees will receive insider tips on the best online and retail stores in Singapore. There will be door prizes too! Don’t miss out.

Cannot wait to meet everyone!