Lipstick Lust

By Misti Blu Day

 

1) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo: High pigments and soft with lasting wear that does not crack or peel. This line is my favorite matte series.   Shop

2) Sigma gloss in Lip Vex: The Lip Vex contains a smooth, creamy finish and long-wearing shine for versatility and everyday glamour. Paraben-free. Shop

3) Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in Audacious: Another great matte series that does not flake unless you are like me and wear it for days. If that is the case I suggest with any lipstick to apply a chapstick basecoat so your lips do not dry out. And instead of reapplying, wipe off and start over or any product it will get cakey and gummy overtime. I love the bright pigment. Perfect orangey shade to mix it up. Shop

4) Baby Lips by Maybelline in Crystal Kiss: This is my go to basecoat to prevent drying out my lips and also for evening, before bed wear. Lipcare is important to maintain moisturize so that you are able to wear highly pigmented lip colors on the daily. Shop

5) MAC Lipstick in Rebel: I go through this color like I do my hot sauce. I am already almost out again. I love this rich plum shade. Hands down my alltime favorite.   Shop

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Top 5 Tuesday – Our Top 5 Favorite Photo Apps

One of our favorite things is to take beautiful pictures that captures our favorite moments. Luckily, Misti Blu is an accomplished photographer but let’s face it, having the equipment to take all these pictures on the fly is just not an option. That’s where our handy dandy phones come to the rescue, but what do you do when you’ve captured a beautiful shot but it looks flat and uninspired?

Photo Apps to the rescue!

Many of the best photo Apps have a wide variety of options from preset adjustments to full autonomy where you can choose what the picture needs to adjust. I’ve also been known to use multiple apps on the same picture if I’m looking for a certain effect. Here are the ones we are playing with now but tell us your favorites!

1) Autodesk Pixlr 

This is a free app that gives tons of options for presets and is one of my favorites for selfies. Why? Because it has a lovely button to create a smooth glow to the picture. I also love their text options, borders and overlays that can add anything from laser beams to pretty morning light flecks that add a touch of magic.

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What I don’t like is their stickers. Though I’m not one to use them on the regular to begin with, I personally find their options cheesy.

*Bonus Feature: If you have a blemish there’s a “heal” button that will eliminate it. Sigh…if only there was one in real life.

2) VSCO

My son turned me on to this free app about a month ago. Though their options for presets are limited in the free version, I do love the many easy to use options to adjust the picture by hand. I find this app particularly helpful when I take a picture that is too dark. Sometimes just changing the lighting and contrast won’t cut it. The color and sharpness may get lost in the process which is where this app really shines. From tint colors, saturation, sharpness….I’ve taken pictures that were unrecognizable to wow in moments.

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*What I don’t like? There’s no add ons, like writing text or overlays but as a straight up photo editor, it kicks ass.

3) TextsPhoto

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Admittedly I’m just starting to play around with this one. I’ve tried several apps that add texts along with the option of banners and stickers for my advertising. Though you have to pay .99 cents to get all the font options, they still give you enough for free to feel like you can mix it up a bit. I love their banners, seals and scrolling that you can add to the picture however I’m still figuring out how to adequately shrink the text with out tilting it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so to see a line of text ever so slightly askew and I keep overshooting to make it straight again, I get frustrated and trash the whole project.

Again, this one has been superior than some of the other “just add text” apps but still has its quirks. I still use Pixlr Express because its a little more user friendly but it definitely does not have all the options that this app has.

4) Afterglow


  
Afterglow is Misti’s go to app. You can resize images into squares for Instagram, play with filters, add light leaks or film scratches, record actions and save them for easier and faster use. I love how artsy you can make an image. If I could change one thing about it, it would be that there was a text option.




5) Diptic



Diptic is a collage app that also lets you adjust filters, borders, color, text, etc. I especially love that it does not add it’s logo to your collage when done, like the other collage apps I have tried. It is great for personal as well as professional. I use it a lot for before and after shots and for marketing. Super simple and saves your favorite templates.

Shoutouts:
ABM: Cute and quirky fun photo app with filters and stickers and texts to dress up and photo on the fly.
 

Hipstamatic: Artsy film style camera that let’s you collect and use different lenses, film, flashes, etc. Great for the film nerd who misses their old camera.

 

A New Yorker in Florida: Top 5 Things that are Surprising to the NY transplant

In NY, particularly on Long Island, it is very common to hear neighbors and friend defecting to the Sunshine State.

“Geez, I can’t take this cold anymore! And my taxes are, like, 16k on my friggin’ house. I can’t take it! I’m soooo moving to Florida.”

Being a popular vacation destination for my fellow New Yorkers it would seem natural to want to live in the paradise that we visit a couple times a year.

Well, about a year ago, my family and I moved to Florida from Long Island, NY which was not a decision we took lightly. The winters had become too harsh and with the cost of living was going up exponentially, so we decided to cut the cord from our Motherland and become Floridians. Aside from the obvious changes, such as climate, we knew that our lifestyle would be altered drastically but there were a few changes that were surprising to this hardcore New Yorker.

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The speed is much slower.

Yes, this seems obvious but it’s far more jolting than what you imagine. On Long Island at least, there is an ever present urgency to get things done that I wasn’t aware existed in my day to day life until I moved here. Deadlines, schedules, and specific goals were always present which made everything from driving through traffic to grocery shopping a “gotta go, go, go” mindset.

Was I aware of it? Nooooo. When you’re living in a constant state of urgency you really are not aware that the rest of the world doesn’t roll that way. In Florida, it gets done when it gets done. Though I’m sure there’s exceptions,  for the most part, there’s not a whole lot of rushing around to get things done. It took several months to take things down a notch and even then, I’m still “that intense New Yorker”.

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Cookie Cutter Houses and HOA’s. 

I come from an area where the houses are often unique and personalized. You can have a Tutor home next to a Victorian and down the block a basic Cape. Each of them with their own personality that the family chooses to decorate with. Though there are some areas that have  their unique styles (see Cocoa Village) most areas are developments that have near identical houses with very few adornments to separate one house from another. This is often due to Home Owner Association (HOAs) that keep a certain standard so that property values stay consistent.

At first, this seemed very attractive. When you have lived next to a house that had an obsession with collecting beer and soda cans on the side of the house that left a certain aroma on hot summer days, yeah, an HOA would handle that.

However, as time passed, I can’t help but feel like I have been homogenized and sanitized to the point that I want to throw some funky colored paint on my house, put up a Gothic fence and a coffin mailbox just to stand out a little….or a lot. So get accustomed to accidentally pulling up to your neighbors identical house a few times or find areas that are pre-HOA. image

Photo credit to David Daniels

Photo credit to David Daniels

 

The Beaches are INSANE! 

I grew up on an island so living near the water seems necessary. Granted, I NEVER went to Jones Beach. The endless and expensive  parking lots, the loooong walk to the actual beach (through a smelly dank tunnel), then trying to find a spot that isn’t too close to the overflowing garbage cans….nope. Never appealed to me. Now I live a short trip to Cocoa Beach area. The parking is easy, inexpensive and is within steps of the beach. The walkway onto the beach is like a oasis of exotic plants. Each time I go, I use a different entry and they are all magical. The beach is so CLEAN yet mysteriously, there are no garbage cans in sight….apparently the locals take their beaches seriously. They leave nothing behind or volunteer to clean up regularly. I have gone to the beach about 2 dozen times since moving here a year ago, which is probably more than my entire life on Long Island.

In Florida for a year and I still can't get away from the black.

In Florida for a year and I still can’t get away from the black.

People don’t wear a lot of black.

 I know, it’s cliche but my entire wardrobe was black when I got here. This is partially because I’m a hairstylist and it’s what we wear but it’s also because I’m from Long Island. It’s a staple to our wardrobe and we have no idea how much black you really wear until you are walking around in the blazing sun. It’s a problem that I am working on. I think I have 5 items of clothing that have color now.

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Floridians are crazy friendly. 

Hey, New Yorkers have their own brand of friendly. Typically a little more formal and reserved, and only when absolutely necessary  but, yeah, we’re nice people, damn it! But here, it’s a whole different level of friendliness that, at first, I felt slightly off balanced. For instance, I go for a walk around my neighborhood, anyone who you cross, whether they are mowing their lawn, driving by or even just picking up their mail, they stop what they are doing and either wave or say hello.

No….I mean, EVERYBODY. It’s weird.

My friend came to visit from NY and we went for a walk. Every time we passed someone they said hello. He would stop talking, give them a suspicious look and say “Do you know them? Why are they saying hello?  Do they want something? Maybe we should avert our eyes” .

It’s not that we don’t like friendliness,  it’s just an adjustment. A lovely one but going back to #1, we are an intense breed of people and are typically too busy in our heads to say hello to every person who walks by.

 

I do have some honorable mentions because I can assure you there are more than 5 things that take some getting use to.

The skyline/sky…the sky should have it’s own show. Always changing and just so BIG with nothing impeding it’s view.

Flip Flops. It’s required so get a pedi and get use to your piggy a being free

Publix. One of the greatest grocery stores EVER.

Pop Up Neighborhoods. Just when you think you’ve gotten use to the lay of the land, a new neighborhood was built with a coordinated town square. Weird.

 

Top 5 Back to School Shopping Tips

imageFor those of us who are starting school in August we are in the thick of Back to School shopping mania. The list that my Kindergartener received is insanely long and will probably add up to close to $100 with a couple of uniform shirts. Add on 2 other kids and the amount of money that you have to lay out is INSANE.

So, here’s my top 5 tips to keep yourself from going off the deep end this time of year.

 

  1. Shop Early. Yeah. A little late for some of us but as the specials roll out, just like at Christmas time, each store has their loss leaders to get you through the door. Take advantage of the obvious. Pencils, notebooks, crayons are usually the most common.
  2. Pick and Choose Your Battles.  Clorox wipes, hand sanitizers, tissues….these items will all be collected and put in a supply closet for future use. If you are strapped for cash, send them in on your next paycheck…it even next month.
  3. They Ask For Brand Names.  Again, pick and choose what MUST be brand names and what can be generic. I refuse to be a slave to a certain brand!
  4. Swap and Shop sites. On Facebook, you can often find items like backpacks, expensive calculators or even gently used school uniforms. Do a little digging. You may be surprised!
  5. Your Child Will Not Need Everything the First Day. I mean really? I get it. We don’t want our kids to have anxiety over not having what they need but do they REALLY need those headphones the first week? If it really stresses you out, go to the Dollar Store and get the stuff that will fall apart after a couple of uses. It’s a buck. You can always replace it.

Top 5 Tuesday – To Get Your Infant Swimming

Katie Girten is a Safe Start instructor at the YMCA. Here are her tips for why you should get your infant swimming now. 

  
1. Drowning is silent. The movie scene of someone screaming and thrashing about is not a reality, silence is all that you get.

2. Florida loses more children between the ages of 0­-14 to drowning than any other state.
This is because we are surrounded by water; rivers, lakes, pools, oceans.

3
. Each year enough children to fill 3 or 4 preschool rooms drown & DO NOT live to see
their 5th birthday. Of all of these children 63% are of ages 4 years and UNDER.

4.
A child will lose consciousness approximately 2 minutes after submersion.
IRREVERSIBLE brain damage occurs after 4­6 minutes.

5
. The Safe Start program is available at local YMCA’s across Central Florida. Most
recently added to the Suntree and Cocoa areas. Safe Start teaches survival in swimwear and in street clothes because accidents can happen at any time. Safe Start IS the most comprehensive survival program in the country. Having financial issues? Scholarship is available. Our motto is “Not one more child drowns in Central Florida.” Don’t think for a second that this can’t apply to you!!! Need more convincing???  I will let my co­worker Justina give you a few more reasons through the following link: K​ids Water Safety with Justina
  
Safe Start with Katie Girten

Top 5 Tuesday – Daily Healthy Skincare Tips from Joyous Faces

1) Cleanse: It is very important that you  cleanse your face. Clean off any oil, loose dead skin cells and dirt from the environmental grime at the end of the day. I know the classic go to is a bar of soap or whatever kind of soap you may have in your shower. That can cause dryness and irritation. I encourage you to purchase a facial cleanser for your skin type.  Neutrogen is a reasonably priced product line that can work for most skin types.

2) Exfoliation: Always make sure that you exfoliate. Use a micro-bead exfoliate facial scrub instead of the apricot scrub. Apricot scrubs, or seed based scrubs, create fine line lacerations that will develop overtime and they can actually assistant in wrinkle creation. The micro-beads roll smoothly on the skin and provide an even exfoliation. This is extremely important. When you exfoliate you remove any dead skin, therefore it sends a message to your brain to create new fresh beautiful skin. It also helps to prevents breakouts and blackheads. Aveeno Positively Radiant is my recommendation for an  exfoliating product.

3) Moisturize: If you want to save the money on your cleanser or your exfoliation material, always put a little bit more money into a  quality moisturizer. With a good moisturizer, make sure it is for your skin type and beneficial for your skin and needs. Always look for Vitamin C as an ingredient. My personal favorite is Dermaware Perfect Fit Hydrator. I carry this at my shop,  Joyous Faces Skincare Studio and Makeup Artistry.

4. Protect: Protection is one of the most important things that you can do for your future self. The sun damage that you are exposed to today will not show up for 20 years. So, right now you may be on the beach looking like hot stuff with your tanning oil and no SPF, however, when you’re 40 it’s going to catch up with you. I always recommend SPF 30 or over for my clients. SPF 30 is the max protection and then the larger the number gets(SPF 50) the longer the sunscreen lasts on your skin. So you really get the protection of the 30 in a 50 but it lasts twice as long. Don’t forget to apply to the neck, décolletage and tops of hands.

5) Hydrate: Drink that H2O!!! Hydration is an essential in the Florida summer heat. Water flushes toxins out of your body. Toxins can otherwise present themselves as facial and/or back breakouts. Water, water, water!

Joy McGregor is a licensed esthetician and Mac Makeup professional. She co-owns a studio called Joyous Faces Skincare Studio and Makeup Artistry  that offers makeup services, facials, spray tans, teeth whitening, lashes, massage and other luxury services. Joyous Faces Skincare Studio and Makeup Artistry is located in Merritt Island, Florida.

Top 5 Tuesday-How to Take Care of Your Hair

  1. How to shampoo: Most of you are shampooing wrong! The most effective way to shampoo your hair is to make sure it is wet enough and creates a lather. If it has been a few days, shampoo twice! I always do and occasionally need to use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup. You only need to shampoo your scalp. When you rinse your hair, it will rinse down through your ends. You want to avoid directly putting shampoo on your ends or it can cause dyness. You should not shampoo everyday. Invest in a good dry shampoo for inbetween.  
  2. Conditioning: The opposite goes for conditioning. You do not want to condition the scalp because it is new, healthy hair and your scalp produces oil already. Conditioning your scalp can cause an oily look and will require you to shampoo sooner. I like to leave the conditioner in while I do the rest of my shower business so that the steam and time helps to open the cuticle and get a deep conditioning.  Finally, make sure you rinse your back after conditioning so that you do not have an oily film that can cause breakouts.  
  3. After Treatment: I chronically torture my hair with hot tools and color services, therefore, I like to use leave in treatments for my poor ends.  For those with curly hair, where the hair bends is more fragile and finer than the other areas of the hair, which means: breakage. Leave in conditioners are important but make sure it is meant to be left in. I hear sometimes people leave their conditioner in and it is not meant for that. 
  4. Haircuts: I know most of the ladies want to grow out their hair, believe me, I am one of them. However, when you have split ends, the ends will continue to split up the hairshaft or break off. Maintaining a trim on a 4-6 week basis will help keep your hail healthy and prevent breakage.   
  5. Hair Ties: Please stop. Just….. Stop. You are causing friction from constantly pulling your hair up and twisting the hair ties around, which erodes the hair and causes breakage. I see this too often with clients. If you feel the need to wear your hair up daily, I suggest getting a haircut or doing something to switch it up so that you are out of your hair rut. Otherwise, I know it gets hot and some of you people live at the gym. Just use with caution and moderately.    

Misti Blu Day is a stylist and co-owns a salon with her brother Danny Day in Cocoa Village called The Big Bang Studio. She was an educator for Sexy Hair and now is beginning training to be be an educator for Peter Coppola