DIY: At home spa series – 2 Ingredient brightening facial mask

So today I decided  I would treat myself to a little at home spa day and overdose on old episodes of Boardwalk Empire. I really love the whole DIY facial idea, I do them ALL the time and I save trips to the salon for when I need extractions or any other treatments better left to the pros.

When choosing a face mask I often mix up the ingredients based on any skin issues I am having, but I wanted to try a twist on a facial mask I had done before and liked. This facial mask only uses two ingredients and as soon as you peel it off you will see a beautiful difference in your skin! Your pores will be unclogged and your skin will just glow, all in under 20 minutes! You can also use your microwave for this if you want, but I prefer heating things on the stove because you have more control of how hot it gets, this is not important for this recipe, but some ingredients should not be heated much to preserve their properties.

So the first thing you have to do is gather your ingredients, for this one we need a packet of unflavored gelatin and a lemon:

DIY face mask ingredients by sunset park makeup artist Kimberly Ortega

Squeeze the lemon juice and heat up. Meanwhile, add the gelatin to a bowl.

Once the lemon juice is nice and warm, add it to the gelatin. The more you add the thinner the mask will be. Equal parts of gelatin to lemon juice is a good start.

DIY Brightening Face Mask for the skin by brooklyn makeup artist Kimberly Ortega

Mix. I like to make mine thinner for easier application. Smells so yummy!

Face Mask at home, DIY spa day, NYC makeup artist Kimberly Ortega

Apply to your face, and let dry. Avoid getting any on any facial hair or you will enjoy a free wax, if you get it on by accident just rinse that part off instead of peeling. Once you apply, enjoy looking like a plastic doll! lol

I made mine too runny! It was dripping EVERYWHERE! I’ve made this before, so try to use equal parts of lemon juice to gelatin.

Once it’s dry, it will start to crack and you can peel it right off. If you have any problems removing the mask or little bits stuck on your face you can easily rinse them off in warm water. It takes about 15-30 minutes to dry depending on how much you apply, it also has a slight tightening effect that I liked. Give a final rinse in cold water, apply some moisturizer, and enjoy the results! Easy Peasy!



10 Skin mistakes you’re probably making

For the longest time I would get little breakouts along my forehead and cheeks or chin and could never figure out why. I am very strict about my skin care routine, so this was really getting on my nerves, until one day I noticed some patterns in my breakouts and daily life that could be causing my breakouts. Here I list some common skin mistakes you are probably making and how to avoid them.
Common skin mistakes by makeup artist kimberly ortega brooklyn ny
1. Chatting on the cell phone all day.
When you’re glued to your phone, you kind of forget it’s attached to your face. If you aren’t cleaning your phone screen then all that bacteria from your fingers and face are just sitting there spreading themselves all around. Clean your phone screen at least once a day!
2. You wear glasses.
The reason for all those breakouts on my forehead and temples was partly my glasses. Sure, I cleaned my glasses when they got dirty, but I wear makeup almost daily and eventually I found some of it caked under the lens, hiding in the hinges, and under the nose pads. Make sure you are cleaning your glasses daily, or wiping them down with alcohol if you don’t wear makeup to avoid spreading bacteria.
3. You don’t drink water
Whenever someone tells me they don’t drink water, after my initial shock I start looking at their face. People who don’t drink water age faster, your skin needs moisture, from the inside AND the outside. Water also helps keep toxins flushed out of your body. Water IS life, so drink up and watch your skin plump up after your body is properly hydrated. I carry a giant bottle of water around with me all day and drink. I make sure I drink a second one at home. Space out your water consumption for best results and to avoid running to the bathroom every 10 minutes.
4. You eat like crap and never exercise
Sure a healthy weight or weight loss is a nice perk to eating well, but eating healthy foods leads to better skin too. If you can’t or won’t eat healthy fresh foods, then at least invest in quality supplements and get your vitamins that way. Your skin gets vitamins and water LAST as far as your body is concerned your vanity is the least of its worries. To reap the skin benefits of a healthy diet you must change your lifestyle, but I promise the perks extend beyond weight! Exercise increases blood circulation and keeps muscles firm.

5. You LOVE makeup
A common misconception is that makeup causes breakouts, but really, the failure to properly remove makeup causes breakouts.  You are leaving something full of chemicals and heavy ingredients in your skin, and it’s not enough to just wipe it off with some makeup remover and call it a day. You have to get it ALL off. No matter how tired you are, wash your face! I tend to do this when I get home so when I am ready for bed it isn’t such a chore. Keep in mind, some ingredients can be irritating to skin too, so you have to pay attention to what is inside your cosmetics and make sure nothing is bothering your skin. Bismuth and fragrance are usually big culprits for most people, although even something like talc can bother some skin types. Another culprit in this category? Not washing your makeup brushes!!! I am a little appalled by the number of clients and people I meet who say they never wash their makeup brushes. You are applying your makeup with a brush covered in old bacteria, old makeup, and dipping it into your makeup and on your clean face. STOP! It’s as gross as it sounds, and although the risk is slightly less when you only use everything on yourself, there still is a risk for breakouts, skin infections, and skin reactions.

6. You smoke
We all know smoking is bad for you, but it’s really terrible for your skin, you are basically surrounding your face in a cloud of toxins multiple times a day. Quit smoking and enjoy younger looking skin in just a few weeks. Not to mention all the other health benefits of quitting.
7. You love to tan
Growing up in the 90s, no one told us we HAD to wear sunscreen, in fact we mostly avoided it out of laziness or just because sunscreen was so heavy and greasy. These days we know the problems of skin cancer, sun spots, and skin damage caused by the sun. We also have access to tons of sunscreens that aren’t greasy or heavy at all, we have sprays, lotions, and sunscreen built-in to our makeup. There is no excuse to skip the sunscreen, and this is probably right up there with smoking for aging skin at a rapid pace. Slather on at least SPF 30 daily NOW and you will reap the rewards when you’re hitting old age.
8. You don’t sleep on your back
Did you know sleeping on your face causes wrinkles? Especially if you sleep on the same side? You may not realize it, but if you go to your dermatologist I bet they can tell you what side of your face you sleep on with you even saying anything! Sleeping on your back allows your skin to breathe, and it keeps your face off your pillow case. If you must sleep on your side, invest in silk or satin pillowcases and change them often. Changing them often prevents bacteria buildup, and using fabrics like silk or satin allow your face to glide over the fabric and are less likely to cause creasing and wrinkles in the skin from increased pressure.
9. You have a crazy schedule
Lack of sleep causes dark circles, dehydrates skin so wrinkles are more visible, and throws off the way your body functions by causing stress. Remember your beauty is your body’s LAST concern, if you don’t take care of your health it will show there first. Getting plenty of sleep is hard some times but make a schedule and stick to it until it becomes second nature. At least 7 hours is ideal but the more the better! Keep stress levels to a minimum as high levels of stress can affect your sleep schedule also.
10. You hate routine
Ask anyone with great skin their secrets and most will tell you about some awesome product they are using, but the reality is it’s not just the products you use, but how often you use them. If you are not consistent you will never know if a product truly works for you or not, and you won’t see results as intended. Not everyone needs the same skin routine, but you should be following the basics every day to keep your skin healthy and clean. Wash your face, keep it hydrated, don’t sleep in makeup. These little tips add up to healthy skin when done on a daily basis.
Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, I challenge you to keep up your skin care routine for a full 60 days! Let me know if you notice any changes after 60 days, many of you will see results even sooner than that! Remember that flawless makeup starts with a flawless base, so keep on top of your skin care and you won’t even need such heavy makeup anymore.
Beauty Box 5 review by sunset park makeup artist Kimberly Ortega

Review: Beauty Box 5 Subscription

Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook one day, I came across a coupon for Beauty Box 5 and decided to sign up to test them out. They were offering two boxes for the price of one, so I figured that would help me better guage the products in the box. Each box is usually $12 a month, so I thought I was scoring a great deal!

Both boxes arrived rather quickly and at the same time! That part got me excited since their website says they won’t be sent at the same time, and the small boxes fit perfectly in my mailbox so I had no issues with delivery. The boxes are a beautiful teal blue color, and are quite lovely, which is why when I opened it I was seriously dissapointed. Everything was packed beautifully, you could FEEL the love and care that went into packaging that box. Yet, the products themselves were a real let down. Not only did I own a few of them already, but some I had never, ever  heard of, and others I had seen in the local beauty supply shops for less than $5.

Box 1:

Beauty Box 5 review | Park Slope Makeup Artist

My favorite items in the boxes were the Nicka K Eyelight Crayon in Brown. I actually already
own quite a few of these crayons and use them often as cream bases for eye shadows because they blend really well and only $2 for a large amount of product, but I did not have the brown color yet so I was happy to add it to my collection and it worked as well as I expected. I also really loved the BellaPierre Lip and Cheek stain, which I found out retails for $20 on its own! The soft pretty pink color would work well on almost any skin tone, and I put it right in my kit after playing around with it.

Box 2:

Beauty Subscription Box review | Sunset Park makeup artist

For $6 a box this seemed ok, but as makeup lover first, and a makeup pro second I was pretty pissed I even bought this box in the first place. This box is definitely geared toward new makeup lovers and enthusiasts and the only ones I would recommend this for. However, this is also a newer service and they probably may work with better brands in the future. While I did get more than the value of the box, the most expensive item was the cheek and lip tint and I had never heard of it before, but I did enjoy it the most. All in all, I personally would pass on this box, but if you are new to make up and subscription boxes or don’t mind trying obscure brands then this box is worth a try for you, especially if you snag a coupon for them. Another pro to this box is that they did send more full size products than samples in both boxes, but again, maybe they will be able to work with better brands in the future and I be willing to try out another box when that happens.

I did enjoy the whole experience of getting a surprise box of makeup in the mail though, so I decided to sign up for a few others so I could see which was the best. Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite boxes I should add to my try list!

The difference between professional, high-end, drugstore makeup and cosmetics

Hey Everyone ❤

I was recently asked what is the difference between drugstore brand makeup and high end expensive brands. So today I want to share with you guys my thoughts on this subject, I separate makeup into 3 different categories: drugstore/street Makeup, designer/high end makeup, and professional makeup.

In order to understand the difference in your makeup products, you must first understand the ingredients that are used in the creation of makeup. I won’t get too technical here but all products are created with minerals, micas (colors/pigments), and additives of course it is more complex than this but all products usually contain these ingredients. Minerals usually form the base with the addition of additives, and the micas are added to create the colors.

Street makeup is the makeup most women wear on a daily basis, this usually consists of drugstore brands and sometimes a mix of designer makeup. Drugstore makeup is mass produced for profit so what they often do is dilute their products with Titanium Dioxide. This allows them to lower the pigmentation and specialty ingredients level of the products so they can charge much less for them. Now this doesn’t mean they are bad or crappy, this just means they are more ideal for younger girls who don’t need a lot of makeup coverage or everyday wear. I DO use drugstore makeup if I am just headed out to the park or store or running errands, but this is not the stuff I want to use if I know I’m taking pictures or being filmed as today’s cameras are able to catch every TINY detail thanks to the invention of HD. Using drugstore cosmetics for professional photos or even photos taken with a high quality camera will result in your makeup often looking washed out, too light or ashy, and sometimes just "off" in general. However, there are quite a few improvements in today's drugstore brands and many items can be considered pro quality as well. Very rare is the makeup artist without a few drug store staples in their kit.

Designer makeup is what I call the stuff you would normally find in a Sephora or other major department store, some of it can and is very great for professional usage and some of it is just a name brand that profits off their name. Keep in mind Sephora DOES carry some professional quality products. These products can be hit or miss, you have to read the ingredients and determine if the price is worth it or not. For example: I love Urban Decay but many professionals do not use this brand of eyeshadow but for my everyday wear I love it, but since it mainly contains talc the colors are not as vibrant on camera as they appear on me in person so I would not use this to do a bride’s makeup. However brands like Smashbox, Makeup Forever, Dior and Lorac are all “designer” brands of makeup that are also professional quality. These brands are usually beautifully packaged and can range from expensive to affordable.

Professional makeup is basically anything a professional makeup artist would use on a regular basis. These products are designed to last all day, usually are water/sweat/heat proof, and photograph beautifully even in HD. These products are highly pigmented and a little goes a long way, to fall into this category I would say they have to be at least 50% pigments. These products can also be somewhat different from what most people are used to and require proper technique to use them properly. I have seen many girls on YouTube raving about some of these brands and they have a 1lb of it on their face. The beauty of pro products is they are so pigmented that you only need to blend a tiny bit out at a time to achieve a natural flawless look.These brands include; Makeup Forever, Cinema Secrets, RMCA, Kryolan, and Face Atelier. These products are often expensive and come in very simple or plain packaging.

So there you have it, a crash course into the difference in makeup products and of course there is more behind it than this, but, I just wanted to give you makeup newbies some insight into why some products work better than others, why you look amazing in person and terrible in pictures with certain makeup, and how to choose your products wisely. Please keep in mind that there are many dirt cheap products out there that ARE at a professional level and I will keep reviewing them and sharing them all with you!