Just to tie up a few loose ends on this 'beauty series', there are a few more things that I feel help me look more polished on-air.... and other hacks that I know my coworkers find useful but I haven't quite figured out yet.
1. FAKE LASHES - I cannot for the life of me get myself to wear fake lashes everyday. They are wildly popular in the industry... and when I do have them on, I feel like a rock star. But I'm just not consistent enough with the glue & application to really get good enough to make them look normal on TV. (I have okay lash length naturally... so I don't hate not having to wear them. But sometimes I feel like I'm the only anchor that doesn't wear them which make my already-mediocre natural lashes look even more wimpy in comparison).
2. BLUSH - I naturally have a lot pink/red in my face... so the idea of blush just confuses me. (Why would I add more pink to my face when I literally wear foundation to hide the pink?) I understand the high cheekbone placement and all... but I just can't get myself to wear it.
3. BOTOX - to be honest, I'm probably not too far from this. I have a few pesky forehead wrinkles that bother me... and one big wrinkle in between my eyebrows. I haven't bit the bullet yet but have asked my dermatologist about price/procedure/etc. It's pretty common in the TV industry because, when being honest, we work in a visual medium & unfortunately, for some messed up reason, an aging woman doesn’t quite have the same “shelf life” as an aging man in TV. But the Botox shots are not something I do personally (yet).
4. FACIALS - many on-air anchors/reporters I know regularly schedule facials - some for skin health, others for preventative measures, some even just for relaxation. I've gotten one or two in my 'TV life' but only as a way to relieve stress. The constant 'full face of make-up' and ungodly hours definitely takes a toll... so I hope to, in the near future, start getting these set-up more frequently. But until then, I'm using the basic night cream and moisturizer to get by.
5. TEETH WHITENING - when I was in high school, I use to whiten my teeth everyday using Crest's white strips. I noticed a difference & they weren't *too expensive. But then I hit a point where my teeth were so sensitive, it wasn't worth it to me anymore. I've asked my dentist about getting trays... but haven't committed yet. (I drink A LOT of coffee & am definitely self-conscious of the stains.) Whitening trays are maybe a "later on down the road" idea, I guess. Until then - I'm happy with the Crest White toothpaste.
6. NAILS - this is a big one for me because I have horrendously ugly nails (self-inflicted... I'm a biter and will literally bring my fingernails to stubs on a high-stress day) & very 'fluffy' (thick) fingers. I also feel like because I do weather & point in front of a green screen, that people are constantly staring at my hands - which makes me even more self-conscious of my fingers. So I pay to get them done every couple of weeks. For years, I wore pink & white acrylics... they were the only thing that seemed to stop me from biting. But recently, I've switched to dip + tips and LOVE IT. They don't seem to be as bulky and quite honestly, last longer. (And I'm told by my much-trendier-sister that dip "is in".) So I'm on-board. I usually go for a neutral pink, beige or white. Anything too crazy, the boss gets cranky (leopard print or super long talons are a no-go).
That's A Wrap
Between hair, makeup, tanning, nails, etc., I tried to cover it all in these last few blogs... just word-vomiting everything that comes to mind regarding each topic. Like I mentioned in the first post, I don't claim to be a "beauty blogger" nor pretend to even know that what I'm doing is correct / works for everyone. I'm just sharing what I know works for me - hoping that it works for you. No freebies or sponsorships - just some recommendations based on personal experience.
Again, I'm an open book on this stuff. If you have questions, I'm going to be honest with you. Feel free to reach out - I'd love to help!
Oof - makeup. The longest part of the "getting-ready" process for me. Because I have to wear quite a bit & reapply often (those bright lights + high-definition cameras are UNFORGIVING), I try to substitute as much high-dollar makeup with drugstore makeup as I can. There are only a few products I'm willing to pay a bit more for (ex. foundation, mascara)... but listen, in market #40 & one income, your girl ain't going to pay +$30 for eye liner. And the half-priced eyebrow pencil on the clearance rack at CVS will work just fine.
**IMPORTANT: I am by no means earning any freebies or sponsorships from this post -- I'm just sharing a few of my favorites with y'all. No paid endorsements, just my opinion (so take it for what it's worth) ;)
FOUNDATION - one of the products I use daily & am willing to shell out a little more for is foundation. I've been using MAC's 'STUDIO FIX' (color: NW20) for years - literally since day 1 on TV. It's not too heavy and it is matte (any foundation with shine or shimmer just makes me look sweaty on-air). I just apply it with a regular triangle makeup sponge. It's about $25 a bottle so it's a bit more than what you'll pay for most the foundations at the drugstore... but to me, the splurge is worth it. I can usually go 2-3 months on one bottle. And it's got sunscreen in it (bonus!)
EYE SHADOW PRIMER - another product I absolutely love is MAC's eye shadow primer (color: "painterly"). A handful of y'all have asked how I get my make-up to stay without creasing, cracking or melting... and this is the secret! I slather on a thin layer before I put on any other eye shadow & it keeps everything in place. It's AH-MAZING.
MASCARA - I can go either way on this one. The Easter Bunny & Santa Claus usually gift me one or two nice mascaras every year (both seem to have access to Mom's Ulta account) - and that will usually last me 2-3 months. My absolute favorite is Lancome's 'Monsiuer Big' mascara. Once the nicer one runs out, I'm usually at the drugstore buying Maybelline's 'Falsie' mascara (purple tube, turquoise writing). *On a related note - I do not curl my lashes. But I do coat the top lashes from below & above. And no mascara on my bottom lashes! (Makes my eyes look smaller on-air)
LIP GLOSS - one of my more recent finds is MAC's "Lipglass" (color: 'Love Nectar'). It's shimmery with a bit of pink. Subtle enough to not think "whoa that girl is wearing too much lipstick" but noticeable enough to say "hey, that girl has gloss on".
LIP PENCIL - another new find! I usually line with MAC's lip pencil (color: "Whirl")... fill in with lipstick (see below) and then put the MAC "lipglass" on top. Good combo for me!
CONCEALER - if there is anything that this job requires, it's a good concealer (our sleep schedules are MESSY). I use iT's 'Bye Bye Under Eye' (color: light sand) and LOVE it! It's a tiny tube but it goes a long way - I use a little less than a pea sized drop each day. It's worth the investment. I very highly recommend!
HIGHLIGHTER - I recently bought MAC's 'Sculpt & Shape' contour palette to give my face a little more definition. I use the 'sculpt' (bottom middle) color under my cheekbones & chin bone. This palette has great colors! I sometimes will use the light/white color to highlight (top of cheekbone) too.
BRONZER - I'm not very picky with bronzer. I'll usually find something on sale at CVS or Walgreens and eyeball something that looks 2 to 3 shades darker than my skin tone. Right now I'm using Physician Formula's 'Multi-Colored Custom Bronzer" (color: light). Good swath of that on the cheekbones & forehead!
EYE SHADOW - Between my Mom, sister & I, we usually gift each other a couple nicer eye shadows for Christmases/birthdays. If I'm buying for myself, I'm either picking a dark shimmery brown or light shimmery peach (shimmer on eyes is okay, but not on the rest of the face). I like the Ulta brand eye shadows - and I think they're reasonably priced. Right now, I'm using what's left of my Urban Decay 'Naked' palette that my sister gave me for Christmas a couple years back. It has lots of browns/beiges but I'm getting down to the "off" colors (blacks, purples, etc) so not sure how long that'll last me. I just picked up a shimmer brown eye shadow from Ulta yesterday to use on the outer crease of my eye. And every once in awhile, I throw in a color off of Smashbox's 'Petal Metal' palette (a Christmas gift from mama).
LIPSTICK - only recently have I gotten into actually wearing lipstick. It's never really been 'my thing' - I'm more of a 'nude gloss' kind of gal. As mentioned above, I'll spend a little more cash on the lip pencil & gloss, but as far as the lipstick itself, I go for Maybelline's matte lipstick (color: "Beige Babe"). Only a few dollars & you can find it at most grocery stores.
EYEBROW PENCIL - I never use to pencil in my eyebrows. I always thought they were dark enough where I didn't need to. But after visiting with our station's brow stylist (she's a miracle worker) I've recently found the value in using the pencil to help define the shape of my brows. So currently, I'm using L'Oreal's 'Brow Stylist Definer' (color: blonde). Cheap & lasts awhile!
EYE LINER - I feel like I fall in the minority of preferring gel liner over pencil.... but I've really grown to like L'Oreal's 'Lacquer Liner' (color: "blackest black"). It goes on easy (given the right brush) and it stays well - no smudges or smears unless I really work at it. I only apply to my top lid! Like mascara, lining the bottom lid makes my eyes looks smaller (more closed) on-air... and that's the last thing I need when working the A.M. shift!
I have a couple other favorites that I love but don't use on-air... mainly because of the shimmer/shine (like I mentioned earlier, shimmer looks like sweat on TV)... but I thought I would share anyway.
The iT 'Color Correcting Illuminating Full Coverage Cream + Anti-Aging Serum' is what I use for foundation on a normal off-day (and again - sunscreen bonus!) And the E.L.F. highlighting stick is fun - I usually put a little slightly above my cheekbone.
REAL TALK: This is the current state of my bronzer. It took a beating on my flight to NM recently... but I'm too cheap to throw it away. So instead of wasting it, I literally have to carefully crush little pieces of it with my brush before putting on. What can I say - I am the way I am.
Let me know if y'all have questions or need more info! I'd be happy to help!
I have somewhat fair skin - naturally pale with only a few freckles & a LOT of moles. I use makeup/bronzer to give my face color... but with any sort of short sleeve outfit, I tend to look very washed out under the studio lights (and the light blonde hair doesn't help).
I burn pretty easy out in the sun and only until I get that sunburn, do I tan. So I've had to find an alternative to the "sunkissed look" without actually being out in the sun. Que the orange hands & smelly lotions!
**IMPORTANT: this is not a paid post or sponsorship. This is just me helping out my fellow pale/ashy sisters & brothers. There's no paycheck at the end of this -- & I can promise you, there's a high chance L'Oreal doesn't know I even exist.
Like hairspray, I've tried 'em all when it comes to self tanners. Foams, sprays, mist, lotion... it's been a +10 year battle that stretches back to my high school days in finding one that works for me.
My absolute favorite is the Jergens' 'Instant Sun' foam. I've found it to be the one that spreads most evenly & shows a noticeable (but somewhat "natural"... or as natural as a self tan could be) color. It stains pretty good so it's definitely one of those that you want to wash off your hands as soon as you're done applying. But I found it to be the one that works the best so I use it most frequently.
The Jergens' 'Natural Glow' lotion isn't too bad - I've probably used this one the longest (again, we're talking all the way back to my high school cheerleading days). My biggest problem with it is the smell. It just wreaks of spoiled lotion to me. Not my jam... but when desperate, I'll use it.
The Neutrogena Micro-Mist is probably my least favorite only because it's tough to apply evenly. I always end up with darker spots/streaks - whether it be because I accidentally sprayed too close or too much in one area over another. It doesn't seem to smell as bad... but then again, nobody wants zebra legs. Be cautious of splotches & streaks!
The Coco Glow sunless tanner is another favorite - but also the priciest. I bought this at a fun product party hosted by my girls Steph & Rosie. I would buy this again... but because it's a little more expensive, it's not an everyday use for me. 10/10 on the smell though!
The L'Oreal 'Sublime Bronze' lotion is hit & miss for me. I like the color - it usually gives me a good "bronzed" look... but it has a shimmer in it that tends to shed glitter ALL OVER (dresses, bedsheets, etc.) Good if you need a quick darker shade... but also prepare for the "shimmer dandruff" all over EVERYthing.
There's just something about a fresh spray tan that makes me feel better and more confident in an outfit. (And in a visual industry like TV, a little boost in self-confidence isn't necessarily a bad thing considering there seems to always be a mean viewer email lurking in the inbox every week.)
I usually get one spray tan a week using the Mystic machine (no person, just a machine that sprays your front & back twice). If money grew on trees, I would get spray tans that are given by an actual person - but those tend to be much more expensive. So I'll stick with the non-judgmental machine.
Right now, I have a membership at one of the salons here in town. I pay about $60/month for unlimited tans... and then an extra $7 for each spray (this charge is for the dark spray, I think the medium is free). I'll usually go at the end-of-the-day on Tuesdays (my "Sunday") so I can sleep on it and no one will have to bear the smell or see me looking like a trash can for the eight hours while it sets. But a shower is always a MUST the following day!
Spray Tan Fails
Spray tanning is like a recipe - there's a procedure that must be followed to get a certain result. And despite the fact that I've been getting them for years, embarrassingly, I still have many #SprayTanFails. Most commonly, forgetting to wash my hands afterwards, only to wake up with very dirty-looking hands the next day (we're talking, "planted in the garden for hours" kind of look). I've also gone too far the other way and washed ALL of it off my hands to the point where it looked like I went in wearing gloves (it left such a massive tan line, that a viewer messaged me the following day asking if I ride motorcycles. I was too ashamed to tell him the real reason - so I never responded. (I apologize to whoever that was!)
Most recently, the overhead sprinkler within the machine dribbled one drop of water while I was still in there... and needless to say, that left a mark.
it's not for everyone
Bottom line - I tan because it makes me feel better about myself. In no way do I think it's required to look good or needed for everybody. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But for the pale girls like me looking for a little more of a darker shade, I would recommend a spray tan over the tanning bed any day. Back in high school, my mom let me use a tanning bed before prom. At the time, I loved it. But now, I would never. Not worth the health risk - and if you've never burned under the lights in a bed, let me tell you, it's horrible (VERY itchy & painful). I'm happy fakin' it with the spray or lotion!
Let me know if you have any questions, feedback or comments! I'd love to hear!
Hair is quite honestly one of my biggest struggles when it comes to my on-air appearance. Some days, my hair cooperates & I feel like a total rock star... other days, it's like fighting with a drunk person & I just want to throw it up in a ponytail and be done with it. (Then there's the really really bad days where I just want to chop it all off). I've spent the last 7 years trying to find a TV look that works for me... and although it's still a work in progress, I'm learning to love the big curls.
I have fairly thin hair... and if we're being real, I don't take care of it as much as I should. (I'm pretty rough with the brush and I show no mercy with my teasing comb - #CloserToGod). But I do splurge on a few quality products... and favor others that I literally find on the clearance shelf at the grocery store.
I don't know much - but I can tell you what I know... and just to be clear, the products listed are my favorites by personal experience. No freebies, sponsorships, or paid endorsements were made - just a regular gal sharing what I found works (and what doesn't).
I don't use a super fancy-schmancy shampoo or conditioner - it's usually whatever is on sale at Ulta / Target. Currently, I'm using Matrix Biolage shampoo & Kenra's conditioner... but I'm not too picky about either. I'll also rotate Tea Tree's conditioner in there but quite honestly, I only buy it for the smell (love everything Eucalyptus!)
Every once in awhile, I'll use Chi's 'Keratin Reconstruction Conditioner'. I use it when I feel my hair needs a good "drink of water" - I'll lather it in & let it sit for a few minutes while I shave or scrub my face. It works wonders but kinda pricey - so definitely not an every day thing for me.
I was born platinum blonde... but as each year passes, I feel my natural hair color gets darker and darker (I may have to give up the 'blonde ghost' one day, but I'm not there yet).
For years, I was on a pretty normal routine of seeing my hair dresser every 6-8 weeks for a full highlight & haircut. I always said the same thing - "I want to be brighter & blonder". The battle to fight the 'dirty blonde' color has been a long one.
But since the end of last year, I've been trying something different. I've been seeing Craig at Craig Piatti Salon for close to a year now. At my first appointment, he had asked if I was in love with the foils & the highlights, etc. I've never had a problem with 'em but he convinced me to try more of a balayage (a 'sweepy, very natural, transition' look) - and instead of using foils, he uses Saran Wrap. It's the oddest thing... but it works! I now get a partial balayage each time I go. It's much pricier than what I'm used to paying (+$200 for the color - a little piece of me dies every time I pay)... but I also only have to go back every 12 weeks. So the longer stretch between colors makes me feel a little better about the expenditure. (But I'm not going to say that paying hundreds of dollars for hair isn't absurd. Because it is. Lol)
My hairdresser turned me on to L'Oreal Professionnel's 'Serie Expert - Repair 10-in-1' - and I HIGHLY recommend. Like I mentioned, my hair is pretty thin and tangles very easily, especially with all the curling. For years, I was using the "It's a Ten - Miracle Leave In Conditioner"... but my stylist told me that wasn't doing much for me. (He literally compared it to putting Pledge on real hardwood.) So for the past several months I've switched to using '10-in-1', spraying a good amount right after I shower... and I've noticed a HUGE difference. Better shine, not as many split ends, just overall, healthier hair. I love this stuff!
I usually do my hair once I get to work so by that point, it's air-dried enough to start curling. I usually curl with a 1.5" curling iron (nothing fancy, it's a CON-AIR that I've had since college).
One of the best products I've found to help with volume --> Living Proof's 'Volumizer'. This stuff is HEAVEN-SENT. I usually spray it on my roots after teasing and post-curling. It's sticky enough to hold but it doesn't leave that 'greasy' look. Ulta carries the entire Living Proof line - all good stuff. Would recommend their dry shampoo too!
The deal-breaker for me is hairspray. I've tried everything... both high-dollar and cheap... and the one product I keep going back for is Tresemme's Extra Hold (4 out of 5 strength - green label). I've been using this FOREVER and love it. It gives just enough to still be able to comb after you spray but holds nicely once set. (And it's cheap, only a few dollars - I literally buy it at the grocery store. In bulk. Lol)
Bonus: a more recent product that I've found (via my hairdresser) is Tecni Art's 'Next Day Hair - Dry Finishing Spray'. I usually use this on my days off when I don't curl. It makes my hair feel thicker... not quite as wispy & weak as it actually is. I think it adds volume - just my opinion.
Let me know if you have any questions! I'd love to hear your comments & feedback.
Last weekend, I took a quick trip back to New Mexico to see friends - my first trip back since the move, and my first flight since the start of the current pandemic.
Background: I've had these flight plans for months. Originally, the trip was scheduled around a former coworker's wedding. Unfortunately, due to COVID19, the wedding was postponed. But given that flights were fairly inexpensive and I hadn't seen my NM friends in close to a year, I decided to keep the planned trip & burn a few vacation days.
Before I left, a few of my coworkers had asked if I was nervous about flying given current circumstances... but I had told them that I was no more worried about coronavirus than I was about the plane going down. We recently reported on all of the precautions airlines were taking to help prevent the spread of the COVID19... and airplanes are likely cleaner now than they've ever been. (Something I witnessed first hand - more on that a bit).
Below is my experience flying to Albuquerque from Austin - in the middle of the pandemic.
I took an Uber to the airport Saturday afternoon, about an hour and a half before my flight. Unsurprisingly, the airport was a ghost town. Very few people were there... and the departure drop off lanes were empty.
Once inside, I used a self check-in kiosk at the Southwest counter. I printed my boarding pass and tagged my bag. As soon as I walked away, there was a Southwest attendant spraying the screen I had just tapped, wiping down the entire counsel. She wasn't messin' around - speedy little thing!
With my bag checked in, I wandered over to the security gate only to see one person scanning IDs/boarding passes. There were only about 6 people in line, all 6 feet apart. It actually only took about 15 minutes to get to the front. Once there, the officer had asked me to pull down my mask to see my face while checking to make sure the ugly mug on my ID was actually me. Lol - it was. And she let me through.
The security process was as pretty close to normal as I remember pre-COVID --take off your shoes, put bags in the bins, nothing in your pockets, etc. I was wearing a mask through this entire process, and one of the TSA officers did ask to see the inside of my mask once I walked through the metal detector. But I didn't consider that a big deal.
I waited at my gate for about 45 minutes before the attendant got on the loudspeaker and informed us that they would only be boarding 10 people at a time. (For those who have never flown Southwest, they typically call up ~60 people at a time, lined up in numerical order given the time you checked in. But now, in order to prevent grouping, only 10 people are asked to line up and they called groups every 10 minutes or so in order to prevent congregation within the tunnel to the plane.
Once on the plane, we were told to spread out and avoid middle seats - windows & aisle seats only. I found a window seat in the middle of the plane, set my purse down and began the process of cleaning my seat. I came armed with a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes. So I wiped down everything... and I mean EVERYTHING. Seat, arm rests, window, air vent, tray table... ALL. OF. IT. And as soon as it was dry enough to sit, I took off my gloves and whipped out the hand sanitizer.
I didn't take my mask off the entire flight. (Mostly because I fell asleep halfway through... but also because I didn't want to take any chances.) I had a layover in Dallas with no plane change. It was then that most of the passengers deboarded... and a cleaning crew came on and wiped down every seat, window and tray before the Dallas->ABQ passengers were allowed to board. (Pre-COVID, I had seen flight attendants to a walk-through to pick up any trash of belongings left-behind... but I'm not sure I've ever seen a crew take cleaning spray to the inside of the plane and wipe down every unoccupied seat. I was impressed.)
The flight from Dallas to Albuquerque was normal, nothing out of the ordinary. But once landing in ABQ, I de-planed into an entirely empty Sunport (Albuquerque airport). Not a single restaurant, gift shop or mini-market was open. It was eerie. I walked to the bathroom and changed my shirt (just in case I missed a germ on the seat or something), then walked downstairs to pick up my bag.
The arrival lanes were just as empty in Albuquerque as the departure area in Austin. Only a few cars - no buses, shuttles or taxis.
Fast forward to the trip home, the experience was about the same. The Sunport was empty, my layover in Las Vegas was quick, and the flight home to Austin was easy. It's been about 24 hours and I don't feel ill or anything out of the norm. Texas has no mandated travel quarantine so I went back to work this morning. I did my best to maintain social distancing at work - and I'll probably make a conscious effort of that for the next several days (just in case).
Bottom line - I didn't feel "scared" or "nervous". Sure, there were things I had to do different. And I didn't see any problem with going over the top with wipes, gloves, sanitizer once on the plane. The only thing that really got me was the emptiness of the airports, parking garages, planes, etc. Big buildings, few people, weirdly quiet. Airports are some of the busiest places in the world. But not in these times. Not now at least.