Beauty Interview With Greek Goddess Lashes CEO, Loula V

For all your beauty advice…

Hello, and welcome to my next beauty interview. I had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO of Greek Goddess Lashes, Loula V.
I met Loula in January, in Miami at a wonderful conference, where I got to hear her speak about her passion for her products.
In addition to creating this awesome line of lashes, Loula is also a recording artist. I got to see her perform her single, Champagne Showers, in Miami. Great, catchy song!
I was excited that Loula was up for an interview, and she was happy to answer the questions I emailed to her.
Take a break from whatever it is you’re doing right now, and read on to learn a little bit more about Loula and her Greek Goddess Lashes!

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  1. Tell us about yourself. Your background in the beauty industry, etc.
    My name is Spiridoula aka Loula and I am born and raised in Greece. It’s hard for some people to say my full name so I had to make it short and cute! I moved to the US when I was 10 years old. I found myself always admiring the models on the covers of the magazines. I just fell in love with beauty instantly… makeup looks in general and the way they posed intrigued me. I started using makeup when I was around 12 years old. My dad was strict with not wearing so much of it so I started with lip gloss and mascara! I would do my mom’s and sister’s makeup, do facial masks, tweeze their brows, put lashes on… the whole works! Even my dad still to this day loves his eyebrows tweezed! Hehe! I loved beauty and making them feel good because then it made me feel good in return. After finishing high school, I had the passion to get my esthetician and makeup license because that was a great way for me to get into jobs with salons, cosmetic retail stores, etc. After I received my license, my focus was more on makeup rather than facials. I had jobs from Victoria’s Secret, to Estee Lauder, Lancôme, working with hair stylists and doing makeup for clients to now working for Anastasia Beverly Hills.
  2. When did Greek Goddess Lashes first come out?
     I knew I wanted to create something on my own, something that I would feel proud of, and wanted to create my “baby” beauty line so I came up with the idea of lashes in the beginning of 2019. 
  3. When you decided to create your own product line, why did you choose lashes?
    Since people get to zoom in so much on what products I’m using on my face while I’m working with them, one question that would pop up on a regular basis was “What lashes are you wearing?” and my answer was these are my own natural lashes I’m not wearing anything besides mascara! Haha! Their response was “Oh wow I can’t believe it , it’s probably because you’re Greek and everyone from Greece has beautiful hair and lashes.” Or “OMG I hate you, I want your long lashes you’re so lucky!” So with all those things said, it made me brainstorm some business ideas.  IMG_0172 (1)
  4. What are your best tips for application/removal? Any secrets you can share for either step?
    The best tip is that the strip should start where your natural bulk of eyelashes begin, if you start too close to the inner corner it will irritate your eyes. To mark where your strip lashes should end, go to the outer corner and count 2-4 lashes inwards. If you have them hanging over, it can pull the eyes down and make your eyes feel uncomfortable. The best way to remove them is to soak a cotton pad in an oil-based makeup remover or coconut, baby, or olive oil. Hold the cotton pad over your closed eye for 20 seconds to loosen the glue. Trust me it’s worth the step… this way you can protect your natural lashes. Repeat as necessary until the lash strip loosens enough to lift away without pulling your the skin. And voila! Since they are reusable, they can be worn up to 20 times depending on how well you take care of them. One of the ways you can clean them is: Soak a cotton ball in makeup remover and gently swab it from the tip of the lashes to the ends to remove glue and makeup residue. Then, turn the lashes over and use a fresh cotton swab soaked in makeup remover to wipe down the other side. Then take a reusable eyelash brush (you can find them on Amazon) and comb them through. Then an important last step is to clean them down with rubbing alcohol. This way they are super clean and bacteria free. Let them dry and store them back in their case. I know for some it can be too many steps but these are great for using them again. If you don’t feel like cleaning them we are a click away to receiving some fresh new lashes to your doorstep!IMG_0175 (1)
  5. Does Greek Goddess Lashes have any new products on the horizon?
     Yes we have a product coming out, which I’m excited about! My first eyelash glue was latex -free which is perfect for people who have sensitive eyes, watery eyes or are allergic to latex. I wanted to create a regular glue for people who don’t have sensitive eyes. It is more durable and dries quicker. I’m excited that we can add regular adhesive as an option as well! Be on the look out sometime in April!  IMG_0167
  6. The packaging is beautiful, very high-end, luxury. It’s honestly the first thing I noticed from the gift bags to the boxes the lashes come in. Can you tell us about the process of deciding on packaging and how involved you were in that process?
    Thank you so much for loving the packaging. That was very important to me because I made sure it was a reflection of what Greek beauty represented. I wanted to incorporate the ancient Greek background with the goddesses, white marble columns, gold wreath accessories in their hair… you get the picture! I was very involved with every detail, intensity of color and size of the box, down to the hot press font. I spent hours choosing the best fit and going back and forth to make sure I was satisfied with the overall look.
    The lashes come in 7 styles. I chose this number because it represents completion. Hey! And who doesn’t want more than one pair in their makeup drawer? This way you can wear a different style of the week if you want to! That’s right, Goddess! They vary from a natural look to 3D volume, this way we can cater to everyone’s preference look. I also want to mention that they are cruelty- free because I don’t believe it’s right in making mink animals suffer to use for our lashes! I won’t go into detail but as I was researching it was disturbing to know what they do to them. That’s why my packaging says “Cruelty-Free and Made With Love” which puts me at ease!
    My packaging bag is so lovely because I didn’t want a plain bag that can be easily thrown out. This bag represents the brand as a whole. I wanted it to attract the eye when you see people carrying them at events, or gifting them! The logo itself is catchy “Which Greek Goddess Are you?” The 7 goddess names I chose were Aphrodite, Athena, Harmonia, Hera, Artemis, Iris and Alectrona. The website can be found in the back so people can easily find us! The gold rope is what sealed the deal. As you hold it, it just makes you feel “luxury” and that’s what it’s about. You should feel luxurious because you are worth it! Making women feel even more stunning and beautiful is my motive. Whether you just want to add more volume to your own lashes or making cancer survivors feel pretty again after losing their own lashes is what matters to me! IMG_0174
  7. Can we find Greek Goddess Lashes in any stores, or are they on your website only?
    Greek Goddess Lashes can be found online at Greekgoddesslashes.com or on Instagram @greekgoddess_lashes . There are also a few local salons (In the Miami area) that carry them. I’m also currently working on a collaboration with a few others so I’m really excited about that!
  8. Besides your own, what are some of your favorite beauty products?
    My new favorite beauty products are from Deluge cosmetics. Their Argan & Collagen Oil for the face is great! Since I have oily skin I apply it at night and it absorbs into my skin well, not leaving it greasy. I love how it makes my skin feel! And when it comes to body I absolutely love their Coffee Scrub! Great for cellulite, firms skin, hydrates skin and smells so yummy! Another favorite beauty product that I absolutely love is the new liquid liner from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I’m very picky with the brush so this liquid liner is exactly what I like! It has a felt tip, it’s waterproof and dries matte!
  9. My favorite question to ask everyone I interview, because each answer is so unique… What’s in your makeup bag? Dump that sucker out and tell us everything!
    Oh, my lord! The bigger the makeup bag the more I stuff it with! I have so many but I’ll start with the smallest one. I have lip liners and lipsticks from Charlotte Tillbury, MAC lipsticks and gloss. Mascara from Chanel. Can’t forget about my bronzer from Guerlain and my highlighter from Becca!  And of course a few brushes from Morphe. We all need tweezers and a pencil sharpener! IMG_0171
  10. Another favorite question… you’re on a desert island and can only have 3 products with you, besides sunscreen. What are they?
    Oh, my… only 3? Hehe! Ok so it would have to be Mario Badescu Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater which is so refreshing and keeps me hydrated. Secondly it would have to be the lip treatment from FRESH. Keeps my lips hydrated and soft. And thirdly it would have to be a lip gloss! Who doesn’t want to still feel pretty!
  11. I’m a big fragrance lover! How about you? Any favorites? Do you stick to just one? If so, which one?
    I’m a HUGE fragrance lover!!! I have so many because I always love smelling good and different all the time. I actually like to mix them as well! A few to name are Maison Margiela “Lemon tree”, Le Labo “Santal 33”, Bond 9 “New York Oud”, Valentino “Born in Roma, Clive Christian “Rock Rose”. Trish McEvoy “100”. So many to name!
  12. Along with creating these amazing lashes, you’re also a recording artist. I had the pleasure of seeing you perform one of your songs at the VIP World Conference in Miami. I get Champagne Showers in my head, a lot. Fun song! Tell us about your music and where we can find you!
    So glad to hear that! It’s really a catchy and fun song! Glad you were there to witness it at the World Conference that was hosted by my friend and fitness coach Jennifer Nicole Lee. That woman is my angel! My music can be found on iTunes, Spotify and other major platforms. I’m currently working on my EP and can’t wait to share it with the world. I have been on features with Latin artists Gerry Capo, Elegante and Richy West. When I first moved to the states, Latin music gravitated me aside from Greek music. Love the reggaeton music because it makes you want to dance! My artist name goes by “Loula V”. The letter V stands for Versatile because I have a variety of music that I’m working on currently from Pop, International, and R&B .
  13. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own product line?
    My advice is always start what you’re passionate about, to never focus on money or competition because the money will flow in when you love your brand with a purpose. Do your research, don’t hesitate to reach out to people that already have successfully put their brand out. Choose the right people to get advice from. And lastly, just have fun with it along the way!

This was fun, getting to know more about Loula and Greek Goddess Lashes. I’ve tried them and I love them. You should try them, too! Go check out her single on YouTube!

If you want to be featured as an interview on my blog, leave me a reply! I’m always looking to learn about new brands and get to know people.

As always… You’ve Been Beautified!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Discount From Finding Ferdinand

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day! I just wanted to share this discount code with you. I loved my custom made lipstick from Finding Ferdinand so much, I reached out to them and asked for a discount I could pass on to my friends. They were more than happy to provide one for me.

BKB

Use the code: brookeknowsbeauty at checkout and save 10% on your purchase! I hope you love their products as much as I do. I’ll be ordering another lipstick soon!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Product Review JUYOU 24K Gold Eye Mask


I’m always on the lookout for a new eye treatment and when I had the chance to try these eye masks at a discount, I was excited to give them a try. They’re available on Amazon for a good price. $12.99 for 30 pairs of gel patches. https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Wrinkle-Treatment-Anti-Aging-Collagen-Hyaluronic/dp/B07HCX38B3?m=A1KAOB8Y8EER38

https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Wrinkle-Treatment-Anti-Aging-Collagen-Hyaluronic/dp/B07HCX38B3?m=A1KAOB8Y8EER38

Here is the product description on Amazon. I copied and pasted from Amazon so you could read the company description in their words. Read below for my thoughts.

  • 💦 24K GOLD: 24k gold molecule is a luxury skin care ingredient highly recommended by the global beauty industry. Eye masks, containing precious 24k active gold ability to expel harmful toxins, promote blood circulation, improve metabolism, alleviate the aging of eye skin, effectively improve fine wrinkles, dry lines and bags, reduce dark circles and edema, prevent the formation of fat particles, and restore bright color to dark skin.
  • 💦 SMALL MOLECULE COLLAGEN: Rich in many kinds of amino acids to supplement essential nutrients to the skin, easy to be absorbed by the skin, effectively improve the ability of skin regeneration, promote the increase of collagen and elastin, thereby maintain skin elasticity and luster.
  • 💦 HYALURONIC ACID: Highly efficient moisturizer which can penetrate the skin, lock in moisture and provide a long-lasting moisturizing effect on the eye area. It also can reduce the production of free radicals, delay skin aging and keep the skin delicate.
  • 💦 VARIETY OF PLANT ESSENCE: Witch Hazel are considered as the most effective natural skin care ingredients. It combines water replenishing, moisturizing, antioxidant and other functions to effectively alleviate various eye skin problems caused by excessive eye use.
  • 💦 JUYOU EYE MASKS: Dedicated to improving your eye skin, soothing your eye skin, conforming to ergonomic C-zone design, and making them ideal eye patches and eventually bring back the beauty to your eyes! If you have any questions about the product, please feel free to contact us. We always pay attention to the customer’s experience!

I didn’t take a before and after picture because I’ve only been using them for about a week, and there hasn’t been a significant difference in that week. Here are my takeaways.

  • Cooling. They feel very nice on your skin and have that cooling effect that feels good after a long day.
  • Moisturizing. I definitely felt a difference in the moisture on the skin underneath my eyes.
  • Slippery. The texture of these gel masks is pretty thin, so they slide out of place and have to be adjusted frequently. Most masks you can sit up and do other things while they work, these work best if you take the time to lay back and relax so they stay put.
  • Lightly scented. Some masks are overpowering in the way they smell. These are nice and have a light, clean scent.
  • Good consistency. If you’ve ever used a sheet mask, or a gel mask, you know that the product left behind can be a little sticky. The product left behind with this mask absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel heavy or gooey on your skin.

Overall, I like these and I’ll continue to use them. If you try them, tell me what you think!!

You’ve Been Beautified! 

Interview with Model Christine Olyer

In today’s post, I had the pleasure of interviewing model and actress, Christine Olyer. Christine and I go way back. We met as actresses in a local dinner theater company in Denver. It’s funny because we only worked together on one production, but we connected and have stayed friends ever since. Our lives have taken us in very separate directions, and sometimes years have passed between us where we haven’t been in touch, but through it all, I’ve always considered her one of my dearest friends.

I was fortunate to have Christine as the creative editor on my first book, Set It Free, in the Heart & Soul series. Her suggestions were amazing and the way she coached me really pushed me as a writer, in the most wonderful way.

Christine has had a pretty awesome career as a model and actress. Her most recent experience is working as a mature model. She is now living in Rome, Italy. For the moment, her modeling career is on pause, but I don’t think she’s done yet. She’s beautiful inside and out and any designer would be lucky to have her.

I really wish I had a picture of us from our dinner theater days, but I don’t. So… I guess her gorgeous modeling pictures will have to suffice. Make yourself comfortable, pour an espresso and indulge in a Biscotti as you read, and enjoy!

 

Special thanks to Kaya Munn for the use of her photos of Christine. Take a look at her website to see more of her work. https://www.kayamunnphotography.com

You’ve worked as both an actress and a model. Which one came first for you and why?

My first professional gig was as a model. I was 16 years old in Salem, OR and I really wanted to model fashion. So in this little city not only did I act in High School and get awarded “most dramatic senior” but I found my first opportunities walking the runway!

Which do you prefer, acting or modeling?

I prefer modeling and I am embarrassed to tell you why! The reality of acting is memorization and I have a huge struggle memorizing my lines. I love improv because you don’t have to memorize the lines word for word and you can react in the moment. I did a Shakespeare play and it took me hours of work each day to memorize the lines, which definitely had to be word for word; however, it is the show I am most proud of and I had a blast performing the role of Helena!

We’ve known each other for over 20 years… wow! In that time, I’ve seen you rock a vibrant red hair color, a rich auburn brown, and now you’ve embraced your natural silver/platinum. Which color did you like best?

I like my natural hair color best and there are many reasons:

  • It feels great accepting myself just as I am
  • Women find me more approachable
  • Men were so creepy to me when I was a redhead
  • Silver is the trend and it always feels good to be “on trend”
  • Dying my hair was ruining my hair texture
  • I hated seeing my ‘roots’
  • Silver is a standout even if it makes me look even more ‘mature’ than I am
  • I get compliments from strangers almost every time I go out on my hair color
  • My hairstylist here in Rome says that there is no way to duplicate my hair color
  • My hubby finds it sexy (is that weird?)

When and why did you decide to stop coloring your hair and go Au natural? How did it make you feel?

I had a plan to stop coloring my hair when I turned 50 and when my birthday came, I wasn’t ready. So, after traveling to Germany and seeing a magnificent head of silver hair, I was convinced! I got home from Germany, and waited until my roots were about an inch grown out and I had my stylist cut my hair to a pixie length. Oddly enough, there was still some red on the tips, which garnered so many compliments. “I love your tips” was a frequent compliment from women and this was entirely new to me. I had almost never received compliments on my hair from women. Up until this point, most women wouldn’t approach me. And as I let my hair grow, it took about two more cuts to get all of the red out, the more women were verbally supportive of me and my hair! I developed many more friendships. I like to think that the more I accepted myself as God made me, the more comfortable women were with me. I think women are so tuned into confidence and integrity and they gravitate towards others who are in turn confident and acting with integrity. Sorry, that was a really long answer!

Blue/violet shampoos are what I always recommend to keep grays vibrant and to prevent yellowing/brassiness. Do you use a specialty shampoo? Which one?

So I have relied on your advice for my hair a few times in my life and you have never steered me wrong! I am a blonde, who grew into dirty dishwater blonde, then to ash brown-brunette (like so many of us), my hair has silver, white, ashy gray, ashy brown, (now you see why my hairdresser says you can’t duplicate it) – meaning that some strands of hair look ashy or yellowed – that’s normal and that is beautiful with creams, ecrus, and off-whites – don’t let anyone tell you that it’s unattractive! That said, products can and do dull hair and using a violet shampoo really makes a platinum/gray/silver/white hair color sing! I use what you have recommended to me Brooke, Monat Colour Enhance Perfectly Platinum Shampoo and Conditioner (I am sorry that this sounds like an advertisement!) I have used other brands with great results – here’s the difference for me with the Monat product – it is stronger – I don’t have to use it as frequently as the other brands I have used in the past. I use it once a month – I know, that sounds ridiculous – and it keeps my hair shiny and the color bright without any old lady purple.

It seems like once you went platinum/silver, your modeling career really got busy. Tell me what it’s like being a mature model?

The demand for my hair color was incredible – partly because in the commercial world, the segment being targeted is Baby Boomer or GenX – for Boomers, they want to see young, vibrant women and the hair color says ‘older’ and for GenX, the hair color says “Hey, I am your kid’s grandma.”

For modeling the mentality is entirely supported by the movement for inclusion. Let’s include women of all body types, all races, and all ages. In Denver, there is a designer who only wants older women modeling her clothes. She picked up on the trend early and hired me to walk for her in a couple of Denver Fashion Shows.

Do you think there is less pressure on a mature model, or more? (Body image. Overall image, etc.) Is it more fun, less stressful being a mature model?

So, it’s interesting being an older model – yes, there’s still pressure to fit into the clothes and that gets more challenging when your body’s metabolism is changing. Here are a couple of anecdotes:

I hadn’t walked the runway in about 30 years, when I was hired by Nordstrom to do a Beauty event. As I was walking into the fitting, I followed two gorgeous women who were easily 3 inches taller than me and definitely fit! I felt myself flushing, embarrassed that I was shorter, old, fat…but when I got in the fitting everyone was incredibly supportive!! No one was saying, oh my god would you drop 5 lbs by tomorrow, no one was asking me to have plastic surgery. No. It was so great being included and accepted for me, just being me.

After that I was booked for the Denver fashion event with the designer who used several other women in the mature model cohort. It was so fun! That show is still on YouTube, you can watch it here.

What’s your every day skincare routine and what products do you use?

I have sensitive skin that has changed over the course of my life, like every woman! I had adult acne at one point and now the pendulum has swung over to dry skin. I have used the Clinique skincare system my entire life with some small adjustments:

  • 4 nights a week I use gel cleanser, the other nights I use micellar water
  • Toner morning & night
  • Eye serum morning & night
  • Repairwear Laserfocus serum at night (they are discontinuing this so I am just about ready to purchase some new products 😊)
  • Dramatically different moisturizer  — morning & night
  • Moisturizer with SPF mornings – always
  • When I can afford it I buy (and use) the Guerlain Double R Renew & Repair serum
  • For fun I splurge on Guerlain lipstick – incredibly moisturizing!!!
  • No eye-shadows with metallic glitter – makes my eyelids swell up
  • Change my mascara often – sensitive eyes need fresh mascara
  • Nars eyeliner goes on more smoothly than Clinique – soooo…
  • Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil is the right color for gray 😊
  • Just about everything else is Clinique.

You’ve been living a fun, international life. Your husband’s career has taken you to Germany and now Italy. What fashion and beauty differences have you noticed in both countries? How do both countries differ from each other when it comes to the local image?

This is a great question! The beauty culture is vastly different between these two countries. Germans are practical and walk on cobblestones most of the time, so you see Birkenstock. But German women love being feminine so you see plenty of French cosmetic lines available in their pharmacies called Apoteke. You will also see them loving floral prints, but not wearing a ton of jewelry, and wearing big scarves. But while I was living there the uniform in winter was:

  • Slim jeans or pants
  • Thick sweater
  • Wellensteyn jacket with fur-trimmed hood
  • Boots or sneakers
  • Big scarf
  • Hat

In Rome, the women are dressed with more jewelry and on trend. No wandering around in sneakers if you can find a pair of boots. Cropped pants, culottes, and split skirts are the trend that everyone is wearing. And did I mention boots? Combat, Chelsea, over-the-knee (with a mini-skirt), medium heels, high heels, mid-calf, bottom-of-the knee,– these women know their boot styles and wear them with hosiery! I don’t see bare legs here in in Rome, even if I do see some very short dresses and skirts. Most women wear their hair down, it’s colored, and they have at least one Italian brand visible, Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, or Luisa Spagnoli. I don’t see many hats, even when it is cold, but to make up for it they layer, layer, layer! I have seen a sweater under a blazer under a puffy jacket under a ¾ wool coat more than once!

Do you find you have to change your skincare routine based on where you live?

Yes, definitely. The hardness of the water and the humidity of the air, as well as the pollution of the urban environments are different and require different skincare treatments. Here in Rome, the water is very hard, so I am using micellar water more and more to cleanse at night. I am also using more SPF in my lip care routine because I am walking around in the sun more!

What about makeup? Do you like to glam it up, or are you a minimalist when it comes to makeup? What are your favorite brands?

I have a love/hate affair with makeup – I love how I look in it, but I don’t always want to spend much time applying it – so I have a couple of routines that work for me:

  • Fastest: Guerlain or Clinique eye primer, Clinique cover up, Clinique mascara, Guerlain or Nars or Chanel red lipstick (very French and each red has its own temperament)
  • Confidence booster: Guerlain eye primer, Clinique cover up, eye shadow (Dior, Clinique, Bobbi Brown), Nars eyeliner, Urban Decay setting spray, Clinique mascara, my perfect neutral lipstick (Guerlain, Chanel, Clinique depending on what my lips need or my wardrobe choice)
  • Time to shine: all of the confidence booster with Clinique age defense BB cream SPF 30, cream stick blush, Becca liquid highlighter.

I love to ask this question… You’re going to a remote location/desert island, etc. What 3 products can you not live without? (Sunscreen is provided here, so no need to include that one.)

Coffee, Vicks, Allergy medicine, floss

Oh, you meant beauty products…cover up, lip gloss with SPF, mascara

What’s in your beauty bag?

I have a gold train case that holds exactly what I need for traveling:

Beauty tools, including eyeglass repair kit

Lip liner, lip gloss, lip stick

Korean pomegranate face mask (Best one is from Sally Beauty Supply of all places 😊)

Dior gift with purchase eye-shadow

Travel size Clinique skin care

Scissors, black electrical tape, samples of perfume, double-sided tape, safety pins, sewing kit

What advice can you give someone in the industry, who’s in that in-between stage of modeling/mature modeling?

There is always work. Work slows down, you might have to find some other applications for your skills, but there is always work to be done.

Any modeling or acting work on the horizon, or is that on hold for awhile? 

By moving to Rome I have missed out on about 5 or 6 modeling jobs in Denver and it is killing me! On the other hand, I have found a great position here in Rome that uses my other knowledge, skills, and abilities, so that will be fulfilling on a different level.

I think you’re gorgeous and I love seeing how your career has evolved. Where’s your Cover Girl campaign??

Right???!!!!

 

This was such a fun experience! Thank you for the interview, Christine!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to be considered for a future interview on my blog, please respond to this post!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Review – Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick

You know how those pesky ads show up all over your computer/phone just because you did a simple search? Yeah, normally I scroll on by, but when I saw an ad for a custom lipstick, I was intrigued… even more so when I clicked on the link and discovered that you can order a sample of this custom lipstick!

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Finding Ferdinand is the website where you can create your own magic. I’m very curious about the name. On the “About” section of their website, it’s pretty simple: “We bring your custom beauty creations to life, from lipsticks to palettes, all made-to-order in New York City.” Sweet and to the point, but who are you? How did you come up with this idea? And why the name? Did the creator of this company have a lipstick they were in love with named Ferdinand, and it was discontinued?? (Don’t get me started on that!) Or is Ferdinand the love of your life… man? dog? cat? goldfish??

How does it work? You choose from 4 of their colors to create your own. Now, the choices of colors are not staggering. There are only 25 shades to choose from to mix, but I think that’s good. Too many choices can be overwhelming. Once you’ve decided on your 4 colors, or 3, or 2, if you want, you don’t have to commit to 4, you get to decide how much of each shade will be used. While you’re figuring this out, there will be a swatch right above your chosen colors to show you what your custom lipstick will look like. You get to choose from three different finishes: Creamy, Sheer, or Matte. Then you choose your size. A mini (sample) size is $9.00 Full size is $30.00 and the two together are $33.00. You also get a choice of fragrances. Personally, I like no fragrance, if possible, so I chose classic. Rose, Coconut, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Grape, and for a limited time, Chocolate Cake, are the scents to choose from.

You also get to name your color, which I thought was fun! Here are the colors that I chose, with the percentages of each color. Pretty simple and since I liked what it was showing me, I kept all colors at 100%. And yes, you’ll see that I named my custom lipstick Alexandra, after my leading lady in the Heart & Soul books. (You can buy those here!)

CREAMY / MINI $9 / CLASSIC

  • COLOR 1: AU NATUREL 100%
  • COLOR 2: TRUFFLE 100%
  • COLOR 3: BLACK 100%
  • COLOR 4: BARELY THERE 100%
  • COLOR NAME: ALEXANDRA

I had so much fun doing this, I am going to create more colors, and I think I’ll continue to name them after my characters. If you’ve read my books, I think you’ll agree with me that Mona needs a pretty red lipstick named after her!

Overall, this was an excellent experience! Easy to order, and fast shipping. And the quality of the product is amazing! It’s a generous sample size, about the size of your pinky finger, and us beauty mavens know, there’s plenty of product to go after in the base of your lipstick. What about the fragrance? Nice, not overpowering at all.

I’ll be ordering again, but in the meantime, I want to find out more about Finding Ferdinand! If I stumble across any specials or discounts, I’ll let you all know. Highly recommend!

Here are some pictures of the product from the packaging, to the sample size, and a swatch on my arm of how “Alexandra” turned out. Someone suggested a selfie… Brookie doesn’t do selfies, so hopefully the swipe on my arm gives you a good idea.

If you order, share your color, I’m anxious to see it!

You’ve Been Beautified!

Beauty Interview with Jennifer Nicole Lee

When I started this blog over 10 years ago, one thing I always wanted to do, but never had the chance, was interview people! I was interested in talking to models, makeup artists, product developers, photographers, and other beauty addicts, much like myself. At the top of my list to interview was Fitness Expert Jennifer Nicole Lee! I’ve been following her career for years, and over the past year, she and I have had a chance to connect and get to know each other. She’s created this amazing VIP group on Facebook that’s full of women from all walks of life. I recently attended her world conference and it was truly amazing! More on that in a future post.

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At the 2020 World Conference!

Always, always follow your dreams. I wasn’t sure if Jennifer would be as excited as I was about the possibility of collaborating to do this interview, but she was!

All you have to do is ask! Some of this interview took place over the phone, but most of it was done via email. We’re hoping to team up again in the near future either in person or on a video chat to share with all of you.

This was a lot of fun, coming up with these questions, and even more fun to read her answers! Read on, and enjoy!!

1.       You have naturally curly hair. What’s your secret/process to straightening your hair? I know how hard it can be to get it so smooth on that texture. Do you use a certain product, or is there a salon treatment that you get for lasting smoothness? Both! Heehee! I live in Miami, so with this humidity I need all the help I can get. I love Deluge shampoo, conditioner. My faves are the Argon Oil shampoo & conditioner. I am obsessed with their Mask, I use it every wash, even though it’s a mask. Just a touch at the end to seal in all the moisture. I also did a treatment called “The Apple Stem Cell” to make my hair smoother & shinier. Its not a Keratin Brazilian blow out treatment that can harm the hair. It actually is an anti-aging hair treatment to help it be stronger, grow longer and be shinier and more controllable.

2.      To clarify, you’re not getting paid to endorse any of these products, but I’d like to know and I think others would like to know, what products you can’t live without.  Love this question. One of our VIP sistas Andreea in Austria gifted me with an Hour Glass Highligher palette. I kid you not, I use it every day! On my cheeks and lids. It’s the Ambient Strobe Light Palette. I am also in love with the Natasha Denona Beauty Eye Shadow Palette! The Metropolis Palette is so bold! I also love the Gold Palette, great for brown eyes, as the greens in the palette make your eyes look like hazel. I swear by Katie B Cosmetics for her foundation and her Green Tea Mineral Baked powder. Been wearing those for years! I’m also in love with Tatcha Primer. It’s a little thick, so I blend it with one pump of Lancome La Base, to make it a little more pliable. That combo seals in my face from the humidity here in Miami. Its sweat and humidity proof!

3.      Let’s play Survivor. You are going to a remote island and you can only take 3 beauty products with you. What are they? Besides sunscreen, of course.  Great question. I love the Deluge Firm My Figure scrub, as it’s a 2 in one: exfoliant for face and body, and also a moisturizer. I would then of course do the Deluge Hair Mask. Not selling or plugging, I really love their products. And gotta look cute, so a super glossy fuchsia lip gloss that screams “tropical paradise”, my fave is Rimmel Stay Glossy 6 Hour Gloss in the color Candy Floss

4.      How old were you when you first started wearing makeup? Who taught you to apply it? TRUE STORY! I have two older sisters. My earliest memory of makeup is that my two oldest sisters put makeup on me for my first day at Kindergarten! I remember it clearly! I’m laughing now, but something didn’t feel right when I went to my first day at the big elementary school and all eyes where on me. Couldn’t figure out why I was getting all of the stark stares, but now I know! I had blue eye shadow on my lids and my lips were hot pink, with a swipe of blush on my cheeks. I was their “doll” I guess and I think they wanted me to make a “good impression” on my first day of Kindergarten! LOL!

5.      Favorite beauty trend? I have a lot! Highlighter! The more the better! I want to make sure the aliens see “glow” in outer-space.

6.      What’s a beauty trend you regret? Thin eyebrows! Geeze, looking back I think we were all taking out our stress on our eyebrows and plucking them to death.

7.      When you apply your makeup, do you start with face or eyes first? Why? Love this question. I always start with the canvas, the skin. I need to lock that down first, flawless. I know that some artists do eyes first and then “clean up” around any fall out of eye shadow with base, etc. I cant do that! Drives me crazy. I must do face first then move to eyes, and then lips are last.

8.      What’s in your beauty bag? Reach into the purse closest to you, grab your bag, dump it out if you’re feeling ambitious, and tell us what you’ve got! Oh Lordy! I’m scared! Ready! A powder puff for my powder application (that I really need to wash!) sugar free gum, breath spray, Katie B Cosmetics Mineral Baked Powder. Too Faced Born This Way Concealer, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, and a Wet Brush (Even though I wont use it while my hair is wet, I love how easy it is on my hair)

9.      What’s your favorite high-end makeup brand? Great question! Depends! Natasha Denona for eye shadow. Lancome for Mascara, Tatcha for Primer, Chanel for Perfume, Greek Goddess Lashes for false eyelashes.

10.  What’s your favorite drugstore brand? Geeze! A lot! I love Maybelline, Cover Girl, I have worn them all! Actually Wet n Wild has gotten really good! Great prices too.

11.  Do you like trying new skincare products or do you stick to a routine? I love to try new products! I feel like your skin can always use a “JOLT” with new products and trying new things that can either work or be a dud! You never know until you try. And companies now are always doing so many give-aways. That’s the fun part.

12.  If you could create a makeup or skincare product, what would it be? WOW! Love this fantasy. It would be the VIP Line! For women who dare to push the envelope. Bold colors. Striking lips, lids, cheeks. Power looks for sure. We both remember the 80’s, I think that was the best hair and make up! Bigger the better! Twisted Sister anyone? Heehee! I loved watching Ru Paul and he really was over the top in his hair and make up. I love me a good drama look. Smokey eyes, red lips. 80’s all the way! Of course we would do a “Wedding/Natural Look Division” but it has to be glam in some type of way.

13.  You’re known for being a fitness expert, and a wonderful coach! Training women all around the globe on how to be the best version of themselves. What’s your best non-beauty related beauty tip? Confidence, I know that when you rock your confidence, no matter what you are wearing, or what type of make up you have, you have that “it” factor. Not being cocky, or highfalutin, but just a warm spirit that invites others in to also feel genuine in their skin. A smile always works! That little twinkle in your eye of pure joy and happiness. Those are my every day must-do beauty tips to evoke that feeling of being beautiful no matter what!
THANK YOU BROOKE FOR THIS INTERVIEW!

Here are a few more pictures from the conference. It seemed like any time there was a microphone nearby, it was in my hand! I need to host my own entertainment/beauty show!!

I hope you enjoyed Jennifer’s answers as much as I did! Thanks for checking in, and if you would like to be interviewed for my blog, reply to this post and let’s work something out!

As always, You’ve Been Beautified!!

P.S. Looking for something to read? Check out the first 2 books in the Heart & Soul series by yours truly!!!

Stay Beautified!

The End

I think this post has been a long time coming, and probably not a surprise because of how quiet I’ve been.

I can say all the clichés, and they’re all true. It’s with a heavy heart that I write this. I did a lot of soul-searching. My heart isn’t in it anymore. You get the drill. It’s time to say goodbye, my friends. My fashionistas. My beauty lovers. It’s only goodbye in a sense, because I’m not really going anywhere.

8 years ago, I started BrookeKnowsBeauty. I struggled to start. Would anyone read it? Would they like it? Would they make fun of me? Well, the answer to all three of those questions is, yes. People read it. People liked it. People made fun of me. Wait, what? You may ask. People made fun of me? Yes, they did.

One of my very first memories in life was when I was 3 years old. My family lived on a farm in Texas. Yes, me, the self-proclaimed city girl, living on a farm. But, hey, I was only 3. I had no choice in the matter. I didn’t know how to convince my parents to get a fancy condo in a high-rise overlooking the city. I remember after a rain storm, running outside to play in the mud. I didn’t make mud pies or even splash around. I pretty much bathed in it, ran it up and down my arms and legs, and wondered how it would make my skin feel. Seriously. Obviously, I had never been to spa at such a young age, but I had already grasped the idea of walking around in a fluffy robe and sitting in a tub full of mud with cucumber slices over my eyes.
My love of beauty only intensified over the years. I played in my mother’s makeup. When I was 5, a friend of my mom’s fanned my addiction by giving me a shoe box full, FULL of Avon samples. I gave my sister’s and my friends makeovers. And when going to a university after one semester just seemed too tedious to bear, I decided to go to beauty school. Actually, my mother suggested it. My grandmother was a hairstylist and since I had been obsessed forever, it was the obvious choice. So, why did my mom see that, but I didn’t? Because mother knows best. Sorry, mom. I guess I never appreciated that, but I sure do now!

I’ve held just about every job there is to hold in the beauty industry. I’ve worked as a receptionist in a salon. I’ve worked as an assistant and moved my way up to stylist. I’ve worked as a makeup artist, as an esthetician, as a skin care expert at a high-end department store, front desk at a spa. (I realize I said receptionist and front desk…they are different, trust me.) I’ve done just about everything and I learned so much along the way. I had the knowledge and the love, and I loved to write. Why not combine my passions and start a beauty blog? Why not??

With the encouragement of a dear friend, I took the plunge and was off to a great start. I wrote about homemade skin care, mask recipes you could whip up with ingredients you probably had on hand in your kitchen. I wrote about my experience in the industry. I wrote reviews, I did Q&A Monday, remember that?? Quick Tip Friday was also fun! I did giveaways and contests. I had companies reaching out to me and sending me their products, free of charge, either as a thank you for a review, or asking for a review. But it wasn’t without its challenges. Sometimes it was hard to come up with content. After a while, people stopped sending me questions for Q&A Monday. Keeping up with it became challenging.

Also, things evolved in the blogging world. People turned to video tutorials and videos of their hauls. I didn’t have an interest in doing a video tutorial, and as for the haul videos, well…I kind of thought they were in bad taste. “Look at me, I have so much stuff! Don’t you want to watch me dump out a bag of beauty loot so you can be jealous?” That’s probably not the message people were trying to convey, but that’s my opinion on the matter and I didn’t want to do that.

Let’s touch on that other nasty situation…people made fun of me.

I worked at Sephora for a while. It was great at first. I was surrounded by nearly every beauty product out there and almost every day I left with free stuff. You can’t sell it if you haven’t used it, and most of the vendors were generous with their gratis. Most of them…some of them were stingy bastards, I won’t lie. It got difficult at Sephora because my manager found that I was fast and efficient working the cash register. When I told her I wanted to move into skin care, I was met with a firm, “No! We need you at the register.” With all the knowledge I had in skin care, I started to dislike the monotony of ringing up sales. I also found myself surrounded with very immature people who thrived on gossip. One day, one of the makeup artists came up to me and said something to me that rubbed me the wrong way.
“So, Brooke, I hear you have a little blog.”
I won’t lie, the first thing that nearly flew out of my mouth was, “I hear you have a little penis.” But I held it together. I smiled at him and acknowledged my writing and my experience in the industry. His only response was a wispy, “Hmm.” From that moment forward, there were a lot of whispers among these young men and women about my “Little blog.”

Let’s get one thing straight…to call someone’s project “Little” is condescending and bitchy. If you tell an aspiring musician that you hear they’re working on a “Little album” that’s rude. If you tell a chef you hear they’re opening a “Little restaurant” that’s rude. If you tell an artist you like their “Little drawing” that’s rude. You get the gist…and if anyone tells me they hear I wrote a “Little book” I might end up in jail.

It stung. Hearing that really hurt. I looked around at these youngsters…yeah, I said it…and told myself that I was selling $200 face cream while they were still in diapers. I almost quit writing after that. I’ve always been a sensitive person, but to belittle my experience in the industry and my writing was the ultimate blow. Miraculously, I shook it off and kept up with my “Little blog.” My time at Sephora was short-lived after that. Not because of the snide remarks and snarky comments I would get. Simply because I was done working in such an immature atmosphere, even if I did get a bunch of free products. My time at Sephora can be summed up nicely: It fed my addiction, but it didn’t feed my family.

I persisted. I wrote. I was given free products from companies I had never heard of. So why quit?

About a year ago, I tried to shift the focus to more of a lifestyle blog. Food, wine, accessories, fashion. Sounds like a good idea, but I couldn’t commit. I had relocated 2 times in 5 years and along the way I started writing a series of books.

I have put my heart and soul into the Heart & Soul series, and that’s where my focus has to remain. I published my first book and I’m working on the second book in the series. It’s an amazing thing to realize what you finally want to be when you grow up…at the age of 40! It’s been 4 years in the making and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. I love it too much. The floodgates have opened and I’m writing every single day. In the near future, I’ll be writing full-time and I can NOT wait for that moment.

So, even though the beauty blog is going away, I’m not. I’ll still leave the BrookeKnowsBeauty blog active, so people can search for and find my posts. Why? Because I’ve put a lot of good information out there, that’s why! But, I won’t be doing any more Q&A or product reviews and I’ll be removing the Facebook page. I know what I have to focus on. In closing, (Finally, huh?) I’m ready to pass the torch to all you video mavens!

Never give up, always follow your dreams and embrace the changes life brings!

I want to thank everyone for supporting me and for reading my blog. Now, I hope you read my book. It was a great ride and I hope you had fun!!

Check out my new website!! brookegillespietrout.com 

Stay Beautified!