Product Review – Greek Goddess Lip Gloss

For All Your Beauty Advice… 

If you know me, you know I love a good lip gloss. I rarely find one I don’t like, but sometimes, some are too sticky, some are too slick, some don’t have staying power with their color. I’d like to introduce you to the Goldilocks of lip color, these are juuuuuuust right!

My last blog post featured Greek Goddess Lashes. (Please don’t look at the date, because that tells you how long I’ve gone between posts. Sorry, not sorry. I’m busy writing novels!) Since that post, the Owner, CEO, and overall Goddess herself, Loula V has been busy adding to her collection with apparel and now lip gloss.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn that she added gloss to the brand. I’m also very grateful because my lovely sister gifted me with the three shades as an early birthday gift. I could go on and on about my love of all things beauty, but let’s skip that and get right into the shades.

RhodesFirst up, Rhodes. In the tube it looks like the perfect neutral peach. On your lips, it’s a pretty pop of color. Not too bright, but not too sheer. Looks great on its own or as a top layer to your favorite nude lipstick. Bright and juicy, but not overbearing. This color embodies summer. Fun and full of life!

 

 

MykonosThe next color is Mykonos. What a gorgeous shade of hot pink. Like Rhodes, not too bright, but not too sheer. It has a really pretty shimmer to it and again looks great alone, or as a final coat to your lipstick. I’d apply this one on top of a bright pink lipstick for an added layer of dimension.

 

 

 

Santorini

Last, but certainly not least, Santorini. I not only love this shade because the name is a travel destination on my bucket list, but this one is my favorite. Don’t let the tube fool you. It may look like a frosty pink, but when you put it on, it’s soft with a subtle shimmer.

 

 

 

I’m in love with all of these colors and if you love gloss as much as I do, you are going to love these lip colors. Fingers crossed that more colors are on the horizon. I’ll update you all, for sure! They are elegant and luxurious without the sticker shock of some glosses. The packaging of Greek Goddess Lashes is luxurious, so I wasn’t surprised to see the packaging of the lip gloss was just as beautiful. 5 stars… Hands-down an amazing product! Check them out at greekgoddesslashes.com I’m confident you’ll love them as much as I do.

Let me know what you think! 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!

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!

IMG_3739

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.

IMG_3741
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!!!