The Brush Off....Brush Basics from Cleaning to Collecting...

Brushes are far more complicated then they seem.  The shapes, the sizes, the bristle density, the bristle type, the length of the handle and then last but not least the technique.   Brushes are tools...their is actually a proper way to use a brush...and most people don't think that deep about it and just jump into it.   I jumped in because I am impatient...and I am the type to think I could just figure it out. 

Long ago, in a land not to far from home, a girl purchased her first makeup brush...a MAC 224.....this brush was the most multipurposed brush that the sales associate could endorse.  She said this brush was the best of all the would work on my would could even be used to cover up my blemishes...sweet!  I bought it!  YES!   Finally, the holy grail of brushes...

This is how it is sold is a brush that will do all the things you need in one brush.  I am going to make your life easy.  I watch all these videos and read all these reviews etc...and try to bring it to you plain and simple.

If you are a beginner with have two options.  Google Sigma Brushes and buy a kit.   These are very good beginner brushes.  I would not necessarily say they are Professional use brushes, but they are good for your personal use while you are familiarizing yourself with different brushes.   You could get a MAC brush kit for $50 for five brushes...just remember these are machine made brushes as opposed the hand made full size brushes.

The other option is go to Michaels, and go when there is a sale or a coupon!  Get on the MAC Website before you go and look at the shape and fibers of the brush you want...then when you get to Michaels find one that compares.  

If you are in the more intermediate stages of makeup artistry, invest in good quality brushes by MAC, Bobby Brown or Nars.   All are handmade of the finest materials.  

Once you have all the different them to the ones on the MAC website to get familiar with what the shapes and fibers are used for.   Do a search on youtube for some tips on technique...but most importantly, play with the brushes...experiment with them on your own. 

Here are a couple tips:

  • Hold your brush like chopsticks.   Don't hold your brush on the silver farrel...hold it closer to the end. 
  • Do not apply to much pressure.  Let the bristles do the work!
  • Spray on some FIX+ for a more concentrated application
  • Wash your brushes after every client application
  • Wash your personal brushes about once a week depending on use...

I have been experimenting with brush cleaners...I use brush cleanser daily after putting on my makeup so that the next time I use the brush there is no leftover color.  And then weekly I will do a deep cleaning.  I notice that using the MAC brush cleanser does leave my bristles more stiff.   I asked MAC Artists from my local MAC Pro Store and they suggest using Baby Shampoo in between.  Inside the farrel of your brush is glue.  Sometimes harsher cleansers can break down the glue and you will notice the bristles will start to fall out.   Baby shampoo is mild but sometimes I do not feel it is as effective.  If I use the baby shampoo and then dip my brush in MAC Brush Cleanser I will sometimes notice more product is released.   

I bought the Master Brush Cleanser from Michaels...and this stuff is amazing!  I highly recommend it and don't know why more users have not reviewed it.   I will post a vid here soon to show you how it works!

Strawberry Shortcake

I don't even know how to begin this my name is Cindy and I am an addict of Strawberry Lip Balm.  hahahaha...I really am!  Most of the lip balms I own and use more frequently are strawberry.  I once counted about 13 lip balms lying around my desk at work!?!?!  Don't friend was hanging out with me and said how many do you we counted em up!

I don't really know why or how this whole addiction begin.  All I can say is that I have some fond childhood memories of picking strawberries with my family, and of playing with Strawberry Shortcake dolls when I was little.   Yeah I ran around like a little crackhead snorting these dolls...which maybe other little girls were not obsessed with doing...hahaha...and I recently bought my neice the whole collection of NEW Strawberry Shortcake Dolls...which smell just as intoxicatingly good.  I sniffed that doll for about 5 min!!!!  I am not a since I can not walk around with dolls taped to my nostrils...the next best thing is Strawberry Scented Lipgloss. 

I also suffer from Dry Lips...and nothing is more unattractive on a woman then peeling dry lips...I mean if you have acne, you can cover that up, it takes a little skill but it can be done flawlessly...but peeling chapped dry can not cover it up.  You have to treat it.  And you have to be consistent with lip therapy to overcome it.   I always have some kind of lip balm with me, and 9 times out of 10 it is Strawberry Scented.  

So here is another free beauty tip....the next time you are sitting at dinner...grab a packet of sugar...not splenda, not sweet and low...good ol fashion white sugar.  Toss a couple of those in your makeup bag.   Whenever you feel like your lips are peeling, dry and chapped.   Go to the ladies room and use the sugar and water to exfoliate your lips.   Or keep a sugar jar next to the sink in your bathroom....sprinkle some sugar on your toothbrush and brush your lips!  Proper exfoliation is step 1.   Step 2: moisturize.  

I think I may have bought ever possible type of lip balm on the market.  I have little stash of Strawbery Lip Balms on my noteboard bulletin board...I will post a pic.  Sometimes I will layer on a cheep strawberry lip balm over vaseline or something for the smell.   haha..ok enough about smelling strawberries...

After alot of trial and error purchasing I have a few products that are always within hands reach.

Here are some of my favorite lip products:
#1- Bison Japan Hannari series Honey Strawberry Lip Cream - I discovered this lip balm at Mitsuwa in San Jose, CA.    I think it cost $3.99 and it lasted me almost a year....So don't go crazy and buy a bunch, save some for the rest of the Asian Beauty Addicts.  hahaha!   I recently was back in San Jose.  I went to Mitsuwa just to restock on these and they were all out...they only had the other flavor that comes in the little pot...its not the same...smells awful too...   I strickly stick to the Strawberry Honey Flavor... I swear by this lip is the only stick balm that really, really works!  I ended up ordering it on eBay...I ordered 3...So I am good for a while! 

#2-MAC Tendertones - I am in love, love, love with MAC Tendertones.  The smell, the coverage, the SPF and the conditioning all in one package is a dream.   This is always in my little pool bag!  My favorite color is Shush!  which is green but it really counters the pink in my lips and looks natural.   You can find these now at your CCO or on eBay.

#3-Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm and Moisturizer - Rosebud Salve has a great following.  It is made out of petrolatum, like Vaseline, which is exactly what it reminds me of.   Strawberry scented though so it smells great!!!   The tin lasts a while and I like putting this on my cuticles!   This is available at Sephora and Ulta.

#4-Vaseline - Vaseline works...just ask Tyra!   I mean there really isn't anything fabulous to it...It kinda smells and that may be why I don't like it as much...and something about putting Petroleum on my lips...but meh...I don't sweat it that much...I think it's just a little to greasy and I don't particulary like the smell...but it works!
#5 - Laura Mercier Lip Silk- I watched a youtube review and this was highly praised as being the one and only treatment someone used for dry lips...yes it does work...I agree with the review...but I think it works just as well as vaseline.

I may have paid the difference for the packaging because it made it seem fancier...but seriously just get the vaseline.


In Spanish homes you are sometimes described as having the “manos” (hands or the touch) to do something you are gifted at. Some people have them and some people don’t. My parents and friends have always said I have them. I just picked up on arts and crafts so easily. I credit a family of very talented artists and crafty people on both sides, Peruvian (my father) and Korean (my Mother). I have always had a vigorous imagination and I can’t say that I have been that shy in my life. I am very outgoing and I usually take the risks opposed to the comfortable alternatives. Sometimes I fail, sometimes they work in my favor. A part of what attracted me to makeup artistry is the expression of art…followed by the boost of esteem clients receive through my work. I love that! I love the zone you get in to…it’s tranquil…I get so focused in on bringing my vision to fruition that time stops and worries are set aside…it’s just you, your brushes, colors and your canvas….I don’t really feel that passionate about other jobs or hobbies. I work F/T for a Non-profit that does wonderful work…and I feel good about that every day! I am a P/T Stylist for Lane Bryant, don’t get me wrong I love this job too! I just wish the retail side of it was not there…if all I had to do was help clients pick out clothes for their body type and introduce them to new trends, etc. I would love that job more! I hate doing the register, I am just all too familiar with trying to make your dollars stretch on the other side.



I think the reason I can do the things I set my mind to (except weight loss and saving money…lol…just artistic or crafty things) is that I pay very close attention to details. Event planning, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Makeup Artistry are all forms of art that I really focus on details with. And will practice at and try til I get the techniques down or achieve the end result I am aiming for. I am pretty persistent in this arena. I wish I could apply the same passion in other areas of my life!



I am not sure when I learned to be this way. I remember watching Oprah talk about event planning and/or decorating and she said, “It is all in the details.” And I have to 100% agree, I have always had an eye for details, the final touch on things. Even when I shop, I always shop like I am picking over produce. No matter what the item is, I compare it to whatever else is on the shelf or rack next to it. Is the hem straighter on this shirt than that shirt, is the paint on this figure better painted than that figure, etc. etc.



Maybe it comes from my mother, I have seen my mother create some of most beautiful art, and that’s not just because she is my mom! I promise! Haha…I have never listed this but I think I will for the sake of just doing it…



My mother:

  • Was a bank teller at First Bank of Alaska
  • Co-Owned and Operated Class-A Auto Body Collision Center
  • Was a poker dealer
  • Was a private chef
  • Owned, Stocked and Operated a Bridal Dress Shop and Clothing Store – Specialized in Selling Joe Blasco Cosmetics and Laniege Cosmetics
  • Owned a Pool Hall
  • Owned, Stocked and Operated a Kids Clothing Store
  • Owned, Stocked and Operated a Women’s Clothing Store and Laniege Cosmetics Counter
  • Designed floral arrangements from handmade paper flowers and sold them in a boutique
  • Owner and Head Chef of Hometown Restaurant – an authentic Korean food family restaurant
  • Owner and Head Chef of Chopsticks Café – a Coffee Shop and Korean Café



So maybe that is why I have my feet so firmly planted in Fashion, Makeup and Food! Haha! After working for the Bank my mother has been her own boss…that is pretty admirable if I do say so myself.   Maybe one day Copycat Cosmetics ...keeping my fingers crossed!


MAC In the Groove

First haul video and in...I am so excited to check this collection out.  Ever since Temptalia dished that the new In the Groove collection would be debuting on July 8th...I have been on pins and needles to check it out!  So I am so excited to see such a great first video of the haul.

So I had to post it for my readers...the 3 of you that are out there at the moment!!! thanks for reading!

Have a great 4th of July celebration!!!

Keeping your Kit Clean

I hope that my trial and error experience will help you to save money and time when making your future purchases.

Have you ever seen that episode of Tyra that uncovered the hidden bacteria found in your makeup bag?  Makeup and it's applicators tend to be a popular breading groud for bacteria.   So it is very important to avoid cross contaminating products.  

I shopped around for traincases and I really did not like any of the ones that are available.   Most of them have a foam core that can not be cleaned.  Half of them are made of metal and are extremely heavy empty?  I finally found a suitable choice for myself.   These containers can be found at Walmart of all places!

I bought a couple in different sizes, parired them with the $1 organization trays every guru basically has recommended (thanks!) and voila!   When I set up a station I just pop the lids off, prop them side by side on a table and everythings is right there in front of me on a flat surface.  Best of all, I can throw all the plastic pieces in the dishwasher and sanitize them!

So here is a brief tour of my makeup kit:

The DFW's = Damn Forehead Wrinkles!

This is probably one of my favorite videos...because I feel like someone finally hit the nail on the head with asian eyes!  FINALLY!!   Check it out...if your an artist this is great info for your asian clients!

I love watching youtube's my obsession!  It helps me stay on my game with new techniques and products on the market.   Unfortunately, most of the gurus on youtube do not have DFW's...Lucky B*@#%$!!!   They talk about wrinkle prevention and treatment as if they have one wrinkle on their youthful faces! Drives me insane!   I don't have alot of wrinkles....yet...I know those bastards are coming!!!  But I do have 3 wrinkles that have found permanent residence on my forehead.  

I try to find products that promise to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.   Clinical tests prove that these products have to work, right?  Wrong, like an exboyfriend it LIES!   Where are these clinics and who are the women taking the tests? 

Let me see, how many bottles and jars of products have I bought to treat wrinkles and how many of them worked?  Ratio is approx 35 to 0....none have worked...and we are talking at the least $30 a treatment and max up to $ you are looking at over $1500 invested in finding a treatment....I could have just got botox right?

A part of me is ready to take that step and inject the DFW's!!!  But another part of me says, there has got to be an easier and safer route.   Forehead masaging, exfoliating, staying hydrated, misting charged water and applying these potions routinely in the a.m. and p.m. has got to have some effect!?! Right?!?!  

So here is the deal, I am going to go on a quest for a real wrinkle fighting formula and a primer or something that will help hide these suckers!   I am going to keep track of the pictures and post them you don't just have a review of something but you actually see the results, so you know if  60% wrinkle reduction is actually even noticeable!  

All my ladies with DFW's get your eviction letters together...something has to work!

I will post Day one of  Operation Elimination of DFW's this evening so I can post pics...stay tuned...hooorah!