Hydrafacial Done Right!

I have been getting Hydrafacials for as long as I can remember. Recently, I visited my favorite spa, HAAS Wellness, for a quick hydrating pick-me-up since my skin was acting out. Ginger, my facialist, was doing all these cool things using a machine and I quietly asked her if I am getting something other than a Hydrafacial. To my surprise she was performing the actual Hydrafacial facial (OK GRETA how many times will you say Hydrafacial in this post?). Apparently, all these years I have been tricked and charged more than I should have been for what I thought I was getting but meanwhile I haven’t been getting the actual Hydrafacial. WTH! Why were all these other spas claiming to perform a Hydrafacial when they were really just cleansing and exfoliating my face????

I guess the silver lining is that I finally got a real Hydrafacial?!

OK OK I’m done saying Hydrafacial!

Here’s what the real deal looks like people:

Step 1: Actually use the company’s products.

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Step 2: Pre-cleanse the skin.

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Step 3: Cleanse/Exfoliate the skin.

The Hydrafacial machine cleanses and exfoliates all in one! AMAZING!

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Step 4: Acid peel with GlySal Prep.

“GlySal Prep = 7.5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Peel. Combines the benefits of aggressive exfoliation and chemical peels into a one-step resurfacing procedure.The result combines accelerated peel benefits with visible skin rejuvenation and no irritation.” Read more about this fabulous combo here.

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Step 5: Extractions.

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Step 6: Optional booster- I had the Britenol booster which brightens the skin.

What Ginger did was let the machine release the concentrate onto my skin then move it all over that specific area. Then she would go over that area with the machine.

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Step 7: Vortex-fusion- hydrates and infuses antioxidants.

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Step 8: Finished off with antioxidant serum, moisturizer and SPF!

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Step 9: Check out all the crap that came out of your face.

Yuck! Glad all this gunk is out!

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Here’s a little breakdown of the facial:


Be sure to let HAAS Wellness know I sent you so they can add a little discount to your total.

XOXO,

Greta

All About Jade Rollers & Gua Sha

jade rollerOK it is no secret that I am a skincare junkie and the latest skincare craze on social media has been face rollers, all kinds too. I’ve seen people post about jade rollers, quartz rollers, ice rollers, ball rollers- you name it. Like most people, I wanted in on all the fun and the benefits too.

What’s the first thing you do when a blogger convinces you to buy something? You buy it, duh!

I went to my one-stop-shop- Amazon because let’s be real I wasn’t about to spend a bunch of money on a roller. I found an affordable one + it came with another interesting tool- gua sha.

Gua-who? I know I was confused too but I did some research and apparently these two tools are the closest thing you’ll get to giving yourself an at home lymphatic drainage massage. And the best part? You reap all the added benefits at the comfort of your home. Like, on your couch as you stuff your face with popcorn. Or, in the bathroom after a shower.

Here’s what I do:

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OR

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Benefits:

All of these rollers and cool facial tools have a few things in common…including jade rollers and gua sha. They:

  • Aid in Lymphatic Drainage – best when you’ve had too much to drink and you wake up with a puffy face.
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase circulation
  • Great for skin elasticity
  • Reduce fine lines & wrinkles
  • Perfect for an at-home facial massage
  • Oh, and they work even better COLD!

Face Guide:

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Here’s a face guide I found on the internet that perfectly demonstrates how you need to use both of these tools on your face. A lot of people have the misconception that you need to roll up from your neck but that is false. Rolling upwards doesn’t allow you to drain the lymph nodes in order to reduce inflammation, it’s actually the opposite!

So which product should I use?

That depends on how much time you have. If you need a quick fix then I would go with gua sha because it has immediate results since it is a bit harsher. However, I jade roll about twice a week (if not more) just to drain all that puffiness, smooth out my wrinkles, and give myself a nice massage.

What do you mean by “immediate results”?

Before & After – GUA SHA:

gua sha before and after

The difference between both sides is visibly different. I used my gua sha tool on the right side of my face only for this picture and you can see it smoothed out my laugh lines and gave me an immediate wrinkle-free face! Magic!

OK, OK where do I get these?

I’m going to be totally honest and tell you that you don’t need to spend more than $20 on both of these items. Anything else is a total rip off!

Here are some great affordable options:

Have fun facial rolling babes!

XOXO,

Greta

The Facial You Need To Try Before Your Next Event

Have you ever had a facial that left your skin completely transformed…for the better?

If you have, think again. If you haven’t, I’m here to spill the tea!

I recently went to a new wellness center and spa in Glendale founded by my good friend Hilda. She’s a mom, pharmacist, and lover of all things wellness. She initially opened the doors of her new venture for anyone who wants to focus on their health but doesn’t want to sacrifice time away from their family. As a working mother she knew how it felt to constantly be away from her kids due to her work obligations. Thus, out of sheer passion to spend more quality time with her two children she came up with HAAS Wellness, where you can take yoga classes with your children then go next door for a facial.

Amazing, right?

Although I didn’t take my son with me, because mama needed a pamper day to herself, I did take my photographer so she can snap shots of the whole “Fire & Ice” facial and the amazing results that follow.

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant to try this facial because I’ve heard it can sting a little. You guys know me and pain are like Pablo Escobar and the DEA- ENEMIES!

Yes, I’m back to watching my favorite show Narcos, again, LOL.

Anyways, I was reassured that the pain was tolerable so I went ahead and booked the infamous Fire & Ice facial that all of Hollywood is raving about. Now, I can confirm that the hype IS REAL! You guys, my skin feels like my sons skin- baby soft and just right!

First, the esthetician started by cleansing my skin.

Fire & Ice Facial

Then, she went on to apply the “fire” portion of the facial.

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After about 3 tingling minutes she cleansed the “fire” off of my skin and started with extractions.

(this step is optional but I went ahead and got some of my blemishes extracted)

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I love that she wore gloves throughout the entire facial. They take sanitation very seriously here, love that!

Then came the best part, the “ICE” portion.

This was the cool down period to calm your skin after that burning sensation. This pastel green mask included some amazing ingredients such as aloe vera, rosemary extract, green tea extract, and hyaluronic acid.

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My esthetician, Ginger, added some cool cotton pads into the mix and advised me to relax as she massaged my tense shoulders.

My personal favorite part of the facial.

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After my relaxing massage she gently wiped off the icey mask and applied serum and SPF.

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Look at my baby soft skin…obsessed!

You guys, this facial has completely transformed my skin. I used to have these internal little bumps all around my cheeks, forehead, and chin from congested skin. You know, the kind you can’t pick out, the ones that are deep within your skin and are noticeable once you apply foundation. Yes, those! Now? COMPLETELY GONE! 

My complexion looks brighter, cleaner, and I have a healthy glow. You can see it in that last picture! I’m truly blown away at the results and urge anyone who wants a complete skin transformation to try this magical treatment. I would do it a few days before a special event (depending on how quickly your skin heals from extractions) so you can have a flawless complexion just in time for your photo-op. Thankfully, I did it just before my Bibs & Bellies panel yesterday.

+ Want to love me even more?

I got you guys 10% off any treatment HAAS offers. Just mention my name when you call to book your appointment!

HAAS WELLNESS CENTER

1101 E Broadway, Suite 204
Glendale,  CA 91206

818.491.9000

XOXO,

Greta

How To Contact Brands For Free Products

The first question I get when I tell someone I’m a blogger is, “how do you get all that free makeup?” It’s one of the main things bloggers never really talk about, but you know you can count on ya girl to spill the tea. There’s only really two ways bloggers end up on a brands PR list, either they contacted you or you contacted them. I’ve been in this business for 6 years and that may not seem like long but when I started a blog, blogging was fairly new. There was very little to Google about the business, let alone how to get free product. Heck I didn’t even know brands sent free makeup to bloggers.

About two years into blogging consistently, Colourpop reached out to send me some free makeup. That was the first time a brand had ever reached out to me!

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Since then I’ve had plenty of other well know brands find me through Instagram and send me products. However, I was always under the impression that the brands do the reaching out. It wasn’t until one of my industry friends was in the middle of a conversation when she mentioned that she reached out to a brand asking for product. I was so shocked that 1. she got a reply and 2. they actually sent it. This is precisely when I learned about the art of pitching.

A pitch is, “…a brief, prepared statement that defines a product, service or outlines the value of an organization or individual.” Basically, when you reach out to a brand you need to sell your service to them in a short amount of time. These people get hundreds of emails a day and the last thing they want to do is read through paragraphs of nonsense until they get to your request- free product. Here’s the best way you can say what you need to say in about 15 seconds.

“Hello Benefit Cosmetics,

My name is Lilly and I’m a beauty blogger. I discuss all things makeup, skincare, and hair on my blog. I’m constantly on the hunt for new products that my audience of 5,000 loyal followers would love, Benefit is no exception. I’ve been a Benebabe since the launch of “Gimmi Brow” a few years ago. I would love to try some more of your products and maybe even do a review?

Let me know if you’d be interested. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Lilly

http://www.lillyknowsbeauty.com

Instagram: 5k

Instagram Story: 500-1000 views

Facebook: 1k

Twitter: 1.5k

YouTube: 300 Subscribers

*provide a clickable link to all these social channels and don’t include a platform you are not active on*

Always put yourself in the brands shoes. If you were to “lose” money on product by giving it away, wouldn’t you want to get something out of it? This is when numbers come into play.

Numbers…

are never fun, unless you are a mathematician, but they usually solve a problem. Brands can quickly find if you are worth it by looking at your numbers. That means followers, likes, and comments. Here’s the catch, you don’t need that many followers to get free product. I mean don’t get me wrong it helps, but it’s not a deciding factor. The most important thing is engagement and that is a combination of your likes and comments. How many people actually care to double-click, or better yet, write something under your picture? All of these numbers actually mean something when they are put into a secret formula to come up with a score that either makes you valuable or invaluable.

Content…

is the next big deciding factor. Do you have crappy images? Do you have closeups of your brows and your eyes? Do your OOTD’s look aesthetically pleasing or are they in front of your neighbors trash can? All these things matter. You are a content creator when you are a blogger and so your images need to be up to par. You don’t need a professional camera for incredible images, 90% of my pictures are taken on my Iphone. You do need: good lighting, appealing images, and nice backgrounds.

Look at the difference between these two images (taken on my Iphone):

A little editing is almost always necessary, but that’s a whole other blog post (comment below if you’d like me to share all my photo editing tips in detail).

In order for your pitch to be short your website and social media channels need to do the talking. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wanting to explain why you are worth being added to the PR list or receiving free product. Also, don’t be afraid to attach some images of your work in the email. If I were Lilly I’d attach a picture of my fabulous brows to show Benefit Cosmetics that I have the potential for a bomb picture showcasing my brows and that it’s something they can potentially repost that would fit in with their page as well.

That’s the trick! You want your picture to fit in with the brand!

I used to get hundreds and hundreds of free products for my seminars and classes back in the day and the way I would get most of the brands I was going for was by offering them something they couldn’t refuse. Since I was the educator of the class I decided which products to showcase during a demonstration and I would tell the brands that I would be teaching the students how to do their eyeshadow or contour with their products. Thus, if they included their product in the goodie bags my students would be able to use it and get trained on specifically using their product. Odds are if you learn how to use a certain palettes eyeshadow then you would be more inclined to use it on your own time. That is something a brand would pretty much never refuse, especially since I would also showcase their stuff on my social media channels.

You always want to emphasize on how the brand will benefit from giving you free product. It’s obvious as to why you would benefit from free makeup but really they care about what you bring to the table and how that will esentially translate into more sales.

Please keep in mind that not all brands will accept your offer so don’t be discouraged. If a certain email template isn’t working then you have to switch it up. It’s all about trial and error.

Important takeaways:

  1. You need to give them something in exchange for the free product. Be clever.

  2. You need to have engagement.

  3. Excellent pictures (don’t forget social media is saturated with amazing content creators so make sure your images are amazing, don’t post if it’s not).

 

All You Need Is 8 Makeup Brushes

When it comes to makeup we all know that the secret is in the blending process, and to blend to perfection you need the right tools. As a professional makeup artist and beauty blogger I have over 100 brushes, wild I know. However, when it came to traveling to clients or going on vacation I literally wouldn’t take more than 8 brushes with me. If you think I’m bluffing, just keep reading.

Every brush on the market is versatile, they don’t just have one use. You can use one brush for many techniques. Once you master the technique you can truly apply it to any of these 8 makeup brushes.

Let’s begin…

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Luxie 223

This short shader brush has been a ride or die for years. I always use it for my Signature Eye look, which was my most requested look for brides.

Uses:

  • Applying glitter
  • Cut crease
  • Applying concealer
  • Highlighting the brow bone
  • Any lid color
  • Using the tip to shade around the lash line

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Luxie 231

This is the best brush for blending in tighter areas of the crease.

Uses:

  • Blending crease colors
  • Inner corner
  • Contouring the nose/lips
  • Using the tip to shade around the lash line
  • Highlighting the brow bone

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Morphe M326

This is the best for details.

Uses:

  • Highlighting the brow bone
  • Concealing the brows
  • Shading around the lash line
  • Smudging shadow
  • Carving out the details (i.e. cut crease)

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Morphe M513

This is my favorite for blending anything into the crease.

Uses:

  • Blending crease colors
  • Nose contour
  • Highlighting the nose and cupids bow

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Luxie 215

Eyeliner lover? This is the brush for you!

Uses:

  • Applying gel liner
  • Carving out details with a cream or powder
  • Filling in your brows

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Luxie 520

This is my #1 powder brush because it is so fluffy and truly blends to perfection!

Uses:

  • Powdering the face
  • Bronzing the face
  • Blending out harsh contours

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Morphe M501

My favorite highlighting brush.

Uses:

  • Highlighting the entire face
  • Contouring
  • Blush

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Royal & Langnickel BC120

I have been using this brush for years! It is the only brush I use for my cream and powder contour.

Uses:

  • Cream & powder contour
  • Bronzing the face
  • Blush

You don’t need to purchase exactly these brushes because most brush companies provide these brush styles. I will however let you in on my favorite brush company ever and that is Luxie Beauty. They are the only brushes I have truly fallen in love with over the years because of the quality. They are also the only brushes in my collection that have never shed. The quality and price are truly unbeatable. So if you want to invest in ONE brush brand I would suggest them. Morphe Brushes is a great alternative as well but my #1 recommendation is Luxie.


Giveaway:

This months monthly giveaway includes 3 Luxie brushes + all of the below.
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Rules:

  1. Comment your favorite brush company below. You can comment as many times as you’d like.
  2. USA only.
  3. Winner announced Tuesday August 14 on Instagram Story

Good Luck Babes!

XOXO,

Greta

The Secret To A Flake-Free Scalp

Did you know that one out of every five people suffers from a dry scalp that causes flaking. For most people, like myself, it is a constant problem and not the most comfortable thing to talk about. It’s totally gross but it’s a real issue and I have the solution to your problem!

When you have a dry scalp your dead skin starts to flake, when you have dandruff there is an excess amount of oil on your scalp which can also cause flaking. Both of these problems can be solved with one magical ingredient.

Can you guess what it is??

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Common take a stab at it.

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.

.

IT’S COFFEE!

*comment below if you guessed correctly*

About a decade ago my dads aunt told me that coffee has great benefits for the skin and the scalp. Apparently she suffered from a dry scalp and she said ground coffee was her secret to getting rid of her flakes. Since then I have been using coffee to de-flake. I want to say this method works because coffee is a natural exfoliant but I’ve done the same thing with sugar (another natural exfoliant) and it was just completely useless & painful!

Whatever the magical reason is, it works!

Anyone who suffers from a flakey scalp knows how disgusting and unattractive it is. YUCK! I’m always so self conscious about it that’s why I’ve started doing the routine below every single time I wash my hair (which is about once a week)! The best part is I have all the ingredients (there’s only 2) laying around at home.

Here are the 4 steps to a flake-free life…

Disclaimer: I’ll be using the word brush & scalp A LOT!

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Roughly brush/scratch your scalp with a brush (teasing brush works really well) to remove all the flakes from your scalp. This process hurts just a little bit but it’s a necessary step! I mean beauty is pain, right?!

I totally cringe at the sight of flakes btw, eww!

2

Apply a generous amount of coconut oil (or any oil that hydrates: hair oil, argan oil, olive oil, etc) all over your scalp and the ends of your hair. This is a mini hydrating sesh so have yourself some wine while your scalp soaks in all that goodness. Leave it on for as long as you can. I’ll usually apply an obscene amount of coconut oil and do house work or give the baby a bath and leave it on for a few hours.

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It’s crucial you do this step in the shower, unless you want coffee literally everywhere. Bring your ground coffee in a plastic cup into the shower and BEFORE you wet your hair rub a generous amount onto your scalp. Really massage it in for as long as you can then you can proceed to wet your hair.

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Last but not least add a bunch of coffee to your shampoo and massage it into your hair. I use the Trader Joes Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (great for dry scalp). Rinse thoroughly and if you have time apply a hydrating treatment or hair mask. If not, then condition per usual.

& that’s it!

That’s literally all it takes…some oil to hydrate your scalp & ground coffee. These two natural ingredients take your hair from flake-ful to flake-less.

YASSS PLEASE!

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