Category Archives: Rosebuds-Beauty Tips

Mission Possible: In-the-Lead with Eyeliner | 3 Beginner Tips to Mastery

By Nicole Renee, I’m Hot Studio

Never ask a girl with winged eyeliner why she’s late.”

I’ve seen this cute meme floating around the internet and whether it’s a line, a dash, a wing—eyeliner tends to be the most DIFFICULT thing.

But why?

Continually, I see clients making the process unnecessarily difficult for themselves because they incorrectly evaluate one or more of the following steps. This results in wasted money on incorrect products and tools for their skin texture and skill level.

Here are your beginner steps to mastery:

1) Identify your eye skin texture.

2) Assess your skill level: Beginner, intermediate or advanced.

3) Choose the proper medium (type of) eyeliner.

Eyeliner Success Formula:

Eye skin texture + Skill level=Medium (Type of eyeliner)

Eye Skin Texture and Eyeliner Texture

The skin’s condition and texture effects the appearance of make-up.

Imagine we’re selecting a paint finish for a wall. This wall has some lines or grooves on the surface. Choosing a matte finish absorbs light and will not draw attention to the lines on the wall.

A gloss paint reflects light, therefore it essentially illuminates the blemished and marked wall.

Similarly, these concepts apply to make-up textures (matte, satin, glitter). We want to emphasize our best features and minimize flaws.

What type of eye skin texture do you have? Is it smooth, taut eye skin or lined and mature eye skin? Do you have hooded eyes?

Those with smooth, taut skin and non-hooded eyes—you are the lucky ones. You have the most flexibility with textures of eyeliner, basically anything goes. The rest depends upon your skill level.

Matte textured eyeliners absorb light and conceal creased mature skin substantially.

Hooded eyes exist at ANY age and skin texture. How low the hooded eyes hang will dictate how you use top eyeliner and how you create winged eyeliner (if at all).

Choosing Your Medium a.k.a. Type of Eyeliner

Medium: This is the type and texture of eyeliner product.

Waterline: The inner rim of the eye–located behind lashes.

Eye shadows: Eye shadows come in different textures (mattes, satins, glitter). Shadows may be used as top eyeliner but are best suited as bottom eyeliner to create a smokey effect.

Where/How to Apply: Use a small pencil brush or small angled shader brush. Place shadow close to lash lines and blend when using on the lower lash. Start at outer corner for top or bottom lash. Never use in waterline.

Skin Texture: Any skin texture can use shadows. Taut/smooth skin can use all shadow textures. Mattes are best for lined/mature skin.

Skill level: Beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Pencil/Crayons: Pencils/Crayons come in varying textures (matte, kohls, longwear, glitter) and packaging (sharpened pencil or twisty barrel).

Kohls turn out a smoother, blendable touch.

Longwear lends a dense and firmer application, thus their purpose–longwear.

Make sure the pencil is described as waterline safe.

Where/How to Apply: Start at inner corner for top lash or outer corner for bottom lash. Blend out with small pencil brush or small angled shader brush. Do not use a blending brush in the waterline.

Skin Texture: Any skin texture can use pencils. Taut/smooth skin can use all pencil textures. Mattes are best for lined/mature skin.

Skill level: Beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Cake (basically a watercolor paint concept):The dry liner comes in a palette or pot in matte, satin or glitter textures.

Where/How to Apply: Add a bit of water to the brush and dip onto the eyeliner. Use a small angled brow brush or slim pointed eyeliner brush. Never use in waterline.

Skin Texture: Any skin texture can use cake. Taut/smooth skin can use all cake textures. Mattes are best for lined/mature skin. Use caution with hooded eyes, depending on how low the hood sits on the top lash line.

Skill level: Intermediate or advanced.

Gel: Presented in a pot in varying textures (mattes, satins, glitter) with a consistency of a thick mascara.

Where/How to Apply: Use a slim pointed eyeliner or small angled brush and dip lightly into pot. Start at inner corner for top lash or outer corner for bottom lash. Gel is best used for top eyeliner. Do not use in waterline.

Skin Texture: Taut/smooth skin can use all gel textures. Mattes are best for lined/mature skin. Use caution with hooded eyes, depending on how low the hood sits on the top lash line.

Skill level: Intermediate or advanced.

Pen/Liquid Liner: Packaged as a tube with brush or as a magic marker pen (in varying textures mattes, satins, glitter).

Where/How to Apply: Start at inner corner for top lash or outer corner for bottom lash. Pen/liquid liner is best used for top eyeliner. Use caution with hooded eyes, depending on how low the hood sits on the top lash line. Do not use in waterline.

Skin Texture: Taut/smooth skin can use all pen/liquid textures. Mattes are best for lined/mature skin.

Lined, mature skin or hooded eye users may find this form the most difficult to work with, especially for top eyeliner. Gel liner gives more control of the product for creating top eyeliner.

Skill level: Very experienced intermediate or advanced.

You’re now equipped with the proper steps and a formula to combat any “liner letdown”.

Selecting the precise products for your skin and skill level will ensure you arrive on time and perfectly lined to all your events!

I’m Hot Studio
14 Cedar St. #213
Amesbury, MA 01913

Bury Your Battered Skin Top Wig and Advance Ahead to a Lace Front

by Nicole Renee, I’m Hot Studio, Amesbury, MA

If it could cry, it would have whimpered one, faint, last snivel.

I stood there in disbelief. . .shock. . .awe. . .and just stared at it.

This lifeless, plastic scalped, chew-toy of a wig was ready for a proper burial.  There was no way I would allow my client, Kathy, to wear this frizzy “animal” on her head. . .to continue on this road-kill path of ratty wigs.

“I’ve had this piece for so long, but I guess it’s time to move forward.”

“Yes,” I agreed, “ You will be SO happy you did!” Tossing the wig to the side, I declared, “We are on a journey to cooler, lighter and more natural looking wigs!”

Many of my clients have started with skin tops when they first venture into the colorful and  endless world of wigs. These are OK if you’re on a tight budget and cannot spring for a new or higher quality hairpiece. When you can conveniently “find” the money to do so, I highly recommend graduating to lace fronts.

Here’s the Difference 101 between a skin top versus lace front wig: A skin top wig has hair punched into a scalp-like material, either latex or polyurethane. A lace front wig has hair attached as small knots into a lace mesh material. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each.

Benefits of Skin Tops

Price motivates buyers to purchase a skin top. They are cheaper and novice wig shoppers often grab the hairpiece that’s easiest on the purse.

Cons of Skin Tops

Skin tops may be light on the wallet but they’re heavy on the sweat. Polyurethane and latex suffocate the skin. These materials make for uncomfortable wearing if you’re a heavy sweater or live in a warm climate. Perspiration trickles down to melting your makeup job as well.

The hair movement is relatively stiff as its restricted by the plastic base, contributing to an artificial look.

Adding hair to thinning spots on a skin top base can be done but good luck finding a ventilator gunning for the job. This is labor intensive, expensive and potentially damages the inflexible cap. Reinvest your money on a quality lace front wig.

Benefits of Lace Fronts

The benefits of lace fronts outweigh the cons. The breathable lace allows for the flow through of air. They part easily, lending to versatile styling options. The hair flows with grace and ease in a lace base versus a rigid, plastic foundation.

A quality lace front, looks like the hair grows out of your head and the hairline density can be tailored. An experienced ventilator can add hair into the lace to cover thinning areas as the hairpiece thins.

Cons of Lace Fronts

Many web shoppers get excited to find a “deal” on a longer lace front ($100 or less) but often when it arrives, the density is thin, sparse in the bang area, or it sheds heavily upon brushing.

Sometimes a square or dense round  hairline needs to be customized.

Quality deluxe lace fronts are pricey but you get what you pay for. You’re paying for labor intensive knitting, a medium or heavier density, rooted or multi-dimensional color, length and hair type.

Questions to Ask When Buying

  • What type of lace is used? French lace tends to be more durable and scratchy for some versus softer, delicate Swiss lace options.
  • What types of knots are used? A well made lace front is weaved with double knots to secure the hair. A weakly woven single knot lace front sheds heavily on the first brushing or balds quicker.
  • How is the cap adjustable? I recommend hook and eye straps. The hair gets caught in velcro straps and pull strings loosen and wear quickly.
  • What is the density? Light density: 80%. Light to Medium Density: 80-100%. Under 100%, why buy a balding wig? lol. Medium to Heavy 100-130%. This is typical stock density. Closer to 120-130%, the better. Heavy: 150%. Mostly for performers who want a super full style

So, that’s a quick, cheat sheet guide. Many online wigs have this information in their descriptions.

As for my client, Kathy, she has officially embraced lace fronts!

When I applied the layer flowing design on Kathy, a smile and blush glowed over her face. “I feel so glamorous and it looks so real!” The chest length, chocolate brown with buttery blonde highlights definitely had that “movie star” quality.

We finished customizing the front and she confidently waved goodbye, with a toss of her hair and a beaming smile, she was ready to conquer her day!

The Biggest Lie Hairstylists Tell Women and Transgendered Women Over 40

by Nicole Renee, I’m Hot Studio, Amesbury, MA

“We’re going to give you a sexsi, short ‘do, you’re going to look ah-mazing, you’ll looove it,” the “chic” TV hairstylist fibs to woman-over-40.

My thought bubble: “Here we go again.”

It’s a rarity when I watch one of these makeover shows and don’t see the hairstylist shear every strand of woman-over-40’s HEALTHY, waist length hair into a crop of some shape.


And this winter will be no different. Just like every new year, 2014 will have the talk show circuit abuzz and flooded with makeover segments. Scissor happy stylists will be in a cutting frenzy, chopping everyone’s hair into some type of gumdrop or q-tip style.

I’ve even seen hairstylists working on the transgendered suggest the same. Here the client is so excited to be venturing into a new chapter of the process and the stylist tells them because of their age, they should stay with short hair, as if anything shoulder length or longer is a mortal sin.

So is this fleecing of femininity necessary? Should you wear your hair (real or fake) long after the age of 40? This question is easily answered if we briefly examine, why are we attracted to hair?

Humans process subconscious visual cues when evaluating one another or choosing a potential mate. Evolutionary psychology suggests hair quality, density and length signifies youth, health status (2-3 years worth), fertility and in some cultures, social status.

No wonder why healthy looking, long hair never goes out of style.

What Short Hair Reveals

I’ll admit, I am a fan of flowing, manageable and versatile shoulder to waist length hair.

Regardless of what long hair naysayers consider “difficult to manage long hair,” let’s look at the benefits of long hair versus the cropped pixie cut.

Keeping a real hair pixie primped properly requires a cut every four to six weeks to maintain it’s A-game design. The pixie also needs to be groomed into a style or it looks like flat, lifeless short hair.

When hair is cut away, it bares all facial features and the face becomes THE focal point. This leaves no distraction and exposes lines, asymmetries and facial fullness or thinness.

What Long Hair Conceals

Simply put: Longer hair hides flaws. A side or partial bang covers forehead lines while chin and shoulder length layers camouflage a heavy neck, asymmetrical jaw or facial fullness.

Tweaking the hair texture is another trick to masking less than perfect facial features. Beachy waves widen a thin face, while straight, sleek tresses subtract from an ample face.

Finally, one of THE best and most overlooked benefits of having long hair has to be. . .the ponytail. This sassy, feminine form can be saddled up high or polished low to the nape. The classic pattern swings with movement, sways with convenience and couples as a great time saver in comparison to customizing a pixie.

I particularly LOVE seeing older celebrities bucking the current by wearing LONG hair, well over the age of 40. Christie Brinkley, Raquel Welch, Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman all wear LONG hair beautifully. Granted, some are wearing fake hair but they STILL look fantastic.

So, the next time Mr./Ms. Stylist Chop Shop tell you how, “You really should consider cutting your hair short,” remember, 1.) this is a myth and 2.) you have options (even if your hair is thin). I will talk further about those options in the next article.

To be continued … and here’s to a longer hair new year!

Skin Care & Grooming – Not for Women Only

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

The science of esthetics has focused on servicing the needs of women for years. In addition, they have long been the primary users of skin care services and products. This has been true partly because of an emphasis on skin care as a beauty aid as well as a health aid, and partly because women have been more concerned with their looks than have men. Men have considered skin care as a feminine pursuit.

However this attitude is changing. Men are becoming concerned with good grooming and becoming aware of the health aspects of making sure their skin is properly cared for. Skin care needs of men do differ from those of women to some extent. The physical differences between males and females extend beyond the obvious differences in the sex and reproductive organs. Physiologically speaking, men tend to grow larger and are stronger and faster.

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Esthetique Rapid Lash Quick Evaluation

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

Recently Esthetique had a chance to test Rapid Lash, the new mascara that claims to have an innovative high-performance formula which helps thicken the appearance of and improve the condition of your lashes and brows. They promise results in 3-4 weeks.  At Esthetique we’ve been pretty amazed as we’ve seen significant changes in only 10 days!

The Non-Invasive Liquid Facelift

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

The question I’m asked most often in my salon is, “What options do I have outside of feminization facial surgery that will minimize expression lines and soften my appearance”?

Assuming that you’ve got a skin care regimen down pat, it’s certainly possible to greatly improve your overall look!

Minimally invasive procedures are becoming increasingly more popular with those who want to avoid or postpone cosmetic surgery.

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Q&A with Esthetique: Paula Answers Your Beauty Questions

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

Q. I love the look of a healthy tan but I’m concerned about sun exposure. I’ve tried tanning booths in the past but don’t feel comfortable about their safety. Any suggestions?

A. I highly recommend using self tanners! There are many brands on the market to choose from. They may come in the form of a lotion, tint or spray. I recommend that you read the directions thoroughly and use gloves for the application. This way, you’ll avoid staining of your hands and fingernails. Self tanners have come a long way over the years. Gone are the days of “orange”. Tanners provide a beautiful healthy glow without the risk.

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Beauty Check List for First Event

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

First Event is upon us! Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, we all want to look our very best. Here’s a quick check list that may help in your preparation for the star studded event!

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Covering The Beard

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

With First Event right around the corner, I thought an article on Beard Cover may be helpful for those venturing out for the very first time.

Covering the beard may be the most difficult part of a transformation makeover. However, it can be done! I recommend following the steps beginning with prepping of the skin. Every little bit helps in achieving the perfect canvass for stellar makeup application.

1. Use a facial brush with a cleanser designed for your specific skin type. Gently go in a circular motion all over. The brush will lift the hairs, provide circulation, and exfoliate for a much better result when shaving.

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The Eyes Have It!

by Paula Jackson of Esthétique Salon

The Eyes Have It!
We all know the eyes are the windows to our souls! Therefore, we must keep them healthy & looking great!

I often see clients plagued with various eye conditions. This can greatly affect makeup application making the process difficult and leaving one very frustrated.

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