However small or large, we all have goals to which we aspire.
I had found that my goals were becoming more beauty-centric. Now, before you write me off as vapid and narcissistic, let me clarify: I am in the midst of pushing myself out of a hair and beauty slump. And it is indeed a slump.
My makeup routine had dwindled to moisturizer, powder, blush and sometimes mascara if I was feeling extra decadent. As for my pin-straight mane, it had grown surprisingly long, the lack of a good layered cut weighing it down in all of its can't-hold-a-curl straightness. If I was feeling at a true loss, I would tie my locks up in a high ponytail (if I ever fooled you into thinking that I was going to the gym with said pony tail, then it's working).
Needless to say, I required a couple of quick makeup tricks and a blowout which could magically last me the rest of the year. My beauty routine needed the love and care of a celebrity glam squad—they're fast and efficient, not to mention a walking encyclopedia of which products actually work.
So when I was afforded the unique opportunity to stop by Caravan Stylist Studio, I took it as a sign from the beauty gods (Aphrodite? Cleopatra? Marilyn? Thanks, ladies).
Caravan Stylist Studio is a wardrobe and full-service beauty studio which aims to partner A-list media influencers, bloggers, editors, fashion designers and beauty experts under one stylish roof. Located at the Carlton Hotel, and founded and run by Claudine DeSola, Caravan is a whirling dervish of collaboration that partners top-notch designers and beauty brands to create a full service experience for A-list clients, with their mantra being "talent helping talent."
Their full-time beauty expert and celebrity hair/makeup/nail artist, Valerie Star, is a one-woman glam squad who champions one red carpet event after another. It also turns out that Valerie, who can wield a nail polish brush, curling iron and mascara wand like no one else, is a fountain of information when it comes to using the products that won't waste your time. She tests the products herself before using on clients.
Upon entering the studio, I was whisked into a chair opposite Valerie where I was told to pick a color. I chose the metallic "Cash Only" from New York-based nail polish company Color Club's new "Oil Slick" line. My nails had been begging for a fresh buffing and coat since I had only recently barely recovered from a round of gel nail polish.
The polish dried almost instantly, which was perfect because then it was time for a little hair and makeup. This meant scrubbing off the vestiges of my tinted moisturizer and mascara from the day.
Valerie handed me the Foreo luna mini: a palm-sized, electronic face cleanser that not only promises a deep exfoliation, but also removes dead skin cells and gently opens pores to enhance the full effects of your skincare products. The battery can last for up to 450 full-wash routines (sold).
As someone who tends to get redness around the nose and cheeks when I exfoliate, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Foreo device had actually left my complexion and skin tone looking even and balanced. I almost wanted to forgo makeup, but you know, duty calls.
Next was hair. When Valerie asked me how I wanted my hair, I had my answer ready: "Volume, big."
The Not Your Mother's products made a big play here (pun so intended), as Valerie used their Whip It Up Cream Styling Mousse to thicken my strands and build body. Then she used a little of the brand's Short Order Fiber Glaze Cream and their Double Take Dry Finish Spray for hold and began curling my hair.
Beginning first with the bottom layers and slowly working her way up the top my head, she used the Not Your Mother's 2-in-1 Beach Babe Curling Iron, using the wand with the beaded shape to form loose yet strong and defined curls. Curls that actually stayed!
After a quick misting of She's A Tease Hairspray, we finished up with some makeup.
I've always had a penchant for a good cat eye, yet my unsteady hands have made the task a futile one.
So I asked Valerie how to achieve the winged eyeliner with perfect symmetry. She advocated using a gel liner and a very fine, small angled brush to gently brush the liner upwards, adding tiny liner dots beforehand to guide the stroke of the brush.
To finish it all off, she used Physician's Formula mascara. The mascara was their Lash Extension Kit which uses two bottles: the first, a base mascara, and then a second bottle which holds tiny black fibers that cling to lashes to build fullness and length without the sticky clumping. The kit even promises thicker and longer lashes after 3 weeks.
My eyelashes looked unreal but decidedly not fake, something all mascaras promise but fall just short of achieving.
After a quick swipe of pink gloss, my transformation was complete and was everything I had been hoping for: bouncing, full and wind-swept looking hair with defined curls that loosened throughout the day but remained intact to accompany a subtle and refined cat eye complete with bold, modish lashes.
Most importantly, though, I left with a head crammed full of ideas and quick tricks to incorporate into my own beauty routine, maybe just waiting to be used for an impromptu red carpet event. But most likely, an impromptu run to the grocery store.
Like I said, goals to which I aspire.
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