Author Archives: Paula Mayer

Photogenic skin begins with healthy skin

Sun Damaged skin home remedies

Sun damage erasers

It’s a fact…  we Californian’s love our sun and while there are many things to love (Vitamin D and mood lifting benefits), and while you can supplement with products, the actual sun is the best source as long as you don’t overdo it.   The natural pigment of your skin will determine how long you can be out before damage starts to occur and for someone with fair skin and freckles 20 minutes is the limit.  After that load up with a toxin-free sunscreen –my favorite– and /or a large brimmed hat and long sleeves.  I recommend that you always wear sunscreen on your face!  You’ll still reap the sun’s benefits as long as 70% of your body is exposed for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Banish brown spots and wrinkles

If you’ve spent a lifetime worshipping the sun and the damage has been done there’s a plethora of procedures that any dermatologist will gladly educate you on.  And while you should have a full body screening every year you may prefer a less dramatic and costly approach to erasing sun damage. Try these at-home skin care solutions for combatting dryness, blemishes and dark spots -all consequences of over exposure from one fall-asleep-in-the-sun too many or a lifetime of lax sunscreen use.

Problem: Dry skin  Solution: Ghee with essential oil available here

Ghee is loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids which act as a moisture barrier.  I like to add a few drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oil for an uplifting experience in the mornings.  Rub between hands to warm, then apply all over towel-dried body.

Problem: Sunburn  Solution: Black Cumin Seed Oil available here

Black Cumin Seed oil is excellent for reducing inflammation which is a direct result of too much sun.  Mix a 1/2 teaspoon or so with a bit of aloe vera to sooth the discomfort and apply regularly.  And don’t save it just for sunburns -combatting inflammation is always flattering.  You’ll also notice the benefits of softened dark spots and increased collagen with regular use.

Problem:  Post workout breakouts  Solution: Watermelon seed oil available here

And doesn’t it just sound right in the summer!  Watermelon Seed Oil works by unclogging sebum and cell build-up in pores.  A great benefit when summer workouts mean sweat and dirt can otherwise build up to cause breakouts.

Problem: Dark spots  Solution: lemon & yogurt

Lemon has natural bleaching qualities and yogurt, lactic acid for an exfoliating effect.  When combined and applied to dark spots for a minimum of 20 minutes you’ll help reduce spots with continued use.

Great overall hydrator for all skin types:  2oz purified water & 5 drops essential rose hip seed oil available here

Combine in spray bottle.  Shake and spritz for a hydrating pick-me-up anytime.  Can also be used in your AirPro airbrush system for a mini facial pre-foundation.

As a makeup artist much of my skill lies in covering imperfections (many caused by sun damage) with the help of great products and useful tools such as AirPro Makeup.  In an effort to reduce the amount of product required for a flawless finish I like to share my skin enhancing strategies, pre-makeup, so we can all be a little more radiant with less makeup.  I hope you enjoy!

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Photo Ready Skin

Pamper yourself and reap the benefits with fresh skin.

photo fresh skin

Try these treatments and you’ll enjoy ultra radiant skin for your next beauty portrait.

Now that winter is officially over it’s time to shed your skin’s winter coat and prepare for your supple summer glow and your freshest skin ever using homemade remedies you can cook up at home.  Natural ingredients are extremely beneficial for fresh skin and oftentimes healthier without the need for parabens or other preservatives to extend their shelf life.  You blend them at home in a matter of minutes using wholesome ingredients sometimes found in the produce aisle.  Consider it a farm-to-face beauty regimen with big rewards.

No longer is “I don’t have time” excusable.  You really can’t afford not to take good care of yourself, so enjoy a little me time occasionally.  All three of these treatments can be done in less that 25 minutes.  They’re less expense and time-consuming than driving to the spa and nearly as soothing.  Try just one of these treatments at a time or use all three simultaneously.

As opposed to real cooking, none of these recipes require precise ingredient measurements.
Hands on time: 5 minutes
Pampering time: 23 minutes
Optional face massage: 2 minutes

Pampering Tub Soak

Begin running your bath water then add all ingredients listed for Pampering tub soak.  This will fill while you’re blending the Anti-oxidant facial and Moisture hydration mask.  Make sure you’ve gathered all ingredients before beginning.

1.5 cups Epsom salt (natural muscle relaxer)
2 drops neroli essential oil (anti-anxiety)
4-5 drops lavender essential oil (anti-fungal)

Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes then rinse face (if using Anti-oxidant facial) and body in shower before applying  Moisture hydration mask.

Anti-oxidant facial – works for all skin types

1T pineapple juice (exfoliant) Use leftovers in your next smoothie.  Great anti-inflammatory which benefits skin too.
1T Manuka honey or regular honey (hydration & anti-bacterial)
1T pumpkin puree (anti-oxidant) Use the leftovers in your next smoothie.
1 tsp cosmetic clay of choice (pore detoxifier)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Apply with fingers or a fan brush to face, neck and décolleté.  Soak in a warm tub for 20 minutes preferably using the Pampering Tub Soak or soak of your choice.  Rinse well.  Follow with Moisture hydration mask before retiring for a restorative night’s sleep.

Moisture Hydration Mask – leave on

1/4 cup jojoba oil (non-comedogenic)
1T rosehip seed oil (deep-penetrating hydrator)
1 tsp pumpkin seed oil (antioxidant containing vitamins A and C)
1 drop lavender essential oil (calming)
1 drop neroli essential oil (skin regenerative)

Mix all ingredients and massage over face and body.

If you have 2 extra minutes do this circulating face massage:  Using Moisture hydration mask, massage your face and neck in an upward direction using circular motions.  This will counteract gravity, stimulate your lymphatic system and eliminate toxins.

Don comfy nighty (or not), then slip in between the sheets for 8 hours of restorative, beautifying sleep!

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Beauty sleep strategies

Beauty Sleep strategies and makeup tips for faking it.

While it would be ideal to boast 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, for most of us with busy lives, it just isn’t a reality.  Restorative sleep not only benefits your mood, coping capabilities, problem solving skills and overall health; your skin and eyes will noticeably give away your lack-of-sleep making you not only feel bad but look less than radiant when sleep is elusive for more than a few nights a week. This makes us not only feel groggy but we are visually reminded of our previous nights’ tossing and turning every time we look in the mirror.

beauty sleep strategies

Tips and home remedies to help you achieve restful sleep each night

Turn off blue light-emitting electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Or if you absolutely have to work on the computer you can download a blue light filter or try these blue-light-busting-glasses so you’re not sabotaging your circadian clock.

Drink a cup of warm tea such as Chamomile or Nighty Night about an hour before bedtime.  While a glass of wine can take the days edge off, more than one can cause you to wake in the wee hours due to your body burning off excess sugar.  Try this soothing anti-inflammatory drink that not only tastes great but lowers inflammation which will reduce puffiness and redness.

Soothing Anti-Inflammatory Milk  –  Makes 2 cups
2 cups of non-dairy milk of choice
3 star anise pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1 knob of ginger
Add all ingredients to a saucepan, bring to a simmer then let steep for a few minutes. Strain and enjoy!

Make sure you’re getting your magnesium.  If you’ve ever been kept awake by restlessness a likely culprit could be a deficiency of magnesium.  Try Calm Natural Vitality.  Known to induce a state of Calmfulness.  You can thank me later.

Tart cherries contain melatonin and are anti-inflammatory -a winning combination for sleeping throughout the night.  Oftentimes I will mix a tablespoon of tart cherry juice with Calm for an effervescent and tasty sleep aid.  Frozen tart cherries also make a guilt-free evening snack.

Dark and cool is the best way to keep your bedroom for optimal sleep.  Black out curtains are excellent when you live in the city and setting your thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees is best for deep sleep.

Diffusers or cotton buds filled with lavender or ylang ylang will dispense a calming scent throughtout your room and promote relaxation.  This diffuser is as beautiful as it is useful.

When beauty sleep isn’t an option use these makeup strategies to give you a wide awake appearance  …even when you’re not.

Puffy eyes are women’s biggest complaint and are largely due to allergies and water retention especially if they dissipate within a few hours of being up.  To speed up the deflation process try keeping eye cream in your refrigerator or a set of spoons and apply for a few minutes before proceeding with concealer.  The cooling effect will de-puff by constricting blood vessels and diffusing fluids.  Another option, try 100% Pure eye cream with coffee bean and green tea.  It smells as good as it works and is exactly what the name implies -100% pure.

Dark circles are the most obvious and problematic result of not sleeping well.  Banish them with a peach tinted concealer which counteracts the blue tone around the eyes.  Be sure to blend concealer up into the inner corner on the side of the nose and only use where needed to avoid creasing in outer corners.

Open up your eyes by curling lashes and concentrating mascara on the middle lashes.  This makes eyes appear rounder and more open.  Try a product with a round spooley on the tip for detailing or use these disposables with your favorite brand -with the added benefit of keeping your pricey mascara germ-free longer.

Get the red out with a neutral liner applied along the lower rim of the eyes.  Lack of sleep can cause redness in this area.  Try this product to brighten the inner rim and revitalize tired looking eyes.  Stick with lighter eye shadows as darker tones can add to the sunken appearance.

Keep it peachy on the lips to cancel out the blue tones under the eyes.

And now you’re ready for your close up.

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Hair revitalizing recipes

Simple fixes to revitalize your mane attraction.

Be photo-ready anytime with these simple shine strategies whether for a simple selfie or a Mayer Studios Beauty Portrait.

hair recipes

Hair revitalizing recipes for a lustrous Mane Attraction!

Let’s face it, our tresses are what define us.   Spiky pink-tipped or long, beachy waves say a lot about who we are.   Without ever speaking a word you can make a major image statement and give huge insight to the viewer about your personality.  That’s not to say we should be judged by our exterior but it is something that everyone notices within seconds of laying eyes on us.

So we should all strive for healthy looking hair whether you wear yours in a short layered bob or with long luscious locks.  Dry, brittle, over-processed hair ages us and over styling, sun damage and poor quality products can all reek havoc on even the healthiest locks.  Here’s some tips on how to regain bouncy, beautiful hair and bring back the shine and lustre of youth with products you probably already have at home.

If you haven’t heard this by now it’s time you try it.  Coconut oil is amazing!  This stuff is wonderful, inexpensive (at least compared to some pricey hair products) and it’s all you need to revitalize dull hair.  Depending on the texture of your hair is how you’ll use it.  Coconut oil is heavy so I’ve created several recipes you can use depending on your hair type.  If you have an oily scalp you may fear that this will only exacerbate the problem. Quite the opposite is true.  It will actually help control the sebum production by removing excess product build-up and dead skin cells balancing the skin’s natural oil production.

Recipe for happy scalp if you have thin, fine hair with an oily scalp

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil available here
4-5 drops of essential grapefruit or lemon oil available here and here

Melt the coconut oil.  This can be done bit by bit with small amounts warmed in your hands then adding a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice.  Rub this mixture on your scalp paying attention to distribute evenly and then pull through to ends of hair.  Now massage your scalp for a few minutes.  Not only does this feel remarkable it also increases circulation promoting hair growth and removal of excess sebum.  If time allows let it saturate for a minimum of 15 minutes but longer is more beneficial.  This recipe is best used during the day as the grapefruit and lemon are invigorating and do not promote sleep.

Recipe for healthy scalp free of dryness and flaking and luxurious shiny strands for course, thick hair

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 drops tea tree oil (optional) available here

Melt the coconut oil and mix in the baking soda and tea tree oil, if using, creating a paste which you’ll then apply to your scalp.   It’s okay if some of it gets in your hair but you want to focus the solution on the scalp.   This recipe works because the coconut oil sooths the scalp by creating a moisture barrier and the baking soda exfoliates the scalp of product build up and eases dandruff by killing the yeast and fungi that cause the itch.  For added effectiveness add a few drops of tea tree oil which is a natural anti-fungal.

 Why dry shampoo may not be your best friend after all.

If you reach for dry shampoo more than once a week you may want to reconsider.   Many of us have come to rely on dry shampoo as a stand-in to daily shampooing thinking it’s perfectly healthy and convenient.  The latter being true, the sad fact is that it’s not so good for your scalp.  How healthy your scalp is sets the tone for how healthy your hair is since that’s where it originates.  Diet and genetics play a role too but that’s a topic for another blog.  By using a dry shampoo regularly you are suffocating the hair follicle which over time can completely clog the follicle leading to thinning and slowing of hair growth.  If you shampoo less, every other day is optimal for most people, your hair will eventually quit overproducing oil in an attempt to compensate for your daily stripping with shampoo and harsh chemicals.  There will be an adjustment period but it may just be a matter of getting used to yourself with your own“natural” hair product rather than squeaky clean hair.

These days most of us have limited time for beauty regimens.  I think you’ll find these hair tips beneficial and easy to do just in minutes by keeping the products on hand and easily accessible.

Enjoy!

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Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift!

Present him with the ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift!

Valentine's Day gift

YOU as your sexiest self!

Imagine his excitement and awe when he opens a brocade wrapped gift box filled with gorgeous images of the love of his life!  Digital images and slideshow presentations for display on his smart device also available with select packages.  This way you’ll always be near even when you’re far apart.

Sessions are available in our comfortable studio for individuals or pair up with your best friend for a fun filled afternoon!

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Beauty tips for healthy glowing skin

Beauty tips for healthy glowing skin

beauty tip glowing skin

Perhaps you have a momentous event just around the corner,  are having a professional photo taken, or want your skin to look it’s best for a new job.  Here are some tips that will get you glowing and pay back your skin for all the wonderful things it does for you; like act as a barrier against dirt, germs and harmful toxins.  It absorbs energy from the sun converting it to Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone.  Then it sweats when you’re over heated removing toxins from within.  That’s a lot to ask of your largest organ so why not treat it with the respect it deserves!

Here’s how you can show your skin some love.

Use oil as cleanser

As strange as it may sound oil dissolves oil and is a great pre-cleanser to your regular wash and can even be the only product you need on those no makeup days when it’s mostly dirt and pollution that needs to be removed.  There are many ready made versions on the market such as Dermalogica precleanse, Origins clean energy, & Shu Uemura cleansing oils to name a few.

Not all oils are created equal.  There’s the good ones that are nourishing and because they’re derived from seeds, kernels, nuts and plants they possess numerous skin benefits that help to restore barrier lipids that can be depleted in harsh environments or from over washing.  They’re loaded with antioxidants that protect your skin from the environment.  Good ones to look for are grapeseed, olive, sweet almond, jojoba and apricot kernel.

Try this homemade recipe for precleansing – Use 1 Tbsp per application

1/4 cup sweet almond oil
1/4 cup jojoba oil
1/8 cup olive oil
5-6 drops essential oil (optional)

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Red Carpet Beauty

Paula Mayer, makeup artist/stylist and co-owner of Mayer Studios, was on the scene at ComiCon 2014 preparing actors of the Starz TV series “Black Sails” for their red carpet events.

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