Tag Archives: 312 Beauties

How to Wear Makeup in the Winter


For as fun as I think makeup is to apply and experiment with, I realize that for a lot of women, it’s a daunting routine that is sometimes anything but intuitive. Allow me to introduce you to the “lazy perfection makeup method,” coined by one of the best makeup artists in the biz, Jenny Patinkin, who also calls Chicago home.  She’s built a reputation for creating simple and natural looks that are easy to do yourself. Jenny’s approach is very “real girl” and she’s all about breaking down the notion that in order to be flattering, makeup needs to be complicated or full of steps. She even designed a lazy perfection-inspired line of makeup brushes (coming soon to Space NK!) that practically apply makeup for you.


I’ve never used a brush in so many ways as the All-Over Face (third from left)

I asked Jenny to share some of her lazy perfection tips for winter beauty. This week has been a painful reminder of the havoc frigid cold can wreak. My eyes tear up the second I walk outdoors and pale becomes me. You feel me?


My eyes are like a leaky faucet when I’m outside in the cold. What should I be doing?
Eye shadow primer is an essential (I like Nars the best) and of course water-resistant eyeliner.  For mascara, I’m actually not a big fan of waterproof formulas – they can dry out your lashes and make them brittle.  I prefer a water resistant “tube” formula mascara like the ones from Kevyn Aucoin or Trish McEvoy because they stay on until you take them off, even if you have a few tears.  And I would recommend a creamy concealer under the eyes that can be re-blended or blotted back into place after having tears run over it. Opaque concealers aren’t as malleable and are tougher to touch up.

How do you prevent lips from drying out?
Aquaphor!  It’s a savior!  I like to apply it to clients (and myself) before I put on any makeup so that by the time I’m ready to apply lipstick as the last step, lips are smooth and moisturized.  Honestly, there are plenty of times in the winter when I personally skip lipstick altogether and just apply Aquaphor.  I keep tubes of it everywhere – in my pockets, purses, my car and beside my bed, and I sleep with it on my lips every night.

Statement lip: yes or no?
As long as your lips are smooth and un-chapped, then why not!  A satin finish is more comfortable to wear than drier matte or demi-matte finishes, though, and a little bit of sheen looks pretty against flat winter fabrics like wool or cashmere.  It’s also helpful to warm up your complexion with a little bronzer so that the contrast between bold lips and pale skin doesn’t look harsh or too pronounced.

What is the trick to getting glowing skin, despite the dry air?
Look for products that have words like luminous, radiant, illuminating in the name or description.  This generally means that there is micro-shimmer mixed in which will help any available light bounce off of your skin, adding dimension and glow.  I like Burberry Beauty Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base mixed in with moisturizer or foundation, or Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector dotted along the tops of the cheeks.

Tips to wearing bronzer in the winter?
If your skin gets sallow in the winter – tinged with yellow, green or grey tones – then bronzer will be your best friend. I like to keep it mostly on the top part of the face – along the cheekbones, up the temples and lightly across the forehead with maybe a dash on the nose.  By keeping the center of your face (orbital bones, chin/neck) in your natural tone, you’ll look “warm” without looking “tan.”

How do you prevent the cakey look?
I tend to avoid powder products in the winter, or use them very sparingly.  Something like Jouer Essential Matte Touch is almost like a putty texture that you can apply under your makeup or on top of it as a touch up over the course of the day – love that stuff.  I sometimes also send clients out with sponges in their evening bags to blot away shine instead of covering it with powder.

Honey Cleansing…it’s a Thing

Kitchens are filled with beauty treatments. Like mixing sugar and olive oil together for a DIY lip scrub or squeezing some fresh lemon into your greek yogurt for a homemade brightening mask. And the latest trend that I’m hearing raves about from everyone is…wait for it….cleansing your face with honey! It sounds extreme, no? But before you picture that teddy bar glue sealing your eyelids shut, let me clarify. Leave teddy out of this! You want manuka honey, which is filled with powerful antibacterial properties and really effective at treating acne. I asked one of my favorite 312 beauties, Megan of Seed to Serum, to give us the scoop on honey cleansing. Here’s what she had to say… Honey-cleansing

…I initially began washing with raw organic honey a few months back. Because I was suffering from crazy breakouts at the time, I threw caution to the wind and picked up a jar at Whole Foods. Sadly, I never really saw any of the promised benefits, namely clearer skin, so after about a month of halfhearted honey cleansing I gave it up. When my skin started acting up again, I spoke to May Lindstrom and (surprise, surprise) she suggested honey cleansing. Though this was not the advice I was hoping for, I decided to give it one last try – this time with manuka honey.

I am currently using Wedderspoon Gold Organic Raw Manuka 16+ (for these medicinal benefits, be sure to look for 15+ or higher on the jar.)  Every morning, I splash my face a few times with water and then slightly pat my skin dry. A little moisture should remain, which helps the honey spread easier. I use a spoon to remove a little from the jar and loosen it up a bit between my fingers and lightly rub over my skin (exactly the same as I would any other type of cleanser) for 2-3 minutes. Manuka honey is not sticky. In fact, it feels like an incredibly luxurious cream cleanser!

If I’m not really wearing any makeup, I cleanse with honey exactly the same way as I do in the morning and call it a night. If I am, I like to pre-cleanse with One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil. Some nights when I’m feeling overly ambitious, I use the One Love Organics, dry my skin and then apply a generous layer of honey and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. This works wonders when my skin is red and irritated. However, a word of caution – do not do this every night or you will dry out your skin. I learned that the hard way! Honey cleansing has been wonderful for reducing redness, bumpiness and irritation. It’s incredibly calming and hydrating. More importantly, it speeds the healing of acne! No, it hasn’t stopped my breakouts completely, but it has helped to reduce scarring and shorten the acne’s life cycle.

Now, go follow Megan here!

312 Beauties: Alexz Sandovol of Bird Trouble

Alexz-Bird-TroubleAlexz Sandoval is one of Chicago’s hippest chicks. As the founder and designer of Bird Trouble, she takes thrift and vintage shop finds and turns them into one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories. The creations Alexz imagines from an old leather jacket and blankets is just beyond. With each piece she sells in her Etsy shop, also comes a little story on where the materials are sourced. She calls it the mystery of a found textile. When she’s not designing, Alexz is managing PR for Sine Qua Non Salons. So in addition to her great sense of personal style, she also has amazing hair, always. I asked this 312 Beauty to show me her makeup bag and also share some of her trade secrets to shopping thrift.


I sense a MAC girl by the looks of your makeup bag. What are your favorites?

My girlfriend works at MAC — Celisa Martinez at the MAC at Macy’s on State Street! I’ve used the brand since high school! I love the new Mineralize Foundation because it gives me a dewy look. I apply MAC Blush in Blunt (darker – great for contouring) onto my cheeks while I smile really cheesy, swooping it in a circle the define my cheeks and a up a little on my cheekbone. I then apply MAC Amber Glow, which helps give the dewy finish I love, right above Blunt in the same direction and a little more on my cheekbone to the sides of my eyes. I also sometimes use Amber Glow on my brow bone.  I also use All That Glitters Eyeshadow – it’s the best. For a pop of fluorescent, I use Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti.  I also love bareMinerals gloss in Savvy. It’s super nude and I use it for touch-ups throughout the day. The mirror is from Mexico and I made the makeup bag from repurposed vintage material I hunted down thrifting.

How did Bird Trouble come about?

I opened up an Etsy shop in 2009 and have been experimenting ever since.  I started with pouches and reusable coffee cub sleeves and now do wallets and bags, too. I’ll go to the thrift store and get leather jackets in colors I like and buy curtains or scrap fabric, or a blanket, and bring it all home. It’s usually vintage or repurposed fabric. It’s different every time.

What does Bird Trouble mean – how did you come up with the name?

Bird Trouble is a song from this punk band from England. If you put it with my bags, it totally doesn’t make any sense really but in the song bird means girl. He talks about this girl basically taking over her boyfriend and not letting him have any fun, so he has bird trouble. I just thought it was cute to use the word bird to describe a girl. A little European, you know?

What are your favorite thrift shops in Chicago? Tips for the rest of us?

You need patience and open frame of mind! Look to pair things you don’t see on a mannequin. I really like Unique on Sheridan – it’s never picked over. There are a lot of cute shops in Pilsen and Bridgeport. I also like Seek on Chicago Ave. A lot of my friends sell vintage, too, so if I’m looking to spend and support someone, I do that. But otherwise, if it’s not $5, I’m not paying for it!

For more on Alexz, check out Bird Trouble. And, for a sneak peek at Bird Trouble’s upcoming collection, check out this preview!

312 Beauties: Jenna DeBord

Jenna DeBord, a.k.a. The Garmenteur, is in the business of personal style. She’s got you covered on the closet edit, shopping your existing wardrobe and helping you find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Her budding business empire is based on a very important principle: individual style. She doesn’t want you to dress like anyone but you. Though, admittedly, I want to dress like her! Over a cup of green tea at Heritage a few weeks ago, I chatted with Jenna about blush, facial oils, the hardest workout in Chicago and the perils of long hair. Read on to see what Jenna spilled to me.


Your makeup is as flawless as your style. Tell me all about your beauty routine!

Thank you! That’s very nice of you to say – if we are talking makeup, I start with Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and use Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. I apply with a brush – it lasts so long! I use Smashbox “The Strip” Bronzer and I like NARS blush, rotating between Gaiety and Orgasm, sometimes layering the two of them. I love blush – I think it adds such life to your complexion. Especially in what seems like a never-ending winter. For eyeshadow , a friend of mine gave me the Urban Decay Naked2 palette and I often just line my eyes with a black pencil. I mix up my mascara, rotating between CoverGirl Lash Blast, Diorshow or Lancome. I actually think the mascara primer is as important as the mascara itself. I start with the Diorshow Lash Maximizer and you can use any mascara over it.

Do you have a signature lip color? Are you a gloss, balm or stick girl?

I really only wear chapstick or my YSL Gloss #10 – which is discontinued – I bought a few of them and will be in the market for something new when I finish the last one. It’s a fresh, sheer red that I wear day or night.


What about skincare?

Skincare is incredibly important to me – I had a chemical burn on my face in 2007. It was a routine peel gone wrong, the incorrect solution was applied to my face…it was a nightmare! I was on bed rest for a month and it took about six months to a year to completely heal.  Needless to say, that was my first and last face treatment. My current routine is I wake up at 6:45 — I like to get my day going and I enjoy coffee while watching the Today show and answering emails. I wash my face with Cetaphil.  Now that I work from home, if I don’t have a client meeting or appointment, I’ll try and work out in the morning – I like to do something outside weather permitting, but otherwise I do one class a week at Body R&D, it’s a workout on a “mega reformer” – I love it, it’s hard –or a class at Elements in Motion,  a Pilates studio I’ve been going to for 2+ years. A few mornings a week I use Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Corrector Pads – I don’t use them every day since I use RetinA at night and don’t want to over dry my skin. Right now, I’m using Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer.  I like how light it feels. I will often skip the foundation and just wear La Roche-Posay SPF 50 (tinted formula). I am interested in your recommendation on a facial oil, because I have an admitted fear but you have changed my perspective!

Oils are far from scary – I promise! How do you switch up skincare in the evening?

At night, to wash my makeup off, I use a Clarisonic. I use RetinA mixed with a little Cetaphil and Algenist Eye Balm. Skincare is incredibly important to me.  I don’t have a problem spending money on products that improve my skin (especially after the ordeal with the chemical burn). I don’t tend to splurge on makeup, probably because I don’t experiment with new products, so once I find something that works I stick with it.  I wouldn’t randomly buy makeup unless I’ve researched it or had someone recommend it directly to me. But I think your skin care needs to evolve as you age…much like your style.

I would agree! I feel that also applies to hair. Who does yours?

I go to Salon U – Sue is my girl. I’ve probably referred half the city to her. I get my hair cut every seven weeks. That’s a “splurge” that is worth it to me, especially with how long I keep my hair. She does my color, too. I don’t wash my hair every day and I rotate my shampoos, between the Bumble and bumble Color Minded and Kerastase (pink bottle!) I have a jumbo bottle of the Kerastase, but I picked up the Bumble at Sue’s recommendation. She also got me started on using a hair mask – I chose Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pak because the baylage on my ends is drying. But the verdict is out on if it has really made a difference.

What other products do you keep in your shower?

Let’s see, Kiehl’s grapefruit body wash and exfoliating scrub – I’m a huge grapefruit fan. It’s clean and fresh. Sometimes I use Neutrogena Rainbath. My favorite body lotion is Jo Malone Grapefruit Body Crème. I use that after the shower. As for perfume I have a basket full of little Jo Malone perfume samples or I use Chloe.

What nail color are you feeling this spring?

I like white nails for spring. I use OPI Tickets to Paradise – it’s been around for a while. I also love OPI Mod about You – it’s a matte pink/white. I do my own nails, except for the occasional pedicure when I seek out the pros.


Your business is all about helping people discover personal style. What’s the best indicator of style?

One of the best indicators of whether or not you are nailing your own personal style is to come up with three words to define it, then seek out the opinion of someone who knows you well, and someone who you are acquaintances with and see if they arrive at the same conclusion. Perception is reality. When I work with someone, we do a consultation and commit to the style on paper. It forces you to evaluate how you want to be perceived and if that matches how you’re dressing. Stopping to think about it and define your style will inform every purchase and visit into your closet. There’s a difference in liking something because you think it’s pretty and it being true to who you are. You can have an appreciation for clothing that isn’t right for you. To differentiate between the two I often recommend creating (or evaluating) your Pinterest style board – can you pinpoint the adjectives that describe the common threads? Here’s mine, for example!

What are your three words?

I try to strike a balance between edgy, feminine and sophisticated. Sophisticated refers mostly to silhouette, cut and color (tailored clothing, lots of black, white and grey with subtle pops of color or prints). I love fierce details like studs, leather, cutouts and I like to weave in softer elements whether that’s neutral blush tones or a more feminine shape.

Any favorite local shops you frequent?

Most of the shopping I do is online, it’s a big part of my business. But locally I like Space 519 – they carry good brands and unique jewelry. Zara, Intermix, Shop 857 on Armitage and the Sandro / Maje sections at Bloomingdales. There’s a great antique store in Ravenswood that I like to shop for jewelry – you can find some of the best pieces in Chicago antique stores.

To read more on Chicago’s most fabulous  “312 Beauties” click here.

312 Beauties: Rachel Gillman

I’m rolling out a new feature here, fittingly called 312 Beauties. I’ll be tapping some of Chicago’s most fabulous women to tell me of all of their beauty secrets and dish on makeup must-haves. I’m excited to kick off the series with Rachel Gillman, a PR Specialist and Freelance Writer for NBC, Michigan Avenue and Serious Eats. Rachel is the ultimate media pro and knows all when it comes to BYOB and gluten-free dining in Chicago.  She also has the most enviable lashes you’ll ever see. Lucky for us, she tells all.



How do you start your mornings?

I’ve learned that I do better working out in the a.m. Two mornings a week at 6am, I’ll do the elliptical or an Insanity or P90X video in the living room. On those mornings, I’ll wash my hair. I usually aim to wash my hair every other day. A trick — which you taught me! — is to go to sleep with my hair twisted on top of my head in a clip. It’s a game-changer! It makes two-day hair full and fresh looking. It’s a major time saver in the morning.

You have flawless skin. What is your skin care routine?

I use Cetaphil cleanser, though if I get something in a Birchbox, I always try it out. I use Lancome Bi-Facil to remove my eye makeup. I stock up on it when I buy mascara, whenever there’s a free gift at the counter. I was really hooked on Chanel skin care, the Hydra Beauty Crème, but I haven’t made the effort to splurge all over again on a new tub. Occasionally, I rotate Retin- A into my routine. I recently got a facial at Cellular Intelligence spa and bought the Lumiere Bio Restorative Eye Cream on a recommendation. It’s very light, and I use it every morning. I use Neutrogena SPF 50 as well, especially if I know I’ll be out in the sun. I’m more concerned about protecting my skin lately.


How about your everyday face?

I use a concealer from Benefit and then follow up with this Pür Minerals powder I got from Birchbox — it’s more matte and it helps even my skin out. A makeup artist at the Chanel at Bloomingdales, Ana Oveido, sold me two of the Quadra Eyeshadows in Mystic Eyes and Prelude and taught me how to use all four shadows together or take it down with just one or two. She is fantastic. I’m pretty particular when it comes to my makeup being done because you know what looks like you and what you’re comfortable wearing. She takes everything I do and improves upon it. I use those eyeshadows pretty much every day. And when I feel like I’ve done a good job and I’m near the Bloomingdale’s building, I’ll go and visit her and she’ll tell me how I did!

I also use Chanel eyeliner, in the shade Cassis. You twist it up, so it’s not a true pencil. It’s precise, lasts and really lets you get in between your lashes.  My blush is Laura Mercier Pink Lotus and I use NARS Risky Business Lip Gloss. I also carry around a CO Bigelow tint with me always. A great makeup artist Jenny Patinkin (of Dollface Beauty) coached and shopped with me for makeup. I trust her judgment. She helps you create a better version of yourself.  I fill in my brows with an Anastasia Powder. Jenny helped me pick that out as well. I just use a little bit.

Now about those lashes…

I am obsessed with Lancome mascara – completely loyal to the Hypnose Drama. I buy it two tubes at a time because I never want to be without. I’ve used something from Tarte and another from Sephora but I always go back to Lancome. The amount of time I spend on my lashes could be considered comical. I curl them to start and put on a coat. Not a wimpy one, either, but from the base and I coat every lash. I let it dry, do some other makeup and then come back. I’ll curl my lashes again, use a lash comb to separate and then apply one more coat. It never clumps. The Lancome brush is magic.


Rachel’s lip wardrobe

I love Birchbox, too. What are some of your favorite discoveries?

Let me tell you, this $10 a month service fuels my beauty routine. Some of my favorite items have come from Birchbox. I love the Jouer Lip Enhancer – I need to buy a big tube! Also, I love this chubby Tarte lip pencil in a coral shade. I also got the Benefit primer, POREfessional, and I’m pretty hooked. It helps smooth my skin before makeup.  I love anything skin-related they send.

What is your beauty splurge?

I really have no problem spending money on my hair, but for some reason I do on my skin. I should probably reverse that! I love my hair stylist. I get my hair cut about every three months by Ingrid Trevino at Nancy Angelair  on Rush Street. I’ve followed Ingrid around to three salons. Her blowouts are second to none and she cuts wavy hair so well. I can’t go much longer than three months because my ends get so damaged from heat and styling.

I’ve been using this donut lately to create the perfect bun. It requires a little effort but is so worth it. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding recently and they styled my hair with it so I just held onto it after the wedding. I don’t like too sleek of a look. Just a little bit messy when I wear my hair up.

Where have you been eating lately?

I probably eat out about five nights a week (research!)  My favorite sushi restaurant right now is Kai Zan. It’s BYOB, which is one of my favorite ways to dine. Yuzu has really good maki rolls. I’m on a whiskey kick at the moment, and am enjoying cocktails in a new way with darker spirits. I had this drink called Cocktail at Billy Sunday – potent but very drinkable.

Grange Hall Burger Bar has a gluten-free bun. When I want a true burger experience, that’s my go-to. Bountiful Eatery in Lakeview is a great, healthy gluten-free cafe.  They have these pita wraps with portabella mushrooms or bison burgers inside. It’s affordable and tasty. Prasino is my favorite brunch right now. They have a hippie omelet that is worth looking forward to all week!