#Instaperfect with Blogger Maya Mia

Makeup Artist Maya Mia started her career in beauty barren Tanzania more than a decade ago.

She once said: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” After modeling and being exposed to the beauty industry, she quickly decided that makeup would be her medium. Known for her eye-catching, glamorous looks, she has us and a million others addicted to her instagram.

What we love is that you are not afraid of vibrant colors. How would you introduce a bold color to someone who is afraid of being so bold?
Colors make me happy! I love mixing a bold pop of color with more neutral matte shades to balance.

More is more when it comes to your makeup tutorials. What inspired your makeup looks?
My creativity comes to life through colors and dramatic looks. This is my way of expressing myself. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and its beautiful colors.

You are self-taught like most of us. Do you have any tips on how we can be our best, personal makeup artist?
Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and products and, most importantly, makeup is there to enhance our beauty “ not cover it up. Get familiar with your face and learn how to enhance it by using as little products as possible.

Be sure to keep up with Maya Mia on Instagram and Twitter, and you can learn how to achieve that perfect, flawless look on her YouTube channel.

California Cool with Makeup Artist Amy Strozzi

Professional makeup artist Amy Strozzi has mastered California cool ‘“ that laid back perfection that comes with consistent warm weather and a Silver Lake home. This irreverent sophistication brings glamour with a downtown L.A. vibe to makeup artistry and can be seen in our favorite glossies like NYLON. We asked Amy what products we need to achieve effortlessly cool style everyday.

‘I’ll admit it, I am a product junkie. I calmed down for a little while, but since my boyfriend (photographer John Michael Fulton) and I relaunched my beauty blog The Beauty Manifesto, I can’t resist picking up bits from every brand I walk by,’ Amy says. (We’re totes jealous of her live-in photographer.)

“I’m currently loving the Double Ego Eyeliner  right now because the colors are awesome for summer and look great on every skin tone,” she says. “I’m obsessed with Bora Bora (a cobalt blue) and Queensland (turquoise), which I’m saving to use on a shoot with a model whose hair matches the liner. If you’re resistant to color, smudge them on your lid with the pencil side, if you’re a bit more bold, go for the liquid liner, the color payoff is fantastic.”

Amy is a big fan of vibrant hues. She assures that bold, bright color is nothing to be afraid of. The trick is in the application. ‘Instead of applying a bright lipstick straight from the tube, use your fingers (I use my middle fingers) to press it into your lips in layers so you can go as light or heavy as you like,’ Amy says. ‘I like to use the leftover color on my cheeks’I’ll rub my middle fingers together to warm the product a bit, dab it on the apples of my cheeks and blend it out with my clean fingers.’ She says the flush of color should like it comes from within. ‘a colorful flush always looks so healthy and flirty.’

The last step is definitely the lashes. We were quite surprised by her last tip.

‘One new trend I’m loving is the chunky lash!,’ she says. We listened intensely. ‘Start by applying 2 full layers of mascara to your upper and lower lashes, then flip your wand around so it is pointing straight up. Use the tip to add another coat and at the same time connect the lashes into little clumps. It’s very 70s chic with a nude eye, clean face and lip balm’BTW, ‘my other PÜR obsession is the Lip Gloss Stick in Honey Pie, a warm nude that’s basically your natural lip color but better.’

Our cool factor just went up a few notches.

Want more? Follow Amy on Instagram and Twitter.

Model Off Duty with Makeup Artist Mai Quynh

Blame it on the 90s and the rise of the supermodel. Long-limbed glamazons Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington were stretched across pages of countless fashion magazines. Celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh says that these images are what inspired her to be a makeup artist. Now, she is a go-to for Hollywood’s top celebrities. We asked Mai for the professional makeup tips on what it takes to create the infamous “model off-duty” look.

Models have now become celebrities and celebrities have become models. What fascinated you about makeup and modeling?
I grew up in the 90’s when the term “supermodel” was coined. It was also when MTV played actual music videos. I guess I was fascinated with all the characters the models would play in magazines and music videos. They always looked so stunning and beautiful and their makeup and hair was always changing, so I became intrigued with their chameleon-like ways.

What advice do you give models to keep their skin looking clear during fashion month?
I’m a big believer in taking off your makeup before bed or whenever you’re home or have downtime. You need a gentle cleanser to remove your makeup without it bothering or drying out your skin. So during that month, models are getting their makeup done 3-4 times a day, they need a fast, easy fix. My favorite cleansing oil is  Melt Away. It’s mild so it won’t irritate your skin, but because it’s an oil, it will break down the makeup faster.

What else is needed to create an effortless look?
To me, being effortless is having confidence and good glowing skin. I’m a huge fan of layering products so I love to layer creams first and then powders over, as far as for foundation and blush. I feel that it gives a nice glow that shows through the powder and looks more like real skin in photos.

Want more? Follow Mai Quynh on Instagram @StoryofMaiLife.

What Makeup? (Wink)

No makeup makeup isn’t exactly goof proof. Fake complexion perfection with tips from the pros.

“Starting off with a primed base both on the face and eyes is a great start. This will prevent excessive shine and movement of your makeup.” – Celebrity Makeup Artist, Emily Cheng

“I carry Disappearing Act in my purse. It’s the only thing I can use on my sensitive under eye area.” – Celebrity Makeup Artist, Amy Strozzi

“I can’t leave without my setting spray. It helps perfect my makeup throughout the day!” – YouTube Vlogger, Leslie Alvarado

“Powder can be your biggest enemy if you are over the age of 25, so I only use a translucent setting powder to set the makeup in place at the very end. I prefer to combat shine with a series of steps before the powder finish like using an astringent and an oil-free moisturizer.” – Celebrity Makeup Artist, Saisha Beecham

“During a night out, women should always keep a lip gloss or lipstick for touch ups, oil blotting sheets and eyelash glue in their purse.” – Celebrity Makeup Artist, Anthony Merante

Brighter Eyes with Makeup Artist Johny Saade

Are you tired? No. Are you tired of people asking you that? Yes? We’ve all looked ourselves in the mirror and realized that our eyes don’t look their best. Whether you’ve had a long flight, not enough sleep or just a rough start, sometimes we have to fake “awake” and it doesn’t involve a cappuccino. We asked makeup artist Johny Saade, who has used this trick on Chrissy Teigen and Rosario Dawson, how to get brighter eyes.

“It’s a combination of makeup and a good eye cream,” Johny said. “The skin around the eyes is the thinnest so you have to make sure the under eye area is hydrated. A good eye treatment can help with the depuffing. Eye drops help reduce redness and the blue drops that you can only get in Europe or overseas make the whites of your eyes whiter.”

We dabbed our HydraGel Lift around our eyes immediately, it’s practically coffee for your eyes; it has caffeine and encapsulated water , and listened intently.

Johny instructed us to use a flesh-toned eye pencil on your water line. We used Hello Bright Eyes on our dual-ended Wake Up Brow Pencil. He told us to apply a light shimmery eye shadow to the lid and a little highlighter under the eyes to reflect light. We patted Eye Polish in Cashmere on our lids and brushed a little Twilight from the Moonlight Glow Strobe/Highlight Palette along the bottom lash line. He also recommended that we curled our lashes. Then, voila  magic. We’re having a brighter day already. No nap needed.

How to be a Rockstar (or How to Look Like One)

Every star you’ve ever loved has a look. Whether it’s Kim Kardashian’s contour and curves or Zooey Deschanel’s quirky-cool bangs, they all have an undeniably, unmistakable style. Personal style is personal, but it takes some work (and help) to figure out how to create a signature. According to celebrity makeup artist Amy Strozzi, it starts with knowing what you want and knowing what you don’t want (Insert diva moment here).

“It’s always interesting working with talent that is just getting started in the industry, especially young musicians! Most of them have a very strong idea of what they want to look like, but it takes a few tries and a lot of opinions to decide on a look that suits the artist but is also marketable,” said Strozzi who created singer Banks’ sentimental look.

“When I met Banks she hadn’t released anything yet, we had a clean slate. We knew these images would be impactful, so they had to encompass her sultriness but also leave you with a sense of mystery… who is this girl?”

It worked. Her album Goddess has been in heavy rotation since its release in 2014. The gritty nature of the So-Cal girl mixes intensely with her extreme vulnerability. It appeals to our emo side.

Back to Banks. “At the time, she had strong feelings about colors used on her, cool browns rather than warm browns, and I don’t think she wanted black at all. She has fantastic brows and I was adamant about keeping them that way.”

Strozzi said that the process is totally collaborative and that there is still room to have some fun. So when picking your trademark look, know that you are not a slave to it. Your look should be interesting, but it should also be something that represents you and makes you comfortable in your skin instead of say an alter ego.

“I always want my clients to feel like themselves,” Strozzi said. “When they are comfortable enough to push some boundaries, I am there waiting with my red lipstick or blue cobalt eyeliner.”

We asked celebrity makeup artist Kristee Liu what happens when you work with an artist with a look with an undeniable signature like the incomparable Cher.

“What didn’t I learn from working with Cher!” Liu said. “She is such an inspiration and fun to work with.  In case you didn’t know, Cher has always done her own makeup and is a makeup expert! think the most valuable lessons I learned from her is probably how to deal with life itself.  Never apologize for being who you are, be kind to others and if you truly want something, you will figure out a way to get it.”

Well, those are lessons to brighten all of our star power or at least enhance our music festival look.

Is It Time to Fire Your Makeup?

Life would be so much easier if we had enough time in the day to get everything done without breaking a sweat. Our lives are not so easy and though the internet has us believing that we have just as many hours in our day as Beyonce, many of us are still running a few minutes behind and often on empty sans entourage. Though the idea of “waking up flawless” is a self-loving mantra we can get behind, we slather on our retinol, masks and night creams as insurance.

We are busy. Our calendars are filled with obligations from work or school with slivers of time for errands and appointments. We need the work that we put into our beauty routine to pay off at the end of the day instead of giving up and rubbing off. Is there a such thing as beauty that keeps up with the demands of a #girlboss on the go?

We don’t have time for our makeup to fail us. We don’t have time to fix it if it does. That’s more work for us and less time to tend to the things that matter in our lives. How do we put our best face forward when our contour is taking a break? We have to ask, does your makeup live up to your lifestyle or is it time to fire your foundation?

Your makeup must smarten up. It should be working as hard as you do. It’s true, we know what we want out of our lives  even our relationships more than we know what we want out of our makeup. It’s part of knowing who we are as a person. We’ve become complacent, afraid to try new things, shuffling through that drawer of lipsticks to get to an old faithful even if you don’t love it like you used to.

We should shop for makeup like we’re looking for our next employee: does it have longevity in the industry? Do we have the same values? Can it multitask? Does it mix well with others? Is it willing to work late nights and evenings if necessary? We should spend more time reading the labels and checking references online.

Sometimes, being a boss means making hard decisions. And, sometimes it means letting go of makeup that doesn’t work for you. It’s time to say goodbye to bad makeup. Your skin will thank you.

Don’t Let Acne Steal Your Spotlight

Acne is the worst. Cystic or not “ it’s like an annoying younger sibling that shows up and steals your spotlight when you are having a good day. Pus-filled pimples, blackheads and red, irritated bumps are all signs of acne and pop up for lack of a better term “  when pores are clogged with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. Though some acne is hereditary, acne breakouts can be triggered by hormonal changes including those caused by birth control, other medications, or too much sugar and carbohydrates. (Read: Too much pizza.) More annoyingly, these rude interruptions may leave behind permanent scarring reminding you of acne past even when your breakouts cease.

Severe acne may require a prescription from a dermatologist, but taking preventative steps to curb what we can control is key. “Getting on a good skin-care regimen, avoiding picking, popping, or traumatizing the skin, and protecting it with SPF so it does not darken are important ways to avoid acne scarring,” said dermatologist Annie Chiu in a recent cosmopolitan.com article.

Sure, bursting those suckers gives you instant satisfaction, but it could cause more harm than good. (Actually, don’t burst them at all AND stop touching your face.)

First, to prevent breakouts all together, make sure you are removing your makeup at night and using a clarifying and deep pore cleanser that targets oil without drying it out such as In the Clear morning and night. It’s Lactic Acid gently exfoliates the skin while its Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial properties that help curb breakouts. “Not all oils are bad for oily skin,” said Rachel Sullivan, Director of Product Development at PÜR. Oily skin is caused by the skin’s own attempt to moisturize itself with sebum.

Adding an exfoliating mask like Dirty Girl to your weekly regimen also helps decrease the likelihood of your pores getting clogged with dead skin cells. “It’s detoxfying clay, sulfur and acne-fighting Salicylic Acid help exfoliate the skin and kill bacteria,”Sullivan told Forbes. Masks can also be used more frequently as a spot treatment.

Sun protection is also essential for already sensitive skin. It helps curb the hyperpigmentation sometimes left behind from a breakout. Rescue Squad adds moisture, SPF 25, smoothing and firming peptides to curb signs of aging, and fights the visible signs of stressed skin. (Moisturizing is essential because dehydrated skin can quickly start to show lines and wrinkles.) Rescue Squad is literally like your grime-fighting, daily skin savior. Don’t let your acne take center stage. Start a skin care regimen that prevents breakouts not just corrects blemishes.

Beauty Food

Is your skin wreaking havoc? Our breakouts and dryness may be due to what we are putting in our bodies as much as what are putting on our skin. The nutrients and antioxidants that we digest effect our internal organs to make sure that they are properly fueled and working their best, but do you ever think that about how that extra cheese pizza may be affecting the largest organ you have “ your skin? It may be time to go on a skin diet.

Your skin is thirsty, so it’s imperative to stay hydrated. 85 percent of the brain, is comprised of water. Maintain your skin’s radiant glow and improve its texture by drinking plenty of water. Believe it or not, water is one of the best method for keeping your skin healthy and supple. The lack of moisture in the skin or dehydration causes skin cells to shrivel which leads to the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Healthy skin starts with a healthy diet of protein, vegetables and fruits. Try foods high in skin-strengthening Omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, chia seeds, flaxseed, avocado and walnuts. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production so try adding bell peppers, strawberries, kale, broccoli and, of course, citrus fruits, to your diet. Antioxidants are great for your skin whether applied topically or eaten. Try vitamins A and E charged almond butter, wheat germ, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and melons such as cantaloupe. Some of our favorite ways to incorporate these foods into our diets are through juicing, smoothies and constant inspiration from or PÜR Beauties. Madelynn @madewin’s vegan ramen or avocado toast anyone?

All those Pinterest worthy DIY masks have their merits. Plants often referred to as botanicals and a lot of the foods you find tasty have ingredients that we use topically to improve skin. For instance, Malic Acid is the sour taste that in green apples. However, it also smoothes and brightens the complexion. Meanwhile, Basil, Turmeric and Eggplant are used in Tone Up Total Eye Fitness to reduce the look of fatigue, puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. It’s not as easy as blending a few ingredients and slathering them on your face “ because the concentration of these vitamins, antioxidants and acids is what makes the difference“ but you get the idea. Being mindful of what you eat can improve your skin from the inside out.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Yoga

We have this debate with ourselves every morning: do I work out in the morning or the evening? The alarm goes off and you have to decide whether you’re going to the 6:30 a.m. booty boot camp or am I going to spin at 7. If the morning routine wins, we shuffle to the bathroom to wash our faces and freshen our breath before gearing up to get going. As we rush past the mirror one more time we make the decision whether or not to wear makeup.

I polled the PÜR office about going to the gym au naturale. I was met with nervous admissions no one goes to the gym barefaced. It’s not like we’re going to the gym with intentional smoky eyes and fully contoured cheekbones. None of us go to the gym looking like Khloe Kardashian in Shape. We did admit to adding “little” powder foundation or some mascara “to look more awake.”

I took another poll for those of us that workout after work. I asked: do you remove your makeup before breaking a sweat? Everyone said no. Sure, one could take the extra step to remove our makeup before our run, pilates or CrossFit, but if your makeup doesn’t work against your skin, why take it off? Well, it depends on what’s in your makeup. PÜR’s foundations are full of good-for-your skin ingredients that improve the skin with each use. Think of it as your skin getting fit along with your body. For instance, PÜR’s Ceretin Complex has retinol which helps firm and clarify the skin. So, with each use “ even during your workouts “ your makeup is working to smooth and tighten your skin. The longer you keep it on. The better your results.

There is no such thing as a wrong decision when it comes to your gym appearance. If a little mascara makes you want to stay in the gym a little longer “ apply two coats. If a little concealer is needed to cover up those early morning bags “ go for it. Your skin will tell you if you’re making the right decision. Now, imagine a workout that just requires you to slather it on your body for 60 days to see results. If only staying fit was that easy.