Monday, January 25, 2010

The Sun and Your Skin

I admit it. I'm obsessed with sun protection. It started when I was a kid and I saw Elizabeth Taylor speak on Oprah. She said that she hasn't gone a day in her life without wearing something on her face (SPF or Makeup with SPF). She looked amazing at the time so I decided to follow Liz Taylor's rule and never walk out the door without at least something on my face.

I'm amazed whenever I still run into someone who doesn't wear SPF regularly or who tans at a tanning salon. For the amount of time we spend worrying about aging and buying anti-aging lotions and potions you would think that everyone had gotten the message. Spray tans aren't that great but maybe we need to start a revolution where pale is in and super cool. It used be back in the day that if you had a tan you were a poor laborer who couldn't afford not to be out in the sun all day long.

Check out an article on the sun and your skin from ASCP:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Me in action!

Me with Becky

Me with Bianca

Special Effects and Character Portfolio Pics

Jamelah on "Cocoa Love" (ash special effects)

Beauty Portfolio Pics

Bridal at Frenchy's (make-up)

Prom at Frenchy's (make-up)

Prom at Frenchy's (make-up)

"The Body Farm" (hair and make-up)

Abie from "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" (make-up)

 Denise from "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" (hair and make-up)

Jamelah from "Cocoa Love" (make-up)

Kelly from "Cocoa Love" (hair and make-up)

Friday, January 15, 2010


Beauty - pictures of Bridal, Prom and Naturalistic Beauty Make-up

Special Effects and Characters - pictures of Special Effect and character make-up

Glitter tattoos - pictures of the hottest trend to hit Burbank in years: glitter + tattoos = AWESOME!

Me in action! - me with a brush in my hand doing crazy stuff to people's faces and heads

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Product Alert: Olavie

I have to admit that I'm pretty cynical about beauty products. Working for a manufacturer didn't help since I saw all the marketing that went into the development and distribution of these products first hand. There was a lot of science, however there was a lot of marketing too.

That being said, I'm a beauty junkie at heart. What exactly does that mean? I'll buy any product at least once, if it has good packaging, an interesting story and a great smell. Yup those are the things that I care about. What about ingridients? Usually when you flip the bottles over, they have the exact same ingridients. Water is first and then, depending on the product, it's all pretty much the same. Try it, right now. Look at your favorite product and see if water is the first ingridient. 9 times out of 10 it is!!!

My favorite part of school was discovering that my teacher, Ms. Angela, was just as much a cynic as I was. But she said if you were going to be successful in the skin industry you would have to learn to be a label reader. Which is so true. And I'm giving the exact same advice to all of my readers and clients. Read your labels carefully. If it has what you are looking for, buy it. And if it fits your other criteria (mine happen to be smell, look of the packaging and story, in that order) then definitely buy it.

But back to me and my closet filled with products. Yup that's what it means to be a beauty junkie. You have a closet where you store all the products that have given you false hope through their marketing and smell and haven't done diddly in performance. But you hope and you hope and you hope that some day you will be able to figure out how to make the products work. So you keep them in your closet. For that some day. Or for an appropriate re-gifting opportunity.

My closet is looking the best that it's ever looked. Mostly because I don't work for a manufacturer anymore so I don't get free stuff. And also because I've managed to re-gift my product to several friends. Plus let's be honest. I'm not pulling down a steady paycheck just yet so spending on product that I'm not sure about doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

But the whole point of this post is to share a new product that I discovered recently with you. I interviewed at a beautiful Beverly Hills spa called Allure Pilates Spa. They had a great retail section and so I tried out one of the products called Olavie. It's story has something to do with anti-oxidants and wine, although what really sold me was the classy packaging and the delicious smell (sort of white wine meets clean). Check them out, let me know what you think.

Also let me know what is in your product closet. Maybe we can work out a trade?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Make-up Therapist

I've known the power of make-up to transform your mood for a very long time. It happened to me for the first time when I was sixteen and going to a winter formal. I didn't have the first clue how to apply make-up. My mom, bless her heart, was totally useless in this area since she came of age as a hippie in the sixties in a culture that thought make-up was an evil corporate scam designed to hide a woman's true beauty. So my first introduction to make-up came from the woman at the Clinique counter. She dabbed on foundation to smooth my complexion, colored my eyes to highlight them and put a small amount of natural looking lipstick on. The change was amazing. Not only did I look beautiful, but I felt really beautiful. Probably for the first time in my life.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten much more comfortable seeing my face and feeling smoking hot in a variety of different ways: no make-up, just a touch to add some color, full face of make-up when I'm going out on the town. Which is how it should be for everyone all the time. We should be comfortable wearing whatever makes us feel confident. So for the teen-age girls, drag queens, and Tammi Faye Baker types who pile on the make-up, I say go for it. If it makes you feel better, more power to you! For the no-makeup, natural is best, Winona Ryder types who dab on a little lip gloss and mascara, that works for me too! The most important thing is for a woman to feel comfortable in her own skin. Yeah, that sounds super Oprah of me. The funny thing is that as I've gotten older, I've gotten less cynical about Oprah too. I'm not at the point where I'm tivoing her show  but her message of female empowerment is nice.

I learned firsthand the other day how make-up artists can also be therapists. I was working on-set and my boss gave me an extra whose make-up needed to be done. A beautiful woman who happened to have one eyelid that was more droopy than the other one. We had a bit of extra time, so I decided to work on a little corrective make-up. After spending 10 minutes on her eyes, I finally got them to look relatively even. The extra was so grateful. She mentioned how most make-up artists ignore her problem eye and just let her go on set as is. I could tell that she was uncomfortable with her eyes and really felt much more confident when I had corrected the difference. It was such a great feeling, if only for a moment, to have that type of impact on someone. I really made her feel better that day.

My mom, when she found out that I wanted to leave the corporate world and become an esthetician, asked if I wanted to be a doctor, nurse or a therapist instead. I think that was a pretty common reaction. Most people think that if you want to help others, you should be in the healthcare profession. Maybe part of my goal of being an esthetician is about spreading the idea that beauty is health. Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. We could get into a debate about standards of beauty, but that's not what I'm talking about. I love when women who aren't your typical American Barbie doll walk around like they are hot shit. That should be everyone's goal in life, to love themselves on the inside and out so much that they walk around like they own the place. And then, who know, they might own the place someday soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


From time to time I'll post things here for you to download: documents on skin care, flyers for my business, etc. ENJOY!

Gift Certificates
Beauty By Ilana Gift Certificates

Documents on skin care:
10 Tips For Healthy Skin

The Sun and Your Skin


A licensed esthetician, business professional and writer with honors in theoretical and practical skills, along with proven interpersonal, organizational, client relations, technical and sales skills. Interested in employment as a beauty consultant to utilize the full range of my abilities to develop a larger clientele base for your establishment and gain the necessary experience in the health and beauty industry.

*Proven abilities in European style facials, face/full body waxing, eyebrow arching, and advanced skin treatments.
*Excellent customer service and sales skills, working with clients to analyze their skin and recommend a range of treatments and products, along with working strongly within a team environment, as well as independently
*Extensive knowledge of skin, make-up and hair care, skin analysis, skin, make-up and hair care products and ingredients, including significant product knowledge of Dermalogica, Murad, Repechage, MAC, Wella and Sebastian
*Over five years experience working in the beauty industry, including working for Procter and Gamble Beauty Professional Care, with considerable skills in project management, research, product education, vendor relationships and Microsoft Office

Esthetician, Matthew Ray Salon (2009 - Present)
*Work with clients in a full-service salon performing European-style facials, full-body/face waxing and advanced skin analysis

Make-up and Hair Intern, Mike Mathis Productions (2009 - Present)
*On-set make-up intern for reality TV show production (I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant and Your Kid Ate What), doing naturalistic make-up and hair

Student Esthetician, Newberry School Of Beauty (2009)
*Worked with clients in a spa environment performing European-style facials, full-body/face waxing, and advanced skin analysis

Assit. School Program Manager and Market Research Manager, Procter and Gamble, Professional Care (2005-2009)
*Designed and executed school program strategy by delivering marketing, sales and educational collateral materials
*Led initiative qualification using market research to transform business questions into actionable insights

Instructor, Marketing and Finance, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (2008)
*Designed lesson plans and lectured to Beauty track students using real world experience and  marketing/finance theory

Senior Research Manager, Lieberman Research Worldwide (2003 - 2005)
*Project manager of research studies for clients in Entertainment, Automotive, Health/Beauty

Analyst, Consumer Research and Research Analyst, Universal Studios (1999 - 2003)
*Led strategic planning for VU Games through research project management, as well as analyst supporting interactive businesses

Administrative Assistant, American Jewish Committee (1999)
*Responsible for database management, front desk reception, event planning

Production Intern, McCarter Theater (1997-1998)
*Responsible for script coverage, budget management, event planning

*California State Board Esthetician License (2009)
*Esthetics Program, Newberry School of Beauty (2009)
*Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies, Stanford University (1997)

*IECSC 2009: Repechage, Lash Extensions, Skin Analysis
*Advanced Skin Analysis with Michelle Costanzo
*Dermalogica Undergraduate Days 2009: Acne, Hyperpigmentation, Back treatments
*Advanced waxing: Speed waxing, Brazilian

*Society Of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
*Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) - includes general, professional and product liability insurance

*Third place in the 2009 Scriptapalooza Reality TV show Contest

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Overexfoliation, a national epidemic

A friend passed on this link to a great article on Yahoo, 5 Skin Care Mistakes. My favorite part is that the number one mistake is over exfoliation. Stop. Right now. Put down that harsh scrub. You know you are using one. Probably St. Ives Apricot. That'll rip the skin right down to the bone. I'm not anti harsh exfoliation and huge scrubber pieces. For exfoliating the body, particularly the legs, they are great. But on your face you are doing more damage than good.

People with dry skin try to scrub all the flakes off. But then you keep your skin from being able hold any water so that makes your skin look worse! People with oily skin. OY! You know who you are. You tend to be the worst scrub offenders. The problem is that the more you scrub the more your skin fights back and then the oil problem/acne problem that you are trying to scrub away will never disappear. It's a downward spiral.

So what do you do if you put down the scrub? Pick up a wash cloth, preferably white so you can have it be as free of dyes as possible. Wash your face, definitely at night, and then rinse it off with a wash cloth. That's the best investment you can make into your skin. If you want to do a little more exfoliating, try a manual scrub like Dermalogica's Skin Prep. I like it because it has very gentle grains. You can use it once a week depending on your skin type. The best exfoliation, besides wash clothes, comes from chemical exfoliations, like peels. I just got a great Pumpkin Enzyme Peel for my clients that does an awesome job of true exfoliation, i.e. breaking down the cellular glue in your epidermis so that you can really take off old dead skin cells. When you scrub scrub scrub on your face with huge pieces of Walnut skin your not able to get that deep or be that gentle.

PS I like to link to whenever I talk about products. If you aren't a member you need to be! The best place on the web to get customer reviews of all your favorite beauty products.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stop Wasting Time!

I love this post from one of my favorite finance gurus, Ramit Sethi. It's about how to be a freelancer. More importantly, it's about how to be a good freelancer.

He was on a call with a client giving advice on freelancing and he asked two simple quetions:
  1. What's your goal?
  2. What are you doing to hit that goal?

Then he dropped this bombshell on her. Not the craziest thing I've ever heard but sometimes you need to hear someone tell you something obvious. 
"In my experience," I told her, "freelancers try to do 50 things, and they end up doing a 5% job on each of them."
You can read the rest of the article here. Basically it hit really home for me since I've spent the past couple of weeks working on building up my own freelancer business. And I've been putting off blog posting and updating my business cards for some reason. Procrastination? Probably. A little tiny part of me thinks my ghetto fabulous business cards (I stickered over old business cards) is pretty ingenious and frugal of me. But I really do need to lay out all the things that I want to spend time doing to work on my business and do that type of analysis to see if I really do need business cards and blog posting.