Entries from October 28th, 2012

The Easiest Way to Conceal a Cold Sore


It’s just about that time of the year where the season of sharing unfortunately includes colds and viruses! Cold sores can put a serious cramp in anybody’s beauty routine. Enter Abreva Conceal, a clear non-medicated patch that conceals your cold sore and enables you to apply makeup on top, lasting up to 8 hours. It creates a protective barrier that allows air in with MicroAir technology while keeping contaminants out.

Check out the simple steps below as I demonstrate how easy it is to use Abreva Conceal. Since I don’t have a cold sore, which is what the product is intended for, I demonstrated on a blemish.


  1. Wash your face with a mild soap, and use a fresh towel to pat your cold sore and the neighboring area dry
  2. Open Conceal packaging and remove the contents inside. Peel back the paper tab marked in red with the number “1” (avoid touching the sticky part underneath by holding on to the small rectangular tab). Continue to hold the rectangular tab and peel back the other paper tab, marked in blue with the number “2”. While looking in a mirror, place the round patch over the cold sore. Press down lightly on the center of the patch and hold the patch in place for 15-20 seconds to make sure it sticks to on top of your cold sore.
  3. Gently pull away the applicator tab, at a slight angle away from your face. Voila! Conceal is in place.
  4. Apply makeup on top of Conceal to ensure that the cold sore blends in with the rest of your lips. I found that applying a liquid foundation with a small brush and finishing with powder helps set for flawless coverage. Nobody noticed that I had Conceal on and it stayed put for hours while I totally forgot I even had it on.

Abreva Conceal is a clean, non-medicated patch for cold sores that allows air in, yet protective enough to keep contaminants out.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Abreva via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Abreva.

My True Loves: Products I cant live without


I get asked this question multiple times a week “so what are your favorite items in your makeup  kit?” As a makeup artist I have spent countless dollars on makeup and it could take a lifetime to tell you all the products I love however there are several  over the years that I seem to mostly gravitate towards. I buy them repeatedly and they have seemed to be tried and true. These items I cant live without! 


Smashbox Photo Finish Eyelid Primer  It glides on so smoothly and effortlessly leaving a nice finish on the lids.I usually recommend applying it with a cream brush like Laura Mercier creme brush.Your eye shadow will last all day. This is a must if you wear eyeshadow and even if you don’t your lids will  look smooth and flawless. Retail $20  www.smashbox.com

eye lid primer



Laura Mercier Sheer Creme Eye Shadow  I am a huge fan of creme shadows. Can I just say this is by far the best creme shadow I have come across. So delicate and pretty. Never runs, not too heavy or pasty. Works on any woman, any age range. Retail $22  www.lauramercier.com


Yaby Eye Shadow If your going for powder shadow I find the Yaby eye shadows to be wonderfully pigmented and very true to color. You can even customize your own palette. Try wetting them for more of an intense look. Eye shadow color in every imaginable shade. Retail $3.15 for refills www.yabycosmetics.com


Maybelline Gel Eye Liner {color: charcoal} Charcoal is the new black and I love using this shade on any eye color..really defines the eye and the gel formula is fantastic. Comes with a nice small brush too. Hands down this liner will last you the whole day. no running, smudging or cracking. Retail $10 www.maybelline.com


MAC Pencil {color: Naked} Now even though this color is marketed as a lip pencil I use it in the water line of the eye..really opens up the eye with this gorgeous flesh tone . Retail $15 www.maccosmetics.com


Loreal Voluminous Waterproof  Volume Building Mascara I love, love, love this mascara. It does not budge. I really love the waterproof formula I feel it curls the lash and doesn’t feel too heavy or weigh them down . STAYS put and brush applicator is not too big nor too small. Retail $8.00 www.lorealparisusa.com


Smashbox Photo Finish Face Primer This is great alone or under your foundation to smooth outlines and reduce appearance of pores. Its oil free Has a velvety feel. Retail $36 www.smashbox.com


Laura MercierTinted Moisturizer I use this almost daily on clients if they just want a light natural coverage. Evens out redness . Very light weight formula. Comes in Oil free as well. Spf15 which is a nice touch. Retail $43 www.lauramercier.com


Makeup Forever HD Foundation This is medium coverage. Even though its is a heavier coverage than a tinted moisturizer you still barely feel it on your face. It is very light weight. I like to apply it with a wedge sponge or a foundation brush. It is great for camera and you will look photo ready in no time! It’s my ultimate go to foundation when I’m working with clients on camera or for an everyday photo look. Really leaves a smooth finish. I love the pump bottle. Retail $42  www.makeupforever.com


Makeup Forever HD Blush  I adore this product! Its very pigmented however it looks so natural on the skin. I use it with a crème blush brush. Retail $26 www.makeupforever.com


Author: Danielle Minnella www.danielleminnella.com

Hold Your Head High: My Teenage Bullying Experience


Beauty is something more then makeup, skincare, hair, weight, clothing, etc… Beauty is within us and all too often that message can get lost.

Here at A Beauty Loft, we focus on outer beauty related issues, but I want to take a moment to discuss our belief that beauty starts on the inside. Bullying has become an epidemic and has singlehandedly been the culprit of pulling the inner glow and beauty from within individuals. Bullying has the power to drive them to self destruction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, isolation… the list can go on and on. In one sentence- bullying is causing individuals to hurt themselves and others… we have to find a way to stop it. This is a very serious matter that is close to my heart so I would like to do my part in attempting to help stop it by sharing my story and how I rose above my bullying experience:

I personally was at the receiving end of torturous bullying for over 3 years in high school. Now as an adult, I think back to how juvenile it all was and can brush it off, but it was quite the contrary as a teen. I was bullied by 7 girls in the grades above me from 9th grade through 11th. To this day I can name each girl and each moment they affected me.

In the 9th grade I was walking down the packed halls of my small, suburban, mid-west high school with a girlfriend and heard some commotion behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see a group of girls laughing, but thought nothing of it. Moments later, I was being pushed down a stairwell only to crash at the bottom along with the multiple classmates I had taken down with me. At the top of the stairs I saw the same group of girls laughing, but again, really thought nothing of it. Not more then 5 minutes went by before I was cornered at my freshman locker by these very same girls that, at the time, I couldn’t name if you paid me. I had no idea why they were there, who they were or what they wanted with me. They kept screaming in my face things like “do you know who I am b*#!h?” along with every derogatory name they could muster up. Conveniently, this happened during class change, so you can imagine the plethora of faces I had staring at me.

I would like to backtrack for a moment and mention that the night before this all happened, I had unexpectedly lost my great grandmother. She was one of the dearest and most special people in my life, one that to this day I mourn the loss of daily. Needless to say, when these events took place I was in no position to put up a fight. I was completely baffled and already so drained; they ‘smelled the blood’ and came in for more.

I do not recall how the screaming and shoving at my locker stopped, but it didn’t stop for long. About 15 minutes later, the girls appeared in the locker room as I was changing for gym. They, along with a few faces added to their posse, cornered me to continue with the screaming and name calling. I broke down and I started to cry. I wanted to know why were they bothering me and who they were. The fact that I finally shed tears excited them. I begged them to stop. At this point a friend of mine had chimed in something along the lines of “leave her alone, she lost her grandmother last night”, but they thought this was hysterical. I very clearly remember one of them saying “good, now she doesn’t have to deal with you anymore”. I cannot remember another time in my young adult life that I was more confused and alone then in that locker room.

From that day on, I walked the halls of my high school in fear of what was going to happen next. Often, they screamed awful things at me with full hallways. They threw their lunches at me, followed me to sporting events after school and harassed me there too. I, at one point, had an entire stall in my high school bathroom dedicated to calling me awful names. I would often hear from friends that there was a new phrase or curse referring to me. Many times, the school would paint over the black permanent marker, but it would be back in just a few days. I often missed school or went to the nurse’s office just to get away from it. My parents came to the school, my mom came with me to the sporting events, my father threatened to sue, but it did nothing. The girls started coming into my work where they knew I had to be kind to them. There, they would make their comments knowing I had to smile through it for the sake of my job.

One day it did stop. After 3+ years, I finally had enough. While I was walking the empty halls, the ‘ring leader’ of this girl posse was perched on a railing with one of my male classmates. She pulled her usual name calling routine, but this time I did not just keep walking and hang my head. I finally screamed back. I let it all out and let me tell you; the look in her eyes showed her fear. This look was no doubtably the same look they saw on my face the day this all began. The difference between her and I? I didn’t get pleasure out of her fear. I simply wanted to be left alone. This was they day it all began to stop. Word must have spread amongst the girls because the bullying dwindled quickly. When they got brave and tried for a bit more, I fought back with a vengeance (figuratively, not physically).

In the middle of my 11th grade year, I was finally free. It stopped. I still get angry when I think of all that they did to me, but I am grateful. Their torture made me stronger and taught me to be heard; to stand up for myself. I went to years of therapy to gain back the confidence they so successfully took from me and can now look back with pity for them. I might get angry on occasion, but I wish them well. We were kids and obviously their parents did not teach them compassion and kindness. I sincerely hope they never have to comfort their child who is at the receiving end of bullying.

Following my run with these girls in high school, I participated in a group called Project Love that worked to bring awareness to bullying. I spoke at convention centers to teens, did TV shows and mentored others going through it. This was 10 years ago. I am saddened that it has taken this long for those at the receiving end of bullying to finally find a voice. I could not have gotten through this rough time without the help of my high school social worker/counselor Beth, my family and the few friends who stuck by my side. I want children/teens to understand that there is help out there and, while it might feel like it, they are not alone. Children and teens are getting hurt, they are harming themselves, they are harming others. It has to end and the severity of bullying needs to be heard. The only way this will stop is to talk about it. I am a stronger woman today because of my experience, but not everyone comes out that way.

Beauty begins inside of us, not with mascara or lipstick- those delicious indulgences are just there to help make our smile and the twinkle in our eyes stand out more! :)


My sincerest ‘Thank You’ for reading,





The picture above is me at 15, the age my bullying began. I was just a kid! If I only knew then, what I know now :)

Get Real Housewives of New York City’s Heather Thomson’s Behind the Scenes Beauty Secrets!


New kid on the block, Heather Thomson, won fans over this season on The Real Housewives of New York City with her sharp business wit and classic one-liners (who else could bring back “Holla!”).

Also stealing the spotlight this season was Heather’s versatile makeup looks. From a classic smokey eye to a dramatic red lip, Thomson always looked flawless every scene.

Luckily her makeup artist, Kira Zlotnik, shared with us her behind the scene glam secrets!

How did you begin your career as a professional makeup artist?

I’ve always been a total makeup junkie – being a makeup artist was the next logical step. . After deciding to do my own wedding makeup because I couldn’t find an artist who made me look the way I wanted to look (less bridal, more fashion forward and natural), I realized others must be looking for the same thing and I was determined to be that artist. Starting my career working for Bobbi Brown cosmetics was amazing, and I was quickly promoted to her elite team of freelance artists where I travelled the country training other artists and teaching women to apply makeup like the pros

How did you begin working with Heather?

When Heather first started Yummie Tummie she needed a makeup artist for a web shoot. She contacted Bobbi Brown (Bobbi is a friend of Heathers) and Bobbi sent me to work with Heather.  When the opportunity for RHONY came up, Heather asked me to be her makeup artist.

What’s it like shooting for reality TV?

It’s challenging but a lot of fun. Heather was being filmed for TV one minute and being photographed the next so she needed to look great in all mediums. The makeup needs to hold up and look fresh on camera.

Describe Heather’s makeup look? Does she like a more natural look, experiment with trends, sultry?

Heather is always open to new ideas and trends so we try to mix it up a lot, however, she also knows what works for her so she won’t rock a trend just because it’s trendy. She always wants stand-out eyes, favoring a cleaner look for day and a soft smokey look for evening.

Real Housewives are known for being glamorous. What’s one way to instantly add glam to your makeup routine?

A clean black eye liner with a subtle wing is an easy and classic way to add glam to your makeup routine and it’s great because it can work for day or night depending on the lip you choose to pair it with. Also a subtle highlighter on the cheekbones makes makeup look a little more special.

Heather rocked a great red lip this season. What are your tips for perfecting the red lip look?

Heather got so many tweets about that lip! FYI – the color was Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Old Hollywood.

Red can be tricky to pull off but I really believe that ANYONE can wear it and that’s why it’s so iconic.

Old school rules (such as orangey reds for warm skin tones and blue reds for cool skin tones) are so passé. Choose a red that you love and when in doubt, go for a classic true red.

Red lips can draw attention to any redness in the skin so make sure to wear a foundation with enough coverage.

If your lips are thin or lack definition, first line your lips with a neutral liner and then using a lip brush apply the lip color starting from the center of the lip all over. I like a neutral lip liner versus a red so that the lip doesn’t look too drawn on.

If you have fuller lips, apply the lipstick first, then line and blend.

5 products you can’t live without?

Bobbi Brown gel eye liner – dark eye liner really makes eyes pop. This goes on smoothly, stays on forever and it’s versatile – you can get a clean line or smudge it for a smokier look

 Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tar – super pigmented, these stay on forever and you can easily mix colors to customize a perfect shade

Ardell black short flare individual eye lashes – they elevate makeup to celebrity level but still look real so they work for even the most natural looks

Hourglass Cosmetics Mineral Veil Primer – smoothes out fine lines, pores and keeps foundation in place

Scott Barnes Body Bling – Every housewife wanted to use this when I brought it to a photo shoot. It gives your legs that perfect shimmery tan glow and doesn’t rub off on clothes.

Favorite makeup trend this season?

It’s all about the lips this season and I love it! Darker, richer colors are making a comeback and they look amazing on all skin tones this winter.

A beauty “don’t” you see women commonly make?

Wearing eyeliner only on the lower lash line – this brings the focus of makeup down which makes women look older. Plus it attracts attention to dark circles.

Focusing solely on eye makeup and neglecting skin. Makeup should be balanced and above all the skin needs to look great.

Tips for aspiring celebrity makeup artists?

Always be open to learning from others and networking – you never know who you’ll meet and how you can work together!

 To get in contact with Kira, visit her facebook or twitter pages!

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