Get Naked for the Holidays!

Hello Beauty Junkees! The holidays are fast approaching and if you are wondering what to buy for that Beauty Junkee in your life, look no further. In a previous post I went over the many different Urban Decay Naked palettes and products. Well, Urban Decay is crowd pleasing once again so get ready to get Naked for the holidays!



92311_nakedvault_alt1Urban Decay recently released their Naked Vault which contains all three Naked palettes ($54 each), three flushed palettes ($30 each), three Naked lip glosses ($20 each) and three double ended eyeliner ($16 each) for $280. If you purchased all of these items separately, you would spend $360 so you end up saving $80. The Naked Vault is ideal for a beginner makeup artist, especially one who just joined the professional game and needs to build a kit of cost effective high quality products. A single makeup artist could do an entire wedding party (sans foundation/mascara/eyelashes) with the Naked Vault.

As awesome as the Naked Vault is, I am a little confused at their choices of palettes and how they will appeal to those purchasing the Vault for personal use.604214923119_nakedvault_alt2 The inclusion of three Flushed palettes and the absence of any Naked Basics was odd to me. If a person purchases the Vault for themselves, it’s pretty unlikely one skin tone needs three different blush/bronze/highlight combos. What is likely, is that at some point or another that consumer will need matte shadows which is why I feel at least one Naked Basics should have been included. Call me a dreamer, but I feel instead of three Flushed palettes the Vault should have included Naked Basics 1&2 and one Flushed palette of your choosing. I am also surprised the Vault does not included any kind of Eye Shadow Primer Potion which I feel is crucial to creating beautiful eye makeup that will last and not crease. Regardless of what I would change, this is a great gift for anyone who loves makeup and loves variety. Unfortunately at the moment The Naked Vault is sold out on and It could still be available in Sephora stores near you, I suggest calling before heading over to be sure. Avoid purchasing on sites like and as they are not licensed retailers and you could get a dupe. Sign up for emails on to keep updated on restocking status. I’m pretty confident they will have more for sale before the holidays.



The next awesome product Urban Decay is bringing us is Naked On The Run. This is a compact containing five neutral shadows, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss and a highlight/bronzer/blush combo. 604214923072_nakedontherunThis is great for touch-ups on the go, the minimalist or travelers with limited space. The only flaw I’ve read of so far is that the highlight/bronzer/blush combo only comes in one shade which may not be wearable for some. Once again, I think it would have great if you could choose those shades since they are rather inclusive to certain skin tones. The lip gloss is Sesso, a rose hue with gold shimmer that should compliment most skin tones. At $54 it’s pretty affordable and contains a little bit of everything you need. It is currently for sale on and will debut on on December 1st and in Sephora stores on December 4th. It has yet to sell out on, but I would still purchase it ASAP if you are planning to give it as a gift for the holidays.





I am going to talk about two more Urban Decay products that are not part of the Naked Collection. These palettes are for the more adventurous Beauty Junkees, those that like pops of intense, pigmented color and aren’t afraid to experiment.


Vice 3 contains 20 palette exclusive eye shadows including some neutrals, purples, berries, greens and a few mattes. Vice 3 is great for those that like to get edgy, but not too crazy. The berry tones604214923027_vice3_alt2 are my favorite and look beautifully smoldering on brown eyes. This palette comes with a double ended Urban Decay make up brush, but once again to my dismay no Primer Potion. A few years ago, a small sample bottle of Primer Potion was included with most palettes and they were awesome to throw in travel bags or give to friends to show them the awesome power of Eye Shadow Primer Potion. It saddens me UD no longer does this, but oh well. Anyway, this palette is $60 and is available on both and While I suggest purchasing early, Vice 3 isn’t in as high of demand as the Naked collection so it should be relatively easy to find.




604214922037_electric_alt2The next palette is the Electric palette and is not for the shy or faint of heart. This palette contains 10 punches of intense, bright color in all colors of the rainbow except red. This palette is for the Beauty Junkee that loves raves, costumes and avant-garde and desires expressing their colorful personality on their face. Electric is also great for the professional makeup artist because jobs range from weddings to runway shows to costume makeup and you truly never know just what you might need. This palette is $49, pretty affordable and comes with a double ended brush. This palette is pretty available both online and in stores, but once I suggest purchasing ASAP to be ready for the holidays because you never know what will sell out.



I hope after reading this, you are well equipped to find the perfect holiday gift for the Beauty Junkee in your life! A great addition to any of these palettes is… guess what I’m going to say…. the Eyeshadow Primer Potion! It comes in a few different shades, but the regular clear is a great fail safe choice that any makeup fanatic will love. Have a great holiday and stay tuned for my next post about no-nos in the esthetician room!








Getting Naked

Hello Beauty Junkees! I’ve been slacking in the blog department lately but only because I’ve had one of the most amazing, awesome, crazy fun summers ever! Fun weddings, events at the salon, camping, a Lady Gaga concert and work has kept me pretty busy! I am back today to talk about a pretty amazing collection of palettes by Urban Decay… The Naked Collection.

Before I was a professional makeup artist, I was not really into matte or neutral shadows. I preferred the shimmer, glitter and color pop of shadows that many people do not normally wear which is why I always loved Urban Decay. My makeup collection grew… and grew… and grew to an absurd size. I became a professional makeup artist and began working with brides, more mature clients and on fashion shows and one thing stuck out immediately. I could not believe that in my huge collection of makeup I had hardly any matte and neutral shadows. I needed a neutral collection of quality fast and for a reasonable price.

Luckily, Urban Decay had just come out with its first Naked Palette and I went and picked it up for $52. Naked1 has a mix of mattes and shimmers and compliments most skin tones but is on the cool side. This palette is incredibly versatile and can accomplish a look for any occasion. This palette began to sell out like crazy and stores just couldn’t keep it in stock. Urban Decay knew they were on to something.



As awesome as Naked1 is, it didn’t have the collection of neutral matte shadows I still needed. I made do with what I had and soon Urban Decay came out with Naked Basics for $29. This is completely matte palette and perfect for the girl who likes to look natural but polished. It is compact and could easily be tossed in a purse. I love taking this palette with me when I travel because it takes up little room and can be used for daytime to dramatic. This is an absolute must have for your professional make up kit. You will use it for everything from fashion shows to weddings. If you don’t have this palette already, go purchase it now.


Urban Decay was far from finished with getting Naked. Enter Naked2. Where Naked1 is on the cool side, Naked2 is on the warm side. It features warm browns, peachy mattes and rosy bronzes. Once again Urban Decay hits the nail on the head and makes a palette that pretty much everyone can wear for a reasonable price of $52. I’m telling you ladies, save your money and quit buying eye shadows at the drug store. These palettes will last quit awhile and I promise you will use them. Another must have if you are a professional makeup artist.


Once again, another hit! Urban Decay decided to continue their winning streak and debuted Naked3. Naked3 has a rose gold theme with warm rosy tones that once again, even though they are warm they compliment most skin tones. This palette is perfect for creating a smoldering romantic smoky eye. The browns are rich chocolate and are perfect for creating subtle drama. My favorite professional job for this palette is for bedroom boudoir photo shoots creating the perfect sex kitten look.

604214919006_naked3Next in the Naked line is Naked Flushed. This is a compact with bronzer, blush and a high lighter in 4 shades, Naked, Native, Strip and Streak. Naked is pretty versatile and will work on most tones, so once again a must have for a professional makeup kit. Native has a petal pink blush and pinky champagne highlighter for lighter skin tones. Strip is for darker skin tones and has a gold highlighter and mauve blush. Streak is for medium tones with a peachy high lighter and coral blush. Compact, perfect for the purse and touch ups on the go.


The newest addition to the Naked collection is Naked2 Basics. This time around Urban Decay decided to throw in a shadow with a slight shimmer to add dimension to your highlight, but otherwise it is a completely matte palette. Naked2 Basics is cooler than Naked Basics and has grey tones to it. Just like its predecessor, it’s sleek and compact and perfect for travel.


“But Amelia” you say “Which Naked palette is right for me?” First you need to figure out if your skin tone is warm, cool or neutral. This website is a great guide to figuring out if you are warm or cool: If you are warm, I suggest getting Naked2 or Naked3 and Naked Basics. If you are cool, I suggest Naked1 and Naked2 Basics. If you are neutral, celebrate because you can wear them all!

The thing I love the most about the Naked palette collection is how they travel. I can bring my whole makeup bag in 2-3 palettes including blush, highlighter and bronzer and have enough versatility for any occasion. It gives you the ability to have light, natural day makeup that be added to at night for a sexy evening look in a compact that fits in your purse. If you want a pop of color bring along one of Urban Decay’s other palettes like Electric, Ammo or Smoked. If you already have a few fave single Urban Decay shadows pick up the 4 shadow Build Your Own Palette. Don’t be afraid to get Naked!

There is a Naked line beyond the eye shadow palettes including liquid and powder foundation, beauty balm and defining powder. I have yet to try these but would love to venture to the skin side of Urban Decay makeup.

Before I close this up, I have to mention an ABSOLUTLEY ESSENTIAL item you MUST have for eye shadow… Urban Decay Primer Potion. It will make a huge difference in the way your eye lids wear eye shadow. Say goodbye to creasing, fading and smudging! It comes in four different shades that can be worn under shadow or by themselves. The original formula rubs in clear and is the best if you wear little makeup or many different looks. Sin is a shimmery champagne shade that is great for neutral shadows, but also looks great by itself. Eden is a matte tawny shade that is great for shadows you want to really pop, but not one I’d really wear by itself. Greed is a gold shade that is great for darker skin tones and looks beautiful by itself. All in all, if you are wearing eye shadow without Primer Potion, you are doing it wrong.

Coming up next is a post on the many, many amazing uses for Coconut Oil. It’s my Windex (Big Fat Greek Wedding joke =P). Until next time…








The Clarisonic Mia Review

Hello Beauty Junkees! Its been awhile since my last post because business is booming! 2014 has been a crazy awesome year and is only going to get better. The A Salon 7 10 Year Anniversary White Party was AMAZING! We ran out of booze, the fashion show and music number were great and everyone was dressed to the nines! With three weddings to attend, a Lady GaGa concert and growing business I have a feeling it will be a busy, busy year and I can only try and keep up!




However, I’m taking a break today to talk about an amazing gadget called the Clarisonic Mia. I’m wondering what took me so long to buy a Clarisonic unit… its that amazing. If you aren’t familiar with the Clarisonic brushes, it’s a brush for washing your face that oscillates back and forth at a sonic frequency that will give your face the deepest clean you’ve ever felt! It softly exfoliates while stimulating circulation and is gentle enough to use everyday.

I had seen Clarisonic in various places and online but thought it was just a rotating brush. They do sell rotating brushes at Walmart and such, but THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They do not vibrate at the sonic frequency that the Clarisonic does and might not be as gentle. I’m serious, don’t waste your money on a cheaper version. You will not regret this investment! It’s a game changer, I promise!

What finally convinced me I absolutely needed a Clarisonic in my life was seeing a few of my clients come in with minimal black heads on their nose. I have great skin, but my entire life I’ve had black heads on my nose. Nothing crazy deep or super huge, just normal black heads that just about everyone has. Everyone I asked said they use a Clarisonic. Yep, had to have one.

Which brings me to…. BIRCHBOX! If you aren’t familiar with, it’s a sample service you pay $10 a month for and you receive 5 deluxe samples of beauty items to try. If you loved a particular sample, you can buy the full sized product in the Birchbox store which has tons of brands you are sure to recognize. It gets more amazing. If you fill out a review for each of your 5 samples, you get 50 Birchbox points a month with 100 points equaling $10. It takes 10 minutes and every 2 months you get $10 to spend on products! I have found some of my favorite products through Birchbox including Eyeko Eyeliner, Benefit Foamingly Clean Face Wash, Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls and Leave In Condish. It’s amazing and you should treat yourself! Have a man in your life that loves taking care of himself? Treat him to a Men’s Birchbox for $20 a month! Yes you can use your points on a gift subscription!

Anyway, a few Clarisonic units are available on and I had accrued $50 in points in addition to a 25% off code so I decided it was time. Birchbox offers the Mia or the Aria and I decided to try the Mia. It’s the less expensive and more basic of the two, but both had great reviews so I figured I’d be happy either way. Shipping was free and it arrived here lightning fast in two days!


The Clarisonic Mia comes with a sensitive brush head, a sample of their Refreshing Skin Cleanser and a charger. It’s one speed and has a 60 second timer with instructions suggesting you spend 20 seconds on forehead and chin and 10 seconds on each cheek. They also suggest to change your brush head every 3 months. The first time I used it, I really felt it cleansing deep down even with the sensitive brush head. I actually went for two cycles so I could really clean my nose well. I don’t suggest doing this your first go around as your skin might be sensitive to such a deep cleaning. I have EXTREMLY tolerant skin and I’m very aware of what it tells me. Always listen to your skin… if you exfoliate, start with once a week and move up to 3 times a week if your skin allows.

If you suffer from rosacea or have very sensitive skin, opt for the Mia 2, Aria or Plus as they all have a delicate setting that can be used with a delicate brush head. There are five different brush heads: delicate, sensitive, normal, deep pore and acne. If you have dry skin, opt for delicate or sensitive. If you are combination or oily, try the deep pore or acne head. I think it’s great that the Mia comes with a sensitive brush head suitable for all skin types so you can work your way up to brush head for your exact skin type.  Clarisonic also makes several different cleansers for each skin type as well as a few masques.

I am very interested in trying a few more Clarisonic products to be used in conjunction with the brush heads. The Refreshing Skin Cleanser isn’t bad, but I’d really like to try their Deep Pore Cleanser to see if I can minimize the pores on my nose. I’d also like to try a few different brush heads like the Deep Pore brush and the Acne brush. These are sold on for $27 each or 4 for $75. However, always check for deals. Today they are offering 2 brush heads for $11.99! Fine print says you can purchase 3 and 2 as gifts so you can really stock up for a great price! These Groupon deals are only available for a limited time, but always check because they seem to frequent Groupon.

I am considering purchasing the Clarisonic Aria for my treatment room to use during my cleanse during facials. I am looking into becoming a Clarisonic Retailer if possible because I’m positive that after feeling that deep clean after their facial, they will HAVE to have one!

All in all, this is a great investment in skin care and I promise you will see and feel results! Until next time…





BH Cosmetics Review

Hello Beauty Junkees! I’m on a roll with blog posts and I figure why stop now? I’m going to review a few things I’ve purchased from, one of my favorite affordable makeup sites. The products I am going to review today are the 120 Palette 1st Edition, the makeup brush belt, the Jenni Rivera palette and the 36 Piece Brush Set. If you have a budding makeup artist in your life and aren’t sure exactly what they need for their makeup kit, a gift certificate to BHCosmetics is well worth it! With $100 an artist can really stock up on quite a few essential items every artist needs in their kit and they have a little bit of everything.

120Bh120 Palette 1st Edition

I first purchased this palette a few years ago when I first started esthetician school and when it started getting a little beat up, I purchased a new one for my personal collection only. It has every color of the rainbow with both matte and shimmer shadows. I’ve always loved red eye shadow, but it’s very hard to find a true red shadow that isn’t brick, burgundy or wine colored. This palette has two! While none of the shadows are duo chrome or color shifting like Urban Decay or MAC, they are great for just about any look ranging from day time to fantasy. I always use Urban Decay Primer Potion under my shadows and these stay pretty well. At $15.95 this is a great deal, especially if you are a makeup artist that is just starting out. I prefer the 1st Edition palette to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th because it has a few shades of all the colors of the rainbow. Some of the other palettes have more browns and neutrals, some have more purples, ect. Pick the one that speaks to you because you really can’t go wrong!

36bhbrushset  brushset

36 Piece Ultimate Brush Set

I purchased this a few weeks ago during an online sale where I got it for $29.95 instead of $39.95. At either price it’s a great deal. They are made with both natural and synthetic bristles and most of the powder brushes come with brush guards that you can hang on to so the brushes keep their shape and stay nice. I haven’t used these brushes yet, but so far after throwing away all the plastic wrapping and feeling each brush, they feel pretty soft and dense. I have used quite a few different brush brands including Urban Decay, EcoTools, E.L.F., MAC and Victoria Secret (my very first makeup brush set) I consider myself a pretty seasoned brush user. At under $50 for 36, they are definitely worth giving a try.


Having decent makeup brushes as a makeup artist is essential, but I have trouble spending over $10 on a single brush. You lose things traveling on photo shoots, things get mixed up during fashion shows and you are bound to lose something from your kit here and there so staying affordable is really important. I highly suggest having a brush set for you and a brush set for your profession and this price makes that possible even for those on a budget. In a later post, I will discuss my favorite brush brands and which brushes I use the most. I will admit, I have several tried and true favorites that I find myself using over and over and over again. I’m very excited to practice with this set because some of these brush types I have never used before!

**Side note: If you are doing a messy job like zombie or any special effects makeup involving fake blood, latex or grease paints, I DO NOT suggest using your nicer brushes. Pick up some inexpensive paint brushes and keep in mind latex pretty much destroys brush bristles. E.L.F. brushes are great and inexpensive so if they get ruined you aren’t crushed.**


Pro Artist Brush Belt

I purchased this brush belt before a fashion show so my brushes would be accessible to me and not take up counter space. Counter space is valuable when you are crammed into a small space with five other artists. While it doesn’t hold as many brushes as I’d like, it holds enough to make it worth having. I like that it has a flap that protects your brushes when not in use. This belt is adjustable and I am a larger girl (size 20 pants) and this belt fits me at its loosest, so it would not fit a bigger waist than mine. I don’t use this for every single job, but it’s nice to have in case I need it and at $13.95 why not?


Jenni Rivera Palette

I bought this palette approximately a year ago for under $15. I forget the exact price 😛 Jenni Rivera was a famous Latin singer that joined with BHCosmetics, but sadly passed away in an airplane crash in December 2012. It was limited edition and I purchased it mainly because I like the blush colors. I was a little disappointed more of the shadows weren’t matte because that was another reason I had purchased it. From the photos I thought more shades were matte. Regardless, this is a great palette especially for those who like to stick to neutrals but venture out in pops of color every once in awhile. The coral blush looks great on anyone, but the pinks are pretty pink and pigmented. It only takes a tiny swipe for a decent amount of color. Although this palette is no longer for sale, if you see it anywhere like Amazon it’s a decent palette to purchase that gives you some really great color combinations. also has concealer palettes, lip palettes and more that are very useful in a makeup kit. If you are hesitant about a product, look at the reviews on their webpage as well as Googling it.  Reviews are pretty awesome to go by when you can’t physically see/touch a product. If you have any questions about the products reviewed in this post, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them! Coming up next time… my favorite brushes and brands as well as my review of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. Until next time…



Z Palette Review

Hello Beauty Junkees! I am enjoying the short break I have before things get crazy for Christmas and planning out my gingerbread salon… it’s going to be epic! I will post pictures! In the meantime, I wanted to do a quick review on a great product I picked up called a Z Palette.

If you don’t know what a Z Palette is, its an empty magnetic makeup palette that turns your million eyeshadows/blushes/ect, into one convenient palette.


I purchased this because I realized when I was doing makeup jobs, I wasn’t using anything not in a palette because of the inconvience. I heard about this product quite some time ago, but just didn’t give it a try. I purchased a large Z Palette off Amazon for $16 with free two day shipping because I am an Amazon Prime member. Haven’t heard of Amazon Prime? Well let me tell you!

Amazon Prime is $79 a year and you get free two day shipping on Prime items (which isn’t everything, but there are plenty of options) as well as unlimited Amazon Instant Video use. Amazon Instant Video has a huge library with whole seasons of shows and movies and is a great addition to Netflix or Hulu Plus in the place of cable . If you are a frequent internet shopper or you buy business supplies frequently, Amazon Prime might be for you! Okay, enough plugging Amazon Prime…

You “depot” your single shadows by heating the back to soften the glue. I will explain the method I used the do this. First, gather your supplies. I used a metal makeup spatula (tweezers may also work), a blow dryer, rag, pure acetone, rubbing alcohol, eye shadow brush and a Sharpie permanent marker. The Z Palette does come with an instruction card, but I found this method to be the easiest. What can I say, I’m just not a fan of melting plastic like the methods suggested with placing shadows in the oven or using a flattening iron.

The majority of my shadows are Urban Decay and have an outer casing in addition to a plastic casing around the shadow pan. I broke this open by simply twisting the lid away from the bottom. I did one at a time so I knew which shadow was which shade. I put the shadow face down and heated the back with my blow dryer on high for a minute. I then stuck the makeup spatula between the metal pan and the plastic casing and pried it out. Most shadows came out pretty easily, but my Urban Decay matte shadows all cracked. I fixed them by dipping my makeup brush in alcohol and patting the cracks out. This changes the color of the shadow a bit, but doesn’t change the color when applied.

I then took a rag and dipped it in pure acetone to remove the glue off the back of the shadow pan. After all the glue and residue was gone, I tested to see if the pan is magnetic or not. If it was, I wrote the shadow brand and name on the back. If it wasn’t magnetic, I stuck one of the magnets the palette came with on the back and wrote the brand and shade and organized them the way I wanted. You can purchase additional empty shadow pans and magnets at They also have great tips and tricks in addition to YouTube videos showing tutorials on depotting all kinds of different pans.

I love this product, but I really wish makeup brands made their packaging more basic so this process would be easier. I am contemplating depotting all my Urban Decay palettes and putting them in a Z Palette because the brand packaging is so bulky and when you have 5+ palettes, condensing them down to two is well worth it. I would also love if they did something similar for loose pigments, but I’m pretty sure I could make my own with a pencil box or something similar.

This makes a great gift for any makeup maven and is a great White Elephant gift for a gift exchange with the girls! Overall a great buy!

What are you favorite products for organizing your makeup? Do you have any DIY methods? Share with me!



It Never Stops!

Hello Beauty Junkees! October came and went in a flash of makeup, parties, fake blood and liquid latex! I hope your Halloween was good! Mine was crazy busy! Just when I took a deep breath and got ready to relax when it was all over, I remembered that two more huge holidays are around the corner!

Not going to lie… I’m not a HUGE Thanksgiving fan. I love holidays where I can get creative and while some may find a lot of inspiration in Thanksgiving, it’s not my favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about being thankful and giving gratitude, but Thanksgiving just isn’t my artistic muse.

But, boy do I love the glittery, shiny, frosty things that come with Christmas! One thing I absolutely LIVE for at Christmas time is gingerbread houses. This year I have plans to buy the obscene gingerbread house kit from Michael’s that cost $30 along with some extra decoration kits to build a gingerbread A Salon 7. It will be magnificent. Pictures will be posted.

Another thing I live for around this time of year is fall and holiday fashion and makeup. Fall is full of wonderful rich colors like bronze browns, copper reds and egg-plants purples that all make for awesome eye makeup combinations that can complement any eye color.

I love the snuggly knit sweaters, leggings and boot combinations that any style can wear. Hair colors take an earthy turn, shying away from the sun kissed looks of summers. Winter brings even snugglier clothing with leg warmers and mittens.

Most attend work parties and a good smokey eye is essential. The smokey eye isn’t confined to just a black/grey gradient, it can be done with just about any color gradient.  New Years Eve makeup brings disco ball inspired looks full of my favorite thing in the makeup/craft world… GLITTER! Just always remember when experimenting with new, bold looks, focus on one part of the face. For example, if you are wearing very dramatic eyes, tone down your lips. If you are trying a new bright lipstick, tone down your eyes with a softer look.

Don’t forget Beauty Junkees… false lashes complete any look, bold or soft. If you are going for a subtle, natural look, opt for half strip lashes. They go on the outer corners of you eyes and give a cat eye look and are usually easier to apply and wear than full lashes.

One trend that has been ongoing this year throughout the season is natural, full eyebrows. Now, Beauty Junkees, this does not mean let them grow wild! It means put down the tweezers and leave the shaping to the pros! Go see your favorite brow expert to get your brows groomed to perfection. Don’t have one?

Well…. ::get ready for shameless self promotion::….

If you are in the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area of Nevada, come see me at A Salon 7! I love full, natural brows and refuse to put my name on tiny, barely there brows! I can also give you tips on which brow products will keep your brows in place and defined without looking like the dreaded “Sharpie” brows. Go to to book an appointment now!

Don’t be afraid to experiment this holiday season with your hair and makeup! Consult your favorite hair and makeup professional and see what holiday trends and styles fit your lifestyle. And remember… if you are in the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area, check out A Salon 7 for all your skincare, hair and makeup needs! Until next time…




FX Makeup!

     Long time, no blog! I am back just in time for Halloween!

     I loooooove makeup and have tried my hand at many fantasy and whimsical makeups, however until last year I had never dabbled in the gross and gory. If you didn’t already know, I live in Reno, Nevada and not only are we notorious for being one of the drunkest cities in the USA, but we are also notorious for our pub crawls (go figure). One of the most popular crawls our fine city holds is the Zombie Crawl. This creates a rather large market for zombie makeup on one day once a year and is a huge opportunity to make money and gain experience. Despite my lack of experience last year, a coworker at the salon talked me into doing zombie makeup at a local thrift store with our salon. I decided to dive in, spent a bunch of money of makeup and off I went! I had an awesome time and learned so much!

I am doing zombie makeup for the Zombie Crawl once again and after a year of watching The Walking Dead and some research, I am full of inspiration! I have been looking up ways to really up the ante while still staying cost-effective because let’s be real, I am a struggling artist haha! I am a huge fan of the show Faceoff where Special FX makeup artists compete to excel their careers in ways they didn’t think possible. Watching this show has made me very interested in prosthetics, making molds and casting. Unfortunately, Reno doesn’t offer much in the way of special fx makeup classes so most of what I’ve learned is from the internet and YouTube. I am lucky enough to have a friend in town who does a lot of fabricating and prop making and he is kind enough to hold a class to teach rookies like me the basics! I can’t wait!

When doing makeup for the Zombie Crawl, speed is a very important factor because people are lined up roll call style and the more you do, the more money you make! I had to take this into account when brainstorming for ways to make my zombie makeup better with the use of prosthetics. I found many videos on YouTube on how to make molds pretty cheap using molding clay and plaster of paris and then using a gelatin mixture to cast. I can’t wait to try it! There are a few different formulas using different grades of gelatin and different ingrediants so some experimentation is definitely  in order! Because of my inexperience with prosthetics, I will probably stick to what I know this year and give myself a year to investigate and perfect cheap prosthetic making. I will do a blog on my experience and provide my resources for what worked best for me.

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Are there any costumes you’ve always wanted to try, but never got around to it? What kind of makeup are you interested in?



Summer Specials!

Hello everyone!

Summer is fast approaching and that means showing bare skin! I am offering a special to get you ready to bare it all with confidence!


From April until September I am offering a European Facial / Back Facial package for $80!  This bundle includes a 60 minute European Facial and a 60 minute Back Facial  using NuSkin products along with a skin care consultation.

Both services include:

*Two Deep Cleanses*

*Deep Exfoliation*



*Hydrating and/or Clay Masque*

*Deep Moisturizer*

These two services by themselves are $60 each, so both for $80 is a killer deal!

Remember, the best results come from superior products and consistency so during the skin care consultation we can make a game plan specifically for your skin type, lifestyle and financial situation. I love to help people fall in love with their skin!

Not only will this bundle leave you feeling relaxed and renewed, it will get your skin on its way to a bare, makeup free summer!

Ask me about my summer waxing specials if you are interested in a bare, no hair summer!

If you would like to book an appointment with me at A Salon 7 located here in Reno, Nevada please call A Salon 7 at 775*786*7770

If you have any questions regarding services or scheduling, please email me at

I check my email several times daily and promise a prompt returned call.

Love & Light,


Everybody Hates Acne!

Hello Readers! Remember being a pimply teen and thinking “I can’t wait until I am an adult with normal skin!”? Then adulthood came and forgot to leave the acne behind. Many think that acne only affects teenagers, but more than 80% of people regardless of gender, age or race suffer from acne. 20% of adults suffer from active adult acne. But the fun doesn’t stop there folks! Out of 85% of young adults (12-24) that suffer from acne, 25% will have permanent scars from acne that range from mild to severe. This all results in self consciousness, feeling that people are seeing your acne/scarred skin rather than the glowing person you are!

First, I’m going to discuss the many causes of acne. To fully combat something, you must understand it so here is your lesson:

Acne is caused by oil, bacteria and dead skin cells clogging the opening of your follicle (pore). This causes a plug which allows bacteria to accumulate and grow under the skin causing an infection which results in pus (white blood cells) and inflammation. A common misconception is that only oily skin has problems with acne. NOT TRUE! Oily skin is more likely to have acne because of the over production of oil resulting in clogged pores, HOWEVER, dry skin can also have acne! A result of having dry skin is you have dry, flaky dead skin cells. These can accumulate around/in a follicle resulting in a clogged pore. Dry acne skin can be a little more difficult to treat because many acne treating products are drying so the products being used to treat it are extremely important.

There are causes of acne that go beyond your skin type and conditions. First and foremost, smoking cigarettes is incredibly damaging to any kind of skin including acne skin. You are depriving your cells of oxygen which results in congestion, dryness and can result in breakouts around the cheek area. It also hastens the aging process by ALOT along with making fine “pucker” lines around the mouth from sucking a ciggarette. SO STOP SMOKING!

Stress is also a cause of acne which can result in a stress acne cycle. When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases your oil production resulting in a breakout. A breakout can result in more stress and the cycle continues. Stress breakouts are most common along the cheek/jaw line but can occur anywhere. Stress can also trigger one to pick their blemishes which is never a good idea! Later on in this post, I will give tips and guidelines if you absolutely must extract (pop) a comedone (pimple). Take the time to chill out whether it’s going for a walk, getting a massage or facial (with me!), meditating, whatever you need to do to chill out, DO IT! It’s not only good for you skin, but it’s also good for your body and mind. You deserve it. If you’re lucky enough to be one of my clients 😉 and you are feeling stressed before your treatment, ask for an extended facial massage! I love helping people relax and would be more than happy to take a few extra minutes to help you loosen up!

Another cause of acne can be an unbalanced diet. While there is no scientific proof that certain foods make you break out, every person is different and some swear that different foods make them breakout. There is no specific diet to clear up skin, but eating a healthy, balanced diet has multiple benefits beyond just your skin. Also, drink a lot of water! Staying hydrated will help your skin stay hydrated and hydrated skin ages slower so drink that water!

A huge cause of acne among women is makeup. Most women are familiar with wearing concealers and foundations to cover their blemishes. This begins what I like to call “The Cycle”. You have blemishes so you cover them up with makeup. The makeup sets into your already inflamed clogged pores which causes them to become upset with you and more inflamed. You wear even more makeup to cover up the breakout that got worse. Because you don’t feel confident in your skin, you never go a day without makeup causing your skin to repeat this endless cycle of makeup breakouts. But fear not ladies, not all foundations are created the same and a high price tag doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin! MAC makes one of the WORST foundations out there and it has a high price tag so don’t let it fool you. Look for brands that focus more on skin care rather than aesthetic appeal. For example, MAC is known for its editorial makeup and awesome eye shadows, not it’s research into skin care. Some of the best foundations I’ve used are Benefit, NuSkin, TIGI and Neutrogena Mineral Sheers. They all have something for everyone whether you like to use liquid, cream, pressed powder or loose powder and their formulas are non comedegenic so they won’t clog your pores. That being said, even if you wear a skin friendly foundation, take a day or two out of the week where you don’t wear any makeup at all. I know it’s hard, but trust that you are beautiful with or without makeup!


blackheads One thing I hear from almost every client that steps into my treatment room is “I have a TON of blackheads on my nose!” Don’t be embaressed. EVERYONE and I mean everyone has blackheads on thier nose. We have a bit larger pores on our nose, especially if you have combination skin which allows more dirt and debris to find thier way in there and clog the pore. The top turns black from being exposed to oxygen unlike a whitehead which seals itself. The only way to keep blackheads under control is to keep your nose clean and extract them now and again. Going to a lisenced professional is the best way to go when extracting any pimple, however I realize many of you are going to extract (pop) your pimples regardless of what I say 😀 If you MUST extract your comedones (zits) please do so in a sanitary manner wihch I will guide you through below:

1. WASH YOUR HANDS! There is no use extracting a pimple with dirty hands because you are putting more bacteria and debris on the skin which will cause more breakouts or an infection. So wash your hands and under your nails too with an antibacterial soap.

2. The best time to extract pimples is right after a hot shower. The steam opens your pores and softens your clogged pores meaning the gunk and debris will come out easier. If you aren’t fresh out of the shower, get a wet wash cloth wet with warm/hot water. Put it on your comedone (zit, whitehead, blackhead) and leave it for a few minutes.

3. Once your hands are super clean and your pores are softened, wrap toilet paper or tissue around your pointer fingers two or three layers thick. Extracting a pimple with just your nails not only spreads dirt and bacteria, but it also damages your skin and can leave a scar. You want to be as gentle as possible.

4. With your protected fingers, gentle push the skin around the blemish. If it won’t pop, don’t force it. You could rupture the pore under the skin which can cause more problems which can lead to infection and scarring. If it doesn’t pop easily, wait and try again the next day. If it pops, wipe the debris down and away from the pore. If you need to do multiple places, use new tissue each time to ensure optimal sanitation.

5. After you are done, wipe a cotton ball with toner or witch hazel on the areas you extracted. This cleans the area to ensure that any gunk and debris that came out of your clogged pored is removed instead of pushed back into your pores. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

Don’t go crazy. If you are prone to picking and you pick at yourself to the point of bleeding and scarring, give yourself a time limit of how long you look in the mirror. And remember, having a skin care professional (like me!) perform extractions during a facial treatment at least four times a year is the best way to go to ensure you don’t further damage your skin.

So now that I’ve gone over the many causes of acne, now I am going to guide you through treating it. Keep in mind that everyone is different and what might not work for one might work for another especially if you like to read reviews.

Many people think that scrubbing the hell out of their skin or using Stridex pads will fix oily skin. Dry out the zit and it ceases to exist right? NO! By being so aggressive with the harsh soaps and benzoyl peroxide spot treatments you end up stripping your skin of its natural oil (sebum) causing your acnecleansersebaceous glands (oil glands) to over produce oil since your skin is lacking. Your oil glands go into over drive resulting in skin that was even more oily than before. Instead of using a harsh soap or Stridex like pads, opt for a gentle cleanser that contains a small amount of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid dissolves the plugs in your congested pores and drys the pore out without drying out the rest of your face. A cleanser I suggest is Nu Skins Clear Action Acne Medication Foaming Cleanser. It’s gentle enough for daily use and contains salicylic acid to treat acne. It comes out as a foamy cream and foams up a bit more in your fingers. You distribute over the face and use small circular motions with your fingers. It will turn from white to clear and that’s when it’s  time to remove with warm water. Nu Skin does sell an acne kit that includes the Clear Action Acne Medication Foaming Cleanser, Clear Action Acne Medication Toner, Clear Action Acne Medication Day Treatment and Clear Action Acne Medication Night Treatment. This kit is designed to treat the three phases of acne, which are past (scars, discoloration), present (current breakouts) and future. The Day Treatment works to penetrate pores to prevent future breakouts while fading dark spots left from past breakouts. The Night Treatment contains alpha lipoic acid to improve skin texture and appearance. It also has salicylic acid to treat and prevent breakouts. If you are interested in purchasing the Nu Skin Clear Action Acne Kit please contact me at I check my email daily so I will respond quickly.

Along with over drying, another mistake many make with oily skin is they assume because thier skin is oily, they are not lacking in moisture therefore they don’t moisturizer. EVERYONE SHOULD MOISTURIZE! I cannot stress this enough! Oil is not the same as moisture and EVERYONE needs extra moisture in their skin. The more hydrated your skin, the less wrinkles you may have.

Think of it this way: If you have a sponge and you fold it, while its dry it will retain the fold (or wrinkle). If you put water on the sponge it will retain its shape and won’t hold a fold. So no matter what kind of acne skin you have, always moisturize.

Two moisturizers I suggest are Nu Skins Rejuvenating Cream and Nu Skin Nutricentials Moisture Restore Day Protective mattelotionMattefying Lotion. Nu Skins Rejuvenation Cream is a moisturizer for all skin types that delivers moisture without feeling heavy. A little goes a long way so this moisturizer can last awhile. Nu Skins Mattefying Lotion delivers moisture to oily or combination skin while working all day to fight oil and shine. It also contains SPF 15 to give your skin some protection from the sun. Once again, if you are interested in purchasing Nu Skin products please contact me at

Another important step to fighting acne is exfoliation. Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells by either mechanical or chemical exfoliation. The reasons to exfoliate are:

* By removing a layer of dead skin you increase your skins cell turnover rate. The body constantly creates new cells and by removing the dead cells it makes the young new cells the ones that are visible on your face resulting in a younger, fresher complexion.

* Dead skin cells accumulate around the pore opening which can result in clogged inflamed pores and breakouts. Remove the dead cells and the less your pores will get congested.

* Makeup clings to dead skin cells so when you have a layer on your face and you apply foundation, it doesn’t look even and might appear rough instead of smooth.

You should exfoliate 2-3 times a week with either a scrub or an enzyme cleanser depending on your skin type. If you have dry or oily skin that isn’t sensitive, I suggest using Nu Skin Facial Scrub. It contains bits of ground walnut shell that gently scrub facialscrubaway dead skin cells leaving your skin soft and smooth. If the ground walnut is a little too aggressive, Nu Skin makes Nu Skin Exfoliant Scrub that is a little more gentle than the Facial Scrub. If you are sensitive to scrubs and prone to redness I suggest using an enzyme cleanser. Right now, Nu Skin does not offer this cleanser but I do suggest Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. It has tiny micro-crystals that gentle polish away dead skin along with dead cell eating enzymes to exfoliate your skin without being too rough. You can purchase this through a website which also offers an awesome sample program for $10 a month. If you’d like to know more, let me know! I love getting my Birchbox sample box every month!

If you like to use a spot treatment, I suggest using a product with salicylic acid in it. Stay away from benzoyl peroxide as it can be too drying even as a spot treatment. I suggest using Nu Skins Epoch Blemish Treatment. This spot treatment calms redness and helps clear up a troubled complexion.

If you want to go that extra mile in your skin care regimen, masques can help rejuvenate skin by deeply moisturizing or pulling out impurities. If you are dry, I suggest using an ultra hydrating mask like Nu Skins Creamy Hydrating Masque mudmaskNourishing Treatment. Doing this once a week will give your skin that extra moisture it needs especially if you live in a dry area like I do. If you are oily, I suggest using a clay masque like Nu Skins Clay Pack Deep Cleansing Masque that will draw out impurities and oil from congested pores. If you are worried about a full clay masque drying your face out or you have combination skin, don’t be afraid to use two maques at once! Take your mud masque and use it almost as a spot treatment, dotting it on your problem oily or congested areas. Let it dry for just a few minutes and then apply a hydrating masque over the top of it. Hydrating masques don’t set and dry like clay masques so keep it on for 15-20 minutes max and remove with warm water. Don’t forget to moisturize!

P.S. I have heard and read rave reviews of GlamGlow masques but I have yet to use one. I am trying to get my hands on a sample since the jar is $69. When I get a sample I will use it and let you know what I thought!

If you are interested in purchasing any of the Nu Skin products mentioned in this blog, please contact me at Nu Skin is not available for purchase unless it is through a licensed distributor so be careful where you purchase. I do not suggest purchasing these products through Amazon or Ebay as it is not a guarantee you are getting a legitimate Nu Skin product and there are lots of fakes out there!

If you are suffering from acne, I hope this entry gives you some direction in how to treat it. Don’t be afraid to get a consultation with a skin care professional for a custom regimen and treatments that works for you and your skin type. If you are in the area of the Reno/Sparks Nevada area, come see me at A Salon 7 for a free skin consultation and we can discuss what treatments and products will work for you! Email me at to set up a consultation with Amelia and take the guess work out of treating your skin! I check my email daily and will return your message as soon as possible.

If you have any specific topics from skin care to makeup that you would like me to touch on, please comment and let me know! And even if you don’t, still comment and tell me how much you love my blog 😀 Until next time…


Amelia at A Salon 7

My Menu

This is my menu of services! If you need more details on what some services entail, please comment or message me on my Facebook page @ Amelia at A Salon 7.menufishJPEG