Monday, July 2, 2012

Back With New Inspiration

I hope summer is bringing lots of relaxation, fabulous shopping excursions and an ever-evolving sense of style to you and yours.

I've been absent a couple of seasons, but for a very fabulous reason - I'm now a new mommy to a beautiful baby girl. While I have been gone for awhile, I have returned with lots of new ideas and a totally new perspective.  My little girl inspires me every day so I'm sure she will directly impact Chic Beauty Review in a very positive way. It's time to take it up a few notches! I will be working on YouTube videos to give you a multifaceted Chic Beauty Review experience.

Like always, please let me know if you have questions, comments, requests and so on. Thank you so much for joining me at Chic Beauty Review.

Have a fabulous day every day!

<3 Catherine

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Interview with Kobe Ellis

Since I'm not a reporter, nor a journalist, it's not every day that I get to interview amazing and inspiring people. But for this post I was lucky enough to interview Kobe Ellis. Below: Just to be clear, my 'questions' are in black courier text, and Kobe's responses are in purple times text. Hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did reading her responses. I would like to take a moment to thank Kobe for participating in this interview. I really had fun with it!

Name: Kobe Ellis
Occupation: Freelance MUA and Groomer, Paramedical Aesthetician, Salon & Demi Spa Owner
Company /Salon: EBK Beauty LifeSTYLE Salon & Demi Spa
Slogan (if applicable): “ We’re not just a salon.”
Contact Info: Twitter: @KobeEllis &
1.Tell us about yourself.
I am easy going, fun, love to laugh, love to network & meet new people, don’t take myself too seriously (at least try not to), can’t drink enough sweet iced tea, long for rainy days - nothing on the schedule - & a good book, can’t resist holding a baby, would rather someone else cook, still love playing dress-up (thus my career choice!), feel daily joy at helping others see beauty in themselves, favorite role in life: Mom
2. What is a typical day like for you?  
"Wow, a typical day?  A typical day for me is never the same and I expect it to be that way a month, and six months from now.  I have many irons in the fire right now, a new salon opening and a freelance makeup career I am trying to expand and grow.  So, what is going on now will be quite different from a few months once the salon is open.  I spend time of course serving clients, but I also spend a considerable amount of time working on my skills and trying to stay up to date and current on new products and their use. It is easy to just get settled, or comfortable and I don't want to do that, I want to stay in a mode of learning and offering the best skills and products that I can to my clients.  I am also a single mom of two children and I try to make time for them and have a life outside of work.  That is a struggle in itself, but I think it shows them that hard work has rewards and you have to make time for those you care about. Then there is the social media, paperwork, etc.  as an entrepreneur and owner of a business that is never ending and I try to limit my time in those areas while still giving the attention needed.  So, all in all, a typical day for me is different from the one before, challenging, and busy, but I love it that way and feel blessed I have the opportunities that I do to work at what I love."
3.What drew you to this industry?   One evening, while in my final year of college, I prayed for guidance as to how I could do what needed to be done for me to provide for my family.  One day, my sister, mother and I traveled from West Palm Beach, Fl. to Miami to get eyelash extensions. They were terribly uncomfortable so we removed them just hours after getting.  As a result of that experience, my sister and I developed a technique for placing eyelash extensions so that they were “Barely There.” I felt the answer to my prayer had come: I would Introduce Eyelash Extensions to the city of Jacksonville, Florida. Before long, my business became a niche market. From there, my business grew and my services expanded; first brows and skin care then I learned hair replacements when my mother became ill with Breast Cancer. I found that I really enjoy providing services that help people with self image.

4.How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the beauty business for almost 10 years. I initially started my business, Eyes By Kobe LLC, with the primary intent to introduce Eyelash Extensions to Jacksonville, Florida I added other services as I found a demand, which included eyebrow shaping. Eyebrow shaping is actually one of my specialties.  I was taught how to do Threading when I was about 12 years old.  So, you could say I have had a “few’ years to hone my technique!  
5.What’s your favorite beauty line/product and why?
The beauty industry is forever changing. Every day, it seems, there is a new beauty product on the market designed to give better coverage, reverse the signs of aging, last longer and so on.  I do my best to keep up with the industry by constantly studying. For the most part, I am interested in products that are healthy for the skin. Products that contain the least amounts of toxins capture my attention the most.  I am not actually brand loyal, but rather purpose and quality loyal.
6.What’s your go-to outfit “recipe”?
 When it comes to work, my go-to-outfit is anything fashionable for the season with pockets, comfortable, black with a splash of color, a nice hat (sometimes) and manicured nails, since I work with my hands.  My shoes are always lightweight and comfortable.  I have to dress comfortable and be ready for a long day on my feet.

7.  When do you feel the most confident?   
After church for sure, and then when I have a customer who truly feels renewed by my efforts for them.

8.What makes a person beautiful?
What makes a person beautiful? A positive attitude, inner peace and a great makeup artist who can add to all of that!
9.You’re opening a salon soon.  That is such an amazing accomplishment.  What’s that experience been like for you?
Opening my own Salon & Demi Spa has been quite an educational experience. I have learned more about the construction industry than ever expected. I am now well versed on city codes, inspections, paint, refurbishing, making the best use of space, money and time.  I have learned how to make the best of what I have, how to seize opportunities when they arise and pay ONLY when the job is complete! I have kept very extensive notes along the way and I would love to help others who are thinking of undergoing the process of starting a salon.  I may write a short what to do and what not to do eBook someday!
10. What have you learned along the way that sticks with you every day?  
Muy importante: You don’t have to do everything yourself.  Hire professionals who are skilled in areas I am not.  I’ve learned to “stay in my own lane” and let others do their jobs without me putting in my 2 cents.  Above all, I have learned to “Be still” allow things to happen as they should, in natural order and time.
 11.Giving back is important. What’s your favorite non-profit organization?
Giving back and paying it forward are two things I was taught from a young age and have been practicing for as long as I can remember.  From the very day that I conceived the idea of my business, I knew I wanted to incorporate some type of community service activities.  I have had the honor to work with many non-profit organizations. Two of my favorites are The Pink Ribbon Symposium which is a non profit organization organized in 2008. It is dedicated to educating the Northeast Florida community on recent advances and related topics in the detection, treatment and survivorship of breast cancer patients as well as the understanding of the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. Another is Soles for Souls, organized in 2005, they facilitate the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide regardless of race, religion, class or any other criteria. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). My new location will have art pieces from several local and distant artists. I do not take a commission from the sales, instead I only ask the artists to donate a percentage of their sales to The Pink Ribbon Symposium. I have set up for my salon to be a drop point in Jacksonville to collect shoes from the community for Soles for Souls.  I am also hoping to get more involved with Dress for Success at some point.
12.What's your favorite inspirational quote?
As an English Major, I have read many through the years but there are actually two poems that inspire me often. So much so that I have taught them to my sons. They are “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar Albert Guest and “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. 

13. Add anything else here.
I’ve been learning how important and advantageous it can be to network.  One thing I am aiming to do is further network in my community.  I am hoping to network with more people in my area of all ages, ethnic background, male and female for modeling my freelance makeup skills in photo test shoots.  So anyone interested is welcome to contact me.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Hair Removal Issue

It's an age-old issue- hair removal and the when, the how and sometimes, the whyyy???

Removing unwanted hair should be easy, right? Shaving, waxing, laser-removal, cream hair removers and whatever other product or service comes along leaves us with several options, but which one works best for each one of us is sometimes a puzzle.

For me, shaving has been my go-to-method for years, but it doesn't always offer great results. As I get older, my skin is changing and so is my hair. Razor burn, bumps and discomfort are just a few of the disadvantages of shaving. I've been searching for a better removal system and thought waxing might be a great alternative to shaving. I admit I even thought about revisiting the use of Nair, which I haven't used since I was in high school. Anyway, the waxing option seemed appropriate but I definitely wanted to try it first at home. I am modest, and I just didn't think I could bring myself to go to a waxing professional. So home-waxing, here I come... or so I thought.

I stood in the hair removal aisle at Target staring at the few options offered. "Which one should I try this time?" I thought to myself. This will be the 2nd waxing product I've tried in my life. The first wax product I tried was while I was in college, and it was a wax with strips so I knew I wanted to try stripless wax this time. I spotted Sally Hansen's Simple Spa wax kit, purchased it and tried it the same day. Before I continue, I have only given this product ONE trial so I may have a different outcome next time.

It took about 25-30 minutes for the wax to melt. While one should NEVER leave the warmer unattended while it's on, it still seems a little too dangerous to me to leave anything hot (and spillable) on that long in my home. After very closely watching the wax melt, stirring the wax and prepping the area, the wax seemed ready to apply. I applied a few swatches of wax, peeled the wax off as directed and studied what came off in the wax... disappointing. With the intense pain that came along with ripping the wax off my skin I thought that surely all the hair from those areas would be removed, but unfortunately the wax really did not seem to remove that much hair at all. From my first trial, I was disappointed. The pain from waxing was not worth the few hairs that were removed. I may have had better luck removing more hair by tweezing and plucking in the same time it took the wax to melt and maybe would have experienced less pain and definitely better results. HOWEVER, like I said earlier, this was my first trial with this product so I am willing to give it another go. When I do, I will let you know if I get better results. So overall, I do not want to give a solid conclusion opinion on this product yet because I have only tried it once and am willing to try it again.

I love how the cord neatly wraps up into the warmer. 

The warmer itself is pretty lightweight so be careful to not move it or knock it over.
***If you've tried Sally Hansen's SIMPLE SPA, I would love to see your feedback. I would love to know what you think about this product, other products that work for you and/or stories about waxing or any other hair removal experience.  Thank you!

Have a fabulous day every day. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Funky Summer Manicures

It's such a relaxing feeling to get a mani-pedi, am I right? It just makes the day seem a little brighter. Just knowing our nails look groomed and pretty instantly adds confidence in our step. But since getting nails professionally done can get expensive and also a little worrisome when it comes to cleanliness, home manis are a great alternative. While they may not provide the complete relaxation of someone else giving the mani, it will save money and offer a different satisfaction because you can take the credit for such beautifully applied nail polish/ nail art.

Whether it's a professional mani or a home mani, try something new. It's very invigorating! Below are some new-to-me color schemes that I tried recently. What new-to-you color schemes will you try?

Orange & Lime- Fun, quirky and very summery
Goes perfectly with neon & neutral trend
Polish: Peace Polish Set from Lady Foot Locker
Come Hither Darks- Sophisticated, chic and beautifully bold
Goes perfectly with most night looks, even great for the office
Polish: Sally Hansen Grey Area, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black/Noir
Vix3n R3D- Vampy and definitely daring
Goes perfectly with fantasy looks, lingerie, costumes & whatever outfit you pair with it
 Polish: Wet'n'Wild Fantasy Makers Red, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black/Noir

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Have a SAFE and fabulous 4th of July!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shades of Fall 2010

Fall in the Midwest is beautiful with the leaves changing colors and the breeze that brings a new season to life. The Midwest perfectly showcases the tone of fall. Changing seasons also means evolving fashion trends and makeup colors. Fall 2010 is all about understated drama. Shades of burgundy, plum, wine, jewel and metallic tones are at the focus of makeup trends for fall.

I have seen a lot of burgundy lips on the runways; however in every day life, I am not such a fan of super dark lipstick. Nude or red lips are always fresh, but burgundy is tricky to pull of without looking dated or Gothic. Trying it out on your own lips is the only way to see what works for you.

Winged, or "cat-eye," eye liner is huge on the runway, and I am a fan of this trend. In fact, I often have worn and still wear my liquid liner in a winged version. The liner I wear though is a less dramatic "cat-eye" portrayal than what is on the catwalks this season. If you have not tried this trend (or classic? you decide), try winging your eye liner when you have some time to perfect your version.

I recommend using a liquid liner that is fairly easy to swipe on and one that dries fairly quickly to prevent smudging. You can start at any point on your upper lash line. However, many makeup artists have a systematic way to apply this type of liner, whether the starting point is the inner portion, the middle or the outer portion of the eye. The key is for each eye to look alike and also keep each line is solid and precise. Find an application style that suits you best.

Light blush and/or simple contouring is a perfect pairing with dark or red lips. If going with a lighter or nude lip, I suggest a touch of bronzer, even if paired with a light coating of blush. Contrary to what many makeup artists say is appropriate, I use bronzer all year long and as eye shadow, blush, and also, very carefully, for contouring. A little bronzer goes a long way, and I love how refreshing and warm it is. I use Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips in Sunset Strip. Just because it is colder outside does not mean that the sun disappears so bronzer still makes sense to me (if applied appropriately, of course). Makeup routines are personal so find what works best for you.

I plan to post more YouTube videos very soon, especially for tutorials so stay tuned at

Thank you for reading. Have a fabulous day every day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Leg Exfoliant Recipe

If you been looking for a new exfoliant for your legs, try the following combination and modify it for your skin's needs. Make sure you test it first on a small area to check if you are allergic or get irritated. This recipe works for me but may not for you so try at your own risk. Everyone's skin is unique.

1. Mix together until paste-like the following items-
Coffee Grounds
Milk or cream
Citrus juice (pure)
Grape pulp
Honey, Olive Oil or Avacado
2. Apply as paste to desired area (I use it on my legs.)
3. Rub in circular motions for a good exfoliation.
4. Leave on for a few minutes if desired. You can even wrap legs in a warm towel and let sit for a more spa like experience.
*Baking soda and sugar are also wonderful exfoliants.
IMPORTANT: Do not use if skin is already irritated and immediately wash off if skin becomes irritated.
5. Be sure to moisturize after you rinse and pat dry.

Have a fabulous day every day.