Makeup Tips, Product Reviews, Skincare: Smashbox’s Lori Taylor Gives Makeup Tips from Los Angeles Fashion Week; DHC Rose Toner; Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Product Reviews, Skin Care

Makeup Trends from Los Angeles Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Tips from Lori Taylor, Smashbox Makeup Artist

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles was last week. So maybe you weren’t hanging with Paris Hilton in the front row at the shows this year … but hey, neither was I! We’ve always got next year to look forward to, right?


This year Smashbox sponsored the makeup. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the flawless skin trend we saw at the San Francisco and New York shows was a big theme this year on the L.A. runways, too.

Want to get the look at home? Here are a few tricks from Smashbox makeup artist Lori Taylor, who was nice enough to share a few backstage tips with Makeup and Beauty Blog.

What was the biggest makeup trend we saw at the LA shows this year?

Perfect and Flawless skin. During the shows we used tons of High Definition FX Foundation and Function 5 Self Adjusting Foundation. Also, smoky eyes of colors such as metallic green and purple. And bright lips with lipstick, not gloss!

What tips can you give women who want to re-create these looks at home?

Apply a sheer wash of color on the eye in black or brown, and then use metallic burgundy; soft, sheer purple; or taupe metallic shades. Use a ton of mascara and a liner in color. For the lips use a velvety lipstick or a sheer color.

When you’re working backstage, what are your can’t-live-without Smashbox products?

High Definition FX Foundation, Function 5 Self Adjusting Foundation and Photo Op Under Eye Brightener. We were all fighting for it backstage!

What is your favorite part about doing makeup for runway shows?

I love the fast and chaotic pace as well as the responsibility of being the head makeup artist.

Least favorite part?

My least favorite part is that I’m not so much hands on anymore. Once I create the look the other artists take over.

A pic of Lori Taylor with Smashbox Founders Dean and Davis Factor

Toner-o-Rama with DHC Rose Toner and Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

I like to blog about whatever beauty and skin issue is plaguing me at the moment. The big problem du jour right now is my skin. I’ve been breaking out and getting dry patches…so NOT cute.

When my skin goes nuts it means it’s time to review my skin regimen. I just switched to a cleanser which I’m starting to really love, Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. The next step? Finding a complementary toner that both moisturizes and fights the good fight against pimples.

(Side note: I don’t believe that you have to stay with one skin care line, because IMHO that’s just marketing-schmarketing. I always end up using a mix of brands because I haven’t found a line that I love enough to be solely devoted to.)

Toner…Not Just for Copy Machines

Toners are liquid products that you use after you cleanse your face, and you apply it with a cotton ball to your face and your neck. The purpose is to take off the last traces of makeup and prep the skin for moisturization. Some toners also have other benefits, like fighting zits (yes!) and moisturizing (yessss!). I must confess; I’m not always an avid toner user. Sometimes I don’t feel like my skin needs it and sometimes I’m just plain lazy. If I can skip a step I’ll leave it out, ya know?

But when my skin is going nuts like it is now I’ll make the extra effort to really baby it. Here are two toners that I’ve been test driving: DHC Rose Toner and Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion.

DHC Rose Toner Smells Divine, Fights Zits Like a Champ

DHC Rose Toner is lovely-smelling toner made from distilled damask rosewater for ladies (and gents) with blemish-prone skin.


The benefits:

– calms overactive, stressed complexions
– controls excess oil
– tightens pores
– all-day oil control

What I liked about it:

– smells fantastic, like I’m wandering around in Oprah’s rose garden
– cute packaging!
– excellent oil control

What I didn’t like about it:

– dried out my skin

When I was younger my skin was really oily, breakout prone and tougher than Tina Turner on a world tour. If I was ten years younger then DHC Rose Toner would be right up my alley. The dry patches on my face are a new thing for me, so unfortunately this toner was a little too drying to use over my entire face. However, Rose Toner did a fantastic job of drying up my zits. I’m going to use it as a spot treatment in the future, rather than an all-over toner.

You might like it if:

– you have younger, oilier skin that can tolerate stronger toners
– need lots of oil control

A 3.3 fl. oz bottle is regularly $21.00, but is on sale for $15.50 until November 30, 2007 on the DHC Web site.

Also … a lil’ birdie told me that there’s a full Rose skincare line available in Japan but not in the US. It’s a DHC best seller and apparently the entire line is phenomenal. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that they make it available in the US soon!

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Before I buy new skin care products, I read other beauty blogs and check sites like first. I like to do background research on a product because it gives me a good idea of what it does and whether or not it might work for me.

I got the idea to try Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion from the skin care board on and all I gotta say is PRAISE JEEBUS! This stuff is the sh*t!


Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion is a gentle exfoliator that contains salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid. It’s moisturizing, doesn’t have an offensive smell and is so far doing a great job of clearing up my skin.

The benefits:

– exfoliates skin
– moisturizes, yet doesn’t leave a weird, sticky film behind

What I liked about it:

– texture (it’s thicker than a regular liquid toner but not as thick as a gel)
– doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight
– doesn’t contain alcohol
– has salicylic acid, which penetrates skin to exfoliate pores
– very gentle
– doesn’t break me out

What I didn’t like about it:

– absolutely nuthin’! Love, love, love all around

You might like it if:

– you have combo skin
– you need a non-drying salicylic acid treatment
– you have sensitive, acne-prone skin

I wanted to add a salicylic acid (BHA) treatment to my daily skincare routine because I’ve read that for some people, the combination of benzoyl peroxide with a BHA works wonders to keep skin pimple-free.

How do these two work to keep breakouts at bay? BHA is a chemical exfoliant that keeps pores clear, and benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria present in the pores. So far this combination has been working for me quite well. My pimples are starting to clear up, and my skin doesn’t feel as dry and tight.

If you go to the Clinique counter to buy this don’t let the MUA talk you into any other toner. I went in after work one day and I hadn’t blotted in a few hours so my skin looked really oily. The makeup artist tried to push the “oily skin” toner on me. I’m glad I stuck to my guns because Mild Clarifying is a new skincare staple. I love, I love!

A 6.7 oz bottle is $11.00, available at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora.

But Paris Says the Stars are Blind…

I’ve been having a weird few days.

Weird as in:
– I go to the local Punjabi Burrito place (I’m so not kidding) in Marin to buy a Punjabi Burrito and find out when I get to the counter that they don’t take credit cards; it’s cash only. And of course I only have five bucks on me and the Punjabi Burrito costs $7.50. And of course I’m hungry enough to start gnawing on my arm.

Weird as in:
– Every night for the past few days I’ve been waking up at 3:00. No rhyme, no reason. The clock hits 3:00 and there I am. Ready to knit, do calculus, build a better mousetrap, blog. You name it, I can do it at 3:00 in the morning because I’M WIDE AWAKE.


Weird as in:
– Random neighborhood cats have been wandering into my apartment. The weather’s been hot so I’ve been leaving the front door open when I write. The cats come in. They sniff around the random beauty products strewn across the floor. They meow. They leave. They always leave. I feel cheap and used.

I dunno, maybe it’s mis-alignment of the planets or perhaps something is in retrograde.

Anyway, I hope that your week’s been going well and that it’s going by fast. Hey, at least we’re halfway there!
Rock on…it’s all we can do!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. woooo hoooo insomnia…mine eyes are wide open at 6 am…ugh i hate it. i feel like an old fart when i go to bed at 11.

  2. Hessah says:

    OMG!!! I love smashbox..

    Their lip glosses and brushes are awesome..

    Last year I picked the holiday brush set.. and I’m planning to buy this year set also..

  3. Christine says:

    Great post and tips! Ugh, my nose has been getting a bit dry around the edges. I’m feeling you on the skin thing. Plus a bit more breaking out than desired (when is any desired, but whatever).

  4. Karen says:

    Could it be stress related? You’ve got midterms or finals, no?

    You know, you could always forget law school and start a chick band…I’ll be your promoter.

  5. Karen says:

    Hey Hessah,

    They’ve got some really cute holiday sets on their Web site. I’m all over that photo op under eye brightener! I need it…badly, lol. 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    I Love Mac – I hate to break it to you, but it gets WORSE! I’m in bed by like 10! My parents make fun of me because they know they can’t call past 9:00 because I’m already falling asleep!

  7. Christine says:

    Nah, no midterms or finals yet. Finals are first two weeks of December. I have a writing final (take home) November 9th-11th, but I’m not that worried over it.

    HA, if only that could make me $$$, I’d be down.

  8. Karen says:

    My only conditioner as your band manager (I gave myself a promotion) is that I’d have to insist that you remain out of rehab and that you NOT marry Kevin Federline.

  9. Glosslizard says:

    Oooh, thanks for the tip on the Clinique Clarifying lotion, I have to try that! I’ve been having breakouts lately too ever since I… dare I say it?… tried the Boots #7 R & R serum! It may fight wrinkles, but on me, it’s apparently wrinkle-free with catastrophic breakouts! Really, the worst of my life! Ok, end of story, thanks for the tip! Also, thanks for the Bon Jovi fix! Had me giggling like a schoolgirl at 10 pm! Hee hee!

    P.S. I love Purity Made Simple! Try the Microdelivery Peel, it’s terrific and surprisingly gentle!

  10. Karen says:

    OHHH NOO! I admit with some sadness that I think Boots R&R has given me pimple or two. One was one my neck…and I never get them on my neck. I dunno if I can handle using it for four weeks, ugh.

    I have heard great things about the Microdelivery Peel. I will have to get a sample next time I go to the Philosophy counter. What do you like about it?

    And who doesn’t love “Livin’ on a Prayer?” Such a great song. We gotta hold on to what we got, it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…

  11. Christine says:

    Deal!! I can meet those requirements easy!

  12. Jane says:

    I so want to get my hands on some Smashbox, especially the high definition foundation! Thanks for the interview… I got really great purchase tips from it. 🙂

  13. Glosslizard says:

    Well, good luck with the Boot serum, I sure hope it works better for you than it did for me!

    As for the peel… whenever my skin seems kinda dull or lackluster I use this. In brutal honesty, I haven’t actually bought a full set yet, but I exist on samples! Terrible, I know! When I buy it (’cause I AM going to buy it!), I intend to use it twice a week. What I love about it is that after doing the whole peel (takes about 3 minutes) and rinsing, I look in the mirror and see a glowing, even-toned face staring back at me! Often on days that I use this, I don’t even use foundation! It’s such instant gratification! The effects last for at least a couple of days, although I haven’t really scrutinized it.

    One last note: I did buy the Olay version of this at the drugstore for about 1/3 the cost. It is rougher in all ways… larger, rougher crystals in the scrub, and the activator step actually slightly stings my skin and leaves it a little reddened. It’s not completely terrible, but it’s nowhere near the gentle action and radiant results of the Philosophy peel!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Jane,

    I haven’t tried the High Definition Foundation, but have heard great things about it. Let me know if you like it. 🙂

  15. Karen says:

    OHHHH…I love that Philosophy is not shy about giving samples out. I will def. get my hands on it, it sounds great. I want glowy and even toned!

  16. Abi says:

    It might be that your skin is breaking out because it’s reacting and adjusting to the new products you’re using…at, least, that’s what my mom says whenever I break out from using a new product, lol. and smashbox rocks! ttfn 😀

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Abi,

    Yup, that could be it. I know that sometimes you have to go through a purging period when you use something new, especially if it’s to clear pores/pimples. It’s just that I hate the purging part!

    Are you a smashbox fan? Which products are your faves?

  18. nilla cookie says:

    Hey Karen,

    I just did a review on The Microdelivery Peel on my site (complete with crazy pictures of my non-makeup wearing face!). The end result is absolutely amazing even though the sample I tried from the plastic packettes were super messy.

    Check out the Philosophy counter, the usually have samples. I intend on buying the set – it’s $65 and should last a while if you use it once or twice a week, I’m thinkin’ 4-6 months. Woo hoo for smooth skin!!

  19. Karen says:

    thx for looking out for me, I love Mac. I can’t believe the balls on some people. I guess it’s a form of flattery…

    Anyway I know a ton of lawyers so HA HA HA!

  20. TinTin says:

    I’ve been using the Smashbox powder/foundation for a while now and it’s the best powder out there. It’s oil-absorbing (facial shiny-ness has been a long time issue with me) and leaves you with a matted look for an extended amount of time. Try it! =)

  21. Karen says:

    I hear ya about needing the oil-absorbing properties! Do you use the powder foundation on its own, or do you set it with a loose powder?

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