FACT: I do NOT have perfect skin.

FACT: I have dark circles, excessive oil and some slight redness.

FACT: I DO have CLEAR, BLEMISH FREE skin which gives me a smooth surface to apply my makeup to and thus gives me the optimal result for my cosmetics investment.

FACT: No matter how much makeup you use, or what type – having GOOD SKIN is what determines the end result. Beauty begins with healthy skin…not your makeup bag.

FACT: I get MORE compliments on my actual SKIN and questions about my skincare than I do on the makeup I wear or put on others…

About 4-6 weeks ago, I began a new skincare routine. Almost immediately, it seemed everyone noticed something was different and daily I was being asked  “How do you get your skin so healthy/smooth/clear?” , so this post will be dedicated to thoroughly answering that question.

While I cannot suggest the perfect products for YOUR skin, I CAN tell you that once you find the RIGHT products for you, being consistent is the KEY to getting the results you want.

And please – Don’t give me the excuse that it takes too much time – you only have ONE face and it takes less than 5 minutes out of your day to make sure it is the best it can be. Make it a habit. Morning and night.  Just a few minutes will start and end your day right and change the way you look and feel. Quality products are available in EVERY price range, so shop around, ask an expert, try before you buy- whatever you need to do to find what works for you.

For myself, my updated routine uses  CLINIQUE products. I am not here to sell you anything but I can say that since I have begun using this product line, most of my skin concerns have been alleviated including excessive oil breakthroughs in my T-Zone and occasional dryness/tightness in my cheek area.

My makeup-free skin is noticeably smoother, the pores are no longer noticed, my dark circles arent near what they once were and frankly, as a woman over 30, I feel good knowing I am taking optimal care of my skin. It may never be perfect, but it is healthy and happy and people DO notice.

Here is my morning routine:

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse Off Formula 100ml/3.4oz (Tube)

I begin using the CLINIQUE 7 DAY SCRUB CREAM.  It is conveniently packaged in a squeeze tube, so dispensing the perfect amount is easy and keeps the rest of the product sanitary. Using an amount that is about the size of my pinky fingertip, I gently work the mild exfoliating scrub upward and outward all over my face and top of neck before rinsing well with warm water.

CLINIQUE by Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild 6F37--/6.7OZ

My next step is washing with the  CLINIQUE MILD FACIAL SOAP. This gentle cleanser comes with a pump top and I use one to two pumps and work that into my skin adding  bit of warm water to lather and open my pores ( allowing the cleanser to do it’s work.) I wash for about 15 seconds and rinse with warm water and end with a splash of cool water to tighten pores and give a flush of healthy glow.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 Facial Astringents

The CLINIQUE CLARIFYING LOTION( 2 ) is my next step. This toner de-flakes skin, clears excess oils, improves cell turnover and offers a slight tingle to let you know it is working;) I soak a cotton pad or large cotton ball and lightly sweep across my face paying special attention to my T-Zone ( the area my oil tends to be excessive in.)

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel with Pump 4.2 oz for oil skin

Once the final stage of squeaky cleanliness is completed, I apply the CLINIQUE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT MOISTURIZING GEL. Regardless of skin type (mine is oily) ALL skin needs moisture.  Because my skin is SO oily in the summer, I choose the gel moisturizer and use the lotion in the winter when my skin is more normal. I work a small amount (the size of a nickel) all over my face in light upward strokes to make sure it sinks into the skin well.

Clinique All About Eyes Reduces Puffs and Circles .21oz / 7ml - Unboxed Original Formula

Next, I apply the CLINIQUE ALL ABOUT EYES cream very sparingly all around my eye area to de-puff and reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. I use my ring finger since it is the weakest finger and best for patting the cream in around the delicate eye area.

Clinique CITY BLOCK SHEER oil free daily face protector SPF 25 1.4oz / 40ml

Then I apply the CLINIQUE CITY BLOCK SHEER SPF25 to not only protect my skin, but I have found it acts as a great primer for my makeup (making it last longer throughout the day.)  While it is tinted, it blends invisibly and a small amount (the size of a quarter or smaller) will cover the whole face and upper neck area.

Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment 0.24 oz

Lastly, I apply the CLINIQUE SUPERBALM LIP TREATMENT to replenish my lips and give them a smooth, satiny look.

At night, the only changes I make in my routine are:

1. Skipping the 7 Day Scrub Cream

2. Adding the Super Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer ( see photo below)

A few minutes. A few products. A desire and dedication to being loyal to your routine.

If in the Virginia Beach area and interested in these products, or anything else CLINIQUE offers – feel free to visit LINDA at the CLINIQUE counter in MACYS at LYNNHAVEN MALL ( You can call  to schedule your appointment 757-306-0666 )  for a personalized consultation and instruction on YOUR skins concerns, best products to address those concerns and how to use them.

Good Luck and Great Skin to you!

Please visit me  and become a Fan on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE for the latest events, information, updates, videos and more;)


I love MAC. It’s no secret. I am not limited to MAC products though. I do exercise options in the cosmetic/skin care realm whenever possible to stay updated and open minded on the many things available, but some products I do prefer. MAC wipes are one of those items.

Available at MAC stores and counters everywhere, MAC Wipes are $18 USD for a pack of 45 and $26 USD for a bluk pack of 100. I purchase the latter due to consumption and cost efficiency. 

I use these wipes on myself as well as clients to cleanse, tone and hydrate on the go , all in one easy step. These cloths are larger than most and what I most love is that they do not dry out. They are saturated but not messy and effective enough to handle some of the toughest jobs including long wearing makeup and waterproof mascaras. Sometimes, I keep a few in my bag on summer days as a quick refresher. I love this product!

The packaging is simple as you see above. The center top lifts up and snaps back down to seal the moisture in. No cheap sticky seal here. Infused with Vitamin E, these nourishing wipes feel cool and slick in use and afterward leave no offensive medicinal smell, residue or sticky feeling like some wipes I have used in the past.

Best of all, one wipe usually does the trick, so in terms of cost efficiency, I feel like I am getting a better deal. With many other brands I am using 2 – 3 of their wipes making it the same cost overall, but less hassle with MAC.

It’s no wonder that a company designed for Makeup Artists would take the steps to make sure they also had the best makeup removers. Efficient, luxurious and a splurge I feel is totally worth it. 

While makeup remover wipes are NO SUBSTITUTE for face washing, toning and moisturizing…these handy little numbers are great  on the go, in a bind or before and after makeup applications. 

For those looking for more cost efficient options, please subscribe and keep an eye out for upcoming FAVORITES and REVIEWS where I will update further on other products I use and enjoy!

Kristine Marie



US $26.00

This is the first post in the BRIDAL MAKEUP TIPS series. In this post, we will focus on preparing your skin for that special day and making sure it is ready to be made up to your prettiest version of you. Whether you decide to brave your makeup yourself or hire a makeup artist to secure the investment in those photos that will last forever, well cared for skin is essential to getting the most of our your special look. 


Be sure to eat healthy and drink plenty of water in the months before your wedding. Yes, it really does make a difference. Water hydrates skin, flushes toxins from your body, aids in digestion and helps keep body systems moving in the right direction. Don’t overlook this crucial step to healthy skin. 

Get plenty of rest and consider a vitamin supplement. Rest and nutrition are keys to keeping your body at it’s best, and in turn, your hair, nails and  skin as well. You not only want to look good, but FEEL good too. Vitamins will help make you feel more energized and make up for things your body may be lacking during such stressful times and sleep is essential to keeping the body rested  and reducing stress breakouts. 

Limit caffeine, alcohol and stress as MUCH as much as possible. Find your zen. Nothing is ever perfect , but following basic rules of skincare and common sense will surely make it close enough.

Establishing the above listed habits now will make it easier to continue them after and be the healthy, happy woman he chose to marry in the first place;)


Now is not the time to go experimenting with new skincare products or procedures. Doing so days before a wedding could result in irritation, redness and breakouts. Plan to have any serious skincare procedures done at least 4-8 weeks before your wedding to give skin a chance to calm down and adjust to any new products you may have chosen. Special circumstances aside, daily care and once weekly exfoliation should keep your skin fresh, deeply cleansed and clear. 

Brow grooming should be done 3-5 days before the wedding. This will allow time for the redness to dissipate and if needed, only a few hairs will need to be plucked. Other than that, the shaping and clean look will make the most of your features and makeup so don’t forget this step. The same applies for lip waxing. Do so 3- 5 days before the wedding.

If you like a sun kissed glow, try using a skin moisturizer that offers a gradual increase in color. You want to look naturally sunkissed, not sun abused. Best to begin this about 6-8 weeks before the wedding.

The night before your wedding, wash face well, lightly exfoliate (lips too!) , rinse well and pat dry. Apply a drying lotion (Mario Badescu makes an excellent one) to any pimples you may have. Follow up with a lip balm a good moisturizer and get plenty of rest.

In the morning, rinse face well with warm water  and follow up with a very cold washcloth to tighten large pores and wake up your face. Follow up with your regular moisturizer. Avoid one with a high SPF as SPF products tend to have an adverse effect of flash photography. Allow it to settle in well before applying anything else. If you get a pimple, DO NOT pop it. It is easier to cover the bump than to cover the redness that will surely come with having an open sore on your face.  If you are having your makeup done by a Makeup Artist, please consult them on how to prepare.


There is never a guarantee with our bodies and skin, but these simple steps should keep most issues at bay and allow you to be your best on your wedding day;) And the end result is when you LOOK better on the outside, you FEEL better on the inside on your wedding day, and EVERYday.

Best of luck and congratulations!

Kristine Marie


If you need suggestions in the Hampton Roads area for a Day Spa specializing in TOTAL BODY CARE (Skin, Nails, Hair, Brows, Waxing) or a Dermatologist – please let me know. I am happy to assist you with quality options.

Part two in this series is here:


I have been asked this question so much, and so often that I decided to make a post dedicated to the topic and some of the products I use and prefer. Substitute the products you are comfortable with. I will try to include products from both ends of the financial spectrum.

Always begin with clean hands and be careful not to get products of any kind into your eyes. Since I believe that clean hands are the best tools for blending skin care on your OWN face (not clients), I will describe the steps in this way. 

1. Use a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. (ie: oily, dry, combination or normal) Work it into damp skin in an upward motion and make small circles. Then rinse well.

My Picks – DERMALOGICA makes excellent cleansers, and at drugstores I prefer NEUTROGENA brand. 

2. If you have noticeable pores, a toner/astringent may help to reduce the look of your pores and also more deeply cleanse and reduce topical oil. I have combination skin and some visible pores, and I do this step every other day.

My Picks – I prefer WITCH HAZEL as a gentle toner  and NEUTROGENA also makes a pore reducing toner.

3. A good moisturizer is ESSENTIAL for everyone. No matter your skin type, understand that ALL skin needs hydration for proper function. If you have oily skin, you can choose from a wide variety of OIL- FREE products and always use an SPF of at least 15-20. Prevention is priceless with your skin.

My Picks – I LOVE LOVE LOVE PROACTIVE moisturizer, but also DERMALOGICA and NEUTROGENA brands. 

TIP: Allow your skin to soak in the moisturizer. One of the biggest mistakes people make with makeup is applying foundations and primers to freshly moisturized faces which dilute the product and make it less effective. Give it about 5-8 minutes. This is a good time to do your hair, make a call, switch the laundry or any other small task you need to do. Be sure to REWASH YOUR HANDS if you have moved onto other activities while waiting. 

4. If you use a PRIMER, now is the time. A small bit goes a long way, so don’t overdo it. Use it on main areas such as forehead, cheeks and chin and blend outward and evenly. 

My Picks – SMASHBOX makes a great primer ( also has one with an SPF) and Monistat Chafing Gel ( I know it sounds weird, but trust me!) is also known to be an affordable and effective base for makeup application.

Now you are ready to apply your makeup;) 

Skin care and proper preparation are the beginnings of beautiful faces. Be sure to take your time (MAKE time!) and make skin care your top priority in your daily routine. You never get a second chance to make that first impression;) I will post my full skin care routine soon for those interested. Keep updated!

Questions can be submitted via the comments section or by email.

Kristine Marie

~ MAC FIX +, A Review ~

July 13, 2009


Ahh, the debate of MAC Fix + …

Some call it glorified water and others (like me!) have completely fallen in love with this product. Here is my myriad of reasons…

1. It is a perfect refresher spray on No makeup days. Yes. On the 7th day, even I rest the makeup and let it all (my skin anyway) hang out and breathe! 😉 After a gentle morning cleansing, a few spritzes sets me until afternoon;) On warm summer days or dry winter days, I touch up with a few spritzes at lunch, and always, ALWAYS at bedtime;)

2. What a wonderful way to treat the “Too much sun” situation. Now, while I NEVER burn ( good genes!) I have fair skinned children who do, and this works wonders at cooling the irritated skin and providing a bit of sunburn relief;) The Vitamin E and Cucumber soothe and promote healing. Yay!

3. It is a perfect setting spray for makeup. I use it on my own face and 99.9% of clients. It makes makeup last longer , look more natural and takes that powdered look down. Everyone seems to enjoy the properties, the results and yes…the scent! Inexplicable, but heavenly all the same…

4. A wonderful after-shave spray for us ladies and our sensitive legs and yes..even the boys;) A simple easy post-shave step for men that isn’t overpowering nor does it burn. Very soothing and comforting;) Who doesn’t love that idea?

5. Soothes bug bites, minor skin irriations, etc. Healing properties of Vitamin E and soothing cucumber and other extracts make this a very easy and all purpose way to ease the discomforts of everyday skin issues.

6. Acts as a toner AND moisturizer. Yes. It does BOTH without the goop of several products. A locking cap makes it travel well too;) Bonus!

7. Did I mention how yummy this SMELLS!?

8. I spritz a bit of this on my foundation brushes when I want to sheer out a look and make the skin come through. Perfect for summer skin looks when you don’t want to drown the skin in product;)

9. Dampen brushes with this before applying shadows for a more vibrant color packed with healthy skin stuffs:) Adds staying power as well, and minimizes fallout. Also use for powder shadows to create a more natural liner look. 

10. I use this spray for everything. Literally. I was eating BBQ for lunch the other day, and dampened my hands down afterward and with a quick swipe of a napkin, my hands were non-sticky and clean. Love it. 

Call me a victim of marketing. Call me whatever you like, but call me happy with a bottle of Fix + in sight;) The only thing I am NOT happy with is the price hike in the last year, but even for as much as I use it, it seems to last a long while and for myself, and my clients…it’s worth it!

NOW retails for $17 USD at MAC stores and counters. Experiment and enjoy!

Kristine Marie

Yes it is that time again…SENIOR PORTRAITS are coming soon!

I vividly recall the skin issues of teenager-dom and the anxiety over photos when the time came, but keep a few things in mind in the weeks preceding your photos.

1. Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and flush your system of toxins. It sounds simple, but it does help if you are diligent. 6-8 glasses a day or the equivalent of 3-4 bottled waters a day. 

2. Wash daily but do not OVERWASH your skin. Yes, it IS possible to overwash. If you are doing this, you will strip your natural oils and your body will begin working overtime to produce MORE oil to compensate. Avoid this cycle by washing ONCE in the evening before bed and rinsing well in the morning or vice/versa. Choose a cleanser with properties for YOUR skin type. Gels usually work best on oily skin and Creams usually work best on dry. For those with noticeable pores, a light toner applied over skin (after washing) with a cotton pad will help ease the appearance.

3. ALL skin NEEDS moisture! Yes, EVEN YOU OILY SKIN PEOPLE (like me!) I personally use a very affordable oil-free moisturizer by NUETROGENA and I also like CETAPHIL,  PROACTIVE Moisturizers as well as products by DERMALOGICA. 

4. A deep cleansing mask once a week is sufficient and a once a week light exfoliation. ( I do one Monday and one Thursday) It will keep your skin clean and renewing itself thus showing off the newest, brightest & freshest skin your face has to offer. 

5. When applying makeup, go as light and natural as possible. Conceal ONLY the areas that need coverage and let the rest breathe. Caking on a lot of makeup to cover all your skin often results in uneven skin texture, and if products aren’t chosen carefully… a ghostly white face;(  Also make sure to NEVER sleep in your makeup..always remove it before bed or when it is not needed. I prefer MAC makeup wipes, but any will do. PONDS, ALMAY and EVERYDAY MINERALS  make very gentle makeup remover wipes that are very affordable.

And finally, BOYS can get makeup too! I am happy to do spot concealing on boys who are concerned about skin discoloration and blemishes. It is very common and NOTHING to be embarrassed about. 

Your pictures will last forever. Don’t you want to look your best? If so,  see the “looks” section of my site for examples of some of my work and contact me if interested in sampling my work  for FREE before your photos. No cost and no commitment. Parental permission required for all those under the age of 18. 

Good luck !

Kristine Marie

Check out some recent looks here: