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Beauty hacks from the pros

Part shop, part editorial site, Violet Grey is pretty intent on putting the glamour back in beauty (as they like to say, they’re based in Hollywood—not L.A.). To that end, their bricks-and-mortar location on Melrose Place is one of the prettiest beauty apothecaries we’ve ever seen—and then they up the ante by having industry pros on site for product guidance, eyebrow grooming, and impromptu makeup application.

They’ve attempted to recreate the same experience on their site, where you’ll find products hand-picked by experts, all served up in stunning shoots from big-name photographers. We asked them to put together an ace team of beauty insiders—and their pro tips for getting the job done.

Finding the right curling iron for your hair type

Cervando Maldonado

Violet Grey Expert:Cervando Maldonado, Hairstylist

  • THE 5/8-INCH IRON

    THE 5/8-INCH IRON

    Best For: Naturally curly hair If You Want: Corkscrew curls The Tool: Hot Tools 5/8″ Professional Spring Iron

    “This size is best for very curly hair that needs definition. You can air-dry your curls, then go in and define any frizzy pieces with the iron. No matter how good the product is you’re working with, sometimes you need an iron like this to give natural curls movement and shape.”

  • THE STYLING WAND IRON

    THE STYLING WAND IRON

    Best For: Any hair type or texture If You Want: Beachy Waves The Tool:T3 Singlepass Whirl Styling Wand

    “This will give you a beachy look. Twist the hair around the iron, being mindful to wrap it evenly and smoothly. Hold the ends away from the iron, then unwrap and shake the curl loose without releasing your fingers from the end of the section. If you twist the hair first it will give you a more bohemian, messy look; if you wrap it smoothly against the iron it will be more polished.”

  • THE 1 1/4-INCH IRON

    THE 1 1/4-INCH IRON

    Best For: Any hair type If You Want: A versatile iron The Tool:T3 Singlepass Twirl Curling Iron

    “This iron size is the kind that every woman should have. It’s great to loosen up natural, tight curls. It also takes care of frizz. You can also use it to create a very glamorous, ‘40s-inspired look by curling the hair (all in one direction), then pinning the hair to the scalp to cool. Or wrap the hair around the barrel (don’t use the clamp), holding the ends away from the heat of the iron, for a natural looking wave pattern. The trick is to shake out the curl before letting go of the ends to soften it.”

  • THE 2-INCH IRON

    THE 2-INCH IRON

    Best For: Any hair texture If You Want: Smooth waves or added volume The Tool:Hot Tools 2-Inch Professional Spring Iron

    “This is another iron that every woman should have. You can use this iron two main ways. If you have curly or wavy hair you can use it to stretch out the wave pattern and get rid of frizz; the heat will flatten the curl and add smoothness. I also love to use this size to add oomph and movement to a blowout. Take two-to-three inch sections, wrap the hair going back and under, hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the iron and pin the curls to the scalp to cool. This will give you a big, voluminous look.”

  • THE 3/4-INCH IRON

    THE 3/4-INCH IRON

    Best For: Straight to naturally curly hair If You Want: Ringlet curls The Tool:Hot Tools 3/4-Inch Professional Spring Iron or Chi 3/4 inch Ceramic Ionic Spring Curling Iron

    “This iron will give you tight, ringlet-like curls if you have straight or wavy hair but I mainly recommend it for natural, loose curls. Use it to enhance and shape the curls around your face after you air-dry your hair with a beach spray. If you have very tight curls this iron will help to loosen them up and add a lot of movement around the face. Use the clamp of the iron when you want a bouncy, smooth curl; if you want something more natural and relaxed hold the ends and wrap the hair around the iron without using the clamp.”

  • THE HOT ROLLERS

    THE HOT ROLLERS

    Best For: Fine hair If You Want: Bouncy, full curls The Tool:Caruso Hot Rollers or Babyliss Nano Titanium Pro Hot Rollers

    “Hot rollers are perfect for people with fine or limp hair; it’s a sure-fire way to give your hair volume and movement. Clip your hair on top of your head to keep it out of the way. Then, wrap large sections (two or three inch sections of hair) around a roller. Direct the hair over the roller and under. Section the hair on the top of the head the same way, but direct the hair going straight back, away from the face. Let them cool, then take them out and define the sections around the face with a 1 ¼-Inch curling iron. This gives big, bouncy curls and tons of volume.”

HOW TO APPLY FOUNDATION

Violet Grey Expert:Katey Denno, Makeup Artist

FULL-COVERAGE FOUNDATION

“Start with well hydrated skin, or use a primer. Allow it to set for 5 minutes, then pump the foundation of choice onto the back of your hand. Then, using a classic foundation brush apply a touch of product onto the nose and continue to add and build it as you apply it out to the forehead and down to the chin. Use less foundation on the areas that tend to crease: between the eyebrows, and around the eyes and mouth. Everywhere else you can apply it as thick as you need to. Then prep your BeautyBlender (run under water, wrap in a towel and squeeze to remove moisture; it should be damp, not wet). Press it into the skin and roll it a little bit so the foundation mimics the skin’s natural texture. The beauty blender is a godsend.”

MEDIUM-COVERAGE FOUNDATION

“Apply a pump of foundation on the back of your hand, collect a little product with your foundation brush, and smooth onto the center of the face, slowly blending and building out. If you want a dewy finish, prep the Beauty Blender (run under water, wrap in a towel and squeeze to remove moisture; it should be damp, not wet) and press and roll it over the skin to further perfect the texture. For a matte texture, leave the Beauty Blender dry, and instead, wrap a Tatcha blotting paper over the sponge and lightly press over the entire T-Zone. This will soak up excess moisture without disrupting the coverage.”

LIGHT-COVERAGE FOUNDATION

“You can apply these lighter formulas with clean, dry fingers, or a foundation brush if you want more coverage. Apply a little product to the middle of the face with your fingers, then blend or brush it over the rest of the face. Next, prep your Beauty Blender and pat the skin gently to set it. You can also go over the entire face after, and if you need more coverage, sparingly apply concealer with a tiny brush only where you need it (I use a clean eye liner brush!).”

CREAM FOUNDATION

“Cream foundations are very hydrating and can be a little shiny, so you don’t need to apply any moisturizer beforehand. Warm a small amount between your fingers and apply directly to the areas where you need coverage, then blend and pat with a damp beauty blender sponge to blend and set the product.”

LOOSE MINERAL POWDER FOUNDATION

“Mineral powder is great if you have oily skin and want coverage without any shine. You don’t want the skin to have any moisture on it, or the powder could go on streaky, so wait at least 15 minutes after you apply your face moisturizer or sunscreen before you start your makeup. Put a little powder into the lid of the package, press the brush into it, then tap the brush to remove excess before applying to the face. Then swirl the brush onto the face. If you want a little moisture on top you can use a hydrating face mist, like May Lindstrom’s The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist.”

THE BLEMISH GUIDE

Violet Grey Expert:Daniel Martin, Makeup Artist

“Dab a tiny bit of Cortisone gel onto the blemish and let it dry for two minutes. Using a small, flat synthetic makeup brush, cover the spot with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness concealer, which has a greenish tone to it that cancels out any redness. Then let the concealer sit for a minute and then buff out the edges with a makeup sponge. I often use a small flat synthetic brush from the art store, to be honest. There’s no need to set with powder, as the concealer and cortisone combination is just that good.”

HOW TO AIR-DRY HAIR

Violet Grey Expert:Anh Co Tran, Hairstylist

“Towel dry hair really, really well so it’s damp and not soaking wet. Then, use a comb to thoroughly detangle hair. Next, apply a lightweight serum to the ends to tame frizz and smooth hair. I personally love using a hand cream like Aesop’s Resurrection. I rub it all over my hands and then run my fingers through hair from the mid-shaft to ends. Oribe’s Supershine Moisture Cream works well too because it has that thick, hydrating hand cream texture to it but after it’s rubbed into your hands and then transferred onto the hair, it takes on more of a serum-like quality. Any remaining product on your hands can be used to smooth out any frizz at the roots without making hair oily.”

IF YOU HAVE WAVY/CURLY HAIR…

“For those who want a little bit of a curl to hair, or want to accentuate their naturally wavy hair, use Oribe’s Beach Spray for extra hold, then twirl sectioned strands around the fingers. Secure each section with a bobby pin (keeping the ends straight) and let dry. Once hair is 95% dry, run your clean hands through hair to loosen up the texture.”

3 ESSENTIAL HAIR BRUSHES

Violet Grey Expert:Ashley Streicher, Hairstylist

“I use this brush for everything: It’s a favorite in my kit. It provides really good tension and is made from great, durable material. It looks like a Mason Pearson but works even better.”

Violet Grey Expert:Alex Polillo, Hairstylist

“Great for bangs and both short and long hair, this brush is easy to hold, plus its size can handle a lot of different lengths and textures. It adds great volume to fine hair, the boar bristles have a nice grip which is needed to get frizzy, wavy hair smooth, and the wooden core is great for evenly distributing heat (adding volume and shape). And finally, it gives great shine to hair while blow drying.”


Violet Grey Expert:Mara Roszak, Hairstylist

“For every day brushing of wet, just out of the shower hair. It’s gentle on hair and detangles like no other.”

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