Ask Kaylin: Gluten-Free Cosmetics and Beauty Products

In , / 8/25/2014
Gluten has been getting a lot of attention lately. If you have a bit of trouble with wheat, barley, and other glutenous ingredients, you're not alone. However, going gluten-free can be quite a big investment, particularly if you are trying to avoid it in beauty products as well. So just what is the deal with gluten-free makeup?

I get bloated when I eat wheat. Does this mean I should switch over my makeup to gluten-free products?
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Book Release and Giveaway: The Mercenary Makeup Artist

This doesn't count as animal testing.
I'm proud to announce the release of my first book, The Mercenary Makeup Artist.

Stylish. Efficient. Professional. These are the hallmarks of a distinguished mercenary — and if your mission is to make money as a makeup artist, then your success will be judged by the same criteria. Seasoned pro Kaylin Johnson equips you with the tools you need to complete your mission, covering everything from basic training to establishing your business repertoire. Think you've got what it takes?

Now available on Kindle and in paperback. Click here to see this book on

The Mercenary Makeup Artist can help you go from beauty enthusiast to paid professional. Makeup artistry is a unique and exciting field that can be a lucrative weekend side job or a rewarding full-time career. The Mercenary Makeup Artist contains several professional application secrets, but it is not strictly a book on techniques. It is a practical business guide with a focus on cruelty-free makeup. Check out a preview on Amazon today.

If you do pick up the book, I'd love to know what you think. I'd greatly appreciate honest reviews on, your blogs Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else. Whether or not you own the book, you can also check out my free Mercenary Makeup Artist resources section with dozens of website links, book recommendations, and downloadable bonuses. Click here to check it out.

If you're interested in books that focus on tutorials and techniques for personal use, stay tuned! Sign up for our email list to be notified of upcoming publications. I've got more exciting projects that I can't wait to share with you.

Three lucky readers will receive a paperback copy of The Mercenary Makeup Artist! Three winners will be chosen at random from all eligible entries. Just leave a comment through the Rafflecopter widget below stating why you want to read The Mercenary Makeup Artist. Additional entries are available for posting this giveaway on Twitter (this can be done daily for up to one additional entry each day, also using the widget so you get credit). NOTE: Winners must have a valid U.S. shipping address. Contest ends 8/30/14 at 12:01 AM EST. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner

I tend to be loyal to certain hair products. I have long hair that has a tendency to tangle, so I am particular about my conditioners. I was excited to try Acure's Lemongrass and Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner, as I'd heard good things about the line.

  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Shampoo lathers well
  • Conditioner leaves hair soft
  • Fresh, lemony scent suitable for men or women
  • Made with many organic ingredients
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Article: Multitasking Makeup

BWC Natural Eye Pencil in Delft Blue
Makeup is packaged and sold as blushes, lipsticks, and eye products, but many of the formulas are surprisingly similar. Several products can pull double-duty, sometimes for unique effects. Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), a 100% vegan line, was kind enough to send me some products that are excellent multitaskers. Read on to see how these products be re-purposed.
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Book Review: How to Be Vegan

In , / 8/11/2014
The vegan lifestyle has become increasingly popular in recent years, but many of the books on veganism still focus on recipes. I I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review a new book called How to Be Vegan, which focuses on the entire vegan lifestyle as opposed to merely snacks and recipes. It is penned by Elizabeth Castoria, former editor of VegNews, and covers a broad range of topics.

  • Beautiful, colorful layout
  • Easy and fun to read
  • Includes a healthy dose of humor
  • Offers original content beyond diet advice
  • Has many entertaining graphics and charts
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Article: Creams + Powders: A Perfect Pair

In , , / 8/04/2014
One of the biggest differences between a professional makeup application and a personal makeup application is the number of layers. A professional makeup artist might go through a five-step process before even starting to apply foundation. On the other hand, the average makeup user might swipe on a tinted moisturizer, a little mascara, and dash out the door. Makeup artists follow a more lengthy process for several reasons, including longevity. One of my favorite tricks for making products last is using a pairing of creams and powders.

Why Creams and Powders?
Creams glide on easily and often allow for a brighter application than dry powders. They blend easily with other creams and liquids (before powders are applied). However, their major weakness is that they are often absorbed more quickly than powders if not set properly. They also tend to have a "dewy" finish, which is not always desired and can sometimes look shiny on camera.

Powders, on the other hand, are widely available and come in many matte shades. Matte shades are great for photography, particularly if they are highly-pigmented. However, powders alone can crease, disappear, and have other undesirable effects, especially if a primer isn't used. They also can be harder to blend, particularly if too much is applied at once.

How to Apply
In order to maximize both the strengths and weaknesses of each product, apply creams (and liquids) as desired and then set with powder to finish. For example, use a liquid foundation, apply a cream blush, and then set with a finishing powder and a layer of powder blush. If you're using a cream or liquid concealer, it should be applied before the finishing powder.

Another excellent example of this is in the application of a cream eyeliner (for regular use or a special look such as a cat eye). Apply the cream eyeliner (with an angled eyeliner brush), and then trace over the cream with a matte black powder (using a separate angled eyeliner brush) to set.

Recommended Products

Disclosure notice: This post contains affiliate links. Products mentioned in this article may have been sent to me free of charge by the manufacturer for review. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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Review: Gourmet Body Treats Beauty Box

If you love to try new beauty products, monthly subscription boxes can be a fun way to get new samples on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are vegan boxes as well. Gourmet Body Treats recently started offering a monthly beauty box filled with vegan cosmetics and skin care products.

  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Gentle ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Variety beyond cosmetics
  • Comes with a website discount
  • Good value
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