Proudly Accepting & Administering the Liebster, or “Most Favorite,” Award.

My blogging friend, Kirstiie, author of Tribe of Mannequins has nominated me to receive the Liebster Blog Award (thanks, sugar!). I learned from K that the title’s meaning translates from German to English as “Most favorite.”

I am happy to accept my first blogging related award and am excited to nominate several other blogs: 2 Gliterary GirlsThe Eye of Faith, Vintage Reflection, Eccentric Owl, and Help With Your Life.

Here’s How It Works:

1. Post eleven facts about yourself.

2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.

3. Choose eleven people to give this award to (with fewer than 200 followers) and link them in your post.

4. Go to their page and tell them.

5. Remember, no tag backs.

Kirstiie’s Questions for Me:

1. What inspired you to start a blog?

I’m a fiction writer and am always interested in exploring new avenues with my writing; I’ve always wanted to do an especially beauty-focused writing project.

2. What is your favourite past time, other than blogging?

As a Florida girl, raised at the beach, my favorite thing to do is enjoy the beauty the Sunshine State state offers—but, I always remember to apply/reapply sunscreen every 45 minutes

3. What is your profession?

I’m a professional Aesthetician, Lash Stylist, and Makeup Artist.

4. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

My secret dream was to work in the salon industry, but I always thought I’d be a large animal vet. I grew up riding horses and, when they were sick, we took them to the horse hospital at UF. The staff was so good to me and always let me sneak into the observation room to watch live surgeries!

5. What is your favourite trend this season?

I keep seeing more and more women coloring their hair red for fall/winter. I think it’s a nice transition color and is a little less harsh than trendier dramatic, dark hair. As a natural redhead, I think we should carry on the revolution!

6. Who is your beauty icon?

I’d have to say that I feel in love with Audrey Hepburn at an early age, but Bettie Page stole the show.

7. Tell us a secret

I sleep in a hair masque 2x/wk.

8. What do you look for in a good blog?

Good writing. I’ll read blogs, of which I would seemingly have no interest, if they’re written well.

9. Do you advocate non-animal tested beauty products and anti-fur, I hope so!

Of course, but I don’t necessarily exclude products which have been tested on animals.

10. Are you For or Against faux tan?

I’m totally for faux tanning if done well. As an Aesthetician, I know the #1 aging factor is the sun’s rays and look for opportunities to look good without completely frying my skin!

11. What past trend do you hope makes a comeback?

I was recently looking at my Mother’s photos from the 1970s and am diggin’ the bell-bottom look. I think they’d be a fun look for fall paired with a form-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and a cute pair of boots, clogs, or the right heels.

MY Questions to Nominees

  1. What’s the #1 beauty product you can’t live without?
  2. What does beauty mean to you?
  3. Which beauty look do you like, but struggle to achieve?
  4. Which men’s trend of 2012 do you wish a man in your life would try?
  5. Which celebrity’s style do you like, or emulate?
  6. What characteristic do you especially look for in a blog?
  7. What’s the first blog you fell in love with?
  8. Who is your favorite Femme Fatale?
  9. We’ve all had beauty/fashion “oopsies.” What’s your oopsy?
  10. From time to time I write about my friends and family. How do the people in your life respond to the idea of themselves as subjects?
  11. In your opinion, what is the one book that should be read and re-read?

Let’s Talk Robberies: Cars, Designer Bags & Missing Makeup/ Lash Kits.

Recently, upon completing an especially sweaty cardio routine, I left the gym to find my driver’s side window smashed. I watch television, and believed the cops might want to dust for fingerprints, so I refrained from touching the vehicle or tampering with the evidence/surfaces. The notion proved founded when the police arrived fifteen minutes later; they dusted for fingerprints–their boots crackled amongst the shattered glass.

I’ll skip the long montage of bursting into tears in front of my gym friend, hysterically requesting my Zumba teacher to dial 911, and the harsh realization that my main makeup & lash kit was stolen (worth over $1,000.00). As a small [mobile] business owner, I was devastated.

Also disillusioned and crushed was my inner-fashionista. My brand new, patent leather Coach tote was stolen and an array of assorted contents: my wallet along with everything you need when you’re leaving on a road trip within five hours. That was a double personal slam with all professional aspects aside; I was forced to postpone a trip to see my Mother and family and the precious bag my best friend purchased to commemorate my college graduation was gone for good.

The point of this post isn’t really a boo-boo session for Ms. Ashley Evelyn, although I’m starting to question the validity of this statement the more I re-read the last paragraph. Accidents like this really do come out of nowhere–and no countdown- to- vacation high can prevent such occurrences.

You can prevent this, or at least lower your risk, by learning from my blunders. Below is a mis-matched list containing afterthoughts & investigator tips.

Here are some things that I have learned:

-The “Towel Covering Technique” no longer works. In fact, tossing a towel over anything in your car probably automatically signals a green light to thieves.

-Always remove your purses, computer bags, wallets, and valuable items from the car. Not even once. I directly ignored my instinct and kicked myself repeatedly later.

-If you can’t take things with you, all important items belong in the trunk. Then again, maybe they belong in the garage? The house? Then again, what if the house is broken in to? Whatever. The thieves didn’t steal my treatment bed, resting in the trunk, but they took what they could see and steal quickly.

-If someone makes off with you credit cards, ID’s, and/or check book, it’s not enough to simply close accounts and reissue them under a new account number. Individuals looking to steal your identity are merely detained by switching accounts because all the information they need remains in the bank’s files. It sucks, but changing banks is the best way to keep your assets safe.

-Lake Mary PD is incredibly helpful, kind, and competent.

Beauty Runs in the Bloodline.

I was obsessed with lavender, peel-off nail polish as a child. I willed the lacquer dry so that I could “jazz hands” my way around the house– and do my nails again. As an adult, I probably paint my nails 2-3 times/wk. To me, there’s something therapeutic in dragging glossy pigment across my nail bed.

Apparently, this is a familial trait. My second cousin, Baby Lyla, challenges my status as “Girliest Girl” in the family. I’m not passing the torch yet, but I try to be a good example to my younger family by impressing on them what’s most important in life– at least in relation to boys & beauty.

When I really care for someone, I beg, “Please don’t over pluck your eyebrows! Let a professional [such as myself] do them for you.”

Lyla’s eyebrows  still qualify as “baby brow fuzz,” so that advice can be postponed until a later date. However, the simplest advice I can offer a little girl with wet nails–or a woman of any age– is, “Keep your fingers out straight, sit still, and don’t touch anything.” I looked her in the eye and repeated, “Lyla, don’t touch anything until your nails dry.”

Her mommy (my delightful cousin, Jane) invoked the genius “kitten claws method” to while away the time. Somehow, a toddler, who wouldn’t move up to her big girl bed for four more days, managed to relax and let her nails dry. I thought about all the times I’d fudged a manicure or a pedicure due to impatience. A child understood the bain of the nail tech’s existence…she listened and her nails looked fabulous for it!

P.S. Her favorite color is purple– can you tell?

Reader Write-In: False Eyelashes

Dear Ashley Evelyn,

I want to wear fake eyelashes but I can’t get them to go on right and if they do stick on they never stay on. How do I know what kind to get because they are always bigger than my eye? Help!!!


Dear A.T.,

False lashes appear tricky to master, but it’s much more simple than you think. Promise.

1. Gently remove lashes from the tray with a pair of tweezers.

2. Hold lashes to your eye to measure. You want them to basically match up with your natural lash bed. If lashes are too long for your eye, trim off a section or two until you reach the desired lash breadth.

3. Run a thin line of lash adhesive along the band and allow to dry for 30-60 seconds. This is the real secret.

4. Don’t apply the lashes to your eyelid. Rather, press into your lash line.

5. Repeat for other eye.

6. Finish the look/lock lashes in place by curling and swiping with mascara.

Photo Shootin’

Sorry I’ve been MIA, y’all, but I’ve been busier than a one-armed paperhanger!

I had two, major photo shoots within a week of each other–on top of regular work and preparing to move. One was for model comp cards and to christen Greenhouse Production’s new studio.

Planning the last-minute model shoot turned into a production home-week/ reunion. Creative ideas circulated. Choosing, or finalizing, the location came about much like a dare. Production agreed that although the ideas that come from Kim and I are often crazy, moving the shoot from the beautiful studio would give the photos the edge needed. And so, we shot in Floridian cemetery from the Victorian Era.

Around two in the morning, Kim and I met with the model and our salon entourage: model mothers & makeup interns. We prepped the model’s skin and she tried on a zillion outfits that she looked absolutely stunning in. Then we began the makeup.

A cemetery, especially in the middle of the night, creates an eerie atmosphere which ultimately translates through photos. We wanted the look to be edgy, but I worried dark eye makeup would push the model into a realm too extreme to market. I’ve been dying to really play with red eyeshadow and was pleased with the effect; she appears beautiful and dangerous as opposed to to unnerving and psychopathic.

Around three thirty, production met with us to pick up the dress and the rest of the props. That’s when we noticed the meteor shower raining sparkles in the sky.

At four, we pulled into the cemetery and began setting up the shoot. In the above photo, the model’s makeup actually exhibits rosy hues. However, casting blue, red, and white lighting reflects alternate tones.

Despite sleep deprivation, we shot until the sun came up and the model still looked gorgeous. I always enjoy working with Chris Fletcher and Greenhouse Productions, but this venture was especially fun for us all. I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures 🙂

Asking a Makeup Artist to give you a discount, because you own makeup, is like asking a Surgeon for a price cut because you have your own Bandaids.

When one visits their doctor, they either face co-pays or pay out of pocket for the price of the office visit and additional tests. I happily pay my doctor for her services because I know she’s gone through a lot of schooling to become an expert in her field. Because I appreciate her judgment, and despite owning an array of medical supplies for work and home use, I trust that the products and implements she uses to treat me are of high quality and are of select purpose.

The same is true of Professional Makeup Artists.

As a professional, I purchase products with my clients’ best interest in mind. I consider quality, effect, purpose, and cost. In this way, I maintain high standards for makeup, lash, waxing, and tinting clients. Professional means professional products.

But, what about when clients also have access to “professional” makeup lines such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, or MAC? If clients bring their own products to makeup appointments, shouldn’t they get a discount?


Yes, a Makeup Artist’s kit does factor into his or her overhead. However, they more specifically charge for their skilled service.

In essence, asking a Makeup Artist to give you a discount, because you own makeup, is like asking a surgeon for a price cut because you have your own Bandaids.

Reader Write-In: How to diminish the look of puffy eyes?

The time has come for my first Reader Write-In response. In my treatment room, all information shared by my clients, concerning their body or otherwise, remains confidential. In the interest of maintaing a sense of privacy, I will keep Reader Write-Ins anonymous.

Our fellow follower, who is in her twenties, writes to us with one of the most universal–and fixable problems pertaining to beauty and the body. She writes:

Dear, Ashley Evelyn

Can u do a post on puffy eyes? I have perpetual bags (so I’m good at concealer) but sometimes when I wake up the lids are so puffy it changes the whole shape of my eye! It was the worst it has been in weeks this morning… I pretty much looked like Rocky at the end of the first movie! Haha!


We all suffer from puffy eyes from time to time. Swelling often occurs as a result of: Staying out late, alcohol consumption (dehydration), stress, crying, allergies, and lack & surplus of sleep. Sometimes, under-eye inflammation seems to happen for no reason, but a closer look at our diet usually acts as our first step toward skin health.

1. Hydrate & Limit Sodium: Often, external problems are due to the result of an internal imbalance. Sufficient hydration reduces swelling and increases cellular & organ function. Remember, the skin is the largest organ in the human body! Likewise, limiting salt & alcohol intake reduces the body’s need to hoard its water supply. Although 8, 8oz. glasses of water/day is the generalized minimum, has a hydration calculator which is more specific to individual needs.

2. Spooning: This is one of the easiest and cheapest methods of soothing puffy eyes and was passed down to me by my grandmother (she also advised that Preparation-H reduces the size of under-eye bags, but I’m not necessarily condoning this). Before bed, place 2 metal spoons in the freezer. When you wake, place the curve of the spoon under your eyes for about 5 minutes. The cold reduces inflammation and constricts blood vessels– just like when we ice sore bodies after working out.

3. Facial Cleansing: Once you’ve applied the cold compress spoons to your eyes, execute your morning cleansing routine with cold water. Cold cleansing reduces inflammation and reinforces the spoon method, but also shrinks the size of dilated follicles (pores). When pores are contracted, they create a nicer finish for makeup application.

4. Cucumber Slices & Tea Bags: This remedy is similar to spooning, but is boosted by the power of antioxidants. Cut several cucumber slices and refrigerate–or, moisten 2 tea bags and let them chill instead. Apply to the eye for about 5 minutes or until the bags reach room temperature. Tea contains, tannin, a natural astringent proven to tighten the skin and reduce inflammation.

5. Aloe & Vitamin C/E: Aloe is one of the best sources, natural anti-inflammatory relief. Although it is soothing to the skin, aloe oxygenates and increases blood flow. Vitamin E protects the skin from free radicals and pollution which can age the skin over time & also works as a natural anti-inflammatory. Vitamin C, my favorite, stimulates collagen production & increases blood flow.

Image Skincare’s Vital-C Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel works beautifully and is what I use on my own skin.

If your swollen eyes cause pain, discomfort, or blurred vision, please contact a doctor; you may have an eye infection or condition requiring medical attention.

Do you have a beauty or skin related question? Email me at

Synthetic Dreadlocks

While attending a belly dance performance, I noticed girls sporting colorful or natural looking dreadlocks. The dreads themselves were locked nice and tight. Although each lock maintained its own “individuality,” they were sectioned in such a way that they appeared uniform and professional. For the tribal style belly dance performance, the dancers decorated their locks with flora and fauna and even added beads or shells for further affect. The elaborate styles were very eye catching and beautiful, but the girls’ natural hair remained in a state of detangled health.

I asked my friend where the girls got their dreads and she referred me to a girl named, Katie. “Katie,” I was delighted to learn, is a good friend and fellow alumni from our days at Paul Mitchell the School. Since receiving her Cosmetology license way back when, she has grown into a fabulous hairdresser, achieved her certification in massage therapy, and asserted herself as the #1 dreadlocks & creative extension specialist in Central Florida.

Her website, iKandi Hair Design, features the most impressive and quality dreadlocks portfolio I’ve seen to date. She is happy to provide in-salon SoCap fusion extensions to clients throughout Central Florida, but also creates custom hair pieces to ship to domestic & international clients. Katie’s products include an impressive array of extensions, wigs, and falls. In addition, her web site offers detailed information for wig and natural dreadlock maintenance.

I thought these hairpieces were just too cool not to share. Classic beauty is always in style, but it’s fun to mix things up in an exciting way. I think these pieces are great for: Dancers, Performers, Models, Costumes, Festivals, Photography and Individuals!

For more information & quotes on these fabulous (and reasonably priced!)  hair pieces, you can contact Katie directly.

Guess who fried her hair off…

For the past 3 days, I’ve been noticing my hair has been particularly dry– although, I’ve slept with conditioner in my hair for 2 nights in a row. And, I’ve saturated my hair with every heat protecting product in my beauty closet. Yes, closet:

While flat-ironing my hair this morning, I felt the unmistakably crispy texture of singed hair.

“Oh, hell, no,” I thought as I flipped up my bangs.

There it was. Brittle, dehydrated, kinky tresses. Then, light bulb, I checked the heat setting on my BaByliss iron and, sure enough, my thumb had knocked the temperature up far too high for my fine hair.

The Moral: If you’re having issues with your hair, there may be more than 1 factor causing the trouble. Don’t have a blonde moment– don’t just blame it on what you’ve done in the salon, but consider what you do at home.

SHAVING: Avoiding the Sasquatch and/or Scaly, Dragon Look.

I have Type II Skin and am rather sensitive. That said, I’m not one who those girls who can shave her legs with soap and live without itchy consequence–nor, shave my legs the night before going to the beach without my shorn skin breaking out in stinging, red bumps in reaction to the salt water.

These are the shave mediums I’ve tried over the years: Baby oil, gylcerin soap, French milled soap, moisturizing body wash, shave gel, men’s shaving cream, and shampoo. Baby oil produces a slick shave, but clogs the follicles and eventually leads to ingrowns. Soap is very drying to the skin and always leaves me ashy–same thing with expensive shave gels.

The only shave medium I use on my body, ever, is Biolage’s Hydratherapy Conditioning Balm. Conditioner is pH balanced to the skin. The formula remains non irritating as it’s free from dyes and fragrances. In essence, by shaving with this quality conditioner, the skin is infused with moisture.

Since making the switch, I no longer have to wait 12 hours between shaving and beaching. My legs stay silky smooth for longer than before and I never suffer from painful razor burn. In addition, this method saves me cash because I only have to purchase one product, not two. My razors also seem to last a little longer.

Sounds good, right? A boy looked at me like I’d gone totally nuts when I suggested that he use the conditioner on his face.

“You shave with conditioner?” He wrinkled his nose as if I’d offered him a jar of lard.

“Sure, it works great.”

He looked from the jar, to the razor, and at his face in the mirror. Maybe he was imagining his face broken out and cut to hell and back. As he cut his eyes to me, he probably waged my ability to pull-off practical jokes. What joke? No joke. Baby smooth skin. No cuts or razor burn. Smiling in the mirror.