TTF has always been intended to be a place to Nourish Your Inner Perspective through cooking, mindfulness, friendship and smiles. I purposely wanted to keep our original vision tightly concise even though a large number of readers on here and social media have been asking specifically for beauty advice as well. Although we’re most definitely enthusiasts, we’ve never claimed to being experts when it comes to beauty.

Our concept has always been — there are no rules. The only thing that counts when it comes to beauty is how it makes you feel. We want to not only look good, but feel good. Is that really asking for so much? Finding that perfect balance between practicality and excess is something that we’re spending our entire lives looking for. So in order to aid us in that search for balance, we’ve called upon the best reinforcements.

Meet our new resident Beauty Expert — Michelle Acosta. She’s spent over a decade being a top make-up artist and we’re happy to announce that she’ll be officially joining the TTF Communi-Tri!!

We’re going to explore different ideas and concepts on beauty + style together on this continuing journey, but first let’s get a few FAQs that the readers have been dying to know out of the way.


What are some of the most common mistakes and misconceptions that people are making when it comes to make-up? 

The most common mistake that I have encountered over the years is the idea that there are certain “rules” to makeup – what colors are supposed to be worn together, how to apply certain products, what can be worn at a certain age, the list goes on. But these misconceptions can’t be any further from the truth! Makeup and beauty is all about whatever works for each unique, beautiful individual. However, with how beauty and makeup products are marketed, it is SO easy to make this mistake. So instead, think of things like product labels as a “guideline” or “inspiration” for how to use a product. For example, you can easily use mascara as eyeliner and eye shadow or lipstick as blush! Don’t be afraid to try something new – you can just wash it away.

We’ve always been told “quality is everything because this is going directly on your skin,” but realistically when you’re on a budget, who can afford to use Dior Show every time you need mascara? What are some drug store alternatives that would be safe to use? 

Quality and safety is absolutely of the utmost importance for anything that you put on your skin or in your body. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that a high price tag always means higher quality. Not only that, but a high quality product also doesn’t guarantee a usable product for you. It’s safe to assume that all beauty products sold in U.S. drugstores are safe to use, but one of the main concerns with beauty and skincare products is having a bad reaction or breakout (especially for those with sensitive skin).  Overall, the price tag doesn’t really mean anything about how a product will react with your unique chemistry and features. A mascara may make your lashes look long and gorgeous, but then make your mom’s lashes look, well, not-so-gorgeous.  It’s all about trial and error. Browse the drugstore’s beauty section and try well-known brands like Covergirl, Almay, and other mainstays, and see which product works best for you.

Note: Mascara (or any other eye product) should never make your eyes red, itchy, abnormally watery, etc. If any of these symptoms (or others) occur when trying a product, stop using it immediately and don’t wear any eye products until those symptoms (or others) disappear completely. Always contact a medical professional if you have any concerns.

Let’s say you literally have 10 minutes to throw on your face every morning, what would you recommend be a bare-bones minimum to run out the door? 

Everyone has different needs and different features they would like to highlight, but there are definitely ways to keep your 10-minute face down to only a couple steps:

  1. Prime and Moisturize: Apply a thin layer of a moisturizing primer (preferably with SPF).
  2. Brows: Fill in sparse areas of your brows if needed.
  3. Foundation: Apply a quick layer of a perfectly matched foundation (preferably with SPF). Use any extra foundation for concealing any problem areas. If you have any serious discoloration, dab on a creamy concealer only on those spots.
  4. Highlight: Highlight the inner-corners of your eyes with a nude-colored, micro-shimmer pencil or cream. A color that’s about a shade or two lighter than your foundation works nicely.
  5. Mascara: Apply a coat of your favorite Mascara to top and bottom lashes (I think a rich black is best).
  6. Blush: Sweep on a natural-colored blush on the highest points of your cheeks.
  7. Lips: Don’t forget a rose-tinted lip moisturizer that you can bring with you for the day, and your ready to go!

This may seem like a lot of steps, but you definitely want to make any time on your makeup worth it. With practice, you can bring these 7 steps down to 7 minutes!

If you had to pick one (and only one) to use for the rest of your life what would it be — eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, foundation, shadow? 

This is really a difficult one for me. It’s like trying to choose for favorite child! Well, as long as I have some kind of lip moisturizer, I think I would have to go with mascara (with lipstick being a close 2nd). The miracle-like affect that mascara has on your entire face is really incredible. It’s also one of those products that can easily look so effortless and natural. You can go from blah to awake, sparkling eyes in just a few swipes!

Lipliner, what do we think? 

Lip liner is definitely not a must for everyday looks. Of course, if you want to change your natural lip shape or fullness, you pretty much have to use lip liner. But for the quick and easy, low-maintenance look, a soft and creamy lipstick or lip-gloss works wonders on its own.

Fall is our favorite time of the year, it’s the season of cocoa, holidays, snuggling and chapped lips. What do you recommend we do to combat that?

Keep your lips moisturized and covered at all times. Bare lips are going to get chapped and dry quickly if you don’t have anything on them. I recommend keeping a rich moisturizer like Smith’s Rosebud Salve (in a tube) within reach. You can use this product for a thousand other beauty needs as well – say goodbye to pesky flyaways!

Finally, what’s your favorite thing about make-up + skincare? 

One of my most favorite things about makeup-up and skincare is how they can completely change how you tackle your day. Makeup and skincare can truly transform your emotional self. Makeup and skincare can be an instant confidence booster, a beautiful and fun way to express your inner creativity, and so much more. Makeup especially, is an age-old way to say to the world “this is who I am” without having to say a word. And the best part: you can change “who you are” any time you want!

Michelle will be con-tri-buting regularly to TTF but in addition, she’ll be here to answer our  burning questions on skincare, beauty and style. So make sure you submit your questions in the comment section below and make sure you give her a hearty welcome to our communi-Tri!

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