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Paging Karina Montoya, Hair & Makeup Stylist Extraordinaire: Beauty Secrets from a Pro


Karina Montoya is my make-up and hair artist extraordinaire who manages to work her magic and get me looking camera ready even in my often, crazy apartment.  Anyone who can successfully apply false lashes while I am making breakfast with three children hanging on me is an expert in my book!  While I certainly can’t recreate the work she does on myself, she has given me some great tips, tricks, and products for the mom on the go and we want to share them with you.

Below, Karina weighs in on tricks of trade, giving us her top beauty secrets for busy moms and moms-to-be, insisting that it’s all about creating a natural glow and mixing it up with a pop of color (choose either nails, lips, or eyes—not all three at once).


Karina’s favorite beauty line for the mom on the go is RMS Beauty, created my celebrity make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift.  All of their products are non-toxic, easy to use and effective.  (Available at and Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor in NYC.)

Top picks from RMS:

  1. Living Luminizer ($38, RMS Beauty):  Use on cheekbones, cupid bow, and inner eye corners for an instant pick me up.  The convenient, small and portable packaging makes it easy to impart a luminous glow on the go.
  2. Lip2cheek ($36, RMS Beauty)—the ultimate multi-tasker! Karina uses the color “Smile” for a rosy hue on me!

Other Favs:

  1. Hydrating Tint SPF 20 (Kimiko; $43, www  Karina uses this on her clients as a foundation to achieve the perfect, glowing, even tone skin in seconds.  Apply with fingers for better blending results.
  2. Another amazing product is Lipstick Queen lipstick in Medieval ($20, for a natural flush of lip color while moisturizing.   It gives the prefect “bitten” look that is great on every skin tone. 

Trending now:

  1. Hot hue: If you’re up for trying a bold lip, wine hues are big right now.  Try Lip2cheek (RMS Beauty) in Rapture ($36, RMS Beaty)
  2. Nail Color: Karina’s favorite nail colors are from Priti Polish (Non-toxic and 100% safe for moms-to-be).  For the burgundy trend: Magic Man Iris, for blue: Wishbone Flower, Gold: Chrysanthos.  For a classic look, Coronation is a pretty neutral for all skin tones. (All $12.50,



Top Picks:

  1. blowpro faux dry - dry shampoo:  This is an instant re-styler, essential to prolonging a blowout.  Avoid the aerosol spray variety, which can be harmful to you and the environment ($20,

  1. Karina’s #1 essential hair product is Essence Absolue (Shu Uemura).  It is a bit pricey but I think it’s worth it, as you only have to use a tiny amount for this nourishing protective oil to work, so the bottle really lasts.  It is thirsty damaged hair’s BFF!! ($68,


Top Picks:

  1. For the multi-tasker of cleansers with amazing results, try the All-in-One Cleansing Foam by Dr. Dennis Gross ($36,
  2. Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels from skyn Iceland is essential for the sleepless moms or anyone looking to combat puffy, dehydrated eyes. ($30,

And Karina’s number one tip?  Staying hydrated—because the best make-up application starts with great skin!

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