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The Kozak Family Beauty Hacks

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on The Kozak Family Beauty Hacks

I was born in Mielec, Poland. Although I moved to NYC at a very young age, I spent many summers in Poland. Throughout this time my extended family has given me hundreds of life tips. Have you seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek wedding? My family is like that, but Polish. Most of their advice frankly makes me burst into fits of laughter. My grandmothers life advice typically along the lines of “No man will marry a woman that doesn’t know how to make a Pierogi from scratch” often old fashioned and silly but I do wonder how much of it, I should actually take to heart. Below, is a list of the various beauty hacks I have picked up from my Polish family over the years.Some sound silly, some practical and some downright insane. Lucky for you, I have tested them all and seen results. Welcome to the Kozak family, below you will find my favorite tips:

07

Potato Face Masks
Potatoes are a staple in every Polish person’s diet. I shudder at the amount of starch I was fed as a child. My job as fourteen, aside from cleaning every inch of my bedroom until every surface was so spotless you could eat off of it, was to peel the potatoes for dinner. Once in a while, after I peeled the potatoes my mother would grab the skins and stick them on her face. I stared at her like she was a zoo animal and rolled my eyes every time she did this, fearing a friend would come over and discover my family’s strange Polish quirks. My mother says her own mother taught her this trick. It wasn’t until a few years later that I noticed how smooth my mother’s skin was. My own skin patchy and blemished at the time, I gave in and covered my face in potatoes. It felt ridiculous but, you know what? It works! This face mask is incredible for scarring, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. The best part? It’s cheap! The more frequently you use it, the better your results will be. Simply scrub a potatoes clean, peel them and place the strips on you face (fleshy whit park against the skin) for 30 minutes. You can also mash the skins into a paste beforehand I have done it both ways. I still do this every once in a while when my skin is just not looking as great as I’d like it. The results always surprise me. My grandmother and mother highly recommend it.

Spirulina in powder form.

Spirulina in powder form.

Algae Water
Now stay with me, this one is a little strange. My grandfather has been drinking algae every day for as long as I can remember. In his seventies, he is one of the healthiest people I know, every morning at sunrise he wakes up and has a glass before doing his morning pushups. The man has never been severely ill, is a retired soldier, farmer and world traveler. He looks at least 15 years younger than his actual age. He even grows his own algae at home. The type of algae is called Spirulina and contains all of the amino acids that any body needs. It is also filled with protein. Recently the algae has become popular among green juice drinkers but I know it as, the strange green water my grandfather drinks. According to WebMD.com,
“Blue-green algae are used as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also used for weight loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hay fever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women’s health issues. Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health.”
I guess he was on to something all along! Spirulina is sold in health food stores and can be mixed into water or a smoothie and is considered a super food. Recently, I bought some of my own and added it into my daily routine as an ode to my grandfather. I like to mix it into a smoothie with a bannana, an apple, what ever berries I have on hand, spinach and ice. Yum!

German-Nivea-Creme-foil-peeled-back
Nivea
Throughout the years I have bought my mother a variety of face creams as birthday or Christmas. Her medicine cabinet is filled with glasses of jars of face cream. This is because, she absolutely refuses to stray away from her beloved Nivea. This little tin is her holy grail. It is an ultra thick white creme with a unique smell. The smell immediately brings me backs to childhood, as I used to love watching her apply her skincare products and makeup. She uses Nivea as a makeup remover, a face cream, a body lotion, a lip balm and a foot cream. You can always count of her to carry a tin of it in her purse and keep a jar on her night stand. Last year, I read this article, about a woman who tests this cream against infamously expensive Crème de La Mer, and the results were amazing. The ultra-cheap Nivea was the winner. I typically use the cream in the colder months and switch to the lighter version in the winter. I have read that Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon swear by this blue tin and I wonder if they apply it as religiously as my mother. I would recommend this creme to anyone with dry skin, when I apply this creme before bed I wake up looking as if I had 12 hours of sleep. My skin appears ultra plumped and baby smooth. What can I say? Mother knows best.

 

What sort of crazy beauty tips has your family recommended to you? Spill those family secrets!

 

Tags: Advice and Tips · Beauty Hacks · Career · D-I-Y · Fashion · Nivea · Polish · Potatoes · Reviews · Skin care · Spirulina

The Kozak Family Beauty Hacks

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on The Kozak Family Beauty Hacks

Potato

I was born in Mielec, Poland. Although I moved to NYC at a very young age, I spent many summers in Poland. Throughout this time my extended family has given me hundreds of life tips. Have you seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek wedding? My family is like that, but Polish. Most of their advice frankly makes me burst into fits of laughter. My grandmothers life advice typically along the lines of “No man will marry a woman that doesn’t know how to make a Pierogi from scratch” often old fashioned and silly but I do wonder how much of it, I should actually take to heart. Below, is a list of the various beauty hacks I have picked up from my Polish family over the years.Some sound silly, some practical and some downright insane. Lucky for you, I have tested them all and seen results. Welcome to the Kozak family, below you will find my favorite tips:

Potato Face Masks
Potatoes are a staple in every Polish person’s diet. I shudder at the amount of starch I was fed as a child. My job as fourteen, aside from cleaning every inch of my bedroom until every surface was so spotless you could eat off of it, was to peel the potatoes for dinner. Once in a while, after I peeled the potatoes my mother would grab the skins and stick them on her face. I stared at her like she was a zoo animal and rolled my eyes every time she did this, fearing a friend would come over and discover my family’s strange Polish quirks. My mother says her own mother taught her this trick. It wasn’t until a few years later that I noticed how smooth my mother’s skin was. My own skin patchy and blemished at the time, I gave in and covered my face in potatoes. It felt ridiculous but, you know what? It works! This face mask is incredible for scarring, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. The best part? It’s cheap! The more frequently you use it, the better your results will be. Simply scrub a potatoes clean, peel them and place the strips on you face (fleshy whit park against the skin) for 30 minutes. You can also mash the skins into a paste beforehand I have done it both ways. I still do this every once in a while when my skin is just not looking as great as I’d like it. The results always surprise me. My grandmother and mother highly recommend it.

Algae Water
Now stay with me, this one is a little strange. My grandfather has been drinking algae every day for as long as I can remember. In his seventies, he is one of the healthiest people I know, every morning at sunrise he wakes up and has a glass before doing his morning pushups. The man has never been severely ill, is a retired soldier, farmer and world traveler. He looks at least 15 years younger than his actual age. He even grows his own algae at home. The type of algae is called Spirulina and contains all of the amino acids that any body needs. It is also filled with protein. Recently the algae has become popular among green juice drinkers but I know it as, the strange green water my grandfather drinks. According to WebMD.com,
“Blue-green algae are used as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also used for weight loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hay fever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women’s health issues. Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health.”
I guess he was on to something all along! Spirulina is sold in health food stores and can be mixed into water or a smoothie and is considered a super food. Recently, I bought some of my own and added it into my daily routine as an ode to my grandfather. I like to mix it into a smoothie with a bannana, an apple, what ever berries I have on hand, spinach and ice. Yum!

Nivea
Throughout the years I have bought my mother a variety of face creams as birthday or Christmas. Her medicine cabinet is filled with glasses of jars of face cream. This is because, she absolutely refuses to stray away from her beloved Nivea. This little tin is her holy grail. It is an ultra thick white creme with a unique smell. The smell immediately brings me backs to childhood, as I used to love watching her apply her skincare products and makeup. She uses Nivea as a makeup remover, a face cream, a body lotion, a lip balm and a foot cream. You can always count of her to carry a tin of it in her purse and keep a jar on her night stand. Last year, I read this article, about a woman who tests this cream against infamously expensive Crème de La Mer, and the results were amazing. The ultra-cheap Nivea was the winner. I typically use the cream in the colder months and switch to the lighter version in the winter. I have read that Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon swear by this blue tin and I wonder if they apply it as religiously as my mother. I would recommend this creme to anyone with dry skin, when I apply this creme before bed I wake up looking as if I had 12 hours of sleep. My skin appears ultra plumped and baby smooth. What can I say? Mother knows best.

What sort of crazy beauty tips has your family recommended to you? Spill those family secrets!

Tags: Advice and Tips · Beauty Hacks · Career · D-I-Y · Fashion · Nivea · Polish · Potatoes · Reviews · Skin care · Spirulina

Twenty-Something Beauty with Yoli Cotray

October 18th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Twenty-Something Beauty with Yoli Cotray

Yoli hard at work on a photoshoot.

Yoli hard at work on a photoshoot.

 

Yoli Cotray and I met a few years back, when her beau (and one of my closest friends) introduced us at a NYC bar. My immediate reaction as we shook hands was “Wow, this girl has really great eyebrows!” I guess that is something only a girl obsessed with makeup products would think. The thin patchy baby caterpillars that rest on top of my eyes, pale in comparison. I had to know her secret! I wondered if it would it be weird to ask her what eye pencil she used 15 minutes into meeting her. I told myself I would avoid the awkward eyebrow talk for the time being and inquire about the story of how the lovely couple met.

Fast-forward to the day I was assigned to write a blog post. My professor told the class that we must include an interview in our first post. My immediate thought? My chance to ask Yoli how in the world she does it! Yoli and I have known one another for about two years now, and I have yet to see the girl look anything less than air brushed. After a twelve-hour workday and when most women I know look like melting Crayola crayons, she is a woman that appears to have stepped out of a magazine advertisement. She is a woman that has recently exited her twenties, but because of her youthful complexion will still likely be carded for the next couple of years. Yoli works as a makeup artist at NARS cosmetics andhas worked for countless beauty brands. As we sit in an Upper West Side restaurant, we sip our champagne cocktails and she eventually lets me pick her brain:

Yoli's work on a young model.

Yoli’s work on a young model.

As a makeup artist, you spend all day working with clients of all ages. What would you say is the biggest difference between the way you apply makeup on a woman in her forties or fifties and a woman in her twenties? Are there differences in products/colors/application?

“As a makeup artist with 13+ years’ experience in working with clients of all ages, the biggest difference between the makeup application for women of different generations would be the process (ie. The steps taken to achieve the desired end result) due to the tightness of the skin or lack thereof.  For a woman of wisdom, I would “put everything back where it belongs” then dress it up by accentuating her best features.  With a woman in her 20’s, things are usually in place, and at that point, I can just be creative.”

What is one fall beauty trend that all twenty-something girls should try and one that they should avoid?

“One fall beauty trend that I am obsessed with now (for any age!) is a rich shade of brown lipstick.  With the right undertone and formula (sheer, satin, cream, matte, etc.), this can be a very sophisticated and chic look.  Avoid- skipping lip liner!”

Kat Dennings sporting the trend.

Kat Dennings sporting the trend.

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake twenty-somethings make when applying their makeup?

“In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes women in their twenties make when applying their makeup is not properly prepping the skin with skin care.  A great eye cream, face serum and moisturizer can go a long way in what I like to refer to as the “preventative years”.  It can also improve the overall look and wear of a makeup application.”

Yoli's work on a young model.

Yoli’s work on a young model.

If you could go back and tell your twenty one year old self one thing related to beauty, what would it be?

“If I could go back in time, I would tell my twenty one year old self”only allow a professional to groom your brows’.  I specialize in eyebrows now, but back then… next question.”

Yoli's work on a "Pretty Woman" photoshoot.

Yoli’s work on a “Pretty Woman” photoshoot.

What do you believe is the number one product all women in her twenties should own?

“I cannot emphasize this enough, EYE CREAM!!!  And not only should they own it, they should commit to using it day and night.  How else would we remain Forever 21?”

Yoli working on a bride.

Yoli working on a bride.

Describe the perfect office beauty look for a woman in her twenties.

“One of my favorite work appropriate makeup looks for young professionals begins with a polished complexion.  A foundation/concealer with the proper level of coverage can camouflage imperfections. Next, find a blush that would mimic an actual pinch to the cheek, this will bring a healthy glow back to the skin.  Deep Gray or Dark Brown eyeliner to *thinly* define eyes- this can distract from any puffiness around the eyes (no one needs to know when you have been up late!) Mascara is a must, and a matte rosy toned lipstick can complete the office look.  There is something about the finish and color that says RESPECT ME, respectfully.”

Describe the perfect date night look for a woman in her twenties.

“One of the easiest (and flirtiest!) date looks for a woman in her twenties is a traditional Cat Eye styled liner.  This look can be used with a bold lip color for those who dare, or something softer for a casual finish.  Whether pencil, liquid, or gel, make sure the eyeliner is long wearing just in case it ends up being a long night!”

IMG_20141009_224346

I leave the interview, and immediately feel an urge to step into Sephora. My new shopping list includes a dark brown lip color with matching pencil. (So 90’s!), an eye cream and a black eyeliner to create a cat eye. Now, if she would only come over every time I needed a cat eye. Ah! Blog post idea. The perfect cat eye, by Yoli Cotray. Who wants to see that next?

Tags: Advice and Tips · cosmetics · Diana Kozak · Interview · makeup · MUA · Yoli Cotray

Twenty-Something Beauty with Yoli Cotray

October 18th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Twenty-Something Beauty with Yoli Cotray

Yoli hard at work on a photoshoot.

Yoli hard at work on a photoshoot.

 

Yoli Cotray and I met a few years back, when her beau (and one of my closest friends) introduced us at a NYC bar. My immediate reaction as we shook hands was “Wow, this girl has really great eyebrows!” I guess that is something only a girl obsessed with makeup products would think. The thin patchy baby caterpillars that rest on top of my eyes, pale in comparison. I had to know her secret! I wondered if it would it be weird to ask her what eye pencil she used 15 minutes into meeting her. I told myself I would avoid the awkward eyebrow talk for the time being and inquire about the story of how the lovely couple met.

Fast-forward to the day I was assigned to write a blog post. My professor told the class that we must include an interview in our first post. My immediate thought? My chance to ask Yoli how in the world she does it! Yoli and I have known one another for about two years now, and I have yet to see the girl look anything less than air brushed. After a twelve-hour workday and when most women I know look like melting Crayola crayons, she is a woman that appears to have stepped out of a magazine advertisement. She is a woman that has recently exited her twenties, but because of her youthful complexion will still likely be carded for the next couple of years. Yoli works as a makeup artist at NARS cosmetics andhas worked for countless beauty brands. As we sit in an Upper West Side restaurant, we sip our champagne cocktails and she eventually lets me pick her brain:

Yoli's work on a young model.

Yoli’s work on a young model.

As a makeup artist, you spend all day working with clients of all ages. What would you say is the biggest difference between the way you apply makeup on a woman in her forties or fifties and a woman in her twenties? Are there differences in products/colors/application?

“As a makeup artist with 13+ years’ experience in working with clients of all ages, the biggest difference between the makeup application for women of different generations would be the process (ie. The steps taken to achieve the desired end result) due to the tightness of the skin or lack thereof.  For a woman of wisdom, I would “put everything back where it belongs” then dress it up by accentuating her best features.  With a woman in her 20’s, things are usually in place, and at that point, I can just be creative.”

What is one fall beauty trend that all twenty-something girls should try and one that they should avoid?

“One fall beauty trend that I am obsessed with now (for any age!) is a rich shade of brown lipstick.  With the right undertone and formula (sheer, satin, cream, matte, etc.), this can be a very sophisticated and chic look.  Avoid- skipping lip liner!”

Kat Dennings sporting the trend.

Kat Dennings sporting the trend.

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake twenty-somethings make when applying their makeup?

“In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes women in their twenties make when applying their makeup is not properly prepping the skin with skin care.  A great eye cream, face serum and moisturizer can go a long way in what I like to refer to as the “preventative years”.  It can also improve the overall look and wear of a makeup application.”

Yoli's work on a young model.

Yoli’s work on a young model.

If you could go back and tell your twenty one year old self one thing related to beauty, what would it be?

“If I could go back in time, I would tell my twenty one year old self”only allow a professional to groom your brows’.  I specialize in eyebrows now, but back then… next question.”

Yoli's work on a "Pretty Woman" photoshoot.

Yoli’s work on a “Pretty Woman” photoshoot.

What do you believe is the number one product all women in her twenties should own?

“I cannot emphasize this enough, EYE CREAM!!!  And not only should they own it, they should commit to using it day and night.  How else would we remain Forever 21?”

Yoli working on a bride.

Yoli working on a bride.

Describe the perfect office beauty look for a woman in her twenties.

“One of my favorite work appropriate makeup looks for young professionals begins with a polished complexion.  A foundation/concealer with the proper level of coverage can camouflage imperfections. Next, find a blush that would mimic an actual pinch to the cheek, this will bring a healthy glow back to the skin.  Deep Gray or Dark Brown eyeliner to *thinly* define eyes- this can distract from any puffiness around the eyes (no one needs to know when you have been up late!) Mascara is a must, and a matte rosy toned lipstick can complete the office look.  There is something about the finish and color that says RESPECT ME, respectfully.”

Describe the perfect date night look for a woman in her twenties.

“One of the easiest (and flirtiest!) date looks for a woman in her twenties is a traditional Cat Eye styled liner.  This look can be used with a bold lip color for those who dare, or something softer for a casual finish.  Whether pencil, liquid, or gel, make sure the eyeliner is long wearing just in case it ends up being a long night!”

IMG_20141009_224346

I leave the interview, and immediately feel an urge to step into Sephora. My new shopping list includes a dark brown lip color with matching pencil. (So 90’s!), an eye cream and a black eyeliner to create a cat eye. Now, if she would only come over every time I needed a cat eye. Ah! Blog post idea. The perfect cat eye, by Yoli Cotray. Who wants to see that next?

Tags: Advice and Tips · cosmetics · Diana Kozak · Interview · makeup · MUA · Yoli Cotray

Mission Statement + Editorial Plan

October 15th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Mission Statement + Editorial Plan

Mission Statement

My blog will be a fashion and beauty lifestyle blog. As this is a very broad topic, I have narrowed it down to a few specifics. For the fashion portion, my blog will include photos, advice articles, interviews targeted toward women in their twenties whom are in a similar place in their lives as I am. What I mean by this is I will write about fashion geared toward women in the early stages of their careers, ones that are transitioning from school to work life, ones that are interviewing for their first jobs or internships and ones that are on a limited budget. As for the beauty portion of my blog, I plan to include reviews of new makeup line launches, but I would also like to include a segment in which I review products from NYC based small brands. I would also like to interview experts in the field about trends and tips for the current season. As for the lifestyle portion I would love to write about my personal experiences with internships, working in PR for beauty brands, my search for my first job, my experience searching for my first apartment, tips etc.

The internet, is already saturated with fashion blogs, but I believe what sets mine apart is the target audience. My blog will not feature clothing items that are dramatically out of the price range for twenty-something year old women, as many do. However, I also plan on writing about career advice. I would love to learn as I go along and interview women and professionals that are more experienced than I am. My hope is that young women find my blog as a source for all things related to twenty-something life in New York City. The photos will be original, usually of me. It will include advice along with tips from someone experiencing all of the same life changes that most young women experience in their twenties. The blog will be heavily based on NYC life as I am experiencing these things in this city.

I was inspired by very many blogs that I read on a daily basis but the one that truly represents the niche blog that I am proposing is called KatiesBliss.com. This is a blog very similar to the one I plan to start. The blog posts are split into three main section. Beauty, Fashion and Life. This is what I plan to do as well. What I most enjoy about this blog is the very specific style. The blog feels informal, almost as if I am getting advice from a friend. The advice about life and career choices is also very real and not as formal as some I might read in a magazine. The clothing items posted are always age appropriate, well styled and always in the same style. The photos on the blog are clear, colorful and well edited. The format and design of the blog is clean, simplistic but also a bit feminine. This is exactly the look I would like my blog to have. I have found a few other blogs also written by girls working in PR on the subject of beauty, fashion and career advice but this one sticks out to me, because of the quality and voice.

What I hope makes my blog different from this one is features that she does not include. I have read many books of the subjects of public relations, starting a career as well as the beauty industry. I would love to write a few reviews on these books as well as summarize their main points. I would also like to include listicles, some examples might be “10 Items That Will Make a PR Girls Life Easier” or “How To Spot a PR Girl In The Wild”, “My favorite PR movies”, “My favorite PR girl twitter accounts” I would also like to profile makeup artists, small business owners working in PR, beauty and fashion. In an ideal world, I would include one post about career, one about beauty and one about fashion everyday or find a way to find all three or two out of three into one article every day.

As my blog is in the features category, it will not cover serious causes or events. The purpose is mainly to entertain. It is will also inform and provide a platform for discussion about the topics related to my posts. My other blog when it comes to this blog is to use it as a way to display my writing and learn how to become a better writer. I believe putting my work online, for all to see will inspire me to pay closer attention to my grammar, writing style and develop a personal voice. I am interested in a career in beauty product public relations, which involves plenty of writing. What better way to prove to my future employers that I am able to write about beauty and fashion than by being able to show proof of hundreds of posts? This will also showcase my interests in beauty brands.

Editorial Plan

Types of content

Frequency:
In an ideal world, I would post to my blog daily. 2-3 varied posts a day would be perfect. But, I am going to be realistic and shoot for 2x a week to begin.

Time:
I envision that it will take at least a few days to create one post. I have never blogged before but I imagine that taking photos, editing them, writing a post, editing it, gathering interviews and quotes does take at least a few days.

Post Ideas:
-How to get your first internship
-Mistakes twenty-something girls frequently make in the office
-What to wear to a PR job interview
-The perfect interview makeup look
-10 books every PR student should read
-Internship survival guide
-How to make fall fashion trends work appropriate

Interviews:
-Makeup artists
-PR Professionals
-PR Interns
-Fashion designers

Multimedia:
I plan on including original photos that I have taken, as well as YouTube video both original and unoriginal.

Social Media:
I would like to create social media accounts specifically dedicated to my blog. I would like to create an Instagram account, Twitter handle and Facebook account with the same username/handle as the name of my blog. I will use these accounts to supplement my blog posts.

Tags: Fashion