Month: September 2016

Think you’re too busy for beauty? Think again!

Now that school is back in session, you may think they’re too busy to do a full face of makeup. It’s one thing to get your kids ready by the time the school day starts at 8 a.m., but what about yourself?

With a smart beauty routine, you can look like you spent an hour on your appearance—after less than ten minutes. The trick is to use products that cut down on the time it takes you to get ready.

These products help you look polished in a flash

The right products help you look polished in a flash


For your face, you can create a full face makeup look in just a few minutes. Check out my YouTube video that shows how I do a four-minute makeup routine.

If you have six minutes, you can use even more products, like how I showed NBC 6 In The Mix’s Roxanne Vargas.

fullsizerender-1 fullsizerender-2

Photo by @mediamavenandmore

Photos by @mediamavenandmore

For hair, try using a humidity-defying styling spritzer that helps lock in your style, like White Sands’ Liquid Texture Firm Hold. This product is all you need, because it helps your style last longer. It creates shine, and also gives you hold like a hairspray.

Stash a cordless hair tool in your car, like CHI’s Escape 1″ Professional Cordless Styling Iron, for quick touch-ups. I keep mine in my glovebox in its heat-protective casing. It’s the most convenient way to straighten and curl your hair, with professional-looking results.

Prime with an oil-control product with SPF, like the Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer, which features SPF 15. A primer will help your makeup last, and protect your skin from sun damage. Follow the primer with the Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick for quick coverage that’s both a foundation and concealer in one.

Eyes are important to define, and it’s simple to make them look flawless in a flash. Be sure to fill in your eyebrows, since they frame your face. I recommend Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil, which lives up to its name and is waterproof for up to twelve hours.

A shadow stick is the easiest way to apply eyeshadow. The new Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra is a primer and shadow all in one, and is smudge-proof, transfer-proof and crease-proof. Apply the shadow stick to your lids, then gently blend with your clean fingertips. When in a rush, use the darker shade on your lower lash line, and smudge it out for a smoky eyeliner effect.

Skip the eyelash curler, and use a curling mascara to save time. The Rimmel 24HR SuperCurler Mascara is buildable, and creates instant curl.

A one-stop-shop for the rest of your face is the NYX Cosmetics Whipped Cheek & Lip Souffle, which can double as both a lipstick and a blush. You can throw this product in your purse for on-the-go touchups on your cheeks and lips throughout the day.

For more beauty tips as well as product reviews, be sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel, “Beauty News with Angela Cruz,” at

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So-called “modesty” at the Miss America 2017 pageant

My focus should have been on the dozens of intelligent, talented women who had the courage to walk across the stage in swimsuits and the spirit to contribute a year of their lives to community service. Instead, I found my attention captured by an oxymoron: a top 15 Miss America contestant proclaimed modesty, while she simultaneously walked across stage in a plunging, not-so-modest evening gown.

Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt, moments after she proclaimed modesty is lacking these days

During the evening gown competition, Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt’s pre-recorded sound bite said this as she walked across the stage: “Something we’ve lost sight of as a culture is how important it is to be modest, and I think Miss America is a role model for so many young girls, and they need to know that you don’t have to wear revealing clothing or be sexy to be beautiful. You just need to be you.” All this, as she modeled a daring, albeit stunning, evening gown that was recklessly revealing of her *ahem* assets.

I 100% agree with her message, but I couldn’t believe she chose to wear that dress. If she knew she was going to talk about being demure (and I assume she meant modesty in clothing), didn’t she realize it could backfire?

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed this inconsistency, because the Twitterverse had a lot to say about it:

Twitter Miss South Carolina 1  Twitter Miss South Carolina 2  Twitter Miss South Carolina 3

Who am I to judge, you ask? Well, I’m actually a bona fide Miss America preliminary pageant judge. Not only did I compete in a pageant or two (or forty) back in the day — I judged for several years in the Miss America local circuits in Louisiana and Arkansas. I blogged previously about how much I learned from competition, and why I think it’s valuable to compete. I was the first Asian-American to compete in Miss Louisiana, and I was proud to see this year’s Miss Louisiana Justine Ker make the top 15 in the Miss America 2017 pageant. I can claim a teeny, tiny bit of credit in her success — I coached her in interview once! But just once. 😉


I competed in Miss Louisiana with a couple of different titles. I was also my high school’s beauty queen! #pageantdays

Even though I never took home the Miss Louisiana crown, I’m still to this day grateful for the life skills I gained from competition — and how two full years of undergrad and one year of grad school college tuition were completely funded because of beauty pageants.

I also use my title of “former beauty queen” to gain extra credibility on my “Beauty News with Angela Cruz” YouTube channel, in which I focus upon the beauty industry. I truly believe the public speaking skills I gained through pageant competition gave me a boost to eventually become a news anchor, and then ultimately to launch this channel. Inadvertently, the channel helped me achieve a dream-come-true, when I won the Today Show’s Social Star contest for YouTube! Just think — none of that would have happened if I didn’t have the confidence that came from competing in beauty pageants.

Speaking of public speaking, South Carolina as a pageant state had already risen to national attention when Miss Teen USA South Carolina fumbled her on-stage question, bless her heart. Thankfully, there was nothing like that in this year’s Miss America 2017 pageant — and there were moments in the competition when I was very impressed with what I saw (Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis can SING, y’all!). If you’re a former Miss America local competitor like I am, the Miss America pageant is your Super Bowl. Each year, I watch it with great interest. But I was shocked, and more than a little distracted, by the walking contradiction that was Rachel Wyatt’s evening gown choice. I was reminded that it’s not what you SAY– it’s what you DO that counts.

However, Wyatt’s gamble paid off. She can laugh all the way to the bank, since she won first runner-up. All I can say to that is: you go, girl!

Wyatt after she is named first runner-up to Miss America 2017 -- cleavage is still there, but maybe the flowers will help to conceal any potential wardrobe malfunctions

Wyatt after she is named first runner-up to Miss America 2017 — cleavage is still there, but maybe the flowers will help to conceal any potential wardrobe malfunctions

I have to wrap this up with a congratulations to the newly-crowned Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, who represented the state of Arkansas.


“There she is… Miss Americaaaaaa!”

What are your thoughts? Comment below on whether or not you agree with the judges’ decision to reward Rachel’s risky reveal by voting her first runner-up!

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