Things I Love: The Spring 2018 Edition

Heart eyes emoji, cinnamon in coffee

It’s Spring! I just got back from living in Charleston, SC for three months, so the recent 30 and 40 degree temperatures in RI don’t feel like spring. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that. (More on that later.)

In honor of the fresh start vibes of a new(ish) season, I want to tell you about my recent favorite things, both beauty related and non-beauty related. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

BEAUTY

Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. It’s thickening, dark black and I love a big mascara wand, so I am feelin’ this one. I’ve been layering it over my Diorshow for crazy volume. It doesn’t get smudgy on me (in fact, they claim that it is a “no smudge” mascara), but I know there is always someone out there who finds every mascara to be smudgy. This is the first Bobbi Brown mascara I’ve ever used, and I am impressed.

I like big wands and I can not lie.

Moroccan Oil. I used Moroccan Oil years ago when I wore my hair curly, but stopped for a reason I can’t remember. (“Being broke” was my main reason for a lot of my decisions in my 20s, so that was probably it.) The South Carolina humidity–which is nothing in March compared to August–made my hair frizz this winter, and since I try to only get Brazilian Blowouts twice a year (for the summer in New England), I asked around for the best anti-frizz hair products. AB Beauty hair stylist, Emily, suggested Moroccan Oil and it has made a big difference. (Thank you, Hair Magician!) Now I put it in my hair pre-blowout, and apply the tiniest bit on my dry hair when it’s humid, and I’ve been frizz-free.

Moroccan Oil, frizzy hair
My anti-frizz weapon for medium level humidity.

Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter. I had been on the hunt for a good body moisturizer that also has a scent I like and doesn’t irritate my skin for a longgggg time. That’s a tall order, but I found my holy grail moisturizer at the Savannah Bee Company store in Charleston. The Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter smells amazing, makes my skin feel soft, absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel heavy or sticky and comes in the cutest little jar. What’s not to love?

Savannah Bee Company
It’s cute and works well!

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10. Don’t hate me, but I don’t get a lot of blemishes. It’s part genetics, part skincare. But when I do get a zit, I always go after it with a spot treatment. The spot treatment I’ve used forever is a Clinique salicylic acid spot treatment, and it usually works well. But I recently grew a second head, I mean cystic acne spot, out of my neck, and it was not responding to the sal. So I went to CVS in search of a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. BP kills bacteria (while SA removes dead skin cells that are clogging pores), so I consider it the stronger of the spot treatment options. I tried this BP for the first time one night last week and woke up to see a blemish that had shrunk by at least 50%. That’s a spring time miracle! Persa-Gel 10 is effective, easy to use and under $10. A win-win-win.

Persa gel, acne
The zit destroyer.

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #3 Tansoleil/Bettina. I love a good cream blush. I got this one as a gift, and the shade on the left (which looks coral in person–both shades appear darker in this pic) has been my new go-to blush. It blends well so I use it both after foundation and as a final touch after I powder my skin. The shade on the right doesn’t pop on my skin as a blush, so I often layer it over lip balm. It is a peachy, light nude on my lips (might look different on other lip undertones), so a great compliment to a heavy eye makeup look. It’s also a small compact, so I appreciate that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my jam-packed personal makeup bag.

Kevyn Aucoin cream blush
A dynamic duo.

THE OTHER STUFF

Cinnamon in My Coffee. I believe it was my mother who suggested putting cinnamon in my coffee this year (and if it wasn’t, she’ll still take the credit) and I’ve been doing so on the reg since. It’s supposedly got a lot of health benefits–click the link to read all about it–but I really just like the taste. Do I get mad at myself when I forget to sprinkle that magic in even though I purposely leave it next to my coffee maker so I’ll see it? Damn right I do. But during my “on top of my shit days,” I use it and I love it.

Male tears mug
I don’t drink my coffee out of this, but I do own this mug.

Theo Von This Past Weekend Podcast. I watch some kind of comedy–standup, video podcasts, interviews with comics I like–every day. And when I discover a new (to me) comic I like, I’m psyched. I got into Theo’s podcasts in January, and I laugh my ass off whenever I watch an episode. My favorite is when he talks about people from his hometown of Covington, Lousiana. He’s quickly made it onto my Top Ten List of Comics, which is good because I had to knock a few off after the crap that came to light recently.

 

Theo Von
Worth the laugh lines.

Grits. Grits aren’t new to me, but I don’t think I’ve talked about them in my any of my Things I Love posts. Which is strange, because I really love them. I have to impose a weekly “grits limit” on myself when I’m in Charleston, because without one, that is all I would eat. I haven’t tried grits at every restaurant in Charleston–I would have to live there for six months straight to have the time to do that–but I have two favorite places to get them: Eli’s Table and Poogan’s Smokehouse. If you think I would consider ordering grits anywhere in New England, you trippin’. I have to (impatiently) wait until I’m back in Charleston to have my favorite food again.

Grits, I love grits
And now here’s a mug I don’t have, but should.

Hatch Tribe Members Circle. Owning a business is one of my favorite things. I’m really lucky that my brother and father own businesses, because they know what it’s like. But other than them, for most of my career, I didn’t have many other people in my life who own businesses. And that can be a very lonely feeling. Last winter, my Charleston friend, Mairin, told me about Hatch Tribe. They are a group for women entrepreneurs, but not just for networking. They offer classes, events, resources and a supportive community–something I was really missing before. Hatch Tribe created the Members Circle this year, and it is the bomb. There’s so much to it that I’m going to do a whole separate post about it, but if you are a female entrepreneur, you should really check it out. The Members Circle has a new theme each month featuring experts in different fields, and so far those themes have helped me up my social media and content game and improve the way I talk about my business (even down to body language and movement). The support and advice you get in the Members Circle is unbelievable. I’ve posted tons of questions about things I was stuck on, looking into, needed referrals for or just wanted input on. Every time, I’ve gotten super helpful responses. I’ve also made a lot of new friendships with like-minded women, which is awesome. (I think it’s hard to make new friends in your 30s, especially when you spend most of your day working from home, solo.) The Hatch Tribe Members Circle has improved my business and given me the opportunity to make a bunch of new friends. So, you know, only two of the most important areas of my life…

Hatch Tribe, women entrepreneur group
Some Hatch Tribe truth.

Charleston Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix. If you had told me three years ago that a Bloody Maria (that’s a Bloody Mary with tequila) would be my go-to drink, I would have told you had the wrong chick. At that time, I was a Three-Olives-Cherry-Vodka-With-Club-And-A-Splash-Of-Cran-Girl, with the occasional Stoli Doli or glass of prosecco if I wanted to mix it up. Now I’m a Ryde-Or-Die-Tequila-Girl, and my tequila drink of choice is a Bloody Maria. My favorite pre-made mix, which they use at a lot of bars and restaurants in Charleston, is Charleston Mix. Other mixes pale in comparison, so I’m psyched that I can buy this stuff online. I always had a bottle of it in my fridge while I was in SC, and I’ll continue that trend in RI.

Charleston Bloody Mary mix
Looks like a month’s worth to me.

Being Back In My Apartment. I can’t say that I love Charleston, because that would be an understatement. It’s more like a part who I am now, and snowbirding there is the realization of a dream I had when I opened my business a decade ago. Charleston is where I live for part of each year, and it feels like home to me. What didn’t feel like home this year was my actual home. All I wanted was a small, quiet space in a safe neighborhood where I could work from home and be in walking distance of downtown. I nailed the neighborhood part (or my Realtor did) but the “quiet” part was ruined by three months of loud, lacquer fume-laced months of renovations on the unit below mine. I didn’t take it well at all. But now I’m back in my RI apartment and it’s so quiet I could cry tears of joy. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and even though the weather is crap–which would normally really bother me–I’m so happy to be out of the construction zone that I don’t even care. I will never take a peaceful work and home situation for granted again.

Renovations meme
Me, every weekday for three months.

I hope you have lot of things you’re loving this spring. And if you are being affected by renovations, I feel your pain. I found that numbing it with a Bloody Maria works well.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

 

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Look Breakdown

Amber Heard, Amber Heard makeup, Celebrity makeup, Brown smokey eye
A wearable smokey eye and and nude pink lip combo

A brown smokey eye is like the jeans and T-shirt (or little black dress…or pencil skirt and crop top, depending on your style) of the makeup world for those with fair all the way up to dark medium skin. Add a nude lip and and some blush, and you’ve got a look that works for anything from Happy Hour to a black tie event. 

Amber Heard rocked this look, and you can too. Here we go.

Foundation: Medium coverage with a glow. Armani Luminous Silk would work well. See how the center of her face looks highlighted? You can get that effect by using the foundation shade that matches your skin around the edges of your face, and one that is two shades lighter on the center of your face.

Powder: Powder all over to set. MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural Powder would do the job. Rimmel Stay Matte would work too, and is easier on the wallet.

Highlighter: It’s tough to see from this camera angle, but I suspect there is some on the cheekbones. I would use Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow for this. It’s meant to be used as a primer, but I like it for subtle cheekbone highlight.

Contour/Bronzer: Contour under cheekbones, below hairline and possibly under jawline. I’m a big fan of the Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kits for this.

Cheek Color: You know, I can’t tell if the color I’m seeing is from her contour or blush. I think it might be the contour, but this look would benefit from a muted peachy or pink blush, depending on your skintone. I think MAC Melba would be a good choice.

Eyebrows: Taupe brow powder to fill in sparseness/add shape where needed. It also looks like the ends of her brows were extended, or at least defined. Go with whatever color matches your brows.

Eye Makeup: MAC Eyeshadow in Mulch, a red brown with bronze pearl, looks similar to what Amber is wearing on her lids and slightly into the crease (just make sure to blend that well). Her shadow is softly angled into a wing shape, giving the illusion that the eye is elongated. The key is to use a shimmery brown shadow that is several shades darker than your skin and makes your eye color pop. That’s why this look isn’t great for those with very dark skin, as choosing a shadow darker than some skin tones either means using a black shadow or not having any to choose from. (For example, using a dark brown shadow on someone with a skintone like model Nykhor Paul wouldn’t have the same effect.) I spy a chocolate brown pencil liner at the top lashline, blended into the eyeshadow. Bottom lashline has a soft wash of the same shadow from the lid, likely applied with a pencil brush.

 

Nykhor Paul
The beautiful Nykhor Paul.

Mascara: Yes, top and bottom lashes. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is a good choice for this look.

False Lashes: Yes, strip lashes on just the outer third of top lashes. They might have come like that, or her makeup artist cut a full strip lash to that size.

Lipliner: Yes, same color as the lipstick. MAC Subculture Lipliner would work.

Lipcolor: MAC Patisserie (it looks way more pink on the website than it is in person) or Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit.

This is solid go-to look for the skintones I mentioned. You can change it up easily by doing a petal pink lip to make it more girly, or adding black liner to the waterline or using a darker eyeliner at the top and bottom lashlines to make it more sultry. If you master this one–and you can–you’ll have a versatile look that doesn’t require a ton of time.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Makeup Artist Dreaming: Get Schooled

Makeup school, makeup certification, makeup artist training
Education is key.

If your state requires that all makeup artists are licensed Cosmetologists or Estheticians, you will have to go to school for the required amount of hours. If you don’t need a license to provide makeup services in your state, you may still want to strongly consider getting your Esthetics or Cosmetology license, or getting a makeup certification. Having a license or certification in your field when you technically don’t need to will give you training and credibility.

If you decide to go to school, depending on your state, you may have to making the choice between Cosmetology or Esthetics programs. Cosmetology programs are typically more hours, and while the subjects of makeup and skincare are covered, the majority of the time is spent on hair styling, cutting and coloring. Esthetics programs normally focus on skincare, waxing, makeup and sometimes other spa services like acupressure, body wraps and various body treatments. Some states may not require makeup artists to be licensed, but they may require some kind of makeup artist certification.

You may live in a state that does not have any education or licensing requirements to be a provider of makeup services, but getting some kind of training will be beneficial. Even an informal course with an experienced makeup artist can help you gain the experience, credibility and confidence needed to start your career.

If you do need to or decide to go to school, get a certification or take any type of makeup course, do your research! Find out what the school or course will provide for you in terms of hours, education and materials/supplies. Visit the school (or meet with the instructor if you will be doing private lessons) to make sure it is the right fit for you. Speak to current and past students if possible.

Verify that the school is accredited, if necessary. Find out what the cost will be, and if they offer student loans or payment plans, if that is something you would need. Confirm the length of the program, the schedule of classes and if there is a penalty for taking a leave of absence or going past the contracted date (some Cosmetology and Esthetics schools have these hidden charges). Get everything in writing and make sure that you fully understand any documents before signing. If your questions are brushed off, or you are made to feel that your questions or silly or you are asking too many, consider another school or course.

The proper education and training will set you up for a successful career, so choosing the right school or course is an important decision.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

How To Properly Cleanse Your Face

Bumble, oil cleanser, face cleanser, good skin tips
Cleanse first, swipe later. They’ll still be there.

I know what you did last night. Nope, not the Netflix binge. Or the Bumble swiping. Not that nightcap either. I’m talking about the part when you thought about washing your face, but decided it wasn’t necessary. Busted!

Ok, so maybe you didn’t do that last night. But you have done it. And that’s not cool, B. Not removing your makeup and forgoing cleansing is a great way to cause breakouts, eye irritation and clogged pores. I understand it feels like one more thing you have to do at the end of a long day, but it’s not a difficult task. It only takes around five minutes, so you have the time.

Want to excel at taking your face off every night? Here’s a handy dandy how-to for you.

  1. Erase The Evidence. If you use anything other than an oil cleanser, you need to precleanse first. An oil makeup remover like Dermalogica Precleanse will get rid of any makeup, moisturizer, SPF, oil, dirt, etc. that’s been chilling on your face all day. You should be good with a dime-sized amount, or a little more after a heavy makeup day. Apply it to dry skin then massage it in. Avoid putting it directly on your eyes (although you can lightly use some on your lashes if you were wearing waterproof mascara). Then wet your hands and continue massaging it in, concentrating on the areas where you had more makeup on. The Precleanse will turn white and frothy after you do that. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry.
  2. Wash Away Your Sins. If you use an oil cleanser (Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil is my favorite), which I strongly recommend, you don’t need to precleanse. Although after a heavy makeup day, I suggest doing a double cleanse–one after the other–just in case. An oil cleanser is used just like the Precleanse. If you use a non-oil cleanser, those normally go on wet skin, but read the instructions on your bottle first.

    Josie Maran Argan Oil, oil cleanser
    You’ll love this oil cleanser.
  3. Pat Down. Pat–don’t rub–your face dry after cleansing. I’ve seen some vigorous face drying from people before, but keep in mind that repeated tugging on facial skin can cause sagging. Skin only has so much elasticity to offer and if you’re being rough with it, it’s going to bounce back slower and slower. Also, if you use a self tanner or have a spray tan, rubbing your face dry will remove some of the product.

So that’s it! What you do next depends on what your beauty regimen is. If you use hyaluronic acid, certain toners or serums, you’ll have a step (or a few) after cleansing. But let’s first focus on getting you to CONSISTENTLY remove your makeup and cleanse your face. You have zero chance at having clear skin if you are ignoring this beauty essential.

You got questions? I got answers. Comment away.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Work It, Girl: A 15 Minute Makeup How To For Bosses Like You

Here’s the cold, hard truth: part of your professional image is based on your appearance. I don’t like it either–sometimes even makeup artists want a break!–but studies say that people who look put together are typically taken more seriously and believed to be more competent, even before they say anything, than people who appear to have put in no effort. As an entrepreneur, I know I need to use every tool at my disposal to ensure that I’m doing the best I can in every part of my business, so if I can do something that will mean someone might take me seriously before I even speak, I’m on it.

This post is for my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners who also want to put their best face forward. I’m going to teach you how to do a basic, polished and semi-quick makeup look. Once you practice a few times and get used to how to do it, you can bang out this routine in 15 minutes. Along with whatever wardrobe and hair styling make sense for your profession, this makeup look will help with your professional image.

Ready?

  1. Eye Primer. If you want your eye makeup to stay on and last all day, you have to use this. And isn’t it your lucky day? I have a post all about how to prime those peepers, and which primer you should use to do it.
  2. Face Primer. You’ve already moisturized your face after your shower, right? Good job. Applying foundation primer while your eye primer drying is your next step then. A quarter-sized amount is plenty, and you can apply it with your hands, like you would with a moisturizer. Primer makes your foundation go on smoother and stay on longer. It doesn’t have to be an every day product, but if you are going to be at events, conferences or speaking to clients or investors all day, that’s a good time to use it. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is my favorite. If you are going to be on camera or photographed for anything related to your business, I recommend a mattifyer like MAC Oil Control Lotion if you have oily or combination skin. You can use that instead of a primer. Shiny skin is distracting in photos and on camera, but you can help eliminate it with a mattifyer.
  3. Lip Balm. Dry, cracked lips are not a good look on anyone. And if you put lipstick over those lips? Hot mess. Applying a clear lip balm like Glossier Balm Dotcom will make your lips look and feel their best, just like you do when you book a big client/gig or have a killer sales month. Applying lip balm at the beginning of your makeup routine gives it time to fully absorb before applying lipstick, should you choose to do that step.

    Glossier Balm Dotcom, lip balm, Glossier
    The bombest balm.
  4. Eye Makeup. When we are having a conversation with someone, they are (hopefully) looking at our eyes. They are subconsciously scanning our faces to see if we are honest and genuine, and that part of their impression of us comes from our body language and our expressions. Eyes play a big part in our expressions, so I say, frame them up. Depending on how far you go want to go with this, it can either take you one minute or five minutes. Here’s an easy how to for a polished eyeshadow look.
  5. Foundation. I’m calling it foundation because that’s what I prefer, but you can use a tinted moisturizer, BB cream or CC cream if that’s your jam. What’s important about what you choose is thatit matches your skin and evens out your skintone. I prefer a sheer foundation like MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation for dry and normal to dry skin, and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for normal to oily skin (with a mattifyer under it for oily skin). Apply that with your hands or a foundation brush and blend it with a buffing brush. Start with a quarter sized amount and add more if needed. The idea is not to layer on the product and create a makeup mask. Foundation and its associates, when applied correctly, are meant to even out the skintone so anything that goes over it has a good base to blend into.
  6. Brows. I strongly recommend getting your eyebrows professionally shaped, even if you only do so once a year then maintain on your own with tweezers. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are trim for those windows. Why ruin pretty windows with jacked up trim? A pro shaping followed by some light brow fill in can work wonders. Eyebrows can make a huge difference in your poloshed versus disheveled factor. You don’t need to go crazy with brow fill-in–please don’t go all Instaglam on me–but a little brow powder, pencil or gel applied correctly can make a world of difference. The tutorials below will be a bigger help than my words here.

    Benefit, natural brow fill in
    From Benefit Cosmetics. They know how to do a natural brow.
  7. Concealer. Foundation may minimize some of your areas of concern, if you have any. Concealer is there for what foundation doesn’t cover as well on its own. I’m talking blemishes, redness and dark undereye circles. (For severe redness and dark circles, a color corrector may be needed first.) A pigmented concealer with a thin consistency, like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, allows you to cover areas of concern without causing product build up. Nothing gives away “I stayed up working until 2:00am” like dark circles, so let concealer keep that a secret.
  8. Cheek Color. If you are tired and overworked (and you probably are if you are a business owner), your skin might look dull and washed out. A good cheek color will make you look much more awake and put together than you might feel some days. I like a good cream blush, like Make Up For Ever HD Cream Blush  because cream blushes blend well and often look more natural. Use your finger to apply a small amount to the apples of your cheeks and blend slightly upwards with another finger, a buffing brush or a makeup sponge. It’s like caffeine for your face!
  9. Top Lash Mascara. Mascara, like the way you take your coffee, is a personal preference. For the top lashes, I personally like Dior Diorshow Mascara and Too Faced Better Than Sex MascaraL’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara is, I think the, the best one at the drugstore level. If the eyes are the windows the to the soul and the eyebrows are the trim, eyelashes are the window treatments. (I can not take this analogy any further.) Wiggle your mascara wand at the roots of your lashes for volume, and hold at mid-lash level and lightly blink into it for length. Mascara makes everyone’s eyes look more open, awake and alert. It helps us fool people into thinking we always sleep well and never have nightmares about our companies closing…
  10. Powder. A good powder does two things 1) Sets the foundation so it stays in place and 2) Minimizes shine. You want to set your foundation so it stays on as long as possible because really, who has time to re-do their makeup? And shine, you see, can look like sweat, and never let ’em see you sweat. You can apply your powder with a sponge or a brush, but either way, press it onto the skin–don’t buff it in. Under the eyes, I recommend using a clean fluffy eyeshadow brush to lightly press it over your concealer, as that powder layer will act as a barrier to keep your bottom lash mascara from melting when it hits your concealer. This whole powder step for both your face and under your eyes is super important and won’t take more than one minute. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is a solid choice in this department.

    Rimmel Stay Matte, best drugstore powder
    Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder. This has been in my personal makeup bag for years.
  11. Bottom Lash Mascara. You can either use your regular mascara or get a beauty tubes mascara like Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara. Beauty tubes do not smudge, so if your mascara smudges even with powder over your undereye concealer, consider the tubes. You may want to skip this step on regular days, but I do recommend it if you are going to be filmed or photographed, as it really helps define the eyes.
  12. Lip Color. If you’re shy about lip color, you can knock out two steps at once by using a tinted lip balm. If you’re going to go full on lipstick, make sure the color you choose looks right with the top you are wearing. (The watermelon pink lipstick you love may look great when you have a white shirt on but will clash with a red sweater.) Using a lip brush to apply your lipstick will help keep it looking more polished, since that allows you to control the shape of the color at your liplines.
  13. Cheek Color Revisited. I like to use more cheek color–either cream or powder–at the end of my application to make it a little brighter, and because an extra layer will help it stay on longer. This is a completely skippable step, but if you’re a blush gal, I think you’ll like it. If you are being photographed and are doing your own makeup, definitely add some extra blush, as photography requires makeup to be a little more intense to show up in pictures.

This may seem like a lot of steps, but none of them on their own will take you more than five minutes. And I’m really breaking it down here, so that makes this post look long and maybe intimidating. But the actual process is not!

Other than helping you look more polished, a basic look like this will help take away from what I call “face distractions.” Whether they realize it or not, people experience split seconds of distraction when they see something that is “off” on a face. Shiny skin, uncovered blemishes, unruly eyebrows–you know what I’m talking about. If you surveyed a group of people, most would probably say that stuff would never distract them. That’s because they are not even realizing it. Trust me, I get hired on corporate shoots and commercials to take away physical distractions so the viewer/client/customer is focused on the message of the person they are watching, not a red nose, smudged mascara or a super shiny forehead.

I’ve linked to some tutorials below because sometimes you just need to see a makeup step in action. These tutorials were all done by true pros, so you can trust them. There are a ton of tutorials out there done by beauty influencers who don’t really know what they are doing, but I would never lead you astray like that.

You don’t have to do all or any of these steps every day, but it might be a good tool to use for when you are in the public eye, meeting with clients or promoting your company. This may seem like a lot, especially if you never wear makeup, but you can definitely do this. I mean, you run a business! This might be the easiest thing you do all day. But if you have questions, I have answers, so comment away.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Recommended Makeup Tutorials

Some of the steps are different in these, but that’s okay! They know what they are doing.

If you’re a gel liner girl.

A different type of basic eyeshadow look.

Lisa makes some really good points about work makeup. And this one is eyeliner-free, for those of you who aren’t liner fans.

Lisa’s take on eyebrows.

A great eyebrow tutorial. You don’t have to do the last two steps, but Charlotte gives some great tips to create a more stylized brow.

A solid foundation and concealer tutorial.

A quick bit on how to apply cream blush.

 

The Easiest Eyeshadow How To You’ll Ever Read

Some things I find scary: tornadoes, restaurants that don’t understand gluten allergies, Remy Ma. We all have our own fear factors, right? I’ve had a lot of clients and friends tell me they don’t wear eyeshadow because they are afraid they’ll mess it up. That should not be on the list of things anyone is afraid of! So if it’s on your’s, I’m going to help you get past it. No no, I insist. I’m going to teach you how to do a basic eyeshadow look that works on all eye colors, and with little tweaks, all eye shapes.

You in? Then let’s do this.

Step 1: Prime Time. If you want your eyeshadow to last, you have to prime first. It’s super easy, and you can read all about it here.

Step 2: Choose Your Weapons. You’re going to need three brushes: a dense eyeshadow brush, a fluffy eyeshadow brush and an angled eyeshadow/liner brush. My three favorites are from MAC, but take a look at these photos and see if you already have similar brushes. No need to buy what you already have. We tryin’ to keep our bank accounts healthy at A Pretty Addiction, right?

MAC 239 brush, MAC 239
MAC 239. Dense eyeshadow brush.
MAC 217 brush, MAC 217, fluffy eyeshadow brush, blending brush
MAC 217. Fluffy eyeshadow brush.
MAC 263, MAC 263 brush
MAC 263. Small angled brush.

Step 3: Shadowy Lady. You only need three eyeshadow colors for this basic eye makeup look. The first one should be a neutral, matte or satin shadow that is a couple shades lighter than your skin. (If you want to make your eyes look bigger, choose a shimmery version of that shade, as shimmer makes areas look big when light hits the shimmer particles.) The second color should be a matte brown that is a couple shades darker than your skin. And the third shadow should be a matte shade that is couple shades darker than that last shadow.

Step 4: Patty Cakes. Pick up that dense brush, dip it in the lightest eyeshadow, and pat it onto your lids up to the crease of your eye. You want to make sure that you pat the shadow on so that the maximum amount of product is applied. If you do a back and forth windshield wiper motion while applying lid shadow, it can get patchy. The point of this particular lid shadow is to brighten up your eye area and even the skin (pigmented matte shadow will hide the tiny veins and most of the discoloration that can appear on the lids). Use your fluffy brush to blend the edges near the crease and on the outer corners of your eyes. If you want the one minute version of this eyeshadow look, you are done now and can move on to mascara.

Step 5: Show Off Those Sockets. Use your fluffy brush pick up a little of the medium brown shadow. You only need to get shadow on the tip of the brush. That’s why I like the MAC 217 Blending Brush–it has a tapered tip to help you pick up the optimal amount of shadow. Tap the brush like you’re ashing a cigarette before applying the shadow. This eliminates the extra shadow which would otherwise drop onto your face and/or get too dark in spots when you apply it, making it hard to blend out. Place the brush on the outer corner of the crease of your eye, and move it back and forth towards your nose until you can see the color. A good blending brush will soften the edges as you windshield wiper motion that bad boy through the crease. The idea is to get a soft shadow there, adding some dimension to your eyes by highlighting your bone structure. If you have deep set eyes, apply that color slightly above the crease, as you might not want to enhance the crease unless you want your eyes to look more deep set (fine if you do, just not a look most people request.)

If you have hooded eyes or monolids, use your fluffy brush to apply that same shadow to the outer corners of your eyes instead of the crease, as your’s maybe be hard to see or nonexistent when your eyes are opem. That will be much more flattering to your eye shape. If you only have a couple minutes for your eyeshadow, you can stop here and move on to mascara.

See where that darker shade is? That’s where you put your medium shade, unless you have hooded or monolid eyes.
Where to put the second darkest shadow color on a monolid or hooded eye shape.

Step 6: Can You Define That For Me? Eyeliner gives the eyes definition. There are several different formulations and every color you can think of out there, but for this look, we’re talking about using an eyeshadow as a liner. That gives more of a soft focus effect than a pencil, gel or liquid liner, plus it’s easier to do and way more forgiving. Pick up that angled brush and dip it into the same eyeshadow you used in Step 5. Tap the brush to get rid of the excess shadow, then apply it to your bottom lashline. The key here is to get it as close to your lashes as possible. Repeat this step on the top lashes using the darkest eyeshadow. But at the corners, pull your brush up slightly. That will give the illusion that your eyes are uplifted, which is flattering on most people. If you feel confident with a pencil, gel or liquid liner, you can use that on your top lashline instead, but keep in mind that will take a little bit longer.

And now you’re done! You have created a polished, flattering eyeshadow look that will work for any occasion and go with any lip color. It may take a little practice, but you can definitely do this.

For more eyeshadow help (like if you were wondering what a “satin” eyeshadow is), check out this post.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Makeup Artist Dreaming: Make It Legal

Makeup artist licensing
You don’t need to do heavy research to find out if you need to be licensed to be a makeup artist in your state. This step should be pretty easy.

You have decided that you want to be a makeup artist. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out what you need to do to legally provide makeup services in your state. Get ready to do some research and find out what the laws and regulations are in your state. Do you need to be a licensed Cosmetologist or Esthetician? Is there a makeup certification or permit you need to get? Or can you just set up shop and start your career? Check with your state Board of Health or licensing board to ensure that you will be in compliance.

It is extremely important that you start your career off right, and finding out what you need to do legally is absolutely necessary. It’s fine to ask other makeup artists what they had to do, but make sure you verify any information. Laws change, and what a makeup artist in your state was required to do 10 years ago might be different than what is required now. It is your responsibility to find out what your state requires, and a few phone calls and/or Internet searches should give you that information. It won’t be a huge research project, but it is absolutely essential to starting your career as a makeup artist.

So what are you waiting for? Get researching!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

 

 

 

Product Review: Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel

Perfekt Skin Perfecting Gel
Little Miss (Not So) Per-fekt.

I love trying new products. Who doesn’t? And it’s just as fun for me to try them as it is to tell you what I think. Because if I recommend a quality product for you–or save you money by not buying an ineffective one–I feel like I’m doing my part as a conscientious pro makeup artist.

I tried the Radiant shade of the Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel a few years ago, and loved it. Don’t believe me? Here’s my proof.

Even though I loved it, it for some reason took me this long to try it again. It’s been on my list of Things to Buy for Myself for a while, but that list always gets pushed aside for Things To Buy for My Business. So I did what I do every November: I emailed my Things To Buy for Myself list to my mother, with the subject line “Christmas List.” I don’t expect her and my father to get me everything on the list for Christmas, but I figure it’s a good resource if they don’t know what to get me. (But don’t worry, my father always gets me some kind of “safety” gift. Flashlights, survival kits, other things I can’t remember because I lost them, etc.).

I know I sent my mother the correct link, but it looks like the Radiant shade became out of stock after I emailed her, so I ended up with the Translucent version. I specifically wanted the one that adds color to the face, so I was bummed when I realized this a few days after Christmas. (Not your fault, Mom!)

The Translucent Skin Perfection Gel can be worn alone or under makeup and claims to even skintone, minimize pores, control shine, reduce redness, smooth, prime and per-fekt. I’ll go ahead and give you my take on how well I think it does all of those things.

  1. Skintone Evening. Negative. Evening out the skintone requires pigment that will either blur or conceal imperfections. This product has no pigment, so I don’t know how they can make that claim!
  2. Pore Minimizing. This does minimize the appearance of pores, but I don’t think it works as well as my favorite, Benefit POREfessional.
  3. Shine Control. I did notice that my t-zone shine was minimized when I used this. I think MAC Oil Lotion is a better mattifyer with those who get really oily, but this product is good for the moderately oily folks.
  4. Redness Reduction. I don’t have much redness in my skin, but I sometimes get a little red around my nose. I tried this on that area on a day I noticed redness and saw no improvement. Products that reduce redness contain a green color correcting ingredient, so I’m skeptical of any clear product that claims to color correct.
  5. Smoothing. It’s a gel that has almost a silicone feel to it so yes, it feels smooth after you pat it on and for a little bit after. But I didn’t find it to have the same smoothing effect as a good moisturizer, hydrating mask or serum.
  6. Priming. This does work as a primer in the way that foundation applies nicely over it. It also seems to make my face makeup last longer, which is the other important job a good primer will do. I’ll test this again when my combo skin is more in its oily stage to see how well it works as a primer that extends face makeup longevity.
  7. Perfekting. Huh? Nonsense talk.

As you can tell, I’m not into this product. It doesn’t do everything it claims to, and I wasn’t blown away by how well it did the few things it does do. The blue and white packing is nice and it doesn’t have a strong or unappealing scent, so there’s that.

My overall take is that this product doesn’t do too much. I would rather use Benefit POREfessional and MAC Oil Control Lotion to minimize pores, control shine and prime. And if redness is an issue for you, I recommend Make Up For Ever Camouflage Cream in Green or Algenist Green Color Correcting Drops. Smoothing is best done with skincare products likes exfoliators, hydrating products and moisturizers.

I much prefer to write positive reviews, so I’ll be back with one of those soon.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Makeup Artist Dreaming: The Intro

How to be a makeup artist, makeup artist school
Is this your dream job?
Photo: Trevor Holden Photography
Hair: Alexandra Wilson for Allison Barbera Beauty
Makeup: Allison Barbera

 

You like makeup. You like applying makeup on yourself, and on family and friends. You like reading about and trying new beauty products. Does this translate into a career as a professional makeup artist? It can!

In this “Makeup Artist Dreaming?” series, I’m going to go over all of the basic info you need to figure out if makeup artistry is your dream job and if so, what you need to do to get there.

To figure out if makeup artistry might be the right job for you, I would first ask yourself these questions. (I will expand on these topics individually in future posts.)

  • Do I need to get licensed or certified in my state? The legal requirements vary from state to state, so your first step is to find out the laws where you live. Don’t be afraid to contact your state Cosmetology Board or Health Department with questions.
  • Should I go to school for Esthetics or Cosmetology, or take a makeup certification class? If you live in a state where you do not legally need to be licensed or certified, should you do it anyway? Keep in mind that while these programs cost money, they can make you more credible as a makeup artist. If you decide to attend a school or course, do your research, make visits, and of course, get everything in writing.
  • What kind of makeup do I want to do? Wedding makeup? Film makeup? Editorial makeup? Special effects makeup? There are many different areas of makeup artistry, and having a basic idea of what you are interested in will help narrow your focus and make starting your career easier. You can decide now and change your mind later, but having an idea of what you like best will give you direction.
  • Do I want to work for myself or for a company? You can work for yourself as a freelancer, and/or open your own company (and hire others to work for you). Or you can work at a salon or spa, a makeup counter, or for a beauty products company. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options, and a lot of it comes down to personality type and what kind of business environment you want to be in.
  • Am I truly passionate about makeup? If the answer is no, then don’t do it! Makeup artistry is a highly creative career, and it is my personal opinion that if you don’t love what you’re doing, it shows up on your client’s face. If you look at makeup artistry as just something you do to get a paycheck, and you count down the hours until you have to leave each day, you will never advance in your career. Your passion for the job has to be clear, because not only will that allow you to create quality work, but it is one of the components needed to book further jobs.

If you have answered these questions and think you are interested in becoming a makeup artist, stay tuned for further posts.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Product Review: Better Than Sex Mascara

 

Salt n Pepa, Let's Talk About Sex, Better Than Sex Mascara, Too Faced
Let’s talk about mascara.

I have lot of jokes about the name of this product, but I’ll let you think up your own. I will, however, tell you that the Salt-n-Pepa classic “Let’s Talk About Sex” has been in my head since I decided to write this review. (And now it’s in your’s, if you’re between 35 – 45.)

Y’all know I love my Dior Diorshow Mascara, but my local Sephora (when I was in RI) was out of it the last two times I went. I was not happy. But I needed a new tube and didn’t want to order one online because I was about to leave for my temporary winter home, with a couple stops for family stuff in between. So I asked the Sephora rep which mascara was closest to Diorshow, and she mentioned Too Faced Better Than Sex and a Marc Jacobs one. I’ve had several clients tell me they liked Better Than Sex, so I figured that was the way to go.

First, packaging. It comes in a heavy, pink chrome tube that reminds me of a nail polish color from Sally Hansen’s Chrome nail polishes that were popular in the 90s. (If you know “Let’s Talk About Sex,” you probably remember that nail polish too.) It’s probably the heaviest mascara tube I’ve ever come across. Surprisingly, I feel neutral about that. The cap stays on really well, so no issues with the product drying out due to sub-par packaging.

Sally Hansen Chrome Nail Makeup, Sally Hansen Nail Polish
Remember this stuff?

The wand is on the bigger side, which I like, and is standard wand material–none of that spiky, rubber crap. Too Faced claims the bristles are extra thick, and I suppose they are compared to other bristles I’ve encountered, but I’m not sold on that making a big difference. Maybe it does though, because I like the mascara and a good mascara is usually due to both product and wand. The wand is hourglass shaped and “inspired by a woman’s body.” I don’t get how that shape would make any difference in the application, and I find that dip in the middle kind of pointless.

But, the product is good. I wasn’t sold on it the first day, but I think that was because I wasn’t putting on as many coats as I usually do of Diorshow. Better Than Sex layers really well, and provides both volume and length. It’s also inky black, which I love. Like any thickening mascara, it clumps up a little when you apply it. But ladies–comb through your lashes! I do that with every mascara, and I know a lot of other pros do the same.

I did an Instagram post about Better Than Sex the day I bought it, and a few people said they found it very smudgy. I haven’t experienced any smudging when I’ve worn it on my top lashes only. I’ve worn it on my bottom lashes a few times too (I normally use another mascara for that) and yes, I saw minimal smudging on those days. But I get that from most non-beauty tubes or non-waterproof mascaras I wear on my bottom lashes. I’m talking tiny little smudges four or five hours later that I can gently wipe off with my finger, not Courtney Love style.

Courtney Love, Courtney Love makeup, Courtney Love eyeliner
Although I kind of like it.

I wonder if some of the smudging people have experienced comes from not using an eye primer or not applying powder to their undereye area after concealer. Eye primer (on the top lid) and powder (over undereye concealer) create barriers between the natural oils in the skin and mascara, because when oil and mascara meet, it gets messy.

Better Than Sex Mascara is not waterproof, but I found that I have to use an oil precleanse or oil cleanser to fully remove it. When oil dissolves the product, it does tend to come off in flaky way, almost like a fiber mascara (but the flakes are much smaller). If you pack on mascara like I do, I think you’ll have trouble getting it off with a cream cleanser or makeup wipe (neither of which I recommend for makeup removal anyway).

I have to say, I really like the Better Than Sex Mascara. It has more positive than negative attributes, at least in my book. Am I still going to get Diorshow the next time I go to Sephora? (Hopefully my local store in SC has it in stock.) Yes. But will I alternate between the two? I do believe so.

If you like inky black, lengthening, volumizing mascaras and you want to get a workout every time you pick up the tube, Better Than Sex Mascara may be worth a try.

Have a beautiful day 🙂