Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow palette

 

In theory, choosing an eyeshadow should be simple. Pick the color you want and apply it. But like deciding where to go for dinner when you are with a group of people or coming up with a response to that cute guy’s initial text, it’s not easy. Too bad you don’t have a professional makeup artist who loves to give unsolicited beauty advice at your disposal…

I want to make your life less confusing–the opposite of what that cute guy texting you seems to be doing–so let me walk you through eyeshadow terms you have probably heard or might hear in the future.

 

FINISHES

matte eyeshadow

Matte: Flat with no shine or sparkle. Matte shadows do not reflect light. They typically give the highest color payoff, but a cheap matte shadow can be patchy.

MAC Phloof

Frost: Frost shadows have light reflecting particles that give off a shiny effect. Great for highlighting the center or inner corners of the eyes, but can draw attention to wrinkles and creases.

satin eyeshadow, eyeshadow finishes

Satin: Matte with a little bit of sparkle shot through it. The tiny light reflecting particles in satin shadows give off a sheen, but the effect is very subtle. It’s like the kitten heel of eyeshadows. If you like some shine to your eyeshadow but don’t want to accentuate crepey skin, a satin shadow might work for you.

Motives eyeshadow

Pearlized: Satin’s big sister. Pearlized shadows aren’t quite frosts, but they pack more of a punch than satins.

Metallic gold

Metallic: These shadows are meant to look like actual metals–gold, silver, bronze, etc. Their light reflecting particles are usually larger. Because of this, they can’t be as tightly packed as matte shadows, which means they are more like to cause fallout.

Shimmer eyeshadow

Shimmer: Contains light reflecting particles. Shimmer is a broad term that encompasses pearlized, frost and metallic finishes.

Velvet eyeshadow

Velvet: This finish is very soft and buttery. It can contain no shimmer, a little shimmer or full-on shimmer. Cheaper velvet shadows may not adhere well to the skin.

 

 

FORMULATIONS

Naked palette

Powder: The most common type of eyeshadow. It can come as a single shadow, a duo, trio, quad or larger palette. Powder eyeshadows are usually applied with a brush.

Chanel eyeshadow

Stick: Creamier than a powder and easy to apply. You draw it on, then blend with a brush or your finger. Some stick shadows are very sheer, “slippery” and wear off easily, others are more opaque and long-lasting.

Waterproof eyeshadow

Cream: Cream shadows typically come in a little jar. The can come in any finish. Cream shadows, like stick shadows, can be slippery and wear off easily. Some companies make long-lasting and/or waterproof cream shadows. You can apply them with a brush or fingers.

Eyeshadow pigments

Pigment: Pigments are loose, highly concentrated powder eyeshadows. A good pigment will give you strong color payoff with minimal product. They adhere best to the skin when placed over a cream shadow or primer. I find them easiest to apply with a brush.

I hope I have answered all of your burning questions about eyeshadows. Have a beautiful day :)

My Beauty Philosophy: Part 2

Allison Barbera makeup

I love putting makeup on my face. Always have, and I suspect I always will. It accessorizes my outfits, allows me to express my mood and has the power to turn my outlook around. You’ve read Part 1 (unless you’re the kind of non-conformist who starts in the middle of a series and works backwards), My Beauty Philosophy as it relates to others, so here’s your chance to read about my personal beauty philosophy. In other words, it’s your lucky day.

I think each of us has a multitude of makeup looks that we can technically pull off (meaning the makeup is applied in a flattering way with colors and textures that work with our skin type and overall coloring). But we all have our preferences within those looks, and this post is about mine.

My Big Three. All of my looks fall under one of three categories–Work Makeup, Minimal Makeup or Cocktail Makeup. Do I always stick to these guidelines with no exceptions? Hell no. But since I made the rules myself, and I only hold myself to them, they don’t feel restricting.

Since my career encompasses different types of jobs as well as meetings, Work Makeup has subcategories. They are: Corporate or Film Job Makeup (conservative–no bright colors or smokey eyes), Wedding Job Makeup (full on, long-lasting makeup with a pop of color on the lips or at the lower lashline), Photoshoot Job Makeup (can be more creative, depending on the photographer and the client) and Meetings Makeup (like Corporate/Film, but often with a stronger eye or red lip).

Minimal Makeup is what you will find me wearing on the days when I don’t have any clients or meetings, but am working from home and will leave the house at some point in the day (probably at 5:00pm, when I’m starving and craving a burger with goat cheese, no bun). Minimal Makeup is undereye concealer, powder to set that and mascara. This is the amount of makeup I need to not scare myself when I walk by a mirror. Seeing my dark circles immediately makes me feel tired, and seeing my bare lashes just makes me sad. My Minimal Makeup is like coffee for my soul–it perks me up and gives me the energy to answer emails, phone calls and do the tasks that are essential for running my beauty empire. It also only takes a couple of minutes, which is perfect because I need all the time I can get when I’ve got my Business Owner and Manager hat on.

Cocktail Makeup is my term for the makeup I apply before any type of social engagement. A summer afternoon out with a friend, a birthday party, Happy Hour–they all get the Cocktail Makeup treatment. I call it that because unless I have clients or work related appointments after my social plans, I have a cocktail while doing my makeup. One of my greatest pleasures in life is listening to Hip Hop BBQ on Pandora while sipping a vodka-and-something drink and creating a killer makeup look. This ritual started in college (the soundtrack was provided by Napster then) and like the student loans I also acquired up during college, has stuck around since. For me, sometimes the best part of doing something social is the getting ready process. When I have the chance, I love to take 45 minutes to do my makeup. Like really do it. The exact look changes depending on the event, my mood and my outfit, but there are no restrictions.

Italian to the Core. I don’t always have the time to do a full makeup on myself, but when I do (and this is really only for Cocktail Makeup), I like to go hard. I’m not afraid of wearing makeup, and I’m not afraid of people knowing I’m wearing makeup. Sure, a natural look may work great on other people, but I like dark eyeliner. I like a shit ton of mascara. I like foundation…and blush…and bronzer or a light contour. I’ve been to Italy twice, and I noticed that the women in Florence, Rome and Milan are just like me. They don’t try to pretend their blush is just flushed cheeks and their eyelashes are naturally that long and thick. These women are done up–hair, makeup, nails–and driving motorini in tight pencil skirts and heels. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. We are not afraid to look like we spent time doing our makeup, because we did. I find that to be much more honest than the “effortless” (another post coming about that one) thing that some people do. Why spend an hour applying your makeup to look like you didn’t spend time applying your makeup? I don’t get it, and I don’t think I ever will. Now pass me my kohl liner and a red lipstick, please. Grazie.

Mood Makeup. I use makeup as a tool to help me get into the mood for whatever I am doing. Giving a presentation about my business? My makeup is going to be polished and full on, because that helps me feel more confident and ready. Freezing cold and hating New England in February? That’s when I do bright or beachy makeup to lift my spirits and trick my brain into thinking summer is not far away. Going out on the prowl with one of my single girl friends? Now, I’m quite sure this is something I have never done. But if it was–and this is purely hypothetical–there would be some kind of smouldering eye makeup and bronzed-but-not-overdone face going on. My point is, makeup helps me get into the role of whatever part of my personality I am bringing out that day. (There’s a reason actors use hair, makeup and wardrobe to “get into character.”) Whether it’s Girlboss, Warm Weather Optimistic or Heartbreaker, there is a makeup look I can do that shows on the outside what I’m feeling like inside. This is one of those magical things about makeup, and a big reason why I love it so much.

Not My Chair, Not My Problem.* I mean this in the nicest way: I don’t really care what you think I should or shouldn’t be wearing. I don’t care if a HuffPost article tells me men don’t like women who wear bright lipstick (in fact, that makes me want to wear it more). I don’t care if you think I shouldn’t be wearing a teal and navy eye makeup look at 9:00am on a Tuesday morning. I’m not interested in some magazine’s “Do’s and Don’ts” rules for what I put on my own face. If it bothers you, you can close your eyes while you are talking to me. Just know that I will absolutely use that opportunity to stick my tongue out at you.

So now you know where I stand (I’m sure you were dying to find out). If you don’t already have your own beauty philosophy, I encourage you to create one. Stand by it when challenged, but change it as you want. It’s your philosophy, and there is no right or wrong way to approach what you use makeup for. If anyone tells you otherwise, stick your tongue out at them…

Have a beautiful day :)

 

*10 virtual beauty points if you get that reference.

My Beauty Philosophy: Part 1

Wedding makeup in Newport

“Do you ever look at a woman walking down the street and see things about her makeup you want to fix?” I have been asked variations of this question for as long as I have been doing makeup. And the answer is “no.”  Every makeup artist has their own views on makeup and beauty, and I’d like to tell you mine. This is going to be a two part blog post. Part 1 is about my beauty philosophy in regards to others, and Part 2 will be about my personal beauty philosophy.

This is how I see it.

Focus on the good. At the core of my beauty philosophy is my opinion (which I actually consider to be more of a fact) that everyone has something beautiful about their face. When I look at someone, I don’t zone in on a blemish, thin lips or uneven eyebrows. I see gorgeous bone structure, glowing skin, pretty green eyes, crazy thick eyelashes, etc. What stands out to me is what is naturally beautiful about their face. And what I like about makeup is that it can enhance any of those features. When a client is in my chair, I apply their makeup in a way that brings out that feature or features. I’m not huge on corrective makeup. You won’t find me contouring the hell out of people’s faces or packing on foundation to get a “flawless” finish. (I have used the word “flawless” before but I don’t like it, hence the passive aggressive quotes). I cover what I think needs to be covered to make the person feel comfortable (they often start by saying “I have such dark circles!” or “I hate that I woke up with this zit today,” so I often know what they dislike from the get-go). I look at covering or correcting areas that bother a client as the technical part of my job and bringing out the beauty as the artistic part.

Do you. You don’t want to wear makeup? That’s cool! I am a big believer in doing what works for you. I have lots of clients who are nurses or teachers (props to you ladies, by the way–your jobs are so important) and they have told me it doesn’t make sense for them to put on a full face of makeup for their jobs. And there are some people who are just not into makeup. I think that’s great! Whatever makes sense for your lifestyle and whatever you feel comfortable doing is what you should be doing. I’m not the type of makeup artist who thinks everyone should wear makeup. I say wear as much or little as you want, and rock it with confidence. Yes, I write how-to blog posts and give makeup tips, but those are for people who want to learn or experiment. I don’t think anyone has to wear makeup or has to do it my way, or Bobbi Brown’s way, or some YouTube artist’s way.

Bringing out inner beauty. Sounds super cheesy, right? But let me explain what I mean. Overall, I feel good. I am generally pretty optimistic and consider myself to be a happy person. I try to be a great friend and daughter/sister/niece/cousin. I’m no saint, but I would like to think I’m at least kind of a good person :) I’m feel lucky to have so many awesome people in my life and I feel grateful that I have been able to create a lifestyle that I love. All positive things, right? But on the days when I wake up with dull looking skin or darker-than-usual-undereye circles, I feel like my exterior does not match how I feel. So my current favorite foundation and some concealer, and maybe a bright lip color or pretty cream blush perks me up so when I look in the mirror, I think “Now this all makes sense.” And that is what I try to do for my clients. I meet so many wonderful people who have inner beauty in spades (along with some naturally beautiful features, of course) so I think it’s also part of my job to help show that inner beauty on the outside.

Self expression, man. Imagine if we all had to walk around with the same hairstyle, same outfit and no makeup. Of course there would be other ways of expressing ourselves, like with, I don’t know, interpretive dance and poetry. But isn’t it nice that that scenario is not real and we have makeup we can play with? (And you can dance and write poems while wearing makeup!) Maybe you wear a bright pink lipstick on the first nice day of spring, because you’re excited for warm weather and the anticipation of your favorite time of year. Or you’re feeling badass, so you line your eyes with kohl liner and dare someone to mess with you. Or you’ve been into watching old movies, so you take some inspiration from Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren and do a retro makeup look. All of those things allow you to express yourself in different ways via the magic of makeup.

So that’s where I stand. I don’t judge anyone for the makeup they wear or don’t wear. My job (and my passion) is to give people a little confidence boost by bringing out their natural and inner beauty and to encourage self expression. Makeup may literally be on the surface, but it’s not a superficial thing.

Have a beautiful day :)

 

Photo Credit: Rebecca Arthurs Photography, http://www.rebecca-arthurs.com. Makeup by Allison Barbera.

A Perfect Pick Me Up Lip: Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain Review

You know that accessory you have that makes every outfit instantly look better? (Mine is a Biggie Smalls necklace.) The makeup version of that is a bright or intense lip color. I personally go for bright over intense, because with my light skin and black hair (with blue at the ends) anything vampy or dark makes me look like Elvira. I love the idea of a vampy look and am a huge fan of an oxblood or black cherry lip on a blonde or redhead, but on me, bright usually works better.

To get my bright lip fix, I used to automatically go for orange reds, like MAC Lady Danger. But a while back, my cousin, Saint Maria Goretti, gave me a Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Rendezvous, a pretty coral (more on the orange than pink side of coral). It instantly turned me into a coral lip girl. Rendezvous has become a staple in my personal makeup bag. I wear it at least once a week. I find myself reaching for it when I either a) Don’t have much time but want to look like I put effort into my look or b) Am feeling blah and need a pick me up.

Circumstance A happens a lot when I’m crazy busy working on a shoot or during wedding season. During those days or months, I don’t have much time to put on makeup. But Rendezvous, in combination with my My Super Quick Everyday Look, makes me look pulled together even when I’m so busy I don’t know what day, month or year it is (I’m not exaggerating–I once thought it was August in November). In case you missed it, here’s how I do my Super Quick look: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/my-super-quick-everyday-look/

Circumstance B happens for most of the winter. When it’s mid-February and there is no end in sight to the short days, daily snowstorms and bitter cold, I have to fake myself into thinking summer is near or I risk losing my shit completely. When I’m on the verge of a seasonal breakdown, I often bring out the Jergens Natural Glow, a turquoise eyeliner or now, my Rendezvous Balm Stain. I do this in hopes that my summer makeup fools my brain into thinking it’s warm out, even if only for two seconds.

The ColorBurst Balm Stain is a gel formulation. Rendezvous has a sheen to it and feels pretty moisturizing. You can easily build up the coverage, and the color payoff is good. It’s reasonably long-lasting, which surprised me as even decently longwear products can be tough to find at the drugstore level.  This is one of those big lip crayons, like a Clinique Chubby Stick, so you’re not going to get a precise line with it. (I like more of a blurry line on my own lips, because I think it makes them look bigger, so I like this aspect.) When it starts to wear down, you just twist the top to bring more product up.

I found this to be an easy, wearable and inexpensive (retails between $6.80-$8.99) lip product. This particular shade may not be for everyone, but they have several colors in the line. Even if you are not usually into a pop of color on your lips, why not give it a try? It’s spring time–have some fun! ;) I think it really is worth experimenting with a brighter lip color. The right color can brighten up your face and bring out your eye color. And if you buy it at CVS, you can return it as long as you have the receipt. So you have nothing to lose! At least consider it for me, would you?

Have a beautiful day :)

My Super Quick Everyday Look

To those of you who are under the impression that makeup artists are always in full perfect makeup, I hate to burst your bubble but…we are not. In fact, the busier the artist is, the less likely they seem to consistently wear full makeup. I personally always do for weddings and for most other jobs, but on the days when I don’t have clients, I am Low Maintenance Lucy.

On my non-job days (which usually means I am in front of my computer and/or doing business errands all day), I often do the same 5 minute makeup. This makeup won’t necessarily work for everyone, but if you are like me–have combination but blemish-free light skin, some darkness under the eyes and eyebrows that don’t need to be filled in–this could work for you.

Here’s what I do:

1)  I apply moisturizer all over my face. The exact one changes by season and skin status, but I often find myself using Cera Ve in the fall and winter and Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer in the spring and summer. If they don’t contain sunscreen, I apply that first.

2) MAC Select Coverup in NW20 goes under my eyes. (This goes after a very thin layer of moisturizer, which I allow to absorb for about 20 seconds.)

3) I blend the Select Coverup with a MAC 224 brush, then use whatever is left on the brush on my eyelids up to my browbones. The skin on my eyelids is so light and thin that you can sometimes see little veins if there isn’t some coverage there. Thank you, Irish genetics.

4) I use L’Oreal Carbon Black Mascara on my top lashes only.

5) Benefit POREfessional goes around my nose/front part of cheeks and on my forehead.

6) I apply Rimmel Stay Matte in 001 Transparent under my eyes with the 224 brush.

7) I apply a light wash of the Stay Matte onto my lids and up to my browbones. It says transparent, but it has some very light pigment that matches my skintone, so it really evens out the area.

8) I apply L’Oreal Carbon Black Waterproof to my lower lashes. I am prone to lower lash smudging, so this works best for me.

That’s it! When I get into my car or to my office, I usually end up applying whatever lip balm is there, but no lipstick or gloss.

I love doing a full makeup on myself, but it saves me time to to this Super Quick look. There are many things one might say I have too much of–lipstick, yoga pants, Biggie paraphernalia–but one thing I don’t have much of is time. So if I can save 15-30 minutes a day by doing a 5 minute makeup, I gots to do it.

Have a beautiful day :)

 

 

My Thoughts on Mascara

I was a Diorshow Girl for a long time, and I recently made the switch to L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. (Read the post here: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/lashing-out-2/ ) After reading my post, few other Diorshow Girls I know told me they were planning to buy tubes of Carbon Black. Strangely, I started to mildly panic. I stand by my views and have made the switch, but I’m also someone who a) has naturally thick, decently long black lashes and b) likes an inkier, black look for myself and for clients who are being photographed. Some people have thinner lashes, so they may prefer a drier formula like Diorshow to give them some extra texture. And not everyone likes a more dramatic black look for everyday wear. (There are also some application tips for any mascara that I will write a post about soon that influence my views on different mascaras.). I should have mentioned those things in my original Carbon Black post–sorry about that!

So I feel like I need to explain myself. When it comes down to it, mascara is such a personal thing. What works on me and/or many of my clients may not work on you (which is really true about any product). For every person who loves the Urban Decay Naked Palette, there is one person who hates it. Lady Danger lipstick by MAC is a cult favorite, but I’d bet money there are people who think it’s hyped up. Mascara–or any other product–that I love or recommend is not going to be a everyone’s favorite, but I do think my experience allows me to recommend products that work well on more people than not.

So if you don’t like Carbon Black or any other product I have recommended, I am sorry! But according to the feedback I’ve gotten, most of the recommendations I have made have worked out for people. And if you try something that I have raved about and you don’t like it, let me know. It might be a matter of technique or how it interacts with the other products you are using. I’m here to help!

Have a beautiful day :)

1960s Beauty

Because of the multitude of different looks, the 1960s is my favorite decade in terms of beauty. If you have any memory of high school history class, you know that the 1960s was an era of big changes. Civil rights, women’s rights, the sexual revolution, the start of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War–this was not a quiet decade. Political and social changes happened at a rapid pace, and the younger generation was heavily involved.

In terms of beauty and fashion, the sexual revolution and the re-emergence of the feminist movement strongly impacted the average woman. By the mid 60s, she no longer felt as constrained by the male’s definition of what she should look like. Hot pants and bikinis became popular, marking the first time women routinely showed that much skin in public. Many women felt they no longer needed to wear what their fathers or husbands deemed appropriate for them, so whether that meant miniskirts and go go boots or bell bottoms and paisley tunics, they didn’t all conform to a man’s standards.

The re-emergence of feminist movement effected women in two ways in regards to beauty. Some revolted and didn’t wear makeup at all, while others embraced makeup and wore it as a badge of honor, like many suffragettes had done some 50 years before.  In the 60s, it was finally up to women what they wanted to do. There were of course still trends, which many blindly followed, but it was unlike past decades because women did not feel they only had one or two options.

“The Single Girl,” a fashion photography look, was meant to represent movement. The Single Girl was young, single (duh), independent and active. She didn’t have to depend on a male for her financial or emotional needs. Empowering, right? Except for the part where she was also supposed to have an almost adolescent figure. Model Jean Shrimpton popularized this look.

In terms of hair and beauty, the early 60s looked like the late 50s, as is the way with the beginning of any decade. Just because the ball drops on New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean new hair, makeup and fashion trends immediately begin. So early 60s makeup brought in the black winged liner of the 50s, as well as the popular late 50s frosted eye shadows and coral lips. Hair, makeup and fashion were still very ladylike, inspired by women like Jackie Kennedy and Ann Margret. By the mid 60s, lips were often light, almost white beige. (They got darker at the end of the decade, with brown reds becoming popular.) There was a trend of pink lipstick on the bottom lip and red on top, but it didn’t become a huge look. Foundation was still used, but not as heavily as in the 50s. Blush was normally light pink or peach, but it wasn’t a standout part of most women’s looks.

The cut crease eyeshadow look was popularized by British model Twiggy, with her white shadow on the lid and dark shadow in the crease. Black eyeliner was used on top and bottom lashlines and was usually winged out on top. Mascara–often tube mascara but still sometimes block form–was loaded on top and bottom lashes, and sometimes bottom lashes were painted on with eyeliner. False lashes were extremely popular and used on both top and bottom. White eyeliner was often used on the bottom waterline to emphasize this doll-eye look. This cut crease, heavy-lashes eye makeup look was very popular in the mid 60s.

When it came to the all important eyebrow, some women threw out the brow pencil and went with a more natural look, while others did the opposite by shaving their eyebrows off and penciling them back in. From my research, it looks like more women (thankfully) chose the former. In the 1960s, you didn’t see much of the highly arched brows that were popular in the 50s.

French Actress Brigitte Bardot had a different take on 60s beauty. She did her own twist on a smokey eye with blacks and browns. Her skin was tan and not caked with foundation. Her cheeks were a light peach, and her lips were a pale matte color. She wore her hair long, wavy and teased. She was the sexpot of the 60s.

Another look that was en vogue for a lot of the younger population was the hippie look.  Hippies didn’t typically wear much (or any) traditional makeup, but often drew colorful flowers and peace signs on their faces. Their hair was usually long, straight and center-parted and maybe topped with a flower crown. The completely naturally hippie look, demonstrated by people like musician Janis Joplin, was a true no makeup-makeup and wash-and-go hair (with the washing part optional for some).

As far as the beauty industry, Max Factor, Revlon, CoverGirl, Coty, Maybelline and Yardley were the big players in the American market. Welsh clothing designer, Mary Quant, created a cosmetic line for her “miniskirt wearing customers.”Helena Rubenstein, Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden continued to rule the luxury cosmetics sector.

Polished, perfect hair reigned in the early 60s, but it was much bigger than it had been ten years before. Vidal Sassoon introduced the bob in 1963. Beehives (updo or half up style) and bouffants remained popular until the late 60s. Straight, center-parted hair (literally often ironed on an ironing board–ahem, Mom) became popular in the mid-late 60s. Wigs were popular, as were hair pieces to help pump up the volume. Many African American women started wearing their hair natural, and the Afro peaked late 60s through the early 70s. Head scarves were popular for much of the decade.

There was a drastic change in beauty and fashion from 1960 to 1969. The television series Mad Men did an excellent job of showing this transformation. The drastic changes in appearances coincided with the drastic changes in America at the time. There was upheaval  in many areas, and it was both an exciting and scary time for the country.

But I’m not historian (just a bit of a history geek, if you can’t tell), so I’ll stick to what I know. As a makeup artist, I love doing 1960s looks both on clients and on myself. Big hair, black eyeliner, lots of lashes, pale lips–I can’t get enough of that Priscilla Presley look. There is some element of 1960s beauty that will appeal to almost anyone. So take some Swinging 60s inspiration and apply it your look. It’ll be boss, man.

Have a beautiful day :)

*Double click on the images above to see them in greater detail*

Meet The AB Beauty Team HAIR STYLISTS

You met our makeup artists last week, so now it’s time for me introduce you to the hair magicians of Allison Barbera Beauty.

Alexandra Eisemann, Hair Stylist

Oceancliff hair and makeup

 

I can’t say enough about Alex’s work. She is so talented and the styles she creates are Pinterest-worthy. She is a master of not only duplicating styles from inspiration pictures, but creating a look for a client who doesn’t know what they want. Alex is in super high demand for weddings, and she does a lot of photoshoot work. She has done StyleWeek Providence, and her work has been featured on The Rhode Show. She also has her own one chair salon in Warwick, where she does cuts and color  for many loyal clients. Alex is so easy to work with and all of our clients enjoy having her around. She is reliable, flexible and hard working–the kind exact type of person I want representing my company. Alex is a huge asset to Allison Barbera Beauty, and I am so thrilled that she is on the team.

Ana Araujo, Hair Stylist

Ana 2

 

Ana has been with AB Beauty for longer than anyone else in the company–she was the second person I ever hired. When I got her resume, I noticed that she had worked at a salon where another stylist I knew worked. So I contacted that stylist, and she gushed about Ana. That was absolutely justified–you can’t say enough good things about Ana. She is a consummate pro–there is nothing she can’t handle. Braids were a huge wedding trend for a while, and Ana was the queen of that trend. She is meticulous with her work and listens intently to her clients’ wants and needs. Many of our reviews about Ana mention how she is such a calming presence at weddings. It’s so true. If Ana gets frazzled, which I doubt, it certainly doesn’t show! Ana’s portfolio is beautiful. Any time a potential client looks at it, they are sold. In addition to working for AB Beauty, Ana has a steady stream of clients at The Hair Studio, the salon she works at in Tiverton. You can’t go wrong booking hair services with this superstar.

Emily Buffi, Hair Stylist

RI bridal updo

Emily was with AB Beauty for a few years when we first started and quickly became very popular with brides. She also did a lot of photoshoot work and became a photographer favorite. Emily wowed everyone with her ability to create anything from beachy waves to 1930s Hollywood Glamour looks to elegant updos. She left for a while to focus on her jewelry company, That Hippie Chic (thathippiechic.etsy.com or follow on Instagram at thathippiechicaccessories) and is now back with us for this wedding season. I was SO excited when Emily said she would like to re-join the team. Besides being mega-talented and professional, Emily is laidback, easy to work with and fun to have around. There’s a reason people were still requesting her a year after she left! I’m so excited to see more hair masterpieces done by Emily this year. (Photo credit: Peter Silvia, http://www.petersilvia.com)

Kerri Bakalalis, Hair Stylist

Ashley 4

 

Kerri came highly recommended by another beauty pro, so I knew she would be a good fit. Kerri joined us last fall and she has been a great addition to our team. She is the ultimate polished professional, and could not be any nicer. Our clients always love the beautiful hair styles Kerri creates, and they always say “She was so nice!” Kerri is dependable, genuine, easy to work with and super talented. She really takes the time to listen to what each client wants and works with them to make sure they are 110% happy. It’s obvious that Kerri takes her job as a hair stylist very seriously, even though has another job as a dental hygienist and is a mom (When does this woman sleep?). Since Kerri is new to the company, I don’t have any pro pictures of her work yet, but the one above was taken at a bridal trial. I’m psyched to have Kerri on the team and look forward to seeing the hair styles she creates at the many weddings she is already booked at this season.

Lindsay Cardinale, Hair Stylist

Lindsay Cardinale
Photo credit: Julie Furtado. RI

 

Lindsay also came highly recommended from another beauty pro/salon owner who I have known for years. Lindsay loves weddings. Loves loves loves them. Whether it’s 6:00am or 1:00pm, Lindsay shows up happy, energized and ready to work (this is especially impressive when you learn she has a young child at home!). Lindsay is big believer in making the wedding day hair services a true experience. She often gives her client a shoulder massage while chatting them up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a wedding job where Lindsay was already with a client and thought “Oh, she must know that person.” Nope! She is just super friendly and makes everyone feel at ease. Besides creating gorgeous wedding styles for AB Beauty, Lindsay works at Newport salon, Natural Creations. (Photo credit: Julie Furtado, Rhode Island)

Liz Tucker, Hair Stylist

Liz

A couple of years back, I was having trouble finding a new hair stylist. I asked around and a hair stylist/fellow beauty services company owner I know recommended Liz. I saw pictures of her work and was sold. Liz is confident, experienced and efficient–all musts for wedding and event jobs. She makes creating the perfect updo or “Oh my God, I love it!” downstyle look effortless. There are many times I have been beyond impressed with Liz’s work, and one time was this past summer. It was a rainy, humid July day and the mother of the bride had naturally curly, frizzy hair. Liz gave her a super sleek blowout and it stayed the whole day (I saw the pictures that prove it). Liz is a great communicator and easy to talk to. When not with AB Beauty, Liz works at Eden XO in Cranston, where she has a loyal following of regular clients. Liz is a true pro and a definite asset to the Allison Barbera Beauty team. (Photo credit: CC Design Studio www.ccdesignstudio.com)

I don’t know how to create the gorgeous wedding styles Alex, Ana, Emily, Kerri, Lindsay and Liz do, but I know enough to recognize how talented they are. It is not easy to design a hair style that works with a client’s hair type, length, color, face shape and their dress, but these stylists do it every time.

For more pictures of the AB Beauty team’s hair styling work, check out www.allisonbarbera.com

Have a beautiful day :)

Meet The AB Beauty Team MAKEUP ARTISTS

In the early years, Allison Barbera Beauty was Allison Barbera Makeup Artistry (Facebook still won’t let me change the damn name). It was a one-woman show–just me, just makeup services. By the end of my third wedding season, I was turning down more weddings than I was booking. Why? Because due to unfortunate quantum physics restraints, I can only be in one place at a time. Also, brides were booking larger and larger groups–an average of eight people at that time–and some did not want to start as early as I would need to to do all eight services myself.

It broke my entrepreneurial heart to have to turn down business because I couldn’t do two weddings at once and to lose clients who just wanted another makeup artist. So I hired Marissa, a makeup artist and hair stylist. Hair stylist, you say? So I could accommodate more brides–the ones I was losing because they wanted to book hair and makeup with the same company? Done. (Marissa is not with my company regularly anymore, but still does a few weddings with each season. She is a fantastic artist and stylist who has a great sense of humor and had a lot of patience with my changing policies as I figured out how to grow the company.)

I now have a top notch team of professional, talented, punctual artists and stylists who are passionate about what they do. They are all independent contractors–which means they have other jobs outside of AB Beauty–so they book up very quickly. All of my artists and stylists get along well and work together seamlessly. There is no gossip or bad blood. I would like to think I have good intuition, and I know from the first interview whether or not an artist or stylist would fit in with the team. If I have even a little bit of doubt about that, no matter how talented they are, I don’t hire them. I want the AB Beauty artists and stylists to enjoy working with each other. If they don’t, clients are going to pick up on that and possibly feel uncomfortable. That’s just not something I am willing to risk.

If you like our Allison Barbera Beauty Weddings Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AllisonBarberaBeautyWeddings?ref=hl , you have probably seen statuses about and portfolios of the artists and stylists. But I think they deserve a proper introduction. Each artist and stylist has their own style and techniques, but they create beautiful work across the board. I’m going to break this down into two posts–one featuring the makeup artists and one featuring the hair stylists. I’ll start with the makeup artists.

Ready to meet them? Here we go!

Alexis Frankian, Makeup Artist

Rhode Island wedding makeup

 

Alexis is a talented, highly skilled makeup artist. She has 13 years of experience and her beauty product knowledge is obvious to anyone who speaks to her for even five minutes. She got her start at CMU College of Makeup Design in Toronto, and later worked for Shiseido and Estee Lauder. She was an assistant instructor in Makeup Design at John Robert Powers and did training with Dany Sanz, founder of Make Up For Ever. Alexis currently works as a Beauty Consultant and Fragrance Expert at Sephora. Alexis is a huge believer in skincare products and always recommends what she thinks will work best for our clients. She is honest but tactful and really wants to help people not only while she is doing their makeup, but before and/or after the service. Although she is very modern in her approach to makeup, Alexis loves vintage clothing and retro makeup looks. Alexis also offers airbrush makeup for our clients. If you want a knowledgeable, polite and professional makeup artist, Alexis is your girl!

Ashley Onges, Makeup Artist

Airbrush wedding makeup

 

Ashley is a triple threat in the beauty industry–she is a makeup artist, a nail tech and an esthetician. Beauty is in her blood–her mother is a salon owner in MA. Ashley does beautiful work and can handle a high volume of clients without blinking an eye. She really loves doing weddings, and it shows. She is friendly, easy to talk to and always on top of new trends and techniques. Ashley also offers airbrush makeup for our clients. Besides doing wedding work with AB Beauty, she works at a JF3 Salon at Celebeautique in Newport. Ashley has been with AB Beauty since 2011 and I’m so glad she is a part of the team.

Jennifer Smith, Makeup Artist

Newport RI wedding makeup

 

Here’s a true success story. A few years ago, I was looking for another makeup artist to join the team. I was interviewing, interviewing, interviewing but no one fit the bill. I finally put a status up on my personal Facebook page, in the hopes that someone would know of a makeup artist. A contact of mine, Caitlin, said that she knew a girl named Jennifer who wasn’t a professional makeup artist but seemed to do great work. Caitlin gave me Jen’s Facebook page, and after I saw her pictures, I contacted her right away. Talk about natural talent! This girl has it in spades. I got in touch with her to see if she would be interested in training with me then working as a makeup artist for my company. Turned out that was her dream job! We did about four months of intense training, and then Jen started doing bridal parties. Everyone, from other artists to clients to photographers, was impressed with her work. And me? Blown away. Jen was born to do this. She has a serious passion for makeup, always trying and buying new products and researching makeup classes. And how’s this for full circle? She did Caitlin’s wedding makeup last summer. I can’t imagine not having Jen on the AB Beauty team.

Jessica Puleo, Makeup Artist

Newport RI bridal makeup

 

When I describe Jessica to someone, I always say the same thing: She is really good. Not really good, but really good. The first time Jessica did a wedding for me, I was contacted by a bridesmaid from that group the next week–she wanted Jessica to do her wedding makeup. That bride already had a hair stylist, and Jessica did the wedding makeup at that hair stylist’s salon. Soon after that, the salon owner contacted to me ask if Jessica could come in to teach makeup classes for their clients. And that is how things work with Jess! Her talent speaks for itself. She worked for MAC Cosmetics for several years before leaving to pursue a freelance career. Jessica has done weddings, films and photoshoots and I have no doubt she will succeed at any other area she decides to pursue. She is a kind, funny, free spirit and a true artist. Jess left AB Beauty at one point to work for Laura Mercier, but now she is back with us and I couldn’t be happier. She also does astrology charts and readings (she did mine–it was great!) so if you are interested in that, I would be happy to connect you. If you are a looking for flawless makeup done by an experienced, well-loved makeup artist, Jessica will not let you down. (Photo credit: Peter Silvia, http://petersilvia.com/)

Shaley Teeter, Makeup Artist

Indian wedding makeup

 

Shaley came to me while she was in esthetics school. She sent me pictures of some makeup work she had done, and I could see her obvious talent. I don’t know if it is in her gene pool–both her mom and uncle work in the beauty industry–or if she taught herself, but she just has it. Shaley trained with me for several months before doing weddings for my company, and although she was already very good when she started, she has become an awesome makeup artist. Shaley does beautiful makeup in a natural, modern way and her personality makes her a blast to be around. When I hear someone laughing at a wedding job, usually I turn around and see that they are getting their makeup done by Shaley. And she is not just a great makeup artist and funny girl–she’s also a fantastic singer! Shaley is a vocalist in a band, Dr. Slick, that does shows in Rhode Island. They are really good (I’ve been to a show) and of course Shaley’s stage makeup is always perfect :) (Photo credit, Armor & Martel, http://www.chris-martel.com/)

I feel lucky that I have such a kickass team of artists. They all bring a lot to the table, and I think their other jobs and interests only enhance that.

To see more photos of everyone’s work, check out www.allisonbarbera.com

Have a beautiful day :)

 

 

Brides Across America

Planning a wedding is time-consuming. And expensive. The venue, the photographer, the flowers, the music, the hair and makeup (call Allison Barbera Beauty for that!) and of course, the dress. The dress is such a key part of the day. Whether it’s a mermaid gown, a princess gown, a retro lace gown or anything in between, every bride has a picture in her mind of the dress she wants to wear on her wedding day.

Now imagine not being able to go dress shopping because you are serving in the armed forces and are deployed. Or your fiance is deployed, and the financial hardships of planning a wedding make it too difficult to buy a wedding gown. Enter Brides Across America.

My friend, whose husband is in the Coast Guard, told me about this organization, and I think it is wonderful. Brides Across America, partnering with bridal salons, holds events twice a year where they give away donated wedding gowns to military brides. If you are a military bride who is in need of a dress, or a woman who has a wedding dress that you would like to donate, it’s definitely worth checking them out.

For more information, click here: http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com

Have a beautiful day :)