Our One Month Peak Wedding Season: The September Recap

In normal years, our peak wedding season starts at the end of April and ends in early November. We still often have some weddings before and after that, but the bulk of our weddings happen during that time. This year, our peak season started September 1 and ended September 30. Thanks, COVID!

We still have weddings in October, November and December, but September had almost double the amount of any other month this year. It’s been nice to be back into our normal weekend schedules, even if “normal” now includes PPE, spaced out setups and extra sanitizing.

We’ve been pretty busy with trials and new 2021 wedding bookings too, which is great.  No new corporate or commercial shoots yet, but since some film and television shows are now back in production, that’s a good sign.

Personally, I got to see some friends and family this month and got to hold my baby niece for the first time. She wasn’t too thrilled about that, but I was!

The weather is starting to get cooler, which normally bothers me, but this year, I’m looking at it as a sign that 2020 is starting to come to a close. I know it’s not like everything will go back to normal on 1/1/21, but I somehow think putting this shitshow of a year behind us will at least give some temporary mental and emotional relief.

And now, I’ve got some fall and winter trials to schedule.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

All Eyes On You: An Eye Makeup Post Roundup

It’s mask season until further notice in participating (aka “smart”) US states. That means in public, we’re mostly seeing people’s eyes and not much else of their face. So this is your peepers’ time to shine!

Keep reading and clicking for my most popular eye makeup posts.

Eye Makeup Hacks: How To Make Those Soul Windows Look Even Better

Eye Makeup Smudges, Be Gone! 

Green (Eyed) With Envy

Blue Eyed Baby

Brown Eyed Girl

Under Eye Love: How To Keep The Thinnest Skin on Your Body in Good Shape

The Eyes Have It

My MAC Eyeshadow All Stars

The Easiest Eyeshadow How To You’ll Ever Read

Eyeliner Assistance: Tutorial Roundup

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Some Things I Need to Get Off My Chest: The Beauty Edition

I’ve got some things to say.

The title says it all. Let’s get right into it.

Beware of Lash Serums. We all want long, full lashes, but at what expense? There are some lash serums out there that cause the whites of the eyes to turn yellow. I’ve seen it happen to several clients, and I don’t know that the yellowing goes away after you stop using the product. I personally feel safer using castor oil on my lashes, but you do you, Ol’ Yellow Eyes.

Stop Highlighting The Tip of Your Nose. I don’t know who started this trend, but I hate it. When you highlight an area, it looks bigger. Why would you want the tip of your nose to look bigger? If your answer is “I like the bulbous nose look,” then proceed. Otherwise, skip this foolishness.

You Don’t Need That Much Product. Eight pumps of foundation is too much for a human face. Twelve different eyeshadow shades are unnecessary. Five layers of highlight? Get outta here with that disco ball shit. If you put on drag queen amounts of makeup and you’re not performing, you’re going to look crazy in broad daylight. If that much makeup makes you happy, then go for it. But if you’re trying to enhance your features and let your skin show through, cut down on the product amounts.

Learn to Recognize Photoshop. We can all recognize an obvious editing fail–an extra hand in a group shot for a magazine cover, an impossibly small waist on a model in a clothing ad–but in my experience, few people can recognize editing done in makeup and skincare photos on social media and in ads. So much of what I see on social media is heavily, heavily edited. Those photos then get shown to makeup artists, with the expectation that we can duplicate what was essentially created by editing software. It’s very frustrating. I imagine it’s equally frustrating for the consumer who purchases a beauty product, thinking it will give them the same effect they saw in the ad, only to find out they can’t even get close to that. I guess the moral is this–know that what you often see is unattainable, and lower your expectations of what beauty products and makeup artists can do.

This is not a natural look. Neutral tones, but not natural.

Know What “Natural” Means. I can’t count the amount of clients who’ve told me they want a natural makeup look, then have shown me a picture of a Kardashian. Or someone with a black winged eyeliner. Or a beauty guru with lots of full coverage foundation on. To a makeup artist, natural means using a sheer foundation that lets the skin show through, with neutral toned eye makeup that enhances eye color and shape, no strong contour and certainly not loads of shimmery highlight. It’s okay to want more of a full-on makeup look, but just know that heavy foundation, a glittery eye, a winged liner and an ombre lip are not natural.

 

And that’s all I have to get off my chest…for now.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

In Celebration of Our Mini-Wedding Season

2020 started off great for AB Beauty weddings. We had two weddings in January, then at least one wedding booked for every month except February. 2020 was shaping up to be our busiest season ever, and we were ready!

Everything of course came to a screeching halt in March. We lost all of our booked weddings from March until August, either to postponements or cancellations. It was painful and the whole AB Beauty team was sad for our brides whose plans were changed so unexpectedly.

We did some minimonies once hair and makeup services were allowed to start again in June and July, but our full weddings didn’t pick up until August. Our peak wedding season–normally late April until early November–is now August until mid-October, and we’re only doing a fraction of what we would have done had COVID not ruined everything.

But still, I’m grateful for the weddings we do have this season. Back in May, I thought it was very possible that we might not end up with any, so this is a much better outcome.

Thank you to all of the 2020 brides who initially booked with us, whether or not we get to work with you this year. Thank you to the 2020 brides who booked with us after the pandemic hit, either for minimonies or full weddings. Thank you to everyone who referred a 2020 bride to us. And thank you to the AB Beauty makeup artists and hair stylists for their flexibility, responsiveness and cooperation in regards to the constant changes we’ve encountered since March.

We’ll likely end up doing about 100 less weddings than we would have, but at least that number won’t be 100% less than we would have! Look for the good, right?

Have a beautiful day 🙂

In The Red: My Favorite Red Lipsticks

All red everything (including, apparently, my eyes).

In the makeup world, there’s nothing more showstopping than a red lip. There’s a red out there for everyone, and a red for every type of look. Red lips can be powerful, flirty, retro, summery, vampy–really anything but natural. I often say that I wear red lipstick or no lipstick at all, which isn’t entirely true but it is mostly accurate. (I’ll wear a non-red color maybe five or six times a year.)

Red lipsticks can differ greatly by undertone, shade and finish. My favorite reds are a mix of undertones, shades and finishes. Want to meet them?

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lipstick in Hot. I bought this lipstick in February during my drugstore haul, and was pleasantly surprised. Hot is a warm toned red, meaning it has orange undertones, but it actually looks pink-red on. It feels very 1950s pinup girl red to me. It is incredibly long-lasting, especially for a drugstore lipstick. I’m quick to return a drugstore makeup product if it doesn’t meet my standards, but Hot earned a place in my makeup bag.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot.

Lipstick Queen Saint Rouge. Lipstick Queen has several shades that come in both sheer (Saint) and opaque (Sinner) shades.  I find myself reaching for the Saint shades more for clients, and this particular shade works so many people. It’s a subdued red, in part due to the finish. It looks almost deep pink-red on some and berry red on others. I’m just now learning it has been discontinued but I’m including it here, because a) Sometimes discontinued shades make a comeback and b) Just because you can’t find a shade online doesn’t mean it won’t pop up in store, maybe even in a sale bin. Saint Rouge is a great starter red for those who are a little wary of a bold red lip.

MAC Lady Danger. She’s an orange-red if I ever met one! Lady Danger is the summer red lip, in my world. Because it’s a warm toned red, I find that it generally looks better on those with warm undertones, or those with cool undertones who have a tan/have applied self tanner. This is the matte red lipstick I keep in my purse all summer.

MAC Russian Red. You’ve got your orange-reds and your blue-red reds, and Russian Red is as blue-red as they come. This was supposedly Madonna’s favorite red shade in the 1980s, if that tells you anything. I love this particular matte red on those with fair or light skin with cool undertones.

MAC Ruby Woo. Ruby Woo is like the brighter, more matte cousin of Russian Red. I find it’s more flattering than Russian Red on medium and deep skintones. Ruby Woo has a 1940s/early 1950s feel to it. Because it’s so matte and can be drying,  I recommend prepping your lips first with a good balm.

Don’t try to woo me, unless you’re a lipstick.

Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in Dashing. Another discontinued red! This day has been very discouraging. Dashing is/was another blue-red, but seems less blue than Ruby Woo and definitely less than Russian Red. If you come across Dashing, it’s worth considering if you want a pigmented red. It’s long-wearing but moisturizing and leaves the lips with a gorgeous sheen. Very Old Hollywood, dahling.

Whyyyyy would they discontinue such a perfect red?

I know this isn’t the ideal time for a post about lipstick, since we’re wearing masks for much of the time, but I’m doing it anyway. It’s fun to think about when life will be normal again and lipstick won’t be hidden by masks. In the meantime, there’s nothing that says you can’t play around with colors at home and find the red (or two) that you love.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

Busier Than Expected: The August Recap

August is normally a very busy month for AB Beauty. Weddings, trials, shoots and frequent inquiries for the next season usually have me working 12-14 hour days and thinking, Why do people say summer is such a relaxing time?

In February, we had around 15 August weddings booked and were on track to book 5 – 10 more. By July, due to all the COVID postponements and cancellations, we were down to two. By September, we will have done eight August weddings. Let’s hear it for last minute bookings!

In August, we also did a ton of trials and one wedding proposal hair and makeup. And we booked a TON of 2021 weddings, as well as a few new September weddings. I’ve been a lot busier than I expected this month.

AB Beauty celebrated 12 years in business in this month, which is crazy. Can’t say it’s our best year in business, but we will make it through.

On a personal note, my month was good because I became an auntie! My niece was born earlier this month and boy, is she perfect. I look at pictures of her 19 times a day.

Unless something insane happens–which is entirely possible–September will be our busiest weddings month of 2020, so I’m gearing up for that.

And now, back to my inbox. The craziness awaits.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Green (Eyed) With Envy

I’m jealous. Photo by Carol Oliver on Unsplash

Green is the rarest eye color in the world, with only 2% of the population lucky enough to have it. I’ve been willing my hazel eyes to turn green for years now. It’s not working out well, but a girl can hope.

Like with any eye color, there are eye makeup shades you can wear to really bring them out.

Ready to bring out the green? Let’s go.

Emerald green eyes look really pretty when gray and purple eyeshadows and eyeliners are used.

Khaki colored eye makeup can make forest green eyes pop.

Jade green eyes look gorgeous with brown shadows that have red undertones.

Bronze and copper shadows really bring out sea green eyes.

Like with any color, you can wear black liner on the waterline to enhance the green, but it will make your eyes look smaller. Also, black can look a little harsh on green eyes, especially if they’re a lighter shade of green, so I would pair black waterline liner with either a gray, dark brown, bronze or copper shadow to help balance it.

If you want to do a bold lip and bring out your green peepers at the same time, try a berry, plum, aubergine or deep red lip color. Red and purple tones are complimentary to green, so the right lip color will make your eye color pop.

That’s all I’ve got! Enjoy your rare eye color, and please send some green vibes to the hazel people who want to be you.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Blue Eyed Baby

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Last week I did a post about eye makeup that enhances brown eyes, so now it’s time to do the same for blue eyes. I mean, it’s only fair! Like with brown eyes, there are various shades of blue, so I’ll break it down.

Cornflower blue eyes really pop with a light pink eyeshadow on the lid. A little shimmery shadow in silver can also look really pretty on the inner corners.

A navy blue shadow or liner can really enhance gunmetal blue eyes, as can smokey gray shadow looks.

Ice blue eyes are emphasized when someone has on rose gold eyeshadow or warm brown shadow.

Bronze and copper shadows make sapphire blue eyes pop, even if just used at the lower lashline.

Black liner on the waterline will enhance any eye color, but beware of doing this if your eyes are on the small side, as that will make your eyes look smaller.

Believe it or not, lipstick can also make eye color pop. A blue-toned pink lip can do that for all shades of blue eyes, and an orange-red lip can enhance icy blue eyes.

These are just tips to point you in the right direction, but play around and see what you like.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Brown Eyed Girl

Have you got chocolate brown eyes, you mysterious lady, you? Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Approximately 79% of the world’s population has brown eyes. Are you one of them? If so, and you want to enhance those pretty peepers of your’s with eye makeup colors, read on.

If you’ve got chocolate brown eyes with yellow flecks in them, gold eyeshadows can bring out the yellow. Gray eyeshadow can also provide an interesting contrast.

If your eyes are closer to hazel than brown, a slate colored eyeshadow is super flattering. Depending on your skintone, shadows or liners in the purple family can also emphasize your eye color.

Chestnut brown eyes can be emphasized with electric blue eyeshadow or eyeliner, as well as gold shades. Forest green shadow or liner can look pretty with chestnut eyes too.

Honey colored eyes will really pop if you use dark brown or gray eyeshadow shades.

Pale pink eyeshadow can work on those with fair or light skin and light brown eyes. Copper and bronze shadows are really pretty on those with light brown eyes and a deep skintone.

Black liner in the waterline will emphasize any eye color, but I’d skip that if your eyes are on the small side, as it will make them look smaller.

All of that being said…play around! You may discover that a champagne shadow looks great on, or a neon green liner makes your eyes pop. Makeup is fun, so enjoy!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

It Doesn’t Feel Like Summer: My July Recap

July mood.

July is the first full month of summer, but it hasn’t felt like any summer I’ve ever known. This past month was a rough one for me emotionally. For much of the month, I felt unmotivated and less creative than I’ve ever been. I’ve since come out of that rut and am grateful for that, but it wasn’t fun.

I normally really like July. Warm weather, lots of daylight and usually some friend visits. The past two Julys, I’ve gone to the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, which I love and have so much fun going to. Out of the peak wedding season months, July normally tends be slower, which gives me a break between the craziness of June and August.

This July has of course been much different. No friend visits, no JFL and no full weddings (just one minimony/bride only services wedding that I didn’t personally do). July did pick up a lot for my company, as makeup services became allowed again in RI, so our makeup trials started back up. I ‘personally did a handful of them and got to work with some of the nicest people. I also did the makeup (and AB Beauty hair stylist, Leah, did the hair) for two branding shoots with Hilary B. Photography. It was a little challenging at first getting used to the PPE Rhode Island makeup artists are now required to wear (N95 or KN95 masks and eye protection), but once my nurse friend, Jenn, got me some masks that fit my child-sized face, I felt much better.

We booked a lot of 2021 weddings in July. We now have several dates that we are fully booked, due to the new inquiries and all of the 2020 brides who postponed to next year. It’s going to be a crazy one!

Once my creativity came back, I accepted a writing challenge my gentleman friend gave me and published two articles on Medium. This one is about my parents, and this one is about my snowbird life in Charleston. I’ve been wanting to pick up some freelance writing work for a while, and Medium has given me that opportunity. If you would be so kind as to read my two articles and give each one a clap or two (clap icon is to the left of the story), I would really appreciate it. Even if you’re not Medium member, you can read two free articles a month.

In family news, my sister-in-law is having a baby any day now, and I cannot WAIT to meet my niece or nephew! Every time I get a text notification, I hope it’s news that this little bambino/bambina is coming. My whole family is on baby watch right now.

Between my upcoming Auntie status and a few plans I have next month, I think August will beat July. You’ll find out in about 31 days…

Have a beautiful day 🙂