It’s Fresh

The last few months have been an exciting time for my company, Allison Barbera Beauty.  I’ve got new team members, more services and lots of exciting upcoming projects.  For those reasons–and also because it’s what I love to do–I’ve given my website a makeover.  Thank you to my amazing web design team at CinchIT.  My site would look horrible without them!

Please feel free to check out the site to view pictures of our work, and to see what services we offer  I also have a new email address,, where you can reach me.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Allison Barbera Beauty Makeup Giveaway

What fun is a makeup artist who talks about all the wonderful makeup she tries, but never shares it with you?  No fun, no fun at all.  That’s why starting this month, I’m giving away one product each month to a fellow makeup junkie.

The month’s product is MAC’s eyeshadow in Carbon  This intense black powder eyeshadow is a must for all makeup mavens.  There are so many times when a black eyeshadow is necessary, so you’ve got to have this in your makeup bag or kit.

To enter, all you have to do is send me a message on Facebook, or email In the message, include your full name and email address.  In the subject line, put “January Makeup Giveaway.”  The 11th person who contacts me will win the eyeshadow.

Good luck! Have a beautiful day 🙂

It’s The Balm: Phyto Botanical Relaxing Hair Balm Review

“You always want what you can’t have.” But who’s to say what we can’t have? I want straight, frizz-free hair and I am going to have it.  At least with a little help from my friend, Botanical Relaxing Hair Balm by Phyto.

My thick, long hair is naturally curly. A few years ago, I decided I no longer liked the curls, so I’ve been blowdrying and flat ironing it into submission since. But because my hair’s natural tendency is to go into spiral curls, I often have to fight it.  It rebels by frizzing, I tame the frizz with hair creams and sprays.  Sometimes I win, sometimes my hair wins.

When I had the chance to try the Botanical Relaxing Hair Balm, I thought, I’m winning the next battle. I was a little nervous about trying something with the word “relaxing” in it though.  You’d think such a word would calm a person, but for me, it conjured up horror stories of salon relaxers and straighteners that broke, fried, or otherwise damaged hair.  So I showed the product and directions to my hair stylist and good friend, Jennie Kay Plumb, and got the okay.

So here’s how it works: After shampooing and conditioning, you put a dime-sized amount of the product into your hand, then apply to hair, starting at the roots.  Then you comb it through with a wide toothed comb.  The product itself has a nice smell and doesn’t make your hair feel greasy or crunchy, but it does feel a little sticky on your hands.

The first time I used it, I let my hair air dry and flat ironed it the next morning.  The second time, I blowdried it straight (or as straight as I can get it), then flat ironed.  Both times I had, without a doubt, minimal to no frizz.  I was thrilled!  The real test will be in the summer, when humidity typically forces me to wear my hair up, so I’ll try the product again then. But until June, I’m totally happy with the Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm. As a plus, it doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals or phthalates.

$12 for a 1.6 oz tube, $26 for a 3.3 oz, and $32 for a 5 0z.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Grape Crush: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Ransom Review

There are lots of different purples in the makeup world.  You’ve got your lilacs, your lavenders, your eggplants, your plums, your amethysts, your royal purples and so on. My favorite purple shade is grape.  It looks great with brown eyes, which the majority of people have.  However, I usually have trouble finding good grape eyeshadows or eyeliners.

Then I met Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner in Ransom.  It couldn’t be more grape colored! I love the 24/7 liners.  They’re smooth, creamy and highly pigmented.  I go through 24/7 in Zero (jet black) quicker than I go through toilet paper, and Bourbon (brown) and Gunmetal (gray) are essentials in my kit too.

Ransom is a perfect color for the brown-eyed girls out there. If you’re going to do a purple smoky eye, this liner will be your best friend.  A word of warning though–these liners are great for smoky eyes because they smudge easily, but if you’re going to wear them on their own, trace over them with an eyeshadow to set the liner.

I bought mine from Sephora as part of the Limited Edition 24/7 Eyeliner Duo deal (also comes with a good covered pencil sharpener). It would normally be $43 for two 24/7 liners, but this set gives you two for $29.

Purple eyeliner is a good way to make brown eyes pop without doing the whole eye with bright, vibrant or intense shadow. So if you want a little change in your eye makeup look, give it a try!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Spray It, Don’t Say It: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray Review

Makeup is supposed to be temporary, but not so temporary that it’s faded completely by lunchtime. Face primers, eye primers and powders help, but for an especially long day, a setting spray is key. I just found one that I love and I really recommend it.  It’s called “All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray” and it’s made by Urban Decay.

All you need is 4-6 sprays of the product (to cover your whole face) after you’ve finished your makeup, and you’re set for the day.  As a test, I’ve used it on myself before workouts and it really does keep the makeup on. It doesn’t feel like anything and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue or make your skin feel tight.  It’s oil-free, vegan, not tested on animals and contains no parabens.

The All Nighter Spray is now a must for me when I’m doing weddings or event jobs. If you have an all day event to go to, or just have a problem with makeup staying on, this is a great product for your makeup bag.

Sold at Sephora stores and

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Whaddya Mean, Tightlining?

No matter what industry you work in, there’s technical talk.  Teachers speak of IEPs, real estate agents discuss easements, carpenters talk about risers and treads, etc. Us makeup artists have our own language too…and it just happens to be the prettiest one.

Sometimes I refer to things forgetting that I’m speaking in makeupese and some people might not know what the hell I’m talking about. So I’m going to do for you what Big L did for street slang–I’m gonna school you.

Airbrush Makeup: A liquefied form of makeup applied with a device that sprays out product. Can give skin a flawless look, depending on the product and application technique. Tends to be very long lasting.

Brush Roll: The pouch used to hold makeup brushes.

Cat Eye: A dramatic eyeliner look that’s thickest and angled at the outer corners.

Color Wash: Using one shade of eyeshadow for both eyelid and crease.

Contour: Using a dark color to make something recede. Used to minimize the width or length of a feature.

Crease: The space above the eyelid and under the browbone. Hooded eyes and monolids don’t have a visible crease when the eyes are open.

Cupid’s Bow: The double curve above the center of the top lip. Highlighting the skin above it makes lips look slightly fuller.

Fallout: Usually used in reference to eyeshadow. It’s any shadow that falls under the eye or onto the face.  It’s the reason why makeup artists like me do the eyes first!

Flare Lashes: Also known as clusters or individuals, these false lashes come in groups of 6-8 lashes instead of strips that are the length of the lashline.  They come in different lengths and thicknesses and can be built up.

Highlight: Using a light color to draw attention to a feature or area of the face.  Commonly used on cheekbones, browbones, inner corners of eyes and above the Cupid’s Bow.

Illuminating: Products that are “illuminating” contain some kind of light reflecting particles.  Great for places you want to highlight.  Stay away from illuminating products if you have oily skin, because they can make the skin look more oily.

Kit: A makeup artist’s supply of tools and products.

Matte: Products with absolutely no shimmer or shine.

MUA: Stands for “Make Up Artist.”

Non-comedogenic: Means that the product (supposedly) will not clog pores.

Outer V: Used in reference to the section of the eye from the outer end of the crease to the outer end of the lashline.  Drawing a little “v” here (with the point going towards the hairline) works well with a lot of eye makeup looks.

Primer: A face, eye or lip product put on prior to foundation, eye makeup or lip color to help the products stay on longer. They also give a good base and help provide a smoother, more even surface for the products.

Tightlining: Lining the upper inside eyelid with a pencil eyeliner, usually in a black shade. This can help make top lashes look fuller.

Transfer: When a mascara or eyeliner smudges onto the eyelid, crease, or browbone before it has dried.

Sheer: Minimal coverage products that have a hint of color, so that you can still see through to the skin.

Waterline: The inside lower eyelid. Lining here with a dark color makes the look more dramatic and makes the eyes look smaller. An off-white liner here will open up the eyes.

Winged Liner: Eyeliner that extends past the end of the eye on the upper lashline and is angled upwards, giving the illusion of a lifted and elongated shape.

Hope I’ve decoded some of the mystery for you.  Please let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Have a beautiful day 🙂