Too Many Choices, Not Enough Time

By my estimate, there are 479 trillion beauty products on the market, with more being released each day. I choose my products by reviews and pro endorsements (meaning other makeup artist recommendations–not paid celebrity endorsements) but even with those filters, there are still a ton of options out there.

I recently discovered and I think it’s a great resource for beauty product purchases. When you sign up (it’s free!), you fill out a beauty questionnaire so they can recommend products for you. It’s not the most detailed questionnaire, but it certainly helps narrow down your options. For example, the foundation categories in my profile, aka “Best4You Beauty Finder,” are “Best Overall Foundation,” “Best New 4 You,” “Best 4 You On a Budget,” “Best Natural 4 You,” “Best With SPF,” and “Best 4 Oil Free.” I was pretty impressed by the category breakdown, especially because it shows the product along with user reviews. is also quite thorough with its main categories which include makeup, hair care and bath and body.

It’s a retail site, so the recommendations only include the lines that they sell. However, the brand list is extensive and includes big names like Estee Lauder, Stila and Clinique, as well as the increasingly popular pro favorite lines like Dr. Brandt, Jemma Kidd and Pixi. When you purchase products from, you get 10% back in the form of BloomDollars, which you can use towards your next purchase. (And if you shop on Cyber Monday, you get 40% back.)

You can also look in other members’ “Beauty Cabinets” to see what people similar to you (as far as age, skin type, skintone and skin concerns) use. I think this is a cool feature and another way to narrow down product selections.

So if you’re overwhelmed by all of the products out there and aren’t sure what choices would personally work for you, I’d say is worth checking out.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

T-Zone Trouble?

It would be great to have normal, always clear, flawless skin, but I haven’t been blessed with skin perfection. I have combination skin, which gets pretty t-zone-oily in the summer and dried-out-peeling in the winter. But like most things in life, I’ve tried to find a way to use my skin type to my advantage. Having this combo skin allows me to, at different points in the year, test out products and techniques for oily and dry skin.

Where I live (in New England), summer is over. But the memories of what I have to do in the warmer months to fake balanced skin are still fresh in my mind. So if you have oily skin year-round, or just seasonally, read on!

1) The first step in most of my makeup applications is eye primer. If you have oily skin on your face, chances are your eyelids are oily too. Since that’s part of the reason eyeshadows can crease and fade (other culprits may be creamy formulas and cheapo shadows in general), an eye primer can make a huge difference in how your eye makeup wears during the day. Unless your eyelids are very dry, I recommend an eye primer. I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance, sometimes topped with a MAC Paint Pot if a client has especially oily lids.

2) If I have a long day coming up and always for wedding clients with oily skin, I use two skin primers. One is the De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray by Urban Decay (I use this as a primer, and then at the end to set makeup). I also use a second one, usually Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer. One of the big problems with oily skin is that the oils from the skin break down products, causing them to wear off more quickly than they would on a normal or dry skin. Using a primer first puts an extra layer between the skin and the foundation. The ingredients in that primer layer are meant to absorb some of the oils and keep them from going through the foundation, which causes it to wear off.

3) I use liquid foundation, mainly because I don’t like powder foundation as oily skin can sometimes streak through powder foundation. I usually use the Make Up For Ever HD foundation, but if you’re looking for a different liquid foundation, something matte or medium-full coverage is your best bet. You want to stay away from anything with light-reflecting particles, as they can add shine to your skin.

4) To powder oily skin, I love using Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder on oily areas. Powders sets the makeup and cuts shine, so it’s a must for oily skin.

5) To touch up during the day, you can go with oil blotting sheets (I’ve found them all to be the same, so I just buy the cheapest) if your skin is seasonally or slightly oily. For a very oily skin, you might want to try using a powder foundation as your touchup during the day. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Powder is a good option, as is MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. Using a powder foundation in areas where your foundation has faded will cover the fading and even your skin out.

So, those are the makeup techniques I’ve found to be the most helpful. It’s also really important to take good care of your skin, regardless of what your skin type is.  If you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for a cleanser made for oily skin, and use a lotion as opposed to a cream for your moisturizer. For night time, you’re better off using a serum than a cream. Exfoliation is important because it will help remove some of the surface oils and a mask that contains clay can help absorb the oils.

If you’ve got oily skin and have any tips, please share!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Making Tammy Faye Proud

I adore mascara. I regularly wear at least two brands, layered up, to reach ultimate length and volume capacity. I could achieve a similar effect with false lashes, but why make things easy? Plus, on myself (and for some client/model looks) I want the texture of mascara. Smooth, clump-free lashes are beautiful, but slightly clumpy, mascara-loaded lashes are fun.

I’ll admit that this look is not for everyone. If you’re a natural girl, skip it. If you like perfect makeup, move on. If you prefer to not spend 10 minutes removing your eye makeup, don’t even try it. But if you’re a mascara lover like me and you like imperfect makeup looks, you’ve gotta rock this.

I accomplish this look using Dior Diorshow topped with Clinique High Lengths Mascara. (If your lashes are naturally straight, you’ll want to curl them first to avoid impairing your vision with loaded lashes.) I work the Diorshow into the roots first, then paint lashes, small sections at a time. The smaller end of the wand works best for this kind of sectioning. I do a normal application for the High Lengths layer.

I like this look either with a flesh toned or light eyeshadow color on the lid, or a chocolate brown shadow on the lid, blended slightly into the crease. I skip filling in the eyebrows when I do this, because good God, woman, that’s enough eye makeup. I keep the lips more natural–matte or glossy is fine–and tend to like a slightly shimmery blush with this (but you could go with whatever you want, as long as it’s not too much cheek color). It becomes dated and tacky if you add full eye makeup, brows, contouring and a strong lip. But if you leave the lashes as the focus, it looks modern.

Again, not for everyone, but this is a trend I’m loving.

Have a beautiful day 🙂