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 🙂

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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 🙂