Thoughts On Social Media For Business Owners

Is this a closeup of brain cells in 2018?

If you’re a business owner or freelancer and you’re ignoring all social media platforms, it’s going to be hard to survive. (Not impossible, but very difficult.) Like it or not, a strong online presence is necessary for your company. 89% of consumers do online research before buying a product or booking a service. You can’t ignore that number.

My company website has great SEO and I keep the site updated, but one of my goals for this year has been to improve the Allison Barbera Beauty Instagram, our two Facebook pages and this here blog. I’ve been taking classes and consulted with some great companies who specialize in digital marketing, because there is only so much this tech-challenged boss can figure out on her own.

I understand why there is an emphasis on digital marketing and specifically on social media because it can be a great way to reach a lot of people, but if I’m being real with you, I don’t love it.

Let me explain. I’m approaching this all from a small business owner standpoint, so some of this doesn’t apply to some people/companies you may follow (and this post has nothing to do with people’s personal accounts). I’m all for social media as a marketing tool used to promote books, shows, podcasts, tours, etc. My issue is with our society’s focus on social media and the deception of some people’s professional online presence.

I’ve got two main issues with social media, and I am ready to vent.

What About The Business? I am not negating the importance of social media, but I think some people forget that you also have to be good at running your business. A ton of Facebook likes or a beautifully curated Instagram feed doesn’t mean a business provides great services and/or products. A person or company could have 21 million followers but if they can’t answer an email and make it to client appointments on time, are they worth hiring? (By the way, you know a lot of people buy followers, comments and likes, right? Keep that in mind before you get impressed by what you see.) I would love to see some of the focus shifted back to how good a company is at the work they do instead of how pretty their feed is or how much they tweet.

The cool thing about online presence for a business is that you can make it as good as you have time (or money) for. But that’s not the entirety of a business. How is everything inside the business? Is it organized? Are there systems? Are employees being paid on time? Are taxes being done? Are client calls and emails responded to promptly? Are followups sent? How are those invoices coming along? Has an attorney reviewed all legal documents? What are they doing to improve the business? Are there plans for growth? I don’t care if a Facebook post has 1.3 million likes–if a business is not doing what people hire them to do, they are not a good business. Put that in your feed and Like it.

Are you spending hours putting filters on your photos instead of taking care of essential business tasks? If so, you, it’s time to rethink your priorities. #youcantonlydothefunstuff

Show Me Your Credentials. There are social media influencers in all industries. If someone is true working professional and expert in their field, then more power to them! My problem is with those–and we see this a ton in the beauty industry–who pass themselves off as professionals when they are not. Speaking again about the beauty industry, I’ve seen influencers who do hair/makeup on themselves that I know would look horrible in person. But through the magic of filters and retouching, they make it look good (or what many of their followers consider to be good). They often have no training, no professional license and no experience doing hair or makeup on anyone else. But they can Facetune the hell out of their photos and videos, then buy some followers to get their fan base going. New followers see these people with a huge amount of followers, so they assume the influencer knows what they are doing/talking about. But so often, they don’t and people think that what they are seeing/watching/reading is expert advice. Nope! They’ve been duped.

In the beauty industry, it’s easy to find out if someone is a real professional, like Lisa Eldridge, or what my father would call a “phoney baloney.” Check their website portfolio and/or IMDB page and you’ll figure it out.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not jealous or hating on anyone. Even with a team of 17 people, my company still turns down work weekly. We get that work from a decade of providing excellent service that has lead to five star reviews and a pipeline of client referrals that #cantstopwontstop. We have fantastic SEO, thanks in part to my website creators but also because people click on our site after putting in certain search terms and find what they need, which is key for high rankings in a Google search. So I’m not sitting over here, upset that my company isn’t getting business but my competitors with better social media are. We are doing very well, and I do consistently post on Instagram, Facebook and right here, dawg.

The thing is, it really doesn’t matter that I think too much emphasis is put on social media. I would never hurt my company by being a dinosaur and refusing to utilize social media. I’ll continue to post consistently and try to stay on top of things. I’m aware of what I could be doing better, which I will continue to try to improve. But if I have one hour to work on something, I am answering current and potential clients before I post a story on Instagram. Because if I don’t answer that new potential client then, but I post a story then answer the client hours later when I have time again, they very well may have booked with another company. (This could be specific to my industry, as a bride is 8x more likely to book wedding services with a vendor who responds within 15 minutes than one who responds four hours later, but I’ve found it to be the case with corporate and commercial inquiries too.)

You get this, or you’re under 35.

I don’t care what anyone says–I’m not willing to give up decent chunks of revenue and hurt our reputation as the most responsive beauty services company in RI because there might be 300 people out there who want to view a behind the scenes story. I will get them their story later, after actual real time clients have been responded to. My clients come first, but I don’t ignore social media. I prioritize clients and time sensitive issues, but it would be ridiculous to use that as a reason to ignore the social media platforms my client base uses.

Likes, follows, re-tweets, etc. are great, because they give you exposure. They certainly may evolve into clients/customers, and my company has benefited from that. All I’m saying is please don’t equate pretty pictures, likes or follows with expertise, excellent service or high quality products. Anyone with the knowledge or budget to pay a good social media company can make it look like they do well or know what they are talking about. But a true pro will sniff them out, and an annoyed pro will write a blog post about it…

There are companies who do a fantastic job running their company and their social media and to them, I give mad props. That’s an impressive accomplishment and one day in the near future I hope I’ll have the budget for a social media coordinator so that AB Beauty can knock it out of the park there too. But we will continue to provide excellent service not only the day of a job but before and after the services have been performed. Maybe we won’t have 100,000 followers, but if my team is happy, the business is growing and clients are still taking the time to leave us 5 star reviews, what does it matter?

I had to write about this because I have both heard about and experienced lackluster service from businesses who have beautiful and consistent social media. (I’m talking within and outside of the beauty industry.) As an entrepreneur and as a consumer, I’m not impressed by a person or company’s social media game if they can’t answer an email, return a call or provide great service. You can filter the hell out of that Instagram post, but if you dropped the ball on a time sensitive the project I hired you for but I saw two Facebook posts and an Instagram story while you seemingly ignored my question, you’re dead to me. (I know posts can be scheduled so it doesn’t mean someone is actively ignoring me, but it can feel that way.)

I’ve always felt I had a lot in common with Don Vito.

I want to be clear that I’m not knocking companies who provide social media services. I know a few who are awesome at what they do, and I recognize that social media has an important place in a small business’s marketing plan. I’m just saying, let’s not forget that a beautiful feed doesn’t mean a business is good, and a lot of followers doesn’t mean an influencer is an expert.

And with that, my vent is over…for now.

Have a beautiful day 🙂


Lip Service: Part 2

Looks like someone found several lipstick colors that work on her.

So you’ve read Part 1 and you’re feeling good about your lipstick knowledge base. Great! Now you’re ready for Lipstick 202. Get that (lip) pencil out and take some notes.

It’s time to talk about color choices. Remember that time your friend was wearing a lipstick than looked so good on her, then you tried and it made you look sallow, tired and dull-skinned? That doesn’t mean you can’t wear lipstick, boo. It just means it wasn’t the right color for you, which could be due to several factors. Such as:

  1. Your Brow Color. Those face framing arches have their own color, and if that color (or the warmth or coolness of it) is different than the lip color you choose, it can look off.
  2. Your Hair Color. If you are someone who has tried a myriad of hair colors over the years, you already know that makeup looks different when your hair is lighter or darker than its natural color (does anyone even know their natural color anymore?). So that lipstick that makes you look sexy-vampy as a blonde can make you look like a straight out vampire when you’re raven-haired.

    Cameron knew how to change it up.
  3. The Rest of Your Makeup. Especially with a bold or bright lip color, the rest of your makeup has to be complimentary. A gray smokey eye might look perfect with a nude or light pink lip, but if you add an orange-red lip, it all goes to shit. The general rule is (and I’ll admit this can be broken if you do it right) that you should put the focus on one feature at a time. So if you want to do a watermelon pink lip, this isn’t the time to also do a glossy eye, electric blue winged liner and thick brow. (For what not to do, see: Instagram beauty influencers.)
  4. Your Skin Undertone. In the most basic sense, there are three skin undertones: warm, cool and neutral. Within those undertones, your skin can be more yellow, pink, beige, golden or peach. If your skin undertone isn’t the same as or complimentary to a lipstick undertone, sometimes it can work, depending on your hair, brows, the rest of your makeup and your outfit. But other times, it will look way off. When you are starting out with lipstick, it might be easiest to figure out your undertone then stay with lipsticks that have that undertone. This might need to be a blog post of its own…

    Any of these look familiar to you?
  5. Your Natural Lip Color. We all have a natural lip color. Lips contain a small amount of melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment and give our skin color) compared to the rest of the body, so blood vessels show through and give us a pink, red, brown or purple toned lip color, depending on our physiology. Consider it Nature’s Lipstick. But when you put a man-made lipstick over whatchu already got, that underlying color is going to change the way the lipstick looks. If your NL is a reddish pink or brown and you put a sheer or shimmery pale pink over that, the pale pink won’t be so pale or pink anymore. You can cancel out your natural lip color with the tiniest bit of foundation or concealer over your lips, but give that practice run or two before you debut it to the world.
  6. The Top You Are Wearing. Go grab a bold or bright lipstick you have as well as a white shirt and a black shirt. I’ll wait…. Okay, thanks. Now put on a black shirt and look at the lipstick. How does it look? Perfect or scary? Take a note of that, and repeat with a white shirt. Friggin’ game changer, right? The color that is closest to your face makes a big difference as to how your makeup looks (that’s why I ask brides to wear a shirt similar to the color of their wedding gown to their makeup trial). Play around different shirt and lipstick colors to see if there are combinations that work with each lipstick color. Sometimes there won’t be. Not every lipstick is for you. Think of it like dating, except easier and you don’t need to enlist your best friend’s help to decode texts your lipstick sent.

    If she wore that same lipstick with a black top, totally different feel. You’ll have to use your imagination for this one.
  7. Contrast. This is a real basic rule, but something to keep in mind–lighter colors are more of a contrast on dark skin, and dark colors are more of a contrast on light skin. A deep wine lip color is going to be way more obvious on someone who wears the lightest foundation shade than the darkest, and that pale pink lipstick from before–even if it’s applied after your NL has been cancelled out–is going to be more obvious on a darker skintone. So if you try that lipstick that looked fly on your friend but it doesn’t pop as much on you (or it pops too much, and not in a good way) it might be because of the contrast.
  8.  Your Hair Style. Ok, so your brow color, hair color, the rest of your makeup, skin undertone, NL, skin and lip color contrast and clothing are all working beautifully together, but somethin’ ain’t right. Is your hair pulled away from your face? Take it down. Is your hair down? Put it up. Your hair style is part of your overall look and sometimes it needs to be tweaked to work with everything else. For example, I have dark brown, almost black hair with blue ends. My eyebrows are black and my eyes are hazel, veering towards the green side most days. If I go for a dark berry, burgundy or oxblood lip color and my hair is down, things can get Elvira-y real quick. But pull my hair up into a top knot? The Halloween feel disappears. If you have short hair, this up or down thing won’t be an option, but for the rest of us, keep it in mind as you dabble in the lipstick arts.

    Bey knows.

Here are some very general lip color choices that work on a different eye and hair color combinations.  Take the eight factors above into consideration too, but this can be a good starting point if you don’t have any lipsticks, or any lipsticks that look right even after trying different hair styles and clothing colors.

  1. Brown Eyes & Brown Hair: Deep pink, fuschia, coppery tones.
  2. Brown Eyes & Blonde Hair: Peachy nude, deep pink, mid-tone pink.
  3. Brown Eyes & Red Hair: Peachy nude, pinky nude, sheer wine tones.
  4. Blue Eyes & Blonde Hair: Petal pink, orange red, oxblood.
  5. Blue Eyes & Brown Hair: Deep red, blue toned pink, petal pink.
  6. Blue Eyes & Red Hair: Peachy nude, coppery tones, orange red.
  7. Hazel Eyes & Brown Hair: Coral pink, berry tones, wine tones, true red.
  8. Hazel Eyes & Blonde Hair: Peachy nude, mid-tone pink, wine tones.
  9. Hazel Eyes & Red Hair: Peachy nude, coppery tones, berry tones.
  10. Green Eyes & Brown Hair: Berry tones, deep red, pinky nude.
  11. Green Eyes & Blonde Hair: Wine tones, petal pink, peachy nude.
  12. Green Eyes & Red Hair: Peachy nude, coppery tones, orange red.

If you’re more of a visual learner, I found a few good articles with pictures to show you how different lip colors can look on different people.

  1. This Buzzfeed article does a good job showing four different skintones and coloring, although I wish they threw a redhead in the mix. It’s partly a review of certain lipsticks, but the pictures alone tell the story of how different the same lipstick can look on varying skintones and coloring.
  2. There is some bad makeup and heavy editing in some of these pictures, but this article shows several different colors on different skintones.
  3. These two girls with totally different hair, eye and skin colors have an Instagram account dedicated to showing how different lipsticks look on each of them! I love this idea.
  4. This article shows several women wearing one of MAC’s most popular lipsticks.
  5. And one more from across the pond.

I think you’re now ready to find the right shades for your coloring, and figure out which shades look better with certain shirt/dress colors and the different hair styles you rock. The right color lipstick can emphasize your eye color, brighten up your face and make you sing “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me” to yourself. (Here’s the video if you’re feeling nostalgic for 2005.)

Have a beautiful day 🙂


Lip Service: Part 1

Elizabeth Taylor lipstick quote
My mantra.

Lipstick: the shoes of the makeup world. Bear with me here. Adding lipstick can transform your entire makeup look, just like wearing stilettos as opposed to ballet flats changes the whole feel of an outfit. There’s a reason lipstick tubes are called “bullets.” They are an Image Weapon. (I know there’s a better line there, but that’s the best I could do.)

Many women I come across are scared to try anything other than a very sheer lip color or a tinted lip balm. And a lot of fear comes from lack of knowledge, right? So I’ve created a non-alphabetical Lipstick Dictionary for you (it makes more sense this way). It contains information about all of the lipstick terms you may have heard, and some you need to know about.

And here.we.go.

Lipstick. A wax and oil based pigmented product that comes in a tube and is designed to enhance or change lip color. Lipsticks come in a variety of textures, finishes and colors.

Lip Balm: Waxed based product intended to heal and hydrate the lips. Can come in stick, pot or tube form. If your lips are dry, even the highest quality lipstick will look bad, so you’ve got to keep your lips hydrated. I’ve found that balms that are too waxy might fill in the cracks that can happen when lips are dry, but they don’t heal past that surface level. And balms that are too oily have the similar effect of making lips feel smooth but not really healing the dryness or dehydration. Glossier Balm Dotcom, which seems to be the perfect texture of wax and oil ingredients, is my all time favorite and the only balm I recommend. Apply this lip magic first thing in the morning, so it has time (at least 15 minutes) to absorb. Whether or not you wear lip color, you should be getting balmed up every day.

Lip Gloss. A liquid/gel hybrid that is applied straight from a tube or with a wand or brush applicator to give the lips a shiny finish. Some glosses are tinted, others are highly pigmented. Glosses tend to fade quickly as the lips absorb them, but thicker glosses–you know, the sticky ones that your hair gets stuck in–have more staying power due to their consistency, which takes lips longer to absorb. Glosses were big in the late 90s up until around 2010, then matte formulations got trendy (again). Glosses are starting to make a comeback, and us 90s girls are ready for it.

Lip Stain. A water based liquid or gel that deposits color onto the lips, often for extended periods of time. Lip stain can be drying, especially if it’s a longwear formulation, so make sure to prep with lip balm first. You can also make your own lip stain by applying a lipstick (after your lip primer has absorbed) then blotting it several times on a tissue.

Lip Tint. See “lip stain.” 

Lip Primer: A lightweight product, usually in a cream formulation, that is applied prior to lip color to make it last longer. If you want to make your lipstick stay on all day, apply a lip primer like Too Faced Lip Insurance after your balm has absorbed. Give it a few minutes to dry before your next step. This is a great time to do your mascara, sculpt those cheekbones or do some other part of your makeup that takes you a minute or two. If you put your lipstick on before your primer has fully absorbed, it’s not going to work. So just do what I say!

Lip Liner: A pigmented pencil or thin crayon used to add definition to the lips and give lip color something to adhere to. If you want to add some extra staying power to your lip color and shape your lips, lip liner is the way to do it. Make sure it’s sharpened, then outline your lips. I do this in four quadrants (look at the one thing I retained from Geometry class coming through!). I start with the lower left half of the bottom lip, tracing over the bottom of the natural lipline to the center of the bottom lip. Repeat on the other side. Then on the top lip, one quadrant first followed by the other. But the work doesn’t stop there! It’s important that you then fill in your lips with the liner. That’s right, color between the lines. This gives your lip color something to adhere to so it stays on better, and it prevents the visual announcement of “Hey, I have lip liner on!” that happens when lip color fades and only the telltale outlines stay.

Lip Scrub: A physical exfoliant that removes the dead skin cells on the surface of your lips that could otherwise latch onto your lipstick and cause it to apply unevenly. If your get dry lips and lip balm doesn’t completely heal them, you should consider exfoliating your lips once a week. You can go with a homemade lip scrub or a pre-made one, but since you will definitely be ingesting some of the scrub, I suggest keeping it natural.

Undertones. The subdued or secondary colors found in most shades of colors. You know your primary colors, right? Red, green and blue. But in makeup, most of the shades you come across are a mixture of colors. Undertones play a big part in lipsticks, which you might be aware of. Ever heard anyone refer to a lipstick as an “orange red” or a “pinky nude?” Sure you have. Knowing the colors that work for you in general can help you find a good lipstick match. For example, someone with blue eyes might like how they look in a pink shirt because pink and blue are complimentary and when the right colors are on or close to the face, they will bring out eye color. So if you start to be aware of lipstick undertones (they are often listed in the lipstick color description on a website), it might help you figure out what works for you.

FINISHES/TEXTURES (Because this one really calls for its own section)

Cream. The original lipstick finish of modern times that isn’t completely matte but isn’t a satin, metallic or frost either. Cream textures glide on easily but aren’t sparkly or only lightly pigmented. This texture works on everyone and is a comfortable formulation to wear. However, it is more like to bleed over the lip line, so if you encounter that problem, try using a lip primer and/or lip liner under it.

Matte. A texture and effect that is flat and contains no shimmer, glitter or other light reflecting particles. Matte lipsticks are highly pigmented, which makes them more bold/obvious. They can be drying, so make sure to stay on your lip balm and lip scrub game if you like matte lipsticks.

Satin. Halfway between a cream and a matte finish. Satin lipsticks provide a slight sheen without any shimmer of frosts or metallics or the stickiness of some lip glosses.

Frost. A finish that has highly a reflective iridescent shimmer. A frost finish gives any lipstick an icy, opalescent effect. Frost lipsticks were very popular in the 1970s, and then again in the late 1990s, as all makeup trends come back around. That’s beauty industry gospel.

Metallic. Another highly reflective finish, but with gold, silver or copper light reflecting particles that create a foiled effect. If you are going to wear a metallic lipstick, I recommend making it the focus of your look by keeping the rest of your look clean/minimal.

Hopefully I’ve helped decode some of the mysteries of lipstick and its associates. In Part 2, I’ll tell you about colors and application techniques so you can pucker up with confidence.

Have a beautiful day 🙂



Makeup Artist Dreaming: Narrow It Down

Makeup artistry career
Is this your dream or nightmare type of makeup job?

There are many directions you can go in as a makeup artist. You can specialize in the fashion industry/runway makeup, film and/or television, red carpet/celebrity events, theatre, bridal/events, special effects, editorial, or corporate work. You will most likely work in a few fields, especially at the beginning of your career. Doing so will give you experience with different types of makeup applications, and will allow you to build your income while you are starting out.

At the same time, having some focus will give you direction and allow you to plan your next career steps more easily. Many of the fields overlap (for example, most special effects makeup is for film, and red carpet/celebrity events and bridal makeup have similarities), so even if you have a general idea of what you want to do, that will help you.

If you are interested in the fashion industry/runway, you will need to live in or near one of the major fashion centers of the world. New York, London, Milan and Paris are the four biggest cities for runway, but you will find runway on a smaller scale in any large city. But if you want to make runway your main focus, choosing one of the major fashion centers will be most beneficial to you.

To get started in the fashion industry/runway, you must first assist an artist who creates the looks for the shows. This is matter of networking, perseverance and patience! Do your research to find out which makeup artists you would like to assist, and learn as much about their style, past work and clients as you can. Keep in mind that runway shows are very fast paced, so you must learn to work quickly and, while you are assisting, be able to duplicate the look that has been created by the lead makeup artist. The fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris are one week long each, and are held twice a year. While there is prep work that goes into the shows, doing runway only will probably not provide you with enough income for the year, so you will most likely need to supplement your income with other jobs (perhaps working some of the smaller fashion weeks for other cities, or doing editorial work).

Film and/or television makeup is a popular career choice for makeup artists. While Los Angeles and New York tend to host films and television shows regularly, they are not the only areas where you can work. Because of tax breaks for the film industry, places like New Orleans, Louisiana, Atalanta, Georgia and Boston, Massachusetts have become popular places for film work.

To get in to the film/television industry, most artists start out working on small (usually unpaid) student films and independent films. This is how you learn set etiquette, script breakdowns, look continuity, how to interact with directors and different departments and how to network. After you gain experience and make the right connections—which is how you will get new jobs at first—you might want to consider joining the union for makeup artists in the area you work in. Most big films and television shows are union production, so this is something you’ll likely need to do.

If you work in film/television, be prepared for long days. It’s not unusual to work a 14 hour day on set. If you work in television, depending on which show you work on, you may work at one location every day. Working in the film industry typically requires more travel, both in the sense of traveling for different films and during the actual filming (it is unlikely that every single scene will be filmed at one location).

If you form a relationship with a celebrity, you may be able to break into the world of red carpet/celebrity events. It is important to really understand how to do makeup for photography and film in this industry, as your client could potentially be photographed and filmed at the same event. You have to learn to collaborate with their hair stylist and wardrobe stylist, and be ready to change direction if a hair style or outfit changes after you have planned out a look.

Doing makeup for red carpet/celebrity events requires that you are up to date on the current makeup trends. It also requires a degree of creativity, as celebrities will often debut a new look at an event. It is important that you know your client’s likes and dislikes well, but you also want to present new ideas to them.

Theatre makeup definitely requires specific training, as the type of makeup that is often used is not traditional makeup. Doing makeup for theatre requires that you understand lighting, costumes, characters and scripts. Because theatre productions often include large numbers of actors appearing onstage at the same time, usually the lead artist creates the looks for the entire cast, but they only work with one or two of the lead actors. It would be difficult (and probably not cost effective for production) to hire one makeup artist for every single actor, which is why the actors in smaller productions usually learn to do the makeup themselves.

Working in theatre is lively and fast-paced, but keep in mind that it may not be something you can do full-time at the beginning of your career. If you want to focus on theatre, you should definitely assist a makeup artist who is experienced in that field. Living in a city with a prominent theatre scene, like New York or London, is probably the best choice for you.

Weddings are a huge industry in the U.S., and the majority of brides get their makeup professionally done. You can do bridal makeup anywhere, but there are certain cities that have a lot of weddings. This changes each year, but the U.S. cities that usually make the “The Popular Wedding Destination” lists are Boston, MA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, Miami, FL, Charleston, SC and Napa Valley, CA. Doing bridal makeup in these areas gives you access to more work, but also more competition.

Bridal and other event makeup requires you to work closely with the client to create a customized look for them. Along with the normal factors in any makeup application—skin type, skin tone, eye color and hair color–you have to take their dress, hair style and any cultural factors into consideration. Unless you are working for a salon or beauty services company and someone else does the administrative work, bridal makeup in particular is not just about showing up that day. You have to keep contracts, invoices, schedules and other details organized and you must be good with consistent communication and followup.

Breaking into the bridal industry is easier than breaking into runway or film, as you don’t necessarily have to assist anyone first and you don’t have to start with unpaid jobs or join a union. If you have the technical skills and business sense, you can start building your contacts from people you know. Think of how many women you know who get engaged each year—they could potentially all be clients! It takes a while to build a clientele and reputation, but it is generally a quicker process than building your career in other areas of makeup artistry.

Special effects makeup is most frequently done for films and television, but there is also some need for it in other areas. Special effects makeup is much different than beauty makeup, so you will need some training from a school, course or mentor. If you are interested in this kind of makeup, you will probably find the most work and resources—at least when you are starting out—in California. Because special effects makeup is primarily a subcategory of film and television, your way in will be the same as explained for that industry.

Editorial makeup—makeup for print work—is what many people think of when they think of makeup artists. The makeup you see in magazine spreads is typically done by experienced makeup artists who often work for an agency. The bulk of editorial work is based out of New York, but it is a job that allows for a lot of travel, as magazine shoots are done in different locations.

As with anything that is being photographed, with editorial makeup, you must understand lighting, wardrobe, hair styles and locations. For these types of shoots, it is vital that you understand the vision of the client, art director and photographer. You must be ready to make adjustments as you go, as sometimes the visions will change. If you are working with actress instead or a model, you must take their preferences into consideration as well (as long as they line up with everyone else’s).

To get started in editorial (really in any area, but especially editorial) you will need a portfolio. You can build your portfolio by doing test shoots, aka trade shoots, with a team of photographers, hair stylists and models. In these shoots, you will learn how to collaborate with your team, how to do makeup for photography and how to work with different personalities. After the shoot, you will receive images for your portfolio. Test/trades shoots are unpaid, but building a portfolio is essential and therefore valuable.

There are opportunities for corporate work in any area that has businesses. Real estate companies, insurance companies, universities, hospitals and other organizations sometimes hire makeup artists to work on company commercials, promotional photoshoots, business card photos and events. Corporate work can  consist of doing makeup for 50 employees being filmed for short segments, or for the owners of a company being photographed for their website, or for instructional videos to be seen by company employees. As a makeup artist doing corporate work, you will usually be responsible for hair grooming too. This doesn’t mean cutting, coloring or even full hair styling, but just making sure that the person’s hair looks presentable on camera.

Doing corporate work sometimes means that you have to work quickly to get through large numbers of people. It also means that you have to style and dress yourself in a way that is business-appropriate. Makeup artists are creative people, and this is often also reflected in hair styles and clothing choices. At a runway show or editorial shoot, you can let your individuality show through, but when you are with corporate clients, it is to go with more of a conservative look.

Corporate jobs are usually 8 hours or less, and tend to happen more on weekdays than weekends. It can take 30-60 days to get paid for corporate work, which is something you will want to take into account when doing your budgeting. Once they find a makeup artist they like, corporate clients will often use the same person every time, so it is important to form and maintain good relationships.

You don’t have to decide right away what you want to do, but hopefully this overview has helped you narrow down your interests a bit. You will have to do research, make connections and build a portfolio for any of these fields, but focusing on two or three areas that interest you will help you while you are starting out in your career.

Have a beautiful day 🙂






Getting Personal

I’m happy to tell you what’s in my personal makeup bag! You don’t have to be a creeper about it.

It’s been a minute since I’ve told you what I have in my personal makeup bag, so I think it’s time. Most of these products are in my pro kit too, with a few exceptions. You want a little look into what this makeup artist uses on the daily? I got you, Nosy.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF35. This has been my go-to moisturizer for years. It’s not too thick, it doesn’t feel drying or sticky, and it interacts well with both foundation and undereye concealer. It’s not heavily fragranced, which is essential for me (and the reason I couldn’t stick with an Aveeno moisturizer I tried recently). It’s got the all important SPF too, which means one less product to layer on. I do not use this on clients who will be photographed, as the SPF can cause flashback (making the skin look lighter than it is), but I recommend it for everyday use for anyone with combination skin.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture

MAC Oil Control Lotion. Since I have combination skin, I only use this during the warmer months when my skin gets more oily. It’s mattifies like nobody’s business, which is why it’s also a staple in my pro kit. If they ever discontinue this product, I’m going straight to the MAC headquarters to protest.

MAC Oil Control Lotion

MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation. This foundation might be my soulmate. I have used it for years, both on myself and on many of my clients, and it never disappoints.  It’s a sheer coverage foundation that turns into medium coverage the more you work it into the skin. It absorbs beautifully and leaves a little glow. It feels lightweight, looks natural, and if you use a primer under it, it lasts all day.

MAC Face and Body Foundation

Benefit POREfessional. I’m lucky enough to have both large pores and fine lines, but POREfessional helps me keep that a secret. It temporarily fills in my lines and pores, preventing my foundation and powder from settling into those areas and highlighting them. I also use this on almost all of my clients. It’s a real gem.

Benefit Porefessional

Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Eye primer is a game changer, and this player is the MVP. (Now accepting props for that accurate sports analogy.) If you wear eyeshadow or eyeliner, you must prime so your eye makeup can last. I’ve tried a million other eye primers, but in an eye-to-eye comparison challenge, Shadow Insurance always wins.

Too Faced Shadow

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I’ve got deep set eyes, Italian genes and light skin, so of course my undereyes are going to look dark. My circles (usually) aren’t dark enough to require a color corrector first, so this thin but pigmented concealer covers them right up. It stays on well and doesn’t cake up like cream undereye concealers do. It’s pretty much perfect.

MAC Prolongwear Concealer

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #3 Tansoleil/Bettina. I’ve been using this cream blush (usually the coral one on the left) for the past few months. It blends nicely, has good pigment and lasts as long as you can expect a cream blush to. She’s a keeper.

Kevyn Aucoin

MAC Eyeshadow in Brule. This shadow is a few shades lighter than my skin, so it’s a great lid color for a contoured eye. It has a satin finish, so it’s easier to blend than other similar colors in matte formulations (I’m looking at you, Blanc Type.) Like all MAC shadows, it’s pigmented so you don’t need to apply 12 layers for color payoff. It’s a good basic shade for those with fair to light skin.

MAC Brule eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Wedge. This soft, matte light brown is my go-to crease color. It blends well, which is key for any crease color, and gives light definition when applied to the bottom lashline. I also sometime use it all over my lid for the base of a brown smokey eye. It works on fair, light and medium skintones.

MAC Wedge Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Brun. I use this muted blackish brown for lining my upper lashline and to fill in my eyebrows. Brun + an angled brush = a perfect duo.

MAC Eyeshadow in Brun

MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon. This matte black shadow is makeup artist favorite. I use it on a thin eyeliner brush to get real close to the lashline. Because it’s highly pigmented–unlike a lot of matte black eyeshadows–I’ll also use it to draw a full winged eyeliner, and it looks like a pencil or crayon liner in terms of intensity.

MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon

MAC Eyeshadow in Espresso. This muted warm golden brown is perfect for my brown smokey eye. I also use it to add definition to my bottom lashline. Espresso can also be used as a crease color on dark skintones, so it has a place in every makeup bag.

MAC Eyeshadow in Embark. This reddish brown shade brings out the green in my hazel eyes, so I use it as a liner or on the whole lid when I want to do a darker brown smokey eye. This a great shade for hazel and green eyes.

MAC Embark eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Scene. When I want to do a light gray smokey eye–also a great color choice for hazel eyes–I reach for this muted blue-gray shade.

MAC Scene eyeshadow

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. I use the Transparent 001 shade to set my foundation and undereye concealer and  to absorb oil. It is lightweight and doesn’t cake up. I use a different, more pigmented powder on clients but I like a more lightweight one myself for every day makeup.

Rimmel Stay Matte

MAC Powder Blush in Pink Swoon. This soft coral peach powder blush is highly pigmented and blends well. It’s the perfect pop of color on my skin and really helps me look more awake. This works on any light to medium skin, although it’s a little too pink for those with roseacea.

MAC Pink Swoon blush

MAC Prolongwear Fluidline in Blacktrack. I use black gel liner when I want to make my eyes more dramatic and defined. This liner can be smudged before it sets, but once it’s set, it doesn’t budge. Some gel liners have a thin consistency so you have to apply several layers to achieve a strong black color, but with Blacktrack, you get the color payoff right away. This liner works on all skintone and eye colors.

MAC Blacktrack

Dior Diorshow Mascara. If I were to rap a song to this mascara–and don’t put it past me–it would be “You Make Me Better” by Fabolous.  I’ve tried dozens of mascaras in my decade as a makeup artist and when it comes to volume, Diorshow one always wins out.

Dior Diorshow

Clinique High Impact Mascara. For inky black color and length, I use this mascara on top of Diorshow. I also apply it to my bottom lashes because I find it stays on the bottom lashes better than Diorshow (which stays on fine on my top lashes).

Clinique High Impact Mascara

MAC Eye Kohl in Smoulder. I use this intense black pencil in my lower waterline if I want to make my eye makeup more dramatic without adding shadow. Black eyeliner on the waterline intensifies eye color, as it’s a contrast to every eye color, but it does make eyes look smaller so I stay away from it if I’m going to be photographed. (In which case, I’ll use an off-white liner in the waterline.)

MAC Smoulder

I can’t tell you about my contour powder because it’s been discontinued, as have the ones I have stockpiled in my kit. But I sometimes use Benefit Hoola for soft sculpting, as long as I have some color (aka self tanner) on. It can look a little orange on very fair skin and not dark enough on dark skin, so it’s not a universal shade.

I’ve been using some of these products for year, but it’s not that I don’t try others. It’s just that there are certain products that I find can’t be beat. I will forever try new products and I will change things up if I find something better, but I’ll never change to a lesser quality product solely because it’s trendy or other people I know like it. I hold my ground, man.

I have my lip products their own makeup bag (unnecessary), but I’ll discuss those in a separate post. My favorite brushes will go in another post too. Oh, the suspense…

Would love to hear some of your tried and true products, as well as anything new you are loving. Comment away.

Have a beautiful day!

Things I Love: The Spring 2018 Edition

Heart eyes emoji, cinnamon in coffee

It’s Spring! I just got back from living in Charleston, SC for three months, so the recent 30 and 40 degree temperatures in RI don’t feel like spring. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that. (More on that later.)

In honor of the fresh start vibes of a new(ish) season, I want to tell you about my recent favorite things, both beauty related and non-beauty related. Let’s get to it then, shall we?


Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. It’s thickening, dark black and I love a big mascara wand, so I am feelin’ this one. I’ve been layering it over my Diorshow for crazy volume. It doesn’t get smudgy on me (in fact, they claim that it is a “no smudge” mascara), but I know there is always someone out there who finds every mascara to be smudgy. This is the first Bobbi Brown mascara I’ve ever used, and I am impressed.

I like big wands and I can not lie.

Moroccan Oil. I used Moroccan Oil years ago when I wore my hair curly, but stopped for a reason I can’t remember. (“Being broke” was my main reason for a lot of my decisions in my 20s, so that was probably it.) The South Carolina humidity–which is nothing in March compared to August–made my hair frizz this winter, and since I try to only get Brazilian Blowouts twice a year (for the summer in New England), I asked around for the best anti-frizz hair products. AB Beauty hair stylist, Emily, suggested Moroccan Oil and it has made a big difference. (Thank you, Hair Magician!) Now I put it in my hair pre-blowout, and apply the tiniest bit on my dry hair when it’s humid, and I’ve been frizz-free.

Moroccan Oil, frizzy hair
My anti-frizz weapon for medium level humidity.

Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter. I had been on the hunt for a good body moisturizer that also has a scent I like and doesn’t irritate my skin for a longgggg time. That’s a tall order, but I found my holy grail moisturizer at the Savannah Bee Company store in Charleston. The Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter smells amazing, makes my skin feel soft, absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel heavy or sticky and comes in the cutest little jar. What’s not to love?

Savannah Bee Company
It’s cute and works well!

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10. Don’t hate me, but I don’t get a lot of blemishes. It’s part genetics, part skincare. But when I do get a zit, I always go after it with a spot treatment. The spot treatment I’ve used forever is a Clinique salicylic acid spot treatment, and it usually works well. But I recently grew a second head, I mean cystic acne spot, out of my neck, and it was not responding to the sal. So I went to CVS in search of a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. BP kills bacteria (while SA removes dead skin cells that are clogging pores), so I consider it the stronger of the spot treatment options. I tried this BP for the first time one night last week and woke up to see a blemish that had shrunk by at least 50%. That’s a spring time miracle! Persa-Gel 10 is effective, easy to use and under $10. A win-win-win.

Persa gel, acne
The zit destroyer.

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #3 Tansoleil/Bettina. I love a good cream blush. I got this one as a gift, and the shade on the left (which looks coral in person–both shades appear darker in this pic) has been my new go-to blush. It blends well so I use it both after foundation and as a final touch after I powder my skin. The shade on the right doesn’t pop on my skin as a blush, so I often layer it over lip balm. It is a peachy, light nude on my lips (might look different on other lip undertones), so a great compliment to a heavy eye makeup look. It’s also a small compact, so I appreciate that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my jam-packed personal makeup bag.

Kevyn Aucoin cream blush
A dynamic duo.


Cinnamon in My Coffee. I believe it was my mother who suggested putting cinnamon in my coffee this year (and if it wasn’t, she’ll still take the credit) and I’ve been doing so on the reg since. It’s supposedly got a lot of health benefits–click the link to read all about it–but I really just like the taste. Do I get mad at myself when I forget to sprinkle that magic in even though I purposely leave it next to my coffee maker so I’ll see it? Damn right I do. But during my “on top of my shit days,” I use it and I love it.

Male tears mug
I don’t drink my coffee out of this, but I do own this mug.

Theo Von This Past Weekend Podcast. I watch some kind of comedy–standup, video podcasts, interviews with comics I like–every day. And when I discover a new (to me) comic I like, I’m psyched. I got into Theo’s podcasts in January, and I laugh my ass off whenever I watch an episode. My favorite is when he talks about people from his hometown of Covington, Lousiana. He’s quickly made it onto my Top Ten List of Comics, which is good because I had to knock a few off after the crap that came to light recently.


Theo Von
Worth the laugh lines.

Grits. Grits aren’t new to me, but I don’t think I’ve talked about them in my any of my Things I Love posts. Which is strange, because I really love them. I have to impose a weekly “grits limit” on myself when I’m in Charleston, because without one, that is all I would eat. I haven’t tried grits at every restaurant in Charleston–I would have to live there for six months straight to have the time to do that–but I have two favorite places to get them: Eli’s Table and Poogan’s Smokehouse. If you think I would consider ordering grits anywhere in New England, you trippin’. I have to (impatiently) wait until I’m back in Charleston to have my favorite food again.

Grits, I love grits
And now here’s a mug I don’t have, but should.

Hatch Tribe Members Circle. Owning a business is one of my favorite things. I’m really lucky that my brother and father own businesses, because they know what it’s like. But other than them, for most of my career, I didn’t have many other people in my life who own businesses. And that can be a very lonely feeling. Last winter, my Charleston friend, Mairin, told me about Hatch Tribe. They are a group for women entrepreneurs, but not just for networking. They offer classes, events, resources and a supportive community–something I was really missing before. Hatch Tribe created the Members Circle this year, and it is the bomb. There’s so much to it that I’m going to do a whole separate post about it, but if you are a female entrepreneur, you should really check it out. The Members Circle has a new theme each month featuring experts in different fields, and so far those themes have helped me up my social media and content game and improve the way I talk about my business (even down to body language and movement). The support and advice you get in the Members Circle is unbelievable. I’ve posted tons of questions about things I was stuck on, looking into, needed referrals for or just wanted input on. Every time, I’ve gotten super helpful responses. I’ve also made a lot of new friendships with like-minded women, which is awesome. (I think it’s hard to make new friends in your 30s, especially when you spend most of your day working from home, solo.) The Hatch Tribe Members Circle has improved my business and given me the opportunity to make a bunch of new friends. So, you know, only two of the most important areas of my life…

Hatch Tribe, women entrepreneur group
Some Hatch Tribe truth.

Charleston Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix. If you had told me three years ago that a Bloody Maria (that’s a Bloody Mary with tequila) would be my go-to drink, I would have told you had the wrong chick. At that time, I was a Three-Olives-Cherry-Vodka-With-Club-And-A-Splash-Of-Cran-Girl, with the occasional Stoli Doli or glass of prosecco if I wanted to mix it up. Now I’m a Ryde-Or-Die-Tequila-Girl, and my tequila drink of choice is a Bloody Maria. My favorite pre-made mix, which they use at a lot of bars and restaurants in Charleston, is Charleston Mix. Other mixes pale in comparison, so I’m psyched that I can buy this stuff online. I always had a bottle of it in my fridge while I was in SC, and I’ll continue that trend in RI.

Charleston Bloody Mary mix
Looks like a month’s worth to me.

Being Back In My Apartment. I can’t say that I love Charleston, because that would be an understatement. It’s more like a part who I am now, and snowbirding there is the realization of a dream I had when I opened my business a decade ago. Charleston is where I live for part of each year, and it feels like home to me. What didn’t feel like home this year was my actual home. All I wanted was a small, quiet space in a safe neighborhood where I could work from home and be in walking distance of downtown. I nailed the neighborhood part (or my Realtor did) but the “quiet” part was ruined by three months of loud, lacquer fume-laced months of renovations on the unit below mine. I didn’t take it well at all. But now I’m back in my RI apartment and it’s so quiet I could cry tears of joy. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and even though the weather is crap–which would normally really bother me–I’m so happy to be out of the construction zone that I don’t even care. I will never take a peaceful work and home situation for granted again.

Renovations meme
Me, every weekday for three months.

I hope you have lot of things you’re loving this spring. And if you are being affected by renovations, I feel your pain. I found that numbing it with a Bloody Maria works well.

Have a beautiful day 🙂




Look Breakdown

Amber Heard, Amber Heard makeup, Celebrity makeup, Brown smokey eye
A wearable smokey eye and and nude pink lip combo

A brown smokey eye is like the jeans and T-shirt (or little black dress…or pencil skirt and crop top, depending on your style) of the makeup world for those with fair all the way up to dark medium skin. Add a nude lip and and some blush, and you’ve got a look that works for anything from Happy Hour to a black tie event.

Amber Heard rocked this look, and you can too. Here we go.

Foundation: Medium coverage with a glow. Armani Luminous Silk would work well. See how the center of her face looks highlighted? You can get that effect by using the foundation shade that matches your skin around the edges of your face, and one that is two shades lighter on the center of your face.

Powder: Powder all over to set. MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural Powder would do the job. Rimmel Stay Matte would work too, and is easier on the wallet.

Highlighter: It’s tough to see from this camera angle, but I suspect there is some on the cheekbones. I would use Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow for this. It’s meant to be used as a primer, but I like it for subtle cheekbone highlight.

Contour/Bronzer: Contour under cheekbones, below hairline and possibly under jawline. I’m a big fan of the Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kits for this.

Cheek Color: You know, I can’t tell if the color I’m seeing is from her contour or blush. I think it might be the contour, but this look would benefit from a muted peachy or pink blush, depending on your skintone. I think MAC Melba would be a good choice.

Eyebrows: Taupe brow powder to fill in sparseness/add shape where needed. It also looks like the ends of her brows were extended, or at least defined. Go with whatever color matches your brows.

Eye Makeup: MAC Eyeshadow in Mulch, a red brown with bronze pearl, looks similar to what Amber is wearing on her lids and slightly into the crease (just make sure to blend that well). Her shadow is softly angled into a wing shape, giving the illusion that the eye is elongated. The key is to use a shimmery brown shadow that is several shades darker than your skin and makes your eye color pop. That’s why this look isn’t great for those with very dark skin, as choosing a shadow darker than some skin tones either means using a black shadow or not having any to choose from. (For example, using a dark brown shadow on someone with a skintone like model Nykhor Paul wouldn’t have the same effect.) I spy a chocolate brown pencil liner at the top lashline, blended into the eyeshadow. Bottom lashline has a soft wash of the same shadow from the lid, likely applied with a pencil brush.


Nykhor Paul
The beautiful Nykhor Paul.

Mascara: Yes, top and bottom lashes. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is a good choice for this look.

False Lashes: Yes, strip lashes on just the outer third of top lashes. They might have come like that, or her makeup artist cut a full strip lash to that size.

Lipliner: Yes, same color as the lipstick. MAC Subculture Lipliner would work.

Lipcolor: MAC Patisserie (it looks way more pink on the website than it is in person) or Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit.

This is solid go-to look for the skintones I mentioned. You can change it up easily by doing a petal pink lip to make it more girly, or adding black liner to the waterline or using a darker eyeliner at the top and bottom lashlines to make it more sultry. If you master this one–and you can–you’ll have a versatile look that doesn’t require a ton of time.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Makeup Artist Dreaming: Get Schooled

Makeup school, makeup certification, makeup artist training
Education is key.

If your state requires that all makeup artists are licensed Cosmetologists or Estheticians, you will have to go to school for the required amount of hours. If you don’t need a license to provide makeup services in your state, you may still want to strongly consider getting your Esthetics or Cosmetology license, or getting a makeup certification. Having a license or certification in your field when you technically don’t need to will give you training and credibility.

If you decide to go to school, depending on your state, you may have to making the choice between Cosmetology or Esthetics programs. Cosmetology programs are typically more hours, and while the subjects of makeup and skincare are covered, the majority of the time is spent on hair styling, cutting and coloring. Esthetics programs normally focus on skincare, waxing, makeup and sometimes other spa services like acupressure, body wraps and various body treatments. Some states may not require makeup artists to be licensed, but they may require some kind of makeup artist certification.

You may live in a state that does not have any education or licensing requirements to be a provider of makeup services, but getting some kind of training will be beneficial. Even an informal course with an experienced makeup artist can help you gain the experience, credibility and confidence needed to start your career.

If you do need to or decide to go to school, get a certification or take any type of makeup course, do your research! Find out what the school or course will provide for you in terms of hours, education and materials/supplies. Visit the school (or meet with the instructor if you will be doing private lessons) to make sure it is the right fit for you. Speak to current and past students if possible.

Verify that the school is accredited, if necessary. Find out what the cost will be, and if they offer student loans or payment plans, if that is something you would need. Confirm the length of the program, the schedule of classes and if there is a penalty for taking a leave of absence or going past the contracted date (some Cosmetology and Esthetics schools have these hidden charges). Get everything in writing and make sure that you fully understand any documents before signing. If your questions are brushed off, or you are made to feel that your questions or silly or you are asking too many, consider another school or course.

The proper education and training will set you up for a successful career, so choosing the right school or course is an important decision.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

How To Properly Cleanse Your Face

Bumble, oil cleanser, face cleanser, good skin tips
Cleanse first, swipe later. They’ll still be there.

I know what you did last night. Nope, not the Netflix binge. Or the Bumble swiping. Not that nightcap either. I’m talking about the part when you thought about washing your face, but decided it wasn’t necessary. Busted!

Ok, so maybe you didn’t do that last night. But you have done it. And that’s not cool, B. Not removing your makeup and forgoing cleansing is a great way to cause breakouts, eye irritation and clogged pores. I understand it feels like one more thing you have to do at the end of a long day, but it’s not a difficult task. It only takes around five minutes, so you have the time.

Want to excel at taking your face off every night? Here’s a handy dandy how-to for you.

  1. Erase The Evidence. If you use anything other than an oil cleanser, you need to precleanse first. An oil makeup remover like Dermalogica Precleanse will get rid of any makeup, moisturizer, SPF, oil, dirt, etc. that’s been chilling on your face all day. You should be good with a dime-sized amount, or a little more after a heavy makeup day. Apply it to dry skin then massage it in. Avoid putting it directly on your eyes (although you can lightly use some on your lashes if you were wearing waterproof mascara). Then wet your hands and continue massaging it in, concentrating on the areas where you had more makeup on. The Precleanse will turn white and frothy after you do that. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry.
  2. Wash Away Your Sins. If you use an oil cleanser (Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil is my favorite), which I strongly recommend, you don’t need to precleanse. Although after a heavy makeup day, I suggest doing a double cleanse–one after the other–just in case. An oil cleanser is used just like the Precleanse. If you use a non-oil cleanser, those normally go on wet skin, but read the instructions on your bottle first.

    Josie Maran Argan Oil, oil cleanser
    You’ll love this oil cleanser.
  3. Pat Down. Pat–don’t rub–your face dry after cleansing. I’ve seen some vigorous face drying from people before, but keep in mind that repeated tugging on facial skin can cause sagging. Skin only has so much elasticity to offer and if you’re being rough with it, it’s going to bounce back slower and slower. Also, if you use a self tanner or have a spray tan, rubbing your face dry will remove some of the product.

So that’s it! What you do next depends on what your beauty regimen is. If you use hyaluronic acid, certain toners or serums, you’ll have a step (or a few) after cleansing. But let’s first focus on getting you to CONSISTENTLY remove your makeup and cleanse your face. You have zero chance at having clear skin if you are ignoring this beauty essential.

You got questions? I got answers. Comment away.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Work It, Girl: A 15 Minute Makeup How To For Bosses Like You

Here’s the cold, hard truth: part of your professional image is based on your appearance. I don’t like it either–sometimes even makeup artists want a break!–but studies say that people who look put together are typically taken more seriously and believed to be more competent, even before they say anything, than people who appear to have put in no effort. As an entrepreneur, I know I need to use every tool at my disposal to ensure that I’m doing the best I can in every part of my business, so if I can do something that will mean someone might take me seriously before I even speak, I’m on it.

This post is for my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners who also want to put their best face forward. I’m going to teach you how to do a basic, polished and semi-quick makeup look. Once you practice a few times and get used to how to do it, you can bang out this routine in 15 minutes. Along with whatever wardrobe and hair styling make sense for your profession, this makeup look will help with your professional image.


  1. Eye Primer. If you want your eye makeup to stay on and last all day, you have to use this. And isn’t it your lucky day? I have a post all about how to prime those peepers, and which primer you should use to do it.
  2. Face Primer. You’ve already moisturized your face after your shower, right? Good job. Applying foundation primer while your eye primer drying is your next step then. A quarter-sized amount is plenty, and you can apply it with your hands, like you would with a moisturizer. Primer makes your foundation go on smoother and stay on longer. It doesn’t have to be an every day product, but if you are going to be at events, conferences or speaking to clients or investors all day, that’s a good time to use it. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is my favorite. If you are going to be on camera or photographed for anything related to your business, I recommend a mattifyer like MAC Oil Control Lotion if you have oily or combination skin. You can use that instead of a primer. Shiny skin is distracting in photos and on camera, but you can help eliminate it with a mattifyer.
  3. Lip Balm. Dry, cracked lips are not a good look on anyone. And if you put lipstick over those lips? Hot mess. Applying a clear lip balm like Glossier Balm Dotcom will make your lips look and feel their best, just like you do when you book a big client/gig or have a killer sales month. Applying lip balm at the beginning of your makeup routine gives it time to fully absorb before applying lipstick, should you choose to do that step.

    Glossier Balm Dotcom, lip balm, Glossier
    The bombest balm.
  4. Eye Makeup. When we are having a conversation with someone, they are (hopefully) looking at our eyes. They are subconsciously scanning our faces to see if we are honest and genuine, and that part of their impression of us comes from our body language and our expressions. Eyes play a big part in our expressions, so I say, frame them up. Depending on how far you go want to go with this, it can either take you one minute or five minutes. Here’s an easy how to for a polished eyeshadow look.
  5. Foundation. I’m calling it foundation because that’s what I prefer, but you can use a tinted moisturizer, BB cream or CC cream if that’s your jam. What’s important about what you choose is thatit matches your skin and evens out your skintone. I prefer a sheer foundation like MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation for dry and normal to dry skin, and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for normal to oily skin (with a mattifyer under it for oily skin). Apply that with your hands or a foundation brush and blend it with a buffing brush. Start with a quarter sized amount and add more if needed. The idea is not to layer on the product and create a makeup mask. Foundation and its associates, when applied correctly, are meant to even out the skintone so anything that goes over it has a good base to blend into.
  6. Brows. I strongly recommend getting your eyebrows professionally shaped, even if you only do so once a year then maintain on your own with tweezers. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are trim for those windows. Why ruin pretty windows with jacked up trim? A pro shaping followed by some light brow fill in can work wonders. Eyebrows can make a huge difference in your poloshed versus disheveled factor. You don’t need to go crazy with brow fill-in–please don’t go all Instaglam on me–but a little brow powder, pencil or gel applied correctly can make a world of difference. The tutorials below will be a bigger help than my words here.

    Benefit, natural brow fill in
    From Benefit Cosmetics. They know how to do a natural brow.
  7. Concealer. Foundation may minimize some of your areas of concern, if you have any. Concealer is there for what foundation doesn’t cover as well on its own. I’m talking blemishes, redness and dark undereye circles. (For severe redness and dark circles, a color corrector may be needed first.) A pigmented concealer with a thin consistency, like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, allows you to cover areas of concern without causing product build up. Nothing gives away “I stayed up working until 2:00am” like dark circles, so let concealer keep that a secret.
  8. Cheek Color. If you are tired and overworked (and you probably are if you are a business owner), your skin might look dull and washed out. A good cheek color will make you look much more awake and put together than you might feel some days. I like a good cream blush, like Make Up For Ever HD Cream Blush  because cream blushes blend well and often look more natural. Use your finger to apply a small amount to the apples of your cheeks and blend slightly upwards with another finger, a buffing brush or a makeup sponge. It’s like caffeine for your face!
  9. Top Lash Mascara. Mascara, like the way you take your coffee, is a personal preference. For the top lashes, I personally like Dior Diorshow Mascara and Too Faced Better Than Sex MascaraL’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara is, I think the, the best one at the drugstore level. If the eyes are the windows the to the soul and the eyebrows are the trim, eyelashes are the window treatments. (I can not take this analogy any further.) Wiggle your mascara wand at the roots of your lashes for volume, and hold at mid-lash level and lightly blink into it for length. Mascara makes everyone’s eyes look more open, awake and alert. It helps us fool people into thinking we always sleep well and never have nightmares about our companies closing…
  10. Powder. A good powder does two things 1) Sets the foundation so it stays in place and 2) Minimizes shine. You want to set your foundation so it stays on as long as possible because really, who has time to re-do their makeup? And shine, you see, can look like sweat, and never let ’em see you sweat. You can apply your powder with a sponge or a brush, but either way, press it onto the skin–don’t buff it in. Under the eyes, I recommend using a clean fluffy eyeshadow brush to lightly press it over your concealer, as that powder layer will act as a barrier to keep your bottom lash mascara from melting when it hits your concealer. This whole powder step for both your face and under your eyes is super important and won’t take more than one minute. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is a solid choice in this department.

    Rimmel Stay Matte, best drugstore powder
    Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder. This has been in my personal makeup bag for years.
  11. Bottom Lash Mascara. You can either use your regular mascara or get a beauty tubes mascara like Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara. Beauty tubes do not smudge, so if your mascara smudges even with powder over your undereye concealer, consider the tubes. You may want to skip this step on regular days, but I do recommend it if you are going to be filmed or photographed, as it really helps define the eyes.
  12. Lip Color. If you’re shy about lip color, you can knock out two steps at once by using a tinted lip balm. If you’re going to go full on lipstick, make sure the color you choose looks right with the top you are wearing. (The watermelon pink lipstick you love may look great when you have a white shirt on but will clash with a red sweater.) Using a lip brush to apply your lipstick will help keep it looking more polished, since that allows you to control the shape of the color at your liplines.
  13. Cheek Color Revisited. I like to use more cheek color–either cream or powder–at the end of my application to make it a little brighter, and because an extra layer will help it stay on longer. This is a completely skippable step, but if you’re a blush gal, I think you’ll like it. If you are being photographed and are doing your own makeup, definitely add some extra blush, as photography requires makeup to be a little more intense to show up in pictures.

This may seem like a lot of steps, but none of them on their own will take you more than five minutes. And I’m really breaking it down here, so that makes this post look long and maybe intimidating. But the actual process is not!

Other than helping you look more polished, a basic look like this will help take away from what I call “face distractions.” Whether they realize it or not, people experience split seconds of distraction when they see something that is “off” on a face. Shiny skin, uncovered blemishes, unruly eyebrows–you know what I’m talking about. If you surveyed a group of people, most would probably say that stuff would never distract them. That’s because they are not even realizing it. Trust me, I get hired on corporate shoots and commercials to take away physical distractions so the viewer/client/customer is focused on the message of the person they are watching, not a red nose, smudged mascara or a super shiny forehead.

I’ve linked to some tutorials below because sometimes you just need to see a makeup step in action. These tutorials were all done by true pros, so you can trust them. There are a ton of tutorials out there done by beauty influencers who don’t really know what they are doing, but I would never lead you astray like that.

You don’t have to do all or any of these steps every day, but it might be a good tool to use for when you are in the public eye, meeting with clients or promoting your company. This may seem like a lot, especially if you never wear makeup, but you can definitely do this. I mean, you run a business! This might be the easiest thing you do all day. But if you have questions, I have answers, so comment away.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Recommended Makeup Tutorials

Some of the steps are different in these, but that’s okay! They know what they are doing.

If you’re a gel liner girl.

A different type of basic eyeshadow look.

Lisa makes some really good points about work makeup. And this one is eyeliner-free, for those of you who aren’t liner fans.

Lisa’s take on eyebrows.

A great eyebrow tutorial. You don’t have to do the last two steps, but Charlotte gives some great tips to create a more stylized brow.

A solid foundation and concealer tutorial.

A quick bit on how to apply cream blush.