Which Team Are You On?

Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner. Kylie makeup
The Jenner sisters are often used as an example of what Editorial and Instaglam makeup looks like side by side.

I’ve mentioned this topic in some blog posts and Allison Barbera Beauty Facebook statuses, so it’s time to explain myself. Or rather, explain the current division between Editorial makeup and Instagram makeup. I’m not going to disclose which team I’m on right now (but a quick glance at my work would clue you in). My goal is to make this post as objective as possible and help clearly explain the differences between the two types. This will probably be most helpful to beginner makeup artists and Cosmetology and Esthetics students. You’ve got to know your craft, my friends. Types of makeup might be referred to by a client, photographer or director–either as something they want or do not want–and it’s your job to know what they are talking about.

Before social media, editorial makeup was really the only reference. For the purposes of this post, editorial makeup encompasses not just what you see in magazines, but runway and red carpet makeup as well. I would also include most feature film and non-reality television makeup. If you love the work of Lisa Eldridge, Pat McGrath, Billy B, Mary Greenwell, Val Garland or Charlotte Tilbury–all veteran professional makeup artists with decades of experience–you’re on Team Editorial. Not sure what Editorial makeup is? Let’s break it down in everyone’s favorite list format.

  1. I’m Focused, Man. Editorial makeup typically focuses on one feature. There may be a “supporting actress” feature as well–the peachy cream blush that compliments the smoldering, beachy, bronzey eye–but that generally means the rest of the makeup is downplayed. (Think a sheer foundation and muted lip color with that bronzey eye and peachy cheek.)
  2. Do You. Editorial makeup takes the individual into account. Their coloring, skin type, features, eye color, etc. are all taken into consideration when the look is created. Even on the runway when each show has a certain look, one model may have, for example, the yellow eyeshadow that is the focus of the look winged out a bit to flatter her eye shape.
  3. For Real. In this type of makeup, skin looks like real skin (or it did before some overzealous retoucher got a hold of it). You may see some freckles, pores, evidence of the eye sockets most people have, texture of the skin, etc.
  4. Texturize. Not only is there balance between the focus put on each feature, but the textures used. Unless it is to spotlight a trend, you don’t see a fully shimmery or a fully matte face. So you may see a matte wine colored lip but the foundation has a glow to it or the eye is glossy. Or in that bronzey eye example, the lip is probably if not matte, at least not glossy or shimmery. Mixing up the textures “anchors” the face.

Below are some examples of editorial makeup.

Alexa Chung, blue eyeliner, winged eyeliner
A look created by Lisa Eldridge on Alexa Chung. The focus is on the winged blue eyeliner, which is complimented by glowing skin and a natural lip color.
Pat McGrath
A look by Pat McGrath. The wine color lip is the main focus, but the lashes play a secondary role.
This cat eye look was created by Charlotte Tilbury. Yes, you may notice some contour and the light lip, but it’s clear where the focus is.

Instagram makeup, aka Instaglam makeup, encompasses both Instagram and many YouTube tutorial looks. It tends to be the domain of newer or younger makeup artists and product junkies. There are also “beauty influencers,” who are usually not trained makeup artists, but people who create and post looks they’ve done on themselves. If you’re on Team Instaglam, you may follow people like @amrezy, @iluvsarahii and @mac_daddyy. Want to know the basics of Instaglam? Read on.

  1. I Just Can’t Choose! Instaglam focuses on several features at once. Looks featuring full coverage foundation, heavy contour, strong highlight, a majorly shimmery or cut crease eye, winged liner, thick brows, overlined lips and matte lipstick seem to be the norm.
  2. We’re All One. Instaglam makeup tends to assume everyone has the same face shape, skin type and features. So contour is often placed under the cheekbones, jawline and down the sides of the nose regardless of bone structure and face shape. Brows are typically thick and stylized, with less fill in at the front. Highlight is normally very generously applied to the cheekbones, Cupid’s bow and tip of nose. The Instaglam lip that I see most often is matte, ombre and overdrawn to varying degrees. A grayish lilac shade seems to be popular, but reds and deep or intense colors are big too. Winged eyeliner is prevalent with Instaglam makeup and false strip lashes are usually included. Foundation is matte and full coverage (regardless of skin type) and “baked” with powder, disguising the skin’s natural texture.
  3. Photo Ready. Instaglam makeup is meant for Instagram. These looks are created with the sole intention of being photographed, so the creator can influence lighting and posing, as well as retouching and filters. I’ve read posts where Instaglam beauty influencers were interviewed, and they’ve said they don’t wear the looks they do in “real life” because it doesn’t translate well. It’s similar to theatre makeup, which looks fantastic on stage but crazy town in person.

These are some examples of Instaglam makeup. I’ve chosen popular photos on Instagram which best illustrate the things I’ve mentioned.

Instaglam makeup
Glittery eyeshadow, heavy liner, strip lashes, filled in brows, full coverage foundation, visible highlight and contour, slightly overdrawn lipliner and ombre matte lips on this look by @nikkifrenchmakeup.
Kasey Rayton, Instaglam, cut crease
In this look by @kaseyrayton, full coverage foundation, highlight, contour, a cut crease, strong winged eyeliner, stylized brows, false strip lashes and a matte overdrawn lip are featured.
@amrezy, Instaglam makeup, illuminator, winged liner
A look by @amrezy showcasing full coverage foundation, highlight, contour, a cut crease, dramatic winged liner, stylized brows and light lips.

Hopefully you now understand the differences between Editorial and Instaglam makeup. Feel free to comment with questions.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

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Product Review: Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution

micellar water, Bioderma

I wear a lot of eye makeup and I don’t care who knows it. But at the end of the day, it has to come off. All of it. Sleeping in eye makeup can lead to puffiness and irritation and can cause the lash follicles to become clogged. Those clogged follicles can then form styes, which everybody loves. And if you don’t regularly remove your mascara, that can make your lashes brittle, in turn causing breakage.  Breakage means that your eyelashes become short and stubby, something that no mascara can remedy.

Have I convinced you that your eye makeup needs to be removed every night? Good. So let’s talk about the best way to do that.

My personal process is to first cleanse my face using an oil cleanser. This both removes the makeup and cleanses the skin. If I have a lot of makeup on, I will occasionally double cleanse with an oil cleanser, or I’ll use an oil based makeup remover followed by a cream cleanser. I don’t apply the oil cleanser or makeup remover to my eyes, but I do splash water onto them as Phase 1 of the eye makeup removal process. During this process, I also hold a warm washcloth up to each eye to help break down the eye makeup. Some of it comes off just with water, so this is a good start.

After I pat my face dry, I put some Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution (formerly Bioderma Crealine H20), a makeup remover, onto a cotton ball and hold it over one eye for about 30 seconds. (Some people prefer to use a flat cotton pad for this.) That gives the Bioderma a chance to break down what’s left of my eyeshadow, liner and mascara. I repeat the process on the other eye. I put more Bioderma on the cotton ball and use it to very gently remove any traces of makeup left on my lids or under my eyes.

I know this is technically a product review, but I couldn’t do this particular one without my how-to. Because if you buy this product based on my recommendation but don’t know how to properly use it, you’re not going to love it and you’ll think I’m a jerk. And I am sometimes, but never when it comes to beauty tips. I take your face very seriously.

So let’s talk about the star of the show. I refer to this gem as “Bioderma,” which is the company name, not the product name. But I feel that we are good enough friends to give each other nicknames. It is a micellar water, which has tiny molecules of cleansing oil that attract dirt and oil but don’t dry out the skin. Micellar water has been around for a long time but didn’t become mainstream until a couple of years ago.

Bioderma is the OG of micellar water. Because it’s so gentle on the skin, it’s been a staple for makeup artists who need to do quick makeup changes on set or for the runway. It removes face and eye makeup without leaving any residue, which allows an artist to quickly do a new makeup look. I would bet money that the true makeup artist pros–Lisa Eldridge, Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Mary Greenwell, Billy B, etc.–all have a  bottle of Bioderma in their kits.

That being said, I wouldn’t recommend Bioderma as an everyday face or waterproof makeup remover. It does not fully remove foundation or waterproof mascara (I know you don’t wear waterproof mascara every day though, right?). But for quick makeup changes, it’s ideal.

I think Bioderma’s best use is as an everyday eye makeup remover. It’s gentle so it’s ideal for sensitive eyes. I don’t consider my eyes particularly sensitive–that’s kind of my stomach’s thing–but I have tried many eye makeup removers that made my eyes sting, burn or water up. I’ve been personally using Bioderma for years and it has never even slightly irritated my peepers. When the skin around eyes gets irritated, it can get dry and cracked, which is not something that makeup can cover (and may even further irritate). So using a gentle eye makeup remover is key.

As gentle as it is, Bioderma is also a thorough eye makeup remover. As mentioned, it doesn’t remove waterproof mascara but it removes non-waterproof makeup like it ain’t no thang. And as you now know, sleeping with eye makeup on is bad, bad, bad and you will never do it again.

I buy my 16.7 fluid oz Bioderma on Amazon, where it is usually around $16. That size bottle lasts me a good six months. If you have suffered from eye makeup remover irritation or your current eye makeup remover is doing a crap job, check out Bioderma.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

Just Throw It In The Bag

The best makeup bag that ever did it, courtesy of my fly friend, Necia.
The best makeup bag that ever did it, courtesy of my fly friend, Necia.

It’s been a while since I’ve told you what I have in my personal makeup bag, so I’m sure you’ve been patiently waiting for this post. I’ve done a few of these posts over the years, and some of the products in my bag have never left me (except to be replaced by new, full versions of themselves). Others are new to the crew and may or may not make the cut.

Here’s what we’ve got.

FACE

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF 15. This moisturizer is affordable, gentle and great for normal to oily skin in the warmer months. I usually switch to a richer moisturizer for the fall and winter when my skin gets dry and flaky, but I don’t know if I’ll need to do that now that I use face oil. Time will tell. Until then, I’m sticking with this tried and true product.

MAC Face & Body Foundations in C2 & C5. I use a mixture of shades C2 and C5, depending on how much self tanner I have on. I absolutely love this sheer foundation (which can be built up to medium coverage by simply rubbing it into the skin for longer). I also sometimes use the darker C5 on my ghostly legs because I don’t feel the need to make people aware that I’m 25% Irish. My freckles and propensity to Irish goodbye a party take care of that.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. This is still the best primer I’ve ever tried. I use this when I know the makeup I put on at 6:00am needs to stay strong into the evening. Laura Mercier also makes hydrating and oil-free versions of this primer for dry and oily skin. If you want your makeup to last all day, you have to use a primer. There is no way around that. I think it’s actually a law in most states.

Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit in Shade 2. Shade 2 of this powder highlight and contour duo suits my light (but not super fair) skin. I’m not big on highlighting my own face, so the contour powder gets more love. I don’t like a strong contour, but I was in the wrong line for “good bone structure” when features were being given out, so I can use a little help. (I did, however, accidentally get in line twice for “tiny feet” and “thick hair.”)

MAC Powder Blush in Pink Swoon. This matte, soft candy pink powder blush really brightens up my face. I use this particular shade on a lot of clients too. If you are tired, sick or hungover, an even skintone and a pop of pink blush will make a world of difference. So unless you are a teetotaler who always gets eight hours of sleep and never even catches a cold, you should have good pink blush in your makeup bag.

Benefit the POREfessional. This pore minimizer is a must for She of the Large Cheek Pores. I also use it to blur the slight forehead lines that have developed in the past few years (from wisdom, obviously.) I have been buying this product since it came out and I don’t intend to stop. If you have no visible pores or lines on your face, you probably don’t need POREfessional. Also, we can’t be friends.

Clarins Multi-Active Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 20. I don’t use this every day, but if I’m going for a walk or run during the day in the summer, I apply it first. It doesn’t leave a white cast (my sunscreen pet peeve) or break me out like many others. But it does smell similar to the Raid I once used to kill a bee from 10 feet away (I’m allergic and it was in my house! Not sorry), so I get a little flashback anxiety when I put it on.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent. This pressed powder has been with me since AB Beauty makeup artist, Jen, recommended it to me. It does a good job of setting my foundation and eliminating shine without caking. I would like it even more if I didn’t consistently drop and break the cover within two weeks of buying it. That’s not Rimmel’s fault though. That’s on me, rushing around in the morning and knocking things over with my butt (apparently I got in line for that twice as well).

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20. My undereye coverage godsend. This stuff masks my dark circles, lasts for hours and doesn’t cake. I use this concealer on clients as well for those reasons. It’s not thick or dry and as long as you prep the undereye with a little moisturizer first, it applies smoothly. It’s a real winner.

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand. I usually use the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer for undereye coverage, but this two-sided pen–moisturizer to prep the area, concealer to do its thing–saves me about 10 seconds because it’s an all in one. I sometimes I feel like that will make a difference in my day. You either know exactly how I feel or think I’m crazy for saying that, but either way, I’m doing it.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Marine Boosting Mist. Someone gave me a sample of this spray which is supposed to be a primer, setting spray, hydrating mist and skin refresher. That’s too multi-use for me to believe, so I use it as a skin refresher. That means I spray it on if I think my foundation is looking cakey (not Face & Body, but sometimes when I try a new one). It helps dilute the foundation so it doesn’t catch on dry patches. I won’t buy a new one when it runs out, but it’s nice to have until then.

EYES

Too Faced Shadow Insurance. My Holy Grail of eye primers. Without this, my eyeshadow fades and creases within hours. (One more thing I got in line for–oily eyelids.) Whenever I do my eye makeup without applying this first, I regret it.

MAC Eyeshadow Quad. I bought a MAC empty quad duo and filled it with Brun, Espresso, Wedge and Brule (all matte formulations). Brun is a muted blackish brown I use for shadow liner and to fill in my brows; Espresso is a muted golden brown I use for the lid, outer V or as a shadow liner; the soft beige taupe Wedge is my crease go-to color but also sometimes my all-over lid color and Brule is a light creamy beige shadow I use on my lids. These four shades work well with my brown eyes, which I like to pretend are hazel.

MAC Eye Kohl in Costa Riche. This dark brown shade of pencil liner has red undertones, which help bring out the green in my eyes. (The other thing that somehow makes them look more green is crying, but that’s not as pretty.) I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect brown pencil eyeliner since Topshop discontinued my beloved Sable, and Costa Riche is my latest attempt. It goes on smoothly–no tugging on the lid–and is easy to blend out, as a kohl liner should be. Plus, I love that it brings out my green like Sable did (it had tiny reddish glitter flecks which did the job). I haven’t experienced any undereye smudging or crease transfer and the color payoff is great, as is the case with most MAC products. I wish it was maybe a tiny bit darker, but that’s a preference thing, not a product downside.

Dior Diorshow Mascara. This is my true homegirl of makeup products. Maybe we don’t talk for a bit (aka I try a new mascara) but we always reunite. She is simply the best. And I know Diorshow is a She because a He mascara would be much more flaky and wouldn’t stay around as long.

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara. This is my current top layer and bottom lash mascara. I like how black and inky it is, but it does sometimes smudge a tiny bit under my eyes. I generally really like Clinique mascaras for my top layer and bottom lashes, so I’ll try a different one next.

Ardency Inn Punk Eyeliner. I’m not usually a liquid eyeliner gal, but someone gave this to me so I’ve been using it. It’s a liquid liner pen with a hard tip. It’s more of a gray black than an inky black, which I don’t care for. It doesn’t move once it’s dry, but it also fades quickly. Once I’m through with this one, we’ll part ways. (Also how I approach dating.)

Topshop Waterproof Eyeliner in Ebony. “Blackest black pencil eyeliner and waterline best friend.” That would be this eyeliner’s epithet. If I’m being honest, the liner splits its time between my makeup bag and my handbag, because waterline eyeliner is something that needs to be touched up. It’s waterproof and sets quickly so I don’t like it for lashline liner (I like something I can smudge a little), but for the waterline, it’s bomb.

MAC Chromographic Pencil in NC15/NW20. It’s technically an eyeliner pencil, but I’m also technically in my mid 30s and have blue streaks in my hair, so I’m not really one for doing things the way you’re supposed to. I use this off-white color on the waterline to make my eyes look bigger or more awake. True white is too obvious, but off-white gives the desired effect in a natural way.

LIPS

Too Faced Lip Injection. I have very little top lip to speak of. So when I want to temporarily make my lips fuller and am in the mood to endure five minutes of stinging, I apply this plumping gloss. Say what you will, but this ish works. It has a rosy tint to it, which I don’t love because straight rosy tones don’t look great on me, but I apply the color I want after the Lip Injection has absorbed.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk. There is something about this pinky-peachy nude lipliner that allows me to slightly overdraw my lips without looking cray cray. The shade and velvety texture work better on me than any other lipliner I’ve tried. It’s a keeper or, as Charlotte herself would say, it’s “divine.”

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme in Istanbul. This was an impulse buy at CVS. You know, when you go in for contact solution then you see what looks like the petal pink lip color you’ve been after for years. It turns out it wasn’t the exact color I thought it would be once it was on my lips, but it’s still decent. I find it to be a little too drying and slightly sticky, so I mix in a tiny bit of Glossier balmdotcom to make it more comfortable to wear.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus. I had a client who was looking for a specific lip color for her wedding day, but it needed to be in a moisturizing formulation because her lips get dry easily. I knew Chubby Sticks had a good reputation for being comfortable to wear and I saw one in the color she loved so I grabbed it. I also grabbed one in Heftiest Hibiscus, a pinky red, for myself. I don’t operate on a one-for-you-one-for-me philosophy–I would have never turned a profit as a freelance artist if I did that!–but I needed to make sure the formulation was comfortable to wear. So I tested mine out for a couple weeks and it passed the test. I really love this product and will definitely re-purchase it when I run out.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Stain in 040 Rendezvous. This is one of my summer go-to colors. It’s on the orange side of coral, so I use it when I want to brighten up my look. Crayons are easily to apply, and this formulation is comfortable to wear. No complaints here.

Korres Lip Crayon in Delight. And then sometimes, I want a light pink shade. This one delivers on that desire, and I do wish it hadn’t been discontinued. Life can be so disappointing…

Lipstick Queen Rouge Sinner. This baby is my go-to fall red. (My summer red, MAC Lady Danger, is still in my purse, because I’m holding on to the last days of summer.) It’s what I call a vintage red. It’s got a slight rose tone to it, but in a muted way. If it was 1948, this color would be sold out everywhere. Every LQ lipstick I’ve ever tried is long-lasting, pigmented, non-drying and has beautiful packaging. Owner Poppy King truly knows lipstick.

Tom Ford Lipcolor Sheer in 10 Rose Soleil. My cousin, Saint Maria, gave me this beautiful rose pink that’s shot through with shimmer. It’s the perfect every day polished-but-not-high-maintenance lipstick. I love how it looks layered over the Pillowtalk lip liner (as I mentioned, pure rose doesn’t look great on me but works when it has other tones mixed in). And I want to live inside that white with gold-trimmed packaging.

That’s it (for now). I realize I have more products than the average person, but what did you expect? If this post only included a tube of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara and a Clinique lipstick I bought in college, my clients would be in trouble. Part of being a good makeup artist is trying new products. The ones that pass the test get purchased (brand new, of course) and introduced to a million new friends in my pro kit. The ones that don’t pass the test get tossed in the trash, never to be spoken of again.

Maybe this post will help you if you are looking for new products for your own makeup bag or will inspire you to take a good hard look at what you currently have. Or maybe it will help you kill time waiting at the dentist’s office. Either way, thanks for reading.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Song that played in my head as I wrote this: https://youtu.be/zJOeXh6HyvU

 

Christmas Gift Haul

Makeup wrapping paper

Every Christmas and birthday,  I receive at least one Biggie Smalls themed gift, one vodka gift and one beauty product gift. The trifecta of Allison-perfect gifts. I have of course already tried out all of the beauty product gifts I received this Christmas, so let’s talk about them.

SAMPLES

Samples are part of the game with most beauty product purchases now. Due to their size/amount of product given I can’t always get a thorough review, so these are more like first impressions. Here are the ones I got with my gifts this Christmas:

Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask.  I love Charlotte and her products but I knew this one wasn’t going to be a great fit for me. Clay masks work best on oily skin because they absorb oil. I have combination skin and have been dry dry dry lately, so I didn’t have much oil to be absorbed. The mask felt fine when it was on and was easy to wash off. My skin felt super clean after (clay also lifts impurities out of the skin) and I could see that the pores on my nose, which I noticed looked a little clogged the other day, were significantly unclogged. But my skin did feel dry and tight after, as I expected. This is probably a bomb mask for oily skin but that’s just not me right now. http://www.charlottetilbury.com/us/goddess-skin-clay-mask.html

Glossier Moisturizing Skin Primer. I have used this one before but I don’t think I have written about it. It feels great going on and it does make my foundation apply more smoothly. But as far as extending the wear of makeup, I haven’t noticed any difference. It doesn’t claim to make makeup last longer, but I think that should be a primer’s responsibility. To me, this is an excellent non-SPF moisturizer (great to wear if you are being photographed). https://www.glossier.com/#!/products/priming-moisturizer

Roses de Chloe. I don’t know much about perfume, but my nose says this one is floral and not overpowering. I think it’s a pretty daytime scent. I looked it up and it has notes of fresh cut roses, bergamot, rose essence, magnolia accord, white musk and amber if that helps with my lackluster review. http://www.sephora.com/roses-de-chloe-P384710?keyword=CHLOE%20Roses%20De%20Chlo%C3%A9%20P384710&skuId=1569326&_requestid=297052

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.NG Lipstick in Bitch Perfect. I have a Charlotte Matte Revolution Lipstick that I love, so I was excited to try this sample from her K.I.S.S.I.N.G line. It looked a little orange in the packaging, but went on pinky nude and gorgeous. I immediately texted a friend who has been on the hunt for the perfect nude and told her to check this one out. I’m normally not much of a nude lip wearer because my lips are thin and my skin is light but this had enough pink to actually work on me. It feels moisturizing and did not dry my lips out.  http://www.charlottetilbury.com/us/k-i-s-s-i-n-g-bitch-perfect.html

FULL SIZED PRODUCTS

Glossier Balm Dotcom Universal Skin Salve. I have been using this on my chapped lips, elbows and a small curling iron burn on my hand and it is good ish. It is unscented and not greasy, which I love. This one is going to take up residence on my nightstand. Lips, burns, elbows and cuticles could benefit from daily use. I will probably buy one when it runs out.  https://www.glossier.com/#!/products/balm-dotcom

Korres Twist Lipstick Raspberry Trio. The shades of the three lip crayons in this collection are Delight (a pale pink with a slightly frosty finish), Grace (a brown-rose pink) and Charm (a vibrant peachy pink). They are easy to apply, decently pigmented (not too sheer, not too opaque) and give a shiny finish. I really like these lip crayons for quick, polished lip looks.  Korres seems to have a new Raspberry Twist line but the colors are different. You can find the colors I have in a set with three other colors or sold individually on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KORRES-RASPBERRY-TWIST-LIPSTICK-TRUE-COLOR-SHINY-FINISH-IN-6-SHADES-/251720161648?var=&hash=item3a9bb0d970:m:mFByaRN11rASZ9UCUbq08TA

Mr. Bean Coffee Bean Scrub. This body scrub that I was gifted contains ground coffee beans, coconut oil, vitamin E and sea salt. It smells incredible and man, does it make your skin smooth. It will temporarily stain your skin coffee color if you don’t scrub it off but you should be fine if you use exfoliating gloves. Caffeine is supposed to help with cellulite (not sure how scientifically sound that is) and any exfoliation helps with dry skin. It’s sold out on their website right now but you might be able to find it elsewhere: http://ausnz.mrbeanbodycare.com/products/mr-bean-coffee-scrub-coconut

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow in Light to Medium. I have been coveting this powder bronzer/highlighter duo since it came out. The bronzer is neither too warm nor too cool, so it can work as both a bronzer and a contour. It blends beautifully into the skin. The highlighter gives a champagne colored candlelight glow–nothing too obvious or glittery. The packaging is gorgeous and the product is, as Charlotte would say, “divine.” http://www.charlottetilbury.com/us/filmstar-bronze-and-glow.html

My Christmas was wonderful, not because of the gifts (although they were all awesome) but because of the people I was able to spend it with. I hope everyone else has had a happy, peaceful and love-filled holiday season.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Fava Faves

Every once in a while, I do a blog post about my current favorite things. Beauty products, people, experiences–I don’t discriminate. Want to know what I’ve been into? Then read on.

  1. I’ll start with a beauty product to ease you into this–Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Love Liberty. This plum-ish lipstick has been my go-to lip color for the past month. (Thank you to my cousin, Saint Maria, for another fantastic gift.) This matte formula is not even a tiny bit drying, which is such a hard quality to find in a matte lipstick. It contains 3D glowing pigments that make lips look fuller, which is a huge plus for those of us thin-lipped gals. You can buy it online or in any of these stores that carry the line: http://www.charlottetilbury.com/us/help/stockists/. Maybe I can someday use this color on…
  2. …Amy Schumer. I had heard of her a few years back but just started watching her show and standup specials in May. I relate to a lot of her material and her delivery is the best. I love that she is a feminist and is happy with who she is. You can tell this chick is not going to take any crap or change who she is for a man or for the media. I’m hoping to get to one of her shows very soon and maybe, just maybe, she will be in need of a makeup artist to go on tour with her. I will work for laughs. I wouldn’t mind traveling around with Amy, even though lately I have been into…
  3. …Making my house a home. I haven’t paid too much attention to any home I have lived in since I started my business. I have viewed each apartment as a second workspace and somewhere to sleep and shower. But recently, I’ve felt the urge to make where I rest at feel more homey. My awesome neighbor, Lexie, helped me hang (meaning she did all the work) some prints in my apartment and I’ve been slowly turning my bathroom into a space with a cohesive decorating theme. Turns out it’s nice to come home and walk into an apartment that looks like an adult lives there. I’m not going crazy with the crib–it is a rental after all–but I am definitely more into making my digs somewhere I want to spend time. I may have been influenced by…
  4. The Fixer Upper on HGTV. I’m not a big country-style person, but I love what Joanna and Chip do to these homes! I have a thing for Texas, so that draws me in too. I also love the dynamic they have as a couple. And Joanna is my girl crush. She’s so cool, I love her clothing style, and her hair and makeup are on point. I could easily watch a marathon of The Fixer Upper, preferably while eating…
  5. Pomegranates. I don’t like much about the fall and winter, but I do get psyched when pomegranates make their seasonal appearance at my grocery store. They are delicious, low calorie and packed with antioxidants. They may take some work to eat, but I’m not afraid to work hard. That’s how I’ve been…
  6. Paying down my debt. It was never an insane amount, but it’s easy to put yourself in the hole the first few years in business. I have been busting my ass for a while now and damn, does it feel good to pay off credit cards and school loans. I’m not 100% there yet, but when I finish Operation Debt Payoff, I think I’ll have a party. And I’ll definitely…
  7. Curl my hair first. Some might say it’s silly to do this, since I have naturally curly hair. But those curls are much tighter than the ones I like. So my new dealio is to round brush straighten my hair every 4 days, then on Day 2 of that hair, I throw in some curls. Because of my natural texture, my hair holds a curl well. So those curls I put in never completely straighten. They just turn into waves, which makes me happy like…
  8. Pharrell. I think he may be the kindest, most gentle soul on the planet. I can’t get enough of him on The Voice. He has great feedback, is so humble and is genuinely nice to the contestants. And I love the expressions he makes when a singer blows him away! It’s like he can’t believe what he is hearing. Then something propels him up so he has no option but to stand and watch a performance in awe. I felt that same feeling the first time I used…
  9. MUAC 5 Acid Body Peel. If you have keratosis pilaris, follicultis, hyperpigmentation or just rough skin on your body, buy.this.stuff. It’s one of the few body skincare products I have ever used that delivered results after the first treatment. You can cop it here http://www.makeupartistschoice.com/5-Acid-Body-Peel_p_212.html. You apply it then let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off to find significantly softer skin. Sometimes while I’m waiting, I have a cup of coffee with…
  10. Coffeemate. Okay, stop with the judging. I know Coffeemate isn’t great for you (but my naturopath doctor also said there is nothing harmful in it) and it is like, so basic, to talk about coffee. But I don’t care. I like this stuff–especially the Italian Sweet Creme flavor–and I’m not going to feel bad about it. So make your own list, you holier-than-thou coconut milk freak.

Nothing like an insult aimed at an imaginary hater to end a blog post. On the real though, I hope you liked reading this. Because I liked writing it, and writing is always on my list of favorites.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My Makeup Idols

In my world, the true celebrities are the makeup artists whose talent and creativity inspires me. They create looks that are beautiful, or interesting, or iconic (sometimes all three). I appreciate that kind of talent in many different artistic fields, but of course the work done by other makeup artists is easiest for me to relate to.

Below is a list of the makeup artists I love:

Samantha Chapman & Nicola Haste, aka the Pixiwoos. Sam and Nic are two sisters from England, and besides working as freelance makeup artists, they do makeup tutorials on YouTube (on the Pixiwoo and Pixiwoo Madness channels), and teach classes. Sam also has a makeup brush line, Real Techniques, (the brushes are awesome). I have watched every single one of their Pixiwoo and Pixiwoo Madness videos and I consider them to be my makeup instructors. I have learned more from them than I did in any of my formal makeup training. I think they Pixiwoos tutorials are an excellent resource for makeup artists, but also for makeup “civilians.” Their tutorials are clear, easy to follow and full of great product recommendations. Several of the products in my kit are products I first heard of from Sam or Nic. Both of the sisters are immensely talented, and after watching 500+ videos, I feel like I know them! I don’t have television, so I consider their videos my education and my entertainment 🙂 I am thrilled that they have had so much success over the past few years and I look forward to watching and learning from their next 500 videos.

Lisa Eldridge is another British makeup artist I watch on YouTube. She is well known in the industry, and has been doing runway and editorial looks since the 80s. She makes makeup artistry look effortless, and her poise and humble personality makes her shine. Lisa creates gorgeous looks and recommends products in all different price ranges. She is a true professional, and I have gotten many helpful tips from her.

Charlotte Tilbury is from–guess where?–England. I heard of her a while back and have always loved her work and when she did a tutorial on Lisa Eldridge’s channel, I got to see how she does it. Charlotte has her own channel now too, which makes me happy. She does makeup quite differently than I do, which I love, because watching her inspires me to try different methods. Every brush stroke, every color choice, every shadow placement works perfectly. She has so much talent and experience, that it almost seems like she is winging it, but it always looks amazing! She’s not pretentious, which makes her even easier to learn from.

Kevyn Aucoin was one of the best. You can’t be a makeup artist and not be familiar with his work. He truly knew how to transform a face, and if you have ever looked at any of his gorgeous makeup books, you know what I mean. Although he could transform people so that you wouldn’t recognize them (Google “Lisa Marie Presley as Marilyn Monroe”), he was also a huge proponent of bringing out a woman’s natural beauty. You can clearly see that in his work with non-celebrities/models. He had an eye for seeing which features would look best enhanced, and he brought that out in a way that no one else could. His death in 2002 was a huge loss for the beauty industry.

Billy B is the only one of my makeup idols who I have seen in person. I took a class with him several years ago at a Powder Group event in New York. It was not a demo or hands-on workshop, it was a lecture–although it felt like more of talk from a friend. Billy told us about how he started, gave some valuable insider tips and answered questions. He was extremely inspiring, and especially at the start of my career, that was what I needed. I emailed him on Facebook after the class to thank him, and he sent me a very nice response (I was starstruck!). He seems like a genuine person and his work speaks for itself. Love him.

Pat McGrath was one of the first makeup artists I paid attention to. I don’t remember how or when I “discovered” Pat, but before her, the only MUA name I knew was Kevyn Aucoin. Once I knew who Pat was, I started seeing her work everywhere. She does runway and editorial and as far as I am concerned, she kills it every time. Pat is from England-another one!–and had no formal makeup training, like many of the successful artists in the industry. She seems very down to the earth, which a quality I admire in people. For years, I had a quote taped up on my wall from a magazine article Pat was interviewed for. “I believe in black in clothes, color in makeup.” I agree!

Alex Box is the creative director of cosmetics company, Illamasqua. She is insanely talented and her work is beyond unique. She went to school to study Fine Art, and I think that every look she creates is a masterpiece. Alex does not create your typical makeup looks. Everything is so different, so strangely beautiful and so inspiring. She is a makeup genius, and of course, is from England. I might as well just move there.

Dany Sanz is the founder of Make Up For Ever, one of my favorite cosmetic companies. She got her start in the 1970s, as a painter for film sets. She made the transition into makeup and used her skills to transform cabaret performers, drag queens and eventually, the cast of Cirque Du Soleil. Dany created Make Up For Ever because the products she was using were not meeting her needs. As I see it, MUFE is an extension of Dany’s artistry. There are products that can create the looks that Dany is known for–dramatic, colorful, bold–but there are many products that work for the everyday woman. Because Dany has been in the industry for so long–as an artist, instructor and founder of MUFE–her work and her products reflect the fact that she really knows what she is doing.

There are other artists whose work I admire–even people I know and work with personally–and I look forward to discovering more artists as I continue my career in makeup artistry. I love that there are so many different ways of approaching makeup and creating looks, and I don’t think I will ever get bored learning about them.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

The Truth About The “Dewy” Look

As a makeup artist, I get a lot of repeat requests. Smokey eyes, bronzed skin and blacked winged liner are three of the most popular. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for “dewy skin.” So I suppose this is perfect time to tell you the real scoop on that look.

The idea behind dewy skin is that it looks young, fresh and not made up. But like most makeup looks that people think look “natural,” it actually takes time, the correct products and a few other factors you may not have access to to get it right.

The best way to get the dewy look is to have a good base to start with. And by that, I mean good skin. Dry, uneven or dehydrated skin is not going to work here. If you regularly cleanse, exfoliate (this is huge) and moisturize, then you have a better chance of achieving the look. This is a good habit to have whether you want the dewy look or not, so get to it!

Before we go on, I want to preface this by saying that if you have oily skin, this is probably not the look for you. Adding shine to an oily skin is going to make you look, well, greasy. If you have oily skin and you’re using–but not over-using–oil absorbing and mattifying products, you probably still have some of your skin’s natural oils coming through anyway, so you may look dewy without trying. If that sounds like you, you can stop reading right here (unless my writing has you entranced).

If your skin is dry, normal, or normal to dry, and you have a consistent cleanse-exfoliate-moisturize routine, read on. If you have dry skin, you can start with a moisturizer for normal to dry skin (like Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream or Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre). Normal or normal to dry skin, just use whatever moisturizer works for you (Ole Henriksen makes great moisturizers for a variety of skin types and concerns). You could also start with a serum like Tarte’s Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum. This stuff gives some serious luminosity. I would avoid oil-free moisturizers for this look.

The next step would be a luminizing lotion or primer. Illamsqua makes a fabulous primer for dewy looks, called the Satin Primer. The Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer in Pearl is a good one too. Wonderglow by Charlotte Tilbury is another great choice.

Next, you’ll want to use a sheer foundation. I recommend MAC Face & Body Foundation. It leaves the skin with a very dewy finish, and feels lightweight.

Apply a liquid or cream highlighter to the cheekbones and browbones (and above the Cupid’s Bow, if you’re feeling daring). I like Benefit Watts Up for light to medium skin and MAC Cream Colour Base in Improper Copper for medium to dark skin. Use translucent powder only under the eyes and on the nose. You don’t want to over powder, because you’ll mattify the skin, which is the opposite of the dewy look.

Use a cream blush for cheek color, as they tend to have more of a dewy finish than powder blushes. I like the Make Up For Ever HD Blushes for this.

On lips, use a sheer gloss like Lancome Juicy tubes. You want something lightweight and almost watery looking, if that makes sense. I’d skip lipliner if you want to stay true to the look.

Since the rest of the face has that glowy, dewy quality, I prefer to “anchor” it with defined eyes (as Hayden and Camilla did in the pictures above). You can go dewy all over, like the model above did, but I don’t think that look translates well in real life for most people (it’s different for runway or editorial, which I’ll get into). So for eyes, I would go with a slightly shimmery, natural color or a metallic shadow in the brown or gold family, and black liner at the upper lashline and waterline. Go ahead and contour the eye with a matte color slightly darker than your skintone. (If you have hooded eyes, skip this step.)

And you’re done! Feeling dewy? No? Well, let me tell you truth about dewy looks…

When you see a dewy-faced actress onscreen, please know that she had the advantage of professional lighting, camera lenses, and a makeup artist to touch her up after each take. That celeb on the red carpet? She spent hours with a makeup artist beforehand and may even have one with her to touch her up throughout the event. And there’s a good chance she has the money to spend on high quality skincare services and products. Same deal with models, who are also often genetic freaks with amazing skin.

And the models and celebs you see in magazines? Please, they have it made. A pro makeup artist, photographer, and lighting, constant touchups during the shoot and Photoshop after. Anyone can look dewy after all of that.

So my point is, don’t think you’re doing it wrong if your dewy makeup doesn’t come out like Hayden’s or Camilla’s. Just use this post and those pictures as guidelines and do your best. You’ll do great!

Have a beautiful day 🙂