My Thoughts on Mascara

I was a Diorshow Girl for a long time, and I recently made the switch to L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. (Read the post here: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/lashing-out-2/ ) After reading my post, few other Diorshow Girls I know told me they were planning to buy tubes of Carbon Black. Strangely, I started to mildly panic. I stand by my views and have made the switch, but I’m also someone who a) has naturally thick, decently long black lashes and b) likes an inkier, black look for myself and for clients who are being photographed. Some people have thinner lashes, so they may prefer a drier formula like Diorshow to give them some extra texture. And not everyone likes a more dramatic black look for everyday wear. (There are also some application tips for any mascara that I will write a post about soon that influence my views on different mascaras.). I should have mentioned those things in my original Carbon Black post–sorry about that!

So I feel like I need to explain myself. When it comes down to it, mascara is such a personal thing. What works on me and/or many of my clients may not work on you (which is really true about any product). For every person who loves the Urban Decay Naked Palette, there is one person who hates it. Lady Danger lipstick by MAC is a cult favorite, but I’d bet money there are people who think it’s hyped up. Mascara–or any other product–that I love or recommend is not going to be a everyone’s favorite, but I do think my experience allows me to recommend products that work well on more people than not.

So if you don’t like Carbon Black or any other product I have recommended, I am sorry! But according to the feedback I’ve gotten, most of the recommendations I have made have worked out for people. And if you try something that I have raved about and you don’t like it, let me know. It might be a matter of technique or how it interacts with the other products you are using. I’m here to help!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Lashing Out

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I refuse to be put into a box. Like I told one jackass I dated, I’m multi-faceted. I’m not just an Entrepreneur, or Makeup Artist, or Biggie Fan. I’m also a Vodka Drinker, a Half Assed Runner and a Diorshow Girl. I have been using Dior Diorshow (the original) for eight years. I’ve mentioned it in several of my blog posts, and wrote this post about it in 2010: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/my-lashes-dont-go-out-without-it/

But don’t think I have refused to try other mascaras once I found Diorshow. I would be a crappy makeup artist if I never tried new products and honestly, trying new products is one of the best parts of my job. When I open a new product, I have so much hope. Will this be the one that blows all of the others out of the water? I think, heart pounding in anticipation. Sometimes it is. But with mascara, I have never found anything that even came close to Diorshow.

Until now.

I had heard about L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black for years. Many of the veteran pro makeup artists I look up to recommend it. My local drugstore usually only carries the original L’Oreal Voluminous, so when I saw Carbon Black in stock, I grabbed one. After years of trying disappointing mascaras, I knew better than to get my hopes up. But at the same time, in the back of my mind I thought If Billy B likes it, it must be really good!

And you know what? It friggin’ is. I tried it first on its own, then up against Diorshow (Carbon Black on one eye, Diorshow on the other–the only way to compare). It volumized, lengthened and my top lashes didn’t smudge. (My bottom lashes did smudge a tiny bit, but I have found that happens with any non-waterproof or non-beauty tube mascaras). When I compared it to Diorshow, I could hardly detect any difference.

It’s got a standard wand and the formula is slightly on the inky side. I didn’t experience any clumping, nor did it flake off during the day. It removed easily–no fighting or lash casualties to report. And at $7.99 per tube, it doesn’t break the bank.

I’m still kind of in shock that I found something as good as Diorshow. I think I may actually make the switch to Carbon Black when I finish my current Diorshow tube. So yeah, I 100% recommend L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black.  This is big, folks. But your lashes will be bigger.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Are Those Things Real?

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyelashes are the window treatments. Good lashes make your eye-windows look better–it’s a fact*. I’ve yet to meet a client who doesn’t want long, full lashes. If the majority of people didn’t care about eyelashes, the false lash market would be non-existent.

I’m not bragging here, but I have to be real with you. At least once each week, I get asked if I am wearing false lashes (I very rarely am, and no one has ever asked me when I actually was!). I don’t have eyelash extensions, and I don’t use Latisse or any other lash growth product. Without mascara on, no one would compliment me on my eyelashes–I feel confident about that. But because I do get these compliments, and because I have applied mascara to thousands of eyelashes, I feel qualified to at least share my tips. So here.we.go.

Tip 1: Don’t regularly use waterproof mascara. This stuff is fine for cry-y occasions, but most waterproofs are harsher than regular mascara. When used frequently, waterproof mascaras can cause lash breakage.

Tip 2: Be oh-so-gentle when removing your eye makeup. I cleanse my face with an oil cleanser and lightly massage a small amount of it onto my lashes. I do a lot of rinsing, but I never rub or scrub the eye area. After that, I dry my face and use a cotton pad soaked with Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup remover to take off the rest of my eye makeup. With my eye closed, I gently hold the cotton pad work too over the lashline for about 20 seconds to let the remover break down the makeup, then I–also very gently–wipe away what is left.

Tip 3: Eat clean. I am not a scientist, and the Internet research I should do would probably be full of contradictions anyway, but I believe that my healthy diet and the supplements I regularly take (including fish oil, which is beneficial to skin and hair), is part of the reason I have decent lashes to start with. Genetics is involved too, so I may have some nice lash DNA, but I think a healthy lifestyle truly does make for better skin, hair and nails.

Tip 4: Dry yo’ lashes. Damp lashes–from washing your face, eye makeup remover, eye drops, etc.–make eyelashes clump together when mascara is applied, and clumped lashes will never look full. Before I apply my first coat of mascara, I always make sure my lashes are dry. To do that, I hold my index finger horizontally in front of my eye, then I blink. If the lashes are very damp, you will feel water, product or eyedrop residue hitting your skin. If they are just a little damp, you will be drying them on your finger-towel as you blink. Either way, do this a couple of times or until your lashes feel dry.

Tip 5: Get your eyeliner involved. The right kind of eyeliner (or even a shadow as a liner) can give the illusion of fuller lashes. I prefer a dark brown at the lashline because sometimes when you use a black liner, the blackness of your mascara can fade into the liner and actually make your lashes stand out less (dark eyeshadows on the lid can do the same thing). You can, however, use a black liner to tightline. (This means applying it to the upper waterline). This makes the upper lashline look fuller.

Tip 6: Use a volumizing mascara as a base. If I had to get a tattoo, it would need to be one of the two things I know I will love forever–Biggie Smalls or Dior Diorshow Mascara. I have tried dozens of mascaras in the last few years alone and nothing has come close to the volumizing effect of Diorshow (the original formula). I know that there are some people who this doesn’t work for, but everyone I have personally used it on has loved it. So here’s the trick to getting volume–hold your lash wand horizontally, wiggle it at the lash roots, then lightly blink into it. I concentrate on two areas for this–the center of the lashline and the outer two thirds. As far as how many coats to apply, that’s really a personal choice. I just stop when my intuition or makeup spirit guide tells me to, and I suggest you do the same. I do this step on my top lashes only.

Tip 7: Comb through those bad boys. I won’t disclose what I use to comb through my own lashes, because it is bad and wrong and I should be ashamed. On clients, I use a spooly (or clean disposable mascara wand) to separate and remove clumps. You may find a plastic or metal lash comb works better for you. Whatever you use, just make sure you use it before your mascara has dried.

Tip 8: Apply a second mascara. The second mascara is like the supporting actress, which is just as important, in its own way. I skip around to some other makeup steps before I do this to make sure the top lash mascara has completely dried. When I’m ready, I apply a super black, inky mascara to intensify and lengthen the lashes. I am currently using Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash Mascara and Clinique High Lengths Mascara. I do the wiggle-at-the-lash roots thing again, as well as the blink-into-it step. But with this blink, I pull the wand upwards as I blink, to get the lengthening effect. The pulling upwards is important because many of us have blond-tipped eyelashes (even brunettes–I’m in this category), so if there is no mascara there, the lashes will look shorter than they actually are.

Tip 9: Give some love to your bottom eyelashes. They are important too! Applying mascara to bottom lashes defines the eyes. The trick is to apply the mascara at the roots of the bottom lashes. Unless you are going for a 1960s or other specific look, full–but not overloaded–mascared lashes tend to look better than long, spidery lashes. Depending on the wand shape and your level of comfort, you can either use the wand horizontally or vertically to reach the lash roots. I usually use whatever my second mascara is, but I have also used Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara before (it is a beauty tubes mascara with the most adorable tiny wand.)

Tip 10: Don’t compare yourself to actresses, models, or Kardashians. They are usually wearing false lashes or have lash extensions (sometimes both), and if you are looking at anyone in a magazine, their photo has been retouched. Their lashes are about as Real as a Housewife, so please keep that in mind.

Hope this post helps you on your journey to fuller, longer looking lashes (if that is your journey). Would love to hear your tips and recommendations.

*I sometimes make up my own facts, based on my professional experience.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

The blurry, unflattering photo is of me–which marks the first time I have ever posted a photo of myself on this blog. But I think it is a good lash shot, so I am doing this for the people.lashes

Big Up to the Deep Set Crew

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There are a lot of great things that come with my Italian heritage. A huge, loving family; chicken parm so good it will make you cry; Italian swears that are fun to say; the good hair gene–I could go on and on. But being Italian also means I have The Curse of the Deep Set Eyes (quick! cornicelli up!) Like so many people of Mediterranean descent, my eyes are set pretty far back. My brother says this is a good thing, because it protects the eyeballs if you fall on your face (always the optimist, that Mikey B!). In terms of photography though, it’s a definite disadvantage.

Before you get into this, let’s see if you are part of the Deep Set Crew (not to be confused with the Dipset crew). See the celebrity pictures included in this post? (Please excuse the formatting, not my strength.) Do their eyes look similar to your’s? If so, read on, my friend.

Let’s start this by saying a little prayer of thanks for those of us that have two eyes that can see. I think it’s important to give thanks for those things we might take for granted (even when it’s not November, folks!). Let me also point out that there is no “bad” eye shape. But there are ways to work with what you’ve got to make things look best in photos, if you are concerned with that.

If you’re rollin’ with the Deep Set Crew, you have probably seen a million photos of you that look nothing like you. That’s because cameras pick up on light and shadows, and if your eyes are deep set, the light and shadows are going to make your eyes look like they are pushed back even further in your face. Typically not a flattering look, and probably not at all what you look like in person. But these deep set eye makeup tips for photography can help you out, or at least they have for my clients and I.

First thing you want to do is avoid applying dark eyeshadow colors on your eyelids. This is a big, indisputable rule in makeup–dark colors make things recede, or look smaller. Putting a dark color on your lids is going to make your eyes look even further set back. Go with a lighter color for photography–even some shimmer is fine–and this will help bring the bottom part of your eye forward. Try a shade that is a couple of shades lighter than your skin (matte is preferable if you have very large eyes that you want to minimize, otherwise shimmer is fine). MAC Brulee eyeshadow works well on light skin, MAC Wedge is good on medium skin and MAC Era is pretty on dark skin. But use whatever works for you!

Don’t put a dark eyeshadow in the crease (or socket, if you prefer) of your eye. I would go as far as to say don’t put ANY color there. This has the same effect as putting a dark color on the lid–it is just going to make your eyes look more sunken in in photos. If you want to put some color there, what you can do–and this takes some practice–is apply a light-medium color (I usually use a light brown) slightly above the crease. It should hit the very bottom of your browbone, but not in an 80s way. Blend it well. If you don’t have much space between your crease and brows, or this sounds too advanced to you, skip it.

Avoid highlighting the browbone. I know many magazine articles and YouTube tutorials tell you to highlight the browbone, but this is really not for everyone. Highlighting the browbone is just going to make the bottom part of your eye look even further back in comparison.

If you have a lot of eyelid space (and many people with deep set eyes do–look at the Cher picture as an example), you can draw a medium or thick line of eyeliner at the top lashline. This is really more about how much lid space you have, but since I have found that so many Deep Set crew members have large eyes, I had to include that. I do recommend softening the liner by either using a shadow, smudging a pencil liner or tracing a gel liner with shadow, as it gives that soft focus effect that is generally more modern and flattering in photos. Topshop Kohl liners are awesome and easy to smudge.

I wouldn’t suggest going too dark or heavy with any liner or shadow at the lower lashline, as this can highlight the deep set factor too. A soft, thin line is flattering, but anything too dark or too heavy won’t do you any favors on camera.

People with deep set eyes are often also blessed with dark circles, which make the whole eye area look even more recessed. So it’s really important to correct and cover these circles. If they are very dark, you will need to color correct with a peach (light and medium skins) or an orange (dark skin) corrector. Follow with a concealer one shade lighter than the rest of your face (MAC Select Coverups are great), and if necessary, a small amount of brightening concealer (like Clinique Airbrush Concealer). Set with powder.

Mascara on top lashes is a must for deep set eyes (fine to do bottom too, just don’t channel Tammy Faye Bakker). Lengthening mascara is a Do, as it gives the illusion of pulling the eyes forward. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. Mascara on one eye, no mascara on the other. Which one wins this round? Dior Diorshow, the original, is still my fave for thickening and lengthening.

The next two tips could be controversial, as they are purely from my experience. I have never heard of another makeup artist/watched a YouTube tutorial suggesting these things for deep set eyes.

I love black liner on the waterline, I really do, but in photos, I swear it makes the eyes look more deep set. I recommend an off-white liner if you want to line the waterline.

This last one isn’t even eye makeup–cheekbone highlight. Don’t do it. Think about how close the cheekbones are to the eye sockets. Highlighting the cheekbones, in my opinion, automatically sets the eyes back more.

So, those are my tips. If you are a fan of the infamous selfie, try doing your makeup this way, and then the opposite. Then see which picture makes your eyes look more deep set. I think you will find these tips will generally make for a prettier you in pictures.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Making Tammy Faye Proud

Black Widow In Da House

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

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

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

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

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

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My Go-To Summer Look

Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve got no time. So as much as I’d like to spend an hour on my makeup every day, I can’t. But I like to at least look polished when I leave the house. I’ve been doing this summer makeup look a lot lately, because it’s quick, easy and looks like I put more time in than I did. Here’s the makeup recipe:

1. Apply any SPF moisturizer to face and neck using a foundation brush.
2. Apply Too Faced Shadow Insurance or preferred eye primer to entire eye area, using your finger to apply and blend.
3. Using the same foundation brush, apply Make Up For Ever HD foundation or liquid foundation of your choice to entire face, blending down onto neck.
4. Under the eyes, apply a dab of moisturizer or liquid eye brightener, like the Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener and very lightly blend it in. (Optional)
5. Then apply MAC Select Coverup, or the concealer you prefer and blend with a fluffy eyeshadow brush.
6. Apply several coats of Diorshow to top lashes.
7. Buff Make Up For Ever HD powder or loose powder of your choice all over the face, using a Kabuki brush.
8. Apply a matter bronzer, like Hoola bronzer by Benefit, to cheekbones, center of forehead, bridge of nose and chin, using a blush or powder brush.
9. Apply Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash to top and bottom lashes.
10. Apply a coral blush, like Benefit Coralista, to apples of cheeks.
11. Apply a sheer lipgloss in any color to your lips.
12. If desired, apply a shimmery bronzer, like Guerlain’s Terracotta bronzer, to cheekbones.

Done! The look is a slightly bronzed face, with lots of lashes. Not doing eyeshadow and eyeliner saves tons of time, so this is a quickly and easy look.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

All I Want For Christmas Is…

Mariah Carey, All I Want for Christmas, HD Foundation
Sing it, Mimi.

I recently got a request to do a Christmas Wish List of beauty products (thanks, Erika Milliun!). Great idea, right?  I’ve included essentials that I’ve mentioned over and over again, awesome products that I use but haven’t talked about and ones that I’ve heard great things about but haven’t tried yet.

Here we go!

1.)  Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer: I won’t put eyeshadow on a “naked” lid because it usually won’t stay. I consider eye primer to be an absolute essential, and this is the one I reach for most often. It helps shadows and liners stay on, stops shadows from creasing, and covers any tiny veins or discoloration on the lid.

2.) Illamasqua Liquid Metal Eye Color in Solstice: This highly pigmented cream shadow is perfect for the holidays. It’s hard to find a gold shadow that is pigmented and long-lasting, but this meets both important criteria. If you want to try something new and fun for a holiday party or night out, but are afraid to go for a bright color, you’ll love this.

3.) NARS The Multiple in Copacabana: Use this shimmery pearl highlighting stick on eyes, lips, or cheeks (just not all at once!) for a pretty glow.  I love doing a holiday party look with red lips, silver eyeshadow and Copacabana on the cheekbones.

4.) Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers I haven’t used this product, but I heard a positive review from a trustworthy source–and I adore this company–so I’m going to recommend it.  It’s a white mascara-like product that you apply before your mascara.  It lengthens and thicken the lashes, so the mascara adheres to that.  And who doesn’t want bigger lashes?

5.) MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack: Consider this black gel liner to be like your favorite pair of jeans.  It’s a classic that you can wear with lots of different looks. It goes on smoothly, stays put and the little jar will last you a while. Just make sure to close it tightly each time so it doesn’t dry out.

6.) Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blackberry:  This is the time of year to go for berry lipcolors, so give it a try! I’ve found this shade to be flattering on most people and you can’t beat the price. So if darker lipcolors are out of your comfort zone, at least you can try it on the cheap (and if you buy it from CVS, just return it if you don’t like it–they accept even opened makeup returns).

7.) Tarte Cheek Stains: You know that flushed cheek look you get from being outside in the winter?  Well, you don’t have to freeze your ass off to get it. These gel blushes give you that same look, with a variety of shades to choose from. And since you only need a little bit, this product lasts for a long time.

8.) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Foundation: This is a great one for your wish list because not only is it the best foundation I’ve ever used, but it’s a little pricey and I know it can be hard to justify spending money on yourself during the holiday season. So let someone else get it for you! This liquid foundation gives amazing coverage, feels like nothing and photographs and films beautifully.

9.) Dior Diorshow: My name is synonymous with two things: Biggie Smalls and Diorshow. So for me to not include my favorite mascara on this list would be blasphemous. Basically, it’s the bomb. Long, full lashes, no smearing, flaking, or smudging.  Just get it alreadyyyyy.

Hopefully you’ve been a good girl this year and you get everything you ask for. Because if all you get is coal in your stocking, I can’t help you.  Kohl liner, however, is a different story…

Happy Holidays! Have a beautiful day 🙂

The Summer Makeup Look I’m Loving Right Now

It’s the best season, and you know it.

I love summer and I love makeup so naturally, I love summer makeup. I’ve found myself doing slight variations of this same look lately and I think it’s a look that works on most people. So of course I’m going to share it with you!

Face

* Perfekt Skin Perfection Gel blended down onto neck and chest (use whichever tinted moisturizer you prefer)

* MAC Pro Longwear Concealer for undereye circles, around the nose and blemishes

* Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 00 Translucent all over, but concentrated mostly on the T-zone

* Benefit Hoola (a matte bronzer) on and under cheekbones, at hairline, and a tiny bit on the chin

* Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Flamingo (a perfect bright-but-not-too-bright true pink cream blush that gives some color to the face)

Eyes

* Too Faced Shadow Insurance (eye primer)

* Any goldish brown eyeshadow, pressed onto lid and blended slightly into crease

* Dior Diorshow mascara or Makeup Forever Smokey Eyes mascara (new, just got it yesterday–review to follow)

* At night, I add a black shadow or smudged pencil liner (I like Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner in Zero for this) to upper lashline. I also add some of the brown shadow on the lower lashline, and MAC Smoulder kohl eye pencil in the waterline

Lips

* A semi-shimmery beige or light pink lip gloss. I’ve been using some cheapie NYC ones, but I find the pink too frosty, so I cut it with Vaseline or clear gloss.

Something Special

* I have some small, silver stars from Michael’s that I apply using lash glue. I put a few at the corner of one eye or at the top of the cheekbone.

Nothing about this look has to be too precise. It’s just an easy summer look that can be adjusted for day or night. It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, which leaves plenty of time to enjoy other awesome summer things, like soft serve and Mudslides.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My Lashes Don’t Go Out Without It: Dior Diorshow Mascara Review

Diorshow mascara, best mascara
You’re alllll I neeeed to get by.

 

A good mascara can make your eyelashes fuller and longer. A great mascara can carry a look alone. And an amazing mascara can make you spend your last $29.50 on it.

I have tried many, many, many mascaras, but Dior Diorshow in Black 090 is my all-time favorite. (And I’m updating this post nine years after I originally wrote it, so now we’re talking many, many, many, many mascaras.) It lengthens, volumizes, doesn’t clump and doesn’t smudge. Hell, I think it even did my laundry for me one time. There is a reason it is a cult favorite–it’s the best.

I use the original Diorshow on myself and non-wedding clients (I don’t love the waterproof version, so I use something different on brides and bridal parties). The original Diorshow has a few relatives, including Blackout, Iconic, Iconic Overcurl and Pump n’ Volume, but I prefer the original Diorshow for my base coat (okay, base coats). I use Clinique High Impact Mascara as my second mascara, because it adds length and has an inky black factor that I love when layered on top of the original, but that’s a different blog post.

The Diorshow wand is the biggest, baddest wand ever. Once you try it, you’ll have a hard time seeing other mascara wands as anything but wimpy. This magical mascara also has the faint scent of roses. How often do you use eye makeup that smells good? It’s a treat.

I often get asked for product recommendations, and sometimes my answers vary depending on skin type, coloring, the person’s style, etc. But I 100% recommend this mascara to anyone who has eyelashes.

You can get it at Sephora and add onto the beauty insider points.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

I Don’t See It As a Problem

I’ll admit it—I’m addicted. I know it’s not always good for me and I spend way too much money on it, but I can’t help it. I love the look of it, in all its different varieties, I love the smell, and I love what it does for me. I can’t live without it.

Makeup.

The Beauty Gene was not passed down to me from my mother. She rarely buys makeup, and usually only wears a little foundation, a little lipstick and a light coat of mascara. Growing up, I would jump at the chance to play with her ancient makeup or gasp! be allowed to purchase a Bonne Bell lipgloss or Wet n’ Wild nail polish of my own.

The only logical reason I can come up for how this addictions started is the fact that I was reading teen magazines at a young age. I somehow finagled myself a subscription to Seventeen Magazine at age 10. I read it for a good year before my babysitter showed it to my mom and suggested finding me a magazine that was more age appropriate. True, there were a lot of articles about sex and relationships, but I wasn’t paying attention to those (I didn’t know a condom from a condo at that point). What I did read were all the beauty tips and reviews. I think I was the only fourth grader who was exfoliating on a weekly basis. So this reading and understanding of “older girls” stuff is the only catalyst I can identify for my makeup addiction.

I’ve created a beauty timeline to try to understand where my addiction started, and exactly when I got hooked.

Age 3—My best friend Danielle’s mother makes us up as clowns. She does it for Danielle to help her get over her fear of clowns and for me because I love the feeling of makeup on my face. The pictures she took show a nervous Danielle, and an ecstatic Allison.

Age 8—My Aunt Terry, a nurse, is painting my nails for me and tells me she is not allowed to wear nail polish to work. I am horrified at the thought and say, “Can you at least paint your toenails?”

Age 11—My friend Amanda and I are playing when we find my mom’s Mary Kay eyeshadow palette. I cover Amanda’s eyes with a turquoise shadow and paint her lips with a pale pink. Amanda’s mother flips when she sees it, and we are not allowed to play together anymore.

Age 18—I go to CVS every few weeks to pick up new makeup. Lavender lipstick, kelly green eyeliner, shimmery liquid bronzer—I try everything.  Sometimes all at once.

Age 24—I go to school for Esthetics, where I routinely interrupt my instructor to ask her which lipstick or blush she is wearing. Her answer is considered part of a lesson, and I know I am enrolled in the right kind of school for me.

The addiction has only become worse as I’ve gotten older and started my career as a makeup artist. In the last few years, I’ve discovered a more expensive, more potent brand of the stuff—high end beauty products. My L’Oreal mascara has been replaced with Diorshow, my CoverGirl blush was thrown away when I discovered NARS Orgasm, and my Maybelline lipgloss got the ax the day I tried a Lancome Beauty Tube.

As a makeup artist, I can validate my addiction. It’s probably scary to some. I see the fear in the eyes of makeup virgins when I first approach them with my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. But I know that once I am finished transforming them into an enhanced version of themselves, they too will feel the rush and may become a beauty junkie like me.

My hands shake as I open my boxes from Sephora, but the calm hits when I see my samples. I rip open a Stila box to uncover the tinted moisturizer that is on my face before you can say “natural looking glow.” My friends get excited over engagements and babies, but I feel true joy when winged eyeliner comes out perfectly.

I’m not interested in kicking this addiction, and I don’t think I could if I wanted to. I see the world as a giant inspirational makeup palette, and I want to share what I’ve learned as a makeup artist. This blog will be home to product reviews, tips and techniques, makeup pictures, stories from various makeup jobs, and hopefully suggestions from others.

Hope you enjoy it!

Have a beautiful day 🙂