Label Conscious

Beauty blogger

I’m a First Born, Only Daughter and Sibling of One. I’m a Two Time Maid of Honor who was voted Most Considerate[1] in high school. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I’m an Entrepreneur, a Makeup Artist and an Independent Contractor. I’m an INFJ[2], HSP[3] with Type A tendencies. I’m a Temini[4] who is either a Generation X-er or a Millenial, depending on your source. I’m a licensed Esthetician and a Class 10 Driver who has let her real estate license lapse. I’m 75% Italian, 25% Irish and 100% not doing DNA testing because I need to attribute my emotional outbursts and stubbornness to my genetics. I’m a Bad Boy Magnet[5], an Old School Hip Hop Head and a Runner. I’m a Gluten-Free[6] Vodka Drinker, formerly a Vegetarian and Bacardi Bitch. Not into labels? Wait, I’ve got one more: Makeup Girl. And that’s the most important one for this blog.

I’ve been inconsistently doing blog posts for almost six and a half years, and I recently realized that my new followers might want to know a little about me. (Should I add “Self Important Blogger” to my labels?) Maybe I’m alone in this, but I like to know why people blog about the topics they choose. Is it part of their job? Or are they writing because they are passionate about certain subjects or think they have information that could help others? (All of those are my motivating factors.) If it’s not a work requirement, I want to know what got them interested in the industry, hobby or part of life they write about. If you’re like me and want to know about this little blogger, read on.

I started “A Pretty Addiction” because I am a Makeup Girl. Yes, I’m also an Entrepreneur who knows every good business has a blog, but that wasn’t my main motivation. This blog allows me to combine two of my biggest passions: beauty and writing. As a born Makeup Girl, I have always loved trying new products and techniques. There is nothing quite like feeling of opening a new product and wondering if it will be my new perfect lipstick/mascara/eyeliner. That moment of hope and anticipation is so sweet, and when the product meets or exceeds my expectations, I’m damn near ecstatic. And writing is my favorite way to communicate, so why not combine the two passions?

I’ve also always loved reading about beauty. Production recommendations, application techniques, new ingredients and product technology, how looks were started and evolved over the years–all of that and more. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. There are a ton of beauty publications (both magazines and online) and the US beauty industry brought in $62 billion in 2015.

But what I noticed once I started working as a makeup artist was that there is a huge gap in consumer knowledge. People are buying products–often blindly–but they don’t know how to use them. Many people don’t know their skin type or how that affects not only the skincare products but the makeup they use. They don’t know where to test foundation to see if it’s a color match (on the jawline), how to apply mascara (run the wand back and forth at the lashline for volume, blink into it for length) or why they need a color corrector for dark circles (because the darkness will show through the concealer if you don’t cancel it out first). As a licensed esthetician and makeup artist, I think I can help fill in this knowledge gap. It seems crazy and selfish to not share what I have learned over the past eight years.

So if you like product recommendations, application tips and look how-to’s, you’re at the right place. I also do some posts about entrepreneurship, as the idea that almost everyone needs to be a 9-5 employee is changing, and some of us are meant to ride that wave. I love to hear about other business owners’ experiences and I know I’m not alone with that.

If you are new to “A Pretty Addiction,” you may notice I throw in a healthy amount of hip hop references (or you may not notice and wonder what the hell I’m talking about sometimes). You have to know who you are dealing with here. I am an old school (90s and early 2000s) hip hop girl to the core. I sometimes think in rap lyrics so it’s natural for me to communicate that way. Much like I was born loving makeup, I was born loving rap. It is as much a part of me as my deep set eyes or my freckled arms.

I hope these posts are informative, helpful and fun to read. If you’re a Makeup Girl: Welcome, soul sister. And if you’re not, maybe you do have an inner Makeup Girl who needs to awakened. Let’s bring her out to play!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

[1] I suspect that was because I had a big pool party every year that people wanted be invited to.

[2] INFJ is my Myers Briggs Personality type. It’s Introverted iNtuition Extraverted Feeling.

[3] Highly Sensitive Person. It’s a thing! Look it up.

[4] It’s what they call those of us on the Taurus/Gemini cusp.

[5] But I think they are really just “jerks” after age 22.

[6] Legit allergy, not a diet choice.

 

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My Beauty Philosophy: Part 1

Wedding makeup in Newport

“Do you ever look at a woman walking down the street and see things about her makeup you want to fix?” I have been asked variations of this question for as long as I have been doing makeup. And the answer is “no.”  Every makeup artist has their own views on makeup and beauty, and I’d like to tell you mine. This is going to be a two part blog post. Part 1 is about my beauty philosophy in regards to others, and Part 2 will be about my personal beauty philosophy.

This is how I see it.

Focus on the good. At the core of my beauty philosophy is my opinion (which I actually consider to be more of a fact) that everyone has something beautiful about their face. When I look at someone, I don’t zone in on a blemish, thin lips or uneven eyebrows. I see gorgeous bone structure, glowing skin, pretty green eyes, crazy thick eyelashes, etc. What stands out to me is what is naturally beautiful about their face. And what I like about makeup is that it can enhance any of those features. When a client is in my chair, I apply their makeup in a way that brings out that feature or features. I’m not huge on corrective makeup. You won’t find me contouring the hell out of people’s faces or packing on foundation to get a “flawless” finish. (I have used the word “flawless” before but I don’t like it, hence the passive aggressive quotes). I cover what I think needs to be covered to make the person feel comfortable (they often start by saying “I have such dark circles!” or “I hate that I woke up with this zit today,” so I often know what they dislike from the get-go). I look at covering or correcting areas that bother a client as the technical part of my job and bringing out the beauty as the artistic part.

Do you. You don’t want to wear makeup? That’s cool! I am a big believer in doing what works for you. I have lots of clients who are nurses or teachers (props to you ladies, by the way–your jobs are so important) and they have told me it doesn’t make sense for them to put on a full face of makeup for their jobs. And there are some people who are just not into makeup. I think that’s great! Whatever makes sense for your lifestyle and whatever you feel comfortable doing is what you should be doing. I’m not the type of makeup artist who thinks everyone should wear makeup. I say wear as much or little as you want, and rock it with confidence. Yes, I write how-to blog posts and give makeup tips, but those are for people who want to learn or experiment. I don’t think anyone has to wear makeup or has to do it my way, or Bobbi Brown’s way, or some YouTube artist’s way.

Bringing out inner beauty. Sounds super cheesy, right? But let me explain what I mean. Overall, I feel good. I am generally pretty optimistic and consider myself to be a happy person. I try to be a great friend and daughter/sister/niece/cousin. I’m no saint, but I would like to think I’m at least kind of a good person 🙂 I’m feel lucky to have so many awesome people in my life and I feel grateful that I have been able to create a lifestyle that I love. All positive things, right? But on the days when I wake up with dull looking skin or darker-than-usual-undereye circles, I feel like my exterior does not match how I feel. So my current favorite foundation and some concealer, and maybe a bright lip color or pretty cream blush perks me up so when I look in the mirror, I think “Now this all makes sense.” And that is what I try to do for my clients. I meet so many wonderful people who have inner beauty in spades (along with some naturally beautiful features, of course) so I think it’s also part of my job to help show that inner beauty on the outside.

Self expression, man. Imagine if we all had to walk around with the same hairstyle, same outfit and no makeup. Of course there would be other ways of expressing ourselves, like with, I don’t know, interpretive dance and poetry. But isn’t it nice that that scenario is not real and we have makeup we can play with? (And you can dance and write poems while wearing makeup!) Maybe you wear a bright pink lipstick on the first nice day of spring, because you’re excited for warm weather and the anticipation of your favorite time of year. Or you’re feeling badass, so you line your eyes with kohl liner and dare someone to mess with you. Or you’ve been into watching old movies, so you take some inspiration from Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren and do a retro makeup look. All of those things allow you to express yourself in different ways via the magic of makeup.

So that’s where I stand. I don’t judge anyone for the makeup they wear or don’t wear. My job (and my passion) is to give people a little confidence boost by bringing out their natural and inner beauty and to encourage self expression. Makeup may literally be on the surface, but it’s not a superficial thing.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

Photo Credit: Rebecca Arthurs Photography, http://www.rebecca-arthurs.com. Makeup by Allison Barbera.