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

 

Light It Up: Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight Review

The original Too Faced Shadow Insurance has been a staple in my pro kit and my personal makeup bag for years. I have yet to find another eye primer that works as well. Shadow Insurance helps eye makeup stay on longer and crease less, which makes it something I use on almost every client. The only time I don’t use my Holy Grail of eye primers is when I do several eye makeup looks that I need to change (typically for a photoshoot), because I don’t need the eye makeup to last long.

Because I love the original formula, I decided to give their Candlelight version a go. Candlelight is supposed to give a “soft focus effect and subtle golden metallic sheen,” while reducing shadow creasing and helping eye makeup last longer. You only need about half of a rice grain-sized amount of product–that’s a legit measurement, right?–for each eye. Apply and blend it with your ring finger for best results. (Because the ring finger is the weakest, it is least likely to pull on the delicate eye area skin.)

The “golden metallic” description is right on, as are the longevity and anti-creasing claims. This eye primer is pretty enough to be worn on its own too. It’s a sheer metallic wash–like the lite version of a cream eyeshadow. It catches the light in a flattering way, much like candlelight. So yeah, good call on the product name, Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

When worn under a shimmery shadow, the Candlelight primer ups the shimmer factor. But my favorite use for this primer is under a matte shadow. It turns the matte eyeshadow into a shimmery or satin version of itself. The less pigmented the eyeshadow, the more shimmery. More pigmented shadows get a slight but noticeable satin finish.

Candlelight is great on its own, as a shimmery shadow intensifier or as a matte shadow transformer. You gotta love a product that has multiple uses! I think this would be an awesome gift for a young girl/teen who is starting to wear makeup. Worn on its own, it’s like a subtle cream eyeshadow that’s definitely age appropriate.

Sephora, Ulta and Naimie’s all carry this primer.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

What I Bring To The Table

Most people have a makeup bag for their personal use, but I have a makeup table. If you’re going to do something, do it big, right? I have a coffee table in my bedroom, and it is covered with the products I use most often. I have seen a lot of “What I Have In My Makeup Bag” videos, so I thought I’d do my version via this blog.

I’m going to share with you the products I have been using lately. Some are old favorites, others are new crushes. I am always trying new things, and have a box filled with samples on the table, because I like to switch things up. I refuse to get stuck in a beauty rut–I think that is the kiss of death for a makeup artist.

I have currently have three moisturizers that I’ve been using. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion was my summer moisturizer. It has an SPF 28 and I believe is targeted to oily skin (which my combination skin definitely is in the summer), so it worked well for me. I recently started using a heavier moisturizer because my skin will become dry as the colder weather comes in. It’s a mini-jar of Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital. It feels nice on my skin and does a good job moisturizing, but I don’t love the perfume-y scent. And my go-to moisturizer has been CVS Oil Free Moisturizer in SPF 15. It’s not fancy, but it’s a good basic.

I have done several eye primer tests over the years, and Too Faced Shadow Insurance is still the best, in my opinion. So I always have one of those on the table.

My current face primer is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. Love it. I don’t use it every day, but if I am going to have my makeup on for several hours, it’s a must.

One of my essential products, for both my personal and professional kits, is the POREfessional pore minimizer by Benefit. This stuff is magic. It really mattifies the skin and gives the appearance of smaller pores. I use it on my t-zone.

I have a few foundations on the table and I usually mix them to create the shade and coverage I want. I have NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation, MAC Face & Body Foundation and Benefit Hello Flawless. I also have a Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. When I use a Face & Body, I set it with the Hello Flawless powder foundation, because I like more of a medium coverage. The Sheer Glow Foundation is on the thick side, so I like to cut it with the thinner Make Up For Ever Face & Body. If I am just going for a run or don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, I wear the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer alone, but I usually mix that with a Face and Body. (I wear something with SPF when I go for a run during the day, because the sun is out, and I’m all set with sun damage and pigmentation.)

I do my initial undereye concealer with MAC Select Coverup (with a thin layer of moisturizer underneath). It is a cream concealer that sets to a powder, but it can still look a little shiny after it dries, so I set that with my pressed powder. I find that the Select Coverup can get a little cakey if you put too many layers on, so if I need to touch up later in the day, I use Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer. It doesn’t last as long on its own, but it has good staying power when layered over the Select Coverup. If I am having a real dark circles day, I use Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener instead of a moisturizer, prior to applying my initial concealer.

To set my foundation, I use MAC Blot Powder. It’s only a visitor to the table, though–its real home is in my purse, because my t-zone usually needs a couple of touchups during the day.

To contour or bronze, I use NARS bronzer in Laguna. I currently have three powder blushes in rotation–Benefit Dandelion (a pretty soft pink), Make Up For Ever Sculpting Blush in 22 (peach) and NARS blush in Orgasm (peachy pink with shimmer).

For eyeshadow, I often reach for NARS Duo in Madrague. This duo contains a cream and a caramel color. It stays in my travel bag, since it is compact and a great go-to combination. I keep the Coastal Scents 88 Color Palette on the table, since it contains most every eyeshadow color I would want to use. The shadows don’t have the greatest staying power or pigment, but if I know I will only be wearing makeup for three or four hours, they do the job.

I have three pencil eyeliners currently on the table. MAC Kohl eyeliner in Smoulder, Topshop Kohl in Saddle and Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Blue Boom. Smoulder is my favorite inky black liner for the waterline. I also keep one in my purse, because let’s face it, waterline liner needs to be touched up. You can read my recent review of Saddle (in “In The Name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Eyeliner”), but I’ll just say I love that eyeliner for almost any liner purpose. I use Blue Boom on my waterline as an alternative to black or brown. Sometimes I want a pop of color on my eyes, but don’t want to do a full on colorful eye, so the waterline liner is perfect.

To fill in my brows, I use a matte dark brown shadow from the Coastal Scents palette.

I use two mascaras on my top lashes–Dior Diorshow and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash. On my bottom lashes, I use Smoky Lash only.

I have three lipliners on the table–Covergirl Lip Perfection in Passion (for red lip days), MAC Lipliner in Subculture (matches my natural lip color) and a new one that I am trying, Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Lavender Lite/Grape. Lavender Lite is a subtle light purple-pink that works with one of my lip glosses (next section), and I wear the darker purple Grape as a lipstick (I color my lips in with it and top with a clear balm). I recently had some blue extensions put in my hair and the Grape lip color worked well with those.

The two lip glosses currently in rotation are Buxom Lips Lip Polish in Princess (a shimmery pink pearl, looks nice over Lavender Lite liner) and Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Baby Doll (soft pink shimmer). I always have a red lipstick on the table and right now it is MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger. I’ve got a bright pink MAC Lipstick, Girl About Town, on the table as well, although I haven’t worn it for a while. Looks like I just thought of a look for tomorrow…

If I want my makeup to really last, I spray on some Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. That stuff is phenomenal.

My face brushes are by Real Techniques, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. My eyeshadow brushes are a mix of Sonia Kashuk, CVS Essence of Beauty, and MAC. I use an angled brush from ELF for my brows. Lip brush is from Michael’s Craft Store. I use Bioderma Eye Makeup Remover, because it is so gentle on my eyes. I’ve got a pair of Ardell 117 False Lashes patiently waiting for my next night out, a Duo Eyelash Adhesive, and some small silver stars I sometimes lash glue near my eyes or on the tops of my cheekbones.

Also on the table are some hot rollers, a Global Beauty Flat Iron, Minardi Subdue Styling Cream (to calm down any frizz), Batiste Dry Shampoo, Lamaur VitaE Brushable Hold Hair Spray and a fine tooth comb so I can tease the crap out of my hair. The higher hair hair, the closer to God, right?

Of course, I do not use all of this stuff every day, but it is a good solid mix of products that give me plenty of options without having too many options. Because if I were to look at my professional makeup kit every day and decide what I wanted to do, I would never leave the house.

So, just some ideas for your own makeup bag. These are all products I like enough to use regularly, so I feel like I can vouch for them. I’m always looking for new products to join the table, so I would love to hear any recommendations you have!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

A Good Base: bareMinerals Prime Time Review

I review a lot of eye primers because a) I find eye primers to be essential and b) I seem to get a lot of eye primer samples. My most recent eye primer sample was the Prime Time Eyelid Primer by bareMinerals. I have to admit, I am not a huge bareMinerals fan, so I had low expectations. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if I can’t be honest on my own beauty blog, where can I be?

To test this primer’s effectiveness, I tested it against my control primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Shadow Insurance has long been my Holy Grail of eye primers, but I am always open to trying something new. What kind of makeup artist would I be if I wasn’t? So for a few days, I wore Prime Time on one eye, and Shadow Insurance on the other, with a variety of eyeshadows and liners applied over.

And what did I find? Well, first off, Prime Time is an excellent wear-alone primer for those with pale skin. If you’re light like I am, this primer would be considered flesh tone. I have light skin and visible veins on my eyelids (I feel gross just typing that) and this primer covers them up without making it look like I have eye makeup on. In this wear-alone situation, it beats out Shadow Insurance. I think it has something to do with the heavier consistency, although it’s not so heavy that it looks cakey.

As far as the longevity factor, it is equal to Shadow Insurance. The eyeshadows and liners I used stayed on just as well on both eyes.

Eye primers are supposed to intensify the colors applied over them, and Prime Time does an excellent job with this. Every time, my eye makeup on the Prime Time eye was slightly more intense after several hours.

But when it comes to avoiding creasing, Shadow Insurance wins. The Prime Time eye was not completely ruined by creasing, but at the end of the day each time, there was creasing there, but not on the other eye. Some people like creasing, so this may not be a negative for everyone.

Overall, this is great eye primer and I would recommend it for sure. You can buy it at Sephora or wherever bareMinerals products are sold. It’s $18, and one tube will probably last you 2-3 months.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

The Case of Shadow Insurance vs. Smudge Proof Shadow Base

Unless I’m doing a photoshoot or film that requires an eyeshadow change, my first step in the makeup application process is eye primer. A quality eye primer will create a base, help eyeshadow stay on longer, prevent creasing and intensify color. Eye primer is one of my favorite “inventions” of the last ten years. I find the iPhone to be considerably less impressive.

My go-to eye primer for the last few years has been the defendant, Shadow Insurance by Too Faced (the original formula in the blue tube). It’s a creamy product, and it currently comes in one color. I’m not going to say flesh-toned, because that presumes we all have the same color skin, so I will say it is a color comparable to a light skintone. However, it blends into all skintones without a problem. You only need, as Too Faced says, a “raindrop-sized” amount of product to cover the entire lid. It comes in a squeeze tube (great for makeup artists, and for keeping your product sanitized) and has no discernible scent. It absorbs easily, doesn’t feel heavy or sticky, and does all the things a quality primer should do.

As much as I love Shadow Insurance–and this is probably why I wouldn’t make a good girlfriend–I have to see what else is out there. What if there’s something better? As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a makeup artist if I only used certain products and never tried anything new. So when I had the chance to try the Smudge Proof Shadow Base by NARS (one of my favorite companies), I went for it.

The Smudge Proof Shadow Base comes in a chic black and white tube. It has a doe foot applicator (the classic lipgloss type applicator), which I don’t love. As a makeup artist, I find it much easier to squeeze product out of a tube than grab a minute amount with a doe foot applicator, swipe on my palette and repeat several times. The product itself is white and I did notice that when first applied, it paled out the skin a tiny bit. It has a very faint plastic scent, but nothing I found off-putting. It absorbs quickly and feels very lightweight and there is no stickyness factor.

Now, how do the two compare? On a few different days, I wore one primer on each eye, then did my eye makeup as usual. I put each primer on my right eye one day, my left the next, and used the same eyeshadows to be as fair as possible. And the verdict is–Shadow Insurance is the bomb. Order in the court! The shadow intensity levels were close, although there was only slightly less fading with the Shadow Insurance. What did it for me was the creasing. The Smudge Proof Shadow Base definitely didn’t do as good of a job preventing creasing. There was no creasing with the Shadow Insurance, but I can’t say the same for the Smudge Proof Shadow Base.

I love NARS, but this is not a product I can recommend. But I am happy to tell you that the Shadow Insurance is cheaper ($19) than the Smudge Proof Shadow Base ($24). So I’ll pretend I’m doing some kind of public service here…

You can get Too Faced products at Sephora or Sephora.com.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

My GTL

I think too much. Often times when I call someone for business or personal reasons, I am already having the conversation in my head before they’ve picked up. On our way into a restaurant with my friend recently, I was talking through my possible drink choices and the pros and cons to each one before we were even in the door. And it’s common for me to spend a whole cardio workout thinking of what I will do when I win the lottery some day, right down to what color I want the walls in my third guest room in my beach house to be. (As you can imagine, falling asleep can be quite difficult–my brain does not want to shut up!)

So when I can do something without really thinking, it’s amazing. This often happens when I’m doing my own basic day look makeup, which I call my Go To Look (GTL). This changes due to the time of year, what my skin is doing, my mood, etc., but I tend to use the same products for a month or two at a time, letting the makeup part of my brain run on autopilot.

My GTL lately has been:

1) Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream. Usually, my skin starts-a-peeling at the first mention of winter, but this cream has saved me. It is thick, but doesn’t feel heavy on my skin. It absorbs almost immediately and doesn’t leave a residue or any sticky-ness. Love.

2) Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer. Even if I don’t plan on wearing any eyeshadow or liner, I use this because it does a little camo action on the tiny veins you can see through my fair skin. And if I do wear other eye makeup, I know it will stay on longer and not crease with the Shadow Insurance underneath.

3) Dior Diorshow Mascara in Black. Still the best volumizing mascara I’ve ever used. I use this first, on top lashes only, because I find it tends to smudge on my bottom lashes (but never the top–so weird).

4) Clinique High Lengths Mascara in 01 Black. It took a little while to get used to the semi-circle comb-like applicator, but I’m cool with it now. The black, inky-ness of this mascara rivals Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash, and it is a phenomenal volumizer and lengthener. My two mascara combo has caused more than one person to ask “Are your lashes real?”

5) MAC Select Coverup. This is the only concealer I’ve ever liked for under my eyes. It’s a liquid that dries to a powder but it sets quickly, so you can’t be dillydallying around while you apply it. Once it’s on, the coverage is amazing and it doesn’t cake as long as you prep the area with a tiny bit of moisturizer first.

6) Make Up For Ever HD Foundation + Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I mix my two shades together for a slightly less heavy coverage than the HD foundation. I mainly do this because in the winter, it’s the only way for me to get my perfect shade, but any extra moisturizing on my dry winter skin is a good thing.

7) Make Up For Ever HD Powder. In the summer, I reach for the MUFE Super Loose Matte Powder to control shine, but this time of year, the HD Powder is where it’s at.

8) Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit #2. I use the darker color to contour and it really makes my bone structure look so much better. It’s not too orangey or too dark, even on my light skin.

9) NARS Blush in Orgasm, MAC Powder Blush in Peaches, or Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Flamingo. My blush changes depending on what colors I’m using on my lips and cheeks, but these have been the three I reach for most.

10) Lipstick Queen lipglosses from the Peacock Alley collection. The ones I have are sheer with a hint of color and some glitter, so just enough for me to feel polished without doing a lipstick or more intense color.

11) MAC Eyeshadow in Brun to fill in my brows. It matches my coloring and I love the MAC eyeshadows for filling in brows.

That’s about it for my most basic makeup look. Now when I say basic, I don’t mean I wear this to go for a run, or to walk to the mailbox down the street. But if I have to head over to CVS, or the bank, or the library (oh, do I love the library!), I’m usually wearing my Go To Look. It makes me feel polished and put together. I just feel better when I have makeup on, like I’m being true to myself. (Some people feel the opposite way, in which case I say, rock on!) Some people drink coffee–I can’t, gives me the heart palpies–but my Go To Look is what I need to really start my day.

I sometimes go back later in the day to add on some eyes or lips and night makeup is a whole different ballgame. But during the day, if I don’t have a lot of time or am feeling lazy, I turn to the Go To Look. And now I need to Go To bed. Can’t wait to hear what my brain wants to talk about tonight…

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 🙂

Valentine’s Day Makeup

Valentine's Day Makeup
These two look up to no good.

I’m no romantic, so Valentine’s Day isn’t my thing. But I also don’t wear all black and burn ex-boyfriend memorabilia every February 14th. Instead, I look at it the same way I look at most things in life: as inspiration for a makeup look.

Today I did a look with pink eye color, pink cheeks and pinkish red lips. I’d post a picture but I photograph horribly.

What I used:

Eyes:

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
NARS blush in Orgasm (yes, blush on the eyes)
MAC eyeshadow in Brun at top and bottom lashlines
MAC Pigment in Vanilla on browbone
Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash mascara

Face:

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation 117 & 118 mixed together with moisturizer
MAC Select Coverup in NW 20
Make Up For Ever Sclupting Kit #2 contour powde
NARS blush in Orgasm

Lips:

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain in a pinkish red color (doesn’t say the color on the tube)
Carmex lip balm (I left the house with it matte, then decided I wanted shine)

That’s it! Easy, Valentine’s Day inspired look ♥

Have a beautiful day 🙂

A Five Minute, Five Step Face

I rarely go out in public with absolutely no makeup on.  But I also don’t always have enough time to really do my makeup (a full face for me, the way I like to do it, can take up to 45 minutes). So I often rock my “No Makeup Makeup.” It gives me a very natural, polished look, requires no brushes and takes about five minutes.

Here’s what I do:

Step 1:  Apply Too Faced Shadow Insurance eye primer to the lids, using my ring finger, to cover any discoloration and tiny little eye veins.

Step 2:  Using my hands, I apply Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer to my entire face, blending under the jawline and down onto the neck.

Step 3:  Again with using my ring finger, I apply MAC Select Coverup under my eyes.  I also put some around my nose, where many of us have redness, with my index finger. If I have any blemishes, I dab it on them with my pinky finger.

Step 4:  Two coats of Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara on the top lashes, just a little at the roots of the bottom lashes.

Step 5:  Sheer lip balm/gloss/Vaseline/whatever on the lips.

Finito! How easy is that?

Have a beautiful day 🙂

A Nine to Five Face

9 to 5, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin
Either you get this, or you don’t.

I am first and foremost a makeup artist, but I also have a day job as an office manager. Although I have been known to come into work wearing what some may call “inappropriate work makeup” or “a night look” (I can’t squash the artist in me just because it’s a weekday), I also sometimes wear Office Manager Makeup.  Today is one of those days.

I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture to attach. But even if my camera wasn’t currently on the fritz, I probably wouldn’t have one.  Whenever I take a picture of myself, I end up looking like some weird turtle/troll/bunny hybrid and then I start researching plastic surgeons in the area. So you’re just going to have to trust me here.  This is a day job appropriate look that would work on people with light to medium skin.

Because I tend to use a lot of products and I know some of you would want a simpler look, I’ll put the word “optional” next to the products you can get away with omitting.

FACE:

  • Sense Daytime Protective Emulsion (or SPF 15 moisturizer that you like)
  • MAC Face & Body Foundation
  • Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit #2 (to highlight and contour) OPTIONAL
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (under eyes and on blemishes)
  • MAC powder blush in Tenderling (on apples of cheeks)
  • Rimmel Stay Matter pressed powder (to set foundation and undereye concealer)

EYES:

  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper (all over lid)
  • MAC eyeshadow in Wedge (in crease) SKIP IF YOU HAVE HOODED LIDS
  • MAC eyeshadow in Satin Taupe (on outer V)
  • MAC Fluidline gel liner in Blacktrack (top lashline) OPTIONAL
  • MAC eyeshadow in Brun (a tiny bit at lower lashline, using an angled brush)
  • Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara (top and bottom lashes)
  • MAC eyeshadow in Mystery (to fill in brows) MAC OMEGA IS BETTER FOR BLONDE BROWS

LIPS:

  • MAC Lipliner in Sublime Culture (line and fill in lips) OPTIONAL
  • MAC Lipstick on Creme d’Nude

That’s it! It’s really a pretty, polished, work appropriate look.  I will do one for medium to dark skin as soon as I can.

Have a beautiful day 🙂