No Filter Necessary Contour & Highlight

With the right tools, anyone can recreate a perfectly contoured and highlighted complexion without playing with extreme photo-tricks.

Probably the biggest mistake is applying too much product at once! Thin layers and building intensity where desired is the key to looking flawless on camera and in real life. Of course, product choice and application method contribute to the end result but using small amounts of product makes a major point of difference between amateur and professional results. Unless you plan to be on stage or under harsh editorial studio lighting, less is always more.

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The images above are not filtered/photo shopped, just some old fashioned blending!

1. Prep the skin per usual with appropriate skincare and primer first to perfect the base.  (More on my current skin care faves coming soon).

2. Next, perfect the skin. My current foundation favorite is Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. is a buildable coverage botanical based foundation that gives a skin-like appearance with a weightless texture. I dampen my Beauty Blender with Caudalie Beauty Elixir and bounce the sponge all over my skin. I typically only use about less than a nickel size of the foundation, dot it on the center of my cheeks, chin, forehead and nose then blend well until the product looks invisible.

3. If you are anything like me, a multi-tasking always on the go mom/wife/working professional, dark circles are always an issue. Use a color corrector to illuminate and bring life back to tired eyes. I’m loving Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener – see my last post for a more in depth review. Apply in an inverted triangular shape directly below the bottom lash line and extend out to the lower temples.

4. Highlight the parts of the face you want to emphasize. I reach for Cle De Peau Concealer Stick because it’s very pigmented and easy to apply. Apply a thin sweep of this below the eye brightener, in the center of the forehead. Sometimes I apply this on the bridge of my nose and the middle of my chin but in the photos in this post, I was suffering from a minor cold and did not want my nose to be a focal point from constant sneezing.

5. Blend, blend, blend! My take on highlighting is to look glowing and fresh faced without a mess of sparkling glitter. I believe the skin should look like skin. Spritz the Beauty Blender once more with Caudalie Beauty Elixir and use the pointed end of the sponge under the eyes and the rounded end every where else you placed the lighter shades. Blending is quick but it gives the complexion a natural transition instead of harsh demarcation lines. Taking that extra few seconds to smooth the areas between the highlight and base makeup is what perfects the skin.

6. Use a contouring shade along the hollows of the cheeks to add shape to the face, at the high temples of the forehead and below the jaw line. As mentioned above, in the photos below I did not what to do anything special on my nose because I was having irritation from sneezing/congestion but I sometimes slim my nose with a bit of contour and highlight. In general, I use either the Makeup Forever Cream Camouflage Palette #4 (pictured in the images in this post), OCC Makeup Conceal in a deeper shade or Sleek Makeup Cream Foundation. I like to pick up the cream with e.l.f.’s small stipple brush and apply a very deep color in the hollow of my cheek and on the temples. I then place a deep but slightly lighter shade right above the darkest shade on the cheeks and blend with small circular motions with the same stippling brush until the product looks smooth. Using two deep shades makes for a smoother blend.

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The images above is not filtered/photoshopped & is taken with a flash.

Since I typically am not a fan of contouring/highlighting with powders as I find them to look too dry and overly made up, I use all cream products and set with a fine translucent loose powder in the center of the face if I’m just working on myself. The photos shown in the post, I used a small amount of Koh Gen Do UV Powder applied with a fan brush. Generally, my makeup wears well and don’t have a problem with makeup migrating or separating but on my clients I set the skin with a deep powder over the contours and a translucent shade over the highlighted areas with a loose bristle brush and light patting strokes.

*This probably sounds like a long process but on average, this takes me less than ten minutes in the morning.

 

 

Review: Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener

Recently, I picked up the new Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener from Sephora during the VIB 15% off sale a couple weeks ago.

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Any Makeup artist knows that the original Bobbi Brown Color Correctors are one of the most sought after product selections for camouflaging dark circles. While the Color Correctors come in a huge spectrum of pink and peach based shades for all skin tones, the cream texture packaged in either a mini compact or for makeup pros in the BBU palette, is a heavier more opaque formula that naturally has a dry texture.

Though I love the original Bobbi Brown Color Corrector, during this season, I find it looks to over done for the fresh day look I prefer. When I saw that the Tinted Eye Brightener was a liquid version of the creamy Color Correctors, I knew I had to try it out. The range of colors is much smaller in the Tinted Eye Brightener family but the shades are flexible and the fluid texture makes it so appropriate for a more invisible, second skin, easy makeup look. The doe foot applicator also makes it idea for on the go makeup application especially for spring/summer vacation makeup bags.

After using the product for almost two weeks, I would absolutely recommend this as an alternative to full coverage concealers more suited for the fall/winter matte skin look. Bobbi Brown is a master at complexion perfecting products and I’m so happy she released this product!

The Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener retails for $30 and is available in 7 shades from Porcelain Peach to Dark Bisque, my shade is ‘Peach.’

Get Stronger Lashes in just 3 weeks

I’m quite skeptical when it comes to eyelash products that claim to grow natural length because number one, I have asian eyelashes and number two my lashes fall out a lot since I curl them daily – again the curse of straight and extra short asian eyelashes. Although I frequently love to wear a pair of false lashes my eyes have been easily irritated from spring allergies and I have been leaning toward taking my time with applying mascara in the morning over a strip of falsies. To be fair, I have never tried Latisse or any growth treatment besides the one I am about to mention but I do know there is a laundry list of hazards attached to those type of prescription grade treatments such as discoloration and redness.

A few years ago, while I was working for Dior I helped launch the Dior Lash Maximizer which claimed to grow lashes in length, gradually increase curl and give the lashes an overall plush appearance. It’s made with soy protein which conditions and is the main ingredient that makes the lashes noticeably longer in length. A major plus to the product is it is convenient to apply as it is a mascara wand that deposits white product that turns clear in seconds – simply brush on the lashes first and follow up with your favorite mascara.

Personally, I’ve tried it under Dior mascaras (Diorshow New Look is my favorite of the Dior family), other luxe brands and even under drugstore mascaras and it still works beautifully to give the lashes an immediate difference in thickness, length and separation.

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Top photo was taken 3 weeks ago prior to using the Diorshow Lash Maximizer & the bottom is from today after using it daily for 3 weeks!

I highly recommend the Diorshow Lash Maximizer to anyone who has problems with lash fallout, short lashes or is just looking to amplify the look of their natural lashes. I cannot say that I notice a big difference in natural curl after using it over the years but I do notice a change in the length and thickness when I have gone without this product. For $28.50 it is worth a try!

 

Getting Electric Inspired

Wile browsing through Instagram in the last week, there has been a flood of bright eye makeup looks in my feed with the latest launch from Urban Decay, the vibrant and ultra-pigmented Electric Palette.

Although the intensely saturated ten hues housed in a gorgeous piece of signature Urban Decay abstract art is a makeup palette fit for the true makeup collector, the extra bright shades didn’t intrigue me enough to make a purchase. I do however love a creative eye look and decided to pull out an assortment of colors I don;t normally wear and post my own colorful creation.

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What I used:

>>> prior to doing this eye makeup I had a small amount of Dior Airflash foundation in shade 300 under my eyes and 400 on the outside of my face, EOS minty lip balm (my lips are naturally pretty pink), Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Ebony, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Black.

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Radium

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Eye Pencil in 7L

Butter London Wink Colour Mascara in Jaded Jack

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Mehron Makeup Intense Eyeshadow in Ocean Breeze, Metallic Powder in Copper, Earth Pressed Powder Pigments Palette

I love, love, love the Mehron Eyeshadows! They blend true to color from what is in the pan and since they are a beauty to theatrical brand made for the stage and film a tiny amount of product leaves a major impact. In the above photo I blended them all over my eyes without a primer. Have you tried the bright eye makeup trend?

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Sometimes I get a little overzealous and consume my calendar with multiple projects and have to remind myself that it is okay to have a moment to myself.

The last few days I really challenged myself to listen closely to what my daughter was saying without focusing on ten different things – which not surprisingly her comments are lighthearted and comical. What comes out of a five-year-old’s mouth and especially my beauty loving mini me always makes me laugh.

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Here are three things my princess Tessa said in the last 10 days that describes our relationship:

1. “Mommy can you please make my hair super straight and put Morrocanoil in it for picture day?

2. (As I open a box of press samples) “Which one are you sharing with me mommy… I mean which one is mine to keep in my makeup station?”

3. “Do not wear a smokey eye again tomorrow Mommy that is 3 times already this week. How about a wing – but not to big okay!”

Yup. I’ve created a little monster; not to mention she did cry for a good fifteen minutes over me not letting her swatch a box of eyeliners. Is that weird?

 

Makeup Memories: Urban Decay

I remember maybe 11 years ago roaming around a Sephora store and being really excited to see Urban Decay since it wasn’t a brand that was sold everywhere. At the time I was very experimental with makeup and was eager to see the hype around the 24/7 eyeliners. That day, I made my first Urban Decay purchase of an electric-turquoise blue 24/7 liner and a lavender-purple glitter liquid liner – of course in retro packaging but still amazing.

Yesterday, I received a package of 24/7 liners that I ordered with my UD Pro Discount-yay for makeup artist perks & 40% off!- and it totally brought me back to that first time so many years ago remembering what the Urban Decay brand really stood for. It was slightly rebellious, loud and totally innovative.

Today, it is surprising to see that ‘Naked’ is what is synonymous with UD in mainstream media as the roots of the brand are all about the edgy, music inspired raw makeup scene. Bright 24/7 liners and chunky, vibrant glitter are two products that many UD fans started with but I suppose as fan grow older there is a time for a muted ‘Naked’ moment. photo

With the new Electric Palette release, I hope all the young Urban fans can appreciate the homage to the original brand concept of making a statement and being original! Who knew makeup could be so nostalgic?

 

Engagement Shoot 3/22/14

Although I can appreciate the skill behind a solid graphic eyeliner and a detailed cut crease, I do still believe in an ethereal more discreet approach to bridal makeup. Wedding makeup – or occasions related to the big day including bridal showers and engagement photos require two main points of difference from a daily makeup look. Number one is longevity (point in case why a major eye statement can sometimes be an unrealistic look) and two is flawless blending in both photos and in real life.

Here are a couple photos of my beautiful bride to be Louraine and her lovely Maid of Honor Sister during a makeup trial this past weekend:

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My bridal client Louraine seemed anxious about our makeup consultation since she has cystic acne and acne scarring which can be difficult to camouflage. My pro kit has a variety of different complexion perfecters which offer high coverage without the heavy feeling of some not so skin friendly foundations. She right away noticed that I was not using MAC which she loved since MAC typically triggers breakouts for her skin and that a lot of the products I use contain organic or natural ingredients.

Here’s a breakdown of what I used to create a flawless canvas that translated in person and on camera.

BECCA Cosmetics Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector : This is my favorite primer to use if I know my client has oily skin or if the event they are attending is in a hot/humid environment. This is a silicone, fragrance, oil and alcohol free primer making it idea for a lot of different skin types. I used this on both Louraine and her sister mainly in the center of the face (cheeks, forehead, nose and chin) using light patting motions. This product prolongs makeup wear, controls shine and minimizes any uneven textures on the complexion.

Chantecaille Future Skin : This foundation is so innovative as it is an oil-free formula but holds a lot of hydration from the rose water base and soothes any type of irritation with the green tea, arnica and chamomile. It has a weightless feel making it idea for long events and the HD finish makes it beautiful in every type of lighting. On Louraine I used shades Wheat all over and Cammomile to highlight. For her sister, I used shade Cream all over and Alabaster to highlight.

OCC Skin Conceal: I have two darker shades of this concealer in my kit that I use for contouring the skin. It is a vegan formula, ridiculously pigmented and has a long lasting wear. I used a small stipple brush to contour the face and a small eyeshadow blending brush to slim the nose. A tiny bit of this product goes a long way and does not look shiny, ashy or obvious on the skin.

Bobbi Brown Corrector: I love love love to use this product especially for photoshoots as it hides dark circles if used in small amours buffed onto the eye contour. Too much of this product will crease under eyes and can really migrate if its not set with a fine loose or pressed powder. Less is definitely more!

Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder: Sheer, colorless and in compact form this is my kit favorite for setting the skin. I applied this all over Louraine’s skin as she has oily skin but with a fluffy face brush so skin still looks fresh and non-cakey.

I was so happy to meet these two ladies and boost Louraine’s confidence for her engagement shoot! Here are a couple shots from the photoshoot:

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I can’t wait to glam her entire bridal party in May!

To book me for your next event, please click the “Book Me” link in the menu above.

 

Makeup Essential Tools for Looking Flawless

Over the weekend, during a bridal makeup trial appointment I was reminded that I’ve really incorporated a lot of new favorite beauty tools into my pro kit. Since I finally have a quick minute to devote to writing, here is a post about new essentials that make painting a flawless face an easy task.

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(Pictured from Top to Bottom)

Le Metier De Beaute Blush Brush I Typically am not a fan of short stem brushes but this one is so luxe with a matte black finish and ultra-soft bristles that it is hard not to be obsessed with this tool. Though I mainly use this soft tapered tool for applying bronzer and blush it is also a beautiful brush when used with loose finishing powder. Find this beauty at Neiman Marcus and beauty bar.com.

Japonesque Heated Mini Lash Curler As a self proclaimed eyelash curler hoarder I must say I was surprised to see how often the Japonesque Heated Mini Lash Curler has replaced my favorites from Tweezerman, Sephora Brand, Shu Uemura and Chanel for the last three months. Get a fully fanned out curl without a deep crimp competitors may lead from a traditional metal eyelash tool. Find this beauty at Ulta and ulta.com.

Tweezerman Pink Perfection Slant Tweezer Aside from being hot pink, this precision tool keeps my brow game on point plus is so perfect for placing individual false lashes – enough said. I got this beauty from Sephora last year and its still available in store and online.

Beauty Blender What I love about this tool is that it is non-latex for my sensitive clients and it blends foundation, contour and highlighting creams with such a quick application. My favorite way to use a beautyblender is to first dampen the sponge with rose water and use a stipple/rolling motion to blend the complexion. Beautyblender is available all over shop some of my favorite retailers: Sephora, Frends Beauty or Camera Ready Cosmetics.

Sephora Pro Brow Comb #21 Eyebrows and lashes are so important to the total makeup look – or even a bare face- because they frame the eyes. A perfectly groomed brow is easy to maintain with the stiff bristle end which pushes brows into the right shape. Use the opposite end to de-clump mascara for elongated lashes.

Morphe C139 Stiff Tap Brush Whether you are just getting into makeup or are a makeup pro, Morphe Brushes are affordable, functional and great for building an essential beauty wardrobe. Currently I have three C139 Stiff Tap brushes and I use them frequently to define the crease and apply loose and pressed pigments over the lid.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Crease Brush 011 Made from super soft natural goat hair, this is the perfect brush for blending any eye look from subtle to full on dramatic. The dome shaped bristles make it incredibly easy to create a perfect smokey eye. Find this beauty at rougebunnyrouge.com.

Sephora & Frends Beauty Haul

As a true beauty junkie, my two favorite places to stock my personal and professional makeup kit are Sephora and Frends Beauty Supply.

From Sephora, I purchased 3 items with a 10% off code I had been saving after renewing my VIB status and got a couple freebies including a YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain sample trio, Anastasia Beverly Hills brow powder and Phyto Express Conditioner for fine hair.

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I decided to finally get a full sized version of the Nars Pro Prime Eyeshadow primer; it is the best eye primer that makes any eye shadow completely smudge resistant. I also picked up my favorite Josie Maran Bear Naked Nail Wipes. These have a pleasant grapefruit scent and remove polish while infusing the nail bed with natural hydrators. Lastly, the Sephora Collection Pro Brow Comb #21 is an essential brush for separating eyelashes and keeping brows perfectly groomed into place.

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During a drive down the 101 Freeway yesterday, I decided to drop into the Frends Beauty Supply Showroom in North Hollywood. After about a year of shopping the Frends Beauty website, it was an exciting moment to actually walk around in the actual store getting to see some of the niche pro makeup artist products available. Since it was a quick visit, I picked up eyelashes for some upcoming bridal work, Duo dark tone glue, one of my favorite brushes – Morphe C139 Stiff Tap Eye Brush and a fresh bottle of Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist.

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All of these items will be put to good work and once again, my beauty cravings have been fulfilled!

 

Spring Makeup Inspiration

There must be something about the familiar Socal sun post a few gloomy weather days that makes me cling to cheerful spring beauty with feminine glossy pink lips and clean radiant skin. I almost never go for the same makeup look multiple times in a one week span but this refreshing contemporary chic spring color story has been my go-to makeup of the day three times in the past seven days. Here are a few favorite products I’ve been using to achieve a dewy complexion & wearable spring lip look.

*** All of the photos in this post feature the products mentioned below for a glowing complexion and glossy pink lips!

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An idea Spring complexion should look and feel effortlessly transparent. Of course the right skin care regime including a routine of proper exfoliation provides an easy canvas for overall skin clarity but a key component is the right foundation. Choose a foundation formula that offers coverage without a heavy texture and a natural glowing finish. My current spring complexion picks are Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation & Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation leaves the skin looking flawless with a satin finish and liquid airy feel. It features hydration boosting ingredients like natural vegetable glycerin and algae to extend the feeling of comfort while diffusing imperfections with mineral pigments. Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation is an innovative oil free gel foundation made with ingredients like Chamomile, antioxidants and sea weed to smooth and perfect the skin’s natural appearance. It offers a buildable coverage and photographs beautifully! 

For lips there is nothing quite like a soft pink lip to bring a delicate charm to a spring makeup look. Coming from a major lip product junkie, it is difficult to choose a favorite pink lip but a couple current obsessions are Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks and Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lipsticks. Urban Decay’s sleek gun metal packaging houses a high impact pigment paired with a comfortable creamy lip bullet. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in shade Protest is a perfect pink that marries edgy and femme for a powerful pout. Too Faced La Creme Lipstick formula leaves lips feeling supple and plump with just enough color to brighten any makeup look. Shade Marshmallow Bunny from Too Faced is a sweet pink so perfect for a day to night makeup look. Pair either of these with Chantecaille Luminous Lipgloss in Framboise – a vibrant strawberry hue.

Keep it simple for spring!  Will you try this easy makeup look?