Tag: contour and highlight

My Makeup Inspirations of 2014

Although the constant annoyance of instagram eyebrows and drag cut creases flood beauty social media, I find happiness in following some of my favorite industry makeup artists who really know how to throw down some flawless glam. I thought it was appropriate to post about what inspires me as an artist since I often read timid emails from clients afraid to look overly made up.

My makeup philosophy is that skin should look like skin and enhancing natural features never goes out of trend. Unless there is an editorial shoot that requires heavy duty creative texture, the majority of my work revolves around creating the perfect ‘no makeup-makeup’ skin and varying degrees of glam on eyes and lips.

Here are a few makeup artists that have inspired me this year.

Anthony Nguyen, the king of versatility. This year I have been obsessed with Anthony’s work because he transitions from bare faced raw beauty to ridiculous precision. I can’t get enough of watching his artistry and hope I can run into him somewhere in LA in 2015. I would die for just a quick chat or watching him work for a few minutes.

*Images from @anthonyhnguyenmakeup on Instagram:

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Lisa Eldridge, the master of Chic. The thing I admire about Ms Eldridge is her take on skin. She has such a giant list of high profile clients but isn’t afraid to offer her intimate thoughts on skin care, how to build up a makeup look and at the same time keeps everything very modern. Her personal style and makeup technique is classic, refreshing and totally chic.

*Images from lisaeldridgemakeup on Instagram:

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Pati Dubroff, the makeup icon. Pati Dubroff is so effortless and a true makeup icon; her beauty work is gorgeous, timeless and keeps me so in love with artistry. What I love most about Pati’s energy is that you can tell her passion for makeup by listening to her speak but when you look at her work it’s never overdone, just right on even in her more elaborate makeup images.

*Images from @patidubroff on Instagram:

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Etienne Ortega, the glam specialist. Though serious blending is what makes Etienne’s makeup so flawless it is the attention to detail that I love. There’s something about the way he cleans up the complexion with the perfect balance of softness that has me always excited to see his work. The struggle is crazy making skin look like skin especially with the full coverage makeup looks he creates for red carpet and celebrity so it is absolutely a pair of masterful hands he has.

*Images from @etienneortega on Instagram:

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Gregory Arlt, Makeup Risk Taker. I’ve always loved the artful eye Gregory Arlt has with his makeup but this year he has transformed one of my all time glam inspirations, Gwen Stefani with such beautiful taste. She is of course known for the red lip but she’s really come into some serious makeup moments with Gregory featuring glitter, nude lips and crazy beautiful skin. But seriously, Gwen doesn’t age – Am I right?

*Images from @gregoryarlt on Instagram:

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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.

Processed with Moldiv

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.

Processed with Moldiv

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.