How Much Makeup is Needed to Create a Natural Look

I wanted to write a post regarding natural makeup and what it takes to create a full face natural look.  There seems to be a misconception that creating a look that appears to be natural requires less products.  The truth is, it actually still requires just as many products as a look that appears more dramatic.  When you use more products, the good news is that you do end up using much less of each product so a little goes a long way.

For someone who wants to keep their products to an absolute minimum, it can definitely be done but the face typically will not look as complete, potentially will not last as long throughout the day, and might not look as flawless by the end.  As a professional makeup artist, my visual standard of perfection is much higher than the average person so that is why I will continue to use this many products because I understand how they work and the exact purpose they serve.  I do not like to cut corners when it comes to any makeup application so however many products it takes to get to the end result, I will still use them.

I made a video to show every single product I was wearing today.  I do not wear the same exact products every day as I do enjoy switching up the eye shadow, lip color, and blush.  This is just a general idea of what an every day look for me entails.  I will list the products below that are mentioned in my video:

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot “Soft Ochre” (eye shadow primer)
  • MAC “Vanilla” eye shadow (lid color)
  • Kiko Milano #09 eye shadow (highlight)
  • Addiction “Flash Back” eye shadow (crease color)
  • MAC “Bronze” (outer crease color)
  • Maybelline Line Stiletto “Blackest Black” liquid eye liner (top liner)
  • MAC “Teddy” eye kohl pencil liner (bottom liner)
  • Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara
  • Red Cherry “Wispy” false lashes
  • Benefit Porefessional face primer
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer “Custard – Medium 1”
  • NARS Sheer Glow “Deauville – Light 4” liquid foundation
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free “Translucent” pressed face powder
  • Becca “Moonstone” pressed highlighting powder
  • NARS “Benares – Dark 1” powder foundation (cheek contour)
  • Chanel “280 Golden Sun” powder blush
  • Anastasia “Ebony” brow powder duo
  • Lancome “Sable” eye brow pencil
  • NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil “Bahama”
  • Lipland “Fifty-Fifty” liquid lipstick

As you can see, the final look is very natural looking.  However, I ended up using a total of 20 products to create it, hard to believe (I know)!

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Eye Makeup Brushes – What I Use and Why

I created a makeup video to briefly go over the makeup brushes I use most of the time when applying eye makeup.  I have used various brushes but these are definitely my go to brushes.  Before going into any detailed videos on eye makeup application, I wanted to first go over the tools because without the right brushes, it is hard to really apply the techniques.

In this video, I talk about these eye makeup brushes:

  • Makeup Designory #300 brush – I use this for applying eye shadow primer/base (cream based product).
  • MAC #239 brush – This brush is specifically used for applying eye shadow (powder) onto the lids.
  • MAC #224 – This brush is great for applying eye shadow highlighter under the brows.  It is also a great multi-purpose brush and can be used for applying under eye concealer.
  • MAC #217 – This is an absolute necessity when it comes to eye shadow blending into the crease.  It is fluffy but also tight to really get into the crease area.  I own at least 10 of these brushes!  I recommend having at least two of these, one used in the entire crease and one to blend at the outer corners of the crease.
  • Sephora #207 – This is a double ended brush serving different purposes.  The angled side I like to use for filling in the brows (powder product) while the smudge side I like to use for applying eye shadow as bottom liner or for smudging the bottom liner for a more smokey effect.
  • MAC #266 – This angled brush is best for applying a gel or liquid liner and is especially great for creating a winged eye liner.

Overall, as long as you can find brushes that are similar to the ones I mentioned in terms of the shape and size, then they should be sufficient.  The only one I strongly recommend you get specifically is the MAC #217 brush, I find this to truly be the best eye shadow crease blending brush.

False Lashes – Tips on How to Choose the Right Pair


When it comes to false lashes, there are many options which can make it rather difficult knowing what’s best.  To choose a pair that’s right for you, there are a couple of questions to ask yourself:

* Do you want a more natural or dramatic look?
* Do you prefer length, volume, or both?

The top pair is ideal if you are looking for length. The lashes are more defining and separated.

The middle pair is the most natural out of the three. They provide more volume but aren’t super long in length. Once they are applied and blended with the natural lashes, they can look like your own lashes. “Demi wispies” are probably the most popular and universal false lashes out there, they pretty much work on everyone.

The last pair is “stacked” meaning it is actually two pairs of false lashes stacked on top of each other. This allows for them to be very full with extra volume.

I don’t see stacked pairs all too often but they do exist and if you want to stack your own, you can totally do it yourself! This can be done by stacking them on top of each other prior to application (like the ones you buy) or by applying one pair first followed by another set on top of them. Given the choice, I prefer to pre-stack before application but either method will work.

This is just a look at a few false lash options.  It is always best to try different variations to see what your style preferences are and what works best for you.  Depending on what occasion you are wearing them for can also be a deciding factor for choosing which pair of false lashes are best as lashes can range from natural styles where it does not look like you are wearing them at all to more dramatic styles that stand out and make the eyes pop.

How a Makeup Artist Can Change Your Life! – 5 Reasons to Hire a Professional


No matter what your background in makeup is, whether you are someone who doesn’t leave the house without makeup, perhaps one who defines wearing makeup as simply applying mascara every once in a while, or you just flat out never wear makeup whatsoever (don’t worry, I’m not judging), the value of hiring a professional makeup artist can be life changing.

Makeup artists are typically hired in situations where a person is going to be photographed a significant amount, such as a wedding–which for many can be the most photographed day in a person’s lifetime.  It is also extremely beneficial to hire a makeup artist for head shots or for promotional purposes that will be featured on a website or advertisement.  For movies and television, a makeup artist on set is without question.

These examples provide many instances in which hiring a makeup artist is the way to go versus applying makeup yourself–even if you happen to know the basics of makeup application or wear makeup on a daily basis.  I tell people all the time, I was always one to apply makeup everyday but it was not until I pursued it professionally that I really knew what I was doing.  My evidence of this is when I look back at old photos and see a world of visual difference between applying makeup myself and then applying it myself once I became a true master of my craft.

Here I will explain in further detail a few of my top reasons why it is essential to hire a makeup artist for your next big event, photo shoot, or even for application techniques for your everyday use.  If you are having second thoughts due to cost or simply thinking, “it’s only makeup,” then this article will definitely shift your perspective into the direction of going professional.

  •  Attention to Detail –  Makeup artists are pretty much natural born visual perfectionists.  I can at least speak for myself and assure you it starts at a young age.  I was the type of person as a child, if I was creating a poster and the title was not straight or centered enough, I would feel the need to fix it immediately due to my innate attention to detail and need for it to be aesthetically pleasing.  Makeup artists have an eye to really apply makeup in a way that is precise and looks good from all angles.  The end goal is to also create facial symmetry such as drawing eyeliner at the same thickness/length on both sides.
  • Long-wearing Products – A true makeup artist will not only have a very well stocked makeup kit of the best products in the industry and an eclectic assortment of colors but also products with the best performance to ensure that the makeup will last all day with little to no touch-ups.  This is very important, especially in situations where the makeup is applied very early in the morning and expected to last until the very end of the night.  Makeup artists will use the correct products to extend the longevity of the makeup so you will not have to worry about it disappearing a few hours later into the day.
  • The Perfect Match – Aside from the actual makeup application, I would say there is also confusion surrounding makeup when it comes to the color selection process.   Being able to match foundation or simply choosing the best colors to suit a person’s skintone, hair, and eye color is often times a challenge for most people so leave it up to your makeup artist to know what shades best suit your personal coloring along with coincide with your style preferences.
  • Photo Ready – I never fail to mention to people that makeup can very well make or break a photo.  The way the makeup appears in person and in a photograph can actually vary so this is where a makeup artist comes in to know how much makeup is needed to really photograph well.  A person should look like their best photographed self once their makeup is applied professionally.
  • Accentuate Your Best Features –  As a makeup artist, I would say this is the most important reason as to why hiring a professional makeup artist is a necessity.  From ample experience working with all ages and races paired with a skilled eye, makeup artists can look at a face and know what to do to best accentuate a person’s facial features.  In addition, if a client has specific requests such as making the eyes look bigger, defining the cheekbones, evening out the complexion–you name it, you better believe a makeup artist has the solution and will make it happen! 😉

I hope this has provided some valuable insight as to the many benefits of hiring a professional makeup artist.  They are skilled at what they do to execute a flawless finish while also committed to creating a personalized look to make you look and feel like the best version of yourself!

NARS Climax Mascara Review and Demo – Are You Ready to Climax?

I announced on my Instagram yesterday that I am very excited that I finally received the new NARS Climax mascara in the mail yesterday.  I had been wanting to try this since it came out and just got a chance to wear it for the first time today.  I recorded a short YouTube video which is also posted onto this blog to show a demo of the mascara along with a review.

The NARS Climax mascara is $24 and I purchased it from the NARS website directly.  If you are in need of a new mascara, I would highly recommend it!  The mascara gives a voluminizing effect that provides length, thickness, and a curl to my natural lashes.  I would always recommend using a mascara primer prior to mascara application (in this video, I skipped it so I can test the results without it) but my lashes still looked pretty nice after I applied two coats!

How to Apply False Lashes on Yourself – Everything You Need to Know!

Here is the first actual makeup video I posted on my makeup channel last night.  This is a quick how to video on how to apply false lashes by yourself.  I break down the steps in terms of how to prep the false lashes, how to apply them effortlessly, and just some general makeup tips that are helpful when applying them yourself.

In terms of supplies, you will only need:

  • A pair of false lashes (I am using Ardell Wispies in this video)
  • Duo Striplash Adhesive (this is the eyelash glue, buy the white tube with the blue writing, this has the clear version)
  • Black eyeliner pencil (or if you prefer gel or liquid liner, these will work too.  Colored eyeliners are also okay to use for this step if you choose to)
  • A pair of scissors
  • Mirror

Applying false lashes by yourself definitely takes some practice, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you some time to get the hang of it!  Practice and patience, like most things in life is all it takes.

 

Duo Eyelash Adhesive – Black vs. Clear Glue -Does it Make a Difference?

Eyelash glueWhen it comes to applying false eyelashes, Duo Eyelash Adhesive is hands down the eyelash glue of choice by professional makeup artists.  There are a few others that exist but there is nothing that can compare to this brand.

Now this is where things get a little more tricky.  Duo offers a clear glue (it goes on white and dries clear) or a black glue.  So which is best?

The reason behind providing the choice of a black glue is that when it dries, it gives the appearance of wearing black eyeliner.  This saves a step from applying actual eyeliner if it already looks like you are wearing it.  As a concept, I think this is brilliant!

However, the glue can sometimes be a little messy and smudge or move around during the application.  This is where things can get sticky (figuratively) because fixing this is not easy.  It would look like smudged black eyeliner and once it dries, it is fully set.

This is why I always prefer the clear Duo Eyelash Adhesive.  Since it dries clear, it doesn’t show up.  Meaning if the glue smudges during the application, it does not matter as everything is hidden.  

The best technique when applying false eyelashes is to first apply all your eye shadow followed by lining the eyes on top (if you want to skip eyeliner altogether, this is an option too although I always think false lashes should be paired up with a little eyeliner).  Then you can go ahead and apply the false eyelashes over top the eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible.  I sometimes will also take it a step further and go over the top liner again once the glue is dried to make sure the eyeliner is extra smooth and defined.  I also like to do this as it conceals even more the fact that I applied a set of false eyelashes.

Given the choice, I will always recommend the clear Duo Eyelash Adhesive!

The First Step to EVERY Makeup Application

Harmony's bridal makeup applicationEver wonder when doing your makeup, if there is a “correct” sequence in which you should be applying your makeup?  I find this to be a very important subject matter to discuss when it comes to makeup artistry as the steps of the application can make a difference.  Keep in mind that this series of steps can also vary from artist to artist.

Before getting into makeup artistry on a professional level, I always used to apply all my face makeup first (that includes skincare, primer, foundation, powder, blush, etc.) followed by eye makeup and lastly a lip color.  I think for most people, this is what feels most normal and natural.

As I began my journey doing makeup professionally, I realized that it actually makes much more sense to start with all the eye makeup first!  Yes, I know this seems backwards and for me, this was a hard adjustment to make initially but I can explain from a professional point of view the main benefit of starting with your eye makeup first and foremost.

Often times when I begin a makeup application on a client, many are surprised that this is the first step.  For starters, when applying eye shadows, there is often times fall out–which is the excess shadow that flakes and falls underneath the eyes.  This is difficult to prevent because blending the eye shadows with a brush causes the eye shadow to fall and can sometimes get a little messy (especially when using dark shadows for a smokey eye effect).  By applying your eye makeup first, you can clean any excess shadow with a wipe or makeup remover afterwards.  If you had already completed your face makeup, you would be removing the under eye concealer and foundation, meaning you would now need to reapply it.  This wastes times and product.

If you just apply eyeliner and/or mascara, I guess it does not make too much of a difference whether or not you put your eye makeup on first but I still would highly suggest making the switch to applying your eye makeup before anything else!

The Most Long-wearing Black Eyeliner Pencil

nars-via-veneto

NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner – “Via Veneto”

As a makeup artist, one of the most commonly asked questions I receive is, “What do you think is the most long-wearing black eyeliner?”  Many clients tell me that their eyeliner smudges and there is nothing out there that really lasts all day.

I’ll be honest, I think that most eyeliners, despite being classified as waterproof, are going to move a little bit within a few hours.  They might smudge slightly but they definitely should not run or just magically disappear by the end of the day.

It is definitely not uncommon for an eyeliner to smudge a little and I think it is just a normal thing that happens.  However, when someone tells me that absolutely nothing has worked for them and their eyeliner consistently runs no matter what they use, I recommend what I think to be the best smudge-proof black eyeliner pencil, the NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto.  (FYI, these pencils do come in various shades).

For starters, this eyeliner pencil glides on rather smoothly and it truly is a jet black type of black.  Some black eyeliners are not very black but this one definitely is which makes it exceptionally good when creating a more dramatic look.  An added perk is that this pencil is designed with a twist up applicator (meaning it does not need a sharpener in between uses) but does also come with a built in sharpener on the opposite end to provide a sharper tip if desired.

When using this pencil, I do want to mention that it is important to always put the cap back on after each application.  I have noticed that the pencil can get dry (and not apply as smoothly along with breaking off more easily) if the cap is not placed on after each use.

This is definitely a makeup kit essential!  I do not use this pencil on everyone as I do not think everyone is in need of a super smudge-proof eyeliner; however, for anyone who emphasizes that this is a makeup concern or is looking for a smokey eye effect, the NARS “Via Veneto” black eyeliner pencil is the best!

Building Your Makeup Wardrobe – What Every Woman Should Own

For starters, happy 2017!  With the beginning of the new year, aside from setting new years resolutions (although I like to do this year round, not just in the beginning of January), I take the time to reorganize everything including my makeup collection.  I find organizing makeup is like organizing your closet.  It is a matter of going through what you currently own, tossing out what you no longer use, and making room for what is needed.

This has lead me to writing this post to discuss what I believe every woman should own in her makeup wardrobe.  Do you have the makeup products that ‘make up’ a complete makeup wardrobe?

Here is a list of the makeup necessities that I think everyone should own in their overall makeup collection:

FACE:

–  Skincare (an everyday moisturizer [ideally with SPF] and I do recommend a serum as this will deliver the most skincare benefits)
–  Primer (I cannot emphasize this enough and this should go without saying, just saying)
–  Foundation (One or two different ones.  I think that depending on the time of year, skin tone can change, so it is good to have two shades along with having different mediums, such as one liquid and one cream foundation)
–  Concealer (I own two, one that is strictly for under eye and one that has extra coverage to cover those occasional blemishes)
–  Powder (for setting the entire foundation)
–  Blush (Start off with at least one but I would say a minimum of three.  I think having different shades of blush makes playing up your makeup more fun)
–  Highlighters (I have various ones, I recommend owning both a liquid/cream type and a powder)
–  Bronzer / Contouring powder (I think only one is truly needed to do the job)
* Setting spray (I starred this as I think this can be optional)

EYES:

–  Eyeshadow Primer (Again, this is just as important as face primer.  All you need is one good one for everyday)
–  Eyeshadows  (I would say a minimum of five colors.  To create the most basic everyday eyeshadow application, you would need 3-4 eyeshadows.  [A lid color, highlight, crease, and the extra would be an outer crease color for extra depth/contour].  Over time, I think it is good to build this up to at least 10 shades.  The best way to do this is to invest in a good eye shadow palette which provides an assortment of colors to play with)
–  Eyeliner – top liner (I put these in separate categories as I truly believe the top liner needs to be a liquid or gel formula.  I would say at least one black and one of your choice such as brown, purple, blue, etc.  Having various eyeliners can really change up the look)
–  Eyeliner – bottom liner  (For the bottom liner, I recommend pencil only.  Liquid can be used but I think it can look too harsh.  Again, as mentioned above, at least one black and then another color of your choice)
–  Eyebrow powder/pencil (For myself, I strictly use powder for filling in my brows and have been doing this ever since I became a makeup artist.  If you prefer pencil, then get an eyebrow pencil.  Either way, I think almost everyone can benefit from a brow product of some sort for filling in any sparse areas and defining their shape)
–  Mascara (I think having one great mascara is all that is needed although I do also think it is nice to own two different ones, including a mascara primer for building the lashes prior to mascara)
*  False eyelashes (This is optional as many people do not wear false eyelashes too often but I think it is always good to have a couple pairs for special occasions. If you are uncomfortable applying them yourself, bring them to your makeup artist or practice applying them yourself.  As a professional makeup artist, you better bet I keep a good stash of false eyelashes in my makeup vanity!)   

LIPS:

–  Lipsticks (Ideally, everyone should have a minimum of 5-10 different shades in their collection.  Lipsticks are makeup accessories, so depending on the look, it is nice to have shades ranging from natural and everyday to more statement colors such as reds for going out)
 Lip glosses (Depending on the type of person you are, this number can range.  For me personally, I own a ton of lip glosses but I really only gravitate toward the same three.  Mainly because I do not like wearing lipgloss too much to begin with)
–  Lip liner (I do not think lip liner is an absolute makeup necessity but it is good to own at least one for the days you want to play up the lips.  I also believe one good lip liner can go with most lipsticks.  If you have a real variety of lipsticks in your collection, then more lip liners are needed for matching purposes)
–  Lip conditioner ([such as lip balm or Chapstick].  I personally keep this by my nightstand)

important-makeup-brushesLast but surely NOT least, let’s NOT forget about the tools needed!  By tools, I am talking makeup brushes!  As a makeup artist, I have always said, having all the makeup in the world means nothing if you do not have the proper brushes to apply the makeup.  Makeup brushes may seem expensive, but there is no greater investment.

Here is a general list of what will be needed along with my personal recommendations and favorites.  I am trying to keep this fairly basic although it is always good to build up your brush collection over time.  Depending on your makeup collection, owning multiples of certain brushes may be required.

FACE BRUSHES
:

–  Foundation brush (I like the MAC #190, this is always a classic for applying liquid foundations although there are many brushes out there that are essentially the same thing)
–  Powder brush (for applying all over powder, I use the Chanel “touch up” buffer brush)
–  Blush brush (I recommend MAC #129, this has always been my go to blush brush for many years, although I recognize there are many blush brushes out there that are almost the same)
–  Contour brush  (Personally, I like a tapered one so I use the MAC #138)
–  Highlighter brush (For powder highlighting application only [creams/liquid highlighters, I do use my finger tips instead of a brush], I use the MAC #165 which is tapered also and is pretty much the baby version of the MAC #138)
*  All over buffer brush (This is optional but I do use this to go over and smooth out the contouring and blush application.  The MAC #150 or any brush that is fluffy will work)

EYE BRUSHES:

–  Eyeshadow primer brush (If you are using a cream based eyeshadow primer, which is what I use and recommend [vs. one that is liquid and comes in a tube with an applicator], then a brush is needed.  I have been using a brush by Crown brushes which is comparable to the MAC #242).
–  Lid eye shadow brush (For applying shadow on the eyelids only, I use the MAC #239.  This has always been my favorite)
–  Highlighter eye shadow brush  (Believe it or not, for this, I use an Estee Lauder brush that came in a gift set that was given to me when I was 16 years old!  It is my oldest brush that I use to this day.  It does not have a number so I cannot say what it is but I can make a recommendation and suggest getting the MAC #224 for highlighting under the brows)
–  Crease Blending eye shadow brush (As I am sure I have said this before, I cannot blend eyeshadows without the MAC #217 brush.  In my personal collection, I own five of these brushes!  In my professional makeup brush belt, I also own five!  This is mandatory to own, at least one but I own many because my crease color can vary and this prevents me from having to clean the brush in between every single usage)
Angled brush – One for brows (if you are using a powder) and one for eyeliner (only if you are using a gel eye liner)  If you do not use either product, you can forgo this completely.  If you use both, you will need two separate ones and I would recommend the MAC #266 for eyeliner and the MAC #208 for the brows.

LIP BRUSHES:
[Personally, I do not own any lip brushes in my collection other than in my professional makeup brush belt]

Keep in mind that this is a general makeup guide and will vary depending on your lifestyle and what you feel most comfortable wearing.  Overall, if you follow this, you will have a complete makeup wardrobe!