Kylie Cosmetics “Go Ghost” and “French Vanilla” Highlighting Powders Review

I just ordered highlighting powders for the first time from Kylie Cosmetics.  They are specifically called, “Kylighters” or pressed illuminating powders.  I was not sure what to expect as ordering makeup online without testing the products in person can be hit or miss.

When I saw Kylie demo her highlighter, “Go Ghost” from her recent Halloween launch, I just knew I had to try it.  I also wanted to try, “French Vanilla” which looked rather similar.  For my personal self, I always gravitate towards a highlighter that looks white but it is actually more of a sheer gold color.  For many years, I have always been a fan of NARS “Albatross.”

I tested both of these highlighters once they arrived this afternoon and they really exceeded my expectations.  Color wise, they definitely turned out how I envisioned.  I would say they are close but still different.  I think the “French Vanilla” pops a little more on my skin but the “Go Ghost” looks just as beautiful as a cheek highlight.  The texture of these powders are also super silky and they apply rather nicely.  I have a feeling these will also work well as eye shadows.  I am happy I purchased both of these highlighters, they truly are amazing and I highly recommend them!

“Go Ghost” and “French Vanilla”

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)!

How to Cover Up Under Eye Circles and How to Use a Color Corrector

Here is a quick video going over ways to cover up under eye circles.  I discuss this topic by introducing two different demonstrations.  The first is the easier demo for someone who does not have much darkness but still would like to address this area of the face.  The second demo is specifically for someone who has more prevalent dark circles to cover up and needs to address this makeup issue more seriously.

In order to take your concealer skills to the next level, a color corrector will need to be incorporated into your daily makeup routine.  Color correctors may add some confusion and be a source of intimidation but I explain the proper use in the video along with what shade you should be looking for.

By the end of the video, you will learn how to eliminate the appearance of dark under eye circles along with understanding the purpose of using a color corrector.

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!

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 Best Blush for Pink Undertone Complexions

MAC Sincere

MAC “Sincere” blush

Often times when I meet clients with a pink undertone to their skin (as opposed to an olive or yellow skintone), they naturally have a rosiness to their cheeks and do not always like the idea of wearing blush.

As a makeup artist, I find blush to be an absolute necessity in completing a look, whether it is a natural daytime look or for a special occasion.  Why?  Blush instantly makes the skin look more youthful, dewy, and attractive.  Everyone looks good with a little blush!

Even those with a pink undertone should wear blush but the key is using a shade that is not too bright or has too much pink to it.  I always choose a blush that appears almost colorless or one that might seem like it won’t show up too much because on someone with a pink undertone, even a sheer or very natural looking blush will show up because their natural rosiness to their complexion will shine through.

The best blush I recommend for someone who is fair and with a pink undertone is MAC’s “Sincere” blush.  This has a matte finish and shows up without looking too bright.  It gives just a hint of color while also adding some warmth to the face.

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!

Matte vs. Shimmer – Where on the Face and Why Texture is Important

gigi-hadid-makeup

For starters, let me introduce the makeup model I chose for this post, the iconic Gigi Hadid.  She is definitely one of today’s modern muses for her soft femininity and her makeup is always stunning.

The leads me to this post and a makeup topic that is overlooked but a crucial one in terms of makeup product selection and placement.  Often times the terms matte and shimmer (or other terms include dewy, shiny, glowing, and radiant) are used when describing a makeup product.

Matte:  A matte texture has no shine whatsoever and can appear to have a velvet or powder finish.  Typically matte products appear more natural looking.

Shimmer:  A shimmery texture provides a shiny and glowing effect and stands out more on the face by reflecting light.

As a general rule, shimmer accentuates features more (more specifically with highlighting and “strobing”–the modern makeup terminology for essentially the same thing) because of how the light hits while matte textures do the opposite by appearing almost flat and do not pick up light at all.

Areas of the face that should typically always be matte:
– Forehead
– Chin
– Nose
– Under the cheekbones (by the use of contouring)
– Eye shadow crease and outer crease (I generally opt for matte shadows; however, depending on the look, shimmery shadows can work)
– Outline of the lips (in other words the lip liner)
– Eyebrows

Areas of the face that should typically always be highlighted (shimmery/dewy/radiant):
– Brow bone (the space right under the eye brows although this sometimes can be matte depending on a person’s preference)
– Top of cheekbones
– Cupid’s bow (the space between the nose and upper lip)
– Inner corners of eyes (optional but ideal for eye brightening)
– Center of eyelids (optional as well, this depends on the look but placing shimmer in the center of the lid catches the light and appears brighter)
– Center of the nose (optional, I personally do not do this much at all but if you look at magazines, the center of the nose always seems to be highlighted)

Areas of the face that can be either matte or shimmery:
– Lips
– Eye makeup in general
– Center of cheeks (in other words the blush color–personally, I typically always choose MATTE for the center of the cheeks but again, this is a personal preference and depends on the overall look being achieved which is why I put this into the either category)
– Skin (in reference to the overall effect of the skin, some people prefer their skin to look matte while others may opt for a more dewy finish that provides a glow)

Keep in mind with the last category, why it does not make too much of a difference is because those areas of the face are dictated by personal preference, style, and makeup trends.  For example, matte lip products are very popular at the moment whereas there have been times shimmery lips are more trendy.  Another example is with blush, a person with more oily skin is going to prefer to stick with matte blushes only because it reduces oil throughout the day while a person with dry skin may only where shimmery blushes because the skin will appear to look less dry and more radiant.

Back to the beautiful image of Gigi Hadid, which facial features are matte?  What areas of her face provide more shimmer?  When examining this image up closely,  it appears that the overall effect is more on the shimmery side.  More specifically, the gold eye shadow on the entire eye, the lips, the skin overall is more dewy, tops of cheekbones, and the center of nose.  In terms of matte textures on her face, I would the eyebrows, outline of her lips, blush, and the contour under the cheekbones.

 

 

Best Foundation for Makeup Artist Kit – Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation 5-in-1 Pro Palette

cinema-secrets-palettesAs a makeup artist, I myself am always curious as to what foundation other makeup artists like to stock in their professional makeup kits.  With so many options today, I would say most makeup artists like to carry a few different options and that there is not necessarily one universal foundation brand that makeup artists respond as “the one and only foundation.”

Personally, I think less tends to always be more and I do not like to carry too many foundations in my kit.  Lately, most of my clients opt for the airbrush makeup application in which I strictly use Dinair, so carrying a ton of foundations is not a necessity in my makeup kit.

When I do a traditional makeup application (applied with a standard foundation brush and liquid/cream foundation), I tend to stick to Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation 5-in-1 Pro Palette.  This foundation truly is great!  Best of all, I actually have been using this around the time I first began my career in makeup artistry.  I discovered the brand the first time I attended The Makeup Show in NYC and have been pretty hooked since.

I like this foundation for many reasons.  For starters, it comes in a palette which in and of itself is much more convenient than carrying multiple bottles of foundations which can be bulky and heavy to carry around.  Secondly, being it is a cream consistency, it is very blendable and I can easily manipulate the coverage ranging from sheer coverage to more full coverage along with mixing the colors more easily to get the most accurate color match.  There are also many palette combos to choose from.  I own the 400, 500A, and 500B series which tends to cover most skintones.

Also, I use these palettes as my concealer palettes for undereye circles and other skin imperfections.  I am a huge believer than a good foundation can also serve the purpose of a concealer.

I highly recommend the Cinema Secrets foundation palettes to any professional makeup artist for the convenience and the quality.  I also want to mention that I do as a second option carry the NARS Sheer Glow foundation in my kit.  I own almost every shade as I like the color spectrum offered (especially for darker complexions) and the coverage is very smooth.

Brittany’s Bridal Makeup

brittany-makeup-1brittany-makeup-2

Brittany’s bridal makeup reminds me of Hollywood glamour.  She does not typically wear too much makeup but knew she wanted a red lip.  To balance the bold lip color, I kept the eyes soft with my choice of eyeshadow colors.  Even though the eyes are not too dramatic, they still stand out with black defined winged liner on the top and defined lashes.  She carries off the look beautifully as seen in the photos!

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Alabaster and Light Golden Beige (mixed), Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark (for cheek contour), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Sincere

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Naked Lunch (lid), Retrospeck (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), All That Glitters (crease), Folie (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner winged), NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia (bottom liner), Revlon false lashes in “Defining”, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Omega and Cork (brows)

Lips:  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour in Perpetuate Flame [discontinued], MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry (this did not quite match the lip color so I had to mix it a little bit with another MAC cremestick lip liner in Raw Refined [discontinued]), and a little clear top coat gloss over it

Brittany makeup 3.jpg