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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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 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!

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!

Brittany’s Bridal Makeup

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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

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Jennifer’s Bridal Makeup

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For Jennifer’s bridal makeup, I created a look that was natural and elegant but managed to be more than her everyday look.  She wanted makeup that would stand out in the photos but also made her feel like herself.  I find that most of my brides want a look like this and you can see how beautiful the makeup turned out along with the final look at the end, absolutely stunning!  I am glad I was able to stay til the very end to see how it all came together.

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour), NARS Cream Eye Shadow in Cosmic Girl [discontinued] lightly on top of cheek bones (cheek highlight) and NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Melba and also a little Fleur Power over it (blush)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest and Naked Lunch (lid), Nylon (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), Sable (crease), Embark (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (thin top liner without wing but upwards on the corners), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (bottom liner), Salon Perfect false lashes #110, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Cork just lightly (brows)

Lips:  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour in For Keeps and the clear top coat gloss over it

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The final look with makeup, hair, and the beautiful dress.  Bridal perfection!

5 Valuable Things I Learned at Makeup School

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When I decided I wanted to pursue makeup artistry as a career, it was important to me to get professional training at a reputable makeup school.  I went to the Makeup Designory (MUD) in New York City where I studied Beauty Makeup.  Prior to attending, being a girl who always wore makeup (I started just by experimenting and using makeup on my own around age 14), I truly thought I knew a lot.  Mind you I had no experience applying makeup on other people and this was way before makeup tutorials were huge on YouTube.  I walked into makeup school as a true amateur.  As exciting as it was to learn this new craft, it was also incredibly overwhelming as there is much more to learning makeup artistry than meets the eye!

Blush Placement – For me, this was exceptionally an epic moment when I discovered the placement.  I think blush is one of the easiest and most effective makeup products every woman should own.  It gives so much life to the face and an instant attraction pick-me-up.  I do not think it is possible for someone to look unattractive with blush (unless the shade is not right or it is way overdone).

I had always applied my blush on the center apples of my cheeks.  My entire life leading up to makeup school, it felt natural and instinctive that is where blush is supposed to go.  Little did I realize, not only should blush be applied at the center of the cheeks, it should also be brushed upwards towards your temples!  I remember literally thinking to myself, “Wait, I thought that was an 80’s thing?”  Then I realized the purpose behind this.  When you look at a person’s profile, the blush should not just stop at the center of the cheeks and also applying the blush upwards slims the face along with accentuating the cheekbones.

Contouring and Highlighting – Before contouring kits existed and became as mainstream as it has now–thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian, the concept of contouring was not really a part of most people’s everyday makeup routine.

I had never contoured (let alone known about highighting) until I got to makeup school.  I find this to be a hard skill set to pick up as in the beginning, it can be difficult to know which shades are best to use to contour various skintones and finding the placement on each individual’s face takes a strong eye.  When I started makeup artistry, I used to study images in magazines in order to get a better visual understanding of contouring and highlighting.

Eye Makeup First – Most of my clients find this to be one of the most surprising things to learn as I begin to do their makeup.  Myself included, I use to always start out with my face makeup before applying my eye makeup.  I am not quite sure why but this always seemed like the systematic approach.  Breaking out of this habit on myself took some time but now as a general rule, I always apply eye makeup first.

The main reason behind this is that often times when applying eye shadows, there could be some fall out that collects underneath the eyes.  This would cause you to have to remove it and to most likely reapply the concealer under the eyes or any makeup on the face.  By completing eye makeup first, this problem is eliminated as you can quickly remove the fall out shadow and then go ahead to apply the face makeup without it getting messed up in any way.

Brow Shaping – Makeup speaking, it is a known fact that the eyebrows frame the face.  I really did not know much about brows other than how to pluck my own brows.  More specifically, I learned various ways to fill in the eyebrows and the way they should be shaped.  When I look back at photos of myself before I was a makeup artist, the first thing I notice is how thin my eyebrows were!  I was making them thinner with a tweezer but not filling them in to give them an arch.  They were completely shapeless and almost nonexistent.

False Eyelash Application – I had never attempted to wear false eyelashes before on my own, so learning how to apply them and also wearing them for the first time was an all around new experience.  I learned that applying them on other people was much easier than applying them on myself in the very beginning.  It took me time after I left makeup school to get good at applying them on myself.  Now it is actually much faster for me to apply a pair of false lashes than to coat my lashes with mascara!

Marci’s Bridal Makeup

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For Marci’s bridal makeup, we decided the day of to go even more dramatic with the eyes and add some purple hues.  We also opted for dramatic lashes that were long and full.  The final look was not only beautiful but ultra glamourous!

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige and Honey Beige mixed, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Dark (for cheek contour), NARS The Multiple in Copacabana and NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Mocha (blush)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest (lid), Seedy Pearl (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), Trax (crease), Shadowly Lady (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner with slight wing), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (bottom liner, applied a couple times for extra emphasis and drama), Callas false lashes #415 (I discovered these in a recent trip to California, these lashes are AMAZING), Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara in Ultra Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Brun (brows)

Lips:  Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color in Pink Blossom, Victoria’s Secret lip gloss in Watermelon Splash, MAC Lip Pencil in Soar

8 Must-See Fall 2016 Makeup Trends

The look I created above was actually for a bridesmaid in a September wedding and as a young student at FIT, she expressed she wanted a look that was on trend and suitable for a fall wedding.

Best of all, the makeup captures many Fall 2016 makeup trends in a wearable way, so here is a master list of the makeup trends as seen above:

  • Winged Eyeliner – This trend is definitely here to stay and can be seen as very clean and defined (like the look above) or more thick and dramatic.
  • Dramatic Eyelashes – That is where a good pair of false eyelashes comes in!  Mascara is great but to take any look up a notch, false eyelashes are a necessity!
  • Ultra Dewey Skin – Although a matte complexion has been more popular lately, dewey skin has been more commonly seen on the runways these days.  It is more youthful and fresh looking.
  • Matte & Shimmer Eyeshadow Mix – Matte eyeshadow palettes are popping up everywhere but there is nothing like a good mix of matte and shimmer shadows blended to prevent the eyes looking too flat from the matte texture.  Notice in the look above, the look is mainly matte contrasted with a strong brow highlight shimmer and a touch of shimmer in the inner corners.
  • Vampy Lips – Plum and purple lip colors seem to always be more prized in the fall months and this season is no different.  Although the plum lips above is very wearable, don’t be afraid to go darker this season!
  • Subtle blush – This season, I have seen both extremes.  Either a strong pop of color on the cheeks OR a subtle almost no blush kind of blush look.  For the makeup shown above, we decided to go for a subtle blush since the eyes and lips carried the most drama.
  • Natural Brows with Fullness – Brows are not overly defined and definitely not thin.  Today’s brows have some fullness and look untouched (even if they are filled in ever so slightly, who would know otherwise)?
  • Clear Lipgloss – Despite the overabundance of matte lip products in the beauty aisles these days, there is definitely still an appreciation for a simple clear lipgloss to complete any look.

In case you were wondering what products were used to create this Fall 2016 look, let me share the complete list of products I used to design the look featured in this post:

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Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer and foundation, I mixed a couple shades from the palette), MAC Studio Careblend Powder in Medium Plus (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour, blended very softly), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC Powder Blush in Sincere (just a touch blended in the center of cheeks)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest (lid), Nylon and Vex (I mixed both for the brow highlight), Haux (crease), Blackberry (outer crease), Crystal Avalanche (slightly in the inner corners), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner, thin and extended out on the sides winged), [FYI, no bottom eyeliner], Kiss false lashes #11, Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara in Ultra Black (on top lashes coated over the false eyelashes and lightly on the bottom lashes)

Lips:  Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color in #380 Blackberry Glaze (I think this might be discontinued but can be found here) with a clear coat of lipgloss from the other end of the lip stain