Due to having to wear a face mask on a regular basis (which pretty much covers the entire face) and more people having the convenience of working from home or perhaps might be out of work during this time, many are finding they are wearing less makeup than they ever did before. Although this might be the case and many do plenty of their beauty purchases online nowadays, this does not totally eliminate the old school way of shopping for your makeup–going to a retail location to hand pick your products. Especially for those who do not know much about makeup, online shopping can be rather challenging if you do not know much about how to choose the correct shades to suit your coloring and style preferences. It is for this reason that going in person is most beneficial because you can rely on a professional to gather for you exactly what you need and know what works for you personally. If you are a makeup artist like myself, then going in person is equally important for choosing the best products for both professional and personal use and there is no better way of knowing what is best unless you can see the products in person and test them out prior to purchasing.
Being faced with a pandemic, retail locations have started to reopen but to ensure safety, shopping for makeup is a whole different ball game. Here are some things to expect the next time you are in a makeup or department store:
- Most stores have capacity limits meaning that you might need to wait in line just to get in through the doors. For this reason, it is ideal to go at a time that the store will most likely be less busy, such as on a week day and in the middle of the day. I would even suggest calling the store in advance to see what times would be most ideal to come in.
- You absolutely will need a face covering upon entry. I know this might vary from state to state but most retailers have adopted a no mask / no entry policy.
- Typically, a makeup artist at the store can test a product on you or even complete a makeover but that is no longer allowed right now. The same goes for if you want to touch or swatch a product to see if it works for you, makeup testing that requires any sort of touching of the product is completely forbidden. Even if it can be sanitized prior to and after use, most stores do not allow for anyone to touch the testers which can make picking products a little more difficult.
- Prior to the pandemic, requesting a sample of a product to take home or any type of makeup sampling typically was acceptable given the store had small makeup containers or prepackaged samples. However makeup sampling is no longer an option.
- In terms of return policies, I find that many stores have kept their return policies as they normally would and some have even made extensions for returns due to the current situation. I have not come across any that do not accept returns during this time although it is always good to ask.
Since you can no longer test a product on your face or touch the testers in any way, I would suggest to have a list with you on hand as you would when you go to the grocery store so you can just grab and go or seek a makeup artist with what exactly you are looking for and take their product recommendations. Sometimes just by seeing the product or color, you can tell by eyeing it if it will work for you but if you are unsure, it does not hurt to get a second opinion, that is what they are there for!
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)!
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.
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.
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.
In this video, I share all the blushes I keep in my professional makeup kit and how I go about choosing the right blush for my clients based on their personal coloring (skin tone, eyes, and hair). For beginners and most people in general, I do recommend a powder blush as opposed to a cream formula because it is much easier to apply. I also tend to stick with matte blushes only (I explain why in the video) so this is something to look for the next time you go makeup shopping. The blushes featured in the palettes are all by MAC:
Light to Medium skin tones:
Sincere (neutral, light apricot beige) – Ideal as a starter blush for anyone who has never worn blush before, anyone who has pink undertones to their skin, or anyone looking for a blush that won’t add too much color to the face as this will appear very natural on the skin
Melba (salmon warm pink) – I use this the majority of the time, it is universally such a beautiful shade that adds color to the face but not overly bright
Peaches (coral) – Great for those who have warm coloring and also a nice pick if you have red hair
Mocha (medium cool pink) – I like this for a person who has cooler coloring, such as a person with blue eyes and dark hair
Fleur Power (bright warm pink) – This works on most skin tones but especially great for someone who has a medium to olive skin tone or a tan. This will show up nicely, adding a little more color than some of the other shades listed above.
* Fashion Frenzy (hot bright pink) – I always like to keep a hot pink for those who love to wear blush and want their cheeks to really pop. This works on pretty much all skin tones since it is highly pigmented and shows up very easily.
[*Discontinued shade similiar to the MAC’s Dollymix blush]
Dark skin tones:
Shadester (brown beige) – This shade is actually meant to be used as a contour color but it can be used as a blush, more so on a medium skin tone
Raizin (deep warm auburn) – One of the best colors to use on a darker complexion, the color is richly pigmented and looks natural once applied
Loverush (deep red wine) – This also has a nice pigmentation but appears brighter on the cheeks, very pretty
** Sweet as Cocoa (natural bronzy color with gold shimmer) – This is a natural looking blush that compliments a darker complexion nicely while also serving as a bronzer on medium skin tones
** Format (deep shimmery bronze) – A popular blush on a darker complexion that provides a shimmer and will appear fairly naturally, not too bright
** Ambering Rose (red and gold shimmer) – I would say this is universally a nice color for any complexion because it warms up on the skin and really brightens the complexion because it has red and gold in it
[*** Blushes that contain a shimmer and are not matte]
I also mention a shade that is not in a palette, it is a single blush by NARS – Sex Appeal. I love this color on exceptionally fair skin tones. Although it looks like a very pale color, it actually pulls up beautifully on the cheeks. It is a very light, pale peach pink color. I also always like to use this on someone who is fair with red hair or strawberry blond hair.
I strongly believe that blush can enhance everyone’s complexion so finding the right shade is the first step. In a future video, I will demonstrate the application along with the exact placement.
I created a video to discuss what lip pencil I think works best if you have full lips along with sharing a quick nude lip application demo showcasing two of my favorite lip products that I use on a daily basis. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Bahama” paired with Chanel’s Ultra Wear Lip Colour lip stain in “Merry Rose.”
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!
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!
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
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.