The Eye Shadow Blending Brush Everyone Should Own

MAC 217 brush .jpg

One of my makeup philosophies are, you can own all the makeup in the world, but if you do not have the right tools, it does not matter how much makeup you own.  Often times, people underestimate the power of brushes and how an impeccable brush can truly make a world of difference in their makeup application.

When it comes to eye shadow blending, I only use the MAC #217.  There are many eye shadow blending brushes that resemble this brush, with its dome shape and fluffy bristles.  However, there is nothing that compares to it (trust me, I have been open minded and have tried many others)!  I literally own about ten of these brushes in total between my professional makeup kit and my own personal use.

Eye shadow blending is definitely an advanced skill set and by that I mean it takes time to really master the art of blending.  It is for this reason, I highly advise picking up the MAC #217 brush if you want to step up your makeup skills and really be able to blend eye shadow more proficiently.  This is not only a makeup artist necessity but I personally cannot live without it!

Ashley’s Bridal Makeup


For this bridal look, Ashley expressed that she liked makeup and wanted it to be a little more dramatic, especially with more emphasis on the eyes.  She was also open to colors rather than just sticking to neutral eye shadows so we played with adding plums and peachy champagne tones for the eyes.  For the lips, she wanted a pink that would pop more for the photos and with lip liner, this also adds more depth.

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

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Gleam (lid), Phloof (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), Romp (crease), Sketch and Shadowly Lady (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner, thin and slight wing upwards), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (bottom liner, applied a couple times for extra emphasis and drama), Kiss false lashes #11, Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara in Ultra Black (top and bottom lashes)

Lips:  Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color in #770 Crystal Pink with a little clear gloss over it, 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:


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

Velour Lashes – Luxurious Silk False Lashes

velour-lashes-momma-knows-bestOver the weekend, I got a chance to try a pair of Velour Lashes on one of my brides, specifically in the style, “Momma Knows Best.”  I would describe this pair of lashes as natural with a more lengthening and defining effect.  The outer corners provide extra volume and give these lashes a little more flair than an ordinary pair of false lashes.

Velour Lashes are 100% handmade of silk and come in such a wide assortment of styles.  The band is flexible and are solid black which is great as I typically need to apply a thin layer of black eyeliner first along the lash band prior to application.  With these false lashes, I can skip that step and proceed to just applying a thin layer of lash glue.  They apply with ease and are also comfortable which is always an important factor when purchasing a pair of false eyelashes!

Velour Lashes can be found on their website directly and are also sold exclusively at Sephora.  

Kim’s Makeup for New York Fashion Week – #NYFW

Kim's makeup for Fashion Week Kim's makeup for Fashion Week 2
Kim attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this past Monday, September 12th and needed a look that was a little more done up than her everyday makeup but also soft.  She wanted the eyes to be a little smokey in neutral tones paired with a lighter lip.

Before creating a look, I always like to take into consideration the actual outfit for the event.  In the photos above, she is wearing a robe but Kim shared with me the outfit prior to me doing the makeup.  Kim showed me a beautiful floral top with burgundy leather pants.

I opted for warmer eye shadows with a slight burgundy undertone.  The lips were nude with a pop of lip liner to add definition and not allow for the lips to blend in too much with her natural skin tone.  For the complexion, airbrush makeup was the way to go to ensure it would outlast the humidity and also give a flawless finish without the feeling of wearing makeup.

:  Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used a little bit as under eye concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige, Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC Powder Blush in Melba (just a light dusting)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Sable (lid), Nylon (brow highlight), All That Glitters (inner corners of eyes), Amber Lights (crease), Shadowy Lady and Embark (outer crease blended together), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner, thin and slight wing upwards), NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia (lined on the bottom first), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (very softly lined over the Via Appia), Kiss false lashes in the style Shy (these fit perfectly, no trimming needed), Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara in black (I put a thin coat on the bottom lashes along with the top to blend in the natural lashes with false lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Cork (lightly to fill in the brows)

Lips:  Sisley Phyto-Levre Perfect lip pencil in Nude, Sisley Phyto-Lip Shine lipstick in Sheer Nude, and Sisley Phyto-Lip Gloss in Nude

Here is a look from the front row of Zac Posen’s Spring 2017 Collection (thanks for sharing Kim!)

10 Most Commonly Asked Questions about False Eyelashes

As a makeup artist, I truly believe false eyelashes are essential for that extra wow factor and they can enhance the eyes dramatically.  I don’t think there is any mascara on the market that can really compare to the eye opening effect of a pair of false eyelashes (unless of course you naturally have beautiful long lashes to begin with)!  It is for this reason, I always like to include the option of false eyelashes with my makeup services at no additional cost because to me, it is that crucial in creating the final look!

Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding false eyelashes:

  • How do they stay on?
    • False eyelashes are applied using a thin layer of glue (specifically a latex formula) which are then applied as close to the lash line as possible to blend in with your natural eyelashes.  Duo is the world’s best selling lash adhesive and can be found anywhere ranging from drugstores to cosmetic boutiques.  There are other brands on the market but nothing compares to Duo!


  • How do you remove them?
      • False lashes are easy to remove, you just need to gently pull on them starting on either end and just peel them off carefully.  It will not hurt at all and will not mess up your natural eyelashes.  If they feel a little more snug and do not seem to detach too easily, putting a little eye makeup remover (or anything oil based) over them will loosen up the glue so it can be removed with ease.


  • How long do they last?
      • A single pair of eyelashes is meant to be used on a daily basis, meaning at the end of the day when you are removing your makeup, you will also need to remove the false eyelashes.  They are not meant to be permanent or semi-permanent.  The good news is that they are reusable.


  • How many times can I reuse a pair of false eyelashes?
      • This is a personal preference.  If you do not plan on reusing them in the near future, they can be disposed immediately.  I would say on average, a pair of false eyelashes can be reused again (meaning reapplied another time) anywhere between 3-5 times.  I try to get even more wearage out of them, especially if they are well kept and are good quality.


  • Can I sleep with them?
      • False eyelashes are not meant to be worn overnight and I strongly discourage sleeping with them on.  Aside from potential irritation, sleeping with them on will completely destroy the lashes.  Chances are you will wake up with them still attached (surprisingly) but they will be all bent out of shape and definitely need to be tossed afterwards.


  • Will they stay on if I cry?
      • Generally speaking, the false lashes will still stay on because the glue that is used to apply them is waterproof.  The only time they run the risk of coming off is during the actual application process if your eyes are tearing up as they are trying to dry and set.  The tearing prevents the glue from sticking so if you begin to tear, wipe the eyes dry and wait a few minutes before trying to apply them again.  Once they are set and the glue has dried (usually within 2-3 minutes, the glue dries fairly quickly), then they should be set for the day and will not move if you were to cry later.


  • Can I wear mascara over them?
    • Yes, mascara can be applied over the false lashes and in most scenarios, I will put a single coat of mascara over the false eyelashes to allow them to blend in with the natural eyelashes more naturally.  Keep in mind, this is also a personal preference and can depend on certain factors.
    • Personally, when I wear false eyelashes, I actually never apply mascara over them.  I do not like wearing mascara in general and do not find it necessary for me to apply a coat of mascara over them as the false eyelashes blend in with my natural lashes on its own.  However, when I apply false eyelashes on my clients, I generally will always coat mascara over them.  (I will go over in a future post the pros and cons of applying mascara over false eyelashes).


  • Should they be applied before or after eyeshadow?
      • I believe false eyelashes should always be applied after you have completed your eye makeup in its entirety (except maybe the mascara–this can be applied before or after the false lash application).  Meaning your eyeshadow and eyeliner should be applied first followed by the false eyelashes.  I have seen false eyelashes applied first and this can work but I think there is a greater chance of them possibly detaching during the process of applying your eye makeup afterwards (because usually you need to tug on the eye more when applying eyeshadow and eyeliner).  This is my professional view but keep in mind, false eyelashes could be applied first before eyeshadow application if you choose to.


  • If I wear contacts or glasses, can I still wear false eyelashes?
      • If you wear contacts, wearing false eyelashes should not bother your eyes at all unless your eyes are extremely sensitive to begin with.  If this is the case, I would not recommend attempting to wear false eyelashes as health always comes first!  If you wear glasses, I usually do not recommend wearing false eyelashes because sometimes the lashes can hit the glass lens once you put your glasses on which can be slightly annoying.  If the lashes are shorter in length and more natural, you should be okay but in most cases, I would suggest to just wear mascara instead.


  • How are false eyelashes different from lash extensions?
    • Lash extensions are singular lashes dipped in a semi-permanent glue applied one by one along the lash line.  Being they are semi-permanent, lash extensions are meant to last up to two weeks before they start to fall out naturally.  Most people who get lash extensions will need to keep up with maintaining them by having them applied every couple weeks by a professional, usually in a salon setting.
    • False eyelashes are not permanent and just need to be applied for each single occasion.  Besides being applied by a professional makeup artist, anyone can pick up a pair of false eyelashes along with a tube of Duo lash adhesive and learn to apply them in the comfort of their own home.