Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fish Scale Eyes (last minute mermaid)

I decided to create a pretty mermaid/fish-scale inspired look as an idea for simple Halloween makeup. I wore this out on a regular day of doing people up, but I think it would look beautiful for a Halloween party as well, especially if you don't have enough time to come up with a full costume (it is Halloween night right now after all). I used very few colors in this look so it's easy to re-create while still looking like you put in a lot of time and effort. Then just throw on some seashells with a pretty dress and you will be ready to go!

1. Prime the eyelids to prevent creasing and ensure that the shadows go on vibrantly and stay put. I used the anti-aging primer potion by Urban Decay.
2. Use a matte neutral eyeshadow on a fluffy blending brush similar to you skin tone to draft out where you will place the blue in your crease. Using a neutral color first will help you blend everything better for a seamless color application.
3. Take a tiny, tiny bit of a matte royal blue eyeshadow on a fluffy blending brush (I used 'chaos' from the original Urban Decay Vice Palette) and lightly blend over where you placed the neutral shadow. This acts like a barrier so that you know where to stop once you begin packing the color onto your lid.
4. Use the same blue shade on a flat shader brush to pack the color onto the outer and inner corners of the eye while avoiding the center.
5. Take a lighter, bright shade of blue, I used the blue from the Maybelline palette once again (one of my favorite blue's ever) and pat that onto the center of the lid. Lightly blend it into the darker blue, but don't over-blend because we want the colors to stay defined.
6. Run the lighter blue along the bottom lashline and into the inner corner of the eye to brighten it. You can add a tiny bit of the darker blue to the outermost corner of the bottom lashline for more definition and shape if you would like.
7. Line the waterline and tightline with a bright blue pencil.
8. Add black mascara to finish the look. If you wanted to make it really mermaid-y, glitter false lashes could also be added at this time.
9. Fill in any sparse brow areas to complete the look. I used my Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Medium Ash'.

Foundation: Illamasqua Skinbase applied with Beauty Blender
Concealer: Mac Pro-Longwear 
Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in 'Ethereal Light'.
Blush: Smashbox blush in 'Carnation'.
Bronzer: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
Highlight: Laura Mercier baked matte highlight powder in 'Highlight 01'

Lipstick: Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in 'Nudist'.
Lipliner: Palladio in 'Nearly Nude'.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Delicate Baby Deer

I love baby deer, and as a kid, whenever saw one I would try to convince my parents that we needed to bring it home and take care of it. There is just something about a little fawn, still shaky on its legs that is so beautiful and delicate, which is what I tried to convey with this look.

Hector Espinal (a member of the Sephora Pro team) designed this face chart which inspired me to create my own version his deer. I met Hector when he certified me as a Sephora CMA artist and I started following his instagram (haus_of_eduh) right away. This week he posted a bunch of face charts for Halloween and I knew that I had to try this one out! Enjoy!

1. Apply your foundation and concealer as you normally do, for this look I used one of my all time favorite foundations, the Make Up For Ever Face & Body foundation in #38, as well as my Mac Pro-Longwear concealer in NC-15.
2. Highlight the center of the forehead, the bridge of the nose and center of the chin to define your face shape. I used my concealer for this because it's slightly lighter than my skin tone. If you have a  medium skin tone I would still highlight the face with a much lighter shade than you would normally use because you want to mimic the white areas of fur on a deer.
3. Set your foundation so it stays all day because you definitely don't want your spots melting off! I used my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in 'Ethereal'.
4. Heavily bronze your cheeks and the perimeter of your forehead until you start to turn golden brown like a deer. I used a combination of a cream bronzer (Chanel Soleil de tan) and a powder bronzer (Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess) to get the color I wanted, but any bronzer will do the trick.
5. Dip the back end of your foundation brush into a light foundation, concealer or white face paint to add the spots. White eyeliner will also work in a pinch.
6. Use a black liquid liner to draw on your little deer nose and make sure it's waterproof so your nose won't run with black. I created a flattened heart shape because I thought it was more flattering than going straight across. 

1. Prime the eyes to ensure long lasting color and to prevent creasing. As always, I used my Urban Decay Primer Potion.
2. Take a light matte brown eyeshadow and blend it softly into the crease. Follow this up with a warmer, darker toned brown applied into the crease to deepen it. Bring this warmer brown out past the outer corners of the eye and down along the sides of the nose.
3. Pat a light beige color onto the lid and blend it into the crease to soften. I also used this same light beige as my brow bone highlight.
4. Use a liquid liner to create a super dramatic wing extending to the outer corners of the eye, almost to where your eyebrows end. I used my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper'.
5. Take the same liquid liner and draw on your curved bottom eye shape leaving enough space to fill it in with white pencil. Don't get frustrated with this step, just take it slow and be patient. Once you have on the black liquid and the white pencil, you can choose to set each color with their coordinating eyeshadow shade.
6. Add mascara and false eyelashes, I stacked two pairs together for a 'doe-eyed' appearance.
7. Finish by filling in your brows with your usual brow color. I flicked mine up on the inner corners to look less human and more like a little forest creature.

Line the lips with a taupe/brown eyeliner and fill in the center with white eyeliner. Add a clear gloss on top and mix it all together.

I hope that you liked this look and please feel free to send me any photos of you re-creating this makeup as well! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Green Witch (or other ghoulish girl)

Halloween is fast approaching! It is my favorite holiday and I really wanted to create something more dramatic and costume-y than my previous kitty cat look... so I came up with this! Honestly my inspiration for this whole look came from the purple lashes that I used on bottom of my eyes. I bought them a few weeks ago because I loved the color and I knew I wanted to use them for Halloween. 

This is definitely going to be a longer tutorial, but I tried to leave you with all of the information necessary. It is important to note that I did my face makeup first this time because you really need the green base to cover everything before you can do your eyes. If you don't have these types of colors in your regular makeup collection you can usually find nice, inexpensive Halloween palettes at most drugstores. 

1. Take your foundation and mix it with some sort of green creamy pigment (I used L'oreal True Match in 'W1' as my foundation. It is too pale for me normally but it gave me the perfect 'dead' look). You can use mossy green face paint from the Halloween store, or if you are a makeup junkie like myself, you can use the green shade from the Make Up For Ever Flash Palette like I did. Apply this all over your face and down onto your neck if desired. Use a dense brush or a Beauty Blender to pat the foundation/paint onto the face. You want full coverage so that your natural skin color doesn't show through.
2. Powder your face well with a translucent setting powder, but make sure your foundation is completely dry before you do this or you will remove the green color you just laid down. I used MUFE's HD Powder.
3. Use a dark green eyeshadow (a matte or satin finish will give the best results - no glitter) to contour the face. Apply it heavily to sculpt and define the cheekbones, jawline and to shape the forehead. The darker the contour, the more sunken in and undead you will appear. 
4. Take a dark purple/plum eyeshadow and use it as blush. You can also blend it into all of the contour areas to appear bruised if you'd like.
5. Take the same dark purple shadow and contour the sides and bottom of the nose. This will separate your facial structure from the green foundation and make you look more like a character instead of a regular person.
6. While it doesn't really show in the photograph, I highlighted the center and high points of my face with a pearly green eyeshadow to add dimension.

this photo shows the colors I used, but you don't need to use these specific products to achieve the look

1. Take a bright green eyeshadow and apply it in a rounded shape all over the eye and up through the crease. I used a green cream shadow from the Illamasqua Paranormal Palette and then I set it with a pearly green powder shadow.
2. Use the same dark green eyeshadow that you contoured your face with and place it on the inner and outer corners of the eyelid. Keep the shape rounded and dramatic but make sure the edges are blended. You can also add a little bit of the dark purple to the crease for contrast.
3. Line the upper and lower lids as well as the waterline with any black eyeliner. This will help hide the bands of the false lashes.
4. Apply mascara, then add your false lashes to the top and bottom lids. Make sure the glue is slightly tacky before you try to stick them on so they don't slide everywhere. My green lashes were from last year at Walgreens (they have an AWESOME Halloween lash selection) and my purple lashes were from Sephora but I haven't seen them in store recently.
5. Line back over the bands of the lashes with a black or dark green gel or liquid liner. I used a gel liner from Nars called 'Snake Eyes' which is a really cool green-flecked black.
6. Highlight the brow bone with a matte off-white shadow.
7. Shape and fill in your brows like normal, or curve them upwards like I did to add more character. I used a matte black eyeshadow.

Lipliner: Illamasqua Medium Pencil in 'Severe'
Lipstick: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in 'Cassis'
Lipstick in the center of mouth: Illamasqua Lipstick in 'Drench'

We just started carrying spray hair chalk at Sephora and I thought it would go well with the overall look, so I decided to spray some in. This is in the color 'Mint' by Bumble and Bumble.

A special shout-out and thank you goes to all of my Sephora cast members for voting for me and this look to help me win our store Halloween contest! Let me know if you try out this look on yourself!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pretty Kitty Eyes

Here is a super wearable, quick and cute cat makeup idea for Halloween! You can absolutely go all out by painting on a nose or whiskers, but I decided to keep it simple and polished. I got my cat ears at H&M a few months ago, but I have seen them there since then and also at Forever 21. You could also make your own cat ears with some wire, beads, headband and a glue gun if you wanted to. I wore this to work today and all of the little grandmas loved it!

1. Prime eyelids to prevent creasing and ensure long lasting color. I used the anti-aging Urban Decay primer potion
2. Use a white pencil as an eyeshadow base and blend out the lines with your fingers.
3. Take a grey/taupe eyeshadow and blend it lightly into the crease and all the way into the inner part of the eyelid.
4. Take a darker charcoal grey shadow and blend it into the deepest part of the crease to add depth and dimension. 
5. Use a white eyeshadow all over the lid and blend it into the grey colors.
6. Add glitter on the inner  eye for some extra spunk. I used Sephora Collection Glitter Eyeliner and Mascara in 'Sassy Silver'. Note: this stuff is incredible! It comes encased in a gel-like formula so it will never fall out onto your face and make you look like a disco ball. I take all of my blog pictures at the end of the night after I have had my makeup on for at least 9hrs, so you can really see how long this glitter stays put! You can also use it over your mascara for added sparkle.
7. Line the upper lid with a black liquid liner in a very dramatic, winged out cat shape, my favorite is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper'.
8. Add mascara and false lashes for a more slanted, dramatic eye shape.
9. Highlight the brow bone and the inner corner of the eye with a pearl-y shade to make it appear more awake and lifted.
10. Finish the look by filling in any sparse areas of the brow. I used my Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Medium Ash'.

Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow in 'Ceylan' applied with Beauty Blender
Concealer(s): Benefit Stay Don't Stray & Guerlain issima precious light smoothing illuminator in 'Rose 00' applied with Beauty Blender
Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in 'Ethereal Light'
Blush: Hard Candy 'Living Doll'
Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil 
Highlight: Laura Mercier in 'Highlight 01'

Lipstick: MAC 'Creamcup'

Monday, October 21, 2013

Full Coverage Foundation Handbook

Natural looking foundation that has full coverage is (in all honesty) a challenge to attain, but integrating these tips and methods into your daily routine might make your job a little bit easier.  

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse applied with Elf Flat Top Kabuki Brush

The way that you apply your foundation really determines the coverage and finish that you will get. There are a few different tools that I love and recommend for full coverage. The Beauty Blender($19.95) -you all know how much I love this little sponge now, the Sephora Classic Mineral Powder brush($24), the Elf Flat Top Kabuki brush($3), or any other dense kabuki style brush. 

Before I fell in love with the Beauty Blender, I got a ton of amazing brushes here and here which I still definitely recommend. The kabuki style foundation brushes are exactly like the Sigma brushes that are constantly being raved about, but at a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost! No matter which of these tools you choose, you want to pat, stipple (bounce onto your skin) and buff (blend on in small circular motions) the foundation onto your skin, as this will method will give you the most natural looking full coverage. It is the best way to cover imperfections in color and texture which is often hard to do. You never want to paint foundation on in up and down strokes like you would paint a house. For this reason, you are going to want to avoid using brushes in the shape of a paddle, they won't give you enough coverage, and whatever coverage that they do apply will go on streaky. Some clients ask if they can use their hands to apply foundation, but in this case, when your goal is full coverage, the answer is no. When foundation is thin, lightweight or watered down, you can absolutely use your hands, and I often like the result better than if I'm using a brush. But when you are using thicker formulations for full coverage, your hands just won't cut it!

You can get full coverage with a liquid, cream or a powder foundation, but I usually like to layer a combination of two to get the best finish and wear time. Liquids & creams are easier to blend into the skin and build upon, letting you apply your coverage in layers exactly where you want or need it. You want their texture to be somewhat thick as opposed to super runny so that you don't have to add excessive layers to get the coverage you desire. Powders are great because they mattify the skin and really set the liquid products so that they don't budge. I like the Maybelline Dream Matte Powder, MUFE Duo-Matte Powder, Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, and the Cover FX Mineral Powder.

Now the skin type that is usually looking for full coverage is one that tends to get oily or acne prone and might even have textural issues from acne scarring. A common question from this client is if one can still wear liquids with oily skin. The answer is yes! You just need a formula that is made to control oil and won't leave a super dewy finish. And I always stress the importance of setting makeup on oily skin. And I mean really SETTING it. A light dusting of powder will not do it. You need to use a sponge or powder puff and use the press & roll method to firmly adhere the powder to the skin. I'll go into detail about products and methods for this later on in another post about working with oily or dry skin, so keep a look out!

Left: Bare Face  -  Right: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse
Left: Bare Face  -  Right: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse 
Both: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse set with Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

Just to be clear, I do have on remnants of my mascara in all of the above photos. Other than that, the bare faced photos are completely bare, and the foundation photos do not have any concealer or any editing, that way you can see what the foundation & powder really can cover. 
I decided to break down some of the more popular options of high-end and drugstore. Since I work at Sephora I am a little bit more familiar with high-end brands, but I did wear only drugstore for many years, so can speak with some personal experience on those options as well.

Some great higher-end full coverage foundations are:

*Laura Mercier Silk Creme
This is probably my all time favorite full coverage foundation! I absolutely love how lightweight it feels and I get so many compliments when wearing it! It is so smooth and it glides onto the skin like magic, covering anything and everything so effortlessly with a natural finish. It comes in a squeeze tube, is water resistant as well as oil & fragrance free (helpful for those with sensitive skin). It is long lasting (claims up to 12 hrs) and it is infused with silk proteins and tea extracts that really help to diffuse fine lines and textural issues. No SPF and its light diffusing properties make it a great choice for photography or brides. The only downfall is there are only 10 shades to choose from, and while there are many options in light/ivory tones, this foundation offers very little to chose from for those with tan/deep skin tones.

*Cover FX Total Cover Cream
Super-duper full coverage, anti-oxidant rich and moisturizing, you can build with this foundation like no other. Vegan, gluten free and anti-aging, it contains SPF 30 and is free of mineral oil, talc, parabens, sulfates, sythetic chemicals & dyes. It comes in a compact form and is the perfect foundation for someone who has many ingredient requirements or is very health conscious. The high SPF will not photograph well with flash, but in all other regards it look great, with a natural satin finish. It is broken down into pink, neutral and golden undertones and has a great range of shades, also with matching concealers. Here is a review from Katie's Beauty Blog so that you can see her before and after pictures.

*Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet +
Make Up For Ever is one of my absolute favorite makeup lines, I love pretty much everything that they make! This oil-free, water resistant foundation looks beautiful on the skin, mattifying it without ever looking dull or dry. It comes in a squeeze tube bottle and truly does have a 'velvet' finish. They don't have the most shades in the world, but definitely not as bad as Laura Mercier! If you can find your color it is lovely, it photographs well and it feels lightweight and breathable on the skin.

*Stila Stay All Day
Oil free, creamy and hydrating this foundation is infused with botanicals and anti-aging ingredients. It comes in a vast array of colors so you are sure to find a perfect match. This foundation also comes with a brush and a concealer in the cap which was very thoughtful of Stila. The brush is worthless in my opinion (I would save it to use for Halloween makeup or something that I wouldn't want to use good brushes for) but the concealer works pretty well, and it's nice to have everything in one bottle. It does not have a pump, but instead a little spatula connected to the inside of the cap. This is a bit inconvenient when the foundation starts to run out, but all in all, it is a beautiful, moisture rich formula. 

*Kat Von D Lock it Tattoo 
Kat's waterproof, oil-free foundation is comprised of 21% pure pigment, making it a heavy hitter when it comes to coverage. While it is oil absorbent, it does contain silicones for added smoothness and diffusion, so make sure you are alright with that. It's comes with a pump and it's long-wear & transfer resistant so you should definitely get a serious makeup remover to go with it (is is waterproof after all). The color range is vast though sometimes the colors tend to look too orange or yellow so you should definitely sample this foundation before you purchase it.

*Tarte Amazonian Clay
This foundation is made to balance any skin type, but the addition of amazonian clay makes it really nice for those who tend to get oily. Tarte is a cruelty-free natural brand whose products are gentle for your skin and formulated without parabens, sulfates & other harsh chemicals. Longwear, blendable and smooth, it has an airy mousse-like texture that is unlike many other foundations that I've tried. It has SPF 15 and it adjusts to your skin throughout the day to ensure that you always have the right balance of moisture while remaining shine-free. They just expanded the line with new shades, but again, not too many on the darker spectrum. 


Some great alternative foundations in drugstore brands are:

*Revlon ColorStay
Probably offering the most coverage from a drug store foundation, it's super popular on youtube and on beauty blogs. It sets quickly, so work it on in sections: cheek, cheek, forehead, nose, chin. It comes in formulations for combination/oily skin and normal/dry skin.

*L'oreal True Match 
Very, very lightweight in feel while providing good coverage, this works best for normal/combination/oily skin. It can get patchy on dry or un-exfoliated skin. I love this foundation because it comes in so many different colors. There is a warm, neutral and cool range which is super helpful when finding your shade. Most drugstore foundations run a little pink or orange, but I don't find that the case when I wear this. The 'lumi' formula is great for normal/dry skin.

*Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse 
I love and wear this foundation when I'm in a hurry. It comes in a little twist off compact and it's so easy to apply and blend out. It leaves you with a very good, even coverage and it's a bit moisturizing so doesn't show my dry areas. It's good for combination/normal/dry skin, but super oily folks should most likely avoid it.

*Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 
Marketed as a foundation, concealer and primer all in one, this is made to last very long on the skin. It is too drying for me personally, and it looked unnatural on my skin, but many others I know love it. Good for combination/oily skin, it gets too lifeless and dry on normal/dry skin.


Let me know if you have had a good/bad experience with any of these foundations or if you think others should be added to the list!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cranberry Eyes (Fall Inspired)

I passed the MAC counter on my way back from work last week and had to do a double take when I saw this image. It is so soft and warm and it makes me want to curl up in cozy flannels with some hot chocolate and a novel. I almost bought the shades (Cranberry & Coppering being the most important) right then and there, but I decided to go home and sleep on it and see if I already had anything in my collection that could duplicate the look. Sure enough, with the help of a deep wine colored blush, I put together this fall inspired, warm eye look. This will pop MUCH more on green eyes, so I encourage all you green and hazel eyed ladies to give this a go!

1. Take a warm, medium toned matte brown shadow and apply it to the crease while blending upwards to softly define your eye shape and lay down the groundwork for the rest of the colors.
2. Take any cranberry red color (mine was a Maybelline blush that is now discontinued) and place it all over the lid, blending it into the brown.
3. Use a gold/copper color on the inner corner and blend it right on top of the cranberry shade to brighten it and give it dimension. 
4. Take a dark plum or brown shade and add it just to the outer corner. Adding some darkness to balance the red tone is important because you don't want to look like your eyes are just pink and swollen.
5. Use the copper shadow on the inner half of the lower lashline and the darkest plum/brown color on the outer half of the lower lashline.
6. Finish by curling your lashes and applying mascara!
7. Frame your eyes by filling in any sparse brow areas, I used my Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Medium Ash'

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse
Concealer: Mac Pro Longwear Concealer
Powder: Maybelline Dream Matte Powder
Blush: Maybelline (discontinued and I can't find a name)
Bronzer: Chanel Soleil de Tan
Highlight: Laura Mercier in 'Highlight 01'

Fresh lip balms in 'Rosé' and 'Coral'

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wedding Day Essentials

I was doing a wedding trial for my friend Sarah and she posed a question that I get asked a lot:

"What do I need to have with me for the night?"

It seems like a simple question, and in reality, if you get your makeup done by a professional you won't need many touchups makeup wise. But I compiled a list of items that a bride should have with her for the evening, so that any mishaps can be easily fixed!

1. Lip Products. 
You will definitely need to re-apply your lip shade throughout the night. There will be kissing, eating and drinking and you will most likely want to touch up so that all of your photos look perfect. I love to use MAC's 'Modesty' or MUFE's 'N9' lipstick on many of my brides. I also love MUFE's Lab Shine Gloss in 'D16' overtop any bridal lip color. If you want a lip color that will stay on through absolutely everything (and needs to be taken off with an oil based makeup remover) try the MUFE Aqua Rouge line. 

2. Blotting Sheets
I love Boscia's Green Tea Blotting Linens! They calm the skin and absorb excess oil and shine without compromising any of your makeup. I carry these with me in my purse on a daily basis, and they have come in handy after the long days I've spent running around in Manhattan. 

3. Concealer
Concealer is great to have for touchup for under eyes or around the face just incase you tear up and move some of your lovely makeup. I recommend MUFE's Full Cover Concealer because it covers anything and everything and it is waterproof!

I also compiled a list of non-beauty items that I think every bride should be aware of because they can be true lifesavers!

*Sewing Kit
*Safety Pins
*Stain Remover
*Chalk (can cover up any marks on the dress that can't be removed)
*Bobbi Pins
*Clear Nail Polish (can fix runs in stockings)

Let me know what other items you think are an essential for a bride on her wedding day!