Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Long Lasting Wedding Makeup

I just want to start off this post by saying that these photos were taken after 10 hours of wear with no touch-ups except for the lips. TEN HOURS!!! If that blows your mind (I was shocked too) then read on to find out my favorite products to maximize the longevity of any makeup.
long lasting wedding makeup

Wedding makeup comprises most of my business, so it is something that I am always experimenting with to be able to achieve as much perfection as possible! It is important to me that the makeup looks smooth and natural in person while still translating well in photographs. It needs to last through the day into the night and be sweat proof, cry proof and smudge proof while still being comfortable to wear. I recently visited Alcone in NYC and picked up a few items to test out, and when I combined them with my existing bridal routine I was astounded!

long lasting bridal makeup

waterproof wedding makeup

Bullet-Proof Makeup Buys:
Sonia Roselli SexApeel 
Skin prep is so important to achieve great makeup results. You will literally be able to see the dead, dry skin wipe off your face with this peel, thereby allowing the makeup to adhere to healthy, fresh skin. It is easy enough to do before any makeup application on yourself or a client, and it won't irritate your skin!

Sonia Roselli Waterbalm
This product has irrevocably changed my makeup life personally and professionally! It is a moisturizer, serum, eye cream and primer all in one (yes for real) and it hydrates even the most parched of skins without making you greasy or slick. It creates such a smooth canvas for makeup and it plays nice under every foundation (silicone & water base) that I've tried.

Makeup International SuperMatte Anti Shine
This little guy is worth his weight in gold because I feel like it almost physically prevents sweat and oil from forming on the surface of the skin! That may sound a little intense, but for bridal makeup it's exactly what you need. Just smooth a tiny bit over the t-zone and wait for it to dry before applying foundation.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
I've been using this foundation since the summer time and it is dreamy! It's smoothing and hydrating and seriously long-lasting. The coverage is around medium with a very lightweight feel. It blends out perfectly has has a good range of undertones for fair skin but unfortunately lacks colors for medium to deep skin. I normally have issues with foundations rubbing off of my nose and mouth area (I always need a tissue) but this one stays put without clogging my pores!

Kryolan Dermacolor Concealer
Dermacolor concealer is and oldie but a goodie, offering amazing pigmentation and coverage plus long lasting performance. It's wonderful for covering blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, tattoos and can easily be used under the eyes with a light hand. It comes in individual pans, mini palettes and large palettes with a plethora of shades and undertones to choose from. Kryolan has been around since 1945 and is not going anywhere, so check out their brand if you're a newbie! 

Kett Sett Loose Powder
Kett loose powder is another workhorse. It is talc based and creates a smooth, budge-proof finish. Use a puff to press & roll the powder into the skin for the longest lasting result. But be wary, you only need to use a small amount or you will end up with an unattractive white haze across your visage.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder 
This powder is an old favorite and I love it for setting my under-eyes because of its smoothing properties. I use the shades 'Ethereal' or 'Diffused' because they are wonderful for brightening and they keep the concealer set without looking heavy.

Blue Marble Sealer
I've tried numerous setting sprays, Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever, Skindinavia, you name it. They helped but none of them were ever 'perfect'. Enter this gem, it creates a 'film-forming' barrier to lock the makeup in place and prevent humidity, sweat and tears from taking their toll. I will be repurchasing this spray again and again because it is bulletproof; Ben Nye Final Seal is the only other setting spray that has come close.

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Other Makeup Details:

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in 'Himalia'
Kiss False Eyelashes in 'Demi Wispies'
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in 'Medium Brown'
Make Up For Ever Brow Seal
Laura Mercier Baked Highlight in #01
Smashbox blush (discontinued)
Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer
Palladio Lip Liner in 'Raspberry'
Mac Lipstick in 'Angel'
Dior Lip Glow in 'Pink'

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kate & Tim's Autumn Wedding

Kate and Tim got married on a beautiful October day alongside a lake near her family's home. She loves gold so she asked me to create a soft, metallic, diffused eye. I used lots of warm browns and burnt siennas to give her a fall glow.

In combination with her bridesmaids gorgeous scarlet gowns and the stunning fall foliage of north-western Connecticut, I'd say Kate had a autumn wedding that could go down in the history books! All makeup and vendor details are listed at the bottom of the post.

Makeup Details
Sonia Roselli Waterbalm Skin Prep
Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in 'Diffused' & 'Dim'
Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer
Nars 'Goulue' Blush
Jour Cream Highlighters in 'Camellia, Champagne & Tiare'
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in 'Pearl'
Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo #1
Too Faced gold eyeshadow for lid color
Anastasia shadows in 'orange soda' & 'sienna' for the crease colors
Nars eyeliner in 'Via De'Martelli' (chocolate brown color)
Sephora Brow Pencil in 'Honey Blonde' & 'Nutmeg Brown'
Ardell individual flare lashes

Flowers: Sweethaven Farm

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Professional Makeup Artist Interview - Erin Infantino

Erin Infantino is the amazing lead makeup artist and bridal beauty specialist who runs Simply Gorgeous by Erin, a salon/studio in Southington, Connecticut. Erin runs one of the most prolific wedding teams in CT, and she and her artist offer on-location and in-salon services to suit any beauty need. I met Erin early on in my career when I was still working in retail artistry. I'd followed her work via social media and was happy to see that she was as warm and friendly in person as she had appeared online. Read on to learn about some of her favorite products and get advice on all things beauty, whether you're an aspiring professional or a makeup aficionado.

Q: How long have you been a working professional and how did you get started in your career? 
A: I have had 9 lives like a cat in this business. It started as a spark when I used to model. Most gigs we did our own makeup as many newbie models do. I didn't care for modeling but I loved the makeup and fashion. I helped other models do their makeup. I began working on various makeup counters, managing makeup brands (Chanel being my favorite to manage) and freelanced (from Bobbi Brown to MAC to Laura Mercier and many others). 

I received my degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing but fell into the beauty departments. After doing years of retail and then starting my own freelance business I decided to move to go back to school for law. While working in corporate legal I still did makeup on the weekends. After realizing my heart was not in legal I began to make calculated moves to get out of corporate and into makeup full time again but in more of the freelance arena. I worked 49 hours a week in legal, subcontracted for a traveling hair and makeup team specializing in bridal and went to school at night for aesthetics. I went many months without a single day off and often ones working doubles. I don't recommend this if you want to stay sane. But I had a goal and when I focus on something - good luck trying to stop me! 

I finally left corporate legal and worked 20 hours a week at a Medspa as their aesthetician while I worked every single weekend doing bridal makeup. I partnered up with a hair stylist and after a year ahead of me with full bookings I found out I was pregnant - surprise! So I hired an artist for my first season in 2011 to train, assist and take any weddings I had near my due date to ensure my brides were well taken care of. Since that first season I now have a team of 9 artists and hair stylists and am actually looking to hire 2 more. We do roughly 100+ weddings a year, numerous Boudoirs, glamours, commercial work, makeup lessons, bridal artist and stylist mentoring and more. I also just added Microblading to my list of services and will be offering much more with my team be the end of this year. Makeup will always be my first love.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist? A: Since I saw Wonder Woman, played with my first Barbie and watched my mom swipe that frosty green eyeshadow across her lids before going out to dinner. I was probably the only 5th grader buying Elle and Harper's Bazzaar magazine.

Q: What do you love most about makeup and about your job? A: The versatility. The creativity runs far and wide; its endless. I love the various personalities I work with daily. I love the challenge of having to constantly evolve. I love helping other aspiring artists and giving advice to them to help them and hope it makes things easier for them than it was for me. I love making a woman feel empowered. I am through and through a girl's girl.

Q: What is your signature makeup style and what trends/looks have you been loving? 
A: My signature style is to emphasize the eyes without them being too over done. I think lashes and brows are your best accessory so I focus on those a lot.
I am really feeling the natural SoCal vibe of makeup right now. Nothing is sexier than what I call "relaxed glamour" which is how I describe my over all style. Skin looks like skin, eyes aren't heavily lined, lips aren't too heavy. It's refreshing to create these looks after the smoky eye having ruled the look for so long. 

Q: What are some of your go to, must have, all time favorite kit products? 
A: This is tough. I have favs for bridal and favs for non-bridal. For bridal I think Temptu Pro SB foundation is awesome. I need to have Eyemimo lashes for all of my work. I adore Bobbi Brown's gel liners for any kind of work. Concealers are RCMA or I adore Cle de Peau. Armani Luminous Silk foundation is stunning on the skin. It doesn't get any better than Kevyn Aucoin's sculpting powder in medium. For brows I love Kevyn Aucoin or Anastasia pencils (brow wiz). Blush - NARS has it down. I have recently started playing with Charlotte Tillbury's products and they do not disappoint. Brushes I am obsessed with Cozzette. They're so soft, stand up to lots of work and apply like a dream. I could go on. 

Q: What products have you recently discovered and can’t live without? 
A: Honestly? Grandelash Mascara; its awesome. It conditions and it makes my lashes look like they did when I was 16. 

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from? 
A: Most times I am inspired by the client herself. I look at a client and as I am applying makeup something is drawn out of her that makes me really get into it.

Q: Who are some people that have inspired or influenced you throughout your career? 
A: Well I have favorite beauty icons like the original super models of the 90's. Linda Evangelista is my all time favorite. Naomi Campbell, Helena Christiansen, Cindy Crawford and Niki Taylor. As for makeup artists Pat McGrath and Kevyn Aucoin were always idols I gravitated towards. We have a lot of great artists booming right now too. 

Q: What is your most important piece of beauty advice and/or makeup tip for women? 
A: Take amazing care of your skin! Makeup looks a thousand times better on good skin. Take the time to find your perfect foundation formula and shade. Embrace concealer (we all start to need it after the age of 30). Less truly is more. If you're unsure how to apply it, you can practice or take a lesson with a professional. I tell all of my makeup lesson clients that makeup is not a tattoo so go ahead and make mistakes. 

Q: What is your most important piece of advice for aspiring professionals? 
A: Realize you have to start at the bottom of the chain like the rest of us. Find a mentor and ask them questions. Learn all you can about technique and more importantly learn all you can about the etiquette and proper way to network. Your professional relationships are crucial, including with your competition.

Q: What is one thing you wish you had known starting out? 
A: You don't have to choose between working cosmetics in retail or moving to the city to actually have a career. There's so much right in our backyard. It's what we create.

Q: If you weren’t a makeup artist what would you be doing instead? 

A: Beauty Editor, Writer or Cake Designer. 

Pinterest: Erin Infantino
Periscope: Erin Infantino

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lavender Glitter Eyes

It's always great when your client let's you do any makeup look of your choice and gives you no rules or restrictions. That is the way I came up with this look for Bethany and I couldn't be happier with it. She was attending a concert and just wanted to look great with a little bit of an edge. I mixed lavenders, greys and blacks and topped the look with fine glitter to make her eyes pop. Keep reading to hear the products and learn how to get the look!

1. Prime the eyes to ensure long lasting, crease-less performance. I used Benefit Stay Don't Stray because it also neutralizes any discoloration.
2. Smudge a taupe or soft grey pencil along the lash-line and blend it up onto the eyelid to serve as a subtle tinted base.
3. Apply a soft lavender shadow to the eyelid and blend it up into the socket. I used a mix of shadows from Jane Iredale and Stila.
4. Smudge a soft black pencil onto the outer third of the eyes and blend it upwards towards the crease.
5. Pat and blend plum/black shadow over the top of the pencil to get rid of any harsh lines.
6. Tap glitter onto the center of the eye using your ring finger; I used Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder #13.
7. Draw a super thin line using a black liquid liner along the top lash-line and add false lashes; I used a long wispie style by Kiss.
8. Blend plum/black and grey shadows together to define the outer portion of the lower lash-line, and use a shimmery champagne to highlight the inner corners.
9. Finish by gently filling in the brows using individual hair-strokes for a natural look, then set with clear brow gel.

Prep: Sonia Roselli's Water Balm (this stuff is heaven-sent)
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Aqua
Concealer: Amazing Cosmetics
Powder: Kett Sett Loose & Hourglass Ambient in 'Diffused'
Blush: Smashbox rose-toned color
Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient in 'Dim'
Highlight: Becca 'Pearl'

Balm: Fresh 'Sugar Nude'
Gloss: Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss #800

What is your favorite go-to look for a night out?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rachael & Steve's Wedding

Here is some lovely fall wedding inspiration for you! Rachael had the most beautiful big, blue doe-eyes that I enhanced with neutral matte shadows and lots of lashes. I added a hint of shimmer in the center of her eyes and finished the look with a soft rose lip. If you love these wedding images you can see more here, and make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for all makeup & vendor details!
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... Makeup Details ...
Mac 'Painterly' Paint Pot
Smashbox Full Exposure Palette
Bobbi Brown Black Gel Liner
Sephora 'Taupe' Liner
Ardell Demi Wispies
Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Ash Blonde' Brow Powder

Make Up For Ever Face & Body
Illamasqua Skinbase
Temptu s/b airbrush foundation
Mac Pro-Longwear concealer
Ben Nye 'Cameo' powder 
Hourglass 'Ethereal' Ambient Lighting Powder 
Nars 'Laguna'
Smashbox rose-colored blush
Laura Mercier Baked Highlight #01

Sephora 'Royal Rose' liner
Mac 'Craving' lipstick
Laura Mercier 'Rose' gloss


Bridesmaids' Dresses: BILL LEVKOFF

Monday, August 29, 2016

Natural Glam on Fitness Expert Lacy Dononvan

lion fitness llc

Lacy and I met on instagram after she started following my makeup work, and I loved that she was a Connecticut small business owner like myself! We teamed up for a collaborative photo shoot in her gym space in Waterford, called Lion Fitness. Check out Lacy's bio below to learn more about what she does; and insider tip, sign up for her meal plan if you've been thinking of becoming more health-conscious, everything Lacy prepares looks deliciously amazing! 

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Lacy Donovan is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and a proud mother of two. She fell into this new career through her love of exercise and commitment to healthy living. She runs a private studio gym from her home in Waterford, CT. In the short year she has been in business she has helped countless people achieve there weight loss and fitness goals. Through her personal training she also started meal prepping for clients, which turned into another home-based business for Lacy called, G.E.T. Guiltless Eating To-Go. She prepares healthy, gluten-free, low carb, high protein individually packaged meals for anyone looking to eat clean and healthy. It is her mission to show clients it doesn't have to be depriving to live a healthy lifestyle. You can workout, eat delicious foods and still achieve all your physical fitness goals!

makeup for fitness competition
1. Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer
2. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette for shadow and lower lashline
3. Winged liner with black shadow on an angled brush
4. Ardell Demi Wispies
5. Anastasia Brow Wiz
Foundation: Make Up For Ever Face & Body
Concealer: Mac Pro-Longwear & Kryolan Dermacolor
Powder: Hourglass Ambient Powder in 'Diffussed' & Kett Sett
Bronzer: Chanel Tan de Soleil
Blush: Nars Goulue
Highlight: Becca Moonstone & Opal

Lipstick: Mac 'Modesty'
Lipgloss: Laura Mercier 'Sparkling'

lion fitness llc

lacy donovan

INSTAGRAM: @lacydonovan

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Purple and Gold Smoked Eyes

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This look is based around a smokey gold lid with a pop of color for the lower lashline. You can change the bottom to any bright color that you would like, blues, emeralds and even deep pinks will look great! The trick to this kind of look is to make sure you heavily blend out the lower lashline to prevent it from looking harsh; the smokier, the better! Keep everything else on the face simple for a balanced aesthetic.

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1. Prime your eyelids to prevent creasing and ensure long lasting color payoff. I used Benefit Stay Don't Stray.
2. Blend a matte light orange shadow through the entire length of the crease as your transition shade.
3. Pack a small, flat brush with gold shadow and press it into the lid. You can also top this section with gold glitter. My shadow was from a discontinued Too Faced palette.
4. Blend a dark brown shadow into the outer third of the lid and take a little bit of the color into the crease.
5. Use a purple pencil and smudge the color along the waterline and lower lashline before blending it out and setting with a matching eyeshadow. I used 'Vice' by Urban Decay.
6. Highlight the inner corner with a bright, shimmery champagne color of your choice.
7. Draw a thin line on the top lid using black liquid liner to hide the false lash band. Then apply lashes; I used Kiss Demi Wispies.
8. Highlight the brow bone for separation with a matte cream colored eyeshadow.
9. Fill in and set the brows to finish the look. I used the Too Faced Bulletproof Brows in 'Brunette' and the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in 'Caramel'.

purple and gold smokey eye

How would you try this smokey look?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Professional Makeup Artist Interview - Kristina Gasperas

Fluent in three languages and national 'bridal makeup' winner  of The 2013 Wedding Industry Awards, Kristina Gasperas doesn't mess around. She and her team are based in London, UK and travel to the surrounding areas. 

I first found Kristina's work on instagram and was instantly drawn to it, especially because she is also a photographer like myself! Read on to hear her interview and make sure to visit her links!

Q: How long have you been a working artist and how did you get started in your career? 

A: I have been working as a makeup artist for 7 years and started my career after being inspired by my bridal makeover on my own wedding day. Shortly after my wedding I arranged a course with the same makeup artist who was in charge of my bridal makeup and have never looked back! It’s been the best decision I ever made.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist? 

A: Having a great experience and makeover on my own wedding day planted the seed. I knew very soon after that this career was perfect for me instead of the corporate role that I was in at the time. I wanted to be able to make women feel and look amazing - just like my bridal makeup artist had done for me.

Q: What was your first memorable work as an artist?

A: You always remember your first paying client. I still remember receiving that first phone call about a week after my website went live. My hands were trembling with excitement! It was a bride with a small wedding party. I had the biggest sense of relief when the makeup trial went well and she booked me for her wedding day.

Q: What do you love most about makeup and about your job?

A: I love that the right makeup application can make women feel younger, more radiant and glow not just with beauty from the outside but also within. I like making my clients feel better about themselves and believe there is always a way all of them can look incredible! I really enjoy it when they look in the mirror and tell me they look the best they ever have, some even that they look 10 years younger! I know then that they’ll feel super-confident at whatever occasion they’re to attend.

Q: What is your signature makeup style and what trends/looks have you been loving?

A: The whole makeup world is into sculpting and strobing - shaping and reshaping the face with highlighters and sculpting products. Using light and dark sculpting tones can enhance, lift, give someone cheekbones, a temporary eyelift, reshape the nose and give a sharper jawline. Women love these makeup tricks and when applied well nobody needs to know that they are actually wearing corrective/enhancing products and application techniques. I also love using individual lashes to add instant but discreet glamour.

Q: What are some of your go to, must have, all-time favorite kit products?

A: MAC Paint Pot in “Painterly” for eye-base - makes powder eyeshadows stay put all day long!
Sublime de Chanel mascara - a perfect all-rounder with an incredible brush for smooth and easy application.
Shu Uemura eyelash curlers - nothing beats curled lashes, they take 5 years off the eyes and create an illusion of gently lifted outer corners and bigger eyes.
Charlotte Tilbury lip pencil Lip Cheat in “Pillow Talk” - the most perfect nude pink that works for most skin types.

Q: What products have you recently discovered and can’t live without?

A: Cosmetics à la Carte Silk Radiance Super-Fine Powder - it’s a perfect setting powder that doesn’t cake and makes the skin glow with radiance and health.
Charlotte Tilbury lip gloss Lip Lustre in “Seduction” - my brides absolutely love this colour, it’s a perfect nude tone and so beautifully glossy. It makes the lips look super-seductive.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I follow lots of makeup artists whose work I enjoy in magazines and on social media; I subscribe to Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar; I check out the latest trends at red carpet events; I go to makeup masterclasses run by celebrity makeup artists to get the latest news and application tips; and I read lots of beauty blogs and product reviews. I have a small team of makeup artists - the K-Team - and we’re always experimenting with new looks and drawing inspiration from them.

Q: Who are some people that have inspired or influenced you throughout your career?

A: My makeup and photography teacher/mentor in Lithuania: Viktorija Vaišvilaitė-Skirutienė. She helped me change my life.

Q: How do you continue to grow your career as an artist?

A: I work hard, continue to improve my skills and keep it current. I treat each and every one of my clients with the love and attention they deserve, I want them to have the best experience at my hands and not just look amazing at the end. If they enjoy their time with me they’ll recommend me to their friends and the demand keeps growing. My small team keeps growing too because I’m lucky enough to have more work come my way than I would be able to deal with on my own.

Q: Where would you like to see yourself as an artist in the next 5-10 years?

A: I have started an academy of makeup and hairstyling which provides professional training and would like this to flourish and become a renowned institution in the industry. I would like to continue producing quality makeup artists and hairstylists who will raise the standards in the industry.

Q: What is your most important piece of beauty advice and/or makeup tip for women?

A: A good skincare regime will ensure that the skin is looking great and great looking skin is always more attractive than having to use lots of foundation to cover imperfections. Regular facial massages improve skin elasticity, get the blood flowing and give a younger, more radiant look.
Also have your eyebrows nicely shaped - it’ll enhance your eyes and make your overall makeup look flawless and clean.

Q: What is your most important piece of advice for aspiring professionals?

A: You should only choose this career if you are prepared to invest every spare moment into practicing and perfecting your skills as the room to grow is endless! Only the most determined and devoted makeup artists make it through to become someone special.

Q: What is one thing you wish you had known starting out?

A: That it takes time to achieve results and to be patient and not beat myself up when the going gets tough. Don’t expect perfection from the start.
People wrongly expect to become great at what they do in too short a space of time. Give yourself time to learn from your mistakes and to perfect your skills by practicing the same things over and over again, you’ll eventually become a master in what you do!

Q: If you weren’t a makeup artist what would you be doing instead?

A: I’d be a photographer. I’m a professionally trained portrait photographer and just love it! Photography is a key part of my makeup service - I send my clients professionally finished photographs of their completed look, so not only do they get a great makeover but also a nice memento. I’d be a beauty photographer as it gives me so much joy capturing women in the most flattering ways.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Romantic Bridal Makeup

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Wedding season is in full swing! Here is a classic bridal look that is always super flattering and popular. It is also perfect for any special occasion due to it's soft elegance and ability to suit anyone.
wedding makeup inspiration

1. Prime the eyes to prevent creasing and ensure long lasting color payoff, I used Mac paintpot in 'painterly'.
2. Dust a cream or nude colored shadow all over the lid and up to the brow bone.
3. With a fluffy brush, blend a soft neutral brown into the crease and outer corner of the eyes.
4. Apply black liquid liner in a wing to the eyelid, then trace over it with a tiny bit of black eyeshadow to blur out and soften the edges of the line for a romantic effect.
5. Smudge brown liner along the lower lashline and set it with a warm brown shadow.
6. Line the lower waterline (inner rim) with a nude pencil, I used a flesh toned twist up one from Rimmel.
7. Fill in the brows to add definition, I used an eyeshadow around the same tone as Hannah's natural brow color.

Foundation: Illamasqua Skinbase
Concealer: Mac Pro-Longwear
Powder: Hourglass Ambient Powders
Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil
Blush: Make Up For Ever HD Blush #210
Highlight: Laura Mercier Baked Radiance #01

Liner: Palladio Herbal Lipliner 'Raspberry'
Lipstick: Buxom 'Mistress' & Mac 'Angel'
Gloss: Laura Mercier Lip Glace 'Bare Pink' 

connecticut makeup artist

Hair by Rachel Toussaint