Sunday, November 14, 2021

Life Changing Hair Products

Looking for super soft, healthy hair that has bounce, volume and texture? I've rounded up all of my favorite products that truly made difference in the health and manageability of my hair - and huge plus - all but two are in the clean haircare category! 

clean hair care favorites

A little background on my hair - it's thick, it's wavy, it's heavy - and sometimes it has a mind of it's own. I used to fight my natural waves because they were difficult to manage and got frizzy easily. But since learning what my hair likes + needs plus getting the right haircut for my hair type (a long shag to minimize weight and encourage volume) I no longer have the constant urge to shave my head.

best products for wavy hair

View the entire shoppable list with product pictures here, or read on below.

EVOLVH | InstaVolume Cleansing Treatment - My favorite shampoo - this gets my hair clean and keeps my strands soft without stripping them. I love how it creates the perfect base for any volumized styles because it doesn't weigh hair down! It also balances the ph of your hair which is super important if you want your mane to continuously look its best.

HAIRSTORY | Scalp Brush - This brush helps me get a deep clean, plus it just feels SO GOOD! When styling, I like to use products that create grit and texture in my hair for added volume and pliability, but I don't want to let them build up on my scalp or roots! Enter this scalp brush, it gently stimulates and exfoliates while I shampoo for my best clean.

DPHUE | Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse - This is a newer addition to my hair routine but I've already witnessed MAJOR results. I use it once a week after shampooing and before conditioning/masking to add softness, shine and to close my cuticle. Besides apple cider vinegar, this rinse has a blend of argan oil + aloe vera to soothe and moisturize. It's also said to help prevent color wash out - though I didn't personally test product when I had my pink hair.

BRIOGEO | Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask - This mask has been a lifesaver since bleaching the under layers of my hair. I focus it mostly on the very ends before taking any leftovers and smoothing it from where my ponytail would start down. It's hydrating, strengthening and doesn't weigh on the hair!

CULT + KING | Tonik - This stuff is MAGIC! If I could gift everyone in my life a bottle of Tonik I would - it's that good! I spray it all over my scalp after getting out of the shower and let the herbal synergies and organic ingredients combine to condition my scalp and balance it's ph, leaving the most amazing, invigorating tingling sensation behind. PLUS it comes in the most gorgeous black glass bottle, and Cult + King sells separate refills for all of their products so you can reuse + reduce. 

EVOLVH | SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner - My favorite leave-in that I've ever tried! I feel like some leave in conditioners make the hair look more flat/dull in exchange for adding some softness, but this perks up my hair and makes it feel so silky. I use it right after the shower on my ends and also on dry hair (still on my ends) if I feel like I still need a little extra softening and shine.

EVOLVH | InstaVolume Volumizing Mousse - This is the product that adds the most volume to my hair during the 'wet' part of my routine. It's lightweight but with a decent hold which helps battle any frizz. I let my hair air dry a bit before smoothing this lightly over my waves and gentle scrunching it in. Sometimes I'll root-clip and let my hair completely air dry, and other times I'll use a diffuser to speed up the process. If there are any leftover crunchy bits once dry, just clap your hands together over those section to soften without flattening your curls.

CULT + KING | Jelly - This pretty pink himalayan-salt infused jelly creates volume, texture, moisture and hold. I like to scrunch a tiny bit over my mousse for extra definition.

OLAPLEX | No.6 Bond Smoother - I don't use this as often now that I use my Evolvh leave-in conditioner, but this stuff definitely works! It smooths and protects the hair and is great at eliminating frizz!

HAIRSTORY | Powder - This is another product that I would love to gift everyone in my life. Powder is a dry shampoo AND an amazing styling product that adds texture, hold and pliability without any greasy feeling. It sprays out the finest dusting of talc-free particles that absorb oil and add lift. I have tried SO MANY dry shampoos and I've found that aerosols made my hair feel dirtier and never provided any volume - plus there was always residue left behind in my dark hair and this is completely the opposite. 

KENRA PROFESSIONAL | Volume Spray 25 - An amazing hairspray to set your style. I'll first create the shape and lift that I want using Powder, and then lock it in with this spray. If you love volume - you'll love Kenra #25

SLIP | Silk Pillowcase - Changing to silk pillowcases is something I should have done YEARS ago - I always knew they were better for your hair but I didn't realize how much better that they were until I started sleeping on one. It immediately helped prevent tangles + frizz and I feel like my hair held onto it's moisture better! And bonus - sleeping on a silk pillowcase is also really gentle on your skin.

Beachwashed Luxe Waver - This is the only styling tool I've ever found that mimics my natural texture - making it the perfect tool to re-fresh any sad or flattened waves, or to add beachy texture on naturally straight hair. It's a breeze to use and it's just so pretty to look at - I always feel like a California surfer girl when I pull this out.

All of the products mentioned besides the Kenra Spray and Olaplex fall into the clean hair care family - and essentially that means no silicones, sulfates, harsh chemicals etc. Moving into the clean space for my hair products has personally helped me a lot; it's given my hair the balance it lacked and greatly extended my time between washes (a HUGE plus in my book). 

Recently I started testing a few hair oils from the conventional space (includes silicones/dimethicones) but I haven't used them long enough to decide if I like them or not:
Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil - medium viscosity
Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil - thickest viscosity

For a clean oil, I'm most interested in the Sahajan Nurture Hair Oil as I've heard the scent is divine and it doesn't leave strands greasy or weighed down like I've experienced with other hair oils in the clean space, so that may be a purchase item on the horizon! 

Other items on my hair wishlist include:
Hairstory: New Wash, Balm, Undressed, Lift
Cult + King: Style, Setspray

*some links are affiliate links and by purchasing from them directly, you help support my content 💕

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Knot Best Of Weddings 2017 Award

Nicole Marie Makeup Artistry is thrilled to announce our win in The Knot's 'Best Of Weddings 2017'! This prestigious award is only given to those performing in the top tier of the bridal market, and we are proud to say that our makeup artistry has made the cut! 

We still have a few open dates for 2017, so inquire today on our contact page! To read our reviews, make sure to visit our winning profile on!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sultry Valentine's Day Makeup with 'Adore Me' Lingerie

Valentines Day is less than a month away, and nothing makes me feel sexier than some pretty makeup and romantic lingerie! Being a huge fan of silky, satiny, lacy things, I was super excited when Adore Me reached out about a collaboration. I created this sultry makeup that is perfect for Valentine's Day and goes beautifully with five of my favorite Adore Me intimate styles. Make sure to take their fun quiz to find your perfect style and get custom curated selections, and check out their adorable bra's & panties page.

L to R: Courtney set, Daphne, Uniqula set, Brenna set

Adore Me also has a vast collection curated specifically for Valentines Day, so give it a peek here if you are on the hunt for something exceptionally sweet or spicy. 


My Top Five Picks

The Rory
I love the mesh detailing of this set, it's sexy without being super revealing, and the halter neckline is trendy and flattering. It lacks underwire which will make it super comfy to lounge in, but it's lightly padded for a streamlined look. I would also wear it as crop top under a pair of loose overalls.

The Harriet
Balconette styles have always been one of my personal favorites, and this design is a cut above the rest with beautiful scalloped panels and a delicate push-up silhouette. The delicate double straps and stitch-work ooze femininity.

The Noreh
I immediately fell in love with the rich, sultry colors of this set; the purples and burgundies made me want to curl up in a warm, fuzzy blanket to escape the winter chill. I love the how the bra's long-lined silhouette is a nod to vintage glamour, while the cut of the panties keep it modern.

The Cate
The criss-cross design of this set is extremely playful, and the peekaboo cutouts give it an extra dose of flirty-ness. The low neckline and backless nature of this bra makes it perfect to wear under your favorite party dress!

The Alessandra

I love bralettes for their comfort and subdued level of sexiness. The floral detailing of this set just adds to the innocence that the white lace suggests. Being a bit demure and coy never looked so good!

 Perfectly Sultry Makeup

1. Prime the lids to ensure long lasting color and prevent creasing, I used Benefit 'Stay Don't Stray'
2. Blend a pale orange into the crease with a fluffy brush and then deepen it with a darker burnt orange shade. I used Anastasia Beverly Hills 'orange soda' and 'sienna'.
3. Pat a bright red shade onto the lid, I used one from Inglot.
4. Lightly blend a dark purple eye shadow into the outer crease, I used one from Ben Nye.
5. Using a damp brush, pat a rose gold glitter onto the center of the lid. I used Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eyeshadow #50.
6. Draw on a cat winged liner and add mascara, I used a gel liner from Maybelline and slightly smudged the top edges.
7. Define the outer edge of the lower lashline with a berry liner, I used my smudge stick in 'deep burgundy' by Stila.
8. Take any pale shadow to create a brow highlight, effectively adding separation to the eye look.
9. Fill in the brows to complete the look, I used Too Faced BulletProof Brows in 'Universal Brunette' and Make Up For Ever Brow Seal clear gel.

Moisturizer/Primer: Sonia Roselli's Waterbalm (this stuff is amazing!)
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Aqua + Make Up For Ever Face & Body
Powder: Kett Set & Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in 'Diffused'
Blush: Nars 'Goulue'
Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil
Highlight: Laura Mercier Baked #01 + Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector 'Pearl' 

Liner: Palladio Herbal Lip Liner in 'Nearly Nude'
Lipstick: Mac 'Modesty' + "Creamcup' + 'Angel'
Gloss: Laura Mercier in 'Sparkling'

Make sure to check out Adore Me on instagram, and visit their website to take a quiz that will reveal your perfect lingerie style!

What is your favorite style for Valentine's Day?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lissete & Derek's Wedding

Lissete was a super fun bride to work with because she was filled with such charisma and joy. She requested a gold eye with lightly smoked edges and minimal bottom liner. I paired her eyes with a smooth, flawless skin application and a soft, nude-pink lip. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see all of the makeup product's used for Lisette's big day!

Bride's Makeup Details

 Mac painterly paintpot
Stila Eyes Are The Window 'Spirit' palette
Too Faced gold eye shadow
Smashbox black gel liner
Rimmel nude liner (waterline)
Ardell demi wispy false lashes

Sonia Roselli Waterbalm Moisturizer
Becca Resurfacing Primer
Illamasqua Skinbase foundation
Temptu s/b airbrush foundation
Mac Pro-Longwear concealer
Kett setting powder
Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders (Diffused & Dim)
 Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer
Nars Deep Throat blush
Laura Mercier Baked Highlight #01

Palladio Herbal Lip Liner in 'Nearly Nude'
Mac 'Modesty' & 'Creamcup' lipstick
Laura Mercier lipgloss in 'Sparkling' 


Reception & Cermony: The Waterview
Dress: Sottero and Midgley 
Hair Artist: A Touch of Color
Makeup Artist: Nicole Cudzilo
Florist: Flowers By Danielle
Cinema: MV Film Productions
DJ + Uplighting: Josh Lidsky – Mr. Music Man
Caterer: The Waterview
Photography: Hubert & Alka

Friday, January 6, 2017

Professional Makeup Artist Interview - Jennifer Toy

Jennifer Toy of JT Artistry is a makeup artist based out of San Francisco, California. She has a beautiful soft-glam style that she has graced many brides and models with. Some of her clients include Sony, Microsoft, Farmers Insurance, Sandisk, PG&E, and she has also worked with photographers and talent from Disney, Vogue, Atlantic Records, and the Golden State Warriors among others. I discovered Jennifer's work on instagram, and it is my great pleasure to share it with you now!

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

I have been a professional makeup artist for about 8 years. I started my makeup career with MAC Cosmetics as their go-to artist for special events. After 3 years with MAC, I decided to go freelance. I haven’t looked back since!

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

It all started when I was in school getting my bachelor’s degree in Business. I loved beauty blogs and watching beauty videos on Youtube. All my friends knew me as makeup obsessed! It wasn’t until I was booked for my first small wedding during college that I fell in love with the makeup process. Seeing how confident and beautiful these women felt was priceless! 

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

A: I love meeting people from all walks of life, like successful girl-bosses to teenage prom queens. It’s always fun meeting new people and hearing their stories. What other job unites people all in the name of makeup?

Q: What is your signature makeup style and what trends/looks have you been loving?
My signature makeup style would be classy-glam. Think J Lo meets Beyonce. It’s timeless and looks amazing on everyone! I have been a huge fan of bold lips and soft eyes with minimum liner and lots of lashes!

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

A: Brow pencil is my secret weapon. It not only helps you shape beautiful brows but can be doubled as a liner. I use Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil. I love multi-purpose products! Concealer is another product that is perfect for a quick makeover. My favorite is MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I use it to prime lids as well as blur imperfections on the skin.

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

One of my newest obsessions is the Tarte 'Tarlette In Bloom Palette'. It has the best neutral shades for all skin tones. It’s basically all you need for any eye shadow look. I also love the IT Cosmetics 'CC Cream' for a natural coverage with a dewy finish.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I get my inspiration from my friends. I am constantly learning from the people around me. I imagine beautiful makeup looks to go with different outfits. 

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

I have always been inspired by beauty gurus from Youtube and blogs. I started off with beauty blogging and have formed such a close bond with so many people, some of which are still my friends to this day.

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

A: Try something new. If you don’t like it, wipe it off! It’s makeup, not plastic surgery. Be open minded and don’t hate something you don’t know.

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

A: Practice, practice, practice. There is no handbook for becoming a successful artist. You need to feel confident in your craft and be versatile in all faces. Speed comes in handy when working with celebrity clients or huge bridal parties. However, don’t compromise quality for speed.

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

I wish I knew that my makeup journey would be like a roller coaster. There were times when I wanted to give up and then there were times where I was high on life. At the end of the day, I knew I was destined to do this.

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

A: I would want to create customized palettes for every kind of woman and man. It would include everything you could ever need in one palette: skin, eyes, lips, lashes, brows. How cool would that be?


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.

connecticut makeup artist

best connecticut makeup artist
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