Winding Down…

An unexpected gig doing makeup for the Emmy’s had me on my feet most of the day…
I’m happy to be home, burning a Himalayan Salt candle to help me wind all the way down.
And funnily enough, I’m actually watching the Emmy’s.
Bear with me, I’d like a little time to reflect. I was honored to make up the faces of several delightful women today. They were all smiles and grace, and honestly made my job so much easier than an event makeover would typically be. We parted happily with waves and air kisses (can’t mess up that lipstick!); I believe they loved their reflections… and that made me happy.
I left them with a Dior Addict Gloss in Red Stockings, an Armani Gloss in #5, and a YSL mascara in patent black…
And hopefully, I left them feeling as glamorous as they wished to be this night. 

UPDATE:
One of the ladies contacted me to let me know that the makeup wore FABULOUSLY! She even had a few questions about where to get some of the items I used on her (I was sure to take the time to let her know about everything that went on her face, during the session). She’d also like a private makeup lesson. YAYYY!!!

Rain Of Flowers

MAC’s new Nail Trend collection features a rather distinct purple… called Rain of Flowers. It’s stunning. A warm purple shot though with a blue shimmer… it really exceeds my expectations:

I’ve said it before: I never met a purple that I didn’t like. This time is no different. It may do for me to pick up a second bottle of this polish. It’s really that beautiful. MAC has a hard time with purples in my opinion. With the exception of the polishes (Illegal Purple and Rain of Flowers), I tend to steer clear of the brand when I’m in search of a good purple or aubergine. If I had one wish, it would be that their accuracy of hue with the polishes, one day make it to the eyeshadows. Then, I’d truly be a happy MUA.

Lashing out.. in Color

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve long associated colored mascaras with the opulence of the ’80’s. Like minks dyed the most obnoxious shade of fuschia, they’ve always seemed to me an indulgence without a truly satisfying reward. Add to that the rather disappointing color payoff for women of color… and well, I’ve been known to pass on them more often than not.
Recently, in an attempt to evolve past my own prejudice… I tried one on for size:
If you’re going to get a colored mascara, you might as well reach for the stars. This is YSL’s Faux Cils in #6 (Deep Night). They make a brighter blue version, but umm… baby steps here, okay?
Here’s what I found…
Alone, the mascara disappears on me and looks more of an ashy grey than an actual blue. With the help of a little eyeliner (Stila Smudgepot in Cobalt) above the lashline and (MAC Smolder) on the waterline, the color shows up a lot more. I also found that the color intensifies with one coat of black mascara at the base of the lashes.
The verdict:
For me, colored mascaras in shades like this are still a matter of personal preference. They’re not better or worse than their black counterparts, and I find that they serve no real purpose for me (I can use colored falsies) in terms of doing work on clients.
In all honesty, since acquiring the mascara, I’ve used it a handful of times. YSL also makes one in burgundy (#5) which I like a LOT more. I think it’s more flattering for women of color, and it adds a nice dimension on paler complexions.
So perhaps I’ve evolved just a bit. Blue mascara is still a no, but burgundy is just interesting enough to keep around.
Here’s to changing minds… one color at a time.

Professional Grade: Smokey & Nude

Here’s a rather rough draft of a ‘look’ that I did for a fashion show this week:

FACE:
Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation in Natural
Chanel Bronze Universal
Tarte Glam Gams Bronzing Gel (on apples of cheeks)
EYES:
MUFE Aqua Cream in #13
MUFE Aqua Black (on and under lashline)
Guerlain Eye Pencil in 01 (Gold)
Naimies False Lashes (#747)
LIPS: 
OCC Liptar in Petty Beige
Sugarpill Goldilux Loose Eyeshadow
Another MUA and I had eight models and two hours to get it done. With multiple changes and no real direction for the look, we figured this was the quickest way to get the most ‘glamourous’ look with little to no drama. I managed to get five girls done before the designer called TIME and we had to line them up for the show. 
Incidentally, the actual show went off without a hitch and the girls looked beautiful!
Official pictures to come.

Beauty Breakdown: Headshot

Sometimes I feel like in principle, headshot makeup is like wedding day makeup: It should be you, on your best day. The makeup should not overwhelm your entire look (head to toe); instead, it should complement it in an almost unnoticable way. Naturally, dramatic/unusual looks for brides and specialty headshots are the exception.
With that principle in mind, I set out to do makeup for a local television reporter, for her outdoor headshots. Here’s what I used:
She came with her own foundation already on, so I worked with what she had (MAC Studio Tech)
Face:
MUFE HD Powder
Illamasqua Blush in Expose
Eyes:
Dior Cream Eyeshadow in Beige
Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow in Tusk
Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow in Blush
MAC Eyeshadow in Sorcery (blended along the lashline)
Naimies False Lashes
MAC Studio Fix Mascara
Lips:
MAC Lip Pencil in Mouth Off
OCC Lip Tar in Melange

A little perspective…

Sometimes the right shot makes all the difference in the world…

Now THIS is what I had in mind when I did the makeup. My fault for not really taking the time to match the clothing with the look. Up close, she looks beautiful.  But when paired with the very casual outfit, it just didn’t work for me (or the photographer). We’re going to give it another shot.
I like this picture though. The framing really shows what I was after. So THANK YOU to the photographer (Bryan) for helping to provide a little perspective.

For my Baby Sister: MAUVEMENT

MAC’s new Fabulous Felines Collection boasts one MUST HAVE: Mauvement Pigment.

The other colors are lovely (GoldStroke and Old Gold are noteworthy) but mauvement really stands out.
My baby sister was interested in the pigment, but concerned that the taupe shimmer would go ashy on brown skin. Not the case! Observe:

The color is actually a cross between mauve and taupe. Typically, these colors go ‘cool’ and tend to ash out on brown skin. But MAC shot this particular pigment through with healthy dose of gold. So it goes on like this:

Not bad, right? This is what it looks like in the container:
Here you go baby sis! I hope this helps. Like I said, the rest of the collection is nice, but certainly not in ‘rush out and buy’ fashion. This is the only pigment that really stood out to me, so it’s the one that became part of my makeup collection.

Take it off… naturally.

A recent trip to Space NK netted these cleansing cloths from across the pond…

Rodial ‘Glam Balm Wipes.’ They claim to remove makeup gently but completely. Primary ingredients are Water, Chamomile, Vitamin E and Glycerin. Sounds pretty gentle. But effective? Let’s see…

They’re standard size.

Top: MUFE Aqua Cream (waterproof. sets in 30 seconds)
Dior Forever Foundation (full coverage)
MAC Paint Pot

One Swipe…

The Aqua Cream is hanging in there a bit… will likely take more than one swipe to get it off. But the Paint Pot is GONE.. as is the foundation with no residue.

One more swipe…

Nicely done!

Then I just took the cloth and cleaned off the rest:

There’s no residue left behind. Normally, when I use a wipe, I follow up INSTANTLY with a cleanser because I don’t like the way my skin feels. But this left my face feeling refreshed, and it didn’t dry out. I went back over my arm with dry tissue and it came up clean.
I’d say, for what it’s worth, these wipes do precisely what they promise: remove makeup gently and completely… without heavy reliance on chemical additives and preservatives to get the job done.
Your skin will thank you.
I know mine did.

Sugar Addict…

More goodies from Sugarpill…

I decided to have a go at her false lashes:

Here’s the thing: they look and wear A LOT like MUFE lashes. In fact, these simply look like the black version of my favorite blue lashes from MUFE (featured on two models on this blog). But the thing is, these lashes are cheaper retail, than the MUFE lashes are with a professional discount. Hmmm…

I slapped them on without the help of glue (this is just the adhesive from the package). They stayed long enough to take the picture, and came off with no problem. Despite their size, they’re very light and easy to wear. Kudos to Shrinkle for getting this right! 
I also got a couple more loose eyeshadows:

Decora (right) and Hysteric (left). Both colors are shot through with teal, which makes them very unique. The color isn’t picking up on camera (it’s actually very subtle in person) but it’s there. I like both of them together, and separately. I’m pretty sure at this point, I’ll have to confess to a full sugar addiction… lol. SugarPill is awesome. Period.