Meeting My Peeps

Yesterday, I got called to a Colorescience event. I wasn’t even sure I was going to go, but then I researched the company and decided to check them out. This is one of those times when you’re glad you got off your ass and went out to see the sun. While I was there, I met some of the most amazing women… and I realized how much I’ve been missing talking to ACTUAL colleagues in my profession who regularly move and work in an adult space without cameras or constant digital validation.

It was EVERYTHING.

mood

It started when I sidled up to a group of women who were being educated by a member of the Colorescience team. They welcomed me in… and the next thing you know we were screaming about the difference between contour as correction and spending an hour on fotd mood 4‘cake face’ just to go to the gas station. What a burst of FRESH AIR to talk to women who understand exactly why I  twisted my lips at Tilbury’s Legendary Mascara because of claims vs. actual performance (did I ever talk to y’all about how it smudges all to be damned on the lower lash line after about 4 hours?) and how hard it is to trust ANY of these so-called pros on the internet. Y’all thought I was mad about IMATS? None of them even went to PHAME because they were not up for the bullshit. They’re like: most of that stuff gets sent to the productions we work on or we can get it any time we need from the pro stores. Who wants to be in 100 degree heat on PURPOSE because the convention is made up of more Youtube fans than actual professionals? Imagine how much I sparkled when one of the artists said the EXACT SAME THING about the lack of hair education or products at a convention that was also supposed to cater to hair stylists…

Another woman sidled up to us when she heard me talking about teaching yoga to dancers (former dancer herself) and we welcomed her in and suddenly she was sharing the BEST fotd mood 5stories…

How amazing to talk about the VALUE of interacting with human beings in a human space, instead of on a consistent digital platform. One lady told me that a girl reached out to intern with her. But it was actually the girl’s (NOT A GIRL. Actual age: 27) mother who contacted her, after googling this artist’s name. When the artist specified that the girl HERSELF would need to make the request and show some interest in getting the job… *crickets. Her point was that these very LARGE digital personalities tend to shrink in real world environments that don’t directly impact their celebrity. Being a professional mua has a crap ton of perks, but it also involves knowledge, a fluid personality, and actual WORK. We talk to somebody who knows somebody who needs somebody and BAM! Pirates of the Caribbean (real story). You treat everyone with kindness because the asshole who declared himself Key (like… wtf) and tried to drive you absolutely insane with his ‘vision’ at a random fashion show is now fotd mood 1asking you for a job (another real story). We got to talking about joint issues from standing for a billion hours or working in ridiculous environments (I SCREAMED when one artist with the best name in the world talked about doing makeup for a celebrity client in the bathroom of a club with a precision light strapped to her forehead… real world mua problems y’all). I told them that people tend to know me by by head scarf, and one girl was like I NEED ONE! She is wearing wigs because she can’t be bothered. Worked with RuPaul on a new show and was like ‘well at least I can wear my wigs here and no one will give a damn.’ Doing professional makeup is NOT about THE MAKEUP ARTIST. It’s about the client and about the art. And we all agreed that so much of that seems to be lost with this new crop of self-declared pros. Between talking about skin issues, color theory, the art of contour as correction vs. necessity, and how celebrities of a certain caliber want the camera to see their FACE, not their makeup… we hit all the high points.

I meant to stay for 45 minutes. 2 1/2 hours later I looked up and realized just how much fun I was having. What a wonderful and priceless experience. MY PEEPS Y’ALL! My peeps. The Colorscience people left and we were still huddled in a circle laughing and high-fiving each other.

We all agreed that digital platforms have so much value and are not to be dismissed, but when people are using it to hijack an actual profession, members of that profession are bound to speak about it. We love that you’ve learned to do makeup on yourself. We love that you’re excited about it and want to share. We don’t love when you interrupt a show or a lesson about tricking the camera or the naked eye with shadows and light, because you don’t understand why the extremely qualified Educator has not used contour on his model (a real story). We don’t love when you introduce yourself based on your channel/instagram/snapchat and lead with how many followers you have (another real story). We don’t care. Can you show up on time, do the work, and not bother people with your drama? Do you play well with others? Can you pivot when the situation calls for it?

We spent damn near an hour talking about the pivot. It’s a very real thing.

I confessed that I was not on Snapchat and one of them was like… OH YOU MUST! She showed me hers and another artist confessed that she learned how to use it from a toddler who was in her chair one day. The valet guy showed me how to use it and showed me all the fun stuff while we were waiting for our cars. We laughed and clapped and hugged and exchanged numbers. I even promised to do pizza at one of our favorite local joints (turns out that three of them live right near me).

What a HAPPY PLACE to be in. I got home, ate my weight in spicy noodles, discovered a face demon/cystic pimple on my chin (and promptly slapped Oatmeal & Peppermint and Juno on it), and went to bed.

Good times.

*this morning the face demon is significantly smaller. small miracles people… small miracles.*

 

BeautyCon (Industry Night)

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the lateness of post… I’ve been under the weather for the better part of last week and today. So I’m slowly coming back to normal.

On Thursday, I packed up and headed over to Playa Vista to the Youtube Building, for BeautyCon Industry Night. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since I’m basically a ghost on Youtube (I really need to do better), I wasn’t sure if this event would be more than maybe a few ‘gurus’ meeting up to say hi.

Turns out, it was a whole lot more.

The Youtube Space is  impressive. Before the event, I went on a ‘media tour’ and learned that there is so much more to Youtube than meets the eye.

The BeautyCon event began with a ‘panel’ of popular Youtube personalities, including Elle & Blair, and Kandee Johnson.

I did appreciate that the overall message from this panel was DO THE WORK. They were very clear that Youtube popularity… even if it happens quickly… cannot be maintained without some effort on the part of the ‘guru.’

They also spoke about the dangers of telling or showing ‘too much’ — and the importance of maintaining some distance between their personal and professional lives.

The second panel was more my speed, with a perceptively grounded group of women, including Mandana Dayani  (VP of Rachel Zoe Inc.) and Bare Essentials founder Leslie Blodgett… whose advice particularly resonated with me. I found the second panel more about work ethic, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and building a team to make your dreams a reality. It was very informative, and very practical. I was quite impressed.

I spent the evening with fellow blogger and overall extraordinary human being Lily Seymour. Truly, she was so gracious and sweet… even dealing with the fact that I hadn’t eaten since 11am (we met at 7pm) and likely didn’t have the most inviting … breath. Yeah, I said it. I’m aware. A painful reminder to bring breath mints. SMH. I should know better.

Overall, I found the BeautyCon industry event informative, and lots of fun. I certainly felt like I left with some good advice… and a bit of knowledge to boot.

FOTD: BeautyCon

I covered BeautyCon last night for work (Agenda), and honestly didn’t expect it to be as awesome as it turned out to be. I learned a lot, and have to say… overall I was impressed with the quality of people there. I also met the awesome Miss Lily Seymour… more on that later.

Here’s what I did with my makeup:

FACE
Chanel Les Beiges (#20 and #30)
NARS Radiant Concealer in Ginger
Laura Mercier Blush in Violet Orchid
EYES
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in Silver Chaffer lids)
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in Scarab Violetta (crease)
MAC fluidline in Blacktrack (lashline)
MAC Eye Pencil in Designer Purple (waterline)
Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara
LIPS
MAC Lipstick in RiRi Boy
*My skin is looking a little rough… hormones. Yuck. I should be right as rain within a week or so. 🙂 My brows could use a bit of work too. I’m working on it ya’ll.*

FOTD: Soft Pink & Gold

This was a quick look with blusher doing double duty as eyeshadow to help things along…

MAC Face & Body (C 6)
Bobbi Brown Pressed Powder (Golden Orange)
Laura Mercier Blush (Violet Orchid)
EYES
Laura Mercier Blush in Violet Orchid (inner lid/under waterline)
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Baroque (center lid)
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in Lust Red (outer lid/under waterline)
Mac Eye Pencil in Smolder (waterline)
Clinique High Impact Mascara
LIPS
Lipstick Queen Lip Gloss in Creation

(Lots Of) Lip Service: Ardency Inn and Laura Mercier

Okay, this is a long one… so strap in!

Instead of breaking this up into two different posts, I decided to combine them. These are my new two favorite lippies. I love them for unique presentation, ease of use, and … for the moment … lack of competition.

I’ll start with Ardency Inn.

The ‘punk’ inspired makeup line features the classic items needed for the perfect punk look: smoked out eyes and natural lips. Ardency Inn features a cozy range of lip pencils, for the perfect nude for any skin tone. My color is Essex… which is a bit of a rusty brown color:

It looks more warm than ‘nude’ on me, but I found that it perfectly compliments my skin tone. The color above (Houston) is a bit too light, and tends to go a little ashy on me.

Essex is a perfect match for my skin tone. It is so moisturizing. You can apply it directly on dry lips, and it moisturizes them beautifully. The color is so flattering that you don’t need a mirror or perfect lighting to put it on. I do believe that’s the point… as most ‘rocker’ looks tend to be on the effortless side. I absolutely love how easy it is to use this pencil. And there’s no sharpening required; simply twist the bottom of the pencil to roll up more product. Easy… effortless… love.

Laura Mercier came out with a ‘weightless’ lip color that actually works. Most weightless colors tend to leave my lips on the dry side… and when I found out that these formulas were ‘wax free’ — I was even more concerned. Pure pigments that don’t leave your lips feeling like you’ve been rubbing sand on them… I had to find out more.

What really made me fall in love was the ‘sheer’ nature of some of the lip colors, despite their rather daunting bullet colors. I just HAD to have the color in ‘Sin’ — which looks black-based purple… but swatches closer to berry.

I was so surprised by this lip color. I love it. It’s very sheer, so it wears more like a lip gloss, and it is indeed truly weightless. You can’t exactly put this one on in the dark, but you don’t have to really pay attention to application to get it perfect. Like Ardency Inn, this lip color leans toward an overall effortless looks and feel.

Both of them are getting lots of love these days. You can find both lovely lippies at Sephora.

FOTD: Marc Jacobs

Now, before I get on with the business of the FOTD, let me give a closer look at the products I used. I finally got to dig into the Marc Jacobs Foundation and I have to say that so far… I’m a fan. The super thin formula is best applied for me  using fingers. I find that the brush ate a lot of product, and I did a better job of ‘massaging the formula’ (it tends to bond to the skin like MAC Face & Body) into my skin.

My color is Cocoa Light. I strongly suggest you try these foundations in person before committing because the range is … interesting. Beige looks more like ‘grey’ — but then swatches an actual beige in real life. Golden (which you’d think would be my color range) is more like Golden Beige… even the darkest shade (which is confusingly ‘golden medium’ , NOT ‘golden dark’. I tested this theory multiple times and Golden Medium is definitely richer in color and slightly darker than Golden Dark). Cocoa initially looked to me to be a flat ‘brown’ variation, but I found that under stronger lights (camera flash… or outdoors in sunlight) it magically picked out my yellow undertones nicely.

I’ll give the flash on the camera credit for picking up that warmth. In weak light… the color looked very flat and a dullish  brown to me.

As you can see, the formula is very thin. It goes on sheer, but can be built to a medium coverage. This formula is FANTASTIC on my oily skin. I’m not so sure this will work as well on drier skin types. The ‘gel’ formula literally absorbs oil on my face. I was really surprised at this. It reminds me of the Urban Decay Naked Foundation… with more of a ‘skin-like’ finish. UD went matte on me, and really made my skin dry (which is so weird, considering how oily I am). This absorbs oil, but wears weightlessly.
For this FOTD, I also used the concealer pen in 00, and the ‘invisible’ brow tamer.

The pen is ‘click action’ , to dispense as little or as much product as you need. The formula is very dense; I found that ‘half’ a click (without fully depressing the clicker at the bottom) was plenty of product for both eyes.

Number 00 is a perfectly balanced neutral yellow tone. At first I thought it would be too ‘ashy’ — but it warms up if you use the smallest amount of product. A little bit goes a very long way.

 The interesting thing about the brow tamer is the brush. The bristles are dense and clumped together, not separated as you’d find with a typical brow (or mascara) product. This feature dispenses more product in the smallest places, and combs through every single hair. However, I would not recommend this product for people with sparse or thinner shaped brows because I noticed that the density of the brush means there is no ‘illusion’ of building thicker brows with this product. It does not lift and separate the brow hairs as say… the Anastasia version would.
See how dense that brush is?
Now, to the FOTD:
FACE
Marc Jacobs ‘Genius Gel’ Super Charged Foundation (Cocoa Light)
Marc Jacobs ‘Remedy’ Concealer Pen (Stand Corrected)
Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer (Invisible)
Bobbi Brown Pressed Powder (Golden Orange)
MAC Blush (Barefaced)
EYES
Sauce Box ‘Creme de la Creme’ Palette:
Shimmer Taupe on lids
Black on outer lashline and under waterline
Guerlain Kohl Me Kajal on waterline and tightline
Volume de Chanel Mascara
LIPS
Ardency Inn Natural Color Lip Pencil (Essex)
*Marc Jacobs products provided as pr samples

Eye Adore: Chanel Single Eyeshadow (Gri Gri)

The single shadow in Gri Gri is one of my favorites from the new Chanel Superstition Collection. The neutral mauve shimmer is flattering on a wide range of skin tones. I’ve heard some people describe it as taupe, but I definitely get more of a mauve from this finish. It tends to pull more purple than brown… which would be a more accurate description of taupe.

Gri Gri is likely dupeable, but I instantly fell in love with the texture and finish of this shadow. I also love that I can layer it over or under another creme or powder formula, to increase the intensity. I did a smoky eye on a client with Gri Gri and matte black… and it came out stunning.

The swatch is a single pass using just my finger. One of the cool things about this color is that you can vary intensity with brush density or size. I’ve been having a ball playing with different ways to wear this color.

You can find out more about Chanel Single Eyeshadow in Gri Gri HERE.

Eye Adore: Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows (Autumn 2013)

I’ve been trying to wait for the entire collection to review these, but the last two are taking their sweet time getting to me, so I’ll show you what I have so far. The Kaledescope Collection looks a lot more like Spring to me… but it seems the way of things of late (I recall a Chanel Spring Collection that looked better suited to Autumn, so there ya go).

I have four of the six (?) Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows. They remain my favorite ‘cream’ formulation, far surpassing formulas from Chanel, Lancome, and the like. Even Shiseido can’t hold a candle to these formulas. I also got the new Rouge d’ Armani lipstick in 300 (which remains my ever favorite shade from Armani). I have the sheer version in 300. But the Rouge d’ Armani formula (with a proven 9 hours of wear on these lips of mine) makes it so much better.

From the Left:
Rose Popilla
June Beetle
#300 (lipstick)
Scarab Violetta
Silver Chaffer
I’ll start with the lipstick:
Same fantastic formula as all of the other Rouge d’ Armani lipsticks. It really grabs the lips and holds on beautifully.
Rose Popilla:
June Beetle:
Scarab Violetta:
Silver Chaffer:

I’m missing Gold Hercule (which is coming in the post), and some mystery gold color that someone sent a picture of… I’m not sure what it is. Like all Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows, these best respond to application with fingers. I love to use my fingers to apply, and a soft brush to blend them out as needed. I swatched one layer with my fingers. You can layer these colors for a deeper result… and layer them over or under powder shadows for all manner of variations.

I love them… I do wish the colors had been a little deeper for Autumn, but overall they are completely gorgeous.
You can find out more about Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows HERE.

Flawless Finish: Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

Foundation Type: Cream
Skin Type: Normal/Combination
Coverage: Sheer to Medium
Finish: Skin-like NARS released a ‘cream compact’ foundation that initially had me looking at them like… no. What for? My oily skin has never met a cream foundation that it loved. Typically, I’ve found that they work on drier skin types. But I decided to take a closer look at them anyway.

One of the things that immediately made me happy was the color range. With the exception of maybe one (two?) colors, the range mimics that of the Sheer Glow Foundation range. There literally is a color for just about every skin tone, and undertone. Like Sheer Glow, I’m the color Tahoe.
The compact foundation comes separate from the holder (which you have to purchase for an additional $10). The idea is that you can change the foundation compacts out at your leisure. So technically, you’ll only pay for the holder once and just buy your replacement compacts as you need them.
The replacement compacts come with a sponge… which I will likely never use.
Now, it turns out this is a helluva formula. Oily skin is no challenge for this foundation, which goes on smooth, like a cream. It sets in about 15 seconds. It really holds up. Oily skin, humidity, sweat… this stuff holds up to all of it. I was really surprised. It’s such a ‘light’ formula… not like typical cream formulas at all. It’s weightless. This is a sheer to medium coverage. I found that one layer is pretty sheer… but you can build it to medium.
Really awesome foundation. Color me impressed. I didn’t expect to love this foundation, but I do. It’s simple to use (I prefer fingers, even to a foundation brush), sets beautifully, and wears weightlessly. I find the finish of this foundation very ‘natural.’ Even with medium coverage (it has to be layered to get that level of coverage), the finish looks like ‘skin’ — not overly  made up.It is imperative that you match your undertones with this foundation (if you’re familiar with NARS Sheer Glow, use that as a guide), to get the absolutely perfect finish. I was so impressed that Tahoe literally matches my skin, and gives me the ‘radiance’ of freshly cleaned and moisturized skin. It looks gorgeous on.

I just wish they’d done away with that horrid sponge. Just a petri dish of grossness waiting to happen. Never using that thing.

You can find out more about NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation HERE.

Lip Service: MARC JACOBS Lip Gel in Seduce Me

Designer Marc Jacobs is collaborating with Sephora to release a full line of makeup. From brow gel to concealer to lipsticks, the line covers almost every aspect of making up — from start to finish. Jacobs says he was inspired to start playing with ‘color’ (his runway models have been traditionally ‘plain faced’ until recently), while working with Francios Nars.

One of the more interesting additions to the line is a ‘Lip Gel’ – which had me a bit confused at first. It looks like a lipstick (comes in a traditional lipstick tube, with a bullet reminiscent of a pair of Marc Jacobs pumps that I sported about 15 years ago). So I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

I have the color in ‘Seduce Me’ (the entire Marc Jacobs line features cheeky names… much in the spirit of NARS or OPI), which is a soft berry color.

Now, here’s why they call it a lip gel. You know those ‘jelly’ finishes you get from some nail polishes and lip glosses? This is a more ‘solid’ version of that finish. This lipstick is highly pigmented and moisturizing, and leaves a jelly like finish on the skin.

The formula is extremely comfortable on the lips. I put this lipstick on dry (nearly chapped) lips, and it plumped them up beautifully. Without makeup remover, this lipstick will leave a bit of a stain. I used makeup remover to get it off completely.

Marc Jacobs Beauty will be available August 9th, at Sephora and on sephora.com. You can preview the line HERE.

*pr sample