Beauty Breakdown: Contoured Natural

The first in a series of pictures have come back from the recent shoot I did with Nadirah Bahar and Edo. I wanted to keep some of the shots as ‘natural’ as possible (we were shooting in natural lighting with no additional ‘help’ from artificial light sources, but I still wanted to emphasize Edo’s incredible bone structure with a little contour.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Opal
Becca Sheer Luminous Color Foundation in Nut
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in WT-00
(to lighten foundation color and add a bit of coverage)
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SK-13 (as contour)
MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl (highlight)
Sisley Phyto-Cernes Eclat Concealer in #3
MAC Eyeshadow in Brun (brows)
Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadow in #19 (lids)
Naimies False Lashes (#747 Small)
Chanel Lip Pencil in Nude
Lip Fusion Lip Gloss in Goddess

Beauty Breakdown: White Story

This is Polyanna.
You guys remember her from the Backstage story some posts back:
I used the new Urban Decay Naked Foundation in 4.5 and 5. Polyanna had a bit of a tan, so we had to go a little darker with the foundation to match her skin tone. Because the foundation dries to such a natural matte color, there was no need to set it with powder.
I sculpted her cheeks with Kevyn Aucoin Contour in Medium, then highlighted with Kevyn Aucoin highlighter in Candlelight.
I kept her eyes very simple with gentle contour using flesh toned and medium brown shimmer eyeshadows, and finished with just a little sweep of mascara.
On her lips, Tom Ford lipstick in Coco Ravish.
This was her basic look. Later in the shoot we got a little wild with a bright fuschia blush from Chanel, a strong red lip, and a wild orange and black lip using two OCC Liptars.
You can find out more about Polyanna’s Beauty Breakdown at

Professional Grade: AGENDA Magazine (July 2012)

The new issue is up! You guys remember the preview for the shoot (Beautiful Girls)… well here is the final shot. We’d originally set it up to have the girls shot in Red, White & Blue bikinis (summer theme), but the powers that be opted for a more ‘artistic’ interpretation, and added glasses for a hint of fashion.  Agenda is, after all, a fashion magazine.

In the Beauty Section this month:

Beauty Breakdown: What I used to get the cover look…

A Close Look at makeup by Rouge Bunny Rouge:

Did you know you needed SPF for LIPS? (I didn’t… although now it’s so obvious):

Happy Reading!

Beauty Breakdown: Polished and Red

I worked the Pop Up Show for Em & Co … for a collection of designers. Because one model was wearing multiple looks from several designers, we opted to keep her look very classic:

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #6 & #7 
(she has a bit of a tan, so we went a little darker for this look)
 Bobbi Brown Peach Color Corrector
Guerlain Meteorites in Dore
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #5  (as blush)
Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Espresso (brows)
MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study (all over)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Underground (lashline and under waterline)
Chanel Eye Pencil in Rose Platine (waterline)
Naimies False Lashes
YSL Faux Cils Mascara in #1
(layered for lasting power)

Beaute Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
Laura Mercier Lipstick in Bing Cherry

**The model’s lipstick did NOT MOVE the entire night. The Beaute stain was the perfect base to keep the color locked in. That, combined with the pencil and lipstick, and she had the perfect red pout with serious lasting power. No touch up needed.**

Beauty Breakdown: Green Eyed Girl

You guys remember this picture:

I promised to do a Beauty Breakdown for the look. But I wanted to be thorough. So instead of just words, I photographed (almost) all the products that I used so you can get a comprehensive idea of the look.

From the left: 
NARS Cream Shadow in Nomad
Illamasqua Pigment in Ore
RMK Eyeshadow in Metallic Green
NARS Eyeshadow in Night Porter
Armani Waterproof Eye Pencil in Green Leaf
Rock & Republic Blush in All Nighter
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Toundra
MUFE Lip Gloss in D16
Jemma Kidd Makeup School Illuminator in Rose Gold
I started by dusting Illamasqua Pigment in ORE from lashline to brow with a loose fluffy brush, just to give her eye some overall illumination.
Then I added Nars Cream Shadow in NOMAD with a concealer brush, just on the lids, up to the socket bone.
I blended Nars Eyeshadow in NIGHT PORTER over the cream shadow (using a medium eyeshadow brush) and up just past the crease. Most of the Nars ‘night series’ is black based color. In order to get the actual color (in this case, green) to show up, it’s best to put a complimentary cream base under it. You can use gold or pale green or (in my case) olive green. The colors in the shadow will pick it up and intensify the overall effect.
If you notice in the picture, the actual ‘green’ color graduates to a deep green… almost black. That’s the Night Porter shadow turning black when it comes in contact with the Illamasqua pigment and her skin. As long as it’s on top of Nomad, it will maintain a greenish hue.

Using a small detail brush, I blended RMK Eyeshadow in METALLIC GREEN into the inner corners of her eye, and under the waterline. 
Then I applied Armani Waterproof Eye Pencil in GREEN LEAF to her waterline. Since I work on multiple clients, I always sharpen and sanitize eye and lip pencils between uses. So that way, each person gets a ‘fresh’ application. No germy transfer.

**Her eyelashes are done with Naimies false lashes, cut into pieces to fit on her lashline. I don’t have anymore (time to go shopping!) to photograph, so I’ll just make a note of it**
On her cheeks, I applied Rock & Republic Blush in ALL NIGHTER and blended the color back into her hairline. This is a strong shimmer orange, but it shows up a flushed peach color on the model’s rich skintone. It was the perfect complement for her strong eyes.

As a highlight, I used Jemma Kidd Makeup School Illuminator in ROSE GOLD. I just dabbed it along the top of her cheekbones using my finger.
I lined her lips with Nars Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in TOUNDRA. This is another example of a strong color coming out much more muted on richer skintones. Montinique’s skintone picked up the gold shimmer in this traditional burgundy color, and turned it into a bronze.
On top of that, I applied a coat of Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D18, using a standard lip brush.
That’s it! Montinique arrived with her own foundation already on. I did go under her eyes with a bit of Bobbi Brown concealer just to even out everything. I also ran a dark brown eyeshadow through her brows.

Hope this was helpful to you guys. Ciao for now!

Professional Grade: Beauty Breakdown from Celebrity MUA Saisha Beecham

-You recently did makeup for actress Nia Long for her March appearance on The View. How did you get this look?

Beecham: I knew that Nia would be wearing a coral-colored Rachel Roy dress, so I wanted give her a subtle peachy/coral look.
Nia did her normal moisturizing regimen before we began and I followed it with the Smashbox Targeted Pore & Line Primer. This product is amazing before foundation and gave her a smooth canvas for me to apply the foundation. I followed that with Bobbi Brown- Creamy Concealer in Golden. This concealer really opened her eyes and helped with her bright youthful look.

For her eyes, I covered her lids with Smashbox Flamingo Eye Shadow. This really opened her sexy slender eyes and was a great compliment to her dress. For the crease of her eye, I actually used the Smashbox Contour Palette in Bronze. I also glided it underneath her bottom lash line. I covered her upper lash line with Smashbox Cream eyeliner in Caviar using a small angled brush. This was followed with a coat of Smashbox Bionic Mascara in Jet Black to top and bottom lashes to add that “sexy” to her naturally beautiful stare.

For the apples of her cheeks I used Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Calypso Coral… applied with a flat foundation brush. This helped us achieve our peachy/coral look that we discussed. The creamy sheen kept her dewy and fresh. Of course I had to add our regular highlight to her cheekbones by dusting on the NYX Ultimate Pearl Loose Powder Eye Shadow in Yellow Gold. This was the “glow” that everyone was asking about.

Lastly, we finished her lips off with a series of layers. First covering her entire lip with Smashbox- Double Take Lip Color Pencil/ Amaretto. Followed by Smashbox Photo Finish Lipstick in Alluring and finished with Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss in Endless Kiss. These layers gave a powerful pop to her lips that would last through all the talking she would be doing when interviewing guests on the show.

Beauty Breakdown: Soft Nude

I got my special request ‘beauty’ shot from a photographer from my last shoot:

Bobbi Brown Foundation in Ivory
Bobbi Brown Color Corrector in Porcelain Bisque (under eyes)
Bobby Brown Concealer in Porcelain (under eyes/around mouth)
MAC Blush in Peaches
Bobbi Brown Stonewashed Nudes Palette:
Navajo (lashline to brow)
Ash (lashline/waterline)
Rock (crease)
Naimies False Lashes
Chanel Lipstick in Patchouli (used as a liner)
Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Peche

When the photographer first set the model up for shooting, I begged him to take a ‘commercial’ beauty shot for me. He was kind enough to comply. On most jobs, you just do what the photographer or beauty director asks. Unless you’re doing a straight TFP (trade for pictures/no monetary compensation), you have little to no control over the kind of photography that’ll take place. But if you make nice with the photographer, sometimes you get to have your way.

Beauty Breakdown: Purple & Orange

One of my favorite things is to mix unexpected colors. My favorite combination is purple and orange… especially on brown skin. 
Model: Crystal
Photographer: Peter Michaelena
I did this look about 3 months ago. It’s one of my favorites because I was honestly just going by touch… without a real plan. I’m really happy (and relieved) that it came out so beautiful. 
Here’s what I used:
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in #173 + #180
Bobbi Brown Concealer in Golden
Make Up Forever HD Powder
Rock & Republic Blush in Immoral
Rock & Republic Eyeshadow in Scorch
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #92
Illamasqua False Lashes
MAC Lip Pencil in Temperature Rising
Rock & Republic Lipgloss in Hot Sauce

Beauty Breakdown: Pretty in Pink

I love a makeup adventure. No lines, no rules… just color:
Model: Francesca
Photographer: Chuck Salisbury (Choice Exposure)

Fortunately, Francesca was in the mood for whatever color(s) I wanted to toss her way… 
Chanel Mat Lumiere in Cedar 
Rock & Republic Blush in Kinky
Rock & Republic eyeshadow in Paranoid
Sugarpill Chromalust loose shadow in Magentric
Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Deviant
Sugarpill False Lashes
OCC Liptar in Anime
OCC Liptar in Fondue

Beauty Breakdown: Pale Skin, Soft Color

I’m getting better at working with the palest of pale skin…
This is Holly.
Holly has some of the coolest undertones that I’ve ever come across. Her skin was delicate and blemish free  and really thin. You could easily see blue veins just under the surface of her skin. I swatched a bit of color on her jaw and wiped it off… and it turned BRIGHT RED. Needless to say, I had to use a very soft touch. I blended ‘up’ Bobbi Brown’s Natural (which is quite pale, despite the name) with a bit of color corrector, then layered it to get her perfect finish, especially around her eyes.
Here’s the Breakdown:
Bobbi Brown Stick foundation in Natural (blended ‘up’ with white mix and layered with peach color corrector)
Illamasqua Blush in Nymph
MAC eyeshadow in All Races (lashline to brow)
MAC eyeshadow in Gesso (inner corner and brow highlight)
Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Heather (lid)
MAC False Lashes
NARS Lip Pencil in Rosebud
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Stunt
Now, shockingly… Stunt works well on Holly’s pale skin. I thought it might be a bit warm for her, but it adjusted and went cool as soon as I put it on. Incidentally, I also used it on a brown-skinned model, and it looked just as flattering. I think this warrants a definite KUDOS to Chanel. Stunt is truly a universal color.
In fact, it may warrant a repeat purchase…