PHAME: The Haul

Quick shots of what came home with me (sans the shirts. I’m keeping those private ’cause it’s Saturday and I just feel like it).


I did say I was not interested in eyeshadows. HOWEVER, the Nubian 2 Palette got me! Such pigmentation, and the names are just DARLING. I had to.

I already confessed about the Makeup Geek blushes. I no longer wish to talk about it. NOPE! Not the Makeup Geek palette either +4 (which is empty and thankfully magnetic. Thank you Marlena for thinking like a professional, unlike damn Troy Surrat. I’m still not over that idiotic palette).

Organic makeup brush cleaner. I have to try it. I have to. I’ll let you know if it works. I’m keeping that flannel for my face. Too cute to wipe brushes on.

Velvet 59 is quaint, but not tacky in a Benefit kinda way. I like it. I like those colors, the lip velvet doesn’t dry out my lips, the gloss is mad pigmented, and the flesh tones (on my skin) just called to me.

I HAD to support Miss Casanova! Wasn’t even a question.

Swatches at a later date. Ciao for now!

PHAME: In Pictures

Edica Casanova is a colleague (we did the Capo Nata Lookbook together) and an all around amazing human! She was selling her makeup brush cleaner and I snapped up a bottle (in PINK) plus her brush cleaning pot!

Products off the makeup beaten path. I’ve seen Sauce Box before. Nice to know they’re still going strong. ❤

Products. I was a good girl this year and skipped anything that I can get any other time, and anything that wasn’t truly interesting or move me in some way.

Consider me MOVED by Makeup Geek Blushes! I avoided most eyeshadows like the plague, and these were no exception. But the blushes are insane. INSANE. I started out with 2, grew to 6, then 10, then SCREWITGIVEMEALLOFTHEM. The SA’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. Yeah, I said it. All of them. Show prices, within budget, and I’m not paying for them once they get in the packaging and are sold as singles. I’m good with pro pans at pro prices. Yep.



Consider me BOWLED OVER by Crimes of Beauty! The quality of these shirts is soo good. The owner, Whitney (pictured), says she’s a stickler for quality. She’s not lying. I need to bribe her for a pair of tights (they’re not available until she can recalibrate costs) because the shirts are EVERYTHING. And they speak to every makeup lover. I’ll let you just guess which ones came home with me…




PHAME: Day 1

Whew I am TIRED! I have to be getting old because I wasn’t even at PHAME that long today IMG_1981and I feel like I’ve been there since 7am! Trifling.

That’s the face ya’ll: MAC Face & Body in C6, Tom Ford Bronze Age, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, Make Up For Ever felt liner, Urban Decay Pencil in Zero, Armani Black Ecstasy Mascara, and OCC RTW Lip Tars in Artifact and Hollywood. I’m super shiny because I sprayed with MUFE Mist + Fix and it was still setting. Kept my makeup ALL day. I swear by that stuff. I know a lot of people use Skindinavia and Model in a Bottle. But this is my go to. I’ve gone through gallons of it, and I’m known to douse clients with a ton of it before I send them on their way.

Hopped up this morning and started the day right with yoga, taught by my favorite Bag of Skittles (her description of herself. not mine). Then I got ready, got gas, and got to getting IMG_2095my tail to the convention center in Pasadena. By the time I got there (11am), it was 100 degrees and there was a line around the corner.

THIS picture is after the fact (about 3pm) because I didn’t think to take it until I was leaving. But my GOODNESS when I tell you that people are troopers for standing in that damn heat? I literally wore yoga clothes because I was not sweating out anything that couldn’t be tossed in the wash asap and cleaned with some kind of random detergent. You can always tell the old pros from the new ones because we were comfortable as hell. I am not wearing heels, too much makeup that I gotta worry about sliding off my face, or clothes that I have to adjust every 20 minutes. Comfort and performance is key. Oh, and black. Hush. You can tear it up and it cleans easily without an issue.

Pictures of the actual convention are coming. Kudos to the organizers for being really streamlined in the check in process. I was impressed. The artwork was better this year too. They are getting better and better. I will say that this time I focused on brands that I knew little or nothing about. I found some real gems and I’m really happy about that. They do need more education and maybe a competition or two at this convention. And some hair stuff! No, not all those damn extensions, but PROFESSIONAL products and tools for people who do hair! Why was that not there? We also need hair education. Still, overall I’m not mad. PHAME is coming along nicely.

Prep for PHAME and Thoughts on IMATS

Where did the time go? I swear it was January 10 minutes ago. I actually had to check the calendar for PHAME because I just KNEW I had another week. No such luck. Ah well. The good news is, the passes are confirmed, my yoga classes are subbed out and I think I’ve got a workable plan to get around the floor, gather as much info as I can and get out relatively unscathed.

I was digging around Youtube this week and happened upon some mess that apparently happened in 2015, that would have totally changed my stance on IMATS in 2016. I know I’m late to the party, but since I don’t keep up with vloggers and the like, I’m excused. I guess some folks got kicked out of IMATS for holding meet-and-greets there. Forgive me if I nod in approval. I stopped going to IMATS several years ago because the blogger/vlogger meet up thing had gotten so out of control that it became impossible for the rest of us to actually do our jobs.

Besides the insane overcrowding that easily translated into a fire hazard, the event had become more commercial than professional and a lot of pros (who get the same discounts off season) decided that standing in line for 2 hours (a real thing  y’all) for a damn lipgloss was not gonna fly. IMATS had turned into the Six Flags of Makeup Shows, and it was really fotd mediveal 1a bit much. Vendors (who pay insane amounts of money for booth space) started complaining that the meet and greets were pulling focus from their business… and it was particularly heinous because the focus of those meet and greets hadn’t paid much more than the price of admission (if that). Plus, there were bloggers/vloggers who expected free swag from vendors simply because of their blog or YouTube channel. Man, listen.

The last time I went to IMATS I was in the middle of a conversation with the folks at OCC about their latest launch (I’m there in journalistic capacity), when a rather messy now-defunct vlogger (there is balance in the universe after all) pushed past me screaming and jumping all over the reps in familiarity. My conversation was immediately derailed and as a result that company got no coverage because I wasn’t condoning that bullshit. I decided then and there that I would not be back unless things changed. First, clearly this person was raised in a barn and had no home training. Second, WTF? So yeah. Nope.

Leaving IMATS wasn’t a strain because there’s so much brand crossover at The Makeup Show and PHAME. Plus PHAME was started by a former IMATS founder (which is why IMATS suddenly got pushed to January some years back) and is specifically geared to pros, so I didn’t feel any loss. I guess IMATS figured out real quick (like Los Angeles did about charging asinine production fees and forcing studios to shoot out of state/country) that being greedy short term would end up tanking the whole thing. So they’ve pulled back. As they should.

I believe that there is space for everyone. But when that space starts getting high-jacked to the detriment of the collective, it’s time to regulate.


*Makeup is By Terry CC Cream in Tan, NARS Orgasm, Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Mascara, and Lipstick Queen Medieval*


PHAME Expo: Sugarpill Haul + Swatches

Here’s what came home with me from Sugarpill:

The Pro Palette:

As you may (or may not) know, the pro palette is simply three of the regular Sugarpill Palettes smashed together in one palette. I have the smaller palettes (which I’m gifting to my little sister), but I got this one because it’s a lot more convenient to have all of the colors in one palette. The black shadow is missing from this palette, but I don’t really mind.

Top Row:

Bottom Row:

I also got the Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette:

And I thought I was done, but the Elektro Cute Loose Pigment in Hi-Viz caught my eye:

Believe it or not, this swatch really doesn’t capture the magnificence of this pigment. It’s neon bright, and sparkly all at once. There are other colors like royal blue, fuchsia, peach, and green… but the yellow simply sparkles the best in my opinion. It is totally amazing.

PHAME Expo: Sauce Box Haul + Swatches

Here’s part of the haul…

Sauce Box Mascara, Creme de la Creme Palette, and Single Eyeshadow in Black Widow

I put the black shadow on the other end because by the time I got to swatching it, I was out of arm space on the front end.

The finger swipe that changed my life:

That’s one swipe. ONE.SWIPE. With my finger. Amazing. And this shadow is so creamy and pigmented… just divine. The bad news is, Black Widow is only available in single form for special occasions (the PHAME Expo being one such occasions). I don’t think it’s available in single form again until the Holiday Season. But it does come standard in the Creme de la Creme Palette, so you can get your fix that way in the meantime.

I haven’t tried the mascara. It came free with any purchase. The wand is thin and flimsy like Maybelline Falsies, and the bristles are plastic. We’ll see how it performs.

Sauce Box Single Shadow in French Toast

I got this color for smoky eye purposes. It’s a black based brownish khaki color. Reminds me of Laura Mercier’s Black Karat, but more brown than that.

PHAME Expo: The Overview (in pictures)

So… from the top:

It was 90 degrees in Pasadena (at least that’s what my car said) by 8am. I saw some guests arriving in sky high heels with about 200 pounds of makeup on… whew, not the kid. I was stripped down with minimal makeup and flats. For me, comfort is beautiful. LOL

I want to say that about 1-2,000 people showed up overall. It was a small opening, but considering this is the first show, that’s not too shabby. I’m sure the crowd will grow as the expo grows.

Hakuhodo! You know I stopped by to say hi. I love them. So sweet, and knowledgeable and accommodating. No big purchase for me this time. I kept the budget pretty small. This was more of an ‘exploratory’ mission.

The folks at Anastasia did brow makeovers. Considering the fact that a brow appointment at Anastasia is NOT cheap, I thought it was pretty cool of them to offer the service to guests.

Naimies took up about a ‘quarter’ of the convention center floor! At least that’s what it seemed like. They had pretty much every brand there that they carry in the store… from Laura Mercier to Bobbi Brown, and they offered the pro-discount to guests which was awesome.

Ahhh, the ratchedness of Sugarpill. When guests got in at 8:30, these folks were so not ready, that words really defy description of the level of just… OMG. They decided to form a line, long after a crowd had already gathered every which and any way. The table was not set up, the underpinnings (which were heavy and could potentially cause injury) kept falling and smacking people in the legs, the register wasn’t set up… and they had no change. So to pay for your purchase (which took anywhere from 20-40 minutes… keep in mind that this is first thing in the morning, before the real crowd showed up), you either had to use a credit card or give them exact change. EXACT.CHANGE. You should have seen the guests trading bills, and getting change for what they needed. So trifling. The guests were INCREDIBLY PROFESSIONAL AND PATIENT, despite the shenanigans at this table. Everyone was calm (including the woman who announced that she’d been LOOKING AT HER PURCHASE ON THE TABLE and waiting for half an hour while she was passed over again and again for someone who came after her… so could they please ring her up?). I ended up overpaying for my purchase because I didn’t have exact change and was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past the point of caring after standing there for 40 minutes. I even partnered with a woman beside me (Hey Cindy!) so that we could get our purchases rang up and get the heck away from that table. No one seemed to know what they were doing… one of the girls working the table was so embarrassed that she didn’t make eye contact with anyone. I felt really bad for her. I have no idea why they couldn’t get it together, but it was a wreck. And Sugarpill is no stranger to these kinds of shows. They do IMATS and The Makeup Show. I have no idea what happened this time, but I hope it doesn’t happen again. Because that was horrid… seriously.

OCC was in much better shape, which was funny… considering the fact that they had a larger setup, but the same amount of people working the table at that time in the morning. I was done with my purchase with them in SECONDS. Easy in… easy out.

There was plenty of ‘performance makeup’ going on at the show. MAC had the biggest display, but others whipped out paints and pigments and brushes and got to work as well. Some guests simply showed up fully done:

Kim Greene and Melissa Street of Green Street Beauty were there. They had Kim’s bags on display, as well as advertisement for web mentoring services. They were also speakers at the expo.

There was plenty of instruction going on everywhere. You simply had to pick a seat and have one. There were lessons on everything from basic makeup application, to corrective makeup, to mentoring on getting started (or getting further along) in the makeup industry.

All in all it was a good time. I’ll definitely be back next year.

PHAME Expo 2013: MAC

One of the differences I noticed between PHAME and IMATS was more emphasis on artistry (and hair) and a bit less on sales. Instead of the massive sales booth that MAC normally sets up at IMATS, their display was much more centered on artistry and expression.

The artists got to work bright and early, first erecting a blank ‘canvas’ on the floor and back wall, then sketching in a design. Meanwhile, body paint artists got to work on a group of models.

As the day progressed, all of the colors started to come together for what became a really cool expression of form and color.

The MAC performance art display was the largest at the expo. I imagine that as the event grows, other brands will take notice and follow suit.

PHAME Expo: Everyday Glamour with Valente Frazier

The Saturday Keynote Speaker for PHAME was none other than Valente Frazier. I made a point of getting to the expo to see him (I had to break my day up for a very special mommy-to-be). I always learn so much when he holds a demonstration.

This time was no different. Valente took us through his step by step process of Everyday Glamour:

Moisturizing with Embryolisse Lait Concentrate
 Foundation: Diorskin Airflash Foundation (YEAH!), and concealing with OCC concealer (with the help of a BeautyBlender).
Highlighting and Contouring
Eyeshadow, liner, and mascara. He layered the multi-tasking Make Up For Ever Flash Palette (gold) with a gold-shaded YSL Palette (#3), and used MAC Teddy pencil on the waterline and lashline. He finished with some mascara, and a nude-peach lip.
Done. Beautiful.