Makeup Show Haul: Le Maquillage Pro Foundation Palette (Part 1)

Put down the BBU Palette and push aside Make Up For Ever… Le Maquillage is out to destroy everything  you ‘think’ you know about the ultimate foundation palette. This palette features THIRTY SIX different pans for foundation, concealer, and every type of color correction you can imagine. I have to thank my dear Stephanie for tipping me off about this palette. The wells are deep enough to hold an ample amount of product, and the formula itself is pure pigment. This means that unlike the BBU Palette or the Make Up For Ever Palette, you have to ‘mix’ this formula before you can apply it.

It’s impossible to get this palette at Nigel’s (local beauty supply), because it’s insanely expensive and even with a pro discount it’s not expected to be a high seller. So they have very few in stock, which are typically immediately snapped up by the artist who got there ahead of everyone else. I finally managed to get one at The Makeup Show LA.

The palette is about 11 inches long and about 6 inches wide. The wells are about 2 inches long, and at least an inch deep. Because the formula is pure pigment, you’re getting twice the product of a standard foundation palette. The palette leans to the warm side, but there is a neutral ‘white’ for any manner of mixing, and there is nearly a full row of paler colors (including several pink and lavender based versions) to adjust any foundation mix as needed. I’m particularly in love with the orange and peach ‘correction’ shades, and made special note of the ‘green’ shade to combat redness in the skin. And the foundation colors go SO DARK that I’d be hard pressed to find someone who ‘couldn’t’ match a skin tone using this palette.

This is a TRUE Pro Artist’s base palette. I do not recommend entertaining this palette if you only do makeup on yourself or on a low number of clients, because it’s pricey. The retail is $395, and the pro price isn’t that much lower. It’s an investment, to say the least. But if you regularly work on a wide range of skin tones, and never want to be at a loss for matching foundations or concealers, this palette is definitely worth every single penny.

In Part 2, I’ll demonstrate the ‘mixing’ technique for this palette, and put up swatches.

You can find out more about Le Maquillage Pro Foundation Palette HERE.

Professional Grade: SuperWoman

I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Natascha Hopkins. She’s an actress/stuntwoman who regularly doubles for the likes of :

I think she’s a dead ringer for Zoe, and I can see that she can easily do ‘movement’ replacement for Kerry and Jada. For the shoot, we kept  an ‘athletic couture’ vibe, and took her makeup from ‘soft’ and unfocused… to bold and messy.

We started here… with soft shades of lilac and lavender… and kept the look cool throughout, and added just a little bit of definition under the eyes for effect. For the first look I kept the base sheer because I really wanted her beautiful freckles to show through.

We kept ‘building’ on the look on location… adding more smoke around the eyes, and warming up the colors on the lips and cheeks with peaches, golds, apricots and orange.

Finally we went ‘full on’ with full coverage makeup, completely blacked out eyes, false lashes, major contour and red lips.

Natascha was a such a pro. I had the best time putting on her makeup and watching her work. It’s easy to see why she stays so busy in entertainment… she is truly a joy to work with.

Professional Grade: Set Etiquette

I’ve been searching for the right words to lay out my feelings about set etiquette (and general professionalism), so I looked to the experts for a little help:

Greene Street Beauty pretty much covers a bunch of things that SHOULD be common sense… but unfortunately are not.

So, this week, when I Keyed Alakazia’s show, I came across quite a few “dont’s” — and wanted to add to that list.

Regarding commitment and time, please be truthful about your availability. I will not be offended if you can’t / don’t want to participate. I will not be offended if you want to be paid more than (or paid at all) the budget allows. I am very clear about these kinds of terms going into a project, and I respect your decision to not participate if you find the terms unacceptable. But if you say that you are going to be there, PLEASE be there. It’s frustrating to set aside a place/slot for you (and reject others who have contacted me to participate) and you simply not show up or answer your phone/email/text. It’s also pretty freakin’ rude.

When I’m keying an event, I give EVERYONE my phone number. I do this because if anything happens for any reason and you need to find me… you can find me. I lay my phone on the makeup table, in full view so that if it goes off, I can be there for you. I prefer that you text me so that I can see what the issue is (without long explanations on the phone that I may not have time to stand still and listen to), and respond accordingly. If you don’t contact me, I assume that everything is fine and that you will be there.

I don’t do divas. I don’t. There is no time, and no room for drama, attitudes, personal issues, and your long list of … ((((whatever)))) …  that you think somehow qualifies you for special treatment. It’s not okay to force these things on other team members who are working very hard toward a common goal. Leave it at home. We don’t want it.

Okay, I got that out of my system. Now to the positives.

To the people who showed up: THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. Your professionalism is greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten. You have no idea how much more enjoyable you made what could have been a very stressful situation.

Nicole: You are amazing. We’ve worked together before, and I’m always reminded of how much I enjoy working with you. Thank you for coming in, rolling up your sleeves, and getting it done.

Mimi: First time working with you, and I am so happy to have met you! You’re bright and bubbly and just a breath of fresh air. And you did the HECK out of the hair! Love everything about you. I hope to work with you again.

COURTNEY: My last minute fill in… I want to work with you for ever and ever, AMEN! You are amazing. Thank you for being so sweet, and so helpful, and for making the models look like a million bucks.

I put this out there, because the truth is that I work in a town that is filled to the brim with hopeful souls. There are very few actual hits (flashes in the pan do not count), and BILLIONS OF MISSES. It kind of comes with the environment. Lots and lots of people want to be superstars. We are the land of the ‘fabulous’ – and some people have this notion that if you just hang around the right people then you’ll get ‘discovered’ and everything will be taken care of — and that’s simply not the case.

Some of the most amazing, and most famous artists that I’ve had the privilege of meeting/working with have one thing in common: Humility. These people have worked with, and continue to work with the most famous and most powerful (not just in entertainment) people you can think of (shout out a name… any name…), and continue to greet everyone with a smile and come prepared to do the work. If I’ve learned nothing else from them, I’ve learned no matter where you are, what you look like, or what you’re doing, your general attitude makes the most lasting impression.

You have to do the work. There are so many extremely talented people in Los Angeles (or anywhere) who may never be famous, but that doesn’t diminish their value one iota. Don’t work for fame and celebrity… you’ll never get anywhere (and if you do… most importantly… you likely won’t stay there). Don’t breeze onto a set and regale us with tales of a singer/actor/famous person whose face/hair you touched, and think that it somehow makes you better than any other team-member who is moving toward a common goal with purpose. We are in this together. So please, do the work, and there’s a very good chance it’ll all work out.

Rant over. Hopefully, I have not offended… because I truly mean this in love.


FOTD: The Beauty Director

The Alakazia show meant plenty of cameras, and video, so I was informed that I should probably not show up to set looking a mess. Alakazia wanted a general ’40’s vibe for the makeup, with fresh skin and a statement lip. So I did something similar on myself.

Rock & Republic Blush in Call Me
Guerlain Retractable Pencil in Gold
 MAC Lipstick in RiRi Woo
This makeup had to (and did) last all day. I was on my feet (with no time to touch up) for about 9 hours. I did manage to refresh my lips a bit halfway through, but that was it. We pretty much went non stop.
One of the models:

There are show images coming… so many people showed up. I will (in a separate post) go through the fabulous highs (and reality-based lows) of the experience. I learned a lot about management, professionalism… and general courtesy.

I was mic’d the entire time (the show was part of a reality show) so I had no choice but to be on my best behavior. 🙂

More to come… ciao for now!

Professional Grade: Alakazia Fashion + Art Happening

In about 24 hours, designer extraordinaire Alakazia is taking over a fabulous space in Downtown LA. First there was a text, then a phone call… then plans to bring it all together. And would I please handle the beauty aspect …?… and then there was something about  me deciding that the event would not be complete without HABIBI for the party…


So, I am Beauty Director of this fantastic show (I predict it will be fantastic, and that is that). That means directing models, makeup artists, hair stylists… and designing the ‘look’ that that models will sport during the show.

Rehearsal was Saturday:

The models are fabulous. They put up with Alakazia directing, and me yelling out cues on when and where to walk… and to some degree ‘how’ to walk (this ain’t my first time at the rodeo folks). They nodded, smiled, and shimmied down that runway like pros. I was really happy by the end of the day.

We have one more rehearsal… and then showtime!
Beauty-wise, the look is pretty clear. I know what he wants, and I’ve taken his needs and interpreted them in terms of makeup and hair. 

*cracks knuckles*

I can do this.

Somewhere along the way I found 10 minutes to slap on some makeup. Now, if I look tired, it’s because I am.

I’ve misplaced at least a dozen  hours of sleep, and I’m trying to figure out where they went.

No matter. The show must go on!

Professional Grade: Greene Street Beauty

Well, I don’t know why it took me so long to find these women. One day I was poking around the internet looking for a review on Koyudo brushes, and BAM! There they were.

In a Youtube world full of ‘gurus’ who one day decided to pick up a makeup brush and declare themselves professionals, Kim Greene and Melissa Street are a gentle but firm reminder that ‘pro’ is a title that you might want to try to earn before you fire up your laptop webcam and start doling out advice on the internet. With decades of experience between them, Greene and Street share real-world and practical tips that are so straightforward and so simple… you’ll wonder why you insisted on putting on makeup the hard way all this time.

I’m very familiar with Kim Greene. She makes a line of ‘set bags’ that are a regular feature in most MUA’s kits. Just about everyone I know locally uses them, and they’re sold at my local beauty supply store. I met Greene at The Makeup Show several years ago, and found her upbeat and engaging and really willing to share everything she knows about the business. And those bags of hers actually work. I have three of them that see plenty of action on a regular basis.

This was the first time I’d heard of Melissa Street, but I’m finding that she’s got a wealth of knowledge (including some ‘new school’ tricks that may cause some pros to step out of their comfort zone) as well. 

While applying makeup isn’t necessarily complicated (okay, for some folks it is), there are time-tested tips and tricks that work on real people (not just 12 year old genetically gifted models) which pros use every day. It’s easy to dust a little color and highlight on an amazing set of cheekbones or slide gloss across the perfect pair of lips. It’s quite something else to understand ‘corrective’ makeup, and how to bring out the very best features on ‘anyone.’

And just in case you ever find yourself doubting their pedigree… Kim Greene takes you through ‘packing a set trailer’ that will leave you looking at your kit like it was packed by a 13 year old on her first makeup adventure.

Greene Street Beauty is worth a look… and in my opinion, worth a subscription.

Get into it. You’ll be glad you did.

Professional Grade: Making Concealer

Shame on me for not sharing this with you guys sooner.

I picked up a trick while at the Makeup Show back in March. I was talking to the Koh Gen Do rep and she showed me how to make concealer. No… really.

I paid a visit to my local Beauty Supply store (Hey Boo Boo Ninja!), and was explaining to Sarah and Alyssa what I’d learned… and they went NUTS. They got to mixing all manner of foundations trying to figure out what worked and what didnt.

Here’s what we know for sure… the Koh Gen Do Face Powder is probably the best medium for this little experiment.

This little container is so expensive… OMG. I’m still kind of not over it. But I like the ‘retro’ feel of the packaging, and the powder actually works. So there ya go.

Here’s what you do: You take a little foundation on the back of your hand, and a little powder, and you ‘pat’ the mix together until you get the consistency you want.

For demonstration purposes, I used Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation in #301

Alyssa and Sarah went all over the store, and even tried different kinds of powders. But they kept coming back to this one. So… I guess that means it’s a keeper!

Koh Gen Do makes amazing products anyway… and this Face Powder is no exception. You can find out more about Koh Gen Do products (and maybe do a little experimenting of your own) HERE.

Professional Grade: Channeling Tia Carrere

I got the opportunity to shoot with a model who is a dead ringer for actress Tia Carerre.

This is Edo. She says people tell her all the time that she looks like Carrere. Edo is based in New York… but decided to take a trip to our sunny state and hang out with photographer Nadirah Bahar and I for quick photo shoot.

Checking test shots with Nadirah

Edo was incredibly easy to work with. I had such a ball enhancing her fantastic natural features with contour and highlight. Eventually, we even added a bit of color…

All in all it was a good shoot. These are shots from my little pocket camera… I know that Nadirah’s shots are going to be loads better. When I get the final photos, I’ll share them!

Professional Grade: Colorful color

I was supposed to take a nap today. I rose before the sun… squeezed in a workout… and was supposed to do a quick practice photo shoot for my company.

And then I got a message: “Model confirmed… see you at 10:30!”


Here’s what happened: Friend asked me to do a ‘colorful lashes’ shoot earlier in the week. But he never heard back from the model… so we scrapped it. Until she confirmed… THIS.MORNING… about half an hour before I was scheduled to leave for the product shoot.


This is Erin. She was an amazing sport… and it turns out she had a really legitimate reason for confirming at the last possible second. So I put on makeup, she smiled and posed, and we got some amazing shots.

Then we got on with the business of shooting for the company. And since Erin was already on set… well…

She made up for the last minute confirmation:

So it was a good day. We even wrapped on time for me to make a few HABIBI deliveries… so I’m not too put out.

But I AM exhausted. So I’m gonna go to sleep… until I wake up. Ciao for now!