Category Archives: Makeup

Pacifica’s Tasty New Line of Flavored Lip Balms

As a working makeup artist, I ALWAYS begin every makeup application with two things: moisturizer and lip balm. Great makeup begins with great skincare. This is why I couldn’t have been happier to learn that Pacifica came out with a new line of 100% vegan lip balms. As far as lip balms are concerned, there usually isn’t much variety, but these new flavored balms change the game. Their new line-up is exclusive to Ulta, and includes seven lip balms: Persian Cherry, Hawaiian Banana, Bali Coconut, Cuban Mango, Rainbow Watermelon, Indian Chi, and Summer Kale, as well as a Candied Lemon & Sugar lip scrub. The fact that the collection includes a scrub made my heart smile! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client that really needed a good scrubbing.

Pacifica was awesome enough to send me over the collection to test out, and I have to say that I’m in love! You already know that the first one I had to try was Summer Kale – you can’t put some kale lip balm in front of me and not expect me pounce. It has a very earthy, natural scent to it that I really like, it totally brought out my inner hipster. Surprisingly though, my favorite one is the Bali Coconut; I’m usually not a huge fan of coconut fragrance, but this one is so yummy. A lot of the others have a refreshing fruity aroma, so there’s truly something for everyone. A far departure from many of the cherry cough syrup scented balms that we have become accustomed to.

Almond and jojoba oils ensure that these balms are super hydrating, and absorb right into your lips for all-day moisture. Since I use lip balm before lipstick, having a colorless formula that leaves the lips supple, while also remaining completely matte is a win for me!

Bronzed and Beach-Ready at BENCH/BODY

At BENCH/BODY’s SS18 show for New York Fashion Week: Men’s, male and female models showed off young, fun swimwear, undergarments, and summer basics. The makeup look followed suit, with a glowing bronze look that was perfect for the beach, created by makeup artist Dana Arcidy of Metro Look.

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“Good skin has to start with great skincare, and that goes for men too,” Arcidy says. They prepped all models’ skin with moisturizer from cult makeup artist favorite Embryolisse. For most of the models, Lait-Crème Concentrè was used to hydrate the skin and add dewiness, even without the addition of a cosmetic highlighter. For those with oily skin, Hydra-Mat Emulsion was used to absorb excess sebum.

For foundation, the artists used Gerda Spillmann’s Biofond Foundation, which they couldn’t stop raving about. “Someone should count how many times we’ve said ‘buttery’ today,” Arcidy laughs. “But this foundation really does have the most beautiful finish.” The coverage of the product was buildable, so that models who didn’t need much coverage were able to let their natural skin shine through. Models whose skin was a bit more stressed were able to get flawless looking skin with just slightly more product.

The team also used the foundation palette to create dimension on the face. They added deeper colors to the cheekbones to create a contour, and blended warmer colors outward on the perimeter of the face to create a bronze glow. They lightly applied Perfect Matte Loose Powder on the undereyes to avoid creasing, as well as around the nose to avoid unwanted shine. By not overpowdering, the team preserved the gorgeous glow on the rest of the face created by the moisturizer/foundation power combo. To finish the look for the female models, the team added a sweep of bronze across their lids, smudgeproof liner to define their eyes, and waterproof mascara. Voila–a carefree look that could realistically be worn to the beach.

About Gerda Spillmann

Founded in Switzerland in 1944, Gerda Spillmann is a favorite brand of many celebrity makeup artists. Their famous Biofond foundation is a cream to powder formula with 100% pharmaceutical ingredients that are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and cruelty-free.

About Embryolisse

Embryolisse Laboratories has over 60 years of experience in dermo-cosmetics. Their products are dermatologist recommended and found in the kits of successful makeup artists all over the world.

The Only Thing You’ll Ever Need to Clean Your Brushes

Simple SkincareWhen it comes to deep brush cleaning, we all try to find an option that will be gentle on the brush hairs. After all, no one wants their brushes to end up feeling like sandpaper against their face because of crappy maintenance. Initially, I used to use plain soap and water, then I upgraded to baby shampoo, followed by conditioner in the rinse water to keep the hairs as good as new – but it didn’t. I always say that if I become a mom, I hope to love my kids as much as I love my brushes…totally serious by the way!

After being frustrated with my brushes becoming increasingly course despite my efforts, I tried something new. I tested the same cleanser that I use on my face (especially when it resembles alligator skin) on my brushes, and it worked like a MF. The miracle product I’m referring to is Hydrating Cleansing Oil by Simple Skincare. It’s infused with vitamin E and grape seed oil, so your brush hairs get a lot of extra love. Cleansing Oil gets all of the makeup out of your tools, while leaving them super soft. This drug store item comes in at only $9.99 , making it the most affordable option ever.

To get your brushes in tip top shape, squeeze a dime sized amount of Hydrating Cleansing Oil in the palm of you hand, and rub your fluffy friend in the cleanser in a circular motion. You will notice that suds will begin to form, and all the yucky build-up on your brush will disappear. Once your tool is cleaned to your satisfaction, rinse it off with lukewarm water, and repeat for the rest of your brushes. For the smaller ones (like lip and liner brushes), I like to clean several at a time to speed up the process.

Once your brushes are dry, they’ll be immaculately clean and softer than ever!

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Dry brush

You Glow Girl! 8 Highlighters Perfect for Spring

It’s spring again – although your skin may need some reminding. The drying cold, coupled with the lack of sunshine in the winter, are a perfect recipe for hot mess skin. Luckily, even the dullest skin can be brightened up with the magic of highlighter.  Just a few swipes can take your skin from scary to lit AF. Here are some of the best highlighters – in all price points – to help you get your glow on this spring.

Glossier Haloscope – This highlighter adds the benefits of skincare into your makeup. The dual-delivery formula infuses genuine crystal extracts on the outer halo, while inner core is enhanced with vitamin-rich moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated.

NYX Iluminator – The radiant shimmer of this illuminator diffuses light so your skin looks vibrant and refreshed while adding a soft, healthy glow.

Too Faced Love Light Highlighter – Using their Prisma Shine® patented technology, Too Faced has created a buildable highlighter that can go from day to night.

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – This baked highlighter applies smoothly while the its light texture blends easily for a beautiful, dewy finish.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter – This lightweight, coconut-infused gel highlighter that can be applied directly to skin or added into your foundation for an OMG glow.

e.l.f. Baked Highlighter – This baked formula is enriched with apricot and jojoba to give skin a glowing and healthy appearance.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish – This megawatt liquid-powder highlighter gives the skin a luminous, sculpted finish.

PLISSÉ LUMIÈRE DE CHANEL ILLUMINATING POWDER – This limited-edition gold powder highlighter will add warmth to any skin tone.

 

 

 

Pretty Holiday Lipsticks That Won’t Break the Bank

lipsticks

 

As the holidays approach, so do fabulous events and parties that we want to look amazing for. If buying gifts alone puts most of us in serious debt, why bother spending money on a new party dress? A gorgeous holiday lipstick is an affordable way to totally revamp your look, while still allowing you to keep a few extra coins in your purse.  Whether it be a family get together, or an office party, there’s no better way to stand out from the crowd, than with a festive lip color. Here are some great drug store lip products, ideal for the holidays:

 

Milani Amore Matte Metallic Lip Crème in Pretty Problematic

This creamy liquid lipstick feels awesome on your lips, and goes on really smoothly. The gorgeous metallic cranberry hue is the perfect compliment to your holiday dress.

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Pretty Problematic, $8.99

 

Revlon Love Is On™ Lipstick

Revlon has created the perfect universal red;  this stunning shade was specifically designed to attract more love into your life. If a lipstick can help you get noticed by the guy you’ve been crushing on, I say bring it on!

 

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Love is On, $8.49

 

L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Bombshell

Think pink this holiday season! Bombshell is a bright, glossy bubble gum pink shade for the girl who wants to slay.  Glazed lip paints are so pigmented, that you only need a few drops to completely cover both lips.

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Bombshell, $5

 

NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Karma Kiss

NYX has outdone themselves with this high voltage berry color. The gel formula will last all evening, so you can eat, drink, and be merry without having to worry about your lipstick budging.

Karma Kisses, $7.99

Karma Kiss, $7

 

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Lip Color in Deep Plum

Personally, I don’t think that there is a more festive shade than purple; this is why this Neutrogena color stick is one of my favorites. In addition to killer color, this lip color delivers moisture beyond belief – not too shabby in the cold winter months.

Dark Plum, $8.49

Dark Plum, $8.49

 

 

 

 

 

Fix it Jesus! Top Celebrity Makeup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

They say money can’t buy happiness (personally, I’d like to test out that theory) but it also can’t buy good taste. Although celebrities usually look gorgeous strutting their stuff on red carpets, they do get it wrong sometimes…horribly, horribly wrong! Sometimes these makeup fails come from stars trying to take a risk, sometimes their Makeup Artists screw up, sometimes it’s because they have a team of yes men, and sometimes it’s just that their taste level is terrible AF. I often think the latter is responsible for a lot of the grotesque makeup looks that we see. We’ve compiled a list of five of the worst celebrity makeup mistakes ever, and how to correct them.

1. Wrong – Tyra’s Sloppy Smokey Eyes

Image courtesy of www.ranker.com

Image courtesy of www.ranker.com

Tyra Banks is best known for being a gorgeous supermodel and fierce business women, but in this photo, she looks like a toddler applied her smeared-on eye makeup.

Right – Well Blended Smokey Eyes

Image courtesy of www.chatadegalocha.com

Image courtesy of www.chatadegalocha.com

A dramatic black smokey eye does not have to look vampy. As you can tell by this photo, when blended well, a dark smokey can look absolutely stunning. When placing the color on your lids, do not go above your natural crease.

2. Wrong – Angelina Jolie’s Powdery Face

Photo: Said Elatab / Splash News/Corbis

Photo: Said Elatab / Splash News/Corbis

My girl Angelina knows how to give good leg on the red carpet, but in this photo she looks like she’s in love with the coco! Her MUA probably used a lot of HD powder when setting her makeup. HD powder looks fabulous on a motion camera when filming, but has a tendency cause flashback (a powdery, white look) when photographed by a camera with flash. This is a common mistake made by some Makeup Artists, so I can’t be too hard on her.

Right – Smooth Matte Skin

Image courtesy of www.lorealparisusa.com

Image courtesy of www.lorealparisusa.com

A matte skin finish can be achieved by using a setting powder only in the T zone (forehead, nose, and chin) of the face. Make sure that the powder that you use does not contain silica, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide – those are the ingredients that cause the dreaded flashback!

3. Wrong – Lindsay’s Muddy Contour

Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images

Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan showed up to her court date with the worst contour makeup I’ve ever seen! The judge may not have shown her sympathy, but I felt bad for her poor face. The Mean Girls actress’ mistakes were using a color that was way too dark for her fair skin, and not blending out the harsh lines she created.

Right – Subtle Shading

Image courtesy of www.womendailymagazine.com

Image courtesy of www.womendailymagazine.com

The purpose of contouring is to sculpt the face. When contouring the cheeks, use an appropriate shade for your skin tone. Once your contour is placed, blend it out with a fluffy brush to emphasize your cheekbones.

4. Wrong – Leighton’s Pale Face

Image courtesy of www.gossipmembers.com

Image courtesy of www.gossipmembers.com

A pale face and tanned body is never a good look, even if it is on our favorite Gossip Girl. Leighton Meester usually stuns on the red carpet, but here, her two-toned skin complexion just looks crazy.

Right – An Even Skin Tone

Image courtesy of www.makeup.vidalondon.net

Image courtesy of www.makeup.vidalondon.net

As you can see in this photo, having an all over bronzed glow is beautiful. Your face and your body should be as close of a match as possible. If tanning your face isn’t your thing (I totally understand, wrinkles are not sexy), you can achieve more color in your face by using a bronzer or a darker shade of foundation.

5. Wrong – Diana’s Neon Blush

Photo Credit: REX

Photo Credit: REX

Although there are many things wrong with this makeup, lets just concentrate on this Marionette doll on acid blush. Ms. Ross is a living legend, but this hot pink blush is just unacceptable.

Right – A Pop of Color on the Cheeks

Image courtesy of www.wed-host.com

Image courtesy of www.wed-host.com

When used correctly blush can totally transform your face, and make you look younger. There is nothing prettier than a little blush on the apples of the cheeks – especially on women of color. The key to wearing blush is not applying too much, and making sure that the color adds warmth to your face.

A Smart Mirror That Makes Sure You Always Slay

Image courtesy of www.panasonic.com

Image of smart mirror courtesy of  www.panasonic.com

Panasonic has developed some really cool beauty technology products recently, but their latest is sure to be the biggest hit yet. The Japanese tech company has answered every woman’s prayers, by creating a smart mirror that identifies your flaws…and immediately corrects them!

In true Snow White fashion, this mirror is completely honest with you about your reflection, so proceed with caution. Once you sit in front of it, the mirror scans your face to analyze your flaws (blemishes, wrinkles, etc). When it’s finished lowering your self esteem assessing your skin, it prints out the exact amount of makeup you’ll need to be applied to your face on temporary tattoo patches. Yes, it prints the actual products that it wants you to use, to stick to your face! How fierce is that? Don’t get too excited yet, the mirror is still a prototype, so it currently takes 24 hours to print the makeup patches. But we’re waiting with bated breath until they work out all the kinks, and bring it to market.

Why Beauty Lovers Are Mixing Oil With Foundation


One of the most seemingly strange makeup trends to surface, is mixing oil with foundation. To all the oily gals, I know this may sound gross, but trust me – it’s a thing! Several of my clients have been asking me about this, because they are seeing it everywhere as a part of makeup routines online. Instagram, You Tube, and Facebook have been swarming with countless videos of makeup enthusiasts using this tactic. Video after video show girls (and guys) with their trustee oil filled droppers, lubing up their foundation. Why would anyone do this? There are 2 good reasons why, and here they go:

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Dry Skin

The most obvious reason for implementing this makeup trick is to add some much needed moisture to parched skin. When applying foundation on dry skin, the product can build up in the patchy areas, leaving a very uneven finish. Adding oil to foundation is also a way to temporarily “plump up” fine lines for a more youthful look. The oil moisturizes the skin, and gives it a healthy glow for a smoother appearance.

Easier Blending

While most would say that mixing oil into foundation sounds like it would clog pores and lead to breakouts, what most people don’t know is that a high percentage of foundations already contain oil. Mixing in a little oil to your cream or liquid foundation changes the texture of formula, and actually helps it spread easier.  Adding 1-2 drops of oil to your base, allows you to effortlessly blend it out to achieve a skin-like finish.

 

Clearly this trick isn’t for everybody, but it’s worth giving a shot. Just make sure that you use a carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil). One of my faves is the coconut oil by Measurable Difference.

 

 

Quick Tip: Brow Color

brows on fleek

We weren’t all born with gorgeous brows like my model’s. But with the right tools, we can come close.

When most people try to fill in their brows, they try to match the color of their brows as closely as possible, or follow the oft-recited rule of “two shades darker if you are blonde, two shades lighter if you are brunette.” This isn’t bad. It’s just not what I do.

I take into account my model or client’s skin tone when choosing their brow color. My own skin, for example, is on the fair side, but my eyebrow hair is black. I use a light, ashy brown to fill in my brows, and it gives me a way more natural look than using a dark brown or black. I’ve used the lightest blonde shade I have on some fair skinned brunettes (some of whom have been bridal clients who insist it’s still too dark…gotta love weddings). But on a model or client with a deep skin tone who has the same hair color than me, I will go in with  black. Meanwhile, someone with blonde hair and very tan skin would probably get the same color I use on myself, or perhaps something even darker.

The other big mistake I see people doing is choosing colors that are too warm. Always opt for a cool color. Back in makeup school, most of my classmates would either make my brows too red or too black. Here’s how to avoid that! And for all you pro’s and makeup lovers out there, my absolute favorite brow palette is the Anastasia one.

xx Dana

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

clean makeup brushes

If you read this blog, you know that I am a stickler for sanitary makeup practices and that even cleaning your brushes isn’t enough. But it IS a start, and since I get a lot of questions from models and clients alike on how to clean makeup brushes, it seems that a lot of people aren’t sure how to do it or how often.

Pros like me and anyone sharing makeup brushes need to sanitize their brushes after every use. I use liquid brushes cleansers for this–a lot of companies make them, including Cinema Secrets and Bare Escentuals. They are fast drying (we’re talking mere minutes), and even if you are the only person who uses your brushes, I would recommend using them after every application. Dirty brushes will give you muddy results, and no one wants that. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had the experience of dipping a brush in eyeshadow and a different (old) color surprising us once it makes it to our lids. Yuck.

The best way to use these brush cleansers is to get a small container, like a medicine cup, and spray or pour a small amount of it. Swirl your brush around in the liquid, and then on a towel or folded over paper towel, gently brush your makeup brush back and forth. Repeat until your brush doesn’t leave dirty marks.

Now for the deep clean. This has to be done once a week, for everyone. Yes, if you have used your brushes even once during the week, you’re going to need to wash them. For this, you really don’t need to buy a new product. You can use a face cleanser, hand soap, or shampoo. I dispense a small amount into my palm, and then swirl all my brushes around in it, one by one. Once they all have shampoo (or whichever product I used) on them, I rinse them one by one, massaging the bristles to make sure they’re super clean. Then I lay them flat on a towel for them to dry. You never want to dry them standing up, or it will loosen the ferrule and damage your brushes.

While it’s time-consuming, it’s well worth it to take good care of your brushes. Stay clean!

xx Dana