Tag Archives: makeup tips

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!

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.

amore-matte-metallics-10-pretty-problemattic

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!

 

love-is-on

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.

bombshell

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.

New Makeup Trend Alert: Eye Strobing

Photo: Rex

Photo: Rex

As if we really needed one, a new makeup trend of the moment has yet again surfaced. It was born as many of our favorite celebrities (like Jourdan Dunn and Rita Ora) put their best faces forward at the 2016 Met Gala. The trend of the moment is, wait for it…eye strobing (no, really!) Yes ladies, they found something else for us to strobe. For those of you who may not know what “strobing” is, it’s a trendy new way to describe highlighting. Last year, strobing was popular on the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, in order to achieve a megawatt glow. Strobing is now back, making your eyes the focal point.

Photo: Matt Baron/Bei/Shutterstock

Photo: Matt Baron/Bei/Shutterstock

 

Eye strobing can be achieved by applying a shimmery eyeshadow, or even finely milled glitter to the inner corner of your eyes. The shimmer mimics light, thus making your eyes look bright – and dare I say angelic. If you want your “eye strobing” to look really intense use a metallic silver color, but for something a little more subtle go for gold and bronze shades.

Ask Metro Look: Bridal Makeup Edition

This question is from Arlene L. from Tampa, FL:

“I’m getting married this summer and I want makeup that will look good on camera while still looking like myself. I never really wear makeup, but my photographer told me that I’ll look better in photos if I wear some. How can I get a natural look without going overboard?”

AM_L7462We do a lot of weddings, and this is a dilemma for quite a few brides. A lot of girls think that wearing any makeup at all will automatically make them look a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant; and that couldn’t be more false! What you might not realize, is that makeup is not as scary as you may think it is. When placed in the wrong hands it can be a weapon of mass destruction, but when used tastefully, it’s amazing. Makeup does not have to be heavy in order to look beautiful, you can look absolutely stunning in your wedding photos while wearing a nominal amount. I’m a firm believer in keeping it simple, so start with the basics: skin, eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Skin –

  • Start off with a clean moisturized face (make sure that you have given your moisturizer at least 15 minutes to absorb).
  • Choose a light to medium coverage foundation color that is as close to your true complexion as possible. Foundation is not supposed to lighten or darken your face, it’s simply supposed to cover imperfections, and even out your skin tone.

Tip: Go to your local cosmetics counter and try out some foundation shades for free, some lines even give away samples. This is a great way to find your perfect match without wasting money.

  • Use a salmon concealer under your eyes to brighten the area (trust me girl, it makes a difference).
  • Set your makeup with a silky translucent powder on your forehead, under your eyes, nose and chin. Setting only the center of your face allows your skin to glow naturally, while controlling the areas you’re most likely to get oily throughout the day.
  • Dust the outer perimeter of your face, hollows of your cheeks, and your neck lightly with a matte bronzer to warm up your complexion.
NUDES-Expert Wear Pallette-Pack

The Nudes, $9.99

Eyes –

  • Prime your eyes with either an eye primer or concealer and then set with powder. This ensures that whatever color you use on your eyes will translate well.
  • To achieve an effortless looking eyeshadow, you can’t go wrong with a neutral palette. You can find an inexpensive one from the drug store (it still does the trick) like Maybelline The Nudes, or if you have the extra coins laying around, you can splurge a higher end one like the Naked palette. Both work just fine to create beautiful, yet subtle eye looks.
  • Define your eyes with a liner on the top lid (if you find black too harsh, try a brown or grey shade). Bottom liner is optional, personally I like to use eyeshadow and blend it out for a less sever look, but if bottom liner is your thing go for it – just use it sparingly.
  • Curl your lashes, and then apply 2 coats of waterproof mascara (you might cry and raccoon eyes won’t be cute). If you want to define your lower lashes, feel free to apply mascara there as well, but BE CAREFUL!

Cheeks –

  • Choose a blush color that flatters your skin tone, and blend it with a fluffy brush after you apply to ensure that it’s sheer.
  • A hightlighter is optional if your skin is not oily, but should be applied very lightly on the cheeks and bridge of the nose.
ss12gurw029011698-nocolour

Creme Coral, $28

Lips

  • Sheer lipstick, nude lipstick, or even a lip gloss are all great options for beautiful lips that aren’t too bold. Creme Coral by Laura Mercier is usually a crowd pleaser with my minimalist brides.

 

 

This is the recipe for a fresh and flawless face. Best of luck to you on the big day Arlene!

DON’T DO IT – Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

As a lover of matte liquid lipstick, I was elated to find out that Revlon developed their own called Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor. Usually liquid lipsticks are sold by higher end makeup brands (which clearly means they’re pricey), so hell yeah I was excited to save a few bucks, and finally buy matte liquid lipstick in my local drug store…until I tried it!

Revlon-Ultra-HD-Matte-Lipcolor cropI went to drug store as excited as ever to try the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor out. The colors that they offer are gorgeous, which only makes that fact that I think it sucks even more disappointing. Why don’t I like it? Well, let me tell ya. Now I’m no brain surgeon, but I’m pretty sure that matte means the color is supposed to be dull (for those of you who are unsure, just click here on the word matte – I’ve installed a link) 🙂 So now that we’re all on the same page,  please tell me why I was able to see my reflection in my lips. I was even optimistic enough to think that it must have just needed time set, otherwise they would not have marketed it as a matte lipstick. Just to be fair before I chucked it across the room, I waited 10 minutes, and my mouth was still shining bright like a diamond – EPIC FAIL! As much as it pains my heart to say this, keep your money in your purse, or else you’ll be pissed.

Apply Individual Lashes in Seconds

Eye lashes closeLadies, let’s talk about lashes. We all want full, flirty eyelashes, but few of us are blessed with them naturally. Long, voluminous eyelashes are super feminine and really open up your eyes. Over the years, false eyelashes have been a great way to make up for what Mother Nature didn’t bless us with, and what mascara alone can’t compensate for. For many women a full strip of eyelashes is the way to go, but some just like a few individual flares in the corner. Flares are a great way to add some volume and length without looking too dramatic. As a professional Makeup Artist, I often get asked to apply individual lashes in the corner as an alternative to a full strip. To be honest, I used to pretend that I didn’t know how to apply them because I found it too time consuming (don’t judge me). The process of applying flares took way longer than applying a strip lash, so I did everything that I could to get out of it…until now! I recently found a product that rocked my world, and made the request of individual lashes way more bearable for me. iENVY by Kiss has created a brilliant product called Trio Lash, each trio = 3 flares so it speeds up application time exponentially. Trio Lashes have cut my application time down from several minutes, to literally a few seconds! Since they are so small and light, there’s practically no waiting time for the glue to get tacky (like you would have with a full lash strip). What I like best is that each package contains two different lengths of trios, so that you can customize your look – and the packaging even has a glue pocket compartment for you to squeeze out some adhesive into (brilliant). There have not been many eyelash innovations over the years, so whoever came up with this idea is a genius!

Kiss trios

iEnvy by Kiss Trio Lash, $4.99

New Makeup Trend: What is Strobing?

Astroboingll of the beauty and fashion powers that be, say that contouring is out, and strobing is in! What is strobing, exactly? It’s pretty much a trendy word to describe good old fashioned highlighting. Whenever you see cheekbones that look dewy (and in some cases slightly metallic) that is achieved through highlighting. I’ve always been a fan of a dewy skin, there’s nothing better than a fresh healthy glow. Strobing looks best when it’s not overdone; concentrate on the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, the center of the forehead, and the center of the chin – that is it! If you do more that than, I promise you that it will look crazy. I’ve compiled a list of a some of my favorite highlighters (for women of all skin tones) that will have you rockin’ the strobe look in no time.

 

MAC Strobe Cream 

MAC Strobe Cream

$33.00

NARS Multiple in Copacabana

Nars copacabana

$39.00

 

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Gleam

NYX born to glow

$7.49

Dose of Colors in Pearl Dust 

Dose of colors pearl dust

$28.00

Mirabella Brilliant Mineral Highlighter in Glowing Coral

mirabella_brilliant_glowing-coral_webproduct

$40.00

 

A Great Highlighter for Skin of Color

Dose of Colors highlighter in Sunkissed, $28When it comes to finding a highlighter on skin of color it can be a difficult task. A lot of highlighters are lovely for fair to medium skin but make skin of color look ashy, especially the pearl and pink shades. It’s best for women with deeper skin tones to use highlighters that are gold and bronze; it gives such a gorgeous glow.  There was a bronze-colored, baked eye shadow that I used on myself and my clients as a highlighter that was recently discontinued (I hate when that happens) so I’ve been on a hunt to find a comparable replacement.  On a routine trip to Ricky’s NYC yesterday, I hit the highlighter jackpot when I discovered the Dose of Colors highlighter in the color Sunkissed.

DOSE crop

Dose of Colors highlighter in Sunkissed, $28

This dreamy highlighter can be used on you cheekbones and the bridge of your nose to add light and warmth to your face. Like my former highlighter of choice, the Dose of Colors highlighter is also a baked product; and it has a velvety texture. It incorporates several shades of gold and bronze which is awesome because that makes it flattering on a wider range of skin tones. I live in New York City and it’s currently 16 degrees here, so Lord knows I need a little sun kissed glow right now!

 

It’s definitely not a cheap date, it has a $28 price tag, but it’s quite large and you only need to use a small amount. I am definitely a fan.