Hi Bellas,

Did you go out shopping for Black Friday? I sure didn't I slept in and laid in bed watching tv. I love having off for the Holidays :) I've pretty much finished my Christmas shopping too except for a few gift cards that I'll be picking up today.

Speaking of gifts, I have the perfect idea for a stocking stuffer...the Anastasia Mini Brow Kit. It retails for $25 and can be purchased from Sephora. The kit includes a pair of mini tweezer, a mini brow gel, and a mini matte camille highlighter (love this!).
This is also perfect for traveling. Just pop it in your makeup bag and you're good to go!

The mini kit is also great if you wanted to try Anastasia products for the first time.

With cover

Without cover

How to use:

1) Begin by tweezing the eyebrows with the tweezers.

2) Apply the pencil above and below the eyebrow and blend. This will give the illusion of a perfect eyebrow shape.

3) Finish up by allowing brow gel to keep hairs in place.


-Mini size makes it easy to travel with.

-Great price for all 3.

-Brow gel and Matte Camille highlighter is just as good as the full sized version

-This highlighter looks good on all skin tones...I use it on all my clients.

-The tweezers are callibrated just like the originals and designed not to break the brow hair.

-Looks so tiny and cute!


The only con is that you need to make sure to hold the tweezer closer to the slanted egde. That way, it's easier to close and open the tweezers. Since it's a mini tweezer, there's less room so you have to put a little more strength into it.

Check these out at Sephora.

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas,

It's 3:23 am as I'm writing this so it's officially Thanksgiving here in the US. I wanted to take time to give thanks.

-Thanks to my blogging family. You've helped me learn so much and your encouragement, comments and compassion have helped me to pursue my dream. I love you guys!
Some special shout outs:
-yummy: you and me girl, we're going to be big one day. You were one of the first who faithfullyvisited my blog in the beginning and I thank you so much for that. I love how we continue to learn from each other as we try to do this makeup thang...I admire you so much for your skills, for being a great mom, and a great artist.
-Vanessa: Girl you truly inspired me to start my blog. Before I even started talking to you, my boyfriend knew you by your first name because I was either reading your blog or talking about it...know that i've talked with you, I feel a special sister relationship with you, you're so down to earth i can't wait till my next trip to cali to meet you guys! San Francisco in May 2009 for my bro's graduation...we'll make it happen!
-Anne: Aww I love you girl, you're like my lil sis I never had. You have such a pure heart and i've seen you grow so much. I'm always here for you like you've been there for me.
-Gezebel: Even though you don't blog as much, I still read your page everyday. From the beginning days on Asian Beauty Blog, you were always there for me when people were calling me a drag queen...you're truly a gift to me, thanks auntie!
-Roslyn at Makeup Makes Me Happy: your website amazes me girl...thank you so much for taking the time to help me really get this blog turned into a business...and we have the same initials, he he...i know you're going to be big girl!
-Mildred at Beauty Logic: Your hair skills amaze me...thanks so much for taking the time to refer me to some of your peoples...I still haven't gotten that coconut oil but it's definitely on my list...i can't wait to see you on the evening news or on the cover of a major magazine...do your thang missy!
-Stephie: i know you stopped blogging and youtubing a while ago...but you were the first person to inspire me to start this page...wherever you are, I hope you're doing well...I still think of you and thank you for everything
-Ethereal Prey: I feel a special closeness with you...I know you've had your share of ups and down this year, but I'll always be here for you girl, loves yah!
-Alien Man: I remember our early days on ABB and I'm glad we still stay in touch...you're an amazing person, truly I can see your talent shine (writing, art, you can do it all!)...I can't wait to see your harness your potential and win that nobel prize girl!
-Christiana: I know you're taking a little hiatus right now, but you were also there for me in the beginning. You're a beautiful person in and out...come back soon!
-May: I can't believe how close we come. I'm so glad we "met" because I truly consider you one of my makeup mentors, and most importantly a friend. You've given me the best advice and have been so patient. I hope to be like you one day!

These are only a few of the bloggers out there that have touched my heart, I only named a few that came to my mind but I have something special to say about all of you!

-Thanks to my family. My parents are the hardest working people I know. They continue to work and sacrifice to support my brother and I. Growing up I didn't understand there strict ways but now that I'm older and wiser, I truly appreciate them and understand it's made me into what I am today.

-My friends. I have the best friends in the world. Two of my best friends I've known since elementary school growing up in Orlando. Fate kept us together and we're all living in Atlanta and still best of friends. They have been there for me through all my happy and sad times. When I started doing makeup, they were nothing but supportive... heck they even became my models!

-My boyfriend. Without him, there would be no blog, no youtube page, no makeup career...he saw my passion and talent and was the one who encouraged me to start all of this. He's my lover, my business manager, my best friend, my photographer, my dish washer, he he...I couldn't ask for anyone better. Love you babay!

Love all you guys! Happy Turkey Day!

FYI, check out my girl Ann at www.cosmeticjunkielover.com. She created this amazing website where she's offering NYX products at a great discount. This is especially great for international bloggers. MAC can get expensive but NYX is a great alternative. So what are you waiting for, check it out here

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

Happy Wednesday! I get half a day off of work today so I'm excited and just trying to ride out the next few hours. Then I'm going Thanksgiving shopping with the boyfriend so we can cook our first Thanksgiving dinner together. Wish me luck!

Back to the post...

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be involved with the launch of a new company, Say On Me. They have officially launched with a line of socially and politically conscious t-shirts all promoting change for the better. I did the makeup for the shooting of their shirts. There were two models, one male and one female. For the female model, Stephanee, I did a neutral look for the studio shots, and then I did a brighter teal eye for the outdoor/graffiti shots. For the male model, Jay, we focused on trimming his facial hair and cleaning up his skin, whew that was some work, lol. In the end, it came out really well.

Make sure to check them out on http://www.sayonme.com/. They also have a bunch of Barack shirts on there that are hot!

Here are some pics from the shoot:

On Stephanee I used a bunch of starflash shadows. This is similar to the look I used for my everyday look video, including: grand entrance, bold and brazen, and glamour check eyeshadows.

Here I used the Heathrette trio with the aqua colors. We wanted something a bit more bold and bright to go with the graffiti settings in the back.

This is my fav shirt of them all :)

Here's Jay...nice and natural.

Some group shots outdoors. We found a really cool building in Atlanta which was painted on both sides with awesome graffiti.

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

The holidays are swiftly approaching and it's the perfect time to stock up on holiday makeup sets for yourself or to give as gifts to others.

I recently had the opportunity to test out a few of Pur Minerals new Holiday gift sets.

On to the review!

Inspire, Reflect, Celebrate Luminous Eye Shadow Palette
with lid closed


Swatches of reflect, the 5 shadows in the middle

Swatches of celebrate, the eyeshadows on the left of the palette.

Swatches of Inspire, the group of eyeshadows to the right of the palette.

For my contest this is what my email contestants will be winning!

For $25 and 15 different eyeshadow colors, this palette is a really good deal. I actually like it more than the previous Paint by Numbers Palette that Pur Minerals released. My reasoning is that this time around the eyeshadows are grouped into clusters that coordinate really well. For instance, the Inspire Cluster (my favorite of the three) is perfect for a night-time smokey eye, while the Reflect cluster is perfect for a shimmery, neutral day-time look. It's almost like having three separate holiday palettes in one. The swatches were all done without a base. The Neutral cluster in the middle doesn't show up as pigmented but it still shows well on the eye. This really makes a great starter kit or a gift for someone you love. Just make sure to wear a good base underneath if you want the colors to pop.

Next we have the Tease, Flirt, Charm Glimmer Eye Pencil Trio and the Smile, Pout, Kiss Lip Gloss Trio

With this trio, you get three glosses for $25 which isn't a bad deal at all. I was pleasantly suprised by this set. The colors are all super smooth and well pigmented. My favorite is Sheer Crystal, a pretty baby pink color. It's perfect for a pretty pink lip. Pur Brilliance looks white in the tube but it's actually as an irridescent pink shimmer that would look great on top of a favorite lipstick. Glazed Ruby really suprised me of how pigmented it came out. It reminded me of a gloss version of Port Red lipstick. It's a great color to have for the holidays. Again, I like this better than the previous lipgloss I tried from Pur Minerals. In comparison with the last Lip Plumping Pur Minerals Gloss I tried, this one had a very subtle yet pleasant vanilla scent.

For $18.50, Pur Minerals offers a trio of eyeliners reminiscent of popular jewel tones for the holidays. They are retractable pencils which go on really smooth. Unfortunately, the only one that really showed up on me was Emerald. The others kind of blended into my skintone. This would probably work more so for the fairer skinned beauties out there.

Like I mentioned, these would make great stocking stuffers. Each set is $25 or under.

You can find these at http://www.purminerals.com/.

Make sure to also check out their beauty blog for more tips and tricks.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

How was your weekend? It was an exhausting but fun one filled with makeup gigs. I'm excited about how everything turned out. The Indian wedding makeup I did Saturday turned out lovely. We did a smokey blue eye using silvers from the MAC Holiday smokey eye palette and deep truth e/s from MAC. This coordinated beautifully with her Sari. Saturday night, the Makeup Bar was awesome! My assistant Joy and I made over 15 women and they all looked fab! Talk about instant transformations! The shoot on Sunday was also great. I ended up doing a smokey eye look per the photographer's request. This week I'm planning on doing the more creative type makeup. Thanks for your suggestions!

I finally uploaded my tutorial from my Manish Arora dupeable look. I got a bunch of requests to do this look after my A-Design brushes video. I pretty much decided to create the look when I missed out on the limited edition Manish Arora collection from MAC. As you can see, you don't need the products to create a bright and fun look.

You know that blues and greens are my favorite. Hope you enjoy!

Here's What I Used (All MAC unless otherwise stated):

-bare study paint pot
-nylon e/s
-lime e/s
-clarity e/s
-deep truth e/s
-Revlon Colorstay liquid liner in blackest black
-feline kohl power pencil
-ardell falsies
-Smashbox iconic mascara

-CRC orange blush

-lychee luxe lipglass

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Yay it's finally Friday! This week was slow for me for some reason. It's going to be a busy weekend for me though, yikes! Saturday morning I have to do wedding makeup at 8am...i'm so not a morning person, lol. That evening I'm doing a makeup bar. For those of you who aren't familar, they mentioned this in the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Basically, a group of women come together, have cocktails, get their makeup done and a photographer takes some pics. It's a really great idea to do something fun with the girls. I'm doing that from 5-9pm. Then I have a shoot on Sunday morning. I'm going to be tuckered out! But better busy than not. The shoot on Sunday is going to be a collaboration where I'm going to do something really creative makeup wise...I'm still thinking of outrageous ideas. Any ideas?

Anywho, I went out with some of my sorors last Friday night and decided to try a new color combination. I really liked the way it came out. It has an earthy feel to it. Chrome yellow eyeshadow from MAC and I have never been good friends until I found a good base from Ben Nye. Without it, it refuses to show up! We went to go see Superkrew from America's Best Dance Crew perform at my alma mater, but the line was insane so we went home instead, lol. What a waste of makeup! Oh well, at least I took pics!

Here's What I Used:

-soft ochre paint pot
-Ben Nye yellow cream colour
-gesso e/s
-chrome yellow e/s
-brown down e/s
-fascinating kohl pencil (can't see it in the picture but I lined my waterline with this...by the time I took the picture it was hours later and faded)
-Revlon liquid liner
-ardell lashes
-rimmel professional brow pencil and cork e/s on brows

-Rimmel foundation primer
-select coverup concealer NW35
-studio tech foundation NC43 (haven't used this in a while...I forgot how much I like it!)
-CRC translucent powder
-gold deposit msf
-shy beauty beauty powder blush
-petticoat msf

-cork lip pencil
-NARS orgasm lipgloss

Have a great weekend! If you have any suggestions of outrageous makeup, please leave a comment and let me know!

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I recently gave a go at trying a few products from L'Oreal Paris' haircare line. I was excited because I'm always looking for new haircare products. Moreover, this is a very affordable line that you can find at your local grocery store, wal-mart, or target.

On to the review!

L'Oreal Paris VIVE Pro Nutri Gloss shampoo, conditioner and conditioning treatment

I've used this a few times and it's pretty decent. I used all three products each time I wash my hair because it needs extra moisture. It's intended for medium to long length hair that is damaged -- bingo, that's me! I'm currently growing my hair out and it's right at my shoulders. All my coloring has left my hair pretty dry to the point that I rely on a good conditioner and serum. The conditioning treatment worked pretty well. My hair was soft and I was able to run my fingers smoothly during the washing and conditioning process. Still, I've had better conditioners...I prefer conditioners that come in a tub because they tend to offer more intensive treatment.

L'oreal Paris VIVE Pro Color VIVE shampoo and conditioning treatment
I used this shampoo and conditioner twice, and honestly, it didn't give me what I needed. Usually when you try a different shampoo and conditioner your hair reacts to it for the first time and your hair feels renewed. Not this time. My hair felt dry afterwards. This shampoo is intended for dry, chemically treated hair which I defintely have. However, it didn't provide the moisture I needed.

Studio Line Smoothness Smoothing Cream
I used this with my damp hair. As I may have mentioned, I usually don't blow dry my hair after pure laziness. This product can be used for damp hair to prepare it for styling. I found this to not be oily, but more so like the consistency of a leave-in conditioner. Surprisingly, it really helped to detangle my hair. I also like to use this as a heat protectant and general smoother. It doesn't provide instant results of shine and bounciness because that's not it's job. It's a smoothing cream, and for it's purpose it works well.

Studio Line Perfect Fix Finishing Hairspray
I'm not too picky on my hairspray. Two things I look for are hold and flake factor. I used this with my Thundercats costume. My two friends and I teased our hair to the heavens and used this to keep it up. It did it's job. The smell was okay, typical hair spray smell that faded after a short while. What I noticed was that it didn't turn white or flake like many hair sprays of it's price point...woo hoo! I would repurchase because it works and it's super cheap!

Check out more reviews at TotalBeauty.com

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

So today is the day I finally announce my huge contest, woo hoo! I've been waiting for the big day that I reached 10,000 subscribers on You Tube and I finally made it! At this point, I'm actually over 11,000. This month also marks my one year anniversay of my blog! I wanted to do a contest and give out some fab prizes to thank all of my readers and subscribers for supporting me along the way. I really can't express how you guys have been there for me...helping me to push myself and really turn my passion into a career. Thank you so much!

Let me stop before I get too mushy, he he.

Check out my video for the run down:

If you're interested in participating, please read the rules carefully.

Rules and Requirements

  • You must be a subscriber of my youtube page to participate.

  • You must leave a comment under this blog post to tell me that you are participating.

  • This must be your own work! Post a live video response to my Contest Video with your video entry. When I say live video, I do this because many of my blogger friends (Vanessa and Lurve) have had picture theft. I want to ensure that this doesn't happen. You must have a live video and not pictures in a slideshow.

The video entry

  • I want you to make a video imitating moi...do my talk, my mannerisms, the music...all while recreating a look that I've done in a previous Youtube Video.

  • Be creative! Making me laugh is a plus.

  • Don't forget the hot music - my boyfriend will also be a judge.

  • I'm also looking at looks and makeup skills that will blow me away. Heck, do it better than I did!


  • I will have 3 winners: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. At least one of the three winners will go to someone who may not be an expert at makeup, but someone who will still make a great effort. This is to encourage those of you who might not think you have the skills to enter...I guarantee at least one makeup beginner will win.

  • The first place winner will have first choice of prize, second place has second choice, and the third place will receive whatever prize is left.

  • This is open to international readers and viewers.


  • You have three weeks to post your video response and leave a comment to tell me you're participating. The deadline is 11:59pm on December 1st, 2008.

  • I will announce a winner by December 15th, 2008. This will give me enough time to review the videos and hopefully have your packages mailed out around Christmas.

Now for the prizes! These are some great makeup and hair goodies. It took me months to bust my bum and collect these for you guys. I know you're going to love them!

Thank you to Beauty Choice.com, Anastasia.Net, Stars Makeup Haven, Pencil Me in Cosmetics, Pur Minerals, and A Design Brushes for sponsoring this contest!

Each prize pack is worth over $200!

Prize 1:

This prize will also include a Pur Minerals starter kit. This includes a full sized 4 in 1 pressed mineral makeup in your shade, Mineral Glow, Universal Marble Powder in Pink, and the chisel makeup brush.

You'll also receive 2 pairs of false eyelashes, samples of DentaBurst, an ELF facebrush, and from Stars Makeup Haven a tarte coin purse, Hard Candy key chain lipgloss, several makeup brushes, and a sample of Urban Decay Primer Potion.

Prize 2:

In this prize you'll receive a Barbar Flat Iron from BeautyChoice.com, 2 pairs of false lashes, a spinlash mascara, an Anastasia mini brow kit from Anastasia.net, and from Stars Makeup Haven, empty tin pans and a Smashbox lipstick, eyeshadow and pot of gloss.

Prize 3:

This set includes 2 pairs of false eyelashes, a Clinique mini starter kit, a Shieseido mini cleansing kit, 5 smokey eye pencils from Pencil Me In Cosmetics, Dessert, Urban Decay and Victoria's Secret lip glosses from Stars Makeup Haven, and a complete 14 brush set from A-Design.com (I want this for myself!)

One more prize!

For those of you who are unable to submit a video, I will be giving away a Pur Minerals Holiday Eyeshadow palette. All you need to do is send me an email at makeupbyren@yahoo.com with the subject line "CONTEST" and tell me how Makeup By RenRen has inspired you.

I hope to see a lot of participation, have fun with it! Until next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Last week I was inspired by a MAC artist on specktra called Fancy Face Beater. She did an amazing look with dark eyes and dark lips. I was excited because I had all the products she used. I decided to recreate the look. The eyes are really two shadows and some glitter-so easy! The trick is to blend it out.

Here's What I Used (All MAC unless otherwise stated):

-bare canvas paint
-carbon e/s
-rice paper e/s
-silver strip from dangerzone e/s
-kohl pencil in smolder
-blacktrack fluidline
-no 7 lashes
-smashbox iconic mascara
-rimmel professional brow pencil and cork e/s on brows

-rimmel primer
-mineralized satinfinish foundation NC42
-CRC translucent powder
-shadester sculpt powder
-petticoat msf

-chesnut lipliner
-hang up creamsheen lipstick

Crazy BF kept trying to get into my picture taking!

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

How was your weekend? Quick again? Mine was. I got my hair done this weekend...it's pretty different, I'll post pics soon. I had it darked to a brown with caramel highlights and got myself a bang. I think the stylist cut off a little too much length but it should grow out soon.

Anywho, on to the post!

Recently I had the opportunity to try out some products from a brand new mineral makeup company Earthen Glow Minerals. I was also happy to hear that they are based out of Duluth, GA...not even 30 minutes away from where I live.

They told me to peruse the website and pick what I liked. If you go to the website you'll notice that they have a crazy amount of products and colors. The eyeshadows are absolutely gorgeous! It was very difficult for me to to narrow down what I wanted to try!

On to the review!

$.75 for sample in a bag, $1.50 for sample in a jar, $6.00 for 5 gram jar
First off, there are over 116 shades to try. What first caught my eye were the colors...they have a gorgeous range of colors grouped by color families to help make it a little easier.

I received samples of these shadows and they are just as pigmented in person as they appear on the website. The only thing you should be aware of is that these shadows come loose in a jar. On the website they show the color as if it is a pressed mineralized eyeshadow in dome form, but this is not how you will receive them.

Eyeshadows swatched dry without base:


$.75 for sample in a bag, $1.50 for sample in a jar, $8.00 for 10 gram jar
Gorgeous! Definitely recommend. Their blushes venture away from the typical coral, peach an plum colors and also ventury into more browns and tawny shades. This company really makes an effort to reach out to various tones outside of the norm which is especially good for women of color.

Blushes swatched dry without base:

Foundations/Highlight and Contour Colors/Powder Primers
$.75 for sample in a bag, $1.50 for sample in a jar, $18.00 for 30 gram jar
I really really wanted to like these. First off, foundations come in over 163 colors. The shades are named by different female names and each description of the shade offers a celebrity to compare the shade to. For example, the shade Robin is a brown foundation with yellow undertones. They list Tia and Tamara Mowry and Halle Barry as examples. I ordered a bunch of shades, from light to dark. When I tested them I was so disappointed. Upon swatching they powders all felt uber chalky, almost rough. I'm not a regular loose mineral makeup user so I pulled out a couple of mineral foundations for reference (bare essentials and everyday minerals) and they indeed were super chalky. The other foundations had a fine milled, silky texture. I wouldn't even want to put EG minerals foundation on my face.

Pigmented Lip Cream Tubes $9
I was excited to try these out because again they seemed like they had a great range of shades. The company appeals to women of various ethnicities and the colors show this. I squeezed the lip gloss out and again was so disappointed. The gloss seemed to have big particles which made it seem like the product wasn't mixed together properly. It felt like huge chunks of dirt were in there. I'd much rather use this as a foot exfoliant than a lip gloss.

Lipcream Palette $30 and Sheer Mineral Lipgloss Palette $15
I was really excited to try these because I just love anything that comes in a palette. The mineral lip cream palette comes with a whopping 15 colors. When I saw it in person I swatched the colors and why did each one come out looking like the same sheer reddish tone? It also smelt like cough syrup. The lipgloss palette was even worse. The product was not soft like gloss and swatched extremely clear. Putting them on the lips was not fun either. They stung my lips like no other! I’m thinking that whatever was causing the cough syrup smell was also burning my lips. Please don’t order these.

Here's a look I did with the shadows. In person it looked better because you could see the color dimension more.

Here's What I Used:

-bare study paint pot
-EG minerals pagoda springs e/s (wet on lid)
-EG minerals in shell island (highlight)
-EG minerals in caribbean sea (lid)
-EG minerals in african violet (outer v)

-temptu foundation in #6 and #7 mixed
-EG minerals magenta e/s

-PUR minerals pink lipgloss

In sum, I have mixed feelings. The company has some really great eyeshadows and blushes so you should definitely check those out. I would load up on the $.75 sample baggies. As for the foundations and lip products, I'm thinking that this start up hasn't quite ironed out the formulation process. My review of course, is my own personal opinion. With that said, check them out http://www.egmineralmakeup.com/.

Till next time, ciao bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I love teaming up with my fellow bloggers. One of my most favorite, Kia From Yummy411 hit me up with a proposal to touch on a new topic..."How to get your makeup looking great for photos."

We decided to come up with some easy tips for you guys. Check out Kia's tips here.

My tips are based on whether you are doing makeup for a photoshoot or if you are getting your photos professionally taken (graduation, wedding, etc...)

1) Avoid spf in your foundation or moisturizer…SPF will cause you to have a white cast on the face.

2) Invest in photofriendly makeup. Many new HD lines are popping up including MUFE HD’s new line and Cargo Blue Ray’s line.

3) Photoshoot makeup is different than street makeup…you have to apply more for it to show up and not be washed out by lighting. In this case, less is not more, more is more!

4) If you're doing makeup on yourself, get yourself a magnifying mirror…good cameras, especially SLR’s can pick up the tiniest blemishes and streaks that you might not see from your bathroom mirror .

5) Keep good blotting powder on hand. Multiple touch ups will be necessary. Photographers love the way a matte look comes up on film. Those lights can make you melt!

6) Lastly, test your makeup on camera by checking how it looks on the view screen. This is important for both photography and film. This is when the look really matters. Do any necessary touch ups. And voila, you’re done!

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Coming soon... Atlanta makeup artist

MARI themes

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