Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cousins Shoot

Hi Bellas!

About two weekends ago I had the opportunity to shoot with two beautiful women Sunny and Kanella. You might not be able to tell, but they're cousins! I met them through a former co-worker of mine and I was commissioned to do their makeup for this shoot. From the beginning, I was told that they wanted something very natural. Both are not accustomed to bold makeup so they wanted to ensure that they still looked like themselves in the end, lol.

I did Kanella's makeup first. First off, we wanted to make sure that her skin was as flawless as possible. She had some texture issues from acne so I concentrated on priming her face first to have a smooth canvas, and I used my Cinema Secrets foundation in its cream state to provide maximum coverage. I also mixed the foundations to match her true skin tone...she's a bit lighter in the middle and darker along the outer edges of her face. In terms of colors, she really wanted a natural look. I told her that we were going to stick to golds and browns. I convinced her to try on a pair of falsies because they make such a difference in photography. I think a lot of people associate false lashes with drag queen makeup...little do they know that lashes come in so many sizes and shapes...and they really can make the look!

Sunny wanted to try a little bit of color but too much. When she saw my eyeshadows from the Cool Heat Collection she was sold. It was actually really easy to do her makeup because she was wearing glasses at the time and gave me free reign. Usually I allow clients to examine each step of the makeup process to make sure they're liking the progress. Sunny told me to just go with the flow because she couldn't see it anyways,lol. In the end we did a subtle mix of creams and teals. It really went with her newly acquired tan from a cruise she had gone on.

They took individual pictures as well as cousin shots. Is it just me, or does Kanella remind you of Tony from the show "Girlfriends"? LOL.

Anywho, on to the pics!

Kanella posing for the camera...



Now it's Sunny's turn...I see you America's Next Top Model!



Now a Cousin's Shot...awwww, they really are good friends.


Till next time, ciao bellas!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MAC Pro Haul

Hi Bellas,

So I was finally able to head down to the MAC Pro Store in Orlando over 4th of July Weekend. You all know I've been preparing for this trip, making lists for weeks! I prefer buying things in person over online so I can swatch and ask the MUA questions. Let's say I definitely stocked up, lol. I spent more than I wanted to...but that's not something I haven't said before when it comes to MAC, lol.

I tried to get only Pro items since I have a freestanding store that is two minutes away from me and the closest Pro store in 7 hours away. I had to film the video twice so I could try to get it in the time limit!

I've only posted swatches on my blog, not the video, so my blogging beauties get a little something extra!

While I was at the store, I was helped by a really great MA named Fawn. She was really knowledgeable and you know she was Asian too ;) She answered my gazillion questions and I learned a lot of new things from her.

My new brushes! The 174 pro brush and the brush that's about to be discontinued...sorry I can't remember the number and I'm writing this at work, lol.


My new 15 pan eyeshadow palette. From left to right, the pro eyeshadows: deep damson, cobalt, soot, rose, ground brown, lime.


Swatches of the eyeshadow. Swatched dry with no base. One swipe of the finger. These are the softest eyeshadows ever. I understand why they're pro eyeshadows because they're easier to blend than some of the other finishes. Left to right: deep damson, cobalt, soot, rose, ground brown, lime


Swatches of new pro blushes and sculpting powders. First three are blushes: housewine, burnt pepper, azalea. Last three are the sculpting powders: Sculpt, Shadester, and Definitive. I tried to get a range of sculpting powders to suit a variety of my clients. I use these all the time now! Definitive is an awesome color for darker skin tones. Sorry but I accidentally deleted the picture of the blush palette with everything in it, he he.


MAC pro lashes in #12, #8, #10. I got two of each since they don't sell these in the normal stores.


MAC Pro lipsticks: violetta, sin, lady danger. Behind them, you'll see the cream colour bases in black and white.


EZR eye zone remoisturizer (great as an eye cream as well as a glitter adhesive), Face and Body Mixing Medium (I use these to mix my foundations and make them budge proof...you can also use them with pigments for body painting), Water Based Mixing Medium (for foiling my pigments and eyeshadows), Multi-Purpose clear gloss


White gold pigment (great for highlighting right underneath your eyebrow arch). Reflects pearl glitter-the best multipurpose glitter, and invisible pro set powder. This is the only translucent powder that I've tried that doesn't give an ashy finish to some darker skin tones.


MAC cleansing tips--good for quick clean ups. Just take off the packaging and you have a pre-moistened makeup remover q-tip.


So check out my vid on all the goodies I got!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little catching up...

Hi Bellas,

I wanted to do a little bit of catching up with things that have been going on in my life. It’s been pretty busy as you can see.

Every weekend is always a little more tiring because this is when I book the majority of my makeup gigs. My 9-5 prevents me from doing too much during the week unless it’s after work. Fortunately, I had Saturday afternoon to chill with my boyfriend. I was able to pick up 7 NYX Round lipsticks for a dollar each from a hair supply store. I’m going to test some of them up on a fashion show I’m doing on Thursday.

Speaking of the fashion show, I’m attending the dress rehearsal for this week’s fashion show tonight. I’ll get a better idea of what I’m working with. The designer wants me to create an eyeshadow look with bright colors – yay! I’m thinking yellows, oranges, blues, and purples. The rest of the face will be pretty toned down. Sounds like fun right? I’m going to work on a face chart to show you the look before the show.

In terms of you tube videos, I’ve been meaning to upload one but like I said, busy busy busy! The next video I’ll upload hopefully tonight or tomorrow is my MAC Pro haul video from the 4th of July. I’ve been using many of the products I bought. Some of the most used so far are my face and body mixing medium as well as my new blushes and sculpting powders.

Here’s what I have coming up:
-MAC Pro Haul Video
-How to Pack your Set Bag Video
-Kim Kardashian tutorial
-Starflash Haul Video (releases this Thursday in MAC stores, woo hoo!)
-Starflash Tutorial
-Cousins Photoshoot Entry

Till next time, ciao bellas!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jordan's Engagement Photoshoot

Hi Bellas,

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was busyyyyyy lol once again. Friday I had Atlanta Fashion Week...did about 12 models or so? LOL. That was definitely an experience. Saturday I did a mother and daughter photoshoot and Sunday a male model shoot. Whew! Luckily this just gives me more material for my blog entries! This weekend I finally picked up the clear DVD rack from the container store to house my MAC palettes. Seeing it on Nessa's page really put me over, lol. I had to get it! I only have 3 slots for palettes left. I put my container store lipgloss holder on top and they look so cute together since they're both clear and match perfectly. I also went to the art store Utrecht and picked up some new clear pencil cases for my traincase. I'm a sucker for organizational tools! Anywho, back to the makeup, he he.

A few weeks ago I was able to do makeup on a bride-to-be for her engagement photos. Jordan was referred to me by another client on whom I did the makeup for a boudoir photoshoot. Word of mouth is definitely the best form of advertisement.

Jordan wanted a very natural look. In her shoot she would wear a nice sundress and shoot by The Fountains in downtown Atlanta. In terms of makeup, I wanted Jaimie to look like herself but more polished. She was experiencing some acne breakouts at the time but we were able to cover them right up with my Cinema Secrets foundation. You can't even tell in the photos. Flawless skin = makeup + great lightning. She was a wonderful client. We definitely connected over our talk about her upcoming wedding.

We're working out the details for her bridal makeup, I can't wait!

Photography by Shannon



Friday, July 25, 2008

Makeup Storage and Organization

Hi Bellas,

So as you have seen over the past 7 months...my makeup collection has astronomically multiplied, lol. I have a thing about organization...things need to be in their place or I start to get a bit ansy. I do have my messy moments at points (like when you're picking an outfit for the club, and you try on a million things and everything is left abandoned on your bed and floor waiting to be picked up days later, lol) but essentially I go on cleaning and organizing sprees like I did the other day to 3 in the morning!

My makeup is stored in metal drawers, my traincase, and my linen closet. My linen closet was about to burst! I had two sterilite drawers and boxes of random products. I knew it was time for a clean sweep!

So a few weeks ago, I went to wal-mart and browsed their storage sections and came back with a few ideas.

Originally, I had bought these two pullout drawers from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think it was on sale 2 for $30. I stack them on top of each other to save space. I think they're supposed to go under your sink for organization but I keep them on the counter for easy reach. I've been using these for the past few months and they're great! When I have clients come over for makeup...it makes me feel more professional having these lil things. I love them...but they were starting to overflow. Even the top of the drawers were being used to house brushes, my lip glosses, and random eyeshadows I've been favoring.

Here's a before:

On the top I store my foundation, blush, and eyeshadow palettes.

On the bottom I store my skincare, lip pencils, eye pencils, eyebrow stuff, and the smaller things.

Now my linen closet...it was starting to get a hot mess. Not only do I use it to store makeup, but I put towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and jewelry in there as well. I also hang my brush apron on the door knob. You never knew when something was going to fall off the shelf and stub your big toe.

Here are some before pics:



My goal was to have the counter as clear as possible. And I wanted the metal drawers to be reorganized as well as the linen closet. It was feng shui for my makeup station. So I definitely used more plastic containers and drawers to help me out with this.

So here are the after shots:


You might not be able to tell...but I moved a lot of items around. I put a lot of things in those clear pencil bags I showed you guys earlier in my traincase video. I also moved all my powder compacts and MSFs/Bronzers into a rectangular drawer organizer and put it on top of the drawers...they fit perfectly into it and keeps super organized.


Doesn't the closet look a hundred times better? I moved my toilets and toilet paper to the top so the middle drawers within reach all had makeup. I added an extra set of drawers and bought a big plastic case to hold all my falsies. I also added a wire shelf to create two levels to store some of my jewelry.


I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I love how I came up with this idea, lol. This is a $7 over the door plastic shoe holder. It has clear slots and about 22 pockets for me to hold everything. I don't put makeup in here, but more so supplies. It has everything from q-tips, sponges, mixing mediums, moisturizers, makeup wipes, label maker, empty 5 grame containers...all in easy to see clear pockets. This makes it so much easier for me to find items and return them back to their place quickly. Love it! My makeup clients (the girls mainly) love it too!



So today I'm off to do Atlanta Fashion week...i have to be at the Georgia World Congress Center at 1pm to start...so I had to take a half day off of work. It should be interesting! I'm going to try and film some footage to show you all. Saturday I'm doing a mother daughter photoshoot of a good friend of mine. Sunday another photoshoot with this really great male model...busy busy busy!

Hope you guys have a fab weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lots of Pics - FOTDs from the last few weeks

Hi Bellas!

It's been a hectic last couple of weeks. I was going through pictures on my computer last night, and I wanted to catch you guys up on a few photos i've taken over the last couple of weeks. Everybody likes picture time! It also gives me an opportunity to get in a few FOTDs that I haven't had time to post.

Here I am modeling my Odd Couple Mineralized Duo, MSF DUO in dark/shimmer, with Gleeful Mineralized Blush. I was having one of those moments where I got super excited about my new goodies and had to wear them all together. For this look, I went home during lunch and put on my makeup, took a picture and went back to work. The colors are still vibrant but work appropriate.



This pic takes us all the way back to Memorial Weekend. My friends and I had a barbeque and I rocked the Neo-Sci Fi Collection. I have on magenetic fields e/s, bronzescape solar bits, evening aura e/s, and I'm wearing electro lipstick with pink grapefruit lipglass on top.



Here is a pic from the Best Makeup Artists of Georgia Meetup a few weeks ago. Fellow blogger Jaimie/my Makeup Mentee is to my left. Next to her is another Atlanta makeup artist Thomasina, and next to her is model Hannah. In this pic I'm rocking my new MAC Pro lipstick Lady danger. On the eyes, I'm wearing neutrals including gorgeous gold and some browns I can't remember.



This is the makeup that I wore to my Star Boutique gig last Friday. I wanted something vibrant...it shows up a bit washed out on camera but it was bright in person! On my eyes I'm rocking the teal color from the Heatherette Trio I think it's calling Hopping, along with the purple e/s from my UD deluxe eyeshadow palette...and a few other colors I can't remember, lol. On my lips I'm wearing Comet Blue Dazzleglass. I try to mix it up and go back to collections I tend to neglect.

Peace up A-Town down...if you're in the Atlanta area and you're an aspiring makeup artist/beauty junkie hit me up! I'm trying to expand my Atlanta makeup clique :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rock/Hip Hopper Photoshoot

Hi Bellas,

A few weeks ago I was able to do a photoshoot...remember the "sneak peak into a photshoot" you tube video? These are some pictures from that shoot. The theme was rock/hip hop. A lot of people don't often realize that men also need makeup for professional photoshoots. It helps to conceal any blemishes and give a more polished picture. For the model Nick, I worked on evening out his skin tone, particularly to cover up his undereye circles. I also filled in his eyebrows, and gave him a smudged black eyeliner look. I gave him just enough so he would seem edgy yet still emit a manly essence.

Here's what I used:

FACE
-monistat anti-chafing relief gel
-cinema secrets foundation
-graftobian powder
-elf bronzer

LIPS
-chapstick

EYES
-ELF clear mascara
-eye kohl in smolder
-carbon e/s
-blond/ash eyebrow pencil







And of course, a before and after. You have to admit, he look so much cooler with makeup! ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Star Boutique

Hi Bellas,

This weekend was absolutely crazy. Friday I had a makeup gig right after work and almost didn't make it to meet up with my crew to see the 10:50 showing of Batman ...after going over 90mph from the gig to the movie theatre I was able to make it, lol. Fortunately I had gotten my ticket in advance and my friends saved me a seat in the packed theatre!

That evening I was booked for a makeup gig at a trendy clothing boutique in Atlanta. The owner, Star, wanted to have a Girlfriend Network Night. She had food, a lash extension stylist, a manicurist, and me there to treat her customers. Star decided to give away a free makeover to one of her customers and I would do the makeup while teaching the group of women how to apply it.

My friend Ashley came with me and she was the biggest help ever. I mean, I didn’t even have to put a brush down before she took it from my fingers and placed it back in the appropriate dirty brush cup. When I ran out of eyeliner on my palette, I’d look down and she’d applied some more. Thanks Ash!

While I was there I also did the owner’s birthday makeup. For her, I did a bright eye look using the cool heat collection. She had a really fun personality and colorful clothing so I wanted her eye makeup to match. There was a photographer there taking pictures but I wasn’t able to get a good shot of her makeup unfortunately.

I did the makeover second. My client was not used to wearing that much makeup…just a bit of eyeliner and mascara but that’s it. So I was surprised when she picked up my sea and sky eyeshadow and wanted me to use it on her. Let’s say that everyone else loved it, but she was taken aback. For a person not used to wearing eyeshadow, the blue was a bit much for her. It was fine though. You have to be ready for scenarios like that. I was able to completely transform the formerly bright blue eyeshadow to more of a nude look using lots of llama e/s and amber lights e/s. As a makeup artist, you have to make the customer happy and in the end she really liked it.

Photography By Images By Ken, L.L.C
Check him out at www.imagesbyk.com

I started out by concealing her undereye circles.


Here I am applying the Sea and Sky Mineralized e/s using my nifty Coastal Scents brush.


This what her eye was starting to look like...


This is me working hard, trying to turn the bright blue eye into a more neutral look to suit the client's tastes.


Here's the client, examining the final look. Is that a smile I see?



Here's the final look!


Lastly, a pic of the boutique owner and the makeover winner.


At the end, I couldn't resist it...I had to shop there! They had the cutest clothes and everything was 30% off that night. I bought a really cute bright yellow dress for $30, it looks like the color of bitter e/s from MAC in case you needed a reference color, lol. I just had Star subtract it from the amount she owed, lol.

The next day I went bridal dress shopping with my best friend who is getting married next year. Talk about bonding moments! After that I went to a housewarming party, then to my friend's house to meet her new boo. I had to leave by Midnight because I had a photoshoot starting at 10:30am. We didn't finish till nearly seven and the shoot took place completely outdoors in the forest and the Chatahoochee River. That was intense! I'm still dehydrated and bug bitten, lol. But the pictures turned out amazing....I'll show pics soon! After that, I had to run home and take a shower to get ready for the dress rehearsal for Atlanta's International Fashion Week fashion show. Talk about non-stop! So much to post, so little time, lol.

Till next time, ciao bellas!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Traincase - How to pack it for a Wedding Gig

Hi Bellas,

Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I worked on a wedding gig where I was responsible for doing the makeup of 7 bridesmaids. Luckily, I had an assistant to help carry the load, shout out to Jaimie!

When you're doing a wedding gig with a large number of clients, it's important to pack your traincase effectively. I decided to film a video showing how I have everything organized and what I packed. I figured that this would be helpful for all you makeup artists out there...whether you're building your kit, or whether you want to see what others have in their kits.


As you can see, I like to keep everything separated by category. I got a bunch of these clear pencil cases from office max for about a dollar. They're big and clear so you can quickly see what you're looking for. They're also more study than the regular ziplock bag. I also use my trusty label maker to label each bag. I keep my skincare items in a clear pencil box because it's more sturdy for the heavier liquids. The box was almost about $2 from office max.

I would love to see what you guys put in your kit as well! I'm always trying to learn something new.

Here are a few basics for packing for a wedding gig:
-waterproof everything - mascara, eyeliner...to protect the makeup from the tears of joy
-multiple disposables - lip brushes, mascara wands, sponges...to cut time on cleaning brushes
-neutral colors - creams, browns, peaches, pinks, golds--this is pretty much the wedding color palettes, for eyes, cheeks and lips
-91% alcohol in a spray bottle - this higher concentration dries quicker and it's important for quick sanitation between clients
-touch up kits for bridesmaids - i packed a mini ziplock bag with a disposable lip brush, nude lip gelee in a 5 gram jar, and an oil blotting sheet. that way they can touch up throughout the day after I'm long gone.
-bright smile, friendly attitude and calm disposition - with all the wedding chaos it's good to be able to go with the flow and be a calming force to your clients. there's always multiple things going wrong but you gotta be prepared for it.

Those are just a few things I've noticed work for me...please share any of your tips!

Here's a video showing you exactly what I pack:

EOTD-Fresh Green Mix and Bronzescape Eye

Hi Bellas,

I thought we'd end the week with a EOTD using a mix of two collections. I used my electroflash duo in fresh green mix along with my neglected solar bits in bronzescape. I really like how the colors melt together. This is the perfect look for a nice summer day.



Notice anything different about me?

....
.........
..............

I'm wearing colored contacts! I really thought that my Freshlooks Colorblend contacts in Pure Hazel would add a little something to this look. Greens and browns look especially good on hazel eyes. Sometimes it's just fun to mix it up and try a new eye color. After all, it's only temporary. If you want to pick up a pair for yourself, might as well find a deal online at a place like www.Lensshopper.com. Mrs. Lynne did a very thorough review of the site here.

You can see a better picture of the colors up close here:

Here's what I used (ALL MAC unless otherwise stated):

EYES
-lucky jade shadestick
-fresh green mix mineralized duo
-bronzescape solar bits
-vanilla e/s
-Revlon colorstay liquid liner in brown black
-Ardell falsies

FACE
-Bonne Bell blend and glow highlighter
-Bare Essentials mineral foundation in tan
-msf in warmed

LIPS
-bateaux lustreglass

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hot Pink Nails

Hi Bellas,

After reading so many posts on all the hot new nail colors of the season, it really motivated me to do something I haven't done in a really long time...paint my finger nails! I didn't have the motivation or cash to really go out and hunt the new Essie summer nail colors, but I decided to pull out one of my favorites. This is a hot pink nail polish by Finger Paints that I bought from Sallys. You might be able to tell that Hot Pink is one of my favorite colors...notice how the nail polish matches my watch perfectly!


I used a base coat from Sallys, put on two layers of the hot pink polish, and one layer of top coat.


Finger Paints in Studio Ruby-O

It came out like this. Pretty good right? I probably should have taken the extra step to push back my cuticles, but I'm too lazy for all that. Luckily my mama blessed me with her good nails...they're strong and can grow super long without breaking. I try to avoid them getting too long because they end up looking fake.

So I was all proud of myself...but why after a few hours did I find myself touching up already? I hadn't smudged it or anything, but it was chipping as if I had worn it for days! I touched it up and went on. The next day, more chips! Again I touched it up a few times during the day. You can tell that I was really committed to keeping my nails up. By day three, they were a hot mess. I ended up taking off the nail polish.

Why does this happen? Do I need more coats? A better nail polish? Help a sista out!

Post your recommendations to keeping nail polish staying fresh...