Hi Bellas,

Happy New Years's Eve!  I had planned on doing a New Year's look but being sick hasn't attributed to too much makeup lately.  Also, there seems to be a virus on my computer, uh oh!  I'll have my BF take a look and fix it when he comes home on Sunday.  I need him to fix it before I can upload another video because I can't get onto the internet at home.  Unfortunately, he won't be in town to celebrate the New Years with me, but at least i'll have my best friends to share it with me :)  Do you guys have plans tonight?  We're doing it low key this year...potluck and drinks at a friend's house tonight and then we're going to see a basketball game tomorrow...my first time finally seeing a pro game!

Meanwhile, I wanted to share with you some pics of a client I did a few months ago.  She came in intending to get advice on producing a mineral makeup line for women of color.  I have tested my fair share of mineral makeup companies, some good and some not so good.  While giving her some tips, I also helped her recreate a daytime and nighttime look.  Having your own mineral makeup company, your makeup needs to be on point!  Too bad I didn't get a before and after shot because it was a great transformation.

Here are some tips and tricks I taught my client during this lesson which you all might be able to benefit from:

  • if you want more coverage from a mineral foundation, try dampening your brush first.  We used the client's own mineral foundation which was okay dry...but when wet it made her skin flawless!
  • if you find a foundation is too light for you, use it in the center of your face only...it will highlight you and make you glow...then you can use a darker one around the outside of your face...this is what I did with the client's makeup when the two shades she hadn't weren't quite a perfect match

  • wearing any kind of eyeshadow base makes a huge difference...she had an eyeshadow palette which she disliked because it looked too chalky on her.  I popped on a MAC paint underneath and voila, the colors transformed and popped!

  • if you have darker lips and have problems trying to achieve a nude lip...try using an apricot/coral shade instead...the warmness will prevent your lips from looking ashy, but it will still give you that nude look

Here's a shot of the smokey look we did together using mainly her own makeup.  I did one side of the face and she did the other...can't tell which one she did right?

That's it for now folks!  Thanks so much for sticking with me in 2009...i'll be back with another post on Monday in 2010.  Love you all!

Hi Bellas,

Back from the Holidays!  How was everyone's break?  I was actually sick the entire time unfortunately.  The combination of a night of caroling, long workday and then drive straight to Orlando knocked me out for the entire Christmas break.  I sat on the couch the entire time in my new snuggie, reading the TrueBlood books and taking meds, lol.  Because of that, no post yesterday :(  I'm still trying to recover so in the meanwhile, so I'll show you a look I created a few weeks ago.

I wanted to use my 96 palette from http://www.starsmakeuphaven.com/ so that those of you with similar palettes could recreate the look.  I also feel better when I go back to old palettes I haven't used in a while :)  I wore this look during a shoot.  I like to have my makeup done for the most part when I do clients...that way they'll have a preview of my makeup artist abilities.  Afterward, I wore this look on a trip to target for Christmas ornament shopping.  I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror in the bright store lights and whoa this look was bright in person, lol.

The final look!

I'm going to try and upload a new video this week.  In the meantime, thanks for sticking with me.  Ciao Bellas!

FTC Disclosure:  I received the 96 palette from the company and have reviewed it in a past entry.  I have not been paid to write this post and am not affiliated with the company.

Hi Bellas,

I wanted to wish you all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate it!  I will be going on a mini vacation to visit my parents in Orlando Florida.  I can't wait to have some of mom's home made Filipino food...enjoy florida's warm weather and just relax!

My boyfriend and I each let each other open 2 gifts early since we won't be celebrating x-mas this year.  He got me the True Blood book series so i'll be getting my fill of vampire tales during the holidays, lol.

I'm very thankful for all the loyal readers and subscribers and of course want to thank you all for sharing this last year with me.  You're the best!

I will resume posting on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 when I return.  Till then, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

The Holidays are swiftly approaching and I wanted to share with you some goodies that I received from my friends at Steelo Cosmetics.  They sent over these cute mini santa bags filled with Steelo products ranging from lipsticks, glosses, eyeshadows, to mineral shadows.  These make the perfect stocking stuffer as well as a gift to yourself.

I decided that this would be a great opportunity to give my readers a little holiday gift.  I gave away four of these goody bags to viewers who dialed into my interview on the Keepin' It Fierce! Radio Show with Nikkie20six.  I was so excited that you guys actually called in...the lines were packed!   Thanks again to those who supported me on my first radio interview.

I also wanted to share with you some swatches of some of their newest lippies.  When I first tested out their products, I loved the texture of their lipglosses.  They are extremely pigmented and smooth, but not sticky at all. I love how you can get so much color with one swipe.  The colors are truly gorgeous.  They also came out with a brand new shade, ego, which is a gorgeous berry, plum color.  This is a must have color in my kit...perfect for autumn and winter looks.

They also sent over 3 new lipstick shades.  I also love steelo lipsticks.  Again, the texture is super smooth, almost like a glaze, but you still get a lot of color.  In the beginning, I felt that the company had too many of the same berry shades...all gorgeous, but it's good to have some variety.  They've come out with 3 brand new shades.  I'm in love with the pink one!  I usually can't wear bright pink lipstick, but this is my favorite new color, especially topped with a pink lipgloss.

Check out the swatches.

Here's a shot of me wearing Steelo lipstick in Charmed.

You can check out these products at SteeloCosmetics.com.  Happy Shopping!

FTC Disclosure:  These products were provided to me by Steelo Cosmetics.  I am not affiliated with this company and have not been paid to write this review.  This is an unbiased, honest review.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I wanted to share with you a quick video that I thought you might find helpful.  I know that many of you, both personal makeup users and makeup artist like storing your brushes in brush rolls.  I have a brush apron, but sometimes I'll mix it up and use brush rolls to bring with me to smaller gigs.  It's convenient if i'm doing for example, 2 people...then i'll bring two brush rolls so that I can use a set on each client.  It's a lot easier than bringing my brush apron which is often packed to the brim.

Oftentimes, I'll set a dirty brush down the brush roll and it will leave makeup smears and smudges.  Some of these smudges are easy to get off with a baby wipe or damp paper towel.  However, others like foundation brushes and lipstick brushes are really hard to clean off a brush roll.  This is especially true for Sigma Makeup Brush rolls.  The leather like brush roll has a textured feel which makes it easy for dirt to get into the grooves.  At first, I would use a whole lot of elbow grease but I still wouldn't get it as clean as I liked. 

Then I came up with a solution!  Check out my short video to see my cleaning method:

For those of you who can't watch the video, I'll share my tip.  I thought to myself...regular brush cleanser on a paper towel isn't cutting it...what is something a bit more heavy duty that can remove makeup but won't damage my brush roll?  The idea - cleansing oil!  I used my MAC cleansing oil and a paper towel and instantly the makeup came off with a lot less effort.  The oil penetrates the grooves and dissolves hard to remove makeup like foundation and lipstick.  Cleaning time is cut dramatically and the oil acts like how Armor-all would work on your car dashboard...it made the leather like surface look brand new.  Of course, not everyone has the MAC cleanse off oil...which is also really expensive to just be using on cleaning brush rolls.  I decided to use regular olive oil from my kitchen and it works too!  I love using olive oil to remove lipstick and lipgloss from my makeup brushes (works like a charm) and now I also use it for cleaning brush rolls. 

This tip will work on any leather like case you have.  I hope this helped!  If you have any other makeup cleaning tips, feel free to leave in the comments.

FYI,  Check out fellow blogger Anna Lee...she's having a blog sale to raise money for a teaching certificate.  Help her out!  http://spendadayinthelifeof.blogspot.com/

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

FTC Disclosure: The sigma brush roll was provided to me by the company which I reviewed in a past video. I developed the concept of this video on my own because it helped me out and I thought it would be helpful to my viewers as well.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I wanted to share with you one of my clients that I made over during a Makeup Bar done a few months ago.  For those of you who don't know, a makeup bar is an event where a group of women come together with cocktails, conversation and mini makeovers and photoshoots.  I work with an assistant to quickly make over a group of women and make them feel like a celebrity for a night. I have several clients which I'll be showing you but today I'll feature Tia.

Tia had a picture out of an ad of Essence Magazine where the model had a very glowy look with a very subtle smokey eye with gold and pink accents.  I loved the way it turned out...very clean and fresh looking.

Here's a shot of her that I took prior to the photoshoot...the colors are more accurate here.

Here are a few shots from her shoot.  Credit to MMFotography

That's it for now, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas,

Some of you may not recognize Leslie Blodgett’s name immediately, but if you saw her picture or have heard her company’s name, you’d recognize her immediately. She is the CEO of Bare Escentuals makeup…her infomercials have convinced many women (including me) to first step into mineral makeup. She’s expanded her line into fragrances exclusively for Sephora. The Bare Skin fragrance is a timeline of her life…from family vacations to faraway places…the inspiration comes from pages of her own diary. I love the idea that a smell can evoke memories of times past. I was excited to test out this product.

I was sent a few samples of the vial from Leslie Blodgett’s team to test out, here are my thoughts:

Packaging: I didn’t receive a full sized bottle, but from glancing at pictures online, it has a very romantic feel. It’s a pretty amber colored bottle decorated with cursive script…almost like the writings from her diary. The fragrance is also offered in a body cream and solid perfume.

Scent: Let me preface this by saying that I am very sensitive to perfumes. I have a history of allergies and asthma so I can’t take certain scents. As soon as I opened the package containing the samples, I immediately caught a strong whiff of the scent. It was a strong, floral, powdery smell.  Honestly, I couldn’t even put it on because it was overwhelming.  Many women seem to like this but I prefer something a bit more sweet and citrusy.  To me, it’s a more mature scent that I can picture someone like my mother  wearing…but not for someone in their 20’s like me. I’ve seen other reviews where they say the scent abides and transforms over time. 

Price: Ranges from $30-$55 on sephora.com, which is actually pretty reasonable.

Customer Service: I will say that I received excellent customer service from Leslie Blodgett’s team. This is something I’ve known to not take for granted these days.

In sum, this fragrance wasn't for me.  If you are more tolerable to fragrances though, I would still recommend trying this out and see how you like it. 

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

FTC Disclosure:  Samples of this product were provided to me by the company.  I was not paid to write this review and am not affiliated with the company.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

One day I was browsing the comments on a video and a viewer said "Ren, I miss your super bright looks...that's why I subscribed!"  That got me thinking...I have been doing a lot more neutral looks.  I guess I figure that that's what people want to see so that they can actually replicate it in real life.  In the beginning, I only did bright, smokey looks because that's what I liked on me.  I kind of miss that.  As a result, I wanted to bring it back to old school Ren with a super bright blue look.  I used a lot of matte shadows which I also love love love.

Check out my video tutorial!

The final look!

Here's What I Used (All MAC Unless Otherwise Specified):

-Ben Nye banana powder (to catch fall out)
-Face Atelier Ultimate Foundation #7, zero plus and zero minus
-Ben Nye neutralizer pencil
-Bobbi Brown Peony blush
-Refined MSF
-Fix plus

-pure white chromaline
-gesso e/s
-texture e/s
-deep truth e/s
-freshwater e/s
-clarity e/s
-vanilla e/s
-K-Palette 1 day tattoo liquid liner
-Red Cherry lashes
-Smolder eye kohl

-Brave new bronze lipstick
-Show Coral chromeglass

FTC Disclosure:  Foundation provided by Face Atelier as show in previous review video.  Other products were purchased by me.  I was not paid to make this video.

FYI, the Editor's Closet is selling Eve Pearl Products at a discount.  To check them out click here

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Thanks so much to everyone who joined me on the Keepin' It Fierce! Radio Show last night.  We had a few technical difficulties, lol, but I was finally able to get on the line.  You guys were amazing with your questions and calls...the phone lines were full!  If you won a prize, please remember to email me at makeupbyren@yahoo.com so I can send it out to you.  For those who missed out, I'm planning to host my own Blog Tv's more often.  Stay tuned for that!

In the meanwhile, I wanted to share with you some looks from my viewers.  If you ever recreate a look that I've done, please send it to me so that I can share it with everyone!

My Mermaid Barbie Look

My Zombie Look

Stay tuned for another video tomorrow!

Hi Bellas,

Sorry for no post on Monday.  I was sick!  The community service on Saturday really worked me to the bone...I did makeup for about 8 hours straight all by myself and got sick in the process, lol.

I hope you all forgive me and to make up for my absence I will be hosting a giveaway today!

I've had the honor of being invited to speak on the Keepin It Fierce! Radio Show tonight with Nikkie from B-Slap Cosmetics.  To listen, click here tonight.

The show begins at 7:00pm Eastern Standard time and my interview begins at 7:30pm.

Dial In at 347-996-3384 and call to ask me a question or say hello! 

I will be giving away 3 makeup goody bags to a few lucky callers.

I'd really appreciate it if some of you called in and said hello so I don't feel like a loser, lol.  Talk to you soon!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Sorry about no post yesterday, I’ve been so busy at work, and then I’ve been coming home to a lot of makeup gigs. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep before I had time to upload my scheduled video tutorial, lol. It will go up on Monday though…a bright blue look!

Meanwhile, I wanted to share with you a look from another client I did a few weeks ago. My client was getting a makeup lesson/bridal consultation. She was getting married next year in Tanzania…isn’t that cool? She wasn’t going for the natural bridal look…instead, she was incorporating her culture and wanted something fun and bright that would work well in the hot summer climate of Tanzania. My client was also interested in learning tips on freelancing…she had already attended several makeup classes from well-known artists so I also enjoyed listening and learning some tips from her as well.

Each time I do a makeup appointment, I like to provide a few tips that can help you in your own makeup application or on others:

1) if you want a heavy duty oil control primer, try nurturing force blot out-offensive…amazing!
2) if you have problems applying your own lashes, try taking a disposable brush you don’t care about…and apply the lash glue on a thin line above your lashes. Let it get tacky then pop the lash on…it’s much easier!
3) if you want to wear a bright lip color, try toning it down with a darker liner that blends into the color….make sure it blends though! This will make the color much easier to wear.
4) apply a lighter foundation to the center of your face...for women of color it tends to be lighter in the middle and darker around the edges.  Using at least 2 shades of foundation will give the skin a more natural, three dimensional look.

Check out the final look!

I’m trying to remember the exact items I used. I remembered for the most part, lol.

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

-all that glitters e/s
-passionate e/s
-cream de violet e/s
-glamour check e/s
-revlon colorstay liquid liner in blackest black
-bamboo e/s
-spiked brow pencil and espresso e/s on brows

-Nurturing force blot out-offensive
-graftobian cream foundation and powder
-definitive sculpting powder and accentuate shaping powder

-ben nye lip pencil
-mix of violetta and Hollywood nights lipstick

I hope you guys have a great weekend!  I'll be volunteering my makeup services tomorrow for a charity event called Help Project...where underpriveleged families have an opportunity to have their picture taken for the first time at no cost. If you're interested in learning more, check out this amazing 4 minute video.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Man, it's cold here in Atlanta.  Well cold at least for the Southeast, lol.  I've been busy this week with a lot of freelance gigs so I'm going to pull out one of my reserve posts on you all.  A few weekends ago, I shot these pictures of my boyfriend.  It's my first attempt at photography.  Being a makeup artist, you're around photographers a lot and you pick up a few tips here and there.  I was also the posing coach on this one.  I actually really didn't do much in the way of makeup surprisingly.  Luckily guys have facial hair so they can hide imperfections!  I will say, I didn't edit the pictures...that was all the BF.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned for my upcoming new video...Bright Blue Look!

Hi Bellas,

I was so excited, I recently had the opportunity to review some products from the Canadian based company Face Atelier.  This is one of the makeup lines that has been hitting the IMATS and Makeup Shows and people have been buzzing about it.

I first heard about this foundation from the KJ Bennett (lead artist for Makeup Forever) website www.inmykit.com where as a celebrity makeup artist, he gives a breakdown of his favorite products in every category.  I refer to this site many times because I really trust his opinion as an amazing makeup artist.  He also praises both drug store as well as high end department store brands.  He praised their foundation as well as their lip glaze.

Check out my video review!

I want to try so many products from Face Atelier but I got a little sampling of their line to test out.

Ultimate Foundation
This product is a liquid foundation that contains silicone.  It is highly pigmented and can be worn sheered out with a moisturizer for light coverage, or built to almost full coverage.  Since it contains silicone, it has an airbrushed finish that doesn't require primer or powder to set.  The silicone fills in the lines and pores to give a flawless finish.  I love how they offer these in full size bottles at $45 as well as the pro bottles at $32.  If you're a makeup artist, they sell the pro size version in sets that fit perfectly in your kit since they are smaller and have plastic packaging.  I used to not like using liquid foundations in my kit because they are too bulky and cumbersome, but Face Atelier has solved this problem by their Makeup Artist geared pro sizes.

  • airbrushed finish
  • built in silicone covers imperfections, lines and pores
  • no need to set foundation
  • buildable coverage
  • great color match
  • high pigment/high quality foundation
  • convenient pro sizes for makeup artists
  • love the pump applicator - more sanitary
  • zero plus and zero minus foundation adjustors - great idea!
  • color range is limited and doesn't go into darker shades (but the website states they are coming up with the Women of Color Ultimate Foundation range in 2010!)
  •  pricey
  • not a huge amount of product in the bottle
Here is a shot of zero plus and zero minus.  This was an ingenious product idea.  You use one drop of each to lighten or darken an existing shade.  No worries about not finding a color match if you have these foundation adjusters.  Great for makeup artist kits or for those of you who have problems maintaining your foundation shade in summer and winter months.

Lip Glaze
I was also lucky enough to test out their amazing lip glazes at $20.  KJ Bennett mentioned these and said that the #7 shade looks good on everyone!

  • a ton of product
  • slanted tip applicator is great for makeup artists - let's you dispense product on a palette and it's more sanitary
  • not sticky - smooth texture
  • buildable - can be sheered out or has more color when layered
  • shades are versatile for a variety of skin tones
  • easy to apply
  • not a lot of shades available
  • doesn't have brush applicator
  • pricey
 Here I am wearing the the Foundation in #7 all over as well as zero plus and zero minus as a contour and highlight.  I'm also rocking the lip glaze in peach - great everyday color!

In sum, I think this makeup line is really slept on.  They have amazing products that are really great for your own personal collection.  I also love how they cater towards makeup artist by providing products in smaller size versions and palettes.  The products are a little pricey but honestly it's worth it.  You can check these products out at http://www.faceatelier.com

P.S. if you're a makeup artist, you can apply for the Face Atlier pro discount to get 40% off.  It's actually a really simple proces.  Go get it!

FTC Disclosure:  These products were sent to me at no charge by the company.  I am not affiliated with the company.  No monetary compensation was received for this video review.  This is an honest,unbiased review.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I was supposed to have a video for you this morning but YouTube aborted the upload 4 times in a row!  I'll probably need to redo the video and then try to upload it tonight, ah well.

Instead, I'll share with you a look I did a few weeks ago.  I really went for a nude look and emphasized it with lots of liner.  I liked how it came out really clean and fresh looking. 

I don't remember all the products I used, but I'll try!

-steelo e/s base
-jordana black liquid liner pen
-blanc type e/s
-swiss chocolate e/s
-soft brown e/s

-freckletone lipstick
-florabundance lipglass

-regular foundation and powder

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas!

Thanks for entering my Confidential by Elle Bang Brush giveaway!  I had 163 entries and I used random.org to generate a winner.

Congratulations to comment winner #56, Danica Krizia. Congrats girl!
You have till Monday to email me at makeupbyren@yahoo.com with your name and mailing address or the prize will go to someone else.

For those of you who didn't win, you can still get these brushes at 15%
The website is ready for your promotional code of "Renren" at the following URL: http://www.ellebang.com/RenRen.html

I also have my huge 2 year anniversary contest coming up soon!

Also, Black Pearl is having her huge 1 year anniversary sale.  50% off!  I am picking up the Magic Salmon Concealer trio for my kit :)  Check them out using the pro code below.

This weekend I plan on picking up a Christmas Tree with the boyfriend and decorating.  Have a great weekend, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Back with another review! The company Brush Love contacted me to review some of their hand held mirrors and has offered a special discount for my readers.  I was sent these three mirrors to review. Here are my thoughts:

I love how these brushes come in super bright, fun colors.  That's totally my style.  They also come in various shapes from small squares and circles to large rectangle.  One side is a regular mirror and the other side is a magnifying mirror.  This is a plus since my two hand held mirrors in my kit currently only have one side - then again, I got mine at the dollar store, lol.  The plastic is also really sturdy...some of my mirrors are a little thin and I can see them snapping if I'm not careful.  Not so with these as the entire width of the mirror is 1/2 an inch thick.  You can also feel the weight on these...that's a good thing.

These mirrors range from $9.98 to $10.98.  The price is a little more than the average hand held mirror...but you're paying for a higher quality product.  If you do any kind of makeup, a hand-held mirror is an absolute must-have.  These are essential for doing up close work like lining your eyes or grooming your eyebrows.  I always carry a separate hand held mirror in my professional kit.  I give my clients the mirror to look at the progress of the look if they request it, and then at the end to see the final result. 

Not only can you use these as handheld mirrors but they can be used as desktop/tabletop mirrors as well.  Just flip the handle to a horizontal position and you're good to go.  These are a must-have for the office.  In my corporate life, I make sure to have a mirror right next to my computer.  That way, I can see if there are any lurkers behind me, lol.  This is also a good option if you can't hold the mirror while doing makeup and you need a hands free option.


Brushlove.com is now extending Cyber Monday just for Makeup By Ren Ren readers! They have brushes, hot hair tools and more than just mirrors.

Go to Brush Love and type in “blog45” for a 45% discount and a free compact mirror. Please note that this offer expires on 12/4 and does not apply to the Mason Pearson and Magic Ionic brands.

Happy Shopping!  Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

***Note:  Per FTC regulations, this review was sponsored by a company that has provided complimentary goods.  No monetary compensation has been received.  This review has been given with a fair and unbiased opinion.

Hi Bellas,

I wanted to share with you my haul from a few weeks ago.  My girl Joy tweeted that she found some NARS goodies at TJ Maxx and that same day I went to two different stores!  NARS is one of the most expensive makeup brands out there so I was excited to hear that they were being sold at a discount.

Check out my video haul!

While I was at TJ Maxx, I saw this cute box of tights by Betsey Johnson.  You got 3 pairs of funky tights (full tight with foot) for $16.99, good deal!  I'm obsessed with wearing tights in the winter so these were perfect.

I also was excited to see that they were selling Essie Nailpolishes for $3.99 each.  This is a really great brand and they had lots of colors.  I picked out 3 - a nude for work, a bright pink for fun, and a red for the holidays.

Now onto the good stuff!  They sold this super cute NARS lipgloss and blush set for $29.99.  It came with the super popular Deep Throat blush.  This is supposed to be like Orgasm blush but for those of us who are a little more tan.  Striptease is a nude colored gloss...a very pale, beigy pink.

Here I am wearing the lipgloss and blush.  Love the blush but the lipgloss is a little too ashy for me.  It probably needs to be paired with either a lipstick or liner to warm it up.

Lastly, I heard really good things about this body oil set from a Temptalia review.  This is a mini set and it makes a great gift.  I'm saving these for summer.  The oils smell like delicious coconuts and the shimmer side would look great on tan legs.

That's it for now!  Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

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