Hi Bellas,

I'm back to work after a nice, long weekend celebrating Thanksgiving here in the US.  My Holiday went really well...my boyfriend's fam stayed over and enjoyed themselves.  I was so relieved that everything went well...it was my first time hosting a Thanksgiving feast and meeting the BF's grandma.  Success!

I wanted to share with you some pics of the look I created for the Elle Bang Brush Review video.  I was inspired by Beyonce's new video "Video Phone".  It's not an exact replica of Beyonce's look in the video since honestly I didn't get a good look at it except for the few seconds they focused in on her face.  Rather, this is more of a take on the pin-up look.  I purposely apply a lighter foundation to the center of my face in this look to mimic the "lighter foundation" look that Beyonce did in the video (did you all see how she looked about 3 shades lighter in her red lipstick scenes?).  I noticed that this is a trick that Rihanna's makeup artist uses as well.  I probably wouldn't do that too much in real life though because my skin looks a little too pale in pics. 

Recently I've been into the matte, nude, eyeshadow look with lots of liner.  I just love the way mattes look since they come off so clean and opaque.  The look is actually pretty simple, just make sure you pack on the shadows and get precise with that liner.

Time for Pics!

Here's What I Used (All MAC Unless Otherwise Stated):
-Face Atelier Ultimate Foundations
-Ben Nye Banana Powder
-Fun and Games beauty powder plush (Hello Kitty Collection)
-Shadester sculpting powder
-Accentuate shaping powder
-Soft & Gentle MSF

-Steelo Cosmetics eyeshadow base in medium
-gesso e/s
-blanc type e/s
-warm brown e/s
-Jordana liquid liner
-Bliss #76 lashes
-Anastasia lifting mascara
-Steelo Brow Pencil in Earth Brown and Cork e/s on brows

-cherry lip pencil
-Classic Dame mattene (a recent Temptalia post inspired me to break out this amazing product)

If you haven't signed up for the Elle Bang Brush Giveaway, make sure to enter here!  I'll announce the winner on Friday.  Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Hi Bellas,

I was recently contacted by fellow blogger, Linda, with the request to review her new brush line.  She has developed a company called Elle Bang and line of brushes called Confidential.  I have reviewed quite a few brands of brushes in the past, so I was up to the challenge.

Check out my video review!

Per Linda, she worked directly with a brush designer and manufacturer to select brushes that would appeal to both makeup artists and makeup junkies.  This isn't just a regular brush set that you can buy from any wholesaler on ebay.

She sent me the 21 piece Professional Grade Natural Fiber Cosmetic Brush Set ($105) as well as a her favorite brush - the hot pink kabuki ($13).

First Impressions
Brush Roll
When I first opened my package, I was excited to see that the brushes came in a really nice brush roll.  It has a leather like material which I love because that means it's durable and easy to clean.  I'm not a huge fan of canvas/cloth brush rolls because they get dirty too easily.  I also like how it folds with a magnetic clasp-this will make sure your brushes stay protected.  I have a brush roll that comes with a string tie...and it's harder to close and bulkier to pack...this kind is better.

When I opened the brush roll I was amazed at how many brushes there were.  I was like a little kid in a candy store.  Also, each brush was individually wrapped in a plastic sleeve along with it's own plastic brush guard.  This is a good sign - means that the brushes are coming to you new and the bristles are being protected.  As I examined the brushes more closely, a few things caught my eye.  They have the typical black wooden handles and silver ferrules.  The brushes are put together well...no signs of rough craftmanship (which I've noticed on a few coastal scent brushes in the past).  The bristles are all different colors depending on the brush...some are all black, some white, some are speckled brown and some are red brown.  This was very different for me since I'm used to seeing mainly black, white, or brown.

Here are some up close glances at the brushes in their sleeves.

 Here is a shot of the Hot Pink Kabuki that Linda also sent.  I love the color!  It's also very round and full which I liked.  Some kabukis from brush websites are too thin and fluffy for my taste...this one is rounded and dense, thumbs up!

Washing and Cleaning the Brushes
Like with all new brushes, I shampooed and conditioned these.  At first, I did notice a faint odor...those of you who have used Coastal Scent brushes in the past might know what I'm talking about.  It's pretty much a weird reaction that happens when these natural fiber brushes are wet.  After I used conditioner on the bristles though, I noticed the scent faded away.  I washed these brushes another two times and the smell was no longer an issue.  I also did a few quick cleans with brush cleanser.  There was very little shedding and bleeding - thumbs up!

Here's a pic of these brushes after they've been washed the first time.

Using the Brushes
I've definitely put these brushes to the test by using them for several weeks.  Most of all, I'm loving the variety of brushes in this set.  If you're a makeup junky, you'll appreciate the ten plus eye brushes in the kit.  I also love how this set has a fan brush - yay!  If you've never used a fan brush to apply blush you're definitely missing out - it gives an airbrushed look that you can't emulate with a regular blush brush.  I definitely have a few favorites in the set and some that I don't use at all.  They included a sponge eyeshadow applicator brush in there - I don't like these brushes for eyeshadow...I think that this brush was almost a "filler" for the brush slot.  The face brushes are very very soft.  I was excited to see not one, but two blending crease brushes in the set.  These are a must have for me.  However, I noticed that they are a bit scratchy on the eye and tend to get misshapen with use.  They still work pretty well but could probably be improved.  I'm loving the various types of eyeliner brushes they include the in the kit - great for you gel liner users out there!  Make sure to watch the video review where I go over my thoughts on each brush in the kit.

After a pretty thorough review, I've come up with my Pros and Cons:

-Comes with a really nice brush roll that is large and easy to clean
-Most of the brushes are very soft
-Such a great variety of brushes - especially eyeshadow brushes
-great value for the number of brushes and brush belt
-nice appearance to the brushes - well made
-certain brushes in the kit are unique...not the generic eye brushes you find in any eyeshadow kit

-the blending eyeshadow crease brushes are scratchy
-not the softest brushes I've ever used
-random sponge tip applicator brush in the set
-bristles smell a little bit when you wash them for the first time (but this went away)
-only available online - the website seems pretty rudimentary, hopefully it can handle an influx of buyers!

Would I Recommend?  Definitely.  If you're looking for a brush set for every single use possible, this is it.  It's not dirt cheap, but definitely affordable.  I would be worried if this brush set was cheaper because then you might as well go on ebay and order a wholesale brush set with questionable quality.  I find myself reaching for these brushes when I do my makeup because the set offers everything I need.  If you're a makeup junkie/or freelance artist like myself, you'll appreciate the variety of different brushes offered in this set.  It's definitely not the typical brushes with the same boring brushes - for this fact alone I would suggest giving yourself this eary holiday present :)

Side note:  Linda recently sent me a few of the individual brushes in the line as well...whoa mama!  These bad boys are amazing.  They're more expensive but the quality is really great.  I'll probably do a blog post on them later when I've had time to test them out.

With the Holidays coming up we all need a little help.  Linda from Elle Bang has generously offered a 15% discount to all Makeup By Ren Ren readers, yay!

The website is ready for your promotional code of "Renren" at the following URL: http://www.ellebang.com/RenRen.html

Instructions for Using the Coupon Code
From there, you will need to fill out the form with the promotional code and you will be redirected to the page where you can purchase sets at a discounted rate of 15% off. This promotional page is not accessible through the website (there is no link on the website so you MUST go directly through the above URL). Everything from cosmetic sets, brushes, to accessories can be purchased through this page.

Brush Set Giveaway!

I always try to include my viewers in on the goodies, and was delighted when Elle Bang agreed to sponsor a prize for you all. 

Prize:  One lucky reader will be receiving the 16 piece Synthetic Brush set with 4 blending brushes ($77.00 Value).

***Picture Credit to www.ElleBang.com

How To Win:
  • Follow the Elle Bang Blog at http://www.ellebang.blogspot.com/
  • Follow my blog, hit the gray "FOLLOW" button at the top right of the screen
  • Be a resident of the US
  • Leave a comment on this entry telling me why you'd like to win
I'll announce the winner on Friday, November 4th.  I will choose the winner at random but will verify that you follow both of our blogs in order for you to win. Good luck!

I will be spending Thursday and Friday with my Boyfriend and his family for Thanksgiving so Makeup By Ren Ren will take a mini hiatus but will be back with more posts on Monday.  Have a great Holiday!

Hi Bellas,

Back with another FOTD!  This is a look I wore to brunch weekend before last.  I met up with my Beauty Clique Joy and Leslie.  We like to do brunch every few weeks to chat and discuss makeup, boys, and life :)

I didn't give myself that much time to get ready so I threw on a look I always do when I'm in a pinch.  You might have seen the look a few times before.  It's pretty much a silver smokey eye with brown above the crease.  It's really easy to do and wearable for day and night.  This time, I decided to break out my 88 Warm Palette from Ebay.  The palette contains a lot of neutrals such as browns, metallics, tans...as well as a lot of silver/black/gray options for a smokey eye.  I use a bluish gray silver this time and liked the outcome.  The colors are really great in this palette...so wearable and vibrant.  Like most of these palettes...it is crucial to wear an eye base and not to overblend the colors...otherwise you'll be left with no color on the lid.

The final look!

Wearing my new jacket...hot pink and black is always a favorite color combo of mine.

Here's What I Used:

-Steelo Cosmetics eyeshadow base in medium
-88 Warm Palette
-Rimmel brow pencil in hazel and Cork e/s to fill in brows
-Jordana black liquid liner
-Bliss Lashes
-Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara
-Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in zero

-hmmm can't remember, sorry!

-MAC spice lip pencil
-MAC Florabundance lipglass
-MAC Freckletone lipstick

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post...Elle Bang Brush Review & Giveaway!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Check out my Thanksgiving Inspired Makeup look. I stuck with Fall Inspired Colors...gold, bronze, red, orange, and brown. I used the 88 Warm palette which I purchased from Ebay. This is a really versatile palette to get...if you're looking for a neutrals palette this one is way better than the 26 neutral palette because the colors are easier to wear and more versatile. 

Read more after the jump!

Hi Guys,

Short post today.  I was swamped and couldn't get a regular post up this morning!  I'm so glad it's Friday.  I have a couple things going on this weekend...prepping the house for Thanksgiving with the Boyfriend's fam...going bowling, dinner, and out with friends visiting town, shoot on Sunday...whew!

I have a few videos coming up that I'm pretty excited about:
  • Next week:  Thanksgiving Look Tutorial and Elle Bang Brush Review & Giveaway
  • Week After:  TJ Maxx Haul and How To Clean Brush Rolls Tutorial
I have a few other videos in the "reserve" file in case I run out...it's hard keeping up sometimes with 5 blog entries a week, 2 videos a week, a full time job, and freelancing!

With that said, I hope you guys have a great weekend.  See you Monday!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

Back with another video tutorial!  This is back to an old school Ren...fun, bright, dramatic looks!  I wore this to a MAC event a few months ago and got so many requests that I decided to recreate it for you all.  I used my favorite colors...teals, purples, all very Lisa Frank-esque (for those of you old enough to know what I'm talking about, he he).

Check out the video tutorial!

Here's What I Used:

-Rimmel Foundation Primer
-MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in NC42
-Ben Nye Banana Powder
-Graftobian Warm Creme Eyeshadow
-Graftobian Medium Cocoa Eyeshadow
-MAC Hipness Blush

-Steelo Cosmetics eyeshadow base in medium
-MAC Blue Sorcery mineralized e/s
-Urban Decay blunt e/s (highlight)
-Urban Decay last call e/s
-MUFE no 92 e/s
-MAC Atlantic Blue e/s
-Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in zero
-MAC penultimate liner
-Red Cherry #76 lashes
-Anastasia Lifting Mascara
-MAC lingering brow pencil
-MAC cork e/s (brows)
-Anastasia Eye Lights in Camille

-MAC plum soft cremestick liner
-MAC electric edge lipglass

The final look!

 This last pic was taken in natural sunlight.

Hope you enjoyed!  Stay tuned for my Elle Bang Makeup Brush review and giveaway!

Hi Bellas,

I was recently given the opportunity to review a new product from BeautyChoice.Com.  They sent me the Sun Body Polisher & Self-Tan remover.  Immediately I thought...hmmm could this be a clarisonic dupe?  I tested it for a few weeks.

Check out my video review below!

Product Information
  • This product requires 4 AA batteries to use
  • It comes with 4 changeable heads that easily snap on:  pumice stone, facial buffer (sponge), large body brush, and small facial brush
  • Has an on/off switch with a spinning head that has one speed
  • Retails for $25.95 on beautychoice.com
  • Note:  Do not use on active acne or facial lesions...nor on the eyes or mouth.
Testing It Out
  • Facial Brush - I first tried out the facial brush with my regular face wash - Jan Marini's Bioglycolic Facial Wash.  I noticed that the bristles were too hard on my face for daily use.  It left a little rash from where it was too abrasive.  If you have very sensitive skin like me, use very light circular motions and stick to once a week use for deep exfoliation.
  • Large Body Brush - This is a nice, sturdy brush big enough to use on the body.  I used it with my Jan Marini Bioglycolic Body Scrub.  Make sure to apply the product onto the bristles before it's on to prevent product splashing everywhere.  It worked really well and cut the exfoliation time dramatically.  I really liked this part.  I also tested out how well it removed Self-Tanning Lotion - it works!
  • Facial Buffer/Sponge - The kit provides a circular facial sponge which is supposed to massage the face and aid in the absorbtions of creams and serums.  This head seemed silly to me...the porous sponge can only be used a few times before becoming contaminated.  I could do without this one.
  • Pumice Stone - This is what I would expect from a pumice stone.  Used on the feet, it can soften dry and rough patches.  The stone itself is rounded and fairly smooth, so don't expect intense exfoliation...more of a softening of any calluses.

  • very affordable
  • body buffer brush is amazing
  • multiple heads
  • offers deep exfoliation
  • would have preferred a rechargeable base as opposed to batteries
  • the facial bristles are a little too rough
  • pumice stone and facial sponge are nice add-ons, but not amazing in themselves
Would I Buy Again?  At first this product seemed like something I wouldn't traditionally buy, but the body buffer portion sold me.  If you use self-tanner, exfoliation is necessary to make sure you get an even application of color - trust me I know from experience!  This makes the exfoliation process so much quicker and easier.  If you're also like me and you've always wanted to try something similar to the infamous Clarisonic, it's not quite the same but it's an affordable option.

Hope this helped!  You can check out this product yourselves here

Hi Bellas,

About two weekends ago I was hired my another makeup artist to do her makeup while she was in town.  I was a little intimated at first because I would be doing makeup on someone with knowledge of the same craft...I knew I had to have my game on point!

My client knew exactly what she wanted.  She had seen my Nene Leakes alter ego tutorial and wanted that same look.  Check out my original tutorial on that look!

We just switched from red to gold to coordinate more with the outfit.  She also had a few requests:
  • She wanted me to completely fill in her eyebrows and make them super arched and darker since she had very little hair there
  • She wanted to be super contoured like Tyra Banks
  • She wanted the makeup to be super dramatic and polished, in her words "plastic" or a "barbie doll"
  • She wanted the longest lashes I could find
I actually appreciated her suggestions so I knew exactly what she wanted.  I spent extra time contouring her to give her that polished, chiseled look.  She already had on lash extensions so when I put my lashes on her they were super dramatic!  But it definitely accomplished the look she was going for.  In the end, I had a great time discussing with her products we enjoyed and the ins and outs of being a makeup artist.

Check out her final look!

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

-Eve Pearl Priming Moisturizer
-Graftobian Warm Super Cream Palette
-Graftobian Peach Corrector
-Graftobian Dual Finish Powder Palette
-Sculpt Powder in Shadester & Definitive
-Shape Powder in Accentuate
-Graftobian Shiny Penny Blush
-Soft & Gentle MSF

-cash flow pot
-goldenrod e/s
-amber lights e/s
-carbon e/s
-texture e/s
-rice paper e/s
-blanc type e/s
-Red Cherry #102 lashes
-Eve Pearl Black Mascara
-Feline Kohl Power pencil
-Revlon Colorstay Liquid liner in blackest black
-Graftobian Gold glitter
-Spiked Brow Pencil and Espresso e/s on brows
-Anastasia Eye Lights Pencil in Camille

-cork lip pencil
-pink lipglass from Holiday set

That's it for now folks!

Hi Bellas!

It's the week of haul videos :)  I wanted to make sure and post this before it got too old, lol.  This is a haul from last week.  I headed to MAC on Thursday to check out the release of their Holiday lipglass/lustreglass sets.  Then I made a trek over to Atlanta Costume - Norcostco on Saturday.  They're pretty much the only location here in Atlanta that sells theatrical makeup brands.

Check out my video for the haul!

Here are the lipglass/lustreglass sets from MAC.  There is a deep, soft, and bright set.  They retail for $30 and you get 5 mini glosses.  If you're trying to expand your collection and want to try a bunch of new colors, this is a cheap way to do so.  It's great for stocking a makeup artist's kit as well.  Personally, I never finish a complete tube of gloss for myself or in my kit, so these cheaper and smaller glosses are great!  The packaging is also super cute and they make a great gift.  I have a feeling the soft/nude set will sell out since these are popular colors.

Here are some swatches...on top is the soft set, middle is the deep set, and bottom is the bright set.

Next I have my Ben Nye goodies.  This is such an amazing and affordable makeup brand.  I picked it up at Atlanta Costume...you can also order from them online at http://www.norcostco.com/.  If you're in the area and you have a makeup artist business card, make sure to show it to them for a 10% discount.

My favorite items so far are the peachy colored neutralizer cream crayon (works great on dark circles!) and the Ben Nye banana powder (amazing translucent powder which seems to brighten my skin!).  The rest are really cool FX stuff...check out my video to hear more.

Here are some swatches of the Ben Nye Cream Colors.  In total I have about 8 of these.  They're very similar to MUFE flash colors but they're only $4 a pop!  I like to use them like how I'd use a MAC cream colour base.  They're very pigmented as you can see from the swatches below.

That's it for now...have a great weekend!

Hi Bellas,

This is a quick post I wanted to share with you.  About a month ago, many of you probably know that I was a bridesmaid in my BFF's wedding.  I didn't have any good hair shots to show you back then...so I wanted to show you my updo.

The hairstylist was excellent...he knew how to deal with a variety of hair textures.  Oftentimes, my hair doesn't hold well in updos because it's really thick and slippery.  He solved that problem by curling the entire thing with his little egyptian clicking hair curler thing-a-majig, and then placing it into several pony tails to hold the weight.  He then pinned and pinned and sprayed and sprayed.

Here's the back.

The side view.  I like how he gave me a little poof at the top so that I don't feel bald lol.
For the front he did a little swirl to the side.  My hair lasted the entire night...even through the soul train line and furious fight for the bouquet. 

That's all folks!

Hi Bellas!
I wanted to share with you a quick look I did before heading out to a gig Friday night.  It started out as a drugstore smokey eye tutorial, but my camera ended up dying on me, lol.  After that, I ended up modifying it a bit with some department store brands.

As you can see, it's a smokey eye with a bold lip...very fall appropriate.  I don't usually do these kind of lips, but I like how they turned out.  I'm loving Magnetique lipglass all over again, it's so pigmented!  I took these pictures in the hallway on my way to a gig, lol, I'm surprised they came out!  You can see the strap on my arm from where I'm carrying my portable makeup chair.

Here's What I Used:

-PUR Minerals eyeshadow primer (not sure if this works well for oily skin, but it worked well on me)
-Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in Natural Smokes ($4.99 on http://www.drugsture.com/!)
-MAC Young Punk minearlized eyeshadow (to darken it up a bit and add some glitter)
-NYX jumbo pencil in black bean (black base and liner)
-Anastasia Lifting Mascara (really love this mascara)
-Rimmel brow pencil in hazel (staple in my kit)
-Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes (love!)
-Jordana Liquid Eyeliner (pretty decent in terms of color and precise application...staying power isn't the best though)

-Revlon Colorstay Foundation
-Revlon Beyond Natural Concealer and Highlighter in Medium
-MAC MSF Natural in Medium Dark (to correct the beigeness of the foundie)
-forgot the blush, sorry!

-MAC Magnetique lipglass
-Ben Nye wine colored lip liner

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

Back with another video.  I actually recorded this a few weeks ago but I still wanted to show you guys some of the steals and deals I picked up.  I'm trying to be better about recording my hauls so I wait to film a video before putting everything away...the mess makes me want to film the video quicker!

Check out my haul video!

First off, I headed to Sally Beauty...I love going to this store...it's like a Toys R Us for makeup artists/junkies.  First I picked up some hair clips.  These are really good for keeping hair back while doing makeup.  I always keep this in my kit to give to clients so that I don't get makeup or foundation in their hair.  I got some regular ones as well as the Croco-Clip which are amazing for slippery, straight hair.

While I was there I also picked up some wedge sponges, not pictured here but you can see them in the video.  It was a huge bag for about $8...and the sponges were pretty good quality.

Sally Beauty was also having a sale on Ardell lashes, 2 for $6.  This is cheaper than http://www.madamemadeline.com/ where I used to buy them...it seems as if this site increased their prices, booo.  I picked up some must-haves for the kit.

The 110 are great for a natural lash with a bit of length...for those who are scared of falsies.  I like this for bridal work.

The 109's are a great option for a natural look as well.  They offer volume to the lashes but don't look super duper long from the side view.

120 Demi's are a fav of my mine...they give anyone who wears them a va va voom look!

Next I show you some items from the MAC holiday collection.

Here we have Shezam dazzleglass.  This silvery looking gloss actually reflects pearl and pink and looks amazing over any lipcolor to give a nude, sexy shimmery lip.  It's not like the typical dazzleglass...definitely get this if you haven't already!  I also picked up the soft sparkle pencil in night sky...great for those who want a glitter, smokey eye...perfect for the holidays.  Too bad I haven't used it yet, lol.

Here I am wearing Steelo Mocha liner and MAC Creamsheen lipstick in Modesty.  I topped it off with Shezam dazzleglass and it turned a plaino mauve lipstick into sexy J-Lo lips.

I picked up three of the Mineralized Eyeshadow Duos.  The colored side is very pigmented and smooth, the glittery side pretty much sucks.  Blue sorcery is a must-have!


Stay tuned for my next haul where I show off the MAC holiday lipglass sets!

MARI themes

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