Who’s Skin? Not Mine!

My skin USED to just be dry with sporadic eczema flare-ups, but lately, due to hormonal changes, I now have to experience something I’ve never dealt with before: acne. What the heck? I have pimples now, and I am genuinely confused about how to care for my used to be parched skin.  I had to ask myself: do I chuck my “dry” skin moisturizer in favor of oil free products or do I just spot treat the acne areas?

If you’ve graduated from dry skin to combination skin, welcome to my world, where things are not making sense. I have to roll with the punches and so I’ve started using a combination of oil-free cleansers and moisturizer along with my normal dry-skin products. So far, this regime is starting to work, and I’m thankful because I’m frustrated with the way my skin looks right now.

As a makeup artist versus being a licensed esthetician, I am a great “cover up artist,” with just a little bit of skin care knowledge, so I know how to make my skin (and the skin of others) “look” good, however, getting to the root of the blemishes is a better long-term solution. I know better so I have to do better. Upping the ante on my water intake, insuring that I remove all traces of makeup before bedtime, and being consistent with how I use my skin-care products will help my face get back to “normal” or at least MY version of normal. Wish me luck!

Until next time,


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Photoshop: Is That Really YOU?

Here’s the scenario: You are flipping through Instagram, Facebook, etc., and see before and after photos of a woman who just had a makeover. In the first picture, the woman resembles Chewbacca from Star Wars and in the second, she is officially on Beyonce status. I’m seeing way too many makeup artists (and non-artists) posting heavily photoshopped pictures that are not an accurate representation of their skill set. I totally believe in the powers and wonders of photoshop in order to enhance and improve the overall quality of a picture HOWEVER (yes, I’m speaking in my loud voice), some people are going OVERBOARD. When pores no longer exist, when colors that you normally recognize have now taken on alien-like qualities, the photoshopping has gone too far.

When it comes to skills, makeup artists have to be able to create looks that are a true representation of what they have been trained to do. Lately, I’ve been seeing people post “before and after” photos of their work once various editing procedures have been utilized to enhance their work. Granted, there should be some editing done. The problem comes into play when the artist has used several editing techniques to completely change the “after” photo. This is an unfair representation of makeup art. When an ill-informed individual sees these sorts of misleading photos, they may reach out to that “artist” for a makeover, and be completely dismayed when they don’t get the results they admired on the artist’s social media site.

Integrity in what I do is extremely important to me. When I post pictures to this blog, they are for informational purposes and are not heavily edited. Real people have real flaws, and even the best makeup artists on earth (shoutout to Sam Fine, Billy B, and James Vincent) can’t erase wrinkles, frown lines, pimples, and pores. Why take away the things that make people who they are? While I believe artists should do what is right for them, I don’t think it’s fair to mislead potential clients. If you are a current subscriber to http://www.doingtoomuch.com  it’s time for you to stop the photoshop and let your true talents shine through.

Until Next Time,


The Makeup Show-Chicago

TMS 2014The show has left the city but the memories will remain forever! I am a huge supporter of

Makeup First Artistry

Makeup First Artistry

The Makeup Show and believe that it’s the perfect avenue for artists of all levels who may want something different from IMATS. Top artists are there to share their knowledge with other artists, students, and guests. Being able to spend time surrounded by like-minded peers creates a nurturing and dynamic environment that allows all of us artists to test out and purchase new products and connect with other artists.

Makeup Show 2014 David Klasfeld

Makeup Show 2014 David Klasfeld

There is something for everyone at The Makeup Show so if your medium is beauty, or special effects, or if you have a flair for the avant-garde, you won’t be disappointed with the exhibitors, workshops, seminars, and keynote speakers. There is a friendliness that permeates the atmosphere and even though I go alone every year, I still manage to see old friends or make new ones.

Jessie Powers for MUFE

Jessie Powers for MUFE

I had a chance to check out the Kosart Effects booth for Special Effects Makeup (J. Anthony Kosar won Face Off Season 4), see a seminar held by Jessie Powers for Make Up For Ever, and watch David Klasfeld, founder of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics transform his model using various OCC products. I’m really interested in vegan products so it was great to hear David talk about why he started his ever-growing brand. It was really cool to listen and learn from both seminars, especially since artists tend to “know it all” when it comes to products and application. We can always learn something from someone else and The Makeup Show is a place where you can truly learn something meaningful.

Kosart Effects Makeup Show 2014

Kosart Effects Makeup Show 2014

Kevyn Aucoin Museum Quotes

I had a chance to stop by Nigel’s Beauty Emporium (truly a premier beauty supply company), Frends Beauty (one of the world’s largest beauty supply companies), and Z Palette (who really had the most professional and pleasant salespeople), along with Alcone Company (they make my favorite non-latex sponges).


Team Spring!

Natalie's WatermarkSince the weird Chicago weather is finally making sense, I’ve been inspired to create more Spring themed looks for my clients, now that we are actually having a Spring.

I love a bold eye like nobody’s business but I know for most women, the style is Natalie's Watermark Part 2sometimes difficult to own, especially for a daytime look. My model wasn’t entirely convinced that she could pull off her bright, bold, blue look but she trusted me completely (maybe because I’m her big sister)!

I used Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics pigment in Saturate, a lovely, shimmery, aqua color. Applying the pigment from the inner eyelids out to the center of the lids (both top and bottom) gave just the right amount of “bright” before I transitioned to a darker blue. I actually used a combination of three additional shadows from MAC and INGLOT to add depth to the outer lids and crease area. MAC’s Pro Palette Shadow in Atlantic Blue, mixed with INGLOT shadows in 70 (bright blue) and 493 (bright purple) added a better level of dimension. After lining her upper lids with Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Stargazer, I used MAC Smolder on the upper and lower lash lines, and Make Up For Ever Smokey Extravagant Mascara to complete the look.

Little Sis was very pleased with the end results, and I think I’ve managed to convert her to bright shadow for the daytime (fingers crossed)!

Until next time,



Wedding Guest Look

It’s wedding season, and guests want to look their very best, so this post is all about creating a fresh, colorful look that’s easy to achieve.

My model (who’s also one of my BFF’s)  was wearing a multicolored dress of various shades, including orange, turquoise, and fuchsia. After adding an eye primer, I decided to play up her eyes by swiping Magnolia Makeup Pigment in Green Tea on the inner eyelids. This super bright green packs a punch, but looks really good on many skin tones. It’s actually one of my favorite green pigments, because it has a bit of a yellow base, even though it’s described on the website as being, “light, olive-green.”  I used MAC’s 233 Split Fibre Eye Shadow brush because it’s just the right size for laying down product that I don’t enjoy scattering everywhere! For the rest of the eyelid, I actually just used one more color from Inglot (#331) that I blended from the center of the eyelid out and then up into the crease area. I used two different eyeliners, one being Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye Liner in 12L and MAC Eye Liner in Smolder. You can’t go wrong with either of these liners.

My model had long lashes that I chose to enhance with mascara versus adding lashes. photo (5)Make Up For Ever Smokey Extravagant was my “go to” and framed my girl’s lashes beautifully. I like the formula because it doesn’t get clumpy and the application is always smooth. I used NARS Taos on her cheeks and swept a tiny bit of MAC Bronzing Powder over the cheekbones. For the lips, I wanted the color to last, and I also wanted to pick up a bit of the colors in my friend’s dress, so I started with a coat of Covergirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Ravish and followed up with MAC Lipglass in Ravishing to complete the look!

Weather Makeup Makeover

The weather actually dictates our makeup more than we think. As the sun starts to shine more frequently and with temperatures on the rise, it’s time for you to go through your Aqua Eyes Waterproofmakeup bag and take inventory of what needs to be changed.

I know you’ve heard it before but it’s true: you need foundation in more than just one color. I actually have three different foundations that I use throughout the year because of skin color changes due to the heat (or lack of heat in Chicago). No one has skin that remains the same color throughout an entire year, unless they are plastic mannequins. Try your favorite brand, but a shade or two lighter for the colder months, and select another shade for those times when you’ve been exposed to the sun more frequently. Side-note: I hope you all are using sunscreens and foundations that contain SPF to protect your skin. To my readers of African descent, you should never believe the myth that Black people don’t get skin cancer, as it’s simply not true. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate.

Another weather related tip? Waterproof your makeup for those sultry days and nights when you want to look fabulous. If you’re rolling with your crew and your makeup is rolling right off your face, that’s not a good look. There is a difference between a “glow” and a “no.” We’ve all seen photos of sweaty-faced folks who didn’t realize their makeup deserted them. I’ve actually BEEN that person! While the waterproof makeup of the past was challenging to apply and even more difficult to remove, today’s products are much more easier to work with and they hold up well in various temps. I love Make Up For Ever Aqua MUFE Aqua Eyes 1Eyes Eyeliners for several reasons. First, they come in tons of fantastic shades, and second, the liners glide over my lids quite easily, blend well (very important when you’re using waterproof products), and yet are just as easy to remove after a long day (or night). For mascara, I love the waterproof version of L’oreal Voluminous!

I really love Smashbox Photo Finish Oil-Free primer and use it often when I want to waterproof my foundation. It helps my foundation last all day. If you have oily skin, try Stila Stay All Day Foundation, which melts into your skin and provides great coverage.  There are tons of brands out there that you may have to try in order to see what works best for your skin and your lifestyle. So let’s do a recap:

1. Clean out your makeup bag.

2. Use sunscreen. Daily.

3. Try the new formulas for waterproof makeup.

4. Have fun. It’s only makeup.

Until next time,


Tip For The Day

This is my version of "over the top" makeup

This is my version of “over the top” makeup

Here’s the scenario: You meet up with your friend for a day of shopping and dining. When she opens the door, you are startled and shocked by her new makeup. Her lipstick looks like she’s been playing in chalk (too pale), she has either over/under drawn her eyebrows (scary),

Badly shaped eyebrow


and she took contouring to the next level (did she get a nose job?). Your friend is excited that she’s learned these techniques from her favorite online tutorial (no shade to all the talented MUAs who use social media to share tips), and asks the cringe-inducing question, “How do I look?”

If your instinct is to do a wall slide to the floor, clutch your pearls, and say, “A hot mess” then stop yourself before hurting her feelings and use some tact. This has happened to one of my MUA friends before, and she’s not known for being tactful, but she couldn’t crush her friend’s feelings. The artist quickly realized that her friend had been dutifully following HER advice but hadn’t quite mastered the look she wanted to achieve. The artist acknowledged that her friend had been experimenting with color, which was great, as many people shy away from strong colors. She then suggested things to add a little “here” and take away a little “there” for their soon to be Tweeted/Instagramed “selfie.”  Once the artist finished correcting the typical newbie to makeup issues (foundation not blended enough, wrong lip color, mascara or eyeliner, etc.), she took a new picture of her friend, who was elated.

This could have gone another way and feelings could have been hurt. Many times, when we see loved ones wearing makeup that makes us pause in disbelief, those people have no idea of how they truly look. The mirror tells lies. Instead of jumping in with, “You have on too much makeup” change the wording and say, “I saw (whatever product) and think it would look fantastic on you. Have you every tried that one?”  This is a tactful way to let your person know that all the colors of the rainbow in one place (their face) might not be a good look.

Some people are stuck in their ways and don’t feel that they need to change their makeup application routine. There’s not much you can do about these folks except keep a straight face (pun intended).

My “Tip for the day” is for two sets of folks: the offenders and those who are offended. If you have been told before that your makeup is “bright” or “creative” or people just say, “wow” when they see your face, you need to tone it down. If you are friends with the person who needs a makeup intervention, let them know verbally, not through the wall slide, pearl clutching, or “Hot mess” comments! Be sweet!

Until next time,