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,

Tiffany

 

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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,

Tiffany

Sephora + Pantone and My Color IQ


Color IQFor those of you who are not familiar, beauty emporium Sephora partnered with color company expert Pantone, to develop an identification system for matching foundation accurately. I had been TRYING to get myself to physical store (I shop for makeup and beauty products online more than in person) for MONTHS, but finally, I had a day to myself where I could explore my own Color IQ.

As a makeup artist, I am used to mixing foundations for clients and for myself, to achieve the perfect color. I have eczema, and as a result, my face is discolored due to old eczema rashes that healed but caused hyperpigmentation (the skin darkened due to an increase in melanin). It takes me forever to find the right foundation (actually, make that plural, as I have to use more than one), so I was quite curious to see if Color IQ would correctly identify which foundation would work best for my face.

First of all, let me just say that the Sephora employees at the Lincoln Park location here in Chicago are AWESOME! Asia helped me identify my Color IQ by taking 3 pictures of my face with the hand-held camera that exclusively photographed my skin in total darkness for an accurate view of the true color of my skin, without distractions from fluctuating things like natural light, etc. Once she took the pictures, I received an on-screen list of the best foundations for my skin color. There were 16 total, and I also was given variations if I needed to select a foundation that was lighter or darker depending on my preference. The list was then emailed to me, which I thought was extremely helpful, even for a professional. With so many foundations out there, I can sometimes forget what works best for me! Here’s my list below (but please keep reading after the list and pictures):

MAKE UP FOR EVER
HD Invisible Cover Foundation
180 Brown
$ 42.00
NARS
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Polynesia
$ 42.00
LAURA MERCIER
Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 – Oil Free
Mocha
$ 43.00
BAREMINERALS
bareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Warm Deep
$ 27.00
LAURA MERCIER
Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Mocha
$ 43.00
SMASHBOX
Liquid Halo HD Foundation SPF 15
10
$ 42.00
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY
Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation
86 Cocoa Deep
$ 48.00
BECCA
Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème
Mahogany
$ 44.00
CLINIQUE
Even Better Makeup SPF 15
Pecan
$ 27.00
LAURA MERCIER
Oil Free Suprême Foundation
Rich Sienna
$ 45.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION
Matifying Compact Foundation
D65
$ 9.00
KOH GEN DO
Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
303
$ 62.00
BOBBI BROWN
Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15
Chestnut
$ 47.00
MAKE UP FOR EVER
Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation
No. 85 – Brown
$ 36.00
LANCÔME
Teint Idole Ultra 24H
540 Suede W
$ 45.50
DOLCE & GABBANA
The Foundation Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Golden Honey 170
$ 67.00

I decided to try the first foundation on the list, which is Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 180 Brown. I have red undertones in my skin and this foundation really made my skin look natural but I did notice that I had to apply more than one layer to get the best coverage. If you follow my blog, then you must know that I ADORE  Make Up For Ever (MUFE) and use many of their products, but the HD foundation was one that I had not yet tried. I think that it really gave my skin an airbrushed quality that looked fantastic in both natural and artificial light. I’ve seen other bloggers post that the foundation did not work for them (i.e. it was too oily, didn’t give enough coverage, etc.), but I have dry skin, and it worked for me.

I used my Stila One Step Foundation Brush to blend the foundation, and I have to say, I was really pleased with the overall results! Now that I have my list of new “go to’s” for foundation, I am going to start testing out the Color IQ theory more extensively.

Until next time,

Tiffany

 

Real Women Wear Pink


“Sugar and spice, and everything nice…”  makes me think of soft, sweet, girly, girl style. Guess what? Pink is not just for little girls. Check out the gloss pink lip on my beautiful

Real Women Wear Pink

Real Women Wear Pink

client. We collaborated on the look, doing a smokey eye, but incorporating more shimmer and pink (I’m a girly girl at heart). Stila lip pencil and lip gloss gave my client the pretty pout without the “bubblegum matte” look that seems to be so popular these days.  I actually picked up the Stila colors (Gumdrop  Lip Gloss and Aspiring Lip Pencil) from Amazon.com, since these were two of my favorites that were discontinued. MUA’s can testify to how much we search and horde makeup once we stumble upon the products that make us throw up our hands to the heavens!

A smokey eye doesn’t have to be created with just black or dark shadows. For this look, the eyes were lined, but more neutral, shimmery tones were used, with deeper colors only swept across the outer crease and lid areas. I used a combination of MAC, Magnolia Makeup, and OCC pigments to create the shimmery, smokey eye, added Make Up For Ever Aqua Black for liner, went back over the liner with MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, and topped off the look with Ardell lashes in 110.

Cheeks were dusted with NARS Blush in Taos, one of my all-time favorite colors, and contoured with MAC Blush in Blunt. I also feathered a little bit of MAC Iridescent Powder in Golden Bronze right above the apples of the cheeks to give my client a glow.

Pink isn’t just for little girls. It can be incorporated into a sexy, confident, totally wearable look for evenings. Are you ready to test it out?

xoxo,

Tiffany

Stepping Outside of Your Beauty Comfort Zone


Hello to you all! I’ve been M.I.A. due to a hectic schedule and I’m gearing up for all the fall Gala 2013 Blue Dressactivities and jobs that require my MUA skills! That being said, here’s what has transpired as of late: I stepped out of my own beauty comfort zone.

I’ve talked before about doing something different with your beauty regimen and changing your style. Some of you (and me included) wear the same makeup colors, hairstyles, and clothing, yet expect to somehow look different. That doesn’t make sense at all.

I’ve been rocking locs for almost 14 years, usually wearing them down, and dressing my body in black for various events. Recently, I spent some time looking at pictures of myself and realized that I looked the same in most of the photos. If I spend time telling other people how to change their looks but don’t change my own, I look hypocritical and out of touch. That’s not okay. So I called myself to task when I noticed that in my special events pictures, I usually chose makeup in golden shimmery colors or used tons of black around the eyes and I paired that with some variation of a black dress. Black is definitely on the menu of favorite colors (most of my close friends can testify to those college days of me wearing all black),  but I had to make some recent changes purely based on a time-crunch! I had one day to find a dress and 40 minutes to get glammed up from head to toe for a GALA, but I made it work. When your typical choices are no longer options, what do you do?

I stepped out of my beauty comfort zone by rocking a royal blue dress and blue shadows for my eyes. My locs were coiled instead of hanging down, and I have to say I was a lot cooler (physically and otherwise) with my hair UP instead of down. I’m not conceited by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to say that it felt fantastic to hear compliments on my new look. I hadn’t realized that maybe I was getting in my own way by being resistant to changing by not reworking my own style from time to time. As a working MUA who takes the craft seriously by keeping abreast of beauty trends, I’m used to doing my own makeup but saving the experimental looks for clients. I need to break that habit. Granted, some looks only belong in certain mediums (glitter lipstick is great for fashion shows, not so great for corporate jobs), but just inching a tad bit away from the familiar felt good.

For the “blue” makeup look, I used a combination of Magnolia Makeup Pigment in Fleur de fab and Inglot Freedom System Eye Shadow in #322 on top of Make Up For Ever Aqua Black for the smokey eye that I love (no judgement please, I’m trying to grow, haha)! After adding #82 lashes from Red Cherry (a brand Kim Kardashian likes), my look was complete. Hubby couldn’t stop raving about how good I looked, and I got some genuine positive feedback from friends, which made me realize that I need to practice what I preach in terms of “trying something new.”

If you’ve been holding on to some old ways, maybe it’s time to “go there” with yourself and start trying new things with your beauty routine. Stepping outside of your own beauty comfort zone can lead you down an unexpected path, but that path may be the road to a new you!

I Beat The Heat!


Today was the first summer day that I ventured outdoors wearing a full face of makeup. I always wear a sunscreen and lip balm, but today was one of those days where (due to work) I had to give myself “face.”  The temperature this morning was a scorching 91 degrees, and  I felt like I was trapped in an oven. Summer Heat Makeup

The Makeup Goddesses had already whispered in my ear that an attempt to waterproof my face was the way to go. After applying my Olay moisturizer, I added Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer and followed up with my L’Oreal RevitaLift Miracle Blur. Doing all three of these things helped set my face and get it ready for the next phase. I used MAKE UP FOR EVER Face and Body Liquid Makeup (which is waterproof), as well as the line’s Eye Primer, which allowed my eye shadow to last without creasing. After adding the rest of my makeup, I hit the streets to see if I could beat the heat. I did sweat a tad bit, but even after dabbing my face with a soft tissue, I was able to keep my makeup intact (the picture above was taken after being in the heat for a few hours).

By using a combination of techniques, and with trial and error, we can always find a way to keep our makeup looking good in the summer heat. Of course, we could always skip the makeup and go natural, but that’s not nearly as much fun for those of us who adore cosmetics! Do you have any suggestions on how to keep your makeup looking great during these hot summer months? I’d love to compile a list of suggestions and post them!

XOXO,

Tiffany