Monday July 22, 2013
When I first started to use makeup on a regular basis I was always afraid of blush. Blush was something that would either make me look like Jigsaw from the movie Saw or someone with rosacea. Not until about a year ago did I really fall in love with blush. If there was one makeup item I could not live without it would be blush. Blush brings the makeup and face to life. Its my cherry on top. I love it so much and I have tons and tons of it. But there are definitely a few that are standouts and are my all time favorites. I have a medium complexion with a yellow undertone, my skin tone varies throughout the year sometimes its light to light-medium and sometimes its medium-dark, so these blushes may look different on me at different times of the year. Some of these blushes I can wear all year round and some I only prefer in the winter or only in the summer, so keep in mind that these blushes may not be compatible on everyone's skin tones.

My first blush I ever bought was Nars Luster, it was the first high end blush I purchased. I heard all about Nars Orgasm and even tried it once at a friends house, I like it, but it didn't stand out to me. The thing about Luster that I love is the shimmer it contains. Its a very fine milled shimmer so its not glittery or sparkly but instead if gives a beautiful apricot bronze GLOW. Great for the summer when I want to achieve that bronzed goddess look. I bought mine at SEPHORA for $29.00.

Another Nars blush I love is SIN. This blush color is a gorgeous dark berry color that accentuates cheeks and emphasizes shadows so perfectly. I was a bit weary to try a blush so dark and deep, I didn't think I could pull this kind of color off. But actually I use this blush as a contour. Instead of on the apple's of the cheek I place it on the back of my cheek toward my ears and blend it in with my contour or bronzer. I normally only use this blush in the fall or winter when the weather is colder since the effect it give is more accentuated in colder months because its a cool tone color and my skin is a lot paler and cooler in tone. In warmer months warmer tones are more appropriate for my skin since in warmer months my skin tone is darker and warmer.

I recently fell in love with MAC. When I started out with makeup I would stay away from Mac, because I had heard a lot of horror stories from friends telling me it broke them out, it looks caking on them. But recently I gave some of their blushes a try and I am in love with Mac's Melba. This blush gives such a beautiful apricot nude hue to the cheek. I love how pigmented the blush is, you can just barely dust some on and you get color, if you want a deeper look you can add more and get more color and pigmentation. Its so versatile; I use it on weddings a lot since it can be so subtle and just give the face a bright complexion even though its not necessarily a bright color. Mac for $21.00

So I mentioned Nars Orgasm earlier and even though I do enjoy this blush I prefer Coralista ($28.00) from Benefit far better than Orgasm. They are both of a coral undertone but I believe Orgasm has a larger red/gold undertone (very slight) and Coralista is more of a peachy pink shimmery tone I think its more subtle in appearance at it blends in with my skin tone very well. If it didn't have such fine shimmer I believe it would look very natural to my skin. But the shimmer in the blush adds depth and luster.

My everyday blush in the winter hands down is Exposed Amazonian clay blush from Tarte ($26.00). The amazonian clay blushes are really outstanding since they last for hours and give such a subtle everyday glow. This blush is a dark nude great for contouring the face, I use it to contour the cheeks. Instead of using a contour shade or blush I use Exposed right in the hallows of my cheeks and blend. It gives a very soft color great for everyday.

Another everyday blush I love using in the warmer months since its a very warm peach color. Lorac in Rose. Lorac's blushes right now  are only $10.00 50% off! I use this blush as my everyday blush and I cant get enough of the natural peachy flush it gives my cheeks. I even ordered a back up since I use this blush almost everyday I want to stock up while they are on sale.

So these are all my favorite blushes and I hope you enjoy!

Thursday June 20, 2013
I had the chance to do some special effects makeup this weekend. I have never tried any type of special effects makeup before, but I love watching Face Off and jumped at the chance in doing this when I was asked to help out. The occasion was for a music video called "The Madness" for a band called Alevela. I had an amazing time making zombies and splattering fake blood all over people. It was a great experience and I am so glad I got the chance to create such horror.

This was the only zombie I finished from start to finish. I am pretty darn proud of it.

I was very surprised that zombie makeup had many different components to it. In the end I figured that its a very intricate procedure and it does take a lot of skill (that's why mine looks so amateur). Some of the main materials you need to achieve a simple zombie, corpse, or un-dead look is liquid latex, cream face color and fake blood. Many companies provide liquid latex, the one I used was from Alan's Party supply. The latex gives the skin the bumpy rotten flesh look. I used sponge wedges to apply the latex layered some toilet paper on top then ripped little slits in the latex to resemble dead skin. I applied some cream-makeup from Rubies that I bought at Alan's Party supply to give the skin the dead non pigment look. And the cherry on top is the liquid fake blood, I just splattered the blood wherever I applied the latex and it just adds the finishing touch to the look. Also mixing some oatmeal and liquid latex together gives the skin an even more rotten effect to the skin. Here are some materials we used for the special effects makeup.

Here are some more looks from the shoot, there was another makeup artist on site that did more of the intricate  even more gory looks, this guy was the main killer zombie and he came out really gory and awesome. His before and after came out really awesome and creepy.

This girl did her own zombie makeup and I couldn't believe how awesome it came out. I was really impressed at the special effects talent these people had. 

This was an awesome experience and never in a million years did I think I would make people look uglier and lifeless. However it was so much fun and the techniques that go into making someone look dead is just as intricate as making someone look beautiful!

BTW! I would like to talk about the site, they filmed in the middle of the Apple Valley desert. It was a real trek to get to this destination. They were literally looking for a rock in the middle of the dessert that they found weeks before and wanted to film there. So two hours into the desert we find a random rock and film there. Definitely an adventure in itself but all paid off in the end!

Wednesday May 22, 2013
I have used my share of concealers throughout the years from high end (Lancome, Bobbi Brown, Tart etc.) to low end (Covergirl, L'Oreal, Sonia Kashuk etc.). I have come to a place where I am no longer on the hunt for the "perfect concealer." I have found a couple concealers high end and low end that work beautifully for me in any situation. I wanted to share them with you since it took me years and many many tubes, sticks  and pots of concealer to find.

First off I would like to describe my skin type, color, and undertones so that you can have a good idea of what can work well for you if you have similar features. I have a light-medium skin tone around NC30-35 in MAC terms and combination oily skin. My skin is more of an oily complexion, especially in my T-zone.

My favorite drugstore concealers are hands down Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette, it retails for $10.49 at Target. I use color Light 07,  this concealer works really well for oily skin since it has a thick creamy texture that conceals fine lines really well and has medium-high coverage. For $10.49 you get a light color concealer, a medium to light color concealer, a corrector that is more of a green-ish tone that helps conceal red imperfections such as pimples, and  a setting powder that is used to set the concealer. You get everything you would need to conceal, correct and set, great bargain and awesome quality.

Also a concealer that I recently bought because it was on clearance at Walgreens on a whim is Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer Cream in color 215. Retails for $12.99 and it was a wonderful surprise! This concealer has a light texture yet goes on with medium coverage and is great for moisturizing under the eye since the concealer has a moisture strip already in the pot. This concealer is a great dupe for many high end concealers out there for a fraction of the price. I loved it so much I went back and bought the color lighter(210) and darker(220). I bought the lighter one for the winter, the darker concealer for my darker summer days. If you have dry under eyes and looking for reasonable price try this concealer out!

I have been looking for a concealer great for a wide range of skin tones and skin types. I came across Mac Pro Longwear Concealer. This concealer was a godsend for my kit that I use for freelance. I bought the colors in; NC15, NC20, NC30, NW15, NW20 and NW30. When I am in a pinch and I am short on time (depending on the model/client's skin condition) I wont even put foundation over the concealer at times. I will just go over any dark spots and imperfections with this concealer dust some powder on and call it a complete face. Pro Longwear Concealer blends in seamlessly and sets to a matte full coverage finish. I am in love with this concealer, I am very impressed with Mac's whole Pro Longwear collection. Retails for $18.00 at any MAC locations or online.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit has been my go to high end concealer as of late. I have the color Beige, it comes with Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Pale Yellow . This compact is a duo powder and concealer. And just like in the name this is a very creamy concealer that does not settle into lines and has medium coverage. I love the consistency of this concealer it goes on a little on the sticky side however it gives a bright yet subtle look. And the powder creates the smoothest and flawless finish. I love how this concealer gives the skin a subtle bright look. This is a bit on the pricey side however its worth the money especially when it comes with an amazing setting powder. Retails for $33.00 at Sephora.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is truly an innovative product. It is the most moisturizing concealer I have ever used. This concealer is made with Maracuja oil that Tarte is very famous for using in many of their products. This concealer would work really well for those with dry under eyes due to its creamy consistency it is able to blend flawlessly into skin and fill in deep lines to hide any wrinkles. This concealer has a high coverage application. Due to its creamy consistency it does take a little longer than normal concealers to set (around 5-10 minuets). This retails for $24.00 at Sephora which I believe to be a bargain since a little goes such a long way. I have had my tube in color LIGHT for almost one year and I still have plenty left.

Another really moisturizing concealer that I have recently tried and love is Benefit Fake Up Concealer Stick. Retails for $24.00 at Sephora. Fake Up comes in three colors; light, medium and dark. This concealer if you can tell from the picture has two tones. The middle is the actual concealer and the ring around it is the moisturizer. This concealer has a medium to high coverage and is an amazing concealer because the moisturizing stick allows the concealer to glide across the face so smoothly. This concealer works so well at highlighting the areas around the eyes, forehead and chin. I am simply amazed by the effect it gives the skin. I tried using this on clients but using a spatula to take chunks from the stick (for sanitary reasons) is such a pain, the concealer simply just breaks in uneven pieces and makes it hard to apply on the client. My one and only complaint is that I cannot use this wonderful concealer on  my clients. Applying this as a personal concealer however is wonderful. Since this is such a moisturizing product using this in the winter is probably optimal since it can keep the under eye from cracking when its becomes to dry from cold weather.

I hope this helps some of you out there who have trouble finding the right concealer for their skin tone and/or skin type. I urge you to try some of the cheaper alternatives before you venture out into the more expensive concealers, so you have a better idea of what you are looking for in a concealer.

Good Luck!

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