Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Elements of a GREAT Makeover....and this one is TWICE as nice!

I was filing some digital images from recent weeks and couldn't stop staring at these two transformations...stunning 17 year old bridesmaids who are twins!  I love before and afters as much as you do, and we all know we love the after...but why?  What elements make an "after" so eye catching?  Check out the before/afters, and then I'll give you a breakdown of what you're seeing and why it works:

In my opinion, here's why these makeovers work...
1. The Makeup is age/occasion/personal style appropriate.  They're 17, so they want to look pretty for their friend's wedding, but a super heavy (shall we say, tarty?) look just wouldn't be right on either girl.  The style of makeup you choose should fit your age, your coloring, your style, the occasion....all of the above.  This makeup does!  Incidentally, this look would work on nearly any's a classically pretty look and that never goes out of style.
2. Skin still looks like skin! Breakouts and discoloration are minimized without creating a heavy look.  I used highly pigmented products applied in sheer layers to cover what needed to be covered without it looking like a coat of paint!  It's smoother and perfected, but it still looks like skin...not plastic or like they are covered in 3 inches of makeup.  It doesn't feel heavy either, which is important too. You can still see their freckles poking through!  Love that....
3. The colors are right/ no harsh lines - Soft pinks and plums look heavenly on brown eyed brunettes!  Everything is blended down well, the lip and cheek color emulates a natural flush and the eye makeup makes their brown eyes really stand out.  Black liner and black mascara (plus false lashes for pop!) work on everyone...everything else is in muted shades with nothing harsh and no unblended lines.
4. Brows!  These girls both have really thick strong brows!  I tweezed to clean up the shape, brushed them up and filled in a bit with brow pomade to highlight them.  Notice I didn't tweeze them down or change their shape too much?  Their natural strong brows work beautifully to frame their faces, it just needed a bit of polishing to look perfect.  Totally reshaping them into a different shape would look unnatural and unbalanced. (That's a whole 'nother topic, I could go on all day about brows!)
5. They still look like THEMSELVES.  Unless it's an artistic and stylized shoot, that's always my goal!  I want to bring out your natural good looks and polish them up...not make you look like you're dressed as a Halloween character or celeb wannabe.  The comfortable, warm smiles and sparkle in their eyes says it all...the LOVED how they looked!  Pretty, polished, perfect.
Here's a pic of them dressed and ready to go, along with another set of twins (different family) who served as adorable flower girls!

Every makeover is different and brings different goals with it....sometimes it's about covering skin issues, sometimes it's about making eyes pop, softening a strong jaw line.  When I'm doing editorial work or photo shoots, all bets are off and I might be totally packing on product, changing your face shape, and indeed making you look like a totally different person...but that's a whole different scenario, and not the way to go for weddings, special occasions and everyday situations.  Trends come and go, but classic, fresh and pretty NEVER go out of style and that's what these two examples are all about!  To me, these 5 elements are what make the ultimate makeover, because in the end, the before/after is about looking like the very best version of yourself. Or, in this case, looking a bit like your gorgeous twin sister....; )
(Makeup by Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup, Hair by Renn Traylor and Nikki Lasley)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Regular People vs Celebrities....Nobody Rolls out of Bed Looking Perfect

Random musings today, thought I'd share....

Something I talk with clients about ALL the time, is makeup vs no it makes women feel, how insecure we can be without some women never wear it and why that is.  Celebrities always come up in these conversations. We all have our celebs we girl crush over...Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez....whoever.  "Oh, if I only looked like Katy Perry!", etc.  We see them airbrushed and photoshopped....with amazing wardrobes and impeccable lighting.  When we see them, they're usually looking their absolute best and why not?  As a celebrity, looking good is truly part of your job!  That's why they have full time trainers and makeup/hair artists on staff and spend a huge chunk of their time on beauty maintenance. As a result, many people think that celebs are somehow different than the rest of us and look perfect all the time, right?  Compare that to most of us regular peeps, who try to carve out 10 minutes each morning to look presentable before we leave the house, while juggling kids, school, part-time jobs and feeling like having a clean face and brushed teeth is half the battle. Celebs spend a ton of time and money to look fabulous because if they don't, they won't get the part, or could lose fans, or not get offered the magazine could truly hurt their career and way of life.  Regular people have other stuff to worry about, plain and simple! 

Often, magazines like this come out that touch on this very topic of discussion.....celebs with NO MAKEUP.....

Oooh.....look how so and so has zits, or someone else looks older and puffy..... or whatever.  I think we all kind of  get a thrill from seeing our favorite celebs without makeup, I know I do!  Why?  For me, it's not to be mean and judgy....I love seeing it because they look like US!  It's kind of reassuring to know that they weren't born with perfectly sculpted cheeks and permanently glossed lips.  Yep, they've got dark circles and big pores too....I like knowing that.  My goal ISN'T to pick on those celebrities who might not look as fab without makeup, but rather to illustrate how nobody...not even the famous actress or supermodel...looks glamorous without a little help.  Check out these great examples of stunning stars who look pretty much like regular folk with no makeup on:

I love these before/afters because I think these stars all look pretty cute without makeup, but instead of looking like movie stars, they look like any other woman you'd spot at the gym, Starbuck's or grocery store.  Lesson to be learned here?  If you always run around looking plain jane just because you don't think you COULD ever look glamorous....well, you're just wrong about that!  True, looking glamorous probably isn't your biggest concern in isn't mine either.  But having said that, don't give up on beauty because you look at celebs and compare yourself to them.
I've done makeup on clients who have NEVER felt pretty before...I mean, women who have truly never bothered with makeup or beauty at all.  In their minds, they're thinking "I'm just a regular person...if I can't look like Angelina Jolie, why bother?"  I know this because they flat out tell me!
So, a client is in my chair....a regular woman like me and you, NOT a celebrity. I apply their makeup for their wedding, or for a headshot, boudoir, lesson or whatever.  I hand them a mirror to take a look at the results and invariably, they tear up and can't believe what they see.  My fave response?  "Wow, I look HOT!" 
Real Makeover from cute to Supermodel! (Hair and Makeup by Jennifer Trotter)

I love when a client says that, and can truly see what I saw the minute they sat in my chair.  Just like in the makeover above....the minute I met her, I KNEW she'd look like the "after" pic...the bone structure, the eyes...I knew what the end result would look like even before I started.  I was right, she's breathtaking! The beauty was there all just took a little bit of tweaking to let it shine and take it up a notch! You don't have to be a celebrity to look gorgeous.
Everyday natural beauty is great, but when you WANT to look flat out stunning or red-carpet worthy, well...just don't be afraid to give it a might wonder what took you so long!  I'm not promising that any woman can look like Jennifer Lopez by slapping on a little bronzer...that's a bit unrealistic and we can all admit that some celebs are just genetically blessed.  But it's nice to know that when you want to, you can pull out all the stops with hair and makeup just like they do.... and feel fabulous. Even if it's just once in a while for special occasions. The potential is there for every woman, sometimes it just takes a little effort to bring out your inner star!
The takeaway? Realize that nobody rolls out of  bed looking perfect, not even our favorite celebrities!  It takes a little polish to get that "look", but being glamorous is attainable....for anyone.  The next time you're feeling blah about your looks or wish you could look like the latest "it girl" famous person, remember these celeb before afters above....remember how normal they all look au naturel, just like the rest of us.  Don't ever compare yourself to others and definitely not to super  models, singers and movie stars....just be the best YOU and work with whatever you've got, whether that's a great smile, awesome hair, or sparkling eyes. 
Go ahead, be your OWN celebrity!!  Bonus?  For those of us who aren't famous, nobody will notice or care if you run up to Starbucks in ponytail and yoga pants with a huge zit on your nose.  ; )

Monday, July 7, 2014

Why You Should get Professional Makeup for your Wedding Party.....

When I'm talking, texting or emailing with a client, bridesmaid makeup comes up often.  Many clients just know right off the bat...whole wedding party, done.  Others aren't sure and have hesitation about whether or not it's a good idea to arrange for the bridesmaids to have their makeup done too.  Speaking from YEARS of experience, I can assure is!  Here are just some of the reasons:

1. Consistency - Think of all of your friends and who will make up your wedding party.  If you're like most of us, you've got a mix of different types of girls...the edgy college friend who lives in NYC, the down to earth girl who lives in yoga pants and ponytails, the glamazon who adores makeup and won't leave the house without false lashes and full highlight/contour.  If each of these girls does their own makeup, it will look REALLY inconsistent.  Why does that matter?  A mish mash of looks draws your the MAKEUP, not to the moment and not to the bride.  The best wedding photos capture the joy, intimacy and connection of the day.....this is hard to achieve when a bridesmaid sticks out because her look is different than the rest.

2. Problem solving - Ok, so you're thinking..."yep, I DO have the one friend who never wears makeup and the other friend who wears a ton, and I don't know how to tell them that I'd like a certain "look"...awkward!"    Hire a professional artist to do your wedding party and the problem is SOLVED.  You, as the bride, no longer are in charge of dictating the "look" of the day, I will take care of it for you.  Don't worry about's easy to adjust slightly for each girl!  A bit less for Natural girl, a bit more for Glam Girl....tweaks in color and placement.  It's not about looking like carbon copies of each other either!  Each girl's individual beauty will shine through, I promise.

Peyronet Photography

3. Less Stressful...and Fun!  Getting makeup done together should be a good time.  With all the work and pre-wedding festivities, it's nice to settle in for a day of beauty with all of your girls!  I specialize in onsite artistry, so I will come to the location of your choice...with all my supplies, a chair, a light....basically a mobile makeup studio.  So much easier than running back and forth to a salon or juggling appointments, or worse, letting each girl figure it out for herself with mixed results.Whether it's a private home, the bridal suite at your venue or a hotel room, you can customize snacks and drinks, provide cute robes, assign someone as DJ for the day...hang out with your besties while you get beautified!
Tracy Autem Photography

Tracy Autem Photography 

4. Photos/Video - Ask any photographer or videographer and they will tell you....great makeup for everyone results in BETTER PHOTOS.  I know how to apply makeup to truly enhance everyone's that will look good in person AND in photographs...and most importantly, it will last.  This means that you and your girls will all look stunning, FEEL gorgeous and your pictures and video will all be about the love and capturing fun and silly moments of the ceremony and reception.    Your eye can focus on the bride (yay!) and the memories, not the bridesmaid with bright orange lipstick (yes, I've really had this happen).When everyone has on the right makeup applied properly in the correct colors, you and your girls will look....and feel amazing!

Beau Vaughn Photography

Brass tacks moment...picking up the tab. Do you pick it up?  Do the girls?  In most cases, the bride or bride's family picks up the tab, however it's perfectly acceptable to ask your girls to chip in to defray part of the cost.  I can't speak for other artists, but it's common to only accept payment from the bride (or bride's family) or one source, mainly because it's all pre-paid ahead of time.  If the girls chip in, they do so with the bride and those details are worked out ahead of time.  I can accommodate last minute faces (happens a LOT!) paid in cash as long as I have time, but it's a smoother process to plan for the entire wedding party.  If one or two girls aren't sure about getting makeup, they nearly always want it done once they've seen everyone else.

Just some things to think about when planning your wedding or helping a friend plan a wedding!  What about the already married ladies reading this....did you arrange for makeup for your whole group?  Wish you had?  Why?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Let's hear it for the bridesmaids!!  Your girls have been through thick and thin with you, and they will really appreciate you for arranging makeup for them. And whatever you do, please skip the weird Brazilian restaurant for your bridesmaid's lunch....they'll love you even more!  ; )

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Naturally Pretty Palette....Epic Fail or Must buy?

I bought a palette several months ago, and I really do love it, so I wanted to share the lowdown.... it's the Naturally Pretty palette by It Cosmetics.  Right off the bat, I'll warn you...if you're a type A  or OCD type, it might really bug you that the outer packaging is a mauve, sort of felt material that starts looking dirty and ragged nearly INSTANTLY.  Poor packaging....and yep, it does bug me!  It's fabric and can't easily be wiped off, but I've forced myself to look past that into the gorgeous, wearable colors inside.
I'm normally not a fan of matte shadows...generally, I think a bit of shimmer helps shadows blend out better...matte shadows can look chalky and dull.  In this case, nothing to worry about...these colors blend like a dream!  Just like their other palette competitors (Lorac, Urban Decay and others) these shadows are the micro-milled, high-end variety that apply like butter and have terrific color payoff.  Here are some more specifics from the It Cosmetics website about the shadows:

Hydrating Age Reverse and Prevent Complex and infused with Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk, Anti-Oxidants and Drops of Light™ Technology. Paraben-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, cruelty free. 

Ok...I'm down with all of that, but how does it LOOK?  Overall, this palette is a subdued one...the colors are soft, nothing bright or might even say a bit boring?  But let me tell you, this palette has become a total go to!  These colors help me craft the most lovely soft smoky eye looks, like the one below:

This palette is especially great for brown-eyed provides a neutral palette that isn't a boring brown and the colors all go together in a wide variety of combinations.  In the photo above, I used 5 or 6 shades for depth and dimension, with Iconic and Midnight (plum and navy) shadows as the base, blended down with Love, Soulful and All Heart.  Here is what the colors look like individually:
I use the lighter shades (Sheer Joy, Love) for base color and highlight, the deeper shades (Midnight, Noir, Iconic, Java) for liner and defining the crease and the mid range tones (Violet, Mocha, All Heart, Sunset, Sunrise, Warmth, Soft Light) to add warm tones and to create a smooth, buffed out look between darker and lighter shades.  The "Java" shade is a particular favorite...a warm coffee color, it just blends in so well and works with a lot of different color combinations, and makes the great base for a smoky eye that isn't too dark.  The hot bridesmaid dress color lately has been a gorgeous blush shade...this palette is perfect for that!  One of last week's weddings had blush dresses....I knew these shades would be perfect for creating sophisticated, yet soft looks that I needed.  Here's one of the bridesmaids:
Her eyes are blue, so I went a little warmer (Java, All Heart, Soulful, Noir)....and it looked great with the blush dresses, but also really made her eyes shine!  So pretty.  I almost forgot to mention...the Naturally Pretty palette comes with a "Transforming Pearl" shadow that you can swipe over the matte shades to give them shimmer.  Meh...not impressed with it and I skip it completely. I have other shimmers in my case that do the same thing much better.  If this was your only palette, that would be a nice feature to get more use out of the colors, so it shouldn't be discounted. I just have a lot of other competing products in my case.  So...all in all, here's the scoop:
Pro's - lovely shades, blend like a dream, great color payoff and wearability
Con's - case always looks dirty (it's fabric), shimmer is so-so
This has become a kit staple that I use all the time!  For non- pro's, it's a great starter palette for someone building their shadow collection as it works for any skin tone or eye color.  It's a great selection of neutrals with a lot more range (and a lot less glitter!) than Urban Decay Naked palettes too! much and where can you get it?  It's $42 on the IT Cosmetics website (click HERE), and you can purchase in store at Ulta. I stumbled across IT Cosmetics last year and have added several of their products to my kit (Bye Bye Redness has become a #cantlivewithout product!), so I spotted this palette and gave it a glad I did!  And if anyone from IT Cosmetics ever reads this, for the LOVE...please don't package eyeshadows with fabric packaging ever again.  Especially not mauve nubby felt.  More women would probably discover how great this palette really is if the packaging were better....#justsayin.
IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette....a MUST BUY!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It's June which = high Wedding Season....#busybusybusy!

Holy cow, this is one of busiest years Lip Service has ever had!  I'm barely 6  months into the year and I've already completed over 30 weddings, 9 photo shoots, plus tons of quicker jobs like boudoir shoots, trial runs, bridals.  I'm having a clients rock!  A bridesmaid just asked me if I ever have bridezillas and the answer is, I don't.  My brides are all super sweet girls....I'm super, did I just jinx myself?!?!  Hopefully not!  Haven't had much time to write and post, just wanted to check in and say hey....I'll write more when things slow down a bit in July.  I'm waiting on wedding pics from a ton of spring weddings, hoping many of them will arrive soon so I can post for you!

 It's been a blur of venue open houses, weddings, a surprise prom, charity events, lessons, bridals and even a big group of adorable girls for an 8th grade many super fun things I can't wait to share. In the meanwhile, just a handful of pics from what I've been up to: