Sunday, February 7, 2016

Over 40? These makeup tips are tailor-made for you! (SheFinds Feature)'re over you really need to do your  makeup differently?  The answer is...yes! Many of the same looks that worked when you were younger may not be the most flattering now, so at the minimum, you'll want to make a few adjustments.  I'm in my forties too, so when fab beauty/lifestyle blog She Finds asked me for tips to share, I had plenty...working with my clients AND from personal experience!

Read on to find out what YOU could be doing wrong, as well as some great tips to help you choose the best products for your gorgeous, over 40 self....

(PS, thanks for the feature SheFinds!!)

9 Makeup Tips Women In Their Forties Should Commit To Memory

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It’s really no secret that women in their twenties do not face the same skincare challenges as women in their forties. That’s the beauty of aging, right? So just as your style and sensibilities evolve as you get older, so should your daily makeup routine. When you’re 20, you can put just about anything on your face and get away with it, but that’s probably not that case once you hit 40. Luckily, Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup, pro makeup artist and beauty expert, and Kate O’Brien, founder of Alima Pure, are here to share their best tried and true makeup tips for women 40 and over.

1. Look for highly pigmented products. “You can use less product and still get color payoff,” Trotter says. “The older we get, we don’t want to pack on makeup, so this tip is important.”
2. Be careful with color choice. “Avoid dull or overly vivid colors,” Trotter says. “Right in the middle is where you want to be. Rosy/peachy/plum shades for lips and cheeks always look young and fresh.”
3. Less is more. While coverage is good, more is not always better, O’Brien says. “Moisturize well, and let it absorb thoroughly before applying foundation. Then apply with a light hand, going back over spots that need a little extra coverage without over-applying.”
4. Prime your lids. “Matte and (surprise!) shimmer eyeshadows often work better for eyes over-40 than pearly eyeshadows which can emphasize lines,” O’Brien says. “A touch of primer or BB cream on the lid before shadow application can help shadows stay in place.”
5. Skip trends. “Trends, for the most part, have the reverse effect and can make you look older,” Trotter says. “Giant drugstore brands quickly jump onto trends to capture their audience, but be wary–often, these products are not geared towards those over 30 and should be skipped. Examples include super vivid colors, the spiky lash trend and glitter. Subtle shimmer is fine at any age, but glitter where you can actually see the particles… NO. Watch out for this in shadows, blushes, highlighters and lipsticks,” Trotter says.
6. Choose emollient products. “Seek out products that plump and moisturize and avoid anything that is too dry,” Trotter says. “A too matte lipstick is aging, a too dry eye pencil will drag and pull on your eye, and a too dry foundation won’t give you that seamless glow.”
7. Focus on brows. “This is a great time for strong brows,” O’Brien says. “A well defined brow can help a face of any age look bright and awake. Choose a color somewhat lighter than natural brow hair and work soft strokes in through the natural brow line.”
8. Beware of cheap eyeshadow. “Across the board, watch out for drugstore brand shadows–they just don’t cut it.,” Trotter says. “The reason is because the ratio of filler to pigment is too high, which results in not enough color, not enough staying power and a dry, chalky look, which is aging.”
9. Shop smart. Smashbox, Lorac and Laura Mercier are all great brands for women in their forties because they offer colors with plenty of boldness, but not too many over the top choices, Trotter says. “Their lipsticks and shadows are highly pigmented, which is really what you want at any age.”
Mineral makeup brands like Alima Pure are also great for women in their forties because the colors reflect those occur in nature and all of the products are made without harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens.
Lastly, IT Cosmetics is actually geared towards women 30 and up, Trotter says. “My favorite products include No. 50 Anti-Aging Primer because it plumps up and hydrates mature skin, Bye Bye Redness Correcting Creme for covering blotchiness, Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil to build up sparse brows and Your Skin but Better CC Cream, which is an emollient tinted moisturizer that is fabulous on dry skin, plus it has SPF 50 to protect you from the sun. Even better, all of the skin products are formulated with good-for-you ingredients, which is a definite must for beauty shoppers over 40!”
(Written by Lisa Fogarty for SheFinds)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Go Nude! Essential Tips for the Perfect Nude Lip That Won't Wash you Out....(SheFinds Feature)

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When Lisa Fogarty from  fab beauty blog SheFinds reached out to get the lowdown all about nude lips...I was happy to help!  As a pale girl, I've struggled with it wrong, and you'll look pale and wan, not chic.

So what's a girl to do?  Read on for the interview and you'll be rocking a nude lip like a pro!

How To Wear Nude Lipstick Without Looking Washed Out

JANUARY 21, 2016

Certain lipstick shades have big personalities. Red requires little more than a precise application technique to look smashing. Hot pink or coral–similar va-va-va-voom factor, similar ease. The same, however, can’t be said for nude lipstick, which I’ve always considered the most difficult hue to pull off. The wrong nude lip can make some of us look tired and washed out. What’s more: it isn’t always easy to achieve the delicate balance between a nude lip and the makeup on the rest of your face.
To help pull off the nude trend that’s sweeping the Internet, makeup artist Jennifer Trotter at Lip Service is here to offer solid advice on how to create an amazing, flattering nude lip look that will make you look ethereal… not exhausted.
SHEfinds: What are some of your best nude lipstick application tips?
Jennifer Trotter: Here are three:
1. Exfoliate first. Lighter colors really highlight any dryness, so be sure to exfoliate lips with a sugar scrub (I like Fresh Brown Sugar) or even a rough washcloth to remove flakes, then coat lips with a moisturizing lip treatment (I like Joeur’s version).  Let the moisture soak in while you’re doing the rest of your makeup, then blot any excess before applying lip color.
2. Use lip liner. Line and then fill in lips with a nude lip pencil similar to the color you’re using. This will give your lip color extra staying power and it won’t bleed into any fine lines.
3. Choose color carefully. This is crucial to a fab nude lip. Get it wrong and you’ll look like an extra from The Walking Dead.  My rule of thumb: choose a nude with a rosy undertone instead of a flat beige, particularly if you have a lighter skin tone. That slight rosy undertone will keep your nude lip neutral and fresh with just enough warmth to not make you look washed out.  If you have a lot of natural color in your skin (think Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez–the pinnacle of nude lip wearers), you can go more beige-nude.
SF: What specific nude lipsticks do you recommend?
When you consider a nude lip shade, avoid shades with flat brown or taupe undertones. They may be trendy, but they’re easy to get wrong and can suck the natural color right out of your complexion.
SF: Should nude lips be matte or glossy?
JT: I prefer my nudes on the glossier side–too matte can look dry and aging.  A nude gloss looks great on top of any lipcolor, and can neutralize the shade a bit.  Nude glosses to try: Butter London Lippy in Tea with the Queen and L’Oreal in Barely Nude.
SF: How should you adjust the rest of your makeup to suit the look of nude lipstick?
JT: Add a bit more blush for warmth, and ensure your foundation is flawless. Without the contrast of a brighter lip, any skin issues will be more obvious.  You can’t go wrong with the classic combo of a smoky eye and a nude lip. Go super smoky with shades of carbon, charcoal and bronze paired with a nude lip. Add fluttery lashes and this sexy look is tough to beat, yet not too over the top.
SF: Should your clothing choices change when you wear a nude lip?
JT: Be sure that you’re choosing an outfit in your most flattering colors when you rock a nude lip to avoid looking washed out.  If ivory makes you look pale, then pairing an ivory sweater with nude lip will have friends asking if you have the flu. Choose colors that make you feel strong and powerful… cobalt, red, charcoal, black, white. Nude lip looks are fab against all white on darker skinned ladies–see: Beyonce and JLo again.
[Photo: Imaxtree]

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

5 Reasons Why Hiring a Cheap Makeup Artist is a HUGE Mistake

Image: Lydia Royce Photography

If you are about to hire a makeup artist for your own wedding, or know someone who is getting married soon....this post is for you, and it's important! Bear with me...I know it's a little long, but I am going to tell you THE REAL DEAL.....the BS FREE, full truth reason why onsite bridal makeup and hair costs what it does, and why getting a cheaper deal is actually a huge mistake.  But first, I'm going to share with you a real story about a real bride to be....I left out her name for her privacy, but this conversation is a pretty common one. The original exchange prompted a great discussion within the DFW makeup community, and my peers actually requested that I blog about it! I agreed, because this is what brides really need to know to make an informed decision when planning their beauty budget for their wedding. 

It all started with a bride to be who was shopping for a makeup artist.  After getting a couple of quotes, she posted this message on her Facebook page:

"Can anyone help me find a good hair and makeup artist?  I just got a quote for $2300 for 11 people!! I didn't plan on spending over 2K for natural makeup and hair that isn't even pinned up."

My friend tagged me in the post, referring me to this bride and asking if I could help her.  I sent this Facebook message to her:

"Hi ________! Thanks for accepting my friend request! I got a notification that _________ referred me to you for bridal beauty per your inquiry? Sounds like you have sticker shock, which I completely understand....there isn't much information out there on what are industry averages for bridal hair and makeup in Dallas/Fort Worth. I have actually been asked to give some speeches (one is next week) to wedding vendors in other categories to help educate their clients! $2300 for 22 services is very reasonable for our area. The very bottom end for pros....and these are girls who are new and just starting out...would be $75 per service, at the higher end is $200 per service. Most of the well known pros who are my peers (as well as myself) charge roughly $150 per service for bride, $100 per service for attendants, not including extras like travel (usually added if its' over 25 miles), trial runs, or assistants due to such a large group. 

 The only way you'll find less expensive services is to use people who don't run a bridal beauty business....people who work at makeup counters, blow dry bars, etc. These people generally don't have the same level of experience, and can't provide the flawless results you want, delivered in a seamless and stress free way. Pro makeup artists like myself have majorly invested in our businesses....I have $20K worth of product invested in my kit/tools/etc., and that's not even including items like makeup wipes, lashes, etc. that I go through in bulk each year. I spent $800 I lashes alone last year, and that's at $1 a adds up, for sure! Add in insurance, marketing, education and other business expenses, as well as the actual time involved in consulting, creating contracts, handling payments, and the event itself....any artist who charges less than the minimums I mentioned cannot make a living, that's why it's a dead giveaway that they aren't a pro if they charge less. Hope that all makes sense! I am happy to send you pricing if you like...I don't know your date or if I'm open, but mainly I just wanted to take the time to give you the info you need to make a good decision. it's not cheap....great bridal beauty is an investment, but a worthwhile one. You and your girls will enjoy a fun and stress free day getting ready with people who know exactly what to do to make everyone happy and stay on schedule, plus you'll all look and feel fabulous. You'll love your photos and video, and you won't be focused on anything other that enjoying every moment of the day...because you'll look amazing! If you go the cheaper route, you are risking major regret....awful makeup and hair, an artist being late or not showing up, or not getting everyone done and running late because they don't specialize in weddings and the necessary timelines....all real things that can and do happen.

 Also, your post mentioned natural makeup and hair that's down (not pinned up), neither makes a difference in regard to pricing. Fabulous natural makeup takes the same amount of time (sometimes more) than more dramatic looks, and same with down-do's....updo's can often be faster than curling and doing down-do's. Pro's don't charge different prices according to the look you desire, it's standard across the board, because what you're paying for is a culmination of experience, time and product, and there isn't much difference between softer natural looks and dramatic ones. I forgot to mention, and I guess this is important! I have been a pro makeup artist for 24 years, specializing in weddings for 18....I've done nearly a thousand of them, currently about 70 each year. I am passionate about bridal beauty....I love what I do! I use licensed and very skilled hair contractors for my brides who ask me to provide hair services....the girls I use also work for a couple of other top makeup pros in DFW and they're awesome. I focus on my area of expertise, which is bridal makeup! You can check out my work at, Facebook,'s all over, lots of images for you to see, plus lots of articles I've written on wedding and beauty tips. Regardless of anything, I'd love to have you as a follower on social media if you enjoy what you see. If you want more info on my specifics for your wedding, then please email me at If not, no worries at I said I just want you to have the correct info so you can have amazing wedding day makeup, whomever you should choose to hire. I wish you all the best _______!! JT"

Sorry, that's really long, but I need to say more than "that's just what it costs", right?  I don't know about you, but I'm willing to pay for something better, especially when I really understand WHY it's better. (Yes, I drove my parents nuts with "Why" questions when I was a kid!  No different as an adult....give me the REASON.) I wasn't really concerned about her booking me personally...honestly! I just wanted her to feel confident that the pricing she'd been given was indeed legit, and that she'd be going down the wrong road to hire someone who charged a lot less. If you're getting week, next year or 5 years from now....this is info you need to know, and they don't really talk about it in bridal magazines or blogs. Hear me please when I tell you...YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Bridal beauty is not the time to bargain shop. Cheap prices...meaning anything well below the industry standards...are NOT a good thing. Why?
   Let's recap the top 5 reasons:
  1. Cheap often = inexperienced. You'll find cheap rates at blow-dry bars or volume beauty services.  I love an inexpensive blowout on occasion too, but I guarantee you the top bridal beauty experts in your city aren't working at a blow dry bar or an uber cheap mobile beauty service! Those options are where new people go to get their career started. Nothing wrong with that, but let's face don't want a brand-new artist using your face and your wedding as an experimental training ground.
  2. Cheap and Shady are only good when describing sunglasses! An artist who undercharges could be undercutting local competition to steal business.  This means they are a jerk with shady ethics.  Do you want to trust a jerk with making sure you look your best on wedding day?  (Short, NO.)
  3. They're Cheap because they're desperate. They might be cheap because they are desperate for business and will accept ANYTHING, even if it's well below typical rates.  Think about it...if they were talented and reputable, they would have full schedules and wouldn't be desperate.
  4. Cheap Means They Aren't business savvy. You can't make a living charging really low rates....period.  Done correctly, this is an expensive business....quality cosmetics and skin care, tools and brushes, bulk supplies, insurance, education, marketing, etc.  Any legit artist has crunched the numbers and charges appropriately because they actually do this for a living and are invested in their career...and invested in their reputation, so if they don't?  Yep, dead giveaway that they are not a pro.  Don't hire someone who does bridal makeup as a once in a while hobby!  Regardless of how they might try to frame it up to make some cash, someone who plays with their Caboodle and practices contour along with Youtube videos in their bedroom is NOT a makeup artist, and they definitely are not capable of handling the most important makeup you'll ever have done.
  5. An artist who charges below market rates doesn't value their work.  If they don't value their time and skills, why should you? Think about it. Super low rates convey pretty clearly that they don't think their makeup skills are up to par...why would that be ok with you as a customer, especially on your wedding day?!  A great artist knows that they can deliver, and has confidence that they're worth their rates. That's the person you want in charge of making you look fabulous on your big day.

We all love a good deal...myself included!  There's nothing like the excitement of finding a pair of $250 shoes on sale for $100, or getting a good deal on your new cell phone......I get it completely. But in the land of bridal hair and makeup....going cheap is a HUGE risk that you'll regret.  Just ask anyone who DID go'll hear stories of artists not showing up, makeup so bad it had to be washed off and the bride had to reapply herself, the artists taking so long that the bride was late to her own wedding...and on, and on and on. (I heard a particularly shocking story recently...that might turn into a separate post!) I've lost track of how many last minute brides I've squeezed in because a fly by night makeup artist bailed at the last minute or never showed up. Don't go that's not worth the stress. On site Bridal Beauty Pros know exactly how to create perfect, long-lasting looks....and get everyone done on time!  Don't accept anything less for an occasion as important as your wedding.  Make your choice based on style, personality, reputation, portfolio, referrals, good reviews.....not price.  If you choose someone based on price alone, you're wasting the money you do spend.

I know what you're thinking....what if I don't live in Dallas/Fort Worth, how do I know what my market rates are so I can find a legit artist? Pricing does's less is smaller cities, and quite a bit more in places like New York and LA. Check back with me here, I have a future post in the works with tips on how to shop for a makeup artist and how to check someone out before you even call or email them. (Plus there are a few more helpful tips here.)  One of the best things you can do? Talk to trusted wedding planners and photographers in your one understands the value of flawless bridal beauty more than these vendors, and they can point you to reputable artists who specialize in bridal beauty and charge standard rates for your area.  Trust me, there's bound to be dozens and dozens of trusted, experienced and talented professionals where you live that charge what they do...because they're worth it.
Image: Jessica D'Onofrio Photography

I never did hear back from that bride, but that's OK! I felt better just knowing she had the FULL SCOOP, and I think she did wind up hiring one of the girls she had already received pricing from, so hopefully my message helped her feel more confident in her decision. Mission accomplished!  SO....let's wrap this all up with a little bow....

Ladies, you have one look and feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, and in the photos and video that you'll cherish for years to come.  I said it in my message to that bride and I'll say it again....

"Bridal Beauty is an investment, but it's worth it!"

Still have questions?  Did you or someone you know go the cheap route with your bridal beauty and regret it?  Share in the comments!

(All Makeup on this page, and on this website by Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup)

Copyright Lip Service Makeup 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Smoky Eye Makes Your Eyes Look Smaller - Fact or Beauty Myth?

As a pro makeup artist, beauty expert and writer....I get frustrated sometimes.  Why, do you ask, when I have the BEST job in the whole world?  I'll tell ya....
I get frustrated by all of the MISINFORMATION out there in the world of beauty!  I constantly read tips that are just flat out wrong. (It happens in the fashion world too...example, whoever decided that ANYONE looks good in flatforms or culottes!  But I digress....)

Call them Old Wives tales or Beauty Myths, but trust me, ladies, you can't believe everything you's not all accurate, and often those articles don't give you enough information to understand how the tip might...or might not...apply to you.  Today's blog post is about one of those Beauty Myths that totally drives me nuts.  How many times have you read:

"Avoid a smoky eye or black eyeliner!  It'll close your eye in and make it look smaller..."

I know I've read it dozens and dozens of times.....everywhere from beauty blogs to national beauty magazines, and countless women have told me that their friend/cousin/mom always told them that girls with smaller eyes just can't do a smoky eye.  Guess what?  It ain't true!!  It just isn't....and I can prove it.  Wanna see?  Check out these examples of just a few of my real clients....every last one of them wanted a smoky eye but was afraid to try it because they "had heard somewhere" it would make their eyes look smaller.  Take a look......

That last's crazy, right?  Her eyes look twice their size!  It's all in the technique, how it's applied and harsh edges, and you have to be careful not to overdo. When done correctly, color can be used to create the illusion that your entire eye area is bigger than it really is.  Another key element?  Lashes!  Strip lashes, individual lashes or a couple of coats of glossy mascara will do wonders to visually open up your eye area.

So....have you been avoiding black liner or a smoky eye because you thought you couldn't pull it off? Give it a try, you might be surprised on how flattering a soft, smoky (read: not goth!) smoky eye can be.  If you really want to learn how to recreate this look on yourself, call (972-345-0655) or email ( me today to book a private or group lesson and I'll teach you!

Check back here too, I'll be posting more Beauty Myths in the future...the real scoop, no BS.  Have a beauty myth you've always heard and want to find out if it's true or not?  Post in the comments!

(All makeup on this post, and this website by Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What's the Number One Thing You Should Look For When Choosing Cosmetics?

Whenever I do makeup for headshots, weddings or a group or private lessons, clients are always shocked at how LIGHT the makeup feels when I'm done, and how long it lasts.  They want to know what it is that I'm doing to get such great results that look and feel so different from results they get when they do their own makeup at home.  Well, here is my #1 trick.....
Highly pigmented products are a MUST for bridal makeup!

The products I use....expensive, drugstore and pro brand....have all been chosen with one thing in mind...they are all highly pigmented!

So what the heck does THAT mean?

Think about this...have you ever applied a cheap, drugstore eyeshadow or blush that looked pretty in the package, but when you applied it....the color just wasn't there, or you had to really pack it on to see anything?  Or you applied lipstick just to have it fade into oblivion a few hours later?  You might have figured out that those cosmetics weren't the best quality, but what exactly is the problem? Too much filler versus pigment...plain and simple.  A high ratio of filler ingredients will dilute the intensity of pigment and create a  dry, chalky texture.... that means you have to really work to get any color payoff, the colors aren't true and it won't last. In regard to eye shadow, it can also result in major in color all over your cheeks instead of on your eyelids...a beating when you're trying to get ready, but also a waste of time and product.
Photo Credit: Aphrodite Attitude

Higher quality formulas apply true color smoothly, and in one swipe....that's the golden ticket!  You can keep it light with a soft wash of color, or build to major intensity....if a product has more pigment, the option is up to you.  When your shadow, blush and lipstick are properly pigmented, there's no need to pack it on and it'll blend seamlessly with your skin.

Pigmented shadows - Photo credit: Makeup Geek
How do you know if you've got a highly pigmented product?                                
I'll save you plenty of time right off the bat....I've yet to find ANY...and I do mean any, drugstore brand powder formula eye shadow that had enough pigment for me.  I'm a fan of several drugstore brands for other products, but in eye no.  Skip straight to higher end brands like Lorac (my current fave), Urban Decay (watch out for overly sparkly shades), Mac, IT Cosmetics (super smooth and blendable matte shades) and Charlotte Tilbury.  Look for an almost buttery smooth texture and intense color, and minimal fall out...

There are more options with blush...there are several brands at every price point that have enough pigmentation to provide the healthy flush you're looking for.  Look for soft, micro-milled formulas that provide enough color with a subtle application....if it requires several swipes, move on to another
Highly pigmented gel blush from Butter London
brand. Also look into gel or cream versions...they often carry more pigment, and eliminate the chalky texture issues that can come with powder blush.  Brands I like include Nars (powders and "the Multiple" cream sticks), Milani powder blush (a cheapie insider fave), MAC Blush (especially the Mineralize Finish ones), Butter London gel fomulas (super intense! See example on left) and Maybelline cream blush sticks.

You'll have even better luck with lipsticks! I've found several across the board that carry the
Example of pigmented lipstick swatches
pigmented intensity I seek.  Look for matte formulas that provide good color payoff in one can sheer it out with gloss, or apply straight from the tube for the full effect. A few of my current go to lipsticks include Kat Von D (intense, matte and long lasting), Smashbox, L'Oreal (half the price and very comparable to higher end versions), Revlon (classic and affordable shades) and Lipstick Queen.

Highly pigmented products mean better color payoff, a long lasting look AND you can use less product! Also, the more pigmented your products are, the more versatile they are...
Use a light touch and blend well when you want subtle looks, apply full force when you're ready to be bold...the same products can do both, if you've chosen well.

What cosmetics do you own that pass the pigment test?  What do you have that doesn't?  Share in the comments!