Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Cover a Hickey WITHOUT Wearing a Turtleneck - BUSTLE.COM Feature

Photo Credit: gurl.com
If you've been following me for a while, you may have noticed that in addition to being a pro makeup artist, I'm also a writer...mostly helpful hints in regard to makeup, beauty, weddings and sometimes other topics like marketing and social media....you know, useful stuff! I've written pieces on everything from wedding timelines, how to create the perfect red lip, and how to make sure marketing language doesn't create liability...and everything in between.  (Check out the "As Seen in " Page for some examples!)

So....I got a call from one of my editors recently asking for tips on how to cover a hickey.  I think that DEFINITELY qualifies as a helpful hint! Particularly if you're a grown up who doesn't want to look like a hormonal 9th grader..... and a turtleneck isn't an option.
Want to know the inside scoop?  Read the full article here on fun and sassy (clearly!) beauty and lifestyle blog BUSTLE.COM with tips from me and other experts on what to do in case you find yourself having post-makeout session hickey regrets.  Follow these tips, and no one will ever know!



Bustle.com Feature - How to Cover a Hickey

Thanks for including me in this feature Bustle.com and a special shout out to Aly Walansky!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Flash Lesson By Request - Beauty Blender 101!

Beauty Blenders....they are a staple for me.  I purchased my first one years ago when they were an obscure novelty, but now I can't imagine applying cream products without one!  When I'm doing
bridal makeup or teaching lessons, so many girls ask "what IS that?" I LOVE these little babies, so I always recommend them to clients.  After the 10th person told me "it doesn't really do it for me" or " I didn't work as well as it did when you used it"....I realized that a lot of people simply didn't know the RIGHT way to use this little gem!  So...after getting request after request....here you go, a little Flash lesson on how to use and care for this magical little makeup tool....your Beauty Blender!
(note- not sponsored by BB in any way, just my own thoughts as an avid user, pro artist and beauty expert.  If they wanted to send me some, I'd gladly accept though! Just sayin'...)

Here's what they look like in the package....
They come in pink, white and black....I like the black ones because they don't get as "worn" looking....mainly because I'm using pro level, highly pigmented formulas that tend to make the pink ones look dingy.  The white ones are dye-free, and are great for applying serums and face creams.  Note that Beauty Blenders are
Left one is dry, right one is wet...see the difference?
smaller and harder when they are totally dry, and double in size when they've absorbed water?  The way it looks straight out of the package is NOT how it should look when you're about to use it...but we'll get there in a minute.....




Does it really matter if a I get a REAL Beauty Blender?
YES.  It does.  There are tons of fakes out there that look the same, but they just aren't.  Look, I'm all about a great dupe...a less expensive product that works just as well as the more popular, expensive version.  Why not? We all like to save a where we can, so I've TRIED several similar sponges.  The Beauty Blender is the only one I've found with the texture, performance and longevity I'm looking for, so it's worth the money. The end. The fakes are hard as a rock or rip after just a few uses and that's not even talking about the fact that they just flat out don't apply foundation half as smoothly....who's got time for that?  And...what did you really save if you wind up tossing a cheap one after 1 or 2 uses?  A real Beauty Blender that has been properly cared for can last up to a year.  For reals.  Just pony up the $19.95.....it's worth it.

Do I use it wet or dry?
Neither!  For best results, it should be slightly damp.  I've been shocked to find out how many people aren't getting good results from their BB, because they've been using it totally dry!  I just assumed everyone knew that a sponge should be slightly damp.....use it totally dry and it's just dragging that
foundation across your face, plus it's soaking up a ton of your product and that's expensive.  Too wet and it's just sliding foundation around instead of incorporating into the skin.  Perfectly damp?  Well...it's just that... perfect. It won't soak up too much product OR slide it around, it'll apply a sheer layer beautifully, without any edges or lines.  In the immortal words of Goldilocks, it's "just right!"

Hold it under running water and let it absorb as much water as it can, then squeeze out excess.  As a final step, I usually blot it with a paper towel just to ensure it's not too wet.  It should look like the photo at bottom left....
Ready to go!



Is there a right way or wrong way to use a BB to apply creamy products?
Yes, there most definitely is!  You can either apply your foundation to the BB, or dot on your face and then blend...your choice, whichever works best for you. I like to apply product to the face and then blend...this avoids using too much.  Now it's time to blend, and here's one of the most important things to know for great results...you're aiming for a "bouncing" motion, NOT a wiping motion!  The bouncing (similar to stippling) motion ensures a smooth application and feels like a facial massage to boot!  Flawless makeup AND a relaxed face?  Count me IN.  Check out the image below for a demo...


Gif credit - NYMag

How Often should I wash my Beauty Blender?
Ideally, after every use so it's clean and ready to go for next time.  Use liquid antibacterial soap, bar soap, or BB's own solid cleanser or liquid cleanser.  Their Beauty Blender branded cleansers are expensive but I'm not gonna lie...they really do break down the oils and get your little egg clean!  If you don't wash it out every day, at least every few days.  I've had multiple clients tell me
Time to let it go and get a new one!
that they never wash theirs out....yikes.  Even if you're not a germaphobe, you've got to realize that's a lot of bacteria....or at minimum, a lot of old product and dead skin cells creating a muddy look when you apply.  Keep it clean for best results!  Oh and when it starts getting raggedy like this....it's time to toss and reorder.

PS...a little BONUS tip....look for great deals and you can often find a Beauty Blender WITH cleanser at the same price as a Blender alone!  Check Amazon for the best bargains...: )


OK, OK....I washed it out, it's nice and clean....now, how do I store it?
A Beauty Blender needs to BREATHE...otherwise it'll get mildew-y, and start to break down. But if you store it out in the open, it could get dusty, dirty or could roll off the counter and become your dog's new fave chew toy.  Hmmm....tricky.  I've found a GREAT solution...keep it in a breathable mesh bag like this one from Walker....buy whatever size you need depending on how many BB's you have (I have 9, so I got a bigger bag!).  Be sure you get breathable mesh!

Put your clean Beauty Blender in the mesh bag after washing to keep it clean while still allowing for air flow so it can dry properly.  Easy! I have a bunch of Beauty Blenders and I'd often lose them when I kept them loose in my big case. Now with my mesh storage bag, I always know where they are, plus they're clean and dry.


And there you have it, Beauty Blender 101!  If you don't already have one, get one...you'll love it.  Follow the steps I've outlined, and it'll truly become one of your favorite little beauty secrets to a flawless face.  Now let's BOUNCE!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

"What Your Makeup Artist Wants you to Know" - SheKnows Feature


I was thinking the other day....exactly how many weddings have I done over the course of my career?  Well, I didn't keep a good count in the early days, but by conservative estimation, the total is getting close to 1000! That's a lot of weddings and a lot of brides....

But if you're going to be a bride?  This is your ONLY wedding....your once chance to have your very own fairytale.  Nothing will screw up that fairytale faster than not looking and feeling your best on your big day.  When it comes to wedding day beauty, there are a lot of little things that you might not have thought of... but not to worry!  Your first step is to hire a pro who specializes in weddings...we HAVE thought of all of those things....big and small. Everything from how to prepare for a bridal trial, to how to prep your skin, to deciding on a color palette that is perfect for you.....everything you need to know to make the beauty part of your wedding easy and stress free.  Our goal is to for you to look exactly as gorgeous as you've always dreamed you would on your big day, and understanding the process helps make that dream a reality. 


 SO....when fab beauty resource SheKnows reached out and asked me to contribute some tips to an article on things your makeup artist wants you to know, I was more than happy to!  I sent them several tidbits and other makeup and beauty pros did as well....check out the full article here for just a few of them.


Still have questions?  Ask me directly at lipservicemakeup@gmail.comYou might see YOUR question highlighted in a future blog topic....


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ways to Treat Yourself this Mother's Day - SheKnows Feature


Personally I think beauty options are such a perk of being a woman!  With a few makeup/hair/wardrobe changes, we can show the world so many sides of ourselves...sexy, silly, romantic, powerful....the options are endless and it's really kind of magical.  Growing up, we watched our moms make these transitions, and if you've got girls of your own, they're watching you to learn all about beauty too!

I still remember watching my mom get ready for a special occasion...choosing just the right necklace, the perfect lipstick and perfume.  In fact, my mom kickstarted my love affair with makeup!  She had a HUGE makeup gift she'd received as a gift, and thankfully...allowed me to play with it, and poof!  A makeup lover was born.

There is a strong bond between moms and daughters and beauty, don't you think? Girls pick up quickly how their mom feels about beauty and taking care of herself, so I think it's important to show the young ladies in our lives positive examples.  Why not incorporate a little beauty into  your Mother's Day tradition? Pick up a new lipstick for yourself, get facials with your daughters, or book a makeup lesson for your mom....make it fun and get creative trying to find something new to do every year. 

Whether you're a mom, a dedicated Auntie, or maybe even a step mom like me, hopefully you're being treated to some R&R today!  Regardless of what your family has planned or if Mom's Day brunch is already over...there's still time to treat yourself too, and as this article from SheKnows illustrates, it doesn't have to cost a lot either.....

See tips from me and other beauty and other experts for great suggestions!!

Have a truly BEAUTIFUL Mother's Day everyone!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring Bohemian Wedding Inspiration with Lover.ly

Start with this dress......

When Lover.ly reached out and asked me to choose a dress and then craft  look to go with it...the options were endless!  Glam, retro, simple, so many gorgeous dresses to choose from. But you know what?  With the arrival of spring, I couldn't help but think of a stunning boho bride!  Just picture it... warm sun, butterflies, perhaps a small ceremony in your favorite meadow or botanical garden. This dress (Lavandar from Modern Trousseau) made it really easy to imagine the perfect slightly hippie chick bride. (side note...doesn't that model look like Catherine Zeta Jones?!?)

So you've got the dress, now you need the right 'do, accessories and makeup to set the tone.  I picture loose waves or soft, undone curls with a few romantic braids pulled back for texture......
Skip the traditional veil, and instead add a jeweled headband or thin wrap, or even just a simple bloom behind one ear. 







Keep jewelry simple....consider a vintage find like these beauties from Mia Montgomery
(Etsy.com) or a few layered necklaces, and be sure to choose sweet (and comfy!) ballet slippers to suit the free-spirited mood, and allow for all-night dancing too.  Now to my favorite part...the makeup!

Build your look around flawless and glowing skin, like this pic of Kate Hudson.....

Try a CC Cream for coverage, plus hydration AND SPF...a must for outdoor ceremonies! (Try IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream).  What to skip?  Harsh elements like too much highlight and contour, graphic winged liner or any unblended edges....your look is all about fresh and natural looking beauty!



Next, create a youthful flush on cheeks with a combo of cream blush (I love G-spot from NARS the Multiples collection...a perfect peachy pink) topped with a bit of powder blush with shimmer for shimmer, glow AND extra staying power. (A current favorite? 
MAC Mineralize blush in Warm Soul..a gorgeous shimmery peach)
Keep eyes simple with a sheer wash of shadow in a buttery gold (Bare Minerals shadow in "Queen Phyllis" is a great option), and then add individual lashes for natural impact and flutter.  Finish with plenty of black mascara to blend...waterproof, in case you shed happy tears!

Top it all off with lips the color of pink lemonade .......


(try Smashbox's Be Legendary Lipstick in Electric Pink) for a sweet touch that's just right for your "I do" kiss!  Use a matte formula dabbed on with your finger over a moisturizing balm for a soft, but long-lasting look.  And there you have it, your inspiration for a ready for spring boho wedding look.  Be sure to check out Lover.ly for more inspiration, and the perfect dress to inspire YOUR wedding day look!