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 over $25K 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 $1400 on lashes last year alone...it 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. Personally, I have been a pro makeup artist for 25 years, specializing in weddings for 20....I've done over a thousand of them, currently over 100 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, and I focus on my area of expertise, which is bridal makeup! You can check out my work at LipServiceMakeup.com, Facebook, Instagram.....it'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 lipservicemakeup@gmail.com. If not, no worries at all....like 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 married....next 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! As you read these points below, do keep in mind, this happens to be about choosing bridal beauty, but everything listed would apply to any wedding vendor you're considering.  Cheap prices...meaning anything well below the industry standards...are NOT a good thing. Why?
   Let's recap the top 5 reasons:
Image: Credit.com
  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 it...you don't want a brand-new artist using your face and your wedding as an experimental training ground.  Choose someone established, experienced and trusted by your venue/planner/photographer...they're worth it!
  2. Cheap and Shady are only good when describing sunglasses! An artist who undercharges could also be undercutting local competition to steal business.  This means they know better, but are a jerk with shady ethics...they're willing to treat others poorly and don't care about their reputation.  Do you want to trust a jerk with making sure you look your best on wedding day?  (Short answer....um, NO.) 
  3. They're Cheap because they're desperate.  This ties closely to #2....artists charging very low prices 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 are most likely a hobbyist. You can't make a living as bridal makeup artist charging really low rates....period. I'll say it again YOU CAN'T MAKE A LIVING CHARGING CHEAP RATES.  Done correctly, this is an expensive business....quality cosmetics and skin care, tools and brushes, bulk supplies, insurance, education, marketing, etc. Any artist who takes their bridal beauty career seriously regards it as they should...a small business, with the artist as the owner.  Legitimate artists who have crunched the numbers and charge appropriately do so because they actually do bridal makeup for a living! They are invested in their career...and invested in their reputation within their local wedding community.  Cheap prices are a dead giveaway that they are not an established, pro makeup artist.  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 and someone's cousin who's "pretty good at makeup" is NOT a makeup artist, and they definitely are not capable of handling the most important makeup you'll ever have done. There is no chance for a do-over!
  5. An artist who charges below market rates doesn't value their work.  If they don't value their time and expertise, 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?!  Rates well under market rates are a sign that the artist doesn't regard themselves as a skilled artist who's worth it. Conversely, a talented and experienced 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 cheap....you'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 route...it'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!

Now, you might be 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 in MY area? Pricing does vary...it'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.) Reviews and websites are great, but they don't tell the full story....I've seen many a shady vendor with a fabulous website and great online reviews.  One of the best things you can do? Talk to trusted wedding planners and photographers in your city.....no 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 appropriate rates for your area. They work with artists each week and know who can not only whip out beautiful makeup and hair, but who creates a great environment, keeps things on schedule....and who doesn't. Trust me, there are 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

Back to the bride whose inquiry started this whole thing? 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 chance...ONE....to look and feel like a million bucks on your wedding day.  You want to not only look amazing in person, but also 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 read...it'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 one...it's crazy, right?  Her eyes look twice their size!  It's all in the technique, how it's applied and blended....no 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 (lipservicemakeup@gmail.com) 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 fallout...as 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 shadow...no....just 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 pass....you 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!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Top 4 Ways To Take Your Look From Day to Night

When fab beauty resource blog SheKnows reached out wanting a few tips on how to transform daytime makeup into a nighttime ready look, I was more happy to share!  (They shared just one of my tips, but here's the entire article for ya!) I often have VERY long days, and find myself working all day with clients and then heading off to a networking cocktail party or industry event with just a few minutes to spare....I definitely use these tips in my own routine too!

Here are my 4 quick ways to take your look from Day to Night:

Start with a Classic Bold Lip - One of the oldest tricks in the book for a reason...it works! Stash an ultra glamorous lip color to take an otherwise neutral look into cocktail party territory. This works especially well if a strong lip is NOT your usual look! It's a bold shift that signals "sexy and special".... perfect for a night out! A shade that works on nearly everyone is a deep berry, but a classic crimson or a winter-perfect burgundy are elegant picks too. 

A few of my fave evening ready bold lip colors are "Hellbent" by Kat Von D, "Snow White" by NYX, "Shame" by Urban Decay and "Rebel" by MAC)

Highlight the Positive - A shimmery highlighter dusted on cheekbones and brow bones instantly gives your face a lift, and picks up candle light beautifully!  Add a bit down the bridge of your nose and on cupid's bow for a fresh look perfect for nighttime. Highlighters to try - Kevyn Aucoin's "the Celestial", Mac "Silver Dusk" Powder and IT Cosmetics in "Hello Light".

Photo Credit Stephen Moleski
Get in Line - an inky black liner instantly adds an air of sexiness to an otherwise subdued daytime face. Choose a pencil...easier than liquid, and doesn't require a brush like gel liners. Line water lines (bottom...and top if you can swing it) then smudge with a q-tip, the whole process takes seconds and is really hard to screw up!
Choose a soft, highly pigmented pencil for a sultry effect.
My fave black liner pick for a no-brush-needed application?  Urban Decay 24-7 Pencil in Perversion ---it's pretty much the pinnacle of smoky black eye pencil! 

Grab Your Falsies - False LASHES, that is! They're not just for black tie
anymore...nothing gives your eyes fluttery impact like popping on a pair of false lashes. And when applied properly, they really aren't too over the top...promise.  Practice at home to get technique down so you can do it quickly when trying to get out the door to after work cocktails. Bonus tip - stash a small tube of dark tone glue! The white glue will eventually dry clear, but the dark tone glue is immediately invisible, perfect if you're pressed for time. Try Eylure Lashes in "Volume" and Duo Dark Tone Glue, both available at drugstores.

Add a bold necklace or earrings, switch out flats for pumps and lastly, ditch your big work bag and tuck necessities into a cute and colorful clutch...done! You just went from all business daytime meh to sultry evening A-mazing! What are YOUR fave day to night tips and products?!?
Photo Credit Express

Want to check out the SheKnows article with tips from celebrity makeup artists and other beauty pros like me?  Click here....

(PS, If you weren't already aware, SheKnows is a great resource for anything you want to know on beauty and style....you'll get addicted!)

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!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Should you Keep Your Makeup in the Fridge? (Daily Makeover Feature)

Image - Pinterest
Is your fridge full of healthy food, leftovers or "single girl style"... champagne, cake and accessories... like this one?  Probably something a little in between, but can I just say that I really want to know if you really do keep a feather boa in your crisper drawer....#weirdbutfabulous! What about beauty products and cosmetics...do you store any of your faves in the refrigerator?  Nail polish, lipsticks, face creams....do they benefit, or break down...from being in the cold?  There are opinions on both sides of the coin, that's for sure!

When Daily Makeover called to ask my opinion, here's what I had to say.....

When NOT to put cosmetics in the fridge: 
  • Kohl eye pencils ...the ones you use on your inner rims...you want those to be nice and soft, not hard. Ouch!
  • Cream or Gel cosmetics like blushes and lipsticks shouldn't go in and out of the fridge....the inconsistent temps and repeated cooling/warming/cooling cycle will lead to condensation and changes in the texture of the product.  Gels and creams that are too cold also won't apply or blend well.
  • Many people swear by putting nail polish in the fridge, but this can actually make the polish thicker over time,..not good! (Cosmetic manufacturers recommend room temp for nail polish.)
  • If your fridge is overstocked with food, especially potential contaminants like raw meats. If you do put products in the fridge anyway, dedicate a separate drawer or even a small tub with a lid. the last thing you'd want for products going on your face is contamination risk from food products, or makeup that smells like leftovers...yuck!
When Fridge storage could be a good idea:
  • Eye creams and serums feel great refrigerated!  The cold will work especially well in the
    morning to de-puff the undereye area, especially in summer.
  • If you live in a really hot area and it's hard to keep your home cool, keeping a few precious items in the fridge might work for you.  (We're talking ambient temps indoors above 80 or so)
  • If you accidentally melt a lipstick, a few minutes in the fridge will return it to it's normal shape and consistency.  
  • Lip or Eye pencils - If you want a really sharp point on your lip or eye pencil, a few minutes in the fridge before sharpening will do the trick. 
  • Organic or homemade cosmetics without preservatives must go in the fridge, but be sure to check expiration because although they will stay fresh longer, they won't stay fresh indefinitely.

My #1 Favorite beauty item to keep in the fridge?  My gel eye mask!   When you wake up with a puffy face or eyes from allergies or lack of sleep, a few minutes with this cold mask on your face will wake you right on up!  Seriously, nothing works better to de-puff and fake a good night's sleep...I learned this trick during the days when I needed to be in FRONT of the camera, theses babies really work. (A gel eye mask is also a great quick fix post nap...read more here....)

Be sure to check out the article with a few of  my comments, plus a few from other beauty experts on the topic.  I always say, if it works for you, then it's not wrong!  When it comes to keeping beauty products in cold storage, it's truly just a matter of opinion. What about you...any beauty products you swear work better when kept in the fridge? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lip Service Makeup - By The Numbers

Do you read Allure magazine?  They've always got that little feature near the front, "Beauty by the Numbers" that lists out fun beauty stats using numbers.....some movie star uses 27 jars of face cream each year or whatnot...so interesting!  (Check out this article about Fashion Week by the Numbers for an example...)

So....for fun, I just threw this together with my own little set of random Lip Service Makeup number factoids.  I limited it to items where I either knew the actual number, or could somehow find it, or count to get it.  Ready?  Here we go......

Shoot with Troy Aikman at Valley Ranch

Tip published in Bridal Guide
58 dozen - Number of false lashes I purchased last year

Just a few lashes in my stash!
16 - number of different lash styles I keep in my kit

1 - number of SuperBowl winners I've worked with (hey Troy! )

3 - number of "red lip" purses I own (2 gifts, one I bought myself)

7-14 - age range of the group of Girl Scouts I made up for a National Shoot last year

5 - average number of magazine/blog  beauty tips, and articles I write/submit to various publications each week

714 - number of faces...women, men and children that I applied makeup to in 2014 (I only started keeping track 3 years ago...no idea what my annual average was in the past!)

23 - number of years I've been a pro artist (I started when I was 5...ba dum dum...! I wish...)

18 - how many years ago I created the original Lip Service logo

1 - number of feature films I've worked on thus far - hasn't been released yet..: (  It was fun though!

A super cute lip purse I got as a birthday present!
13- Number of lipsticks/glosses in my purse this very second

6- Number of those lipstick/glosses that are various shades of red (what?  You thought it'd be more?!?)

70 - number of lovely brides I had the pleasure of beautifying last year (Love you girls!!)

16 - Total number of those brides who happen to be nurses

Doing Taylor's bridal makeup....

15 - number of faces in my largest wedding party thus far

1 - Number of times I've done makeup for a girl going to a KISS 106.1 sponsored 100% surprise prom  (it was so cool!  Read more here...)

40- number of minutes I usually schedule for makeup per person on wedding day (a perfect, relaxed pace)
Ashley's surprise prom!

12 - number of minutes I spent per person when I needed to do makeup for 14 fourteen year olds in just under 3 hours (Whew! that was fast!)

Speed makeup on 14 girls!
2 - number of makeup chairs I own (one stays in my car, one for my home studio)

0 - number of times I've applied brown blush to my clients (yuck...it's a pet peeve of mine)

25, 686 - Number of pageviews on my blog right now

1696 - Number of pageviews on my blog from followers in Russia (Russians really dig Lip Service I guess?)

- total percentage of my social media followers who are men (Thanks guys!)

4am - time I had to get up to do a big, morning wedding on my birthday last year

89 - number of before/after pics I could find with my striped shower curtain in the background (from my cozy, home studio!)
Sweet Ashley again...see that striped curtain on the right?!?
18 - Bags of Hershey kisses I purchased last year to go into touch up kits/goodie bags (a girl's gotta have her emergency wedding day chocolate!)

6 - Average number of Saturdays I have off each year ( #1 goal? SLEEP!  After that, I'll run errands, get a massage., spend time with friends and family....I try to make those days off count!)

365 - Number of days each year I thank God that I stumbled into this profession I love so much!  (Ok that was cheesy, but I had to throw it in!)

For real...this job truly is my passion!  Not just doing makeup, but helping women feel beautiful, teaching, writing, forming bonds with brides who become friends, and vendors who are now like family.  I'm so grateful to everyone who supports and encourages me so I can do what I do.  And the number I'd put on that?  You guessed it...#priceless.

Have a great day everyone!!