Monday, January 26, 2015

Secrets to Making your Forehead look Smaller...really! (Daily Makeover Feature)

Ever heard the term "fivehead" in reference to someone with...ahem...a lot of real estate north of their eyebrows?  As someone who actually has a fairly high forehead.... I completely get that!  When my hair is pulled back, I just feel like there is a LOT of space between my eyebrows and hairline.  Tyra Banks is one notable celeb who has commented on her acceptance of her high forehead..she's so down to earth, and beautiful, of course!  If you feel your forehead is too high and aren't quite ready to just embrace it, what can you do? Recently, I got a call from popular beauty blog Daily Makeover wanting tips to share with their readers on how to utilize tips and tricks to minimize the forehead they are:

Cut Bangs - #1 tip and the quickest solution!
Bangs easily cover forehead surface area and bring the focus back down to your eyes... the best feature on most faces.  Bonus?  A soft, modern fringe can make you look years younger, and can totally negate the need for Botox!  Make sure your stylist cuts bangs in a flattering shape that blends into the rest of your hair, and get frequent trims to keep them in shape.  Check out the before after on Christina Ricci below....when she ditches the center part and wears bangs, her eyes command so much more attention, and her overall appearance is much more balanced. 
Since your
eyes really will be the main attraction, so be sure to play them up with plenty of shadow, liner and mascara! A soft bronze or shimmery taupe shadow with classic black liner and mascara looks good on everyone and works for any situation.  Feeling bold? Go for a smoky eye in plum or gray....universal shades that work on anyone and are easier to wear than black.

Subtle Contouring -  

The key is to use two shades of foundation...the first one should be just 1 shade above your natural skin tone, the second one should be 1 shade darker than your skin tone.  Let me repeat...just one shade difference!  You're looking for a very subtle trick of the eye, so don't go too dark or too light, or it will look too harsh.  Dot the lighter one in the center of your face nose, forehead, cheeks chin, and blend well with a dampened Beauty Blender or foundation brush.  Lightly dot the darker one
around the perimeter of your face...very top of forehead, temples, jawline, under on sparingly and blend well, so that the two shade are blended perfectly.  There should be no obvious lines or streaks on your jaw!  This technique is a more subtle version of highlight and contour, but when done correctly, it results in a soft and flattering "halo" effect that will pull the eye towards the center of your face and minimize your forehead.
Eyebrow Love -  brush those babies up

If you have a larger forehead, it's vital that you ensure your brows are shaped, properly, defined and brushed upward. Brushing your eyebrows up and into place can lift your face and minimize the distance between your eyebrows and hairline, plus it opens your eye area and creates a balanced look.  If your brows are sparse, fill in a bit with pencil, powder or pomade....just be sure to use short, hair like strokes in a shade that matches our brows for the most subtle look, and keep it all in place with a dab of brow pomade or clear mascara on a spoolie or eyebrow brush. Brows frame your entire look!  If you don't do anything with your brows now, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes when you give them a little attention....

Wear a Bright Lip - 
If you have medium to full lips, this technique works especially well. Wear a bright red or berry lip (tip - a sheer berry works on every skin tone) to pull focus from your forehead and call attention to your rosy pout and pretty smile.  Color on your lips prevents a "monochrome" look....If your face is all neutral, your forehead will really stand out. Remember, it's all about creating balance in the face and calling attention to features you like, while distracting from those you don't!

Some of my tips, plus more from other beauty pros were featured in Daily here to read this article, plus tips on everything beauty from A to Z!

Monday, January 19, 2015

January Beauty Tips - Winter-Proofing your Skin and Hair! (The Today Show Feature)

I've always loved beauty tips and tricks.... 

Don't you?  I remember reading Glamour and Redbook when I was in 6th grade and just devouring all of the beauty articles...even though I was barely wearing lip gloss and most of it didn't apply to me! I just loved feeling "in the know"....

My passion for makeup and beauty began in the glossy pages of those magazines.  Who knew all these years later I'd be a working makeup artist and writer...doling out the very same type of beauty advice?  #waycool
So...back in December, I wrote about 6 beauty articles for various publications on topics from snowproofing makeup, winter-proofing makeup, and even NAP proofing makeup....just a variety of tips and tricks you can use to look fab no matter what's going on.  January is here and pretty much, everything's been published at the same time.  I guess it makes sense....I mean, why talk about winter proofing makeup in Spring??   

Fast forward to Friday.... this article I wrote was published...on the Today Show!  As in THE Today Show!  My comments/content are interspersed with fab makeup and hair pros, and curated by the awesomely talented writer and beauty blogger Aly Walansky (see her blog "A Little Alytude" here)....who I work with often. She's terrific and really knows her stuff, so I'm thrilled to be included in this Today Show feature with her. AND...let's not forget that these tips are practical and will still come in handy!  Although this week is mild, winter is far from over and we've got some chilly temps heading our way next week.

Ready to read more about How to Winter Proof Your Skin and Hair?  Click here for the full article...

I still love beauty it and reading about it...great products to try, beauty hacks, things to make our daily makeup routine easier.  I hope you find my tips, and the other pro tips in this article helpful this winter!  I'll see what other goodies I can get ready for you by Spring ; )

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Makeup For Young Teens...When to Start Wearing It and How Much is Appropriate?

I recently did makeup for a junior bridesmaid who just turned 12...she was adorable!!  She wanted a full face of makeup, and of course her mom wanted it to be light and age appropriate.  Here's the final result...a perfect blend of pretty polish that is subtle enough to make mom happy....

I wanted to shape her brows, but she'd never had it done before and was nervous, so I skipped it. Tweezing really hurts, especially if you're a newbie!!  I didn't want her to have redness and watery eyes on her aunt's wedding day...she can learn to "suffer for beauty" another time.

Notice that even with subtle makeup, you can still really see how definition with a bit of shadow makes her eyes look bigger, and how blush on her cheekbones slims her face?  The magic is that it doesn't look like a lot of that. To me, this look is perfect for a 12 year old, especially considering that for weddings, even flower girls are usually allowed to have a bit of gloss, blush and mascara!

All of this got me to thinking...
At what age do you think girls should start wearing makeup? How MUCH makeup is appropriate?

How old were you when you started wearing makeup?  I'm not talking about play makeup or just for a wedding, but daily wear.....

According to Yahoo and over 500 women polled, the average age to start wearing makeup regularly is about 13. Does that surprise you, or sound about right?  Personally, I started playing with makeup around the house when I was 7 or 8, but didn't start wearing it daily until 8th grade... mostly just mascara, gloss, powder and blush.  I added liner and eyeshadow the next year when I started high school....and probably wore a bit too much, but was the 80s!  I think EVERYONE was wearing too much.  I remember arguing with my mom over it, but she knew about my passion for makeup....she eventually gave up!  I never felt like I NEEDED it so much as I just wanted to wear it, it was the current style then and it was a form of self expression.  The love of makeup was already in full force for sure.....

 Last year, I was hired to do makeup for FOURTEEN 14 year heard that right!  That is a whole gaggle of teen girls, people. Check it out....

This was at the end of their 8th grade year, and most told me that they wear at least a little mascara and gloss to school daily.  For their dance, they chose to get (and were allowed to get!) a bit more glammed up with foundation, blush, shadow, etc....but still soft and age appropriate.  No harsh liner, no contouring....just light makeup to enhance their natural good looks and make their features shine. I focused on covering any skin issues, warming up cheeks with a healthy glow, a light shimmery wash of color on eyes (golds, taupes), mascara and gloss in pink and peach tones.  That is all they need...aren't they gorgeous!?!  PS...I had to move lightning fast to get them all ready in just a few hours...not easy!! (#engergizerbunny #superfast!)  I have never been so glad to skip brow grooming and false lashes...I literally had about 10 minutes per person.  Each girl was polite, sat still and gave me her full attention so that everyone could get makeup before the dance. What a lovely group of young ladies...their moms should be proud!

What about you....were you allowed to wear makeup for special occasions growing up?  What about wearing makeup regularly as a teen....and a what age? Did you and your mom argue about how much makeup you could wear?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

A lovely 8 year old getting just a touch of makeup for a special occasion...her mom's wedding!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unexpected Power Nap? Beauty Tips to Hide the Evidence! ( feature)

Let's face it, a well timed power nap can be a lifesaver!  I've been known to work from 6am-6pm on a busy Saturday, then hit the couch for a few minutes of zzz's so I can stay awake at dinner for date night. You've gotta do what you can to keep moving, especially in the  middle of wedding season!  Or maybe it's 2pm on a work day, the carb crash sets in and before you know it, you're nodding off at your desk in between meetings.  Studies show that power naps (ideal time is 20 minutes) can be great to restore your mood, energy and productivity, but they sure can wreck your makeup.

So,...whether you're snagging a little shut eye behind closed doors in your office or dozing on the couch at can you look as fresh as you feel after a nap? And NOT to look like a groggy, smeared mess? wanted to know, so I shared a few of my favorite couch/desk tested tips......

Ice, Ice Baby!

One of the best tricks is to use one of those gel masks you keep in the fridge...
They are super cheap, super easy to use and can reduce puffiness like nothing else! Simply apply to your eye area for a few minutes. Don't have an eye mask?  Use a cold pack or heck, even a package of frozen peas! The cold will energize you, wake up your face and will reduce the puffy eye look that can accompany a mid-day nap.  If you use something frozen, put a thin towel between it and your skin to avoid redness.  (Bonus?  You can also use your cold eye mask anytime for bumps and bruises too....)

That word we all hate....MOIST
(Ugh, I only like that word when referring to chocolate cake, but I digress...)
Seriously....if you have dry skin, a nap will make your skin look parched! Upon waking, you need moisture, ASAP. If you don't have time to reapply everything, simply apply a little oil free moisturizer right on top of your makeup...just use it sparingly.  After that, spritz with Evian water or a hydrating product like Mac Fix+ spray to infuse even more moisture back into your skin.  To finish, I like to take a dampened Beauty Blender and bounce it (a light stippling motion, not rubbing) on my foundation lightly to make sure everything is smooth and blended. When you just can't redo your makeup...this approach works really, really well to rehydrate and refresh your whole look, and it just takes a minute or two!

Want to know even more?  Check out the article featured in with additional "hide the nap" tips from me,   This site is chock full of articles and tips on all things makeup and'll be adding it to your favorites list for sure.

Best tip?  If you can, train yourself to sleep on your back like this little guy....if you do, there's  lot less to fix when you wake up.   For the rest of us who sleep with our faces smashed into the pillow...or keyboard....try these tricks next time you've just gotta take a nap, and no one will be the wiser!

Really just  needed an excuse to post this picture... ; )

Friday, January 9, 2015

12 Common Wedding Day Emergencies...and How to Avoid Them! ( Feature)


We've all heard the stories, right?  In a recent blog post I shared, my poor bride actually had the flu...on the morning of her wedding! Red nose, puffy eyes, pale was a bunch of beauty emergencies all at the same time.  Besides a bride suffering from the crud, here are just a few beauty emergencies I've had to fix:

A spray-tan gone wrong...horribly wrong in "Bride Wars"

- Bride to be fell asleep in the sun and had a sunburned face....with huge white circles where her sunglasses had been
- Big zit...right in the middle of a bride's nose
- She got her brows waxed...and they were completely scalped!
- Mother of the bride had irritated, red skin due to a "first time" facial
- Bridesmaid had a black eye from a college cheerleading accident
- Dry skin and chapped lips from too many pre-wedding parties (and cocktails!) and not enough water
- She got her upper lip waxed the day before and it looked like a white mustache
- A bride tried a spray on tan for the first time and it was blotchy and orange

And on, and on and on!!!

Vanja D Photography

When Bridal Guide Magazine called and wanted my best tips for fixing wedding day beauty blunders, I had a LOT to choose from, that's for sure.  Click here to read the full article, with tips from me on what to avoid, and what to do if an emergency should strike.

One thing you can do?  Hire a pro makeup artist! Trust me, we KNOW how to fix all of the issues above and more.... and have experience doing it...we got you, sister.

Thanks for the feature, Bridal Guide Magazine! Ladies, be sure to check them out for all things wedding....dresses, cakes, decor, and of course, beauty the newsstand or online at

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How to Protect Your Makeup From the Snow (MAKEUP.COM Feature)

It's funny, I wrote several beauty articles over the month of December.... and they are all getting published all at the same time!
With our dog Tank - December 2013
 January is definitely a good time to talk about how to look great despite cruddy weather, that's for sure.  Here in Texas it was 18 degrees this morning...EIGHTEEN DEGREES.  No snow, but super cold and windy....Brr!!  I'm originally from Wisconsin, so I am very, VERY familiar with snow.....
It did snow in winter 2013/2014, in fact we had an "Icemageddon" with ice and snow that pretty much kept all schools and businesses at a standstill for a couple of days.  Overall, Dallas/Fort Worth is NOT prepared for sub zero temps and/or 2 inches of ice on the ground, but since the kids were out of school...we made the best of it!

Flash forward to this winter.....the beauty gurus at popular beauty blog asked me for a couple of my favorite makeup tips that can stand up to freezing here to read the feature!  Follow these suggestions and you'll look like a gorgeous snow bunny instead of a human popsicle.

Stay warm, and stay beautiful ladies!!

(For more links to magazine features, blog interviews, photo shoots and even fun videos, click here to check out the "as seen in" page.....)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking Great...even WITH the Flu! (Daily Makeover Feature)

Did you get your flu shot this year?  I did!  Like most people I know, I'm so darn busy, I try to do everything I can to stay healthy and prevent getting the crud.....vitamins, hand sanitizer...the works. But guess what?  On the Monday morning before Thanksgiving, I woke up feeling awful....and it turned out to be THE FLU.  What?!?  The flu shot only covers a few strains, and apparently, a different strain not covered in the flu shot I'd already gotten was going around North Texas. AWESOME.  I took Tamiflu during the day, pumped Nyquil at night and didn't get out of bed for several days.... while catching up on way too much reality TV. By the time Saturday rolled around, I wasn't contagious anymore, but still didn't feel or look great.  I had a wedding to do...time to rally!

I arrive at the venue and lo and behold, my poor bride shows up straight from the emergency room guessed it, THE FLU! On her wedding there a worse time?!?!  She had puffy and watery eyes, a red nose and just looked really tired.  Poor thing, she felt awful, but wanted to enjoy her wedding anyway and was determined to buck up. She had the best attitude!!  Her bridesmaids kept her supplied with cough drops and meds while I applied her makeup carefully and thoughtfully, making a few adjustments...a bit more color corrector to hide her red nose, a bit more liner and shadow to make her eyes look glamorous instead of tired and puffy....PLENTY of blush and bronzer for a healthy glow. When all was said and done,'d never even know she was sick!

Lindsey and one of her bridesmaids looking amazing...and not sick!....during her wedding reception

Lindsey's mom told me later that looking so good actually helped her FEEL better and enjoy her wedding!  Makeup can really work wonders, can't it?!? So...what can YOU do if you have a cold or flu, but you still have to look good?!?  Maybe it's a job interview, a special party, or yes, even your own wedding......anything where showing up looking like death warmed over just wouldn't fly.

Check out this link from fab wedding blog The Daily Makeover with tips from me and other beauty experts to help you look AND feel better!  Everything from "get the good Kleenex" to solutions to hide your red nose....keep this handy next time you feel awful, but need to look amazing. #noonewillknow!

Here's to hoping your 2015 has gotten off to a happy...and healthy...start!

9 Beauty Tips to Disguise Seasonal Cold and Flu