Thursday, March 10, 2016

Brows 101.....A Step by Step Guide to Filling in Your Brows (Lip Service featured on SheFinds.....)

When Lisa Fogarty from SheFinds reached out and asked me for the lowdown on brows....heck yeah, I was happy to contribute!  My clients constantly tell me that they have NO IDEA how to fill in their brows, and they get even more confused by Instagram and YouTube gurus who draw on some MAJOR brows that can be well....scary. So how do you enhance them....naturally?  Here's my step by step guide as featured in this article on SheFinds......
Photo credit: Maxtree
Can we all agree, once and for all, that drawn-on eyebrows are not a good look? Achieving gorgeous brows takes commitment and patience, not whatever makeup pencil you happen to have handy. In addition to letting eyebrows grow, brow-savvy beauties know just how to fill in their arches with makeup so that they look natural, not fake. Need a few pro pointers? Makeup artist and beauty expert Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup is here with the only step-by-step guide to filling in our eyebrows you’ll ever need so they always look seriously stunning–not severe.
1. Assess your shape. There is no one universal paradigm for how to fill in your brows. The tools you choose and how you use them all depend on your brow type and the specific issue you want to address. Here are the general rules for different eyebrow types:
– If you have fairly full brows with a well defined shape, you’ll want to fill in the few bare spots for a bit of polish. “Use brow powder–it’s the most natural approach and it’s easy to use. Just apply the brow powder that matches your shade using a small, dense, angled brush and mimic hair-like strokes,” Trotter says.
– If you have full brows with hairs that stand away from your skin, use pencil or powder and experiment first to see which works best, Trotter says. Then follow the same steps as you would for full brows. For added drama, Trotter suggests using a bit of pencil with powder on top.
– If you have very thin brows that need to be filled in and your eyebrow hair is dense and close to your skin, use pomade. “This is the trickiest of all the options, but works well with this brow type,” Trotter says. “Choose a waterproof pomade, apply with a dense, angled brow brush using short and careful strokes. Don’t draw it in a line! Use a concealer brush with a tiny bit of concealer on it to clean up and soften edges.”
– If you have very thin brows with longer brow hairs that stand away from your skin, use a pencil to create hair-like strokes, then a bit of powder on top. “The pencil is needed to create the brow structure and fill in missing spots. Using a thin brow pencil in a shade that matches, draw short hair-like strokes. Once you have the shape in place, apply a bit of brow powder using a small angled brow brush. The powder will cling to the hairs that are there and make it look more natural,” Trotter explains.
2. Perfect your technique. Mimic short, hair-like strokes when applying any brow product.
Makeup: Jennifer Trotter, Photo Credit: Charla Storey
3. Pick the right product. Choose a brow product that matches the shade of your brows or one shade darker. Additionally, you should choose products made specifically for brows. Eye pencils and eyeshadows can often have the wrong formulation–they’re too creamy or too dry. Products made specifically for brows have more staying power and the control you need.
4. Go slow. Take your time and don’t rush through your brow makeup application. Bad brows will ruin your whole look, so it’s best to go slow instead of piling on product.
5. Use the right tools. Use a brow brush that is small and angled with densely packed bristles for the most control and best results.
6. Prep your brows.  Brush your brows up and into place before applying any brow products, and again after you’ve applied them for the most natural look.
7. Correct mistakes. Use a concealer brush with a tiny bit of concealer as an “erasing” tool–it can clean up lines you’ve messed up, soften a line that’s too harsh, and can be used lightly on your entire brow to soften a look that’s too dark.
8. Don’t forget to cleanse! Always remove your brow products when you cleanse your face, and don’t forget to scrub your brows. Pencil, powder and pomade can build up in your brows and create dead skin and a messy look.
Of course, no guide would be complete without a list of no-no’s, so here are 3 things Trotter says you should never do when filling in your eyebrows:
1. Never drastically alter the shape of your natural brows. Just like you shouldn’t over-tweeze a naturally full brow, you don’t want to overdraw naturally thin ones. If they’re naturally thin, it’s okay to fill them in a bit, but don’t overdo it.
2. Never use brow products the way you would a pen or pencil. Don’t draw a line. It’ll never look natural and it’ll look really bad if your line is uneven.
3. Don’t choose brow products in a color different than your own.  If your brows are a light brown, a dark chocolate brown brow will look harsh and throw off the balance of your face.  The most goof-proof shade is a medium taupe that can work on almost anyone.
And....bonus! Here a few of my favorite brow products:
Photo credit:

Pencils - MAC brow pencils (Fling is great for blondes, Stud is awesome for brunettes)
               IT Cosmetics Brow Power - a neutral taupe pencil that works on nearly everyone

Powder - Senna Brow Book (My kit staple! Find your perfect shade in this long-lasting powder)
                Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo - two shades in each compact to mix for your perfect match

Pomade - Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow  - Chocolate is a great shade for warm brunettes

Brow Brush - Makeup Forever Angled Brow Brush
                       MAC Cosmetics #208 Brow Brush
                       (Look for a brush with an angled tip and short, dense bristles)

Thanks so much to Lisa Fogarty and SheFinds for featuring my tips!!  Check out SheFinds daily for all the beauty lowdown you need to look and feel fabulous.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

5 Quick Tips for "Spring Cleaning" your Makeup Bag

We've all done some spring cleaning, right?  You finally sweep the dust bunnies from under furniture, you scrub baseboards and Febreeze EVERYTHING that doesn't move...and even some things that do.  AH....done.  Or not quite?

What about your makeup bag?
If it's been a while and your makeup bag is looking like this one (eek!), it's time to spring clean that too!  So, here are...

Dump the one that's covered in crumbled eyeshadow and has a broken deserve better!  In fact, this was one of my fave tips that I contributed to this article for the Today show on ways to break out of your beauty rut.  You'll be surprised at how a brand-new, fabulous makeup case will revive your beauty routine and make it fun to get started in the morning!  Choose one in a fun color or pattern that  you love, and one that's big enough for what you need so items don't get squished.....

Broken eyeshadows, anything that you haven't used in 6 months or more, shades that don't work on you, worn out brushes, makeup with too much glitter, and empty lipglosses. For mascaras, glosses and lipsticks....if they smell weird or are dry and clumpy, it's time to toss.  I get that this part is hard for a lot of us, because makeup is expensive and you want to get the most of what you purchased.  But remember this...if it's past the expiration date and doesn't look good, smell good or make you FEEL good to use it, then in the words of Elsa....LET IT GO!


It's really important to keep your makeup and tools clean to keep germs at bay, but also for optimal performance....especially brushes. Wash brushes using a solid brush cleanser like Blender under warm water (pointing down, always), swirl bristles into cleanser and gently manipulate to remove build up, then rinse, squeeze with a paper towel, reshape and dry. (Click here to see more about cleaning and storage of your Beauty Blenders!) To dry, lay brushes on a towel with bristles hanging off the end for maximum air circulation, and keep clean between washes with a spray brush cleaner. Don't forget to sanitize any metal tools with alcohol, wipe all palettes and compacts with a makeup remover wipe.

The fun part!  Replace the stuff you tossed...get new eyeshadows and blushes to replace the broken crumbles, and pick up that fun new lipstick you've had your eye on as well as a bright blush perfect for spring.  Pick up new know you need one!  Need to up your brow game?  Now's the time to pick up a new eyebrow pencil or pomade and add that step to your routine. Get a new bottle of foundation and quit using drops left in the cap!  (Yes, I'm talking to you...) If your brushes and sponges have seen better days, replace those with new versions too.  With spring coming, be sure you have the right color foundation, and a few glosses to switch out from your heavier, winter lipsticks. There are great options at every price point, and many ways to save....even on higher end brands!  For drugstore cosmetics, check out CVS's Extra Care Beauty club for buy one, get one 1/2 off sales, and cash back points on beauty purchases.  For higher end brands, take advantage of racking up reward points with Sephora's Beauty Insider Program and Ultamate Rewards from Ulta.  

Whether your routine is concealer, mascara and lip balm or involves 16 steps and just as many brushes, having the right products that are easy to use, clean and in good shape will make it more fun to get ready in the morning. Why not make putting on your face enjoyable?  And BONUS...when you have everything you need and ready to go, it's also least enough for one snooze cycle on your alarm.  Make a resolution to keep it up too! You don't have to wait until next spring to revamp your bag, just repeat these steps anytime your beauty gear starts to look a little cruddy.

Want to learn more?  Spring is a great time to book a lesson!!!  Revamp your makeup bag, your brushes and tools....even your entire look.  If you live in Dallas/Fort Worth and have always wanted a personalized makeup lesson, now is the time!

Click here, email me at or call 972-345-0655 and you'll be on your way to learning everything you ever wanted to know about makeup! And check back, I'll be posting more about lessons and classes soon.....

Happy Spring!