Smashbox Master Class Collection Fall 2012

Smashbox Cosmetics, created by Dean and Davis Factor, grandsons of Hollywood makeup legend, Max Factor, has come out with a brand new palette and shadow quads for fall.  The collection is very impressive at price points of $59 and $10 respectively; it was inspired by the favourites carried to set by Smashbox makeup artists.  You will most definitely be covered for every occasion with the great variety of colours included.  Furthermore, the shades are wearable for most, if not all, skin tones.

The Master Class 11 Meet The Masters Palette ($59) comes with:

  • 28 Photo Op Eyeshadows
  • 4 Brow Tech Powders
  • Brow Tech Wax
  • 8 Cream Eyeliners
  • 2 Blushes
  • 3 Soft Lights
  • 4 Lip Glosses

The Master Class Eyeshadow Quad ($10) is available in two combinations (hazel pictured):

  • Hazel- Pink Nude, Shimmering Slate, Matte Eggplant, Taupe
  • Brown- Ivory, Cabernet, Shimmering Sienna, Matte Navy

The price point for these palettes is an amazing value for quality products with exceptional wear and longevity.  They are available online or in-store at Sephora.

Christian Louboutin Beaute For 2013

As if Christian Louboutin has not made enough of a niche for himself in the world of fashion, he seems to have decided beauty, clad on the feet of women all over the globe, is not enough.  Christian Louboutin is set to launch a cosmetic beauty line in 2013, what this will entail specifically, is mum at the moment.  However, it is probably safe to assume a signature red lip colour and nail polish, matching his iconic red soles,  will be among the offerings.

Batallure Beauty, integral in the development of Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, Marchesa and Sephora, to name a few, is partnering with Christian Louboutin’s luxury French company to achieve this end.  The name Christian Louboutin is synonymous with luxury, style and prestige, there is no doubt this standard will need to segue seamlessly into his cosmetics line as well, if he expects to attract the same clientele.  This is Christian Louboutin’s first attempt to ‘wow’ us with cosmetics, we’ll soon find out if women are as obsessed with showcasing this label in their makeup cases and on vanities, as they are on their feet.

It’s All About Gloss For The Perfect Summer Pucker

We love the hubbies, children and often demanding careers, however, planning a girls weekend is highly therapeutic.  Staying up until the wee hours of the morning chatting it up about everything from the minute to the colossal, is a luxury in the midst of our busy lives.  Last weekend this is exactly what the girls and I did.

During the course of an endless cacophony of laughter, conversation and good eats, one of the girls disappeared for a few moments.  Upon her return we all looked in utter amazement at what seemed to be freshly collagen injected lips, and demanded to know what she had applied.  This led to each of us dumping out our cosmetic bags for a glimpse of the items we faithfully keep at an arms reach, and as it turns out, glosses took the lead by an overwhelming margin.  With Summer on the horizon, I thought it’d be fitting to pass on our reviews.  Our group included: a vocalist, a television personality, an actress and of course yours truly.

From left to right above:

  • Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm– This is a simple colourless lip balm effective at moisturizing with an SPF 20. $8.99
  • Jordana Squeeze ‘N Shine in Tahitian Tea– Our television personality uses this one and says, “It’s a great gloss on a budget, adds just the right touch of colour and has beautiful shine.”  Furthermore it’s only $1.99, and available in 12 shades (Incidentally, this is the one which delivered the collagen injected look).
  • Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia 100% natural balm which moisturizes and is a great alternative to chapstick.  Available in 6 shades $7.00
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Fig Calls itself the world’s best lip gloss, however, our vocalist begs to differ, she says, “It has a cooling & tingling sensation, and I like that it’s all natural, but it doesn’t last long at all.” Available in 12 shades $5 each
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15– This one happens to be a favourite for our vocalist, “I like the fact it is a very lightweight gloss yet creamy, the lips breath, and it doesn’t feel goopy.” $22.50
  • Nars Gloss in Giza– Our television personality says, “This is my favourite shade of coral ever!  The colour you see in the tube is true to the colour you will see on the lips, it’s my go-to splurge gloss!” at $24 a pop.
  • MAC Frost in Coco Nutty– Unlike my girls, I was the minimalist in the group armed with only my old faithful.  I wear this lipcolour over Rosebud Salve in the tin, and it gives me a clean, natural look with healthy sheen. $22.00
  • C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Gloss in Coral Mint– Our vocalist also gave this one high marks, singing of its goodness, “This is a mint lovers must, it’s magnified mint in a tube, and although it has no colour, you can count on high shine and staying power..it makes you want to kiss yourself!”  Although this shade has been phased out, the Mentha Supreme 2x Lip Shine is a great alternative, more on that below.
  • Philosophy Candy Ribbons Gloss– “This gloss gives a wet look to the lips, and tastes pretty good,” according to our lovely actress $10
  • Juice Beauty Organic Lip Moisturizer– “The only good thing about this gloss is it’s organic, other than that it’s watery, and doesn’t feel like it conditions, and the citrus smell and taste is not very appealing,” says our vocalist. $15
  • Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lipgloss in Strawberry Fizz– Our actress believes this is the ultimate gloss, “It doesn’t clump, lasts long and tastes great!  It gives a hint of blush to the lips, close to the gum colour with sparkling glow.” Available in 14 shades $7 each
  • C.O. Begelow Mentha Supreme 2x Lip Shine– Our vocalist assures us this one is, “Pretty much the same as the C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Gloss in Coral Mint, but without tint.” Available at Bath & Body Works $8
  • Philosophy Frosted Cookie Lip Gloss– Great smell & taste, just like the Candy Ribbons mentioned above, it offers high shine. $10

The shades in the order above on a light and dark complexion:

Mod Makeup, A Fresh Approach To A Timeless Classic

When it comes to makeup, my aesthetic has always been soft, fresh application whether for day or night.  When applied properly makeup should segue easily from brunch, to an upscale dinner party, if necessary.  One of my favourite makeup looks to attain this end, is mod.

Twiggy, the first supermodel to surface in the 60’s, pioneered mod makeup.  This look is the quintessential soft, fresh makeup look perfect for day into night, and application is super easy.  The main difference is in both the shadow and lip consistencies.  The shadow should be more of a shimmer versus a frost of the past, while the lips should be more of a soft, matte rather than the heavy chalky matte of the 60’s, resulting in more of a moist look.

To achieve a modern approach on this classic:

  • Start with Chanel’s d’eau fluid iridescent eyeshadow in cascade, which is a soft white or MAC’s prep & prime.  Although Chanel’s fluid iridescent is marketed as an eyeshadow, I prefer to use it as a shadow base.  It is waterproof, and will most certainly allow your shadow to stay put all day.  It is part of my personal makeup routine, and I wouldn’t be without it for long shoots or wedding makeup.  The liquid shadow has plenty of shimmer and sheen, which is a beautiful modern take on the frosts of the 60’s.  MAC’s prep & prime is an acceptable substitute, and also has great staying power.
  • Next, set the base  with a soft powder shadow in a subtle white shade.
  • Add, a black liquid liner, which will stay wet looking even once it’s dry, Smashbox and L’Oreal offer great options, and a great final touch is a white eyeliner on the inner rim of the bottom lash line to open the eyes.
  • Fill in the brows with a shade slightly darker than your natural brow colour for a defined look, and add lots of black mascara on the top, and a bit of the excess on the bottom.
  • Foundation should be slightly dewy or moist looking with a soft blush shade added on the apples of the cheeks and swept diagonally up toward the hairline.
  • Finally, finish with a soft matte lipcolour whether light or medium in colour.

There you have it, a fresh approach to a timeless classic.

Giorgio Armani Face Fabric SPF 12

When it comes to foundation, I have always invested significantly more than I would on shadows, lipsticks, etc.  Because foundation sits on the skin, if high quality ingredients are not used, there is a higher chance of clogging the pores and encouraging breakouts.  Giorgio Armani Face Fabric is like a second skin, it uses a 3D micro-fil technology which, simply put means, it looks invisible on the skin while delivering coverage, and is light in consistency.

The texture is like none I’ve ever tried, as it is applied it seems to melt into the skin.  It’s difficult to discern where the foundation is applied once it is on because it blends so beautifully.  The product was formulated to accommodate those instances when layering for fuller coverage may be necessary, and even then the results are simply radiant, fresh and natural looking skin.  The product contains an SPF of 12, which is less than I typically use, however, layering the foundation over my sunscreen makes no difference in the overall amazing results.

Available at giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com or Neiman Marcus and other fine retailers $49

The Classic Smoky Eye

As a makeup artist in the entertainment industry, many of my clients require their makeup to transition seamlessly from day to night.  A classic soft, smoky eye (seen above on Kate Mara) is my favourite look to achieve this.  It segues easily from day to night, and requires plenty of layering and blending.  The biggest faux pas women seem to make with a smoky eye, is applying the colour too heavy with little blending, and choosing shades far too dark for their complexion. This translates into a heavy and overpowering feel for everyday wear, and gives the illusion of a raccoon eye.  A smoky eye does not mean finding the blackest black shadow, but is more about choosing a shade which will be most complementary to your skin tone, and the choices are numerous.  Of course, it all boils down to preference, and is completely subjective.  My preference has always been a softer, smoky eye, as I feel it looks clean and polished.  In the coming weeks I will be showing step-by-step instructions on achieving this look, as well as many others.  In the meantime… easy does it.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation

Foundation is the most important component of makeup application, and because it sits on the skin, it is important the ingredients contained in it do not induce clogged pores, leading to break-outs.  Although Chanel foundation is expensive, compared to its drugstore counterparts, a little goes a very long way.  As enticing as it is to save a few dollars, your skin may suffer as a result, with the long term use of a drugstore brand.  If it’s any consolation, in my experience, it takes well over a year to go through a quality foundation.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting my favourite foundations, which I personally use or have used in the past.  Another bit of information to keep in mind is one basic foundation may not be the answer.  I personally have several different formulas I wear, as my skin changes from one season to the next or coverage may vary depending upon how my skin is behaving.  Finally, the skin may become immune to a particular formula if it is not switched periodically, in other words, the results may not be as incredible as when you first fell in love with it, therefore, a respite may be in order.  The concept is similar to that of clothing, certain cuts are worn at certain times depending upon weight fluctuations and other factors.

Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is water-based and absolutely divine on the skin, with a light consistency, while the coverage is buildable.  The best technique for foundation application is always a brush.  A brush will extend the life of your foundation since it has nothing to absorb into, versus a sponge, which absorbs the majority of the product before it even hits your face.  The result with Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is luminous, natural looking skin for hours.

Visit the Chanel counter at your local department store to receive a consultation, and request a sample prior to committing.  The beauty advisors are prepared to accommodate you.  Also, if you visit the Chanel site, there is a foundation diagnostic available for your convenience.

Available at chanel.com and fine department stores nationwide $45

Model In A Bottle, In A Word? Brilliant.

Model in a bottle is a makeup setting spray, and one of the most brilliant products ever made.  This product is like liquid gold to many a makeup artist.  Upon completion of full makeup application, it is sprayed on the skin.  The results are a non-chalky matte finish, with a slight dewiness, how such perfect results were achieved remains a mystery.  Model in a bottle is an excellent product for those special times your makeup needs to last all day long with minimal touch-ups.  With only a few spritzes this amazing product transforms your makeup to waterproof.

It is a staple in my makeup kit for set work,weddings and any other occasion when longevity is necessary, and of course it is part of my personal makeup routine on super long days with no time for touch ups.  It is also available in a formula for sensitive skin which, ironically, caused my skin to break out, and had the same effect on many of my clients.  The major complaint I hear about Model in a Bottle is the packaging.  Most women prefer not to travel with glass products, if this is the case, Ben Nye Makeup Sealer is a great option.  This product actually works better on some skins, while Model in a Bottle gives better results to others.

Model in a Bottle– $18 8 oz./Ben Nye Makeup Sealer– $6.99-$20.99

Lancome Versus Loreal Mascara, Is There Really A Distinct Difference?

Although I appreciate the finer things in life very much, there are times when splurging equates to throwing money right out the window.  Department store mascaras fall under this category.  One of the perks of being a makeup artist is receiving complimentary products to be used on talent.  It’s always a win-win, especially when the product is outstanding.  As a result of this, I’ve received and used every mascara known to man, and am amazed by women who will spend $30 and upwards for one.

Today’s focus will be on Lancome versus Loreal Mascara.  Lancome’s Definicils is one of the top-selling mascaras in the States, however, Loreal is owned by the same company.  This means the mascara you would purchase under the Lancome brand for $30 and upward, is essentially the same mascara you would purchase for $6-$10 under the Loreal brand.  The only eminent differences are in the packaging and the retailers where they are sold.  If you haven’t tried Loreal mascaras, I encourage you to do so.  I’ve had great success with them, and stock them in my makeup kit as well.

Also, Loreal products are often on sale at various drugstores (i.e. Target, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.), and if you receive Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons in the mail, you can take advantage of a 20% discount.  My two longstanding favourite Loreal mascaras are the Original Voluminous in carbon black (blackest black), pictured at the top on the right, and the Voluminous Million Lashes, also in carbon black, pictured in this sleek gold tube.  Loreal makes several different mascara formulas, I’ve also heard rave reviews on the Extra Collegen formula.  At the prices they retail, exploring the other formulas is much easier.  The best part of all though, is now you can add the difference to your “Fabulous New Pair of Shoes” fund.

Professional Makeup Brushes For Exceptional Results

Healthy skin is definitely integral for makeup to look its best, however, an investment in a quality set of professional brushes is also imperative for achieving flawless results.  When I began my career as a makeup artist, I was fortunate enough to receive my first full set of professional brushes complimentary from Trish McEvoy Ltd.  The total cost of the set would easily have amounted to a car payment.  In the initial stages, I simply did not understand how the cost of these brushes could be aptly justified.  The incomprehension soon vanished like dust in the wind, the moment these brushes swept across my face.

Not only does makeup feel better going on when natural brushes are at work, however, since the makeup is being set into the skin, it stays fresher looking throughout the day.  Product replenishment is also less frequent, as it has nothing to absorb into unlike with latex sponges.  The makeup is essentially being painted onto the skin, which lends itself to beautiful airbrushed results.

A set of professional natural hair makeup brushes are made to last a lifetime when cared for properly.  This means monthly washings with baby shampoo or a gentle facial cleanser.  Over the years I’ve managed to accumulated several sets of makeup brushes from various cosmetic companies, and have yet to replace one.  Makeup brushes come in a litany of different shapes and sizes, based on your own individual features.  Chanel, MAC, Stila and Trish McEvoy brushes are among my favourites.  There is no one size fits all, so once you decide to splurge, consult with a professional makeup artist about which specific brushes are tailored to your features.