Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Apply Mascara

15 Mascara Tricks and Tips

Maybelline Great Lash mascara
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara -- The #1 Choice of Makeup Artists
One question I get a lot from people is what mascara1 I use. I have small eyes and refuse to leave the house without mascara because the moment mascara is applied my eyes suddenly appear to be of normal size (I was blessed with long lashes, perhaps that helps). I even wore mascara in the 100 degree heat on a trip to Vietnam and my friend was blown away by the staying power of my Lancome Hypose mascara. (See the best mascaras on the market2) Here I share my 15 best mascara tricks and tips, plus how to properly apply mascara.

How to Properly Apply Mascara

Ace your mascara application with a three-step process:
  1. Step 1: Wiggle the wand left to right at the base of lashes. It's the mascara placed near the roots -- not the tips -- that gives the illusion of length.
  2. Step 2: Pull the wand up and through lashes, wiggling as you go. The wiggling part is key because it separates lashes.
  3. Step 3: In this final step (which I always skip), close the eye and place the mascara wand on top of lashes at the base and pull through to remove any clumps.

Pick the Best Mascara for You

When picking a mascara, you should consider the formula you want (lengthening, thickening, waterproof or non-clumping). Learn more about your options in How to Pick the Right Mascara Formula3. You should also consider price. You can get a good basic drugstore mascara or spend more money on a luxurious mascara. I find the fancier mascaras go on with less clumping and last longer, but it's likely no one would be able to tell if you were wearing a drugstore brand or a department store brand. See Should you splurge on mascara, or save?4.
I prefer Lancome mascaras and I always use waterproof mascara in summer time or when skiing. Check out my list of the best mascaras on the market5 for your perfect fit.
Most drugstores and department stores have excellent return policies so if you try a mascara and hate it you can return it. Never try mascara on at a department store, there's too much risk for infection. Instead, check out the store's return policy and take a few home to try. Also, don't get suckered into a full-makeover at the cosmetics counter (see How They Trick You at the Cosmetics Counter6).

How to Keep Lashes From Clumping

For some, lash combs are simply too fussy. But for some makeup artists, they're a great invention and keep lashes glob-free and perfectly separated. To use a lash comb, first apply mascara at the lash base, then wiggle the lash comb through to the tips of your lashes. Not into the lash comb? Get rid of clumbs without them by removing excess mascara from the wand. Wipe wand on tissue, this eliminates blobs BEFORE you start.
Another great way to get rid of clumps is to sweep a clean, fresh mascara wand through lashes when they're wet. Either buy new ones or recycle old ones. Buy clean mascara wands online7 (they're called "spoolies" or at Sephora. Recycle an old mascara wand if you don't want to bother with spoolies. When you finish a mascara, clean the wand in a cap-full of eye makeup remover, then wash with soap and dry. Keep it clean by washing it whenever you wash your makeup tools.

Don't Be Afraid to Mix Mascaras

A trick makeup artists use to make lashes pop is apply one coat of lengthening mascara, followed by one coat of thickening mascara. Remove excess product with a clean spoolie wand (see above).

Try a Colored Mascara

Basic mascara rules are simple: Black works for everyone but can be harsh on light-skinned blondes. Blondes should opt for brown/black by day and reserve black for night. Burgundy or plum colors make blue eyes pop, as do blue mascaras. Purple mascara looks great on brown eyes.

Use an Eyelash Curler

Curling lashes gives eyes the appearance of being wider and brighter. Shoot warm air from your blowdryer on the mascara curler for 3-5 seconds to warm it up before curling lashes. Touch it first to make sure it's not too hot. It's a myth that you have to curl lashes before you apply mascara. You can curl lashes after mascara application, just make sure the mascara is dry first. Shu Uemura eyelash curlers8 are super popular.

Zig-zag the Mascara Wand

Zig-zagging the wand back and forth during application helps cut down clumps.

Apply to Top Lashes Only

Many makeup artists recommend applying mascara only to the top lashes (I abide by this rule). If you want to make eyes appear wider, apply mascara to the bottom lashes but make sure you give lashes a light touch. Not great at getting those bottom lashes? Try putting a tissue under them before application.

Use a Mascara Primer

Primers coat lashes and separate them before you apply mascara. Makeup artists swear by mascara primer. I tried it and like it, but because it's an added step, I usually use primer only on special occasion when I spend more time on my makeup. My hands-down favorite is Lancome's Cils Booster XL9.

What it Means to "Apply a 2nd Coat" of Mascara

I was always confused by magazine's directives to coat eyelashes with "no more than 3 coats of mascara." It seems magazines have been giving these directions since I was a pre-teen and likely before. What they mean is to apply the coats of mascara all at once before the first coat dries. Once the first coat dries, you'll get clumps if you attempt another swipe at the lashes.

Thou Shalt Not Pump Wand In & Out of Tube

This only introduces air into the tube, which will cause your mascara to dry out sooner than it should.

Bend the Wand

A top makeup artist once gave his secret to his steady hand: he always bends his wand at a right angle.

Wait to Blink & Doublecheck Once Dry

Since I have long lashes, I try to wait 5 seconds before blinking after I apply mascara or I end up with mascara dots all along my lid. I also doublecheck my lids before I step out because chances are good, I've got those dots going on and it's embarrassing to find out hours later that you've done a poor makeup job on yourself when you're a beauty editor by trade.

By , Guide

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Department Store vs. Drugstore Makeup: When Should You Splurge?

I’ll let you in on a secret of the cosmetics industry: many drugstore products are made by the exact same manufacturers, in the same factories, as high-priced department store brands. Much of what you pay for at department stores is the fancy packaging, slick magazine ads, and the salary of the salesperson standing behind the counter. These days, there are wonderful products at all price points. However, there are certain products that are worth splurging on.

Foundation and Powder:  For your makeup to look great, you need to start with clear, glowing skin. So it’s worth it to spend some extra dollars on the right base. Whether you wear tinted moisturizer, liquid foundation or pressed powder, you need to find the right color, or else you’ll look like you’re wearing a mask. Department stores tend to have a larger selection of colors, they usually have testers, and there are makeup artists on hand to help you choose the right formula and color. Since you’ll have different tools at your disposal, you can also figure out which works best: using a brush, sponge, or your fingers. My favorites:  Prescriptives (for golden/olive complexions), Laura Mercier (for fair/pinker complexions), and Bobbi Brown (tinted moisturizer).

Concealer:  Most of us have at least one spot/blemish/dark circle we’d like to cover up, and bad concealer will only bring attention to what we’re trying to hide. As with foundation, department stores have a wider selection of colors. Also, with concealer, it’s important to try different textures to find out what works on your skin. Liquid concealers that come with a wand or pen are best for light discolorations. Darker spots may require a heavier stick concealer. Creamy concealers are best for dry or delicate skin. You should also try dabbing concealer on with a brush instead. using your fingers. I’m obsessed with Cle de Peau Concealer (very pricey but a tube will last all year) although many of my patients swear by Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat.

Blush: It’s so important to find the right blush, so you don’t look clownish. And remember that the “right” color for you may change from summer to winter. The more finely milled a powder is, the more expensive it gets, but this is what guarantees sheer, smooth coverage that you can build up as needed. Some cheaper drugstore powders can crumble, clump, and streak. If you do find a drugstore blush you like, invest in a good blush brush so you can get natural coverage and not end up painting streaks of blush across your cheeks with the two-inch brush that comes in the package.  At the department store, you can also experiment with gel, liquid, cream, and stick blushes, which may work better for you than powder. 
I love Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge!!!!

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What's Your Favorite Drugstore Skin Care Buy?

0917-cetaphil_bd.jpgMaybe it's the bargain-lover in me, but I'm not the kind of girl who believes that great products have to come with gigantic price tags. In fact, the only face wash I ever use—Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser—costs less than $10 for 8 oz! I've tried so many products in every price range, and this milky, super-gentle wash is the only one that doesn't make my tricky skin freak out and leaves my skin incredibly soft. But, as I'm sure you know, Cetaphil isn't the only dream product you can find at the drugstore.
There are tons of other great skin care products under the $10 mark. So spill it: Do you have a low-priced favorite to share? What's the most you'll pay for a skin-care product? And are there any other Cetaphil devotees out there?

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Now scheduling my Spring Makeup Workshops!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Makeup Workshops

Makeup Workshops

Makeup can be intimidating if you're not sure about techniques, colors, or how to make the most of your features
When you attend my makeup workshops you have the perfect opportunity to learn in a one-on-one or small group setting (max of four people) in the comfort of my cozy studio.

The emphasis of these tailored makeup workshops is solving your everyday makeup dilemmas. In a relaxing and positive environment, I will change the way you think about makeup and show you how easy it is to reinvent yourself!

Makeup workshops are tailored to individual needs, and all cover:

         Makeup Kit Overhaul - what to keep, what to swap, what to buy
         Identifying & highlighting your assets.
         Selecting a foundation and custom matching to your exact skin color.
         Selecting eye shadow colors.
         Applying eye shadow.
         Importance of eyebrow shape.

Educational handouts, use of professional brushes & makeup are all included in the cost.
Workshops Offered:

Everyday Beauty, All About Eyes, Red Carpet Glamour, Corporate Savvy, Makeup for 40+, Makeup for Teenagers.

Everyday Beauty

Not quite sure where to start with your makeup?
Need some expert guidance?
Everyday Beauty provides the perfect foundation to a beautiful look - every day.

This workshop focuses on creating confidence in make up application in a friendly and positive environment, and is suited to the beginner, someone wanting more confidence with makeup, or a woman wanting to update her look.

The workshop includes advice and instruction on:

 Identifying your color palette.
 Selecting the correct foundation, eye shadow, lips and blush.
 Techniques and tricks.
 Creating a natural, beautiful, radiant look.

All About Eyes

Your eyes are the focal point of your face, and you'll be amazed how easily you can change your look simply by changing your eye makeup. All About Eyes will teach you how to create a completely different you by using just a few simple techniques!

The workshop is perfect for women who are reasonably confident with their makeup or who have completed the Everyday Beauty workshop.

The workshop covers:
Step by step guided instruction in the two basic eye designs - the smoky eye and the classic eye. Identifying your unique eye shadow colors.
Applying false eyelashes. Discovering the many styles of lashes and learning the secrets of easy application.
Eyebrow design/shaping from an eyebrow specialist.

Night Time Glamour

The Red Carpet Glamour workshop will show you how to add that extra 'wow' factor to your look. It's suited to women that are reasonably confident with their makeup or who have completed the Everyday Beauty workshop.

The workshop covers:

Getting noticed for the right reasons.
Avoiding a 'pale faced' photo.
Makeup that doesn't disappear in the night light.
Adding glamour to a day time look.
False eyelash application.
Using contouring, highlight techniques.
Correct use of shimmers.

Corporate Savvy

Everyone knows success is as much about how you look as how much you know. Give yourself the edge with this workshop aimed squarely at makeup for the corporate world.

Suited to beginners, women who want more confidence with makeup or women returning to the workplace, Corporate Savvy is the ultimate makeup workshop for the woman going places.

The workshops covers:
Looking confident, professional and well groomed
How to achieve makeup that lasts throughout the day.
Advice on how to care for skin that dehydrates or looks dull due to an air conditioned office environment.

Makeup for 40+

Have you been using the same products and making up the same 'face' for years? Perhaps you've been thinking about updating your look. If you're nearing or over 40, why not take some time to rediscover yourself in this workshop designed especially for women like you.

The workshop covers:
Reassessing your look to fit with where you are in life.
More time for you - making the most of the beauty that comes with maturity.
Reconnect with the pure enjoyment of being confident in who you are.

Makeup for Teenagers

Just starting to use makeup and need to learn techniques and tricks? Not sure what colors are right for you? The Makeup for Teenagers workshop will get you heading in the right direction on the RIGHT way to put on makeup !
Suited to girls who are at junior high or high school or college, it's a perfect opportunity to get together with a couple of friends and enjoy a relaxing afternoon which is all about you!

The workshop covers:

Makeup that looks great and is good for your skin
Focussing on your best assets and playing down the things you don't like.
Proper makeup techniques to help achieve a beautiful natural look

Invest in yourself all workshops are just $99 and last 4 hours.

Contact me for the workshop schedule. 

50% deposit required payable thru Pay Pal.
Private instruction also available.
Makeup classes also available for aspiring Makeup Artists.

To find out more please go to my website:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wedding Day Makeup Tips

1. ALWAYS prime the skin Your wedding makeup is a look you’ll likely wear for 12+ hours. Primer works by creating an invisible veil over the skin; a perfect canvas for your makeup to adhere to. It will also help diffuse light across your face making any imperfections a little less noticeable.
2. Choose silicone based foundation Plain and simple, water based foundations will run if those tears break free. The silicone is resistant to heat and water (read: HOT summer weddings!) To stay streak free and fresh all day, this little ingredient make a world of a difference.
3. “HD”= flawless No, this is not just a hyped up term in makeup. HD (or high definition) products make such an amazing difference on the skin both in person as well as on camera. The technology here is down on the molecular level. The pigments are all perfectly spherical which layer over the skin uniformly creating a perfect little pattern. The light can then reflect more evenly giving you a more flawless look. Truly, technology in the beauty industry at it’s best…take full advantage of that!
4. Groom gets the gloss The only thing you should have to touch up at all on your wedding day should be your lip gloss, usually a result from smooching! It only makes sense to put your groom on gloss duty as you’ll be in close proximity to him the entire day and he almost always has pockets.
5. Think classic Trends are well, trendy. Remember Aunt Bea’s poufy-sleeved wedding dress and head veil from the 80’s that screams “80’s wedding?” Your makeup shouldn’t date you when you look back at your wedding pictures in 10 years. Choose classic color palettes and stay away from the trends of the moment. You’ll appreciate this is 10 years!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Metallic Smokey Eye

Everyone loves a smokey eye. This season it’s about creating a more modern version of this most requested makeup look. A great way to rework this look is using a metallic shadow as your base/primary color. It can be bronze, copper, pewter, steel blue, etc.
What’s important about getting this look right is the placement of the shade. Generally a metallic shade shouldn’t go past the lid. I suggest using a neutral matte shade in the crease for your transitional color. This will keep it intense but soft. Make sure that the tone of your crease color complements the shade you choose for the lid. Using a matte shade will also keep the look from going to another place such as 70's disco. The look also works best if the lower lash is also done in matte, and keeping the sheen in the inner corner of the eye.
To get intense depth use a dark liner on the water line on the top and bottom. Use black mascara to finish the look off. My favorite highlighter is MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Shrimpane or Gold Deposit on darker skin tones. And it’s that easy to update your smokey eye.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to Apply Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup is an alternative option to traditional cosmetics. Pure mineral cosmetics do not contain chemicals, additives, dyes or fragrances. Mineral makeup offers protection from free radicals but still allows your skin to breathe.

With mineral makeup foundation, you can apply the powder dry or add water to create a liquid foundation. To apply dry mineral makeup, tap a little bit of powder into the lid of the container. Swirl your brush into the powder. Tap the brush on the container to get rid of any excess.

An important piece of makeup advice is that when applying mineral makeup, it's important not to use too much. The pigment in mineral makeup is very concentrated therefore a little goes a long way. In a circular motion, swirl the powder onto your skin. Start at your hairline and your jaw line, working your way into the middle of your face, and finish with your nose. If you have any area that needs extra coverage, use a smaller brush to apply a more concentrated amount into the particular spot on your face.

To use the mineral makeup as a liquid, tap a little of the powder into a small container. Add just a bit of water and use a small makeup brush to mix the powder into the right consistency. Use a makeup sponge to apply the product to your face by dabbing it onto your skin.

The key for a flawless finish with mineral makeup is to apply it in light layers. Using too much will make your skin look cakey. After you are satisfied with the coverage on your face, you can begin applying your eye makeup and the rest of your cosmetics. offers mineral makeup from top name brands such as Alison Raffaele, Avanya and many others.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make Up Tips for Brown Eyes

An important thing to remember when considering make up tips for brown eyes is that lighter colored eye shadows will bring out brown eyes more, while darker colored eye shadows will make the eyes look smaller. Darker colors, however, can also add a dramatic, smoky tone to the eyes. Dark eyeliners, for example, combined with a lighter eye shadow, such as pale pink or bronze will emphasize brown eyes, especially when paired with generous amounts of dark mascara. To further make brown eyes stand out, applying touches of gold eye shadow will really play them up. Glittery eyeshadow will bring out the richness of brown eyes, when applied generously to the eyelid, and extending slightly at the sides. The further the eyeshadow extends outward, the lighter it should be. In addition, mascara should be applied in multiple coats, and allowed to dry in between coats. This is so that eyelashes do not become clumped together. The more coats that are correctly applied, the thicker and richer the eyelashes will look, drawing more attention to the eyes. In addition, since brown eyes benefit from all the attention they can get, it important to curl the eyelashes before and after applying mascara to open and bring focus to the eyes. Also, subtly smudging the eyeshadow will give the eyes an extra note of mystery, while not making them look too overdone.