July 28, 2011

Randomness: Sushi Cake!

Walking down the street I passed this delectable joy.  "Yum Sushi!  Wait a second...."

Totally did a double take when I saw this in the window of a bakery.  Actually thought to myself, "Why on earth would a bakery have su....OH!!  It's a cake!"  Yes friends, I catch on quick. 

June 21, 2011

Before and Afters Say It All...

I was recently invited to take part in a beautiful wedding at Jack London Square, Oakland, California. 

A big wedding means lots of faces to make glam, so lets get to it!

Bridesmaid: Before

Bridesmaid: After

 Best WO{Man}: Before

Best WO{Man}: After

Before: Mother of the Bride

After: Mother of the Bride 

I feel so strongly that makeup is too often use to cover-up, conceal and mask everything that is unique and beautiful about the individual in each of us.

Makeup doesn't have to be piled on by the gallons.  It doesn't have to be done according to some magazine, and each person has total control to define how much, and what kind, they want to wear.  That's why it truly is a craft of artistry. 

 There is no "one way" to achieve any particular goal-the "creative process" is endless. 

May 24, 2011

The Wild World of Pigments: 101 Ways to Customize with Pigments

The magic of pigments really is what you can do when you ADD them to other products that you know and love.  It's something that most other eyeshadows can't do.  They mix, they match, and they play nice with a variety of substances and textures.

Add your pigment to the following products to create a one-of-a-kind item thatis completely customizable.

Adding pigment to body lotion gives a healthy glow to your skin.  Great to use
on your legs and arms in the warm summer months, or smooth over your neck and
shoulders to show off your collarbone.

TIP: Shimmery products can actually mask imperfections such as veins, blemishes
or discolorations.  The shimmer creates an airbrushed effect by reflecting light
and giving an overall softer appearance.

Nail Polish:
Pigments can be added to any clear or colored nail polish to create a unique,
personalized, look.  Add a pinch directly to the bottle and shake until
completely mixed.

Add pigment to your clear top coat to seal in a little shine, or mix with a
colored polish for a little something extra .

Lip gloss:
Mix a dash of pigment in a clear or colored lip gloss to change it up, or add to
Vaseline for a moisturizing lip treatment which is anything but boring.

Hair Products:
For an updated take on the 80’s glitter hair, put a scoop of pigment into your
pump hairspray and shake before spritzing.  This look is more subtle than
glitter and the hairspray ensures that it won’t end up all over the place.

You can also mix pigment into your hair gel or pomade.  Place the pigment in the
palm of your hand and rub it together with your styling product of choice before
running through your hair.

Body Highlight:
Mix a little pigment into a spray bottle filled with water, or your favorite
scented spray.  Shake well and spritz for a subtle glow.

Pigments can also be used as a dry highlight when brushed over areas like your
collarbone, chest and shoulders with a big fluffy brush.

May 20, 2011

The Wild World of Pigments: Highlighting 101

Highlighting uses the concepts of light and dark to emphasize specific parts of
your face.  By applying a light or shimmery color, you visually “pop” that area
forward, making it appear more prominent.

Highlighting can also be used to create optical illusions and transform the
visual appearance of your face.

For example, using a highlight color on the inner corner/tear duct area of your
eye will create the illusion of wider, more awake, eyes.

To create a more angular appearance, use a highlight color to visually bring the
tops of your cheek bones and brow bone forward, this creates a more chiseled

Using a highlight in the center of your bottom lip gives a similar effect to
using a high shine gloss.  When the light bounces off the highlight area, it
produces the optical illusion that your lip is more full and plump.

Similarly, sweeping a subtle highlight on your cupid’s bow (the recessed area
above your top lip) will visually bring your top lip forward, creating a more
voluptuous appearance.

Highlighting can also be used to give the illusion of a “sun-kissed glow”.  To
do this, use a highlight color on the parts of your face which the sun would
naturally hit.

These include: Center of Forehead, Center of Nose, High Point of Chin

TIP: In a technique called contouring, light and dark colors are used in
strategic places on the face to create the visual illusion of depth and

By placing a darker color in sunken features, such as the hollows of your
cheeks, and emphasizing more prominent features with highlights, you are
controlling the use of light and dark to mimic the effect a shadow would have on
your face.

Cheek bones pop forward with the highlight, hollows of your cheeks seem more
recessed and the end result is a more dramatic, chiseled appearance.

Pigments are awesome for eye shadows and highlights, but the REAL genius of pigments is how much you can create by adding it to other things.  One-of-a-kind products that you personalize are just another blog post a way....stay tuned!

May 19, 2011

The Wild World of Pigments: The Duct Tape of the Makeup World

What is a Pigment?
Pigments are highly concentrated loose color powders, which contain ingredients to help them adhere to the skin and are resistant to creasing and caking.  They can be used to create subtle washes of color, or more intense effects depending on how they are applied.

I like to call pigments the “duct tape of the makeup world”
- they have nearly 101 uses!

My two favorite multi-use pigments are as follows:

MAC Pink Opal Pigment: a pink/purple opalescent duochrome

MAC Vanilla Pigment: soft ivory with a golden sheen

Personally, I think that pigments are a little overwhelming if you don't know what to do with them.

"Powder - wha?"  

I thought I would share some of my suggestions on how to utilize your pigments in unexpected ways, all over the body.

Let’s get started...

Eye Shadow: Wet or Dry

Pigments are special because they can be used both wet and dry.

For a soft, subtle, wash of color:
Using a fluffy makeup brush, dip the tip into the jar and pick up some pigment.
Swirl it in the top of the lid to get the pigment really coated onto the
bristles.  Then simply swipe across your eyelid or brow bone for a light wash of

For a strong, more metallic look:
Choose a more stiff, flat brush, and dampen it with water.  Pick up a little
pigment on the end of the brush and again use the lid to pack the pigment into
the bristles.  Then PAT, don’t swipe, the pigment onto your eyelid.

Patting your eye shadow will deposit more concentrated color, whereas swiping
back and forth blends out the color for a lighter application.

Pigments can be used alone as eye shadows, but are also awesome to use as highlighters.  Tune in tomorrow for an in depth breakdown of how, and where, to use your pigment to highlight the face!

May 1, 2011

Megean and Cameron (take 2)

I know I already posted some pictures of this wonderful couple, but I pulled a couple more from the photographer. Enjoy!

Photographer: Martin Beebee Photography www.martinbeebee.com

April 26, 2011

Paris Makeup Haul

If you follow me on twitter, you probably know that I've spent the past three weeks in Paris, France - the city of lights. During my time there I was bound and determine to track down some brands that were harder to get in the states. While my husband was patient through the first three makeup stops, by the fifth, he waited outside *oops*.

Everything seems more beautiful in Paris, even the makeup, so it was near on impossible to ONLY come home with items I knew I couldn't get in my own back yard. Here is a glimpse of my Paris makeup haul:

The first brand on my list was Bourjois. Many moons ago, this brand was sold at Sephora stores...alas, no longer. However, this brand ABOUNDS in European countries. I found that Bourjois, Nivea and L'Oreal were the three most popular brands found everywhere from Sephora to Markets, all across Paris.

Recently the review regarding their blushes and glosses had peaked my curiosity. Even PixiWoo (one of my all-time fav youtubers) has been raving about their bronzer and face powders of late.

I ended up picking up quite a stash of their blushes. They are baked, similar to the Milani baked blushes, which give them a dome effect. And to the naked eye, these babies shimmer like no other (I don't find that in application they are as glittery as they look in the pan).

How cute is this packaging? They recently did a special packaging series with artist depictions of the famous sights in Paris. Not only was it a makeup haul done while in Paris, but it truly is Paris inspired makeup!

From left to Right: 16 Rose Coup, 32 Ambre D'or, 95 Rose De Jaspe, 34 Rose D'or, 48 Cendre De Rose Brune

I also stumbled upon an entire Hello Kitty makeup line. It was nothing like the line sold in Sephora, but, true to Hello Kitty form it included lots of glitter and girly/bright colors. I picked up two of their blushes. The coral colored one reminded me of MAC's peaches with a little more sparkle.

Flash Review: I used the blushes almost exclusively during my three week stay in Paris. I actually enjoyed the sparkle that the Bourjois provided, it saved me a step adding my favorite highlighter, By Candlelight, on top. It's funny actually, the one matte color I bought (Cendre de Rose Brune) is the only one I haven't played with yet. It's just not inspiring next to all that sparkle!

I've only used the peach Hello Kitty blush and was surprised to find a beautiful coral color under all that in-your-face orange you see in the pan. Surprise, surprise.

April 24, 2011

Fashion Flash: Paris

Check out this girl's dress!

I tried to stealthly take pictures of her, stalker style, while in Paris last week. It was just too perfectly cute to not share.

What do you think: over the top or perfectly cute?

April 12, 2011

Makeup Brands: Have you ever heard of Black UP?

As nerdy as it is, I'm always so fascinated by the different makeup brands found around the world For example, when I went to China I was shocked to find that Nivea was the top provider of chapstick - they didn't even have my beloved Carmex in stores! *the horror*

While in Paris I saw a brand I had never heard of: Black Up.

I first ran across it in a Printemps, a HUGE department store in the Opera district, and later found this stand alone shop somewhere during my wanderings.

Has anyone ever heard of this brand? Spill the beans, I'm dying to know!

April 6, 2011

Bridal Makeup: Megean and Cameron

What do you do when you've spent 9 months planning a beautiful, March, outdoor ceremony only to have rain and snow show up as a guest?


Megean was the type of bride that makes me love my job: unfailingly positive with a great sense of humor. Rain/Snow/Sleet or Hail - NOTHING was going to damper this girl's spirit.


Megean wanted to go soft and natural for her ceremony and pump up the pink for her reception, so this is what we came up with.

It sure makes my job easy with the bride is as stunningly beautiful as this one.

For this look:

MAC Rubenesque paint pot
MAC Vanilla Pigment (inner lid)
MAC Pink Opal Pigment (outer lid)
Swiss Chocolate/Cork/Espresso eye shadows
Clinique Gel Liner in Black
Oh and Lashes - oh yes, LOTS of lashes. (Miss Adoro 213s)

Megean, easily, had one of my favorite weddings to date. Seamlessly moving the ceremony inside due to the inclimate weather, the decor was playful, with fuchsia and black, without being overwhelmingly girly or garish.

So, to match the glitz and glam of the reception, we changed up the look a little once the formal pictures were done. Add a little glitter here, a dash of pink there, and this Mrs. was ready to dance all night long!

(picture from the makeup trial)

Additional pictures can be seen at MartinBee Photography.

March 28, 2011

Top Knot: Go Big or Go Home

Check out my bouffant top knot! Go BIG or go HOME, right?

Sometimes a fun hairstyle makes me stand straighter and walk taller. In this case, the hairstyle itself gave me a couple of more inches!

Creating this look was so much more simple than I thought:

1. Smooth hair into a very high ponytail. I like to turn my head upside down to make sure that the back is smooth and straight. Use hairspray to keep fly-aways in check and some Moroccan Oil to put the shine back in there.

2. Using a boar bristle brush, or teasing comb, get to ratting! Tease the heck outta that pony tail. The goal is to look like your ponytail needs it's own zip code! Bigger IS better!!

3. Smooth down the outside layers of the tail with your boar bristle brush being careful not to brush out the rat. Grip the the ponytail ends, and start to twist into a loose bun.

4. Pin where necessary and then shellac that baby!

One great tip I have for creating a nice round shape is to use the pointed end of a comb or brush to pull and shape the hair. Just stick the pointed end into the bun and lift up gently to mold it.

Pro Tip: An oval shape top knot is more flattering than round, so go egg-static with your shape!

March 25, 2011

Birchbox Diaries - Anyone Tried Pomega5?

When I received my very first Birchbox this month I let out a little squeal. The concept is awesome, get small samples of high end products to try. Like it? Buy it. Hate it? You are only out 10.00 and with an average of five samples per box, you're destined to at LEAST get your money's worth.

This month was a delayed "hooray...let me explain...

In the box was a sample of these: Pomega5 Revitalizing Concentrate

A transformational experience for the skin and senses, Daily Revitalizing Concentrate captures the essential life force of Omega 5 in its purest and most concentrated form. Each pearl-like ampule contains over 60% of this antioxidant-laden ingredient, along with calendula, rosehip, and jojoba oils to deliver vital nutrients, protect and restore life to lackluster skin. If you ever doubted the existence of miracles, this rejuvenating Omega blend will turn you into a believer.
Transformational experience huh? Those sound like Charlie Sheen words, maybe there's tiger blood in them too! But, seriously, the ingredients seemed alright, lots of yummy for your tummy, er uh skin stuff:

Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Verbena Officinalis (Vervain) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*.

On average? I hate capsule packaging. Something about it SCREAMS pretentious to me and I steer far and away from them. But free capsules? Well...

They sat on my vanity for a solid week without even giving them a second look. Then I decided, "well I paid for them, I might as well give them a try so I can throw them away in good faith." o. m. g.

These little capsules contain bits of joy and life in their tiny shell packaging. Seriously!

You twist off the top and squeeze the "concentrate" into your hand. Pat all over you face (after washed and dried of course) and VOILA! Instant moisture and softness that lasts. I was actually shocked (and it takes a lot) to touch my face 20 minutes after my first application and still feel that buttery softness that occurred immediately after rubbing it in.

I'm in love. I have since rushed out to buy a full size container of them, and here's the but...they're over 1.00 per capsule. 1.60 each to be exact. Unless there is unicorn oil or something in these babies, I don't know that I can swallow 1.60 per application. They're not big enough to split over two days either, or even two applications (day/night). So 1.60 per application is what'cha get...

Is their yummy skin-nourishing goodness really so special as to justify cost? Only time will tell. But for now, I have a 30 day supply :)

Here's whats in them and where to find em:

Pomegranate Seed Oil: Cold-pressed from the seeds within the juice-filled arils. Rich in rare Omega 5 essential fatty acid. Potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, promotes cell renewal, stimulates collagen production, protects against sun damage, reduces redness, heals irritations.

Jojoba Oil: Obtained from the crushed bean of the jojoba shrub. Rich in Omega 9. Antioxidant, unclogs pores, conditions, moisturizes, softens, reduces wrinkles and stretch marks, lightens.

Calendula Oil: Rich in Omegas 3 and 6. Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, heals wounds and burns, soothes pain, promotes cellular regeneration, treats acne and irritated skin. Rosehip Oil: Extracted from the seeds of the rose plant. Rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and vitamin A. Antioxidant, improves skin elasticity, rejuvenates, moisturizes, reduces scars, wrinkles and age spots, soothes and softens. Grapefruit Oil: Essential oil distilled from the grapefruit peel. Anti-bacterial, treats oily skin and acne, detoxifies, tones, combats depression, headaches and stress, energizes.

Purchase online at the Pomega5 website. 30 capsules for 48.00

March 20, 2011

A Shoe Love Affair

I'm having a love affair with these babies. I'm picturing black tights to make this winter appropriate during these last few cold weeks, and then in the summer? Bright pink toes make the perfect accompaniment. what'cha think?

Urban Outfitters - Jeffrey Campbell Platform Wedge Hill

March 17, 2011

Crackle Polish: yay or nay?

What do you think: Crackle Nails - are they a yay or nay?

Nails of the day: Color Club (brightest pink I could find) with the China Glaze crackle in Purple

Bronzer Breakdown

From Left:

MAC contour powder in Bone Beige

Physician's Formula Bronzer in Light Bronze

Rimmel Matte Bronze in Sunlit

MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Medium Dark

These are the bronzers currently cycling in my collection. My quick breakdown is as follows:

MAC Bone Beige:

My go to for cheek contour. It's not too muddy brown (hello benefit Hoola) for my pale skin, blends well and applies in layers from soft to dramatic. Biggest hit against the product is that it is a pro MAC product and can only be found at the pro MAC stores.

Physician's Formula Bronzer in Light Bronze:

Since taking these pictures, I've actually removed this from my collection. It was more of a light blush than a bronzer, and didn't give the hollows of my cheeks the depth I needed for the contoured look

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit:

LOVE this drugstore product. It's a lot of product for just a few dollars and works great to "sun me up" when I feel like getting my bronze on. It pulls a little more to the orange side, rather than brown, but never makes me look like an oompa loompa. I've been using this a lot of bridal clients who want more of a warm glow for their winter weddings.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Dark:

This one will quickly be discarded from my collection. Upon first application it's the perfect color. Toasty and warm, I just love it. Flash forward three hours to when it's oxidized on my skin and I do look like a fake tan gone wrong.

That said, the MSFs and I don't seem to get along (save the blushes which I LOVE!). I noticed that my medium light face powders turns dark and funky on me too.

From Left: MAC Bone Beige, Physician's Formula Light Bronze,

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit, MAC MSF in Medium Dark

From Left: MAC Bone Beige, Physician's Formula Light Bronze,

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit, MAC MSF in Medium Dark

March 4, 2011

Illamasqua never fails for Inspiration: Toxic Nature

Illamasqua already holds the coveted spot of my favorite blush products; their texture and pigmentation made me a huge fan and their intense lip glosses have long been on my "want" list. In fact, every product I have purchased from them (hello nail polish) has completely exceeded my expectations.

Another thing I can always count on from them is to inspire my creativity and remind me how makeup can push the boundaries of artistic imagery. Their two latest collection promo pictures, Toxic Nature and Throb, are a perfect examples of that.
When I saw these, I actually said "WOW" out loud. Not only am I baffled by how they come up with these images, but the application is so perfectly precise without being overdone...in short, I'm stunned. Here ya go, take a gander....

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Collection for Spring/Summer 2011

Pictures courtesy of Temptalia, see the full write up of the collection here

Illamasqua Throb Collection

Pictures courtesy of Temptalia, see the full write up of the collection here