#BizTalk – Makeup Trends and the Pro Artist

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now you visibly contour…
© TL Pascoe for L’Allure des Mots
Makeup Hair by Tania D. Russell
(Click to see larger)

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…now you don’t
G. Vitti for Runner’s World Magazine
Makeup Hair by Tania D. Russell
(Click to see larger)

On Sonia Roselli’s fantastic blogazine Glossible, I read an article she wrote entitled “The One Makeup Trend That Needs to Die”. It was all about the current Highlighting/Contouring obsession and how most of the online discussion is getting it wrong. As you might imagine, the post caused quite a firestorm. Most pros shouted “AMEN!” and most non-pros shouted “Girl is you crazy?!” and what Blog Comments section would be complete without a few unwarranted insults from people who obviously had nothing real to contribute to the conversation thrown in for good measure 😐

I’m not here to talk about Highlighting and Contouring. The topic is just DONE as far as I am concerned. D-O-N-E. There are too many tutorials and Instagram selfie posts, too many articles, too many counter articles, too many products, just too many everything. Everything that can be said has been said, and at this point people are either going to take heed or they are not.


What I am here to talk about is makeup trends and the Pro artist. The one comment that really struck my interest in the Comments of Sonia’s article was this (name ommitted to protect the guilty):

on 4 September, 2014 at 04:20 Reply
You obviously don’t know how to highlight and contour correctly. The girl in the photo that has no highlighting/contouring needs some contouring on her nose. As do you.

This comment really got my goat and I actually made my comment in response to hers. Clearly this falls into the “unwarranted insults from people who obviously had nothing real to contribute to the conversation” category. But furthermore, as I thought about this statement, I realized this is what happens when you learn trends as opposed to learning makeup. I think one of the many reasons a lot of the online makeup I see does not resonate with me is because much of it is just regurgitating the trend du jour, one size fits all makeup. As a makeup artist, you can like whatever you personally like and that’s fine, but what you like is not necessarily what you are going to do on a job. Not only are there about 1 billion ways to go about highlighting and contouring, but what, when, where, why, and how is a factor on every single face on every single job. I can assure you that if I did all this internet contouring on a shoot for one of my lifestyle clients (PBTeen, BCBGeneration, Wal Mart, etc.) I would lose the client and be shown the door, no question. Likewise the multi-colored cut-crease eye with the “ombre” brow, or the hyper-pigmented pastel colored lip. None of that. My executing any of those looks for any of my Lifestyle clients would be an indicator that I have lost my mind and I need to go home and take a seat. That type of makeup is just not appropriate for that type of job. On the flipside, I did a special event TV show recently where I worked on one of the legendary Queens of gospel music. She liked what I initially did to her, but she did ask me to “glam it up” more. Taking into account my client – who is a gorgeous full-grown woman, not a “young thing” – and the medium in which I was working (hi-def TV) I bumped everything up. This was still not the time for an every color in the rainbow makeup statement, however I did bump up the lashes, increase the amount of my highlight and contour, etc. It was appropriate for that client on that job, it looked very good on camera (put the shimmer and glitter down), and everyone was happy. And there are about 1 million other technical questions that go into play when deciding how to approach a makeup:

– is this going to be seen live or photographed? (or even more intense, both, which is why Red Carpet makeup is tricky)

– if this is to be photographed how is it being LIT? (hint: lighting is everything)

– is it going to be still photography or motion photography?

Etcetera, etcetera, and so on. So NO, you cannot just make a blanket statement like “she needs some contouring on her nose”. There are just entirely too many factors at play to make a unilateral statement like that.

As a professionals our job is to determine and execute what is the best look for our client/talent within the context of the job we are working on. It is that last part that separates makeup enthusiasts from working professional artists. If I’m a fan of makeup taking pictures for my blog or shooting a YouTube video, I can do whatever I want. And that’s awesome and these people are expressing their creativity and that’s great. That is very different, however, from what a professional has to do on a job. On a job you have to make someone happy. Be it a bride or private client, or a commercial client who has hired you, or a celebrity, your job as a professional is to use your talents and skills to fulfill your clients needs. Depending on the job or the client, copying trend du jour in all likelihood will not get it done.

One other thing about trends: As one progresses in their career as an artist, our job increasingly becomes creating, defining and articulating trends, and not just copying them. I have a couple of editorial clients where we’ve been shooting together long enough that they don’t even give me a particular direction. I go look at the clothes and design my look from there. Even if a client gives me a general direction, that’s all they are giving me is a general direction. I take it from there and design an original look to fit the situation. Why? Because that’s what they hired me for. If they had to tell me what to do, I wouldn’t be there, they’d go find someone else. Goodness knows I do NOT mean that I never take inspiration. I have about 1,000,001 ideas swirling in my head from the images I saw of this past New York Fashion Week (I’m writing this right after the SS15 showing). However as opposed to a literal recreation of a look, I will file those inspirations into my makeup memory bank and they will manifest themselves in my original makeup designs. If your makeup business entails working with consumers such as brides, private clients, etc., THEY are looking to YOU to tell them not only what’s on trend, but how to make that trend work for them. Knowing how to interpret trend is important because a 45 year old lawyer isn’t checking for the same makeup looks as a 19 year old college student. But before you say “Well, I only want to work on clients who like style X”, think about which of those two women – the 45 year old or the 19 year old – actually has the money to pay you for your makeup services. Exactly.

So do I follow trends? Of course. I follow the upcoming trends – like those that we will see during Fashion Month (New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks), and the trends that are active amongst consumers, like ombre brows 😐 . I am not saying that any one look is wrong or right (well, ombre brows… ) but I am saying that as makeup professionals we cannot just blindly follow the herd. In fact, we should be leading the pack.

#MakeupMonday – #TarteCosmetics Rainforest After Dark

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest After Dark Fall 2014 Collection makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest After Dark Fall 2014 Collection

I had the good fortune to be invited to a launch event for Tarte Cosmetics fall 2014 collection: Rainforest After Dark. The new collection features Tarte’s ever popular Amazonian Clay-based cosmetics in new products, formulas and color schemes.

What really caught my eye in the new collection was the limited edition cheek and Eye- color palette, which I guess you could say is Tarte’s take on the popular “naked” style palette. The colors are wearable for a wide variety of skin tones, the texture is creamy and velvety, and it’s less shimmery and more wearable than a lot of other neutral palettes.

The other belles of the ball were the Colored Clay tinted Brow Gels. They look like mascara tubes but they feature a tiny precision size wand to pick up every single brow hair and coat it with a sheer wash of color.

Tarte Cosmetics Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel

In addition to the new collection, Tarte had all of the old favorites on display. I refrained from taking yet another cheek stain which I do not need and instead focused on the Amazonian Clay blushes which I hadn’t played with before.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Tarte cheek stains makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hr Blush & Tarte cheek stains

Thanks so much to Tarte for sponsoring this event and for having me in attendance. I am certain I will be using these products for the various events happening this coming weekend.

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smolderEYES(tm) Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

tarte cosmetics self tan towelettes Amazonian bronzer makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Brazilliance(tm) skin rejuvenating maracuja face and body self tanning towelettes and Amazonian Clay waterproof bronzer

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Tarte Cosmetics – my beloved LipSurgence(tm) lip colors

Click here to check out the full new collection…

I Love Face Oils

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Face Oils Display at Sephora Bay Street (Emeryville)

Like nearly everyone in beauty-landia, I love face oils. Unlike a lot of folks, I’ve been using oils for years and I discovered my face likes face oils quite some time ago. I haven’t used body lotion in eons, and the more I use it the more my face likes oils as well. And my skin is oily. Yep. Oily skin, loves oils. My face gets less oily with conscientious use of face oils (my theory is that the oil is already there so my skin doesn’t need to send up more), stays hydrated longer (I only use oils on damp skin), and my tone looks more even.

That’s my anecdotal evidence. Studies have shown that certain oils do have certain properties and that face/body oils can have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative (from collagen) properties. In addition, oils are lipophilic which mean they dissolve in oils hence they pass through the the lipid layer of the skin which prevents water loss. Also if you apply an oil first and then apply your moisturizers/treatments, the lipophilic nature may aid in better absorption of your product. In short, oils are pretty much the bomb. Here are some of my favorites (face and body).

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1 ) KAHINA GIVING BEAUTY – Kahina 100% Organic Argan Oil
The first oil I ever tried on my skin was Rosehip Seed Oil which we’ll get to in a bit. The second oil I wanted to try was the much touted Argan oil. 1 ) Do not get Argan cooking oil, it is heated so the healing properties have been altered (I made that mistake :\ ). 2 ) You want a pure Argan oil, not one of the many Argan oil blends that exist in the world. Argan oil is pricey, but it is very high in Vitamin E, and has antioxidants, restores elasticity and works wonders on fine lines. Pure Argan oil is also very light and non-greasy. Kahina apparently uses a pain-staking process to create one of the most pure Argan oils available on the market. Once I apply this to my freshly washed face, it absorbs immediately and all I am left with is soft, radiant fabulousness.

Honorable Mention: JOSIE MARAN 100% Pure Argan Oil. I personally like the Kahina a little bit better (I’ve used both), but Josie Maran’s Argan Oil is excellent as well. (The “Light” Josie Maran oil is made of Argan Isostearylic Esters instead of pure Argan Oil and the company is vague about how it is processed so I’m not with that one until I get more info)

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2 ) TARTE COSMETICS – Maracuja Oil
Maracuja Oil comes from a specific Passionfruit indigenous to Brazil. For this reason right here, I am concerned about the longterm sustainability of this product and I hope the plant is being harvested responsiblity. Ankywhoo, I love Tarte so I wanted to try it. Maracuja is very high in Vitamin C and has strong reparative properties from the collagen. It is also anti-inflammatory and as such is a popular oil with those suffering from breakouts. My breakouts are mostly under control but I do flare up occasionally. This oil does not cause me to break out which is important and when I have used it during breakouts it kept me from having brown spots. All the brown girls know that having pimples heal without leaving pigmentation behind is a big deal!

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3 ) VERED – Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil
When my skin is completely acting out, however, this is my oil of choice. This is a powerful blend of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial oils (and herbs) which help to balance out sebum production and encourage healing. It is strong, so a little goes a long way and it may take your skin a minute to get used to, but it is a fantastic oil.

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4 ) LEONOR GREYL – Huile Secret de Beauté – Organic Oil for Hair and Skin
And now for something a little different. Leonor Greyl has been a “well kept secret” for a while now, particularly amongst makeup and hair artists. As a Black woman, I was raised using oil in my hair even though my hair cannot take a lot of it. Now women in the know have learned that a little bit of oil calms frizz, holds moisture and strengthens the hair. This formula is in a very light base that protects the hair without weighing it down. It is also fabulous on the skin after a shower/bath. It leaves your skin silky soft and the fragrance is light but intoxicating.

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5 ) BADGER BALM – Organic Damascus Rose Oil
Rose Hip seed oil was the first face oil I started with, and eventually I settled on the Badger Balm brand. It is 100% organic, using the finest essential and carrier oils. Rose Hip Seed goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Mayans as a broad-spectrum anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is also high in essential fatty acids (like Coconut and Olive Oils) which makes it an effective treatment for Eczema. Lastly, it is high in vitamin C and lycopene which aids in skin repair and renewal making it great for fine line and for acne. Rose Hip Seed oil is – in short – the business. My skin loves the Badger Balm brand which is blended in a jojoba oil carrier oil (very similar to the sebum of human skin, so absorbs easily and isn’t greasy). Badger’s Damascus Rose oil also contains Pomegranate oil which is high in anti-oxidants and Baobab oil which is a nutritional beast containing Vitamins A, D, E and F and Omegas 3, 6 and 9. To round things out, the Damascus Rose oil blend also contains essential oils such as Lavender, Camomile and Calendula and pure Rose Otto oil for a fabulous – but not at all overwhelming – scent.

Honorable Mention: AUBREY ORGANICS – Revitalizing Therapy Serum which is pure Rose Hip Seed oil.

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RODIN – Olio Lusso
This blend of 11 essential and carrier oils (including Neroli, Rose Hip, and Argan oils) is the Cadillac ™ oil for anti-aging. This blend is all about restoring elasticity with high amounts of Vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals. It also contains Arnica which is cooling and anti-inflammatory. This oil is exquisite and the scent is DIVINE. It is a bit heavier than the others and as such my oily skin cannot use this one too often, but when my skin has been distressed (out on location and got too much sun, for example) this oil is a welcomed treat. And did I mention the EXQUISITE aroma? 😉

Now I love oils, and I collect them however you do not need to buy all of these expensive oils and serums.

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Grapeseed Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Coconut Oil
Hit your local natural foods market and stock up on the basics and you will be good to go.

Grapeseed Oil is probably the lesser known of the three but it is a goody. It is high in Linoleic acid which is an essential fatty acid found in cell membranes. It delivers many of the moisturizing and healing properties of Coconut oil but it is much much lighter in weight, thusly making it good for people with oilier skin. You may not recognize it by name, but it is a popular cosmetics ingredient.

Coconut Oil’s many virtues have been long touted. I mean it really is ridiculous what-all this oil can do internally and externally to benefit the human body. Coconut oil is high in essential fatty acids which means it penetrates the skin and goes to work instead of sitting on the surface. And did you know that coconut oil is anti-bacterial as well? It is too heavy for me to use in the warm months, particularly here in California but in the winter it is on like popcorn from head to toe, including sometimes on my face. Just be sure to get Organic, Extra Virgin Coconut oil to get the full benefit of this fantastic oil.

In the warmer months, I use Vitamin E oil instead of body lotion daily. Your skin will thank you as it leaves the skin soft and silky and Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E oil is beneficial for everything from dry cuticles to eczema/psoriasis to treating scars.

#MakeupMonday – In Praise of Coral Lip Colors

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Coral in soft and bold.
© Tricia Lee Pascoe
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

Coral Lip colors. Love them love them love them. Yes, that was three “love them”s in one post. Oh wait was that a fourth? Yes. That is how much I love Coral lip colors. Why? Because it’s not orange, it’s not red and it’s not pink. It incorporates all three and because of that it is a wonderfully wearable color that works with EVERY skin tone. Now admittedly, there is a red or a pink for every skin tone as well but there is not an orange for every skin tone. Orange – despite its current popularity – is a tricky color for most skin tones. And this is coming from someone who, clearly, loves straight up Orange. If you’ve been wanting to jump in on that trend but have found it hard to do so, slide on over to Coral. Likewise, sometimes you want a hit of color without a Red statement. Again, slide on over to Coral. Want something pretty and feminine but slightly less predictable than a pink? Coral is the answer. Here are some of my favorites… (Note: For purposes of classification “Soft” colors are more sheer and “Strong” colors are more pigmented.)


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CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm – Heftiest Hibiscus
These Chubby Sticks (available for both eyes and lips) are easily the best color cosmetic product Clinique has put out in an age. The “Intense” Chubby Sticks are the perfect “in-between” formulation. Enough pigment for the color to show (the original chubby sticks are super sheer, barely there color), but still sheer enough for everyday wearability. Heftiest Hibiscus is a true Coral that can be worn by just about everyone.

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SMASHBOX Be Legendary Lipgloss – Melondrama
I have written numerous times about my love for Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing glosses and how deeply saddened I was when the color line was downsized. Well, they have now been reincarnated as the “Be Legendary” lip glosses and I could not be happier. “Melondrama” was one of my favorite of the Be Legendary lipstick colors when it came out a couple of years ago. The lipgloss version is a sheer, shimmery, peachy coral.

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Three Custom Color Specialists has been a favorite of pro makeup artists and those “in the know” for many years now. I have mentioned my love for their lip colors in past MTG articles. The “Light Brights” collection is just what the name suggests: bold colors in lighter, more sheer formulations. These are not sheer like a lip gloss, barely there sheer. These are bold hits of color that let your own lip show through for a remarkable punch of wearable color. I LOVE these lip colors. Danceteria is a perfect True Coral color. I wear this myself often and it has flattered every model/talent I have applied it to.

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BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Lipgloss – Tangerine
Bobbi Brown has to be the master of taking color and making it safe for the masses. In this instance I do not mean safe as a put-down. Not all jobs allow for bright color but that should not mean a woman has to settle for a no-color nude all the time. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics lipgloss in Tangerine is a pretty, peachy coral that is soft and sophisticated. Honorable Mention: I also really love her new color “Nectar” which is a more pinky coral.

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TARTE COSMETICS Power Pigment – Tipsy
Tarte cheek stain in “Tipsy” has been one of the Number One Products in my kit since forever, so when they introduced the Power Pigment lip tint pencil version I was all over it immediately. I am very pleased to say that it does not disappoint. This is the same formula of just the right amount of orange and just the right amount of pink to create just the Perfect Coral that I love about the cheek stain, in a moisturizing and shiny lip formula. The stick format also makes it easy to carry and to apply. This is the perfect “throw it in your bag” product.

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DIOR Dior Addict Fluid Sticks – Mirage
If you have never tried them before, Dior lip colors are just…delicious. They are rich in color, creamy in texture, velvety in pigmentation. Yes they are expensive but yes they are worth it. Dior actually has quite a few Coral shades throughout their lip color collection, all of which that I have ever tried are gorgeous. The Fluid Sticks are a recent addition to the Dior Addict line. They are a lip lacquer product so they are lip gloss in feel but lipstick in color payoff. Mirage is a pinky-er (word?) Coral, slightly on the cool side. Honorable Mention: those wanting bolder color might want to check out “Artifice” which is a more in-your-face, near orange Coral.


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STILA COSMETICS Color Balm Lipstick – Avery and Valentina
Color Balm lipsticks entered the cosmetics landscape within the last couple of years and became an instant “hit” due to their ease of use and wearability. They combine the best of a lipstick (full color) and the best of a lip balm (moisturizing, feels good on the lips) for a winning combo. Amongst my favorite Color Balms are Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks. I love all of them but in keeping with our Coral theme, “Avery” and “Valentina’ fit the bill. These both fit my definition of “strong” in the sense of they are full pigment lip colors however strong does not have to mean Loud. “Avery” is a soft pinky Coral. This would be pretty on really fair skin tones where a bright Coral might be too overpowering, or if you are a darker skin tone like myself you can play with a high-contrast lip color by going with something this fair and pastel-ish. “Valentina” is for the bold. Stila describes it as “orange poppy” which to me equals Coral. It is my favorite of all of Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks.

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REVLON Super Lustrous Lipsticks – Coralberry
“Coralberry” is an absolute classic and for less than $10 you cannot go wrong. Like “Fire and Ice” and “Cherries in the Snow” it is guaranteed at least one female relative in your family owned this back in “the day”. While it has a distinctively retro feel to it, its peachy pinky Coral-ness is modern enough to make “Coralberry” one of Revlon’s most popular selling colors to this day. (Sidenote: I have “Coralberry”, “Fire and Ice”, and “Cherries in the Snow” in my kit. Always have, always will. They are fantastic lip colors.)

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REVLON Colorburst Matte Balm – Audacious
If you haven’t guessed, it is my opinion that Revlon makes fantastic lip color products. They are easily some of the best you can buy at the drugstore level. What is awesome about Revlon is that even though they have been around forever, they are constantly introducing new products into their color line (without discontinuing the classics!). If you want to jump on the modern trend of Matte lipcolors, Revlon has you covered. “Audacious” is a matte balm, so where matte colors can tend to feel dry, this formulation feels moisturizing on the lips. As a bonus, the pencil style applicator makes applying a bold pop of color a breeze.

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OCC MAKEUP Lip Tar Matte – Grandma
FACT: As a makeup artist, “Grandma” by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is one of two lip colors I probably use more than any other lip colors I own (the other is “Trick”, also by OCC Makeup). I do not necessarily use it straight (sometimes but not always), like many makeup artists what I love about the OCC Makeup Lip Tars is their versatility and blend-ability with other lip colors. “Grandma” is a pastel-y pinky Coral in the same vein as Revlon’s “Coralberry”. It has that same retro type feel (hence the name). However “Grandma” is a full frontal hit of color, not at all for the faint of heart. OCC Lip Tars were amongst the first wave of highly pigmented bold, loud color lip colors that are now quite popular. Not interested in wearing it straight? If you have a pink that you want to “Coral-ize”, a red you want a little less Red or a sheer color you want to add some “umph” to, try mixing in a little “Grandma”. Honorable Mention: “Queen”. When “Grandma” first came out it was a little bit more of a bolder, orange-y reddish Coral. “Queen” is the closest you can get to that original “Grandma” color. It is great for those on whom a pastel-y color does not work, or for those who want a TADDOW! Coral color.

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HOURGLASS COSMETICS Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick – Muse
Hourglass is one of my favorite new cosmetics brands in fact look for a story on them coming soon. Their Velvet Creme Lipsticks are just that; velvety, creamy, lushly pigmented and gorgeous. “Muse” is a True Coral. What I impressed me about this product is not only is the color gorgeous but it truly feels different from a traditional lipstick. It is feather-weight and truly moisturizing. Lots of lipsticks say they are moisturizing but I still find myself reaching for that lip balm to wear underneath. This really did not feel like I was wearing lipstick, so if you are like me and hate the feel of lipstick give the Hourglass a try. And if you really, really hate lipstick, “Muse” comes in other formulations as well 😉

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LIMECRIME Velvetines – Suedeberry
Like the original OCC Lip Tars, Lime Crime built its name on over-the-top, bold, pigmented lipsticks in unusual colors. As the line has expanded, more wearable but still boldly pigmented colors and formulations have been added into the mix. One of the best additions to the line, in my opinion, are the Velvetines which go on liquid and dry to a completely matte finish. “Suedeberry” is one of my favorite of the Velvetines. It is a bold True Coral in a matte finish. When you are dealing with bold color, not only is matte more modern but it is also a bit more flattering (exception being if you have a lot of dry lines around the mouth area, but there are ways to work around that…). Once set, these do not move or transfer and they are long-wearing. Perfect for a night out when demure is not the goal. Special Note: I absolutely ADORE this color on African American skin tones.

#MakeupMonday – Makeup I Have My Eye On February 2014

Everyday I receive a zillion emails from all the various cosmetics companies regarding new product releases, new collections, and new ways to entice makeup mavens like ourselves. Periodically I like to sift through the endless piles and highlight some things that particularly catch my eye. Here is the makeup I have my eye on February 2014 (and I’ll try to do these every couple of months or so…)

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Make Up For Ever Second Skin HD Blush
– These cream blushes launched Spring 2014. The “HD” comes into play because the creams are supposed to blend into the skin, leaving the appearance of a natural flush and no visible texture.

Or they could just be another nice cream blush. We’ll see…

If you are thinking to yourself “…didn’t MUFE have an HD Blush already?”, you are correct. The liquid-cream in the pump tube was discontinued last year. If nothing else, these cream blushes in the more traditional compact should be easier to use.
(Side Note: at IMATS one of the things I missed but was interested to see was celebrated UK film artist Sian Richards presentation on HD makeup. A former student of mine went and reported that she demonstrated one half the face flawlessly for HD using “traditional” makeup and the other half all wrong using “HD” makeup. Translation: MUFE is an excellent brand and I’m sure these blushes are lovely, however “HD makeup” is on the verge of jumping the shark as a meaningless marketing term…)

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Plastic Passion Collection
– Another Spring 2014 launch, OCC launched a new series of LipTars and nail polishes in bold, vibrant colors. In reading the descriptions, most of the colors do not sound like they will be particularly useful to me (baby blue, lavender purple, etc) although I am interested in the new matte formula LipTars (original LipTars were pretty matte so I’m hoping for something similar). I’m a big supporter of OCC so I will at least go take a look (they hit online at occmakeup.com and sephora.com this past Saturday, February 1st. Hopefully they will land in brick-and-mortar stores soon).

THE OTHER LAUNCH from OCC which I love are the new Colour Pencils (pictured above, click here to see on website). If you were able to wade through the hoarding masses to make it to the OCC booth at IMATS, you were able to see these babies live and in person. Some colors are safe for lips and eyes, and some are just for lips but these versatile, creamy, highly pigmented pencils are a great new addition to the OCC Makeup line. I look forward to playing around with them.

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Tarte Cosmetics
– Tarte is one of my favorite brands and they have a whole parcel of product releasing Spring 2014. Of particular note to me is the addition of new Cheek Stain colors (as well as new packaging for all of the Cheek Stains), and a new series of Lipsurgence pencils called “Power Pigment”. The new Cheek Stain colors are “Fearless” which is a coral-y pink color, and “Blushing Bride” which looks to be a **perfect** rose pink. “Tipsy”, a perfect peachy-pink, has long been my fave of the Tarte cheek stains so I look forward to seeing how these new colors stack up. The Power Pigment Lipsurgence pencils are “juicy”, glossy hits of lip color based on the Tarte Cheek Stains. Theres a “Tipsy” Lipsurgence. There. Is. A. “Tispy”. Lipsurgence. I’m telling y’all now – I’ll be getting all of the Power Pigments.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell Makeup I Have My Eye On February 2014 narsissist collection

NARS Cosmetics
– So a funny thing happened a couple of weeks ago; I get a message from a friend of mine that NARS is coming out with a palette of eyeshadows called the NARSissist Collection. “NARSissist” is the handle of NARS highly popular social media feed (Twitter & Instagram) and if you are not a follower I suggest you rectify that. In any event my friend and I conclude that this palette will sell out quickly and we both order. Then the link disappeared. I went back not one week later to order one for a friend and the link was GONE. I email customer service, and I’m told the product is having a full launch in February. Last week I get an email from NARS that they are hosting NARSissist palette launches in the NARS boutiques. I couldn’t attend the LA event, I was traveling, but the event was Saturday, February 1st so I was expecting to see the palette back up on the NARS site shortly thereafter. Nope.

It’s looking like something changed and The NARSissist palette is now a Sephora exclusive, available here. OR if you are a Pro Card holder and want to buy these at your discount you can order from your local NARS boutique (as long as you are already in the database).

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous palette. I love the selection of wearable colors and the mix of matte, satin and shimmer. NARS eye shadows are beautifully formulated and are simultaneously nicely pigmented yet creamy and blend-able. To Reiterate: This is a simply gorgeous palette. In this the era of the “Neutral Eyeshadow Palette” which includes everyone from the LORAC Pro palette, to the Two-Faced chocolates palette, to the Smashbox palette, and of course the series that started them all Urban Decay’s Naked palettes, I have no doubt that the NARSissist palette will prove to be the One Palette to Rule Them All.

PS – There’s a NARSissist blush palette as well.
PPS – I did not include the Viseart neutral palette amongst those other palettes because A ) it predates those other palettes by a decade, and B ) it’s completely different and in its own category.