Skinwerks Make Up For Ever Ultra HD

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Please Note: I was given these items as Gratis for a job I was doing in my work as a makeup artist. This is not a sponsored review post, in fact Make Up For Ever does not know this post is happening (until I tell them about it). 🙂


For a beauty makeup artist, skin is everything…

so I’m starting a new series here on the blog called “Skinwerks”. A play on both “skin work” – which is all the foundational elements of doing a makeup – and “Makeupwerks” which is my portfolio website for my work as a makeup artist. Clever, no? No? Well anyway…

I get asked a lot why I have so many different foundations. Well, for a beauty makeup artist I cannot imagine that there is anything more important than the skin work (which is why I also have a lot of different skincare). All the colorful eyes, sculpted cheeks and fierce lips won’t pop against a bad complexion. And by bad complexion I do not mean skin that is broken out, etc. Those things can be fixed with proper skin work. By bad complexion I mean wrong foundation match, wrong product use for the skin that is being worked on, heavy-handed cakiness, etc. etc. This is PARTICULARLY true if any kind of photography is part of the equation! I previously did a post on Foundations and it was a popular post, so I want to go a bit more in-depth and talk about my old loves and new discoveries.

What Am I Looking For In A Foundation?

When I’m looking at a foundation, I’m evaluating;

– Color range: Does it have a wide range of colors and undertones for all skin tones?
– Coverage: Sheer, Medium (my favorite), or Full and is the coverage buildable?
– Finish: I’ll explain more in-depth in a future post but basically the Finish refers to how the foundation looks once it’s set.
– Wear: How long does it last?

To start this column, we’re looking at Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation and the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer (and as a bonus, the MUFE Pro Sculpting Palette for contour and highlight), which I’ve recently re-discovered.

Skinwerks Make Up For Ever Ultra HD

PROS
– Foundation: Medium coverage, easily buildable to Full coverage
– Foundation: Excellent color range
– Foundation: Lotion-weight liquid formula
– Concealer: Covers and corrects in one
– Concealer: lightweight texture
– Concealer: good coverage
– All Three: Readily available at Sephora

CONS
– Foundation: finishes a little matte, but is adjustable
– Concealer: Could offer a few more shades on the very fair and very deep end
– Sculpting Palette: Seems to run a bit warm

Both the MUFE HD liquid foundation and concealer were reformulated in 2015 due to the advancements in HD camera technology. The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation was reformulated into a lighter “lotion” weight liquid that still maintains the level of pigmentation necessary for HD photography. However, it is also an excellent – and popular – option for personal use as the HD formulation is water based, and has illuminating properties so it doesn’t look “flat”.

As much as I like the new formula foundation, the new formula Ultra HD concealer is phenomenal. Phenomenal. It’s super lightweight and at first glance it looks like it would do absolutely nothing. YET when applied it both covers and corrects while still leaving the area looking like SKIN.

Lastly, my preference is to also do any contouring that I plan to do during my initial skin work so that it looks like skin and less heavy than some of the contouring you might see online. Therefore, as I’ve had the Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Face Palette for a little while, I decided to throw it into this demo as well.

My friend Erin was so kind as to be my model for this trial so let’s take a look…

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clean face…as you can see Erin has fab skin already…as you can also see, she is a nut. We were laughing about something…


So here’s our before. Erin is about my age and we’ve been friends for about 572 years. She’s a former private chef, now starting a counseling practice, wife and mom, and all around badass chick. As you can see Erin has pretty, clear skin without a lot of skin issues. Just the standard redness between the brows, over the cheeks, around the nose and on the chin. As I started working on her I also remembered that her skin tends to run a bit on the dry side. ALSO as I started working on her I realized that she has almost NO discoloration under her eyes?!?! So instead of going for a lot of correction, I went for a more brightening effect to make her eyes pop.

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Foundation Only


COLOR(S) USED: Y245 (with a drop of R250 added)

Honestly, I did not care for the original HD foundation formulation at all. It was too opaque and too matte, in my opinion. I certainly would not have used it on anyone with drier skin or who has any texture in their skin as – in my experiences with it – the original formula settled and created more texture.

Erin doesn’t have discoloration, breakouts, etc. to deal with but like I mentioned her skin runs a tad dry and she does have a few fine lines. Therefore it’s important that any foundation she might use doesn’t settle and increase skin texture. As you can see, this new formula MUFE Ultra HD does not do that. When initially applied, it gives a Medium coverage that evens out skin without looking cakey, which is what we want. I’d call this kind of finish “skin realistic”. It just looks like you/your model/your talent has really great skin but without looking overly matte or overly sheeny. This type of finish is perfect for film and TV and it’s also what (I find) most women want to look like in their everyday lives.

PRO TIP / TECH TALK: I’ve used this foundation on a few jobs now and it is also quite malleable. For my commercial/lifestyle/fashion I tend to actually want a more sheeny finish, and I have been able to easily make that happen with the right skin prep. And in the event I want it to go more Full coverage, I just let the initial layer set and go back over it with another layer.

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No foundation or concealer

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Foundation-d and Concealer-d


COLOR(S) USED: Y21

It was hard to photograph the addition of the concealer since Erin does not have the courtesy of having visible discoloration under the eyes. 😉 On her I used a slightly lighter-than-normal color to brighten which is a trick I do a lot both for private clients and for photography. What I really wanted to illustrate was how it does NOT look like concealer AT ALL. Nor did it settle into under-eye lines and create unwanted texture. This is a truly excellent formulation.

PRO TIP: If I were trying to just correct and conceal instead of brighten I probably would have used Y31 or Y33

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Hmmm…that’s quite warm for a contour…


COLOR(S) USED: Contour color only

If I’m going to do any contouring, which for photography I usually do, now is the time. So here I’ve introduced the contour color from the sculpting palette. See how red it looks? That’s n’good. Shadows are not red, and when you are adding contour and highlight you’re basically adjusting shadow and light on the face to accentuate the bone structure.

The whole palette looks really red to me

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not entirely sure what to do with the color on the far right…

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Highlight, Contour, Illuminizer, Color (blush, maybe?)


In fairness, they do make different palettes for different skin tones, so it may just be this Tan Skin (#40) palette that looks super red. I’ll have to go take a look at the others.

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the Fabulous miss Erin


Here is miss Erin once everything is blended and buffed. Super pretty, right? I did not use any powder on her so it’s worth nothing that once totally set the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation goes a bit more matte. This makes sense for HD and it also increases its length of wear for both professional and personal use. And if you’re wondering if this product works for all skin tones, the answer is a resounding YES. Make Up For Ever has always been one of the best in terms of including foundations and concealers for ALL (I used to use their Modeling Fluide foundation on myself back in 1812). The HD foundation comes in a whopping 40 shades broken down by undertone – R is for red based, Y is for yellow based – and depth of shade with 1 being the lighter shades and 5 being the deepest shades. 180/R530, for example, is a red-based brown that’s fabulous on folks in my complexion range. The HD concealers come in 11 shades – including an orange corrector shade. Like I mentioned they could stand to add a very fair shade and a couple of deeper shades.

Since being given these products for a recent job, I’ve used the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation and Concealer pretty often and on a wide variety of jobs from commercial, to fashion (I made the finish more sheeny), to private clientele. They’ve definitely made the rotation! (NOTE: There is also a recently introduced Ultra HD Stick foundation, but I haven’t tried that one yet so I’ll get to it in an upcoming post.)

Have you tried the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Liquid Foundation or Concealer? Whatd Ya Think? Let me know in comments. And if you have Foundation/Concealer questions, let me know in Comments and I’ll hit it in a future Skinwerks. 🙂

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#MaquillajeLunes – Delia’s Take PHAMExpo 2016

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Longtime readers of Makeup to Go will remember “Maquillaje Para Go”…

written by my makeup buddy and Blogstress En Español Delia Jimenez Owens. Well Delia is BACK! It took some convincing and I may have had to rough her up just a bit in a dark alley, but I got her to write a lil sumthin sumthin for us. To get the ball back rolling, here’s Delia’s Take PHAMExpo 2016. Let us hope this marks the return of regular contributions from miss Del. (scroll down to read in English)

Fue un gran fin de semana en el PHaMExpo. Una de las primeras cosas que noté fue que el show parecía un poco más pequeña de lo que recuerdo del año pasado. Aparte de eso, fue sin duda la calidad sobre la cantidad. Había unos cuantos nuevos vendedores que tuve la oportunidad de visitar, así como algunos profesionales de la industria que tenía ganas de escuchar. Lo hice a tiempo para coger la última hora de Pro ofrecido en show y no me decepcionó. Uno de los vendedores que estaba emocionada de ver eran las personas de Smith Cosméticos. Tengo su Smithfolio y necesitaba comprar unas paginas extra por ello. Si usted no sabe lo que el Smithfolio es, es básicamente una cuaderno que contiene 4 páginas o “plates”. Los plates pueden sostener brochas, brillos de labios, lápices labiales y que incluso tienen algunas paginas de malla que pueden contener materiales desechables o cualquier otros elementos sueltos. Es una joya para la organización. A pesar de que estaban fuera de la pagina que quería, me he comprado otros dos y estoy muy satisfecho con mi compra.


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Smithfolio inserts by Smith Cosmetics (click to see larger)


Un nuevo descubrimiento para mí era Dep Make-Up. Tenían una buena visualización de las pestañas y barras de labios líquidos en tonos muy agradable así que por supuesto que tenía que conseguir algunas de las barras de labios. Tengo que decir que me quedé muy impresionada. Literalmente duró para siempre. Incluso después de comer y beber y dormir con él puesto. Se me hizo un poco seqo, pero un poco de chapstick ayudó con eso.


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DEP Makeup lashes (click to see larger)


Después de un poco de compras en el primer día, hice tiempo para sentarme en la conferencia de un artista muy conocido en la industria, Patti Dubroff. La he escuchado hablar un par de veces en diferentes eventos y nunca decepciona. Ella es abierta y honesta acerca de la industria y no se contiene. Ella nos llevó a través de las diversas etapas de su carrera y lo que la llevó a llegar a donde está hoy. A pesar de que ella no era espisifica, hablo acerca maquillaje y los medios sociales. Eso pareció abrir una lata de gusanos por que varias preguntas acerca de su opinión sobre “artista de maquillaje” en las redes sociales. La única cosa que puedo decir acerca de esto es que ella básicamente dijo lo que cada artista de maquillaje profesional (y por el profesional, me refiero a los que se ganan la vida haciendo el maquillaje) ha pensado: Hacer maquillaje en sí mismo, no necesariamente quiere decir que es un artista de maquillaje profesional.


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Termine el día con una visita a la cabina de fotos NYX donde Tania y yo nos tomamos esta imagen fabulosa. También dejamos con su nuevo rimel Doubel Stacked Mascara.


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El segundo día estaba a punto de reunirme con viejos amigos y conocer otros nuevos. Por supuesto que me detuvo en el stand de Embyrolisse y consegui crema hidratante. También compré su tratamiento radiante de ojos. He oído muchas cosas acerca de este y no puede esperar para probarlo.


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goodies from Embryolisse (click to see larger)


Una parada se hizo también en el stand de Gleam by Melanie Mills, donde me encontré con mi amigo y compañero artista de maquillaje Melanie Ramírez. Mel nos mostró una demostración de cómo los polvos GMM y cómo se puede utilizar como ilumindadores de todo el cuerpo.


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fab artist Melanie Ramirez working the Gleam by Melanie Mills booth


Uno de los vendedores que estaba feliz de ver era China Glaze. He estado esperando para añadir a mi colección de laca de uñas y este era el momento perfecto. Tenían un surtido de colores y tratamientos de uñas y sus precios eran más que razonable. Véase más abajo para una foto de mi recorrido China Glaze.


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PHAME has nail vendors, too. China Glaze polishes (click to see larger)


La última parada estaba sentada en la conferencia de Melanie Inglessis. Ella habló acerca las agencias y ser asistente y cómo ha llegado a donde está ahora siendo una de las superior maquillistas en Los Angeles. Una cosa que menciono que realmente se me hizo impact, era como ella fue asistente por casi 14 años antes de que ella se fue por su cuenta. Realmente perfecciono su arte y ayudó a muchos artistas superior para llegar a donde está hoy. Ella ofreció sugerencias sobre cómo ayudar a los artistas de la agencia (comuniquese con la agencia) y las expectativas de ser asistente. Siempre me gusta escuchar lo que Melanie tiene que decir porque ella es tan generosa en compartir sus conocimientos sobre la industria .

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celebrity makeup artist Melanie Inglessis

En general, disfruté de mi experiencia en PHaME este año. Tengo la sensación que este programa sólo va a mejorar con el tiempo. Espero para el próximo año para ver que tienen en sus paneles y que nuevos vendedores van a tener.

Delia Jiménez Owens es una artista de maquillaje y pelo disponible, en los angeles y las vegas. Puede seguidor en Twitter en @ DeliaJOwens

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It was a great weekend at the PHamExpo. One of the first things I noticed was that the show seemed somewhat smaller than I remember from years past. That aside, it was definitely quality over quantity. There were a few new vendors that I was able to visit as well as some top industry professionals that I was looking forward to listening to. I made it in time to catch the last Pro hour offered on the show room floor and I was not disappointed.

One of the vendors I was excited to see were the folks from Smith Cosmetics. I have their Smithfolio and needed to buy a few extra plates for it. If you don’t know what the Smithfolio is, it’s basically a zipper folder that holds 4 pages or “plates”. The plates can hold brushes, lip glosses, lip pencils and they even have some mesh plates that can hold disposables or any other loose items. It’s a gem for organization. Although they were sold out of the plate I wanted, I bought two others and am very satisfied with my purchase.


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Smithfolio inserts by Smith Cosmetics (click to see larger)


A new find for me was Dep Make-Up. They had a nice display of lashes and liquid lipsticks in really nice shades so of course I had to get a few of the lipsticks. I have to say, I was very impressed. It literally lasted forever. Even after eating and drinking and sleeping with it on. It did dry out a little on me, but a little chapstick helped with that.


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DEP Makeup lashes (click to see larger)


After a little shopping on the first day, I made time to sit in on celebrity artist, Patti Dubroff’s lecture on the industry. I have listened to her speak a few times at different events and she never disappoints. She is up front and honest about what the industry and doesn’t hold back. She took us through the various stages of her career and what it took her to get where she is today. Although she didn’t get specific with it, she did touch on make-up and social media. That seemed to open up a can of worms as various questions were asked about her opinion on ” make-up artist” on social media. The only thing I can say about this is that she basically said what every professional make-up artist (and by professional, I mean those that make their living doing make-up) has been thinking: Doing make-up on yourself, doesn’t necessarily make you a professional make-up artist.


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I wrapped up the day with a visit to NYX photo booth where the Tania and I took this fab picture. We also left with their new NYX Double Stacked Mascara.


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Day two was about meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. Of course I stopped at the Embyrolisse booth and stocked up on moisturizer. I also purchased their Radiant Eye treatment stick. I’ve heard many great things about this and cant’ wait to try it out.


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goodies from Embryolisse (click to see larger)


A stop was also made at Gleam by Melanie Mills booth where I ran into my friend and fellow make-up artist Melanie Ramirez. Mel showed us a demo of how the GMM powders and how it can be used as highlighters all over the body.


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fab artist Melanie Ramirez working the Gleam by Melanie Mills booth


One of the vendors I was happy to see there was China Glaze. I’ve been wanting to add to my nailpolish collection and this was the perfect time. They had an assortment of colors and nail treatments and their prices were more than fair. See below for a snap shot of my China Glaze haul.


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PHAME has nail vendors, too. China Glaze polishes (click to see larger)


Last stop was sitting in on Melanie Inglessis lecture. She spoke about agencies and assisting and how she got to where she is now being one of the top celebrity make-up artist in Los Angeles. One thing she mentioned that really stood out to me, was how she assisted for almost 14 years before she went off on her own. She put time in to really perfect her craft and assisted many top artist to get where she is today. She offered suggestions as to how assist agency artists (contact agency) as well as went over assistant expectations. I always enjoy listening to what Melanie has to say because she is so generous in sharing her knowledge on the industry.


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celebrity makeup artist Melanie Inglessis


Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at PHaME this year. I have a feeling this show is only going to get better with time. I look forward to next year to see who they will have on their educational panels and which new vendors join the fun!

Delia Jimenez Owens is a makeup and hair artist available in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. You can follow her on Twitter @DeliaJOwens.

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Baby Remember My Name – PHAMExpo 2016

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it was busy this year…remember PHAMExpo is open to the public and all makeup-istas are welcome 🙂


PHAMExpo is creating a niche

…and staking its claim amongst the Titans of the makeup tradeshows….Last weekend, June 5 & 6, PHAMExpo 2016 marked my return to the PHAMExpo. I missed last year due to technical difficulties but I hear it was the best yet so I was eager to reconnect. The fine folks at PHAMExpo were so kind as to provide passes to myself and my blogstress En Español, Delia, so away we went for both days.

Overall impressions are the PHAMExpo is distinguishing itself not only by including hair and nails but also by bridging together the increasingly disparate aspects of the beauty biz; the Influencers and the Artists. That’s a tall order as the two sides – while we utilize the same medium (makeup) – don’t really speak the same language and there were times when that really showed.

For this show I had three objectives; hit the shopping floor and see as many of the new brands as I could, visit with my regular vendors who were in attendance, and see 3 of the Keynote Speakers who stood out to me. I was successful with all tasks! If you don’t care about all my wordiness 😉 , please skip ahead as my “Haul” pictures come at the end of the article. But first, the speakers. I must apologize to the folks I saw on Day One, I forgot to bring my real camera so I had to iPhone it :\ …


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Roshar and his completed demo creation (he made the headpiece, too)


I’ve known Roshar for quite some time (he even shouted me out during his demo!), and it’s been fantastic to see how his career has blossomed. Hard work pays off!


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Pati Dubroff was inspiring as always…


Pati “Prema” Dubroff is one of my personal favorite artists and has been for quite some time so I always enjoy her whenever I hear her speak. Another big benefit of PHAMExpo – at least for right now – is that since it is a smaller show the Keynotes are more intimate, there is more time for Q and A, and people actually have time to speak to the presenters after they’ve finished. One of the things Pati spoke of that really touched me personally was how this industry is filled with highs and lows and part of being a working artist is just getting through it and pushing forward. Boy is it ever, and I really needed to hear that. Thanks Ms. Dubroff!


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Melanie Inglessis keeping it all the way real


The last speaker I really wanted to make sure I caught was Melanie Inglessis. A fixture in the celebrity makeup scene, she tends to A-listers attending everything from the Academy Awards to the Met Ball. Like Pati Dubroff, she was just very real and honest. One of the things she was most honest about is working with celebrities and how you do not always get to work the way you want to or do what you want to do. In yielding to make a celeb comfortable, you may have to compromise your work (i.e. – they’re constantly looking down at their cellphone and you just have to work around it or risk not being booked again). The other thing she mentioned is something I repeat like a mantra when I’m teaching; In order to really grow a career you need to NUTURE a specific path – Melanie Inglessis @ PHAMExpo . You can switch streams if you want, but you cannot grow a career doing a “little bit of this” and a “little bit of that”.

NOW – An example of how the Influencers and the Artists worlds do not always align;

Pati spoke on Saturday and Melanie spoke on Sunday and yet during both Keynotes, one of the vendors on the floor (a very popular brand) was throwing items out into the crowd waiting in line and there were VERY loud bursts of screaming. So loud that even though the main stage was on the opposite side of the convention hall, you could not hear the Keynote speakers during these outbursts and in fact both ladies were distracted by it. The crowd that wants to stand in line while someone throws out product is not the same crowd that wants to hear two premiere artists speak about their careers. Something to think about going forward.

OK – soapbox over, on to the Haul 😉 One of the things I really enjoy about PHAMExpo is that since they are a slightly smaller show (for now), they still have room for smaller, indie brands that the Big Guys don’t.


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FABULOUS brushes from Smith Cosmetics


One of my main goals was to visit the Smith Cosmetics booth after hearing so much about their brushes and the Smithfolio. I have no use for a Smithfolio, but y’all know I’m a brush fanatic. I LOVE the way these feel in hand. The handles are uniquely shaped to sit perfectly in hand and they are just weighted enough to have gusto without being heavy. I cannot WAIT to use these and I will give a report when I do…

(click on image for color names)

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#lipstickgoals…click for color names


My other goal was to FINALLY get the Glossigirl Cosmetics lipsticks! They were at a great show price so I did not miss my chance (for whatever reason I didn’t strike when they were at IMATS). These lipsticks are creamy, rich, highly pigmented sticks of vegan yumminess. And the colors are amaze and the mixing possibilities are endless. Again, I cannot WAIT to try these on a job soonT!


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SERIOUS liquid lipcolors from Aboni cosmetics


Let me say right now that I am a lipcolor fiend, and I realized after the show that almost everything I looked at and bought was a lipcolor of some kind. LOL! Anyway, Aboni Cosmetics was a new line at the show. When I went back to purchase the color I had my eye on, they were sold out 🙁 But let me tell you; these colors do NOT come off.

(click on image for color/brand names)

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These did NOT want to come off!…click to see whose who…


They do Not. Come. Off. This was my hand after several washings (as I’m sure you can tell). Eventually two of the colors wore down (not all the way off) but two of them (the dark maroon and the bright teal) I had to use coconut oil to take off before I went to bed. So if you need lipcolor that goes on and on and onon and on and it don’t stop ’till the break of dawn…

(click on image for color names)

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I feel in love with Dep Makeup’s liquid lipcolors and their booth was super cute too. These are probably not going into my kit…we’ll see… 😉 Click to see color names…


The other brand that did not come off in the hand swatch above was DEP Makeup. I was drawn in by their overall presentation. The booth was well laid out, the packaging is pretty, they had a DJ, a guy was doing the My Boo Running Man, it was just a great booth. And then the colors of the liquid lippie were fab AND as you can see, they last. Nice find.


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Stilazzi brushes, exclusive to Frends Beauty


Brushes and lips, lips and brushes. lol. I was more intrigued by the brush shape of these Stilazzi brushes than the fiber (feels like some type of synthetic or possibly a synthetic mix). I do like the weight and shape of the handles, although white handles in a Pro kit – dunno about the upkeep on these. We shall see. Anyway, Stilazzi brand is exclusive to Frends Beauty and I like supporting my homies at Frends so that’s groovy… Speaking of homies there were a lot of my fab people in attendance working the various booths, or just in attendance supporting the show. Always fab to run into folks…


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco phamexpo 2016 kevyn aucoin, frends, embryolisse

@sameetatu, @cristallewellynmua, @purelycosmetics & @yvelissamunoz looking fab at PHAMExpo


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco phamexpo 2016 sharon gault

Fab ladies, fab artists (Sharon Gault and another artist who is familiar to me but I don’t know her name 🙁 )

Bonblissity was another booth that drew me in with it’s fabulousness. I usually completely ignore non-makeup booths but the setup was so nice AND the product REALLY works. I didn’t even need lotion after he finished with the scrub on my hands. (and yes they had a fully functional sink in their booth!)


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco phamexpo 2016  skincare scrubs bonblissity

cute and functional skin scrubs from Bonblissity


Towards the end of Day 2 when I could no longer think I ran into the Stefania Organics booth which drew me in with it’s intoxicating aroma. There were two new brush cleaner brands on site at the show and if my brain had been turned on, this is the one I would have purchased (I noticed that most of my makeup artist friends chose the other one which was very nice as well). Even if I didn’t like it as a brush cleaner it also works as a hand sanitizer and all 4 of the scents were A M A Z I N G. All natural, essential oil based, none of that synthetic scent garbage. Why I didn’t just buy this at the time is BEYOND ME because I’ve been regretting it ever since. That Lemongrass based Queen of Hearts scent was a Tania magnet. In fact let me go place an order after I post this article… Delia got a sample in her gift bag so she’ll write about it I’m sure in her PHAMExpo post which will go live on Monday


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco phamexpo 2016 stefania organics brush cleaner hand sanitizer

the team of Stefania Organics brush cleaner and hand sanitizer in one!


I told you I bought lips and brushes and brushes and lips. LA Girl – of the famed “Pro” HD Concealer – was on hand. While I do like the concealer as a highlighter on women of color (I don’t actually think its great as a concealer), I was more interested in their lip colors. The Glazed Lip Paints come in great nudes and bright poppy colors and at the show they were too inexpensive not to try. They are similar in texture and finish to OCC Lip Tars, but I need to read if these are vegan like OCC.

(click on image for color names)

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco phamexpo 2016 la girl cosmetics la girl glazed lip color

fun colors from LA Girl cosmetics…click to see color names


All in all I definitely had a great weekend! While there were little tweaks I would make to the show to suit my perfect world ;), I definitely think PHAMExpo is a show well worth attending for pros and consumers alike. I look forward to doing so again next year.

(NOPE – this isn’t a sponsored post. The fine folks at PHAMExpo provided passes but otherwise they did not know if I’d go, if I’d shop and/or if so what I’d purchase, nor did they do not know whether or not I’d do a post on the show. As a pro artist, I try to cover all of the makeup trade shows.)

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#MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes April 2016

Hello hello! As I’m getting back busy, I’m getting back to doing more exploration of new products. Here’s what has caught my eye of late in the Makeup Short Notes April 2016.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 glossier generation g lip balm
1. Glossier

Glossier is a brand founded by the folks of the Into the Gloss blog. I’ve been slow to try it just because you have to order it online (to my knowledge. If there’s a stockist in LA, someone let me know please…), but I have been intrigued by it since it’s inception because of their tagline “skin care as makeup”. And you know how I love my skin care. Thus far I am digging their kind of combo skincare items more so than the color items. The main reason for that being that the color items are extremely limited. For example while the perfecting skin tint goes from “Light” to “Rich”, as they are named, there are only five of them. And I think it’s safe to say that there are more than five skintones in the world. Particularly with people of color, that type of range makes it very difficult to actually find a match without doing some serious mixing wizardry. But the “Balm Dotcom” (and the new “Coconut Balm Dotcom”) really is great as one of those type of Rosebud Salve/8 Hour Cream items that can be used for a bunch of different makeup tricks. I also really liked the “Generation G” lip color. There are only four shades but they’re all pretty universal including “Jam” which is gorgeous on deeper skintones. It has a soft matte finish and it feels good on the lips 🙂

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 fiona stiles beauty radiant aqua eye veil
2. Fiona Stiles Beauty

Famed celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles introduced her cosmetics line this year. I’ll be doing a full story on the whole line in a future article but I tried it out this weekend and I really liked it. It’s one of those brands that’s obvious it was started by a makeup artist in terms of the pigmentation and the textures. What’s really nice about it is that it is available at Ulta and the price points are not crazy. As always I tried some of the foundations, some of the eye colors and some of the lip products. Right now I do have to say the standout for me were the “Radiant Aqua Eye Veil” cream eyeshadows. Most consumers are terrified of cream eyeshadows, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes in the marketplace. However most makeup artists I know love them, myself included. The cream eyeshadows in the Fiona Stiles Beauty collection are super pigmented with color and have a creamy/velvety texture. I will be purchasing all of those I’ll just tell you that right now.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 erborian skin care bamboo waterlock mask
3. Erborian Skincare

I also hit Sephora to see what’s new and happening out there and makeup world. Not a whole lot was happening makeup-wise in Sephora (same old, same old brands, etc.) however there were some very interesting skin care items. Number one of which is a Korean/French fusion skincare brand by the name of “Erborian”.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 erborian

Erborian liquid moisture bar


The premise of Erborian is highly intriguing; using Korean principles/inspiration/ingredients in Western formulations. I am getting sucked more and more into the layered skin care approach made famous by Korean women, but I’m honestly weary of the use of some of the more unusual (unusual to me) ingredients in true Korean skincare (like “snail essence”). Therefore this line could be just the ticket. In addition to the four items pictured, the brand has several cleansers including a skin-cleansing balm that is not petroleum based, several masks and moisture emulsions, and a BB Cream. I did end up purchasing a couple of items so look forward to that in a future article after I’ve had time to try them out.

4. Melanated Beauty

Lastly it’s time to look for a new foundation for myself. I’ve mentioned numerous times I have been using Bare Minerals Matte powder foundation. I have a different brand of powder foundation I want to try but in general I think I want to move away from so called mineral foundations. First of all using the powder formula doesn’t seem to do anything regarding my hyper oily skin, and using mattifier underneath, over, sideways etc. doesn’t seem to make a difference. Secondly as I mentioned in my last short notes, what the Bare Minerals Matte foundation did to me in my drivers license photograph was just wrong; Massive TD reaction, I looked aged and a completely different color. A few other recent photos also showed hints of the dreaded TD reaction. I looked at old photographs of myself and it did not do that, so I’m wondering if there’s been a change of formulation. Further my skin is just in different condition now and it really does not need that much coverage and nor does it need to be covered all over, just in a few key places. I want to go back to either a stick formulation or a good quality liquid that I can use in spots.

** I was amazed at how little choices there were for my skintone in retail makeup brands in 2016.**

Again, this was NOT a case of the store not carrying it. I was in Emeryville which is a diverse city in the very diverse San Francisco Bay area. This was a case of trying the deepest color available in a given line, and that deepest color being nowhere near deep enough. Too many lines still have an inadequate color range, period. I’ve heard makeup artists complaining about lack of color choices and that always struck me as bizarre because there are plenty of color choices in the pro brands from creams to liquids to BB creams etc. However if you are an artist in a market where you are largely doing your shopping from retail stores or if you are the average non-pro makeup artist beauty consumer who just wants to hit the store and get something right quick, I can see where the frustration lies. This is a picture of my hand with swatches from several brands in their darkest color (click on photo for specific foundation names).

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 melanated beauty foundations test foundations for black skin foundations for african american skin

my hand testing foundations. Click on image to see who’s what…


As you can see most of those are highly incorrect. There are a couple on there that could work for me but would be too red for a lot of people, and then most of them are too light and too yellow for me. Being a pro makeup artist who works on every type/shade/age/etc. of person there is, I’ve never felt the need to orient this blog towards women of color specifically. However AS a woman of color and seeing now that the cosmetic situation is still highly problematic to say the least, I am going to start doing more reviews specific for women of color. Because that was crazy! Suffice to say I did not end up buying anything for myself. 😐

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#MakeupMonday – Summer Proof Makeup


Summer Proof Makeup

For most of the country we are in “the dog days of summer” (I’ve never known exactly how that expression came to be before now). I say most of the country because for those of us in Southern California, this weather is going to continue until October. But for everyone else this is the height of summer heat. A while back I wrote a piece called Extending Your Summer Glow, which talked about keeping your summer glow going a bit longer as the weather may be starting to change. But when you are in the height of summer heat you may find you are glowing a bit too much. It’s hard to stay cute when your face is melting but there are products and techniques out there that can help.

1 ) Take Care Of Your Skin

As an oily-head with breakout prone skin I’ve learned that the easiest way for my skin to look its best in the summer is to just take care of my skin. As a pro makeup artist, I can always tell who is and who isn’t when a client sits in my chair. Always. If you are feeling it, you can be one of those ladies who does 6 steps in the morning and 10 steps at night. I’m not the one, I need my skincare routine to be effective and fast. Whatever approach you choose, the key to having a skincare routine really make a difference is consistency. Find a plan that works and do it every single morning and night. Whether you feel like it or not. Just do it. And go drink some water while you’re at it.
(I’ve written a number of skincare articles on Makeup to Go. Click here to check out the Skincare archives if you want to see some of the products I recommend….)

2 ) Now Is The Time to Prime

If you’ve ever taken a lesson and/or class with me you know that I like primers but I’m not married to them. Particularly for my photographic work they are often a needless added step as I will likely change the makeup throughout the shoot. That said, for personal use and/or any situation where you want the makeup to last Primers can be a lifesaver. Right now I am digging;

Hourglass Cosmetics Mineral Veil Primer: This is an amazing “does it all” product. It neutralizes minor uneven-ness in skintone, creates an even skin texture, and it is both mattifying AND water-proof so it will not break down when summer’s heat makes you a bit more “dewy”. It’s pricey, but it is worth every penny (and anyway you will not need to use much at a time so it is cost effective). Pro Tip: As mentioned in my article about doing makeup for awards shows, this is a Must Have in my pro makeup kit.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Primer: As we all know I do not love drugstore brands as a whole, however Boots No7 products are overall pretty darn good. Like the Hourglass Mineral Veil, this primer neutralizes uneven skintone a bit, and creates a smooth skin finish upon which to apply your makeup. Unlike the Hourglass, it is $12.99 not $52. For the budget conscious beauty-ista, this is a very nice option. Honorable Mention – No7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base which is the stronger mattifying formula for oily skin. It’s a bit thick, so apply sparingly so it doesn’t go chalky on you.

Smashbox: Overall if I had to pick one brand for all of my Primer needs, I think Smashbox makes the best array of Primers overall. I have used and loved so many of their priming products, but two of particular note for fighting summer makeup melt are the Hydrating Under Eye Primer which keeps under-eye concealer from slipping, and the fantastic Photo Finish Primer Water which hydrates and refines skin texture and creates a pretty glowy finish. Sidenote: As of right now as I am writing this article they have a limited edition Try It Kit of their primers containing the Water, the Undereye, the eyeshadow primer and the iconic original Photo Finish Primer. Try It Kit Primer Authority.

3 ) Take It Easy on Foundation & Concealer

Even out the skin and leave it at that. The more product you pile on, the more there is to slip off (or become an oil-slick). Also for me, too much makeup in the heat just feels gross. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I dig silicone based foundations. They don’t slip (as much), they don’t cake, you can use very little and get very good coverage, and they are generally lightweight in feel. I have professed my love for Face Atelier’s Ultra Foundation many times and it is fab. This year they introduced Ultra Skin which is a pro-grade BB-cream-type formulation. It has just enough coverage to give smooth finish and even out skin tone without feeling heavy in any way. AND it has a nice array of colors, including one deep enough for someone of my complexion.

If you are a concealer user, the right formulation in summer can make all the difference. Too creamy and it can cake, separate and slip but too liquid-y and it just doesn’t do anything. I love Keromask but I have gotten feedback that folks would like a product that is easier to find and purchase. Enter Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer. This concealer is no joke. It is oil free with a matte finish, waterproof, and highly pigmented. The Full Cover Concealer is a liqui-cream formula, which is generally my favorite concealer type (it is flexible and moves with the skin for less chance of creasing and cracking), and it comes in a full range of colors for every skin tone.

4 ) Embrace Creams and Stains

Most women are more used to powder cosmetics so the thought of using cream and/or liquid products can be daunting but it need not be. Today’s formulations are easier to use than ever and many of the best products actually come in chubby pencil form, which is easy peasy to use at home or on the road. For eyes, I love Dedra Beauty’s Smudge Pencils. The Smudge Pencils are creamy and blendable but then stay put once set. With these you can do a sheer neutral eye, a daytime eye or a smokey eye and the most difficult tool you’ll need are your own fingers. (Disclosure: I am a Team Dedra Beauty artist and Dedra is a personal friend of mine, so yes I get Dedra Beauty product for free and yes I am totally biased. That said, I really do think the brand is excellent across the board – and you know I do not say that about many brands – hence, I am one of her Ambassadors…).

For cheeks and lips I’m headed back to by beloved Tarte Cosmetics. You know I love my Tarte and that I have loved their cheek stains since forever. For the lips, the LipSurgence Lip Stain sticks are the bees knees. They come in a wonderful array of colors, they are long lasting and they will not suck the life and moisture out of your lips (in fact they are hydrating).

In the cheek stain category, Tarte has just introduced “Energy” which is a reactive formula that will create the perfect color of a pretty flush based on your own skin PH. This is not a new concept in makeup (anyone remember when “mood lipstick” was all the rage in the 80s?) but it is a concept that is trending once again. If you are not about trends, get the OG Tarte Cheek Stain. My fave colors are Tipsy and Flush.

5 ) Add A Little Glow

Illuminators and Highlighters look so pretty on the bronzed skin of summer, and do not just limit it to the face. A little sheen and shimmer on shoulders, collarbones and legs is absolutely gorgeous. If you are a naturally fair beauty whose skin does not take on bronze-y glow, you can either create a fake one OR (my vote) illuminate your natural porcelain complexion and let your fair skin be great. I just talked about some great illuminators/highlighters in the Strobing article from a couple of weeks ago. In that article I mentioned NARS Malibu Multiple which isn’t great for strobing for most complexions, but is fab to either create or enhance a slightly bronzed glow. Now, of course, I am no longer seeing it on the NARS website. NARS will break your heart by discontinuing favorite products on the regular so do yourself a favor and try not to become attached. I’ll have to find a replacement product for Malibu now. #LeSigh

For deeper complexioned beauties, I have long loved Iman Cosmetics Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder. It is finely milled with just right right amount of shimmer to create a sultry summer glow. AND I’ve been using it for well over a decade. Unlike some other brands, Iman is not a cruel heartbreaker. 😐

My philosophy about summer makeup is that is should be as easy living as the season itself. Between beach days, bar-b-ques, summer concerts and pool parties, summer is the time to focus on the fun and let makeup take a bit of a back seat.

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