#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…


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


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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!)


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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


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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)

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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 – 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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#MakeupMonday – Strobing – What It Is What it Ain’t

makeup to go blog strobing ellis faas glow up powder

Ellis Faas Cosmetics Glow Up Powder S501
Perfect for the Strobing Technique


So strobing.

Yet another “makeup trend” for folks to follow. And of course, as with any makeup trend, there are certain products that are “must haves” in order to achieve the look and then once you get one set of “must have” products another set comes along telling you that you “must have” those too.

In all likelihood, if you have a complete makeup kit either for yourself or for your use as an artist, you already own a number of things that can be used to Strobe, so let’s break down what it is, what it isn’t, how it works best, and what you do need in order to accomplish the look.

What Is Strobing?

Basically Strobing is using highlight to sculpt and emphasize bone structure. It’s the “softer side” of the (overworked) Contour craze that has been trending in makeup for a while now. What “Strobing” isn’t is new, in any way, shape or form. As with Contouring, artists have been doing this since forever. And as with a good Contour job, Strobing takes a deft hand because it can quickly go awry when done incorrectly. The point is to create subtle highlights, not to look like you’re oily or worse, covered in glitter. My favorite video demonstrating the technique doesn’t even call it Strobing. Here makeup artist extraordinare Ellis Faas demonstrates the technique as she’s introducing her Glow Up powder.

and obviously if you want a more extreme strobe, you can just apply more product. If you do that, however, you’ll need to be VERY precise in your application lest you end up looking like you hit the chicken shack full force.

If we’re using the term, I guess, I “strobed” this model. Again, I didn’t call it “strobing” but I wanted to bring out her bone structure without the use of Contour. Truth be told, I’m far more into this look than I am the heavy contour look. I think this look is lighter, fresher and more modern.

makeup to go blog strobing what it is

© K. Szatmari
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

What Products do I Need to Strobe?

So you like Strobing and want to add it to your technique arsenal? It’s as simple as reaching for your nearest Illuminator/Highlighter. That’s it. No special product required. Here are the illuminators/Highlighters I currently have in my rotation:

makeup to go blog strobing hourglass ambient lighting palette
1 ) Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Palette
I professed my love for this palette in a previous post and I still love it. I can use this highly versatile palette of subtle sheen anywhere on the face to create a pretty glow that is never overly sparkly. And with three colors in a palette, I always have the right shade for whomever I may be working on.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® powder
2 ) Becca Cosmetics – Shimmering Skin Perfector®
Like the Ambient Lighting powders, Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector® pressed powders are finely milled and apply like velvet. I would say these are a bit more shimmery than the Ambient Lights, particularly depending on what color you get. I tend to like Highlighters/Illuminators that are more nude-y so I can use them all over the face (and on a wider range of skintones). I have the Shimmering Skin Perfector® in Moonstone, which is a pale gold, and Topaz, which is a golden bronze. The latter I use on deeper complexions and the former I use on fairer complexions.

makeup to go blog strobing kevyn aucoin celestial lights powder
3 ) Kevyn Aucoin – The Celestial Powder
The Celestial Powder is almost difficult to describe. You remember in Old Hollywood how they allegedly used to put Vaseline™ on the lens in order to diffuse the image and give the actress a “glow”. The Celestial Powder is that glow in a compact. It’s a truly beautiful product. It is lightweight, almost suede-like in feel, and adds a subtle but present highlight to any area applied. If memory serves it only comes in one color – Candlelight – which as the name suggests gives the skin a beautiful candle lit glow.

Sadly I do not actually own Ellis Faas’ Glow Up powder, so I cannot speak to it. I already have too many products of this type to justify purchasing it. If anyone out there has the Glow Up powder, hit the Comments and let us all know how it is 🙂

PRO TIP: Any pro quality powder cosmetic can also be applied damp to intensify the color and effect. So if you want a more intense highlighting effect, simply apply with a slightly dampened brush. Be sure to let your product dry completely before closing it so it doesn’t warp or get moldy.

makeup to go blog strobing NARS cosmetics copacabana multiples
4 ) Nars – The Multiples – Copacabana
NARS is really doing the most with The Multiples nowadays. The Multiples is one of NARS oldest and most successful products in their brand, but now they have new Matte Multiples and all these bizarre colors, and this that and the third. Needless to say I’ll have to visit a boutique soon and see what all that is about. In the meantime as far as strobing needs are concerned, I would look no further than Copacabana which is a nude-y sheen-y color texture. It has long been my favorite Multiple by a mile (I love Malibu as well but it’s the wrong color for our purposes right now). A cream product can give you stronger “Strobing” action than most powders will, and in fact it can be layered with powder.

makeup to go blog strobing all over shimmer liquid stila cosmetics
5 ) Stila Cosmetics – All Over Shimmer Liquid
A liquid will potentially give you the most strobing action of any product type. You can apply lightly for a subtle sheen, or you can go for it and kick up the bright lights. Use With Caution! Stila’s All Over Shimmer has long been favorite of mine for giving pronounced highlighting action without being sparkly. It used to be available in a truly nude color (#1), but unfortunately that color is no longer. Of the available options, I’d recommend Kitten.

makeup to go blog strobing moonbeam highbeam benefit cosmetics
Honorable Mention: Benefit Cosmetics Moonbeam and HighbeamMoonbeam is an iridescent apricot color, and Highbeam is an iridescent pearl color. They are a little bit more glittery than the All Over Shimmer liquid, and they can also be either applied for subtle sheen or for all out shine.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® liquid
Honorable Mention 2: Nowadays I actually use Becca Cosmetics liquid version of their Shimmering Skin Perfector®. It’s a more subtle sheen (less sparkly), but also buildable and Pearl is a perfect nude-y white sheen color.

PRO TIP: I would not use a liquid highlighter/illuminator around the eyes. I’m sure people have, but I cannot imagine what that would feel like if you accidentally got some in your eyes. I’ll stick to powders around the eyes. Do not say I did not warn you.

makeup to go blog strobing ben nye lumiere powder
5 ) Ben Nye – Lumiere Powder

If you are tired of playing games and want intense sheen and highlight, this is the product for you. This is a theatrical makeup, so it’s meant to withstand lights and read from off stage. AKA – it’s strong: Proceed with caution. That said, this has been one of my favorite products which I’ve kept in my Kit for years and years.

How Do I Strobe?

I don’t make tutorial videos (yet… we’ll see in the future), but I would say the video I posted from Ellis Faas is a good outline. The areas you’ll want to highlight are;

– Brow Bone
– Inner eye corners
– **tops of the cheekbone**
– **center of the nose**
– and possibly the cupids bow of the lips (use a light hand as that highlight sometimes just looks sweaty)

Ms. Faas also did the center of the lower eyelid in order to further accentuate the Orbital Bone, and I like to do the center of the forehead (as long as there is no breakout or whathaveyou) and right above the brows to further accentuate the temples.

You’ll note both of the brushes she used were rather small. This is important so as to maintain control of your product instead of your product going all over and controlling you. I recommend brushes such as;

makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 939 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 939 Angled Detailer which is a small, angled detail brush for precise application on the nose, cheeks, etc.

and

makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 780 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 780 Pencil for the inner eye corners. “Pencil” brushes are short, dense hair brushes that allow for clean application of product in that difficult inner eye area. I also like Pencils for smokey eyes so I get smokey eyes not Out Of Control raccoon eyes.

Bare in mind also that different products are better for different skin types and conditions. If you have really perfect skin without a lot of texture, you can use pretty much whatever you want, as strongly as you want. However if you have acne, wrinkles, enlarged pores, or any other type of skin texture issue, shimmer will accentuate the texture so less is more. For more mature skin I love the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder. For skin with a lot of texture, I like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Liquid or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders.

Have you tried the Strobing phenomenon? How did it go? Let us know in Comments, or better yet, send in a picture!

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#MakeupMonday – Short Makeup Notes November 2014

Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette makeup to go blog makeup short notes november

Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette


Howdy folks. Once again I am away working hence once again bloggage has slowed down a lil bit. I am always, however, playing with makeup so here are a few of the gems I’ve had my hands on lately.

1 ) Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette
First of all, how has Hourglass Cosmetics been around since 2008 and I just heard of them within the last 2 years? #latepass

Secondly, how did I hear of them within the last 2 years but I just started buying some of their products last month?? #superlatepass

Well, who knows but I’m finally on board now. This past weekend I was on a beauty shoot and I got a chance to use the Ambient Lights palette. As I stated on Instagram; I’m going to marry this palette. OK, maybe that’s a bit strong, but I do seriously love it. The Ambient Lighting Palette is a compact containing 3 shades of highlighting powder. For a makeup artist it means no more carrying a zillion highlight powders (I know some folks still will, but I’m a minimalist and I like to keep my kit as compact as possible). For the makeup user it means that you can use each color individually or mix and match as desired. There are two things I particularly love about this highlight powder (both of which are characteristics I look for in all highlight products). First of all, I tried all 3 colors in the palette and none of them have that white cast/powdery undertone that some highlight powders can have. This makes them usable on all skin tones, even going into very deep tones. That white cast on dark skin is not a good look, I know that feel from personal experience on myself and on clients. Even on fairer complexions it just is not very flattering. That powdery undertone is dated and looks like old-fashioned, 70s frost. No one wants that. Secondly, the Ambient Lighting Powder is very finely milled. It gives a beautiful, subtle glow instead of a blast-o-tronic sheen or worse, an extravaganza of sparkle. Sparkle of course has its place in life and makeup, but when a highlighter is too sparkly, it is very limiting in how you can use it. The Ambient Lighting Palette (or if you prefer you can just buy the Ambient Lighting Powders individually) can be used on the face, shoulders, decollate, down the arms, on the legs, wherever you want a pop of sheen and glam. Needless to say this is PERFECT for the Holiday season!

SIDENOTE: I did not buy it yet, but when I get back from my current biz trip I’m getting the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette which my girl Bren Dixie of Chasing Beauty says is also the bomb-diggity.

lorac alter ego lipstick makeup to go blog makeup short notes november
2 ) LORAC – Alter Ego Lipstick
When I went to go buy the Ambient Lighting Palette, some lipsticks jumped into my shopping basket as well. I don’t know how it happened! 😉

I am a total lip color junkie. I tried my best to talk myself out of buying these and I could not. There have been two trends in lipcolor happening amongst hardcore makeup-istas: highly pigmented lipcolor and matte finishes. I, too, have to say that I am on-board with both of these – particularly the matte finish. But lets’s be real, what works well in editorial and on the Runway does not always translate into real life. Matte lipstick more often than not feels drying and uncomfortable on the lips, and much of the hyper-pigmented lipsticks come in colors that are not wearable for most women in most real-life situations. LORAC has always been about high-quality, high performance cosmetics but they’ve also always been about wearablity. The Alter Egos come in strong, fun colors but they’re not crazy colors. They have a chic, smooth matte finish but they’re not super matte. The feel good on the lips, they last a long time, the colors stay rich and true. In short, they are fab.

makeup to go blog alter ego lipsticks lorac short makeup notes november

Alter Ego lipstick swatches (note: the bottom 2 sheer colors are not Alter Ego – click to see larger)


makeup to go blog nars audacious lipstick short makeup notes november
3 ) NARS – Audacious Lipstick Collection
Speaking of lipcolor YOU KNOW I am all over the new NARS Audacious collection. NARS has always made lucious lipcolor products and these are no exception. These are satin-y finish, lightweight lipcolors that pack a punch of pigmentation and color. So if you want bold color but aren’t sold on the whole “matte” thing, these are the lippies for you. All of the colors are truly gorgeous but I have to say this collection boasts some of the best REDS I have seen in quite some time. From the vibrant and pop-y “Annabella” (which is actually a poppy-based red), to the deep and sultry merlot-based red of “Ingrid”, there is a red for everyone just in this one collection. And “Charlotte” – named after Charlotte Rampling who is NARS’s campaign model for this collection – is just a revelation. A deep, rich oxblood burgundy color, I absolutely cannot get enough of it. Love.

4 ) The Business of Makeup
Don’t call it a comeback! Last August I held my first Business of Makeup workshop in San Francisco and it was a major success! Unfortunately, the Los Angeles class did not take place as it ended up conflicting with other similar workshops happening at about the same time. Well, the Business of Makeup workshop is set to return in 2015! It will be taking place in both SF and LA and should be bigger, better and bolder than before! Information will of course be posted here and feel free to email workshops @ makeuptogo .com at any time!

Read more about the class at Makeuptogo.com/Workshops and come have fun and learn some things 🙂