The Basics: Makeup Brush Cleaning 101

Disclosure: Hey folks, instead of doing sponsored posts, Makeup to Go is a member of Skimlinks and Amazon Affiliates. So if you purchase something via any of our links, we get a lil sumthin sumthin to help us keep running. Thanks much!

If you follow Makeup to Go on Instagram

– and you should @makeuptogoblog – you may have noticed that things have been quite active over there. I’m finally investing time into the Makeup to Go Blog Instagram feed and it’s starting to come into form and look nice and spiffy 🙂 AND I love that Instagram offers me immediate feedback into what people want to see and learn. So one of the things I’ve come to realize unequivocally is that people want more tutorials and videos, no matter how basic the presentation may be.

With that in mind, here is an Instagram Story video where I go through step-by-step on how I wash my brushes. Now; I’m not saying this is the ONLY way to wash brushes, but this is a more typically professional method than some of the methods you may see online. And I also explain why I do some of the things that I do. This method has keep my brushes in good usable condition for years and years and years and also I have yet to ever cause anyone a skin irritation/reaction using this method (knock on wood!).


I should say, this Insta Story became seriously popular. Like WOW. I guess I’m a q-dork, but I had no idea it would be so popular. It is saved on the @Makeuptogoblog Instagram as a “Highlight” but I also thought what the heck, let’s go ahead and post it on the blog where it can live for all posterity. I am working on the capacity to be able to do more videos and I want them to look more professional, etc. but in the meantime I will be taking advantage of Insta Stories and Instagram Live as both teaching tools and ways to connect with my audience. So if there is anything in particular you want to see, lay it on me in Comments! I’m all ears 🙂

You might also like my previous articles on makeup brushes and keeping your makeup clean.

ALSO! Major thanks to Illyne Michel for helping me film this tutorial. You can check out her makeup fabulosity at @mua_illynemichel

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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…


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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 – The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2015 Wrap Up

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It is time for my The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2015 Wrap Up post. Gosh… where to even start? I had a fabtabulous time (yes, fabtabulous is a word 😉 ). But seriously I had an amazing time. Every time the Trade Shows roll around I am asked which one is “better”. Every time I tend to answer the same: they are both well produced, they both have good speakers and exhibitors, the vibe and the focus are just different so it depends on what you’re looking for, etc. etc. This is all true. But I’m going to go ahead and just say this: I like IMATS and I always enjoy it when I go, but I feel at home at the Makeup Show. I do not know that I can articulate what exactly the difference is. Well… real talk: It counts for a lot that at least here in Los Angeles, the Makeup Show is not open to the general public. You have to be at least somewhat qualified in the beauty biz (media makeup artist, bridal makeup artist, salon, student, something) in order to attend. Therefore while the Makeup Show is busy, it’s not crazy the way IMATS has become (other than on Pro night). Secondly… I don’t know…. the folks speak my language. I am not an FX artist, I will never be an FX artist, I do not like FX (I don’t like gore/monsters/zombies, etc.), I do not watch films or TV shows that involve a lot of FX (Tania D. Russell will never watch “Walking Dead”), that’s not my scene. IMATS was started by Union makeup artists and actually when it first started (I know cos I was there!) there was almost no focus on Beauty makeup whatsoever. So while IMATS has become more inclusive to Beauty for sure, FX/Character/Film & TV makeup are still very much its core. The Makeup Show is exactly the opposite. It was founded by beauty makeup artists and people involved with cosmetics brands on the corporate level. When it first started it had no FX, although in recent years they’ve added a little FX stage (which I did not even see this year. I remember seeing it a couple of years back…), and the type of artists **I** grew up admiring – the ones in the magazines doing gorgeous editorials or the ones creating bold and inventive designs for music videos – are center stage. I have been doing makeup full time professionally for a goodly amount of time now (I’d say around 16 years of people paying me for makeup full time), and I STILL get excited to be around that energy, which is awesome. 😀 (Note: this post is long, but it is largely pictures 😉 )

The Keynotes and Seminars

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Celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles


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Finished red carpet look by Fiona Stiles


Priority #1 for all the folks in my crew was to NOT MISS celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles. I loved her talk and demo, not only because her work is amazing – which I already knew that – but because she was so down to earth and just very real about being an artist, working, and surviving and thriving in this industry. And it wasn’t just in my head, several of my students who attended the show said that there were a lot of similarities between things I’ve said in class and things she said on the stage. That always makes me feel good. Not only because I like to think I know somewhat what I’m talking about, but it’s also nice to know that even for artists at the highest echelons of success certain elements of working and the biz remain true. More on that later… Anyway, Fiona demoed a Runway look based on a look she’d recently created for actress Gabrielle Union. People were, of course, asking her what product she used (and she jokingly kept referring to herself as a “product slut” meaning she’s not loyal to any one brand and she’ll use anything from drugstore to the highest end as long as it works), but I really learned a lot from watching her and observing her technique. As with a lot of masters, she did not use a lot of product and it didn’t necessarily look like she did a whole lot (she did), but the finished application was flawless. You can see her work at her website, Fiona Stiles Makeup (click to go to her site). And you can follow her on all social media @fionastiles.

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Ellis Faas keynote. Nice picture, eh? I had a seat behind a pillar so I couldn’t see the stage except for on TV :\


Of course I wanted to see Ellis Faas speak. I was actually hoping she would also demo, but she did not. *** D’OH! Apparently I missed her demo. See comments below. Dagnabit!!! *** While she did discuss her path and her process as an artist, etc., much of her Keynote was actually focused on her eponymous cosmetics line. That proved to be interesting in its own way as well. Anyone interested in developing a line would have learned a lot from this Keynote. From packaging, to thinking about a brand both from a consumer viewpoint and an artistic viewpoint, to marketing, etc. It was fascinating because my earlier Ellis Faas encounter at the pre-party at Nigel’s earlier in the week was focused almost entirely on her artistry. But like most really successful folks, Ms. Faas is not on some “Oh I’m such an artist I cannot think about that other stuff…”, she really put a lot of thought behind every choice she made for her brand. To see her work and her cosmetics brand, visit Ellis Faas Cosmetics (click to visit site).

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Ellis Faas Icon Gallery

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Ellis Faas Icon Gallery


And then of course there was the “Icon Gallery” of her work. I bought her book and had it signed so I have all of these images, but basically the book – which all of the images in the Icon Gallery are from – is a compilation of the work she created to promote her cosmetics line, with the stories behind their creation. It is a very inspiring book.

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Artist / Illustrator Donald Robertson and Lori Taylor discussing their collaborations

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Art by Donald Robertson

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Art by Donald Robertson


Like I said in my preview post, this was a WildCard lecture for me, but I am glad I followed my gut and sat in on it. Donald Robertson is not a makeup artist, he is a visual artist and illustrator and the Creative Director of Special Projects for Estee Lauder. As such he collaborates with the lines within that brand, including Smashbox Cosmetics. This Keynote was co-moderated by James Vincent (Director of Education for The Makeup Show), and Lori Taylor, International Artist for Smashbox. Many folks reading this may well be visual artists (painters, sculptors, illustrators, etc.) and as such you are aware of the similarities in the creative process with that of a makeup artist. If you are not a visual artist in any other medium – which I am not – I encourage you to pay more attention to the visual arts world. It will give you a new perspective into your own artistry. In addition to his own journey and process he also gave a lot of practical business advice on being your own brand, utilizing social media, and the like. He got his “big break” bringing his art to a wider audience via Instagram, and that aspect of his business has been a major part of his success (click here to read a NYPost article about his success). I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Donald after his talk and he seems like a warm and friendly Southern Gentleman. You can join everyone else in following him on Instagram at @drawbertson

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Art by Donald Robertson


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MUFE rep Turner Floyd, Melanie Inglessis, William Lemon III and The Makeup Show Director of Education, James Vincent

Last but not least, on Sunday I caught artists Melanie Inglessis and William Lemon, III in conversation with Make Up For Ever’s Director of the Professional Business Division, Turner Floyd and the ubiquitous James Vincent. This lecture came about because not only is Make Up For Ever the Diamond Sponsor of The Makeup Show, but Melanie and William were both amongst the 30 artists with whom MUFE collaborated for their Artist 30/30 project. Melanie is a high-end celebrity/red-carpet artist (click to see her work), while William is known for his cutting edge work with largely music clients including (but not limited to) body painting and “skin printing” (click to see his work). Again, they both spoke primarily about their journey and their artistic process. While they both have backgrounds in visual art, it was very interesting to see how differently that background manifested into their careers. Another thing that is inspiring about coming to these trade shows to hear these artists speak is realizing that there is no one certain way to be an artist in this business. Except for being talented and skilled – which all of these successful artists have in common – there is no one way to get started, no one way to look, no one way to act, etc. This is not a cookie cutter industry with one pre-defined way of being a “real artist” (despite what you might see and hear online).

I mentioned earlier that certain themes of being a working artist kept coming up over and over. What were they? Well first of all on the practical level, they all talked about Social Media and good usage practices. So for those of you living on Planet X thinking that you do not need to engage with social media and that it’s for bloggers only, etc. Think again. Secondly, every single artist I saw (and some I did not, according to what my students said to me), mentioned being kind, being of service to your client, being a chill fun person to work with that people like. This is still a people business and nothing – not even talent – will move you along faster than being someone that people like to be around PARTICULARLY when you are first starting/on the come up in your career. So be nice, stay humble and work hard folks! Do not fall for the false prophecy of Internet Superstardom!

The Exhibition/Shopping Floor

My experience this year basically came down to attending lectures on Saturday, and wandering and shopping on Sunday. Walking the floor is always fun, I always run into a zillion of my friends in the biz and some of my current and former students (yay!), I get to see my vendor friends, I’ll take a look at what’s new (nothing new really grabbed me this year, honestly), and then if I actually need anything I’ll pick that up as well.

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I am interested in Smashbox’s new Photo Finish Primer Water but they were out when I got to their booth…

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the highly coveted original classic

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Makeup artist Valerie Hernandez assisted by MTG Fam, makeup artist Liza Macawilli Ramos in demonstration for Youngblood Cosmetics

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MTG fam, makeup artist Jennifer Naideth werking it out at the Ellis Faas booth…

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Melanie Mills, makeup artist and founder of Gleam Cosmetics at raffle time! (I did not win 🙁 )

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The Haul

Many thanks to The Makeup Show for always bringing in such fabulous vendors and thank you to these vendors for these fab products. I had to really dig deep and NOT buy other fabulously that I just really do not need. I have such a grip-ton backlog of makeup as it is! Anyway, I love new product as much as the next artist, so can’t wait to dig into these purchases!

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Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Kiss of Fire”. Different artist friends kept talking to me about this line so I decided to try it out. A word of warning; this is strong stuff. Just trying it on my hand stained my hands and fingers for a bit.

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cream Color Concentrates. I actually purchased this at the pre-party at Nigel’s Beauty Emporium that I attended. Good thing, because the OCC booth was hella crowded both days of the show. Colors purchased are “Pleasure Model”(pink) and “Beholder” (teal).

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Youngblood Sampler. Many thanks to the Youngblood crew for always sharing samples of some of their new items with me. What I need to go back to the website and get is the new TSA compliant 3-pack of their fab Minerals in the Mist sprays.

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Dante Disposables brush cleaner: A true quick dry, disinfecting spray with NO SCENT.

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Crown Brush “Syntho” line foundation and concealer brushes. Normally, I’m not a fan of the less-expensive brushes but the Crown Syntho line is quite good and that round duo-ended Foundation/Concealer brush is a nice “homage” brush of a Stila foundation brush which this Crown brush just happens to looks exactly like 😉

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Bioderma Sebium H2O. The Bioderma Sensibio H2O for sensitive skin has been a kit staple for most makeup artists since forever. The Sebium is a micelle cleanser and makeup remover for oilier skin. I go this one for me! 🙂

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Straight Pin Studio Mini Essentials Kit. Since I also do hair for my commercial clients, this is something I’ve been meaning to get for a while. I have had the pleasure of working with Straight Pin Studios co-founder, Lucie Doughty, who is an award-winning session stylist and Editorial Director for Paul Mitchell. As you can see this is not just another little organizer doo-dad for your hair pins/ties/etc. This is a filled KIT of pins, ties, etc. Each compartment closes separately so you do not have to worry about product flying all over the place, its compact and organized and perfect for a makeup/hair kit.

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AJ Crimson Beauty Lipcheeque and S & M (sultry and matte) Lipstick. The AJ Crimson line – which I’ve written about before – is a line catering towards products for women of color. So if you are wondering where to get products for deeper complexions, check AJ Crimson Beauty out. He is now starting to roll out his color products (he started with skin; foundation, BB cream & powder) and they are GORG! I got one each of both the Lipcheeque (lip/cheek color pan) and the S & M (sultry and matte) Lipstick. The Lipcheeque color is “Say Whet?!” a bright, but wearable purple that can go from sheer to intense, and the Lipstick color is “No Explanation”, a deep berry/brown color. Yum! (we’ll see if “No Explanation” makes it to my kit)

That was my Makeup Show Los Angeles experience. Leave a comment below and tell me yours! 🙂

#MakeupMonday – 2014 PHAMExpo Wrap Up

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I didn’t realize when I took this photo; those fab ladies are my students Amanda and Annette checking into the show…


Once again I enjoyed the PHAMExpo…

I had the pleasure of spending time with two of my main makeup home-girls and observing some of the sights and sounds of what’s currently happening in the beauty biz. The show is now over and so it is time for the 2014 PHAMExpo Wrap Up.

Saturday I unfortunately was not able to hear any speakers, including missing Marietta Carter-Narcisse speak *sobs*. I had a job in the morning, and so I did not arrive at the expo until later that afternoon. Such is the makeup artists life! Therefore me and my main blog contributor, Delia Jimenez Owens (@deliajowens), just walked the floor to see what vendors had to offer and to plan our shopping escapades for the next day. Sunday, however, we arrived earlier with a mission and a purpose. AND I was able to attend one of the workshops I wanted to see plus catch a few minutes of a couple of the Keynote Speakers.

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Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner – Priority #1


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Good sized crowds in attendance this year…



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new product from Embryolisse


I didn’t end up picking it up just yet, but one of the intriguing new product discoveries was this Embryolisse Artists Secret Radiant Eye balm. It is a cooling under eye balm that immediately hydrates, brightens and tightens. When I first tried it, they did it on my arm but then my girl Robyn of Purely Cosmetics who also works with Embryoliise USA put some underneath my eye. Expect a review soon because that little sampling was highly impressive, I want one for myself and my kit!

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legendary hair stylist Michael O’ Rourke in action


This guy was a beast! When I arrived on Saturday, he was doing his Keynote speak/demo on the main stage but then for the entire rest of the show he demo’d almost continuously at his booth, Rock Your Hair. Apparently Mr. O’Rourke been in the business for over 50 years (??? – I still say he was a 1-year old when he started), so to see him still operating with that much energy, enthusiasm, and passion was inspiring to say the least!

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Making You Cosmetics


I’d not heard of this line before, so it is always exciting to discover a new, independent brand. The line has a number of offerings (I would say the line is mostly geared towards consumers), most impressive to me were the lip glosses. The lip glosses have nice depth of color, nice coverage, lay down smooth and aren’t too thick and gloopy (or thin and watery). And while this is a full spectrum line for all skin tones, there are a number of lovely shades for deeper skin tones. I purchased the 5 pack of full-sized glosses for my kit, although one shade might not make it there 😉 Also, super fun for consumers or burgeoning makeup creators is the “DIY Lipgloss Kit” which contains all the bases and a selection of pigments necessary to create your own lipgloss colors. You can visit them on their website: Making You Cosmetics.


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Clean Brush cleaner was present at the Frends Beauty Supply booth


There was another trade show happening this same weekend “across the Pond”, but that did not stop Frends Beauty Supply from being in two places at once. As always, the Frends booth was well stocked with all the necessary basics, including Clean Brush Shampoo. I didn’t get any since I just restocked, but my makeup homie Renee took 2 home.


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the lovely Brenda Green, founder of the Vueset palettes holding the soon-to-be-released “Freeway” palette


It was SO FABULOUS to see Brenda Green this year! I missed her last year when she debuted the Vueset palettes, so I did not want to miss her this year when she introduced 5 new Vuesets. Look for a review of the new Vuesets coming very soon!


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Starbucks FAIL – Who closes early on a Saturday afternoon when there’s a TRADESHOW happening in the building?!?!?!


I was dying for an iced chai latte both when I arrived Saturday afternoon and after walking the floor on Sunday afternoon. Both days I was denied because the Starbucks that is IN the Pasadena Convention Center building – the building where the trade show was taking place – CLOSED in the early afternoon both days. On a WEEKEND. Who does that?!?!


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Social Media Forum (L to R); @iamstarwalker, @makeupgeek, @xoxolizz, @desimakeup, @chrisspy, Danny Rodriguez of @beautyblender


This was the ONE workshop I absolutely did NOT want to miss. I know a lot about being a media makeup artist, I have been at it for a while now. However, as I continue to build the Makeup to Go! empire, I realize there is a lot a lot I do not know about the world of Social Media. Learning WordPress was hard enough, but things change in the Social Media landscape everyday. From the casual user to the paid Social Media professional, there is a lot to keep up with. All of the panelists (with the exception of Star Walker who was the moderator and Danny Rodriguez representing Beauty Blender who was on the panel to discuss Social Media from the Brand side) have been successful in turning their Social Media presence into legit cottage industries. Marlena of MakeupGeek has turned her passion into a full on business and in addition to having a successful makeup line, she will be opening physical stores soon. Wow! That is not my ambition with Makeup to Go!, but I do have goals so it is inspiring to hear where people have been able to go using Social Media. I really appreciated the willingness of the panel to share real knowledge. I learned a lot!

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Sam and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo


Speaking of turning an online presence into an entire enterprise, the ladies of Pixiwoo have to be one of the premiere examples. They got their start as makeup artists FIRST, working at cosmetics counters and also under their aunt was was a prominent UK Makeup Artist. Before Social Media and YouTube was even a thing, Sam – after having her first child – started making video tutorials of makeup demonstrations on herself and the rest as they say… After a brief speech about their history and start in the social media world, the sisters did a demonstration of a “London” makeup style (which is – by their description – a little bit funkier and quirkier than the clean sophistication of a “New York” style).

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my fab makeup students Amanda and Annette


Towards the end of the day I finally ran into some of my students who attended their first trade show as professional makeup artists. 🙂 Regretfully, I did not take a photo of Sabrina and Veronica who were also in attendance (It initially slipped my mind to take a photo altogether, I just fortunately happened to run into Amanda and Annette again), and I missed my girl Wendy entirely. 🙁 But I’m super proud of my students for making it to the show! 🙂


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Sam Fine demo, standing room only…


I really had not planned on seeing Sam Fine’s demo just because I have seen him in demonstration so many times, yet I found myself standing and watching yet another Sam Fine demo. For me, that is the power of a great artist – I just cannot help but be drawn in by their awesome powers. In addition to being a great artist in terms of the caliber of his work, Mr. Fine is also a great demonstrator in terms of how he works with the crowd. Some of the questions asked were quite basic from young artists who have not yet gone pro (how to match foundation, etc.) and he neither hemmed and hawed NOR just gave the audience easy answers. He challenged question seekers to THINK about what they were asking, how there probably was not one answer that fit all situations, and how they can find solutions to their own makeup issues. To me that marks a Master Teacher as well as a master artist.

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the Haul…(and to think this does NOT include the 20 pairs of lashes I’d purchased in DTLA the day before the show…)


and my 2014 haul which includes MakeupGeek, Making You Cosmetics, VueSet (thanks Brenda!), Parian Spirit (I was reaching Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” levels in my supply!), and lots o’ lashes (Ardell and Red Cherry).

LAST SHOW NOTES
– I was super happy to see increased attendance this year, and I hope it grows more next year. Remember, this event is open to the Public. It is not a professionals only show so tell your friends and relatives to come SHOP! 🙂
– Check-In was easy-peasy and the show staff were friendly and helpful.
– It was nice to see the nail vendors getting some love. I discovered a great new product I plan to try and talk about soon (perfect for us non-manicurists!)
– Anastasia and LimeCrime were busy the ENTIRE time I was at the show, I couldn’t even pretend to get to either booth until it was almost show closing time.
– This show is all beauty all the time (no FX!) so I hope more of the BEAUTY brands come to exhibit next year. Smashbox, Stila, Muse Beauty Pro, Bdellium Tools, Becca, etc. etc. I am looking at YOU! 🙂
– ONE CRITIQUE: There is a bit too much noise around the main stage. It was often hard to hear presenters (visit my Instagram feed – @makeuptogoblog – to see and hear a video portion of Sam Fine’s demo).

If PHAME comes back for a third year, I will do my best to be there. So here’s to a third year!

Many thanks to the PHAMExpo for giving myself and my Blogstress in Español, Delia, passes to attend the show!

How was your PHAME experience? Let me know in Comments below 🙂