#MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

makeup to go blog makeup short notes April 2016 erborian

Erborian liquid moisture bar

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

4. Melanated Beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes March 2016

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 chanel rouge coco stylo histoire

blurry me on Sunset Blvd. wearing Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lip color in “Histoire”

Howdy folks. And once again, we’re back!

There’s a lot going on in the background of Makeup to Go these days, more on that to be announced at later dates. In the meantime, la vida makeup continua and I’ve had the opportunity to try lots o’ new product. Here, then, are my Makeup Short Notes March 2016

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 chanel rouge coco stylo histoire
1 ) Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Lipshine

I recently attended the “I Love Coco” event taking place in Los Angeles. The point of the event was to introduce new products in the Chanel color line via a style lounge with drinks, mingling and little mini-makeovers. There was – unsurprisingly – a wait to get a mani as Chanel nailpolishes are INCREDIBLE, but surprisingly there wasn’t much of a wait in the makeup room. I decided to try the new Rouge Stylo lipsticks. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the above blurriness when I first posted it right after the event. (…my skin looks good tho. I’m not wearing any face makeup in that pic. (take care of your skin, folks!).

Rouge Stylo comes in 8 shades and anyone who knows me knows that IF I am going to bother wearing lipstick, it’s going to be red, so we selected “Histoire” for my mini-makeover. In the tube this looked like it was going to be too orange-y but it was actually a nice true red which would be wearable for a variety of skintones (even tho I’m Black, I’m COOL not warm, and too warm colors look ashy/funky on me). The formula was very creamy and comfortable to wear yet lasted the entire rest of my day (I had a client later that evening and she remarked on my super-fly lip color). At $37 this is a bit of an investment, but like most Chanel it is an investment worth making. I purchased “Histore” for my personal use and I plan to buy the full set of colors for my celeb kit.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 make up for ever ultra hd concealer
2 ) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

I am extremely picky about concealers, particularly for use under the eye. When it comes to concealing you can color correct a problem or you can mask a problem by covering over it. Generally speaking, I like products that can do both hence I need less product and there’s less chance of slippage, cracking, cakiness, etc. This new iteration of the HD concealer by Make Up For Ever comes in the liqui-cream texture that I like for concealers. It is highly pigmented to give adequate coverage, but it is a more flexible formula that is less likely to crease and go crazy when used under the eyes (which means it would be totally fine on other parts of the face). By Makeup For Ever’s description, the “R”s are color correcting and the “Y”s are concealing so that would be the only drawback as – again – I prefer one product to do both. But upon initial usage I was impressed with the texture and the wear so I will continue to give this product a shot.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 beauty blender micro mini correct four
3 ) Micro Mini Correct Four Set

On the topic of correcting and concealing, Beauty Blender has introduced a micro.mini.correct.four set designed to make the task of concealing and correcting a little bit easier. The micro mini beauty blenders came on the scene a couple of years or so ago as a companion piece for the regular Beauty Blender. The micros are designed to fit into all of the nooks and crannies (corners of the eyes, around the nose, etc.) where a regular sized Blender might be more awkward to use.

I’m including this set for all the non-pro Makeup to Go readers in the house. Correctors (yellow, orange, green, lavender, and sometimes pink) have been in use by pros for eons, but they have been making their way slowly but surely into the consumer market. In fact both Smashbox and Urban Decay have recently introduced easy-to-use corrector products. What I like about the mini correct four set is you can coordinate your sponge with your corrector. That sounds silly, but its really REALLY important to use correctors correctly or they just look wrong. Manys the time I’ve seen a woman walking around with visible green on her face and that’s just Le Sad.

PRO TIP: If you’re confused about concealing/correcting, fear not! A visual tutorial is coming soon!

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 mac cosmetics pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation
4 ) Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Every time I get out, something pulls me back in… Like many “makeup artists of a certain age”, I have a love/notasmuchinlove relationship with MAC Cosmetics these days. They are certainly a very different company than they were back in the pre-Estee Lauder days, that’s for sure. That said, while it may be shocking to some folks that I’m talking about a MAC product, they’ve never fully left my kit in fact MAC makes a couple of absolute Holy Grail products that never leave my kit. One of the notasmuchinlove areas for me with MAC has always been their foundations, largely because there is a very particular finish I am looking to achieve with foundation and I do not – even though I know its the trend nowadays – care for full coverage foundation. A few years ago MAC reformulated the Face and Body foundation and it is just absolutely gorg, so I was open to the possibility of trying a MAC foundation, particularly a liquid. Enter the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation. It is a silicone based foundation, which we all know I love, so I loved the finish and the wear of the product. MAC claims that this product is waterproof, transfer-proof, and can last for as long as 24 hours. Well folks, based on my initial usage I’m inclined to believe it. I used this on a very high-energy performer. The first time I did his grooming I was panicked about product breakdown but fortunately I’d used a good setting spray. This time around I knew the drill. The waterproof formula didn’t breakdown, didn’t get chalky or cakey, and my client didn’t look rode hard and brought home wet after his performance. A quick touch up with powder and he was able to take his seat and look good for the remainder of the show taping. If it can last after dancing around under TV studio lighting, it can make it through anyone’s day.

PRO TIP: My client is a deeper-complexioned African American. The color range for people of color in this product is excellent.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 bare minerals matte spf 15 foundation
5 ) Bare Minerals MATTE Powder Foundation
“Hey T…Haven’t you talked about this product a number of times already?” Yes, I have. This is the powder foundation that I wear on myself on a day to day basis for natural, light coverage. It’s great. It evens up my skintone, wears well with my oiliness, and unlike the original Bare Minerals powder it does not give a grey cast (which traditional mineral foundations can do on deeper skintones). So why am I writing about it again? Welp, I wore it on the day that I got my new driver’s license photo taken last November. When I took a selfie in the parking lot in natural light it looked fine, in fact I looked great. But WHOOO BOY what it did when that already not particularly flattering DMV flash lighting hit it. You talk about flashback/TD reaction. I look old and a completely different color. YIKES! No, I will not be posting that photo.

PRO TIP: Do Not Wear For Photographic Use.

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#MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes October 2015

makeup to go blog makeup short notes october 2015 bioderma sebium H2O micellar water

Bioderma Sebium H2O

Howdy folks. It’s finally Autumn, my favorite season..

In California it’s a time for clear, crisp sunny days but with cooler, friendlier temperatures. And while we here in Southern California may not get the “change of seasons” in terms of foliage that other regions do, there is a beautiful change in the light. It’s almost like going from a bright hazy yellow to a more sharply focused amber hue. Just gorgeous.

As the season changes, so does the makeup and also likely your skincare will need some updating as well, as I wrote in a previous post on Prepping for Fall. And if you are an avid beauty-ista you know that a lot of new products are generally introduced this time of year, leading up to the Holidays. Therefore there is a lot of fun new stuff to play with. Here are my Makeup Short Notes October 2015…

makeup to go blog makeup short notes october 2015 bioderma sensibio crealine sebium H2O micellar water
1 ) Bioderma Sensibio / Crealine H2O vs Bioderma Sebium H2O
While they aren’t actually new, Micellar (Micellaire) Waters have become the Big New Thing in skincare. What IS new is All of a sudden the talk has changed from using it either on set or using it occasionally as part of one’s personal skncare routine to everone using it regularly in the place of traditional cleansers and moisturizers. Whoa whoa whoa… let’s not go crazy here, folks. I am big on my skincare, particularly of using the right skin cleanser, so I wanted to put this to the test.

Bioderma Sensibio (originally called Crealine*) is the original formulation (I made mention of this in my previous Makeup Monday post), and the Sebium H2O is one of several new additions to the Bioderma skincare line. Both are a cleanser/makeup remover and some would say moisturizer all in one. Both are formulated to be gentle on the skin, and to leave the skin clean and refreshed without needing to rinse off the product. The Sebium is made for oilier skins and contains ingredients to control clogged pores and sebum production such as zinc gluconate (effective anti inflammatory ingredient) and copper sulphate (increased collagen production amongst other claims, but the actual efficacy as a skincare ingredient is less certain).

I have very oily skin and I do not care for the way makeup feels on my skin so when I do wear it, I generally want it off at the first available moment. SO, I took advantage of a couple of days where I knew I had to wear makeup (business meetings) to come home in the evening and use these Micellar Waters. Despite the fact that the Sensibio is supposed to be “not strong enough” for my skintype, I found I preferred it for makeup removal as it removed the makeup (Bare Escentual Matte Powder Foundation) faster in my opinion. That said, Sebium is better for me as a face cleanser. I did not feel as though Sebium got the makeup off as quickly as Sensibio (I needed to use both sides of 5 cotton rounds to get everything off), so I wouldn’t use it as a makeup remover; in all that time I could have just washed my face. HOWEVER I do like it very much for times when I need a quick face cleansing (like post-workout), in the morning, or even before bed IF I didn’t wear makeup that day and I’m too tired to wash my face.

TL;DR – Micellar Water will NOT be replacing proper face washing for me anytime soon, but they are good for quick clean-ups.

Pro Tip: *It seems that with the addition of the newer formulations they are re-branding the entire line, however the Sensibio is the same product as the artist formerly known as Crealine.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes october 2015 by terry magnet'eyes eye designer palette #3
2 ) By Terry – Eye Designer Palette #3 – Magnet’Eyes

I got this for no reason other than I wanted it and so far I’m loving it. By Terry is a luxury brand that comes with a luxury price tag. It is a staple in my “star kit” which is increasingly becoming “my kit”. 99.6% of the time I am working in a neutral color palette on the eyes, but I did feel like I wanted to add a new selection of autumnal colors to my arsenal. These are gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous jewel tones, nicely pigmented (aka it reads even on my skintone and doesn’t have a white cast), flatteringly sheeny without being too shimmery, with a velvety texture. At $96 it’s no joke BUT it isn’t a palette I expect to be using super often so with proper care it should last a good while.

Pro Tip: By Terry as a brand is available at Barney’s, Space NK, etc. but Magnet’Eyes Palette #3 is exclusive to Beautylish.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes october 2015 nars pro palette
3 ) NARS Pro Palette

If you are a working artist OR if you just own a lot of makeup, the best way to store your makeup in terms of ease of use and organization is to “palette-ize” your products, i.e. transfer your product from the original retail packaging to an empty palette. This makes it easier to see and use what you have and it takes up less overall space (hence it’s essential for a working artists’ kit). The latest entry into the artist palette realm is NARS Pro Palette. These are plastic shell palettes with magnetic backing to hold cosmetics pans in place. I purchased mine to house product I already own, but you can also “build your own palette” online or in a NARS boutique. Since I have no idea how these are going to wear in the long run, and since I tend to prefer to keep my kit small anyway I’ve started out with a small palette. Fortunately neither size are too large, nor are they too thick. I’ll be doing a follow up on these after I’ve used them for a while.

Make any great new purchases lately? Tell us about it in comments! 🙂
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#MakeupMonday – Lifesavers

makeup to go blog lifesavers Tresemme Perfectly Undone brushable hold hairspray

Tresemme Perfectly Undone brushable hold hairspray. Lifesaver.

Whether pro or consumer or somewhere in between we’ve all been there…

You’re away from home and you realize you’re missing a needed product.

This has happened to me both personally and professionally more times than I care to even remember. Because this has happened to me a ga-zillion times, however, I’ve discovered a whole arsenal of GREAT “Lifesavers”; products that I can buy anywhere and that perform without missing a step.

Tresemme Perfectly UnDone Hairspray (pictured above)
I recently worked up in San Francisco and at the time I left LA, I was booked to do one commercial job and then also teach (I am a recurring specialty instructor at the Blush School of Makeup in SF). Neither of those jobs required me to do hair so I decided not to pack my hair kit. This was a mistake. While in the Bay I got booked for another commercial job, and this one required both makeup AND hair. UGH! I was able to borrow hair tools from the school (THANK YOU!) but I needed to get product, obviously, and Friday night the day before the shoot does not leave one with many options (particularly outside of NYC or LA). I knew I’d have to drugstore it and I KNEW I was getting Tresemme. Tresemme makes excellent pro-quality products and I can *always* find something to fit the bill. When I’m shooting I prefer brushable hairspray because I often need to change styles and I want a hairspray I can also use as a for thermal styling. Normally I use either Bumble and Bumble Does it All Spray or good ole Elnett and I will say that the Tresemme Perfectly Undone Hairspray can take the “Pepsi Challenge®” with either of those two products.

PRO TIP: Not packing any sort of a hair kit was a poor decision on my part. If you market yourself as makeup AND hair, always have a hair kit on you.

makeup to go blog lifesavers  jane carter solution curl defining cream
Jane Carter Solution – Curl Defining Cream
Again on the hair tip, but this one is personal not professional. I wear my hair in its natural, afro textured state. Thusly my main hair concerns are to a) keep my hair moisturized and b) keep my hair moisturized at all times. Speaking only for myself I do not particularly worry about curl definition and I’ve been natural for well over 20 years so I am incredibly hair lazy. Therefore I don’t really use styling products unless they are also moisturizing so I can get some 2-for-1 action. Finding quality haircare (no petroleum, ‘cone-free, no crazy fragrances, etc.) for natural hair has been drama until recently but now several good brands are available in Target and other such mass-retailers. One of my faves is the Jane Carter Solution brand, which is naturally derived, features many Vegan items including the Curl Cream, and all of her products are focused on moisturizing and nourishing the hair. The Jane Carter Solution brand is in Target, Ulta, and even Whole Foods Market so it is pretty easy to find no matter where I am. The line is not just for natural coily/curly heads either, Jane Carter Solution has products for all hair types so check it. Honorable Mention: Oyin Handmade Shine and Define cream. I love Oyin Handmade and I actually started using the line well before discovering JCS BUT while Oyin is now in Target, it is not yet quite as widely distributed and Target does not yet carry the entire product line.

PRO TIP: I also keep some of the Curl Defining Cream in my kit. It’s a great styler for any sort of curly/coily/multi-cultural hair.

makeup to go blog lifesavers simple skincare micellar water
Simple – Cleansing Micellar Water
To date I’ve fortunately never been so out of it that I forgot my makeup kit, but I have had times where I’ve needed some quick skincare items. Micellar waters have become all the rage and makeup artists have, in fact, been using them for years because they do work (NO they do not replace washing your face, but in a pinch they effectively remove makeup and cleanse the face without needing to rinse afterward). Everyone by now has heard of the legendary Bioderma Crealine which artists used to have to bring back with them from travels abroad, and even now you can only get it in the States online at Beautylish. The Simple brand’s Cleansing Micellar Water is vitamin-enriched and made with triple filtered water and leaves the skin refreshed and hydrated. The Simple brand micellar water is also much more affordably priced should you decide you want to incorporate micellar into your regular skincare routine.

makeup to go blog lifesavers alba botanica oil free moisturizer aloe and green tea
Alba Botanica Oil-Free Moisturizer Aloe & Green Tea
Finding an oil free moisturizer that does not contain a bunch of actives but that also actually does anything is challenging.

Finding a moisturizer that uses naturally derived ingredients but does not use an oil base is very challenging.

Joy came to my life in the form of Alba Botanica Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer. When you first apply it, the texture may seem odd because it’s a kind of gel-like and slippery. Initially it may seem like it didn’t do anything but after a minute or so you will bask in how soft and supple your face feels. I also like this moisturizer because it plays nicely with Sunscreen (I don’t like moisturizers with Sunscreen in them, I’d rather layer two separate products for maximum effectiveness). This has actually become a staple item for me since first discovering it in a state of desperation.

makeup to go blog lifesavers Nuxe-Huile Prodigieuse® Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Shimmer
Nuxe – Huile Prodigieuse® Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Shimmer
I. Was. So. Stoked when I discovered that Target was now carrying select items from the Nuxe brand. Nuxe is another one of those “makeup artists love it” brands that was – not as ridiculous as Bioderma – but a little challenging to get as it started as a small brand generally available in specialty stores (like Space NK), but now Nuxe is all grown up and widely available. Like everyone else in the know, I absolutely adore the Nuxe-Huile Prodigieuse® Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Shimmer. Nuxe is known for their famous dry oil, Huile Prodigieuse for Face, Body and Hair. This is that same amazing oil base with shimmer added to it. I can do so much with this product anytime I want to add a pop of sheen (or change product texture) on body, hair and face. I first bought this on the road when I got booked to do a red carpet client and I needed to add a little bit of highlight to her face and some color and sheen to her legs. Worked a treat.

makeup to go blog lifesavers dr. bronners  18 in 1 hemp lavender pure castile liquid soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap
Maaaan… listen. This stuff has saved my life more times and in more situations than I can even count. It can literally be used from head to toe for bathing, it can be used for laundry, it can wash makeup and hair brushes, it can even be used to brush your teeth (yes I’ve done it, and it’s actually fine just don’t use more than a couple of drops). This product is the definition of a lifesaver AND you can get it practically anywhere now, from Target to Trader Joe’s, and even some mainstream grocery stores. And it’s organic and comes in an array of yummy scents. 🙂 (I personally prefer the liquid version. Liquid soaps are more hygenic and more versatile IMO, but Dr. Bronner’s is available as a bar soap if that’s what you like better…)

makeup to go blog lifesavers virgin organic coconut oil
Coconut Oil
’nuff said. (I will say that I prefer organic virgin coconut oil if I can get it and considering you can even get it at WalMart these days… it’s pretty easy to get.)

Obviously, we would all prefer to have our standby, “Holy Grail” products with us at all times but let’s face it; life happens. It is good to know, however, that when for whatever reason do not have one of my tried and true regulars, there are a lot of quality products which I turn to in pinch.

Do you have some Lifesavers products I didn’t mention? Tell me in comments 🙂
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#MakeupMonday – Skin Prep

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell nick horne photographer

© N. Horne
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

Skin Prep

For a makeup artist, prepping the skin before actually applying the makeup is oftentimes more important than the makeup itself. Proper skin preparation helps the makeup glide on like butter and last and look fresh for hours. Without it – unless you have really perfect skin – we’re talking uneven texture, half-eaten makeup on dry skin, half-slid off the face makeup on oily skin; mass hysteria!

I come from a makeup land before time when Primers did not exist. Therefore – while I like and do use Primers now – my primary methodology for getting skin where I need it to be is proper moisturizing. Choose the right moisturizer and moisturize the skin properly and you may find you do not even need a Primer. Further, proper moisturizing can make a good Primer work even better. Therefore I’m giving my moisturizer and Primer combo tips for each skin type. PRO TIP: Not all moisturizers work under makeup. Many will actually undermine your makeup performance. The following have all been tried and tested by moi both on private clients and for photography.


Moisture Moisture Moisture must be your mantra when you have dry skin. And not just emoilient (although dry skin does need lipids), but hydration. Dehydrated skin eats makeup leaving behind blotchy, uneven and tired looking skin.

makeup to go blog skin prep ren ultra moisture day cream
REN – Ultra Moisture Day Cream
This cream is everything I love in a moisturizer for dry skin. It is both emollient and hydrating, so it bolsters the moisture layer of fragile dry skin. It is chock full of anti-oxidants to protect against pesky free-radicals. It is NOT petroleum based so it doesn’t make makeup slide (and it doesn’t irritate sensitive skin that does not do well with petroleum or mineral oils). In short, it is fab.

makeup to go blog skin prep smashbox photo finish hydrating primer
SMASHBOX – Photo Finish Hydrating Primer
I’ve mentioned this product a lot and for a long time. This product refines the skin surface for a smooth makeup application without being overly aggressive and drying the way many primers are. It also isn’t too moisturizing which can make makeup slip.


Normal skin usually does not need much and that’s why the rest of us hate you 😉 If you have “Normal” skin, the trick is not to do too much. Overuse of mattifying, “pore refining”, etc. type products which are meant for oily skin can make your skin appear dry. OR you can overdo it in moisturizing products meant for drier skin and make your skin act oily. The key for Normal skin is to go easy.

makeup to go blog skin prep cerave moisturizing lotion
CERAVE – Moisturizing Lotion
This is just a good, solid, basic moisturizer with no actives which is my preference for underneath makeup applications. They do make a version with an SPF30 if that is easier for your personal use instead of using a separate sunscreen. The key to CeraVe is their use of ceramides which helps to replenish the lipid barrier of the skin which helps to protect the skin. Dry and Normal skins can generally benefit greatly from the use of ceramides. Oilier skins should proceed with caution as too much ceramide use can cause breakouts in some folks.

makeup to go blog skin prep earth science naturals herbal tonic mist
I recently posted about Smashbox’s Primer Water – which I do like performance wise – but upon doing some further research I realized I didn’t love the ingredients in that product. There are a few different “primer mist” products out there (MAC, MUFE, Smashbox, etc.) and really all a Primer mist really is, is a diluted form of a toner in a spray bottle. Therefore instead of recommending a makeup brand, I’m keeping it 100. I have used Earth Science Herbal Tonic Mist for nearly 20 years. I use it on myself and in my pro kit. It is hydrating (thanks to aloe vera, sodium hyaluronate, NAPCA, and a host of skin-lovin’ botanicals), refreshing, yummy smelling (faint herbal smell), and altogether fab. AND it’s around $10 for an 8 oz bottle.


Wearing makeup with Oily skin is rough. My skin is so oily still (hello?! 45 years old!) that I frequently do not bother. When I do wear makeup the key is keeping my skin balanced so that it doesn’t kick up excess oil that will make my makeup disappear. Super drying products are actually counter productive as they will cause your skin to overcompensate with the oil. Keep your skin hydrated and lightly mattified and your makeup will stay in tact longer. (and for heavens sake NEVER use Magnesium Hydroxide – most commonly known as “Milk of Magnesia” – on your face. It destroys the acid mantle and causes all types of distress to the skin.)

makeup to go blog skin prep embryolisse hydra-mat emulsion
EMBRYOLISSE – Hydra-Mat Emulsion
Yes makeup artists love the 24-Hour Miracle Cream aka Lait Creme Concentre. NO it is not appropriate for all skin types and situations. The base is paraffin and beeswax. My skin got oilier just by typing that. The Hydra-Mat is an emulsion of glycerin and apricot kernel oil which is a lightweight oil. It is rich in antioxidants and lipids to give skin the protective barrier it needs but it won’t make most oily skin folks skin go cray. The formula also has cornstarch to help absorb any excess sebum that does make an appearance.

makeup to go blog skin prep aubrey organics pure aloe vera jelly
AUBREY ORGANICS – Pure Aloe Vera Jelly
I’ve said it before but it’s been a long time; my favorite primer for truly oily skin by far is pure Aloe Vera. Not the cheap kind in rainbow colors you can get at the drugstore (aside from the artificial coloring, the binders that thicken those types of aloe gels are no bueno), but pure aloe vera jelly as you can get from a natural foods store. Aloe binds moisture to the skin, provides a protective layer, reduces inflammation, contains anti-oxidants, and is in general The Truth. I use Aloe on my skin everyday.

(this post was published on the road so apologies for excessive typos/errors… We’ll edit it into shape soon 🙂 )

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