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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#Happenings – AJ Crimson BeautĂ© Boutique Opening

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! 🙂

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening los angeles boutique

from @ajcrimsonbeauty Instagram


One of my makeup passions

…is discovering small, independent and/or niche beauty lines that a creating high quality products with a unique point of view. From the jump I have been a supporter of celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson’s line – AJ Crimson BeautĂ©. The line has changed around since my first post about it, but now it seems to be settling into a groove, and AJ Crimson Beauty is growing from being in the pro stores and at cosmetics counters in various stores (including internationally in England and Nigeria), to opening up a signature “Atelier” boutique on chic La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles (right next door to the infamous Pink’s Hot Dogs).

The AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique is a little jewel of a boutique offering a curated shopping experience. The AJ Crimson line and the boutique were designed to address the beauty needs of women of color, however pretty much any skin tone can find something to enhance their fabulousness. In addition to his own line, the boutique carries makeup brushes, skincare, candles, etc. Even though the opening was well attended, the vibe was less of a bustling retail feel, and more of a relaxed, casual elegance that invites shoppers to sit a spell and stay a while.


makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening

shot in silhouette on purpose as a few celebs were in attendance…


makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening champagne

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening aj crimson beauty line
AJ Crimson Beauté

Since last I wrote about it, the AJ Crimson Beauty line has pared down it offerings and focused on skin and lip products. On display were the Dual Skin Cream Foundations (which as I mentioned I just got one for myself) and Dual Skin Correctors, the Universal Finishing Powders, the Mattes + Metallics Gloss Lippies, and my favorite product, the S & M (Sultry and Matte) Lipsticks.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening melanie mills gleam
Melanie Mills Hollywood – Gleam Body Radiance
It feels like I’ve discussed Melanie Mills Hollywood Gleam products about a zillion times, so nothing new to say here but it was nice to see the Body Radiance in the boutique. As the goal of the AJ Crimson boutique is to provide products selected to work on women of color, Gleam products do not have white cast that can make deeper complexions look cakey or ashy. That chalky/ashy effect is something to watch out for when using highlighting products on people of color.

urban skin rx makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening
Urban Skin Rx
I’d not heard of Urban Skin Rx prior to seeing it at the store opening. Urban Skin Rx is developed by a medical esthetician and it is described as “Clinical Skincare for all Skin Types”. The line is comprised of skin care treatments designed to address a myriad of problems including the dreaded Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation that plagues so many women of color.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening tribal by nature candles
Tribal By Nature
The entire space was captivatingly yummy smelling thanks to these delicious candles. These are elegant candles with refined scents that subtly grace a room with fragrance. Think Diptyque rather than Yankee Doodle. Strangely enough I cannot find a website for this company. ??? But I love a good candle so I’ll likely be back to purchase one.

Speaking of purchases; I swear I did not intend to buy anything on this trip – LOL! But real talk; well wishes do not pay bills. If we want independent retailers like the AJ Crimson BeautĂ© Boutique to survive, we gotta whip out those credit cards and get ta spending. With that in mind, I went ahead and purchased two gorgeous makeup brushes, and for doing so I was gifted a fabulous goodie bag! 😀


makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening goodie bag

very generous goodie bag!



makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening mustaeV brushes

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening mustaeV brushes

#04 is AJ’s personal favorite


MustaeV
First my purchase; MustaeV (which I now know is pronounced like “Must Have”). This was the first time I’d seen their brushes and it was love at first sight. These are from the Kowonhye* Collection which appears to be their high end line, so these were not cheap. Quality brushes, however, are never cheap. I was immediately interested in #3 ($44.50) as I’ve been contemplating getting a good buffing brush for a while now. THEN, however, both one of AJ’s artists and AJ Crimson himself told me that I had to get brush #4 ($51.00) as well. #4 is listed as a blush brush but AJ says he loves it to apply cream foundations. I love true artistry brushes that can be used multiple ways. What else could I do?! I had to get them both!
(*Kowonhye is a well known international fashion/celebrity makeup artist),

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening coloured raine cosmetics liquid lipcolor

purples look fab on deeper skintones… Coloured Raine Cosmetics liquid lip in “Roulette”


Coloured Raine
Never heard of this line, but the color is gorgeous. I like liquid lipsticks for certain types of photographic work, and I know lots of folks like to wear them as a long lasting lip color option. I’ll give this a whirl and report on it soon.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening glogirl

I love a bright, poppy red. GloGirl Cosmetics lipstick in “Uno Love”


GloGirl
I’ve heard lots of good things about the GloGirl Cosmetics brand so I’m stoked to finally have an item to play with. And I’m glad this tube is not Blue or the like… (but GloGirl has really pigmented versions of all of those edgy colors if you are so inclined
)

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator AJ Crimson Beauté Boutique Opening aj crimson beauty nude lipstick

gorgeous nude that will work with numerous skintones – AJ Crimson BeautĂ© lipstick in “Nude”


AJ Crimson Beauty
My fave AJ Crimson Beauty products are the lipcolors, full stop. Not surprisingly this color stays sold out. This is a very universal nude color that’s neither too warm nor too cool, not too light or too deep, and not too brown or too pink. I imagine I’ll be using this one a lot.

I don’t think it needs to be said that the Holidays are upon us. In addition to the products carried, the AJ Crimson BeautĂ© Boutique offers education and events, makeup application services, gift cards, and more. If you are in LA or coming for a visit, stop by the boutique as part of your holiday shopping extravaganza.

(Nope, this is not a sponsored post. I purchased items as described and neither AJ Crimson nor AJ Crimson BeautĂ© know about this post until I tell them
 🙂 )
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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 – The Original Beauty Blender™ vs the Makeup Blending Sponge

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell original beauty blender and copies makeup blending sponges

left Original Beauty Blender™, right Graftobian GlamourGrip™ makeup blending sponge


    NOTE: This may sound like it, but this is NOT a placed post. Beauty Blender™ does not know I am writing this, this is my own independent comparison out of my own curiosity. I was given a Graftobian sponge, but I purchased everything else including my Beauty Blender™ sponges. This review is based on my actual usage in the field on my jobs and is just my subjective opinion. 🙂

    CORRECTION: As I said above, my post below is based on *my*experiences with the Beauty Blender™. However, I’ve received feedback from other fellow pro artists that actually the Pink Beauty Blender™ sponges can in fact have dye run. Also artists who purchased the first run of Beauty Blender™ experienced some ripping/tearing. The ripping/tearing has not been an issue with later versions of the Pink, and no one reported any problems at all (dye run, ripping, etc.) with the Black sponges. No word on the White sponge or the Micro.mini..

When the Beauty Blender™ sponge first entered the marketplace to say that it took the makeup artist community by storm would be an understatement. The excitement went from zero to sixty in seemingly minutes and next thing I knew every makeup artist I knew owned and LOVED a Beauty Blender™. I was That Makeup Artist who actually was not immediately WOW-d. I thought it was fine, but it was a tool like any other and it certainly was not a “must have” in any way. Why was my reaction so lukewarm when so many of my artists friends raved? Probably because the first makeup blending sponge I tried was a knockoff, not a real Beauty Blender™. Truth be told – now that I own and use several real Beauty Blenders™ – I still kind of feel that way; it is not a must-have, use on every job item for me. Now that I am working with the real deal, however, I can appreciate what an excellent tool is really is.

So this got me thinking: How do the numerous makeup blending sponge knockoffs stack up to the original Beauty Blender™?

The first knockoff makeup blending sponge I used was so bad it was comical. It came from an overseas company who claimed to be the manufactures for the real Beauty Blender™ sponge. The claim was dubious at best as I already knew Beauty Blender™ is an American based company, and the sample sponge they sent was the wrong shade of pink, and not quite the right size and shape (they attempted to explain this away in their literature by calling what they sent a “prototype” 😐 ). It worked OK, but honestly no differently from a run-of-the-mill wedge sponge. But then the truth came out – literally – the first time I washed it. Upon washing this fakey blender sponge, an odd blue dye emerged from the core of the sponge to the surface. And no matter what I used to wash it, how often I washed it, etc., the weird blue dye would not go away. NOPE. Not using that on people’s faces. Owners of true Beauty Blender™ sponges know that when washed there is no dye run, no change in shape, no crumbling (until they get very old at which point you probably should have long replaced it), etc. I do not know what that thing was, but it was not a Beauty Blender™.

This was about 4 or so years ago. Nowadays the Beauty Blender™ is well established for both makeup pros and makeup fans alike. As such there are even more knockoff sponges, or shall I say, Beauty Blender™ “inspired” sponges ;-). Generally speaking the quality of these dupes has improved significantly from my overseas friend. Since my testing on this began about 6 months ago, none of the makeup blending sponges I tried have changed shape, lost color, or started falling apart on me. But when it comes down to it, do any of them compare to the actual Beauty Blender™? Here are my thoughts on a few of the Beauty Blender™ inspired sponges I have tried.

makeup to go makeup to go blog makeup blending sponge Graftobian GlamourGrip sponge
1 ) Graftobian HD GlamourGrip™ Sponge

If you know Makeup to Go/Tania Russell, you know I am a large fan of Graftobian’s HD Creme foundation and I also use their Wet Dry Dual Finish Powder Foundation. A couple of trade shows ago, I brought so many of my friends & students to the Graftobian booth to buy the HD Creme that the gentleman at the booth gave me a GlamourGrip™ to try. I like it.

Grip: The shape is supposed to make it easier to grip, but I find I prefer the egg shape of the Beauty Blender™. Also the GlamourGrip does not have enough of a “tip” at the top end to get into crevices like around the nose and the inner eye corners.

Texture: Texture is where everyone fell short of the goal line although I would say that the Graftobian sponge came the closest. It has a similar velvety exterior to really give that buffed, polished skin finish for which the Beauty Blender™ is known. Also the GlamourGrip™ is softer and more squishy like the Beauty Blender™, making it easier to hold and control.

Maneuverability: I found it a bit clunky feeling in-hand. I would not call it “bad” because of the grip-ability due to the softer texture, but the shape could be more streamlined.

Finish: The GlamourGrip™ left a very nice finish on the skin. It took a bit more work to get all the lines and demarcations out of my finished applications than the Beauty Blender™, but ultimately the finish was very nice. Worked well with both cream and liquid foundations and with Graftobian’s own Dual Finish Powder Foundation.

OVERALL: Not a bad dupe.

makeup to go makeup to go blog makeup blending sponge real techniques miracle complexion sponge
2 ) Real Technique Miracle Complexion Sponge

Grip: The Real Technique sponge pays homage to the original egg shape of the Beauty Blender™ but then adds their own spin of having one side blunted. This blunt side is for buffing/smoothing/blending out edges/etc. I like the shape. The problem, however…

Texture:…is in the texture. The Miracle Complexion Sponge is too dense and not at all springy like the Beauty Blender™. Also it has larger, more visible pores which in my opinion affected the final outcome of the finish.

Maneuverability: Good. In addition to the blunt edge for buffing, it has the “traditional” tip end for reaching into the crevices.

Finish: Okay. The finish was – again, in my opinion – no different than a wedge sponge. NOW artists have used wedge sponges since forever and you can get a good finish off of a wedge sponge. I was able to get a good finish off of the Real Technique sponge, but I would not call the final outcome a ‘miraculous complexion’ by any stretch.

OVERALL: Nice, basic sponge. No less, but no more.

makeup to go makeup to go blog makeup blending sponge ulta super blender sponge
3 ) Ulta Super Blender Sponge

Grip: Again, I do not care for these contoured shaped sponges. I like the egg better. The Ulta sponge does have more of a definitive point than the Graftobian, however, so it is better at getting into the crevices.

Texture: Hard. Not dense, not firm, straight out hard. Not comfortable on the model’s skin and also didn’t move/manipulate product well.

Maneuverability: Clunky shape plus hard texture = not comfortable in hand.

Finish: Has visible “pores”. Gave a foundation finish like that of an ordinary wedge sponge.

OVERALL: Of all of the sponges tested, this was definitely the weakest. I still use all of the other sponges mentioned in some capacity, but as of this writing I do not know where my Ulta sponge is.

makeup to go makeup to go blog makeup blending sponges sonia kashuk blending sponge

4 ) Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge (NOTE: this version of the product has been discontinued)

Grip: The Sonia Kashuk (SK) sponge has a more streamlined version of the sculpted shape like the Ulta and Graftobian sponges. It’s less “fat” and has a nice tip at the end. It is a bit dense, comparable to the Real Techniques sponge. It is not hard like Ulta, but it is not as soft as Graftobian or certainly the original Beauty Blender™.

Texture: Small pore size and slightly “velvety” exterior texture. Feels nice to the touch.

Maneuverability: I still prefer the egg, but the SK sponge came in a solid second place in terms of hand-feel and maneuverability. Due to the shape, I had to pick it up and put it back down on the face multiple times which makes it more cumbersome to use. However I was able to stipple, blend, buff and reach all of the crevices just as I would with an original Beauty Blender™.

Finish: Very nice. Again, I wouldn’t say Beauty Blender™, but it gave me a nicely even and smooth finish with both cream and liquid foundations.

OVERALL: Nice sponge. Sonia Kashuk makes quality products overall and this is another in her excellent collection. As good as a Beauty Blender™? Nope.

What it is exactly about the Beauty Blender™? Well in my opinion it is a few things. Firstly, it is my understanding that the exact composition of the materials used in the original Beauty Blender™ are proprietary. Therefore other companies may approximate and get close, but they will never look or feel exactly the same as a Beauty Blender™, and you really can see and feel the difference. Secondly, the shape of the Beauty Blender™ is really key. That egg shape allows for a perfect “press and roll” motion with the surface area of the sponge making contact with the face at all times. That coupled with the smaller pore size is what makes for the super smooth, “airbrush” finish that the Beauty Blender™ is famous and beloved for. Used properly, there are NO lines, streaks, or demarcation of any kind with the Beauty Blender™. With almost all of the other sponges, the odd shape not only has a gap where the sponge is not making contact with the skin but it also makes it more difficult to do a continuous press and roll motion. I had to keep picking those sponges up and putting them back down on the face, making it more difficult to get rid of all demarcations. The Real Technique sponge would have been great shape-wise, but the overly dense texture and larger pores prevented it from giving me that flawless finish. It is also worth noting that my two contenders were also the more expensive dupes of the ones I tried. The Graftobian sells for about $14.99 and the Sonia Kashuk retails for $10.49. Bear in mind I chose to compare the better of the knockoffs that exist. I have seen some real, real doozey Cheapy McCheapersons out there. My favorite being this bag of assorted shaped/sized/colored blending sponges which one of my former students had. They felt terrible, and worked about as well. Some manufacturers have lost track of the concept of function over form. LOL!

If you’ve used one of the knockoffs and been disappointed I would encourage you to try the real deal. Until you have used an authentic Beauty Blender™, you have not actually used a Beauty Blender™ sponge. That said, not everyone needs to spend $20 on a single sponge, and I get that. Therefore, if you would like a lower cost alternative that will give you a very nice finish to your makeup applications, I found the Graftobian and the Sonia Kashuk to be quality substitutes.

EDITOR’S NOTE 2/11/18 – In the spirit of disclosure: This post was written back in 2014 and at that time all of my Original Beauty Blender™ sponges were purchased by me. Since that time I have been graciously invited to several Original Beauty Blender™ PR events wherein I have been gifted many Beauty Blender™ sponges and other products by the brand. In the 4 years since I originally wrote this article my opinion remains unchanged; I still prefer the Original over the dupes, but there are some dupes in the marketplace that are pretty good. Look for a #REMIX update article soon!

#MakeupMonday – Short Makeup Notes July 2014

LORAC pro eyeshadow palette 2 makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell makeup monday short makeup notes July 2014

LORAC Pro Palette 2


Howdy folks. I’m currently away on business/working hence bloggage has slowed down a tad but I wanted to go back to talking makeup at least a little bit and not promote something for a change*

1 ) LORAC Pro Eyeshadow Palette 2
While I’ve not had a chance to do anything with it yet, I did finally get my hands on this new, coveted palette. I took a look at it at a nearby Ulta and then ordered it from Naimie’s so it should be waiting for me when I get home (pros can get their pricing through Naimie’s).

I have been asked if by folks if they should get Pro 1 or Pro 2. Now that I have seen both live and in person my truthful answer is; it’s up to you. LOL! The Pro 2 palette continues the successful formula of combining a row of matte colors with a row of sheen, shimmer colors. I guess the main difference in my opinion is that the Pro 2 colors are softer overall, which may be more usable to more everyday women. Where the original LORAC Pro eyeshadow palette is a collection of true neutrals ranging from pale all the way to a matte Black and a shimmery deep Charcoal, Pro 2 stays more in the mid-range and includes some pretty pops of color including a pretty plum, a shimmery mossy green and a GORG looking matte Navy that I cannot wait to play around with. While I would still call the Pro 2 a neutral palette, the fact that it stays in the mid tones and adds some “neutral colors” makes this a great palette for personal use, use on brides and “real people” clients, etc. I’m looking forward to getting home and playing around with it!

2) Sonia Kashuk
As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows (or if you’ve studied with me, had a private lesson, etc.) I LOVE the Sonia Kashuk line. I think it is far and away the best of all the mass market brands. Back in the day I wrote this story about the line. Considering about half those products are no longer in the line, I should probably write an updated post. Until such time as I do that, next time you’re in a Target check out the new lip palette and new pro brush collection, both created in celebration of 15 years of the Sonia Kashuk cosmetics line. The Limited Edition Powerful Pout fall lip palette is a range of classic reds, which can of course either be worn alone or mixed to your perfect shade. If you are red-a-phobic this is a good way to stand up to the fear and learn to wear reds. There is a shade of red for everyone! The Limited Edition 15-pc Pro Brush set is a versatile collection includes natural hair (goat and pony) and synthetic bristle brushes and has every brush-type needed for the full face, in a stylish purple color scheme. Personally I am not on board with the colored makeup bristles trend. However I would still recommend these because SK brushes have been an artists secret since their inception. Sonia Kashuk offers very good quality brushes at a very affordable price. In this case it is about $40 for the set. $40! One pro brush can easily cost $40. That’s a great deal.

3 ) Beauty Blender Micro.Minis
I have not yet gotten my hands on the little Beauty Blender Micro.Minis, but I look forward to doing so when I get back from this biz trip. The tiny little Blenders are intended for detail work (undereye, around the nose & mouth, etc). I could also see this helping some folks with blending highlight and contour since the highlight and contour trend doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. 😐

You can read a great review of the Beauty Blender Micro.Minis on NYC makeup artist Victor Amos’s blog: Pro Beauty Blog And I’ll do my own review after I’ve been able to use them a bit.

4 ) The Business of Makeup
OK I lied. I am doing a little promoting. My upcoming Business of Makeup class is upcoming and I am getting excited. The San Francisco class is happening on Sunday, August 17 and that class is All Systems Go. The Los Angeles class was scheduled for 8/24/14, but due to my work schedule it is being moved back a month to mid-September.

NEW WORKSHOP / LESSONS INFORMATION COMING SOON!

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