The Basics: Makeup Brush Cleaning 101

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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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#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 πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™ But I’m super proud of my students for making it to the show! πŸ™‚


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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! πŸ™‚
– 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! πŸ™‚
– 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 EspaΓ±ol, Delia, passes to attend the show!

How was your PHAME experience? Let me know in Comments below πŸ™‚

#MakeupMonday – Rediscover Frends Beauty Supply

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the new and improved Frends Beauty Supply


I finally made it to the newly revamped Frends Beauty Supply! I could not be more happy for them or for the makeup community. Frends Beauty Supply has been around since forever. 1940, to be exact. In the mid-90s it changed ownership and came back into prominence as one of the “big three” of the pro makeup stores. I was not shopping there in the 1940s πŸ˜‰ , but I have been shopping there for my entire career which is means I’ve been shopping there for over 15 years, so pretty much when the change of ownership happened. Frends has always accommodated me at every stage of my career, from complete novice, to old saw.

Cut to 2014 and the makeup landscape has changed dramatically. Back in “the day” pro stores were humble affairs. Pro makeup artists didn’t care too much about a store’s “ambiance” so long as it was clean and had the products we needed (think about the late great Columbia Stage and Screen). Nowadays there are a lot more makeup artists and a lot more people interested in makeup. Hence there are a lot more makeup outlets than ever before. Behemoths like Sephora (which even the current incarnation/ownership of Frends pre-dates by a couple of years) meant that the Pro stores have had to step their collective games up. In my recollection Naimies was the forerunner in terms of creating a space meant to serve both professional artists and makeup consumers alike both in terms of the product they carry and the presentation of the product in a more traditional retail space. Relative newcomer to the pro makeup store scene Nigel Beauty Supply followed suit carrying both popular consumer brands and pro brands (and an FX shop) in a retail environment. Even Cinema Secrets and Kryolan (San Francisco) – while still being decidedly pro oriented and focused primarily on their own makeup brands – have livened up their retail spaces. Frends is proof of the old adage that “slow and steady wins the race” as they have quietly completely revamped their image via strong online presence to connect with their customer base, developed fantastic new product for the pro community, and now last but not least they commandeered the building right next door to the old space to create a fabulous new retail environment.

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I have always enjoyed shopping at Frends because they carry all of the pro brands and items I could imagine in stock, the prices are very good, and the staff is both knowledgeable and FRIENDLY. Yes, I had to emphasize friendly to that extent because there are other stores who may be bigger and brighter but their staff makes me want to leave, period. Everything about my recent visit to Frends – from stock to service – was pleasant and a breeze so I am glad to see that has not changed. The new store seems to be a slightly smaller footprint while still carrying the same amount of product, yet it does not feel “stuffed” and the store is easy to navigate. Frends has always carried everything from haircare to FX to prestige consumer brands (LORAC, Stila, Koh Gen Do, etc.) as well as supporting new smaller businesses like Clean Brush Shampoo and my beloved Vueset palettes. There is also now a wall of skincare that I pretty much had to literally pry myself away from lest I buy one of everything and go into debt and lose my house (but my skin would look fab!).

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wall of skincare… be still my heart…


If you are one of those people who did not shop at Frends because you did not like the old space, or if you just are not familiar with them, head on over and see why so many of us have been shopping at Frends Beauty Supply for so many years. Not in Los Angeles? Frends will ship via their website. They also have a full Production Services department.

Frends Beauty Supply
5270 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Valley Village, CA
(818) 769-3834
www.frendsbeauty.com

EDIT: Oh I forgot to mention, Frends has an in-house discount program for professional artists; the “Frends With Benefits” program. Click here for information on how to apply….

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movin on up


Disclaimer: No they didn’t pay me or ask me to write this review. This is NOT a placed post. Frends Beauty Supply has no idea this article is happening. πŸ™‚