#BizTalk – Quick Visit Makeup Show San Francisco Pop Up

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The Makeup Show SF took place August 13th and 14th…

…and I happened to be in town to stop by for a visit. I teach periodically right across the street at the Blush School of Makeup, and both years so far, the SF Pop Up has taken place during my classes. The first SF Pop Up show – which took place last year – I think I was in the middle of one of my teaching stints. This year, the show took place the Saturday before I was to make my drive back down to LA. Therefore I wasn’t really able to spend as much time as the show as I might have under normal circumstances. But, I did go, I did shop, I saw some of my students and fellow teachers and it was a GORGEOUS day that day in San Francisco. A perfect last day before hitting the road…

Right off the bat a big difference for me was I did not attend any of the education. I actually went to the show with specific shopping in mind so since time was a factor I just focused on that. But the usual Makeup Show suspects were there to share their knowledge. I saw Orlando Santiago as he was arriving but I didn’t try to say Hi (you know how when you first arrive somewhere and haven’t had time to settle yet and folks jump in your face immediately? Yeah…I didn’t want to do a bro like that…). The fab Eugenia Weston gave one of her brow lessons (if you do not have her Brow Book, I suggest you rectify that). I saw Sian Richards at her London Brush Company booth but I’m not sure if she taught this year. Her demo was one of my favorites from last year. And James Vincent led a panel on diversity in the industry. Actually speaking of James Vincent, do you know what he said to me when we spoke briefly?

James Vincent told me I am one of his favorite makeup educators.

Awesome, right? He actually came to the school last year during my class and gave a demo and introduced the students to the Pop Up, etc. I wish he could have done so again this year HOWEVER several of my students were able to see him in demo at NARS Filmore (my fave NARS boutique) at a pre-show event. But I digress…

For the most part I wanted to shop. I wanted product from NARS, the Esum Kit Bag from MUSE Beauty Pro, and I wanted empty pallettes from Make Up For Ever. Welp, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Trying to navigate the show was a bit of a challenge because the space is small and the crowd was large. So me trying to see booths was a whole lotta this…


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up

and this..

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up

and this…

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up

and this…

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up

So somewhere in all of that was Make Up For Ever but I wasn’t trying to deal with it so I had to move on without them. I actually might have left without finding NARS (they were in stealth mode and didn’t even have signage up), but I ran into these two fabulous people.


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up hilary and miss ian

Fabulous former students/emerging artists Hilary @loftartistry and Miss Ian
I’m not even good with my camera yet but the difference between it and my iPhone is striking. Wow. (This is clearly shot on iPhone)


and they directed me where to go. Sadly the crazy floor situation also meant that I didn’t get to explore newer brands as much as I would have liked although I did run into two that really caught my eye.


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up han cosmetics


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up han cosmetics lipglosses


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up han cosmetics eyeshadows

HAN Skincare Cosmetics seems to be taking their cue from 100% Pure Apothecary in being not only naturally derived, but using vegetable pigments as the primary colorant in their cosmetics. The brand had a pretty decent color range and the textures were very nice. And as you can see, the cheek stain on my hand had some level of pigmentation to it. My interest is adequately piqued that I’ll probably get some to try out…


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco han cosmetics cheek stain

me hand-modeling HAN Skincare Cosmetics Cheek Stains


The other brand I found intriguing was Pure Airbrush whose airbrush foundation – if not a natural/naturally derived formulation – has no Parabens (!), no silicone, no fragrance and no oil in a water-based formulation. Most airbrush formulations are a straight-up chemical stew, so I would be interested to try this and see how it performs. The “system” looks to be one of those “Luminesse”-type personal use airbrush set-ups so I would skip that but I will likely order a bottle of the foundation to play with it.


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco quick visit makeup show san francisco pop up pure airbrush

NOW – all this said about the space situation, it was greatly improved from last year with a much better layout and a much better flow. There’s just so much that can be done since it is a popular event taking place in a basement level. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to move it if it continues to grow in popularity (again – PLEASE make sure any new location is train friendly, thanks!). I think these smaller Pop-Up shows are great for the smaller markets that probably do not have a large enough creative community to support a full sized show, but whose creative community deserve support and access and education. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday.

(If you missed my “haul” post from yesterday, you can read it here.)

Did you make it to the show? I wanna hear from ya! Share your experience in the Comments…

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MakeupThursday – August Makeup Spree

Because it’s my blog and I can do a general makeup post whenever I want to…


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupwednesday august makeup spree

That’s right folks, it’s MakeupThursday. The plan was to do this write-up on Monday, the day after my return home to Los Angeles after 3 weeks of work in the Bay. LOL! Yeah, that was a joke.

Anyway, while up in the Bay I went on a shopping frenzy. A lot of my shopping was a well needed wardrobe revamp as I really hadn’t bought any new clothes since losing weight. However being the makeup artist that I am, I had to squeeze some makeup shopping in there as well. Here’s what I bought;


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday fiona stiles beauty nyx cosmetics

Fiona Stiles – YAY
NYX Cosmetics colored mascaras – not so much…


1) Fiona Stiles Beauty – Cream and Powder Eyeshadows and NYX Cosmetics – Color Mascara

You may have seen this image on my personal Instagram the day I bought these. Like I mentioned in a previous Makeup Short Notes I’m loving everything I’ve tried so far from the Fiona Stiles Beauty collection (available at Ulta). I purchased a couple of more items along with a couple of the NYX Cosmetics color mascaras in preparation for some editorial work I had going. The Fiona Stiles performed beautifully, but alas the NYX did not. Colored mascara that really registers COLOR is difficult to find. Suffice to say that whenever I have found one that really works, it has tended to cost more than $6.99. Oh well. Be on the lookout for a full story on Fiona Stiles Beauty in a coming post.


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeupthursday dante brush cleaner dante disposables

2) Dante Disposables – Dante Brush Cleaner

Not the most exciting purchase but I do love this cleaner. This is a quick cleaner so it does NOT substitute for shampooing your brushes. What I like about this cleaner versus my beloved Parian Spirit or some of the other quick cleaners is Dante has no scent. I find that makeup artists are divided pretty much right down the line between loving Parian Spirit (citrus) or Cinema Secrets (vanilla). That’s great, but let me tell ya; Not everyone likes your scent. They could, in fact, be allergic to your scent. It is important to bear this in mind when putting a brush on someone’s face.


makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco glam kitti palette

3) Glam Kitti Palettes

I’ve talked about Glam Kitti before, but its always a good time to bring them up again. Designed by celebrity artist Monifa Mortis, Glam Kittis are reusable, recyclable travel palettes. The Kittis contain 6 wells for cream cosmetics, one well for powder (includes a cute little powder puff), a little spatula, a little lip brush, a little funnel, a little cosmetics applicator and 6 oil blotting sheets. Oh and did I mention the compact is mirrored too?! Yeah. Glam Kitti’s are the bomb. I love giving them to my private clients as a touch up kit AND I’ve used it for myself as a quick travel kit.


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday muse beauty pro esum pro makeup bag

musebeauty.pro


4) MUSE Beauty Pro – Esum Makeup Kit Bag
Esum – Muse spelled backwards – is the house brand of MUSE Beauty Pro. MUSE is a small, artist-driven pro makeup supplier based in San Francisco (with a satellite outlet run by one of the co-owners in Chicago). These are exactly the types of business I LOVE to support; beauty brands that support artists. If you’ve seen some of the other “pro makeup” bags, then you’ve seen something very similar in appearance. However what tipped the scales that I actually purchased the Esum bag is the quality of the construction. This is actually the 2nd Generation of the Esum bag and it’s a little bit wider and deeper, better cushioned, stronger velcro and zippers, etc. So while other bags may look good, this bag was made to work and last. It is a perfect size for when I need more than a little bit, but not my full kit.


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makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nars empties

5) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Pro Palette

A lot of folks have already purchased this and moved on so I won’t spend a lot of time on this one. I WILL, however, say why I hesitated; it is a cardboard based palette and I’m not a fan of cardboard palettes. NARS is an artist driven brand that is also active in and supportive of the artist community, therefore I’m going to trust that NARS quality will come through and protect my product. The body is covered with a vinyl-ized fabric all over so it should not immediately die if it accidentally gets wet, and I like that the cover is solid. I know a lot of people like the window, but I’ll be able to see the product just fine when I open the palette. When the palette is closed and more importantly when it’s travelling I need my product protected.


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics desire taj mahal exhibit a seduction

click to see color names


6) NARS Cosmetics – Desire, Taj Mahal, Exhibit A, Seduction

I got the palette to house my “black girl” (or guy) blush colors. I’ve hit pan on these colors many a time over the years. Desire always surprises people, but pinks like Desire are gorgeous on fairer to medium toned brown complexions. What usually does not work about these colors is the white/pastel cast they often have which looks ashy on brown skin. “Desire” has no such issue, it doesn’t even look ashy on me (it just doesn’t particularly register on someone my complexion). Likewise, even though Taj Mahal has shimmer to it, there is no ashy. Red blush (Exhibit A) looks amaze on all humans because blood is red so it looks like a natural flush, and Seduction is the gorg burgundy color that everyone always reaches for on deeper complexions. And all of these colors have enough pigmentation to actually read on deeper skin tones. Yay.


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nordstrom nars best blush palette

7) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Best Blush Palette

Every year NARS collaborates with Nordstrom on some beauty exclusives – which always includes an amazing exclusive blush palette – and every year I miss it. But not this year! This palette includes Orgasm, Deep Throat (OK, wow), Luster, Desire, Albatross (a highlighter), and Laguna (NARS legendary bronzer) which are, in fact, some of NARS best blushes. Yes I went blush crazy, and no, it is not a problem for me to double up on Desire, this palette is going into a different kit. Since I prefer NARS traditional blushes over the Dual Intensity blushes this is a great pick up for me. I’ll do a comparison between the two soon!


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nordstrom nars survival kit 1

Congrats Miss Ian!


8) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Survival Kit 1

I went a little NARS crazy too, but this one was also chosen on purpose. For my inaugural giveaway to the folks on my mailing list I just wanted to give away something really good that I would want. I have mentioned before that NARS is one of my favorite brands overall, and I have always loved NARS gift sets. The Survival Kits 1 & 2 are another exclusive through Nordstrom. I had to refrain from ordering the Survival Kit 2 “for my kit” (i.e., it would never have made it anywhere near my kit).


makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday lorac palette

Sorry girlie!


9) LORAC Cosmetics – The Getaway Palette

I saved this one for last because I did not actually purchase this during my extravaganza of fabulosity. The Getaway Palette contains 6 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, a bronzer and a highlighter. LORAC – as my people know – is one of my favorites of the pro-to-consumer aka “prosumer” brands. While this could certainly work in a pro kit, when I see a neat little “does it all” palette like this I immediately think of all my #Bossbabe friends who could use something chic and compact while traveling for work and/or recreation. I’ve owed one such friend some fabulousness for quite some time now, so this is going out to her right about now!

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#MakeupMonday – The Basics – Makeup Brushes

makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes

a selection of brushes from one of my many brush rolls…


Returning to our series The Basics, I decided to write about makeup brushes.

I would say in my private lessons/teaching this is the item I’m asked about third/fourth most often (behind mascara, foundation and concealer). For makeup artists, however, this is the A-#1 priority. Bottom line while, yes, some products are obviously better than others, with the right tools pretty much any makeup can be applied seamlessly and flawlessly. I love my brushes. LOVE my brushes. In fact I wrote an ode to one of them when I lost it. That is how attached artists become to their brushes. Once you get used to using them and see how the right tool can change your makeup life, you too will be come attached. For this installment, I will be discussing purchasing brushes. Then in a future installment, I will talk about using them. Here then are The Basics Makeup Brushes.

What To look For

When considering a new brush I look at

– type of hair/fiber used
– shape
– density
– ferrule and handle

The type of hair and/or fiber used helps to determine how to use the brush, as does the shape and density of the hairs/fibers. The last two things I mentioned – the ferrule and the handle – have to do with the construction of the brush and how long it will last. The ferrule is the metal part between the hairs and the handle. High quality brushes have hairs that go all the way down the ferrule and are both glued and clamped into place, hence much less shedding. I was taught that you should be able to take a brush and pull at the hairs and if none come out you know you have a good brush.

Everyone on the Planet makes a cosmetics brush these days. Some are amazing, some are very good and some are turrble. Here are some Pros and Cons of some popular brands I have tried, both “pro” and retail.

Crown Brush – Crown is a manufacturer of brushes who offers professional makeup brushes online and at the trade shows. PROS: Crown Brushes are very cost-friendly. If you are a ‘baller on a budget’ Crown is a pretty good option. Also because they are very inexpensive price-wise, you can try a lot of different styles of brushes (different kinds of eye brushes, different kinds of foundation brushes, different kinds of powder brushes, etc.) and see what you prefer *before* making a larger financial commitment. CONS: I have had Crown brushes completely fall apart on me and/or shed like crazy. The hairs are short and glued in place so you have to be very careful as to how you wash them. If any water seeps up the ferrule and loosens that glue, it’s a goner. To their credit, when I tweeted that 5 Crown foundation brushes I purchased had all fallen apart in less than a month, someone emailed me and offered to replace them so they do have good customer service and stand by their products.

crown brush dual sided ac011makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: AC011 Deluxe Double Sided Blender – a dual ended synthetic fiber foundation / concealer brush.

Smashbox Cosmetics – A lot of women know Smashbox from QVC but they’ve actually been in the Pro landscape for a number of years. Smashbox is a popular consumer-friendly brand and for good reason: they offer pro-driven, pro quality cosmetics at good prices. I have noticed that they’ve changed a bit and become a bit more consumer oriented since being bought by Estée Lauder, but so far the quality of the cosmetics themselves has not changed. As much as I love the brand, sad to say I do not love their brushes, as I have mentioned before. PROS: the Fan brush is great for cleaning away eyeshadow fallout, and has lasted well for several years. CONS: every other brush in the set I was given fell apart. That was a few years back so I do not know if anything has changed, but quality brushes will last you a lifetime. Let’s hope they have re-designed their brush line.

smashbox cosmetics fan #22 makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: Fan Brush #22

Royal and Langnickel – Like Crown, Royal and Langnickel manufactures brushes (both fine art and cosmetic) and offers professional makeup brushes online, at the trade shows and at various Pro makeup shops if you happen to live near any of those.PROS: The SILK Pro collection line offers very good quality at a very good price. All of my R&L SILK Pro line brushes hold their shape well after multiple uses/cleanings, they all still feel good after multiple uses/cleanings, and I am experiencing very minimal/occasional shedding. They are also one of the few places I can get a tapered, natural-hair lip brush (my preference, gives me much more control over my application than most synthetic lip brushes do). CONS: Not all of Royal and Langnickel’s brushes are on the same level. As I said above I recommend the SILK Pro line of brushes. Last year, R & L introduced the Revolution™ brush line to their collection. Sad to say, but I’m not a fan. The Revolution™ brushes are a synthetic fiber brush line, presumably to capture the growing vegan brush market, but in my opinion, there are much better vegan options available. The couple of Revolution™ brushes I have felt odd to the touch initially, before I even used them, and then really changed texture after I washed them. I would definitely suggest trying a brush or two before committing to an entire set.

royal langnickel powder makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: C100 Natural Hair Powder & C655 Pointed Natural Hair Lip

Stila Cosmetics – Another popular brand that started in the Pro sphere (Stila was founded by artist Jeanine Lobell) and has become popular amongst consumers via QVC, Stila has long been known for making very good brushes. PROS: Good construction and overall quality materials used. Made to last. CONS: I, personally, am not a fan of the retractable brushes. I would stick to the original, long-handled brushes.

stila cosmetics #9 makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: #9 All Over Blend Brush Stila’s legendary crease/lid blending brush.

Esum Brushes – Esum as far as I am aware is a relatively new entrant in the brush world but I have to say I LOVE them. They are the brush line of Muse Beauty Pro which is a beauty store & education resource out of San Francisco (my NYC makeup artist friend Margina Dennis had to point out to me that Esum is Muse spelled backwards. D’Oh!).PROS: Quality construction and materials and the brushes are also – in my opinion – very lux in appearance. They also feel good in-hand. CONS: Decided price increase from the previous brands I have mentioned. Yes my friends, really good brushes are quite pricey.

W35 Large Round-Angle eye contour makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: W35 Large Round-Angle eye contour brush – can be used for crease or all over the lid.

NARS Cosmetics – If you read Makeup to Go with any regularity, you know I could go on about All Things Nars. PROS: Generally speaking, Nars tools are excellent. The three stand-outs are the three Japanese brushes NARS has; the Ita Kabuki, the Yachiyo Kabuki, and the Botan kabuki brushes. These all have very unique shapes designed to various fulfill specific purposes. CONS: The travel brush set retails for $75, the individual brushes range from $21-$75. They are excellent brushes, so if you can afford them, get them. However, they are a financial commitment and some of the designs are not the most consumer-friendly in terms of “How do I use this?”.

nars yachiyo kabuki makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: Yachiyo Kabuki Brush #27 – It will change the way you apply blush (if memory serves, Shu Uemura had a brush like this at one time, and see note below about Hakuhodo).

Shu Uemura – the first time I walked into a Shu store early in my career as a makeup artist, it changed my life. The entire perimeter of the store was filled with rows and rows and rows of the most amazing and gorgeous brushes I’d ever seen. Changed. My. Life. PROS: You will never encounter a brush more exquisite than a Shu Uemura brush, period. CONS: When Shu Uemura USA was bought out by L’Oreal, they closed all the Shu Stores leaving only the website behind to buy product in the US, and they radically changed the product line such that many of Shu’s best are no longer available here. Quel dommage!!

shu uemura natural hair powder makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: 20h Natural Brush – an angled powder brush for highlighting, contouring and shading.

Hakuhodo – I am sure it has not escaped your attention that the last few brushes I have mentioned have all been Japanese brushes/brands. This is because the Japanese are well known for the quality of their brushes and their innovative brush designs. I was hipped up to Hakuhodo a few years back by my friend, NYC makeup artist Kim Weber. Hakuhodo manufactures their brushes and in fact, if rumor is to be believed, back before Estee Lauder when MAC brushes were really really good… well… you get my drift. I own brushes from the S100 and J series so those are all I can speak to. PROS: Along with Shu Uemura, these are some of the most exquisite brushes on the planet. All of the Hakuhodo brushes I have are of excellent design, quality and construction and they are beautiful to look at. The primary difference between the various series Hakuhodo offers seems to be in the handle and in the brush hairs used. CONS: They have several different “series” of brushes so can be a bit confusing/daunting to discern the difference and select from the myriad of brushes they have available. Also, it is undeniable that Hakuhodo is a very expensive brush line overall, even their more “basic” brush series are still pricey. Hakuhodo brushes are all the rage right now in the online makeup world. I do not disagree that they are of amazing quality. I do disagree that everyone needs to invest in getting them. I only use them for certain applications (celeb & editorial), and in controlled environments. I cannot lose or damage a set of brushes that cost me SEVERAL hundred dollars to collect. These brushes are investment pieces. For the consumer, I really do not know why a non-pro would buy brushes this expensive. However, if you are a total makeup maven and buying product is how you treat yourself, go for it and have a good time. 🙂

hakuhodo pointed powder makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Best Pick: S103 Pointed Powder Blush brush, J104 Round Powder brush. NOTE: Hakuhodo also has traditional Japanese brushes which means they have Yashiyo & Ita design brushes like NARS, and Hakuhodo has them in different sizes.

Vegan Options
Vegan brushes are becoming increasingly popular. I do not mind admitting this is an area of internal turmoil for me because I am a vegetarian. So the veg in me would like to switch to an entirely cruelty free brush roll someday. The makeup artist in me, however, needs brushes to perform the way I need them to perform and thus far, natural hair is still the winner, in my opinion. That said, there are more and more good alternatives coming out regularly.

obsessive compulsive cosmetics powder makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – David Klasfeld, the founder of OCC Makeup is vegan but also a makeup artist so he knows how brushes need to perform, and it shows in his brush line. These are by far the most hair-like vegan brushes I’ve tried so far, and the brushes apply makeup pretty darn close to the way natural hair brushes do across the board. Kudos to OCC Makeup for this great brush line. PROS: Very close to the performance of natural hair brushes, I particularly like the lip brush. CONS: n/a – I think it’s the best of it’s kind.

bdellium tools pink bambu series makeup to go blog tania d russell the basics makeup brushes
Bdellium Tools – I haven’t gotten to play with this line as much as I’d like yet, but so far everything I’ve tried has been quite good and they have a moderate price-point (about the same as Royal & Langnickel) so they are affordable. They make both traditional and Vegan brushes, and I have – and like – some of both. PROS: Speaking specifically of the Vegan brushes- the Bambu series as they are called – they do not feel quite as hair like as the OCC brushes, however they do pick up and distribute product well. The handles are also made of sustainable Bamboo, which feels good in-hand and which is great for the environment. And as with all of the Bdellium Tools I’ve tried thus far they are well constructed. CONS: And this is a big one for me: Why are all the fibers colored???? There are 3 different Bambu series; Green, Yellow and Pink. Why is this necessary? I don’t mind if the handles are colored but having the fibers in different colors is an extreme turn off to me.

Old Reliables I Did Not Previously Mention
As I said at the start, this lists a selection of what’s hot on the e-streets and my own personal choices. That said there a couple of brush brands, in particular, that have served legions of women for many years, and those are Bobbi Brown Cosmetics brushes, and Trish McEvoy brushes. Both lines have been around since forever, and were amongst the first to bring professional quality brushes to the masses. I do not have either brand in my kit, but I know artists who do and have done so for years. Both brands are a bit pricey, Trish McEvoy particularly so, but they are the kind of brushes you buy ONCE and then you’re set for makeup life. I recommend both to my private clients frequently. They are both great for the client who wants to buy one, complete, easy-to-use set of brushes and never think have to about brushes again.

As I said, in a future installment I plan to discuss how I use brushes and decide which brushes are the best for which jobs. In the meantime if you want to learn more, Beautylish had a great feature on brushes not too long ago, written by The Powder Group Director of Artistry and Education, James Vincent. Click Here to check that article out

Yep, it’s Tuesday. Something has been going on with my web host’s servers so we have been having some tech problems here in MTG-land. Better late than never… hope you enjoyed. 🙂