#MakeupMonday – Summer Proof Makeup

Summer Proof Makeup

For most of the country we are in “the dog days of summer” (I’ve never known exactly how that expression came to be before now). I say most of the country because for those of us in Southern California, this weather is going to continue until October. But for everyone else this is the height of summer heat. A while back I wrote a piece called Extending Your Summer Glow, which talked about keeping your summer glow going a bit longer as the weather may be starting to change. But when you are in the height of summer heat you may find you are glowing a bit too much. It’s hard to stay cute when your face is melting but there are products and techniques out there that can help.

1 ) Take Care Of Your Skin

As an oily-head with breakout prone skin I’ve learned that the easiest way for my skin to look its best in the summer is to just take care of my skin. As a pro makeup artist, I can always tell who is and who isn’t when a client sits in my chair. Always. If you are feeling it, you can be one of those ladies who does 6 steps in the morning and 10 steps at night. I’m not the one, I need my skincare routine to be effective and fast. Whatever approach you choose, the key to having a skincare routine really make a difference is consistency. Find a plan that works and do it every single morning and night. Whether you feel like it or not. Just do it. And go drink some water while you’re at it.
(I’ve written a number of skincare articles on Makeup to Go. Click here to check out the Skincare archives if you want to see some of the products I recommend….)

2 ) Now Is The Time to Prime

If you’ve ever taken a lesson and/or class with me you know that I like primers but I’m not married to them. Particularly for my photographic work they are often a needless added step as I will likely change the makeup throughout the shoot. That said, for personal use and/or any situation where you want the makeup to last Primers can be a lifesaver. Right now I am digging;

Hourglass Cosmetics Mineral Veil Primer: This is an amazing “does it all” product. It neutralizes minor uneven-ness in skintone, creates an even skin texture, and it is both mattifying AND water-proof so it will not break down when summer’s heat makes you a bit more “dewy”. It’s pricey, but it is worth every penny (and anyway you will not need to use much at a time so it is cost effective). Pro Tip: As mentioned in my article about doing makeup for awards shows, this is a Must Have in my pro makeup kit.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Primer: As we all know I do not love drugstore brands as a whole, however Boots No7 products are overall pretty darn good. Like the Hourglass Mineral Veil, this primer neutralizes uneven skintone a bit, and creates a smooth skin finish upon which to apply your makeup. Unlike the Hourglass, it is $12.99 not $52. For the budget conscious beauty-ista, this is a very nice option. Honorable Mention – No7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base which is the stronger mattifying formula for oily skin. It’s a bit thick, so apply sparingly so it doesn’t go chalky on you.

Smashbox: Overall if I had to pick one brand for all of my Primer needs, I think Smashbox makes the best array of Primers overall. I have used and loved so many of their priming products, but two of particular note for fighting summer makeup melt are the Hydrating Under Eye Primer which keeps under-eye concealer from slipping, and the fantastic Photo Finish Primer Water which hydrates and refines skin texture and creates a pretty glowy finish. Sidenote: As of right now as I am writing this article they have a limited edition Try It Kit of their primers containing the Water, the Undereye, the eyeshadow primer and the iconic original Photo Finish Primer. Try It Kit Primer Authority.

3 ) Take It Easy on Foundation & Concealer

Even out the skin and leave it at that. The more product you pile on, the more there is to slip off (or become an oil-slick). Also for me, too much makeup in the heat just feels gross. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I dig silicone based foundations. They don’t slip (as much), they don’t cake, you can use very little and get very good coverage, and they are generally lightweight in feel. I have professed my love for Face Atelier’s Ultra Foundation many times and it is fab. This year they introduced Ultra Skin which is a pro-grade BB-cream-type formulation. It has just enough coverage to give smooth finish and even out skin tone without feeling heavy in any way. AND it has a nice array of colors, including one deep enough for someone of my complexion.

If you are a concealer user, the right formulation in summer can make all the difference. Too creamy and it can cake, separate and slip but too liquid-y and it just doesn’t do anything. I love Keromask but I have gotten feedback that folks would like a product that is easier to find and purchase. Enter Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer. This concealer is no joke. It is oil free with a matte finish, waterproof, and highly pigmented. The Full Cover Concealer is a liqui-cream formula, which is generally my favorite concealer type (it is flexible and moves with the skin for less chance of creasing and cracking), and it comes in a full range of colors for every skin tone.

4 ) Embrace Creams and Stains

Most women are more used to powder cosmetics so the thought of using cream and/or liquid products can be daunting but it need not be. Today’s formulations are easier to use than ever and many of the best products actually come in chubby pencil form, which is easy peasy to use at home or on the road. For eyes, I love Dedra Beauty’s Smudge Pencils. The Smudge Pencils are creamy and blendable but then stay put once set. With these you can do a sheer neutral eye, a daytime eye or a smokey eye and the most difficult tool you’ll need are your own fingers. (Disclosure: I am a Team Dedra Beauty artist and Dedra is a personal friend of mine, so yes I get Dedra Beauty product for free and yes I am totally biased. That said, I really do think the brand is excellent across the board – and you know I do not say that about many brands – hence, I am one of her Ambassadors…).

For cheeks and lips I’m headed back to by beloved Tarte Cosmetics. You know I love my Tarte and that I have loved their cheek stains since forever. For the lips, the LipSurgence Lip Stain sticks are the bees knees. They come in a wonderful array of colors, they are long lasting and they will not suck the life and moisture out of your lips (in fact they are hydrating).

In the cheek stain category, Tarte has just introduced “Energy” which is a reactive formula that will create the perfect color of a pretty flush based on your own skin PH. This is not a new concept in makeup (anyone remember when “mood lipstick” was all the rage in the 80s?) but it is a concept that is trending once again. If you are not about trends, get the OG Tarte Cheek Stain. My fave colors are Tipsy and Flush.

5 ) Add A Little Glow

Illuminators and Highlighters look so pretty on the bronzed skin of summer, and do not just limit it to the face. A little sheen and shimmer on shoulders, collarbones and legs is absolutely gorgeous. If you are a naturally fair beauty whose skin does not take on bronze-y glow, you can either create a fake one OR (my vote) illuminate your natural porcelain complexion and let your fair skin be great. I just talked about some great illuminators/highlighters in the Strobing article from a couple of weeks ago. In that article I mentioned NARS Malibu Multiple which isn’t great for strobing for most complexions, but is fab to either create or enhance a slightly bronzed glow. Now, of course, I am no longer seeing it on the NARS website. NARS will break your heart by discontinuing favorite products on the regular so do yourself a favor and try not to become attached. I’ll have to find a replacement product for Malibu now. #LeSigh

For deeper complexioned beauties, I have long loved Iman Cosmetics Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder. It is finely milled with just right right amount of shimmer to create a sultry summer glow. AND I’ve been using it for well over a decade. Unlike some other brands, Iman is not a cruel heartbreaker. 😐

My philosophy about summer makeup is that is should be as easy living as the season itself. Between beach days, bar-b-ques, summer concerts and pool parties, summer is the time to focus on the fun and let makeup take a bit of a back seat.

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#MakeupMonday – Strobing – What It Is What it Ain’t

makeup to go blog strobing ellis faas glow up powder

Ellis Faas Cosmetics Glow Up Powder S501
Perfect for the Strobing Technique

So strobing.

Yet another “makeup trend” for folks to follow. And of course, as with any makeup trend, there are certain products that are “must haves” in order to achieve the look and then once you get one set of “must have” products another set comes along telling you that you “must have” those too.

In all likelihood, if you have a complete makeup kit either for yourself or for your use as an artist, you already own a number of things that can be used to Strobe, so let’s break down what it is, what it isn’t, how it works best, and what you do need in order to accomplish the look.

What Is Strobing?

Basically Strobing is using highlight to sculpt and emphasize bone structure. It’s the “softer side” of the (overworked) Contour craze that has been trending in makeup for a while now. What “Strobing” isn’t is new, in any way, shape or form. As with Contouring, artists have been doing this since forever. And as with a good Contour job, Strobing takes a deft hand because it can quickly go awry when done incorrectly. The point is to create subtle highlights, not to look like you’re oily or worse, covered in glitter. My favorite video demonstrating the technique doesn’t even call it Strobing. Here makeup artist extraordinare Ellis Faas demonstrates the technique as she’s introducing her Glow Up powder.

and obviously if you want a more extreme strobe, you can just apply more product. If you do that, however, you’ll need to be VERY precise in your application lest you end up looking like you hit the chicken shack full force.

If we’re using the term, I guess, I “strobed” this model. Again, I didn’t call it “strobing” but I wanted to bring out her bone structure without the use of Contour. Truth be told, I’m far more into this look than I am the heavy contour look. I think this look is lighter, fresher and more modern.

makeup to go blog strobing what it is

© K. Szatmari
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

What Products do I Need to Strobe?

So you like Strobing and want to add it to your technique arsenal? It’s as simple as reaching for your nearest Illuminator/Highlighter. That’s it. No special product required. Here are the illuminators/Highlighters I currently have in my rotation:

makeup to go blog strobing hourglass ambient lighting palette
1 ) Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Palette
I professed my love for this palette in a previous post and I still love it. I can use this highly versatile palette of subtle sheen anywhere on the face to create a pretty glow that is never overly sparkly. And with three colors in a palette, I always have the right shade for whomever I may be working on.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® powder
2 ) Becca Cosmetics – Shimmering Skin Perfector®
Like the Ambient Lighting powders, Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector® pressed powders are finely milled and apply like velvet. I would say these are a bit more shimmery than the Ambient Lights, particularly depending on what color you get. I tend to like Highlighters/Illuminators that are more nude-y so I can use them all over the face (and on a wider range of skintones). I have the Shimmering Skin Perfector® in Moonstone, which is a pale gold, and Topaz, which is a golden bronze. The latter I use on deeper complexions and the former I use on fairer complexions.

makeup to go blog strobing kevyn aucoin celestial lights powder
3 ) Kevyn Aucoin – The Celestial Powder
The Celestial Powder is almost difficult to describe. You remember in Old Hollywood how they allegedly used to put Vaseline™ on the lens in order to diffuse the image and give the actress a “glow”. The Celestial Powder is that glow in a compact. It’s a truly beautiful product. It is lightweight, almost suede-like in feel, and adds a subtle but present highlight to any area applied. If memory serves it only comes in one color – Candlelight – which as the name suggests gives the skin a beautiful candle lit glow.

Sadly I do not actually own Ellis Faas’ Glow Up powder, so I cannot speak to it. I already have too many products of this type to justify purchasing it. If anyone out there has the Glow Up powder, hit the Comments and let us all know how it is 🙂

PRO TIP: Any pro quality powder cosmetic can also be applied damp to intensify the color and effect. So if you want a more intense highlighting effect, simply apply with a slightly dampened brush. Be sure to let your product dry completely before closing it so it doesn’t warp or get moldy.

makeup to go blog strobing NARS cosmetics copacabana multiples
4 ) Nars – The Multiples – Copacabana
NARS is really doing the most with The Multiples nowadays. The Multiples is one of NARS oldest and most successful products in their brand, but now they have new Matte Multiples and all these bizarre colors, and this that and the third. Needless to say I’ll have to visit a boutique soon and see what all that is about. In the meantime as far as strobing needs are concerned, I would look no further than Copacabana which is a nude-y sheen-y color texture. It has long been my favorite Multiple by a mile (I love Malibu as well but it’s the wrong color for our purposes right now). A cream product can give you stronger “Strobing” action than most powders will, and in fact it can be layered with powder.

makeup to go blog strobing all over shimmer liquid stila cosmetics
5 ) Stila Cosmetics – All Over Shimmer Liquid
A liquid will potentially give you the most strobing action of any product type. You can apply lightly for a subtle sheen, or you can go for it and kick up the bright lights. Use With Caution! Stila’s All Over Shimmer has long been favorite of mine for giving pronounced highlighting action without being sparkly. It used to be available in a truly nude color (#1), but unfortunately that color is no longer. Of the available options, I’d recommend Kitten.

makeup to go blog strobing moonbeam highbeam benefit cosmetics
Honorable Mention: Benefit Cosmetics Moonbeam and HighbeamMoonbeam is an iridescent apricot color, and Highbeam is an iridescent pearl color. They are a little bit more glittery than the All Over Shimmer liquid, and they can also be either applied for subtle sheen or for all out shine.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® liquid
Honorable Mention 2: Nowadays I actually use Becca Cosmetics liquid version of their Shimmering Skin Perfector®. It’s a more subtle sheen (less sparkly), but also buildable and Pearl is a perfect nude-y white sheen color.

PRO TIP: I would not use a liquid highlighter/illuminator around the eyes. I’m sure people have, but I cannot imagine what that would feel like if you accidentally got some in your eyes. I’ll stick to powders around the eyes. Do not say I did not warn you.

makeup to go blog strobing ben nye lumiere powder
5 ) Ben Nye – Lumiere Powder

If you are tired of playing games and want intense sheen and highlight, this is the product for you. This is a theatrical makeup, so it’s meant to withstand lights and read from off stage. AKA – it’s strong: Proceed with caution. That said, this has been one of my favorite products which I’ve kept in my Kit for years and years.

How Do I Strobe?

I don’t make tutorial videos (yet… we’ll see in the future), but I would say the video I posted from Ellis Faas is a good outline. The areas you’ll want to highlight are;

– Brow Bone
– Inner eye corners
– **tops of the cheekbone**
– **center of the nose**
– and possibly the cupids bow of the lips (use a light hand as that highlight sometimes just looks sweaty)

Ms. Faas also did the center of the lower eyelid in order to further accentuate the Orbital Bone, and I like to do the center of the forehead (as long as there is no breakout or whathaveyou) and right above the brows to further accentuate the temples.

You’ll note both of the brushes she used were rather small. This is important so as to maintain control of your product instead of your product going all over and controlling you. I recommend brushes such as;

makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 939 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 939 Angled Detailer which is a small, angled detail brush for precise application on the nose, cheeks, etc.


makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 780 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 780 Pencil for the inner eye corners. “Pencil” brushes are short, dense hair brushes that allow for clean application of product in that difficult inner eye area. I also like Pencils for smokey eyes so I get smokey eyes not Out Of Control raccoon eyes.

Bare in mind also that different products are better for different skin types and conditions. If you have really perfect skin without a lot of texture, you can use pretty much whatever you want, as strongly as you want. However if you have acne, wrinkles, enlarged pores, or any other type of skin texture issue, shimmer will accentuate the texture so less is more. For more mature skin I love the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder. For skin with a lot of texture, I like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Liquid or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders.

Have you tried the Strobing phenomenon? How did it go? Let us know in Comments, or better yet, send in a picture!

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#MakeupMonday – Awards Tour Arsenal

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My clients Bethany Gaeber (writer) and Janelle Gaeber (producer) at the Academy Awards. (not sure who the fab gentleman is…)

This past weekend – specifically the Academy Awards – marked the conclusion of what is known as Awards Season.

There will be other shows that come up here and there throughout the year, but the back-to-back nonstop crazy is done for 2015. Over the years – while I am not a celebrity artist per se – I have become increasingly involved with the Awards Show scene. There are lots of women (and men) who have to attend these events besides just the celebrities. Most of my clients are producers, writers, etc. many of whom have been nominees and a few of whom have been winners. So while they may not be household names to the home awards show viewer they are known in their profession, they attend all of the events, and they get their photos taken. Hence they, too, need to look their absolute best!

My primary concern when doing makeup for events such as these is not only do they need to look beautiful, but their makeup needs to go the distance. I’ve previously written on event makeup techniques and what products I use but times change and so do I. Here were my MVPs (Most Valuable Products, of course 😉 ) in my 2015 Awards Tour arsenal.

makeup to go blog embryolisse lait creme concentrait awards tour arsenal makeup to go blog skindinavia makeup finishing spray awards tour arsenal makeup to go blog face atelier ultra matte spray awards tour arsenal

Embryolisse РLait Creme Concentr̩ / Skindinavia РMakeup Finishing Spray / Face Atelier РUltra Matte

I am grouping these three together because they are such absolute kit essentials and I have mentioned them many times before. Embryolisse (or an equivalent, solid moisturizer) is VITAL for a successful makeup application and – even though this may go against conventional wisdom – VITAL when I want makeup to last a long time. Why? Dry skin eats makeup. Before applying any makeup the skin must be hydrated, and hydrated well.

The Skindinavia Finishing Spray and Face Atelier Ultra Matte sprays are applied at the end of the makeup to add another layer of defense to help the makeup application last for as long as possible. While they each work differently to address different issues (hence I have and use both), both leave the skin with a natural finish (not too matte and not tight/hairspray-ish) and keep the makeup looking even and flawless. I tend to use the Ultra Matte more on men than on women, but it works well on anyone with oiler skin (I use it on myself).

makeup to go blog hourglass cosmetics veil mineral primer awards tour arsenal
Hourglass Cosmetics – Veil Mineral Primer

This awards season, I had to replace the fabulous NARS Pro-Prime Smoothing Face Prep primer which I used to love but which NARS discontinued. 🙁 Most primers on the market are concerned with keeping the skin matte and lengthening the wear of your makeup application. In addition to that a really good primer creates an overall smooth skin surface on which to apply makeup, hence it should also be able to also deal with fine lines and minor discolorations. I am also partial to hydrating primers that mattify without drying the skin, as most of my clients for these affairs are not 19-year old models. Everything you’ve heard about the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is true and then some. It creates a beautiful finish, lengthens the life of any makeup application, has a light SPF (but it’s never caused a TD reaction for me thus far), and it even repels water (no perspiration ruined makeup!). It is pricey, but this is a superlative product.

makeup to go blog anastasia beverly hills lash genius waterproof top coat awards tour arsenal
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat

I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’m mentioning it again. Events such as these – much like Bridal – can be emotional for the attendees. No woman wants the camera to catch them with raccoon eyes from tearing up – much less on a national (and International) broadcast – however, I do not generally care for waterproof mascaras. They tend to be gloopy but then dry weird and flake and just cause me problems I’d rather not deal with, particularly in a circumstance where I am not present to do touch ups. Therefore I LOVE this Lash Genius Waterproof Top Coat which I apply over any mascara I like to create a waterproof shield.

makeup to go blog dedra beauty creme foundation stick awards tour arsenal
Dedra Beauty Creme Foundation Stick

Dedra Beauty’s Creme Foundation Stick is fast becoming my favorite cream foundation, there I said it. It is so versatile, has a fabulous range of colors (the most recent formula update brought back the colors for deeper complexions – YAY!), gives such good coverage and has such a wonderful finish that I find myself reaching for it time and time again. What’s more is I love having a pro-quality foundation that I can recommend to clients for their own use. Most pro brands are too complicated to explain and too difficult for the non-pro to purchase and use. With Dedra Beauty I can just tell my client what color I used and send them to the website. Perfection!

makeup to go blog givenchy mister light instant light corrective pen awards tour arsenal
Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrector Pen

After I use whatever regular corrective concealer I’m using in the under-eye area, I always like to go over with a bit of an illuminating concealer for a bit of pop. I know many love YSL’s Touche Eclat, but I’ve always been partial to Givenchy’s Mister Light. I find it gives a bit more actual coverage while still providing that perfect touch of luminosity.

makeup to go blog glam kitti touch up palette awards tour arsenal
Glam Kitti

This is a brand-new entry into my Award Tour arsenal, and boy did I LOVE having it. One of the chores for both makeup artists and clients alike is figuring out how the client going to touch up her makeup once she’s at the event. Over the years makeup artists have utilized various clumsy methods (little jars, miniature products, etc.) but now at last we can make our clients a little chic compact of exactly what we used. Glam Kitty has space for up to 6 cream products, a little area for powder with powder puff, and blotting tissues. All in a chic little mirrored compact. When your client is done with it, it’s disposable (and actually I think it would be recyclable). This made the lives of myself and my clients so much easier I can’t even say. I plan to order a bunch more for the various private clients I do throughout the year. And needless to say I will stock up for Awards Tour 2016!

#MakeupMonday – Short Makeup Notes November 2014

Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette makeup to go blog makeup short notes november

Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette

Howdy folks. Once again I am away working hence once again bloggage has slowed down a lil bit. I am always, however, playing with makeup so here are a few of the gems I’ve had my hands on lately.

1 ) Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette
First of all, how has Hourglass Cosmetics been around since 2008 and I just heard of them within the last 2 years? #latepass

Secondly, how did I hear of them within the last 2 years but I just started buying some of their products last month?? #superlatepass

Well, who knows but I’m finally on board now. This past weekend I was on a beauty shoot and I got a chance to use the Ambient Lights palette. As I stated on Instagram; I’m going to marry this palette. OK, maybe that’s a bit strong, but I do seriously love it. The Ambient Lighting Palette is a compact containing 3 shades of highlighting powder. For a makeup artist it means no more carrying a zillion highlight powders (I know some folks still will, but I’m a minimalist and I like to keep my kit as compact as possible). For the makeup user it means that you can use each color individually or mix and match as desired. There are two things I particularly love about this highlight powder (both of which are characteristics I look for in all highlight products). First of all, I tried all 3 colors in the palette and none of them have that white cast/powdery undertone that some highlight powders can have. This makes them usable on all skin tones, even going into very deep tones. That white cast on dark skin is not a good look, I know that feel from personal experience on myself and on clients. Even on fairer complexions it just is not very flattering. That powdery undertone is dated and looks like old-fashioned, 70s frost. No one wants that. Secondly, the Ambient Lighting Powder is very finely milled. It gives a beautiful, subtle glow instead of a blast-o-tronic sheen or worse, an extravaganza of sparkle. Sparkle of course has its place in life and makeup, but when a highlighter is too sparkly, it is very limiting in how you can use it. The Ambient Lighting Palette (or if you prefer you can just buy the Ambient Lighting Powders individually) can be used on the face, shoulders, decollate, down the arms, on the legs, wherever you want a pop of sheen and glam. Needless to say this is PERFECT for the Holiday season!

SIDENOTE: I did not buy it yet, but when I get back from my current biz trip I’m getting the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette which my girl Bren Dixie of Chasing Beauty says is also the bomb-diggity.

lorac alter ego lipstick makeup to go blog makeup short notes november
2 ) LORAC – Alter Ego Lipstick
When I went to go buy the Ambient Lighting Palette, some lipsticks jumped into my shopping basket as well. I don’t know how it happened! 😉

I am a total lip color junkie. I tried my best to talk myself out of buying these and I could not. There have been two trends in lipcolor happening amongst hardcore makeup-istas: highly pigmented lipcolor and matte finishes. I, too, have to say that I am on-board with both of these – particularly the matte finish. But lets’s be real, what works well in editorial and on the Runway does not always translate into real life. Matte lipstick more often than not feels drying and uncomfortable on the lips, and much of the hyper-pigmented lipsticks come in colors that are not wearable for most women in most real-life situations. LORAC has always been about high-quality, high performance cosmetics but they’ve also always been about wearablity. The Alter Egos come in strong, fun colors but they’re not crazy colors. They have a chic, smooth matte finish but they’re not super matte. The feel good on the lips, they last a long time, the colors stay rich and true. In short, they are fab.

makeup to go blog alter ego lipsticks lorac short makeup notes november

Alter Ego lipstick swatches (note: the bottom 2 sheer colors are not Alter Ego – click to see larger)

makeup to go blog nars audacious lipstick short makeup notes november
3 ) NARS – Audacious Lipstick Collection
Speaking of lipcolor YOU KNOW I am all over the new NARS Audacious collection. NARS has always made lucious lipcolor products and these are no exception. These are satin-y finish, lightweight lipcolors that pack a punch of pigmentation and color. So if you want bold color but aren’t sold on the whole “matte” thing, these are the lippies for you. All of the colors are truly gorgeous but I have to say this collection boasts some of the best REDS I have seen in quite some time. From the vibrant and pop-y “Annabella” (which is actually a poppy-based red), to the deep and sultry merlot-based red of “Ingrid”, there is a red for everyone just in this one collection. And “Charlotte” – named after Charlotte Rampling who is NARS’s campaign model for this collection – is just a revelation. A deep, rich oxblood burgundy color, I absolutely cannot get enough of it. Love.

4 ) The Business of Makeup
Don’t call it a comeback! Last August I held my first Business of Makeup workshop in San Francisco and it was a major success! Unfortunately, the Los Angeles class did not take place as it ended up conflicting with other similar workshops happening at about the same time. Well, the Business of Makeup workshop is set to return in 2015! It will be taking place in both SF and LA and should be bigger, better and bolder than before! Information will of course be posted here and feel free to email workshops @ makeuptogo .com at any time!

Read more about the class at Makeuptogo.com/Workshops and come have fun and learn some things 🙂

#MakeupMonday – In Praise of Coral Lip Colors

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Coral in soft and bold.
© Tricia Lee Pascoe
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

Coral Lip colors. Love them love them love them. Yes, that was three “love them”s in one post. Oh wait was that a fourth? Yes. That is how much I love Coral lip colors. Why? Because it’s not orange, it’s not red and it’s not pink. It incorporates all three and because of that it is a wonderfully wearable color that works with EVERY skin tone. Now admittedly, there is a red or a pink for every skin tone as well but there is not an orange for every skin tone. Orange – despite its current popularity – is a tricky color for most skin tones. And this is coming from someone who, clearly, loves straight up Orange. If you’ve been wanting to jump in on that trend but have found it hard to do so, slide on over to Coral. Likewise, sometimes you want a hit of color without a Red statement. Again, slide on over to Coral. Want something pretty and feminine but slightly less predictable than a pink? Coral is the answer. Here are some of my favorites… (Note: For purposes of classification “Soft” colors are more sheer and “Strong” colors are more pigmented.)


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell clinique chubby stick intense moisturizing lip balm heftiest hibiscus coral lip colors
CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm – Heftiest Hibiscus
These Chubby Sticks (available for both eyes and lips) are easily the best color cosmetic product Clinique has put out in an age. The “Intense” Chubby Sticks are the perfect “in-between” formulation. Enough pigment for the color to show (the original chubby sticks are super sheer, barely there color), but still sheer enough for everyday wearability. Heftiest Hibiscus is a true Coral that can be worn by just about everyone.

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SMASHBOX Be Legendary Lipgloss – Melondrama
I have written numerous times about my love for Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing glosses and how deeply saddened I was when the color line was downsized. Well, they have now been reincarnated as the “Be Legendary” lip glosses and I could not be happier. “Melondrama” was one of my favorite of the Be Legendary lipstick colors when it came out a couple of years ago. The lipgloss version is a sheer, shimmery, peachy coral.

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Three Custom Color Specialists has been a favorite of pro makeup artists and those “in the know” for many years now. I have mentioned my love for their lip colors in past MTG articles. The “Light Brights” collection is just what the name suggests: bold colors in lighter, more sheer formulations. These are not sheer like a lip gloss, barely there sheer. These are bold hits of color that let your own lip show through for a remarkable punch of wearable color. I LOVE these lip colors. Danceteria is a perfect True Coral color. I wear this myself often and it has flattered every model/talent I have applied it to.

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BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Lipgloss – Tangerine
Bobbi Brown has to be the master of taking color and making it safe for the masses. In this instance I do not mean safe as a put-down. Not all jobs allow for bright color but that should not mean a woman has to settle for a no-color nude all the time. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics lipgloss in Tangerine is a pretty, peachy coral that is soft and sophisticated. Honorable Mention: I also really love her new color “Nectar” which is a more pinky coral.

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TARTE COSMETICS Power Pigment – Tipsy
Tarte cheek stain in “Tipsy” has been one of the Number One Products in my kit since forever, so when they introduced the Power Pigment lip tint pencil version I was all over it immediately. I am very pleased to say that it does not disappoint. This is the same formula of just the right amount of orange and just the right amount of pink to create just the Perfect Coral that I love about the cheek stain, in a moisturizing and shiny lip formula. The stick format also makes it easy to carry and to apply. This is the perfect “throw it in your bag” product.

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DIOR Dior Addict Fluid Sticks – Mirage
If you have never tried them before, Dior lip colors are just…delicious. They are rich in color, creamy in texture, velvety in pigmentation. Yes they are expensive but yes they are worth it. Dior actually has quite a few Coral shades throughout their lip color collection, all of which that I have ever tried are gorgeous. The Fluid Sticks are a recent addition to the Dior Addict line. They are a lip lacquer product so they are lip gloss in feel but lipstick in color payoff. Mirage is a pinky-er (word?) Coral, slightly on the cool side. Honorable Mention: those wanting bolder color might want to check out “Artifice” which is a more in-your-face, near orange Coral.


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STILA COSMETICS Color Balm Lipstick – Avery and Valentina
Color Balm lipsticks entered the cosmetics landscape within the last couple of years and became an instant “hit” due to their ease of use and wearability. They combine the best of a lipstick (full color) and the best of a lip balm (moisturizing, feels good on the lips) for a winning combo. Amongst my favorite Color Balms are Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks. I love all of them but in keeping with our Coral theme, “Avery” and “Valentina’ fit the bill. These both fit my definition of “strong” in the sense of they are full pigment lip colors however strong does not have to mean Loud. “Avery” is a soft pinky Coral. This would be pretty on really fair skin tones where a bright Coral might be too overpowering, or if you are a darker skin tone like myself you can play with a high-contrast lip color by going with something this fair and pastel-ish. “Valentina” is for the bold. Stila describes it as “orange poppy” which to me equals Coral. It is my favorite of all of Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks.

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REVLON Super Lustrous Lipsticks – Coralberry
“Coralberry” is an absolute classic and for less than $10 you cannot go wrong. Like “Fire and Ice” and “Cherries in the Snow” it is guaranteed at least one female relative in your family owned this back in “the day”. While it has a distinctively retro feel to it, its peachy pinky Coral-ness is modern enough to make “Coralberry” one of Revlon’s most popular selling colors to this day. (Sidenote: I have “Coralberry”, “Fire and Ice”, and “Cherries in the Snow” in my kit. Always have, always will. They are fantastic lip colors.)

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REVLON Colorburst Matte Balm – Audacious
If you haven’t guessed, it is my opinion that Revlon makes fantastic lip color products. They are easily some of the best you can buy at the drugstore level. What is awesome about Revlon is that even though they have been around forever, they are constantly introducing new products into their color line (without discontinuing the classics!). If you want to jump on the modern trend of Matte lipcolors, Revlon has you covered. “Audacious” is a matte balm, so where matte colors can tend to feel dry, this formulation feels moisturizing on the lips. As a bonus, the pencil style applicator makes applying a bold pop of color a breeze.

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OCC MAKEUP Lip Tar Matte – Grandma
FACT: As a makeup artist, “Grandma” by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is one of two lip colors I probably use more than any other lip colors I own (the other is “Trick”, also by OCC Makeup). I do not necessarily use it straight (sometimes but not always), like many makeup artists what I love about the OCC Makeup Lip Tars is their versatility and blend-ability with other lip colors. “Grandma” is a pastel-y pinky Coral in the same vein as Revlon’s “Coralberry”. It has that same retro type feel (hence the name). However “Grandma” is a full frontal hit of color, not at all for the faint of heart. OCC Lip Tars were amongst the first wave of highly pigmented bold, loud color lip colors that are now quite popular. Not interested in wearing it straight? If you have a pink that you want to “Coral-ize”, a red you want a little less Red or a sheer color you want to add some “umph” to, try mixing in a little “Grandma”. Honorable Mention: “Queen”. When “Grandma” first came out it was a little bit more of a bolder, orange-y reddish Coral. “Queen” is the closest you can get to that original “Grandma” color. It is great for those on whom a pastel-y color does not work, or for those who want a TADDOW! Coral color.

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HOURGLASS COSMETICS Femme Rouge Velvet Cr̬me Lipstick РMuse
Hourglass is one of my favorite new cosmetics brands in fact look for a story on them coming soon. Their Velvet Creme Lipsticks are just that; velvety, creamy, lushly pigmented and gorgeous. “Muse” is a True Coral. What I impressed me about this product is not only is the color gorgeous but it truly feels different from a traditional lipstick. It is feather-weight and truly moisturizing. Lots of lipsticks say they are moisturizing but I still find myself reaching for that lip balm to wear underneath. This really did not feel like I was wearing lipstick, so if you are like me and hate the feel of lipstick give the Hourglass a try. And if you really, really hate lipstick, “Muse” comes in other formulations as well 😉

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LIMECRIME Velvetines – Suedeberry
Like the original OCC Lip Tars, Lime Crime built its name on over-the-top, bold, pigmented lipsticks in unusual colors. As the line has expanded, more wearable but still boldly pigmented colors and formulations have been added into the mix. One of the best additions to the line, in my opinion, are the Velvetines which go on liquid and dry to a completely matte finish. “Suedeberry” is one of my favorite of the Velvetines. It is a bold True Coral in a matte finish. When you are dealing with bold color, not only is matte more modern but it is also a bit more flattering (exception being if you have a lot of dry lines around the mouth area, but there are ways to work around that…). Once set, these do not move or transfer and they are long-wearing. Perfect for a night out when demure is not the goal. Special Note: I absolutely ADORE this color on African American skin tones.