#Happenings РAJ Crimson Beaut̩ Boutique Opening

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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 Beauté. 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.

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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 Beauté 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! 😀


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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…)

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gorgeous nude that will work with numerous skintones – AJ Crimson Beauté 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 Beauté 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 Beauté know about this post until I tell them… 🙂 )
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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.

and

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 – The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 Recap

Team Makeup to Go! did not get to make it to The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014…

But fortunately MTG has friends all over and fab makeup artist Liza Macawili Ramos attended the show and gave us a full report! Without further ado, take it away Liza! (NOTE: Photo captions added by moi…)

    My trip to The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014

    We had the most beautiful winter with barely any rain, and of course the weekend of The Makeup Show we had the worst storms in LA this season. But it didn’t keep the crowds away from the show. I was fortunate to have a chart in the Kevyn Aucoin face chart competition so I was invited to the pre show party and got to view the gallery early and take a glimpse into Kevyn Aucoin’s brain. There were inspirational quotes from Kevyn, behind the scenes pictures of his shoots with icons like Janet Jackson & Madonna, and his artwork. I particularly loved seeing a case full of makeup he used before his line of makeup was created. I forgot about the line Ultima II, which was something I used in my kit early on.

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap kevyn aucoin christy turlington

    Master artist Kevyn Aucoin and supermodel Christy Turlington. I’m pretty sure this originally appeared in Kevyn Aucoin’s first book, “The Art of Makeup”


    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap kevyn aucoin makeup tools

    Tools of a master artist…


    The show was full of the usual suspects like Makeup Forever, Temptu, Mehron & Embryolisse, and a few smaller boutique lines were there like Besame Cosmetics and Gleam. I especially loved the packaging of Besame and the lipsticks are amazing! I bought the color noir red and it stayed on up until I ate dinner. My husband even complimented me on my lips. Another interesting product that came out was the Zuca rolling backpack. I have two Zucas and I love them. You can fit so much product in those little cases and they are so mobile! The backpack looks like it would be a great kit for location work, or for hair or if you just like to keep your kit compact. They were nice enough to give me a bag to attach to my Zucas for extra storage. One of my favorite purchases was one of the new Viseart Palettes. They aren’t out until June, but they had a few for the show. I got to the booth at about 10:00am on Saturday, an hour after the show opened. They said they only had five palettes left! So of course I scooped it up. It is amazing!

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap besame cosmetics

    Besame Cosmetics. I’m in love with their lipcolors…


    Tmakeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap gleam by melanie mills

    Gleam by Melanie Mills. Love the fantastic long wearing lipglosses & the body shimmer powder…


    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap zuca

    new rolling Zuca backpack


    The lineup of Keynote speakers was amazing this year. I got to see the tail end of Gina Brooke’s presentation. She was extremely inspirational and down to earth. I loved her stories about Madonna and her philosophies about makeup and a makeup career. I wish I saw the whole presentation. Right afterwards was Damone Roberts. His presentation was about his challenges and his rise in the beauty world. He has such an effervesent demeanor and he is just so beautiful to look at that you can’t help but be mesmerized by him..

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap gina brooke

    Gina Brooke


    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap damone roberts

    Damone Roberts


    I went back on Sunday after working with a client in the morning and I was able to catch Frank Ippolito’s demonstration for Endura. He was working with the new alcohol palettes he helped develop and showed the audience how to create a black eye and a bloody face. His presentation was part comedy and he encouraged a lot of audience participation.

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap frank ippolito

    Frank Ippolito in action


    I also went back to the show to hear who the winner of the Kevyn Aucoin Face Chart competition was. I didn’t win this time around but congratulations to Heather Roach on her beautiful chart inspired by Kevyn’s makeup on Kate Moss. I didn’t do much shopping on Sunday, but I did manage to network and get a few possible clients. And that is why I love the makeup show. It’s not just a shopping opportunity. It’s a chance to meet with several brands all in one place. Celebrity makeup artists, department heads, brand owners and artist relations are all under one roof at The Makeup Show. Keynote speakers who usually charge from $300-$1000 for a workshop speak and give demos for the entry price. And you get to see so many of your makeup friends walking around. It’s like a big reunion every year.

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap barbara yniguez eugenia weston

    fab artists Barbara Yniguez @barbarayniguez, and Eugenia Weston @eugeniaweston (founder of Senna Cosmetics)


    If you haven’t been to The Makeup Show LA and you are a professional or an aspiring makeup artist, I highly recommend attending this show. At any stage of your career, you will take back valuable information, inspiration.. and oh yes, makeup!

    makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014 recap liza face chart

    Liza herself and her entry in the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Face Chart Competition


Based in Southern California, Liza Macawili Ramos has been working as a makeup artist in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industry for over a decade. An avid competitor, she has represented the USA in competitions internationally and has been a finalist at The Makeup Show six times. She has been a judge for NAHA, the North American Hairstyling Awards for the past 5 years. Her work can be seen on magazine covers, billboards and on the web for fashion, beauty and entertainment.

Website: LizaMakeup

Twitter: @Lizamakeup

Many thanks to Liza for such a fab recap. Did you attend this year’s The Makeup Show? Are you going to attend in another city? Tell us your story in Comments! 🙂