REMIX – #MakeupMonday – Best Blushes for Brown Beauties

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My ubiquitous Brown Girl (or guy) Blush palette. Pre China NARS, of course…


Makeup to Go has been around for a while now…

…and as such, some of our content is in need of a little refreshing. Introducting the #REMIX where we travel back in time and bring some of our “Best of” content up to date. I’m starting with one of my personal favorites; Best Blushes for Brown Beauties.

Blush is one of my favorite cosmetics products, but finding one that suits deeper skin tones is drama. Not JUST in the sense of colors not being deep and/or pigmented enough – although that is a legitimate problem. The other legitimate problem is that a lot of blushes (and eyeshadows, and other powder cosmetics) are formulated such that they give off significant white cast. The white cast generally comes from either from the talc base or white pigment in the formulation or excess shimmer/glitter (which is often white pigment based). If a blush is not pure color pigment based and is in anyway cut with white/light pigments, watch out. That’s where the dreaded “ashy” appearance comes from that can leave you (or your client) looking gray. Fortunately, there are some gorgeous exceptions that look stunning on brown (and not brown) complexions. Here’s who I’m loving right now.

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NARS Taj Mahal
When I first did this article someone left me a rather snarky comment that I “left off” Taj Mahal and Exhibit A. Um…thanks for reading the blog? At that time I replied that Taj Mahal wasn’t my favorite from NARS and just kept it moving. A burnt orange color wasn’t really appealing to me… until I finally broke down and tried it. My commenter was correct. I do in fact now use both, and Taj Mahal in particular is one of the GOAT* blushes for brown complexions ever. Stunning as a blush color on lighter to medium brown complexions and gorgeous as a non-ashy highlighter on deep brown complexions, I pretty much use Taj Mahal all the time nowadays. Thanks much Ms. Snarky Pants wherever you are 😉

ABOUT NARS: NO I’m not buying NARS for the time being although I am still using the NARS that I already have. Eventually I will write a separate post about the NARS situation but suffice to say that the NARS selling in China thing has been devastating for me. Devastating 🙁 . I love “Desire” by NARS as well. Alas, NARS is the change right now and anyway you probably aren’t interested in a list of just one brand so moving on…

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BlackUp Cosmetics – NBL11, NBL12
BlackUp is a French brand specifically designed to be a high end cosmetics line for Black women. As Black people come in an array of hues, tones and undertones, it is a fantastic line for broad spectrum of Women of Color. These are the two blushes I own so far and I love them both. The blushes are very finely milled (which is what you want in any powder product) so they are very smooth and the texture is velvety and luxurious instead of just powdery as lower-end blushes tend to be.

NBL11 is that kind of plumy rose that looks good on pretty much every human, and NBL12 is very similar to MAC Raizin. Unlike Raizin, however, NBL12 has shimmer so it isn’t a replacement for the MAC blush. NBL11 has a shimmer to it as well, as do most of their blushes. That would be my only knock against BlackUp. That said, the shimmer is subtle and as such is wearable for real life and usable for photography including HD.

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MAC Raizin
I had a former student just write me about this not too long ago, as I used to use it all the time in my in-class demos. I plan to do a post on Classic Cosmetics You Should Know, but that’ll come at a later date. For now, I HAVE to mention Raizin. This brick-y-brown-y golden-y red is another of the GOAT* melanin folks blush colors, and has been since f o r e v e r.

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Viseart Blush Palette #2 Rose/Coral
#2 is my favorite of the Viseart Blush palettes and I find that the pigmentation is so intense I can use it on nearly any skin tone. Whereas BlackUp costs $26.50 each, Viseart’s palette of 6 colors retails for $80. Normally I do not recommend blush palettes for anyone other than pros because we need a lot of colors. HOWEVER this one I can recommend to non pros as well because it’s extremely wearable. Palette #2 is six colors you can use, not just 2 good ones and 4 duds as palettes so often go. In addition to the wearability, Palette #2 also has the closest equivalent to “Desire” that I’ve found. Petal pinks (like Desire) look so so pretty on fair to light brown skin tones, but so often petal pinks are cut with white pigment and/or have shimmer so they go ashy. Every Viseart palette I’ve ever tried (and I own several) has always been color-true and has never given me ash. For the truly deep girls (my own complexion and deeper) I might slide over to Palette #3, but for the most part Palette #2 is my go-to.

Ready for something unexpected?

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e.l.f. Blush Palette – Dark
People always give me grief for not including mass market brands, so here you go. I’m not a fan of e.l.f. the way many artists are HOWEVER, I have to say I like this one a lot. I discovered it in a moment of desperation where I needed something and the only store available to me was a Target. Is it as richly pigmented as the brands mentioned above? No. But it is very nicely pigmented and even more importantly it is neither powdery nor is it a shimmer bomb. This palette is pigmented enough to read even on deep brown skin tones and while there is shimmer, it’s subtle and doesn’t leave a crazy white cast. I use this on the regular for one of my ecomm clients and I’ve been impressed. In fact, here it is in action;

tania d russell makeupwerks makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator best blushes for brown beauties elf blush on leslie

ELF Blush Palette Deep on Leslie Allen/LA Models


And more Brown Beauty Friendly blushes are on the horizon. A friend who works with MUFE says they have some new must-try blushes coming. Look for information on that soon to come.

…and if you’re curious to see the original article, click here to visit “Best Blushes for Darker Toned Beauties“.

(* for those who may not be familiar with the term, GOAT is an acronym for “Greatest of All Time”)

What blushes do you like for yourself? Or if you’re an artist, who do you like for your brown-babe clients?
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#MakeupMonday – Makeup Short Notes March 2016

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 chanel rouge coco stylo histoire

blurry me on Sunset Blvd. wearing Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lip color in “Histoire”


Howdy folks. And once again, we’re back!

There’s a lot going on in the background of Makeup to Go these days, more on that to be announced at later dates. In the meantime, la vida makeup continua and I’ve had the opportunity to try lots o’ new product. Here, then, are my Makeup Short Notes March 2016

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 chanel rouge coco stylo histoire
1 ) Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Lipshine

I recently attended the “I Love Coco” event taking place in Los Angeles. The point of the event was to introduce new products in the Chanel color line via a style lounge with drinks, mingling and little mini-makeovers. There was – unsurprisingly – a wait to get a mani as Chanel nailpolishes are INCREDIBLE, but surprisingly there wasn’t much of a wait in the makeup room. I decided to try the new Rouge Stylo lipsticks. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the above blurriness when I first posted it right after the event. (…my skin looks good tho. I’m not wearing any face makeup in that pic. (take care of your skin, folks!).

Rouge Stylo comes in 8 shades and anyone who knows me knows that IF I am going to bother wearing lipstick, it’s going to be red, so we selected “Histoire” for my mini-makeover. In the tube this looked like it was going to be too orange-y but it was actually a nice true red which would be wearable for a variety of skintones (even tho I’m Black, I’m COOL not warm, and too warm colors look ashy/funky on me). The formula was very creamy and comfortable to wear yet lasted the entire rest of my day (I had a client later that evening and she remarked on my super-fly lip color). At $37 this is a bit of an investment, but like most Chanel it is an investment worth making. I purchased “Histore” for my personal use and I plan to buy the full set of colors for my celeb kit.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 make up for ever ultra hd concealer
2 ) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

I am extremely picky about concealers, particularly for use under the eye. When it comes to concealing you can color correct a problem or you can mask a problem by covering over it. Generally speaking, I like products that can do both hence I need less product and there’s less chance of slippage, cracking, cakiness, etc. This new iteration of the HD concealer by Make Up For Ever comes in the liqui-cream texture that I like for concealers. It is highly pigmented to give adequate coverage, but it is a more flexible formula that is less likely to crease and go crazy when used under the eyes (which means it would be totally fine on other parts of the face). By Makeup For Ever’s description, the “R”s are color correcting and the “Y”s are concealing so that would be the only drawback as – again – I prefer one product to do both. But upon initial usage I was impressed with the texture and the wear so I will continue to give this product a shot.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 beauty blender micro mini correct four
3 ) Micro Mini Correct Four Set

On the topic of correcting and concealing, Beauty Blender has introduced a micro.mini.correct.four set designed to make the task of concealing and correcting a little bit easier. The micro mini beauty blenders came on the scene a couple of years or so ago as a companion piece for the regular Beauty Blender. The micros are designed to fit into all of the nooks and crannies (corners of the eyes, around the nose, etc.) where a regular sized Blender might be more awkward to use.

I’m including this set for all the non-pro Makeup to Go readers in the house. Correctors (yellow, orange, green, lavender, and sometimes pink) have been in use by pros for eons, but they have been making their way slowly but surely into the consumer market. In fact both Smashbox and Urban Decay have recently introduced easy-to-use corrector products. What I like about the mini correct four set is you can coordinate your sponge with your corrector. That sounds silly, but its really REALLY important to use correctors correctly or they just look wrong. Manys the time I’ve seen a woman walking around with visible green on her face and that’s just Le Sad.

PRO TIP: If you’re confused about concealing/correcting, fear not! A visual tutorial is coming soon!

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 mac cosmetics pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation
4 ) Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Every time I get out, something pulls me back in… Like many “makeup artists of a certain age”, I have a love/notasmuchinlove relationship with MAC Cosmetics these days. They are certainly a very different company than they were back in the pre-Estee Lauder days, that’s for sure. That said, while it may be shocking to some folks that I’m talking about a MAC product, they’ve never fully left my kit in fact MAC makes a couple of absolute Holy Grail products that never leave my kit. One of the notasmuchinlove areas for me with MAC has always been their foundations, largely because there is a very particular finish I am looking to achieve with foundation and I do not – even though I know its the trend nowadays – care for full coverage foundation. A few years ago MAC reformulated the Face and Body foundation and it is just absolutely gorg, so I was open to the possibility of trying a MAC foundation, particularly a liquid. Enter the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation. It is a silicone based foundation, which we all know I love, so I loved the finish and the wear of the product. MAC claims that this product is waterproof, transfer-proof, and can last for as long as 24 hours. Well folks, based on my initial usage I’m inclined to believe it. I used this on a very high-energy performer. The first time I did his grooming I was panicked about product breakdown but fortunately I’d used a good setting spray. This time around I knew the drill. The waterproof formula didn’t breakdown, didn’t get chalky or cakey, and my client didn’t look rode hard and brought home wet after his performance. A quick touch up with powder and he was able to take his seat and look good for the remainder of the show taping. If it can last after dancing around under TV studio lighting, it can make it through anyone’s day.

PRO TIP: My client is a deeper-complexioned African American. The color range for people of color in this product is excellent.

makeup to go blog makeup short notes march 2016 bare minerals matte spf 15 foundation
5 ) Bare Minerals MATTE Powder Foundation
“Hey T…Haven’t you talked about this product a number of times already?” Yes, I have. This is the powder foundation that I wear on myself on a day to day basis for natural, light coverage. It’s great. It evens up my skintone, wears well with my oiliness, and unlike the original Bare Minerals powder it does not give a grey cast (which traditional mineral foundations can do on deeper skintones). So why am I writing about it again? Welp, I wore it on the day that I got my new driver’s license photo taken last November. When I took a selfie in the parking lot in natural light it looked fine, in fact I looked great. But WHOOO BOY what it did when that already not particularly flattering DMV flash lighting hit it. You talk about flashback/TD reaction. I look old and a completely different color. YIKES! No, I will not be posting that photo.

PRO TIP: Do Not Wear For Photographic Use.

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#Happenings: MAC Pro Val Garland Master Class 4/15/13

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the Invitation


This past Monday, Los Angeles area makeup artists were able to forget (or drown if need be) their tax sorrows

and engage with one of the premier makeup artists in the world, Val Garland. The Master Class event was hosted by MAC Pro and held at Milk Studios. If you are not familiar with Ms. Garland’s work, well, you have some homework to do now dontcha? 😉 If you are one of my past students, or a regular reader of MTG or have in any way heard me discuss the Fashion Week cycle, you will have heard me say that there are truly about 8-10 artists who key the vast majority of ALL of the shows. Val Garland is one of those artists. She is also responsible for some of the most iconic fashion editorial images of the current day, and her reach even extends into pop culture as she has been Lady Gaga’s primary artist for several years now. She is an artist on the level that even if you do not know her name, if you are into makeup artistry, you know her work.

The Mac Pro Val Garland presentation on Monday was a retrospective – including live demonstration – on a selection of some of her most well known makeup designs from her work with Lady Gaga to her runway work for designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. A picture is worth a thousand words as they say, so here are my images from the event. I will say that nearly everyone I spoke to walked away thoroughly inspired. Val Garland’s presentation was the type of event that reminds you why you wanted to become a makeup artist.

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the Program


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#HaveYouSeenThis: Official “Addicted to Love” Tutorial

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Robert Palmer – Addicted to Love (image from houstonpress.com )


In the 80’s the look of this video was everywhere, since that time the look has become iconic. Robert Palmer’s (RIP) “Addicted to Love” may have been a catchy tune, but in my opinion its Massive Hit status was due in large part to the music video. Nothing really even happens in the video. What is legendary about the video is the look and aesthetic, both of which were heavily dependent on the game-changing makeup designed by makeup artist, Martin Pretorius. Watch as Martin Pretorius HIMSELF demos how he created this look. That’s right my friends, this is not an “interpretation”, this is the real deal by the artist who created it. Enjoy and learn… (video starts after the commercial)

and in case I have any readers who are so scary-young they’ve never seen the “Addicted to Love” video…

Many thanks to superfab in her own right makeup artist Stella Kae for producing this tutorial and posting it to YouTube and sharing with all of us!

#MaquillajeParaGo – Maquillaje de cinco minutos

For this month’s installment of Maquillaje Para Go! Delia walks us through her “Maquillaje de cinco minutos” aka the “get out the door” face routine. Every girl should have one, what’s yours? Leave a comment and let us know! (as always, the English version follows below)

Hola a todos! Como Tania ha dicho, mucho ha estado sucediendo aquí en MTG. Uno de ellos es la llegada del nuevo miembro de la familia de MTG, Jaymes! Estoy tan contenta de que él es un bebé feliz y saludable. Por supuesto, con un nuevo bebé, hay que adatpt a los cambios. Ahora que tengo tiempo limitado, uno de los cambios que he tenido que hacer es a mi rutina de maquillaje. Así que aquí está mi rutina rápida de 5 minutos que pueden hacer mas glamoroso si es necesario.

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Primero aplico mi base. He estado usando L’oreal True Match porque desaparece en la piel muy bien sin mirar pesado.

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A continuación aplico un delineador negro a la parte superior e inferior de la líneas de agua del ojo. También me aplique una delgada línea cerca de la línea de las pestañas para que mis pestañas aparecen más llenos. Para este paso me gusta usar delineador de L’oreal Smoldering Eyeliner o Smolder de MAC.

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Siguen las pestañas. Me gusta pasar un poco de tiempo extra en las pestañas, porque me gusta que se vean lo más lleno posible. Me aseguro de llegar lo más cerca de la raíz como sea posible. Mis mascaras preferidas son Diorshow Blackout y Volumious Mascara en negro. Cualquiera de las son increible.

Estos dos pasos siguientes son donde se puede ver hasta el glamour con sólo elegir los colores adecuados.

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Puede omitir rubor o puede utilizar un color neutro como rubor crema de Inglot en color # 87 para darle un poco de color. O puede utilizar un color más fuerte para la mirada del glam como MAC Flirt and Tease.

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¡Siguen los labios! Usted puede ponerse un brillo de labios transparentes, o puede usar un labial brillante para realzar la mirada. Mi color preferido es Inglot #408. Un rojo brillante.

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Por último un poco de polvo suelto o compacto y listo. Yo uso polvos compactos de Clinique en Invisible Matte.

Aunque suene a mucho, el proceso es bastante rápido. Nunca me toma más de 5 minutos y luego todos estamos por la puerta!

Delia Jiménez Owens es una artista de maquillaje y pelo disponible, en los angeles y las vegas. Puede seguidor en Twitter en @ DeliaJOwens

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Hello everyone! As Tania posted, a lot has been going on here at MTG. One being the arrival of the newest member of the MTG family, Jaymes! I’m so glad he is a happy and healthy baby. Of course, with a new baby, one has to adapt to changes. Now that I have limited time, one of the changes I’ve had to make is to my make up routine. So here is my quick 5 minute makeup routine that you can glam up if needed.

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First I apply my foundation. I’ve been using L’oreal True Match because it disappears into the skin nicely without looking heavy.

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Next I apply a black eyeliner to the upper and lower waterlines. I also dab a thin line near the lashline to make my lashes appear fuller. For this step I like to use L’oreal Smoldering Eyeliner or MAC’s Smolder.

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The lashes are next. I like to spend a little extra time on lashes because I like to make them look as full as possible. I make sure to get as close to the root as possible and wiggle my way up the lash. My mascaras of choice are Diorshow in Blackout and Volumious Mascara in Carbon Black. Either works great.

These next two steps are where you can glam your look up by just choosing the right colors.

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You can skip blush or you can use a neutral color like Inglot cream color blush in #87 to give you a little bit of color. You can use a bolder color to glam the look up like MAC’s Flirt and Tease.

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Lips are next! You can throw on a sheer lipgloss and go or use a bright lipcolor to enhance the look. My everyday wear is Inglot’s #408. A bright red.

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Lastly dust on some loose or pressed powder and go. I use Clinique’s pressed powder in Invisible Matte.

Although it sounds like a lot, the process is quite fast. It never takes me more than 5 minutes then we’re all out the door!

Delia Jimenez Owens is a makeup and hair artist available in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. You can follow her on Twitter @DeliaJOwens.