The Basics: Makeup Brush Cleaning 101

Disclosure: Hey folks, instead of doing sponsored posts, Makeup to Go is a member of Skimlinks and Amazon Affiliates. So if you purchase something via any of our links, we get a lil sumthin sumthin to help us keep running. Thanks much!

If you follow Makeup to Go on Instagram

– and you should @makeuptogoblog – you may have noticed that things have been quite active over there. I’m finally investing time into the Makeup to Go Blog Instagram feed and it’s starting to come into form and look nice and spiffy 🙂 AND I love that Instagram offers me immediate feedback into what people want to see and learn. So one of the things I’ve come to realize unequivocally is that people want more tutorials and videos, no matter how basic the presentation may be.

With that in mind, here is an Instagram Story video where I go through step-by-step on how I wash my brushes. Now; I’m not saying this is the ONLY way to wash brushes, but this is a more typically professional method than some of the methods you may see online. And I also explain why I do some of the things that I do. This method has keep my brushes in good usable condition for years and years and years and also I have yet to ever cause anyone a skin irritation/reaction using this method (knock on wood!).

I should say, this Insta Story became seriously popular. Like WOW. I guess I’m a q-dork, but I had no idea it would be so popular. It is saved on the @Makeuptogoblog Instagram as a “Highlight” but I also thought what the heck, let’s go ahead and post it on the blog where it can live for all posterity. I am working on the capacity to be able to do more videos and I want them to look more professional, etc. but in the meantime I will be taking advantage of Insta Stories and Instagram Live as both teaching tools and ways to connect with my audience. So if there is anything in particular you want to see, lay it on me in Comments! I’m all ears 🙂

You might also like my previous articles on makeup brushes and keeping your makeup clean.

ALSO! Major thanks to Illyne Michel for helping me film this tutorial. You can check out her makeup fabulosity at @mua_illynemichel

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#MakeupMonday – Short Makeup Notes July 2014

LORAC pro eyeshadow palette 2 makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tania d russell makeup monday short makeup notes July 2014

LORAC Pro Palette 2

Howdy folks. I’m currently away on business/working hence bloggage has slowed down a tad but I wanted to go back to talking makeup at least a little bit and not promote something for a change*

1 ) LORAC Pro Eyeshadow Palette 2
While I’ve not had a chance to do anything with it yet, I did finally get my hands on this new, coveted palette. I took a look at it at a nearby Ulta and then ordered it from Naimie’s so it should be waiting for me when I get home (pros can get their pricing through Naimie’s).

I have been asked if by folks if they should get Pro 1 or Pro 2. Now that I have seen both live and in person my truthful answer is; it’s up to you. LOL! The Pro 2 palette continues the successful formula of combining a row of matte colors with a row of sheen, shimmer colors. I guess the main difference in my opinion is that the Pro 2 colors are softer overall, which may be more usable to more everyday women. Where the original LORAC Pro eyeshadow palette is a collection of true neutrals ranging from pale all the way to a matte Black and a shimmery deep Charcoal, Pro 2 stays more in the mid-range and includes some pretty pops of color including a pretty plum, a shimmery mossy green and a GORG looking matte Navy that I cannot wait to play around with. While I would still call the Pro 2 a neutral palette, the fact that it stays in the mid tones and adds some “neutral colors” makes this a great palette for personal use, use on brides and “real people” clients, etc. I’m looking forward to getting home and playing around with it!

2) Sonia Kashuk
As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows (or if you’ve studied with me, had a private lesson, etc.) I LOVE the Sonia Kashuk line. I think it is far and away the best of all the mass market brands. Back in the day I wrote this story about the line. Considering about half those products are no longer in the line, I should probably write an updated post. Until such time as I do that, next time you’re in a Target check out the new lip palette and new pro brush collection, both created in celebration of 15 years of the Sonia Kashuk cosmetics line. The Limited Edition Powerful Pout fall lip palette is a range of classic reds, which can of course either be worn alone or mixed to your perfect shade. If you are red-a-phobic this is a good way to stand up to the fear and learn to wear reds. There is a shade of red for everyone! The Limited Edition 15-pc Pro Brush set is a versatile collection includes natural hair (goat and pony) and synthetic bristle brushes and has every brush-type needed for the full face, in a stylish purple color scheme. Personally I am not on board with the colored makeup bristles trend. However I would still recommend these because SK brushes have been an artists secret since their inception. Sonia Kashuk offers very good quality brushes at a very affordable price. In this case it is about $40 for the set. $40! One pro brush can easily cost $40. That’s a great deal.

3 ) Beauty Blender Micro.Minis
I have not yet gotten my hands on the little Beauty Blender Micro.Minis, but I look forward to doing so when I get back from this biz trip. The tiny little Blenders are intended for detail work (undereye, around the nose & mouth, etc). I could also see this helping some folks with blending highlight and contour since the highlight and contour trend doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. 😐

You can read a great review of the Beauty Blender Micro.Minis on NYC makeup artist Victor Amos’s blog: Pro Beauty Blog And I’ll do my own review after I’ve been able to use them a bit.

4 ) The Business of Makeup
OK I lied. I am doing a little promoting. My upcoming Business of Makeup class is upcoming and I am getting excited. The San Francisco class is happening on Sunday, August 17 and that class is All Systems Go. The Los Angeles class was scheduled for 8/24/14, but due to my work schedule it is being moved back a month to mid-September.


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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. 🙂

#MakeupMonday – Makeup Roundup 2012/2013

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco pile of makeup stock photo makeup roundup 2012 2013

OK. Back to the fun stuff; talking about product!

For our makeup roundup 2012/2013, we are taking a slightly different approach. We here at Makeup to Go, like most other makeup artists, meet new makeup products all the time. Many products become acquaintances, few become friends, and even fewer still be come Lovers (Kit Must Haves). For Makeup to Go’s inaugural “Best of” list, we’re talking only about the products that really stuck as “Lovers”. Therefore, some products may not be “according to Hoyle” brand new, but instead they are the products that cemented themselves into our kits in 2012. As a bonus, we are projecting which products we’d like to get to know better for 2013.

Delia’s Picks

Best of 2012

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco obsessive compulsive cosmetics lip tar anime makeup roundup 2012 2013
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics LipTar in Anime
A powerful punch of pink (nice alliteration, huh?) that is also pretty universally flattering. I love this one, too.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco LOreal Voluminous Smoldering eyliner makeup roundup 2012 2013
L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Liner in Black
Big, fat, juicy and smooth eyeliner that is truly BLACK. Reminiscent of Benefit Cosmetic’s “BadGal” eyeliner.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco lorac cosmetics pro eyeshadow palette makeup roundup 2012 2013
LORAC Pro Palette
Delia and I decided that this palette of neutral colors in both matte and shimmer formulations is not only the business, it is the Entire Corporation.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco inglot amc cream blush makeup roundup 2012 2013
Inglot Cream Blushes 87 & 82
Inglot has been formulating for other brands for years so when they started selling their own cosmetics line buzz grew immediately, and thus far all products tried have lived up to the hype.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco bdellium tools contour brush makeup roundup 2012 2013
Bdellium Tools Contour brush
Rapidly growing in popularity amongst professional artists, Bdellium Tools have become synonymous with affordable excellence.

Looking Forward in 2013

Sam Fine Supreme Color Collection for Fashion Fair Cosmetics
See description below in “Tania’s Picks”

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tom ford beauty eyeshadow quad makeup roundup 2012 2013
Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quads
It is easy to become fixated on the hefty price tag, but so far everything in the Tom Ford collection of cosmetics delivers.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco prtty peaushun skin tight body lotion makeup roundup 2012 2013
Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion
I love collaborating on my blog with other artists because I, too, get to learn about new things. I’ve never heard of this product before, but I am highly intrigued to try it now.

Tania’s Picks

Best of 2012

LORAC Pro Palette
See description above in “Delia’s Picks”. LOVE!

EDIT: Did I manage to leave off my #1 product discovery of 2012? Yep! Sure Did!

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco dedrabeauty foundations makeup roundup 2012 2013
Dedra (Formerly Simple Beaute by Dedra)
Clearly I was really sleepy when I was writing this article. I cannot believe I left this off! But anyway, yes, as I have previously mentioned (waxed rhapsodic over), the foundations are absolutely fantastic for both photographic use and street wear. Dedra was founded by celebrity makeup artist Dedra Whitt, and the newly renamed line also has 6 new products coming out very soon. Look for a full feature + interview on “Dedra” shortly.(photo is of the original foundation stick)

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco tarte amazonian clay waterproof cream eyeshadow makeup roundup 2012 2013
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow
For years pepole have been rightfully afraid of cream eyeshadow because of their tendency to fade and slip. Modern formulations of cream shadows have corrected these issues. Not only do these Tarte Amazonian Clay cream eyeshadows not cause makeup to fade away faster, I often use them as a base to make eyeshadow last longer and eliminate creasing. AND unlike a lot of shadow primers, these eyeshadows are moisturizing instead of drying on delicate eyelids.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco revlon cosmetics colorburst lip butter makeup roundup 2012 2013
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter
I always love products like these, I have previously professed my love for the Korres Lip Butters. Like the Korres butters, I use them for natural beauty shoots, lifestyle shoots, kids grooming shoots AND on myself. These feel fantastic and give a nice pop of color. Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butters are yet another item in Revlon’s long line of excellent lip color products.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco ROUGE PUR COUTURE Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain makeup roundup 2012 2013
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain
Like most women, I experience a disconnect between the hope and the reality of most lip stains. The hope is that the lipcolor will be comfortable and long-lasting. The reality is either or; either it is creamy enough to feel good at which point it does not last long, or it is long lasting but it is drying and feels weird. I discovered the YSL lipstains last year and haven’t looked back. The Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres fulfills in both hope and reality with a nice glossy finish to boot!

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco nars larger than life longlasting eyeliner makeup roundup 2012 2013
NARS Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner
I do not remember when exactly these came out (I think maybe late 2011) but they became a kit staple in 2012. Like lip-stains, long wear eyeliners often present a dilemma. You want eyeliner that lasts, but you need eyeliner to be smooth and glide on easily and smudge when desired. Nars’ Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner is smooth and creamy, easily blend-able and stays put once set. And it comes in fantastic colors.

Looking Forward in 2013

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco fashion fair cosmetics sam fine supreme color collection makeup roundup 2012 2013
Sam Fine Supreme Color Collection for Fashion Fair Cosmetics
Sam Fine has been working with Fashion Fair on updating the line for a few years now. His latest collection features a brilliant array of colors geared towards the needs of African American – and other deeper complexioned – women. Not familiar with Fashion Fair? I’ll be featuring a full review of this collection, and giving a history on the line soon!

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco laura mercier caviar stick eyeshadow makeup roundup 2012 2013
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours
I’m a little late to the game on these, but they are fab. The formulation is luxurious, the texture is creamy and smooth and the colors are rich and radient. And for the “home user” the roll up stick makes application a breeze. The late Nixie Cosmetics had a product similar to this back in the day. This is the ultimate upgrade.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco nars radiant creamy concealer makeup roundup 2012 2013
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
I was in the NARS store in LA yesterday and these were on display although not yet available for sale. They aren’t even on the Nars site yet, hence no link. But these are a liqui-cream concealer in a tube and they were amazing when I played with them. You can read more about them on the Temptalia blog, and I’m sure I’ll talk about them more when I get my hands on them.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco bobbi brown retouching powder makeup roundup 2012 2013
Bobbi Brown Skin Perfecting Retouching Powder
Makeup artists have long known the power of colored powders. Not colors to “match your skintone” which, depending on your skintone, can often be a very bad idea – but colors to enhance, correct and finish your makeup applications. Theatrical brands (Ben Nye, Mehron, Kryolan, etc) have long had these powders available, but now Bobbi Brown is bringing them to the mass market. It will likely take a moment to get used to using these powders, but the payoff is worth it.

and not a product but…

Nars opened a boutique on Melrose in October 2012 and TopShop opened in the Grove in February 2013. YES YES YES!!!!

Now you tell us: What new products or brands are you looking most forward to so far in 2013?

IMATS Los Angeles 2012 Wrap Up

IMATS Los Angeles 2012 is behind us. I ended up having a fantastic time at the International Makeup Artist Trade Show Los Angeles this year and I figured I’d better write about it before no one cares anymore. First a moment of full disclosure on why I am so late…

This time last week I was sitting in jury duty awaiting questioning for jury selection, in more pain than I have ever been in before. Ever. During the previous week I had what I thought was some minor shoulder soreness, and by last Friday night I was sitting in the emergency room unable to move my right arm. Did I mention that I am a right-handed makeup artist? Eventually the pain went away but my arm remained immobile. What I had going seemed similar to a condition that can last for as long as a year or two so needless to say I was in a bit of a panic as to how I was going to take care of myself and work. Through good treatment at the emergency room, good self care at home, and a little bit of Grace, my arm regained enough mobility by Sunday for me to do a basic makeup job. A couple of days ago (say Wednesday this week) was the first time that I could sit at a computer and type without discomfort. It has been a wild week!

Needless to say all of this changed my plans for IMATS. I was originally planning to go to the Pro Night and then go for a little span of time on the two weekend days. Instead I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been well enough to attend on Sunday. And I was super fortunate to have a running buddy at the show as my friend and fab makeup artist Renee Loiz, was also going that day so we were able to meet up.

Due to my compressed schedule I was not able to attend any of the workshops, lectures, or demos. This was a real bummer as there were several on Saturday I really, really wanted to see including the incomparable Kabuki (WHICH I hear was sadly under-attended by the largely non-pro crowd on Saturday). That aside I did much more walking the floor than I had in years. Years. It just seemed like it was waaaaaaay less crazy this year than last. The usual suspects (MAC, MUFE, NYX, etc.) were bustling but otherwise Renee and I were able to walk the floor, look at and touch product, and talk to the artist/representatives at the booths. Here is the scoop on what I got…

parian spirit cosmetics brush cleaner imats los angeles 2012 wrap up makeup to go blog makeup san francisco makeup los angeles
1 ) Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner
Gotta start with the basics and this was THE MAIN thing I needed. I had to make sure I left the Trade Show with this product in my hand. I know brush cleaners are very personal to each artist and everyone has their favorite. Parian Spirit is my favorite and it has been ever since I learned about them clear back at the very first IMATS show (yes, I’m old). NOTE: I am noticing a lot of young artists do not realize that Japonesque brush cleaner IS Parian Spirit (even says so on the Japonesque label). Instead of buying small retail bottles it makes more sense for a working artist to get the larger professional sizes of Parian Spirit. View Post