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.

makeup to go blog makeup artist los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup educator best blushes for brown beauties mac raizin
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 – Anatomy of a Kit Prep

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup artist makeup educator beauty writer los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup artist anatomy of a kit prep


…One thing about being a freelance makeup artist…

is that two days are rarely ever the same. If you follow my makeup artist feed on Instagram, you’ve seen many posts of my various makeup kits and set-ups. More often than not I am carrying this kit because I’m working with one of my commercial clients and my needs are smaller and I can carry a more curated kit. Every once in a while, however, I need to carry the entire kit and caboodle, so to speak. This requires some kit prep in order to be ready for my gig.

There are certain things I ALWAYS do before a job, and some things that I do that are specific to the job I’m working on.

Kit Prep I Always Do BEFORE A Job
– Wash makeup brushes
Barbicide Hair Brushes/Tools
– Wipe down palette surfaces and lotion/bottle openings with alcohol
– restock liquids and consumables (alcohol, brush cleaner, tissues, sponges, cotton swabs, etc.)

notice how all but one pertains to kit sanitation, which as I mentioned in a past post I take very seriously. I need everything to be clean, dry and ready BEFORE I show up for a job therefore I generally take care of all of these things when I get home from my previous job (i.e. – I did all of this Friday night so that come Sunday morning everything was dry and ready).

On Emmys weekend I was booked to work with the brand Gwynnie Bee on a combo photoshoot/Emmys watch party. Major influencers were there along with two major celebs so it was a high profile event. Nothing I haven’t done before, however, I’d not worked with this client before and I also wasn’t entirely sure how many talent I would ultimately end up working on. Therefore, I also had special kit prep for this specific job. This was one of those jobs where I had to a) have Top Shelf product b ) my presentation had to be on point (which it should be at all times anyway), and C ) I had to be prepared for any and everything.

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makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup artist makeup educator beauty writer los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup artist anatomy of a kit prep LORAC pro 1 and 2 MUFE palette

LORAC PRO eyeshadow palettes 1 & 2 depotted into Make Up For Ever large empty palette
Something I’ve wanted to do for more than a minute is depot anything that’s currently in a retail palette/package into a Pro empty palette. Why? First of all, space. When you’ve gotta bring the kitchen sink you need as much product to fit into as compact a space as possible. It’s also easier to see what I have in a palette like this as opposed to 50-lebbin little individual palettes. Secondly, on the real, retail packaging was not meant for the abuse of traveling around in a pro kit and they usually end up looking like crap. Look at those LORAC palettes and then look at the Make Up For Ever palette. Which one looks better? Yeah. Presentation matters.

PRO TIP: The LORACs came out easily because the body is cardboard and foam. For products in plastic packaging you will need more finesse so as to not damage your product.

PRO TIP 2: Non-pros; make a palette out of your powders and creams (eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, highlighters, etc) and packing your makeup for trips will be a breeze!

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NARS Blushes in NARS Small Pro Palette
Likewise, as I’ve mentioned in numerous past posts, I needed to get it together with my blush choices for deep complexions. This palette was the Belle of the Ball as many of the influencers fell into the color range and I thoroughly enjoyed showing them how to play with blush colors to get different effects. As mentioned in my SF Haul post, the powder colors are Desire, Taj Mahal, Exhibit A and Seduction. In addition I added two cream blushes; Enchanted – which I love as a subtle highlight on pretty much every skin tone, and the mighty Montenegro which is just Flat. Out. Gorgeous.

DEPRESSING NEWS: Typical NARS-ness, they seem to have discontinued their cream blushes. 🙁 If you find them on eBay or somewhere, nab them. And add Penny Lane, too.

PRO TIP: I always label my palettes. A ) so I know what’s in it, but also B ) I love everyone but I want it to be clear that this item belongs to me. This is particularly important when you’re working in close quarters with other artists.

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup artist makeup educator beauty writer los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup artist anatomy of a kit prep kit compartments

Kit Organized into individual ZUCA Utility Pouches
Once I have everything streamlined and organized, it’s time to pack it up. I know some artists just put things wherever in their kits and I don’t judge (well, maybe a little….OK I do…), but I cannot work that way. It slows me down too much if I have to look for things, so I compartmentalize HARD CORE. Every category has its own bag, that way when I get to location and see where I’m going to be set up I only pull out what I need and I can leave the rest on standby. Pictured here are my foundation/concealer bag, color products bag, and my eyelashes bag which saw a LOT of action on this job! Other main compartment bags in my kit are skincare, powders, cream blushes, and pencils. And actually right after this job I ordered another ZUCA pouch so I can split up the color products (one for eyes, one for cheeks/lips).

And the final outcome…

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup artist makeup educator beauty writer los angeles makeup artist san francisco makeup artist anatomy of a kit prep final set up

Lean, mean, makeup machine. Not pictured is my suitcase which I was able to put neatly under my worktable in the event I needed something that I didn’t pull out of my kit. Different jobs require different kits but one thing remains the same: A well-prepped kit = a happy makeup artist.

PRO TIP: It is INCREDIBLY important to be clean, organized and efficient on your jobs, but particularly those with high profile clients.

PRO TIP 2: MANY MANY THANKS to Make Up For Ever for providing product for me for this event!

Do you change kits depending on your jobs or does your kit remain the same? How to you prep before your jobs?

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#BizTalk – Quick Visit Makeup Show San Francisco Pop Up

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

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

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

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

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

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


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and this..

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

and this…

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and this…

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

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


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


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


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


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


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me hand-modeling HAN Skincare Cosmetics Cheek Stains


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


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

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

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

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MakeupThursday – August Makeup Spree

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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2) Dante Disposables – Dante Brush Cleaner

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


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3) Glam Kitti Palettes

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


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musebeauty.pro


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


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5) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Pro Palette

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


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

click to see color names


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

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


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7) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Best Blush Palette

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


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Congrats Miss Ian!


8) NARS Cosmetics – NARS Survival Kit 1

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


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

Sorry girlie!


9) LORAC Cosmetics – The Getaway Palette

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

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#MakeupMonday – 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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