MakeupThursday – August Makeup Spree

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

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupwednesday august makeup spree

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.

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeupthursday dante brush cleaner dante disposables

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.

makeup to go blog tania d russell makeup los angeles makeup san francisco glam kitti palette

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.

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday muse beauty pro esum pro makeup bag

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.

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars empty palette nars cosmetics

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nars empties

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.

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nordstrom nars best blush palette

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!

makeup to go blog Los Angeles makeup San Francisco makeup Tania d Russell makeupthursday nars cosmetics nordstrom nars survival kit 1

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!

Have you signed up for the Makeup to Go Blog newsletter yet? Join the fun for exclusive content, giveaways, and other assorted fabulosity! Makeup to Go Blog Newsletter – “Speaking of Makeup”

#MakeupMonday – Favorite Lip Glosses 2012

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons favorite lip glosses 2012

Two years ago, early in Makeup to Go!’s existence…

I wrote a piece about what I felt were the “top lip glosses” at that time. Funny how time flies because a lot of those lip glosses are no longer on the market. This is both the ecstasy and the agony of being a makeup fanatic; there is new product out all of the time BUT you never know when one of your ultimate favorites will be discontinued. A lot can happen in two years so let us now take a look at what happened to some of my faves and what are my favorite lip glosses 2012.

Honorable Mention:

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons three custom color perfectly pink palette favorite lip glosses 2012
– Three Custom Color
I am not sure why I did not mention them in the first article so I am mentioning them now: Three Custom Color – or 3CC as they’re also known – makes fantastic lip products. They do make individual lip gloss wands, but most makeup artists, myself included, worship their lip gloss palettes. I have had the “Century of Red” palette in my kit since forever and I have recently added the “Perfectly Pink” palette (pictured) as well.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons nyx cosmetics mega shine lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
5 )
Then: Cargo Lipgloss Tins
Now: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

I discovered these particular NYX lip glosses a while ago and what I love is they are nice little knock-offs of the Smashbox Lip Enhancing glosses. They are not quite as thick in texture hence they do not last quite as long as the Smashbox, but they have a good texture and a good amount of wear, and they come in a great selection of colors including some “wild” colors, some nice reds, and some **great** basics (nude, apricot, rose, cocoa, etc). What is great about these is they are really cheap (in price, not in quality). Like cheap-y cheap. And I never recommend cheap cosmetics because usually cheap cosmetics are terrible but these are cheap and great. Can’t beat that!

What Happened to Cargo? Pretty much the same as I mentioned in the first article, they discontinued the lip gloss duo tins in favor of lip gloss quad tins, and they changed all the color combinations, discontinuing many of their best colors.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons smashbox lip enhancing lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
4 )
Then: Tarte Double Ended Lipgloss Wands
Now: Smashbox Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss

Yep, Smashbox has dropped down a bit on my list. This is NOT AT ALL due to a lapse in quality, oh no. This is strictly because they have dramatically cut the options of this product. The Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss used to come in three formulations (Sheer, True and Full) with a variety of colors in each formulation. Now Smashbox has cut it down to 17 colors in total, many of which are shimmery. The new lip gloss that Smashbox is offering – the Reflection High Shine glosses – is also shimmery. Smashbox seems to be going through a shimmery phase but unfortunately I am not a fan of shimmery glosses. If you are, yay for you Smashbox has lots of very nice shimmery colors right now. For me, not so much. As if this were not all painful enough, my FAVORITE of the Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss colors – “Debut”, a perfect creamy rose color – has been discontinued. Quel Dommage! (Pictured in the photo is “Tease” – a sheer raspberry)

What happened to Tarte? They have many other fantastic lip color products, but they discontinued the double-end lip gloss wands entirely.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons 100 percent pure lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
3 )
Then: Korres Lip Butter
Now: 100% Pure Lip Gloss

I still like Korres Lip Butters and Lip Butter Glazes quite a bit but these days I am going to have to give the nod to 100% Pure Lip Glosses. A ) I think they are better glosses. The butters are pretty but they are more like lip balms. B ) 100% Pure is committed to being a vegan, naturally derived, cruelty-free line. Korres USA is under a licensing agreement with Johnson and Johnson so while most of their products are naturally derived, I do not honestly know how natural Korres is or if they are cruelty-free with regards to their testing policies.

With 100% Pure, I know what I am getting. Their lipglosses are fruit pigmented and vegan and gorgeous. They have great texture, great scent, wear well, feel great and come in super pretty colors. I particularly love the “Raspberry Sorbet” gloss tube and “Shimmery Cocoa Berry” and “Pink Caramel” gloss wands.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons stila cosmetics lip glaze favorite lip glosses 2012
2 )
Then: Nars Lipgloss
Now: Stila Lip Glaze

Stila’s Lip Glaze pens have been around for a little bit now. I think I got into them when I went to the Warehouse Sale a couple of years ago, and they have been a fixture in my kit ever since. When I want a light, sheer hit of color and gloss these are amongst my Go To-s. The weight and texture are very light, the amount of gloss is very flattering, they are just very pretty. Another big plus is that they come in a variety of shades that all skin tones can wear. Stila changes/adds new colors regularly but as of right now they still have “Watermelon” “Apricot” and “Blackberry” which are three of my favorites.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons nars cosmetics lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012

Steeeellllllaaaaaaa!!!!! (Nars Cosmetics Lip Gloss in “Stella”)

1 )
Then: Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss
Now: Nars Lipgloss

I remember it being a difficult to choose between Smashbox and Nars for the top spot when I wrote the original lip gloss article. If memory serves, my heart chose Nars but my mind chose Smashbox basically because I felt Smashbox was more accessible to more women. That may be true but I should definitely have followed my first mind. Nars is just phenomenal. What is more, they do not just randomly drop great products for seemingly no reason (Well, almost. They did drop all of their best Artist Palettes on me a few years ago but I digress…). They introduce new colors and formulations regularly, but in Nars world that does not mean the existing great colors have to be dropped. This pushes them to the head of the class by a mile for me. For makeup artists new is fun but for every ten new products if you are lucky one might prove to be a classic. Once you have found a classic you never want your kit to be without it. Consistency is key and I need products that I know are going to be fabulous every time I use them. All this said – yes Nars is pricey. If you can afford to get a few of the glosses, do so, you will not be disappointed. If you cannot afford to go whole hog, save up and get a couple. You are worth the occasional splurge and again, you will not be disappointed. I do not even have a particular color recommendation for Nars lip glosses. Pick whatever color strikes your fancy, it will be amazing.

#MakeupMonday – IMATS Pasadena 2011

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons IMATS Pasadena 2011

courtesy of

IMATS Pasadena 2011 – The International Makeup Artist Trade Show – took place this past weekend. This was the first year in IMATS’s history that the Los Angeles show completely sold out (IMATS originated in LA back in 1997). In fact, we here at Makeup to Go almost missed this show entirely. As a pro makeup artist (and same with my en Español partner, Delia Jimenez Owens) I do not always know whether or not my schedule is going to be open to attend the trade shows. By the time I got my schedule sorted, I missed a lot of cool new features for Professional Artists that IMATS instituted for this years show AND regular admissions tickets were almost sold out. As it turned out, I was able to get tickets for the MTG crew for Sunday and we were able to attend the show for the day. So here’s a wrap-up of what I saw and what I bought…

Actually, let’s back up a bit: This year’s show actually started Friday night with a Pro Only preview event with the vendors. A Pro Only preview is something I have advocated for all the Trade Shows for the past several years. Nothing against makeup fans attending the shows, but it is difficult for pros to talk to vendors about new products/formulations/etc. when you are waiting behind someone asking what shade of concealer would be best for them. We are two different kinds of makeup purchasers with two different kinds of needs so I am glad the needs of the Professional artist are starting to be addressed. I missed that event this year, but if I’m not booked I will be there next year.

We arrived at about 10:30am on Sunday, the plan being to walk the floor and see what vendors had to offer, go to lunch and see what would happen from there. I get a lot of makeup sent to me via the editorials I do, so I really didn’t plan to buy much, I mostly wanted to look and see what was new, do some research, etc. The first booth we encountered when we entered the show was Royal and Langnickel brush manufacturers. Royal is a good, mid-level brush line somewhere in between Crown Brushes (entry level quality and price point) and Hakuhodo Brushes (premium quality and price point). I was interested in some new brushes as my Crowns are shedding/falling apart and my Hakuhodo brushes I only use for certain jobs. A pro MUA friend who was working the booth pointed out a few of her faves to me – all from the Silk line which is available in both natural and synthetic hair (vegan) varieties. I didn’t actually buy any at the show because it was too much of a Zoo at the booth but I ordered the catalog so I can get some in the near future.

Next booth was Yaby Cosmetics because Liz Yu – pro makeup artist and founder of Yaby – is a friend and it’s always groovy to see her at the shows. While there Liz kicked me down some Yaby Tubes and some of the new syringes she sourced to make filling the tubes a lot easier. The Yaby tubes are fantastic both for consolidating your kit and for personal travel (they meet TSA travel restrictions for lotions/gels/etc.). Just fill with your favorite lotion, gel or cream and you are ready to go. I have several in use already and so far no leaking and no mess! Filing the tubes I originally got was a bit of a chore, so I cannot wait to try the syringe when I fill these tubes. (all pictures below are actually ginormous… just click image to see larger)

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons Yaby tubes IMATS Pasadena 2011

Yaby Cosmetics fillable tubes

From Yaby the next booth at which I stopped was Youngblood Cosmetics, also because friends were working the booth. What can I say? Half of why I do to Trade Shows is to see fellow artists whom I don’t normally get to see because we’re all too busy! Youngblood is one of the first professional grade mineral cosmetics lines to hit the market. The foundations, which are of course the crux of the line, feel light and weightless as most mineral foundations do, but they are highly pigmented, non-shimmery/reflective and give great coverage. They also come in a great range of colors. I did not need any foundations – in fact I didn’t really need anything from Youngblood – but that did not stop me from buying some product anyway! LOL! Youngblood had a great show promotion on their Artiste palettes. As you can see these are great neutral colors. They have great texture and blendability and they are not overly shimmery (in fact there appear to be some mattes). These would be great for commercial/advertising/lifestyle jobs, bridal work or even for gifts or for yourself. For me they will be making an appearance on a lifestyle or commercial job soon I’m sure.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons Youngblood Cosmetics Artiste Palettes IMATS Pasadena 2011

Youngblood Cosmetics Artiste Palettes in Tickled Pink and Nude Awakening

I stopped by the Cinema Secrets booth for a moment because I was out of foundation palettes for darker skintones and I think CS has the best color range of any of the pro brands for dark skins. I always buy palettes #9 and #10 and I’m covered from medium to ebony, red or yellow undertones.

The last item that I had no business purchasing but I did anyway was a GLORIOUS new lipstick palette from Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. It is so exciting to have premium brands attending the trade shows these days! The KA lip palette is a beautiful new spring color collection. There are multiple finishes within the palette; sheers, shimmer and cremes which can be mixed and matched, layered, applied sheerly or built up to be opaque. The texture is creamy and luxurious feeling without being overly shiny. Fantastic! My A-1 purchase of the show! (even though I said I wasn’t going to buy anything at the show…)

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics lip palette IMATS Pasadena 2011

Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics lip palette - "The Spring Lip"

As far as the education goes there was a lot to choose from there as well. Upon cursory glance at the schedule, there was nothing initially of personal interest. As is always the case, there were a lot of classes/workshops centered around film and TV (IMATS was started by a Union makeup artist), and classes/workshops geared towards newer artists. Included in the price of the Exhibition ticket this year were several good demonstrations on the main exhibit floor. I caught a bit of the HD Make-up Techniques: Airbrush and Beyond demo which was conducted by David Kasfeld – founder of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and also part of the Runway Redefined demo led by Kevin James Bennett (sponsored by Royal and Langnickel Brushes).

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons Kevin James Benett demonstraton IMATS Pasadena 2011

Kevin James Benett demonstraton "Runway Redefined"

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons David Klasfeld Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics demo IMATS Pasadena 2011

David Klasfeld demonstration "HD Make-up Techniques: Airbrush and Beyond "

Right as I was thinking it was lunchtime, however, I noticed that there was going to be a classroom discussion on obtaining an agent. Trade shows usually have a workshop on this subject, as this is obviously a highly topical discussion. These panel discussions do not, however, usually include agents from top agencies, and this one did. This panel included Timothy Priano, owner of Artists by Timothy Priano, Frank Moore, agent at Celestine Agency and Madeline Leonard, director of the Cloutier Agency (now called Cloutier Remix). That’s an amazing panel, folks. Even as someone who has been with an agency I learned a lot AND I got to meet and talk to people who are generally very difficult to reach. Good agents are busy people and not generally easily accessible. For me, being represented by an agency of this caliber is the next step in my career. So while shopping was great and all, this panel and the conversation I had afterward made buying a ticket for this show entirely worth it! For those at the trade show serious about a high level print career, this was a Do No Miss workshop.

I had not been to IMATS in at least two years due to work/schedule conflicts and I have to say this was the best one I’d been to in quite some time. Back when IMATS first started it was the only game in town, but then other trade shows started to appear over the years. Competition can either make something buckle or make it better. I was really happy to see that IMATS has really been taking the suggestions over the years in and is really growing and improving the show both in terms of quality of vendors and (overall) quality of presenters. I had a great day and I look forward to attending next year! (if I’m not booked 😉 )

#MakeupMonday – Plum Crazy

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons plum crazy plum makeup

NARS Lipgloss in Stella

New York Fashion Week was recently upon us, and we here at Makeup to Go made note of the trends that emerged. A perennial favorite is creeping it’s way back onto the beauty landscape: Plum. Can Plum even be called a trend at this point? Plum makeup never fully goes away because it is just so darn flattering on nearly everyone, every skintone, all ages. The pitfall of plum is that it is such a standard that it can look boring and even dated. Done properly, however, it adds a pretty splash of flattering color. Here are some product recommendations to get you Plum gorgeous.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy sue devitt eyeliner plum makeup
Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier – Zaire
Have we spoken about the Sue Devitt line yet? Sue Devitt is an Australian born celeb makeup artist who started her own micro-line. Naturally derived and skin-healthy, her line is perfect for natural beauty looks with a touch of pop. I love the Zaire pencil. It is a perfect plum shade that works across a variety of skin tones/eye colors with just the right touch of shimmer. Super-duper pretty.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy MAC Cosmetics Prunella eyeliner plum makeup
MAC Eye Kohl – Prunella
Whoa! Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya? Well, yes. While I am not a huge devotee of MAC, they do have a few products that fall into the “My Kit Must Never Be Without This Product” category, Prunella being one of those products. This is another slightly shimmery Plum pencil, however it’s deeper and heavier than the Sue Devitt pencil. It is another one of those great “not black” colors. The rich color and creamy texture of this pencil can create a beautiful smokey eye.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy Jouer Cosmetics Amaretto Eyeshadow plum makeup
Jouer Cosmetics Powder Eyeshadow – Amaretto
Plum eyeshadow can be tricky to wear because it can quickly slide into looking costume-y or worse looking like a black eye. Jouer Cosmetics (another one of my favorite small, makeup artist created brands) made a wonderfully wearable plum eyeshadow by warming it up with bronze tones. This is a perfect color for a bit of definition by day, or sultry smoke by night.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy LORAC Starry-Eyed Baked Eyeshadow Trio Starstruck plum makeup
LORAC Starry Eyed Baked Eyeshadow Trio – Starstruck
For a more serious plum eyeshadow experience, look no further than LORAC’s new holiday eyeshadow collection in the Plum palette (there are several colors in this new holiday collection so if Plum isn’t your thing, check out some of the other trios). These trios are highly pigmented and have everything you need to create the perfect smokey eye (lid, crease/liner and highlight). They can applied either dry for a more natural look or wet to pump up the volume. PRO TIP: Applying powder eyeshadow with a slightly damp brush is a makeup artist’s secret weapon to intensify color.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy Benefit Cosmetics Sugar Bomb plum makeup
Benefit Cosmetics – Sugar Bomb
Plum is a cool color, so to make it more wearable for more skin tones, cosmetics companies will often try to “warm it up” by adding gold shimmer and the like. Benefit’s take on plum is to team it up with the perfect peach, pink and rose to create soft, wearable colors. You can use one color or mix and match to create different palettes as you please.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color plum makeup
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour – Plum Radiance
For a more straight-out plum color cheek, this is a fabulous one to try. This plum blush has a soft pink undertone to it with a slight pearlescent finish which makes it appear to radiate from within. The secret in my opinion is really in the texture. Finely milled and light as air, this blush becomes one with the skin and creates a most beautiful glow on the face.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy NYX Cosmetics Mega Shine Lipgloss plum makeup
NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss – LG143 Plum
I’ve mentioned before how much I really really like NYXs lipglosses. I think they are easily NYX’s best products. NYX’s Plum lipgloss is a flattering light plum with a hint of gold shimmer. The result is a fresh blush of color that works year-round.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco plum crazy Maquillage Givenchy Rouge Interdit Lipstick plum makeup
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin – Dark Plum and Fatal Plum
Givenchy lipsticks have an incomparable texture and finish and beautiful pigmentation. The Dark Plum (#19) is a serious hit of rich and full-bodied Plum. It is a sophisticated fall color that is perfect for a night on the town. Fatal Plum (#31 – which seems to be a Sephora exclusive, that’s where I found and bought it) is a light, airy, shimmery plum with gold highlights. This is perfect for your fall daytime looks and will carry right over into Spring.

#MakeupMonday – Best Blushes for Darker Toned Beauties

Iman Cosmetics Blushes in Peace and Allure

Iman Cosmetics Blushes in Peace and Allure

I did a job recently where I had to do makeup on an African American female model who was about Phylicia Rashād’s (mom Huxtable from ‘The Cosby Show’) complexion. Both Phylicia and this model are a rich brown color, but still more fair than myself. To my dismay, I did NOT have a blush that really, really worked on her. Well, I had one, but it’s shimmery and I needed matte/satin products for this shoot (pharmaceutical ad). When searching for colors for darker skin tones either for yourself or for your kit, the issue isn’t needing a darker color necessarily (although that’s obviously sometimes the case), the issue is needing higher pigmentation. You’re dealing with skin that already has it’s own measure of pigmentation so in order for color to show it needs to have a measure of potency. This led me to search for blushes for darker complexions, and let me tell you – it was a search. I thought I’d find some info online since there are always so many “Best Of” lists – nope. Searched some magazines – nope. I had to pull out the Do It Yourself kit and actually get in the car and hit the pavement to find the best blushes for darker toned beauties. Here’s what I found;

Three Custom Color – 3CC, if you aren’t familiar, is a makeup artists’ brand. It was founded by two working makeup artists and I don’t know any makeup artists who don’t have at least one of their products in their kit. I start with them because they have too many beautiful colors to even name. Seriously, depending on your skin tone or the skin tone of your client you WILL find a perfect shade for you in this line. They have two formulations, the very sheer Watercolours for Cheeks and the Cream to Powder blushes. I’m pretty sure folks in NYC can visit their Studio to purchase in person, the rest of us can order online.

Il Makiage – Another “underground” brand founded by a makeup artist with a massive makeup artist following, Il Makiage has weathered a few storms over the last few years and I’m glad to see they are still alive and kicking. They also have a multitude of beautiful colors for all skin tones. My favorites for the more richly hued beauties are;
2191 Mountain Beach (dusty coral), 2188 Indian Coral (rich coral), 2171 Bird of Paradise (rich terracotta), 2190 Mocha (pinky brown), 2208 Toucan (rich dusty rose), 2179 Current (serious pink… looks like too much but beautiful color on the skin), and my two favorites 2169 Aubergine (true Aubergine), and 2196 Raspberry

“But Tania, I don’t have time to try to track down these exotic pro brands”… I understand. Here’s the best of the mainstream;

Bobbi BrownPoppy (Deep Red), Cranberry (Deep Brownish Red), and the Pot Rouge cream blush in Chocolate Cherry.

Lancome – Yep, Lancome. They make a couple of great cream blushes that I use pretty often now. Chic Cassis (rich Plum/Aubergine color) and Retro Rogue (rich Currant-y red).

Nars – their selection of powder blushes isn’t great for darker tones but they have two amazing creme blushes; Turkish Red (coral red), and the mighty Montenegro (a rich, beautiful Mahagony).

Many of the organic/naturally derived brands have been slow in developing colors for all shades of people, however Korres has stepped up to the plate with two great blushes; 32- Purple Brown, and 22 – Purple. Both lean more towards a plum-y hue, and both are very pretty and wearable.

Last but not least for you Drugstore Divas, there are a few good options available in mass-market retailers

NYX – Other things in the line I would not be able to recommend, but their blushes are actually quite good. The blushes I’ve used are well pigmented and last for a good while. My color selects are Powders: Desert Rose (rosey pink), Cocoa (pinky brown), Copper and Pecan (brown with a reddish tinge) and Cream: Diva a dark, rich red with brown undertones.

Iman – Now available at select Targets and JCPenny, Iman gives you department store brand quality in a mass market store at a mass market price (about $11 each for the blushes). All four are great Peace (Plum), Sable (red tinged Brown), Allure (duo of Plum-y blush and a highlighter), and Posh (duo of a rose-y pink blush and a highlighter). There’s also a color on the website that I didn’t see in the store called Sunlit Copper. I already had a lot of Iman products in my kit, so during the shoot when I needed better blushes I bought Peace and Sable and I was good to go.