Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dry Skin? Try this on: Jurlique

If you suffer from dry skin, especially in the winter months, as I do, I have a wonderful new "salve" for you.

I recently stopped in one of my favorite "candy" stores, Stella Nova, on King Street. You know, the skin care/cosmetics/hair care apothecary. What I found was something my skin has reacted very favorably to. . . plus some other goodies.

I have dry to very-dry skin, especially this time of year. Sometimes the skin on my forehead and eye areas gets flaky. This kind of dehydration needs to be treated from the inside, out. So I've been drinking more water, which I can always use, and I've been exfoliating two to three times a week.

But what I've opted for right now are three products from the Jurlique skin care line: the Herbal Recovery Gel, Moisture Replenishing Day Cream, and Lavender Hydrating Mist. And that's the order I use them in, after removing my makeup and cleansing my face.

The Herbal Recovery Gel contains botanicals, herbs, and plant oils to restore, firm, and hydrate the skin. It's light and absorbs quickly. I feel like this product helps "grab" the moisturizer deeper into my skin.

The Moisture Replenishing Day Cream is a rich moisturizer with calendula, chamomile, plant oils, and avocado. It smells AMAZING and leaves my skin feeling supple and glowing. No doubt, it's a lot of moisturizer.

Then, I finish off my clean face with the Lavender Hydrating Mist. It hydrates, tones, and soothes leaving my skin feeling dewy. Again, the scent is awesome.

I usually try to make my own way around a store like Stella Nova, but I'm glad I asked the staff for some guidance. I'm especially glad they showed me this line because I feel it has been the perfect pick-me-up for this cold weather dryness I'm dealing with. All the staff was knowledgeable and helpful. They were especially gracious in sampling me some of Jurlique's other products. Stella Nova has several satellite stores and spas around Charleston, but I believe it's only the flagship store on King Street that carries Jurlique.

I'll definitely be back. Thank you, Stella Nova. Thank you, Jurlique!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

From my personal bag of tricks

Last week I was doing a makeup lesson with a client when the idea of a great on-going blog hit me. At one point during my teaching, I reached into my own handbag as opposed to my kit. You know the one. . .with all the smudges and smears, dust and powder particles covering it. I felt it was a teachable moment. . . a look into what's inside a MUA's own personal stash.

By now you know I have a love affair with my MAC. However, there are a few products that I use that are not MAC. The first blog-worthy product is the one pictured above. It's one of those splurge-treats; a product that's always appearing in the beauty magazine awards lists. And for good reason: they are tried and true.

Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat Radiant Touch is a combination concealer and luminizer housed in a clickable pen. When you click the end, the product is dispensed through a brush tip at the other end. I carry this in my to-go bag because I love it as a touch-up. I use it mid-day when my face needs to be brightened up a bit. I apply it under my eyes and in the crease above my chin. Blend with index fingers, and voila. . .instant pick-me-up.

I still defer to my MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer for my first application of the day, but this YSL is the perfect accompaniment for later-in-the-day touch ups. It is available in four shades. You can find it on or in most higher-end department stores.

It is what it says: a radiant touch.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And speaking of Pink Ladies. . .

Be sure to check out MAC's newest incarnation of Pink Ladies . . . its newest additions to the VIVA GLAM lipstick lines.

Named for celebrity spokesperson Cyndi Lauper, "VIVA GLAM Cyndi" is a limited edition coral-red lipstick with a high-lustre finish.

"VIVA GLAM Gaga" is the blue-pink, high-lustre lipstick named for Lady Gaga. This one looks to be a best-seller, so be sure to visit your local MAC counter or to find yours.

As with all VIVA GLAM products, 100% of the selling price goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Makeover for Mammograms & the Pink Ladies

Saturday, February 6 was a great day. I was fortunate enough to be included in a wonderful fundraiser called Makeovers for Mammograms. It was the brainchild of one Leslie Crawford Moore, a phenomenal makeup artist here in Charleston.

Leslie is a wife and mother of two young children, whose world was turned upside down last year with the diagnosis of breast cancer. I am pleased to write that she is a survivor currently on the final part of her successful treatment.

I could tell from afar that Leslie was the kind of makeup artist I aspired to be. One who is professional, dedicated, worked her business thoroughly, and associated with some other fine folk. More about them later.

One day I came across Leslie's blog about how she and her family have dealt with breast cancer. It struck me immediately because my best friend is a BC survivor. . . been there with her, through the drips, bald head, ensuing depression, and finally the reblossoming. I knew what she was in for. But what made Leslie different was this amazing blog. . . her ability to articulate through "chemo brain" all the things she was feeling. It made me revisit my second-hand dealings with it. So, first I became a rampant reader of her blog. Then I signed on as a follower. Then, before I knew it, I was writing to Leslie to just say hi or send some positive energy her way. And that's how our nearly yearlong "friendship" began.

We never saw each other until this past Saturday, February 6. Leslie is a lady with a lot of friends and family. . . a tremendous support network. Through all our short correspondences, I knew she was the kind of person I could be friends with. And maybe she felt the same way, because she was kind enough to pull me into her circle and include me in this wonderful event.

Makeovers for Mammograms became her third "child" after doing extensive research and finding out that many women who have insurance are going undiagnosed because their insurance will not fund a mammogram. That doesn't even scratch the surface of the uninsured women who don't get diagnosed. Being the go-getter that she is, Leslie along with her friends at the Charleston Breast Center, organized this idea for a fundraiser. She enlisted the help of five other makeup artists in Charleston. Each artist had six clients throughout the day; for a donation, each had a one-hour consultation and mini-lesson regarding application techniques, proper colors, and left with a face chart which is an instruction sheet on how to recreate that look.

It was a great success. Money was raised for this wonderful organization; there will be several women who will benefit with a "scholarship" for a mammogram or perhaps breast health instruction. I so hope to continue this worthy cause. Leslie put together a team of women who worked beautifully together to make Charleston area women even more gorgeous. I felt like I was among fast friends. Margaret Gierhart, Kelly Campbell, Elizabeth Quinton, Laura Oliveri, and Leslie made me feel right at home. Big hugs, open makeup kits, and a nosh/margarita session after the day was done.

It was what she said during our margaritas that left me awestruck and sums up what I think Leslie Moore is all about. "If I could have any job in this world, I would be the person who sits with you on your first round of chemo and holds your hand. I wouldn't say a word, I'd just hold your hand."

I don't know who started it, but it was quite appropriate. . . the "Pink Ladies" made Charleston a little more beautiful on February 6, 2010.

All photos are courtesy of the fabulous Juliet Elizabeth Photography. And if you want a first-hand account of what it's like to undergo breast cancer treatment, I highly encourage you to check out Leslie's blog. . . "Warriors Wear Pink."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tresses Salon / King Street Studios

One misty October morning, I drove up to the Noisette area of North Charleston. As I am prone to be, first arrival guaranteed my rock-star parking :) Was I in the right place? It was just too industrial to be certain. Thank goodness for a Blackberry and Facebook-to-go!

When some familiar faces showed up, I knew I was in the right place. Warehouse padlocks were unlocked, tall doors rolled back, and in we walked into this artistic oasis in the midst of a former naval shipyard. Stark, windows everywhere, wide wooden plank floors (the old kind), and the furniture. . .just enough, not too much. The coffee started pouring and the music was cranked; I felt we were in for something good.

By "we" I mean Team Tresses, as in Tresses Salon Studio of Mount Pleasant. The owner of Tresses, Mallory Shymanski, called and asked me to do makeup for their upcoming hair photo shoot. These photos would be used to update their website.

I was awestruck by the teamwork of these girls. They did double duty: fashion stylists (clothing courtesy of Teal @ Towne Centre Mt. Pleasant) as well as hair. They worked in a syncopation normally felt in a piece of music. Hands, products, styling tools, were all flying. Then the models would come to me for makeup: airbrush foundation, eyes (by hand), cheeks, lips, LASHES!!!! The theme for this shoot was "Pure, Progressive, Uncensored." Suffice it to say that by the time we hit "progressive" and "uncensored," everyone's guard was down and we were all working at full tilt. These girls think outside the box. . . if you're ever in the mood for trying something a little different, this is the place to go. But they do "traditional" just as well. I'm infatuated with what they do. Ask any of them. . .each time I leave, I have dreadlocks in my hair. . .and they look FAB! (Also see previous blog about the HAI Elite curling rod. . .this is the only salon in the southeastern coastal region that carries it.)

The studio/space that Todd Surber and Reese Allen have created is nothing short of spectacular. But it's the two of them who fill the atmosphere with energy, confidence, and a good dose of showmanship. I thought my parking space was "rock star". . . until I met these guys. That's the feel of the place. Please check out their website to see their amazing bridal/wedding/portraiture work. It'll leave you breathless.

I'm thankful for yet another "moment." You all rock!

Friday, February 5, 2010

And for your viewing pleasure...

Early call one Sunday morning. This short video clip shows me doing 19th century makeup for a Hair Friend, Sara Stewart, who had submitted these entries for the North American Hair Awards (NAHA). Think pale faces, stained cheeks and lips. Thank you to David Keller who put this together.

Pamela Lesch: Makeup Artist from David Keller on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Let There Be (Wireless) Light.

And if a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up. Richard Avedon.

And so it began: the PPSC, Professional Photographers of South Carolina, workshop on Wireless Lighting, hosted by CVI Photography in downtown Summerville, and curated by Chris Smith of Chris & Cami Photography. For someone who "failed speech class," I'd give him an A+ on his communication and presentation skills to a packed room of professional photogs.

Chris and I have worked on a couple of bridal assignments and one of the standout qualities of his work is lighting. Well, just as location is everything in real estate, lighting is everything in photography. After listening to Chris get rolling on his presentation, I realized I was witnessing something great: to borrow from Seinfeld, a true "master of his domain." Ambient, ISO, shutter, flash, natural. . .were just a few of the more technical terms floating in the air. I attended this workshop in my capacity as makeup artist, but stayed on because lighting is such an important factor in what I do.

One of the first slides was the presentation of the Richard Avedon quote above. It hit me like a ton of bricks for a couple of reasons. First, it's evident that Chris lives by this credo. He does something related to photography every day. It may be a snapshot of a beautiful Lowcountry sunrise with his iPhone, or it may be a photo shoot, or it could be staying current with the myriad technical aspects of photography. But Chris does something related to this passion of his every single day. Secondly, it struck me because with this philosophy, you can supplant "photography" with any profession (i.e. "makeup artistry":) and it holds true for most any vocation that one is passionate about. That was a reaffirmation of how I feel about what I do. I strive to do something related to makeup every day, and if I don't, I feel like something is missing. I found that to be great food for thought.

Some observations: Chris and his wife, Cami (whom he endearingly credits any success) are well-known and respected professionals; they are a true team. He is an animal-lover as evidenced by the "fee" to attend this workshop: a donation of dog or cat food to the Charleston Animal Society. Despite the references to the speech class, Chris is a wonderful communicator. He is an accommodating individual who listens and directs and makes an effort to get to know his clients, subjects, and peers.

The photos that appear are courtesy of Chris & Cami Photography. Makeup by Pamela Lesch @ MakeupArtistCharleston. Look closely at his use of lighting, whether natural or Chris-made. I find it fascinating.

For further wireless lighting and workshop info, please check out Chris's website and new blog.

Thank you, Chris. The PPSC is fortunate to have you in its ranks.