Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11: Water-line with a MAC Chromographic Pencil

This trick has been around for a while, but revisiting it may "open your eyes". . . literally.
Using a MAC Chromographic Pencil in shade NC15/NW20 (top picture),
gently pull down your lower lid and softly line your water line or lower rim (bottom picture).
This deposit of flesh-toned color has the effect of widening or opening up your eyes.
If you've done this before, let me know what you think of this technique.

P.S.  My every instinct is to pluck the stray eyebrows that appear on this model.  
I used this picture because it's a great illustration of where to put the choreographic liner as opposed to the traditional darker liner.

These are currently available at MAC counters and online.  
They have been limited edition items.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec 10: The Gift of Bobbi Brown

I've spent some time over the past two days at two different Bobbi Brown counters.
This is a line that is ubiquitous, yet one that I have not delved into a whole lot.
I think I hear Bobbi calling my name.
I love what she stands for, which in my opinion is enhancing and optimizing your natural look
with a minimal amount of makeup.  
My purchases included a face moisturizer, gel eyeliners (love these already!), and one of the products above, her shimmer brick.
I hope Santa is reading my blog, because I really want Bobbi's newest book, Pretty Powerful.
That's another thing I like about Bobbi: she's very generous with her knowledge and has written a series of beauty books. 
The images are beautiful, and provide great tutorials.
The shimmer brick (bronze) is an excellent accompaniment to any traditional, matte bronzer;
apply bronzer as normal, then brush a small amount of this shimmer to the tops of cheekbones.
Either of these (or both;) would be an excellent gift for the makeup-lover in your life.

With thanks to the Bobbi-artists at CosBar (Charleston) and Belk Towne Center (Mount Pleasant).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8: NYX Felt Tip Eyeliner

A great stocking stuffer: this little pen packs a punch!
NYX Felt Tip Liner in Extreme Black or Dark Brown
I have really enjoyed this product ; and at only $8 per pen, 
this is the perfect vehicle for achieving that sought-after cat-eyed or winged-liner look.
Yes, it takes a little practice, but the fine felt-tip of this liner does most of the work for you.
This is a super holiday/winter look, too.
Keep eyeshadow nude and low-key.
Let the liner do all the talking ;)
Merry Lining!

I found mine at a sweet little makeup store in Asheville, NC:

You can also find it at Ulta.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6: Giorgio Armani EYES TO KILL

This one bears repeating.
Armani's EYES TO KILL is simply the best mascara I've ever used.
This mascara would be a great Christmas gift because:
1. The brush is so thick and dispenses product beautifully and evenly
2. The mascara goes on dry-ish; it doesn't "dot" on my upper or lower eyelids
3. This is the longest-wearing non-waterproof mascara I've used
4.  This is that one mascara that's a difference maker for my lashes. . .
I get that nice, swooped-out edge on either eye.
5. No "crunchy" mascara lashes; my lashes stay soft, long, and voluminous.
6. Perhaps because I use less product, but this mascara seems to last a long time in the tube 
(remember, don't share!)

Can't say enough good things about this mascara.  
My Favorite!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec 5 Gift-Giving Guide: Clarisonic Classic

Clarisonic Classic
A clean face's friend
It sits on its cradle, charging
Readying to take the day off my face
The soft bristles rotate and hum to remove my makeup
Slough off old skin
Makes my face feel new again
My moisturizer soaks in so easily
Ready for night-night
Gentle enough to do over again in the morning


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4: Smashbox Studio Pop for Lips

If you are not currently familiar with Smashbox lip glosses, this is the perfect time for an introduction.
On the heels of The Makeup Show Orlando, where Smashbox was a featured vendor,
I am sooo smitten with this line of lip shine.
The great thing about these lip glosses are that even the darker shades go on super-sheer.
The colors are buildable to the hue you want.
This limited edition package is the perfect way to become acquainted.
5 glosses total: 3 Lip-Enhancing  and 2 Reflection High-Shine glosses.
These colors are perfect on their own or can be combined to create a unique shade just for you.
Packaged in an easy-to-wrap gift-giving tin.
available online at www.smashbox.com
Sephora or Ulta stores

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 3. Love in a Jar: Creme de La Mer

This is a selection of pure whimsy.
Because I know only one person who has been gifted a jar of Creme de La Mer.
It's one of those luxury items that, if we are lucky enough to come across, we do it for ourselves.
But this stuff is transformative.
Created originally by an aerospace physicist who suffered burns in the laboratory, 
he set out to create a treatment to transform the look of his skin.
This product is especially helpful for people with super-dry skin.
It's very thick and tacky.
You need only a tiny dab, and to warm it between your fingers.
Then you press it into your skin in the gentlest of patting motions.
I found the Neiman-Marcus saleslady to be so very generous with her time, instructions, and samples.
This is Love in a Jar.
1 oz. $150
2 oz. $275
16.5 oz. $1900

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2: Santa Loves NAKED

Urban Decay's NAKED series of eyeshadow are some of the most versatile palettes I've ever come across.  The first colors I reach for with a blue or green-eyed client.  My one criticism of these palettes, the abundance of shimmer, has been addressed with the recent release of the third palette, 
NAKED Basics (all matte, neutral shades).  
These are HOT. . . not only shade-wise, but hard-to-keep-in-the-stores HOT.  That's why I'm posting early so you can get your hands on them soon.  If you have a makeup-lover on your list, or if you simply want to gift yourself an amazing eyeshadow wardrobe, this is a treat.  NAKED & NAKED 2 retail for approximately $50 each and NAKED Basics is $27.  
Bonus: NAKED comes with an eyeshadow primer and both 1&2 include phenomenal brushes.
Available at Sephora, Ulta, or online at www.UrbanDecay.com

(NAKED Basics especially recommended for my 35+ clients. . . this was made for you; the matte finish  minimizes showing up any texture on your eyelid!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

24 Days of Holiday Makeup: December 1

Lip Love: moisturize, moisurize, moisturize!!!  My favorite lip balms; necessary under lipsticks or all alone.  Great stocking stuffers, but worth their own gift wrap under the tree!

MAC's Lip Conditioner (shea butter-based), available at any MAC counter or maccosmetics.com ($14)

DermStore's Lip Quench.  Thick, buttery, slightly iridescent.  This stuff stays put.  Available at www.dermstore.com ($12)

Rosebud Salve.  Old school.  Lots of slip and gloss.  Available online or any variety store. ($6)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hot Rockin' Maternity Session!

Meet Jennings.  Does she rock this baby bump, or what?  Jennings is a talented photographer in her own right, so I was especially flattered when she asked me to make her up for her maternity session.  This was the day that downtown Charleston flooded. . . have you seen the photos of the kayakers in the middle of the Market?  That day. But look what happened indoors at the glorious Rice Mill.  Jennings' good taste extends beyond the clothes, accessories, and venue: she had the fabulous Juliet Jones behind the camera.  When I first saw these photos, I was awestruck.  True to her form, Juliet always sees the light in and around her subjects.  Well, this maternity session was no different.  Juliet caught Jennings' light; her baby-glow.  Thank you, ladies, for allowing me to be a part of this special day.  Hair shout-out to my friend, Carrie Algeo of Paper Dolls who designed a coiffure to endure a really rainy day.  Accessories courtesy of Colleton's East (thank you Ansley!).   

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pin Much???

Just getting on a roll with my Pinterest pins.
I thought some of you might find this entertaining. . .
. . .in a "stroll down memory lane" kind of way.
Follow this link to peek into some

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Passing Along Some Great Info: "10 Secrets I Learned at Makeup Artist School"

This article is from a website called Total Beauty.com.  The author, Sharon Yi, was sent to makeup school for this assignment.  She has gleaned 10 important tips from her experience at three L.A.-area makeup schools.  This is so worth passing along. . .  Happy reading!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dr. Brandt's Flexitone BB Cream

Newest (personal) foundation obsession:  Dr. Brandt's "Flexitone" BB Cream

Why I Love:
Phenomenally light coverage. . . yet covers and evens skin.
Self-adjusts to your skin type:
This leaves me dewy and hydrated, yet I've seen it mattify on oilier skin types.
Contains a 30 SPF
Buildable. . . yet a small dab goes a long way
You can apply with finger tips, BUT. . . this Sephora Foundation Airbrush #55 is the perfect fluffy, synthetic-bristle applicator.  .  . dab brush in the BB cream and swirl over entire face. . . voila!  
 Ready to face the day!
Both available at Sephora

Thursday, June 21, 2012

24 Karat Beauty; the Gold Standard

Diamonds?  I've seen a mine-full.  
Pearls?  I've seen plenty.
But it's not every day I see a bride work precious gold into her palette and portraiture.
Meet beautiful Ann; she did this brilliantly.  
Then again, when working with the likes of Richard Ellis Photography, eyes, jewelry, and backdrop are going to sparkle, too.
Ann went for the Gold in every way; I'd say she achieved it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

BRUSHES: Where the Real Creativity Begins

Just a quick shout-out to my trusted BFF's. . .Brush Friends Forever.

This is where the real magic and creativity begins.  I love my brushes and they never let me down.  On occasion, one may have to be retired due to stray bristles or from a general wearing-out.  I lovingly wash them after every job.  They need to be clean, dry, and placed back into shape.  If this routine is stuck to, they provide years of loyal service: precise lines, smoked-out edges, smooth swipes of color, and lots of blendability.

My MAC brushes are my favorites.  Yes, I have a ton and I wouldn't trade them for anything else.  There is a specific need for each and every one.  If you are serious about your makeup, get serious about your brushes!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Useful Tip: Layer Your Liner

Over the past week, I have encountered several clients who said they skipped eyeliner altogether because they "didn't know how to do it."  To them I said (1) practice makes perfect. . . you just have to do it, fearlessly, then correct it if it's not right (with Q-tip and eye makeup remover). . . but now I want to follow up with this #2:

Use a soft pencil liner to draw that line on carefully.  Then, for extra staying power, go back and trace over your original line with a swipe of liquid liner.  Yes, the one with the paint brush. . . the mod-kind a la 1960s.  One of my favorite MAC artists referred to this technique as being kind of like coloring.  Once you get that initial (pencil) line on, it's easy to follow the line and color in what you have already done.

And speaking of MAC and liquid liner. . . their Super Slick Liquid Eyeliner is my fave (shade "On The Hunt").  Extremely long-wearing, water-resistant, and a beautiful slick/wet finish when it dries ensures your eyes will be poppin'.

Happy lining!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Master Gardener Jen Knows Flowers & Plants

Have you ever walked around downtown Charleston and appreciated the beauty of the exquisite window boxes that adorn some of the toniest battery addresses?  Chances are recent bride Jen may be responsible for what you are admiring.

Jen is a beautiful client who was entrusted to me for her bridal portrait m/u needs by our mutual friend Elizabeth Quinton.  Opportunist (and rabid window box fan) that I am, I offered up a trade: her services for my services.  My window boxes were already planted, but I had a porch planter that was in need of some gorgeous color-love.  It was a win-win and we both walked away very pleased :)

The first three professional photos come courtesy of the amazingly-talented, globe-trotting Valerie Schooling.  The last is an iPhone PLM original and the box is still blooming on my porch :)

Peace and plant love,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Celebrating The Wedding Row`s 2nd Anniversary: Garden Muse

The Wedding Row is a blog dedicated to bringing its readers the most up-to-date, detailed info on weddings here in Charleston, SC.  I have had the honor and privilege to be a preferred vendor on this site since its inception.  Della MacNicholas, the founder, has been the networking genius behind making this such a success.

To celebrate its second year, TWR and Allison Long of Bella Bridesmaid Charleston teamed up with a veritable Who`s Who of vendors to orchestrate this theme: Garden Muse.  The backdrop was the pristine Governor Thomas Bennett House.  Luke Wilson Special Events made sure every detail was in place.  The highlight of the evening featured designs from Carol Hannah of Project Runway renown (represented by Maddison Row) and Katherine MacDonald of LulaKate. Please check out The Wedding Row`s blog about this magical evening to see a complete listing of all the amazing contributors.

A personal note of thanks to Jennifer Hudson Smith of Carolina Photosmith for capturing this evening so beautifully.  And to my buddy, Tanesha, for her inspired, passionate pursuit of beautiful hair; tis always a joy, Gurl;)

Without the continually jaw-dropping beauty of the Tout models, well, I wouldn't be posting these lovely faces.  Thank each of you Gurlz for your patience, humor, and inward beauty.  Those lashes were something, weren't they?  

peace and love.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dermstore Lip Quench

My claim:
This is The Best Lip Balm: Ever.
That I have come across, any where.
Thick, emollient, slightly pearlescent.
Lasts a long time.
Perfect for those who don't want color, but a barrier against the elements.
Wear it alone and feel your lips heal instantly.

Your lips will love you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Piggly Wiggly: Local Since Forever

One of the most amazing, humbling, and grounding experiences of my life:
participating in the Piggly Wiggly commercial shoot: Local Since Forever.
The ladies in the first two photos are employees of the Camden, SC Piggly Wiggly.
The lady in the third photo is a loyal customer who volunteered to be in a shot.
Please stop and think about what it means to your community to patronize local businesses, farmers, etc.  It means keeping your local economy afloat; supporting and consuming the freshest local foods; and helping perpetuate a cycle of growth in your own community and/or state.
Below is a link to the commercial that aired last Monday evening.  If you are in SC, you may see this or some portion of it on your local TV station.  
Being in Makeup can have its glamorous, worldly moments, but I will opt for the realness of the concept of LOCAL any day.

Photos courtesy of http://www.photosbyjuliejp.com/