Makeup Before and After: Less is More

Sometimes the brides I see look really good without any makeup. Such was the case with a recent bride whose skin was glowing, lashes were long, and lips so rosy they looked to be glossed already. Now what? Enhance, enhance, enhance. Luckily she didn’t wear too much makeup as part of her daily routine so she was happy with a natural-glam look that would take her look up a notch in order to match the formality of the day without going overboard.

Here’s a glance of her before and after.


…And after

A closer look. See what I mean? Even her teeth are sparkly white!


What I used: Smashbox Glambox Cover Shoot Kit

This kit really is everything you need in a box and what I used for most of her look. I wanted to keep her shadow soft and pretty since she doesn’t often wear any, so I used their neutral Photo Op trio – Honey all over, Ambient the shimmery golden tone on the lid with the dark brown (Spice) on the outer part of her lid as well as under her eyes for a drop shadow effect.

I lined her upper and lower lid using the charcoal shade in their Cream Liner Duo to give a nice base for her thick lashes. I added a full strip of false lashes (Modlash #22) to give a little more volume with a few coats of Full Exposure mascara on top to blend them together with her natural lash.

For her cheeks, I wanted a cheery pink so I swept Callback Cream Cheek Color on using a natural hair fluffy brush until it looked flushy and bright.

Her lips have so much natural color to them, she just needed a hint of Tabloid gloss.

Glambox Cover Shoot Kit

Other products used:

Skin Prep: Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Foundation: Kett Fixx Cream Makeup in N3
Concealer: Temptu Pro Concealer Wheel
Bronzer: Jouer
Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent, just a dab to set her eye concealer and also pressed into her t-zone.
Setting Spray: Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finish

Alima Pure Let Them Eat Cake Collection

If you’re named after something it’s called a namesake, but if you’re named after a cake would it then be a cakesake? Namecake? Anyway…These 4 totally adorable shadows from Alima Pure’s Let Them Eat Cake collection are the ‘cakesakes’ of the yummy desserts they resemble. I like Alima Pure’s shadows – versatile with good pigment and with one of the cleanest formulations around. Each of these 4 shadows are of the everyday variety with the deeper shades allowing for some options in depth. Red Velvet reminds me of Stila’s epic Twig shadow while Angel Food gives a nude shimmer similar to their popular Kitten shade minus the orangy tint that can make Kitten a challenge on fair skin. Strawberry Shortcake is a delicate pink shimmer while Devil’s Food can be used for a punch of drama or as a liner.

Check it-

Left to right: Red Velvet, Strawberry Shortcake, Angel Food, Devil’s Food

I’m slowly transitioning into mineral formulas when I find ones with good pigment and wear time, not an entirely easy task but these 4 made the cut into my kit. You can use them wet to punch them up, or pat them right over a still-tacky layer of shadow primer for a better grab and a heightened look.

Jane Iredale Perfectly Nude Collection

You always hear that a ‘natural look’ works well on everyone, but what does ‘natural’ mean? Literally, it’s the colors that are found in nature. Browns, greens, even copper- it’s the shades you see all around us that translates into color easily worn on the skin. Now when you get into the neon pink and hot yellow category, that the line for what’s easily worn becomes a bit more blurred.

When it comes to makeup, a nude palette will always be in style, you’ll never look back at a photo of yourself and think ‘wow, what was I thinking wearing that taupe eye shadow?’ If I’m addicted to natural looking makeup, then Jane Iredale’s new Perfectly Nude collection is my drug of choice. It’s my favorite collection of hers to date because of the universally wearable color selection and introduction of all new products.

Look for her dual ended Lip Fixation Lip Stain/ Gloss to become and instant hit. It’s the first lip stain from a natural or mineral line that I know of with a complimentary shade of gloss on the other end. Of course it isn’t the super duper stay on your lips until the end of time kinda stain- those types of ingredients are a no-no in a natural line- but it’s an incredibly satisfying way to get a long-term lip color result in a safe formula.

You will use every color in their Nude Eye Shadow Kit. What’s not to love about 5 neutral, but not muted shades of nudes with a kick of copper and bronze thrown in? At first glance it might appear conservative and ho-hum, but on the skin you’ll find a look that blends and compliments all skin tones and eye colors. They bring eyes to life and are super easy to work with and blend.

Eyes? Check. Lips? Check. Beautifully bronzed and glowing skin? Absolutely. So-Bronze 3 falls right on trend by combining a blush with a bronzer in the same compact (something I’ve seen a lot lately). You can use the matte bronzer around the framing of the face and add some contrast and dust the lightly shimmered blush on the cheeks. There isn’t a hint of orange to the bronzer and the look of the two together goes perfectly.

If you’ve used the legendary mineral foundation from Jane Iredale, but not their color this is a great place to start. I’ve never met an Iredale product that I didn’t like and Perfectly Nude is no exception.

Jane Iredale Perfectly Nude

Stumble It!

Estee Lauder Holiday 09 Collection; Opulent Shimmer Gloss, Gel Eyeliner

For a red-carpet worthy holiday look, it’s a pretty simple (and classic) recipe.

Red lips + black liner = classic chic.

Estee Lauder’s Holiday collection captures winter glamour spot on- even the packaging looks like Christmas.

If you aren’t really a red lips kinda gal (and most of us aren’t), their Opulent Shimmer Gloss in Cranberry (limited) is super rich and glossy with a hint of sparkle for an easier to wear take on the usual matte red. Just remember that the consistency matters as much as the color, especially with deeper shades. Gloss makes lips look more casual, so skip the matte if you aren’t completely comfortable with a stand-out pout.

Madonna, Jessica Alba, and Gwen Stefani all rock red lips’ requisite bff- black eyeliner, a look that became an American glamour institution since Marilyn Monroe trademarked the combo. It seems like Lauder stood back and studied other gel-based liners to see exactly how one should be made before introducing their new Black Gel Liner. Of course it’s long-wearing, but the star quality is the not-too-gooey, not-too-stiff compromise of the consistency which makes it easy to apply- and the little brush they include works well for precision looks since you feel more in control of the short handle.

Estee Lauder Holiday 09 Collection

Stumble It!

Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection

Rich, romantic golds and mauves are everywhere for fall, and Estee Lauder has created them in their most wearable forms we can all enjoy.

Sensuous Gold, their limited edition collection is luxurious, feminine, and unique. I understand why it’s quickly selling out online (check with your local counters where inventory varies) due to the collection’s eye-catching rose gold packaging and the knock-out colors inside.

Both shadow palettes contain 4 shades, each in different finishes from matte to pearl in colors I dare you not to love- like perfect tones of pinks, plums, and mauves with a flash of gold that makes them universally flattering. Consider these your anti smokey eye antidote for the holidays, makeup for celebrating in dressed-up, grown-up, fool-proof, eye-brightening shades you’re sure to wear over and again.

Rose Gold gloss has 3 shades in one tube that combine together when used into a slightly deeper than your lips color that will rock your socks.  It’s the alternative for those who prefer a natural looking lip but need something with a little color.

Of course the collection wouldn’t be complete without lipsticks and nail lacquers, both having a tinge of gold in them. Although it’s sold out online, I’d search the counters for their Rose Gold Nail Lacquer since the glossy mix of rose gold and pearly luminosity generate a rare shine that’s slow to dull even after weeks on toes.

Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection

Stumble It!

Jane Iredale Cool Beauty

Jane Iredale’s summer collection, Cool Beauty is one of my favs of the season. It’s a fresh, well-rounded take on a summer look that’s vibrant, alive, and beachy-chic.

Her Mini-Matte Finish Powder is something no purse should be without. No matter your foundation, just a touch of this powder will tone down shine without drying the skin or looking too matte. It just leaves a natural finish without any trace of oil.

Azure Triple Eyeshadow and Aquamarine 24- Karat Gold Dust will slowly make their way into your regular shadow routine with a pop of color reminiscent of sand and sea that brings out the best in all eye colors.

Pinot Noir is a fun change from the ho hum black and brown liners we’ve all come to own. This rich plum can be used with both neutral brown and cool toned shadows alike, with a shade that gives great contrast, but gives a lighter look on the skin

Erin & Julia PureMoist LipColour SPF 18 are sheer, moisturizing lipsticks that even a die-hard lip balm only wearer would love, and the two colors are pretty much as perfect as summer shades as it gets.

Jane Iredale Cool Beauty Collection

Stumble It!