Makeup Before and After: Bronzy Bridesmaid

Another day, another makeup transformation. I took these over the weekend at a wedding I worked at the Brown Palace here in Denver. It’s the brides sister (and maid of honor), who requested a punched up version of her usual look with some bronzy highlights that would photograph well. Here’s the before and after along with a few things that made the look possible.

My Hero Products for the Look:

Estée Lauder: Bronze Goddess Soft Duo Bronzer

Finding a bronzer that looks good in the office is one thing, but finding one that photographs well and lasts all day is another. Lauder has gotten good at bronzing and their one-shade-works-for-most duo is a go-to for a lot of makeup artists because of its instant tanning affect that’s perfect in any light. Keep in mind that bronzer isn’t meant to be used all over the face, just the top of the forehead, chin, and under the cheek bones gives a dynamic look. A little bit of brozner is pretty and youthful, bronzer all over is Jersey Shore.

Tarte: emphasEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Black

emphasEYES is as good as any gel liner out there (better than Bobbi for precision because it isn’t as slippery) but with mineral-derived pigments and a natural formula.I used it on her upper lash line with the pointy side of the brush (shown below), then I did a smudgy application under her lower lash line with the diffusing side of the brush. I’ve seen girls literally cry over this liner without it moving. Liner is important to a look and this is one I trust.

L’Oreal: Double Extend Eye Illuminator in Black Quartz

I’m still using Double Extend in my kit – I’ve never had a problem with smudging or moving and these are brides and bridesmaids who are basically sweating and crying all day long. Double Extend Eye Illuminator offers the same great formula on one side in black, but replaces the primer side with a shimmering formula and a round tipped brush meant to highlight the lashes. I don’t know how much the glimmer actually brings a highlight to the lash, but I love the shape of the brush to work mascara into the outer part of the lashes where they’re the longest and need some extra bulk.

KohGenDo: Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in Shades 2 and 3 blended together

I’ve blogged about KohGenDo Foundation before, it’s a well-loved pick for Makeup Artists who forgo airbrushing for a more controlled (and safer) application. It enhances skin and gives a good amount of coverage without making it look like you’re wearing a mask. You can see in these pics that some of her freckles are still showing (I outright refuse to cover freckles beyond what the foundation does because I think they’re so cute), but the bulk of her discoloration is gone and her skin is still showing through and glowing. No need to powder over top either, the formula itself contains 10% powder so it’s self-setting.

Insteading With Sally Hansen Natural Beauty

Sometimes the best makeup is found in the most unlikely places. Sally Hansen Natural Beauty struck up a partnership with Makeup Artist Carmindy which resulted in the line’s best creations to date, a few basics even trump their (much) more expensive counterparts.

Instead of Dior AirFlash $62 – try Airbrush Spray Makeup $14:

If you spray the foundation directly onto a sponge (preferably a Beauty Blender) and dab it into the skin, you’ll get the same look and finish as Dior’s AirFlash… and save $48. Just remember that it’s not meant to be sprayed directly on the face, the spray is just a delivery system so you’ll use less of the densely pigmented makeup and get a natural finish with superb coverage.

Instead of Stila Kajal Eye Liner $18 – try Forever Stay Eye Pencil $8

This has to be one of my favorite eyeliners I’ve ever used. It glides on like Kajal from Stila, but it has the lasting power of the gel liners in a pot – even swimming won’t cause a smudge. For these reasons, I’m bummed to see that it’s nowhere to be found on their site, but it looks like it’s still available (for now?) on I’ll be picking up a few more before they’re gone.

Review: L’Oreal Magic Souffle Makeup

It’s not often that I rave about drugstore foundations, but I think L’Oreal’s Magic Smooth Souffle foundation ($15) is worth a shout out. I do like it with a few small caveats. I think it’s best geared toward normal to oily skin that’s on the younger side due to the way the primer carries the pigment (ultimately a good thing,) but it might settle into dry or mature skin. It’s a pigment heavy makeup with primer built right into it, hence its unique whipped feel. You’ll save yourself the priming step, just use a sponge to work it into the skin for a more even application. It’s a long wearing formula though that resists heat and humidity so once it’s on – it’s on.

glo minerals Pressed Base, the Cure For Your M.A.C Studio Fix Addiction

I think I finally found the perfect detox to quit a serious M.A.C Studio Fix Powder addiction – that foundation we’ve all tired for its coverage but quit wearing it because of what it does to your skin (many experience small bumps that are difficult to chase away), and also because of how dull and chalky it can leave skin looking. Pressed Base from glo minerals is a complete coverage foundation with mineral benefits and a pretty finish that isn’t harsh or heavy. I feel like it was so thoughtfully created to be a good makeup first and foremost – it’s essentially a full-coverage foundation that just happens to be mineral-based.

If you lean more toward a liquid to get your coverage, you have to check out their Protective Liquid Foundation available in either a satin or matte finish. It’s the best liquid mineral foundation I’ve ever tried, hands down. The coverage is outstanding, it glides right into the skin, gives a natural looking finish, and it lasts all day.

Also well worth checking out is this Corrective Camouflage Kit, the first of its kind where I’ve actually used all colors involved especially the lavender. Just a little of this light purplish cream over cheekbones or anywhere you’d want to highlight the face adds a brightness and vibrancy that’s hard to beat.

glo minerals

Vapour Organic Beauty

Over the past year or so, I keep hearing the quiet roar of those who love Vapour Organic Beauty. Their Atmosphere Luminous Foundation is what put the line on the map, it’s an award winning favorite of picky Beauty Editors as a chemical-free foundation that gives naturally glowing skin. It’s one of three best sellers offered in their Essential Mini Collection (below) along with a Stratus Instant Skin Perfecter, and Aura Multi Use Blush. It’s a cheap ($29) way to check out the line and see what it’s all about.

I just ordered a sample collection ($15) and chose Atmosphere Foundation (in two shades), Illusionist Concealer, Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfecter, and a Trick Stick.

Are they my new go-to skin perfecters or a breakout nightmare? Stay tuned for the review.

Vapour Beauty

Review: DiorSkin Forever Foundation

I’ve been using a small sample cup filled with DiorSkin Forever foundation I got from Sephora weeks ago, and I’m thinking that I might actaully have to buy it. I’m sent so much free stuff to review that I manage to stay stocked up on basics. That said, this foundation is really special.

We aren’t talking tinted moisturizer coverage here, this is a medium to full coverage foundation that acts like a thin coat of paint disguising imperfections and turning your skin into an even canvas that’s ready for color. It isn’t heavy or goopy or thick, but its ability to cover and cling to the skin for hours is impressive given the light weight.

As with most foundations, blending is key. Press it into the skin using a wet Beauty Blender (or makeup sponge) because using a foundation brush alone won’t cut it.

DiorSkin Forever