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.

Four Seasons Denver Shoot with Broxton Art Photography: Part 3

We were lucky to have 2 talented photographers for our Four Seasons Denver shoot last month, so part 3 highlights uber photog Travis Broxton of Broxton Art. Not only a top-tier shooter, but one of the nicest people I know. Enjoy a few of my favs from our shoot at the Four Seasons Denver.

Posing against a Denver skyline in a suite so massive, it had a workout area, full kitchen, office, and a sauna.
His signature editing of this photo adds a special drama and richness. I love it.


Up close you can see the full strip of bottom lashes I added to make her blue eyes sing.


A hard crease with a soft, shimmery lid offset for a dramatic look.


Look #3 of the day was her Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment.


Our last shot of the day. Dramatic, dark, magical, and freezing. She and I were both fighting off colds and were literally shivering outside waiting for the lighting setup.

-What I Used-

Lips: Estée Lauder Pure Color

For her first look (up close shots) I used Lauder’s creamy Pure Color lipsticks and blended together 2 shades (below) to create a not-too one shade or the other look. I wanted the mauve as a base with a shot of perfect pink over top.


Estée Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Mystic Mauve


Estée Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Pink Lolita

Mascara: Hard Candy Lash Ink

For our final look we went Audrey Hepburn all the way. This meant undoing a little  drama from the previous peacock themed photos and letting a more natural beauty shine through. The giant feather lashes compounded with hours of makeup changes left her eyes really irritated, so we went lash-free for this look. I instead used a few coats of Lash Ink. I wanted a no-smudge, no-fuss lash that wouldn’t need touching up throughout the rest of the shoot. Lash Ink is brilliant because it blackens lashes for several days in a way that water, rubbing, crying, and sweating can’t destroy.

Cheeks: Cream Blush

Popping the cheeks with color is what a fresh bridal look is all about. I used Cream Blush in Azalea from, a richly pigmented yet easy to blend pot of brilliant color. Cream Blush

If you have a wedding coming up and are looking for one of the best photogs in the country (he travels everywhere), you can see more of Travis’ work HERE.

Click HERE for more info on the brand new Four Seasons Denver.

What’s New From Smashbox? Full Exposure Mascara, Limitless Lip Stain, Softbox Palette

I realized in the car the other day that I was literally wearing 7 coats of mascara. No, I don’t rock a Tammy Faye lash, but I do lay down a lengthening formula (a few times) before a volumizing one (a few more times) which I’ve found gives me super long, separated lashes. Do I like the look? Yes. The process? Not at all. Full Exposure Mascara was literally formulated for gals like me who are getting their layer on and using two different types of mascara for a long, defined look we all crave. I can honestly say that Full Exposure gives a fullness in one coat that usually takes me 4 or 5. I’m typically a drugstore mascara girl, but this is one I’ll actually buy.

I didn’t really have a go-to lip stain for my brides who wanted a stay in place solution that wasn’t heavy or thick. Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm was invented for the girl who wants color without goopy weight. It’s a kissable, drinkable, totally bas-ass lip stain with a tinted balm that you smooth on top of lips to keep them fresh and shiny. It’s now what I recommend to all of my brides and women on the go who don’t like to re-apply color.

Softbox Shadow Palette is one of my favorite palettes in a long time. It’s a perfect mix of liners and shadows in sexy grays and bronzy coppers with a few neutrals tossed in, it truly is an all-you-need grab and go for countless looks. Also included is a brush you’ll use for years, and one of my favorite eye primers around.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Un-Retouched Ad & Trés Vichy Spring Collection

MAKE UP FOR EVER did something that might not seem like that big of a deal but it was pretty revolutionary, they created the first un-retouched makeup ad. Check it-

She’s pretty and young with great skin (and good lighting is always helpful), but you can see from her forehead and arm that it’s actually a person and not a creepy looking mannequin. Kudos, I hope to start seeing more honest ads.

Speaking of MUF, check out their adorable here-for-spring-only limited lash. It’s called Très Vichy and the bows are handmade. I’m completely in love with them and want one pair for a shoot and one just to keep and admire.

Très Vichy Duo Eyeshadow Palette is also part of the spring collection, pink and white diamond shadows are shades that any girly girl would go nuts over.

Check out the rest of their Spring 2011 collection HERE

NYX Doll Eye Mascara

Three cheers for Doll Eye Volume Mascara. This curvy wand buffs up puny lashes paying extra attention to lash tips – the most challenging to bulk because it’s the thinnest and lightest part of the lash. It’s a great building mascara if you like a fuller look and the formula stays in place so well you can wear it on lower lashes too.

$9 NYX Doll Eye Mascara

d.j.v. beautenizer’s Fiberwig LX Mascara

Have you heard of d.j.v. beautenizer’s Fiberwig LX mascara? Apparently it’s the hot mascara pick at Sephora. What sets it apart is its glossy rich formula that coats the lashes like a film and creates a shiny black vinyl effect. I haven’t tried it but I might just trot over to Sephora this weekend to see if they have it there, you know how I feel about a good mascara.

d.j.v. beautenizer Fiberwig LX mascara