Makeup Before and After: Elizabeth Arden Meets The Girl Next Door

Makeup is amazing. It’s not even the hard core stuff (i.e.drag, fantasy, special effects) that fascinates me most, For me it’s about how you’re only 10 minutes away from a totally different look. Courtney is one of those lucky girls whose fresh faced good looks sans makeup needs nothing more, but a gorgeous wedding awaited so I used the power of color to transform her look enough to match her special day.


Before


After

Elizabeth Arden is what I used to get her glam bride look.


I used their Limited Edition Ceramide Cream Blush in Honey for her cheek color. I applied it along her cheekbones using a fluffy brush to diffuse the color then I worked it into her skin for a natural looking flush which is key for photography.


To disguise the band from her false lash, I dotted black Liquid Eyeliner, along her lash line then I smudged a little black shadow over top to diffuse the line and give it a softened look.


Their Ultra Lipstick in Rose Aurora might be my new go-to because it’s a gorgeously unassuming color that’s flattering to all. You can give it a boost of pink or make it look more beige using different liners and glosses. It’s pretty on its own, but being totally customizable is what makes it so speical.

Makeup Before and After: Shimmery Beautiful Bridesmaid

I have my mainstays in my kit, yes, but I also carry rotate out makeup that companies send my way so I can put them to the ultimate test and see how they perform for a professional makeup application. A few weeks back, I gave some Pixi stuff a whirl. I was already sure that I’d like it all because Pixi’s whimsical look with serious product reminds me a bit like Stila in its heyday. It feels like that play makeup I’d tote around as a kid, but don’t let the fun packaging fool you- its girly-chic line hasn’t disappointed me yet. Here’s the before and after:


Before… Gorgeous Kate wanted to amp it up for her friend’s wedding.


…And after. A little smoky with some shimmering touches.

Fairy Dust ($14). Cute name, great product. I used it on Kate’s brow bone and inner corner of her eye for a hint of brightness to offset the depth. The sponge tipped applicator gets the pearl shimmer right where you want it, but you can also sprinkle a little out of the container if you’d like to sweep it on your cheekbones with a loose brush for even more glow.

I’m picky about eye pencils and I can’t use anything that smudges so I carry the best of the best in my kit. I tried Pixi’s beforehand and realized that it stays put as well as my others. Their Endless Eye Pen ($15) is the one I used on Kate, a rich brown with a splash of khaki and a kick of shimmer built right in. It’s a fun way to add drama to the eye when you’re bored of using a flat liner.

Makeup Before and After: Saylee, Alison Raffaele, and Smashbox

Here’s gorgeous bride-to-be Saylee making my job as easy as it gets. For her wedding she wants a soft romantic look to match her fairytale caliber gown. She didn’t need much, just the basics- shimmer shadow, black liner, and pops of color to her lips and cheeks. Today I’ll highlight a few standouts that I recently started carrying in my kit and I don’t know how I ever did without them.

It’s just an ‘after’ since I forgot to snap a ‘before.’ It happens.


Click to enlarge

Hero Products Used:

Primer: Miracle Skin Transformer. Her skin is in great shape so I just wanted some light moisture and to even out her tone before her light foundation application.

Concealer: Alison Raffaele’s Concealer is as good as you’ve heard. This cult favorite is light with tons of natural looking pigment which works beautifully for both dark circles and blemishes. It’s also paraben free and without mineral oil and talc so it doesn’t slide or dry the skin making it perfect for both everyday use and photography. It’s truly one of the best concealers around.

Luminizer: Alison Raffaele Luminizer in Yellow which gives light and dimension to the face without any sort of shimmer. It’s a grown up highlighter and a worthwhile extra step for those who are serious about great looking skin. I find myself grabbing for it now instead of the highlighter I’ve used for years since it’s more versatile and photographs beautifully.

Eyes: Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow is a new classic. If you want your shadow to stay on all day, you have to layer powder shadows with a cream like this one. It’s really light which makes layering easy, and the long wearing formula intensifies and keeps shadow fresh hour after hour even on the oiliest lids. I used Topaz, a pinky neutral which I’ve found works great under any shadow, or even on its own.

I can’t come to your house to get you glammed up everyday, but you can use what the pros do to make your beauty routine easier and longer wearing.

Makeup Before and After; Balanced Pinks and Grays

I think makeup is most beautiful when it’s kept simple. Even if you want to make a bit of a statement – keeping the look balanced and not going overboard are important for a classic, beautiful look. Here I used dusty gray and neutral pink to create an evening look that whispers ‘romantic’ without screaming ‘nightclub.’


Before


And after (click to enlarge)


Here’s a group shot of what I used.


A little closer so you can see the colors.

Eyes:

I used Estée Lauder’s Modern Mercury duo which I’ve actually used a ton since, not because they’re the only gray shadows I own – it’s because they’re so soft in texture that they look light on the lids giving just the right punch of color without chalky weight. This sort of almost creamy texture is key when working on more mature eyes or when using darker shadows so the color doesn’t appear to just sit on the skin.

Skin:

I wasn’t surprised that I loved NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation, a $15 version of a $40 foundation. It mimics department store brands in the way it covers without seeing a trace of it on the skin and continues to do its thing for many hours without changing color or fading.

Cheeks:

I can’t get enough of NYX Mosaic Powder in Spice, a color with patches of cool and warm tones blended together in a way that gives cheeks the most believable neutral flush. I didn’t want a total pop of color between her pink lip and statement eyes so this soft looking transition proved to be just enough color without looking too harsh.

Lips:

I used Estée Lauder Pure Color Gloss Stick in Mauve Mirage, a limited shade no longer available. I love this formula so much that I’ve bought 3 since receiving a sample stick. Clients literally want to buy it out of my kit whenever I use it on them because of its relaxed color in a soft, shiny formula. It’s a subtle glossy sheen without the goop of a gloss in a convenient stick.

I also dabbed just a touch of Rain’s lip conditioner in Suite on her dry lips before the lipstick just to prime them a little so the color would glide on.

Makeup Before and After; It’s all About the Liner

There aren’t too many of us who wear a full face of makeup every day. In fact, I meet mostly mascara only girls when I’m beautifying brides and their maids for weddings. This particular girl was one such case from a wedding several weeks ago who wasn’t comfortable in a lot of makeup which I’ve learned translates to ‘don’t put a lot of eye shadow on me.’ No problem.

Bringing out the eyes doesn’t require a lot of shadow anyway, it’s icing on the cake once you get a good contrast going by using a rich liner and some lashes. Here’s how it went down;


Before: great skin and a cute smile, she’s already looking good!


After: Some rich black liner all the way around the eyes and a few coats of mascara on a false lash are really all it takes to get the relaxed look she wanted.


A close up of the liner kept neatly in her water line on the bottom. A smudgy look would’ve felt too heavy for a girl who typically keeps it pretty natural.


I used NYX Retractible Eye Liner in Black, a deep black that holds its depth even in the waterline.


She loved Hourglass Extreme Sheen Gloss in Fortune, just enough color and shine.

If you’ve never gotten into shadow (or just don’t understand how to apply it), ditch it altogether and focus on liner and lashes. Getting that combo down will give beautiful contrast and make all the difference.

Makeup Before and After: Mom of the Bride

I was the Makeup Artist for a bridal party over the weekend with a great group of girls and a gorgeous mother of the bride. I mean seriously, her skin rivaled that of most 30 year olds, it’s near perfect and completely natural – a combo I don’t normally see after a certain age.

Anyhoo, I had to share her before and after photo with you because (as I’ve said before) you don’t need to pile it on to get a beautiful result. I got to use my decadent La Mer Treatment Fluid Foundation and The Powder, both of which get a ton of use in my kit. They have ideal consistencies, the foundation is creamy with a hint of luminosity so the skin looks bright and full of life while their powder is virtually undetectable on the skin. It’s so airy light that it doesn’t settle which is why I use it to set eye concealer all the time.


Treatment Fluid Foundation


The Powder

Now a look at the pics.


Janet, gorgeous even before


…And after

After evening out the skin, I brought out her eyes using grayish plum shadows, Ardell Demure lashes and gray liner along the top lash with a rich brown for her lower lash line for a subtle contrast that keeps the darker color on top where it’s needed most. Top it all off with some pinky cheeks and lips and you’ve got a full on glam look that’s wedding-day beautiful.