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.

Makeup Before and After: What a Difference Bronzer Makes

I’ve been taking my camera along with me more often these days to capture my client’s before and after shots which they say the same thing to every time, “Can’t you just take an after????”

What fun would that be?

Whitney didn’t care, but why would she? She’s young and adorable. It’s all good when you don’t have any wrinkles.

My camera not only served as a witness to the transformations that day, but it also showed me that I needed to bronze her up. Her tanned skin was darker on her body and a few shades lighter on her face. Even though the daylight shifted in between the last two after photos I took (there was about a 2 hour difference), you can still see how needed the flash of color was to her overall look. Let’s check it out-


Before


And after – pretty, but not enough bronzer to warm her skin and bring it to the same tone as her chest.


Click to enlarge- I don’t know why it’s so much smaller than the others. Can you can see how much better her face matches her chest.

Use a bronzer without shimmer for photography, the one I used on her was Jouer actually. I have it in my kit for most medium or deeper skin tones, for more fair skin I carry Estée Lauder’s Bronze Lights in the compact’s lighter shade. Either way, apply the bronzer with a loose, fluffy brush to avoid a dense application and make ‘number 3′s’ like shown in this video from Lauder below.

Makeup Before and After: Lisa’s Lids in Neutral Fall Shades

Beautiful neutrals are combined with a few shimmering plum and copper shades in Smashbox’s Softbox Palette from their Fall 11′ Girls on Film collection. It’s a home run, no-brainer, perfectly perfect collection of shadows that anyone would love. I know it will get more use in my kit, but I’m struggling because I want to wear it. I’m sure my kit will win out because I used most of the shades to create this look for Lisa, a recent bride who wanted to keep it natural and light.

I think these photos also highlight what a false lash can do for the eyes. I used my go-to Ardell #110 full strip lash which look so natural on that most anyone can use them. Seeing that lash against her upper lid makes her eyes appear so much larger.


Before…


And after, check out what a difference the lashes make!


Another look, click to enlarge


Softbox Palette

I think the best thing I’ve learned over the years from doing makeup on countless women is that you don’t have to pile it on to look great. Evening out the skin and adding well-placed (and well blended) splashes of color are often all you need to bring out your features to just look like a great version of you. And really, isn’t that all we’re looking for?