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?

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.

Makeup Before and After: Camille

Another great before and after with Camille, a bride I met recently for her makeup trial-run before her big day in October. She has huge blue eyes with a ton of lid space and a perfect crease- most women need surgery for lids like this. Her fair skin just needed a little bronzing, some pink lips, and taupe lids to get the perfect amount of pop. With fair skin, keep in mind that color is amplified so it’s easy to go overboard without realizing it. Sheer formulas and a light bronzer are your friends.


Beautiful Before..


…And Beautiful After

My Hero Products For the Look:

Estée Lauder: Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée from their limited Fall 11′ Modern Mercury Collection

Lighter in color and weight than most bronzers, this illuminating gel-powder gives the skin natural warmth without deepening the tone too much. I used it to frame her face, extending down her neck for a seamless transition. There’s no need for a spray tan on your wedding day, bronzer gives an even (and predictable!) application every time.

Alima Pure: Press Pass Limited Edition Shadow from their Fall Runway Collection

Alima’s Press Pass is a sheer, smokey taupe to punch up her blues without a heavy or smokey look – it’s a wedding not a night club. When looking for shadows to suit your skin, keep in mind the weight of the formula and not the actual color; fair skin is flattered by sheer shades and deeper skin tones can wear more saturated ones. Measure the shadow’s weight by applying swatches of the color on the back of your hand, if you can’t see any skin showing through from behind the shadow it’s not a sheer formula. The more skin that shows through, the more sheer it is.

Tarte: LipSurgence in Frisky

Camille, like me, isn’t a big lipstick wearer, but a lip color is essential when photographs are involved. I LOVE (and wear) Tarte’s Lipsurgence lip tints. They’re a sort of tinted gel balm that give enough sheer color   to avoid looking washed out. I have a more neutral one I wear daily, then a punched up version (like Frisky) that I wear for TV appearances.

Heavy vs Sheer. Keeping weight in mind when choosing color will open up new doors for fair-skinned ladies looking to keep it feminine without overdoing it.

Makeup Before and After: Catherine

I’ve been remembering to bust out the camera when I see brides for their makeup pre-wedding trial runs lately which is great because who doesn’t love a good before and after makeup pic? Catherine is gorgeous and just as sweet. For her fall wedding, we wanted a neutral colored eye with a dash of plum peppered in and pink lips and cheeks. Here’s the short list of what I used to create the look (lashes were Ardell 110 btw, the ones I use most.)


Click image to enlarge.

Cheeks:

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Hot Pink

This is some of the best cheek color I’ve used. It’s creamier than Stila’s popular Convertible Color with a perfect consistency that’s so easy to apply and blend. It beats out Stila’s (and many other) versions, and it’s what I’ve been using under powder blush for a guaranteed all-day color pop.

Lipstick:

Estée Lauder Pure Color Gloss Stick in Honey Pink:

There are few rules in makeup, but lips and cheeks matching will always be the standard for a look that flows so I applied some pinky lips to match her pinky cheeks. Even a non-lipstick wearer can get behind Lauder’s Pure Color Gloss Stick, the sheerest and shiniest option for those who want color without the weight.

Lip Gloss:

Smashbox Limitless Long Wearing Lip Gloss in Limitless:

A gloss from Smashbox is hard to beat, they aren’t sticky and the colors are right on the money. Limitless is one of those shades that flatters all and gives the right amount of shine for a sexy pout. It gets a lot of use in my kit.

Serum:

Make Up For Ever HD Elixir:

This light as water serum flies a little under the radar, but it’s an essential in my kit. It’s so dry here in Colorado (especially in the summer) which leaves skin thirsty, and makeup doesn’t look good over thirsty skin. Before priming, I always add a few drops of HD Elixir to the skin for a big drink of moisture that disappears allowing whatever you’re adding on top to melt in like magic.

Eyes:

Rain Cosmetics Diva Eye Shadow Quad in Viva Las Vegas:

Vegas-based Rain Cosmetics made a big splash in the world of beauty as a super glam line of makeup essentials as fun and glitzy as its home state. I love this shadow quad which includes a neutral base shade, two matte browns that can double as liners, and a peachy pink that flatters all skin tones. They have a ton pigment and they blend and wear really well. It’s one of the very few non-mainstream brands that made their way into my kit- which says a ton about its quality.

Eye Liner:

Make Up For Ever Kohl Pencil in 10K:

One of the best color stories for fall 2011 is MUF’s Smoky Couleur Collection, filled with plum and jewel tones that are so deliciously sexy. I used their 10K violet liner instead of a harsh black shade to bring out Catherine’s gorgeous blue eyes on both the top and bottom lash lines as well as her lower rim.

Finishing Powder:

Tarte Smooth Operator:

Don’t underestimate the oil absorbing power of Smooth Operator. Its finish is as good as any and its ability to keep skin shine-free without a chalky finish is unparalleled.


Beautiful in the before.


And beautiful in the after.. Click for full sized images.

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: h.wood.beauty Cream Blush

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

h.wood.beauty 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.