Four Seasons Denver Shoot with Studio JK Photography: Part 2

Here are more beautiful images from our Four Seasons Denver shoot with Studio JK.

For our second look, we wanted a little edgy but not over the top since she was wearing bridal fashions from Priscilla of Boston. I knew that the gowns would begin to look costume-y and become overshadowed if the look was too strong.

Hair stylist Erin Ferris (Tonto Salon) and I were inspired by the peacock feathers she used in her hair so we created a look inspired by them.

Here are a few things I used to get her look.


I placed a coat of L’Oreal Studio Secrets Secret Magic Perfecting Base ($13) under her eyes, but I didn’t rub it all the way in. I wanted a layer of something invisible to grab onto the dusting of turquoise shadow I dropped along her skin.


I used my fingers to dab turquoise hued MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream ($22) on her lid into her eye’e crease so there was a base of color on her lid to echo the color below.

I used a small, loose brush to gather a lot of MAKE UP FOR EVER Turquoise Shimmer 83 shadow, then I lightly tapped it over her primer-coated skin under her eyes. It’s a fun look that’s easy to do as long as you prime well and lay the head back so the color goes where you want it instead of all over her face.


I had a hard time deciding which lashes I’d use since I knew they’d be important to the look, but I knew I wanted to stay with the theme and use feathers. I ended up going with NYX EL 174 ($10), a black feather lash with white tips. I liked the way the white mirrored her gown and brought interest to her eyes. Curl and add mascara to the lashes before applying them because you can’t once they’re on.


I gave her lips a light coat of Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Lip & Tuck ($35) in French Kiss. It’s a plumping lip treatment disguised as a subtly shiny gloss with just enough color to give some pop.

I’m in love with these images, she pulled off the look really well. Part 3 (and maybe 4) of the shoot coming soon!

Four Seasons Denver Shoot with Studio JK Photography

A few weeks back I was asked to be the Makeup Artist for a shoot at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver. The pics would be a part of their marketing materials as well as to provide future brides inspiration on the venue. Our beautiful model wore breathtaking gowns from Priscilla of Boston, and super-stylist Erin Ferris (Tanto Salon Denver) and I got her glammed out with 3 different looks. Here are a few of my favs from her first look and what I used to achieve it. I’ll post parts 2 and 3 of the shoot later on.

First of all, big wow to Studio JK Photography, a Denver-based husband and wife team who rock my world with their brilliant captures. You can see why they travel the world photographing weddings, they’ll be in Greece next month in fact.

Secondly, I used so many different products during the 10 hour shoot that it would take forever to highlight them all. Instead, I’ll give with my ‘hero’ products for this look, and when I post the other 2 looks from the day, I’ll do the same.

I’m working. And, apparently cross-eyed.
Gorgeous Colorado skyline in the background.

Pretty amazing right?

In a shoot like this when you change the model into different looks, you do so with the color aspects like eyes and lips, but typically leave the skin as is so I needed a primer that would hang on to whatever I was putting on top for the whole day. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light grabbed the makeup and kept it looking fresh. This was the first time I used their light version, it’s as good as the original and absorbed right in.

I wanted a little more coverage and staying power after I applied her foundation so I went to one of my new favorite finds, Estée Lauder Double Wear Powder. It locked in the makeup and kept shine away for the entire day. No small feat when hot lights and tons of movement is involved.

I wanted her to have statement eyeliner (click on the 2nd pic to enlarge) so I laid down the groundwork for the liner’s shape using a dark brown powder shadow and an angled brush. When I got it even, I went over it using Iman Luxury Liquid Eyeliner in onyx, a deep black with specks of shimmer that lightly glistens in the sun.

Klorane’s Soothing Make-Up Removal Wipes helped me out big time. I needed a wipe that would remove all of her eye makeup quickly but also gently. If these wipes didn’t remove makeup so easily, her eyes would have been red from rubbing and it would have taken me much longer to get her looking perfect. Even the waterproof mascara melted right away.

Look for our peacock-inspired part two very soon..

Makeup Before and After; Pink Cheeks and Blonde Brows

Contouring and highlighting the face is something that we Makeup Artists do all the time, it’s all about bringing the best features forward, remember this tutorial I did? When you see before and after photos of someone who was contoured, you can see the subtle way that light hits the face and adds dimension, like in these pics for instance.

…Before, click to enlarge.

Mid contour (mid everything actually), lighter, darker and yellow under the eyes using creme concealer.

There we go, subtle hints of a more chiseled face. You can see it on her forehead, nose, and under the eyes especially. 

In order to build up her cheek bones, I layered on Napoleon Perdis Cheek to Chic Blush Duo in #3 (the one in the middle) which looks really bright and scary, but sheers out on the cheeks and lasts long after most blushes fade away.

Blondes have the hardest time with brows – the hair can be so light that it’s almost invisible,  but filing them in can look artificial and weird. Here I used Brow Tech, the powder-and-wax trio from Smashbox which has a perfect shade for blondes with the right amount of ash to it so light hair doesn’t look yellowy or dark. That black brow with light blond hair thing only works for Gwen Stefani.

Makeup Before and After; Pin-Up Girl Red Lips

I can’t imagine a better way to break in my new L’Oreal Infallible LIpcolour collection in new sexy celebrity-inspired colors than to use them on the gals modeling for a recent pin-up girl shoot. Beyonce Red is that true blood red shade that you think of when you think about red lipstick.

Check it out in action.


And after with sparkling red lips, big false lashes, and even a little beauty mark.

Lipgloss applicator with creamy color on one side and a top-coat on the other.

See, it’s the ideal red with an all-day wear formula.
This one is Kate del Castillo’s Plum #790, a brick, maroonish plum.

And Diane Keaton’s Tuberose #290, a neutral pinky color with some depth that flatters most skin tones.

When you’re wearing a light lip color it isn’t as important that it stays put, but darker shades require more staying power so it doesn’t slide outside of your lip line, or worse, wear onto your teeth.

Makeup Before and After; Shades of Pinks and Purple

I was the Makeup Artist for a wedding last Sunday and the girls were all young and adorable even without makeup that they agreed to let me snap a few before and after pics.

I especially loved how this application on a bridesmaid turned out because I used plums on her eyes and pink on her lips and cheeks. It sounds like a combo that’s fit for a Barbie, but anyone can pull off some girly shades without going too far. Keep the look grown up by mixing neutral shades with a color that pops (like purple) on your eyes so you can use some fun color while keeping it grounded at the same time.

Let’s check out the before.

Click to enlarge photos
Pinky, purple adorableness. 
A little closer look at her eyes.

As with any look, getting the skin even is the most important part – everything else from there is just icing on the cake. I used a light shimmery pink, medium gray, and a deep plum on her lids before adding black liner and a strip of false lashes to her eyes. For her cheeks, I  patted on Ben Nye’s creme cheek color in Carnation Pink and then dusted a bright pinky blush on top to give her cheeks super staying power. Anytime you’re layering creme and powder together, you automatically buy yourself a few more hours of wear time. On her lips I used a Stila long-wearing lipstick with a L’Oreal Infallible gloss over top which ended up being about the same shade as her natural lip color.

It’s also worth mentioning that purple shadows are not your friend if you have dark circles around your eyes because those circles tend to be purplish in color. It just ends up looking like you have a meth problem that keeps you up for days, or like you got into a bar fight. Either way, it’s a hard color to pull of when dark circles are in the equation.

Don’t lean on neutrals and browns as your only go-to shadow shades, add in some color to your usual routine and blend, blend, blend until the color softens. Even the smallest hint of color can perk up the skin and give you a healthy glow.

Stumble It!

Before and After Photos; Makeup in Your 20’s

Life got a little overwhelming recently, so I decided to take on an intern. This is Danielle, my right hand gal. She’s as sweet as she is beautiful and I couldn’t wait to get her in my chair so I could highlight what makeup in your 20’s should look like.

Think about enhancing, and not covering. You’re looking for a little boost of color with evened out skin. It’s a look that’s youthful, casual, pretty, and really easy. I used some of my favs on Danielle and showed her how to pull off a 5 minute makeup routine that she can wear daily.

Danielle before. I told you she was adorable.
…And after, in natural light

And with a flash

I started by evening out her skin using HD Invisible Cover Foundation from MAKE UP FOR EVER because it’s rich in pigment and easy to blend with a finish that has some luminosity to it so it doesn’t just sit flat on the skin. I also used some around her eyes to cover slight darkness but she didn’t need a separate concealer. If you do wear concealer, apply it on discolored areas before using this foundation so you don’t cover up its finish, a big reason why it looks so great on the skin.

Next I gave her eyes some definition. You’d be shocked at how much pigment and staying power is in Wet N Wild’s ColorIcon palettes. I used the top left shadow as a base shade all over her lids, then I mixed the middle left one with the lower right one for her lower lid only blending it into her natural crease. The result was a little contrast without looking too dark or heavy for a girl who doesn’t usually wear shadow.

It’s also a good lesson on not spending a lot on something you don’t use very often. You can have eye shadow on hand for special events or nights out, but you won’t feel guilty when you don’t wear it daily because they weren’t expensive. If you don’t wear it a lot, don’t spend a lot. Save the cash for something you use all the time.

I couldn’t be more obsessed with Tarte right now. Their EmphasEYES waterproof clay-based shadow/ liner has surpassed Bobbi Brown’s pot liner in my book for a few reasons. It’s a natural formula that’s without Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals, and Phthalates which isn’t easy to fine. But even more importantly, it’s a heck of a lot easier to apply. I think the clay-based formula gives the liner a firmer texture that lays down more precisely and doesn’t slip around as easily as the BB one does. It comes with a dual ended brush that has a liner brush on one side and a smudger one on the other so you can create both a precise line and a smokey eye.

I gave Danielle a precision look along her upper and lower lash line to define her eyes. I didn’t want a harsh look, so I used the liner in Brown instead of black. For a look that’s less intense for daily use, you can also use navy or plum.

On to the cheeks, more Tarte. Totally obsessed. I haven’t reviewed a lot of cheek stains because I think they’re notoriously hard to use. Most begin to dry the second you apply them and can stain in streaks before you get a chance to blend. Instead of packaging their stain in a tube or something small, Tarte opted for this small deodorant looking push up applicator that just happens to be the same width as the area on your cheeks that you’d want to be covered with color. Trust me, the packaging seems bulky but once you use the stain, you understand why it’s made that way. The color essentially applies itself exactly where it should go and you have plenty of time for blending.

I used this shade called Natural Beauty, a sheer berry on her cheeks. It gives one of the most natural looking flushes to the skin there is and the color lasts such a long time. I’ve always been a fan of non-powder cheek colors because they stay on the skin so well, but stains take the lasting power to the next level and this one does so using a natural formula that stands alone.

A little color on the lips and we’re all done. Philosophy’s popular Kiss Me is a hydrating lip balm that boasts a high SPF of 20 as well. Although it gives a somewhat glossy look, its purpose is to give some casual color to the lips that’s light weight and moisturizing.

I just popped the color straight onto her lips without using a liner or lipstick first. It looks bright in the tube, but it sheers out to a light berry glaze that’s just a shade deeper than her lips naturally are. It’s just what you want for casual daily color that feels great on your lips so you don’t forget to reapply.

When you’re 20-something, your routine should be easy and fun. It’s the perfect time to experiment with colors and to find a routine that brings out your best features.

Stumble It!