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.

Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil

You remember my love for for Rosehip Oil and its many benefits for the skin via my review of Australia’s line Kosmea, the problem was that every time I wrote about Kosmea I got emails aking where to find it locally to get those Omega and Vitamin C benefits without the shipping costs. Now that I’ve tried it and can vouch for it, I’ve been recommending Trilogy’s Rose Hip Oil made by the popular New Zealand line and stocked in the U.S by Beautorium.com. It’s a powerful certified organic serum that drenches the skin in hydration and vitamins giving it a glow and overall better appearance. It’s gentle enough to be used by all skin types and sells for just $44.

Edible Skincare; Fruit-Filled Serums for Better Skin

If you are what you eat, then what does that make your skin? In this case, it’s all grapes, pomegranate, apples, and even rosehip. Your skin is your largest organ, feed it well.

Kosmea: Rosehip Oil

Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum

Rosehip Seed Oil has been getting a lot of play lately for its ability to wake up and nourish the skin. Rose Hips are the fruit of the rose plant used to make tea and jams but the oil within the seeds is what Kosmea’s uses, all 100% certified organic and full of vitamins and omegas. Because it’s so beneficial, it’s extremely effective for all skin types to help balance out whatever skin concern you’re fighting.

Caudalíe: Grapes

VenoPerfect Radiance Serum

Grapes are good for the heart (hurray for wine), and just as good for the skin. Caudaíle  built an entire line around its effectiveness in fact. Their new VenoPerfect Serum quenches all skin types with grape seed goodness doing what grapes do best; fade dark spots. It’s a chemical-free way to lighten up sun spotted areas of the face and chest that makes skin look like it’s glowing.

MyChelle: Apple

Apple Brightening Serum

Two words: Stem cells. Well, apple stem cells, so technically three. In a perfect instance of nature meeting technology, MyChelle is using the best of the fruit to revitalize the skin and protect it from environmental damage. Super peptides prevent skin discoloration and even out its texture. It’s a vegan, gluten-free, and EcoCert (organic) formula that encourages the overall wellness of your skin.

Weleda: Pomegranate

Pomegranate Firming Serum

Pomegranate is a super antioxidant that keeps skin younger looking by sealing pollutants out. Besides the hydrating and firming effects if offers, I especially like its almost water-like consistency that disappears into the skin without a trace leaving your usual skincare routine uninterrupted.

Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum

It’s probably not an understatement to say that Nude Skincare has the most advanced ‘green’ anti-aging offerings on the market. Their new highly anticipated Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum combines their signature probiotics with peptides and hyaluronic acid to heal damaged skin while wrapping it in gentle moisture.

Their probiotic blend reduces cellular damage while peptides rev up collagen production, a foundation for younger skin. Their hyaluronic acid is mellow on oily skin, mighty on dry. It’s a moisture chameleon that acts the way your skin needs it to so your face feels calm and nourished.

This light serum can be used solo or under your favorite moisturizer for serious skin repair with results you can see.

$92 Whole Foods, Barneys, Space NK

NUDE Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum

Post-Summer Skin Savers

Here we are back to work and (hopefully) relaxed from the long Labor Day weekend! As the weather changes, I get more and more emails about skincare. Since basking in the sun can do a number on the skin, I have a few fixes to cure post-summertime skin problems.

Soaking up the sun can trigger oil production making skin greasier than ever. Calm inflamed skin and chase away shine with Erno Laszlo’s  fantastic Antioxidant Mattifying Complex, a hydrator/treatment that nourishes the skin with gentle hydration while matting out shine and protecting with SPF 15. This is a fantastic solution for women (and men) who have out of control oily skin because its gentle hydration encourages skin to normalize and produce less oil over time.

It’s all fun and games in the sun until you realize those rays have left their mark on your skin. DERMAdoctor has a treatment to fade away sun damage without using hydraquinone. It’s a brightener called Immaculate Correction and it even fades  stubborn melasma.

Wind, sun, and the overall neglect of the skin can lead to a nagging dullness that’s easy to spot and hard to lick. White Recovery Pure Vitamin C Intense Brightening Serum from Shu Uemura has an all-star line up of potent ingredients to banish dark spots, and give tired skin a youthful glow.

That super thin skin around your eyes is among the first to show age, largely due to squinting in the sun. Don’t forget to always wear your shades outside and use an eye cream to un-do damage like Liftactiv Retinol HA Eyes from Vichy which contains vitamins, retinol, and hyaluronic acid to reduce wrinkles and boost hydration.

There’s A Serum For That…

Between cleansing and moisturizing lies an opportunity to make big changes to your skin by using a serum. Since the nature of a moisturizer is to be heavy and thick so it can soften the skin’s surface, its ingredients struggle to make their way down into the skin where they can make changes. A serum however, is a liquid with potent ingredients that can improve the skin since its light weight allows for better penetration therefore creating more change in the skin’s chemistry.

Think about serums like those commercials for IPhones, where they declare ’there’s an app for that’ because no matter what your skin’s needs, there’s a serum for that. Here are a few hardworking serums that treat various skin concerns.

For Dry Skin

SkinMedica’s Hydrating Complex serum boosts your skin’s ability to hydrate itself by giving it a surge of weightless moisture using hyaluronic acid that dissolves almost immediately. Use it daily or just when your skin is feeling extra thirsty and lifeless.

For Red, Irritated Skin

Covering up skin that’s red and irritated is hard to achieve. You could pile a yellow-based foundation on to try and neutralize the red, or you could use PCA Skin’s Anti-Redness Serum to visibly reduce redness caused by sun exposure, rosacea, or inflamed skin. It visibly brings down redness in weeks so your skin looks calm and healthy.

For Aging Concerns

Stem cell repair and protection from future damage is what ExCELLent Future Deep Repairing Serum from Lumene is all about. It targets the very cause of wrinkles and aging skin by making sure the skin’s most important cells are in their very best condition.

To Maintain Your Skin’s Current State



Advanced Night Repair has been a best-selling star in the Lauder line for years. It’s one of the very first antioxidants on the market and its customers are loyal. Not only does it zap environmental pollutants on contact before they can do damage on the skin, it also repairs any past damage and creates an environment on the skin that’s free of inflammation so that your skin today will look just as good years from now.


Whether you’re trying to make changes to your skin, or just maintain what you have now, there’s a serum out there that’s perfect for you.

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