Before & After: Just the Basics

Liz, a  bride with an upcoming wedding I got to work with last week has pretty much the ideal face; big eyes, full cheeks, and pouty lips.  I can see why she isn’t a fan of the overly made-up look since she really doesn’t need to wear much day-to-day, so I created a timeless look that she (thankfully) loved using the basics that I reach for over and again in my kit.

What I used:

Face:

Primer: Hourglass no 28
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Setting Spray: Caudalîe Beauty Elixir
Powder: Koh gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

Eyes:

Primer: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base Lavender Pink
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2
Liner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Maker
Mascara: NYX Doll Eye
Lashes: Ardell #110
Brows: Anastasia Brow Duo

Cheeks:

Smashbox Blush Rush

Lips:

Liner: Philosophy The Supernaural (discontinued)
Gloss: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss 104 Sweet Heart

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A few things:

I’m finding that my go-to concealer these days is Smashbox High Definition. It’s creamy and covers everything so well but also blends into the skin with minimal creasing.

I start with the face first, once you get the skin right the color is easy. I spray the Caudalîe Beauty Elixir on the skin as I blend the foundation which helps it to melt into the face leaving the foundation looking invisible.

Koh Gen Do has pretty much the best everything when it comes to primers, foundations, and powder. I buy it, I use it on myself and in my kit, I love it. Seriously, this line is hard to beat. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s worth it because of how it conceals while leaving the skin so natural and almost dewey looking. Their products do what’s promised.

Everyone in the world should own that NYX gloss. It’s the prettiest shimmery nude ever.

The Denver Wedding of RG3 and Rebecca Liddicoat

Sometimes I get to work with people in the spotlight. Call them famous, or known, or high profile- but I just call them clients. Of course days like these are fun and exciting, lifting the veil for a moment to get a peek of a different world. But as a Makeup Artist for weddings, it’s most rewarding to see genuine love and appreciation for family which is what I experienced over the weekend working with Rebecca Liddicoat, the now-wife of Robert Griffin III a.k.a RG3- Heisman Trophy winner and superstar quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the few times I met her, I found Rebecca to be sweet, unguarded, funny, and so laid back. She doesn’t have a high maintenance bone in her body and she and her family are easily one of the nicest families I’ve worked with in the 16 years I’ve been doing this. It makes stories like THIS totally understandable. Her sister Lindsey was awesome, for months she coordinated and planned many of the details of the wedding, which was beautiful without being over-the-top. Everything was just very normal- aside from the guest list of course. THIS writeup in The Washington Post quoting gests as saying how beautiful the event was, and how RG3 encouraged everyone to get up and introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know because everyone in the room was family now pretty much sums it up. From what I experienced, these are two really genuine people who were raised with strong family values. It’s a good pairing and I wish them all the best.

Now, ready for the makeup talk?

Rebecca is pretty with great skin so bringing out her best wasn’t too difficult. She wanted a little bit of drama with some smokey eyes and big lashes. Here’s the full rundown of what I used.

Primer/ Moisturizer: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè
Foundation: Kett Fixx Creme
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Powder: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder
Setting Spray: NYX Matte Finish

Eye Shadow Primer: MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream #13
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Eye Liner: Laura Mercier Kohl Liner Extreme
Lashes: Ardell 120
Mascara: CoverGirl Professional

Cheeks: Laura Mercier Créme Cheek Color in Oleander
Bronzer: Jouer Mineral Powder Bronzer
Lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge #2
Lip Liner: Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Baby Lips

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Venue: Four Seasons Denver
Event Planner: Kate Kelly, Catering Sales Manager

Photo Via @pierregarcon Instagram

Photo Via @pierregarcon Instagram

Makeup Before and After: Less is More

Sometimes the brides I see look really good without any makeup. Such was the case with a recent bride whose skin was glowing, lashes were long, and lips so rosy they looked to be glossed already. Now what? Enhance, enhance, enhance. Luckily she didn’t wear too much makeup as part of her daily routine so she was happy with a natural-glam look that would take her look up a notch in order to match the formality of the day without going overboard.

Here’s a glance of her before and after.


Before..


…And after


A closer look. See what I mean? Even her teeth are sparkly white!

 

What I used: Smashbox Glambox Cover Shoot Kit

This kit really is everything you need in a box and what I used for most of her look. I wanted to keep her shadow soft and pretty since she doesn’t often wear any, so I used their neutral Photo Op trio – Honey all over, Ambient the shimmery golden tone on the lid with the dark brown (Spice) on the outer part of her lid as well as under her eyes for a drop shadow effect.

I lined her upper and lower lid using the charcoal shade in their Cream Liner Duo to give a nice base for her thick lashes. I added a full strip of false lashes (Modlash #22) to give a little more volume with a few coats of Full Exposure mascara on top to blend them together with her natural lash.

For her cheeks, I wanted a cheery pink so I swept Callback Cream Cheek Color on using a natural hair fluffy brush until it looked flushy and bright.

Her lips have so much natural color to them, she just needed a hint of Tabloid gloss.


Glambox Cover Shoot Kit

Other products used:

Skin Prep: Trilogy Rosehip Oil
Foundation: Kett Fixx Cream Makeup in N3
Concealer: Temptu Pro Concealer Wheel
Bronzer: Jouer
Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent, just a dab to set her eye concealer and also pressed into her t-zone.
Setting Spray: Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finish

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: 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.

What’s New From Smashbox? Full Exposure Mascara, Limitless Lip Stain, Softbox Palette

I realized in the car the other day that I was literally wearing 7 coats of mascara. No, I don’t rock a Tammy Faye lash, but I do lay down a lengthening formula (a few times) before a volumizing one (a few more times) which I’ve found gives me super long, separated lashes. Do I like the look? Yes. The process? Not at all. Full Exposure Mascara was literally formulated for gals like me who are getting their layer on and using two different types of mascara for a long, defined look we all crave. I can honestly say that Full Exposure gives a fullness in one coat that usually takes me 4 or 5. I’m typically a drugstore mascara girl, but this is one I’ll actually buy.

I didn’t really have a go-to lip stain for my brides who wanted a stay in place solution that wasn’t heavy or thick. Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm was invented for the girl who wants color without goopy weight. It’s a kissable, drinkable, totally bas-ass lip stain with a tinted balm that you smooth on top of lips to keep them fresh and shiny. It’s now what I recommend to all of my brides and women on the go who don’t like to re-apply color.

Softbox Shadow Palette is one of my favorite palettes in a long time. It’s a perfect mix of liners and shadows in sexy grays and bronzy coppers with a few neutrals tossed in, it truly is an all-you-need grab and go for countless looks. Also included is a brush you’ll use for years, and one of my favorite eye primers around.