What’s In My Kit? My Favorite Professional Foundations

I carry several different types of foundations in my kit, but these are my tried and true little soldiers that never ever let me down. They’re all professional brands meant for photography so any skin challenge is easily disguised. When I use a powder, Dermablend’s Mineral Powder is what I often use to set because it gives additional coverage (and can be used daily on its own) but dissolves into the skin without sitting on top. Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi was a pleasant surprise I discovered years back. It’s the best non-cream I have with a ton a great coverage and some moisture that doesn’t drag over dry skin (a common problem here in Colorado.) When someone is really dry or has mature skin, I grab my Eve Pearl Dual compact because it’s the most moisturizing of the bunch and leaves behind a pretty glow that makes otherwise sallow skin look alive. When I’m on TV or have an event where I’ll be photographed, I even use Kett’s Fixx Créme which is probably my most used of the bunch. It glides on but doesn’t drag and it looks so completely natural that skin looks just as perfect in person as it does on camera. The fact that it’s waterproof is just icing on the cake.

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Makeup Before and After: Coverage and Color From tarte

Of all the BB Creams I’ve tried so far, tarte’s is the only one I’d be able to actually use in my kit. Most BB’s are skin-enhancing, so they give some coverage but not nearly enough to get skin looking great for a long day and tons of photographs. Kelly, is the bride below whose trial run for her upcoming wedding I photographed for a before and after. I used tarte’s latest foundation on her and we were both thrilled with the results. Her skin looked so great that very little concealer was needed and it looked invisible both in person and on camera.

On her cheeks I used tarte’s airblush maracuja blush, which is my new go-to for an easy flush, and then their LipSurgence lip luster on her lips for a finished look that isn’t thick or heavy.

Before...

Before…

... And After

… And After! There was a slight change in the natural lighting, but the photo isn’t re-touched at all.

tarte bb cream

tarte bb cream

tarte airblush maracuja blush

tarte airblush maracuja blush

tarte lip luster in achiote

tarte LipSurgence lip luster in achiote

Another Day Another Bride: Me at Work

Just a glimpse of me at work with a giant eagle watching over it all. No biggie. It’s actually taken at one of my very favorite wedding venues in Colorado, Crooked Willow Farms by one of the very best photographers around Travis Broxton. I’m putting together a look for a very sweet bride for her big day, in a photo where I believe I was newly pregnant.

I’d forgotten to share this a while back and I wanted to post it because I always think it’s interesting to see makeup used by artists at work. Oh, btw that’s Graftobian pressed powder and not Studio Fix of which I’m totally not a fan.

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Makeup Before and After: No More Matte Skin

Flannel shirts tied around the waist, Pearl Jam’s Ten CD, and matte skin. Ah, the 90′s. Flashback to any star walking the red carpet for a 90′s event like my girl Cameron Diaz here and you’ll see someone barely recognizable. Matting out the skin with too much powder completely hides its texture so it looks more like a mask than skin which is not only aging but incredibly dated. It just looks weird.


Ghost like Swayze. She looks so much better now.

Thankfully everywhere you look you see makeup that’s ‘luminzing’ and gives that ‘perfect glow’ to liven up otherwise dull skin. A powder-free, healthy looking complexion is youthful and modern. It’s something I strive to achieve when I work- striking that balance between luminous but not too shiny for the camera. I think I nailed it a few weeks back with Amanda, a bridesmaid with really great skin to start with but a good example of how we kept the integrity of her skin in tact without powdering it to death.


No makeup before.


And after. Click to enlarge.

Vapour Beauty is an organic line that pros go nuts over. It’s probably the only line of its kind that sees the inside of artist’s kits because of their safe ingredients and skin-perfecters that perform as well as any other.

I started by priming her skin using thier Stratus Instant Skin Perfector to add some moisture and even out her tone. If you’re in a hurry, you can use only this stick which is like a colorless BB Cream. It just wakes up the skin and makes it look more alive. After that I applied her foundation (airbrush), then for blush I warmed up their Solar Translucent Bronzer on the back of my hand and patted it into her cheeks. I don’t typically use bronzer in place of blush, but this color is so warm and dynamic that I use it for both.

Chances are you probably don’t need a setting powder. If you want a longer wear from your foundation, use a great primer first instead of a powder after and stick to cream based blushes to keep the look consistent.

Vapour is an online thing, but they sample like crazy. Check em out HERE.

Makeup Before and After: Jane Iredale and the Case for Purple Shadow

Every now and again in this wedding makeup world of neutrals and more naturals, I’ll get a bridesmaid who’s ready to smoke it up. In this case, it was a purple-hued inspiration pic via Pinterest that lit her fire. You want purple? You got it girl, lets have some fun.

Smokey plums, black liner, big lashes, and pink lips was what made the look.


Before


..After


A little closer

Like most Makeup Artists, I I carry only the best in my kit which is typically professional lines, so having a mineral line in there is a big deal. Jane Iredale made the cut because of their Eye Steppes shadow palette in goCool, a compact containing 4 plums and a pink highlight that pop like crazy. Purples are beautiful. They’re the other neutral as far as I’m concerned and they look great on everyone. Grab a lavender shadow next time instead of another boring brown and see what a difference a little color makes.

Pure Gloss in Pink Candy is all I used on her lips. This color and Soft Peach are my two most used glosses that I order again and again. Full of pigment and just the right amount of moisture, they aren’t sticky and give a long wear time.

Makeup Before and After: Elizabeth Arden Meets The Girl Next Door

Makeup is amazing. It’s not even the hard core stuff (i.e.drag, fantasy, special effects) that fascinates me most, For me it’s about how you’re only 10 minutes away from a totally different look. Courtney is one of those lucky girls whose fresh faced good looks sans makeup needs nothing more, but a gorgeous wedding awaited so I used the power of color to transform her look enough to match her special day.


Before


After

Elizabeth Arden is what I used to get her glam bride look.


I used their Limited Edition Ceramide Cream Blush in Honey for her cheek color. I applied it along her cheekbones using a fluffy brush to diffuse the color then I worked it into her skin for a natural looking flush which is key for photography.


To disguise the band from her false lash, I dotted black Liquid Eyeliner, along her lash line then I smudged a little black shadow over top to diffuse the line and give it a softened look.


Their Ultra Lipstick in Rose Aurora might be my new go-to because it’s a gorgeously unassuming color that’s flattering to all. You can give it a boost of pink or make it look more beige using different liners and glosses. It’s pretty on its own, but being totally customizable is what makes it so speical.