Purple weddings

Quick post from the past weekend. I’ve been so busy with trials and weddings that I totally forgot to post! Anyways I am posting two bridesmaid from a wedding from another weekend. The theme? Purple, purple, purple. That seems to be the go-to wedding color of this year!

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Melanie’s Wedding

Last weekend I had the pleasure to do makeup for Melanie’s wedding.  It was a super crazy weekend, especially having never been to Bella Vista (a gorgeous beautiful secluded bed and breakfast in Placerville), with no cell phone reception, it was kind of scary when I had to drive an hour out of Sacramento to meet with my bride the day before her big day.  My bride had to deal with all the last minute stuff and ended up being late to the consult – so we had very little time to do her makeup trial run before her rehearsal dinner.  Next morning, I arrived at the B&B at 8:00am sharp and got ready to do makeup for 7 ladies! Normally I would get an assistant but since I had plenty of time (get everyone done before 12:00pm), I just pretty much did the whole thing myself. I felt like a champ after.  This was a fun day to do makeup because I got to do all kinds of skin tone and textures and age group.  The ladies of this wedding party wanted really light makeup.  So this is what I ended up doing.   Let me know what you think! The bride is the first photo.

Here is the maid of honor

Consult with Stefanie bride-to-be

Today I had the pleasure of doing a bridal consult on Stefanie.  She is actually a professional wedding planner as well!  She wanted a vibrant purple eye shadow with some bright colors on the inner corners of the eyes to make it pop.  Stefanie really wanted a pop of color to match her outgoing fun personality.  As for her wedding, her colors are blue and purple.

For brides, I think adding a pop of color to your eye shadow is definitely something fun and great way to express your personality, not that I have anything against neutral palettes.  However, to keep things elegant and tasteful, I would recommend like what Stefanie has here, choose to express your zest with a statement color.  In terms of her lashes, I gave Stefanie the recommendation to go for fuller lashes so that it’ll show up in pictures better.  When I first showed her the faux lashes, she was a bit skeptical because they were really “big”, but because it was a natural finish with an invisible adjustable band, I told her to give it a try.  The lashes fit perfectly into her existing lash line without looking like she’s wearing faux lashes. Needless to say, she was happy that I made her go for the bigger set of lashes.

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Asian brides

This weekend I had two back to back Asian brides. My first bride is Michelle, who opt for a more glamours, dramatic lips and eyes look for her wedding. Those red lips will look timeless and so elegant in photos. My second client is bride-to-be Stephanie for consultation, who really wanted me to create more depth with her eyes without looking like she’s wearing a whole lot of makeup, and wanted a muted fusia color for lips (great color btw, as it makes teeth look whiter!)
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Busy wedding season coming soon!

Hi everyone, I’ve been so swamped during the last few weeks of grad school and trying to do as many things as once! My May and June are completely booked with weddings and events during the weekends.  I am also graduating on the 18th! How exciting!

After grad school, I am not sure if I’ll continue doing makeup professionally.  Reason being is that once I get a full-time job and relocating to a different city, trying to pick up clients and start doing makeup again on the side will be tough.  However, during grad school, I’ve really enjoyed my part-time job as a makeup artist.  It not only brought in good side cash for broke college student like me, I also had loads of fun doing it.

Here is Amy, my friend who I did makeup for recently. she wanted a subtle smokey eye but no lashes.

 

Prom

Meet Jane, she is a senior and attending her senior ball in the evening. The dress she had picked out was a turquoise color dress. We wanted something that wasn’t too matchy, and decided on going with something more neutral. To bring out her face, we wanted to emphasis her skin tone with some subtle but bright colors. I applied airbrush foundation on her because she wanted something that has a really strong coverage. This is the look we ended up with.

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Which foundation is right for me? Airbrush vs. Mineral vs. Traditional

Authors Note: While the following is an excellent synopsis of each system of makeup and its results, bear in mind that all makeup is only as good or bad as the artist applying it. Application and skill will always be the more significant factor regarding any makeup service. As neutral as this article attempts to be, other makeup artists may agree or disagree with it depending on their own personal experience. The actual makeup product does not make or break the look, regardless of what makeup medium is used. It is the artist and their method alone that truly create long-lasting, flawless and impeccable beauty, and therefore should be considered with more care than the product used.

Makeup today has evolved so far from even 20 years ago, where a slick and oily foundation dominated the main market and therefore, by lack of option, determined what women wore. Today, we have a wide range of products at our disposal, from oil-free, non-transferable, medicated, and even makeup that touts claims to make skin look younger. When it comes to a big event, be it photo, wedding, or just plain fun, the claims makeup lines can make to prove their product worthy of your hard earned dollar can be somewhat contradicting. Here’s the real scoop on the three main stream and most requested types of makeup.

Airbrush:

What it is: A light-weight makeup applied through an air gun machine that produces a thin, even layer of makeup and creates a very matte finish.

How it’s used: A small amount of a very thin makeup designed for air brush use is put into a chamber of a gun. When the machine is turned on and the gun trigger pulled, a light spray of makeup comes out of the gun in a fine mist.

Airbrush makeup has become extremely popular in the past few years. This is largely due to perfect complexion models that are “airbrushed” to give every part of their body a flawless finish. Most women confuse “airbrush” with makeup, when it is actually a technique used in PhotoShop, a picture alteration program, to make the models look flawless. Airbrush makeup is non-transferable, meaning that slight rubbing or brushing against something or someone will not cause the makeup to come off of the face.  Black clothes will remain black after hugging someone wearing airbrush makeup.

Airbrush makeup, like any other makeup, has it’s ups and downs. On the upside, once it’s on, dry rubbing won’t make it transfer, and unless it gets wet, it won’t go anywhere until you wash it off. On the other hand, if it does become wet thru crying or sweating, you run the risk of it streaking. Imagine a dusty table, if you ran your finger across it, you could clearly see a line from the surface underneath, even if the colors are the same. And like a dusty table, once that line is there, you can do nothing to blend it back. The table must be wiped entirely clean. Same thing with airbrush makeup, if the makeup for any reason gets wet and leaves a streak, there is nothing than can be done to blend it. Even airbrushing over the area will not blend the streak. The solution to this problem is to constantly be aware of any wetness and to maintain it throughout the day by dabbing your tear ducts and remaining cool so you don’t sweat heavily. If your attending an event where you’re positive you will stay and remain dry, airbrush makeup can offer that red-carpet finish you have always wanted.

Mineral:

What it is: Several minerals are treated through various oxidizing processes to create different shades, and then crushed together to form fine powders that can be applied to the face and used as makeup.

How it’s used: Mineral makeup is usually applied with a brush, although it can be used with a sponge for thicker and more precise applications. Some lines offer different steps to wearing their mineral makeup, including primers that are applied to the face before the foundation to provide holding power, create an even porosity on the skins surface, and a smoother, more matte finish all around.

Mineral makeup is another makeup that has taken the nation by storm over the past few years. With science and research looking into the effect we have had on our planet over the past hundreds of thousands of years, we are starting to become more aware of our environment, and therefore, more aware of our own health and well being. The organic industry has soared to new heights, as we search to become a healthier nation filled with natural living options as opposed to chemically enhanced lifestyles. Makeup is no exception. When the chemicals that were used to manufacture makeup were exploited in a whirlwind of propaganda, mineral makeup became popular and the chemicals in our every day makeup caught some flack for why our skin is too dry, too oily, too acne, too wrinkled, so on and so forth. Using mineral makeup creates a feeling of good health, both on the inside and out.

As wonderful as mineral makeup is, it’s not suitable for everyone in every situation. Women suffering from acne, or getting at any time facial treatments that compromise the integrity of their skin, will greatly benefit from the use of mineral makeup as their daily main stay. Its minimal ingredients assure that no unnecessary chemicals are being added to their already sensitive skin, and creates a minimal reaction to any treatments they may be under going. It is not appropriate, though, to use mineral makeup in any situation where photographs are an important part of the event. Its natural composition includes minerals with reflective properties, creating an almost pearly finish. When worn while taking a picture, the light from the camera and any surrounding light will reflect off those minerals, creating a bright and distinctly lighter face than any other body part. This makeup, while a great choice for daily wear, is simply not camera ready.

Traditional:

What it is: Pancake, liquid, cream, or pressed powder that is usually applied with a sponge or finger tips. Traditional makeup comes in the widest variety of any other makeup, with every shade available. It’s also the most versatile of all the makeup; it can be as basic as a sheer tint of coverage, or combined with other properties to create a makeup that targets specific problems.

How it’s used: This particular makeup is the only makeup that, given the appropriate formula is chosen, can be used in any situation at any given time. It can be applied many different ways, from brush methods used with thicker foundations, to finger tips used for light and well blended applications.

Ah, the days as kids when we would sneak into our mother’s vanity to smear that thick, gooey substance across our faces and prance around as if we were going to a party. This is probably the makeup that is sitting in your case right now. It can be liquid, it can be pressed, and it may even come in a stick form that you have to twist up. Whatever form it takes, the right formula can do wonders for your look. Women with dry or mature skin benefit from the thicker of the traditional foundations. As their skin typically needs large amounts of hydration, the oils that compose of a cream based foundation lend kindly to their skin, creating a smoother finish. Young adult women tend to prefer a more liquid, oil free foundation or a pressed powder with good coverage. The formula that suites you best would be based on your skin type, and with many more options to be listed than could possible fit into this article. Nothing but good research and trial error can lead you to the formula that’s right for you. Then the teenagers have their makeup too. Usually a cheap, watery substance to make them “look” and “feel” like they are wearing makeup and to cover the occasional pimple, investing large amounts of money is not usually needed. However, if the teen as severe acne or other skin problems, you will want to talk to a dermatologist and find the best solution for their skin, as their makeup may be part of the problem. If you or your teen is fair and the skin in good condition, the best bet is a tinted moisturizer with a high SPF or sunscreen underneath.

Traditional makeup, put simply, can be amazing or disastrous depending on what the formula is and how it’s applied. This is the one makeup that it totally dependent on the person applying it- even a good, high quality product can look awful if applied in a sloppy fashion. And a low quality, inappropriate formula can some times be adjusted with an experienced hand to create the right look. And although, like its main competitor airbrush, it typically does rub off slightly or fade a little over the course of the day, it is highly bendable therefore anything can be fixed within seconds. It’s my personal belief, off the record, that this is the most versatile, therefore the best option, for wedding makeup.

Every makeup has its own virtues, and its own sins. Ultimately, your personal preferences will be the biggest factor in choosing what you wear on what occasions. However, if you take nothing else from this, understand: The best kind of makeup you can wear is the makeup that is customized to fit YOU. Don’t buy into the propaganda about how this versus that is oh so much better. In reality, that foundation may be great for their skin, but your skin has different properties, different assets, and different problems of its own. A great makeup artist won’t have a set way of doing makeup; she’ll have a variety of styles to choose from so she can create the best look for you and your event. So what if your beautiful sister-in-law had her makeup done with the fancy airbrush machine? So what if your organic-yet-so-cool co-worker ONLY wears mineral makeup? And if your rich Grandma swears by that $400 bottle of liquid foundation? Who cares? Trust me when I say this, no one is going to look at your makeup and know if it’s one of those three, or how much you spent on it. They are only going to see how beautiful you are.

Lesson and wedding

This last weekend I had the pleasure of doing both a lesson and also a wedding in the same weekend.  My client was extremely happy with the results of the lesson – she had learned how to properly apply eye makeup on mono lids, and also learned how to create definition by using different colors to create the illusion of depth.

My second client for the weekend was Shannon.  She was a glowy bride who pretty much allowed me to do whatever I want as long as she will look glowy, natural, and beautiful.  She didn’t want anything heavy, and opted for a more neutral look.  Recently I had just purchased the Naked Palette from Urban Decay because of all the hype that’s been going on about what a great palette it is, so I thought I could try using only the eye shadow colors that palette on her.  Luckily for me, Shannon was totally cool about it and she liked the results!

I was pretty impressed with the palette as it offered a great range of neutral colors that I do think is very suitable for wedding makeup.  Of course, the UD palette wasn’t the only thing I used on Shannon.

 

What’s inside a makeup artist’s makeup bag

I’ve always been curious about what kind of products other professionals use. Like what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush dentists themselves use, or what kind of night cream dermatologists swear by… etc.  So I decided to post my makeup bag.  As a professional makeup artist, one golden rule I swear by when it comes to buying makeup: never pay full price.

The trick to buying makeup isn’t picking whatever off the shelve that you think looks “cool”; this includes those crazy electric blue color eyeshadow and creamy glitter jars.  They’re fun to look at and buy, but chances are you, you will never use them. At the same time, avoid buying the same shades over and over again.  I know people that will buy 10 shades of brown and 5 shades of black, all because they think they’re all slightly different from one another. Another rule is don’t buy makeup because it’s cheap.  I know some women will buy a shade a foundation at 1/5 of the original price, but it’s 3 shades too dark, what’s the point? You can mix it with a lighter foundation, but then again, that means you’ll need to buy a lighter foundation to match, now you have 2 jars of useless foundations.  Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to look at outlet stores or wait for sales to happen to buy some extras from your favorite brands. I’ve hauled away with hundreds of dollars worth of makeup by paying a fraction of the amount by waiting or checking out outlet stores.

Some of the products I use and LOVE:

CONCEALER

Photogenic Concealer by LANCOME – too bad they discontinued this product line! It is the most amazing little jar of the most non-sticky and smooth coverage concealer.  But because I can no longer buy this product, I have found the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (in a square box) to be a good replacement.  I also use YSL’s concealer/highlighter pen for right under my eyes, it totally brightens up the face.  It’s a bit pricey, and Revlon makes a good cheaper alternative.

FACE

I have some of the greasiest skin known to mankind.  Most people might not notice it, well that’s all because I use the right kind of products to conceal this atrocity. Because of how oily my skin is, I mostly only use powder foundation.  To offset my greasy skin, I sometimes use a primer to get rid of the shine.  I use MAC’s Beauty Balm, which works great as a primer, tinted moisturizer, as well as sunscreen.  My two favorite  foundations are Laura Mercier’s mineral loose powder, and MAC’s Studio Fix compact powder.  I love the natural feel and great coverage of LM’s mineral powder, but MAC’s compact is a good solid coverup that you can get away without applying concealer underneath.  And both seem to manage my shiny face sans problem. A cheaper and very good alternative to LM’s mineral is L’oreal’s mineral foundation.

CHEEKS

At any given day, I’ll have at least one bronzer and one blush on.  I hate shiny stuff, it just doesn’t look good on me.  It makes my oily skin look even oilier, so I stick to the matte stuff, and plus, it also works as a contouring powder.  You really can’t do contouring with any shimmer, because it just looks bad.  I use Stila’s shade 1 bronzer, and Shu Umera’s blush (both matte).  The Cargo tin you see, is slightly shimmery, and I only use it right on the apples of my cheeks, just small dabs is all I can handle with the shinny stuff.

EYES

If I want my eye makeup to last more than 3 hours, I am going to use Urban Decay’s super awesome Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I’ve had this stuff on and lasted through a rough night and woke up the next day with flawless eyeshadow still.  This stuff works, and it’s amazing.  In terms of eyeshadows to use, I don’t have any particular preference.  I love them all.  If you use UD’s primer and good brushes, you can make 99 cent eyeshadow look and last as long as the $55 Chanel stuff.  In the photo, I have a small compact variety from Lancome of a bunch of different gold and brown shadows, a deep solid black from Bobbi Brown, and also a very light shimmer (for highlight) as well.  Personally, I only carry neutral and wearable colors in my makeup bag, and if I want something like Chronic Electric Green, I’ll dip in to my professional makeup kit for that.  For eyeliner, I use MAC’s fluidline in blacktrack.  It lasts all day through tears and sweat, doesn’t smear or budge, it is the best stuff if you’re serious about eyeliners. I love Almay’s long lasting eyeliner as a cheaper alternative that achieves similar result but with a fraction of the price.  For brows, I use Lancome’s eyebrow pencil in Taupe/dark blonde.  Even though I am asian, I find the dark blonde eyebrow pencil to be most flattering without looking like I just tatooed my eyebrows on my face. For mascara, there are two that I swear by, and they are both made by Lancome.  I love the Deficils as well as Hypnoses mascaras.  The famous lengthening, separating and lash defining power, this shit is amazing, and Lancome makes the best mascaras hands down.

LIPS

I love Revlon’s Just Bitten lip stain, it’s very cheap, and it gives it a very different look to the lips.  I like Burt’s Bee’s lip balm, so I use that on top of the lip stain to make it look like my lips have color, without looking like I have a lot of stuff on it.  For lipstick, I LOVE MAC’s lipstick call Lustering in this sheen/lustre finish.  Gorgeous on any skin color, and makes my teeth look white because of the blue undertone.  I also have a bright red lipgloss from Lancome should I feel “adventurous”.  I use a 99cent ULTA lip liner that’s just 2 shades brighter than my lip color as base.

TOOLS

Good brushes are important.  In fact, they are so important, that it really makes a difference in application.  Without good brushes, doesn’t matter how much money you spent on your makeup, it won’t look good unless you have the right tools to apply it.  At the same time, with the right tools, you can make cheap stuff look fabulous! I love the mini kabuki brush from Eco Tools as the applicator for my mineral/powder foundations.  The synthetic hairs are very soft and it just grabs the particles for a very soft airbrushed finish.  Also, it’s also a good idea to carry a pencil sharpener.  You’ll always need it!

Some photos from the Makeover Madness project

Thanks to friends who were willing to lend me their faces for this project, I was able to do quite a few makeovers!

Here are some of the photos! These will be uploaded and added to the main site gallery.

The best part about the before and after photos is that none of the images have been REETOUCHED in anyway! So what you see is what you get!

Let me know what you think!