Obsessed! with MAC Soft Savour

You guys! I'm totally obsessed with this soft nudish-pink color - it's perfect for day and night and works great on my brides.  I saw this dupe list on Pinterest from Temptalia and wanted to share!  It's the perfect nude-y color for someone who doesn't want to go too nude - if you haven't tried this yet, I'd highly recommend it!  It can't be bought as a stand-alone item though, so if you want this bad boy, you're going to have to purchase the "All About Nude" goodie box from MAC!

2014 Pantone Colors

via Pantone.com
Behold, the 2014 Pantone colors!  I'm sure we all enjoyed having Emerald Green as our 2013 Pantone color of the year, but it's time for us to be on the lookout for these beautiful 2014 colors.  Whether it's makeup or fashion, these colors will be sure to dominate every store, brand, and beauty item.  I can already picture myself rocking a Dazzling Blue-hued eyeliner, paired with a Cayenne-colored lipstick.  Hemlock is my nail polish color of choice.  

Color Ideas:

1. Dazzling Blue: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Pencil, "Abyss" - $19 

2. Cayenne: MAC Mineralize Lipstick, "Style Surge" - $22
Photo credits: NotSoFrivolous.com

3.  Hemlock: Essie, "Turqoise & Caicos" - $8
via TheDailyVarnish.com

Quality vs. Quantity - The Ultimate Eyeshadow Dilemma

I was SO happy to see that someone finally put their two cents in regarding the mass-produced 88-color eyeshadow palettes (and everything else in between).  This article from Kevin James Bennett calls out the differences between the 88-Eyeshadow Palettes from BH Cosmetics, Coastal Scents, etc. and other eyeshadows from L'Oreal, Make Up For Ever, Ben Nye, and the like. 

*Click the link above to read the full article!

To make a long story short - I, too, was once swayed by the promise of 88-100 pigmented eyeshadows for roughly $15.  They are easy to find, cheap to ship, and also mass produced in China.  They are the exact same palettes marketed under different brands.  Is there anything wrong with them? Not necessarily - but if you're looking for quality vs. quantity, you're much better off doing your own research and figuring out which brand offers eyeshadows at a lower price/gram.  If you read Kevin James Bennett's full article, he breaks down the cost/gram of several popular eyeshadow brands and you might be shocked to see the results!

Coastal Scents 88-Color Palette

True, it might seem excessive to be paying $10+ for one or two eyeshadows when you can buy 100 colors, but I've always believed that it's better to pay more for a product that's good quality & long-lasting, versus pay less for more variety/more colors at a cheaper price at the expense of lower performance.

Pixie Epoxy for All that Glitters

I was so happy to be given the chance to do another makeup photo session with Maureen, the mastermind behind Maureen Koo Calligraphy.  Since we did a pretty natural look last time, I decided to create a glittery smokey eye for her to wear for her night out!

Before & After

A closer look..

My secret weapon for this shoot was a bottle of Pixie Epoxy.  For anyone who works with loose pigments, shadows, and glitter, this magical bottle will be sure to become your best friend.  I don't know about you, but I find it almost impossible to put glitter pigment or even some shimmery/glittery eyeshadows on without fallout all over my face.  While the glitter is supposed to stay on my eyelid, by the end of the day, my entire face becomes a glittery mess instead.   

A quick dab of Pixie Epoxy helped me keep this MAC glitter pigment pot intact on her eyelids.  The best part? (Besides the fact that an enormous tube only costs $7!) The epoxy enhances the color of the pigment (whatever color it is that you choose to use) and keeps it on throughout the day without feeling like you've got anything heavy on your lids.  A very happy Maureen texted me the next day to report that she had absolutely no glitter fallout all night ;).

Finishing Powders

Whether you are dry or oily, finishing powder is a product that completes any look.  When I first started using makeup, I was young & paranoid - I wanted a flawless-looking complexion using the least amount of products possible.  I figured the less product I wore, the less likely I would induce a breakout.  I was convinced that as long as I used the most long-lasting, oil-free, matte-finish foundation out there, I would look just as good at 8pm as I did when I first applied my makeup at 8am earlier that day.
The result?  I obviously learned the hard way that no, wearing only foundation was not the solution to the flawless complexion I desperately wanted to create & maintain for 12+ hours.  Throughout my many years of experience wearing and doing makeup for a living, I learned that every little detail counts, which directs me to the point of this blog post:  Finishing powder is your best friend if you wear liquid or cream foundations. 
There are a plethora of finishing powders out there, and not all are made equal.  While some of them are geared toward oil-control (MAC Blot Powder), others are geared toward completing an overall look, to soften the face and create a smooth appearance.  Here are a couple of my favorites: 

MAC Blot Pressed Powder, $24 (0.42oz)

MAC Blot Pressed Powder is probably one of the most popular pressed powders out there used for oil-control.  It comes in Light, Medium, Medium Dark, and Dark.  I would imagine that most people would fall under Medium because it is very sheer and works for a wide range of skin tones.  I am a NC30 and use it in "Medium," and my friend, who is a NW42, also uses this shade.  This powder keeps me oil-free for about 4 hours before I need to touch up.  My one gripe about this product is that it is not as finely milled as other powders out there, so over-applying this product (which I am guilty of doing) will definitely make you look a bit cakey. 
Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder, $29 (0.32oz)

I received this Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder from Sephora's 500-point perk in May.  Now, mind you, I am not generally a fan of loose powder.  I think that loose powder is messy and given the fact that I am accident prone & do my makeup daily in the car, on the freeway.. (I know.. no need to judge) - I was more than hesitant to try this out.  I figured this would be another Make Up For Ever HD Powder, and boy, was I afraid of the "white cast" that silica powder gives in flash photography.  However, I was delighted to discover that this finishing powder instantly smoothes out my skin, keeps my makeup shine-free much longer than the MAC powder, and I've had no new breakouts since trying this!  While this is my HG (homegirl ;) ) product, I definitely would not recommend this powder for bridal makeup, because you have to be so careful about the application to not get that white flashback when taking photos.  Better safe than sorry, right? 
CARGO Blu_Ray HD Powder, $32 (0.28oz)
CARGO's Blu-Ray HD Powder is my go-to for special events makeup.  This powder is so finely milled that it is undetectable over foundation - perfect for brides who don't want to look overly done or don't want another heavy layer of makeup over their faces.  This high-definition powder is made to be used on film/photography.  It's a great powder to set makeup with and also comes in 4 shades - 10, 20, 30, and 40.  Again, it is so sheer though that I believe almost everyone could get away with a 20 or 30. 

What are your favorite powders/products to set your makeup with? 

Wedding Shoot - Fullerton, CA

I am, as ever, lagging behind in updating this blog with my latest projects, so here are some photos of a bridal party that I did at the end of June.  I must admit, I was pretty concerned because it was literally the warmest day of the month and the wedding was outdoors at 3pm - not exactly the best conditions to stay sweat & shine-free if you ask me, but definitely the best conditions to test out the longevity of makeup & setting spray ;).

The beautiful bride, Katy.
Products Used:
Face: Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion
Sheer Cover Concealer "Light"
Chanel Perfection Lumiere 10 Beige and 30 Beige
Cargo Blue-Ray Powder #10
Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray
Cheeks/Contour/Highlight:  NARS "Laguna" Bronzer
MAC "Wedge" Eyeshadow
Benefit "High Beam"
NARS "Orgasm"
Brows: MAC Brow Pencil "Lingering"
Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion
LORAC Pro Palette "Nude" (Inner corner) "Gold," "Sable," & "Expresso" (Crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Bourbon"
Chanel le Volume Mascara "Noir"
MAC Fluidline "Blacktrack"
Lips: Sheer Cover Lipliner "Natural"
MAC Lipstick "Crosswires"

My bride, Katy, was very concerned about looking overdone. She normally does not wear any makeup and wanted to make sure that she still looked like herself. After getting a good idea of what look she wanted (natural, blushing bride look, enhanced features), we were able to achieve a look that she felt comfortable with and a look that would also look great in photos. 

The mother of the bride, Barbara.
Products Used:
Face: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Sheer Cover Concealer "Light"
Chanel Perfection Lumiere 10 Beige and MAKE UP For Ever 127
Cargo Blue-Ray Powder #10
Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray
Cheeks/Contour/Highlight: NARS "Laguna" Bronzer
MAC "Wedge" Eyeshadow
Benefit "High Beam"
Chanel Blush "In Love"
Brows: MAC Brow Pencil "Fling"
Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion
LORAC Pro Palette "Nude" (Inner corner) "Mauve" & "Sable" (crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Bourbon"
Chanel le Volume Mascara "Noir"
MAC Fluidline "Blacktrack"
Lips: Chanel Lipliner "Nude"
MAC Lipstick "On Hold"
Barbara, Katy's mom, is not a makeup-wearer by any means.  Her main concern was that she would look like a raccoon and that her face would feel heavy.  I was able to convince her to let me put minimal foundation on her to get the appearance of a flawless complexion so that she would glow in photos. 

 A guest at the wedding, Belen.
Products Used:
Face: Murad Skin Perfecting Primer
Sheer Cover Duo Concealer "Light/Medium"
Graftobian Foundation Creme "Buttermilk"
Chanel Perfection Lumiere 60 Beige and MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream #27
Cargo Blue-Ray Powder #30
Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray
Cheeks/Contour/Highlight: NARS "Laguna" and "Casino" Bronzer
MAC "Wedge" Eyeshadow
Benefit "High Beam"
Chanel Blush "Tweed Sienna"
Brows: MAC Brow Pencil "Lingering" and "Strut"
Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion
LORAC Pro Palette "Nude" (Inner corner), "Sable," "Expresso" & "Slate" (Crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Perversion"
MAC Fluidline "Blacktrack"
Lashes: Chanel le Volume Mascara "Noir"
Falsies - a pair I picked up from Downtown LA, but a similar pair from MAC here.
Lips: Chanel Lipliner "Nude"
Tom Ford Lipstick "Pink Dusk"

Belen was so happy with her look that she sent me this photo the next day to show me how well her makeup held up in 100-degree heat & a night of dancing!

Belen, the girlfriend of Katy's brother, had one request: The bolder, the better.  With this in mind, we created a foxy, smoldering smokey eye look for her.  I emphasized her large eyes with dark eyeliner and false lashes from a vendor in DTLA.  With the help of Graftobian's creme foundation, I was able to create the appearance of clear, radiant skin. 
I was so happy to hear that Katy, Barbara, and Belen had no problems with the longevity of their makeup throughout the entire wedding ceremony & the reception that followed.  It was such a rewarding experience to show Katy & Barbara that it was possible to have makeup on without looking (and feeling!) overdone.

Photoshoot with Founder of Maureen Koo Calligraphy

I have been so swamped with work and wedding gigs that I have not updated this in over a month!  I just wanted to share with you some photos from a photoshoot that I had with Maureen Koo, the founder of Maureen Koo Calligraphy.  Like myself, Maureen is an avid player in the wedding industry.  Her beautiful work has been displayed on numerous wedding invitations, menus, and signs. 


Products used:
Face: Missha Perfect M BB Cream #27
NARS Bronzer "Laguna"
Tarte Amazonian 12-Hour Blush "Exposed"
Benefit "High Beam"
Sheer Cover Concealer "Light"
Brows: MAC Brow Pencil "Spiked"
Eyes: LORAC Pro Palette
MAC Fluidline "Blacktrack"
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Perversion"
How cute is Remy, her 3-year-old Frenchie!?
During our photoshoot, Maureen fell in love with the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream that I applied on her. (For reference, she is about a NC30-NC35 and Missha #27 Honey Beige worked perfectly for her skin tone). Missha's M Perfect Cover BB Cream has been my go-to for years - and after they came out with their darker colors (#27 and #31), I became a lifelong convert. I have used almost every foundation out there- but being the extremely oily, acne-prone person that I am, I was never able to use a foundation for very long without having to find a new one that would not break me out or oxidize on me. Missha's M Perfect Cover has become my absolute favorite everyday foundation - it has enough coverage to conceal my dark spots & acne scars, and stays on nicely throughout the day. It is blendable enough to sheer out for those who want a lighter coverage as well. For those of you who are on the fence, I highly recommend this product. The best part? Misshaus is offering a Buy One, Get One promotion on their site right now. Now I'm tempted to buy some extras ... 

A Fresh Start

Hi Everyone!

I'm excited to finally start blogging officially - My friends are constantly asking me for my advice & opinions, and I am oftentimes asked why I do not have a blog.  After all, it is pretty common knowledge around town that I'm quite opinionated and am not afraid to speak my mind, so I will make it my goal here to share my knowledge and tips with my beloved readers.

A little about me:  I am 23 years old, and have been fascinated by makeup since I was a little girl.  I was always amazed by how cosmetics can change a person - not just physically, but also mentally.  There is a certain confidence that a woman exudes when she puts on her Chanel lipstick or a pair of false eyelashes that is indescribable ...and actually pretty magical

As a child, I was not allowed to wear makeup - blame it on my traditional, wonderful Asian mother.  As a result of this, I used to take my sister's old MAC eyeliners and hide them in my backpack.  Once I got to school, I would apply it before homeroom in high school.  My first "luxury" cosmetic product? A Lancome Juicy Tube in Bolole, a delicate, juicy red with gold flecks. 

Fast forward several years and I am now a self-employed freelance makeup artist, as well as a freelance makeup artist for Chanel.  From 9-5, I work in a corporate marketing company within the beauty industry.  I am so blessed to be working in the industry that I am so passionate about every day (literally -- Weekends? What're those?) and this blog will be my outlet to express my thoughts & share my product knowledge.