A Big Thank You to Lashem and Chrislie Formulations

I was so happy to receive a package of goodies from Lashem & Chrislie Formulations in the mail last weekend!  I have never tried any of their products and was extremely humbled to learn that they are a fan of my work and wanted to send me some items to try and discuss a potential collaboration.

How cute is their tote bag?! I received a package filled with eyeshadow palettes, a contour kit, a lipliner, mascara, brow tint, eye cream, false lashes, and nail polish.

For those of you who are not familiar with their products, Lashem's brand features mascaras, eyeliners, lash boosters, and lash/brow enhancing serums + anti-aging skin care for the everyday woman.  Luckily for me, these products are formulated with gentle, non-irritating ingredients - I'm extremely sensitive to harsh chemicals in products, so these products are right up my alley ;-) .

Chrislie Formulations is Lashem's sister brand and they feature cosmetics like eyeshadow palettes, contour kits & lip, nail and eye products.

My first impressions:

  • I really like the packaging of the Lashem products - smooth and sleek, they look high-end and would look great on my vanity or in my purse. 
  • Confession: I had to swatch the gorgeous nail polish (because we all know how obsessed I am with all that glitter!) and I am pretty obsessed!
I will be trying out these products throughout the next full week or so and will report back :-) Again, a huge thanks to Lashem and Chrislie Formulations for their generosity!  

Entourage Wedding Makeup at The Langham, Pasadena

Today was a busy day at the Langham - call time was 5am and Thy & I worked through 2pm to stay for touch-ups!  We successfully completed the entire entourage's makeup in time for the church ceremony.  The Langham is undoubtedly my favorite venue of all time, and I never get tired of being there.  I wish I had more photos to share with you guys, but it was so hectic (not to mention lighting was so terrible!) that I was not able to take photos of everyone - Here's a teaser - with finished photos to follow :)

January 2015 Wedding Bridal Makeup Preview

I had the pleasure of doing a bridal makeup preview for Jenny recently for her wedding in January 2015.  She is such a funny and chill bride and the best part was that she was not afraid to give me specific instructions on areas she wanted to change - One common thing that I see among brides is that they are so timid during the trial but end up complaining or make changes as the wedding date approaches.  Remember, a bridal makeup preview is a comprehensive review and effort to come up with the perfect look on a bride's wedding day, so honesty and clarity is key (and sometimes photos wouldn't hurt, either ;-) !

Makeup: Tina Tom
Hair: Thy Nguyen

One thing that we are going to change for the day of the wedding is her lipstick - she requested a more nudey pink.  Her areas of concern were dark circles & redness around the nose.  Jenny was super happy with the outcome of her trial and loved her brows & contouring + eye makeup.  Her hair was done by Thy, a hairstylist that I team up with.  Can't wait to get her dolled up again January!

Weekend Madness in San Marino, CA

Hello Lovelies!

The past weekend was so crazy filled with appointments that I completely forgot / didn't have time to take many photos of my work!  Luckily, I remembered to take some photos to share with you guys - enjoy

YSL Lippie with an emphasis on contouring & a glowing complexion - doesn't she look gorgeous?!

This client was hesitant about getting her makeup done because she always hid behind her glasses - but I'm so glad we were able to bring her out of her shell & find a natural look that she was comfortable with!

This client was afraid that her eyes would look small without using eyelid tape - but I assured her that the specific lashes that we used would be perfect & enhance her eye shape.  She was pleasantly surprised by the results :) !

Wedding Makeup - Chino Hills, CA

I had the pleasure of doing makeup for a group of fabulous ladies yesterday for a wedding in Chino Hills, CA.  When I left the hotel room at 3:30pm, the temperature was 85 degrees!  That definitely called for an extra spritz of setting spray to hold everything in!

The ladies were so happy with their makeup - it is so gratifying to know that I am able to make people feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside!  I honestly feel that that is the most fulfilling part of doing what I do - feeling so blessed and thankful today :-)  Happy Monday!

IMATS 2014 Wish List

IMATs 2014 at the Pasadena Convention Center is only several days away and I am beyond excited to be attending this year for the very first time! I have so many things on my wish list that my poor wallet is going to be sobbing - but that will definitely not stop me from replenishing my makeup kit as well as my personal stash with the newest & greatest products from some of the biggest brands in the beauty industry!

For those of you who have not already checked out which companies will be exhibiting at the show, here is a list:

IMATS Los Angeles Floor Plan
IMATS Floor Plan

Exhibitor List:
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Appeal Cosmetics
April Love Pro Makeup Academy
Ardell Lashes
Bad Ass Stencils
Bdellium Tools
Beauty Treats / 2nd Love
Behind The Seen Organics
Belloccio Airbrush
Bésame Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics Inc.
Bodyography Professional Cosmetics
Brett Brow
Cailyn Cosmetics
CAO Cosmetics
Chella Brow Bar
Cici Fashion Brush
Cinema Makeup School
Cinema Secrets
City Color Cosmetics
Crown Brush
Crystal Works
Dante Disposable Products, LLC
Dinair Airbrush Makeup
Dose of Colors
Downey Makeup Academy
E.I. School of Professional Makeup
Embryolisse USA
Enzo Milano
European Body Art
European Body Art
Eve Pearl
Eye Kandy Cosmetics
Eye Kandy Cosmetics
Frends Beauty / Stilazzi
Gleam by Melanie Mills
Graftobian Make-up Company
Grafton Cosmetics
Grande LASH-MD / Grande HAIR
Grex Airbrush
The Hair & Makeup Artists Network
IMATS Photo Booth
The IMATS Shop
IPKN Cosmetics USA
Iwata-Medea Inc.
Kryolan Professional Make-up
LA Splash Cosmetics
Lady Moss Beauty
Lilit's Makeup Studio
Lime Crime @ Naimie's
M•A•C Pro
Make Up For Ever
Make Up For Ever Academy
Make-Up Artist magazine
Make-up Designory
Make-up Designory
The Makeup Light
Makeup & Effects Laboratories, Inc.
Makeup Geek710Mehron, Inc.
Million Dollar Tan
Model in a Bottle
Morphe Brushes
Muse Beauty / Kett Cosmetics
Naimie's Beauty Center
Naimie's Beauty Center
Naimie's Beauty Center
Naked Cosmetics
Nigel Beauty Emporium
Nurturing Force @ Grex Airbrush
NYX Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Pacific Instruments, Inc.
Parian Spirit
Poise Makeup Professional
PROmakeup.com (FACE atelier)
RCMA Make-up
Reynolds Advanced Materials / Smooth-On Inc.
RockStar Wigs / Tokyo Crush
Royal & Langnickel Brush Mfg.
Rubber Wear by Sticks and Stones
Ruby Makeup Academy
Sacha Cosmetics @ April Love Pro Makeup Academy
SauceBox Cosmetics
Senna Cosmetics
Sigma Beauty
South Seas Skin Care
Stila Cosmetics
Stiletto Pin Up Cosmetics
Sugarpill Cosmetics
Temptu Pro
Thomas Surprenant Specialty Makeup
Vancouver Film School
Veil Cosmetics
Velour Mink Lashes
Violent Lips
Violet Voss
Wolfe Face Art & FX
Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics
Züca, Inc.

I am so disappointed that Z Palette will not be attending because I wanted to buy some customizable palettes to free up some space in my makeup bag :( -  However, you can bet that I will be stocking up on brush cleanser from Parian Spirit, as well as creating more eyeshadow palettes from INGLOT.  I have no clue where to get some more brushes for my kit, which is currently stocked with Bdellium Tools brushes.  I am tempted to splurge on Hakuhodo brushes & buy some basic brushes from Sigma Beauty, as well as some brow products from Anastasia Beverly Hills.  

What to do, what to dooo?  Makeup Heaven is only several days away - hope everyone already has their lists ready! 

TheBalm's "Meet Matt(e) Nude" Palette via Hautelook

My dears! 

How cute is this palette from TheBalm? I jumped at the deal on Hautelook after hearing so many great reviews about this matte eyeshadow palette, since I had credit left over - It is originally priced at $42 and was 50% off on Hautelook.  With my existing credit, I paid $2.50 and got this baby in the mail a month later (for those of you who are not familiar with Hautelook, sometimes their shipping can be quite slow.. but I suppose this is the trade-off for discounted prices!)

Swatches from Top, left to right.
For those of you who are not familiar with TheBalm, it is a cute & fun makeup line that utilizes a play on words to create their product names (think: Shady Lady Palette or Time Balm Primer) .  They are now sold in select Kohls & Sephora stores as well.  I was hoping to add this eyeshadow palette to my kit since it is a collection of all matte shades.  Just a warning- these shades are not extremely pigmented if you're expecting MAC-type shadows.  They are good neutrals and mattes to have to use as crease colors for a more natural look - perfect for bridal makeup!

Holiday WishList

via Pinterest 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner next week, I can't help but engulf myself into all the festive splendor (i.e. KOST 103.5 holiday music, 24/7! Wreaths, stockings, and all things glitter!). There is always something about the holiday season that just makes me want to shop, shop, shop.  This Christmas, I asked my boyfriend for this closet:

......of course I told him that if room permitted, I would allow him to have a corner ;-).  All joking aside though, I have so many beauty products that I want to add to my wishlist this season, some of which are replenishments for my personal stash, as well as for my kit, along with some fun goodies:

1. Some gorgeous YSL lippies:

via Makeup4All
2. My holy grail mascara base: Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base

3. More palettes: Another LORAC Pro Palette, or Laura Mercier Artist 2 Palette? I'm leaning toward the Artist 2 Palette for my wedding makeup kit -- sadly, this palette is LIMITED EDITION so I will most likely not get a chance to get my hands on this (unless I steal my sister's .. ) :

via Musings of a Muse
4. Some more SLEEK Makeup items - For those of you who are not familiar with this UK-based brand, I highly suggest you check it out! The prices are fabulous & inexpensive for the amount/quality of product that you get.  My favs? Their blushes (check out my review here), their face contouring kits (complete with contour powder + highlighting powder), and their inexpensive eyeshadow palettes.

Pictured: Pink Sprint

5.  Some more Real Techniques Brushes for my kit:
via LaceFleur

6. Some lovely Chanel compacts, my favorite Illusion D'Ombre cream shadows, moisturizing liquid foundations, and a good liquid concealer for my kit:

via Odd Dolly
What beauty purchases are you planning to make soon? I know my poor wallet will be crying after this, but I will definitely be one happy camper! :) 

What A Month!

My Loves!

It has been, as usual, an insane month for me.  Between working my corporate 9-5 job, weekends with Chanel, wedding gigs & short trips with the boyfriend, I have not gotten the chance to update this.  Here's a quick update of what I was up to during my month-long hiatus:

My sister & I took our dog, Toby, to the Rock & Roll LA Doggy Marathon.  How can you resist that face? ;-) 

My boyfriend and I flew up to San Jose for a quick getaway - We watched a couple get engaged at Santana Row and tried what I believe to be the BEST boba I've ever had - If you're ever in the San Jose/Milpitas area, I HIGHLY suggest trying Fantasia!  We had a cup every day... 

Last weekend, we stayed @ The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas - 3 days of soaking in the hot tub, lots of delicious food (Bachi Burger, my love!) and of course, we visited my girlfriend & her adorable newborn right before we left. 

Now that we're all caught up with what I've been up to - Did any of you order from Sephora's Friends & Family and VIB sales?  I was DYING for another Lorac Pro Palette & Shiseido Nourishing Eyelash Base ... but of course, good ol' Sephora was sold out of everything I wanted. 

Did you guys get your Sephora wishlist checked off? 

Halloween Makeup Ideas v.2

My loves,

Since my first Halloween Dia de los Muertos makeup look suggestion was so popular, I have decided to do a second "photo gallery," if you will, of some pretty makeup looks that I think would look amazing for Halloween.  Being the girly girl that I am, I am always looking for a way to be creative yet still look pretty or glam at the same time.

Here are some of my favorite looks, all pulled from Pinterest:

All of these looks are relatively simple to create - I'm always a sucker for glitz & glam, so I am leaning toward doing a pixie or fairy-type look with glitter & sparkles!

Halloween Makeup Idea: Dia de Los Muertos

You guys! I'm totally obsessed with this makeup look for Halloween:

Photo credit: Juxtapost.com
This is a Dia de Los Muertos look for Halloween.  Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where they honor their loved ones who have passed.  All I can say is, the Mexicans sure know how to party and celebrate in style!  I'm absolutely loving this look - glitz and glamour, finished off with a scary vibe... probably the most beautiful "dead & scary" look that one can achieve, if you ask me.

Break out those gems, glue, glitter, Kryolan face paints, Make Up For Ever Flash Palettes, waterproof liquid liners and bright eyeshadows!  It's time for some face decorating ; )  

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

Sleek Makeup Blushes

I am so in love with these new Sleek Makeup blush palettes!   I was on the hunt for some affordable, matte blushes and came across these beauties from http://www.sleekmakeup.com/

Sleek Blush-by-3 Palettes
The best part?  Each blush palette includes 3 blushes and costs $12.49.  I have been using them on my clients & myself for the past couple weeks and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed by them.  For those of you who are not familiar with Sleek Makeup, they are sold at SuperDrug and other drug stores (surprisingly!) in the UK.  For the rest of us who are not able to access them so easily, Sleek Makeup products are available online.  Shipping is not bad at all  -  I only paid $6.50 or $7 shipping for 5 items.  I also bought their contour kit, which is AMAZING and only $8 for a bronzer and highlighter. 

More on the blushes:  Extremely pigmented and long-wearing (I daresay, even longer-wearing than my Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes).  Several colors are exact dupes of NARS blushes (Orgasm, eat your heart out!).  To be fair, not all of them are matte - there is, I believe, one non-matte blush (but trust me, they are not glittery or gaudy in any way) in each blush palette.  Extremely wearable and long-lasting.  Don't let the colors fool you -The colors look crazy bright, but a light hand will give you the pretty flushed look that you want. 

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 ;).

Photoshoot - Daytime Vixen vs. Nicki Minaj-inspired Look

I was so happy to work with Jade last week for a fun pop-up shoot!  *I apologize in advance - we did this pretty late at night so there was no natural lighting - the photos did turn out a bit funky because I took her "before" photo when the sun was still out, and the other photos were all taken after nightfall, with flash. 

We opted for a pretty, smokey yet subtle look for our first set of photos.  I really wanted to highlight her beautiful almond-shaped eyes and create a flawless complexion.
After a while, we decided to amp it up with a Nicki Minaj-inspired look!

Jade's flawless skin, almond shaped eyes and full, luscious lips made my job incredibly easy.  It was really fun to see how different colors showed up on her beautiful caramel-colored skin - I, for one, would never be able to pull off that beautiful Urban Decay lippie! 

Quick Dupe Alert! Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Pencils

Anyone who knows me, knows that I swear by Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-on Pencils.  They are so pigmented & creamy (so there is no tugging on the delicate eye area!) and relatively long-lasting (with the holy grail Urban Decay Primer Potion, aka UDPP, of course). 

One other thing?  They're kind of expensive.  Say, $19/color expensive.

 Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Liners
Photo Credits: vampyvarnish.com
As much as I thoroughly enjoy paying $19 for an eyeliner, I was definitely on the lookout to find a cheaper but definitely comparable alternative.  My findings?

1.  L'Oreal HIP Color Chrome Eyeliner, $10
Photo credits: temptalia.com
The only issue with these liners is that there are only four colors to choose from.  The color payoff and wearability is definitely comparable to that of Urban Decay's.

2.  NYX Slide-On Pencils, $8

Photo credits: glamtrotter.com
These babies are as cheap and as close to Urban Decay's liners as I could find.  There are 18 colors to choose from and are a great alternative to the 24/7 liners.  They are smudgeproof and vibrant, and you can bet I'll be stocking my kit up with every single color!

As much as I enjoy higher-end products, working in the beauty industry (particularly in the product development side) has taught me that sometimes, the only difference between an $8 eyeliner and a $19 dollar eyeliner is marketing and branding.  I am, by no means, saying that all products are created equal - I truly believe that some products are worth paying more for.  However, whenever I can find a dupe and I can save some money, I am all for it! 

What are some dupes for high end products that you buy at a much lower price?

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.