Beauty Haul from Sephora, Tarte & Camera Ready Cosmetics

You guys, my wallet is crying - but I am one happy camper ;-) . I went kind of crazy buying beauty products last week - but in my defense! - most of the products I purchased were to replenish products that had already hit pan and were for my kit for my clients. 

Any of my clients will know that I use top quality, professional brands as well as mid to high-end street brands.  I put in a lot of time, money, and effort into researching products and obtaining them because I always want to use the best-quality products on my clients.  Lately, I've been hearing about some artists in the area who will offer services for a fourth of the price, but use low-quality, sometimes even counterfeit cosmetics.  It  really irks me that any true makeup artist would do that, and that consumers will actually hire these so-called "makeup-artists" and in a way, condone this type of behavior.

Anyway, away from the negativity and back onto my positivity float : I restocked on some new Clarisonic brushes, my beloved Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder, and my favorite Tarte blush in "Exposed."  I purchased Ben Nye Banana Powder to add to my kit, as well as the Senna Contour Kit (LOVE!) and the Senna Brow Book, which has been a serious lifesaver for my past several gigs.  I also wanted to try out the Tweezerman tweezers to see what the hype's about - but really, I was not impressed at all .... For an almost $30 pair of tweezers, I expected much better. I also got Caudelie and First Aid Beauty moisturizers to use for skin prep on my clients.

Hope you have a great week!

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?