Early Morning Bridal Prep | The Hilton Hotel, San Gabriel

Thy & I had the pleasure of prepping a seriously gorgeous mother-daughter duo at the Hilton Hotel in San Gabriel early this morning & I am extremely happy to report that they were both thrilled with their final looks.  We stayed behind to wait for photos to be taken so Thy could put on Jenny's veil & I must say -  her wedding dress & veil (embellished with rhinestones!) & her bridesmaids' dresses were seriously some of the prettiest that I've seen!  I cannot wait to share the finished photos with you guys! 

Congrats again, Jenny & Dustin! 

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!  

Makeup Lesson: Everyday, Simple Yet Put-Together Look

My beautiful client Lina wanted to learn how to achieve the perfect simple, everyday polished makeup look.  The only makeup item she owned was an Almay eyeshadow palette, so we started off with the basics of the importance of using primers & product suggestions/basic makeup application techniques.   I can't wait to see how her makeup application techniques improve with practice over time! 

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!

Which Eyelash Curler is Right for You?

Did you know that not all eyelash curlers are created equal? 

I will FOREVER remember that one fateful day when I got to school one morning in 9th grade and my best friend (at the time) told me that she had literally "cut off" half of her eyelashes while using her older sister's Revlon eyelash curler the night before. 

First of all, I had never used an eyelash curler in my entire life at the time.  Secondly, I was horrified to see that her lashes were, in fact, half the length that they were the day before.  I quickly made a mental note to NEVER buy that eyelash curler for use and later on that night relayed the story to my older sister.  My sister scoffed and gave me one piece of advice that I live by to this very day: 

Shu Ueumura eyelash curlers are your best friend -- that is, if you've got relatively large, double-eyelid, long-ish eyes like me.  

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $20 
Lucky for me, I have a sister who believes in splurging for a good product as long as the product is effective - and believe me, as a 14 year old high schooler, $20 was a huge amount to spend on a contraption that was meant to "open up my eyes" and make me look "more awake."  Ten years later, I am a believer and this is my go-to lash curler of choice.  Imagine my horror when Shu Uermura counters were all shut down in the US - thankfully, Amazon and my lovely best friend who travels to Japan often have kept me well-stocked.

For those of you who have monolid, short, or relatively small eyes, this Shiseido eyelash curler will be your best friend: 

Shiseido Eyelash Curler, $19
 What's so different about this eyelash curler, you ask?  The length of the eyelash pad is shorter, which ensures that all lashes will be curled.  The curve is also slightly flatter, which fits smaller eyes better.  This will prevent the seemingly inevitable "pinch" that eyelash curlers give when you're using an eyelash curler that is wrong for your eye shape, so beware, my lovelies!  When in doubt, keep experimenting with different eyelash curlers, but in my experience, these seem to be the best two in the market! 

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 ; )  

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?

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.

Website Up - A Work in Progress

I am so excited to announce that my website (www.tinatom.net) is officially open for public viewing!  I must admit, I am not the most tech-savvy, so creating my own website was a very daunting thought to me. 

The front page of my site - I have been having problems with my name loading with the correct font, but hopefully this is a one-time deal and I will not have any issues from here on out.

After several months of putting this project off/playing with settings and with the aid of my more computer-literate friends, my site is now at a good starting point.  Since I have a phobia of all things web and HTML, I used www.flavors.me to create my site.  This site basically allows you to customize your personal webpage by creating your own layouts & templates without a single HTML code.  I admit that it is probably not as versatile for those of you who want extreme customization and advanced features for your site, but for someone like me who is a web-developing noob, this works just fine ;).


The past weekend has flown by and I am absolutely floored by the amount of birthday love I received from my friends, coworkers, family, and boyfriend!  Here are some pics of my birthday in a nutshell:

Everything princess-y and pink ;) Just the way I like it! 

At the Peninsula Hotel - love these flat sandals from Tash Limited!  The website says they are grey, but they look more periwinkle/lavenderish-grey in real life.  I plan to get the black pair as well - I was so surprised by how well they go with dresses - perfect, since I am limited to flats while the torn meniscus in my knee heals :( .

In the car, about to rip open my gift.

My ever-supportive boyfriend bought me this train case from Sunrise!  Can't wait to start filling it up with cosmetics for my next makeup gig - with a review of this case to follow, of course ;).

Electric blue nails for the weekend in Essie's "Bouncer, It's Me"

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 ... 

Beauty on the Cheap - Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap

As a makeup artist, I am constantly looking for a safe, cheap & effective way to deep clean my brushes.  For my daily cleanings or for quick in-between washes, I use Japonesque's AMAZING Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner.

Japonesque Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner
I personally love this brush cleaner because it smells citrus-y and fresh, and just 1-2 sprays gets my brushes clean.  At roughly $12.50 for a 4.25oz bottle (or $30 for a jumbo size 16oz), many may argue that this is a bit on the pricey side, but if you compare the sprays needed to get a brush clean using another brush cleaner (ahem, Bobbi Brown, Sephora.. I've tried them all) - this product beats the rest.  I am the queen of waterproof, long-lasting makeup, so my stippling and foundation brushes are impossible to clean, but not with this baby!  My absolute, go-to daily brush cleanser that requires no effort at all.

Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap in Assorted Scents

For my deep cleanings, I love to use Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap in Peppermint.  One drop of this mixed with some water to foam up the soap, and my brushes are as clean as new.  It keeps your brushes smelling fresh and its bristles soft.  I know that many of my colleagues prefer using Johnson & Johnson body wash, but I personally find this ineffective because (as mentioned above) my makeup literally sticks to my brushes like no tomorow.  Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap is the one product that I've found to effectively clean my brushes with minimal time and product.  The best part about this product?  It is a multi-functional, vegan product that people use as body wash, shampoo, face cleanser (I do!), multi-purpose cleaner, detergent, etc.  For a bargain price of $10.50-$16 for such a large bottle, you'll find yourself reaching for this more often & for more uses than you would imagine!

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.