Tis the Season .... to be Shopping ;-)

Hello my dears!  

I haven't been updating for the past couple weeks because it has been a crazy month filled with weddings, private makeup workshops, and bridal previews, not to mention lots of shopping.  I'll admit it - I'm one of those people who have awesome self control when it comes to money & I am a self-acclaimed savvy shopper ... - BUT - I tend to go crazy once in a blue moon (insert innocent face here).  In my defense, all the money that I'm saving has to go somewhere, right? (I'm sure my boyfriend would beg to differ .... ). 

Anyway, I've been on a crazy rampage lately buying new products for my makeup kit and organizational items to keep my kit streamlined.  I've been getting a lot of bookings lately that require me to do makeup for 7+ clients in a very tight amount of time, so being organized and having everything in its place is very important to stay on schedule & really, just for my sanity.  I'm excited to share some of the items I've purchased in the past 2 weeks with you guys: 

How adorable are these clear pouches with polka dots on them?! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with patterns & especially polka dots - so it was a no-brainer for me when I saw these PERFECT zipped transparent pouches to organize my kit.  The best part? They were only $8 for all three! 

Can you say, organized much?  Ever since I got this little magical box, my makeup game has completely changed - I could not believe what a difference this made.  I was always scrambling to find these little essentials in my kit, so having them all in one organized & neat place has made a world of difference.  

Okay, okay ... not makeup-related but who can say no to candles, especially for the holidays?! I scored 4 candles from Bath & Body Works for $8.50 each, which originally retail for $22.50 each.  I told you I was a savvy shopper ;) 

A huge, huge haul from Naimes & Nigel's Emporium!  I stocked up on lashes, a brand new brush funnel & HD Powder from Make Up For Ever, Skindinavia's Setting Spray, some MAC essentials, a powder foundation palette from Graftobian for my male clients, some sponges, a Kryolan mattifying primer, and some skincare from Peter Thomas Roth.  A hefty dent in my wallet but well worth it!  
What have you guys purchased lately? Does the holiday season bring out the shopper in you? 

Make-Up Monday: MUFE Aqua Brow & Sigma Beauty's Brush Holder

Happy Makeup Monday my dears!! 

After a quick trip to San Francisco for the weekend, I (not surprisingly) came back with some beauty purchases that I am extremely excited to use.  The first is Aqua Brow in #25 by Make Up For Ever.  I'm always game to try something new for my brows - but have been stuck in a rut lately with my MAC rectractable brow pencil in "Spiked".  It's fast & easy - what more can you ask for in a brow product?! But alas, I've been suckered in with MUFE's Aqua Brow, a tinted, water-resistent gel that is used to fill in your brows.  I wouldn't recommend it for newbies because it dries quickly so you need to work fast with the product.  I actually really like it because it's over 100 degrees over here in Southern California this week, so anything to help my brows stay on is A-OK with me!
Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow, $20 from Sephora

Swatch of the product - the color intimidated me at first, but it goes on much lighter once it's applied to your brows !
I totally wiped off a corner of my brow before taking this photo .. oops!

I also purchased a travel brush holder, because the brushes on my kit were getting all over the place & the brush belt was just not cutting it.  After years of working with clients, I've found that the best way that works for me to display brushes is to keep them in a cup/holder rather than on a belt around my waist - that way, I can actually see what I'm reaching for rather than constantly looking down & digging around.

This brush holder by Sigma is made with faux leather & seems pretty sturdy - it has a clasp closure & opens up to two separate cups so you can separate your face brushes from your eye brushes.  I have yet to use this on a shoot/ appointment, so I'll definitely get back to you guys on the performance of this product! The one thing I like about it so far though, is that it will fit all my larger, full-sized brushes.

Stay tuned for my next post - Ipsy's September Glam Bag!

Sigma Brush Holder, $25 from Sigma Beauty
This is what it looks like when it's closed & ready for travel.

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 ; )  

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.