May 30, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog-It's summer! Heat Friendly Makeup!

Today is the unofficial first day of summer. And with a high of 90F today, it seems like Mother Nature is making up for lost time. While beautiful weather may inspire many of us to wear lighter clothes and lighter makeup it certainly doesn’t mean we want to be any less lovely. The heat does present a few challenges to us though. Melt proof makeup that is still gorgeous requires a bit of finesse, but is by no means difficult.

I find that when it is muggy out, I want to spend no more than a few minutes applying my makeup. I want it to be feather light. And I want it to be longwearing even in the heat. These requirements mean that we need to find products that are not only light and easy to apply but they also need to be durable.

·         I start by tightlining (also known as French lining) the upper lash line. This is done with a flat brush: I like Laura Mercier’s, and Paula Dorf’s, a cake liner: I like Laura’s, and Trish McEvoy’s and some sort of long wearing transforming product: Laura Mercier’s Activator and Paula Dorf’s Transformer are two of my favorites. Simply press on your upper lid so that lashes point upward and wiggle the brush dampened with the activator and cake liner into your lash line.
·         If the multi-product approach is too intense you can take the same approach with a pencil, but make sure you use a water proof formula: I like Chanel’s waterproof (favorite color Cassis) and all of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Crayons (try 4L) or their Aqua Cream Liner with a flat brush (I love 5). And again, just wiggle in between the eye lashes. I typically only line the top on hot days to minimize midday smudging.
·         After lining the upper lash line I will normally press a single shimmery color on the entire lid. This is always best to do with a brush, regardless of whether you use a cream shadow or powder, but in the summer, I am often guilty of just pressing on the pigment with my fingers, and that is okay. Just pick light, forgiving, colors. For powder shadows: I am currently OBSESSED (hee hee word play!) with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics loose powder pigments. (Flawed and Clove look beautiful on almost everyone!). If you want to use cream shadows hands down my two favorites are: Laura Mercier’s Crème Metallics (try Platinum or Gold) and Make Up For Ever Aqua Crème Shadows (try 11, 13 or 15) and press sparingly on the lid. When using a cream shadow use very little, and go light, to avoid creasing.
·         Curl your lashes and apply a coat of mascara. Now, my eye cream addiction has made me one of those people who even waterproof mascara smudges. The only mascara that will stay put on me is the kind of mascara that form little tubes around your lashes. A few companies make these (Kiss Me, Trish McEvoy, Kevyn Aucoin, and L’Oreal Paris) ranging in price from $10-$30+. Pick the one with the price and the brush that you like best. They really are all incredibly similar.
·         Now is when we talk about foundation. To many women, the thought of wearing foundation in the summer is almost repulsive. To others, the thought of going out without foundation is a far more nauseating prospect. The good news is companies have figured out that even the foundation-phobic want beautiful skin and have created formulas to satisfy everyone’s needs. For the summer I have two favorites: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics tinted moisturizer has incredible texture and feels absolutely weightless. It is beautiful buildable coverage that photographs like flawless skin, and feels like nothing on. It comes in a vast array of colors and is incredibly easy to apply. My other favorite is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It is a water based foundation that is medium coverage, with a weightless feel. It is limited in colors (not as many darker shades as I would like) but has the bonus of an SPF 15. With both formulas you will be shocked at how little is needed to create near flawless skin.
·         If there are a few spots that need additional coverage (for me it will always be my under eyes) a good creamy concealer is essential. I love Too Faced cosmetics and RMS concealer. Both provide a ton of coverage in a beautiful texture. Each company only make a few colors though, all of which are pretty light; so I would recommend for my friends with darker complexions try Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage. She recently expanded her range to accommodate almost every tone. Another safe bet for all skin tones is Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer (fair warning though use the teeniest amount conceivable, like head of a pin teeny, a little goes a LONG way). Try to apply as lightly as possible when applying concealer in the summer so you won’t have to set with powder. If you know you crease no matter what, than setting with loose colorless powder like Laura or MUFE is wise. But be sparing.
·         If you like a bronzed look, might I suggest a bronzing gel. Laura Mercier’s bronzing gel is an essential part of my kit. And it is so easy to use; your dog could probably apply it for you. Don’t be scared by the color. It is so sheer, I can use it, and I am so pale I may as well be clear. Whether you bronze or not, you definitely will still want to pop a bit of color on your cheeks (I don’t care what anyone says, everyone looks better with at least a little blush). In the summer, my blush brush gets a vacation though; it is all about cream blush for me. I have three favorites this season, RMS (I love the color Smile), Inglot (83 is gorgeous), and MUFE’s new liquid blushes (I LOVE 14-Star Struck and 4-Walk of Shame). Just dab on the apples of your cheeks to look fresh and alive.
·         Last but no least, lips. I have a few favorite things to wear depending on my mood. I love a pop of color with dewy skin and OCC Lip tar in Anime is by far the BEST pop of color I can find (we used it during the Sexy Period installation at last StyleWeek ). 
If you see me in a bright lip color, there is a 98% chance it is an OCC Lip Tar. That necklace btw is Martin and Ricci.

      I also love a soft wash of color, especially for a casual look. Try Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shines which are like super shiny tinted lip balms (faves are Liberte and Fetiche). And of course who doesn’t love lip gloss?  If I could, I would sing from the mountain tops about my new most favorite lip gloss: Armour Beauty! God I love this stuff! They have the most insane range of colors; from super demure beige (Diana), to my favorite Fuchsia (Grace), to black (Femme Fatale) which is stunning on the fearless! This gloss isn’t too gloopy, wears super long, and is loaded with good for your lips ingredients like avocado oil. Seriously, I will own all of their colors one day (and if *ahem cough cough* they ever needed a New England spokes woman….) I digress.

 I do want to take a moment and remind everyone that while bronzed skin is gorgeous, healthy bronzed skin is even more beautiful. So instead of getting that “base tan” which is aging and damaging, and will eventually leave you looking like this.

Or this.

 Try one of two things, fake bake it (sunless tanner has come a long way and many salons offer fantastic spray tans), or embrace your pallor (I swear pale can be pretty).
There is no denying the loveliness of Karen Elson

 No matter what, protect your skin! Skin cancer is never sexy. You don’t have to be pasty and blue to fully protect your skin. There are some brilliant lightweight sunblocks out there for everyone’s budget. These are my favorites: LaRoche Posay-SPF 60, Chanel-SPF 50, and Laura Mercier-SPF 40. All are water-like in texture, provide broad spectrum protection, and won’t break you out. No more excuses. Wear your sun block.
Now that you are gorgeous AND your skin is safe, go have a beautiful summer!

See you next week! Send your questions to

May 23, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog- Contouring, essential element to fashion makeup

I was talking to Jonathan Joseph Peters (extraordinary designer, Project Runway alumni, and Creative Director for StyleWeek Providence) the other day. We were talking about my blog and how the look we did for his show, although really amazing, is not exactly a look many women are going to sport in real life.
Photo by Tracy Aiguier

We both agreed that instead I should write about contouring. Contouring has played a key role in both shows I have done with Jonathan, as well as pretty much every shoot he and I have worked on together. He loves a well sculpted face. And a dramatically contoured face photographs so beautifully!
Photo by Tracy Aiguier
from a Martin & Ricci campaign I did with Jonathan. Kate's face is contoured within an inch of her life.

Contouring is something that when done well can absolutely transform a face; literally. You can sculpt cheekbones, strengthen a jaw line, shorten a long face or large forehead, or slender a broad nose. It is a technique that has been used pretty much since the dawn of makeup. And once you are made aware of contouring, you will start to notice it in every photo shoot, every movie (especially classic movies), and every album cover. Because stage and set lighting washes out most features, it is essential for makeup artists to contour the subjects features so that they actually stand up to the bright lights. It is why we talk about how stage makeup being so much more dramatic than every day makeup.
Ava Gardner notice the contouring along her nose, jaw and cheekbones.

Rita Hayworth contouring along her forehead, cheekbones and chin. Rita was actually Mexican. Hollywood stylists went to great lengths to make her features more European, including electrolysis to her hair line and lots of contouring.

Marilyn Monroe lots of contouring on her nose cheekbones, and hair line. This shot is from Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell is contoured beautifully in this movie as well. Also one of the funniest movies ever.

 Basically when you contour, you are deepening shadows and increasing highlight. It is the makeup equivalent of boosting the contrat to your face. Contouring is a technique that when done well, is undetectable in photos. It is at least slightly detectable in person, even when done brilliantly, so if you are not posing for pictures this is not a technique one rolls out for brunch; unless perhaps you are having brunch with the Jackson family.

No family has ever been more contoured than the Jacksons

If I want someone to have very subtle contouring (brides for instance want to look natural but must photograph perfectly), I will prime their skin. Then I will contour with a very creamy dark concealer (on anyone midtone to very light I will use a concealer made for African American skin, on African American skin I will use a black cream pigment). I will also highlight the high planes of the face with a creamy concealer or shimmer cream (if using a concealer I will go about three shades lighter than the client’s skin). Then I will stipple on a lightweight sheer foundation over the highlighting and contouring. If after applying the foundation I feel there needs to be additional contouring I will than use a cool tone, matte bronzer and add more to freshly powdered skin. The skin must be well powdered to make everything blend perfectly, otherwise it can look stripey.

 Kevyn Aucoin created possibly the single greatest example of highlighting and contouring. I have yet to see a better diagram ever. Examine it thoroughly to learn classic contouring placement. Laura Mercier also has some great examples in her book The New Beauty Secrets. Her examples are great at explaining how to adjust specific features.
Kevyn Aucoin's famous contouring example from his must have book Face Forward

Laura Mercier's examples of corrective contouring from her fantastic book New Beauty Secrets

An important note, if you decide to contour your face, make a point to look at your makeup in a number of different lights, especially in bright day light. Bad contouring is never pretty. But a beautifully contoured face can be breathtaking. Once you are happy with how your makeup looks venture out knowing that you have cheekbones that are so perfectly sculpted they could cut glass! Playing with contouring is a lot of fun. At the very least it will give you a better understanding of how light and shadow play with our features.

Next week I will be writing about essential summer makeup. Send your questions to

May 16, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog- The Makeup Show NYC

Originally it was my intention to write this weeks blog about the contouring techniques that I use in pretty much everything I do with Jonathan Joseph Peters (that man loves a chiseled cheekbone! Really who doesn't!). But instead I figured I would share with the class, and write about all the amazing goodies I beheld at the The Makeup Show in New York this past weekend.
If you are unfamiliar with the Makeup Show, it is the largest PRO-ONLY beauty event in NYC! They also have events in Los Angeles, Chicago, and London, but seeing as I hail from the big apple I choose to focus upon the wonders of the New York event.
This past weekend I had the exquisite company of my friends Kate (brilliant woman who runs the fabulous cosmetic boutiques Beauty and Main), Corey Grayhorse (one of my most favorite photographers ever), and Corey's truly lovely sister Taylor (who owns the incredible Casa Viva Clothing and Lifestyle boutique in Mexico). More fun, or more lovely company would be hard to find anywhere.
Kate, Me, Corey, Taylor

We attended a Makeup Show sponsored party the night before the event, called "New York Groove: A Gallery of Makeup Art and Cocktail Party". Some of the exhibitors from the Makeup Show were presenting incredible demonstrations that evening (Make Up For Ever, OCC Makeup, Armour Beauty, and Inglot to name just a few), while DJ's  James Vincent-Director of Artistry for the Makeup Show, and the Powder Group, Theo Kogan- founder of Armour Beauty as well as singer, model, and mother, and Jeremy Meek-Program director for the Powder Group played killer music, and some of the brightest talent in the makeup world got to mingle and have an all round fun time. I also had the honor encountering Dany Sanz (creator of Make Up For Ever) at this party. I have to admit, the last time I was so gob smacked was when I got to meet Kevyn Aucoin many many years ago. She is beautiful, and brilliant, exactly as one would expect! Needless to say it was a perfect beginning to the weekend.
The MUFE team, including Dany Sanz!! And their AMAZING models

The Armour Beauty Model at New York Groove, makeup by Theo Kogan

The next morning we attended the main event at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th St. To describe it as mobbed would be an understatement. It was wall to wall professional beauty junkies. I saw quite a few familiar faces and made some new friends. Allow me to share with you a few of the booths that really knocked my socks off and left me wanting more; 

Hakuhodo Brushes -I cannot emphasize this enough, you can have the most exquisite makeup in the world, but without the right tools you will never achieve your true artistry potential. On the flip side you can have the most substandard product in the world, but with beautiful brushes you will be able to create perfection. Hakuhodo brushes are the most beautifully crafted brushes I have ever encountered; Period. Top of the mountain. They do not get better. They are the "Stradivarius" of brushes. Instead of being cut to shape like all other brushes they sculpted into shape leaving the hair intact. I spent a LOT of money at this booth and will gladly spend much more in the future. Their quality almost leaves me speechless. And the people running the booth were so knowledgeable and helpful. I am in fact, in love...

OCC Makeup- I LOVE OCC. If you see a bold lip color on me (like in the picture above...), it is almost a sure bet that it is one of their Lip Tars. OCC was created by David Klasfeld in 2004.He has created some of the most vivid powder pigments, most innovative textures (try the Lip Tars and tell me they aren't revolutionary), the most superior air brush products on the market, and the hands down BEST vegan makeup brushes ever. This line is beyond exceptional and 100% vegan. For those of you who are working makeup artists, even if you are not vegan, you may have a vegan client and it is incredibly appreciated when you present them the option of 100% vegan products. And even if you aren't vegan and plan on never having vegan clients, or clients at all for that matter, OCC is some of the coolest makeup and tools you can find anywhere!. I already own 2 complete brush sets, almost the complete collection of pigments and lip tars, and more than a couple of their fantastic nail polishes, but I still managed to find two pigments I didn't already own and HAD to have:"Flawed" (one of the prettiest golds ever)and "Bitmap" (a perfect mossy green with a shimmer) ... 

Armour Beauty- My new favorite lip glosses! They are paraben free, and loaded with wonderful things like grape seek extract, and avocado oil. They go on like a dream. They come in some of the coolest colors ever. And they were created by Theo Kogan who is one of those women who is so cool and beautiful that you want to hate her, but she is so damn lovely and down to earth, all you can really do is wish you were her best friend. I brought home "After Hours" "Grace" and "Kashmir" and I suspect my collection will be growing quite rapidly.I am already kicking myself for not grabbing "Ann Margaret" "Barracuda" "Dreaming" and "Diana" while I was there...

RMS Beauty- RMS Beauty are my new favorite finger paints! It is a small line of beautifully crafted simple glass pots of lusciously creamy blushes, concealers, luminizers, and glosses. All created by celebrity makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift. Ms. Swift is probably most famous for being Gisele Bundchen's makeup artist of choice, she is also passionate about creating pure, healthy, organic, makeup that is actually good for your skin. My friend Kate had raved to me about this line for a while (in fact you will soon be able to find it at Beauty and Main). I had played with a few of her products, and loved them immediately. I rarely wear any makeup when I am not working, but still would like to look nice when going to the market or walking my dogs. These are the perfect products for real women who want to look lovely but want to put beautiful healthy ingredients on their skin, and don't want to feel "made up". I love the lip2cheek in "Smile" as that perfect little something to carry in your purse when you just need to feel pretty. I am also obsessed with her Raw Coconut Cream. This stuff will melt through layers of makeup (even waterproof makeup and stage makeup) effortlessly and tissue off leaving your skin soft and happy. I would buy this stuff by the tub.

I would also like to mention Inglot and Make Up For Ever. We didn't get to play at their booths as they were flooded with makeup artists dying to buy one of everything (who can blame them?). I have been a regular at the MUFE boutique for years, and had the pleasure of spending some time at the AMAZING new Inglot studio in Chelsea this weekend. I love both companies products tremendously and wanted to share that. MUFE and Inglot are both available now online, which hasn't always been the case. So now I don't have to take a road trip when I am craving Star Powder, or the perfect Sea Foam colored nail polish (969 if you're wondering)!

I had a wonderful time at the Makeup Show. Hopefully next year I can stay for the whole event and attend some of their workshops.Really it is something I will look forward to every year for a long time to come.Try some or all of the products I have mentioned. And tune in next week for the contouring blog I promised!

Send your questions to

May 9, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog-Foundation: Every Face's Best Friend

Daniela Corte’s models arrived to the show already styled (and indeed they were lovely) so instead of writing about someone else’s makeup I decided this week that I would write about one of the most important, and misunderstood aspects of makeup: FOUNDATION!!!

Every time I meet with a new client, I am told that they hate foundation. They will then also tell me about how they use a ton of concealer, and that they wish their skin looked more even. But they do not want to wear foundation.

That is normally when I have to start my “foundation has come a long way” speech. Most women seem to think that foundation is still the pepto bismol pink paste that their grandmothers wore that left a thick crusty border along many their jaw lines. Bad foundation, poorly applied foundation may still be that. But rest assured foundation has come a long long way.

First of all, let’s address what foundation is designed to do. Foundation is designed to even out skin tone. Not cover it up, but to even it out. If you have a blemish or dark under eye circles, you would cover them with concealer, not foundation. This misconception is why I see women with very nice skin wearing full coverage foundation in an attempt to cover a blemish or two. It is also why I see women who have blotchy skin but are fearful of foundation wearing way too much concealer instead of simply wearing a beautiful medium to full coverage foundation.

As I stated in my opening, foundation has come a very long way in that past 15 years. Since our StyleWeek Providence color sponsor for January was Laura Mercier I will use Laura’s foundations for my examples. I am including photos of me wearing each formula with a primer. These photos are unretouched. They are taken in the same natural light, on the same day at approximately the same time. No concealer or powder is applied in any of these pictures, just primer and foundation. My skin will in no way appear perfect. But you will get a more clear appreciation of what foundation does, and what it simply cannot do. You may also find a new appreciation for concealer. After looking at these pictures lord knows, I love concealer a lot more.

Ideally your foundation should match your skin perfectly. If your body is much more tan than your face you may want to go a shade deeper. However, this will also mean that you would need to apply foundation to your entire face and not just uneven areas. Another option is to match your skin and balance things out with bronzer. Foundation that is too light can often appear “goth” and too dark does require a good deal of finesse. So for most people I suggest taking the goldilocks approach and aim for just right.

For people with fairly even toned skin who need just a slight improvement or people who are sincerely foundation-phobic tinted moisturizer is a nice start. Laura’s tinted moisturizer is a very lightweight foundation (I am convinced they named it tinted moisturizer because they didn’t want to say “foundation” and scare off many prospective clients). It is the easiest formula to apply. It can be applied with fingers or with a sponge. It doesn’t replace skin care (don’t let the term “moisturizer fool you) instead it provides a sheer veil of coverage that helps to make skin appear smooth and even. There is also the bonus of having a spf 20 to protect your skin. Tinted moisturizer will not however cover real blotchiness or discoloration.
Nude Tinted Moisturizer with Primer

For those of us who need a little more coverage a liquid foundation is going to be just what the makeup artist ordered. I find most women are best off with a medium coverage foundation. Laura makes a few formulas that fit in this category. The moisturizing foundation and oil free foundation both leave a semi matte finish, cover most tonal issues, and photograph beautifully. These are best applied with a sponge over a primer (more about primer in a bit). Fingers and brushes with this kind of product tend to leave too heavy a finish.
Warm Ivory Moisturizing Foundation with Hydrating Primer

Another medium coverage foundation formula and possibly my personal favorite of Laura’s formulas is the Crème smooth foundation. This is an anti-aging formula made to diffuse the appearance of fine lines while evening out skin tone and is the longest wearing in my experience. This also looks best over a primer. However this one is made to go on with fingers. This leaves a soft finish, not quite matte, not quite dewy and photographs beautifully. Not a formula I would recommend for oily skin types or people concerned with shine, but it is a dream for us dry skin girls.
Warm Ivory Creme Smooth Foundation with Hydrating Primer

Now there are times when someone wants their skin to be 100% flawless. Whether it is a photo op, a high school reunion, or just Tuesday; this is when a full coverage foundation is in order. This is also when many of my clients stop cold in their tracks expecting me to pull out a trowel and start piling makeup on their faces. I cannot emphasize this enough, full coverage foundations are brilliant when applied properly, nad you do not need to be Michelangelo to accomplish this. Laura’s full coverage foundation is her Silk Crème foundation. It is oil free and had a velvety radiant finish. It is the formula I use the most when shooting pin up photography. A pea sized amount is all that is needed to get the job done. Too apply a full coverage foundation properly, dab a bit onto an area of the face with your fingers and buff it into the skin with a sponge. Work small areas at a time and just keep buffing.
Rose Ivory Silk Creme Foundation with Hydrating Primer

A few things to consider when choosing a foundation, almost all foundations look better with a primer underneath. Primer is NOT just another step that someone is trying to sell you. It creates a barrier between your skincare and your makeup. It gives skin a smoother appearance minimizing the appearance of pores and fine lines. It also increases the duration of wear of your foundation. I personally prefer primers with little to no silicone. I find silicone based primers photograph beautifully but just don’t wear for extended periods very well. I also find that many people break out when using a silicone based primer. This is all a matter of preference so when in doubt experiment. Most counters and beauty stores will gladly give you samples. If you know you are the kind of person who just is not going to wear a primer there are some formulas that work very nicely as stand alone products. The tinted moisturizer is a good example. I also like the Vitalumiere Aqua from Chanel without a primer.

I also think that most women benefit from having a wardrobe of foundations. Just like stiletto pumps are not appropriate for all situations, neither are all foundations. A tinted moisturizer is more than enough for most of us at brunch or the supermarket. But most of us would like to look a little closer to flawless when having a job interview or attending a cocktail function. It’s never a bad idea to have a few options. Play with foundation. Play with textures. See how a dramatic eye changes when worn with matte skin versus dewy skin.

 Try to remember that makeup is fun. It doesn’t need to be work. It is a beautiful way to change your look without a big financial commitment. You can buy a whole new luxury makeup wardrobe including brushes for $500. That won’t buy most of us a designer dress, let alone a wardrobe. And you can wear that makeup every day! The best part is if you don’t like how something looks; you can always wash it off and try again.  Rediscover your love for playing with makeup.

Next week I will be talking about how to contour. Send your questions and topic requests to

May 2, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog- Joseph Aaron Segal

Joseph Aaron Segal creates really amazing garments. He specializes in knitwear and has the uncanny ability to design the most one of a kind special clothing with a big dash of whimsy. He used bold daring color palettes, and has quite a dynamic creative voice. I find this all quite amusing because Joseph is very reserved and has the gentlest presence. He clearly lets his work speak for him. He and I went back and forth quite a bit in attempting to create the ideal look for his runway show. Coming up with a look strong enough to stand with his designs that wouldn’t compete with the clothing can be quite a challenge. We eventually decided on a very flushed cheek that carried up onto the brow bone and across the bridge of the nose. With a bright flat white around the eye and a creamy white glossy lip.
Photo by Daniel Gagnon
Photo by Heidi Finn

Now obviously the way we executed this look on the runway is not exactly a classic day look. But it IS a look that with a few teensy tweaks can be completely wearable for everyone. This is something I really want to emphasize. So often we look at images from runway shows and editorial shoots; and while we may love the images, we write them off as to out there to be wearable. We are missing out on a great opportunity. Take the feel of a look, and the colors, and translate them into something you would love wearing! This look is a perfect example.

  1. Start by priming your skin with foundation primer. Then apply the lightest foundation you feel comfortable wearing. Most women are beautiful in a tinted moisturizer.
  2. Conceal any blemishes with a secret camouflage, and dark circles with a concealer.
  3. Set complexion with a loose translucent powder using a puff.
  4. Prime your eye lids with eye shadow primer. Tight line the lash line with a dark blue cake liner. And then dust a flat white shadow on the lid concentrating on the lash line and blending it softly up to the crease.
  5. Curl eye lashes and apply a coat on lengthening mascara.
  6. Groom brows with a brow powder and brush.
  7. Now apply Rose Bloom blush on the apples of the cheeks and blend out into the hair line. Be generous. This look is all about a beautiful flushed cheek. Everything else is soft and fresh.
  8. Line your lips very softly with a lip pencil that matches your lip color, most women will used Naked or Hazelnut Tea.
  9. Apply a generous coat of Platinum lip gloss.

This look is really so pretty, and so fresh. And the only thing that you are doing different from the show is the placement of the blush. Same colors as the show just a different way of seeing them. Be creative. Be bold. Be adventurous. And playing with this one is a very safe adventure. It is like riding the teacups not the Matterhorn.

Next weeks blog is going to be all about foundation, it’s application, and its numerous textures.
Send your questions to

April 25, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog- Andrea Valentini

If there is one makeup look that people continually ask me to replicate from StyleWeek in January, it is easily Andrea Valentini’s. Andrea had a very specific look she wanted for her models. She wanted a strong smoky eye; but much more rock n roll than the other smoky eyes we did that week. This is in my humble opinion, the sexiest of the smoky eyes we did for the week. There were many beautiful and exotic smoky eyes during StyleWeek. This one just had such a “bad girl” feel to it. The woman who wears this look is in complete control. This woman is fearless. She owns any room she enters. This is definitely not a look for the meek or the timid.
Courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

Andrea is already a very established accessory designer (I personally covet more than a few of her handbags). This was her first showing of her apparel; and she pulled out all the stops. She combined incredibly luxurious fabrics with these edgy almost primitive touches. So the whole show was kind of seductively savage.

During preparation for the show, the models kept commenting on how sexy they felt. I even got emails from models from other shows asking how to create this look at home. I love it when something comes together perfectly and Andrea’s show is definitely one of those special times where everything did.

This is a very easy look to apply, but can be messy so it is wise to keep some cotton swabs and eye makeup remover close at hand for fallout.
Courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

1. With a crème shadow brush apply eye base lash to brow.

2. Tightline top and bottom lash line in black ebony cake liner using an activator.

3. Using crème detail brush place the black caviar liner lash to crease and with a wet dry liner brush along the lower lash line, including inner rim.

4. Place noir shadow across the lid and along the lower lash line.

5. Put a shimmery nude shadow on the brow bone and inner corner of the eyes.

6. Buff the edges of the black shadow with a soft clean finishing eye brush along the lash line and into the crease.

7. Curl lashes apply two coats of black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

8. Prime the skin with foundation primer and then even out the skin with appropriate foundation. For the show we used Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. Cover and spots or dark circles with Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer, using a Camouflage brush. Set t-zone only with Universal Setting Powder and a fan brush.

9. Use a nude-nutty colored crème blush on the contours of the cheeks. Apply this lightly, Crème Cheek Colour brush makes this easier.

10. Dab just a touch of foundation to the lips to tone down natural lip color. Outline with a nude lipliner like Naked. Then last but not least apply a generous coat of Sparkling Glace.

As I mentioned this is not a makeup look for a shy violet. This is when you want to let your inner rock star shine. Save this look for when you want to be the center of attention.
Courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

Next week I will write about Joseph Aaron Segal and his show stopping knit wear!

Send your questions and requests to

April 18, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog- Jessica Abernethy

Jessica Abernethy is easily one of my favorite designers. I love her silhouettes, her color palettes, and most especially her attention to detail. She is meticulous. I love her clothes!
She also has easily given me my all time favorite makeup request for a look for a show. She sent me an email requesting “Winter Safari Zsa Zsa Gabor”. I literally squealed when I saw that. Visions of Green Acres (I know that was Eva) mixed with Dr. Zhivago (Julie Christie) danced in my head. I was so excited to start working on her look. Heck I am excited to work on her look for August and I don’t even know what she wants yet! Jessica looks at the world through eyes I wouldn’t mind sharing. I always fall in love with her visions. And I am honored that I get to contribute to that vision.

Jessica and I met up to play with colors in person. We came up with a classic Hollywood defined smoky eye, and a deep sultry red lip. I was so thrilled with how this look translated onto the models. Their hair was rolled into soft curls piled on top of their head and then wrapped in white turban-like head wraps. The hair team really hit it out of the park. The clothes were soft and feminine but tailored perfectly. The final product was absolutely gorgeous.
by Daniel Gagnon

This look is gorgeous on the runway but also translates beautifully in real life. It is a strong day look for some of us, and a dramatic evening look for others. But it is completely wearable for everyone! You just can’t beat old Hollywood glamour.
by Daniel Gagnon

1. Mix together appropriate eye base with Platinum Crème Metallic. Apply evenly lash to brow.
2. Place the lightest color from the Orchid Mosaic from lash to brow with a soft eye shadow brush.
3. Tight line the lash line with Black Cake Liner.
4. Define the lash line and outer corner of the eye with Deep Night shadow. Using the same shadow line the lower lash line with a smudge brush.
5. Prime skin. Even out complexion with foundation, and secret camouflage. Set with loose setting powder with puff.
6. Conceal under eyes, and set with Secret Brightening powder.
7. Define brows with brow powder keeping the arch soft and round.
8. Place Violet Orchid blush on apples of Cheeks. Then swirl a finishing brush into Orchid Mosaic and dust on the high points on the face.
9. Apply false lashes, and a generous coat of mascara top and bottom.
10. Line and fill the lips with Very Cherry pencil. Then apply Bing Cherry Lip Color to the lips.

Bing Cherry is one of my most favorite lip colors ever. It is one of the most universally wearable lipsticks ever. Definitely try this lip color out.
by Daniel Gagnon

Next week I will be writing about Andrea Valentini’s rocker chic smoky eye! 
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