Concealers are hard-working multi-taskers and can be used to hide dark circles, cover discolorations, erase shadows and highlight the top of the cheekbones. This is the one item that you must have for early mornings AND photo worthy events. Eyes get the most attention when working with bridal clients so I thought to share my favorites for brightening the under eye area.
IT Cosmetics CC+ Eye Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream Concealer SPF 50+
This concealer is great for covering any discoloration and dark circles with a creamy formula that feels light on the skin with a subtle glow. Excellent coverage with SPF for the win. I recommend applying this first under the eyes, across the top of your cheekbones and down along the sides of your nose to brighten and highlight.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
This is a holy grail product with a huge following for good reason. It glides on and comes in a wide array of shades(16 ) for all skin tones. You'll love this if you're a makeup minimalist as less is more with this concealer. Apply a few dots under the eye and across the orbital bone and pat with fingertips to blend. No need to set with powder.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
This is a recent find for me and I love the price (under $10) and it is so easy to work with in a lightweight, creamy formula that erases and brightens. This is the concealer that my client said- "what is that? I need that!" I love the way this looks across the side of the eye, top of the cheek bone and down the sides of the nose to bring light to the middle of the face. Looks great under a light dusting of powder.
There you have it! My favorites for early mornings, photo shoots, and faking a full night's sleep.
I admit I'm late to the game with using a primer and so I decided to test several to find out what I thought. As a makeup artist I use primer on clients but don't use one regularly myself because my skin is sensitive and I didn't love the feel of a primer on my skin. Well, that has changed.
There are so many options with primers for lips, eyelids, lashes and the formulations have improved greatly from the silicone-heavy primers of the early 2000s. Primers are a category all on their own and several of them include treatments and ingredients to hydrate and protect the skin. Smooth makeup plus better skin? Yes, please.
These are my favorite primers that I've tried recently.
GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer -Primer plus moisturizer. This is a must-have if you want a smooth makeup application and I couldn't believe the difference it made under my liquid foundation. It hydrates the skin with ingredients that absorb excess oil and gives a flawless finish using even less foundation. Definitely a favorite for when I want a photo-finish- usually for a night out or when I know I'll be photographed. Added bonus: it includes a TEAOXI®’s Complex (Cherry Tomato Leaf, Prickly Pear, and Vitamin B5) which moisturizes and fortifies skin’s barrier and helps skin feel calm and replenished.
NARS Radiance Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen-I love this primer because it includes a protective SPF 35 and is lightweight enough for everyday use. It has a texture similar to a light serum. I usually layer this on top of my moisturizer and it imparts a subtle glow as it is tinted pink. This is my favorite for everyday wear and as a bonus it brightens my skin in the morning. It is easy to wear and feels great on my skin. Another favorite from NARS.
Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15-I'm pretty much obsessed with this cream eye shadow from Bare Minerals. I've tried the Urban Decay Primers, MAC and others. I was looking for an eye shadow primer that absolutely preps the lids for eye shadow and provides long wear. Thanks to Pro Artist Wayne Goss, I discovered this 5 in 1 base on his YouTube channel.
This one is my favorite because it goes on easily with an applicator, dries down quickly and doesn't budge. It comes in a variety of shades and you can wear it alone or layer it under your eye shadow. I wear eye shadow almost every day and they blend beautifully over this as a base and last all day even through a good workout at the gym. I also love how this covers discoloration on my eyelids and brightens the eye area. I definitely carry this in my makeup kit for clients.
My bridal clients often ask me which blush to use for their wedding day. They want to look pretty, not painted. Aside from 8 hours of sleep, the right blush can lift your face, enhance your eyes and punch up the glow factor.
Blush is one of my first loves. This love affair with blush dates back to antiquity. Blush has been a makeup necessity since ancient times and was used by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
Today, as a professional makeup artist I've definitely graduated to blush in all shades and the options are endless. For my bridal clients I always emphasize the importance of blush for a flawless photo. Think NARS Orgasm blush for a flush of peachy color or Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush for an ethereal glow. These are just two options that are leaps and bounds ahead of what we used in 1989 thanks to advanced pigments and finely milled powders
If you’re busy planning a wedding like most of my clients and can’t get 8 hours of sleep? It’s no problem with the right blush in hand. Trust me, as a pro makeup artist I’ve seen the power of blush to lift a girl’s smile countless times.
If you want to look your best for your wedding photos or just look every -day gorgeous, brush up on these tips to learn where to apply your favorite blush.
1. The old advice to apply blush only to the apples of your cheeks is a rule you can forget about. Where to apply blush depends on the shade you choose.
First: Perfect your face with foundation or tinted moisturizer. Apply your concealer so you are starting with a fresh canvas. Then choose your blush color. Apply depending on the shade you choose.
Pretty in Pink: Cool pink blushes mimic the rosiness of cheeks after a brisk walk.
Tip: Apply pink blush only on the very top of the apple of the cheek with a domed blush brush. Tap into the color and tap onto the cheeks. Don't swirl it but rather tap it and blend it back toward the hairline along the top of the cheeks. Make sure not to apply it too close to the smile lines on either side of your nose. You just want an infusion of color not mime-worthy circles of color.
Warm It Up: Peachy blush or blush with golden warm undertones like warm corals look best swept under the cheekbone.
Tip: They are closer to natural skin tones so use them to sculpt your cheekbones. Cool pinks can look too 'stripy' when placed under the cheekbone for sculpting. To start, place three fingers along the side of your mouth to cover your apples which tells you where the color should stop. Then swirl an angled blush brush into your peachy blush and apply starting near your ear and sweep it forward just until your apples. You'll notice most of the color is concentrated away from the apples and closer to the hairline.
The effect lifts the face and highlights your facial structure. It even makes your eyes pop. I also love to take whatever is left on the brush and sweep it across my nose and chin to balance out the color.
Take it from professional and invest in quality brushes to get the best application.
Brides and clients often ask me how to take care of their skin for the best makeup application since I'm pretty obsessed with skincare. It's also a blessing since I work as a professional makeup artist and have worked with women of all ages and skin types so I really understand how the skin performs.
In my experience working with Seattle clients, the best way to achieve a smooth makeup finish is to moisturize and exfoliate regularly. If you have a wedding to get ready for or just want to look your everyday best, these tips are for you.
Tip: Bring on the Moisturizer
Winter air can be drying as anyone living in Seattle already knows. Indoor heating, a low humidity climate and cold winds can zap the moisture from our skin very quickly. Lucky for us there are many ways to hydrate and moisturize our skin.
Tip: Make sure to moisturize your skin every day.
Even if you have combination or oily skin, our skin needs key lipids to stay soft and supple. Lipids keep the skins moisture barrier intact much like a safety net. If you skip this step your skin will actually overcompensate and produce more oil. No one wants that! Think of moisturizing as balancing your skin with what it needs. Hydrated skin means foundation applies evenly and won't show uneven patches of flaky, dry skin. If you use a powder foundation you can't skip this step since powder sits on the skin differently than liquid and accentuates skin texture.
Tip: Choose a day and night cream that are designed for your skin type.
Normal/ combination skins can use a lotion during the day while normal/dry skin types benefit from a lotion for day and a night cream. Look for ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate which binds moisture to the skin and sodium PCA which is a skin-replenishing ingredient and hydrates nicely. Glycerin and squalane are moisture binding agents so check the label for these skin soothers. Face oils are another great option to supercharge your skin's moisture level. Be sure to choose one that has argan, avocado or sunflower oil. If your skin is hydrated your foundation will have a silky feel and perform the way it is meant to. If you give your skin the right moisture to drink in, it won't drink in your makeup.
Shiseido Advanced Bio Performance Cream is my all time favorite night cream. It hydrates without being greasy, soaks right in and has anti-aging benefits as well. Clinique's Moisture Surge is another one I keep in rotation. It's formulated for ALL skin types and is a lightweight cream-gel that provides up to 24 hours of soothing hydration. Sometimes I layer this on top of my night cream for added moisture if I'm particularly dry. If you love pure ingredients then try BeautyCounter's Nourishing Day Cream. It absorbs quickly and the unscented formula contains a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, and aloe to provide nourishing hydration, plus antioxidant-rich acai to protect against dry skin.
Exfoliate Like A Pro
Exfoliating regularly is a must for a flawless face.
As we age the skin turnover process slows down which means skin can look dull and uneven and even flaky. Exfoliating means removing old, dead skin cells. Exfoliate regularly and your makeup will go on smoothly and you'll avoid an uneven bumpy texture on your tzone and cheeks.
When you buff off all that dead skin on the surface, you expose the new and radiant skin underneath. You can use a scrub but an exfoliating mask with alphahydroxy acids is often gentler and more effective to brighten and even skin tone. Alphahydroxy acids like fruit acids and glycolic acid are best because they penetrate skin and help to exfoliate, or ‘unglue’ dead skin cells that sit on the skin’s uppermost surface, leaving newer and healthier skin cells to show through. Our skin's natural pH is about a 7 on a scale of 1-14 which means it benefits from fruit acids to break down dry, flaky skin on the surface. So to summarize, a fruit acid mask is the most effective but if you love a scrub, use it gently on the t-zone only.
Tip: Use an exfoliating mask at least twice a week at night after cleansing your skin of makeup.
Most masks rinse off easily and are pretty quick to use taking about 10 minutes.
Tip: Be consistent. Your skin will improve with regular use because you are polishing your skin for a smoother skin texture.
Tip: Apply your evening skincare after the mask. It will penetrate better into refreshed skin.
The Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask smells amazing and is gentle enough to use 2-3 times a week. I'm obsessed with it. It is ideal for sensitive skin. Pomegranate and Ginkgo Biloba extracts fight free radicals and inflammation. Your skin will glow after just one use.
Ren makes another great mask that exfoliates: the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. An instant complexion-perfecting mask that brightens and renews skin tone and texture, minimizes pores and diminishes hyperpigmentation. This one is a bit stronger and formulated for combination and oily skin. It works well on post-acne scarring, blemishes, blackheads, and sun-damaged skin.