Foundation 101: Staying Flawless

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Many foundations on the market advertise all day wear, yet the number one complaint I hear from clients is that their foundation just doesn’t last. There is no reason why your foundation shouldn’t last throughout the day, just follow few simple steps. Keep on reading if you want flawless foundation around the clock!

First things first, much like your skin care regime, you have to think of your foundation as a ROUTINE. There are several steps to achieving a flawless complexion that lasts all day and a few products you’ll need that will work together to maximize wear.

Here’s what it takes to create a complete, long-lasting foundation routine:

Moisturizer

Use a moisturizer that is best suited for your skin type. If you’re going to be applying your makeup immediately after your skincare, opt for a formula that is lightweight and fast absorbing. Be sure to massage your moisturizer into the skin to help it penetrate and to boost circulation for plump, hydrated skin. This step will allow for your foundation to adhere to a smooth base. When the skin is hydrated, makeup will last longer and look better.

Primer

The main purpose of a primer is to help your makeup last longer. Primers act as a base for your foundation and often contain ingredients (like glycerin) that are tacky to help makeup stick & stay put. Primer also acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which means that your skin shouldn’t affect the way your makeup wears. If you do have skin concerns that are likely to break down your foundation (such as the overproduction of oil), choose a primer that will help combat the issue (like a mattifying primer). Just like a primer for paint on the wall, foundation primer fills in nooks and crannies for a smooth result. If you have concerns with enlarged pores, scarring or fine lines, choose a primer with a silicon base to keep your makeup from settling into textured areas.

APPLICATION TIP: Make sure to work your primer in well with clean hands. Add extra primer where you find your makeup creases or breaks down through out the day, but remember to start with a small amount of product. If you use too much, or apply your foundation before your primer has a chance to absorb, it can ball up and create texture underneath your makeup. As a best practice, I like to wait at least 60 seconds after priming the face before I apply foundation.

Foundation

As a general rule, the more pigment a product has, the longer it will last and, unfortunately, pigment is a costly ingredient. This doesn’t mean that expensive foundations are necessarily better, however, higher quality ingredients = better performance. This is not to say that you can’t make a drug store foundation last all day. If you have a great foundation routine, getting 6-8 hours of wear from any foundation should be no problem. If you do need your makeup to stay on longer, say for a special event, you may want to opt for a higher end formulation.

APPLICATION TIP: When it comes to foundation, the key to application is to work in light layers. If you swipe your foundation on in a very thick layer, it is more likely to slide off of the skin. Between each layer of coverage, allow your makeup to dry and become tacky so that the next layer will adhere.

A tool to apply foundation with, such as a brush or sponge – I’m not opposed to using fingertips to apply foundation, but they can deposit a lot of product. As I mentioned, a thick layer of foundation is apt to slide off of the skin, and I find a brush or blending sponge will deposit just the right amount. Avoid using a wiping motion when applying foundation, as you’re not really depositing product this way, simply moving it around. The best application technique for any skin type, in my experience, is a stippling motion. Tap your foundation into your skin to marry the texture of your makeup and primer together, without lifting any product. Stippling will also give the smoothest result over pores and texture, and is the ideal technique for oily skin types.

APPLICATION TIP: Starting at the center of your face, work your foundation outwards towards your jawline. The jaw area is what I call the “transfer zone”, where the collar of your shirt can rub and where we’re likely to touch our skin. Having less makeup in this area makes transfer less likely and for most of us, the center of the face is where we need the most coverage anyhow.

Setting Powder

It’s a simple truth that your makeup will last longer when you use a powder over top. Powdering your foundation will set it in place and keep it from transferring onto your clothes, phone etc. throughout the day. Don’t worry that your foundation will look cake-y or dry when using a powder. Opt for a translucent option with finely milled powders for the most natural result.

APPLICATION TIP: You’ll want to avoid sweeping your powder over a wet liquid foundation, as this will only serve to move your makeup around, especially if you have oily skin. To truly SET your foundation, use the “press and roll” method. Press your powder into your foundation and roll your brush or sponge to mesh the two textures together without disturbing your makeup. Touch your skin with clean hands once you have applied your setting powder. Your skin should feel velvety smooth to the touch and there shouldn’t be any tacky spots. Start with the smallest amount of product (I usually use the residue that’s left in the lid when I open it up) and build in areas where foundation is still tacky or is likely to move around.

Setting Spray

For the ultimate long wear, mist your makeup with a setting spray at the end of your routine.Think of setting spray as hairspray for your face. Basically, it creates a film over your makeup (though obviously gentler and more flexible than hairspray) to defend against humidity and oil. You may not need to use a setting spray every day, but it is a must-have product for hot weather, a night out, or a special occasion.

APPLICATION TIP: Be sure to hold your setting spray at arms length. If you spray your product too close to your face, you could end up with water droplets on top of your foundation that will break it down! Try misting your setting spray in a T or X shape for even application.

 

It may seem like a lot of work, but the right techniques and products will keep your foundation flawless all day and all night!

IMATS Vancouver

Recently our makeup artist, Alyssa Steinhubl, made the trek to Vancouver to the International Makeup Artists Trade Show! Her mission was to stock up the All Things Pink Photography studio makeup kit, and boy did she have fun shopping for all of you! Take a look at some of the photos she took from her trip. If you would like to read more about her trip, head over to her website.

With a boudoir, pin-up or maternity photoshoot and makeover booked with us, you can check out her amazing and fabulous new finds!

HOW TO: Bold Summer Lips

Perfect Summer lip - prep step-Edit
Before
Perfecy Summer Lip- Enhance Step
After

There are still a few weeks of summer left and there’s still time to rock a daring, saturated lip colour before the leaves start to fall. As much as I love the deep, rich hues that come with the transition to cooler days, I find myself reaching for the punchiest, most vibrant hues lately to send off the summer with a bang. There are a few tips and tricks I’d like to share with you when it comes to rocking a bold lip. The basic principles are the same for any lip colour, and these steps will take you seamlessly into the next season as well!

Step 1: DON’T FORGET TO PREP

Though I personally prefer a juicy, glossy pout in the summertime, matte lipstick continues to trend. These formulas highlight texture on the lip and can be dehydrating. If you’re going to wear a vibrant lip, you’ll want it to look as smooth as possible. Nobody wants to look at a bright red, flaky, peeling lip, now do they? Not to mention a matte lipstick can be uncomfortable if you’re lips aren’t properly hydrated. When I’m prepping for a bold lip, I like to start with a scrub to get rid of any flaky texture. You can purchase a lip scrub almost anywhere now, but they’re also really easy to make yourself at home and only require a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for your own DIY lip scrub –

  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part olive or coconut oil
  • a dollop of honey

Massage the mixture GENTLY onto the lips. You may find that you need more vigorous scrubbing action to remove the dry skin, but it’s always best to start slow and work your way up. I like to leave the mixture on my lips for a few minutes to let the oil & sugars work their magic. (Sugar is a natural humectant and will help to draw moisture into the lips). Then, you can simply tissue or rinse the scrub away to reveal a perfectly smooth pout. Finish off with your favourite light weight lip balm to hydrate the lips and seal in moisture.

Sugar Scrub
Sugar Scrub

Step 2: LINE & DEFINE

Lip liner is an absolute must when braving a bold lip. It keeps the lip looking crisp and defined and it will keep the colour from feathering or running throughout the day. Lip liner can also be used to correct asymmetry in the lips, or add volume. I recommend a close colour match when it comes to liner – but if you’re not confident in your lip lining skills, you can always opt for a universal liner in a clear shade that will act as a barrier and primer for your lipstick.

When lining the lips, I like to start at the center of the cupid’s bow and then move to the center of the bottom lip to ensure symmetry. Try to work in swift long strokes rather than short and sketchy. You want the lip line to look as smooth as possible. When lining the corners of the lip, be sure to work from the corner upwards rather that downwards towards the corner. This will give you the fullest looking pout. You may prefer to fill the lips in entirely with a liner for the longest wear. I typically feather the liner onto the rest of the lip with a lip brush to mesh the texture of the liner with the lip and avoid a harsh looking border.

Perfect Summer Lip - Line Step-Edit

 

 

 

 

Step 3: FILL IN

Using a lip brush, use cross hatching motions to marry the texture of the lip product with the texture of your lips. This will give you the least “garish” result and will help the product last longer on the lips. I prefer to achieve opacity in thin layers to avoid a sticky & uncomfortable build up of product. I then tend to blot the lips with a brush or thin tissue to remove any excess.

Perfect Summer Lip - Fill Step-Edit

 

 

 

 

Step 4: ENHANCE

Now it’s time to play. I like to enhance my lips by adding a luminizer to the cupid’s bow. You can also add some luminizer to the center of your pout to create interest and volume. As I mentioned, I tend to prefer a shinier finish in the summer time. Add a touch of gloss in a clear or matching shade just to the center of the lips where it will catch the light and make your lips look fuller. I usually grab a highlighting or luminizing pen like the Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat radiance pen and perfect the lip line with it for an ultra crisp finish.

Perfecy Summer Lip- Enhance Step

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to tuck your lipstick into your handbag for touch ups on the go! Make the most of these last few sunny weeks by rocking an adventurous new shade!

 

Practice Safe Sun- Part Three: Tan-talizing Sunless Options – Bronzers

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This is part three of a three-part series:
Part One
Part Two

I love to use bronzers to add radiance and colour to my skin year round. With the strobing and highlighting trend ever present on social media, shimmery bronzers can be a great way to go for the glow! A matte bronzer could double as your contour colour, allowing you to jump on two trends at once. With all the formulas on the market, it can be intimidating to choose the right bronzer for you. Check out my advice to ensure your bronzer is always just right:

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BRONZER:

There are a few things to be mindful of when choosing the right bronzer. Firstly, you’ll want to be aware of your skin’s undertone.

COOL or PINK toned bronzers will look best on you if you have a cooler undertone to your skin. The Chocolate Soleil bronzers from Too Faced are a great example of a bronzer with a cool tone.

WARM or GOLDEN toned bronzers look best on warm undertones.

NEUTRAL undertones can wear either option.

You can still wear a warmer bronzer if you’re a cool undertone, but be aware that this will create more of a contrast with your skin, and therefor, a more dramatic result.

You may also want to choose a bronzer that is best for your skin type. Bronzers with shimmer will highlight and accentuate texture, so that’s something to be aware of if you are concerned with dry skin or visible pores. You may also want to choose a bronzer with a matte finish if you are oily, to reduce the appearance of shine.

DRY SKIN types may find a liquid or cream bronzer more comfortable to wear and will last longer on the skin, while OILY SKIN types may have better luck with a powder. Bronzers that are baked or made from clay are more stable, and can last longer on oily skin.

WHERE TO BRONZE:

Think about where the sun would naturally tan your face (or in my case, burn) if you spent the day at the beach. Chances are, you wouldn’t get all over even colour naturally, and you have to be mindful about where you place your bronzer for believable looking tan. Remember, bronzer is not setting powder or foundation and shouldn’t be an opaque layer over the skin. I like to work in sheer layers of colour using a large, fluffy brush for a subtle application. I bronze only the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit. It can be helpful to stand in natural light, or under a light source with a mirror to check where the light bounces off on the high planes of your face. Typically, this will be the hairline, top of the cheekbone, bridge of the nose and maybe the jawline and chin, depending on your face shape. To make it easy for my clients, I tell them to imagine sweeping a “3” shape on the right side of their face with their bronzer brush, and an “E” on the left side to hit most of the points. Those who are keen to mimic the effects of a day spent sunbathing can dust their bronzer in a W shape from their cheekbones, over the bridge of their nose. Take a peek at the face charts I created below as a guide to where to place your bronzer for the most natural results.

PRO TIP: You can add in just a touch of your blush just at the hairline and highest planes of the chin and cheeks for a flushed “just came in from the sun” look. This technique is perfect for those with very fair skin, who may have trouble finding a bronzer that is the right colour for their skin tone.

No matter how you choose to “fake your bake”, remember to protect yourself with SPF every single day! There are so many options to choose from to safely and easily mimic the effects of a tan without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. I love the way a beautiful golden glow makes me feel, and luscious tanned skin continues to trend in the media and on the runway. You too can achieve super model worthy bronzed skin at home this summer, with out risking a sun burn or worse! Don’t forget to “practice safe sun” this summer and all year round!

Part One
Part Two

Practice Safe Sun- Part Two: Tan-talizing Sunless Options – Self Tanners

This is part two of a three-part series:
Part One
Part Three

Is pale the new tan? With all the liquid bronzers, self- tanners, powder bronzers and luminzers hitting the shelves this season, I’m thinking not… There is something about the glowing, slimming, smoothing effect of tan that just makes everything look better. Luckily, you can have it all with the latest bronzing and tanning products – safe, effective and natural looking summer skin any time of year!

Self tanners

Saying the word “self- tanner” instantly makes me think of the streaky orange skin I was left with when I tried it for the first time in junior high. I promise you though, I have since had MUCH better results and I really believe it is simple and possible to achieve a natural looking, sun- free tan in the comfort of your own home. Self tanning products have come such a long way and modern formulas are easy to use and give gorgeous results. Check out my tips to faking a flawless tan all year long:

  1. EXFOLIATE – the best tip I can give you to ensure your self tanner goes on evenly and dries to a streak- free all over glow is to ALWAYS exfoliate before application. Make sure your skin is a smooth as a baby’s bum before you tan by sloughing off dead skin skills in the shower or bath. I prefer to use a physical scrub to do this (something with grains or granules), but you could use a mitt or loofah or even a retexturizing body cream with chemical exfoliants.

Always shave or wax BEFORE you tan, as this step also removes the top layer of built up skin cells.

PRO TIP- I like to continue to exfoliate throughout the duration of my self tan so that it fades evenly!

  1. MOISTURIZE – many self tanners come in the form of a moisturizer or lotion, and will add hydration to the skin. If you apply a rich moisturizer all over the body and then apply your tanner, it won’t develop evenly on the skin. That said, you should be wary of drier areas on the skin where the tanner will “stick” and develop darker. For an even tan, I apply moisturizer only to my elbows, knees and ankles in a thin layer to protect these parched areas from getting too dark & then let my self tanner do the rest of the hydrating. I also pop a bit of moisturizer on areas with a lot of texture, like my knuckles, to keep self tanner from developing in the nooks and crannies. Moisturizing your skin throughout your tan, after it develops, will help it last so much longer!

PRO TIP: It’s a good idea to use moisturizer or Vaseline as a barrier where you DON’T want your tan to develop – like between your fingers and toes, on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, and on your nail beds and cuticles!

  1. USE A MITT – this was a real “AHA!” moment for me when using self tanners. First of all, using a tanning mitt keeps your palms from getting stained with self tanner – the tell tale sign of a fake tan! Second of all, it ensures an even application – it’s almost like a paint roller for your self tanner. And lastly, it’s so much faster. The mitt will provide you with a larger surface area than your palms so you can quickly and easily reach all of the areas that you want to tan.
  1. GET HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS – those hard to reach areas like the backs of your legs or shoulders are going to stand out if you miss them in your tanning escapades. Host a tanning night with friends or ask your partner to lend a hand. This is when the mitt really comes in handy so that your helper isn’t at risk of staining their palms. I find it useful to use a self tanner with a guide colour to see exactly what areas you need extra help to cover.
  1. TAN ALL OF THE THINGS – I almost never use self tanners on my face because a) I do a lot of peels and masks and it doesn’t last on my skin and b) I always wear makeup so I’m able to adjust the colour of my foundation or bronzer to match my body. If you’re not like me, though, and you don’t wear makeup every day, you’ll need to use a tanner on your face too so that everything matches up. Make sure you use a self tanner that is safe to use on the face. When I do use a self tanner on the facial area, I stick to the high points of my face where the sun would naturally hit me, rather than a solid colour all over. I prefer gradual tanners, or tanning drops you can add to a facial moisturizer on the face for a subtler effect. Don’t forget to tan your neck and ears, and the area behind your ears as well – in case a ponytail or top bun is in order during the duration of your tan.

It might seem like a lot of work, but the rules of self tanning become second nature the more often you do it. I’m rather fair skinned and burn easily in the sun. It’s very hard for me to tan naturally, but I love the look of golden skin. There are tons of self- tanning products on the market now- many that are suited specifically to your skin tone. I’ve found most are incredibly easy to use, especially with a helping hand. Not only are self- tanners a pale girl’s dream, they also add a gorgeous golden radiance to deeper skin tones. They can be a real enhancement to your complexion, even in the winter months, but you must remember not to skip your SPF. Self tanners will have you looking like you just came back from a Caribbean vacation, but the boost of colour won’t add any additional protection from the sun.

Part One (previous)
Part Three (next)

Beauty Tips to Transition From Winter to Spring

20150912-145105-DSC_0691-Edit-2Believe it or not, spring is finally here and sunny days are just around the corner! While you might be preoccupied with cleaning out winter’s dust bunnies and scouring Pinterest for a new warm weather wardrobe, the season presents an opportunity to update your beauty routine as well! Here are 6 tips to help you transition from “Winter Blah” to “Spring Hoorah”!

Do A Little Spring Cleaning

Hoarding drawers full of expired makeup is not only bad feng shui, but using product past its prime can lead to eye and skin infections! YIKES! Here is a quick guide to let you know when it’s time to let go:

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Don’t forget, for those of us guys & gals for whom “trash can” is a dirty word, a lot of cosmetics companies offer a recycling program for your empties!

Re-Evaluate Your Routine

Let’s face it, what works for you in the winter months may not be what’s best to address your skin concerns when warmer weather comes around. Seasonal change can have a big impact on the skin and it’s important to switch up your skincare routine in order to maintain results.

Hydration is key, no matter your skin type, and you may want to swap out your rich, creamy moisturizers for a lightweight or gel formula. It’s ALWAYS important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, no matter the season. Make sure you’re using a product with SPF, and if you’re spending time outdoors, you should re-apply every 2 hours for total protection.

Switch Up Your Coverage

Say goodbye to heavy formulas and opaque coverage – spring is the season when BB Creams and tinted moisturizers rule the makeup world. Opt for products with a natural to radiant finish- flat, matte skin is SO last season 😉

When shopping for a new foundation, keep your summer shade in mind. I like to keep two different foundation shades on hand (one darker and one lighter) so that I can mix them to achieve my ideal match. You can also incorporate a liquid bronzer into your routine to deepen your existing foundation. Try mixing it in with your favourite complexion product or primer.

Go For the Glow

“Strobing” is all the rage with beauty gurus on social media, but don’t worry, you don’t need to sport highlighter that can be seen from space to stay on trend. Dewy cheekbones and radiant skin is always a hit come spring, and you can add a little glow on the go without looking like a human disco ball.

Try adding a liquid luminizer to your primer for a lit from within look. You can also dab some on the high points of your face under your foundation for subtle glow. Be mindful of adding too much shine to the T-zone or chin area, as dewy skin can quickly look greasy if you’re not careful about your placement.

Sweeten Those Cheeks

Blush is back, and what a better way to ring in the season than with a pop of colour on the cheek. I love to use a blush with a hint of shimmer when the sun comes out for a playful, flirty sheen.

If you’re stumped on what shade to wear, it can be helpful to look for a colour similar to the shade of your natural lip – but I think a peachy-pink blush looks good on almost every skin tone.

Remember to use a light hand when applying blush to go for a natural looking flush. Keep the colour to the apples of your cheeks for the most youthful look, blending the shade in the direction of your hairline to create lift.

Flip Your Lip

I’ve been loving the dark matte lipstick trend this winter, but it’s time to move on. Brands are releasing tons of new, pigmented, high-tech glosses that are more hydrating and comfortable than matte formulas. Keep your lips in tip top shape by prepping them with a moisturizing balm – then try something new in a bright pop of pink, purple or punchy orange!

Cruella de Vil Makeup Tutorial

I think all Villains are wickedly wonderful, and I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. That said, Cruella’s look is one of the most coveted. While I prefer faux fur to dalmation, myself, I can’t argue that Cruella’s brow game is “en pointe” and her crisp red lip is highly sought after! NARS Cosmetics even created a lipstick shade in her name! (Can you guess what we used on Veruschka’s lips for this look?) It wasn’t hard to create a glamorous look for this villain, and on Veruschka’s pretty features, it was as easy as painting by number!

THE EYES

This villain’s muted green lids needed a trendy update. Luckily, bright greens are a hot eye shadow colour at the moment, and pair beautifully with a vampy red lip.

  1. As always, I primed the eyelids with an eye shadow primer from lash line to brow bone to ensure bold colour pay off and keep the eye makeup from creasing.
  2. I then swept a base shadow in a similar shade to Veruschka’s natural skin tone all over the eye to make blending a breeze!
  3. To set the stage for this alluring eye look, I sculpted Veruschka’s crease to make her eyes appear more deep set. I started with a medium brown tone, carrying the colour up to her orbital bone and blending away and hard edges.
  4. To further define the crease, I added a black shadow with a detail brush. I blended the black shadow with the brown along the top edge, but left the bottom edge of the crease crisp and defined. This technique really gives the crease a “carved out” look which is perfect to mimic Cruella’s heavy lidded, seductive gaze.
  5. Before adding the electric green shadow on the lid, I coloured it in with an eyeliner pencil to help the pigment of the shadow adhere. I used the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencil in “Freak (a lime yellow-green), being careful to keep the edge of the black shadow above nice and clean.
  6. I used a combination of the pressed pigments, “Thrash” and “Freak” from Urban Decay’s Electric Palette on Veruschka’s lids to achieve the bold green shade. When working with pigments, it is essential to use a base (like the eyeliner I used in the step above) to help the product adhere to the eyelid. I find a pressing or patting motion works well to ensure even colour saturation.
  7. I lined the top and bottom waterline with a black eyeliner pencil, and smoked out the lower lash line with black shadow for that sexy, smoldering effect.
  8. I finished the eye look with a modern “flicked” liquid eyeliner on the top lash line. To top it off, I chose lashes for Veruschka’s look that also flared out at the edges to add drama while complimenting the shape of the eye shadow.

THE COMPLEXION

I have to say, when it comes to complexion, I’m a full-coverage kind of gal. But as a makeup artist, I know that airbrush foundation photographs best.

  1. I always prep the skin with a moisturizer before applying any foundation to ensure smooth application.
  2. I followed the moisturizer with a hydrating primer and let it soak in for a full minute.
  3. Because the coverage of airbrush makeup is more lightweight, I like to use a concealer first in any areas that require additional coverage. I used a brightener under the eyes to colour correct any darkness, and a tiny bit of a cream concealer around the nose to hide redness.
  4. Many women require the most coverage in the center of the face, so that’s where I start with the airbrush. I hold the machine at arm’s length from my client and spray in circular motions until desired coverage is achieved.
  5. I always finish with a translucent setting powder to prolong the wear of the makeup and minimize any texture on the skin.

 

THE CONTOUR

Cruella’a razor-sharp cheek bones are a sight to be seen! I set out to give Veruschka glamorous, defined bone structure, while minimizing the risk to society (death by cheekbone).

  1. I used a cool toned contouring powder to mimic the look of a shadow. I often feel my client’s bone structure before I start to contour, as it isn’t always prominent. I like to place my brush right under the cheekbone at the hairline and blend the product upwards to create lift. I stop the contour in line with the arch of the brow for the most natural effect.
  2. I sharpened up Veruschka’s cheekbones by taking a matte highlight powder on a latex makeup sponge and sweeping the product along the bottom of the contour. This cleans up and defines any over blended edges for a dramatic, sculpted result.
  3. I also took the contour colour around the hairline on the forehead, along the jawline and down onto the neck to blend. Contouring the perimeter of the face not only enhances the natural bone structure, but also adds warmth to the overall complexion. It keeps the cheekbone contour from appearing too stark against the skin.
  4. When you think “glamour”, you might think of a red lip, or dramatic lashes, but for me, the epitome of a glamorous makeup look is the blush. When it comes to blush, a little goes a long way. I dusted a small amount of peachy/ pink powder onto the apples of Veruschka’s cheeks, blending backwards towards the hairline to create a lifted effect.

 

THE DETAILS

  1. No villain is complete with out fierce and fabulous brows to frame their face. While Cruella sports super high, swooping curves atop her brow bone, I chose to give Veruschka a more alluring arch. When creating a higher arch than your natural or existing shape, it’s best to build volume from the top of the arch. Using a brow pencil, I make a mark above the brow, angling from the nose, through the pupil of the eye. From this point, I connect the tail and the front of the brow to get the shape and then fill in with brow powder.
  2. NARS Cosmetics’ Cruella lip pencil is one of my favourite red lipsticks. Of course, we had to use this shade on Veruschka to top off her character’s look. I used a red lip liner first to define the lips, and filled in the lip with the NARS pencil. I blotted the colour with a tissue, powdered the lip with a translucent powder, and then applied a second coat of lipstick to ensure maximum wear.
  3. To keep Veruschka’s look in place, I finished her makeup off with a generous mist of finishing spray.

What I love most about makeup is its amazing transformative power. Using products that many of us may already have in our makeup arsenal, anyone can go from every day exquisite to totally dazzling drama. It’s so much fun to pretend to be someone else for a day, and what a better time than Halloween? I think there is a movie villain in all of us, waiting to show her glamorous self. Why not try a new shade of lipstick, some false lashes, or even Face Lace to bring that character to life? I believe that beauty is everywhere, and I hope my makeup tips and tricks can help you bring a touch of glam to your Halloween look this year!

Ursula Makeup Tutorial

I think all movie Villains have some serious makeup merit, however, I’ve always held Ursula’s fierce face in high regard. Her character was inspired by the infamous 80’s drag queen, Divine, and I couldn’t resist the chance to experiment with one of my favourite makeup styles. If I may offer a word of caution to those who may have never tried it; drag makeup is extremely involved and time consuming. All hail the queens supreme who spend hours doing up their drag-a-licious looks on the regular!

Although this makeup could absolutely be simplified, I really wanted to pay homage to Ursula’s over-the-top character with makeup that was just that. For those pressed for time, I would suggest focusing on one feature, like the eyes or contour, to bring your Ursula character to life in only a moment or two.

THE BROWS

First things first, even the most blessed among us don’t naturally grow arches like Ursula’s.  I COULD write a lengthy tutorial on how to block out your brows, or I could just direct you to this hilarious, yet informative YouTube video – the very same one I watched the first time I tried this difficult-to-master technique. Blocking out your brows can be a great “FX” addition to many Halloween costumes, and some key things to remember are:

  1. Use lots of glue. Don’t be shy. And get the purple kind.
  2. It doesn’t matter how thick your brows are. You can do this. Very hairy men do this. It just takes time.
  3. Patience is a virtue. It usually takes me at least 20 minutes to do this step. It is essential for the glue to dry completely between layers.
  4. Brush the brow hairs in the direction that they grow, as opposed to brushing them all upwards.
  5. Once your brow hairs are glued down, it’s a good idea to use an orange colour corrector before trying to cover them. This is great for colour- correcting any type of facial hair, as it cancels out any bluish- black tones.
  6. Use a pan stick/ pan-cake makeup, or the thickest you have, to cover the area. I used Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and patted it over the brow area for the most opaque result.

Don’t forget to set the area with a translucent powder before moving on to the next step!

 

THE EYES

When creating an eye look for drag makeup, keep in mind that you’re trying to create a completely different eye shape, and it’s a dramatic one! Drag makeup is all about manipulating your face shape and becoming a character. For this look, I created a new “crease” and “lid” using cream products. By blocking out the brows, we’ve created lots of space for Ursula’s characteristic extreme eyeshadow.

  1. To define a new crease that was similar to Ursula’s fierce, queenly eye shape, I mixed colours from the Make
    Up Forever 12 Flash Colour Case to create a deep purple shade. I used the creamy colour to draw a swooping shape that started at the top of the nasal bridge.
  2. From there, I faded the colour upwards with synthetic brushes in a gradient from deep purple to white. I took the colour fairly high onto the forehead, stopping where I planned to create a new pair of eyebrows later on. I used cream colour for this and set it afterwards with eyeshadow.
  3. I used a white shadow pencil to map out the new lid space, stopping at my natural crease. I pressed an iridescent white shadow over top to add shimmer.
  4. I then filled in my mobile lid completely with black cream shadow to look like liner, effectively defining three new planes of the eye. I extended the black onto the temple to create an elongated winged shape, mirroring the swoop I created earlier in the “crease”. I set this with a black eyeshadow to keep the cream colour from transferring onto the white shadow above.
  5. I dragged the black cream colour down from the corner of my top lash line to open up the inner corner of my eye. From the point of the inner corner, I carried the cream product about a third of the way under my eye before joining it up with my natural lash line. I then filled this space in with white to create a new “inner corner” and the illusion of a larger eye.
  6. I lined the rest of the lower lash line with a black liner and connected it to the outside corner of the wing. I used a deep plum shadow to smoke out the lower lash line, building up a fairly thick saturation of colour under the eye.

 

THE CONTOUR

Though the eyes played a major role in this look, the key to drag makeup is the extreme contour. I also used the contour step to tie more purple into the look without painting my entire face.

  1. I used a cream foundation base in my natural colour all over the face before applying cream contour.
  2. I then highlighted the area under my eyes, through the center of my face and on top of my cheek bones with the white shade in the Make Up Forever 12 Flash Colour Case.
  3. I used the “baking technique” to make these areas stand out even more by pressing an excessive amount of translucent powder into the cream makeup and dusting it away later on.
  4. I contoured my cheeks by mixing Flash Colours to create a purple shade. Typically, when I contour for drag makeup, I create a rounder shape and bring the colour closer to the mouth to emphasize a pouty lip. Ursula has a fuller face, so I didn’t want to sculpt away volume in my cheeks, while still accentuating the cheekbone.
  5. I blended the cheek contour upwards into the highlight shade, but left a crisp line along the bottom. Drag makeup is a form of theater makeup. As such, you want to avoid blending away the definition you’ve created.
  6. I contoured the bridge of my nose with a thin brush to create a slim shape and rounded tip. I also contoured the hairline and jawline, and brought some of the purple colour down onto the neck.
  7. I set the contoured areas with a purple eyeshadow to keep the product in place, and finished off the highlight with a touch of iridescent powder.

THE DETAILS

  1. I wanted to create a voluptuous pout for this makeup, so I over drew my lips outside the natural lip line using a dark purple eyeliner. To create an ombre effect, I filled in the entire lip with the eyeliner. I then added a lighter berry lipstick just to the center, using a lip brush to blend the two shades just at the edges.
  2. Rather than go for the pointed high arches, I chose to match my brow shape to my “Film Noir”- esque wig. I went for a 1920s style rounded shape, angling the brows downwards in the front for a sinister look. I kept the brows slim and precise using a black liquid liner pen.

  3. For truly extravagant glamour, I wore a pair of plush feathery lashes from Shu Umera. I also added a pair of spiky bottom lashes to my lower lash line for maximum drama.

Drag style makeup involves many layers of cream product, so setting with a powder is key for maximum wear. When doing makeup for an occasion or event, I use a “setting sandwich technique”. I mist a generous amount of setting spray over the makeup and wait for it to dry completely. Then I powder over top of the setting spray with a translucent powder, and mist the makeup a second time to lock it in place. Try this budge proof technique for Halloween makeup that won’t move until YOU decide to take it off! Happy Haunting!

 

Captain Hook Makeup Tutorial

I was really excited to create a “pretty pirate” look for Kassy when I found out which character she would be portraying. I hear a lot of repeat requests when it comes to Halloween makeup, but I can’t say that a glamorous Captain Hook is one of them. Because this character goes against the grain, so to speak, I wanted to challenge some makeup myths as well. Everyone has heard that they shouldn’t wear a dramatic eye and a dramatic lip together, and who better than a pirate to break the age old makeup rule?

THE EYES

I know black eyeshadow can be intimidating, but Halloween is not the time to be shy! Captain Hook has some serious attitude, and I wanted her smoky eye to be dark and hazy.

  1. As always, I started with an eyeshadow primer from lashline to browbone to keep the eyeshadow in place. Because I was working with a creamier base, I expected some creasing, but I actually think this adds to the grungy and smoky effect.
  2. I laid down a black Kajal liner as a base for the smoky eye. I chose the YSL Couture Kajal liner because it has a fat tip and is so easy to blend. I used the side of the pencil to get maximum coverage from Kassy’s lash line to her crease, and softly blended the colour upwards onto her orbital bone.
  3. I also carried the liner under the lower lash line, all the way into the inner corner and added it into the top and bottom waterline for extra blackness. I buffed the liner out with a precision smudge brush to create a round shape. It’s okay if your liner isn’t perfectly straight, that’s what a smoky eye is all about. You want the edges to be smudgy and hazy.
  4. To keep the eyes blended and beautiful, I used my favourite trick. I took a little bit of a warm coloured bronzer on my blending brush and swept it through the crease and under the eye in a circular motion, creating a halo effect. This not only helps break up the black, but also creates a more cohesive look by warming up this seriously smoky eye.
  5. I patted the blackest black shadow I know of, Saucebox “Black Widow” eyeshadow, on top of the eye with the bristles of my brush pointing downwards. This technique prevents fall out and ensures maximum colour payoff.
  6. After doing one last sweep with a clean blending brush to ensure any harsh lines were buffed away, I finished the lashes with a coat of super- black mascara.

 

THE COMPLEXION

I have to say, when it comes to complexion, I’m a full-coverage kind of gal. But as a makeup artist, I know that airbrush foundation photographs best.

  1. I always prep the skin with a moisturizer before applying any foundation. Kassy was a little on the drier side, so I made sure to really work the product into the skin, and even used a few drops of a beauty oil to help the skincare absorb.
  2. I followed the moisturizer with a hydrating primer and let it soak in for a full minute.
  3. Because the coverage of airbrush makeup is more lightweight, I like to use a concealer first in any areas that require additional coverage. I used a brightener under the eyes to colour correct any darkness, and a tiny bit of a cream concealer around the nose to hide redness.
  4. Many women require the most coverage in the center of the face, so that’s where I start with the airbrush. I hold the machine at arm’s length from my client and spray in circular motions until desired coverage is achieved.
  5. I always finish with a translucent setting powder to prolong the wear of the makeup and minimize any texture.

Captain Hook doesn’t strike me as a modest character, so I skipped blush on Kassy to give her a more rebellious look. We focused on contour to give her face shape and definition.

  1. I used a cool toned contour powder to mimic the look of a shadow. To enhance Kassy’s cheekbones, I started at the top of her ear and blended the colour towards the corner of her mouth. I always start way back in the hairline with my brush to ensure a diffused look.
  2. I also took the contour colour around the hairline on the forehead, and just at the edges of Kassy’s jawline to define her bone structure. When I contour these areas, I like to use a fluffier brush for a more transparent application of product.
  3. I sharpened up my cheekbone contour by dusting a matte highlight powder along the bottom edge of the contour. After letting it set for a moment or two, I dust away any excess to reveal a seriously sharp, dramatic cheek bone.
  4. On a kabuki brush, I picked up a little of the same bronzer shade I used to warm up Kassy’s smoky eye. I dusted the bronzer on the high points of her face to add a little warmth, without making her look too “innocent”.

 

THE DETAILS

  1. Every villain (or villainess) needs a bold brow. Kassy already had a great shape going, and I played up her arches with a dark brow powder to match her black wig. I always set the brows with a wax or gel to keep any rogue hairs in place.
  2. From the moment I found out Kassy was playing Captain Hook, I knew we had to dress her up in a red lip. I chose a matte shade that was a little on the warmer side to tie in with the bronzer. I started with a lip primer to keep the colour in place. I then defined her perfect lip shape with a liner and buffed it out using a lip brush so it wouldn’t appear too harsh. I finished with the lipstick to give her a saturated, vampy pout.
  3. To give Captain Hook a glamorous twist, we added some “Face Lace” to one eye in place of an eye patch. I trimmed the decal to suit Kassy’s eye shape and adhered it using a bit of clear eyelash glue.
  4. Glam makeup just isn’t glam enough without false lashes. To finish off Kassy’s look, we added a dramatic pair that weren’t too flared out at the ends. The shape of the lash should enhance, rather than distract from the eye look.

I always finish my makeup off with a generous spritz of finishing spray to keep the look in place all night! With a little compact powder in her “treasure chest” to touch up throughout the night, and of course, her signature red lipstick, this pirate was ready to party!