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Friday, 27 May 2011

Best Drugstore Makeup

If you have seen my makeup collection - both personal and professional - you will know that I have a huge range of makeup brands from drugstore, to high end, to international (e.g. Korean and Japanese) brands.  I am always looking for the best and I wanted to recommend some amazing drugstore products that I have come accross!  Because I deal with the wedding industry a lot, this is more geared towards makeup with good coverage, is cry-proof, and good longevity.

Best drugstore foundation:
Revlon Colorstay Foundation - they have formulas for both dry-normal skin and oily skin.  It gives a nice matte finish - perfect for pictures!  Although it says it has SPF in it, the amount of titanium oxide in the formulas will not create enough flash bounce back (creating that whitish aura on your skin) enough in photos.
About $20

Best drugstore concealer:
Maybelline Coverstick - it's so easy to use and the coverage is amazing on scars and pimples.  It's too thick for undereye circles - you need to sheer it down with some moisturizer before applying.  You can also apply this over the eyelids as a shadow primer.  Although not as effective as Urban Decay Primer Potion, it'll still work through long enough to take your photos.  This doesn't have any SPF in it so there is no white bounce backs!
About $7-8

Best drugstore powder:
Okay - I had a hard time finding a powder that I liked.  A lot of them made my skin break out (especially covergirl).  The one that I would recommend is the NYC Smooth Skin Loose Powder.  Great for maintaining a matte finish throughout the day.  It comes with a powder puff too so you don't have to spend extra money buying a puff or brush to use it.
About $5-7

Best drugstore eyeliner (pencil):
Styli-style Line & Seal 24hr - This pencil goes on and just doesn't want to come off.  It has amazing staying power.  Once you put it on, you probably have about 10seconds to smudge it, and then it sets and it will not budge after that.  I could only get this pencil at Rexall Drugstores.  It won't come off easily with just soap and water, you'll need waterproof makeup remover (or olive oil/baby oil).  I've also heard good things about the Prestige liners.
About $7

Best drugstore eyeliner (liquid):  
Loreal Telescopic Liquid Eyeliner - This is an amazing liquid liner with a felt tip for easy application.  The felt tip brush is dippable into the formula (unlike pens that dry out too quickly) so you are able to use up the product efficiently.  This product DOES NOT SMUDGE.  This is a product that is best used personally since the brush is dipped back into product (no contaminating the product for clients please!).  To take off, you actually have to rub it off with warm water.  Very similar formula to the MAC Superslick ($17.50) and the KissMe liquid liners ($30).
About $10

Best drugstore eyeshadows:
NYX eyeshadows - hands down you get your bang for your buck.  Great pigmentation and CHEAP.  I always recommend getting a matte black, a frosty white, and a vanilla/skin color shadow.  Every other color is just an accent color.!.
About $3-8 depending if you want single shadows or palettes

Best drugstore mascara:
Covergirl Lashblast (Waterproof) and Maybelline Falsies (Waterproof) - The CG Lashblast hardly smudges and gives a natural coat to your lashes.  It's really hard to clump the formula on your lashes.  The Maybelline Falsies is awesome of you want volume and a tiny bit of length to the lashes...mine are non existent so I like the Falsies better.  It smudges a little but it's hardly noticeable.  I have oily skin so if it smudges only a little, it would be awesome for normal to dry skin people.) -

Best drugstore blush:
I haven't really found much difference with drugstore blushes and high end brand blushes.  If you find a cheap blush, just go for it.  Best bang for your buck is the NYX blush.  Mauve is a pretty color.
About $4-5
Best drugstore bronzer:
Rimmel Natural Bronzer - Nice matte bronzer - I don't like shimmery bronzers because it can sometimes flash weird.  With matte bronzers, you can also use it to contour the hollows of your cheek or any areas you want to create shadows and make skinner.  
About $7
Best drugstore lipstick:
Covergirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor - I am not a fan of Covergirl, but man, this product works!  It literally stays on your lips all day except for when I was eating a pound of greasy chicken wings.  It applies with a doefoot applicator, then wait about 60 seconds for it to bind to your lips, then apply a semi-shiny top coat on top.  I choose this one out of the other long wear lipsticks/lipcolors because it comes with that semi-shiny top coat that you can bring with you and apply if you want a little shine throughout the day.
About $8-10

Best drugstore lipgloss
Covergirl Wetslicks - I really enjoyed this lipgloss and is the only drugstore lipgloss that I finished.  It has a nice non-sticky shine to it and it feels like it's hugging the lips.  I actually like it more than my high end lip glosses (e.g. MAC and YSL golden gloss - that has 24karat gold in it!)
About $10

Best drugstore fake eyelashes and lash glue:
- Ardell fake lashes and Duo lash glues are the best to get.  Ardell lashes have a thin band so it curves to the eye a lot better without lifting at the ends compared to other lashes.  The Duo glues come in clear and dark-tone.  If you're an expert in applying lashes, use the dark-tone.  If you're just starting out on putting lashes on, start with the clear tone.  Reason being that if you get the dark-tone glue on your eyelids with your eyeshadow already on, it's going to dry a dark mark on your lids and is hard to come off without wrecking your work.  If you're allergic to latex, do not buy Duo.  Ardell and Duo can be bought at Rexall Drugs.

These drugstore products will give you the most bang for your buck.  In my opinion, some of these products are better than high end brand products! Good luck!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How to Unclog an Airbrush Gun

I had debated on getting an airbrush machine for the longest time and when I finally bought one, it was CLOGGED!  I bought it from a retired MUA and she didn't like the hassle of cleaning it so she used it one and a half times and then it just sat there.

Anyway, when I had the chance - hooked it up to the compressor and dropping in about 6 drops of foundation into the gravity feed cup.  I pressed down on the button and pulled back, and no foundation came out, only air.  I was sooooo sad at this's like bringing back a new toy and wanting to play with it but it's broken...

1)  I cleaned out the cup using alcohol and a q-tip.  The alcohol ran through the front so I don't think there was blockage there.  However, when I hooked it back up to the compressor, it still only blew out air, no product.

2)  I cleaned it out again using alcohol again but with a tiny pipe cleaner brush that the retired MUA had included in the kit.  She said you can only get these in the UK.  They fit further into the passage way and they're lint free so no threads get stuck up in there.  Unfortunately, it was still all air and no product.

3)  I took it apart and soaked all the parts in 99% Isopropyl alcohol according to the Temptu DVD.  I soaked it for 15 min, tried it again, but still just air and no product.  So I soaked it for the night, tried it in the morning...still no product spraying out!  Rawr!

I was so disappointed at this point.  I started researching which parts I needed to replace and what new airbrush guns that I could purchase here in Edmonton instead of online.  I wanted to play with the airbrush system immediately so I was going to head down to an art store or a hobby/toy store to pick something up. 

I also researched how to clean an airbrush machine and came across this girl's youtube video.  She was showing how she cleaned her Iwata airbrush gun at her salon.  She was moving the needle back and forth while having her airbrush gun on.  Mind you hers wasn't clogged, but I thought it would be a good idea to try it.

I screwed everything back on except for the back part (the shell that covers the needle) and I untightened the nut that holds the needle in place (so that it's movable).  I filled the gravity feed cup with alcohol and started spraying.  

Of course only air came out at that point, so I started moving the needle back and forth while still spraying, and it spurted for a mili-second and alcohol started spraying out!!  So happy!  I filled it again with water (twice) just to make sure and..yup, everything in the gravity feed cup drained dry and had been misted all out.  Sucess!  I guess the needle created enough pressure and disturbance, in conjunction with the alcohol, loosened whatever was clogging it.  

I hope this helps other "doh! my airbrush is clogged" users!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder Review

I haven't bought from MAC in a long when they came out with the MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder, I couldn't resist!  They had me at Magically Cool!

I went to MAC Kingsway and they had 3 shades:  Truth & Light, Honey Rose, and Cajun. 

I first bought the Honey Rose - a pinky rose color but I found it too pink on my skin tone and it looked like I had a slight sunburn look (I'm an NC20 by the way).  I also found that when I use the Honey Rose as a highlighter, it was just a streak of pink on the top of my cheekbones which didn't really go with the blush I was using at the time (a peachier blush).  Even if I were to use a more matchy blush, I still didn't want to look sunburnt.  I exchanged it for Truth & Light.

Truth & Light - the look - is a beige colored loose powder shimmer that comes in a sift jar.  I really hate using sift jars because I find the powder gets all over the place when tapping some of the powder out onto the lid or shaking the jar before opening the lid.  I especially hate sift jars in my kit because it shifts everywhere and when I open the lid, there's like a centimeter of powder that sifted out.  However, if you're using this personally and if it'll just sit there (and not get transported and shifted around everywhere) then the sift jar is alright.

I used it today at a shoot for Love Your Bump Maternity photo shoot with Blackbird Photography (and my teammate Stephanie!) this morning for their store promotional project.  I hope to have pictures to show in the next blog.  Looking more closely at the powder, it's actually not as shimmery as I thought it would be.  Here is a closer look:

I grabbed a blush brush and put a little bit on top of my cheekbones and also on my brow bone (to high light the high points of my face).  It feels like you're putting something wet on.  MAC says that it's formulated with "...70% water and it's used to set and enhance the look of any foundation.  Beyond sheer: light-reflecting and translucent. A virtually invisible way to add luminosity and a soft radiant glow to the skin."  This powder would feel really good in hot weather.  It feels like I misted my blush brush with water and brushed it on my skin.  I don't know if I would dust it all over my face unless I want to shimmer like Edward from Twilight but it would be a good dust on the body like the collar bone, shoulders, and even a thin strip on the legs.

I couldn't really see much of the shimmer indoors and it also toned down my blush (made my peach blush look less peachy and more skin colored).  However, when the sun hits it on the right spot outside, it shimmers like a peachy gold shimmer color.  Here is what it looks like at maximum sun-hitting shimmer against my skin tone on my arm:
This powder definitely lives up to it's name but I don't know about the price at CA$35.50 a jar for it.  MAC has other shimmers and blushes that contain shimmer in it already and in pressed powder form (not as messy).  It's also a huge jar that I doubt I'll be able to finish in awhile so I would recommend splitting some of the powder (and cost) up with some friends in separate jars (like a small bead jar or tupperware).  It's definitely worth a trip down to your nearest MAC store just to try it out.  You'll be amazed as to why a powder feels wet on your skin.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Makeup Competition - Modern Basics at ABA

Modern Basics posted a makeup competition on Edmonton Makeup Artists' Facebook page.  The competition was here in Edmonton at the Allied Beauty Association (ABA - Hair Show) event at The Expo on May 1st.  I sent in 5 beauty shots from my portfolio and I was accepted to compete!

Sunday, May 1st - took the train to The Expo and missed my stop because I was texting - doy!  I get there and they don't have a name tag for me but they had a name tag for my model!  Looking to be an awful start!

Bianca Millions (my model), had to run in to see what's up...they had the names mixed up because apparently, the models aren't supposed to get name tags.  I wouldn't mind a name like Bianca Milllions...she told me once that a porn star messaged her to tell her that she (the porn star) stole her name.  I guess that's flattery?

So we get there and signed some waivers and release forms and they supplied us with a station, some makeup and supplies.  At 9:15am we had 15 minutes to run and grab whatever other products we needed for our first look - Red Carpet!  I grabbed two shades of lipstick - a neutral one and a red one because I didn't know what to do!  I asked her what she was wearing and it was a sequined brown and blue no red lipstick then.

Here is a photo capturing our competition enviroment from Aysha O' Brien (one of the competitors...really nice girl!):

We had 45 minutes to complete the look so I did a smoky purple look because she had green eyes, and it was complimentary to the brown and blue dress.  I used a pinky/peachy blush and a neutral lipstick.  I was pretty surprised at the color payoff from the eyeshadow.

Here is a picture of some of the contestents (Bianca is in the middle - photo by Kelly Rosborough of the Bokehccino Project):

Melissa, from Modern Basics, was nice enough to give Bianca and the other models $30 worth of products so we went shopping after the Red Carpet photoshoot!  Modern Basics stuff was sooooo cheap!  I bought a dupe MAC brush 222 for just $5!  I also bought a small concealer brush and a retractable lip brush for $2 each!  Their 5 pan eyeshadows were only $6 and like I said, their color pay-off is amazing!  They also had a palette with like 88 eyeshadows for only $19!  We win.

Anyway, getting back from shopping and eating, we got ready for part 2 - the fantasy look!  We had to create a fantasy look from a decade before the year 2000. 
I started out with yellow eyeshadow (amazing payoff color from the 88 eyeshadow palette) and brought it up just above the crease, then smoked it out with some dark blue on the outer corners. I slatered on some gold highlight for her inner corners and under her lower lash line and on top of her brow bone.  I patted on some of their Mattifying Gel Primer and then patted on some gold glitter over top the yellow eyeshadow and some blue glitter over top of the blue eyeshadow.  The glitter stuck on great!  Photo by Kelly Rosborough of the Bokehccino Project:

My era was the 1970's - famous for shiny disco balls! So I used a white pencil and drew my outline to mimic the light reflecting off mirrored disco balls.  In each triangular section, I used yellow, blue, and silver eyeshadows to color it in and then used a darker yellow, and blue in the corners of each triangle to give it a shadow effect.  I glued on some gems from dark blue, light blue, to crystal clear to give it more dimension instead of row of light blue know what I mean?

I had to use Quo lash glue (from Shoppers Drug Mart) to apply some crazy feather eyelashes and Pros-aide prosthetics glue (from Theatre Garage) to apply gems to the body because Bianca was allergic to Latex!  You should have seen while she was filling out the allergies portion of our forms...the long list of items she was allergic to.  She was like...these are the ones that the paramedics need to know about.  Aiya!

We had soooo much time left so I started on the body!  I drew a little disco ball on her right chest area and drew beams of light with the white pencil once again.  I filled in the triangular areas with Modern Beauty's Chroma Color products.  I had to mix it with the primer to thin it out.  They had really vibrant colors!  The only regret I had was using the purple Chroma Color.  It went on so streaky... Looking back, I should have brushed over some purple pigments or eyeshadows to make it less streaky.

I bought some big gems from Dollarama, and I flipped them over and glued the color side down on to her body to make it look like small mirrors (to mimic the disco ball).  Bianca was like...WHY ARE YOU GLUING BROKEN MIRRORS ON ME...I'M GOING TO GET CUT! (mini panic) then she realized they were dollar store plastic gems.  Ingenious no?  Tee hee.

I slapped on some bright pink lipstick and a holographic kind of gloss over top.  We shoved an afro on her head and sprayed on some glitter hairspray (didn't show much) and a sequined gold stretchy headband. 

Here is a picture (photo by Kelly Rosborough of the Bokehccino Project):

Bianca and I were really tired in the middle of the fantasy competition.  So I guess the last part of finishing everything off was like...meh..whatever *throw glitter onto body half assedly*.  Still turned out pretty good.  Again, the regret with the purple.  I probably didn't use as much purple and primer than I should have.

Here is a group shot of the competitors:

I thought we all did amazing!  Out of the products that I used, I definitely love the Gel Mattifyer Primer, eyeshadows, their brushes (!!! love !!!  So cheap and good quality!), their gel eyeliner in Blackness ($3 and it's like MAC fluidline blacktrack except creamier and long lasting and it's definitely darker than the Bobbi Brown gel liner too), the black pencil eyeliner, lipsticks, glosses, bronzers, and powders.  Modern Basics gave us all the swag that we used!!!  They are awesome <3  They announce the winners next week!

UPDATE:  May 13, 2010 - FIRST PLACE BABY!!!

Good afternoon ladies! The results are in for the Modern Basic ABA Makeup competition and the results are as follows.
Congratulations to the winners! Thank you to everyone who entered.

Professional Competition
1. Lydia Yapp-
2. Jyoti Purba
3.Aysha  O’Brien.


Melissa Schneider

Modern Basic Distributors
7028 MacPherson Ave
Burnaby Bc, V5J 4N3

Monday, 2 May 2011

Makeup Pictures Online

 I was printing off pictures for our event at Over the Top Swap this past weekend to show clients what we have on our online website portfolio.  After printing off a stack, WOW, what a difference.  What I saw online is a lot lighter than what was printed out.  The colors were so much more vibrant after printing it out on photo paper.  So that got me thinking...what do clients (such as brides) look at in makeup artists' portfolios?

Hmm...unfortunately, I won't be able to show you the difference since this blog is online...duh... but here is a picture that was all about color and I had piled the colors on the model.  The model, Dacey, wanted a candy colored type of makeup for her candy inspired shoot.  She met the photographer at the Art Gallery and then sent the pictures to me via email.  I was kind of disappointed in the color payoff (see below).  HOWEVER, when I printed this photo off, the photo was so vibrant!  It looked awesome on printed photo.  Photo by Veronica Scallion:
So if you are looking at online portfolios/pictures and deciding who to go with, be sure to print it out to see what they really look like before you contact the makeup artists'/photographers' about their work!