Bridal MUA Series: Speed and Large wedding parties

Howdy folks!

If you're reading this (insert Drake joke here), then you're more than likely a makeup artist, new to the industry, or maybe not a new artist, but maybe new to bridal makeup. Either way, you're looking for pro tips and tricks to cutting down your time on bridesmaids and other attendants, which is definitely something to help you with! Now, most seasoned and veteran artists will tell you that "speed comes with practice", which is TRUE, but until you can bang out full glam in 20 minutes, there are some other ways to cut down on time while you're getting your practice in.

1. Keep the eyes simple

A bridesmaid who preferred a softer approach to glam. Photo credit: Samantha Reese, Makeup Artist, 2015.

A bridesmaid who preferred a softer approach to glam. Photo credit: Samantha Reese, Makeup Artist, 2015.

If you're anything like me, you get excited each time you do makeup. Even after a decade, I still get excited about working with my clients. With that being said, it's easy to get carried away, especially when you have a bridal party that really loves glam looks.  That is one of the biggest "time sucks" in bridal makeup. 3 eyeshadows in, and you realize that you're 20 minutes in, and you're just getting to applying lashes, and you still have the rest of the face to do. Solution? Cream eyeshadows. Trust me, they'll save your life. They come in tons of colors, and most cream shadows come in water and smudge proof formulas, so it allows you to skip the eyelid priming step too, if that is something that you typically do. For bridal parties that prefer more understated glam, I'll go for a pale shimmery kind of cream shadow, a pair of Demi Wispies, and a little mascara, and for those that want some "POW!", I'll opt for a deeper colored cream with some smudged kohl liner and a pair of wispies. Some of my favorite cream shadows are:

  • MAC Paint Pots (see my review on eyelid primers HERE for my full opinion on them), as they come in tons of colors and finishes, from soft iridescent pink to matte black. 
  • Makeup Forever Aqua XL Paints, for the same reason that I love the Paint Pots, plus, the Aqua XL Paints come in squeeze tubes and save space and weight in your kit, and they are waterproof as well as budgeproof (seriously, whenever I use them, it takes a hope, a prayer, and some serious elbow grease just to remove it from my palette).
  • Maybelline 24-Hour Color tattoo cream eyeshadows. They're a legit drugstore dupe for the above two, and they're also super long wearing.


2. Stay Organized! 

A glimpse of my kit. I use the Zuca pouches to keep my products organized by facial feature.

A glimpse of my kit. I use the Zuca pouches to keep my products organized by facial feature.

I can't tell you how much this one shaves off the amount of time a client is in your chair.  Establishing a place for everything, and maintaining that order with each application, is so worth the effort needed to stay organized. If you have a large wedding party to do, make keeping your space organized your assistant's job. A good way to motivate yourself to organize your work area is to get creative with your setup. Other makeup artists, as well as makeup enthusiasts, LOVE seeing other artist's setups on social media, for product recommendations and just for the #MakeupPorn of it all. Keeping your things in the same spot, shaves off time used to look for things like your tweezers, eyelash glue, pencil sharpener, etc.

3. KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie!

I know the contouring, double highlighting, bronzer, baking, and triple stacked lashes, with lips lined, filled and glossed to IG perfection is fun creating, but when you've got 6+ bridesmaids to do, plus the bride, and you're only on girl #2, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! This is where you cut corners. Cut out the highlighting and contouring process. What I tend to do, is concentrate on making sure each bridesmaid's skin is even and beautiful, by using a full coverage foundation (sheered down a teeny bit with a beauty oil like the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Elixir, $52) for a luminous, skin like finish while covering EVERYTHING, then using a soft, matte bronzer like Nars 'Laguna' or 'Casino' bronzers to softly sculpt the cheeks and give a sun kissed veil around the face, before applying a little blush on the cheeks. From there, I use a long wearing liquid lipstick like Jouer liquid lipsticks with a gloss on top, and vòila, you've done a full face in about 30 minutes!


I hope this helps someone who is trying to get their speed up when doing weddings! If you have any other questions on this subject, comment below!

Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful. <3

Makeup Debate: Natural vs. Neutral

Hi faithful readers!

I'm really trying hard to stay consistent with bringing you guys quality content, and semi-regularly occurring blog posts, lol. Today's topic is something that I'm surprised hasn't been talked about in 187,000 other blogs already: Natural vs Neutral, when it comes to makeup. 

It's something that happens to makeup artist so often, that after we get to a certain point career-wise, we don't even trip about it anymore, because we more than likely know what the client really meant, just by gauging how much makeup they normally wear. Allow me to set the scene: client sits down with makeup artist. Makeup artist asks what kind of look the client is going for, she says something to the effect of, "oh, you know, something natural, but pretty...", then the client proceeds to pull up a photo of Kim Kardashian or Carrie Underwood from Pinterest. The makeup artist re-creates the look, the client looks in the mirror, and the "OMG this is too much!" commentary begins. 

It's a rookie mistake on both ends. The makeup artist, for not pinpointing the aspects of the look that the client likes, and the client for not realizing just how much makeup Kim or Carrie is actually wearing. The above scenario is a heavily recurring one during bridal and prom season, and in the spirit of said seasons being currently underway (in the US & UK), I'm writing this to help out everyone involved, so that there are more happy clients, because when the client is happy, everyone is happy. 

All images shown are of my work.

Natural Makeup. Photography c/o DeWayne Rogers Photography, 2015, all rights reserved.

Natural Makeup. Photography c/o DeWayne Rogers Photography, 2015, all rights reserved.

As you can see in the above image, my model, Aiyana, is wearing makeup, but it's not obvious. She just looks youthful and radiant. Nothing is overpowering anything else in this look. She looks fresh and healthy. She has on foundation, concealer, blush, highlighting powder, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, setting powder, mascara, brow pencil and gel, as well as a cream eyeshadow on her eyelids, but most of that in completely undetectable. This, ladies and gentlemen, is NATURAL makeup. There is nothing about this look that screams "I HAVE ON MAKEUUUUUP!!!!!" 

In the image below, my model Hillary clearly has on makeup. No, her skin isn't loaded up with any heavy products, but she has a smoky eye, done with black and brown shadows (remember, black is a neutral color), false lashes, sculpted brows, contouring products, blush, bronzer around the perimeter of her face, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, highlighting powder, and eye liner, on top of a full coverage foundation, undereye concealer, and setting powder. Now, yes, she is unbelievable stunning (she's one of my favorite faces to work on), and the makeup is gorgeous (if I do say so myself, lol), but it's definitely not natural. Nothing about a smoky eye is natural. LOL. There are most certainly ways to create a very understated smoky eye, but as long as the client understands that it will be noticeable, and is comfortable with that, all will be right between the two of you. 

I hope this post has been of assistance to you guys, in one way or another! Until next time, 

Stay beautiful. <3

Neutral makeup. Image c/o Keith Saunders Photography, 2015, All rights reserved.

Neutral makeup. Image c/o Keith Saunders Photography, 2015, All rights reserved.

Eyelid primers: Necessary or Nah?

Throughout the course of my career, I've tried quite a few eyelid primers, as a part of my hunt for the absolute best product to make eyeshadow bulletproof. In addition to Fashion, Editorial and Special occasion makeup, I do a TON of bridal, so of everything on the face, the eyes is usually one of the top features that brides worry about. "Will my eyeliner/mascara run if I sweat?" "Will my eyeshadow last?" "Will I be okay if I cry?" So waterproof mascara and eyeliner isn't all that is necessary when it comes to the bulletproof eye.

Here are my thoughts on various eyelid primers that I have used in the past:

MAC Paintpots:

My days starting out as a MAC Artist, I swore by Painterly, Groundwork and Blackground as a base to anything having to do with eyes, and while they DO serve as creating a nice base to powdered shadow, because they have a tendency to crease when using enough product to successfully hold powder shadow, I actually prefer to use them as what they actually are -- a cream shadow. Some of my favorite colors being Indianwood, Constructivist, and Vintage Selection, they are a quick way to add gorgeous color to the eye, without needing to use 4 or 5 different powdered shadows to create a beautiful shimmery or smoky eye.

Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-hour eyelid primer: 

My main attraction to this primer was the creaseless part, especially for my more mature clients, which, it does indeed deliver that, I suppose, but it's performance wasn't extraordinary enough for me to deem it worthy to stay in my kit. To me, it felt like more of an unnecessary step to the eyeshadow application process. One thing that I did think was a little nifty, was the iridescent finish of the product. Cute, yes, but it didn't seem to serve much of a purpose. The primer is colorless, which, if it really "grabbed" powder shadow, would be fantastic, because it doesn't alter the color your shadows in any way, but my overall verdict of this product is just 'meh'. 

Urban Decay Primer Potion:

Ah, this cult favorite. According to Youtube, this primer is one of God's precious gifts to the makeup world. My opinion? It's...."aiight". Yes, just aiight. Sure, it's great when you're using it on a 22-year old client with smooth skin, but what about the rest of the world? Now, while it holds onto shadow nicely, it has a tendency to get grainy in texture, which is no good, especially when it comes to applying this to clients. Two words: scratched cornea. Who wants to take that gamble? It comes in two colors in addition to the colorless original, such as Eden and Minor Sin, which is nice for those of us deeper complexioned makeup wearers that don't like the slight ashy cast that the "colorless" formula leaves. I'm 60/40 on this one. It performs great, but the texture con was major for me. Major enough to get the product chucked from my kit altogether.

Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer:

This one I was actually impressed with. It is TRULY colorless, gives a satin-y finish, is crease-less, AND holds onto shadow for the dear life! Out of all of the eyeshadow primers that I have tried, THIS ONE will be the one that I reach for, without a doubt. It actually keeps PaintPots from creasing! I actually use this one on myself, on the rare occasion that I wear eyeshadow. A tiny bit goes a very long way, so don't go into product overload on this one, because you'll be massaging it in until eternity. 

If there were a contest between these four, the Lorac primer would win, hands down! Now, as far as whether I think that eyelid primers are absolutely necessary, it would be a 'NO' from me. I have found that by 'priming' the eye with your (client's) highlighting concealer and setting with a light dusting of powder, you have a slightly quicker way of prepping your eye for shadow application, and it is bulletproof! No creasing, no texture issues (from the product), and one less product to worry about purchasing.