I have a new post up over at the Ladies’ Home Journal beauty blog, Gloss Daily.
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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
Years from now when we look back and pour over the beauty history books, I think spring 2013 could be remembered as the Era of the Cream Shadow Stick.
Seems like every time I pirouette or sashay around a corner in my teal Franco Sarto platform sandals, I trip over a display gleaming with twist-up shadows…
The idea isn’t necessarily new, but with so many lines putting their own twist on it this season, there’s a good chance you’ve already been tempted by a stick or two.
Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Seashell, Grey Pearl and Sand Glow
“As you can see, Karen’s not wearing any makeup at all…”
There I sat, feeling totally and completely naked and blinking wildly under the bright studio lights, as a layer of perspiration glistened on my forehead.
I’ve attended one-day makeup classes — sometimes called master classes — like this one before. Brand-sponsored classes usually held in large department stores. I really enjoyed the ones put on by MAC and Chanel, and yesterday’s, led by Bobbi Brown Manager of North American Artistry Marc Reagan, at the Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, was just as interesting and fun.
It followed a similar set up. There’s a fee to attend, in this case $100 (my attendance fee was covered by the company), which is then redeemable toward the purchase of products at the end of the class.
Marc, a seasoned pro on Bobbi’s elite Beauty Team, has worked his magic on celebs and backstage at Fashion Weeks all over the world. At yesterday’s class, he demonstrated a bunch of different techniques and products on a model and answered questions while the attendees followed along, applying the techniques and trying the looks on themselves.
This time was a little different for me, though, um, because I was the model.
When I was asked, first thing I thought was, “FUN!” Second thing I thought was, “Oh, gawd! He’s going to have to take off all my makeup first! Holy sh*t!”
I’m the type of gal who applies concealer and gloss just to go get the mail outside, so I was a little nervous at first to be up there in front of the class without my “armor.”
But once I got used to it (as much as that’s possible), it was actually kind of liberating…akin to wearing a crazy cool shirt or something and just not giving a hoot.
The two-hour class was jam packed with tips. Marc did a two-phase makeup look on me, first walking the class through a natural, everyday look with the basics before cranking up the drama with more color, and between turning my head left and right at Marc’s direction, I typed a few notes on my phone.
Ever notice that Bobbi’s line doesn’t include a face primer? It turns out, that’s because all of the brand’s facial moisturizers contain a primer in the formula.
So smart, right? Layering one of Bobbi’s facial moisturizers under your fave foundation not only helps to hydrate and protect your skin, but it also extends the wear time of the products you apply next.
When applying under-eye concealer, Marc recommends first applying with a flat brush before using your ring finger to pat and blend in the edges. The flat brush places the concealer where you want it on your skin, as opposed to just pushing it around.
Then, to set your concealer and ensure that it lasts through the day, fully load a tapered fluffy brush with plenty of powder (don’t be shy!), and gently pat that on top.
Does Marc have a go-to Bobbi Brown product? As a matter of fact, he does! Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Sticks, and he says, “every woman needs one in her makeup bag.”
With the sticks, which Marc says always look natural and never heavy or cakey, you can build them up for heavier coverage, or sheer them out wherever you need less. You can also wear them alone or set them with a powder, and if you want to touch-up during the day, the Foundation Sticks even layer well atop powder.
Chances are the bustling beauty teams that style Claire Danes and Jessica Alba for regal red carpet events won’t be showing up at my doorstep any time soon, because unlike the stars, we mere mortals must fend for ourselves when it comes to getting ready for parties and nights on the town (or nights on the couch with your cat, if you’re also into that).
No problem. Getting glam doesn’t have to involve a small army of beauty professionals (although, not gonna lie, if a pro prep team suddenly appeared — POOF! — I would NOT turn them away).
Recreating red carpet looks at home can be easy and fun, and with drugstore beauty products, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
I recently gave two of my favorite red carpet looks a try from this year’s Golden Globes — a look Claire Danes wore with smokey eyes and nude lips, and Jessica Alba’s look with brown eyes and tangerine lips — both of which seemed simple and elegant, which I liked.
Gearing up for a big night? If you are, you can get red carpet ready like Claire and Jessica using makeup, hair, body and skincare products from COVERGIRL, Olay, Aussie and Secret.
Who says that going glam is reserved for the stars?
Oh, Angela Chase. You’ve come so far since Jordan Catalano wrote that song
about you about his car…
I absolutely loved the wavy hair, smokey eyes and nude lips Claire recently wore. Hello, stunning!
Start by prepping in the shower with a hydrating body wash like Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($5.99), and washing and conditioning your hair with Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.99 each).
Even if the paparazzi aren’t currently stalking you, there’s no reason to let ‘em see you sweat, so swipe some Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response ($7.99) under those ‘pits, girl!
Okay, time to tame the mane. Apply Aussie Aussome Volume Styling Mousse ($4.99) to wet hair for hold and volume, and either air or blow dry.
When your hair is dry, recreate Claire’s waves by curling the ends with a large barrel curling iron. Then, mist your mane all over with Aussie You Can Shine Spray Gloss ($3) for red carpet shine.
Ready to play with makeup? Me too, but let’s get our skin ready first with face products from the Olay Professional Even Skin Tone Line, and disguise any uneven areas or imperfections by applying a liquid foundation like COVERGIRL Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation ($12.99).
If your skin tone’s similar to Claire’s, try the shade called Classic Ivory. I have a little — okay, a lot! — more of a tan, so something like Classic Tan works for me.
Now for my favorite part — the eyes!
Start by applying your favorite eye primer to your lids, curling your lashes and filling in your brows.
Next, for your smokey eyes, line both upper and lower water lines with COVERGIRL Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Black Onyx ($5).
With the same pencil, line your upper and lower lash lines; soften the lines by smudging the edges with a flat eye shadow brush.
Now, it’s time to add the smoke!
Load your flat brush with a combination of black and blue shadows, like COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers 1-Kit Shadows in Shimmering Onyx and Sapphire Sparkle ($4.50 each). Combining the shades here adds depth to the smokey effect.
Pat the mix on your lids and barely into the creases. Then, using a domed blending brush, blend away any harsh edges.
To refine your smokey look even more, take your domed brush, and load it with your favorite blush. Something like COVERGIRL Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush in Sophisticated Sable ($6) should work great for Claire’s look.
Sweep your loaded domed brush into your creases and along your lower lash lines to soften the edges. This helps everything look a little more polished.
Finish up your eyes by applying a few coats of COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara ($6.99).
From here on out, the rest is cake!
Sweep that same blush, Sophisticated Sable, on your cheeks, apply a nude lip color, like COVERGIRL Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Toffee Twist ($8.99) on your lips, and wrap up with a coat or two of COVERGIRL Outlast Nail Gloss in Forever Frosted ($5.99) on your nails.
Ooh! I picked up a great makeup trick last week from Courtney, a makeup artist/MBB reader/self-professed crazy cat lady at the Laura Mercier counter inside Saks in San Francisco’s Union Square.
Here’s the deal: I asked Court if she could recommend any secret weapons from Laura Mercier’s line — awesome products that maybe a lot of people didn’t know about — and she pulled out Laura’s Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum.
This stuff is bright and tight. It contains green and white tea, arnica extract, caffeine and geranium to tighten skin and has a brightening pearlescent pink color.
Courtney’s trick? She uses it on herself and her clients as something of a primer for under-eye concealer.
Pat a minuscule amount — just a smidgen — beneath your eyes before concealer, let that sink in for a minute or two, and then apply your regular concealer on top.
BAM! It’s like P90X for concealer. You should see fewer concealer creases, all-day wear time and a lighter look from your concealer overall.
BEAUTY FUN FACT: according to Courtney, Laura Mercier uses Shu Uemura technology in all of their skin care.
Courtney said that a bunch of the makeup artists at Saks use the serum this way as a primer for concealers, and it doesn’t just work with Laura’s line. They also do it with concealers from other brands.