Makeup Tips from Emmy Makeup Artist Bruce Grayson; Just for Fun – Talk Like a Pirate Day; Accessories – My New Luluemon Athletica Bag

Published in: Just For Fun, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

With all the talk about red lips, TV and pirates around here lately, it was only a matter of time before found experts to wax philosophic on the subjects.

And while I was 100% unsuccessful in finding a legitimate pirate to interview (damn), I did manage to track down celebrity makeup artist Bruce Grayson, the Makeup Department Head for the 2007 Primetime Emmy’s (hooray).


He was nice enough to offer some tips how to get the perfect red lip, one of the dominant makeup these at this year’s Emmy’s, and how to have perfect makeup in HDTV conditions.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: This year we saw several stars at the Emmy’s rockin’ the red lips. While it’s pretty, many women have a hard time in real life recreating this dramatic look. What are your favorite tricks and products that real women can do and use to create the perfect bold lip?
Xtina working the red lip. Photo credit:

Bruce Grayson: Dramatic lips are easy to create if you have the right tools. Start with a good round tip lip brush.

Apply lipstick from the center of the lips and paint towards lip line. Use a complimentary colored lip pencil to draw the lip line.

Start at the bow of the upper lip and the center of the lower lip to the corners. Don’t be afraid to draw outside the lip line to recreate shape.

Use a cream highlighter with a brush or highlighter pencil above the bow and below the lower liner to define.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: HDTV is notorious for showing extreme detail in a makeup, and some makeup companies like Kryolan are even creating special products to adjust to the fine detail of High Definition TV. What tricks and products do you like to use to deal with the HDTV?

Bruce Grayson: The first thing I do is become buddies with the cameraman. Lighting is the most important element in HD.

Second I make sure that the skin is even tone using a minimum of foundation and thin concealers only where needed.

I always defuse eyeliners, especially black which can look harsh in HD.

Before I even begin to apply eye make-up, I like to start with Olay Definity Eye Illuminator ($25.99 at drugstores nationwide) because it has multi-colored micas that help to hide imperfections. It limits the amount of make-up I need to use around the eye.

I use shimmer eyeshadows and blush selectively, HD accentuates all contrast including shimmer makeups. I use shading to give the face contour. Blending is key!

Translucent pressed powders are used where needed to tone down areas of the face where reflection is distracting to create strategic shine.

The Products:
Nars Translucent Pressed Powders
Stilla Sheer pressed power
Olay Definity Eye Illuminator
Olay Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturzer- a great underbase before foundation
Concealer: Amazing Cosmetics Concealers
Mac Shaping powders

Makeup and Beauty Blog: What are your three can’t-live-without products that you absolutely must have backstage and why?

Bruce Grayson: The three can’t-live-without products backstage are:

1. Mac Clear Lipglass- compliments any lipstick.

2. Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets- take the shine down without powder build up.

3. Laura Mercier Undercover Concealers- Comes in a variety of shades and are workable to provide just enough coverage to get the job done.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Thanks Bruce! Now we’re all ready for our close ups!

ARGH! Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, Mateys!

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, and yesterday it occurred to me that nobody does heavy black eyeliner like those crazy pirates.

And of course, in typical Karen fashion, this epiphany happened while I had my left arm stuck between an extremely heavy desk and a wall for 15 minutes:
I work part time in a book agent’s office, so while she was out yesterday I had to install a new fax machine. Everything was fine and dandy until it was time to plug the damn thing in. The desk weighed about a million pounds and was pressed up so close to the wall that I couldn’t get the plug in easily.

Somehow I managed to snake my left arm in, and for five minutes I kept trying to get the plug in unsuccessfully. When I finally gave up I tried to shimmy my arm out and BAM, that bad boy is stuck. Really and truly STUCK. And it remains stuck for 15 minutes. And of course, the phone is three feet away from me, so I can’t call anybody.

During that time I contemplate spitting all over my arm to get it all lubed up (so gross). I comtemplate yelling, “HELP! CALL 911” at the top of my lungs on the off chance that someone in the office building might hear my cry.

And then I remember the episode of COPS I saw a few years back where a kid gets stuck between a toilet and a bathtub and the police have to bring the JAWS OF LIFE to get him out. I start sweating profusely.

So after the initial panic and then having my life flash before my eyes, I finally get myself to relax enough by thinking of Talk Like a Pirate Day. I start wondering whether Captain Jack Sparrow would prefer Technakohl or Fluidline (I don’t see him as a brush fanatic), and soon enough, that left arm slinks right back out.

I wonder what he uses on his waterline

MACY’S PASSPORT 2007 is Tonight!

Tonight I’m heading to SF to attend MACY’S PASSPORT 2007, a fashion-charity show, and to interview MAC Viva Glam Spokesperson Dita Von Teese!

After attending SF Fashion week I realized that I need a big bag to fit all of my camera and tech equipment when going to these shows, so yesterday after I freed myself from the wall I went to the mall and picked up this lovely bag from Lululemon Athletica.


It’s supposed to be a gym bag but it can also be a massive purse, overnight bag, makeup bag (!) or school bag. The best part? It’s only $64.00.

Check out the three cavernous sections and envision all of the crap you could put in it! All of my stuff fits in it; I stuffed my laptop, my cameras, my tripod and a bunch of other stuff in it and there was still room to spare.


It’s lightweight, you can throw it in the wash and it holds 50 FRICKIN POUNDS! And there’s even a designated pocket for my Crackberry, awww!

So I’m all packed up and pretty much ready to go for the interview tonight! Wish me luck!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 10 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Christine says:

    I’m in love with the bag! I want it – careful, I might steal it from you tonight!

    Great tips from Bruce!

  2. kia says:

    great interview! nice bag! is the handle going to be sufficient for all of that stuff? looks like you need one of those roller bags Karen!

  3. Erusa says:

    Good luck Karen!
    Mr. Sparrow looks like a Kohl Powder guy, in my opinion.
    And Christina has her hair really fried up! (O.o)

  4. Julia says:

    I have that exact bag, but in all black. I love it. It’s cute and stylish and very roomy. It’s has four pockets on the outside which I cram with so much stuff.

  5. Karen says:

    hi julia,

    i was torn between this bag and a black one with white piping. isn’t it the BEST BAG ever?!

  6. Karen says:

    hi erusa!

    thank you for your good luck wishes. the evening went great.

    and yeah, that’s not my fav look for Xtina. I like it when she’s less platinum, and when her makeup is soft and netural.

    Mr. Sparrow should try an alternate shade of liner. Perhaps a nice teal or purple!

  7. Karen says:

    Christine, I just realized that I didn’t let you try my bag on last night, BOO!

    I’m a terrible bag pusher…

  8. Karen says:

    thanks kia…yeah, i would totally rock the roller bag if push came to shove. it would have to be totally cute though, ha ha ha!

  9. Lily says:

    i wanna know how the story with the desk ends! how did you escape?

    we have lululemon here but i bet they aren’t selling that bag anymore. darn.

    Lilys last blog post..Violet+Copper Sparkle

  10. Pamela Haddad says:

    I had to read about how your arm got stuck behind the copy machine. That is too funny! And sounds exactly like something that would happen to me.

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