Archive for the Makeup Category

Caribbean Fashion Week Wrap Up

Posted in Fashion Week, Makeup on July 6, 2010 by ainamakeup

I recently returned from Jamaica where I was privileged to be part of the Eve Pearl makeup team for Caribbean Fashion Week! While a trip to Jamaica may appear to the untrained eye to be  fun and glamorous, I must report that it was mostly work, with mere moments of play.   I’m still not 100% convinced that Jamaica actually has beaches since I didn’t see one the entire time I was there., but it was all good as I spent three days doing what I love – Makeup!  Here’s an overview of what went down!

We arrived on a Monday, but the shows did not begin until Friday. There was alot of planning that went on in between.  We had to work at a myriad of pre Fashion Week events.  There was quite a bit of press and attention surrounding our being there for Fashion week as Eve is not only a Celebrity Makeup artist, but a Celebrity in her own right!.  We were even in the paper!

Creating the Look for Caribbean Fashion Week

After a few days of events and some planning meetings we had a meeting with the Jamaica based makeup artists who assisted up to go over the basic look for the shows.  The look was a dramatic smokey eye, mostly black on the lids, accented with a shimmery shade of eyeshadow.  We could choose whatever color we wanted to accent.  Sometimes we’d even let the model choose. We used our shadows wet because the color payoff was more intense.  We mostly do beauty makeup at the studio in NYC, so it was fun to play with colors and do some high fashion looks.  We used black on the brows and extended them for even more drama.

Almost ready for Showtime!

Me Workin' on a model

Me and Supermodel Oraine

No caption necessary

Each show night there was three shows, with 4-5 designers per show and 15-30 models walking each night.  Once things got rolling,our team was in the zone. Everything happened so fast, and I was loving every minute of it.  We had so much fun working with some of the most beautiful models I’ve ever seen – and the Jamaica based makeup team lead by the fantastic Racquel Jenkins, owner of Permanent Cosmetics Studio & Boutiue in Kingston.  Her and her team were fabulous to work with!  She was also our gracious hostess in Jamaica.  Many thanks to my boss and Mentor, Eve and to Racquel for bringing us to Beautiful Jamaica!  Check out more Photos at the Eve Pearl Website.


OCC Cosmetics Haul at The Makeup Show

Posted in Green, Makeup, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Orange, pink, Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 by ainamakeup

My very first Stop at The Makeup Show was Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.  I just had to get my hands on some more of their Lip Tars!  Man, these things should come with a disclaimer that reads “use at your own risk”. They are so immensely pigmented that the tiniest application can completely cover your lips.  I already had “Vintage” and “Fondue” but I wanted more!  Here’s what I picked up!

Left to right "Demure" "Botanica" "Safety Orange" and "Anime"

Ooooh!  Look at the pretty colors!


Demure is a deep hot pink.  The name of this has got to be an oxymoron because this hot pink is definitely anything but demure.  Botanica is a bright green that’s so vivid I think I smell fresh-cut grass when I see it.  I have been dreaming of Safety Orange for months now and I’m so glad I decided to get it. It was the first one I chose when I got to the counter.  Anime really does resemble the vibrant color of the lips of a Japanese anime heroine.  I think this one is my second favorite.

Can you believe the depth of color on these babies?  Now I know I won’t have much of an occasion to use these on a daily basis, but I justify by  the fact that as a professional, I could very well use this on a shoot.  I rarely buy any “fun” makeup for my kit and I am planning to do some more avant-garde test shoots in the very near future.

The best thing was the friendly and helpful David from OCC threw in some other goodies with my purchase!

OCC Cosmetics "Wasabi"

What a nice surprise to find this bright green in my bag.  It’s not something I would normally pick, but I like the way it looks.  I’m noticed that lately I dressy pretty reserved and nondescript, but love to contract my mostly black wardrobe with strong polishes.  I also got the matching Wasabi loose color.

OCC "Wasabi"

Wasabi Swatch

I would love this as an accent color as a light smudge under the eye, just to add a touch of pop.  The color payoff is great and the pigment is quite blendable.

Makeup Monday: ELF Cosmetics

Posted in e.l.f., Makeup, Makeup Monday on March 29, 2010 by ainamakeup

Hi Everyone!!!

Today I bring you a review of three products from e.l.f Cosmetics.  e.l.f. stands for eyes lips face and they offer a complete line of makeup and nail care at incredibly affordable prices.  While I love high end cosmetics and nail polish, I don’t over look the affordable brands.  And as a makeup artist, I don’t discriminate using both high and low end products in my professional makeup kit.  If it works, it works and that’s what I use.

Waterproof Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara – $3.00

I haven’t worn waterproof mascara in years.  I was scarred by memories of products with the consistency and odor of roofing tar, not to mention how difficult it is to remove.  It’s nice to know that waterproof formulas have gotten much better over the years. I just happened to try this mascara on a rather emotional day so it was really put to the test.  It did a decent job of giving definition and a little volume and length, but it wasn’t as dramatic as other mascaras I’ve tried.  As far as waterproofing, I have to say, if you dab the tears lightly with a tissue, its works pretty well.   Any serious eye rubbing or will cause the mascara to flake off.  Luckily it does not smudge or smear, so it won’t ruin the rest of your makeup.  Another good thing is that it removes easily with face wash and water.  Here’s a picture of my eyes one with the mascara applied and one without any makeup.  Please ignore my puffy morning eyes!

Nail Polish – $1.00

ELF Medium Red

The shade pictured here is called Medium Red.  That pretty much sums up the color description.  I like wearing tomato red shades, especially on my toes. This is your basic classic red.  It’s not unique, but if you need a pretty red creme and don’t want to spend tons of money, this is an excellent choice.  The picture above is a quickie swatch but I wore this color for 5 days and it wore very well.   It did not peel, and had minimal chipping around the edges.  I would definitely check out some of the other colors in the line.  There’s a nice purple and a blue in the collection!

Brightening eye Color in Hazy Hazel – $1.00

ELF Brightening eye color "Hazy Hazel"

I didn’t love this particular eyeshadow.  The colors weren’t very intense on my eyes.  I swatched these on my arm using my finger.  When I tried these on my eyes using brushes it took alot of layering for the color to show up.  I think this shadow would work better on caucasian skin tones. e.l.f. does have a wide range of these shadows and at one dollar a pop, you can try them all!

e.l.f cosmetics are available online at and can also be found at target.

Disclaimer: a product sample was provided by the company.

Makeup Monday: Lacquerholic’s Favorite!

Posted in concealer, Eve Pearl, Makeup, Makeup Monday on January 4, 2010 by ainamakeup

Like many makeup artists I get asked all the time what products I would recommend.  Now I am an admitted Product Junkie and I love buying and trying all types of cosmetics.  So be on the lookout for Lacquerholic’s favorites on Makeup Mondays!

I’ll kick things off with my favorite concealer!  I’ve tried many concealers in my day but the one I find myself using on job after job is Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer and Treatment.

Most concealers on the market are yellow-based and they tend to give the skin that highlighted look.  Perhaps a little too highlighted.  The salmon color of the concealer takes away any darkness under the eyes more effectively than most other concealers.  Another plus is the concealer contains what Eve calls “Cosmenutrients”.  It’s an ingredient called  Astaxanthin, which is derived from the algae that salmon eat.  The anti-oxidants are 500 times stronger than vitamin E.   You’re doing your face a favor every time you wear it!

The concealer retails for $35, which in my opinion is 100% worth it.  I still have plenty left in mine from last winter and I use it just about every day!  You can pick up Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer and Treatment at  Happy Shopping!

Makeup Monday: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Posted in Brown, Makeup, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics on December 29, 2009 by ainamakeup

As I may have mentioned before I am a professional Makeup Artist and I absolutely love all things cosmetic.  Last week I decided to check out the new Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics showroom on 27th Street in Manhattan after hearing about it from ThisThatBeauty.

I was first introduced to OCC Cosmetics when I started subscribing to professional trade magazines like Makeup Artist Magazine.  My first experience with OCC Cosmetics was the first time I went to The Makeup Show.  Thats’s where I discovered their Lip Tars.  These are amazing!    Then I did a few freelance gigs where I used the OCC water based airbrush foundation, and I loved that too.

I tried to show restraint but not much. I picked up the nail polish in “fondue”, two lip tars, in “fondue” and “vintage”  and two mini sets of the OCC Airbrush Foundation.  One in Reds the other in Yellows.

OCC Cosmetics "Fondue"

I have a few other OCC nail polishes (Scrangie has some great swatches here ) and I love them as much as this one.  I’m a sucker for chocolate brown anything, be it lip color, nail polish, eye shadow…

As for the lip tars, you can check them out here.  I’ll post a picture of mine soon! Be warned, these are not for the faint of heart.  They are highly pigmented.  Don’t let the tube fool you.  These are not lip glosses. These are matte and extremely opaque and I love love love them!

Makeup Monday: Hollywood Glamour at Rouge Makeup Studio

Posted in Makeup on December 22, 2009 by ainamakeup

Happy Makeup Monday, y’all!

Ok so it’s technically not Monday anymore, but I’ve decided to make every Monday a Makeup Monday so I can write about my other great passion.  The passion that is my full-time job!  I’m a freelance makeup artist and I absolutely LOVE learning about new products, tips and techniques!  Last week I was privileged to attend a workshop on Hollywood Glamour at Rouge Makeup Studio.  Rouge Makeup Studio was created by celebrity makeup artists Anne DeMarco and Charles Douglass.  Rouge Makeup Studio is a full service studio that can do weddings, events, photo shoots, and if you’re an artist, you can even use their space to work with your clients.  Rouge has its own line of fabulous cosmetics and they also are a reseller of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics airbrush makeup.

I had the strong urge to freshen up my lipstick just by walking into The Moulin Rouge inspired decor of the studio.  Charles conducted the demonstration of a look inspired by Lady Gaga on the Cover of Elle…which was inspired by an old classic photo of Marilyn Monroe.  I wish I had thought to take some before shots.  There was a photographer there and if Rouge adds the pictures to their website I’ll be sure to post a link to them here so you can see the full effect of the transformation.  I learned a few key points that I’ll share here:

The debate over whether you conceal before or after applying foundation is as epic a battle as the debate over “tastes great” and”less filling” (I just totally dated myself here but I hope you got the reference).  Anyway, I take a mental count every time I observe a demo by a top makeup artist to see how they do things.  For example Sam Fine says “spackle before you paint” which makes total sense.  My teacher in makeup school says, how can you know what needs more coverage until you do the foundation.  I go either way depending on my client.

Another technique that separates most top artists is when to do the eyes.  Some do it before touching the rest of the face, to avoid having to redo the under eye area due to shadow fall out.  Others feel the need to see the canvas perfected with foundation in order to begin working on the eyes.  Again, I can go either way.  The artist I assist ‘s method is to do the eyes first.  I can do it. but I always think I’m doing a terrible job until I apply the foundation and concealer.  That’s when the whole face begins to come together for me.  I digress yet again…

Charles does the foundation and concealer first then uses the popular “loose powder under the eyes” trick as a catch-all for the shadow.  Then sweeps it away with a stroke of a brush.  For some reason the loose powder trick doesn’t work for me because I’m just too damn messy!

Charles also spent a good deal of time contouring.  He did an amazing job using a dark foundation under the chin,  under the cheek bone, down the sides of the nose, around the forehead.  He did minor highlighting down the center of the nose and on top of the cheekbones.

The eye work looked simple, but it really wasn’t.  First, Charles applied a dusting with a light shadow and a little contouring of the crease.  The eyeliner and the lashes is what made the eyes really stand out.  A fabulous trick I learned was using a blonde color eyebrow pencil to add shape to the brows without darkening the brow.  Brilliant!  That little tip was worth the entire two hours!

I didn’t think it could get any better than the blonde eyebrow pencil trick, but it did!   Charles also drew a fabulous red lip and a gret trick he told us was to do the entire liner in a flesh tone to nail down the shape.  Then go over it in the strong color to avoid mistakes!  Super brilliant!  I had a “coulda  had a V8” moment there!  Why hadn’t I ever thought to do that, especially since I can’t draw a straight line to save my life!

Here’s two after shots.  One with eyes open and one with eyes closed.  The model was already gorgeous to begin with but she looks like a total knockout in these photos. One was taken without flash, the oher with flash.  Happy Makeup Monday!!!