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All Posts from September 2011

To Puff or not to Puff?


To Brush or not to Brush? That is the timeless question makeup artists have been asking since the dawn of the makeup industry...

Ok, maybe not but every makeup artist has their own brush preferences but this week's blog entry features instead when not to brush and use a powder instead, we ask, to puff or not to puff?
Almost every makeup artist, amateur or professional, has a powder brush, but do we really know what it's meant for?  The easy answer would be "to apply powder," but there's more detail to those simple puffs and many good reasons to use the puff over the brush.  
So let's take a look at what each product is designed for and how in the world we're supposed to use the tools available to us.
Powder Puffs

Webster's dictionary defines a powder puff as: a small fluffy device (as a pad) for applying cosmetic powder. Now that's a pretty broad generalized definition and of course we make our own. Puffs are designed to hold powder inside of them and when you tap them, the powder is released where you need it. Puffs are generally used best with either pressed or loose powder, when setting a cream foundation or as a quick way to cut shine. The ultimate benefit of using a puff (in lieu of a powder brush) is that you're setting the makeup where you applied it so it prevents creasing or moving. The powder brush can tend to leave powder specs all over the face or clothes where it isn't wanted and can even leave your makeup looking ashy. The brush isn't going to be as precise or clean for application. A puff, on the other hand, will secure your makeup for a much longer wear-ability time.

Small Pressed Powder Puff

Included with many pressed powder/cake powder compacts, this is probably the most common type of powder puff people use.  You just swipe it across the powder and swipe it across the face for quick touch ups.  Simple and easy, no instruction needed. 
The one thing to keep in mind is to change that little puff out every few weeks.  Bacteria can build up and cause break outs or other skin irritations.  The replacement puffs are really inexpensive (unusually under $3) but we tend to hold onto the original like they're gold.  It's funny how we may be willing to spend a good portion of our hard-earned money on a quality powder but we don't replace the inexpensive little puff.



Using a Puff with Loose Powder

The first time I ever attempted trying to use a powder puff, I simply tapped my loose powder onto it and tried to balance it and twist the puff to get all the powder on my face.  Needless to say, I got powder all over my face, my new black dress, and my new black heels...I try to imagine every young makeup maven does the same thing...

It wasn't until I started training to be a makeup artist that I learned how to properly use a puff.  Of course I had been doing it all wrong...

dramatic-effect-3.jpg With loose powder, the key to using a powder puff is after you tap the powder onto the puff, you fold it in half (like a taco) and rub the powder into the puff (almost like rubbing out a stain).  This way all the powder is inside the puff and you can easily transfer the puff to your face.  Then tap the puff on your face and press the powder into the makeup.  Ta-duh!  Now you and your puff can work together in harmony without a halo of powder dust!

Next time you find someone asking "to brush or not to brush?" you know the answer!

Losing that Luster? Don't let it fade!


Day in, day out, it can seem like we're always doing the same old thing. We all get repetitive sometimes but don't let your routine keep you from looking fresh and exciting.  A little extra can add a lot of oomph to your routine...but not crazy change.  Most girls notice that when it comes to ourselves we almost always choose the same kind of colors.  Well here are three little tricks to spice up that makeup without going overboard.

  • Cocktail It
Just like making the perfect drink, it's all about the mixing.  Liven up your normal colors by swiping your brush into two different tablets of eye shadow or blush.  That neutral taupe you've been using?  Keep using it!  But why not try swiping it through a little bronze shimmer while you're at it?  The same goes for glosses and lipsticks.  Sometimes a little bump is all you need to keep things interesting.

  •  Add Lashes
Mascara's great, but to really pop eyes false lashes can be the spice you need.  I'm not talking crazy spider-like or drag lashes here, we're talking something natural.   If you want to try strip lashes something in a demi style or #747XS or 747SM are always flattering.  For the super natural girl three little individual clumps at the outer corner of the eyes in size small will give you the softest boost.

  • Change the Way You Wear Eyeliner
There is no one way to line an eye. There are also a number of different kinds of eyeliners: pencil, liquid, gel, powder, and cake. The benefits of eyeliner are endless, but we can start by just adding a bit to our daily routine. Don't use eyeliner ever? Try one!
Princess Kate has made black and dark neutral liners on the top lid very trendy for fall, so if you haven't tried recreating her look, why not try? Cream liner or cake liner applied with an angle flat brush works best for this look of understated elegance.
If you already do use liner but always apply it on the top lid, try using a powder only on the lower lash line or maybe use a pencil or gel to use the liner in your water line. This is a fun way to change a look without working too hard or going too crazy....

Variety is the spice of life! Makeup is about expression and how we appear to the world. Don't be afraid to play when you've got a little extra time...just a tiny adjustment to your makeup routine can make everything in your day seem more interesting.

Halloween is Coming...


Halloween is creeping up on us yet again....If you're like me, you too are asking WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE?

Our favorite Holiday always seems to surprise everyone at the last minute, even though it comes at the same time every year.  We love it because it's the only time when all of us--no matter what age or gender--can let our imaginations run wild and be kids again. 

So let's take a look at 2011's most popular adult costumes and start planning for a great night (or week) of Halloween madness...

For the Lovely Ladies...

  • Sassy Jack Sparrow from DisguiseSassyJackSparrow.jpg
This female version of Jack Sparrow has been a hit with women since the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie.  Remember though; don't mess with a beard or mustache--that's a whole different circus costume.

  • Devine Miss Red from Leg AvenueDevineMissRed.jpg
A gorgeous twist on the classic Little Red Riding Hood!  This can be worn as a couples costume if your boy goes as a big bad werewolf or darken red up by adding a wolf tail and ears to the ensemble making her the big bad.

  • Boneyard Bride by In Characterboneyardbride.jpg
Dia de los Muertos or "the day of the dead" sugar skull designs have been en vogue for the past few years.  This costume compliments gorgeous face paint capturing the feel of the holiday.

  • Tea Cup Mad Hatter from Leg AvenueTeaCupHatter.jpg
Tim Burton and Disney's re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland may have been last year, but the classic tale is always inspiring new looks.  The Tea Cup Mad Hatter is whimsically playful and can be worn as is or with a spooky fashion makeup twist.  Let yourself go slightly mad.

  • Foxy Roxy Costume from Leg Avenueleg+avenue.jpg
Feeling creative? What could be cuter than a wildlife creature and Leg Avenue's Critter costumes new for 2011! Be foxy with the Foxy Roxy, stinkin' cute with Stinkin' Cute Skunk or risky with the Risky Racoon! Also new for 2011 is the Blue Beauty, a sophisticated and simple Peacock costume from Leg Avenue with real Peacock Feather attachment to turn heads. Adorable and simple, these costumes are sure to have all the dogs chasing after you ;)

  • Feline Femme Fatal from  Leg Avenuefelinefemmefatal.jpg
This costume is new take on the classic DC sometimes villainess/sometimes heroine Catwoman.  It looks like it's based off the classic Michelle Pfeiffer /Selina Kyle design. It may not be the current comic book version, but with the The Dark Knight Rises coming out next year featuring Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle, it is purr-fect for trendsetters and Batman fans alike.

  • Lightening Rock Star by Leg AvenueLA_83828_A1650.jpg
Inspired by Lady Gaga, it may not be a meat dress or an egg, but it's something a bit more do-able.  Show your extreme fashion sense with this costume and various style diva accessories to create your own look.

For the Gents

  • Cheech & Chong Kits by Incognitocheechkit.jpgchongkit.jpg
Most of us grew up on Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke, now you too can easily slip into these instant Cheech or Chong kits.  Grab a friend and find that old van, man.

  • Graveyard Groom from In Charactergraveyardgroom.jpg
The man's versions of the Dia de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead" sugar skull is almost as popular as the woman's version.  Easy to pair off in a couples costume and look dashing at the same time as you can look scary.

  • Robin Hood from 2B In Characterrobinhood.jpg
Don't fret, there are no tights here.  This design was based off the popular BBC Robin Hood series and the newest movie incarnation; including the actual hood not that silly peter pan style hat.  Could also work if you're a Green Arrow fan too and have the urge to play DC super hero/playboy Oliver Queen.

  • SWAT Commander from Leg Avenueswat.jpg
Leg Avenue isn't just for the girls anymore.  They have a great selection of men's costumes and this SWAT tactical vest will have you pretending your Jack Bauer in no time flat.

  • Mario or Luigi Kits from Rubiesluigikit.jpgmariokit.jpg
Got pair of old coveralls?  Slap on the Nintendoâ„¢ Mario or Luigi kit that includes a hat and super mustache to play everyone's favorite plumbers.  Simple and you'll show your gamer roots with this hit.

  • The Simpsons Deluxe Duffman with Muscles from Disguiseduffman.jpg
Everyone knows Duffman, "oh, yeah!"  The Simpson's favorite beer mascot can now be you!  Be the hit of the party and pack your cans of beer in your belt. Pop culture has never come in a finer package.

Remember the biggest trends sell out the fastest so shop early and snag them before they're gone!
And with that, I only have one question for you...


Fall Back on Some of 2011's Best Autumn Makeup Tips

blog-fall-fashions-header.jpgLabor Day has come and gone but left behind is the warm and exciting season of Autumn. Just as the colors of the leaves start to change, so do the color choices you make for your face.  This fall's fashion savvy look has three bold looks you can choose from.  Remember since these are all very dramatic looks, pick one to try at a time then run with it.


Sultry smoky eyes are back with a metallic flair!  Smoky doesn't always have to mean the ordinary black & grey.  This season it's all about metallic shine.  While not everyone can pull off the shimmer of metallic shadow in a full smoky eye--you can still work metallic hues into your look by dusting them over just the lid alone and working with a matte color in the crease and around the lash line.
The metallic colors on the runway this season were Purples, Silvers, Bronze, and Navy.  And while I'm not one to toot our own horn, per say, we do have some Eyeshadow colors from Cinema Secrets that fit the Fall color palette perfectly.

  • For Purple, Try Plum Wine or Galaxy
If you like warm tones try out Plum Wine. It has a subtle metallic shimmer.  For cooler tones try the dark a dramatic Galaxy
  • For Silver, Try Pewter or It's a Twister
Pewter is a warm silver metallic with a hint of gold to keep it from washing even the palest skin tone out, while It's a Twister will shine silver, red, or green depending on your tone or the light.  Use them separately or combine them for your own special look.
  • For Bronze, Try Icy Flesh & Bronze
For a light metallic highlight Icy Flesh gives a warm natural look, but if you're in the mood for a more maple metallic Bronze always deepens a things for a sultry earthy look.
  • For Navy, Try Dew and Midnight Combined
While Midnight is certainly a classic navy it lacks a metallic shimmer.  Pair it with a soft sweep of Dew and it'll have you glittering light the midnight sky.

Each of these shadows would also work perfectly with a bit of our Hollywood Lights Shimmer or Glitz added on the inner or outer edges of the eye for an extra dramatic punch for your eyes for the total package.


Brows that stand out are all the rage.  Eyebrows are designed to frame the face and well-groomed and powdered brows will draw focus to your eyes.But when I say bolder brows, don't think of Groucho Marx...instead, think Keira Knightly, Jennifer Connely, even Audrey Hepburn.
To enhance your brows, choose a brow powder that is a shade lighter than your hair color.  This will keep them from looking to dark and a powder always gives a softer look.

If you don't want to fill in the whole brow, focus on dusting the brow powder at the edges of your eyebrow, creating the illusion of a more defined and straight line.  For those missing a bit of hair at the ends you can extend the line of your brow with an angled brush like the ever popular Cinema Secrets Angle Detailer. Then simply fix with a clear wax or mascara to hold the powder and the brow hair in place.

*Our little secret? Cinema Secrets eye shadows can also be used as brow powders!


Nothing turns heads and looks sexier as bright bold lips, and French girls have been doing so as part of their daily routine all too well.  This season's lipstick colors are matte plums and ruby reds. The secret to wearing these colors is in the application.
First, base-out the lips with your foundation to create a neutral pallet to work on.
Then using a lip liner sketch (don't draw) the shape you want to achieve for your lips and feather the liner onto the lips.  This will avoid ringed liner later in the day or evening.
Using a lip brush, apply the lipstick color.  When applying the color with a brush you are pressing the lipstick into the lips allowing for longer wear.  You can use just the stick when touching up for convenience.
Follow with a lip sealer and blot your lips on a tissue.  If you use a sealer and forget to blot, you'll have a coat over your lips that you can literally peel off.  The house favorite: Artiba Lip Sealer.

Hot Fall Lip Colors from Cinema Secrets:
  • Persimmon Liner & Lip Pallet #6
The waterproof lip liner is perfect for long wear and pallet #6 has a range of brown and plum tones from natural to deep including colors: Ole, Truffle, Rosewood, Russet, & Grape.  Best for this season and the deepest plum? Try: Grape!
  • Ruby Liner & Lip Pallet #1
The waterproof Ruby lip liner is perfect for long wear and pallet #1 has a gorgeous range of reds for any skin tone including colors: Paprika, Red Passion, True Red, Red Rose, & Simply Red.  Best for this season and if you swear you can't wear red? Try: Red Passion!

...And there you have it--Autumn is here and now you can be prepared for it with the best makeup trends right now!