Monthly Archives: February 2013

“Hi Rachel!
How do I keep eyeliner looking like eyeliner?
I have oily skin so waterproof doesn’t seem to work well. I’ve tried the long lasting – I’d be happy if it lasted just a few hours. I tried the gel with matching eyeshadow to set it but I end up looking like someone punched me in both eyes. I currently am using a gel with an eyeliner pencil over it. It’s not too bad but gets ookie in the outside corners. None of the tricks seem to work. Is there hope? -Starla”

 

Well Starla, that’s a great question! I lot of women have issues with oiliness on eyelids, and find that their makeup is more slippery than a politician in an election year. Here are some suggestions for you to try-

Use an eyelid primer formulated especially for oily eyelids, before you even apply your eye shadow. I’d recommend a flesh-toned or colorless one, so you can pull it out slightly beyond your lid, which should help your shadow AND liner stay put. My fave eyeshadow primer for oily, fair skin is the MAC Paint Pot in the shade “Painterly”, $18.50 at http://www.maccosmetics.com . For darker skins, I like to use the same product in the “Quite Natural” shade.

Now, after you have perfectly primed and shaded those eyes, it’s time to tackle the liner. Since you are already familiar with using a gel, I think you’ll have a pretty easy time using a cake liner and sealer as well. Try the Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner, and Tightline Activator. $23 and $20, respectively at http://www.lauramercier.com . It might seem like a big expense for eyeliner, but trust me, it is a lifetime supply!  Place a drop or two of the activator onto the cake, and mix it with a very fine brush, until it starts to look almost frothy…in the industry, we call this making a slurry. Test it out on your hand to make sure it’s nice and black (or whatever color you choose), and then get to lining those eyes!  While you can use the cake liner with water, it’s the activator that makes it truly waterproof and long-wearing. I use this product on all of my brides, and if it can last throughout their day full of happy tears, I think it will be just fine for you! Remember, practice makes perfect, and it’s JUST makeup- a lot of people find this technique intimidating, but don’t worry- if you mess it up, just take it off and start all over again. Just make sure you use a good waterproof eye makeup remover to do it, or you’ll be struggling to get it off for hours 😉

Mac Paint Pot to Prime, Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner and Activator

Mac Paint Pot to Prime, Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner and Activator

 

 

 

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Don’t you know who I am???

Me doing meFamous last words…because, like if a D-List celebrity, if you have to ask that question, no, people don’t know who you are. So here I am sitting in front of my computer and attempting to answer that question. An introduction of sorts. A resume’. A walk down memory lane…

A lot of you just know me as ‘that crazy makeup artist I follow on Facebook’.  And that alone floors me- whenever I get ‘recognized’ when I hand someone my card, I am always astounded that anyone has ever even heard of me. I haven’t won any Oscars or been on any reality shows. So how did I get here, with people asking or BEGGING me to write a blog? I’ll get there, but first, just the facts, ma’am.

Some of my first memories are of doing makeup. My mother, always a very glamorous woman, used to teach as a makeup artist for Barbazon in the 70’s- if you’re under 35, you’ll need to google that ‘ish.  But during that period, she also sold makeup for Mary Kay. As a child, I was never allowed to have Barbies – only ‘creative’ toys in our house- mounds of construction paper, crayons, crafty stuff. I can’t even venture to guess how many pairs of Wonder Woman wrist cuffs I must have fashioned for myself back then. So when she stopped working for Mary Kay, her makeup kit became my toy. I still have the most vivid memories of those shiny pink cases, and the exact SMELL of a Mary Kay foundation. I would spend my days in the basement (or the ‘rumpus room’, as we called them back then), painting my face for hours, listening to my record player, with “Saturday Night Fever” and the Broadway cast recording of “Annie” on heavy rotation. At that moment, true love was born- I wasn’t a kid in a basement on the West Side, I was a STAR! I could put makeup on my face and become the most beautiful woman in the world! And it didn’t hurt to make me feel girly, considering that back then my haircuts were given to me in the garage, so I kinda looked like a boy, but alas, I digress….

Fast forward a few years- as you can imagine, I grew up with quite the imagination. Anything creative, where I was the center of attention, I was doing it: musical theater, acting, singing in choir, playing the drums,etc. But at some point you graduate high school and you have to star doing weird adult thing, like pay bills. Although I was accepted into the musical theater program at a college, I opted out.  I mean really, what was a girl from Ohio going to do with a degree in Musical Theater?

At some point in the early 90’s, I was given my first Kevyn Aucoin book, and I took my lead from there. Kevyn’s work was mind-blowing, transformative, and so inspirational. I knew that if I could be .00000001% of the makeup artist he was, I would be happy.

So I took my very first job at a makeup counter for Prescriptives, and that’s where it all started. I owe so much to that company for teaching me color theory, hard core and right out of the gate, custom blending people’s foundations. And I LOVED it- well, part of it, anyway. I loved interacting with women, doing their makeup, and making them feel good about themselves. It’s funny that a little bit of mascara and some blush can do that to us. All told, I ended up working for Prescriptives, Clinique and MAC before I ended up moving to Los Angeles to chase my dream.

At 26, I decided to run off and join the Navy, but we’ll tackle that another day. But hey- it got me stationed in SoCal, so I went for it.

Los Angeles was a lot of things that I had never even imagined possible. I attended and graduated with honors from Makeup Designory, aka, the “Harvard of Makeup”, where I studied beauty and character makeup. I worked on movie sets, music videos, and runway shows with designers I had only seen in Vogue. I pounded the pavement, building my portfolio, paying my dues, and worked under some other really amazing MUAs. I basked in the amazing weather, and even ended up teaching my OWN makeup classes. I hung out with celebs and did their makeup, and lounged by the pool drinking $15 cocktails at the infamous Roosevelt Hotel. Hell, getting run over by Lindsey Lohan on one of her drunken rampages was a real possibility on any given day.

But with all of the things Los Angeles was, it wasn’t home. I missed my mommy. I missed my friends. So two years ago I decided to move back to Cincinnati. And I haven’t regretted it one bit. Life is just easier here. I have all of my old friends around me. I have the support of my family, and Cincinnati has come a long way since I left t so many years ago. I sold my Hollywood Mercedes and bought my Jeep. I also have a rent payment that is under $1200.

So here I now sit, happier than ever with my life. Is it as ‘glamorous’ as L.A.? Maybe not. But in reality, I would prefer to do makeup on a gorgeous bride on her wedding day and feel that love and appreciation, do a creative shoot for a magazine, or teach a makeup lesson to a woman that just wants to feel more confident in herself. I feel appreciated. I feel fortunate. I LOVE my job. It’s funny how a little bit of mascara and some blush can do that for us…

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Product Review: NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner

Copyright: NARS Cosmetics

Copyright: NARS Cosmetics

I am constantly being asked- “What is you favorite long-wearing eyeliner?” Since the launch of the NARS Larger Than Life twist-up pencils, I  have become obsessed with this product. Here’s why-

-It goes on like butter: you barely have to touch this liner to your skin to get full-on opaque pigment, instead of having to tug and pull on your delicate eye area. You WILL need a waterproof eye makeup remover to get these off at the end of your day.

-Once it sets, it stays: I often work 12 hour days, and by the end of the day, this liner hasn’t moved an inch. Even in the waterline.

-It’s convenient: You never need to worry about carrying a sharpener around with you. This is a twist-up pencil, and has it’s own sharpener cleverly hid in the back end of the packaging.

-The Color Range: From the blackest black on the market, to a vibrant purple, there is a color that will flatter every skin tone and eye color.  For everyone, I am loving the gray hue, Madison Avenue. It is softer than basic black for a casual every-day look, and makes brown eyes sparkle.  Want to brighten the eye?  Try Rue Bonaparte, the lovely cream shade for an affect that conceals any redness in  your lower waterline. Also, I just love that these liners are all named after famous streets from around the world! Tres chic!

Tip: for that sexy smoked-out liner look, apply, then quickly buff with a pencil brush to soften the edges.

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