Lip Hits by Whip Hand Cosmetics

I’m just gonna start by saying I am jaded- it takes a lot to turn my head or impress me when it comes to new makeup products. Been there, done that, returned it, went back to my original favorites. But I am always willing to give a new product a try, especially when it comes to the quest of the perfect long-wearing but non-drying lip color.

Enter Whip Hand Cosmetics, straight out of Detroit( http://www.whiphandcosmetics.com) – I had heard other makeup artists RAVING about their “Set The Stage” primer ($39), and was curious to try it, but I already had a kit full of primers I was still using. So I tweeted Whip Hand, and full disclosure, they sent me one for free to try. (yeah, I know, makeup artists get all the cool stuff first). But regardless of it being free that first time, I LOVE IT! It has replaced every single primer in my kit…it’s like Botox in a jar…you NEED it in your life….I have since bought several more…but I digress…that’s a whole other blog post.

I was so impressed with their primer, I started looking around their website ( http://www.whiphandcosmetics.com ), and saw their “Lip Hit” product ($20). It promised to be long wearing and creamy, and I’m not gonna lie, I thought the packaging was pretty cool. So I originally ordered 2 shades, and as usual was skeptical. But my oh my, was I pleasantly surprised! You know those other long-wearing lipsticks that have 2 sides and totally make your lips peel? Yeah-these don’t do that. They melt into your lips like buttah, stay put for hours, and have a gorgeous satin finish that seems to almost retexturize even dry,cracked lips. No lip liner needed. And yes, the packaging IS ingenious! It’s a long tube with a twist up mechanism that dispenses just the right amount onto a soft little paddle, almost like a rubber spatula, so it’s not going to dry out on you. NOTE: when I got my first Lip Hit, I assumed I had to cut the tip off for it to dispense. You don’t. Oops.

They initially launched the product with 7 shades. While I loved their original shades, their was a specific color I was looking for that they didn’t have yet..that perfect pinky-nude that looks good on everyone, and can you can throw on every day to run to the store, or add a lip liner to it to add more pop if you want. So I talked to  Riese Lauriat, owner/developer/Chief MUA and HBIC, and sent her some color swatches to see if she thought they could develop one for me, in the same long-lasting formula of their original colors. She said they would work on it. And lo and behold, last weekend, when they launched their 7 NEW shades for Spring, there it was, aptly named “Crave”- the exact color I had requested and needed for my kit (And my purse ).  My other faves that I suggest you check out are Tempt, Score, and covet, but honestly, they’re all gorgeous. (See below for some color swatches)

And this is just one example of what a great little company this is- they have excellent customer service, and truly want to hear feedback from customers on their products, and what they can do to make you as a client keep coming back. You heard it here first…they might be small now, but I predict this brand will eventually end up in Sephoras around the world. You can say you knew them way back when by stopping by their booth at The Makeup Show in Chicago, June 9-10.

From left to right- Yearn, Covet, Hooked, Tempt, Score, Crave

From left to right- Yearn, Covet, Hooked, Tempt, Score, Crave

Whip Hand Cosmetics Lip Hits

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Alex’s Wedding Makeup

Last weekend I was honored to do makeup for  Miss Alex Kimbler’s wedding day at The Center, in Cincinnati,OH. Alex, who works in the fashion industry, has a great sense of style, and really wanted a look that would show off her bright blue eyes. I used a custom blend foundation I made for her from Face Atelier, Nars Bronzer in Laguna, and a mixture of several MAC blushes to highlight her cheeks. On her eyes, I went to town with my Urban Decay Naked Pallets and Smashbox cream shadows, using tons of golds and bronze shades to make her eyes pop. And then lashes..lashes for days! I was so pleased with the results, and she loved her look as well! Thanks to Shelby Street Photography for getting images less than 2 days after the big day! I wish Alex and her family tons of love and luck in the future!

xoxo-

Rachel

 

 

AlexK AlexK1

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sarah and Karen’s Engagement Shoot

It was such an honor to be a part of Sarah and Karen’s wedding day, and engagement shoots! Typically I get ONE gorgeous bride a day…but this day I had two! I had a great time getting to know them, and am now honored to consider them friends, not clients. Karen and Sarah's Engagement Shoot

Their engagement pictures, shot by the amazing Cincinnati photographer Nikita Gross, and which I did the makeup for, were featured today on 4realequalityweddings.com

Here’s the link! http://4realequalityweddings.com/2013/03/07/7463/

Tagged , , , , , ,

MAC’s Revamped Mineralize Moisture Foundation

A long, long time ago, in a place called QVC, a company called Bare Minerals came along and had everyone OBSESSED with the idea of Mineral Makeup. Minerals!!! They’re all natural! That sounds so good for my skin, right? The craze was born. Well, I hate to break it to anyone, but ALL makeup is made of minerals. But the demand was there, so all of the big boys in the cosmetics industry tagged along, vying for that client that wanted to have the word ‘Mineral’ in their foundation.

MAC fell in line too, with the introduction of their Mineralized Powders and  liquid Foundations. And they did well. But suddenly to the surprise of many loyal customers, MAC pulled their liquid mineral foundation…. I did some undercover investigation to find out why, and was happily surprised with what I found. Although many people loved that foundation, MAC decided they could do better. And boy, did they ever…behold, launching at MAC counters and stores everywhere, Thursday March 7th, the new and drastically improved- Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation!

“So, Rachel, why is it so much better?”, you ask? Well hold your horses, I am a fan of drama and timing. I’m getting there…

My undercover source, whom I shall refer to as “Carbon”, told me that the new formulation was actually developed to be used by professional makeup artists for photography. “But I’m not a makeup artist, I just like to wear it!”, I hear you screaming. Well, here’s the deal- when a foundation is developed for photography, you can bet your sweet cheeks that it’s gonna look even better in person. A lot of  popular ‘consumer’ brands of foundation have an excess of minerals and SPF which can cause something we in the industry as “flashback”- that dreaded ‘why does my face look 10 shades lighter than my neck’ effect. Remember the Nicole Kidman incident where she looked like an extra from “Scarface”?  Now, when you’re out with your girlfriends taking tons of pictures that you might regret later, you will not have what I call the “Floating Head” syndrome, where your face looks like it’s not connected to the correct body.

“Carbon” also informed me that the new version is loaded with shea butter, beet root, yeast, light diffusers and emollients that will have an instant botox-like effect on drier and more mature skin. I had to have it. NOW.

Without betraying my sources, let’s say I stumbled upon a bottle before the launch, and smoothed it over my normal-to-dry skin. I instantly fell in love with this foundation. I kissed the bottle and bought it an engagement ring. I was an instant convert. My skin felt so soft, looked flawless, and had a glorious glowing finish that made my neighbor ask me what I had been up to, and if we had used protection. The coverage is medium, but builds easily without caking, to a full coverage foundation, meaning I had to use less concealer. It has a nice 8 hour wear to it, and I had no issues with it oxidizing or breaking up on my skin throughout the day. Random people were stopping to compliment me on my skin. I broke up with my old (And much more expensive) foundation via text.

Now, if you have oily skin, this might not be the foundation for you. It is very emollient with a dewy finish that oilier girls might not be so fond of. But if you have normal or normal to dry skin, I HIGHLY suggest you give this stuff a try. At $33 a bottle, it’s very affordable, and comes in every shade of the Benneton rainbow. Stop in to your local MAC store or counter and give it a shot, or buy your usual MAC shade online at http://www.maccosmetics.comMac Mineralize Foundation

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Airbrush Makeup- Is It Really All That?

So for years now, bridal magazines and blogs have been touting airbrush makeup as a ‘must have’ for brides on their wedding days. Claims that it is a long-lasting as well as a lightweight, natural looking foundation have all brides clamoring for it, and only hiring makeup artists that can use this technique. But as a professional makeup artist with almost 20 years of experience under my belt, I have seen the pros and cons of airbrush makeup. Here are my thoughts on the whole debate…

Airbrush makeup, while easy for a trained professional to apply, is only made for one skin type. So if my client has very oily or dry skin, it’s not nearly as effective as a foundation that is made for those specific skin types. It won’t control oil, and won’t hydrate dry skin. Also, if you have more mature skin, I find it has a tendency to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, effectively aging the client. Since it’s only sprayed onto the skin and not actually work into the skin like a traditional foundation, it can look great for a bit, but then gravity takes it’s toll, and, BAM, all of those textural tiny flaws in your skin really stand out.

Maybe it’s because I am old-school, but I often prefer to ‘hand paint’ my clients, even though it takes me longer than simply blasting a client’s face with my Iwata compressor and gun. I carry an arsenal of different foundations in my kit, including Armani, Face Atelier, MAC, Urban Decay and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

A little glimpse into my makeup kit

A little glimpse into my makeup kit

, which allows me to custom blend a foundation specifically for their skin type, coloring, and the effect they want, such as matte, natural or radiant finish. It also allows me to use the least amount of product necessary to get the coverage they want.  And with the correct application technique, priming and finishing products, any foundation can be long-wearing, will give an ‘airbrushed’ appearance and should feel light on your skin.

And as for the claim that airbrush makeup lasts all day?  Any experienced artist will have a treasure trove of primers and setting sprays that will make ANY makeup last for at least 12 hours!

 

Don’t get me wrong, airbrush makeup is great on certain clients! But when consulting with your makeup artist about your wedding day makeup, ask them what your options are, and which one would suit your skin the best. Like your wedding style itself, it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ technique.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

“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

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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…

Tagged , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,