Tag Archives: Lipgloss and Lithium

Behind Rachel Lisa:The Makeup

Party people!! It’s finally here! My very own makeup line!

Wait, what? Go back, when did THAT happen?

This is a question I have been hearing a lot…I have a tendency to keep things on the DL until I have them exactly the way I want them, which is why so many of my friends and colleagues had no idea it was coming.

So why my own makeup line? Several reasons- first of all, if you have ever worked with me, you know that my makeup kit is filled with several different  brands, from NARS, to MAC, to Laura Mercier. Each line had their products that I adored, but when it came time to do a makeup lesson, clients were getting confused about to which brand and product to use for what. So I decided there had to be a way to streamline all of my favorite products into one Pro MUA and ‘civilian’-friendly line….the high pigment level of  Nars, the customizeable palettes of MAC, the flawless skin of Laura Mercier, the HD-capabilities of Make Up For Ever.   Also, long term I seek world domination as a professional makeup artist. Or, just the ability to travel and educate people- that’s what really makes me happy.  Since my first job as an artist was for Prescriptives where I would custom-blend women’s foundation and powder every day, I knew it was possible.

I will be posting subsequent blogs about each product to help familiarize you with them, as well as possible discounts and gift-with-purchase deals. Make sure you subscribe to my blog and don’t miss anything awesome!  So here it is…and I hope you love it like I do- Rachel Lisa: The Makeup!

This month’s focus product is: *drumroll, please*

 

Secret Weapon Seamless Powder Foundation: 

No Filter Needed! Baked Hydrating Powder Foundation delivers an undetectable, soft sateen finish with buildable coverage that helps to diffuse the appearance of skin imperfections, while moisturizing technology improves skin hydration levels. Used alone or over a liquid foundation, this advanced weightless formula disappears into the skin, improving the overall texture and color of your complexion. The result is a naturally flawless finish that lasts for hours. Hypoallergenic, fragrance and paraben-free. Not tested on animals. Can also be used as a touch-up powder to keep your face looking fresh all day. Perfect for all skin types. Pro Tip: For fuller coverage, apply with a sponge.  Available in Fair, Light, Light-Medium, Medium, Medium-Deep, and Deep.

December Special: Buy one Seamless Powder Foundation, and get a complimentary sample of my Reteturizing Primer and 3 shades of my new Secret Weapon HD Balm foundation. 

FREE FULL-SIZE Lock and Load Mascara with every purchase of $175 or more, while supplies last. 

BakedPowder

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My new fave brush cleaner! A video review of Clean Brush shampoo!

I love the lemon scent, but it's also available in Lavender and Unscented

I love the lemon scent, but it’s also available in Lavender and Unscented

Hey Kids! I am constantly being asked by clients how they should clean their makeup brushes. I recently purchased this little gem, created by my friend and fellow makeup artist Jessicca Ochs. I’ll be honest- at first I bought it to humor her. I typically have not had great experiences with solid brush soaps. But boy did this little hunk of magic surprise me and EXCEED any expectations that I had.

I recently went to Chicago for The Makeup Show, and had to take it to my friend and all-around-bad-ass Sonia Roselli to try. Here is the video of us using it! I’m the one with the tattoos hanging out and the busted hair. Watch and see how amazing it is, and how many frigging brushes we washed with one container!  (Caution- we were very tired and slap happy, so there might be some cussing and overall goofiness).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uFusfoDXtd8#at=20

To buy this amazing product (And I highly suggest you do), go to http://www.cleanbrushes.com. I happen to prefer the olive oil version, but I think that’s just the Italian in me. I haven’t heard one negative review on this stuff! It’s a must for professional makeup artists and anyone that owns makeup brushes!

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Totally Spongeworthy

For years now, professional makeup artists have known the wonders of the little pink egg, aka, the Beauty Blender. Now that they are readily available at Sephora retailers everywhere, I figured it was time to tell you what all the fuss is about.

The brain child of celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, the Beauty Blender is a reusable non-latex makeup sponge that makes giving yourself the flawless finish that a professional makeup artist would give you right at home. Unlike a brush, this little miracle won’t leave streaks in your foundation, and soaks up way less product when used properly. And when compared to using your fingers, the finish is much more even, and it’s shape makes it easy to navigate into those tricky areas like your nose and tear ducts without losing an eye. Also, with proper care, they can last for months if not years.

Using it is easy…just wet the sponge, squeezing out any excess water until your little egg is slightly damp. Then place your liquid foundation on the back of your hand, dip the sponge in, and begin gently patting (or stippling, as we pros call it) the sponge all  over your face, making sure to blend evenly. I also like to employ a technique where I literally rock the sponge back and forth all over my face for slightly more coverage. Just play with it and decide which technique you prefer. I know wetting the sponge seems odd, but just trust me- you get an even smoother finish with it when damp. When you are finished, simply wash the sponge with soap and water to prevent bacteria from growing it that bad boy, or you might end up giving yourself some really unsexy zits.

When used in conjunction with a really awesome primer, I have had clients swear I gave them botox while they weren’t looking- their skin looks that smooth. I like to use mine with the Whip Hand “Set The Stage” primer ($39, http://www.whiphandcosmetics.com) for skin that looks like it has been photoshopped, but in real life. You can buy a Beauty Blender solo for $19.95 ( http://www.sephora.com), or grab one of their starter kits that include the sponge,  soap, and drying port, both which will extend the life of your precious egg. The original Beauty Blenders were pink, and came with a liquid soap, but I am partial to the new black version with the solid soap, reminiscent of a men’s Olde Tyme shaving bar.

Like most awesome things, there have been a ton of replicas out there, but in my opinion, none of them can touch the original.

In Conclusion: If you’re not applying your foundation with a Beauty Blender, you’re just doing it wrong. Get with the program, or we are so breaking up.

Bath time for my babies!

Bath time for my babies!

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NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer- The Holy Grail of Concealers!

So it used to be that concealer was one of those things you just had to use to hide flaws. It was never anything you really LOVED or looked forward to using…a lot of times it would crease or wear off, leaving you looking older than you are, making an acne spot look even more textured, or like you got punched in the eye by noon. It also used to be that NARS was known for their crazy-fabulous color collection, and not their flawless skin products. Until now…

I am just going to come out and say it- I truly am in LOVE with the new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. ( $28, http://www.narscosmetics.com )  I would so have it’s babies. If you don’t yet own it, just stop reading this blog post and go buy it. Here’s the lowdown-

-It doesn’t crease or wear off. I swear on my makeup kit, this stuff doesn’t move. For HOURS. I can put it on at 8 am, and still look fabulous and fresh 12 hours later. People have been commenting lately that I look so well rested, and my skin is amazing. Those of you that know me personally know I am plagued by seasonal allergies, insomnia, and a slightly clueless significant other, all which cause me to have dark circles under my eyes as well as the occasional frustration zit.

-It has a very thin texture, so it never looks cakey or heavy.  So no more using a specific creamy concealer for the eye area and adding a dryer concealer to cover redness on your face. Also, the coverage is buildable, so if you have extra ares that need more coverage, you can add second coat to really blot out any imperfections.

– It has light diffusing ingredients. What does that mean? It means that not only will it cover your not-so-perfect areas, it will actually blur the fine lines and wrinkles your annoying boss caused, and can make your face look smoother overall.

– It comes in 10 shades, for all skin types, for super fair to dark complected skin, so you won’t have an issue finding the right color to match your skin. (See below for swatches of a few of the colors I have already purchased for my pro kit)

– You only need to use a little bit of it. Anyone I have seen that has had issues with it creasing is using too much of the product. If one coat doesn’t give you the coverage you want, use 2 very thin coats, like  you would with a nail polish. It comes in a tube with a doe-foot wand, similar to a lip gloss. Just dab a tiny bit on the area you want to cover and pat it out to blend it.

So, in conclusion, if you want to look all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, even if you’re not exactly feeling that way, you need to add this concealer to your arsenal. Along with a good dose of their Multiple Orgasm, and you’ll have all of your friends asking if you just had a relaxing stay at The Betty Ford Clinic 😉

Copyright, NARS Cosmetics

Copyright, NARS Cosmetics

Colors from top to bottom: Chantilly, Honey, Biscuit, Amande

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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

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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

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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.

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“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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