Real Women Makeovers: Laura

Laura is someone I met through a women's bible study.  When I mentioned doing this series of makeovers, she graciously and bravely decided to come.  I was thrilled!  Our women's bible study last Spring was shortened by my inability to continue to sit comfortably towards the end of my pregnancy.  During the short time we connected, I felt that Laura was a genuine person.  She wasn't afraid to let it all hang out.  My kind of people!  While doing her makeup, I was able to get to know her a little bit better.  She has a lot going on these days, including  Thank you Laura for your encouragement to me, and for taking a risk! Here is Laura's before picture:

As many of you are aware, the colors of Spring and Summer have been all about lovely peaches, beige, salmons, etc.  It has been super fun to do makeup around these colors!  For Laura, I wanted to do a nice light makeup that would make her blue eyes stand out.  I went for bronze tones and my all time fav eyeshadow (works as a great blush too), Paradisco, by MAC.  I filled in her brows with MAC eyeshadow in Omega.  It is a great color for blondes.  I added some depth on the corners of the lid (outside edge), and underneath in MAC Satin Taupe.  Teddy liner from MAC is also my fav liner.  It is a deep shimmery brown.  We did some individual lashes on the outside edge to add some flair.  Blush was easy.  Look at those cheek bones....are you kidding me?  I swept some MAC Pinch o' Peach on the apples of her cheeks.  And, of course, we did some highlighting and contouring.  I will try to do a full demo blog on that soon!  For lips, we did a Revlon ColorStay in Bare Maximum.  The result was a soft makeup.

Here is Laura after:

For more info on Erin, you can check out her website.

Real Women Makeovers: Gail

This makeover is one I was really excited to do.  Gail and I met while I was still working and she was a professor at APU.  Since then, amongst many other accomplishments, she has embarked on a mission called the Junia Project.  I was able to hear a little about how this all got started while doing her makeup.  Very exciting stuff!  The Junia Project is allowing others to study and learn more about women in the church, and is courageously asking church leaders to rethink their stance on women in church leadership.   Gail is a quiet force with a quick smile who clearly loves her growing family (including grandchildren!).  It was such an honor to get to talk about this with her!  For more information read this. Gail was my first makeover of the day!  It was also her birthday.  :)  Here is her before picture:

I airbrushed Gail's face with luminess air ultra foundation (water-based).  Airbrush makeup is very subtle and yet the coverage is pretty amazing.  It also lasts all day.  The foundation I used has a little bit of a glow to it without looking like an oil slick.  If you are curious about airbrushing and want to invest, I might suggest a small kit like the one I have from Dinair.  You can check them out here.  I contoured (of course) with Loreal True Match foundation in Deep Cool.  I highlighted with Maybelline Dream Lumi highlighting concealer in Nude.  We went for a very subtle eyeshadow in shimmery champagnes and lined her upper lid with Dipdown brown gel liner from MAC.  We added a few individual lashes to the outside edges to give her a doe-eyed look.  I used powder shadow to fill in her eyebrows and an angle brush and pulled them in just a bit on the insides (I try to follow the classic brow look with taking a brush and lining up the inside corner of the eye with the beginning of the eyebrow).  Blush in a light peach just on the apple of the cheek to lighten and brighten.  Her lips were lined with Spice from MAC and Revlon Colorstay in Bare Maximum.  A few thoughts on makeup for the mature woman:  1.  Do use lighter brighter colors for a daytime beauty look.  2.  Stay away from heavy powder under the eyes.  3.  USE FAKE LASHES!!!!!!  Lashes tend to shorten as we age.  You can achieve a more youthful look by using fake lashes.  You can use halves, individuals, or full strips.  4.  Soften eyebrows by using a shadow instead of a pencil.  #5.  And this is a biggie.  Ladies..... GET A MAGNIFICATION LIGHT MIRROR.  As our eyesight goes, or we need bifocals, its really hard to see stray hairs, and other small issues.

The contouring process caught by photographer Jesse Stone.


And here is the finished makeup!  The final look:

For more information on booking Erin for your next event, check out her website.

Real Women Makeovers: Sarah

Welcome to my Real Women Makeovers section of the blog! I have been wanting to do before and after pictures with women I know to demonstrate a few products and techniques that I like for some time now. What ended up happening was a full day (and I mean REALLY full) of makeup back to back so that I could have a wonderful photographer there to take the pictures. Jesse Stone was gracious enough to donate his time and talent! If you would like to see some of his work you can go here: My first real woman is my friend Sarah. I met Sarah sometime in 2006. Now, she is a very busy mom of two! She makes it look easy. One of the things I love about Sarah (and trust me I could go on and on) is how authentic she is. I admire this woman. Sarah has a unique style all her own. For this makeover, she was kind enough to let me do "whatever" I wanted! She recently went a bit darker for Fall so I really wanted to play up the new hair color. I used a silicone liquid foundation by MUD ( that is supposed to be for airbrushing. I applied this foundation with a brush instead. Why not? Sarah has flawless skin, so I didn't need to do much. Contouring is a must, and a little blush in a bright pink (close to Pink Swoon by MAC). I used Loreal True Match Powder for contouring (YOU NEED THIS!!!!! The color is Cool Deep). I very lightly used some Revlon Colorstay lipcolor in Unlimited Mulberry. I swept some Loreal Infallible eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe on the lid up to the crease and underneath the eye, and added definition by placing Harmony blush (MAC) in the crease and outside edge to blend. I used a MAC brow pencil (Stud), and then went over that with a lighter brown shadow to seal it. A few individual lashes for effect, and voila!

Sarah before:


Sarah After:


Then it was Jesse's turn to have some fun....


Mascara Issues? Go to Japan.

I recently hit on a very cool secret that other beauty bloggers have been talking about....  It all began with a short article about some wacky Avon mascara that comes in a large brush that you use to paint your lashes.  Whaaaat?  Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either!  So after reading about it, I scrolled down the page and saw an article on the top drug store items you should know about from Japan.  Japan?  Yep.  The item that stood out was mascara.

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And it makes sense.....

If you have trouble keeping your mascara on your lashes (oily skin or hooded lids), need length added (lashes shortened over time or they were cut off because you used your eyelash curler with mascara still stuck to it.... Who me?), or have straight lashes (stick straight) then this mascara post is for YOU.

Japanese mascaras are formulated specifically to deal with those issues.  And they sell them at drug store prices.  Did you know that Shiseido even makes a drug store line there called Majolica Majorica?  Yeah, that name is wacky I know.... I'm dying to try it, but the lowest price I can find so far is around $15.

I set out to find a few of these mascara brands and found that the prices are hiked up if you are shopping locally.  However, you CAN still find a few deals on Amazon if you are okay with waiting for them to ship overseas.  I was able to find one called:  Heroine Make, by Isehan, volume and curl mascara for $8.  I am still waiting to hear back from a few travelers that are supposedly bringing me back a few other brands to try.  The pictures below will show the wand style and packaging of the mascara I am trying out.

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Heroine Make:

I can definitely say that this mascara stays put!  The wand lets me separate and define every little lash, and there are fibers in the formulation so each lash is longer as I add a few layers (several high end lines use this shape:  Lancôme, Clinique, and Bobbi Brown to name a few).  It doesn't come off with soap and water so you need a good eye makeup remover (Loreal is my fave).  The one warning I have is that it dries pretty fast so you have to apply quickly.

Overall, Heroine Make is different from any other drugstore mascara I have tried.  It is a natural mascara, so if you are looking for spider lashes this isn't for you.

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On the Cheap

I am always on the lookout for products that work. Even better when they don't cost very much! When Drew Barrymore's line Flower Beauty came to Walmart, I was definitely excited to try a few things. It is pretty easy to do a good eyeshadow or blush that works these days. The true test is foundation/concealer. I went to Walmart today and picked up the foundation stick called Skincognito, to see how it holds up when compared to my Benefit Play Stick Foundation. So Skincognito foundation sticks run a little less than $9. So how did Drew's stick foundation stack up to a department store foundation stick that costs $36?

SetHeight500-SkincignitoThe Flower Skincognito foundation stick:

Coverage- Medium

Feel- Powdery

Staying Power- Good

Overall- 6/10 -Would NOT recommend for dry skin or mature skin.

Benefit Play StickThe Benefit Play Stick foundation:

Coverage- Medium to Full

Feel- Creamy

Staying Power- Great when set with powder

Overall- 10/10 - Looks fabulous on everyone!  I would not recommend this for oily skin as a full face foundation.

For the price, I have to say that the Flower Beauty Skincognito foundation stick works well as a medium coverage foundation for an oily skin. It did not cover my sun spots, but possibly I needed to use an additional concealer to make this happen. Other than that, the coverage was okay and the product lasted quite well on my skin. As stated above, this would be a great item to keep in your purse to touch up with a bit more coverage than a powder. But I must add that If you have dry or mature skin this is not the right product for you! So far I have yet to beat Benefit's creamy texture and coverage.

Stay tuned for my review of Maybelline's new gel stick foundation.  I'm excited already!