November 3, 2008

New Makeup 'n The Bride Website!

Makeup 'n The Bride has undergone a fabulous makeover and I'm VERY excited to launch the new site! There are many great features including bridal beauty looks, beauty tips, and product reviews of must-haves that are "in my kit"! If you're a bride or know someone getting married, visit the site for all your bridal beauty needs!

To view the new site visit and please update your blog-roll and subscribe to the new feed! I will no longer be updating Makeup 'n The Bride in Blogger. Check out the new site and send me an email - I'd love to hear any feedback!

Web design and graphics all by James Tilberg. Thank you for all your fantastic work and for making this site possible! For quotes on web design, please email me directly for James Tilberg's contact information.

September 30, 2008

Aww Shucks...A Bride's Testomonial! :)

This is the best part of my job. I love hearing when a bride is happy with the makeup job I've done. Check out Denise's kind and sweet review of my makeup services on her wedding day! Thanks Denise! You truly were stunning! Check out her review here.

September 2, 2008

Bridal Beauty Must-Haves Part 1

Walking into a Sephora store is a little slice of heaven for me. However, for someone who isn't a beauty junkie, cosmetic lines screaming "you need me!" may seem a little frightening. And if you're a bride getting married who is looking to do your own makeup, finding the right products to make you photo ready and flawless may be daunting at times. As a makeup artist who has transformed many brides, I have a list of must-have products that will get you looking gorgeous on your big day!

Primer/Mattifier: Priming your skin and good skin care is essential for flawless makeup on your wedding day. Say bye to shine with Cargo's blu_ray High Definition Mattifier. I've tried other primers that claim to take shine away but this is the first makeup primer and mattifier that keeps your face looking shine-free for hours. You can also use it throughout the day for touch-ups over top of your makeup. It blends into the skin clear so you're not adding extra makeup and avoid looking like a caked mess.

If you have drier skin, I recommend Smashbox's Photo Finish primer. The texture is a little heavier and thicker.

Under-Eye Brightner: Night before bachelorette parties can wreck havoc on your skin. To fake that bright-eyed I-got-a-full-eight-hour-sleep look, I like to use an eye brightner like Smashbox's Photo Op Undereye Brightner. To use, just swipe the highlighter directly onto your dark circles, and inner and outer corners of the eyes. Then using your ring finger (ring finger has the lightest touch), pat and blend into skin gently. Try not to rub into skin because the product and effect will disappear. The illuminated area will help diffuse fine lines and lighten those dark circles. If your circles aren't that dark (lucky you!) you can get away with using this as an under eye concealer. And if you're not so lucky, I like to apply a concealer over top for ultimate coverage.

Concealer can be your best friend or your worst enemy if not properly applied or the wrong texture is used. Depending on your skin, I sometimes go without concealer and use the foundation to conceal under eye circles and blemishes. However, for problem skin (acne, discolouration, scarring) I do go in and use something heavier. Here a few products that I like to work with:

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch: My first experience with this was while I was doing a bride's makeup (in fact it's the glamourous bride in my page banner). This was one of the products she carried in her purse at all times so I just had to use it. It is perfect for the eye area because of the light texture and luminous quality and great for evening out the skin tone (around the nose, contour of the mouth, and hollow of chin). It conceals dark circles really well and brightens up the whole area. Beware if you have a lot of fine lines and wrinkles though. Because of the liquid/creamy texture it can settle into fine lines.
Face Atelier Cosmetics Camouflage Duet: This concealer is one of my faves because it has the same silicone-base as the popular Ultra Foundation. The only difference is that it's heavier and much creamier. The silicone-base allows the product to float on top of the skin so it doesn't settle or crease into fine lines. It has two sides: a cool and warm colour that you can blend together to perfectly match your skin tone. The creamy texture is just right for concealing those pesky pimples yet not too heavy for the under eye area. I like to also use this in place of a foundation for those that have close-to-flawless skin. Good for all skin types.

Benefit Erase Paste: This has been my latest obsession. I bought this on recommendation from another makeup artist who absolutely loves this stuff. I'm obsessed with any product that covers and brightens the under eye area at the same time. Lately, my dark circles have been drier than usual and my YSL Touche Eclat was leaving a flaky, dry mess. Erase Paste is a concentrated, creamy concealer that brightens and camouflages those dark circles and blemishes. A little goes a long way so build until you are satisfied with the coverage. The good thing is that it never looks cakey or heavy. This comes in 3 shades: Fair, Medium and Deep but beware - I have med-dark skin and I had to buy the Deep. Hopefully Benefit will come out with a wider range of tones. Also, if you have oilier skin it may not last long on your skin.

Lise Watier Professional Correctors: I try to avoid using correctors if I can but sometimes it's the only way to solve a skin issue. I have both correctors for fair and dark skin and I highly recommend both if you have discolouration especially under the eyes, acne, scarring, or tattoos. It comes with a guideline on the back so you know exactly what each colour is for. Both palettes suit every skin tone because you can mix and blend together. I'm especially impressed with the dark palette because it works on even the deepest of skin tones. Just keep remember, if you're correcting a discoloured area to apply first then apply your natural foundation on top to blend in with the rest of your skin.

Foundation: On your wedding day, the idea is for your skin to look immaculate while letting your natural beauty shine through. Heavy foundation or a heavy hand can make this difficult so choose your foundation wisely. Always go and test it before committing to one because they can get pricey.

Face Atelier Ultra Foundation: Hands down my all-time favourite foundation! Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn't crease or flake, and lasts all day. Hydrating yet oil-free, it fills in tiny lines and pores for a flawless finish. I have the whole collection and it has never disappointed. Whether you are very fair to deep dark there is a shade for you and if you really want to customize your foundation you can mix Zero Plus to go a shade darker or Zero Minus to lighten. The foundation is medium to full coverage but you can sheer it out with a bit of moisturizer. The skin just looks amazing and clients are always asking me about it. It never looks or feels heavy.

Setting Powder: Brides should look glowing, luminous but not shiny or sweaty. Sometimes in the most humid weather looking like an oil slick is unavoidable. One powder that I always go back to is M.A.C.'s Blot Powder/Loose. The pressed version is great but I find the loose powder is a lot finer and has a more natural finish. If you pat and press into the skin with a sponge, the powder will absorb oil and shine and keep your skin looking matte yet velvety. I also like to do a last dusting of powder with a big brush after all the makeup has been applied especially on the eyes to ensure the makeup stays flawless and in tact all day.

Sculpting: If you really want to transform and give your face more dimension, sculpting by highlighting and shading parts of the face will do just that. You'll really notice this is in your photos when your best features are highlighted and your not-so-favourite ones are hidden. To slim the face I like to contour the hollows of the cheeks, temples, jawline and under the chin. I use Benefit's Hoola matte bronzer which is perfectly fine and I highlight with luminous powder or a pressed powder one shade lighter than the natural skin tone. But if you're a novice, I recommend Make Up For Ever's Compact Modellers which is a duo sculpting set in a matte medium tan and matte neutral beige.

Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring my must-haves in shadows, mascaras, liners, lid primers, blush and lip products!

August 1, 2008

Say "I Do" With NARS Bridal Palette!

Nars' ever popular Artist Palettes has added a new addition! The first ever NARS Bridal Palette ($65 USD Limited Edition) will help brides say "I do" looking their most beautiful whether it be natural or glamourous. The variety of colours give you endless options so you can mix and blend to your hearts content! This is definitely on my lust list. This pretty palette includes 9 NARS favourites:

4 Shadows: Edie, Nepal, Night Fever, Ondine
Cheeks: Albatross, Orgasm
4 Lips: Mitzi, Baby Doll, Sexual Healing, Roman Holiday

Happy shopping!

A Glamourous Bride-to-Be

A client and good friend who is getting married soon has featured me on her wedding site, Colin and Denise, where they share the ups and downs of planning a wedding. I'm so flattered that she decided to share her positive consultation experience with everyone. She described her look as "glamourous" and "red carpet-style" - I'll take that any day! Check out her "glamour girl" (that she was!) experience here. Thanks Denise!

Bridal Beauty 101: Makeup and Hair Ideas

Is your wedding around the corner and you still haven't decided on the perfect look for you? Check out my post on Wedding Makeup and Hair Ideas at Chick Lit! Enjoy!

Bridal Beauty 101: 1940's Glam

I had the pleasure of doing makeup for the beautiful bride Christine over the summer and I was soo excited when she decided to do the 1940's glam look which is so big for Fall right now. I've done a few how-to's on this Fall beauty trend but this time I wanted to share the products and techniques I used to achieve this look. She was such an inspiration because she truly reflected the glam woman of the 1940's from hair, to makeup, to dress (which was absolutely stunning on her), to shoes, to accessories. Alright, let's get started and get you glammed up!

1. Base: I started with a primer to create a smooth base for her foundation. I let it set for 5 minutes before applying her foundation. I used a silicone-based foundation and evened out her skin tone where needed with a foundation brush. I didn't want the foundation to look too heavy because I wanted her to appear fresh and radiant. I applied a creamy concealer around the nose and under the eyes with a concealer brush. I set the foundation with a dusting of blotting powder, making sure that her lids were well-powdered.

Products: M.A.C. Prep+Prime Face Protect SPF 50, Face Atelier Ultra Foundation, M.A.C. Foundation brush #190, Lise Watier Professional Correctors, YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch (courtesy of the bride which I'm dying to get!), M.A.C. Concealer brush #194, M.A.C. Blot Powder/Pressed

2. Eyes: I like to fill the brows in first because it frames the eye and helps me determine the look I want to achieve that will compliment the eye shape. I used a matte eyeshadow with a brow brush to fill in her brows and chose a reddish-brown colour to match her beautiful auburn hair. I blended the colour with a mascara brush to make it more natural and used a clear brow gel to set it.

Before applying any shadow I used a base to prime the lids so that the shadows would blend nicely and last longer. I highlighted the brow bone, lower lash line and inner corner of the eyes with a shimmery champagne shadow with a dense blending shadow brush. I shaded the lid with a matte vanilla shadow with a flat brush and defined the crease with a matte stone and dark brown shadow mixed together blending back and forth until there were no harsh lines. To make the eyes pop a bit, I applied the shimmery champagne shadow to the center of the lids. I used a water-resistant liquid liner in black lining the inner to outer lash line with a flat synthetic liner brush and skipped winging it out because her lid drooped downwards. I curled the lashes and applied a coat of water-proof mascara. To make those lashes flutter I added a pair of false lashes.

Products: M.A.C. Eye Shadow Folie (brows), M.A.C. Small Angled Brow Brush #208, M.A.C. Lash Brush #204, M.A.C. Clear Brow Set, M.A.C. Eye Paint Untitled (primer), M.A.C. Eye Shadow Shroom (highlighter), M.A.C. Blending Brush #217, M.A.C. Eye Shadow Vanilla (lid), M.A.C. Eye Shading Brush #239, M.A.C. Eye Shadow Charcoal Brown (crease), M.A.C. Eye Shadow Brun (crease), M.A.C. LiquidLast Liner Point Black, M.A.C. Flat Definer Brush #212, Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler, L'oreal Voluminous Water-proof Mascara in Black, Quo Cosmetics Lashes #801

Cheeks: I contoured her cheeks with a matte bronzer and a neutral blush using a contour blush brush. I gave her cheeks a beautiful glow using a soft pink blush and added a highlighter to the cheekbones.

Products: Benefit Hoola Bronzer, M.A.C. Powder Blush Harmony, M.A.C. Small Contour Brush #109, Benefit Dandelion , M.A.C. Limited Edition Mineralize Skinfinish Shimpagne (highlighter)

Lips: Red lips perfectly applied can be a bit tricky. I applied a lip balm first because the last thing you want is chapped lips. To prevent the colour from bleeding or feathering I applied a primer to the lips and let it set in for a few minutes. I lined and filled in the lips with a creamy lip pencil. I applied a semi-matte lipstick in a true blue red and added a opalescent gloss to the center of the lips. To fix mistakes, I dipped my concealer brush in concealer and cleaned up the edges. Also, when applying gloss to red lips only apply to the center of the bottom lip staying away from the outer part to prevent bleeding.

Products: Murad Soothing Lip Therapy, Benefit Lip Plump (primer), M.A.C. Cremestick Liner Red Enriched, M.A.C. Lipstick M.A.C. Red, M.A.C. Lustreglass Luminary

This look can work on everyone and can be done many ways using different products. This is just my take on the '40's glam look. There is a fabulous red lipstick for every woman so keep searching until you find the right one. Happy shopping!

Bridal Beauty 101: Wedding Prep Part 2: Makeup Looks

Now that we've got the formalities out of the way, lets get to the fun stuff! When it comes to makeup on your wedding day you want to be able to look back 10 or 20 years from now without any regrets. I always recommend that brides choose classic and timeless looks. Save the bright shimmery shades for any other day or better yet your bachelorette party! Whether you're looking for a look to show the makeup artist or doing your own makeup, here are some beautiful looks that are easy to re-create and beautiful year after year.

1. Classic Old Hollywood: This is one of my favourite looks that never goes out of style and one of the easiest to re-create. It's all about defined brows, flawless skin, bold lips, and flirty eyes. Before applying any makeup, make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. Wait for about 5 minutes after applying moisturizer to let it set and soak into the skin before putting on your base. Prep skin with a primer (one with an SPF is even better) like M.A.C.'s Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 or Lorac's aquaPrime Oil Free Makeup Primer to keep makeup on longer.

Your foundation should last long and not look powdery or caked on. Your skin should look radiant and fresh and not shiny and oily looking. For wedding makeup I recommend the following foundations: oily skin I like MAC's Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 or Make Up For Ever's Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation, normal or combination skin I love Face Atelier's Ultra foundation or MAC's Face and Body Foundation, and for dry skin try Bobbi Brown's Moisture Rich Foundation or Bobbi Brown's Luminous Moisturizing Foundation. Use concealer only where needed: under eye, around the nose, and obvious blemishes. Set with a loose powder and touch up shiny skin with blotting papers throughout the day.

Use an eye primer or base before applying shadow so that it will not crease or fade. I like using MAC's Eye Paints as a base in any of the neutral colours. Use shadow colours in light shades like champagne, silver or taupe. Benefit's new Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner comes in many beautiful shades including a black one which can be used as the black liner. Finish off the eyes with lots of waterproof mascara from Maybelline and fake lashes in #4 from MAC (optional). To define the brows, use a slanted brush and brow powder for a natural effect like Benefit's Brow Zings which comes with a brow wax to keep in place, brow powder, tweezers, and slanted brush.

For blush, I would add a little more colour than the picture because you don't want to look pale. Go for neutral tones in browny pinks or rose. I like powder blushes from Bobbi Brown's in Almond (toasted almond) or Tawny (medium pinky brown). This look is all about a strong, bold lip in red. And since this can get messy with all the kissing you'll be doing you want to make sure it stays put. I like Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Forbidden Red because it also acts as a lip liner. If you'd prefer a lipstick then make sure to get a lip liner to prevent the colour from bleeding like MAC's lip pencil in Brick. If the red in the picture is too strong for you opt for more berry-reds or reds in a sheer form. Make Up For Ever has a great lip matifyer called Matte Lip that you can apply over any lipstick or gloss with long-lasting effects. This is a great option for people who don't normally buy matte lipsticks. For even more kiss-proof lips try Make Up For Ever's Lip Plus Lipstick Sealer.

2. Youthful but Classic: This is today's version of the Classic look just more youthful and softer. The brows are still softly defined, skin is still flawless but is slightly luminescent, the eyes are warmer and not as defined, cheeks are rosier, and lips have a pop of colour but in sheerer tones of red and are not strongly defined. Use a nice gold shadow on the lid and in corner of eyes like MAC's Eye Paint in Base Light. Smudge a brown shadow like MAC's Espresso into the upper lash line and outer crease. Load on the waterproof mascara and add some falsies to the outer corner. Sweep a soft pink powder blush onto the cheeks like MAC's Dame (one of my favourite pink blushes!) or Benefit's Dandelion highlighting powder. Finish the look off with a juicy pout in MAC's Venetian Lustreglass or L'oreal's Colour Juice Stick in Cherry Freeze (Ali from had this in her makeup bag and we used it on her podcast shoot!). Be sure to line lips in a corresponding shade to prevent feathering or bleeding but blend really well with a lip brush so it does not look too defined. Wearing a lip primer is a good idea as this will also keep your lip colour on all day. I use Benefit's Lip Plump all the time to smooth out lines and to prep the lips before applying colour. For extra lasting effects apply Make Up Forever's Lip Plus Lipstick Sealer as mentioned in #1.

3. Classic Bridal Beauty: This is a look that looks good on almost anyone and can be used any time of the day. Brown tones on the eyes, pink rosy cheeks and a pink pout. Check out Bobbi Brown for tips and instructions on how to re-create this look. She has even created a custom bridal palette!

4. Looks for Darker Skin Tones: I love doing smokey looks or deep cocoa and amber colours on darker skinned women. Darker tones can get away with doing a smokey look on the eyes because it doesn't look overdone as it would on someone with fairer skin. Check out Iman Cosmetics for tips and products. There are some amazing looks on there!

That rounds out my list for my favourite bridal beauty looks! I hope all you brides out there were able to get some ideas and helpful tips. Remember, in the end you want to look like you but only better on your wedding day. Congratulations and all the best on your journey to wedded bliss!

Bridal Beauty 101: Wedding Prep Part 1

Alright, lets get back to some makeup talk already! 'Tis the season, spring and summer bring pretty flowers and warmer weather and also weddings! I've done makeup for a lot of weddings and I always get asked about makeup looks, what products to use, rates and preparations before the big day. You brides have enough to deal with when it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams so I'm here to make things a little easier. Whether you're planning to do your own makeup or have an expert do it here are some bridal beauty tips to help get you through your big day!

1. Finding a good makeup artist and rates.

Referrals are always the best way to find a makeup artist because you know that they've been referred for a reason. No body will refer a bad makeup artist. Also, find and book an artist 4-6 months prior to your wedding. A really well-known artist gets booked up pretty quickly. If you have no referrals, the internet is also a good source because many artists will provide their portfolio and rates online. Another good source are spas and hair salons. Inquire about whether they have a bridal party package which most do. Visit your local makeup counter as well. For example, MAC offers makeup consultations/applications but you must commit to buying $40 of product. The only thing that could sway you from deciding to do your wedding makeup at a counter is that you have to go to them rather than coming to you. And most times, big wedding parties can't fit in the store.

A good makeup artist will not only provide a sample of their work but will offer a consultation (which is a must) along with a digital picture so you can see what the makeup will look like. Find an artist that is willing to travel to you. Some will provide a face chart with the colours and products used, however, this is optional but even if they don't have a face chart they can at least write down the products. If you have a specific look in mind, bring it to the consultation. This is a good guideline for the artist to see if it'll work for you. A good artist will be able to use the right products and colours for your skin tone and type.

Rates vary from artist to artist. Most if not all makeup artist charge for a makeup consultation and will ask for a deposit the same day as the consultation. This is to ensure the booking as well as the number of people getting their makeup done. Most makeup artists will provide a receipt of some sort with the deposit amount and total owed on the day of the wedding. You will both sign it and you should both have a copy. Shop around for makeup artist rates until you find someone that fits within your budget. Most makeup artists will not do the makeup if there is less than 2 people getting their makeup done. Keep in mind that the less people there are, the higher the rates will be (again rates vary and this is not always the case). If an artist has to travel a long distance to do the makeup her rate will most likely include a small traveling fee. If you're unsure how much you're willing to pay to get your makeup done, I always ask potential clients how much they will be spending on hair. Makeup should be about the same cost. People sometimes forget that makeup done well of course is just as important as the hair! Anyone can do makeup, but not everybody knows what techniques to use for different lighting or the right products to use to achieve a flawless face.

2. Hairstyles and rates.

When finding a good hair stylist use the same resources as finding a makeup artist. If you have a regular stylist you go to then finding someone to do hair on your wedding day is done. Most salons have bridal packages that will be able to accommodate your entire bridal party and usually the makeup application is included in the price. If you use a freelance hair stylist, rates again vary. The plus side with a freelance stylist is that they will come to wherever you are with all their equipment. Always do a consultation first and make sure they have a sample of their work on hand. Consultation fees will vary as well. If you're handicap when it comes to hair like me, having a hair stylist will benefit you big time (although for my wedding I got my friend who is good at styling hair to do mine for free!). Bringing examples of looks is always a good guideline and a good hair stylist will tell you if it will work with your hair/face. Don't be afraid to speak up if there's something you don't like about the style - same goes for the makeup. We'd rather you speak up than be miserable all day. But try not to be too nit-picky! haha

3. Prepping yourself for the big day!

a. I always tell brides to make sure they get enough sleep before the wedding. You'll need your energy with all the emotions you'll be feeling, the many people that you'll be greeting, the over smiling you'll be doing picture after picture, and of course partying it up with your guests at the reception (and don't forget about all the lovin' you'll be making at the end of the night!).

b. Water! Water! Water! Drinks plenty of water to keep you and your skin hydrated and looking beautiful.

c. Never get a new hair style a few days before your wedding. If you're dying for a new colour or cut do it at least 2 weeks in advance so that you can recolour your hair if you need to or if you need your hair to grow out a bit.

d. A week from a wedding book a facial. This way if you break out a bit after, your skin will have some time to recover. Booking a waxing around this time is also good too. If your hair grows fast do it 3 days before the wedding. Never do it the same day or you'll be left with a red inflamed face!

e. Get a mani/pedi 2 or 3 days before so that the polish colour is still fresh and chip free.

Stay tuned for what products and styles will work for you in Part 2 of my Bridal Beauty Tips!
*Above picture is of my beautiful friend Donna after our makeup consultation and on the day of her wedding.