Hello pretty ladies!
This past weekend I hosted a booth for the first time at the ever-upscale I Do! Bridal Event given by Fancy That Events at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. It was such a cool experience! With my trusty PR guru and dear friend Jennifer Castaneda by my side, we met bubbly glowing brides and their friends and family members.
Being a recent bride myself, I was “tricked” many times by booth giveaways that were actually ploys. I’d get phone calls saying that I won a giveaway, and to claim my prize I’d have to sit through a sales pitch, or I’d have to pay for a service first. It just felt so insincere and was such a waste of my time. Brides have enough going on planning their weddings, they don’t have time to be harassed! That’s why for the brides at this event, I decided to create a giveaway that had no strings attached. It was very simple: people put their names and contact info in the box. I had Jen pick out a name. I called them. They won. I sent them the prizes. Done.
I hand-picked everything based on what a bride would need for her big day. The products I use for my makeup kit are from professional brands, but I wanted to keep things simple and user-friendly so I stuck with drug store finds. I have tried and reviewed almost every drugstore brand product on the market, and these are the ones that I found worked well, if not better, than ones from professional brands. Here’s what the giveaway included:
L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara – I actually have this in my kit and use it exclusively on brides. It’s a great waterproof mascara because it doesn’t budge. No flaking, no clumping. You do however, need makeup wipes to remove it at the end of the night: this stuff is legit!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream: Three words: I. Love. These. It goes on with a doe foot applicator, just like lip gloss, but it dries down to a creamy matte. It’s long-wearing and doesn’t dry out your lips as much as other long-wearing lip products do.
Zon Cosmedix 24 7 Oil Control Blotting Tissues These are a bride’s best friend! Nothing is worse than piling on powder throughout your reception. These little babies will remove extra oils from your skin (T-Zone neutralizer, much?) in a flash. Just throw them in your bridal clutch and touch up ONCE during the reception. Done.
Ardell Natural Lashes in Beauties Ardell is the leading false eyelash company for a reason. The lash strips are flexible so they adhere to your eye shape, and they come in a million different sizes for a good price. I can use my Ardells about 4 or 5 times before I throw them out!
Tarte Travel Size Eye & Skin Primers and Moisturizer Tarte has amazing all natural skin products. This isn’t a drug store brand, but I wanted to include this travel size trio so the bride could take it along on her honeymoon.
Maybelline Baby Lips With SPF 20 These puppies are getting rave reviews from everyone in the industry. I would consider these to be an affordable version of Fresh’s Sugar lip balms. I’d rather pay $2.97 over $22 any day! Wear these alone or under lipsticks for extra hydration.
Pond’s Makeup Wipes: You can’t see them in the photo but they are behind all the other makeup.These are the drugstore dupes for MAC’s makeup wipes. I actually used these for my own wedding and they worked just as well. Super gentle on your skin, too! My favorite way to use them is to use one wipe for both eyes, another for your face, then rinse your skin with warm water and face soap. The wipes will break down the makeup and the soap will cleanse your pores.
…and I threw in a cute pair of bridal earring studs to seal the deal.
There were almost 100 entries submitted for this giveaway during the four hour show and I just shipped it off to the lucky bride today. Would you guys like to see another bridal giveaway on my blog or Youtube channel? Let me know in the comments below.
I don’t know how I feel about the SAG Awards. It seems like they weren’t significant until recently, and even then, it seems excessive. Aren’t the Golden Globes and Oscars enough? Regardless, the ladies on the red carpet really brought their A game. Here are my best and worst beauty look picks from the evening:
I love the silvery plum smoky eye paired with those frosty sherbert pink lips. She is an amazing beauty without makeup, so with makeup, she knocks it out of the park. How fierce are her cheekbones?
Kelly is very particular about her look and it shows. I really adore this lilac shade she’s been rocking, it goes so beautifully with her eyes and skin that I often forget it’s a “crazy color.” I can always appreciate the attention to detail in her makeup- her black eyeliner cat eye is always flawless and her brows are always done. This bright red lip is a lovely pop of color against her pale skin. It reminds me of Lime Crime’s Velvetine lip color in Red Velvet. Who knows, maybe that’s what she’s wearing?
I literally don’t even know who this girl is, but she is so striking! I love dark brows on porcelain skin. Her makeup is actually very natural other than the black smoke on her eyelids. Who ever did her makeup kept it close to her eyelids and didn’t blend too far up into the crease–that’s the trick to making smoky eyes look “natural.” A couple of coats of mascara really sealed the deal on this beauty look.
Ready? Here comes the WORST
One of my biggest pet peeves is when an already youthful and beautiful woman goes overboard with the Botox. There really isn’t anything wrong with her makeup per se, but I don’t even notice it because I’m too distracted by the puffy and shiny patches all over her skin, which happens when there is too much fluid underneath the skin’s surface and it’s being stretched against its will. Doesn’t that look like it hurts?
I almost did a double take: Nancy O’Dell has turned into Nicole Kidman’s twin. Please stop the madness, Nancy! Don’t ruin your pretty face!
I feel like people get thrown off when styling Julianne Moore because she’s a red head. They do a great job on her hair then leave everything on her face, including her eyebrows and apparently also her lips, undone. She NEEDS her eyebrows filled in with a very light, strawberry blonde eyeshadow and an angle brush. She needs some kind of dewy glow to really showcase the beautiful cheek bones she has. Her lips are chapped and look painful. Come on guys…she doesn’t deserve this.
Why does this keep happening to her?! Is it because she’s a new mom who doesn’t have time to sit in the makeup chair long enough? Claire has a hooded eye shape, where the crease loosely hangs over the eyelid. Frosty eyeshadow is the last thing that should be applied to an overly hooded eye! She should have stuck to mattes on the eye, with just a pop of shimmer in the inner corners. That lip needs to be cleaned up. It’s smearing on one side (top right) and it’s too brown for her pale skin. I get that they were going for the “Oxblood” lip look but she really should have gone for one with a more burgundy undertone.
That’s a wrap! Which one of these looks would you like to see in a tutorial? Let me know in the comments below!
This week I attended the launch party for Youngblood Cosmetics’ spring line at the beautiful Montage Hotel and Spa in Beverly Hills with my PR guru Jenn (Refine PR) and my sister Chantal who just happened to be in town. The floral arrangement in the lobby took my breath away! It smelled so amazing in there.
YB’s head makeup artist and Director of Education, Phillip Luque, demonstrated all the cruelty-free and beautiful products that Youngblood will be releasing on March 1st, 2013. Tara Buck, actress from True Blood (she’s the human bartender from Fangtasia!) was his model. Phillip explained that the reason Youngblood Cosmetics is only sold in upscale medi-spas and skin care clinics (and online) is because the creator, Dr. Pauline Youngblood, wanted to keep the brand unique. YB Skin was first created in a medical setting, specifically for patients recovering from harsh medical procedures, and is now popular among makeup artists and their celebrity clients.
I’ve had Youngblood products in my kit for the last couple of years and to be honest with you, my clients truly enjoy them. My personal faves are the Eye Impact Quick Recovery Cream (fabulous on mature skin and puffiness) and the Eye Illuminating Duo which I use on myself everyday. Okay, on to what everyone wants to see: the products!
The spring line includes the Anti-Shine Mattifier, Minerals in the Mist in four scents, Incredible Wear Gel Liner in Lagoon, and a baby doll pink lipstick in Debalicious.
Here’s some fun trivia on the lipstick name: everyday, a Youngblood employee named Debbie Axen would come to the office rocking a drug store-bought baby doll pink lipstick. She said she loved the color and that YB didn’t have anything close to it. When Pauline Youngblood, the creator, heard this, she designed this lipstick color especially for her! Can you imagine having a lipstick named after you? Lady C lipstick- I would buy it. Lucky girl, Deb!
They weren’t kidding about the gorgeous teal gel liner that is Lagoon. This stuff didn’t come off my hand, even after I washed them twice with soap! Side note: to remove gel liners I recommend using oil-based removers. The Youngblood gel liners can also be used underneath eye shadows to intensify the look and make your makeup longer-wearing. Isn’t Debalicious the prettiest pink? It’s universal- it’s build-able and looks great on everyone.
These mineral sprays are fantastic. I spritzed the Relax formula (Lavender and Vanilla) and was pleasantly surprised when it felt tingly on my skin. I’m a big fan of MAC’s Fix + and Mario Badescu’s Rosewater spray, but neither of those actually cool skin down like this one did. I also can appreciate that the spray nozzle gave an extremely fine mist. I didn’t have to jolt and squint when I applied it. These misters can be used before makeup to hydrate and refresh or after to set. The key ingredient that makes these misters so unique is Liquid Green Clay, which helps to detoxify skin. Aaahhhh
Next up is the Anti-Shine Mattifier, which you apply on your T-zone before makeup, just like a primer. I’m actually wearing it today. If you watch my Youtube channel, you know how much I complain about my oily skin and shiny face. It’s raining today so there’s extra humidity in the air and guess what: my face is completely dry, not a drop of oil. This multi-functional formula reduces surface shine and regulates your skin’s oil production. OILY FACES UNITE! It’s also wax-free.
Guess who was also there? The Chae sisters, Linda (Makeup Talk) and Jen (FrmHeadToToe)! We chatted about our crazy experiences at the IMATS and cruelty-free makeup brushes, which we all are on the hunt for. They also taught me how to take a photo through a mirror, ha ha.
I hope you guys find this review helpful, everything you see here will be up for grabs on March 1st, 2013. Youngblood Cosmetics: Cruelty-free beauty CAN be good quality too!
If you live in the Los Angeles area I have some exciting news. Leading Lady Makeup will be a part of a high-end bridal show this weekend!
As a recent bride myself, I found it very helpful to go to bridal shows. I got a lot of ideas for my wedding simply by the look of vendors’ booths. I took pictures of everything I liked, from flowers to cake design and combined with my Pinterest pins, my wedding was executed just the way I wanted. Not to mention I took a million photos with my girlfriends and sister in all the photo booths!
Even if you already have most of your vendors booked, this is a fantastic place to be a bride. You get a ton of free stuff and get to taste yummy cakes all day long. Everyone loves you! You will be beaming from ear to ear. It’s even more fun when you bring your girlfriends. Don’t even get me started on the Lovella by Ines Di Santo fashion show (designer of my own bridal gown) or the giveaways!
I wasn’t always a fan of doing booths at bridal shows, but I decided to be a part of I Do! because of their amazing vendor list and beautiful location- the Langham in Pasadena. These vendors are top notch. I’ve met and used many for my own wedding and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of work. Even if you are a bride on a budget, these vendors are always willing to work with you and are truly some of the nicest people. Click here to check out who will be there!
Now for the deets:
If you are recently engaged or know someone who is, I highly recommend stopping by. Don’t feel pressured if you have never been to one before: this bridal show is a great place to network with wedding vendors and get a feel for what you want. And to get EXCITED for your big day!
Normally, tickets for “I Do!” go for $20/each but I still have a few left I can give out free of charge. Contact me with a comment below for free tickets to this bridal show!
Award season is here and for you, that means more red carpet makeup tutorials to try! This is my first red carpet look for 2013, and I chose to do Jessica Alba because her look can be worn on an every day basis, with a pop of that lovely tangerine lipstick. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I’m already crazy for orange lips, so this was a no brainer for me.
I recreated Jessica’s look using the Urban Decay Naked Basics eye shadow palette, which I use everyday anyway. Everyone NEEDS to go and buy it! So handy-dandy…watch the video below to see why.
Peep the 5 minute video below for the easy steps!
The Los Angeles IMATS (International Makeup Trade Show) returned this past weekend to the Pasadena Convention Center. It might seem like it’s too soon, and that’s because it’s normally in L.A. in June. The IMATS bosses decided to switch it up and host IMATS in London in June, and L.A. in January (most likely due to London’s freezing winters).
The last two times I went to the IMATS, I got some fantastic deals, but unfortunately, I don’t do well in large crowds. Literally THOUSANDS of people go to the IMATS and Saturday and Sunday are always sold out. It is jammed booth to booth with people and everyone shoving and pushing each other. I had originally decided to skip the IMATS this year to avoid mean foreigners and strollers with crying babies, but I got an opportunity to help out at the MAC Cosmetics booth on their Pro day (Friday). Let me tell you…Pro day is such a different experience. Everyone in attendance is a makeup artist, and it’s not sold out, so there is room to breathe.
I bounced on over to the Lime Crime booth where I found Doe Deere and her lovely team, who let me preview their brand-new, not-yet-for-sale Glitter Helper. This is a skin-safe adhesive that keeps glitter on without getting muddy. Best of all, it’s cruelty-free and vegan-formulated.
Crystal showed me all the new stuff going on at Youngblood, including their new spring line “In Bloom,” which features a revitalizing mineral mist spray, a lovely pink-peach lipstick and a gorgeous teal gel liner.
Youngblood also came out with an “Anti-Shine Mattifier.” Swipe this product on your skin before foundation to keep oil from pooling onto your T-Zone. This stuff feels super velvety, and just like everything else from YB Cosmetics, it’s cruelty-free and vegan :)
I noticed a lot of makeup vendors were missing this year, and I think it’s because of the date change. I can see why some companies didn’t want to come back only 6 months later. Too Faced, Makeup For Ever and Urban Decay were all absent, but Inglot thankfully was there in full force.
Here’s my small stash from the IMATS:
Lime Crime’s Uniliner in Rhyme and Velveteen matte gloss in Red Velvet, a glitter polish with big and small particles of gold glitter and Inglot’s #77 black eye liner gel, which everyone has been raving about.
Did any of you go to the IMATS this year? What brand were you most excited to see? Was there any that you missed?
You’ve watched Youtube tutorials and read tips from the experts in Cosmo and Glamour. You have all the right products. Now what? Makeup brushes.
Makeup brushes are the most important and yet expensive tools to have in your stash. But I promise you, they are absolutely essential. What’s the point in have good quality makeup when you’re rubbing it on with a thick sponge, soaking up all the product, or worse, with un-sanitized fingers? Brushes give you smooth (and clean) makeup application, from giving your skin an airbrushed look to creating that flawless black eyeliner.
Now that I’ve convinced you that you need brushes, where do you start? I know it can be overwhelming to walk into a makeup store or counter and look at all those pricey brushes. So let me break it down for you.
In the video below, I’ve whittled it down to four essential brushes every woman should have, without breaking your wallet. I’ve also got some intermediate-level brushes for those of you wanting more options. If you keep watching, I break down how to keep your brushes clean to last you a lifetime.
Let’s Take a Look at Each Makeup Brush For Beginners
FLAT EYESHADOW BRUSH
This brush will help you apply shadow to your lids and brow bones quickly. You can also use this to apply concealer.
This brush will help you line your eyes with eyeshadow powders or any gel and liquid liners. It’s also a great tool to use when filling in your eyebrows.
FLUFFY EYESHADOW BRUSH
This fluffly tapered brush will help you buff in darker shadows in your crease. It’s a must have! If you try to do your crease with a flat eye shadow brush it will smear all over. The fluffy shape of this brush will apply a small amount of shadow at a time. TIP: Use it in tiny circles and windshield-wiper motions.
Don’t be fooled by the name. This brush is small enough to do your blush, but big enough to also do your loose/pressed powder and bronzer.
INTERMEDIATE “NEXT STEP” BRUSHES
POINTED LINER BRUSH
For those of you who have the angle brush down and are experts at doing perfect eyeliner, the pointed liner brush is the next step. This brush will give you precise flicks and perfect lines when used correctly. TIP: Use your pinky as an anchor against your face to give you a steady line.
The pencil brush is fantastic for smudging pencil and gel liners along the bottom and top of your lids. For those of you with a smaller eye shape, this brush is amazing in the crease!
FIBER OPTIC FACE BRUSH
MAC spear-headed the fiber-optic brush movement, but most lines carry these nowadays. The sparsely placed fibers apply a small amount of product at a time to your face and cover large areas quickly. TIP: use this brush to set your makeup with Makeup For Ever’s HD Powder. I die!
ADVANCED CREASE BRUSH
The hairs on this crease brush are finer than the original one I showed you earlier, and there are less hairs in each brush as well. These two things make this brush perfect for precisely adding deep, dark colors in the outer corners of your crease. If you are a smoky eye fan, try this brush. It will keep you from developing raccoon eyes. TIP: Remember, small circles, buff, buff, buff!
For those of you who don’t like applying lipstick directly from the tube, or looking for a more precise application, a lip brush is for you. I always go for retractable lip brushes, or ones that come with caps, so I can throw it in my purse for touch-ups.
This painter-like brush is great for moisturizer, primer or foundation application. TIP: Paint on the product in football player-like marks, then blend in with your clean fingertips. Or, if you have time, blend in using the brush. Don’t forget your neck!FIBER OPTIC BUFFER BRUSH
I love fiber-optic brushes so much that I included another. This is a smaller, flat-top version of the original fiber optic face brush and can be found at most brands. The size is perfect for blending in highlighters and liquid concealers in that delicate eye area- its get in all the nooks and crannies. TIP: apply liquid concealer directly under the eyes then buff in using the brush in circular motion, while your eyes are closed.
While I adore MAC Cosmetics’ brushes and products, they are no longer cruelty-free, so I don’t feel right recommending their brushes to you. I purchased all of my MAC brushes during the time when MAC was 100% cruelty-free. Recently they have changed their policy. It now states, “M.A.C has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” Fans are speculating that MAC changed their policy in order to legally sell in countries that require animal testing of sale items, such as China. I still like to believe that MAC is cruelty-free in places outside of China. But there’s no real way of knowing. In no way do I think MAC is a bad company. They do so many good things, like the MAC Aids Fund and Kids Helping Kids. Hopefully they will find a way to become cruelty-free again.
CRUELTY-FREE & ECO-FRIENDLY BRUSH BRANDS
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free
Cozzette 100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free, Made in the United States
Crown Brush 100% Cruelty-Free. All natural bristles are purchased from fully licensed & accredited suppliers that adhere to a strict non-cruelty code of ethics
Bdellium Tools– The Green Bambu Series features eco-friendly makeup brushes with all sustainable bamboo handles and all vegan soft synthetic bristles and an anodized aluminum ferrule.