Hi beauty lovers!
Fall has been a whirlwind. I’ve been working 6-7 days a week (happily, might I add) but that doesn’t mean I let my nail art fall by the wayside. Here’s what’s been on my tips this past season.
These nails look “sinister-cool”, just like The Little Mermaid’s villain, Ursula. I used Essie’s Chinchilly, which is a neutral plum-grey, for the base. I followed the sharp tips of my nails for the stripes of black. You can also rock this look on square-shaped nails, just line the black polish at an angle for the same effect!
Teal Time Nails
If you follow this blog, then you know that I’m a sucker for anything teal. For this look, I rocked a deep dark teal polish on all my nails except for my accent nail, which I chose to paint with Essie’s Mint Candy Apple. I topped off the thumb with Deborah Lippman’s dreamy confection, Across The Universe. The reason this look works is because the polishes I chose are in the same color family, just different shades. You could also recreate this look with purples, reds, oranges, etc. Just keep them all in the same color!
Purple Rain Nails
This one’s a repeat design from a look I rocked last fall. I chose a polish with a duo-chrome finish for the base and used a black striper for the stripes. The accent nail in black just makes the whole look sleeker.
What is your favorite nail design? Will you try any of these? I’d love to see any recreations! Hashtag your photos on Instagram with #leadingladynails
Hi Beauty Babes,
Here is one of the many beautiful brides I got to work on this summer. Mr. and Mrs. Aldrete wed on the Fourth of July at The Castaway. I had my own wedding reception at this amazing venue just last year so I was super excited to hear they would be having their ceremony and reception there!
Sandy wanted a dramatic smoky eye (I LOVE when brides go smoky!) so I started off with her eyes first to avoid eyeshadow fall out.
Check out this amazing shot of their wedding rings on the heel of her Louboutin! #sexy
Castaway has a stunning gazebo that served as the center of the ceremony.
…and they literally had fireworks on their wedding day. Congratulations Oscar and Sandy! You two make a beautiful couple. Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DS PHOTOGRAPHY
VENUE: THE CASTAWAY BURBANK
My earliest memory of makeup was when I was four years old in Los Angeles. My stay-at-home mom had a routine that I was well aware of. At one, she folded laundry while watching One Life To Live. At two, she vacuumed during General Hospital. At three, she started dinner during Oprah. I had approximately three hours to get into her makeup with the best chances of her not noticing. I used to run upstairs to her room and wander over to her 1980s-era vanity mirror. The beige dresser drawers had gold handles and were filled with tubes of colorful lipstick and eyelash-curling contraptions. I set up shop. Blue eyeshadow smudged on my brow bones. Chanel lipstick in red smeared onto my four-year-old lips. Rouge blush on my tiny cheeks, using the brush that came with the compact. Hey, at least I knew where everything went.
My parents were pretty strict growing up so wearing makeup and nail polish was an absolute no-no. I played piano for many years, and I hated that I had to cut my nails short and leave them unpainted. I felt so boring and plain! I loved looking at my mom’s magazines filled with glamorous women who wore full faces of makeup and brightly colored manicures.
Finally, at the golden age of 12, my mother took me to the Clinique counter in Las Vegas (where we now lived) for what I like to call “starter makeup.” I was now the proud owner of a marbled green compact of pressed powder! I felt so grown up. I would display my compact on my dresser, front and center. That Clinique compact was my “gateway drug” to other cosmetics. From there I frequented the makeup aisles at grocery stores and Walgreens. By the time 8th grade started, I was known as the girl with white eyeliner and blue mascara. Everyone loved my makeup. I like to think I was responsible for the Bonne Belle Dr. Pepper lip balm craze of 1998. I started doing glue-on nails for my friends at my home for special events.
High school was more of the same, except I finally dropped the white eyeliner look. Now, I was rocking baby blue shimmer on my eyelids with perfectly executed black liquid liner. I didn’t leave the house without makeup, and if I had to be late to first period to make time for carefully applied red lipstick, then so be it. I was booked for homecoming, not because I was going, but because I was doing other people’s makeup for the dance.
After graduation, my love for makeup continued. I started as a cashier at MAC Cosmetics at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops while I attended UNLV. I absolutely loved that job. We were open until midnight and that, coupled with the location on the Strip, gave us lots of interesting characters to work on. After a year of studying products and methods and lots of practice, I was promoted to Makeup Artist. Wow! To know that a big company like MAC thought I was talented enough to be an artist: it really put a perspective on things. I learned a ton at MAC and was inspired by my fellow artists. I dabbled in body painting, fashion show and costume makeup. I worked on a variety of people from all over the world. I honed my craft for five solid years.
In 2007, I graduated from UNLV with my Communications degree and got the heck outta Dodge. My plan was always to do public relations in the entertainment business, and I missed Los Angeles since moving to Vegas with my family. I quickly realized after moving back to L.A. on my own that 1) I missed makeup and 2) this town was expensive to live in. I started freelancing as an artist on the weekends in addition to my full time job in P.R. at CBS.
While I enjoyed my P.R. job, there was quite a bit of down time, and it was during that time I began blogging about makeup. I was obsessed with makeup videos on Youtube (and still am). I continued to freelance and started offering maternity body paintings. I was soon promoted at my job to two television shows and did that until the shows were cancelled and I was laid off. Being laid off was scary, but it allowed me to spend more time doing the things I love: makeup and blogging.
Nowadays, I wear many hats, one of which is Makeup Artist. I have worked on several television spots, celebrity clients and began to freelance with MAC Cosmetics. I run this beauty blog and my Youtube channel. I have lots of brides and clients. I’m making it work, but let me tell you that it’s HARD work. You have to work twice as hard when you are your own boss. You have to take every job possible, because you don’t know when the next one will come around. But in the end, I like to think that its worth it because I’m enjoying what I do.
Happy September Beauties,
This has been a fun and busy summer for me. I had a ton of weddings and freelance clients on top of working on-call with MAC. And in between all that, we had a few small trips to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Dana Point and Temecula. I still managed to keep up with my nail art obsession and wanted to show you some of my favorites. Here are my “Best of the summer” nails:
Black & White Stripes
Stripes were a huge in fashion this summer, showing up on everyone’s dresses, shirts and shoes. I decided to bring the trend right onto my lil’ ol’ nail beds. This is a very simple design. Go with an opaque white like Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On. I L-O-V-E this formula! Super thick so you only need one or two coats (yes, even with white) and it wears way longer. One week later and still no chipping at the top of the nails. Use a black striper to create the lines. Top with a quick-drying top coat. Voila!
Peaches, Cream and Glitter
For this peachy look, I used MAC’s Life After Beth Nail Lacquer then used a white striper for the lines and the chevron design. I used a gold glitter that had big and small pieces for the other nails.
I know this isn’t exactly nail art, but when Sheswai sent me this color, I fell in love. This is literally the only color I will wear without nail art because it’s just so lovely on its own. The formaldehyde-free formula is also cruelty-free and super opaque. Love it too? It’s called For Real and you can purchase it HERE. It’s so long-wearing, you’ll think it’s gel!
Neon Aztec Nail Art
You’ll notice that as the summer wore on I went more and more oval/stiletto with my nail shape. It just looks so feminine and sexy. I officially refuse to go back to the “squovals” I rocked for the last 10 years. No one wants square shaped nails anymore! It’s all about elongating your fingers and hands.
This was my favorite of the whole season. I used China Glaze’s Shocking Pink polish, which is one of the only polishes I’ve used and loved so much that I ran out and bought another. The Aztec design was created using Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On then applying a black striper for the lines. I chose to only do two nails in the Aztec design because let’s face it- ain’t nobody have time for a full set.
Which one was your favorite? Would you try any of these?
Hi Beauty Babes! With fall fast approaching (even though it feels like Death Valley in most of Southern California right now) I wanted to share with you some of the newest products hitting the shelves. These are all definitely on my “Must-Buy” list! Makeup…it’s a never-ending addiction of love.
Dior is adding this divine makeup setting spray to its Airflash foundation line. Micronized powder particles provide a soft veil of sheer coverage, while the Matt’Smart Complex™ smooths and perfects skin, eliminating shine. This product is perfect for the girl who suffers from oily skin, or the chick who wants to go dancing all night smudge-free.
Touted as the “healthy new alternative to gel manicures,” Deborah Lippman’s Gel Lab contains a base coat and a top coat that gives any ol’ polish gel-like shine and wearability, without the harsh chemicals and annoying removal process of gel manis. I know gel manicures are all the rage, but I for one have sensitive skin around my cuticles and the removal process was killing me. The best part? The Gel Lab is formaldehyde-free and NOT tested on animals.
Cover FX is known for their skin-friendly full-coverage makeup, and they now carry a CC cream that is (gasp!) VEGAN! The paraben-free formula color corrects and evens skin complexion while delivering anti-aging benefits with powerful Vitamin C. If you’re not sure what CC creams are, click HERE for my previous post for fun facts.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw this stunner. As you well know from my Youtube videos, I am simply obsessed with Urban Decay’s Primer Potion in Eden (the matte one). This brand new Anti Aging Primer delivers the same, crease-free vibrant color wear as Eden, but ALSO contains high-tech ingredients that help to improve the signs of aging over time. Dermaxyl® helps smooth the appearance of wrinkles; Kalpariane® plumps, firms, and hydrates skin as it improves suppleness and elasticity; and optical blurring pigments create a subtle, soft-focus effect that instantly wakes up tired eyes and minimizes the appearance of redness, crepiness, and other imperfections.
If you are starting from scratch or looking for all new makeup for your bathroom drawer, Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Modern Matte collection is the one for you. This set contains their brand new Better Than Sex mascara, whose hourglass shaped brush helps pump up your lashes, their 8-hour wear Perfect Eyes eyeliner in black, Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer, NINE matte eyeshadows (everyone knows I can’t stand shimmer), and a three-piece cruelty-free brush set. All for $65!
Hourglass is quickly becoming one of my favorite makeup lines, especially for mature skin. These creamy, full coverage, satin-y lip crayons comes in 6 nude shades to fit every skin tone. Sexy!
Let me know if you try any of these new Fall goodies!
Hi beauty lovers,
Today I wanted to share the sexy actress/model Keisha Kimball‘s photos from a recent shoot by Michael Benatar in Malibu, California. I wanted to make her look like a Playboy model, so I played up her insanely blue peepers with deep dark matte eye shadows and stacked big bold lashes (MAC’s #12′s) on top. I softly highlighted and contoured using MAC’s Prep & Prime Highlighting Pen in Light Boost and MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Dark. She has a petite face so I used the products sparingly to keep the highlight/contour from taking over her face.
Keisha looks like a California girl but she’s actually from Texas. Her southern drawl slips out from time to time, it’s so cute! She likes her brows bold, so we defined them with MAC’s Lingering pencil and lots of Charcoal Brown eye shadow.
Keep up with this sexy mama on her Instagram (she has 20k followers for a reason!)
Awesome photos courtesy of Michael Benatar
Hello Beauty Lovers,
I recently jumped on the Ipsy Glam Bag bandwagon (try saying that three times fast) and I am loving it! Whether you are new to makeup and wanting to build your beauty arsenal, or you’re a seasoned makeup junkie that can’t stop hoarding, Ipsy.com’s Glam Bag is for you. I researched all the monthly subscription beauty bags and decided to go with Ipsy for this simple fact: all the products come in deluxe sample or full sizes. Every other beauty bag only offered samples. Umm…I could get samples by walking into any Sephora, Ulta or cosmetics counter. Why would I pay for them? For $10 a month, you get five products that you can use again and again. Don’t like something? Give it away to a friend. Instant gifts for the beauty lovers in your life!
If you are interested in joining Ipsy, click HERE.
Here’s what came in the June Glam Bag:
Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil: I am a huge fan of these ivory/nude eyeliners. The formula is super creamy and the jumbo pencil size allows you to line your waterline and highlight under the brow bone perfectly.
Cailyn Cosmetics Line-Fix Gel Eyeliner with Brush Built-In: The formula is similar to MAC’s Fluidline and Inglot’s Gel liners, and comes with a built-in brush, although I do wish it was an angle brush instead of what seemed to be a lip brush. The formula went on smoothly and stayed on all day. I like to use this product as a base to intensify my eyeshadows.
J.Cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette: Cute concept! Creamy glitters that you can swipe on for additional glam. It’s fairly easy to use, although it doesn’t last as long as I’d hoped.
NYX Cream Blush: I’m kind of a makeup snob and I’m not a huge fan of drugstore products, but give me anything by NYX and I’m a happy girl. NYX’s products have amazing quality for their price point!
Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy: I’ve never even heard of this brand but I was pleased by the coral color payoff of this liner and the wearability. Two oval-shaped, nail art-decorated thumbs up!
Peep the video below for close-ups of the products and to see how I used them to create a fun look!