Hello Beauty Blog Babes!
I’m back on the blog to share stunning photos from another beautiful wedding I had the honor of doing the makeup for. Nikki Duschinsky and Matthew Berg tied the knot back in November of 2015 in a beautiful Greek Orthodox ceremony. I have known Nikki for years since my days at CBS and also got to the do the makeup for her twin sister’s wedding the year prior! At this point, I feel like I’m part of the family. Here’s a beautiful view into the most epic day of their lives:
Matty and the boys getting ready at the barber’s. Don’t you love how stress-free and simple it is for men to get ready for their wedding day? Meanwhile us girls have to be up at the crack of dawn and run around like nervous wrecks making sure everything is perfect! Ha ha.
My stunning Greek goddess.
In my 13 years of doing weddings, I have come across two kinds of brides: the “Natural” bride and the “Smoky Eye” bride. Guess which one Nikki is? We went with colors from Urban Decay’s Naked 1 palette and added some Blackberry and Shadowy Lady eye shadow from MAC for a dramatic flair. She has really lush eyebrows so I added just a bit of brown eye shadow and set them in place with clear eyebrow gel.
My favorite close-up of her
My partner Melina and I got all 10 of these beauties ready. We had so much fun getting to know these witty and chatty ladies!
Nikki with her sisters. I loved the choice of going with black for the bridesmaids dresses. It really made this November wedding feel modern and classic at the same time.
Ugh first looks always make me cry!
One of my favorite wedding shots is the obligatory aerial church photo. It really shows the architecture of these beautiful, and often times historically old, buildings. All weddings are beautiful, but there is just something about ones that take place inside a church that intensify the emotion and meaning of the day. FEELS!
Take a look at this big fat, sophisticated Greek wedding party.
Take in those clouds! Makes you think about just how small we are in this great big world… Side note, Nikki’s veil is everything!
This is one of those rare pictures that could have been taken in any decade. Is it 1960? 1975? 1988 (well, no, there aren’t any ruffly shoulder pads) or 2015? Unless you know these two, you’ll never know 😉
The crowd taking part in a traditional Greek circle dance. I love it!
Aren’t they the cutest?!
Congratulations to Nikki and Matty, may you enjoy this amazing journey called marriage together until you are old and gray. ❤
Photography Credit: Michael Anthony Photography
Hi beauty babes!
I can’t wait to see what you guys think of the new changes in my makeup room. As someone who has been doing makeup professionally for 10 years, I have struggled with finding storage for all my tools and supplies. I tried makeup stores, Amazon, professional beauty supply stores, conventions, you name it. No one had anything that really caught my eye. A day at Ikea finally solved my decade-long problem. The extra-tall Alex drawers are PERFECT for makeup storage and only $119! It features a whopping nine drawers. Five of which are shallow, and four deep. It’s almost four feet tall and about a foot wide, a high unit with many drawers means plenty of storage on minimum floor space. Great for small studios or bedrooms. Oh, and don’t mind our ugly room heater!
Here’s a peek at some of the drawers. I put all my lipglosses in this apothecary vase that I had for display. That’s a photo of my Nany in her prime and a jewelry holder.
Here is what I put in the shallow drawers:
1) Eye products: Anything I use for eyes: primers, shadows, mascara, liners and eyeshadow palettes.
3) Pigments: any loose eyeshadows and glitters went here….I have a lot!
4) Body Art/Special Effects: anything I use for body painting: tools, stencils, paints, fake blood, latex, prosthetic pieces all went here.
5) Lashes: false eyelashes and glue went here.
I lined each drawer for easy cleaning. I’m still working on the lipstick drawer. I’d love to color code them somehow, since they all look the same. It’s a pain to tell them apart! Anyone got ideas? I was thinking of getting shallow clear trays and labeling them “Plum” “Pink” “Red” “Nude,” etc.
Here’s what I put in the deep drawers:
1) Skincare–I have so much, so it fit nicely in the deeper drawer
2) Face Makeup- anything that was face-related: foundation, concealer, powder, bronzers, highlighters and blushes went here.
3) Back to MAC drawer: I reserved this drawer for the Back to MAC program. Since I use so many MAC products, I go through them a lot and keep the containers when I’m done so I can turn them in. (Six empty containers will get you a lipstick, eyeshadow or lip glass!)
4) Nail Care: Anything I use for nails, excluding nail polish, went here. Cotton balls, nail art brushes, decals, rhinestones, files and buffers, Ciate kits, etc.
Many of our overnight guests have come to know our pull-out bed as “Baby Futon,” and they will remember her red microsuede exterior. I’m happy to announce I gave Baby Futon a makeover and she now matches the rest of the room in this gray fitted sheet. I looked at futon covers but they all cost the same amount has a nice set of sheets, so I opted to hook our guests up with the latter and kill two birds with one stone.
What’s that in the corner, you ask? I got the white cupboard from Bed, Bath & Beyond many moons ago and it houses all my hair and shower/bath needs. Hairbrushes, potions, sprays, mousses, bath bombs as well as tanning sprays and hair bleach/wax kits. It takes a village to keep this girl looking good! A village of products, that is…
Oh and this little spinner? It’s just a lazy susan I bought from BB&B so I can twirl through my many nail polish colors. It’s meant to carry cleaning supplies under your bathroom sink, but I saw it as the perfect nail polish carousel. If you know me, you know my love and obsession for nail polish. I just couldn’t put these babies away…I want the world to see their happy sparkly colors! (And by the world, I mean mostly Dylan, and sometimes our sisters and Ally who spend the night when visiting.)
I believe this one was on clearance, so if you can’t find it there, Amazon has a ton of good options, including this one .
What do you guys think? Will you use any of these ideas for your stash? It doesn’t have to be makeup storage…you can organize your desk or other areas of your home/business using these options!
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.
Hello my blog-reading beauties! With it being wedding season and all, I recently purchased some new things for my kit (and let’s face it, for myself) and wanted to share my finds with you.
I normally do video hauls, but to be honest, they haven’t been getting many views and since I have way more blog readers than Youtube viewers (3,000-6,000 of you visit my site a month, wow!) I thought blogging about my finds would make more sense.
Because of low viewership, I won’t be doing any more makeup hauls on my Youtube channel. It just takes SO much time and effort to create a concept, film a tutorial, then edit it, so if no one’s going to watch them, it’s not worth it. I’ll still be doing makeup tutorial videos, and if there is a look you would like to see, please let me know in the comments below, I aim to please!
Ok, back to the fun stuff:
Ben Nye’s Banana Luxury Powder has been around for years and is a favorite among television and movie makeup artists. At my friend Ashleigh’s urging, I bought it at Naimie’s last week. Micro-milled for a silky texture, Luxury Powders are translucent with just a hint of color and have a superior matte finish. It feels velvety and gives the skin a soft-focus finish. This particular shade is wonderful for people with olive undertones (Asian and Latino decent) and those with dark to deep-dark skin (African descent, etc). I recommend dusting a small amount under the eyes and down the bridge of the nose with a fiber optic brush. The fiber optic brush allows you to pick up a small amount of the powder, which is all you need. Do NOT pack this stuff on if you plan on taking pictures, because it will flash back and make you look white. A light hand and fiber optic brush are your best bet! And at $9 for 1.5 ounces, it’s a steal.
This chocolate-scented, shimmer-free, matte bronzer is perfect for contouring and creating an all-over deep tan using real antioxidant-rich cocoa powder. To quote Too Faced’s creator, Jared Blandino, “It’s all the tan without the twinkle!” EVERY client I have used this bronzer on has sighed loudly over the chocolatey scent. The color payoff is amazing too. AND cruelty-free. Thank you, I’ll take 10 more.
Illamasqua’s top seller and rightfully so. Having oily skin, I was concerned that this HD foundation would go greasy on me, as Makeup For Ever’s HD foundation sometimes does, but guess what: it’s gave me a natural finish (not dewy, not matte) with medium coverage and lasts all day. It’s truly suitable for all skin types! Its hydrating formula primes, controls shine, hydrates, and smooths your skin while providing natural, buildable coverage. The only downside? The hefty $42 price tag. But some things are worth the money, and finding the perfect cruelty-free foundation that you can buy over and over again is priceless.
I’m a huge fan of the original Purity cleanser by Philosophy. It’s creamy texture doesn’t lather up, but does do a good job of gently removing my makeup without drying my skin out. When I saw that Philosophy came out with a foaming gel version of it, my eyes lit up. Instead of replenishing my usual Purity cleanser, I went for the re-up. This stuff is EVEN BETTER than the original. The gel foams up and the bubbles leave your skin feeling squeaky-clean. Sometimes with the regular Purity, I still have to use makeup remover to get the remainder of my mascara and black liner. Not with the foaming gel, baby. I got out of the shower and saw that my face was completely clean and ready for bed.
My recommendation: if you have sensitive or dry skin, stick to the regular Purity. The cream texture will feed your skin and is a lot more mild. If you are normal-to-oily, time for you to try the Purity Foaming Gel.
The beauty world has been abuzz about NYX’s moisturizing matte lip creams, so I finally got my hands on some at Ulta. This is a soft coral-pink color that looks flattering on everyone. It’s beautiful on its own, or topped off with a gloss. Cruelty-free and fabulous! I especially love this for my older clients- it has the ability to blur the fine lines you sometimes find on your lips.
You guys know I have an excessive amount of nail polish (about 100 bottles). This is one of the only polishes that I actually run out of and have to purchase over and over again. It’s a bright, blue-based pink with a neon matte finish (I usually put a shiny top coat over it) It’s PERFECT for all skin tones and has the magical power to make your hands and feet look tan and sexy. PROOF: a grown man walked into the MAC store I was freelancing at last week and told me I had “pretty feet.” No one has ever told me that before. And I’m willing to bet it’s all thanks to this gorgeous neon polish.
Pantone, the world-renowned authority of color, has crowned emerald as the “Color of the Year” for 2013. In honor of this rich gem of a shade, I’m hosting a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a bottle of Sheswai’s “Dig It” shade.
About Sheswai- “Modern Glamour with a Rootsy Feel”
Sheswai is a California-based eco-friendly company that makes formeldahyde-free nail polishes. The formula has a rich opacity and can be worn with just one coat. Not only are Sheswai products cruelty-free (yay!) but the adorable wood bottle caps are made with sustainable harvested wood (reducing the use of plastic).
Sheswai was created by a Hollywood manicurist (Debbie Leavitt) who started using it on photo shoots where it soon became a favorite. With articles in Refinery 29, Martha Stewart and Goop, Sheswai is gaining popularity while also helping the planet. You can purchase online and at various salons all over the country.
THIS CONTEST IS OPEN UNTIL MONDAY, APRIL 15TH (TAX DAY)
I’m too impatient to DVR the Grammys, but don’t you hate watching them live? I wish there was a way we could pick and choose which live performance we could skip, that would save me at least two hours in the evening, ha ha!
The singing beauties came in their tightest, most sequin-ey outfits and wowed us all. I’m sure you’ve all seen the gowns, so let’s take a closer view at the beauty looks.
ALL AROUND BEST: JENNIFER LOPEZ
I feel like everytime J.Lo goes on the red carpet, an angel gets its wings. She’s a massive star and has access to the best makeup and hair people money can buy. If I threw my hair up in a tight, unforgiving bun I would look like an Angry Bird, but of course J. Lo knocks it out of the park. I am obsessed with the the eyeliner! J.Lo’s artist most likely used a waterproof black gel liner like Inglot’s Matte Eyeliner with a pointed. thin brush like NYX’s Eyeliner Brush. TIP: Rest your pinky finger against your cheek, it will act as an anchor and provide a steady hand for this flawless look. Add an ivory pencil in your waterline and keep everything else natural- that’s why this “crazy eyeliner” works so well.
BEST RED LIPS: Beyonce, Janelle Monet and Rihanna- YOU PICK!
I came across these three song birds in my online quest for best makeup, and I couldn’t decide who rocked the red lip look the best. They all wore it with such grace! Red lipstick will always make you step your game up. It boosts your confidence, and you can really see that in their faces. Beyonce went with a semi-sheer pinkish-red lip. Miss Monet wore a juicy cherry pout, and Rih-Rih went with a matte orange-red. The possibilities are endless!
WORST MAKEUP: FAITH HILL
Someone needs to make her aware of the first rule of wearing braces, which we all learned in the 7th grade: smile with your mouth closed. I don’t mind the nude lip or natural makeup, I just wish she would have went with a smokier eye, with bigger lashes- it would have taken the attention away from the metal mouth. A little contouring would have been nice, too. Seems like she was in a hurry.
WORST MAKEUP RUNNER UP: CARLY RAE JEPSEN
To be fair, Carly is still a newbie and is experimenting with her makeup looks. The messy dark navy in her crease and silver sparkles under the eyes make her look like your typical middle-schooler. I actually think I have photos of myself wearing this exact same makeup at thirteen. No blush, contouring or lip color make her look like a teenager in adult’s clothes. And I love her bangs, but like car accidents on the 405, they’re always in the way. This girl has so much potential and just needs some time to grow into her glam.
HONORABLE “GUTSY” MENTIONS: KERLI AND JACK WHITE
What’s not to love about Kerli’s futuristic eye art? I don’t even care that she looks like a cross between Sailor Moon and Lady Gaga. She’s down right adorable.
Ok, the only reason I allowed Jack White to come to the Grammys looking like Edward Cullen is because he’s one of those musical prodigy-crazy-geniuses. Pasty skin and intentional dark circles? Do whatever you want, bro. You’re freaking cool.
Who rocked your boat at the Grammys? Let me know which one of these looks you guys would like to see in a tutorial in the comments below. It can be someone not mentioned here as well!