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Monday, April 29, 2013

a new obsession, er... hobby?

It's music festival season! And amidst the fringe vests and cutoffs is a delightful accessory... the flower crown. I love the way these look so much, that I decided to look at grabbing one from one of the many talented designers on Etsy. Alas, though they are certainly worth every penny, they were far too expensive for my liking. Hand painted silk flowers are wonderful, but I have to be able to actually buy tickets to said festival... oh, and the kids gotta eat, too ;p

Once in a while I decide to get crafty, and more often than not I throw in the towel 5 minutes later (remember my furniture upcycling... 1 piece out of 7 painted isn't horrible, right?!). Well, that isn't the case here. Once I started making them for myself, for a photo shoot I have coming up, for a friend... well I just couldn't stop. I thought I may as well see if anyone want to buy some pretty head flowers for themselves, and sure enough, they do! So, that's where I'm at now. Taking custom orders, and loving it. Oh, and I decided to make mine about 1/2 the price as the ones I found on Etsy (again, their craftsmanship is superb, just not in my budget, and many attach the actual flowers the same way I do).

So, I did a little mini iPhone photo shoot to capture all of the glory of my first 4 pieces!




So many thanks to my gorgeous friend Meagan for modeling for me! love the juxtaposition of her edgy style with these delicate pieces.  And just for fun, a little close up of her makeup, done by me of course!



Are you wondering what I used on Meagan? Stay tuned for a breakdown tomorrow!

Thanks for looking, comment if you would like a custom flower crown!

-C



Thursday, April 25, 2013

a giveaway on my Facebook page!

As some of you may know, I recently started a Facebook business page where I advertise my services as a makeup artist. I also link to the blog, have giveaways, and post deals on skincare and makeup. Well, when I reached the milestone of 100 'likes' (eep!), I decided to give the 100th fan my very favorite summertime product!

Are you wondering what it is?

Have you ever seen it? Maybe not.

It's not carried in any department store, or Target, but it IS available online at makeupartistschoice.com 
They sent it to me to review last week, and since I already have a half full tube, I decided it would be the perfect giveaway with summer heat coming on strong! I worried at first that perhaps if my winner didn't have oily skin, she may not appreciate this, so I do have a backup prize, but honestly, this stuff is magical, and I cannot imagine even a slightly combination girl (or guy!) not loving it. I say guys, too, because this works great to stop shine without adding makeup. It's a miracle in a tube, coming from the oiliest girl I've ever know (me, lol).

So, here's the deal, it's a little pricey at nearly $30 a tube, but it will LAST. A little really does go a long way. You dab a little on, it feels liquidy at first, but will dry to a paste in a few seconds. I recommend dot, blend, dot blend, as opposed to dot, dot, dot, blend blend blend... make sense? Great.

Careful not to use to much, but if you find yourself with patches of pastiness, simply wet a sponge and dab to blend out.

I can pretty much guarantee (except not, for legal reasons, ha!) that your makeup will go NOWHERE.

Oh, and I have better news! Right now they are having a 24% off sale! That's right, with the code spring2013 you can get this, AND the peels I'm always yapping about for 25% off!

Take a look over there, the customer service is fantastic, and their products are so great as well as inexpensive. They can also walk you through exactly what to get to achieve your desired results.

Thanks, Andrea, for being my 100th 'like', and I hope you love SuperMatte as much as I do!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great deals... yippee!

It's been a week since my last post... I blame teeth. The babe is getting FOUR at once, and it's making the household a little nutty these days :)

So, I decided to indulge in a little retail therapy... and found some amazing deals (with the help of my good friend Kim, AKA enabler, ha!)

So, here are a few great steals we found. Happy shopping!

Tarte Cosmetics has a HUGE sale going on! I personally love all of the Amazonian Clay collection. Great for hot summer nights!

Sephora has 15% off for their beauty insiders using the code 'chic' now through 4/21... go! I have been dying to try some OCC lip tars, so I think I'm going to make that one of my Sephora purchases. I've also been eying the Smashbox BB cream everyone is raving about. Anyone have a coin I can toss?

Ulta has some really great gifts with purchase right now with UD and Benefit, but they also have buy one get one 50% off Eco Tools AND Real Techniques brushes! These are two of my favorite brush companies, so I am SO swooping some of these guys up.

Urban Decay speaking of gifts with purchase... UD has a GREAT one right now. If you spend $50, you get a free bag of goodies worth $50! It looks really amazing, too... not like those gifts you give to your little sister. I would totally get the Showboat Nail kit, but you just get what you want. What do I know.

Naimes If you haven't shopped Naimes, you should. Customer service is amazing, and they have EVERYTHING. Some pretty great deals there, but more for the makeup professionals. Unless you wanna have a kryolan cream color palette in your arsenal... I won't judge.

So, there you go. Will you go shopping tonight? What will you buy?

-C



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

at home chemical peels... worth the ouch?



a few weeks ago I decided that unlike a leopard, I can change my spots... my sun spots, my acne scarring, my hormonal blotchiness... away with you! I am not a noob to this spot fading business. Ive tried several lotions, potions, and belt sanding (kidding! kind of), but nothing has satiated me.

If you've never tried an at home chemical peel, more specifically a TCA peel, it's amazing. If you have any issues with your skin... large pores, oiliness, fine lines, spots, sun damage, etc... this stuff is a godsend. It requires some downtime, but I don't mind going to the grocery store looking like Freddy Krueger.

On March 22nd I applied the peel. I used a 24% TCA, which you can find at makeup artists choice. Now, if you have not done one, I would suggest you start with a lower percentage, maybe an 8 or 12.5... but don't take my word for it, they have amazing customer service and will actually walk you though every step and help you determine which peel is right for your skin... seriously, the best customer service, guys.

Okay, So I put this burn-ey stuff on my face, wait a minute, then decide it isn't burning enough and do a 2nd layer. My skin it thick and tough, I can take it. At this point it's been 3 minutes and I am on FIRE. In a good way. In a this-is-for-sure-working way. I noticed my skin get all frosty looking, and remember that I read that would happen. I wait another 3 minutes and douse myself in baking soda.

Way to play it cool, Chantee.

After I gently rinse the baking soda off, I slathered my skin with moisturizer. I used Lush 'Dream Cream', because I know how gentle it is. Again, if you don;t know which to use, the folks at MUAC will help you.

Day 3-5 after was the worst... peeling, flaking, tightness. It literally felt like I was walking around with a mud mask on my face on day 3, lol. By day 7 I was fine, and my face was smooth. Not a single clogged pore! This is amazing, considering the state of my skin before the peel... major congestion. May-JOR.

Here we are 2 weeks later, and I do have a few pores back to their dirty tricks, but nothing to crazy. I noticed that the spots are faded quite a bit, and my pores are altogether clearer.

I wish that I had taken a few after pictures, but I didn't. What I will do is post my before, from a few months ago before I reviewed another product, and I will post after shots of the next peel, April 22nd.

Would you guys wanna see the 'during' pictures? When it's all gross and peeling?

What do you think? Is it worth it? Would you go through a week of peeling for clearer skin? My hope is to not feel the need to wear any makeup all summer.

Leave your comments below!

-C

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dark Spots, part 1... cover 'em

I know we want to get to the good stuff... getting RID of dark spots, but that takes time, my friend. Let's just cover them up in the meantime.

In my makeup loving existence, I have tried roughly 4000 concealers. I have patted, I have dabbed, I have rubbed, I have tried it all. In the end it comes down to a few good tricks. The first? A primer. Most of my friends (the ones who aren't makeup junkies) have caught on to the eye primer craze, but haven't delved into the world of face primers. To them, I say welcome... it's about damn time.

You can pile on makeup for 45 minutes every morning (if you are toddler-less), but if you don't have primer, by noon your dark circles, spots, and oily forehead are going to smack you in the face as you're walking past any reflective surface. They're gonna be all "um, hello... you thought you got rid of us?! oh no girl, no. you. did. not"

Yes, my skin problems talk to me, and they have an attitude.

So, there is a TON to decipher when you walk into Sephora/Ulta/CVS. Where do you start? Well, if you have dry/normal skin, you are pretty lucky. You can pick up pretty much any silicone based primer and call it a day. The most popular being Smashbox Photo finish primer. There are so many dupes of this that I really believe are going to work just as well at a fraction of the price. Most notably (due to sheer hilariousness) is Monistat chaffing cream. Yes. Yup. No, I haven't tried it because my skin hates silicone based primers, but apparently it works well. Again, I haven't tried it, so this isn't a recommendation, but google it and draw your own conclusion. Yes, I'm still giggling. Now, I know this product isn't actually for your lady bits, but simply to stop any sort of friction in areas that may, um... rub? I don't know, but the idea is that it sits on your skin and fills in any sort of line or pore to help your makeup glide on, and stay put. It should also help you use less since it won't be sinking into your skin.

A few more for the normal/dry skin ladies:
Urban Decay


Now, for the oily skin gals, like me... sigh. It's a rough life. You don't know me, you don't know what I've been though. My makeup slides off, my liners fade away, my blending gets blotchy. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. One of them, is this bad boy...

Now, does anyone NEED SPF 55? No. They do not. However, did you know that using a physical (as opposed to a chemical) sunscreen will mattify your skin? Yeah, I know. Mind blown. 

Ive been using this on and off for years, and I just found out its discontinued. Sad face. But, lesson learned. I'll search for a dupe and update later.

Another one I really like is Lorac Oil Free Neutralizer. I think it may be getting discontinues as well, though (come on people, seriously?!). I love that it has a green tone that cancels out redness and it dries super matte. This is for the REALLY oily ladies, though (and gentlemen, too!), as it can really dry you out. I wear it without anything over it sometimes but usually a little BB cream and I'm good to go. Great, GREAT product.

A few honorable mentions:
No parabens- TimeBalm (also the winner of most under rated cosmetic company ever, in my opinion
Best for large pores- Too Faced 
Brightening- Laura Mercier

Tomorrow we will go over what concealer to use, and why!


So there you have it... all I know about primers. Let it be known that I am not a skin care professional, I just know what I have worked with and what has worked for myself and my clients. 

What's your favorite primer? 

-C


My first contest... and it's a great one!

I've been debating on when to do my first contest, and I think now is the time! I am working with a lovely photographer next month, and we decided to raffle one of the opening spots we have left. So, this is a local contest only... sorry! What better way to give back to the community that has embraced me over the past year (yup, a year since we moved here last week!), than to pamper one of you with a day of beauty you won't ever forget... because it'll be hanging on your wall! lol

So, here's the deal. Fill this bad boy out, and win! This will include hair and makeup, as well as a 45 minute mini session with Kristi Bracewell. If you don't know her work, check it out... she is amazing. She captures every perfect moment flawlessly, and is the sweetest, most gracious woman you will ever meet.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can't WAIT to see who wins! Please note that you will have to be available when we have a space open for a scheduled shooting day. THis prize IS transferable, so if you can't use it, give it to someone who can!

-C

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

yo brows, take 2 (let's fill 'em in)

I talked a little about brow shaping yesterday, with the promise of updating today on products/techniques that I use to fill in clients an my own brows. So, with that said, I don't have a video of my own to show, but instead am going to link y'all to a few that I love... no need to reinvent the wheel, right?

If you like the gradient brow look (which I love), seen here:
What I like about this tutorial is that she does have brows, they are just very sparse, which a lot of us have. Notice how she 'carves' her brows out with the concealer? I love the crisp look of this. Of course this looks pretty 'made up', so if you are looking for a more natural look, this may not be for you. I would say the more important everyday makeup techniques to take from this video would be to darken the lower line of your brows, and make the 'tail' of your brow the darkest color.

Of course while I was searching for this tutorial on YouTube I came across this one (after watching 2 hours of tutorials, lol), which I really liked! I love that she is using drugstore products, and I also love that is looks so natural!

Both of these ladies have awesome tutorials, by the way... if you have time definitely watch a few more from them!

Now, as far as product, here is what I use, and have been using for quite some time:

(my model Courtney, with her awesome filled in brows)
MAC 263 brush- you would think any angled brush would work, but for me this is worth the $19. It's lasted me 13 years, and I don't think it's going anywhere, lol.

MAC fuidline in 'dipdown'- I use this as the initial brow filler, like that first video. I'm thinking that the Wet n Wild version shown in the 2nd video is probably just fine. What you are looking for is a nice dark base with a little bit of creaminess to hold on to the powder you are going to be setting it with.

Sadly, the "MAC brow shader I use is discontinued (super sad face), but any eye shadow that is completely matte, and no more than 2 shades darker than your haircolor will do.

TimeBalm concealer- I use this to carve out the brows, lining under and over to get the clean, crisp look I like. Also, this concealer is great for under eyes... and on sale on Amazon, woot!

Lastly, any bone colored matte shadow to set the concealer. I use Bone by Bobbi Brown, or one from my favorite Stila palette 'In The Know'. If you don't have this palette, get it. It's my go to for everything. I even bought a back up for my kit, and have used it almost every time since.

So, that's it! By now you should have a pretty good idea on what to do with your brows. Next up is going to be dark spots. I am going to go over covering them, but as I am NOT a skincare pro (boy do I wish I was... trial and error for me!), I am inviting a guest blogger to help me out with that question!
(of course me, and my brows ;p)

Stay Tuned!


Monday, April 1, 2013

yo' brows!

I asked my 'likers' on Facebook (I ALMOST said 'fans', but who the heck am I? lol) what they would like to see a blog post about. The very first who answered said BROWS! Which is great, because I am obsessed. I have major brow envy, as my own are an anorexic mess (not a whole lot to start out with, over tweezing, tattooed, etc), and every time I see a chick with amazing natural brows, I want to praise her for days... but I don't, cause that would be weird. No one gets me... sigh.

Anywho, there are SO many amazing tutorials for brows out there, but really only a few basic rules (which of course are only rules as far as a conventional look goes... have ya'll seen my friend Stace or Shrinkle rock the colored brows? Amazing). So, here goes.

See this generic face diagram?
So, what you're going to do is give your brow a basic shape... you don't want dreaded sperm brow
See how heavy they are toward her nose? It totally throws off the balance of her face. Not great.

So, back to generic face diagram. You're going to take a marking tool of some sort... a white eyeliner pencil works great for this. You're going to take another pencil and line it up from the base of your nostril (see that blue dotted line?) to the inner corner of your brow. This will be your starting point, make a little line there, marking the hairs you'll pluck away. Next, line that pencil up again, this time looking straight ahead, you're going to use the outer edge of your iris as your gauge (the white dotted line up there), this is where your brow should arch. Again, do the same going to the outer corner, being sure to line up with the outer corner of your eye. This will assure that your brows aren't to long or short for your face.

Now, you're all set as far as the shape is concerned, you're also going to want to make a pretty straight line from line 1 to line 2 (see that dark blue line?), this will give you a great shape, not to spermy (gross, lol).

Another thing you might want to try is to brush the hairs up toward your hairline with a brow tamer (or a clean mascara want sprayed with hairspray), and trim with cuticle scissors the long hairs that extend over the shape of your brow.

As far as filling them in, there are some really great youtube vids addressing that. Maybe I'll make one another day, lol. Basically, I think most people can benefit from filling in their brows a bit, it frames the face, and really does add such a finished look.

Thats all for now!

-C