Tag Archives: makeup artist

Disclosure and what it means to me

It is common today for many bloggers, and honestly, regular people to receive items for free in exchange for an honest review on the product/item, or to tell others about it. What is not so common though, is people discussing how they obtained the items or if a recommendation was required (not simply a review, but actually endorsing the product). When I first started reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, I suspiciously noticed they all sounded a lot like commercials. Not just the reviews, but the entire videos and blog posts! Digging deeper, I learned a lot of interesting things and I wanted to share my policy on disclosure and what I plan to do with my blog, and how that can effect what I am able to review.

I never want to sound like a commercial. Ever. I love being a product nerd, and as a makeup junkie sometimes I have to curb my habit and focus on priorities. It happens. Before I even started blogging, I had Yelp and Amazon and Facebook groups to share my opinions on products and services, I always felt it was a disservice for people trying to purchase something not to know anything about it other than what was told to them by the company or people trying to sell it, and I still feel that way today, even from a business stand point.

No ONE brand can bring you the best of everything, it just isn’t happening. Many of us associate a brand as good and will buy many products simply because they are from a brand we like, but we all know some of those products end up returned or unused because they just didn’t work as well as we hoped. That’s ok. There are also many brands that produce similar items, like lipstick, and they’re ALL good. That’s ok too. In the blogger/vlogger world though, when a company chooses to support (SPONSOR) you they expect you to fully endorse their brand and only their brand and in some cases, not doing so can lead to legal action. While I would love to make money blogging, and receive thousands of dollars in free items, the reality is I am not going to rave about a product that sucks or does not perform well for me or does not live up to its advertising. What companies fail to remember, and people never forget is that what works for someone, may not work for someone else! We are all not fit into the same mold, we all have different skin types, eye shapes, skin textures, skin colors, etc. it is IMPOSSIBLE for any single one product to fit the needs of every person on this planet! Get over it and accept that one blogger or ten out there may not like your product, it happens.

With that being said, often when a blogger writes a negative review about an item or a company, other companies will notice. Some may decide not to work with someone in case they might not like their product, and will choose others who have proven to rave about everything they get, or always have good reviews and never any bad ones, but to me that is dishonest. That is not reality, there are times when we simply do not like something, and if that happens with me I will be sure to let everyone know about it. Some products are great and something like packaging can make it dud, in sharing my opinion I want others to make their own choices about what they love and want to buy. Not because I shoved it down their throat. Products sent to me for review, will be reviewed, but all reviews will always be my own opinion. Good or bad. Unless someone is paying me to write an actual review for an item they sent me, I will not be disclosing how I obtained each and every item. I want the focus of every review to be about the product and how it works, as it should be!


The difference between professional, high-end, drugstore makeup and cosmetics

Hey Everyone ❤

I was recently asked what is the difference between drugstore brand makeup and high end expensive brands. So today I want to share with you guys my thoughts on this subject, I separate makeup into 3 different categories: drugstore/street Makeup, designer/high end makeup, and professional makeup.

In order to understand the difference in your makeup products, you must first understand the ingredients that are used in the creation of makeup. I won’t get too technical here but all products are created with minerals, micas (colors/pigments), and additives of course it is more complex than this but all products usually contain these ingredients. Minerals usually form the base with the addition of additives, and the micas are added to create the colors.

Street makeup is the makeup most women wear on a daily basis, this usually consists of drugstore brands and sometimes a mix of designer makeup. Drugstore makeup is mass produced for profit so what they often do is dilute their products with Titanium Dioxide. This allows them to lower the pigmentation and specialty ingredients level of the products so they can charge much less for them. Now this doesn’t mean they are bad or crappy, this just means they are more ideal for younger girls who don’t need a lot of makeup coverage or everyday wear. I DO use drugstore makeup if I am just headed out to the park or store or running errands, but this is not the stuff I want to use if I know I’m taking pictures or being filmed as today’s cameras are able to catch every TINY detail thanks to the invention of HD. Using drugstore cosmetics for professional photos or even photos taken with a high quality camera will result in your makeup often looking washed out, too light or ashy, and sometimes just "off" in general. However, there are quite a few improvements in today's drugstore brands and many items can be considered pro quality as well. Very rare is the makeup artist without a few drug store staples in their kit.

Designer makeup is what I call the stuff you would normally find in a Sephora or other major department store, some of it can and is very great for professional usage and some of it is just a name brand that profits off their name. Keep in mind Sephora DOES carry some professional quality products. These products can be hit or miss, you have to read the ingredients and determine if the price is worth it or not. For example: I love Urban Decay but many professionals do not use this brand of eyeshadow but for my everyday wear I love it, but since it mainly contains talc the colors are not as vibrant on camera as they appear on me in person so I would not use this to do a bride’s makeup. However brands like Smashbox, Makeup Forever, Dior and Lorac are all “designer” brands of makeup that are also professional quality. These brands are usually beautifully packaged and can range from expensive to affordable.

Professional makeup is basically anything a professional makeup artist would use on a regular basis. These products are designed to last all day, usually are water/sweat/heat proof, and photograph beautifully even in HD. These products are highly pigmented and a little goes a long way, to fall into this category I would say they have to be at least 50% pigments. These products can also be somewhat different from what most people are used to and require proper technique to use them properly. I have seen many girls on YouTube raving about some of these brands and they have a 1lb of it on their face. The beauty of pro products is they are so pigmented that you only need to blend a tiny bit out at a time to achieve a natural flawless look.These brands include; Makeup Forever, Cinema Secrets, RMCA, Kryolan, and Face Atelier. These products are often expensive and come in very simple or plain packaging.

So there you have it, a crash course into the difference in makeup products and of course there is more behind it than this, but, I just wanted to give you makeup newbies some insight into why some products work better than others, why you look amazing in person and terrible in pictures with certain makeup, and how to choose your products wisely. Please keep in mind that there are many dirt cheap products out there that ARE at a professional level and I will keep reviewing them and sharing them all with you!

NYC: Your guide to makeup shopping in New York City

I decided to be nice and make an entire list of places you can shop for makeup in NYC so if you live here or are ever visiting you can plan out your shopping day! I know a lot of tourists often want to know where to shop for makeup in New York City, and since it’s a little running joke among my friends that I know all the makeup spots in town,  I hope this helps someone else. If you can’t make it to NY then I also included the website links so you can shop online instead!


322 West 49th Street (Between 8th and 9th ave)

This tiny gem of a store is my favorite shop to go in! They are located in the heart of the Theater District and I love them, the staff is super friendly and helpful as well as knowledgable in the products they sell – I can be in and out in under 10 minutes if I have a list ready to go! The prices are very fair without any pro discounts and they carry their own brand that is the same professional quality makeup we all know and love, in super cute packaging! Make sure to pick up their makeup remover wipes and do not miss their disposable sponges, they’re like little disposable beauty blenders! This is their main location, but they also have a warehouse in Long Island City that is open to the public during the week.


590 Broadway in SoHo

*This is just my favorite location, they have a ton of stores in the city

Ricky’s reminds me of Alcone’s laid back little sister, they carry a nice mix of products but they specialize in hair more than makeup. They sell hard to find Special Effects hair dye and specialty hair care products. For Halloween they offer a ton of Special F/X makeup such as Mehron, Ben Nye, and Graftobian at pretty great prices and they offer a huge selection of false eye lashes too! This is my go to store when I am looking for products people consider “online only”, they also just started carrying Dose of Colors!

Kenig + Alcone

638 6th Ave

Ricky’s NYC and Alcone had a baby and this store is it! A two story sophisticated gem in the city well stocked with hair care products down stairs, and makeup upstairs. They carry a great variety of hard to find brands and unique hair clips, you can often find Ricky Kenig himself at the register and helping customers along with his daughters in store. You always feel welcome walking in here, and everything is so neat and clean it makes shopping a breeze. They also have a salon inside if you need to get your hair done.


*Union Square is my favorite.

We all know and love Sephora, so no lengthy descriptions here. The Union Square and Time Square staff know how to handle their crowds and still offer friendly service. The selection here is huge and sometimes never ending, but at this location the nail bars and testers are always stocked and readily available. There seems to be a Sephora in every zip code in Manhattan so you’ll be sure to find one easily.

Nordstrom Rack

60 E 14th Street

Located right in the heart of Union Square this little hidden gem of a place keeps loads of NYX products in stock (regular prices), as well as Urban Decay, Lorac, Too Face, OPI, Stila and other brands products all at a discount price! This location is pretty small but well stocked and easy to find the products you want, the selection is always changing so if you live in the city come often for the best deals. I have scored $60 palettes for $15 plenty of times!


505 8th Avenue

(No online shopping)

A little hidden gem right around the corner from Penn Station, this place is well stocked full of wigs, hair products, makeup and much much more. The prices are great and kept fair and some things are downright cheap. This is the place to get Essie and OPI polishes! They not only carry hard to find colors but they offer both brands at $5 and $6 a bottle! They have a huge selection of NYX products and Jordana and have testers for both! The staff knows their store and can help you find anything you need. This place closes pretty early for a NYC store though so make it one of your first stops!

Cosmetic Market

15 E. 37th St

(No website or online shopping)

Another hidden gem but this one is near Grand Central Station, I like to think of this place like a TJMaxx for makeup, you never know what you’re going to get, but it will be cheap. This store is for the bargain shopper and not the place to go if you want top customer service (the staff is very nice but they are not very knowledgeable about cosmetics) Some items have been known to be open or ruined, so shop carefully but you will be happy you did because they offer fantastic prices especially on drug store brands but, you can find high end brands at drug store prices as well!

Makeup Forever (MUFE)

8 E. 12th St.

 Most people know this brand so not much description here, but this store carries almost the entire line of MUFE products, has a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and its easy to apply for a backstage or pro card here. Pros get 40% off!

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC)

174 Ludlow St

Small store, but well stocked, they offer makeup lessons (call ahead) for a fee and then let you trade in the fee for OCC products! One of my favorite makeup lines ever, bring lots of money and definitely stock up on their lip tars and pure pigments.


1592 Broadway

My favorite eye shadows! Inglot offers a setup similar to MAC and they only carry their brand. This store is often out of stock of a few of the more popular colors but the ability to try and see every color at once is not only amazing and can be downright overwhelming if you never been here before. The store is small for being in Times Square but it’s always clean and organized and the staff is great here. The quality of their products is highly comparable to MAC but at a fraction of the price! They carry their stuff in the Macy’s down on 34th street as well and they also have a location in the Chelsea Market building over on 14th and 9th Ave (5th floor) that is better stocked, offers a mixing pigment station, nail bar, and a beautiful view of the city.


413 Bleecker St

Another favorite of mine, I stay away from here because it’s dangerous to my budget! This store is beautiful because it is always neat, clean, and organized. The store is a bit small and I found this store wandering around SoHo one day! The staff here is great not only are they really friendly but they are also very helpful if you don’t know what you really want, I have never been here on a weekend but I hear it can be a zoo!


99 Greene St

Sephora’s European cousin! You can find a lot of hard to find brands and products here and they carry a bigger selection of brands like Laura Mercier and Nars than Sephora does. I mostly come here for Kevyn Aucoin and Oribe products because I don’t really find them anywhere else. Nice little pit stop if you have some free time or need something specific that isn’t carried anywhere else

There are actually way more stores for makeup shopping in NYC including local beauty supply stores and free standing brand stores but these are my top favorites! We also have Benefit, MAC, ELF,  Kett, and don’t forget to visit the Container Store, IKEA, and Muji to score makeup organization to store all your new purchases!

How to choose and hire a makeup artist

It seems to me over the last year or so there has been a giant surge of makeup artists spouting up! With such lovely photographs all over the web, Instagram, and shared around Facebook it’s so hard to choose who is right for your event! You don’t want to hire someone who is aspiring or new or doesn’t know the “rules” and what this job actually entails. Here are some tips to hiring the perfect artist for your gig.
Look at credentials
Did you know there is no such thing as a makeup license or certification? So why would so many artists say they are certified? Makeup schools often do give students who graduate a certificate showing that they completed a course, but do you know in some states no schooling is required at all? So how do you know who you should hire? If an artist likes to brag they are self-taught, run from that artist as fast as you can. Anyone who takes this career seriously is always constantly learning, whether it’s assisting top senior level artists, taking workshops, classes, and seminars, or going to trade shows. Many artists, like me, may start out as self-taught artists, but, a good artist always wants to be at the top of their game.  If a makeup artist claims to be licensed and it is not a license for esthetics or cosmetology they are not licensed to do makeup at all, and bear in mind cosmetology and esthetics schools focus on hair and skin,  and teach very little makeup application, if your hair stylist has actual  knowledge in makeup they most likely learned it outside of cosmetology school.
Look at their portfolio
Do they work on a variety of clients, ages, and skin types? If not, chances are this is not how they make their living. Do they have a website, or are all the photos on social media? This is another way to gauge how seriously someone takes their career. If all you see are a bunch of pictures of the artist working on themselves, all that means is they have mastered working on one face, but it takes a lot more than that to be able to do work on anyone. Be sure to ask if the photos are edited or photo shopped as well, true professionals will not post edited photos because it showcases work that they are not actually capable of, be weary of anyone who has to post only edited photos.
Check the style of makeup they do on each client, do they do similar looks on every single client, or is each look custom tailored to each client’s natural appearance? Anyone can pile on layer after layer of makeup until you look different, but it takes real skill to create the illusion of looking naturally beautiful and the best version of yourself without appearing to have makeup on. Some artists may not have lots of photos online in their portfolio, so ask to see some other examples of their work. Many clients do not like artists to use their face online, but will allow them to show off their work to future clients privately.
Get a price quote
Sure, it may seem like a bargain to hire that girl who does makeup for $30 on Craigslist, but an artist who invests thousands of dollars into their kit and education isn’t going to make a cent at that rate so they would never charge so little. Ask them directly why they charge so little, think about the last time you walked into a Sephora and bought yourself an eye shadow palette or a bottle of foundation, does it seem normal for an artist to charge that same amount for an hour of their time, skill, and products?  Ask them what brands they use. Many pro artists will use brands you may not have heard of before, and only carry a few products from brands you have heard of or available in most stores.  Be wary of the artist who uses only consumer branded makeup (anything in a Sephora or MAC or drugstore) as these brands are meant for the everyday woman and not film or print work. Makeup that looks good in real life doesn’t always translate the same on a camera and vice versa.
Often times the only questions I am asked is my price, then to negotiate that price, but if you already know you are on a budget or do not want to pay someone a lot then you need to set the bar lower of who you are hiring and choose from the budget artists available. There are plenty of them, but if you are merely trying to decide if the artist you want to hire is worth their price you need to ask the right questions to find out and it’s best to do so over the phone to gauge their professionalism. I hope these tips have helped you in your search for a quality makeup artist, doing your homework can go a long way in making sure you are happy with your services.