30 Days of Lipstick

6 Sep


On the day before August 1st, I got this random idea to do 30 Days of Lipstick.  I thought that I definitely had enough lipsticks to do it and I’d never done any kind of picture project. So I decided, with an odd sense of conviction, to start immediately.  Tomorrow is perfect,  I thought.  It’s August 1st. The first couple days felt kind of awkward.  I’m not generally a duck face kind of girl, but it does make your lips look super full. You’re also able to really see the shade of each product, as well as it’s application.

I realized that I had a lot of product. You ladies know how totally addictive buying lipsticks can be. It’s as easy as stumbling upon something you just have to have because: it replaces a product you love that is running low or it’s new and exciting.  Sometimes, that exciting shade you bought might not work at the office or you have to mix it with other liners and such, which you decide is way too much work to do in the morning. Then it gets lost in the void drawer, full of a million shades and flavors of half used pinky nudish sparkly lip glosses and lip balms.  (Please tell me I’m not the only one) And you just have to have them all because you never know when that exact shade will match another lipstick or perfectly compliment an outfit. Keeping them all, however, means that you’ve successfully justified makeup hoarding, which is never good. This project allowed me to re-examine all these products. A good handful of products made it into the garbage. I realized that I don’t need 6 pink glosses, instead keeping my top 3. A lot of lipsticks that were used once or twice got moved into my work kit. I found a lot of those colors worked way better on my clients anyway. My work kit now has 7 new products that I have pressed into a MAC palette for easy access and organization. I thought about melting them, but didn’t want to risk burning them…or myself for that matter.


This project had some unexpected results as well. I totally expected to get rid of a lot of product. I also expected that I would re-discover a lot of shades. It did so much more than that. I looked at somewhere in the neighborhood of about 120 lip products, between my personal and professional kits. I had no plan. It was just whatever looked good for the day. There were hits and misses. I began to notice that some of the products I never really wore were outside of my comfort zone. They were products that I assigned a set of rules to, for some reason. “I could only wear this to a night wedding” or “this would be perfect for if we go dancing.”  Or I’d say something like: “There’s no way I could ever pull this off in regular life.” What exactly does that even mean? My life doesn’t really venture too far outside of “regular.” I have yet to decide to go to a random goth club in the middle of the week, just so I could break out my moody Black Dahlia OCC Lip Tar. It just doesn’t happen. My life is pretty regular…and that’s ok. As I began to look at these products, I started to think back at the reasoning behind my purchases. I once has this wild sense of adventure that prompted me to buy a hot pink lip to match my hot pink vinyl pumps (YES!!). I once felt mysterious and bought the darkest plum lip I could find. I figured why not tap into that, who cares if it’s not exactly “safe.” As long as I felt good then, who really cares? It’s makeup. It’s not that serious.


(Clockwise from top left) So there I was breaking out my “night wedding lips” on a Wednesday afternoon (Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked). I re-discovered my love for the 1990’s, with the help of my car’s Satellite Radio and MAC Taupe lipstick.  I tried out an orange lip, just for fun (MAC So Chaud). And I finally figured out how to get that perfect application on the OCC Lip Tars (NSFW).

I learned to not be afraid. My job as a TV makeup artist was made me subconsciously focus on the message that my makeup was sending. It’s important for my clients, sure. But that kind of limited thinking was dulling me. It was making me afraid to stand out and be seen. I’m not a subtle person. I’m loud and opinionated. Why shouldn’t my every day “regular” life look convey who I am? Why was I so afraid for people to see ME?

It made me start to think about social media and how people practically live online nowadays. Most of you can think of one person that you know way too much about, based solely on the fact that you are friends on Facebook. I am very careful about what I share and how much I want people to know. I get told all the time that I should make video tutorials and advertise myself online a lot more. But I don’t because I’m afraid of rejection, criticism, feeling inadequate…the list goes on.  There are probably like a million working makeup artists on Instagram, including myself. The main difference between mine and theirs, is that my profile was private. Why? I don’t post anything, but makeup, food, fun times and dog photos anyway. I don’t live my entire life on IG, so why was I so afraid to be seen? My work is seen by millions of viewers world wide everyday. I don’t generally care what people think of me on a daily basis, so why was I afraid of people I have never met sitting behind a keyboard? I let my fear take away from the fact that I love sharing makeup tips and products with people! This project not only reinvigorated my love for lipsticks, but it also reminded me how much I love sharing my passion.  I never felt that I was cut out for a behind the scenes kind of life and after 6 years of doing exactly that professionally, I feel that I need to share my passion and utilize every avenue I can to do so. As a result of the last 30 days, I have restarted some old projects, retooled my online portfolio, and am currently mapping out other ways to share my knowledge and expertise. I realized that at the end of the day, it isn’t about me, it’s about my passion and the possible contribution or difference I can make in someone’s day. Even if it’s just one person buying a tube of lipstick that makes them feel like they can conquer the world.


These 30 Days of Lipstick also helped to shift my focus. It gave me a task to do every day. One that allowed me to be free and creative.  Life is hard and everyone has a struggle, no matter how big or small. For the vast majority of us, life didn’t turn out exactly the way we planned. We’re way more stressed than we should be, often times we’re being counted on by too many people, and there is never enough time or money. Then there is the ultimate mindf*ck of the “supposed to’s” and the notion that the life you’re leading isn’t valuable if you haven’t hit certain milestones by a certain age. “You’re X years old, you’re supposed to be…” There’s the idea that if you are leading any other type of life than what is expected, that you’ve failed. The struggle is very real and everyone has one. Nobody’s life is perfect. In the grand scheme of life, your struggle might seem small, but in your life, the pressures can be all consuming. When I started this project, I began to feel overwhelmed by stress. Then, this completely random idea of 30 Days of Lipstick popped into my head and I dove into it. At first, it was merely a welcome distraction. Then, it became a way for me to get in touch with myself and how I was feeling every day. I saw how the simple act of picking a lipstick, then wearing and sharing the product could change my entire outlook. I stopped seeing the negative: the fear, the stress. I focused, instead, on sticking to a goal and making these 30 days something I could be proud of. I realized that it’s not about the struggle, because there will always be one. Instead, it’s about your attitude how you choose to handle your situation. Find a way to shift your focus and your thinking. Re-prioritize. Let go of the stress. Let go of the toxic thoughts, feelings and people. Be honest with yourself and others. Pay it forward, volunteer your time and energy to the less fortunate.  Most importantly, find a way to make yourself happy; do it tomorrow, or better yet, do it immediately. Be positive, treat yourself, splurge a little, enjoy alone time or loud rowdy times with friends and family, have a drink or a piece of chocolate, spend time in reflection and in the arms of those you love. It will get better, if you open your heart and mind up to all possibilities. If you feel good, you will look good, so grab that lipstick and fight another day!


Thank you all so much for putting up with 30 Days of duck lips on your Newsfeeds. Thank you for allowing me to share my love of makeup with you.

For a complete look at all 30 Days of Lipstick, please check out my album on my Facebook Page:



Stay fabulous Beauties and Studs!



Third Time’s the Charm with UD’s Naked 3

12 Dec

20131211_122443-1 (1)

Happy Holidays Beauties & Studs! It’s the time of year for gift giving and celebrations, which, of course, means that we must “don we now our gay apparel” and glam out. Christmas has come early this year, with Urban Decay releasing the much anticipated follow up to their Naked series of palettes. Naked 3 was released on UrbanDecay.com in November of 2013 and like its predecessors has been selling out pretty much everywhere. I was fortunate enough to snag one when they were released by Sephora.com after Thanksgiving. I must confess after playing with the palette once, Naked 3 is the BEST one yet.

I should probably start off by saying that I love Urban Decay. I have been using their products since they were just making lipsticks and nail polishes. I actually remember buying their first Face Case in 2001. When I first heard about Naked 3, I wondered what color family of neutrals they would be choosing. When it was released that Naked 3 would be rose gold, I pretty much knew that it would instantly be the most versatile of all the palettes. Rose tones tend to be the most universally flattering on all skin tones. Some of the issues I had with the previous palettes (1,2 & the Naked Basics palette) is that on certain skin tones, the lighter shades would be too chalky, while others were virtually useless because certain shades blended too well into medium to dark skin tones.   For example, once you blend the Naked Basics palette through on medium to dark skin tones, the colors tend to muddle together and look gray, even though the palette itself consists of browns, taupes and creams. In Nakeds 1 & 2, there are certain shades that once applied give a light shimmer instead of the full color pay off. This means that the full palette isn’t as versatile as one would like. For a makeup artist like myself, who uses the palette on a variety of skin tones, these palettes provide the versatility needed for all my clients. However, the average makeup enthusiast with medium to dark skin tones, might miss out on being able to use all the shadows.



The Naked 3 Palette consists of rose, mauve, brown, copper and black tones, all with hints of rose gold. Every shade has an amazing color payoff and is beautiful on its own. The palette consists of 3 matte shades that are perfect for blending and defining the crease. The  satin and shimmer shades perfectly compliment one another and jumping from one shade to the next is pretty seamless. The brush that comes with it is a double ended crease and shadow brush. The shadow side is fluffier than the ones included in the previous palettes, making blending a snap. It also picks up pigment very well, with the exception of the 2 glitter shades, Dust and Trick.



Dust and Trick are the two shades that contain micro glitter and micro sparkle respectively. They are really soft in texture and crumble upon contact. As you can see from the photo above, the shadow is so delicate that grabbing a bit of product with my finger warped the bottom of the shadow left in the packaging. It actually left my finger indent in the shadow.  It’s so soft that applying it with the shadow brush leaves you a chalky glittery mess. When used dry, it’s difficult to really appreciate the color variation between these two. They both appear shimmery with a kind of opaque chalkiness. When applied wet, however, the color just glides on and the tonal variations become very evident. Dust is a pale pink, perfect for highlighting in the tear ducts and Trick is a gorgeous copper.


After some serious testing (aka playing), I instantly fell in love with Naked 3. Of all the Naked palettes, it provides the most romantic, soft, dewy, and natural look. The previous palettes I feel are great, but are most often used to create bold smokey eye looks. I feel like Naked 3 is different in that, the individual shades marry very well with the overall rose theme of the palette. The color payoff is softer due to the satin finish of the darker shades. The darkest shade, Blackheart, blends out to a very muted smoky black with rose gold micro sparkle.  Naked 3 is a must have palette, it will add a bit of shimmery romance to any holiday party ensemble. It is also perfect for creating that blushing bride or sweet first date look! I highly recommend you rush out and get Naked (3 that is)!

As always, thank you for reading.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!





Smashbox Gives Good Face

27 Mar

Last year, Smashbox was nice enough to send me a few products to try. Although I wanted to break open all of them and try them right away. I still had a bunch of similar skin products in use and I wanted to preserve my new goodies until I really needed them. I’ve finally tried all of the products and I must admit that I was unknowingly saving the best for last.

I’ve been using Smashbox products for over 12 years. Their Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Deep Black is still my favorite go to gel liner. When I first started wearing makeup on the daily, my focus was on my eyes. Smoky…cat eye…lashes. As long as my eyes were done, I would rely on my, then, youthful skin for my natural flush and dewy complexion. I would even skip lip color, so that I could kiss my boyfriend! Oh youth! Now as I enter my 30’s (eek!), my skin is no longer as naturally radiant as it once was. I need the help of primers, foundations, contour powders, and blush! I will admit, I still have some good skin days where I don’t need foundation and just do brows, eyes, cheeks, lips and go, but those days are surely numbered. At the heart of good skin care is work, diligence and the right products. As luck would have it, Smashbox sent me a bunch of products to help me give good face! With the help of these products, I can still achieve that naturally good skin look with a few simple products. I use them on my clients and they couldn’t be happier, so everyone wins!

Photo Finish Foundation Primer

smashbox photo finish primer


It’s really no wonder that this product has gotten so many awards. It’s wonderful! It is the answer to uneven skin. It’s like magic. It smooths and fills in pores and fine lines. Foundation glides on after application and stays looking fresh all day.   It’s even good for your skin, go figure! The brilliant people at Smashbox even make different types of this product to accommodate for your needs!  The Photo Finish Light is 60% water based and works best for sensitive or oily skin. Photo Finish Hydrating is a cooling, moisturizing version for dry skin. There is even a Photo Finish for under eyes and dark spots. No matter what you need, Smashbox has you covered!

Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer, Adjust

I’ve previously spoken about the importance of color correctors to give you an even canvas. I had been using a couple all in one products (Stila One Step Correct and Set and Correct Powder) which has saved me a lot of time for my TV work. The one concern I had about these products is that sometimes you want to isolate the different correctors to accommodate for an individual’s skin needs…sometimes you NEED a specialized product. I found my answer with the Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer, Adjust. It has all the smoothing, oil reducing power of Photo Finish except it’s green and also neutralizes redness. I use this on my clients with Rosacea and it’s been amazing. I just put some on the red spots and blend outward with a sponge, finishing it off with some liquid foundation. The skin is silky, matte and evenly covered. I couldn’t ask for a better green corrector, from color to texture to packaging!



O…M…G! So lets set the stage here, a female client walks in 8 minutes to air, she wants a full face, but there just isn’t time. What do you do? Reach for the O-Glow! This stuff is seriously smart! It’s intuitive makeup! It’s a clear gel that gives you a customized flush once it hits your skin. It’s perfect for all skin tones and glides on smoothly. I’ve even used it as a lip stain LOL. Just line the eyes, mascara, powder, a little O-Glow and put a little gloss over your lips and we’re camera ready in no time! (Smashbox also makes O-Plump and O-Gloss!)

Photo Op Under Eye Brightener


This stuff is an under eye concealer’s best friend. Applied to your skin, it brightens anywhere you put it, but paired it with a concealer, it acts as a brightener and highlighter, cutting down my need for extra products. For quickly covered under eye circles, I lay down some concealer, blend out then apply the Photo Op right over it. It gives that extra coverage while illuminating the under eyes. It makes you look bright and well rested. Great for bridal makeup!

The piece de resistance to this whole thing is the now DISCONTINUED!!!

Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit


This is seriously the best contour kit I have ever used. It’s a set of 3 colors: Contour, Bronze and Highlight. It even comes with an angled brush and instructions on how to use the product. You have to use the darkest contour color with a light hand on light skin tones and the highlight can be a tad chalky looking on dark skin if you use too much, but the combination of the 3 makes it the perfect kit. I even use it on eyes when I’m in a bind! It is the perfect texture for TV! Imagine my dismay when I decided to get one for myself and found out it was discontinued:-( Boo! Please come back!

A huge thank you to Smashbox for sending me these amazing products! Your innovation continues to make me an even bigger fan of yours, if that’s even possible!

‘Til next time Beauties and Studs!



8 Feb

Now that I have your attention…this entry is about HAIR, specifically, my experimentation with fringe. It all started like most good stories do, over drinks. I was out with my husband, enjoying my second Electric Lemonade, when I noticed one of the waitresses and her amazing full bangs. It was a full thick bang that slightly covered the eyebrows and even curled slightly to the right. I immediately asked my husband, “Think I could pull something like that off?” He said, “Oh yeah! But it’s gotta be a full bang, not that wimpy side swept bang, which doesn’t really count as bangs.” Damn. He knew what he was talking about and now that I mentioned it, there would be no going back. His next question confirmed it, “So, when are you going to do it?” And with that my newest beauty obsession was born. BANGS!

I began immediately researching different bang types from rockabilly bangs to that “wimpy side swept bang.” I grabbed photos of bang styles I was “comfortable” with and obsessed over them. Where would they fall? How short would they be? I asked all the fringe-haired women in my chair if they liked their bangs. I began conversations with friends that started with, “I’m thinking about getting bangs. What do you think?”  They all said, “Do it! Bangs are awesome! And if you don’t like it, it’s just hair. It grows back.” That last part wasn’t all that comforting and the risk of having to wait for my hair to grow out if I hated it scared me to pieces; this coming from a girl that had way too many lop-sided bowl haircuts that were way too short…eeek!! I only has one friend that said, “I get it. Getting bangs is a huge step for a girl.” Finally some empathy!!

I really felt like I was taking a plunge. It wasn’t about style or hair or even vanity. It was about a change. I was ready. I’m not sure if subliminally my looming 30th birthday was creating this need for a change, but it needed to happen. I called my friend and stylist, Jennifer, who by sheer happenstance had just moved back to Los Angeles and was doing house calls. Jennifer is not a “hairstylist,” using that term wouldn’t do her justice. She is a hair artist. I’ve seen her put crazy colors on 60 year old ladies and have it look classy, trendy and professional. She can achieve any look, cut and color imaginable. She cares about how your hair grows and how it takes certain products. Jennifer is a genius and if I was going to take the plunge with anyone, it was going to be with her.  She came over on a gloomy Saturday morning and when she pulled up, I noticed something very different about her. She had bangs! And they looked fabulous on her!

She put a black color glaze in my hair and we spent time joking, catching up and playing with makeup (naturally). She could sense my apprehension about the bangs and tried her best to put me at ease. She would say things like, “Just do it. It’s a very dramatic change, but it’s totally your style.” At the end of my color process, I finally put my hands up and said, “I trust you girl, let’s do it.” My heart was beating out of my chest as she made those first cuts. My heart skipped a beat when she said, “We need to go shorter. We need to do Bettie Bangs.” Shorter?!? As she made her final cuts, she flat ironed them and said, “Oh my god! They look awesome! Why didn’t we do this sooner? I feel like you should’ve had these a long time ago.” I walked over to the mirror and looked at myself. I was in shock, but I F*CKING LOVED THEM! As I sat back down for her to finish my cut, she quietly whispered with a smile, “I can’t believe you let me give you Bettie Bangs.”

Jennifer and myself, post “banging” LOL



I put my makeup on and couldn’t believe how much my new look changed me. Not just physically, but mentally too. I felt confident. And now, for the first time in a long time, I feel whole. I’m no longer waiting for something. I’m no longer saying, “When I lose 15 pounds, I’ll do this.” or “When I turn 30…” I am living in the now, because I really like the person that’s staring back in the mirror. I feel like who I am and the things I represent are now reflected in my ideal vision of myself. I found myself or rather, the version of me that I kept inside has come out. It’s amazing! I feel like a new woman! The self assured, ready to take on the world, take no bullsh*t, independent woman, sexy glamour girl has arrived. For lack of a better term, I feel liberated. I finally see myself the way I want to be perceived. I’m comfortable in my own skin and it took me stepping outside my comfort zone to do so. For so long, I felt like I needed that push in the right direction, to find myself, to discover my inner-vamp. Thanks to my new Bettie Bangs. I finally did. It’s not just a new ‘do, it’s a new me and I love it! I’m ready to take on the world. I’m not holding back or waiting for things to change. I’m meeting life head on. I’m not afraid. I’m me, take it or leave it.

The moral of all this is: Step outside your comfort zone. Push yourself to make changes, no matter how big or small. It could affect you in ways you can’t even imagine!

Happy Discoveries Beauties and Studs!

P.S. Styling!!!

Ok, so having said all of that, bangs are a lot of work. You have to style them every single day. They are a commitment and are definitely NOT low maintenance. I am not a low maintenance chick, obviously LOL, so I was ok with adding another 15 minutes to my routine. I did, however, find an amazing time saver. A mini flat iron.


I got the leopard flat iron, pictured above, (super cute right?) for my birthday last year and they are a God-sent for styling my bangs! I found that my flat iron was too big and not curved enough to use on my bangs. The round brush made them too poofy, so I busted out my mini-flat and va va voom!! 4 passes with it, comb and hairspray and they are all set. ❤

The Best Weapon for Under Eye Circles

5 Dec

I get asked all the time about hiding dark circles under the eye.  In order for me to point out what you should do, I’ll first talk about what I see on a regular basis.

1. The use of a much lighter concealer in order to cover the circles

NO NO NO! It’s sound logic, but you’re already fighting dark discoloration, by using an extra light concealer, you are essentially faced with the new problem of, “Let me make my now gray/white skin under my eyes match the rest of my face.” Some will argue that using a much lighter concealer will act as a highlighter under the eyes. Again sound logic, but you now have 2 different color temperatures on your skin, which means when light hits it, it will illuminate differently.

This is the end result


To the naked eye, this probably looked amazing! But the flash bulbs see it all!! To test this out, use concealer, blend it well then take a flash photo of yourself. If you picked the wrong concealer, it will look like this. This is not what a highlighter should do.

2. Using way too much product

So you used a light concealer, now you have to make it match your face, so you pile on the foundation. What often happens is the products dry and cake throughout the day and inevitably you end up looking like a chalky hot mess.  Not cute! Don’t overdo it with the foundation. It is not a mask!

3. Using the wrong product

While touching up a female celebrity client with chronic dark eyes, I asked her which product she uses. She said, “The best concealer on the market, Dermacolor.” I wasn’t going to argue because she has a point; Dermacolor is amazing…for covering scars and tattoos! If you’ve ever handled a Dermacolor palette, you know it’s extremely chalky. You don’t want any chalky products anywhere near your eye. Applying anything chalky means it will not blend correctly and will dry out. All you are doing is pulling and tugging on your skin to make it blend. Yes, you can emulsify it with some eye cream, but Dermacolor is a really heavy concealer. They are meant to cover bold ink, birthmarks and scars. You want full coverage, not anything heavy.

The key to ridding yourself of discoloration is…(drumroll)…color correction.

You’ve probably seen some on the market recently. There are tons of orange, green , yellow and lavender primers out there. Each color has a different function:

Green combats redness, like rosecea

Orange combats dark discoloration, as in bruising or under eye circles

Yellow combats pink spots like blemishes

Lavender combats orange from self tanners and yellow looking skin

Stila makes a great all-in-one correcting product that I use on my clients with Rosacea. NYX makes concealer pots in these colors that are affordable, but I barely use these because they are dry and need a lot of emulsifying. There simply is little time to be mixing colors in live TV.

I’m certain none of you want to spend 20 minutes on just your under eyes alone, so for the quickest, most efficient way to use color correctors,  you want a product that will work for you. The ideal product is a creamy, easily blendable, full coverage color correcting concealer, for the under eyes, you want something orange tinted.

My favorite go to productfor this is…

Eve Pearl’s Magic Salmon Concealer


Eve Pearl is a professional celebrity makeup artist based in New York and she makes the most beautiful foundation and concealers. They are buildable, creamy, and provide full coverage. (Her packaging isn’t my favorite, it should be made a little bit tougher, but the product itself is ridiculously good). The one pictured above is the trio, good for makeup artists and for people who tan. It’s a great value ($52) and a little goes a long way. They do however make duos in light, medium and fair ($39 each) for those of you that want your color only. Seriously, this stuff is magic. You can buy it online at http://www.evepearl.com/

So, how do you use this stuff?

1. Prime your skin! Moisturize, apply a little eye cream. Get your skin ready. Having said that, don’t use anything heavy. No heavy creams. You want something that will absorb within a few minutes and leave your skin soft. I made this mistake this past weekend, I used a new day cream that didn’t absorb and I applied my makeup on top. My makeup never set! My face felt greasy, like my makeup was sitting on top of that day cream! ugh!

2.  Apply a small amount of the color correcting product of your choice right under your eyes and blend. It’s obviously not going to blend to disappear –it’s orange! You want to product to look smooth on your skin, and hide that dark discoloration. (If you are using a bold  thick product like the NYX corrector, you may want to emulsify with a little bit of regular concealer. It will help to neutralize the bold orange color. This is why I recommend a color correcting concealer, it will save you time!) 

3. Apply a liquid or creme foundation all over and blend, blend, blend!!!. You will need to apply a little more to your under eyes to blend the tones together, but don’t go crazy. If you blend correctly, you will not need a lot of product. Foundation is meant to mattify and create a smooth even canvas, not cover your skin or change your skin color. Your skin should look natural, radiant and well rested.

4. Set makeup with a powder. You used quite a bit of product under there, you don’t want it to move. Do an extra swipe under the eyes with your powder brush.

5 .At this point, apply the rest of your makeup. If you’re into highlighters, you can finish by swiping a little bit of powder highlighter under your eyes, down the bridge of your nose, on your chin and in the center of your forehead. This adds dimension and light to your face.

As an extra tip, if you really want to hide your under eyes, don’t bring attention to them! Avoid heavy lining on your lower lashline. If the product moves you’ll get a smeary dark line, which completely undoes any work you just did to cover your bags. Draw attention to your cheeks or your lips instead.

Happy fighting Beauties and Studs!



Makeup Designer for Stoneface: A New (Porkpie) Hat

31 Jul



Earlier this year, I was very honored to put on a new hat: Makeup Designer!!  I got a call from my friend, Brian, that really ignited my love for the stage. He said, “I’m producing a play called ‘Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton‘ and I need a makeup artist for the filmed portion.” I nervously agreed; I hadn’t done any real character makeup since college and they were for student films that never saw the light of day. Then another thing he said suddenly popped into my head, “French Stewart will be playing Buster Keaton.” Whaaaaat!? French Stewart? 3rd Rock From the Sun, French Stewart? Love Stinks, French Stewart? And what’s that? He’s a lifelong fan of Buster Keaton? Oh and his wife wrote the play for him to star in? Whoa! The stakes in my head were immediately raised and truth be told, I was absolutely terrified. This was not only character makeup, it was also based on a period in early film history…on real people!!  They used heavy pancake greasepaint, high contrast lighting and a very stylized look for each character. As a film major from CSULB, (woot woot!) I was familiar with the greats: Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle…and here I was given the task to make these people come to life with the use of makeup. I had a big decision to make, to use the what they used back in the day or to use modern products to make the look translate onto the stage in a much more fluid manner. I chose the latter. I felt that the use of modern lightweight products would be more forgiving onstage. I had to think about stage lighting and how it compared to early film lighting, how these characters would move, what medium would the filmed portion would be shot in. My mind was reeling and I spent every night practicing different bow lips, foundations, powders, photographing myself in black and white. I needed to feel confident in what I was doing, so that I could make this vision come to life. I read the script, I had done my research and readied my kit. It was now or never.

When I arrived at the first day’s shoot, I found out I had the principle characters, plus their understudies and a handful of other actors. I think all in all it ended up being about 15 people that day. I set up in front of a mirror at Sacred Fools and waited for each person to arrive. I knew that once we got in the swing of things, it was going to be nonstop back to back to back..thank God for my live TV training to prepare me for this one.


It was wonderful to meet all these amazing actors, all with different stories about how much they love what they do and how committed they were to their craft. I asked them all for suggestions and they all left it on my hands. It was such an amazing experience and though we had one more shoot day, I was bummed to have it end. Having someone give you their face in such an open and trusting manner is one of my favorite things about being a makeup artist and this experience was even more so, because we had to make these characters come to life. This wasn’t my everyday client, sitting in front of a green screen, three point lighting, talking about the latest celebrity scandal…this was an homage to an era and to Buster Keaton’s legacy.

When French sat in my chair, I will admit that I was a little starstruck, but after about a minute of chatting and laughing, I saw his warm spirit, passion for his craft and admiration for Buster Keaton. When he walked back in a short time later for a touch up in full costume, he adjusted his porkpie hat in the mirror and I saw Buster Keaton come to life.

ImageBefore I left that day, I was offered to do Makeup Design for the whole show. I was ecstatic! I had to design the look for each character and teach every actor and their understudy how to recreate the look themselves every night. I was really glad I had decided to use modern products, since everything would be readily available to the actors. I decided that as the main look, I wanted each character’s foundation to be one shade lighter than their natural skin tone. I wanted everyone pale, but not pasty looking. I made face diagrams for each character and went through how recreate each look.

ImageI explained that, for the stage, I wanted Young Buster’s makeup to look clean and deliberate, while present day Buster’s should look softer, a little bit worn and slightly smudged. I had to differentiate the Talmadge sisters: I gave one a bow lip, while the other had gypsy eyes and a drawn on mole. I gave Roscoe his signature rosy cheeks and focused on rough angry eyebrows and high cheekbones on Louis B. Mayer…just to point out a few.

ImageI got really excited when I started to see all the reviews come in. It was a hit!  When I finally got a chance to see the show myself, I was blown away. With my best friend and husband by my side, we watched these characters come to life. We truly got to witness ‘The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton.’ I got to see these actors in their element and witness their talent right in front of me. I found myself so invested in the story, while being completely mesmerized by the juxtaposition of high intensity physical comedy and heartbreaking moments of pure emotion. I saw it a second time with my family a couple weeks later and still enjoyed every minute.

 If you’re in Los Angeles and haven’t seen Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, you should catch it during its final extension through August 26th. Buy your tickets at http://www.sacredfools.org/

I’m so thankful for this experience and so proud to be a part of something so wonderful. Thanks so much for the cast and crew and everyone at Sacred Fools.

❤ Amanda

Stoneface Photo Credits: Shaela Cook and Jaime Robledo

IMATS 2012

26 Jun


This past weekend my girlfriends and I attended the International Makeup Artists Trade Show at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. It’s an event that is open to the public and with a fee of $45, you get access to 40% off  of your favorite products. This is my 3rd year attending, but I had four first timers with me. When you go to an event like this, expect it to be like going to Disneyland in a number of ways: 1) you’re going to spend the majority of your time in a line 2) it’s exhausting and involves a lot of walking and 3) you’re going to be spending more money than you probably intended. What is great about going with a group of people is that you guys can really double team the brands. We’d all shout requests out to each other while we waited in separate lines.

What I love about this show is that it’s Sephora x 1000. You can find a whole range of products from a lot of brands, anything from a pro line to consumer products, all at discounted prices. They have models that get various looks done live by artists during the show, as well as, some attention grabbing elements…I’m not sure how muscle bound guys with the Stila logo plastered all over their half naked bodies are supposed to sell products, but it guarantees that droves of girls and boys will at least stop at the booth and take a photo.

ImageThe second show room was transformed into a special effects area with sculptures and maquettes from various movies. My person favorite were “Tea Time with Frankenstein,” Regan from the Exorcist and Bicycle Girl from The Walking Dead. They had a real life Nosferatu with a backdrop and studio lighting, I had a great time with him:) They also had a student competition where you could watch artists make their designs come to life.


So, here comes the answer to question to most of you are asking, what did I get? I tend to stock up for both my personal and professional kits every year, that way I only buy products here and there throughout the year. I got a lot of stuff! I stocked up on Royal and Langnickel Brushes, which are my favorite! Along with this awesome red vinyl brush pouch/belt…so hot!!


I got some awesome Smashbox products: a lip gloss set, some anti-shine and my favorite new thing: the Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Guava. It’s a coral orange shade, but against my natural lip color, it becomes this beautiful fruit punch/watermelon kind of shade. I LOVE IT! It’s double ended and has a felt tip that applies the stain and the other side is a balm that keeps lips soft and smooth. It has great staying power and doesn’t feather once it sets.

I stocked up on some kit essentials: Stila’s One Step Corrector, Two Faced Shadow Insurance (which is seriously the absolute best eyeshadow primer on the market), a Jane Iredale mixing palette, Beauty So Clean Makeup Sanitizer, MUD Volumizing tube mascara and some lashes and glues.


Another stand out product this year is the new Set and Correct Baked Trio from Stila. This will seriously save me a lot of time in the studio during touch ups. It’s a baked setting powder in 3 correcting colors: green to minimize redness, peach to brighten and lavender for sallow skin. You rotate the dial and it shaves off even amounts of product. I can run into the studio and touch up a guest with ease with one product! No more carrying four different shades on me or a mixing palette. I just have to make sure that I am happy with the work done in the makeup chair and touching up in the studio with this product will be a breeze!. A product that works just as hard as I do? Awesome!


Another of my new favorites is the MUD Dual Finish Pressed Mineral Powder. I bought this for my professional kit, but I tried it at home and decided I was going to keep it for myself. I just ran out of my Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation and this product is a lightweight alternative. You can use it dry for medium coverage or wet for full. It feels so good on the skin and has some staying power.

My girls and I had a great time at this year’s IMATS! The best part is that we don’t have to wait a full year to do this again. 2013’s IMATS Los Angeles is in January! You had better believe, I’ll be getting my ticket soon!

Til next time Beauties and Studs!