High Definition Makeup with a Little Tarte on Top

22 Jun

I have to admit when I found out the Studio was going to be making the switch to HD, I was a little bit freaked out! I knew that it meant a couple things: 1) that my go to MAC Studio Fix Plus Foundation Powder was no longer going to work and 2) every line, wrinkle, smudge, was going to show on camera. One word came to mind: Aaaahhhhh!!!!! This prompted a search for the best in HD makeup, that would have enough coverage for both men and women. I needed products that I could build upon and layer without caking. I needed coverage without looking like a mask. Luckily, I didn’t have to search very far. Here is the best of what I’ve found so far

Makeup For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
 ImageOMG!!! This foundation is the absolute best I have ever used, both personally and professionally. It’s lightweight and oil free and feels like you don’t have anything on. I, myself, am a powder foundation girl, but my problem is that my nose is very sensitive to any product that goes on it. If the product is too heavy (be it moisturizers, powders or foundation), my pores open up and I get these little beads of oil on my nose…not cute! I end up wiping it away anyway, so I have no coverage on my nose…not ideal. I tried this product and I am hooked! My whole face stays matte for the first time ever! It provides medium to full coverage depending on how much you use. The best part though is that you can still see your skin through the makeup. It’s like being very lightly “photoshopped.” The packaging is great, it’s a little pump that squirts out just a little bit of product at a time. It comes in 25 different shades, so you’ll find the one that’s right for you (I’m #160). If you don’t find your exact shade, you can buy a couple tubes and mix yourself; This is ideal for someone who tends to hyperpigment. It’s pricey at $42 a tube, but I will tell you, it’s worth every penny.

I usually set it with Makeup Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder, which is so amazingly beautiful as well. It’s 100% silica and also gives that slightly “photoshopped” finish. My comment about it is that it is so fine that you might not notice how much you actually have on the surface of your skin until you’re photographed and the flash bounces off the product. Then you look like you got attacked with a powder puff. So use sparingly, a little is all you need:-)



MAC Mineralize Loose Foundation Powder
My heart broke a little when I found out that I could no longer use MAC’s Studio Fix in the studio. It’s so versatile and it really covers anything you need to. You could even apply it with a wet brush for more coverage. My primary concern with the Studio Fix was my male studio guests. Most guys don’t want a face full of makeup, but if you’re going on TV, you really should have it on. Applying liquid foundation on a man seems to be a little too much, even for some of my most seasoned tv guests. I needed to find a powder, so I turned to MAC once again. I tried their Mineralize Loose Powder Foundation and I was pleasantly surprised. It has medium coverage with a natural finish. You can apply it with a foundation brush and really lay the product into your skin for full coverage. It comes in nine shades, which I mix to get individual shades just right. I’m so glad I was able to find a new go to powder foundation with MAC.

I usually set this product with MAC’s Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder (Pressed). It gives me that little extra matte that I need in the studio and also softens the face. I love that it’s pressed into a compact so that I can run in into the studio for touch ups.

Tarte Cheek Stain


This is not an HD product, but I got to see firsthand how it looks on camera and I must admit, I am impressed! It’s a gel cheek stain. It provides a natural dewy flush of color to your skin. I put it on my lips too LOL, I initially had my reservations about this product looking wet or sticky in HD, but I was excited to find that it looks dewy in a kind of doll like innocent way. It’s perfect for summer, when you don’t want to have a whole lot of product on your skin. A little dab on your cheeks, a little blending with your fingers and you have a sexy summer flush of color. The initial stickiness evaporates away, as it’s water based. So you’re left with a beautiful sheer stain that really lasts. This is so helpful in the studio because you don’t have to re-apply! Another way to use it would be to actually lay it in your cheeks before applying your liquid/creme foundation. You get this kind of contoured look and the texture of it helps keep any product you lay on top in place. My blush usually streaks by the end of the day, so reinforcing cheeks with a little of the Tarte Cheek Stain really helps. I do that and also dab a little right on the apples of my cheeks just as I’m finishing. It’s literally a little sweet treat right at the end. Did I mention it’s scented! It has this lovely sweet lemony smell. Doll Face even smells like strawberries and cream! My personal favorite is True Love, it’s this watermelon shade. I am so in love with Tarte! I can’t wait to try more!

Check out the pic below to see the Makeup For Ever Foundation  in #160, HD Microfinish Powder and Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love in action


And as always, thanks for reading Beauties and Studs!




I’m Back with Get this Look, Products Lists and Reviews

12 Apr

Hello Beauties and Studs!

I have been gone for a while, completely lost in the Land of Live TV, but I’m getting back in the swing of this whole blogging thing. I wanted to start this off with a bang!

Today I’m starting off with posting a look and listing all the products I used to achieve the look with complete product reviews for some of the products below.


And as always, thank you for reading!


Get This Look!

Products Used

-Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
-Benefit’s Hello Flawless Powder Foundation
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Evidence, 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion
-MAC Blush’s Desert Rose and Coppertone with In the Abstract Highlighter Powder
-Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment


Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream

This is a 5 in 1 product that produces makeup ready skin. the amount of coverage you can achieve with this product depends solely on how you use it. Having said that, I should probably give you guys a little bit of Camera Ready Skin 101.

We’ve all seen it, makeup that looks like a mask, no skin shows through the caked on foundation and all you want to do is take your finger and drag it through the glop of product. While this is an aesthetic, especially in the Drag scene, it’s not what I would call “camera ready,” in fact, taking a photo with this stuff on your face looks chalky, like the makeup is sitting on top of your skin. This, by the way, is a freaking nightmare for HDTV cameras. When you think camera ready skin, these are the words that should come to mind: healthy, glowing, natural, even, balanced, radiant. What produces skin like this? A good layer of lightweight products on the skin to moisturize and prime it for your foundation. I’m usually looking at the following products: moisturizer, eye cream, primer, concealer, foundation, set the foundation with a powder…then apply the eyeshadow, blush, etc.

Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream
, cuts my time in half by providing a tinted moisturizer with SPF 35 that also primes the skin for makeup, controls oil, and creates an even clean canvas for foundation. Since it’s only one product that does so much, you start off with a very thin layer of product that works as an anchor for the rest of your makeup. The beauty of this product is that, if you want light coverage, wear it alone.  For medium coverage, you can apply it and then dust yourself with your favorite compact powder or translucent and be on our way. If you want full coverage, you can use it under your favorite foundation. The best part is you end up using less of your foundation than you normally would because the BB cream already created a nice even canvas.  My current favorite combo is, the BB Cream lightly brushed with a powder foundation (ie. Benefit’s Hello Flawless) to more to set the BB cream, instead of covering it. My natural skin still shows through. I don’t look or feel like I’m wearing a pound and a half of product and the rest of my makeup is in place. I love this stuff. I recommend it to anyone who wants that look of camera ready skin without being weighed down by so much foundation. And this product also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles over time! This is product is this HDTV makeup artist’s dream and it can be your key to looking truly camera ready with one simple and easy to use product.

MAC’s Studio Fix Plus Foundation vs. Benefit’s Hello Flawless

Makeup artists around the world will agree that as a powder foundation, MAC’s Studio Fix Plus Foundation is the go to product. It’s a foundation and powder that provides matte full coverage in one step. You can even wet your brush/sponge to provide even more coverage for uneven, textured skin. This is why young girls experimenting with makeup will run to their local MAC counters, buy a compact and just layer it on. That being said, a young girl should never start with a full coverage product that is formulated for studio use!  Which brings me back to my point, Studio Fix is full coverage…period. You can feel it on your skin and looks cakey and almost too matte for HDTV. It’s not really buildable, as it’s meant to last 8 hours under hot lights. If you do want/need full coverage, Studio Fix Plus Foundation is the product for you. I use it everyday on my clients (standard def, not HD) and especially during big events like red carpet and weddings. It comes in over 30 shades and is very decently priced at under $30 for 0.52 oz

I love Studio Fix Plus Foundation, but I just didn’t want anything that heavy duty for myself. I don’t have the kind of skin that requires full coverage every single day. I used Bare Minerals for over 2 years, but found that on days where my skin needed a little more love, it failed to provide the coverage I need. When I went in search of a new powder foundation, I wanted the option of full coverage like Studio Fix, but I wanted it to be lighter in texture. I wanted something that would give me medium coverage when paired with a tinted moisturizer. My search was over when I found, Benefit’s Hello Flawless. It’s lighter, which means you literally feel like you have nothing on, it’s got a more natural finish, it’s buildable and it’s more HDTV friendly than Studio Fix. If you want lighter coverage, use the included brush to apply. For full coverage, use the sponge.  I’ve had mine for about six months and I’m about halfway done with the product. It is more expensive that Studio Fix, which is a bummer. It’s $34 bucks for 0.25 oz., so you get less than half of what you would get with Studio Fix, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for a lighter product. It’s my current personal favorite and I would even recommend it to young girls starting out, if they a little more coverage than what mineral powders like Bare Minerals would provide.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

I love this eye pencil. I love it more than some of the other eye pencils I’ve used. In fact, I’ll probably only buy this pencil from now on. It goes on smooth and creamy and is smudgeable, for under a minute, until it sets. When it sets, it becomes waterproof and doesn’t move. It stays on the waterline, except for in the outer corners where my eye tends to water a lot. It comes in tons of different colors, but my favorite is Perversion. It is the blackest black matte eye pencil on the market today.

The photo below has a swatch of Perversion (Left) and Zero (Right). Zero is the regular black pencil and is not as solid of a black as Perversion. To me, it has the same darkness and texture of a gel liner in a pencil, where as Zero comes on like a pencil and looks like a pencil.

Urban Decay Reformulated Eyeshadows

I have been using Urban Decay Eyeshadows since I was 18 years old. They had the boldest, richest, most highly pigmented colors I had ever seen. Each color was easily blendable and went smoothly onto the skin. My one complaint was that the glitter was too chunky on some shades and it would fall off and end up all over the place. They recently reformulated the shadows with something they call their “Pigment Infusion System” that basically anchors the pigment into the shadow itself. The result is an even smoother, richer colored shadow that blends effortlessl and the glitter it less chunky and actually stays in place! I was a fan before, but now I’m a superfan! These are a must have for any makeup junkie.




When I was 18, I was addicted to a shimmery dark navy blue shade called Goddess. It’s been discontinued, but Urban Decay suggested Evidence as a shade I might like. And thanks to my lovely friend, Bea, who gave it to me as a present, I have a new favorite. The color itself is a satiny rich blue.






I also love the new packaging. It’s a pop out piece that allows you to insert it into one of their new custom palettes. And it’s got their slogan, “Beauty with an Edge” on the lid.








Pretty in Pink with Posie Tint

5 Jul

Posie Tint by Benefit

Basically, this is a creamy hot pink colored tint in a nail polish bottle. It is creamier than Bene Tint and is quite easy to blend. Having said that, remember that this is a stain, so once you lay it down, you must blend it right away. I spread it on my fingers and blended it onto my cheeks in a circular motion. When I read up on this product, I found that most people were using it as a lip stain, as the bright pink color seemed to be to bright for most cheeks. On the lips, gives a bitten look and it pairs nicely with a lip gloss overlay. I decided to try it on my cheeks. It is very pink! If you don’t like that babydoll, almost adolescent flush look, this may be too much for you; especially if you are lighter skinned. I’m tan so it actually matches my natural flush. What I like most about this product is that it’s very summer friendly in that once it sets, it’s not going anywhere. I always recommend creme or cheek stains in the summer because you avoid the streaky, spotty mess that occurs when sweat or oils from your face meet powder blush. This is definitely worth a try, but be mindful of the color! The texture is great and blends really easily onto the skin, but the color is not for everyone.

Here it is on the apples of my cheeks, it looks pretty natural and I didn’t use a lot

Pin-up hot lips!

30 Jun

Nars Lipstick in Red Lizard

This it the most beautiful pin-up color I have seen in a long while. It is semi-matte and has a creamier application than matte lipsticks. It is a full bodied red lipstick that matches all skin tones and makes the lips look luscious! It has a little bit of a sheen when first applied but goes pretty matte, once it has set. This is a must buy for all of you that love the classic hollywood glam look. I can’t say too much about it, other than it’s awesome!!!

These are a few of my favorite things…

30 Jun

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is the greatest all purpose beauty invention ever! Chapped Lips? Salve them up! Dry elbows? Salve them up! Diaper Rash!? SALVE IT UP!! It really does everything and leaves your lips feeling so soft. The smell of roses is also a nice bonus. Rosebud Salve will literally replace your need for Vaseline! It works great on acne too! Mix it up with your favorite acne cream and wear it overnight. The next day your skin will be soft and that little pesky pimple will have either disappeared or shrunk down to nearly nothing. Wear it alone or under your lip color for added moisture. It’s the best and it’s cheap…go figure. Run down to Sephora, cough up the six bucks and you’ll be hooked…really.

Whenever I am asked by anyone what the best mascara is (both on and off camera), I always respond with Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara. It makes your lashes look lush, curled and long! I have really short eyelashes, so my quest for the perfect mascara had been on-going for years! I found Diorshow and I will never use another mascara again! It does not flake off and really does the job in one or two passes. It is a little pricey, but in this case…as in most…you get what you pay for!!

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Matte Foundation
is my favorite foundation…for my personal use. I don’t need a lot of coverage and hate the heavy cake-y feel of some foundations. This foundation provides just the right amount of natural looking coverage and is a wonderful time saver! Just put some on the cap, swirl around with a kabuki brush, tap off the excess and apply! I bought the starter kit to begin with and it include the old original formula, which I loved! I stumbled upon the new matte version by accident, because I didn’t read the packaging…I just picked my color and ran to checkout. BUT…i love the matte formula! I have combination skin and have trouble in the T-zone, but this foundation solves all of that…combined with the MAKE UP FOREVER HD Microfinish Powder to set and I am good to go!!

P.S. My only initial complaint about this product was the container. It was just holes in a plastic cover and the product would slip through the holes when it was in my purse. When I went to open it, there would be so much product in the cap and really no way to get it back into the main reservoir. They added this little plastic ring (pictured above) that open and closes the top, so product does not fly out randomly.

EYELINER wars! Well not exactly…I just can’t choose! It’s between MAC Powerpoint Eyeliner in Engraved or MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Eyes Mat Black 0L. They are both waterproof, both smudge-able and both stay put once set. They are both soft and glide on easily. I just can’t choose! Both are excellent. I am a big fan of eyeliner! A little eyeliner goes a long way ladies…and gentlemen!! The smudge-ability of both of these make for great guyliner!! Invest in a liner you love! It really makes a difference.

Find your products and bring out your inner Goddess and don’t be overwhelmed..it’s make-up baby!

One woman’s worst product ever, could be the answer to your eyebrow woes

30 Jun

This product is called an eyebrow enhancer for a reason! If you do not have eyebrows or are “brow hair challenged” like myself this product is NOT for you! It is a wax and powder combo that is designed to sculpt existing hair with the gel and fill in spaces with the powder. Both the powder and gel need hair to attach to! Otherwise, after a couple of hours expect to have no brows, only smears of what once was. I have never returned a makeup product in my life. I will usually just make do to support the industry, but I’m returning this and sticking to my Maybelline and MAC combo. I thought about integrating it into my kit, but I can’t take the chance of a client wiping off their eyebrows under the hot studio lights, on live TV no less!!

Having said that, just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it’s a terrible product. The consistency of the gel and powder cling to existing hair and the packaging is great. I mean, it won Allure’s Editor’s Choice award for a reason!  It comes with two brushes, a hard angle brush for the gel and a blending brush for the powder. It also comes with (genius) mini tweezers for those stubborn baby hairs. I really wanted this product to work for me, but my lack of hair made it impossible. It does not have the control and longevity of a pencil, so if you’re used to a pencil, this product will be a different experience for you. On the plus side, your brows come out really soft and natural looking in the end.  At $30, it is an investment that will last a long time, but it has to work for you! If you end up loving this product, then the $30 will go a long long way. Most people that have used this product love it, which is why I decided to try it. But it just wasn’t for me. I hope you have a better experience!!

Benefit Heavy Hitters

30 Jun

Benefit makes some pretty awesome stuff! After my not-so-positive experience with their brow product Brow-Zing, I thought I should give them some credit by reviewing some of my favorite items.

Some Kind-A Gorgeous

This product is awesome! But what is it? It is advertised as a foundation faker. WTF is that? Essentially, it is a cream to powder foundation, BUT the coverage is very light. It is designed to blend imperfections and even out the skin. It is oil-free and silky to the touch. It originally came in one shade, as it is so light that it almost acts like a cream to powder translucent base. However, it is tinted, so it now comes in four shades to better match individual skin tones. This product is ideal for anyone who doesn’t need very much coverage. It provides a little more coverage than a mineral foundation and lasts longer. If you don’t generally like the feel of a heavy foundation, but need some light/medium coverage, this product is for you. My only recommendation for using his product is to use a foundation brush. It comes with a little sponge but it gets pretty grimy, as with all cream products. So invest in a foundation brush and some sponges and you’ll be good to go.

Play Sticks

If Some Kind-A Gorgeous isn’t quite enough coverage for you, Benefit’s Play Sticks should do just the trick. This product is a three-in-one; It is a concealer and foundation and also dries to a powder finish! And…get this…it has chamomile and green tea extracts to help promote healthy skin…wow! It is light-weight, but provides excellent coverage. I was most impressed with how easy it is to use this product. In my experience, stick/crayon foundations tend to come on a tad chalky and need to be emulsified with a nice moisturizer to blend onto the skin. Benefit Play Sticks are so creamy! They are blendable and smell great! I apply this directly to the face in lines and dots then blend it with a moist triangle sponge for a natural look. I bought it recently as a gift for my mom and she loves it! It’s great for all skin types and is a wonderful all in one product!

She Laq

This product truly is magical! It is a liquid laminate that seals makeup directly onto the face. It prevents smudges and smears and keeps your makeup in place. It comes with four brushes for precise application. BUT…here is the thing…it works best on pencils and mascara. Benefit says you can use it on top of anything, but I disagree. It is a liquid laminate, like a nail polish topcoat, for example. If you’ve ever gotten polish on your skin, you know that it will flake off after some movement. Putting this product on any powders (blush, eyeshadow, bronzer) is like putting a nail topcoat on your face. When it dries, it will laminate the makeup on the face in whatever position it dried in. So if you blink or smile, it may flake off or stick to itself and dull/muddle the color. I also wouldn’t use it on lips, as lips need moisture. For best results, use it on top of your eyeliner, brow pencil, and mascara. The effect will amaze you! You liner will not budge and you will have brows for days. Cry all you want, your mascara will not run! A little bit goes a long way with this product, use a light hand when applying! If you put too much it will flake off, like a nail polish topcoat. But it is a great value and will last forever.  My recommendation is to always wash the product out of your brushes and make sure the lid is on tight after each use.

You will surely Benefit from trying these products:-)