Bridal Look: Understated Elegance

It’s kinda funny, as a bridal makeup artist, I am invited into people’s homes and welcomed to touch their faces, usually mere moments after we meet for the first time! It’s exciting but also daunting, because we’re each trying to get a feel for one another. I need the bride to be honest about what she wants to look like on her wedding day, and I am hoping I interpret that correctly! Sometimes I also have to help frame someone’s expectations, and explain what will and won’t work for them. Often at a bridal trial I can suggest that someone start using eye cream, or begin seeing a professional esthetician for brow grooming. These seem like little things, but when you are going to spend a day being photographed they make a big difference.

In Giles’ case, her bridal trial was scheduled for the night of her bachelorette party, which turned out to be really fun, as she included her bridesmaids in the action, and everyone got to get dolled up together. It also gave Giles a chance to wear her makeup all night, and see what she loved AND what she wanted to change for her wedding day look. I really value this chance to get feedback from my brides, because I want them to feel phenomenal when they walk down the aisle. I can do what I think is a flawless makeup application, but if the final look doesn’t match the bridal vision they’ve been dreaming about, they won’t feel truly confident and stunning.

After her trial, Giles emailed me and requested we tone down her blush, because she tends to flush naturally. And, although she found the strip lashes I applied to be comfortable (which is crucial!) she wanted a more subtle look. I was able to take these requests and adjust my application so that she felt like the best version of herself on her wedding day. That’s always my goal: to make my brides not only feel beautiful, but like the most beautiful version of their authentic self. Then they can really shine!

Here’s Giles on her wedding day!

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For those of you who like product details, I used Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light, MAC PRO Longwear Concealer and Kett Airbrush Foundation, applied with my Kett Jet.

 

I applied just a touch of a light MAC Cream blush prior to airbrushing her foundation, so  just a very soft coral would appear as a gentle flush. I contoured her using Benefit Hoola, applied with a very light hand.  I used MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Plus to give her a bit more dimension on her cheeks without veering in pink or red territory.

I primed her eyelids with TooFaced Shadow Insurance in Lemon Drop, and used various MAC shadows on her eyes, Eye liner is Bobbi Brown gel liner in Black, and I used Cover Girl Lashblast mascara in Very Black, then applied Monda Studio Lashes #213 using Duo Glue.

Giles’ lips are lined in MAC Subculture, and topped with Creme Cup. Here are some of her posed and candid pics from the rest of her day! Look at those lashes!

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GilesJoe_598These two clearly have a blast with each other!

And these two bridesmaids, so fun! I loved coming up with fun eye looks to play off their purple dresses!

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Still looking good well into the night, that’s what I like to see!

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Bridal Beauty: Behind the Scenes

Gorgeous pictures from this summer’s weddings keep rolling in! Seeing my beautiful brides in their professional pictures is seriously one of my favorite things about being a makeup artist. For Giles’ wedding, I actually got a bonus.  Her photographer, the fantastic Erin Hoyt, actually took pictures of me in action, and best of all, I don’t look gross in them! Sometimes by the end of a gig, depending on how big it is, how hot the room was, and how long I was up with my teething baby the night before, I can look really ROUGH! I actually look ok in these! (We’re always our own worst critic so of course I start analyzing what I could have done differently…but enough! We should all quit obsessing sometimes.)

But enough about me! Giles’ wedding was really fun. She scheduled her trial for the night of her bachelorette party, so I got to meet her bridesmaids too! I did their makeup as well, so that everyone would be looking amazing for their night out in Chicago. The great thing about hiring your wedding makeup artist for your trial is that everyone gets to know each other a bit, and things on your wedding day go that much more smoothly. I even wrote a whole article about it for Chicago Style Weddings, which you can read here.

Shameless plug aside, in the case of Giles and her bridesmaids, it worked really well to have had trials for everyone. I walked in on wedding day feeling like we were already all friends, and we had a blast. And now, I will stop talking and show you some pictures!

If you look closely in this one, you can see the makeup spraying out of my airbrush!

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Talk about natural light! It was a pleasure getting to work in that room!

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I have to concentrate really hard on eye liner. Even pros have to work hard to get even lines! I am almost sticking my tongue out here!

 

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The big reveal. I am always nervous! Love to see the smile on her face.

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Now it all starts to come together as her mom helps her into her amazing dress. Loved the sheer detail and applique. Giles picked the perfect dress for her style and figure and looked stunning. And can I just say, I love that wine lip on her mom!

GilesJoe_092And here is the beautiful bride!

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We opted for very, very soft neutral blush as Giles said she flushes naturally and didn’t want to look too pink. We also used more subtle lashes for her wedding than we did for her bachelorette party. She really wanted the focus on her eyes, without them looking overdone. How did we do?

I hope you liked this sneak peek into what it’s like behind the scenes! Come back on Friday for this lovely brides posed pictures with her handsome groom.

Stay pretty, ladies! xo, Tricia

 

New Drugstore Faves and Haul Previews!

Hi Ladies!

Is it Spring yet? I am grateful for the sun today, that’s for sure, but I am ready for some 40+ temps, aren’t you? Thanks for sticking with me through this winter! I wanted to show you some of my recent drugstore favorites, and then tease you with some haul pictures. I will have reviews of my haul goodies coming soon, I had a great class at MAC yesterday, and last week I popped into Benefit for some new products, and I am having so much fun playing with everything.

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Ok–this L’Oreal Volume Filler Thickening shampoo and conditioner are so far the best I’ve seen for volume, and they run about $5 each–sweet, huh? They are made with Filloxane–which I have never heard of, and might be a made-up word, but the products deliver on their promises of full, bouncy hair.

The blue bottle is called Miracle Leave In by It’s a 10. My sister got it as a freebie at ULTA, and I am hoping it helps strengthen all the baby hairs I have on my hairline–something my stylist said she sees on almost all new mommies. Did any of you have these? I never had clumps of hair fall out after my son was born, which I have heard women complain of, so I’m grateful for that, but these wispy baby hairs are bizarre. Remember Katie Holmes after Suri–when it looked like she had funky bangs? That’s me, but at least they’re growing. Hopefully this keratin treatment helps.

I’m also trying Suave’s version of Moroccan Oil (since I ran out of the real deal!) and for a cheapie, it’s ok. I don’t think it delivers on the shine as well, and I don’t love the fragrance. It helps make my hair a bit silkier and at about 1/8 the cost, I can live with it for now. It’s made with coconut and Sweet Almond oil, but also a bunch of other ingredients ending in “-cone” so it’s pretty synthetic and when I replenish my Moroccan Oil I will be comparing ingredients. Usually, you pay for what you get!

Now for the previews—first up, Benefit!

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I am loving the Big Easy Bigger Than BB Cream for casual, everyday coverage. Lollitint MAY unseat Cha-Cha tint from my list of Top 5 products—we will have to see! And I of course had to stock up on the Porefessional and They’re Real–duh.

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You could almost do your whole face (minus brows) with just these products!

Okay, here’s my MAC haul:

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I took a Master Class at MAC PRO yesterday–WOW. Romero Jennings taught the class on mature skin and he was great. I learned a lot about technique, in particular in regards to foundation, concealing, and eye sculpting. Can’t wait to get my hands on some “mature” ladies. I have an upcoming Makeup and Martinis night, and those women will be the first to benefit from all my new skills. He also used brushes in ways I’ve never considered, so of course I had to get 6, and wanted at least 10 more.

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I’ve got lots more in store for you ladies, something BIG is coming this Friday–make sure you don’t miss any updates. Follow me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/TriciaClarkeMakeup where we talk about everything beauty and I dole out advice.

ALSO–Instagram, my new obsession! Follow TriciaCMakeup for looks of the day, pictures of fave products, and also foodie pics and the occasional appearance of my little man!

Thanks ladies, stay pretty!

Review: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners

Holy Cow–I have a new obsession! Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners are as good as everyone says!

Last week, my package arrived containing these little beauties:

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I keep hearing about how wonderful these gel eyeliners are. I needed something new for myself and am trying to get outside my brown pencil comfort zone, and I also needed a long wearing liner for the weddings I do. I ordered 4 of these and so far have used them on myself and clients, and they are amazing. They glide on really smoothly, which makes them perfect for women of all ages. They are ideal for precise application, so they looked stunning on my bride from this past weekend. They’re also great on more mature skin, so I used them on my mom who had a high school pom squad reunion to attend! ( I want to go ahead and say these pictures off my phone are kinda fuzzy, and I didn’t touch up my mom’s lip color before this pic and she’d been kissing my little guy!)

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I thought her eyes looked great–we did her makeup at 2 pm and the liner didn’t budge–despite happy tears at the reunion, and cocktails all night with her friends.

Here are the 4 pots I ordered:

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Colors clockwise from bottom left: Black Ink, Cobalt Ink, Caviar Ink, Black Mauve Shimmer Ink

And, here is my first ever swatch picture!

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Colors from left to right: Black Ink, Cobalt Ink, Caviar Ink, Black Mauve Shimmer Ink

One of the best things about these liners–they wear well EVEN if you don’t apply an eyelid primer or eye shadow! My normally greasy eyelids never hold any product without a primer, but this liner stayed put. VICTORY! So, they’re ideal for a super quick application on a day when you’re not planning to wear a lot of makeup but need some definition. And, the older I get, the more I find I really can’t leave the house without mascara and liner. Can I get an amen from the over-30 set?

Here’s a pic of my easy eye makeup for this snowy Chicago Monday:

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On brows, Benefit Brow Zings in Medium, Benefit High Brow pencil on brow bone.  On lids: Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer, shadows in Benefit’s Smokin’ Eyes kit, Bobbi Brown gel liner in Black Mauve Shimmer Ink. On lashes, Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara.

And I will also tell you that I am looking forward to a better camera one day, but that won’t stop me from trying to take good pictures for all of you!

If you haven’t tried these gel liners, check out the Bobbi website, they run promotions frequently and I scored these little goodies, which I am excited to try–good timing too as I am just out of my fave eye cream AND eye makeup remover. These liners are pricey, $24 each, but I was able to get 2 of them, plus a mascara and the special liner brush for $46, so watch the website for specials.

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Here is the rest of my Monday face. I am smiling despite the fact that it snowed again here. I remind myself daily that this winter will pass, and while it lasts I am enjoying quiet moments watching my little guy grow, and playing with makeup while he naps! Another phone picture, sorry!

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On skin: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Makeup Forever HD Foundation (see review here) On cheeks: Mally Liquid Face Defender Blush in Carnation, Benefit Watt’s Up highlighter. On lips,  Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Color Seal Balm in Petal

Have you tried the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners? What do you think?

Stay pretty ladies!

January 2014 Favorites-Skin Care

Hello, ladies! Welcome to Part 2 of my January favorites–Skin Care!

The picture of skin care and makeup was just too crowded for this month’s faves, so I decided to write two posts. Skin care has been CRUCIAL this month as I just feel like I am really noticing the lack of fresh air and sunshine and exercise! I am holding onto hope for a ridiculously lovely spring, aren’t you?

Here is the round-up of skin care favorites:

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Masks

Since I’ve been stuck indoors with plenty of time to ponder how lackluster my complexion is, I’ve used a lot of masks to combat the effects of winter: dry air, lack of sunlight, less exercise, snow snacking (it’s real, and it’s a problem!!). I’ve alternated the following depending on needs.

Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Recovery Masque: Great for super-dull skin that is showing signs of aging. Promotes healthy tissue regeneration and loaded with vitamins A, C, E and F–all the good skin vitamins.

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask: I use this when my skin needs a quick boost. Helps hydrate and reduce the look of wrinkles, thanks to collagen boosting lychee. Smells comforting and delicate and you can use a thin layer as an overnight mask. Fresh is available at Sephora now and they will create samples of the products for you to take home.

Fresh Rose Face Mask: My favorite when I just want to indulge in some pampering–super hydrating and calming. Smells like real roses, not fake or perfumey.

Moisturizers

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream: My daily moisturizer for this arid, indoor apartment climate. Really quenches my skin but absorbs quickly. My go-to Simple face lotion was not cutting it once January hit. Dermalogica is sold in salons click here for their store locator.

Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Cream: I’m using this as my night cream. It was too rich when I picked it up in early Summer, but for this time of year, it’s a godsend.

Fresh Lotus Eye Gel: Have I mentioned I have a teething 11 month old? This means I don’t sleep as much as I’d like. This eye gel keeps me looking presentable. Helps de-puff and prevent dark circles. A new mommy must!

Oils

Josie Maran Argan Oil: I pat this all over before I apply makeup. Absorbs easily and doubling up on hydration during the day is keeping me from looking like a hot mess. I am loving the Josie Maran products I’ve used so far…check out a full review on more of her line here.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: I use this oil at night to seal in my Rosa Artica cream and add another level of moisture. It’s a wonderful concoction of oils and I wake up looking much better when I use this. Kiehl’s is really lovely with samples and if you stop by a stand-alone store or department store counter, they will hook you up so you can try a variety of products before purchasing.

So those are my skin saviors–I love hearing what you used last month and continue to love! We’ll survive this winter ladies, just wait and see!
Stay pretty, and thanks for reading!

January 2014 Favorites-Makeup

Hello ladies! Well, it’s February 8th, and high time I posted my January favorites! I’ll make this post strictly about the makeup I’ve been loving, and post tomorrow about skincare I’ve used the most.

The absolutely freezing and super snowy winter we’re having here in Chicago means I have been stuck inside with my little guy since the end of November. My complexion is looking so dull and gross! My goal for the last two months has been to give my skin a glow, and not look so washed out and lifeless. I am hoping I only have to do this for a few more weeks! I think I’ve accomplished this pretty well by focusing on strategic brighteners and highlighters. These are the products I’ve found myself reaching for on a daily basis.

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Face Basics:

I start with Benefit’s That Gal, a brightening primer. It was one of the first Benefit products I ever bought and have replaced it faithfully over the last 5 years. It is a good primer for casual everyday wear, and works on a variety of skin types. I even out my skin with my Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation. I blogged about this here, it is seriously one of the best foundations I’ve come across for regular wear. LOVE IT. Once that’s done, I perk up my under-eyes and cover any blemishes with Chanel’s Correcteur Perfection Concealer. It was too pale when I first bought it, but it matches my ultra pale skin perfectly now! The wand applicator is super convenient.

Color and Contour:

There is no shame in doubling up on blushes, you can combine formulas for extra-long wear, add a pop of color or play around with different fun combos. I apply Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint on my lips and cheeks, this is a color that looks great year round. Definitely in my top 10 fave products of all time. Looks shockingly orange but really brightens my skin. I highlight my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose with Josie Maran’s Cream Highlighter Compact. Easy to blend, and a highlighter gives me back some radiance that is sorely lacking.

To finish restoring some glow, I apply Smashbox’s Fusion Soft Lights Bronzer in Baked Starburst along my hairline, under my cheekbones, and blending onto my jawline and down to my neck. It is a great bronzer for fair-skinned girls and gives me just enough warmth without looking over done. I layer a touch of MAC’s Sheer Tone Shimmer Blush in Springsheen on the apples of my cheeks, the light-reflecting particles in it perk up my complexion and I love the look of it over the Cha Cha Tint.

In December I picked up a Shiseido lash curler at Sephora. It’s great. My trusty Cover Girl one bit the dust–I decided the Cover Girl one is a good drugstore option, but you can’t expect to get more than a few months out of it before it loses it’s power. It kinda stretched out and just stopped working as well. The Shiseido one is $20 and well worth it. I also didn’t include a mascara in this post because I have been trying a few different ones and don’t have a favorite.

For every day I don’t normally wear eyeshadow or liner. I spend about 5 minutes on my makeup if I am just staying home or running general errands, and I see bigger results by focusing on my skin (covering and concealing) and cheek color and highlighter.

What about you? What is helping you survive this never-ending winter and look cute while doing it?

Stay pretty ladies!

January Empties–aka, Would I Re-Purchase?

Hi ladies! This is my very first empties post!

I have been sitting on a couple of these empty bottles for a while now, and I’ve amassed quite a pile! So I will keep each description pretty short and sweet. As you can see in the picture, there is quite the mix of products: skincare, makeup, hair care, and also high-end and drugstore items.

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  • Moroccan Oil Light: I cannot LIVE without Moroccan Oil! I use it every single day. It is the #1 reason why my hair is shiny and healthy (and was that way even when I heat-styled it EVERY DAY).
  • Simple Skincare Moisturizing Face Wash: I’ve been using this wash for a couple months–great basic cleanser. Doesn’t dry my skin out, and a bargain too.
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: My favorite high-end facial cleanser. Totally non-drying, smells lovely but not perfume-y. Lasts for ages. I had this and forgot I’d set it aside to blog about! I also found a back-up this week and squealed with excitement! Bonus in my closet!
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer: This stuff is legit! In my first few months of motherhood, I was able to fake a few more hours sleep by dabbing this under my eyes, and the formulation actually works well on blemishes too. Lasts ALL DAY and comes in tons of shades. It is a fave I mention in my video 5-Minute Face you can check out here.
  • Benefit Waterproof Eyeliner, Espresso: Yes, those 2 little nubbins are eyeliners. I love the Benefit pencils, they glide on smoothly and last all day. My only beef is I go through them so quickly! But the pencil is so convenient and looks natural.
  • Bumble & bumble Thickening Shampoo: B&b are some of my high-end luxuries, I haven’t splurged on them in awhile. I made this bottle last for eons by alternating drugstore shampoos and using this when I wanted big ‘ole Southern belle hair. Smells divine, and really works to give your hair sexy oomph.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light: I use this ALL THE TIME in my pro kit, it is great on most skin types (I use the regular version on more mature or really dry skin). I love it for myself as well. A little goes a long way.
  • Benefit POREfessional: I use this as a primer when my pores are really driving me nuts. The mattifying aspect tends to wear off if it is super hot or my skin is acting really oily, but I swear, a dab of this on my t-zone and cheeks before my foundation makes me look airbrushed. And if someone sits in my chair when I am doing a wedding and their skin is not the smoothest, this is the first thing I reach for.

So, will I re-purchase any of these?

Yes! To be honest, if I don’t love a product, I usually don’t use it up! I give it away to someone I think it will work better for.  That being said, I am always trying new stuff, so just because I will buy these again, doesn’t mean I won’t try others in the meantime. So, while I can’t live without the Moroccan Oil, I might let other primers, concealers, face washes and shampoos go for test drive.

What do you think? Have you used any of these products? Love? Hate?

Tell me what you think about my first empties post!

Stay pretty ladies!

love, Tricia

Make-UNDER featuring the 5 Minute Face

After watching my first tutorial, the “5 Minute Face”, (check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV6Iqr5z1Ds)  my good friend asked if I’d be willing to give her some one-on-one coaching. Would I? It’s only my favorite thing to do! So we picked up some items at her local ULTA and got to work!

The great thing about the 5 Minute Face is that your probably already have a lot of the items you need in your makeup collection. Kindra had mascara and lipgloss and bronzer, and I was able to help her find a primer, BB cream and concealer that matched her skin tone. She was ready to break out of her rut and change up her eye makeup, so we also got a new eye liner.

Kindra was a great student and loved her new look. I was grateful for the chance to film it, because it is one thing to do my own makeup for a tutorial, and another to have to walk someone else through applying their own. I hope the tips I share are helpful and get you on your way to feeling fabulous every day!

Remember, the best kind of beauty is fun and flexible and FAST! So have fun and enjoy it!

If you loved this video, let me know! And check me out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TriciaClarkeMakeup