Red Lips, Yes You CAN!!!

I am always up for a challenge and as a makeup artist I face many. Most of the time, I face myths about makeup and the number one I hear is....."I can't wear red lipstick." (insert record scratching) What? Really? But....that is CrAzY talk!!!!! Ladies, I am here to tell you that every single woman in the world can wear red (did you hear the collective gasp?). Yes, a bold statement but a true one. Having said this, however, you must know that not all reds are created equal. Not every one will have the desired affect so you must go into that drug/department store armed, armed to the TEETH with proper information. Remember that my fav makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin said,
"There are no rules to make up"
SO true!!! So take all of these hint, tips and tricks as guidelines. Not iron clad rules. If a suggestion doesn't work for you, then don't do it...period! Be comfortable and be YOU!
Let's get right to it. As I mentioned before, not all shades of red will look great on every skin tone.  Also our skin color changes with every season so instead of matching your skin color to a red, we want to find your natural undertone and match THAT to a red lipstick. The way I try to find out if someone is cool or warm, is if you look better in silver jewelry and pure white clothing, you are most likely cool. If you look better in gold jewelry and cream clothing, you are warm. With skin changing color from summer to winter you can slightly change your red lipstick but the undertones will stay the same.

For those lovely ladies PINK/COOL undertones (think Sandra Bullock, Evan Rachel Wood, Kate Bosworth) you want to reach for blue-based reds. Yes, blue. They will work harmoniously with your rosy skin and will warm up your face. Added bonus? They can make your teeth look super white!  Neutral divas can also wear blue based reds (since they can pull off almost any red.....luckies) but it won't be their best match. Love how Sandra wears her blue red, muah!
And don't be afraid to reach for a red that has a slight orange in it too. Look at how Kate rocks her sliiiiiightly orange toned lip. I wouldn't recommend going more orange than this though.

Keep in mind, there is such thing as being fair skinned with yellow undertones (think Sandra Oh). If that is you, keep reading. This was for fair skinned gals with cool/pink undertones.

Some great blue-based reds to grab are:
and here's a blue based wine color MAC's Plumful Lustre Lipstick

For those of you that have a more  MEDIUM SKIN with neutral undertones,  luuuuuuucky YOU!!!  (think Alyssa Milano, Jesinta Campbell *below*, Lauren Conrad) You really can wear almost any red out there. The BEST reds that will compliment you are the true/natural reds. Think fire engine red, as red as you can GET red! This type of red is also AMAZING on brunettes that have more fair skin in the winter time. Also be sure to experiment with all the lovely wine colored reds out there as well!

Some true reds to try:
MAC's Russian Red (a personal fav)
I LOVE this wine color Frankie Rose lipstick in Cabernet 

For those lovelies with WARMER OLIVE/COCO skin (think Kim Kardashian, Penelope Cruz, and Zoe Saldana, ) with golden undertones, listen up! You too can wear almost anything out there. Yellow undertones can sometimes look sallow and the warm, orangey tones in these shades of red play on said yellow and brighten the warmer complexion. But the same can be said of the blue-reds. Deeper wine tones look stunning and corals? I mean come ON!!! Pink/reds can look amazing with those of you that have this complexion and green eyes.

Put all other reds mentioned in your makeup bag, including these:
(I love using this to deepen the corners of a bright red)

For those of you with DARKER SKIN tones, orangey red, corals etc. will look amazing on those that have a warmer undertone (Iman, Kelly Rowland, Angela Bassett). If you are going to be this bold with this much contrast you must commit! Wear it with confidence and a big smile! Wearing more cool blue-red can definitely work if cooler toned makeup is carried throughout the rest of the face for those with a somewhat warmer undertone but is better suited to those with cooler tones (think Alek Wek, Viola Davis) who also look stunning in plumy red shades. Finding the perfect deep red, maroon or burgundy (whether blue or yellow based) will look fantastic and creamy against your dark skin.

Reds to put in your cart:
MAC's Lady Danger (warm tones)
NARS Fire Down Below (warm tones)
Limecrime Velveteen Lipstain in Wicked (warm tones)

And just to give you even MORE options...here are neutral reds (aren't 100% warm or cool)  that compliment almost ever skin tone and also look different on everyone!
Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice (looks orange-red on warm skin and pinkish-red on cool skin not to mention it's been around since 1952 and was a fav of Elizabeth Taylor)

If you are still having a hard time knowing what red is right for you or you need help knowing what skin tone you have Boots has an awesome page that can help you. Just click here and you'll be on your way to the perfect red lip. Stay tuned as we get even closer to Valentines Day for more tricks of the trade with tricky red lips. Muah!!!


Women Of Into the Woods

I wish......I wish......what do you wish? Have you ever had a dream that you wanted so badly you could taste it? Well you are in good company because so did Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, the Baker's wife. Wait, you don't know who the Baker's wife is???? Wahhhheeeeeeellll, let me introduce her to those of you not familiar with the ever magical play Into the Woods. This story houses all of the original fairytale princesses Mr. Walt told you about and then some. Each of these characters wish for something they don't have and then set out to make these wishes come true. The central characters, in my mind, are the baker and his wife. They long for a child but aren't able to conceive because of a dark and sinister witch's curse. Enter Meryl Streep, who will be playing the witch in Disney's newest motion picture Into the Woods coming out Christmas Day!!! I can HARDLY wait!!!!!!! Now, because this is my most favorite play and I have seen it about a dozen times, I reeeaaaalllllly (insert me doing a somewhat crazy potty dance while saying that) wanted to do a photo shoot where we brought these characters to life in our own way. We brought in a little culture by recreating a famous Botticelli painting. The amazing Archive Costumes over at Hale Theater in Orem, Utah donated all of our beautiful costumes. Kris, the manager over there is a magician! You tell her your party, event, themed book club gathering ;), or idea and she is OFF! Runs to the back of her magical closet and brings out ribbons, corsets, hats, gloves, sweaters, canes, detailed buckles...everything! Our very own Jacque from Looks For Lovelies added finishing details (hello jewelry?) and helped with the direction for the shoot and even played our Red. And, of COURSE, our amazing photographer Summer of Summer Nicole Photography, who is in our book club as well, took all of the dreamy pictures. I am constantly amazed by the crispness of her pictures, the tone and colors. It's like she can read my mind and see what it needs to be before I even say anything.  It was a huge effort and I am SO excited to show you all of the pics....ready???
Spooooooky right? =) Now, our book club, Delicious Reads, if you haven't noticed or if you are new here, goes above and beYOND when it comes to being creative. Through elaborate themes, menus, dressing up, off site photo shoots, retreats...and we read books HA! They are the first ones I went to when wanting to recreate these characters. First up? The witch. Our wonderful book club member and celebrated new author Robin was able to play a darker side as she tried her best to keep Rapunzel from any and all evil........and casting curses left and right. 
{shrug} It's what they do. 
Her makeup consisted of pale foundation and lots of contouring to make wrinkles, cuz she has none ;). Isn't she terrifying? 
Beautiful Kara, whom you may remember from our Hedwig shoot, portrays Rapunzel. This is one of my favorite gowns that Hale Theater donated to the shoot. Being a mom I can definitely relate to wanting to shield my children from all that is evil in the world. Rapunzel's story is an over the top depiction of what could happen.
Ah, our beautiful Red portrayed by Jacque blows my mind. She is the most perfect person to portray the innocence and wonder of Red. Her dowey eyes are stunning and her lips crave color. I used MAC's Relentlessly Red on her (get it?) and deepened the corners with a touch of MAC's Dark Side.
 Can you see me? That's ME! lol  It was actually really fun to be in front of the camera with this one since I would LOVE to be her in the play (she's my fav). To reverse the curse of the witch, there are four things the witch told me and "my husband" to find. One of them is a cape as red as blood. It's not as easy as you would think. Red and Jacque both love their clothes, and rightly so =).
  Look at us checking images...awwwwww! I love that Summer captured this {heart}.
No mashing of fairytales can be complete without mentioning the Little Cinder Girl. Beautiful Kitch acts out the most iconic phrase in the whole production...I wish. She, of course wishes to go to the festival. To dance, to be free, to meet the prince. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
Then again, who wouldn't want to be free from ridicule and hard labor? Poor Cinderella had to live in the shadows of three rather large personalities. Carissa from Carissa Miss and Angie from our unforgettable Capital shoot were PERFECT for these roles. The over the top faces and extravagance! Angie, might I add is obsessed with watching ANTM and KILLED all of her shots! She also was hugely responsible for helping everyone else pose which, if you aren't a professional model and you're asked to step in front of the camera, is a huge blessing! I loved her direction and it always turned out amazing when we tilted this way, bent that way, like she said. That girl, talent!
 These two sisters live to be known by the wealthy and most importantly the prince. HOW could he not find them irresistible? 

And what is the step family without the wicked stepmother? Kellie, also from book club yielded a stern expression and amazing bone structure to the beautiful, yet cruel caretaker of poor Cinderella. The lengths this woman will go to to have her daughters wed to royalty. Isn't her gown stunning???
Here is the whole inspiration behind the shoot. We wanted to find a painting with just enough people to supply us with a vision for just the "Women Of the Woods". La Primavera by Botticelli fit the bill perfectly. The lad in the cape was perfect to be Red, the three dancing women our stepfamily, the woman in the middle, the baker's wife (remember her being the central character), next is Cinderella gathering something in her gwn and longingly wishing to be apart of the dance to her right. Lastly you see the struggle between the witch and Rapunzel. Obviously this is not what he had in mind when he painted it but put our characters in the same positioning aaaaaaaaannnnnd.....
Voila! Our very own Botticelli inspired, Into the Woods inspired photo. Inspiration within inspiration, it's like Inception lol! I cannot tell you what it does to me that these women are willing to jump out of reality, get made up and go pose out in the woods so that I could have a dream realized. I was seriously giddy the whole day! 
 The cast for Disney's Into the Woods is ridiculous! Don't miss it. I plan to be in my seat, Christmas Day, WITH my popcorn, IN Sacramento!!!!! I am SO beyond excited to go home for the first time in our married lives for Christmas!!! We just told the boys that we are leaving tonight and that they are all packed up and ready to go! Are you going? Do you have your tickets yet? Go to the wood!!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Makeup: Me =)
Hair: Jennifer Squires & Angie T.
Styling: Jacque from Looks For Lovelies & Kris from Archive Costumes


Santa Baby

image: Pinterest

The holidays are coming soon and I am looking forward to treating my friends and family! I wanted to give you some ideas to "give" to your significant other to give YOU ha! These are some of my favorite things to use everyday and some especially around this festive time.
The holidays are not the holidays without the quintessential red lip. My FAVes include
MAC's "Russian Red"
Maybelline "Neon Red"
Sephora's very own "The Red"
MAC's "Relentlessly Red"
MAC's Ruby Woo

It is no secret that I like big lashes and I cannot lie lol. These will probably be my fav forever! Demi Whispies in black from Ardell. Super inexpensive and the added luxury of taking them off anytime you want to rub your eyes for days, or fully immerse your face in water! I have a hard time with the extensions for that reason.

image: beautyhigh.com

Sparkly eyeshadow... is it even a QuEsTiOn this time of year? Didn't think so ;). There is something about a little shimmer that adds glitz and glamour! Here are some of my favs:

MAC Honey Lust (large sparkle look)
MAC All That Glitters (bright & shimmery)
MAC Sumptuous Olive (green & slick)
MAC Humid (deep, shimmery & green)
MAC Bold and Brazen
MAC Idol Eyes (perfect frosty grey)
Now having said this, I must add a quick little tip on not being a huge walking disco ball. For every sparkle/shimmer eyeshadow use a matte color that compliments.

One of my most favorite makeup related things to buy or get in the mail? BRUSHES!!!! I love looking at them, having a variety, getting them dirty, cleaning th....screeeeeeeech, wait. No, I do not love cleaning them lol. In fact I have two whole jars of brushes waiting to be dunked!

Who always wants their shadow to stay put? To be vibrant? To never crease! ALL of your hands should be raised and THIS product is my FAV for accomplishing aaaaaall of the above. It lessens the difference between drug store shadows and department shadows significantly! 

So these aren't aaaaaaalllllll my loves but I thought this made a good little start up stocking stuffer kit. What are your wishes and wants this year? Merry Christmas to all of you lovely ladies and your families. I hope the holidays treat you well and that your new year is full of challenging goals, sparkly parties and a kiss from someone special! Make sure to wear one of the above mentioned lipsticks for said kiss....I hear it will be 10x better if you do! LOL Muah!!!


New Skin Care Routine

I am finally at liberty to talk to all of you about the skin care I have been using for the past several months!!!!! I wanted to give an honest and thorough review so I made sure to use it for a good long while. The best news? It's completely toxin FREE!!!!!!!! That's ma fav part about it ;D.

If you want to get some for your very own go to skincarebycolorconnection.com
You can buy them individually or in sets. They make the best stocking stuffers for yourself or family members. Especially great for teenagers!!! Merry Christmas!!!