Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Yahoo Video: Beauty On A Budget

I am a highly introverted person that only becomes a chatterbox with my family and closest of friends. When producer and journalist Jeanie from Yahoo Personal Finance asked if I would like to be part of a video focusing on beauty on a budget I was nervous beyond explanation of words but accepted the opportunity.

The video focuses on 6 Must-Have Drugstore Beauty Products Under $10. It is geared towards women who would like to have quality makeup products that don't break the bank. To prepare for this makeup, I asked all of my fellow pro makeup artists what drugstore products they swear by and carry in their makeup kits.

Although I personally don't carry many drugstore products in my pro kit, I have had the opportunity to work on pro teams for some of the larger named drugstore brands for events, fashion week shows and products launches, therefore allowing me to play with them and apply their cosmetics on the everyday woman.

These are my top drugstore makeup picks:

Moisturizer: Simple Nourishing 24hr Day/Night Cream

Brushes: Real Techniques 2-in-1 case and stand

Foundation: Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation, normal to oily, by Maybelline

Concealer: Face Studio Master Concealer by Maybelline

Finishing powder: Revlon PhotoReady

Bronzer: Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer by Physicians Formula

Powder blush: color: tea rose #08, by Milani

Eyeshadow: “The Nudes” palette by Maybelline

Eyebrow powder: Brow this Way by Rimmel London

Lip liner: Precision Lips, color: soft blush, by Boots No7

Lip gloss: Super Lustrous, color: super natural, by Revlon

Eyeliner: Waterproof Ultra Liner, color: black, by Maybelline

Mascara: Voluminous Carbon Black by L’OrĂ©al Paris

You can read the article on Yahoo! Personal Finance page and also check me out in the video:

6 Must-have Drugstore Beauty Products Under $10

I hope you enjoy watching the video! This was a wonderful experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am so proud of myself for overcoming my fear of public speaking and being in front of the camera. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Forever Young Makeup in a World of Aging Makeup

Take a stroll through the skincare aisles of any Sephora or Department store, you will be overwhelmed with skin care products that cater to preventing any signs of aging. We as a society, seemed to be obsessed with anti-aging and age reversal products, not just resorting to preventative topical measures to avoid it but even succumbing to needles and knives all in the pursuit of looking forever young. That's why its so mind boggling to me to see see teenagers packing on layer upon layers of makeup and over contouring in a non-blended manner as well as inappropriately distorting their face shape and bone structure because they copy what a guru shows them.

When I was a teenager, I looked older than I was. I noticed that my friends would apply what I believed to be a lot of makeup but in comparison to the Instagram/Youtube phenomenon that currently exists among pre-teens and teens, it was very light.

I was part of a shoot recently with a model who was in her twenties. I opted to keep her makeup light, fresh and natural with a soft wash of color on the lids and lips. Don't get me wrong, I love a heavy glam look, it gives me life....but I feel that there is something so ultimately chic about clean, soft makeup. It helps you look healthy and fresh and when you actually do glam it up on special occasions it is more of a noticeable, drastic change. Also, why not look forever young by using makeup to enhance your best features and save the super glam stuff for special occasions?

Model: Sydney Westgate @ Major
Photographer: Melina Tavares
Hair: Andrita Renee
Makeup: Maria Ortega
Manicure: Maria Ortega 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Interview with Couture Manicurist: Kelly B.

Manicurists are not reserved for salons only. I always see them on set, backstage at fashion shows and most celebrities will not dare go on the red carpet without a nice set of nails. Kelly  B. is a Couture Manicurist working in the industry here in NYC or wherever her work takes her upon requests of clients. Her nail work has graced the covers of numerous magazines including Vogue, advertising campaigns and commercials. Throughout the years, she has worked with plenty of celebrities, notable personalities and elite photographers along with  top industry makeup artists as well as established models.

Kelly and I have known each other for some time via social media and we have worked together in the past year. I admire her attention to detail, years of experience and professionalism. She is a highly sought after manicurist in the industry. I always find it intriguing to get to know the individuals behind the art and discover what inspires them and motivates them.  Read along to get to know Kelly B. a little better, she has some good advice applicable to not just manicurists. 

Hometown: Canton, Ohio

Years doing nails:  over 21 years

Years in NYC: 10 years

Have you always had a passion for nails? Yes. I did my friends nails  and  my own  before I was trained in Cosmetology school. I feel I was destined to be a Manicurist. 
Nails found me, I never pursued a career in it at all. I literally would get the supplies that 

were available to me at local stores to paint my nails. I groomed my cuticles with nail 

clippers until I learned to use the correct implements in beauty school. 

Who or what inspires you? I love color & shape. I get inspired from lots of things.

How did you get into the industry? I have a salon background. I became friends with 

a girl who was a celebrity Manicurist but also worked part time in the salon I 

worked at. She would hire me from time to time. From there, I met a few different 

people and did test shoots until the opportunity came for me to get represented. 

Was the competition different when you started than it is now? Yes, there are a lot 

more people doing nails now for shoots. Some do good work others do not. Your 

work has to be good (clean & neat) otherwise why even bother. 

You have done nails since before it became a fad, how have you managed to stay 

afloat amongst the flood of new artists? I believe in sticking to foundational 

principles I learned years ago, which is: to take good care of the nail. Models are 

subject to a lot of torture from people who are not trained properly. I would never 

glue nail tips on with superglue but people do. I know not to ever put anyone’s 

health & wellbeing at risk like that. I stay true to who I am, a high end manicurist 

that takes excellent care of the nail.  

What is your nail technique style that sets you apart? I’m known for shapes, clean, 

beautiful, & well done high-end nails. 

There are tons of nail brands and products out in the market, do you have any 

particular favorites or kit staples?  I love Chanel, Dior, Deborah Lippmann, Zoya, 

CND, & Maxus. These brands are staples in my kit. 

You have worked with plenty of celebrities & notable personalities, who is the most 

fun artist you have worked with thus far? Drew Barrymore is funny & Alyssa Milano 

is a joy to work with. 

Not everything that glitters is gold, and being a freelancer is tough, have you had any 

setbacks or challenges in your career? The biggest challenge is my work schedule. I 

miss a lot of family events & don’t get to see my friends as often as I’d like. Thank 

God I haven’t had any setbacks. Freelance life is tough because you never know your 

schedule in advance, so I can’t make plans until very last minute. My friends 

understand but I still miss our girl time. 

Doing nails in a salon setting is different from being an editorial nail artist, what 

advice would you give to aspiring editorial nail artists? Yes it is. Know your craft, be 

sanitary, & be original. I’m careful not to copy someone’s work. If I’m inspired by 

others work I credit the person who originally did it. 

What has been your most outstanding moment in your career? Seeing my work on a 

billboard for a line I’ve worn for many years, working with iconic writer Toni 

Morrison, & having my work in a few Maybelline commercials. 

Have you set any concrete goals for 2016 and what can we expect from you this 

year? To have another great year, stay tuned... my lips are sealed on some projects. 

What do you think are the keys to success? Being humble, being kind, and always do 

your best work. Never take anything for granted.

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now? Married possibly with children, 

still contributing to the beauty & fashion industry in a huge way.

I can't wait to see what Kelly B. has in store for 2016 and I look forward to her upcoming work. Wishing her a wonderful ten years+  in her career as a Couture Manicurist!!!! I am glad to call her a friend and an inspiration. 

Follow Kelly's journey on Instagram: