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Jen Kelly + Matt Brown Wedding

Forgot to post these photos from the beautiful wedding I did last month at Riverside Inn Events. Jen’s wonderful bridesmaids pitched in so that she could have her Inner Me brought out on her special day. I even had the opportunity to work with her maid-of-honor Tiffany who was sweet as can be! I felt truly blessed to be a part of their day with such special people!




Maid of Honor - Tiffany Kelly



Their GORGEOUS venue Riverside Inn Events


The beautiful bride Jen Kelly

Local Honey Hair Shop






Here are a couple stills from the the shoot with Local Honey Hair Shop’s “Before & Afters” shot by Dylan Reyes. Such a pleasure to help these beauties find a fresh look!

Here’s a look at the Local Honey Hair Shop film “Before & Afters” shot by Dylan Reyes I did makeup for! Take a look!

Seussical, Jr.

Here’s a look at my work for SDMS Theatre Department’s production of Seussical!

For Mayzie la Bird, I created this textured wing effect around her eyes to give a dramatic emphasis for her great plumage!

Sour Kangaroo’s makeup was inspired by African tribal paint to give her this jungle look!

A little stippling went a long way for these Wickersham Monkey Brothers!

I tried out a new brush technique painted across their squinted eyes to give these Bird Girls a different textured feather look to distinguish this group apart from Mayzie!

Here’s a doll-eye look for Mrs. Mayor of Whoville!

Here’s Yertle the Turtle’s stippled reptilian look!

Last but not least, our villainous vulture Vlad Vladikoff’s sunken eyes and cheek look!

Blushing Bride

image I have come across many blushes in my career and there are some that stand out more than others, especially for my blushing brides who want that “I just always have that perfect flush” look.

image(L to R: NYX Cream Blush in Pinched and Natural)

There are a lot of cream blushes on the market and I am a devout supporter of the general aesthetic of a cream blush. They’re great to pop on after a day at the beach for some added color or to sandwich underneath your powder blush to keep your makeup in place all day. The NYX cream blushes are some of the best and they are a fraction of what some high end blushes cost. Above are two of my favorite shades for brides because it looks good on almost all skin tones and gives that natural blushing effect we all want.

image(BECCA Beach Tint in Guava)

I have raved about these before so I won’t drone on yet again but basically, BECCA has cornered the market on waterproof cheek stains. They smell amazing, stain your cheeks beautifully and are waterproof through sweat, tears, ocean water… I love every color that they offer and I always carry one in my beach bag.

image(Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy)

This is my last cream blush product but probably my most used on brides. It is the perfect juicy-pinky-coral color for the cheeks. It has a dewy finish, gives a slight sheen to the cheeks, and is a wonderful color for most skin tones. I don’t know if I would consider this a stain but when sandwiched with a powder blush your cheek color isn’t going anywhere and will look natural and “from within”.

*Side Note: All the Tarte blush products are amazing and definitely worth checking out!

image(Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty)

Also by Tarte, this is one of those “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” blushes where the color looks incredible on fair skin, tan skin, and deep brown skin. It looks scary in the pan but when applied lightly on the apples of the cheeks it comes out as the perfect rosy-pink shade. Also, worth mentioning, it is true to it’s word and will stay put on your face for hours after application.

image(MAC: top L to R: Dame, Pinch o’ Peach, Plum Foolery; bottom L to R: Peaches, Frankly Scarlet, Harmony)

I obviously saved the best for last because MAC has some amazing blushes (cream, mineral, and powder). This is the palette that travels with me most often when I am doing bridal work because I know that they are long lasting, the pigmentation is wonderful on the skin, and they photograph beautifully. You will notice that all of these blushes are either matte or have a satin finish which in my opinion looks more natural than applying a shimmer brick or an overly glittery blush to the face. No one blushes in sparkles!

I hope this helps and let me know if you try any of these blushes or if you have any recommendations for me. I love trying out new products for my clients! 

Here’s just a sneak peek at two of the models I worked on yesterday at my shoot with Local Honey Hair Salon. More photos to come!

Here’s just a sneak peek at two of the models I worked on yesterday at my shoot with Local Honey Hair Salon. More photos to come!

A Peek Inside a MUA’s Make-up Bag

image(Cosmetic bag from Forever 21)

One of the top questions I get asked all the time as a make-up artist is, “What do you carry in your everyday cosmetic bag”, or, “What makeup do you wear on a daily basis”. So, to answer all of those questions I thought I’d give a quick look into my everyday, makeup bag and show you what I am carrying around with me right now (as it changes all the time and with the seasons).

image(L to R: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder & Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer)

I try to keep my face as simple as possible, especially if I am running out the door for an early photo shoot. I love purchasing and trying out the new trendy makeups for clients but for every day I use my “ole’ standbys”. Because I have dehydrated skin I wear Nars Sheer Glow Foundation which is a beautiful, luminescent foundation that has a light to medium coverage with a dewy finish; perfect for someone with normal to dry skin. I am not a fan of full coverage foundations for myself personally because I like to still see my skin, freckles and all. (The shade I wear is Mont Blanc.) After foundation I will apply a small amount of the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in the shade Very Fair under my dark under eye area and any other places I need it. It isn’t the best concealer I have used, but for a drugstore price it gives me coverage, brightens my under eye area and is portable, To powder I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in the shade Dim Light. It is a gorgeous, fine powder that provides just enough setting power while not mattifying my face.

image(L to R: Tarte Cosmetics Cheek Stain, Tarte Cosmetics Aqualillies palette & MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot)

With spring in the air I have clearly changed my makeup bag to fit the season. One of my favorite brands is Tarte Cosmetics for a million reasons that I won’t list today. However, their cheek stains are to-die-for. The shade I am loving is Tipsy and, fun fact, I wore both this cheek stain and this palette on my wedding day! Which brings us to the gorgeous palette. If I have time in the mornings, I will sandwich the cream cheek color with the powder one in the palette, apply some highlight, and pop a little more color onto my eyes. If I am having a totally lazy day I will sweep some of the MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study across my lids and use some of the bronzer out of the palette and call it a day.

image(L to R: Anastasia Brow Kit, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof mascara, & Rimmel Scandal Eyes liners)

Now here are a few of my holy grail items. This Anastasia Brow Kit is AMAZING! It has seen me through many different hair colors because it has 3 different shades that are all the perfect ashy color. I have almost invisibly white, blonde eyebrows so it is imperative that I do my brows and that they match my hair color of the moment. Nothing makes me look quite put together like this brow kit and a coat of mascara. My favorite mascara of all time is the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof mascara. It doesn’t smudge or melt on me, lengthens and thickens my lashes and lasts forever. Some other things that I throw in my bag are a couple neutral liners by Rimmel (these are just like the Urban Decay 24/7 liners but for a fraction of the cost) and an eye primer in case I need a little extra staying power.

image(L to R: MAC Lip Conditioner SPF 15, Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter & Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream)

I am a total lippie junkie! So, it’s pretty amazing that there are only three lip products in my makeup bag. I have been known to cart around four lipsticks because, “they’re all pretty”, and, “I can’t make up my mind”. I digress. I have yet to find anything better than the E.A. 8-Hour Cream. I have tried the Christian Dior Creme de Rose and all the other hyped up lippie products and, I’m not saying they’re not good, but, the E.A. 8-Hour Cream heals my chapped lips instantly, can go onto my chapped hands and it is half the price that some of the other lippie products are but you get double the amount of product. Also, for me, it is so much more sanitary. I have one in my kit, one in my personal bag, and one on my nightstand. The other two products are my no-muss-no-fuss lip colors. My favorite Revlon Lip Butter of the moment is the Wild Watermelon. So dang GORGEOUS! The other product is a great balm/lip color with SPF in it (MAC Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink).

Whelp, that’s all folks. I hope it was insightful! 

The Importance of Being ME

imageEvery make-up artist has there own separate “doctrine”. Mine happens to be that you should celebrate Self, imperfections and all. I am not a fan of concealing/masking to the point where you don’t see YOU anymore. My “doctrine” has always been to find your inner “ME” and let it shine out of you; highlight your face with makeup, don’t hide it. As soon as a fellow make-up artist says things like, “We can mask that with…” I want to shove and run. We should never feel the necessity to mask oneself.

I challenge all of you to find one thing about your face that you love and then celebrate it! Go out of the house without make-up on. Dare to be bare, that way, when you put on make-up it will be to enhance your beauty, not hide your true self.

I also challenge you to find a woman and compliment her because we should not only love ourselves but we should love each other; lift one another up. I also task you to forgive because you never know what tomorrow brings and to be grateful, everyday.

The Quarter Quell!

My amazing husband turned 25 this past weekend so to ring it in I threw him a Hunger Games “Quarter Quell” complete with District offerings, “Sleep Syrup” sangria, death-defying games, and of course, everyone had to dress according to their designated District.

imageThe quiz we all took assigned me to District 12 so I chose to defy the side braid and go as a District 12 tribute instead. I mohawked my hair by teasing it and putting it in 3 horsetails to give the illusion of length and volume. For my makeup, I drew inspiration from both Johanna Mason and Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire and used a plethora of gold tones as well as an exaggerated eye line. I also bronzed my skin in the contours of my face and highlighted the high points of my face with golden tones. I chose to use no blush and instead only use gold, even as my lip color (MAC Melon pigment).

imageTo finish my look I wore golden abstract earrings and a bronze spiked ring from Forever 21. I went with a black tutu dress and black booties (both from Target) because in both films the District 12 tributes wear all black. I also chose the dress because it was just modern/busy enough without distracting from the hair and makeup.

imageMy husband was assigned Seneca Crane, the Head Game Maker, which I thought was quite fitting as the birthday boy. Now, he actually does have facial hair that he was able to shave into the desired shape he wanted but, there were some sparse patches here and there and it didn’t look as clean as he wanted. So, I went in with a 266 angled MAC brush and some Charcoal Brown powder and made the edges sharp, thickened some of the sparse patches, and defined his brows. I didn’t go too heavy as he didn’t want to look like he was wearing anything, but if you were going for an exact replica, I would use a gel liner to define and a brow gel to comb threw at the end.

I hope you enjoyed this little blurb from our Quarter Quell! Feel free to ask me any questions.

A Peek Inside a MUA’s Beach Bag

imageI seem to have the “Mary Poppins” beach bag; you never know what wonderful thing is inside. No matter where I am, be it beach or pool, I always seem to be loaning someone something out of that mystical bag. So, here is a peek at what I carry.

imageThis beach bag has seen me through MANY a hot, southern summer. The funny thing is, it’s actually a cooler made by Igloo which makes it even better because it keeps all of my sun blocks and lotions nice & cold. It also doubles as a great picnic tote to carry food and drinks down to the beach. You can fill it with ice, stick juices and fruit in it, and just pull them out as needed. My other necessities are all self-explanatory. My bathing suit is from American Eagle, the towel & tumbler are from Walmart, my coverall is from Target, and the tie-dye bandanna I made. Once the summer months hit, I am in bright colors from dawn to dusk and all of these retailers have a plethora of colorful items to choose from.

image(Top: Wet Brush in Happy Daisy print; L: BECCA Beach Tint in Guava; R: St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion)

These are probably the 3 oddest things I carry in my beach bag but they are also my 3 favorite. I have unruly, curly hair and once it touches salt water it instantaneously turns into dreads. Without the Wet Brush I would be lost. It goes straight through my hair without any muss or fuss.

The BECCA Beach Tint is my desert island product because it is waterproof, doesn’t clog pores, smells like Guava, and can go on your cheeks & lips. It is the perfect blush and lip stain to put on after a day at the pool to give a little extra color to your face.

The St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion is great for adding a little color to your legs and arms after a day out in the sun. It doesn’t have that oh-so-familiar fake tan smell, it glides on smoothly with no streaking, and it’s a great way to even out your skin tone if you’re going out after the pool. It is fantastic when paired with the BECCA Beach Tint. 

image(L to R: EOS Lemon Drop lip balm w/ SPF; Neutrogena Make-up Remover wipes; Victoria Secret Pink Wild & Breezy body splash; Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray)

I always carry a small cosmetic bag filled with odds & ends in case we venture out into the world after being at the pool. The EOS balm w/ SPF is great because it smells like lemonade while protecting your lips. I use the Neutrogena face wipes to refresh my face and body. Then, I’ll spritz on the Wild & Breezy body splash so I don’t smell entirely of sun block. I’ll also use a bit of this Beach Babe Sea Salt spray in my hair if necessary but normally it’s too unruly so I just toss it up with a colorful hair tie.

image(L to R: iPhone protector; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen; sunglasses from Target)

I always have at least 2 books with me because I’m usually half way through one book and I don’t want to finish and be left book-less. The two books I am reading at the moment are The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen. John Green is, hands down, one of my favorite authors and writes real characters set in real world situations. To pick me up, I have Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, a very different storyteller than Green. Her stories are always set in the South with a touch of whimsy and magic; perfect for the summer!

My iPhone protector has saved my phone from numerous theme park rides and beach days. And last but not least, I always go for the fun, floral, inexpensive sunglasses that I can throw in the bottom of my beach bag and not worry about.

image(L to R: Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Shimmer Lotion and Hydrating Aloe Lotion; Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray; Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunblock; Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen)

I carry all of my sunblock’s and lotions in a large cosmetic bag because if they bust or leak then the spill is contained. Also, when someone inevitably needs to borrow some it’s easier to just hand them the whole bag and let them sort through which one suits them. I am not picky about the sunblock that goes on my body, as long as the SPF is a 45 or higher. However, my favorite sunscreen for my face is (not pictured, sorry) by Alba Botanica. They are an amazing organic skincare line and it works wonderfully for my sensitive skin; no clogged pores or overbearing scents. Two things I tend to always have with me along with sunscreen are a Scalp & Hair Protectant (I have had a burnt scalp before and it is not fun) and an After Sun lotion with Aloe. I am partial to the Hawaiian Tropics one because it smells like Coconuts & Papaya but I also love the Alba Botanica version as well. 

I hope this was helpful! I cannot wait for beach holidays and summer days by the pool!

Hard work = Finally getting the Bobbi Brown Pro Artist lip palette. Cannot wait to play with this!! (at EmMe Makeup Artistry Studio)

Hard work = Finally getting the Bobbi Brown Pro Artist lip palette. Cannot wait to play with this!! (at EmMe Makeup Artistry Studio)

nicnarned said: I usually don't wear foundation but I've been breaking out lately. What do you recommend for someone with really dry skin?

I would stick to a foundation that is moisturizing with medium to full coverage and use a light hand when applying it, that way you can build it to a coverage you are comfortable with. Some of my favorite “High End” foundations are Nars Sheer Glow (especially for dry skin) or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Some great drugstore foundations are Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Normal/Dry Skin or Covergirl 3-in-1 Foundation. If any of these sound a bit too heavy you could always use a Tinted Moisturizer (the Laura Mercier one is great) and then go in with a highly pigmented concealer like MAC Studio Finish concealer or the Sonia Kashuk Conceal & Correct palette (at Target). I hope this helps! 

A Few of My Favorite SPRING Things

imageThere are few things better than a clear and sunny spring day in my opinion. Here in the South, we were not made for harsh, icy conditions. We like to sit a spell in our sun rooms, drink Route 44 Cherry Limeades, sweat, and chatter. Okay, so maybe just me! So, in honor of this time, here are a few of my favorite spring things.

image(From L to R: Tart Deco, Sunday Funday, Brazilliant, & Watermelon)

My Gran had a set of Rules/Sayings/Isms that she always stood by. I didn’t agree with most except: “You should only use nail colors that are either Pink, Red or Neutral; you never saw CoCo walking around with blue on her fingers”. Now, I’m not gonna lie - few things are more chic than a black polish in winter; however, for spring, I love the bright pinks, corals, and oranges. Essie makes wonderful polishes that are highly pigmented and opaque. Great for achieving this season’s trends!

image(From L to R: Wild Watermelon, Tutti Frutti, Raspberry Pie, Candy Apple, & Red Velvet)

During the winter, I am all about the wine & berry stained pout using richly pigmented MAC lipsticks. Once the weather turns warmer, I want something more light and moisturizing, The Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters are hard to beat in my opinion. They come in a wide range of colors, are inexpensive, and are as moisturizing as a balm. Plus, they have a medium pigmentation so you can apply them on-the-go without a mirror! If you want something a little more “high-end,” I would go for the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Lusters or the YSL Volupte Sheer Candy.

image(Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter)

I can already feel the judgment. However, I will persevere! Ladies (and gents) swimsuit season is upon us. And, for those of us who have either lost weight, gained weight, or had any mild surgeries that may or may not have left you with a scar right square in the middle of your abdomen for everyone at the pool to see & mock (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…) this is a MUST! It is chocked full of Cocoa butter, coconut oil, Shea butter…and was made for Mommy’s with fast growing tummies to prevent stretch marks, hence it’s awesome healing abilities. So, you’re welcome.

image(Victoria Secret, Passion Struck body care)

Last spring/summer, I carried around one of the PINK fragrances in my pool bag so that anytime we inevitably decided to go out to eat right after the pool, I didn’t smell like sweat & salt water but instead smelled like a “tropical breeze” (hopefully). I went through the bottle in 2 months’ time and decided to pick up another scent for this year’s pool bag. Passion Struck is a mix of Fuji apple and vanilla orchid and Oh My Goodness, it smells like tropical yummy wonderfulness!

image(Bath & Body Works, Market Peach)

What can I say? This candle smells like a ripe, sunny, peach-filled orchard. Go. Get it. Burn it. You’ll thank me later.

P. S. The Honeysuckle Bouquet candle is pretty amazing also. Just throwing it out there. 

Trying out a colorful look for the myriad of birds I have in Seussical! #nofilter (at EmMe Makeup Artistry Studio)

Trying out a colorful look for the myriad of birds I have in Seussical! #nofilter (at EmMe Makeup Artistry Studio)