Is It Worth It?

As a makeup artist and beauty enthusiast, how is one to keep up to date with all the new eyeshadow palettes that are being launched every 5 minutes? I mean, are we supposed to run out and nab them all? As an artist, you feel as though it’s your prerogative to do exactly that! You feel as though you must have the latest products, you must test everything, you must be fully equipped to show your clients that you’re are on top of your game!

However, a lot of the eyeshadow palettes that are being launched today are very similar in shades. You will find shades like burgundy, a soft brown intended to be a transition color, a light orange and more than likely a couple gold tone shimmery shades. Granted, the palettes will differ in texture and pigmentation,  but is it necessary to purchase all, given that they are so similar? Will I be missing out if I don’t? This has become my new plight!

Hypothetically, let’s say you’ve finally gone out and purchased the latest and most popular palettes, these have been trending for the past 2 months and you’ve finally got your hands on them! Life is good and then “BOOM!” here come another 3 palettes!  What should you do now? The reviews are even better than the last set! You see my predicament?

My advice here, would be to select the palettes that have the majority of shades you work with on a daily basis. That way, you get your money’s worth and you still indulge in the latest editions. Go to the store, test it and select the one that works best for you. Steer clear from purchasing other palettes that are similar to what you’ve already got, unless your current one is running low.

Hope this helps! 🙂 Saving money and space at the same time!

 

PicMonkey Collage

 

Dear Brides,

Weddings! Let me just start of by saying- “Isn’t this time supposed to be one of the most exciting times in most people’s lives?” Well I’m sorry, but it doesn’t feel that way to me! Don’t get me wrong, there are some exciting points like browsing and shopping for everything wedding related online, wedding dress shopping, ring shopping, planning the most exciting girls night out and of course marrying your best friend. But other than that, It’s pretty darn stressful!

My wedding is coming up in nothing short of a few months and whenever I think about it, I feel myself going crazy! Come on! This is not what I had envisioned as a 6 year old! Most times I have to hit myself with a dose of reality and remind myself that life is no easy fairytale and that I am no longer 6! Some girls dream of every detail of their wedding from this age. They dream of their pretty princess dress, hundreds of beautiful flowers everywhere, 5-star restaurant worthy food, and fancy drinks. Not to mention, having everyone come from far and wide to witness them being married to their prince charming. They think, “I am a princess for one day!” and that’s where all the pressure starts for most brides.

The world has created a certain perception of what your wedding should be and what it should look like. But is this really realistic? As you get older, life starts to happen and it brings with it a lot of different responsibilities. This idea of a fairytale wedding no longer seems practical or smart anymore. It seems expensive! Brides, including myself go through so many ideas of what type of wedding they think they want, it’s actually quite ridiculous! My fiancé and I went from planning a Pinterest worthy wedding, to talking about eloping, to having a small, intimate backyard wedding. What happens, is that you start planning the wedding you think you want and then all the opinions of family, friends, YouTube and Pinterest start flowing in. You get stressed at the cost as well as all the work that has to go into creating this fairytale and then you just want to take the easiest possible route.

Midway, you have to take a step back and really figure out what type of wedding YOU really want to have. Stop trying to please everyone else and remember what this day is really about. It is about getting married to the love of your life. Don’t stress yourself trying to create this perfect setting because guess what! HE doesn’t care! He only cares about marrying you and making you happy! Trust me, I know! I sometimes find myself going to my fiancé to get his opinion on flowers or centerpieces or even what party favors we should have because it’s his wedding too and his opinion matters to me. But  based on his nonchalant responses, I’ve realized this man doesn’t care about all these details that I care about. He, just like most grooms just want to show up, say ”I do” and have a good time with his wife and those closest to him. And who can really blame them? If only us brides had it so simple!

A lot of brides want to create a setting that they can take pride in, they want people to walk in and think how beautiful everything looks and what a great wedding it is. They want their wedding to be spoken about for months later. This is precisely why they go all out and in the process, rack up a hefty bill. You also have to remember that this wedding is for one day! For the average bride, you need to ask yourself these questions; “what about the rest of your lives? what about being able to live after?” After this day, you need to be able to purchase a home if you haven’t got one already, and have enough money aside to start a fairly financially stable life together. It’s not wise to start your life in debt because you ended up having a wedding that went way past your budget.

My tips thus far:

  1. Create a budget and stick to it! – You have to know where you want to give a little and where you want to hold back. For instance, if photography and videography is important to you then splurge a bit on that so you get the quality you’re looking for. Whereas, if party favors aren’t too important, then hold back on those.
  2. Hire a capable, effective and efficient wedding planner! – This is a must if you cannot deal with the stresses of planning your own wedding. This is me! I feel overwhelmed so easily that I am so lucky to be having the best wedding coordinators. This is also important because on your wedding day, you will not want to lift a finger or be stressed in any way. You will need someone to ensure everything is running smoothly, to ensure that vendors are paid and to ensure that everything is set up on the morning of, just to list a few. Weddings can go from 0-100 real quick!
  3. Rely on your bridal party!- They are your friends who love you and who want to help! My bridesmaids are continuously asking to help and God knows I appreciate them! They want to be involved in the planning of your big day so let them! It will take a huge load of you and it will make them feel so involved so you really can’t lose. 🙂
  4. Split up responsibilities among family members!- They too want to help and be involved in your big day so allow them too.

Even though planning your wedding may be one of the most stressful tasks out there, us brides have to try to bask in the moment and remember ”Hey! I’m planning my wedding!!” and just revel in that for a bit, because most times, once it’s over, you probably won’t be having another in this lifetime!

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Establishing Yourself In Such A Saturated Industry

How do you become “someone”  in such a saturated market? This question has become the bane of my existence. A lot of us have the same interests and I have seen a lot of artists out there who are truly blessed with amazing levels of skill and creativity. It would be quite easy to say that these reasons are precisely why they have such a strong presence in this business. However, it is many of these artists who are struggling with making a name as well. In our business, it is crucial to keep up to date with trends and new products. This is OUR industry and in order to create a presence, you need to be passionate about your brand and be on top of your knowledge and skill.

It’s very easy to become another duplicate artist and Instagram icon with nothing new, fresh or original to offer. You need to have your own stamp on your business and your brand. Make it you! You are not the same as every other person out there, so why make your business the same? Stand out and make a difference! You should strive to give the people what you think they’re looking for. Before you became an artist, remember what you liked seeing and reading about, remember your dislikes and your complaints, then go from there.  Figure out what’s missing and cater to that. You can do customer research experiments via social media. Be versatile with your brand and your looks and from that, gage what your followers respond to most. That should give you a better idea of what your following would like to see more of.

Consistency is key! You MUST put aside time out of each day to dedicate to your brand. This will work wonders! Even though it may seem slow in the beginning, it will succeed once you keep working toward the end result.

Never give in to nay-sayers, for they don’t know any better. If unfortunately you are exposed to negativity, use this to fuel your  success. I’ve realized that what some people, especially those in our industry don’t seem to get, is that there is enough success and opportunity to go around. Don’t let that get you down.

When you’re now starting out, you may be hesitant to post your work for fear of what people may say, but I urge you to get over this fear because all this will do, is hold you back. Not everyone is going to be your biggest fan and not everyone is going to support you. This is a reality that will slap you in the face sooner or later, and I always say sooner rather than later. As I’m now starting to create a brand myself, I am facing all of these issues along with many of you, so you’re not alone. Remember, running a business and brand is not a 9 to 5, it’s an all day, everyday. You need to be continuously reassessing your brand and your direction!

Another great way of becoming established is through media mentions and networking. In a previous post, I spoke a little about our industry being a “who knows who” type of industry. Start building relationships with other willing makeup artists, this helps you to get to know the competition as well as form an open line for potential jobs. Always try to get your name out there by whatever means you can! Make connections, it will help boost your business in the long run because at some point everyone needs a makeup artist. You can also try attaching yourself to local tradeshows and events. This will definitely help in building your brand and your client list.

I hope these little tips help! Let me know how it goes! 😉

Stop those Munchies!

If animals and babies know to eat only when they’re hungry and to stop eating when they’re comfortable, then what the hell is wrong with the rest of us? Why do we feel the need to have dessert after a filling meal? Why do we crave snacks and drinks even though we’re not hungry or thirsty? and why do we have a hard time with portion control when it comes to our favorite meals? All of these are challenging for me and I’m sure most of you as well!

I believe that the culprits for these munchies are lack of self control, lack of sleep, stress, depression, hormones and the way our society has conditioned us! I know whenever I feel the least bit stressed, I reach for junk food and whatever snacks I can find lying around,whether I’m hungry or not! Horrible right!

Most of us also tend to be multi-tasking eaters. We eat while we’re on the computer, watching TV, reading and even when socializing. For some reason, we feel the need to have something in front of us to munch on. But what we don’t know, is that our stomachs have “stretch receptors,” which send a signal of satiety to our brain when food hits our stomach to tell us “we’re full!” However, that signal does not work if we’re eating while distracted! So, the key to not overeating is to steer clear from distractions while chowing down. I know this may be difficult at first but it’ll just take a little getting used too and actually remembering to do so!

For me, as a child, my home always had snacks lying around so naturally when I felt hungry, I’d nibble on whatever there was, then go back outside to play. What a happy life! Back then, I used to eat like a bird, never having an actual full meal. I had the smallest appetite ever! But with getting older, naturally everything started changing. I started snacking more and filling up on junk food. I am naturally a petite person, measuring about 5ft maybe 2 inches at most. So, if and when I went overboard with my horrid eating habits, it would definitely become noticeable.

Because of this, I started practicing portion control so as to not go overboard. Two (2) pounds gained on me can look like a lot compared to 2 pounds gained on an average sized human. At first it will be difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it. When I first started, I found it was easy to just cut down the portion sizes of my regular everyday food. I hadn’t changed my diet yet simply because I wanted to get used to the new portion sizes first. It’s also easier to take baby steps into things like this, especially if it’s all new to you. It’s helpful to use a smaller plate size for your meals rather than what you’re usually used to. You can fill up a little plate and it will still be less than what you would’ve been having on your regular sized plate. This tricks the mind into thinking you won’t need more than what’s there in front of you. Once you get the portion control down, you can start adjusting your diet bit by bit.

  1. Cut out excessively sugary drinks and snacks!– I found that when I did this, the cravings weren’t as strong as before!
  2. Substitutions! – if you’re craving something sweet, like chocolate, have a dark chocolate instead, it’s healthier than regular milk chocolate, it helps to lower blood pressure and is filled with antioxidants. You can also try apple slices dipped in a bit of peanut butter for a cool snack. No matter what crazy snack you feel for, there is always a healthier alternative!

To curb your appetite, try not eating way past into the night. If you’re like me and stay up until ungodly hours watching Netflix, and you start feeling munch-ish, drink a cup of tea and nibble on some mixed nuts- that usually fills me up for the night. Once you start incorporating these tips, you should begin to feel a bit more in control. Remember to be conscious of what and how much you’re consuming.

Hope this helps your munchies! 😉

 

 

Beauty and The Diet

We are all aware that eating “healthy” is the way to go for a number of reasons.

Well, for beauty it is an absolute MUST! As far as trends go in the beauty industry, luminous, dewy, radiant glowing skin is in! Companies are constantly coming out with a lot more sheer finish foundations and powders and everyone and their grandma are obsessed with highlighters; including me! We all strive for that impeccably flawless, shiny, but not too shiny, soft and supple skin with and without makeup. Especially without makeup! Who really wants to wear makeup each and everyday from now until the day they die? Certainly not me! That’s why achieving that look on my bare skin is definitely a priority!

Now, this is where lifestyle comes in, I have concluded from my own observations and a bit of common sense, that faces with next to nothing foundation, (see what I did there MAC 😉 fyi: MAC has a new foundation that’s absolutely beautiful for that dewy and sheer look called “Next to Nothing”) must depend on something other than good genes and effective skin care products. Naturally gorgeous skin must start from the inside out and therefore must start with a proper regimen of diet and exercise! Ughh! the worst two things known to man….or at least known to me! I’ve been starting to realize that this is something you really cannot get away from, because believe me! I’ve tried!!

“I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin” says Dr. Jessica Wu (dermatologist and creator of Dr. Jessica Wu Skincare). Well that’s one way to put it into perspective Dr. Wu!

The foods that you eat get broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that the body uses to build up healthy skin. For example, the amino acids from the protein you eat go into building your skin’s collagen. If your diet lacks excessively in protein, then you better start saving for some Botox girlfriend!

Try to cut out processed foods little by little and then all the way. I know that this may seem impossible given the scary number of fast food restaurants our countries have to offer, but we must try! And I say “we” because I am a victim of KFC which forces me to have a love/hate relationship with it, leaning more toward the love part 😥  Nevertheless,  processed, oily, greasy foods temporarily taste good as you’re eating it, but in actuality does your body the most harm once it passes your lips. Once you start to eliminate this, you will start to see a huge difference in the way your skin and body looks and feels. Trust me! I know! Start incorporating more avocados, fruits and veges and lean proteins into your diet. Also try to steer clear of sugary drinks, foods and snacks.

I’m going to be quite honest with you! Everyone always says the same thing. But, from my experience, you just have to find what works for your own skin and your own body. Everyone is different! Some people exercise constantly and eat well the majority of time, yet still have problems with breakouts. So, while diet and exercise may work for some, it may not work for others. You have to get to know your own skin. A good tip is to experiment with yourself. When you eat certain things, take notice of how your body and your skin reacts, then change up your routine accordingly. This I find, helps you to become more in tune with your own body and its needs. Listen to it!

The thing is, we all know how we’re “supposed” to be eating. So then, why is it so damn difficult to stick too? Maybe, it’s a mind thing. Maybe, we just have to decide we are going to eat better and actually do it! Resist all temptation! That is the key! But trust and believe that this change of diet paired with the easiest exercise of all- a little light walking will do wonders for your skin. Once you get a cool sweat in, that’s all you need!

Let me know how it goes! 🙂

 

 

Transitioning from Makeup Counter to Freelancing

I have decided to write this post as this is my current situation and I feel as though I should share my experiences thus far with you guys. About 3 weeks ago I left my warm, stable, cushy job of a couple years at MAC simply because I felt as though it was time to do so. I felt as though the store had done everything it could for me in terms of teaching me, training me and nurturing me and now it was time to fly out of the nest into the wild, cold wilderness. As the saying goes, “the magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone” so, I did just that!

And let me just say its been a whirlwind of emotions because naturally I miss my girls and my old job but I am also very excited to begin this new chapter of my life and see what the universe has in store for me!

So far, I’ve had quite a few freelance makeovers since I left which kept the income steadily flowing in, Thank God for that! But I have also been facing some challenges and learning new things along the way. As I struggled with one thing, I learned another.

  1. You have to market yourself in such a huge way it is ridiculous! It’s time consuming and a lot of hard work, but totally worth it! (I’m hoping). You are no longer working for someone else who has your back at the end of every month. You’re basically working on commission! If you don’t market yourself and go out and get your clients, well…you won’t be paid! When I say market yourself, I mean you need to ensure people know who you are and what you do! That face needs to be beat at all times! YOU ARE YOUR OWN BRAND! SO SELL IT! Perfect little story: the other evening my fiancé and I went into this cute little bakery that we’d never been too before. As soon as we walked in, I was immediately was greeted by one of the girls behind the counter asking if I was a makeup artist. I replied yes with a pleasant smile and she along with her coworkers excitedly went on to compliment my makeup. So by me just walking into that bakery with a nice face on, I sold my brand and gained a couple of clients who now know who I am and what I do.
  2. Be active on social media! Find a platform that works for you and use the hell out of it! Social media has become one of the largest and most successful tools in business and marketing. For me, I like Instagram, I find that it’s a bit more controlled than the other platforms. I’m most comfortable using that platform to promote myself as well as my business and I think I’ve been doing pretty okay thus far. You’d want to post consistently and efficiently. I try not to go more than 3 days without posting something. You have to remain relevant, people have to see you. If your account starts to go dead then people will not be as interested in you so much anymore. You also have to be particular about what you post. Before, my account was personal, so there were posts of my family and friends and my private life. However, as soon as I decided I wanted to build a specific brand, I started deleting those pictures and videos that were closest and dearest to me. I started to re-vamp my page and only post photos I think would fit in with my brand. Don’t get me wrong, you can post a lil’ selfie here and there and one or two personal pictures so your following gets a sense of who you are, but don’t go overboard if it’s a brand in beauty and makeup you’re trying to build. Try to post client makeovers you’ve done so people know you’re open for hire and post a lot of different looks on yourself. Doing this helps to sell yourself as an artist and gives your followers an idea of your skills and versatility.
  3. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get as many likes, follows or support as you’d like. It just takes some time. Just keep posting and working toward what you imagine you want your brand to be and it’ll happen! or so I’ve been told 😀 Also, try not to compare yourself or your work to anyone else’s out there. Just be your gorgeous, authentic self and you’ll succeed. Remember, everyone has their own struggles. It’s very easy to feel down and disappointed when you’re now starting out, I’ve experienced it a bit but I always snap out of it and get back on my feet. Also, its helpful to remember that in our field there will be slow times and high paced times. Once you start to build your brand, that’ll disappear as jobs start flowing in due to referrals and potential clients liking what they see on your page.
  4. It’s also a big game of “who knows who” especially in Trinidad since it’s so small. Try to play that game, get yourself out there and network! Everyone knows someone! Always remember that!

I’m still learning as I go along, however, I hope this helps anyone out there who’s going through the same transition! 🙂

Be sure to head over to my Instagram page for a little more insight into how I post! And hit Follow to keep updated! 🙂

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Contouring and Gettin’ it Right!

So, one of my very best friends advised me on doing a post about contouring since her along with almost everyone she knows, their skills are well…abysmal. But have no fear because I am here! 🙂 Honestly, I personally am not a fan of heavy contouring simply because I think it changes one’s personal features a bit too much but in that case one can always keep it light or like me, just bronze. Nevertheless, I am here to give the people what they want!

Facial Contouring has become the beauty trend of what seems to be, a very long moment. Contouring basically defines and enhances your facial bone structure. You can either use cream or powder products that are about two shades darker than your foundation tone. No shimmery or chalky products please! That will just result in a hot mess! The darker shade is used to give a “slimming” effect to select areas of the face while lighter shades, used in highlighting, make features more pronounced.

STEP 1: Creating The Base

Apply your foundation to the entire face. This will just give a nice uniformed base to work with.

STEP 2: Mapping The Face

By using the darker shade product, draw lines from the temple down to the tip of the ear. From the tip of the ear, you’ll want to feel the sides of the face with your index finger until you find a “dip” below the cheekbones. This “dip” will be the guide you use to trace from the tip of the ear, along the “dip” stopping midway. (you’re not going all the way to the corners of the mouth). This will help to bring out the cheekbones.

As for the forehead, you’ll want to trace upward from the temple along the hairline to minimize the appearance of a larger/ wider forehead and to add a little dimension to the sides of the face. You will only trace to the top of the hairline if you have a higher forehead, like mine 😦

With the nose, you’ll want to trace a very thin line along the nose bridge on either side. You can go a little narrower to the tip. You can also carry it up to the brows to add length if you have a shorter nose.

And for the jawline, simply trace the color along your natural jaw bone.

STEP 3: Blend, Blend, Blend!

Take a damp beauty blender or a tapered makeup brush (although the beauty blender is much more effective) and dab/ tap over the colored area into your foundation. Blend in small circular motions using the larger end of the beauty blender as it has more space. For small areas like the nose, use the smaller end of the beauty blender and you can also squeeze it in to make it more narrow as that will be much more effective. Blend until no harsh lines are seen! This is the key to a perfect contour! Be sure to stay within the selected contoured areas as well!

STEP 4: Time to get LIT!

Use your cream or liquid highlighter (1 1/2 shade lighter than your foundation tone) and apply to under the eyes, down the middle of the nose, on the cupid’s bow, the chin and on the center of the forehead. You can go a little crazy if you’d like but just don’t over do it. Then blend by tapping into the skin using a same damp beauty blender. This helps to give a seamless, smooth, airbrush-like finish.

STEP 5: Set and Complete

Using a fluffy powder brush, dust the entire face with a loose powder, preferably translucent so it doesn’t have the ability to change the tone/color of the products used. Then finally, spray that beautiful face with some setting spray- I like to use MAC fix + spray. This is simply to help break up that powdery look and help your makeup to set a lot faster; giving it a more natural, worn look.

 

Below, I have listed the products I used to achieve this contour.

  1. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid
  2. MAC Cosmetics Prolongwear concealer
  3. MAC Cosmetics Studio Conceal and Correct palette in shade Medium Dark
  4. LA Girl Pro Conceal in shade Light/Ivory
  5. MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Translucent Powder.

 

Happy Contouring! 🙂 Be sure to comment and let me know what products you use!

And be sure to click “like” and “follow” so you can get updates every time I post! 🙂