Professional Makeup Products For High-End Taste On A Budget

We would all love to afford the most expensive and lavish makeup brands, but let's be serious! Even for the Makeup Artists that have amazing incomes: it is not practical in the long run to have a kit filled with only high-end products (especially since you can find some equally comparable products that are easily affordable!). Makeup goes fast when you are working a lot, doing multiple looks and people on a job. Also, if you are a beginning Makeup Artist and are already struggling with getting your business off the ground, finances may be slim, and discovering those amazingly efficient beauty brands that don't break the bank will be your saving grace.

In our professional experience, these are the best affordable beauty brands that never cease to amaze us. Of course, keep in mind, it is always about trial and error. Whatever does wonders in the hands of one artist, might not work for you. It's whatever fits with your style and technique - so play around with these options, and find what works best for you and your individual artistry!

1. NYX

This one is a wide range Makeup Artist favorite. It's diverse, with an amazing range of colors and options and it's more than affordable. Somehow, it flies under the radar because (please don't gasp) it’s a brand that can be found in your local drugstores! However, don't be fooled by appearances, NYX always delivers and you'll hear Makeup Artists raving about it. It’s easily accessible for those last minute on the job necessities. May I also mention? The lip glosses galore and lipsticks ($4.55-$9)! They are a must try, definitely don't miss this one.

Try: Their liquid illuminators ($5.25-$7.50)! They give such a natural subtle glow-from-within type of finish. Absolutely gorgeous!


2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics or OCC

What we love about this brand (besides it's catchy name) is that it is vegan, cruelty free and it comes with a very affordable price tag. Founded in New York City in 2004 by makeup artist David Klasfeld, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics started with one singular product (a lip balm duo) and has grown into an extremely popular brand. Best known for offering up colors and textures you didn’t even know you wanted, the line today includes everything from the beloved Lip Tar liquid lipstick ($17) in 60+ shades to OCC Skin ($23), one of the first collections to cater to HD beauty needs.


3. Catrice

Another cruelty-free beauty brand which is also affordable! If you're not familiar with the brand you for sure have been missing out! Catrice Cosmetics is a budget friendly, drugstore makeup brand that has amazing makeup products of the best quality. Also, they have a new 2017 collection that we are all currently obsessed with. They are also well known for their super pigmented and high-end eyeshadows ($2.99+).

Try: Their matte baked eye shadows ($4.99+) are an absolute must!


4. W7

W7 Make Up, the inspiration of two entrepreneurial young men from West London was created in 2002. Their aim – that every woman should have access to an extensive range of high quality cosmetics at an affordable price – is now definitely a reality, thanks to them! The company has grown exponentially within the past few years and now W7 boasts a collection of over 500 products including: nail polish ($5.95), lipsticks ($4.95-$9.50) and glosses ($5.95-$7.95), eyeshadows ($4.95-$19.50) and more mascaras ($5.95-$10.50) than you could dream of. In other words, W7 Cosmetics offers affordable makeup products with great quality and fun fancy packaging. 

Try: Their matte bronzer ($7.95) or nude palette ($7.95)!


5. Coastal Scents

In addition to being easy on your bank account, Coastal Scents is also cruelty-free. If you’re looking for affordable makeup palettes perfect for professionals, Coastal Scents should be your go-to brand. This brand provides the variety you need in your kit—at a fraction of the cost. What’s cool is that they also have individual color selections that let you build your own palette. In our opinion, the Coastal Scents ‘Revealed Palette’ ($19.95) is actually the best beauty budget pick up for those really strapped for cash because it combines the greatness of color options that you would find, for example, in the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 into one great palette. It’s packed with 20 natural eyeshadow shades in a range of matte, metallic, frost, shimmer, and satin finish, shades that range in color from the most basic of beige to the most rocking of taupes. This is a no fail destination palette that will be sure to provide you with that highly coveted natural nude glam look!

Try: Any of their 88 Palettes ($11.95-$14.95) - with a variety of colors in cute packaging!

Makeup Tips To Improve Your Game

Like in every profession, the more you work and the more information you absorb, the more experienced you are! Experience provides you with tips and tricks that will change your work completely to make your work faster and of better quality. The same is with makeup. Some tips you will learn from YouTube videos, some tips you will read about in magazines, you can even go to a makeup school to follow your dream to become a Certified Makeup Artist and they will teach you the foundation of knowledge and provide experience. Additional tips you will learn from other Makeup Artists as you work in the industry and with all of this built up experience you will begin to build your perfect and unique skill set that works best for the Makeup Artist you aspire to be!

In this article, I am going to share the makeup tips that I learned throughout my career that can help you work with clients or can help improve your makeup game if you do it only for yourself:

1. Nothing is more frustrating than when you finish doing your eye makeup and you begin applying mascara and all of a sudden - it gets onto your perfectly blended eye shadows! To get rid of the smudged mascara just wait until the mascara is dry and remove it with a dry Q-tip.

2. If you feel like your mascara is not working effectively as it used to; it may just be dry, of course, but if you bought it recently and it just doesn't do the best job - try to remove extra product from your mascara wand. It will change your mascara game for sure (and prevent loads of clumps)! You can do it on a paper towel or on the sides of the mascara tube.

3. Eyeliner always makes us hold our breath and we pray it will turn out perfectly (even the most experienced Makeup Artist can have their off days!). However, have no fear, it can always be fixed - even if it isn’t straight enough, don't panic! You can fix it with a Q-tip dipped into eye cream and lightly applying on top of the crooked part; this will remove your mistake. Or, you can use a concealer with good coverage to correct the application. Take the concealer on a synthetic flat brush and cover the areas that need to be fixed – never forget to blend it!

4. When you have dry lips none of the lipsticks or colored lip glosses will look good on them (except possibly a clear gloss). To get rid of dead skin on your lips you can use a scrub, or a toothbrush. Go over your lips a couple of times to “exfoliate” and make them baby smooth. Also never forget to use lip balm or any hydrating lip product afterwards! If you do it regularly your lipstick or lip gloss will always look fresh and properly moisturized!

5. If you are looking into more natural makeup removers for your makeup, your search is over! Coconut oil is a great makeup remover.

6. If you forgot to bring blush with you on set or you are searching for a more natural looking blush, coming from within, try to use your cream lipstick as a blush. Be sure to blend, of course. Remember, you can not apply it on top of powder, only on bare face or on top of liquid or cream foundation. Otherwise, it will not blend!

7. If you decide to create a festive look with some glitter, removal can sometimes be hard. So the best tip is to use tape! You just press in onto the areas where you applied glitter and gently pull it off. Go over these areas until all of the glitter is removed - be gentle!

8. Do not ask your clients to smile hard when you apply blush and don't do it yourself. As when a person stops smiling her cheeks will go back down which leaves the blush at a lower spot than intended. This is an important professional tip for mature skin especially!

9. If you want a perfect skin when you are 60, having less wrinkles and lack of dark spots, wear sunscreen today and every day! You should always use sunscreen underneath your makeup as well.

10. Don’t neglect tightlining! Especially if you don't have a lot of lashes, or they lack volume. It changes the eye makeup game entirely making the eyeliner look complete, lashes thicker and lash line full. So many benefits, right?

11. If you still use your brushes to apply and blend out your foundation try to use a beauty blender for blending. Beauty blenders can truly be a game changer! It blends your foundation seamlessly making it melt so invisibly into your skin. It works magic with blending your contouring as well leaving no place for harsh lines!

12. If you don't have time to do a full glam on yourself or on anybody else, I mean foundation, contouring, brows, lips, lashes… Choose brows, they are the most important! As soon as you “wear” brows your face looks framed!

13. The brow game has to be strong! To get perfect brows you have to follow the rule:

a) Find where your brow starts by holding a brush upright along the side of your nose. “1 (shown in the photo below)” this is where your brow has to start.

b) Find your arch by angling the brush upwards through the center of your pupil. Your highest point of the arch has to be where “2” is.

c) Find where your brow should stop by angling the brush towards the end of your eye. The end of the brow will be where “3” is.

The beginning and the end of the brow has to be on the same level, the end might slightly be higher but never lower!

14. If you were not born with thick lashes, never fear, you can use this trick: after you prepped your eyes with primer use loose powder to set it and apply a bit onto your lashes. When you apply mascara afterwards it will give your lashes extra volume!

15. If you decided to go with smokey eyes and decide to highlight your waterline as well to make a bolder effect, do not apply eyeshadow, only use eyeliner. First, it can irritate your eye as the eyeshadow is chunky and its parts can easily get into your eye. Second, it will not stay there! Use gel eyeliners or eye pencils instead.

16. Never leave eyeshadows unblended, especially the darker ones. Unless you are doing an editorial or creative makeup look which is supposed to have this kind of application (for your artistic expression). If you decide to work with darker eyeshadows and don’t feel very confident that you will be able to blend them really well, use lighter colors as transition shades in the crease first and then application and blending of dark eyeshadows will be much easier! Even pro Makeup Artists use this tip!

17. One more tip about working with darker eyeshadows or eyeshadows that fall out really easy. Apply a load of translucent powder under the eye area. If you have fall outs you will dust it off easily with this powder in the end. Or you can use specially designed Shadow Shields for it. They stick to your lower eyelid making the area under your eyes secure from any fall outs. Or you can even use a napkin, lightly pressed under the lower lash line while you are applying the tricky eye shadow!

18. One little thing that can ruin your client’s attitude towards your work is when eyelash glue sticks the upper and lower lashes together and she cannot open her eyes! Be careful! A solution to this is while applying lashes don't ask your clients to close their eyes, instead ask them just to look down.

19. I know there is a ton of makeup products on the market right now, and the amount is constantly growing. It is impossible to buy all of them! I know the struggle is real, they look so beautiful whispering “you need me”. I am a makeup hoarder, I get it! BUT! The thing is that most of the best products are already invented and produced, you just have to really look into reviews to find what will work best for you. Don't play by the makeup brands’ rules which show you so many ads making you want to buy their products even if you already have 10 of the same products at home! If you still feel like you need this new product for your kit, read reviews before buying it and then see if you can test it out prior to purchasing! It is very often that a product does not meet your expectations when you read another person’s opinion and see swatches. I know that we can almost always return or exchange the product that is not right for us but why disappoint yourself after trying out the product without reading reviews? Of course also aside from the money saved – it is time saved and well spent!

You will learn a lot of makeup tips and tricks from everywhere – inspiration is all around you! Keep an open mind that not every product or tip will work for you – this is completely ok. We all have different eyes and face shapes, different skin colors and different skin types! Don’t worry if you cannot make a certain product or technique work. Find the ones that are best for you! It may take a bit of time but you will find it! Trust me!


Top 5 Summer Beauty Trends

For most of us summer is in full swing and we are getting ready to leave work, head to summer events, vacations or holidays! As the temperature rises so does the pressure to do our normal beauty and hair routines. Here are a few simple current beauty trends to cut time during those hot summer days, yet still look effortlessly gorgeous.

Long Whisper Lashes

Long “Whisper” Lashes are all the rage these days and really easy to achieve! Lash extensions can be individually put in by your lash provider. The process takes about one hour and a half and can run up to 75 dollars for the initial session. After, you just need to maintain refills every two to three weeks. The best part about lash extensions is you don't need to apply mascara daily. All you need is a small lash brush to curl them upwards to achieve an amazing natural lasting lash look.

Red bitten Lips

On days when you feel like you have no energy or it's too warm to do a full face of makeup, it's best to keep it simple and rely on one accentuation. There are so many amazing shades of red lipstick, glosses, and balms out right now. The easy going way to achieve just bitten summer lips is to first moisturize your lips with a clear colorless balm, then apply the lip stain or color and smudge with your fingers or lips. This look is amazing for day or night.

Faux Freckles

Some of us are blessed with natural sun spots and cute freckles, some of us are not! If you desire to achieve that freckled sun kissed look, don’t worry, there is a way to ‘cheat’ this often admired look. Makeup Artists have been doing this trick for ages; what you'll need is a small fine brush, brown liquid eyeliner with a fine pen end, and/or a brown toned eyebrow gel pot. Begin with your foundation/moisturizer/powder base, and then individually draw on each small freckle with love. The best area to keep your freckles in for a natural desired look is over your cheeks and nose in one band. Using inspirational photos as reference are really helpful. After you are finished use a finishing powder that is translucent and apply a bit of bronzer powder for a more sun-kissed look.

Natural Curls

Yearlong we apply heat on our hair, day in and day out putting extra stress on our locks. During the summer heat we simply should try to use what has naturally been given to us giving our hair also a much needed vacation! For those of us with curly hair, achieving the perfect curl can still be excruciating! Start by using a deep conditioner on your locks leaving it in for an afternoon relaxing around the house. Towel dry. Then, depending on your hair type apply a light serum or curl crème and let air dry. The important part is to not touch your curls until they are dry! If you do not have curly hair, do not fear, there are ways to also achieve this look! After towel drying, brush your wet hair gently. Then, split hair in the middle, apply serum or curly crème and section your hair off into two braids. Leave in until dry. After dry, use your hands to undo and “mess” the braids, apply sea salt spray and a small bit of hairspray for a finish. Voila!

Crazy Brows

Ever seen someone with such a perfect pair of brows it drove you crazy? For the last year messy, thick brows have been all the rage. Even though they may look “undone”, there is normally a small amount of work behind your favorite pair of messy brows. Waxing with your brow professional is a great way to achieve the perfect shape for your brows. You may also want to consider an old Middle Eastern technique way of brow keeping called threading. The pulling of the skin in waxing can cause later wrinkles, so this technique is best for those that are 30 and older! Threading is a great alternative to waxing. To top off your messy brow look, you may want to also ask your technician for a skin/brow tint. A skin/brow tint provides a little more brow drama by adding color and volume underneath your brows. You can also cheat the darkness by using a darker shade of brow gel and a fine cornered brush.

The most important summer trend of all is to unwind and enjoy the sun! Use sunscreen and drink lots of water and you will glow from the inside out! Happy summer everyone!


All About Eyeshadow Application

When it comes to eye makeup the main desire is to attract attention to the eye, making your art (and natural beauty) stand out! This is a step by step guide to creating correct eye makeup application that will help you complete your makeup like a professional!

The main element you will have to take in account first will be the eye shape. It took me a while to understand why a certain makeup look doesn't look as good on me as on someone else. The reason? I have deep set eyes, and for example, I was attempting to create a makeup look that was modeled on a girl with almond shape eyes. This attempt resulted in my prominent brow bone creating shadows in the areas where I didn't want these shadows to be, which made my version very different from what I was trying to replicate. This example was a long time ago, when first starting my journey into professional Makeup Artistry, and I have come a long way since then – and I’m eager to share these important tips to achieving your best eyeshadow application with you!

1) First, you will need to determine the eye shape you are working with before beginning the makeup application. There are several eye shapes: round, almond, monolid, hooded, small, protruding, downturn, upturn and deep set eyes. When you’ve confirmed the correct shape you are working with, you can move on to the next step.

2) The eye color you are working with on your client (or on yourself) is also an important factor in choosing the right eyeshadow color. Depending on the eye color, some colors can make you look tired while others will make your eyes look bright and sultry. You always have to use products that compliment your eye color. For example, for blue eyes choose oranges, reds and warm browns, for green eyes, purples, burgundy and warm browns or red colors are the ones that will make your eyes pop, for brown eyes any eyeshadow color is destined to look great!

3) If you want the eye makeup to be perfect and professional – you will need to ‘invest’ in some great brushes. There are a ton of brushes on the market right now (and luckily, they really don't have to be very expensive!); Morphe Brushes, E.L.F, or Real Techniques have really good quality affordable brushes! The other plus? You won’t need to have a ton of brushes, it will be enough to have 4-5 varying brushes to apply eye makeup.

Quick guide to must-have brush types: 

1. The soft and fluffy brush is for creating shadows i.e. dimension in the crease, and for blending.

2. A slightly firm and rounded brush is for a more controlled eye shadow application and blending.

3. A flat dense brush is for applying pigmented color onto the lid.

4. A flat and sharp brush is for precise application (you can use it for highlighting your inner corner and brow bone, or for defining your lower lash line, or even for tightlining and eyeliner application.

5. Eyeliner brush, which is the primary option that can be used for tightlining and eyeliner application.

When you have answered all of the above questions (you know the eye shape, you’ve chosen the right eyeshadow color(s) for the eyes, and you have brushes on hand) here comes the most interesting, creative, and fun part—makeup  application!

Below are some tips for a perfect eye makeup application, an example of a professional classic smokey eye: 

· Pay attention to the inner corner of your eye, which always should be a slightly lighter highlight to “open up” your eyes.

· Medium eyeshadow on the lid and the dark eye shadow in the outer corner.

· Or you can even skip the medium and apply a dark eyeshadow to the outer “V”.

· The same goes with the lower eyelid: light-medium-dark.

· The brow bone has to also be gently highlighted to “lift” the brow and to create an illusion of a bigger eye. This is a classic technique that works for all eye shapes. Again, light-medium-dark.

1. First tip is to use primer! Always! This will even out the skin color of your eyelids if you have veins or discoloration, it will make the payoff of the eyeshadow color and pigment much better and it will make your eyeshadows stay the whole day without fading. The benefits to an eyeshadow primer are truly endless!

2. Always use a light hand when applying eyeshadows onto the crease. I think this tip is the most important! It will prevent your eye makeup from cracking and it will make your blending more diffused. Take the brush closer to the end of the wand as it will lessen the pressure onto the bristles and thus will make the eyeshadow application appear more delicate.

3. You should always go from the lightest shade to the darkest in the crease! Prep your crease with the light brown eyeshadow first and then take medium brown and then dark brown or even black eyeshadow. Prepping your crease with a lighter shade will make it easier for you to blend the darker shade later. You can even blend in between each eyeshadow application with a clean brush to make the blending appear more professional. For monolids (such as Asian eyes) you will have to create a crease yourself and the steps going from lighter to darker eye shadow will be incredibly helpful.

4. The darker eyeshadow, the smaller the brush should be. This will make your application more precise to the areas which need to be darker to emphasize your eyes (outer corner, for example). Smaller brushes will give you more control and this is exactly what you need when working with a darker shade.

5. Don’t apply too high on your upper eyelid or too low on your lower eye lid with dark eyeshadows; this exception is if you are looking to achieve a ‘messier’ look with your eyeshadow for the specific style (ie: grunge, goth, rocker, etc).

6. Don’t take too much product on your brush, you can always add additional color later; it is much easier to add than subtract color!

7. If somehow you applied more eyeshadow than you needed and want to dilute it, take a matte light (ecru or nude) eye shadow on a fluffy brush and go along the area you want to make lighter. It will really help you to blend everything. Sometimes light shimmery eyeshadows or pigments can help you even out and blend color even better than matte ones.

8. Tap off the excess every time you grab the eyeshadow from a pan. It will save you from fallouts.

9. Another element that can save you from fallout eyeshadow is applying a lot of loose translucent powder that you would apply underneath your eye area before applying dark eye shadows and then dusting it off when you are finished doing your eye makeup. Though, I would not recommend this technique for individuals who have creases under the eyes as by doing this you may accentuate the creases even more.

10. Don't be afraid of tightlining, it will create a huge difference and will make your lashes look thicker and deeper. It is especially helpful for those with hooded eyes as the skin over the eye will hide the eyeliner. With a hooded eye you can even skip the eyeliner and go straight for the tightlining instead.

Our last tricks:

-If you want any eyeshadow to give you more color and be more opaque you will look to choose a creamy white base underneath (blended out before the final color eyeshadow application).

-If you want your lighter eyeshadow to pop even more you can use a darker base for them, it can be a brown or black eye pencil, or cream eyeshadow, or even a gel liner. One thing that matters is it has to be a cream based product (so that the eyeshadow sticks to it), and it will also be blended out with a white base. Keep in mind, if you use a powder black base the color will not show up. This trick works especially well if you use metallic or foiled eyeshadows or pigments or glitter on top of this base. 

Be creative, experiment with different techniques, find what works best for you and your eye shape and color! Once you’ve perfected these techniques it will take less than 10 minutes to perfectly blend your eyeshadows and make your eyes beautifully stand out!