Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How do I make my eyes STUNNING? Tricks and tips

I have been asking my audience WHAT exactly they would like to hear about... OVERWHELMINGLY, you have said eyes.... Dark circles, puffiness, saggy lids, etc... Let's fix it!  

Ok, let me first say that nature is nature and apart from chemical/cosmetic treatments such as botox, eye lifts and filling treatments, these are things that will HELP, not miraculously cure your issues.  

Let's get down to business... Issue number one--DARK CIRCLES.

I have recently found a product by Maybelline called instant age rewind eraser ... 

Now, let me first say that I DO indeed have "eye issues" but dark circles isn't really one of them.  I have however recommended this product based on my experience, to clients who do have dark circles and from what I gather, everyone has liked this product.  The pigmentation is GOOD and the formula is light enough that it doesn't crease in fine lines.  I was concerned (to say the least) with how I would like the applicator, and have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  If you find that this product isn't enough to cover your dark circles, I think Amazing cosmetics has the BEST and highest pigmented concealer on the market.  I really love this stuff... It is pricey, but a little definitely goes a LOOOOONG way!!!! 

For a long term solution to your dark circles... You may want to seek the advice from a dermatologist or esthetician.  Things like allergies, sun exposure, genetic factors, etc... may all play a role in dark circles

Next issue--PUFFY eyes

Now, before we talk about remedies, let's discuss possible reasons... Yes, it's true, age and genetics might be a main factor, but there are also some things you might consider: not enough sleep, excessive sodium intake, sinus problems, crying, etc... So making sure you know WHY you are experiencing puffiness might be a part in your long term solution... Until then, let me clear up a myth... I get asked a LOT about hemorrhoid cream for under eyes.  The simple answer is this is false.  Creams like this contain vasoconstrictors, which simply put will help shrink blood vessels, but aren't so good for the sensitive/thin skin under the eyes.  I have further been advised that the ingredients (Shark oil and a live yeast cell derivative called Bio-Dyne skin respiratory factor) which was most active in such creams was "yanked" by the FDA and companies were forced to reformulate their products... For this reason, such products containing these ingredients--(including Preparation H) are not available in the USA.  

Drinking a lot of water, getting plenty of rest and using a GOOD eye cream is a better call on puffiness... 

Saggy/Wrinkly eyelids... I guess this isn't really as much of a remedy as a tip.  If you feel you have wrinkly or saggy eyelids, DO NOT (and I repeat DO NOT) use eyeshadow with a lot of shimmer.  The shimmer settles in the fine lines and draws attention to your lids.. You are better off using a matte shadow.  Furthermore, a good eye cream, lots of water and plenty of rest will help :)  

I hope this helps... There are a lot of hereditary issues when it comes to who has wrinkly lids, puffy eyes, etc... but we can do certain things to help minimize those symptoms.  I will ALWAYS say, be healthy and your skin will reflect that!  

Megan Can be contacted at

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Holiday spectacular

All of the hustle and bustle of the holidays is officially OVER and all I can say is PHEW... LOL  Just wanted to recap some of the beauty related things that took place over the past few days...

I committed a MAKEUP blunder on Christmas EVE... LOL... OOPS... I planned on wearing a sparkly black top to church on Christmas eve, so I did my makeup (purple smoky with MAC stars and Rockets and some silvery sparkle in the tear duct) then I decided I did NOT like what I was wearing (women... yea we do that.. LOL)... SO!!!!!!!  I wore RED with purple eyes... I laughed it off (texting my sister, Amy who is an AMAZING Makeup Artist and her laundry list of celebs she has worked with is too braggy to even discuss--lol I digress...) Amy said "I am doing the same thing"... GREAT!!  Hilarious... So I kept it!

Speaking of Amy... We like to get each other some of our favorite products for Christmas... She got me a GHD (AHHH...MAZING--*STAY TUNED*full review coming up in a few days) Flat iron to replace my Wigo...

additionally, some new MAC products and I got her the AVON liner I rave about.  Her comments when she swatched it were "WOW this is super smooth"... YUP... it is a GREAT liner!!!!!

Other products I received were a Dermalogica intensive eye repair and a moisture boost which I am STOKED to try because my skin gets pretty dry in the winter.

Other beauty products... I got the ZUCA sport PRO bag I had been expecting :)  So... I have officially retired my NYX train case.  It was a nice train case, but I really overworked that puppy... LOL

It was a great Christmas and I really really hope everyone also had a WONDERFUL one!!!  Hit me up on Facebook to talk about your new product discoveries... I love it when people share their awesome finds!!!

Contact me at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

confession and skin care...

I am starting this blog with an embarrassing confession!  (bear with me...)

Skin care.... EVERY good makeup artist, understands the need to have beautiful skin.  It's like having a smooth canvas to paint on or painting on gravel.  I have been plagued with sensitive/oily skin which only means one thing--ACNE/blemishes are nothing foreign to me... GROSS!  I hate it, it has been so embarrassing to me (especially in my late 20's) that I did not want to leave my home, go anywhere, etc... I tried for a short while a VERY expensive product that had a special acne line... Because of my sensitive skin, it broke me out so bad!! I have NEVER had acne like that... EVER!!!!!  And here I was, almost 30 and I have adult acne.. SIGH... It was a very difficult time in my life (if you have been through this, you understand).

I am not an esthetician, but I am blessed with a sister who is... She gave me facials every 2 weeks, got me OFF of the "boutique" skin care that was obviously too harsh for my skin... and got me on the road to "semi-normalcy" .  It has been a QUEST for a long time to find products that are gentle enough for my sensitive skin, yet help my acne.  I have received samples from SUPER kind people--but I feel like I cannot get a good "read" on a product unless I use it for a month or more.

So, I have been using a skin regimen that seems to be working (not miraculously, but it's working nonetheless). I have been using the dermalogica special cleansing gel for many years... It is really good for a gentle cleanser!  The proactive Gentle formula is relatively new to me.  I made sure to use it for at LEAST a month before reviewing and I actually like it.  Everyone should get their skin assessed by a PROFESSIONAL, but here is my routine:

Wash Face with Proactiv Gentle cleanser
apply Proactiv clarifying day lotion (Gentle formula) (notice, no toner at this time)
Apply Cetaphil face moisturizer
*Continue with primer and makeup

Remove eye makeup with makeup remover
Wash face with Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
Use Proactiv toner (Gentle formula)
Apply Proactiv clarifying night lotion (Gentle formula)
Apply Cetaphil Facial moisturizer
Apply Dermalogica Total Eye care

**I have used the regular proactiv, but I found it to be too harsh for my troubled skin. I have known MANY MANY people who it worked marvelously for and only led to FLAWLESS skin!

I still get in for a facial when my schedule permits... It REALLY helps!!!!  Don't neglect your skin!  Drinking plenty of water will help also...

Megan can be contacted at (

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to clean makeup brushes (and prevent acne)

It is REALLY important to clean your brushes regularly.  Most people say once a week is sufficient, but some (like me) will need to clean and disinfect much more often.  WHY?  Because brushes can be a host for bacteria and also hold onto dirt--causing clogged pores and acne in some cases.  I tend to be a little over the top with my brush cleaning.  As a makeup artist, I can't take any chances... I spray with disinfectant in-between clients  and wash all brushes before and after every job.

How to clean your brushes...

I (like many) routinely clean my brushes with baby shampoo.  It's gentle and does the trick while preserving the hairs on the brush.  Sometimes I use a clarifying shampoo just to get a little deep cleaning...I would say once a month.  Most people say you should "wash your brushes twice in baby shampoo."  While that is probably an ok approach (remember, I am a little over the top), baby shampoo doesn't disinfect--it only cleans.  So, on the second shampoo, I use an antibacterial hand soap just to be safe.

Squeeze the excess water from the brushes, making sure you preserve the shape of the brush.  Lay flat (overnight) to dry.

Extra credit: for natural hair brushes--conditioning your brushes once a month is suggested.

Brush Cleaning tips:
DO NOT... Soak your brushes--you can loosen the glue in the ferrule (the metal piece that connects the brush head to the handle)

When using a highly pigmented color (like Ruby Red Pigment or Night Star by MAC) clean your brush right away--these colors can bleed off on the next application, creating a mess.

Never stand your brushes up to dry as this can damage the glue in the ferrule also.

Make sure you reshape your brushes when they are wet.

Megan Can be contacted via

Friday, December 16, 2011

What makes someone attractive?

This post if for the scientific minded makeup enthusiasts out there… I have alluded to MANY clients about the balance of their brows.  It ALL relates to symmetry… (see below) Makeup is ART but also science.  There was a big study which assessed that a person is attractive because of their symmetry.  See the findings of surgeon Stephen Marquadt here…

The theory is called “the Golden Rule”… Is examines symmetry and the attractiveness of a FACE.  Now, how does this apply to makeup?  Awesome... While this is very fascinating, and I LOVE to hear the theories and studies such as the ones above, from an artist perspective, I can use this info!  Balancing thing out on ones face, whether it be a lip, eyebrow or creating a shadow is CRUCIAL to proper application.  Many of my models have symmetrical issues (ok, EVERYONE does) but knowing these rules and theories really gives me (and all of you reading this) a LEG UP!  All you have to do is balance out the symmetry (or create the illusion)!!!!

Now, somethings (in my opinion) make people unique and often MORE beautiful... For example, Cindy Crawford's mole... 

AN exception to the rule of symmetry is ALWAYS viable... Kate moss is a prime example.  

Having said all of this... If someone is ugly on the inside, we MENTALLY flip a switch and they become ugly on the outside... I am sure we have ALL met someone who is "nothing special physically" (Ugly Betty ring a bell?) and gotten to know the amazing person on the inside and BAM!!!!  Beautiful!  Just like that, our brain changes everything... The rules and theories are only so good... They are a guide that we can use to help us in things like makeup application, but DEFINITELY NOT carved in stone :) 

Eyebrows...DID YOU KNOW??
*your arch should be at it’s height If you measure from the edge of your nose to the outer edge of the pupil 
**the length of the brow lines up with the edge of the nose and eye (use a makeup brush to measure). 
***the inner part of the brow should line up with the imaginary line from the edge of your nostril...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pigments galore

This blog is ALL ABOUT PIGMENTS... How to use them, my favorites and why you should use them as opposed to traditional shadow.  I hope you enjoy!

Let's tackle the BIG issue--What the heck are they and WHY use them???
(I use MAC pigments but there are others out there--I just prefer MAC)  Pigments are basically HIGHLY pigmented loose makeup (mostly used on the eyes, but you can do SO much with them).  The reason many people prefer them to traditional shadow is because they are LOADED with color!!!!  There is no dispute that they pack a COLOR punch.  The concern is that they have a load of fallout (color drops below the eyes) but you can counter act that by tapping off the brush and applying foundation AFTER your eye makeup.

I like to pack on the pigments by using a MAC 239 brush, pack the color on the brush using the lid of the pigment and PAT on the color on your lid (or wherever you are using the pigment).  I also prefer Painterly Paint Pot, as the pigments stick to this (IMO) better than traditional primers.  You do not need much, so beware!

Foiling: this is a technique we use to get that "wet" look... Some pigments almost look like METAL when applied correctly... It's a GORGEOUS look!!!  How to foil: pack the color on your 239 brush and spray a little MAC fix plus (or mix the pigment in the lid or another small dish,) then apply by patting/packing on the color.  It leave a GORGEOUS shiny look!!!

Another favorite use... Make your own LIP GLOSS... Yup, you can mix pigment with clear gloss and make GORGEOUS pigmented glosses.  I love RUBY red pigment for this!!!  AWESOME!

TOP 7 MAC pigments
1. Blue Brown--it's duochrome... So it looks different depending on the light... awesome by itself, foiled or applied over a black base it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!  Definitely a MAC staple!

2. Naked... RUN OUT and get this one!!!!  It's perfect for everyone, shimmery and serves as a highlighter, lid color or brow bone color... STAPLE FOR SURE

3.  Ruby Red--Make a Lip Gloss or use as a BEAUTIFUL lid color.  This is for the brave souls... LOL  I just love it!!!

4. Vanilla--AMAZING highlight color!!!! Has pink undertones in it

5. Copper Sparkle--it's pretty chunky so I like it foiled on.

6. Reflects Gold--it's a FINELY milled gold sparkle glitter.  PERFECT for the holidays (I Think this is a PRO color)

7.Melon--It's so pretty... what a great neutral melon color (yes, it is really melon)

Of course there are others that I LOVE, but I had to give you a few ideas.  I started off with a TOP 5 and it turned into 7...LOL

Questions: or hit me up on Facebook!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The primer issue uncovered (plus a secret)

 I was recently posed with a question what prompted me to delve into some terms I use more closely.  My hope is that this post clarifies some products for you as well as helps your makeup last ALL day.

The question I was recently asked was basically (I am paraphrasing) an athletic woman stating that because of her oily skin, her makeup basically melts off before her day is half way done.  I think this is a common problem and there is a HUGE remedy (and honestly pretty simple) and I am going to divulge my secret to you for a AMAZING primer. 

Speaking of  Foundation primers… Let’s talk about those.  What the heck is a PRIMER anyway?  A primer is a cream/gel product that you apply after you cleanse and moisturize your face, just before you apply foundation (I usually wait a few minutes after I apply moisturizer).  The purpose of a primer is to help makeup stay put on your face for 8-12 hours.  Does it work?  ABSOLUTELY!!!!  If you are extra oily, you can try an oil mattifier.  MAC makes a product called SKIN REFINED ZONE that is nice (use only in the T-Zone on top of primer)… But there are other companies that make GREAT mattifying products (Mary Kay has one that gets high marks, I personally have only sampled it—I worked out and makeup didn’t move at ALL!!!)

Back to primers…
There are also eye primers.  I have discussed this a lot on Facebook.  ( purpose of these is not only to allow your makeup to stick to your lid better, but also make the shadow more VIVID.  I won’t put eyemakeup on without a primer… YES, it works.  Concealer can be used as a primer also… I prefer MAC Painterly Paint Pot, especially for oily skin/lids. 

TOP Recommendations: (these are Primers I have tried and these are my UNBIASED opinions… I bought these primers with my own money and am not sponsored or paid for my reviews)

Best Overall (this is my secret): Monistat Chafing gel –I read about this from some WELL respected makeup artists and HESITANTLY gave it a whirl… I have been using it ever since!!!  It is cheap, works amazing and HECK, isn’t that all we need??? Don't be scared, it's not "vag cream" that's NOT it's purpose... LOL  But it is one HECK of a primer!!!

Let me try to explain how GREAT this primer is... When I was at the MAC store a month ago, I was chatting with an associate about the "technical end" of makeup.  He said they had a class with a "well known" makeup artist from France and he stated HE used Chafing Gel instead of the UPPER end ones... WOW!  (Trust me here!!LOL)

Best For sensitive skin: If you have sensitive skin, Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot is wonderful.  There are lots of anti bac properties that make this primer great for troublesome skin.  

Honorable mention: Palladio herbal primer—Worked pretty well, packaging was an issue for me though.  (I don’t really like their eyeshadow primer… VERY similar to Urban Decay, just WAY cheaper—too wet for me)

**some other tips for locking makeup on... Use a good setting product like MAC Prep and prime translucent finishing powder or Makeup Forever HD powder. As a LAST resort, Finishing sprays can be used... But I wouldn't use those daily.  

I really hope that clears it up… As always, post on my Facebook wall orEmail me ( if you have any questions J

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 beauty trends I am happy to see come to an END

I feel the need to put a disclaimer on this one. ..These are my opinions and wheras there are exceptions to these rules, many people can take a trend and COMPLETELY overdo it.  I think in the case of these trends, less is more…Some people can pull off these looks and look stunning and HIP, while others take it to a new height and look like a Peacock on crack...LOL

1.      . Feather extensions: Ok, don’t get me wrong, feathers are fine.  I am just OVER the extensions and clip ins.  I am ok with earrings, accessories, etc… but I saw a woman in the nail salon who had at LEAST 20 multi colored extensions… She looked like a deranged peacock.  The feathers were fine while they lasted, but they have gotten a little out of control!

2.       Spring brought us a trend… BRIGHT colored eyeliner…. SAY WHATTTT?  No thanks… This was an AWFUL trend that was only mainly seen on the runways, mainstream makeup didn’t really get caught up in this (rightfully so).  Goodbye yellow and HOT PINK eyeliner… BLECH!!!

Another Spring trend was slicked back hair.  One word… GREASE!  Eew…

Foldable flats?  I am not sure I ever got this… Cute?  Yup, but are they good for your feet?  I dunno, I don’t have any but seems like there wouldn’t be a sole. 

Bright colored highlights.  Maybe it’s my age or the fact that I grew up in the ages of “rainbow bright” but I don’t get it… GOOD BYE bright locks… Please don’t come back! 

Orange lipstick… OK OK OK, maybe a coral in the summer was accaptable, but Summer 2011 brought some OUTRAGEOUS shades of orange.  This works in editorial print and the runway, but shopping at the local Target and seeing a woman with BRIGHT ORANGE lips is a bit bazaar…

7.       Speaking of Summer 2011, Colored Mascara was in… ADIOS colored mascara!  Ok, I can see a subtle plum or brown, but some of these colors were…well YIKES

There were some AMAZING makeup trends in 2011 also… Red Lips, Pin up liner, bronzed and metallic smoky eyes… AMAZING looks!!!!!!  But remember in the case of trends, don’t overdo it.  (See GORGEOUS examples below)