Tag: beauty

recreate the look I gave the STUNNING Genesis Rodriguez for a recent red carpet premier

October 15th, 2014 — 5:41am


This radiantly beautiful woman is the most amazing crossover Latina actress and singing sensation, Genesis Rodriguez. She’s GORGEOUS and the image of her on the right, with that super cute and genuine smile, is how she looks in person 95% of the time – smile central. With such a positive and loving disposition, she’s easily one of my favorite clients. I’ve seen her treat the hotel bellman with the same high level of respect and gratitude for his services, as she does her mother. It’s inspiring and impressive.

All of that aside, she’s also one of those faces a makeup artist wants really badly in her portfolio. She’s got a look that’s just so versatile, with such great features, and she really does glow from the inside out.

I ran into her in the airport recently and she told me she was excited about adding another date to the premier schedule of the film Tusk, in which she stars. When I got to her house to get her ready she adorably told me and her hairstylist that she wanted to go for a slightly Brigitte Bardot look, but would be open to whatever we thought. Gregory Russell, a master of hair, whipped her long silky brown strands into a cool low messy twist/bun thing with a bump at the crown, and I closed my eyes, daydreamed for a minute about the perfect look for the dress and hair, and then let my thoughts flow through my hands. We were all so happy with the end result!

Here’s what I used to give her the perfect look to glow her way into the cooler temps and richer tones of the fall:


On her skin:

Skin was toned with a few sprays of Jenette Be Happy toning mist

5 drops of Yuli facial oil was massaged into her skin, including the delicate skin on her neck.

I slightly evened out her complexion using Vapour Organic Beauty cream foundation

Under eye concealer from Mineral Fusion created a perfect canvas.


On her cheeks:

A cream cheek color called Courtesan from Vapour Organic Beauty was swirled onto the apples of her cheeks, atop a thorough application of Desired Glow, from Kjaer Weis.


On her brows:

I created the shape using Eco Brow dark brown gel and then made them even more lush using a bit of brow powder from W3LL People
On her eyes:

Since we’d discussed a Bardot look, I knew I wanted a black flick of a liner, plus a defined crease. Instead of the typical black or gray, however, I wanted the warmth of copper to be the backdrop for some serious lashes. I buffed a bit of  ‘Luminous Copper’ from W3LL People, into the crease of her eye, and a light bit of it, mixed with a shimmery gray, ‘Zen’, from Alima Pure, under her bottom lash line. (shimmery gray only went under her bottom lashes).


I knew we needed some serious black liner with serious staying power that I haven’t yet found in the world of all naturals, so I turned to two of my favorites: Stilla liquid liner with a felt tip, and Makeup Forever gel liner.


On her Lips:

This is where I’ve learned as a makeup artist that I can never expect what I do to a face will read as I’ve done it in photographs. The lipstick blend I created for Genesis to complement the rich Hughes of grey, green, and purple in her dress, was a deep reddish mulberry – and wound up looking like a bright red. Go figure!

I used: Burt’s Bees new lip crayon in Napa Vinyard, mixed with two Ilia Beauty lipsticks –‘Ink Pot’ (so sorry – ink pot might’ve been a limited edition!) and ‘Arabian Knights’.

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The super beautiful Lizzy Caplan at the 2014 Golden Globes

January 14th, 2014 — 5:12am


Have you seen ‘Masters of Sex’ on Showtime?  This beautiful woman stars in the groundbreaking series, and although it didn’t win a Golden Globe this year, I’m quite sure it will in years to come.  Lizzy Caplan is all around awesome, and WOAH – that face! I’ve wanted to paint on her since Bridesmaids, and I was lucky enough to have the honor to get her red carpet ready for yesterday’s Golden Globes awards show.  I’ve learned that in cases like this, when my client is just as gorgeous as can be with a naked face, my job is to keep her makeup as simple as possible.  Hear that? It’s not about the makeup, and I’m okay with it! Particularly when the dress has such a high wow-factor; a gold beaded gown from Pucci does not need to compete with my desire to give everyone a dark smokey eye and magenta lip.

So here’s the rundown on how I accomplished this beautiful minimalist look:

This is a little behind the scenes shot of my makeup set up (Lizzy’s freshly painted nails typing away in the upper right corner) just prior to starting getting her ready:




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Alexis Smart Flower Remedies

August 18th, 2013 — 10:57pm


Late one night while I was in LA this winter, I was trolling the internet, and  came across a store selling small blue bottles filled with liquid. The print on the label read: Alexis Smart Flower Remedies. How curious. The link took me to Alexis’ website, where I very quickly read about her, and learned that an interested buyer could go so far as to have a consultation with Alexis – a skilled flower remedy practitioner – and that she would mix up a special batch for that person, tailor made to treat their woes.  I erroneously came to the conclusion that these little bottles contained essential oils for aromatherapy purposes, and I decided I would contact her immediately for a consult since I’m so often helped by pick-me-up scents in the afternoon, and calm-me-down scents in the evening (and when I’m freaking out).

I read through the comments on Alexis’ website. Person after person had left her glowing reviews. It seemed that through working with Alexis, everything from anxiety to depression to over-eating to acne and even irritable bowel syndrome could be eradicated. The reviews were written in such different voices that even my skeptical nature – thinking that the owner of the site wrote all the comments – was quelled. I emailed her immediately to ask for a  consultation so that I, too, could find scented relief from my worst ills.

The response email from Alexis was so kind. She invited me to come in, and gently stated that it seemed I didn’t fully understand what kind of practitioner she is, or what was in the little blue bottles, but that she would explain when I arrived.

My consultation with the beautiful, soft spoken, kind, and intuitive Alexis lasted about an hour, and consisted of me telling her about myself – how I’ve come to be who I am,  how I deal with the emotions I experience, past hurts, thought patterns, physical ailments – you name it; Alexis said she was the detective, trying to learn every little thing she could about me, as she wrote down key pieces of info that would lead her to making the contents of my little bottle.

She asked me a handful of questions, wrote and then crossed things out on a notepad–all the while, making me feel extremely comfortable – and then when I’d shared enough, she began to tell me so much about myself – things I knew, but hadn’t ever been able to put into words. She told me how the classifications of flower remedies worked, and then we discussed which ones she thought I needed to take. I agreed with everything she suggested.

How would I know it was working, and what exactly would it do to me, I asked her when she returned from the kitchen with a little bottle on which she’s written the ingredients and my name. She smiled and said: you’ll just know. For me, this wasn’t sufficient, and I asked again: but how long until most people feel like it’s working? Alexis’ response was the best visual ever: I want you to picture you are a loaf of bread, standing on one end. I’m slicing off the top end, looking in at all of the holes, and pouring the remedy over the top. The liquid knows where to take itself, how to navigate the holes, and soak in where it’s needed.  It can heal old wounds we didn’t even know were causing us problems and make us feel whole and vibrant when we didn’t know we weren’t. If you want to know more about flower remedies,  Alexis breaks it down into pretty simple English here.

I’m about to request my third bottle (with each new bottle, you consult with Alexis about what’s going on with you, what changes you’ve seen, what you’d like to see), and I can honestly say this: Flower Essences are powerful, real, and Alexis Smart knows her stuff. In addition to the emotional stuff she’s helped me with, without a doubt she’s helped clear my acne. That alone has me indebted to her for life!

She offers pre-mixed versions of the little blue bottles on her website and in select stores around the country. She’s also available for in-person and telephone consultation sessions. I’ve sent a few friends and clients to her since we met less than a year ago, and each has reported back glowing reviews.

I’m about to enlist some friends to take part in a little beauty experiments using Alexis’ Beauty Formula No. 8. I’m very excited to see how this goes. Keep ya posted!

Everyone, meet Alexis:


and this is the view as you approach her house:


I can’t wait to go back!


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Get The Look Numero Uno: Sheer taupe eye with a 2-dimensional red lip = Shazaam!

August 20th, 2012 — 8:02pm


Today marks the start of a beautiful partnership.  Spirit Demerson, founder and owner of Spiritbeautylounge.com, the wonder woman who introduced me to so many fantastic green lines of makeup and skin care, and I, are teaming up to bring you ‘get the look’ blog posts.

I do the makeup while on a photo shoot, take the model’s picture at lunchtime, and send it off to Spirit to pair it with images of the products I used. Hallelujah!  This will make it so easy for you to quickly ‘get the look’, because you’ll be able to see the exact products I used, read how I used them, and click on the link to Spirit’s site to buy them. Couldn’t be easier.

To kick things off, please allow me to present the lovely Canadian model, Marla Boehr.

I prepped her skin by massaging in a few drops of Ila Rose Oil to combat the in-flight dryness I saw around her eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth (She’d just flown in from Canada).

On her skin:
On her t-zone I sparingly pressed liquid foundation from Vapour Organic Beauty in number 125 and to make the finish look like bare skin, I lightly pressed it in with a slightly dampened beauty blender sponge.

On her eyes:

1. All over the eye area I pressed Kjaer Weis’s charmed shadow in a very sheer application with a medium domed brush. I blended it from the lid up all the way to her brow, sheering it out the further away from her lid I got. I swept some underneath her bottom lashes from edge to edge, as well.

In the crease of her eye I pressed a more tightly-domed shadow brush topped with  Kjaer’s shadow, Wisdom, and used a fluffier domed shadow brush to really blend it into the crease. I took what was left of the shadow on the tightly-domed brush and concentrated the placement of it under the iris, while using a cotton swab to barely blend it towards the edges.

In the inner corner of her eyes I pressed Kjaer’s shadow, Cloud Nine, which really made her eyes pop.

On her cheeks:

2. Onto a soft-tipped fluffy, but not densely packed brush, I blended together Ilia’s ‘All Of Me’ and ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and swirled it onto the apples of her cheeks. I used the same sponge I used on her t-zone to gently blend out the edges.

On her lips:

3. & 4. I used a combination of Ilia’s ‘Femme Fatale’ and Vapour Organic Beauty’s ‘Siren Ravish’ lipstick.  I first pressed Siren Ravish into her lips, and had her mash her lips together to really stain them. Then I applied Femme Fatale with a brush over top of the deeper shade, Ravish, and had her press her lips together a few times to really combine the colors.  I finished the application by gently tapping the pads of my fingers over her lips to soften the texture. Combining the two shades on the lips in this way creates a real depth to the mouth and wears wonderfully.

Finally, these are not products that Spirit has in her online boutique, as they’re not ‘green’, but I really like how they look and haven’t found an alternative that I like quite as much.

On her brows:

I used Laura Mercier Brunette Brow Pencil and Paula Dorf Brow Powder in Neutral

On her lashes

I used Covergirl Lash Blast in very black – very sparingly on top and bottom.

I’ll be testing out using different cameras for these how-to’s. This one was taken with my cracked-screen iPhone, which I think will be going into retirement.  Regardless, Marla rocked this look incredibly well and everyone on set loved it. Note: We were shooting clothes for the Fall, when lip color gets more deep and eyes become a little more intense. Try a purple, a burgundy or a brownish-red this Fall and you’ll be totally on-trend.

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VOGUE.com features my guide to going green for Spring!

April 19th, 2012 — 11:08am

I couldn’t be more excited to share this article from Vogue.com:  Makeup Artist Katey Denno’s Guide to Going Green for Spring

I really believe in the brands I recommend in the article, and have actually had the pleasure of getting to know some of the people behind the different product lines, as I always want to know the story-behind-the-story of how they got their start, and what keeps them going.

A HUGE thank you goes to the beautiful and brilliant Catherine Piercy, Beauty Editor at Vogue.

Thanks to photographer Jason Brownrigg for snapping these shots while I was working last week, and to the lovely model McKenzie Raley for sharing the photo with me.


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Hi! It’s so great to finally meet you.

February 19th, 2012 — 6:40pm

I love being introduced to someone for the first time. Whether it’s the new client I’m working with, the model who’ll be posing for the pictures, or the celebrity I’m getting ready so she can look her best as she walks the red carpet, I delight in every part of it.  I love the feeling of the unknown, of the: wow! anything-can-happen-here.

A first meeting presents a world of opportunities for all of us: we get to choose which parts of our personality we want to show that day, and we get to work on bettering our listening, connecting, and sharing skills. Plus, the sky’s the limit on what amazing new things Mr. or Ms. New-To-Us is going to bring into our lives.

As a makeup artist in the fashion and beauty industry in New York City,  I meet at least 1 if not 25 new people a week at work. It’s a lot to keep organized in the address book of my mind. However, out of all of these 1st time meetings, It’s pretty much a sure thing that at some point, whoever sits in – or hangs around – my makeup chair is going to ask me something about moisturizer, lipstick, or how to best curl their eyelashes. By the time we’ve known each other for a little while (often this happens within the first 30 minutes of meeting) we begin mixing in other topics – from love, old hurts, nutrition, yoga… The list of things I’ll yap about is endless.

This blog is like all of that for me. I imagine you as a new person in my makeup chair, ready to let me help you look and feel your best, both through the stuff I’m going to put on your face (or in this case, write about putting on your face), and through the way I’m going to relate to you, and the information I’m going to share with you.

I have many ideas about how this blog will go over time, but I’m not tied to any of them. I’m just open to possibilities and excited to be here. I’ll be telling you about everything from my day-to-day work as a makeup artist, complete with how-to photos and videos, as well as products I’ve found, researched the heck out of and believe in, and in addition, information about ways to keep yourself feeling good physically and emotionally. Finally, because I still have a lot of social worker left in me (my prior career), I’ll be sure to include posts about ways we can all be more actively involved in affecting change in our communities, and highlighting how people I know and admire are making a difference in their worlds.

I’m also very much in to living a healthy lifestyle, so I’ll be incorporating non-toxic beauty products and  things of that ‘green’ nature, in posts whenever I can.  I feel like there’s a real push in the collective consciousness towards this and I’m super stoked to be following on the path of the short list of other makeup artists and skin care experts who are pioneers in this realm.

Thank you for reading my first post. I hope you’ll read more.

I don’t know where I first heard this saying, but I really love it:

Every best friend was once a stranger.

Welcome to my life, my new friend!

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