Tag: red carpet

go after what you want. what’s stopping you?

February 6th, 2013 — 7:47pm


Perhaps the most difficult part in pursuing a goal lies in the first step: identifying it.  This post isn’t about the makeup products I used to create a smokey eye on the talented and beautiful Amanda Seyfried before she walked the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards the other night (although I freakin’ loved how it turned out).  It’s about making a commitment to yourself to live your life to the fullest, and at the risk of sounding super corny: working your way towards your own red carpet walk.

Since launching this blog just about a year ago, I’ve received a great number of emails from readers telling me that I’m doing what they’ve always wanted to do.  Nine times out of ten, they’ve asked me for advice on getting into the industry. Each of those messages came from an artist who had the courage and drive to reach out and take steps towards obtaining their goal. I’m so impressed by each aspiring makeup artist who’s written me, and I can’t stress enough: continue to reach out to people who are doing what appeals to you, learn everything you can about what interests you, and keep reassessing your actions and behaviors to be sure that they remain in line with moving towards your goal.  There’s no reason for stagnation if you don’t want it. Know that you’re in charge of your path, and there’s no reason why I can be doing what I love to do, and you can’t.  I’m not saying I haven’t had really sucky times pursuing makeup – I’ve definitely endured people who were mean to me, or dismissive of me, and I have a pretty thin skin, and felt the effects of it each time. I definitely still feel my heart sink when I hear that a job I was hoping for canceled, and at times, when I’m not focused and in a positive mindset, I let that kind of news overshadow all of the good stuff that’s happening.  It’s human nature, but rarely is it productive.

I’ve read a ton of articles about the common habits of successful people. Success can be defined in many different ways, but for me it definitely isn’t rooted in money or celebrity. It has to be based in feeling happy, productive, fulfilled and connected to others – that’s when I feel my most successful.

These are some of my favorite strategies of working towards a goal:

1. Focus: Make a plan of action, thinking first about the big picture, and then outlining the smaller steps it’ll take to get me there. Write it all down, and fully visualize it happening.

2. Find ways to feel eager and enthusiastic about doing the goal-reaching work every day.

3. Manage my time, plan everything, but be open to the need for revisions, make lists, stay organized.

4. Accept that there’s a ton of stuff I don’t know and am not good at, be forgiving of my own weaknesses, and be adaptable as I strive to learn every single day.

5. Be proactive and self-sufficient! Don’t wait for someone else to lead me towards my goal. Utilize others’ who are in positions I admire; ask questions, watch and listen.

6. Build a community of support around me: know which friends and family members are best suited to offer support and love as I work towards my goals.

I marvel at the talented models, actresses, writers, singers and dancers on whom I have the pleasure of not only applying makeup, but actually getting to know on a personal level.  I’m incredibly inspired by people like Amanda, who at such a young age, has made a solid name for herself because she is driven and focused and open to possibility.

My goal with this post is to inspire you to close your computer, close your eyes, and close in on what it is you’d like to work towards. I’m going to follow my own advice now, and do the same.


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How I created Gwyneth’s red carpet sizzle-y navy/gray/black smudgy eye

November 15th, 2012 — 3:58pm

I’ve been on a Gwyneth Paltrow high lately. Recently Ms. GP ran a post on her fantastic blog, GOOP, that included a few paragraphs from me, on my favorite runway looks for the fall season. Soon thereafter she booked me to do her makeup for a big red carpet fete, called the Golden Heart Gala, which honored Michael Kors, and benefited his charity of choice (you know I loved this!): God’s Love We Deliver. GLWD is the NYC tri-state area’s leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. I volunteered in their kitchen at one point, and I certainly used to connect my clients with them, back when I was a social worker. They provide such an important service. I’m grateful to them, and to Mr. Michael Kors (a fashion designer, for those not familiar (who would that be?)) for making a donation to them in the amount of 5 million dollars. HELL YEAH!

Now back to Gwyneth, who I’m convinced has more energy than any other human being.

The look she rocked (sleek ponytail, fantastic Michael Kors cut out black dress) including the makeup look I concepted for her, was picked up by countless online magazines (and a few in print) and heralded as a stunning ensemble from head to toe. I agree, she looked incredible.  I’m happy to say that I pushed for the darker eye, and Gwyneth agreed to take the risk, because I thought the graphic shapes of the dress needed the complement. Do you think this much about the shape and color of your eye makeup when you’re picking out your clothes? If GP were looking down at the floor, you’d see how the sheer gray eyeshadow covered her entire lid up to the crease, and then blended heavily into the bottom portion of the crease. I then pressed navy blue shadow pigment along her lashline and along the bottom half of her lid, and then along her bottom lashes. It looked really cool, and perfect for this time of the year.

Here’s a cut-and-paste of the how-to-get-the-look article that ran on Glamour.com, written by Petra Guglielmetti (thanks, Petra!) two days after the event:

Makeup artist Katey Denno, who created this look, was kind enough to reveal her how-to. “The hard edges of the dress told me that her makeup should be minimal and focus on one feature,” she says. “She suggested a smoky eye, but I took it a touch heavier than she’s used to; luckily, she liked it! I love her in a dark smoky eye, particularly with a little navy and gray blended with black. I opted to forgo lining the inner rim, which I felt gave her smoky eye a softness.”

Here are the exact steps and products you’ll need to recreate Gwyneth’s eyes:

1. Curl your lashes and apply several coats of CoverGirl LashBlast in Very Black (that’s my fave–read all about it here!) on top and bottom, then comb your lashes once they’re almost dry.

2. Smudge Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Navy along your lashes and blend it up into the lid, as well as along the outer corner of the lower lid.

3. Press Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in Dark Grey into the outer V shape of your top lids, up to the crease.

4. Smudge Vapour Organic Eyeliner in Black along your top lashes and the outer 1/3 of bottom lashes.

Doesn’t sound too tricky, right? I really think this would be such a wearable look, unlike 90 percent of the red carpet stuff we see. 


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I love these looks I did on the gorgeous Felicity Jones: smouldering eyes, perfectly pink cheeks, sheer, natural lip color.

July 15th, 2012 — 8:51pm

Over the past few months, you may have seen this lovely English actress in all the fashion magazines as the new face in the Dolce & Gabbana ads(she nudged out the beautiful Scarlett Johansson), and pretty soon you’ll see her on the silver screen opposite Warren Beatty.  Felicity is a dream to work with. Not only is she really as sweet and funny as you’d hope she’d be, she also has a cool, defined style, yet she’ll let me play with her makeup a little bit to keep each red carpet look interesting.

This is one of those looks that works on many women, regardless of your age, skin tone, and comfort level when it comes to doing your own makeup: play up your eyes with a little smudgy liner, swipe on tons of mascara, (experiment with false lashes if you dare) and keep the rest of the face looking like you’ve just had some good exercise…or a little too much red wine: ever so slightly flushed in the cheeks. Not everyone will look right in a pink check and lip, but a similar pale shade to complement your skin tone  (could be a minimal bronzer on the cheek and a tawny lipstick if your skin tone is deeper) which shouldn’t be too hard to find.

As you know, I use a mixture of ‘green’ and mainstream products on most of my clients. As I’ve said before, I think it’s about limiting your overall exposure to certain ingredients, and if you have a specific black eyeliner that you adore that smudges just perfectly and stays put all night, then by all means, don’t feel badly about using it.

In all honesty, I don’t remember exactly which products I used on Felicity in each of these lovely images. I do know, however, exactly how I could create them using 100% good-for-you cosmetics. I love that the ‘green’ beauty products industry has come this far!

  1. Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light: For this look, a more matte complexion than what I normally like is in order. I skipped the face oil massage I usually do, and spot moisturized very lightly where needed.
  2. I love a smudgy black eye. Vapour Organic Beauty makes a deep black liner that smudges well and can be layered for intensity. I use a small blending brush to smudge the liner around, and into the lash line.  In the first photo I wet what’s called an ‘eyeliner push brush’ – a row of flat edged bristles that allows the creation of a sharp line – and dipped it into Alima Pure  Satin Matte mineral pigment eyeliner and pressed it along the outer edge of Felicity’s top lashes, creating a slight upturned cat eye.
  3. In the final photo I used a soft fluffy brush to sweep a sheer, reflective taupe shadow called ‘magnetic’ from Kjaer Weis, under her bottom lashes.
  4. In all photos, of varying degree, I swirled one of the following onto the very top of her cheek: RMS lip2cheek in ‘Smile’, Kjaer Weis cheek cream in ‘Blossoming’, and set it with one of the following: Dr. Haushka blush in Natural Pastels, Rouge Powder Duo or Korres blush in #16 Pink/Rose. . I swept the face with a large soft brush to blend the cheek color seamlessly.
  5. Felicity being a fan of a neutral or pale pink lip makes this part super simple. I love that she knows I’ll ask her if she’s exfoliated her lips when I arrive to do her makeup, and generally beats me to the punch, showing me the washcloth she’s been gently rubbing against her mouth. For the natural look she likes, try using ‘Caramel’ or ‘Strawberry’ Lip Shimmer, or ‘Honeysuckle’ tinted lip balm, both from Burts Bees, the new fuchsia lip shine from RMS Beauty in ‘Sublime’, or the Tinted Lip Conditioner from Ilia in ‘Nobody’s Baby’.
  6. I’m not usually a fan of a powdered face, but this look asks for a little powder in the t-zone. I like each of the three from Jurlique; they have different scents associated with different skin types, but with how minimally I tend to use them, I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in performance.

In general, my favorite part of any look is the lashes. It’s fun to layer on the mascara or really play up the drama with a strip of falsies, or with a few individual clusters spaced along the outer edge of the top lid. Send me your photos via my Facebook page of how you do this type of look on yourself. I can’t wait to see!

Thank you, lovely Felicity, for wearing my art work so well.


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