- Leanne on Cynthia’s Christmas Wedding in Holyoke, MA
- rachellisamua on What’s the deal with airbrush, anyway?
- Liz Washer on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- Tammy Thompson on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- lisa johnson on Beauty Resolutions: Keeping Things Clean in 2013!
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Monthly Archives: January 2012
Originally published on AlwaysNewYou.com
The smoky eye is one of fashion’s mainstays, and clients are always asking how to achieve one that makes a statement but is still wearable. Here are my top five tips for creating a modern take on a sexy smoky eye:
1. You can achieve a smoky look with any color – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dark color – as long as you concentrate the shade at the lash line and blend, blend, blend out to nothing to achieve the signature dark-to-light gradient. That’s the essence of a smoky eye, and done well, it can look great on anyone! Choose a small, dense, fluffy brush to blend out the color.
2. One fast way to achieve a smoky look is to start with a smudgy line of eyeliner (a soft kohl pencil works best). Next, grab a damp cotton swab and smudge out the line into a haze of color, concentrating the intensity at the outer lashline and working slightly up and out to give your eye shape some extra lift. Then set with a corresponding eye shadow shade to keep the look long-lasting.
3. Worried you’ll look too intense? Heavy, black, up-to-the-eyebrow raccoon eyes can look cool on the runway but overwhelming in person, so definitely start small and focus on blending from the lashline, without adding blocks of color. Most people look better in earthtones and neutrals, so choose soft taupes, warm browns or even dusky plums to start – and pick shades that enhance your eye color, rather than overwhelming it, to give you a modern edge.
4. Matte and satin shades will look less intense (and more work-appropriate) than sparkly colors, and strong eyes are made wearable when paired with clean skin and soft lip colors – so stay away from glittery eyeshadow, vampy lipsticks and heavy lipglosses when wearing smoky eyes to the office.
5. Whatever shape and color you choose, spend time blending out the edges. Smoky eyes should never have a harsh line in the crease where the color stops – instead, the colors need to be blended out to nothing. Apply the color with one brush and then blend with a clean, soft brush to keep from adding too much additional pigment as you work. Use a shade of eyeshadow that is close to your skin tone or a tiny bit lighter to diffuse the edges and achieve that perfect gradient.
Originally published on HowtoBeaRedhead.com
I’m a skin junkie. What does that mean? (Hint: it’s not as naughty as it sounds.) As a makeup artist, it means that I am a fan of the colors, variations, and textures present in people’s skin, and I believe that makeup should beautifully enhance our uniqueness, rather than homogeneously masking it.
For many redheads, freckles present a unique challenge – you might have some blemishes or redness or unevenness that you’d like to correct, but how can you do that without obscuring your oh-so-sassy spots?
1. Don’t take the word “foundation” too literally. You don’t have to plaster your entire face with base. Once you’ve found a good color match, apply only where you need coverage and let your healthy skin shine through! In the photo above, I concealed only under the eyes, around the nose, and wherever I saw a blemish, as I didn’t want anything to take away from her natural skin.
Liz’s product picks: Make Up For Ever Invisible Cover HD, Face Atelier Ultra foundation
2. Sheer it out! Sometimes we do need a bit more coverage, but we still want our freckles to take center stage. If you already stick to sheer products like tinted moisturizers, you’ve got that “covered” – but if not? Make your own! A full-coverage liquid or cream foundation can be thinned with moisturizer until you achieve the perfect level of coverage. Got a bit of redness under those freckles? Start with a sheer layer of a green or yellow color correcting primer to neutralize the flush, and then apply your skintone shade on top. Use a translucent powder to set.
Liz’s product picks: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer (green & yellow)
3. Add some sun. Many freckly faces are also fair, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the pasty pink family for your cheeks! Freckles look beautiful against a soft touch of bronzer. Look for a color that’s a shade or two lighter than your freckles–not too taupe, not too orange, and not too sparkly–and apply it lightly along your cheekbones, forehead and the bridge of your nose – anywhere the sun would naturally hit your face. (Dusting a little on your neck is also a good idea if you’re particularly fair there.) This will give you dimension, warmth, and the color will complement your freckles beautifully, rather than making them look ashy.
Liz’s product picks: Benefit Hoola, NARS Laguna
To showcase your freckles, start with a very light application and stick to products that can be built up to the amount of coverage you need, where you need it. And if you’ve accidentally covered a few of your precious spots in the process? Just grab a cotton swab and a gentle makeup remover and proceed to lift the veil!
On a beautiful Saturday in June 2011, I made the short trip to Emily’s Bed & Breakfast in Amherst, MA to do Melissa’s wedding makeup. And might I say, what a cool place! I’d never been there before, but check out their website – I loved the unique rooms! Discovering a new place so close to where I live is always a delight.
Melissa, who made the trip back to Amherst from her home in San Francisco (hooray for Western MA destination weddings!), was getting prepped with her bridesmaids in the Carriage House (the “Janet” room, named for a local author). Like many B&Bs, the lighting there is very soft and romantic, so to do makeup I was glad I had my Glamcor Lighting Kit – sometimes you’ve got to shed a little light on the subject! Melissa and her groom both prefer the natural look, so she opted for airbrush makeup and very subtle shading, with a bit of gold to bring out her eyes – nothing too dark. Naturally, I had to add a few individual lash clusters too!
Photos by Cronin Hill Photography
Thanks to the brides who have reviewed me on WeddingWire and shared their experience with so many others, I am pleased to announce that Makeup Artistry by Liz has won the Bride’s Choice Award for 2012, in the beauty/health category. (I am one of only two award recipients in this category & region, and the only winning artist based in Western Massachusetts!)
I absolutely love what I do, am grateful to have the opportunity to do it, and am beyond flattered that brides recognize and appreciate my hard work and skills. I’m looking forward to more amazing weddings this year and beyond!
Well-deserved congratulations to the other local vendors who made Bride’s Choice, including several I’ve had the pleasure to work with: the Springfield Marriott, Cronin Hill Photography, Seth Kaye Photography, Forget Me Not Florist, & Eutopia Events.
EDIT: Here is the official press release from the WeddingWire network:
Local makeup artist & entrepreneur wins Bride’s Choice Awards 2012
[Northampton, MA] – January 24, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce that Liz Washer of Makeup Artistry by Liz has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Beauty & Health.
The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, Liz was selected based on her stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.
Makeup Artistry by Liz is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.
“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Makeup Artistry by Liz for her continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”
“I am so honored to be acknowledged as one of the top beauty professionals in Western New England,” said Liz. “I would like to thank my past clients for taking the time to review my services – it is thanks to their positive feedback that I was named Bride’s Choice for 2012. It’s such a meaningful validation of the work I love to do!
About Makeup Artistry by Liz
Recognized for her natural touch and eye for color, Liz has been a fixture behind the scenes at shoots and events since 2005. She specializes in beauty for the commercial print and video industry, and is an accomplished bridal artist. Proficient at HD makeup application (including airbrush), she has trained with pro artists in Boston and NYC, and is an active member of The Powder Group. Credits include Essence, Stuff Boston, Serene Comfort, Jackson & Connor, Boutique Week, and the Hallmark Institute of Photography.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire™, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.
See, I have dry skin. And it turns out, I have skin that is very sensitive to harsh cleansers. For the better part of, oh, 2005, I was scrubbing my makeup off every night with a combination of Baby Wipes and Clean & Clear foaming cleanser. I had to work especially hard around my eyes, because eyeliner is stubborn, particularly the kind that actually stays on all day. I was stripping my skin with harsh cleansers AND scrubbing and tugging at my skin while I did it. Not good.
The result? Rough, patchy, dry, alligator-like skin ON MY EYELIDS! Words cannot convey the yuck.
A friend finally took pity on me and introduced me to DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil, which has been my Holy Grail ever since (and, when you’re a product junkie like me, long-term brand loyalty is a rarity). It’s gentle – I don’t have to tug and scrub – and it takes EVERYTHING off. And, unlike regular olive oil, it rinses away easily. You don’t need much, either (one or two pumps is usually enough for my whole face), so it lasts a long time. I use DHC’s Mild Soap after the oil to leave a clean surface (and no residue) behind – the soap is fabulous for dry skin like mine – and then follow with a rich moisturizer, especially in the winter. Another plus? I use both products to deep-clean my makeup brushes, especially brushes that have been used with an oil-based product (like lipstick) – it gets EVERYTHING out!
The key to removing REALLY long-wearing products is patience. There are water-resistant liners, mascaras, foundations, and lipsticks out there that are NOT kidding around. Instead of just splashing your face and rubbing frantically, try saturating a cotton pad in the oil and holding it against the stubborn makeup for up to a minute. That will help break down the product and make removal easier, and minimizing rubbing and pulling of the skin. (I think the toughest thing I ever removed with DHC was one of MAC’s Pro Longwear lip colors… that stuff basically had to be saturated, and then slowly chipped off of my lips. It was like removing a UV gel manicure!)
If you don’t have a product like this in your arsenal and need to remove waterproof mascara or eyeliner PRONTO, you can use plain ol’ extra virgin olive oil. Use the same strategy: dip a few cotton swabs or pads in the oil and hold them against the stubborn makeup to start breaking it down, before you gently scrub and rinse. Then you can look forward to waking up the next morning WITHOUT those charming black globs in your eyeball! Other natural oils can also work well, too (avoid mineral oil). But I like the DHC because it has the added benefit of rinsing away very easily so you’re not left with residue.
I love it this product so much that I get samples of it whenever I can to give to my brides. My only request to DHC would be to sell (cheaper) bagged refills so I wasn’t always purchasing a new dispenser! Other than that, I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about this cleanser. There are others like it, but I haven’t felt compelled to stray ever since this one cured me of my alligator eyelids seven years ago.
So even if you have oily skin, don’t fear the oil-based cleanser. Oil is much better for your face than a harsh, chemical-laden soap, and it does a much better job at removing longwearing makeup, too!
(This article also appeared in the Jan 2012 issue of the Wedding Day Sourcebook.)
Wondering how to look your absolute best in your wedding photos – and in person? Here’s how to avoid some all-too-common makeup mishaps, and put your best face forward on your wedding day (or any day)!
1. Bridal beauty – ALL beauty – begins with the skin. The better the condition of your skin, the better your makeup will look and the less of it you will need. However, skincare is not something to undertake impulsively in the last few weeks before a wedding or special event. In fact, dramatically changing your regimen can cause MORE breakouts in the short term. Instead, find products that work for your skin type early on, and if you want to get a facial or other skin treatment, make sure your skin has time to recover (a week or more before the event is best). During your engagement, be sure to protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen so you don’t have a burn or sun damage to cover up on your big day. To bring on the bridal glow: exfoliate, moisturize, eat well, sleep, and drink lots of water!
2. Your eyebrows provide the frame for your beautiful face, and their shape is very important, but don’t overdo it: a natural brow is far more youthful and flattering than a thin, heavily plucked one! Your best bet is to get a professional brow shaping from an esthetician, and then maintain their shape. Before you pluck out any hairs, brush your brows straight up and carefully trim the tips that reach above your brow – you may find that you don’t have to pluck as many as you thought. This will keep your brows from becoming too sparse.
3. A lot of brides think they have to wear “heavy makeup” in order to look good in photos – but in the age of high-definition photography and video, cakey foundation and heavy contour lines will not look natural or flattering. Be sure to opt for a lightweight, flexible finish (such as airbrush) that provides coverage where you need it, but still looks like real skin and won’t crack when you smile. Avoid using foundations that are sparkly or reflective, as this can make your face look shiny or ashy in photos, and only powder where needed so you don’t look overly dry or chalky.
4. Depending on your plans, your budget, and your cultural traditions, weddings can be a lengthy affair. The makeup you wear has to stand up to a lot: tears, hugs, kisses, weather, and your skin’s natural perspiration and oils. Professional makeup products are formulated with better pigmentation and longer wear than most consumer products, and professional makeup artists specialize in applying makeup that can withstand all kinds of conditions. This is why so many people – even women who do a great job with their everyday makeup – hire a pro for special events. (Even Kate Middleton, who famously did her own wedding makeup, hired a pro for lessons before the big day!) Your wedding calls for a look that looks flawless in person, in every type of lighting condition, on camera and video, from day to night.
5. Heed professional advice, but remember: your wedding style is entirely up to you, whether classic, trendy, offbeat, or anywhere in between. The best way to communicate your vision with makeup artists is to share pictures of looks that you like, which your artist can adapt to your features and coloring. Ultimately, the most important thing is to be true to your own sense of style. Pro artists want you to love the look, so don’t be afraid to share your ideas and feedback!
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I had the strangest coincidence this year – two brides with the same first and last names, whose weddings were just over one month apart. How often does THAT happen? Anyway, here’s “September Jessica,” who wanted soft, natural makeup for her beautiful outdoor ceremony at The Log Cabin. I so love that mountaintop view!
Jessica’s look was created with Temptu airbrush foundation and bronzer, a light peachy blush, soft pink lips, and a combination of earthtones, creams and soft gold shadows on the eyes. Here’s a quick snap I took at the salon when she was finished:
And here are the wedding photos!
Photos by Dani Fine Photography
Hair by The Lift
I am so thrilled to finally share “Country Chic” from Style Me Pretty Massachusetts! We had a beautiful day and not only did I get to do some fun makeup (a modern take on a vintage look, complete with cateye liner and bright pink lips), but I got to help out with prop staging & visit two beautiful locations in the Valley. See the full shoot here (be sure to click on the image gallery to see all the cool details!)
Here are some of my favorites from the day:
BIG LOVE to everyone who made this shoot possible!
Photography: Sandra Costello, Studio SMC, South Hadley
Hair: Andrea Clifford, Salon 241, Northampton
Bridal shop: Bridal Heirlooms, South Hadley
Hat and bow tie: Jackson and Connor, Northampton
Jewelry: Rebekah Brooks, Northampton
Flowers: Forget Me Not Florist, Northampton
Bakery: Bakery Normand, Northampton
Paper goods: Essentials, Northampton
Venue: Mount Holyoke College and a private residence, South Hadley