Monday, April 27, 2015

Latest and greatest

Falling behind on blogging again, per usual. The last few months has been extremely fruitful with work, especially for winter into spring. I'm super grateful that March felt more like May. No, not the weather, but with bookings. I'll take it!
I was fortunate to work on a couple of styled shoots recently. One of them, I curated and creative directed, as well as did makeup for and the other I was a last minute replacement.
Amy Ann Photography was the shooter for our boho chic inspired creative collaboration with Trousseau Bridal of Powell. Shannon Goode did hair, I did makeup and creative direction, amazing paper flowers from Paper Blooms by Lea Gray Design. Models are Saundrine, Kallista and Rose. Beautiful!

The other creative collaboration, I was invited to participate from Ashley Henry of Henry Photography. Michelle Buzaki did hair, Ivy Bridal studio provided gorgeous dress and accessories, the Diamond Cellar provided bracelets and the model was a former bride of mine, Brittany.

And real life brides of late are too many to count, but I will add some pretty pretty pics of them!

I loved Kelli's color scheme and tea length dress. She and her friends/family were an intimate and fun group.
Marie was a friend of a former bride from 5 years ago! I loved getting to work with the group of British girls. So chic and cheeky.
Leigh is a class act. Beautiful girl, graceful and as genuine as can be. She is exactly how she looks in this beautiful picture.
Katie was a sophisticated woman with great taste. Pleasing her meant a lot to me and her wedding was SO beautiful. It was held at the Columbus Museum of Art. She got married to an Irish guy and I had the pleasure of working with his Mother and Sister, who were really interesting.

This stunner is Laura. I just did her wedding a couple of days ago. She was so easy to work with and almost too easy to make look this great. One of my favorite faces that I've worked on!

Kyra has no idea how beautiful she is. She was the type of bride who knew what she wanted, but needed reassurance. I knew she would be nervous on her wedding day, but once I finished and she looked in the mirror- we were both thrilled. It's not that she was hard to please (at all!), but she was insecure and wanted to look her absolute best. So so absolutely gorgeous!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Where do you shop for makeup?

I get this question all the time! And frankly, if you knew HOW much I shop for'd understand why it's such a difficult question to answer. But in all seriousness, I love products and discovering new items so much that it's an endless quest.
My usual haunts are everything from the super low low end: Big Lots (you never know what closeout you can score!), Marc's (their prices are unbeatable in the regular cosmetics section and occasionally they have closeouts that are rock bottom); the regular low end: CVS, Walgreens; the middle end: Ulta; the high end: Barney's, Nordstrom; and the professional brands: Makeup trade shows and Naimie's supply (in Hollywood, but I order by phone). I also have individual pro discounts to Nars, Stila, Smashbox and Make Up For Ever and will sometimes order direct if they have exclusives.

More often than not, I want to know what is new at the drugstore, because I find that it keeps getting better and better! Drugstore brands are often owned by the high end companies (LVMH and Lancome, for example) and have more money than the boutique companies to launch products that compete with very pricey items from the high end brands. I often stock the low-end things in my personal stash to use them before buying them for my kit. Not every item that works for me personally will work for using on many clients.

Let me share with you a few items that are longtime favorites from the drugstore:
#1 holy grail mascara is Jordana Best Lash Extreme. Make sure to get the tube that has lavender writing! Only $3 and much better than most $26 mascaras. Really.
Rimmel brow pencil in Hazel. There is something about the consistency and color of this pencil that works for almost everyone. It's taupey brown, so anyone from medium blondes to medium brown hair can use it. My hair is currently reddish and I set the pencil with a reddish powder. It runs around $5.
L'Oreal gel eyeliners in bronze, espresso and black. I use these in my kit. They glide on perfectly, blend if you want or keep a nice crisp line too. I know many artists that swear by these.
Rimmel lipsticks in the Kate Moss collection. The texture and colors are SO good they rival many of the Chanel lipsticks I love. Great nudes, pinks and reds for all skin tones.
Revlon lip butters: It's been said many times, but I also love these babies. They don't last, but they look so pretty and feel so good.
Jordana twist and shine balms are even better than the Clinique chubby sticks. Great color payoff, moisturizing, long lasting and I love the color selection. Don't let the drab package fool you: The nudes are STUNNING on the lips!
Garnier makes a concealer rollerball eyecream hybrid that I use on tons of clients. It's enough concealer for most people and hydrates the area while it brightens. Did I mention it's only about $12 and there are often coupons?
NYX HD foundations are as good or better than MUFE HD foundations they mimic. Great color range, wonderful flawless texture (will hide fine lines, pores etc) and will work on dry or oily skin beautifully.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation is a great option for a sheer payoff. It's buildable and my absolute go-to for summer skin when I don't want anything to feel or look heavy, plus I have a little color from the sun and don't need as much anyhow. A really good option for normal to drier skins,
Pencil liners in the waterproof gel formula only from Rimmel and Jordana. Similar to the Urban Decay waterproof gel pencils. Don't accidentally grab the older version pencils from either of these brands as they tug and you will curse me ;)
Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I apply it lightly with a brush and it does what it says without looking heavy and cakey.

New products I'm hyped about in the last week (it's that time of year that the companies launch a LOT):
L'Oreal came out with a fabulous new foundation that alleges to last 24 hours and stay matte. So far, it's just fantastic! The coverage is super high without the heavy feeling- honestly, weightless and amazing coverage. The colors run a little dark though. I usually go for the 3rd lightest color as the very lightest is usually super pale and the 2nd lightest tends to be regular pale. I'm in the "light to medium" category and the 3rd color is 1 too many. Just a heads up :)

Maybelline partnered with a makeup artist to develop a few new items including my new favorite concealer: master conceal. It's in a tube, so easy and hygienic application, coverage is medium to full and it actually sets without getting dry looking. You can easily layer this for even more coverage. I also like that it works under the eyes or anywhere on the face since it's so lightweight, yellow-neutral in undertone and non-reflective. I have been using Hard Candy glamoflage for years as my personal high coverage concealer for under my eyes. My under eyes have always been and always will be DARK. I like coverage. Moreso than almost any of my clients want or need, so I haven't carried Glamoflage in my kit. It doesn't set, is VERY heavy and tacky feeling and most people wouldn't like how opaque it is. I personally love it, but the fact that it won't set drives me bonkers. Along comes Master Conceal: It isn't heavy or tacky AND it dries down...less creasing BY FAR. Impressed.

Jordana just came out with a new liquid eyeliner applied via skinny little brush. It looks skinny enough to be a felt-tip marker style, but it is the perfect little brush. I got black, of course, but it comes in brown and a few fun colors. I hope this sticks around because so far I'm so impressed that for just $3 I can get a straight and skinny black liquid line that doesn't budge all day.

Almay just launched a similar lip product to the Revlon lip butters and the colors are even prettier and the texture is a bit less soft, which is a good thing. So far- we're in a serious relationship. I haven't said the "L" word yet....but I'm close.

What don't I love from the drugstore? Any foundation from Cover Girl has made me instantly break out and they tend to feel really heavy. Most eyeshadows are overly shimmery, low on pigment, too hard or too soft or just NOT right. Blush is usually no color payoff, hard to blend/streaky, or overall disappointing color or longevity. Most concealers and foundations are terrible, heavy, chalky, pointless, ineffective.

There are exceptions, of course. Milani is doing well by blushes and eyeshadow for drugstore, NYX blushes are actually really nice.

What I'm saying here is, let my ridiculous need to know every product on the market be your guide to say "yay or nay" to any products out there.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 in a nutshell

This banner year came with such amazing highs and yes, some not so amazing lows. Originally I wanted to make an achievement list to cannonize this as my best year on earth ever. And it was, truly. But a true retrospective must capture the good and the bad. And in remembering 2014, it will be critical for posterity alone, to be honest that while it was AMAZING, it also had some challenges. For those of you starting businesses in makeup, anyone self-employed, working in the wedding or production industry or dreaming of doing it- you must know that even when we reach what we always dreamed for, reality is that nothing in life makes you immune to things like health scares, family problems or difficult clients. That being said, I want to draw MORE attention to the good and great things that I am so grateful for in 2014!!

I had the pleasure of working on about 70 wedding parties, 15 senior photo shoots, 10 engagement shoots, 6 rehearsal dinner looks, 5 bachelorette looks, 4 wedding shower looks, 5 prom attendants, 4 commercials, 4 corporate videos or days of photos, 1 infomercial. I was the personal artist for 2 high profile people, 16 promo/headshot/modeling pics, 10 live television segments for national news, 1 fashion editorial for a magazine, had brides on 2 major wedding blogs (wedding chicks and style me pretty), developed and taught my first ever bridal beauty group class alongside my dear friend and colleague Kelli Ramey (beautimarkedbykelli), held individual training for various makeup artists, worked with several photographers on more than a dozen boudoir shoots, taught 15 makeup lessons to clients, and did the grooming/makeup for a major label band's promotional pics (Warner Brothers Band Family Force 5). That was just in 2014! And I want more, always. More weddings, more commercials, more photo shoots.....
For those who ask if I "stay busy" being self-employed as a makeup artist in Columbus, Ohio....there you have it. It gets better year after year.
To cap the year off, I found out that I won the "Best of the Knot" for the 4th year in a row, which means I'm in the coveted "Hall of Fame" for The Knot! That is something I have dreamed about for years. I am so so proud and happy to have that honor given to me.
And just when you sit back and breathe it all in and feel a little mighty and perhaps....cocky, you get a call to find out that 2 people (same wedding) wrote negative reviews on another site. I don't want to dwell on this, but know that I think sometimes having someone say to you that they weren't happy with you makes you rethink how you approach clients. Was I taking them for granted? Did I perhaps become a little too big for my britches? Hey, I'm human and part of that is failing. And I'm putting attitude in check big time in 2015.

 I cannot say how much it means to me that someone chooses to work with me with all the choices that are out there. I love what I do. I love almost everyone I have the privilege to work with and the fact that I get to do something so connected to a person's most special day should never be taken lightly. I am not bulletproof, no matter how many years I do it. No matter how many awards I get, clients that adore me etc. Someone can get on the internet and tear me apart. And I have to be ok with it, learn and adapt to make sure I stay humble. I'm not a robot, I'm not a guarded person without opinions. Anyone who has spent any time with me can tell you that. And I don't want to lose what sets me apart. And I'm not even sure that I could if I tried. But we are all a work in progress and I always want to be a better version of myself.

Most of you who know me won't think it's valid since I go above and beyond for my clients. This year alone I helped a bride find a new photographer the week of her wedding when hers went AWOL and I lent a dress to a client who was in my home studio about to go to her bridal shower when her own dress's zipper broke. I return emails 24 hours a day so clients don't have to wait for answers to their questions.  I can and will do almost anything to make clients happy and I hope to continue to do that as well as stay grounded and open to criticism when necessary.

All this being said, outside of my work, I also hit some milestones and saw some great places through the year. I turned 40 (eek!!) in August and decided I must go to France to celebrate. I spent 12 days in Normandy, Paris, Toulouse and other little areas of the South Central parts of France in late August with my husband and good friend. I also got a chance to see parts of the US that I hadn't before: The Grand Canyon (by way of Vegas) in January, Arkansas (by way of road trip with a friend) and Washington DC (if you don't count a brief 8th grade trip!). This year was my 5th opportunity to attend the Makeup Show, this time in NYC and also spent a couple extra days visiting my dear friend.

Through the 2nd half of the year, I had a long and drawn out health scare that turned out to be a very small issue after many tests, surgery and an MRI. I don't do well with any of that, so in a way, it was a hurdle to get over and I'm proud of myself.

I started doing light running and participated in my first 5k. I NEVER thought that would happen. The high that felt afterwards was awesome and I know that it won't be my last.

I lost my last grandfather. We were fortunate that he lived into his 90's and to have a Grandpa in your life for 40 years is rare. So I'm mostly grateful to have gotten to know him as an adult. He was sharp as a tack, funnier and wittier than most comedians and someone whom I will always have as a sort of guide post. Would Grandpa Garblik be proud of me?  Then I'm on the right track, because he would definitely be the one to tell me otherwise. He knew everything...did I mention that? ;)

Finally, I had several opportunities to volunteer with Harmony Project and Dress for Success. In Harmony Project I got to visit the Women's Reformatory in Marysville, Ohio and sing with the women. They are so grateful to us for doing something that we all love to do and therefore, it is the most heartwarming thing you can imagine. Dress for Success also brought me to do a fashion show. And the women who were about to be released got to dress in strong fashionable clothing and have hair and makeup done and strut a "runway". I think I cried the entire day. More gratefulness.

In November I decided that I had enough time in my life to take in a foster dog. In came Harvey, a shihtzu mix. He's still cuddled up to me as much as he possibly can and I can't believe that I have to let him go soon. I'm sure this little love will be adopted soon and I will have to do the selfless thing and let him go so that this time next year, I can take in another little one.

December rounded out with a Harmony Project performance at the Ohio Theatre to 2000 people where I had a solo that fronted the choir of 230 people. What a feeling!

Soaring highs and crushing lows. That's life. I hope to continue to have the opportunity to soar in 2015 and that the lows of 2014 fade into the background more quickly.

Some moments in pictures.....

Jay and I before a friend's wedding in February. Jay was the officiant.

A new headshot taken by Rachel Figueroa

Stay beautiful, inside and out.