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This year I was lucky enough to attend PBA Beauty Week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here’s a little bit about why I was there:

As an esthiology student at Aveda Institute Charlotte, I applied to become a Beacon winner, which is an annual nationwide contest for cosmetology and esthiology students focused on the business and marketing side of the industry. Though Beacon, NAHA, and Cosmoprof have much more to do with hair than make-up, I applied anyway. I had to do 3 before and after pictures and create a marketing piece for myself, in addition to submitting a professional resume. I was thrilled to find out in May that I was one of 100 winners nationwide, and the amazing company that owns my school, Beauty Basics, paid for my flight and hotel in Las Vegas for the weekend of July 30 so I could attend! I’m hugely grateful to them for sending me over to get a taste of Beauty Week. Thank you BB!

As Beacon winners we were set up with a unique schedule of seminars and parties that allowed us to hear from motivational speakers, manufacturers, distributors, stylists, and salon owners, including some of the industry legends. As I said, most of this was directed toward hair stylists, but I still took a lot away from all the speakers and their advice. We got to attend exclusive parties and mingle with tons of people, and we also got to attend the North American Hairstyling Awards. If you didn’t know, NAHA is like the Oscars of hair. It was a fun night hosted by Miss Tabatha Coffey herself.. I’ll post pictures of that soon!

I stayed in the Luxor, which is connected to Mandalay Bay, where all of the Beacon, NAHA, and Cosmoprof events were held. I got to meet a bunch of other Beacon winners from schools that Beauty Basics owns; my roommate for the weekend had just graduated from Aveda Institute Dallas.

I met a lot of great people and took away a lot of really solid advice from the various speakers we heard from. Stedman Graham (yep, Oprah’s boyfriend!) was the opening speaker, just to give you an idea! He’s actually a great entrepreneur and motivational speaker in addition to his famous relationship. ;)

For now, here are the before and after pictures I sent in which won me a place in Vegas. I will list some of the products I used if I can remember what I used… it was done way back in March!

Katelyn’s wearing a custom-mixed lip color, Sable and Twinks eyeshadows, and Stud for her brows.

Amber’s wearing MAC Faux lipstick, Macroviolet fluidline, and Top Hat eyeshadow in the crease.

Nicole’s wearing MAC Hollywood Nights lipstick, Coygirl blush, and Feline eye kohl.


I am so excited about The Makeup Show NYC happening this weekend, and more excited that for the first time in 3 years I’ll be there! (See my posts about the 2008 Show here & here.) NARS Cosmetics will be exhibiting for the first time ever, and are joining some of the best brands in the make-up industry like MAC, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, stila, and Anastasia Beverly Hills (among others) at this year’s Show.

When I went to The Makeup Show in 2008, I was a fairly new make-up artist, still working at MAC and totally enthralled with the industry. It sounds corny, but going to this show introduced me to Anastasia Beverly Hills, a brand I’d only ever heard about because it wasn’t yet in Nordstrom’s around the country, and it totally gave my interest in make-up a new direction. Now I’ve graduated from esthiology school, left MAC and continued freelancing on my own, and I’m just as bright-eyed & bushy-tailed as ever about The Show. It combines some of the greatest make-up artists in the industry with the best brands in the industry and goes even a step further by offering (free and by-reservation) hands-on workshops, seminars and keynotes on make-up products, applications & techniques. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and experience more.

I will be there all day on Monday, browsing, shopping, and catching some of the keynotes on the floor. I hope you’ll say hi if you see me there!

PS. Don’t quote me on it, but I have a sneaking suspicion MAC will begin selling their Surf Baby collection at The Show this weekend… we’ll see!


So, I’m not sure if I announced here that I was going to be attending Aveda Institute Charlotte to begin studying to get my esthetician’s license. I started back at the end of October, and I am actually more than 4/5ths through my program already! Time flies and all that.

Anyway, back in December, my school held try-outs for their first ever Artistic Team, and I knew that I had to try out as the make-up artist. The team has four hair stylists and only one make-up artist, so I was a bit nervous. I knew that I wanted to do a few trial runs because on the day of the try-outs, we only had 1 hour to prepare our model for judging. My friend Katelyn volunteered to be my model, and she did a fantastic job!

This was the picture I was largely inspired by. I thought the blending of the red shadow with the slight gold tones was gorgeous.

Even though I wanted to do make-up that was edgy, I also wanted it to be beautiful and technically well done. I’m not super into crazy/fantasy make-up with loads of swirls and glitter and rhinestones just because I think it’s very easy for it to look messy and… amateur. So, this is what I decided to do!

First make-up trial run:

USEDStudio Fix Fluid
Blushbaby Blush
Blunt Blush
Bare Canvas Paint
Blurburry Shadestick
Blanc Type Eyeshadow
Ruby Red Pigment
Rose Pigment
Reflects Gold Glitter
Rapidblack Penultimate Liner
Stud Eyebrows
Brick Lipliner
Party Line Lipstick
Amorous Dazzleglass Cream

While I was really happy with how the eyes turned out in this one, I knew I had to change my lip combination before the try-out. Even though Party Line is much more plum in real life, the combination of Brick lip liner and the red undertones in the lipstick made it turn REALLY red in pictures. I wanted it to be red, but a deeper, darker red, so I tweaked the combination a little.

Make-up done for try-outs, in a little less than an hour: (I have a picture of her looking straight at the camera, but the color in the picture is verrrry wrong, making everything look more purple than it really is, so I won’t post it.)

Studio Fix Fluid
Blushbaby Blush
Dainty Mineralize Blush
Blunt Blush
Pink Rebel Lustre Drops
Bare Canvas Paint
Blurburry Shadestick
Blanc Type Eyeshadow
Ruby Red Pigment
Rose Pigment
Reflects Gold Glitter
Rapidblack Penultimate Liner
#7 lashes
Stud Eyebrows
NC25/NW30 Chromagraphic Pencil
(can’t remember) Lipstick
Vino Lip Liner
Amorous Dazzleglass Cream

Sooo, long story short, I won the make-up artist’s spot! :) I am currently a member of AIC’s first Artistic Team, and as such, I got to participate in an amazing photoshoot, the results of which are being entered into NAHA, a huge hair-styling competition… the hair industry equivalent of the Oscars. I really hope that the stylist I worked with is nominated in the Student category, because she is suuuper talented, and we all worked really hard to put the photoshoot together from scratch. I got the opportunity to do great make-up on 3 great models, and I will be posting pictures from that after NAHA announces its nominees in May. Until then, here’s one of the models I did a run-through on a few days before the shoot (we didn’t use this make-up, so it’s okay to show!). Liza is so beautiful and super talented!!

Studio Fix Fluid
Stud Eyebrows
Quite Natural Paint Pot
Carbon Eyeshadow
Espresso Eyeshadow
Sable Eyeshadow
Smolder Eye Kohl
X-Rocks Blush
Pure White Chromacake

And a random shot on location at the photoshoot. I look forward to posting pictures of my make-up from the shoot as soon as possible.. and hopefully the images will be nominated for NAHA!!! Keep an eye out! :)


This post is where you leave a comment to enter a chance to win the Flirt! eyeshadow palette!
Please don’t forget to leave your YouTube username, as you must be a subscriber! Also, please leave a reliable e-mail address.

Yay, I’m so excited for this, guys!! I am hosting a giveaway, provided by Flirt! Cosmetics, to win a 40 eyeshadow limited edition palette!! If you’ve never heard of Flirt!, they are sold exclusively at Kohl’s, and I am seriously impressed by the quality of the shadows.. especially for the price! See more of my review of this product and a look done using the shadows in the video below:

I am not being compensated in any way to host this giveaway by the company or their PR firm. I was provided the palette free of charge prior to the announcement so that I could test it for myself. All the opinions stated here are 100% true and only mine.

I will close comments on this post on December 21st at midnight, and announce the winner later that day!

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A reader requested that I swatch By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish and Warm Soul Mineralize Blush side by side to see how similar the shades are. Before I start I should say that the only 2 Mineralize Skinfinishes that are permanent at MAC at the moment are Soft & Gentle and Gold Deposit. The one I’m swatching here, By Candlelight, was a limited edition release from the 2009 Warm & Cozy collection. Warm Soul is permanent.

Color Comparison

Warm Soul is a very warm rose color with gold shimmer, while By Candlelight is a gold with shimmer that flashes gold and pink. If you dislike any shimmer on your cheeks, neither of these will probably appeal to you, but Warm Soul doesn’t actually flash glitter in the way that you might expect, so it’s worth trying at least. The specks of shimmer are much more subtle, especially compared to By Candlelight. Warm Soul is more pigmented than By Candlelight in addition to being a bit deeper in color. (It’s not uncommon for Mineralize Skinfinishes to be less pigmented since they are usually used as more of a highlight.) Warm Soul is perfect for light to medium skintones, and warm- or cool-undertones.

Read the rest of this entry…

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A very small haul for me this time, just 2 products from each line. The palettes didn’t strike me as unique at all, so those were an easy pass. I’d like to get more of the Superslick Liners, though. They’re all gorgeous. I got:

Smoky Heir SuperSlick Liquid Liner

Aristo-cat Lipstick

Last year I got every single color from the F/W Nail Trend collection. Jin Soi is amazing and has done it again–I’d love to have every single one of these. Due to circumstance, that’s not possible this year, but I did walk away with:

Earthly Harmony

Jade Dragon

image source

What did you pick up?



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