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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!


A super bright blue cream.. yum!! Spa Ritual is a vegan nail polish line sold in AVEDA salons and spas. I’ve become much more familiar with their line since I started my esthiology course at Aveda Institute Charlotte (which, by the way, I graduated from last Friday!!!). Enjoy this new Spa Ritual color from their Truth collection, and look forward to more from Truth soon!

Without flash you get a much more accurate idea of the color of this polish.

With flash, it appears much brighter and lighter, when in fact it is a bright royal blue.

This was photographed with a base coat and no top coat. What you see is two thick coats. The formula is okay, drying quicker than average, but there seems to be a settling problem with the Spa Rituals line (probably has something to do with the vegan ingredients)–basically, the settling is either very slow or simply doesn’t happen before drying. If you don’t know what I mean, it basically manifests in sloppy, uneven-looking applications of polish. In these pictures, a good example would be at the base of my ring finger, the little clump that is there. I went back in with the brush to fill in a very small unevenness in the line, and it never settled with the rest of the polish, basically clumped up and dried that way. Not cute, but probably also not impossible to fix with a nice self-settling top coat like Seche Vite (I’m out and need to restock, hence no top coat!).


Yay, I had a lot of fun doing this manicure! I was inspired by a picture of someone’s manicure that I found on tumblr. The “roses” are very easy to make, just lots of semi-circles in varying tints and shades of a couple colors. I chose to do roses only on my ring and thumb nails for this manicure, while the rest just had the striped pattern.

Before I post the pictures, an apology for the state of my nails in these photos. My nails (and hands) take a lot of abuse from me right now, as I am giving 2-3 facials a day, and constantly washing my hands to keep sanitary. I get thirsty just looking at my poor dehydrated skin!

Color Club High Society
Color Club Who Are You Wearing?
Color Club Ms. Socialite
Color Club She’s Sooo Glam
OPI Who the Shrek Are You?
Seche Vite Top Coat


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! :)


Sea Spray is my favorite color from China Glaze’s new nautical Anchor’s Away collection. I am such a sucker for everything nautical, especially because my bestest friend is in the Coast Guard. I have to go back for a few more colors, but I knew I had to have this gorgeous grey-blue-sky cream as soon as I saw it. It’s the color of a pretty cloudy sky, a greyer tone but with a lot of blue. I love looking at my nails with this on.

If I were to speculate, even though I don’t own any other polish like it, I would guess that Eyeko‘s Rain Polish is a great dupe for Sea Spray.

Application with this polish was really perfect, and drying time was QUICK! This is two coats.


(Just wanted to remind you that my FLIRT! Giveaway is still open for entries until December 20!)

I love Forever21. It’s a cheap, trendy company that I’ve been familiar with for years, but for the first time in my life, I live near one! Actually, the new city I live in has several in and around it. AND THEY SELL NAIL POLISH! CHEAP NAIL POLISH! It seems that the only brand they carry is one I haven’t heard of before called Love & Beauty. I saw a huge bin of them on display in the store yesterday, so of course I had to check it out.

This is Indigo:

The name of this polish describes its color: it’s an opaque indigo jelly polish, could definitely be a one-coater if you’re careful. I don’t have any other polishes in my collection like this (MAC Blue India is much more dusty, and greener) so I was excited to get this–especially for $2.80!! It also applies as smooth as a dream, with a thin, long brush, and has good drying time. This is only two coats, too!

A few things about the polishes.. if you check out the Love & Beauty line in store or online, you may notice that there are several different polish bottle styles. I’m still not completely sure what that’s about. Though it appears that some of the styles are for unique finishes, it seems to be more of a novelty thing than a rule of thumb for identifying like polishes–does that make sense at all? I just mean that I thought that one bottle style was for all glitters, but then there are some in that bottle style that aren’t glitters, and some that are. So maybe they just like their items to not all look the same? Maybe they’ve transitioned a few times and can’t decide which one they like? Not sure.

The only unimpressive thing I’ve found about the polishes so far are that the names really suck, haha. I think their creative marketing team has only just been started up, with super unique and descriptive color names like “Blue,” “Gold,” and “Pink.” :P

One last note about the thumb decal I used, that is a purchase I made a few months ago, one that I’ve been meaning to use in manicures. They are the Ornament Nail Art Stickers by Essence, which I got at ULTA. I was super excited to use them, and I’ve found that they’ve been really easy to use! They last as long as my manicure, and are thin enough so they easily stay flat along the curvature of my nails. They’re cheap ($1.50) and come with 10 or 11 different designs. I was so happy I actually jumped back in shock when I saw the Essence end-cap at ULTA that day. I grabbed a couple of their Colour & Go nail polishes, too, so look for those coming up soon!


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