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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.


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! :)



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  • photo from Tumblr


    MATTE PAISLEY - P.O.T.W. - O.P.I. - i just can’t cope-acabana

    • O.P.I. - i just can’t cope-acabana + goldeneye
    • Sally Hansen - black out + white on + mellow yellow
    • Color Club - meyer lemon + pearl district
    • Sinful Colors - you just wait
    • Born Pretty Super Matte Surface oil
    • 3k gold foil

    This is the last look using O.P.I. - I just can’t cope-acabana. Visit the P.O.T.W. page for more nail art and swatches.


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