Mini-Tutorial: Smokey brown eyeshadow

My first ever pictorial! Enjoy this easy-to-achieve brown eyeshadow pictorial & please leave your comments & feedback! ❤

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Pro Beauty Haul. LORAC, TEMPTU, MUFE & more…

Haul!!!! I recently restocked some staple makeup items & also got a handful of new products to try out (I can never resist!).

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Temptu Pro Foundation S/B Makeup Starter Set This is a versatile set with 12 foundation shades with what looks like a good variety of cool, warm, & neutral tones; with this amount of variety they are very easy to custom blend for the perfect shade for any client.. The bottles are only 1/4 oz. each, however when it comes to airbrush foundation, this is sufficient for many, many makeup applications.

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Beauty Blender Sponge Cleanser (blendercleanser) This cleanser smells like lavender essential oil, however the bottle lists “fragrance” as an ingredient, so changes are it is artificial. The bottle also says that it is great for makeup brushes, however I recommend against using brush shampoo because the amount of water needed to get all of the shampoo out of the brush will inevitably cause the glue in the handle to fail & ruin your brush. (I suggest using an alcohol based spritz cleaner/sanitizer instead). This cleanser works very well & gets sponges clean almost immediately. It doesn’t suds up, so it rinses out very easily. The only drawback is that the lavender smell is noticeable even after the sponge is clean, & I worry that it may irritate some clients (although probably not many).

Dirty Beauty Blender :(  (Before blendercleanser)

Dirty Beauty Blender 😦
(Before blendercleanser)

Clean Beauty Blender!

Clean Beauty Blender!

Make Up For Ever Sponge Shampoo The bottle makes a compelling sales pitch about using natural mint oils, & even though it does contain some spearmint leaf extract, the second ingredient listed is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, so it can’t be that gentle on delicate makeup sponges. The fragrance is very light which is nice because some clients can be very sensitive to the smell of makeup products. This cleaner works exceptionally well, getting sponges looking like new very quickly. However, you do have to use A LOT of this cleanser to clean the entire sponge thoroughly. It gets moderately sudsy & is very difficult to rinse out of the sponge completely, which is concerning because Sodium Laureth Sulfate can be VERY irritating to most people’s skin. The scent is extremely light after being rinsed. In the future, I will be purchasing the Beauty Blender Sponge Cleaner instead of this product.

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LORAC POREfection foundation This product is oil-free, paraben-free, & fragrance-free, which I love. I am a huge fan of their original foundation formula so I thought I’d give this one a try as well. This foundation does contain SPF 20 though, so I am concerned about ‘flash back’. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to use it. Overall, it is very smooth & easy to move around with a sponge or brush, which means that it must be set well with plenty of setting powder.

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LORAC Lip Luxe 8 hour lip color. I purchased this item in the shades  “Orchid” & “True Red”. Lorac offers this lipstick in six shades total so it isn’t the most versatile line of lipsticks however these are VERY pigmented & packed with bold color. They feature an understated glossy sheen with a significant stain quality. The texture is very nice; it doesn’t harden or get sticky like a lot of other long-wearing lipsticks. This means that the glossy, high pigment lipstick quality will fade leaving behind the appearance of a stain. Chances are, this lipstick will smudge, smear, or transfer as well.

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Morphe Blush Palette 10B & Morphe Blush/Bronzer Palette 10D. They both have that unfortunate “cheap makeup” smell when you first open the package which I personally find off-putting, but I think I paid $11 each, so I really can’t complain that much. The colors are vibrant & well pigmented, however they seem to fade easily & will require a makeup setting spray or good primer to stay on for a full day. My other complaint is that is appears that many of the shades are duplicated throughout the palette & there isn’t as much variety as I would have expected from a 10 shade palette (particularly when talking about the blush palette- 10B). There is a variety of matte/shimmer options, however there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this… some are shimmery, some are not. The bronzers are pretty, however I am  afraid many of them may be too “orangey”. Overall, I think there are only 3 or 4 shades between the two palettes that I might use regularly. I’d recommend these to anyone just starting out with makeup & not wanting to invest too much money, but I wouldn’t recommend them for professionals.

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LA FRESH Travel Lite makeup remover wipes. I used this to wipe off all of the makeup I swatched all over my arms for this post & they work well. They leave a soft feeling, but no greasy feeling or residue. They aren’t very moisturizing, but they also aren’t drying. They contain mineral oil, but also Isobutylparaben which kind of negate each other as far as moisturizing/drying & unfortunately it is in the paraben family which are known to be potentially unhealthy, disruptive to human hormone levels, & skin irritants. The wipes do smell a bit like baby changing wipes, which I find unappealing, but I know most people don’t really mind. They only makeup the wipe didn’t easily remove was the LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour  Lip Color, it left only a minor remnant of the stain, so that’s pretty darn good. The single wipe packets are very convenient & easy to stash in the car, purse, backpack, pocket, wallet… where ever.

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Ardell Invisiband Wispies, Ardell Natural #110 : I am a fan of Ardell lashes & have been for quite some time; the band is flexible, so they fit snugly against the lash-line no matter how curved the eyelid is (just bend them a while before application). These lashes (particularly the #110’s) look nice & natural, not shiny or plasticy. I personally find them easy to wear (however some people find them to be too heavy & distracting. This is usually an issue with strip lashes in general, though, not this brand specifically). The Wispies are some of the more dramatic lashes I use regularly & are great for clients who are looking for a more ‘glam’ look, but not too over the top.

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Ardell #110

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KISS EVER-EZ Lash #11, KISS EVER-EZ Lash #03, KISS EVER-EZ Trio Lashes: I’m not as familiar with this brand as I am Ardell, however, so far, I’m happy with these. In general, I would say they’re very similar to the Ardell lashes. The #11’s are similar to the Ardell Wispies, but are very dramatic & will probably only work on clients with large eyes. The #03’s are very similar to the Ardell 110’s & are going to work on just about everyone for a natural eyelash definition. Finally, the Trio Lashes are nice for clients who have a hard time wearing full strip lashes. I haven’t had anyone mention any kind of discomfort with them yet. On a side note – I generally stick to using individual lashes because it completely avoids the issue of discomfort & they can be customized for as natural or dramatic a look as the client wants.

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Trio Lashes

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Kiss #03

Have you tried any of these items? Am I missing out on any awesome products? Disagree with my comments? Let me know!

Pro Tips for Foolproof Foundation

I’d like to answer one of the most asked questions I get! How to apply foundation in a way that looks like clear, smooth skin (& not cakey makeup!).

First of all… I use a variety of foundations, from traditional formulas, minerals, to airbrush foundation. My personal preference is traditional foundation – I feel that they are the easiest to get (there are many adequate drugstore brands), & they’re the easiest to apply & blend. Traditional foundations come in liquid form, or cream/wax based formulas. Choosing the perfect foundation type for your everyday use will depend on the results you want to achieve & your skin type. If you happen to have very oily skin, a powdered mineral makeup might just be your best bet though!

For a creamy, luminous look with easy to apply, sheer results, look for a cream based foundation like the one shown below. This is a pro palette from Graftobian. This type of foundation is excellent for those with dry skin or fine lines & wrinkles & minimal discoloration. It is super blendable & easy to work with, but will slide on oily skin & must be set well with setting powder.

C. Johnson Makeup

Cream Based Foundation

To get the most natural looking foundation I suggest mixing more than one color for the perfect match. Some days you may need a bit of the darker shades & other days you might find a better match with a fairer shade.

Tip! Two light coats of foundation will always look more natural than one thick layer. If you don’t achieve your desired level of coverage with the first application, lightly apply another layer of foundation & blend well. Focus the second layer of foundation only where you need a full coverage! Blend, blend, blend, blend blend… oh & did I mention, blend!

C. Johnson Makuep

Customize your foundation shade by mixing a couple different shades.

The tools you use are just as important as the foundation itself. Cream & liquid foundations may be applied with a brush or sponge. Sponges generally provide a more sheer, smooth result (& I think they’re easier to use). Just make sure you sanitize your sponge regularly… bacteria loves to grow in damp sponges (yuck!).

TIP! Wet your sponge & squeeze out the excess water before use. Generously apply the foundation to your skin & then blend with a clean, damp sponge for the most flawless results. Bonus! A damp sponge absorbs less makeup, saving product & money!

C. Johnson Makeup

Choose your tools wisely.

Purchase 2-3 different foundation shades in your skin tone range. This allows you to customize your foundation color & adjust it as you tan or lighten throughout the seasons. Applying a slightly darker foundation to your forehead, chin, & temples mimics the natural color variation in our skin. (Using a single foundation shade, without any other added color causes the skin to appear washed out & monochromatic.) If you’re not ready to shell out the money for more than one bottle of foundation, use highlighter & contour, or bronzer to add a dose of healthy looking color.

C. Johnson Makeup

Mix & Blend for the perfect foundation.

The best (& most important) advice of all! This is good info for everyone, but especially those with sensitive skin: look for foundations that are fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free. To avoid acne, clean & sanitize your tools regularly (brushes & sponges) & wash your hands before application to prevent blemishes.

Of course there is (always!) so much more to know. If you have specific questions I’d be happy to answer them. Feel free to visit me on Facebook or www.cjohnsonmakeup.com. For more in-depth information, I’d be happy to schedule a custom makeup lesson with you in person or via Skype. Talk to you soon!

*All photos were taken by Christy of C. Johnson Makeup. Please email before copying these photos.

Ethereal Hair & Makeup for Portraits

This week, I had the pleasure of doing Hannah’s hair, makeup, & portraits.

 

Hair & Makeup

Getting ready for portraits. Professional Hair & Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, NM

Hannah B. Professional hair & makeup by C. Johnson Makeup, Albuquerque, NM.

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Hair & Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup, Albuquerque NM

Photos by Christy Johnson

For inquiries please visit http://www.cjohnsonmakeup.com

Engagement Photo Session: Hair & Makeup.

We absolutely loved working with this naturally beautiful bride. In preparation for her wedding day, we provided her with a hair & makeup trial on the day of her engagement photo shoot. Any good photographer will tell you that a professional makeup application is critical for excellent photos, even if the desired look is very natural. A good photo-ready makeup application should obscure any dark shadows, highlight the cheekbones, and emphasize the eyes. We always lightly fill in the eyebrows & add some color to the cheeks because bright lighting & camera flash can cause the natural color in our faces to become washed out. We wanted this gorgeous girl’s natural beauty to shine through & we made sure to highlight all of her best features (Hello BOMBSHELL EYELASHES!).

Bridal makeup and hair. C. Johnson Makeup

Bridal makeup and hair. C. Johnson Makeup

Bridal and engagement makeup. C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, NM.

Bridal and engagement makeup. C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, NM.

The happy couple. Albuquerque, NM.

The happy couple. Albuquerque, NM. Hair by C. Johnson Makeup.

Hair & Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Old Town, Albuquerque, NM. Photo by Blue Rose Photography.

Hair & Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Old Town, Albuquerque, NM. Photo by Blue Rose Photography.

Bride, Groom, & Daughter/Flower Girl at their Engagement Photo Session. Albuquerque, NM. C. Johnson Makeup.

Bride, Groom, & Daughter/Flower Girl at their Engagement Photo Session. Albuquerque, NM. C. Johnson Makeup. Bride’s hair & makeup & Flower Girl’s hair by C. Johnson Makeup.

 

Isn’t this a gorgeous family? We are so excited to see them get married & to be part of their wedding day.

 

C. Johnson Makeup is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We offer on-location bridal hair & makeup for the entire bridal party, including the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, Jr. bridesmaids, and flower girls. We specialize in all-natural options for clients who have sensitive skin, & also offer airbrush & traditional makeup options.

Bridal Makeup: Moroccan-Themed Wedding.

Bridal Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Gown by Bridal Elegance by Darlene. Flowers by Flowers and More. Styling by Sealed with a Kiss, LLC. Photography by K. Mari Photography

 Photography by K. Mari Photography

Bridal Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup.

Bridal Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup.

Place Cards, Menus, Table Numbers, Invitations, Etc... by Funky Olive Design Co.

Located at Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Bridal Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Bridal Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Styled by Sealed with a Kiss, LLC.

Styled by Sealed with a Kiss, LLC.

 

Gown by Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Gown by Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Flowers by Flowers and More
Venue: Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jewelry from Chloe and Isabel/ Representative Heather Garrison
Models: Heather & Eric Garrison
Stationary, Menus, Invitations, Etc…: Funky Olive Design
Vintage/Moroccan Props: The Antique Co-Op

Get that “Happy Bride Glow”

Last week, my client, Candace, came in asking for a moderately smokey eye & a beautiful natural looking lip for her engagement photo session. In preparation for her loveliest day (her wedding is coming up in the winter of 2014), Candace wanted to try out a makeup look similar but subtler than the look she envisioned for her wedding. Because Candace already had gorgeous skin & loooooong, enviable eyelashes, I focused on giving her the iconic ‘happy bride glow’. I used my favorite highlighter from Victoria Secret – the very subtle pinkish tone gave Candace the most youthful, ‘lit from within’ look. Lorac’s Pro Palette also came in very handy for rimming her eyes in the shade “Pewter”. Typically, I avoid lining the bottom lashes, but because we were working on an engagement session & not a wedding (where we risk the bride crying off all of the bottom eyeliner), I went for it! & let me tell ya, the bottom liner MADE THIS LOOK; it was the perfect final touch.

Photos by the amazingly charming Alena Swanson (who also happens to be one of the finest Wedding Planners in the biz!). 

Aren’t these photos gorgeous (& gee whiz, doesn’t he look HAPPY? Maybe I should have called it the “happy groom glow” 😉 )

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We just adore this couple! Thank you Candace for allowing us to be a little part of your love story.