Chic & Stunning Hair & Makeup

Here are some of our favorite images from the Anniversary photo session we did at the end of August. Take a peek inside the beautiful new chapel at Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Downtown. Photos by Blue Rose Photography. Flowers by Albuquerque Florist, Inc.. Styling by Lauren, owner of Just Lovely Weddings. Makeup & Hair by us – C. Johnson Makeup. Groom’s attire by Suits Unlimited Models: Emilia and Konrad.


Our Gorgeous New Studio!

We have wonderful, exciting news! We now have a physical location where we are able to host our bridal preview sessions, group makeup lessons, beauty classes, & makeup parties for special events.  Panorama

Our space is well-lit & spacious, with plenty of natural light, which we all know is essential to a superb makeup application. I also purchased studio lighting, similar to what you might find in a photographer’s set up, for those cloudy days when we’ll need the supplemental light.

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We also have a beverage station (yay, Keurig!) because, let’s face it… coffee is a necessity.

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Our walls are adorned with canvases from some of our favorite photo shoots that we’ve done (these canvases are from Blue Rose Photography).

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We’d love to have some visitors & our space is open by appointment only. Contact us today to set up an appointment – we’d love to see you!

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!).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ardell #110



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.


Trio Lashes


Kiss #03

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

C. Johnson Makeup has been Featured on

We have wonderful news!

Christy from C. Johnson Makeup was recently featured on EvokingYou as a guest writer.

Check out our article Professional Makeup Tips for Photography to learn the best techniques for highlighting your natural beauty for a photograph.


Photo by S. Strine Photography


Here’s a before & after sneak peek image from the article:


Photo by S. Strine Photography


Click here to read the full article.

Thank you to the wonderfully talented Stephanie of S. Strine Photography for the accompanying photos.

Makeup  & hairstyling by Christy of C. Johnson Makeup.

Building A Professional Makeup Kit: Part 1 (Overview)

Recently I was on location, doing makeup for a bridal party & my clients began commenting on the size & components of my makeup kit. We all giggled as the girls ‘oohed & ahhhed’ over all the beautiful products. This happens often; probably about once per week. People generally ask me how much I’ve spent on my makeup, how long it took me to accumulate so much makeup, or make jokes about the sheer quantity of products I carry in my kit (usually a fella). A few weeks ago, one of my clients’ husbands compared my kit to his toolbox (which is a pretty fitting comparison, if you ask me). Anyway, all of this got me thinking about my kit, what I’ve spent, & the nitty-gritty of what I’ve got in there.

Here are the basics of the case I use to store all the glamorous & wonderful makeup goodies. I am using a professional rolling makeup kit with the dimensions 27.5″H x 12.5″W x 8.5″D. Empty, it weighs about 11 pounds. It has some heavy duty locks with dual keys (which I often do not use because I almost never find a situation where I am not within arms reach of my kit at all times). The case also has a telescoping handle, similar to a lot of large rolling luggage. It also had wheels to help with transport. I purchased my case used online at an amazing deal. These cases usually cost about $100-$200 new & can be found many placed online, including EBay. These cases generally come in black, but can also be found in silver, grey, or pink. I would have preferred a black case because I feel that it would be more professional looking, but I like pink well enough & couldn’t beat the deal.


As you can see from the photo, this case has lots of buckles & hinges; that’s because the whole box comes apart or opens up for ease of use & versatility. The top third of the case detaches completely & can be used alone or with a shoulder strap. The interior of the small upper box has two pull out shelves & a deep bottom for a variety of differently sized products. For a simple event where a huge number of products are unnecessary the top box is perfect. If you decide to use the two separately, this case comes with a second box lid that you can attach to cover the lower compartment. The lower compartment works very well for larger items & I have packed it with all the little extras that I’ve learned to bring with me ‘just in case’. I will go into more detail about what exactly I keep in my kit further down.  Inside the larger bottom box, there is a shelf & a pull-out compartment that rests atop the shelf. This portion of the box also features a drop down wall for ease of use (so you’re not having to reach from the top all the way down to the lowest items). Here are some more photos to help illustrate.


Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this case fits all of my products, particularly once I got good at taking advantage of all of the vertical space by organizing all of the products standing with the tallest side up & down (smaller organizing baskets have been very useful with this).


This is a birds-eye view of the very bottom of this case, with the top & middle sections removed.

Ok… so now that I’ve explained the case that I use, I’ll talk a little bit about what’s inside & my suggestions for building your own kit. Starting with the top, moving down; I use the removable top case to hold & organize eye shadow, pigments, mascara, disposable mascara wands, gel eyeliners, eye primers, & dusting powders.


Opening these shelves reveals the lower compartment where all of my palettes & lip pencils & eye pencils are stored. I also have tweezers &  small scissors here (small scissors have come in handy for me more times than I can count).


The next compartment contains all of my foundations (tipped upside down so that the colors are visible to me from their labels which are on the bottom). I also keep a hair stylist cape in this compartment in case I’m working on someone who is wearing their event outfit. The rest of the items are Beauty Blender sponges, concealer palettes, makeup setting spray, bronzers, blushes, HD setting powder, illuminizers/highlighters, skin primers, & facial moisturizer & cleanser. Essentially anything that could be needed for a client’s skin.


At the very bottom I keep replacement & backup items.  Washcloths so I can clean & sanitize as I work. Makeup removal wipes, nail polish removal wipes, hair clips, extra sponges, oil blotting sheets, a nail file, hand sanitizer, mints, makeup brush sanitizing spray, instant tanning spray, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (to sanitize makeup between uses), extra mascara wands, cotton pads, gentle eye makeup remover, small empty containers, my makeup brush roll & brush belt, band aids, a hair brush, travel size hair spray, business cards, a credit card scanner, a pen & small notebook, small empty bags for trash, a mixing palette, & a small hand mirror.

Here is a basic list of what a beginning makeup kit might require:

  • Foundations of multiple colors & tones (rose, gold, olive, neutral). Fewer are needed if you are skilled at custom blending colors; however this method can be wasteful &/or time consuming if you are unfamiliar with custom blending.
  • Multiple concealers or a concealer palette. Creams work differently than liquids; depending on your clientele you may want to have a variety of formulas.
  • Foundation primer (clear or green are my most used)
  • Basic skincare: Cleansers, Moisturizers, Gentle eye makeup remover, cleansing cloths, cotton pads, acne cream. Again, choose according to your clientele & build up as you expand.
  • Blushes of multiple colors & tones
  • Highlighter. A light yellow/gold is often the most versatile. I prefer loose powder, but these also come in cream formulas.
  • Bronzers. Typically I only carry one or two. Often time, a versatile shade can work on many, many skin tones. Matte bronzers are more versatile than those that contain shimmer.
  • Eye primer. I typically only carry one or two of these; one dark & one light or white. They do makeup skin tone shades, but a skin tone shade wont enhance the color of the shadow like white or black primer.
  • Eye shadow: This is something that you might have many, many of depending on your own preferences. I suggest starting with a palette that contains many neutral shades (browns, greys, blacks, whites, & nudes) & another palette with brighter colors. Brown & grey shadows can also be used for eyebrow filler.
  • Multiple eye liner pencils & gel eyeliner (my most versatile & commonly used. They can also be used as primer for eye shadow). I do not use liquid eyeliner because it is impossible to properly sanitize.
  • Mascara, both waterproof & a standard formula. Disposable mascara wands are a necessity for sanitization.
  • A variety of false eyelashes, if this is a service that you would like to offer.
  • Lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss. I personally feel that lip primer is unnecessary, lip balms are sufficient.
  • As for random/generic items that you might consider adding to your kit: hair clips or bobby pins, a nail file, nail polish removal wipes, I have heard of makeup artists carrying feminine hygiene products, but I personally don’t; a razor, instant tanning lotion, washcloths, a cape, small scissors, safety pins, & aspirin.