March 30, 2009

Really Realistic Manicure with Revlon's Artificial Nail Line

Let's face it - your hands and fingernails show a certain amount of personal upkeep! I admit that by being a busy mother of two rowdy little boys and having my hands in water, dirt, and who knows what else, my manicures don't always look the best. I also am not one who can very easily take the time to go to a salon and pay a bunch of money for a manicure or acrylic nails.

"I need something close to home."

So what's a girl to do when she wants to keep her nails looking fresh and perfect without having to make a trip to the local nail salon??

Revlon's newest line of artificial nails! Yes- I said artificial as in "glue-on" nails. Ok - before you judge, I too was skeptical about this product because I've never been a fake nail girl, except for a few times back in high school when it was the cool thing to do. However, recently I grew tired of my fingernails always looking so messy and unkempt. It was time to try something new.

Check out my before and after pics of my hands with and without the nails and you'll see how natural these "fakies" look! I have on the Audrey Style (#91023) in the French Manicure, short length. It's quite amazing how good and realistic they look!!

Before Revlon's Realistic Manicure

After Revlon's Realistic Manicure

Here are the plus's to trying Revlon's Nails:

  1. The kit only costs around $7.00 - not too shabby. And that includes not only the nails, but a small file for buffing down your natural nails, plenty of strong glue for setting them, and a manicure stick for cleaning up excess.
  2. Each kit contains 24-36 nails in 12 different sizes. So there's plenty of nails to make sure your fingers find the perfect fit - or plenty of leftovers if you mess up!
  3. They come in different lengths - short and medium. I definitely preferred the short since I'm not used to wearing fake nails anyway. It took me a day to get used to them and for me to be able to function with them on! But if you are an acrylic nail girl, and want to try the switch to these, it should be a seamless transition.
  4. The natural shape that these nails come in is fantastic; believe it or not, there's no need to shape or file them once applied.
  5. They are tough, they don't chip, and you don't have to paint them! Unlike my natural fingernails (and surely yours) that can chip and split constantly. Not to mention that they take forever to dry once painted.

*JennySue Tip* - which I learned after putting them on for the first time:

  • Start by putting them on the hand you don't write with first.
  • Yes, this is the more difficult hand to start with, but once the nails are on, it makes it a bit tougher to apply the other set.
  • You will want your dominant hand available to deal with the new nails.
  • Also note, the glue is tough and dries fast.
  • While this is great for keeping the nails put- beware of stuff sticking to your fingers, or even your own fingers sticking together!!

Now that I have these Revlon nails on, I realize how wonderful and put together it feels to have pretty hands in a jiffy that didn't require me spending hours at a salon. Oh, and that can withstand the major jobs of mommy, referee, coach, teacher, and makeup artist!

March 27, 2009

Top 10 JennySue Makeup Tips for Your Wedding Day

Well wedding season is quickly approaching and there's been a slew of celebrities recently tying the knot. Salma Hayek, Giselle Bundchen (+Tom Brady), Mandy Moore, Fergie and hunky new hubby Josh Duhamel (that's the happy couple's wedding pictures above), just to name a few biggies.

Weddings are one of my favorite jobs to book! It's usually the happiest day of a woman's life so they're in a particularly good mood and it should show in pictures. This is the one day that the bride's face is going to be photographed more than any other day in her life and the makeup look that is created needs to be timeless.
Here are some tips for the perfect bridal makeup:

  1. If it's in your budget, hire a makeup artist. Like I said, your pictures are going to be around for the rest of your life and that photographer is going to be concentrating on your face - not your $300 shoes. When in doubt where to spend your money - spend it on your face and someone that can help get you the look you've always dreamed about.
  2. If you can't hire someone, practice practice practice. Start a few weeks before the big day and practice a couple looks and have a friend (or your fiance) photograph you so you can see how the makeup shows up in pictures. Then get their honest opinion, if they're friends, they'll be honest.
  3. Don't try anything too crazy different from your normal everyday look. Although you do want to look a bit more glamorous than your usual self, you don't want to look like a stranger walking down the aisle to the loved ones around you.
  4. Don't use sunblock or foundation with a high SPF. This ingredient will cause the flashbulbs to reflect too much light on your face and make you appear washed out.
  5. Use pink blush. A brighter blush on the apples of your cheeks will make you appear to be a "blushing bride." Go a bit heavier on the blush than you think you need to - but beware of a clown appearance.
  6. Set your concealer and foundation with a sheer loose powder. Translucent is great if used minimally - if you use too much you could end up looking chalky in photos, but it does help to keep down any shine. Use a powder puff to apply for best results and push the powder into the skin. A greasy bride does not = a pretty bride.
  7. Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara. Don't take any chances that you won't cry or tear up - because the majority of women will get some level of water works going! Waterproof formulas are your insurance for non-raccoon eyes. Maybelline Define-A-Lash ($7) in waterproof is one of my favs. Oh, and please curl your lashes before applying the mascara to open up your eyes.
  8. Apply your makeup in natural light or near a window. Fluorescent lighting (like at mall makeup counters!) is the pits and doesn't give a realistic view of what the coloring of your makeup will turn out like.
  9. Longer lasting lipstick requires filled in lips with liner. Lipstick is the one product I can never guarantee is going to last thru kissing, talking, eating, and drinking champagne (all of which will happen no matter what). But to prolong the wear, color your lips in with a shade darker than your natural lip color, then add a lipstick on top of the filled in liner for an added punch. Revlon's new formula, ColorStay Soft & Smooth lipcolor ($8)has really impressed me so far with an unbelievably smooth consistency and staying power in 36 shades to choose from. Oh - and give your lipcolor to a bridesmaid of mother of the bride to follow you around for touch ups throughout the night to keep you pucker camera ready.
  10. Finish off your eyes with a highlighting shadow. Use a flat(no shimmer) ivory or vanilla eye shadow on your brow bone to accentuate that upper part of your eye and make the rest of your eye makeup pop.

When doing your makeup for you wedding day, don't rush it. Enjoy the time spent preparing and savor the day. It's your moment to be pampered and feel like a princess - and if that means buying new makeup products for yourself or hiring someone to do the work for you - just do it!!!

March 25, 2009

Marvelous Makeup Like Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls

I have always been a big fan of Nicole Scherzinger-not because I think she's the best singer in the world, but because she is a confident entertainer and the most well known face of the uber glamorous singing group The Pussycat Dolls . By the way- they're heading out on the road with Miss Britney Spears for her Circus Tour- what an exciting female combo huh?! Nicole's makeup is always spot on and so perfect- her makeup artist (Troy Jensen, I believe) is a genius. His makeup blog is also a fabulous one to follow- he works with tons of beautiful female celebrities, including Kim Kardashian.

Nicole's signature look is usually comprised of smokey eyes and light lips, which is a must combination when trying to do sexy- but not overdone.

Here are some quick tips and products to use when re-creating this look for yourself. All products mentioned are compliments of InStyle Magazine's most recent Best of Beauty Buys edition 2009.

~Skin: Mix a highlighting product that contains a touch of gold in with your liquid foundation and concentrate on blending it along the upper cheekbones and down the nose specifically so you don't end up looking too glowy! Giorgio Armani's Fluid Sheer ($58) is a pricey option, but it's a more believable glow without being glittery. Use a minimal amount to stretch your dollar!

~Eyes: Black eyeliner and false lashes are a must. Try out MAC's Eye Kohl pencil in Smolder ($15) and line the inner rim of the bottom lash line and line the upper lid as well. For eye shadows, deep plums and smokey grays are blended from the lash line up to the crease and smudged under the lash line. And of course, all celebrities wear false eyelashes if they know what's good for them. A great inexpensive option (not an InStyle Best of, but a Best of in my opinion!) are Revlon's Fantasy Lengths lash collection($5.50) in style "Chic" to get Nicole's lashes. They're strips, so they're easy breezy to apply! Add loads of black mascara on top and bottom lashes.

~Lips: Go simple, sheer, and sparkly with a rich gloss from Chanel's Glossimer line in color Equinoxe ($27). Nothing makes a girl feel happier and sexier than wearing Chanel right??

Now you're ready for your worldwide tour - or - for your night on the town with your girlfriends. Either way- if you look this good, you need to get out and show off your sexy self!

March 24, 2009

Brand New Fashion Magazine in Athens, GA

It has finally launched!

Athens newest fashion magazine, blvd, which highlights the hottest spots, coolest fashion and beauty in the classic city is the best new read of the season. I was fortunate enough to be the makeup artist for the models in the fashion shoot and the"Beauty Buzz" page (my contribution to the magazine on what's hip for Spring 2009 in the makeup world).

My team of creative contributors like Abbey Lindsey, photographer extraordinaire, and John Robert Thurmond, creative stylist extraordinaire, were also a big part of this collaborative effort to make such a wonderful and stylish mini-magazine. More photos and details to come, Thanks again for all of my supporters!

March 22, 2009

Hip Nailpolish For a Good Cause

If you have been struggling for a pick me up beauty product that gives you a little bit of an edge to your look but doesn't go over the top, then I've got a product for you.

Purchase a bottle of OPI's Nail Polish in "Breathe Life." ($9) This pale icy blue nail polish was created exclusively to help in supporting the Lung Cancer Foundation of America and raising awareness about lung cancer and finding a cure. This color is a breath of fresh air for spring and is a nice departure from the dark purple goth black we wore all winter 08.

Quick facts about lung cancer you might not be aware of- yes it's slightly depressing, but knowledge & awareness put a positive spin on things:

  • It's the #1 cancer killer of women
  • 60% of new lung cancer victims will be NON-smokers
  • 85% of people diagnosed with it will die in 5 years or less

I've always been a big fan of unexpected nail polish colors to give an instant update to my overall look and it's less time consuming than trying a whole new makeup regime (minus drying time of course;-)) And if you try this color on, not only will it show people that you're hip, but that you're a do-gooder also!!

March 18, 2009

Makeup Celebrity Style :: Easy & Glamorous Red Lips

What's the easiest way to instantly turn heads and look as glamorous as possible in a short amount of time??

Here's the easy answer - add red lips!!

This look was easily pulled off by , Playboy Playmate of the Year 2005 Tiffany Fallon, whom I worked with on my trip to Nashville,TN. My first thought and inspiration when creating this look was, Elizabeth Taylor (the early years of course). Check out my previous blogs to see other looks I created on TF. Upon meeting Tiffany, I knew she could work this look without needing a lot of other "fussy" makeup in addition to the red lips. Very similar to the stunning Liz Taylor, Tiffany has the raven black hair, the piercing blue eyes, smooth skin, and white white teeth, so I knew this look would be perfect. Here is all you need to make this look happen for you too:

~Lips: I'm going to be super honest here - the first very important item you need to have under control to pull off pretty red lips, is to have the whitest teeth possible. I think for a quick tooth brightener, Crest Whitestrips ($19) are the best/cheapest option;-)

The lips are where the look comes to life; I am beginning with them even though this IS NOT the order to go in when doing your makeup - it would be last! Revlon's ColorStay Lipcolor in Red Velvet ($9) is the base. The consistency of these new lipsticks are awesome and it literally glides on and feels "velvety" like the color description says! The formula comes in sheer shades and opaque shades, the red was obviously opaque. If you go for this red, get ready because it is BRIGHT red - it's great if you want to make an impact.

~Eyes: Eyes should be kept simple, so I used an ivory shadow base to even out the eyebed, like MAC's "Blanc Type" and add MAC's "Soba" (one of the best light brown shadows with just enough copper shimmer) just in the crease to create some depth (both $14.50).

And of course, a thick sweep of black eyeliner just on the top of the lashes, pulled out slightly past the natural lash line and 2 coats of black mascara on top, and a slight coat on the bottom lashes.

~Cheeks: Pink pink cheeks were the perfect compliment to this look. Of course, my all time favorite pink is by Estee Lauder, Tender Petal ($25). If anyone can tell me a better pink blush - please fill me in!! I love variety.

~Skin: For an overall skin perfecting glow, sweep Prescriptives Magic Powder ($35) all over your foundation as a finishing powder. It does help diffuse fine lines and cool redness on the face.
So if you want rock this super glamorous look like Tiffany Fallon and make heads turn, simply give red lips a chance. Just remember- keep the rest of your makeup real simple, and you will pull it off with ease.

March 16, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana's "The Makeup" Brings Sexy Back to The Makeup World

The fashion powerhouse of Dolce & Gabbana (partners & designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana) who are best known for their provocative and body hugging designs is now throwing their hat into the ring of high-end makeup lines. "The Makeup" by D&G is backed by another powerhouse of the drugstore kind - Proctor & Gamble, who is known for more affordable makeup and household labels such as CoverGirl, Max Factor, Crest, and Tide. Of course Pat McGrath- one of the premier makeup artists in the world (I wish I had a pinkie's worth of her talent) - is also part of what makes this great trio so fascinating and probably profitable!

So my only question is, "Why wouldn't we want to buy what these two fabulous guys are selling??"

Yes, this seems like possibly bad timing to launch a luxury makeup line in the midst of this recession, but apparently, a pricey tube of lipstick is still a more affordable pick-me up for ladies rather than a $2,000 D&G dress.
Here are a few juicy tidbits about Dolce & Gabbana's The Makeup line:
  • Scarlett Johansson is the face AND body of the new cosmetic line. The duo specifically wanted all the ads of her to include her whole body to show off Scar Jo's curves that resemble a modern day Marilyn Monroe. And nothing says sexy like Marilyn did.
  • The price points for the products are on up there. A tube of lipstick will set you back $30. This is pricier than even Dior and Chanel lipcolor!
  • But there are good reasons behind the price tag: The packaging is done in a trademark gold color (the ultimate symbol of luxury), the lipstick will have an actual light rose scent to distinguish it from other lipsticks (most lipsticks are created to be scent-less), and the tube will click closed like an antique box! Wow - they thought of everything!
  • A lot of the makeup names and descriptions are pulled from items that the duo loves, like "Stromboli" for their favorite isles, and "Dahlia" which is one of their favorite flowers. The "Dahlia" lipstick premiered at one of their fashion shows and was a stunning re-creation of the deep crimson color and surely to be a favorite.
  • These guys obviously have their finger on the pulse of the female market, as their D&G brand of fragrances was one of the top three selling fragrances of 2008.
  • Their line will be sold only at high end department stores in Milan, London, and at Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S.

I'm sure this line will not disappoint and will be the ultimate in luxurious makeup. I trust Dolce & Gabbana to make my face a more sexier version of what God gave me.

March 14, 2009

Makeup Celebrity Style :: Smokey Eyes Gone Wildly Bright

It's not often I get the opportunity to work with such a sweet and down to earth celebrity, but I did have the pleasure of working with Playboy Playmate of the Year 2005, Miss Georgia 2001, and wife  of Joe Don Rooney of the hit country trio, Rascal Flatts, Mrs. Tiffany Fallon Rooney.

It was effortless working with someone so naturally gorgeous who didn't require much makeup to accentuate her wonderful assets (lips, eyes, nose, YES - she was perfect). AND, Tiffany was willing to let me try some different approaches to her makeup look and work it at that same time!! Thanks Tiffany - you are truly a beautiful star.
During our session I created two separate looks for TF and this more edgy and colorful look ended up being one of my favorites. I love stepping outside of the makeup box and creating a look that is slightly unexpected, but at the same time keeping it very pretty.

So if you're wondering how to get this fun and flirty look, here's how to try it out - It's more exciting than your typical "brown/black smokey eye" that's been done before:

1. Eyes. Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($17), all over your eyelid to secure your shadow colors and for longevity. Use an ivory shadow all over the eyebed, then use Bobbi Browns Brights Eye Palette ($70) for the next coloring.
From the top lash line to the crease I used the color "Blue Denim," then in the crease Bobbi Brown's "Slate" shadow was used (not from the Bright's Palette) to tone down the brightness of the blue a bit. I lined the top of the lash line with Revlon's ColorStay Eyeliner in navy blue ($8), and then shadowed over it in the same "Blue Denim" color to brighten it up and set the liner.
On the bottom lash line, I lined the inner eyelid with the same navy liner, and then underneath the lash line I smudged the color "Mulberry" from the brights palette. I loved the contrast of the upper blue lid to the bottom purple lid...very unexpected. Then add tons of black mascara to upper and 
 lower lashes.

2. Cheeks. Use Nars cheek color in Orgasm ($25) my absolute favorite peachy pink color of all time.  Mata Hari is another good color too if you want more pink.

3. Skin. L'Oreal Paris True Match Foundation plus JK Jemma Kidd's Mannequin Skin ($24). I love mixing in Mannequin Skin with my fave foundation for a beautiful mixture to apply to the skin- it makes it glow!

4. Lips. I wanted to keep the emphasis on her eyes, so for the lips I kept it simple with a highly pigmented gloss by Victoria's Secret, Beauty Rush Lip gloss in "Let's Jam" ($7). No lip liner necessary
if you've got great lips.
I will be back with more details on how to create the other glamorous looks like the ones I performed on Tiffany and my edgy reverse smokey eye look on my
choreographer friend Jamie.

March 10, 2009

Makeup Celebrity Style!

This is just a glimpse into a wonderful experience I had with my photographer and friend Abbey Lindsey of Dylan Blue Photography in the happening city of Nashville, TN this weekend! We had the privilege of working with a most gracious celebrity wife and mom and Playboy Playmate of the Year, Tiffany Fallon Rooney!! We also got to catch up and visit with old friends (beautiful Jamie Lane!) while being creative with makeup and photography- the arts we are so passionate about!!!

Check out these teaser pics and stay tuned for the next in-depth blog installment of what makeup products I used to create each stunning look and lots more photographs!

March 6, 2009

Cheap Concealer Palette - Sonia Kashuk's Hidden Agenda

I am always on the lookout for something to cover a multitude of face sins: dark circles, weird random red blotches on my face, or the tell tale signs of being up too late with a baby or a fun night on the town! Take your pick, I want them gone.

Well, I have found a product that is budget friendly and covers all your cover-up basics:

Sonia Kashuk's Hidden Agenda Concealer Set ($9).

This item won Allure Magazine's Editor's Favorite Award, and for good reason. This is a concealer palette found exclusively at Target (I'm there at least twice a week) and contains 2 shades of concealers, one neutralizing color (this helps with downplaying redness and blue veins), and one translucent powder (for setting the concealer after it's all applied). Looks like Alicia Silverstone could have used this palette for her bags and blotchy skin!! Plus, it has 2 different applicator brushes that are very tiny, but very useful for the small eyebed space you're using them on.

The consistency of these concealers are great and glide onto the skin just like a squeeze tube of the same stuff! The slim palette is truly skinny and light enough to fit in your purse AND it has a decent mirror - inside where the applicator brushes are contained, so that you can look in to see what you're doing.

I'm a big fan of this Sonia Kashuk product, and if you're in the market for a cheap-o concealer, try it out. You won't look "Clueless" after using it.

March 3, 2009

Go Ahead Be Unique, Be Beautiful

My typical blog consists of how to look like so and so, what products to use to enable you to look like so and so, and what so and so celebrity is looking fabulous in the present.

Well, I want to take a slightly different approach today. Instead of focusing on how to look like someone else (usually a celebrity of your choice), why not try to look like a better version of you?? I always say when working with clients, that I want them to "look like a more beautiful version of their natural self." Not like someone totally different, I like to work with what God gave us as women.

Honestly, everyone has features about their face that maybe they don't like so much, which is totally normal and completely okay. But instead of dwelling on what you don't like about your face, let's switch the focus onto what you do like and embrace whatever it is that is making you unique and play that part up! I guarantee your unique features make you more memorable than your normal cookie cutter parts.

Case in point - celebrities like actress Sarah Jessica Parker and supermodel Giselle Bunchen. Both of these women are extremely well known and both of these women are not typical beauties. Their noses are unique and make them memorable and make them normal! SJP is an amazing fashion icon and plays up her style as part of her persona. Giselle books tons of clothing contracts and Victoria's Secret work by playing up her rockin' model body and keeping it in shape. So you don't see either of them crying a river over their not-so-perfect noses, they've got other attributes to celebrate.

And what about Madonna or Lauren Hutton's gap-tooth smiles? Neither one of these women ran to the orthodontist to fix their teeth, they embraced their spaces! Lauren went on to buck the system by becoming a world famous supermodel and Madonna sings her heart out and changes her look like I change lipgloss to keep people interested and buying her music. And guess what...both women are super famous and well known for being themselves and not apologizing for anything about their looks.

So no product reviews or how to's today - but I hope everyone takes a good look inside themselves and changes their focus to love whatever it is that makes them unique. Because their is no specific formula for what makes someone beautiful, so work with what your mama gave you and rejoice in being you!!