January 30, 2012

Birthdays Are A Blessing

Today is my birthday, and I have finally come to realize that they are a blessing.  Yes each year older comes with challenges (hello crows feet creeping up, thinning hair, stiff grey hairs I have to pull out every other day, and forgetting where I placed my keys!), but now I'm able to see my birthday as more of a blessing because celebrating another year, means I'm being granted the opportunity to make this year better than the one before!!

{This is the surprise birthday party decor of my dreams!
Lots of balloons and candles- hubby take note!}

Now there was a time when I thought birthdays were depressing.  It started after I hit the big 22 and I thought that all of the "big" fun birthday moments were gone forever and I was going to have nothing to look forward to but getting old.  By "big fun" moments, I mean like turning 16 (being able to drive), turning 18 (knowing you have the right to vote), and then the obvious 21 (you were finally old enough to legally drink champagne on your birthday).  Luckily, with age has come a bit of wisdom, plus I have my precious children and wonderful husband to thank for allowing me to see the birthday glass half full and that I have so much to look forward to!


{Zodia sign - Aquarius - the water bearer.}

I love looking into zodiac signs and reading horoscopes.  I'm an Aquarius and always enjoy reading different versions of my water bearer sign as well as reading about the Chinese calendar, which celebrates the year of the horse (1978).  If you share my sign, here are some characteristics about us:

  • true people persons who value friendships
  • creative and imaginative
  • we are stubborn in our opinions
  • our greatest enemy is "boredom"
  • are ruled by our circulatory systems which means we are prone to circulatory problems such as varicose veins (this shocked me, bc I struggled with terrible varicose veins during 2 of my 3 pregnancies! Had no idea I had my sign to thank for that!
  • being exciting and extroverted
  • vivid and animated
  • the Horse is the life of the party at any he attends
  • entertains friends and strangers alike with humor and appeal

{Fellow fun Aquarian Rihanna!}
Thanks to celebuzz.com, I found this in depth list of fellow Hollywood Aquarians.
Some of the major players include Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, 
Rihanna, and Jennifer Aniston just to name a few.
Not a bad group to be associated with huh??
And for this birthday, my hubby and the kids are allowing me to create my very own custom Nike kicks on their Nikeid website.  This is going to be sooo much fun to create a personalized pair of tennis shoes...and yes, they might just end up saying JennySue Makeup on them...I'm sure they will make an appearance on my site once I receive them!!

Do you welcome each birthday or dread getting older?? What is your sign and do you follow its characteristics?

January 28, 2012

3 Beauty Pageant Makeup Tips Everyone Could Use

I had the pleasure of working with a beauty pageant contestant this weekend, Mrs. Oconee County-Melissa Roberts, for the upcoming Mrs. Georgia Pageant taking place this Sunday. The winner of each state then goes onto compete in the Mrs. America pageant which honors married women throughout the United Sates of America.  

{Melissa and I after I finished her makeup at Yuva Medical Spa - her sponsor for the pageant.}

Each of the 51 contestants (from 50 states and DC), can range in age from the 20 to 50s, and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with this energetic mother of four and hearing how excited (not nervous!) she was to be entering this competition and being an inspiration to her kids.  

I'm going to share with you a few of the makeup tips I used on Melissa that anyone could use!  The look I did for her was a bit more toned down than I would do for an actual pageant where she would be on stage.  She was going to be attending a mixer where she was meeting the other contestants, various media personalities, and pageant coordinators in a more casual setting, so we went a bit more low key.  But still full on beauty!!

{She wanted to be a more glamorous version of her natural self but not too over the top!}

I'm going to show you a before and after pic of Melissa throughout these three tips so you can see the fun transformation from mom to Mrs. Mah-velous!!!

 {BEFORE- she had great clear skin to work with!}

{AFTER - that great clear skin was enhanced with L'Oreal True Match foundation in shade N6!}

#1.  Skin.  Use a primer and a foundation one shade darker than your actual skin tone.  I know everyone tells you to find your exact shade of foundation, but in this case, using one slightly darker gives her skin an even healthier appearance.  Even though she had fab clear skin to begin with, the use of my Smashbox Photo Finish primer just enhanced it and made the application of the foundation go on with the greatest of ease!  

#2.  Eyes.  When it comes to pageants, besides having nice white teeth (which she already had accomplished!), the eyes need to shine.  Fake that thick lash line with my liner trick.  I used a dark black brown pencil liner to line her upper lash line with, then added a matching dark brown shadow on top to blur the edges and make it smoother.  Then, for added emphasis and ease, draw a thin line of black liquid liner on top of that brown liner.  For liquid liner novices, this makes the application of liquid not as intimidating because you already have a "stencil" to go by and the addition of black makes the lash line pop.  I used NYX Black Eye Liner which has a super skinny tip for easy application.  And don't forget to add your champagne colored shimmer in the tear duct area for added sparkle!  

{She's ready to win! Lipcolor is Maybelline's Super Stay 24 hr Color in So Pearly Pink.}

#3.  Lashes.  Add false lash clumps to fill in the gaps in your natural lash line.  For an actual pageant I would probably apply two strips of false lashes for major oomph that would show up on stage, but for a close mixer, we went for more natural glamour by just using individual falsies.  I apply these at the very end, after eye makeup and mascara has been applied.  I use small drops of clear lash glue to add each individual clump in between the gaps of her natural lashes to create a fuller lash line. I used Ardell medium black clumps on the middle and outside of her lash line, and short black clumps on the inside of the eye.  One coat of black waterproof mascara was applied just at the base of the lashes after these were completed.

I want to thank the great staff and Dr. Reddy of Yuva Medical Spa for giving me the opportunity to work with Melissa in their beautiful facility here in Athens, GA. Check out their Facebook page and like it to see what they have to offer!  And congratulations to Melissa for already winning in my eyes for even having the courage and determination to enter this pageant- I wish you the best of luck with your events this weekend and most importantly have fun!!  

Would you try these beauty pageant makeup tips for yourself??

January 26, 2012

Which Is More Important To You - Hair or Makeup??

I'm sure you all can probably guess my answer on about which is personally more important for me - Hair or Makeup.  And yes, you're probably right to assume I would choose makeup because there are very few days I go without a stitch of the stuff.  I can probably can count on one hand since leaving college how many times I've been completely bare faced!!

{My latest lilac lip color obsession- MAC's Cremesheen Glass in "narcissus." 
Plus my brush set I got for Christmas from Sephora.}

{But, we can't forget about the hair, even with a hat on!}

But in all honesty, asking me to pick one or the other is like asking me to choose my favorite child, and that's just not cool to put me on the spot because I have three and that just wouldn't be fair -ha!! However, even if I end up putting my hair in a messy bun, quick pony tail, or throwing a cute hat on top of dirty hair, I'm thinking about a way to make the two gel together for the most put together look I can. Lately I've been obsessed with keeping my hair color looking like the day I got it done here so there's definitely no truth in saying I don't care about my hair!!  

In my opinion, hair and makeup should be a cohesive look, because if one is a hot mess and there's been no attention paid to it, then it distracts from the other one that you took more time on or had done professionally.  Prime example, Emma Stone, (who I actually mimicked hair color here because I loved her pulled together look!) recently looked like she chose to put time into one without time into the other at the People's Choice Awards- ah hem, professional makeup, and I hope to goodness no professional stylist did the hair.

{Fresh faced smokey eye with flawless skin + flat bed hair, literally.}

Please no nasty comments about my opinion on Emma, because I do truly think she has great style, this look just didn't cut it for me!!

So what's more important to you on a daily basis?? Hair or Makeup?? 

January 25, 2012

Book Review of "Makeup Makeovers In 5, 10, 15, and 20 Minutes" By Robert Jones

I can never get enough of pictorial makeup books.  Books are honestly one of the most useful learning tools for me as a makeup artist, and they always provide me with some new information or technique on how to approach a face!  So of course I was thrilled when I received the *newest book by renowned makeup artist and best selling author Robert Jones in the mail!

{New book, "Makeup Makeovers in 5, 10, 15, and 20 Minutes. Expert secrets for stunning transformations."}

This book will be hitting shelves in February and if you are one of those women that needs a makeup book that has literal step by step pictures on how to create many different makeup looks, you should probably look into this one.  Of course time is one of our biggest obstacles as women when it comes to putting on our makeup, and this book gives you options of looks to create in specific amounts  of time- from the most basic at 5 minutes to your most glamorous in 20 minutes!

{Just have this on your bathroom vanity for step by step instructions!}

Even a makeup artist like myself who has been working with faces for over 10 years can still always learn something new and exciting from another artist.  This book gives great advice from everything to contouring (which is one of the more complicated techniques of makeup artistry in my opinion!) to what type of brushes to use to create the beloved smokey eye.

Here is one look I tried out in the book, called "Color my world" which showed a simple but trendy way to apply a bright pop of color to your eyes for fun in 15 minutes.  The one trick that he implemented and pointed out, was to add your lighter of the two bright shades along the lower lash line and the darker on the upper lid so as not to drag your eyelid down and look tired.  Who knew??! 

 {Ground your bright colors with a neutral shade in the crease to start off with.}

 {Adding my darkest bright color, purple, from lash line to meet my neutral crease shade.}

{Using my lightest color, my teal green pencil, on the lower lash line plus mascara.}

{He even teaches you how to finish off your look with blush and lip color choices for a complete look!}

My overall opinion of this makeup book - I truly have enjoyed looking through it and getting fresh new ideas to implement in my everyday hectic schedule.  I've bought many makeup help books that haven't been this in depth in terms of actual step by step pictures showing you every step of the way.  And we all know when it comes to makeup, visuals help more than words!!  And the looks Robert Jones creates are not too wild and crazy for most women to pull off everyday.  I give this book a major two thumbs up!!

*This product was sent to me for consideration and review only. All opinions are honest and mine!*

Have you ever bought a pictorial makeup book to help teach you how to put on your own makeup, and if so, what's one of your favorites?

January 23, 2012

Funny Ladies Are Prettier

I'm completely comfortable in admitting that I have a "girl crush" on one of the latest leading lady comedians out there in Hollywood right now...Sofia Vergara!

{Sofia Vergara as the sexy (& funny) spokeswoman of Pepsi.  
Makes me rethink my love of Coke if Pepsi would make me look this good!!}

"Modern Family" is one of mine and my husband's favorite comedy shows to watch together as a couple, and it doesn't hurt that he would probably also agree with this crush-worthy funny lady.  Sofia Vergara is a riot in this sitcom and shows that pretty women (she's 39- go girl!!) can also be pretty funny!  Who says female comedians have to conform to the baggy mom jeans, bad hair, and the no makeup look??

I find it even more attractive when a good looking lady doesn't take herself too seriously.  I would consider the friends that I like to be around the most, are probably the ones with the best sense of humor, see the glass half-full most of the time, are quick witted, and might drop a not so lady-like word every now and then.  There's nothing very pretty about a humorless chick who is all business-like all the time.

Here's a personal breakdown of some other of my current favorite Hollywood comedians who combine good looks with a good sense of humor!

 {Rose Byrne}
She was the meanie backstabbing friend in the hit movie "Bridesmaids," but was really funny doing it!  I honestly wouldn't look at this girl and think that she could be funny bc I found very few images of her smiling, but after seeing this movie, she's definitely got a funnybone!  And this pic makes me want to wear blackberry stained lips right now!!

 {Reese Witherspoon}

I have loved almost every single movie this hilarious woman has been in.  She is a mom of two, southern gal like me!, and a super successful actress.  Even though she's done some serious films, I like her ten times better in her comedies.  Her cuteness just shines through!!

{Zooey Deschenal}

I love Zooey's new hit TV show "New Girl" and she has a super good singing voice.  She also is a spokeswoman for the cosmetic line, Rimmel London, which supports the fact that you can be a good business woman while also being funny and pretty, all at the same time!  Even though I feel like the cosmetics industry sometimes takes themselves too seriously (how many cosmetic ads can you see where a model is doing the serious fish face??), it's refreshing to see Rimmel taking on a funny lady like Zooey.

{Julia Roberts}

Julia has been around awhile, um, "Mystic Pizza", but she still is one of my favorite comedic actresses.  "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Pretty Woman" rank as two of my all time fave movies and she happens to be the star of both!  With hilarious acting chops, ridiculously thick and shiny hair, a toothy smile, another Georgia gal (love these southern belles!), and being a mom of 3 on top of it all, she gets my vote for best all around!

Now back to Sofia, if she can nab a spot hanging in the same commercial with uber hottie David Beckham, you know that it's true, FUNNY LADIES ARE PRETTIER!!  

Who are your fave Hollywood comedians right now??

January 22, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away Come Again Another Day

It has been raining here ALL weekend, and I'm honestly quite tired of it.  Cold and dreary does not do good things for my psyche and for some reason I can't seem to get motivated to do anything but sit in our new very large and cushy recliner and watch endless amounts of Bravo.

I was actually enjoying our weirdly mild January temperatures of 60's and sunny we experienced a few days ago.  Oh, how quickly things can change though huh??  So in honor of this wet stuff and trying to look on the bright side, here are some things that get me through the idea of being stuck inside this weekend...

1.  These braid ideas are the cutest hairdo's to sport in rainy weather.

2.  This is my all time fave food combo to eat during the cold winter months.

3.  Wearing these rubber boots would make me welcome wet weather.

4.  These beauty products and tricks will help you beat the winter chill.

5.  Tori Spelling is a jack of all trades and I love her more now than I did during the 90210 years.

How do you pass the time on rainy weekends when you are stuck inside??  Do you welcome the wet stuff or are you like me and wish for it to come again another day??

January 20, 2012

Good Girl vs Bad Girl Makeup :: Bad

If you missed the first installment of Good Girl vs Bad Girl makeup, check out my good girl side HERE.  Now we are onto how I used my beauty tricks to turn my daytime good girl, into a nighttime bad gal!

{My bad girl stare.  Not as intimidating as I'd of liked, but I tried!}

{I'm actually more comfortable smiling to be quite honest. Guess I'm good at heart;)}

So if you remember from the previous post, I was going to build upon the previous goody-two-shoes look, to create a more devil-ish look!  So we will begin where we left off  using the same products that were listed and adding a few more.  Here are the additional makeup steps that you would add onto the previous look in order of how I would apply.

1.  Eyes.  Avon Big Colour Eye Pencil in "night glisten" and Ardell false lashes in "wispies" were the only two additional products needed to create the bad girl eye effect.

 {Extend the L'oreal Infallible bronzed taupe shadow from lashline up to a bit higher than the crease area. Like I said, this stuff will last through whatever mischief you are up to-
it has mah-jor staying power!!"

{Line the whole eye with a soft chubby black pencil 
and create a sideways V out of the corner of the eye.}

 {Smudge the entire black lined area and V with a Qtip to blend and create smokey effect.}

{Take your original taupe shadow and brush it over the smudged black liner to add some shimmer to the overall eye, which smooths everything out.}

{My new fave strip falsies when I'm in a hurry- Ardell "wispies"-
I've already worn this same pair 3 times!}

{Press these into your already mascara'd and curled lashes for a more natural looking fit.}

2.  Face & Lips.  MAC Bronzer in "golden," Lancome Color Design lipstick in "Edgy," and Too Faced Mirror Mirror gloss "I know you want."

 {Feels funny, looks funny, but shows where your natural cheekbones are so that you can apply your bronzer right underneath them for contouring purposes.}

{I applied this berry plum lipstick with my finger so as to create a more "stained" look- Bad girls aren't perfect, far from it...wink wink;)}

For the finishing touches on my bad girl alter ego,  I applied my clear gloss right in the center of my bottom lip to create a pout-ier effect (think bad girl Megan Fox pout) and slicked my two day old hair into a sleek ponytail.  Voila, the fiercest looking bad girl I can conjure up that would still be wearable on a dinner date with the hubby, sans kiddos of course!

So which makeup do you think should win the battle of  GOOD vs BAD...



Which look speaks to you?? 

January 19, 2012

Good Girl vs Bad Girl Makeup :: Good

I think every woman has a GOOD girl side and a BAD girl side - no matter how tame or wild, we all have alter egos that pop up every now and then.  My good girl side shows up at parent teacher conferences and my bad girl side shows up on those few instances that the hubby and I get a babysitter and actually get to sit down for an adult meal at a restaurant that doesn't serve crayons and menus you can color on...WILD I KNOW!!! Ha!!!!

{Good girl look -  complete with curls, so innocent huh??}

This is going to be a 2 part posting, with the GOOD GIRL beauty tricks going first.  I will then show you how to build upon that good girl look that probably shows up during the day and how to transform her into that night time bad gal.

Products used for this low maintenance look along with the steps to creating it:

{A shimmery neutral shadow color used as crease color + eye liner, keeps it simple and sweet}

1.  Eyes-  MAC shadow in "blanc type,"  L'Oreal Infallible 24 hr eyeshadow in color "bronzed taupe" (shown above), and Maybelline's The Falsies mascara in black.

 {Matte ivory color brushed on from lash to brows, all over the lid.}

 {Shimmery neutral taupe color applied in the crease/along eye socket to create doe-like eyes!}

{Same crease color used as eyeliner along the upper and lower lashes.}

Be sure to use a tiny angled liner brush to get that color as close to the lash line as possible.  And if you haven't invested in one of these L'Oreal 24 hr shadows yet, you should, it delivers true color all day! I even tested it without my lid primer (gasp! I don't go a day without this stuff) to see if it performed, and it did!!  I will def be buying this product in other colors.

2.  Face and lips.  Revlon PhotoReady compact makeup in "shell," you can see my previous post review here, MAC blush in "fleur power," Too Faced "snow bunny" bronzer, Urban Decay 24/7 lip liner in "illegal," and L'Oreal Infallible lipcolor in "azalea."

 {Apply your a peachy pink blush directly onto the apples of your cheeks.}

{Apply your highlighter product directly above your blush color, 
as well as in the tear duct area of your eye to make your eyes shine!}

{Don't forget, for the finishing touch, SMILE!! Good girls always look happy and approachable.}

Stay tuned for the next installment of GOOD vs BAD to find out how to turn that angel face into a foxy devil... 

January 17, 2012

Bringing Neon Back

NEON shades are not just an ancient trend of the 80's anymore.  These bright look-at-me shades were seen all over New York fashion week for the spring 2012 collections as "highlighted" here and ways to wear it here,  as well as filtering into the makeup category with Bobbi Brown introducing her Neons and Nudes collection.  So of course I had to try my hand at this born again shade, by easily wearing it on my lips and in my accessories!

{MAC's Pro Longwear Lipglass in "full speed ahead" $18.50. 
As bright as it looks here, it's even more shocking in person!}

{This stuff is sti-iii-cky, but has the highest gloss effect ever!}

The KEY to pulling this shade off right now, is to NOT overdo it.  I wore my highlighter colored lipgloss alone, no harsh lip liner, and with minimal color on my eyes and cheeks so that the focus was just on my mouth.  I finally got a hold of that Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy lip treatment ($25) I have read so much about, and it has not disappointed.  Yes, it was pricey, but after a couple uses, I am sold on why it's gotten so much press.  It contains ultra nourishing and age delaying ingredients that truly make my lips feel so hydrated, full, smooth, and overall yummy!!  It creates a smooth base for me to wear my gloss on top of, but I'm afraid I'm going to get hooked on this expensive stuff and not be able to go back to my old $2 chapstick!!  Yikes!!

{My two lip products that produce neon lights lips!}

{How can you not smile wearing lipcolor this bright??}

I think in addition to a shocking lip, picking out neon fashion accessories, like belts, shoes, and handbags, is also a very easy way to sport this of the moment shade if you aren't brave enough to wear neon clothing like these celebs below.  

{These bold fashion statements were all courtesy of Michael Kors. Obviously, if you don't have 
a rockin body like these ladies, probably best to leave the neon dresses on the hanger.}

So since I'm not in the market for a neon dress, I recently purchased this green hobo handbag by Bodhi that is the perfect bright addition to all of my dull winter outfits for now and will work on into spring.  Yes, it's obnoxious, and yes it's green, but it's sooo much fun!!  AND, I got it for a huge steal at my local TJMaxx (luv luv luv this retailer for affordable high end designer labels) as opposed to its original price tag of $248...try 40 bucks!! Holla!!!

{I applied 2 layers of Scotch Guard to this puppy so stains won't ruin the neon effect!}

So will you be "bringing neon back" this spring or do you think it should be left back in the 80's with Debbie Gibson??  (and if you have no idea who Debbie Gibson is, then you have officially made me feel old;)-ha!)

January 15, 2012

Skin Care Like An Expert

I have had 2 facials in my life- Gasp!! Yes, this makeup artist who is infatuated with faces, has only had 2 facials in her lifetime, but I am happy to say that I just added a 3rd one to the tally.  I really should do this more often because it was one of the most relaxing treatments I've ever received!! And my dry winter ridden skin thanked me afterward.

{Me relaxing on the table getting a steam bath for my face- this pic turned out so cool!}

For all of my Athens GA followers, you MUST take a trip over to Urban Sanctuary for a facial treat!  This spa has it all - from the most relaxing and serene decor, to an incredibly talented and friendly staff, treatments of all sorts for women AND men, and wonderful products from soaps, to makeup, to all sorts of eco friendly and organic skin care products imaginable.  

I am going to share a few pictures via Instagram that I took during my experience there while I list what my esthetician extraordinaire, Kristen Harold, said are her top 5 skin care tips and descriptions for achieving your best skin.  Thanks Kristen for educating and relaxing me at the same time.

{Enjoying a warm neck pillow and tea before my treatment began- not a bad start!}

Skin tip #1.  Keep it Simple.  
Don't feel like you have to use 7 products to achieve major skin benefits.  If you buy 7 and get overwhelmed, then chances are you won't use them.  So basically, don't get suckered into those high pressured sales pitches at the department store makeup counters where they try and sell you every product in their line!!

Skin tip #2.  Cleanse Daily.
Cleansing is essential even if you don't wear makeup.  There are all sorts of yucky things in the air and environment around you, which can land in your pores, which in turn makes them appear larger.  That is why you should clean your face every single day!!  And per Kristen, please don't use your body bar soap on your face, find a cleanser specifically for your skin type.

{The peaceful waiting area.}

Skin tip #3.  Moisturize daily.
Your choice of moisturizers is even more important than the cleanser you use because it stays on the skin throughout the day.  Make sure to get one appropriate for your skin type (yes even you oily girls need moisturizer, oil production isn't hydrating!!) and you may even need to change it when the seasons change.  Make sure that daytime moisturizer has an SPF in it too!

She said that if you want to take your skin care routine to the next level, to incorporate these next two steps.

Skin tip #4.  Exfoliate weekly.
Once again, find an exfoliator that is correct for your skin type whether it be a scrub or a chemical exfoliator.  Use light pressure to apply a scrub with, that is all that is needed to let the product do its job.
I purchased one of their best selling scrubs at the spa by Sukiface.  It is an exfoliate foaming cleanser w lemongrass and natural sugar and it smells so completely yummy when I'm using it, I seriously wouldn't mind eating it!!  But it also makes the surface of my skin smooth as silk.

{Urban Sanctuary's beauty and skin care products available for every skin type and need imaginable!}

Skin tip #5.  Mask weekly.
Masks can be purifying, hydrating, firming, soothing, etc, whatever your need is.  When I went in for my facial, my need was for hydrating bc my skin gets so dry and parched feeling in the winter.  She used a Naturopathica Seaweed mask on me that was to hydrate and soothe my skin, and she also added a bit of clay for a clarifying effect.  Use a mask 1-3 times a week depending on what your skin can handle, but know that this extra step will help catapult your skin to clarity.  This is the step that I honestly never do, but am going to work hard to implement at least once a week!

{This face that greeted me sums up how I felt after I left - happy and zen-like!}

Two friends with combined 25 years experience in the spa industry, Alan McArthur and Candice Courcy, started this spa with a vision of a beautiful place where people could spend an afternoon or even an hour to unwind and find total Sanctuary.  Thanks to them for providing this mom of 3 with just that kind of relaxing experience!!  I urge all of you, if you live in the Athens or even Atlanta area, make a trip into this spa, you won't regret it!

Do you ever treat yourself to facials or other spa treatments?  Which ones are your favorite?