I Survived IMATS LA 2011 & All I Got Was the Best Time Ever!

7:30am Saturday Morning, and already a line around the building. Can you spot me?

The International Makeup Artist Trade Show was a whirlwind! Very little sleep, a lot of money spent, and tons of fun was had! It's already Wednesday and I'm just now able to make sense of it all. I had a blast! My friend and fellow makeup artist Erica drove up with me Friday as we sat through four and a half (should take only two) hours of the worst traffic ever from San Diego to Pasadena. We checked into our hotel, and I immediately ran off to make it to the pro-only event they had that night. It was incredible. I spent more money that night than I did all weekend. We spent Saturday and Sunday attending classes and workshops, shopping, and people watching. It was quite a show, no pun intended. 

I have SO much to show you. Including reviews of the products I took home, photos of the gorgeous makeup demonstrations and the wonderful people I got to meet. Stay tuned in the coming week for all the details from a pro artists perspective on IMATS LA 2011. And make sure to follow this blog so you can be entered to win a contest later this week. More details to come...

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True Blood: A Nail Story

Who is as excited as I am for True Blood Season Four tonight? A friend of mine got me reading the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels shortly before the TV series True Blood premiered. I couldn't put them down. It was like Twilight for adults (ok, so I got really into that too, whatever!). So I have undoubtedly been a huge fan of True Blood on HBO, despite them leaving out some of my favorite parts of the novels! 

I am so ready for Season Four tonight, and am currently en route to the Bloody Sunday: A True Blood Panel Discussion at IMATS here in Pasadena. The description from the official schedule:
Join the make-up and special make-up effects teams from HBO’s hit show True Blood as they discuss their work from the show’s previous seasons—as well as teasing what’s to come in Season Four!  Witness never-before-seen test shots and get a detailed exposé on their work, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.
I am in heaven! So to pay tribute to one of my favorite shows, I have been rocking some True Blood inspired nails all weekend. When I saw that OPI had a "Red Shatter," my first thought was True Blood (and Dexter, when that comes back on) nails. 

I painted a couple of coats of Sally Hansen "Black Out," followed by a swipe of "Red Shatter." I also painted one nail with Sally Hansen "Red Hot," followed by "Black Shatter." I don't wear dark nails often, I'm more of an obnoxiously-blinding-brights sort of girl. So this is a nice change, but I find it amplifies the fact that I am a makeup artist, not a manicurist, for good reason. Oh well, blood is messy, right?!

Happy True Blood Sunday!


Things I Love Thursday: Thrifting Thrills & Pro Perks

There is so much to be grateful for this week! I kicked off Sunday with not one, but two great bridal makeup trials. Then one of my best friends was in town with her wonderful husband, so we hung out at home, walked to get pizza, and played the office board game out on the patio late into the night. Monday I had another great bridal makeup trial, and then spent the afternoon thrifting with my love
Sometimes you can hit multiple stores in a row, and come up with nothing. And sometimes, you stumble upon a pair of Jeffrey Campbell 99 Booties in the middle of Buffalo Exchange in a beach town! They were practically jumping off the shelf and into my arms. How had no one snagged these?? They are a size too big, so I'm hoping insoles will do the trick. If not, to Ebay they go to make someone else happy. The excitement of just spotting them might be enough to satisfy me. The thrill of the hunt if you will. 
In another shop, I found a cute pair of flat black boots for only $6.00! I am currently on the lookout for functional and fashionable shoes everywhere. I've decided it's a big priority for "the big move" in the fall. These are just roomy enough for cozy socks, and basic enough to dress any outfit up or down. NYC, here come me and my happy, warm feet!
My future self has also decided that hand bags will be a great way to change up the same old outfits. So this little coral find for $8.00 will be added to that slowly growing collection!

Monday thrift store finds.

I also am so thankful to have gotten word on my Pro membership status from Makeup Artist Magazine. You might remember my post about IMATS, and it is now just days away. I will be able to pick up my Pro Card on Friday night before the card-holder exclusive event! Then throughout the whole weekend, my Pro status will give me access to pro-only only areas, cutting in line(!), and various other perks. I also can't thank the nice folks enough who promptly responded to my incessant emails. They were so kind and helpful! I will be sure to share my experience at Friday's event, as well as the whole IMATS weekend.

Other things to be thankful for this week: kind people in your industry you meet on Twitter, supportive family, cute flip flops from target, the new season of True Blood starting this Sunday, anything Brian Fallon does...like this upcoming project/album, friendships that stand the test of distance, Southwest celebrating 40 years with a fantastic sale (today is your last chance to snag a cheap flight), and finally Project Wildlife for happily letting us drop off an injured bird we found in the park yesterday. What wonderful people! 

What are you thankful for this week?


Lookbook Love: Wildfox Fall 2011

I know I just got all excited about summer, and here I am thinking about Fall already. But when I saw the lookbook for Wildfox White Label Fall 2011, I just about shouted with excitement. If you're not familiar with the brand already, I urge you to check out their website. They have the perfect California-cool vibe going on. Their lookbooks always paint a picture or tell a story, and leave me totally wanting to live in their world.
The White Label Fall 2011 collection could cause me to rack up some serious credit card debt. Too bad I always feel terrible guilt when I put things on my credit card, or else it would be happening! The Fall line is a collection of cozy knits mixed with just the right amount of cheeky glamour I love. The lookbook they shot for it is out of this world. A soft focused 60's & 70's feel, inspired by all the sex kittens of that era. And the hair and makeup are just gorgeous. 
In their words...
For White Label we played off the era of the 60's/70's in a different way. We found inspiration in women like Nancy Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Mia Farrow, Audrey Hepburn, Ewa Aulin and Marilyn Monroe...It was our object to catch the bittersweet, doll ideal that women dealt with and also used to their advantage in those days. The clothes are knit and extremely soft and cozy, they are sexy in a conservative and playful way. These pieces are like sweaters you might find in your Grandpas closet and wear over an over again until they are full of rips and holes. They are what Audrey Hepburn might have worn, with little black ballet tights in her New York apartment in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, holding her cat by an open window...
Here are some of my favorites from the upcoming collection:

My favorite!

Head over to their blog, I Love Wildfox, to see the rest. And while you're at it, add them to your blog roll or RSS feed; they post some of the best inspiration images! I can get lost going through old posts, and finding past collection lookbooks too. Enjoy!


Makeup Monday: Eve Pearl Product Review

Happy Monday everyone! I have some wonderful goodies to show you! I came home one day last week to find a package in the mail. What could be inside?

My Eve Pearl order of course! I took advantage of a great sale they had going over Memorial Day weekend, and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my products. Eve Pearl is a makeup artist who has been in the industry for almost twenty years (read more about her here). She has a great line of products that both makeup artists and the everyday woman love dearly. They perform to industry standards, but were created out of a need for something that could also nourish the skin. One of her most popular products is the Salmon Concealer, and I have been out of mine for an embarrassingly long time. So when the sale popped up on her Twitter, I knew I needed to restock.

I ordered the Light for myself (on the right), and a wheel (in the back on the left) with Light, Medium, and Dark for my kit. I love having compacts and palettes in my kit because it is so easy to custom blend colors for clients instead of carrying multiple shades. I can't say enough about this product. Some great things? Paraben, petrolatum, mineral oil, fragrance, AND cruelty free. Just to name a few. 
The salmon color works to correct the blue and purple tones that show up under the eyes. I can always tell when someone is wearing a yellow based concealer under their eyes because it looks grey, or greenish. It creates a sallow haze. Blue mixed with yellow = ? Yup, Green. Yuck. So rather than layering your concealer on thick to hide dark circles, a tiny amount of salmon concealer just where it's needed simply corrects the color to neutralize the under eye area. Voila! Now you know one of my secrets. 

She also threw in a free gift for me! Love! The Pearlicious Lip Gloss in "Menage." I was so excited when I opened the package and found a surprise. I love companies that appreciate their customers like Eve Pearl does. Plus, I had never tried the Pearlicious glosses before. It's a beautiful, sheer, pinky peach with just the right amount of shine and a non-sticky finish. The squeeze applicator is different than any other gloss I've tried, with the tip tapered just like when your favorite lipstick starts to get a groove in it from always applying at the same angle. Did I mention it smells like fruity bubblegum? Remind me not to keep licking it off!

Clockwise from top left: Pearlicious Lip Gloss in "Menage," Salmon Concealer in Dark, Medium, Light. 

Photos: Me
Shop: Eve Pearl


Treat Dad to a Proper Shave this Father's Day

Ladies, I don't know about you but getting my hair done is one of my favorite treats to myself. It's not just a hair cut/color, it's about the whole experience. Same goes for facials, manicures, pedicures...the list goes on and on. We know how to spoil ourselves! But what about the gentlemen in our lives? They deserve to be pampered every once in a while too. With Father's Day just around the corner (June 19th), do you know what you're getting for Dad?

Insert the old fashioned barber's shave. A little bit of history for you: back in the middle ages, the task of performing surgeries was passed to barbers, due to their experience with razors (and some interesting rules and restriction of the religious kind). The barber-surgeon extracted teeth, performed bloodletting, and of course gave haircuts. Imagine getting a haircut and an appendectomy from the same person! Read up on it if it sparks your interest; I think it's all pretty fascinating. Fast forward to today: barbering is still truly a craft. And can be quite a treat for any man, especially those accustomed only to shaving at home.

Earlier this week, I accompanied my boyfriend, Jayson, to an appointment at the Fellowship of Barber Surgeons. Located in the heart of the Normal Heights community in San Diego, the shop is tucked just behind their sister salon, Hair Drezzers on Fire, on Adams Ave. & Mansfield St. We had stopped by the day before, but they were booked up. After scheduling an appointment for the next day, they offered us a beverage and invited us to hang out in the back for a game of ping pong. Cool! 

So how'd the appointment go? Great! I hadn't seen my boyfriend's face in a few months. Don't get me wrong, I love a burly beard. Maybe because it looks brawny and rugged, or maybe it just makes me think of ultra manly hockey players. But I was excited to see the transformation. And he was looking forward to the hot towels and straight razor that would lead to super smooth skin.


Overall from start to finish, he was in the chair for about 30-40 minutes. I won't give away all the secrets, or go into too much detail about it, since I really think you boys need to experience it yourself. This was Jayson's second time going there for a shave, and he will surely be back again.

Through a series of hot & cold towels, lotions and potions, and steady handiwork with a straight razor, I was presented with a clean shaven boyfriend!


Guys, you don't have to have as dramatic a change as Jayson did. Just a little stubble will do. On top of offering the shave, they have quite the menu of services to choose from. Care for a Labotomy or some Cranial Shaping? Head over to their site if you're not savvy to barber-surgeon speak!

So if you are looking for a great gift for Father's Day, get down to Normal Heights and treat Dad to an appointment with the fine folks at the Fellowship of Barber Surgeons. This would also be a great treat for a groom-to-be, or the birthday of the man in your life. They've got plenty of regulars too, so do call ahead and make an appointment! This is a popular place for good reason!


Things I Love Thursday: Starting Summer Off Right!

Coronado, CA

Doesn't it feel like summer already? So what if it's a little overcast today. I've been putting sunscreen on with diligence, but also looking at my paper white skin thinking a bit of a sun kissed glow would be really nice. The gym I go to has an incredible pool area outside for laps and lounging in the sun. I might venture out there in the coming weeks. But for today, a quick list of things that I am loving this last week. 

Coronado, CA

Living like a tourist is perfect for this time of year. Doing all the things here in my hometown of San Diego that I have never done, never seen, or just haven't experienced since I was little. It's giving me a whole new appreciation for America's Finest City. Plus making for great memories. Lake Miramar is a great time in the sunshine. You get a serious (free) workout that sneaks up on you when you're sore the next day! I'm also really loving finding great deals lately, whether it's online, in the clearance section, or just learning the right time to hit up the movie theater to get half price tickets! 

Also: green smoothies, getting in shape, taking lots of photos, new Death Cab for Cutie (I feel like I have grown up alongside their albums), new Bon Iver (pre-order now, I have it already and it's fantastic!), photo shoots outdoors, Sports Show with Norm MacDonald (my boyfriend got me watching this and it is hilarious), upcoming friend's weddings, Stanley Cup Finals (go Canucks!), greek yogurt with fresh fruit, a serious nail polish addiction (I change shades more than I post here!), Bath & Body Works Country Chic (I'm a sucker for wildflowers and this is a light easy summer fragrance), summer hats galore, Pinterest, Bruce Springsteen (always on all my summer playlists), the San Diego County Fair opening this weekend (who doesn't love an excuse to eat fried versions of...everything?), and...

Happy Birthday to my Magic! 

13 Years Old!

Just a youngster!

What is on you love list for this week?

Photos: Me


Makeup Monday: IMATS LA 2011

This post is a little late to still count for Monday. But I make the rules around here! Today was filled with business for me. I feel like in the past few days I have had an influx of emails from nothing but wonderful brides-to-be, inquiring about my services. I couldn't be happier! Let me tell you. As a freelancer in any industry, there are stagnant times where you start to question yourself and wonder if you're crazy to throw yourself out there like we all do. And then, all at once, potential clients come out of what seems like no where, and all is right in the world again. I've booked a bride for August I am so excited for, and we haven't even met yet! Plus I will have the pleasure of working with some friends for their weddings in the coming months also. Being a part of someone's wedding day is so special. I love celebrating love!

In order to stay on top of my makeup game for what's on the market, and what's on the runways, I have various resources. But nothing is better than meeting the best artists out there, learning from them, and connecting face to face with the brands that I use on my clients. Instead of talking about products today, I want to fill you in on where I will be in a few weeks. The International Make-up Artist Tradeshow (IMATS) takes place on June 25th and 26th this year in Los Angeles. It's a weekend filled with the best professional brands and top artists in the world, all at your fingertips. I will be shopping for new goodies for my kit, and participating in workshops from the best makeup artists in the industry. I have always wanted to go, and have always had to work during the weekend it fell on. Well this year I am making it happen.

I can't wait to share my experience with you guys. I will be taking tons of photos, notes during classes, and trying (and buying) all sorts of amazing products. Stay tuned at the end of the month for the wrap up on IMATS.

Photos: 1, 2-4


Things I Love Thursday

I heard a quote this morning that I really liked. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."  -William Arthur Ward

It was a perfect start to my day, as well as appropriate for what I was planning to post here. I was set to include a small list inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Gala Darling. I began following her blog years ago, before I even had visions of blogging myself. Every Thursday, without fail, she would (and still does!) include a list of things she was loving and was thankful for. So in honor of Miss Darling, and in honor of the great quote that started off my day, here are the things I am loving this Thursday!

Yoga! I have wanted to go for years. It sounds so silly to have waited so long to try something. But I have had some clumsy group-excercise experiences that have caused me to shy away from classes in general. Plus I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and if I am going to try something and possibly fail miserably, I like to do it in private. But I did it on a whim today, and boy am I glad I did! The instructor was so positive and supportive that I feel crazy for not trying it sooner. The immediate benefits have only made me realize how much more there is to gain. I felt challenged, yet stronger and calmer. This is the start of a beautiful friendship.

The iPad2! The more I blog and the more I travel for work and for pleasure, the more I realize I need better technology. I debated it for a while, as it really didn't seem at all practical. But trying to keep up with emails, blogging, and everything else from my phone is a pain! My wonderful boyfriend sent me a sweet text a week ago and said he knew it was something we could both get a lot of use out of, and frankly who doesn't just plain love new toys? Our first joint purchase and we are such good sharers!

My boyfriend! Mushy, I know! But after I heard that quote this morning, I went straight to him and thanked him for always being so supportive of me. I am making efforts to have an overall healthier lifestyle, and he has been on board from day one. Plus I had some not so fun medical issues last year, all while dealing with extreme stress at work. He was never anything less than a positive light in the dark. It is so important to not only remind ourselves what we are thankful for every day, but to let those around us know we are grateful for what they do too. He's a peach!

And a short list of everything I can think of off the top of my head that I am grateful for this week: my dog who will be 13 years old this month, my hair stylist who just took off a freeing five inches from my long locks, IMATS later this month with my friend & fellow makeup artist Erica Franksen! my new running shoes (light as air!), hiking in Mission Trails (beautiful, serene, and absolutely free), Tofu Shirataki noodles, Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage (just try it, you'll thank me later), sunscreen, farmers markets, and the fact that gas prices are coming down slightly!

Now get out there and tell someone, "Thanks!"

Photos: 1, 2, 3