MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review

Is it worth the hype?

Colors here L to R: NC15, NW20, NW25, NC35, NW35, NW40

It gets rave reviews online and was voted as the top high end concealer in Allure Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards for 2015. Must be awesome, right? Let’s see!

What it’s all about:

  • 16 Shades
  • Medium to full coverage
  • Natural, matte finish
  • Lasts for up to 15 hours
  • Good for under-eye circles and other discolorations
  • Comes in a glass vial with a pump dispenser
  • 0.30 US fl oz
  • $20.00 at MAC stores and www.maccosmetics.com

 

I feel like I have been on a never ending quest for the perfect concealer.  Many formulas have let me down in the past, so it’s a little frightening introducing a new one into my professional makeup kit. I decided to take the plunge and buy a range of shades of the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. What initially intrigued me about the product was that it was a long wearing formula and it was a liquid, not a thick cream.

Will it cover dark circles?  Erase blemishes and discoloration?  Will it crease horribly?  Is it worth all the hype?

After testing on myself and clients, here’s what I discovered:

What I like:

  • It has a good amount of coverage. I like it for more of a medium coverage concealer, but it can be layered or applied on top of another concealer to make it full coverage.
  • Nice range of colors.
  • The matte finish is great. Depending on how oily your skin is, you may need to set it with a translucent powder.
  • Application for under the eyes is best with clean fingers or a concealer brush.  For a larger area of coverage, use a damp Beauty Blender sponge or synthetic foundation or concealer brush.
  • It mixes well with other products. Mixed with a light weight foundation, like MAC Face and Body, it makes a lovely medium coverage foundation. Blended with face lotion, it makes a nice tinted moisturizer.
  • Stays put. Once it’s set, it holds. Even survives sweaty situations.
  • The bottle is pretty small, but only using a small amount, it will last quite a while.

As you can see, quite a lot comes out with one pump.

What I don’t like:

  • With as concentrated as this formula is, the pump dispenses way too much at a time. Great for concealing a large area, but wasteful for small areas like under the eyes. The solution to this is to use a little sample container to pump a full pump into and use that for a few days. Ask for a sample container when purchasing if you go to the MAC store. Or, you can try to dispense it very gently and slowly so only a little comes out.
  • It can look a dry on some people, especially in the eye area. If that’s you, prep with a good eye cream.
  • It may crease unless set with a light dusting of a translucent powder.

Top row L to R: NC15, NW20, NW25. Bottom row L to R: NC35, NW35, NW40

The MAC Pro Longwear Concealer can definitely stay in my makeup kit for now. I think that it has mostly lived up to all the hype. I would give it 4 stars out of 5.  I hope you like it if you decide to try it out!

Bridal Makeup Example

 

Photo by James Sotirakis  www.jsimagedesign.com

How do brides want to look on their wedding day?  Most would say they want to look beautiful and flawless, but without a lot of heavy makeup.  Being a makeup artist, the tricky part is putting enough makeup on for the photos, but not too much to where is looks overdone in the lighting of the actual wedding and reception.  Here is how I did our bride’s makeup.

I began by prepping her skin with a light moisturizer mixed with a face primer, MAC Skin Base Visage.  She had very few minor skin imperfections that needed to be covered with concealer.  For redness, I used Ben Nye Red Neutralizer #2.  Under her eyes I used Make Up For Ever’s Camouflage Cream in N13.


Brides like for their makeup to last all day and night, no matter how much crying, laughing and dancing they do.  This is why I usually airbrush foundation and blush on brides.  Dinair foundation in Light Golden Beige was sprayed lightly on the face to achieve the perfect coverage.  I also sprayed a little on her neck and chest area to make the skin look uniform.  Dinair Peach Beige Plum was used on her cheeks.  Most airbrush makeup requires very little powder so I dusted her with a small amount of translucent powder.

Our bride’s eyebrows were enhanced with a neutral taupe/brown powder and combed through with a clear brow gel to set them.  MAC’s Shroom and Charcoal Brown eye shadows were used to compliment her blue eyes.  For her eye liner, I used MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack on the upper lash line and on the lower lash line I used Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes pencil in 2L, which is brown.

I love false lashes and always recommend them for brides, just not the gigantic showgirl type.  After curling the lashes and applying a coat of waterproof mascara, good old Maybelline Great Lash in Very Black, I applied Revlon’s false lashes in Flirty.

On her lips, I used a neutral spice colored lip liner, lining the lips and filling in completely to create a lasting base for the lipstick, Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection in Soulmate.

Do you have to use these exact products to achieve perfect bridal makeup?  Of course not, there are countless substitutions that can be made.  I just list what I used as examples of colors and textures to give you an idea.

The final result looked beautiful in person and photographed very well, making an extremely happy bride.

Copyright of all photos:  Tracy Sotirakis, with the exception of top photo.

 

5 Things To Never Do With Makeup

Don’t do this, don’t do that.  Wear this color, never ever wear that color.  There are many so-called rules when it comes to makeup that it’s easy to get confused.  Many professional makeup artists don’t even believe in most of these rules.  However, there are a few commandments that must be strictly followed.

Bacteria photo:  Wikimedia Commons

1.  Do not share certain makeup products with friends/family members.  Mascara should never be shared with anyone.  Eye infections and bacteria can easily be transferred.  You may think that your BFF is clean and sharing your mascara with her is OK, but can you see bacteria?  No, just don’t do it or you may be very sorry.  Same goes with the lipstick, lip gloss or balm that you slather on constantly.  What comes out of your mouth?  Saliva, bacteria, maybe the beginning of a cold or some other infectious sickness.  Do you share your toothbrush with your sister or best friend?  Just say no to sharing your mascara and lip products.  If you have shared these things, save yourself and throw them away.

Poor guy!

2.  Don’t let it get too cold or too hot.  Makeup is fragile.  It likes nice gentle temperatures.  Don’t let any liquid or creamy formulas freeze.  They may separate and get crumbly.  On the reverse side of freezing, if your creamy formulas get too hot they will be ruined.  Pencils and lipsticks will melt.  Foundations and concealers will turn sour and have a nasty spoiled smell to them.  Throw them out if this happens.  The chemicals have changed and this may cause your skin to break out.  You will also smell the funky scent all day because it’s on your face.  Trust me, I live and work in the desert where it gets extremely hot, I have ruined countless makeup items.  If I have to do a shoot outside during the hotter months of the year, I use a cooler as my makeup case.  It’s very chic!

3.  Please, don’t sleep with it on.  How many times do you have to be told?  Some of you still go to bed with your makeup on.  Your skin needs to rest and regenerate at night.  Infections can occur around your eyes and hair follicles can become clogged from not taking off your makeup.  Don’t be so lazy, clean your face!

4.  Do not blow on your makeup brushes.  Blowing on anything releases tiny particles of saliva into the air.  Kind of makes you regret eating birthday cake, huh?  Tap on your brushes with your finger to release any extra product instead of blowing.

Photo:  Warner Brothers

5.  Most of all, don’t care what others think about your makeup.  Hey, if you think you look like a goddess with bright purple eye shadow all the way up into your eyebrow, who cares?  Makeup is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, so wear it proudly!  You can take a woman who normally wears very frightening makeup and give her a complete overhaul, turning her into a supermodel, but if she isn’t comfortable in that makeup, she won’t feel good about herself.  Wear what you like and be happy.

These are just a few.  There are countless other rules out there in the makeup and beauty world.  Just pay attention to the sanitation rules and throw the rest out the window.

 

Solution To Creased Eye Shadow

Hot weather, humidity, oily eye lids and wearing makeup for long hours–all causes of the dreaded creased eye shadow.  Are you plagued with this problem?  The solution is pretty simple, eye primer.

Eye primer is a pretty hip cosmetic item now so there are many brands to choose from depending on your budget.  An eye primer should last you a long time, so if you want to invest in a more expensive brand, feel free.  Less expensive brands also work just as well, it just depends on personal preference.

L to R: Primer from a wand, from a stick, a pot, clear wand, shimmer

They can come in pots, tubes, sticks, wands or brush applicators.  Eye primers can also come in different colors.  They can be skin tone, color correcting/neutralizing, clear or have a shimmer to them.

Left side with primer, right side without (same eye shadow)

Before doing any eye makeup, apply a small amount of primer on both lids, going from the lash line up to the brow bone, smoothing with your finger if necessary.  Let the primer dry for about a minute then apply eye makeup as usual.  You will notice that your eye shadow will be more vibrant and last all day.

If you are also plagued with migrating eye liner on your lower lash line, apply a small amount of eye primer there too before applying eye liner.

Say goodbye to melted eye liner and creased eye shadow, use your eye primer!

 

IECSC Las Vegas, NV 2013

 June 22-24 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Las Vegas Convention Center

My favorite event of the summer is the IECSC show in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Unfortunately, it’s only for industry professionals, so the public is not allowed to attend.  Sorry to all you makeup and skincare junkies that are not professionals.  I wish you could go also.

The most exciting part of this year’s convention is that I will be speaking on stage in the Makeup Education room.  I have two classes and here are the descriptions from the conference catalog:

 

I am honored to be speaking this year.  If you are an industry professional and want to attend the show, go to www.iecsc.com/las-vegas and register.  They also have shows in Florida and New York if you can’t attend the Las Vegas show.  Please come and attend my class and find me after to say hello and introduce yourself.    See you at the show!

*Logo above and catalog snapshots are from IECSC*

How To Apply Blush

If you don’t wear blush now, you should start immediately.  Blush livens up the whole face.  When you apply foundation and powder you take away all your natural coloring.  What you want to do is apply a blush that is going to mimic your natural flushing color and give you your radiance back.  Blush will also enhance your cheekbones, giving your face more structure.

Blush shades can come in peach, pink, mauve, apricot, bronze, salmon, brown, terracotta, fuchsia, red and orange.  For light skin, choose lighter shades.  Medium skin, medium shades.  For dark skin, clear (not muddy or muted) bright vibrant shades look great.  There are different formulas of blush:  powder, cream and a gel.  If you are very new to blush, don’t go for the gel at first.  It’s the hardest to control and you can look like a clown if it’s not done correctly.  Powders and creams are the easiest to use.

If you are going to use a cream blush or gel, apply it after foundation and before powder.  You don’t want to apply anything creamy over something that has already been powdered, it will not go on right and look blotchy.  I believe the best way to apply cream or gel blush is to use your fingers.  Put the blush on your index and middle finger and rub the fingers of both hands together, getting it even on both sides.

 

 

 

Photo by www.jsimagedesign.com

 

While looking in the mirror, smile to see the “apples” of your cheeks.

Photo by www.jsimagedesign.com

Start rubbing the blush at the outer edge of the “apple” and blend it towards your hairline.  You don’t want any lines or finger marks.  Gel blush needs to be applied very quickly before it dries.  If you applied too much cream blush, use a sponge wedge remove some. If you applied too much using a gel, you’re a little bit screwed.  Face wash or more foundation can fix it.  Apply a light dusting of translucent powder to set the blush.  Lipstick can substitute for cream blush if you don’t have any or if you are in a pinch.

Powder blush can be applied after foundation and powder with a blush brush.

Photo by www.jsimagedesign.com

Use the same placement as the cream blush, starting at the outside of the “apple” and blending out towards the hairline.

Photo by www.jsimagedesign.com

If you applied too much, remove some with a sponge wedge or apply more translucent powder over the blush.

Blush can come in matte or shimmer, it’s up to you which you like better.  Matte will look more natural and is best for photos or harsh lighting situations.  Shimmer will look best under lower light.  Shimmer blush also will be too much if you have shimmery eyeshadow and shimmery lipstick on also.  Shimmer all over will make you will look like a sparkler on the 4th of July.

A few tips: Don’t go too far in by your nose on your “apples”.  Don’t go too far up by your eyes, and don’t go too far down by your jawline.  And for goodness sakes, ditch the horrible stiff brush that comes with a lot of the blushes these days.  If you use it, you risk looking like a lady from the 80’s with her scary unblended stripe.

Photo by www.jsimagedesign.com

Blend, blend, blend!  If you apply your blush like this I will find you and scrub your face clean!  🙂

Jennifer Aniston and Vaseline

A lot of us look for cheap beauty secrets that actually work.  Celebrities supposedly know everything, so we look to them for advice, especially when it comes to beauty.   They always look good so they must have some insider information.  It couldn’t be the fact that they have zillions to spend on Creme de La Mer or the fact that they have professional makeup artists and hair stylists on call for every appearance.  Lately, I have seen quite a few articles on what celebrities use that you can buy at the drugstore.

The one that really sticks out to me is that Jennifer Aniston keeps the
skin around her eyes looking great by applying Vaseline at night before
she goes to bed.  No, not just a little dab, it is reported that she
uses a quarter of a teaspoon on EACH eye.  Whoa!  That’s quite a bit of
Vaseline.  Here’s a picture to show you just exactly how much that is
per eye:

Photo courtesy of www.jsimagedesign.com

If you sleep in a corpse pose all night and don’t move, this might not be too messy.  Normal people that toss and turn all night might wake up with Vaseline everywhere.

Regardless of what you think about petroleum products, I have heard many stories of older women who have used petroleum jelly on their faces their whole lives and have beautiful skin.  Maybe Jen is on to something and we should try it, just not in such a large amount.  Good luck if you are going to give it a shot!