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.



Please Wash Your Makeup Brushes!



Nasty, dirty things.

Would you sleep on the same pillow case every night for 3 months?  No way, that’s gross.  So why are you repeatedly putting something on your face without washing it regularly?  Your makeup brushes need a bath, right now.

I’m a bit of a germ freak when it comes to my makeup brushes for my business.  All clients get their own set of clean brushes, washed with anti-bacterial soap and water.  Why am I so vigilant about this?  I don’t want disgusting dirty stuff put on my face, so I don’t put it on my client’s faces.

Washing makeup brushes is easy and should be done on a regular basis.  The brushes will feel softer and work better without all the layers of gunk on them.  Washing brushes will not make the hairs fall out, but some shedding occurs with all brushes, especially less expensive ones.

Start by gathering your dirty brushes.  Get a fresh towel and spread it out to give the clean brushes a place to lay flat and dry.

The best soap to use for natural hair brushes (blush, powder, eye shadow) is a mild shampoo.  Baby shampoo works well or any regular shampoo that you have in the house.  For synthetic brushes (foundation, concealer, eye liner, lip) use a liquid dish soap that you would use to hand wash dishes, not the stuff for the dishwasher.  I usually try to find one that says something about dissolving grease.

Using warm water, wet the brush then work a little soap into it.  Swirl the brush around in the palm of your hand gently, never pushing too hard which will damage the hairs.  Let the brush lather up to get rid of all the makeup.

Hold the brush under the running water and work out the soap, gently spreading the hairs.  Try not to get any water into the ferrule, which is the part that attaches the hairs to the handle, the silver thing on this brush.  If too much water gets into the ferrule right where it is attached to the brush handle, your brush may get damaged and fall apart.  For very soiled brushes, the process may need to be repeated until all the makeup is dissolved.  Do not use any hair conditioner.  Do not leave them to soak.

Fresh and clean

Squeeze out the excess water and smooth the hairs out.  Lay flat to dry.

Do this on a weekly basis (at least) to keep your brushes clean and bacteria free.  Brushes will last for many years if treated with love.  Happy washing!

All photos:  Tracy Sotirakis



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!



Traveling With Makeup

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

This is a tragedy.  For so many reasons.  First it is a TOTAL mess when you discover that this heart breaking thing has happened.  Second, it is a huge mess to clean up.  What if I was unaware that this had happened and opened the eye shadow palette up in a client’s home and dispersed dark grey eye shadow fragments all over their expensive carpet?  That would be another sort of tragedy, and a carpet cleaning bill to round it off!

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

My shattered eye shadows and blushes were the result of a recent job out of town where flying was necessary.  The blame goes to the airline and whoever was inspecting my case of makeup supplies.  Everything was packed to ensure durability, some things wrapped in towels and nestled in their little cubbies in my waterproof, smash proof Pelican case.  My supplies survived the trip to the job just fine.  The way back was another story.  When I got home and began to unpack my makeup, everything was out of order and the eye shadow palettes were out of their protective cubbies and unwrapped from the cushioning towels.

OK airport security, what did you think they were??  Not that I am really angry with airport security, but if you tear my stuff up, please put it back how it was or else this mess happens.  It’s obviously delicate!  They must not know how annoying it is to have shattered grey eye shadow or peach sparkly blush everywhere.

So, when you all travel with your makeup, hopefully you don’t have quite as much as I do, but wrap everything like it’s going to battle.  They might “rearrange” it at the airport, but at least you tried.  The next time that I have to fly with all my makeup again, there will be a lot of bubble wrap involved.  Maybe some thin foam packing in there too for certain products.  Airport security will really go nuts!  Happy travels, and may your makeup be unbroken.


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 http://www.jsimagedesign.com


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

Photo by http://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 http://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 http://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 http://www.jsimagedesign.com

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