6 Pro Beauty Products

Most of us have our favorite beauty staples: foundation, blush, and mascara. But it’s time to introduce a few new items into your repertoire. As a makeup artist, I deal with hundreds of different cosmetic products -- but I always find myself relying on a few surprising ones.

Consider adding the following products to your beauty regimen. They may seem simple, but they’ll make a huge difference!

1. Exfoliating products.
Large, clogged pores are my beauty arch-nemesis. For a smooth complexion, I use a micro-exfoliation wash, mask or cloth to strip away excess dirt and oil. Choose a gentle product that isn’t too harsh on your complexion. My rule of thumb: If the product feels like it’s scratching your skin, toss it.

2. Antiaging serum with vitamin C.
Known in its pure form as ascorbic acid, vitamin C lightens dark spots and softens fine lines. I prefer serums with rose hips, which are high in the vitamin. To apply it, put a reasonable amount in your palm, rub your hands together and pat your face, neck and décolletage. Then softly drape an unfolded on your skin to absorb the excess. Tip: If your product turns a different color, like yellow, that means it’s lost some of its benefits -- and it’s time to buy a new bottle.

3. Primer.
Several of my clients complain of having red splotches or sallow complexions. Tinted primer is the remedy to these problems. Remember the color wheel from art class? Opposing colors can neutralize one another: Green balances out red, and violet counteracts yellow.

Choose your tinted primer and prep your skin with moisturizer. Using a flat foundation brush, paint the primer on your face, focusing on the areas that need color correction. Dab off any streaks with a and apply your foundation as usual.

4. Nude eyeliner.
When all the concealer in the world is not enough to make me look awake, I brighten my eyes with a flesh-toned eyeliner. Choose a waterproof pencil one or two shades lighter than your skin. (Even if you’re pale, stay away from stark white liner. They can create a chalky look.) Sketch the color across your waterline -- the innermost rim of your lower eyelid -- brush on your mascara, and your eyes no longer look like they’re begging for an espresso.

5. Paintbrushes.
Mixed in with my pricey top-of-the-line makeup brushes, you’ll find several art store paintbrushes. Great for lipstick, eyeliner and under-eye correction, many of these brushes are made from the same synthetic fibers as their more expensive makeup counterparts. Some of my finest and most precise eyeliner brushes are actually meant for oil or acrylic paints and cost half as much as the less effective ones sold by beauty suppliers!

As with all brushes, washing is essential. Use a mild shampoo to scrub off any residue and makeup and rinse. Then press the brush into a folded to remove as much water as possible. Shape the brushes and lay them out to dry.

6. Cream shadows.
For years, cream shadows have been my No. 1 necessity. These products provide long-lasting coverage, so there’s no need for a specific eye primer. Plus, they have pigment that blends well with powder shadows.

How to apply it? Spread a light peach-pink cream shadow over your lid, V area and crease. Before the product dries, dust your lid with a lighter matching shadow. You can keep it simple or go more dramatic by highlighting the center of your lid with a pearl shimmer, then add a darker shadow to your V area and crease. Wipe away any smudges or excess.

Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

Get Gorgeous on the Go

Taking a vacation should be relaxing. But it’s all too easy to get stressed out about what to pack -- especially when it comes to your cosmetics. We asked makeup artist Elisa Tallerico, celebrity makeup artist and MTV hairstylist, for her tips for packing a beauty bag. Read on to find out what to bring to look flawless without weighing down your luggage.

Makeup Tip No. 1: Pack makeup palettes.  
Instead of hauling around every blush, bronzer and eye shadow that you might want to use on your trip, find your favorite shades in a quad or duo compact. "Many makeup brands offer palettes that you can build yourself," says Tallerico. "This allows you to swap out which shades you want to bring with you, and which you want to leave at home."

Makeup Tip No. 2: Simplify your brush set.  
“When traveling, pack one powder brush, one blush brush and a flat concealer brush," says Tallerico. Your blush brush can be used for contouring, and a concealer brush easily doubles as an eye shadow brush. Some makeup brands also offer travel-sized brushes, which are smaller and easier to pack. Instead of bringing sponges, you can use Puffs facial tissues to blend in your make-up.

Makeup Tip No. 3: Use multitaskers.
"Makeup doesn't have to be used for only one thing," says Tallerico. A pink, shimmery lipstick can double as a cream blush: Dab a small amount onto the apples of your cheeks and blend. To use a light, shimmery eye shadow as a highlighter, sweep it onto your cheekbones to brighten your look. Bronzer can also be used as a contouring powder for your face.

Makeup Tip No. 4: Avoid unnecessary tools.
Instead of toting your eyeliner and a sharpener, Tallerico recommends seeking out self-sharpening eyeliner, which has a sharpener built right into the cap of the liner. The right mascara will lift and curl your lashes, allowing you to leave your eyelash curler at home.

Makeup Tip No. 5: Bring travel-sized items.
One of the best ways to lighten your makeup bag is to bring your beauty products down to size. "Most brands make a travel-sized version of their products," says Tallerico. For example, instead of toting along a whole box of tissues for makeup touchups, just tuck a pack of Puffs to Go in your bag. Can’t find your favorite product in miniature? Invest in small reusable containers to fill up.

Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras on Unsplash

Pretty Summer Date Night Looks

After a long winter, it’s time to come out of hibernation. Summer is the perfect excuse for a date night. Whether you’re planning on outdoor cocktails or a backyard barbecue, you can look fresh-faced, sun-kissed and on-trend in a breeze. Celebrity makeup artist Amanda Shackleton shares her favorite beauty looks for an evening on the town in this easy-to-follow guide.

1. Go (nearly) bare.
Ditch the heavy, dark colors along with your thick sweaters, and think light. To get an instant healthy glow, Shackleton suggests applying a shimmer powder to the raised areas of your face, such as your cheekbones, brows and temples. (Steer clear of your T-zone, which can create an oily appearance.) Finish off with a swipe of waterproof mascara, and you’re ready to wow.


2. Get cheeky.
If there’s one feature you should focus on this summer, it’s your cheeks. To achieve a pretty pop of color without baking in the sun, use a Puffs facial tissue to blend in cream blush on the apples of your cheeks. Bonus: You can use a dab of this multitasking product on your lips too.

3. Celebrate your skin.
Summer is for eating lobster, not looking like one. To steer clear of a ruddy complexion, be vigilant about wearing sunscreen every time you step out. Shackleton suggests trying a sunscreen powder, which goes on like a face powder and feels lighter than greasy lotions. For a gorgeous glimmer without baking in the sun, try rubbing coconut oil on your legs, chest and arms. You’ll get a healthy shine while smelling like a tropical vacation.

 
4. Don’t sweat it.
Don’t want to bother meticulously applying makeup if you’re just going to “glisten” it all away? Shackleton swears by waterproof, silicone-based foundations, which stay perfectly intact beneath your facial powder. For eyes? In addition to waterproof mascara, try a gel eyeliner. “Unlike pencils, they won’t smudge at all -- even if you go swimming!” says Shackleton.

5. Say bye-bye to black.
Chances are, dark colors will be pushed to the back of your closet for the next few months, so why shouldn’t the same go for your makeup? One of Shackleton’s favorite trends from the ’80s, colorful mascara, is back. “Thankfully, it’s a little more muted this time around,” she says. Trade in your usual black lashes for a subtle pop of dark blue or purple.

Makeup Removal Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s face it: Most of us prefer applying makeup to taking it off. So that may explain why many women aren’t removing their makeup correctly, which can lead to clogged pores and blemishes. To get the right technique -- and score a glowing complexion -- consider the following expert guide:

DON’T go overboard. When it comes to your skin, more isn’t always better. Beware of products that can dry out your skin, like harsh facial scrubs -- especially if you have a sensitive complexion. Dana Elise, a Beverly Hills aesthetician with a bevy of celebrity clients, advises against using baby wipes, which aren’t gentle enough for delicate faces. Instead, stick with makeup remover and tissues.

DO make it a habit. If your made-up face hits the pillow more than you’d like to admit, set up a makeup removal station at your nightstand. It should include makeup removal pads or towels, although Elise recommends using them sparingly to avoid drying out your skin. Another smart staple: witch hazel, which acts as a refreshing astringent for oily to dry skin, and tissues to apply it.

DO go in order. First things first: Remove makeup from lips and eyes. Your eye makeup remover can do double duty on your lips, although petroleum jelly or olive oil and a tissue also work. Next, use a gentle cleanser to rinse off foundation and dirt. Finish with a moisturizing serum.

DON’T choose any cleanser. Just like you pick your lip color based on your skin tone, you should match your makeup remover to your skin type. Take a cue from Elise: Opt for an oil- and alcohol-free product if you have oily or combination skin. Have a normal, sensitive or dry complexion? Pick a milk-based wash to keep your face baby soft.

DON’T wash with hot water. Experts say that it can remove protective oils, which can dry out your skin. Instead, use cool or warm water to rinse your face.

DO use a headband. Elise recommends leaving this face-washing staple on overnight: It keeps hair off of your forehead, which can minimize breakouts.

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Beauty How-To: The Perfect Wedding Guest Makeup

Wedding season has arrived. Whether you have an invitation to a glitzy black-tie event or beachfront affair, you want to look your best. (After all, chances are those candid group shots will wind up on Facebook!) With my beauty advice, you’ll have gorgeous, no-smudge makeup all evening long. Just because you don’t want to outshine the bride doesn’t mean that you can’t look fabulous.

1. Fake it.
Weddings are celebrations, so what better time to ramp up your look with lush false lashes? They’re affordable -- I use the $2 kind from the drugstore. If you feel like the look is too bold, cut the strip in half with small scissors and apply them on the outer corners of the eye. Or apply a few individual lashes. Grasp them in tweezers, dip them in glue and stick them on the lash line. If you’re a newbie, I recommend using the white glue, which dries clear. And have some tissues on hand to wipe away the excess.

Still can’t manage it? If you buy the lashes at a makeup store, such as Sephora or Mac, a makeup artist will usually apply them for you free of charge.

2. Get a little glimmer.
The secret to celebrities’ glow: iridescent lotion. To create the look, mix your foundation with a little shimmery lotion. Then dust your entire face with a translucent powder, which will set your makeup without covering up that gorgeous sheen.

3. Go for the gold (or silver).
Nothing makes a glamorous statement like silver or gold eye shadow. When I work with celebs for red-carpet events, I wet my eye shadow brush before dipping it into the shadow. And instead of swiping it across the lid, I pat the brush into the skin. This helps set the shadow into the skin so it won’t budge. It also creates a wet, shiny look that’s perfect for evening events.

If you want a subtle look, apply light-colored shadow with a little sparkle in it to the inner corners of the eyes. This opens up your eyes and makes them look bigger.

4. Be a bronzed beauty.
You can go from pasty to perfect with one application of bronzer gel. Adding a fake tan will also create the illusion of looking leaner. One of the most common beauty blunders is not blending your makeup into the neck, which creates an unsightly line. Make sure that you blend your face makeup into the bronzer so you’re the same color all over.

5. Don’t forget to touch up.
To stay fabulous, freshen up your make-up a few times throughout the night. I recommend packing travel-size versions of the following items:

  • A pack of tissues. Use them to wipe away smears and blot your lipstick.
  • Powder. Use one that’s a shade lighter than your skin and blot it on sparingly. This will keep your complexion from looking muddy.
  • Cream stick blush. This formulation has staying power, and the small tube is easier to tote than a powder compact.
  • Teasing comb. To keep your hair from falling flat, take a handful of hair at your crown and back-comb it. Flip your head upside down and spray it with hairspray -- you’ll score instant oomph!

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