Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Tarte neutralEYES Palette and 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Blush

Hey everyone!

I have been dying to try the Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes FOREVER and I finally ordered them online! I bought the neutralEYES palette along with it since Ive never tried any of their e/s before, I thought, what the heck, I love palettes, so I might as well give it a go!

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush 'Dollface' and 'Tipsy' $25 each

Dollface: Light baby pink
Tipsy: Coral pink

I heard so many great things about these blushes, and now I know why! Both colors are so pretty, and they do stay on very very long. I wouldnt really say it stays on for 12-hours straight, but it does stay on for an entire workday (8 hours). It did fade a bit towards the evening time.. The texture is very powdery and goes on a bit sheer, so is easy to build, and its great for layering over a cream blush! Which also makes it last a bit longer =) I use 'Dollface' for work almost everyday! It gives me a natural youthful blushing kind of look, very subtle. 'Tipsy' is a little brighter coral pink color thats perfect for a summer daytime look!

'Tipsy' and 'Dollface' swatches

neutralEYES Natural Eyeshadow Palette II $44

Ok, to tell you the truth, I was very disappointed with this palette =( I tried so many different ways to make this palette work, but it just didnt cut it for me... The cool thing though about this palette is that the top row of 5 shadows are all matte, the bottom 5 colors are all shimmer, and it comes in a cute case! However, the colors all came out a little muddy, and just kind of... 'blah!'. The light colors all come out looking the same, even with a primer underneath (I tried 3 different primers). The brown colors came out a little more pigmented, I think just because they are darker colors, but still a bit muddy, and the light shimmery ones are more shimmer than color. Oh.. so sad =( still going to try and make it work though =))

It also came with an emphasEYES aqua-gel eyeliner in 'Brown' which is not bad.. Its very innovative to have a gel liner in a pencil form, but it goes on really wet, which I would not recommend for the waterline (it will get in your eyes). It did stay on for pretty long though.. The Lifted Eye Primer is a bit thick and a little too dry for me, so I still prefer the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, or the UD Primer Potion.

First 4 colors on the left
Other 6 colors on the right (sorry I swatched it a bunch before this photo was taken)

Overall Thoughts:

The Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes are awesome! I am definetly buying other colors of this! The neutralEYES palette, didnt work so well for me, but maybe Im just using it the wrong way or not with the right products, dont know, but its still a work in progress for making this palette work =) The aqua-gel liner, worked ok, might try other colors in the future. The Lifted Eye Primer, probably wont buy the full size and just stick to the ones I currently love.

Have you tried any of these products? or any products from Tarte that you love too?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Featured Photographer: Stephen Dantzig

Models: Angelika Marr, Tasha Johnson, and Kaitlyn Metcalf
Main Photographer: Steve Dantzig, Assistant Photographers: Orlando Benedicto and Chris Ward
Swimsuits by Blue Nalu, Wardrobe Stylist: Jane Metcalf of JAM Designs

I decided to do a little Q&A with Stephen Dantzig, whom I have worked with on multiple shoots before, and he was one of the first photographers I ever worked with when I first entered the business. I chose him, because he has a vast amount of knowledge that I feel is so valuable, especially for us makeup artists, so I picked his brain a bit =) Steve is a lighting expert, and literally, I mean expert! He has taught a lot of other photographers I have worked with also, and he even has his own School of Photography here in Hawaii!

How long have you been a professional photographer?

I have had a camera in my hands for over 40 years and started formally photographing people as a sophomore in high school in 1978 (sheesh, I sound old!) I opened Stephen Dantzig Photography in 1993.

What type of camera do you use? A favorite brand?

Oooh! The "Brand Question!" I actually enjoy watching the Canon vs Nikon debates. I think they are funny. I own and have used cameras from Olympus (my first digital cameras), Nikon and Canon. I am a bit of a nut--I own at least twelve cameras! I am now shooting Canon with an adapter that allows me to use my old Bronica medium format lenses. It is an amazing combination. I switched from Nikon because Canon took a big lead when it came to shooting HD Video. Nikon caught up quickly, so now it just a matter of how the camera feels in your hand. I don't see any difference in quality. I personally like where the controls are on the Canons.

What is the best part of your job? Worst part?

I love to create images! A new image exist the second that you push the shutter! I have some physical limitations and fine motor activity is not my best area. Photography has provided an outlet that allows me to create art--whether it is a beauty headshot or a beautiful landscape. The worst part? Hmmm...sometimes post-production can be a drag. Every digital image needs some post-production work. Sometimes it is a simple color correction while other times you are working on an image for hours...but can also be part of the creative process. Photography is a very competitive field, so finding consistent work that will pay the mortgage can be tough.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

How much time do we have?!!! I don't have any particular photographer that I look to for inspiration. I just enjoy images and I'll often see a photograph that I really love and it will spark some ideas. There are so many amazing photographers out there all doing different things. I credit a guy in Los Angeles for pushing me beyond my comfort zone. Harry was helping me in the studio and I was shooting "comfortable" work. He kept asking "Great, but what if...?" There is a guy I met through the Hawaii Photo Forums who is doing some amazing HDR landscapes. I might not necessarily want to do go out and recreate Kenway's look, but I sure enjoy his daily FB posts. My late mentor Bill Higgins also pushed and pushed me some more in my "early days." Sometimes I'll get ideas while teaching a class. I never know.

Why did you decide to start the School of Photography and when?

Good question. I truly did not set out to write books and articles. It's too long of a story to tell here, but the writing aspect just fell into my lap. I started to teach seminars about 14 years ago while working and living in Los Angeles. The irony is that I actually learned much more about photography once I started writing and teaching. Hawaii School of Photography seems like a natural progression. June 1st was the first anniversary of the school. It is a small school geared for the recreational photographer and/or people who want to improve their commercial skills. It is open to the public and we have classes from very basic to advanced lighting techniques. There is no college affiliation--yet! I just started publishing a bi-monthly (or so) newsletter as well, so things are happening. It's exciting. Here are some links to my first three newsletters:

Why is lighting so important in a photoshoot? Do you prefer studio lighting or outdoor?

Light and lighting IS photography. You cannot "fix" bad lighting in post. The lighting is going to dictate the "look" of the image. I am a self-proclaimed lighting geek! There is an awful lot of physics and math involved with truly understanding how and why light does what it does. I was never a huge fan of science and math, but I love applying those principles to creating images. In fact, I think that a great deal of my creativity comes from manipulating those rules to get the image that I want. Studio and location each have there own set of unique challenges. The studio is an empty room when I arrive. I have all of my toys at my disposal so I can create anything I want. Outdoor shots are very different because you are dealing with a constant light source that is constantly changing. My job is to work with the many moods and colors of sunshine and manipulate that "given" light to make it work. The sun is an ugly light source for much of the day, so I need to find ways to soften it and make it a pretty light source. I then often need to bring in a studio strobe to add light to keep the foreground and background in balance. But, remember, I'm a lighting geek, so that's the fun part!

Favorite movie? Food? Music? (just a fun question!)

I don't get to the movies very often, but I'm pretty good at the Caddyshack Trivia Game! Food? I think it would be easier to list what I DON'T like! I am a living testament to that old "Seefood" joke: I see food I eat it! I am a product of the 70's so I mostly listen to what is now called Classic Rock" (ouch!). The Eagles are still my favorite band, but I also love Hawaiian music. Raiatea's voice is unbelievable and I enjoy the "older" music of Olomana. I could also listen to slack key all day!

Any tips for us makeup artists?

Make up artists are often the unsung heroes of a successful shoot. It is important for the photographer and the make up artist to communicate. The images will be much stronger if the make up and the lighting are in sync.
Link to Steve'g Blog:

Model: Samantha Chung Photographer: Steve Dantzig
Model: Yumi Photographer: Steve Dantzig

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beauty Product Obsession: Surf Baby! Powerpoint Eye Pencil 'Blue Noon'

Ever since I bought the LE Powerpoint Eye Pencil in 'Blue Noon' from the MAC Surf Baby! Collection, I have worn it practically everyday! I am in loooove with this color!! Its a bright teal sea blue color that can really compliment any eye color! I have naturally brown eyes and it just brightens me up with a little hint of color without wearing any eyeshadow. I have green contacts too which I wear and with this eye liner it makes the green in the contacts look more prominent, like I have a twinkle in my eye or something..

I am really starting to like the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencils because they have a creamy texture which isnt harsh on your waterline, plus its waterproof, so it doesnt move at all! I thought I would swear by the UD 24/7 liners, but these powerpoint ones are definetly living up to their claims.

Sorry this post isnt too informational, but I just had to share my newest obsession! lol I tried taking a photo of a swatch, but it didnt really come out true to color.. It definetly looks a lot better when you see it worn in person =p I promise I am getting a real camera soon!! Going on a trip in September so I need a camera ASAP =)

My attempt at a swatch
Did you get this eyeliner from this summer collection? Whats your current beauty product obsession?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: (seed) Bodycare

Hello Beautiful People!

So sorry again I have been gone for so long =( But I have a new great product to talk about that I have been using for the past couple of months, and I have been wanting to review it since I got it!

This brand contacted me back in... April I believe, and they sent me a few products to try out =) It was the first time any company has asked me to try their products, so I was really really excited about it! Even more so when I got the products because I ended up loving them!

(seed) Bodycare is a 100% natural brand, which I believe is sold at Whole Foods and a few drugstores. I never heard of this brand before being contacted by them, so I didnt know what to expect. Fortunately, all the products ended up working really great!

From Left to Right: Body Cream 'Invigorating Citrus', Body Lotion 'Lavendar and Sage', Healthy Hand Cream Fragrance Free

Body Cream 'Invigorating Citrus'

Great body cream if you have really dry skin. I tend to get really dry to the point where my skin will start cracking a bit, but using this body cream everyday has really helped to make my skin, especially my legs look a lot smoother! I use this in the mornings because it has that nice Citrus smell, which is an instant 'pick me upper'! I tend to get headaches if I smell a fragrance that is too strong, but this is really light and not overpowering!

Body Lotion 'Lavendar and Sage'

I looove the smell of Lavendar, but I was weary of the Sage part.. At first I didnt really like the smell of the Sage, but I found that it has a sort of spa like affect when you use it! I use this one mainly at night, right before going to bed. Its very very lightweight and doesnt feel all sticky and greasy like some lotions do, which is kind of a pet peeve I have with lotions. It sinks right into the skin and makes you feel relaxed! Just what I need after a loooong day =)

Healthy Hand Cream 'Fragrance-Free'

Usually hand creams for me have never really won me over, just because I dont like that gross slimy feeling after using it and then you cant grab anything because your hands feel like you just rubbed butter all over them. However, this hand cream, although its thick, it doesnt leave a residue! Being a makeup artist, I have to sanitize my hands very very often, and because of it, my hands get really dry and my cuticles are just horrible. This product makes my hands feel so soft! The only downfall about the fragrance free, is that it has that typical lotion smell, which isnt bad, but would be better if it had a nice light fragrance.


Body Cream 'Invigorating Citrus' Ingredients

Body Lotion 'Lavendar and Sage' Ingredients

Healthy Hand Cream Ingredients

*This review contains products that were sent to me by the company. The opinions in this review are entirely my own and I was not paid a single penny do this post or to say anything about these products or the company =)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red Carpet Fashion: 2011 MTV Movie Awards

Did everyone tune in this past Sunday to MTV's Movie Awards?! I did!! I love love love award shows! Its always so entertaining with comedic hosts and musical performances, and I like trying to guess who's going to win and what types of outrageous things are going to happen =))

MTV Awards are probably my favorite though out of all the award shows because for one, I watch MTV religiously! And its a chance for the celebs to wear their own style, whether its casual, elegant, classy, or trendy. A little disappointed that Lady Gaga wasnt there though =( I was curious to see what she would have worn =/

Ok so.. enough jabber.. if you saw the awards, Twilight took home almost every award! A bit silly...but its MTV! So to kick it off.. I started with Kristen Stewart =)

Kristen Stewart

Reese Witherspoon

Emma Watson

Emma Stone

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Mila Kunis

Did you watch the MTV Movie Awards? What were your top fashion picks? Any favorite moments?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Borghese 10 Piece Brush Set

Hi Hi Hi!!! Im soooo sorry Ive been away for sooooo long!! Finished moving everything into our new place finally!!! Ugh.. what a pain in the butt! But anyways.. Im back! Ive been meaning to do this post for a while since I got these brushes a couple months ago from Costco! Of all places right?! My mom was there while I was doing a prom makeover and called me to see if I wanted them. I never heard of the brand before.. so I said, 'Why not?! For $30, Ill give it a go!' sooo... If you would like to know my thoughts, keep reading!

10 Piece Brush Set w/ Brush Roll

Price: $30 @ Costco

#204 Angled Eye/Brow Brush
I use this one mainly for the brows using powder. Its very stiff but a little too thick for me to use with a gel or liquid liner.

#202 Angled Eye Contour Brush
This brush is waaay to big for me to use for contouring the eye and its really dense so it packs a little too much color on. However, I think it works well with pigments when you just want a dab of color.

#203 Domed Smudge Brush
Again, a little too large as a smudge brush, but very dense. If it were more like a pencil brush, I could definetly use this. Other than that, I hardly ever use this brush.

#101 Angled Contour Brush
This is very very similar to the Sigma contour brush. Its almost identical, accept this one is a bit larger and has more bristles. After cleaning it a few times, it starts to fan outwards so you really need to shape this brush after cleaning so it doesnt loose shape.

#104 Rounded Foundation Brush
My favorite brush out of the entire bunch! Ive never used a brush like this to apply foundation before, but it is amazing!! Wow.. When I first saw it I thought.. 'What the heck am I gonna do with this brush?!' But its really great for getting into the nooks and crannys, especially around the nose area. It also gives foundation a nice smooth and even finish!

#102 Duo-Fiber Blending Brush
Its a smaller sized duo-fiber brush, so I think it works great for adding contour or highlight to the cheekbones. Its pretty dense and not as soft as some other duo-fiber brushes, so you get more color with this brush.

#201 Eyeshadow Brush
Another large brush.. it does work well for adding a wash of color, but its very thick so its a bit hard to place color exactly where you want it.

#105 Concealer Brush
Great concealer brush! It works exactly the same as my Sigma concealer brush, so two thumbs up for this one! Its very dense and has synthetic bristles. Great for blemishes or under the eye area.

#200 Eye Powder Fluff Brush
I love this brush also! Although its a bit large, its very fluffy, so it works great for blending out the crease! I think Ive used this brush every single time Ive done makeup since Ive gotten it =)

#100 Powder Kabuki Brush (not shown in above picture)
Hmm.. its not dense enough to really blend, and it sheds a ton!! I use this mainly just to dab powder around the T-zone, but other than that, Ive found no other great uses for this one =(

Overall Thoughts:
I would rate this brush set 3.5 out of 5 stars. The quality is not the greatest, but for $30, I wouldnt expect anything comparable to MAC or Sigma brushes. However, it did come with a few brushes that are part of my staples now, so Im really glad I decided to get these =)

My Recommendations:
  • Rounded Foundation Brush
  • Duo-Fiber Blending Brush
  • Eye Powder Fluff Brush
  • Concealer Brush
Have you tried these brushes before? Have you heard of this brand?