Beauty Mistakes to Avoid

The mistakes I’ve made so that my readers don’t have to.  You’re welcome.


So Guilty.  I don’t know why, but in high school I got really into tweezing my eyebrows.  Like, really into it.  So into it that I am pretty much left with toothpicks up there now.  Over-plucking for long periods of time can eventually cause the hairs to grow back very sparsely (if at all!)  Avoid magnifying mirrors, and better yet, leave your brow maintenance to a professional.  Oh, and if you’re stuck brow-less like myself…invest in a natural looking brow pencil to fill the little guys in.  My favorite is MAC Lingering.  It’s a miracle worker!


Why does taking your makeup off seem like such a hassle on some nights?  We’ve all been there, the end of a long night-all you want to do is slip into yoga pants and a huge sweatshirt and literally jump into bed.  Feels so good until you wake up the next morning with a stye and the Rocky Mountains forming on your forehead.  Falling asleep with makeup on causes clogged pores, breakouts, cellular damage, and early aging.  Do your skin a favor, wash before bed (makeup remover wipes are great too!)
If you’re feeling really ambitious, go one step further and keep your makeup brushes clean.  Oil and bacteria accumulates on your makeup brushes and can lead to breakouts and infection.  Yuck!
Use a wide tooth comb on wet hair to prevent breakage.  A regular comb or brush is harsh on wet hair and can cause it to snap, crackle, and pop.  Frizzy, frayed ends aren’t pretty, and can be easily prevented by using a wide tooth comb when you get out of the shower.  A drugstore comb is just fine, no need to break the bank!
Don’t pick at your pimples.  It causes irritation, redness, and scars.  Need I say more?  Seriously, resist the urge, don’t do it.
Curl your lashes before applying mascara. If you wait until after you’ve already applied mascara, you could end up lash-less.  Oh, and for you beauty daredevils, take care of your lashes at home.  I’ve heard horror stories of behind-the-wheel lash curling endeavors that have ended really bad.  (I cringe thinking about it!)

You hear this one all the time.  A beautiful bronze glow might make you feel beautiful in your 20’s, but you will pay for it down the road.  Not just with flappy wrinkly skin, melanoma is becoming more and more prominent in younger women.  Lather up the sunscreen and embrace your natural skin tone.  Your body will thank you for it later.


How many pairs of shoes are hanging in your closet and have never been worn?  Women waste so much money on heels they never wear because they hurt their feet so badly or they literally cannot walk in them.  Stilettos look great in a magazine, but they don’t last very long on a dance floor.  Platform heels, wedges, and flats are much more realistic and you will get your money’s worth.  Another tip?  Before purchasing heels, make sure you try them on…and walk around in them.  

Questions for your Bridal Makeup Artist

Your makeup is one of the most important details to complete your ideal wedding-day look.  To make sure you have the perfect fit, ask your makeup artist the following questions!

1. How long have you been doing bridal make-up?

2. How many brides have you done makeup for in the last year?

3. Will you have multiple brides on my wedding day?

4.  What is your vision of my make-up for my wedding day? How would you suggest I have my makeup done?

5. Do you offer airbrush makeup?

6. Will you travel to my location? If so, is there an additional charge?

7. Will you bring your own supplies (make-up, brushes, etc.)?

8. Do you offer hair services as well? If not, do you have a recommendation for a bridal hair stylist?

9. Do you offer services for the bridal party or mother of the bride?

10. How do you charge?

11. What is your plan if you are ill?  Do you have a backup artist?

12. What do you charge for a trial application?

13. What if I don’t like my makeup after the initial trial application?

14. What is the deposit required to reserve my wedding date?

15. When is the final balance due?

16. What is your cancellation policy?

The Perfect Brow

Brows have the ability to make us look younger, slimmer and instantly groomed. Fashion trends for brows vary, but in my opinion, the perfect brow is thicker at start (by the nose), has a defined arch, and is thin towards the end.  The current trend? A fuller, naturally groomed brow. However, finding a beautiful brow shape that suits your face is more important than following trends. I never leave the house without grooming my brows, and I get comments on them all the time.  Here are some commonly asked questions:

How do I know what shape my brow should be?

This is the best way to map out your general brow shape and proportions.

1. The line from the edge of the nose (directly up) is where your brow should begin.(You can map this out by holding up a pencil or make-up brush as a guide).

2. The line from the edge of the nose going straight through the pupil is where the arch should sit..

3. The line from the edge of the nose to the outer corner of the eye is where your brow should end.

If your current brow doesn’t follow this guide, don’t worry! Imperfections can be filled in with a brow pencil or powder.

How do I make sure I’m shaping my brows correctly? 

If you are shaping your own brows, make sure you only pluck one or two hairs at a time. Stop and check in a mirror from afar. Does the shape look okay? Be very cautious and go slowly. Plucking above the brow is fine as long as you are only removing stray hairs away from the actual shape of the brow.

What if I’ve overplucked?

Too-thin brows can instantly age your face. If you have over plucked, simply let them grow out as much as possible, and see a brow specialist who can reshape them for you.  Resist the urge to pluck yourself until the shape is well defined.

If your brows are seriously out of shape, have been over plucked, or you are going to shape them for the first time, please consider getting them shaped professionally. Be very careful where you go; the best way to find a good brow technician is through word of mouth. Ask for recommendations from your family and friends (make sure you like how their brows look!)

Choosing a brow product

Brow powders give a soft look that will fill any gaps and create definition beautifully. Use an angle brush and choose a color close to your natural brow color (or a shade lighter than your hair.)  Brow pencils do the same thing, just apply them by feathering light strokes so that they look natural.


Dewy, Satin, or Matte: The foundation breakdown

It can be difficult to describe the result you’re looking for when getting a professional makeup application.  Even buying makeup can be tough if you don’t know the terminology.  First and foremost, you need to start out with a fresh, clean, smooth palette (your skin!)  Getting in a regular skincare regimen will make any face makeup look great. The type of finish you will end up with is ultimately based on three factors: your skin type, the foundation you choose, and the application.

Some women love fresh, dewy skin, while others prefer a satin finish. Those who can’t stand shine may like a matte look (like myself!) The good news is that you can achieve any of these beautiful looks and I’m about to tell you how.

Dewy Finish

Fresh, luminous, youthful, glowing

A dewy finish looks good on…

Women with mature and/or dry skin. This look exudes radiance while adding moisture.

Who may not love this look?

Women with oily skin should be careful with this look as it can make pores and blemishes look more pronounced. Oil produced throughout the day can cause make-up to shift and move around; this is even more likely with a dewy look. If you have oily skin and you love this look, add powder over the t-zone to keep your foundation in place and prevent you from looking too shiny.


1. Prep your skin with facial moisturizer. Once it has settled in, apply an illuminating product over the cheekbones, forehead and under your eyes.

2. Apply a light layer of moisturizing foundation all over with a stippling brush. Buff it in with circular movements. If you prefer a lighter coverage, try a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer in lieu of foundation. Conceal any spots or blemishes if needed.

3. Use a cream blush and a cream highlighter on your cheeks for extra glow. This can be applied with your fingertips by gently patting it on.

4. Apply a small amount of translucent powder under your eyes, on the sides of your nose, and to your chin.

Satin Finish

Not dewy, yet not matte.  A natural finish with a soft sheen.

A satin finish looks good on…

Everyone!  This look is easily adaptable to all skin types and flatters almost anyone! A satin finish will have more longevity than a dewy look since using powder will set the foundation and keep it in place. Again, oily skin types may want to add a little more powder around the t-zone to prevent shine.

Who may not love this look?

Those who don’t like wearing much make-up.


1. Prep skin with a light layer of moisturizer, followed by a primer. Primer will create a smooth palette for your foundation. Wait about ten minutes before applying anything else.

2. Using a stippling brush, buff your foundation in circular motions.  Use a larger flat foundation brush to apply extra product where required.

3. Use a big fluffy brush to apply light translucent powder over your face to set your make-up.

4. Finish with a touch of bronzer at the top of your cheekbones.

Matte Finish

Perfect, soft, no shine

A matte finish looks good on…

Those with oily and combination skin. Though with the right products, any skin type can wear this look. A matte finish is the longest lasting, so it’s perfect for special events. Matte foundations tend to have medium to full coverage, so if you are prone to breakouts, you’ll have the best results with a matte finish.

Who may not love this look?

Those with very dry skin may prefer a satin or dewy finish. Also, those with wrinkled skin may find a matte finish can make lines more definitive.


1. Prep skin with a tiny bit of moisturizer only on dry areas. Use a mattifying primer if your skin is very oily.

2. Apply foundation with a flat foundation brush, blending small areas at a time. Many matte foundations set very fast so work quickly. Apply concealer where it’s needed.

3. Although your foundation alone may look matte, setting the look with a loose powder will help your make-up last.

4. To prevent your makeup from looking flat, contour lightly with bronzer or a touch of blush.

Look Model-Perfect in Photos

model-photographer-julian-schratter-1Yes, it’s possible for real people to look model-perfect in photos. A little beauty-prep work is all it takes for your wedding (or event) photography to look flawless.

  • Start with smooth, toned and moisturized skin.  How to get there?  Purchase a professional face scrub for your face type.  Treat yourself to a hydrating facial. Moisturize daily.  This routine will help minimize uneven makeup application while making your skin appear glowing.
  • Stick to a matted look. A dewy complexion is attractive in real life, but in photos it will look like you are the shine-master.  If you are prone to getting oily after makeup application, try oil-blotting sheets for a shine-free finish.
  • Skip mineral foundations and powders – they tend cast a white reflection when light bounces off them (giving a “floury” appearance.)  Opt for powders with a yellow tint, rather than a translucent one.
  • Ever see a photo of a gorgeous bronze woman, yet her under-eyes are shining bright white?  She loaded on the concealer.  In real life, it might not be as obvious, but in photos it shows. If you plan to wear undereye concealer, blend well to remove any harsh lines and blot with powder after applying.
  • Lay off the sparkles or ultra-bright colors as they will make you look ten years older. Instead, dab a little cream highlighter in the recessed areas of your face, which appear to be shadowed in dim lighting (think inner corners of your eyes, top of the cheekbones, bow of the lip and chin.)
  • Use the right shade of blush to avoid looking washed out. Pale pastel blush will disappear with digital photography, so go with a stronger blush to define your cheeks.
  • Avoid harsh liner or ultra-smokey eyes; they make the eyes look smaller and deeper set. Instead, try a soft, colored eye pencil and use an eyeliner brush to soften the look. Add mascara for definition.
  • Defined, natural-looking lips will pop in front of the camera. Apply a lip pencil that’s two shades darker than your own lip color then layer with a little gloss or lipstick in the same shade. You will look polished in every kind of light!
  • Lift your chin when being photographed to alleviate dark circles and prevent your nose from looking too big.
  • Never try new makeup for the first time in front of the camera.  And if you have time, practice your makeup beforehand and take digital photos.  This way, you can see how your makeup will photograph and correct any mistakes in time.

Winter Beauty Tips

I know, I know…We all aren’t ready for Winter yet.  It feels like we deserve a few more weeks of gorgeous, fall weather.  However, soon everyone will be listening to Christmas carols, baking cookies, and snuggling up in cozy sweaters next to the fireplace.  We all know that Winter is cold, dry, and dark; do you change up your beauty routine according to the seasons?  It’s important to introduce different products into your seasonal rotation.  Use these ideas as a starting point!

Eyes:  Dark circles and puffy eyes come out more in the Winter time.  Maybe it’s more stress, less sunlight, or lack of sleep (or a combination of all three!)  Create a soft glow by using an under-eye highlighter to instantly “wake you up.”  Using a cold compress at night will also help to remove puffiness.

Skin: Please, please, please head to the makeup counter and get a new Winter palette.  If nothing else, a paler foundation and loose powder to match your skin tone.  If you can’t stand looking pale, use blush and a touch of bronzer to warm up your skin.  There is nothing worse than when layers of sunless tanner are covering fair skin.   When the temperature drops, we often find ourselves with dry, cracked skin.  To nurture your thirsty digs, consider adding moisturizing oils in a bath, using a creamy, hydrating lotions, and drink a lot of water.

Lips: One word–chapstick.

Hair:  If you color your hair, be sure to stick to your color-safe shampoo.  It’s always good to switch to a hydrating conditioner in the Winter time to help seal your hair shaft and eliminate any static.  Deep conditioning treatments are much more bearable in the cold months, when sitting in a warm bath with a good book sounds like heaven.

There you have it!  Happy (almost) November, dolls!


Dolls, the best makeup advice I ever received was to fill in my eyebrows.  My real eyebrows pretty much look like toothpicks from over plucking in high school (didn’t that used to be cool?)  so now most of them won’t grow back.  I took a makeup class a few years ago and the woman told me I should fill in my eyebrows.  It was LIFE-CHANGING.  Seriously.  If you don’t already, you must try it.

I get compliments on my brows all the time at work.  Women are always telling me they want their brows to “grow in like mine.”  People are surprised when I tell them it’s a pencil.  I use Lingering by MAC and it stays on all day.  I even keep a backup in my vanity so I never run out.

I took photos when I was getting ready this morning to show you what a difference it makes: