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Best inexpensive beauty buys

With all of the choices in beauty products, every girl can appreciate a good bargain. I have curated a list of my current favorite inexpensive beauty products that I can’t live without!


loreal voluminous mascara

1. L’Oreal Vouluminous Mascara $7.29

This mascara is my go to for all of my on set makeup applications, it adds fullness in length with only two coats, and doesn’t flake. Compared to other drugstore brands this one lasts me quite a while, without drying out. Works for me!

NYX baked blush

2. NYX Baked Blush $7.00

These blushes were brought to my attention by a fellow HMUA on set! I was delighted to see how beautiful they photographed! The colors all have a sheen and a medium color payoff, but is build-able. They give a very etherial flush to the skin, and the lighter colors are great as a highlighter. My favorites are Pink Fetish and Wanderlust.


NanoBlur Indeed laboratories

3. NanoBlur Indeed Laboratories $19.99

This product was also recommended to me by a fellow HMUA Alberto Luengo (He’s awesome check him out). NanoBlur is a instant pore/wrinkle filler and makes the skin look ah-mazing. It also leaves the skin feeling very silky and matte. It works best on combination to oily skin, but prepping with a good moisturizer before will help dryer types.

Maybelline eye studio lasting drama gel eyeliner

4. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner $9.99

This is my go to gel eyeliner when I run out of my MAC Fluidline… (infact I may like it better! shhhh). This liner is blackest of the black and applies very opaque. No drying out and even comes with its own brush! A must have for all of you Cat Eye lovers.

Maybelline brow drama sculpting mascara

5. Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara $7.99

I picked this product up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised! This is a the perfect product if you have a short time to get ready in the morning and want to polish up your brows while adding a little shape and color. This does not replace a brow pencil or powder as the application of the brow mascara is not as precise, but a great product for the money!


anastasia contour palette

I finally received my Anastasia Contour Kit, and I can’t tell you how much I love this product. Upon first opening the palette, I noticed what a great variety of colors it included: Vanilla: a matte shade with a pink undertone, Banana: a matte shade with a yellow undertone, Sand: a neutral shimmer highlight, Java: A warm brown matte shade, Fawn: a taupe matte shade and finally Havana: a red based matte brown

As a makeup artist our kits are always changing. We are always reading about the latest “Holy Grail” makeup product, or coveted must haves. That being said, I must say I was hesitant to buy this product after much press, because I typically like to contour and highlight with creams opposed to powders. My opinion was definitely changed when I finally got to test out the Anastasia Contour Book.

anastasia contour swatch

The reason why i shy away from highlighting and contouring with powders is due to the face that if you use the wrong type, it can make the skin look dry, and can show a lot of texture. I was pleasantly surprised when I used these powders, that they were highly pigmented and went on silky smooth, yet was easy to blend. This palette is perfect for my kit as it works with many skin tones, yet it would be perfect for the makeup beginner who wanted to practice with highlighting and contouring.

Here are some stages of my process:

eri1No Foundation

eri3Foundation Only

eri2With Full Contouring

I ended up using this product all over my face, including my eyes!

  • I used a mix of Java and Havana under my jawline, and in the hollows of my cheek as well as in my crease.
  • I used fawn along the sides of my nose and inner eye sockets to make it appear thinner
  • Banana was used under my eyes (with no concealer underneath!) , down the center of my nose, and on the chin.
  • Sand was used to highlight my brow bone, on my eyelids, above the brows, high points of the cheek, and my cupids bow.

I can’t wait to play with these products on my clients faces! Do you contour your face on a daily basis?



I would like to introduce you all to Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer, the most amazing concealer/highlighter I have ever used. For all of you makeup obsessed out there, you already know that Kevyn is a makeup legend, and was basically the first Celebrity Makeup Artist. He was the favorite of the likes of Madonna, Cher, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss…to name a few, before his untimely death in 2002. As an aspiring makeup artist in middle school and high school his makeup books “Making Faces” and “Face Forward” were my bible. Before his death, he created his own beauty line, and Sensual Skin Enhancer has been a cult fave, and in every pro artists kit. Not only does it cover everything, it doesn’t budge, and you get so much out of one container. This can be used as a concealer, highlighter, contour, or thinned out with a moisturizer and be used as a foundation. The price is not cheap at $45, but iI’m telling you it’s worth it.

Want a little trick of the trade for concealer?

When applying concealer use a fluffy brush to apply such as MAC’s 224 or 286, this will help distribute the product more evenly. You can also spray your brush with a little Fix+ to thin out the concealer if needed.

Pick out a color that is SLIGHTLY lighter than your skin tone, and in a peachy/salmony undertone. This will brighten under the eye.

When applying the concealer/highlighter, place it in a triangle shape underneath the eye from the inside corner of your eye to the base of your nose, then connecting to the outside corner of your eye.

Like this:


Because of the natural face shape, that part of the face naturally is concave, then dark circles, and puffiness add to the tired look. Placing the concealer like so will brighten that area up and it will almost look like a filler. It wakes up tired eyes and is like a mini face lift!

Try it~



Soleil Tan De Chanel

Although I have few Chanel products in my kit, I had to try the much buzzed about Soleil Tan De Chanel. After several trips to the Chanel counter I finally got my hands on the constantly sold out cream bronzer.

First of all I am a sucker for packaging and I must say Chanel does it well. The container is huge and not very kit friendly size wise. However I do appreciate that although the price is steep at $48 you get 30 grams of product.

Being a pretty tan person, (my color at MAC is NC42ish) I was disappointed that the bronzer did nothing for me. wah. I did observe that the texture was super smooth and velvety and had a nice smell to it.

So not for me, but I did use it for the first time today on some clients, and i LOVE it! I used it on fair to medium skin tones and the results were beautiful. Nice natural golden bronze look, not streaky, and did not get patchy. I applied it with a Crown duo fiber Stippling brush layered over airbrush. Here’s one of the clients i used it on!

Soleil Tan De Chanel on Client

So final thoughts: Great cream bronzer, not so good for darker skin tones. Beautiful packaging and also a great deal for the amount of product. I hope they make another color for us Tan girls!


For all of you makeup artists out there that specialize in weddings, I have found the all-in-one palette for you. The LORAC Unzipped Palette has the prettiest, most pigmented shades, perfect for all skin tones, and eye colors. This palette will help you achieve the highly requested bronze smokey eye/natural-but-glamourous look brides constantly request.

Here’s a shot of my bride Ashley, using the Unzipped palette:

bride makeup unzipped lorac 2

bride makeup unzipped lorac

Brow highlight and inner corner: undercover
Lid: unbelievable
Crease: unconditional and unbridled
Lashline/smudged underneath: untamed
Liner: black track fluid line MAC
Lashes: great lash waterproof, red cherry #217 lashes

It seems like it’s following suit of the NAKED palette phenomenon, but what stood out about this one was that the color range seemed to lean more toward the reddy browns, and warm tones rather than the gold browns and neutrals seen in the naked palettes and the competitors alike. In addition i was happy to see more matte color choices with 4 matte colors and 6 shimmer colors.

I swatched the colors on my hand with no flash, the payoff if great and the shadows have very little fallout.


Even if you are not a professional makeup artist, this palette is sure to be a great addition to your everyday makeup routine. I can honestly say I love every color included, which is great if you hate getting a palette where there are the few odd shades that go to waste. Gilded neutral tones, and rich chocolatey browns. Who doesn’t love that?

Let me know what you think!