Thumbtack “Best of” Award

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I am so proud to announce that Thumbtack.com has named Brittany McClelland MUA as one of their “Best of” service providers for my second consecutive year for both 2015 & 2016! I am grateful not only for my wonderful clients,  but also for my amazing beauty team!

If you would like to book an appointment with my team and I for hair and makeup services for your next wedding, film or special event you can reach out to me in one of several ways:

1. Leave a comment on this blog

2. Click on one of the above badges to take you to my Thumbtack page and look for Brittany McClelland MUA

3. Send me an email at brit.mcclelland@gmail.com

We offer many different packages and price points to fit just about every budget!

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Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers!

Ladies, I’m in love. I have finally found the one… and I ain’t talking about a MAN! Lol My love affair is with the one and only eyelash product that I have ever found that actually delivers what it promises – banging lashes!

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Girls, the struggle is real when it comes to my eyelashes. Due to a little cooking “experiment” when I was in the 5th grade (there’s a reason why cooking shows say kids need parental supervision) I singed what little eyelashes I had to begin with, and I have been cursed with ittty bitty lashes ever since. I have tried just about every mascara on the market (as my Tupperware container filled to the brim will confirm) only to find that all those promises of long thick lashes are actually for people who have decent lashes to begin with.

Eventually I realized that my only hope would be false lashes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my falsies. I could be a different gal every time I applied that strip. Only problem was, it added at least an extra 15 minutes onto my makeup routine. Then there’s the glue issue – finding out after many itchy eyed days and nights, that I was allergic to the regular DUO so I had to get non latex adhesive. And let’s not forget the dreaded scene where you are chatting up a cute guy only to have one of your lashes choose that exact moment to start running away from the corner of your eye. Also, quality lashes aren’t cheap and you have to keep buying tubes of adhesive if you are a regular wearer… it quickly adds up! But fear not ladies, for I have found the holy grail of solutions!

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Younique cosmetics 3D Fiber Lashes is my new boo I told you about earlier. This kit comes with a sealing gel and a tube a fibers that attatch to your lashes giving you lashes up to 3x longer and thicker. This has saved me SO much time on my makeup application and there’s no worrying about glues or aligning the lashes right or them coming off – because they are your lashes! You also needn’t worry about allergies because this product, as with all of Younique’s line, is all natural,  organic and vegan. It will not irritate your eyes. Oh and for my divas on a budget – this kit is only $29! I have mascaras that cost more lol.

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Something else you will love about this product and the company, is The Love It Guarantee.  If you don’t love it, you aren’t stuck with it. Although,  after you try it for the first time I have a feeling you will be hooked for life just like me.

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The Art of Aging Gracefully

When you are young and in the prime of your life, we don’t often give much thought to the adjustments we will have to make as we age. I longingly remember my high school days – more specifically, my supple creaseless skin. I could easily walk out of the house without a bit of makeup, not a care in the world about who I might run into. (Sigh) Those were the days! But alas, as I head into my mid 30s, I find that those days seem like a distant memory. These days, if I leave the house with anything less than concealer, brows and at least a dusting of foundation – I know that the laws of the universe will inevitably require that I run into at least 3 people that not only recognize me, but also know that my job is to make people beautiful. I also get the expected question, “Wow Brit, you feeling alright? You look tired. “

What are you gonna do though, we all start aging from the time we leave our mother’s womb – so you can either fight it tooth and nail, or put on your big girl panties and try to age with some grace. Personally, I choose the latter. Afterall, I have had one of the most amazing examples of how a lady should act, how to exude class and kindness, and most relevant for this article – how to age with effortless grace. All of these lessons have come from the most important woman in my life, my mother.

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My mom in the 80s

This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of doing my mother’s makeup for her to go see the diva herself, Ms. Diana Ross in concert (now there’s another classy woman who has aged with grace).
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Even though this is what I do for a living, it never ceases to amaze, excite and make me nervous all at the same time when my mother requests my makeup services for a special event. I am always reminded of all the time I spent as a little girl, perched on a seat in the bathroom as I watched with awe and wonder at this beautiful woman put on her face to go somewhere. She was and remains the most beautiful person in the world to me, so it is quite an honor for her to trust me with making her up.

As she would (literally) kill me if I posted her age for the world to see, I will just state that my mother is “a woman of a certain age” – who with one flash of her drivers license, can legally take advantage of every senior special a restaurant or store may have to offer. She doesn’t look her age at all, and good genes notwithstanding, I attribute this largely to the fact that she has taken excellent care of herself and has a beautiful personality that easily shines through.

All makeup artists know that it is easy to slap a bunch of makeup on someone and make them look like a completely different person – which is fine if you are doing character makeup and that is the purpose. But to enhance one’s beauty and looks, you must understand your client’s individual needs to give them the best results possible. Each canvas (or face) is different and with different age groups and skin types, there are adjustments to be made. My mother, while beautiful, does have mature skin and that has to be taken into consideration when working with your older clients.

One very important thing to remember when working on mature clients is to moisturize before you do anything else. Makeup has a tendency to settle into any fine lines or pores it can find, so it is extremely important to hydrate the skin adequately as a base. Next, it is a good idea to stay away from overly dark colors as this can have an effect of sinking in areas of your clients face that they’d rather fill out. I love using shimmery or pearlescent shadows, light reflecting highlighters (I.e. MAC cosmetics mineralize skin finish) along with blush on the cheek bones to bring out the features. Lipstick should also be kept lighter and glossy to make the lips look a litttle more pouty and full, but not clown like. A clean and neat brow that is a relative match to your clients hair shade (whether they are dyeing or letting nature take its course) is very important to frame the face. Last, but not least, don’t forget to add in some controlled dimension to your mature client’s face with well placed and light handed highlight and contour. As we age, our skin loses some of its elasticity and gravity can work against us. By using tasteful highlight and contour, we can remind the face of where its underlying bone structure is, keep that jawline where it should be and bring out those killer cheek bones. The key words to remember are light and tasteful. You can put on a full face of makeup, just don’t use a heavy hand.
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For my mother’s concert look, I enhanced her beautiful deep set eyes with shimmer shadows, a little more contour on her outer corners and added some light false lashes. I smoothed out her overalll complexion with a mixture of cream and powder foundation and thinned out her eyebrows a bit with a shade a step darker than her hair color. Finally, with just a bit of trepidation, I handed her a mirror so she could approve the finished product – and she loved it! (Score one for my ego!)

The most beautiful finishing touch to any clients makeup is the satisfaction and self confidence that shines in their eyes and countenance when they are pleased with what
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they see in the mirror. That can’t be bought or found in any bottle of product, as it is their own personal brand of beauty. It is the ultimate reward for a job well done (and my only reward as I can’t in good conscience charge my mother lol) and why I absolutely love this job.

Beauty for the Professional Woman: Adding Color to your Makeup Routine

There is no denying it; women have made quite an impact in the business world today, and rightly so. We hold our own in the board rooms, find new ways to “think outside the box”, and close deals just as well, if not better, than our male counterparts.
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I am not implying that we need to be in competition with men, but it must be acknowledged that we have fought long and hard to earn our place and respect in formerly male dominated areas of the business and entrepreneurial world. Despite these hard earned areas of equality, however, there are still aspects of being a female in business that come with expectations that are not necessarily asked of our male colleagues. I reference one aspect in particular, and that is the importance placed on physical appearance.

I am sure that every professional realizes that first impressions are everything in business. Knowing this, we make sure that we do everything we can to put our best foot forward – detailed attention to clothing, grooming etc. Yet as women, there is the added pressure of remembering to put our best face forward. Studies have, in fact, shown that wearing a tasteful amount of makeup can positively affect how a woman is perceived. A 2011 New York Times article even went so far as to say, “It increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and… her trustworthiness.”

Makeup is likely already a part of our daily routine in one way or another, so I would like to discuss incorporating a little more personality through use of color. For some, adding color might make you more than a little nervous; however it isn’t as daunting as it may sound. You don’t have to start with the whole rainbow, and for this article’s purposes I am suggesting just two versatile colors that work for every skin tone; orange and berry hues, which come in a variety of shades.

If your skill set isn’t at a level you are comfortable with to try experimenting, head to your nearest makeup counter for a short demonstration. This will also be a great time to have a professional assist you in choosing the hue of these colors that work for you. Once you have product in hand, start out by focusing on one feature at a time as you add your color of choice.

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Orange and peach shades of blush can be quite becoming on many skin tones. A little tangerine eyeshadow can make your eyes pop against a complimentary jewelry piece or clothing item. An orange lip gloss is a fun touch for those after work cocktails or anytime you want to highlight your pucker.

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Berry hued blush is probably one of the most popular blush color ranges and may already be in your makeup bag. If you would like to carve out those cheekbones a little more, choose a deeper shade for contour. Dabbing on a berry lip gloss is almost universally flattering and is very work appropriate. Also, just like orange, there are many fabulous berry hued eyeshadows to add that pop color to your face.

As you become more comfortable with color, try experimenting further. As these color choices will work just as well closing out the Summer months as they do heading into Fall, you will have plenty of time to find what works for you.

To wrap up this subject, I want to leave you with some food for thought. I would like to point out that these suggestions aren’t about changing yourself; it’s merely enhancing what you already have. Taking a few extra moments to add a hint of color can be a perfect complement to that carefully chosen outfit, perfect pair of shoes, manicure and hairstyle that you have spent time crafting as part of your professional presentation. While it is not your physical appearance that makes you a smart business woman, we are reminded of the importance of first impressions. Make it a habit to invest in yourself, and those potential clients will also see the value of investing in you.

Spring Break Photo Shoot

Over the past 10 days, I had the joy of having my 21 year old niece visit me here in California while she was on Spring Break from school in Virgina. Although we had been in touch for quite a while, this was our first time meeting face to face. I wanted to provide her with a unique experience, so I arranged for her to have a photo shoot while she was here.

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In the above picture, she is wearing just a hint of makeup (remember the “no makeup” makeup?). As you can see, she is a beautiful young woman, however for her shoot she wanted to glam things up a bit.

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We had an opportunity to do two different looks; a bridal shoot (which almost brought tears to my eyes, she looked so beautiful) and an evening formal look. Having never modeled or worn that much makeup before, she was phenomenal and the shoot went extremely well.

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As she was getting ready for bed that evening, I made it a point to congratulate her on the day’s success. I also wanted to be sure to impress upon her that, although the makeup she wore was a beautiful enhancement, she was beautiful before we started the makeup process. It was important to me that she realized that her beauty came from within and that anything on top of that was merely icing on the cake.

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I am very proud of this intelligent, beautiful young woman and eagerly look forward to her next visit!

Model Spotlight: Natalya Stanton

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When photographer Alex Ibarra hired me to provide makeup services for a portfolio shoot he was doing, I had no idea I was about to encounter the force that is Natalya Stanton. After setting up my work station, I awaited the arrival of my model for the day. Shortly thereafter, in walks this adorable young woman, with an inviting warm & unassuming personality.

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As I worked on her makeup, I started chatting her up – like I do with all my models – and found her to be very fun and entertaining to be around. She was the ultimate professional, instinctively knowing the basics of sitting for makeup (when to close your eyes, look down, tilt her head, etc) with little to no direction. Towards the end of the first makeup look, my nosey nature took over and I rather boldly asked her age. I knew that with skin as fresh and dewey as hers, she had to be young – I figured about 18 or 19. However, imagine my shock and awe when she stated that she would be turning 16 shortly!! I was utterly speechless (a rare event) to find out that this mature, gregarious,  professional young woman was only 15 years old!!

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It was an extreme pleasure to meet and have the opportunity to work with such a bright and talented model. The images she and Alex Ibarra created together (with a little help from yours truly) turned out amazing. I know that no matter what type of work Natalya decides to pursue in the future, she will no doubt be very successful, for she is already off to a fantastic start in this game of life!

To see more of Alex’s work, follow his Instagram photo stream: @cirka_88