Fav ‘N’ Rave Fridays!

Greetings and Happy Fall beauties! For many of you, the Fall season began weeks ago – but for those of us in Southern California, it feels like it literally snuck in overnight! We went 0-100 starting with, “Ugh! I’m sweaty, cranky and mad at the world” heatwave to “Yass UGGS season is finally upon us” all in the blink of an eye! Personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the cool weather return. Besides being an excellent opportunity to spot cold weather clothing fails (I’m sure we can all think of a few unfortunate legging violations), this is also the time of year when makeup gets a little more glam and glitz!

It’s also a good time to experiment with new looks and makeup brands, which leads me to the subject of this article – Favorite and Rave product reviews on Fridays! This is where I give you the 411 on new product finds that I am completely smitten with. Recently I signed up as a beauty insider with a Southern California based company called Profusion Cosmetics. They kindly sent me a little care package of new products they were releasing to give a try in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts with all of you. 

I spent a full week trying out all of the products that I received, and while pretty much all of the products tried were instant additions to my work kit – there was one item in particular that I simply must rave about! This first ever product Fav ‘N’ Rave Friday goes to…(drumroll please) the *Velvet Matte Rouge Stick*!

These lippies are amazing for several reasons!

  1. They come in an adorable kit, called “Kiss me Up Velvet Matte Lipstick Set”
  2. It’s shockingly inexpensive 
  3. Smells ah-mazing
  4. They are a “staunchly cruelty-free” cosmetics line
  5. Quality, quality, quality!  

I had many days where I was running around, driving from appointment to appointment, with no real time or even a desire to check my makeup. In between application and doing a face check, I did the normal day to day actions – I sipped on beverages, got a quick bite to eat, touched my face like a gazillion times (terrible habit, I know.) When I would finally catch a moment to check my mouth, my lipstick was still at a full 80% non-smear coverage after 6 hours! I also never had a problem with dry lips while wearing, which has been an issue I’ve had with some of the long wearing lipsticks and creams I’ve tried in the past. 

From the above picture from tonight after 7hrs, you can see I am very pleased with the performance of this lipstick lol. For the price point (currently $6.99 for a set of six) there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t get one of these for yourself! Run, don’t walk, over to www.profusioncosmetics.com and after you add this set to your shopping cart, do a little browsing around the site for other goodies (gel eyeliner set also gets two thumbs up).

I thank you for spending a little time with me and my ramblings. As always, remember that you can finger paint your outside to your heart’s content… just don’t neglect the nurturing of your inner beauty.

Until next time Xo

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Face Saving Tips for Keeping your Makeup Fresh all Day!

This past weekend I spent three days at my annual religious convention. I had a chance to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while, take in some great spiritual “food” for the soul and scope out the *ahem* single men (I’m only human!) Throughout the weekend, I wanted to (literally) put my best face forward which meant keeping the face I started the day with (see above image) as fresh as possible. This was more than a notion when you consider my makeup had to last anywhere from 10-12 hours in 80°+ southern California weather. It may sound daunting, however, I was quite successful at keeping my face from melting by the end of the day. How, you may ask? Well, as you may have guessed from the title of this article, I fully intend to share my tips and tricks with you!

As it is true with most things in life that are intended to last, the quality of materials used and the foundation are the most important aspects. The same is true of a long-lasting makeup look. As you can see from the preceding image, I put some thought beforehand into what products I wanted to use and laid them out in advance. It may not seem like it from first glance, but this is a streamlined product assembly for me – I am a makeup artist after all. Since I knew that I was going to be in a warm & humid environment, I decided to go with airbrushed foundation as it tends to provide a longer lasting yet lighter feeling look. Like I do with any foundation, I primed my skin first using a primer that I could feed through my airbrush gun. I took great care to set my foundation thoroughly with translucent setting powder to lock it in and make it easier to blot later on in the day. I decided to forgo heavy contouring and even blush (since I forgot to pack my blush pallette – boo). As I was keeping the focus on one feature, bold red lips, the rest of my makeup was kept more neutral. I lined my eyes and used a few coats of mascara but eyeshadow was fairly light.

Now we get to the secret weapon – my touch up kit. This is essentially a personalized version of what I give all of my bridal clients to keep on hand. It is very simple: blotting papers to soak up excess oil, lip balm that will truly provide long-lasting moisture, a long wearing lipstick or cream, & a translucent powder to reset your makeup and erase shine. Not pictured is a makeup refreshing spray that I did use one day. The specific products I used are as follows:

  • Nyx Cosmetics blotting papers
  • MAC Retromatte in High Drama
  • Ben Nye Banana Powder
  • Wild Herb Soap Co Lip Balm in “Spearamint” 

My two favorites from this mini kit would be the lip cream and lip balm. I honestly cannot say enough about the lasting power of the Retromatte formula. I only had to touch up my lips twice in 12 hours… that includes eating, drinking and wiping my mouth in between. Part of the lip cream’s power has to do with the moisturizer you use underneath it. That brings me to my second product rave, the lip balm from Wild Herb Soap Co – it’s been my personal favorite for 2 years now. I keep it stashed Everywhere so I am never caught without it. There are no nut oils used so it never gives you that dry feeling you can sometimes get with other natural lip balms, it’s all natural and organic, and you never have to worry about any unwelcome allergic responses. I use it with all of my clients. For the quality and performance, it is surprisingly very inexpensive. Don’t just take my word for it, you can try it for yourself by clicking here. Trust me, it will change your life!

So what did my face look like at the end of the day? See for yourself! The picture below is of my mother and I at around 5pm, after we had been wearing our “faces” since before 6am. Naturally I shared my extensive face-saving knowledge with my best girl. 

As you can see, keeping your makeup looking fresh throught a long day is pretty easy as long as you put a little thought and planning into the types of products you use beforehand. Not having to worry about my face turning into something that resembled those oil stains left behind in the driveway after a leaky car has been there, allowed me to focus on the reason I was at my convention in the first place – to enjoy the association with good friends and feed my soul. I hope these tips will be of assistance to you dear readers – all 5 of you – the next time you have an event that requires you to put your makeup to the test. Most importantly though, remember that no matter what your face or clothing looks like – the most beautiful thing any of us can wear is a genuine smile!

Until next time, keep smiling 🙂

XOXO 

L’oreal Voluminous Lash Primer – Product Review

*Please note – all products mentioned herein were received for free in exchange for an honest review*
Let me just start this article by stating, for the record, I am seriously lacking two important aspects needed for a completed face: eyebrows and eyelashes. I usually have to fake both when I apply “my face” in the form of heavy duty eyebrow pencils and wax & false lashes. Unfortunately, the browser products are still a necessary evil. The lash issue, however, has met it’s match in L’Oreal’s new Voluminous Lash Primer and matching mascara!

I received an ah-mazing L’Oreal Makeup haul from Influenster’s Voxbox incentive program. In addition to the Voluminous Lash Primer and mascara, there were 2 coulour riche eyeshadows, an Infallible eyeliner and eyebrow powder and wax kit (see pictures above and below for examples of how I incorporated these products into my makeup look.) Initially, I wasn’t very impressed with the lash primer, but this was because I only used one coat. For my second attempt, I applied a coat of mascara first then I applied a coat of the primer, followed by a second coat of mascara. This worked like a charm and suddenly, I had lashes that made my eyes pop! I could have easily repeated this process up to two more times as the formula isn’t too thick or chunky and the wands have nice lash separating brushes.

I was VERY pleased with how this product made my practically nonexistent eyelashes stand out without making them crunchy or causing hair loss upon removal of the makeup. I would highly recommend checking out L’Oreal’s new Voluminous Lash line for yourself!

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!

Skin Care and Makeup for Mature Skin (part 1)

I found that my last article on “The Art of Aging Gracefully” was so popular, that I decided to follow it up with an extended discussion on how to take care of mature skin. This will be a two part discussion, with this part focusing on skin care.
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Now, when I talk about mature skin, I am generally speaking of women who are 40+, however this article may also be helpful for those of us who are slightly younger that have less than ideal skin for our age. In addition, it is never too early to establish good skin care habits.

There are two main aspects for a woman to consider when thinking about long term care of her skin and oveall looks – the actual skin care regimen, and makeup choices (application and product types). The problem I run into most with some of my mature clients is that they expect me to work miracles with makeup alone and knock a decade or more off their looks. This is a very difficult situation for a makeup artist, as the most unrealistic requests tend to come from the most demanding clients (which is why just hearing the words mother of the bride will sometimes send me into a desperate search for a Xanax! )

What most women (young and old alike) don’t realize is that, just like any other type of painting, it is crucial to start out with the most flawless canvas possible before you lay down the first brush stroke. This is where good skin care habits come into play. Women who take excellent care of their skin will provide a smooth canvas for makeup application, ensuring a beautiful & even more youthful appearance as the finished product.
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Your face is the only one you have to work with, and unless you plan on shelling out thousands on the Russian roulette game that is plastic surgery, it is wise to start investing your time and energy into taking care of it.

Establishing a solid skin care program as early as possible is the best way to go, letting it get more comprehensive as you age to target specific areas of concern. However, just as it is never too early to start, I also believe it is never too late to decide that you are worth the investment in your skin. The most basic program consists of a good quality mild cleanser, moisturizer and weekly mask. There are thousands of companies that offer packages for skin care, but I simply do not have the time nor point of reference to go into even 1% of them. I can, however give you my opinion on one company that I was introduced to early on & have first hand knowledge of how it can save skin of all ages and types. That is Silk Skin.
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Silk Skin is the product that my mother has always used and it is what I used briefly until I switched over to the oil cleansing method. My mother swears that this line is what has “held her face together” all these years and is such a faithful client that she should have stock options. I find that their products are actually of very good quality. If you find, however, that their prices are a little out of your budget, you can also find excellent kits and packages from companies like Mary Kay and Avon. I feel that it matters less about the brand, and more about having a routine and sticking to it religiously.

No matter what brand you go with, there are certain prudent actions you will want to take to improve and protect your skin. These include, but are not limited to:

*Cleansing daily
*Moisturizing after cleansing
*Exfoliation and/or mask weekly
*Protecting your skin from the sun (I.e. sunscreen and limiting exposure)
*Drinking plenty of water to flush toxins
*Balanced diet that provides essential nutrients
*Reducing and eliminating stress! (This is a big one as stress will not only age you prematurely but it can also shorten your life span)

As I wrap up this segment on skin care, please keep in mind that, while I do have a good deal of practical knowledge about skin care from years of working on peoples’ faces – I am not an esthetician, I am a makeup artist. This information is simply meant to point you in the right direction. In part two I will discuss the types of makeup best for mature skin. You will see in these two articles, that your skin care practices in addition to choosing the correct type of makeup work together in a cohesive fashion. You can’t have one without the other and expect great results – it’s a bit like the proverbial lime in the coconut (not really, but you get my point) 😉

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.