Polished and Pretty - Professional Makeup Artistry by Jessica Curtis
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All My Makeup and Beauty Babble

January 2011

Quick Tips #3 - Mascara

Well here we are...a makeup MUST HAVE....MASCARA.  What makeup routine do you know that considers itself complete without at least a sweep or two of mascara across the lashes.  Wether you like your lashes soft and defined or BOLD and THICK...one thing is for sure - mascara is a beauty must for darn near EVERY finished face. 
Here are my very basic mascara quick tips and suggestions in honor of my Quick Tips Week
1. BLACK mascara. It's that simple.  If you choose only one mascara color - choose black.  Black mascara is best for almost everyone's basic everyday makeup.  Gone are the days of "black/brown" or "almost black". If you're bothering to put on mascara at all, then do it already - BLACK! 
2. Try a colored mascara for fun!  What?? I know...I just said black only.  Well that's your everyday, go-to, I only need one...mascara.  If you feel like trying a touch of color - try it in a mascara!  This is a super sneaky way to spruce up your makeup!  Colored mascaras are not for everyday, but if used right, they will light up your eyes and give your look a creative twist without going over the top!
3. Waterproof is NOT for everyday! Unless someone can show me a waterproof mascara that isn't damaging to the lashes if overused, then I stand by my statement...waterproof mascaras are there for when we need them.  Use them for weddings, special events, when you know you will need them.  But when you DON'T need one, leave it in the drawer.  Waterproof mascaras are tough on your lashes and can damage your lashes over time if overused. 
4. WIGGLE and PULL!!  To get the most out of your mascara, put the wand against the base of your lashes...then wiggle and pull upwards.  Repeat...wiggle and pull, wiggle and pull.  You'll get better coverage and more curling in your lashes.  :)
5.Throw out your mascara AT LEAST every 12 weeks.  Mascaras are super prone to bacteria growth.  Not only will your mascara not be as affective after 8-12 weeks, but you have more of a chance of ending up with an eye infection the longer you use it!  YIKES!  And PLEASE...do not put water in your mascara in hopes of getting a few more weeks out of it!  This is just an invitation for an eye infection!!!! 
5. Try a conditioning treatment for your lashes.  A lash primer, a lash conditioner...something that will help keep your lashes healthy and less brittle.  It's much easier to keep your lashes healthy than it is to grow them back after they've broken off!!! 
Now let me know what your favorite mascara is!!!  Have you tried a new one lately!??!

Quick Tip - Cheeks!

Everyone that knows me knows one thing for sure...I will leave the house without eye makeup on...but I will NOT leave the house without at least a little cheek color on!  Because this week is all about quick tips...here are my favorite QUICKIES for cheeks!
1. The look is NOT about CONTOURING!!  NOT that we don't do this at all, we do...BUT, overall the look is about healthy!  So put down your contouring brush for cheeks for a minute and listen! :)  A flush of color on the apples of your cheeks is sometimes all you need!
2. Try using 2 products - a bronzer and a blush, a cream and a powder, a blush and a highlighter!  You'd be surprised what a difference this makes...AND it will stay on longer throughout the day!!  I'll have a more detailed "how-to" on this soon!  In the meantime, play!
3. Pick a blush that's WAY brighter than you would normally try!  I love using a bright pink or bright coral on the apples of the cheeks!  Tone it down with a bronzer if you want, but try it!!  You'll look awake, happy, healthy and it will even brighten your eyes a bit!!  TRY IT!  It's just makeup, it washes off!! 
4. Bronzers aren't just for summer!!  Use your favorite matte bronzer right now when you need it most!  Applied the right way (not all over your face!!) will give you that healthy bit of color you're missing in the dead of winter!!  Dust under the cheekbones, across the forehead, nose, etc...start with a little at a time! 

Are you picking up a subtle theme here??  Cheek color is about giving you a healthy, vibrant look...try something new this week and let me know how it goes!! 

Quick Tips - Brows

Quick Tip #1 - Brows...
When you're preparing for a big event, important pictures or your wedding day, one thing is very important...BROWS! Even if you've never thought about them before, don't be scared...nows the time. 
Here are my QUICK tips and reminders to make sure you have beautiful brows that frame your face and NOT a last minute disaster! 
1. Start early...think about them a few months ahead of a big event (wedding) or pictures so that you have time to grow them out and reshape if necessary. Ha! Yes, I said grow them out...
2. DON'T over-tweeze!
3. Ask for referrals. If you have them professionally shaped, get a recommendation and go EARLY!  This is too important to just go anywhere.
4. Do final shaping (tweezing or waxing as needed) at least 3 days before your big event...this will prevent redness and difficulties applying makeup to that area on the big day! 
5. Use a powder or brow pencil to fill in "patchy spots" on your brows and give them more defined shape.  Light srokes...Practice, Practice, Practice!! 
6. Dust with a transluscent powder over the top to soften the look of a brow pencil at the end. 
A nicely shaped brow will help complete your polished look for the day!!  Let me know how it goes!!! What questions do you have?

Finding an Eyeliner that WON'T Smudge!?! Is it possible??

This question was forwarded on to me tonight…
“Where do I find an eyeliner that doesn’t smudge???” 
It seems this is a popular question today, so here are my best tips and suggestions for your eyeliner dilemma!  First...it's NOT YOU!!! :) The problem with eyeliner pencils (in almost all forms/brands, etc.) is that most of them have a certain amount of WAX in them.  The heat from your skin will melt the wax...which causes the smudging, etc...  Even as a professional makeup artist, I have struggled to find a pencil that doesn't do the same thing on me! DARNIT! 
BUT...you're in luck!  There is a solution!  A few years ago I discovered my favorite makeup brush of all time...and the perfect use for it.  It's an eyeliner/ eyebrow brushIf a makeup brush could change your life...this one just might!  You'll want this brush to be angled, not too thick and pretty dense.  This is where you should invest.  You'll have the best luck with a good quality brush here.  Take that new favorite brush, dampen it just slightly (this part gets easier once you do it a few times), tap the top of the brush in an eyeshadow that is the color of liner you want (so black, brown, etc...)  THEN...starting on the outside of your eye, line against the lash line until you get the look you want!  This works for creating a soft subtle look or for a super dramatic BOLD eye if that's what you're after!!  Again...this technique works best with a good quality shadow because it will have more pigment in it, but you must invest in the brush!  Also...to protect the eyeshadow you're using from being damaged by the damp brush over time...pick up the color from the corner or near the edges of the eyeshadow pot. 
I use this technique on myself and on the majority of makeup looks I do that would require an eyeliner pencil!!  It will last longer throughout the day or night and smudge less than a pencil...hands down! :)  There are other great eyeliner ideas out there...but this one is the best place to start!!  Let me know how it goes!! 
Sidenote...do you think it's about time that I put some pics up of that favorite brush of mine??  Haha!!  I keep talking about it, and no pics.  This weekend's mission - pics and how-to's with makeup brushes!!! 

Soft pretty Bridal Makeup

Wedding season is in full swing this week!!  I'm excited to find out what looks my 2011 BRIDES are going to ask for!!  What will be the bridal trends this year in hair and makeup???
Here are a couple of fun shots of a nice soft look that will be perfect for the BRIDE that just wants to look simple and pretty this spring!!!  The look here has a cool undertone to it - a more pink lip and soft plums, lavenders and shimmery ivory colors on the eyes
A nicely shaped brow and flawless skin is essential for pulling this off well!! Enjoy!!!