beauty stylist

Always Bring Your Calculator to the Makeup Counter

I’m not shy to say I love luxury makeup and skincare. I know there’s a lot of blogs and commenters out there to shoot down products because of crazy price points. This post isn’t to defend certain products, as certain products are right for people, and wrong for others. This post is, however, an important lesson to always remember when shopping for products.

The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. There’s a million products out there, so how do you choose what to invest in? I have a 3-step system I always like to explain to my clients.

1. Find what ingredients work for you

Is it dark spots you want to get rid of? Wrinkles? Firming? Pores? Do some research on what ingredients REALLY work for you. Many times you can find specific ingredients to look for. Say you find that you need Mandelic Acid for dark spots.. Google “Best Serums with Mandelic Acid”. I’m sure you’re going to find a huge list. That’s just one example.

2. Do the Research (via Nordstrom Beauty Stylists & online reviews)

Once you find that ingredient you want to try, you need to find out which products people are loving and leaving. Nordstrom Beauty Stylists are wonderful because we literally try everything and get feedback very quickly from clients we’ve sampled and know what is a waste of time or not and aren’t afraid to tell you because we don’t work for any brand, yet are trained in all of them. Online reviews don’t hurt either, although it’s easy to spot when a competitor or all around hater is trying to sabotage the product (there are literally blogs dedicated to “debunking” Creme de la Mer.. when it’s an incredible product). Ingredients aren’t always just ingredients though. Let’s use La Mer for example. One thing I’ve read a lot online is that “it’s just seaweed and mineral oil!”. Not at all true. When doing research you can learn that a NASA Astro-Physisict named Max Huber (and his entire team) got burned very badly with rocket fuel in a lab experiment and he spent the rest of his life finding a cure for scars for us. He did over 6,000 experiments with different fermentation processes and different delivery carriers and after 12 years found a certain fermentation was delivered deepest with a specific mineral oil. That doesn’t mean you can go buy seaweed from the store and blend it with mineral oil and make your own La Mer. That would be the same thing as expecting blended grapes and water to turn into an amazing Pinot Noir. Long story short, do your research.

3. Do the MATH

Seriously- this. I worked with someone the other day who refused to buy a product for $60 and went for the $42 product even though she didn’t like it as much. I explained to her that the $60 was actually twice the size. She didn’t understand, so let me break it down for you with certain products I believe to be comparable. Treat the beauty counter like Costco! I find this to be so common sense but I find myself explaining this on a daily basis.

Find your common denominator, the ML or OZ.

Let’s start with an easy example I’m sure you’ve done before.

I totally love Jo Malone perfume. All the magical scents come in a 1oz and 3.4oz (sometimes even larger). So you’ve decided that new Peony and Blush Suede is the perfect scent for you this Spring. For $65 you can have 1oz of it. For $115 you can have 3.4oz. The larger one is $34 an oz. For $50 more, you can have 3 and a half times the amount, or 1.4 oz free.

Jo-Malone-London-Cologne-Peony-And-Blush-Suede

Now for a better example…

For the last 2 years my favorite daily peels have been the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Pads. I have not one bad thing to say about them, they are amazing, they work. They come in various sizes, which using example 1, you can determine which is the best value for you.

Alas, if you go back to Step 2, you would know to look at the label to see what makes those pads work so well. Find out what the competitors are. Trish McEvoy (a personal Saint to me) has just released her Correct & Brighten Weekly Peel Pads. Same acids as the Dr. Gross, as well as many other peel pads. So which one should you go with (assuming you have tried both and both do not irritate your skin)?

Since Trish’s are much stronger, you need to use them just once a week. One box comes with 12. Dr. Gross’ comes with 30. The price for Trish is $125 ($10.42 per pad), the price for Dr. Gross is $86 ($2.87 per pad).

Just looking at price per pad, it would seem Dr. Gross is a much better deal, here’s the thing. You need to use those pads every day for them to be effective as they are intended. Are you really going to do that? If so, great. Trish’s you use once a week.

Still following me?

Dr. Gross’ pads are $86 for 30 days, making them $86 a month. Trish’s are $125 for 12 pads, making them last 3 months, taking it to $41.67 a month, and easier to use.

It’s a much smarter buy to go with Trish for this instance!

More breakdowns: Not saying these products are dupes for each other just using examples I’ve thought of recently.

Trish BB Cream ($85/1.7oz) vs YSL Touché Eclat Foundation ($60/1oz) = Trish’s is actually less expensive, and it’s packed with anti aging peptides

YSL Touche Eclat Foundation Review

NARS Radiant Creamy Compact Foundation ($38/0.42oz) vs. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($60/1oz) = With the NARS compact being over $90 an ounce, It’s a much smarter idea to go with Armani.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

There’s a lot of food for thought in this post, but hopefully it will help you out next time you feel overwhelmed!

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This blog is now officially WWW.BEAUTYSTYLED.COM

As more individuals are subscribing to this blog, I know it’s due to the content I’m posting and not because you’re a fan of my work. I get that- and love that. I decided to switch the site to focus more on content rather than myself since there are plenty of places you can keep up with me and my makeup artistry (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter).

I wanted a name that people can remember and be able to access without going through my personal sites.

There are so many things that I’m passionate about. Makeup Artistry, helping people with their skin, being an educator and also being a personal stylist for beauty. That’s what made me want to create “Beauty Styled”. I’m proud to be constantly trained in so many makeup and treatment lines and want to give you the resources and expertise needed to make the often confusing decisions about which moisturizer works better for you or which eyeliner won’t run.

Any questions or topics you would like me to address, please contact me at MDMAmakeup@gmail.com

XX Megan

Ridiculously Easy Smokey Eye Tutorial

WingedSmokeyEye

via MDMAmakeup on Instagram

I am pretty good with being able to understand problems people have with makeup. I’m very blessed that I just have always seemed to get how to hold my skin to apply eyeliner, what faces to make when doing my brows.. it just comes natural. I realize about 75% of people who use makeup don’t have those built in makeup superpowers. That’s okay! You should still be able to give yourself a sultry eye without a visit to the makeup counter. Here’s how!

Products used:

Laura Mercier Eye Base: Wheat
http://amzn.to/1oj7k5U

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow: Burnt (I think I said brown) Sugar
http://amzn.to/1gsCnGT

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre: Mirifique
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/chanel-illusion-dombre-long-wear-luminous-eyeshadow/3196939?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1046&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_2_C

MAC Pigment: Naked, Reflects Gold (MAC Store Only)
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mac-pigment/3080074?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=60140410&fashionColor=&resultback=176&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-searchresults-_-1_1_C

Dior Art Pen Liner
http://amzn.to/1eT5STE

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner: Rue Saint Honore
http://amzn.to/1dGZhqO

YSL Faux Cils Mascara: #5 (Best EVER)
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/yves-saint-laurent-volume-effet-faux-cils-mascara/2810921?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=&resultback=227&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-searchresults-_-1_1_A

MAC Brow Gel Pot: Dirty Blonde
Was limited edition, can be replaced with Color of your choice in Anastasia Dipbrow

Golden Globes 2013 Red Carpet Makeup

I love any excuse to get dressed up so red carpet events are a personal drug to me. I love seeing people we are entertained by in film go characterless and come together in some serious jewels and designer duds. While E! may be nitpicking about who wore the best gown- I can’t help but critique the makeup!

Watching this years GG’s on a 50″ LCD TV gave me a whole new reason to keep my eyes glued! Everyone was HD ready and it showed!

It was evident that the makeup trend last night was BOLD eyes and natural lips (not really nude, but a true lippy color). Here are some of my favorites:

Kristen Wiig

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My favorite look of the night by far! She had such a perfect smokey eye that I emulated it today (see below). The red carpet pictures don’t show the perfection as much as when she was on stage but it was dark, sultry but not over the top. Lot’s of women I work with in their mid/late 30’s wouldn’t dare to wear a bold eye like this but Kristen rocked it and looked stunning. Dating Strokes rocker Fabrizzio Moretti must be bringing out her inner badass.

To recreate this look use a full coverage foundation that will make your skin appear smooth as butter such as Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. For added perfection a concealer like Cle de Peau will cover even the darkest of circles and brighten your overall look. Dust a peachy blush like NARS Deep Throat on the apples of your cheeks and then run through the center of your face with whatever is left on your brush. I used the new MAC Brow Collection “Dirty Blonde” Fluidline Brow Gel to shape my brows then added more drama with the Veluxe Pencil in Deep Brunette. On the lips, a subtle shine lipstick such as Chanel “Boy” does the trick because this focus is all about eyes (I used NARS Sex Machine).

To get Kristen’s perfect smokey eye you’re going to need to break out your brushes. To prep my eye I used MAC Painterly Paint Pot smudged from my lash line to my brow. I then grabbed my NARS Kalahari duo and blended with the MAC 217 brush nearly all the way up to the brow. I used the more lavender (right) side all over the eye and the topazy gold side (left) dusted on the lid and into the crease. While I liked the look and thought it looked like Kristen’s I made mine a little bit more dramatic by adding NARS Mekong Shadow at my lashline and blending up very softly. I used NARS Mambo liner on the bottom smudged with MAC Brown Script and tightlined my eyes with Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Liner in Black. I topped the look off with Chanel Le Volume Mascara.

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Jessica Chastain

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A classic, beautiful look matched perfectly with her hair and wardrobe. Jessica is newly famous but has made a huge impact in the movie biz with her role in Zero Dark Thirty. She won best actress and her makeup artist made an appropriate decision with her makeup. She didn’t need to look like anyone else or too sultry because she isn’t that recognizable *yet*. Her MUA gave her a very “Old Hollywood” look with subtle contouring, a nice berry lip and a natural, eye that was simply tightlined and made bolder with long and separated lashes.

To recreate this look try Trish McEvoy BB Cream, NARS Orgasm Blush, YSL Glossy Stain in #3, Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials in Bare and Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Liner in Black smudged into your lash line. Top with a lengthening Mascara such as Cle de Peau “The Mascara.”

The “Can you believe I just gave birth?!” Look… Claire Danes!!!

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Good Lord!!! Claire Danes has literally never looked so good! Representing her role as Carrie on the Showtime Drama, Homeland, Claire had her makeup artist create magic by stripping the delusional, sometimes bi-polar and never really dressed up character into a total seductress! With the red dress, tousled blonde waves, flawless skin and that intense smokey eye, this is the reason I watch these Award shows. She’s a new mom and she makes it look easy for the rest of us.

To create this look use a foundation that will give you an instant photoshopped appearance such as (my well known favorite) Diorshow Airflash. When using Airflash I like to correct and conceal first (for this look I would choose a Bobbi Corrector and Illamasqua concealer) because I’ll be buffing the foundation over the top and don’t want any streaks or fingerprints. After taking care of the skin dust a Golden Bronzer such as DiorNude “002 Sunlight” over the contour areas. Top with a Peachy blush like YSL Creme de Blush 02. Claire has hooded eyes which are my favorite to smoke out. Try a Kohl Pencil around the entire eye such as MAC Smoulder and blend the line so that it’s smudged with a MAC 219 pencil brush. Use a MAC 217 blending brush in a greyish sultry shadow (try Patina from MAC) and blend just over the crease. Top with Dramatic Mascara like Chanel Le Volume and add a neutral pink lipstick and you’re set. Lashes are always a great option as well!!

I hope this inspired you to try some of these great Golden Globe looks! As always feel free to comment with any questions!