The beauty blog
A Primer on (Makeup) Primers
Happy new year, beautiful people! At SB Beauty, we love any opportunity to refine our beauty routines. That’s why I asked my favorite aesthetician, Jaime Carson of Carson Skin Rejuvenation, to talk to us about her professional perspective on makeup primers.
Jaime and I first discussed primers during my last facial (somewhere between steaming and the LEDs – she’s very thorough), I asked her about primers with more “natural” ingredients (which I use with clients when I can) vs. mass market products.
So, Jaime, is my makeup primer clogging my pores?
I often receive this question and my answer is…probably. Makeup primers are a favorite amongst many makeup artists and they certainly do create a beautifully smooth canvas for the makeup. They also help to hold the makeup in place for hours on end. This can be very important on say the day of your wedding, or at a big event where you will be in a full face of makeup for hours on end and need to look perfect for photos. My advice is to keep makeup primer in your makeup bag as a special event product – do not use it everyday. When you do use it make sure to incorporate some type of exfoliation when you are cleansing it from your skin. One of my favorite deep cleansing tools for the skin is the Luna from Foreo. You can use the Luna to boost the pore cleansing abilities of your favorite cleanser.
The reason I caution your use of a makeup primer sparingly, and definitely not everyday, is because the formulas use a skin safe mixture of silicones. These silicones coat the skin and lay over the top of the pores to create a smooth surface for the foundation to adhere. Basically, makeup primers have a “Saran Wrap” effect on the skin. One of the side effects of this can be that your pores cannot properly breathe while wearing the primer, thus creating the potential for clogged pores and increased amounts of acne. The skin types who need to be especially careful with primers are those with rosacea or those with acne-prone skin. Using a primer may exacerbate or inflame these issues.
Okay, great information on makeup primers! If you have oily skin and are curious about what foundation to where, I can help with that, too. Maybe this calls for another blog post!
Thank you for reading, and let me know if you have any questions. For the best aesthetic skin service in NYC, contact Jaime:
Carson Skin Rejuvenation
1429 3rd Ave. Suite #1
New York, Ny 10028
Same Sex Wedding at Cedar Lake Estate, Shot by Heather Waraska
TAGS: bridal makeup, cedar lakes, custom gowns, gay marriage, gay rights, lesbian wedding, LGBT rights, LGBTQ, marriage equality, non-traditional weddings, same sex couples, same-sex weddings, wedding editorial
Sometimes I start a job and think to myself, “I’m involved in an event that is part of a new movement.” This is how I felt when I got a call from Laura and Sam about their bridal beauty.
They joined Jill Hammelman and me on a chilly St. Patrick’s Day (perfect for our Irish girl, Laura, with her long auburn hair and freckles) and spoke to us separately about their custom gowns and how they wanted to look on their wedding day. Pretty standard for a bride, but here’s the thing: they were two brides, planning a lavish wedding to each other, surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family.
The couple met when Sam pledged Laura’s sorority at Emerson University, and over the years, through travel, breakups, and life events, forged a bond that they wanted to acknowledge to the world. I liked them immediately. They are smart, fun, beautiful and stylish – and I knew that I wanted to be a part of their event.
Laura and Sam are part of a new wave: same-sex couples who are coming of age when coming out is still challenging but not unusual. For the Abbys (Laura and Sam created a new last name to share) and their contemporaries, all under 30 years old, they came up/out at a time when it became okay to allow themselves to picture the wedding of their dreams, protection by law, building their own family, and living their lives as regular married folks.
Same-sex marriage is common where I live and now is legal in 35 states. At the time of this writing, almost 64% of the U.S. population lives in a state currently issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples statewide, according to FreedomToMarry.org.
Now, to the beauty! Laura wanted long, flowing mermaid hair and glowing, perfect skin to wear with her emerald green custom Kathryn Conover gown. She really wanted to try airbrush makeup and a lip stain for long wear (we used The Balm Stainiac under Smashbox O-Gloss). I used MAC’s Indianwood cream eyeshadow as a base to ensure durability, and then added more peaches and coppers to bring out the warmth of her auburn hair and make her green eyes twinkle.
Sam wanted the focus on her huge blue-green eyes, so I used an eye base of Smashbox Topaz and added warm metallic shadows and a long lash. Her bright eye color was enhanced with the warm neutral tone of MAC Freckletone lipstick. To finish her look, Sam wore the headpiece that her mom had worn on her own wedding day to Sam’s father.
A little over a year after the wedding, NY Magazine Weddings published the Abby’s wedding in their Winter 2015 issue, and it looks like a great party! Please check out the pictures above. It was our pleasure to work with both Laura and Sam at their Cedar Lakes Estate wedding, and an honor to be included in their editorial, shot by Heather Waraska.
SB Beauty is proud to be an open and affirming business that supports and celebrates marriage equality.
Photographer: Heather Waraksa
Gowns: Kathryn Conover and Vera Wang
Band: Tangled Vine
Event Design: That Time Events
Makeup: Sharon Becker
Hair: Jill Hammelman
Best Eye Makeup Colors for Brown Eyes – Secret Revealed
TAGS: brown eyes, eyeliner, eyeshadow, makeup advice
Hello, beauty lovers! When I recently polled a few girlfriends (highly scientific poll conducted via text message) to ask what beauty questions they want answered in my blog, they universally responded regarding eye makeup colors. Two of the friends have pretty brown eyes, one has dazzling green eyes and a huge selection of designer sunglasses to cover them up (c’mon, Nancy! Share!), and the fourth has more eye shadow in her drawers than I have in my studio. Sigh.
Images from girlishh.com, becomegorgeous.com, beautypointofview.com
Today we are focusing on our brown-eyed beauties. Friends and clients (some are both) don’t believe me when I tell them that brown-eyed girls have the luxury of playing with any color they choose – it will all look good! So, secret revealed… wear it all! Dig into your drawer for that “gift with purchase color” that you sent into makeup Siberia, because it will be a refreshing change. Love this fall’s violet eye makeup trend? Work it! The brighter and bolder colors will help reveal all of the flecks of gold and green in your dark eyes, so play hard.
Some of my favorites for dark eyes this Winter 2015:
- Cobalt blue! It’s fun, you can use it as an accent over neutral shadow (minimizes makeup time), and with this $12 liner, it’s a small investment. It’s called Pool Party!
- Prestige Cosmetics, found at your local drug store, has some gorgeous and really creamy eyeliners. Check out this liner in Emerald Metal – whaaat? $6 and so fun, and it will bring out all the flecks of gold in your eyes? Yes!
- Feeling frisky and want to try a trend? Get on board with Pantone’s 2014 color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. This Laura Mercier cream eyeshadow stick in Orchid will give you a hint of trend without making you look strung out. Stroke it on your lid, blend with your finger, and follow up with a few coats of dark black mascara.
- Copper! I looooove copper, wear it myself, and love using it on clients. Why not pop your happy hour look with artfully applied copper, part of this season’s metallic craze? I love Modster Pigments in Copper. Apply your neutral eye, blend copper on your lid from the outside in (maybe a little under your lower lashes) and then finish with black eyeliner and mascara. This shade, from Ardency Inn, is a super-creamy powder with high pigment and soothing ingredients.
- Eggplant mascara is a very cool alternative to black mascara for our brown-eyed friends. This Makeup Forever version is available at their store or Sephora and gives you a color-enhancing pop for daytime. Make sure to curl your lashes first.
What colors do you enjoy for your brown eyes? Please share your comments and pictures with us!
TAGS: glitter eyeshadow, glitter glue, holiday makeup, makeup advice, naked cosmetics, sparkly makeup, too faced
Thinking about using some sparkly fun stuff for your holiday season? I love sparkle, glitter, stones, feathers… privilege of being a makeup artist is that I can play with these makeup items whenever I want!
images from eyeshadow-ideas.com, Pinterest, loveitsomuch.com, bellabox.com.au
Quick note with glitter, though, is that you need to apply an adhesive before you apply glitter or loose pigments – otherwise, your fun sparkles will fly away and you will have just a few specks in your chosen spot. Please remember that when you are applying eyeshadow, you want to use a product safe for the eyes – careful with that delicate skin! That said, I really like these items:
Naked Cosmetics Eye Shadow Primer. Also check out their gorgeous loose pigments, colors, and glitter!
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue
As usual, e.l.f. comes to the rescue with a $2 nugget: e.l.f. Essential Glitter Primer
1. Start by tapping the primer onto your lid with your ring finger or a flat synthetic brush
2. Tip or spoon a small portion of the glitter into the cap of the container
3. Using your synthetic brush, dip into the cap to pull out just enough product, tap off excess over the cap
4. Pat the product onto your eyelid, wherever you want the effect
5. Continue to pat on product until you have enough for your application, and blend out the edges using a synthetic blending brush
If you feel that you always get glitter all over your lashes and cheeks, hold (or tape) a clean tissue, starting at your lashes, to prevent eyeshadow fallout.
Send me some pics to show me your gorgeous glitter!
TAGS: all skin tones, bronzer, makeup, Nars, Smashbox, Spring trends, Summer Trend
Many of my dearest friends are addicts – bronzer addicts. They plow through multiple containers of the brown stuff every year, with varied results. Sometimes they get a bronzy glow, sometimes they look dirty, sometimes their cheekbones glow like a disco ball. Alas, I’m not always a fan of bronzer.
But bronzer can be a great thing! You can get a little sunny glow, contour, warm up the skin on a non-makeup day – there are many uses for this makeup kit staple.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when using powder bronzer:
1. Bronzer for the face should be totally matte. The sun imparts color, not glitter. The Balm’s Bahama Mama is pretty much perfect – no orangey tone, no glitter, and great as a contour. Smashbox Bronze Lights is also a terrific tone. On myself, I use Nars Bronzing Powder in Irrésistiblement, which the brand says has a shimmer that I just don’t see. What I do see is a warm desert color that brightens my NYC pallor.
2. Use a bronzer that is 2-3 shades deeper than your skin tone. That’s easy, right?
3. Um, where do I put this stuff? Good question. If you are warming up your complexion, use a light fan brush to apply bronzer along the temple and top of your forehead to give a sun kissed glow. If you want to contour (and I will do a lesson on this in a subsequent post), use a contour brush. Start at the center of your ear and stroke out straight towards your nose, tapering off before the apple of your cheek. Always blend up and out into the hairline (when you don’t, you look dirty).
3. When applying bronzer, always start with dry skin (as in, not wet). When you attempt to apply a dark powder on top of damp skin, you risk getting “skips.” Your brush will not slide easily on the skin, but will catch on the moisture and leave uneven deposits of color. This mistake is tough to fix, so make sure that you let your foundation or BB cream dry down on your skin before you apply bronzer. You can use a bit of setting powder, or lay a fresh tissue on your face to lift excess moisture.
4. Please use a light touch with bronzer – don’t press down too hard on your skin with your loaded makeup brush. Too much of this deeper color can make a gal look dramatic, or worse, dirty. Remember, the denser the brush, the more color you will deposit on the face. The lighter the brush, the lighter the application.
Bronze on, friends!
Bite Beauty Makes the Best Lip Crayon, Ever
TAGS: anti aging, bite beauty, lip color, lip colour, lip crayons
Dear friends, I want you to have the best. You know that if I can find you a beauty bargain, I’ll share it with the world. However, there are prestige products that I love and want you to consider for your own collection. These are products so good that I really recommend you invest – BITE Beauty lip crayons are that product.
Color! Creamy texture! Packaging!
Yes, I’m screaming because I freakin’ love these lip crayons, have for years, and really need to share this product with you. Here’s the deal…
I’m addicted to the color Zinfandel, a tangy orange/red. When I wear this color, I can skip the show with the eye shadow and cute eyeliner, because Zinfandel just makes me look happy and awake.
- Pomegranate is what they call a “rich red”, a deep red with bluish that works with all skin tones. Talk about a pop of color!
- Meritage is a softer rose that still makes an impact. It’s a perfect daytime color for the office, and can also look great on a wedding day.
- Honey Berry is the most luscious and flattering tan – who knew that a tan lip could be so pretty?
- Syrah is a sweet and clear peach that is soft and not orangey – so easy to wear!
Do you love lip stain? Swipe on a dab of any of these colors, top with Burt’s Bees balm, and there you go – lip stain!
Besides perfect pigment, ease of use, and modern packaging, there’s more to love! BITE products are all made with food-grade ingredients, so you won’t get any weird lipstick tastes, or feel creepy and full of chemicals (why aren’t all lipsticks made this way?). This product is free of synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts (gross for so many reasons, and worth avoiding).
What’s with the color names? BITE lip color delivers super antioxidant resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes. This compound fights free radicals and has potent long-term antiaging benefits. Each lip pencil contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine. Most importantly, BITE Beauty is a cruelty free brand.
The dense, moist matte formulas won’t leave much of a stain on your wine glass, either! Find BITE Beauty at Sephora, or at the BITE Beauty Lip Lab in NYC. Check out their holiday gift sets for those you really love (like yourself).
How to Wear Orange Lipstick
TAGS: armour beauty, bite beauty, bold color, color trend, MAC lipstick, maybelline lip gloss, maybelline lipstick, obsessive compulsive cosmetics, orange lipstick, stila after glow, tangerine dream, tangerine tango, true orange
How to Wear Orange Lipstick – Hot New Spring 2014 Color Trend in Fashion and Beauty
You were just about to call me from the phone booth in your office to ask me about orange lipstick. Questions were forming, like, how do I harness this trend for myself, what brands to buy, will it work for the weekday, and most importantly, why orange lipstick?
I’m here to answer your questions.
Yes, orange lipstick! I’ve been talking about it for three years, and using it on models and friends. Now I want to explain my take on the very hot spring 2014 trend to you.
Orange is your friend. Pantone made Tangerine Tango the color of the year in 2012, so the trend has been brewing for a while, and now it’s trickling down to lipstick.
Check out a color wheel and observe the complimentary colors opposite the oranges. Notice that the orange varieties are opposite the blue and green varieties, creating contrast and, in makeup, FUN. We love fun!
NB: With bold choices like orange, you have chic choices in finish, like cream gloss or cream matte, or even cream demi-matte. We recommend you stick with cream. Let the color speak. Save shimmer for the Champagne tones.
Now that you know why, let’s talk about how.
- Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil is available at Sephora for $24 and wears forever! Try Zinfandel, an electric coral favored by my face. My mom thinks it’s appropriate for Mardi Gras. Reduce the Mardi Gras effect with this 3-step process: clean lips, tiny dab of lip balm, one swipe of Zinfandel on top lip only, blend, tiny dab of clear gloss.
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, one of my favorite brands, makes some bangin’ oranges, and they’re all vegan and paraben free. True Orange is just that, and it’s bold! Radiate, $18, is “electric coral red”, and my fave, Psycho is a really orangey red that will make your skin look like cream and your eyes twinkle like you won the lottery. Use VERY LITTLE of this product at a time, as it’s potent! Doubles as a cheek stain in a pinch. Oh, and it’s waterproof, in case you wear makeup to the beach (not what I do, but go your own way).
- Stila After Glow Lipcolor in Tangerine Dream, $18. After Glow creates a vibrant pop of color in the sunlight. Once the sun goes down, black light-sensitive pigments create a glowing hue when exposed to ultraviolet light. Well, that sounds like a party to me!
- Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Vibrant Mandarin and Electric Orange, about $9, are so creamy and longwearing, you’d swear you were wearing an expensive product! I’m shocked by the quality of color and comfort, and they are just sheer enough for you to get an impact but feel appropriate for the daytime.
- MAC Morange, $15, is also very comfortable. It makes blue eyes look several sizes bigger. Alchemy, I know, but it’s true!
- Armour Beauty Gloss in Lucy, $21 is a pure orange that can be worn alone or over a lipstick. Try outlining your lips in concealer, blending a little lip balm over that, and then applying Lucy. Armour products are paraben free and never tested on animals.
- Maybelline Color Elixir gloss in Mandarin Rapture is about $7 at Target, and you can make a low cost, light commitment purchase of a fun color. The brand claims that the formula is a hybrid of pigment, gloss, and balm; I like the feel, and I love the angora wand. A little freaky feeling the first time, but some days you like to get freaky, right?
Enjoy this fun new trend, start with the color in February (as the harbinger of spring), and let me know how you like it! Tag me on Instagram with a pic of your new color selection, @sharonbecker.
2014 Beauty Resolutions
TAGS: cleaning, resolutions, skincare, sleeping
Photo by Rodrigo Cid
Time for a fresh start!
2013 was rich in so many things for SB Beauty: wonderful clients and fun experiences. Life outside of makeup (there is such a thing) was a roller coaster, challenging, without a lot of beach time. However, there were good times: a few sunsets, family, friends, and lobster.
2014 is now here, and we are excited! Transitions are a good time for re-evaluation and reflection. Lets tackle a few beauty items that we can take care of immediately, that will yield immediate results and long-term happiness.
CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
Right now, yes, NOW, go into your bathroom and chuck out all old makeup, broken bottles and cracked shadows, yucky old brushes, empty lipstick tubes, 5-year old moisturizer bottles, all of it! Now move into your bedroom and open that drawer – yup, that drawer, and chuck all the makeup and skincare you don’t currently use. Get rid of it. If it’s an empty MAC container, bag it and return it (6 empties at MAC will garner you a new lipstick of your choice). Recycle what you can, and rescue no strays.
SKIN SKIN SKIN
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, so start taking care of it now. Consistency of application is much more important than the price of the items (like working out with regularity at Gold’s Gym, versus visiting Equinox once every three months)
a. Always remove your makeup (or city dirt) before bed
b. Lip balm at all times (no one wants to talk to you if you have crusty lips). We use formulas created without petroleum, like Burts Bee’s or First Aid Beauty
c. Trust only qualified professionals to customize a facial for you; I trust Jaime Carson of Carson Skin Rejuvenation
GO TO BED
Sleep is one of the best beauty treatments available and it costs nothing. Lack of sleep can accelerate the external signs of aging, and cause dark circles under your eyes. Most importantly, sleep helps you feel refreshed and better able to handle what problems come up, which leaves you smiling – the best beauty trick of all.
Local Foundry Wedding with International Flair
TAGS: beautiful bride, bridal flowers, bridal makeup, elie saab, foundry wedding, les loups, NYC wedding, peacock green, south america
All of my bridal clients inspire me in some way. Agreeing to commit your life to that of another is inspiring enough, but my clients just happen to have many other great qualities to offer the world. They are smart and accomplished, adventurous, educated, generous, and most importantly, sassy.
Some are even stylish – which brings me to Micaela! I’m so excited that I was available for her wedding at the Foundry in June 2013.
A selection of images from Micaela & Guy's wedding
Based on her sensitive skin and the polished look she requested, Micaela was a great candidate for airbrush foundation; it gave her a flawless and very fresh finish. Her almond-shaped green eyes are exotic and sexy, and she wanted to play up the long shape with artful eyeliner. Say no more – I complied with gold and bronze-toned shadows, false lashes (747 from Elegant Eyelashes) and finished the eye with a long sweep of Makeup Forever Aqua Liner in Diamond Burgundy.
The day after our trial, she flew off to Paris to pick up her Elie Saab gown in peacock green. I’m obsessed with Elie Saab’s gowns, and this choice quickly bonded me with Micaela. Oh, yeah, she’s also a polyglot professor who grew up in South America; an intellectual with perfect beachy waves in her hair. She’s quiet but formidable, and exudes warmth and grace.
Her style is uniquely hers. From the pictures, you can see how she and her husband built their wedding day around their guests, who flew in from South America, Israel, and all over the US. They danced in the streets!
I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I do. You can check out the full Les Loups blog post here: http://www.lesloupspicturesandsongs.com/blog/micaela-guy-the-foundry-l-i-c/
Hair: Kevin Martin, Aveda on Vandam Street, NYC
Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime!
Hello, Beauties! I hope you are having fun this summer season, enjoying a bit of a breather, time with friends and family, and getting outside.
Though not a sun-worshipper myself (friends would not recognize me without my NYC pale glow), I just spent a few days on the beach with my family and have what is for me a “savage tan”. The reality is that I’m a deeper shade of yellow, but I’m flaunting it anyway.
What comes with a beach tan? DREADED TAN LINES. My other bridal clients and models are subjected to my helpful suggestions about tan lines. Know what gets me most? Brides and bridesmaids with tan lines poking out above strapless dresses. I do what I can to fill in the marks with foundation and bronzer, but it’s best to arrive for the day of the wedding with smooth skin.
Now that it’s late August, people might have entrenched tan lines – no worries, Sephorato the rescue!
Use this for a safe glow!
If you tan and have lines, great! If you don’t tan or stay out of the sun, also great! At $9, it’s a wonderful bridesmaid gift:). PLEASE test it out at home before you use it at a critical moment like a wedding or special event, just in case you are not a makeup expert. Also, bronzer can be messy, so apply in the bathroom and wash your hands with soap and water after application, drying with a paper towel.
Of course, it’s best to stay under the beach umbrella from 10a-2p, and to exercise caution everyday. Enjoy the rest of the warm weather!
With salty beachy kisses-
Spring Beauty Sale at Sephora! Treat Yourself
FINALLY, spring is here! There is so much to do: stroll around Tompkins Square Park to enjoy the fields of tulips, visit the Grace Episcopal Church yard and pay homage to their magnificent magnolia tree, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and take in a Yankee game!
Know what else you can do to embrace the season? Freshen up your makeup. Luckily, Sephora is having a 15% of sale (for their Beauty Insiders only, online or in-store) through 4/21/13, so get on it, girl. Here are some suggestions:
– Color! Get your lips up on one of the new chubby pencils that make me and my clients so happy. Right now I’m loving Bite Beauty Zinfandel (electric coral) and Nars Yu (bright pink). Both are long wearing, creamy, and very comfortable.
-Summer foundation! Sale time is the moment to buy your summer color, since we all get a little color from walking around the city (wearing protection, of course). I love the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35. Both come in a range of shades for all of my gals, and offer protection, correction, and a small tube for packing in your travel bag.
-Bronzer! I know you want it (Gina and Angela, I hear you!) so I suggest these matte colors to give you a safe glow. Try Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer and my fave, Smashbox Bronze Lights in two shades. Bronze judiciously (and pleassssse blend).
-Fragrance! Treat yourself to a lovely new scent to reflect the season. My summer jam will be Stella…what will you wear?
Sale time is the best opportunity to treat yourself (or a friend/mom/sister). Whatever you do, enjoy the season, and feel beautiful!
Make(up) Your Life Easier
Most of my clients complain that they never wear makeup because it’s a complicated process, they don’t know what to do, and they have no talent for makeup (whew – if that wasn’t most of the population, I wouldn’t work every day).
Folks, daily makeup should not be that complicated. These are some items you can use to simplify your routine:
Want smoother skin, refined-looking pores, less blotchiness, but don’t want to blend in a foundation? Use this MAGICAL product instead! You don’t even need to choose a color, because it’s only made in one neutral tone. Schmear it all over your face to improve your complexion and create a base for other makeup (blush, bronzer, etc). What doesn’t it do? Mess up your face with parabens or sulfates, that’s what. Go ahead, trot down to Sephora, pick up a tube for $38, and wear it every day.
I hear you – you have allergies/wear contacts/work long days…yup, you’re like everyone else who makes excuses for their runny eyeliner. My eyes water like crazy in cold winter wind, so I understand. If you have enough of a steady hand to apply lipstick, then I’m confident that you can draw a straight line with an eyeliner pen. This formula DOES NOT MOVE until you remove it with eye makeup remover. In addition to regular black and brown, this product comes in fun Diamond Burgundy (my fave) and Iridescent Navy.
You always intend on wearing lipstick, and you put it on in the morning, but forget to reapply before meetings, lunches, or happy hour. Please…I beg you, buy this nifty lipstick pencil and make a habit of reapplying before you head out of the office to pick up a sandwich or meet people. The formula is creamy and extremely long-wearing, so layer it over a lip balm and carry on. You can’t go wrong with neutrals like Bahama or Bettina.
Fall Color Inspiration: Oxblood
Oxblood is one of the hottest color trends of Fall 2012 because it is so wearable. The rich color automatically triggers thoughts of autumn leaves and hot toddies (or is that me?). There are simple ways to incorporate it into your beauty routine and wardrobe without looking like a trend slave.
Here are a few ideas (clockwise from top left):
-Nails! Julep is a new brand of toxin-free nail polish, and Keira is the shade you want to try for the oxblood look.
-Power lipstick: Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Volga (oh, the drama!). Keep the rest of your face simple with great skin, groomed brows, and tons of black mascara.
-YSL Glossy Stain in Brun Glasse: normally I don’t advocate spending big money on color, but this lip gloss is gorgeous, flattering, and will make you feel fab when you pull it out of your purse to apply. Sounds like a party to me!
Click here to check out YSL’s lip stain in Brun Glasse.
-Makeup Forever Aqua Liner in Diamond Burgundy: slide on your upper lid, over a neutral shadow. Low maintenance, long-wearing, and gives any eye color a pop.
I’ve personally enjoyed oxblood for many years – here’s a goofy pic of me wearing my oxblood leather “denim” jacket in front of the Coliseum during my Roman holiday a few years ago.
All You Need is Love
My heart was heavy this week, with the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks and anti-American violence in the Middle East.
However, I am fortunate enough to participate in celebrations of love that lift my spirits and give me hope for progress. Today I want to share with you the pictures from the marriage of my clients and new friends Gina and Kathryn. We were introduced by their wedding photographer, Lilian Haidar. Once I spoke with Gina, learned their love story, cried over their wedding website, I knew it would be a match for us.
We did a trial at their home, and nerded out by watching a little Big Bang Theory (we’re all obsessed). They showed me their gorgeous disco-fabulous outfits for the big day, and I left feeling so grateful to have met them.
When I arrived at their apartment on July 1 for their bridal prep, Kathryn showed me her new tattoo – this is a woman not afraid of commitment! We had lots of fun doing makeup and hair, were joined by Lilian and her assistant, as well as Kathryn’s family, and I trotted home knowing that I made a real connection and would get some beautiful pictures.
Here’s where I get a little verklempt: the pictures are not just a small selection of beautiful wedding shots, they start to illustrate that while the occasion is extra special, this marriage is just as regular as any other (apartment, 2 cats, monogrammed towels, family pics on the fridge – regular). Actually, Gina and Kathryn might be even more excited than most women to be married, because it wasn’t an option until very recently. These are beautiful women, inside and out, and I’m extremely proud to post these pictures on my blog and soon on my website. Enjoy.
Here’s to the Red, White and Blue!
July 4th is one of my favorite holidays! While I’m holding up the fort here in NYC, my family is holding up the tradition of beach, lobster, and cheap white wine. Delicious! (I’m a little sad not to be with them, but I’m sure they are doing fine).
In celebration of this wonderful day off, here are some of my favorite red, white, and blue beauty treats for all of you lovely readers:
- Essie Clambake nail polish is the perfect summer red! (just painted some on my nails right now)
- Blue mascara creates a subtle and gorgeous richness for dark brown or hazel eyes! It’s a cheap trick for eye-opening effect. Sephora has a bright blue for $15, and Makeup Forever Smoky Lash is $23 at Sephora or department stores
- White eyeliner is an instant pop for tired eyes. Use it inside your lower waterline, blink a few times, and maybe blend it with a clean cotton swab, Add mascara afterwards to smooth out an white liner caught on your lower lashes. This is a gift if you have very dark circles, suffer allergies, or never get enough sleep. I like the Sephora Flashy Liner for $8 and the Buxom Insider eyeliner for $14
For your viewing pleasure, a pic of my niece and nephew with their tasty crustacean friends:
Summer Weddings in NYC
Summer is my favorite season of the year: hot weather, beach days, outdoor concerts at Prospect Park, Yankee baseball, lobster, and wedding season! I don’t mind the heat (love it, actually), and neither do the brides I work on, because they know I’ve got their faces artfully made up in melt-proof, stay-fresh makeup.
Want to share secrets? Okay!
Ali, above, got married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on a HOT day in May. The gorgeous event, designed and planned by Danielle Bobish from Curtain Up Events, took place on a busy bright Saturday. I followed Ali and her party through Central Park during their photo shoot with Joseph Lin. Yes, it’s great having an artist follow you with powder, blotting paper, and lipgloss, but you can keep your face fresh even without the celebrity treatment.
More secrets will be revealed in later blogs, plus gorgeous pics of the fun weddings from summer 2012.
Easy Face Fixes!
TAGS: Bridal, bridal makeup, corporate headshots, makeup, Photo shoots, photographer, Sunscreen, Weddings
Whew – it was late summer, and I took a mental holiday! August and September have been so busy with weddings (5 last weekend, 4 this past weekend), as well as commercial photography and video. SB Beauty also took a serious staycation/mental holiday; my bike was my pal, and I zipped around to visit friends, see the sites, and just relaaaax. I had a beauty rest!
Now we are back in school, home from vacation, and returning to our routines. With this busy schedule, I’m meeting lots of great folks who need to tweak their skin care or makeup habits. Here’s what’s on my mind:
– What’s with this addiction to Clarisonic? This weekend I met 3 women in the same bridal party who have scrubbed their faces raw. Please, be gentle! Monitor your diet including any food allergies, which may cause breakouts or hives), cleanse, tone, moisturize, sleep, and clean your face after the gym. If you must scrub, please limit it to a specific trouble spot. When you overscrub your face, you risk skin flakes and an overproduction of sebum that just wants to compensate for lost oils. Ouch!
– Nighttime is when your body is at rest, including your skin (the largest organ on your body). Use moisturizer at night to allow your skin to soak in the goodness and repair itself.
– Please remove all of your makeup at night so you can wake up clean and fresh. The effort you put in will be rewarded with great skin.
– One more: when you are getting your makeup done in the morning, before a wedding or a photoshoot, please arrive with a very clean face (ie no eyeliner, mascara, concealer, anything). This cuts down on clean-up time for the artist, so she/he can spend more time doing fun things to help you look and feel BEAUTIFUL!
Hey, Doll, Let’s Market You!
Lancome recently released a new mascara called “Doll Lashes”, which they market as, “The 1st doll lash mascara”. Hmmmm. This particular campaign is stumping me.
Dolls are only representatives of humans. Children play with them, and project their feelings onto these inanimate objects, practicing their social graces (tea parties), learning to relate to new siblings or friends, and working out various dilemmas. Dolls are also used in religious or spiritual traditions.
However, dolls are inanimate. They are always wide-eyed, don’t talk, laugh, complain, contribute, or provide real company because they are mute! Dolls eyes always pop open because they don’t need sleep! Why would Lancome find this an ideal to emulate? Lancome is marketing this item to real women, and despite the generally positive reviews online, I think they missed the mark.
Indian Wedding by SB Beauty!
TAGS: Bridal, bridal makeup, Indian wedding, indigofoto, Photo shoots, photographer, Weddings
This Memorial Day weekend, it was my distinct pleasure to work with a wonderful bride and her mom on a gorgeous and meaningful wedding.
Raina from indigofoto introduced me to Raina in November, when I did her makeup and hair for her engagement shoot in Central Park with Henry. If you check out my website, you will see that she looks like a movie star. She was all sweetness – we had some bubbly and cheese, Raina and Jaime came over to pick up the couple, and we all enjoyed our afternoon in the park.
For her pictures and two ceremonies, we started makeup and hair at 5:30 AM in the hotel, then transferred to the prep room at the Crystal Plaza, where I made up her mom and a bridesmaid. Harveen had two photo shoots, two ceremonies, two dresses, and never once broke a sweat.
Let me tell you about this young woman: two degrees from Penn (one an MD), Marshall Scholar, future surgeon, nice to her mother, endlessly patient, looks like a movie star, and completed PX90 before the wedding so she could look amazing in her dresses. Oh, and she had graduated medical school only weeks before the event. Plus, she told me several times, “Sharon, I’m so glad you’re here” – seriously, I was thrilled to be there, too!
I witnessed the traditional application of the Indian jewelry by her parents (much of it from her mother’s home town and own wedding), Henry riding in on his white horse with his family and friends dancing around him, the eating of the sweets (many fun moments there), and lots of enjoyment. It was my privilege to apply the traditional veil; for those of you who know me, I love anything bright, traditional, and sequined!
The most beautiful part of the entire day was watching the two families blend into one, sharing hugs, sweets, dancing, and traditions. Oh, and Henry has handsome brothers, so that wasn’t terrible, either.
Here are a few select pictures – enjoy! Love to Harveen and Henry, and best wishes for a bright future.
Event Planner/Flowers: Rose Events
Venue: Crystal Plaza, Livingston, NJ
Makeup/hair: sb beauty
Best Lightweight SPF Moisturizer – Value!
TAGS: heatwave, power lipstick, SPF, Sunscreen
Right about now the SPF moisturizer you bought for summer should be on its last drops. My recommendation for replenishment is Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Ant-Sun-Damage daily moisture lotion. It’s loaded with SPF 28 UVA/UVA sunscreen.
I love the light feel, which has an almost gel-like smoothness. This lotion is light enough for everyone’s face in this incredible heatwave, and it’s very compatible with makeup (if you can manage to wear anything in this oven-like city except power lipstick).
You can try it; it’s $8-13, depending on where you shop, so you won’t feel bad if it’s not for you. However, I love it, and predict you will, too.
Brooklyn Wedding in June!
TAGS: bridal makeup, Brooklyn, MAC, photographer, Weddings
People always ask me what my favorite type of client is, and I answer: nice ones.
Luckily, all of my clients are nice, and Brittney and her family are especially sweet. We met at Tammy Golson‘s Wedding Crasher’s After Party at the Green Building in Brooklyn – yes, at the wine bar outside. After a makeup trial and lots of delicious bubbly and wine, we secured a look that suited her taste and looked forward to the big day.
It was my privilege to do makeup on her mom, her sister, and the bride, and I enjoyed the company of the family, especially her little niece. Brittney handled all of the details, arrangements, and situations with a grace far beyond her years, and she looks HOT! She and her husband Tony have tons of style; more importantly, they also share a deep love and commitment to each other. It was a pleasure!
(Brittney’s lip color is MAC Russian Red gloss, a sheer coat, with tons of clear gloss on top).
Photography: Bethany and Dan Cox
Event planner: Christine Paul Events
Flowers: Rose, Red, and Lavender
Makeup: SB Beauty
Brass band: Stumblebums Brass Band
Venue: Office Ops
Brooklyn Bridal Shower – Party Shoot
TAGS: Bridal, Brooklyn, MAC, MAC lipstick, Makeup Forever, Photo shoots, photographer
This May provided many opportunities, and one awesome fateful day brought an engagement party photo shoot with very talented people. I planted these seeds in February, and they blossomed in May – cool, right?
Fabulous NYC photographers Jacqueline Schlossman and Lindsay Hite partnered with event designer/stylist Molly Hartman to create a vintage-inspired bridal shower that would feature everyone’s talents. These pictures will be featured on a famous bridal blog very soon, so set your Google Alerts! Makeup and hair by SB Beauty, of course. Many thanks to Jackie, Lindsay, Molly, and our lovely models for the great pictures and fun day. Enjoy!
The hot-pink lipstick on Anna, holding the bunny, is Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense in #36, and Kelly, above is sporting MAC New York Apple.
Martha Stewart, Darcy Miller, Cara Sullivan at the Wedding Library
TAGS: Bridal, Cupcakes, Darcy Miller, Henna, Martha Stewart Weddings, photographer, Wedding Library, Weddings
This is big time! Amy DeGiulio, owner of Sugar Flower Cake Shop, and I visited Rouge Tomate on Monday to celebrate the new office/showroom of the Wedding Library. What a fun party, and how great was it to meet some terrific new vendors!
Top on my list of thrills was seeing Martha Stewart herself (taller than I imagined, but that’s all I notice because I don’t like staring at celebrities), and chatting with Darcy Miller and Cara Sullivan of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. They are both very nice, and Cara loves doing makeup, too!
Other great vendors I met included: Debi Zeinert, calligrapher, The Blooming Quill; Matthew Hadley, Event Services Director at Rouge Tomate; Kathrine Hauschild, Bridal Expert at the Williams Sonoma flagship store at Columbus Circle; Dasha Wright and Robert Jacobs, photographers from Hope Spring; Alyssa Tierney Angelbeck of Monograms off Madison; LA photographer Samuel Lipke; Meredith Kurosko and her crew from Regas Letterpress; and Brittani Gurai of Espace.
Now, see the awesome henna tattoo on my left arm? Sandy from Henna Studio did it freehand, with a squeeze tube of product. Sandy is amazing, and is available for all weddings, special events, bridal showers, etc.
Headshots, Portraits with NYC Photographer Ryan Trupp and SB Beauty
TAGS: corporate headshots, Photo shoots, photographer, Ryan Trupp
Alexandra O'DalyMichael MunozHoji Fortuna
We all know actors (or we have been actors). Actors and performers need headshots. Ryan Trupp is a terrific NYC photographer with two degrees and years of experience in theatrical lighting – so he can light anyone, anywhere. I have a BFA in Drama and years of experience getting headshots and doing makeup. We are pleased to team up to offer the community quality, affordable headshots.We are currently offering summer sessions for $300 through Labor Day (makeup/grooming additional).
This package includes 2 retouched images, an online gallery, and all the low res images from the shoot on a CD with rights usage. Additional examples from our last session can be found on Ryan’s portrait site here: http://www.ryantrupp-photography.com/RT_Portrait/index2.php#/rgallery2/1/. Our next round of sessions is currently scheduled for Friday, July 8th. If you help us book 3 actors, you get 50% of your own headshots!
Who needs headshots/portraits? Actors, comedians, performers, dancers, conductors, musicians, real estate agents, designers, chefs, event planners, anyone with an “about me” page on their website…
Cathy Riva, Sauza Tequila, July 4th, and Whoopie Pies!
TAGS: Cathy Riva, Makeup Forever HD powder, Sauza Tequila, Smashbox, Sonya Kashuk, Target, Urban Decay
Hey, y’all, it’s almost time for one of our favorite holidays, July 4th! I have no idea what kind of fun plans I’ll cook up this year, but previous favorites include 2lb. lobster with my family (and Cathy Riva), and the good old days in Quiogue with lobster (and Cathy Riva). Sounds like a pattern, right?
Please meet Cathy Riva, entertainment and lifestyle expert, mom to Riley, television personality (Party Girl on Discovery Home), and a great friend of mine. Yesterday we celebrated July 4 early with her satellite media tour.
Cathy created a table of delectable and easy to prepare treats that everyone will love, featuring Red, White, and Sauza Blue margaritas!
Cathy’s first of 25 interviews began at 6:45a, so her makeup needed to last under hot lights and excitement until her last engagement at noon. We started with Smashbox oil-free Photo Finish primer, finished with Urban Decay All Nighter spray, and glossed with my favorite longwearing gloss, Smashbox Limitless gloss in Boundless. I touched up with Makeup Forever HD powder and Sonya Kashuk blotting papers (a Target purchase).
Oh, MAC 109 Brush, How Do I Love Thee?
TAGS: bridal makeup, Cathy Riva, MAC, Makeup Forever, Makeup Forever HD powder, Summer Trend, Weddings
Have you ever purchased something that you love, that makes you excited to get to work/dress up/cook dinner? Whether it’s your hot new Frye boots, or truffle oil that you use for dinner, you know the excitement you get from just a little item that makes a big impact.
This encompasses how I feel about my new MAC 109 brush. Oh, lordy, does this brush make me happy! The soft (goat, I think) hair is so compact, great for applying and buffing dense colors. However, you can also gently wipe off the brush between uses and let it multitask for HD powder, bronzer, highlighter…let it make YOU happy.
Bright colors are a big summer trend, and without a good brush, you risk a messy application that sticks to your foundation or dry skin. Hairs this soft, in this tight mound, allow you to GENTLY buff in a bright color.
Bronzer was never my favorite product, but at the DiGennaro sisters’ and Cathy Riva’s insistence, I have incorporated it into my warm weather applications. With this delightful new tool, all of my brides are getting their hairlines, clavicles, shoulders, and cheeks bronzed and golden for their shining moment. Yes, I’m wearing bronzer right now!
Do I use 109 for Makeup Forever HD powder? Yes! Do I use 109 for cream blush? Yes! Am I stroking my chin with 109 right now? Yes!
Corporate Headshots with Jason Gardner Photography
TAGS: corporate headshots, Jason Gardner, Ogilvy, Weddings
In addition to beauty/commercial photo shoots, and bridal, I love working with photographers on actor and corporate headshots.
This past March, NYC portrait, wedding, and travel photojournalist Jason Gardner asked me to work with him on corporate headshots for Ogilvy’s digital media division. For two days, I time travelled back to my office days and behaved myself! We had a great time, and below are select images from our shoot. I like working with Jason, and you will, too. Take a minute to check out his blog and immerse yourself in his travels.
Avant Garde Makeup – Electric Violinists!
TAGS: Aqua Cream, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MAC, Makeup Forever, Smashbox, Urban Decay
So much fun! I had the opportunity to do avant garde makeup on four talented, professional, and gorgeous violinists who were performing at a big event at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
For the makeup nerds, products used included: Makeup Forever Flash Color Kit, MAC Morange lipstick, Makeup Forever Aqua Colors, Smashbox Limitless Longwearing Lip Gloss in 24/7, Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense #36 (fuschia), Smashbox Photofinish primer, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Happy Mother’s Day from SB Beauty – Words of Wisdom
TAGS: Great Skin, Happy Mother's Day, Sunscreen
My mother, Gail Becker, is a beautiful woman. Not only is she very pretty, but she is sharp, very funny, opinionated, friendly, loving, and can parallel park a minivan. She also has great skin, and looks nothing like a 74-year old. My mom is neither wrinkled nor pulled taut by surgery; she looks a like a healthy woman who raised four kids, enjoyed time on Revere Beach and now in Barbados, and has laughed and smiled.
So, after lots of summers in the sun, and a life well-lived, what’s her secret to great skin? Genetics, my friends – she got lucky, and so did I. My mother does nothing special for her skin, has never met a $150 jar of cream (and would scoff at it if she had), didn’t have sunscreen on Revere Beach…she is quite the iconoclast.
My clients always ask how they can get great skin like mine (thanks for the compliment) and I always refer to mom. However…you can work with what you have by taking good care of yourself. Here is some of the advice Gail would give if she were a makeup artist:
- Eat your vegetables
- Cleanse your face morning and night
- Don’t pick at your face, and keep your hands off your face
- Take necessary precautions (don’t burn your face in the sun)
- (My mom’s favorite accessories) LARGE SUNGLASSES!
- Don’t be afraid to smile and laugh – those lines are to be worn with pride
With care you, too, can have great skin, just like my mom. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all of the wonderful mothers in my life.
Makeup Forever HD Foundation – I’ll Buy That!
TAGS: bridal makeup, MAC, makeup, Makeup Forever
I did it – I finally bought a liquid foundation, a modern, medium-full coverage makeup to try for myself and use on clients. Since Makeup Forever is my own personal toy store, and I’ve never been disappointed with an item from their line, I purchased the High Definition Foundation.
Yowzers! I thought I had good skin before I wore this makeup, but now I’m, um, flawless:) I wear color #120, and have used it on clients, too. The coverage is medium-full, but buildable, and easily applied with a foundation brush, MAC 188 brush, the Beauty Ball, or my little fingers. The texture is creamy as hell, and it feels like nothing. My clients were thrilled with the results and feel, and I will certainly be purchasing a few more colors for bridal season.
When I used this makeup and finished the look with Urban Decay’s “All Nighter” spray, it lasted. And lasted. Perfect for brides, events, or coverage queens. Sold! Go out and get some!