Makeup Brush 101 (Weapons of Mass Construction)


There are so many different styles of makeup brushes out there and unfortunately they don’t come with an instruction manual. Over the next couple of post lets take a few minutes to demystify the makeup brush and it’s many usages.

Natural vs. Synthetic

I typically like to use my natural hair brushes for powders, And my synthetic hair brushes for creams.

Natural Brushes are usually made of natural animal hair, often sable, squirrel or goat. The hair is also super soft and makes for easy blending on the face. Another of the benefits of natural hair is the cuticles, which allows for great pick-up and blending properties. The cuticles will lift and absorb powdery pigment along with your skin’s oils and blend them seamlessly over the skin. The best uses for these brushes are to apply powdery products such as eye shadow, finishing/setting powder and powder-based blushes and bronzers.

Synthetic Brushes are usually made of man-made materials like nylon, taklon or polyester fibers.   Synthetic brushes are unique in that the bristles are non-porus, finer, and naturally gravitate toward each other, allowing for more precise, smooth and streak-free application. Because of the hairs’ precise properties, they are great for angled, sharply cut brushes. I love to use these faux-hair brushes for liquid products like foundations, cream blush, cream shadows, and gel eyeliner. Reminder: synthetic hairs are not  porous, so they don’t soak up too much product (this could save you some money in the long run, as they use less product).

Watch For Next Post: Brush of the day

Here comes the bride. Will she forget these important things?

I love spring and all that it brings. I love the longer days, with cool mornings, and sun-kissed afternoons. I enjoy the gardens of produce, and flowers. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a new pair of sunglasses and some gorgeous sundresses. I notice when this season arrives it brings a since of excitement for change… the newness of a fresh hairstyle and/or color, a new lip shade, or that perfect pair of sandals.

There is something else about this season that excites me. I’m an incurable romantic and I look forward to all of the blushing brides and their anticipation’s for what’s on the horizon.

During this month I will be focused on the bride. So, if you know someone, or you are someone, that is starting a new wedded chapter in their life… this months post are for her.


Here are a few tips from an older post to get us started.

I am a hair and makeup artist, as well as a professional photographer. My goal in styling hair and makeup is to consider the perspective of the photographer and the final images. The advice I’m sharing in this post will not only help you look your best, but it will help your photographer make you look your best.



When it comes to your hair and makeup, be yourself. Your wedding is not the day to do something “out of the norm”. You want to recognize yourself in your photos. Don’t let other people sway you into looking the way they envision you to be. You should always stay true to your own personal style.



Have your artist emphasize your best features in a style that fits you. For your makeup, pick one feature to emphasize, your lips or eyes.


Pump up the amount of makeup so it doesnʼt disappear in the photographs. Trust me, a little more is okay.


Choose a great artist and have a trial makeup appointment. It’s well worth the money to know you will love the finished look on your wedding day


I suggest airbrush because of the flawless finish and longevity.

Makeup and photo Jacquetta Style, Hair Eric Gomez


Exfoliate your body and face for weeks leading up to your wedding. I love to make my own exfoliant for the face with coconut oil and sugar, and coconut oil and coffee grounds for the body. Another great way to exfoliate your lips is with and old toothbrush and salve.


Have the artist curl your lashes, use waterproof mascara, and apply false lashes. If you plan to well up with emotion be prepared with a hanky and lightly dab – donʼt rub the moisture from your face and eyes.



Don’t forget the brows. They frame those “windows to the soul”. If you have a stylist or esthetician that waxes your brows, your pre-wedding wax should be 2-3 days before the wedding. This goes for all your pre-wedding waxing. Keep in mind… if you haven’t started a brow shaping routine, you’ll want to start long before your wedding date so you will know how your skin will respond to wax.


Teeth whitening is another great way to highlight the smile on your face. This is the day when everyone will be looking at it.


Remember the scarf. Drape the scarf over your hair and face as you slip the dress over your head.  This will keep your fresh hair style from coming undone as you pass through the dress, and from transferring makeup to the dress.


Make sure your hair color is fresh (one week before), and don’t get crazy and try anything new.


Your hair should be slightly dirty (one day) for your wedding style if you want it to have some volume/hold, and clean if you are just going to wear it down and natural.


It’s important to remember that whatever you do to your hair will be undone later when you are alone with your new spouse. If you add extra hair to you style, you will be taking it out with him. If you plaster it with spray, he wonʼt be able to run his hands through it when you take it down.


Keep these essential items in a sweet bridal hand bag: oil absorbing strips, touchup lip color and pencil (if you aren’t using a long wearing lip stain), and a mirror compact.



Sharply-Dressed Man (Birchbox Man)

Every girl’s crazy about a sharply-dressed man. I’m not excluded from that statement.

I love when my man gets into his grooming. What’s funny about this story is he has had this long running fantasy about hot hairdressers. (LOL!) He says , “What man doesn’t want to date the hot hairdresser. I married my hot hairdresser.” I guess you could say the pressure is on for him to keep up on his styling knowledge.

I ordered him his very own Birchbox. If you have been following my other blog posts, you already know that a Birchbox is a month subscription of hand selected products to try.


My man’s first Birchbox

Here is a review from his first box.

The box theme for this particular month was fitting for summer. This box is created for the adventurous man. My husband opened up this box like it was Christmas in June. Let me start this review by saying that this subscription is personalized, hand-picked items that come from a profile that is set up at the beginning of the subscription. Unfortunately, my husband’s expectations were very high because my first box was amazing. His box, on the other hand, wasn’t as exciting. He received this cool little luggage tag, along with some trial size products that would be perfect for a flight acceptable carry-on. We weren’t really as disappointed with the items as we were disappointed with the selections for him.

He was sent a clay mask that was intended for oily skin but he has extremely dry skin. We really couldn’t try it for that reason.

The next sample was a lotion called Da Boom. My husband immediately hated this moisturizer. He is a anti-smoker kind of guy. The product description states that its fragrance held notes of motor oil and tobacco. As soon as he caught the hint of tobacco he washed his hands. My curiosity was still stirred. I carried this lotion with me for two weeks to get the opinions of many women and men. I would say that this product still received more yes’s than no’s.

The last product was SU Hair and Body Wash. Speaking from the perspective of a woman, this concept makes me crazy! But for a man, a multitasking product is wonderful. This one in particular is pretty cool for the man that likes to catch a few sun rays. It’s a moisturizing cleanser that  works for both hair and skin. This product has some repairing qualities that work wonders for overheated hair, while its moisturizing ingredients help maintain a long lasting tan.

Tips for Tanning

  • It’s best to exfoliate your skin first. This will help your tan last much longer because you are eliminating any dead skin cells that will actually prevent you from getting a beautiful tan. When your skin is dry, it actually reflects the UV light, ultimately slowing down your results and giving an uneven color.
  • Bar soap should be avoided. It usually contains chemicals and alcohols that dry out your skin. Your tan will last much longer if you choose a liquid soap or shower gel.

After your shower, apply an after-tan moisturizer immediately for best results. Look for something water and/or aloe-based to replenish your skin with mositure that is lost while having fun in the sun. Seek  lotions with ingredients like  Vitamins A, C and E as well as copper peptides to enhance your tan.

I’m dying to try this DIY self tan:

Instructions: When water has boiled, add the tea bags to steep. Leave in for 10-15 minutes, or until tea is dark and cool enough to touch.
In the meantime, take a shower to ensure your skin is oil- and sweat-free. USE A SCRUB TO EXFOLIATE!. Afterwards, make sure skin is completely dry.
Stand on something you don’t mind getting dirty. If using a sponge, drench it in the tea and wipe all over your body. If using a spray bottle, fill it with tea and spray evenly. Let skin air-dry and apply another coat for a deeper shade.
Tea will stain clothes if wet, so make sure you’re all dry before dressing. The “tan” should last 3-4 days.
…as far as the bottle of beer goes, I added this in for his experience. The beauty is in the details.
Send me a comment if you try the DIY tan.
For fun here is a link to my Man’s World pinboard.

Something for Everyone (Wedding, Beauty, Travel, and Good Eats) Part 1

michelle and chris blog

I shared a post months back about an engagement session in the Sequoias. The bride-to-be Michelle told me a cute little story about how she turned down her first opportunity to date Chris. He had asked her if she would like to go skiing with him. She said no. All she could imagine was falling and making a fool of herself–not her ideal first date. She feared that he would never ask her out again. She had to come up with a plan to make sure that she had just one more opportunity. He was a bass player in a band, so she decided to go to one of his shows… The rest of this story is still being written.

The day we chose to do the engagement session, we had no idea we would find snow on the ground. I think it’s kind of cute how he got his snow date after all. It’s a good thing she was able to roll with the punches. I think she even had some fun that day.

We made a pit stop on our drive down the mountain at one of my favorite candy/ice cream shops. Reimers is just yummy. I used this great little place to do another engagement session last year. Here’s a peek.

After shooting the wonderful engagement session with Chris and Michelle, she and I got together to shoot a fun little surprise for her sweetheart. We created a gorgeous book for her to give to him on the day of the wedding. This was so outside the scope of her personality, so she knew he would be shocked. Remember earlier in the post when I mentioned he was a bass player in the band…

The look on his face was priceless.

Wynn wedding


Leading up to the wedding, I was making my plans. I like to map out the day for my clients so they can just kick back and enjoy the ride. I drove up the week before to scope out some shooting locations. I was very familiar with the venue that they were using for their wedding. It’s the venue where I got married, so I knew it was beautiful. I wanted to add just a little twist to their images and surprise them with an extra location. According to the schedule that we had set, I already knew that there would be time in the day to wisk them away to a more private location. On my journey the week prior I stumbled upon a glorious vacation rental. Totally by accident, my husband and I journeyed down this little country road and found this hidden treasure. I asked the host if it would be possible that I shoot my bride there in the week to come. She shared with me how they like to keep the grounds very intimate and secluded, so (oh darn) we would have to be guests if we wanted to shoot there. I kept my fingers crossed because she shared with me that they are usually booked out for a year. To my surprise they were open on that weekend. The name of this place is The River Jewel. Wait till you see the images from the wedding portrait session.

Here is some photos from this beautiful wedding.


First Look

Extra Location


Look for tomorrows post.