Simply Beautiful

On Patience: Makeup, Hair Jacquetta Sorensen; Photo Marta Elena Vassilakis

On Karissa: Makeup, Hair Jacquetta Sorensen; Photo Marta Elena Vassilakis


These two simply beautiful looks show the power of focusing on one feature of the face. As I explain each step, I will be referring to the following photo of brushes.


Each model’s skin was prepped with a light moisturizer and primer. I used TIGI Whipped foundation on both models (color #1 applied with the foundation/concealer brush, which is the brush on the far right). The whipped foundation is a cream to powder matte finish. I love this for HD photography.


I then used a mascara wand to apply TIGI concealer to the brows. Just rub the bristles with the stick of concealer and comb into the brows for this really interesting effect.


I used Haute (top right in bottom image) on Patience. On Karissa I used Awaken (bottom left) . I only wanted to apply a wash of color to the cheeks so I used the powder brush, which is the first brush on the left in the brush photo. I loaded the product just slightly to the lower portion of the apple of the cheek. I then transitioned the color back toward the hairline and temple making sure the color is completely blended away before it hits the hairline.



For the lips I custom blended colors. I do this often because I’m a control freak and I just feel the need to make the color exactly what I want. Patience’s lips were the focal point of her makeup. The color was a mix of black lipliner and Passion TIGI lip color.  Karissa’s lips were a mix of Splendor and Finesse TIGI lip color and concealer. Both of the custom blends were mixed on a pallet then applied to the lips with a lip brush, which is the fourth brush in from the right on the brush photo.


Patience eyes were a wash of golden bronze shadow and a ton of brown mascara… keepin’ it simple. Karissa’s eyes were the dramatic focus of her image. The technique for this is complex, so I will break it down in a post to come. For now, just know I used TIGI black patent eyeliner (I love it for the shine) with no mascara. I like the way her blonde eyelashes are highlighted with the contrast black background.

Classic Beauty

Red lips and black precision eyeliner (TIGI Cosmetics)… Need I say more?

Photos by Marta Elena Vassilakis

Cosmetic breakdown:

TIGI Cream Foundation in Fair

TIGI Brow Defining Pencil in Blonde: Pencil in your shape by lining against the hair grow (to color hairs) then use the tool at the end of your TIGI pencil to groom and soften the line.

TIGI Vanilla High Density Single Eyeshadow: Sweep the whole eye.

TIGI High Density Split in Glitz: Sweep the crease (gold) and dab the tear duct area with a mix of gold and silver.

Two sets of dimi lashes and a mascara application, top lashes only.

TIGI Black Patent Liquid Liner

I like to use the lashes as my guide.  Lay the applicator on the lashes, slide the length of the brush next to the skin, and glide along the lash line. Start in the middle of the lid (where you want the most concentration of color) and glide to the outside edge of the eye. Don’t reload your wand with product. Use the wand that has slightly less product to apply liner to the inside corner of the eye in the same manner as before.  Don’t forget to lift the brow while you apply product. This will ensure that you get the color close to the lashes.

Hint: If you want a solid explanation on how to get the perfect winged eyeliner, read my first blog post “Demystify the Cateye”.

TIGI Glow Blush in Brilliance

TIGI Decadent Lipstick in Luxury

 Red lips need to be applied with precision so use a lip brush.

These next 3 photos were taken by me.


Same beautiful technique, just on a different beautiful face. For this model, we switched up some of the colors, but the application was the same. This model had near perfect skin. My advice when it comes to foundation is to  use a foundation that leaves the model/client flawless. (If her skin is already flawless don’t overuse foundation and/or powder. Less is always more when the skin is already nice, especially when she will be photographed.) To even out the shine all I used was Entice Powder Foundation Friend by TIGI. This model has the same winged technique from above, with the addition of a slight line on the lower lid from the outside corner and faded to the center of the eye. She is also only wearing one set of lashes. Only TIGI Cosmetics were used.


The hair was prepped with TIGI Strong Mouse and Ego Boost (split end mender). Then the hair was blow dried with a round brush, smoothed with a flat iron and roller set. Every section through the top was rolled back except the 2 front rolls, which were rolled forward. The back and side sections were all rolled down. Each roller was placed right on the section base and the base should be the size of the roller. After removing the rollers the hair was shaken and finger combed into place. You should shake the hair by sliding your hands under the hair and placing your finger at the scalp, then gently shake the tresses till the curls break up in a way that is pleasing to you. Then lightly finger comb the hair into place.

…and one more for the road…
kayla 1
Yes! This technique is fantastic and classic and works on almost all faces.

Beauty of Balance

For this shoot, I had to work with a delicate balance between softness and strength, between classically preened and urban edgy, between feminine and androgyny.

The model is a pixie cut with a long fringe. The cut is styled with BedHead wax stick. The hair is tousled and left in its disheveled state. This sounds easy… and it should be; however it does require some bravery and a good sensibility for the beautiful balance. Simply said, you just have to know when it is or isn’t right.

Her makeup is also styled with a balance between natural and intense. What makes this makeup beautiful is the strong focus on one feature of her face. This makeup wouldn’t have the same impact if her lips and cheeks were as strong as her eyes. When you look at this image you can’t help but to be drawn into those eyes.

I think the challenge of a good artist is to understand when you haven’t pushed it enough, and to understand when you’ve pushed it too far.

Demystify the Cat Eye

Does the cat eye makeup technique leave you scratching your head? If so, don’t cry — you are not alone. This is challenging even for many makeup enthusiasts. Here is some instruction that will work for most everyone.

Keep an eye on the eye!

 Believe it or not, this application is as easy as 1 2 3…

Before I give you some of the tricks in my bag, I want to share a tip for a clean liquid liner eye frame. When you apply liquid liner, use the lashes as your guide. Instead of trying to create a perfect line on the lid, place your brush on the lashes and slide along the lash line and you will never get it wrong. This technique can be used for the simplest of eye frames.

 I know this sounds too simple, but every time I teach it, the technique draws a crowd.

 Now, let’s build upon this simple eye line and take it to the dramatic cat eye.

Step 1. With the eyes open (left), mark the intersection where the eyeliner will pass through the crease of the eye.

Step 2. Mark where you want the eyeliner to end. The diagram on the right is what the points will look like when the eye is closed. Every eye has a different shape so these points will look different on every eye.

Step 3. The image below shows your final step. Connect the dots and fill in the shape. When the eye is closed there is strange triangular shape, but if the technique was done correctly, you will end up with a perfect cat eye sweep of liner.