The Makeup Show and Your Humble Correspondent


Hi, everyone!  I’ll be attending The Makeup Show this weekend (March 28-29, 2015) in downtown L.A. and will be reporting back to you about the event.

There are some good industry pro’s lined up for both days giving talks and demo’s about the latest info/techniques in the biz.  I’ll be taking lots of notes to make sure you feel like you have a virtual seat at the show.

If you live in or near L.A., tickets are still available.

The Makeup Show also has events in other cities. You can check out their website for further information:

Looking forward to sharing what I learn with you.

Last Two Days of Barneys Beauty Event

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Barneys New York Spring 2015 Love Yourself Beauty Bag -  -

Barneys New York is having a beauty department gift-with-purchase when you spend $200 and it’s a pretty darned good one.   I got it today and am very impressed with the 20+ mini-products (and a few deluxe-size ones) from luxury/boutique brands that they give you.  There’s a GWP for women and one for men, but I was told today that all of the men’s GWP’s were gone in the pre-sale.

Check to see on Barneys’ website if there is an extra brand-specific GWP as well:

Tomorrow, March 14th, is the last day of the four-day GWP, both in-store and online.  Act fast if you want to get one.  Good luck!


Neiman Marcus Beauty Event Gift-With-Purchase


Neiman Marcus has extended their Beauty Event GWP until March 4, 2015, both online and in stores. Spend $125 and you’ll get a small, heavy-rubber tote bag with many rows of triangle cut-outs in one of three colors (actual shades differ slightly from the photo above) with very good products to try.

I got mine a week ago and am pleased with the gifts.  Some are sample-size and others are larger mini’s.  All are from highly-regarded cosmetic/skin care/hair care lines such as Yves Saint Laurent, Molton Brown, Amore Pacific (I used the Time Response Eye Renewal Cream they give you – a good mini size – several months ago and love it) and Oribe.  Hit the website if you want more details:

If you spend $500, you get a few other products and a pencil-holder-size zip case in the same cut-out design.  I wouldn’t recommend spending the extra bucks just to get this gift, unless money is no object for you.

Check the website to see if the brand you’re buying also offers its own GWP.

JUDGE BEAUTY VERDICT:  Guilty – of offering a great deal and top-quality products.

Thanks to the very-cool Kate Somerville beauty consultant, William, at Neiman’s in Beverly Hills, I’ll be checking out the Kate Somerville Event (Kate will be there – I’ve met her before and she’s great) where I’ll be getting a facial later today.  Will report on what products are used and how they work.

The Red Carpet and Oscars Ceremony Starting Today at 1:30 PM/PST

Starting around 1:30-2PM/PST, the stars will begin to hit the Red Carpet for the Oscars. Please join me for the last round of Live-Tweeting this season for the most glamorous award show all year on Twitter @JudgeBeauty at 1:30PM/PST.

I have a few different vantage points and will report back to you what I see. Mostly, I’m looking forward to your Tweets on all the great hair and makeup (or misses), with the occasional guy thrown in who deserves our attention.

See you in a few hours!

Independent Spirit Awards Live-Tweeting on Twitter beginning at 11AM/PST @JudgeBeauty

Thanks to all of you who participated in Live-Tweeting the Red Carpet and Live Show of the Independent Spirit Awards at @judgebeauty.  I enjoyed your comments and appreciate your “favorited”/retweets actions.

Emma Stone was my favorite look with that gorgeous, modern black-lace top, adorable lob and perfectly-balanced, redhead-flattering makeup.

Who did you like the best?

Business for Makeup Artists and Creating a Red Carpet Look, from Celebrated Makeup Pro, Eve Pearl


One of the many treats of going to the International Makeup Artistry Trade Show (IMATS in Los Angeles) a couple of weeks ago was hearing great speakers who demonstrated their makeup expertise.  For an hour, five-time Emmy Award winner Eve Pearl gave valuable advice on business for makeup artists.and showed the audience how she quickly creates a Red Carpet look.

Eve — who has worked for two decades in the fields of print, TV, film and theater — is no-nonsense in her approach to speaking, and to life.

She started out with a shocker: “Only idiots do makeup, right? Isn’t that what we’ve heard? And it’s not true.

“If you want to be a successful makeup artist, business skills are essential.  It’s important to sell yourself.”

And Eve should know.  Along with her quintet of Emmy’s, she’s written a well-reviewed book about makeup, Plastic Surgery Without The Surgery, has created her eponymous cosmetics brands, and has been a makeup artist for A-listers, royalty, and even the President and First Lady.  Eve gives examples of some business basics, including giving out one’s business cards to potential clients, and having a web presence and portfolio of one’s work.

When it comes to networking, Eve says, “Nothing is beyond your reach.  No one is too good for you.  Talk to people.  Then follow up with the people you meet: ‘Hi, Janet.  I’m Greta.  I met you at IMATS…'”

Eve hits the audience with another shocker: “Makeup application is 10% of what makes someone successful in this business.”

For someone who has a very-successful career and can boast a star-studded client list, Eve had it rough at times. “I used to be on welfare and I had a kid.  I was motivated (to succeed) by the ‘F.U.’ factor.  Use what you know in your own life to drive you.”

Because she didn’t attend makeup school, Eve had to commit herself to, “…lots of work to be fabulous.  You have to be consistently good and show up on time, 100% of the time.”

Eve remarked that the makeup industry has no, “…set system.  If a woman says that she doesn’t like her makeup, ask her, ‘What do you want?’.  If she says, ‘I want a smoky eye,’  say, ‘OK,’ and do what you want anyway since there is no standard for what is right.”

“Really,” she sums up best, “most people just want to look like their best selves.”

Applying bridal makeup pays well, but Eve reminds the audience, “Keep in mind that it’s about them and not about you.”

She stresses the importance of negotiating one’s rate for a job.  “Sometimes, a client will tell you right away what her budget is to hire a makeup artist.  Other times, the client will ask the makeup artist what her rate is.  Know what others are charging in your area, which can vary greatly.  Be specific about what you want, but be prepared to tell the prospective client that you will work within their budget.

“Also, ask specific questions, such as, ‘Is there transportation? Are there kids involved?’  Just ask so you know what kind of work will be expected of you and what to charge the client.”

A makeup artist from the audience asked Eve, “What if the client wants to pay less than what I charge?”

Eve replies, “If the client says, ‘We plan to pay $400,’ then you say, ‘I can work with that number.’

More tips include, “Meet the client ahead of time, if possible, and never take on any client’s negative energy.  If you’re starting out in the business, sometimes working for nothing is good because you’re doing it for the experience.”

When makeup artists are on the job, Eve says, “People in your chair must feel comfortable.  If you’re at a hair salon, have the makeup complement the hair style the client gets.”

Getting too close with others while working is not a good idea.  She warns, “Do not get involved in gossip.  If someone says, ‘She’s a bitch,’ say no more than, ‘Uh-huh.’  Don’t be friends with people.  No chit-chat.  Just answer questions asked of you or you could lose your job.”

Eve says communication is key when working with a client.  “When you’re applying makeup on someone, tell her, ‘I’m going to put false eyelashes on you now.’  Let them know what’s going on.  Also, makeup artists must be speedy and clean when they work.”  Eve got in the habit of being this way from working on rows of ballerinas at The Met in New York City, where her main studios are also located.

“While applying makeup,” Eve says, “You must talk and move at the same time.  But, make no excuses.  No talking about the past.”

Guys also sit in her makeup chair. “With men’s grooming, you just want them to look polished.”

On contouring a client, Eve believes that, “Some contouring works, but only for photos. You never want the client to look like a drag queen or a hooker/clown.”

With clients like the Obamas, T.V. Producer Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” the hit miniseries, “The Bible,” etc.), “The View,” Justin Timberlake and doing makeup at the Royal Wedding, she might not have the perfect studio on the road in which to do her magic.  “Trains, planes and automobiles,” is how she describes the small places that are usually her workspace.  What is the most-common “make it work” place to apply makeup?  “Hotel bathrooms,” she says.  “The key is setting up fast and working fast.”

What’s also important in these space-challenged conditions is working from a small bag of tools and products. “Edit what’s in your makeup kit,” Eve emphasizes.  “You must have a carry-able bag and be able to fit it onto a rolling case.”

Eve can’t stress enough how necessary being early for a job is.  “Being 15 minutes ahead of time is being on time.  There could be a lot of other makeup artists that have been hired for the same job.  By being early, you’ll get the lay of the land.”

Then Eve shifts gears from business advice to demonstrating how she puts together a Red Carpet look quickly.  On stage, she begins working on a pretty model who has very-light skin and is a strawberry blonde.

“Remember that you can’t brighten the face before you neutralize it,” Eve instructs.

She tells makeup artists to prep the face by putting vegetable or vitamin oil on a model, like coconut oil or Vitamin E.  “Prime her with moisturizer and no silicone – which some primers have – because it can turn rubbery.”

“It’s not necessary to airbrush clients.  It’s too heavy.  Airbrush makeup is just melted-down product that’s put in pods. It might not be good quality.”  Instead, she opines, “When well-applied, H.D. makeup is airbrush makeup.”

Eve’s compact set of creamy foundation colors, called the H.D. Pro Palette, is from one of her own makeup lines from Eve Pearl Beauty Brands.  The palette has everything she needs to work on face basics and keeps with her belief of carrying a kit with only the necessities.  She advises makeup artists to make sure that their kits contain products that have the same consistency.

Unlike many makeup artists who focus on color combos, Eve says, “I don’t want to be thinking about colors when I’m applying makeup.”  Instead, her perspective is, “Each face has different shapes, discoloration, freckles.  I diagnose the color of people from a distance, and look at the neck and chest.  The skin can be sensitive, dry, ashy or red.”  Lots of variables.  Then she determines what needs to be brightened and what needs to be concealed.

Now comes one of her techniques, Reverse Contouring.  She tells the model, “Smile, please.”  Then, to the makeup artists, she explains, “With lighter and darker foundation colors, use your brush to apply the darker color where one would ordinarily place the lighter ones and vice versa.  For instance, apply dark colors where highlighter usually goes and where there’s redness to cover.”

Although customers will ask a makeup artist at a department store to “color match” them (meaning determine what color foundation matches their skin), Eve takes a different approach.  “You don’t need to be ‘color matched.’  The face just needs to be corrected and balanced.  For instance, one part of the eye might need lighter foundation and the other side of the eye might need darker foundation to correct it.  Or you add light foundation to marionette lines on the face or cover up some blemishes with darker foundation.”

After she assesses the skin problems, she uses combinations of colors from her palette to create light on the face.  She tells the audience that they can test colors on their knuckle, in a pinch.  Eve uses her hands-free Pro mixing palette instead of the back of her hand for testing and mixing colors.  She admonishes, “Never double-dip your brush (from one product into another).  And when using a non-latex sponge, pre-wet it and use it to seamlessly blend foundations.”

“Only three cheek colors are necessary,” says Eve, “Peach, pink and a bronzer.”  She has all three in a compact of lovely colors she put together for one of her makeup lines.

“Don’t use regular finishing powder,” she warns.  Instead, she uses Invisible Finish Powder-less Powder – also one of her cosmetic creations. This product has an amazing, silky feel to it and takes away shine without leaving behind a dusty or cakey finish.

Not to say that Eve only goes for a nude look and won’t brush on a bright-orange lip or a neon-green eyeshadow.  The demonstration was just about how to create a Red Carpet look in a fast, simple way.

When the clock had run out, nimble Eve completed her model’s look without the time to give a blow-by-blow description of applying eye makeup or lips.  We examined the model closely, her natural beauty was enhanced and fresh-looking, yet she looked elegant – what Red Carpet ready means.  One could tell by the model’s wide grin that she liked what she saw as well.

When Eve received well-deserved applause for her handiwork, she said, “Less is more.”

For more information about Eve and her products, go to:

IMATS-LA (International Makeup Artistry Trade Show) – Verdict

IMATS, Los Angeles just wrapped up its amazing three-day event last weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Five Makeup Olympic Sports were key: weight-shifting, target-shooting, sprinting, rubbernecking and weight-lifting.

Let the games begin!


Lots of switching from one foot to the other while in long lines, such as the one getting in to the show.  Impatience to enter the makeup mecca turned to pleasure for me by talking with two very-nice pro artists who came from San Francisco for the show.  Time flew by.

Once inside, some vendors had lines of cosmetics enthusiasts serpentined around the vendors’ hall.  For Morphe Brushes, there was a three-to-four-hour wait Saturday morning, complete with security to prevent line-jumpers.  By mid-afternoon, queues had shortened significantly or were non-existent, although Morphe still required a half-hour before my stroking of brush bristles could begin.  Good quality, great bang for the buck and their nice, new vegan brushes made the step-and-wait worthwhile, as did the kind, helpful staff.

Nice chatting in line with sweet make-up artists from Oregon about their favorite buys of the day (36 sets of Miss Adoro false eyelashes, 100% human hair).  When conversation lagged briefly, I noticed adorably-ubiquitous hands with tested lip color, eye shadow and foundation stripes on them, like cosmetic ribbons of valor.

Thank you, padded Michael Kors loafers, for keeping my feet aches to a minimum.


With a one-day pass, time went by very fast, so I had to prioritize.  Classes were the most important to me.  Some overlapped or were held at the same time, so choosing which ones to attend wasn’t easy.  I did dash out of a couple of demo’s that weren’t useful to try others that were.

Second on my list was feeling makeup brushes to see which ones I’d add to my collection.  This would take time.  I bypassed all department store brands (ones I own now) and went for those I had read about, but never felt (or wanted to feel again to rate their current quality): Sigma, Bdellium, Morphe, Hakuhodo, Ve Neill, and Royal & Langnickel.  I’d brake for any brush I’d see along my travels as well.

By far, the stand-out brushes were from the Japanese line, Hakuhodo.  Most of my spending money went to buying four of these exquisite, super-soft, handmade brushes (I briefly considered pulling a bank heist to get a full set of them).  They are amazingly gentle to the touch – something essential for aging skin that shouldn’t be stabbed with sharp, sloppily-bundled hair, synthetic or otherwise.  One can easily develop a fetish just sweeping the product-less brushes across one’s cheek, back and forth, because of how luxurious they feel.  To maintain my investment, I bought their brush-cleaning soap as well.  Such a treat to make these purchases and well worth the money.


There were quite a few free lectures/demo’s in separate rooms throughout the day.  While I’d be quizzing vendor reps on product pigment or getting a quick concealer application done on my eyes, I’d have to leave mid-sentence (or with only one eye concealed) and run to hear a speaker.  I was shocked to see how few people went to listen to these experts and watch their incredible demo’s, but getting up to 40% off retail on many products can be hard to resist.

The three standout speakers worth the sprint were 1) business-savvy, five-time Emmy award winner, Eve Pearl, 2) clever, gifted and hilarious M.A.C. Director of Makeup Artistry, Gregory Arlt, and 3) informative creator of Senna Brows, Eugenia Weston (the only packed classroom I saw).  Separate blog posts will be coming shortly on all three of these pro’s, who had amazing tips and perspectives.

The end of the trade show came fast, so I raced to purchase two different, very-large, sturdy, clear makeup totes, which I had previously scoped out.  Gotta see what products I have at a glance.


Because I had to be strategic about going to practical classes and sampling/buying products, I regrettably skipped all of the body paint/prosthetics demo’s and lectures.  Fortunately, many of the head-to-toe, breathtaking fantasy transformations done on models by makeup schools and industry pro’s would walk through the vendors’ hall.  Dazzling artistry brought on a head-swivel and gape from me every time.

Also worth noting was the great makeup attendees wore.  People had on everything from hard-core glitter visages to gorgeous, airbrushed looks to creating Comic-Con-worthy characters in full costume.  All were strutting their stuff.  How some women (and men) wore sky-high heels all day took real dedication.


Unplanned stops that made my big tote bag heavier included French skin care brand, Embryolisse, a favorite of backstage makeup pro’s.  After testing some products, I purchased their “Lait-Creme Concentre” primer/moisturizer/makeup remover (how it does all three is a mystery) and the wonderfully-slippery “Secret du Maquilleurs Eclat Du Regard” radiant eye balm.  There was very little in the way of skin care products at the show, which was a bit surprising.I also made drive-by buys of a lovely day-to-evening eyeshadow palette from Stila called “In The Light,” some very-pretty Bodyography lipsticks (I wish I bought more of those), an adorable lash holder that looks like an old-fashioned powder compact, and a metal color-mixing palette and mixing tool.  Freebies and flyers also made my bag groan at the seams.

My shoulder bag was bogged down with supplies like a video camera, a couple of notebooks, an untouched banana, a barely-eaten Kind bar, a big bottle of Smart Water, hand cream, hand sanitizer, and makeup (to a makeup show…I know).  Along with my tote bag of purchases, these satchels made their weight quite apparent over both of my shoulders by the time cosmetics tables were covered with tarps at the end of the day.

SIDEBAR: IMATS is coming to NYC April 10-12, 2015 and to London July 10-12, 2015 .  Check their website for more cities and information:

LESSONS LEARNED: I was lucky enough to get a ticket for one of the two sold-out days open to the public.  Next year, I’ll go for two days to give myself plenty of time for classes, all vendors, demo’s, product dabbling, Tweeting and Instagram-ing.  I’ll also streamline my shoulder bag contents.  And I’ll eat more.

JUDGE BEAUTY VERDICT of IMATS-LA:  5 out of 5 gavels.