My Skin and Hair Stats

SKIN:

– Dry, somewhat sensitive, fair skin with blue undertone.

– I burn pretty quickly in the sun.  Anything over 20 minutes and I’m ruddy-looking, risking sunspots.

– I used to bake in the sun until I hit 30.  Some small, light spots on my jawline.

– My face, neck and chest turn red at times when, for example, it’s being cleansed.

– I’m seeing horizontal lines on my neck, which displeases me.  Probably from typing on my laptop too much and aging.

– When I’m exposed to formaldehyde and a few other allergens, my eyes swell up and look like red avocados.

– Dark circles plague my existence.  Always had them and my daily lack of sleep makes them worse.

– My lower eyelids have quite a few lines.

– I have some fine lines on my face, but nothing trench-like at this point.

– Occasionally, I’ll have a pimple, but used to have wicked acne when I was younger for quite some time.  Luckily, no scarring.

– My lips are ridiculously dry.

 

HAIR:

– Blonde highlights since I was in my teens.

– Strands are dry as the Mojave Desert.

– Fine hair, but a lot of it.

– Length: 1/3rd of the way down my back with layers for shaping.  No bangs.

– I almost never blow dry my hair, but love it when I get it professionally blown out.

 

I tell you all of this so you have an idea what my parameters are when I test products.  Hope this helps.

Trounce Germs When You Test Cosmetics

I was about to Tweet part of a slideshow about cleaning makeup brushes, but stopped to let the info sink in: we can get Staph infections from dirty brushes.  Nasty.  This needed investigating.

Leaving brushes in a frilly mini-planter sure looks cute, but they’ll pick up dirt and dust and texturizing spray and heaven knows what else that does an invisible pollution dance in the air until they rest on your bristles.  Even clean brushes stored well can snuggle unsuspectingly next to dirty ones, only to suffer the consequences of a game of “leap germ.”  Sweep some foundation and blush on your face with this grimy arsenal and don’t be surprised if acne, pimples and blackheads pop up for an unwelcome visit.

Not that big a deal?  O.K.  Are you using someone else’s dirty brushes or having someone else’s bacterial bouquet used on you?  Then how about getting the gift that keeps on giving – Herpes?  Or a serious bout of E-coli (from feces), skin lesions, random rashes?  Or getting a couple of humps of pinkeye – not a good match for your well-flicked cat eye.

Am I trying to scare you?  You bet I am.

What about having a person at a makeup counter whip out her brush roll and use the product-heavy (and surely bacteria-heavy) brushes on you, the consumer?  You might have seen this common sight – a haphazard woodpile of brushes strewn on a counter, touching its equally-product-drenched bristle buddies, magnetically grabbing every “achoo!” that shoppers expel.  Oh, the infected face flakes clinging to an oily brush and fill-in-the-blank “-coccus” that await the next innocent lady looking forward to getting a makeover.

Do all makeup associates clean their brushes every night for a fresh start in the morning?  Doubt it.  Even if they do, using a pleather brush roll – not to mention one that isn’t cleaned – doesn’t allow the brushes to breathe like cotton rolls do.  I have yet to see one being used at a department store.  Microbes multiply like crazy in plastic and no testing of a gorgeous, new eye shadow quad on your peepers is worth the contamination.

A smattering of department stores keep some (usually expensive) skin products to test behind the counter and use a mini-plastic spatula to dole out a daub from a jar for a potential customer to try.  This keeps infections to a minimum, but most front-of-the-counter creams are available for anyone to dip into.  Places like Sephora have little stations that include makeup remover and alcohol as a sanitizer for hands and lipstick, but who knows who has touched these sanitizer containers during store hours.

Most stores have a clean supply of cotton rounds, cotton swabs, tissues, latex sponges and individual mascara wands – all good.  But this doesn’t solve the problem of how to use eye shadows and blush in a germ-free way.  I’ve tried using a cotton round or a triangle of latex to apply blush and the application looks like a shocking thud of color on my cheeks. Occasionally, you can get a card/sample with a one-time use of eye shadow or blush on it that ensures cleanliness and can give you a pretty-good idea of how the product looks on you, but they are not commonplace.  Surely gloss incubates a galaxy of germs, as any cosmetic liquid or eye gel formula must.  I don’t use lipstick or gloss testers, so it’s try it at home and like it or return it, which is hardly convenient.

At my local, natural pharmacy, they have Dr. Hauschka makeup that had separate acrylic coverings for each makeup group (eyes, cheeks, etc.) – a good idea to prevent drive-by finger swipes of color that bring on the germs.  Jane Iredale’s and Zuzu’s offerings were left exposed to unhealthy elements or kept in thin drawers as a form of protection, but airborne viruses can wriggle their way into the little slots with ease.  So much for promoting health.

There is nothing like seeing a product on one’s face to make sure a color works with one’s complexion, but I’ll rarely chance it anymore unless all cleanliness requirements are met.  Sadly, I’ll lose out on seeing how makeup is applied on me and learning new tricks, but the risks outweigh the benefits.

Battling Cosmetic Germs

I thought of some solutions to chancy product testing, but they are hardly foolproof.  Neither are they the most convenient way to go shopping, but they’re better than nothing.  Some ideas might be known to you, but they’re worth repeating. There might be purchases involved, but they are cheap:

1)  Bring your own brushes.  If you don’t want to haul your own good set of brushes along with you, invest in a cheap set of four basic brushes just for testing purposes.  After product testing, use a brush sanitizer, such as one made by e.l.f. Cosmetics (Amazon.com) or Parian Spirit (parianspirit.com).  If you are trying more than one product per brush, clean your brushes as you go.  Each sanitizer has directions on how to speed up brush drying.  You can also use alcohol-saturated sanitary wipes on your brushes after you use them.

2)  Finger strip testing.  Instead of applying product to your face, do a test strip.  For example, put a strip of gloss on the length of your finger and hold it up to your lip (eye shadow up to your eye, etc.) as you look in a mirror (thank you, McCall from my local Santa Monica Sephora for the tip) to see if you like the color on you.  Then get the makeup off your finger with alcohol ASAP.

3)  Hand sanitize.  Use a product like Purell with aloe frequently when makeup testing.  There are other hand sanitizers out there that aren’t as harsh on your skin, like Hempz, but I’d rather go full-on surgeon with cleanliness.  Wash your hands when you return home.  Then use a good hand cream afterward.

4)  Hover.  Loiter around someone getting a makeover by watching them from a short distance.  This way, you can see how a makeup or brand artist applies products and check out how the colors look on a human being.  It won’t be a complexion match, but it’s better than seeing the products just sitting in a compact.

5)  Pencil sharpener.  Ask for a makeup pencil sharpener (or bring one) and do a few twists of a lip pencil, for instance, to get a clean, sharp tip.  Then spray it with alcohol before using.

6)  Clean testers.  When shopping, ask the person behind the counter for some makeup sanitizer (might only be alcohol) to spray on testers.  If none is available, tell the rep that you want to use a makeup sanitizer like Beauty So Clean (various products at http://www.BeautySoClean.com) on pressed powder products or lipsticks you want to try.  These sanitizers can also be used on your products at home.  Beware: using straight alcohol on your products at home can dry them out and change their color.

7)  Cotton fabric brush roll.  Buy (Etsy has many) or make (DIY-ers) a cotton fabric brush roll to hold all of your clean brushes.  Let those bristled investments breathe.  Keep dirty brushes separate until they’re cleaned.  When shopping for makeup, get a smaller makeup bag for your sanitary stash.

8)  Ghost.  Use what the cleanest makeup pro I’ve ever seen behind a counter just used on me (bless you, Beauty Specialist Cheryl Bowers from Clinique at Saks in Beverly Hills, who cleaned her hands and brushes before using products on me) – a “ghost.”  This means using a cotton ball to really clean, for example, a blush tester by scrubbing off a few layers of color.  Then, the cotton ball is shrouded in a piece of tissue which is then redipped in the now-clean layer of blush, ready for application (thus, the term “ghost”).  Then you dip a clean brush into the “ghost” tip for application.  Works great.

9) Post-shopping.  After shopping, clean your brushes.  Spray the sanitizers and sharpener with alcohol and wipe off.  Toss out all the unused cotton supplies.  Spray inside the makeup bag with disinfectant and wipe it clean.

Extreme steps?  Maybe for some people.  Not everyone has a strong constitution for germ/virus immunity, so this should help.  We can’t be completely germ-free, but we can lower our exposure out in the beauty swamp with simple measures.

Now there’s Order in the Beauty Court!

How about you?  Got any ideas to make makeup testing less germ-y?

Senna Brows Seminar – Creating The Perfect “Classic” Brow

BRWI- rysowanie, kształty, wariacje.

What’s going on in the brow world, besides for the stunning Cara Delevingne furrowing her hirsute planks at us?  Eugenia Weston, the Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist with her well-known cosmetics line SENNA, gave a packed room of attendees at IMATS-LA (International Makeup Artistry Trade Show) how-to’s on creating the “classic” brow during her demo.

“Not only do brows help to define one’s face,” said Ms. Weston, “but we recognize each other by our brows.”  A well-groomed brow can be anti-aging with the lift it gives and can make one’s eyes appear larger.  Ms. Weston provides a way for everyone, artist and amateur, to achieve the look.

BROW CREATION – THE ARTIST’S WAY

On stage, Ms. Weston found the points on her model’s brow that are key to shaping it.  Using her brow powder brush as a ruler, she made a line from her right tear duct straight up to the brow to establish her point of departure.  She then made a small mark with a stick highlighter to show this point.  The second key point was found by holding the brow brush vertically from the outer iris (model looks straight ahead) to the brow to indicate where the arch should be (also marked).  Lastly, she held the brush from the model’s LEFT tear duct, over the nose bridge and diagonally up the right brow to the arch to show where the brow needed to be filled in (line drawn with highlighter).

Ms. Weston’s approach is to create a natural-looking brow and, “…to copy the shape of the brow hairs.”  Using the marks/line she made, she used brow powder on her model applying it in short, feathery strokes with her brow brush all the way up to the arch and down to the tail of the brow.  To create texture for the brow, she used brow wax, which can be gently stamped on the hair.  Then she brushed the brow hair using a spoolie to blend the products with the hair and have directional continuity.  Another way to work with brow wax is to mix it with the brow powder before applying it to the brow.  Either way, the last step was using tinted brow fix to help define brows further (SENNA’s brow fix has hair-like fibers in the formula).  Tinted brow fix also diminishes the appearance of gray brow hair.

THE BROW BARBER

Since brow balance is important, Ms. Weston advised, “Make sure brows are on the same level.  An artist might have to tweeze above or below (called “grazing”) the brow to make them even.”  Again, Ms. Weston uses a stick highlighter to mark the area than needs tweezing.  “If you don’t take out stray hair, you will take away from the look of the arch.”

The next step is using a spoolie to brush the eyebrow hair up so she can trim what appears outside the line she wants to retain for the brow.  Only cuticle scissors with a tapered tip are used so there are no accidents.   Ms. Weston always uses a tweezer she created with a very small tip to grab small hair with ease.  One surprising hair grooming tip was, “Trim the colic near the nose.  It is better to have short hair there than none at all.”

NO-BRAINER BROW-SHAPING

A nice alternative for those who find creating a perfectly-arched brow a little daunting is SENNA’s Form-A-Brow stencil kit, which Ms. Weston demo’ed on stage.

First, a brow powder or a palette of three (mix them to create a more natural look) is needed, one that closely matches your own brow color.  Included are four plastic stencils ranging from thin to large and thick, and one will fit almost everyone.  Look in the mirror to select the right stencil, one that will be the the most complementary to your eyes and overall face.  Use the three-point brow measurements (mentioned above) to help you make your best guess, although this is not necessary.

Once a brow shape is selected, line up the clear stencil in vertical alignment with one tear duct.  Press the stencil against the face and it will show what area needs to be filled in.  Hold the stencil in place.  Working on the model, Ms. Weston loaded her brush with brow powder.  She then filled in the open part of the stencil with the powder, going back over it a few times with fresh powder.  Voila – a classic brow in mere second.  Flip the stencil over and use it the same way for the other eye.  The results are amazing and really quick.

Added bonus: to help with tweezing, one can use the darkest color in SENNA’s three-color brow powder kit along with the stencil to create a dark brow shape.  This will make it easier to see which hair should be removed.  Then tweeze away any hair that is outside the stenciled shape you have just created.

Whether you take the time to create your own brows freehand or use a stencil, it is always worth the extra trouble to maintain a nicely-arched, tamed face-framer.  Ms. Weston’s methods and her products sure make it easier.

SIDEBAR:  Wanting to make all women look more beautiful, Ms. Weston is involved with the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good, Feel Better” program, a wonderful way for people with cancer to get help creating new makeup and hair styles.  You can find the program at: http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org

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

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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: http://www.evepearl.com

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!

WEIGHT-SHIFTING:

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.

TARGET-SHOOTING:

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.

SPRINTING:

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.

RUBBERNECKING:

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.

WEIGHT-LIFTING:

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: imats.net.

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.

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Live Tweeting

I will be live-Tweeting The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on Thursday, January 15, 2015, analyzing hair and makeup on the celebs.

The Red Carpet Pre-Show starts at 4 PM, PST.  Please check your local listings to see where and at what time it will air in your area (it’s KTLA, channel 5, in Los Angeles).  I’ll continue live-Tweeting with the awards show, which begins at 6 PM, PST (9 PM, EST) on the A&E channel (AETV).

Follow along and share your opinions with me on Twitter at @judgebeauty.