Maybelline Queen

{December 4, 2013}   Nail Application 101


Back when I was in high school my mom and I would go to the nail salon every two weeks for a mani, and once a month we’d include a pedi. It’s one of the luxurious I really miss. It was such a treat to always have freshly painted nails, but since I’ve been on my own I’ve fallen out of that routine for a number of reasons. The main one being that it’s kind of an expensive habit—something I’ve realized since moving away from home. Sure, it’s nice to have an hour of pampering, but I’m not willing to spend an extra $70+ a month just to have my nails done by a pro. And since I’m a self-proclaimed polish hoarder, I’ve got plenty of colors to work with. Practice obviously helps, but getting insider tips can really perfect your technique. Here, ill break down how to properly apply polish, even with your non-dominant hand!

Prep nails first

Before you do any colour, you always want to prep your nails. This step is usually overlooked, but there’s always a buildup of dead skin on your nail plate. You can get rid of it with a cuticle eraser or remover—it actually helps keep the polish on longer, as lacquer won’t stick well to that dead skin. File and remove any leftover debris on your nails with acetone, polish remover, or a nail-cleansing solution. After you’ve finished prepping, apply a base coat. This will act almost like double-sided tape, keeping your polish on your nails.

How to work with your non-dominant hand

Painting your nails using your non-dominant hand first. So if you’re right-handed, use the left hand to paint the right hand first. Why? Because if you go to use your non-dominant with freshly painted nails, you’re more likely to cause a smudge. Be sure to keep your forearm, wrist, and side of your hand firm on a flat surface; it’ll give you more control and a smaller chance of messing up.  

Application tips

For a neat application, the “three strokes method.“ First, dip and wipe one side of your polish brush off on the top of the bottle—too much polish on the brush may leak over your cuticles; too little, and it will come out streaky. Begin on one side of your nail, right above the cuticle, and push the side of the brush towards your cuticle without actually touching it. Bring the polish up your nail in one continuous stroke. Dip the brush back into the bottle and wipe any excess lacquer off the side, and repeat down the other side of the nail. To finish, re-dip the brush into the polish, and paint the center of the nail. Do this process for every nail, and repeat with a second coat—just be sure you wait a few seconds between each layer. Don’t forget to add a top coat! And if your nails are long (beyond the fingertip), swipe the tip edge too, to help prevent chipping.

Last-minute advice

To make your mani last for as long as it possibly can, applying top coat every other day, as well as cuticle oil daily. Oh, and practice, practice, practice!

Photo: Shatha Al-Emadi



If you’re a makeup artist, you know to clean your lipstick between customers. When you’re shopping for the perfect shade, you wouldn’t dream of swiping it on without sanitizing. But what if you’re the only one who uses your lipsticks? Cold season is looming, you know. Even if you are the only one primping, it may be a good idea to disinfect your tubes from time to time.


Try an alcohol bath for your lipstick case.70% alcohol is concentrated enough to kill bacteria, and won’t evaporate as quickly as higher concentrations. Hold the lipstick in a cup of 70% alcohol for a few seconds to remove the first layer of product. Let the stick dry naturally. This prolongs the contact with alcohol so it can sanitize as it dries.


It’s a good practice to use a mixing palette when working on other faces. Simply shave a small portion of the intended product off with a Q-tip or small spatula onto the palette.This ensures each client gets a fresh sample, and it’s easier to mix and keep handy for touch-ups.


Makeup testers can harbor some nasty stuff, so make sure you always sanitize before trying on a new shade. With a Q-tip, shave off the top layer of the lipstick. Then spray with alcohol (counters will always have a bottle on hand) and wipe with a tissue.

{November 20, 2013}   Holiday Look!


It’s party season! Time to pump up the volume with an extra-glitzy face so you’re sure to make that time under the mistletoe tempting. I found three of the hottest holiday trends for you. Try each individually—or if you’re daring rock all three!

Red Lips

It’s a classic for a reason. Red lips evoke the warmth and glamour of Christmas Past. Best of all, anyone can pull it off.

To combat color bleeding or smudging, line your mouth with a matching liner or set the stage with a lip primer that will help keep any bright pigment in place. For true lipstick migration-proofing, nothing beats a reverse lip liner, which uses a clear waxy formula to form a barrier. Finally, for precise lipstick application, use a lip brush.

Gilded Shadow

Metallic shadows are always a holiday staple.

For a high-fashion foil effect, moisten your shadow brush before applying, or smooth on a cream shadow and a tap powder shadow on top with fingers (bonus: this has massive staying power — even after your third eggnog).

Classic Cat Eye

Polished black liquid liner look shows no sign of declining in popularity, with every major brand hustling to debut their pen versions. My new favorites have a patent leather-like sheen that makes them a perfect complement to the glitter and shine of all the season’s parties. The famous cat eye flick takes a bit of practice, but the end result is totally worth it.

{November 20, 2013}   Make Your Own Lip Balm


Do you have a bunch of near-empty lipsticks that you don’t know what to do with? Don’t throw them out! You can turn those favorite shades into tinted lip balms. Customize your color, flavor and scent, and even recycle old tins and tubs to give the balm a personal special touch. Just follow these four simple steps.

HOW TO: Make Your Own Lip Balm

  1. Choose a container or tin for your lip balm. You can use an empty Altoids tin (like the one above) or anything that will hold the balm. Just be sure to wash it in hot soapy water and let it dry completely.

  2. Prepare your ingredients. The general rule is two parts oil to one part beeswax. You can use any oil that you like. Try adding almond oil for added moisture or peppermint oil for a fresh scent.

  3. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, ensuring that the top bowl does not touch the water. Once the wax melted, remove from the heat. Add your oils and as much lipstick as you want (the more lipstick you use, the darker the color will be).

  4. Immediately pour the hot mixture into the desired tin. Let it cool overnight before using it on your lips.

Image courtesy of pinterest

Suede, silk, satin—we’re talking lipstick, not fashion. With new technology and product formulations, lip color is available in a wide array of textures and finishes. But with so much selection, how do you choose the right coating of color for you? I break down common lip color lingo so you can paint on the pretty pout you want.


Lip pigments with a matte texture appear dull and flat on the skin, with no shine at all. Similar formulas termed “suede” or “velvet” have the same lackluster finish, but appear more powdery on lips than smooth. Typically, these formulas are extremely dense in pigment and have wonderful durability, but they may dry lips out without a balm or primer underneath.

 MaybellineQueen Recommends
Maybelline Baby Lips


Silky satin formulas are similar in color payoff to matte lipsticks, but are formulated with an emollient base of oils and butters. Because of the slip-factor, they have medium staying power—a couple of hours without food or drink. Available in solid swivel-tube and as a dense liquid lip color with wand applicator, they’re the most comfortable pigment-heavy formula for daily wear.

MaybellineQueen Recommends
Maybelline Color Sensational and/or Superstay 24 Products


Frosty or shimmering lip colors are formulated with special micas designed to impart an iridescent, organza-like finish to the lips. Glimmering pigment adds luster to a flat surface like lip gloss, but relies on solely on actual flecks of shimmer—not sticky gloss—for the sheen. We recommend a translucent layer for the classiest daytime radiance.

MaybellineQueen Recommends
Maybelline Color Sensational and/Superstay 24 Products


Not quite a gloss nor a satin lipstick, tinted lip butters provide ample, high-shine coverage from a tube. These pigmented, travel-friendly shine alternatives won’t leak in your purse as lip gloss can, and nourishing ingredients hydrate your lips all day. Unfortunately, their moisturizing formula doesn’t bode well for longevity.

MaybellineQueen Recommends
Maybelline Color Whisper by Color Sensational

iStockphoto/ThinkstockSPECIAL EFFECTS

Zany, textured lips aren’t exactly the office beauty standard, but companies are beginning to develop innovative new finishes that break out of the mold and appeal to a more youthful, experimental generation. Appliques, temporary tattoos, and tar-like rainbow finishes—what will they think of next?

MaybellineQueen Recommends
Baby Lips Electro Lip Balm,Color Elixir by Color Sensational, and/or Color Sensational VIvids

{November 13, 2013}   Dress Up Your Lips


Who said eyes get to have all the fun? Keep reading for three awesomely impractical but ultra-fun ways to dress up your lips this season. 

Glitter and rhinestones aren’t the most practical lip art for everyday, but we sure love the sparkle and shine of some lip bling. For easy application and removal, apply rhinestones or any embellishments with false eye lash glue. To apply glitter, prime lips with a tacky primer or gloss and pat glitter on with your finger for a dazzling finish.

Nothing says glam more than lustrous metal. Unfortunately, the gold-plated look doesn’t translate well to real life (I don’t recommend this for your next family gathering). For a hint of gilded sparkle, slick on a sheer gold gloss in the center of lips.

 Ombré effects take center stage on hair, nails, and now your pucker. This cool technique gives lips a new multi-dimensional effect, and the possibilities are boundless! Experiment with different color variations, play with placement, and be sure to blend seamlessly.

Feeling blue? We’re not talking about your mood or the weather—it’s all about your nails! From Revlon’s new denim-inspired collection to the stunning navy polish at L.A.M.B’s spring/summer fashion show—this is the hue of season! There are a myriad of shades—light denim, moody blue-gray, icy aqua, and deep navy—but which do you choose? I spoke with celebrity manicurist for Red Carpet Manicure, Elle (Jennifer Lopez is a client!) and Deborah Lippmann (who has worked with Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon) to find out which moody blue suits your skin tone best.


If you’ve got fair skin like the stunning Amanda Seyfried, “stick with a lighter shade such as baby blue or aqua,” suggests Elle. “After you’ve applied polish, check the coloration of your skin near the cuticle,” adds Deborah. “If it looks reddish or gray, that shade isn’t the right one for you.” Fair skinned Beauties can also wear a navy polish, but the deep manicure looks better if there is still a hint of blue, as opposed to hues that veer closer to black.



A basic rule of thumb is to pick a polish that shares the same undertones as your skin color. “Women with a medium complexion should stick with blue shades that have warmer undertones” says Elle. “I love a blue with a purple undertone, as it tends to pick up the warmer highlights in girls with honey-toned skin—like Jennifer Lopez. A teal polish is also a great option.”


Let’s hear a cheer for navy nails! This popular color looks stunning on Beauties with darker skin tones, especially in polishes with a hint of sparkle. “Or, they can even try a very dark blue-gray—like my Stormy Weather—which looks ultra-sophisticated,” says Deborah. “Just make sure you stay away from lighter blues, which can make your skin look chalky,”adds Elle.

The no makeup policy. Say what? It’s sad to think about, but some people are restricted from wearing makeup at work or school; such rules exist at some private schools, military posts, hospitals, medical facilities, and even restaurants. On the plus side, going naked from the neck up saves time in the morning! But for a lot of us, there are also those days when the idea of full-frontal facial exposure would be (almost) reason enough to fake a sick day. Even if you have to go bare day to day, you can still bend the rules … at least a little. Here are some tips to achieve an easy, natural look—also perfect for those who want a break from an all-done-up routine. 

Creamy, Natural Skin Secrets

Stay away from dry and powdery makeup because it can look cakey. BB cream will give you a dewy finish and help camouflage redness and enlarged pores; I recommend Too Faced Beauty Balm. For a creamy natural-looking complexion, you can also mix foundation with a daily moisturizer and blend it into you face. Imperfections won’t completely disappear, but you’ll be left with a radiant glow that looks anything but phony.

Barely-There Eye Enhancers

Because shadows and liners are a dead giveaway, these lash tricks are something every beauty sleuth ought to know. If you want darker lashes, apply a light coat of brown mascara after using a curler (like the Billy B Beauty Eyelash Curler). This helps to open up and spread the lashes. To add depth and shine to a bare eye, dab a small amount of Vaseline (or a petroleum-free balm like this shea butter–based version from Sula) onto clean lashes—it will also moisturize the follicles and promote growth.

The Subtlest Brow Tamers

Well-groomed brows are the first step toward a great face. But unless your name is Cara Delevingne, you’re going to need a little help filling in the blanks. Forget the precarious pencil—we love the Tinted Brow Gel from Anastasia. The mascara-like formula tints the brow hairs rather than the skin, and even helps keep strays in place. An old tube of clear mascara is a good solution for taming brows, too. 

The No-Blush Cheek Flush

Even though our cheeks take up the most space on our face, they are one of the less conspicuous places to add a little color—emphasis on little. Stay away from red and fuschia blushes and stick to a brush-on bronzer for an instant authentic glow. For the most natural look use a no-fuss pressed powder formula that’s a couple of shades darker than your skin tone. Hoping for something more rosy? Try a sheer, balmy cream like Korres Cheek Butter for a controllable, dewy flush. It leaves your skin with that fresh-from-the-gym wash of color. 

The Sheerest Long-Lasting Lip

When pretending to go au naturale on the face, the last thing you want is for lipstick to give you away. The secret to a fabulous natural-looking pout is a stain with a light tint (I like Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain). So save your mattes, shimmers, and semi glosses for another day! A stain will last for hours, and if you really want an understated shine that no one will question, top it with chapstick. To even and define the mouth, find a lip liner that matches your natural lip color.

{September 10, 2013}   Help! Im At The Makeup Counter!!

The glass cases, the ladies in black, the bustling shoppers — department store counters can be daunting. Not anymore. Follow our handy guide before you hit the stores and you can keep the experience fun and easy.

If you’re a seasoned pro and know what you need, a quick trip to Sephora or an online visit to a site (like our Online Boutique!) are quick, easy solutions. But if you want a little more hand-holding and guidance, your local department store is a great option. Some of the most talented artists and friendliest salespersons work at department stores, and if you’re looking for a new foundation (or anything else), they can be invaluable.

Communication IS Key

Establish what you’re going in for: to explore new stuff from your favorite brand? To get matched for your perfect foundation shade? To learn about the latest skincare? Or maybe you just want to replenish your mascara. Know this before you walk in so you can effectively communicate your objective. Good phrases to use:

“Thanks, but I’m just playing around for now. I’ll let you know if I have any questions.”

“I just need to grab a couple of my staples real quick. Here’s what I need: […]”

“Can you tell me about [product I saw in a magazine/on TV/etc.]?”

Consider the other side of the counter

Obviously you’re never obligated to purchase something you don’t want or need, but be careful not to waste a salesperson’s time if you don’t intend to buy. If you just want to look at shades before you buy them online, you need to communicate this to them so they will leave you to your own devices rather than waste their time trying to sell you something. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and take up a table ordering water for hours, would you?

If they spend a lot of time with you and you absolutely don’t find what you need, thank them for their time, ask for their name or get their business card, and (if they’ve been helpful and you like them, of course) tell them that you’ll come back to them when you need help next time. Don’t feel bad about not spending money if you both tried to find something and couldn’t. It happens.

Sample etiquette

Don’t just go to a counter because you want free stuff. If that’s your aim, sign up for Birchbox or Beauty Bar’s Sample Society. For $10-15 a month, they’ll send you deluxe samples in the mail. It’s not exactly free, but it’s cheap and fun and a great way to try things you might not otherwise have picked out.

However, it’s perfectly legitimate to want to try things before you buy them. This way you can make sure a product works for you and that you don’t have an allergic reaction. If you have a specific product in mind, you can express this to the salesperson by saying something like, “I’m looking to get matched for a foundation and take home a couple of samples so I can figure out which one I like best.” That way everyone’s expectations are on the same page, and the salesperson can show you a few different foundations without doing a long, involved application/demonstration process. They will give you their name or their card, and you should go back to that salesperson if you end up wanting to purchase one of those products.

How to get a makeover

The idea behind this service is that you can try new products and learn tips and tricks from a makeup artist. You can use the services for a big night out, but remember that it is expected that you will buy the products that you love. You should expect to buy 2-3 items minimum.

Think of it like this: not purchasing after a makeover is like going to a fancy restaurant and not tipping. Nobody is going to chase after you screaming about the check, but it’s worse than impolite. If you’re not willing to drop money, ask a skilled friend to do your makeup instead.

All this may sound daunting, but in the end, it’s simple: just be a good person. Respect other people’s time. Communicate your objectives clearly and politely, and don’t let anyone push you around. If you just follow those guidelines, you’ll have a ball at the makeup counter, walk away with some great stuff, and nobody will groan when they see you walking up to the counter next time!

{September 10, 2013}   Makeup Artists Perks

The makeup artistry industry is one that experience constant growth, evolution and change. If you do a quick Google search for a makeup artist within your area, there are without a doubt at least a handful of results – and millions worldwide.

With so many people pursuing a career in makeup, you’ve got to wonder – why? In this post, we overview the perks of being a makeup artist including benefits such as travel, pay, and glamor. Read on to find out what all the hype is about, and if a career in makeup artistry is reallyall its cracked up to be.

Before we go on, we’d like to point out that makeup artistry is hard work. While it may seem easy enough, not just anyone can pick up a brush and expertly craft a well-shaded, eye shape-appropriate evening look. Not just anyone can line and fill a classic red lip in under a minute with no errors, smudging or color transfer. Not just anyone can bring out a bride’s natural beauty and magnify it so she looks absolutely stunning in every single wedding photo – from 8am to midnight without a single touch up. While, yes, makeup artistry comes with a lot of perks – you should also have a strong appreciation for the talented men and women who do the job on a daily basis. It takes time, commitment, and constant skill improvement.

Perk One: You get to Play
While the career of a makeup artist is definitely one filled with hard work, it’s also one filled with play and experimentation. What happens when we mix this color with that color? What happens if I move my contour line up just a pinch? Does this setting powder work best with that foundation or this foundation? Part of perfecting your craft includes experimenting with the products you have, products you don’t have, and all the different skin types and tones your clients may have. The classic winged eyeliner and red lip didn’t happen by accident, after all. It took a lot of time, testing, and they eventually gained huge popularity and took their places as classic makeup looks. Who knows – you could discover the next one.

Perk Two: Meeting New People
No matter if you work with brides, theater actors, celebrities, or politicians – you’re bound to meet some amazing people. Sure, you’ll have those typical grumpy clients with whom you’d rather not work again, but you could also make long-lasting friendships and build up a list of loyal, repeat clients. Many of the strongest friendships makeup artists have were formed while in the industry – whether it was at a trade show, conference, or job. Never underestimate the power of meeting new people!

Perk Three: Travel
Many makeup artists are asked to travel for work at least once in their career, and often their travel costs are reimbursed. This means you might get to travel to places and cities you’ve always wanted to go, without spending a dime to get there. Many makeup artists travel for photo shoots, different advertising campaigns, beauty shows, fashion shows, and many other reasons. You’ll get to experience plenty on your time off, and maybe even pick up a few souvenirs along the way. Plus, it will look fantastic on your resume that you’ve traveled for a job – it means you’re that much more in demand!

Perk Four: Make Your own Schedule
As a makeup artist, you’ll be able to make your own schedule and decide when you want and can take on jobs. If you’re a busy mother or have an existing full time job, you’ll be able to work around it. Most makeup gigs are booked for weekends, which would allow you to work another job during the week – at least when you’re getting started. Makeup artistry is a fairly easy career to make a smooth transition over to from another career, so you wouldn’t be left high and dry and without enough income while you begin.

Perk Five: Makeup Discounts
Who doesn’t love to save money? As a makeup artist, you can apply to countless makeup pro discount programs – including 40% off at MAC. So, you’ll be able to build both your professional kit and your personal makeup collection with high quality products at a serious discount. Score!

Perk Six: Recognition
As a makeup artist, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on editorial makeup projects. This means you’ll be able to get your name into magazine credits! If a bride submits her photographs to a wedding photo website like Style Me Pretty or The Knot, you can also request that your name be credited there. This will do wonders for your exposure, reach, and portfolio. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel a little famous every once in a while? Well-known makeup artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, work with companies like Sephora, and even get their own TV shows or television segments. The possibilities are endless, so get your name out there!

Perk Seven: Glamor
Obviously the glamor of being a makeup artist and working in the backstage hustle and bustle is attractive. You might get to work backstage at New York Fashion Week for a major designer, or maybe you’re working on a well-known television show with some of the world’s hottest up and coming actors. Perhaps you’re working for a major advertising company or well-known luxury brand. No matter what you’re doing, you’re sure to feel the excitement and energy all around the room. This type of glamor isn’t easily accessible in many other careers, but goes hand-in-hand with those within the fashion and beauty industries.

Perk Eight: Make People Feel Beautiful
For many, this is the best part of working as a makeup artist and the #1 perk. You’ll get to leave your clients with a smile on their face and will get to make people feel beautiful. You’ll be able to take what you know and apply it to any skin tone, maturity, face shape, or skin type and make your client both look and feel incredibly beautiful. Making others feel good will, in turn, make you feel even better. It’s a beautiful cycle – literally and figuratively.

Perk Nine: You’ll Take it the Bank!
Makeup artistry is an industry that actually pays quite well. You can make a large amount per hour, which will add up to a substantial annual income – especially if you widen your skill set and offer editorial, evening, and other year-round makeup services. Bridal makeup is one of the most well-paying services you’ll offer, but it can sometimes be limited to specific times of year and certain seasons. Many makeup artists have made plenty of money, and some have even become very well known and celebrities in their own rights! If you get to work on the makeup team for a fashion show, television show, or for celebrity clients you’ll be able to charge more, and will also have the opportunity to join an agency that will regularly book you work.

Perk Ten: Career Versatility
As you now know, there is much more to makeup artistry than simply doing one kind of makeup application. The career of a makeup artist is one of great versatility. If you get tired of doing bridal makeup, change it up and pitch your editorial makeup services. There’s always the chance to evolve, change, and switch gears. It’s a thrilling ride that you’re sure to love.


et cetera