Category Archives: Tips and How-To’s

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Tips and How-To's

How to: Mendhi makeup for the glowing bride!

April 2, 2013

Years before she was even engaged, my friend Sarah Khan would always tell me that she wants me to do her makeup for her wedding. It started out as just a small thing where I would do her makeup just for a night out in New York City, while on vacation to Italy or Miami, or to attend another friend’s nuptials. I thought by the time her wedding came around — seven years later — she would forget all about it. Negative. She had asked me well in advance if I’d be game to do her makeup for at least one of her wedding events and I obliged…for her bridal shower, and her mendhi day (a Indian custom the day before her actual wedding).

The beautiful Sarah

The makeup is traditionally a lot lighter on this day than on the wedding day. We had planned to do a trial run before her big day which never happened since I was not in the city for even one weekend for the month preceding her move back to Boston. When the day finally came, I asked her how she envisioned her makeup to look and my only instructions were “make me look hot.” Clearly that wasn’t hard to do. She always trusts me with her makeup and that made me feel a bit more comfortable with diving right in. Given free reign though, I decided to keep her looking fresh and dewy with light, shimmery eyes. Her outfit was elaborate enough, and I thought it would balance everything to keep it mostly neutral so her own natural beauty would shine through. Here’s how I got her look:

Me doing makeup for my friend Sarah on her mendhi day

: I began by massaging in Olay Regenerist cream on her face. Then I used Lise Watier’s Portfolio and blended some of the purple under her eyes and across her nose to brighten that area. Then I used a mix of Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer and Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer around her eyes and nose just to even out some darker/red areas. Next I wet a BeautyBlender sponge with water and dabbed on Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecting Makeup.

Tricks of the trade. Makeup I used on the bride, minus the foundation and concealers

: Sarah has really fair skin and she didn’t want to be washed out in photos, so I used a few things to sculpt her face. First, I used Make Up For Ever’s Sculpting Kit in the neutral brown to swipe on the outer corners of her forehead, under her cheekbones and jawline (in a ‘3’ motion) using their double ended sculpting brush. Then I went over it with Laura Geller’s Air Whipped Bronzer just under her cheekbones and jawline and blended it in. Next I used Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder in Soft Radiance to give her a little more color on her cheeks. I added just a touch of L’Oreal’s Magic Smooth Souffle blush in Cherubic on the apples of her cheeks and blended it in. To give her a little bit of a dewy sheen, I finished off using Nars Illuminator in Orgasm on her cheekbones. I LOVE this product — a little goes a long way and it doesn’t show up streaky or messy.

Eye shadow
: I started with Make Up For Forever Aqua Cream in Gold to cover her lids. Then I defined them more by adding Taupe from the same collection and a brown IT Cosmetics shadow from their Luxe Eyeshadow palette to the crease of her eyes and blended it in. The Aqua Creams are waterproof and you don’t need a primer for them. They’ll stay put all night. Then I highlighted her brow bones with Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in Snow. I went over the lid again with a shimmery pink from the same IT Cosmetics palette to give it a little more dimension, and finished off by dabbing just a little more of the gold to the center of her lid.

A closer look at the Aqua Cream shadows applied

Eye liner
: I used Laura Geller’s InkWell Waterproof Gel liner in Black to rim her upper lashline, and inside her waterline. Then I used InkWell in Burgundy to line right outside her lower lashline. I thought the burgundy would just mix it up a little and play off the colors in her dress, without making her eyes overly intense (wanted her to save that for her wedding the next night). These liners, by the way, did not budge at all all night! I just wrote about them HERE.

Using the Lash Cards with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara

: I used Lancome’s Hypnose Star (my current go-to mascara) on her upper lashes, and Benefit’s They’re Real! on her lower lashes (I used a small travel size of this mascara which made it easier to use sparingly on her lower lashes). I used these awesome Lash Cards to make sure none of the mascara got onto her lids as I was applying. I didn’t even have to curl her lashes, or add falsies — the mascara was intense enough and I didn’t want to overkill.

: I used Joey Healy’s brow shadow in Raven and his Duo Brow Brush to just fill in her already amazing brows a little more.

: I just used a rose-color lip liner to liner her lips, and NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair.

MAC Fix+

Lastly, I spritzed her face with a few pumps of MAC Fix+ to set her makeup.

Her finished look (that's her adorable nephew Amaan who she made her entrance with on Power Wheels...kid you not)

Glowing bride and her nephew!

All mendhi photos by Bharat Parmar/

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Tips and How-To's

Valentine’s Day Skype Date: Makeup Tips from Pati Dubroff

February 5, 2013

Oh, long-distance love in the 21st century ;). As you coordinate your Valentine’s Day Skype-dates (I mean, I’m assuming that’s what you’re doing, right?), I thought it’d be nice to get some tips from the pros on how to look dolled up even with the (sometimes) unflattering computer glare. Appropriately, celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who glams up stars such as Kate Bosworth, Charlize Theron, Megan Fox, and Eva Mendes, shared her tried-and-true makeup tips with you just in time for V-Day:


Here’s the breakdown again (with some of *my own* product recommendations!):
· First and foremost, find good lighting and a nice background
· Prep the skin: for those with oily skin, go for a matte primer (like Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender) , and for dry skin, try a radiant primer or tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer)
· Brighten under the eyes and spot conceal where needed (like Bare Escentuals Well-Rested Face & Eye Brightener and Correcting Concealer)
· For creme blush, try CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush; For tinted lip balm, my current favorites are Burt’s Bees or Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
· For romantic eyes, use a deep-colored eye pencil and smudge at lashline (Currently obsessed with Anastasia Covet Waterproof Eyeliners)
· Curl lashes and apply multiple coats of mascara (like Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes!)

What are your Skype-date makeup essentials?

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty Tip of the Day - Hair - Tips and How-To's

Are you washing your hair too much? Stylist Tera Rae Stephens thinks so.

November 21, 2012

Any of you remember the “no ‘poo movement” I wrote about way back when? That’s short for no shampoo, just FYI. I asked you guys to weigh in on how long you’d go between shampoos. Now, experts are saying the less you shampoo, the better. In fact, if you can hold out to once a week, that’s ideal according to SoCal hairstylist Tera Rae Stephens. Here’s why:

– Washing more than you should actually throws off your body’s chemical balance and deprives your hair of the necessary oils it needs to stay healthy
– It actually dries out your hair by stripping the hair of moisture
– Washing too much gets you back to the salon chair more often (hence, more money) by fading your hair color

Stylist Tera Rae Stephens

Think you can’t last a week? Here are some of Tera’s tips:

– Use a dry shampoo. Section hair into 4 inch pieces, spray the dry shampoo where it’s most oily (usually in the front), then run your fingers through your hair. TRY: Oribe Dry Shampoo, $19.50.

– Wear a cute scarf or fedora to cover locks. TRY: EcoShag Scarf $18.50.

– Don’t be afraid to rock the pony tail or side braid (check out How To: Fishtail Braid).

– Work with your natural texture and use pins to pull front hair to the side witha bang braid for a hippy chic look. TRY: Goody Mini Spin Pins.

– If you’re really desperate to wash, stick to just washing your bangs or the very top of your hair over the sink.

“It will be a process and may take you months to get to the point of washing your hair just once a week,” Stephens says. What do you think? Do you think you can go a week without shampoo?

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Tips and How-To's

How to: Emily Blunt’s makeup look at the Toronto Film Festival

September 8, 2012

Emily Blunt always keeps it fresh and gorgeous, and her red carpet look at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Looper was no exception. Her makeup artist Jenn Streicher dishes on how to get her ethereal glow:

Emily Blunt wearing Roland Mouret at TIFF


Jenn began by using SK-II Skin Signature Cream and La Mer The Eye Concentrate. She then primed the complexion with Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum, and followed with Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup in shade No. 1.5 Nude. Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer was utilized in two different shades. Jenn used Fair, a light shade, around the nose and as a highlighter, and Pearl, a slightly darker shade, under the eyes.


Jenn applied Hourglass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer all over the complexion to create a radiant glow. She then used the bronze shade from Hourglass Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset to contour the cheeks and jaw line. The blush shade from Illume was dabbed onto the cheekbones, over which was layered Hourglass Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Petal, a peachy pink tone, on the apples of the cheeks.


She started by tracing the eyes with MAC Eye Pencil in Coffee and blended the color out. The smoky eye statement came care of Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Gypsy: the shell shimmer shade was applied up to the brow bone and the copper shimmer shade embellished the lids and below the eyes. Jenn then heightened the eyes with Hourglass Script Precision Liquid Liner, which is small enough to work between the lashes. She finished up with Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara for voluminous lashes.


All that was required was an application of Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Canvas, a soft rose beige shade. The velvety matte lip color, new for fall, delivers richly pigmented and long-lasting coverage – withstanding a film screening and an after-party.


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Tips and How-To's

MTV VMAs: How to get Taylor Swift’s look

September 7, 2012

Taylor Swift wanted her red carpet look to be inspired by her new album, Red, so makeup artist Lorrie Turk obliged (and beautifully so!). She gave us tips on how to get her look:

Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs 2012


CoverGirl NatureLuxe Silk Foundation was buffed in with a damp sponge, leaving a dewy even finish. CoverGirl Fresh Complexion Under-Eye Concealer was lightly patted on with a fingertip to brighten up the area under her eyes. Since her eyes and lips were strong, we wanted just a hint of color on her cheeks. I dusted CoverGirl Classic Color Blush in Soft Mink lightly along her cheekbones.


I brushed on Eye Enhancers 1-Kit Shadow in Champagne from her lash line to the crease, concentrating the color in the inner corners of her eyes for sparkle. In the eye crease and slightly above, I brushed another eyeshadow in Tapestry Taupe, which is a great color to add a bit of warmth to the eyes without adding too much color.

For the defined bold eyeliner, I used CoverGirl LineExact Liquid Liner. Starting at the inner corners of her eyes, I drew outward to the end of the eyes, going from thin to thicker with the liner and flicked up when reaching the end of the eye to create a cat-eye look. On the lower lash line, I used a damp detailer brush dipped in eyeshadow Brown Smolder and brushed it into the lower lash line for a less-defined line on the bottom. I finished the eyes with LashBlast Fusion Mascara.


Using a lip brush, LipPerfection Lipcolor in Hot was applied to her lips for a perfect bold red mouth.

Et voila!


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Eyes - Face - Tips and How-To's

CoverGirl Makeup School with celebrity makeup artist Jake Bailey

May 26, 2012

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

CoverGirl makeup artist, Jake Bailey

CoverGirl is winning my heart more and more these days. Not only does their makeup continue to improve (more on this in a mo), but also they really know how to throw a party. This time, it was at the iconic and beautiful Palace Hotel. But when I entered the corner suite, instead of looking out over the gorgeous, shimmering streets of New York, I saw nothing but mirrors lining the windows. The reflections of the women in the room carried their own unique beauty, and I was happy to sacrifice the city view.

This way to makeup galore

The event was an ode, of course, to makeup, but it was especially focused on learning professional tips and tricks–many of which surprised me. Jake Bailey, makeup artist to the stars (and uber-cute guy), was here to teach us how to do a summer sultry look, with the help of his friends. I sat down with my personal makeup artist Jessica Ortiz, ready to be schooled. As Jessica and I watched, Jake began with his model what I can only describe as a life-changing lesson. Not because what he said was especially revolutionary–except that what he said was so simple, so intuitive, that it was revolutionary to me. His focus was (I’m paraphrasing): keep it simple. Less is more. And use your fingers.

CoverGirl makeup

But before I get to the tricks, let’s talk about the makeup. CoverGirl’s focus of the day was two of their collections: the Blast line and the CoverGirl/Olay Simply Ageless line. The Blast line is all about big, bold, long-lasting. There’s a 24-hour mascara–which, from what I can tell by Jake’s subtle irritation when he said, “This mascara is more than 24-hour. It’ll stay on forever”—is damn hard to take off. But sometimes a girl needs mascara like that. There’s also the Blast Eyeliner, which goes on SO smooth and is a bold, kohl black (but keep the cap on at all times, because it’ll dry out if left uncovered). There’s also the Blast Flipsticks, designed by the lovely Pat McGrath, which I am desperately in love with (there are two tones on the stick, which you can use individually or as an ombre look… amazeballs).

Our fabulous teacher

The Olay line is, as you can imagine, all about skin care. But what’s really special about it is that Cover Girl’s scientists have focused on coverage for the foundation, powders, and blushes (CREAM blushes!), and as a result, the makeup applies incredibly smoothly, gives a natural glow, but absolutely STAYS ON. Jessica, the makeup artist who was doing my look, swears by this line.

My makeover!

So this is the makeup Jake used while teaching his tricks. And now, without further ado, and in no particular order, the tips:

— Use black eyeliner. Sure, you see purples, browns, and greens in magazine editorial shots, but that’s not how you’ll achieve the everyday pretty look most of us are going for. No matter what your skin tone, no matter what your eye color, use black. It’ll bring out the luminosity in your eyes, which is the ultimate goal in looking pretty.

— No matter how thickly you apply it (which will depend on the look you’re going for), get as close to the lash line as possible, even on the line underneath your lashes.

— When applying mascara, it’s more important to coat the root of the lash than the tip.

— Jake did something that was amazing: he essentially scribbled black eyeliner on his model’s lid, making a total mess, then smudged it, and covered it with Intense Shadowblast liquid shadow (which has primer in the formula–it does NOT come off). I was stunned. The look was rich and—exactly what he was going for—sultry. Here’s what I was reminded of during this demonstration: makeup is an art. Be creative, and resourceful (Jake said he uses lip glosses as blushes ALL the time), and don’t be limited by the labels of the makeup.

Using Intense ShadowBlast

— Jake is a huge proponent for using your fingers when you apply makeup, especially on skin. He says that the emollients in your fingers help you to apply just the right amount, and to cast just the right kind of chemistry between the makeup and your skin. It’s such a simple trick, but in today’s makeup world, where it feels like you need a brush for every little detail, it’s refreshing to remember that our fingers are sometimes our best tools (that’s what she said…sorry. couldn’t help myself.).

— Don’t be afraid–or ashamed–of Q-Tips. Makeup falls out. Makeup smudges. Hands shake. You blink. All kinds of things happen that make little errors impossible to avoid, even for the highest-paid most talented artists in the business. So don’t feel bad if it doesn’t go perfectly the first time. Just grab a Q-Tip (or use your finger), and fix the smudge.

My After!

Do you guys already use any of these tips? Have any other ideas for resourceful, intuitive makeup application? Share it! And let us know if you have any questions. I learned a wealth of information from Jake and Jessica, and probably retained more than I wrote down. So let the questions flow! We’ll answer as many as we can.

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