There are as many ways to personalize your vanity as there are makeup items. Here are some ideas for all price ranges on how to make your makeup table organized, functional or just plain “pretty.”

Budget Junkies:

I highly recommend small storage systems like  STERILITE. They are affordable, stackable and you can separate your items for easy access and organization. These can be found online as well as many stores such as Target, Wal-mart, and Dollar General/Family Dollar stores.

Sterilite Sterilite ClearView 3-Drawer Organizer - Set of 2

* TIP – shelf liner can also be cut to size and placed in the drawers to keep items from sliding around so much;)

WIRE or MESH PENCIL HOLDERS are the perfect solution for the practical makeup lover who likes to display her brushes, eyeliner pencils, mascaras,  lipliners or even nail files for quick assessment and easy access. These handy items can be found in most dollar stores or office supply stores.

* TIP – The matching letter holders can be used to hold the large eyeshadow/blush/concealer palettes similar to what you may find at Coastal Scents.

BIG SPENDING DIVAS:

For you ladies who really want to create a pampered look on your makeup table, consider bathroom accessories to help you achieve the look. Yes!  BATHROOM ACCESSORIES 😉 Tumblers are great for holding q-tips and makeup brushes, eye/lip pencils and so much more. Toothbrush holders are great for brushes and liner pencils as well;) Mix or match for the perfect fit on your table.

Don’t forget the tissue holder, lotion dispenser ( nice for lotion, makeup remover, or antibacterial gel) and even the soapdish is a nice place to mix foundations, place false lashes you don’t want to lose or put your rings & earrings on after a long day. After all that, the wastebasket is a perfect addition to keep close by for used makeup wipes and disposable items.

You can find great deals on individual items at stores like TJ MAXX, AJ WRIGHT, MARSHALLS or sets at BED and BATH stores. So many styles and colors to choose from!

Calista Bath Ensemble

* TIP – if you use several lotion dispensers for different items, but sure to put a small sticker/label on the bottom so you don’t get antibacterial gel mixed up with eye makeup remover…OUCH! 😉

FOR EVERYONE:

Black ( or any color HAND TOWELS) are great for keeping on your table. First, they keep the table clean and second they are excellent for using to spot clean brushes between uses. Black or dark toned towels show less gunk but just keep in mind, makeup WILL stain these towels so buy some JUST FOR THE MAKEUP TABLE;) No using the guest towels!  You can find these anywhere depending on style and budget, and sometimes several in a pack. A couple should do just fine as one can be on the table when one is being washed.

* TIP – Be sure to wash towels every couple of days to keep dust, dirt, and bacteria from building up and causing your skin grief.

FLATWARE TRAYS are easy kept in the open or placed in drawers and offer a quick view and easy access to most any type of item from single shadows to liner pencils. So much variety  ( basket, mesh, plastic, etc) and found nearly anywhere.

KitchenAid KAT893ER Expandable Flatware Tray Red

* TIP – this style (below) is excellent for holding skin care items like moisturizer bottles, toners, makeup remover, makeup sanitizing spray etc & make sure to wash these out every so often to keep dirt from building up in corners.

4 Compartment Cutlery Caddy

Finally, VOTIVE HOLDERS  are wonderful for keeping tweezers, nail clippers, eyelash glue, eye primer tubes, lip balm tube, mini-scissors or any other little small items you may have that often seem to have no place and get lost on a makeup table. Finally, an easy way to keep them visible! Votive holders can be as simple/cheap or lavish and stylish as you like. You can find them anywhere from super stylish ones at PIER ONE IMPORTS to more practical ones at Target stores. Prices vary. You can even create a personalized one with appliques ( found at craft stores)  and clear votive holders.

Hope you found these tips useful and please feel free to share some of your best organizing ideas!

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~ Blue Eye Shadow ~

July 20, 2010

For many, it is a scary thought. The idea of blue conjures up thoughts of MIMI from the Drew Carey Show or even BARBIE …but blue can be done well. It’s all about balance really. And yes, ANYONE can wear blue eye shadow, but it is especially flattering to those brown eyed girls;)

When wearing something extremely colorful or high drama on the eyes, it is best to temper it with nude or toned down colors on the rest of the face. For example, If I do a deep brown smokey eye I would wear a pale pink blush and gloss. If I do a bold red lip, I wouldn’t put on purple eyeshadow. Make sense?

So, here is a BLUE look I did today. It is a bit more dramatic than most would wear for daytime, but I find my occupation affords me the ability to feel a bit more liberated in what I walk around with on my face;) For those who are a bit intimidated at the look, try it yourself with lighter versions of the blues I used, or blend them down with a cream colored shadow to take the edge off.

Here is the look:

Products Used :

FACE:

MAC Mineralize Skin finish Natural in MEDIUM  (applied w/ kabuki style brush)

MAC Blush in TENDERLING  (applied w/MAC 168 blush/contour brush)

LIPS:

MAC lip liner pencil in SUBCULTURE

SOFTLIPS Lip Protectant with SPF 20 in VANILLA

SALLY HANSEN Natural Butter Lip Shine in BLOOM

EYES:

MAC paint pot in BARE STUDY as a base ( applied with fingers)

MAC  eyeshadow in VANILLA all over the entire lid up to brow (applied with a MAC 239 brush)

Pale blue shadow from the COASTAL SCENTS 28 pallete on the inner 1/2 of eyelid ( using a MAC 239 brush)

Shimmery Dark blue shadow from CS PALLET on the outer 1/2 of eye (using MAC 239)

( Blend the shimmery blue up and into crease slightly)

Darkest blue from CS PALLET (navy colored) into the outer “v” of eye ( using a MAC 219 pencil brush)

(Blend carefully inward and upward  enhancing the outer “V” shape)

* I also applied the eyeshadow colors  to my lower lid starting at the inner corner with the lightest color and working outward to the darkest.

TOO FACED lash injection Mascara in BLACK ( curl lashes and apply two coats)

Questions or requests? Simply comment below and be sure to check out KRISTINE MARIE MAKEUP ARTISTRY  on  YOUTUBE and  FACEBOOK

~ Bronze Beauty ~

March 20, 2010

Bronzer. A simple way to give yourself a sun-kissed glow without the risks of sun and tanning beds. But, how do you choose the right bronzer and how do you apply it properly? Well, it is easier than you think.

First, you have to choose the right formula. Bronzers come in creams, cream-to-powder, liquids, gels, powders ( pressed, loose and baked) and even mousse formulations. If you have dry skin, one of the more emollient types will be best and if your skin is oily or normal, then a powder will do just fine.

Now that you know the formula you need, it is time to choose a color. Yes, bronzers come in many colors with different undertones ( peach, pink, yellow, gold, orange, copper,  etc…) For light skin tones, pink or peach based bronzers work best. Olive skin tones are best flattered in copper undertones and on dark skin – deep shades with gold tones are gorgeous.  Try not to go more than 2 shades darker than your own skin color. Shades that are way too dark will leave you looking like you have dirt on your face instead of that summer glow.

Nexy, you can decide which finish you prefer. Matte or Shimmer. I enjoy both, depending on what I am using it for. If contouring my face, I use a matte shade and if just using it to give myself a glow, I use a shimmer. It really is up to you. 

Now, regardless of what formula you choose, you will want a fluffy brush ( not too large) to apply it with. When using powder , be sure to tap off excess before touching your face. You want to look sun-kissed , not sun-slapped. The biggest mistake with bronzer is using too much. We have all seen it. Not pretty;(  

If using an emollient formula, touch the product lightly ( to avoid picking up too much) and then touch on the back of your hand to see how much product is coming off the brush, and apply when the amount is comfortable for you. 

Bronzer is generally applied to the four main areas of your face that would naturally get the most sun exposure – your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. The first place you lay your brush down is going to get the most product, and for most of us, that would be the cheeks. 

Lightly touch down on the cheeks, then the forehead, nose and then the chin. Once you have a bit of bronzer in each area, go back to the cheeks and begin to blend. Blend your bronzer WELL and if more product is needed, add more. If you add too much, apply translucent powder to tone it down. 

While bronzer looks amazing and healthy on it’s own, adding a bit of blush to the apples of your cheeks for a bit of dimension and blending it all together can make the look more complete and polished. 

Many beauty brands make bronzers. Some affordable options are PHYSICIANS FORMULA and NYC found at drugstores and  on the higher end NARS and CHANEL have lovely options as well.  My current favorite is “LAGUNA” by NARS which is a brown undertone with a subtle shimmer perfect for daytime and everyday wear.Bronzing Powder

Hope these tips help you out and be sure to subscribe for more updates and visit me on

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If you are a beauty product fanatic and always buying more than you should with each new season, here are some ways to save a few bucks and stretch the dollars you spent in the fall/winter. Using your current products and a few minutes of your time, you can create fresh spring/summer looks without spending a dime;)

Product Image Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15

FOUNDATION: For those who wear a full coverage foundation in winter, and buy a whole new foundation for summer…save those dollars! By simply mixing your daily facial moisturizer with SPF and a hint of your full coverage foundation, you have now created a perfectly matched tinted moisturizer that is sun-safe and saves money. Mix in a small jar and take on vacation to lighten your makeup bag;)

LIPGLOSS/BLUSH: Save on the blushes and glosses by purchasing a pigment (found at MAC, Urban Decay, Barry M ) you can mix to create new products. A hint of pigment when mixed with an inexpensive clear gloss and you can create a perfect lip color. A tap of pigment on the apple of your cheeks and blended well is all you need to give cheeks a pop of color. Use rosy and coral shades for a fresh spring look, or go for bronze/peach for a healthy summer glow. You can also add the pigment to a light moisturizer for an easily blendable cream blush shade. Mix different pigments to create new and unique colors to suit your style fancy;) Pinks and Bronzes make beautiful blends.

MAC Gold Mode Pigment

TIP! Keep pigment and glosses in small 3g or 5g jars ( you can purchase these at coastalscents.com) and pack them in your vacation bag to save space;)

Shine Eraser

POWDER: Just grab some blotting sheets to keep handy if you are worried about oily breakthroughs. You can purchase a 50 pack from ELF (eyeslipsface.com) for only $1 USD. With your tinted moisturizer doing it’s magic, let your skin shine through and save money. Dewy skin creates a radiant and youthful look perfect for the warmer seasons, so ditch the powder, Skin is in!

NAIL POLISH:  Just keep a clear polish handy and mix with a hint of your pigments, you can customize the perfect seasonal shade. (For those with delicate nails, put a hint of pigment in a clear nail strengthener)

EYELINER/BROW PENCILS: Skip the harsh liners. Simply dampen your eyeliner brush with a bit of visine (yeah, use it to wake up those tired eyes too!) and dip into your favorite dark shadow for perfect definition to your peepers. Use brush dry with dark brown shadow to lightly fill in eyebrows. A hint of bronze shadow in the brow arch is also nice to add some MMMPH to your summer look;)

BODY LOTION: add a touch of pigment in a Vanilla, Bronze or Peach color to your body lotion to create the ultimate summer shimmer. Add a few drops of essential oil ( lavendar or citrus) if you want to add a scentual touch to your seasonal beauty routine;)

Enjoy these tips and enjoy the upcoming Spring/Summer Seasons!

Kristine Marie

I had been curious about the Too-Faced Lash Injection mascara for some time, but to be honest I am not one to splurge on mascara since I replace mine quite often. I would say my biggest splurge on mascara has been the RIMMEL Sexy Curves mascara and even that is less than 10 USD. 

I got this mascara as a gift from my daughter for my birthday in November along with some other things I will review later. I hated to see her spend her money on me, but I was anxious to try out my new mascara right away and I was most pleased. So, here are the basics:

What: Mascara available in black and dark brown

Purpose: To lengthen and volumize eyelashes

Packaging: Standard mascara tube  with an amazing ( and thick) wand applicator

Consistency: Thick 

Where: Sephora.com, Ulta.com and TOO FACED

Cost: $19.50 USD

Application: Easy. Place wand at base of lashes and wiggle slightly to coat and separate lashes evenly

Result: Long wearing with no flaking, added volume and slight length and held curl of lashes all day.

Tips: Apply eyeliner and curl lashes first. After removing wand from tube, tap the tip on a tissue to remove excess product to reduce clumping at the corners. Apply to lash tips only for a natural look and apply 2 or more coats for a full, false lash look. If you prefer, a mascara guard can help prevent mistakes or transfers;)

Thoughts: I hate the price but love the effect. Will I repurchase? Eh…not sure, but it’s been 3 months and mine is going strong for now…

Recommendations: If you are a mascara lover, this is a must have. A good oil-based remover will be needed as this is waterproof and budge-proof otherwise;)

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Benefit Cosmetics are not only know for their great quality, but for the colorful and fun packaging. Born in 1976 ( great year by the way since I was born in ’76….) of the creativity of 2 small town twin sisters, it is widely recognized as one of the most popular and distinct cosmetic lines of today. With signature items such as Bene-tint, Eye Bright ( a CARMINDY favorite), Coralista  and Lemon-Aid, you simply can’t ignore the uniqueness of this great brand… 

Now, onto the review!

creaseless cream eyeshadow/liner

What: Eyeshadow/eyeliner in a wide variety of colors

Purpose: To be used as an eyeshadow/eyeliner or as a base for other eye products

Packaging: Glass Jar with screw top, (.16oz)  

Consistency: Smooth and Creamy

Where: Sephora.com, Benefitcosmetics.com or anywhere Benefit cosmetics are sold

Cost: $19 USD

Application: Easy. Use clean fingertips or brush to blend onto eyelid.

Result: Well, it didn’t crease and did a superior job on making my eyeshadow budgeproof;)

Tips: Spread evenly for best results. A little goes a LONG way with the super creamy formula. These are also buildable and blendable , so create your own color combinations and have some fun!

Thoughts: I like these SO much better than MAC paint pots….just had to say it. Ok, now I feel better…

Recommendations: These wonderful little gems are on the “buh bye” list as Benefit Cosmetics ( and at a GREAT price!) so if you like what you see here, better get some while you can at BENEFIT COSMETICS. A steal now for $9.50 USD!!! And save your jars – A cleaned and sanitized jar can make a perfect sized and very stylish pillbox.

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Kristine Marie

Julia is a easygoing girl with a flair for , well, anything! She is open minded, loves to experiment with her look and most of all,  she loves to have fun…

When I told her she would look stunning in a modern pin-up look ( similar to that of Katy Perry) she was excited and happy to let me have my way. I am so glad she did! While they are two completely different women, we could certainly borrow the inspiration of Katy from her makeup style and give Julia a new twist to an already gorgeous face.

Here is the inspiration, the lovely Katy Perry herself:

 

And this is my lovely Julia donning her new look:

To get this look…

I applied a light layer of Face Atelier Foundation and set with powder. 

A bright pink blusher on the apples of cheeks

Filled in brows completely with a medium brown shadow

Primed eyes and applied a white eye shadow to the entire lid and a light brown in the crease and the same light brown gently through the lower lash line.

A  black gel eyeliner was applied with a dramatic wing at the outer corners.

False lashes were then applied and finished with 2 coats of black mascara.

Lips were penciled in completely with a hot pink lip liner

Lips were then coated in a hot pink lipstick and finished with clear gloss. 

The result? Fun, flirty and modern!

You can also change up the look by adding a vibrant orange lip color, coral blush and/or  a double winged liner.  

So, like other Celebrity Inspired Looks, it is possible to take elements that work for you and still maintain your own unique flair. Julia pulled it off, and in a stunning and confident way;) 

~Here is another look inspired by celebrity Carrie Underwood~

and many thanks to Julia for being open minded to the idea, a super assistant on a busy photo shoot and a fun model with great confidence and a positive attitude. 

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~ Smokey Look ~

January 27, 2010

Shannon is a stunning blonde  and bride-to-be with amazing features but didn’t seem to be aware of just how lovely she was. When she gave me free reign to design her look for her photo shoot I was excited and there was only one look I could think of…the smokey eye.

Shannon has fair skin, amazing blue eyes and beautifully shaped lips. For her focus,  I felt the contrast of dark colors around the eyes would bring a depth to the look while still maintaining a classic elegance.

Here is Shannon with her completed look and beautiful veil accessory. 

For Shannons look, I started with a medium coverage foundation and set with powder. Then I filled in her natural brow shape using a medium brown shadow. Next, I primed her eyes and gave her a smokey look using dark browns and golds and topped it off with a pair of Andrea false lashes in #53 on the outer corners. Finally, a  hint of blush and a neutral lip color completed the look. 

Her final look is sultry and sensual and still exudes a certain softness.

…and to Shannon for being such a wonderful woman to work with and allowing me to be a part of her special day!

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~ Do you FACEBOOK? ~

January 22, 2010

If you do, and you love makeup, pictures, beauty related events and updates, free giveaways, and everything in between, come check out the Kristine Marie Makeup Artistry page for more!

 

Become A Fan Today!

( And while you are there, feel free to post your latest looks or makeup related finds and questions. )

 

New website, February giveaway for FREE lipgloss and lashes from MAC cosmetics, product reviews, mini-makeover updates and upcoming Boudoir events all coming soon! 

 

Kristine Marie

I often get questions about brushes when I talk to women about makeup. What kind do they need? What is each used for? And honestly, there is never a perfect answer that fits all.  Much depends on what makeup you use, what effect you want and what your budget is. In this post, I will share some of my favorite brushes which also happen to be multi-use brushes…see a connection? I will also list some suggestions for affordable alternatives to the most popular brushes.

Home made makeup brush cleansers

FLAT TOP BRONZER/BUFFER ( kabuki-style )  -It has many names but is fairly distinct with it’s densely packed hair. While it can be used for bronzer, mineral foundations and powders, it is also commonly used for buffing in liquid foundation. Yes! Liquid! I first blend in my foundation with my fingers, and then buff it to a soft, streak-free finish. A favorite among some Makeup Artists is the SMASHBOX #19 Brush at a whopping $52 USD price tag. A budget option is the Coastal Scents  KABUKI ON A STICK for a reasonable $5.95 USD. 

ANGLE BRUSH – I LOVE these brushes! I use them for everything! Well….almost. They are great for filling in brows with brow powder, lining eyes with powder or cream liners, creating precise lip lines and drawing a sharp crease with eye shadows. They are also great for  just under the brow bone when you want a thin, clean highlight. I swear by mine which is a MAC 266 and costs about $19.50 USD, but for those on a budget, REXART offers a Loew Cornell brush called the  1/4″ Angular Rose Shader for about $3 USD.

STIPPLING/DUO FIBRE – A synthetic/real hair  brush with black hair and white tips (nicknamed a  “skunk”) this brush is good for stippling on liquid foundations but is also commonly used to dust on powder products including blush and bronzer. MAC makes a brush called the 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush for a hefty $42 USD, but Sigma Makeup offers a similar brush, also called a 187 Duo Fibre Brush for an affordable $16 USD.

FLUFFY BLENDER BRUSH – So yes, this brush can be used for applying eye shadow and blending it, but it can also be used to buff in concealer under eyes and to set it with powder. I have also been known to use this brush to apply a hint of highlighter on the top of cheekbones and/or above the outer corner of the brow, down the nose and above the cupids bow. MACs 224 brush is $28 USD, but an alternative is the REVLON contour shadow brush for about  $6.99 USD.

Fan brushes can be used for everything from powders, blushes and bronzers to highlighting and sweeping away fallout from dark shadows. Some fine tip eyeliner brushes can be used as lip lining brushes too. Concealer brushes are great for applying eye primer and cream shadows…the list goes on an on;)

* When using brushes for multiple things during the same application, it is good to have a bottle of brush cleaner handy. I like Sephora daily brush cleanser as it spot cleans well, is easy to use and dries quickly. It is also anti-bacterial and comes in 2 sizes ranging from $6 USD to $14 USD. 

Daily Brush Cleaner To Go

Now, I tend to use most of my brushes in many different ways, but these are just some ideas to help out a few folks interested in making the most of their investment into makeup brushes. As many of you know, there are no hard and fast rules for how to apply anything anymore, or with what tools. Many adapt to what we have and if we only had Qtips and Cotton balls we would adjust…BUT, having a handful of multi-tasking tools sure helps. Feel free to share your multiple uses for your brushes, or ask questions in the comments section below;)

More information on brushes, a list of my must-have daily brushes, brush maintenance, etc coming soon. Stay tuned by subscribing here for updates or visit me at FACEBOOK.