Perfect Hair Day with Living Proof

This is a shoot we did awhile ago at Guggenheim Productions. But like so many other things, life got in the way and I never got around to posting it. But here it is. My daughter is in it for one second, which in her mind makes her a star. Her "mom" model is Amy Olson-Weller, one of the loveliest people to work with. And their shared trait is their bright personalities and long page boy bangs. 

I've never done much to my hair but sometimes on the set I listen and learn different techniques and products and am always curious if they actually work. I can't use dry shampoo but for those who do, this is considered one of the best. 

Top Tips for a Natural Makeup Look

When it comes to makeup, most people want to look like themselves with a bit of “pop” - not as if they have on gobs of makeup. Sometimes you may want drama, but on most days, if you’re like most people, you probably want to look pretty natural. Here are some of my top tips for your bringing out the natural you.

Face

If your skin is normal-to-dry or dry: 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Use a sheer moisturizing tint such as Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 to even out skin without looking like you have anything on. I recently did makeup for someone who almost never wears any cosmetics. Because I didn’t want to scare her I used this product, assuring her that she would not look like a “painted lady".  And because she actually liked it, I gave her a tube so she can use it every day for moisturizing benefits, and, more importantly, sun protection. As I keep saying, never leave the house without sunscreen. If you don’t want to use a tint, still use something that has a sunscreen. I am currently moisturizing with LaPrairie Crème Biologie Marine Avancee Jour SPF 20 under my foundation - I always make sure my moisturizer and foundation have sunscreen in case I missed applying somewhere.

If your skin is oily:

Clean and Clear
Clean and Clear

For especially oily skin, try an oil-absorbing powder in place of a foundation. And carry oil-blotting papers with you so you don’t have to keep reapplying – if you continually reapply, the powder might start to cake up and not look natural at all. On shoots I’ve been using Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets – they are very affordable and great for every day too. Just press them right where you need to blot excess oil.

Cheeks

Bare Minerals Warm Radiance
Bare Minerals Warm Radiance

For the natural look image above I used a soft red-ish bronzer. If you’ve read my other articles, I don’t mean to bore you by recommending some of the same things over again – but I do love the tried and true and will only share the things I really like. This is Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Warm Radiance – the shade is so versatile I use it on almost all skin tones. It’s a loose powder so you have to be careful or it can make a mess - dip the brush in lightly and then tap off excess before application. I believe Bare Escentuals recommends just dipping the brush into the top cap to avoid getting too much product on the brush. It’s a definitely good tip.

Eyes

For a natural softness, use shades that blend into skin and hair tone. This is generally more earthy shades, such as soft beiges, creams and browns. Be sure to blend well.

Eye Shadow

  • A soft beige eye shadow with a touch of shimmer from lash to brow
  • A soft rust shade in the outer corners (a little rust shadow accent complements her natural hair color)

Eye Liner

Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara
Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara

I lightly applied brown eyeliner on top lash line. To keep it subtle, always apply right on lash line, not outside or inside of it. If you stay on the lash line it just makes lashes look fuller.

Lashes

Try brown or black/brown mascara on top lashes only. I am still a big fan of Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara. It never clumps and always looks natural. I am also allergic to most mascaras but I can wear this one!

Brows

Clinique Brow Shaper is super-easy to use as far as brow shaping goes. The shades are subtle and it comes with a stiff brush that helps you shape without looking “drawn on”. Apply lightly and then step away from the mirror to make sure you’re using just enough product to lightly define brows.

Lips

On this model I used a sheer gloss with a bit of lip color. I like the non-sticky lightness of Clinique Almost Lipstick (one of their best-sellers and my favorite is a shade called Black Honey).

The shades listed here work for most skin tones. If you have a deeper skin tone you can use the same shades, just with deeper pigment. For example, instead of brown use a black eye liner and mascara. In addition, use brands that have more pigment-rich colors in general, such as MAC, Stila or NARSViva au naturale!

MODEL IMAGE BY:

Photography, Chris Eckert

Model, Melinda Lennox

Hair, Kristan Serafino

Makeup, Robyn Tamura

Behind the Scenes with GQ & Vogue

This was a fun shoot I just did with Guggenheim Productions in New York City, working behind the scenes with GQ magazine and Uniqlo for Vogue TV. Stylists Brett Fahlgren and Cara Crowley showed us how to dress and accessorize for spring. I prettied everyone up!

photo 4

Images and tips from the day: Brett is GQ's stylist who introduced the male looks from Uniqlo. This boyishly handsome male model is Lorenzo Vargas, who has perfect skin. A little Laura Mercier concealer to brighten his eye area, Fashion Fair pressed powder to take down the shine and Lorac Bronzer to add some warmth and contour. 

Lorenzo
Lorenzo

Gorgeous Marina Theiss is originally from Brazil. Here she is with Amanda Beczner doing her lovely long locks. (Amanda and I are both petite so Marina towers over both of us.)

 Marina Theiss

Marina Theiss

For Marina's fresh makeup look, I used:

Chanticaille Compact cream makeup on areas as needed.

A pinky nude lip.

Kevyn Aucoin concealer (the Sensual Skin Enhancer) to brighten under her eyes.

A soft brown eye shadow washing the lid and a touch of YSL eye liner pencil in black on the top eye line.

Lots of my favorite mascara, Laura Mercier Faux Lash and lots of my favorite bronzer from Lorac. Voila.

Once it's up on Vogue TV, I'll put it up here too!

Just Add a Little Drama

That would be makeup drama, I mean. Nothing stressful or upsetting. If you're already full of drama, maybe now just channel it into your eyes - your dramatic, smoky eyes. Beauty Editor Carly Cardellino of Cosmopolitan magazine asked me to share my best tips for a smoky eye. Check them out here on  Cosmopolitan.com.

On the Red Carpet: Laura Benanti

Laura Turned Back

Who gets to be gorgeous, talented and have a great personality? An old friend of mine used to say you get one or maybe two but not all three – she said the gods just don’t allow it. Which seems fair enough. But I recently had the opportunity to work with Tony Award winning Laura Benanti and I can tell you right now she is as kind as she is beautiful. And winning Tonys doesn’t happen unless you’re exceptionally talented, so guess what - she has all three.

This fall, Laura stars in the new NBC show Go On with Friends' Matthew Perry. 

When she first arrived to NYC, Laura was cast as an understudy for the Broadway role of Maria in The Sound of Music - a show she would go on to star in. From there she went on to many roles and became one of Broadway's brightest stars, picking up awards and accolades all along the way. After learning I was in the presence of Maria I couldn’t help but hum My Favorite Things (really corny of me, I know, but I actually wasn't thinking about it) as I did her makeup - and Laura and hairstylist Kristan Serafino joined right along with me. Then off she went to the red carpet looking glowing and beautiful.

Makeup Tips for Laura's Red Carpet Look Laura wanted more natural makeup so I stuck with warm nude and earth tones and added small touches of brightness to keep it fresh and glowing.

Laura Up Close
Laura Up Close

Moisturize before applying makeup. I used a light moisturizer and Origins GenZing eye cream. Moisturizing helps smooth on foundation so it looks soft and natural. Because her skin is already so smooth and even, I used foundation sparingly and only to create a "palette" for color. To make sure it lasted throughout the night, I set the makeup with a sheer face powder and the under eye concealer powder from Laura Mercier's Undercover Pot.

Highlight eyes with a touch of light shimmer. I used Matisse Elite Star Dust Powder on just the inner corners to draw attention to her eyes. If we were creating a dramatic look I would use shimmer more liberally, but using it just as an accent is perfect to keep it soft and natural.

Warm the face with a bronzer. I used a bronzer in place of a blush on cheeks, around the sides of face and on the forehead area. Again, to keep it natural, it's important to blend any bronzer well.

Add soft color to lips. Laura is wearing coral shoes - I didn't mean to match her lips to them, but now that I'm looking at the images I kind of did! Matching lips and shoes is, of course, in no way important or necessary, but keeping lip color in the warmer tones helps blend the warmer eye and cheek color together.

Hairstyle Laura's hair is elegant, softly relaxed and pretty. If you'd like your hair to look like Laura's, click here for Kristan's Hair Tips.

Look for Laura this Fall,  Tuesdays at 9pm (EST)!

Go On NBC
Go On NBC

Hair by Kristan Serafino, Makeup by Robyn Tamura

"No, I’m Not Pregnant" Clothing Options

Empire Waist
Empire Waist

The other day my friend called, upset that someone asked if she were pregnant (she’s not that sensitive so it wasn’t devastating but she wasn’t super excited about it either). And guess what? I knew exactly what she was wearing – an empire waist dress. Unless you are skinny or very young, this cut often makes people think you’re pregnant because it’s always what they make for pregnant women. Before I was pregnant I would see these cute elastic waist stretchy jeans that looked so comfortable. Upon closer inspection I saw they were maternity jeans. Why, I thought, do pregnant people get more comfortable jeans than the rest of us? Now I understand the need for extra comfort when pregnant - but does that mean if you’re not pregnant you can’t wear the extra comfortable clothes too? No. So when this same friend came maternity shopping with me as I grew larger, we asked the same question. And even though she in no way needs larger or fuller styles (she runs marathons), she bought a comfy but cute maternity dress with super soft fabric. It became one of her favorite dresses. And unlike with her empire cut dress, no one ever even asked her if she were pregnant.

Since then I’ve been looking for comfortable styles that can be worn if you are pregnant or not. For example, when pregnant I was always looking in the maternity section for clothes – which is very limited. Here’s what I found. If you don’t want to or can’t spend the $ on the following brands, look for designs that are similar to these:

Max Studio This brand NEVER fit me before. I would try everything because it looked so cute on the rack but nothing ever came of it. When I got pregnant everything Max Studio looked good on me. And now things also look pretty good in smaller sizes (I’m not quite as tiny as I used to be so somehow it works).

Helmut Lang
Helmut Lang

Helmut Lang I have this silk Helmut Lang top I’ve worn with over jeans a number of ways: With a wide belt at the hips, with a short skirt underneath (someone actually asked me about my “amazing dress”), and alone with leggings. It’s a brand that drapes and shapes in just the right places.

Joie
Joie

Joie I never looked at Joie until my friend said it was one of her favorite brands. I’d stand idly by as she tried on different Joie clothes I’d never pick out and then she’d try them on and they looked cute.

Alice and Olivia Full
Alice and Olivia Full

Rebecca Taylor I got something from Rebecca Taylor when I was just beginning to have a stomach. It looked cute then and it looks cute now. So subsequently I have shopped for more of her pieces.

Alice & Olivia This designer seems to make a lot of wide band pants and shorts that look pretty good if you need your stomach held in. And a lot of the tops are blousy enough they are loose without looking pregnant.

Yummie
Yummie

Yummie Tummie Finally, if you want to try shapewear, there’s Yummie Tummie. I have never been a fan of shapewear because the idea reminds me of corsets and female Victorian restrictiveness. But I gave one of the tank tops a go. It’s nice because it’s mostly soft cotton and long enough to not ride up around when you’re trying to keep things comfortably “supported.”

Max Studio
Max Studio

Getting Reacquainted: Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

Fluid Sheer 2It's not exactly a new product, but it's new-ish to me  (I think it's been around since Giorgio Armani Beauty launched). Someone gave me Fluid Sheer a couple years ago and I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t understand what it was. Was it a bronzer? A shimmer? A foundation? It stayed in my closet in its elegantly black Armani packaging.

Recently I became reacquainted with it. I still thought it might  look like your standard bronzer. Or maybe it’d look like a trendy shimmery foundation. Then someone showed me how to properly use it and I decided to give it a go. The next shoot I did was with a skin care company, and skin care companies – naturally - want everything to be healthy and glowing. It has to look good, but the makeup can’t be apparent because it’s all about skin.

For this model, I lightly applied it to her hairline and blended it on her cheekbones with blush. It made her skin glow in a way that a bronzer doesn’t. As Armani Beauty is all about glowing skin, Fluid Sheer is clearly its essence. Fluid Sheer Model

Maybe it won't make us look like this, but we all deserve to glow!

Fluid Sheer Glow Tip: As its name says, it is quite sheer so you can use more than you think without it looking like too much. Apply around hairline, right under or on cheekbones. Under cheekbones makes them more prominent; on cheekbones will highlight or brighten – it all depends on what you want and need. Blend with fingertips. Then watch yourself glow.

Sneak Peeking

Today my brother was – I think – trying to motivate me by telling me how delinquent I have been on updating this site. He acted horrified. He has a point. The problem is that the more I have things going on to talk about, the less time I have to tell anyone about anything. But he has sufficiently motivated me to at least say that I’m posting something soon! So "posting something soon" is today's post. Ha! Here are also some “Coming Soon” images of a couple of things I have been working on (just to give you a peek).

R2R
R2R

Ready-to-Wear

 

Architectural Design 

Fred & George Weasley

Sparkles & Bangles, Pretty in Pictures

These are some of the images we created for Kelly Bruggema's Soo Ihn Kim Jewelry. Kelly is a talented jewelry designer who also photographs her beautiful designs. Or you can say she's a talented photographer who started her own jewelry line. And though it's a fairly young company, her collections have already been seen on celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Zoe Saldana – as well as featured in magazines such as Vogue, InStyle and Harper's Bazaar.

Kelly Jewelry

Hair is by Kyung Min Chon. I love Kyung's story because she really followed her heart to become a hairstylist. She began her university education in Korea as a German Studies major. But once there she realized her true passion was to be in beauty. Being Asian myself I know that any career implying "artist" is not one most Asian parents get that excited about. So she somewhat independently applied to the prestigious Osaka Mode Fashion College, was accepted, and moved to Japan to study hair and makeup. Kyung has since become an accomplished hairstylist and makeup artist with numerous celebrity and corporate clients. She currently works at Warren-Tricomi in NYC.

Amsterdam Two

And myself...well, you already know about me. I just had so much fun working with Kelly and Kyung - and seeing those gorgeous pieces of jewelry too.

Kelly’s designs can be found in boutiques throughout the world and with online retailers ShopBop and The Gilt Groupe (where I will soon be looking for some pieces myself).

On Side

Side Look

 

Beauty Is: Women Who Inspire - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

For awhile now, I've wanted to write about the remarkable women I meet, know and work with. I know so many, and each inspires me.

These are women who show us what and how we can be in the world and how dreams are made true. They are the essence of beauty – they do and create things of beauty, they show us what it means to be ourselves and what we someday hope to be. So in tribute, I thought why not start with someone near and dear to my heart - who also happens to be one of the most influential and powerful women in the world.

Recently I worked with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a Today Show segment that chronicles her life story. It starts with a poor but bright little Puerto Rican girl who one day dreams of doing great things. The odds are stacked against her. She lives in the Bronx, being raised in the projects by her single working mother (who is obviously also a remarkable woman). She is Latina and, at the time, has few powerful female role models she can identify with and she has to compete with others who started life with privileges she never knew. But she is more than determined and perseveres, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class. She is accepted to Princeton University and then to Yale Law School. After law school she works first as an attorney, is eventually appointed by President George H. W. Bush as a U.S. Judge for the Southern District of New York and later to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President William Jefferson Clinton.

Then the day comes when she is chosen by President Barack Obama as one of the nine justices in the United States Supreme Court. She is the first Hispanic and only the 3rd female Justice. When I saw her on TV standing next to the president, I was so proud. And a little jealous that she was standing next to him and told her so. She said it was like being in a dream.

Today those projects she was raised in are named The Sonia Sotomayor Houses. She has been chosen as one ofTime Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and been featured in countless books, articles and magazines. Next week her personal memoir, My Beloved World, is being published. Reviewers have said that the book is surprisingly candid and personal. "Sotomayor tells her fascinating life story with the hope of providing 'comfort, perhaps even inspiration' to others, particularly children, who face hard times" writes The Boston Globe.

I believe that among the most important things in life are honesty, integrity and kindness. For many reasons, I can tell you that Sonia Sotomayor is these things. You can feel the strength of her character and she is kind and genuine (but don’t kid yourself, she is tough, too - she is, after all, a United States Supreme Court Justice).

Sonia Memoir
Sonia Memoir

Writing a book so personal takes courage and a certain level personal awareness rarely seen in a woman of her stature. How lucky are we that her life is one of obstacles overcome and the dream of making it all happen - and she wants to share it with us too?

Doing her makeup, I was trying to rush to get her out the door but she calmly told me we had time and went on ask me about my life, wanting to make sure I told Jeff to get more sleep and that I set up Lucy with a college fund. So in additional to everything else, she is, in fact, that kind of person.

For the  record, I used my trustedLorac Eye Shadow, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot Concealer, Laura Mercier Mascara and Clinique Blush. The Justice prefers to look natural so I kept it light but did encourage a bit more for camera. So get up and watch for her on NBC’s Today Show this Monday, January 14 at 7a.m. EST. And then tell me how fabulous she looks!

You can also see Justice Sotomayor interviewed on the following upcoming shows:

60 Minutes Sunday, January 13 on CBS at 7p.m. EST

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Monday, January 21 at 11p.m. EST

CNN with Soledad O’Brien The week of January 21 (check online for updates).

Oprah's Next Chapter in January or February (check online for updates).

Finally, if you’d like to meet her, she will be in the following cities for lectures and/or book signings over the next several months: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles and San Diego. If you need help finding where, let me know. And if you do see her, tell her I sent you (via this site)!

We visit the New York Historical Society Children's Museum each week. Sonia Sotomayor is featured in a section called "American Dreamers" - and here is Lucy, dreaming right alongside her.