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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


Photography, Chris Eckert

Model, Melinda Lennox

Hair, Kristan Serafino

Makeup, Robyn Tamura

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

Behind the Scenes: The Journey of Hope Fashion Show

Established in 1973,  Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center is recognized as one of the world leaders in clinical and laboratory research, education, community outreach, and the prevention and control of cancer. The Journey of Hope Fashion Show was part of the One Night One Show One Cause event hosted by PRS Guitars and headlined by Journey - all in support of the cancer center. The show was led by Pamela DePalma of DePalma Enterprises and her celebrity fashion team of stylist Chamisa Lamm, hairstylist Kristan Serafino and makeup artist Robyn Tamura (a.k.a. me). We created the event's runway looks to reflect the spirit and rock band style of Journey.

STYLING Years of working at MTV and music-driven fashion shows made Chamisa Lamm the perfect stylist for this event. Using clothing from Andy Hilfiger of Andrew Charles, and an assortment of designers from Boutique 1017, Chamisa wanted to create a show to “energize, inspire and entertain.”

Her philosophy is that “killer shoes, killer walks and stand-out accessories” are necessary for any fashion show - Sugar Scout jewelry vamped up her looks. Nicholas K footwear and Luichiny gave the models extra attitude. Journey loved Chamisa’s styling so much they requested the clothes!

CHAMISA'S TIP: Have lots of accessories! When an outfit's too plain or needs a little extra something, having a collection of accessories to choose from allows you to be able to finish off any look.


The look I created focused on eyes and lips. Because the clothing made such a statement, the makeup needed edge to match but still simple and not overdone. Having two talented students from the The Temple Paul Mitchell School, Robin McDonough and Ashley Creighton to assist were essential to make it all happen. A big thank you to Robin and Ashley!

Cat-Eye Drama 

  • LORAC Eye Shadow in Taupe blended in the crease contours eyelid.
  • LORAC Pro Liquid Eyeliner in Black on bottom and top lash lines extended past brow adds drama to eye shape.
  • White shimmer on inner corner and tops of cheekbones gives a glowy contrast.
  • Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara gives, as its name implies, a faux lash look. With 12 models to do in very little time, false lashes were out and Faux Lash Mascara was in!

Rich, Deep Lips A deep plum lip liner to line blended with a rich, wine-colored, creamy lipstick.

MY TIP: LORAC's liquid liner is cream-based so it's easier to apply than a traditional liquid liner. But if cream or liquid liners are too difficult for you you can still use a sharpened eye pencil for this look.


Kristan Serafino's elegant Twisted Top Knot completed the high fashion styling. Here's how to recreate it:

  • First smooth hair with Kiss Silicone Protection Flat Iron.
  • Then brush hair into a high ponytail with a hair band. Use the crown of the head as a reference for ponytail base.
  • Twist loose hair from ponytail until hair coils and secure it with bobbi pins.
  • Apply Elnet hair spray to control fly-aways to finish the look.

KRISTAN'S TIP: Criss-cross two bobbi pins into an "X" to secure Top Knot from moving. Once hair is secured use hair-pins to hide bobbi pins.

With the hard work done and the fashion show a success, we sat down to a concert with Journey. Before it began, the group asked who in the audience had been affected by or knew someone affected by cancer. Every person raised their hand. It made me tear up and feel even more honored that we were able to come together for an event dedicated to make a difference.

Robyn, Kristan & Paul Mitchell National Educator Dana Ratliff Howson in action.

Michaele Salahi of the Real Housewives of D.C. - Guitarist Neal Schon proposed to her on stage that night.  


Aloha: Here Comes the Sun

Aloha from Hawaii. (Before you get jealous, it’s not for fun. But I am trying to make the best of it.) Yesterday I decided to exercise. People unfamiliar with Hawaii imagine it's all pineapples and mangos, surfers and hula dancers. Since my family and friends are local, it's less fun in the sun and more like one long meal (which is also fun - I'm just clarifying the experience). Food is an important part of being gracious and welcoming, and Hawaii is extremely welcoming. It's tempura and chicken katsu (Japanese fried food), malasadas (fried Portuguese donuts) and things like cracked seed (one of the saltiest snacks ever).

The Aloha State is also one of the few places anywhere that you can comfortably admit you like SPAM. So since healthy eating isn't working out I decided to go on a jog around the neighborhood. But why am I running on concrete when surrounded by the ocean, the mountains, the beach? Hiking a mountain, that was the answer. (See hiking trail below).

Before I got very far, my legs were burning. There was a rope going up the first part so you can pull yourself up if necessary. When there's a rope to pull yourself up on anywhere up a hill, I probably shouldn't be there. But there were little kids behind me running and shouting and bouncing about. How hard could it be? I felt old with my knees cracking and a fear of twisting an ankle and falling on my face. My friend told me to hike up and then turn back down the mountain. But once I got to the top I thought it was too steep to go back so decided to keep moving forward. Surely it can’t be as bad on the other side, I thought. Not sure why I thought that.

Because when I made my way back down the other side, there was only a trail up another mountain. Of course I thought there must be a way out. No. Now I was plodding up another mountain, thinking that if I slipped and fell no one would find me for a long time. Apparently everyone else knew not to do the second mountain because I did not see another soul the entire time. Going down, I was running from branch to branch, skidding my way down loose pebbles. My 30 minute hike turned into a 2 hours. However, once I figured out where I was, I was soon happily cooling my feet through the white powdery sand of Lanikai beach. But I started to think more about how I could have better prepared (starting with knowing where I was going.) Next would be taking care of myself when the heat of the sun is beating down on me...which leads me to my favorite topic, sun protection! So in case you're thinking of taking an unknown hike in Hawaii (or anywhere else, for that matter), make sure that you are adequately prepared:

Protective Clothing. I wore a Lululemon long-sleeved top because I was determined to stay protected though I was roasting. Lululemon has fabrics with what they call UVF - Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50+ that helps block UVA and UVB rays. This store is pricier than what I usually spend on workout clothes (i.e., Target) but the styles are so clever and flattering that sometimes I give in. Also, a new store just opened in my building.

A Hat. Me, who constantly preaches about the importance of sun protection - I forgot my hat. The sun was beating down on me and I felt like it was creating unfortunate future spots and lines on my face. Which it may  have been. So don't forget.

Sunscreen. For the first time I used Kiss My Face Sunscreen. People have been asking me about natural and green products - this sunscreen uses natural ingredients in a creamy but non-greasy texture. And I got absolutely no tan.

Water. At the last minute I thought to bring water.  And was I ever glad I did. Had I planned better I would have used a Lululemon Amphipod Hydration Belt so I could carry water hands-free. Yes, it looks a little like a fanny pack. But when you're rationing water and thirsty, who cares?

Your Phone. At some point I was expecting someone to call, concerned about my safety and worried about where I was. When I got home I asked, "What were you guys doing while I was gone?" "Talking story," they said (this is the Hawaiian way of describing sitting around having a good conversation). Well! At least I had my phone in case I had fallen on my face and rolled down the hill.

Well Traveled Beauty

I’m on a plane. I got up too early to get myself properly ready for the trip so I look a little haggard. (I always hear older people talk about the days when everyone dressed up for travel. I’m sure it made the occasion special but I’d never make it to the airport in time.) And I don’t travel as much as I used to so I don’t have the system down anymore.

But! I just discovered a store called Muju On the Go in JFK airport and am so excited about it. If you read my post on hoarding/reorganization you’ll remember I’m semi-obsessed with The Container Store. I haven’t spent enough time in Muji to see if it can match the love I have for The Container Store but definitely it has potential.

Their website says “MUJI is not a brand whose value rests in the frills and “extras” it adds to its products. 
MUJI is simplicity – but a simplicity achieved through a complexity of thought and design.” This is very Japanese concept and it's a Japanese store. Since I'm Japanese maybe there is a genetic component to my obsession simple, compact and clever things. I am kidding. Kind of.

Since I am currently traveling, now's the time to supply travel tips!


Check-in Bags

Beauty Products. For products you use everyday, get some of those little plastic bottles you can put your creams and lotions in so you don’t have to carry full sized products, especially if you want to carry them on the plane. Muji has some stacking containers that I like because you can keep all the products containers together.

Make sure you get a little spatula and/or a cone to help you get stuff in or you’ll find yourself pouring product on the sink or getting goo all over yourself (not to mention wasting the product).

Pack products in a plastic baggie, unless you want it to possibly explode all over your things. The cabin pressure expands air in the product, which can cause it to burst in your suitcase or later when you open it after landing. Have many times have I had lotion come out of a tube all over because of this? Many. So no matter what, be careful when you open it anything comes in packaging that has air in it (i.e., a lotion tube).

Carry Ons

Hand Sanitizer. I know some don’t believe in hand sanitizer, but I’m still going to say bring hand sanitizer to the airport. I forgot mine and am washing my hands like someone with OCD. There’s something about a plane or a bathroom airport that seems especially germy too me. It’s probably isn't germy-ier but that’s how it seems. "Please clean the wash basin after using it…" I actually do clean the basin to be considerate but doing that after washing hands is kind of gross.

Your Makeup Essential. For me personally, if I put nothing else on it’s lipstick. So it’s a lipstick and a powder compact to use the mirror for application.

Don’t forget about those TSA people yelling at you about the size of any bringing any liquid, cream or lotion on the plane. Always check what the standard is because I always thought it was 4 oz. or less but today I heard someone yelling t was 3.5 oz. (I think at most airports the the TSA people aren’t yelling…but at JFK, they definitely are).

They also prefer that your things be stored in a clear pouch. I also like clear pouches because it’s much easier to location things in general.

Hand lotion. Skin gets so dry on the plane. I just got a little tube of Burt’s Bees Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion but I’ve been using it on my hands and my skin feels immediately comfortable. Burt’s Bees probably has a hand lotion but since I can’t vouch for it I am recommending this one because I know it works.

Mints. I always carry mints in case my mouth feels parched too. Also isn’t that just considerate in case you wake up with not especially minty fresh breath? I’ve been carrying around a mini Altoids tin for years.

Water. You may or may not know that I always recommend water and staying hydrated as a beauty tip. I used to bring giant bottles of water with me on the plane. Now because they don’t allow water through security, I just bring an empty water bottle and find a water fountain. Because unless you want to spend $5.00 a bottle on water, bring the empty bottle.

I think that’s it for now.

Safe Travels!


Skin Care Tips via 2-Year-Old Lucy

You know how a kid can make you see something in a different way? Or make you realize what you say and do and whether it matters or not?

When Lucy first learned to walk, she’d toddle into the bathroom and curiously watch me apply makeup each morning. When she learned to talk, she started saying, “My turn!” As her vocabulary expanded, “My turn!” became more specific:



“I Want That!” (“I Want That!” is a big one.)

So every morning when I apply moisturizer, Lucy gets some too. Not because a 2-year old needs a Clinique moisturizer. It’s partly to manage the situation and partly because she always resists my attempts to put sunscreen on her face. By applying a moisturizer with an SPF I can ensure she always has some protection to start the day. And now when we’re out, I say “Lotion!” so she will sit still long enough for me to properly apply sunscreen.

The Skin Care Tips

1. Avoid applying a face moisturizer to the eye area (or in her case, in the eyes). Use an eye cream because it’s made for the fragile skin around eyes and addresses other needs you may have, such as puffiness or dark circles.

2. Since hands need to be washed often, use a moisturizing hand soap. I love Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Soap. The writing on the bottle sounds a little crazy, but the product is really good. When a child uses it to wash, make sure hands are well rinsed because the peppermint can sting eyes that get rubbed with peppermint!  And keep a moisturizing hand sanitizer, such as Eve Echo’s, in your purse for when soap and water is not available and you’re out and about.

3. Don’t use a body or hand cream on your face. Lucy once saw me putting lotion on my legs. She asked for some and then proceeded to rub it on her face. How would she know? It all looks the same to her. But if you have any kind of skin concern – especially things such as breakout – moisturizer not made for the face can clog pores. Don't put it on your face, but I love The Body Shop's Mango Butter for the body.

4. Use a sunscreen every day. "It only takes one severe sunburn to potentially double your child's chances of getting melanoma later in life," says Andrea Cambio, MD, FAAD, a board-certified pediatric dermatologist.” Please read this detailed Wed MD article on the importance of sunscreen for children.

A big thank you to Lucy, for making me think more about the importance of proper skin care!

Going to the Beach Essentials

I recently visited Carmel By-the-Sea, so as you might expect, I went to the sea. The beach is soft white sand surrounded by cypress trees and a sky so blue it’s like a painting. But, in case you didn’t know – as I didn’t – a Carmel summer is colder than a Carmel winter.

As I always say, it’s much easier to remember sun protection when you’re hot and the sun’s beating down on you. So not only did I keep intending to put on sunscreen (but not doing it), I also didn’t think about how water reflects the sun, increasing your chances of being getting sun damage. (As a city girl, I forgot even the obvious, such as how sand sticks in your hair, between your toes, in your shoes, everywhere.) Eventually I did come to my senses and began using my oft-mentioned Neutrogena sunscreen. Then it occurred to me that they must make a gentler baby formula I should get for Lucy. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces is so ultra-gentle that not only did I use it on Lucy but on my own face every day at the beach.

So if you’re like me and don’t go to the beach often, here’s a checklist to get you started:

Beach Essentials

  • Sunscreen, of course – Remember to reapply if you go in the water.
  • A Sun Hat and UV Protective clothing - In the picture above, Lucy is in her cousin's UV clothes...and although everyone walking by told me what a "cute little boy" I have, she was protected!
  • UV protection sunglasses
  • Lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Several towels, even if you don’t go in the water. For example, I had a wet dog come by and shake all his sandy wet fur on me (twice).
  • Rubber flip-flops, so sand is easy to rinse off. If you must remain chic at the beach, DVF and Tory Burch both make rubber flip-flops. Or just get those inexpensive ones from the drugstores they have anywhere there is a beach. One day I wore my leather slip-ons because I thought I’d just slip them off when I got to the beach. Now I’m wondering if I will ever get sand out of them.

If you’re a beach-goer you might be laughing at my naiveté, but this city dweller would have liked to have this list so maybe there’s another one like me who will too.

Makeup Spring Cleaning for Hoarders

I have a bit of hoarder in me. Not like in the show Hoarders but enough that it’s noticeably difficult for me to throw things out. Usually I have a decent excuse – for example, with clothes it’s always - maybe I’ll need that someday, maybe I’ll fit into that again, maybe I’ll give it to someone someday. But there's always that blurry line between keeping something because you want to and keeping it because you just can’t let it go.

Here’s a story. I gave a friend an eye shadow quad in the early 90s. And because I’ve been in the industry for so long I’ve given her makeup of all kinds over the years. Maybe about 5 years ago I was in her bathroom and saw this almost empty eye shadow tray with tiny bits of cracked eye shadow in it. The tray itself was old and scratched and then I recognized it – it was the one from the 90s! I am not even kidding you. And when I told her she needed to throw it away, she looked alarmed, telling me that she can still get shadow out with a brush and it works just fine! So if you’re like me, or my friend, take it slow. There are still things you can do to spring clean, such as reorganizing so everything looks clean and new. 

I love The Container Store. Sometimes I go in just to find something to buy. Everyone there is really nice, the stores are neat and bright and they have clean customer-available bathrooms (this is big in NYC). In addition to all that, the merchandise is fantastic. Who can’t use another airtight container? What about a plastic scraper to scrape scraps off plates and save water too? Or even a clothes hamper with wheels so you never have to pick it up? It’s like watching an infomercial at 2 a.m. and seeing something that looks amazing – only it doesn’t come in the mail and it never disappoints.

Not long ago I was walking around with a friend when we saw The Container Store. I told her I'm obsessed with it and it turns out she is obsessed too. So we ran in, looking for something to buy (this is when I bought the clothes hamper…and I got it because some guy saw me looking at it and said that he had two – one for recycling and one for clothes - and that I really should buy one, so I did).

Meanwhile, my friend was walking the aisles and found a cosmetics/makeup organizer. She was so excited because she had already been thinking about organizing her bathroom counter. As soon as she got home she put everything in it and immediately sent me a picture. That’s the beauty of The Container Store. You are excited when you buy something because you anticipate going home and using it; then when you get home you’re excited again because you get the satisfaction of knowing you made a good purchase and seeing the reason you bought it. The only drawback is that because I’ve got everything stacked in storage bins I often forget I have it or I can’t find it. But you don’t have to go overboard like me.

If you do find that spring cleaning is just a matter of doing it, try these “throw it out” makeup tips:

  1. Get a new trash binto throw stuff out in. And why not a cute one? If you have hoarder tendencies, get one with a lid so you don't look back.
  2. Go through your bathroom cabinet or wherever you store your cosmetics and look for:
  • Mascaras older than 3 months because bacteria grows more quickly in mascara than in other products. I go a little longer but this is what is recommended. I also go longer on the expiration date for yogurt and cottage cheese so you may not want to do as I do, especially with this one (they call me iron stomach, by the way).
  • Cracked, old eye shadows and blushes. You kind of know when you need to throw these out. So just do it. It also gives you an excuse to go shopping and find new ones.
  • Old wood pencil and/or swivel eye pencils that start sliding out of their tube.
  • Anything that smells funny.

I recently spoke to someone in product development for one of the top cosmetics companies and he told me that even if a foundation separates it’s OK as long as it doesn’t smell rancid. Just shake it back up.

Most companies recommend replacing makeup (that is not mascara) after 2 years. Again, I tend to go longer - my thought is that companies have to be overly careful because they are responsible and liable for their products. So you should be very safe within 2 years (unless it is indicated to throw out sooner). Always check. And, like chicken in your fridge, if you think it’s questionable, throw it out. It is your face, after all.

Once you do all this, sit back and enjoy the organized fruits of your labor. And, have a happy spring!





4 Tips for Hot, Melt-y Makeup Days

Since it is roasting hot in NYC and I feel like I’m frying on the sidewalk, I started thinking more about what to do when it’s so hot.

1. Use Sun Protection. ALWAYS. Unlike a hazy day that makes it easy to forget, the sun beating down on you should help you remember. Sun protection goes way beyond beauty – but if it’s beauty that motivates you, remind yourself once more that 90% of aging comes from environmental/sun damage. I’ll keep writing about this until you are sick of it. My favorite, favorite is still Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. It’s waterproof, lightweight and really keeps you protected. Lucy's wearing it in the picture above.

2. Fake Your Tan. If you want to tan, do a sunless tanner. If you’ve never used one, I know the fear is turning orange; but these days, brands have considered this and you’ll not turn orange. Just don’t forget to wash your hands after applying to avoid fake tan palms.

3. Waterproof Your Makeup. You don’t have to be swimming to wear waterproof makeup because if it’s too hot out you’ll probably be sweating so you are kind of swimming. Try waterproof mascara, waterproof eyeliner and an oil-free, long wearing foundation. I love Chanel-StyloYeux Waterproof Eyeliner.

4. Drink More water. This is another thing I always go on about. If you find yourself thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Eight 8 oz. glasses a day is recommended, more if you’re in hot weather. And don’t forget that caffeine dehydrates (and makes you forget you haven’t had any water). So don’t count one of those diet cokes or iced coffees as one of those glasses. Cheers.

Looking Like an Idol

So it’s down to the finale. Maybe by the time you read this it will be over but it’s not about the winner, is it? It’s about who’s in it. I watched American Idol last night (of course) and because there were only two women featured, I think I can do this (as opposed to my last American Idol post when there were too many people to keep track of). Jennifer Lopez

I am pretty sure Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist was off for the night. This was not the same makeup artist. I don’t like to be hypercritical of other artists’ work because I know how hard it can be, how much lightning can affect makeup, how the person wearing it affects the makeup, how brutal HD can be, and so on. And when you’re famous, everyone is too often looking at you and criticizing you, which is awful. Plus I love Jennifer Lopez. But since her makeup is usually flawless I have to say that it just didn't meet its usual high standard.

JLo almost always wears concealer under and around her eye area that brightens and draws attention to her eyes. This time it was too much - either too light or too thick and you could see the line between where her concealer started and stopped. It looked like she had a two-toned mask on, her nose looked uneven and she was shiny. Of course she is still gorgeous, but I’m talking about the makeup and what we can learn from it.


Unless you’re going for a specific look that requires it, don’t let makeup lines show on your face. That always says that you’re wearing makeup, not just looking glow-y and smooth. Make sure that everything is blended, blended, blended.


If you are on camera – particularly if you have a tan or darker skin tone - wear powder. Even if your skin is not oily, the flash or bright lighting can make your skin look shiny.

Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez looked good, especially during the first song. Everything was just right – the dress was glamorous without looking too sexy for her age, the hair and makeup was soft and matched the dress. Throughout the season, Jessica’s makeup sometimes looked a little drag queeny. Part of it is that she already has naturally strong brows so when you add makeup it can quickly look like too much. But last night her eye shadow was soft with a touch of shimmer, she had lots of lashes, soft cheeks and lips with a little glossy light color. And the lips weren’t too defined so it looked good without being distracting.

However, by the 3rd song Jessica had too much blush on. This is what I’m talking about – let me be clear that she does not/did not look like a drag queen - but you venture into drag queen territory when you wear too much makeup all over.


Wear too much too much on all features. If you want to wear more makeup, concentrate on one feature, i.e., smoky eyes with lighter lips, dark lips with more nude eyes. This ensures you look sexy and glam without it being too much.


Try out a pinky nude lip! For the first song she wore a pinky brown lipstick with a beige/nude gloss on top. Not everyone can wear a completely matte-nude shade like you see on models in a magazine – but most people look good with the shade Jessica wore.

Here’s how:

  1. Find a pink-brown or pink lip pencil to line and fill in lips for a matte base (the color will stay on longer with a matte base).
  2. Follow with a pinkish brown or brownish pink lipstick.
  3. Apply a nude lip gloss on the inner part of lips (as opposed all on lips to the lip line) because the gloss will move out to the edges as you wear it.

And on a final note - of course, I do love my Phillip Philips, who always looks the same, which is boyishly gorgeous. He is kind of good-looking but if you really look at him it’s more of his expression, his eyes and that smile that make him good-looking. Which, after all, is the essence of beauty. After his first song I really thought he would lose. But when he pulled out that last song, I think he won. Only time will tell. And let’s see if JLo’s makeup artist is on the job tonight.

Top 6 Things to Do About Your Dry, Chapped Lips

6. Avoid Super Long Wear. If you wear lipstick, don’t use one of those longwearing lipsticks that has a lip stain on one end and a moisturizer on the other. At least, I’ve not found one that works. Even with the moisturizing stick, lips still feel dry shortly thereafter so you have to keep using the moisturizer on top of the stain all day long. And I don’t even think the color ends up being super long wearing anyway. Or else I’d be wearing them. 5. Find a Moisturizing Lipstick. I personally hate reapplying lipstick so I wear the driest, most matte lipsticks that don’t ever come off. This causes people to constantly comment on what a great color I have on but that my lips look really dry. Which, again, if I have to trade one thing for another I’m not going to wear a lipstick I have to reapply over and over. The alternative for me is not wearing lipstick. But you, like most people, probably don’t have this hang-up. So find something really creamy and soft like Lancome’s L'Absolu Rouge.

4. Moisturize Nightly. Since I wear dry lipstick during the day, I moisturize at night. I like to use either Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter or Nivea Lip Care Essential. For some reason I discovered Nivea years ago in Dubai. It was in my hotel room or something and I had not had it before so I bought a whole bunch while I was there, only to realize we have it here. But since then I have loved many Nivea moisturizing products.

3. Exfoliate Lips. Use a gentle face scrub on your lips from time to time. I like Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream because it has a cream base and small, perfectly round beads that are gentle and buff off dryness. Do not use a chemical/cream exfoliant on your lips unless a company says it’s OK - if it’s not specifically made for lips it can be irritating (or worse).

2. Use a Lip Balm with a Lip Pencil. If you can’t find a moisturizing lipstick that does it for you, use a moisturizing lip balm with a lip liner. First apply lip balm; then line and fill in lips so you can wear it all as your lip color. Apply the balm first or else the lip pencil will probably drag and pull on your dry lip skin.

1. Drink Lots of Water. Cure that dryness from the inside out. Eight 8oz. glasses daily are the recommended but I find that I do best with 12 (glasses a day). This makes my brother to warn me about hyponatremia (water intoxication that can be fatal) but I rarely achieve 12 glasses anyway. I know if I did my lips would be soft and supple every day – without ever having to use any lip balm.


Linea Pelle Designer Andrew Cotton and My New Favorite Bag

I met the ever-talented Linea Pelle designer Andrew Cotton on a shoot for Real Beauty. He was demonstrating his designs and I was being sold. Well, I was working - making sure he was camera-ready - but as I watched, I started realizing how much I wanted a new belt, a new bag, a new everything he was showing. So later I went to Linea Pelle’s showroom to see Andrew and try to find a bag for myself. This was bigger-than-it-should-be undertaking – partly because there were so many to choose from and partly because I’m so picky when it comes to bags. Having had so many over the years, I’ve wasted a decent amount I’ve ended up using once, only to go back to the old comfortable stand-bys. Andrew is more than just a designer. He’s a personality and a person equally talented with people. You know this when you meet him, but it was clearly demonstrated by the time and impressive amount of energy he used to patiently get me through my bag neuroses. Though it was a Friday and he was tired from traveling overseas, he thoughtfully listened to my list of criteria to find exactly what I needed.

Here’s what Andrew had to work with - For me, the perfect bag:

Must be both lightweight and substantial. It has to be substantial enough to not look like the handle’s going to break when I put all my heavy stuff in it. But it has to be lightweight enough that when I put all that stuff in it I’m not wishing I was carrying a lighter bag. Why carry a bag that’s going to strain your back and be heavier than all the stuff you put in it? No matter how cute it is, no matter what kind of shopper’s high I get when I buy it, I know I’ll end up carrying any old ragtag lightweight bag instead. And now that I’m always pushing a stroller I hang my bag on the handle – if the bag’s too heavy it tips the stroller backward. Nobody should be worrying about a baby tipping over in a stroller.

Has a strap that sits comfortably on the shoulder so my hands are free. I can’t stand it if I’m trying to do something but can only use one hand because the bag’s in the way. I don’t mind holding in the crook of my arm if it’s not too heavy, but prefer it be on my shoulder, completely out of the way. I also can’t stand when the handle is so roll-y it won’t stay on my shoulder and I keep having to pull it back up. A flatter strap is best for me. And sometimes two straps are better than one.

Is made of soft leather that wears well with age. Whenever possible, I like things to get better as they age or I feel like I’m throwing money away. Living in NYC I see women who carry new bags each season, but I’m too practical/poor/cheap to buy a really nice bag every season. Plus, if the leather looks better with age, then every season the bag is improving! More importantly, the bag is never bulkier than it needs to be because the supple leather just wraps itself around its contents. I love this.

So what that all adds up to is:It’s a called a Jesse Speedy Small and it’s perfect. Not only does it meet every bit of my picky criteria, it also has this little detachable pouch that clips to the inside for things that need to be easily accessible (such as your keys) and you’re not hunting all over the bottom of the bag looking for them. And there are two zippers - each with a sassy fringe - on each side so you don't have to open the entire bag to slip your hand in to get something. I usually like pretty simple bags, but this bag has just enough touches to give it more style - the zippers, the braiding on the straps,  the folds on each side at the bottom.

There’s also a larger Jesse Speedy bag and it can easily carry a laptop and anything else you might need for work, so I was getting stressed worrying about which one to pick (I do realize there are more important things to be stressed about but at the time it was definitely something to stress over). I was even bothering people there - who were working - for their opinions. One said she'd go bigger because she carries a lot of things; another said he preferred the small because he just liked the way it looked. We went back and forth because we all agreed we liked both.

After much deliberation, Andrew decided that the Jesse Speedy Small made me look espeically chic and said something to the effect of “well…you want to stay don’t want to fall into that ‘mommy thing'”. Which made me laugh because I already have (fallen into that mommy thing). But he had a point. Even if I'm too tired to care about how I look, no matter what size or shape I am, what clothes I can’t fit into, or what makeup I'm not wearing, my Jesse Speedy is still there for me, making me look chic.

My Jesse Speedy Bag and Me

Photo by Andrew Cotton.

Making Makeup Last

Have you ever come home, looked in the mirror, and wondered where the makeup went? Or maybe you just can't be bothered to reapply throughout the day. If so, and you want to change it, here are tips to make your makeup last longer. Skin. For foundation, find one that's right for your skin type and also indicates longer wear. If you use a foundation that's not for your skin type you will not get the right results - if your skin is oily and you use a foundation for dry skin, it will look shiny and definitely slip off your skin;  likewise, if your skin is dry and you use an oily skin foundation it will make your skin look and feel even drier. Use a brush to lightly dust powder and set foundation.

Cheeks. Find a good, long-wearing blush tint or cream blush. For even longer wear, pat a matching powder blush on top. I like Becca's Beach Tint for several reasons. You can use it on cheeks and lips (I am always looking for all-in-one products because I won't spend a lot of time on my own makeup). It's a small, portable tube so you can throw it in your bag too. And I just like Becca's packaging. When I looked it up, I found out that this product is also one of Allure magazine's Editor's Picks. So me and the editors recommend it. The only thing about this product is that after awhile you have to massage the tube before squeezing because the product can separate. But it still always looks good.

Eyes. Try a cream eye shadow. For more intense color, add powder eyeshadow on top. Use an eyeliner that doesn't move. For over 20 years I have loved Clinique's Water-Resistant Eyeliner. I was devastated (OK that's  exaggerated, but I was a little unhappy) when it was discontinued. And I wasn't the only one because eventually Clinique brought it back. It's not waterproof but as long as it's dry it never comes off until you take it off. For lashes, look for a waterproof formula or water-resistant mascara. My fellow makeup artist friend swears by Trish McEvoy's Lash Curling Mascara. I haven't tried it myself but I know the type of formula it is - it will only come off by intentionally using warm water (meaning, a splash of water or tears that come when you watch Beaches will not remove the mascara or make it run).

Lips. Line and fill in with lip liner first; then apply lipstick. For longest wear, use a matte lipstick over the lip liner…although if you have dry lips it may make your lips drier so you'll need to moisturize lips well at night.

I hope these help! Here's to your long wearing makeup days.