Q: Rhia, what's in your make-up kit?
A: I frequently get asked what I use on myself on a day-to-day basis, and the answer is that it really varies. It’s great to be a make-up artist, and to have so many make-up products at your disposal all the time! It gives you the freedom to change up your routine from day-to-day and the excuse of purchasing more products and rationalizing it by saying “I’m just buying it to add to the kit!” (Yeah right. My boyfriend has heard that one-liner so much that he no longer rolls his eyes!)

I wanted to write a bit about the products that I use on a frequent basis (why I use them and what they’re good for), but I realized that there are many to mention! I decided the best way to go about it to provide that type of detail was to post in a series of installments rather than one excessively long post.

Welcome to the first installment of the “What’s in My Make-up Kit Series”. You’ll see that most of the products may be familiar as I use them in my client applications and I’ve likely referred to them in past posts or product reviews.

In this installment, you will find my own Make-up Kit Essentials for the Face in the order that I use them (…along with further evidential proof that it takes efforts equal to that of a whole village to take me from just-woke-up to ready-to-face-the-world in the morning!):

Part I | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Face

MAKE-UP REMOVER
Inglot Make-up Remover

I swear by this stuff and am running low on my supply! The formula is heavy duty enough that it penetrates and breaks down my waterproof liquid liner and mascara without struggle and excessive rubbing, but the formula is not overly greasy and leaves the skin with a smooth baby's bum feeling.
CLEANSER
Biore Ice Cleanser for Blemish Prone Skin and Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
I like to change up my cleansers from day to day. Otherwise, I feel like my skin gets too used to them and it has no effect. I usually go back and forth between the two bottles, alternating between day and night.
LOTION
Neutrogena Moisture for Combination Skin
I always follow cleansing with some moisturizing. I am a longtime devotee to Neutrogena Moisture. Neutrogena Moisture also has formulas for sensitive skin and another with an SPF so you can save time in the morning by having a moisturizer and sunscreen in one!
PRIMER
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
You'll see this product is highly celebrated throughout the make-up industry and is at the top of many "best of beauty" lists. I turned to this Smashbox primer after I ran out of the Inglot Primer that I had (can only get that in Montreal now!) The Smashbox primer was a bit more heavy and greasy than I was used to, but it did help my foundation to glide on smoothly and help it to last longer throughout the day. I recently purchased the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light that is a reinterpretation of the original but better-suited for more oily and sensitive skin types.
FOUNDATION
MAC Studio Fix in C4 + sponge

I have sworn by MAC ever since high school mainly because of the range of foundation colour selection (and the affordable price range). Studio Fix is a foundation and powder two-in-one that leaves your skin with an even matte finish. It's quick and easy - with a couple of swipes of the sponge, you're all done! Depending on the day and where I’m going, sometimes I like to use liquid foundation. I usually opt for MAC Face and Body in C4 whenever I'm going for more of a finished look.
CONCEALER
MAC Select Cover-up in Peach (limited availability)
MAC Full Coverage in NC 30, NC 35
MAC Concealer Brush 194
I layer the peach concealer first using the concealer brush to brighten the dark circles under my eyes (seriously dark even with bright flash like in this pic at the end of the wedding slideshow). MAC Full Coverage is actually equivalent to their Studio Finish concealer (paste-like consistency), and like the name implies, is very heavy duty. Since I need more coverage but don't want it to be cakey, I mix the two colours NC 30 and NC 35 with some of my moisturizer to get the perfect colour, but still the opaque consistency required to cover up my bags!


POWDER
MAC Mineralize SkinFinish in Medium Plus with MAC Large Powder Brush 150
I use the large powder brush to dust my face with powder and set my foundation to help it last longer throughout the day. I lightly pat Vichy Dermablend Loose Translucent Powder under the eyes using either a sponge of a clean small eyeshadow brush. I don't blend this in until later when my eyeshadow is done. See tip here.
BRONZER
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Dark or Deep Dark
Tarte Powder Bronzer
MAC Large Powder Brush 134
Bronzer helps bring my face to life! I would not leave the house without it. I use it with the large brush stroking along the sides of the face, just slightly below the cheekbone, and underneath the contours of the face for a trimmed, sun-kissed look!

BLUSH
NARS Orgasm
MAC Blush Brush 129
Another highly celebrated product throughout the world of beauty. It gives a great peachy pink instant glow to the cheeks that helps make you look healthy and awake. Just smile and blend away on the apples of the cheeks!

Check back to see all installments of the What’s in my Make-up kit Series for:
Part I | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Face
Part II | What’s in my Make-up Kit: Eyes
Part III | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Lips
Part IV | Auto-Pilot

What do you use? Feel free to comment and tell me what make-up products work (or don’t work) for you!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist www.artistrhi.com | 9:05 PM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

In keeping with the theme of Hallowe'en...
Q: Will orange lipstick look good on me?

A: Generally, a true orange colour is not a flattering lip shade – on anyone. Orange can make the teeth look more yellow, make the skin look more sallow and make you look older. It all depends on the look you’re going for. As much as I abide by the mantra "make-up should be fun", I would never want make-up to draw attention to someone in a negative kind of way...which is why I cannot fully stand behind the idea of orange lips!

I will admit that true orange can work for some women who are either fair, olive or caramel skin toned (see pics at right from Temperley London Summer 2008 Collection), but keep in mind you also need the attitude to rock the pout properly. I still think it best that true orange lips are reserved for the runway or a night out. For the real-way and everyday, I would try a burnt orange colour (that has a hint of brown to it) or a softer peach or coral tone. These shades are still within the orange family, but you can wear them without looking sour!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist www.artistrhi.com | 9:04 PM | , , , , , | 0 comments »
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