Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Giveaway!!

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for keeping up with me, my work and my blog.  Your support, requests and emails is what keeps me going.  To thank all of you, I'll be doing a little give away.  The winner will win a Shu Uemura - Rouge Unlimited Creme Matte Lipstick in RD 178M (Rich Burgundy).  It's the perfect color for the holidays and/or a wonderful addition to your kit.

The Fall Giveaway ends Friday, September 30th.  Just click on the Facebook Badge to your right, "Like" my Facebook page and write on my wall "I love Shu Uemura".  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on my Facebook page.

Good Luck!!

This Giveaway is officially closed!  Thank you all who participated!
Congratulations Kana L. Brown for winning the Fall Giveaway!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Skinny on Portfolios

With everything being digital these days most of us either don't have a book or hasn't updated it in a long time.  I have to say that at this point in my career I hardly show my book nor does it get requested.  Plus, I always get away with just sending people to my website.  But one thing is for sure, I always keep my book updated.  Yes, I admit that sometimes I go on a bit too long w/o putting new things in there but for the most part, if I ever have to meet with a last minute client that wants to see a physical book, I know that my portfolio isn't super backed up.

I also understand that when first getting a book, you don't really know where to start building.  It can be a stressful and daunting task.  You're not sure if your pictures are good enough or if you even have enough images to put into the book.  Heck, sometimes you don't even know what kind of book to get!  All these questions burning in your brain and you have no idea of the answers.

Hopefully the following can serve as some guidance:


  • Standard industry size is 11 x 14.  Sometimes when starting out 9 x 12 is acceptable but here's how I see it...why buy a 9 x 12 if you're going to eventually upgrade to an 11 x 14?  Save yourself some money and just go with the 11 x 14.
  • Books should be black.  I've seen them in different colors but personally I like dark colors.  I feel it looks more professional.
  • Always go with either Leather or Waxskin.  Most of the time you can't even tell the difference...but your pocket sure will!  Leather can run you about $250.  Waxskin, $150.  Mine is waxskin.
  • Pages should never be scratched or fingerprinted.  Always make sure your pages are crisp and clean.  That means no dents or bends on the pages.  Replace any pages that don't look neat ASAP.  The same goes for the page insert (which should be black).
  • Get a book that you can take apart so you can add/subtract any pages from it.  It also makes it easy when putting new work into your book.  
  • Your book should ALWAYS have your name imprinted / embossed on the front cover.  Keep the font readable and don't go with crazy cursive fonts.  


  • Most books come with a standard of 20 pages (holds 40 images).  Does this mean that you have to have 40 images in your book for it to be complete?  Absolutely NOT!  Remember it's about Quality, not quantity.  Always make sure that everything in the image is top notch.  Everything (makeup, hair, photography, model, styling and retouching) has to be in tip top shape.  If even ONE thing is off, it will ruin the image as a whole.  If you only have 10 amazing images, simply just take out the pages you're currently not using and store them in a place where you know they wont be ruined and bent out of shape.
  • Some books also come with an inner pocket on the back flap.  I always suggest to get a book that comes with it.  Why?  Because it's a great place to store your resumes, comp cards, reference list and some extra pictures (in the case that 40 isn't enough).  By extra pictures I mean a few, 3 - 6 images.  Don't stuff that flap with a million pictures.  It makes the book look cluttered and unprofessional.
  • Put a sticker / label with your information on it (name, profession, phone number, website and email address).  Get one done at staples / kinkos or buy a label maker and stick that sucker on the inside front flap of your book--preferably at the bottom.
  • Tear Sheets!  If you have any tear sheets they should always be neat and placed right in the middle of the page.  Just because they're called tear sheets doesn't mean that you tear them out and slap them in your book.  Gently take them out of the magazine and carefully cut the edges to perfection.  You can do this with a paper cutter or a ruler and an x-acto knife.  Put a tiny piece of folded up tape behind the tear sheet (one on top and one on bottom) so it sticks to the page insert and wont move around all over the place.

    *Note:  Buy more than one copy of the magazine you were published in.  Some agencies are known for losing your book and if that's the only copy you had, then you're in some deep doodoo.  OR, go to a copy place and make copies of the original and put the copies (in full awesome color) in your book.


Your book should always be set up to meet the requirements of the client.  Every client is different so if you're going in for a skin care job, don't take any of the high fashion stuff and creative--yellow lipstick--beauty story with you.  Take it out and keep only the clean work in your book.

And not just any bag.  Buy a portfolio carry bag.  Don't carry your portfolio in a plastic bag, your backpack or purse.  Not only does it look good in there but it keeps your portfolio from getting dirty and dusty.  The carry bag should have your information on it (name and address) so in the case that you send your book to an agent, they know who to send it back to.

So how much is this going to cost me?  Well, depending on the book type, how many letters in your name, the printing of pictures, the carry bag...I'd say anywhere from $250 - $350.  But it's worth every penny.  Your portfolio is your resume and without a resume, you can't book jobs.

Good Luck!

Colored Mascaras and Liners...Oh My!

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Who said Mascara and eyeliner had to be only Black and Brown?  I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that black and brown get really boring, REALLY fast!  With so many companies (both cheap and expensive) out there making colored mascara and eyeliners, you have no excuse to not get these and fill the world, and your eyes, with a bit of color.  Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Benefit - Bad Gal Mascara in Blue $13 - $19
The over sized brush does all the work and makes your lashes super long.  The blue color makes your eyes whiter and brighter.  

2. Sue Devitt - Luxura Lash Mascara in Black Lavender $22
This awesome purple mascara not only makes your lashes look sexy but it has all these amazing things like Hydrolyzed Keratin for a longer, fuller, shiny look and soothing Orchid Extract for ultimate hydration.

3. YSL - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils $30
Although a hefty price to pay for a mascara, I have to say that this mascara is like the Rolls Royce of colored mascaras.  Not only are the colors rich but it comes in EIGHT different shades (5 of them being actual colors).  But what makes this particular mascara worth it is the Triple-Film Complex.  1 film coating for intensity, 1 conditioning film for curve and 1 fixing film for long lasting effect.

4. Make Up For Ever - Smoky Lash $22
What can I say?  It's Make Up For Ever!!  You can't ever go wrong with them.  The pigmentation in their products never disappoints.  This mascara lengthens, volumizes and curls the lashes all in one swipe!  Oh and did I mention that it comes in GREEN!? 

5. Prestige Cosmetics - Liquid Eyeliner $8 - $10
I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of most drugstore cosmetics but this particular brand I was in awe with.  Although not waterproof, I have to say that it gets the job done, the little fiber tipped applicator provides great control and it comes in a wonderful array of colors.

6. Make Up For Ever - Aqua Eyes $18
This ultra pigmented eyeliner is waterproof on both the lash line and the water line, wont run or fade.  No more runny eye syndrome and comes in an incredible 25 shades (19 colors).  Now the only question is...which color to choose?

*Note: The products listed above are just favorites of mine.  There are other lines such and L'Oreal, Buxom, Physicians Formula, etc. that carry colored mascaras and liners and are a bit more pocket friendly. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Colored Neutrals - The Palettes

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Neutrals will always be a favorite and "go to" of mine but Fall doesn't necessarily have to mean the end of all color.  Fall is the perfect time to take out and play with muted and dark colors.  Play up the eyes during this holiday season with colors such as Navy, Plum, Forrest Green and Burgundy to name a few.  Pair up a color with a neutral to create a sensational and dramatic smoky eye.

1. Make Up For Ever - Smoky Palette $45
No one does it the way Make Up For Ever does.  This limited edition palette has 8 highly pigmented colors to choose from.  A matte black and 7 satin finish eyeshadows.  It even comes with two exclusive brushes to help create a smoky finish.

2. Smashbox - Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette $42
One of the reasons I love this palette is because there is more than just one color palette option and it targets a specific eye color (choose from Hazel, Brown and Blue Eyes).  The top 3 shadows are perfect for an everyday look, while the bottom 3 are perfect for an intense smoky eye.

3. Kat Von D - True Romance Eyeshadow Palette $24 - $35
Whether you love blues, purples or greens, Kat Von D's palettes have it all.  Also coming in more than one color palette option (choose from True Love, Metal Orchestra, Sinner, Poetica, Beethoven and Ludwig) these are a favorite in my book.  I carry a palette in my kit and I even have one for personal use because I love it so much.

4. Urban Decay - The Black Palette $36
Known for their amazing Naked Palette, Urban Decay does it again!  Don't let the name fool you, this palette is anything but "black".  With 5 Jewel toned shades and a matte black shadow, you'd be crazy not to add this to your collection.  Comes with a travel size Primer Potion and 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero.

5. Dior - 5 Colour Eyeshadow in Mystic Smokys $59
Although Dior carries a variety of shades I have to point out that the Mystic Smokys palette is my favorite here.  The dark violet and ivory colors are so luxurious, goes on like butter and looks amazing on pretty much anyone!  Did I mention that the ivory has little speckles of gold?  It makes for one awesome holiday palette.

6. Lorac - Private Affair Palette $38
The name alone is intriguing.  Packaged in a chic croc palette and with colors such as Deep Wine, this palette will make those peepers look incredibly sexy.  This set also includes an eye primer and a double ended brush tucked neatly away in a mini compact drawer under the palette.  Perfect for those sizzling Private Affairs.

*All products can be found at Sephora