Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gluten Free High-End Makeup

Originally when I decided to start a blog, I wanted to do something for those like myself with Celiac disease (The gluten intolerance thing, or to put it more simple, people with wheat and specific grain allergies). After some thinking about it, I had to blog about my one true passion, not just my life which is why I chose to create a Makeup and skincare page.  However, in this instance, it shows how my life interferes with my passion.

Once being diagnosed as a celiac, the foods I could no longer have became a main priority. Until recently, I would never have thought to check my makeup as well. Think about it, it goes into your pores, into your eyes and you swallow it! (Fun tip, the average woman swallows roughly 8 lbs of lipstick/lipgloss in a life time, that around 6-700 tubes!!) So why not be cautious about what goes on my skin. After all, dealing with this is a lifelong change.

After some careful research it was brought to my attention that finding gluten free makeup was a lot harder than expected. Especially within the higher end brands. I had contacted a few of my favorite companies and so far this is what I got. This is a topic I will constantly update and hope you all find it helpful!

Nars being one of my personal favorite brands states on their webpage "NARS does not use any gluten or gluten derived ingredients in its products. Therefore we consider our products to be “gluten free.” " This excited me because alot of the companies I have contacted did not have lipsticks or glosses listed in there gluten free products.

As you have read in my previous blogs, I am an avid user of TEMPTU and have visited the NY studio for airbrush classes. I had inquired about there makeup and those in product developement also informed me that their entire line is GF.

Per-Fekt is another fabulous line that states they " ARE gluten, paraben, alcohol, aluminum, cruelty-free".  And there undereye corrector can be doubled as an eye treatment so that kills 2 gluten free birds with one stone! This is wonderful since alot of the foundations, primers and concealers on the market have the gluten added to them.

Now for the trickier companies. Urban Decay was wonderful. They, along with a few other companies sent me a detailed list of which products were considered GF and which were not. According to the company 57% of there individual products are GF.Sadly, alot of my favorite products by them will have to come out of my kit. Here are the products which contain gluten:
  • 24/7 Glide on Eye PENCILS - All colors
  • 24/7 Glide on Shadow Pencils
  • Lush Lash system
  • All Mascaras (Except for the Urban Lash Mascara)
  • Urban Brow Gel (Tints seem to be safe)
  • Lip Primer Potion
  • Lip Stick (All colors)
  • Super- Saturated (All colors)
  • Pocket Rocket Lipgloss (All colors)
  • Lip Junkie (All colors)
  • Complexion Primer potion (Brightening)
  • After Glow Glide on Cheek Tint (All colors)
  • Urban Glow cream highligher (All colors)
  • Urban defense tinted moisturizer (All colors)
  • Baked bronzer (All colors)
  • Deslick mattifying powder
  • Makeup Remover
  • Surreal Skin cream to powder foundation (All colors)
  • 24/7 concealers (All colors)
All of their shadow kits are gluten free (but remember, if liners or glosses come in them they are still not gf no matter how bad you want them to be.) And thank goodness, the primer potion is safe!!! I could not live without it. Hopefully over time, Urban Decay will be revamped and have more of a selection to choose from.

Hourglass Cosmetics are another company that I love and sadly I need to discontinue the lipglosses for myself even though they rock! A list was sent to me of products they state ARE GF. They are as follows:
  • Veil Mineral Primer
  • Illusion Tinted Moisturizer
  • Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo
  • Superficial Waterproof Bronzer
  • Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara
  • Calligraphy Liquid Eye Liner
  • Script Precision Liquid Liner
  • Trace Lip Liner
For the few other companies that I contacted, Vincent Longo, Benefit, and Smashbox suggests to call the company about any specific product you are concerned with. Smashbox did get back to me and there lipcolors are not safe. Laura Geller was a doll! I wrote on her facebook wall and this was my response : "A number of my products are gluten free, such as all of my Spackle Under Makeup Primers and my Air Whipped products. If you have a question about a specific product, feel free to call my studio at 1800MAKEUP4. Hope everything works out."

I hope this was somewhat helpful to the people who need it or even for the people with a general interest. After all, Celiac and a Gluten Intolerance are now so much more common than you think. There will be more research on my part and I will keep you updated on all I find :) And remember, This is the information I received straight from the companies, if you are unsure of anything at all, please inquire to the companies themselves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It has been forever since I have posted! My brain has been like a hummingbird and every time I sit down to write an article I just want to write about everything! It never fails to write about my experiences.

Recently I have been networking through Model Mayhem. What a great way to meet other artists. I had one Photographer (Dan) organize a shoot. I lucked out and had 2 beautiful models.

This shoot was the first shoot I did with the TEMPTU airbrush. I cant even explain how impressed every client I have had has been with the finished look the airbrush achieves.

As for her look, Dan wanted her to look very clean and flawless. The Temptu S/B formula did just that. We used the foundation as well as their primer and Blush. For shadows we used a custom-made inglot palette. If you haven't before you need to check out there eyeshadow. Smooth as silk with pigmentation to die for! ( ). As usual, finished off with Stila's Smudgepots and some Jet Black Mascara!
The day turned out to be gorgeous! We shot at snug harbor which happens to be one of the most beautiful locations on Staten Island. You can check out more of Dan and Staceys works on Model Mayhem.


Thursday, August 25, 2011


Recently I have had the opportunity to work with 2 amazing people. The first is the upcoming musician Elle. I have to say she is one of the most amazing people I have worked with in a long time. Beautiful, talented, and a personality to knock your socks off. I was lucky enough to fill in as a replacement artist for some pictures on her press kit.
 The photographer she chose to work with was Erik Motta and his wonderful assistant Ari Zapata. Elle's personality was captured flawlessly in his photography. Fantastic music played in his studio made it a comfortable place to be in. He did two separate looks to show off how individual she is.
For her makeup we stuck with a very basic look. She loves her winged eyeliner which became a staple for Elle. I had run out of my Smudge Pot so I went to CVS and substituted it with Maybelline's Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. The eyeliner worked great. It was a cheaper alternative to the Smudge Pot. Like everything though, there are still the perks for the good stuff. The Smudge Pot by Stila  is bolder in color and I find to last a little longer.
As for foundation, I discovered a nice surprise. Revlon's photo ready foundation was incredible! A friend I went to school with had told me about the formula but I honestly forgot to try it. Elle brought her own and I was curious to try it out. It is now a product I will fully stock in my kit when my Airbrush is unavailable. We finished her off with a little bronzer, a MAC blush of her choice and my favorite eyelashes! They are half a strip of lashes to lay in the corner. Accentuates the cateye wonderfully! Finished with a nude lip for the one shoot and added a cupcake pink lipstick for the other!
All in all, the day turned out to be great. We even booked another shoot and vamped up that leopard print skirt! I cant wait to see the pictures and share them with you also. Feel free to check out the links below to see more work by Elle and Erik! 


Erik Motta:

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Retro winged eyeliner

The famed "Cat Eye". It's a look that took me a long time to master. Eyeliner can make or break your look and for me personally, the winged liner will enhance anything! To me, there is nothing classier than a great black liner and bold red lipstick. I have a technique that I have developed over time to help me achieve this look. Hopefully it will help you too!

First things first, make sure you select your liner. I am partial to an angled eyeliner brush and a cream liner. A pencil will make your look a little softer (and make sure its sharpened to a point), and a liquid will give you a dark, well defined look. I find the cream liners give you a look right in the middle (Stila's Smudge Pots eyeliner are my favorite!).

Start with your liner and draw a line from the outer corner of your eye on an upward angle. Your can make the thickness and length to your own preference

Draw a line from the inner corner of your eye connecting to the beginning of your angled line. Next draw a narrow triangle connecting the tail to your selected place on your basic eyeliner. Normally this is kept to a spot close to the outer Iris.

Now fill in that traingle!!!!!

 And Finally, (this part is optional) add your bottom liner for more definition and a super dramatic look! Oh, and also optional, add the red lipstick :)

Hopefully this will help you reach this awesome retro look!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The basic Smokey

One of the most common looks I am asked to recreate is the "smokey eye". It seems to be the one makeup style that stays timeless. What most people do not realize is that your smokey eye does not need to be just black! There is a whole rainbow of colors out there that can be used to add effects to your look.

Now remember, there are so many different intensity levels to a smokey eye too. You can  make this look a wearable daytime staple or really step up your game and make it a super sultry dramatic eye.
Today I am going to give you my technique for a basic, semi-dramatic eye. First make sure you have all your tools necessary. As I stated in one of my earlier articles, I absolutely cannot live without my fluffy blending brush. It makes your shadow look airbrushed. Heres how we start:
  • Always apply an eye primer (my favorite is still Urban Decay's Primer Potion) or a light layer of concealer to even out the eyelid and hold shadow on for longer.
  • Apply a light neautral shade from lashline to browline. 
  • Take your darkest color of choice (typically a black, brown,charcoal or spice it up with a hunter green or a deep purple) and blend the color from the lashline to the crease. The key to this look is blending your color so you never have a harsh line. I personally like to use my fluffy blending brush for most of the application.
  • Blend the color in small circles in an upward and outward motion.
  • Your eyeliner is now applied how your most comfortable. It can be applied before the eyeshadow for a softer look. Also the line can be drawn after for a more intense eye. I personally love using a cream eyeliner for this. The liner can be smudged, again for that softer look or left alone to make a harsh line (which is more intense).
  • For a little "POP" add a light application of shimmer right under the browbone.
  • Add some liner to your lower lashline and inner rims
  • And lastly, top in with mascara (2 coats)
OH! And remember, a little color goes a long way. It's always easier to add more shadow then take the access off :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wet and classy

2 More shoots were done and limits yet again were definatly pushed. Ally showed off her more natural side and Dave showed some incredible work!

We started this shoot with a more natural look. Originally these pictures were intended to be black and white but they came out so beautiful. The color with the simplicity made the photo. Ally was prepped with her foundation (We used MACs Select SPF 15 foundation in NW 45 and topped with Tartes Mineral Powder in Medium).  Just some basic eye makeup was used. Of course her liner was done with Stila's Smudgepots and Lashes were then added for a nice natural kick.  The final result was flawless!
Next came our "WET" look. This was a look we were all so excited about! I was a little hesitant about this shoot. I have never worked with water in this way before at all. I spent a few hours online researching the best way to acheive that drippiness we were going for. Thank you Canon for your wonderful forum. Someone had suggested to use baby oil all over the body, then use a spray bottle with water so the driplets would stay. We had revamped her makeup from the first look and made it slightly more dramatic with irridescent colors and by applying a bold red lip. Red lips never seem to fail. The hard part was getting the baby oil on her face where it didnt act as a makeup remover and take off the makeup.

Poor Ally was unable to touch her face at all and Dave had to shoot fast but we got what we were looking for! I still find it to look like a gatorade advertisement and I love it!
Again, we had a productive shoot. I find myself lucky to be working with such an amazing photographer and beautiful model. Again, if you ever want to review there work, feel free to search there work :)
Dave:Model Mayhem #: 560120   or
Ally: Model Mayhem#: 2299895

Monday, July 18, 2011


For our first shoot which was an outdoor shoot in our assistant Rosannas pool, we took on new boundries in a full waterproof look.  We started Ally off with the basics, I used "Get a Tint" tinted moisurizer by Mark. That gave her some nice hydration and just a sheer wash of neutral color (For more info, check out my Mark. boutique ). Following that, one of my favorites were brought out! Make Up For Ever Face and Body foundation in Honey Beige #34. If you have never used this foundation before, make it a point that you do! It's an extremely light weight gel formulation that's waterproof (and sweatproof  on those humid days). The formula also photographs wonderful :) A sheer application of MUFE's "HD Microfinish Blush" in "First Kiss" was added and Ally's complexion was complete.
Our next task were those eyes! Having never done a water shoot before I had to tackle a dramatic eye without it running in the least bit. As always, they started with Urban Decay's Primer Potion. As for our first sweep of color on the lids, I had used Ben Nye's powder eye shadow in Azalea mixed with Nurturing Force's "Seal the Deal". I was very impressed how this held up, hence the "Seal the Deal" being one of the products I can no longet live without!! Her definition was done again with more MUFE aqua cream shadows in the shade Anthracite. The cream blended beautifully. Finished off with a basic shimmery highlighter and of course, Stila's smudge Pot in Black and woolah! We had a look that came out exactly as planned.

Lastly, Ally's lips. We just threw on some gloss for a simple sheen. I still feel you could never go wrong with Tarte's double ended glosses!.
Feel free to check out more photos from this shoot on either our Fabulous Photographers Page ( ) or on Ally's new Model Mayhem page! (She can be searched under MM# 2299895)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And then there was 3:

Recently I have been collaborating with a great team working on some new photoshoots. We have been trying to take things a little out of our comfort zones and make awesome photos!!!! Our model Ally, is new to modeling and already proven to be a natural! She decided to start modeling to prove to herself she is comfortable in her own skin, and what a knockout!!!! Dave, our photographer is most accustom to more active shooting like working with bands and live action work.  However, he took beauty to a whole new level. And myself, well lets just say I was dying to try some things I have never tried before and I have to say, the finished looks made me proud.

We had our first shoot done in a pool at night. This was my first shoot dealing with a full face of waterproof makeup. Thank you Makeup Forever!!! You have just proved yourself to me in more ways than one.

Our second shoot was a basic beauty shoot. We (well should I say Dave) got some great shots! It was the natural side of Ally. Some great headshot came out of this one and we had many laughs from the day!

And lastly, the most current shoot we did was a "wet" look. I still say it looked like a gatorade commercial. This was one of the trickiest shoots I have done yet. Full face of makeup taken with beads of water. The finished product kinda blew our minds!!!!!

We still have a few more shoots to play around with. As soon as I have the finished product in hand I am going to post the pics along with the makeup used for the looks! Can't wait for you to all see them!!!!

And here we are! 2 of the goofballs doing our thing :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Temptu training

After quite a few years being in the Makeup Industry I decided it was time to venture into the "Age of the Airbrush". It has never been a main priority of mine up until recently. Airbrushing has now become one of the staple techniques in the industry.

After about a few months of consideration I decided I was better off taking a class then jumping the "gun" (airbrush gun that is) on my own. With careful research, I had decided that the courses Temptu had offered was the way to go. As the leading airbrush line within the industry, I felt they had the most to offer. And I was right

The course is given for a fantastic deal in the NYC and LA showroom. I had taken the course in the NYC location. It was offered from 10am to 4pm. The training consisted of a thorough understanding of how your airbrush operated. A puzzle that would have probably taking me days to solve having never used an airbrush in my life.  Being an ingredient junky, they also offered product knowledge in the course. And being a celiac, it was nice to learn the complete Temptu line is gluten free. After some exercises with the gun we were sent on our ways.  All in all it was a good experience. $150 for the course which is then redeemable in credit. I put that towards my compressor.

Now for the only bad part, the showroom was sold out of the gun!!! I was unable to come home with my new compressor and miniature foundation set and play with it! Also I was unable to bring my airbrush to 2 awesome photoshoots I had just worked on. And I never in 1000 years thought it would be so hard to find a Temptu gun in manhattan. Internet ordering, here I come!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tools I currently cannot live without!

So over the past few years I have developed the few go to items in my kit that I cannot live without. Why not share them with you from the beginning!

Nurturing Force: Seal the Deal Eyes

What can I say. This is one product that absolutely took me by surprise. While walking around the NY Makeup show back in March, I stumbled upon this secret formula that no Makeup Artist should live without. Safe for sensitive skin, this aloe based water replacement turns any pigment into a stay proof wonder! (Even works great at making sheer liquid blushes)

The perfect blending brush. I dont know if I could even do a basic makeup application without this brush. I probably own roughly 6 of the same brush. Make that close to 15 if you start adding in different hairs and sizes too.

Tarte: Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler

Perfect is exactly what this eyelash curler it is. Never a pinch and easy to use on yourself and your clients. It gives you an amazing curl every time you use it. Unlike a bunch of curlers I have tried in the past, this one never leaves a seam on your eyelashes.

And lastly, Who doesn't love a great set of lashes!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Beginning

Well, where do I start? For the past few years I have constantly juggled the idea of starting my own blog. I love testing out new products and constantly stalking google images for new looks. I have been a makeup junkie for as long as I can remember . Thanks to mom who had tried to get me over my fear of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller". Oh how I was petrified of that video. My mom actually had to sit me down and show me a behind the making. Ever since that day, I knew in my heart I wanted to be a makeup artist.

It began when I decided to enroll in cosmetology school freshly out of highschool and depsised every single moment of it!!! Finally, the rents understood and let me enroll in a makeup program called "From Dawn to Dusk". I knew I found my calling the moment I opened my giant train case filled with more makeup than I have ever owned.

From there I progressed to get my first cosmetics job which was with Sephora. What an amazing place to start out your profession in! I was able to learn about hundreds of different cosmetics brands and begin to establish my favorite lines. My store had chosen me to be part of a few amazing opportunities including the chance to work at the one and only Smashbox studios in LA for the first “Little Bra Company” runway show. What an experience that was. I was selected to do many more things with the company as well.

After a few years of working for Sephora, I ventured out into the excited world of freelance. (That was a joke lol). Every artist out there understands the instability of freelance retail. Lucky that only lasted a few months before I was promoted to an Account Executive and Education trainer for Tarte cosmetics. I had a blast. I got to travel, meet countless amounts of new and amazing people and network! After a sad short running with Tarte I ventured back out to the freelance world.

Well the freelance world wasn't exactly working too well. Any other freelancers out there have to drive 150 to 200 miles away to work a 4 hour event and not even get paid for travel time? Then you feel my pain. I took a job that wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. My amazing parents understood  how unhappy I was being out of the industry, they gave me the opportunity to go back to school and achieve my esthetics license.

Speed up to today and I am freshly out of school awaiting my test date for my esthetics license. In the meantime I am working with a few wonderful people in building my portfolio (pictures to soon follow). A shoot was just completed last week and let me tell you, it was a blast! Hopefully, anyone who decides to follow my blog will also be following the stepping stones of my wonderful career as an artist!