makeup monday: tribute + transformation

The recent death of creative legend and pop-culture icon David Bowie has sparked a beautiful wave of fan art inspired by his body of work and his persona. His impact across several decades of prolific artistic endeavors has no doubt been a catalyst for growth and transformation in people all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to be part of one such collaborative tribute with a small, talented team of Austin-based artists last week, each of whom have been influenced in both work and life by David Bowie, and I am so stoked to show off what we’ve created in the star’s honor.

Photographer Naomi Loghry of Loghry Photography shot the images and coordinated the session. Model, actress, cosplayer, and all-around artistic whirlwind Jennifer Lynn Larsen (Mayhem’s Muse) was the subject. I provided makeup and assisted with hair styling to help bring the looks to life. Our vision was to recreate a few of actress Tilda Swinton’s many Bowie-inspired portraits.


“For this project,” says model Jen Larsen, “I drew inspiration and mood from one of this generations GREATEST muses-David Bowie himself. A gentleman who knew intimately that act is only limited by our perception, and believed that we should always make statements which help those around us feel more comfortable in their own skins. No matter gender, sexuality, or station in life, art and music speak to us all. All are obtainable.”

Of course, Bowie was well known as a chameleon who regularly reinvented himself. This means there are a plethora of options for style and direction, but I think this one is a perfect fit for Larsen’s physical look, as well as her personal philosophies.

Jen goes on to explain, “This collaboration is done in the style of Tilda Swinton and her iconic tribute to Bowie. She has an amazing ability to transform herself from concept to concept, which is an ability I have always attempted to manifest in my work. It is her chameleon-Esque ability to blend into her setting which drew her to Bowie, and in turn inspired me to reach inside for a more powerful, androgynous self.

It is when we throw caution and boundaries to the wind that we discover our true potential. When we look deep inside and let go of pre-conceived notions and limitations, we are free to be exactly who we dream. We will always dream. We will always Strive for the Highest.”

I think we totally captured that power with this photo set, don’t you?


When asked about her overall motivation for the collaboration, Jen told me the following: “It has always been important to me to have artistic freedom. To be able to work with people who have beautiful creative freedom, and to trust each other enough to let their muses fly free. Creating art that makes people feel inspired and empowered has always been one of my highest ambitions as a creator.”

Loghry, our masterful photographer, is also thrilled with the outcome. “This was such an inspiring session and I couldn’t be happier with the results! The makeup and hair; Jen’s amazing posing, all resulted in 100% success in creating Tilda and Bowie’s lovechild character.”

I agree completely!

To achieve the bright blues in two of the makeup looks, I used Kat Von D’s Synth eyeshadow, blended with Skulls and Lyric, all from the Mi Vida Loca palette. For the third, darker look, I transitioned to a smokier eye by smudging Dark Wave on the upper eyelid just above the lash line, and blending with Hyperballad, both from the same eyeshadow palette.

We kept Jen’s skin and lips pale, and used concealer to minimize her eyebrow color in a couple of the looks.


All wardrobe came from the model’s personal collection.

While we’re certainly not alone in our sadness over the loss of this incredibly talented human being, it’s amazing to see the outpouring of residual art being made, and it’s healing to take part in some of that as a participant. I hope you love these photos as much as we do!

“So I turned myself to face me but I’ve never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker… Turn and face the strange. Don’t want to be a richer man. Just gonna have to be a different man.” -David Bowie, “Changes”


biz chat: how to infuse color trends into your work

Infusing color trends in your work

We’re doing a blog theme this week, and that theme is the 2016 Pantone colors of the year. Jen shared with you how to add it to your make-up routine, and I’m here to share with you how to incorporate it into your work.

If you’ve seen the colors Robo Roku uses, we tend to be very bold, and more toward the primary color side of things. This year’s Pantone colors — yes, that’s plural, are Rose Quartz and Serenity (featured in the image above). These colors are more on the pastel side of things, but we do have some ways we can work it in. I recently learned about mompreneur coach, Renae Christine, and watched a three part video series where she breaks down how you should build your color story per line launch. She recommends using five neutrals, three trend colors, and two “out there” colors that you just love and need to have in your line. Neutral doesn’t need to mean beige, so don’t freak out if beige is not in your wheel house. Robo Roku’s neutrals would be more like black, red, and blue.

I really like Renae Christine’s breakdown of colors. It’s a helpful list to keep you from using all the colors out there, and keeps you focused on the colors that will sell the best. Honestly, I would even say you could maybe do two trend colors, and add one more to “out there”, if you’d like. As long as your overall color story is staying on brand, there’s no harm in infusing the newest trend colors every year. It’s not only going to challenge you, but keep you current! Let us know if you decide to try to infuse the trend colors into your line this year.

Share your work with us via Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #TCLcreative so we can see what you’re creating!



makeup monday: pantone color of the year 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! As you may know by now, for the first time ever this year, Pantone is combining two colors for its Color of the Year 2016: Rose Quartz (13-1520) and Serenity (15-3919). For those of us who are not only color and design geeks, but also love charming humanoid female cartoon characters, this is a joyous situation!


Whether you’re into both the pale pink of Rose Quartz and the soft periwinkle of Serenity, or are shy about color but want to try one of them this season, you’re in luck. There are plenty of cosmetics brands creating products to satisfy your hankering for these hues. Here are a few of my favorites:

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Color of the Year Lipsticks

These shades come in a nourishing formula and gorgeous packaging, easy to mix and match with your existing beauty regimen. There are several products to explore in this year’s collection at Sephora, but the lipstick options and eyeshadow palette in particular are all over my radar right now.


I will definitely be trying out some of these products soon and sharing the results with you all. In the image below are a couple of the looks I found particularly pretty.


essie nail polish – lapiz of luxury

Beautiful blue tone! This is one I already have, as I’m a huge fan of periwinkles. Find it at or Target.


MAKEUP FOREVER Artist Eyeshadow and Powder Blush – Fairly Pink and Periwinkle

These shadows can be purchased individually, and make a great addition to your compact or kit. Get them online or in store at Sephora.


How will you wear the 2016 color(s) of the year? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share.



Biz Chat: Overcoming Obstacles

What's Holding You Back?

As 2016 is fast approaching many of us will be making resolutions and goals for the new year. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I don’t make resolutions. Resolutions are too “wishful thinking” for me, I make actionable plans, I’m more successful in meeting my goals that way. One thing I think should be considered for resolutions or action plan lists is stopping yourself from being too stubborn to help your biz grow. It’s all too easy to be your own biggest obstacle. Don’t let you be your own worst enemy.

We all have things we don’t want to do for various reasons. Maybe you don’t know how to create a line sheet, maybe you’re afraid to pitch places, maybe you need better product photography, or a new website, whatever it is, don’t let these things stunt your growth. Sure, some of these things cost money, but some of them just require you to go all in on you.

This industry has a lot of rejection with it, that’s part of the territory. The thing is, the answer will never be “yes” if you don’t ask the question. You could even learn from your rejection and improve your business. Make 2016 the year you pitch to all the places you’d love to see your work in. Apply to those shows you think would never accept you. Put yourself out there, don’t just wait for some “magic” to happen. You make your own luck.

If money is the issue, start saving up. See if you can lower your costs with a trade of services. Try for payment plans. You know the saying, “you have to spend money to make money”, and it’s true. Try cutting back on your “fun” money for a bit to afford services you need.

The excitement of a new year coming can really pump you up to jump those hurdles. Let that excitement energize you to face those fears and kick butt in 2016.


makeup monday: halloween roundup

Happy November, you guys! I awoke this morning to cooler, almost-fall-like weather, and tons of inspiration for the months ahead. But mostly I was just super excited to share some photos of a few Halloween makeup looks I helped create. This post details three of my client costumes.

First? Beetlejuice.






I did Brian‘s hair and makeup for this costume, and it was a treat to work on, as Beetlejuice is one of my absolute favorite fictional characters ever.

Products used are as follows-
HAIR: store-bought wig, styled with surf wax and Tresemmé aerosol hair spray. I textured and blended the rubber forehead part with the same makeup used on Brian’s skin.
FACE: Mehron cream makeup in white for most of the facial skin; Mehron Paradise Paint in black, brown, and blue for the dark eye area; liquid latex and tissue for the textured gunky spots; Mehron Paradise Paint in green and brown atop the textured bits once the latex dried.

The whole face and neck was sealed with barrier spray and Temptu setting powder to help it stay put for the night.

Here he is, below, with girlfriend Lauren dressed as Lydia, at a Halloween party on Friday night.



Next, a full costume collaboration with one of the smartest and most dynamic ladies I know, Camille. It was such a pleasure to work on this project, and not just because I have the biggest girl-crush on Imperator Furiosa.



Well before the makeup part on Halloween day, I was working behind-the-scenes on this custom belt and buckle, inspired by the one worn by Charlize Theron in the film. I used metallic Sculpey, sculpted and carved by hand, then baked and aged with acrylic paint and enamel. Once the medallion piece was completed, I affixed it to a leather backing, added dangling chains in various sizes, and fashioned a customized belt onto which the buckle would go.


At our makeup session, I did Camille’s face and hair after spending awhile freehand painting the prosthetic arm for her character. For the robot arm, we used Mehron Paradise Paint in black and brown, Mehron metallic powder pigment in silver, and a range of brushes from tiny fine-point to medium and wide for blending. My goal was to apply black to the areas we wanted to disappear, so that the metallic bits would stand out.

The face makeup for this one was simple: black cream makeup atop a fresh, pretty natural look. I used black eyeshadow by BH Cosmetics and a black Sephora kohl eyeliner pencil to smudge and soften around the eyes. We also used Kat Von D Shade & Light palette to contour with slightly darker tans than usual, to make her face appear somewhat sun-kissed and dirty.


To balance out the gritty, nerdy character transformations, the last client set I’ll show you is feminine and fancy and, well…sort of organic.


Lindsay chose a Poison Ivy costume this year, which she put together on her own. I did her makeup and rendered her slightly green to tie the ensemble together.


FACE: bareMinerals powder foundation and mineral veil on the skin, and Kat Von D’s Shade & Light contour palette for the contouring on Lindsay’s “normal” side. On her eyes, we used the three greens and two yellows in the coveted limited-edition Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca eyeshadow palette (available at Sephora. I used the same green eyeshadow so as contour powder on the ivy side of Lindsay’s face. Eyeliner is Stila Stay All Day liquid liner in black, and lashes are by Ardell.
LIPS: I mixed Urban Decay eyeshadow pigment in Graffiti with clear gloss OCC Lip Tar to create a custom metallic green lip color, applied with a brush. Lips are lined with a dark green Sephora eyeliner pencil, which I also used to draw on the viney swirls around Linday’s temple and cheek area. Drop shadow on the vines is Kat Von D ink liner in brown.


Perfectly poisonous and pretty!

Which look do you like the most? Did you wear or see some creative Halloween makeup this year? If so, tell us about it in the comment section!



the haps: the ups and downs


This “the haps” post is going to address a question I’ve been asked a lot recently:
“How is your business doing?”

This question is about Robo Roku, and to be honest, Robo Roku is not getting the love it deserves. Aside from Robo Roku, I work for Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, do client work for my business Travel Bear Bureau (formerly known as Lil’ Pancake), and am board chair for Chula League. I do have a lot on my plate, but generally everything I do is timed out nicely. Client work is usually only accepted during the beginning of the year before we get on the selling show circuit. This year Robo Roku did Printsource, and then things started to go wrong. New Robo Roku goodies were designed and made in the spring, but many have yet to make it online and to stores. Since we were unable to do the shows we were going to do, I took on client work to make up the income. Client work (as far as web design goes) is normally wrapped up in September, it has not wrapped up, yet. I only work 15 hrs/wk for Armadillo (Aug-Oct up to 30hrs/wk) depending on my workload. Other client work I do is social media consulting, and managing of social media accounts and blogging. Between Armadillo and client work that’s not web design related, that’s 30 hrs/wk. EEP! That’s almost a full time job! At least most of it is done on my own time from my home. Starting next month my hours at Armadillo will dip so I can focus on holiday season time for Robo Roku. We have upped our portfolio for our licensing agents, and participated in an art show in NYC, but our site and social media has been barren. Sad to say, especially since one client sent a thank you letter about my social media efforts on their behalf paying off. Now if only I could give Robo Roku the love it needs.

A day in the life for me right now looks like this:
Respond to emails from Armadillo and/or Chula League
Armadillo work
Client work
(repeat the above until I call it a day)
Respond to personal emails
Maybe some drawing

Client work, Armadillo work, holiday show season planning

Nov. 15th. I’m hoping to lounge around all day that day.

Halloween. I’m hoping to go to Fiesta Texas (so long as it doesn’t rain).

John Hughes playlist on Apple Music

Super nice clients, licensees, and stores that have been patient with me not having stock ready for them.

This will probably not be changing for the rest of the year: Holiday season, and licensing shows next year.

Not as much as I normally do this time of year. I normally watch almost everything! I seriously watch a lot of tv, but it’s the only way I can decompress. I haven’t watched Netflix much recently because of the fall shows being back. Doctor Who, House of DVF (LOVE!), The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, Scandal, Nashville, The British Baking Show, and Project Runway (my fave!) — lots of tv.

PS – my calendar in the photo is not up-to-date. I noticed this Thursday was empty, while I have two meetings that day. Oops! Good thing I use my phone and planner to keep track. :)

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