makeup monday: how to rock a red lip

Photo credit: Ricardo Acevedo

Since the first recorded accounts of humans tinting their lips red with crushed gemstones and minerals in ancient Mesopotamia, red lipstick has continued to evolve and gain popularity through the ages. By the time cosmetics were popularized in Europe during Elizabethan times, lip stains were much safer and easier to make. Today, modern makeup lovers continue the quest for the coveted perfect red lip, and we have an immense variety of products to help us achieve it for any occasion.

I hear so many women — both friends and clients — express frustration with wanting to rock a red lip, but feeling overwhelmed by obstacles and options (color, finish, durability). We have it way easier than our primping predecessors did! Hopefully this post will help you to navigate the world of lipstick and find the red that’s right for you.


First, some info about my red lip photos. I’ll also impart a few of my go-to red lipstick application tips, and finally, I’ve included a great casual red lip tutorial video at the end of this post that’ll help you get acquainted with trying red lipsticks, as well as a lovely neutral look for the rest of the face so your lipstick can take center stage.


PHOTO NOTES (from top to bottom)
The photograph at the top of this post is a portrait of me by an amazing Austin artist, Ricardo Acevedo.
My lipstick is OCC Lip Tar in Maneater, a vibrant shimmery orange-red. I am absolutely in love with this color, and will be wearing it frequently this fall.

Second photo down is one of my omg-my-makeup-looks-nice-today selfies, when I’d just gotten the aforementioned OCC Maneater and couldn’t wait to try it on. Both of the top two photos show this warm lip color paired with a dark neutral smoky eye, nothing too dramatic, but certainly not the sort of fresh and minimal eye look you’ll see in the video below.

Third, the side-by-side photos are of my gorgeous friend and bride-to-be makeup client, Emily. She never usually wears red, and is going retro glam for the wedding, so we used Stila liquid lipstick in Beso, which will stay put all day and doesn’t really require any maintenance once it’s applied. We paired the statement lips with a simple, bold cat eye. Doesn’t she look like she should rock a red lip, like, all the time?!

Time and experience, along with really getting acquainted with your own face, will improve your ability to pull off the precise look you’d like to achieve. Along the way, keep these tips in mind for a better overall red lipstick experience, regardless of your mouth shape or color family.

Use liner! Always! Lip liner helps keep your lipstick from bleeding or feathering. Choose a color that matches your lipstick, or get a versatile neutral red that can be used with either cool or warm lipstick shades, and draw a line around the perimeter of your lips. Afterward, fill in the lips, holding the pencil at about a 30 degree angle, to create a base layer. This will keep everything in place and looking fab much longer.

Clean up the edges. It’s not easy getting those edges crisp and pretty like the plethora of perfect Pinterest lips you aspire to have. Over time, as with any precision work, it becomes more natural to maintain a steady hand, but you’ll still mess it up from time to time. Concealer is your best friend, and can heal (almost) all wounds. If you go outside the line or need to correct a wobbly edge, first carefully wipe the excess with a Q-tip (which you can dip in makeup remover if the lipstick is longwear or otherwise not budging). Then, using a small, flat eyeshadow or concealer brush, dab on a tiny bit of product that best matches your skin tone, and blend it out into the rest of your skin. Take a wee bit more concealer and brush on a thin line right along the entire edge of your lip. Blend out away from the lip, into your face. This step makes such a noticeable difference, but please skip it if you’re in a rush! It’ll take some time and patience to master.

Give it time to set. After you’re all done applying lipstick, blot on a tissue or napkin for good measure and then LEAVE IT ALONE. Try to refrain from eating, drinking, or otherwise disturbing your lipstick for a little while. 20-30 minutes is usually plenty of time. Don’t let this discourage you from wearing bold lipstick all together if you’re about to indulge, but is a good idea to keep in mind so you can avoid rubbing off your freshly applied makeup as often as possible.

Ready to try it yourself?! Not yet? No worries.
Here, watch the process in action. This video from Shameless Fripperies is full of all sorts of helpful info on now only applying the makeup, but also comparing and selecting the right color for you. Check it out!

If you try the tips included here and learn something new, please tag us in your pics or comments on Instagram (@thiscreativelife @jenheartsart) and/or Twitter (@thiscre8ivelife @jenheartsart)!

makeup monday: blue bliss



I had the pleasure of working with Loghry Photography this past weekend, contributing my makeup services to her nature shoot with multi-faceted artist and musician Meganoke.

I was eager to help, as I’ve known Naomi (the photographer) and have wanted to work with her for quite awhile. Her work is amazing and I urge you to contact her for portrait, fashion, and editorial photo services. I was mega-inspired to hear we were focusing on a blue-green color palette. Meeting Megan was an absolute pleasure, and she looked fierce and stunning. All in all, we’re all happy with how these photos turned out, and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too!

Product and technique info further down in this post, as well as photo credits.


The photo shoot took place outside on a warm, sunny day, in a beautiful wooded area of west Austin. The color scheme, lighting, and angles used complemented one another to create a variety of dramatic images, each one full of emotion and depth.


For Megan’s makeup, I went with a warm glowing base, dramatic contouring, and a vibrant stylized blue-green eye. On her skin we used a combination of Sephora liquid foundation and bareMinerals mineral powder foundation. Contour was created using colors from Kat Von D’s Shade & Light palette, and to highlight Megan’s cheeks I used NARS blush in Orgasm. She has the most adorable freckles and a natural sunny glow, so I was careful to try and let some of that show through.

On the eyes: navy eyeshadow in the crease of the eyelid, neutral beige for brow bone highlight, and sheer bright green on the inner corners of each eye are all from the Sephora Color Anthology palette. The shimmery teal color you see on most of the model’s lids is Ulta Mineral Powder Eyeshadow in Marine, which I mixed with Mehron’s barrier spray to create a liquid eyeshadow to brush across the lower half of the top eyelids. I used first a black liquid liner at the base of the top lashes, followed by a navy gel eyeliner to soften and smolder it up a bit. We applied black false lashes, but then applied Maybelline’s Totally Teal mascara to the tips of those lashes, as well as to the bottom lash line, for a subtle blue effect when seen in the sun.

The brows are intentionally bold, and quite blue, too. I used a combination of navy eyeliner pencil and powder eyeshadow with an angled brush to create the shape. Once happy with the overall brow look, I finished them off with a bit of metallic water-based body paint from Wolfe FX. We added some slightly sparkly bronzer to Megan’s shoulders, a pretty rosy pink lip, and the rest is history.


All photos by Loghry Photography.
Model: Megan
Makeup: Jennifer Cunningham
Concept & hair: Loghry Photography
Assistance: Derrell Rodrigues & Tim Goelz
Jewelry: Gay Isber Designs

Visit Loghry Photography’s Facebook page to see the rest of this gorgeous photo set!

makeup monday: bridal beauty + winery wedding

Spring wedding season is in full effect, and that means lately I’ve been helping some seriously lovely ladies get glam for their nuptials. On April 11th, I ladies the pleasure of doing bridal makeup for Tyler, one of the sweetest people I know. Tyler and Trevor were married outdoors, at Three Dudes Winery in San Marcos, providing a perfect setting for the gorgeous photos seen in this post. (All photos by Rebekah Fisher.)

Details about this look can be found below!



For Tyler’s bridal look, we went with a rich smokey eye and soft pink lip. I love this style for brides because it’s easy to wear with few to no touch-ups needed, provides a little bit of dramatic glamour, and allows us to use eyeshadow colors customized to complement the wearer’s unique eye color.

All shadows used came from the section of browns and coppers in Sephora’s Color Anthology palette. To combat the effects of perspiration/humidity all over the face, and to really grab the pigments in the eye makeup, we started with Smashbox Photo Finish primer for the whole face and Urban Decay Primer Potion on Tyler’s eyelids.


eyes: copper base color with bronze accents in the crease and blended into the outer edges of the lids, with Buxom black felt pen eyeliner and Ardell lashes
foundation: Sephora oil-free 10 HR perfection foundation in medium 24 honey, set with a light coat of bareMinerals powder foundation in fairly medium
brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills brow duo in caramel (applied with an angled brush just to fill in her natural eyebrow shape)
contour: Kat Von D Shade & Light palette
cheeks: NARS Orgasm blush
lips: Sephora royal rose lip liner + Too Faced Melted long wear liquid lipstick in melted peony + NARS Orgasm gloss


I designed this look to enhance Tyler’s natural beauty, and I think it was a success! The wedding was a blast, an evening filled with love and celebration and spent with amazing people. Thank you so much for letting me be part of your big day, guys!


makeup monday: movies and models

It’s been quite some time since my last makeup post, and I thought this would be the perfect way to jump back into sharing my adventures in cosmetic artistry: a bold, creative photo set on which I collaborated with some truly talented new friends! After recently getting involved in a group designed to promote sisterhood and body positivity, founded by an amazing Austin-based photographer and model, I was inspired by one member’s idea to recreate something inspired by this Pink Floyd body art poster:


We chose to go with a cinema theme, and designated six models. Lauren, who donned a black wig to coordinate with her V for Vendetta piece, worked hard to help iron out all the details, as she and I planned the shoot together over the course of about a month. For most of us, the day of the shoot was our first time meeting face-to-face (though we’d become acquainted online throughout the planning phase via group messaging). All in all, everyone seemed to have a blast and we’ve already begun brainstorming our next collaborative venture together! I painted three of the models, and another rad local body painter—Andrew Brietzke, who works alongside girlfriend Shade Du Bois creating impressive FX makeup and glam looks—painted the other three. Here is the final image of our group pose:

Photo by Arielle Lewis
(Models, from left: Lauren, Kate, Dannie, Corey, Mickey, Whitney)

Professional photos were shot by local photographer Arielle Lewis. (Holy cow, you guys. Check out her ongoing watercolor face paint series, a collaboration with immensely talented FX artist Anthony Paul Gonzales. Seriously.) Kate Kubala, on whom I painted the Batman Returns piece, also did all of our models’ hair and glamour makeup. Here’s her individual shot. Dark, mysterious, and moody…just like Batman!


My other two pieces paid tribute to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Godzilla Kontra Hedora (Godzilla vs. Smog Monster, specifically the Polish movie poster design). For the Rocky Horror look, I added red glitter to the lips, though it’s difficult to see in photos.


To complement the colors found in the Godzilla art, I slightly tinted Mickey’s blonde hair yellow. This one was my first completed painting of the day, and I’m eager to paint more swirly smoky body art in the future because it was way fun to execute.


Arielle did an incredible job of capturing and editing our respective efforts, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Andrew and I each spent about two hours per model, and ended up painting for a total of nearly seven hours. His style is much more colorful and reminiscent of watercolor paintings than mine is, which we took advantage of when pairing Corey’s fiery red hair with his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas art. Each model’s hair and accessories were styled with attention to the feel of her unique back piece.

I used primarily Mehron and Wolfe FX water-based paints, with a combination of makeup brushes and artist’s paintbrushes. For some of the larger areas on Dannie’s time warp, I used white cream makeup for quick coverage. Black felt eyeliner pens were my go-to product for drawing out the sharp edges and fine lines.

We tried to keep the BTS documentation to a minimum, to make sure the final reveal was a big surprise, but Mickey snapped this really great selfie while I was painting her, and I couldn’t help but share. It’s easily one of my favorite action shots, and adequately evokes the overall mood of a productive and exciting day’s work with these guys.


What do you think, friends? I hope this inspires you to get out there and meet some awesome new people in your own respective communities with which to make magic!

makeup monday: two-face transformation

One of the coolest part about having a geeky circle of friends is collaborating with them and bringing clever ideas to life. This Halloween, when my friend Brian Salisbury decided he wanted to dress up as Two-Face, I was immediately excited and enthusiastically accepted the challenge.

We started by sticking a nice, straight strip of tape down the center of Brian’s face. He shaved off all the facial hair on the left side prior to my arrival. I then used scar putty from a costume store to begin creating freeform texture and “burns” directly on the skin. I liberally applied liquid latex all over that half of the face with a brush, right on top of the scar putty. This helped not only seal the scars in place, but also created more texture and some really great subtle transitions between the real skin and putty skin.


Brian’s favorite incarnation of Harvey Dent is the Batman: The Animated Series version, so I knew right away I wanted to integrate a blue tint to make him look a bit more cartoony, as opposed to a thoroughly realistic burned face effect. (Thankfully, I had some leftover blue metallic FX makeup from the previous weekend’s Mystique makeover!)


Once all the latex was dry, I used a combination of reds, browns, and black to paint the “skin”, accentuating areas prone to highlights and shadows. Once I was satisfied with the dimension, I gently sponged on the metallic blue, after which I accented the eyes with black liner and did final touch-ups. The tape was removed, and a crisp edge remained.


Brian stitched together two coat halves, one tweed and one black, for his costume. I used white cream makeup to frost his hair for a more natural salt-and-pepper effect rather than a solid coat of hair spray paint. (I actually DID intend to use hair spray paint, but accidentally purchased white silly string instead, so we improvised. It looks much better the way it is than it would’ve if that had gone as planned. Happy accident!)

Here we are together at a Halloween party later that night:


I’m super proud of how this turned out, and I can’t wait to do more elaborate makeup work. The human face is quickly becoming one of my most preferred canvases.

P.S. Check out Brian’s blog and podcast, you guys! OneOfUs.Net is a community for nerds of all kinds, and is run by some truly talented dudes. Geeks of the world, unite!

makeup monday: mystique

This weekend I transformed a model into a magnificent movie mutant, Mystique. There have been many versions of the character throughout X-Men comic book history, but my friend and client chose movie Mystique, which meant lots of body paint and fun texture application. (Both the Rebecca Romijn and the Jennifer Lawrence incarnations of Mystique posess very similar skin, hair, and scales. My model, Mackenzie, is 5’11”, so she more closely evoked Rebecca than JLaw.)


Prep Work:
First, I sought the advice of an amazing cosplayer I follow online, BelleChere, and she just happened to have recently shared her body paint product recommendations. Taking her advice to heart, I ordered Wolfe FX Hydrocolor Makeup in two different deep blues, one matte and one metallic. We picked up some red spray hair color at a party store to brighten up Mack’s hair just a bit, as it was already a great red hue.

I then used navy blue and bronze Sculpey clay to create individual scale and ridge shapes based directly on the face patterns of movie Mystique. I hoped to keep them pliable for versatile application, but ended up opting for fired pieces. They don’t stick well at all unbaked, as it turns out.


For the rest of the body scales, which could be much larger and needed to cover more surface area, I cut free form shapes out of textured felt. All pieces — both Sculpey and felt — were affixed using liquid latex. LOTSA liquid latex, y’all.


I scheduled this, my first full-body FX makeup job, for the entire day in case we couldn’t get it done in the 5 hours anticipated. Good call! It took about 7 hours total with latex adhesive dry time. We started with clean skin (only pasties and tiny underwear otherwise, same as the movie actresses’ costumes) and immediately began applying blue creme makeup to areas that wouldn’t get texture, while affixing the first several scales to Mackenzie’s face.

Little by little, I rendered every visible bit of the subject a brilliant blue, with scales up her sides, arm, and chest. Her hair got slicked back with pomade and hair spray before being brightened with the red spray.


Shimmery dark blue Sephora eyeshadow was used to fill in around the eyes, in which Mack wore yellow contacts she purchased for the costume. I accentuated her eyes with black kohl liner in the waterline and full black lashes on top.

I finished off the entire look by dabbing on the metallic hydrochrome makeup over all textured areas, fading into the smooth matte areas.


We found some perfect Nine West sandals online, in precisely the right blue, so the feet would be protected but creating the illusion of being barefoot.


How’d I do, guys? I’m thrilled with how she looked, especially considering this was my first time attempting such an elaborate look. Can’t wait to show you all the other Halloween makeup looks I’m helping create this year!


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