A Wild Thing

Products:

(Disclaimer: I do have Aleis’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Every Product In Selena Gomez’s RARE BEAUTY Makeup Line

The rise of the celebrity beauty brand is alive and well in 2020, just in case there were any doubts. The latest example comes courtesy of Selena Gomez, in the form of color cosmetics brand Rare Beauty, which made its official debut on September 3rd. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #17 series on my blog.

Touted as a “mission-driven brand,” Rare Beauty will donate 1% of all sales, “as well as funds raised from partners” to the Rare Impact Fund, which “aims to increase access to mental health resources,” according to a press release from the brand. It has an initial goal of raising $100 million over the next decade to “help address the gaps in mental health services for underserved communities, which will make it one of the largest known funds in support of mental health from a corporate entity.”

In a statement, Gomez said: “These products aren’t about being someone else, it’s about being who you are, whether that’s rocking a full face of bold makeup or barely any makeup at all. Makeup is something to enjoy, it’s not something you need. I want every person to feel beautiful exactly as they are.” 

Rare Beauty’s rather robust initial product offering includes a touch-up kit with refillable powder and blotting papers, a matte liquid eyeliner, eight shades of tinted lip balm, 12 shades of matte lip color, eight liquid highlighters, eight liquid blush shades, eight shades of a dual-ended brow pencil and gel, three tools, an illumining primer, a multi-tasking face mist and 48 shades each of both foundation and liquid concealer.

According to the brand, Gomez has had a hands-on approach to developing Rare Beauty, including product testing, design and mission. At launch, it will be available at Sephora in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Sephora inside JC Penney and at RareBeauty.com. There are plans for additional international expansion in place for 2021.

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation $29

A weightless foundation with concentrated pigments that feels barely there while providing buildable medium-to-full coverage with a natural finish.

Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer $19

A lightweight, hydrating concealer with cake-free, medium-to-full coverage that lasts while brightening skin with a radiant finish.

Soft Pinch Liquid Blush $20

A weightless, long-lasting liquid blush that blends and builds beautifully for a soft, healthy flush. Available in matte and dewy finishes.

Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight $22

A silky, second-skin liquid highlighter that creates a lasting, soft, and luminous finish.

Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick $20

A weightless air-whipped lip cream that hugs lips with rich color and nourishing hydration that gives a soft velvety matte finish.

With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm $16

A hydrating, nourishing balm that adds a hint of just-kissed color with a natural dewy finish.

Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner $19

A longwearing, waterproof, matte liquid eyeliner formulated with ultra-black pigments for dramatic definition every time.

Liquid Touch Foundation Brush $28

A cruelty-free foundation brush packed with soft, silky bristles that build, blend, and buff.

Always An Optimist Illuminating Primer $26

A weightless, silicone-free, gel primer enriched with ultra-fine pearls for a lit-from-within glow.

(Available in a mini version for $14, 15ml)

Brow Harmony Pencil & Gel $22

A dual-ended, triangular-shaped, retractable brow pencil and tinted brow gel that creates naturally defined brows.

Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist $24

An ultrafine, glow-boosting mist that hydrates, primes, sets, and refreshes skin.

Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit $26

A refillable two-in-one compact of touch-up essentials—blotting papers and a radiant powder-filled puff—for freshening up on the go.

Blotting Paper $5 & Powder Puff Refills $15

Liquid Touch Concealer Brush $16

A cruelty-free concealer brush with uniquely sculpted bristles and a pointed tip for precise coverage.

Liquid Touch Multitasking Makeup Sponge $14

 A plush sponge with a diamond-shaped tip for a precise application and customizable coverage.

UPCOMING PRODUCTS SNEAK PEEK!

Looks like we’ll be getting some eyeshadows & liquid bronzers.

Credit: Trendmood1 on Instagram

Soften Up

Products:

– MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid, Studio Fix Powder
Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Clear Brow Gel
Bobbi Brown Bronzer
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Sensual
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow

(Disclaimer: I do have Ashley’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Long-Lasting Lipsticks That Won’t Budge Under Your Mask

Lipstick is hands down my favorite makeup product. But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us all to wear masks to protect ourselves and others from the virus, my lippies have been spending more time in my makeup bag than on my actual lips.

However, while during the beginning of the world, you know, falling apart, I was spending most of my time safely locked inside my home, in recent weeks, I finally found the courage to bravely venture to a Starbucks and other outdoor spaces to see my friends.

And if you think I’m going to add a little color to my lips for these special occasions, then you’re damn right!

In celebration of National Lipstick Day, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite lipsticks that will look just as good once you’ve taken off your mask as when you first swiped them on.

So if you think lipstick is canceled just because of the coronavirus, think again. Because these lip colors aren’t going anywhere — literally.

Black Radiance Metalicious Lip Sculptor

If a metallic lip is your thing, make sure to reach for this product before you head out. For a matte finish, blot with a tissue after application. If you’re more of a glossy girl, layer on a coat of clear gloss or Vaseline after it’s safe to take off your mask.

Buy $6

L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain

This matte stain is a fan favorite simply because it gives you highly pigmented color that doesn’t transfer. But hey, don’t just take my word for it.  “[This shade] stands the test of time and won’t be around your cheeks or chin when you take off your mask,” says L’Oreal ambassador Sir John. “This ‘peek-a-boo’ color is your much needed emotional pick-me-up. Even if you have no makeup on anywhere else, doing a lip will make you feel alive and well.”

Buy $9

M.A.C. Cosmetics Powder Kiss Liquid Lip Color

Aside from the brilliant color and little transfer, what I love most about this product is that the applicator makes it easy to put on with zero fuss. It’s also ultra-lightweight and never drying, meaning it’s a color you can comfortably wear all day long.

Buy $24

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick

One swipe and you’ve got brilliant color that won’t budge — not even for the second coming of Christ.

Buy $38

The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick

Much like the don dada Pat McGrath, The Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler knew exactly what she was doing when she created her line. These matte liquid lipsticks come in a variety of colors that suit every skin tone, give you a show-stopping finish, and know how to stay put.

Buy $13

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Thought you couldn’t find a lipstick for under $10 that would last all day and offer (literally) zero transfer? NYX said, girl, you better think again. I first tried this product years ago when I picked it up at a drugstore, and to this day I can confidently say that it was one of the best discoveries of my makeup life.

Buy $5

CoverGirl Outlast UltiMatte Liquid Lipstick

Cruelty-free, vegan, 24 hours of wear, and transfer resistant. Need I say more? Pick up CoverGirl’s Outlast UltiMatte Liquid Lipstick on your next essentials run to the drugstore.

Buy $8

Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick

Listen, Gucci did that when crafting this gorgeous lipstick. Offering a variety of shades, this light, smooth, creamy, and non-drying matte stays in place for as long as you want it to. But, it’s also super easy to remove at the end of the day. Another plus? It’s super lightweight, so you’ll probably forget you’re even wearing it.

Buy $42

InStyle article

Wayne Goss – the Beauty Star Selling Out Product in Five Minutes

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #16 series on my blog.

Wayne Goss is not your typical YouTube star. He has amassed over a million subscribers on his beauty channel, and has the consumer influence to match: His first collection of brushes on Beautylish sold out in five minutes. But he stands out among other beauty vloggers for several reasons — the first of which is that he’s a guy. A guy who can quickly and confidently demonstrate Kardashian contouring tricks on his own face. He eschews the cutesy, neighborly tone used by most beauty vloggers in favor of a methodical, straight-to-the-point delivery.

Goss spoke to the Cut about how being a guy is advantageous in the YouTube beauty world, how he got started, and why he doesn’t wear makeup himself.

How did you get started in the business?

It was something I’ve been interested in since I was a young boy. I always liked looking at magazines and seeing the pretty faces. When I was 20, I started suffering from acne. That experience reminded me of my love for makeup and how I could use it to fix my skin.

I am self-taught. Fifteen years ago, I picked up some books by Way Bandy and Kevyn Aucoin and read them to practice. I went to London and studied makeup artistry. Then, I discovered YouTube. I found that there were so many kinds of people on it, but there didn’t seem to be any teaching and instructions on how to make the process simpler. I feel like my videos fill a gap in the market. I keep them short and clearly explain what I’m doing. My point of view is that you don’t have to have a degree in art to be able to explain it.

How do you think you became successful on YouTube?

It was so gradual. You don’t really notice it creeping up on you. I remember hitting 20,000 subscribers and thinking, Oh my god, that’s a lot of people. And then it started to increase very rapidly after my first year, especially after I did videos on concealer and blusher. But I don’t really know. It’s still a mystery to me. I imagine it is a combination of people doing searches in Google, seeing a video, and liking it. The social media aspect certainly helps.

Do you think that being a man in the field is advantageous?

Absolutely. I’m pretty much the only male in my age group doing it. I think people appreciate that I’m not going to be talking for an hour about something I could do in a few minutes. I’m very matter-of-fact. I’m not very handsy nor flamboyant. Even if I’m demonstrating something on myself, it’s not about making myself a pretty princess. It’s about the technique and explaining it very succinctly. In real life, I don’t even wear any makeup. It’s not my cup of tea.

Since you demonstrate a lot of the tutorials on yourself, I think people probably do think you wear makeup every day. 

I think it does surprise people. I love putting eyeshadow on people. But I’m six feet tall. I’ve got a beard. It doesn’t interest me. I don’t want to be pretty. I’m just a bit scruffy and unkempt, and that’s just sort of my style.

If you don’t wear makeup yourself, why do you demonstrate the tutorials on yourself?  

Well, lately, I have been using models in my video. But sometimes, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is see anyone else. Also, apart from the fact that I’m male, my eye shape is very realistic. Models have good skin, very large eyes, so that makes everything very easy to do. If I apply eye shadow, you get a more realistic impression of what it looks like on my eye, not someone who is genetically blessed.

How did the brush project with Beautylish come together?

I contacted Beautylish because I read their online content a lot. I mentioned that I was pursuing a brush line and they liked the idea, which was to create a really good-quality brush using Japanese craftsmanship techniques. The difference in quality would be understood the minute you opened it.

I knew about the bristles and furls and what to look for. It was difficult finding companies that could deal with all the requests I had. It had to be hair that couldn’t be cut. Nothing could be done by machine. There’s a bluntness to machine-cut hair that cuts your face at harsh angles. Especially as we get older, that can be harsher on the skin. With the right makeup brush, makeup goes exactly where you want it. For women over 40, it’s a great benefit to have a brush that’s not moving the eyelids around.

This project was self-funded, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I learned they sold out in the first five minutes. My philosophy has never changed. I still believe you should buy the best makeup you [can] afford, and if you can only afford one thing, buy one brush. Most people are applying makeup with their fingers. But a brush is an instrument you can use it for several purposes, and blend at the same time. For someone like me, not born with this artistic flair, good brushes enabled me to do makeup well. I really don’t have this innate talent, I struggled all the way and managed to find the right sort of brushes. It was a very selfish project, in a way.

What do you think of the story that came out a few weeks ago that said YouTube stars like Michelle Phan were making millions?

I obviously know of Michelle, although I’ve never spoken to her. I would say that’s an exaggeration in terms of figures. But again, I don’t know anything about her. I started about a year and half after her. At that time, the partner programs for YouTube weren’t available.

The bulk of us who started doing YouTube did it for the love of doing it. Those of us that did it for the right reasons are still around for the right reasons. There has been an influx of people thinking, I shoud make a fortune here. 95 percent of them don’t make it any way. And those that do certainly aren’t making six-figure salaries. It would be nice to start with a thousand. The bulk of people earning good wages from it now were around when there was no money.

The partner programs now, I believe, make it more difficult. Everyone wants a slice of the pie. I think this pie is really wonderful and big. You hear these glamourized stories, but the reality is very different. We still have full-time jobs. We work hard. And YouTube is a full-time job, because you have all these components, like filming and editing. I imagine that 90 percent of us do that ourselves without the help of anyone else.

I’m still a makeup artist. I still do jobs. I always will do that. I’m in a wonderful position of doing a job that I love. It’s a great thing. YouTube is the icing on it. It’s lovely to be able to connect with people on it I would never otherwise be able to meet.

Check out Wayne Goss’s makeup line at Beautylish

Check out Wayne Goss’s Instagram

FORBES article
QUORA article
theCUT article

My Favourite Brow Gels At All Price Points

Set those babies for all-day wear; some recommendations are clear gels, some are tinted.

Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara ($2.99) & Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara ($3.99)

E.L.F. Cosmetics Clear Brow & Lash Mascara ($2) & Wow Brow Gel ($4.97)

Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow Mascara $5.97

Almay Brow Styler Brow Mascara $6.99

NYX Cosmetics Tinted Brow Mascara ($7.50) & Control Freak Eyebrow Gel ($8)

Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Shape & Define Eyebrow Mascara ($8.99) & Easy Breezy Volumizing Brow Gel ($9.49)

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara ($6.99) & Tattoo Studio Eyebrow Gel ($12.99)

Maybelline Fast Sculpting Brow Gel $7.99

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara $10.99

Glossier Boy Brow $20

Make Up For Ever Brow Gel $20

Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel $21

MILK MAKEUP Kush Fiber Brow Gel $26

MAC Cosmetics Clear Brow Set ($22) & Eyebrows Big Boost Fibre Gel ($28)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel ($24) & Clear Brow Gel ($29.50)

Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $28

Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel ($32) & Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($32)

Patrick Ta – the Major Glow of the Makeup Industry

Patrick Ta has become one of Hollywood’s top makeup artists, but it wasn’t always so glamorous for the San Diego native. Before touching makeup, Ta had explored becoming a culinary chef and even owned a nail and tanning salon in Scottsdale, Arizona. After his salon venture failed, he got a job at MAC Cosmetics where he found his love for makeup. “After my salon went bankrupt, my roommate at the time gave me my first job doing makeup at MAC Cosmetics and from there my obsession for makeup began,” explained Ta. Even though he didn’t have any experience, he started doing makeup on people for prom, events and weddings. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #14 series on my blog.

Instagram had just started becoming popular around the time Ta was becoming passionate about makeup so he started his own page uploading his work. “I was really lucky that all my girlfriends let me practice on them. They would share my work on social media which led me to grow my clientele and eventually led me to want to pursue makeup in Los Angeles,” said Ta. When Ta first moved to Los Angeles as a freelance makeup artist he didn’t know anyone in the industry. He took to Instagram once again to connect with influencers to do their makeup. Then one day Shay Mitchell started following Ta and slid into his DM’s. “I knew Shay was going to make a huge difference in my career. I am so grateful that she was one of my first celebrity clients because she allowed me to grow with her, and then I met Gigi Hadid which took my work to the next level in the world of high fashion,” stated Ta.

Ta went on to work with Olivia Munn, Adriana Lima, Jessica Alba, Joan Smalls, Ariana Grande, Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Bella Hadid Kendall Jenner, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, and Jenna Dewan Tatum, among others. Patrick’s devotion to his craft has allowed him to develop a refined hand and keen eye for color and composition. Although his client roster consists of the highest profile models, celebrities, and influencers today, he believes that every person, no matter who they are, deserves to feel confident and beautiful every day. As his fanbase grew, so did the demand of knowing how he achieves that natural, yet sultry glow on his clients. That led him to work on creating his own beauty line which launched in April 2019 as an homage to the women in his life that have supported him and given him the confidence to be who he is.

Patrick Ta Beauty initially launched with Major Glow which included three highlighting mists, body oils and lip shines. “My first collection all about translucent glow for all skin tones; then my next collection was named Monochrome Moment which featured four blushes, lip liners and lip cremes. I love monochromatic looks because thats what I do for my clients when they hire me for an everyday look. Simple browns and bronzes to give that natural glow” explained Ta. 

Ta is set to expand Patrick Ta Beauty with more makeup and color. His masterclasses are always full and his insights and techniques are extremely unique.

Patrick Ta Beauty is exclusively sold at Sephora and online at patrickta.com

FORBES article
REFINERY29 article

KVD Shade and Light Eye Contour VS. Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade Eyeshadow Palette

By now it’s no secret that Makeup Revolution jumps on the newest and most popular release (typically from a high-end beauty brand) to recreate their own as an alternative. The biggest issue with this practice is the fact that said “dupe” products come out looking identical in layout and packaging. At this point there isn’t a brand that Makeup Revolution hasn’t copied from.

Here I will discuss the KVD Vegan Beauty (formerly known as Kat Von D Beauty) Shade and Light Eye Contour eyeshadow palette versus Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade eyeshadow palette.

The formula of KVD’s shadows is extremely soft and silky to the touch, very easy to blend, and lasts on the eyes all day long. Makeup Revolution’s formula is just a tad drier, but not by much, making the two products nearly identical but at a competitive price of $46USD vs. $10USD.

Buy KVD Shade and Light Eye Contour eyeshadow palette
Buy Makeup Revolution Ultimate Contour Light and Shade eyeshadow palette

Huda Beauty – From Dreams to Reality, from Dubai to the Whole World

Huda Beauty is a cosmetics line launched in 2013 by Iraqi-American businesswoman and makeup artist, Huda Kattan. The founder, Kattan, was chosen as one of “The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet” by Time in 2017, listed as one of The Richest Self-Made Women and one of the Top Three Beauty Influencers by Forbes. In the span of 5 years, the brand has built a positive reputation on some of its products, such as fake eyelashes series, a collection of foundation, eyeshadow and some face palettes. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #11 series on my blog.

In April 2010, Huda Kattan started the beauty-related blog, Huda Beauty, and a YouTube channel. She later found success on other platforms. Kattan launched a cosmetic line named after her channel in 2013. It has since become one of the world’s fastest-growing beauty brands.

As of 2020, Huda Beauty has more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube and is the number one account on the Instagram Beauty section in the world, with over 40 million followers. The contents of Kattan’s channels are beauty tutorial-oriented: Kattan shares makeup techniques, skincare routines and personal preferred beauty products from multiple brands. On Sephora.com there are currently 55 products listed for her brand.

The first Huda Beauty product was a collection of false eyelashes released through Sephora, in Dubai in 2011 and the United States in 2015. The Kardashian sisters were reported to use Huda Beauty lashes, providing an early publicity boost to the label. As of 2018, Huda Beauty has an estimated net value of US$550 million and the company as a business is valued at over a billion dollars, according to Forbes.

In December 2017, the company received a minority investment from TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm which had previously invested in beauty brands such as Smashbox and It Cosmetics (both of which were purchased by major beauty conglomerates — Estée Lauder and L’Oréal).

Huda Beauty offers more than 140 products online & in-store. The beauty brand has launched an entire range of products, which include lipstick collections, face palettes like highlighter and contour, false lashes, and a collaborative product with Tweezerman. Its Samantha Lashes #7, since launch, has been ranked as one of best selling and highly reviewed lash products.

In 2018, all launched products that together bring in at least $200 million in annual revenue. Time described this “an internet based beauty brand age”, as internet-to-business beauty products have taken over a large percentage from the traditional beauty market. They own a significantly growing share of the whole market.

The price of Huda Beauty’s products has been widely seen as reasonable compared to similar products that share similar markets. Though, among blog-to-brand beauty brands, that are created by YouTubers or Instagram bloggers, the price of Huda Beauty’s products are relatively high. Bloggers mostly launch beauty products for which they set a price a bit lower than the ordinary market price, as their brand names and quality usually have not been tested through time.

However, Huda Beauty’s foundation sells at 65 Australian dollars in Australian Sephora stores, while Fenty beauty by Rihanna offers a similar market-targeted foundation at 50 dollars. Also, the first-line beauty company, Estee Lauder, sells its well-reviewed foundation “Double Wear” under 60 dollars at department stores, like Westfield and David Jones in Australia.

However, Huda Beauty’s most well known product: fake lashes “#7 Samantha” still achieve success in sales, although its price is 35 dollars in Australia. While SHU UEMURA, currently the first name in eye-related beauty section, offers fake lashes around 25 Australian dollars in department stores.

In 2017, Huda Beauty announced that it would soon be debuting a foundation collection with a more diverse range of shades. Just after this, the collection been criticized by Fenty Beauty followers that “it copies Fenty Beauty’s “Pro Filt’r” foundation collection image”. Huda Beauty’s “#FauxFilter” foundations have a selection of 30 shades, while Rihanna’s brand – Fenty Beauty “Pro Filt’r” foundation collection has 40 shades. Others, however, applauded Huda Beauty for being one of the first brands to release an inclusive range of shades in Sephora stores globally.

Huda Beauty is among the best-selling cosmetics brands in Sephora in the Middle East and Harrods in London. According to The Business of Fashion, Kattan’s background as an Iraqi immigrant in America distinguishes her from other beauty influencers. She studied finance in the United States, and pursued a career as a makeup artist in Dubai.

Ms. Violet Voss

I really enjoy the formula of Violet Voss eyeshadows – they’re highly pigmented, easily blendable, and the color stories are inspiring.

The 20 beautiful shades per palette are made with jojoba oil, making them soft yet long-lasting. These versatile palettes let you go for a subtle daytime look, and easily transition to a sultry nighttime smoky eye. They’re the perfect go-to for creating a flawless, sexy look for any occasion.

Have you tried any Violet Voss eyeshadows? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below!