Celebrity Makeup Artist Tips: Look Better Right Now

Supermodel Stephanie Seymour once said: Beauty is not something you can just decide that every once in a while you’re going to take part in. You have to take care of yourself.

I couldn’t agree more but sometimes life calls for taking part in queso, chocolate, and cocktails. Afterward, it is time to use a magic wand of sorts.

Want to know how many models and clients I work with who have just come from a month long stay at a meditation retreat? Not many. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to look like they have … right now.

Here are a few little tricks I’ve used that will make you look as fresh as possible, as quickly as possible.

First and foremost, there’s only so much makeup can do. It’s been said that our skin is a mirror for everything that’s happening in our bodies and minds. There’s nothing like a few deep breaths and

Now that the blood is flowing, give yourself another boost:


Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel treatment pads are mini miracle workers (start with the original formula for sensitive skin). Swipe the pad over your face and in minutes surface cells will be gone, allowing your skin to take on more moisture (the key to plump, gorgeous skin), making your concealer and foundation application a breeze.

Three Step Eyes

Step One: Brighten your eyes with the most universally flattering eyeshadow: GOLD

Step Two: Apply a wash of shadow from lash lines to brow bones.

Step Three: Add a tiny bit in the inner corners of your eyes to brighten and detract from dark circles.

If your skin is fair, try a beige-gold like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Sandy Gold.



Medium to dark skin tones should opt for a warmer hue like Sephora Collection’s #81 Sunday Brunch.


Black, shiny, curled lashes are the key to, well, almost everything.

Givenchy’s Phenomen Eyes mascara has a ball-shaped brush that curls and defines every lash.


I can’t live without my Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

P.S. From Me to You...

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is a go-to in every makeup artist’s kit.

A tiny bit in the brows makes them look fresh and holds them in place with no stickiness. A touch on the cheekbones gives a nice highlight without the fussiness of glittery highlighters. Dab some on your lips and let it soak in a bit before adding your lip color.

Clear color and a semi-matte finish are what you need to complement the gold wash on your eyes.

I love Nars Satin Lip Pencils in Lodhi and Luxembourg.


Your #nofilter prep is now complete. You’re calm, glowing from within and looking so polished with that killer lip color. If you have a magic wand in your beauty arsenal (or a queso connection), please share in the comment section below.


9 Skincare Products That Really Work

“It’s all fear. That’s our keyword. Keep them afraid, no one will love them, and you can sell them anything.”

I recently read this quote in an essay. The author overheard it at a dinner party. Wanna know who said it? The president of a major cosmetics company.

The beauty business isn’t pretty. In fact, in can be quite ugly. When I first heard that quote, my knee-jerk reaction was a mixture of anger and disbelief. Really? They’re selling me on fear? Well, yes, they are. And they’re going to keep on doing it. Why? Because it works.

Sometimes, it’s subtle, sometimes not. For example, the ad for Loreal’s Pore Vanisher asks,

“Pore obsessed? Too many? Too big? Too afraid to look?”

I wasn’t afraid, but then I wondered if I should be. Chalk one up for the cosmetics companies. With this looming feeling, I did what anybody would do, I called my friend to hash it out. He reminded me that the single, best antidote to fear is knowledge. Amen. But here’s the next hard question … Does anyone really know?

There are two kinds of knowledge when dealing with this one: scientific proof and self-awareness. Know thy self. If we check in with both, we’re getting somewhere.


There’s some bonafide science behind some products that I know really work.

My skincare routine is about layering, and I factor in this science. By the way, I see this routine as a ritual, not unlike any other that makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself. There’s as much value in the practice as the product. This ritual is not based purely on faith. It’s backed up by facts.


Want to know a dermatologist’s favorite anti-aging ingredient? This is it. Retinoids are a family of vitamin A derivatives that stimulate collagen production and regenerate cells. It’s best to start with what’s available over-the-counter first to build a tolerance. Your dermatologist can get the real superstars (with higher levels of the good stuff) for you when you’re skin is ready.   I’ve tried many. Here are a few of my favorites:


Don’t forget: It’s absolutely necessary to use sunscreen while using retinoids.


Serums are light and penetrate deep into your skin, delivering antioxidants. They provide protection that prevents free radicals from breaking down the things that give our skin the strength to bounce back.

There’s one for every need you can imagine: firming, hydrating, brightening. I haven’t met a serum I didn’t like. These are a few all-around faves that will give you the best of what they have to offer.


Face Oils

Some are pure, some are a blend of several, but all are quickly absorbed and deliver even-toned, radiant skin.  You only need a few drops, so they last forever.



Order of application

Each product performs better with a little help from friends. But they have to go in order.

  • Serums are the lightest and go first.

  • Face oils come next, followed by a moisturizer with SPF in the morning, or a retinoid at night.

  • Give each one some time to soak in before adding the next.

Word to the wise … mixing can get tricky. For example, ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids can deactivate Vitamin C and irritate if combined with retinols. So if you consider yourself a serious mix-master, seek the advice of a dermatologist.

Don’t forget to monitor your skin. Use common sense. If my skin gets a bit irritated from retinol, I skip it for a few days and add more moisture. No skin care regime works all the time. Weather, aging, hormones … no one has immunity. You can lose your mind over it or embrace the changes and make necessary adjustments.


I was with my friends last night and they were asking me when this article was coming out. They just want to know, “What really works?” This is what I told them, “I don’t really know. I’m always trying to figure out what works for me.”

Let’s face it. I’ll never know what my skin would look like today, if I had never touched a bottle of moisturizer. I have and I will continue to. I know my skin looks better when I take care of it. Period. This is where a little fear creeps in … I’m certainly not going to stop now.

I am going to make my choices based on what makes me feel good and if there’s a little scientific evidence thrown in … Bonus!  Also, I run a check now and again to make sure I’m informed. Everyone’s checklist is different for keeping up on product news. Fine tune yours and pay attention to it.

I ask women all the time what they’re using that makes their skin so beautiful. Their answers vary widely. What they have in common is that they are taking care of themselves.   Body, mind and spirit. No fear involved.

When I’m drawn to someone and feel comfortable enough to ask about their skin care routine, it’s always because they are open, engaged and smiling.

Dr.Brene Brown said:

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

I believe her.