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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No more skimpy brows!-Product review by Aaron Ellerbrock, Richmond VA wedding makeup artist

I know many of my clients have always longed for big, bushy, Brooke Shields eyebrows. However, for some of them, no matter how long they go without waxing or tweezing, or how much Latisse they put in them, they have come to terms with the fact that it just was not meant to be. So those clients draw them in every day.
Now I have done it all with my brides; pencils, brow waxes, tinted brow gels, powders. Then I spotted this Prestige Brow Builder at Ulta and popped some on a recent bride.

The first step is a tinted gel that has little fibers in it. I used the taupey one. I noticed a gigantic difference in how this beefed up her brows as opposed to my beloved Anastasia tinted brow gel. I honestly don't think the clear coat did much other than seal it and make the hairs look a bit shinier, like hairs that have no product on them. I used NO pencil whatsoever. I have never been able to achieve this much definition from just one product. I am SOLD!

Monday, July 22, 2013

80's Glam Rock-Product Review by Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock-BRIDEface Richmond

I am not necessarily advocating going back to the 80's when the likes of Joan Jet ruled how we wore our eye liner. As a matter of fact, I remember several of the girls in high school taking a lighter to their eye liner to make is soft and smudgeable before applying it to get that rocker look. But I do like to play sometimes with a retro-styled eye reminiscent of that era.

I recently came across the Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner by Nars. I picked it up in black but they have it in 15 different colors. What I wanted it to do was apply easily, have a TON of pigment, and stay put. I got all three things!! I am really impressed with how creamy the product is which makes it one of the easiest pencils to work with. The pigment is unbelievable. There is so much pigment it reminds me of the punk days back when Vivienne Westwood was making those wild outfits. And if you didn't know she was one of the originals in the Punk movement, try to get to the MET in NYC to see the exhibit...amazing!! And finally, it stayed put. Of course I applied it directly on the waterline, but also throughout the lash line and pretty "thickly" underneath the lower lash line. It did wear off a bit in the waterline but because the pigment is so intense, you couldn't really tell that had happened. The rest didn't budge. You will definitely need a good waterproof eye makeup remover to get this off.

Two other things to be aware of with this pencil are: 1-you can smudge it to get a very dramatic look but you will want to do it quickly. The nature if this eye liner is to stay put, so you have to work quickly if you want it smudged. 2-it is automatic!! I did not expect to have that bonus but just twist the tip and voila! But it gets better, they also give you a sharpener in the tip. So you can twist it to get more product but you can pull off the tip and get the creamy lead to a point again. The cost is not cheap at $24, but for the pay-off, it is worth it.

My score, is a 9! What do you think? Happy makeup-ing!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meredith Is Married!!!-Richmond VA Wedding Airbrush Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock

Here are some behind the scenes shots from Meredith's wedding. She is such a sweet woman and it was a thrill to work with her. I wish we had some shots of her with her dress and her hair done, but she is still a beauty in her regular clothes! I loved working with her mom who never wore makeup and let's just say, once I got done with her eye brows, she was ready to wear it regularly!! These photos were taken by her hair stylist, Kim Strum of The Avenue Hair Salon. Thanks Kim!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Richmond Magazine June Bridal Shoot-Richmond VA Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

These amazing shots are from the recent bridal shoot with Richmond Magazine. Christina Macfarlane is the VERY talented photographer and our models are Courtney and Katy. This was a "pop-art" inspired shoot so Christina did some editing (obviously) to create certain effects. As you know, at BRIDEface Richmond weddings are our top gig and we love doing bridal work. When we get to couple that with a photo shoot, we are in heaven!! Hope you enjoy!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

CELIA IS MARRIED!!-BRIDEface Richmond Makeup Wedding Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock

Here are a few shots from earlier in the year. This is the gorgeous Celia! We had such a fun time getting ready at the beautiful, Keswick Hall. It was just after a big storm had come through but the grounds were still amazing. The bad weather the day before did not dampen this amazing event or bother our blushing bride. She was radiant from head to toe! It was also great working with her maids and especially her mom, Carol. I feel like I have made some new friends for life!! Thanks so much to Ethan Yang Photography for sharing these images with us!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Genevieve is Married!!-Wedding Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

Here are a few shots from Genevieve's wedding a couple of weeks ago. A big thank you to Dementi Studios for these great pics. The reception was at the beautiful Main Street Station downtown and I hear it was an amazing event!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Brow Pencil Review-Richmond VA airbrush artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

As most of you know I am obsessed with brows. That is usually the first feature I work on when I am with a client. Brow trends including shapes and thickness will often change. Right now we are seeing a groomed brow, but much fuller and thicker than in past seasons.

There are many products that I love for browns, including both colored and clear brown gels, brow wax, powder and of course pencils. One pencil in particular that I am gaga for is the Maybelline Define-A-Brow!! One of the main reasons I love it so much is that the lead is very small so you are forced to make smaller, more articulate strokes with your pencil. Interestingly enough, this is why some people have given it a poor review on the Maybelline site. I do not know why someone would not want a precise tool like this!!!So often the leads are too thick and the brow looks much more "drawn" on. The Define-A-Brow is also an automatic pencil so you can just twist when you need more lead. No need for a sharpener...and let's be honest, how many of us sharpen as often as we should? No worries about that with this pencil.

There are several shades to choose from. If ever I can't find an exact shade for a client I will choose a shade that is slightly lighter and then add a little powder to the brow after I have given the appropriate shape with the pencil. And the best thing; it is only $6 to $8 (depending on where you shop)!!!

I give this product a big thumbs up. If you need help in learning how to master your own brows make sure you contact us!!

Long wear and comfort!!-Richmond VA wedding makeup artist Aaron Ellerbrock

I have to say that I am thrilled with the Sephora brand Cream Lip Stain. First, it is only $12 so you can't beat the price. Second, it is packaged like a lip gloss so you don't need any tools to apply. Third, the pigmentation is amazing!!! You don't need a lot of the product yet you get great pay-off. With a lot of stains, the color is not very vivid and that is not the case here. Finally, it is not too drying. It feels good while it is on and lasts hours and hours. I will say if you are going to wear it on a regular basis, be sure to use an emollient lip moisturizer to replenish and comfort the lips once you take the product off. If I had one negative it would be that I would like to see more variation in the colors. Many of them are similar so be sure to check them out in the store as on-line it is difficult to discern the true color! I give this product an A-. What do you think??

Time to Get Ready!!!-Richmond VA Wedding Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock

So many of my clients stress about their getting ready itinerary. Here are some of the finer points to remember:

I highly recommend hiring hairstylists that come to you onsite. Appointments in salons increase your chances of running late, and who needs to do all that running around? We have a list of our favorites so please feel free to ask!
Location is very important. If you are getting ready at a home, give your stylists adequate space, natural light, and electrical outlets. Try not to choose a hotel room that is too small. A room that seems ample fills up very quickly with a giant gown, bridesmaids, and stylists. I find that if I have enough surface area for my materials I can work a lot more quickly because everything I need is visible.
Determine how much time the makeup artist and hairstylist needs per person and stagger appointments. There is no need to do hair before makeup unless the stylist likes to set hair on rollers before makeup and take it out after (this generally only applies to the bride). An itinerary will ensure that your attendants know what time they expected for their appointments. If there is additional time needed for tattoo covering/body camouflage, be sure to budget that in as well!
Think about what time you are putting the gown on; you do not want to have key people in makeup and hair chairs at that time who want to help you with dressing. You don't want them jumping out of the chair because that could put you behind and you won’t be finished on time. Aim for an earlier “ready by” time than you think is necessary. A half hour or so will not make or break how long your hair and makeup lasts and if you hired fab pros it will last all day and night regardless, but a half hour of padding can be a godsend for your nerves.
Everyone’s face should be clean of makeup! Ask your hairstylist how he or she wants the hair; they often have different preferences (some like “dirty”-some like freshly washed and dried). And, if you don’t want to be glued to your cell phone all day, have a point person to handle your calls. It can be very frustrating for your stylists to try to complete your appointment while you are on the phone.
If your fiancé sends you a gift or a card, try not to open or read it while you are getting your makeup done. For reasons that should be obvious!
Lastly, look to your photographer and beauty pros to help you with your timing if you are unsure. We have done this a zillion times and know how it should flow!

The fantastic and frustrating world of foundation-Richmond VA Airbrush Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

Foundation can be your best friend and your worst nightmare. Who hasn't had the experience of spending an afternoon trying on brands, types, and shades, making a purchase, and then getting home and hating it? But, when you do find that perfect match it is like finding your best friend! We recently asked you to share with us some concerns you have with your foundation, and we have some suggestions. So, here goes...

"Do I need to wear a foundation?"
Bottom line answer is no. But, that is like asking, "Do I need to go to the gym?" It is a question that only you can answer for yourself. Foundation is there to help you look and feel more confident, not make you feel like you are tied down to it. Often people reserve their foundations for special events so they look a little more polished. People also will use foundation, but maybe not over the entire face; just in the areas where the skin is uneven. That is why, if you do wear it you want it to match perfectly. Don't pick one to give you a little more color (that is what a bronzer is for). So even though this sounds like an easy question, I think it is more complicated.

"How do I pick the perfect color to match my skin tone?"
This is where the trial and error process comes in. If you go to a department store and can try different foundation shades make sure you are testing it on your jaw line. Grab three shades that you think are close to your tone and do a swipe of each on your jaw. You don't want to test on your hand or wrist as you won't be wearing it there. Secondly give it a few minutes to dry down. Depending on the stability of the pigments the foundation may dry to a different tone. Don't rush this! Then, take a mirror and check yourself out in the natural light. Stores often have lighting that either casts a pink or yellow hue and that can change how the color looks in natural light. If you are just picking one up from the drugstore, this is where it gets tricky as you can't try one on usually. When you are doing this, remember that most of us have both pink and yellow in our skin. Don't get fooled by things like freckles or a little redness in the cheeks! Also, check with the store on their return policy to see if you can exchange it if the color is not right.

"I don't want to look like I am wearing foundation. What should I use?"
This is where your tinted moisturizer or BB cream comes in. You can read all about BB creams in recent blog posts. These products are wonderful because they offer a light coverage, really just something to even out the skin, but don't have a lot of texture. Texture is why we get that "made up" look. The less texture on the skin the better. Now, if you need coverage because of special concerns you may need a fuller coverage foundation for that area (and yes, having two foundations is VERY common). Also, if you are a powder foundation kind of girl, look for powders that do not have a lot of binding agents or talc in them. My favorite powder foundation is Cover FX and it has no talc in it!!

"Do you prefer a BB cream or a traditional cream foundation?"
Again, this depends on how much coverage you need. BB creams are often used as a quick fix for running around in the day time, but not so much for when you want a flawless complexion. I love them both and this is a perfect example of having two types of foundations. Use your BB cream for a day at the office, for running errands, for weekends and then use your traditional cream foundation or fuller coverage foundation for the party, the date night, or the board meeting.

"Do I need to use my regular moisturizer with SPF if I am using a BB cream?"
Not all BB creams are created equal. Many of their benefits tend to skew in one direction (ie: moisture, coverage, spf protection, etc). Also, not all BB creams have an spf, although most do. You need to make sure you are reading up about your BB cream to see what benefits you will get. In general I like to recommend that during the winter months it is probably best to continue to use your daily moisturizer under you BB cream and then in the summer you may be able to use your BB cream alone for daytime and then use a good night time moisturizer.

"What type of foundation is best for a dry skin?"
Usually drier skins like a cream based foundation, for the simple fact that they are more emollient. They have the ability to blend more easily across the skin. Often powder foundations will show up more on a dry skin (taking us back to the idea of too much texture on the skin). Again, if you love a powder use it, but make sure you are picking the right one. As far as a cream foundation, I am going to once again go back to Cover FX. They have an amazing cream foundation that can be applied as lightly as a tinted moisturizer (using their synthetic powder brush) or as beautifully as a full coverage foundation (with the traditional foundation brush).

"What is a reasonably priced foundation for an oily skin?'
This of course depends on what type of foundation you like. Powders can be great (as long as you look for non-talc ones) and liquids are beautiful (maybe go for oil free), so you need to know your preference. Although Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers have been a staple for many people, they are $43 dollars. If you want to get a similar effect but not break the bank you should take a look at Aveda Inner Light ($23) or Boots No. 7 Soft and Sheer ($9-$12). You may not get as many skin care benefits, but hey, that is what skincare is for!

"Should I put foundation under my eyes?"
My basic rule of thumb is the right tool for the right job. Foundation can always be used in a pinch, and as technology has evolved it is not as "bad" as it used to be to do this. However concealers are created a little differently as the skin around the eye is much more delicate. Also, your foundation may not be the right color to hide those dark circles. For a quick fix, when you are in a hurry sure, but when you want to make sure you are looking your best, take an extra 2 minutes and use an under eye concealer.

I hope this has been useful to you! If there are other questions you have please feel free to leave a post and we will answer them for you. Happy makeup-ing!!

The inside scoop on getting beautiful skin!! Richmond VA BRIDEface Richmond Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock

I decided that it might be nice, as we enter into the spring season to speak with a skin care expert about how to get your skin in perfect condition before your wedding. These are NON-SURGICAL procedures and a lot of these tips can be used on a regular basis as well to keep your skin as healthy and young looking as possible year round!
I sat down with Sandra Spain who is a licensed aesthetician for Cosmedics at Richmond Plastic Surgeons. They are located behind St. Mary’s hospital and have become the “skin authority” in Richmond! Their office is amazing and they offer a plethora of non-surgical procedures for anyone who wants to look and feel their best. If you have any questions about how you can keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy I encourage you to check them out. I have a very close friend who goes regularly to Sandra and can’t say enough about how great the entire office is and how wonderful his skin is after some of these treatments.
Sandra told me that to begin with, you need to be using skin care products that address concerns on a cellular level. Look for products that encourage cell rejuvenation or ones that are collagen boosting.  Secondly, she also said that to look your “Best”, brides should be receiving treatments to hydrate, brighten and smooth texture starting 12 months in advance of your wedding date. But don’t fear; better late than never!! So even if it is just a few months before your wedding or a big event, read on to see how you can get that beautiful healthy glow from your skin!

Q: I see a fair number of sun-worshipping brides with hyperpigmentation and sunspots. What can they do to minimize this and typically how many treatments will they need?
Sun-worshipers should start using retin a at least six months in advance of their special date to give them a very healthy glow. Sunscreen is a daily must as well to protect and prevent a dehydrated, aging appearance as Brides get ready for many long and eventful weekends.  Peels are also a great way to reduce the hyperpigmentation in the skin. Any peel used to address hyperpigmentation needs to be TCA based peel (trichloroacetic acid). TCA peels address fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture, and uneven skin tone. The VI peel, Ultra I peel, and Sensi peel are our 3 best. These range in price anywhere from $125 to $275. It is dependent on the skin’s condition and sensitivity as to which peel is used so be sure you speak with your esthetician about any of these concerns.

Q. What are your thoughts about younger women (under 35) using Botox as a preventative measure? I seem to be hearing this more and more.
Botox is an injectable that temporarily paralyzes the muscle. It can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on where it is injected. Most clients have it injected into crow’s feet, glabellar area (between the eyebrows), and the forehead. These are the most common areas that cause concern. Botox works by preventing deep lines from forming from continuous contractions of facial muscles that will therefore not contract after the use of Botox. Botox/fillers are absolutely beneficial to a Bride's appearance no matter what her age. However, it should only be used as temporary anti-aging procedure to enhance their youthful and healthy appearance on their special day.

Q. What are some of the best strategies for helping with acne scarring; pitting, dark spots?
This discoloration is referred to as PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and is further aggravated by the sun. Again, sunscreen is a must if this is an issue someone faces. Scarring and pitting are very common when someone has had grade 3 or grade 4 acne. These are the most severe. Acne scarring is best treated with first using retin a, which strengthens and repairs damaged skin. Also hydroquinone products can be used to help lighten discoloration, consequently a result from pimples, pustules, and cysts.  Also, pitting and scarring need to be addressed aggressively with a series of three chemical peels. These types of peels are superficial chemical peels, meaning the chemicals used penetrate into the top layers of the dermis. The peels we offer to address scarring/pitting are the VI peel and the South Beach peel. The client will have downtown of anywhere from 3 to 5 days of heavy peeling but will then see wonderful results. These peels cost $250 to $275 and take 30 minutes to perform.

Q. What are some procedures Mothers of the Bride might have to look fresher and brighter for the wedding?
Mothers of Brides, for best results, should receive a series of peels 6 months prior to the wedding date to ensure a brighter, healthier, and younger skin. This always makes Mothers feel more youthful, as marrying a child off to a new beginning can emotionally make her feel older. Mothers of Brides need to start addressing their concerns with good skincare that combats aging signs on a cellular level. This means the products can get to the dermis to promote collagen production which we lose as we age and the skin becomes loose and thin. MOBs want to look their very best and should consider micropeels of various degrees, again depending on concerns as well as their skin's sensitivity.

Q. What can be done for a client who has inherited very dark circles, or has prominent "bags" under her eyes?
Dark circles are mostly inherited conditions of the under eye area; something genetic. These areas can be improved with bleaching creams and retin a because these 2 topicals can help reduce any crepy texture under the eye and discoloration in the skin. Of course drink lots of water for preventing dehydration and puffy eyes. These common concerns also occur from lack of sleep and stress so make sure you are taking time out for yourself during the planning stages.

Q. Are there any "new" products or procedures that you can share with us?
New procedures such as oxygenation treatments and hydrating jet facials help to bring blood and oxygen to the skin’s surface, which in turn cleanses, heals, and regenerates new skin cells. These peels costs $150 and will most certainly brighten and hydrate the skin's surface. The oxygen peel gives a radiant appearance or glow to the skin and the client has little or no downtime. All skin types can tolerate this peel except for someone with rosacea. It is just too stimulating for them. Jet peels are the modern microdermabrasion facial. The Jet peel helps to slough off dead skin by the velocity of the jet spray used. Saline water is the sprayed solution and is sprayed all over the face twice. After gently removing dead skin with this velocity of the spray, the jet peel then infuses a serum of the aesthetician's recommendation on the skin. This is an excellent peel for hydrating and rejuvenating the skin and can be used as a treatment as often as every 2 weeks starting 2 months before the wedding.  This is perfect for making the skin its healthiest and most hydrated before your special event! And as an FYI, my favorite treatment for a Bride-to-be is the Vitamin C facial which helps to brighten and rejuvenate the skin of all ages. This peel costs only $135, takes just 50 minutes to perform and leaves you looking like a million bucks!

Thanks Sandra Spain of Cosmedics for all of these amazing tips! I can’t wait to try out some of these simple procedures as I think my 40 year old skin could use a little TLC. I will be calling you soon!
I hope this is helpful for all of you who want to look your best, no matter what the occasion. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have more specific questions on any of the above or other concerns you might have!!  

Mascara Madness-Aaron Ellerbrock, Richmond VA makeup artist BRIDEface Richmond

Where do you begin when you are looking for a mascara? Do you want to lengthen, define, darken, curl, thicken; do you want waterproof or non-waterproof; do you want a liquid, cake, or cream; do you want a black, brown, or another color? We could go on for days asking mascara questions!!

Mascara is one of the oldest beauty products ever invented. OK, well not exactly but as early as 4000 BC ancient Egyptians used a substance called kohl to darken their lashes, eyes, and brows. It wasn't until the 19th century that a chemist named Eugene Rimmel developed a modern day mascara using the newly invented petroleum jelly. And interestingly enough, not long after an American man named T. L. Williams developed a similar product for his sister Maybel. He then started a mail order business that grew into what we know as Maybelline!

Only you can decide which mascara is right for you, but you should definitely keep your eyes out for reviews and posts as they can help you in your search for the perfect mascara!

I thought I would give a quick review on some that I have tried. And FYI, all of these are the waterproof versions. First, my current favorite is L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes. It did a great job of defining the lashes. The lashes looked longer and fuller and had more curl to them after using this one. I will caution that it feels a little thicker on the eyes, but that is the price you pay for the "falsie" look. You certainly don't notice the feel after it dries down. Because it is a thicker mascara it does take a little more work to get it off, but again, that is not a bad thing. Also be careful to comb through so the lashes do not stick together; however I just recently read an article that Ginnifer Goodwin's makeup artist actually pinches a few of her lashes together to give a more false and spikey look when she is going "high fashion".

Next I tried Maybelline Colossal Volume mascara. My lashed did not look as long as they did with the L'Oreal. It did curl my lashes but again not as much as the L'Oreal. Of course, this formula is for volume and once again, they were not quite as full as they were with the L'Oreal. There was no smudging and this product did feel a little lighter; a little more natural. It was easy to get off and there was absolutely no clumping with this one. So maybe this is a little more daytime and the L'Oreal is more for night.

Probably should have gone with the iconic Cover Girl next, but I ended up trying the new Maybelline Rocket Volume Express. Bottom line was it was very nice but still not as good as the L'Oreal in my opinion. I would rank it above the Colossal Volume in terms of fullness and length. It was a little thick for my taste but the brush was good at keeping the lashes separated as you apply. No clumping either.

The Rocket and the L'Oreal were both VERY waterproof. They were not going anywhere, so you definitely want to have a waterproof makeup remover to get these off! And you can usually get a buy one, get one 50% off at Walgreens and CVS so not a bad deal at all.

Let me know what your favorite is and we will do some more comparisons soon!

To BB or CC??-Richmond Wedding Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

Just when you thought you had it all figured out, enter yet another "wonder" product. The latest surge is coming from CC creams. What is a CC cream? Well to answer that we should first review a BB cream. Here is a quick description from one of our previous posts:

"BB stands for "Beauty Balm" or "Blemish Balm". It really became popular in East and Southeast Asia during the 80's but was originally formulated in the 1950's to be used after surgery or laser procedures. The reason for their popularity in Asia was the fact that the product was a great multi-tasker. There are tons of formulas on the market, many touting anti-inflamatory or soothing properties. The ones that you will find in US stores generally combine the following benefits: a skin prep (think primer), light weight coverage (think tinted moisturizer), hydration (think light weight skincare), and anti-ageing protection (think SPF and antioxidants). Now some of the formulas are heavier on one benefit and lighter on the other, so you need to do a little research to find out which is best for you."

CC stands for "Color Corrector" and in all honesty they are quite similar to BB creams and the above mentioned benefits. The main difference in a CC cream is that they contain ingredients that help to fight against hyperpigmentation. Whether the ingredients are light-diffusing that help to camouflage the discoloration or something more active to help lessen the darkness (such as vitamin A or niacinamide), this added benefit may be something that a more "mature" person, or a sun worshiper might be interested in.

These cream are available in a variety of colors as well as price ranges. As per usual, they are slow to launch in the US. Right now the easiest one to get your hands on is Olay Total Effects at CVS for $22.99. Lorac has one that is launching in the spring and Ulta sells one by Juice Beauty called Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream for $39.00.

In all honesty I have yet to try a CC cream as my clients have seemed to embrace the BB creams. But, since it is out there I guess a trip to the store will be beneficial. In the meantime, if any of you have tried a CC cream please post on our Facebook page what your thoughts are. We would love to hear from you! Be on the look out for our review of CC creams soon!

I might be falling in love...with Cover FX/by Richmond Virginia Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock BRIDEface Richmond

So I know I am not Oprah, but I thought I would share one of my "Favorite Things"! I often get asked what products I love to use and what makeup I think really gives a great pay off. Of course, over the years I have added or changed that list as new products are developed or as old favorites change their formulas and become less than stellar.

I now have a new favorite in the area of creating a canvas (foundations, concealors, powders, bronzers). Of course for my brides I still mostly use the OCC airbrush foundations, but for my other clients I am now recommending the Cover FX line. I can't say enough about how great this product is, especially after their recent re-launch. The line seems to have an amazing grasp on how to create foundations for everyone.

I hear over and over again "I can't find a foundation that matches my skin tone" or "It looked good when I first put it on but then later it just looked wrong". Finding the right foundation can be tricky, especially if you are just trying to pick one up at the drugstore. First and foremost, you should always match your foundation on your jaw line and make sure once it dries down, the color is perfect, meaning you don't see it on the surface of your skin.

I recently had the great fortune to talk with the Vice President of Global Sales and Education for Cover FX, Alisha Gallagher. Since I have several of their products in my kit, I was thrilled to have the chance to ask her a few questions. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation.

Aaron: Tell me a little about the creator of the products at Cover FX.

Alisha: His name is Victor Casale. Previous to Cover FX he was the Chief Innovation Officer at MAC. He is the man who created such well know products as Studio Fix and Lipglass. He is so amazing because not only is he so creative but he is also a chemist! He also created a red lipstick for Madonna on her "Blonde Ambition Tour" called Russian Red. It has become an iconic color. It is very wearable for that woman who is looking for a perfect red and was worn by Michelle Williams in "My Week With Marilyn".

Aaron: Why are your products so special?

Alisha: There are three main points of difference that make us so special. First, our tag line is "Great beauty begins with a great foundation. Can't find your shade? We can!". At Cover FX we have an extensive global color shade palette. 28 shades! But what we do that is so different is we spend a lot of time making sure we focus on the undertone of the skin, not just the depth of color. So many lines have a lot of shades but they go from light to dark without altering much in the undertones. That is why foundations often seem to not match. At Cover FX we make sure we have the right blends of "N" neutral, "P" pink, and "G" golden to ensure a perfect match.
Second, our products are extremely healthy for the skin. They are free of gluten, talc, mineral oil, parabens, and fragrance. As a matter of fact they are actually vegan!
Thirdly, the products have a very high performance level. We use a high level of refined pigments in our products. This allows you to get what you are looking for without having to use a large amount. The beauty is that you can apply them for a sheer coverage or build them to get a full coverage.

Aaron: What would you say are two must have products?

Alisha: That is a hard one, but if I had to pick two I would say the Pressed Mineral Foundation (a pressed mineral foundation with buildable coverage) and the Total Cover Cream Foundation (an emollient cream 2-in-1 concealor and foundation). The Pressed Mineral Foundation has no talc so it is luminous, not chalky or matte looking. And the Total Cover Cream Foundation can be applied as sheer as a tint  or you can build it to a full coverage foundation.

Cover FX is sold at Sephora stores, but not all of them. For those in the Richmond area, they are sold at the Sephora at Regency. For those of you in the Cincinnati area, your best bet is to order from the Cover FX website for now. I would of course chat with Nancy at BRIDEface first so she can assist you in picking the right products. And don't forget to get the right tool for the right job. Cover FX have some amazing brushes that do very specific things. They have used technology from DuPont to help create cruelty free brushes that perform amazingly! Also, if you would like to see it in print, check out Richmond Magazine's December "Mother of the Bride" shoot. I used the Total Cover Cream Foundation on our model!

So whenever you feel you are just not having luck in the area of foundation or concealors just remember what Alisha at Cover FX says, ""We have your shade!" Happy Shopping!!

Long wear shadows...really??/review by BRIDEface Richmond makeup artist Aaron Ellerbrock

Today I thought we would take a look at some of the "drug store" eye makeup out there that claims to be "long wear". I picked up a couple of Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadows as well as the ColorStay Smoky Shadow Sticks. Now as many of you know, it is weird, but I put these on myself so I can review them first hand. This time I happened to do it while visiting my parents in Ohio, Needless to say my dad was kind of confused on what I was doing!!

I tested the Revlon products against some that were a bit more expensive. In this case it was Urban Decay's eyeshadow in Oil Slick and the Buxom Stay-There cream/gel shadows in Schnauzer and Saint Bernard. I basically created a smoky eye on each eye with these brands.

While the Revlon seemed like it was going to work very well, I found there were a couple of issues. First, the longevity was just not there. When I did just the powder shadows, or just the cream sticks, they did not last past a couple of hours. However, when I combined them (using the cream sticks first and then layering on the powder) the longevity was much longer. Another issue I found was that the color did not stay vibrant. I was quite pleased at the look of the pigment when I first applied, but then it just sort of seemed to become dull over the course of the evening. Finally, I was less than thrilled with the fact the product did not blend easily. You really need to work the product in to get a good smooth finish and if you don't it can look very "cakey". Once it dries you can't blend anymore (which is a good thing) but you have to make sure you are happy with the initial application.

The Urban Decay and Buxom products proved to be much better. The color stayed much more vibrant and true. My eye looked like it had true pigment even hours later. Again, the longevity was increased when I layered the products vs. using them individually. And of course they were much easier to blend. I loved the feel of the Buxom shadows. They are very "cushy" and easy to apply. I also liked how I could build the color by letting the creams dry for a minute and then putting another layer on.

My thought is that the Revlon is great for everyday wear. Although I don't think you can get 16 hours, you can certainly get by with these. However, if you are trying to get "fancy" for a dinner or an event, these just won't cut it. I feel you would be much happier pulling out the big dogs (like Schnauzer or Saint Bernard) for such occasions.

The Revlon powder shadows can be found for $6 to $8 and the sticks can be purchased from $7 to $9. However you can often pick up a buy one, get one 50% at Walgreens or CVS. The Urban Decay shadow and Buxom shadows can be picked up for $18 each at Sephora.

Happy Make-up Wearing!!

Katina is Married-BRIDEface Richmond airbrush wedding makeup by Aaron Ellerbock/BRIDEface Richmond


These shots were from one of the most fun weddings of the season!! We laughed and laughed the entire day. I won't even get into why "the armpit" became the statement of the event. This is the lovely Katina and her husband Greg. Katina has an amazing personality and spirit. She had the biggest smile on her face from start to finish. And her girls were a lot of fun to be around. It is days like this that remind me how happy I am to have my own business and to be doing what I love!!
Thanks to Melissa Arlena Photography for the use of these great pics. Make sure to check out her website for other great shots!!