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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Save Your Skin...how to keep that healthy glow/Richmond Virginia Wedding Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock


I pride myself on being a great makeup artist, but what some of you may not know is that I was the Training Executive for a luxury skin care brand for several years before starting BRIDEface Richmond. Working with that brand, I learned quite a bit about the skin, how it functions, and how to keep it healthy. I also learned that many skin care lines want you to pay LOADS of money for their products.

In my honest opinion, you just do not need to do that. However, I will add a caveat here. If you start early to keep your skin healthy you will not need to spend loads of money on products, but if you wait until the damage is done, that is another story.

Taking care of your skin is a simple process. There are five basic items that everyone should have. By "have" I mean you should use them too! It doesn't help to own them if they just sit in your bathroom.

The five essentials are; cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, eye cream, and SPF. Your cleanser should be one that is good for your skin type and, if you are wearing makeup, it should also be a makeup remover. Many cleansers are just for washing away environmental debris, so make sure you pick one up that also removes makeup.

Be careful when purchasing an exfoliator. You want to fine one that is not too abrasive. I like to use ones that say "milled" or "rounded" when referring to the bead. Usually jojoba beads are going to be the best. I am not a fan of the St. Ives as I find it too aggressive. The reason why you exfoliate is that moisturizers can't penetrate dead skin cells so we need to get them off the surface. How often you exfoliate is determined by your skin type. For drier skins usually once a week is enough. For oily skins it may be 3 times a week. If the skin starts to get red, you are doing it too much.

Moisturizers and eye creams are essential to replenish the vital nutrients the skin needs to remain healthy as well as a great way to protect the skin from the nasty free radicals. Those are the things in the environment that cause the skin to degrade and what makes us look older. Think of a carpenter's nail that is left out in rainy weather. It starts to oxidize and rust. That basic breakdown also happens to our skin with free radicals, thus, why we want to look for moisturizers that provide antioxidant protection. Vitamins A, C, and E are all great antioxidants. Resveratrol is also a great one to look for as it is extremely potent and stable so it doesn't break down easily. And yes ladies, I truly believe an eye cream is essential. There are lots of articles on the web that say you don't need a separate eye cream but just go to the mirror and look at your skin. On the face you see lots of pores, but you do not see that around the eye. The skin there IS different so you need a different product. Most eye creams are made with ingredients at a smaller molecular weight so that they can penetrate skin that doesn't have a lot of large pores.

Finally, SPF is a must. The number one things that prematurely ages us is the sun. Yes, we all look pretty with a tan, but being 25 and looking 45 is not so pretty! Come on, you all have seen "Tan Mom", right?? Remember that the basic idea for the SPF number is as follows: The average skin tone can be in the sun for about 10 minutes before it starts to take on damage (fairer skins less time and darker or olive skins get a bit more time). You take your SPF number and multiply it by 10 and that lets you know how long your protection lasts. So if you are using an SPF of 20 you have 200 minutes or 3 hours and 20 minutes of protection. If you perspire or go in water you will loose some of that SPF. And also remember your protection starts at the time you put it on, NOT WHEN YOU GO OUTSIDE!! That is why you need to reapply your SPF throughout the day. And one last point; an SPF over a 45 or 50 is just not worth it. SPF does not stay stable for longer than that. Maybe one day technology will find a way, but not right now.

Nivea, Nutrogena, Cetaphil, Olay, are all brands that you can pick up at your local drugstore and are often the items that dermatologists will recommend. I have been using the Simple line and I love it. It is great for sensitive skins. Basically your skin will let you know if your products are working or not.

Please feel free to message me if you have any skin care questions. I love talking about the skin and how to keep it healthy. Coming up in a future post..."What do I use if the damage has already been done to my skin?" Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Color IQ at Sephora...Never Get The Wrong Shade Again!!/Richmond Makeup Artist Aaron Ellerbrock


This new gadget at Sephora is AMAZING!!!!!! As many of you know I spend one day a month in the store training and educating on my favorite foundation brand, Cover FX. While I was there a couple of months ago they introduced me to this new technology called Color IQ. In a nutshell, what it does is find the exact foundations that match both your skin tone and depth of color!

I can't tell you the number of times my clients have said they buy a foundation, or tinted moisturizer, or BB/CC cream and it was the wrong color. Now, you never have to worry about that again...and it really works (more on that in a minute). Sephora teamed up with Pantone the company known for creating color matching. The Pantone Color Matching System is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another. If you ever have seen a book of color swatches (the big books) it is probably Pantone.

So here is how Color IQ works. Basically you go into Sephora and ask to get matched with the Color IQ system. This works best with a clean face, but they can always remove your makeup if you have some on. They use their special camera, pressed to your face and take three scans. Most cameras work using ambient lighting, but their device captures the images in pitch darkness (hence why it is pressed against your face). This allows the tool to focus on the skins physiology and eliminate the variables that distort shade selections.

Once the scans are taken, the computer gives you your matches from over 1,500 options. Now what I think is so cool is that you can then filter your matches in a variety of ways. Do you only want options for a liquid foundation? You can filter that way. How about foundations only for oily skin? Sure thing! If you only like a certain brand (probably Cover FX as it is amazing!!), you can filter so you only see that brand. There are so many ways to filter, you really can't go wrong. And, as I mentioned earlier, it really works. I had my Color IQ done before my summer vacation and I randomly tried three of my matches. All three were perfect. Then I thought I would try it again after a week of a little sun, again trying three other random matches...all of which were spot on!

The process takes less then a minute but has the potential to save you hours of searching and lots of money as you won't get the wrong shade. If you have even once chosen the wrong color of foundation, GO TO SEPHORA!!! Check this out. You will not be sorry!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Getting the "natural" look that still works for photography--BRIDEface Richmond Wedding Artist Aaron Ellerbrock



I looooove when my clients bring in photos of makeup they like. It puts everyone on the same page and can save a lot of time. But let me illustrate some of the challenges with what you see in a photo, particularly many of the most popular ones you'll find on Pinterest.

Check out these side by side shots of a bride done by Nancy at BRIDEface in Cincinnati. It is the same exact makeup but at different facial angles, quality of light, and photography techniques.

Many times I have a client at her trial point out to me a photo of makeup I have done on my website or Facebook, and they say, "I wanna look really natural, like this bride." Now, I did this makeup, and I know that in fact, that bride has a WHOLE lot of liner and shadow on. But the shot might be her looking straight ahead at the camera. If the client could see a shot of that bride looking down, she would be able to see that there is actually a lot more drama going on with her lid.

To get amazing definition from across a huge cathedral or to "pop" in a photo, you are going to need some makeup. The challenge in bridal makeup, of course, is to make sure it does not look like stage makeup. It still has to look gorgeous and soft up close. So makeup in a photo that you think is sooo natural is sometimes just a blown out, diffused treatment.

Bottom line?  Bring those photos; go for it! But trust what you see in the mirror, in natural light, and bring a trusted friend or your mom. Get your makeup done for your engagement photos so you can see how your photographer's style plays with your makeup. I have worked with many wedding photographers in town and I am familiar with how I need to adjust the makeup so it will suit the way they like to shoot. Trust us when we tell you that the camera eats makeup. It takes an awful lot of work to look "natural"!


image, TM photography
makeup, Nancy for BRIDEFace