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Friday, October 30, 2009

MUA Bag of Tricks- Products loved by professional make up artist KJ Bennett

Hi there!

Trick or Treat? Here's my thought for this pre-Halloween morning: I have often wondered about all the cosmetics that are available and who uses what and beyond that, WHAT products actually WORK? Nothing's worse than buying an item, (especially non-drugstore variety) you bring it home and once you use it, it's nothing special. Total trick. However, when you get something great, a real makeup gem and especially if it's more economical, what a treat! Here's a great site that I love for info and the lowdown of what top MUA's have in their kits. I don't have as much Makeup For Ever as I do Besame and Lime Crime and believe it or not, a great cheap brand is N.Y.C. 

BUT enough of my rambling, here's the site: KJ Bennett You can also learn more about him at http://kjbennett.com/ (aka Kevin James Bennett aka2 Blenderella- love THAT) Here's a quick bio from his site:
Multiple Emmy Award winner Kevin-James Bennett has spent over 20 years honing the skills that have brought him accolades from his peers as well as viewers of his work in television, film and print.

Kevin's love affair with makeup was ignited after meeting the ground-breaking makeup artist Way Bandy. Mr Bandy created the profession of 'fashion' makeup artist, designed the iconic look of the "Cosmopolitan Cover Girl" and was favorite artist of legendary photographer Francesco Scavulo.

On the advise of mentors, Kevin began training with and assisting some of NYC's most celebrated and creative artists. Armed with solid artistry techniques and a healthy dose of Art/Color Theory, his adventure into the world of makeup was about to begin.
His passion was further int
ensified by the dawn of the "Supermodel". The intense media focus on these superstars of the catwalk and the "celebrity" status of the artists creating their faces facinated him. Not caring if it was a model, socialite , drag queen or department store mannequin...Kevin "painted" anything that would sit still long enough.
Amen to the Way Bandy method- I've read more than once that his techniques have inspired celeb MUA's....sometimes you can find his book on Ebay, but good luck- it's a tough one to locate and expect to spend at least $30 on a used volume. KJ has a wonderful addition to his site called "In my kit". I linked to it in the first paragraph describing KJ's site- go see. In this section he details the must haves, pro faves, and tricks of the trade. That way, this Halloween, makeup girls, we can have more TREATS than TRICKS in our makeup bag! Here's what he dubbed as his best and I listed them in order of application method....let's go! Keep in mind the product descriptions are KJ's, not mine. Okay, now let's go!

Skincare Face + Body:
Cetaphil® Moisturizing Lotion: Dermatologists all over the country (possibly the world) recommend this non-comedogenic head to toe moisturizing lotion. It's super mild formula is non-irritating and contains a system of emollients and humectants that bind moisture to the skin. It's also fragrance-free and contains no lanolins or parabens that could irritate sensitive skin.Who knew there were such skincare treasures at the drugstore?

Embryolisse Skincare Lait-Creme Concentre: Known to us in "the biz" as the "24 Hour Miracle" Here's why- When you need a furiously fast face fixer-upper, Lait-Creme Concentre magically transforms flaky, dehydrated skin into a visibly softer, firmer, smoother complexion...without emptying your wallet.
It's formulated to soothe and correct b
y mimicking and reinforcing the natural surface oils and waterproofing barrier of the skin, slowing down moisture evaporation. It's a lifesaver for quickly correcting peeling, sunburned skin.

Makeup Primers:

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: Another player in the silicone primer category. Photo Finish does what all the others do (in clear, bronze and a host of 'corrector colors'), but they raised the bar by adding something new...Dermaxyl™ Complex. Besides moisturizing the skin and prepping it for makeup application, Dermaxyl™ works to firm the skin's texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and just for the heck of it, they added an SPF 15 for full spectrum sun protection. So you’re not only going to get a longer-lasting makeup application, but with continued use you’ll see positive anti-aging effects!


MAKE UP FOR EVER HD-High Definition Foundation: This is the foundation that everyone in the Pro industry is talking about. Undetectable to a camera that can see over 6x closer than the human eye? Can we really believe the "buzz"?

Let's break it down...Years of development and testing under the critical eye of HDV technicians (video directors, lighting designers, camera operators). When the tech guys said the formula was INVISIBLE to the HD camera, it was finally presented to makeup artists. OK, here's where it gets weird...it has KILLER coverage! Wait, invisible to an HD camera and it still has crazy coverage? I feel faint, this has to be a dream! But it's true. The stuff covers like a champ and still looks like beautiful skin, not a coat of house paint. SHOW & TELL: Far to many cosmetic companies are jumping on the "HD" trend, but with non-compliant formulas and unsupported claims. Problem is, they simply don't deliver in front of the camera. Trust Blenderella, You can bank on this bottle.
Global Warning:The stuff is available in 25 global colors including great olive tones (thank you!)

Conceal + Correct

Christy Cosmetics Keromask Masking Cream: Makeup artists have kept this "secret weapon" under wraps for over a decade. Keromask is a professional solution to problematic dark circles, skin imperfections & discolorations. You only need tiny amounts of this lightweight masking cream to get BIG time coverage for serious skin discoloration like vitiligo and port wine stain birthmarks.
Custom-blending to a perfect shade is a snap thanks to a precise range of 7 skintones and two adjusters (white and rich yellow). So, with insane levels of pigment for extreme coverage, easy customization to an exact skintone, a non-greasy lightweight feel on the skin AND a waterproof finish...It's no wonder that beauty insiders have been so tight lipped about this miracle in a tube!

Oil Control + Powders:

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder: The only other 'white' powder that gets this much press, is illegal. And the biggest news is about what's NOT in the jar. NO TALC - NO CORNSTARCH - NO RICE POWDER and most importantly... ABSOLUTELY NO PIGMENT! In high-definition video (HDV), the camera is able to identify texture like never before. A powdered surface must appear naturaly matte (not dry) and show NO powder texture. HD Microfinish Powder was designed with this in mind. Micronized silica beads (under 7 microns in size) create a soft focused natural finish that doesn't accentuate fine lines or skin texture and becomes invisible on any skin color it's applied to...yes, I said ANY skin color! Set foundation or do multiple touch-ups, you'll never see a cakey or over-powdered look. All you see is a fresh looking complexion...no matter how close the camera gets. Anybody want all my old loose powders?

Ben Nye Luxury Visage Powders: We all love a fabulous money saver...but if it doesn't work, why bother? Ben Nye delivers an ultra-fine, sheer powder that reduces shine and sets makeup beautifully...at a ridiculously affordable price. Just about every makeup artist I know has used (or at least heard of) the Ben Nye 'banana' powder. It gives the same candlelight glow and finish as that French company's Poudre' Banana ...for 1/5 of the price!

*Personally, I use Erno Laszlo powder, but Ben Nye is waaaay more affordable you budget conscious girls out there!*

Specialty Products:

NARS The Multiple in 'Copacabana': Makeup artists and jet setters alike have been HUGE fans of the magic you can create with 'The Multiple' cream to powder color sticks...So when a perfect hightlight with a glorious glow is what you crave, 'Copacabana' is in a class by itself. The platinum cream creates heavenly highlights anywhere on the face or body and catches light in a subtle and sensual way (not too glossy or sparkley like so many other cream highlights).
Quick Fix: Place a dab of Copacabana on the tops of your cheekbones and blend down and back. Now, instead of blush, swirl some bronzer over your cheeks and up to your temples...
TAH-DAH! Sculpted, highlighted and sun-kissed in a snap!

Benefit High Beam & Moon Beam: One is a satiny silver pink while the other is a moonlit golden pink. These delicate liquid highlights add a subtle soft focus sheen that will have you 'beam'ing and everyone wondering why you look so radiant. Use either as a spot highlighter or blend a few drops into your favorite foundation or moisturizer for an all over glow. (hint: Click on www.tiannemarie.com's page of Steals and Deals to go to Benefit's site, where a portion of the proceeds go towards yours truly!)

Blush + Bronzers:

Nars Powder Blush + Bronzers: Yes...they're that good! Makeup artists, performers, models...everyone knows the magic that appears when you brush these beauties on. The color choices are spectacular and quite a few have a touch of "glow" to rock your radiance off the Richter Scale.You have to have an "Orgasm", a "Deep Throat" and don't forget the "Passion"...I mean the colors, silly.

Benefit Hoola Natural Bronzing Powder:This long lasting, densely pigmented powder is the perfect choice when a natural looking, sun-bronzed effect is your objective. No sparkle, no glitter, no "orange" tan. The rosy brown, soft matte finish creates a believable sun-kissed glow for that Maui Man or Honolulu Honey. (Tianne here, P.S.! Dandelion and Georgia are great powders too for that sunkissed or rosy glow!)

Eyeshadow + Eyeliner:

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: The folks at Urban Decay are so sure of how well eyeshadow will apply and wear after using their Primer Potion that they (their words) "DARE it to crease. (Double-dog dare it, even!)" You all know better than to DARE Blenderella. SO, I gave it the HARD road test on an actress with greasy eyelids on a humid day...OMG, it worked beautifully!
Tons of silicone to smooth the lid and lots of oil absorbing ingredients make this the pinnacle of primers. It dries instantly and grabs on to eyeshadow with a vice-like grip and won't let go until you take it off. Now that's a magic potion!

Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil:The same soft, smudgeable, fade resistant, dense colour application of the expensive Kohl brands at a fraction of the cost.
Sharply defined or blended to a softly smudged look...these pencils pack an A+ punch (Lovable Lilac is a total standout!)

Pressed Powder Shadow:
The pro choice for superior shadows no matter what color mood you're in. The incredibly pigmented pressed powders come in a dazzling array of colors and finishes (over 125 at last count). Choose matte, satin or iridescent shadows in everything from rich neutrals to neon colors that can be used anywhere on the face or body. The signature formula of highly micronized pigments, nylon powder and silica allow effortless blending and long-lasting, color rich results...every time! What's "a gilr's best friend"?

Just to take Blenderella over the edge, MUFE blended their signature shadow formula with their loose Diamond Powder to create "Diamond Shadow". The finish is not a shimmer or frost. It creates a true diamond-like lustre and sparkle...call me dazzled!
(Tianne again, okay if you see this colour, it's me, lol: N.Y.C pigment powders also pack a mean punch for half the price!)

Eyelash Curlers:

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: No makeup artist I know will go anywhere without it...I'M NOT JOKING! It curls (not crimps) even the hardest to curl lashes. I defy you to b e satisfied with any another eyelash curler once you've used this magic tool. A classic in the original Stainless Steel. Now available in a sleek, hi-tech Nickel finish or a luxurious 24kt Gold Plated version (for super sensitive skin).

Mascara + Brows:
Anastasia Brow Express Palette: Eyebrow guru to the stars, Anastasia, has created the perfect kit for those who are "brow challenged" (hey, it happens to best of us some days). Sim
ply choose the correct brow powder color (blonde or brunette kits are available) and select one of the four brow stencils. You are now ready to create the perfect "Anastasia Arch" to fit the eye and face shape. I know, some of you think this is cheating...get over it. Sometimes there just isn't enough time to sweat over a brow (hehehe...I made a pun). You can always "customize" the brow after the basic shape is stenciled in. Besides, these brow powder colors are FAB!

Christian Dior Diorshow Unlimited Mascara: We all thought Dior had created the ultimate guilty eyelash pleasure when they introduced Mascara Parfait with Cashmere.
Guess what...they've taken the original idea and created a new mascara that's EVEN BETTER!
Diorshow is lavishly lengthening, impossibly volumizing and ...hold on to your hats...it curls lashes like no mascara we've ever seen! The double-side brush provides unsurpassed control and professional results every time.

Lipstick + Lipliner:
Chanel Hydrabase Lipstick & Precision Lip Definer: The creme de la creme of all lipstick-dom. Chanel has introduced other formulas over the years, but Hydrabase made them THE lipstick icon. This stuff is a creamy, dreamy marvelously moist masterpiece. There is nothing better mon cheri...NOTHING! Reminisce with me...Coco Red, Red N°5, Star Red (oh, the glamour)! And who could forget the introduction of the first luxury "Goth" lipcolor...the stunning blackish plum, VAMP. They also raised the bar for luxury lipliners with a hybrid cream/powder pencil. It lines precisely and effortlessly with a built-in lipbrush. The legendary faves are Nude and Tawny.

Wet N Wild Cream Lipliner: For a little more than a buck each, Wet N Wild lipliners have a creamy, easy to use consistency...not hard and waxy or hard to blend.
The notoriously versatile #666 (Brandywine) and #715 (Plumberry) are rosy nudes that work well on many skintones. The BIG score here is #712 (Willow), which is a dead ringer for the "original" MAC SPICE (before they messed with the color). For under $5 these three colors have your entire "nude" wardrobe covered.

Lip Gloss + Lip Balm:
C.O. Bigelow
Mentha Lip Shine
: Quickly becoming a makeup artist cult-favorite. This lip preparation packs a three-in-one punch. It combines high gloss, incredible moisture and long-lasting breath freshening with a refreshing, minty, cooling sensation on the lips.
It also comes in a bunch of other "flavors" and tints, but the original "Mentha" is the minty green tube you'll see popping up in makeup kits.

Chanel Glossimer: Scintillating, sublimely sexy and seriously attention grabbing is the only way to describe "glossimered" lips. Chanel has definitely put a delicious "grrrrrrrrrrrr" in gloss this time. The unique gel texture creates a shimmering, ultra-glossy look that is water-resistant, extremely long lasting and vitamin enriched.
Glamorous and good for you? Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

Okay guys, that's what KJ has to say! I think this is a great referral. I have every one of these (excepting the MUFE products) and I swear, they're a gold mine! The pricier ones are worth it- so sometimes it's best to pay more. Especially for the foundations and lipsticks and eyeshadows. Liners/glosses/powders, you can play with more. Alright, that's a dollop of info- let's go makeup shopping!

Have a great day,

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