I Love Lucy!

Founder Lucy Baldock-Sacchi is originally from London and has been working as a celebrity and beauty makeup artist for over 15 years. Her clients include Claudia Shiffer, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle McPherson and Kylie Minogue to name just a few and she has worked for some of the most influential magazines of our time – Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Vanity Fair.

Lucy began Lucy B. Cosmetics when she discovered a gap in the market between color cosmetics and organic ingredient resources found in Australia. Today, Lucy B. Cosmetics is the only color range in the world to have infused the natural Australian Flower Essences within their products.

Lucy’s vision is to balance image and style with heart and soul and when you use this product line, you will grasp that same perspective! Lucy was kind enough to send In My Professional Opinion many wonderful products to play with and boy, did we put them to the test!

Here is a list of the our must-haves:

Fresh Juice Lip Glosses – while this product is the ultimate in bee stung lips, it is the color and staying power that captured our seal of approval! We fell head over heals in lust with Coconut Kiss, Tinkerbell and Tigerlily! These super-shiny glosses are a big hit amongst celebrities so make sure to pre-order Tinkerbell and Beatnik online today! These gloss colors are sure to fly off the shelves when they are released this Spring!

Tinted Lip Balms – these balms are the bomb! Formulated with Vitamin E and a delicious watermelon scent, these little cuties will certainly uplift your spirit! We especially loved Nudie, Pink Bikini and Ruby Red! Great for travel and should be used in conjunction with Lucy B’s Lemonade Organic Lip Balm.

Frangipani Bronzing Shimmer Oil – all we can say is, “hello summer!” This is the most amazing bronzing, shimmer oil that gives even your winter tanned-less skin a kiss from the sun! Infused with organic coconut, jojoba and sunflower oils and with Lucy B’s signature confidence enhancing Australian Flower Essences, you are going to feel and smell like you are on a beach holiday! Great winter pick-me-up!

Eye Silk Eye Shadows – Lucy B. was kind enough to give us a sneak peek at a new collection they will be releasing soon and you are going to want every single color of these amazing crème eye shadows – we can’t stop wearing Sea Shell, Rock Pool and Bronze! As with most crème shadows, prep your lid with an eyelid primer prior to use and your shadow will last all day and long past happy hour! This product is great as eyeliner or used as a powder eye shadow base and you can mix the colors together to create a very sexy look!

Coming soon from Lucy B. Cosmetics is a line of Lip and Eye Pencils and Cheeky Rouge, which we hope to feature on a future blog post here at In My Professional Opinion!

Lucy B. Cosmetics are available at Anthropologie, QVC, Planet Blue and at the following online stores:



Crème shadows are a big must have for this Pro and they are part of my 5 Minute Face almost every morning – used as an overall color from lid to brow, they provide just the “right” amount of color and shimmer to open up the eye so you will look like you got 8 hours of sleep even if you didn't!


Tune in next time when In My Professional Opinion will be reviewing eyeliner! You won't to miss this post because we have some very interesting products to tell you about!

Green Room!

Giving good “face” is not just about makeup. The number one problem I have as a professional makeup artist is “sins of the skin” and boy, have I seen some major issues in my career.

Skincare is a very personal choice – oily, dry, combination and then we have to deal with crow’s feet, fine lines, Rosacea and breakouts. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then our faces are the window treatments and there is nothing like bad Levelors to taint the view!

Good skincare helps cosmetics work and look their best. My sister has pretty sensitive skin, still gets the occasional pimple at 35, is starting to get a few small wrinkles and of course, being a California girl; she has skin that has seen its fair share of sun.

Recently, I noticed that my sister’s skin is looking amazing and I had to know what she was using on her face. She told me she discovered a great skincare line so naturally I asked her to write a review about it for the blog and here is what she said...

At one of my favorite local spas, I discovered the Jurlique skincare line from Australia. Since 1985, Jurlique has been a biodynamic skincare company. They grow all their ingredients and base formulas on the natural properties found in many plants. Their vision: beauty is defined by sustainable connections – to oneself, to the community, and to the earth. Jurlique farms are dedicated to biodynamic and organic farming which observes the natural cycles in the earth and growth of plants, harvesting during times of maximum living energy and efficacy. And I believe you can feel this “living energy” in the products, from the moment they touch your skin and throughout the day.

My first experience was with the Rosewater Balancing Mist. Sprayed on my face at the end of a massage, the mist has an invigorating scent and the mixture of rose and marshmallow calmed my skin.

My esthetician recommended a complete regimen: cleanser, toner and lotion. The three products complement and complete each other providing a balance and healthiness to my complexion.

I begin with the Balancing Foaming Cleanser ($45). The primary ingredients are calendula, daisy and peppermint. This cleanser is gentle but unlike many other “natural” products, my skin truly feels clean, impurities removed. Essential oils from grapefruit, lemon, lemon myrtle, and peppermint hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

A spritz of the Rosewater Balancing Mist ($23) is my next step. While my face is still slightly damp, I apply a very small amount of the Sun Lotion SPF 30+ ($69). The combination of toner and lotion smoothes over the skin, hydrating the skin and leaving it protected and ready for primer. Sunscreen is an absolute must and I insist on it in my moisturizer as well as my foundation. Sunscreen not only prevents skin cancer but also minimizes the occurrence of skin damage and discoloration.

Jurlique’s product line is extensive and includes a variety of cleansers, exfoliators, masks, toning mists, moisturizers, age-preventers, body, sun protection, hair, specialty products and a line of skincare for the baby.

According to their site, Jurlique is one of the first and only companies with products containing natural preservative systems, and are working towards development of a natural emulsifying system. Chemical preservatives and emulsifiers can be harsh on individuals who have sensitive skin.

Their biodynamic products do not contain Parabens, Mineral Oils, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Synthetic Emulsifiers, Artificial Colors or Fragrances. Jurlique is available online at http://www.jurlique.com.au and in fine spas nationwide.


Good skincare doesn't have to be expensive! There are many great drugstore brands out there like Oil of Olay ProX, Avene and you can always stick with the tried and true, Cetaphil Cleanser and Eucerin Face Lotion!


Up next on In My Professional Opinion...we Love Lucy!!!! Lucy B. that is and if you haven't had the pleasure of trying this product line, you will want to run to QVC, Planet Blue, Anthropologie or Fred Segal to check it out!

Brush Off!

In the magical world of professional makeup artistry a great artist possess three very important attributes that make them stand out from the crowd - Attitude, Knowledge and...Makeup Brushes.

Professionals invest in quality over quantity and brushes are no exception. Like a writer needs a great pen, a ballet dancer needs the right toe shoes, a photographer needs the best camera, a makeup artist needs amazing brushes! Brushes can enhance an artist’s skill level and they can be a BIG investment, but one that with proper care, can last 20 years!

To look your best everyday whether you are a professional or a novice, investing in good brushes should be a top priority. Let’s start with the basics…

Makeup brushes are divided into three parts: Hair, Ferrule and Handle. Doesn’t sound that complicated right? Well, did you know that there are approximately 13 types of Natural Hair makeup brushes? Badger, Squirrel, Squirrel Mix/Blends, Pony, Raccoon, Ox, Goat, Sable, Kolinksy Sable, Red Sable, Weasel and Pahmi. There are Synthetic brushes – Taklon and Nylon. All these hair types can affect the overall value of the makeup brush hence also their prices.

Confused? Then keep reading!

Natural hair = soft makeup brushes and are mostly manufactured for the larger brushes in an arsenal, such as a Powder, Blush, Contour, Blending, or large Eye Shadow brush. Those types of brushes usually are made from Squirrel, Pony or Goat. Smaller brushes, such as Lip, small Eye Shadow and Eyeliner brushes are also made of natural hair most likely different types of Sables or Pahmi hair.

Natural hair brushes hold or trap the powder cosmetic they pick up so, when you press the brush to your face, you release the powder more effectively with little to no fall out (or in laymen’s terms – the cosmetic goes where you want it to and not where you don’t! Capisce?).

Synthetic brushes are Nylon or Taklon and are not “absorbent” or will not “trap” powder cosmetic to the bristles. They are best used as Concealer, Foundation or creme product applicators. If you have a brush made of synthetic bristles and you are using it for powder products, you probably get “fall out.”

The ferrule of the makeup brush is the metal “tube” designed to hold the glued hair in place and they are usually made of brass, copper or aluminum alloy. Brass is the strongest of the three. Higher end brush lines can also have nickel-plated ferrules for appearance and corrosion resistances.

Today, brush handles can range from acrylics to fancy metals. Most professional artists prefer wood handles for both durability and control.

Now that you have had quite the education on makeup brushes, here is a list of brush lines I use both personally and professionally:

Ve's Favorite Brushes – one of the most renowned makeup artists in the motion picture industry is Ve Neill! She has created the characters for some of the most iconic movies of our time and is a three-time Oscar winner! Now you can own the same brushes Ve uses when she is making up Johnny Depp, Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Edward Norton, Keira Knightly, Robin Williams or Julia Roberts.

Tricia Sawyer Beauty's Foundation and Powder Brushes – hands down these two brushes should be a “must have” in every woman’s arsenal! TSB’s Foundation Brush is made of taklon with a rounded tip, which allows for better blending over the natural curves of the face. TSB’s Powder Brush is made of a natural blend of Squirrel and Pony hair with a wood handle. Designed to buff your powder into your skin when setting your makeup.

adesign Brushes– Shana King’s professional career as a makeup artist includes such national credits as Smirnoff, Cadillac and Cirque Du Soleil and she has created high-profile brand campaigns in the fashion and entertainment industries. She was also the regional manager of over 35 salons for Aveda. She designed this brush line to improve the function and skill of makeup application for both the professional and consumer.

I also use brushes from MAC, Sephora (silver handle pro line), Japonesque and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of Sonia Kashuk's line for Target.

Taking good care of your makeup brushes is easy and takes very little time. I recommend using Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner for quick disinfecting. Pour a little brush cleaner on an old, clean towel and wipe the brush gently back and fourth over the towel or pour the brush cleaner into a metal or glass bowl and soak the brush hairs into the cleaner. Gently stroke the brush over a clean towel to remove excess cleaner and place on the side of your bathroom counter to dry. Do not stand your brushes up (or put them back into your brush holder – dry them flat first – or the cleaner will drip down into the ferrule and cause the glue to disintegrate and the hairs will shed or fall out). I also recommend cleaning your brushes with a gentle shampoo (baby shampoo works great), after all – it is made of natural hair (but please don’t use conditioner).


Stacy H. wants to know:
Why do my brush bristles fall out?

Pro suggests:
It’s actually called “shedding” and it happens to brushes sometimes, but if your brush tends to shed all the time, it is time to get a new brush. Here is how you can “test” a brush to see if it is prone to shedding or loosing it’s bristles before you purchase it: Step 1) Run fingers through the hair. Step 2) gently sweep the brush on the back of your hand. Expect a few strands to fall out. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 – if you notice more strands on the back of your hand, pass on the brush and test a different brand.

Kim A. wants to know:
Can dirty brushes cause breakouts?

Pro suggests:
The answer to that question is a big YES!!!! Dirty brushes are full of bacteria and are unhealthy for the skin. They can cause breakouts and rashes because oil, bacteria and makeup build up on the brush. You must clean your brushes regularly to ensure they stay in tip-top condition! My friend Karen, who writes the Makeup and Beauty Blog, suggests using Wet Ones for quick and easy cleaning if you don’t have time to properly shampoo your brushes. Good tip Karen!!!

Christine C. wants to know:
I have under $75 to spend, which brushes would you recommend I purchase?

Pro suggests:
The most important brushes to have in your bag would be the following: Foundation, Powder, Blush, Large Eye Shadow, Small Eye Shadow, Blender, Eyeliner, and Lip. You could also start with a “travel” brush kit and look for the type that have “dual” ended brushes (more bang for your buck because it is like getting two brushes for the price of one).

In My Professional Opinion will be posting a product review featuring the skin care line Jurlique. As always, if you have a comment, suggestion or beauty question, click on the Ask The Pro button on our side bar and send us an email today!

Disappearing Act!

Makeup artists have been compared to magicians mostly because we seem to be able to make things disappear! Those dark circles, pimples, scars, crows’ feet, wrinkles and other sins of the skin and face are no match for the skilled artist.

While nothing should replace a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, hydration and practicing good skin care routines (which means removing every speck of makeup before you go to bed), there are a few tricks you can learn to minimize a skin issue from a makeup artist.

The very first thing I would tell you if you were my client is to invest in a really great concealer. All kidding aside, concealer is your BFF (best friend forever) and your first lesson is in understanding the difference between concealer and foundation.

Concealers work like undercover spies secretly correcting skin issues when placed in specific areas of the face, such as under eyes, around nasal labial folds or used as coverage for pimples or scars. Foundation's main job is to even out skin tone and is used all over the face and neck area. Concealers are thicker in consistency than a foundation and the best formulations are creamy with high pigmentation.

Now let’s talk color theory as it applies to makeup. Dark under-eye circles are blue in color as a general rule. On a color wheel orange cuts blue which means that in the world of concealers, you would want to look for a product that is like a salmon color. Using a concealer that is too yellow in tone can cause those raccoon eyes and accentuate the problem instead of hiding it.

If you are trying to cover a pimple or broken capillaries find a concealer that is close to the exact shade as your foundation. If you try to use a correcting concealer in a green color (because green cuts red on the color wheel) then make sure that you receive one-on-one instruction from a makeup professional, otherwise stick to my first suggestion and make sure the concealer is not too light because you will draw too much attention to your skin issue.

Here are a few of the concealers I carry in my professional kit and use personally everyday:

Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer – perfect salmon colored, under-eye concealer with a non-greasy texture, which glides on smooth and blends flawlessly. Available at www.evepearl.com. $42.00

Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer – moisture-rich formulation designed specifically for under and around the eye area to conceal discolorations. Good viscosity and easy to blend. Available at your local Sephora, department store or online at www.lauramercier.com. $22.00

Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage – used for dark circles and minor imperfections, this is a unique two-shade system, one to match your skin’s depth of color and one to match your skin’s undertone. Custom-blend to your own perfect shade with high level of pigmentation. Available at your local Sephora, department store or online at www.lauramercier.com. $28.00

Benefit Cosmetic’s Erase Paste – brightening camouflage for eyes and face. This innovative formula instantly brightens and camouflages all in one. So if you are interested in minimizing those fine lines and you need coverage for skin irritations, this is a great product for you! Available at your local Sephora, department store, or online at www.benefitcosmetics.com.$26.00

Sometimes your foundation is all you need to cover a little sleep deprivation, all night party dehydration or chocolate-binge pimple, but if your skin is in need of more coverage apply concealer after foundation, this method also insures you are not putting on too much concealer. Try dabbing on the concealer with your ring finger instead of a brush or sponge. Warming up the concealer naturally with your fingertips will help blend the product quicker and smoother. Don’t rub the product under your eye, unless you want you that product to settle into those fine lines! Yuck!


Nancy S. wants to know:
I suffer from Rosacea, can a concealer cover my problem?

Pro suggests:
Rosacea can be concealed, but it depends on the severity of the condition. If the Rosacea is mild then by all means try a concealer, but you may want to try a correcting concealer like I mention above, with a green tint and you will want to consult with a makeup professional on proper application. If the case is more severe and is all over the face, I recommend consulting with your dermatologist who may be able to suggest a better approach or treatment to calm the sensitivity and minimize some of the redness.

In My Professional Opinion’s next post will be titled “Getting the Brush Over” and we will be reviewing many different cosmetic brush lines from high-end to on the cheap! If you have a question or comment pertaining to makeup brushes, we would love to hear from you! Click on the button Ask the Pro and send us an email today!

Center Stage!

Maureen Kelly founded tarte™ cosmetics out of her one-bedroom apartment in New York City back in 1999. She was earning her masters degree in psychology from Columbia University when she became frustrated by the lack of healthy cosmetic product. A beauty junkie at heart, she had a hard time finding products that “worked” and lived up to their claims.

She also recognized a deficiency in consumer-and green-friendly products so she began to research what it would take to manufacture a cosmetic line. Kelly admits, “I am not a makeup artist,” but she has built tarte into one of the most influential cosmetic lines available to consumers and professionals.

I fell in love with tarte years ago when I happened to wander into Sephora and my eye caught sight of the now iconic tarte Cheek Stain. I couldn’t help myself! I had to have it! It made me feel happy just holding it in my hand and when I tested the color; I knew this was something I must have for both my professional kit and my personal makeup bag!

What also impressed me about Maureen and the tarte cosmetic line is that their products are an all-natural blend of vitamins, minerals and natural fruit and plant extracts. This line is 100% free of parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances. tarte cosmetics come in cases and compacts that aren’t just pretty on the outside; they help reduce green house emissions! Really! tarte’s components are made of recyclable material and can be re-used or re-purposed. Now that is genius!

Here is a list of some of my all-time favorites from tarte:

Emphaseyes High Definition Eye Pencil – a very slim pencil perfect for lining your upper lash line and on the inner rim. Creamy, longwearing and doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes. This product is available in Black, Chocolate, Green and Plum. If you ask me – one in every color is a necessity!

Cheek Stain – this product is my first tarte love – long-lasting, buildable color that won’t streak. I apply with my fingertips or sponge right to the apples! It gives your skin a very natural glow – like your grandma just pinched your cheeks! This product comes in a variety of colors, but here is what I carry in my kit: Flush (sheer berry red) Tickled (sheer peach/red – this also looks great on the lips) Blissful (warm peach/pink) Bronze Goddess (sheer bronze with shimmer – I have used this on several photo shoots as highlight on cheeks and eyes).

Celebutante Moisturizing Dry Oil Spray – now this product was recently stolen from me by one of my actresses!!! It is a great dry oil shimmer that you can spray on your arms, legs or chest area and it gives your skin an amazing glow – plus it is naturally scented with coconut oil! If you want a pick-me-up this winter or if your skin feels dull and dry, this is one product you will want to order by the gallon!

Emphaseyes for Brows – now hang on ladies because this product is gonna knock you off your stilettos! It is a super-slim, waterproof (yes! I said waterproof) brow pencil that lasts all day! The tip is four times narrower than traditional brow pencils, which will give you the impression of fine brow hair. I can’t live without this product and it is only sold exclusively at QVC!

Are you getting married soon? Need a great idea for a gift for the bride, bridal party or guests? Well your search is over because the geniuses at tarte came up with an incredible idea - Custom Lip Glosses! Log on to tarte’s website and press the custom glosses button at the top of the page and read their offer. You can personalize these glosses with the bride and groom's name! So awesome for engagement parties, bridal showers or wedding favors!

If you haven’t tried tarte cosmetics, you should do yourself a favor and rush down to your local Sephora, order from QVC or from tarte’s website immediately! Your skin and the environment will thank you for it!

Trix of the Trade:
tarte’s Emphaseyes will help you achieve a finished smoky eye! Prior to applying eye shadow, smudge Emphaseyes along your lash line and along the outer and inner rim of the lower lash line. Apply shadow, blend and viola! You are smokin! Don’t forget that these tarte pencils come in a variety of colors so you can play with a smoky eye look using shadow colors other than your traditional black and grey. Try purples, greens and browns for a very sexy, modern, right off the runway effect!

Magic Wand!

In the world of makeup artistry as well as in the “real” world, there is an ongoing quest for the perfect mascara!

You can shadow, line, shape, highlight and contour those gorgeous eyes of yours, but until that final swipe of the magic wand from that little tube of glamorous elixir, your look is considered “unfinished” – and that’s a fact!

There are tons of mascaras available to the consumer with formulations that claim to lengthen, curl, extend, and thicken and others that won’t smear, flake, smudge or clump! As a bonus, cosmetic companies also provide us with a variety of “magic wands” to choose from (so many that even Harry Potter would be confused). They come in all shapes, widths and lengths. Curled, fat, hourglass, stubby or thin, these wands will grip, coat, plump, adhere and add volume to your lashes!

Now, with so many choices, which formula and wand is right for you? It is a very personal choice based on personal results, but here is a little information from the Pro to help guide you on your search.

Thickening Mascara – a thick formula designed to make lashes appear fuller. If you feel your lashes are thin or you have sparse lashes then you may find this type of formulation beneficial. These mascaras usually come with a fatter, longer, straight wand.

Lengthening Mascara - thinner formula that will help make lashes longer, but in a way that looks more natural. These mascaras usually come with a thinner, standard width and length wand.

Curling Mascara - lightweight formula that is fused with a technology that curls lashes eliminating the need of an eyelash curler. This mascara usually comes with a curled wand.

Waterproof Mascara - formulated with a technology that will resist water and is great for those who tend to have oily eye areas, find themselves in climates that are extremely humid or for a special occasion, however you will need a special type of eye makeup remover. These mascaras come with a variety of wands depending on the cosmetic company’s claim.

My personal choice is Dior Show Mascara Blackout. It is a lengthening formula with a big, fat, long wand, which gives me amazing results with just one coat of mascara. Dior’s campaign promises “show girl” lashes and/or “the look of false lashes” and for me, this claim rings true. At $24.00 retail, this mascara isn’t cheap, but because of the results on both my clientele and myself I have brand loyalty.

I am also a huge fan of Lancôme’s Definicils-High Definition Mascara. This product gave my lashes great shape and separation with one coat. It has a slimmer, longer brush than Dior Show and it is my back up mascara! Plus Lancôme makes this formulation in Navy, brown or deep brown colors.

Unfortunately, our country is in a recession and I felt it necessary to be a budget-conscious professional so I started to test other mascaras (around 40 or so) and have discovered that there are two drug store brands out there that are on the cheap, but are very chic!

Covergirl’s Lash Blast Mascara - gave my lashes instant volume and fullness as well as length. A great bang for your buck, it comes in an original or waterproof formula with a big, fat, wand!

Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie Mascara - lives up to it’s name and gave my lashes length and separation. This mascara comes with a straight, fat wand or a curved wand depending on your personal preference. Choose the straight wand if you are focusing on lengthy lashes.


Mascara should last up to 6 months as a rule however, if your mascara smells funny, chuck it! Eye area is very sensitive to bacteria and old mascara can cause major irritation! Don’t pump that wand ever! Pumping your mascara wand into the tube adds air into the container and will make your mascara dry out faster.


Katie P. wants to know:
I’d love to read your opinion on cake mascara vs. tube mascara.

Pro says:
Great question Katie! I use cake mascara by Le Femme (sold at Cinema Secrets in Burbank, California) when I apply false lashes. I dampen a fan brush with a little bit of Evian Water and sweep the brush back and forth across the mascara. Dab the brush on the back of my hand to remove the excess and apply. The reason cake works best is because the formula and brush doesn’t “pull” the false lashes off of the rim of the lash line and makes adhering the false lash to the real lash easier. It is great to use cake mascara for everyday and the formula is the same as lengthening mascara, but most find it intimidating based on the application. We are programmed to use the wand/tube combination!

Andrea T. wants to know:
Can you recommend mascara for contact lens wearers?

Pro says:
Another fantastic question! While I don’t wear contact lenses, I know plenty of people who do and even a mere flake of mascara is enough to ruin a contact lens and cause the eyes to turn red and irritated! Check out mascaras from the following cosmetic lines: Almay, Covergirl, Lancôme or Clinique (they all claim to be safe for contact lenses). Stay away from lash lengthening mascaras because they tend to have tiny fibers that can get into the eyes.

Pucker Up!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought I would post a product review on some of my all-time favorite, hall of fame, can’t go wrong with…red lipsticks!

There is no doubt that red lips make an impression, but you don’t want your lips entering the room 5 minutes before the rest of your body so here are a few In My Pro Opinion suggestions:

Use simple eye makeup. A neutral or vanilla eye shadow (matte or shimmer) swept from lid to brow would work best (see archive post Take 5 for Pro recommendations).

Consider using a liquid liner instead of a pencil or shadow and only line the top lash line. Very sophisticated a la Sophia Loren! The Pro is in love with MAC's LiquidLast Liners.

Coat those lashes thrice with the blackest-black, lengthening mascara. Try a Pro favorite like Max Factor's 2000 Calorie Mascara or Fiberwig Mascara!

Watch the hair! Opt for a classic hairstyle and save that rocker frock for another occasion!

If you are drawn to browns or earth-tone colors, go for a brick red lipstick with brownish undertones.

If you can wear rainbow colors with your skin tone, then try a lipstick that is a true red or fire engine red.

If blue is your choice on the color wheel, then seek out a cool toned red lipstick with bluish undertones.

Got a tan? Choose a red lipstick with flecks of gold.

What the Pro carries in her kit…

“Vogue” out with MAC's Russian Red,which was designed specially for Madonna. It is a bluish, matte red with great texture.

Channel your inner Marilyn Monroe and grab Chanel's Rouge Hydrabase Creme Lipstick in Red Dream. It is a moisturizing formula that won’t fade or feather.

Guaranteed to leave a stain on “his” collar, Nars Cosmetic's Fire Down Below is a dramatic, blood red lipstick with brownish/orange undertones. It is semi-matte, highly pigmented and is very, very long wearing. (Image below is not of actual color).

Hit the bull’s eye with L'Oreal's Infallible Lip Color in Target Red. This product has incredible staying power in a glossy formula. Great bang for your buck and available almost everywhere!

As timeless as the little black dress, Jemma Kidd's Classic Couture Lip Color in Siren is a super creamy pro formula that will allow you to sip your champagne with class! So, next time you are at Target don’t forget to throw this in your cart! (Image below is not of actual color).

For that just drank the Kool Aid, but in a good way look, try Aveda's Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Color in Cherrybud. It is a great sheer stain and lip plumper! I keep this product in my personal makeup bag for those days when I want to spice up my swank factor! (Image below is not of actual color).

Are you a Sinner or a Saint? Check out Lipstick Queen's Saint Red, which is very sheer, but has enough depth of color to leave an impression. Or be a Sinner Red, which has the most insane pigmentation I have ever seen in a lipstick formula!

Whether you have plans this Valentine’s Day with your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, boy-toy, partner or if you’re a hot, single gal about town, you will knock ‘em dead with one of these red lipsticks on your perfectly pouty lips!

Take 5!

Everyone needs a 5 Minute Face! This is my mantra as a makeup artist. If you can just give yourself the gift of 5 minutes, you can change your attitude, confidence level and take on the day with more conviction.

But first you need to do a little spring-cleaning…

Open your makeup bag and evaluate your products. Are you carrying around 10 different eye shadows? 14 lip glosses? A couple of powder compacts? Do you mix matte with sparkle? How many types of eyeliner are in your bag? How many lip liners? Are your brushes buried in the bottom of your bag getting all contaminated?

No wonder you are having time management issues during your morning routine!

If your bag is busting at the seams (and I mean you can’t even get the zipper closed) then you need to decide which products “make up” your 5 Minute Face and place those in your makeup bag. Then clean out a drawer in your bathroom or grab an extra makeup bag (one of those bags you got from a department store gift with purchase special) and put all the rest of your makeup in there for easy access.

Pro suggestions for an instant 5 Minute Face:

1. Prep your face using your skin care and primer.

2. Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer with SPF and great pigmentation. This is a dual- purpose product – meaning it can be used all over face or to spot concealer on the days when you don’t want to wear a full face of foundation. See archive post Laying the Foundation for my recommendations.

3. Concealer - if you are using a tinted moisturizer or a light coverage liquid or powder foundation you may find that you need a little extra coverage on certain days. I recommend using MAC concealers.

4. Powder (compact or loose is a personal preference, but a compact is easier and keeps the bag neat – no spillage). I recommend MAC Mineralize Powder or MAC Blot Powder. A great drug store find is L’Oreal’s True Match Powder compact.

5. Quad palette containing 4 shades of neutral matte powder shadow that can be used on the eyes, cheeks, brows, contour and highlight. I recommend Tricia Sawyer Beauty's Essential Palette. You only need to use one color of eye shadow for the 5 Minute Face from lid to brow in a vanilla shade.

6. Bronzer - I recommend Nars Bronzing Powder or Benefit's Hoola Bronzer.

7. Lip gloss in pink, peach or nude. I recommend Sally Hansen’s Lip Inflation or L’Oreal’s Infallible line – great colors with amazing staying power!

8. Mascara – blackest black. I recommend Dior Show or CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Luxe

Note: You can create the same look above using crème shadows, blushers, liners or lipsticks and feel free to throw in a great eyeliner pencil and/or lip liner if you prefer. For time crunch purposes, I remove my liners from my bag of tricks and use the darkest powder eye shadow from the quad palette to line my eyes. Lip liner is, as Heidi Klum would say, so “out” these days, but if you don’t follow trends then toss it in your bag.

Below is a photograph my 5 Minute Face and a picture of the products in my makeup bag I use to achieve this look!

Time for a little Q & A….

Amy S. wants to know:
I love using sparkle – can I use an iridescent eye shadow instead of a matte color when doing my 5 Minute Face?

Pro suggests:
Hi Amy! Of course you can use an eye shadow with more shimmer or frost if you prefer – just remember to make it a neutral color like MAC’s Ricepaper, Jest, Motiff or Naked Lunch. MAC can also make you a quad palette of shadows and their components/packaging are recyclable!

Alexis W. wants to know:
Is a quad palette necessary or can I use individual color?

Pro suggests:
Hi Alexis! A quad palette is simply a way to keep several colors in your makeup bag neatly in one container. The Tricia Sawyer Beauty’s Essential Palette is a mixture of matte colors that look great on all skin tones and the colors can be used as shadow, liner, blush and brow filler – eliminating the need to carry all of those individual products in your bag. Great for travel!