Get Hooked!

One of the benefits of being a Pro MUA is that you get to meet and work with other Pro MUAs! Inside the makeup room or trailer you will find us hard at work bouncing tips and tricks off each other, giggling about the latest makeup “trends,” trying to steal product from each other’s kits and of course, gossiping (just kidding!).

This Pro has had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing makeup artists over the past 20 years (has it really been that long?) and I find that I am always learning from them no matter how long they have been in the industry.

As you can imagine, I read several beauty blogs daily in order to research cosmetic and skincare products that have either been requested by an actress/actor for use on a shoot or because a little bird whispered in this Pro’s ear about a specific foundation, gloss, mascara, powder, etc., and I want “real” information on quality, texture, wearability and staying power from total beauty junkies who blog from the “heart” and not from the “pocket book!”

That is how I met Carissa from Hooked On Beauty! I stumbled upon her blog one day and poured through a ton of valuable information on many beauty lines I had written down on a very long list. It was a bonus to discover that she was also a professional makeup artist and works in television much like moi!

Of course I contacted her immediately and started to comment on her blog. I discovered that we shared a passion for many of the same brands like Laura Mercier and Stila, so naturally I asked her to be a guest blogger on IMPO.

Carissa has been a makeup artist for the past 12 years and is a frequent beauty correspondent on Good Morning Colorado. To say this girl knows a thing or two about cosmetics is a total understatement.

She was kind enough to share with our readers some of her favorite cosmetic products that she can’t live without on set and in her personal makeup bag, so without further delay…

“On shoots – I can’t live without my pro palette 3 Custom Color Concealer. The consistency is fantastic and it doubles as a foundation. It covers everything you need and lets skin show through so it’s undetectable. Every single artist was using it backstage at Fashion Week too!

99% of eyes I make up are “tight-lined” using Laura Mercier's Eye Liner in Ebony. It’s meant to be used “under” the upper lash line and that alone makes lashes look longer and eyes really pop! (For more info on "tight-lining see Pro Tips & Tricks section below).

Laura Mercier's Secret Finish is one of those products that doesn’t make sense right away, but once you understand how it works you will love it! Just a little pressed onto the skin with fingertips sets makeup, refreshes makeup and keeps everything from settling into the fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also silicone free!

MAC Twig Lipstick is the perfect pink and looks great on almost everyone!

As for my personal makeup bag, I can not live without Jane Ireadale's Pressed Base. It is an amazing mineral foundation that works for oily or combination skin so it is not shiny like some mineral brands can be.

I don’t always like seeing eyeliner on the eyes, but I like for my lashes to be polished and lengthened so most days I just “dot” Bobbi Brown's Gel Liner in Mahogany between my upper lashes for an instant effect without being over the top.

I can never be without my Shu Uemura Lash Curler, it is the gold standard and lasts forever."

Check out a few shots from Carissa’s portfolio – she is one talented lady:


If you have never heard the term “tight-lining” you are not alone! Once a reserved technique for Pro MUAs because consumer friendly cosmetic brands did not make products suitable for "tight-lining," now anyone can do it using gel based liners.

The benefit of using this technique is that it emphasizes the eyes without looking overly made up because it darkens the lash line. You can "tight-line" both the upper and lower lash lines, but you must practice this technique. It can be very uncomfortable at first and you must use the right product. A waterproof gel liner is best. Bobbi Brown and Smashbox have several shades of gel liners that work great when using this lining technique. You will also need a very thin eyeliner brush.

Remember, you are lining the eye right along the upper lash line from underneath the lashes not on top and right along the waterline in the lower lash line area, not underneath. In the photo below Carissa demonstrates technique and placement on upper lash line area and she is using a flat eyeliner brush. You can also find several YouTube instructional videos on this method.


Up next on IMPO: Just like Lil Mama we want to know, "is your lip gloss poppin?" This Pro has a passion (border lining an obsession) for lip gloss! Check out IMPO's favorite brands and shades!

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