Cathi's Beach Bag Must Haves for Summer 2011!

Warm weather has arrived, and while you’re online planning your vacation getaway, steal a few moments to take inventory of your beauty essentials to get you through the hot days!

Whether it’s Hawaii, San Tropez, or your own backyard oasis, here are some items this Pros has in her beach bag this summer! 

First off, sun protection! You should never leave the house without sunscreen. If you plan to be in the water for an extended period of time, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof and reapply at least every 2 hours.

I can’t even go to Starbucks around the corner without taking along Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 30. It is incredibly lightweight, can easily be worn under makeup, and has broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It is also oil absorbing, which prevents clogged pores and don’t forget the Antioxidant Body Block!

Coming from a family history of skin cancer, I can tell you the areas most missed when applying sunscreen are: the tops of the feet, the top of the head (hairline part), ears, neck and hands.  Those are the most commonly exposed areas while driving, walking, and sitting outdoors that are extremely sensitive.

Dermalogica Solarshield SPF 15 Stick provides 80 minutes of sun protection in the water and is great for quick applications to the nose, lips and ears.

If you have a sunburn, rash, or insect bite, I have found Kiehl’s Centella Recovery Skin Salve to be an effective cure and provide quick relief. It’s also great to have around after a micro-dermabrasion facial or peel as it heals sensitive or irritated skin.

For those of you that like an SPF combined with your makeup, check out my new summer obsession! Intellishade SPF 45 Matte by Revision Skincare is the best skin science experiment! It comes in one shade, and once applied, changes color to match your individual skin tone! I wouldn’t have believed it unless I tried it on several different clients - all with varying skin tones. It matched them all, while providing light matte coverage. It also contains peptides that reduce the appearance of fine lines. Consider your five-minute makeup routine possible with this product!

Keeping with the theme of quick and efficient, other must haves in my beach bag are from NYX Cosmetics - cream blushes and lippies! Creams are fantastic for summer because they hold up well in high temperatures, are water and sweat proof, and have easy blendability.

These NYX blushes can be layered, and leave a fresh, sun kissed sheen on the cheekbones. I am currently obsessed with Bronze Goddess, which I apply to the high points of my cheeks, forehead and bridge of my nose, and voila! Beach Bunny!

For a flushed, romantic cheek, try the Red Cheeks color, and dab a bit on your lips for a light stain. For those of you in search of a more muted nude color, Tea Rose and Golden are excellent choices.

The Pros know lip gloss (whether it’s one or seven) is a must in every woman’s bag, and sunny days call for lots of gloss. But when you’re out having fun in the sun, who wants to constantly reapply? Introducing NYX Matte Lip Creams - moisturizing like a gloss, and color durability like a lipstick blended together to create a matte cream that lasts and lasts.

I have been using these creams on set for a few months and like to apply them as a stain and then layer gloss or lipstick as needed. They are perfect on the go, and at $6.00 each, you can have fun with all of the colors! Some of my favorites are Antwerp, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Istanbul.

We all know bright colors are in this summer - with coral making a huge appearance. I fell head over heels for NYX Lipstick in Haute Melon. It’s bold, bright and will catch some attention! Throw it on with some tinted moisturizer and mascara and head out the door.

Speaking of mascara, I carry that in my bag too! I recently got to try the newest mascara from Smashbox Cosmetics, Full Exposure. Ever since I’ve started wearing it, I have been asked if I’m wearing false lashes, or if I had lash extensions put on. The answer is no, it’s just an awesome product! Part of it’s magic is that it contains aloe which hydrates and conditions the lashes, making them stronger, longer and more full. If you plan on jumping in the water, this mascara is not the best choice as it is not waterproof, but it is long wearing and smudge proof. For waterproof options, we like Makeup Forever Aqua Smokey Lash as a stay put formula.

Chlorine, sun exposure, and product build up all reek havoc on our hair. It’s important to give our lovely locks a little TLC too. I use several products from Enjoy hair care line, but find the Leave In Conditioner to be a wonderful sulfate-free product that fights frizz, tangles and gives hair the extra moisture it needs during dry weather.

I may be a slightly color enhanced blonde, but nothing beats the sun-kissed streaks in your hair after a day at the beach. John Freida Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Spray lightens hair in 3-5 uses. Just sprtiz and go. Great for a quick touch up in between color appointments!

We all love those effortless, texturized, wind-blown beachy waves in our hair, but if you don’t have an ocean nearby, this product is the next best thing. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray is the cult favorite - key ingredient sea kelp extract gives fine hair volume and the perfect messy coif.

Energize your skin and keep it fresh on the go with one of my favorite hydrating mists from Youngblood Cosmetics. Minerals in the Mist spray comes in three blends, each packed full of vitamins, minerals and essential oils. Recharge energizes with ginger and mint; Refresh cools with tangerine and grapefruit extracts; and Restore calms with a blend of lime and rosemary.

A new addition to my bag this season is makeup artist Melanie Mills’ Gleam Body Radiance. Not only is the scent tropical and delicious, but also it hydrates and delivers a gorgeous sheen to any skin tone. The product garnered a lot of attention on the hit show, “Dancing With the Stars” as Melanie used it on all the performers to get them camera ready.

Gleam camouflages stretch marks, scars, and other unwanted spots and gets you ready for that yellow polka dot bikini. Get bronzed with any of the four shades: Rose Gold, Light Gold, Bronze Gold, and Deep GoldVisit to order.

Maintain that perfect pedicure after leaving the salon with Essie Polish No Chips Ahead Top Coat. Just one quick coat and your Pro paint job is extended by 10 days. My summer shade is OPI, Monsooner or Later and the Essie top coat has kept my polish shiny and chip free!

Hope some of my favorites make it into your beach bag this season! Whatever exciting adventures your summer brings, have fun, be safe, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

IMATS 2011 - Los Angeles

Well, it’s that time of year again! The International Makeup Artist Trade Show took place in Pasadena, California and for the first time in IMATS history, the entire weekend sold out! 
The Pros were looking forward to the excellent education, informative workshops and interesting panels featuring some of our favorite movies and TV shows. And, even more so this year, IMATS Los Angeles was the place to catch new product launches, stock up on necessities, and try new cosmetic and special effects lines. Best part, it was all under one roof! 
These Pros are huge fans of the show, Face Off so when we ran into last season’s winner, Connor McCullagh, we were ecstatic to see his newest creation. Head to toe, his character was covered with such intricate detail (and those nails!), even part of her “glands” lit up with multi colors! We also ran into Face Off finalist Gage Hubbard at the Iwata booth. He was in the airbrush phase of this creation and the layers of this creature were amazing!

We got to speak with the man behind the masks, President and Owner of Tech Works FX Studios Inc, Valek Sykes. As well as creating and providing robots and creatures for feature films, he also offers workshops at his school for Animatronics and FX. For more information on taking classes with Valek, visit

While walking the floor, we got a few close ups at the student competition makeups:

After visiting our friends at the Alcone booth to stock up on our favorite sponges and mascara wands, we got to speak with the creator of Cozzette Inc., Roque Cozzette, his vegan brushes are making a name for themselves in our industry and he recently launched a new brush cleaner that is packed with essential oils, lavender and lemongrass to give your brushes a cool, refreshing scent while ridding them of makeup and unwanted oil. We were so taken with the scent, we actually thought it was a body spray at first!

We had heard of lip tattoo transfers, and to be honest, we weren’t sold on the idea, so when we saw the Violent Lip booth, the Pros wanted to get the skinny on this new trend. From American Flags to leopard print, they have just about every color and design you could want. With just a quick trim to match your lips, it applies just like a temporary tattoo and lasts for hours. We can definitely see them being used on a music video or for fashion work as they take only minutes to apply and are definitely eye-catching. For more information visit

We made our rounds and the shopping spree continued as we picked up new brushes and tools at Royal Langnickel (they have excellent art and FX brushes), and said hello to our friends at Embryolisse, Eve Pearl, BeautySoClean, Purely Cosmetics and CoverFX. We also saw that Z-Palette released their new “Pro Palette” - the same convenient and space saving palette is now slightly wider and longer to hold even more and to accommodate those products that are extra large or oddly shaped!

The Pros are always beauties on a budget, but we couldn’t resist adding to our Hakuhodo collection. Cathi picked up a tapered powder brush that feels like a massage everytime you use it. Not so sure that one will make it into her kit... 

While the Inglot booth was overrun with anxious makeup artists and credit cards were flying, Cathi found her way to the gel eyeliners. She had been told the pale blue gel eyeliner (#88) was a must for waking up tired eyes and was better than the old white pencil trick. She had to get her hands on it, but she was a bit too late, it was totally sold out! She did find an excellent peach color, #81, that will be a great for Summer and fits in perfectly with the coral trend going strong right now! These gel liners are paraben free, waterproof and can also be used as body paints. This particular peach color would also be useful in an FX kit for certain burn wounds, healing scars, etc.

We are Avid fans of the show, Dancing With the Stars, and department head makeup artist Melanie Mills recently launched her magical Gleam body product that is used to bronze and “glowify” the contestants. We jumped at the chance to get our Gleam on.

Here is Cathi’s before/after arms using the Light Gold color:

Gleam comes in four shades: Light Gold, Rose Gold, Bronze Gold, and Deep Gold, and is made with Jojoba Seed Oil which makes it hydrating, yet lightweight. Gleam applies like a mousse and smells like a vacation, now if it could only magically make us dance like they do on the show! The Gleam representative gave us a very useful tip: if your body makeup needs to be waterproof, simply apply the Gleam and then spray over it with an aerosol waterproof sunscreen. 
Workshops and classes at IMATS feature some of our industries top artists demonstrating their trade and sharing tips and tricks with other fellow artists. It breeds creativity and unity among the industry and there is always something new to learn!
The Pros recently purchased the Reel Creations Basic Effects Kit, so when we saw that President of the company, Fred Blau was teaching a basic course using the kit to create quick on set bruises, cuts, and tattoos, we had to attend!

This class was especially helpful for Cathi because while she does do light special effects work, she learned so many quick tricks of the trade from Fred. He literally made a scab, with blood, in a matter of seconds. At the end of each application, he used his Blue Aqua Sealer - what he calls, “The Sealer that Seals Other Sealers.” He demonstrated the product by applying a tattoo and coloring it in, then using the sealer, he sprayed it once, and instantly ran his hand over it. While it should have still been wet and smeared, it didn’t budge! We went straight to his booth and bought two more bottles!

Being that we work in such different environments and sets everyday, we never know what the day will bring - whether it’s skin type, lack of air conditioning, or if the actor is going to be doing strenuous activity and we won’t be able to jump in for touch ups. Needless to say, a great sealer is a must for us. We have since used it on every single beauty makeup since, and have noticed the need for touch ups are few and far between. One small mist is all it takes! It is waterproof and oil resistant. This product would be perfect for brides as well. You can buy products on their site,, and be sure to check out “Fred’s Tips” for helpful hints from the veteran artist.
We were most excited about the True Blood panel. As huge fans of the series, we love the gruesomeness they create. As the seasons progress, so does their creativity, and they always seem to find the most extreme way to use ample amounts of blood and body parts.

The make-up and special effects team consists of Andre Bustanoby, Lana Grossman, Todd Masters, Brigette Myre Ellis, Dan Rebert and Mark Viniello. They have found a balance of making characters like Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Pacquin) look like the flawless Southern Belle of Bon Temps, while at the same time covering her in “gook” from an exploded vampire and still making it look realistic!

The panel was nothing short of entertaining, as the team had come prepared with slideshows, lab test videos and tons of never before seen test and continuity shots. They also gave a sneak preview of what’s to come in Season 4. We don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say, new creatures will be introduced, and they are much more crass and disgusting than anything you’ve seen thus far.

The panel did reveal some tools used, and some behind the scenes secrets. For instance, when a vampire is exposed to the sun for an extended period of time and starts to burn, they used a combination of tinted colodian, blackened coffee grounds and skin transfers. As far as those vampire tears go, they are at times an actual red tear solution and sometimes a visual effect. Because the tear has to brim in the eye base, it is extremely difficult to make it look seamless. The red also stains the skin, which prolongs the filming process for touch ups, in which case, the visual effects are put in afterward.

Overall, the weekend was a success, and fun was had by all. A huge THANK YOU to Makeup Artist Magazine for all of their hard work planning and coordinating the sold out event! Looking forward to what 2012 will bring!  For more information on upcoming IMATS in or near your area visit and purchase your tickets today!

Spotlight: Pixiwoo

This blog will always highlight individuals who inspire us! Usually those people are makeup artists because after all, this is a beauty blog and makeup artistry is our business. 

In early 2010, this Pro was messing around on YouTube during some very long "downtime" between takes on set and discovered two ladies that call themselves Pixiwoo. I was intrigued by the name because it doesn't fit the normal "tutorial" or makeup "haul" type of channel that now flood YouTube and completely bore the crap out of me!

The shoot I was working on at the time had major location changes that required long lighting set ups at each spot and nothing was inspiring me on my Kindle, so I went on the YouTube app on my iPhone and typed "makeup" into the search. Pixiwoo was the first to pop up and the Helena Bonham Carter, Marla Singer - Fight Club tutorial was the first one I watched.

I was immediately struck by the image that Samantha Chapman was creating on the screen and knew right away she was a professional artist and not some type of "beauty junkie" (a label some call themselves that I don't really understand).

She began recreating Ms. Carter's classic character and explaining her technique during application. What struck me most was that Sam was putting her own "spin" on the look, the mark of a true artist, and that reeled me in, hook, line and sinker! I wanted to see more!

After touching up my actor and running off to yet another location change, I found myself viewing a great tutorial by Sam's sister Nicola. It was titled Raquel Welch 1960s Makeup Tutorial. I noticed that this too was impeccably recreated, but the final touch had Nic's own makeup artist style attached to it.  The final outcome was all Raquel, but Nic's makeup technique, products used, along with Nic's bone structure, skin tone and hair gave this look it's own flare!

From that moment on, I have watched most (or possibly all) of the Pixiwoo tutorials.  I have discovered that the sister duo have original style, a sense of humor, elegance and are natural teachers. As a professional artist, I turn to this YouTube Channel and their blog to find inspiration, information and to still pass the time on set.

Maybe it's their ability to create easy-to-follow, no fuss, personal makeup looks...maybe it's the editorial (they prefer the term "not for everyone") looks...maybe it’s the fact that they take the time to professionally film and edit their videos...or maybe it's their British accents that make them so appealing to their now over 300,000 subscribers. Whatever the case, there is no stopping them now - they have created a monster and it has lead them down some new incredible business avenues.

But, before I talk about business, here is a bit of history on the sisters...

Both Samantha and Nicola completed a 2-year course in Media Makeup, Hairdressing and Wig Making at the College of West Anglia in Norfolk, England. Both are accomplished artists with work appearing in fashion publications, music videos, on fashion runways and of course, in countless video tutorials on YouTube and other beauty websites. These artists also teach, lecture and write for various beauty related media. They have over 14 years experience in the makeup field and are currently contracted by Avon to educate their Independent sales leaders, representatives, customers and employees on Avon products.

Now...on to the business;

Earlier this year, Sam Chapman partnered with Real Techniques to create a brush line. Because Sam is a true artist, she knows that using great makeup brushes will enhance any technique and better the quality of the look you desire no matter if you are a professional or novice.

With her makeup artistry appearing in publications including Harpers, Tatler, Brides, Elle and Cosmo, combined with her work on celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Peaches Geldof and Ashley Tisdale, to name just a few and because her YouTube channel has over 40 million hits, Sam is an expert on the need for good makeup "tools!"

When this Pro first discovered the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brush line, I was so frustrated that I couldn't get my hands on them!  Ulta carries them in the States and because of the popularity the Pixiwoo team has built over the past 2 years, this collection sold out fast!  I was able to finally order them online and get all the brushes except the Kabuki.

These brushes combine high-tech materials with innovative design, which makes creating a flawless finish easy to achieve.  The first thing this Pro noticed about the brushes is that they are 100% cruelty-free, with taklon bristles that are incredibly plush and soft.

Each brush is hand-cut to the perfect shape, which allows for precise application and this line is perfect for any type of makeup product including cream, liquid or powder and each brush is color-coded, making it that much easier to achieve makeup perfection!

Flawless Base Collection (gold handle):

*Essential Foundation Brush applies liquid foundation/concealer flawlessly.

*Detailer Brush is perfect for concealing smaller areas.

*Pointed Foundation Brush is best used with liquid foundation to build coverage.

*Buffing Brush can be used for powder and/or mineral foundation application.

*Powder Brush will evenly apply setting powder smoothly.

*Foundation Brush (angle cut) makes blending around the nose, mouth and chin easy.

*Contour Brush applies delicately for a sheer finish.

Eye Definition Collection (purple handle):

*Base Shadow Brush is perfect for all over application from lid to brow.

*Deluxe Crease Brush is sized to fit the crease for effortless blending.

*Accent Brush is designed for precision detailing, smudging and spotlighting.

*Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush is ideal for dense or fine liner application.

*Shading Brush is a great all-purpose brush to create looks from subtle to dramatic.

*Domed Shadow Brush is a tapered design for shading and defining.

*Brow Brush defines brows like a Pro.

*Lash-Brow Groomer is essential to separate and perfect.

Perfect Finish (pink handle):

*Stippling Brush is a trade secret for creating airbrushed, high-definition results with any type of makeup be it liquid, cream or powder.

*Blush Brush will contour and define cheeks flawlessly.

*Multi-Task Brush is wonderful for blush and bronzer.

*Kabuki Brush - use the 2-in-1 kabuki closed for powder, and then unfolds to sweep on color!

These brushes not only perform, they are economical too! So inexpensive that you can easily build your collection quickly and purchase duplicates of favorite brushes without breaking the bank!

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brushes are sold individually or in kits that come with a panoramic brush case and stand - for more information and to view exclusive instructional videos featuring Sam, visit their website at or purchase from Ulta at select stores or online.

Here is a list of this Pro's favorite brushes:

Stippling Brush
Shading Brush
Deluxe Crease Brush
Powder Brush
Blush Brush
Detailer Brush
Buffing Brush
Multi-Task Brush

The entire collection is wonderful and I own them all except for the Kabuki (sold out), but the brushes listed above are those I have purchased in duplicate for my personal and professional use.

Pro Tips and Tricks:

This Pro recently started her own YouTube Channel - InMyProOpinion - and made a corresponding video for this post.  Click below to view and please subscribe if you're so inclined!