Every year the Pros here at IMPO wait patiently for the start of our convention season…well it’s not really a “season” because we only have two a year here in So Cal, but whatever!

We do our research, make our lists and try to find out which manufactures will have booths and which professionals will be teaching. There is nothing like “show discounts” and we stock up on everything from kit essentials to the newest gadgets, as well as bone up on our makeup skills to keep up-to-date on the latest techniques and technology!

The Makeup Show Los Angeles held this year in March 2012 was so much bigger and better than in previous years (even though the past shows have been pretty great). Jammed packed with 4,500 attendees ranging from beauty professionals, buyers, press, industry educators and retailers.

This year celebrity makeup artists Troy Jensen (Cameron Diaz, Alyssa Milano, Diana Ross, Eva Mendes, Megan Fox), Mario Dedivanovic (Kim Kardashian), Bill Corso (Hunger Games, X-Men, Indiana Jones, John Carter, Nip/Tuck) and Sharon Gault (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady GaGa) all shared their makeup tips and tricks! As well as classes and demos taught by Make Up For Ever, Temptu and MUD, which made the IMPO team feel like we had just relived 6 months of makeup school!

But, we know that our readers are mainly interested in the product we purchased and why…so, here is a taste of our “haul!”

Beauty Blender: this egg-shaped reusable sponge is amazing. We know that there are many duplicates on the market and the Pros have tried most of them. To us, nothing compares! We use it to blend all forms of foundation, concealer, cream blush, contour or highlight. Used dry or wet, we prefer wet, this sponge blends products to perfection – use stippling or bouncing method for best results.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar: as makeup artists we are always on the hunt for new product to add to our kits however, they have to be workhorses for us to invest. Lip Tars not only last for hours, you will barely need more than a “bead” sized amount to get major results, so this product will last you a very long time. Applies like a lipstick but feels like a gloss. We purchased: Hush, Trollop, Kava Kava, Ophelia, Mélange, Pennyroyal, Memento and NSFW! Apply with fingers or brush, but the key is to use very little product to avoid feathering. 100% Vegan and cruelty free!

Bdellium Tools: we feel that you can NEVER have enough brushes! The trick is finding the “right” brush that accomplishes the finish you are trying to achieve. A makeup artist is only as good as their tools and if you think like an artist painting on canvas then there are different brushes for different “paint!” Our newest obsession is with Bdellium’s Studio Line. These brushes are antibacterial and eco-friendly using only natural and/or synthetic fibers. We purchased: #990s Angled Face, #975S Mixed Powder, #555U Retractable Lip, #731S Mascara Fan, but more are on our radar like: #708S Bent Eyeliner, #785S Tapered Blending, and the #953S Duet Fiber Foundation.

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray – Original Formula: a cult classic that stops makeup meltdown! This formula holds eye shadow, foundation, blush and concealer perfectly in place all day! Apply after makeup and your need to touchup throughout the day should be cut in half! Good for normal to combination skin.

Embryolisse: this is another staple in our Pro kit that we cannot do without – ever! Formulated in the 1950’s, the Lait-Crème Concentre is like 3 products in one: primer, moisturizer and makeup remover. It also provides a natural barrier to help protect against free radicals and from makeup settling into the pores. We also stocked up on our favorite classic makeup remover Lotion Micellaire. This formulation is non-rinse and will not irritate skin or eyes. We are excited to personally try their new Vitivia topical Pro-Vitamin line, which is pharmaceutical grade, pure concentrate capsules that claim to smooth lines, reduce skin inflammation, reduce hyper pigmentation and scar tissue, as well as help reduce redness and acne.

Viseart: if you are searching for the perfect palette filled with 12 of the most wearable, matte shades ever, then you must purchase this product. These colors are neutral and so versatile that you can wear them as shadows, liner and fill in your brows. Some of the colors are also perfect for contour and highlight on certain skin tones. We love this palette so much that we purchased a brand new one to replace our very used one. Purchase from Alcone; Viseart Eyeshadow Palette #1 – we like to layer these colors over cream eye shadows to create long lasting, layered color that pops the eyes!

Senna Cosmetics Face Sculpting Kit: Eugenia Weston is a goddess to these Pros! We worship the ground she walks on and when we get a chance to speak with her, we bombard her with questions! Eugenia always shares her latest and greatest potions and brews and this year she launched her cream contour and highlight kit. Originally developed for the makeup team on Desperate Housewives, this cream to powder foundation formula is silicone based and blends instantly into the skin and provides a semi matte powder finish. The contour is a very unique shade of gray-brown that can be used to give you fierce cheekbones. Literally change the shape of your face by following the easy to read instructions located on the back of the packaging! Eugenia helped take the guess work out of placement, but always remember to blend using the brush that comes with this compact or grab that Beauty Blender like we do, it is perfect for this product!

Temptu Airpod Foundation System: we fought joining the airbrush band wagon for so long, but when Jori Jeane (Department Head Makeup Artist for Entourage and Harry’s Law) and Darcy Gilmore (Department Head Makeup Artist for The Voice) told these Pros what they thought of this silicone based foundation formula and that they use this line on almost every single actor or talent that sits in their makeup chairs, we had to try it out for ourselves. We fell head over heels immediately and purchased the entire Airpod line. The best part about this system is not only does this foundation last throughout long, vigorous hours of filming, it is easy to apply and there is zero clean up! The Airpod system was originally created for self-application and you can still purchase this system for your own personal use through Temptu’s website. We find that this foundation provides such amazing coverage and sets with a beautiful finish that we don’t need to add concealer on some of our clients. Also, the need for touchup is cut down so much that our actors have actually commented on the fact that we are not in their faces so much on set! Check it out – it is the perfect gift for your holiday or birthday wish list!

That’s just a few of the beauty products we purchased at the show and we visited many other booths to stock up on special effects products too! We hope this post has been useful and please leave us a comment if you happen to try any of the above! 

If you are a beauty professional, The Makeup Show may be coming to a city or town near you, make sure to check their website. Below are a few highlight and press photos from Los Angeles:

And the award goes to...

We are a little bit behind on our posts here at IMPO, but even though Award Season is behind us, we still feel the need to mention our favorite looks and a few products we would use to recreate them.

Let’s begin with the BAFTA’s because we loved Meryl Streep’s look. Who doesn’t love Meryl? She is elegant and always sophisticated. We seriously think she has sold her soul because she seems to totally defy the aging process! Whatever her secret, we are positive that she uses amazing skincare products.

To get Meryl’s flawless skin begin with a wonderful skincare regime. Really pamper yourself like Meryl would before an award show. The Pros recommend the following products from Embryolisse:

Crème Exfoliante (Exfoliating Cream): use to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. This product uses micro-beads to gently resurface, soothe and nourish the skin. Pores will be properly cleansed and bacteria removed. We like to use it with a Clarisonic brush system.

Masque-Crème Hydratant (Hydrating Cream Mask): this product combines the effects of a mask with the effectiveness of a skincare cream to restore hydration levels. This product stimulates and restructures the skin using beeswax, sesame oil, sweet almond oil and vitamins A, E and F.

Serum Anti-Age Redensifiant (Anti-Aging Re-densifying Serum): this product powerfully regenerates the skin with antioxidants for collagen production stimulation. This serum penetrates the skin to firm and plump. Let this product dissolve into the skin for approximately 5 minutes before applying moisturizer.

Redensifiant Contours Yeux-Levres (Re-densifying Eye and Lip Contour Cream): this product contains hyaluronic acid and marine collagen that helps to fade age spots and tone the fragile skin around the eyes. As we age, we sometimes suffer from fine lines around the lips, especially if we are or were a smoker. This product will help fill in and defuse those lines.

Embryolisse’s Crème Anti-Age Raffermissante (Rich Firming Cream): this product is specially formulated with collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin and vitamins A, E and F. These ingredients will help improve elasticity and skin tone. Allow product to sink into the skin approximately 10 minutes before moving on to makeup application.

Rhianna was a knockout at the 2012 Grammy Awards! She is no stranger to experimenting with bold colors, both with her hair and makeup, but this time she wowed us all with her dewy bronzed skin. To get Rhianna’s glow start with a beautiful foundation and we recommend trying Temptu’s Air Pod System.

This is an airbrush machine that has a specially designed gun, which makes it easy to self apply. The pod system allows for no clean up and because the foundation is silicone based, you can rest assure that all your flaws will be covered and that the foundation will stay put with very little touch up needed.

This airbrush system is designed to give a light to medium coverage to the skin when the airbrush gun is held approximately 4 to 6 inches away from the face, but you can move in closer to dispense more product to the areas that need a little more coverage. You can easily hide redness on the cheeks, age spots, sunspots or a breakout. You may find that you do not need to add concealer after using Temptu, but rule of thumb is to apply your concealer first before you airbrush, like under your eyes and make sure to blend well. Also, you may want to use a primer first before application, if you do make certain that the primer is silcone based.

Rhianna’s Grammy dress was low cut and revealing so we are positive that her makeup artist used some type of body makeup. The Pros recommend using RCK Body Glow by celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip. This product diminishes and conceals discoloration, scars, stretch marks, spider veins, premature aging and gives the body a healthy, radiant glow. This product will not transfer to clothing and it is easy to apply.

Another look we loved is Zooey Deschanel at the Golden Globes. She is striking all the time in a very retro girl-next door kind of way, but she can bring out the big glam when the occasion calls for it! To recreate Zooey’s piercing eyes we suggest trying colors from Yaby Cosmetics’ Pearl Paint Collection.

Begin with an all over shadow cream base in a neutral color to make certain that the eye shadow stays put all night. Take First Snow and wash the color all over the lid to the crease. Next, take Cappuccino Dream and smudge it into the crease and wing it out. Blend to erase any harsh crease lines. On the outer corner use Antique and blend into Cappuccino Dream in a "V" shape. Use Lemonade in the inner corner near the water line. Line the entire upper and lower lash line with a black liner and smoke it out using Yaby’s Hematite. Lastly, don't forget to line the lower water line with a white or skin tone colored pencil. This will open your eyes and make the whites of your eyes whiter!

Zooey’s artist used false lashes on both the upper and lower lash line. The upper lash line looks so full that we would not be surprised if two pairs of false lashes were used. The lower lash look can be achieved by placing small individual lashes (three to four) along the waterline.

False Lash Tips:
*Always curl your lashes first and use one coat of black mascara prior to applying false lashes.
*Use a false eyelash glue like DUO and wait about 30 seconds before adhering the lashes to insure the glue becomes tacky.
*ALWAYS measure the lash first and clip off excess from the outer corner of the lashes prior so that the length looks more natural and is more comfortable to wear.
*Make sure to apply one more coat of black mascara to bind your natural lashes to the false lashes.

Sofia Vergara was drop dead gorgeous at the SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) Awards this year and we think her cheekbones were the main attraction (even though some might disagree)! Makeup is all about smoke and mirrors and you can carve out some killer cheekbones simply by using contour and highlight!

To get a Sofia’s chiseled cheeks start with Baja Bronze from Senna Cosmetics and use a fan brush to sculpt in the hollow of your cheek right under the bone from the ear and blend downward. Use sparingly and build the color. If you use too much bronzer then take a clean blending brush and buff the color into the skin or a clean sponge and blend out the edges.

Next take a color that is peachy and pinky like Senna’s Charisma and apply to the apples of the cheeks. This color will tint the cheeks with a sheer, soft glow. Blend into the bronzer. Lastly, use a highlighter in a pinky champagne color like Pure and blend upward from top of cheekbone to brow bone in a "C" shape.

Rooney Mara at this year’s Academy Awards was simply beautiful. Her impeccable red lips should have won a golden statue for their performance on the red carpet! To recreate Rooney’s color we suggest using products from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

First, make sure to prep your lips by gently exfoliating any flaky, dry skin and then buff a lip balm into the lips when applying your skincare. Let the product sink into the lips while you are applying the rest of your makeup. Blot the lips with a tissue to remove excess lip balm before applying lip color.

You can line your lips first using a compatible red lip liner, but OCC Lip Tar not only dispenses serious pigment, it stays put with no bleeding! We love the colors Harlot - a vibrant red/coral, Stalker - a true blue-based red or NSFW - a true red a la Marilyn Monroe! Choose the color that best matches your skin tone and apply a light layer. Remember, a little goes along way and adding too much product can cause feathering.

All OCC products are 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free and is also free of parabens and other harsh preservatives. This product will also not feel dry because the formula contains Hemp Oil, Peppermint Oil and vitamin E.

We hope that this post has been useful and will help the next time you need to get award show ready!