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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mary Kay at Play "Ocean View" Look

Products Used:
Foundation: CoverGirl Queen Collection 3n1 Foundation (golden honey)
Pressed Powder: CoverGirl Queen Collection (light golden)
Brows: Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner (cinnabar) & Xtreme Lashes Brow Pen (deep)
Concealer: L.A. Girl PRO.conceal (almond & classic ivory) mixed
Transition color: Loreal True Match Powder (C6)
Eye Shadow: Mary Kay at Play Set (ocean view)
Crease Color: Stilla Eye Shadow (dahlia)
Eyelid Liner: Maybelline Master Precise Liner Pen (black)
Waterline Eyeliner: Xtreme Lashes Glideliner (xtreme black)
Mascara: Make Up Forever Smoky Lash (extra black)
Lipgloss: Armour Beauty (edie)

"Mary Kay at Play" {Earth Bound} YouTube Look

Products Used (in order of the video):
Brows: Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner (cinnabar) & Xtreme Lashes Brow Pen (deep)
Concealer: L.A. Girl PRO.conceal (almond & classic ivory)
Highlight powder under eye: MAC Cosmetics loose powder
Loreal True Match Powder (C6)
Shadow base: L.A. Girl PRO.conceal (almond & classic ivory)
Eye Shadow: Mary Kay at Play Earth Bound set
Purple Eye Shadow: Stilla (dahlia)
Eyelid Eyeliner: Maybelline Master Precise Liner Pen (black)
Waterline Eyeliner: Xtreme Lashes Glideliner Pencil (xtreme black)
Make Up Forever Smoky Lash Mascara (extra black mascara)

To watch the video tutorial click here
To purchase the Mary Kay at Play Eye Shadow collection click here

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Fushanista" Lip Look {requested}

I've gotten several questions about what I used to create this lip look so here is the info:
1. Line the lips {top and bottom} with "Nightmoth" lip liner by MAC Cosmetics
2. Fill in the lips about 1/4 of the way
3. Apply "Fushanista" lipstick by Wet n Wild in the center of the lip
4. Rub lips together to "marry" the lip liner and the lipstick
5. Reapply the "Fushanista" lipstick
6. Top it off with "Date Night" dazzleglass by MAC cosmetics


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Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Top 5 Foundation Choices

If you've been following my blog for the last couple of years you know that I have a "thing" for foundations.  As the seasons change so does my skin and so do the foundations.  I've managed to narrow down my top 5 "go to" foundations (according to price):

1. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream - $10

I am a firm believer in BB Creams because they are convenient.  This one is sheer (yet buildable), light weight, easy to apply and contains everything (foundation, SPF, zero oil, etc.) you need to create the perfect canvas. I combine colors medium deep and deep to create my custom color then I use a stippling-like brush to buff it in to my skin.  Because of my oily skin I do tend to experience shine during the day so I blot with a tissue.  After application I follow it with powder to set it.

This item can be purchased at any local CVS, Walmart, Target, Rite-aide, or Walgreens)

2. Revlon ColorStay 24 hr Foundation - $10
      (combination/oily skin)
I really love this foundation.  I have to say that it is truly a favorite of mine because of the way it looks on my skin.  It has a sheer to medium coverage and it really does last all day.  My color of choice is Caramel which is applied with a stippling-like brush that I use to buff the product in with and then I follow with a powder. I typically use this foundation for my everyday work week and have even used it on my brides.  It's a great foundation.  This foundation is oil free but I still experience shine throughout the day so I blot with tissue when needed. 

This item can be purchased at any local CVS, Walmart, Target, Rite-aide, or Walgreens)

3. Black Opal Even True Flawless Foundation - $12
Black Opal is a noted company that has been around for years.  Over the years they've grown as a company to produce new and innovative products that cater to deeper skin tones and I appreciate that about them.  Recently I tried their liquid foundation in Rich Caramel and fell in love with the coverage not to mention that it is fragrant free so my allergies appreciated that. However, when wearing the foundation I did notice that it doesn't have "staying" powder.  While it's hypoallergenic, light weight and can give a flawless finish it is transferable.  When I used it the first time I went to a birthday party outside so I figured it was just the heat but then I used it again on a work day at the salon and noticed it rubbing off on my fingers, cell phone, and sunglasses more that other foundations I've tried.  I applied it with a stippling-like brush and set it with a powder.  I still use it from time to time but it depends on the event.

This item can be found at your local Walmart or 

4. MAC Studio Fix Fluid - $27
I'm a huge fan of MAC's foundations.  They have a variety of choices and coverage's for all skin types and tones.  This particular foundation is great for oily skin because it dries with a matte finish, contains SPF15, is also buildable while minimizing the appearance of pores.  The downfall to this particular foundation (for me) is that it can be heavy so I only tend to wear it on special occasions or more in the winter months.  My color of choice is NC50 and is applied with a stippling-like brush followed by a powder to set it.

This item can be found at a MAC Cosmetics store or online at

5. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation - $39.00
I must admit that I'm probably the only makeup artist that is not a huge fan of Urban Decay makeup.  It has nothing to do with their products because I'm sure they have great products but I never really got in to the brand.  I did try their famous primer potion and wasn't impressed so maybe that's when it all started for me.  Nothing against the company but I just never got in their makeup until now! This has to be THE best foundation I've experienced in my whole life.  The way the makeup feels and glides on the skin is pure bliss. I love that it's light weight and has a buildable coverage like none other.  Hands down this foundation is brilliant. Although it is a bit pricey I believe that it's well worth it.  I don't remember having to blot my skin during the day with this foundation and it was long lasting.   My color of choice is 9.0 but I have to adjust it a bit because it can be a little red on my skin.  I apply the foundation with my stippling-type brush and set it with a powder.

This item can be found at Sephora or at 

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring A Hairstylist or Makeup Artist

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Hairstylist or Makeup Artist For Your Wedding

It's "Bridal" season...or is it? As a Makeup Artist and Hairstylist I feel like every season is bridal season.  Brides don't just get married in June or July they get married all year long.  However it does seem like "tragedy" season as it seems as though I'm coming across more and more brides with horror stories when it comes to bridal beauty.  I've heard about how they've had several bridal consultations and/or trials and couldn't seem to find the right match until they met with me.  While that is a compliment it also saddens me.  If a bride truly knows what she wants then it should be fairly easy to be matched with the perfect glam squad.  Try these tips before you jump the broom!

1. Referrals - Most of us beauty industry professionals get our business from people that loved our work and let the whole world know.  Check out the vendors who serviced your friend or family members in the past.  Who knows, If they were good enough for them then they may be good enough for you. Ask about the experiences they had and if there are some positive reviews then go for it!

2. Websites - When I moved to Maryland back in 2009 my first bride told me that she probably wouldn't have booked her wedding with me if I didn't have a website.  She wanted to see my "professional" work.  Make sure your beauty vendor has a professional website.  This way you can get an idea of what kind of work she/he does.

3.  Budget - This is THE most important thing.  Most of the time we as bridal beauty vendors get the short end of the stick when it comes to weddings.  You've spent all of your money on the venue, the food, the dress and even the cakes so when it comes down to hair and makeup you feel like it's not as important as the other things.  I disagree.  While those things are important, hair and makeup are just as important considering that you will be in 90% of the photos that you'll take that day AND people will be looking and talking about how you looked for years to come.  You want to make sure you look your you hired a professional and not your niece who is just graduated from "hair school".  Prices are going to be based on experience, professionalism, travel and the level of "glam" you want so plan your budget around it.

4.  Professionalism - I can't tell you the number of times that I've heard that other MUA's {Make Up Artists} were late to a consultation, didn't show up or my favorite...late to the wedding.  Sometimes I'm hired to do both hair and makeup for weddings or sometimes I'm hired to do just one service.  I have seen it with my own eyes when the other beauty professional is late and the bride is in a panic (secretly looking at me out the corner of her eye because she knows I can save the day if needed).  If you feel like your beauty vendor is not up to the standard you'd like them to be then don't settle.  Don't hire the unprofessional just because she was cheaper.  You may suffer in the long run.

5.  Know Your Wants & Needs - You've been planning your wedding since you were a kid and we all know that so when it comes to your look make sure to translate that into black and white.  What I mean is bring pictures and written ideas of what you want to your consultation/trial.  It gives the artist a chance to see into your vision so it can be executed the way you want and need it to be done. Ask questions...don't assume.  This will leave you less stressed on your wedding day allowing you and the artist to be at ease.

Hope this helps...Happy Planning!

By Nyoka Gregory
Owner/Makeup Artist/Hairstylist

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Milani Shadow Eyez

Skin Type: combination/oily
Coverage: buildable sheer/medium
Color used: (6 shades available)
Purchase location: Walgreens
Price: $6.99/each
I love these pencils. As a matter of fact I will go back and get other colors. The pencil glides on smooth, has 12 hours of wear time and is true to color. They remind me of the NYX jumbo pencils that I liked but the difference is that these Milani Shadow Eyez come in bolder colors and don't crease like the jumbo pencils. NYX jumbo pencils do come in a wider variety of colors and are cheaper in price ($3-$4) but I'd still rather use the Milani pencils instead. What I noticed is that they hold up better with oily lids or in water situations (such as crying) which is also a plus. I've used these pencils in 2 different ways:
as an eyeliner in the waterline
as an eyeshadow base with shadow on top

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Keep Calm!

Revlon ColorStay 24hr Foundation

"Longwearing coverage with a lightweight formula that won’t cake, fade, or rub off. With Time Release Technology specifically formulated for combination or oily skin to control oil absorption and shine. Your look stays flawless throughout the day."

I must say that is the best (over the counter) foundation that I've ever lie! It has the coverage that I like and is not heavy or cake-like. Revlon did an excellent job formulating this ColorStay foundation because not only does it do what it says but it's also priced appropriately. I actually put the foundation to the test and wore it for 24 hours and it did hold up. The next day I cleansed my face and did not suffer from any outbreaks on my skin. I don't suggest you sleep with your foundation on. It was simply for the testing of this product.

Skin Type: combination/oily
Coverage: buildable sheer/medium
Color used: caramel (20 shades available)
Purchase location: Walgreens
Price: $12.99

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Ultimate Moisturizer

I've struggled with oily skin for the majority of my life. I've used products from Mary Kay, Avon, and even Origins. While not all of them worked, it wasn't a total loss because there were some aspects from each line that were ok. A friend and fellow makeup artist colleague told me one day "stop fighting the oil and use products that help control it". Makes sense now but back then I was more focused on winning the battle. As I've gotten older I've noticed that my skin is not as oily as it use to be and I have come to accept it.
As a makeup artist I look for products for both myself and the client. I always like to try products on myself first so I can see how it feels, moves, and looks and therefore give my honest opinion when using it (or not). A friend/mentor recommended Kiehl's moisturizer to me and I'm now in love. Even with my combination/oily skin it works fabulous for the winter months. This moisturizer is very lightweight and absorbs into the skin just as it says. When I apply foundation on top there is no greasy feeling and it doesn't give a shiny effect in photos.
The price for this moisturizer is a bit high but well worth it. I highly recommend this product. There are other products to cater to other skin types as well so visit your local Kiehl's store or go online at