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Make-up and Cosmetics
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Make-up and Cosmetics
I'm a soon to be 40 year old mommy and I want to make myself
look a bit more attractive and put together since natural beauty
is starting to fade. I'm not looking for a huge makeover and I'm
more or less pretty happy with the way I look, but I'm just
looking for little things to 'spruce' myself up. I just got a
haircut and some color and I'm in the process of updating my
wardrobe and have a pretty good idea of what I want there. The
one thing I'm not sure how to go about is updating my make-up. I
wear pretty little make-up right now and I don't want to overdo
it (...I once went to a clinique make-up session and looked like
a walking paint bucket afterwards...), but I am looking for
someone that could show me how to bring out my good features and
how to hide the not so good ones in a discrete way. I checked
the website, but couldn't find anything specifically relating to
a person/business that deals with make-up consultations.
wanting to look good again
I never really liked wearing makeup, but decided I'd like to to
look a little more put together, grown up, whatever, and the
Bobbi Brown counter at Nordstrom in SF has always worked
well for me...good recommendations, natural looking
makeup, friendly and helpful salespeople. I've always just
done walk-in makeovers, but I know that they have special
events that offer more in-depth advice.
I've also recommended Bobbi Brown to several friends and
they all have liked the results.
I suggest you get a second and third ''opinion/makeover'' at a
makeup counter of a department store with a brand that you: 1)
can afford and 2) like and/or have seen look good on your
friends or (even better) family. Call ahead and schedule a
consultation/makeover appointment with the person who the store
recommends most, or who is most popular with your age group.
Your Clinique experience might have been the result of that
particular salesperson helping you. I had 2 Mac makeovers at the
same Nordstrom by 2 different people and I am thrilled with the
results -- but I was very direct about the minimal ''look'' I
wanted and how much time/effort I was willing to put into my
appearance each day. I'm not endorsing either Mac or Nordstrom;
they just work for me. If you ask nicely in the course of a free
makeover, many department store salespeople/makeover specialists
will honestly tell you which of their products are unique and
which you can substitute with cheaper drugstore versions. I have
to warn you I purchased sparingly to fill existing gaps in my
collection and still spent over $150. And Mac is considered ''low
end/economically priced.'' Have fun and enjoy your new look!
I promise I'm not getting paid to say this, but I recommend you
check out Benefit cosmetics. It's a really fun store, the
staff is almost always very helpful and while they do have some
wacky, bright make-up appropriate for the young and wild, they
also have great basic everyday makeup. Just tell them that's
what you're looking for. There area few items of theirs that I
can't live without (though I'm sad to say it)--Benetint is one,
Lemon-Aid is another. I'm not sure where you live, but if
you're in the East Bay, they have a shop on 4th St. in
Berkeley. They also have a shop on Fillmore in S.F. They
started locally, so it's fun to support them.
Try the Aveda salon on fourth street. I've found them to have
excellent customer service. They really listen to what you
want and don't try to push a bunch of products on you.
When they've applied their products on me, I've always liked
the subtle, but enhanced look. I've also used Origins at
Macy's in SF. I like their products, but found the
salespeople a little pushy and their application a bit too
heavy for a ''natural'' look.
After years of buying what minimal makeup I use
(sunscreen/moisturizer, base, lipstick and brow pencil) randomly
at the drugstore, I'm thinking the time has come for a more
informed approach. I'd like to sit down with a makeup artist or
skincare professional who knows a wide range of the products
available, try a few out and hopefully discover some better
products. I'm thinking this would take maybe an hour and I'd
like to pay in the range of $50. It's important that this
person -not- be a rep. for only one line of products. Thanks for
your help, everyone!
Signed, not vain, just practical
I have heard that Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley does free makeup
makeovers on Sundays--I don't think it's a rep for one company,
just someone from Elephant who knows about their stuff. Plus the
products there are more natural, etc. than what you'd find in
the department stores. Sorry I don't know more details (I've
actually been thinking about checking it out for myself) but
give them a call and they can fill you in. Have fun!
Now that I'm 40 I'm finally taking my mother's 20 years of
advice that ''you'd look better with a little lipstick and color
in your face.'' I'm embarrassed to say that I have absolutely
no idea how to wear make-up! I'd like a recommendation for a
professional who can choose the right make-up for my face, show
me how to apply it, and recommend the right products. I'm
willing to pay whatever's necessary for the consultation but
I'm not willing to be sold $300 worth of fancy cosmetics -
which is why I'm afraid to go to the make-up counters at
there is a lday whom I love I went to her not feeling very self
confident that day and she just wisk a little eye shadow and
lipgloss with just a hint of color and it mad a complete
difference and the purchase was no more than 60.00 her name is
Penny Ragusano she works at the mac conter in nordstroms in
walnut creek she is good , another person who is very good with
colors is Lisa Knight she works at Elizabeth Arden red door
salon in SanFrancisco she ia a skin care specialist
It might be worth trying the Bobby Brown line of cosmetics at
Nordstrom. The look is very natural, and they can help you
choose the right products. I rarely wear makeup but I've been
happy with the few things I purchased from Bobby Brown... just
blush, mascara and maybe lipstick.
I love going to Benefit Cosmetics on 4th Street in Berkeley.
My favorite beauty treat is to get a Trio every other month. A
Trio is a brow shaping (waxing), a brow tint, and a lash tint.
The effect is quite wonderful. To complement your
beautiful ''new'' eyes, splurge on one lipstick that is your
perfect shade, one compact of pressed powder, one powder blush
and you are done. Let the salesperson select your lipstick and
powder colors for you - - they really know how to find the
right match. Good luck with whatever route you take into
lipstick land. Remember, always wear sunscreen. P.S. I have
absolutely no financial interest in Benefit Cosmetics.
I may be partial because I sell Mary Kay but these are the most
widely sold products in the US. You get personalized service
and the prices are reasonable and comparable to drugstore
brands, and the quality is better than department store
cosmetics. If you wish, I can schedule a one-on-one with you
and we can find the perfect selection for you without spending
several hundred dollars. Let me know. Ana
Save your money and go to the Macy's or Nordstrom counter on a
quiet day. Explain your situation without shame! (If you can,
get a clerk to help you with coloring similiar to yours.) I was
the same way ... and it all worked out fine. I occasionally get
a facial, and the facialist recommended the Prescriptives line.
They have a lightweight foundation that is rated SPF 10 or 15,
which I have used for a few years now.
It costs about $40 and lasts for several months. Add natural-
colored lipstick and eyeliner, and you're done.
The ''pros'' will charge you at least $60 for a private class and
will show you cosmetics that are even more expensive than the
stuff in the department store.
You are not required to buy anything when you have a makeover
done at a cosmetics counter. You just need will power. That
said, I used to work for a company called The Cosmetics Experts
in Massachusetts and did makeovers for Elizabeth Arden,
Christian Dior, and other ''biggies.'' I would be happy to teach
you some basics about applying subtle makeup. You would just
have to work into my time schedule as I am now a teacher and
You might try the Benefit store on Fourth Street. There is a
woman named Janice there that is very knowledgeable,
sweet, and has a great way with makeup. I walked out with
a natural looking face and advice for both day and evening
options. The products are smooth and the staff isn't pushy
about purchasing them. Good luck.
Is there such a thing as a makeup consultant? At 32 (and with a 6
month old), I'm realizing that ''the natural look'' isn't quite
cutting it at the office any more. Can anyone recommend a makeup
artist or consultant that I could hire on a one-time basis to go
make-up shopping in Union Square and show me which products to
purchase and how to use them? Would want advice on an every-day
work look and a slightly more fancy look for weddings, etc. I
don't want to rely on a make up counter sales person b/c I know
that no one line has the best of all products. Also, looking for
someone who will not balk when I keep saying it looks ''too heavy''
or that I need to get ready for work in 3 minutes. Thanks.
The perfect person for you is Kathy at DiPietro Todd in Union
Square. She has created her own make-up line, and will work
with you to find a look that you like. She has a large space on
the street side of the salon, with floor to ceiling windows so
you can get a better idea of how you look in natural light. I
usually don't like wearing makeup at all, but after two babies
in 3 years, I was also looking pretty splotchy. She created
what I call magic powder in a shade just right for me. All I do
is lightly brush this powder all over my face, and around my
eyes with a smaller brush, add mascara, and I'm set. It
magically evens out my whole face without any cream or
concealer. She's expensive, but I think, entirely worth it.
I would recommend a Mary Kay Consultant. I never used the
products until after I had my baby. I hosted a party for a friend
and we all did our make up and I realized how much I had missed
it. They will come to you and help you with color. You don't have
to go out. The products are all about the same price as anyplace
on Union Square and I would say just as nice or nicer. I've used
several ''high end'' as well as pharmacy brand make up brands and
the quality of Mary Kay is the same and better.If you are
interested, you can email me for my friend's info. tief
Van Luong is a make-up consultant at Macy's (Union Square). She
sells Clinique, the hypo-allergenic line. I would trust her to
work with you to acheive a slightly up-graded natural look. (She
works for me full-time at the San Francisco Public Library and
is one of the most gracious, attractive young women I know...)
BTW, I like Clinique as its not animal tested, among other
Sorry, I don't have any advice re: a make-up consultant but I
highly recommend Paula Begoun's book, ''Don't Go To The
Cosmetic's Counter Without Me.'' Find her most updated version
and check out her website www.cosmeticscop.com for even more
updated information. She reviews all sorts of beauty products,
tells you which ones are pure rip offs, etc. Don't let the fact
that she sells her own line of cosmetics/facial products scare
you off. I took a chance on them (just the facial products) and
I'll never use anything else again. I use her cleanser,
exfoliant, and moisturizer.
Try Benefit on Fourth Street in Berkeley. They gave me a really
quick, natural looking set of products/regime. I told them I
needed a mom-friendly, easy way to look a little more polished.
I've found them to be friendly and less pretentious/icky than
the department store people.
just started wearing makeup
I rarely buy makeup b/c I much prefer the ''natural'' look and
because I am very wary of the ladies behind the cosmetics
counters who don't always know what to do with my Asian features.
BUT, I recently wanted to replace my 3-year-old foundation and
went to the Prescriptives counter at MACY'S in the Walnut Creek
Mall. I liked the colors and suggestions I got from a young woman
named Natalie who helped me. She honored my ''natural'' look and
through her choice of colors and application techniques really
enhanced my overall appearance. I'm generally pretty frugal, but
I ended up buying a whole new set of makeup--eye stuff, lip
stuff, blush and brush, even eye shadow, which has never looked
good on me with my non-western eyefolds. I learned a few new
things about how to better apply my makeup and now I wear it all
every day. I even feel like the money was well spent. I don't
know if Natalie will be right for you, but I was compelled to
respond because this happened to me so recently and I really hate
dealing with makeup! I think the key was that I found someone I
could trust and who understood my style. I started out doing just
one thing with her (getting ''colorprinted'') and as I felt I could
trust her instincts allowed her to do more and more. As for
choosing a brand of makeup, I've always liked the general
collection of Prescriptives. There are others, like Chanel, that
seem too bold for me. They also seem to have cosmeticians who do
their makeup in a way I wouldn't want for myself.
Made-over 35-yr-old new mom
I know just the person that can help you and she lives in
Rockridge. She has tons of experience with personal
makeup consultation, weddings, runway shows, and has
appeared on TV and national publications, etc. Check out
her websites: http://www.hillaryclark.com and
She did my makeup as well as all the bridesmaids' at my
wedding - she is FABULOUS!
I don't know anybody like you described, but I would disagree to
an extent about the in-store makeup people. Sure you might not
like the whole line of products - cleansers, creams, makeup -
but I think it is a good idea to stick to one brand for your
makeup (i.e. base, blush, eyes and lips) as you get a more
unified, natural look. I would highly recommend the Bobbi Brown
line for base, powder, blush - it provides the natural look you
are going for.
Some years ago I had a makeup consultation with a makeup
artist/hair stylist named Petra Maria (I think her phone number
is (510)452-3454, but check the phone book. Back then, she lived
near Lake Merritt (on the Grand Avenue side). Petra did an
incredible job! She gave me a haircut that could look very
stylish or very casual depending on what I did to it. She also
showed me how to do a simple but great looking makeup application
that took about 10-15 min (she did it in less time 'cause she was
more practiced at it!) that didn't require a lot of different
types of makeup. She knows her craft well and can advise you on
the best products to buy that aren't necessarily the most
expensive. By the way, she did my makeup for my wedding almost 5
years ago and I still get complimented on how beautiful,
glamorous, and natural I looked without the excess makeup! I
highly recommend her. One warning though, she was in a teaching
program back then, so she might not be doing this much. But do
give her a call--she was great at what she did and she was also a
genuinely nice person! Feel free to write if you have any
I'm getting married in September and need to find a good make-up artist. Someone who does make up that is good both on-camera (for the photography) and off -- in other words, knows that you don't have to put 2 pounds of make-up on someone in order for it to look good in the photographs. So, any one have any recommendations? Oh, I also need some one who can do it on a Sunday and won't charge me an arm and a leg (we're on a tight budget!).
Thanks for any help you can give!
Alexander Pope Rockridge
Hair Tailor Montclair
Peter Thomas Berkeley
Shear Delight Alameda
Since you are on a tight budget, why not do it yourself? I asked
the line of cosmetics that I use the most (Clinique) at Macys if
they had free consultations. They did and they helped me with
applying my own makeup correctly for my wedding. (I only use make
up about 3-5 times a year and didn't want to purchase all new
items). Also, in addition to a free consultation, it was with
someone who happens to do wedding make up on a regular basis.
She was more than helpful (I even went back and asked more
questions) and I only purchased 1 product to finalize the look.
When my wedding day came, everyone thought it was done
professionally. Good luck and it is worth the try since you have
time for trial and error.
i highly recommend stacy mcclure- she is very gifted and puts make-up
on very naturally-usually,when people do my make-up i feel like a man
in drag and with stacy i just feel like myself-only better!! check out her
I highly recommend a good friend of mine Rosemary Bernardo to do
your make up for your wedding. She is reasonably priced and
will not go over board with the make-up. Her email
is: rb3469 at hotmail.com
Congratulations and Good luck!
this page was last updated: Aug 1, 2007
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