When I travel….

I got asked in this really cute email from a reader of my blog about what do I do when I travel… because it’s just so gosh darn much.. Yep. About every month, I’m on a plane twice.. to NY and then back to LA..And the next month start all over again. Sometimes I can spread out my days a bit longer based on photo shoots, salon schedules, holidays and such… But I’m at the point now where I’m realizing that that day on the plane (or travel day as I call it) is about the only day off I have all month.


The week leading up to it is super stressful for me though.. (check bank account, get mail, stop mail, pack, double pack, bring this thing to NY, no wait, I have this already in NY… and so forth..) Most stressful moment was being in LA and forgetting my keys to NY after I had already drove away. A 2 hour drive later in traffic, I was able to get them from my apartment in LA and get to my plane on time. (whew!)

So my routine?

Pack… and keep a list of what’s needed in what state…. seriously. Bring this, buy that, keep this, pack that.

Throw all makeup/beauty related items in check on baggage and don’t even ATTEMPT to take on the plane.. please. With their limits and ounces and how much you can and can’t take? I’m so over it. And after a few fav lip glosses getting snagged by security before the zip lock baggie, and ounce / size / limit thing, now I just pack it.

Take computer and portfolio on the plane with me because if either of those things get missing in baggage, I’m sooo dead. As in my life would be truly O V E R.

Buy coffee and magazine at airport. Read. Relax. Realize that this is about the first time I’ve had a chance to actually READ a magazine all month.

Board plane. Forget again super cool earphones to watch JetBlue TV with.. darn. Use super geeky badly sounding Jetblue ones instead.

Walk in front door.

Read all email and blogs in the Beauty Blog Network to catch up.

Take the rest of the day off.

Take bubble bath.

Order a veggie pizza and watch every single show that I’ve managed to tape on TiVo while I’ve been gone..(yep, cable only in LA… )


tomorrow’s another crazy day…..

I get asked all the time which state do I like better, NY or LA. And why don’t I just move to NY? As much as I would love to move to NY, it’s just plain exhausting. The constant weather drama (what’s the weather TODAY? No, make it this HOUR), the rain, wind, snow, thunderstorms, heat waves, humidity…. it’s just so much of everyday life, it’s exhausting. Plus walking.. everywhere. Every day. Walk, walk walk. But my professional life is in NY, it happens in NY and it’s where I do the best work with the best people… things just get done in NY.

But LA has my heart. My family is here. My mom and my dad…. and I just can’t stay away too long. They’re in their 80′s and I just need every chance I can get with them, you know? Plus the weather… LA sure beats NY hands down.. because there’s no weather drama. It just is. And heavens if it rains one day. Everyone complains and I just laugh and am grateful that I don’t have to WALK in it. And I can relax. And breathe. Because I know next month, it’s back in NY again.

They truly balance each other out. And it balances me out… which I so need…

Yes, life is good and crazy and exactly the way I want it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Oh and by the way? I’m on a plane today…


I recently got from the fab MAC Cosmetics pr ladies, their latest in their skin care collection, MoistureLush. Now to be honest, I’ve actually never, (as in never ever) have used any of their skin care before.


Their MoistureLush (great name isn’t it?) Cream gives a super hydrating treatment to the skin while giving the skin a silky feel. Upon application, I noticed that the cream goes on quite cold (at first thought it was because it’s a cold day outside? But no, this happens with every application) with my fine and sensitive skin, I was worried about. But no after effects, or skin reactions to the cold. This cream glides on and feels really great once on. And it leaves a somewhat primer like feel to the skin, but not as much. A very silky feel. I applied makeup over and it went on great. I also used this on a photo shoot (with no primer and foundation just glided on…. it also kept makeup on great throughout the shoot, no creasing or touch ups were needed hardly at all (and this was a 8 hour shoot, granted that the model had nearly impossibly perfect skin as well…) My pretty normal skin (it’s not too dry, it’s not oily but I do have to worry about possible breakouts with blackheads and whiteheads if I get something mineral oil heavy which my skin just does not like..) seemed to really like this. The only wish factor is the intense cold of it as you put it on. My skin (and me) just does not like cold.


Next was the MoistureLush Eye Cream. Loved. Went right into the skin (and here a slight cold factor in the feel, but not nearly as much as the facial cream) and the best part was the next morning, I didn’t get any puffy eyes syndrome the next day… Skin looked great.

All in all, I’m really happy with this, but as much as I’d like to keep, this one is going in my pro makeup kit… it provided such a great surface for foundation that I’ll plan to keep using it in my photo shoots…


[tag] product review, MoistureLush cream, MoistureLush Eye Cream[/tag]

Fashion Week goodies

Fashion week isn’t all about the fashion you know. Nope. It’s about catching up with people, meeting new ones and enjoying the fun stuff amongst the madness….

As I look back on Fashion Week (and I still can’t believe it’s already over), I have to say, it’ll be a week I won’t soon forget.

A recap, shall we?

January 30th

Shoot all day a cool beauty story for a london magazine, get home late, pack. Swear and hope and plead with self that I didn’t forget anything.

January 31st

Fly to New York. Relax with JetBlue’s tv and a chocolate chip cookie.. (ok, a few…) Meet super exec producer sitting next to me who is actually flying to fashion week to film a documentary about, you guessed it, fashion week. After realizing that her ride was going to be a no show, we share a car into town.

Feb 1st

The Beauty Ideal February Issue launched…. whew, in the nick of time… up till 2am the night before after I flew in, making sure everything is all ready…

Invited by TotalBeauty.com and Aveda to a wonderful dinner at Koi Restaurant, right across the street from Bryant Park. Get the chance to catch up with Christine of eBeautyDaily (as hysterical in person as she is in her IM’s..) newest member Daneen of Spoiled Pretty, ‘aw hell no’ Julia of All About The Pretty, the elegant Teri of Beautiful Makeup Search, and yes, we finally meet Jennifer of Delush. After hours of chat, food and wine, get home at 3am.

Feb 2nd

Am chained to the computer making sure our beauty bloggers are scheduled, set and ready to go. A few last minute changes create insanity.

Get nails done by invitation of
Dashing Diva, thanks to the wonderful Sam of Dark PR. How did she know this was sorely needed? And I swear, those nails are still ON. Looking for a nail polish that just won’t quit? Yep, Dashing Diva lasted a good 7 days on my nails without a single chip, knick or crack. God bless them. Note to self: come back on friday nights when they do the rumored “cosmo with a mani/pedi” event.. I’m sooo there. I got a gorgeous pearly champagne color to go with my diamond bracelet I was going to wear later that night with my vintage 1940′s outfit to…..

……the MAC Dinner at Indochine.

I have to say a huge thank you to Heather, who master-mined (ok, she let me talk her into it.. ;) ) the idea to bring our beauty bloggers to fashion week. I can only imagine the chaos, craziness and scheduling she had to pull to get us backstage to bring you the beauty news. Here’s hoping she forgets how insane we made her and that we get invited next season!

Feb 3rd

Go through a gazillion PR and fashion event invites. Try to juggle what I can and can’t get to… rush off to a brunch with
Splendicity founder Teri (yes I was invited! I did not crash their event..hehe) at the wonderful SaraBeth’s restaurant, known for their lemon pancakes…. yum yum yum. The freezing cold day outside was bearable after coffee and my lux omelet….

Go home with gi-normous goodie bag so much that I have to take a cab home to carry it home.

Feb 4th

Go through more PR invites and get the beauty trends noted for own blog…. oh yeah, I gotta write my blog….

Feb 5th

Check out the Liz McClean fashion show gallery… meet up with my #1 fav makeup assistant, Lindsay, Marina of Makeup Loves Me, Elisa of NYSpender… ponder the idea of this new type of fashion show/photo exhibit….

Then dash off with Erin and Lindsay to the magazine launch / slash / fashion show at the QT Hotel midtown. Realize that organization is key as they have none. Get in to wait for hours for nothing… Meet the adorable assistant and PR for Jolie in NYC. Walk out and dash across the street for food. Horrible service so much so (as in NONE) that we walked out to their amazement… only to get home starving… and look in my goodie bag to find so much stuff that it almost makes up for the weird evening.

Feb 6th

Finish writing about the previous beauty trends seen…am I done yet? Another 8am – 2am day.

Feb 7th

Rush off to meet super head honcho pr contact at super cool makeup line to discuss The Beauty Blog Network and Fashion Week and blogging and how we can join forces for upcoming events…

Feb 8th

Realize that this is the last day of fashion week but it’s not over yet. Wrap up the last fashion show beauty trends, field frantic last minute emails and phone calls from our backstage reporters and realize, that yes, this is almost over.

Realize that more PR news and events are coming in and that next week will be full of appointments with PR connections and beauty companies that want to know more about our network…. plus a few photo shoots and eyebrow appointments as well..


Can’t wait for next season!

How I got started in this business…

That’s the #1 question I get asked. No matter where I go, I get asked, how did you got started as a makeup artist in this business…

And yes, it was a long time ago that I got interested in makeup….. (hey! no laughing!) but I do remember it..

I was 6. Yep. Six years old, and I had stolen my mom’s oh so chic Bazaar and Vogue magazines. Because to me, whenever they came in the mail, it was like Christmas Day every single month… I got so excited, just ripping through those magazines looking at the images. Until my mom told me to STOP, until she had read them. Well, being 6, I guess I didn’t listen. Because one day she came in my room to find ALL of her magazines surrounding me on the floor. With me in the middle of them, crying.

Yep. Crying.

She asked me what was wrong, and she said I pointed to the pages in the magazine (which was open up to faces by the way) and said, very upset, “I can’t do that!”. Meaning the makeup. Because I was attempting it on myself with watercolor paint. Being 6, I had no idea what makeup was.

At least not yet.

My mom knew…….

Me? It took a few years… in junior high school, I thought I wanted to be a model. I got one of those stupid model cards in the mail saying “YOU can be a model!” which of course I thought meant that I was! My mom said I was so insistent and excited on going, that I ended up going to the modeling school by the time I was in high school. She says she’s never seen me so excited in my life and she knew something was going on here. And so I ended up in that modeling school, doing everyone’s makeup on photo shoot day on Saturdays… which was easy for me after I did all my friend’s makeup for the prom, dances, first dates with high school crushes.. but it never occurred to me that I could make a living at it. No, I wanted to be a model, (yeah right!). Until a photographer at the school said I really should get into it. So off to beauty school I went to get my license, which I got the same month I graduated high school. That was a day I’ll never forget.

Then off to the Pasadena Fine Art College of Design in CA. No, not as a student, but a makeup artist for their photography department. There, students learned lighting, composition, film and I learned right along side with them (for free actually… ) and built up my first portfolio that way. I was there literally 3-4 days a week. So much so that security guards were giving me parking tickets thinking I was a student and warning me I’d never graduate.. (um, I’m NOT a student….)

My mom was a photographer when she was younger in Germany, and I know I have her insane eye for detail. Yep, she’s the one that would break out the camera at every family/holiday/major occasion… no matter how much we hated it growing up. But I know I see what she sees…..

Did I go to makeup school? No. And Cosmetology School is not really known for it’s attention to makeup (try sanitation, galvanic current and how to do a leg wax instead….) Should you? It depends. To work in a salon? Yep, go. To do freelance work? Believe me, no one will ever ask, or care.

I truly believe it’s all in how you see things. You either have an eye for it or you don’t. If it’s there, training will definitely help fine tune your skills, but if it’s not, no amount of schooling will give you an eye for detail, color, application, technique and all the little nuances that are needed in doing makeup…..

foto: hyunda shin, makeup: elke

I always say in photography makeup, it’s the attention to detail and composition that’s so insane, that no one else sees it but you. Seriously. I mean, every pore, every hair, every lash, every detail…

See the above left shot? With the blue/green going down the neck? I did the makeup at first on the side of the face. Model goes to hair stylist, who precedes to cover up my work with his colored hair… (gotta love those hair stylists..) so before she got in front of the camera, I grabbed her and continued the makeup so you could see it. On her neck and shoulder so the composition of the shot would work. The next shot? Well, neck and face are taken, so where to apply now? On the jaw, which follows the same lines and strong angles of the first shot… see? Composition.

It’s also an application that literally has to be mistake proof free, because any fixing of any mistake? Well, the camera sees it.. especially those high def cameras that see your soul. And photoshop? Yep, it’s there, but budgets are there to fix photography problems, not yours. At least, not anymore anyway. You’re lucky if that slightly crooked lip line of yours gets fixed…. and if it doesn’t? Learn. I try so hard to make sure that a client will not have to photoshop anything I did on a face. And if they do? I’m crushed. Because I didn’t do my job.

How do I learn? Well, not from beauty school, or makeup school. No, I learn from my mistakes. My ‘oops’ moment when I make a mistake and have to figure out how to make it work… or when my fav makeup brush is missing (I’m a huge makeup brush fanatic..) and I have to figure out what brush might work in a pinch…. mistakes that I rarely make anymore but when I do, I , #1, never say I’m making a mistake, and #2, am secretly excited because I get to figure out something new.. that I can use and hopefully pass on to you…..

For example?

My favorite mistakes turned makeup tips:

1. Use mascara as liquid eyeliner.. easier to apply and lasts hours. Apply with a thin eyeliner brush.

2. Use a concealer brush as a lip brush. Regular lip brushes drive me nuts…

3. Use a lip brush as a mini concealer brush.

4. Apply all your liquids with a foundation brush (yes I have about 5/6 of them..) Like moisturizer, primer, foundation, etc…yep. All of them. Makes a difference in the look of skin in a photo..

5. Pressed for time? Start mixing. For example, the skin takes forever.. swamped? Mix your moisturizer + primer into your foundation. Apply with a foundation brush. There you go. Three layers applied in one fast step.

6. In photo, it really doesn’t matter what’s used for what. I’ve used cream blush on lips, lip gloss on eyes, mascara as eye liner, eye shadow as lip color, I’ve used primer OVER foundation… it really is, if it works, do it.

7. and my fav trick of all? If you make a mistake? (like too much shadow on one eye…) do the EXACT same mistake on the other side.. then fix both sides. It’ll look the same. If you don’t do it? You’ll get one side with a bad splotchy job and the other side looks perfect…. in photo? Doesn’t look too good.

Frizzle Story1Frizzle Story2

makeup: elke foto: nicholas routzin

But the most important thing I can tell someone in this crazy business, is to figure out your style. Your beauty style. Your gotta do that one style of beauty that makes your heart stop. That’s your style. Once you’ve figured it out, and yes, it took years for me to get it, since i was the “i can do everything’ type of beauty that really got no where…. Figure it out and you’ll work. Be the best in that style and you’ll own that style of makeup artistry.

See the shots above? Well, let’s just say the clothes and hair are not really my style. It’s a lot of stuff piled on, crazy hair and if I was to do the makeup the same way (as in overpowering, crazy, dark makeup), well to me, it wouldn’t work. So what to do? Well, apply your style. Mine? It’s perfect beauty. And even if at first glance it doesn’t seem like it would work in the shot? Here, it does and I think it makes the model’s very elegant face look even more so.

You see, just think of the top names in the business right now. Pat McGrath, Kevyn Aucion, Billy B., Francis Nars, Bobbi Brown. How do you know them? By their style. And they’re all different. So what’s yours? Once you’ve build a whole portfolio full of it? You’ll get work…

Me? I’m in the gorgeous drop dead beauty style, currently revamping it into a more avant garde style. But still beautiful.

Spring 2

makeup/hair:elke foto: ron goldstein

Like above. It’s still beauty. But kicked up a knotch I like to call it. And don’t worry about losing work when you change your style. The shot on the upper right? The one with all the leaves in the hair? Yeah, that shot got me a bridal magazine cover. Go figure, right?

So figure out what heart stopping style you want to call your own.

Do anything and everything to get that portfolio looking fantastic.

Be technically perfect in every single touch, stroke, application of makeup that you do.

And never quit.

As they say, the one’s that quit, are the ones that never make it.

Will you?

[tag] Elke Von Freudenberg, makeup artist, makeup artistry[/tag]