Category Archives: Educational

The toughest thing about moving back to Oregon from New York is leaving easy access to incredible educational opportunities.  Luckily companies like Behind the Chair are using technology to bring those opportunities to people around the world.  I was lucky enough to participate in a webinar with Stephanie Brinkerhoff (aka Hair and Makeup by Steph) and learn all about her techniques for creating stunning on-trend updos.  When a client brings me inspirational photos for an updo they’ve found on pinterest, odds are at least one of the pictures will be of Steph’s work.  She has over 5 million pinterest followers!!! What I love about her hairstyles is that they have movement and look soft and touchable yet they are very secure underneath it all.  This is always my goal with hair too!  I learned a great deal and continue to be inspired by her work!

stephanie brinkerhoff e-ploma

HD and the extreme detailed zoom-in capabilities of cameras changed everything for makeup artists.  Product choices and techniques need to be revamped to make skin look gorgeous and fresh in the age of the extreme close up.  Portland’s professional makeup artists gathered at the NW 23rd MAC store to learn about this very topic from MAC Senior Artist Caitlin Callahan in her Close Up Makeup Master Class.

MAC Pro Masterclass NW 23rd Portland OR

Caitlin C. rocked our world and busted us out of old ruts by demonstrating a myriad of techniques.  Gone are the days of covering the entire face in foundation (I wanted to stand up and shout ‘Amen!’ at this one), covering the entire under eye with concealer, setting with powder (what?  I know!), lining the entire lip, using one lip color for the whole lip, stopping that brow bone shadow at the edge of the eyebrow.  The amazing list goes on and on.

Caitlin Callahan MAC PRO master class

Basically it’s all about TEXTURE!  Here are many of the products used to create that flawless and fresh look.  Some of the products I picked up afterwards were MAC Oil Control Lotion, more Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powders, Pro Longwear Concealer, Clear Brow Set, and Prep + Prime highlighter pens.

MAC Pro cosmetics for HD

Caitlin is so generous with her knowledge, fielding all of our questions with humor and enthusiasm while working on her model.

Caitlin Callahan and Cassandra Kennedy Beauty 

Here she gives one young artist encouragement on her career path.

Caitlin Callahan talks to a young makeup artist

And there’s my girl Kim, manager of the store who always gives me the best product advice.  She and Katherine, along with the rest of the staff, helped us get all of our kit essentials in the shopping frenzy that followed the Master Class.

MAC store manager Portland OR

Thanks all!  Your debut Master Class was a smashing success!  Thank you Caitlin!!!

MAC store NW 23rd Portland OR

You have to get strategic before you attend The Makeup Show.  It’s the huge annual she-bang for Makeup Artists where pros shop, network, and learn but it can be overwhelming with the sheer amount of options.  In past years my product obsession has led the way but this year my personal focus (besides my always #1 goal of LEARNING more) was talking with industry friends and people I know from social media.  I was so happy to run into @JohnnyLavoy who I took my very first pro bridal makeup and hair class with.  I suddenly flashed back to how NERVOUS I’d been!  The other artists in the class had more experience than me and I was so intimidated.  He had us do face charts of our planned looks and he came around to inspect them.  He picked mine up and asked “Who did this one?  It’s great.”  The girl next to me was visibly jealous.  That was the moment I thought “Yeah! I can do this!” and I still have that chart as a little reminder.  I’m so glad I can keep learning from him via his amazing YouTube tutorials.  I also got to meet Dominick Briguglio who I’ve been getting to know over on the Stila Pro Community site.

One line I was dying to see was @RMSbeauty.  The organic Lip2Cheek colors lived up to the hype and I even got to meet the creator Rose-Marie Swift.  Her skin has an AMAZING glow.  She said it’s because doesn’t use any chemicals on it.  Duly noted!

Always love to say hi to the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (@occmakeup) folks and their guest this year was the @Queen of Blending.  If you’re not following her crazy antics on twitter, you’re missing out!  Equally entertaining is Kevin James Bennett (@KJBennettBeauty), an Emmy-Award winning artist and educator.  I love his super-informative blog posts.

Here I am with thee Dany Sanz and I was too intimidated to bust out my francais on her.  I did manage a s’il vous plait when asking for a photo.  I just happened to be wearing a bright orange lipstick from her Make Up For Ever Rouge Artiste Intense collection.

I really love Smashbox cosmetics and enjoy seeing what their seasonal trends will be.  Lori Taylor’s work on models is consistently gorgeous and totally my taste.  Get on their email list if you’re not on it already.  And look at @TheReggieWells, showing off his work using his clockpots on a shopper.  Oprah’s long-time makeup artist and beauty educator, there’s a lot you can learn from “the grandfather of makeup”.  Check out his products on Hissyfit.

There were 16 bloggers registered at the first Makeup Show and over 240 requests this year!  Times have sure changed…  I enjoyed meeting some of the long-time powerhouse beauty bloggers and twitterati like @EnKoreMakeup and @PurseBuzz.  I also LOVED the new feature they had called “Pro Pods” where attendees could have face time with a variety of super helpful people like famous bloggers, agents, and artists.  I got excellent straight up advice from Felicia Walker Benson of @thisthatBeauty and her pal Lianne Farbes of @TheMakeupGirl blog.  I also got some great encouragement and got to run some ideas by @JenJamesBeauty.  If there is such thing as a man’s man, then DeShawn Hatcher is a makeup artist’s makeup artist.  So glad I got to tell her how much I love her blog!

Shopping was glorious too!  Everyone was stocking up and enjoying demos and interactions with the vendors.  Of course @SamFineBeauty had throngs of fans lined up for autographs!

Check out Danessa Myricks‘s hair! It fascinated me! Now more importantly, check out her work!  Just want to give a shout out to my pals from @ChicStudiosNYC.  They have great makeup and hair classes and I’ve participated in some awesome portfolio photo shoots with them.

Two of the hottest items at the show weren’t even makeup!  Everyone was buying up @Glamcor lights (already had mine) and The Actor Bag, an on-set touch up mini kit that attaches to your hand.  I’m obsessed with this little thing!

Honestly I didn’t think The Makeup Show would be able to top themselves from what they’ve done in the past, but they really blew everyone away this year with more features, their amazing speaker lineup, and more exhibitors.  BRAVO guys!!!

The Actor Ed Harris spent countless hours watching footage of Jackson Pollock’s unique painting style so he could accurately portray his methods in the bio pic.  Lucky for us that footage exists, but for the majority of the great masters we are left only to ponder things like how Vermeer achieved that ethereal glow.  When makeup artists have the chance to watch a true master of our time, we jump at the chance.  Do we want to watch Sam Fine spend an hour putting on foundation?  Yes. Yes we do.

Sam Fine is about working with different mediums and textures and colors to create dimension in the skin.  He is not about the latest eyeshadow craze or allegiance to specific brands.  He is about teaching you to address the needs of each aspect of the face and using product and tools in a strategic way.  Take powder for example.  He may add it to the eyes for the simple reason of adding some “grab” (make other colors layered over it adhere to the skin better) or he may press a loose powder over a creamy product to set it but the powder color is intentionally lighter than the skin to help build on the lightness of the area he is creating.  He is about teaching you how to achieve this on ANY face.  I have to confess I’ve  seen a lot of famous artists do demonstrations but this was downright fascinating!

Sam kept the crowd of makeup artists dazzled with his make-it-work tales, like last year when he used clear antiperspirant on Mo’Nique’s face for a long, sweat-free red carpet day at an awards show.  We even collectively gasped when he used pure black grease paint from the Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette (a staple in every artists’ kit) on the model’s skin.  When you need a brown that is darker than what you have in your kit, you mix in some black.

Look at the model’s forehead in the “after” picture.  See how the left side and the hairline is dark and the center is light?  See how the center of her face is lighter than the outer part?  That’s the dimension we’re talking about.  Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Sam is as charming and funny and generous in person as he is on twitter (@SamFineBeauty).  And he’s got his fierce model pose down!  When giving away a copy of his now out of print book to the person who traveled the furthest, he was visibly moved to learn that someone had come all the way from Africa to see him.  AFRICA!

I’m sure she’d agree with the me…it was worth the trip.  Thank you Sam!  If you’re interested in learning from Sam yourself, he breaks it all down in an easy to understand way on his DVD Fine: The Basics of Beauty.

My artist friends LOVE to make fun of me at industry shows because I get so starstruck when I see an artist I admire.  I’m like a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, although I do try to contain myself.  My whole goal for the International Beauty Show New York, a massive hair industry trade show, was to stalk one such artist: Ted Gibson.  Some of you may know Ted as the hair makeover guy on What Not to Wear.  He is an amazing editorial hair stylist who is sought after by loads of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway.  If you want Ted to cut your hair, be prepared to fork over $950!  I arrived at his Celebrity Red Carpet Hair class one hour early so I could sit front and center.  As I’d hoped, I got my picture with Ted (yay!) and enjoyed his straight talk about work and the industry.  It also reaffirmed my dislike for unmoderated audience questions.  One girl asked him what he thought about renting a booth in a salon.  Really?  Really?  You’re in a styling class with one of the most famous hair stylists in the world and this is your question?  But I digress…

Besides the workshops, attendees love to hit the exhibit hall to see all of the great demonstrations, tools, and products.

You can watch industry superstars like Nick Arrojo right up close as they show off their techniques.

My favorite things to see are the outrageous fantasy hair stylings like this one from SoCap Hair extensions.

There are plenty of people with just plain beautiful hair too.  This girl (left) said her secret is products from It’s a Ten for texture and grip and the other girl (right) uses Moroccan Oil for smoothing and shine.

I couldn’t pass up the chance to discover a new line of makeup either!  Rain cosmetics is based out of Las Vegas and I enjoyed a nice little touch up from one of their artists.

I bought a lovely pinky brown lipstick (stretch limo) and this eyeshadow quad, a favorite of brides, in Viva Las Vegas.  I love how the colors are mostly matte and long-wearing.  It’s become my go to set for a natural everyday look.

Throughout the show, the Main Stage hosts action packed hair spectacles like the whirring scissors of Woody & Amy Michleb’s “Tour de France” show.  I gasped when Woody lunged at the model (below) and lopped of her bangs in one swipe.

Of course I got right up front again for Ted Gibson’s show.  The audience was dazzled with colorfully tressed ballerinas, hip hop dancers, a live dj, editorial frizzies and poufs, luxurious coifs, and a big dose of Ted himself.  Very fun and inspiring.