Posted in: En Vogue


Got the Monday blues? A bright lip color may brighten up your day! :) A month later, I finally removed my out-of-office notice!  I came straight back to work right after my brief trip to Guatemala (it was wonderful!) If you follow me on instagram & facebook, you may have already seen me post photos of the makeup & hair I did for actress Carice van Houten who plays Melisandre in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones!  Because of the new HBO streaming service with Apple/AppleTV (among other techie reasons), they selected San Francisco as the big premiere event venue, and the red carpet was streamed live via the Game of Thrones Facebook Page – You could still view it on facebook if you missed it.  Myself + 2 colleagues were local artist, while majority of the artists who did the cast were from LA. I got to meet some of them and made some new friends! :)

I often get this question from brides and special occasion clients: “I like the way it looks – but will it photograph well?”  “Will it show up in the photos/video?”  The key thing to think about is what type of lighting you will be photographed in. I found these images on the internet – and if you notice carefully the colors are slightly different on each image because of the lighting, the type of strobes the photographer used, and also their camera settings.  Some cameras are ‘warmer.’  Camera technology has improved leaps and bounds, and so you no longer have to worry about it not capturing details, but it’s still good to target your look based on your environment.

Bridal Makeup & Hair is similar to Events Makeup & Hair in two main ways: your look has to match and complement your head-to-toe outfit, and how the color is applied should take into account the time of day and the type of lighting you will be photographed in.  If it’s evening or you will be photographed with flash (ie: on the Red Carpet, in doors in a dark church, or a candle lit reception and so the photographer has to use strobes to capture the action), having more definition and color will be preferred to prevent you from looking too flat or too washed out.  And the rest – you will have to trust in your artists’ hard skills, expertise and experience to execute it.

The way I prepare for Bridal vs. Events and pack my equipment is pretty similar.  Something to keep in mind that the two have a lot in common – especially the part that there’s a tight timeline to make sure the VIPs are done in time, dressed, and ready to attend the big event.  This is also a version of “beauty” work – close-up work on the face, so I make sure to bring with me my favorite detailing face brushes.  With actresses/singers, you can do visual research by using google to check out their previous looks and get a sense of their style.  With bridal/private clients, this is why I send out the questionnaire and during our session, ask a lot of questions about your head to toe look, and get a sense of your preferred beauty routine in order to meet your needs.  As an example, if normally you don’t like the feeling of lipstick and only own lip balms or tinted lip balms, if I suggested a bright red color that requires careful maintenance, it may not suit your needs/level of maintenance throughout your event, and most importantly it won’t feel like yourself.  Choosing a look that goes with everything and also reflects your personal taste is the key to looking beautiful and radiant!


On Instagram I tagged the two main brands that I used, Cle de Peau & Nars of the Shiseido companies. I had purchased the products as I didn’t have the opportunity to arrange anything with cosmetic companies in advanced! :P Nonetheless, I used my favorite products to create this look based on Carice’s outfit (amazing look from Dior) and Carice’s preferences.  A lovely actress I worked on last year shared with me that one of her favorite foundations was Cle de Peau Radiance Fluid Foundation – I was on the fence initially, but after she told me, I was sold!   Like all foundations, it’s not for all skin types.  That’s just my 0.02 on it – all products no matter how amazing doesn’t suit everybody in the world!  I carry more than one foundation in my kit, and I just have to look at the skin and see to decide!  It was just beautiful on Carice, and I was very pleased with how it held up.   I also used the Cle de peau concealer, another one of my favorites.  Towards the end of last year, I used it on one of my brides, and she loves it so much she went out and bought it and joked with me: “You should get commission on this!” :P The hero of this makeup look is one of my favorite colors, Nars’ Satin Lip Pencil Luxembourg – it’s this beautiful fuchsia color described as “vivid watermelon.”  It’s easy to apply by itself, but I would recommend still using a lip brush to get the edges really sharp.  What I love about it is you don’t need a lipliner; the texture is not too drying and it is long lasting!

I was pleased to see it all come together – afterwards my colleague and I had a cocktail and fries and watched the event stream live on Facebook.  After time has elapsed and the pressure is off, I started to get excited about Season 5!  My big sister had given me Book 1-4 to read in college, and after the first chapter I wasn’t yet hooked on it until my friend brought his friend over to hang out and she was like: “You’re reading this too??!!” and I confessed that I have not gotten very far!  She then told me I must continue and I will get hooked – even though it was close to finals, I had managed to finish book 1, and then 2-3 over the summer vacation.  And experience the long wait for Book 5 to come out, and the long wait for the TV Show to come out!  HBO and the cast did not disappoint – I look forward to watch Season 5!  You can watch the Access Hollywood interview below and check out how the look held-up on video!  :)

Until next time – have a great week!  Happy Monday!



Makeup & Hair :  Elizabeth Chang (Liz)

Hello ya’all! Time for an annual makeup & hair trend report.  It’s been nearly a year since my last trend report! yikes!!  I try to be more diligent but honestly…I’m kind of a Fall/Winter gal to begin with (Born in September!) so naturally I enjoy the looks that extend from summer to the fall the most.  Enough babbling and onward with the post!
It was such a pleasure to work again with L.A. based fashion photographer Matt Edge and his beautiful and talented sidekick, Allison Edge! The shoot was styled by Allison with our minimal input (my Tory Burch sunglasses made an appearance!) I snapped all of these behind the scene images with my iPhone and then used photoshop curves to portray the colors I want! I’ve been really into Instagram but in the end, the photoshop curves give you more flexibility and fun (albeit more time consuming)

Meet Sara J. from Scout SF and Conrad from Stars SF! It was so cool when Matt & I agreed on our top choice of models! I always feel invigorated and inspired to work with professionals that share a passion for the art, and then we work together towards executing the vision!

Similar to last year, I’ve gone through some of the shows, and decided to pick-up and hone into a few of the looks I’ve selected to shape the type of look that I’m going for…The huge difference is…I put the looks together and presented it, with the help of my wonderful summer intern, Anna! The ones I’ve selected will be featured after the Behind the Scenes photos! Scroll down! :) 
I selected one to two elements per look to feature:
Look 1 had the pin-curl classic waves that frames the face. The makeup is similar to the Dior/Ralph Lauren look – I incorporated the flirty but still natural looking false lashes! 

Look 2 really focused on the messy french twist.  I thought about doing the side swept thing in the front, but decided in the end to sweep it back for a more natural volume! I wish I got a photo of the back, but for now you can see it below from a side view. I loved the Vespa scene!!!! Conrad commutes around the city in his Vespa, and it was a perfect (and unexpected) prop for the scene! They looked super cute together! 

Look 3, I emphasize the wing liner slightly, but I mostly wanted to focus on the red lips.  I was inspired to leave it half down – so ended up with this look! My goal was to make Sarah elegant and polished!

We’ll see how the photos turn out in a few weeks! :) Scroll down to see the Fall looks summarized.


  • Clean semi-matte skin, full brows, lightly contoured eye shadow, a dust of peachy/pinky cheeks and a tiny bit of contouring for the cheeks, clean winged liner and naturally pinky-nude lip color {as seen in Ralph Lauren & Christian Dior – although I love that Dior added the false lashes, emphasizing the cat-eye shape} Lanvin & Anna Sui had a thicker and more dramatic winged liner, while it may be appropriate for parties, it may be harder to sport on the daily basis!
  • Bright Pop of lipstick – orange-red – even though it is also a great color for spring and summer with brighter colors, when paired with classic colors like black/gold/brown/nudes {Featured here in Dennis Basso, but also seen in Zac Posen and Marc by Marc Jacobs}  A brighter lipstick like a soft fuschia, goes really well with darker colors like black/gray and blues and purples, making it a beautiful and versatile color for fall wardrobes.

  • I am attracted to the classic shape of the pin-curl featured in Dior S/S Couture and Dennis Basso in Fall Ready-to-wear and how it frames the face.   Tuck it in for a faux bob, or let it down for a side pony.
  • Speaking of ponytails, my favorite is the Anna Sui one with a retro flair that is perfectly sleek. The volume in the ponytail for Ralph Lauren is placed low – you can make it sleek, or wear it textured and messy. The ‘key’ feature of the pony is that it’s a low pony by the occipital bone (above the nape).
  • Lastly, I noted the french twists – my favorite would be the messy ones featured in Tory Burch. I was also very drawn to the different placements – in Donna Karen, the french twist is pushed all the way to one side, giving a dramatic asymmetry! But, comparatively I’m more drawn to the ones featured in Valentino – it looks very subtle and elegant in the front, but very dramatic from the side.  

*PHEW* that was a lot of photos to post! Hope you enjoyed it! ;) ;) You can find all the images on my Pinterest as well! ;) Follow me on Pinterest! ;D Until next time!

P.S. I will give brownie points to those that recognize a familiar face in the images above runway looks! The big clue is, she is from Stars Model Management in SF! ;) 

Before reading this blog, please visit US Magazine’s Oscar 2012: The Best Makeup & Hair Looks and use the hover option to ZOOM in and take a nice close look at the 17 celebrities they chose to highlight. This post is like Part III in the Part I What you should know before hiring a makeup artist, and Part II Why are Makeup Artists so expensive? 
After seeing those photos, I felt like it’s a perfect opportunity to discuss makeup in an HD world. My disclaimer here is that my intent is not to criticize the celebrities, the makeup artists, or the photographers that photographed the 17 images but to use it to discuss what I “see” (literally – with my eye sight) in the 17 photos on the link above, and discuss how it relates to my work and also, anyone who is hiring a professional makeup artist.  Feel free to scroll down to the very bottom to read my tips & observations about hiring a makeup artist! 
I recorded the show and watched the “live on the red carpet” on my 1080p/HDTV – and from the camera angles, all of the celebrities they highlighted and interviewed looked great. I fully appreciated the full length shots of their gowns, their head to toe outfit!  When we think about all things glamorous and perfect, high-end, what most people want to look like – in general, if we are thinking of an inspiration makeup & hair look to bring to an artist either via email or pinterest (yes yes Us makeup artists!) to replicate for ourselves, we would look to the red carpet!  And the images we usually see are on the web are small web sizes 300px in the size and resolution.  It’s not a very big image to base on to “see” what’s going on, and even on an HD screen, they look flawless.  
Back to the 17 photos… when you zoom in, for most of the photos, you can SEE everything!  However, not all 17 photos were similarly focused, framed or processed the same way – probably because they may also be from different photographers and their cameras.  Of course, it also reflects the bias of the person selecting the photos to place on the website (whoever the editor favors – she or he or they may choose to present more flattering photos!) 
The first photo was J-Lo.  Looking gorgeous on the red carpet as usual, but when you zoomed in, you can see her makeup, you can see texture on her skin.  You will not notice this if you were standing at a reasonable distance from her, or through the moving camera. The focus is perfect, so…yes you can see everything! (and yes..she is due for a nose wax…I wouldn’t have known this unless it was zoomed in)
I couldn’t capture a zoomed in photo with my screen capture, but in contrast, Penelope’s photo was much more flattering because it’s actually not in focus.  Which…also means that you won’t be able to pick up on the skin texture and you will not be able to see the details.  
Emma’s photo on the website was over exposed, also leaving out a lot of detail and texture on her skin.  I noticed some other things, but the only thing I wanted to mention is that her lipstick needed a touch-up at the time it was taken. I’ll follow-up on this towards the end in my conclusion segment! 
 Now…Gwyneth’s photo.  Very sharp & defined – and yes, you can notice her pores underneath the makeup. Gwyneth takes great care of her skin, but I’m pointing out that our skin has a texture to it, depending on your genes, your age, and how well you take care of it on the regular basis.  Models & Actresses are no exception! And this is what it will look like up close! Makeup certainly enhances how your skin looks, but it is not a realistic expectation to expect the makeup to cover skin texture.  

And…Natalie.  She looked glowing while presenting, but when you use the Zoom in tool, you can see that she has some congestion on her forehead and cheeks, and you can notice the concealer/make-up that was used to conceal it and from a normal distance or on the screen, you cannot see it at all! Again, this is not a critique on the makeup artist (it is a phenomenal, flawless makeup job!!!) and I’m not trying to pick at Natalie’s skin care routine – I really just want to point out that makeup, no matter how expert the artist, no matter how beautiful the celebrity, no matter if it’s airbrushed or hand-applied, the makeup itself goes over your skin, and how it will look will be largely dependent on your skin itself. More on this in the conclusion! 
I also wanted to discuss Milla’s close-up with harsher lighting, unphoto-shopped!  Again, you can definitely see everything – but mostly you can tell she has a bit of a shine on her t-zone, but the look is actually the classic dewy look – she will look radiant and glowing in person and in motion camera.  (Yes, her lipstick needs a touch-up here too!) 
And I found these photos from another source – the lighting is different, she looks soft, glowing and beautiful – but we do not know if the images below has been processed/photo shopped because of the smaller resolution.

And these below of Emma, Natalie and Gwyneth are the photos from InStyle UK – the smaller web versions, resized and color-corrected for flattering angles! 

Love the hair!!!
This photo of Natalie was either the same one as the US link, or taken by another photographer at the same time. But at this resolution, which is what we see, you will not notice anything on her skin and definitely not the congestion on her forehead! 

A much more glowing/flattering photo of Gwyeneth!

Here is my conclusion & tips (lol) inspired by the website and my experience:

  • When you are getting your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, you may become hyper-alert about every detail of your face, skin, pores and you may notice developments that may be “new” (hyper-pigmentation, fine lines) that you haven’t noticed before; on a normal day, chances are, you don’t look so closely! When you come see us makeup artists, it’s usually for a special occasion (a big event, your wedding), and you are likely nervous & excited about the way you will look. You may think that everyone is looking at you and noticing every detail the same effect like the Us website‘s  Zoom function!! But that’s simply not true! Please remember that a) Your guests will not be carrying a magnifying glass (like the zoom function) to check out your skin! b) what they will see, is really closer to the 300pixel web version – arms length away! Our eye sight is usually not better than 20/20!
  • Please also believe that your makeup artist will know and understand that if you are looking for “flawless” foundation coverage, they will most likely need to layer on foundation & concealer to achieve the look for you. Fuller coverage also means that you will notice the makeup, it will feel heavier than usual, but you will photograph beautifully.  Just remember that full coverage doesn’t always mean you will look unnatural!  Full coverage examples from above: J-Lo, Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman & Milla Jovovich!  Medium coverage: Emma Stone & Gwyneth.  None of the above is an example of “sheer” coverage.  Wearing makeup and foundation doesn’t mean that you will be pore-less, and texture-less – makeup enhances your look, but it’s not magic.  If you are concerned about fine lines or pores, they will become less noticeable after professional makeup, but they will still be there! (Yes..even if you airbrush!)  I’m not really saying that everybody should go with Medium to Full coverage; it depends on your skin type and condition, and then also your desired look and your comfort level!  I’m just hoping to use the Us website to help us communicate what Full – Medium – Sheer coverage means when it comes to makeup application & HD! 
  • You don’t have to worry about the camera not picking up the colors. There are slight adjustments for outdoors and evenings, but even in the non-zoomed in photos, you can see the eyeshadow, the blush and lip color in the images! Just because you are doing evening, you can still go for a more natural look like Gwyneth, and have it photograph just fine! 
  • If your close-ups are very important to you, your photographer is the next most important thing as your makeup artist! A great way to decide on your event photographer is to take a close look at their close-up portrait work. How does the skin look? Generally your event photographer will not go into each and every single photo and photoshop out every little thing.  Their style and how they adjust the camera setting/what lens they use/what time of day they shoot, will decide how flattering you might look! I for one, do not want to my pores and lines to be in SHARP focus! It doesn’t mean I want to be BLURRY, but I don’t want it zoomed in at my skin! 
  • Celebrities are people too! They have small flaws as well, and they too need to touch-up their lipstick and maybe blot their t-zone with a tissue.  This doesn’t mean the artist failed by using ‘inferior’ products (FYI Emma’s artist used Chanel) but long-wear lipsticks will dry out your lips, and while lipliner prolongs the wear and the way you apply the lipstick will also help… if you talk, eat and drink, or just swallow saliva, the lipstick will go away bit by bit. a human, you do need to do those things throughout the day!! :) Even with oil-free/oil-absorbing makeup products and great primers, if you have combination or oily skin, expect it to be shinny in about 5-6 hours.  Your skin will do what it naturally should do – and there are products out there (alcohol based) that may last, but those products are typically meant for tattoo-coverups, and not recommend to be used on your face for prolonged periods of time.  
  • Which brings me to…even with the Best Artists using the Best Products applying it on the Most Beautiful People in the world – you may see pores/fine lines/texture and you may need to touch-up your lipstick and powder.  This is real life, unless you hire someone to follow you the whole day, coming in to powder and touch-up every 15 minutes! (That service is definitely available if you opt for it!!)  
  • It’s important to select your professional makeup artist carefully, but it’s also important to keep in mind that what we as do as artists is to highlight your best features, and our goal is to present a ‘dressed-up/dolled-up/slightly more glamorous’ version of yourself for your special occasion to highlight your beauty.  Just remember that you are beautiful, and you are a real person! A real person may have pores/fine lines/texture & hyper-pigmentation!  Embrace it!!! 

Makeup & Hair: Elizabeth Chang
Photography: Rummy Makmur

Model: Lauren Loveless @ Stars Model Management SF

*pats myself on the back* For taking further steps at separating my Bridal from Commercial/Fashion work. I am also very proud of this image :) The makeup before and after post processing is barely noticeable! Big *high five* to Rummy Makmur – again, we pulled out ALL the stops! YAY!  Special thanks to AJ for sending us Lauren. We absolutely love her….!

On the day of the shoot, I had a few makeup looks in mind, but after seeing her face, I decided to go with a look fresh off the runway, 2011-12 A/W Gucci show in Milan – I summarize the look as the following:

– Flawless, beautiful “Porcelain” skin
– Perfect vampy lip
– Perfectly Symmetrical Brows
– A lot of mascara – clumpy and sexy
– Classically lightly defined eyes
I definitely had a strong feeling about these lips.. I can’t believe it I did this lip 3 times the last MONTH. I had to just get it out of my system, and I am happy to say I probably won’t be doing this lip until…whenever it’s “in” again! lol!!!!!  That day we also did the D & G Fall look with a twist with the graduated faded lip, but I think that this image above is the strongest from the set.  :) 
And then funny funny thing is when I received my Bazaar Fall Fashion Issue, Coco Rocha rocked this makeup look in those Saks Fifth Avenue ads.  It’s funny to me because last fall, I had absolutely NO CLUE what is trendy for fall.  I think my trend predicting antennas are growing a little stronger ;P  This was just one of the looks that I loved loved off of A/W 2011-2012. 
Also found in Bazaar this season – PERFECTLY SYMMETRICAL BROWS!!!! oh yes, and FULL too.
Sorry for the caps, but I wanted to say that if you meet 10 makeup artist, 50% will say: “Brows are sisters, not twins”, and the other 50% will say: “Brows SHOULD be twins” – and I say: “Brows should be twins in the perfect Grecian tradition” – Symmetry IS beauty I say!! 
And guess what!?!?!? It’s the RETURN OF THE PERFECT BROWS! My glory day has returned j/k j/k~  It’s just that… I definitely belong to the 50% of the artist who cannot stand asymmetry in brows. Yes, naturally brows are most likely going to be sisters – Only very few people I’ve met had perfectly symmetrical brows, and when I see them I cannot stop staring at them and admire them with my mouth agape! No brow product or anything, just perfectly symmetrical. I like them longer and fuller – and tamed into perfection. 
If your brows are not perfectly symmetrical, there are ways to shape it to “appear” perfectly symmetrical.  For that, you really need to go to a TRUE brow artiste and not just any esthetician out there ;) 
ALL my clients and models I’ve worked with know that I am into symmetrical brows…lol….If you come to me with brows, I will most likely inquire if you go see someone for your brows, and if not, why not? What can I say…I just love beautiful brows.  Jordan @ Scout told me she loves how I do her brows~ :) 
What can I say, at least for this season, I WIN! *does a victory dance* 
This post was inspired by my hubby’s comment last night! Part of it was also the current events about the Korean actress suicide notes and pressure to perform plastic surgery….but anyways…let’s move on back to Namie ^^.  I was watching a new Namie Amuro video (if you know me, then you know she is absolutely my favorite performer and of all time and a style icon!) and my hubby said that: “10 years later, she still looks exactly the same! How did she do that…suspicious!”  My favorite Namie going under the knife?! no way…I thought! My conclusion is, NO she did not go under the knife! But I made a couple of observations! 
  photographed by Karl Lagerfeld in Paris 2009 
I never actually thought about it, although in high school one of my friends told me that you gotta look at photos but cover up the rest of the face and concentrate on the suspicious areas. lol ~ I never really want to suspect MY dear Namie getting any work done! So I did a google search, and I found some images
And the caption said she did her eyes and her nose! lol to the eyes comment because the angle/make up is completely different…the same with the nose!  The photograph in the left is around 1995-1996, I think some media appearances for her movie “That’s Cunning” ! 
And then I found this on someone’s live journal entry!  The quality is not very great, but you can see that when the angle is the same, her nose looks the same.    One thing she definitely fixed was her teeth! Getting braces can really change your face shape/lips as well! (Not that I’d recommend getting braces if you don’t need them!) So I did a little bit of image juxta-composition myself to compare! 
I fixed my teeth! :D
The image from the right is from album cover PastFuture 2010! It’s actually tough to find a photo of Namie in this angle because it’s not the most flattering for her; and well, she’s been in the industry for over 2 decades…hundreds of magazine covers and 6-8 page spreads later, She knows how to work her angles!  Also in 1996, it was not a trend to wear false lashes and contact lenses to alter your eye shape and make your eyes larger.  Fuller brows also frames your face differently (in Namie’s case, it slims the face as well) Photoshop can also enhance the features by defining them (dodging and burning), and sometimes over photo shopped images can make you look completely different! So we must pay attention before drawing conclusions (like she got a nose job lol)!

Above is another image I put together with the dates! As you can see in 1996, her eyes have always been HUGE…and that’s partially because Namie is 1/4 Italian, from her mother’s side.  So her nose looks much flatter if photographed at that angle!

From the side, her nose looks much higher/taller instead of broad/flat.  Angles of her jaw also similar, so no facial reconstruction either.  If you really ask me…I do notice some collagen loss on her cheeks and that’s due to aging ^^|| You can’t get 10+ years older and not loose any collagen! She has great genes and probably takes great care of her skin and health (No smoking, little drinking, sunscreen!) The rest…well that’s photo shop! ;) In her youth her lips looked really full because of the shade of lipstick she chose (to compliment the tanned skin “Amuraa” look she made so popular in the 90s!) – and lighter shade of lipsticks also make your lips fuller.  Now she opts for more natural colors! Remember that UVA sun rays damage our DNA/Collagen on our skin, so remember to protect the collagen on your lips by using lip balm with SPF!  Then you won’t need any lip fillers in the future! :) Oh these images are so classic~ *Nostalgia*

Small Tips on enhancing your features in Photographs:
1) Flat light will make your nose flatter.  Ask for harsher / higher contrast lighting

2) Contour & highlighting ! Using cooler toned powder or contour kit and a smaller fluffy brush, you can create the illusion of a higher nose by contouring the sides of the nose, and the face to bring out cheek bones, and your jaw line. If makeup enough is not enough, you can also continue to emphasize the shadows during post-processing/photoshop stage of the image production stage.

3) Find your angles! This will require you to practice in the mirror. If photographed up-front, Namie will look like she has a broader nose, but from below, it makes her nose thinner & taller! You can also tilt your face slightly to the side to get a quarter profile (tall nose!) No need to go under the knife!

4) Trial & error for the right brow shape to match and frame your face shape! This part takes patience, as the growing it out phase sometimes is not too pretty!  But a big mistake is overly thin brows.  It can make your face appear much wider than it is!  

 And lastly, find a great makeup, hair and photography team!! ^o^  Professionals use similar tricks you use at home (ie: false lashes to enhance the lights, or photographing under certain lighting to get the most flattering light!) to enhance your features and achieve the look & feel you are going for! Anyways~ I hope you enjoyed the post and the pretty photos! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Keeping up with my new years resolution of trying to blog more, here is a topic I’ve been hoping to write about! I loooove x 100  Emily DiDonato’s face – she is in this commercial and other Maybelline related ads, and she is also the face of Armani’s Acqua Di Gioia fragrance.  At first when I saw that ad, I thought it was Raina (runner-up from America’s next top model whom I’m dying to work with!) They have some similarities – but I loooooooooooove their faces.  That innocent but seductive, perfect face!   
To get back on topic…I forgot and don’t know who started this trend of advertising mascara by showing false lashes in the commercial and claiming it to be the results of the mascara…no matter what the model and the artist were told to say behind the scenes in this video …(which I really enjoyed watching because I would love to work on a beauty campaign! Amazing model, amazing makeup artist!)  But… Really?!  “It looks like falsies but it’s just mascara” but not only does it look like falsies, you can tell they are falsies…! How do you feel about mascara ads using falsies? I for one – really hope that one company would stop this trend and actually …just use mascara. Hire a model with amazing long lashes!!!! They exist!!! They don’t even need mascara so imagine what mascara can do to their lashes!!!  
Nowadays it’s so hard for me to decide which ones to purchase because all of them cease to convince me anymore…do you remember Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Maybelline ad almost 10 years ago? Well since this was the days BEFORE HD TV, there’s no way for me to go back in time and scrutinize the ad like I can with all of the current ones (which runs nicely on my 1080p screens!) 
It looks like the close-up might have had some falsies in there, but again hard to tell – But the ad is much more believable to me!  Maybelline is just an example…you open up a magazine, and you see a mascara ad and BAM it’s false lashes. 
Then along comes America’s Next Top Model in 2003 with the cover girl ads and how it is incorporated into the show – it’s genius how they use the products and show it behind the scenes!  The thing about the Maybelline behind the scenes…if you pay close attention to the behind the scenes video at 0:51 seconds – 1:24min or try pausing the screen at 1min21 seconds.  When she is applying the lipstick at 0:51 – what she is holding in her hand is a Japonesque empty lip palette (that I happen to own too! :D that is exactly what I do with my lipsticks..saves space and oh so light weight!) with lipsticks depotted inside and there is no evidence that the lipsticks are purely Maybelline products – but of course this ad is mascara but…you would ASSUME they only use Maybelline products, provided by the company right? Pause again at 1:24 and the opened palettes – again, other than the mascara she is holding on her hand/advertising, I see a whole bunch of other products that are non-Maybelline.   My point here is not to pick on an amazing/accomplished makeup artist, but to point out that what you see advertised is not always what’s used in the advertisements…it might be used sometimes in some companies…but it’s a known fact that what you see in the ad is not what’s being advertised… 
Cosmetic companies spend Top Dollar to hire the Top Team to produce those ads to sell products to you; they can do it with a very sizable marketing budget and a team of marketing/advertising experts and hire the best models, wardrobe, makeup/hair & production team.  High-end brands, or Drugstore brands – it doesn’t make a difference!  I’m all about promoting a good product and discovering gems in drugstore brands – especially mascara.  It’s a hard fact to accept – but drugstore vs. high-end mascara really makes very little difference.  I’m leaning towards focusing on finding a few Great drugstore brands in my kit and keeping that ONLY since I gotta toss it every month and after experimenting, I’ve found comparable results in my experience.  Mark-ups in cosmetics are 100% – so when you are purchasing a $30 mascara, the real price of it is $15 – and out of that $15, I don’t know the exact breakdown, but I’m GUESSING (this is my professional speculation) that perhaps 20-30% goes towards producing the product, another 20-30% goes into packaging and the rest is going to advertising! So again thinking of that $30 dollar mascara, $15 is the company’s profit but a bulk of that is money spent on packaging (including the design, and the unique ‘brush’ of the mascara) and advertising…so yes, you are paying for $1-3 dollars in just the material of the mascara itself (the stuff/goo inside you are putting on your eyes) even with a $30 dollar mascara.  
As you might already know, I’m a strong advocate for being a responsible consumer.  Does the company use recyclable materials (post-consumer recycled packaging? if so, what’s the percentage?)  Does the company do animal testing?  Is it certified organic/ are the ingredients obtained ETHICALLY and are the ingredients SUSTAINABLE?  Living in a Buy-Buy-Buy Capitalist society, we are constantly bombarded with messages to buy and buy – but the question remains: “Is this mascara worth my money???” So…I guess to conclude this post, I want to take the opportunity to thank the beauty bloggers and youtube gurus who took their time and money to review the products for us!  Thanks to their reviews, you don’t have to rely on these advertisements!  I also really think that bloggers who have blog sales are doing the right thing!!! If you’re not going to use it, sell it or give it away if it’s sanitary (nono you cannot re-sell mascara..and lipgloss/lipstick is kind of on the iffy line for sanitation reasons – the buyer has to know how to sanitize the lipstick before using) and as long as the products are well-within the expiration date and not expired.   I do appreciate reading the reviews, but it’s become a real turn-off for me if I see someone buy EVERYTHING out there just to try it out…all the packaging…all that plastic…!!  That’s why I love P-chan’s blog!  Instead of sharing ‘hauls’, she is sharing the products she used up and loves!  She gets 5 stars in my books! Seriously…!  <3 Don't waste, and think about your carbon foot print and recycle! <3