Archive for the ‘Nathan Johnson’ Category

January 2, 2014 8:01 am

The Truth about Acne, Part II

With a better idea as to how to outsmart our genes, we can move on to the trickier cause of acne — life. Stress and personal care products can, and will, cause acne flare-ups. In other words, unless you intend to live your life in your apartment avoiding all human contact and never allowing anything to come in contact with your skin, you are likely to encounter acne triggers on a daily basis.

When it comes to triggers, stress is the nastiest offender. We live in a dog-eat-dog world and chronic stress is as normal a part of our daily lives as breathing. Like a chain of dominos, it sends our adrenal glands into super-drive, boosting our sebum production and setting the stage for that uninvited guest, acne. I wish I could suggest a surefire way to prevent stress, but the truth is – it’s impossible. Something will always cause worry or anxiety in our lives and instead of pretending they aren’t there, its better to face our stressors head on.

The best defense against a stress trigger is a healthy lifestyle. If you think I am about to launch into a diatribe about cutting out all the junk, you’re wrong. I would never ask that you eat only healthy food, because that demand would set you up for failure. You can indulge yourself in this extra large, double cheese world, just as long as the good you consume surpasses the bad. It’s easier than you might think to add a vegetable. If you want that burger, have it with a salad instead of fries. Put frozen banana and Greek yogurt puree over your brownie instead of ice cream. The added dose of vitamins and antioxidants will send a pulse of nutrition directly throughout your body and that alone will do a great deal to keep the acne away. Another quick way to head off the stress monster is mind-body synchronization. As cliché as it sounds, deep breathing, yoga, or even a short jog in the park do will wonders not only for your skin, but also for your overall well-being. And, if it hasn’t already been made it crystal clear, the two are intimately connected.

As if genes and lifestyle aren’t enough, the products you choose to use on your skin may be the biggest offenders of all. Some of the most common “healthy” products are actually loaded with ingredients that cause or exacerbate acne. Here are some of the monsters to look out for. Lanolin is a common moisturizing agent, but being a fatty oil derived from sheep’s wool, it quickly coats the skin and blocks the pores. Artificial fragrance and dyes are the most frequently overlooked culprits. Found last on the ingredient list, these little devils ravage the face causing irritation and sensitivity. The end result is a swift boost in the production of protective sebum and you know where that leads.

Insider tip: artificial fragrance and color in skin care products will bring you no benefit. If acne and oily skin are your primary concern, you want to look for products that contain salicylic acid. This power player works fast to reduce swelling and redness, de-clog pores and minimize breakouts. In terms of multi-purpose, that single ingredient takes the cake. There is also a belief that people with oily skin do not need to moisturize and that could not be further from the truth. Water and oil are two completely different things and a balance of both is necessary for optimal skin health.

When it comes to acne, there is rarely a single cause. To successfully treat, clear and prevent breakouts, the cascade of events leading to their development must be controlled. A healthy lifestyle, regular facials and great home-care routine are the only way to keep the spots at bay.

These are just a few basics about the monster we call acne. The better you understand it, the more valuable you will be to your clients.

 

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


December 26, 2013 8:41 am

The Truth about Acne, Part I

As a makeup artist, you will be required to hide breakouts. But you will also be looked to as a skin expert. It is one thing to be able to hide them, but if you can give your clients the information they need to prevent them you can become more than a makeup artist. You can become an invaluable resource.

There comes a moment in almost every person’s life when they wake up to find that acne has taken up residence on their face. It is a dreaded condition that almost all people have experienced to some degree at some point in their lives. One of the greatest misconceptions about this self-esteem destroying disorder is that it only affects adolescents and teenagers. Unfortunately, the increasing number of twenty-somethings who suffer from breakouts, oily skin and other such skin conditions debunk that myth.

Acne has many causes but the most common are genetics, stress and personal care products. The predisposition and behavior of our skin happens on a molecular level and, truth be told, it is something we have little to no control over. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take preventative counter measures to ensure those breakouts never see the light of day.

The most common genetic disorder that causes acne is called retention hyperkeratosis. It is a terribly ugly phrase that simply means you are producing more skin cells than you can shed. When these excess cells combine with the sebum you naturally produce, a pore blocking cement is formed. This cement settles into the pores depriving the follicles of oxygen and creating the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria thrive, they invite along a few of their best pals–swelling, redness and inflammation. When left untreated, this perfect storm is an express pass to a face covered with pimples. Exfoliation is the only true way to outsmart retention hyperkeratosis. It’s plain logic – if you regularly slough off the excess skin there will be nothing left to mix with the sebum and plug the pores.

A second major genetic factor is an overactive pilosebaceous unit. In simpler terms, this means that the oil glands within the follicles are producing sebum at an above average rate. Most people think that harsh cleaning or over exfoliating will solve this, but it actually does the complete opposite. Skin that has been stripped will want to protect itself and the only way it can do this is by producing excess oil. It’s a total catch-22, and over-cleansing is definitely not an option. The key to calming oil production comes down to the ingredients in your products. Key players to look for are zinc salt and willow bark. These two powerhouses will help to regulate sebum production giving you the glowy, non-oily skin you have longed for.

Stay tuned! I’ll be going over more causes of acne, and how to overcome them.

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


November 5, 2013 8:53 am

5 Pro Makeup Tips from a Celebrity MUA

With over two decades in the beauty business under my belt, I have stumbled upon hundreds of little secrets. Some of them make my job easier, some correct mistakes, and some are just plain fun! Today, I want to share a handful of my favorites with you.

Read some of Nathan's pro tips

1. Softening harsh lines and too much color

If you have ever put on too much blush or gone a bit heavy on your brow powder, eyeliner, or eye shadow, you know the woes of having to wipe it off and start the makeup fresh. The good news is that you don’t have to take off all the makeup anymore! There is an easier alternative that can save the day. Translucent powder and cotton swabs are two must-have products. If you go a bit heavy on the eyeliner or the brow color, a touch of translucent on the swab will blend it down until it is the perfect depth. For bigger areas like the cheek or eyelid, use the power on a brush or your fingertip.

2. Lower lash definition

Most people tend to avoid mascara on the lower lashes out of fear of the raccoon eye! If you don’t know how to apply it right, that’s probably for the best. If you want all the magic of a defined lower lash line without any of the negatives, apply the mascara for color and depth, not for length. Just set the wand tight to the lash line and wiggle it back and forth. You will get the perfect lay of color. Black is always beautiful, but if it seems too heavy for you try brown instead.

3. The perfect “overnight” smoky eye

This may seem like a huge no-no, but if you want the perfect smoky eye with minimal effort, sleep in your eyeliner. The liner will smudge so perfectly, you would not be able to duplicate the look if you tried. If you want to give this a go, I have one tip…swap out your white pillowcase!

4. Glowing cheeks

If you watch award shows, you will notice the dewy glow that most of the celebrities have on their cheeks as they walk the red carpet. There are a lot of ways to achieve this, but my favorite, and perhaps the easiest, is to apply a skin-brightening primer over the blush. True highlighters can sometimes be too bold but a brightening primer will take a beautiful cheek to AMAZING. Just tap it over the blush with a foundation brush.

5. Super Bright Eyes

Lining the inner rim of the upper lash line with a blue pencil will make the whites of the eyes look super bright! This trick is amazing because you can magnify the intensity of the eyes without anyone knowing you used a blue pencil. An added bonus is that it adds immediate depth to the lash line giving the appearance of fuller, thicker lashes.

Those are a few of my favorite little tricks. I would love to hear a few of yours! Leave a comment letting me know what makeup tricks you’ve discovered along the way.

Pro tip: Check out QC’s Pro Makeup Workshop with Nathan Johnson for even more of Nathan’s expert tips!

nathan johnsonNathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


October 11, 2013 12:00 am

How to: Tackle dry, chapped lips

One of the most frequent beauty dilemmas a makeup artist encounters is perfect lipstick application on dry, irritated or chapped lips. Lipstick can enhance the face by adding color and freshness, but if it grabs on to dry or chapped areas it will do exactly the opposite. It is part of your job to know how to overcome this obstacle.

When caught in this pinch, many people grab a chap stick or a waxy lip primer. Yes, this will allow you to put the product on, but it will not last long or give your client any knowledge as to how to prevent the problem in the future. As a professional, it is not only our job to resolve the issue (to the best of our ability), but it is also our responsibility to educate our clients so they can prevent it in the future.

Don't let chapped lips get you down this fall

In the old days, people would grab a toothbrush and rub the dead skin away. This is acceptable as an at-home do-it-yourself, but as a professional, there are much better options. The Fabulips collection by Bliss will not only make the lips super smooth and supple, but it will also prevent any future dryness or irritation. The foaming lip cleanser is the first step on the road to flawless. It is a bubbly cleanser that lifts away debris without stripping or drying. Work this over your client’s lips and any of the residue that causes irritation will be wiped away. Step two, the Sugar Lip Scrub, is a delicious combination of finely ground sugar, almond shells, walnut shells, and hydrating oils. A light buff of this soothing exfoliator will turn your client’s chapped lips into a soft, perfectly smooth pout. Step three is a peptide packed Instant Lip Plumper that will immediately rejuvenate the lips with a lush, hydrated plump. To make sure the word chapped is never used to describe your lips follow the plumper with the Softening Lip Balm. Shea butter, jojoba and grape seed oil protect and penetrate, leaving the mouth soft, smooth and kissable.

A simple, smart routine, focused on protection and rejuvenation, is all you need to take the chap off your client’s lips.

 

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


September 12, 2013 11:10 am

Nathan’s Tips: How to Do Bold Eye Makeup

Bold eye makeup is always in fashion. A bright pop of color framed by darkness is both sexy and unexpected, like this look I created below. If pink is not your thing, have no fear. It can easily be replaced by any color you choose. If you are not feeling bold, try replacing the color with a more neutral shade. By taking the following steps, and playing around with the colors, you will have an infinite number of new looks at your disposal. Read on to get the look…

Complexion

A bold eye always makes heads turn

Anything you do to your eyes, cheeks and lips will only look better if it is set on a flawless face. To perfect the canvas, try Natural Finish foundation by Cover FX and Magic Salmon Concealer by Eve Pearl. When set with a fine powder, these two powerhouses deliver a flawless, dewy glow.

Eyes

To maximize the pop, start with white Flash Color by Make Up For Ever. This opaque cream will completely cancel out your skin tone and allow the truest read of color on the lid. With the white applied from lash to crease, tap in Cherry Bomb Loose Color Concentrates by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. This little pot of magic is the find of the century. The pigment load is so high that these babies last all day and glide on like a dream.

In the crease and along the outer corner, sweep Onyx Eye Color by Make-up Designory. Using an angle brush, pull this color along the upper and lower lash lines to define the eye. The last step on the eyes is Mascara. Three coats to the upper and two to the lower will bring those lashes to unbelievable lengths.

Cheeks

To get a beautiful glow on the cheeks, try True Love Cheek Stain by Tarte. For added highlight, sweep Mary-Lou Manizer by The Balm

on the cheekbone and inner apple area. An extra touch on the bridge of the nose, the chin, forehead and under the brow bone will add extra pop.

Lips

For a bee stung look try Vamp Lip Glistens by Beauty Society. A sheer coat really shows off the sexy pout!

That’s how easy it is to get this beautiful bold look.

Photo by Thomas Cantley

nathan johnson

Written by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


August 7, 2013 9:32 am

How to: The Five-Minute Face

Here’s a question I hear from my clients all the time: “I lead a busy life. Is there a trick that can have me looking great in just a few minutes?” Let’s face it – even the biggest stars do not have a makeup artist living in their house. They love what we do for them, but they want a fast way to feel great on the days we are not there. Below you will find quick steps for a natural-looking glow that I recommend to all my clients!

Step 1: Foundation

Nathan Johnson's five-minute faceImmediately after applying moisturizer, work one pump of a liquid foundation into the skin. Use a brush or your fingers to blend it. This little touch will even out the skin in an effortless, natural way. (If you have oily skin, use powder instead.)

Step 2: Concealer

Using your pinky or a brush, apply a light touch of concealer under the eye. Apply it only where needed. To find that spot, tilt your head forward when you look into the mirror. A half-moon of darkness will leap right out. That is what you conceal. Done properly, this is the step that will give you the well-rested look.

Step 3: Powder

Set your foundation and concealer with a mica or silica based setting powder like the ones by Make Up For Ever or Cover FX. These look the most natural and will not change color through the day like talc based ones will. (If you used powder foundation, use this powder only on the concealer.)

Step 4: Eyeliner

Apply a dark brown liner to the upper lash line. Use a brush or cotton swab to smudge the color into the lash line for a really natural liner look. This small step makes the eyes pop!

Step 5: Highlight

It is the features that make this natural face so magical, so we need to make the right areas pop. With a brush, sweep a touch of highlighter across the high point of the cheek bones, along the brow bone and on the upper lid above the tear duct.

Step 6: Mascara

A touch of black mascara on the top lashes will make the eyes the focal point.

Step 7: Blush

For an effortless glow, add a little outdoorsy color to the face with a peachy-pink blush. When swept over the apples of the cheek, a fluffy brush will leave the perfect amount of color.

Step 8: Lips

A sheer, pink gloss adds freshness to the lips and face.

Final look

This natural look can be done in 2 to 5 minutes and will have any of your clients ready to face the world when you can’t be there!

 

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.

 

 


Nathan's tips to keep your skin looking great this summer

With the freezing weather finally behind us, more than just sweaters and snow blowers can be tucked away. As you pull on your thinner summer clothes, be sure to lighten up on your makeup and skincare as well.

In the warmer months, thick cleansers and creams can feel just as heavy as a winter coat would. For better feeling skin, try switching to something light and gentle like Cetaphil. This little powerhouse will cleanse, soften, and gently remove all the excess debris from your skin without stripping all the natural emollients. There is a fine balance between removing the excess and removing too much. You want the skin to retain a healthy amount of oil so you will look young and beautiful without looking oily. It will help keep the skin hydrated, and even and free of pesky breakouts.

In the summer months the skin is naturally oilier. Not only do we produce more oil, but the humidity in the air can seal it into the skin. Your choice of a summer moisturizer is even more important than the cleanser. Unless you are have very dry skin, dense, oil-based moisturizers in the warmer months will lead to clogged pores and excessive oiliness. Active Moist by Dermalogica is one of my all time favorites. The formulation is sheer but very effective. With a combination of silk amino acids and botanical extracts, this super hydrator will keep the skin supple while smoothing the skin’s surface.

When you open your medicine cabinet and put away the thicker moisturizer, store away the heavy foundation as well. Choosing tinted moisturizer in the summer keeps the skin fresh, dewy, and light while evening out the tone and cutting the red. I adore SkinTint FX by Cover FX. The base is a super-lightweight silicone and it is packed with the perfect amount of color and bronzer to make the skin glow with summer illumination. As if that wasn’t good enough, this mulit-tasker tossed in SPF as well as vitamins F, A, C and E to soothe, calm and hydrate the skin.

There is a big difference between dewy glow and slick shine. To keep excess oil at bay, tap De-Slick Mattifying Powder by Urban Decay onto all of your hot spots. This lightweight, oil-absorbing rice powder works equally well over foundation or bare skin. It’s a lifesaver.

A few simple changes in your daily routine will ensure that your face stays cool regardless of the temperature. Don’t worry about storing away your heavier products over the summer, they’ll hold up just fine until the fall.

Put the heavier products away, but don’t worry, they will hold up just fine until the fall.

 

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


April 4, 2013 2:45 pm

How To – Day to Night Makeup Looks

Women don’t just work hard; they live and play hard as well. Daily life is busier and more hectic than ever. Work, romance, and fun flow one into another, so it only makes sense that we have a makeup plan that can transition with us.

The idea of changing makeup seems like way too much work for most women. But it is our job as artists to teach our clients the tricks that make transitioning far less of a task. Since most women wear the basics during the day (foundation, liner, and mascara), I am going to cover some quick tricks that will change any makeup look from daytime to party-ready in a flash.

Foundation Touch-up

Using the pinky finger, or a small synthetic brush, reapply the perfect shade of foundation to areas where it has worn away. Under the eyes and around the nose are two places to pay attention to. People touch, tug, and wipe their noses constantly, and this tiny fix will do wonders.

Powder

Most people develop a bit of shine during the day. So tone it down by dusting a light touch of powder over the entire face. If you don’t want to take a powder brush everywhere with you, cotton balls do an amazing job. Now remember, I said a light dusting. The goal is to tone down the shine…so less is more.

Eyes

If eyeliner and mascara are left over from the morning, don’t reapply. Lets dress up the lids by applying a soft, sultry shade, one that will immediately jazz up the eye. Go from the lash line right up to the crease. Lining the lower lid will add depth and definition. Use an angle brush or a pencil to add the color. If you want an extra pop, liquid eyeliner is really your best bet. Use it only on your upper lid…and if you want to get the cat eye, pull it just beyond the outer corner and flick it up.

Lips

To make the mouth pop at night, depth and drama are key. The easiest way to get the look is to apply a shade of lipstick or gloss that is two shades deeper than the color you wear for the day.

These day-to-night tricks are really simple, but you will see that the finish is a universally flattering, slightly more dramatic version of the daytime look. The perfect combination of depth and darkness will guarantee you a flawless face that will look great in any nighttime lighting.

Here’s a tip. Have your client assemble a small make-up bag that fits in her purse or desk drawer. Then she will always have everything she needs to make the day-to-party transition.

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson
www.nathansbeauty.com

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.


Celebrity makeup artist nathan johnsonQC Makeup Academy is excited to announce the upcoming launch of its newest offering, Pro Makeup Workshop with Nathan Johnson. The pro workshop, an online makeup workshop, gives students the opportunity to learn from celebrity makeup artist Nathan Johnson in a one-on-one setting.

The online makeup workshop features hours of video content in which Nathan Johnson shows you how to achieve more than six gorgeous makeup looks using advanced techniques that any pro should know. From the smokey eye and its many variations and perfectly defined brows to intricate eyeliner looks and advanced glitter application – this course is full of celebrity makeup artist tips and secrets. Your clients will think you’ve worked some serious magic!

This course is perfect for an existing makeup artist looking to really boost his or her skills or for someone simply looking to learn how to do a few makeup looks and do them well. If you have no experience in makeup, you should consider first enrolling in one of our existing courses: Makeup Artistry or Master Makeup Artistry. These two courses will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and hands-on training you’ll need to get the most possible out of the pro makeup workshop.

Take a look a sneak peek of the course host, Sandra Baranek, having her makeup done for an on-camera appearance! If you’d like to be added to the wait list and be the first to know about course pricing and launch information, send us an email now.

The course begins with Nathan Johnson applying on-camera makeup to course host, Sandra Baranek. In the video, Nathan explains the importance of flawless on-camera makeup. Take a look below to see some exclusive images from the first tutorial!

sandra1

sandra2

 sandra3

We hope you’ll enjoy the Pro Makeup Workshop with Nathan Johnson just as much as we enjoyed creating it. Exact launch date to be released shortly. Stay tuned!


March 14, 2013 4:30 pm

Have You Found Your Perfect Primer?

Any artist who has used primer already knows the drastic difference it makes in the application and longevity of foundation. Since this hidden gem works such wonders on the skin, I found it only fitting to do some investigation into whether other spot-specific primers might garner just as favorable results. Low and behold, I found some amazing products that really can maximize the eyes, lips and lashes. Here are my recommendations for some alternative primers that will definitely make the most of the whole face…but don’t be afraid to experiment and find a favorite of your own.

Eyelids

Disappearing and creasing shadows seem to be a major complaint for most women and makeup artists. A well-formulated primer will lock shadow in place for the entire day. Urban Decay Primer Potion is my go to. This powerhouse makes three promises: 1. Eye shadow that lasts. 2. More vibrant color 3. No creasing. And miracle of miracles, it delivers on all three.

If the smokey eye is a look for you, try Pixi Smoky Eye Primer. The base is dark gray, so when you lay the darker shadows over it, they will blend well and disappear seamlessly into the shaded primer. When lightly laid on the lid, it actually does half of the work for you. It can also be used on its own as a sultry cream shadow.

Under eyes

Concealer loves two things, to look obvious and to crease. The Sue Devitt Microquatic Prime Target Intensive Eye Treatment Primer will prevent both of those unsightly under-eye catastrophes. This multipurpose product is a clear gel that hydrates, reduces puffiness and most importantly, gives concealer something to flawlessly bond to.

Lips

If you intend to eat, drink, or even lick your lips, you might as well not even wear lipstick without a primer. The Senna Totally Transforming Lip Primer is perfect for keeping the color on. In addition, it uses peptides to plump and promote health and silicone to fill lines. I sure do love a product that improves the skin while making make up look better!

As a makeup lover and artist, I am always on the hunt for products that will improve wear-ability and make application smoother and more flawless. These products certainly fit the bill.

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson
www.nathansbeauty.com

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.

 

Image 1 via www.urbandecay.com
Image 2 via www.sennacosmetics.co