Posts Tagged ‘makeup’

April 30, 2013 8:00 am

Pin It To Win It – Makeup Giveaway!

UPDATE 5/7/13: Winner Announcement

We want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated. We were so thrilled by the enthusiastic response to this contest. Congratulations to our winner Laura McFayden!


Calling all makeup artists! QC Makeup Academy is launching its first ever ‘Pin it to Win it’ contest today! One lucky winner will receive an 88-shade eye shadow palette and a 32-shade lip palette. It’s so easy to enter, just follow the directions below!

Pin It To Win It!

Take a look at the four looks below. Pick your favorite and pin it for the chance to win two professional grade makeup palettes! Want to double your chances of winning? Pin one of the images below and the instructions image above, and you’ll be entered twice.

This contest runs from April 30th to May 7th, so get pinning! Don’t have a Pinterest account? Sign up for one here.


Pin it to win it!


Pin it to Win it!


Pin It To Win It!


Pin It To Win It!

We’ll be selecting the winner at random on May 7th, 2013. The lucky individual will receive an email notification, so keep an eye on your inbox!

Happy pinning!

April 18, 2013 9:00 am

Is high-end, luxury makeup better?

It seems a lot of beauty bloggers, vloggers, and industry pros rely more heavily on “luxury” brand makeup than anything else. You rarely see a celebrity makeup artist using Covergirl, or an editorial makeup artist using anything aside from Cover FX, Make Up For Ever, and other big name brands. I’m regularly asked if pro makeup artists should ditch their drugstore makeup and use only high end products, and I’m here to answer the question: is high-end, luxury makeup really better?

Do you prefer luxury brands for your makeup?

There seems to be many negative connotations surrounding the use of drugstore makeup products. I understand how it can be easy to associate low price with low quality, as this is usually the case in life. Therefore, it makes sense that makeup artists would think the same when it comes to building their kits. I’d like to point out that just because something is usually true doesn’t mean it’s always true – and it’s definitely not the case with all drugstore makeup products.

Some of my favorite products can be picked up at Wal Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walgreens, or Primark. Take Rimmel’s Stay Matte pressed powder, for example. This is the only powder I will use to set my makeup. I’ve tried Make Up For Ever powders, MAC Cosmetics powders, and just about any other powder imaginable but Rimmel is my favorite – and at a mere $4 at that.

Another product I swear by is the L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm. I rotate between using Pink Satin and Caring Coral in my everyday makeup routine and love these products. Sure, I love my MAC Russian Red and NARS Heat Wave too, but nothing beats the silky texture of my Color Riche balms.

So, is it possible to work as a professional makeup artist with only drugstore brand makeup? I’m sure it’s possible, but there are certain products I leave to the luxury brands – like foundation and concealer. In my opinion at least, luxury brands tend to do a better foundation (and this goes for concealer, too) than drugstore brands. This is simply because you’re paying more for the product, so the luxury brand can afford to put more higher quality ingredients into the product.

My all-time favorite is the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation. I’ve never encountered any other foundation quite like it, and love how little I need to use to get a great, medium coverage that lasts all day long.  Check it out on the  finish is truly unmatched. You can read more about it on the Laura Mercier website.

As a pro makeup artist, your focus should always be on creating a gorgeous base on top of which you can work your magic. Without a good base, the rest of the look falls apart. If I were to give you advice on where to spend the extra money and where to save a bit, I’d say to invest in anything that’s going to give you that great base – a beautiful complexion – and save on other products like lipgloss, lipstick, blushes, etc.

To answer the question in short, luxury brand makeup can be better. There are also plenty of instances in which I’m sure it can be worse, or simply unnecessary. Anyone wearing makeup, or using makeup in their job, is best off going with what they’re most comfortable using and what they know works best for their needs.

When you’re able to invest a little more heavily in professional products, do so in base-builders like concealer, foundation, eyeshadow primer, and setting sprays. If you’re looking to save, save on lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadows, mascaras, and blushes. At the end of the day, the choice is really yours, and these are just my personal suggestions!

Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment below and tell me if you prefer drugstore or luxury brand. Me? I’m a mix!


April 6, 2013 9:00 am

How to Wear Green Eyeshadow

After Pantone announced Emerald Green as its “Color of the Year” for 2013, beauty and makeup lovers everywhere started looking for ways to incorporate it into their makeup routines. Green can be a tricky color to pull off, and Emerald Green can be even trickier. Read on to learn how to wear green eyeshadow and how to add just a flash of color while keeping your overall makeup in-check.

1. Less is More

With any bright color, it’s so important to remember that less is more. There’s nothing that will kill a look quite as easily, or as quickly, as too much color. Sure, an over-the-top look might suit certain environments and occasions, but chances are that it’s not quite what you’re looking for when it comes to an evening out. You want to grab people’s attention for the right reasons.

2. Use Complementary Colors

We love Sephora + Pantone Universe eyeshadow trio because it gives you three gorgeous shades to use when building your look-at-me look. We’d use this trio to do the following: apply the silver all over the lid, create shadow in the crease with the deep blue, and add a flash of green to the inner corner. If you want to show off more green, extend the green from the inner corner into the first 1/3 of your lid. Just remember, don’t venture too far up and certainly stay beneath the crease!

3. Blend

Color shows off bad blending far more than a neutral shadow, so blend as much as possible. Use a fluffy brush and go over where the colors meet and where the shadow ends to ensure there are no visible start-and-stop marks or creases.

4. Keep the Rest Neutral

If you’re rocking brightly colored eyeshadow, skip the bold blush and/or lip. With the Sephora + Pantone Universe eyeshadows, we’d go for a peachy blush that’s fairly close to the wearer’s skin tone. You don’t want anything too dark or too bright. For lips, we’d recommend a neutral lipstick or high shine gloss.


What do you think of our tips? Feel free to comment with your own suggestions and tips! We’d love to hear them.


We all do it, continue on the quest for that perfect foundation. To help you guys out a bit I’m reviewing my experience with some foundations I’ve tried.

When it comes to looking for a foundation there are a few key elements to keep in mind. Do you have dry, oily, or combination skin? Do you find that makeup doesn’t last? What current products are you using for your foundation and what do you like or dislike about them? These are questions you should ask yourself or your client.

Once you have determined these elements, here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing a foundation:

Oily skin: Oily skin can go a few different ways. There are now tons of liquid foundations that also mattify the skin. A powder would also work and many oily skins feel more comfortable with that. Look for mattifying, full coverage liquid or powder.

Dry skin: With dry skin, you should stay away from powders, and use them only to do minor setting if needed. Look for liquid, hydrating, moisture, or dewy.

Combination skin: Combination requires exactly that – a combination of products. Two different products for two different skin types, with the exception of certain liquids that work on both oily and dry skin. Look for liquid, mattifying, combination skin, powder, or cream to powder.

Here are five different foundations that are in high demand with my clients and popular among bloggers:

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

This is a great medium coverage foundation, but only if you don’t have a ton of imperfections to conceal or smooth out. If you need a nice even wash of color and coverage, it’s great! If you have extremely dry or oily skin I would suggest you avoid this product. This product gives an amazing finish on normal to slightly combination skin with little to no pigmentation, acne or other skin concerns. With that being said, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a clear-skinned client tell me she needs full coverage for her acne. Sometimes we misjudge our own appearance (I know I’m guilty of this!). Be sure to set those misconceptions aside when determining the foundation you need.

Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation

This is a full coverage foundation. It’s buildable, but it also sheers out nicely. I would avoid this product if you have very dry skin (or make sure you exfoliate and hydrate well before application). The product is so thick and full that the texture can verge on feeling like a cream to powder and might stick to dry skin. With dry skin you need something that glides over, smoothing and hydrating as it goes. Mixing foundations is also a great way to get the exact finish you want, so try customizing your own foundation! Mix this with a tinted moisturizer to sheer it out or mix it with something luminizing to add a dewy finish. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

“Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is a sheer, lightweight formula with a hint of color you can use in place of foundation for a natural finish and a healthy glowing complexion.”

The description says it all. This product is perfect for just a slight wash of colour and evenness. Any skin type with any skin concern can wear this product. It looks natural and not like you’re obviously wearing makeup. The reason I say any type of skin can wear this is because even for acne-prone skin, a sheer application can take a lot of redness down and won’t look cakey or flakey on problem areas. There’s always the option of using a concealer to cover problem areas, leaving the rest of the skin with a natural sheer finish.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

This powder is not quite a foundation. It’s almost like a tinted moisturizer in powder form, but you are able to build it up more. It gives a beautiful luminous finish to the skin, avoiding an overly powdery look. This powder is perfect for any skin type, although with any powder you want to ensure dry areas are hydrated first. It’s great for setting a liquid foundation or for a foundation retouch throughout the day. I’ve used it to blot over oil spots to mattify as well!

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Foundation

This cream foundation has a natural buildable coverage. Cream foundations tend to be for more mature skin or if you have concerns with fine lines or wrinkles. With mature skin comes the possibility of dryness as we tend to lose moisture with age. Therefore, this product would also be great for dry skin. This product is light and fluffy, so it doesn’t add cakiness to creased or dry areas but gently glides over problem areas, filling in lines and hydrating dryness. Just because this is geared to a more mature client does not mean that this foundation wouldn’t be a perfect fit for a younger client, depending on skin type.

I hope you guys feel more “in the know” on some popular products out there, as well as what to look for when it comes to different skin types. Happy makeup-ing!

brittany hallWritten by Brittany Hall
Makeup by Brittany
Visit Brittany on Twitter and Facebook

Brittany Hall has established herself as a freelance makeup artist, with over five years experience in the industry. She’s also an established blogger – on “Makeup by Brittany”, she blogs about fashion, beauty, home decor, and makeup. She brings her flair to the QC blog with regular posts about her experience in the beauty biz.


Image 1 via
Image 2 via
Image 3 via
Image 4 via
Image 5 via



March 20, 2013 7:55 pm

How-To: Tightlining Eyeliner

You know how once in a while you come across a new makeup technique or product that just completely transforms your life? Well, that’s what tightlining eyeliner has done for us. We know that achieving that perfect eyeliner line can sometimes be frustrating, which is why we’re so excited about the tightlining method! It’s just such an easy and quick way to achieve lash definition and fullness.

Tightlining is when eyeliner is applied directly to the lash line, usually from the underside of the lash line. This technique is great for adding definition and depth to any eye, but is also great for those of you who prefer a natural, wide-eyed look. If you have shorter lashes you’ll appreciate this method too, as applying a dark liner right at the base of the lash line will give the appearance of longer and fuller lashes. The best part about it? It takes a minimal amount of time and effort. It’s also quite easy to cover up mistakes.

This technique is pretty simple. Gently lift your top eyelid so you can clearly see your upper water line. Gently pressing just above your crease and pulling upwards will do the trick. Now, get right up to the mirror and start applying eyeliner to the underside of your lash line. We’ve experimented with this a bit, and find that dotting a liquid eyeliner in between individual lashes works best.

Depending on your eye shape you may only want to focus on certain areas of the lash line. If your eyes are close set, start from the middle of your upper lash line and work your way to the outer edge. Going all the way to the inner corner will simply make them appear even closer together. If you have large eyes you can probably pull off tightlining all the way around the eye for a very defined and wide-eyed look. No matter what your eye shape, experiment until you find what works for you, and don’t forget to apply mascara to polish off the look!

Have you tried tightlining eyeliner? Let us know what you think of this technique in a comment below!


If you’re anything like me you have skin that is so pale it verges on translucent. Skin so pale that sunscreen with an SPF of at least 55 must be applied before any outing, and shopping for a foundation is like searching for a needle in about 20 haystacks. Finding foundation for pale skin is a difficult challenge.

Many foundations seem perfect at first, but after just a few hours of wear they begin to oxidize and turn darker than their original shade. I’ve spent many frustrating years seeking out the perfect product, and I think I’ve finally found one…well two actually. Let me tell you a little bit about them!

MAC Studio Fix Liquid Foundation in NW10
The first is from MAC. They’ve recently expanded their range of shades in the Studio Fix line to include some really light hues for the Edward Cullen lookalikes among us. I’ve tested out the NW10 – the lightest shade they have – and am incredibly happy with it. This foundation offers medium coverage, wears well all day while staying true to its original color, and sits nicely on the skin. If I wait for it to dry completely before setting it with powder it can usually last me throughout my busy 10-12 hour days. Though the lady behind the counter told me it’s a neutral, I would definitely say it has a peachy undertone.

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Siberia
The second is NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in ‘Siberia.’ This product is slightly thinner in consistency than the M.A.C, but it offers very similar coverage if layered and a lovely matte finish. Just like the MAC NW10 it looks quite neutral, but does have a bit of a yellow undertone. I opt for this foundation in the winter months when I am at my absolute palest.

I have classic combination skin; dry cheeks and an oily t-zone, and these formulas both work very well in keeping my skin looking matte and fresh all day long. Like I said, I usually stick with the NARS throughout the winter and switch to the MAC in the summer when my skin is a tad darker, but I also find that they can work well when mixed together. I just put equal amounts of both on the back of my hand to warm them up and then blend them together. I also tend to use the MAC Studio Fix as a concealer in the winter, as it covers imperfections wonderfully and better than any concealer I’ve tried.

Everyone’s skin is different, and so this may not work as perfectly for you as it does for me. I did just want to share in the hopes that it will help some of you with similar skin types to my own!

Have you found THE perfect foundation shade for your fair skin? Share it with us in a comment!

Image 1 via
Image 2 via


Our School hears hundreds of inquirers asking the same question each day, “Will your courses properly ready me for work with M.A.C, or do I need to attend their Mac Makeup School?” We know it’s a bit confusing, so we’d like to take some time today to explain how it works.

Mac Makeup SchoolWhile M.A.C does offer individual advanced courses for professional makeup artists, those courses will not specifically qualify you to work in a M.A.C store or counter. They are mainly geared towards professional makeup artists who simply wish to further their education for personal growth. M.A.C actually does not offer their own makeup artistry certification; however, they do expect potential employees to have obtained certification from another school.

QC Makeup Academy is recognized by M.A.C’s Artist Relations Department and our graduates are eligible for the M.A.C PRO membership. While the M.A.C PRO membership doesn’t specifically qualify you for a position at a M.A.C store or counter, holding a certificate from our School will certainly prepare you and equip you with all the tools and skills needed to work as a professional in the makeup industry. Keep in mind that a strong portfolio is always key, but the first thing you should do before choosing a school is get in touch with the Human Resources Director of the M.A.C location you wish to work at; they will let you know exactly what they are looking for in a new employee.

Are you interested in an education with QC Makeup Academy? Visit us here and please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our friendly student support staff would be happy to answer your questions.


Wouldn’t it be nice to have a step-by-step guide on how to become a professional makeup artist? We think so, because we know the process can be truly grueling for newcomers to the industry. You of course need to be persistent and make the most of every opportunity, but our best tip is to get some quality education behind you. It’s important to know what you’re doing and have confidence in your skills, and that’s where QC Makeup Academy can help! Our two professional makeup designations offer truly in depth training that will take you from being a makeup novice to a makeup pro.

How to Become a Professional Makeup Artist

Each course starts from the very beginning. In our Makeup Artistry course you’ll learn the basics of makeup artistry techniques, sanitation practices and the importance of client expectations. Then you’ll learn about facial shapes and skin types, and the appropriate correctors and concealers for each. Once you’ve mastered all that, the course will take you through various daytime, evening, seasonal, and bridal makeup variations. This course offers a C.I.M.P designation (Certified International Makeup Professional) and with it you’ll be well equipped to transform faces for any type of event or wedding.

In QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course we take things a little further. You’ll learn everything outlined above, but won’t stop there. You’ll move on to learn about the exciting world of glamour, fantasy, catwalk, and fashion photography makeup application. In the final unit we provide in depth training on how to apply makeup for any type of live stage performance; be it theatre, dance, or opera. Once you acquire an M.I.M.P designation (Master International Makeup Professional) your knowledge of character, aging, and body makeup will make you an unstoppable force in the television and film industry.

Upon graduation from either course you will be fully prepared to work as a professional in the fast-paced and ever-evolving makeup industry. You’ll no longer need a guide to teach you how to become a professional makeup artist!

Click here to find out more about QC Makeup Academy!


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!




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 17, 2013 7:57 pm

Kat Von D Lock It Foundation Swatches

We love trying new products, especially foundations, so we’re pretty excited to get our hands on the Kat Von D Lock It Foundation. Either it’s incredibly popular or it’s soon-to-be discontinued, because we had the worst luck finding it in stores. We ended up purchasing it online and are waiting in suspense for it to arrive!

A few of our fair skinned staff are pretty excited to try it out because this line apparently has an incredible range that suits a wide variety of skin tones. Here are a few of the Kat Von D Lock It Foundation swatches that convinced the QC staff to splurge!

From all the rave reviews we’ve heard, this foundation seems to be highly pigmented; excellent for those of us with acne and other less sightly skin imperfections. Take a look at this swatch from Lydia over at Cut Throat Beauty. It looks incredibly light with a rather neutral undertone; something our pale-skinned staff members say is a rare find these days!

We were curious about how well this product blended as it is clearly quite thick. We didn’t want anything that clumped up or dried cakey, so we were thrilled when we came across these Kat Von D Lock It Foundation swatches from The Beauty Professor. It looks like it will blend quite nicely without settling into fine lines or large pores. We’re also guessing it will layer well, which is a huge plus!

If you’re not quite as convinced as we are, take a quick look at this video where Kat Von D actually applies the Lock It Foundation to her own skin. It looks wonderful! If you’re worried there isn’t a shade to match your skintone, check out the entire range here. We think you’ll find one that works!

If you’ve tried the Lat Von D Lock It Foundation we’d love to know how you liked it. Leave us a comment below!