favorite foundation brushes

I’ve always loved going through my friend’s makeup bags (still do) and thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite tools and products for personal and client use. Here is a round-up of my must-have foundation brushes for applying cream and liquid foundations. These are tried and true, gotta-have-them brushes for me. I’d love to know–what are your favorite foundation brushes? Comment below if I’m missing out on something fabulous!

Favorite Foundation Brushes

decisions, decisions

Decisions. We all have to make them. Easy ones, hard ones and all of those in between. One thing I hate most about making impactful decisions is the fact that I can’t please everyone. Ultimately, it all boils down to what is best for my family. Lately, I’ve been spreading myself thin. I know there are people out there that are far busier than I, but “busy” is not what I’m after. In fact, the glorification of busy drives me a little bit crazy. Some people are great at juggling–I’m not one of them. I just want to simplify.

As many of you know, I’ve been working at Sephora and freelancing {working for myself} as a makeup artist. I’ve encountered some confusion by others pertaining to what each job entails and how they are related. Read more on that here. All of that craziness paired with the crazy of Jarrett’s job and raising a little boy has made me feel a little mad. It’s do-able. I get it. I’ve done it for 6+ months. It’s definitely helped us pay off some debt and save up some money but is it worth it? Maybe not.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a great trait to have in my line of work, but maybe not so much of a reality for someone that’s trying to balance family life as well. Let’s face it, I’m really good at focusing all of my efforts on one thing and giving all of my other duties the leftovers. I don’t want my family or my job(s) to have less than my best. I want to simplify my life so that I can be fully engaged in everything I do. Unfortunately, this means making the decision to leave Sephora.

I first learned that Sephora was coming to Longview last August. A friend and fellow makeup artist contacted me, told me her friend was going to be the Beauty Leader of the store and asked if I might be interested in becoming a Product Consultant. The thought of going back to work scared me. I’d been a stay-at-home-mom for two years {with occasional freelance jobs} and didn’t want to go back to work anytime soon. And then I thought of the opportunities. Jarrett was in locomotive engineer school at the time so his paychecks were significantly smaller. Maybe this seemingly random job opening was God’s way of showing me how I could help my husband with his financial burden. I have always enjoyed shopping at Sephora so it seemed like the pros were adding up. In fact, I’m not sure if “enjoyed” is an accurate description for how I feel about Sephora. My cousin Whitney is probably the only person that knows about my love for the store {bless her heart!} due to enduring many painful {for her} hours within it’s iconic black and white striped walls. So I took the plunge. Working at Sephora has truly been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about the beauty industry, increased my skill set, and created friendships. I cannot say enough good things about the company and the girls I’ve worked with. I’m sad to be leaving my team but I’m excited to condense my workload.

So the question is: What will I be doing now?
  1. Spending time with family. Family is one of the most important things in my life and children are only young once. You can’t turn back time. I don’t want to look back in a few years and regret not being there for Remington in these formative years of his life.
  2. Cleaning up the house that I’ve let go for the past 6 months. Kidding. Sort of.
  3. Growing my business, God willing. This is an important season for me: weddings, proms, banquets, etc. Fortunately, I will be more available to my clients and I can’t wait to see where that takes me!
  4. Getting back in the Word. I don’t make any excuses for letting my relationship with my Maker fall by the wayside. However, I have desperately missed my Thursday morning women’s Bible study. Since Remi is in Mother’s Day Out on Tues/Thurs, those are the days I’ve been working at Sephora. I can’t wait until the next Bible study starts up and I can go!

I’m not leaving right away. I will finish out the month of April at Sephora and it will be bittersweet.

I am so thankful for my incredible husband and family that support my decisions. I’m just so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and concern for me. He knows the desires of our hearts and He cares for me {and YOU} always. That has been so evident in my life. I’m completely undeserving yet He loves me anyway. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

xoxo, Kelsey

 

bohemian photo shoot

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some pictures from the photo shoot I worked on a few weeks ago.  Well, I’m finally posting more pictures and details! This shoot wasn’t necessarily “for” anything…just for fun! It was a collaboration with a wonderful photographer friend of mine. We both had a tiny spark of a vision and he allowed me to run with it and fill in all of the details. I had so much fun finding inspiration photos, props, jewelry, and outfits. I have done hair and makeup quite a bit, but never styling or wardrobe. It was definitely fun to try out something new!

The idea was a bohemian, 70’s-inspired shoot. I wanted a care-free style that still felt chic. A polished, Anthropologie vibe if you will. Several people have seen the photos and said “I don’t get it.” Don’t think too hard. Just enjoy!

Katie (the gorgeous model) has such lovely features. I die over that eye color and those perfectly plump lips! I gave her a whimsical braided crown across the forehead with loose, un-done curls. Bronze-y lids, lots of lashes, natural looking flushed cheeks, defined brows, and a pretty rose lip. PERFECTION!

on the drive to the location. isn't she just gorgeous? so glad to have Katie as our model!

on the drive to the location. isn’t she just gorgeous? so glad to have Katie as our model!

So without further adieu, I present to you the AMAZING pictures!

model in front of vintage Paramount movie theatre in Marshall, Texas

Paramount Theater | Marshall, Texas

model on bench downtown Marshall, Texas

I swear Marshall is literally a ghost town until you start taking pictures in the middle of the road!

I swear Marshall is literally a ghost town until you start taking pictures in the middle of the road!

model with aviator sunglasses and braided crown

gah..just perfect!

Mr. Photographer posing Katie perfectly

Mr. Photographer posing Katie perfectly

The above photo is from my iPhone. John had the vision to use this brick storage shed as a backdrop. I agreed it would be interesting, but had no idea how it would end up looking with the graffiti and what not. OH MY GOSH. When he sent me the picture below I almost flipped out. That’s talent, y’all! I don’t even know how he does it. I don’t even want to know!

model in downtown Marshall, Texas

another favorite. yet again, I already owned all of the jewelry. the charm bracelet is my grandmother’s.

Next, we took our shoot a little ways down the road to North Longview. These beautiful pastures close to where I grew up have always been near and dear to my heart. They were the perfect backdrop. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to get all of the shots we wanted after the sun went down.

a little shot of my big ol' messy bun in action! haha

a little shot of my big ol’ messy bun in action! haha

bohemian princess holds embellished bouquet

total bohemian princess!

bohemian model in open pasture

Finally, a not-so-serious expression! Definitely a fun, care-free shot. The dress was found at Ross. The necklace was previously a tassel that hung out on my Nanny’s dresser until I revamped it. The lace shawl also belongs to my Nanny. Everything else was something I already owned. I literally cannot express how much fun it was to find all of these things for cheap or free. That’s just my style. I love a good bargain! The lanterns pictured below were created from jars, lace, twine, and wire I already had at home. I absolutely LOVE the ambiance they created for these dusky pictures.

model in wooded pasture with mason jar lanterns

lantern light

I will always treasure these photos from my first photo shoot! Thanks to John Preston for bringing my vision to life and for allowing me to post these pictures! I can’t wait to work with you again! Thanks Miss Katie (soon-to-be-MRS.) for being the perfect model! I am so thankful for friends and family that believe in me! I hope all of you loved these photos as much as I do!

Don’t forget there is a contact form if you are interested in booking me for makeup for your special event.

To view more of John’s work click here.

To view a video of the shoot, click here.

love, love, love,

Kelsey

avon calling

I’m baaaack! So soon already? I know! I can hardly believe it either! For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been a mark makeup representative for about three years. My aunt Kristy introduced me to the products one Christmas {I STILL use that makeup!} and I was hooked. Shortly after Jarrett and I got married I decided that becoming a mark rep. would be a good way for me to contribute to our finances. At the time, I was driving from Gladewater to Longview for cosmetology school so it definitely helped pay for my gas. I also loved getting the inside scoop on beauty trends and new products. It was a great way for me to stay connected with what I loved and also make a little bit of cash! Mark is a branch of Avon marketed toward a younger generation. Lucy Hale {Aria from Pretty Little Liars} is the current brand ambassador for mark…who doesn’t love her?! Anyways, at the risk of sounding like I’m soliciting for your business, I just wanted to share with you that I am now also an Avon representative which basically just means you can buy more cool stuff from me! If you’re anything like I used to be, you think of the clip from Edward Scissorhands when you hear about Avon. Well, put those old notions aside! There is so much more than just makeup! And I don’t go door to door. :) If you’re unsure of what movie clip I’m talking about, watch this!!

If you still don’t trust that mark/Avon has some really great products, just let me show you some of my tried and trues along with some things on my wish list. Or you can just check it out for yourself! http://kelseylange.avonrepresentative.com/

Must Haves:

mark Scanda-Lash is one of my all-time favorite mascaras EVER! I wouldn’t lead you astray. My makeup-loving baby sister will even vouch for me on this one! It’s great!

scandalash

mark All Over Eye Shadow Brush is quite possibly my favorite eye shadow brush I’ve ever used. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it on this blog before—it’s awesome! It’s just perfectly dense, does not shed, and gives you the right amount of control. I always use it on clients and myself. The best 8 bucks you’ll ever spend!

eyeshadowbrush

 

mark Get a Tint Tinted Moisturizer forget BB and CC creams—I always choose my Get a Tint over my other products when I want a natural day time look or I know I’m going to be out in the sun. I feel like my skin can still breathe with it on. It’s a great alternative to foundation. I love it for summer and I recommend it to younger clients who aren’t quite ready for a full coverage product. I wanted you to see all of the  shades because they’re new! It’s exciting to me because when I first started wearing this product there were only 3 or 4 shades available. This company and the range of products has really grown!

getatint

shades

Wish List:

Mega Effects Mascara let’s just say that as a self-proclaimed mascara fiend I saw this product and got all giddy. Doesn’t it look awesome?! I can’t wait to try it! The “Wonderbrush” is calling to me!

megamascara

Backseat Organizer this is probably the only product that my husband will actually agree that I need. My back seat is re-dic-u-lous right now! I’m sure all mommies could benefit from this!

organizer

And that’s all for now, folks! It was hard to just pick a few items but I didn’t want to bog you down with too much information. I’m pretty notorious for doing that! Anyways, all descriptions should have a clickable link that takes you to the page where you can view and purchase that item or shop around for something else that tickles your fancy! I hope you’re getting some rain wherever you are—we sure need it in Texas!

Until next time,

Kelsey

P.S. If you want to learn more about becoming an Avon representative, comment on here or shoot me an email.

P.S.S. As always, if you’re interested in booking me to do your makeup for an event or curious about pricing, there is a tab at the top of the page with my contact info!

exciting news + 5 minute brown smolder eye

Goodness gracious this has been a busy month! It’s been a while since I left you hanging with my post about the “exciting news” I had for you. Today is the day I’ll be sharing what most of my friends and family already know! So, without further adieu, I’ll clue everyone in to what I’ve been up to! It all started with a wedding. The first weekend of April, my sweet friend, Cortney, married her long time love, JP, and I had the privilege of doing makeup for a couple of her bridesmaids. SO exciting and so much fun to be my first “professional” job. I’ve been doing hair and makeup for my friends and family for years, but to actually get paid to do something that I love and comes second nature to me was everything I thought it would be and more! Thanks to Cortney and her bridesmaids for allowing me to be a part of that special day! The following Saturday I had two appointments  for prom hair and makeup. The fact that I’ve already been out of high school for five years blows my mind. I felt like I should have been getting ready for prom with those sweet girls!

This past weekend was SO totally exciting for me. One of the fabulous four {MELK}, partner in crime, and long time BFF got married on the 20th! Her wedding was everything I knew it would be: romantic, vintage chic, and gorgeous! I had the honors of doing her makeup for her engagement and bridal photos, so of course, I had to do makeup for her wedding! Megan has trusted me to do her makeup since middle school/high school {bless her heart} and I love her for it! I also got to do makeup for her bridesmaids {myself included} and her sweet mother. My makeup brushes were just a-flyin’ and I was worn out by the end of the day, but I LOVED IT! How many people get to do what they love and get paid for it? I am so blessed!

So that’s about it! I guess I’m a “makeup artist.” I really don’t care for that word because, honestly, anyone can be a “makeup artist.” I will be calling my little “business” Kelsey Lange Makeup Artistry and I may start a new blog, strictly dedicated to all things beauty. Right now, I’m working on furthering my portfolio and {God willing} continuing to book clients. I post a lot of makeup related photos on Instagram, so if you’re not following me on there {@kelseyleigh879} you’re missing out! There should be a little Instagram icon at the bottom of my blog.

Below, I’ll be posting the tutorial to the 5 minute brown smolder eye that I posted a picture of on Instagram yesterday. Enjoy!

brownsmokeyeye

Use what you have. Seriously. You do not need to go out and buy a ton of special products for this look. My grandmother gives me free samples of Clinique makeup (gift with purchase type items) and that’s what I started playing with before I was even old enough to wear makeup. It’s fun to create something out of “nothing” and feels good to get compliments from something that was FREE!

You’ll need:

  • an eye primer
  • a light, shimmery color
  • a medium brown
  • a matte, dark crease color
  • eyeliner pencil
  • mascara
  • pencil or eyeshadow to match eyebrows
  • makeup brushes: basic eyeshadow brush, blending brush, shader brush (or Q-tip)
clinique

Clinique Trio

plumsmoke

Ulta Plum Smoke {I’ve used this eyeshadow since before I could drive! Love it!}

1.) Start with some sort of eye primer. I applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in 05 Too Cool all over my lid up to my brow bone.

2.) Like I said, use what you have! I used colors from a Clinique Color Surge eyeshadow trio. Apply the light, shimmery color {mine was Day Break} all over. Apply your medium brown color on the lid. I used a green {sparkling sage} because that’s what was in the compact I was using.

3.) Apply a matte, dark crease color to the outer V. The color I used was Sable Stay Matte. I love my Sigma E45 blending brush because it really gets right in the crease and gives so much dimension to your eyes. You could also use a MAC 217 brush or whatever you are comfortable using.

4.) Line all around the eyes. I used Sinful Colors Metal Eyes in Copper Wire {from Walgreens}. This step does not have to be perfect. Just get that eyeliner all the way around your eye up against your lash line. If you’d like, tight-line your eyes, and apply to your waterline.

5.) Take a short shader brush {I used my Sigma E20} or a Q-tip and blend out your eyeliner with either brown shadow from earlier. I used a different shadow {Ulta Plum Smoke}. Just blend the eyeshadow into the liner really well, on the top lash line, blend up toward the middle of your lid. Curl lashes if desired and apply a few coats of mascara to top and bottom lashes. I used L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. See how much softer and prettier the eyeliner looks now? No harsh lines is the key for this look. I zoomed in on the bottom middle picture so you can see how much of a difference this blending step makes.

6.) Fill in your brows with either an eyeshadow or  pencil that matches your eyebrows. I love to use Cork, a Satin finish MAC shadow. It’s the perfect neutral, slightly warm brown and is so flattering on all skin tones. I’m not saying it will match your brows, but it really is a great eyeshadow to have in your beauty arsenal!

If you’re in the market for some inexpensive, but still really nice makeup brushes, or if you’re just starting out with makeup, I highly suggest mark. makeup products. You can check out the website here. Just click on “Shop Entire Collection” to see what the company has to offer! This brush is my absolute favorite all-over eyeshadow brush compared to all of my MAC and Sigma brushes. I’ve had it for years and it is so dense–great for packing color onto the lid. This brush does not shed. I’ve washed it so many times and it still holds its shape wonderfully. Hands down, the best $8 you’ll ever spend on a brush.

**If you’re in the East Texas area, you can email me for booking and pricing information at klangeartistry[at]gmail[dot]com. Serious inquiries only.

I hope you’ve learned something today and I can’t wait to share more with you!

Always remember, pretty comes from the personality, not the makeup!

Until next time,

Kelsey

DIY lasting manicure tutorial

What is it about a manicure that just makes a girl feel pretty? I still remember my first set of acrylic nails and pedicure. I spent some time in Dallas with my aunt and uncle the summer before 5th grade. My aunt always loved to spoil me and I loved being spoiled! One day we went for mani’s & pedi’s before meeting my uncle for lunch. (Isn’t it amazing how I can remember these details considering how forgetful I am?) I was probably wearing my new threads from Limited Too, butterfly hair clips and matching powerbeads bracelet because I was cool like that. Anyways, the time came for me to pick what color I wanted my toenails to be painted and I panicked. I chose some bright neon orange which seemed awesome at the time; however, not so much when it didn’t match the rest of the clothes I packed! When I came home from my week with my aunt and uncle, I was sent home with an envelope of money to get my nails “filled.” I had no clue what that meant, but it sounded important. I excitedly told my mom what the money was for and I think she might have rolled her eyes. She was probably thinking No daughter of mine is going to be a diva! Well, that’s exactly what my Aunt Debbie created. :) I was hooked! I loved getting my nails done {mainly for special events} because I just felt beautiful. Now that I’m a mom I don’t have the time {or take the time} to get my nails done. My husband always tells me to get my nails done {he just wants his back scratched!} but I don’t anymore. I’d rather use the $35 for something else. I’m sounding more and more like my mother! {Love you, Mom!}

After looking at my unpolished nails for far too long, I decided to paint them.  {I act like this is a huge deal, but for me it is—I hate not using my hands while the polish dries!} Why not take a few minutes of my time to do something for myself that makes me feel a little bit prettier? I learned a few tips in cosmetology school {No, I didn’t graduate. Yes, I make beauty school dropout jokes about myself. Laugh it up!} and wanted to share my easy four step process. So, for all of you folks out there wanting a quick, lasting manicure, read on.

Supplies:

  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Base Coat
  • Colored Polish
  • Top Coat
  • Optional: quick dry spray, orange stick, moisturizer, cuticle oil

nailpolish3

Assuming you’re not like me and actually take care of your hands and cuticles {or wear cute little gloves to do the dishes}, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, slather on some lotion & gently push your cuticles back with an orange stick. File the edge of your nails if needed.

  1. First, take a cotton ball with some nail polish remover and go over each fingernail. This is such a simple step that many people don’t do, but it’s the best way to remove the top layer of oils on your nails which promotes better nail polish staying power.
  2. Next, apply a good base coat. {I like China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat} Don’t purchase a product that says “base and top coat”. Your base coat and top coat should be two completely different products. A base coat has a slightly tacky finish which gives the nail polish something to hold on to. Trust me on this one—the 2-in-1 products are not worth it because they can’t do two different jobs.
  3. Now, you can apply your colored polish. Don’t be like me and pick a weird color. I always regret my color choice, but I’m actually enjoying the color I picked this time! {OPI A-Taupe The Space Needle} The best way to get a good color payoff is to apply a thin layer of polish, let it dry, and apply another thin layer. Typically, you want to only use three strokes of the brush for each nail {one for the center & one for each side} per coat, resulting in two coats of colored polish. Did I lose you there?
  4. Finally, apply a top clear coat to your nails. I’ve been using Revlon Extra Life No Chip Top Coat with good results. If desired, you can finish by spraying your nails with a nail dry spray like the one pictured below {purchased at Sally Beauty Supply} and applying some cuticle oil.

naildry_thumb.jpg

 opi nail polish a taupe the space needle swatch

opi nail polish a taupe the space needle swatch

I’m sure I’ve missed something and I could definitely go into detail about the actual painting of the nails, but this is my simple four step mani that I give myself. Once you get all of the steps down, it’s a breeze. Of course, I waited until right before we left for my cousin’s couples shower {Congrats Blake & Tori!} this weekend and didn’t have time to snap any pictures, so I did that today. I painted them Saturday evening and I have to say they don’t look too shabby after our crazy weekend! It never fails that I smudge the tip of at least one of my nails before they are completely dry! A weird, but tried and true tip is to lick the smudge! I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. It blends that nasty smudge right back in and doesn’t look any worse for the wear! I hope you enjoyed this simple little beauty tutorial. It’s crazy to me how so many people don’t know these little tricks, but I’ve always loved hair, makeup & nails for as long as I can remember! I guess some things are just second nature to people. Leave me some feedback in the comment section and let me know if there’s something you’d like me to write about. I look forward to bringing you more beauty tutorials–especially simple ones for busy moms, working women, and students alike. {Maybe even some dads out there that aren’t afraid to paint their daughter’s nails?}

 

What’s your go-to nail polish color?

 

Until next time,

Kelsey

 

I’m linking to Big Hair and Books Way Back Wednesday link up.

Big Hair and Books