Sharing the Joy....

Many people ask me if I like being a makeup/hair artist. Normally I answer back with a quick "yes", but truthfully that doesn't really cover the half of it. I don't "like" my job, I LOVE IT! Why?...well if you were in my shoes you would know exactly what I meant.
Even though I'm a makeup/hair artist, I wear a variety of other hats in my life as a mother, daughter, sister, wife, artist, teacher, beauty expert and a business woman. All of these elements add a lot of flavor to the mix, so I just thought to myself "you've logged a lot of hours on this interesting journey of yours, so you might as well share the ride". So I am! That will be the only way for you to understand what I love about my profession and why I love living in the moment....


Featured Concept Shoot...Moments by Kellee Photography

Indian Summer Dream...
I had the great opportunity to do this fun project with the very talented Kellee Smith of Moments By Kellee Photography. Over the last few months we had been brainstorming to come up with our theme and when Native American was brought up, nothing else mattered and I can not tell you how thrilled I am this is what became of our first theme and concept shoot. This project is extra special to me because I had the wonderful opportunity to work with my son, who's creative skills can leave one with great amazement! I can not be more proud!! Also, to work with a young lady who I have watched grow up from a four month old baby to one very beautiful woman, and did our models ever kill it! This is one of many to come and I can not wait to see what this incredibly talented team will create next. Thanks to everyone who helped, it turned out better than planned.

For more pictures of this session, visit the
Model: Joni Geary
Model: Carly Havnes
Wardrobe: Bennett Purser
Photography: Kellee Smith
Hair & Makeup: Me


The Extension Question...another informative read.

About a quarter of my clients either have extensions or want extensions. If your considering getting them, know that there are several options available to you. Most women fantasize about long, thick, flowing hair and why shouldn't they? Here's the low-down on the locks you crave.

To understand the different methods of applying the hair, we first need to know what kind of hair can be put in. In general, there's two different kinds of hair used: Weft and Individual. Also choosing the right denisty of hair to closely matching your natural hair is extremely important.

A weft (or track) is a sheet of hair all bonded together at the top. It's can be used in sewing, beaded, clip-in, or glued methods.

Individual hair is hair bundles that have been gathered in individual strands and bonded together into an I shape at the top. This is used for beaded or fusion methods.

You typically will only see the weft hair being used, because the time and cost involved with individuals is somethings most women don't want to commit to. So, for all intents and purposes, we are going to talk about the weft.
Clip In Extensions:

These are the best idea if you only want them for one day but think you could use them again in the future. Easy in, easy out, add fullness, and not to hard on the wallet. You can find these just about anywhere, but make sure you get real hair! If it's synthetic, you can kiss curling it good-bye.

Beaded on Weft: Not really a technical term, it's just the method.
These are a personal favorite. They take about an hour to put in, blend well, and are easy on the hair. A weft of hair is clipped to the roots, then individual beads are threaded onto both the weft hair and the clients hair, then the metal bead is clamped down to secure the two together. They last about two weeks before a touch up is needed, and can last more than a month if they are maintained properly.

Sewn in Weft: Hair is braided in horizontal rows, then a needle and thread is used to sew the weft onto the braid. The original and still most common use of weft hair.
Bonded/Glued Weft:
The hair is sectioned off and the weft is glued in panels. A quick way to get extensions in, but not the most popular. Very temporary, but not as temporary as clip-ins.

So, what extensions are right for you? Depends on what kind of investment you want to make. Think of hair extensions as a very nice accessory! There's a ton of other hair pieces on the market, too. Bang extensions, Bands with tufts of hair, hair on these weird wire comb thingy's... most of that is synthetic. That's cool if you don't need to change the texture of the hair, just make sure you that you are happy with it exactly as it is before you buy it. As for the real hair extensions, those can be colored, curled, flattened, just like your own. Invest wisely in taking the time to look for a certified hair extension specialist, the proper hair to match your natural hair and understanding the proper maintence care.

Choosing a Makeup Artist... A good read I came across.

If I had a nickle for every horror story!

Grown women have cowered and cried over a bad makeup job. I had a model once tell me how her previous artist licked a q-tip and tried to use it on her face! Breakouts, dirty brushes, attitude problems, or just plain ugly makeup jobs can make a girl quiver in fear.

Anytime your using someones services for the first time, it's a crap shoot. The best laid plans of mice and men, as they say. It sucks that we usually learn how bad a company can be first hand, but you can certainly increase your odds of landing a good one if you have a basic idea of what your looking for.

When searching for a makeup artist, first and foremost know that the competition is cutthroat. If you live in a major metro area or even a large state and only find a couple, your looking in the wrong places. You should have at least a half a dozen or so to choose from, but more than likely a lot more!

Testimonials are very effective in finding a great MUA. If other people have good things to say, then chances are you will too. Most websites have policies in effect so that all reviews are verified as legit. Also, it takes effort on our part to get former clients to write those reviews, good bad or otherwise. A MUA with reviews is an MUA who is pretty serious about their careers and makes the effort beyond just showing up to appointments.

Portfolio's can be a big help too. Your looking for a good selection of styles. If all you see is tight, curly updo's and your going to a corporate event, that may not be the artist for you. It's kinda a gyp to the client that Photoshop is so mainstream now, I've seen many a shoddy makeup artist with a great portfolio when it's mostly a graphic design team's work. There's no way to tell this except to look for consistency in the photo's. If only a few are amazing but there rest suck, it probably means that the MUA lucked out and got a good post-production clean up.

Now that you found an artist with great reviews and a smashing portfolio, the follow thru is going to seal the deal. Most of us are our own secretary's. That means, when work is good, we probably aren't going to be able to get back to you immediately. But, you should hear back from an artist within two days of your initial contact. We may be on set all day, but especially if you email us, we can usually write back from our Blackberry's or iPhone. You want an artist who responds in a reasonable time frame, answers your questions, and is friendly. This all confirms the good stuff you've read and the photo's you've seen.

Don't be afraid to have a trial if your unsure about your artist. If it's a big event and you need to be positive about the person your working with, schedule your trial. Yes, it will cost you extra, but it would be worth your peace of mind. Also, you can make sure that the artist LISTENS. One of the biggest complaints I hear about other artists is that they didn't listen to the client. You need someone who can walk the fine line between giving you good, professional advice and still giving you what you want. Sometimes that line can be shaky to tread, but an effort must be made just the same.

There are some truly amazing artists out there, just waiting to be found!

Client Testimonial~ Lisa

Carrie made my bridal pics and my wedding day that much more amazing! How great is was to know you could have your hair and makeup done for you and trust they will do a fabulous job! Not only was she very professional at what she does but she made us so comfortable, almost like a friend you've known for years! Carrie was great and I look forward to any other event I could use her help with making me not just look but feel beautiful.

Lisa Otero