Is Beauty Really Skin Deep?

A colleague of mine was doing some research and asked if I could give her an example of “how the ritual of beautifying [my]self, or feeling beautiful, made a difference to [me] that was more than skin deep.”  She wanted to know if there is a “defining moment for [me], whether it’s a daily routine or a significant lifetime event, where feeling beautiful on the outside changed how [I] felt on the inside?” This is what I told her:

“For me, looking good on the outside, makes me feel good on the inside.  Beauty = confidence.  When you feel that you look good, you actually feel better and people will be drawn to you.  People are attracted to confidence and attractiveness.  Beauty shouldn’t be a feminist issue.  Women should work with what they have and use it to their advantage.  And it’s not just about makeup, it’s about taking care of yourself.  If I go a couple of days without shaving my legs, I feel so much sexier when I finally do shave them.  I might even show them off, and I might have an extra bounce to my step.  Also, if I spray perfume on, I want people to be within smelling-distance of me. Whereas if I forget to put deodorant on, I don’t want anyone to get close to me.  Knowing that you made that extra effort, makes you want people to notice that you made an extra effort.  You want to be noticed.  As for makeup and hair, I feel that makeup and hair are a woman’s best accessory (that’s my motto).  We should have fun with them! When I’m getting dolled-up for an event, I don’t want to be rushed.  I want to take my time, enjoy the beautifying process and make sure every detail is the best it can be.”

How do you feel???

Makeup Brushes

Ever wonder what makeup brushes to use with what products? I get asked this question a lot, so I wanted to give a detailed answer. I also get asked if makeup brushes are vital to applying makeup or if fingers and/or sponges will work just as well. First of all, you need the right tools to achieve the “look.” The natural oils on your fingertips can break down the product, which can cause creasing. As for sponges, they absorb and waste a lot of the product. Therefore, makeup brushes are always the best option (in my opinion).

Each makeup brush serves a specific purpose though. Certain brushes are for certain makeup products. For example, synthetic brushes are designed to be used with creams or liquids. Natural bristle brushes should only be used with powders. A common myth is that “natural” means “better.” However, just because a brush has natural bristles doesn’t make it better or a higher quality than a synthetic brush.

Using a natural bristle brush with creams or liquids will most likely ruin the brush. On the other hand, you can use synthetic brushes with powder products, you just might not get the best application. Also, there are now some hybrid brushes that combine both synthetic and natural bristles. These hybrid brushes can be used for both creams/liquids and powder products. Below are photos of some of my favorite brushes with a description and what I use them for.  Scroll down to the very bottom to see how to care for your brushes.

MAC Brush #194 (synthetic bristle, used for applying creams/liquids such as concealer)

MAC Brush #217 (natural bristle, used for applying crease eye shadow or blending eye shadow)

Laura Mercier Ponytail Brush (natural bristle, also used for applying crease eye shadow or blending eye shadow, softer than MAC Brush #217)

Laura Mercier Eye Colour Brush (natural bristle, used for applying powder eye shadow)

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Colour Brush (synthetic bristle, used for applying eye shadow base or cream eye colors, looks identical to Laura Mercier Eye Colour Brush but texture is different)

Laura Mercier Corner Eye Colour Brush (natural bristle, used for applying powder eye shadow to small areas, such as applying dark eye shadow to the outer corner of the eye or light eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye)

Laura Mercier Creme Eye Detail Brush (synthetic bristle, used for applying creme eye shadow to more defined areas, also great for smudging/blending creme/pencil eye liner)

MAC Brush #187 or Laura Mercier Finishing Brush (hybrid brush with both synthetic & natural bristles, used for powders such as shimmery cheek color and/or liquids/creams such as foundation)

Caring for your brushes is just as important as using the right brush.  You should keep your brushes clean.  There are brush cleansers you can get from beauty supply stores.   You use these by spraying them on a tissue/towel and then wiping the brush on them.  This is good to do between uses for a fast way to remove product and germs.  However, for a deep cleaning, you should wash your brushes every so often (ideally about once a week but no less than once per month).

My favorite product for cleaning brushes is Laura Mercier Brush Cleanser.  It’s great because you can spray it onto a tissue/towel and wipe the brushes on it for a click cleaning, or you can spray it on wet brushes and it’ll lather up for a deep cleaning.  You can also use your face wash to wash your brushes.   I wet my brushes, then I squeeze some of my face wash into the palm of my hand and swirl the wet brush around in the face wash.  Squeeze the remaining product out of the brush, rinse and then squeeze the remaining water out of the brush.  Now here’s the important part: You must lay your brushes FLAT to dry! Never leave the brushes standing up while they’re wet, or the water can seep in and loosen the bristles.   Take care of your brushes, and they’ll take care of you.

Makeup Give-Away!

It’s finally time for my first official Makeup Give-Away Contest! Yay! Enter to win a full-size, limited-edition MAC Dazzleglass Creme lip gloss in “Passing Fancy” from the “A Tartan Tale” collection (an $18 value)!

There are several ways for you to win:

1.  Follow me on Twitter @Artistry_Briana and re-tweet this message: “Wanna win a MAC lip gloss?! Follow me & re-tweet this for your chance to win! For more info:

2.  Leave a comment below telling me your favorite lip  gloss and why!

It’s that easy!

There are no ugly women…

A friend of mine emailed this the other day, and I thought it was crazy! It’s amazing what a little (or a lot of) makeup can do! Talk about some transformations…

This photo below was taken at a competition in June 2008. The competition was between 9 women for best makeover. They had every possible beauty treatment available to them over a period of 12 hours before the contest. Look at the before and after photos. Conclusion – there are no ugly women, only poor women. (The woman 2nd from the left won the contest.)

My Wedding Concierge

My Wedding Concierge -- Find Us On the iPhone I am now featured on My Wedding Concierge.  Launched in September 2009, My Wedding Concierge focuses on the emerging market of mobile wedding marketing.  A core component of the My Wedding Concierge marketing tools is the “My Wedding Concierge” iPhone App.  Available in the Apple App Store for free, this application allows brides to research and request information from wedding vendors directly from their mobile phone.  When used in combination with their website, brides are provided with a mobile collaboration tool, which will allow brides to not only find and rank vendors, but share and organize them among their friends via social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

What a neat concept! The “My Wedding Concierge“ iPhone App allows brides to research wedding vendors on the go.  My Wedding Concierge is the only iPhone App that focuses solely on wedding vendors.  Focused on this vendor-centric view, the iPhone App forgoes traditional wedding planning tools such as seating charts and to-do lists.  As a result, My Wedding Concierge can confidently say that all 60,000+ page views last month were of brides using their app to search for wedding vendors in their local areas. Since launching, they have had over 18,000 downloads and consistently get 100-150 brides downloading their app daily. All downloads are audited by Apple and provided to us in daily reports.

My Wedding Concierge was created to fulfill an unmet niche in the iPhone market. Brides love to use My Wedding Concierge to look at the work of wedding vendors in their local areas.  My Wedding Concierge offers one touch email, phone, and visit to the vendor’s website.  Brides no longer have to carry around a huge wedding folder with pages ripped out of a magazine. Brides can click on the “Request Info” button and their email is immediately captured and sent to the wedding vendor for follow up.  Brides will be able to use our site to search for relevant information from wedding vendors, hand selected wedding blogs, images, and news articles.

My Wedding Concierge is the new face of wedding technology! Get on board today!


I was recently interviewed by a local Wedding Photographer for his newsletter.  See the newsletter here:

In this issue…
Interview with Makeup Artist … Briana Nickas
Favorite Links!
Robert Mullins Photography

August 2009

Welcome to my newsletter … thanks for reading, I hope you find some useful information here — or, at least entertaining.

Please visit my blog for the latest happenings, images of recent weddings, engagement shoots and certain crazy ramblings on from Robert –

briana Interview with Makeup Artist … Briana Nickas Spend a few moments with Briana … the following is from an interview I held recently with an awesome Makeup Artist … introducing Briana Nickas!

Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to become a make-up artist?

Let’s see, where to start…I have always been artistic; I studied art for many years both in high school and college. I also studied cosmetology, and I have always been fascinated with “Before & Afters” and the transformation that is created with makeup. I love art but thought of it as more of a hobby than a career. During college I worked part- time as a makeup artist at a retail cosmetic counter. Little did I know the artist in me would emerge as strongly as it did … I loved working with people at the makeup counter and soon changed my major from business to art! I officially decided to pursue an artistic career in makeup!

Did you go to school or are you self taught?

I studied painting and photography for many years both in high school at the Las Vegas Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and International Studies as well as in college at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. My formal education in art gave me a true artistic eye and understanding of colors, blending, lighting, design, contouring/highlighting, etc. I also went to cosmetology school where I studied hair, skin and nails. Plus, I have worked for many high-end cosmetic companies which trained me on their specific products and application.

Why do I need a professional — can’t my mom, my sister, or my best friend just do the make-up?

A professional makeup application makes a HUGE difference in the way your makeup will look, last and photograph on one of the most special and important days of your life! You’re spending thousands of dollars on your big day – don’t skimp on your appearance! Some brides cringe at the idea of having their makeup done by someone else – maybe they had a bad experience. But I assure you, this won’t be the case with a professional (especially not with me!). I have been doing makeup for years. I have my own professional makeup kit with tons of high- end products – everything you could possibly need! I also have specific techniques for ensuring that the makeup will last throughout the day as well as look good in photos! And you can always do a Trial run to assure that you get the exact look you want! Besides, the Trial is great to do for your engagement photos, bridal shower, bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner!

What happens if I cry during the ceremony will my pictures be ruined???

Your pictures will not be ruined if you use a professional makeup artist because they will know how to make your makeup last, and give you pointers on how to do a quick touch-up if needed. However, if it gives you better peace of mind, an additional service that I offer is that I am available to stay through the ceremony (and even the reception if you like) to provide personal touch-ups for you.

What do you find to be the most common mistakes brides make with makeup?

The biggest mistake brides make with makeup on their wedding-day is to have a friend or family member (someone who is not a professional makeup artist) do their makeup. Also, a big makeup no-no is to use foundation with SPF. The reason you don’t want to use SPF is because it is reflective, so when you take photos, the flash will reflect off the makeup, making the subject look lighter than they actually are. Another thing that makes a big difference is the quality of makeup you use. You must use high-quality products designed to be photographed that will hold-up well throughout your special day applied by a professional.

From your most basic package to your most elaborate what are your fees?

My rates are competitive, ranging from $100 to $150 for each person, which includes false lashes. My rates reflect my skills and expertise, the fact that I use only high-end products, and because of my guarantee for a flawless makeup application that will last beautifully for hours and look amazing in photos! Plus, I will come to you, providing you with a stress-free, professional environment in the comfort of your own home, hotel room or wedding venue. However, please keep in mind that my rates are negotiable. If my rates do not fit within your budget, please let me know exactly how many people will be needing their makeup done and what your total budget is, and I’ll try to work within that amount. I’m always willing to try to work within one’s budget!

Thanks Briana! … Briana can be reached on her website where she has samples of her work and you can learn more about her services …

For More Information
Robert Mullins Photography Website

phone: 949-388-1535