Guest makeup artist . . . Sallie Ramsey

Below you will see our guest makeup artist/hair stylist Sallie Ramsey of Sala Salon in downtown Napa giving us a holiday makeup lesson that will work year round.  Don’t be afraid to try a new look!  And play with a little bit of color for contrast, it really makes your eyes pop!


eyebrowsWe can write about all things beauty, but in the end, THE most important makeup application is to define your eyebrows (if you are one of the few women on this planet that were born with perfect brows, read no further, the other 99.99% of you ladies keep reading).  This is the “frame” for your entire face.  It defines your look, balances your imperfections (we are ALL imperfect!), and completes your face even if you wear no other makeup.

When I say “balances your imperfections” this is what I mean.  If one side of your face is lower than the other (most humans are built this way, again we are not perfect nor symmetrical), you can add just a few strokes of a pencil to the top of the lower brow to even your face out. Likewise on the length, etc. I told a friend awhile ago about this as her overall eyebrow was full indeed, but lacked definition and balance. She mentioned to me the other day how happy she was now that she knew how to do this as she sees a huge difference and even feels prettier!

This photo illustrates perfectly how to shape your brows. These guidelines will work with your own face for a stencil is not the way to go.  And there are companies out there that offer such.  Use your own features to guide you.  Trust me, you will look more natural this way and again, it will complete and balance out your whole face.

As far as brow makeup goes, I have tried just about all of them and much prefer a pencil over a powder product, easier to control while applying.  I did get a light, partial tattoo but they tend to fade out quickly with acidic products so makeup is still necessary.  There are many great long lasting options out there now.  I am loving Sephora’s own brand as it lasts but the brush is marginal (left photo).  I absolutely love Anastasia’s Brow Wiz (right photo) . . . long lasting and good brush.  The smaller the actual pencil, the easier it is to use.  The brush is there to soften your lines after you apply.












Your eyebrow should be in perfect proportion to your own facial features.  Very few women, young and old, can pull off a full brow (think Brooke Shields).  And a very thin brow is also hard to pull off. Eyebrows should not be a trend no matter what the fashion magazines are saying.  The shape of your brow (even slightly enhanced by a pencil or tattoo) needs to fit your face and your face alone.


Picking eye makeup colors is not about what you like or matching the color of your eyes, it is in fact, what is most flattering to the tones you were born with! Blue eyes does NOT equal blue eye shadow, brown eyes does NOT equal brown eye liner, green eyes does NOT equal green liner/shadow, etc. You may LIKE those colors for yourself and it may certainly be easy for you, but I can tell you that it is NOT the most flattering!  You want CONTRAST! When you choose the same color makeup as your eye color, you actually blur that area into one big blob of color.  You want contrast and definition!  See below . . .


plus as we age we lose the fat around our eyes and they end up looking sunken in or deeply recessed which is why you really need to pick the correct colors as you age. You may not realize this and you’ve probably been in a certain “habit” for so long, so I have a challenge for you.  Study the above (it’s not set in stone, it’s just a reference guide, if you really hate a certain color, don’t use it but try something close) and try using a contrasting color next time you do your makeup.  I guarantee that you will see your eyes POP when you do!  This below picture illustrates it perfectly . . .


the  brown eyes really pop!  Now I wouldn’t go this green myself, it’s a little too young for a 50 year old woman, but I would do a lighter shade of green and definitely the liner. I do use a black liner to “tight line” my upper lids (see my Pinterest page under “Sue’s Must Have Products”) then I use a soft green liner on my upper and lower lash line.  I personally have always believed that brown eyes pop the most when paired with a green tone, blue eyes pop the most when paired with brownish even bronzy tones, and green eyes pop with a plummier tone.  Again, if you hate those colors, then obviously don’t use them, but I encourage you to try something outside of your comfort zone/habit and create contrast for beautiful eyes that really stand out!

Luminous Skin

make up4Have you ever wondered how certain women seem to have this amazing glow to their skin?  We see it all over the red carpet and occasionally on women we bump into in our daily lives.  What is it?

I can tell you that it’s two things . . . . first, the skin is fabulous . . . . second, it’s the perfect makeup trick.

Luminous powders are all over the marketplace now . . . every makeup line is coming out with their own version.  It is the hottest trend next to nails and BB creams at the moment.   Even if your skin isn’t perfect, you can fake it with this makeup trick.  I am totally obsessed with illuminizing powders and when someone honors my skin with a compliment, it’s usually something like . . .  your skin just glows!  What are you doing?  Is it your diet?  Makeup?  Love?  (Let’s face it, love DEFINITELY gives you a glow!)

I take care of my skin between nutrition and skin care products, but to brush on an illuminizing powder as a finishing touch is my little secret!  I sweep it on top of my cheekbones and above my eyebrows. Those two places immediately “look lifted”.  It’s simply an illusion as the light hits it just right and the glow appears.  Youthful skin has a glow to it , we can now recapture it with the amazing technology of light reflecting pigments.  Bobbi Brown came out with her Shimmer Brick Compact quite some time ago and was ahead of the game as obviously she’s a great makeup artist and is super intuitive to women’s desires for beautiful skin.   My favorite products at the moment are It Cosmetics Airbrush Illuminizer (a soft white sheen) and Smashbox Soft Lights Highlight (a pinky pearlescent sheen).

The makeup industry is giving us the opportunity to regain our youthful glow.  I’m just jazzed that at this age there are so many wonderful products out there to assist us over 40 gals in looking fabulous!

A blank canvas

make up 3Makeup is and should be fun.  Wanting to put your best face forward should be easy and leave you feeling confident to tackle the day. There is nothing worse than getting a couple hours into your day and noticing that your makeup is fading, creasing, blotching or even caking into your pores.  Creating a good “canvas” should be your primary goal.  Adding definition and color . . .  blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, lipstick . . .  is just the icing on the cake.

Obviously it’s all about great skin care and the products you apply.  That is THE most important thing!  Once that’s all in place, I seriously recommend a  good primer.  I never really thought about it but when I started to incorporate it into my makeup regimen, I noticed “the face” lasted all day and without all the problems listed above.  It seals in your products and is like a “spackle” for your skin.  Laura Geller, makeup artist that started in theater cosmetics, created a product called “Spackle” for just that reason.  I also love Tarte and Smashbox primers.  A quick tip . . .  I use Laura Geller’s Waterproof Eye Spackle as an eye lid primer or for a little illumination I will sometimes use Laura Mercier Eye Basics Base as well.

As for foundation . . .  obviously it’s a matter of preference.  I find that powder base works best for oily skin and fluids better on dryer skin.  I can only speak from experience, but my skin is so crazy sensitive/oily, I had to try everything to figure it out.   I tend to use fluids in the winter and powders in the summer.  Like skincare, makeup should be seasonal.  You really can’t use the same products every day, year round and expect great results.  It just won’t happen.  I also don’t believe in “finishing” powders on the skin unless it’s additional sunscreen (Colorescience Sunforgettable powder is fabulous for extra protection) or an illuminizer (more on that later as it’s my favorite makeup trick).  A side note here . . . I’m obsessed with BB creams (beauty balms)!  More on that later as well, but for a quick, slap on, go to the gym, run errands on the weekend . . .  BB creams are wonderful!

Concealer is next.  This is where it gets tricky.  There are so many marginal concealers out there and trust me . . . I have tried hundreds of them in search of the best.  This is where I’m tempted to start my own makeup line.  They all say they won’t crease . . .  HA!  99.9% of them do!  The best concealers should glide easily over the skin while providing good coverage.   I am now using IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer.  Both are moisturizing and adhere to the skin under the eye beautifully.  Because they do moisturize, this is where you may have to pat a little powder to set as it won’t crease as bad.  Cle de Peau Beauty to this day is my number one fave in this category but is very pricey.  Also one final point on concealers . . . . do not put it all around the bottom part of your eye.  Unless you have discoloration there, just apply it where the dark circles are.   If you bring it all the way around, it will definitely crease and accentuate lines.

Make sure your eyebrows are “on” if you have to pencil them in or just brush them in place if you’re one of the lucky ones that has full beautiful brows as they really do “frame” the face and are super important.

If your skin is in good shape, your makeup will look amazing. Keeping it minimal is the key to aging skin.  Less is more!  This all may sound like a lot but if you find those few products that do the job well, it can all be done in minutes and now you can paint your canvas and go.  PS . . .  you won’t need that much “paint” if your canvas rocks!