Behind-the-scenes with MUA Laura Costa

Hi friends!

Got a real treat for you guys today! For all the die-hard beauty lovers out there: don’t you dream of getting a peek inside the life (and the makeup bag of course!) of a working makeup artist? Hear their opinions on products & trends? Well, I certainly do and that’s why I was so excited to chat with hairstylist & MUA Laura Costa.

Her resume is quite extensive across various media including publications, fashion photography, music videos & commercials. Her work has graced the covers of Billboard Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter, and she counts Adidas, Cartier, Hasbro, & The New York City Ballet as just some of her clients.

I hope you guys enjoy our chat and find it interesting or helpful! Make sure to follow Laura on Instagram @lauracosta.nyc. (She is repped by ENNIS Inc.)

I’m going to start by being really basic, but how did you start out in the beauty industry as a hair & makeup artist?

I’ve worked in salons my whole life. I started assisting a top-notch hairstylist years ago in Boston on Newbury St. One day a movie was being filmed at my salon (Bride Wars), and after seeing that production I said to myself, that’s what I wanna do! I wanna work in show business. So I moved to NYC to pursue it. I then met a woman who owned a production company in 2009 and she introduced me to her lead make-up artist. That’s where I learned how to do makeup for television and photography. And a whole new world opened to me.

What’s your favorite kind of job to get booked for & why?

I love working on huge productions! I love how they can make an amazing set. Also love award shows! The craziness of the red carpet is so fun. Plus it’s cool to watch the performances 🙂

In a nutshell, how would you describe your hair & makeup style? Do you have a signature look you like to create on clients?

I’m more of a tomboy myself so I believe that reflects in my work. I like to give more of an edgy, sexy cool-girl look rather than something glam or super girly. I’d say my style is more Rihanna than Beyoncé!

Model with natural makeup applied by hair & makeup artist Laura Costa

What are your kit must-haves? Could be certain products or brands.

SKIN
I’m huge on prep, so I love my Embryolisse Radiant Eye Serum and the Lait-Crème Concentre. I also love iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum! Wonderful for people with sensitive skin or rosacea. Definitely have to have my Weleda Skin Food as well.

MAKEUP
I love the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo! Definitely looove the Flyliner Liquid Eyeliner by Fenty Beauty, that’s my new jam! From Glossier, the Boy Brow and the Clear Lip Gloss are favorites! Also the Ultra UD Pressed Powder by Make Up For Ever.

HAIR
Elnett from L’Oréal! Best hairspray hands down! Always have it. And I’m loving IGK hair products right now. The Beach Club Texture Spray is sooo good and the 30,000 Feet Volume Powder Spray is amazing. I need Architexture by L’Oréal always!! Combine that with a blow dryer and a Mason Pearson brush, and I can do wonders 🙂

Work of hair & makeup artist Laura Costa

Read this: Drugstore alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter

Read this: Video: Glossier Boy Brow vs. Benefit Gimme Brow

What do you think of perfected ‘Instagram makeup’? Do you think it’s a trend or is it here to stay?

Trends are consistently changing especially with make up and fashion. The idea of “flawless“ skin is already changing. One day I’ll go onset and people don’t want their freckles covered; they want bushier, “un-groomed ” eyebrows and dewy skin. The next day I could on a set and it’s no shine at all; matte everything with super-groomed features. I say it’s probably best not to do anything permanent to your face just because you think it’s trendy. Plus, we don’t know what the blading will look like ten years down the road. Things fade.

Read this: A Meditation on “Instagram Makeup”

Speaking of social media, how do you think it’s changed being a hair & makeup artist? Is it easier to book jobs because your reach is greater?

For me, I don’t ever book jobs through Instagram. Honestly it’s just like any other responsibility to keep up. On most of my jobs, we have to sign NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) so it’s frowned upon to be posting things on set.

Work of hair & makeup artist Laura Costa

What’s the beauty question you get asked the most by your clients?

How to cover under-eye bags! Men, women, models…everyone needs help with their under-eyes and wants to look less tired than they are!

Any advice for budding MUA’s starting out now?

Learn to adapt to your surroundings. Be organized and learn to be able to work with little sleep! I have a strong coffee matcha habit!

If you have any beauty questions for Laura that you’d like answered, pop them in the comments below and I’ll send them over to her!

(The Hollywood Reporter image courtesy @tawnibannister)

Xo, Erica

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Go behind-the-scenes with hairstylist & MUA Laura Costa! Get the scoop on her kit must-haves, her opinions on trends, how social media has changed the business.
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Lisa Eldridge’s True Velvet Lipstick Collection

Hi friends!

If you don’t know who Lisa Eldridge is, you need to. But in case you don’t want to wander over to Google, I’m here to assist you. She’s a world-renowned celebrity, red-carpet & editorial makeup artist who’s been in the biz for decades. She’s worked for some major brands over the years including Shiseido & Lancome, where she is currently the Creative Director. She was also one of the first professional makeup artists to use YouTube as a social platform, and that is how I discovered her years ago. I’ve been watching her videos for absolute ages and she brings class, sophistication and incredible insight into all of her tutorials. I seriously recommend checking out even a few of her videos; you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re already a Lisa Eldridge fan I’m sure you’ve heard the news but for those of you that haven’t, she just recently launched her first limited edition makeup collection! It’s a very small line of just three red lipsticks called The True Velvet Lipstick Collection. Inspired by her extensive vintage makeup collection & a photoshoot where she cut velvet fabric to fit over a model’s pout, her matte lipsticks actually have a faux-velvet effect on the bullet, right down to its characteristic fuzziness. How cool is that?? It may sound strange to some, but Lisa said in her launch video that the “velvet texture” is only around the sides of the lipstick and not on the top of the bullet where you would apply it.

Lisa has described these lipsticks as mattes that give off a slight sheen, so they are not flat like say Ruby Woo from MAC is. They are creamy and hydrating and wear off as naturally as possible without crumbling or flaking like some other matte textures do. Just so you’re aware, I haven’t tried any of these lipsticks myself so the information I’m giving you in this post comes from Lisa’s website and from her launch video, which I’ll link here. It’s packed with information, backstory & amazing live swatches from the creator herself so if you’re interested in this collection, give it a watch!

Let’s take a look at the actual lipsticks now!

UPDATE: THIS WHOLE COLLECTION IS NOW SOLD OUT. THERE MAY BE A RESTOCK COMING IN 2019. STAY TUNED!

VELVET JAZZ – Shop here 

  • Described as “a muted, earthy, brick red…” that “…ranges from an intense brown/red to a soft, brick red, depending on skin tone and method of application.”
  • Cruelty-free formulation
  • £26.00 (or about $33.00 based on 11/25/18 exchange rate; subject to change)

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Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram Story announcing Velvet Jazz.

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Velvet Jazz applied on the lips. Image source: Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram.

VELVET RIBBON – Shop here 

  • Described as “a vibrant, universal, classic neutral/blue red. This shade is a classic face brightening red that suits everyone (and its a great tooth whitener).”
  • Cruelty-free formulation
  • £26.00 (or about $33.00 based on 11/25/18 exchange rate; subject to change)

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Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram Story announcing Velvet Ribbon

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Velvet Ribbon applied on the lips, plus Lisa’s logo superimposed over top. Image source: Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram.

VELVET MORNING – Shop here 

  • Described as “a hot and fiery, bright orange/red. This shade is an explosion of vitality that looks graphic and modern for partiesits the ultimate hot summer holiday shade too.”
  • Cruelty-free formulation
  • £26.00 (or about $33.00 based on 11/25/18 exchange rate; subject to change)

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Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram Story announcing Velvet Morning

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Velvet Morning applied on the lips. Image source: Lisa Eldridge’s Instagram.

Since I have not yet tried these, I cannot comment on whether this formula is worth the price tag or not. That being said, after the conversion, the price is right in line with the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks, which makes total sense to me. Lisa and Charlotte are both professional artists who have been working with makeup for years and who really understand it well. Who better to formulate makeup products than people like them really? My gut tells me that these lipsticks are probably beautiful and lush and worth every penny for that reason, just like the Matte Revolution Lipsticks are.

If I had to choose one color to purchase, I would probably go with Velvet Ribbon because I’ve always been intrigued by true reds and I’ve never worn one personally. And the great thing about bright lipsticks is that you can apply them in different ways to either dial up or dial down the color depending on your mood and preference. Again, I’ll refer you to Lisa’s video to see how this can be done.

I’m not sure how long this collection will be around, so if you’re interested I’d recommend hopping over to her site ASAP!

Are you a fan of Lisa Eldridge’s? If so, are you excited by these lipsticks? Which color would you choose from this collection? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Check out the new, limited-edition lipstick collection from celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge!

Six questions with Monique Salvador, Founder of Blushup

Hi friends!

I have a very special post for you all today, something very different than anything I’ve done on my blog before! I’m really excited to introduce you to Monique Salvador, the CEO & founder of Blushup, a newly launched online marketplace for discovering and booking beauty services in NYC. She’s a motivated and enthusiastic entrepreneur making her mark in the beauty industry, and she very kindly agreed to do an inteview for We are glamerus. We recently connected and I found our chat to be very inspirational. She seized an opportunity to start her own business at a young age, but she also let me in on the obstacles she faced not only as a young professional but as a young professional woman in the beauty industry. It’s still a bit difficult for me to reconcile that fact considering that beauty is an industry primarily “for” women.

I hope you find our chat to be enjoyable and educational in some way, so without further delay let’s launch into the questions!


1 – Explain what Blushup is or offers in one sentence.

Blushup helps women discover and book makeup and skincare services in retail stores in their city.

2 – Why should customers use Blushup’s service over, say, Glamsquad [the on-demand, at-home beauty service]?

Blushup is a whole different concept from Glamsquad. Blushup is for women who like getting beauty services with top beauty retailers, whether it’s for a date, business meeting or any other event. They book online and go to the store location. We do not offer the same services as Glamsquad, who brings freelance artists to customers’ homes. There’s plenty of apps in the market doing that and we wanted to build something new for women. Glamsquad takes a bit more planning since you have to organize the location where the service will happen and you need to communicate the logistics with your artist beforehand. Blushup is a quicker service, perfect for the busy woman with little time to plan and get ready. You book in 3 easy steps from your mobile phone or desktop and stop by the store for your appointment.

Blushup customers also know what beauty products their artist will use since they get to pick the brands for their appointments. Glamsquad artists bring their own products and customers don’t know until the artist arrives which brands they will use. In general, I would recommend Glamsquad for big wedding events at remote locations. Blushup is more for an everyday, any type-of-event service.

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3 – What inspired you to start Blushup when you did? Do you think it’s a good time for female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry?

I had worked with startups for a few years before starting Blushup and I’ve always admired entrepreneurs. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur, unless one day I had a really really great idea that I believed in 200%. That day came all of a sudden when I tried to book a makeup appointment in NYC in 2016 and I realized how frustrating the beauty retail booking experience was. I spent all day searching for beauty retailers, prices, reviews, and it was a hassle to reach these beauty counters by phone. I spoke to hundreds of women and beauty retailers and it was clear that there was a big demand to have an online marketplace for the $56B beauty retail market.

I think the overall market has realized that female entrepreneurs are underrepresented, which is a great moment for women starting off their businesses. Women in particular are helping other women, investing in other women and female focused investments are on the rise. Nevertheless, this whole movement has just begun and there’s still a lot of biases to be broken in order to raise the 2% of funding that went to females. It’s really hard to be an entrepreneur, it’s even harder for women to be entrepreneurs, but the beauty market is in the midst of a boom and now is the best time for female entrepreneurs to enter this market.

4 – It’s hard out there for retail. Lord & Taylor, for example, will close its flagship store in NYC after the holidays. Do you see these closings as a challenge or a potential opportunity for Blushup in the future?

We are sad to lose Lord & Taylor from our platform, however WeWork has announced that it will create a new space for retail at that location. I believe this will be an even bigger opportunity for Blushup. For every store closure there are 4 opening in the beauty space. Last year there were 5,100 beauty retail store openings and due to up-and-coming beauty brands the projections are showing a strong growth in independent beauty store openings. Beauty pop-up stores are also on the rise and we plan to include them in our platform really soon.

Beauty is different from other retail categories because women can’t just buy makeup online. They need to try it on at the store especially for new product launches, therefore I don’t see store closures as a threat to the beauty market. If department stores close, beauty brands will have to open their own stores or search for new retailers to sell their products. This is all a big opportunity for Blushup.

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5 – Where do you want Blushup to be, say 3 to 5 years from now? What are your expansion plans?

Our vision for Blushup is to give women all over the world quick and easy access to all beauty counters. Five years from now, we want the woman who’s traveling for a business meeting or a wedding from New York to Dubai to be able to log into our app and book her makeup appointment with her favorite beauty brand without a hassle. We want Blushup to give access to beauty services at airports, department stores, independent stores, small and big cities. In the short term we will be expanding to 300 new locations covering Long Island, Westchester, some parts of upstate NY and New Jersey. 

6 – If you could give one piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs out there, what would it be?

Starting a company is really hard for all of us. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together and it’s really important to build a close network of people who have gone through similar situations that you can be real with. It really helps to talk to other entrepreneurs, ask them how they overcome challenges, be honest with them and ask for help when you need it. Having a strong network of support is crucial especially if you are a solo founder.


If you are interested in discovering and booking beauty services in NYC (for free!) with the best makeup brands, visit the Blushup website. You can also follow them across social media on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, & Twitter.

xo, Erica

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Check out my interview with Monique Salvador, Founder of Blushup, the newly launched online marketplace for discovering & booking beauty services in NYC!