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

PIN IT!

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.
Advertisements

My beauty anti-wishlist, February 2019

Hi friends!

It’s time for my beauty anti-wishlist, February edition! As has become the standard, I’ve picked five products (or collections in this case) that have either recently launched or will launch soon that I will not be picking up anytime soon. This is based purely on personal preference only; no disrespect intended. I included bits from Tarte, Too Faced, Tom Ford Beauty, Bobbi Brown & ColourPop this month, so let’s get into it!

But first, catch up on my previous anti-wishlists for Sept. / Oct. / Nov. / Dec. / Jan.

TARTE ROSE IS BAE LIP GLOSS & BRUSH SET

Image source: Tarte Instagram

Tarte just recently released two lip gloss/brush kits with a wine or celebration theme; this is just one of them, but I could have picked either one to feature here to be honest.

I think this could be a cool gift for someone but it’s not something I’d ever, ever buy for myself. Although the theme seems fun, the products themselves just seem really impratical. I mean, look at the brush – how would you store that?? It would be interesting to see in person the scale of these products; it’s so hard to tell from these ad images. Either way though, I’ll take a pass Tarte.

(Also, doesn’t it seem like a strange time to bring out celebration-themed products like these? It would probably make more sense around holiday time, but that’s just my two cents.)

More info on this product here.

TOO FACED X ERIKA JAYNE PRETTY MESS COLLECTION

Image source: Too Faced Instagram

I have no idea who Erika Jayne is, but a little Google search told me that she’s currently one of The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills and is also an on-stage singer & performer. (I used to watch the entire Housewives franchise, but I got bored of that whole sh*tshow.) That aside, none of this OTT, gaudy collection appeals to me.

From what I spied online, all the products debut on Too Faced’s website on Feb. 12th and in Sephora stores on Feb. 17th. The collection contains an eyeshadow palette, two lip kits, a highlighter, a themed Lip Injection, and a body shimmer with a raunchy name (see above).

I don’t know about you, but very few of Too Faced’s recent releases or collections have been inspiring to me. I think the last time I was inspired to spend any of my cash on them was for the Sweet Peach launch (and that was a while ago).

More info on this collection here.

TOM FORD BEAUTY LIP LACQUER LUXE

Image source: Trendmood1

I first heard about these lippies on Trendmood’s Instagram account, and my immediate response was, nope! As I’ve mentioned on here before, my penchant for matte, dry-down, long-wearing liquid lipsticks has definitely been on the wane for a while now. But if I am going to buy another liquid lip, I’m certainly not going to spend $55.00 for one. Sorry Tom Ford, but no.

Now I realize that there are two different finishes, as shown in the image above, but it doesn’t really matter; I’m still not interested! I do have two Tom Ford lipsticks that I love in my collection, but to be honest they were both gifts for Christmas or my birthday. I’ve never bought a Tom Ford makeup product with my own cash, and the Lip Lacquer Luxe certainly won’t be it!

More info on this product here.

BOBBI BROWN EXTRA LIP TINTs

Image source: Bobbi Brown Instagram

Let me preface this by saying I’m a big, big fan of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in general. I have several of their products in my collection that I totally cherish, like the Tinted Moisturizing Balm and the Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks. But $34.00 for a lightly tinted lip balm? I’ll pass, thanks! They just recently added three or four new colors to the line-up so they’ve been re-promoting these a lot on their Instagram. The most I’m willing to pay for a tinted lip balm is the $18.00 or so it costs for one of my beloved Clinique Chubby Sticks. Any more than that, just forget it.

More info on this product here.

Read this: The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

COLOURPOP X KATHLEEN LIGHTS The zodiac LOOSE PIGMENTS COLLECTION

Image source: ColourPop Instagram

I seriously have lost track of how many collabs Kathleen Lights has done with ColourPop at this point. Anyways, this is the most recent one (just launched on Jan. 31st) and it’s an extension of her larger Zodiac collection from 2018. I don’t use loose pigments…like ever, so I would get zero use from something like this. I bought one years ago from MAC’s mini line called Naked. It was a beautiful color that I used a few times, but ultimately I found the format just too fussy for me. And from looking at ColourPop’s website, I believe you have to order all 12 loose pigments as a set. Even more reason this is a pass for me.

More info on this product here.

What’s on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

It’s time for my beauty anti-wishlist, February edition! Wanna know which five products from newly released or soon-to-be-released launches that I’m passing on? Read this!

My beauty anti-wishlist, January 2019

Hi friends!

It’s a new month so that can only mean it’s time for another beauty anti-wishlist! There are tons of new launches coming out this month (what else is new?), but unfortunately not all of them are exciting me. So I present to you a fresh list of 5 beauty items that I am passing on based on personal preferences and other reasons. As always, no disrespect is intended with this post; these are just my personal feelings.

Catch up on my previous anti-wishlists, if you’d like!

My beauty anti-wishlist, September 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, October 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, November 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, December 2018

MORPHE BRUSHES FLUIDITY FOUNDATION

Morphe Brushes Fluidity Foundation
Image source: Trendmood1

This is Morphe’s next big launch coming on January 17th and I believe their first foray into complexion products. And it’s going to have…wait for it…60 foundation shades to choose from. Boom. They are also releasing concealers & setting powders on the same day, so this is a huge release for them and a big PR moment, no doubt. But I’m just over here yawning 😆. I’m pretty happy with my current collection of base products, and I’m really not into matte, full-coverage foundations because of my dry skin. I don’t mind full-cover concealers, but certainly not foundations. I’m sure the launch will be amazing for them, but no thanks Morphe.

More info on this product here.

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA BUTTER COLLECTION X CASEY HOLMES PALETTE

Physician’s Formula Butter Collection x Casey Holmes Palette
Image source: Physician’s Formula Instagram

This is the first influencer collab for Physician’s Formula, but unfortunately I won’t be picking this up anytime soon. The packaging looks a bit bulky (a pet peeve of mine) and when I look at it, I just don’t get excited at all. It’s a palette featuring all of Physician’s Formula Butter products that have been curated by YouTuber Casey Holmes. It includes a bronzer, blush, highlighter, 4 eyeshadows, a lip cream & a perfume. I already have the much-beloved Butter Bronzer, which I do like (read my full review here) but I’m not completely gaga over it like some other people are. I just don’t need any of what this palette offers right now.

More info on this product here.

BH COSMETICS MINI ZODIAC CAPRICORN PALETTE

BH Cosmetics Mini Zodiac Capricorn Palette
Image source: BH Cosmetics Instagram

I know the shadows from BH Cosmetics are awesome quality, and oh so affordable, but this palette just looks really basic, ya know? And I’m a Capricorn too, I should love this palette! I can only speak for myself of course, and I already have so many brown shadows (both warm & cool) in my collection. I love earthy tones a lot, but this just isn’t doing it for me, sorry BH! The highlighter looks gorgeous but I would never buy this just for one item.

More info on this product here.

MILANI COSMETICS CONCEAL + PERFECT Longwear CONCEALER

Milani Conceal + Perfect Concealer
Image source: Trendmood1

Milani’s new concealer offering goes on sale on January 8th, and honestly if I hadn’t just bought two drugstore concealers last fall (Revlon PhotoReady Candid & Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover), I might get this! I love me a drugstore concealer, but I’m just too stocked up right now. I’ve been curious to try Milani’s complexion products in the past but the shades always seemed to be too dark for me. But the new Conceal + Perfect has 18 shades, so I may have an easier time finding the right shade. According to Trendmood, this has medium-to-full coverage which I do like the sound of, but like I said before, I just have too many concealers to justify another purchase right now.

Read my review on the Revlon PhotoReady Candid Concealer.

Read my review on the Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover Concealer.

BENEFIT ROLLER LINER LIQUID eyeLINER

Benefit Roller Liner The Matte Liquid Liner
Image source: Benefit Instagram

I believe this just became available a few days ago. I’ve been a long-time fan of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara, but I’m just not a liquid liner kinda girl. I’m quite horrible at eyeliner to be fair, so I either use a soft pencil or a dark shadow and just smudge it along my lash line to get rid of any imperfections. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a liquid liner in my life now that I think about it, so I’m certainly not about to start now. However if you do love your liquid liner, this does sound like a good one. Supposely the formula is waterproof and therefore quite long-wearing. My mom would probably love this actually.

More info on this product here.

What products are on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Find out the newer launches that won’t be making it into my cart this month!

My quick, 8-minute makeup routine

Hi friends!

Let’s face it, most people have very little time each day to do their makeup before rushing off to work, school, or wherever. Likewise, a lot of people simply don’t wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, or are perhaps just starting to experiment with it. These are all examples of where having a quick, effortless face routine in your arsenal can be very beneficial.

So in this post, I wanted to give you a peek into my quick, 8-minute makeup routine that utilizes just 6 products. I’ll also give you some tips I have for quick application along the way. If you can apply the same amount of products or even more in less time than this, please teach me your ways Yoda! I’ve tried to master the whole 5-minute face and personally it’s just too hard for me. I think it’s the mascara application that slows me down; I like to pile it on! My mom is actually really good at quick makeup, so I’ll have to start mimicking her!

THE STRATEGY

When I want to apply my makeup fast, I think of the facial features I want to emphasize the most or the areas of my face that I want to “correct” the most. Of course, this will be different for everyone and it will help you choose which products to use. For me, I always want to emphasize my eyes & cheeks and correct my under-eye discoloration. So think about what the indispensible aspects of a makeup routine are for you and go from there.

Also, think about how you want to apply your products in a short amount of time. You may be able to work quickly with brushes or sponges, but for me I work everything in quickly with the warmth of my hands.

THE PRODUCTS

Now, you can use whatever products you want of course. But when I want quick makeup, I go for textures that I know will be impactful, will blend out quickly with my hands, and could be used for more than one purpose. For me, cream textures are the most versatile & blendable. And if I want to wear lipstick too, I make sure to pick a formula that’s creamy and easy to apply; no lip liners, precision or extra patience needed!

Product flatlay with NARS, Clinique, Peripera, Kiko, Bobbi Brown & Hourglass

In this particular makeup routine, I used mascara (2 types, high-maintenance I know!), concealer, cream blush (as both blush & highlighter), brow gel & lipstick. I’ve listed & linked the exact products below if you’re interested to know.

Read this: The 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with!

Read this: Five moisturizing lippies for Autumn-Winter

THE STEPS

Again, you can order your routine any way you like; there’s no right or wrong way here. But this is just what I did, step-by-step, to achieve the quick look you see on me in the image above. And yes I did time myself by the way! It was actually quite a fun little challenge.

Step 1 – Apply copious amounts of mascara to top & bottom lashes. When I forego eyeshadow, eyeliner or any color on my eyes, I want my mascara to be as dramatic as possible.

Step 2 – Apply concealer to my under-eyes, around my nose and on any little red spots or blemishes.

Step 3 – Apply cream blush to the tops of my cheekbones to add color & sheen. The Kiko blush I used has little flecks of shimmer in it, so it can double as a highlight in this case.

Step 4 – Brush brow gel through my brows.

Step 5 – Apply lipstick & smudge into lips.

I hope that was helpful to you if you’re looking for ideas or inspiration on how to do quick makeup! Do you have any tips or tricks on no-fuss makeup you can share? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

This is the makeup routine I crack out when I want to be out the door in less than 10 minutes!

Tips on how to wear glitter this holiday season!

Hi friends!

Tis the season to bring out the glitter! Glitter is something that really divides people; some hate it, some love it, some think it’s juvenile, some think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It’s true, it can get messy, there’s no two ways about it. However, I think it’s undeniably fun and beautiful to wear every now and then; to a party, on a night out, or even walking around your house if you feel so inclined.

We’re in the throes of the holiday party season so what better time to get extra festive and throw a little glitter on ourselves, right? In this post, I’ll give you some quick tips on how I apply & wear glitter that hopefully will be helpful for those of you out there who may struggle with it or who are looking for ideas. Also, I’ll share with you a few of my personal favorite glitters that are oh so beautiful 😊.

TIP #1 – SAFETY FIRST

There are tons of glitters out there at all different price points, but just be sure you’re using cosmetic glitter (i.e. eye-safe glitter) & not craft store glitter from Michael’s or something. That stuff is not safe for use around the eyes! Non-cosmetic glitters can scratch your cornea if any particles get in your eyes, so please be aware.

Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Mermaid
Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Mermaid. The glitter is suspended in a jelly formula that sets on the eye after a few seconds, so there’s very little fall-out.

TIP #2 – BE TACKY!

This is especially helpful when using loose glitters, like the MAC Glitter Pigments for example. Make sure to apply your glitter over a tacky base so it has something to stick to. You also will save yourself from as much dreaded fall-out as possible when you do this. You can use an eye primer or a glitter glue, for example. I’ve heard the Too Faced Glitter Glue Glitter Shadow Primer is very good, or if you want something cheaper NYX does one too. Personally I use my regular eye primer (MAC Paint Pot) and apply the glitter before it sets dry.

Sometimes I will simply just pat glitter on top of an existing powder or cream shadow, but I really only do that with the ‘Pop’ shade from The Dolce Vita Palette from Charlotte Tilbury (pictured directly below).  I don’t know, that stuff is magic and just seems to stick without a tacky base!

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Palette
Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Luxury Eyeshadow Palette. The ‘Pop’ shade, indicated by the arrows, is a coppery glitter top coat that is gorgeous. It’s a very “grown-up”, sophisticated glitter. It’s probably my all-time favorite to wear.

TIP #3 – FINGERS ARE BEST

I find that glitters are best applied by the warmth of your fingers. Brushes tend to drop the stuff everywhere. A simple pressing motion with the soft pad of the finger helps the glitter cling to the eye.

I like to wear glitter either tapped all over the mobile lid (with a matte shade blended in the crease), or lining my upper lash line. The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows are great for lining because of the size & shape of the applicator. But if you want even more precision, check out the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners.

Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Palette (glitter shades highlighted)
Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette. The three shades containing glitter are indicated by asterisks. The top yellowy shade is a chunkier glitter top coat, while the two other more green shades are traditional shadows with flecks of glitter suspended in them.  

TIP #4 – ORDER MATTERS

If you’re really concerned with glitter fall-out spoiling your beautiful base, then I suggest doing your eye makeup and glitter application before your foundation & concealer. Intutively it just makes more sense, doesn’t it? Then you can just easily remove any fall-out with a makeup wipe, without removing your base.

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Smoldering Satin. This is a revolutionary product in the world of cosmetic glitter, in my opinion. It’s a wet liquid packed with glitter particles that gives off the most incredible high-shine effect. And once it sets on the eye, it doesn’t move!

TIP # 5 – NOT ALL GLITTERS ARE CREATED EQUAL

If you want the most out of your glitter cause you’re going to an office Christmas party or a night out with the girls, make sure to pick the right one. I say, go for a glitter that is suspended in something as opposed to loose glitter pigments. Could be a gel (Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss), a liquid (Stila), or a shadow (Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Palette). The glitter will be less inclined to fall all over the place as the night goes on, as it’s almost self-contained by its formula.

Swatched glitters for your visual pleasure! Top two: Huda Beauty; Third down: Charlotte Tilbury; Fourth down: Stila; Fifth down: Butter London; Bottom: Huda Beauty.

TIP #6 – DON’T RUB YOUR EYES!

This should be obvious, but just in case you need a reminder 😉. Any time you wear eye makeup, you should refrain from rubbing your eyes but this is particularly important when wearing any kind of glitter. The mess is just more extreme.

So hopefully those tips were helpful! I’m planning on doing what I’m calling “7 Days of Glitter” on my Instagram account (@weareglamerus) starting tomorrow in the lead up to Christmas. So if you’d like to see how these glitters look on the eye, make sure to follow me over there!

What are your feelings on glitter? Do you crack it out during the festive season? Which are your favorites? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Check out my how-to tips on glitter application and take a peek at my favorite glitters to use!