Friday, May 23, 2014

IN MY KIT #3: Cheeks // Bronzer, Blush & High Light

It was hard for me to put this post together as cheek products are always changing in and out of my kit, depending on what the makeup look is and what the clients skin is like. Important things to remember when you choose cheek products are the texture and finish of the product.

Shimmer: Dry/dull skin
Satin: All skin types
Matte: All skin types, best for Oily skin.

Liquid: Dry/normal skin
Cream: All skin
Powder: All skin, esp oily

If a client has oily skin, I will use mainly matte and powder type products as anything overly shimmery can accentuate the appearance of pores making them look enlarged and anything too emollient will not adhere well to the skin - plus as the day goes on, natural oils will seep through which will break down any foundation/blush/contour if it isn't properly prepped.  For dry skin, shimmery products can give the skin a more luminous and glowing affect. Generally if the skin looks too dry or matte it can actually make the skin appear more aged and tired, so keeping glow levels up on dry dehydrated skin types are more ideal.

These are just the guidelines I like to follow as they help keep my kit nice and condensed. Ideally I don't need to and don't want to carry 10 blushers or bronzers. But don't be afraid to try mixing and matching finishes/products to achieve different effects. Experiment!

1. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish 'Comfort' (LE): Shimmering golden bronzer
2. Motives Shape & Sculpt Duo: A satin finish powder for contouring - cool toned
3. Benefit Hoola: Warm matte bronzer

Above are the brands I like to keep in my kit but I don't always keep all of them in my kit at the same time. When choosing blushes, keep in mind the undertone of the blush, is it warm or cool?

1. Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush: Matte cool pink
2. The Balm Cabana Boy Blush: Shimmering golden purple 
3. NARS Gilda Blush: Matte warm peach
4. Motives Naughty Blush: Shimmering peach

Highlights/illuminators are a super fun product, but they can be tricky. Too much and you could end up looking very oily/shinny. I keep both a liquid and powder in my kit for different reasons. A liquid is good for mixing with moisturiser or liquid foundation to give sallow/dull/dry skin the appearance of more hydration. Powders are good for all skin types, but are much easier to control when you need to add highlight to oily skin.

1. Benefit Sun Beam: Warm golden liquid shimmer.
2. Benefit High Beam: Cool pink liquid shimmer.
3. The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: Champagne powder highlight. 

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

IN MY KIT #2: Hygiene

I know there are so many wonderful and colourful posts that could have come after the Base Post, but I thought that this one is so important that it had to go next. Working as a MUA, you use a lot of makeup on numerous amounts of people and it isn't at all economical to purchase a new concealer, liner or what ever every single time... Which is why hygiene and the way you work is so important, especially as a pro. The worst thing that could happen is a client having an adverse effect because of unsanitary work methods! Yuck.

I'm huge on hygiene and it makes me cringe every time I see a 'professional' double dip or have dirty brushes. Working in retail for a while, I saw everything (fingers in jars, lipsticks straight on the lips, lip glosses put on from the wand, mascara too) and it just made me tighten up my own hygiene so much more, you really don't realise how unsanitary some testers can be. Which is why I carry all sorts of disposable tools and scrape everything in a pot out.

Below are my most basic rules when it comes to Professional Make Up Artits Hygiene.

1. Spatula, Plastic & Metal: I mainly use the metal spatula when I work, but I always carry plastic ones in my kit incase i've left the metal one at home or if a fellow mua needs one. It is so important that all creams and products in jars are properly taken out of the container because one double dip is all it takes for a product to be contaminated.
2.  Plastic Palette: This is the one I got during Tafe and i've just kept it. I don't know if there is a huge difference between this one and a stainless steel one but it's been fine so far. I always wipe it down with alcohol before and after use. This is also really handy for when i'm mixing lip colours or customising foundation colours.
3. Sharpener: Whilst some mua's ive seen have just wiped the tip of a pencil off on a tissue, I don't think it hurts at all to just give the pencil a quick sharpen before you use it again. This way you completely shave away the used layer. Remember to regularly clean out the blades of the sharpener, you can harbor bacteria in there too.
4. Disposable Mascara & Gloss Wands: Never put gloss or mascara straight from the tube onto a clients lips or lashes. Always take some out using one of these to ensure the contents of the products are left unsoiled. You really don't want a client to get herpes or a stye, you can get hundreds of disposable wands for a few dollars online so please don't be stingy.
5. Brush Cleanser: If you follow me on Instagram, you know that i'm actively vocal about cleaning your brushes! For a professional clean brushes are essential and if your artist isn't using clean brushes, I would ask he/she to stop! This green liquid is a brush cleanser I picked up from Scotty's in Broadway, its so cheap and works so well. A quick spritz will clean off any excess colour, kill most bacteria and the best part is that the brushes then dry so quickly! Once the alcohol evaporates it's good to go again. If your artist isn't deep cleaning, at least spot clean, please! Nothing gives me chills more than an artist reusing dirty brushes on multiple clients. I could go on about hygiene all day, I will probably do a brush cleansing post showing you everything from spot cleansing to deep cleansing.

So that was pretty hefty but it's really important that hygiene is kept to an extremely high standard. Always make sure your artist is using a spatula, using disposable mascara and gloss wands and that they are using clean brushes!

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Monday, May 12, 2014


I think that the most important thing when it comes to Professional Photogenic makeup is the base, skin care aside, how you make the skin look in both real life and in photos is so important. Everything I have in my kit at the moment is tried and true, so I am confident that these products will give me the best finish and result.

*NOTE: I often mix and match my foundations to create different finishes and colours for different skin types and their needs. I also don't carry every single shade of foundation/concealer for space saving reasons. I will usually carry 2-3 shades of each and find that this is enough to cover a wide range of skin tones. Also, I usually cater to more yellow/golden undertone skins which is why my foundations run very yellow. I do have some pink tone foundations, but find that I rarely need to reach for them.*

1. MAC Strobe Cream (Travel Size): This is a multi-tasking illuminating cream that I love using mixed in with liquid foundation if the skin is a little dull. It gives a nice overall glow to the skin but isn't very greasy, so will work on most skin types.
2. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: I often use this on dry dehydrated skin before a moisturising primer. I find it's really great at maintaining moisture on the skin without interrupting the makeup application.
3. Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Foundation Primer: This is a lovely hydrating primer I use on almost everyone. It feels extremely comfortable and feels just like a light lotion.
4. Motives Cosmetics Perfecting Face Primer: This is a more silicone based primer which is good for filling in and smoothing out enlarged pores. I use this on normal-oily skin in the t-zone.

1. Make Up Forever HD Foundation: I find this one is slightly thicker and more creamy so I would use this on normal dry skin types. Nice med-full coverage.
2. Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation: My favourite liquid foundation because the coverage and texture is impeccable. Perfect in both real life and photos, never cakey or heavy. Only down side is that the colour range is not very good, so I mix a little bit of a lighter shade in to customise.
3. Cinema Secrets Foundation Palette: I use this on all skin types and use this for contouring too. Great compact foundation, very pigmented product, can look very natural on the skin and gives med-full coverage. I have this palette in a yellow tone and a pink tone.

1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: Nice full coverage concealer, I keep three colours so I can use them to conceal and also highlight/contour.
2. Cinema Secrets Concealer Palette: A really good palette as it contains salmon tones and yellow tones to easily counteract any under eye darkness or skin pigmentation. Very similar to the foundation, but perhaps just slightly more creamy.

1. Ben Nye Banana Powder: Made famous by Kim K's MUA, I use this to set both the undereye and all over the face. A great affordable and versatile setting powder.
2. Ben Nye Neutral Set: I usually mix this in with the Banana Powder and rarely use it alone.
3. Motives Cosmetics 10 Years Younger Setting Spray: I find this really helps to eliminate any fine lines or wrinkles that the powder may accentuate and gives a really lovely glow to the skin that doesn't make the makeup slip or feel greasy. Made by Skindanavia who make their own + Urban Decay sprays which ensures quality but the Motives Sprays are a fraction of the cost.
4. Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Mint: I put this here because I usually slap on a thick layer after foundation to prep for lipstick. Putting it on 15-20 minutes before lipstick softens any dry patches on the lips and makes it really easy to scrub off for super smooth lips.

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Friday, May 2, 2014

FOTD: Iggy Azalea

I was watching some Iggy Azalea on YouTube and loved her classic liner and bold lip combos! So here is my version, I enhanced the mole next to my lip for a little more authenticity.

Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation 1Y-BP
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation Palette (concealing, highlight, contour)
Cargo Blu Ray Powder #30
Motives Cosmetics Shape & Sculpt Duo

Benefit Gimme Brow
Prestige Brow Gel

Illamasqua Lip Pencil Titivate
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 504

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]