Dia De Los Muertos 2.0- a new twist on a Mexican tradition

By vnunes

Dia De Los Muertos 2.0- a new twist on a Mexican tradition
Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

As some of you have previously read & seen, I have done Day of The Dead looks quite a few times. I absolutely love this tradition and being a first generation Mexican, I embrace the culture, including this one. Growing up, I was aware of the Holiday, which falls on November 1st, and craved the sugar skulls my grandmother brought back from Mexico. We didn’t necessarily grow up making shrines or visiting the cemetery, but we did grow up reading about the tradition and hearing stories from my mother, who moved here over 30 years ago from Mexico City. My brother and I had a blast digging through the markets for hilarious dioramas of “skull people”, which I still currently have.

In 2012, I was asked to do Day of the Dead makeup and began my research into the tradition. I found a few photos which featured the “sugar skull” makeup, but drew inspiration from actual sugar skulls and art. Two years later, sugar skull makeup is HUGE and numerous tutorials can be found on Youtube, popular makeup websites, even makeup brand websites, such as MUFE and Illamasqua. Most recently, I was asked by Julie from Jewel Photography and Amylu from Misfit-Stream & Co. to apply Sugarskull makeup for a Dia de Los Muertos photoshoot, which will be used as promotional photos for a Day of the Dead Event at The Dirt Salon in Hartford on November 1st.

Because I have had several years of practice (and now have more experience using an airbrush machine), the foundation process was easier. I am also finding that a lot of costume stores have Dia De Los Muertos kits, which are great if you’re applying makeup to yourself, because they provide enough for one person to wear.

Here are some additional tips to achieve the perfect Dia De Los Muertos look:

  1. Always start with the base. You can go all white, grey,blue, etc. or you can do 3-4 shades lighter than your skin. If you are doing that, DON’T purchase a full size foundation- ask for a sample.
  2. Cheeks! After you apply your base, feel free to add some color to the cheeks. You can apply it right on the apples or follow your cheek bone. It’s also easier to apply cream blush if you’re going with a colored base.
  3. Invest in a cheap (but good) liquid liner to draw details on the face. Do NOT use the same liquid liner you use on your eyes. First of all, its unsanitary. Second, some of the color from the base may get onto the brush.
  4. Apply rhinestones with lash glue- just dot a tiny bit, wait 30 seconds, then apply to the face. Don’t go overboard or else you will end up with a gloopy mess.
  5. Draw Inspiration- I cannot tell you how many videos are out there for this look, but use them as inspiration. Google “sugar skulls” and see what is out there. Most importantly, though, make it your own and have fun with it!

PHOTOGRAPHER:Jewel Photography
MODEL: Amylu from Misfit-Stream & Co
JEWELRY: Fern Street Designs
CORSET: MayMac Design Studio
ART: Killustrate Studio
DRESS: The Wedding Dress

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Photographer: Jewel Photo

Falling for Fall Beauty

By vnunes

Falling for Fall Beauty

Oh hello! It has been awhile! Tis the wedding season and things have been quite a whirlwind (in a good way, of course). I have recently relocated to the Boston area as of January 2014, and continue to work throughout the entire northeast (NY,CT,MA,RI,VT,NH,ME).

I have been working with some amazing photographers this past year, including George Rivera, a Boston based photographer who specializes in wedding, fashion and editorial photography. Model Jennifer Drasich reached out to me with this amazing concept, and the results are fantastic. Josefina styled this shoot with some fantastic coats and accessories.

The look we went for was more natural than anything. Inspired by J Crew but with an edge- very minimal, focusing on the natural beauty of the models. The key was to achieve flawless skin (which Jennifer luckily had) and enhance the natural features. Yes- she is wearing makeup- but very minimal. We started with her skin and then used minimal colors to bring out her eyes, cheeks, bone structure and lips. We stuck with colors that enhanced her skin tone as well- nothing out of the ordinary or too crazy. This is proof that you do not need a TON of makeup to really enhance natural beauty.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè

Whip Hand Cosmetics Set the Stage Primer

Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro in 2 & 3

Stila Cosmetics Convertible Color in Petunia

SmashBox Contour Kit

Stila Cosmetics Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette – Mind

Senna Cosmetics Brow Palette

Cailyn Cosmetics Dramatic Impact Mascara in Black

Rosebud Salve

Two Faced Cosmetics Perfect Lips Pencil in Perfect Nude

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Raisin

Photographer- George Rivera

Jennifer Studio DONE-8__1411068508_12.11.157.129

Photographer- George Rivera

Jennifer Studio combined

Photographer: George Rivera

Jennifer Studio DONE-9

Photographer- George Rivera

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

To hire or not to hire a Makeup Artist

By vnunes

Jay Cavallaro Photography

Jay Cavallaro Photography

Many times I come across individuals who question why they should hire a Makeup Artist (MUA) for their wedding or not. Yes, it is another cost. Yes, it can be a bit pricey, but there are quite a few reasons as to why it is a good idea to.

I know what you’re thinking- “Um, aren’t you biased because you are a MUA?”…Even if I wasn’t an MUA, I would still encourage hiring a makeup artist for your wedding and, in fact, I would highly recommend that you include that into your budget initially when establishing one.

Here are a few reasons why my fellow MUA’s, photographer friends and vendors think you should hire one for your big day:

– Photos Last Forever- If you’re investing in a photographer, you should invest in the way you look- Photographers are amazing. They are the reason why you really remember your big day. You may also invest a lot of time into meeting with multiple ones to find that match and/or investing a lot of money into one. You will want to make sure you have makeup that not only makes you look flawless, but that makes you look like YOU on your big day.

– Flash can be your Best Friend- or Worst Enemy- Without the proper foundation or powder, flash can EASILY make you look washed out or ashy. Makeup artists use special HQ powders and makeup. We also know how to enhance your features i.e. eyes, lips, cheeks, etc. We also ensure that we have a variety of colors to match every skin color out there, which brings me to my next point…

– Makeup Artists Invest $$$$ into their Kits- Any professional MUAs all agree- they’ve invested and are constantly investing in their kits. We are constantly looking out for the best quality makeup for our kits and attend workshops, conventions and more to learn about and buy the latest and greatest. I know for myself I have made trips to NYC just to stand in line for 2 hours to buy professional makeup- just for one brand (Make Up Forever). I am always reaching out to fellow MUA’s to find out what products they LOVE and can’t be without in their kits. Not to mention, airbrush?? It’s not cheap and you can’t buy that at the drugstore around the corner.
I’ve also heard “Oh, my friend will do it. She does her makeup really pretty so she can do mine,”- *forehead slap*- yes. There are people out there who do a fantastic job at makeup. Going out for the night? Sure. Let ‘em do it. But, please, not on your wedding day!

Sweat Proof/Tear Proof/Kiss Proof- Professional MUA’s have products that will ensure your makeup lasts all day, all night, through the sweat, tears and kisses. It also has a lot to do with the makeup application process and understanding your skin and what works best for it.

– You Want to Look Like Yourself- Sure, that super sultry smokey look with greys and blacks looks fantastic in person, but in photos? On your wedding day? Not so much. Before you sign any contracts with an MUA, make sure that you schedule a trial with them to make sure they are what you looking for/you like their work. They are here for you and to make you happy- if you tell them to make you look as natural as possible, they will. If you ask for green and orange eye shadow? Well, hopefully they’ll talk you right out of it.

Quality v.s. Quantity- I may be repeating myself, and may be a bit contradicting, but it IS worth the investment. If your niece’s second teenage cousin agrees to do your makeup for $20 on your wedding day- then you will get a $20 look. If you invest $75+ on a Professional MUA to do your makeup, then hopefully it is worth the investment. If there is a MUA that is just starting out (we’ve all been there) charging you only $40, schedule a trial first before you book them- if they try and are serious about it/have aspirations, why not? Schedule a trial first.  Again, MUA have professional products and are trained to provide professional makeup applications.

-Last but not least- Stress-free!- The last thing you want to worry on your wedding day is makeup. It is YOUR day- have everyone do everything for you, including your makeup. MUA will have it all set up for you and ready-to-go. We’re there for you. Let us be.

So happy hunting and good luck looking for the perfect MUA for your big day!

xo V

Oh-La-La! Boudoir Photo Sessions

By vnunes

Bring out your inner vixen by booking a “boudoir shoot” with a local photographer. Whether it is for you or your loved one, boudoir is the best way to make yourself feel confident, sexy and fabulous- oh and not to mention, it’s you at your best, looking your best! It doesn’t get any better than that ladies!

I recently teamed up with the talented Julie Turner from Jewel Photo for a boudoir photo shoot. The model, Patricia, was a natural beauty and wanted a romantic and sexy look. We easily achieved that through soft makeup with an emphasis on her eyes (achieving those sexy “bedroom eyes”).


What I love about boudoir makeup is that you can switch looks up just by amping up a lip color or adding lashes. The most important thing to remember when it comes to boudoir makeup is to accentuate your features with the help of some makeup:

Lashes- Go big or go home! Lashes will make your eyes POP and add that sultriness to your look. I personally love Ardell lashes, which you can pick up at your local pharmacy such as CVS or RiteAid. If you’re willing to spend a little bit extra money, Faux lashes are my number 1 choice. They’re easy to apply and can be reused!

Lips- As we all know, I am a fan of Pin-Up makeup. Personally, I LOVE red lips, but if you’re going for a more romantic look, a soft pink with a coat of gloss looks absolutely stunning. Because Patricia had red lingerie as one of her outfits,  decided to apply a sheer red gloss to her lips.

Skin- When booking a boudoir shoot, look into booking a makeup artist as well. It is well worth the investment, most importantly because we have the best quality makeup specialized for photography and photo shoots. I airbrushed Patricia’s foundation on and contoured along her jawline. She had a gorgeous cafe skin color, which I accentuated with bronzer on her cheekbone and hairline. I also applied shimmer to her décolletage to accentuate her curves as well.

Other features to accentuate- If you’re not used to filling in your eyebrows on a daily basis, you’ll want to fill them in for the photo shoot. Your eyebrows, especially if they’re light or thin, can easily be washed out- it is well worth the investment to purchase a good quality eyebrow pencil or eyebrow powder (apply with an angled brush).

Remember, during your boudoir shoot, make sure to have fun- be yourself- be confident!


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