Makeup Tips: w/ Joseph Perez of Benefit Cosmetics

Courtesy of JP
If you’ve looked at Benefit Cosmetic’s catalog recently or if you’ve wandered into the various Benefit Cosmetic locations chances are you’ve met Joseph Perez – Benefit’s leading man.
Joseph is the go-to-guy when celebrity clients are in town, and has traveled to countless award shows to help behind the scenes. 
I’m fortunate that Joseph is a friend of mine, and when I have a beauty question he is always available to lend his expertise. 
Anita: As a makeup artist, how do you feel about women and Red Lipstick?
Joseph:  I feel that most women can wear red lipstick, it’s about knowing how to find the right shade for any occasion.  Red lips are a powerful statement….they show confidence, strength and classic femininity.
Anita: What is the best way to determine which shade works best with a person’s skin tone?
Joseph: You should always recognize what hues can work with your undertones.  If you are considered a “cool”, you will look great in blue red’s……..for a “warm skin tone” you will look best in Orange-Brick red’s.  How you determine your skin tone is based on the underlying colors of the skin. 
Anita: What is a True Red?
Joseph: A True Red means how the color holds it’s tone on any skin tone, it is perfectly balanced and has a balance of cool and warm tones.
Anita: What is a Classic Red?
Joseph: A Classic Red makes me think of early screen sirens wearing a fully pigmented matte finish, brighter than the true red version. 
Anita: How does a woman tell Red Lipsticks apart? I am often confused with all the choices.
Joseph:  One of the best ways to find out what color is actually going to look like, is to try it on your lips. You can find out how color wears vs. your undertones by trying it on the back of your hands.  The skin on the hand is much different from the texture and skin of the lips. 
Try it on!  There is definitely a color wheel, but not everyone knows about it or how to use it.  There are 3 basic primary colors and there opposites  Red to green, Blue to Orange, Yellow to Purple.  When you understand how to compliment with opposing color is when you really understand how to compliment who you are.  For example, If someone has blue eyes, you can enhance color by using an orange/peachy based shadow….green eyes would probably look best with color’s that have a red purple’s eggplant’s, plum’s and the reason I say that is because you probably would not want to put on red liner, shadow or Mascara near the eye area.   
Someone with lot’s of yellow undertones on their skin will probably look best in ??????  Purple hues, this by any means is not the only thing that the person could wear but it becomes a guideline for how to choose color.
Anita: What beauty tricks can you share with the average working woman who only has 5 minutes in the morning to devote to makeup?
Joseph:  Alway’s have a system!  Start with Skin- Exfoliate face in Shower (it will save you some time), so your skin is fresh and ready for moisture absorption.  (1 minute) Apply Moisturizer and Eye cream with Benefit’s cutting edge Brightening skincare.  (1 minute)  Even out your skin tone with a light foundation and under eye concealor (Benefit’s “some kind of gorgeous”, and “Erase paste”)  (1 minute)  Enhance your feature’s -Brow’s and Mascara with Benefit’s “Brow Zing’s and Bad gal lash full lash loader!”  (1 minute)  Brighten complexion with Perk me up PowderDandelion or Bella Bamba 3D Blush”, depending on skin tone.  Complete your last step by enhancing your lip’s color, you can use something as simple as a colored lip balm ( Benefit’s Benetint lip balm ) which will not only  give you a burst of fresh color, but will provide moisture and did I mention a little SPF 15.
Anita: What are Benefit’s famous Reds?
Joseph: Benefit’s famous Red lipsticks or tones are:  “Flirt Alert” ( full finish warm red tone)  “Frenched” ( A sheer blue red tone), “Wild Card” ( a warm deep brick-red ) and of course ” Benetint Pocket Pal”, sheer red stain with clear gloss to give that natural red carpet look!
Anita: What is your signature style in approach to makeup?
Joseph: My signature style when approaching make up is finding facial balance, everyone has opportunities.  Also, less is more, enhance who you are don’t change it.
Anita: If a woman was looking to change-up her makeup routine, what Benefit products would you recommend?
Joseph:  I have one thing to say when I hear that a woman want’s to change her pallet………Everything you do to your face should make sense, whether it’s making small eyes look larger, defining your lash line with liner to make lashes look fuller.  Don’t just wear make up because someone else does, or because someone told you to.  Enhance who you are individually and remember that makeup is like clothes, you wouldn’t wear one outfit all the time would you? So why would you do the same thing to your face everyday?
Anita: Any advice for women or teens wearing makeup for the first time?
Joseph: My advice to anyone whom is starting to wear makeup for the first time is to take it slow, understand what the goal of what you are trying to accomplish, enhance who you are, and ask yourself in the mirror…..Do I look better than I did?
Anita: Thank you Joseph and as usual I’ve picked up some great makeup tips!
For a one on one consultation with Joseph drop by the Benefit on Fillmore Street.
2117 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

The Glosses – by jane iredale


The glosses at jane iredale provide hydration and gorgeous color. Formulated with organic vegetable oils and petroleum free.  The tingly mint and ginger flavor naturally plumps the lips for a kissable pout.  The lips are left with a pretty sheer stain, shiny, soothed and protected from the harsh elements of winter. The Glosses are also perfect for that touch of color during the summer. 

Cherry Sparkle

The colors are juicy, they remind me of ripe cherries, strawberries and luscious rubies – jane iredale the skincare makeup is Citygirl approved!

$19 @janeiredale

available in Cosmo too!

Q&A w/ Liz Pugh of Rimmel London

Courtesy of Rimmel London
Liz Pugh is known in the beauty industry for her unique ability to create the most beautiful, natural and dewy looking skin.  Rising to the top, Liz worked with Pat McGrath, Mary Greenwell and Linda Cantello before joining their ranks.
Liz’s celebrity clientele list includes Rachel Weisz, Kate Moss, Keira Knightly and Victoria Beckham – to name a few.  Her work has been seen all over the world in publications i.e Italian Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and numerous ad campaigns.
Liz Pugh teamed up with Rimmel London as their International Celebrity Makeup Artist – and most recently is helping women all over the world with makeup tutorials that are inspired by Kate Middleton and the Royal wedding.
I was thrilled when Liz agreed to answer a few beauty questions – and naturally I had to ask her about Red Lipstick.
Anita: As a makeup artist, how do you feel about women and red lipstick?
Liz: I love to see women wearing red lipstick, it’s such a statement. It is best to wear with a near naked eye. A liner and mascara look great, or a sheer wash of colour – very on trend now! It’s a great way to dress up your look and a fantastic pick me up if you are looking tired as it becomes all about your lips and takes the emphasis from your eyes!
Anita: What is the best way to determine which shade of red lipstick is age-appropriate? Or is there such a thing?
Liz: I don’t think there is such a thing as age appropriate. Some older ladies look fabulous in a red lip. I would avoid anything too matte and dry. As we age our lips become thinner and a good way to counteract this is to go for a softer finish. Adding a slight gloss to the lipstick can add volume and shine giving a fuller and more complimentary look to a red lip. A trick I often use is to dab a little red lipstick on with my finger then apply some balm over the top. It gives a gorgeous hint of colour and the softness is flattering to everyone at any age.
Anita: What is a true red?
Liz: A true red is just that, a pure pillar-box red, rather than an orange or fuchsia tint or any textured finish, in so far as shimmer or shine. A Pillar-Box Red is a London bus red – it is a pure bright red with blue undertones rather than orange. A true red will have a very slight undertone of blue
Anita: What is a classic red?
Liz: Most “classic” reds tend to be matte in finish and have a blue under tone. It is that old Hollywood glamour red.
Anita: How does a woman tell red lipsticks apart? I am often confused between a burgundy or orange, and pink-based red lipstick. Is there a color wheel?
Liz: The way to tell red lipstick apart is to look at the undertone – it can be a very subtle colour difference in the underlying tone of your lipstick.
The clearest way, if you are really confused, is to test them on a piece of white paper. You will get a true representation of the colour and it is not being thrown by your skin tone. Once you asses the underlying tone of the lipstick, try each of them on your skin to see which is the most flattering colour for your skin tone. Another good way to tell red lipsticks apart would be to try each on the inside of your wrist, where there is the least pigment. This is also the most obvious place to see your own undertone.

Always remember that with the natural colour of your lips it may darken the lipstick upon application.

Blue undertones tend to be colder and orange tend to be warmer. Rather than thinking of a colour wheel system, work with the idea of cool and warm. This will give you an idea of what suits you best. For example:

  • Cool: blues, burgundies, some pinks and purples
  • Warm: oranges, browns

Anita: What beauty tricks can you share with the average working woman who only has 5 minutes in the morning to devote to makeup?

Liz: A little concealer, groomed brows, mascara, blush and gloss can all be applied super speedy and give you a really groomed look. Add a little highlight to the inner corner of the eye to open them up and you are good to go.

Red lips don’t have to be a chore, use your red lipstick sparingly and sweep a light amount of the colour across lips, using your finger to blot and press it into lips for a diffused red tint which is soft with no hard edges. It takes a few seconds but gives you a pop of colour and polished look which is easy to maintain through the day.

Anita: What are Rimmel London’s famous reds?

Liz: One of my favorites is Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lip Colour in Red Alert, a true London-bus red that suits everyone.

Anita: What is your signature style when approaching makeup?

Liz: I always use makeup to enhance a woman’s natural beauty, its not about a mask. I love skin to look fresh and beautiful.

Anita: If a woman was looking to change-up her makeup pallet, what Rimmel London product would you recommend?

Liz: I love the versatility that the Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadows gives. There are four shades in each palette that you can use alone or play with. Some of the shades are really bold and fun to experiment with.

Or why not try a lipstick shade you wouldn’t usually wear, apply lightly and add some gloss or balm over the top. Then as you get used to the new shade leave off the balm and gloss and apply fully to the lip. Some great shades to try this with are Lasting Finish Intense Wear Lipstick in Jet Set Red, In Vogue and Temptation, or Moisture Renew Lip Colour in Red Alert or Mauve Pink. I love pairing these with the new Moisture Renew Lipgloss.

Anita: Any advice for women or teens who are wearing makeup for the first time?

Liz: Don’t put too much on. I see so many girls with heavy foundation, in the wrong shade, applied over perfect skin – it drives me mad!! If you have good skin, just apply concealer where you need it, or mix your foundation with a little moisturizer, it will make it much sheerer. If you can’t get the colour exactly right go for Rimmel’s Match Perfection Foundation as it adjusts to your skin color. Don’t try to paint a mask on your face; enhance what you have. Emphasize one feature, whether its eyes or lips, not both, and don’t be afraid of colour. A colour on the eye always looks great. Experiment, if you don’t like it wash it off! Have fun!

Anita: Thank you Liz! We learned a lot and I am looking forward to Rimmel London’s tutorials on Kate Middleton and the Royal Wedding.

Celebrate The Royal Wedding with Rimmel London – visit Rimmel London’s Facebook Fan Page!

Femme Rouge by Hourglass – the Reds

Courtesy of Hourglass
Another gorgeous shade of Red by Hourglass Cosmetics, Raven a True Red with a hint of orange –
Icon, a luxurious shade of deep red with a hint of burgundy/plum – stunning!
Femme Rouge by Hourglass helps define the lips with intense moisture and hydration.  The silky smooth pigmented formula is water-resistant and long-lasting.  I especially love that Femme Rouge heals dry lips and that my lips are left soft, supple and kissable! 
Available in 12 luxurious shades – Femme Rouge by Hourglass is Citygirl approved!

Muse by beingTrue

Courtesy of beingTrue
A dear friend of mine created this beautiful color – it’s no surprise beingtrue cosmetics pioneered the way to coin a  term we associate with makeup today – double duty beauty. 
Muse by beingTrue was inspired by the desire to create the perfect shade of Red – a shade that is Perfectly neutral / balanced between a blue/red and orange-red. Deeper in tone (added a touch of black pigment to cut brightness), rich in texture and delivers full coverage.
Created for women with brunette to raven locks or medium to deep skin tones. This can be worn by any skin-tone from a cool to warm undertone.
The formula is formulated with a protective cocktail of antioxidant rich Vitamin E, Japanese Green & White Teas.  Sunflower seed oil helps to seal the lipid barrier hydrating the lips. Lotus 
Flower extract is used for its soothing benefits and an exotic orchide extract for its healing / nourishing benefits.
I’m especially proud of this lipstick shade, not because I receive compliments every time I wear it, but because my dear friend Alphonse inspired Muse and inspires me to stay True.
Muse by beingTrue is double duty beauty and is Citygirl approved!

Red Velvet & Voluptuous by Besame

Courtesy of Besame
Opening the tube did not prepare me, the color was gorgeous! Red Velvet by Besame is the perfect Red for everyday, it’s a neutral shade of Red that flatters all skin tones. 
The pigment is long-wearing, long-lasting – the special satin finish goes on silky smooth and stays put throughout the day. 
Red Velvet Voluptuous helps promote cell renewal and provides antioxidant protection. 
 I wasn’t just in love with the feather proof formula,  but the rich  botanicals that left my lips moisturized and naturally plump. I love the shade of Red so much that I want to take it to bed with me.
The luxurious casing reminded me of that old hollywood glamour, and the matching lip brush and lip pencil were the perfect accoutrements to a gorgeous, sensuous pout.
Red Velvet Voluptuous by Besame is Citygirl approved!

Q&A w/ Mathew Nigara of New York Color

Courtesy of New York Color
Mathew Nigara has worked with clients from various publications, TV, fashion houses, and celebrities.  He is a key artist for one of my favorite designers, Diane Von Furstenberg and works behind the scenes at Badgley Mischka, Marc Jacobs and Nanette Lepore to name a few.
He’s known for creating looks that transform beautiful women into gorgeous women i.e Shalom Harlow, Alek Wek, Anouck and Eva Herigova. 
Mathew has established himself as an industry leader and teaming up with New York Color Cosmetics in helping women all over the world recreate runway looks that can be achieved in the privacy of their own homes.
I was thrilled when Mathew agreed to answer a few beauty questions – and I couldn’t help but ask him about Red Lipstick.
Anita: As a makeup artist how do you feel about women and Red Lipstick?
Mathew: I am an avid fan of red lipstick.  It always evokes the upmost in femininity attitudeconfidence and power. As a Makeup Artist , it signifies everything that I love about makeup and is the easiest way for a woman to make a statement with color .
Anita: (I love his answer) What is the best way to determine which shade of Red Lipstick is age-appropriate – or is there such a thing?
Mathew: Red lipstick , in my opinion, is a shade that is not confined by the idea of age appropriateness, but rather more of  a definition of a woman’s inner life.  I do believe that it needs to be worn by a WOMAN and not a girl. So, maybe there should be an age requirement when wearing it.
Anita: What is a True Red?
Mathew: A true red is the delicate balance of an orange toned red and a blue toned red.   It won’t read as magenta or tangerine –  it works on all skin tones and requires little effort when applying it.   The NYC New York Color Ultra Moist Lipwear in Retro Red is that perfect red.   It works beautifully on everyone.
Anita: What is a Classic Red?
Mathew: A classic red for me evokes the traditional Blue red color – the red that defined the 1950’s.   The new NYC New York Color Smooch Proof 16HR Lipstain in Rock on Ruby is a great example of this shade.  The smooth staining texture also adds a more classic feeling to this color.
Anita: How does a woman tell a Red Lipstick apart? I am often confused, is there a color wheel?
Mathew: Different red shades are determined by the undertone of the specific shade.  By placing a true burgundy, orange, and magenta on your hand place the chosen red along the base shades so you can see where the red falls closest too.   Go with your individual preference –   and what you will feel confident wearing.
Anita: What beauty tricks can you share with the average working woman who only has five minutes in the morning to devote to makeup?
Mathew: Moisturize first and foremost -Then when doing a quick makeup every woman should have products that she can rely on and that don’t require much thought when applying them.   A fool – proof combo for every woman would be the NYC New York Color Skin Matching Foundation as it applies effortlessly and quickly.  Next, I would use the NYC New York Color Showtime Volumizing Mascara to bring attention to the eyes and follow with one of the NYC New York Color Smooch Proof 16HR Lipstains for a pop of color.  Anita: What are NYC New York Cosmetic’s famous Reds?
Courtesy of New York Color
Mathew: My favorite go-to reds from the NYC New York Color collection are: Ultra Moist Lipwear in Retro Red, Smooch Proof 16HR Lipstain in Rock On Ruby and the Extreme Lip Glider Lip Gloss in Big Apple Red.
Anita: What is your signature style when approaching makeup?
Mathew: My style with makeup is more of an approach.  I see every woman as an individual.  Makeup is always about the woman wearing it and never about the makeup artist.  But, that being said I am partial to an approachable, high glamour look – with a retro edge.
Anita: If a woman was going to change up her makeup pallet, what New York Colors would you recommend?
Mathew: Well, I would most definitely start by incorporating the new NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compacts-Smokey Eyes. The colors are pre-selected to compliment the individual eye color and instantly add a bit more glamour which is perfect for this season. I would also consider changing the texture of the lip by selecting colors from both of the NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine Glosses and the Smooch Proof 16 HR Lipstains and experiment.
Anita: Any advice for women or teens wearing makeup for the first time?
Mathew: My advice for teens is simple – Practice makes perfect!  There are no mistakes you can make    just go for it – have fun and remember that you can always add more color –  so take your time and start to  enjoy the process of the application.
Anita: Thank you Mathew for sharing your beauty insider secrets! I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to our future conversations!
New York Color is available at Target & Walgreens

Perfect Colors of the Season: Carrie & Nicole by jane iredale

Courtesy of jane iredale

                               Nicole is an orange red inspired by Nicole Kidman – I can’t wait to try it!

Courtesy of jane iredale

                      Carrie is a True Red and inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker – one of my favorite Reds!

PureMoist by jane iredale is a conditioning lipstick that leaves your lips conditioned and moisturized, wearing puremoist is giving your lips a drink of water.  Ingredients include antioxidants and anti-aging benefits. 

jane iredale is the skincare makeup – for that touch of color that creates an effortless look everytime!

PureMoist LipColours by jane iredale are citygirl approved!


jane iredale available at Pure Beauty or @janeiredale

British Red by Loreal

Courtesy of Google Images
I’m used to women and men stopping me on the street complimenting my Red Lipstick, I wasn’t expecting to receive so many compliments as I did yesterday – I was wearing British Red by Loreal.
I bought it last week and had been hesitant about wearing it – the colour is a bit on the orange side.  Personally I’ve been dying to wear the brighter orange colors of the season, but shyed from them as I’m partial to Classic Reds.
Once I applied the moisturizing color, I knew it was a keeper. Colour Rich* Lipstick by Loreal is enriched with anti-aging ingredients that instantly defne lips, creating a fuller, smoother pout.
I love the luxurious lip colour at these affordable prices – the colour was hydrating and lasted all day.  British Red by Loreal is described as a vintage red for that instant touch of glamour.
Available at Walgreens & Target