Beauty Basics Tips & Tricks

Backstage spy work

I thought I’d make a video (yes, a video…I know I’ve not delivered on those lately AT ALL but good news I have Mandi here all week to turn my boring makeup room into a magical beauty palace which is gonna make my videos world rocking and hopefully give me the filming confidence I need!) and demonstrate my hair and makeup from start to finish. So in the meantime it would only be prudent that I offer to you a hot list of the very most important things I was able to gleam from the mega pros.

Backstage beauty secrets from celebrity makeup and hair pros

(If you look closely in this photo you can see that I have a not-so-tiny granny panty bunch up problem going on. I’m not at all embarrassed that some Allure photoshop ninja will most likely spend the better art of an afternoon fixing that:)

Starting with the best tips I got from DJ Quintero/Hair Whisperer

1. Crazy amazing clips
I love me some duck bills. The only problem is when I want to keep the hairs around my face in place while I do makeup or let it set it crimps or marks my fringe. Well guess what, the heavens have shined upon those clips in the form of a little bit of softness.
The curl clips you need right now.

Clip any where you darn well please, these bad boys have a crimp free guarantee! Get them HERE

2. 1 inch irons are his jam
He swears he doesn’t have a curling iron any bigger, for bigger curls he just round brushes them out a bit.
I knew I loved you all along one inch. I knew it. He also used a hot tools get one HERE.

3. Big hair, so so so big
He used this spray right in my roots all over my head. After each spray he shot in some blow dry to set it and then moved to the next section.
It smelled good, gave my hair body and texture and solidified my love for big voluminous hair.

4. His thoughts on hairspray
“Hairspray should be used to freeze a look, not to create one.” In other words he things you should use it at the very end but not rely on it to get your style to work in the first place. That’s what texture sprays, curling irons and clips are for. This is his favorite hairspray BTW.

5. & Hair length
Obviously all kinds of lengths have their own strong points but when your hair is really long you lose out on a lot of the versatility and volume up top. He suggested I cut 2-3 inches off my extensions and I agreed. As soon as I got home I did just that and he was SOOOO right. I mean, I’m a long hair addict and everything but my curls hold like crazy and I have so many more options with bra strap length hair. I will admit though, when it was just down and straight, I liked those inches.
Backstage spy. Tips and tricks I learned from behind the scenes at my Allure photo shoot.

Next up here are my tips from Junko Kioka, the makeup artist.
6. She loves cream foundation
The foundation she used came in a pallet with six colors and photographed beautifully. It went on velvety and wasn’t heavy or cakey at all.

7. She has mascara tricks
Something I loved that she did was after I put mascara on my top and bottom lashes (we kind of worked together:) she took a flat synthetic brush and dipped it in the mascara to finish off the very roots of the lash and make sure there were no bare hairs.

8. She uses a very light hand
This is something I have noticed from a lot of really talented makeup artists lately. And something I could really improve on. You hardly have to even touch the face with those brushes! Maybe you are already applying yours with a light enough hand but just for experiment sake try doing it even lighter and see what happens. I’ve been practicing lately and I feel like everything looks more natural and is easier to blend.


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  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Awesome! I love all of these tips! I do have a question. On #3, was your hair already dry before he used the texture spray? Or did he spray a section and then blow dry that section (with a round brush?) then put in the big curlers to set the curl? Sorry, so many questions, but I lack body and any tips would be awesome.

    • Reply
      Christina J.
      July 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

      I second this 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca Lately
    July 10, 2013 at 5:18 am

    These are great suggestions! I am bad at having a heavy hand with my makeup. I’ll definitely try having a lighter hand!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Thanks for all the tips you have given us! And I’m looking forward to new videos!!

  • Reply
    Ashley H
    July 10, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Do you have any insight on how to get hair extensions to blend when hair is straight??? I love wearing mine and doing the loose curls, but would like to switch it up with some straight hair too – except they look awful; I just can’t seem to get them to blend and look natural?!

    BTW … purchased the extensions you posted a link to from amazon and they are the BEST! I bought them in a shade lighter than my actual color and bought a box dye from the store so I could match my exact color …. they were only $40 and I have never had more compliments! I’ve even had 2 of my friends and sister go on and buy a pair! Who would’ve thought that you didn’t have to go to a beauty store and pay $150 for extensions??! Not to mention they came super fast and with the clips attached — big plus!

    • Reply
      July 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Where is this??? would love the link too.

  • Reply
    Maddy Cane
    July 10, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Your hair looks amazing, I love your tips! xxx

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD 

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Thank you Cara! Great tips, specially the foundation cream one,. I need to get one of those, I am not happy with my foundations lately.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

    You have Mandi at your house from Vintage Revivals?? I have been reading her blog forever!!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

    love the tips….but so excited to see Mandi work her magic…between the two of you a girl could forever be lost in inspiration!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Just So Lovely
    July 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thank you! I love that you share all of tip and tricks that you learned… you really are the best beauty blog around. Keep ’em coming!

    Sarah ~ Just So Lovely

    • Reply
      July 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      100% agree!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Love that you always give us updates and secrets! -I have been following you for a LONG time. Lately I have noticed a lot of other blogs and such referring to HAC, and many are mentioning you and that you are there favorite blog. It is so cool to see. I am glad you are getting the recognition you deserve!! Because YOU ROCK!!

  • Reply
    Sunny D
    July 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Ashley H. I was just wondering which post had the link to the extensions?! I purchased some not too long back for major $$ and I’m just not happy with them! Great post!! Keep them coming!

  • Reply
    Laura D
    July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

    How did she apply the cream foundation? Those foundations in pots are confusing to me when it comes to application!

    • Reply
      July 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I’d love to see a tutorial on that one too!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    You’re SO good to share with us Dah-link! THANKS!!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    that orbe spray, totally my favorite! the smell is like heaven in a bottle. i think i enjoyed using it for the smell more than anything else. 🙂 but now i’m a stay at home mom and can’t really justify $40 hair products. ha!

    thanks for sharing, this was a really fun post! and i can’t wait to see what mandi does to your space. it’s fun when two bloggers i follow know each other!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Love your blog Cara and want to say thanks for posting!! I must tell you how your makeup tutorials have changed the way I do makeup. I now understand how to wear it, what colors are best, and how to H&C. I never even knew what that was but now I am more confident in applying makeup and love how it looks on me. I feel happier about seeing myself in pictures and making my eyes pop!! Thanks for always posting great ideas and videos which make it easy for to do at home. I also love your mommy makeup video. I have a 2 year old and some days I hardly have time to wear it but it’s been fun wear some and learn how to do it in just a few minutes so I can still feel pretty without a lot of fuss! Susan

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Cara, your blog is so interesting–the tips are all great, but more than that, I am getting advice from such a warm, intelligent, quirky, mentor! I have tried tons of your tips–I have mature skin–lots of sun damage and worry lines from four young adults–the work you did with your mom (who started off beautiful) made me think OK, I really CAN do something with makeup. So anyway, can I tell you, I feel smokin’ hot! So much FUN! And the New York stuff, VERY cool. Blessings!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Any (affordable) cream foundation recommendation?

  • Reply
    Ashley Braman
    July 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Cara, you go girl! Congrats on your winning with Allure Mag! Your blog is “amazeballs” as I would like to refer to. All your tips are so unique and interesting. Question on your laced extensions. Do you wear the clip-in ones? If so how many wefts are you getting with the clip-in extensions?
    Aslo I would love for you to check out my beauty blog!

  • Reply
    Shiloh Barkley
    July 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Yeah, I watch the makeup tuts and see some chics rubbing and rubbing their powder brushes into their skin. I’m thinking, “they’re going to shorten the life of the brush!” Very heavy handed!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I tried using a light hand this morning with my makeup, and, wow! SO MUCH BETTER. Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks you learned at Allure.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Let me just say, I love this blog…I have changed a lot of my beauty routine because of it!! I have pretty long hair that is naturally wavy on the bottom, but flat up top, and I like to wear it down with out using a hot iron on it. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for drugstore products to add volume in the root area?

  • Reply
    July 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    What are the soft clips for? I’ve never used anything like that…

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