Before & Afters

Makeover Monday – Riley

Today’s makeover is of my good friend Riley. I got to do her makeup and her beautiful sister and a little bit on their mom, I can tell you it wasn’t a mystery where they got their good looks from! It definitely runs in the family:) I love noticing the difference between doing the makeup on friends VS close sisters. The way sisters treat each other like an extension of themselves, it’s my favorite.
Riley’s bone structure is UNREAL. So without further adieu I’ll let you feast your eyes on her gorgeousness.


Tip: The first thing I noticed with Riley is that she has more color in her face than her neck and chest area. This is VERY common. It puts you in a situation where you have to choose: do I match the foundation to the neck and chest and risk washing her out? or do I match to the face and risk a foundation line?
Since I don’t like either of those options I almost always elect to sprits some Tomas tanner on the neck and chest instead.
It takes 2 seconds, it doesn’t stink (every time I spray it people compliment the scent), and as long as you are careful with your spray it doesn’t get on clothes.
Then you can match the face without having to worry.

Products used:

Colour Pop brow pencil in bangin’ brunette.

Urban Decay Black liner blended out with a black and dark brown eyeshadow

Esqido False Lashes in Miss Dolly

OCC Lip liner in Sebastian + a super thin tapping of OCC lip tar in Hush

IIID Foundation in amber + ash + baby watermelon + moonlit

Setting powder

QUESTION: What type of makeover videos would you like to see more of? Types of makeup looks? Types of issues you’d like to see tackled? types of faces? Techniques? Products!?

Please let me know!

Hope you’re having a happy Monday!!



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  • Reply
    Maria Wright
    May 2, 2016 at 4:17 am

    What an a credible face she has!!!! So gorgeous before the makeup too.
    Cara, your work is stunning as always! I absolutely love Mondays, thanks to you.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 5:19 am

    She’s gorgeous! One of my top favorite makeovers!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 5:22 am

    I’d love to see more eyeshadow tutorials using the Lorac Pro palette.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Yes! I bought the palette after reading your blog but find I only use 2 colors.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 5:45 am

    I’d love to see a few women who are between 50 and 60.
    This makeover is great!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

    She is beautiful!
    I would like to see more in the 45-60 range as well.
    You do such a magical job.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Gorgeous makeover! I am seeing shimmer on celebrities and love this look. I would love to know where would you apply it? Would you apply it over blush? I have played around with the Becca product and feel I look funny so I alway wipe it off.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:00 am

    I’m so glad you talked about what to do when the face has more color or a different color than the neck and chest. I’m much more red in my face and yellow in my neck and chest. I hate it and have always wondered what to do with foundation. I’m going to pick up some of the Tomas this week! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I love your blog and especially your Makeover Monday posts! I’d love to see what makeup (and even hair) you would do for a 52 year old mother of the bride–blue eyes and long brown hair. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Virginia S
    May 2, 2016 at 7:13 am

    A waterproof or water resistant look for the pool!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Yes! As a blonde my eyelashes and brows get extra bleached in the summer, so I hate going makeup free, but I also feel ridiculous when it melts off in the pool. Advice, please!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:22 am

    eye lining and detailed techniques for different shaped eyes. nose contouring for day.

  • Reply
    Stefanie sullivan
    May 2, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Help for covering pregnancy mask!!! My sister and I both got the dreaded pregnancy mask with our babies my daughter is 16 months now and the mask is not going away!!! the more we try to cover it the more the makeup sets in our lines and looks cakey! HELP!!!!

    • Reply
      May 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

      I would love to see a tutorial on this as well. I have the same issue. It’s very frustrating! Please help us Cara!!

      • Reply
        May 2, 2016 at 10:41 am

        You might want to try a series of light chemical peels. I’ve heard great things about the mandelic acid peels from Makeup Artist’s Choice.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Yes do a “dealing with melasma” one! It’s so difficult. I don’t know if you would color correct? Use a crazy concealer? Play it off with bronzer if it’s on forehead?

      FYI I thought the Laura Gellar concealer did a good job of concealing melasma without the cakey look. It’s worth a try if you haven’t already. Tried everything… Makeup forever etc. and that worked the best thus far.

      Dermatology stuff has not helped.

    • Reply
      Susan H
      May 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      If it makes you feel any better, most of my melasma went away–most importantly, the melasma above my lip that made me look like I had a mustache. It was horrible. It probably took a couple years after my last baby to go away. I’ve tried every concealer under the sun, and the 2 best are Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo (Sephora) and Hard Candy Glamoflauge (only $5-6 at Walmart!!) Also, make sure you wear a PHYSICAL (not chemical) sunscreen on your face!!! It’s hard to find a good physical sunscreen for the face. I use It Cosmetics CC cream, and it works pretty well–awesome that it’s also tinted, so it does double duty and helps cover the melasma! Good luck!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Things I’d like to see:
    – someone with rosacea
    – someone who is Indian
    – someone in college
    – someone in her 60s

    • Reply
      May 3, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Agreed! It’d be nice to see makeovers on women with different skin tones. The women that have been featured lately are of course beautiful, but there’s very little diversity

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I’d love to see someone with oily skin or a makeover without your HAC pack, I have it and loved it for a while but it makes me break out and after a few hours feels greasy on my face, even with setting spray. Something for oily skin summer faces that is not a cream based foundation would be awesome to see!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:39 am

    This is incredible! It’s finally getting me to purchase your IIID Foundation Palette. Just need to choose a shade. I absolutely love seeing your makeovers–you are my favorite makeup artist to follow. Such talent! I’d love to see an easy and light summer look for the pool/beach.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Back in the day you used to recreate celebrity looks. They were so awesome!! I still use some of the tricks from those videos for my eye makeup. More please!!!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I would love to see a nose contouring video on several different nose shapes back-to-back, would be very instructive. Thank you for all your wonderful posts!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I love makeover mondays!! Riley is beautiful! I would really like to see a tutorial for tightlining/lining waterline. Does it fit only some particular eye shapes and colors? Or are there adjustments to make it look good on anyone? I have blue roundish eyes and my attempts use that technique ended up in eyes looking smaller. I think your ‘after’ photo of Riley shows exactly that – the beautifully lined eyes, while on the ‘before’ photo the eyes look a bit harshly lined. I bought Guerlain powder kohl to try because it seems to be such an unusual product inspired by ancient traditions of applying powder kohl on waterline with a little stick, have you ever tried of this type of kohl?

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 8:28 am


    I would love to see a couple different things:

    -more advance eye tutorials, specifically for hooded eyes. Riley’s eyes here look a little hooded (but still big). I love the result, and I wanna know how you did it!

    -looks for fair COOL-toned ladies without tanner. I know you love it and I do too, I just need some extra help for when it isn’t practical.

    -finally, some looks using non-toxic natural products (i.e. Jane Iredale, Vapour, Ilia, 100% Pure, Pacifica, etc.) would be awesome! I am in desperate need of products to HAC with naturally. I love yours, I just can’t wear it because of the ingredients. :'(


    • Reply
      May 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Seconding the fair cool-toned ladies WITHOUT sunless tanner!!

    • Reply
      May 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      yes! Fair skin makeover without sunless tanner. I’m pale and proud that I take care of my skin- I don’t want to cover it up with fake tan.

    • Reply
      May 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

      I also would love to see more cool-toned and fair skinned gals without the use of self tanner. I like the look but some days it’s just too much work for me or I don’t want to look tanned. I have to avoid the sun due to a health condition and like the other ladies in this thread mentioned, I’m proud of my fair skin! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I’ve got splotches of redness on my face and would love to know how to properly cover it, be it with a color correcting palette or a good foundation routine.

    And how about an updated “everyday mom on the go” look? Something not too understated but not too dramatic either.

    Love you and your site!!

  • Reply
    Danielle Yates
    May 2, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I would love to see a tutorial on how to do a smoky eye on deep set eyes. My eyes are really deep set and I can’t ever get a smoky eye down. I would even drive from Salt Lake to St. George for a lesson.

  • Reply
    Danielle Yates
    May 2, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Also, one palette eyeshadow tutorials would be awesome.

  • Reply
    Allison Huff
    May 2, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I’d love to see more videos-I love to see the before and after pics, but I really need instruction on how to apply stuff!! Hair videos too!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I’d love to see a makeover using toxin-free products (like Gabriel cosmetics, W3LL (Well) Cosmetics, etc.)!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I’d love to see full length/realtime videos on doing the entire look (whatever it is) with no editing or fast motion. I want to see everything! Specific topics – rosacea, older eyelids, blush colors and placement.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 10:11 am


    What tips or tricks do you have for top/bottom/one or the other, decision making based on shape or set of eyes.

    Liquid/kohl pencil/powder. What when.

    How to avoid it drooping under eye as the day goes on. ☺️

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I´d love to see more tutorials where you explain why you apply make up here or there to emphasize or hide some features and the tricks you use to hide a long nose, doble chin, crooked nose, etc.
    I love the results of before and after pictures, but I always ask myself, how do you do it??? I´d rather you to make some more videos…I know its more laborious but…your public is waiting for you!!

  • Reply
    Sandra R. Castro
    May 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Amazing as always, Cara! I would LOVE to see a tutorial for those of us who have the creases under the eye when smiling and how to minimize any coverage in that area from being enhanced b/c of the concealer makeup. What products are recommended and exactly, step-by-step how to apply. 😉

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I love every single makeup video you’ve ever done. I love to see different makeup looks, but ones that are accessible. I find the at lot of the makeup tutorials you can find online are so intense. I don’t need five layers of powder and two strips of fake lashes, but I do want to look polished and have fun with my look at work or on the weekends.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Would love to see her entire make over. Or Would love to see the entire Make over of someone. Let the camera roll the whole time so I can see how you do everything from spray the Tomas tanner to put on the lip gloss. Everything!! Then I can learn to do everything! Everyday makeup. Can’t wait!!!

    • Reply
      May 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I agree with Melanie on this as well! I’d love to see the entire process. Record the whole thing from start to finish! Please! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    This is a fantastic makeover! I would like to see a video for people with extremely oily skin and perhaps how to do eyeliner on hooded eyelids. Thank you.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      I totally agree!!!. Everyone always preps the skin with moisturizer and I can’t even keep my makeup on due to my extremely oily skin. I always look like I just finished running a marathon 🙁 So frustrating. What can be done to combat shine and glow less?

      • Reply
        May 4, 2016 at 7:58 pm

        I used to have skin like this as well, always blotting my face or adding more powder, it was terrible. I thought it might change when I got to around 30 but no, still the same, regardless of what primer or foundation I used. I always used pretty harsh face wash that was for ‘oily skin’ as I thought that was the right thing to do. Then…I started cleaning my face with coconut oil and putting grapeseed oil on my face at night before bed. I also use a moisturiser under my makeup in the morning. After a couple of weeks my face was far less oily. Now I can keep my makeup on all day even without a primer and maybe blot it once around lunch time and it is fine. Just thought I would share!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    WOW!! Stunning!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Beautiful! After looking at these before and after photos it got me thinking…do any of these women keep up the make-up looks that you do?? I’d love to see some follow ups to see if anyone keeps their ‘AFTER’ looks up or a version of it? Their thoughts on the makeover and what types of product they use now versus before?

    Just thought that might be really interesting!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Melasma (or mask of pregnancy). Lots of freckles makeup. Rosacea. Dry peeling skin. Oily skin. Concealing acne. Teen makeup. Conservative office (think banker, lawyer, professor) makeup. Color correction for various issues aka how to use green, yellow, salmon, and lavender concealers properly. How to use every single brush properly in your collection and also how to use brushes for unintended purposes!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    This makeover monday is to die for!!! Seriously I think this one is my fav!! I would love to see more makeover videos of you using your III Foundation. Some day I feel like I am not doing it right. What setting powder did you use?

    Thanks a bunches!!!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    -under eye circles
    -celebrities like Jenna Tatum, Lily Aldridge

  • Reply
    Allison T
    May 2, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I’d like to see a video where real women do their own makeup and you show what they could do better. Or how to understand what looks best on them with their unique situations.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      That’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Love your makeovers but would like to see more women of color featured!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Great, soft make over!! I would like to see a close up video of you applying those false lashes, if that’s possible.

  • Reply
    Kiss & Make-up
    May 3, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Ooooh, fantastic make-over!

  • Reply
    Susan Iseman
    May 3, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Lovely makeover- As I read the comments, many of us would love to see makeovers for women in the 60 yrs young group!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Good Day! Would love to see more tutorials for women with glasses! Blessings to you.

  • Reply
    Emily W
    May 3, 2016 at 7:58 am

    So beautiful! I would love to see more up close HAC photos and tips, like, photos of just the cheek area from the side, the nose from different angles, etc. Photos that imitate the view I’m working with when I look at myself in the mirror while applying makeup, so I can see and imitate the details of how to HAC better. I’ve been using my HAC pack pretty much daily for over a year and still usually don’t feel like I have the cheeks quite right. It looks great from the front but when I see photos of my face from the side it looks like a too-obvious contour. But I don’t know if that’s just how contouring is supposed to look because I don’t really get to see that angle on many of your models. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I’d love to see a really natural, dewey look on someone college-aged! I am almost nineteen, and want to find a look that is put together and classic but minimal & fast:)
    I would also LOVE to see a video on how to apply makeup that will appear the best in pictures… that one always trips me up!

    – natural, dewey everyday look on a 19-20ish year old (I’d even volunteer;)
    – makeup for pictures
    – makeup for heart-shaped faces (oooh, a series for all different face shapes would be lovely!)
    – makeup for eczema
    – tutorial for identifying prominent/non prominent features (what you choose to emphasize with makeup)

    Love your work!

    • Reply
      May 4, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Cara actually did a cool series on several face shapes about a year or so back. You should be able to find them in the archives!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Gorgeous!! In the makeover pic, I think she looks SO much like the actress Minka Kelly.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I would love to see more tutorials involving the specific face shapes and what to do with each! I have a pear-shape face and it is near-impossible to find makeup tutorials for that 🙂

  • Reply
    Dani Fagan
    May 4, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Beautiful! Those eyes though?! She looks amazing, rested, glowy, gorgeous! How’s about maybe giving a makeover two very different looks, a summery bronzey peachy beachy look and a night-time sultry more dramatic smoky look? So we can see a couple of different variations on each lady? I also loved the one you did on the Indian (I think she was Indian…apologies if she wasn’t) lady, teh one with the thich eyeliner and almond eyes, maybe some makeovers of different ethnicities so we can see how those vary and take tips from different looks there. Whatever you do its ace! Love your work. PS: IIID in Europe? IIID in Europe? IIID in Europe? IIID in Europe? I’ll keep saying it haha xx

  • Reply
    May 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    She looks beautiful before and after! Just curious how long you wait after spraying tomas to start applying makeup. I have tried it myself and love the color it gives but sometimes I have made a mess of things by applying foundation (granted I apply liquid makeup) too soon.

  • Reply
    Jessica Graham
    May 6, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I love the makeovers but I have been craving some more celebrity how toos. I love when you find a really pretty look and then show us how to do it.

  • Reply
    Faith Kingston
    May 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I love a natural look, but I would really love some more tutorials with COLOR! Specifically on the eyes. I have blue eyes and dark hair, and I want to wear color but I just don’t know how to pull it off.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, you did a terrific job, per usual, of brining out her natural beauty!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Reply
    Lauren H
    May 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I would love some tutorials/tips on keeping hair smooth and healthy looking when curling and for making curls and coulee last . My hair doesn’t hold curls well so every morning I have to add curls back in and it makes my hair look fried. When I curl my hair they loosen after an hour or two and they kind of deflate. Some pieces almost completely straighten. The left side of my hair loses curls faster than my right. It’s a whole ordeal.
    Also what smoothing products can I use on dry hair to protect from curling irons? I use smoothing serums before blow drying but know know if there’s anything for dry hair that won’t weigh it down.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I would love to see a tutorial on how to shape your eyebrows with an arch. Can every eyebrow have a high arch? And covering up malasma!!! You’re the best:)

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    March 5, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    The contouring really makes a big difference, looks great! Moonlight looks lovely under the eyes, you’re right.

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