Entries Tagged as 'featured'

Interview with Famed Makeup Artist Troy Jensen


There is no doubt that when you look at stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Elle Macpherson you see beautifully poised women, but what you also see is often the work of famed Makeup Artist Troy Jensen. He has been working in the industry for 26 years and in his words, “I came here with a dream and nothing else. I thank God I ended up how I did.” He tells me the story of how he arrived at his first makeup job with a paper bag full of Revlon products (he still has a soft spot for Revlon) and thought: “What am I doing? I have no business being here.” He knew he had something that set him apart: a love for his craft and the knowledge that he was just genetically programed to make women beautiful with a makeup brush. Based on his portfolio, plethora of magazine covers and high profile clients, the years of hard work and determination are paying off.

To start the interview, I ask Troy what he is currently doing and what he has coming up. He tells me that he is currently on a short lunch break on set and has budgeted this time to speak with me. I get butterflies because it hits me – I am speaking to an incredibly talented man who has reached a level of success I can only dream of. He tells me of his excitement for the entrance of fall because this is the time that Makeup Artists find most of their inspiration and are trying new trends.


“All makeup trends start on the runway, make their way to the red carpet, and are finally solidified by the average consumer – the women wearing them and owning them daily.” 


He tells us of his new adventures coming up: his collaboration with and love of a new brand called Sindulge (sindulge.com), a cruelty free makeup line that has highly pigmented formulas that perform perfectly. Troy will soon be doing tutorials and offering tips with the line, so stay tuned to their site and www.troyjensen.com.


“If I could fill my kit with only products that were cruelty free, I would. How great is it to be using products on clients and know that they weren’t produced in undesirable circumstances? Stay tuned because as I discover it, I will share it.” 


One trend Troy is really loving is the Bordeaux lip. Many of us have seen it but are often too intimidated to try it. Troy’s tip to make this deep, sexy color wearable and easy to apply? Your finger! Apply the color with your finger (not from the tube) and smudge it into the lips rather then applying it on top of the lips. Follow with a clear gloss. There is no hard line (read: lip liner) and no worrying about your hair getting caught in the color and smudging it all over your face. Yes, we have all been there. For a look with just one step, swipe on Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Black Tie Plum.

Another loved trick of Troy’s is to apply an illuminating product like Benefit’s Whatts Up in specified spots to achieve the look of an inner glow. Apply it down the center of the nose, on the inner corners of the eyes, the cupids bow on the upper lip, just above the cheekbones, along the ridge of the jawline, on the clavicle bone, the shoulders, and down seem of the legs. This can be applied under foundation, on top or both. The effect is glowing skin that doesn’t look shiny or overdone. Troy has filmed a really fun and charismatic video with Benefit for their illuminating products, see it here.


Troy’s most loved makeup technique is something he calls “The Troy Jensen Smokey Flair” which is basically a fool proof way to get a smokey eye with a sex-kitten edge. He breaks down the steps for us:

  1. Curl your lashes.
  2. Line the upper lid with a brown/bronze pencil then smudge it a bit.
  3. Using a dampened small, soft, and narrow brush to apply bronze/brown shimmery shadow over the line.
  4. Use the brush to extend the line to the thickness and length (winged, cat-eye, etc.) you want.
  5. Apply lots of black mascara, at least two coats.
  6. Draw a thin line very close to the lashes with a black liquid liner.
  7. Using your brush, blend it all together.


He tells me of how he has one room in his house dedicated to just makeup, but that it has found its way into each and every other room as well. “It’s in every room of my house! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all and think ‘I’m going to get rid of the stuff I don’t use’, but I just cannot part with it. What if I do want to use it? Makeup is like my baby, I am attached” he says. He then talks about how refreshed he feels after a recent return from a two year break:


“I’m starting over, that’s amazing. I’m walking back in with bright eyes and professionalism. Waiting for that opportunity that I can say ‘bam here I am'”.


I think it is pretty safe to say that Troy Jensen has solidified his name in the beauty industry, yet he remains humble, open, eager and passionate about his craft. His humility is shown when I ask him who his favorite celebrity to work with is and he responds with, “I appreciate every face I work on. It’s all rich. Every person brings something special. Some make me laugh, some are sweet, they are all incredible. I am going to be 47 this week (October 6th. Ahem, Twitter: @itstroyjensen and Facebook: troyjensenbeauty, birthday wishes!) and I am still in awe of my job and my clients.

We ask him for some advice for fellow Makeup Artists out there trying to succeed and he says, “Beauty is life. We’re effecting people! Listen to your client and listen to yourself. What you achieve belongs to you and is yours, no one can take it away”.


Please follow Troy on Twitter and ‘like’ him on Facebook! It was a pleasure interviewing such a joyous and kind man. Troy is a true gem and we are honored to have had the opportunity to speak with him.







Photo Credit: Brandon Showers www.brandonshowers.com.


Beauty School 101: Cleaning Your Curling/Flat Iron


When was the last time you cleaned your curling or flat iron? Chances are it’s been awhile. Keeping your appliances clean is just as important as cleaning your makeup brushes. Left over hair products and oils caked on can damage your hair (that burnt hair smell is never good, ladies) and shorten the lifespan of your appliances.

It’s pretty easy to clean a curling or flat iron. There’s a number of methods available on the web–from rubbing alcohol to oven cleaner. I didn’t have either so I headed over to Sally’s Beauty Supply in search of a cleaner specifically for my hair tools and picked up Hot Tools Styling Iron Cleaner for 5.99.

It’s super easy to do. While your appliance is still warm, spray on the cleaner, let it sit for 10 min, then wipe off with a cloth.

I took the dirtiest curling iron I had and and it cleaned it right up. Definitely worth the 6 bucks to prolong the life of my tools and prevent hair damage!





From 60’s inspired beehives to chic, surfer waves, TRESemmé UK Stylist Matthew Curtis created gorgeous, show stopping styles at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami for designers Dolores Cortes, Lisa Blue and White Sands. Below, Matthew highlights his secrets behind each of the styles he created backstage, offering tips to recreate chair-­‐worthy hair at home.


Dolores Cortes – 60’s Inspired Beehive

  1. Prep towel-­‐dried hair with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, applying to palms and throughout the entire hair for volume
  2. Blow dry hair with a round brush for extra fullness
  3. Take a square section of hair from the forehead to crown and backcomb throughout
  4. Roll the square section of hair under and secure with pins just behind the crown at thetop of the head. This helps to create a solid base for the style
  5. Working around the head, backcomb small sections and pull them over the base andsecure with pins
  6. Repeat until all hair is pulled back into the style
  7. Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Freeze Hold Hair Spray to keep the look in place 



Lisa Blue – Goddess Coils

  1. Prep dry, day-­‐old hair with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, applying to palms and throughout the entire hair for volume
  2. Part the hair in the middle and pull all hair back toward the nape of the neck
  3. Divide hair into two sections and spray with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Non Aerosol HairSpray
  4. Starting just behind the ear, twist each section inward, creating two coils
  5. Stitch the coils together with thread to create a plaited effect and tie off at the endStylist Secret: When recreating the style, skip the needle and thread and secure the

    coils together with pins or a plait

  6. Finish with a spritz of TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray to add shine and helpkeep the look in place




White Sands – Surfer Chic Waves

  1. Prep towel-­‐dried hair with TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, applying to palms and throughout hair for volume
  2. Blow dry hair with a round brush for extra fullness
  3. After parting the hair down the middle, take 1-­‐2 inch sections of hair and curl using a 1and 1/2 inch barrel-­‐curling iron, spraying each section with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray prior to curling to aid in protecting hair from excess heat. Make sure to leave ends out of the iron to give hair a beachy feel
  4. Once the entire head is curled, run fingertips through the curls to break them up slightly for a looser, more modern style
  5. Create a deep side part and pull the fringe over the forehead and secure just behind the ear with a pin
  6. Finish with a spritz of TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray to add shine and help keep the look in place



TRESemmé, salon-­‐quality, affordable hair care, gives women access to our stylists’ secrets so you can get professional results everyday, at home. Check out our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/TRESemmé or visit www.TRESemmé.com for professional styling tips, behind-­‐the-­‐scenes videos, advice and information to create gorgeous looks at home.

TRESemmé products are available at food, drug and mass-­‐market retailers nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $4.49 -­‐ $4.99.






Interview with Virginia Linzee: Mary Kay Glam Squad Celebrity Makeup Artist


The Summer Beauty trends this year have been 3 things: Bright, Bold and Colorful and whether its eyes, lips, or nails its seems the more electric and neon the better! If you haven’t had the chance to experiment with the colors of Summer you’ll want to quickly take advantage of the bold and bright makeup selection offered by Mary Kay.

A Beauty Loft was lucky enough to try out some of the great products featured by Mary Kay this year and conduct an exclusive interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Virginia Linzee. She shares with us her makeup bag secrets and step-by-step looks you can try out today!

Virginia Linzee, celebrity makeup artist, credits her skill in makeup artistry to her previous experiences as a painter.  In addition to her New York City celebrity clientele, Virginia has created the looks for top fashion shows, including Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Anna Sui. She has also kept the faces of some of today’s top recording artists, including Cobra Starship and Drake, ready for the stage. Virginia enjoys working in Print/Editorial, Advertising, Runway, Television, and Film. Virginia has an exceptional ability to interpret individual personalities and ideas. With color-blocking, citrus hues and fuller brows taking the spotlight, Virginia offers her tips for perfect summertime eyes.

  • For a Bold Color-Blocked Look: Transform everyday cat eyes with color-blocked patterns in bright citrus colors
    • Brush Mary Kay Eye Primer only on the eyelid to help intensify the color payoff
    • Follow with Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Lime on the inner half of the lid and brush out to the iris
    • Apply Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Truffle in a blocked cat eye, beginning at the iris and fanning upward and out toward the outer part of the eyelid, making this section as thick as the entire lid
    • Curl lashes and apply Mary Kay Lash Primer, beginning at the root and brushing to the tip of the lashes. Finish off with Mary Kay Lash Love Waterproof Mascara in I ♥ Black
  • For a Dazzling, Winged Style:Emphasize eyes with gorgeous shimmer and dramatic winged-liner

    Lash Primer

    o   Begin with Mary Kay Eye Primer and follow with Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Golden Vanilla across the entire lid

    o   To highlight the eyes, tap a bit of Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Gold Coast on the center of the lid above the iris and to the inner corner of the eye

    o   Wing the outer corner of the top and bottom lid with Mary Kay Eyeliner in Bronze, blending Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Truffle on top to slightly smudge and soften

    o   Apply Mary Kay Lash Primer to the top and bottom lashes, then add three coats of Mary Kay Lash Love Waterproof Mascara in I ♥ Black


Complement these stand-out looks with bold brows by applying Mary Kay Brow Gel and combing upward to help provide fullness and keep them in place. Fill in any sparse areas with Mary Kay Lash & Brow Building Serum.

Lash Love Mascara

(*I fell in love with Mary Kay’s Lash Love Mascara as my eyelashes have never looked longer.)

ABeautyLoft: What’s in your makeup bag and which is your go-to Mary Kay product?

Virginia: My professional makeup bag has every product under the sun, but here’s what I keep in my personal makeup bag:

Mary Kay’s Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20, because I like to keep my skin looking healthy but not heavy

Mary Kay’s Facial Highlighting Pen, it brightens under my eyes, cheekbones and brow bone. I dot a little bit on my chin and down the bridge of my nose for a little extra coverage and highlight

Clear Brow Gel

Every day I contour my cheekbones, temples and jaw line with a bit of bronzer. It warms up my pale face as well

Sometimes I throw on a bit of cream cheek color on the apples of my cheeks if I want more pop.

NouriShine Lip Gloss

I use Mary Kay’s Deep Brown Eyeliner and smudge a bit around my eyes to really bring them out

I pile on Mary Kay’s Lash Love Mascara in Black

I can’t live without Clear Brow Gel to keep my full brows groomed and intact.

Mary Kay’s NouriShine Plus Lip Glosses are my go-to Mary Kay product. They have my favorite texture of any gloss. They’re soft, not sticky. They look and feel great! My favorite colors that I keep in my personal bag are Pink Parfait, Rock ‘N’ Red, Cafe Au Lait and Au Natural.

ABeautyLoft: And which is most popular amongst your celebrity clientele?

Facial Highlighting Pen

Virginia:     Having good skin and eyes that pop tends to be most important among my celebrity clients. I love using the Mary Kay Time-Wise Luminous Wear Foundations. It gives just enough coverage for television and Red Carpet appearances, but still looks fresh enough for everyday wear.

Women are always concerned with the wrinkles under their eyes, so I use the Mary Kay Facial Highlighting Pen to conceal. It doesn’t settle in the creases and brightens the face!

I keep to a cream cheek on most of my celebrity clients because it looks more like flushed natural skin than blush that’s brushed on the face. I adore Mary Kay’s Cream Blush in Cranberry and use it on a lot of my celebs because it goes with most skin tones.

For eyes that pop, a little Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner goes a long way. Many of the actresses I work with like a strong liner, especially for television. Lashes seem to be everyone’s main concern so I always use a false lash first and then coat the real lashes with Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara.

ABeautyLoft: What is the hottest summer makeup trend this year?  Favorite Colors? What are the step-by-step instructions for getting this look?

Virginia:       The hottest summer makeup trend is a Bright Lip. Any color with Red, Fuchsia, or Red-Orange Tones will do. Look for a bold color that compliments your skin tone. My favorite color is Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Rock ‘N’ Red. It’s the perfect on-trend red. It is what we’ve seen on runways like Marc by Marc and Michael Kors. Red lips are hot for summer and we see the trend continuing into fall. It’s all about a bright red though, not a dark red. Wear it with glowing bronzed skin for summer and a little mascara for a fresh look that’s completely on-trend and classic.

You’ll want look back at summer vacation photos ten years from now and think that you still look good rather than think “oh that’s so 2012,” even though it is. This look is easy to pull off:

·         Start with a tinted moisturizer or light foundation

·         Conceal where needed

·         Use a translucent powder in the t-zone

Apricot Twist Cream Shadow

·         Use a powder bronzer that is not too orange and a soft blush/contouring brush to contour cheekbones and brush up onto apples, brush and blend into the hairline, blend a tiny bit on the nose and eye crease and contour under jaw line, blending down the neck. Don’t forget a bit on the décolletage and in the ridge of the collarbone!

Use a frosty highlight cream (the Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Beach Blonde for pale skin or Apricot Twist for darker skin). Blend a bit on the high cheekbone plane, down the bridge of the nose, in the bow of the lip, a bit in the center of the chin, in the center and inner corners of eyelids, and on the clavicle bone. This gives your skin the glow that you find on the runway. Make sure it’s well blended and suble.

·         Curl lashes and apply as much or as little Mascara as your heart desires. Concentrate on the top lashes.

·         Apply your bright lip color of choice! Mary Kay’s NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Rock ‘N’ Red is the perfect choice for everyone!

THANKS so much for all the great tips Virginia, don’t forget to visit MaryKay.com to pick up all the latest products mentioned here!

<3 Stephanie

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