Monday, April 9th, 2012

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


My Most Embarrassing Moments in Fashion and Beauty

With every decade comes a birth of something… unnatural. An exaggeration of something that was once cool, twisted and warped into something truly horrific: massive shoulder pads and razor-sharp blush, “Hammer” pants (which is even embarrassing to type), and the HUGE wall o’ bangs fringe, platform Mary Janes and–one of my favorite love-to-hate moments–the Bobbi Brown look of the 90s.

I actually experienced TWO trendy-at-the-time flashbacks recently. One of them, I am sad to report, was entirely my own doing. I had requested a specific haircut from my stylist (shaved on the sides and long on the top) that would allow me to style a nice pompadour, which looked great, except on the days when I didn’t style it, and I looked like Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys circa 1998.

Later on, during that week of bad decisions, I also began sifting through the boxes in my attic (re-organizing and making room for new piles of crap that I have decided I cannot part with but no longer want in my immediate vicinity) where I stumbled upon a relic from the Flintstones era: actual photographs! On paper!  That’s when I noticed the hair. “Wow… that looks a lot like my hair right now,” I thought to myself as I looked over a photo of me from the late 90s.

Flash forward a couple more Kodak envelopes and a few more years, and there it was:  a wonderful gem of me with spiked hair (bleached tips of course) wearing one of those silver beaded necklaces that we all thought were somehow… good?

Aye, I had my share of skater shoes and tight shirts (some with Lycra even), baggy pants and wallet chains, silver rings, and those bizarre necklaces. I would even routinely shave off all seven of my chest hairs in an attempt to look more like a model from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog! Why?! Because I thought it was cool, that’s why!  And no one ever thought to tell me otherwise.

It made me wonder… what fashion and beauty trend will be next? What offensive thing am I wearing RIGHT now that will haunt me years later? Wait… hang on–my low-rise pants are riding a little too low and people are looking at me funny while I’m typing.

What are your worst or funniest memories in fashion and beauty? Any trends that you actually miss and would love to see make a come-back? What do you think will be next on the chopping block of style?

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


5 Expert Tips for Prom Makeup

While I don’t do prom looks much anymore, in high school it wasn’t uncommon for me to have an hour or two set aside before each dance for doing my friends’ makeup.  Here are some of the earliest lessons that I learned on my own… all those many, many, many, many, many years ago.

PROM TIP #1: Pick one, lips or eyes?

The simplest way to start your makeup look is to choose an area to focus on: lips or eyes. In beauty makeup, you typically focus on one and downplay the other to create a natural balance. Want to wear a bold and dramatic eye look? Pair it with a muted lip instead of a bold one. Just remember that “muted” doesn’t mean concealer-mouth, land of the dead lips either! Über pale lips can be just as “bold” as bright red ones.

PROM TIP #2: Play up your best features.

If you can’t decide on an area to focus on, think about your favorite features. Every girl I’ve ever known has had a part of their face they love best. Usually, it’s lips or eyes (often we will draw attention to these areas when talking to someone we’re attracted to by placing a pen near the mouth or resting fingertips at the temples, “pointing” at the eyes). If you have an area of your mug that you love most, then choose that as the focal point for your makeup.

PROM TIP #3: Match the frame with the painting, not with the furniture.

Nothing is stopping you from matching your eyeshadow to your dress (lots of women do), but if you find yourself struggling, choose colors that complement your natural coloring (hair, eyes, and skin) instead. It will look more effortlessly flattering. One of MY favorite beauty books is “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Jackson. It’s an oldie, but believe it or not, still has some solid tips for matching your makeup to your coloring (it’s also a really fun read, especially if you can get your hands on one of the original editions from the 70s)!

PROM TIP #4: What to bring in your purse.

Blot papers instead of powder help keep the shine under control without adding layer upon layer of powder, which will build up and look cakey.  But do bring powder, though, because it is a good idea to use it right before photos are taken, along with lipstick and/or gloss, cream concealer for emergencies, travel-size can of hairspray, breath mints, and make sure something you have has a mirror in it!

PROM TIP #5: Photo time!

Avoid MSF-style, high-shine powders when you’re doing your makeup. A natural glow is good (I LOVE shine on the skin), but if you’re going to have photos taken, you run the risk of looking greasy or sweaty instead of glowing. Matte is always a safer bet for photos (especially conveyor-belt style photography like you’ll find at a dance). Pick your foundation and powder carefully. Products with a SPF rating often use ingredients like titanium dioxide in them that will bounce light back in flash photography, making you appear several shades lighter than you are.

Most of all, remember that being comfortable is one of the most important parts of looking good. If you feel uneasy in bright red lipstick, it will show, and you won’t have a good time. It doesn’t matter what anyone else things as long as you like it! Oh… but also… Don’t dress like a baby hooker! You know who you are. I’ve seen you at the mall on prom night looking like the first 15 minutes of Pretty Woman. It’s not grown-up looking and the rest of us talk about you behind your back. Yes… yes, we do. Have fun!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


No-Fail Natural Beauty Products for Women and Men

Thinking about my Holy Grail products and my everyday easy, no-fail beauty tricks got me wanting to empty my makeup bag, which I refer to as my “car bag,” (because I like to think I’m manlier than I am) to see what I had in there and what I would freak out about if I lost.

These products and tips are good for women AND men who want to focus on a natural makeup look. I have found these techniques and products reliable and easy to work with (I use these on myself almost every day):

Highlight Pens

Everyone makes one (think YSL’s Touche Éclat), and they are all different. Some are heavy like a concealer, some aren’t. Some come in correcting tones, some come with shimmer. They work wonders for brightening the inner eye area, along the brow bone, just below the dark circles on your eyes, or around the nostrils and mouth. Anywhere you show fatigue is where you want to use a product like this–to “wake” you up.

Eyebrow Pencil (Powder, Brow Set, etc.)

Ladies: I always see you overlook your eyebrows (they are one of the most important parts of your face). I like them full and soft, groomed but never over-plucked. Brow products are right up there with mascara in terms of “if you only have time for one thing in the morning, make it this…”

Fellas: MAC’s Brow Set (comes in multiple colors, $15) is the one product I lose it over if I can’t find it. If you have light facial hair and want to fill in your sideburns or beard a little more (so it doesn’t look creepy and clear), you can brush one of these over the hairs to instantly (and naturally) transform your look. I started going grey in high school – I used to dye my facial hair. I use this now instead.

Powder? Yes or No?

Ladies: If you are going for a more natural look you want to be able to see the texture of your skin. Don’t over-powder. If you have a hard time with this one, make luminizers your best friend! Strobe Liquid pressed into the high points of the face will give you back the glow (and some of the texture) that you lost after you powdered your face.

Fellas: If you want to look like Divine, go for it! If you want to look more “natural” then don’t powder AT ALL! If you need to, use blotting films as an alternative. Focus on skincare to take care of your face instead of looking for something to cover it up. I have seen far too many tutorials on men’s makeup that use mineral and other powder foundations. STOP! A matte face will be your biggest tell! (That and blue eyeshadow of course.)

Know Who You Are

More important than any other tip or trick you’ll ever learn from any makeup artist, magazine, book or YouTube tutorial: You’ve got to know who you are and be comfortable with yourself. Regarding makeup, this is important because you need to really know your skin: the pros and the cons, what works for you and what doesn’t. You also need to consider your natural habits (especially when choosing tools). People ask me all the time, “What’s the best blending brush?” My reply is always the same: “That depends, are you light-handed or heavy-handed?” There’s no one answer that is going to work for every person – not in life and not in makeup.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


MAC Reflects Transparent Teal Glitter

7 Tried & True Must-Have Products

I’m a sucker for multi-purpose products: pigments, cream and liquid paints, mixing mediums, etc. I like to custom-blend just about everything! Not everyone feels the same way, though, and sometimes, it’s nice to have one product that does a job and does it well. These are some of my tried-and-true favorites from a few different companies (hopefully some that you haven’t heard of before)!

Estée Lauder Pure Color Lipstick | Their Long Lasting Cream finishes are some of the best lipsticks I own. They cover well and feel luxurious on the lips. The BEST ones are almost always limited edition. Favorites in the Permanent Range: Cherry Passion, Melon and Rose Tea.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars | I’m actually not a huge fan of these on the lips, but, OH, the blushes these make! They last forever and blend like a dream (they DO have mint in them though so avoid the eye area). Favorites: Cha-Cha and Divine.

Face Atelier Ultra Sheer | I love these liquid luminizers because you can mix them with foundation, cream blush or bronzer for glowing skin or apply them on their own (I use a fluffy blush brush) for a natural highlighting effect. Favorites: Champagne.

Terra Firma Gel Mineral Matte Finish Bronzer | I use this on myself all the time. It’s highly pigmented (I dilute it with body lotion), long-wearing, won’t rub off on clothes and looks SO amazingly natural – If most bronzers are too orange for you, look no further! (There’s also a shimmering version if you like to twinkle.)

MAC Reflects Glitters | A MAC PRO exclusive (but anyone can buy from MAC PRO). I’ve used these in a multitude of ways: mixing custom lip gloss, over mascara for sparkling lashes, on top of just any eye look, pressed over lipstick for a metallic foil effect, as a face and body highlight, worked into a hairstyle, etc. Not many things are THIS pretty! (Be aware that MAC lists these products as “not for use in the eye area.”) Favorites: Reflects Bronze, Reflects Gold and Reflects Transparent Teal.

MAC Blot Powder and Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder | My two favorite setting powders! Blot Powder by MAC is perfect for mattifying a look without adding any color or texture. Diamond Perfect Finish Powder by Purely Cosmetics is a transparent loose powder that easily outperforms the transparent powders I have from MAC and MUFE (smoother application, better line diffusing AND it doesn’t bounce light back in photography).

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

By Dustin Hunter, Washington, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. As a makeup artist, Dustin Hunter combines his love of music and visual art to construct images of experimental beauty for both stage and photography; creating avant-garde makeup looks for photographers, performers and musicians. Check out his blog and YouTube channel, plus read his full bio.


DIY Halloween Makeup Tips & Tricks

Before my kitchen refrigerator was stocked with fake blood and scab material, I relied on some pretty creative ways to make my own FX supplies. With Halloween just around the corner, some of us may be freaking out and thinking we’ve run out of time to put a costume together, but here are a few DIY tips that I STILL use to this day (even with a fridge full of gore) for last minute costumes:

Matte Eyeshadows | If you’re going to create bruises or dirty, rough, and irritated skin, matte eyeshadows in shades like lime green, mustard yellow, violet, dark brown and blue are must-haves! Any amount of frost or shimmer will give the illusion away in an instant so stick with matte finishes.

Burgundy Lipstick | Highly pigmented, dark red lipstick not only mimics the look of blood quite well (particularly for scraps and small cuts) but also stays where you place it, making it a good choice for long-wearing blood effects.

Luffas and Bath Scrunchies | If you don’t have access to a stippling sponge, a cut up Luffa or tightly-wound bath scrunchie will work to create the look of broken capillaries. Dip the edges into your dark red lipstick and stamp onto the skin.

Food Coloring and Light Corn Syrup | Add several drops of red and just a smidgen of blue for realistic fake blood! Add a small amount of water if you really need the stuff to flow, or if you know your way around a kitchen, you can reduce the mixture over heat (to the “soft ball” stage) for some pretty snazzy homemade scab material! Remember, blood comes in different shades of red (arterial blood is brighter than the blood from veins), so mix accordingly.

Eyelash Adhesive | It’s actually liquid latex. Spread a thin layer onto the skin and start picking and scratching it–be careful though, it’s still your skin you’re scratching at! Fill in the “holes” in your skin with that dark red lipstick to create a nice “road rash” effect!

MORE Eyelash Adhesive and Cotton | Thin strips of cotton (pulled from buds or cotton balls) can be placed on the skin over your lash glue. Set those strips with another layer of glue and you’ll have instant raised scarring!

Hairspray | If you do something cool, you’ll want to make sure it sticks around by using a makeup sealer. I love Final Seal by Ben Nye (Benefit’s She-Laq is nice but pricey). But if you’re in a pinch, reach for the hairspray. A light mist will do the job; just don’t tell your dermatologist I told you to put it on your face.

If you can stomach it, do a few image searches in your favorite search engine for words like “bruise,” “broken capillaries,” and “scrapes and cuts” for inspiration. The best way to learn how to create something realistic looking is to see how it looks… in reality.

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