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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Monthly Favorites: September

Wow, what a whirlwind the past few months have been! I've definitely neglected my blog for a bit but I'm back (with a Halloween facelift to boot). As I was reorganizing my kit yesterday, I realized how many new products I've been using and loving. I figured it was better to update my blog late than never on my top 5 latest faves. Grab a snack, make yourself comfy and let's get into some goodies.

1.) Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream - I've been really impressed with Bobbi Brown's skincare line these past few months and this moisturizer is a clear stand out. I started using it on my clients and was really pleased with how beautiful it looked under makeup. It smooths, plumps and hydrates the skin but is still lightweight and feels amazing. The built in primer keeps makeup looking fresh and it really is like a drink of water for the skin. I was hesitant to try it myself at first, because I'm a creature of habit and also really skin paranoid, but I love how it makes my skin feel. I use it day and night and even add Bobbi's Extra Repair Milk to it for an added boost of radiance (a review of that product is in the works). To sum it up, this is an amazing facial moisturizer ideal for even sensitive skin like mine.

2.) Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara  - Yup, another Bobbi product. What can I say? I really do love this line. This mascara is Bobbi's best seller and for good reason - it doesn't clump and I love the consistency. It separates, lengthens and adds volume to my lashes. I also really like to layer it with Chanel's Le Volume mascara to pump up my lashes even more.

3.) Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Extatique 94 - I'm probably late to the party when it comes to this lipstick but I fell in love with it while randomly scoping out Chanel lip products. It's a really unique and bright fuchsia pink shade with iridescent blue shimmer. I recommend swatching it immediately because my picture does it no justice! It's pigmented and long lasting and - again - such a uniquely beautiful shade. Even though fall is upon us, I've been wearing it since I got it and will continue to wear it through October for Breast Cancer Awareness month! Lastly, it just makes me feel pretty! 

4.) Jo Malone perfumes in White Jasmine & Mint & Earl Grey Cucumber - This brand has always had some incredibly unique scents to choose from. I was definitely a Wild Bluebell girl and ordered it after hearing all the hype several years back. Lately though, I've been gravitating toward fresh clean scents again like White Jasmine & Mint - which is so light and uplifting! Similarly, Earl Grey Cucumber smells fresh, crisp and delicious. As a huge tea fan, I find this one really fun and it has become my #1 go-to. The staying power of these perfumes isn't the best, but somehow I don't mind (though Earl Grey & Cucumber seems to last longer on me). I find myself reaching for them when I need a little pick me up during the day. They're not overpowering, heavy or overly complicated and smell so nice that I don't mind re-srpaying.

5.) Clinique All About Eyes Rich - I've been using this eye cream for almost 2 months and I like it quite a bit. I prefer the rich formula because I enjoy a little extra moisture under my eyes. I use it day and night and anything I can do preventatively (to keep eye bags and wrinkles at bay) is at the top of my list.

Joanna xo

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Makeup Made Easy - JUST 5 STEPS!

What's your go-to summer look?

When temperatures are on the rise, it can be hard to find a look that works, but summer makeup doesn't have to be complicated to be pretty. My rule of thumb? Just keep it simple! A few easy steps will have you looking flawless & keep your makeup locked in place. This list might look a little daunting at first, but it isn't (I promise). The steps themselves are super simple and I provide you with some options underneath to keep you looking and feeling your best as you beat the heat.

Here we go!

1.) Don't skip your moisturizer! Skin prep is still important during summer months, even if your skin is producing more oil. Use a mild face wash to cleanse your face. You can also use a toner or micellar water instead. Next, apply your moisturizer.

You've got plenty of options when it comes to products! Here are a few I recommend! 

I like: 
To cleanse - Simple brand Cleansing Micellar Water $5.94
To moisturize -
WITH SPF Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++ - $60 or Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 - $12
WITHOUT SPF - Eucerin Q10 Anti Wrinkle Cream - $10 - I tend to reach for this one a lot due to the fact that my foundation already contains an SPF. 

2.) Apply your favorite foundation and powder. It's up to you which formula you like to use.

I like:
Foundation - CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 liquid foundation with SPF 20 - $10 or Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick - $46

Believe it or not, I love my go-to CoverGirl foundation. The color match is flawless and it stays in place all day. If you're concerned about oily skin and don't want to go with a liquid, a cream foundation like Bobbi Brown's stick foundation is a fantastic option. Cream foundations are amazing for any skin type and this particular one provides beautiful, long lasting coverage and looks flawless. You can dab a little extra on trouble spots for extra concealing.

Powder - Almay Smart Shade Skin Balancing Powder - $12 or Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder - $38

Both powders are light and will keep your makeup in place.

3.) Add warmth to your face with your favorite blush and bronzer!

I like: 
Blush - Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose - $8 or Bobbi Brown Powder Blush - $28

Bronzer - Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer - $30 or a powder several shades darker than your skin.

Sometimes I like to layer my blushes. That way, they stay on longer and the colors make my cheeks pop! One thing I like to do is start out with a natural looking matte flush. Think of the color your cheeks turn when you work out. On top, I like to add something with a little bit of shimmer. That way, my skin looks naturally highlighted and dewy. 

When it comes to bronzer, less is more. You don't have to over contour here! Simply sweep along your forehead, cheeks, jawline and neck for a healthy glow!  

4.) All about eyes. Here's where we add some optional steps for creating stand-out eyes. Apply any shimmery champagne shade to your lids or just the inner corners of your eyes like I did above. Add any medium/dark brown shadow along your lower lash lines. For brows, use a water proof pomade with a small angled brush. Apply mascara! You're done!

I like:
Mascara - Maybelline The Rocket Volum Express mascara - $6 or Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara - $23
Brows - Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade - $18

A coat or two of mascara will help make your eyes stand out and both of these are my current favorites. The Rocket mascara is awesome even when it dries out a bit, so it's a great (and super affordable) option. Applying a shimmery champagne shade to your lids (or just to your inner corners like I did in the look above) will make your eyes pop and look wide awake. Adding a brown (matte or shimmer) shade below your waterline will give the illusion of fuller lashes.Using a pomade like Anastasia's Dipbrow (which is waterproof) will keep your brows on all day while giving them shape and definition.

5.) Apply your favorite nude lipstick or just a moisturizing lip balm.

I like:
MAC Viva Glam II Lipstick - $17 or Smith's Rosebud Salve - $6

MAC's Viva Glam II is a super flattering nude that works on a variety of skin tones. If you already have a favorite creamy nude, apply that! You can also keep it simple with a tinted lip balm. 

And just like that, you're ready for festival and BBQ season.

Joanna xo

Thursday, June 2, 2016

9th Annual Chicago Zombie March!

Now that June is officially here, I figured I would remind everyone that the Zombie March is just a few weeks away! If you plan on attending and want your makeup done, I will be one of the artists on site, making sure everyone is fully zombified and ready to have a great time.

Mark your calendar for June 18th, folks! We meet at the Freehand hotel for makeup, which is where you'll be able to find me.

I do encourage any attendees looking to get their makeup done to set up an appointment time with me in advance. That way, you get to skip the lines. Otherwise, makeup is first come first served.

Thank you to everyone who has already expressed interest. Can't wait to see you there. 

Joanna xo

Monday, May 30, 2016

Walker Stalker Con - RECAP!

This past weekend was a whirlwind! I figured I'd share a few photos of my experience working Joey Fatone's booth at Walker Stalker this year. It was a blast and I met some awesome people along the way (he was incredibly nice and his managers were amazing too). In the booths next to ours were AJ Mclean & Nick Carter who were also awesome and super energetic. It was every 90's girl's dream come true, to say the least! :D

Joey & the zombie Storm Trooper.

Thankful to have seen some old friends and for the new ones who came out too. I'm also super happy to hear everyone had an awesome time, especially those I gave wristbands to! I still have loads of photos from that zombie demo I did and of some folks I helped zombie up for the event, so check back for those too! If you haven't attended a con, I highly recommend going! Also! If you haven't yet, check out Dead 7 (which premiered on SyFy & stars all your boy band favorites including Nick, AJ & Howie from BSB/Joey from N'Sync/Eric from O-Town and many more). For more photos from this con, be sure to LIKE my FB page - CLICK HERE! :)
Our booth! Plenty of shots to choose from for autographs including the poster for Dead 7! :)

Walker Stalker selfie.
Nick Carter a booth away.

There were photo ops with Joey and the other guys.

Zombie Beaker was another favorite!

Always love checking out all the amazing art.

This black & white Walking Dead group was brilliant.
They were awesome!

View from the top - of some of the convention madness!

Evil gingy.

Con day 2 ft. snacks
Of course I left creepy doodles in the booth.
& personalized them...*snicker*
I'm so thankful to have had this awesome experience. Excited to see what the next year brings!

Joanna xo

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Zombies - I'm surrounded!

Phew! It has been an eventful week so far, what with Chicago's Walker Stalker Con being just around the corner. I've been working on sketches, test makeups and even costumes lately, so I figured I would share a few teaser photos. I've also been doing some face painting and testing out new products, so I'll be sharing more of those shots soon too.

On Monday I did a zombie makeup demo, which was a lot of fun. I'll be doing a separate post on that, so please check back!

These are some progress shots of staining up this button up as part of the costume I used for my zombie makeup demo.

Next up is the almost finished product. At this point, the button up was still a bit wet and needed a few more splatters of brown, black and - of course - some blood.

On that same note, here is a really rough sketch I did in preparation for Monday's demo. Again, the photos will be posted separately so keep an eye out for that if you're interested.

The next one is just from a little mess around I did the other night. I used my new Wolfe Essentials palette for this cartoony zombie dude that I painted up on my leg.

If you're interested in more updates, follow me on IG @ Joebybear! :)

Stay tuned for more zombie goodness coming up this week. 

Joanna xo

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pack it up! Hello weekend...

Doing a quick little update before I head out. I stashed a few of my favorite beauty minis in my purse for tonight and thought I would share!

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara - I don't usually use mascara on the go, but I plan on layering this on top of my CG Super Sizer for extra lush lashes.
Wyndmere Lavender Garden Essential Oil roll on - If I need to relax, I just pull this guy out of my purse for a quick whiff or dab on my wrist.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye concealer - After getting almost no sleep last night, this concealer is the perfect secret weapon.
Thierry Mugler Alien perfume - The perfect sexy scent for a night out.
Tony Moly Bunny gloss - Light moisturizing balm with just a hint of pinky color.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Joanna xo

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Getting Inspired

Casual Monday - these metallic emerald green stilettos were begging for a day out.

The past few months have been busy and as thankful as I am for that, sometimes I need a break to get the creative juices flowing again. When I'm feeling uninspired, I like to take a day to myself to explore the city. This past Monday, I decided to go thrifting (a favorite hobby of mine) and I was not disappointed. I figured I would share some of the photos I took during my little adventure, because they continue to give me all sorts of makeup, art and style ideas (I've been sketching non stop). When you hit a creative wall, it can be pretty discouraging, but just remember that sometimes all it takes is taking a step back, going to a gallery or diving into some vintage fashion and jewelry. In the least, you'll probably come home with something one of a kind in tow.

Fascinated by these bold colors, fabrics and prints.
This metallic gold and black patterned jacket gave me endless eye makeup ideas.
Check out the detail on this piece. Sequins and hundreds of smaller beads sewn in throughout!

Among my newest thrifted treasures is this awesome piece made of iridescent glass. It made me think of mermaids and I just had to have it. Lately, I've been into decorative glass for storing and displaying my most worn jewelry, and I feel like I've been lucking out at my favorite shops. If you missed it, here is another post dedicated to some my thrift finds.

Glass fit for a mermaid. These little star shaped hair charms arrived the same day.

Those are some of my tips for getting back on track and back into the swing of things. Until next time.

For more photos like these, makeup art and behind-the-scenes, follow me on Instagram @ Joebybear.

CLICK for my Instagram feed.

Joanna xo

Monday, May 2, 2016

Upcoming Events

I've already added a list of upcoming events to the top of my page, but I wanted to mention them again in the body of my blog.

Here is a current list of the Chicago events I will be attending for the next few months. If you plan on being there, don't hesitate to contact me for all of your makeup needs. I am already taking advance appointments, so make sure to email, call or text me soon (keeping in mind that more elaborate makeups take a bit of additional planning).

Come get bruised, scarred and zombified!
Email me: joanna@joebymakeup.com
Check out my site: www.joebymakeup.com
Find me on FB: Joanna Brzezina MUA
Follow me on IG: @ Joebybear

Whether you're getting your makeup done for these events or not, come out and say hey! I'll continue to update my blog, FB & Instagram with where I will be those days as well as my availability.

Let's go Chicago!

Joanna xo

Friday, April 29, 2016

Makeup Effects

Makeup effects have always fascinated me, from the simplest wounds down to full on prosthetics. The process of sculpting, molding and casting has always been something that I dreamed of being a part of, so any chance that I've gotten to dabble in this particular genre of makeup has been a real treat for me! There is always more to learn, new techniques to master and new types of makeup to use. I remember being a child and seeing Amadeus for the first time. I loved the movie and later had it explained to me that the old man in the film was an actor in old age makeup. I remember how staggering that was to me (still is!). That was my introduction to makeup fx and the absolutely amazing and inspiring work of Dick Smith. Later on, I would obsessively watch the making of Michael Jackson's Ghosts, which is still a favorite of mine. There are so many cool effects in it that, well, if you haven't seen it - just watch it!


Tonight, after a fun brainstorm session with a friend, I decided to play around with some additional (simple yet effective) makeups so I figured I would share one here! I decided to go with a split lip. I used a two part silicone for this effect and then added Ben Nye cream makeup and Cinema Secrets gel blood to finish it. One thing to note about a makeup like this is that it wont last long, but it's great for photos and to freak out your friends. Due to the fact that you're working around your mouth, I don't recommend alcohol palettes. Again, cream makeup works well & you only really need one or two colors beneath the blood gel.

Oh! And just a reminder if you haven't already read my post about this here, on FB or Instagram - I will be one of the MUAs at this year's Zombie March in Chicago. If you plan on attending, don't hesitate to contact me to make an appointment and skip the lines.

'til next time.

Joanna xo

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update: Upcoming Events & Conventions + Official Website

I'll be one of the makeup artists at this year's Zombie March (June 21) in Chicago. Skip the lines and make an appointment with me to get zombified before the event starts! First come first served. You will still be able to get your makeup done on the spot (by me or one of the other MUAs), but to skip the line - message me to book a spot! Hoping to see some of my favorite walkers.

Click this link for more event info: 9th Annual Chicago Zombie March

If you can't make it out, I'll most likely be at a booth at Walker Stalker Con in May so come see me. More info on that when I figure out my schedule + details.

Hope to see some familiar faces.

On top of that, my official site is almost back up and running again, so I'm excited about that. Please check back for the link.

Joanna xo 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Monthly Favorites: March (continued into half of April)

Ok...so I normally liked to post favorites either at the end of every month or the very beginning of the next but, it is what it is! Since these posts are some of my favorites to make, I figured I would still do one rather than waiting until the end of April or start of May. Anyhow! Let's get into the products!

1.) Jergens Wet Skin moisturizer with Monoi Oil

Ok, we've all seen the commercials with Leslie Mann. I have to admit, they were so goofy that they got my attention. That said, I really liked the idea of having an in-shower lotion because of how often I forget to moisturize. I've always liked Jergens so this was something I knew I wanted to get my hands on. I have never heard of or used monoi oil before, but this lotion does the trick. It makes my skin feel incredibly soft. As I say with most lotions that end up on my faves list, it absorbs quickly and lets me get on with the rest of my routine. The scent is light and pleasant (I gave up on heavily scented moisturizers ages ago). It took some time for me to adjust to it, though. I still leave it on the sink or a bathroom shelf from time to time or start to dry off before I slather it on. Baby steps! Haha, but it's definitely one of my new favorites.

2.) Too Faced original Lip Injection

I purchased this product at the beginning of the puffy pout obsession. I will say first and foremost, it does work. I definitely don't use it every day, but if you're looking for something to plump up your natural lips a little bit, this might be worth a try. Now, I used to apply this on bare lips like a gloss, but over time I've found new ways to integrate it into my lip routine. If you apply it to naked lips, chances are you're going to have some redness going on around them (especially if you have sensitive skin). The closer you apply it to your lip line, the more probable it is that it's going to make you look like you got stung in the face by bees or drank some red Kool-Aid. This products supports blood flow (by dilating the vessels), so your natural lip color will intensify and darken a bit too. What I like to do is apply it over a barrier of lip liner, lipstick or both. That way, the result is less drastic but you can still feel the tingle. I also never apply it right on my lip line (particularly my top lip line). I focus the product on the middle of my lips. That way, it gives my natural lips a boost without making it look like I was sucking on a cherry popsicle.

3.) CoverGirl Supersizer mascara in Very Black

I did a pretty in depth review of this mascara here, so I don't want to be too repetitive but I like it a lot. It lengthens, separates, defines and adds volume. It has a unique short bristled brush that some find difficult to work with, but I think it allows for more precise application, particularly to the lower lash lines which are usually not as full.
Again, for more info, check out THIS LINK.

4.) Royal Langnickel brushes

I've loved this brand of brushes for quite some time and always recommend their sets because they are definitely worth the investment. Recently, I noticed that brushes from their Moda line are being sold at Walmart so I had to give them a go! I picked up the complexion brush (pictured) as well as a powder brush and, as usual, I love them. They're around $7 a pop and worth every penny. The complexion brush is one of my favorites to use for foundation. It's really soft and blends my makeup beautifully. Another bonus is that they're super pretty, so they'll look great on your vanity.

5.) Pantene Ultimate BB Creme 10 in 1

I'm not sure why, but finding a flyaway taming hair balm was difficult for me. I remember back in the day, every brand had several of them to choose from and I swear I couldn't find anything for smoothing anywhere lately (besides oils). As a matter of fact, the only brand that seemed to have the kind of hair cream I had in mind was Garnier (and I'm not a huge fan of the brand beyond their fantastic micellar water). After searching high and low, I found this product. I needed something lighter than an oil to combat occasional frizz and tame my ends without weighing my hair down. This product smells amazing and I like that it can be used on wet or dry hair. It does reduce frizz and keeps my flyaways at bay. I actually never noticed the "10 in 1" promise until I took a closer look at the bottle so here is what it promises, in case you wanted to know: 1) Repair for Rough Hair 2) Strength against Damage 3) Silky Softness 4) Brilliant Shine 5) Smoothing 6) Moisture 7) Frizz Control 8) Heat Protection 9) Manageability 10) Tamed Flyaways

6.) Stone lip liner by MAC

I love this color and I've been using it a lot, especially lately. I like to wear it on its own or with a bit of gloss on top. It's a color that can be worn a variety of ways - I like to put both darker and lighter lipsticks over it. Overall, it's very unique and oddly flattering. It's described as a muted "greyish/taupe brown" on MAC's site. 

7.) ChapStick in Cherry

Ahh, the original. I don't normally use a ton of chap sticks because they're pretty waxy and somehow seem to make my lips more dry...Still, I got a cherry ChapStick in a little goodie bag from a friend and I've been using it a lot. I like to keep it on my nightstand so I can put it on before bed, and for whatever reason I just keep reaching for it. I really enjoy the scent too, which is kinda funny because I hate cherry flavored/scented things normally. It isn't medicinal at all, for one thing. For another, I guess it reminds me of my childhood (and all the Bonne Bell Lip Smackers I hoarded). 

8.) Crown Brush 32 Color Lipstick Palette

I ordered this from HauteLook and figured it was the best time to test it out because I got an insane deal. Admittedly, I haven't swatched/used every shade yet, but this palette is great for MUAs and lipstick lovers alike. There are so many colors to choose from and it's easy for me to mix up my perfect shade. There are lots of reds, pinks and even nudes so there is a lot of variety, plenty of options and even more when you mix them yourself. Mine is currently a part of my kit, but I think I'll be ordering another for myself as well. 

9.) Jordana retractable lip liner in Cabernet

Funny story...this was actually in a favorites post of mine about 2 years ago. I also used to like topping it off with MAC's Riveting Rose lipstick. In any case, I guess somewhere along the way I misplaced it and forgot how much I liked it. This is a bit of a darker red but not quite a "black cherry" type shade. I like to wear it on its own or topped with a bit of gloss. Can't wait to try some other liners by this brand, but this one is awesome. I am wearing it here


Much wow! *snicker* How cute is this? It makes me happy every time I open up my purse so I figured I'd share. I love this little bag. It can be used to carry money/coins (which is what I'm using it for right now) but is large enough to fit small cosmetic items as well. It reminds me of someone very special and I love it.

Joanna xo