Upcoming Events


Come out & say hi!
6/17 Bobbi Brown Summerize Your Skin Event - Skokie, IL.

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 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Getting Thrifty: An Introduction

This post is a bit different for my blog, but I figured it would still be a fun addition to my page. I've been doing a lot of "Spring cleaning" and reorganizing lately- starting with my bedroom. For the last year, I've been looking for more effective storage and finally came up with some ideas. To start with, I needed a way to organize my jewelry (my earrings were a particular problem). While I was thrifting this past Monday, I finally found a solution so I figured I would share my finds.

I have to say, I had a particularly successful thrift trip this time around. I found some amazing (vintage & modern) clothing items, accessories and home decor but I'll save those for a future post.  Anyhow, I noticed that there was a ton of vintage glass and even crystal, so I picked out a few pieces but only ended up going with the one I liked most. I wasn't sure how I'd incorporate it into my decor at the time, but I just couldn't put it down.

The piece I picked is a thick and durable divided tray. It's quite heavy, fantastic quality and I love pieces like this because of all the intricate details. Not only does it have the rounded outer edges and perfectly spaced dividers, the bottom is also stunning. I didn't think to get a photo of it empty, but you can still see some of that gorgeous detail work peeking through.

I'm excited to place this on my dresser next to my perfumes. It makes it easy for me to see all of my favorite earrings (which I divided into larger studs, smaller studs & danglies). The original price was $4.99, but since I went on a 50% off day, I only paid $2.50.

I'm inclined to believe that my tray is made of glass, but I like it so much that I'm definitely going to be on the hunt for more. I actually saw a few more glass and crystal pieces (which is amazing because crystal ain't cheap, in case you didn't know) that I'm hoping will still be there. *fingers crossed*  It's a good idea to hit up thrift shops, estate sales and even garage sales for one of a kind vintage finds like this. Either way, it was an amazing deal.

If you're interested in getting a little thrifty yourself and finding your own glass/crystal pieces, differentiating between the two can be tricky, so here's a little guide for telling the difference between the two:

Glass vs Crystal 
  • Hold it up to the light. If the glass acts as a prism and you see a rainbow you are holding crystal. If not, it is just plain glass.
  • When struck, crystal produces a musical ring. Glass does not.
  • If you wet your finger and run it around the rim of a crystal glass it will also produce a musical tone.
  • Crystal can be worked thinner than glass, so if the rim of a piece is exceptionally thin it's probably crystal.
  • Crystal will be heavier.
  • Glass typically has sharp cuts, while crystal will have clean, rounded cuts. 

Further Reading

CLICK HERE for a detailed article explaining the difference between glass & crystal. 

Thrifty Tips

- If you go to thrift shops, check out their sale days to get the best deals. Mine has half off sales every Monday, for example.
 - Go back often! Merchandise changes quickly.
- Be prepared to do some digging! Thrifting can be a bit more time consuming than popping into a regular store, but it's worth it. There's nothing like finding a truly rare piece for cheap!
- Be open minded!

Bonus find of the day!

I've already shared this on IG so I just had to include it because it's too good. It was my other fav find of the day, a pristine 90's evening bag.

I will be serving some Cher Horowitz/Alexia Wheaton realness...assuming I ever make it out of the house! It was an unbelievable steal at only 50 cents, though. The shoulder strap tucked inside is in perfect condition as well. The 90's girl in me is still squealing.

Ok ok, enough rambling - 'til next time.  Happy thrifting!

 Joanna xo

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Photoshoot - A glimpse at my past work.

Time for a late night update, now that I'm getting back on track after a short hiatus.

These are some of my favorite shots from a dramatic shoot I worked on with brilliant photographer Krzysztof Babiracki. I loved the vision he had in mind for these photos. More images from this shoot (and more) can be seen on my official website, which will be up and running again soon. Please check back in with me for the link. In the meantime, please enjoy some of my work here. As always, thank you for stopping by.

Joanna xo

Saturday, April 9, 2016

MOT...other day.

MOTD post from a few days ago. This is a look I absolutely love (minus the Rimmel mascara I used, which I rant about in the post below). I was mostly excited to try the Jordana retractable lip liner I picked up a few days prior. Regardless of the season, a red lip is always a favorite of mine. This particular shade is a bit darker than my usual red, but I love it all the same (and this liner delivers)! Not only is it an extremely affordable option (at $2 bucks a pop), I think it would be flattering on pretty much anyone. I think I'll pick up the rest of Jordana's retractable liners and (from the swatches I've already seen), I'm pretty excited to give them a go.

Now, onto the makeup details!

Different lighting.

B r o w s| Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Taupe
E y e s| Rimmel Wonderlash mascara in Extreme Black + Morphe 35w palette (matte+shimmer beige shades all over the lid+ brow bone)
L i p s| Jordana retractable lip liner in Cabernet + the original Too Faced Lip Injection (I actually like the tingle)

EDIT...many days later...

So it's no wonder that I love the Cabernet liner. It was on my list of faves back in 2014. Whoops...guess I have another laying around here somewhere. *scratches head* This is just proof that my makeup stash is out of control. Still looking forward to trying the rest of their liners!

Joanna xo 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Battle of the mascaras! Let's review...



I picked up CoverGirl's Super Sizer on a whim. I knew needed a new mascara but almost completely forgot (I blame the vortex that is Target) until I saw a little display of Super Sizer on an end cap of some random aisle. I admit, when I opened it I was kind of disappointed. The brush had the tiniest plastic bristles I had ever seen and I figured there was no way it would work for me. I guess I was expecting a giant brush...or something. Well long story short, I was wrong! The bristles on the mascara wand are small enough to get super close to the lash line, which makes it easier to be more precise. Also, despite the smaller bristles, it takes the same time to apply as any other mascara. Now, my lower lashes are always kind of an issue because they're quite light and on the thin side but this brush coated every single lash and made them look fuller, beautifully darkened, defined and lengthened. I was impressed. One coat did the trick and I didn't even feel like I needed to curl my lashes. It doesn't flake off or end up under my eyes, either. The formula is pretty great! Not too wet, not too dry - just right. It makes my lashes look long, thick and pretty (there's a 'that's what she said' joke in there somewhere, but I'm lazy). I would definitely repurchase it!


Ok, onto the not so glowing side of my review of sorts...

Yesterday I couldn't find my Super Sizer mascara so I left it up to chance and reached for whatever was closest. It happened to be Rimmel's Wonder Lash with argan oil. I had already deemed this stuff useless several attempts prior, but decided that it deserved another go (not sure why...). I knew I didn't like the formula so I curled my lashes before I applied it & hoped for the best. What. A. Mess. It clumps like crazy, for one thing and the formula is strange.  It's more on the gooey/sticky side so you have to be careful not to smudge it. Oh, and it smears easily too. It feels oily on the lashes but isn't pigmented enough to darken the them (even in 003 Extreme Black). The brush is a bit too big, especially for my baby bottom lashes but even when I'm careful, it just doesn't define them. On top of that, the brush itself just feels sort of flimsy. In terms of volume, it does nothing. In terms of lengthening, it just sits there. My lashes pretty much separated in all different directions. I took some photos last night and, though my lashes are naturally long, you can't see them at all...Now, I don't know if prolonged use would thicken my lashes in the long run (I mean, it does contain argan oil) but I'm not willing to use it again so I guess I'll never know. Removing it took too long and it streaked down my face. Never again. Save your money!

Ok, I'm done Hulking out over mascara but I do hope this was helpful in some way.

Joanna xo