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highlights: 2016 NYC International Makeup Artists Trade Show Like

Let me tell you about a day in a life of a makeup artist. Well, not a usual day – I don’t really go around attending makeup trade shows every day, especially as an on-looker… So, on a cloudy April day, my fellow makeup artists and I headed to Pier 94 to join the around-the-corner line of beauty pros and makeup artists waiting in the cold for the opening of the PRO day at the NYC IMATS (International Makeup Artists Trade Show).

The show takes place in various locations such as Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and New York and is open to general public, except the PRO-card events. Makeup artists from film, television, fashion and theater come here to see and to be seen. This is a great place to connect, network and stock up on makeup products.

In the past, I have always worked at this event with various brands but this year I decided to take a break and attend as a guest. I am very excited that I finally got a chance to calmly explore the products and shop around (if you plan to attend, WARNING: heavy spending is predicted and might be unavoidable!)

First stop was to see my friends at Eve Pearl’s booth. They were getting ready for a busy show with  bloggers and beauty influencers. There were some awesome new products, which you can check out on Eve’s website.
Next stop – Jouer Cosmetics. I was super happy to see this brand at the show, they have the most gorgeous tinted moisturizers and the prices are unbeatable. I got a couple of Luminizing moisturizers for myself. Recommend: Matte Moisture Tint formula for oily skin and for men’s grooming.
Now to the Frends Beauty – a go-to beauty supply store offering lashes for just $1 – how awesome is that? ! One can never have too many fake lashes when you are a makeup artist or just someone who loves full lashes!
Noticed a new  vendor this year – “Lashes in the box” from San Francisco. The brand offers synthetic lashes as well as lashes made from human hair. I got myself a box of those (10 pairs for $20, N17), packed in a sleek black box which is great for traveling and keeping all the lashes in one place.
Walking, walking… Hey, here is Eric Coffman – the owner of “Graftobian Professional Makeup”.  Got some great advice from him on using his product . Thanks, Eric!
Oh, look, one of my favorite booths – Besame Cosmetics by Gabriela Hernandez. If you want to time-travel in the world of beauty you should check out these vintage looking products inspired by the golden age of cinema in Los Angeles. I absolutely loved it.
And now, let me tell you about my latest obsession –  Natasha Denona Makeup Line launched by Beautylish in the US this year. Honestly, the eye shadows are on another level of pigmentation and the quality is just outstanding. The product is pricey but worth every penny. I got a chance to meet Natasha at the show. If you have never seen her videos, I suggest you do so as soon as you are done reading this post – she does an incredible job using all her makeup products. Natasha, who is based in Tel Aviv, invited me to her studio – I hope to be booking a trip there in the near future and I will definitely take her up on the offer.
Tip for a PRO: sign up for Natasha’s 30% Pro Discount if you are MUA, cosmetologist or aesthetician.
Last but not least – Rae Morris and the launch of her new book “Makeup Masterclass”. Rae is an Australian makeup artist who works with celebrities and superstars and her new book is a must-have for any makeup artist or just a makeup enthusiast. I attended her presentation and was amazed at how much useful knowledge I took away.


A few other workshops I want to mention that took place are HOW TO GIVE PROSTHETICS LIFE by special make-up effects artists Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine doing a character make-up demo onstage;   a BRIDAL MAKE-UP: HOW TO TAME THE BRIDEZILLA by Megan Garmers; and #LIPOFTHEDAY WITH @DAMMITNICHOLEOCC by Nichole Christine of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

As I was walking down the isles, I got to test Facebook’s newest feature – Live Stream! This is awesome – now everyone can have their own “reality show”! The energy at the show was great and I had a lot of fun hanging out with all these talented people,  creators of beauty, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and artists gathered under one roof…

till next year, IMATS!


Look for IMATS events in your area and follow on social media.

Health Briefs: Love Your Heart Like


As a kid, growing up in Georgia (country, not the state), I remember hearing words “heart attack” very often. Maybe it was the traditional diet that circles around mtsvadi, khinkali and khachapuri, and maybe it was the lifestyle where a majority of population over the age of 40 wore gym pants just to stretch out on a couch after a long day at work, but it seemed as every other person around me had some sort of a heart issue. As a matter of fact, all four of my grandparents passed away from various forms of a heart disease. That is why every time I get a pinch in my chest I panic and pick up my phone to schedule an appointment with my doctor. Right away I jump on a treadmill, start to re-think my diet, and try to lower my stress level, but those efforts don’t last long – as pain fades away, so is my attempt at a healthier lifestyle.

And so, when at a recent health event at work I heard that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the world, I was troubled. The good news, said the presenter, is that 80% of cardiac issues can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other unhealthy habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy, you are never too young— or too old — to take care of your heart.

Here’s how:
1) BE ACTIVE. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (for example, fast walking or taking stairs instead of escalators), five times per week. Children need 60 minutes a day–every day–of physical activity, so find ways to workout with your kids.

2) MODIFY YOUR FAMILY’S DIET. Choose foods low in sodium, saturated and trans fats. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, nuts, and fish (preferably the oily kind, twice a week). Select leanest cuts of meat and poultry, limit red meat, salt and sugar-sweetened beverages. Introduce such items to your diet as flax seeds and raw unprocessed coconut oil.

3) CONTROL YOUR CHOLESTEROL. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and our bodies use it to make cell membranes and some hormones, but when you have too much bad cholesterol (LDL), it combines with white blood cells and forms plaque in your veins and arteries. These blockages lead to heart disease and stroke.

4) MANAGE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.

5) LOSE WEIGHT. If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is at your waist — you’re at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. If you’re overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off. Even losing as few as five or ten pounds can produce a dramatic blood pressure reduction. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to help you determine if you need to lose weight.

6) REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Your body makes a hormone called insulin that acts like a carrier to take your food energy into your cells. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100, you are in the healthy range. If not, your results could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes. Although diabetes is treatable and you can live a healthy life with this condition, even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

7) QUIT SMOKING. Did you know that just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?

8) DON’T LET STRESS GET OUT OF CONTROL. In this fast paced environment, it is difficult to stay completely stress free no matter where you live. My personal mantra on dealing with pressure is not to keep bad memories in my head, not to stress over things I can’t control or change and always have a plan B (and a plan C in case if plan B doesn’t work :-). I also tend to “file-away” good memories such as things I am proud of, fun events and faces that make me smile, and if I am ever down in my spirits, I go straight to that “file” and “retrieve” those memories and all goes back to normal.

And so, to add to my list of feel-good memories, on May 19th I will be joining my colleagues for the 2016 Wall Street Run and Heart Walk organized by American Heart Association in NYC. This is a competitive 3-mile run and a non-competitive walk, with more than 11,000 people anticipated to attend. Participants will enjoy free health screenings, nutrition and fitness demonstrations, information and product sampling. You are welcome to join my fundraising efforts or start your own campaign. If you are in New York, sign up and come downtown at 6 pm on May 19th and take part! Look for similar events in your area and take care of your HEART!

Visit Americas Heart Association site for more information on how to stay healthy.


Eyebrows… the picture frame of your face Like

Brows are a very interesting feature of a human face. Apart from protecting eyes from sweat and dust,  the style and shape of eyebrows has had specific cultural  significance and meaning throughout centuries. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Middle Eastern and African cultures valued purity and viewed a uni-brow as an attractive natural feature on a woman’s face.  In Chinese folk culture, the extremely long eyebrows of an old person are seen as symbol of longevity. In pre-modern Japan, rich women practiced Hikimayu – a process when they plucked or shaved the natural brows and painted smudge-like eyebrows on the forehead to show their aristocratic rank. Buddhists shave their eyebrows as a symbol of their priestly status, and in India drawn-on eyebrows on a baby are considered to be a mark of balance of power, while Pygmy men in Africa use razor to create decorative patterns on their eyebrows.

In beauty, trends are constantly changing, but no matter your particular preference, it is important to keep the brows healthy.

As a makeup artist, I observe that many women, especially over the age of 40, complain of thinning eyebrow. It’s like as they get older, the eyebrows that were once full and lustrous are now disappearing faster and faster. Together with my clients, I try to look for reasons, and although occasionally it is obvious that nutrient deficiency (vitamins A, E, D, iron, B), hypothyroidism (treatment includes nutrition and supplements to support thyroid hormone production) , eczema and aging are the reasons, in most of the cases the thinning eyebrows are simply the result of over-waxing. The hot wax makes your brows disappear with age.. When waxed, the hair is pulled from the root, resulting in the weakening of the root; the hair that re-grows is usually thinner and weaker. For eyebrows, I personally recommend plucking or threading because these methods lead to thicker hair – pulling each hair individually stimulates the  dermal papilla more than waxing, and this stimulation leads to increased blood supply and strengthening of the hair follicles.

If you are noticing that your eyebrows are thinning, it’s important to look at the possible causes to make sure you’re not making it worse and start to grow them back slowly.

When deciding on your eyebrows, knowing your face is very important – your brows balance your features and define your eyes, so make sure you choose the correct arch, right shade/color, and right product.  You will notice that even thou the latest trend (social media)  is a dark/full/overdone  brow, it’s not necessarily  the best option for everyone. Here are some examples of how celebrities highlight their individual features by going with all varieties of eyebrows:

To help you get the shape you want, I recommend to go with powder based pencils which are super easy to use because they allow you to control how much product to apply.

Some of my favorite products for eyebrow shaping are:

Givenchy Beauty – eyebrow show powdery pencil
MAC – A self-propelling and self-sharpening brow definer

To get inspiration, here is a look back at some classic trends throughout 20th and 21st centuries:

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Get your brow game on to the next level?

‘Til we meet again,


Who is IGJunky? Like


My name is Mari and I am the founder of IGJunky.

A few weeks ago I attended the “Amplify Your Brand” workshop on how to promote brands.  There were about 30 of us young entrepreneurs hungry for wisdom, jotting down every single word of invaluable advice shared by the experts, and we kept hearing  “you need to have a story,” “tell us your story”, “what’s your story”… And so I started thinking: Do I have a story?

Continue reading Who is IGJunky? Like

FIT presents: Fairy Tale Fashion Like

My boss is out of office today. Do you know what that means? Exactly – I get to take a longer lunch break (there is no way my boss ever reads this post, right?). And so I quickly chowed down my egg salad sandwich and headed to one of my favorite museums in the city – The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT, NYC).

I heard of the “Fairy Tale Fashion” exhibition at FIT and I have been trying to get there since it opened in January. Continue reading FIT presents: Fairy Tale Fashion Like

Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez Like

Having been to Jamaica quite a few times (6 times in 5 years, to be exact), I guess you can say I have a soft spot for this small sunny island the size of Connecticut. I have to admit that during our first trip we didn’t to go outside of the resort property (not sure why), however as time passed,  we fell in love with the friendly staff, musicians and the regulars  walking up and down the beach, and we started venturing out more and more to get closer to the local culture and traditions. Continue reading Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez Like

Jamaica: No Problem, Mon Like

With its slow pace of life, beautiful sandy beaches, and great music scene, Jamaica is a perfect place for a laid back vacation. This Caribbean Island has plenty to offer to visitors of all types. The hurricane season ends around November, and that is when my husband and I, together with some friends and family, traditionally pack our bags and board Jet Blue for a quick flight to Sangster Airport of Montego Bay. Continue reading Jamaica: No Problem, Mon Like

Introducing Eve Pearl Like

Eve Pearl is a 5-time Emmy Award Winner, Author, and Authority on Beauty.  She is a leader in the industry with two decades of experience as a makeup professional in TV, film, theater and she has been setting the standards and trends in global beauty industry.

Tamara had a chance to sit down for an interview with Eve, we hope you’ll find it interesting. Continue reading Introducing Eve Pearl Like

Color Correcting – to do or not to do… Like

Cosmetics and Makeup have been a big part of women’s life for centuries in every society on earth, with ups and downs throughout the history. In the last decade or so, primarily thanks to the social media, the beauty industry has grown to a multi-billion dollar level, targeting women and men of all ages and complexion. In the 21st century the consumer demand for beauty essentials is enormous, with thousands of brands out there, and yet, finding the right product can be quite challenging and intimidating.
Being exposed to many makeovers, I witness what the RIGHT makeup does – its magical power to change a woman’s attitude, lift her confidence and make her appreciate her own natural beauty is fascinating. Agree, investing in quality makeup is a must, HOWEVER, knowing what looks good on you is equally important and a wrong choice of everyday cosmetics and makeup can lead to physical and emotional instability.
As a makeup artist with over 5 years of professional experience, I see the challenges first hand – very often customers approach me with requests to make them look like certain celebrities as they appear in social media, or I get presented with long lists of beauty products suggested by some social media beauty “guru” in order to achieve flawless and spotless look. However, these women don’t realize that most of the social media images are filtered through editing apps and tons of product is used to achieve the perfect looks (or the models have perfect skin to begin with.)  My advice is to find your face instead of trying to look like someone in a YouTube makeup tutorial – study your skin, your eyes, your cheek bones, experiment with products and styles to find what works the best for you. When shopping for makeup or skincare, don’t be embarrassed to ask questions and don’t necessarily go for the most expensive or the most talked about products – from time to time it’s okay to try less known brands, chances are these work as well and maybe even better than instafamous ones! Invest in products that look and feel good on you and are SIMPLE to use.
Another point to consider when buying a makeup product, is that a makeup application requires skills and time in order to achieve decent results. A modern woman just doesn’t have too much time and patience to spend in front of the mirror on a daily basis, and so I try to educate my customers by suggesting the right products and makeup routines that are simple yet effective.
Let’s look at the latest trends in beauty – this past season social media was HUGE on heavy Contour/Highlight, as well as brows.  Right now, the BIG BUZZ is color correcting.  Just check out endless beauty instagramies and you’ll notice that color correcting is being used left and right. Color correcting is nothing new for makeup professionals but for the everyday makeup wearer this product is just being introduced and we need to be careful when deciding whether to use it or not. Before you consider it, ask yourself: “Does my skin type really require the use of color correcting?” In most cases, color correcting is just an extra step which is not really required unless a person has serious dermatological problems.
Here is an example of how the right makeup product and application process embrace the natural beauty – Anna volunteered to be my model for this demonstration, stating that the redness on her cheeks, spider veins around the nose, and dark under eyes qualify her as a near perfect candidate to prove my point (Anna’s words, not mine!)
 anna makeup
I started with applying a moisturizer all over the face. I used green based color correcting primer by Givenchy Beauty on the left side of the face. Notice how the primer nicely covered the redness and brightened her skin without looking like she has a corrector (excellent product!). Now step two is to cover the primer with a foundation – looks great! For the other side of the face, I skipped the color correcting primer and applied  Eve Pearl HD Cream foundation duo in light tone.  As you can see, the Eve Pearl’s duo does the same job – it covers all skin imperfections, takes away redness, blends nicely, with the difference being that the application process is one step easier.
This shows that for small to medium skin flaws, it is not necessary to use color correcting primer – great results can be achieved with less steps/products.
Next step:
– Filled in the brows (notice the difference in Anna’s brows on the second picture). Eyebrows make a big difference on a person’s face:  they can make you look beautiful and young when done right, or mean and surprised when a wrong color and arch is used. So, unless you are an actress playing the wicked witch, forget the ANGRY BIRDS EYEBROWS -they are scary!!
Finishing touches:
– Makeup set by Hourglass – AMBIENT LIGHT TRIO (favorite powders)
– my latest obsession – liquid lipstick PLUM NAKED by EVE PEARL BEAUTY (long wearing, non drying, lip plumping formula.)


‘Til we meet again…

Why blog now? Like


I am pretty sure I have Alzheimer’s in my future. Look, I have all the signs – I constantly search for my misplaced i-phone, I stare at an open refrigerator trying to figure out what was it that I was reaching in for, I burned quite a few tea kettles until I finally got one with a whistle and then my husband upgraded me to an electric one (cool – it turns off on its own!). Sometimes I mix my children’s’ birthdates (am I a bad mother?).  I do puzzles and get dressed with my eyes closed so to exercise my brain. I have ordered numerous bottles of ginkgo biloba which supposedly is good for your memory – the only problem is, I keep forgetting to take the damn pills and they eventually expire…Obviously, there is no surprise that I gravitate to any newspaper article or a QVC infomercial that promises to improve my memory… So, in a tiny book store of beautiful Costa Rica’s Liberia Airport, I picked up this papercover by Joshua Foer  – “Moonwalking with Einstein. The Art and Science of Remembering Everything”.  Awesome! By the time I land at JFK, I’ll be a walking memory card!

Continue reading Why blog now? Like