Michele’s makeup faves

Hiiiii! Hope you’re having a wonderful day. Thank you so much for sharing your New Years goals with me. I always love to hear what you’re up to, and your intentions for the year ahead.

When we did our blog survey a couple of weeks ago, so many of you mentioned that you wanted to see more beauty and fashion content here on the blog. Ask and ye shall receive! I enlisted the help of my friend Michele, an incredibly talented makeup artist, to contribute with some of her tips and tricks. I’ve known Michele since the Valdosta days, she’s one of my closest friends (and a fellow U of A Wildcat!), and she did my makeup for the “HIIT It!” book cover. Take it away, Michele!

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Hey Fitnessista followers! I am extremely excited Gina asked me to write a guest post with my makeup faves. A little about me: I’ve been a professional makeup artist since 1999. That’s crazy to think I’ve done makeup for 16 years! I started at MAC Cosmetics in Tucson, AZ when I was 19 years old and I fell in love with teaching others how to choose and wear makeup in a way that made them feel and look their best. In 2003, I moved to Los Angeles, CA, continued to work with MAC, but also branched out in order to follow my dreams of being a full-time makeup artist.  I was a freelance makeup artist in LA doing all sorts of fun and exciting jobs, which included lots of photo shoots, fashion shows, and dabbling in the movie scene. I spent my last year in Los Angeles working for Anastasia, the brow guru, as her makeup artist at the salon in Beverly Hills. I felt like my time in LA was coming to an end so I moved back to Arizona and got my aesthetician license in 2008. A year later I met my husband, and like Gina, I fell in love with an Air Force Pilot. While in Tucson, and later Valdosta, GA (where I met Gina) and San Antonio, TX, I worked as both an aesthetician and a freelance makeup artist. I absolutely LOVE doing makeup, and it’s my passion!

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I’m going to share with you some of my favorite products and hopefully in the days, weeks, and months to come, I can show you through video how to create some easy, working-woman/busy-mom makeup looks. Makeup is about feeling good, and that doesn’t need to take a lot of time. I can complete most of my “out-the-door” looks in as little as 5-7 minutes. That’s all! You deserve to give yourself that time, and for me, it makes such a huge difference in my day when I slap a little makeup on and give myself that glow that lack of sleep has taken away. I believe skin care is so important – I am an aesthetician after all – I wear sunscreen daily and always wash my makeup off at night. Once in a while, I use creams to help with anti-aging, however, I’m going to focus this post on makeup, but if you are interested, I’d love to discuss skincare in a future post. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and my website.

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I’ll start with what I do when short on time, racing to get my kids to school. 

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I use a Neova sunscreen with a high SPF – over 30 at least – mostly because my skin is prone to dark spots (picture below). 

I use this next product day and night.  It’s by a brand called Beautycounter.  Have you heard of it?  If not, I highly recommend you click the link below quickly and check it out.  My favorite product so far is the Lustro Oil in Calendula.  I have a feeling that when I start incorporating more products, I’ll have more than one favorite. It smell so clean and is also so hydrating, once it settles on your skin, the oiliness goes away. I can tell how different my makeup goes on when I use the oil.

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After that’s applied to my entire face, I use my FAVORITE makeup product – Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!  I use a pea-sized amount that spreads nicely all over my face.  A tube of this foundation (picture of both oil free and moisturizing shown below), which is sold at Nordstrom and Sephora, lasts FOREVER. I suggest going in to get your skin tone matched.  It comes in oil free & moisturizing. Run to get this foundation! 

Laura mercier

I’m all about brushes, BUT they don’t have to be expensive. I always use a brush to apply my makeup because I love the way makeup blends with a brush. Below is the brush I use on clients and myself. Check out this website and go crazy- I always do!


Next I use BRONZER!  Yes, I screamed that.  Bronzer is my best friend! If I have no time for makeup, I at least will put on a bronzer, curl my lashes and apply mascara. That my friends, is the best tip I can give. I apply bronzer over my entire face with a big puffy brush.  My favorite bronzer (pictured below) is a MAC product.  To be fair this is technically not a bronzer, it’s a mineralized pressed powder.  I use a darker color than my skin tone to achieve that bronzed, “I’m tan!” look. The finish on this product is so beautiful.

BronzerAfter applying a bronzer I follow up with a tiny bit of blush.  I tend to use coral undertones, and sometimes my blush has a little shimmer in it.  Below is one that I love, but I switch my blush up quite a bit.

Nars blush orgasm enLike I mentioned before, if I’m in a hurry I curl my lashes and coat them a few times with mascara. My favorite mascara, for now (I tend to change every so often, then go back to one I’ve used in the past), is can be found in most drugstores: the Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. Notice, this is waterproof.  I use waterproof because my lashes are stick straight.  I find if I want to keep them curled, waterproof works best.  To remove this mascara I use CVS brand eye-makeup remover applied to a cotton square.

MascaraIf I have two more minutes, I apply eyeliner.  I LOVE liquid liner, but not everyone is comfortable applying it; it takes practice. I didn’t have any formal training in makeup at 19, what I did have was patience to sit in front of the mirror, look at books, and recreate looks on myself.  Practice is the answer for creating the makeup looks you want. So, with that said, pick up some liquid liner and give it a shot.  You can also try a cream liner; it comes in a pot and uses a thin angle brush applicator. However, once you get it down, the liquid liner is much easier and provides better results. I use this liquid liner, another drugstore item! And I LOVE it!

As an aesthetician, eyebrows are so important – they really frame the face!  I have lots of before and after eyebrow shaping pictures on my website. Below is what I use to fill them in; I can create a more symmetrical shape using a brow pencil.  Brows appear to be thicker and much more clean when they are filled in. These can also be found in Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Ulta. 


Last, but not least, is the only product I use throughout the day to touch up my makeup…drum roll please…lip gloss! I recently discovered this specific gloss, which is not sticky – my least favorite part of glosses. It can also be found at a drugstore. I bought this lip gloss in every single color they make. I currently have five of them in my makeup bag.  I tend to stick to neutral colors for my day-to-day look, but for a night out, I have been known to spice it up with red, burgundy, or pink!

Ok!  You can see my daily routine is pretty simple – sunscreen, foundation, bronzer, curl lashes, apply mascara, and if time permits, add some eyeliner. 

Thank you so much to Michele for writing this post! We’ll be doing a video makeup tutorial in the next couple of weeks, and please feel free to contact her via her website or leave any questions below.



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  1. Crystal on January 4, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    This is an awesome post, I love that some of the recommendations are drugstore brands! I’ve been stuck in a makeup rut, mostly because I’m afraid to venture out and try something different. More posts like this would be cool, maybe with tutorials and other tips 😀

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      i’m so excited for her tutorials. she’s seriously the best

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Thanks for reading Crystal! I get stuck in makeup ruts too! It’s totally normal, the fact that you are realizing it will help you get out of that rut! Stay tuned for video tutorials!!!

    • Anna @ THE POSH BODY on January 5, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Can’t wait for video tutorials! 🙂

  2. Catherine on January 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I’m not one of the people who asked for this, but am sure glad others thought to! I am looking forward to the tutorials!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      (me too!)

    • Jen on January 5, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Haha, me too!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

      We won’t hold it against you 😉 but I’m happy people are wanting more!

  3. Ali on January 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Yes I love this, I always need makeup advice :)! Beauty counter was recently introduced to me and I will say without a doubt, I’M IN LOVE!!! Their entire skin care line is fantastic. Within 2 days of using it, I noticed a huge difference in my skin. It cleared up almost instantly. After 7 days, wow. I’ll never go back to anything else. The makeup is also fab! I can’t recommend their products enough. I started to transition all my skincare/makeup to non toxic brands and this is my new go-to.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      i can’t wait to try it!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:30 am

      YAY! Another Beautycounter lover! I told Gina, I want to soak my whole body in the oil, it’s that good!

      • Fitnessista on January 5, 2016 at 9:14 am

        i’m seriously so excited to try it!

  4. Amy on January 5, 2016 at 6:49 am

    I am considering doing my own makeup for my wedding in October so this post was perfect! I will have to check out her recommendations, especially the foundation which is what I am the most concerned about on my big day.

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Amy-you can TOTALLY do it! With the power of the internet you can do ANYTHING these days! I’ll keep you in mind when we film our first makeup tutorial! PS that foundation is seriously incredible!

  5. Amanda on January 5, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I love this! I’m actually looking for a new lip gloss, and I think I’ll give this one a try!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Amanda you’ll love it! It’s super thin, not sticky and gives a high shine!

  6. Erin on January 5, 2016 at 7:13 am

    i am curious.. since i’ve discovered in the last couple summers, I get this crazy weird dark spot on my forehead, despite using sunscreen! what would she suggest to do to minimize dark spots. I’ll probably try the Neova thing, but since i already have a dark spot, can i minimize it?

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Please remember I’m an esthetician, and not a dermatologist! I can make recommendations from working in the skin care business but beyond that you’d want to consult a derm! MOST important is sunscreen. Any exposure that brown spot gets from the sun is slowly, or in some cases quickly turning darker. So always sunscreen, even on gloomy days! What you could have is melasma. In my past, I’ve used topical creams such as retina-a or tretinoin both would be prescription from a derm. You can also look for a skin care line that treats melasma or hyper-pigmentation.

  7. Jen on January 5, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I have a question for Michele about the face oil – is it ok to use if you typically have oily skin anyway? If so, is there anything I should take into consideration (using less of something if I use the oil, etc.)?


    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I would recommend the #3 of the Lustre Oils for oily or acne prone skin. What could be happening is you skin is over producing oil due to dehydration, a very common thing to happen. What the oil may do is bring that hydration back into your skin thus decreasing your oil production!

  8. Cassie on January 5, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I’d love to see skincare! Especially drugstore or skincare on a budget.

    • Vanessa on January 5, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Yes I second that!!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Absoluetly! I love all things products! I could go on for days about makeup and skincare! The more interest Gina and I get, the more often we can produce posts like this and more!!

  9. Vanessa on January 5, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Ok yay I loved this post so much! The tips are awesome and I love that the brands are ones that we can actually afford! Thank you!!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I never limit myself to department store only, or dermatologist recommended! Each skin care and makeup line have some great products so I love to teach people about them all!

  10. connie harney on January 5, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Really enjoyed this post, Gina. Very informative with some good make-up tips to try in the new year. From your MIL

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thanks MIL! 😉 glad you enjoyed!

  11. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on January 5, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I love all of these tips! I love wearing makeup so that I like the way I look and feel polished/put together but I am definitely not a makeup guru. I need all the help I can get with this stuff!!!

    • Michele on January 5, 2016 at 11:10 am

      That’s what I’m here for! I like to be realistic in my daily makeup routine, not over the top, but I like to see makeup on myself! I like the way I look with makeup 😉 Like I mentioned, it’s all about patience and practice! And using social media to learn “how to!”

  12. Stacey on January 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Really love this post. I went out and bought the lipgloss, mascara, and eyeliner so excited to try it

    • Michele on January 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Yay! Enjoy!!!

  13. Tamara on January 6, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I don’t usually comment but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. You have a realistic, easy to follow insight on beauty! Thank you 🙂

    • Michele on January 7, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks Tamara! I’m just realistic when it come to time! I know I don’t have much of it, so I want to show others that it can be done, even short on time!

  14. Kelly on January 6, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I loved this post! Do have a product you would recommend for dark under eye circles? I feel like no matter what I use they still look so dark. Any recommendation would be appreciated! Can’t wait for the video tutorials!

  15. Maryz on January 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Hello! I love this post. I always need help with make up! As far as skin care goes, I am a Rodan+Fields Consultant. Would you be interested in trying out some of the products for a future skin care post?

  16. Maryz on January 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Forgot to add my website: https://mzilhaver.myrandf.com

    I would love to offer some special pricing to anyone who would like to try the products for 60 days. Money back guaranteed!

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