Miss New York 2016

"It's not a beauty pageant, it's a scholarship program"    ~Kathy Morningside

I'm so late getting this blog posted but late is better than never, right?  Since moving to New York, I have had the opportunity to become friends with some pretty fabulous people and a large chunk of them were through the Miss New York Organization.  Check us out.  We're rather good-looking.

This year I had the opportunity to work with Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich.  I can't say enough amazing things about Mackenzie.  She's one of those rare people who balances heart, humility, talent, and beauty flawlessly.  I must admit that it's also fun that she gives me absolutely no direction with her makeup and lets me do whatever I want, just so long as her brows look fierce.

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich

If you are unfamiliar with the Miss America Organization, I'll give you a brief overview.  Young women must qualify through a local preliminary to earn the opportunity to compete at the state level.  The winner of the state pageant then progresses on to compete at Miss America, currently being held in Atlantic City, NJ.  Contestants compete in five categories: Interview, Onstage Question, Evening Gown, Lifestyle and Fitness, and Talent.  This is not a weekend of relaxation!

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich in Evening Gown

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich in Evening Gown

It takes a lot of confidence to walk onstage in a swimsuit.  Just the thought of it makes my heart start to race and my forehead starts to sweat, however, when the girls hit the stage I just can't stop smiling.  Knowing how hard each of them has worked to find the healthiest version of themselves is inspiring.  Mackenzie will use the rest of her year as Miss Manhattan to speak about her platform, Hope, Health, and Healing, which helps to empower others to overcome eating disorders and move towards a healthy life.  Follow her journey at Miss Manhattan 2016.

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich in Lifestyle and Fitness

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich in Lifestyle and Fitness

I also got the chance to reunite with my pal, Jillian Tapper, Miss New York 2014.  Jillian has a tendency to drop everything and travel Europe for three months, so we don't get to see each other all that often, but when we do, it's like we've never been apart.  She's such an approachable and witty person that she kept us all laughing as she emceed Saturday night's preliminary competition with Miss New York 2013, Amanda Mason.

Miss New York 2014, Jillian Tapper and Miss New York, 2013 Amanda Mason

Miss New York 2014, Jillian Tapper and Miss New York, 2013 Amanda Mason

Backstage with Miss New York 2014, Jillian Tapper

Backstage with Miss New York 2014, Jillian Tapper

At the end of the weekend, Camille Sims became the new Miss New York 2016, and she will be competing for Miss America in Atlantic City, NJ this September.  One of my favorite things about pageantry is seeing the shock and surprise as one young woman hears her name called and realizes that her life is about to change dramatically, and then seeing the ladies that she's competed against be genuinely happy for her and instantaneously rally around her to show their support.

Class of 2016 congratulating the new Miss New York 2016, Camille Sims

Class of 2016 congratulating the new Miss New York 2016, Camille Sims

Be happy and kind to one another.  It's important.

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich hearing her name called for Top 10

Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich hearing her name called for Top 10

Follow me on Instagram @jaiwilsonmakeup for behind the scenes photos of pageants and photo shoots.

The Secret to Beautiful Brows

When I'm working with clients, I often find that they have lots of questions about how to properly groom their brows.  Your journey to great brows doesn't need to become the quest for the holy grail.  I'll share a few tips with you that will hopefully get you headed in the right direction.  You'll be #browsonfleek in no time!

Think of your eyebrows as the frame to your face.  If you purchased a very expensive painting, I'm certain that you would spend some time considering the frame you'll display that painting in.  You would want to find a frame that was harmonious in color and with a complimentary style to it.  Your face deserves the same attention!

There are multiple products on the market to use to define and groom your brows.  The two that I use most often are Pencils and Powders.  A pencil or powder can be used independently, however, I typically use both as I find it helps me to create the most natural-looking brow due to the varying textures.

Powders:  Eyebrow powders often come in a palette with one or two different shades.  A matte eyshadow similar to your hair color also works well.  When applying brow powders, I like to use a stiff, angled brush.  If your eyebrow brush isn't stiff, you'll find it very difficult to achieve great brow definition and your brows will appear fluffy.  Powders are a great way to get soft, natural looking brows.  Powders are often more forgiving than pencils because they offer softer edges.

Pencils:  Eyebrow pencils are especially great if you are wanting to reshape your brows or if you are missing some hairs, due to a scar or overplucking.  Look for a brow pencil that is pretty firm, rather than waxy in texture.  My favorite brow pencils are actually made of a pressed powder in a wood casing.  To minimize the chance of your eyebrows looking harsh or angry, try to choose a pencil that is 2-3 shades lighter than your hair color.  

                                                       Brow Mapping

                                                       Brow Mapping

Your eyebrow shape should harmonize with your facial structure.  Brow mapping is a simple way to determine the shape of your brows.  To begin mapping the shape of your brows, place a pencil or emery board at the base of your nose and line it up with the inner corner of your eye.  This will show you where your brow should begin.  To find the peak of your arch, align your pencil with the base of your nose and the center of your iris.  Reposition your pencil to line up with the outer corner of your eye to see where the tail of your eyebrow should end.  If you use brow mapping on both sides of your face, your eyebrows should look pretty good, but you may notice that your eyebrows are not EXACTLY the same.  Don't stress out.  Eyebrows are sisters, not twins.  They don't have to be identical, but they should definitely look related.

          Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich            Makeup by Jai Wilson

          Miss Manhattan, Mackenzie Perpich            Makeup by Jai Wilson

A few more tips before I bid you farewell.

Use mutiple colors.  We all know that hair looks more beautiful when there are multiple shades running through it.  That's why women love to get highlights and lowlights at their salon.  That same idea translates to your eyebrows also.  Try to find a brow palette that gives you a couple of different color options or use a pencil and powder of a slightly varying shade.

When using an eyebrow pencil or an eyebrow brush be sure to use a "flicking" motion to mimic the look of tiny hairs, instead of trying to draw one solid line.  This will give you a much more natural look and allow you to build the color and depth of your brow, ultimately making your eyebrows look the most natural.

Keep the inside portion of your brow a bit lighter than the tail.  It doesn't have to be drastically lighter, but if it's just a little lighter, it will intensify your arch and help to keep your brows from turning into "blockheads".  If you find that the inner portion of your brow is getting a little too dark for your liking, try using a bit of your face powder on an eyeshadow brush to soften the color a bit.

I hope this has answered a few of your questions about how to easily create fabulous and believable brows.  You deserve the perfect frame to show off your masterpiece.  I'd love to see you put some of these tips into action.  Please feel free to show off your skills by tagging me via Facebook or Instagram.  Thank you for reading!

What are your favorite brow products or tips?  Leave a comment below to share!  Also, be sure to click "Subscribe via Email" in the comments section.

 

 

Summer Makeup Trends 2016

Shout out to Mallory Hagan for providing the inspiration for this installment!  

You don't have to be a supermodel to wear the most current makeup looks from the fashion runways.  The secret is to let the makeup from the shows inspire you to explore new makeup ideas while finding your own confidence and voice in the trend.  When your makeup look is "on-trend" it ensures that you look fashionably modern and confidently hip.  Today I'll share a few of my favorite looks from recent runway shows.

                                                        Miu Miu

                                                        Miu Miu

1) Deep Berry Lips

Try choosing a deep plum or berry lipstick for this summer.  Look for a lipstick with a matte or satin finish, preferably with a blue base.  The blue tones will make your teeth appear whiter!  For a true editorial feel, dab a touch of frosted royal blue eyeshadow in the center of your lower lip to add some depth and a smidge of shimmer.  This is not the lip look you'll want to apply while waiting for the red light to change. Take your time with a coordinating lip liner to ensure that the edges of your lips are precise and crisp.  This will make certain that your finished lip looks polished and neat.  A statement lip works best when the rest of your makeup stays light and clean.  Try a light dusting of bronzer around the perimeter of the face and across the eyelid, then use an eyelash curler to open the eye and set with a defining mascara.  

                                                                Alexander McQueen

                                                                Alexander McQueen

2) Romantic Innocence

The key to this look is keeping everything soft and ethereal.  Start with a light coverage foundation with a radiant finish.  In lieu of concealer, try layering your foundation with a concealer brush to add coverage without changing the texture of the skin. A cream blush with soft pink tones will add some color and dimension to your complexion while giving the appearance of healthy, youthful skin.  For eyes and lips, reach for pearl-like peachy or blush tones.  When working with eyeshadows, choose a soft and fluffy brush to diffuse color and provide a more subtle appearance.  Keep the brows soft and fluffy by using a tinted brow gel and brushing upward.

                                                                        Chanel

                                                                        Chanel

3) Blue Eyeshadow

Don't be nervous, blue eyeshadow does not have to invoke nightmares of your fourth grade dance recital.  There is no real rule for blue eyeshadow.  You can choose to be bold and daring or simple and subdued.  Your color palette can include any shade of blue you desire.  Navy, as a smokey eye or liner, is a great way to begin to play around with blue tones.  Try teal or royal blue as a winged liner or as an accent when diffused under the lower lash line.  Feeling adventurous?  Experiment with a fun swipe of matte baby blue across the eyelid during the day or a thick swatch of blue glitter across the lid for evening.

                                                Emanuel Ungaro

                                                Emanuel Ungaro

4) Naked Imperfections

Your goal with this look is to be able to hashtag your Instagram selfie with #nofilter and actually have people believe you.  Start off with a liberal amount of a radiance-boosting moisturizer then apply concealer only where you need it. Don't forget to protect your skin with an spf.  If you have freckles, make sure you don't cover them!  If you don't, consider using a fine eyebrow pencil to sketch a few on.  Add a hint of brow powder if your brows are sparse, but be sure to keep it light.  Finish things off with a dab of liquid bronzer on your cheekbones and some clear lip balm and you're out the door.  This look will keep you looking fresh all day!

Ultimately, make this summer all about you!  If blue eyeshadow or purple lipstick isn't on your agenda, then make your own trend. You could find an awesome new jam and make up a new dance move, take an impromptu road trip, or learn to pole dance.  Whatever it is that you decide to do, I'm sure you'll smile, and chances are someone else will too.

Please comment below with any questions or suggestions for future topics.  Thanks for reading!

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