Amy's Blog

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    What's the Secret?
    Posted by Amy Vu

    People always compliment me on my makeup. What's the secret? The secret to having a beautiful makeup look is to have healthy skin. The skin is the base for everything. Clean skin equals clean makeup. Make sure you have a clean face before starting. Wash your face with a cream cleanser. Any cleanser that foams up contains sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient that is used in pretty much soap detergent. That ingredient leaves a tight film on your face which causes it to clog your pores. So the best products to use are cleansers that contains natural oils.

    Personally, I use Noxzema. I'm not telling you to stop what you're using and go buy this. I'm just telling you what I have been using for the past 10 years. I've had my fair share of breakouts and not knowing how to get rid of it. But in a way, if I had never gotten any breakouts, I would never be able to learn how to cover them up. I guess it was a blessing in disguise. Things happen for a reason! Now that you have clean skin, you need something to hydrate it. Currently I am using Epicuren's Evening Emulsion, an Enzyme moisturizer. It contains collagen, amino acids and antioxidants that will keep your skin soft and young. This is my day and night cream, I use this in the morning when I wake up and at night before I go to sleep.

    The next step is to use a good moisturizer. Why use a moisturizer when I already have the day cream on? Don't let the word moisturizer fool you. Remember, day cream is to hydrate. Applying moisturizer is adding a protective layer between your skin and your makeup. I recommend one that has SPF to protect your skin but not the sunscreen types to where it is too thick. You want something light but can still protect you from the sun rays, dirt and pollution. I use Oil of Olay. Some people are allergic to SPF. Oil of Olay has one without it. Always use this, even if it's night time. Let's say you're going out to the club. You still need to use moisturizer! If you do not use moisturizer, the makeup will eat your skin. This is the barrier to protect your skin from the makeup.

    Onto the primer. Primer is the base of your foundation. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is such an amazing product. It feels like velvet on your skin. It contains vitamins A and E, green tea and most important, grape seed extract. If you want smooth foundation with no lines and small pores, this product is magic. I have even had a few clients telling me that this product helped them with their breakouts, even with cyst acne. I recommend everyone trying this out! I know there are many steps but hey, you got to maintain your skin to have glowing skin. Foundation is one of the most important makeup products to have. I use Makeup Forever's HD Foundation. Working as an artist for almost 10 years, I have been searching for a great foundation that looks flawless and does not feel like you are wearing foundation. I thank Makeup Forever for creating this formula! With this product I get the most compliments. "Your skin looks amazing! Your foundation looks like you don't even have it on." This is what I mainly use on my clients as well. Any products that I use on my clients, I use on myself.
    After applying foundation, women tend to think that it's done and walk out of the house. Stop! Go back in and apply your powder. Finishing powder is the final step you need to do to set your makeup.

    It keeps your foundation staying put. Funny how some of my clients complain why their face is so greasy and oily when they walk around all day in wet foundation and no powder. My favorite that I have been using for the past 10 years is Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. It has no color, which means it can be for any skin color. White, black, yellow, pink, orange, you name it. This will set your foundation and will make the perfect base for your eyeshadow, blush, eyebrows, etc.

    If you like to try any of my recommendations, you definitely can get them and see how it works for you. I have many products that I would love to share and recommend. These are not the only ones I use but the ones that I am using right now. Also, I would love to hear your feedback! It may not be for everyone so please do not get mad and write me mean e-mails if it does not work for you.

    Thank you so much for reading my first blog entry! If you have any questions on makeup and skincare, please email me at I would love to hear from you. Have a great day!

    Amy Vu
    Makeup Artist
    Orange County, California

    Special thanks:
    My knowledge is not only from experience but also from the great teachings of Donna Mee from Empire
    Academy of Makeup. I started my first two years working in cosmetics and decided that I wanted to
    become certified. Attending Empire Academy taught me so much about not only makeup but also
    skincare and professionalism. Thank you Donna for being such a strong mentor guiding me through my

    Donna Mee, Inc.
    Empire Academy of Makeup
    270 Baker St Ste 300
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    (714) 438-2437

    Product recommendations:

    Epicuren Evening Emulsion -
    Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer-

    Makeup Forever HD Foundation-

    Laura Mercier Translucent Powder-