Review: Trucco Sheer Lipstick in Stained

Trucco’s Stained Sheer Lipstick looks scary at first glance. I thought it to be almost black when twisted it up from it’s handsome, logo-imprinted black tube. Wow! What color could this possibly be? I hestitantly rubbed the end of the glossy, black formula on the back of my hand, and….what’s this? It’s a lovely, clear chocolate-y brown shiny sheer! Now I’m thinking, “Okay, it looks great on the back of my hand, but what about my lips?” Well, as it turns out, Stained looks fabulous. One of my new favorite shades, definitely. Since my first, somewhat harrowing, experience with Trucco’s Stained, I have used this beautiful shade on several of my clients and it’s looks absolutely amazing on everyone I’ve tried it on, from the darkest skinned lovelies to the fairest, blondest beauties–by the way, it’s truly the most beautiful with Asian coloring.

Stained is such a natural shade and it seems to transform into the “perfect shade” on every lip it touches…and I mean perfect. I’m a professional makeup artist and I just happen to sell many of the cosmetics I use (how convenient, eh?). So far, every one I’ve tried this on (including myself) has purchased this lipstick shade…more than once. And at a very reasonable $13.95, why not give it a try yourself? You won’t be sorry. Trucco is available at fine salons and online at

Best Stocking Stuffers $10-20


These cute, handy and innovative sponges come pre-infused with a glycerin and olive-oil based soap and give you up to 30+ showers. Available in many cheerful colors and scents, Spongeables gently exfoliate your skin while you suds up in the shower or bath; Spongeables turn your every day shower into a pampering, invigorating and relaxing getaway. They also cut your shower time in half (okay…maybe not in half, but they can save time in the tub or shower), saving valuable water and time. Available scents include Spiced Mango, Sweet Jasmin, Sunkissed Fig and Lemonberry. The scents are quite soothing and uplifting, not at all overwhelming and are designed not to irritate sensitive skin. Spongeables are also available in a special Holiday version, in red, white and green of course and a great pine-berry scent; they make the BEST stocking stuffers at $7.50 each. Spongeables Soap ‘N Sponge 2 Go, Citrus Basil

Pookie Lips Stocking Stuffer Edition

Pookie Lips, conceived by two NYU grads after a close friend discovered a recipe for her own magic lip balm, released their precious Stocking Stuffer balm just in time for the holidays. Priced at around $8, this adorable aluminum tin contains Pookie Lips’ famous breath freshening vanilla-mint Apookie Lips treatment formula with just a hint of shimmer. Yum!
Pookie Cosmetics Lip Balm – Stocking Stuffer

Korres Body Milk…in Vanilla Cinnamon
Exceptionally long-lasting moisture and amazing scents make Korres Body Milk the perfect gift for anyone who wants supple, beautiful-smelling skin. Guys name the Vanilla Cinnamon scent as one of their favorites, and we have to agree. You get a generous 8.3 ounces of this magic milk for $15.00. Korres Natural Products Body Milk 8.45 oz Vanilla Cinnamon

Too Faced Mini Quickie Chronicle–The Starlette

Too Faced Cosmetics Quickies and Mini Quickies are the greatest multi-cosmetic compacts around. At $15.00, the Mini Quickies include a blush, two eyeshadows, and two lipglosses all neatly contained in a limited edition, compact with the familiar Too Faced Pin Up Girl artwork. GirlPaint’s favorite is The Starlette’s neutral palate. Too Faced Mini Quickie Chronicle – The Starlette The Starlette

Featured Fragrances! Scents that deliver…

Nyakio Perfume Oil
I am one of those people who found my signature fragrance several years ago and have not strayed from it yet (in case you’re curious, it’s Fendi). However, I was recently introduced to the Nyakio body products line, and I loved everything I tried. The body scrubs are delicious, the body cremes are decadent and very different, and the dry body oil is a total luxury! Nyakio (say Ny-KAY-oh), in case you are unfamiliar, was conceived by Nyakio Kamoche, who is a first generation American citizen with roots in Kenya. Nyakio’s sexy, spicy concentrated perfume oil is both feminine and sultry. What they say, “The fragrance is derived from coconut, sandalwood, apricot, and amber accented by a light musk. ” I don’t really smell any of these individual notes; in fact, if someone had told me that these were the notes that this fragranced is comprised, I would have said, “No thanks…” Instead what I say, “I love it!” Nyakio’s purfume oil is the first fragrance I have tried that has convinced me to stray from my favorite scent, at least a few times a week. You can find Nyakio online at

Creative Scentualizations Perfect Vanilla

I have always loved vanilla; I suppose that most people, men and women included, do. Well, I was browsing the fragrance section of my favorite boutique recently and discovered a fragranced called Perfect Vanilla. What the heck, thought I. I spritzed a little on my wrist and sniffed. Much to my surprise, I not only noted a lovely vanilla scent, but I also detected orange and musk…also favorite scents of mine. The boutique was thoughtful enough to post some information about the perfumery and its scents and I discovered that Perfect scents were created by a perfumery called Creative Scentualizations and that the Vanilla scent I sampled includes notes of Israeli Blood Orange (I knew there was orange in there!) and tobacco (hmmm…really). Apparently this fragrance is quite popular with both men and women (big surprise. Hello, vanilla and tobacco? Yummy.) I promptly asked the boutique for a sample to take home. I have since been back to make the relationship with this new fragrance official and committed to a purchase….oh, boy! If you’re not a fan of vanilla, you may do well to explore the other scents available through Creative Scentualizations. I am intrigued myself with scents like Perfect Gardenia, Perfect Nectar, Perfect Bliss, Perfect Veil and Perfect Love. One other great thing about their website: they offer samples of all their scents, AND the scents included in them (they have a sample of Chocolate, for instance) for $1.50 each. All these perfect scents can be researched online at

My All-Time Favorite: Fendi
Launched by the design house of Fendi in 1985, FENDI by Fendi is classified as a flowery fragrance. This feminine scent posesses a blend of leather, rose, sandalwood, amber and musk. I hardly call this fragrance “flowery” myself…more of a clean and spicy scent. I have worn Fendi for so long that you can open any of my drawers (don’t you dare!) or venture into my closet (what the h*** are you doing in there?!) and even with regular laundering (okay, somewhat regular), my clothes still smell of my dear old Fendi. I love the sexy, yet practical, vibe Fendi gives off…it’s all at once powerful and feminine. And different. Different than anything I have ever smelled. It has become my signature scent. One smell for yourself and you, too, will know why it is a classic.

Painted Face: Smokey

To achieve the smokey look, apply foundation as you normally would…make sure your skin looks as natural as possible.

You will want to avoid glimmery, sparkly and shimmery colors on your face. Only the eyes and hints of highlight, here and there, will incur the wrath of glimmer. Careful color choice and blending are the keys to keeping a smokey look (or any look, for that matter) from looking cheap or harsh, so blend your makeup well. You can use your fingertips to blend, or a blending brush, cosmetic sponge, small face puff…whatever you are most comfortable using.

Start by defining the brows. You’ll want a strong but natural look, so I recommend a good set of brow powders and a professional angled brow brush–use Paula Dorf’s or Sephora’s. My favorite brow powders are either Paula Dorf’s brow powder duos or Joey New York’s State of the Arch set. Use an appropriate color of brow dressing to complement the skin and hair. Set with brow gel.

Next lay in the base eyelid color all over the eye lids, from lash line to brow. Press a light, neutral color like Maybelline’s ExpertWear Shadow in Champagne Fizz or Silken Taupe. Next contour the mobile eyelid and crease with a deep, smokey color. We chose to color-match the model’s eye color and went with Ulta’s Eye Shadow in Mystique. Really work that color into the lid and crease with a contour brush and be sure to blend well, either with a fluffy crease brush or your fingertip. Using a smudge brush or sponge, line the eyes, all but the very inner corner, with a slightly darker color than the lid color, one like Lola Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Mystic Eyes. Highlight the browbone, center of the lid and inner corner of the eye with a high-shine color like Sugar Baby’s Ice Princess Eye Line & Shine in Natural Born Princess. Again, blend well.

Select a cheek color that is a few shades darker than your natural skin color. I went with Bloom’s Aloha Bronzing Powder. Apply the cheek color in the hollows of the cheeks for a dramatic look. Continue contouring the face by applying color over the brows on the forehead, touch the temples, chin and jawline with color. Don’t forget to blend.

Dot concealer where needed and pat into skin to blend. Apply a light (very light!) dusting of translucent face powder like Studio Gear’s Translucent Loose Powder. Pat the powder into the skin with a velour face puff; do not use sweeping motions with your powder puff or you will remove the powder you just applied, along with the makeup underneath it.

Highlight by applying Revlon’s Face Illuminator, either powder or lotion, in the middle of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, the cupid’s bow of the upper lip, the top of the cheek bones and the apple of the chin. Blend…yes, again.

For a smokey look, you want to keep the mouth fairly light and neutral. Here I lined the lips and filled in with Prestige Cosmetics Automatic Lip Liner in Nude. Top with a light, shimmery (yes, shimmer is okay on the lips) lip gloss.

Last, curl the lashes and apply 2-3 coats of a lash building mascara like Bourjois Pump up the Volume.


3d model by

Step-by-Step: The Perfect Bridal or Special Event Make Up Application in 13 Steps

1st. Cleanse face, neck and décolleté using gentle, skin-type appropriate cleanser

  1. Use JOEY NY make-up remover pads for “clingy” eye make up.
  2. Tone the skin to tighten pores and remove any traces of oil. My favorite toner for this is DDF’s Aloe Toning Complex

2nd. Moisturize…I recommend DDF Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew (allow 10 minutes before priming)

3rd. Prime

  1. Face
    1. JOEY NY Correct-a-line or Pore Minimizing Serum
    2. PAULA DORF Just Glo
    b. Eyes
  2. PAULA DORF Eye Primer–Love this stuff ‘cuz it creates a perfect surface for eye shadow, whether you use powder or cream

4th. Foundation

  1. Color match at jawline in natural light
  2. Apply all over face with foundation brush, pat with fingertips to blend
  3. Apply to eyelids with a smaller (concealer) brush
    1. PAULA DORF Perfect Glo
    2. TRUCCO Oil-Free

5th. Brows

  1. Shape brows with spoolie
  2. Outline and fill in brows with appropriate color brow powder/s using angled brow brush
  3. Finish with brow gel to set

6th. Eyes

  1. a. Liner
    1. PAULA DORF Transformer mixed with darkest shadow color and steadily painted on upper and lower lash lines
    2. Soften with smudger tool, if necessary
  2. All-over color
  3. Crease color, if needed
  4. Lid
  5. Highlight on browbone and center of lid
  6. Contour at outer edge
  7. Blend
  8. Re-line
  9. Apply eye enhancer (my favorite lately is Paula Dorf’s Baby Eyes) in inside of lower lid to brighten eyes
  10. Use fan brush to remove any fall-out on cheeks below eyes

7th. Concealer

  1. Cream concealer under eyes
    1. PAULA DORF Total Camouflage or TRUCCO Cream Concealer, blend for perfect color
  2. PAULA DORF Magic Stik on blemishes
  3. Apply special concealer if necessary

8th. Cheeks

  1. Cream on cheeks and under cheekbones to contour
    1. Use a Cream Cheek brush
  2. Powder over cream to lengthen wear
    1. Use a Contoured Cheek Brush
  3. Highlight top of cheekbone

9th. Contour & Highlight to define/correct face shape to give the illusion of distinct planes and to “correct” face shape towards oval

  1. Cheeks
    1. Contour below cheekbones
    2. If necessary, contour to camouflage sagging skin along jawline
    3. Highlight over cheekbones and under eyes
  2. Chin & Jawline
  3. Neck
    1. Contour just below jawline
    2. Contour either side of “Adam’s Apple” to lengthen a short neck
  4. Décolleté
    1. Dust with matte or shimmery powder
  5. Collar bones
    1. Highlight the top of the collar bones with shimmery powder or Paula Dorf’s Tinted Moisturizer in Just Glo
  6. Forehead
    1. Contour just above the eyes
    2. Highlight just above and between the brows

10th. Lips

  1. Prime
    1. NAKED KISS Lip Treatment, if necessary for moisture/plumping
    2. PAULA DORF True Illusion or Trucco’s Lip Perfect, to smooth and lengthen wear
  2. Line lips with a soft, steady line
  3. Fill in the lips with a liner color similar to lipstick color
  4. Brush on lipstick with lip brush to apply a fine, even layer of color
  5. Blot with a folded tissue
  6. Re-apply color, again using lip brush
  7. Blot again
  8. Apply gloss to “pout” on lower lips
  9. Re-line

11th. Powder

  1. Load large, fluffy powder brush with a translucent loose powder like Paula Dorf’s No Color or Trucco’s Nothing
  2. Remove the excess by shaking the excess out completely before applying

12th. Mascara

  1. Prime lashes
    1. BLINC Primer
  2. Apply mascara (my favorite for weddings is KISS ME in Black or Black/Brown) to upper and lower lashes
    i. Plant the mascara brush at the base of the upper lashes and, using a slight zig-zag motion, apply color at the roots and roll the brush out to the lash tips
    ii. Lightly “touch” the mascara brush on the lower lashes to deposit color and definition

13th. Apply Bronzer and/or Highlighter as needed for extra warmth–for darker, warmer complexions I use Bloom’s Aloha Bronzing Powder and for lighter, pinker complexions I prefer Trucco’s Bronzer

What's your favorite foundation?

I have been doing some research on foundations for quite awhile (basically since I started wearing makeup…some 20 years ago?!). I have yet to find the “perfect” one, but some are pretty good: Paula Dorf Perfect Glo (read review below), Bloom Foundation (I use #2), Neutrogena, Clinique…I literally could go on and on.

I keep hearing about Chantecaille and I really want to try NARS, but living in the middle of the country with few cosmetics counters to actually check out these expensive little gems before dropping upwards of $50…long whining complaint short, I need help.

Here’s where I request your input: What is your favorite foundation? And why do you love it?

Painted Face: Kick up your Neutral Look

Are you used to a natural, neutral look? Well, here are some ideas to bump up your look for fall:

On your eyes, try some of the newer caramel and camel shades out there (we love Z New York’s matte shades in Central Park, Brownstone and TKTS with Central Park in the crease) and cocoa brown eye liner–Chanel’s Le Crayon Kohl in Ambre.

Try a dark denim blue liner–our favorite is Styli-Style’s Line & Seal in either Twilight or Navy–on the lower lashes only and smudge the line with your finger or a cotton swab, making sure to leave the color fairly intense. Complete the eyes with your favorite black mascara, we recommend Lancome’s award-winning Defincils.

Finish by using a very soft coral or peach color on your cheeks–try Mirenesse Stellar Blush in Amina– and a gold gloss–Ramy’s Lip Plumping Lip Gloss in Lil’ Something Something! should fit the bill–on your lips with a neutral colored lip liner

Review: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

Bobbi Brown is typically one of our favorite lines. Her rich colors and professional quality “paints” are always at the top of GirlPaint’s list.

Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer (I used Warm Natural) is certainly no exception. It has a lovely texture–creamy, as the label implies, not too sticky or too dry. And it has very good staying power. One thing that is true of ALL concealers: they must be blended well to achieve a natural look.

I applied this concealer after my foundation was laid down. Once applied, my face looked so smooth. No dark circles, shadows, discolorations or red spots were left…it’s like they were never there to begin with (don’t I wish!).

I used my fingers for applying Bobbi Brown’s Cremy Concealer under my eyes and around my nose and a small brush for spot coverage on my face. After I applied the concealer, I set it by pressing neutral powder into it with a velvety puff. You can experiment with different brushes, cosmetic sponges or even a Q-tip. Be sure that if you do set the concealer with a powder that you don’t sweep the powder on, wiping away your carefully applied concealer.

Just remember: blend, blend, blend and you’ll be happy, happy, happy! We give Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer five out of five brushes …our highest review.

Painted Face: Wedding or Special Event

The key to a beautiful wedding look is to look like yourself, only more beautiful, right? Your skin should be soft and glowing, your eyes bright and your cheeks flushed and healthy. To help you achieve this magic, be sure to drink 1 liter (32 oz.) of water every day for at least two weeks prior to the wedding (you should be doing this every day, regardless). Take your vitamins and eat 5-6 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Get plenty of exercise (don’t over do it) and keep stress to a minimum; remember, this is your wedding and anticipating it should be FUN. Do not get a facial within the two weeks prior to your wedding–redness and blemish flare-up’s are definitely NOT considered wedding appropriate.

Fifteen minutes before you apply your makeup, cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser like Elizabeth Arden’s Hydra-Gentle Cream Cleanser, then moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer–we LOVE ULTA’s Formativ Oil Free Moisturizer with Essential Care Complex–and use an appropriate eye serum like to reduce any dark circles or puffiness. Do not use an eye cream as it will cause your eye makeup to slide off. If you have any last minute blemishes, fix them quick with Joey NY’s Roll On Blemish Fix.

Prime the skin with a foundation primer; we really like Joey NY’s Correct-A-Line–it makes foundation look absolutely flawless, just be sure not to apply too much. Next apply foundation with a foundation brush or your fingertips; our recommended foundation is Bobbi Brown’s Moisture Rich Foundation. Lightly dust the face with loose translucent powder like Clinique’s Blended Face Powder in Neutral.

Apply an eye primer to hold the make up on the eye–remember that this makeup has to last several hours with few touch-ups; the eye primer we swear by is Too Faced’s Soothing Eye Shadow Base in Matte. Line the eyes with a liquid eye liner. We personally like Blinc Kiss Me’s Liquid Eyer because it will last through tears, nerves and the “Bunny Hop.”

Define the brows with an angled brow brush and a brow powder like Amazing Cosmetics’ Brow Powder in Brunette. Next apply a neutral, base color like Sue Devitt’s Silky Sheen Eyeshadow in Flinders Ranges, apply a beautiful jewel color like Jewels in the Dust in the crease and outer corner of the lid . Highlight the brow bone and the middle of the eye lid with a light, shimmery color like Dreamtime Legend. For a smokier look, apply a darker shade next to the upper lashes and at the outer corner of the eye, one like Hopetown, and blend well.

Use concealer where needed to hide under eye circles, at the corners of the eyes, to hide any redness or blemishes–recommended concealer: Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer. Next comes blush. To enhance length of wear, apply cream blush like first, then dust on a matching powder blush like Bobbi Brown’s Blush. Tap the blush with your fingertips to ensure that the blush looks natural, not cakey. Use powder blush one shade darker to contour your cheek bones; suck in your cheeks and apply lightly in the cheek indentions. Also, contour your jawline. If you need to apply bronzer (necessary in the spring and summer–our favorite bronzing powder is Sue Devitt’s Gold Coast Bronzing Pressed Powder), do so now on the forehead, apples of the cheeks, tip of the nose and chin.

Apply a soft, steady lip line with a liner pencil like Bourjois’ Levres Contour Lip Liner in Espiegle, then fill in lips with liner. With a lip brush, apply lip color; we used Lancome’s Hydrabase Creme Lipstick in Rose Baby for this look. Blot with a tissue, reapply lip color and blot again. Last for lips: apply gloss in the “pout” area of the lower lip–just in the center. We recommend Too Faced’s Gossip Gloss in Tattle Tale.

Polish the wedding look by highlighting with a face highlighter like Too Faced’s Liquid Light Face Highlighter applied at the center of the forehead, down the ridge of the nose and under the eyes at the top of the cheeks. Dust the face with translucent face powder to set the makeup.
Soft, sexy eyelashes complete the look. First, prime the lashes with a lash primer to ensure that the lashes take a good curl and that mascara goes on smoothly and extra-plump. Curl the lashes with an eyelash curler (hold the upper lashes firmly in the curler for 15-20 seconds). Apply two coats of black/brown mascara. Nothing ruins close-up wedding photographs like clumpy lashes, so be sure to use a good mascara like Mirenesse’s Secret Weapon Mascara. Last but not least: time to walk down the aisle, with a beautiful smile!

Review: Paula Dorf Perfect Glo Foundation

Paula Dorf Perfect Glo Foundation ChampagnePaula Dorf, a renowned makeup artist in the biz for over 25 years, started her own cosmetics line (with the assistance of her amazing hubbie, Sandy) about five years ago. She is known best for her innovative “tools” and products that enable saavy customers to become their own makeup artists.

Paula Dorf’s Perfect Glo Foundations are weightless, so translucent, it’s a natural for your skin. Transmitting and diffusing light. Refining all the way to flawless. The slippery cream formula goes on very light and smooth. Eleven shades are available to match almost any skin tone.

Perfect Glo imparts your skin with a velvety texture without looking like you have a mask on. You can easily adjust the coverage by applying layers of Perfect Glo to achieve the look you want. Perfect Glo foundation is recommended for normal to dry and combination skin; it is not for those with very oily skin.

Perfect Glo comes in a compact with a small Taklon brush–great for touch-ups on the go. We at GirlPaint highly recommend applying Pefect Glo with a full-sized Taklon foundation brush, for the most even and natural coverage. If you use Paula’s foundation brush (which we suggest), you will get an airbrushed, flawless finish. It’s truly a beautiful foundation for the rest of your makeup.

If your neck is a different color than your face, which is quite common among most women (especially in the fall), you can simply “pull” the foundation over your jawline down to your neck with your foundation brush.

GirlPaint loves Paula Dorf’s Perfect Glo. We give it four out of five paintbrushes , only because it cannot be used by all skin types and because you will need to purchase a full-sized foundation brush if you do not already have one, to achieve the optimum product performance.

Paula Dorf’s Perfect Glo Foundation and Foundation Brush can be purchased at

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