My First Ever Makeup Tutorial by Ashley Gray

For the longest time throughout my career, I decided completely against making tutorials. I always felt that doing so would put me in a box and categorize me as something that I am not striving to be. I've always had the personality to blaze my own path and the drive and determination to go against what everyone else wanted me to do. So, I stayed far away from sharing my knowledge with the world. However, times changed, my perception of what it means to be a Youtube Guru also changed, but more importantly what changed was my level of confidence in myself and my natural talent. I am not aiming to be labeled as anything but myself but from that I decided I was ready to put myself out there. I feel as though God continuously laid it on my heart that I needed to do this and I decided to listen. I dug deep for inspiration, but couldn't find anything worth getting excited over and I almost gave up. Until one day, I heard this song called "Treat Me Like Fire" by duo Lion Babe at a photoshoot and decided that in my spare time I was going to check out who the singer was because I loved what I heard. When I ran across her Instagram page, I immediately decided that I wanted to know more about her, that I loved her style, but more importantly that I wanted to work with her. I felt so excited that I had found my inspiration from an incredible artist who seems to be just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. So, I gathered a team, found a model that I felt resembled her and I put my plan into action to get her attention. My goal with doing this tutorial started out with just wanting to share my gifts with people, and it has grown to mean so much more to me. Being that this is my first one, I am so attached to it. How cool is it that I can share this with other people so that they can learn but that I may also walk away with a potential new client? I am finally ready for everyone to see how I think and my style of doing things. I am finally ready for people to get to know me a little bit more and with this being the start of something great, I hope you guys stay tuned and continue to support my journey. If there weren't anyone rooting for me or encouraging me, I don't know if half of what I have accomplished would be possible! So, please take a look at my FIRST baby below and let me know what you think. Its a start to finish application. Incredibly detailed and product driven so you gorgeous ladies out there can know what to buy! Also, check out some of the group's music on their soundcloud here. Thank you for stopping by! 

Love,

Gray

A start to finish application of my self taught techniques that I use on my clients to create a flawless finish. In particular, this look I created was inspired by Jillian Hervey, of music duo LionBabe. Watch from beginning to end to learn how I highlight and contour, sculpt brows, and enhance my model's natural beauty.

Beauty Trick: Prime & Proper by Ashley Gray

Ever wonder why your eyeshadow doesn’t last all day no matter how expensive it was? Well the easiest way to fix this issue is with a handy little product called EYESHADOW PRIMER! The best times to use eyeshadow primer is when you know you won’t have time throughout the day to touch up your makeup and keep it looking freshly done. Primer intensifies the color, makes it crease-free, and helps it last up to 6 hrs longer than it normally would. A few brands I suggest you try include: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (its amazing!), Too Faced Anti Crease Shadow Insurance, Bare Escentuals Water Proof Primetime (awesome for the summer, & can be worn with or without eyeshadow on top) or MAC Cosmetics Paint Pots.

How to use:

Before applying anything to the eye area make sure it is free of any makeup or dirt. This gives the primer a chance to set into your eyelid and makes for the easiest application of the eyeshadow.

Similar to how you would apply concealer to your lids, instead you’ll use the primer. Apply a pea sized amount to the lid, and allow to almost completely dry. Most will be either transparent, or will have a beige looking color to it once its dry unless its a pigmented primer. Then use an eyeshadow brush to apply it on top of the primer && wallah thats it. Don’t forget to BLEND BLEND BLEND! :)

P.S. before you buy any of these products, get with a consultant at your favorite makeup store or counter and try the primers out on your hand. You’ll be glad that you did!


SHELFLIFE: DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO TOSS YOUR MAKEUP by Ashley Gray

I get this question a lot being a makeup artist, and often times I get asked mostly about mascara and foundation. The truth about makeup products is that they all have an expiration date at some point and some will last longer than others. The average length of time that foundation can last before it expires is 12-24 months and mascara, you should toss it every 3 months. However, I toss my mascara every month because I’m a MUA and its the safest way to be hygienic and I also use a new mascara wand for each client. On the back of your makeup product there should be a little tub with a lid on it and it will have a number inside of it. That number is the amount of months you have until your makeup expires. It’s important to be aware of the expiration date of your makeup. After awhile, if you’re using expired makeup it more than likely is harboring nasty, harmful bacteria that can cause infections. You’re chances of getting something like pink eye are DOUBLED when using expired cosmetics. To see how to clean your makeup so that it has a longer shelflife you can go here.

Also another thing to be conscious of is the sponge that comes in your cream foundations, powders, etc. Once this sponge is completely soiled THROW IT AWAY! I repeat THROW IT AWAY! You can ALWAYS purchase another one at a drugstore, counter, or cosmetics store such as Ulta. Putting a sponge on your face that has been used over and over again has so much bacteria in it that is causing more problems than it can possibly help cover. Cosmetic wedges and sponges should be thrown away DAILY, unless its the compact sponge that I just spoke about above. In terms of makeup brushes, they should be cleaned after each use with a brush cleanser. MAC makes an excellent brush cleaner that drys quickly, and I LIVE by the brush cleaner by Sephora. Your brushes should be DEEPLY CLEANED once a week with either baby shampoo or a brush shampoo. I use Johnson + Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in the yellow bottle! To learn how to deeply clean your makeup brushes and how to spot clean them, you can go here.

Marie Claire had a great article on how long most cosmetics last in case you couldn’t locate the little bottle on your cosmetics, which looks like this:

Expiration dates — beginning from the time you first open these products
Powders and shadows: 2 years 
Cream shadows: 12 to 18 months 
Foundation: 1 year 
Lipstick & lipliner: 1 year 
Mascara & eyeliners: 3 months 
Makeup brushes: Clean weekly using a mild detergent 
Makeup sponges: Replace weekly, or when sponge becomes soiled 

Tips for keeping your skin clean and your makeup fresh
— Smell your cosmetics; if they have an unusual odor, they may contain bacteria and should be discarded. 
— Always make sure that products are closed tight and stored out of sunlight, as this can destroy the preservatives. 
— Don’t use any eye products if you currently have an eye infection. 
— Never add any liquids to products unless directed by the manufacturer. 
— If there are any changes in color and texture, dispose of the product immediately. 
— Avoid sampling makeup at department stores when possible. If you do test, never apply directly from the makeup. Instead, use a clean, disposable applicator (i.e., cotton swab, sponge) to apply cosmetics, or simply ask for assistance.