Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello New Year

Let me just start by saying how amazing 2014 has been to me. 
I am so grateful for everyone that sees my work, follows my social media, reads this blog, hires me(!) and supports me. So THANK YOU! 

Here is a quick recap of some of the best moments of 2014... 

Winter 2014
January = IMATS in LA! 

My good friend and fellow artist, Martina Sykes, invited me along to the IMATS in LA. We had a GREAT time! We ran into a lot of friends, saw a lot of seminars, bought a lot of makeup, had margaritas, great food, sunshine and loads of inspiration! 

First stop off the plane was at a mexican restaurant across the street from the convention center. They offered to take our picture! So we had this sweet/silly souvenir!  

One of the competitors at the IMATS. 


Bridal shoot with Glossed and Found for Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists

Love this behind the scenes shot with Tim in the foreground! 
This was a super stylized, beautiful bridal shoot. Check out the behind the scenes video HERE!

Cubs Opening Day! 

I always enjoy working with the Ricketts Family, and this past year's opening day was quite exciting! The Today Show was there filming and I got to hang out on the historic field. 

 More time in LA... 

At the Getty Museum
I couldn't wait to get back to LA! So in April I took some time to shoot, network and enjoy the LA culture :) 

Chicago Magazine

It's always great to see your name in print! Here is a spread I did with Dr. Lauren Streicher for Chicago Magazine

Red hot test shot.


This was such a fun test shoot! It was Dave's concept, and it really came to life! I had a lot of fun working  on this. It was difficult to get the same shade of red from person to person. I used the Illustrator Palette (alcohol formula), so it wouldn't bleed onto the clothes. 

Old Milwaukee Commercial with Gilbert Brown

One day in June, I drove out to Milwaukee to work on a super hilarious commercial starring former Green Bay Football player, Gilbert Brown. 
Gilbert was the nicest man, and very funny! The whole crew on this project was a blast to work with! 

The commercial is now airing on ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Sports and ABC Sports in the Milwaukee and LaCrosse markets! 

Check out the full commercial below... 

Chicago Makeup Show!

I have a whole blog post dedicated to the Makeup show this past year! You can view it HERE

Tweedy and Son
Photos/Video by Piper Ferguson

I had the great pleasure of working with Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and his son Spencer this past summer. Both were a total delight! Such talented guys with great senses of humor. All the images were captured by the mega talented Piper Ferguson. She also managed to film some video footage of them performing. 
Below is a video of Jeff performing (solo), "Wait For Love."

Let me just say, we were in a vacant loft space in the city. I was fortunate enough to listen to this magic in a room with only 3 other people. 

bts shot of a filmed performance on the roof. 

Scary Knotts Farm Commercials

I had such a great time working on these commercials! 
I rarely do special effects/costume makeup, so for me this was a great challenge and a great time! I had the pleasure of working alongside the ultra talented ladies of Cirque FX, a special FX crew in Chicago. 
They made all the bald caps, blood and guts, etc. I handled painting and dirt, thanks also to my assistant for those two days, Kate Johnson.

Wardrobe provided by Lana Mcallister

I had the pleasure of collaborating with the mega talented team at Phlearn for a very interesting photo project titled, "Milk Queen."
If you haven't heard of Phlearn, you should check them out--especially if you're a photographer! They have free photoshop tutorials for beginners and pros. 
For our Milk Queen project, I had to create white highlighted features (brows and lashes), luminous skin, and soft shadows of pale pinks and peaches. 
Below on the left is a photo of our model during the makeup process, and on the right is the final photo. 

You can view a cool behind the scenes video by Phlearn which covers more details about the makeup as well as the process as a whole.

New York Times
Gone Girl and Wild
Photo in NYT by Krystina Archer

photo c/o Krystina Archer's Instagram
I have had a couple of makeup/hair dates with the talented writer, Gillian Flynn. This particular shoot was pretty special as it was for the New York Times! 
Not only did I get to work with Gillian, but I also had a chance to work with the lovely Cheryl Strayed. Before the photos, there was an interview with the two women and it was fascinating to hear their stories and their views on their positions as authors and now screenwriters. 
Mavis Staples Tribute Show

I can't even. 
This was an incredible job that fell into my lap, thanks to a good friend and fellow artist, Nora Hess. She asked myself and makeup artist Andrea Samuels to help her on a job she knew NOTHING about! 

Once we walked into our makeup room we had a chance to realize what we had just walked into. We were surrounded the entire night by walking legends! It was amazing. 

L-R: Andrea, Bonnie Raitt, Jen Brown, Nora Hess. 

One of the first names that stood out to me immediately was BONNIE RAITT! And how could it not, she is incredible! I asked the girls if they minded if I called dibs since I was so excited at the possibility of helping Ms. Raitt with her lashes, and they both immediately said, "OF COURSE!"

So Bonnie Raitt walked into the makeup room and sat in my chair. I was star struck! She was incredibly humble and kind, with a great sense of humor. 

Photo c/o Rick Diamond

There were many other Greats there that night as well! 
Some of which handled their own hair and makeup and some who came to see us before they hit the stage!

photo c/o Joan Osborne's FB

Photo above (left to right): Grace Potter (Hair by Nora, MU by Jen), Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt (MU by Jen), Joan Osborne (Hair by Nora, MU by Jen).

Otis Clay
I also had the pleasure of working with Aaron Neville, Michael McDonald, and Regine Chassagne. I got to sit in the same room with Mavis Staples, Gregg Allman, Buddy Miller, Glen Hansard, and so many others!! 
It was a very fun and unforgettable night. 

Joan Cusack
Chicago Tribune
Photo by Saverio Truglia

I was so excited to collaborate with Saverio on this super fun shot of Joan Cusack. We set up at her store in Old Town, Judy Maxwell Home. Joan was full of ideas and creativity! 

What an amazing year! And those were only a few of the highlights for 2014! 

Of course I can't forget all the wonderful personal things that have happened this year. I was lucky enough to attend (and make-up :) some very lovely brides who are close to my heart! 

Catherine and Jack
My sweet cousin Catherine married her long time love this summer! It was so beautiful and I was so thrilled to be a part of her special day! 

 Bridgette and Zak
My lovely friend Bridgette tied the knot this summer to the love of her life, Zak. I actually did hair and makeup for her special day (that doesn't happen often!). 

Bridgette and her mother pre ceremony. 

Photo c/o Stephanie Bassos Photography
Bridgette and Zak

Stephanie and Ryan
Last but certainly not least, my beautiful friend Stephanie married her best friend and love, Ryan. Stephanie is actually an incredible photographer (See above photo!), and I couldn't be happier to help out on her big day. She had a large bridal party that was such a blast to work with!
All photos by Jill Devries Photography

What a year. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
Looking forward to what 2015 will bring! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bridal Makeup featuring Loverly...

Hello loves!
So many exciting things have been happening since I last wrote. One of which, is the inspiration for today's blog. 

The folks at Loverly asked me to create 3 bridal makeup looks for some of their featured dresses! If you aren't familiar with this bridal site, you should definitely take a minute to check it out! You can see all the beautiful inspiration here

I have to tell you, I was so excited to do this post, not only because I love creating such special makeup looks, but also because I'm newly engaged myself! 


Jesse popped the question on our 5 year anniversary, and we couldn't be more excited! 
So the idea of perusing hundreds of wedding dresses on Loverly's site to find inspiration was quite dreamy...

Whether you're a bride to be, a friend of a bride, a bridesmaid, or artist, I hope you find inspiration for your next bridal look!

Soft and Romantic

This dress has a grecian inspired draping. Very clean, simple and effortless. For a dress like this, I imagine a very polished yet soft and romantic makeup. 

Soft and Romantic Bridal look

This dress inspired a clean look due to it's sophisticated style. The clean lines and the soft flowing fabric are what inspired this polished, barely there makeup look. 
Imagine soft taupes on the eyes, a barely there liner (either brown powder or a tight line with a pencil), fresh pink cheeks, and subtle highlights. And don't forget the lashes! Just because this look is supposed to be effortless, these individual lashes add just the right amount of flair for those romantic doe eyes. Not to mention, it looks fabulous in the photos! 

Hint of Vintage

This classic bridal dress is definitely vintage inspired. From the lace to the sleeves, all you can think of is 1940's glamour. So that's what I want to carry on through the makeup to create a clean, cohesive look. 

Hint of Vintage

Starting with a lightweight, full cover foundation for that matte look. The eyes are lined with a little cat flick of liquid liner (black of course!), adorned with some corner lashes to emphasize that cat eye flair. I also love the antique gold eye shadow popped right on the lid! Just to add a little extra sparkle and sophistication. 
Instead of opting for a bold lined red lip, I'm going with a softer, berry stain. Still has that drama, but carried out in a softer, romantic way. 

Chic and Glamorous

A ball gown is glamourous on it's own.. make it blush and Oh my! It's a show stopper! I wanted a makeup look with drama that could hold up to the dress, but still had a pretty and feminine vibe.

Chic and Glamorous

The flowing taffeta of the gown inspired those long, feathery lashes, and the color of the dress was replicated in the cheeks and lips.
With a gown like this, you can get away with so much more!
I wanted to make the eyes pop with something a little more dramatic and smokey without being too harsh or distracting. Remember, you want to complement the dress, not compete with it :)
So I'm opting for chocolate brown shadows. Still making an impact with black pencil in the waterline and lashes of course. Sometimes with darker eye makeup, you lose the lashes, so adding some falsies help prevent that.
Because this look is a little more couture, I'm adding some shadows and contouring throughout the face with a soft bronzer. Finish off the look with a glowing blush (this one has gold flecks that catch the light), and a soft lipstick that is a hint above your natural lip color. I used Nika Vaughan's forever matte lipstick in Prosecco. 


I hope this was inspiring to you! It was so much fun looking through all those beautiful dresses and coming up with a customized look for each pick.
For my beautiful brides to be, if you're intersted in booking me as your artist for your big day (I travel all over!), you may view my bridal portfolio below.

Have a beautiful day!!