How to Choose a Fake Beard


Maybe it’s because I’ve never been able to grow one myself, but I have, from time to time, found myself dwelling in beard-envy. Though the dream is undoubtedly better than the reality of having a beard. Shaving, trimming, washing, and whatever other secret ingredients go into the perfect beard. Overall I enjoy the thought of a temporary and easily removable beard. If you happen to fall into the same category as I do when it comes to beards then we are all in luck. Behold the miracle of fake beards. There is a massively wide variety of choices when it comes to fake beards spanning from Santa beard, biker beard, pirated beard, Amish beard, biblical beard and the list goes on.

The key to choosing the beard is to know what style matches your intended outfit.

Here are a few simple tips and standards to keep in mind when deciding on the appropriate style of fake facial hair.

Know what your choices are and what beard fits your character. If you are going to be a pirate then you are going to have to decide between the pirate goatee or the pirate beard. Both choices are highly appropriate and top off the pirate costume nicely. If you aren’t going to invest in fake hair you could always use a dark colored face paint to create the beard as well.

Pirate Goatee

Johnny Pirate Beard

Pirate Beard
Pirate Beard

There are multiple versions of the long styled beard and they can possibly become easily confused with one another. Here are some pictures to help clarify the differences.

ZZ Top Beard

ZZ top Beard

Santa Beard

Santa Beard

  Biker Beard

Biker Beard

Biblical Beard

Biblical Beard

Lumberjack Burglar Beard

Lumberjack Burgaler Beard

Lastly, choose the beard that chooses you. It’s all about dressing up and becoming someone else. I’ve found that the best way to get into acharacter is to do what makes the most sense to you. If that means a John Waters mustache on a Fred Flintstone costume then so be it, as long as you have fun!

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Sometimes I write about holidays, and sometimes I write about things because they’re fun. This time around I’m doing the latter, and it’s all about pirates! A few hundred years ago, if you were sailing the high seas and came across a ship flying a skull and crossbones flag, it was bad news. If you see that emblem today, you may be close to a costume party. So what does it take to be a pirate? Read on and you’ll know how to be the scourge of the seven seas – for an evening, at least.


Shiver me timbers!

Perhaps the easiest way to look like a pirate is to wear an eye patch. And while you can go the traditional route and buy one, you can also create it with eye shadow. Just apply it to a larger area than normal, and when you close your eye, voila – eye patch! You can also apply some to your non-eye patch eye for a sunken, weathered-by-the-seas look. Other accessories – such as a cutlass, parrot or treasure map – will help put your look over the top.


Sharpen your language

Nobody will be convinced you’re a pirate unless you talk like one. Take the time to learn some pirate phrases. If all else fails, just slip in an “Arrrrrr matey!” after everything you say. If they question you on your vocabulary, make them walk the plank!


Share your precious booty

Most pirates are in the looting business, but if you do that you probably won’t have too many friends. It’s ok to be a benevolent pirate and share with your fellow shipmates! Consider having a chest full of something edible – chocolate gold coins come to mind. Whatever you have, make sure there is enough to share the wealth.

These are just a few things you can do to unleash your inner pirate. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, office party or just because, you’re now better equipped to be a savvy swashbuckler – just beware of mutiny!

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The Year of the Goat


Get ready to party because the New Year is right around the corner. What’s that, you say? We’re already in the second month of 2015? That’s true, but next Thursday, February 19 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year.  Whether you’re a goat and it’s your year or you’re one of the other animal symbols, it’s a great opportunity to go out and dress up. If that sounds like a good idea but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Depending where you live, this may be celebrated in a big way or not at all. Wherever you are, here are some things to do/looks to wear so you can celebrate in style.



Obviously, no look is complete without an accessory of some kind. For this occasion, an umbrella or parasol will be perfect. Find one that matches your outfit or makeup. If you can’t find one, a simple fan will work as well and is a little easier to carry with you.



You can do as much or as little as you like here. If you want to be over the top, go for geisha – there are plenty of tutorials on how to achieve this look. If you’re thinking of something more subtle, use eyeliner and eye shadow for something that’s more dramatic than your everyday look but not a full-on costume. Coordinate your colors with your outfit and have some fun with it!


Show Your Inner Animal

Whatever you decide to do, incorporate your Chinese zodiac symbol into your ensemble. It can be bold or subdued. You can wear a print with your sign on it or opt for a temporary tattoo. If you’re feeling creative, you can work it into your makeup or use face paint.

However you decide to celebrate, enjoy it! Whether you’re attending a large gathering or hosting a small get-together, you can set the mood with your festive attire and attitude!

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Groundhog Day


Get Ready for Groundhog Day

What do Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all have in common? They’re highly anticipated and celebrated the world over. It’s not uncommon to attend multiple parties during these holiday seasons. Some days, though, are less heralded. Does this diminish their importance? Of course not! If you want to establish your reputation as a host/ess supreme, wow your friends and neighbors with something unexpected: a Groundhog Day celebration. Punxsutawney Phil may or may not see his shadow, but you’re guaranteed to have a blast.


What Will the Weather Bring?

Whether it’s six more weeks of winter or an early spring, you should prepare for both at your party. Have both winter and spring decorations, and make treats that go with each season. For example, you can make snowmen with Hostess Snowballs. Use Dots or some other small round candy, such as cinnamon imperials, for eyes and buttons. Make sugar cookies and frost them to look like beautiful spring flowers. Consider having a hot cocoa bar with various flavored syrups. This is fun way to have people make their own drinks, and it makes the party kid friendly.


Dress Accordingly

Encourage your guests to dress up in costume centered on a winter or spring theme. Set the tone by making your own costume. If Phil says it’s going to be a long winter and you’re sad about his prediction, use face paint to turn yourself into a sad sunflower. If you’re excited, you can go the happy snowflake route. Anything related to the seasons will do. And of course, you can always dress up like the groundhog himself – don’t forget the top hat!


Spring into Action

Once you know how your party – and you – will look, send out official invitations. Make sure to give plenty of notice so your guests can prepare. Ask your guests to bring winter and spring cuisine for a potluck approach. Have the classic film Groundhog Day playing in the background, or have a special screening. However you decide to celebrate, it will be a great time for creating memories and having fun – even if you have to crouch down next to your space heater for another month and a half.

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Make-Up Looks for Holiday Parties


Not sure how to do your face up for that big Christmas party coming up, ladies? Well, the good news is you really can’t go wrong this year!

No, really. I’ve noticed everything from the all-out bold-everything look to a relatively natural appearance with more of an emphasis placed on hair. There’s the full-on classic red lips paired with smoky eyes and gold eye shadow look, the natural ‘nude’ look, and emerald green glitter eyes look that would make Dorothy Gale proud.

If you’re interested in creating the perfect holiday look, join me as I go element by element in order to break down some of the major make-up trends this holiday season.

Gold shadow Pale Lip


An all-over look seems to be a winner. You can do this using a bronzer coupled with gold eye shadow and pale, shimmering lip gloss over a light pink or coral lip color. Finish your face off with a shimmery, all-over golden translucent powder.


Bright/Metallic/Glittery Eyes

It seems like anything goes this year in terms of color and sparkle for the eyes. One popular look is emerald green glitter eye shadow coupled with black eyeliner for a look that really pops! Another is using silver or gold shadow—either just a dab in the middle of your eyelid as a highlight, or a layer of shadow applied over your entire eyelid.

There are lots of jewel tones and bright pastel colors floating around in this season’s palette. Try picking up a trendy glitter eye shadow and applying it to just the outer edges of your eyes and a portion of your lower lids. Or find a bright coral or cream colored shade to highlight your eyes for a bold party look.


Smoky Eyes

If you want a dramatic look, go for smoky eyes! There are plenty of tutorials out there on the web, so play around with a look that works for you!  Start with a grey or cream-colored shadow all over your lids, followed by liquid eyeliner to line your top lid, and then a soft coal-colored eyeliner to outline and smudge around each eye. Finish with dramatic black mascara or false eyelashes for a fun, bold finish that won’t go unnoticed!



Cat Eyes

This look is similar to the smoky eye, but perhaps sans mascara, for a more modern look. Simply extend the end of the upper eye line out and up, angled toward the end of your eyebrow. If you take a pencil or coffee stirrer to form a line from the bottom of your nostril to the end of your eyebrow, you’ll have the perfect angle. Here’s a great tutorial on how to master the art of the cat eye:


243ca45d-e578-4e8f-8abe-4126d14e7393 Red/Burgundy Lips

For a look that’s sure-fire, go for the classic red lip. First, make sure your lips are moisturized by applying a lip balm after exfoliating them gently with an old toothbrush. This will ensure that there are no dry flakes of skin to distract your fellow party-goers, but it will also prevent your lips from drying out as a result of wearing a long-lasting matte lipstick. Go with a lipstick that lasts a long time, since red lipstick doesn’t look its best if it is streaked or faded!

After applying lip balm, line and fill in your lips with lip liner. This will ensure that your lipstick sets well, and it prevents the color from bleeding from the edges of your lips. Finally, choose a high quality lipstick to apply over your lip liner. Try blotting your lips with tissue once, to set your lipstick, then reapply to help it last longer.

Although it used to be a rule that you should pick either bold lips or bold eyes, rather than both, this year it’s considered trendy to do both, if you like. But if you want a more classic look, try bright red lips with only mascara and natural colored eye shadow—rather than a bold eye shadow shade—for a more retro look.  Lastly, try a burgundy shade if you’re making up your eyes cat eye or smoky-style. It will make the look a bit more modern.


colorful glitter christmas nail art for girls - cute glitter christmas nail art -f39284 Sparkly Nails

This holiday season, think glitter for your nails!  Metallic colors like silver, gold, and bronze are in.  Also, try mix and matching different nails on your hands with two different colors, like burgundy and gold—with the common element being large pieces of glitter.

However, don’t worry if you decide to forego the glitter and bright colors.  There are plenty of festive looks left for you to try—with glitter or without.

Whatever you do, have fun!  It is the holiday season, after all. Here’s wishing you a Christmas that’s very merry and bright—with or without snow!


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Elf Yourself!


There is no shortage of parties during the holiday season. Whether it’s at work, with your friends, or a family get-together, everybody loves an excuse to have a good time and celebrate the season. And while you may not think of dressing up in costume at a Christmas party, it’s a fantastic opportunity to cut loose and create a party persona. If your party already has a Santa, and you don’t feel like being a reindeer, don’t fret – there’s another option: elf yourself.

No Christmas is complete without Santa’s little helpers; they make sure toy production is up to speed at the North Pole, and you’ll make sure the party is never dull. You don’t have to spend a fortune to assemble a decent elf costume, and you can do as little or as much as you like. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Elf Hat with Bells


An elf hat can be the tree-topper of sorts to an elaborate ensemble, or you can simply add it to your jeans and t-shirt. Consider one with bells – who doesn’t love a good jingle?


That’s right – tights aren’t just for the girls. Anybody can wear a pair of leggings, and they are extremely effective in improving your overall elf-ness. Consider a red or green pair, or buy some white ones and go nuts decorating them with candy cane pieces and pom poms.


This is perhaps the most crucial element in elf attire. Pointy shoes will get you into elf territory faster than anything else. They can be green, red, jingly, quiet, felt, leather – whatever you want. Just make sure you’ve got a pair to complete the look. If you can’t find a good pair, opt for some fun socks or slippers; if you only wear them during each holiday season, you can enjoy them for a lifetime.

Everything Else

Once the essentials are covered, you can decide how much time you want to put into it. Are you going all the way with a full costume? Go for it! A simple Christmas sweater? Perfect. Whatever you decide, just try to color coordinate it with your accessories and you’re all set.

Now that you have your costume put together, you can brush up on trivia, gather your favorite recipes, and put up the mistletoe – you’re ready to party in style. Warm up your vocal chords on the way to the event, because as Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Oh, and don’t forget to RSVP.

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American Horror Story’s Twisty the Clown: A Lesson in Mixing Masks and Makeup


You may have noticed, over my time writing for this blog, that I have a bit of a crush on makeup. I admire the artistry of blending, contouring, shading- which might be why I tend to be so darn picky about masks. Well, rubber masks. I love the daylights out of a myriad of super hero masks. And I clearly have an intense passion for masquerade masks, especially the ones that you can personalize. But something about rubber masks just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the fact that you can’t breathe or eat or drink in most of them. Maybe it’s the fact that it makes someone completely unrecognizable. Or maybe it really is that it’s just too easy. To be honest, I never thought that I’d have much use for rubber masks. But American Horror Story’s recent season premier gave me some inspiration where I didn’t expect it. Twisty the Clown.

Twisty the Clown

This guy.

I am terrified of Twisty. His silence, his movements. His penchant for stabbing people to death. Those teeth. I’ve never been very frightened of clowns aside from Tim Curry’s Pennywise. But Twisty takes the panic-inducing cake.

Did I mention the movements?

After the episode (and after I had checked my entire house for murderous clowns) I got to thinking about how darn effective the makeup design is for Twisty. I’ve seen some inspired clown makeup designs and there are some excellent clown masks out there, but Twisty’s design combines the two to terrifying effect. (Here’s a tutorial for my favorite scary clown tutorial I’ve found so far.) What’s most brilliant about Twisty’s makeup effects is that it combines the classic elements of clown makeup with the surreal horror that only props or masks can truly accomplish. They took part of a mask and attached it to actor John Carroll Lynch’s face. And the effect is breathtakingly messed up. So what can we learn from this? While AHS created a beautiful piece of prop magic for Twisty’s teeth, not everyone has access to a professional prop maker who can hand-craft a jaw or a beak or a nose. Instead, we can cannibalize a rubber mask and incorporate bits and pieces into our makeup. Stealing parts of a mask and stitching it into a makeup design is now at the top of my list of new techniques to try. I’m anxious to give it a shot and see what I can come up with for one of my many Halloween parties this year. More than anything I want one person, just one, to ask me “What happened to the rest of your mask?”  Now that would put a smile on my face.

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Tribute to My Favorite YouTuber: dope2111


Today, I’m going to share with you my favorite videos to cruise through on YouTube. Let me introduce you to user dope2111.

She likes to go by the names “Human Chameleon” and “Mystique”- very fitting epithets for such a talented makeup artist!

I enjoy her videos because she has extraordinary technique, a vivid imagination, and a knack for guiding viewers through her process. I think you’ll be really impressed with the transformations she goes through by using contouring, shading, and some serious creativity.

Without further ado, please enjoy my top 6 favorite dope2111 videos!

6) Beyoncé

Stick around for the Jay-Z cameo at the end.

5) Nicki Minaj

Check out her acting at the end! So perfect!

4) Emily from Corpse Bride

The creativity behind getting this quintessential Tim Burton look is exceptional.

3) Jennifer Lawrence

I’m blown away by the huge difference between her actual face and the end result. It’s really extraordinary!

2) Mystique

Her nick-namesake! The use of latex to get the scales is just right- and she makes it look so easy!

1) Pocahontas

This is spot on. When she put on the iconic necklace, I gasped.

So those are my favorites- which are yours? Go check out her awesome library of videos and find out!

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The Marvelous Magic of Makeup in the Movies– Infographic by Temptu


I thought I’d share with you this awesome infographic I just stumbled upon in the wilds of the internet. They talk about the artists’ processes for each famous movie look- fascinating stuff!


TEMPTU - Airbrush Makeup Tips for Halloween

Memorable Makeup from the Movies Infographic Provided by TEMPTU


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Makeup Effects in the Age of CGI


I remember seeing Jurassic Park in theaters. The thrill of seeing dinosaurs on the screen was visceral and inspiring. Watching a 16 foot T-Rex muscle its way through cabled fencing and tear apart a car like a hawk eating a mouse- all credit goes to those talented artists whose special effects gave the movie a sense of realism that captivated and terrified an entire generation. Even today, the effects that made the T-Rex and raptors so terrifying are still impressive.

Pictured: The birth of nightmares and high standards for visual effects.

So what happened between then and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace?

Look at Jar Jar Binks. Look at the way the Gungans walk. The cartoonish features, the not-quite-right lighting, the boneless movements. Most of us were shocked to see our beloved Star Wars movies reduced to these distractingly bad graphics.

How could Hollywood have let this happen? (We’re looking squarely at you, George Lucas.)

Well, here’s the dominant theory. When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, CGI (computer generated imagery) was still a relatively new discipline. The computing power and expertise needed to create CG elements were just developing and therefore pretty darn expensive. Therefore, when CGI was a young industry, it was used sparingly in conjunction with the then-standard staples of animatronics, props, and costume makeup.

Nowadays, the technology for CGI (and a wealth of animators who use it) is everywhere and therefore much cheaper to employ. In fact, high quality traditional effects are expensive by comparison. If you want proof, you can see the rampant use of lower-quality CGI in television across the board, particularly in children’s shows.

In addition to better texture and lighting in graphics, we’ve also seen tremendous work in motion capture. Andy Serkis is a revolutionary figure in cinema. His performance as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy cemented him as a singular performance artist. People like Serkis are stretching the boundaries of what actors can do without the use of makeup, which is nothing short of amazing.

But CGI still struggles to make the grade when it comes to realism. There’s no doubt that it will eventually be able to create flawlessly realistic characters and creatures, but it’s presently painfully obvious that we aren’t there yet when graphics are placed next to props and people.

One of these things is not like the others

It’s the opinion of many of us movie lovers that Jurassic Park aptly demonstrated the key to this dilemma. It seems to be that the marriage of models, puppets, and makeup with the ever-progressing artistry of CGI is what renders the best movie magic.

For a modern-day example, check out one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead. The combination of practical effects and prudent CGI make for terrifyingly decayed zombies that pass the test of believability.

Hopefully Hollywood will catch on and resurrect this harmonious combination. Hopefully George Lucas will take this idea to heart for Episode 7.

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