What I Learned from a Lesson with a Makeup Artist

Receiving blog post suggestions is something that makes me so happy. It's not always easy to come up with something new to write about every day. One of my friends suggested I interview a makeup artist and write about it. I loved that idea because makeup is definitely not an area of expertise for me. Thanks for the great idea Jackie! :) 

I thought Ebie's wedding would be the perfect time to talk to a makeup artist because we would already be getting our makeup done. I had the list of questions my friends and I came up with, and I was ready to go. However, it's actually not easy to look down and take notes while getting your makeup done, and wedding days are definitely time-sensitive days. At some point, my mom asked the fabulous makeup artist if she taught makeup lessons because that would be a great birthday gift for me. She said she did, and I decided I would put my laptop away, relieved to know that I could ask her all the questions during the makeup lesson!

The makeup artist I'm talking about is Courtney Matthews, and she worked for Bobbi Brown for years. If you're in the Mobile area, we highly recommend her! Her email is cocokat5712@gmail.com. She did our makeup for Ebie's wedding, and then she came over to our house in Mobile and gave my mom and me a makeup lesson. This was one of my very favorite birthday gifts!

I tried to consolidate my notes, but I took over 3 pages of Word document notes while she was giving us our makeup lesson. I learned SO MUCH! When you see words in Italics, you can click on them to be taken directly to the product mentioned. 


Before we even got started on makeup, Courtney gave us a whole spiel on skincare. To sum things up, she said the skin is so important, so start there- get your skin looking great and makeup will be so much easier.

-Use a gentle cleanser every day but substitute an exfoliating cleanser twice a week.

-Also use toner if you’re prone to breakouts because it makes your face extra clean. You can use it to clean your face after exercise. Try to find an alcohol free toner that is very gentle, like a micellar water because it freshens up your skin.

-Double cleansing is something that is trending right now. What this means is you use a cleansing oil to absorb makeup, wipe it off, & rinse it off and then use a cleaning cleanser like Cetaphil.

-After cleansing, apply serum- use a dropper to put it on fingertips, rub your fingers together to warm it up and make it body temperature, press it into your skin, and let it seep in.

-Next, use a little bit of moisturizer and rub your fingers together to let it warm up to body temperature. This allows it to seep into your skin better.You want to use your hands to mimic your own body. This strategy takes advantage of the products we buy. Courtney used Brandless facial lotion. She said every product by Brandless is around $3. They wanted to create a company that has high quality products that are affordable.

-Courtney could not suggest eye cream more. She said it is SO important. Use the tiniest amount, rub it together between your fingers to warm it up before pressing it in there where the puffiness is. Bobbi Brown Eye Cream is the one Courtney used. It helps with so many things, but one thing in particular- it makes concealer go on smoother.

-Don't have a lazy night! If you don’t want breakouts, jump up and do the bare minimum before going to bed- cleanse your face and put on moisturizer at least. It takes 2 weeks for your skin to recover when you do not take makeup off before bed!

-Don't be scared of oils- use plant oils or organic coconut oil to take off makeup or for hydrating purposes. 


Outfit Details: Robe | Leggings

-Concealer- start with concealer under your eyes to brighten. She said if you start with concealer, you will find that you don’t have to go overboard with foundation. You want the concealer to brighten and lift your eye, like an eyelift without surgery. I’m in between colors of my Tarte Shape Tape concealer, so both colors together worked the best to conceal the circles under my eyes. Courtney used a cream blending brush, but she said you can also just use a regular concealer brush and then pat with your fingers. She also reemphasized the importance of hydrating before using it.

-Foundation- Courtney used a Bobbi Brown foundation stick in warm sand. It's very versatile. You can use a foundation brush or pat with your fingers. Bobbi Brown trains her employees to use their fingers a lot and not a beauty blender because beauty blenders waste so much product. Foundation can be applied on your whole face, but make sure to go around your concealer.

-Powder- use something that is as colorless as possible so you don’t look like you have a ton of makeup on. Powder should just be used to keep the shine down. Courtney said the concealer and foundation combo was enough for me. She said I could apply powder if I got shiny, but she suggested that I not use it on a day to day basis.

-Bronzer is supposed to be color correcting and not give you a tan. It should only be used on the cheekbones and then leftover product can be swept lightly over your forehead (my bronzer has shimmer, and I definitely don’t want that all over my face). You have to have a really good bronzer brush. It is worth the money because it is shaped properly and has softer bristles so its not grabbing tons of color. It is lightly putting color on our face. We want it to go on as sheer as possible, and then we can use leftover bronzer to warm up nose, under chin, and rest of face to bring the color up from your chest.

-Blush- concentrate on the apple of your face. Come up the cheekbone making downwards strokes. Use a blush brush. My color is Bobbi Brown pale pink. My mom's is dessert rose or apricot or coral shimmer. My blush is from high school and needs to be replaced. It does not necessarily go bad. It just loses pigment over time. Another type of blush that can be used is a pot rouge. Courtney called this the best purse product because it can be used on cheeks and lips. It's the same color but looks a little bit different on cheeks and lips. You just tap your finger in it and apply. Courtney’s favorite is Maui.

-Eyebrows- Courtney used an eye cream pencil and said start at the inner part and go out. Do it little by little on each side and then use eyeshadow with a brow brush to fill in. Courtney used Bobbi Brown wheat. She said it lifts your eyes and makes you look more awake.

-Eyeshadow- I have the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. Courtney said press your eyeshadow into your eye to concentrate it into your eyelid. If you’re feeling diva like, don’t use concealer first so you can go back under your eyes to cover the fallout and you don’t have to do it twice. Start with Bone for a good base shadow (no shimmer) to mimic the color of your skin. This takes the color out of your eyelid. Apply it all over from eyelid to eyebrow. Then, press in Half Baked all over lower lid. Build it with Copper in the corner and bring it lightly to inner eye. Then go over that with Snakebite. Start in the corner again and then all over the crease. Blend it out in the corner so it doesn’t stay too concentrated and chop your eye. Blend it outwards and upwards to look more like your eye sockets.

-Eyeliner- Nothing is going to brighten your eye up like black. If you don’t want black, go as dark brown as possible. Start at the outside and stay right at the base of the lashline and go all the way across as far as you have lashes. Then, you can go over it and draw more of a line or cateye if that is your thing. Courtney used Bobbi Brown gel liner with an ultra fine eyeliner brush. She suggests using a waterproof eyeliner and only putting it on the top.

-Mascara- The best drugstore mascara is Loreal Voluminous. It's great in waterproof and regular. Super helpful tip- don’t pump your wand! It puts a bunch of air and bacteria in there. The more air that gets in there, the thicker it gets. Courtney said she also loves Bobbi Brown smoky eye mascara and said to never redip mascara because there is plenty of product on your wand to do two coats on each eye. After doing 2 good coats on top, graze whats left on the bottom. Use very little on the bottom lashes so it doesn’t pull you down.

-Lips- No matter the color, when you choose a lipstick, make sure it does something for you, and it's not just a color on your face. Don’t let it take away from your eye color. Courtney used Bobbi Brown lip color. She used a basic lip brush, and that always makes lipstick stay on longer because it is pressing it into the lips. She said my lips are very defined, so I don’t necessarily need a lipliner. However, she did use a lipliner to fill my lips in at Ebie's wedding before lipstick, so that it would last longer. Wrong lip colors take the attention away from your eyes, so you want a color that will compliment your eyes! 

I learned SO much and clearly tried to be as thorough with my notes as I could. I'm so excited to share this with you! I hope it helps! Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day!

Outfit Details: My Mom's Dress | My Dress (similar) | My Sandals