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Jessie Holland Wedding

Late post, but wanted to share the lovely photos from the Jessie Holland Wedding.  Photos by Kara Miller.  Some of the behind the scenes taken by our team.  Lead makeup artist:  Vanessa Quinteros, assisting artist and stylist: Heather O’Connell.




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Liz Panzica Wedding

We had the privilege to provide services for Liz and her bridal party.  Photos by Anne Williams (

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Nina and Harmeet Wedding

Our team had the pleasure of assisting Nina and Harmeet for the amazing multiple day wedding event!  We provided makeup and hair services for the bride, groom, mother of the bride, mother of groom, and some members of the bridal party for the reception.  We assisted her for her Mehendi, Sangeet, Hindu ceremony, Sikh ceremony and Reception at the amazing Palace Hotel in San Francisco.   Photographs provided by Jade Studio Productions (

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Favorite Tools and Products!

Today’s blog features Heather O’Connell, Beauty Mark Ink Hairstylist and Makeup Artist.

Heather has been in the industry for 12 years, she has extensively trained in Hair and Makeup and pull from her training and experience to share her go to products and tools of the trade.

1.Kabuki Brush


Typically a short handled brush with dense bristles that are most often dome shaped. They are used to apply powders to the skin creating a natural finish.

What Heather says, “Awesome for blending and setting blush and powder.”

2. Aquage Finishing Spray


 Holds in any style,  while sealing the cuticle and adding shine.

What Heather says,  “Strong hold without flaking.”

3. Pravana Intense Therapy Leave-In Treatment


 Softens, detangles, and deeply hydrates without weighing hair down.

What Heather says, “Not just great for hair, you can use it to hydrate your whole body and set your makeup!”

Check Out

Heather’s Portfolio

Janel Liverado wedding

Our bride the lovely Janel Liverado!









How to Make Your Man Photo Ready

Many women spare no expense to make sure they look their absolute best on their wedding day. From the dress, to the hair and makeup, down to the shoes. Everything is carefully planned and coordinated to be perfect. So why are grooms just throwing on a tux and showing up?  You will have your wedding photos for the rest of your life, so, why isn’t your man prepping for them too? Here are four simple tips to make sure he looks just as good as you for the BIG day!

1. Skin Care: Keep it simple. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. Asking him to do anything beyond brushing his teeth before bed may be overwhelming. Start with cleansing, I like a cleanser that has a gentle exfoliant built in. Cleanse the skin to remove all the impurities from the day and and exfoliant to unclog pores and refine the skin. Moisturizing, this can also be a two in one product that will soothe the skin post shaving and hydrate without adding shine or greasiness to the skin. This will create a great foundation for step two.




 2. Makeup: A true makeup artist will know how to make a man comfortable in her chair, and keep him looking natural. Men hear makeup and instantly think Boy George or Adam Lambert. It is the job of the makeup artist to  ease his fears through photo examples and a quality trial run. Makeup for men is very light, and clean.  It usually just involves evening out the skin tone, and adding a little powder to ensure there is no shine in the photographs (this can include the ears which can often appear red and more noticeable in photography).  By evening out the skin, we mean removing skin discoloration which can include dark circles, redness, and acne scars. This is all done while creating the illusion that the makeup is not even there.  Think of the local news anchor, he gets makeup and hair done everytime before going on air, but we can’t tell!  At times, it can also include the taming of the eyebrows, and strategically tweezing stay hairs to keep him looking manly but well groomed.



0064-Studio Session-341-Edit3. Hair: a crisp well styled timeless cut is key to creating  wedding photos to last a lifetime. Asking your stylist for recommendations and encouraging him to splurge on a quality cut and appropriate product will make sure that he looks as dressed up as his tux. The stylist should also be able to give him tips on styling, like how much product to use, if the product should be used on wet or dry hair, and where and how to apply the product to achieve the desired style. It is not unusual for men to get their hair professionally styled on the wedding day, these services  include any clean up along the ears and hairline for missed or quick growing stray hairs.


4. Hands: Everyone loves the picture of hands with wedding rings on. It’s a wedding staple. The bride has perfectly manicured and painted nails that the photographer poses to cover the grooms dry callused hands and bitten nails. A quick and simple MANicure can fix all of those problems. Salons everywhere are catering to men but offering an express manicure so that men can have photo ready hands without the frills that can make them uncomfortable.  

Check out the Beauty Mark Ink

Male Grooming Gallery


Traditional foundation vs Airbrush foundation


Makeup today has evolved so far from the last 20 years, where a slick and oily foundation with pink undertone seemed to be our only option.  Now we have a wide range of products at our disposal, including traditional foundations such as liquid, mineral, pressed, etc.  There is also a more modern technique known as airbrush makeup application.  One of the most often asked questions is: “what is the difference between traditional and airbrush”?

Let’s start with what is traditional makeup and what is airbrush:

different-types-of-foundation-makeup11. Traditional foundation can come in the form of pancake, stick, liquid, cream, mineral, pressed powder, or even foam foundation.  It is more opaque and has a richer coverage.  It can be applied with various forms of “foundation” brushes, sponges.  Some even apply with their fingers, (although we don’t recommend.  Fingers are great for “quick blending” in smaller areas).  They can all provide different levels of coverage from sheer, light, medium, to full coverage depending on your skin type, and preference.

airbrush-makeup1-272x300 2. Airbrush Foundation is a light-weight makeup applied through an air gun machine that produces a thin, even layer of makeup and creates a mate finish.  The airbrush gun sprays a very fine mist to the skin using a small  com- pressor with gentle air pressure.  It’s like tiny little pixels being applied as opposed to big block of color. It mimics skin, more than any traditional makeup.  It should not be confused with airbrush used in photography, which is actually a technique used in PhotoShop, a photo alteration program that can erase  just about anything (like wrinkles, scars, etc.).  Any makeup can conceal any unwanted color, but can not remove the texture of scars, wrinkles, acne, etc.  There are two main formulas available, water based and silicone based.  Water based is best for oily skin, and gives more of a matte finish.  Silicone base is a lighter, dewier alternative.  There is also alcohol based, but this is never used on the face.  It is reserved for body painting or in a brides case to conceal a tattoo.

So what do we recommend?   Airbrush.  As artist we want to ensure our client looks natural, yet has the coverage needed to ensure she is photo ready.  We also want our makeup application to be long lasting and beautiful.  Since every client is different, and have different skin types and preferences we carry various types of foundation and brands.  Depending on our clients skin needs we determine the best technique and product.  Having said, whenever possible we recommend our clients use airbrush foundation.  We typically use Temptu or Makeup Forever HD foundation (which can be combined with a mixing medium for airbrush application) which is a silicone based formula.

Why do we recommend it……

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Nina and Harmeet Engagement Session

Earlier this year we met with Nina and Harmeet for their amazing engagement shoot with photographer Phillipe Lee from Jade Studio Productions.  Nina and Harmeet both got themselves photo ready by getting their makeup done in Alemeda, and then traveling to Treasure Island for their shoot.  Phillipe has an amazing warehouse studio with various rooms that have different “sets”!!  Absolutley amazing!  (Visit our behind the scenes album of their shoot on our Facebook Page to see what we’re talking about!)  Nina had two outfit changes, and therefore two very different makeup looks.  The first was in traditional East Indian attire, and the other a beautiful white evening gown.  She was able to experience a glam look and classic look with beautiful red lips for the second!




Christina Pasquale Wedding

Had the pleasure to assist Christina Pasquale and her 5 bridesmaids for her wedding this fall in October.  I turned out to be a beautiful day in San Francisco, perfect for a wedding!  Christina wanted a light, soft, natural look for her wedding, as she normally does not wear much makeup.  So we provided a beautiful light weight airbrush makeup application, that would be natural, camera ready and last all day!  Along with a modern, yet elegant updo.  Everyone turned out beautifully!!  Photos by the talented team, Marcel and Meher Photography.  Thank Christina for allowing us to be part of your special day!  To see some of the behind the scenes, before and afters, visit our facebook page under the album: Christina Pasquale Wedding.







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Published in Style Me Pretty

We head the pleasure to assist this beautiful bride for her wedding in Saratoga.  They have such a cute story.  They met in Vienna Austria (and fortunate for us) dreamt of getting married in California!  Read more about their story published on Style Me Pretty.  Our artist Jennifer Gamez provided her with a beautiful, soft makeup application.  Thank you Mara for allowing us to be a small part of your big day!



Mara + Michael | Highlight Film from James Burkart on Vimeo.