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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reader Questions Answered!


Q: Hey Vanessa, I was just wondering, did you go to college? and if so, what did you major in or what degree did you get?

A: Yes I did graduate from college, I graduated with an AA Degree in Science. I took all AP (advanced placement) classes in high school, maintained good grades, and took a class at Santa Monica college for extra college credit. I was then nominated to intern for the National Youth Forum on medicine in Washington D.C. (I wanted to be a pediatrician), after being in the pre-med program for 2 years, taking biology, micro-biology, AND chemistry (on top of general ed courses) I decided that it wasn't for me, I was burnt out, so I turned around and changed my major to Business Administration, and joined a co-ed business fraternity (yes boys AND girls!) called Alpha Kappa Psi, I was part of the Mu Phi chapter. :)

Q: Do you know the brand of the polka dot bags you got from the show?

A: I looked and did not see any brand on the bag, it seems like one of those bags you can find at Amuse (the accessory store)...

Q: Hi Nessa, what are Italian Badger brushes? How is it different than other brushes? Do you use them?

A: Any brushes (not just makeup brushes, but also shaving brushes) that have the word "badger" in it, means that its hair is made out of an animal, obviously of a badger species. Wikipedia describes it as: "Badger is the common name for any animal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: the same mammal family as the ferrets, the weasels, the otters, and several other types of carnivore."

Many say that badger hair is softer than sable hair, I can vouch for this as they ARE a lot softer than sable (horse) hair. I had one sable hair brush (I didn't know it was sable at the time) and it smelled bad even when I first got it, it shed, and the smell worsened when I washed it. I personally look for SYNTHETIC brushes (man-made brushes) just because the thought of animal hair on my face as well as animal cruelty irks me out, but I notice that most brushes are made out of animal hair, I am not too keen on telling which one is which sometimes, so I know I have a few animal brushes...but as much as possible I prefer synthetic brushes even if they don't perform as well as some of the animal brushes.

Q: How do you take such amazing photos?!!

A: I have a link on "How to take a good makeup photo" on the labels to the right since I get this question a lot. The cameras I use again are a Nikon D40x (digital SLR) and a Canon SD750. I use photoshop to crop and sharpen my photos.

Q: I notice you use both painterly and soft ochre paint pots. The painterly has more of a pinkish undertone while the s.o. is more yellowish. I was wondering which do you use for what? Like what shadows work best with painterly and which for soft ochre. Do they yield different results?

A: I personally don't notice different results among the two, I just tend to use Soft Ochre when I do neutral looks (such as browns, taupes) or when I do some colored looks such as greens, golds, corals since it's more of a neutral/yellow tone that blends easily with my skin. I used Painterly a lot (still do) because it was the only neutral, matte PP I had before Soft Ochre came out, and I still use it for colors such as pinks, purples, (in case I don't have "Fresco Rose" handy) even the other colors I mentioned above, it really just depends on whatever I reach for first, but they both go nicely with any color...

Q: Did you ever go to school to learn makeup?

A: I never went to school for makeup, after college I pretty much went to work in the Search/Advertising industry. Although I DO want to go to school for it (I am just trying to figure out time to go as well as the money part since it's so expensive!), but I pretty much learned everything I know from researching, trial and error (see what works for you and what doesn't), and a lot of practicing! I think the best way to learn is just doing things on yourself, researching and reading a lot on techniques and beauty tips and tricks, trying different products and tools, and patience! Usually people get so discouraged if the look isn't what they envisioned, but with time and practice you'll get things down in no time! Remember everyone has different needs, different skin types, etc, so what worked for someone else, may not work for you.

Q: Are your sisters into makeup since their big sis is like a makeup guru?

A: Haha im not a makeup guru by any means, I just love makeup so I am more makeup-obsessed! But surprisingly my sisters were NEVER into makeup (they don't need it, I think they are naturally pretty!), but also because they are still young (17 and 10 years old), but every time they visit and rummage through my stash they nab a few things for themselves! The 17 year old is very much into makeup now, but not a whole lot, but she is definitely experimenting with different techniques and products that suit her needs and of course calls me for a second opinion, luckily she can get away with just mascara and some lipgloss! The 10 year old is actually into clothes, so she has years to go before she even thinks about makeup, but don't be fooled, she loves expensive stuff! LOL. My mom on the other hand doesn't wear makeup either, but she does like getting any leftovers I have, but she likes my hair recommendations!


Askmewhats said...

aww I love reading your answers nessa!!! And yay for saying we learn through trial and errors! SOOOO TRUE! I learned but my eyes are getting tired from daily practice! and i'm not even halfway there! lol

Anonymous said...

Nessa, since you didn't go to makeup school, how did you manange to be a licensed makeup artist? I know you have mentioned having the MAC PRO card and a couple of other Pro discounts.

Vanessa said...

Thanks Nikki!

Pgbeauty- Hi there! I am NOT a licensed makeup artist (nor did I ever claim I was), I am a makeup artist on the side for friends and family, trying to build it up and learn more before I make it more mainstream as in seriously pursuing it and going to school for it, BUT I am licensed in the sense that I have my own business which is essentially (it's not just a beauty blog, I am in the process of selling makeup, making my own, etc) hence I am able to get into those convention shows, etc.

Fei said...

Hey, I wanted to be a pediatrician too... Until I realized 1) I don't like kids very much and 2) It's a lotta friggin' work! So kudos to all the med students out there. I couldn't handle it.

Anonymous said...

That makes a lot of sense Nessa. I guess I just automatically assumed that everyone who had professional discounts were licensed artists.

Besides, it was easy for me to be confused, your talents with makeup are far better than many makeup artists I've come in contact with.

Alyson said...

Hey there Nessa...
I am curious about your "day job" since you called it "search/advertising". It sounds like we might be in the same/a similar field. Could you elaborate (can you? idk if you want to publicize that-- you can email me I guess)?? My email is alyson.onthe.job(at) and of course my name is Alyson :P

Sweet Potato said...


Honestly, I feel that you don't need to go to makeup school! You are more informed and helpful than many professionals out there!

Vanessa said...

Thanks Sweet Potato!

:a: :b: :c: :d: :e: :f: :g: :h: :i: :j: :k: :l: :m: :n:

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