Ask an Artist: Jessi’s Top Ten

23 09 2009

We asked Painted Ladies Expert Jessi  to give us a sneak peek into her makeup kit, which, as she says, is actually a piece of luggage! Here, in Jessi’s words, are her top ten can’t-live-without-’em products:

Along with the many other must have’s i.e. foundation, powder and what not I decided to write up Top 10 favorite products/tools that are must have’s in my professional kit and personal stash!

Pro Kit
1. Shiny Mama Cosmetics; GLEAM ALL eye pencils in FROST/SUNRAY: This beautiful pencil will give you that pop of brightness in your inner corner of your eye, or blend with your fingers for anywhere application to get that beautiful shimmery glow! You can even add, (with your finger) on top of your lipstick, into the center of your lower lip to add that perfect pout!

2. Amazing Cosmetics, Amazing Concealer: I cannot tell you how amazing this concealer is. Dark Circles BEGONE! Not only does it work for undereye, but it’s just as amazing for imperfections. Be sure to use very sparingly, a little goes oh so FAR!

3. Sephora Brand Heated Lash Curler, this innovated little tool cannot be replaced in my kit. It’s battery operated which conveniently comes inside the package. It looks just like a mascara wand, but it has a heated core that actually curls the lashes! No pinching, no demarkation lines from the traditional curler and NO FAIL! So easy to use, after mascara application, place the comb on your base of the lashes, (just like you are applying mascara), comb through slowly and hold for a couple seconds. Just remember to keep the battery out of tool when you aren’t using it.

4. Rimmel London 1000 Kisses Stay On Lipliner, in every shade they have! I absolutely love the colors, and I haven’t had any issues with bleeding. My MAC red lip liners I found bled through so I sought out a liner that would do it’s job and HOLD the line of the lipstick! My favorite shades are Cherry Kiss and Coffee Bean.

5. MAC Cosmetics Paint Pot in Rubenesque, this little workhorse is so amazing, it will last all day, (practically waterproof), it has a color you can wear all by itself or used as a primer for under matte tones as well as light shimmer or pearl tones! I absolutely love this color and product!

MY Stash
6. Cover Girl LashBlast in Very Black, I cannot use any other mascara. This is my new favorite!

7. Origins Peace of Mind. Truly on the spot relief! The saying goes “You’ll feel a tingling sensation as pressure, tension and tightness begin to melt away.” And it really does, the smell the feeling oh this stuff is heaven, just a couple drops on your temples or neck and peace at last!

8. Benefit Box o’ Powder in Dallas, my alltime personal fav for my blush/bronzer! This beautiful color is such a rich pinky-plum with a hint of bronze for that perfect 2 in one for me!

9. Rosebud Pefume Co.’s Minted Rose Lip Balm, is my answer to chapped, and dry lips, it helps hydrate, has a minty cool feeling and actually works. I travel often for television shows and I cannot tell you how much this product has helped me! It also works to smooth elbows!

10. My last favorite that I cannot live with out and I completely splurge on this for myself, (since it lasts forever) is the Guerlain Paris Meteorites Powder for the Face. This finishing powder has such a light feeling, beautiful flawless coverage. I just cannot replace it and look the same! I have tried to look for other products that give me the same even, radiating, no makeup look… It’s just not possible!


Retro Corner: Max Factor

19 09 2009

While looking over the Painted Ladies pages, the Retro Corner sparked a familiar feeling.  I have been collecting vintage compacts since 1997, with the oldest piece from 1918.  Excitedly, I asked Sheila if Painted Ladies needed any additional submissions to the Retro Corner. So here I am.  Enjoy!

After much deliberation, I decided to begin this topic with the history of compacts and beauty products, and then end with a piece from my collection to honor and bid farewell to a MAJOR cosmetic company that is now stopping all distribution in the U.S.

Dating back to the ancient civilizations of the world, cosmetics and its containers were used to adorn and decorate both men and women.  The oldest known surviving powder was originally made by pulverizing flowers and fragrant leaves. Of the many different origins and types of cosmetics used, kohl (then in a loose mineral powder form in a small pot, nowadays called eye kohl pencil) was used by the Egyptians in the eighteenth century to embellish the lashes and lids on the eye, and to protect from insects and shield from the desert’s sun.  

Egyptian kohl pots

Egyptian kohl pots

Cosmetics were used throughout the middle ages, and in Renaissance periods.  In the late eighteenth century, the use of cosmetics was so widespread that Parliament passed a law that made the use of cosmetics part of a seduction, which to them meant witchcraft.  From that law being passed, women that used cosmetics were basically called “ladies of the night”.

In the late nineteenth century, cosmetics went through a revival in parts of Europe.  The lipstick cases and compacts were adorned with gems, ornately painted landscapes and the like.  In America, during the Victorian era and before World War I, the artificial use of beauty aids was frowned upon still and considered immoral.  The opinion of society was, “to improve on nature, all women needed was proper diet, fresh air, and exercise”.  You should all remember the scene from “Little Women” when they pinch their cheeks to look healthy, fresh and get that natural rosy glow.  Now you know why!

In 1923, Dorothy Grey introduced The Face Patter, to stimulate circulation and make the cheeks naturally pink!  From then on, attitudes regarding cosmetics changed dramatically in the beginning of the twentieth century.  The use of makeup during the day was finally accepted and looked upon with respect.  We have the silver screen’s trend setting film stars to thank for that!

The Face Patter

The Face Patter

The word “make-up” was actually coined by Max Factor, beauty consultant to the stars.  Women began to see that they could achieve a “modern” image with cosmetics, and then recognized the importance of personal beauty.  As women became liberated and entered the business world, the cosmetic compacts and carryalls were a necessity.

Excerpts and information from Vintage Ladies’ Compacts Identification & Value Guide, 1996

The piece I am showing you was purchased in Fargo, North Dakota.  I was there for my best friend’s wedding and my flight was delayed as I was heading home to the west. Having some time to kill, I found the nearest antique shop and below you’ll see just one of the gems I found!  I was sad the package was a bit thrashed, when I found it, but you can make out the stamping on the dry rouge itself!  Gasp, they just don’t make rouge like that today! 

Max Factor was a true founding forefather in the world of cosmetics!  My inspiration continues with all the prized antiques in the beauty world. There will be more to come, and I hope it inspires you as well!

Max Factor Dry Rouge

Max Factor Dry Rouge

Underside of Dry Rouge

Underside of Dry Rouge

Max Factor Pressed Dry Rouge, in Rasberry from 1938.  I found a Max Factor Pressed Powder with the same packaging in 1996 ed. Collector’s Encyclopedia of Compacts, Carryalls & Face Powder Boxes.

The Perfect Red Lip

17 09 2009

By Jessi

When shopping by yourself for the perfect shade of red, there are two things to consider: what natural shape your lips are, and what your undertones are in your skin.


BEWARE: If you have thinner lips you should stay within the lighter shades of red or the pinker-reds so your lips stay full! If you choose to use the deeper dark tones, you are taking the light away from the lips and they will appear smaller, even with lipgloss.  If you have medium to fuller lips, be aware that the color you choose can make a huge impact on your overall look.


There are blue-red, orange-red and deep-red shades of color to choose from, (which means the color undertone the red has).  And don’t forget the lipliner – the most important part of the lip process is lining to keep the color from bleeding through, especially reds.  Choose a shade comparable to the lipstick, always go a shade deeper if you have to.

Fair/Light: You have a pink/fair skintone (you burn easily) – go for the blue-red shades or a cherry red.

Light/Medium:  If you can tan easily but still burn then you most likely have more beige to yellow undertones, so try the orange or brown red tones.

Medium/Dark: Your skin has a natural tan color maybe with golden to honey undertones and you darken easily when exposed to the sun.  You can get away with fire engine red and deeper red based tones.

Dark: You are deep skin toned, with mocha undertones, and should opt for deep red tones as well.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Make sure your lips aren’t chapped or have any dead skin on them.  If you need to, use a clean toothbrush to exfoliate the lips gently.  Keep the rest of your makeup lighter on your face so your other features will not fight against your lips when wearing your new unstoppable color!

With the sharpened lip liner, begin to line the natural line of your lips starting at the cupid’s bow and working your way down to the corners.  Then start again at the base of your lip line and work your way up and into your corner of your mouth.  With your fingers, blend the lipliner into your lips gently to soften the line.  Apply lipstick evenly on the top and bottom lips, either with lipstick or a loaded-up lipbrush.  Don’t forget the corners!

Take a clean tissue and blot lipstick one time as if to kiss the tissue.  Apply a light dusting of translucent loose powder over lips, blotting away excess.  Repeat steps 1 and 2, then lightly press lips together to make sure you have even coverage.  Step away from the mirror and look at your face overall.  If your lips have any unevenness in lines, use the lip liner softly to fix any mistakes.  If you need to wipe anything away, a quick blending of concealer and then setting it with powder should fix any mistakes.  You now have kissable, traffic-stopping lips!

Favorite Red lip colors:

Favorite Lip Liners:

Lip Glosses:

Expert: Jessi Pagel

16 09 2009

l_13636359c9813e0c67aa3d3ff4730571Hello Painted Ladies!

My name is Jessi Pagel, and I’m a celebrity makeup artist based out of Orange and Los Angeles counties.

My journey into the wonderful world of makeup began in 1999;  I have been a Freelance Makeup/Hair Artist for almost a decade now, with experience in wardrobe styling, set design, and art direction.  I also spent 2 1/2 years as an artist representative/agent for a high-end fashion agency in Las Vegas, NV.

I sleep, eat and breathe my work and I am a self proclaimed creative freak of nature. Dreams conquer and I am proof of that! [ed. note: she really is!]

You can see my work in magazines such as Nylon, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, 944, Skinnie, Alternative Press, Lucky and on 49efe928a70d1-288x502the television networks NBC, FOX, ABC.

My celebrity clients list includes Terri Nunn (of Berlin), Jason Alexander, Jennifer Tilly, Miguel Nunez, Ron Livingston, Tom Sizemore and Marianela Pereyra. I have also worked with musicians such as: Rise Against, Thrice, Alkaline Trio, Megadeth, The Killers, Avenged Sevenfold, and Theory of a Deadman.

You can see more examples of my work on my website, which is:

I’m looking forward to answering your beauty questions here on Painted Ladies!