October 17, 2009

The Artist Summit Chicago: Rewind - Day 1

I am finally sharing my experience at The Artist Summit Chicago with you guys. I decided to do a post today and for the next 2 days, each one being a week to the day later, of the 3 day event. Does that make sense? It will. Enjoy The Artist Summit Chicago: Rewind.

Day 1 of The Dream:

My experience with The Artist Summit started at 5PM on Saturday, October 10, 2009. I was excited all day leading up to it thinking about what I was going to wear and I how I was going to do my hair and my makeup. Once I got that all squared away, I jumped on the bus and 45 minutes later I was...

at the River East Arts Center in Chicago. I walked through the door and was first taken aback by the beauty of the space. I have seen pictures of it before but I had never been inside. It's a very open, very modern space. There are dozens of rooms each partitioned by glass walls. Inside the rooms are various works of art some canvas some sculpture. The first person I saw was Felicia Walker Benson. Now, let me rewind a bit. I am sitting in front of my computer late Friday afternoon when I see a tweet from @ThisThatBeauty telling me that I have been invited to a blogger's preview of The Artist Summit. You could've knocked me over with a feather! I was SO excited! Now, it all seemed WAY to good to be true so I was a little dubious but still excited so I sent my info, got my invite and now we can fast forward back to Saturday. When I saw Felicia, the first thing out of my mouth was, "are you from this that beauty?" She said yes, we introduced ourselves and she told me that I was the first one there and that the blogger tour with James Vincent would begin in about a half an hour. Felicia recommended that I take a look around, check out the Summit Shop and meet her back at the registration desk.

(l&r)A look down at some of vendors from the Summit Shop.

I made my way downstairs and took a quick look around. I was overwhelmed by all of the vendors who I had seen featured in YouTube videos about The Makeup Show and the IMATS. There were also several brands I had never heard of. I decided not to linger too long and made my way back upstairs. After waiting a little longer, going to grab some coffee, and running into Erin from Scandalous Beauty in the process, I was all set.

(l)James Vincent telling us a little about Joe Blasco. (r)Felicia telling us a little about Embryolisse.

James and Felicia took a group of about 6 of us around from vendor to vendor (
and with each vendor we seemed to acquire additions to the group), explaining the history of the companies, why they liked them and the products they felt were standouts. James even provided us with a few of what I like to call "PRO TIPS" to keep in mind when using the products. I took "copious notes" as Felicia called them (LOL) and decided to share some of them with you below:

Known for their range of bold colors, many people don't know that Makeup Forever places a strong emphasis on perfecting the skin to create the perfect canvas. There are very few lines that have a
foundation range as expansive, with shades to suit the lightest to the darkest complexions. And, they just added 10 new shades of star powders!

The Brush Guard is a product that is a "stretchable, breathable tube which protects your makeup brushes". You have to look at your brushes as an investment, especially when you are paying $30, $40, $50 a pop for them (or more). This preserves your brushes to protect your investment. They also sell the Shadow Shields which is a product used by makeup artists Johnny Lavoy & Billy B. It shields your face from potential eyeshadow/pigment fallout. *PRO TIP* You can use it below the lip and on the brow bone as well.

A staple in James' kit. He loves the collagen moisturizer, the drying lotion (which is featured in the current issue of ON MAKEUP magazine) and the rose water spray - it tones and refreshes the skin.

Felicia loves the herbal hydrating serum. She suggests using it as a mask day & night. The serum saved her skin from peeling after she had some beauty treatments and traveled to Miami. She also loves the rose water spray.

(l)James extolling the virtues of Temptu. (r) James breaking down the various uses for Naked Cosmetics.

This airbrush makeup system can be used at home by consumers everyday & on set for professional use. James said he loves to use it on Lady Gaga. *PRO TIP* James uses the silicone based foundation on the cheeks for glow and the water based wherever else he wants a more matte finish.

James carries one of these stacks of this mineral makeup in his kit. There is no need to carry a ton of colors. They are very versatile and can be used to create custom foundation, lipstick, lipgloss and much more. You can essentially custom blend anything. The great thing is that they work well in HD and look great in person as well.

Another product that is great for everyday use & professional use. It's a brush cleaner that will work on synthetic or natural brushes to remove just about any type of makeup. It conditions, disinfects and dries quickly. It's one of James' favs.

Senna's founder, Eugenia Weston, is known for working her magic on the brow, but it's her approach to the face that makes her artistry truly unique. She really examines and analyzes each individual face and its needs.

Don't fall into consumer mindset of brands and labeling. Look for quality, not the name on the product. Crown offers a huge array of really affordable brushes. They really look at what their customers need and bring it to them.

James loves:

The foundation brush (I am a bad blogger for not getting the name of the exact brush because they have a hundred) - It works well with MUFE Face & Body. The fact that it's synthetic and the way it's blended gives a beautiful finish.

The small foundation brush (again bad me) - Uses small foundation brush for cream blush. *PRO TIP* Likes to layer foundation over blush so that it looks like the blush is coming from within.

The 2-sided angle liner/spoolie - Use the angled side to fill in the brow and draw individual hair. Flip it around and use the spoolie on the other end to brush through brows and blend.

The large pointed crease brush - The density of the brush picks up a lot of color and the point works well for details like smudging the lower lash line so that you get a nice diffused look.

(l)James giving us some background on Inglot Comsetics. (r)James sharing his Stila favorites.

This is a new makeup brand stateside. Originally from Poland, Inglot just opened a retail location in NYC. The website is in the works.

They offer everything - pencils, shadows, brushes, lip color and more! I was blown away by the pressed face powder, which I think would work really well to highlight & contour or just set your makeup. It is soooooo silky. A lot of companies claim to make a silky powder but these were beyond belief. The texture reminded me of Stila eyeshadows, actually. They also have
a lipgloss that is pure liquid crystal, no pigment....at all. It's very cool. They look like prisms. I actually purchased one. Expect a post on it coming up.

The other standouts are their palettes, which they call the Freedom System. Basically, they are large interchangeable palettes without separators which accommodate the face powders, eyeshadows or blushes. You can mix and match the products inside as it's made to accommodate all of their pressed powders. The palettes themselves are magnetized with frosted lids that slide off as opposed to flipping open with a hinge. They also stack. Very cool looking.

James loves the convertible color. He also loves the smudge pots. *PRO TIP* To fill in sparse brows, use smudepots with a fine tip liner brush to draw in individual brow hair. James recommends using brown for the most natural look. It will look like real hair & photographs as such...plus it won't budge!

James was blown away by the cream foundation - correct it kit which was introduced at The Artist Summit Miami. He said he doesn't buy makeup but he bought this. It's a pastel palette of super creamy color correctors.

James chose Alison because he asks companies to take part in Powder Group events because he sees them as innovative and making a real contribution to makeup artistry. Alison Raffaele is one of those companies. It's an eco-friendly brand used by Allyson Joyner on RuPaul's Drag Race.

(l)James explaining how to use Beauty So Clean. (r)James raving about artist favorite Embryolisse.

This is a solution that comes in several incarnations but the one James showed us was a liquid in a spray bottle which you spray directly on your powder products (eyeshadows, blush, face powder). It gets rid of dirt, grim and microbes. There is another spray which you can use on your brushes. It keeps your kit sanitary & hygienic or works well at home to keep your personal makeup collection clean and germ free. :)

*PRO TIP* Spray the sanitizing mist on your mascara wand to refresh and revive dry mascara!

Emryolisse started, exclusively in France, as a pro product that was developed for burn victims. It's now available in the US and is a staple for many MUAs. It's a fantastic moisturizer for the skin. *PRO TIP* In a pinch you can use it to cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin all in one!.

Alcone's sponges are standouts. I remember Erin from Scandalous Beauty mentioning how great they were in one of her videos. Apparently they are industry favorites. Alcone is a company that sells everything in one place and an amazing resource for all makeup artists. James told a quick story about the owner getting supplies to him the next day on a remote location for a shoot he was doing in Maui. Aside from the sponges James pointed out the Lip Stamp. It uses
a technique first introduced in the 1920s to create the perfect lip. Saturate the white lip shaped stamp (which I think is some kind of sponge) and press onto your lips. James also loves the Neck and Face Lift (great surgery free solution to tighter skin when doing photoshoots). He also recommended the Super Matte Anti-Shine.

James calls this a "spa for the spirit". Ruby Room is located in Chicago and he loves it for its holistic approach to life, skin, hair, and mind. His favorite products are the essences which he uses himself and with his clients. They allow him to recenter and refocus. They allow his clients to relax and prepare for their session.

I know that was a lot to digest. It took me FOREVER to type out. But onto the rest of the night. After James left us to browse and take a look around, I made my way back through the maze of vendors and stopped by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I had a really awesome chat about the company and the products with OCC makeup artist Katy Pellegrino. I'm going to share that in a separate post because this one is already SUPER long.

(l)Fellow bloggers chatting it up. (r)Brooklyn & Erin (with her, "oh my word" pose. :))

After chatting with Katy and browsing a bit more it was time to make my way to J Bar for the "Drugstore Diva" mixer hosted by Patrice from Afrobella, Erin from Scandalous Beauty and Lianne from The Makeup Girl. It lasted about 2 hours and I must say that these ladies threw an AMAZING event. I got a chance to meet fellow bloggers, although I should have mingled more, engage in fantastic conversation, sit back, enjoy a drink and get off my feet! LOL. It was the perfect way to cap off my evening.

Well, that's everything. I had a truely great day and there was much more in store for me on day 2 & 3. :)


Deborah it's coming tonight. :)

Great post girlie.

I have started my recap but like you, there is so much to say. I haven't gotten past writing about the first person i talked to: Danessa Myricks!


Think i am going to follow your example and break it down or i will never get anything out.


look forward to the next posts

Goody, Thanks! It was so daunting. So many notes. So much to say. Then there is the pressure of getting it out before too much time passes. Can't wait to read yours!

This was an AWESOME breakdown. Although I carry quite a few of these items in my kit I love that I can always learn something new, so thank you for helping me do that! Cant wait to read the next post!

I had no idea my products were being used on Ru Paul's drag race...thanks for the 411!!

So glad you had fun at the Summit - hope to see you again at the next one!

Alison Raffaele :-)

Shana, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

Alison, I am 99.99% sure that's what James said. He was dropping all kinds of little factoids for us. :)

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