My daughter’s first makeup tutorial

Ok, before you start thinking, “what big hands she has!”, well those are my hands doing the makeup and all the expressions while she improvs her way through the makeup application. That’s what makes this so funny. I can’t see a thing since I am under the blanket while she sits on my lap and she doesn’t know what is coming up! Enjoy!

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Retailing makeup, Does it make sense for you?

Maybe this conversation sounds familiar as a working makeup artist?

Client: This is great! Where can I get this foundation?
Me: Well, it’s on an industry makeup website over here. (writes down name on paper)
Client: …and what about this sponge?
Me: Oh! I love that one, you can find it on Amazon I think, or maybe this site? I usually get it at the Makeup Show when I go.
Client: Oh ok, I’ll try that. What about this lip moisturizer, I have to have this!
Me: Oh! I get that at the makeup show too, makeup artists LOVE it! It’s always used backstage at NYFW and the artists we learned about it from get it in Paris when they are there. I think it originates in Australia.
Client: (blank stare)

Ok, you get what I am saying here. I want to help my clients get high quality products to help them continue to put their best face forward each day that I am not around, but it is truly a hassle to have 100 different resources for them to shop from and a headache for my client and their credit card as well. I also didn’t mind the ideal of finally getting compensated for my natural recommendations as I had been making other companies money for years by doing so. For this reason I have had the serious thought of picking up a direct sales line to retail so that they can order directly from me and have product sent straight to them, but there were a few things holding me back from joining a direct sales line so quickly. I decided I had to at least have the following things in place for me to finally decide to go all in and support a line.

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“evolution” by The Powder Group

“Twenty Makeup Artists. Nine Themes. Five Days. One Unforgettable Experience.”

Since it’s conception, The Powder Group has come to be known by the makeup industry as a resource that puts forward outstanding artist education, events, publications, and more. One of their annual events is an exclusive, 5 day trip to Provincetown, MA. where  a group of 20 makeup  artists come together to partake in a unique experience to the beauty industry as a whole.

The tagline on evolution’s logo tells you enough to entice you, enough to know you need to be a part of the experience, but not enough about what happens each day. The vagueness is purposeful. The more open minded you go into evolution, the more you will get out of it in the end. I had the opportunity to not only experience this program once, but twice, and I want to share my experience with those interested in the process.

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elevate artists Industry Workshop in the Washington DC Metro area

Hi World! First off I want to say Happy New Year!!!

I’m pleased to announce since we’ve last talked I have started a company with my husband called “elevate artists”.

elevate artists is a concept that was thought up and brought to fruition by myself and my photographer husband, Luis Aragon. (With the coaxing of some amazing artist friends). Throughout both our careers we’ve met and become great friends with incredibly talented and in demand artists in every genre of the fashion and commercial industry including other photographers, digital retouchers, makeup artists, stylists, models, and more. When we opened the doors to our Washington DC based studio we invited artists to hold workshops at their studio when noticing a trend of top quality education bypassing the area. The workshops that took them up on their invitation included in demand names such as The Powder Group, Billy B., Lotstar, Jamie Nelson, Kevin James Bennett, Deshawn Hatcher, Sean Armenta, Suzanne Patterson, and more…

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Kat’s Kit Spotlight: Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer

Eve Pearl Magic Salmon Concealer Wheel

Ok, admit it, how many of you knew I would be posting about this particular product any day now? Many people that know my artistry in any way know that I am a “Salmon Concealer-a-holic” but it’s with good reason! For those of you not in the know about this dream product yet, let me have the honor of introducing you to one of my “Kat’s Kit” specialty items:
Eve Pearl’s Magic Salmon Concealer.

I first learned of salmon concealer when sitting in a workshop at the International Beauty Show years ago, before getting into freelance makeup full time. As the esthetician of my family’s spa, I was in gear to pick up some extra makeup education during my trip to the show. I sat in on an incredibly in depth and inspiring makeup class and it wasn’t until after I became a fan of the presenter that I realized she was 5 time Emmy Award winning makeup artist Eve Pearl herself. I would go to see her present every year and was amazed at all the new tricks I would learn each time I went. I also became very impressed with this special Salmon Concealer she talked about during the demo that just seemed to whisk away darkness under the eyes.  Every year I would vow to buy the salmon concealer by the end of the show day and every single year I would get back to her table to find the concealer was GONE. Snatched up. Sold out before I was able to get my own hands on some!

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Kat’s Kit Spotlight:Skinprep FX Primer by Cover FX

Skinprep FX Primer by Cover FX

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I used an extra primer for skin that needed a bit more help in the texture department. I sometimes find myself finding my moisturizing/primer in one (Embyolisse) is just not enough for my mature clients. That is when this stellar primer steps in: Skinprep FX by Cover FX.

I ran into this gem at the Chicago Artist Summit I was teaching a workshop at. I was asked to do a class on “Makeup for Mature Women” and I ran right over to the Cover FX booth to find a particular foundation but ended up talking to the reps at the booth about this baby. I started to play around with the consistency on my hand and added it to silicone based makeup to see how it could thin some of my favorite products out. Kevin, from one of my favorite lines, even came over (his booth was across there’s!) and started showing me why this primer was considered “Liquid Gold” in the makeup artist community. I mean seriously, when you have people coming from competitor’s booths to show you something that says a lot!

I went ahead and snatched some of this product up and used it in my demo as well for many faces I had worked on shortly after. I am not even exaggerating when I say this stuff makes such a difference in the appearance of foundation, not just for mature skin, but for all skin types! Being a makeup artist I do have different primers “just in case” that I hoard in my kit, some I will talk about in a separate post, but this primer makes it out for my normal/mature/sensitive/dry/extra dry… you get the ideal, it makes it out for just about everyone.

I definitely challenge anyone who has a silicone based foundation, who wants to thin down the consistency for a different look and feel to their product, to try mixing this “liquid gold” with it. I have tried it with their own Cover FX cream foundations, Yaby foundation, Make Up For Ever HD, and have loved every result.

Also, don’t even get me started on their ClearPrep FX Primer! That really deserves it’s own post since it is a primer to help mattify and smooth oily skin while helping to prevent/heal acne. YUP! I said PREVENT and HEAL acne- in primer form!  That is basically unheard of these days, but I will have to save that for another love letter, ahem,  post one day. 🙂

SkinPrep FX Primer by Cover FX: You are a“Kat’s Kit” Spotlight product!

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Kat’s Kit Spotlight: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè

I’ve found through reading various blogs that there are different types of product reviews. There are reviews of products that one has thoroughly tested for wearability, texture, coverage, and all the other elements that goes into making a beauty product great. It’s tested for the day and then decided upon whether the product is fantabulous, okay, or something you give to your kids to do art with. There are also the reviews that have come from the writer truly knowing the product thoroughly and who has fallen in love with it enough to use it on a daily basis. Those are the beauty products that will be featured in “Kat’s Kit Spotlight” . I have a number of products that I have used and abused on every shoot or event because of it’s reliability. When I use these products I know that it will do precisely what I need it to do which makes the job that much easier. I’m sure over time this section will be condensed more and more to being affectionately known as a “KatKit” product, but for now I introduce you to my first official product spotlight…


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Behind the Scenes of our “On Makeup Magazine” editorial.

Lots has happened since my last string of posts on my beloved blog, so I have a lot of catching you up to do! One great opportunity my husband, Luis Aragon, and I had was to do a beauty lip story for The Powder Group’s “On Makeup Magazine”.  Here is a behind the scenes look at what went down at Studio 400 in Washington D.C. for this shoot.

On Makeup Magazine Behind the Scenes from Kat Aragon on Vimeo.

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Gretchen Mol’s Hair and Makeup for DC’s Premiere of “An American Affair”

I had the pleasure of working with Gretchen Mol this week for the Washington D.C. Premiere of her new movie “An American Affair” out tomorrow, the 27th of February.

Gretchen is a classic beauty that has a look reminiscent of the iconic roles she tends to play. She was Bettie Page in HBO’s “The Notorious Bettie Page”  and you may recognize her past role as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s “Chicago”. In her new movie she plays a character (a mistress possibly?) that has a relation to JFK in the time leading up to his assassination.

Regardless of the complex characters Gretchen tends to play, Gretchen herself is an amazingly down to earth, talented and beautiful actress as well as proud mother.

For her movie premiere I decided to add some waves into Gretchen’s naturally fine and curly hair. I included her input in the whole process and together we decided on a hair and makeup look that would set the right tone for the evening and would work with her classic Jason Wu dress, whom you may know as the designer of Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball gown.

I set her hair in medium sized pin curls while doing her makeup and when we released and lightly finger combed through the curls a form started to take place. I kept more of the formed curls in the front, left the hair pretty loose and carefree on the sides and pinned any extra length up in the back, allowing some of the hair to fall naturally out of the pins.


Hair and Makeup by Kathy Aragon for Gretchen Mol / Image courtesy of WireImage
Hair and Makeup by Kathy Aragon for Gretchen Mol / Image courtesy of WireImage

For Gretchen’s makeup we did a soft neutral shadow with a black wing tipped liner. Her face was given a glow with a slight mix of Face Atelier’s Ultra Foundation mixed with a dab of Face Atelier’s Ultra Sheer foundation. I added a little smudged color under the eye, highlighted the cheekbones and opted for a soft pink over the cheek as she didn’t want to look too dramatic for this event. The lips were just a light sheer pink gloss over her natural rosy pigmented lips (lucky Gretchen!).


Hair and Makeup by Kathy Aragon for Gretchen Mol / Image courtesy of WireImage
Hair and Makeup by Kathy Aragon for Gretchen Mol / Image courtesy of WireImage

I had a great time working with Gretchen and I wish her the best of luck with everything she does! I look forward to seeing more of her work and maybe, one day, we will get to see her in more iconic rolls. Let’s talk Marilyn Monroe! 😀

Here is a video of the Movie Premiere After Party held by Washington Life Magazine.

WLTV World Premiere Screening “An American Affair” from Washington Life Magazine on Vimeo.

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