Classified Beauty: Exclusive Tips From Shannon O’Brien

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Shannon O’Brien’s work has been featured in CS Magazine, Refinery 29, and national ad campaigns, but that’s just the start. This isn’t why O’Brien’s clients rave about her, it all boils down to her incredibly refined work and relationships with everyone she comes across. Beauty can get complicated, and that’s why we asked Shannon to let us in on her favorite hush-hush beauty secrets & products. Now you can look like a glam goddess every day, all year long.

Shannon O'Brien

1. Makeup Forever Aqua Brow

This is so crucial if you love a strong brow.  Not only does it not travel or smudge, but it is waterproof WATERPROOF!  I love it particularly because it makes my brows a bit more buxom when they’re feeling a too skinny.  I play with my brow color a lot so I like to mix 2 or three to get the perfect shade.

2.  Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

This water based foundation is gorgeous, natural, and build-able.  It has a natural hydrated finis and I love to mix it with a beauty balm in the summer to sheer it out.  This is also a photo-friendly foundation.  Illamasqua also sells it with a “skin enhancer” color that when mixed in can highlight, contour, brighten, or bronze depending on the color you choose.  A++++++

3.  Sacha Juan Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

I just started using this combo and LOVE it.  I typically only wash my hair once a week so it’s important that the products I use hydrate my hair without weighing it down.  I even work about a quarter size of the conditioner into my hair after my shower to leave in for extra moisture.  I just like how soft and shiny it leaves my hair.  I am also a sucker for the simple packaging.

4.  Vaseline Cocoa Radiance Body Lotion

This is my all time favorite body lotion.  It leaves my skin buttery with a glow even the day after I use it.  It has a very subtle cocoa butter scent that makes me feel like I’m on vacation without being overpowering.  I keep it in my kit as well to knock out dry knees and an elbows on my models.  I feel like this stuff is magic.  My skin never feels better than when I use it and it’s a drugstore staple!

5.  SK-II Mask

This is the perfect cure for tired skin.  10 minutes in one of these babies and your skin is plump, radiant and super hydrated.  I like to use these the night before a big event to make sure my skin looks it’s best.  It is also a kit must have for VIP clients.  You look like Hannibal Lecter while using them, but I swear the pay off is worth it.

How To Fake Great Cheekbones: A Beginners Guide

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So…there are a few other things besides Victoria’s Secret model hair that we strive for…one of them being the sunken cheekbones we stare at in magazine pages and on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. While we don’t all have Gucci Westman to give us the glam treatment, we can definitely do a pretty damn good job ourselves. Shockingly, it is incredibly easy and only takes a few short minutes. Contouring is not meant to change the face dramatically for day to day wear, but it can be a quick improvement to your daily make up routine. I contour my cheeks daily, and add a little extra when I wear a bright lipstick or pull my hair back in a ponytail. It’s that extra “pop” that pulls my look together. I scooped some tips up from Jillian Dempsey, a celeb favorite, and make up Goddess.

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1. Do not draw dark stripes along the sides of your face. This is the #1 contouring mistake women commit.

2. Suck in your cheeks to find the natural line of indentation, as if you are going in for a kiss.

3. Invest in a big fan brush. One with real hair will give you a cleaner application, it is not something to skimp on although it seems frivolous.

4. Swipe contour powder from the hollows of your cheeks, all the way up to your ears with a light hand. Swipe your brush into the powder, and then knock it on your wrist to remove excess dust.

5. Lay your brush just below your ears, and blend like you have never blended before. Blend all the way from your ears to the hollows of your cheeks.The powder should almost disappear.

6. Use a small amount of highlighter that matches your skin tone and has a slight shimmer to even out your look. Apply it to the bridge of your nose, the cupids bow, and the middle of your chin.

The New It Cream: BB & CC Cream

So we’ve all heard of the infamous bb cream. Blemish balm is an all in one miracle worker and apparently replaces moisturizer, cover up, foundation, etc. Mainly sold in South Asian markets, US retailers have begun to pick up the craze in the US. I was slightly skeptical of all the raving claims, but had to try it out for myself. After doing some research, I discovered that Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream was the best and headed to Sephora. During the winter, I am prone to rosy cheeks, and photos only highlight that problem. While I am not a fan of most make up, this is my new go to product.

Now, you can only imagine how happy I was when I heard about CC Cream. CC cream is a colored cream you match with the undertone of your skin that you want to cover up. For example, if you have redness like me, you would get a green cream to counteract it. Color correcting cream is the best thing since tinted moisturizer. CC’s help to fade discoloration while giving a nice glow, and what could be better than that?

While I will never be piling on the make-up, I will be keeping these two products at the ready. Check them out for yourself, or let me know what your favorite beauty product is so I can see what the hype is about!

bb and cc cream