Who we are

Based in the San Francisco Bay area, We are a team of Professional Hair & Make-up Artists inspiring others for more than 13 years. For information on special event and consulting services please email us at info@miabel.com

Friday, April 17, 2009

Topshop Opens In The U.S. | The Frisky


I recently got the chance to visit new york and the famous "Top shop". What fun and ecclectic shopping experience.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When is it REALLY a deal on drugstore make-up....

TROPHIES Ann Orcutt, a makeup artist, with bargains from a drugstore. THESE days, it’s not a stretch to find former Henri Bendel loyalists navigating the cosmetics aisles of drugstores, intent on finding that perfect shade of $5 blush.
By HILARY HOWARD Published: April 8, 2009 Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times Apparently, they’re not alone. A recent report by Mintel, a market research company, said department store makeup shoppers are increasingly trading down to “drugstore selections” in the current economy. Data from Information Resources, a Chicago-based research firm, seems to confirm that: through March 22 this year, nationwide drugstore sales for facial cosmetics like foundations and powders have increased by nearly $5.5 million over the same period last year. In other words, more women are hitting places like Duane Reade. But they might need help. “I don’t think anyone should be lost or broke because of makeup,” Ann Orcutt, a professional makeup artist, said during a recent trip to Duane Reade in Midtown Manhattan, where she pointed out items that she said compare in quality to more expensive labels. “I did this exact thing recently with a personal trainer from Equinox who was doing a fitness video and had no budget. She was like, ‘I have half an hour and no money!’ ” Ms. Orcutt, whose clients have included the CNN host A. J. Hammer and the actors Liev Schreiber and Kathy Bates, said she helped the trainer (another client) pick out items that included CoverGirl AquaSmooth Compact Foundation for $9.79 (“the best liquid coverage in a compact liquid/powder format,” Ms. Orcutt said); CoverGirl Cheekers Blush for $4.39 (“It has a bit of sparkle in it, it’s not just a flat color”); L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara for $7.50 (“Makeup artists who trained me eight years ago said that it was the best, and I still think it is”), L’Oréal Le Grand Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Black Sable for $8.49 (“This is a fantastic dark rich brown that works for everyone”) and Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow Quad for $6.99 (“This is the only drugstore eye shadow I like”). Other items included Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Gloss for $6.99, L’Oréal Infallible Never Fail Lip Liner for $8.99, and CoverGirl TRUblend Microminerals Finishing Veil, a translucent finishing setting powder, for $12.99. The grand total? $66.13. “High-end versions would have cost upward of $175 easily,” said Ms. Orcutt, who has used all of the above products on her own face and on the job. When splurging on more expensive brands, she emphasized that tunnel vision should be used while visiting upscale stores. “Know what you want, get it and leave,” she said. “Don’t get suckered in by monthly promotions and packages, because they usually involve products and colors you don’t need.” Especially when shopping for a good foundation, she said: “Go to the counter at Henri Bendel or MAC and get professional help. If you try to guess what you need, you’ll end up buying something else later — it’s a huge waste of money.” As for concealers, she recommends a drugstore brand: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector, for about $9. “This is practically an exact copy of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Highlighter, which costs about $40,” she said. “It comes in two shades for mistake-proof blending. I have this in every color in my kit.” For women who have basic coverage needs, Ms. Orcutt is a big fan of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish ($25), a dry application that is quick, easy and relatively affordable because it can provide three products in one (foundation, powder and concealer). A drugstore version of this is Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation for $13.59. And makeup brushes? “There is no way around this: professional brushes last and grab the right amount of product,” she said, picking out three essentials: Paula Dorf’s Total Camouflage Brush for concealer, MAC’s No. 129 for powder and blush and MAC’s No. 266 for eyeliner. “I’ve had the same brushes in my kit for years.” When it comes to facial cleansers, Ms. Orcutt said, “There’s no point in spending $26 on something with grapeseed extract when you’re just going to rinse it off.” She recommends Olay Foaming Face Wash. “My skin is at its best when I’m using this stuff.”

Hair-oic ideas in a tight economy...

IT GROWS BACK At Bumble and Bumble, a supervisor keeps an eye on an apprentice’s work. By SUSAN CATTO Published: April 8, 2009 JESSICA LENNON never minded paying $140 (plus $40 tip) for a high-end cut at the Frédéric Fekkai salon on Fifth Avenue in New York. But after months of bad economic news, Ms. Lennon, a 24-year-old publicist, recently felt reluctant to make her next appointment. “I started thinking, is it really worth it? Do I have $180 to spend right now on my hair?” she said. She turned to Craigslist and Web sites of upscale salons to find training nights, calling around until she lucked into an appointment at Sally Hershberger Downtown, which offers free trainee cuts on Tuesday nights. Surrounded by novices working on bewigged mannequin heads, Ms. Lennon calmed herself with a mantra: “It’s just hair. It will grow back.” Ms. Lennon (who ended up with a cut she loved) is among the many professionals turning to the inexpensive or free services offered at aesthetic colleges and training salons. Beauty schools have long been popular with students and retirees. Now some schools are reporting a surge of first-time clients, many of whom say they can no longer afford their usual salon appointments.
Local options: In the SF Bay area "The School" by Paul Mitchell is a great option. Go to http://www.paulmitchelltheschool.com/pmts/locations/index.cfm?SetLocation=21 or call (925)691-7687 to ask about their service menu.

"Love Letter to Paris" from Marc Jacobs - Spring 2009 Fashion

(PARIS) Marc Jacobs' "love letter to Paris," as he called his Spring 2009 collection for Louis Vuitton, has been answered--with another riff on the idea by Jacobs himself. This season, he looked to Parisian muses--Victoire de Castellane and Ines de la Fressange, he cited backstage--in particular. "I was thinking of all these wonderful French women who have inspired the designers I've always respected and admired," Jacobs said. To that note, there were approximately five distinct stories--many jazzed up with lace, ruching, bubble silhouettes, strong-shouldered jackets, and paisley. The accessories, as always, compete with the clothes--the inverted cone-heels and hair accessories punctuated with pearls, the ever-more-luxe bags in even more mixed media. In 62 looks, Jacobs created a tapestry woven with so much French spirit--"joie de vivre, joie de fashion" as he called it--that it takes some irrevocable gravitas to eschew the rush of emotions and sensations that this show evoked. The fashion world--and the luxury industry--thanks him heartily.

Wedding Wonder

April 14, 2009 Editor's Choice - Fashion Week Daily - 1:15 pm Can Vera and Oscar be Upstaged by This?
While we’re still discussing our favorite wedding efforts during the New York showcases, this $1.5 million peacock sensation might easily top them all. The stunning dresss was just unveiled at wedding expo in Nanjing, China, and the creation took eight craftsmen to finish. As for how many peacock feathers were used? That would be 2,009!

Trunk Show May9th - Walnut Creek


Friday, April 10, 2009

"brow beauty"

Brows are arguably, according to make-up artists, the most overlooked feature on the face. Brows, as the frame for the eyes, hold both strength and emotion behind their shape. It is therefore crucial that the right message is conveyed. First, let talk shape. The start of the brow should Line up with the tear duct. Growing in an upward an outward direction beginning to arch just after passing the pupil of the eye. Then, making a soft and shallow decent toward hairline, the brow will taper off just after passing the last lash. Tools: a pencil is usually the easiest tool with which to create shape. Next, Compliment with color. The brows should generally be one shade lighter than your deepest shade present as hair color. Exception: light blondes will follow the opposite of this idea. Contour (natural variance in color) the brows by using an eyeshadow in one shade deeper along the bottom edge of brow (emphasizing the most depth under the arch). Last but not least, Make it last by using a bit of brow mascara/gel/wax (depending on coarseness of your hair) to hold in place. Go for it and Brave a beautiful Brow......