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Pro Makeup Products: Why & How You Should Try

I have noticed, lately, there are more dabblers in the category of pro makeup products. And some of you would like to dabble but are hesitant. I am here to give you some encouragement to lose the fear for these brands. There is a whole entire makeup universe out there so vast and mind opening. It is like a makeup acid trip! (I am not in anyway promoting any psychedelic drug use.)

Check out: Best High Definition Makeup Products

Let me start by telling you how I started in pro brands. I started out of pure jealousy! This occurred in the pop-infested 1980’s high school days. One day this guy was explaining to me why women shouldn’t wear foundation, he mentioned, “it is like kissing sandpaper.” I didn’t know that but I knew who he was talking about, his girlfriend in drama class. I caught up with her one day and asked her what type of makeup she used. She mentioned William Tuttle because the thespians (she never called herself a drama student) all use it, that and Ben Nye, Joe Blasco, and RCMA. She gave me a smirk when she mentioned these. She knew I didn’t know what brands they were. What a bitch!

This started my quest into pro brands. 

Pro Brands & This Blog

Confession: When I started this blog (yes, it is still dead but I had an urge to write), I loved pro brands and wanted to write about them. The posts did stray. The blog strayed into drugstore brands and other brands hyped up by beauty stores. I bought them because I wanted people to read and look at my blog. I didn't stay true to myself. After reading some of those posts, I see I am not really happy with what I wrote because they weren’t really me. I am ashamed of them and I wished I could just forget about the bitterness the blog bubbled up.

Now, I don't care because I have been through the wringer of the beauty world; spit on and coughed on (metaphorically). Maybe, this was some karmic action for not being true to myself. I have seen influencers promise, in the beginning to be true to themselves only to end up being a caricature of themselves years later. I certainly don’t want to be my own caricature. I love pro brands even more now than consumer brands. I love talking and writing about them. They are products that make my makeup life a lot more fun and gets my brain moving!

Why you should try pro brands?

  • The main reason is value! You get an incredible amount of product for a very fair price, and way cheaper than the luxury brands. Many times it may be too much and this is where sharing comes in. You can split products with a friend or even transfer the amount you need into a palette. Just make sure you get a palette that will hold the formulation of pro products like Vueset. Using regular plastic containers not made for makeup can warp when stored due to the ingredients.

  • Pigment. Yes, they are very pigmented! They have to show up under the strong lights of film, television, and theater. The colors have to be strong! Extreme pigment also means this can work on many skin tones from paper white to darkest dark. It can always be adjusted to be less pigmented.

  • No Fillers. You get what you need for the product to perform. No story about a mystical cave where an ingredient was found. Makeup is to color skin that is it!

  • They work. They provide anywhere from a sheer wash of color to extreme coverage. Adjustments can always be made which makes them so versatile. Versatility is one of the main reasons why I love using pro products.

What Stops You from Trying

  • No pretty package. You know, if I packaged your tablet of pressed pigments in some generic cardboard palette with no mirror, it would at least be 95% cheaper. Consumerism is to waste precious time by admiring the story, the package and the opening of each little compact. Pro products are made for makeup artists for quick access and organization, or for anyone who likes to save time and money. 

  • No instructions. I have to be truthful, when people complain about this, I wonder why this should stop you. When I started dabbling, I had no internet! 

  • Learning curve. Don’t be afraid to learn. All makeup, whether it be consumer or pro, doesn’t magically apply itself. If you can take time to shop for another beauty product with empty promises, why not take that time and money to learn about a pro product? 

  • Pigment. I know I mentioned this as the main reason to try. Many stay away because you can’t control the intensity, yet you want more intensity from consumer brands. Pro products are pigmented not only to show under strong lighting; it is also for control to thin out into a less pigmented product without resulting in a muddy or ashy color. It is always easier to make make a pro product less intense than making a consumer brand more pigmented.

How to start: Dos & Don’ts

  • Do Choose. Do you want to try a powder product or a cream product? Will it be an eyeshadow, blush, foundation, or something else.

My First Pro Product

This is the Ben Nye Burns & Blister wheel. Although, it is labeled as such, I learned it makes a killer lipstick and blush. Also, the dark color can be used as eyeliner. This started my addiction to explore. I used this wheel with various other products to create or hack into other products. By the way, this wheel contains more than you think.

  • Don’t Choose products you don’t understand. Don’t go buying those airbrush liquids or alcohol activated palettes on your first try. They need some research into using them. Stick to the powders and creams.

  • Don’t buy those big palettes of many foundation colors. These palettes are created for people who know about skin tone color theory and foundation color theory. The pans of color are mixed to create more. You only have one face and that face will NEVER use all those colors. It will eventually end up on Poshmark or some makeup exchange forum. Then, you will end up disappointed with pro brands and probably rant about them in some makeup forum and never try to venture past a consumer brand.

How to Play

  • Scoop it out, just like ice cream! Many people will just rub their finger into a pro product like they do in some consumer brand and begin to smear it onto their face. What they don't know is the amount on the fingertip will probably cover half the face and then the prejudgement happens, "I don't like it!"

    The best way to introduce yourself to your new pro product is to scoop out the product with a stainless steel spatula (with the exception of powder products) onto a stainless steel palette, a ceramic tile (you know those bathroom tiles found at the hardware store), or even wax paper cut into squares. For loose form powder, always sprinkle some out.

    Why do this? Not only is this sanitary; you will be able to use various tools from your finger, sponge, q-tip, and brush. Each one will result in a different feel and pigmentation on the skin.

    Also, you will never know how to use it if you don’t get the feel of the product. Is it greasy? is it slightly dry? Is it too powdery? Is it creamy? Is it sticky? How does it feel on YOUR skin? You are analyzing the product as it pertains to you. Does it feel right to you or should it feel a certain way?

  • Analyze the color. I suggest (and I got some flak for this long ago on a beauty forum but this time I am sticking to my guns!) to check the color swatch against some white paper, white paper towel, or even a cotton ball. Why? Because you can see the actual color and the undertone.

    Allow me to explain this better and defend myself from that f**king flak! People complained that they couldn’t really tell what the color would look like against a skin tone. I don’t like this and made many mistakes in many purchases. Swatching onto skin distorts the color. The undertones of the skin will either neutralize the undertone of the product or enhance it even more, changing the outcome of the swatch. Let’s also remember, the majority of the swatches especially eyeshadow and blush are not going to be applied onto bare skin but highly layered foundation skin. To see a product's true undertone is important in any cosmetic. (Nowadays, thanks to the Instagram filters, any color is completely off!)

    Why are the undertones important. For one, it will let you narrow down your foundation choices. Maybe, you thought you were a warm peach when in actuality you were more of pink peach. You will see the difference in color. You will also begin to see the difference in various pro brands. One pro brand may be warmer than another which can become useful when mixing. You will become familiar with the personality of these pro brands. This helps in narrowing down your choices when looking online and preventing you from spending any excess money!

  • Texture. This really goes back to the feel of the product. Does it feel right to you? Do you wish it to be more moisturizing or looser in texture? Would you want it more like a tinted moisturizer? Do you want your powder product to feel more like a cream?

Once you have acquainted yourself with your pro product, it is time for you to start your makeup adventure.

Explore! Explore! Explore!

This is the main reason why I love pro brands, I can do what I want with them because there is more than enough pigment and product. Pro brands, especially Ben Nye, are how I learned color theory. I remember just buying Ben Nye Creme Colors in the 3 primary colors: blue, red, yellow. Add to those the ever important black and white. The 5 colors helped me to explore and create many foundation colors. It was an eye opening experience for me and just plain fun! Of course, it would be simpler to buy foundation but the evolution of colors going from brights to a skin tone really opens the brain!

Okay, I don't want to confuse you with color but let me pique your interest when it comes to foundation. Most likely you will find foundation just too different in texture and maybe just a bit difficult to work with as is. Let's remember, pro brand cream foundation should be scooped out and softened to break down the waxes. Many find certain colors have a crack in the foundation and say it is defective. It isn't, just soften it and it will become its true nature.

  • Thin it out. You don't need anything fancy to thin it out. All the different oils out there can change the texture, anything from coconut to marula oil. Your choice. Just mix it into the scooped out foundation until it becomes an even texture and apply. This can be done with any cream product.

You know all those different foundations out there from those consumer beauty brands? Tinted moisturizer, tinted sunscreen, tinted primer, etc. Brands sure like to deconstruct your beauty routine! Why buy all those different products when one pro foundation and probably your skin care collection can hack any of these formulations!

  • Tinted Moisturizer. Take your favorite moisturizer and mix it with your scooped foundation. Voila! Tinted moisturizer. I bet it is probably better than the consumer brand because of the concentrated pigment in the product.

    If you find you can't mix or if it curdles like cottage cheese, that means the wax/cream based foundation is incompatible because the moisturizer is water based. Oil and water don't mix. Don't worry, don't think of it as a mistake. You learned a very important makeup lesson! Try your favorite serum and create that expensive serum based luxury brand dupe foundation instead!

  • Tinted Sunscreen. You got it. The same method as above. Again if it is incompatible, you know why. If it contains titanium or zinc, it could slightly change the color.

  • Tinted Primer. Mix with your primer. Just make sure it is silicone based. I can suggest an excellent one by Sian Richards which is my favorite so far.

With these mixes alone, I bet I saved you over $100!!!!!

These are just examples for foundation. You can do much more with the creams and even powder products. You just have to think outside the box and not be afraid. Pro products are meant to be explored and experimented with. Just use skin safe products. Don't go mixing it with gasoline or ammonia! Stay away from poisons! USE COMMON SENSE!

Once you familiarize yourself with a pro product, I will guarantee you will want to continue your adventure. You will learn how different brands work with each other. You will understand color better and probably become an old pro! Soon you will want to step out and maybe step into the alcohol activated palettes!

Oh, I forgot to mention one of the most important points pro brands can do, they can minimize your stash and, maybe, turn you into a minimalist like me! My makeup life is so much easier, yet fulfilling!

Makeup Minimalism

I hope I have awakened your curiosity and subsided some of the fear. What are you waiting for? Pro brands will give you a mind altering experience and as Thom Suprenant said, "use both sides of your brain". Your makeup adventure is waiting for you!!!!!

Read by the Intelligent! Uncredited, copied, and plagiarized by the idiots!
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