I'm really excited for this week's transformation post because I got to sit down with the lovely Vanessa Ronquillo of Contour and Blush. Not only did she have some great advice about the shelf life of makeup products, she walked me through a cleanout of her own makeup products. In only 15 minutes, she cleared out several expired items, wiped everything down, and reorganized like items.
How did you get into makeup artistry?
I suffered from severe acne during college and to remedy the situation and not feel as self-conscious, I learned how to apply makeup. As I began doing it, people commented that they loved the makeup I did on myself so I started doing makeup for family and friends. Eventually, I started getting referred out to other people for weddings and special occasions.
What do you love most about being a makeup artist?
I love making other people feel wonderful about themselves. I truly believe people are beautiful, sometimes it takes someone else to tell them they are. Makeup is a way to enhance features and when I apply makeup on someone, I get to know their personalities and get a sense of what makes them happy. I celebrate my clients and it brings me the most joy when they get excited about my work
What tips/tricks do you have for getting the most out of your makeup?
Each product is different. If you love something, use it until the last drop, but I suggest if you are running low, buy a new one before its almost gone. I tend to overbuy makeup to make sure I never run out of anything, but I’m obsessed with makeup and always love trying new products.
For mascara, if it looks dry on the wand then I toss it. Shadows and powders have a longer shelf life so I hold on until it hits pan (when you see the bottom of the container).
Everyone should do a biannual clean up of their makeup, at a minimum. People don’t realize that there are expiration dates on formulas so pay attention to those. Sometimes you can stretch its life and I’m totally guilty of that at times.
It's ideal to store your products at room temperature, not too much humidity. Brushes can be kept in a cup, upright, and cleaned on monthly basis with dishwashing soap and olive oil (2:1 ratio) if used daily. Otherwise, if they are used less frequently, you can keep brushes in a container in a drawer.
If someone wants to revamp their look or overhaul their current stash of beauty products, where should they start?
Look at fashion magazines, YouTube gurus, or Pinterest. I love looking at different avenues for inspiration, seeing what the new beauty craze is, and trying it for myself. Some work and some don’t, but that is what is the most fun about it!
For a complete novice, where does one begin?
YouTube! You can find anything on there. I did that too, and found someone who’s the same ethnicity so I could see the makeup application on a similar skin tone and skin type.
Some basic products to start building your beauty arsenal: foundation for a solid base (I always have foundation), brow pencil or gel (this really helps frame your face), long-lasting mascara, lip pencil (can serve as a lipstick, not just liner), and blush.
What's are your favorite beauty ritual?
I wash my face every night with my favorite Japanese face wash called Perfect Water (it literally is the best thing out there and gets rid of everything!). I exfoliate every week (I love Asian beauty products but also will use the Clean & Clear exfoliant) and weekly I wear face masks to bed.
What's your best beauty advice?
Make sure you love yourself first. Regardless of how many products you use on your face, the most beautiful people realize their inner beauty first because it truly shines through in your appearance.
If you want to see more of Vanessa's work, check out her Contour and Blush. You can also follow her personal Instagram for a healthy dose of travel, beauty, philanthropy, and entrepreneurial endeavors.