You might have noticed that the beauty world has become obsessed with Strobing! It’s hot right now, even though it’s actually been around for ages. Basically strobing is just highlighting areas that you want the light to hit and reflect off of, bringing those features forward and stealing all of the attention. Typically we pair highlighting with contouring (revisit my Highlight & Contour Tutorial for more) but it’s quite beautiful on its own. Especially in the Summer months when we let our skin glow and come alive. So let’s take a moment to walk through how I like to do it!




Using your finger with a cream/fluid or directly from the stick, swipe it:

  1. just along the top of your cheekbones,
  2. above your browbones (the brow frames the eye, so it’s a great place to draw attention to),
  3. down the center of the nose in a straight line (this just reinforces that your nose isn’t flat and protrudes away from your face like your cheekbones and browbones do),
  4. just above your cupid’s bow (this adds dimension to make your upper lip look like it is slightly fuller and protrudes more),
  5. just below your bottom lip (your bringing the area that is receding in between your bottom lip and your chin forward).


Then blend and buff it in with the brush or the sponge! And tag us on Instagram or comment below with your favorite strobing products!


the beauty dept photogenic braid


PIC OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. In this wild world of social media, braids have become a serious must on every fashion and beauty instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter feed. If you don’t have photos of braids + flowers, you’re probably missing out on a whole lot of follwers and likes. While I can’t help you in the floral department, I can definitely help you in the braid department! Here are some of my favorite ways to prep and style a braid for a great photo.

photographing braids the beauty dept

  • For this particular post + tutorial, forget about the classic french braid (as seen above) for photos. Yes, it’s gorgeous, we know that, but most of it’s texture potential is hidden on the inside. The bulk of your braid gets tucked in when you do a regular french braid, so stick to inverted French braids (aka: Dutch braids) when it comes to photos because inverted braids put the bulk of the braid on the outside where you can see it (see next photo).

a more photogenic braid the beauty department

  •  See the difference? The thickest parts of the braid lay on top of the hair instead of being tucked inside. If you prefer the classic version, knock yourself out! I don’t discourage that! The only downside is that it can’t get as “fat” as an inverted braid, and bigger badder braids for photos is what this post is all about!
  • To get a great braid, wash your hair with something that will give it a little texture. I like THIS SHAMPOO and THIS CONDITIONER for building a good braid foundation! Sometimes when I used those, I don’t even need to add much product!
  • If you don’t want to change shampoos, then prep the hair with a product like this LIGHT HOLDING MOUSSE or a light OCEAN SPRAY before blow drying or air drying. You never want to prep with something too sticky or it will be very hard to braid.

phtogenic braid the beauty department

  • Everyone must learn how to “pancake” or gently pull a braid apart. This will help fatten it up. When you do this on an inside-out-braid/inverted braid, the fullness you can achieve is amazing. I like to take each loop, one by one, tugging first from the inside and moving to the outside of the loop.
  • Always have plenty of TEXTURE POWDER on hand. Sprinkle a little on top of the braid before you pull it apart. I’ve talked about this in nearly every braid tutorial I’ve ever done. It’s my favorite. The powder has a lot of grit to it and really helps to keep that braid from falling apart when you’re tugging at it. It also helps anyone with lots of layers because if there’s texture powder on the pieces that go rogue, you can just tuck them right back in and they pretty much stay put.

photogenic braids the beauty department

  • Don’t be afraid to pull the braid out to the max! If a couple little pieces fall out of the braid, let them or tuck them back into the braid! Messy braids are awesome!
  • Always have THIS TEXTURE TOOL to get that extra texture-y glow. You may remember it from THIS POST! If not, you must read up!

braid placement for photos the beauty department

  •  Another thing you should always remember is that placement is important! Look at this before and after example. The braid up top is the same as the braid on the bottom, the one on the bottom just runs closer to the ear and the hairline. If you’re trying to get a good photo of a braid without turning full profile, braid a little closer to the front or the hairline. Otherwise, the braid seems to kind of disappear. If you’re photographing a braid from the back, then focus the majority of it back there.

beauty social media tips the beauty dept

  • The fact of the matter is that braids just photograph better on dark hair with highlights or lighter hair with hightlights because you see more depth. Am I saying braids are not gorgeous on darker hair? Not at all. In person I think braids on darker hair colors are classic and beautiful and chic, but sadly we all know that texture-wise, they just don’t read as well in a photograph. You tend to lose the look in a photo because you don’t see all the twists and turns and dimensions of a textured braid as well on solid or darker hair colors unless you find some epic lighting. I’m not telling you that you should run out and color your hair, I’m just saying adding in a couple lighter extension pieces temporarily like we did back in THIS POST (braids for brunettes + redheads). It can help you get a stronger braid photo for your beauty blog or social media feed!
  • Lighting is important as well. A skylight or natural lighting is your best friend when snapping a braid photo. You always want to see the curves and texture clearly when you photograph a braid so the more light, the better. Taking photos of your braids in the bathroom at night just doesn’t quite cut it anymore! Photo quality is important so shoot during the day and make sure your background doesn’t distract or take away from the braid. Solid backgrounds are always a good idea.
  • Have fun with it! After you get the photo you want, add a funny accessory or pull the braid apart to the point where it’s disheveled! Sometimes those are the photos I end up using and liking the most!




I was at lunch last week with my girlfriends and was in shock that they didn’t know this trick! I thought everyone’s grandmother taught them it! So let me be your grandmother today LOL and teach you one of the greatest tips out there that you’ll use for the rest of your life. Nothing is worse than rocking a gorgeous bold lip then walking into the bathroom and seeing it all over your teeth! AGH! So annoying. If you choose a matte formula, most likely this won’t happen; but choose a bright satin finish or a liquid lacquer and you’re in trouble. Luckily there’s a little quick thing you can do (and should do) every time you wear lipstick. Simply place your index finger in your mouth, close your lips around it then pull the finger back out. Any lipstick that would have ended up on your teeth is now on your finger instead. I test every lipstick with this trick before I leave the house and maybe a third of the time there is nothing on my finger. The rest of the time, my finger is looks like Magali’s above.



  1. Apply the lipstick along the top, really coating while following the shape of the cupid’s bow.
  2. Apply it along the bottom as well, being sure to coat the inside part so you don’t have bare lip peeking through. This is the area that tends to end up on your teeth, but not an area you want to skip when wearing a bright lip color. Which is why this finger trick is a life saver!
  3. Place your finger in your mouth and wrap your lips around it. I tried to take a picture of this step to show you but, let’s just say it doesn’t photograph well! Then pull your finger out and all of the lipstick that would have ended up on your teeth is now on your finger.







I learned this little trick from my idol Mary Greenwell when we were on a press tour in Rome, Madrid and London (she was doing Cate Blanchett’s makeup and I was doing Geoffrey Rush’s grooming for Elizabeth The Golden Age). I love that it’s incredibly subtle but brings the lid to life with a tiny twinkle when you blink or look down. No glitter. Nothing to hit you over the head. Just a hint of frost to catch and reflect the light. Here’s how:



  1. Your Favorite Eye Shadow — I used this lavender shadow quad ($$$) on Eva because the shades of purple are universally gorgeous on every skin tone but this lilac one ($) is less of an splurge!
  2. A Lighter Shadow For The Pop — pick a slightly frosted shade so it catches the light like this one in Ice ($$) or this one ($).
  3. A Slightly Darker Shadow To Wet and Use As A Liner — I used the darker purple shadow from the palette.
  4. Your Favorite Lash Curler — I know everyone loves the Shu Uemura Curler and I love it too because it’s ultra-wide, but this one has the strongest pinch I’ve ever found!
  5. Your Favorite Mascara — I used this favorite one on Eva to really separate and coat each lash.



  1. Sweep the lavender/lilac shade all over the lid and crease.
  2. Trace it along the bottom lashes as well.
  3. Press your finger into the frosted lighter shade and stamp it on the center of your lid. You might have to do it twice to really make it pop!
  4. Wet a liner brush and dip it in the darker shadow. Trace it along the upper lashline. You can also wing it out like I did.
  5. Pinch the lashes with the curler.
  6. Finish with a couple coats of mascara.

Heaven! And speaking of, I was lucky enough to convince the heavenly Eva Amurri Martino to model for us! You probably recognize her from Undateable, Californication and Saved, or because she looks a lot like her mom Susan Sarandon! She just launched her new lifestyle blog Happily Eva After and it will quickly become one of your favorite reads. So good!