Sunday, September 13, 2009

Actor Headshot Work

Male grooming work from a recent shoot...

Actor Kevin O'Brien

New Work

Been a while since my last blog but just to show you guys some of my new work...

Dominique-Ford Models Chicago

Dana-Ford Models Chicago

Emily-Elite Model Management Chicago

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Beauty

Here is a new beauty image from a shoot I had with Photographer Marcus Smith and model Leanne of Ford Models Chicago.

Tell me what you think. :)


Sunday, August 9, 2009

HOT DRUGSTORE FIND: Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Foaming Clenaser

I'm a recent convert to Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Cleanser ($6.99), but I'm glad I found it. It's cheap, it's a pretty good makeup remover, and it washes completely off like a regular foaming cleanser. Best of all, it's easy. It's the kind of product that keeps you from falling asleep in your makeup after two mojitos too many, because while you many not have the energy (or coordination) to take off your earrings and heels, you can splash a little water on your face.

Plus, I can get tired of traditional makeup removers. Sure, sometimes pouring it drop by drop onto cotton balls feels sophisticated and more like a spa ritual than a chore, but at the end of a long day, I don't want to spend 15 minutes trying to get the mascara off my lashes, and I definitely don't want to use up 30 cotton balls doing it. So for me, this is a good solution. If you have a sensitive nose like me, though, I've got one caveat: I don't like the way it smells — at all. It's a kind of chemically sweet scent that makes me glad when it's washed off. Luckily, the smell doesn't hang around once water hits it, and using the cleanser only takes a few seconds. For right now, I'm happy to put up with a little cheap scent for a really clean face.


- Lifts away dirt, oil, and even waterproof makeup, without leaving behind an oily residue.

- Gentle enough for daily use.

- Rich lathering foam that won't over-dry skin.


Some soaps can over-dry your skin. New CLEAN & CLEAR® Makeup Dissolving Foaming Cleanser has a rich lathering foam that gently lifts away dirt and makeup without leaving an oily residue. This oil-free formula is gentle enough for daily use.


Inactive Ingredients

Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Glycerin, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Camellia sinensis leaf extract

More CLEAN & CLEAR Makeup Dissolving products:

where to buy

CLEAN & CLEAR® full line of products are available for purchase at

CLEAN & CLEAR® products can also be found in many food, drug, mass, club & speciality stores across the country. Listed below are various retail stores 

where you can find these products.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

NEW España Collection by OPI

Nail polish is one of those things that we don't always have time for, but when we do make time, we totally wish we had thought of it before. There's nothing like typing away with glossy red nails, getting pepped up when you remember you're wearing a hot new shade of fuschia, or feeling dark and dangerous in a shiny mossy emerald hue. It's like finally remembering to call your mom, and then feeling so much better once you have.

And this new OPI collection? Very must-have, very 'make you feel better', very glamorous. I mean, we'd all like a little Spanish in our day, yes? And believe me, snapping up one of these babies is seriously guilt-free compared to working your way through a whole gallon of ice cream (which I've never done... promise... ok, maybe once). 

So here's the lowdown on the goods: There are 12 new shades in the Colección de España, and they all come with the signature OPI Pro-Wide™ Brush which means it takes a single stroke to coat your whole nail. Brilliant!

And of course, the colours. Ranging from luscious berries to mysterious blues and greens, from nearly nudes, to the brightest pinks and fuschias, there's a little bit of everything... sassy, saucy, and just a little bit spesh.

The shades in detail...

Barefoot in Barcelona: A luscious shade of beige nude with Spanish soul.
Manicurist of Seville: A rich burgundy sangria shade worth singing about.
Give Me Moor!: A stunning almost-black shade of wine purple.
No Spain, No Gain: Gain fashion points with this luscious rich berry shade.
Can You Tapas This?: A yummy shade of dark raisin.
Pamplona Purple: Pamper yourself with this precious shade of purple. 
Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees:
 A dramatic must-have dark cobalt blue.
Pink Flamenco:
 Sizzle in this vibrant hot pink.
Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow: Discover the riches of this dark dramatic green.
Ate Berries in the Canaries:
 Explore the Canary Islands in this delicious berry fuschia.
Conquistadorable Colour: A passionate 'take no prisoners' red.
Bullish on OPI: Seize the day in this bullfighter's red hot shade.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Allure's Top 10 Fall Beauty Trends

Rosy cheeks. 
Red lips. 
Dark eyes. 
Rough waves. 

Discover these and more of fall 2009's top ten beauty trends, straight from the runways. 


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pucker Up!

(LEFT) Photographer: Charles Jackson; Makeup: India Cherese; Model: Lauren Mckiddy, (RIGHT) Photographer: Olesja Mueller; Makeup: India Cherese; Model: Mia Fields

Finding Your Perfect Shade

To find the best basic lip color, remove all makeup. The perfect shade will generally be close in tone to your natural lip color. 
The one that looks good on the bare canvas is the right neutral, everyday, mistake-proof color. 
It should not look ashy, orange, or pink but more of an enhanced version of your natural lips. 
Some women may need more color than others, and the shade that may be best may sometimes tend to be bright or dark.
When your skin tone is enhanced, your eyes look brighter, and gives your face a lift you have targeted your perfect match. 
Once you've found the right neutral or every shade of lip color, you've got the basis for selecting the "more fun" and dramatic colors. 
Most lip colors with the same undertone as your natural shade will look pretty.
What lipstick shade best fits your natural lip color?

Pales Lips: beige, sandy pink, light coral, pale pink, bright red

Medium Lips: brown, rose, pink, orange, warm red

Dark Lips: brown, deep red, plum, deep chocolate, deep raisin/berries

Two-Toned Lips: chocolate, blackberry, deep plum, deep raisin, deep red

Tips for Long-Lasting Color
Some lip color products are long-lasting, but a lot of time those formulas tend to be far too dry. 
Here are some techniques the I use to provide extended wear to regular lipstick formulas.

Use a lip pencil that matches the natural color of the lip line and completely fill in the lips.
This acts as a base and helps hold lip color in place. Layer lipstick on top.

Use pencil on top of lipstick to create a wax-like barrier.

Blotting lipstick with your fingers presses color into the lips creating a stain that will last.

A bit of powder or blush patted on top of lipstick will keep it on longer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

How can I make my eyeshadow colors really 'POP'?

Photography: Kent Squires; Makeup: India Cherese; Model: Cece-Elite Chicago

One of my favorite components to my daily beauty routine to make my eyeshadow really 'POP' are MAC Paints. The product can be used either for color or for priming the eyelids before application of eyeshadow; I use it most often for the second instance, and it works wonders. I have mine in Bare Canvas, a creamy nude beige color, but they are also available in a wide variety of other colors.

MAC Paints are a high tech eye shadow product that comes in a wide variety of shades. It has a creamy texture for easy application but then dries to a smooth, slightly shiny, reflective finish. Paint is a great product to use underneath regular eyeshadows to help them last longer and to prevent creasing. It’s one of my favorite eyeshadow primers I’ve tried. The paints intensify the color of your shadows, making them vibrant and true. Green is really green; blue is really blue.

Paint can be applied with a brush or just with your finger. Be careful not to try to apply to much at a time – A little goes a long way! Alot of people think the paints are messy to apply, but usually you only run into this problem if you have too much paint on your brush, or if you’ve applied to much of it to the eyelid. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Beauty Item of The Week

Sonia Kashuk® Barely There Bronzer - Golden 47

To get a natural-looking glow for the summer Sonia's Kashuk's Barely There Bronzer in Golden 47 is a must-have for only $8.99 at Target®. I use this a lot for beauty shoots to imitate the healthy look of the sun. I also use it as a corrector to warm up the complexion and as a blush for very dark skin tones. This bronzer works on all skin tones except porcelain because bronzer can make porcelain skin look dirty. 

Photography: Marcus Smith (; Makeup: India Cherese, Model: Kim Matthews-Elite Chicago


  • This loose powder bronzer goes on with a light touch to brighten the skin’s appearance and provide a super-sheer layer of color
  • Bronzer features a natural golden tan tone and is ideal for people with oilier skin
  • Comes in a compact with a powder-pad applicator
  • 0.14 oz.
  • Not tested on animals

What are the ideal places to apply face bronzer? You don’t want a lot of shine in the center of the face where you’re usually more porous and apt to have fine lines because it will increase texture. Instead, put bronzer on the area that is most consistent with color and texture—on the outer perimeter of the face along the hairline and forehead, the crest of the cheekbones—places that have natural movement so that shine comes in a very unexpected way.

When applying bronzer, what type of brush do you suggest? A full powder brush is going to help the product to go on more evenly and appear more blended—there won’t be any streaking or harsh lines. If you use a smaller brush you’re going to be using smaller strokes and it’s not going to cover as much of the face.

Are there any exceptions to the “one shade darker” rule? If you’re a woman of color or you're a Caucasian who's tan during the summer months, you can choose a color two shades darker for more of a glow. You can also get away with bronzers that are redder and more golden. Reddish-gold bronzers aren’t good for faking a tan though—for that you want to use a self-tanner. Apply them on the face and body to add a softer glow to the skin and get a bit of color, then layer the bronzer on top. The bronzer is just there to complement that color—it’s not there to make you an entirely different shade.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Art of Planning Your Photo Shoots

Recently I had a conversation with a photographer I just started testing with who is in town for the summer. We talked about what it is that sets other well-known artists apart from your "average Joe" trying to make it in the industry. The answer to this was TIME & MONEY! That is what makes all the difference! I thought to myself that a lot of these successful and breathtaking images are a result of planning and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears to get an AWESOME image. I thought this blog may be helpful to a lot of people out there that wonder what is it they can do to make their work more eye-catching and successful. Myself included! The following information was pulled from various sites I retrieved tips and advice from the topic by just by googling and actual advice I got from seasoned pros in the industry. Hope this helps! :)

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for a pro (team) to produce a series of stunning shots (and why)? If not, then I'm sure you've at least wondered why your shots aren't (always?) as good looking as they are in your head. Well I know I have. The key to answering both questions is as simple as the word many artists don't really like (perhaps even hate?): planning. First things first. Why is it important to plan your photo shoot? Mainly because it will save you time. Secondly, it will allow you to think through what you'll be doing in a quiet environment, which will lead to you actually enjoying it much more, rather than (freaking out?) being stressed about "What pose should I shoot next?" Lastly, it will allow you to deliver images with a much better technical execution but moreover - images with a clear and useful concept.  
Sure, this is all good, but how do I do it? Well, for a starter - try to get a clear(er) idea of when and what you want to shoot next. Allow for a buffer of at least a day or two before the shoot (I personally find a week to be best) in which you can dream, plan and organize details for the session. Once you've done this, move on to actually planning the shoot itself. Here things will differ greatly depending on what and where you're shooting, but let me give you a sample scenario - you'll be shooting a session with a couple at their home, kind of a leisure lifestyle theme.

1. Always start with the concept. In other words, what do you want your images to communicate? Love, romance, wasting time, spending quality time together, entertainment, domestic work, cooking, on-line communication... If you force yourself to first list the concepts you want to cover, you'll be able to stay on track and use your potential to the max.

2. Make a script. That's crucial. Write down the pictures you have in your mind in a format similar to this: "Man cutting veggies on kitchen counter with woman giving him a surprise hug. Both smiling. Shallow DOF, focus on man." Writing things down will not only force you to be clearer about your ideas, but will also help you track where and what you may be missing. Make sure your list is as detailed as possible, while also preserving a natural flow of poses. Make it in sections and don't put together the kitchen shots with the ones from the garden... ;)

3. Think of the props. Yes, you do need that, and if you want good looking images, you'll have to go to the grocery store and buy some basic stuff (ie. stuff you'll be chopping in the kitchen; popcorn and drinks for the movies, etc.). If you're using stuff you already have, make sure they're in a nice condition and clean of dust, hairs and other dirt, which will be noticeable at 100% zoom of your final image. Mind the clothing in the context of your concept for the image.

4. Think time. Consider the setup you'll need for each of the shots and how long it will take you to move/change it around for the next. How long will it take for the models to change clothing (and makeup if needed)? Take an approximate higher value in mind as you plan the total time for the session. Allow for short breaks.

5. Be flexible and learn to follow the mood. The list/script is there to keep you within a margin, not limit you in your creativity as it emerges during the session or constrain your models in regard to what ideas they may get during the session. This is why, the better you know your script, the more freedom you'll have to work both with it and the people/environment around you.

If you want to create something you can use then you just won't be able to get far without planning at all. Spend some time reading or watching what the pros have already shared on the Internet about their procedures and you'll soon realize how much of it is playing a part in their creative activity. I've started doing this seriously as of recently and I'm finding it quite liberating. It doesn't just save you time, but also makes you much more efficient. Aside from the experience, I believe that planning is the main reason why for beginning photographers, makeup artists, stylist, you name it an hour of work translates in a mere 5-10 good shots. While an hour of shooting will result in at least three/four times, if not even more quality images, when a so-called "pro" is behind the camera.

Lastly, here's an exercise for you: As you look at images, try to analyze them in detail and think of what it must have taken the creator to achieve this (w/o counting the post-processing work). It is also true that professional artists are not just one person... it's more like a whole team of people. Yet, don't let this discourage you. One person with a plan can achieve far more than one person without a plan. :)