Kat's Last Minute Christmas Picks! by Kat St. John

Attention: We have 11 days til' Santa comes to town! 

I went shopping the other day and happened to stumble on a bunch of killer deals I wanted to share with you. Here are a few of my favorites I spotted while in the store. It took all of my will to not buy ALL OF THEM.

Mario Badescu Rose Water! It is my absolute favorite product for prepping my clients. I carry this in my kit, and whats even better is that it's affordable! Right now Ulta has a set of 3 different sizes (S, M + L) for $24 OR you can snag just a small one for $7. GREAT Stocking stuffer. 
PRO TIP: Stick an extra bottle in the fridge during the summer - when you get overheated, have a bit of a sunburn, lightly spritz on the face for a cooling effect and light hydration!

Burts Bee's tinted and Non-Tinted Chapstick - Another awesome stocking stuffer, for either guys OR Gals. My hubby works in the elements everyday, I totally bought him a set of 4 for him to have all year round! 

NYX -  Has some really beautiful holiday palettes right now and some pretty amazing lip sets - like the Meet the Metallics Lip Vault *SWOON*. One palette that stood out to me was the Ultimate Multi-Finish Shadow Palette ! Something fun (and practical) for the makeup junkie in your house - versatile mix of Mattes and Shimmer, not TOO over the top so it can be used all year round and you can easily play it up for a special occasion. 

Real Techniques - SPONGES!!! These sponges have been tested by me and I loved them! For a set of two - it is a great deal. The Miracle Complexion Sponge was my favorite. Easy to use for foundation application, contour and getting into those hard to reach places. Just make sure to wash your sponge in soap + Hot water at LEAST twice a week. A good soap to use would be most brush cleaning solutions (for use under water) like their Deep Cleansing Gel! Your sponge will hold up better and your face will thank you! 

Loreal' Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara - I use the Regular Voluminous Lash Waterproof in my kit for clients. But THIS packaging looks so pretty! I would love to have that on my counter. Plus - the mascara is awesome and not too expensive!

Makeup Remover and Facial Wash - There are so many brands out there that I can recommend, but I am going to keep this easy for ya'll. Last year Micellar water was all the rage, I wasn't so sure that I was sold on it and then I found myself in a pinch! While traveling for work.......I didnt have any makeup remover and I was in a small town with only had a drug store near by. We swung by, picked up some Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. 
MAGIC. I highly recommend you wash your face after using this to remove the initial makeup. But when youre in need of something quick, this is the stuff.

This is a tiny drop in the bucket, ULTA has a TON of great holiday sets and sales going on right now. I highly suggest you check them out for your loved ones and maybe a couple of gifts for yourself. I hope this helped give you some ideas for last minute stocking stuffers. Please feel free to drop a comment/ question if you have any!

Happy Holidays to you and yours. XOXOXO


Gorgeous "Ophelia" Styled Shoot by Kat St. John

It's been a few months since I have had a moment to blog! This summer was BUSY but fantastic. Now, time to tell you about some of the beautiful projects Ive been participating in.

November is always the time of year where I slow down and have time to reflect on the busy summer and how to change or grow my business. Last year I realized I was so focused on making money and filling my time with worry....I stopped doing creative work. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever done to myself, I made my passion into a job. Which is exactly what I didn't want to do!

For someone like myself with a background in art and design, my creative work plays a very important role in my self care (aka keeping me sane). It is a time for me to stretch myself, try new things (without consequence), heck - just even using shoots as an excuse to meet new people! 

I started to work with Amy Catherine Photography a while back on some commercial work with another client - Poplin Style Direction (Blog Post about that awesomeness soon) and we discussed some styled shoots. Naturally, I jumped on the opportunity to do this and am thrilled that I did. Because this transformation is the stuff dreams are made of. 

Before: As you can see, we added extensions and lashes (gotta have those lashes). If you're interested - The products I used on our model are listed below!

I love collaborating and actively being a part of a shoot. Here I am strategically placing these gorgeous Dahlias. 

I love collaborating and actively being a part of a shoot. Here I am strategically placing these gorgeous Dahlias. 


Products used! 
Base: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion 
Eyeshadow: Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Palette - Pureed, Summer Peach and Bellini
Eye Liner: Makeup Forever Aqua XL - M-10
Lashes: Monda Studio
Concealer: Radiant Creamy Concealer
Foundation: Temptu Airbrush SB Foundation
Blush: Nars Cosmetics Powder Blush - Luster + Orgasm
Bronzer: Nars Cosmetics Bronzer - Laguna
Brows: Senna
Lips: Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick - Deep  Burgundy



Intimate Weddings and Why I love them. by Kat St. John

Summer of 2017 will be the year of intimate weddings.

Destinations that take us to small islands we have never heard of (in this case, Shaw Island). Witnessing small groups of people who come together, lend a hand and genuinely just want to share their day with the ones they love the most. For a lot of makeup artists; of course we love those big bridal parties, robes, champagne, hustle and bustle - I do too! But when you spend the morning in a quiet setting, in a family home on the water surrounded by such warm energy, you take that with you. 

Christina was one of my most favorite brides to style this year, I could literally feel the love that day. When I saw this, that day rushed back through my memory. The smell of the water, the warmth, sweet love and energy from everyone who helped. Watch this video - you'll see what I mean. 

Hiring a Pro Makeup Artist for your Wedding - Why it's important. by Kat St. John

Every year during the busy season - which is March through August, I will get at least 100 inquiries. Maybe booking only 30 of them, but that is how it goes. We hear alot of "Sorry you are out of my price range" or just get ghosted. Not uncommon for us. 

Something has been happening a lot lately and I feel like I needed to write a blog about it. We are seeing a trend of brides only valuing one aspect of their wedding day or maybe two. Like, paying for an expensive photographer and coordinator but skimping on the hair and makeup. 

First, lets talk about why you should hire a makeup artist and pay good money for them to style you and your wedding party. 

1. You have hired a photographer - most likely paying quite a bit of money to have them for around 6-10 hours, documenting your day. You should look (and feel) amazing, have makeup that lasts through all the crying, toasts, hugging, dancing and partying! And if you are getting married in Seattle during the spring/ summer.....you'd better count on rain! 

Another thing to consider is that as professionals, we carry many variations of makeup for a variety of skin types. We are trained to know what products are compatible with your face and  what products will work together to make you glow all day and night. Most importantly, we are trained to know what is going to photograph well. If you have invested money in your photography, you should definitely make sure you look stellar in those photos.

2. Wedding days are stressful.
Let us help you relax. Seriously, I will FORCE you to sit down and relax! Who doesn't want one less thing to think about on their wedding day? 11 years ago, before I was a makeup artist, I went to the MAC counter. Walking through Bellevue Square with a flannel, veil and my Hair + Makeup done felt super bizarre. Not to mention, I had to drive there and back. Definitely not ideal. 

Priority - We work around your photographers' timeline. I make sure my brides have at least a half an hour between the time we wrap hair and makeup & getting the dress on. You can call us your time management/ beauty bad asses if you want! (That IS technically what we are....).
Your artist should ALWAYS have a timeline prepared before hand. Keeping on schedule is key to getting the most bang for your buck and a smooth start to your very special day. 

3. We are professional. 
We will not only show up, but we will be on time - and this....this is another big thing I stress to brides. Make sure your makeup artist has a good reputation. Ask your wedding planner about artists, search their instagram feeds, watch their stories, do your research.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about sanitation, products and how they approach their work.  

Final thoughts: While some artists maybe cheaper; I will say from all the recent frantic calls I have received  because their makeup artist "Cancelled last minute", you get what you pay for. I would much rather pay a professional a bit more money and rest easy knowing I don't have to worry about whether or not they are going to show up. Your wedding day should be magical, we play a HUGE part in making sure it goes as planned.

Elopement in the PNW Penninsula
Photo: Megan Montavalo Photography
Hair and Makeup: Kat St. John


Winter Elopement by Kat St. John

Some people wonder if we do elopements, the answer is YES! Not everything has to be a huge wedding or event. While that is most of our "bread and butter", there is something more fulfilling when doing a small party, or a "Bride Only" job. It feels nice to switch things up.

Two things about this particular elopement: 
1. It was my first elopement so I was VERY excited to see what an elopement was like! Weddings are based around your photographer's timeline, and so are elopements....however, this was so much more laid back. So relaxed, I was almost scared I was missing something. 

2. We didn't have a trial run together. This was also something foreign to me! Kind of like a Bridal Blind Date.....I have to say, it was kind of exciting to see what we would come up with.  

When I arrived, the bride met me out front of the cutest Bed and Breakfast, we quickly made it up to her suite where they were getting ready. It was just Me, the Bride and her Mom.

Since we had a relaxed timeline, most of it was spent time chatting, talking about everything and just enjoying the presence of people and authentic emotion. No Phones, no TV, just human interaction. I sure do hope Eloping is in for a while. This was such a joy to do. 

Photos: Toni Christine | TCP