Aud Makeup Talk – What to do before meeting your MUA

Published in: Rochester Woman Online • Photographer: Abby Sick • Face Model: Skylar MahanyIMG_0014Let’s start the year by answering the commonly asked question, “What do I do before I meet with my Makeup Artist for makeup application?” It is important to note that all MUAs have their own preferences for preparation, and you should always ask your artist what you should do if you are ever unsure. However, I am confident in stating I feel most will be able to agree with the tips I am sharing with you. Keep in mind ALL skin types, colors, etc. are different and everyone has different needs for both skin preparation and application. Based on this fact, I will be sharing BASIC preparation which can apply to everyone. For the sake of time, I will NOT be including recommended products for the various skin types. (Maybe that subject can be covered at a different time.) It is important to let your MUA know of any special treatments and accommodations you need and/or can’t have due to any religious beliefs, photoshoot requirements, allergies, personal preferences, etc. BEFORE application begins. While it should be a priority for your MUA to ask you, it is also your duty to protect yourself by notifying them prior to your appointment.
*Get out your handy dandy notebook, and take some NOTES! (;

Photo by on

You should have already discussed your meeting with you MUA prior to the preparation, but if you haven’t, here are a list of topics to discuss/understand:

  • Where are you meeting for application?
    1. Does your MUA have a studio or are you meeting on-site (your home, wedding venue, photoshoot location, etc.)?
    2. What is the travel fee?
  • What look are you wanting from your MUA?
    1. Having example pictures to show your MUA in advance is helpful.
      1. Understand your face/eye shape may not be the same as the photo you are sharing as inspiration for your look. Your MUA may have to make adjustments accordingly to provide the most flattering look for you.
  • How much is the application going to cost?
    1. Are lashes extra, if so, how much?
    2. Do you also offer hairstyling, if so, how much?
    3. Is [insert whatever other thing comes to mind here] an option, if so, how much?
    4. Keep in mind tipping is always appreciated.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out with questions or comments before meeting… Also, try to show up to your appointment about 10-15 minutes early, if possible. (Better to be early than late.)

The most vital subject to cover when it comes to makeup application preparation is SKINCARE. An artist’s canvas needs to be as smooth, clean, and well-maintained as possible. Every professional MUA should be prepared for anything, but it certainly helps with the application process if you are as prepared as possible. As stated before, everyone has different needs, but everyone should prepare the same way before application. You should already have a daily and nightly skincare routine that is recommended for you and your skin type. If you do, that is wonderful! If you don’t, that is okay too! I’m here to help offer some advice about what you should do leading up to your appointment.
IMG_0016If it is possible and within your budget, you should schedule a Facial with a professional within a week before your application. Some MUAs offer Facials, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask your MUA before seeking this service elsewhere. (It is a major plus if your MUA is a licensed Esthetician and is able to hook you up with said Facial because he/she will already be familiar with your skincare needs prior to makeup application. He/She can offer the best advice about how to care for your skin before and also after your application.) If you don’t have the option of getting a Facial, then here are a few helpful tips about caring for your skin (which should always be followed, but especially the week leading up to your appointment):

  • Don’t stay up late at night.
    1. Bags under the eyes can only be helped so much by makeup.
      1. Make sure to get a GOOD night of rest the day directly before your appointment.
  • Drink plenty of water.
    1. Staying hydrated helps keep your skin moisturized, and it also has MANY other great benefits for your overall health.
  • Don’t go to sleep with makeup on your face/body.
    1. clogged pores = dirty skin = acne/blackheads = no good
  • Don’t pop pimples.
    1. Instead, use a spot treatment. OR – Leave. Them. Alone.
    2. Makeup can be used to reduce redness, etc. Don’t stress if you are having a “situation”. We have ALL been there.
      1. Popping pimples punctures the skin and causes bleeding. Scabs and/or open wounds aren’t flattering for anyone… MUAs reserve the right to refuse application if they feel it is unsafe due to open wounds and/or possible infection. Scabs are much harder to hide than a pimple.
  • Don’t wash your face in the shower.
    1. Wash your face AFTER your shower since your pores are naturally opened because of the steam. The hot water you use in the shower is much too hot for your face and can cause redness and irritation…or worse.
  • Wash your face in the morning AND at night, making sure to follow up with any special serums and a moisturizer.
    1. This is where that note about how everyone’s skin is different comes into play MAJORLY… I can’t recommend any specifics for anyone because I don’t know your personal skincare needs. (Maybe I can cover this subject at a different time.) But I will say Murad, Dr. Brandt, and Dermalogica (in no specific order) are my top three recommended skincare brands for all skin types.
  • Exfoliate a day or two BEFORE your appointment. (Make sure to moisturize as well.)
    1. Removing the dead/dry skin prior to application is helpful, but doing so IMMEDIATELY before your appointment causes an unnecessary amount of redness and can cause your skin to be more sensitive than usual.
      1. Sensitive skin is NEVER good when it comes to using makeup… While certain products suggest they are great for sensitive skin, this doesn’t mean irritation can’t occur. It is possible, so it is better to be more mindful and safer instead of sorry.
  • Exfoliate and moisturize your lips before application. You CAN do this the day of application, but do so gently.
    1. You can use a sugar scrub to exfoliate your lips and your favorite Chapstick to moisturize just before meeting with your MUA.
  • IF you get a Spray Tan, make sure to do so PROFESSIONALLY (to avoid awkward streaks, colors, and lessen unnecessary problems)… At least a few days before your application.

Again, your MUA should be fully prepared for anything… BUT your preparation can be EXTREMELY helpful. Helping your MUA by taking good care of your skin can lessen the amount of time you spend in his/her chair, lessen the number of products used, lessen the number of steps required to achieve the desired look, etc. You get the picture, so I won’t elaborate any further about how important your skincare routine is…
IMG_0027.jpgNow that skincare is covered, we can discuss the other important details like facial hair shaping and removal. You should do any waxing, plucking, threading, and/or shaving at least a few days before your appointment to allow time for possible redness to dissipate and to have time for any necessary adjustments (such as brow reshaping). Yes, the rumors are true…removing the baby hairs from your face can help shave off a few years and help you look younger. However, it isn’t necessary to do so. Your MUA should know the proper products and techniques recommended for every age, skin type, and color…and yes, that also means your MUA should know how to help you shave off a few years with makeup. IF you wish to remove hair before your appointment, you should seek a licensed professional who offers this service within the week prior to your appointment. The service you would be requesting is referred to as “Dermaplaning”. Dermaplaning is a technique where the outer layers of skin are exfoliated with the use of a blade – including hair. (Meaning you can skip the exfoliation step if you get this done because it should no longer be necessary.)

Skincare, check! Facial hair, check! Now, onto what to bring… Yes, that’s right, I said BRING! Even though you are seeing an MUA who should have everything you may want or ever need, you should still come prepared as best as you can to have your appointment go as smoothly as possible. You should bring:

  • Your shade of foundation.
    1. While your MUA should have every shade available (or a means to mix and match), it is possible for some MUAs to struggle at matching your foundation. In which case, having your shade on hand greatly reduces the chances of your face being the completely wrong color.
      1. Helpful tip: You can visit your local Sephora and pick up some FREE samples. Most will allow you to pick ANY 3 samples. All you have to do is ask an associate for help. Unsure of what to pick up for yourself? Your shade of:
        1. Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
        2. Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation
        3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Again, PLEASE keep in mind all MUAs have different preferences, expectations, and requirements. Also keep in mind I am speaking mostly in generalities and from my own education and experience. My statements aren’t necessarily geared more toward any specific type of person or group of people, and I am in no way tearing down anyone or any group of people with anything I have stated. I will admit, most of the work I do is captured by professional photographers, so I treat every application as if my client is getting ready for a professional photo shoot. Every photographer I know is expected to get photos back to clients within a week (in most cases) or even a few days. The less touchups required for each photo…the faster the photos can be edited and sent to the clients. My duty is to make the photographer’s job as easy as possible by providing a flawless makeup application. And YOU can make my job easier by providing a well-maintained canvas. We are in this as a team… And it all starts with you. ❤

IMG_0091.jpgThere is MUCH more preparation for you, as a whole (obviously), but for the sake of time and space in the magazine…I just covered MUA preparation. Want other subjects covered? Let me know, and see if your request is fulfilled in future articles… Contact me on my website and connect via Social Media with any questions, comments, or concerns about this article: I look forward to hearing from you!

*Special thanks to Abby Sick for capturing me in-the-zone during my makeup application with the lovely Skylar Mahany. I genuinely appreciate you capturing me literally glowing from within doing what I love to do!


Aud Makeup Talk – When does my makeup expire?

Aud Makeup Talk – “When does my makeup expire?”
Published in Rochester Woman Online

Written by: Audrey Avirett • Photographer: Abby Sick

Published in Rochester Woman Online

          The common question asked by makeup wearers everywhere is, “When does my makeup expire?” Well, I am more than happy to answer this question for you because this is arguably one of the most important questions in which I believe everyone who owns and wears makeup should know the answer. All that I ask is that you approach this article with the understanding that you may be throwing away all or most of your makeup bag… (I’m sorry, but I’m helping you out of love. <3)
          It is imperative to note that the shelf-life of your makeup all depends on when the product is first opened, the type of packaging, and how it is stored… I will mention ways in which to preserve, sanitize, and store your makeup to prolong shelf-life; however, I will not be sharing any magic tricks to help you keep products beyond their recommended trash days. (RIP makeup children, you have been good to us all these years…)

Most products have a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol:

This symbol acts as a guideline for when you should throw out a product after opening it. You will notice a number and a letter next to the number – the letters used are either “M” (months) or “Y” (years). Note: The PAO isn’t placed there as a sales tactic to keep you buying more products – it is placed there with YOU and YOUR safety in mind. Using a product past the PAO isn’t safe or wise… By not following the PAO, you could cause skin irritation, give yourself Conjunctivitis “Pink Eye”, develop sores on/around your mouth, or worse – cause permanent problems like blindness, chemical burning of your face, and other atrocities we shall not name because you get the picture and WILL LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY NEXT… 😉

“AUDREY, I don’t see a PAO on my products, what do I do?!?!” It is important to keep in mind not all products have a PAO. (I know, super helpful, right?) This doesn’t mean you keep the product until it runs out. (Duh!) This means you follow these basic rules: Liquid products should be thrown out within 6 months, loose powders should be thrown out within 1 year, pressed powders should be thrown out within 2 years, anything with a different smell/color/consistency than when it was opened should be tossed IMMEDIATELY, anything with odd wax-like buildup or is dried out should meet the trash, and anything in warped packaging needs to go too. More will be explained in depth below, but we should go over proper handling, care, and storage first.

toddler with red adidas sweat shirt
Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar on

Some helpful tips to help prolong shelf-life:

1)    Store in a dark place (out of direct sunlight) at room temperature and avoid extreme heat or extreme cold whenever possible.

2)    Wash your hands before touching anything, especially before dipping your fingers into any products.

  1. OR just use a brush or other type of CLEAN applicator instead of dipping your hands into your products.

3)    Don’t leave products uncovered or without lids for extended periods of time. (Whenever you’re using the product is the ONLY time it should be open.)

4)    Don’t pump your wands…You’re letting air and bacteria into your tubes. (Dipping your Mascara and Lip Gloss Applicators repeatedly in and out of the tubes in hopes of finding more product doesn’t work anyways.)

  1. Swirling in circles inside of the tubes is the best method to get more product onto your wands.

5)    Don’t share with other people. (ESPECIALLY don’t share with sick people! Once your product is used by someone who is sick, it has to be trashed IMMEDIATELY – yes, even yourself. Don’t use Eye Liner on your Pink Eye and put it back on your own eye thinking all is well! YUCK!)

6)    Don’t add Water, Eye Drops, etc. to your products in hopes of having “more” – you’re ruining the quality and opening up possibilities for bacteria to thrive.

7)    Sanitize your products!

  1. Wash your brushes regularly – at least once every 2 weeks.
  2. Preferably once every week
  3. Spritz Isopropyl Alcohol on your Pressed Powders.
  4. Alcohol can be no stronger than 70% because it will dry too fast and not properly sanitize
  5. Sharpen your Pencils regularly.
  6. Use Makeup Remover Wipes on your Lipsticks to remove the top layer of bacteria.
  7. OR just use a brush or other type of CLEAN applicator when applying.

8)    Pay attention to the ingredients of your products:

  1. Most water-based products will need to be replaced within 6 months because water-based products that are often exposed to the air are being exposed to bacteria and bacteria can thrive in these types of places.
  2. “Natural Products” made without preservatives are just that…made without preservatives – meaning the shelf-life is less than the competing products made with preservatives.
  3. Not a bad thing, just something to notate.

Now that we have all of THAT covered, I will share a list of regularly used products and my recommended POA based on personal research on various products, their ingredients, and the reactions these ingredients may have with the environment once opened. Keep in mind you MUST follow the POA on the products’ original packaging whenever it is available.


adult beautiful facial expression fashion
Photo by on

This list is only to be used whenever you can’t find a POA on the product in question:

Micellar Water – 6M

Cleanser/Moisturizer – 1Y

Toner – 6M-1Y

Concealer – 1Y-18M

Liquid Foundation – 1Y

Cream Blush – 1Y-18M

Pressed Powder Foundation/Blush – 2Y

Loose/Setting Powder/Blush – 1Y

Brow Pencil – 2Y

Cream Eyeshadow – 1Y-18M

Pressed Powder Eyeshadow – 2Y

Loose Powder Eyeshadow – 1Y

Mascara – 6M

Liquid Eyeliner – 6M

Gel Eyeliner – 1Y-18M

Pencil Eyeliner – 1Y

Lipliner – 1Y-18M

Lipstick – 1Y-2Y

Lip Gloss – 1Y

Lip balm – 1Y-18M

Did I forget something? Feel free to reach out and ask any follow-up questions you might have for me… (Contact me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or e-mail.) Was it helpful? Did you have to throw a lot away? Are you going to share with your friends and family? Let me know what question(s) you would like answered next time. Or just reach out to say hello!  I look forward to hearing from you… 

And, as always, remember: Be lovely. BeYOUtiful. Be inspired. ❤

I’d like to take a moment to thank my girl, Abby Sick (A Sick Photo), for snapping some candid shots of me calming some horses for a Photo Shoot I did makeup for recently. I always enjoy BTS (behind-the-scenes) shots because I love being captured in my element. Being a makeup artist who primarily works on site, I try to be as helpful as possible in as many ways as possible. Sometimes it means holding a light for the photographer(s) to capture the best shots, sometimes it means fixing clothing, and sometimes it can even mean calming horses. Either way, I am so very happy Abby was able to capture these BTS shots so effortlessly.



AMA Interviewed by Southern Style Magazine

I have been given the opportunity by Southern Style Magazine to be featured in their continuously growing and expanding International Magazine. I was contacted directly by the Editor-in-Chief (located in Texas) asking to interview me. I was at first in shock, but of course absolutely honored for the opportunity. I have done Publication work in the past for others, but there is just something so fulfilling and so humbling about being personally interviewed and featured on such a platform. With that being said, CLICK HERE to buy your copy TODAY! (Make sure to give the mentioned pages a “like” and follow on Facebook.)

AMA Logo _ Alicia Cooper

I’m so grateful to have such amazing and supportive friends and family. ❤ I wouldn’t be where I am today without ALL of you… Thank you for supporting me and my dreams for myself and my family.

*Please feel free to contact me if you would like my Services or if you just want to chat about the Interview with Southern Style Magazine.*

⬇Team Credit⬇

Photographers: Yuriy Nutsa, Frank White, and Lindsey Alicia Banks, L A Banks Photography

Clothing Designer: Naomi Smith, Xstravagance Designs

Jewelry Designers: Lady Sigyn Designs and Pendulous Threads UK

Models: Melodie Roehrig, Tyler Aser, Kasandra Whitney, and Cassy Leigh, Cassy Wahl – Model

Assistants: Susan Katz Aser, Ellin Wahl Vogel, and Lauren Leverton

Thank you ALL for being so lovely and talented.

Aud Makeup Talk – Kit and Prep Tips

Let’s face it… Most people that own Makeup offer to do Makeup for friends and family (simply because it is usually cheaper, easier, and theoretically more fun than hiring a Makeup Artist). I just want to start by saying there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that! BUT, I do feel the need to caution you and share some tips about your Kit to help better your experience (and theirs). I’ll refer to your friends/family as “Clients” to help make this easier. Giving Clients the best Service requires keeping them safe and giving them a positive experience. Sincerely listening to their wants/needs and meeting those wants/needs is THE most important part of your Service to them. After all, you are doing it for THEM and not for you. (Don’t FORCE your opinions about what you think looks good on them.)
Now, let’s talk about Cleanliness… A HUGE deal when it comes to Makeup. Probably THE biggest deal, realistically. (After all, we only have one face… We should take care of the skin underneath all that Makeup. Granted, a lot of the care is based around Skincare Routines…..But that is a WHOLE other topic for a different day.) Bacteria and other microorganisms LOVE to hang out with unsuspecting victims. When these germs are transferred from Client to Client or from your Brush to your Products, the effects can be harmful and epidemic. This is called Cross Contamination and it is something that must be AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS! Below is a list of what NOT to do as a Makeup Artist (when working with a Client, especially, but also when it comes to working on your own face). Be diligent about keeping your products, yourself, AND your Clients clean and safe. Your cleanliness is probably the second most important thing to your Clients…the first being they actually enjoy your work. Don’t have them leaving with instant regret.



Ways to Cross Contaminate:

  • Unwashed hands (Your hands come in direct contact with SO MANY germs, don’t touch people with them without washing them!)
  • Dirty Makeup Brushes (Brushes should be washed weekly and ALWAYS before using them on Clients. Using a Brush on your face then using on your Client without washing it is a HUGE NO NO!)
  • Double dipping (touching a Client with a Brush, for example, then putting that Brush into a Cream Product)
  • Working on sick Clients or Clients with Allergies (Ask about illness and allergies BEFORE Application, and refuse Application if anyone even seems sick.)
  • Blowing on Brushes instead of tapping excess Makeup off (No one needs your spit and germs on their face.)
  • Not sharpening Pencils or cleaning Lipsticks before or after each use (Very important… You can give someone an Eye Infection that could possibly even cause Blindness. In and around our lips, you can find Bacteria just lurking around, so it is EXTREMELY important to clean your Lipstick!)
  • Not using Disinfectant Sprays or Alcohol  (I prefer 70% Isopropyl Alcohol because higher percentages dry too fast and don’t properly Sanitize.) on Powder Products after each use
  • Not using proper Disposable Products like Sponges or Lip Gloss/Lipstick/Mascara Wands (You don’t want to use the Applicator from your personal Liquid Lipsticks/Lip Glosses/Mascaras on your own face then also use it on your Clients. You are LITERALLY sharing your germs at that point.)
  • Using expired Makeup (If you are unsure of when Makeup expires, refer to the handy dandy internet for suggested times of Disposal… It’s important to remember that different sites/sources have different suggestions.)
  • Not properly sterilizing Metal Tools (For example, you shouldn’t use tools on your client’s face that you left on your dirty Bathroom Counter.)
  • Not keeping Containers closed when not in use (Leaving them open welcomes in all those pesky germs just floating in the air…)
  • Not keeping soiled Tools or Brushes separate from clean ones (It is VERY important to have TWO separate areas for clean tools and dirty tools. You don’t want germs hopping from tool to tool or get mixed up and dip a brush covered in a Cream Product in one of your Powder products.)
  • Not properly labeling Bottles and Jars (You don’t want to Spray Water on your Client’s face instead of Setting Spray, then ruin all of your hard work.)

*It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of Makeup Application and forget about these things, but it is SO important to be VERY careful when playing with Makeup. Unclean areas/products can be harmful and sometimes deadly.*


RECAP: Be mindful of everything you do… Don’t be nasty! 

Preparing for the Client is just as important as your Cleanliness! You must ensure that your Kit is clean and organized, your Tools are properly sterilized, and you have refilled/replaced anything that needed to be refilled/replaced. When you arrive at the location of the Makeup Job—whether you’re at home/work or someone else’s place of convenience—proper setup is vital for doing your job accurately. Staying organized and keeping your space clean makes everything faster and easier. (I keep Paper Towels in my Kit to lay all of my products and tools on, just make sure I ALWAYS have a clean Surface when working with Clients. I clean and organize my entire Kit every couple of weeks, just to make sure it is tidy and everything is in stock and in place.)

*Top Tips to Remember:

  • Make sure your Client isn’t sick in ANY way and doesn’t have open wounds.
  • Sanitize your Products before/after using them on anyone else.
  • NEVER use your dirty brushes on anyone else… Clean your Brushes every week, so you avoid putting Bacteria on your own face.
  • Avoid Double Dipping in Cream Products – Just scrape out a small amount of each Cream Product that you may use onto a Sterilized Metal Plate that you can properly clean when you are done.
  • Be mindful of the space…if you will be sharing with other Artists – Don’t be a hog!
  • Don’t EVER blow on your brushes or products… You don’t need to share your germs with anyone else.
  • Make SURE your products aren’t expired before offering to use them on someone else…Especially any type of eye Makeup. Eye infections happen too regularly, and in some extreme cases, can cause Blindness.
  • Separate your dirty Brushes and Tools from your clean ones… You don’t want to get mixed up and have an ugly result.


Take notes and share with your friends/family if you find this information helpful. Spread the knowledge and keep Makeup Application fun and safe… Feel free to contact me if you have suggested edits or would like to know more about proper Client Care. ♥

And, most importantly:
Be lovely. BeYOUtiful. Be inspired.



Hello lovelies! First of all, thank you for visiting my Page and showing me love and support… Y’all are AMAZING! I am absolutely honored and humbled to have such fantastic people in my life! Please bear with me through this growing process. Feel free to check out some of my work and leave some love on Facebook. You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter. Make sure to search makeup by me on Social Media with #MakeupByAud.

*IF you have already had the pleasure of having your makeup done by me, please don’t hesitate to share your look(s) with the rest of us via Social Media by using #MakeupByAud.*

If you happen to be visiting my Page because you are interested in working with me… Please contact me via E-mail, Call, Text, or Social Media. Thank you for your interest in my Work. I look forward to hearing from you!