Tag Archives: artist

Pure Envy…Lipstick that is…

I recently appeared on “Twin Cities Live” and “Kare 11 Saturday” to talk about Go Red for Women. I was honored to style three amazing heart survivors and to hear their stories. And I was relieved to learn I would have a makeup artist! I’m okay with the day-to-day makeup application, but this was TV….
I had no reason to worry. The makeup artists for Estée Lauder were fabulous and made each of us look natural, yet radiant.

One of the products they used on the four of us was their new Pure Envy lipstick in “Envious”. This red truly works with all skin tones. The color has real staying power and the formula does not dry out the lip. I have fallen in love-I use it every day. It’s a fantastic pop of color for everyone!

If you’re looking for a fun new lipstick for Spring, this is the one for you.





Filed under Beauty

My Sister, The Artist

Many of you have asked who does the artwork on my blog. The answer is simple-my little sister. Erin Gergen Halls is a truly amazing and talented artist. Completely self-taught, she is able to take a photograph and create realistic drawings that will blow your mind. The one thing I hear all the time is, “Wow, it looks just like a real photograph.” Yes, they do, and that’s why she is a Photo Realist. What she can do with graphite and colored pencils is genius. I can’t even draw a stick person (and I am not making that up), yet from the time we were little children, she has been creating works of art using all kinds of mediums. As an adult, she dabbled in greeting cards, frames, painted shelves, but she’s really come into her own with drawing. She has been nationally recognized, won numerous awards, and has had her own gallery showings. And did I mention she also is a mother to three school-aged children? Up late, always on a deadline, she still manages to turn out fabulous works while juggling the demands of motherhood. Can you tell I’m a proud sister? Here’s a small sample of her masterpieces.

“The Tamarack Bird” colored pencil
This is her newest work. The bird was a gift our father gave our mother when we were young.

“The Remains of the Day” colored pencil
This features “remains” she has found on many walks with her dog. I love how she incorporates interesting items and turns them into beauty.

“Morning at the Hotel Chelsea” graphite
This is from a photo she took of me at the Hotel Chelsea in NYC. It had been a childhood dream of ours to stay there, and it is very special to me that is is now a work of art.

“Tiger Balm” colored pencil
When our dad died, we found tins of Tiger Balm all around his house. Being a “pack rat”, she kept them all and from something tragic comes something amazing.

“Becarren” colored pencil
This is a childhood friend of ours all grown up. The attention to detail is what always blows my mind when it comes to my sister’s drawings. Beautiful!

“My Dad” graphite
A tribute to our late father. This was truly a labor of love for her. It was very intense for her to stare at his face all day when he was so recently lost to us.

“Ultraviolet” colored pencil
I adore how she takes seemingly ordinary items, puts them together, and creates something so stunning. True talent.

For more works of art and information, please visit Erin Gergen Halls

I am just so proud of her and in awe of her talent. She amazes me every day.

As little girls in the BWCA, holding hands (I’m the one that looks like a boy)

With our matching tattoos that honor our father (it’s a silhouette of him jumping in the air)



Filed under Beauty, lifestyle

Tools of the Trade

Someone recently wrote to me asking about makeup brushes. I have to admit, I am not an authority on this subject. There are only two I use on a daily basis (and I love them), so I did a little research. There are tons of makeup brushes out there and I can certainly see how it would be overwhelming. After talking to some makeup artists I know, I think I have narrowed down the list and present you with my favorites. The one important thing you should know is that when it comes to brushes, you really do get what you pay for. A brush from a professional line is made with better materials and will last much longer, especially if you take care of them. There is nothing I hate more than when a brush sheds black bristles all over my face. I suggest you do your own investigating and talk to the pros. They will be able to steer you toward a collection that will fill your tool needs. That being said, here are my choices.

MAC Cosmetics 168 Large Angled Contour Brush $34

I use this brush every day for blush application. It’s not a typical choice for applying blush, but I like the contour and the slimness of the bristles. I find it enables me to put blush precisely where I want it. Overall, MAC is one of the best choices for brushes. It is a professional makeup line and the quality is top notch.

Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Application Face Brush $28

This is the other brush I use daily. I always use powder and this is what I apply it with. This can give you medium to full coverage (depending on how much powder you use) and it makes blending super easy.

Sephora Slim Essential Brush Set ($98 value) $39

This is a great collection for most women. It contains professional quality brushes in a travel-friendly pouch. Your 5 most essential brushes are in the set-powder brush, blush brush, large and small eyeshadow brushes, and a retractable lip brush.

NARS Botan Brush $75

This is the mother of all brushes. The Botan brush is a round Kabuki brush designed for precise powder application. It is great for loose powder application, buffing, and blending. It is big and expensive, but it really is incredible.

Bare Escentuals Full Coverage Kabuki $28

I also own this one, but don’t use it on a daily basis. It is a great quality brush and more affordable (and smaller) than the Nars brush. It is great for applying powder foundation or loose powder. Makes blending a snap!

Sephora Collection Makeup Artist Brush Belt Set ($422 value) $275

This is for girls that love makeup and the art of application. It has every tool you need! This collection contains 15 deluxe, professional brushes and comes with Sephora’s Makeup Artist Brush Belt Case. Just strap it on and start creating your favorite looks.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg as far as makeup brushes go. Just remember, it’s an investment. It may cost more in the beginning, but you’ll end up spending less in the long run. You only need brushes you will use, and make sure they feel right in your hands. And don’t be afraid of asking a professional to show you how to use them properly-that’s what they’re there for!


Filed under Beauty