Thursday, June 15, 2017

One of Houston's Top 20 Makeup Artists!

A friend recently googled my business and discovered that I had been identified as one of the top 20 makeup artists in Houston, TX!  

She asked me why I didn't tell her and I informed her that it was news to me!

The website,, never contacted me or reached out to me to tell me I had been selected.

But I am honored and thrilled to share the news with you!

It is my honor to serve the most beautiful ladies in Houston for "ALL of life's special events!"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Makeup by Keri Ann is Celebrating 5 Years of Beauty!

Five years ago I took a huge leap of faith and launched this website and business, Makeup by Keri Ann.

Even though I had retailed makeup for over fifteen years, I was not confident that I was ready to be a freelance makeup artist.  I was not convinced I had enough training.  I wasn't sure I could be successful building my own brand.  I didn't know how I was going to make a name for myself in the fourth largest city in the United States.

I felt strongly that The Lord was guiding me in this direction.  Every person in my path seemed to mention freelance makeup artistry to me.  Even though I had a huge list of every doubt and fear,  the Biblical story of Moses kept coming back to me.  Moses felt insecure in his abilities to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt, but God continued to call Moses to the task.

The phrase "God does not call the equipped, He equips the called" resonated with me.  So, I purchased a domain, created a logo and wrote my very first blog post.

I will never forget my very first photo shoot.  We spent 10-12 hours putting 2 young models in 3 different hair and makeup looks.  The photographer I was working with really wanted to get creative, out-of-the-box, looks by the end of the day.  I was so nervous half-way through the shoot, I desperately wanted to walk away, but I faced my fears head-on and kept working.  I felt like I was too slow, too unprepared, and not talented enough, but the photos proved otherwise.  The models' makeups were beautiful and I was shocked that I was the artist who created those looks!

The negative doubt and self-talk still played in between my ears while I was working on my first few clients and weddings.  Half-way through an appointment, I would feel the same nervousness and desire to walk away I had felt at my first photo shoot.

I've since learned that many of my insecurities also plague many other creative people.  Perfectionism tends to be a trait many artists battle too and I am my own worst critique.  However, I've also learned that I am so successful with my clients because I take plenty of time to get to understand what they want and need - good listening skills are a must when you a corporate chaplain (my former career).  While I've  never worked backstage at NYC's Fashion Week or prepared a celebrity for the big screen [yet], I create makeup looks that women are comfortable wearing.

In fact, in these short 5 years, I've been blessed with over 500 organic FB page likes.  I've also had the opportunity to:
  • meet and work with over 400 women
  • be invited into the most prestigious law firms, hotels and wedding venues
  • teach makeup lessons to a variety of women
  • witness the most intimate mother/daughter and father/daughter moments in the bridal suite
  • see the most breathtaking brides
  • work with the sweetest and most generous clients
  • do makeup for 2 book authors
  • speak about professional image and offer makeup advice to busy professionals
  • write guest blog posts
  • write a few articles for a local boutique magazine
  • collaborate with the most amazing creative professionals in the weddings/events industry
  • have my makeup artistry published on several national blog posts
  • have my makeup artistry printed on the cover of 3 different local magazines 
  • have my makeup artistry printed inside 4 local magazines
  • serve the most beautiful women in the great state of Texas
Thank you so much for celebrating this milestone with me!

Here's to 5 more years of beautiful!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Red and White Wedding in Katy, TX

As the bride's makeup artist, I very rarely have time to see the wedding details.  But when the florals from F Dellit Designs arrived, I knew I had to find a way to take a peek at the venue before I left.  The white orchids and red roses were breathtaking!  After looking around, I realized the other details were just as stunning.

Thankfully, I know Patricia, the photographer at Plum Tree Studios,  and she has graciously allowed me to share these stunning wedding photos of this beautiful real wedding at Agave Estates with you.  This wedding took place in the summer of 2016.

I love seeing the two cultures come together, don't you?

Plum Tree Studios_F Dellit Designs _ Orchid Bouquet _ Real Weddings Katy, TX
These orchids were exquisite!

Plum Tree Studios _ F Dellit Designs _ Wedding Bouquets _ Orchid Bouquets
After the flowers are gone, the bracelets of the corsages can be kept as a memory of the the big day!

Plum Tree Studios _ Behind the Scenes _ Real Weddings _ Houston Weddings _ Katy Weddings
Love these details!

Wedding Inspiration _ Real Weddings Houston_Real Weddings Katy
What a beautiful way to decorate the pool!

Plum Tree Studios _ Houston Weddings _ Katy Weddings _ Agave Estates
This beautiful floral did double-duty at the alter & at the head table!

Plum Tree Studios _ Houston Wedding Photography _ Houston Makeup Artist
Lots of memories are made in the bridal suite!

A few more incredible details

Plum Tree Studios _ Red and White Wedding Cake _ Agave Estates _ Houston Weddings_Katy Weddings
Simply beautiful cake - the red roses...LOVE!

Plum Tree Studios _ Houston Weddings_Katy Weddings_First Look Photos
First look photos are the BEST!

Cultural Weddings Houston_Cultural Weddings Katy_Houston Weddings_Katy Weddings
Agave Estates has unique details outside and inside!

Bouquet Toss_Houston Weddings_Katy Weddings
The bouquet toss always brings laughter!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

His and Hers Foto and Makeup by Keri Ann Makeup Project Photo Diary

Kristi is a busy woman - she is a wife, mommy to two precious little ones, she has a full time job AND she is the co-owner of His & Hers Photography.  Kristi has never been a "girly girl" - she was always busy playing sports and makeup has never been a priority for her.  When she asked me to do her makeup for her maternity photos was I was very excited to work with her.  Her very natural style is like many of my makeup clients.
I meet many of these clients after they have had unsuccessful trial runs with other artists.  I rarely get to see their previous makeup looks and I get very few details about their experiences, but I am frequently told their makeup was too thick and too heavy.
Since I was going to be Kristi's makeup, I was hoping she would be up to doing her makeup a few more times and photographing her makeup in various stages and she said "Yes."  Oscar, Kristi's husband and fellow business partner, agreed to photograph her makeup.  
This blog has Kristi's thoughts about her experience and the accompanying photos.  Kristi's thoughts and opinions about this experience are her own.  I am hoping the photos below will show you that there is a difference between doing your own makeup and using a makeup artist.  I also hope you can see there is a big difference in makeup artistry.  

You can listen to Kristi, Oscar and Keri Ann talk about this project by clicking HERE.

This is Kristi without makeup.  

I think Kristi has good skin with very few blemishes.  She also has quite a few freckles - she's not a huge fan of those freckles, but Oscar loves them [ladies, your men love your freckles, so embrace them].  

Kristi actually thinks she has patchy looking skin and struggles with blemishes on and off.

This is Kristi before and after doing her own makeup.

Kristi says she wears light makeup on a daily basis to even her skin tone.

Here are Kristi's thoughts about applying her own makeup:

Pros – 

It was free (ish)

I had to buy a few things for makeup, but for the most part there wasn’t money spent.

I can do it whenever I’m ready and head out the door.
Because I was doing it myself, I obviously didn’t have to worry 
about other people’s germs being on the makeup.

Cons – 

I know nothing about makeup

In hindsight, I probably should have done my makeup before we podcasted or 
[Keri Ann] did my makeup. 
I was able to implement some of the things I observed in doing my own makeup. 
Even with using those tips and tricks, my makeup job was obviously done 
by someone who doesn’t own much makeup or know what they are doing.
Regardless of watching you and the salon do my eyelashes, 
I didn’t even attempt to do them for myself. 
Therefore no lashes got done, which is a bummer because that was probably my favorite part.

This is Kristi before & after she went to a brick & mortar location to have her makeup done.  

Kristi & I worked together to choose a local brick & mortar chain with locations all over greater Houston.  The location we chose had a licensed salon & offered hair and other skin services.  
She had no idea who the makeup artist would be.  She did tell the MUA multiple times that she 
never wears makeup and she was getting makeup done for her maternity photos.

Here are Kristi's thoughts about her brick & mortar location makeup experience:
Pros – 

You can schedule a time and knock it out quickly and easily
It was pretty convenient to call a few days before, 
show up, get it done and leave.
It was not that much money for makeup and lashes.  
That said, I think you get what you pay for in this case.  
[It was $65 + the 20% I added for gratuity]
Typically able to get hair and makeup done at the same location:
It is nice to be able to tag team makeup and hair if needed.

Cons - 

No consult to get to know me or my style
I ended up with makeup that was beyond overboard considering my "natural" style.
It also looked nothing like the sample photo I showed the MUA.
It was a cold appointment:
By this I mean that there wasn't an attempt to talk to me, to chitchat.  
I know we don't pay for the conversation, but talking is part of the fun to me.
No clue what was being done:  
In my experience, the MUA not only didn't talk to me, 
but she didn't explain what she was getting ready to do 
(i.e. put on eyelashes, use concealer, eyeshadow, etc).  
For someone who is clueless about makeup, 
these tips would've been nice and shown great customer service
Sales pitch:
There was pressure to get my eyebrows done or 
my hair done or 
[individual] eyelash [extensions] applied
The lashes were too heavy and one of them started 
falling off in the car on the way home.
Granted, it would probably be a more expensive appointment 
if you got all new was yucky that she used the tube of lipstick 
directly on my lips.  I did not see her wipe off the top, she didn't use 
another brush to apply...who knows where that thing was...

This is Kristi before & after Keri Ann did her makeup.
It was very important to Kristi and Oscar, that Kristi look like herself.  
She wanted a very soft & natural makeup look for her maternity photos. 

Here are Kristi's thoughts about having her makeup done by Keri Ann:

Pros – 


It's obviously the most convenient experience to be at your house, have your MUA show up & get to business.  I could also get the input of my husband and family during the process.

Tips and tricks:
There was a personal aspect to the appointment.  I don't know if it is common practice to show the client the makeup throughout the process, but it calmed my nerves to see bits and pieces of how it was going in the mirror.  Not to mention that I felt comfortable enough to ask what this product was or why you do this instead of that...Perfect for someone who is VERY new to makeup.

The Personal Touch:

Even before the appointment, I was sent an email giving pointers to get the most out of the appointment, including drinking plenty of water, maintaining your regular face-washing routine, etc. From the start of the appointment, there was a client information sheet to get to know me (including allowing me to note my skin sensitivity, my preferences, etc). Then throughout the appointment, Keri Ann very sweetly put up with my toddler and mother-in-law all the while making me look great!

Getting what I wanted
Because the time was taken to get to know me and my personal style, I got the right balance of the sample photo I showed her and what I would actually wear without looking fake.

Cons – 

It was definitely a less inexpensive version.  
But again, I think you get what you pay for in this situation.

In Your Home:
For some, I could see this being a con.  
For me, personally, not so much, but I guess not everyone would be as 
comfortable inviting someone they don't really know into their home.

To see how Kristi's makeup turned out for her maternity photo session, please click HERE.

For more information about His & Hers Foto, please click HERE.

We'd love to get your thoughts about this experience by hearing from you here:

Monday, January 9, 2017

His & Hers Foto and Makeup by Keri Ann's Makeup Project Podcast

When local photographer, Kristi Allen, from His & Hers Foto, asked me to do her maternity photo makeup, I was thrilled to be of service to her.  AND I also thought I had found a perfect model for another project I have been wanting to do.

Kristi wears very little makeup on a daily basis.  For her maternity photos, Kristi wanted to look natural, but she wanted her features enhanced.  Kristi is like many of my clients who are used to wearing very little makeup.

Several of my clients have come to me after they have had unsuccessful trial runs with other makeup artists, but I often don't get many details about their experiences.  And I rarely get to see what the makeup looked like.  I only get reports that the makeup was "too heavy".

For this project, Kristi agreed to be my face model and take photos of herself:

without makeup on
with makeup on that she applied herself
with makeup applied by me
with makeup applied by a different artist

Oscar is her husband and business partner at His & Hers Foto.  He agreed to document Kristi's face, in various stages of makeup, with his camera.  Both Kristi and Oscar were kind enough to create a podcast about our project and we are excited to have you join our conversation. 

In this podcast, Kristi talks about her experiences as a makeup client AND Oscar chimes in with his reaction to seeing his wife's makeup applied in different ways.  They also invited me to in to talk about what it was like for me to watch another artist do makeup and the makeup experience for weddings and other events.

Please click HERE to listen to Life As Art podcast and let us know what you think!  It is a long podcast, so you may need to listen in small segments.  

Kristi & Oscar do a pre-makeup project podcast that begins at 7:04
Kristi & Oscar discuss the makeup done by the other MUA at 21:55
Kristi, Oscar & I discuss the entire project & our experiences at 59:57

This is Kristi's maternity photo makeup done by Keri Ann:

Houston Natural Makeup Artist _ Makeup by Keri Ann _ Barron & Barron Photography
Photo credit to Barron & Barron Photography

Makeup by Keri Ann _ Barron & Barron Photography
Photo credit to Barron & Barron Photography

I have such great fun doing these podcasts with Kristi & Oscar & we appreciate Grizzaffi Coffee for sponsoring all of their podcasts. 

Be sure to check out my next blog with a photo diary and Kristi's thoughts about all of her makeup experiences by clicking HERE!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Contents and Product Reviews

I have been a bit behind on posting my Play! by Sephora subscription box reviews, so in this post I am going to show you a collage of the past few months and a glimpse at some of my favorite products:

December 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents

I just got around to opening my December Play! box and I am super excited about the contents.  I loved the black bag with gold trimmings.  The Urban Decay setting spray is definitely headed into my personal bag as is the Makeup Forever foundation primer.  I am anxious to put the Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo to the test.  I love the color of the Red Sephora Cream Lip Stain and I might have to take that one for myself too!  Lancome travel mascaras always comes in handy.  I've already shared that I'm not big on fragrances and this rose scented one is a turn off to me, so someone I meet will get a sample to try!

November 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents
I have been using several of these products since November.  I am still using the Cover FX foundation primer - while it is adequate, I'm not rushing out to get a full size version.  I started out liking the Caudalie Vinosource moisturizer, but it is not the solution to really parched skin.  I actually like the Stella McCartney fragrance and am keeping this little vial for myself.

October 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents
The contents of this box honestly did not thrill me.  I still have a few items tucked aside to try - the Smashbox gloss is not in my makeup drawer and now I need to go find it - it's just my shade!  I suppose I need to try the Estee Lauder Flash Photo Gloss - but I am not one to take many photos of myself, so I am not sure I need such a product (there are at least 3 products in this line created for the Selfie-taking generation).  The fragrance was pleasant too.  However, the other items went into my give away stash.

September 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents

I confess the Sephora pink lipstick is such a great color, I've put it in my makeup kit and have used it successfully on several clients and models.  The Kat Von D liner is a perfect travel size, as is the Living Proof Overnight conditioner and mascara.  I haven't tried the moisturizer and the fragrance was once I chose to pass on too.

August 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents
What's not to love about eye product samplers?!  All of them are the perfect travel sizes.  The CLEAN fragrance is refreshingly pleasant.

July 2016 Play! by Sephora box and contents

I did use most of the Pure Skin facial cleanser - it's best for normal to combo skin - if you need hydration, this product is not for you.  What's not to love about the classic Smashbox foundation primer?  I ended up gifting the beauty blotter oil absorbing sponge.  The Nest Citrine fragrance was alright, but going into my donation stash.  I love my Hoola bronzer, but this liquid version I did not open yet.

All of the bags are super cute and in addition to containing cosmetic products, I've decided they are also perfect traveling bags for jewelry!

I have enjoyed these subscription boxes - it's a great way to try some of the newest products.

If you have a Play! by Sephora subscription, I'd love to hear about your favorite box(es)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

La Torretta Resort & Spa Experience in Montgomery, Texas

I recently replied to a FB post inviting event planners and bloggers to an event hosted at La Torretta Lake Resort on Lake Conroe.

The several times I've serviced my makeup and bridal clients at La Torretta, I always have left wishing I had a reason to stay and explore the property.

Little did I know that my FB reply was going to send me on a one day staycation at La Torretta!

The event was called Weddings At The Lake.  

Wedding and Event Planners & Bloggers were invited to experience VIP treatment compliments of La Torretta.

After working on a styled shoot all day at a brand new venue in Montgomery, TX on Monday (details on that for another post..), I checked into La Torretta.

I was taken to the 19th floor where my room faced beautiful Lake Conroe!

Sweet Tea and Linen_Weddings_Montgomery, TX
Photo credit Sweet Tea & Linen
Before I could even explore my room amenities, I received a knock on the door.  The hotel was delivering champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for me to enjoy!  

La Torretta Strawberries and Champagne
(Just in case you are wondering, the 4 flavors of strawberries were chocolate, coconut covered chocolate, hazelnut covered chocolate and white chocolate covered chocolate - YUM!!)

I had a great 2 bedroom suite - more than enough room for just me!

Photos of my suite at La Torretta Lake Resort
The highlight of my evening was taking a bubble bath in the massive bath tub - I was floating in it!  The bathroom counter was nice and long too - plenty of space for makeup and hair products.

The morning view was amazing!

On location makeup services
Morning view of Lake Conroe from the 19th floor of La Torretta tower
I had an appointment at The SPA At La Torretta at 9am where Connie treated me to a reflexology foot massage.  I thought I knew what to expect, as I have had foot massages before, but the Satori chair and sound system that gives you a massage using sound waves made the experience divine!  Since I was the first appointment of the day, I got to visit with therapists Connie & Crystal and they gave me a tour of their numerous treatment rooms - several of which are designed for couples.

Just a glimpse of my visit at The SPA at La Torretta Lake Resort in Montgomery, TX
The SPA is surprisingly large. It can easily host a large group of ladies.  You can work with catering to have beverages and lunch brought over for your party too.  This spa is perfect for a bachelorette party.

The SPA also has a full service salon for hair, makeup and nails.  If a bride or client needs more personalized, on-location services, a free-lance makeup artist (Me!) will need to be hired.

After my foot massage I enjoyed the beautiful walk back to my room and enjoyed some much needed quiet time sitting on my balcony!

Montgomery, TX weddings _ on location makeup _ Makeup by Keri Ann _ La Torretta
View from my suite at La Torretta Lake Resort
This is the beautiful lunch that was laid out for us at The SPA.

The Spa at La Torretta _ Makeup by Keri Ann _ Montgomery, TX weddings

These Berry Infused and Peach Infused waters were a hit with all of us.

At 2pm, the La Torretta Lake Resort staff met us on the second floor of the tower to give us name tags & flip flops.

Montgomery, TX weddings _ Lake Conroe Weddings

(I loved the print on the chairs!)

We then began a tour of the property.  I learned that all of their rooms are king or queen suites.  This makes it perfect for couples AND families.

Here is the view from the pool side suite.  I know kids love it, but there are plenty of pools and hot tubs for adults to enjoy too!

Then we were taken to the Presidential suite on the 20th floor.  If a bride and groom is staying at the hotel, they will upgrade them to the largest room available for their stay (based on availability, of course), so a few lucky couples will find themselves enjoying the very spacious Presidential suite!

The staff at La Torretta wanted to showcase their various options for wedding ceremony sites.  All of them included great views of the lake.

Wedding Ceremony Locations at La Torretta Lake Resort: Between the 2 Palms, The Beach Location, Lake View and The Versailles Ballroom Location (this was my favorite place to sit and enjoy the sunny weather).
Our venue tour ended with a cocktail networking reception (aren't my hostesses & Wedding Cake Cocktails beautiful?!?!).

Our evening concluded with the most beautiful progressive dinner:

Soup and Salad was served in the Americas Ballroom 1 with styling done by Sweet Tea & Linen and florals provided by A Different Bloom.

La Torretta Lake Resort _ Lake Conroe Weddings

We were served the Entree Course in the Americas Ballroom 2 which was styled by Events to Remember.

La Torretta Lake Resort _ Weddings and Events

Our Dessert Course was served in the Americas Ballroom 3, which was styled by Mandap Creations

La Torretta Lake Resort _ Weddings and Events _ Montgomery, TX

I loved my 24 hours spent at La Torretta Lake Resort and I can't thank them enough!

I highly recommend La Torretta Lake Resort to anyone:

  • looking for wedding venues
  • looking for a vacation/staycation resort
  • needing a relaxing and professional spa
  • looking for a space for party/celebration
  • looking for a family gathering space

Beautiful gift from La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa