Monday, August 7, 2017

Super Simple DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe

DIY Exfoliator _ Makeup by Keri Ann _ Makeup Tips _ Makeup Advice
Super Simple Sugar Scrub for DIY

When it comes to beauty products, I generally stick to purchasing them retail.

I like the convenience of purchasing what I need without having to shop for ingredients and take time to make it.

But after I finished my last few containers of exfoliators, I decided to see what the process would be to make a DIY scrub.

So I went on-line and found Dear Crissy’s blog post featuring 15 different DIY sugar scrub recipes (click here for the link to her blog).  They all look tempting, but the one I settled on was the Vanilla Olive Oil Scrub by Freutcake.  Click here for the complete recipe

I chose this scrub because I had all of the ingredients in my pantry AND olive oil and a dab of vanilla wouldn’t compete with any other fragrances I apply.

When I make the scrub, I only make 1/2 of the recipe at a time only because the plastic containers I am willing to put in my shower would only hold about 1/2 of the recipe.

This sugar scrub recipe literally takes just a few minutes to make, but I LOVE the results!  

This scrub is better than any sugar scrubs/exfoliators/body polishes I have purchased at the store.  It not only exfoliates the skin, but the olive oil helps to moisturize my skin too.  My legs and feet feel great after using it and I use it almost daily now.

Note:  I would never use this scrub on my face - it is too harsh.

And for those of you who know me personally, you just might end with a sweet DIY gift one day soon!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Teresa Yiu Once Upon a Dream Blog Interview

Super excited to be featured on Teresa Yiu's Once Upon a Dream Blog Series Today!

Teresa is an amazing maternity and newborn photographer.

Please read her interview with me and check out her work by clicking here.

My makeup photographed by the talented and lovely Tersa Yiu Photography

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Distorted Mirrors and Personal Reflections

I recently attended an event in a local Houston hotel.  The hotel had been remodeled in a modern design recently.  Everything looked great, but I was surprised to walk into the women's restroom to discover mirrors above the sinks that distorted images.

Houston Makeup Artist _ Christian Blogger_Negative Self Image
Do you notice anything unusual about the reflection in these mirrors?
My iPhone photo is not the best, but I hope you can see why those mirrors reminded me of the carnival fun house mirrors - look one direction and you are short and wide - look another and you are super tall and stick like - look a different direction and you are wavy.  Anyone with a sense of humor had to laugh at the poor selection in mirror design for the women's restroom.

But for me, and many other women, those mirrors are a reminder of the negative reflections we fight every day.

In high school I read about the perfect hour glass figure and I worked so hard to get close to the 36”-24”-36” (the 24" waist was the hardest part to achieve in that formula, and the number I wanted to obtain, even if it was only briefly).

My Freshman year of college I gained the “Freshman 15” AND I packed on an additional 20 pounds for a total of 35 new pounds and clothing that was at least 3-4 dress sizes larger than when I started the previous fall.  My face was as round as a basketball.

I struggled for at least 2 years to get the weight to come off.  I dieted.  I exercised.  I tried everything I read about (that was before everyone had access to the Internet).  It seemed the harder I tried to lose the weight, the more it clung to me.

One day I had a realization that the weight or dress size didn’t define  who I was.  It was my personality that [genuine] people cared about.  I can’t tell you why or how it happened, but from that time on, it seems the weight slowly started to come off.  And by the time I got married, my sister reported to me that my wedding guests were saying “she’s paper thin”.  (I did not diet or make special efforts to be thin for my wedding, I was simply back to my smaller size)

Honestly, I still struggle with my reflection in the mirror.  Even though US women’s clothing sizes say I’m a certain size on the label, I swear that label should be a few sizes larger.  People have told me I am thin, but my mirror's reflection taunts me with the images from the past.

And my mirror battles don’t stop at dress sizes.

I had terrible acne as a teen (I am so very thankful for makeup).  I don't let a morning go by without wearing makeup - I know it's my profession, but it's also an insecurity thanks to my acne days.

To this day, I spend lots of time after my nightly cleansing routine, checking for blemishes.  While I don’t find as much to poke on anymore, I can't help but note the development of discoloration and fine lines.

And then there is my snow white skin.  I rarely meet women with skin lighter in color than mine.  My mom has said, on more than one occasion, "I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone with legs as white as yours."  (check out my blogs about my quest for bronze skin here)

And then there a bad hair days (compliments of Houston’s extremely humid climate).

And then there are the wisdom hairs.

And then...

Fighting those negative images reminds me of this scripture:

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  
Romans 8:6 (NIV)

I do have pure joy in knowing who I belong to and who created me and that gives me a peace that trumps even the most distorted mirror reflection.

The knowledge that God "knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13) and created me to be the woman I am, allows me to step away from the mirror and greet the world with a confidence that is a divine gift.

If you struggle with self-doubt and negative self-image, don't try to force yourself into a mold you think the world wants to see because you will never be able to measure up to the constantly changing expections.

The love and peace of Christ never changes and realizing you were created in His image, and for His purpose, is the beautiful story called "Amazing Grace".  It's my story and it can be your story too.

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, March 30, 2017

February and March 2017 Play! by Sephora Box Reviews

I always enjoy getting my Play! by Sephora boxes in the mail - one little surprise just for me every month.  And while I take photos to share, I am guilty about not sharing them as soon as I should.

The satin bag in February's box was beautiful.  It very much reminded me of my grandmother's pink satin pillow case.  Did anyone else have a grandmother that slept on a satin pillow case?

I always appreciate the Play! by Sephora cards that give me a few bonus points when shopping.  As a makeup artist, I am always having to replenish makeup for my kit.

The Nars Velvet Lip Glide in Bound was not a gloss as I had suspected, but it was a matte cream lipstick.  The color is a beautiful pink/plum and I used it on one of my clients who really liked the look with her makeup.  As an MUA, I don't like products in containers with sponge tip applicators, as it's too hard to dispense the product.  But, for the average consumer, I would recommend this lipstick.

I just added the Sephora Lash Craft mascara to my personal stash to try - I added it to my personal stash and have been using it regularly.

I actually need to try a new eye cream, but the Origins Gin Zing product is for puffiness, which I don't usually have a problem with.

The Clinique Pep-Start is a facial moisturizer safe for all skin types.  I have not given this one a try yet.

I intend to use the Too Faced Lip Injection as a giveaway item, but it would be a beautiful layering product, so I am not sure if I will keep it for myself or throw it in my client makeup kit.

The Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence Fragrance is not one I will be using.  The scent is too woody and reminds of a man's cologne.  I will be adding this to the giveaway stash.

The March Play! by Sephora box had some interesting items.

The Makeup Forever Artist Shadow in 544 Pink Granite is a beautiful shade of taupe with a pink undertone.  I am a fan of MUFE's shadows and I actually have this same color in my personal makeup kit and like it, so this one is headed to my business makeup kit.

The Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer will be added to my giveaway stash.  Those of us who live here in Houston, TX are naturally illuminated thanks to our super humid climate.  In the winter months, I can sometimes get by wearing an illuminator, but since our weather has warmed up, I find that I need to stick with regular products.  Many of my clients are so oily, they naturally illuminate too.

As far as the Algenist REVEAL Concentrated Lumizing drops in Pearl are concerned, I think my thoughts are the same as above.  I am sure the products aren't anything alike, I'm just not convinced I need to glow so much.

I will be keeping the Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast.  A hairspray that promises to make hair appear fuller-looking has to be put to the test on my super fine hair.  I like this spray.  It does not make your hair too stiff and after a few uses, I've not seen any break outs on my face, which is a negative consequence I experience with far too many styling products.  I can't say I see more volume, but I really like how it kept my curls in place, but they were able to loosen up on their own without falling out completely.

The Benefit Watts Up! Creme to Powder Highlighter will be a good gift for my giveaway stash too.

I always love the packaging of the Atelier Colognes in these Play! boxes.  The samplers always come packaged with a post card to describe the scent's origins.  This month the scent was Divine Clementine California and I really enjoy wearing it.  With a majority of citrus notes, this fragrance feels light and refreshing.

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!