beauty tips

My Top Picks for the Best Black Eyeliners

Black eyeliner is a beauty staple. It can be used for so many different looks, classic and timeless to bold and dramatic or edgy. How many black eyeliners do you have? I realized that not only do I have an entire section devoted to black eyeliners in one of my makeup drawers but I actually use them all. So why have so many? Can't I use the same one for a variety of looks? Well of course I can, but there really is a difference! If you are not a fan of black and prefer something softer like brown or grey, that's ok. The following tips apply to any eyeliner, not just black. I have listed each product I am currently using and which look I prefer to use it for. Now before you think I am crazy for having so many, I LOVE makeup and enjoy trying different looks regularly. Hopefully this list will inspire you to try something new or give you an idea of a different way to use something you already own. 

Basic Black Eyeliner Pencil - NARS Larger Than Life in Via Veneto

This pencil is fast drying and intense black. For a look that is more defined and all day wearing, this is my favorite.   

*Application tip* Use a fine, angled liner brush to blend the outer corners for a winged-liner look.  

Pencil for the Waterline - MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack

I especially like that this pencil is retractable and requires no sharpening. If possible, I prefer this style pencil to a sharpenable pencil to avoid accidentally scratching my eye while applying. This pencil wears really well and touches up smoothly. It is also available in a variety of other shades. Using black for the waterline creates a more sultry effect. 

*Application tip* Apply once to the waterline while applying your eye makeup and then once again after completing the rest of your makeup look as a finishing touch. 

Tightlining - Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in Matte Black

I like using this waterproof formula for creating a fuller, longer lash look by tightlining. Tightlining is when you apply liner to the upper, inside lash line. I also use it fill in  between the lashes. This creates a much more polished look to your lash line while, again, creating an illusion of more volume and length. 

*Application tip* Be sure to take your time and hold steady as you tightline. Hold your eyelid in place to prevent accidentally poking your eye. It is best to use a magnifying mirror. 

Sultry, Smokey Liner - Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer

This eyeliner is so intense black and glides on with such ease. What's great about this pencil is that it is waterproof but doesn't set immediately. I prefer that for a more sultry, smokey look. You can easily blend this and apply more for added intensity. 

*Application tip* Apply very little pressure when using this pencil. It is so soft and almost melts onto your skin. Applying more pressure will create a thicker line and more intensity for when you want to add more drama. 

Gel Eyeliner - Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Creme Color in Jet

I love both of these formulas, I simply can not choose! The Bobbi formula is a solid black and is easier to blend and build. This product holds up very well to heat, humidity and much more. It's no wonder it's an award-winning product. The Anastasia formula is a much more intense black and sets very quickly. I find that it doesn't build up quite as easily since it sets so quickly. But for a sharp, ultra-black look, whether winged and dramatic or thin, fine and natural, this product is a winner. 

*Application tip* Using a gel liner always use a brush that is in good condition and not frayed. If brush hairs are sticking out, you will not get as smooth and precise of a line. For a thin line, choose a thin, skinny brush. For a thicker, more dramatic line, use a wider brush. 

Liquid Liner - Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black

This liner has a felt tip applicator much like a fine marker. The tip has a perfect combination of stiffness and flexibility. It is also truly an intense black and is waterproof. I buy this liner over and over again. It is now available in a Micro Tip style for an even finer point. 

*Application tip* Use this as a finishing touch to your eye makeup. This very fine point will fill in any gaps between your liner and lashes. 

Shadow Liner - MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon

This matte black shadow blends easily and can be built up for added intensity. I prefer to use this along the bottom lash line for a smokey look and applied over another black liner along the top lash line to either set and add more intensity or to create a softer look to the line. 

*Application tip* If you have not created the smoothest line on your eyes, apply this shadow using a fine angled brush and blend over your liner. This will cover and smooth any little bumps in your line. 

Getting Rid of Hair Static

Have you ever noticed how much worse hair static is during the winter months?  One of the main causes of static is dehydration. In the winter, the air lacks moisture and the heating systems make it even drier. Here are some tips to getting rid of the hair static. 

1) Regular conditioning treatments and a lightweight hair oil can help to replenish and maintain moisture in your strands. Try not to wash your hair too often, this also can be very drying. 

2) Try using an ionic hairdryer. It will not only help control static but also dry your hair faster and create less heat damage. 

3) Spray your hair with hairspray. This will help hold your style and control the static. 

4) You can use dryer sheets to calm your hair. You can even rub the dryer sheet on your pillowcase before going to bed. Try also wrapping your brush or comb in a dryer sheet as well. These may also be used while on the go for a quick fix.

5) Try to avoid plastic combs and brushes. 

6) Use a humidifier while sleeping. This will put moisture back into the air, helping your hair and skin.

7) In a pinch, you can always use a touch of water. Wet your hands and gently apply to your hair. 

Happy (Static-Free) Hairstyling!


Why It's Worth Having Your Brows Professionally Shaped

Your brows frame your eyes and can change the look of your face. Throughout the years, styles have come and gone...and come back again. There are different methods of shaping your brows, such as tweezing, waxing and threading. Here are 5 great reasons to trust a professional for your most enhancing look. 

1) The proper brow shape can make you look younger or more refreshed. Your brows can, in a sense, have an expression. The idea is to have a positive expression, not surprised, angry or mean.

2) Have you ever heard the saying, "brows are like sisters, not twins." This means that they are not exactly alike, brows are not naturally completely symmetrical. A pro can see these subtle differences and make your brows appear more symmetrical. 

3) It is important to understand that the best brow shape is not the same for everyone. Your face shape, bone structure and individual features are all factors in creating your best shape. 

4) The proper brow shape can give you a more finished look. I always say, "Take care of your skin and your brows, they do not wash off at the end of the day." Even without makeup, great brows can enhance your look. 

5) Something I always tell my clients is how difficult it is to shape your own brows. It's really quite simple why. In order to see the hairs you want to remove, you must look closely in the mirror, most likely a magnifying mirror. By doing this, you ultimately lose perspective of both brows. This is how you end up with either over-tweezed or more asymmetrical brows, or even worse both. 

Before you trust just anyone with your brows, do some research. Read reviews, look for photos of the stylists' work online and ask for referrals (from people with good brows, of course!) 

New Year's Eve Makeup Ideas

The last party night of the year is quickly approaching. Deciding what to wear and how to pull your look together is probably one of your biggest tasks for this special night. Let's be honest, we not only want to spend the last night of the year with those that are most important to us, but we want to feel good and look amazing! 

Here are a few ideas to have fun with your makeup, this is the night for glitter, glow and glam!

1) Go for glitter on your eyes. You can try using a cream shadow first, then press a glitter eyeshadow over it. I recommend you look for a fine glitter versus a more chunky texture. 

2) Try a dramatic winged liner. Or even better yet, a dramatic winged liner...with glitter or metallic liquid liner. 

3) Metallic smokey eye makeup can be coordinated to your overall look. If you're wearing all black, it's a great way to add some color. Or go a bit bolder and more creative, use a complimentary color to what you are wearing. My go-to is the complimentary color to your eye color, making your eyes pop.

4) Wear false lashes. Depending on your overall look, you can choose a style that naturally enhances your lashes or try something more playful and dramatic. 

5) Try a bold lip color. I always think of pinks and reds as more party appropriate. But why not try a deep stain or burgundy for something more vampy or if it's your style, a bold orange. 

6) Go ahead and apply a more defined contour and glowing highlight. Now is the best time for this bone structure enhancing style.

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy New Year!! 

10 Foods for a Wedding Day Glow

As a bridal makeup artist, my goal is to enhance each of my bride's natural beauty and joyful glow on her wedding day. Of course there are many tricks and techniques with makeup and day-of skin prep that I am able to use for a glowing complexion. There are also many skin care tips I share along the way to prepare for skin that is in it's best condition. In addition, there are several healthy practices to enhance this beautiful, bridal glow. Here is my pick of top 10 foods to eat for a healthy, wedding day glow...


Tomatoes help boost collagen, are rich in Vitamin A, C and K as well as lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant. 



Green Tea is loaded with polyphenols, powerful anti-oxidants. Drinking green tea regularly is also known to help reverse sun damage. Be sure not to limit consumption, it also contains caffeine which can ultimately dehydrate your skin. 



Berries are rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Anthrocyanin, an anti-oxidant that helps fight damage from free radicals and ellagic acid, which helps protect from sun damage and promotes collagen and elasticity are both present in berries. They also contain essential fatty acids which improve skin's hydration and reduce inflammation. 



Avocados are a great source of carotenoids which improve density, thickness, tone and overall general appearance. They also contain vitamins C and E and oleic acid which helps keep skin soft and hydrated. 



Carrots have vitamin C which helps plumpness and firmness of the skin. They are rich in beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A and helps with blemishes, pigmentation and oiliness.   



Leafy Greens such as kale and swiss chard are high in beta-carotene, helping to repair and renew skin for a healthy glow. Arugula also contains sulfur which supports collagen production. Spinach is also high in folate which helps with DNA repair. Leafy greens are also rich in vitamins A and C.


7) EGGS 

Eggs help to soften, firm and hydrate your skin. They help to protect skin from UV damage with lutein and zeaxanthin. Eggs have amino acids that help in generation of new cells. 



Almonds help to hydrate and soften the skin. They are high in vitamin E which helps prevent cell damage as well as damage from the sun. 



Citrus Fruits help with sun spots, uneven skin tone and enhancing a radiant glow while rejuvenating your skin from within. These fruits are high in vitamin C and contain vitamin B6, folate, potassium, lycopene, niacin, magnesium, thiamin and phytonutrients. 



Peppers are high in vitamins A, C and K. They help with blood circulation and fighting blemishes as well as fighting oxidative stress. 


These 10 foods are just a starting point for a healthy glow for all of us, not just a bride. It is incredible what a healthy, clean and well-balanced diet can do for our overall health and well-being. Have fun and be creative with your food, it's truly one of life's simple pleasures.

The Natural Makeup Look for Your Wedding Day

Are you a bride-to-be who wears very little makeup or just loves the no-makeup makeup look? That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the benefits of having your makeup professionally done. Have you ever heard that it's a lot of work creating this no-makeup look? It's true! Let me explain...

First, your skin prep is critical to the wear and look of your makeup. Skin that is in it's best condition will look even more flawless with makeup. In addition, you'll find that it will wear better for much longer throughout the day. Refrain from picking at blemishes. I know it's so tempting, but makeup will not adhere properly to broken or peeling skin. Keep your skin hydrated and balanced, this will also help the wear of your makeup. It will also prevent dehydration lines. 

Photo Credit: Duca Studio

Photo Credit: Duca Studio

Be sure to have your brows shaped earlier in the week along with getting rid of any unwanted facial hair. Having a smooth complexion truly does make a difference in your makeup look. Of course, having brows shaped to enhance your eyes and face shape makes a difference even when you're makeup-free. Ideally, you will only need a subtle enhancing with products to perfect your brows and hold them in place throughout the day.

Photo Credit: Unique Concepts Studio

Photo Credit: Unique Concepts Studio

Choosing the appropriate complexion products and shades is critical to this look. The idea is to perfect your coloring and enhance your bone structure. This is especially important with professional photography. You want to look naturally flawless in person as well as in your photos.

Photo Credit: Kelly Giarrocco 

Photo Credit: Kelly Giarrocco 

Your eye makeup should be subtle and bring out your eye color. It should enhance the shape of your eyes. Choosing the right colors and textures can also make a huge difference. Don't forget to define your eyes with eyeliner and false lashes. Again, these two things have a big impact on your look in your photos. 

Choose a lip color that mimics a natural lip shade. Don't be afraid to line your lips, this will not only enhance their shape but will help prevent any lipstick bleeding. 

Don't forgot to set your makeup with a setting powder and setting spray!

A professional makeup artist will know how to provide this look, ensuring not only that you feel your absolute best but that your look will photograph beautifully and stay in place through the tears and laughs throughout your Big Day. 

Why You Need a Color-Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner

Let's be honest, most of us have some kind of color treatment done to our hair. But even if you do not, this still applies to you! Here's why...

Your hair color is effected by many factors, hard water, salt water, chlorine from swimming pools, heat styling, the sun... All of these cause fading, brassiness, dullness and even tinting your hair green (chlorine!) 

There are two ways to go about choosing the appropriate color-depositing products. Are you looking to add color or balance / correct color.

Adding color, for example, would be ideal for a redhead. Red haircolor fades the fastest. Using red-depositing products adds vibrancy and depth back to your hair. 

Color balancing or correcting is most common. Remember when you'd see grandmothers with lavender hair? Well grandma was on to something. As her hair was turning white or grey, it was also beginning to yellow. Using a purple shampoo or conditioner can cancel the yellow and brighten not only white and grey hair but also blonde. (If you overuse, this could lead to that lavender tint...maybe you like that?) Maybe you've had beautiful ombre or balayage color. Well if your ends are now brassy or orange, try a blue color-depositing shampoo and conditioner. This will cancel the orange and you'll regain those honey or beige ends again.

Why You Should Book A Private Makeup Lesson

JKo Beauty offers both private one-on-one lessons and group lessons.

There are advantages to both settings and both can be very informative and a lot of fun. Here's what to expect...

One-on-one lessons are just that and everything is customized just for you. We discuss in advance what you want to focus on and the session is dedicated to that focus. At your lesson, we will go over the brushes and makeup you already own. Often times I find that ladies simply do not know how to use what they already own. Or maybe you're just missing one brush or product to create the look you want. We will discuss what products and tools you should purchase and discard. You will have the opportunity to watch me apply to one side. While you apply the other side, I am able to give you pointers for easy application. Again, this lesson is completely customized to your areas of focus. Learn what is best for your features and personal style!

Group lessons are available for up to 6 participants. These can be so much fun! We can discuss in advance what the lesson should be focused on. Maybe you want something fun for your daughter and her friends. Maybe this is a girls night party and we make it all about current trends, tips for application and what to buy. It's completely up to you! 

All lessons are tailored to your specific concerns and desired look. Appointments start at 90 minute sessions and can be extended in 30 minute increments. My goal for your lesson is for you to feel more confident with your products, tools and application. No need to waste more time and money on products that just are not right for you! 

8 Splurge Worthy Beauty Products

"Wow, is it really worth that much money?" How many times do you ask yourself this question about the price of a beauty product? There are many products that once given a try, we experience and understand the difference. There are a variety of reasons we find greater value in these products and believe they are really worth the hefty price...texture, fragrance, wearability, ease of application and most of all, impressive results. 

Here are my top 8 picks...

1) Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is a lightweight, buildable foundation. This formula gives a "lit from within" healthy glow to your complexion. 

2) Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is an iconic face highlighter. It brightens and smooths the look of your complexion. It can also be used to highlight your bone structure in a natural looking way.

3) Tom Ford Liquid Eyeliner is a dual-ended matte black liquid eyeliner. It stays in place all day and is a dense true black. Both ends resemble a felt tip marker, one side with a longer, fuller applicator and the opposite side with a short, fine-tip applicator. 

4) Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer is available in a variety of shades, all resembling a true suntan or sun-kissed glow. It has moisturizing benefits and is long wearing. 

5) Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask provides an instant glow. This award-winning mask helps minimize the look of your pores and improves overall texture to your skin. 

6) SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is considered a tried-and-true treatment product. It is used prior to other serums and your moisturizer. It helps with many skin concerns, including skin cell renewal and an overall balanced, glowing complexion.  

7) La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask is an overnight treatment that increases skin's firmness and elasticity. This luxurious treatment improves the skin's overall texture and appearance. 

8) Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is a great alternative to dry shampoo. It boosts your hair's volume and creates texture. An added bonus, it smells incredible. 


Dry Shampoo...Should You Be Using It?

I was recently asked these two questions. It made me think about the number of times other women have asked similar questions about dry shampoo. So here is the breakdown and yes, you absolutely should be using it!

Let's start with the fact that dry shampoo has been around for centuries. Dry shampoo absorbs oils and odors from hair. It can be found in the form of loose powder, a liquid that comes from a pump dispenser or an aerosol spray. It's a super easy and quick way to freshen up your hairstyle. Apply it sparingly to the roots of your hair. If you are using a spray formula, spray at least 6 inches away from your roots. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, this allows the dry shampoo to absorb excess oils. Finally, brush through your hair and style. It's really that simple!

There are several good reasons to use dry shampoo. 

1) To avoid over-washing your hair, which drys out your hair and strips your color.

2) It refreshes your hair after the gym or before a night out.

3) It adds volume to your hairstyle.

4) Dry shampoo extends the life of your blowout.

5) It prevents hair damage since you'll be doing less heat styling.

6) Use it to add texture to hairstyling, such as with backcombing your hair.

7) Many formulas have added color and may be used to help conceal roots between color touch-ups. For blondes or platinum hair colors, white or regular dry shampoo will also help blend or soften darker regrowth. 

JKo Beauty's Picks

  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is my Top Pick. Klorane is an award winning brand that offers a variety of formulas to address your different concerns or style preferences.

For additional options, check out these other great picks...

Remember, dry shampoo is meant to be used sparingly and to refresh your hair and style. You should still regularly wash and condition your hair to maintain it's optimum health.

Happy Hairstyling! 

Drugstore Beauty Favorites

Who doesn't love a good deal?! The next time you are at the drugstore, give yourself a few minutes to browse new trends and classic favorites. Here is a list of some of my favorite tried-and-true drugstore deals...

1) For blotting oil without smudging your makeup look, try Clean and Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets.

2) I like to replace my mascara around every 6 weeks. For separated, defined lashes my favorite is Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara. 

3 & 4) Ardell Individual Lashes are an easy way to enhance your natural lashes. While you're there, pick up Duo lash adhesive

5) A household must-have is Aquaphor, it can be used for a variety of purposes. 

6) L'Oréal True Match Foundation is a great option for a natural looking foundation available in a global shade range. It has a buildable coverage, radiant finish and is perfect for daily wear.

7) For gentle and easy facial cleansing, try Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. This gentle product cleanses skin, removes makeup and hydrates. 

8) Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash is softening and hydrating with a subtle scent of shea butter. Don't forget to replace your shower puff about every three weeks. 

These are all products I have purchased and enjoyed many times over. Don't be afraid to spend some time shopping the drugstore shelves for more beauty staples or current makeup trends. 

 Happy Shopping! 

10 Tips for a Polished Look in 5 Minutes

We all have those days that we want just a few more minutes of our beauty sleep.  Here is a list of 10 tips to look polished in 5 minutes.


Choose a tinted moisturizer with a SPF 30 or higher.  It should match your skin to even out discoloration.  I prefer to use one that also has additional skincare benefits, such as NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.


This product is a quick pick-me-up.  Apply to any blemishes, lightly around your mouth, the corners of your nose, under your eyes and my favorite spot...under your eyebrows.  Applying here will disguise unwanted regrowth and give a lifted, defined look to your brows.  My go-to concealer is Cle de Peau, an award winning multi-use concealer.


Gel eyeliner is a staple for your makeup collection.  It can be used for so many looks.  For the 5 minute look, naturally, we are not going to try to attempt a winged eyeliner style.  This is the time for using your flat eyeliner brush and simply pushing a touch of the gel liner into your lash line.  Quickly, this gives you definition and the illusion of fuller lashes.  A fail-proof pair?  Bobbi Brown Gel Liner and MAC Brush #212


This is the time to reach for your black, full volume mascara.  A good coat or two on the top lashes is all you need.  Make sure you start from the base of your lashes, wiggle the wand slightly as you continue to apply in an upward motion to the tips of your lashes.  This motion will give you maximum volume and encourage a curl, opening up your eyes.  Try Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils


Brow gel is perfect for taming overgrown hairs for a more sculpted brow look.  It will hold your brows in place throughout the day easily giving them a more defined look.  If your brow hair does not match your hair or you have very fair brow hair, choose a tinted brow gel.  For a formula that includes ingredients for healthier hair and available in a variety of shades, try Anastasia Beverly Hills.


I know, I know...why "or"??  Because this is the 5 minute look!  My recommendation is to choose whichever feels right to you.  If you're feeling a bit washed out, go for the bronzer.  If you want a radiant glow, reach for your highlighter.  Keep it simple.  Bronzer applied lightly to your forehead and cheeks.  If your neck tends to be a bit lighter than your face, apply it there as well for a more even look.  If you opt for highlighter, apply to the inner corners of your eyes and on the top edge of your cheekbones, applying in an upward motion towards your hairline.  I love the options of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Collection. 


Think a subtle pop of color.  Apply a small amount to the apples of your cheeks.  For a soft and easy-to-blend blush with a beautiful color range, try Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush.  


Remember this is 5 minutes, lipstick only.  So we can cheat a bit here and go for a fat lipstick pencil.  Choose for a creamy formula with a complimentary pop of color.  My personal favorite is NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencils.


This product is such a time saver.  Dry shampoo is used to absorb oils in the hair, creating more volume.  A classic favorite is Klorane Dry Shampoo


This is a fun tip to complete your look.  Choose a pair of earrings to coordinate with your lip and cheek color or a pair that makes your eye color pop.  If you haven't already, check out Kendra Scott.  I can not seem to keep myself from these gorgeous styles and colors. 

I know it's only a few minutes, but how we feel when we walk out the door sets the tone for our day.  I hope you enjoy these tips and have a wonderful day!

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