Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Showtime

Award season is almost here and I love it. The guilty pleasure of getting together with friends and watching what the celebs will wear. Paying close attention to hair and makeup, of course. Even doing a Joan Rivers bit, and dissing the misfires in good fun. I know, I know shame on me that's bad karma, but I can't help it. It's the best form of escapism. I have been immersed in award seasons for many years, working beauty suites for prestige cosmetic brands. Painting the faces of countless A and B listers, my favorite clients have always been the directors' wives, the moms and the non-celebs who "can't believe they look so beautiful." It's a special night for them. I make sure they look radiant, glamorous and glowing. There are scores of individuals trying to get their films from paper to reality, working diligently on a project for years. Writing, producing and praying it makes it to the big screen. An evening to be recognized for their fearless, smart, persistent end product, the inspiring achievement. They deserve the applause and star treatment. 
Stila's Live From the Red Carpet Palettes are the winning ticket. Available in 3 Palette combos. they are hot, hot, hot and just in time for award season. Breathtaking Beauty Palette no. 1 has 6 eye shades and is my favorite. It's pretty and wearable, with just enough depth of eye color to add some drama. The shadows are appropriately named Cinema, Best Picture, Film, Academy, Theater, and Drama. There is a shimmery pink and flat beige base, which compliments the brown, sexy eggplant and dark gray. With the prettiest pink convertible color and Kitten, an all over gold shimmer powder you can't go wrong. Dusted on the shoulders, decollete and high cheeks, it looks warm and pretty on film, under the paparazzis' flash bulb blitz. Guava gloss is a nice bonus, it's a soft, flesh tone pink. Created by Celebrity Makeup Artist, Sarah Lucero and in collaboration with the E Entertainment team.  Live from The Red Carpet Palettes have step by step instructions inside, how to achieve your very own Red Carpet glamour look.

Jackie Cioffa Makeup for

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blue Sky Nothing but Blue Sky

There are countless people who work tirelessly in beauty and fashion, from behind the scenes without the glitz or glamour. There are the production people who put together shoots, dealing with the minutia, who arrives where, when, how, which studio, location or hotel to book, scheduling the talent, photographers, hair and make up, setting up catering and the list goes on. Then are the agents, who I give mad props to, the countless people who saw something in me, gave me a chance, an amazing opportunity and patiently developed my career. It's not the best time perhaps to be in the fashion business, especially in this sketchy economy. Only the smart and savvy will be around for the long haul. They quietly tend to business, developing amazing artists,  who are in demand and repeat clients. Great artists are a dime a dozen, but picking the individual is key. Please and thank you go a long way in a sometimes forgotten, thankless industry. 
So thanks to my agent for twenty years together, in this crazy industry. She is the true, rock star celebrity, developing a kick ass roster of talent, and building an  A + talent agency.
She called to chat about bookings, and was excited that one of her artists booked the cover of Rolling Stone. Her sweet success deserves the recognition. Cielo Blue. It means Blue Sky. How appropriate to face life with a smile and positive attitude, where the sky is always blue.

Stila Irresistible

So cute, so functional and so fun. I just received the Stila Limited Edition Travel Palettes to take for a test drive. I find them simple, easy and fun. The Travel Palettes are adorable and affordable. They represent Stila chicks from around the globe, launching a new girl every month for five months. All the girls are out and available on (although I see a few hot combos are sold out) Each palette has 4 shimmery eye shadows, that blend nicely and one convertible color. I like Make an Impression in Moscow, the eye shades are a bronze brown, dusty orange, soft pink, and a warm burst of medium blue. Have some fun with color, at ten bucks a pop it's a no brainer.
Stila's Long Wear Lip Color is a Lipstick and Gloss all in one. Adorable creme is a flattering peach, that's not too orange or too pink and screams I can't wait for spring and summer. If neutrals aren't your thing, Long Wear Lip Color is available in 8 shades, like Lover a bold red and Daring, a sexy burgundy wine. I'm already thinking ahead to the Globes, Independent Film and Sag awards, envisioning all the pretty Stila Girl looks to create.
Jackie Cioffa Make Up at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sparkle Plenty

Nars just came out with the awesome Holiday Gift Set, Sweet Disposition. A set of three mini Multiples in Orgasm, Luxor and Malibu. Creamy tubes of deliciousness for the eyes, lips and cheeks that shade, highlight and sculpt effortlessly. Orgasm blush has been a cult favorite with makeup artists, celebrities and trendy, cosmetics girls. It's the perfect peachy- pink shade with hints of golden shimmer. The texture is light and airy, and the blush suits all skin tones. Orgasm blush has such a huge following, Nars even created her twin sister in a gloss. I can't wait to play with the mini Multiples, mix and match the shades and colors. Don't be afraid to use your fingers, it's like finger painting only 3D better! Luxor is a sparkly, opalescent pink highlighter, apply it to the high cheek bones, under the eye brow bone, and dabbed down the center of the nose for a bit of shimmer. Malibu is a rosy brown, warm color for everyone. Sweet Disposition is the smart holiday gift for your besties, or even for you. Go ahead treat yourself, you deserve a bit of glamour. Pop it in your purse and off you go, polished and ready for whatever festivities the season has in store.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chrome Nails are the perfect Holiday Gift

From Mariah to Rihanna to Lindsay Lohan, chrome nails have always been a hit with A list celebrities. 
They're back, just in time to spruce up your holiday season. 
I love silver and gold nails, and find them pretty all year round. With the Holiday season upon us, what better way to add a little pizazz to your beauty routine? A friend turned me on to Sally Hansen's Color Quick Chrome Pens in 8 funky shades. Just click and paint, your nails will be dry in an instant. There is a bit of  chipping, but the handy pen makes color changes and touch ups a snap. An added bonus, the polish is Toluene, DBP, and Formaldehyde free. Color Quick Crome Pens make awesome, stocking stuffers for the tweenie boppers, nieces, aunts and girlfriends on your shopping list. Sally Hansen Nails are available at Walmart, Target and most major drugstores, and won't break your piggy bank.
If you really want to get daring, check out Calgel nails first spotted on the super trendy and uber talented, Heather Park. Mac Cosmetic's beauty publicist, founder of, singer, songwriter and diva extraordinaire. Watch out for her powerful voice, sultry vocals and soulful lyrics on her recently released album, STAY. I will always think of Heather as an innovative queen of nails and beauty, but she is so much more. She is the soul stress of all things funky.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's A Green Thing

CoverGirl has done it again, launching their new, upscale sister line NatureLuxe in January 2011. The line consists of liquid foundation and a Gloss Balm. The Silk Foundation feels weightless on the skin, opting for a bit of cucumber water, it's the lighter alternative to heavy emollients. The new Gloss Balm is break out in song, genius. Available in the prettiest of shades and hints of color, it's filled with natural mango, shea and other butter ingredients. The Gloss Balm feels creamy and light on the lips. I'm digging Clove, a yummy, chocolate shade that's a perfect pick me up for those blase, winter days. Your chapped, dry lips will love it and say thank you. A line that's natural and clean, CoverGirl is putting their best face forward towards the green movement. With carefully chosen ingredients like jojoba and rosehip extract, they can't go wrong. Taylor Swift is a lovely choice for representing the NatureLuxe line. She's young, fresh and widespread appealing, in the most symbiotic, natural way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simply Delicious

MoroccanOil Treatment was voted by InStyle magazine as one of 2010's best beauty picks. It peeked my interest. Made with Aragan oil, powerful antioxidants and rich in nutrients, MoroccanOil Treatment is a hair stylist's dream. It's beautified the tresses of J Lo, Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron and Pink, and countless supermodels. Applied to damp hair, it hydrates, repairs, and nourishes, leaving the hair silky smooth without a greasy residue. It's great for the boys, too. I am not always convinced by a celebrity product endorsement, and tend to listen to what the experts are saying, for both hair and beauty products. Seeing the bright blue and orange logos popping up everywhere, in studios, and hotel rooms prepping celebs for premieres and award shows, I was hooked. I love the way it feels, the smell and the gorgeous, sleek hair after effects.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Goldilocks and Makeup Dreams

Jillian Demspey may be know as the wife of a certain Hollywood heartthrob, but she is much more than a trophy wife. In the 90's, Jillian became a formidable makeup artist, known for her shimmery, pretty red carpet faces, and an impressive roster of film and editorial credits. Her sincere, down to earth nature garnered the respect of a loyal Hollywood clientele, including Kirsten Dunst, Kate Winslet, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kristen Stewart. In 2000, she launched the prestige line, Delux Beauty, sadly now defunct. I still covet the line, and use my Delux Beauty's Crush Cherry Lip and Cheek Stain (found on Amazon) sparingly for special occasions. A vibrant, hot pink cream blush, it's the perfect pop of color for blushing brides or red carpet rides. In 2006, Jillian became Global Creative Color Director for Avon. Jillian has recreated and updated the line with awesome, new pieces. I love a multi-functional product, and the three-fer, Avon's Professional Multi-Pencil is portable and pretty. With one side for eyes, the other for lips and cheeks, it's a no brainer addition to your cosmetic bag. The creamy color goes on smooth and stays put. Available in three color- combos, it's the perfect bait and switch, modern update to an outdated, artistry favorite. Here's to cool chicks doing their thing, and easy, affordable, colorful fun.

Jackie Cioffa Makeup
Michael Waring Photography

Friday, November 26, 2010

Le Palace Royal

CoverGirl Global Creative Designer extraordinaire Pat McGrath has been cranking out awesome, innovative new products. First there was LashBlast mascara and then Shadowblast eye cream duo sticks. I can't wait to see what's next. CG's new Lip Perfection Lipstick launching in January 2011,  is a collision of color and moisture in 44 gorgeous, luxe shades. In just 7 days, your lips will feel magically transformed. Lip Perfection Lipstick is packed with emollients, white tea, shea, avocado and silk protein.
Pat McGrath, who is known for her high, pigmented color does not disappoint yet again. The iconic bullet lipstick feels instantly hydrating on the lips. I love Rush, a pretty, nude pink perfect for all day. Everlasting, a vibrant, ooh la la red, oozes sex appeal and makes me wish I was in Paris at the ball. All the color statement you need, you'll want to dig out your holiday party dress and head out to the dance. 

Check it out before the launch.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am Une.

When I heard that Bourjois just launched the affordable, all natural, high street brand Une Beauty in the UK, I was estatic.
As one of the oldest French cosmetics companies in operation, Bourjois is an expert in beauty. 'The brand is all about colour, quality and joie de vivre' - and their infamous little round pots (shadows and cheek colors come in cute, color-coded packaging). I helped launched Bourjois in the states and learned invaluable lessons about makeup, beauty writing and PR. It was a fun, exciting, innovative time to be launching such a prestigious makeup brand. I met many of my best girlfriends at Bourjois and still call on these formidable Pr  mavens, for expert, beauty advice.
UNE's formulas are all 98% to 100% from natural origin, most of the products are certified by Ecocert, and the packaging is eco-friendly to minimise environmental impact. I love that Une is taking a simple approach to beauty. The shades are subtle, natural and blend effortlessly. I'm digging the super cute Breezy Cheeks cream blush in a convenient, slide out case. The pink rose shade leaves the skin looking fresh, with a healthy glow. Une is making us pretty, while not breaking the bank.  And saving the planet, one natural shade at a time. 
I'll be waiting, stateside.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lucky Like That

I learned about beauty and makeup at a very naive, young age. At 19, I boldly went off to Milan and Paris, to work as a model in the fashion industry. I was lucky enough to have my face painted by the masters. Pat McGrath, Fulvia Farofli and Diego della Palma, to name a few. And then there were the gentile artists of photography, Giovanni Gastel,  Ferri Fabrizio, Toni Thorimbert, and Aldo Fallai were among the favorites. I sat up straight and paid attention to detail. I said please and thank you, and just like that 17 years were gone in a flash. I never picked makeup as a career, it picked me. When Fulvia took one Shu Uemura cool, berry tone lipstick, and used it on my eyes and cheek, I was hooked. It looked sexy, and exotic and deliciously wet. When I started assisting the divine Stephane Marais and watched him create three dimensional eyes with one pencil, I was amazed. I started developing my own style. I love all things creamy on the face, lips, eyes, and cheeks. Nars Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Cayenne, is a deep brown, spicy, cream shadow that is hot, and mysterious. In all those years, I learned something important, and vital to whom I am. Makeup is best worn with confidence, and that comes with time, patience and practice.   photography

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MJ Herbals

I have been dabbling in aromatherapy with makeup applications for years. I never leaving home without a few tried and true essential oils. A few drops of lavender on the temples, soothes even the most stressed out client, and says bye bye anxiety, hello peace and serenity. Even when I have the occasional, "high maintenance" celeb in the chair, they melt instantly, relaxing and softening the face. It's a great way to start an application, and makes the process more pleasant. A few drops of spearmint under the nose works wonders in sticky, smelly situations. Need an instant pick me up? Spearmint does the trick.
I stumbled upon MJ Herbals Salves in NYC at a vitamin shop in the West Village. They are all-natural, organic and beyond heavenly. The First Aid Salve cures minor bumps and cuts, leaving the skin velvety smooth. The Lavender E Salve with Vitamin E, (oh joy!) relieves burns, headaches, stress and anxiety. It's great for rashes and bumps on the body. I like to apply a tiny dab to the face before moisturizer, leaving the skin soft, radiant and dewy.

Jackie Cioffa Makeup

Monday, November 1, 2010 is Da Bomb

If you haven't checked out, you don't know what you're missing.
An online community for photographers, hair and makeup artists, stylists and more. It's a great site to stay informed and get noticed. Upload your work (it's free!), and find out what's happening in the photography biz. With events, videos, news, blogs, classifieds and Resource Magazine, is on the cutting edge of fashion.
Go ahead, upload your pictures, you never know who might be watching.

A big thank you to for adding me, my artistry and Make Up to Model Citi Zen blog excerpts to their community.

Hootan Vahidi Photography
Jackie Cioffa Makeup

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All in a Day's Work

I admit it. I assist, but only if I like the artist I'll be schlepping for. Twenty years in fashion has granted me this wee bit of freedom. When I got the call to assist a famous makeup artist with Peter Lindbergh, I did not walk, but ran to the studio. Peter is one of my all time favorites. A master of black and white, and a gentleman and a scholar, he was nice to all. That is the true test of a seasoned pro, they make the whole the team feel important. There must have been 20 people on set and everyone was treated with respect. A lot of 'top photographers of the moment' speak through their handlers, never acknowledging the lowly assistants. That's just bad manners and low self-esteem in my book. Imagine my delight, when Robin Wright walked in. Trying to stay focused, I kept pinching myself. I am a fan and from time to time still get star struck. Robin is stunning, and a unique, brave, ballsy actress. Her skin is flawless, without a stitch of makeup. Even sick, (she had a flu) she was courteous and ready to get down to business. The makeup was kept to a minimum, the skin was left bare without a hint of foundation. A soft, brown eye pencil (similar to Helena Rubinstein's #o2 Soft Brown) was applied to the crease and blended in.The subtlest hint of liner was dabbed directly between the top lash line. That was it. Every so often, the rare individual comes along who doesn't need a lot of primping. Their radiant, star quality shines bright from within. Robin has that in spades, lighting up the room, the camera and the stage.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

I love David Lynch and his hauntingly, beautiful women. His rich colors and textures on film are dark, decadent and exciting. It got me thinking, Blue Velvet shades can be worn and brought back from the 80's.  Armani's Smooth Silk Eyeliner pencil # 3 in a blackened, cobalt blue lined across the top and bottom lid and smudged outwards is a sultry, cool alternative to black. Keep the skin bare, adding the slightest hint of sheen  moisturizer will compliment the blue icing.
For a softer pastel touch, try Cover Girl's Smoky ShadowBlast in Tempest Blue as a pretty wash of color all over the lid. It's got that Pretty in Pink wish I was sixteen again, fresh feeling. I use CG's ShadowBlast dual sticks in every shade. They go on soft and easy, and light up the eye with dewy, gorgeous shimmers of color. A while back, the lovely Zoe Schaeffer asked for makeup tips for a blue story on Glo.msn. If you have not seen Glo yet, check it out. It's a sleek site for women, covering the best in style, beauty, living and relationships. It's smart, fun and elegant.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beauty Gone MIA

It's about time for a bit of frivolous fun and eye candy. While I have been busy in the land of screenplays and books, the beauty world has soldiered on without me. Or so I thought. Thanks to RM for the email regarding the mention on as "One of the top 50 Makeup blogs." SWEET!!! I think it's time I get my pretty back in high gear.
Mac's Eye Pigments in varying shades of gold and Nars Velvet Lip Pencils have seen me through the Oscars, Fashion Week, various bridal weddings and an upcoming hush, hush celeb wedding. A dab of Mac's Blonde Gold, Old Gold, Golden Lemon, or White Gold on a bare eye with a few coats of mascara and smudged, black liner is ultra sexy, modern and appropriate for any occasion. Use a thin brush to apply the pigment or dab a bit on the back of the hand for better control, patting on the lid. Add some false lashes and presto, camera ready. Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Square is not for the timid. The tangy, red color is beautifully bold and the pencil is smooth and creamy. Thank you RM and for noticing, and reminding me that there is always time for a polished face.