Makeup Tips for Mother of the Bride/Groom


The wedding day is not only important for a bride but also for her mother. And of course, on your daughters wedding day you want to look and feel great. I have compiled some advice and tips, helping you achieve a fresh radiant and possibly a new look for your daughter’s special day.

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Use priming products: Use a foundation primer, they are a must for mature complexions. Look for a Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides infused primer that evens skin tone and helps plump-out lines. Use  the same primer on your lids area before your eye shadow. It will help reduce crepy eye lids.

Less is more: Although you still need to wear make-up, do remember that too much make-up can make you look older. I advise to use a foundation which is light to moderate coverage rather than medium to heavy. Also opt for foundation which is dewy rather than matte because matte foundations are usually not complimentary on older skin.

Avoid Shimmer: Avoid shimmery makeup products, only they tend to enhance facial lines and pores. Always choose matte eye shadows and avoid shiny glittery ones.

Hide red veins: Mature complexions often have visible red veins on the facial surface, in order to hide these-use a yellow based concealer just on the problem areas.

Use Loose Powder: Use it, but use wisely-only on shiny areas, normally the t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). The Brush you apply your powder is very important!!! Keep in mind that a soft brush will give you less coverage but a more natural finish.

Apply Colour: Soft floral and pastel eye shadows are often very flattering so I would personally avoid too dark and dull shades.

Use a soft-gel blendable eye liner: Out of all the make-up products, eye liner is usually the most troublesome for mature ladies, for a couple of reasons, one is normally because they struggle to apply it- due to poor eye sight and the other being uneven liner application because of loose eye lid skin. If you struggle applying liner due to vision then my advice is get a really strong magnifying mirror. For the soft pencil liner application, do not worry if you can’t apply the line perfectly even, because you can gently smudge and blend gel liner, but still achieve eye definition, which looks great! You can also blend it with a softer matte eye shadow, in the same tone for a more long lasting and natural effect.

A touch of cheek colour: In general I tend to select peachy/coral/apricot tones for cheek colour- they often work really well, and add a beautiful glow to a dull complexion. On a number of occasions I have worked with ladies who experience hot flushes or naturally have high cheek colour, if this be the case, either try the peachy colours to tone down the redness or you can avoid cheek colour all together.

Use Lip Liner: Always use lip liner as it reduces the risk on lip stick bleeding into fine lines which surround the lip area.


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My dear Mothers of the Bride/Groom, You can look 10 years younger  with the right Makeup!!! Ask for what you want , hire a skilled professional, put your trust in him/her and you too can look stunning on the Big Day – no matter what your age is!!!

I truly believe in…BEAUTY AT ANY AGE!!! Thank you to all my Brides, Mother of the Brides and Grooms,Grandmothers that throughout time, help me learn more about their beauty. They helped me to be the MUA I am Today!!!

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Thank you KM Photography , Julie Paisley Photography and Leslie Gilbert Photography for all these unforgettable pictures!!!

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Discover the Beauty in You: From Tomboy to Girly Girl

I define my work with the single tagline, “Discover the Beauty in You.” Yes, makeup enhances physical appearance, but what most people overlook is the inner beauty that makeup also helps to let shine through. This is the type of glow that radiates from within the soul. I work every day with women who exude inner and outer beauty, but every so often a particular client reminds me of what my work is all about by showcasing this radiant inner glow.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of doing the makeup for a Sweet Sixteen birthday party. In getting to know my client, I discovered that she was the definition of a tomboy. She didn’t enjoy getting dressed up, doing her hair or putting on lip gloss and eyeshadow. Normally, the thought of professional makeup would seem like far too many frills and fluff for someone who preferred a much simpler beauty routine!

carmina cristina tomboy to girly makeup transformation 1For one special day (and as her mother’s plea) she was open to embracing a more “girly” appearance. I knew that the look I wanted to create for her was one that was still very true to who she was, but took all of that inner beauty and brought it to surface.

carmina cristina tomboy to girly makeup transformation 2She was absolutely radiant! She looked glamorous while still looking youthful and the pop of pink color on her eyes added that element of fun. Combined with hair, jewelry and a beautiful dress, she was ready to celebrate her birthday in a way unlike she had ever done before!

carmina cristina tomboy to girly makeup transformation 3When I encourage women to use makeup to “Discover the Beauty in You” I am saying this to every person out there! This concept is not limited by how old you are, how beautiful people tell you that you are or any other factor we might imagine. Makeup can play a large role in this self-discovery process, just as it did for my client on her 16th birthday. Makeup is not meant to just create a beautiful façade, it’s meant to reflect the beauty you feel inside. I truly believe that with my passion, I can change people’s lives through the way they see themselves and how they are seen by others. So I encourage you today…take one step closer toward Discovering the Beauty in YOU!

Very special Thanks goes to: Wendy St. Peter, Kristina’s beautiful mom and to Nicole, Reflective Lights by Nicole who captured the best moments of that special day.

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The Hottest Fall Makeup Trends for Fall/Winter 2013

With a background in fashion makeup and editorial photo-shoots, it is wonderful to be able to contribute my expertise to the local beauty scene!

Boutique Week in York was a great opportunity for me to pair up with local fashion stylist Hilary Arthur (owner of Arthur & Daughters) and very talented hair stylist Glen Coco. Together we created a showcase of the latest makeup and hair trends combined with amazing clothing pieces from local boutiques as part of the York Boutique Week Fashion Show. Watch our special feature on Fox 43 on York Boutique Week by clicking the image below!

fox 43 harrisburg york boutique week video

The Susquehanna Style photo shoot for their fall publication was another great event where I was able to highlight the trends for fall/winter and have successful women in business as my canvasses.

York-Boutique-Week-Makeup-by-Carmina-Cristina- WPMT FOX43The fall 2013 makeup trends represent an unusual mixture of different eras, styles and the most extravagant colors ever. There are ideal options for fashionistas who love to experiment with daring looks as well as for those who prefer minimalism and modesty in makeup.


Beach Season may be long gone, but sun-kissed complexions are here to stay. Keep your skin dewy and bronzed all fall with NEW Tinted Primer with SPF 20 my favorite product from the Carmina-Cristina Makeup Collection . This undetectable, light and creamy primer smooths skin, evens tone and warms the complexion with a subtle radiance. It has quickly become one of the most essential products in my tool kit and is a must-have for creating this season’s makeup trends.



Smoky, metallic eyes are my specialty so this was a trend I was excited to see. Bronzed eyes are an ideal way to create a radiant glow during brisk months.

Revlon Global Artistic Director, Gucci Westman created the foiled look at J. Mendel using copper with a glossy sheen.



 One of my favorite looks was created by Peter Philips at Paris Fashion Week for Chanel’s 2013 Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear Show. The beauty look at Karl Lagerfeld’s show was by far, the most eye-catching look we’ve seen since  Pat McGrath’s “butterfly eyes” at Dior’s Spring 2013 show
 What appeared to be tiny silver sequins adorned eyelids starting at the lash line and working out into a slight wing shape. Some were also glued onto the tops of the lashes for an added shimmering effect. A thin black line was penciled in under the lower lash line for definition and to give a balance to the eye. The rest of the face was suitably bare, with sheer natural skin, a lightly defined brow and a flesh-tone balm lips.

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Shiny fire-engine red lips can feel like a screaming loud statement, but makeup artist Dick Page pulled it off with class by keeping the rest of the face velvety and whisper soft. He brushed up the brows and filled them ever so slightly, and dusted lids with a soft sable shadow. This allows the lips to be the focus of the face.

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The 60’s “Twiggy” eyes, soft feline flicks and precise winged liner are all looks we can expect to see this autumn/winter. To achieve such a stunning look, you simply have to visually lift the outer corner of the eyes by drawing a winged line or by applying the eye shadow in a winged form. This trend has inspired me to try out some different looks, especially one of the looks I designed for the upcoming November issue of Susquehanna Style.

hbz-beauty-Lhuillier-4185-nyfw13-lgnIt came as a welcome surprise that models in Monique Lhuillier, one of the most ultra-feminine shows, donned such delightfully edgy makeup, courtesy of Val Garland. The makeup artist drew an art deco-inspired cat-eye with black kohl pencil, then traced back over the shape with cream liner. A small gap on the bottom lash line just below the iris gave the look startling appeal.

  •                                  FLESH-TONE NATURAL LIPS

Barely-there lipstick appears effortlessly cool yet totally professional. By patting a flesh-tone balm onto models’ lips, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni conveyed an “angelic but strong” look at Missoni.

runway-report-0913-8-lgnNow that you’ve seen my own breakdown of the new season’s hottest trends, it’s your turn to weigh in! What trend are you most likely to try out yourself? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

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The Beauty of a Morning Bride at Cameron Estate Inn (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania)

The morning is a beautiful and peaceful time. The earth is cool, refreshed and radiates with the energy of the day that is preparing to begin. While it’s not often the time of day we envision for a wedding, the morning makes for a spectacular backdrop for such a special event.  Imagine the soft romantic glow of the sun still low in the sky and the start of this new day symbolizing the start of your marriage. For one bride, this is the imagery she will always have when she remembers her wedding day.

When I was asked to do the professional bridal makeup for this Central Pennsylvania wedding, I was excited to create a look that felt as soft and fresh as the morning. The bride asked for elegant and simple makeup to compliment the style of her ceremony. She was to be married in the morning on a farm at Cameron Estate in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania with an intimate guest list of close family and friends. Her wedding colors combined crisp hues of lime green with peach-pink. I immediately saw a vision for her makeup that combined all of these elements!

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The most important part of the bridal makeup began with preparing the skin to look absolutely radiant before any makeup was applied. First I used the Carmina-Cristina Tinted Primer for intense hydration to create a fresh and dewy look. Then, I used a silicone-base foundation to ensure the makeup would last all day, through sun, sweat and tears and to preserve the “bridal glow” every girl wants on her wedding day. Once we had the perfect canvas, I was ready to bring in the color!



Beginning with the bride’s eye makeup, I blended together hues of copper brown natural tones and rose peach-pink. This created a soft and “pretty” effect while pulling in the accent colors of her wedding. Her cheeks were brought to life with a kiss of coral to create a fresh and natural look (Blush in Coral Sun from the Carmina-Cristina Blush Collection). For her lips, I tied together the colors of her makeup with a pop of romantic pink (Lips in Radiant Rose and Lip-Liner in Mochaberry from the Carmina-Cristina Luxury Lipstick collection). This added soft color without competing with her eyes and cheeks.

How to define my LIPS

The finished look was a subtle enhancement to the bride’s natural beauty. She looked as fresh and radiant as the morning sun that shone down upon her ceremony. For any bride who is planning a morning wedding, your makeup should appear soft and pretty to match the morning light. I recommend using natural earth tones with subtle pops of color such as coral or pink. Remember to keep your makeup a reflection of the style of your wedding and most importantly – have fun with it!

It is always my pleasure to work with these talented vendors:

Jonnaysa Kirkham of Planned Perfection

Stacia McClune-McComsey of Petals with Style

Douglas Benedict of Douglas Benedict Photography

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On the Job with Carmina-Cristina

The love for what I do comes from the people I meet and the places I visit. Professional makeup has provided me with so many unique and unexpected experiences over the years and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the memories that now make up my portfolio – and my life. Here is just one recent opportunity that allowed me to showcase both my talent and my life story in a magazine. I could have never anticipated having such an experience!

When Sue Long, the editor of Lancaster County Magazine asked for my help for her 2013 summer cover, I was absolutely thrilled. I knew it will be a challenge since we were planning to shoot on a very hot day and also underwater, but I was confident that the look I designed would be a true example of what “good professional makeup” means. I was excited to learn that a young record-winning swimmer would be my cover model. But the detail that excited me most was the opportunity to share my life story of what got me into makeup and what led me to opening a business in Pennsylvania, within the pages of this same magazine!

Below I share with you the story that was printed in the 2013 summer edition of Lancaster County Magazine as well as the photos from our cover shoot. Enjoy!

(This content is shared with permission from Lancaster County Magazine. More information can be found by visiting

On the Job with Carmina-Cristina

Chlorine and the sun can play havoc with your skin and hair. Imagine the impact they have when you’re in the water for hours nearly every day as Emily Cameron is.

“Can you do something about my raccoon eyes?” Emily asked makeup artist Carmina-Cristina. Actually, Emily has the reverse of raccoon eyes – the skin under and around her eyes is paler than her tanned complexion. “It’s because of my goggles,” she explained.

carmina cristina lancaster county magazine articleCarmina, who recently launched her own line of cosmetic and skincare products, went to work. The look she devised included a neutral eye, “sun-kissed” cheeks and bold lips. Carmina then turned Emily over to her colleague, hairstylist Glen “Coco” Oropeza, who designed the dampened sleek look for her hair. Soon, Emily was looking like a 21st-century version of the San Tropez girl who appeared in those iconic ads before baking in the sun became a no-no. Emily looked into a mirror and couldn’t believe her eyes!

Lancaster-Magazine-July2013-Cover-Makeup-by-Carmina-CristinaCarmina has been a makeup artist for 10 years. Born in Romania, she was always fascinated by the makeup facet of theater and expressed a desire to take her creative talents in such a direction. Her parents encouraged her to take a different path, so she chose to attend law school. Soon after graduating, she met her future husband, who was born in Canada but had grown up in Central Pennsylvania due to his father’s job with Hershey Chocolate. The newlyweds made their home in Harrisburg.

Knowing her law degree would not “translate” to America – “I’d have to start all over” – she saw it as an opportunity to follow her dream and launch her own business as a makeup artist. She began her quest by taking courses in Europe and Toronto, and earning her aesthetician license through the Lancaster School of Cosmetology. Her expertise encompasses weddings, commercial work and high fashion (everything from magazine editorials to Fashion Week, both here and in Europe). She’s also partnered with Harrisburg photographer Nancy Jones on a makeover/photography project they call “Mom Glam.” Plus, she conducts educational seminars for women of all ages who are interested in learning essential makeup techniques. “The right makeup can make a woman look 10 years younger,” she says. “Who you are should reflect on your face.” As for young women such as Emily, beautifully applied makeup is a confidence builder, especially if you’re about to experience your first streak of independence or start a career.

Lancaster-Magazine-July2013-with-Carmina-Cristina-makeup-artistCarmina’s decision to launch her own line of cosmetic and skincare products grew out of frustration at not being able to find professional-level products in this area. Two years ago, after growing tired of ordering items via catalogs and the Internet or stocking up when she was in New York, Carmina began to research the possibility of creating her own products. She also realized a need existed for such products when brides and other clients asked how they could obtain the products she was using. Working with a lab in New York, she went to work. Thus far, her line, which is manufactured in the United States and in Europe, consists of 16 high-end makeup items (including a tinted primer SPF 20, Baked Hydrating Power and Finishing Powder) many of which are hypoallergenic, paraben-free and fragrance-free and four Vitamin C-based skincare products. While her line “offers the performance of professional products,” she takes pride in the fact that they are “accessible to everyday women.”

Marketing is her next challenge – she hopes to work with regional boutiques that have a desire to provide their customers with the final touch for their wardrobes. “But, my ultimate goal is a storefront in Lancaster,” she says.

For more information, visit

The Look of Summer

Carmina-Cristina maintains that beautiful skin is the ultimate canvas for your summer look. Unfortunately, hot, humid weather only accentuates your skin’s degree of dryness or oiliness, so it’s important to use cleansing/moisturizing products that address such conditions. “You want your skin to feel fresh and pleasant,” she says.

She prefers a light foundation for summer. Choose one that multitasks in that it acts as a primer, traps moisture and provides coverage.

As for eyes, dark shadow colors look heavy in bright sunlight and can “melt” in the heat/humidity. A neutral palette looks much cooler and more natural. For texture, add shimmer.

In Carmina’s opinion, summer is the perfect season to play with bold color for cheeks and lips.

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The Blushing Brides of Summer: This season’s must-have trends in wedding makeup

The most beautiful makeup looks tend to be ones that pull their inspiration from nature’s changing seasons. As we now enter into summer, and wedding season, we’re seeing a new must-have trend for all 2013 brides –whimsical and romantic pastel hues that compliment the season’s colorful blooms. Pastel tones are special in that they can be a part of almost any combination of wedding colors. Using a palette of warm rose and blush, you can create a bridal makeup look that exudes romance, delicateness and sensuality.

This is exactly how I would describe my recent bride, Virginia. For her look, we combined this lovely palette with soft ivories and browns. Together these colors created a vintage and romantic feel that still looked natural and effortless. Virginia’s blush and lips were done in an ultra feminine vintage rose color from the Carmina-Cristina makeup collection.

carmina cristina BAKED BLUSH Bouquetcarmina cristina BAKED BLUSH Petal

Carmina-Cristina Baked Blush in “Bouquet” (Left) and  “Petal” (Right)

York-Makeup-Artist-for-Weddings-Carmina-CristinaFor a timeless and romantic feel, Virginia’s makeup was designed to incorporate the soft blush pink accent colors of her bridesmaids dresses. Her soft, smoky eye was created by using very delicate tones to add depth and interest without overpowering the face (Carmina-Cristina shadows in Roselle, Chocolate and Dark Brown). Most importantly, all of the products used for Virginia’s makeup are specially designed as long lasting to ensure they outlast the heavy wear of a wedding day.

Yorktowne-Hotel-Makeup-Artist-Carmina-CristinaYork-Bridal-Makeup-Artist-Carmina-CristinaWords from the blushing bride, Virgina:

“Carmina-Cristina is incredibly talented, professional, warm, and understanding. She was actually booked for our wedding day, so I asked her to do my makeup for the engagement photos. Somehow we worked out a way for her to do my makeup on the day of the wedding and I could not have been happier! I did my trial the day before the wedding and had so many compliments on my makeup. On the day of the wedding, my mother and I had our makeup done at 7am and it lasted ALL DAY for literally 20 hours of tears, dancing, and costume changes. It’s sort of amazing that she even does wedding makeup because she is more like a celebrity makeup artist….so if you want to look your absolute best on your wedding day – call her early!”

Country-Club-of -York-Makeup-Artist-Carmina-CristinaVirginia’s makeup is just one way to incorporate this season’s pastel trend into your bridal look. The color combinations, accents and highlights are almost limitless. The best part is that you can take this look and truly make it your own. Consider incorporating your wedding colors or choosing a palette that contrasts to really liven things up. No matter how you choose to use pastel tones, they are sure to provide that whimsical and romantic feel that will leave you absolutely glowing!

All makeup done by Carmina-Cristina. You can learn more about her work and the Carmina-Cristina makeup  line at

A special thanks to the following vendors who contributed to Virginia’s beautiful day:




Ceremony Venue:

Reception Venue:



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Taking Center Stage: The Benefits of Professional Makeup For Dancers and Performers

There is no doubt that professional makeup is truly an art form. Every time that I sculpt and contour the human face with colors and techniques, I feel like an artist in front of my canvas. It’s very fitting that the art of makeup is also closely aligned with the performing arts such as dance and theater for this very reason. You are able to amplify and express the emotions of the face to complement the emotions you are also expressing on stage. Because such performances are most often done in front of a live audience, it’s particularly important to know the right makeup techniques to really draw attention to your features and to prevent looking white or washed out under the harsh stage lights.

I have recently had the pleasure of working with several local performing arts organizations on three creative projects where my canvases were young teens. The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, One Broadway Dance and Performing Arts Centre of Hershey and a local high school theater program brought me back to the magical world of childhood and immersed me in the beauty that is the performing arts. These experiences helped me to see the world once again from a child’s pure eyes and inspired me to help these students understand the power and importance of professional makeup on stage. I was able to teach them many of the basic techniques of applying correct stage makeup and saw a tremendous difference in the final results. The best part was that these were critical skills they had learned for themselves and could repeat for every future performance!

I would love to have more local performing arts organizations open their eyes to the power of teaching professional stage makeup techniques to their students – and this is something I am very happy to offer as part of my seminars. Both the techniques and the products we use to create our every day makeup look are quite different from what stage makeup demands. Just as any other sport of hobby requires a degree of skill training, so does the performing arts and one of these essential skill sets is stage makeup.

Take a look at these three creative projects I helped with and see the power that professional makeup techniques have on stage!

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet – Sleeping Beauty Commercial

In working with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) on filming their promotional video for “Sleeping Beauty,” I had the chance to meet two very talented young performers. I was amazed to discover that all three of us are connected by a related force – the love for classical music and dance. It was also interesting to discover that we all shared the same favorite ballerina, who I can proudly say is from my native country, Romania. Her name is Alina Cojocaru, the principal dancer in the Royal Ballet in London and has performed numerous times for the MET in New York City. No matter how various my work projects, I love coming across the unexpected similarities I so often share with my clients. It helps me to bond with them and to gain a better understanding of who they are inside. This is all reflected in the makeup I create for them and by watching the video clip below, you’ll see that their emotions are amplified by the colors and contouring designed into their stage makeup. Even though these are youth performers, the right stage makeup makes them look like true professionals!

(Fun fact about Alina Cojocaru: At 19 she became the Royal Ballet’s youngest principal dancer and has since danced all the leads in the company’s repertory, recently winning a Ballerina of the Decade award at the Stars of the 21st Century International Ballet Gala in Moscow. Learn more about Alina here:

A huge thank you goes to GK Visual for creating this beautiful and enchanting preview of CPYB’s Sleeping Beauty and for trusting me with a diverse array of projects that we have worked together on. It’s been a pleasure! (visit them at:

One Broadway Dance and Performing Arts Centre of Hershey

This was a very interesting project where I had to rely upon my creative eye. I was asked to design the makeup for five graduating dancers that were “transforming” into notorious women of history – Eve, Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and Pocahontas. It was a challenge to accurately represent these ladies with makeup that reflected their era and personality. Even more challenging was transforming someone else into this character using merely the right makeup coloring and techniques. But the results were spectacular and the five dancers have the perfect look to compliment their performances and wow their audiences!


cleopatra-makeup*** Marilyn Monroe-Pop Culture


Local High School Theater Program

As my third project with the performing arts, I was asked to introduce future performers to the techniques specific to stage makeup. I provided these rising stars with a better understanding of how to create straight makeup, character makeup and aging makeup. These three categories are the ones most commonly used in dance and theater and together provide a diverse tool kit to pull from to create almost any basic character you can imagine. They were a wonderful audience to work with and I have no doubt that they will continue to create their own art for many years to come!

Overall, my recent past experiences with the performing arts and the young artists who bring them to life was an eye-opening and refreshing adventure. I shared many valuable techniques for stage makeup and learned a great deal in return. I hope to continue to expand my seminars into teaching more and more youth how to amplify their stage presence through professional makeup. If you have any suggestions for this, please contact me at or visit my seminars here!


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