Updated: Mar 7

March 6th, 2021. Almost one year after the lockdown, I’m pretty sure I can speak for us all when I say we are tired of saying “When this is all over”. 2020 was a year for change in perspective. For that, I am grateful. I learned an incredible amount of things, almost as if I was on auto-pilot my entire life... Shit is wild. Anywho, I guess that’s what your late twenties are for. With that newfound perspective, it gave me the opportunity to get creative within my business cause there was no way in hell I was giving up on my dream.

Like almost every service-based business in the country, I was forced to pivot my plans and really think outside the box. When you don’t have clients booking your services, you don’t have an income. When you don’t have an income, you have to rock whatever products are in your kit. Lipsticks turn into blushes. Eyeshadows turn into liners. Dawn dish soap becomes your #1 brush cleaner. Yeah, don’t knock it till you try it. “Tough on grease, yet gentle on your fluffy blending brushes”.

Don’t think I forgot about the fact that Black History month just ended. Like I said above, I learned a lot last year. This February was no different. The amount of activists, entrepreneurs, pioneers, and straight-up spectacular Black stories I discovered is unreal. I decided the best way to honor their legacy and take action is to put my money where my mouth is. Invest in the wealth and economy of Black communities by buying from Black-owned businesses. I invest because I’m going to spend the little chunk of change I have anyways. I’d rather see the rise of a fellow entrepreneur in my community instead of giving it to the “man”.

I could spit out a bunch of brands or products I’ve heard great things about but I don’t want that for you. This is more for you to be inspired to try something a little different. Inspired to break the habit of buying what you know, specifically from large beauty giants like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, or Gillette, and finding quality products made from women or men in your community. Inspired to find love for the beauty products you already have in your vanity and find your own preferences. Now, I’m not saying these companies are the devil but small businesses have had a rough go in 2020. If everyone made even 1 swap to a small business, specifically a Black-owned business, we could make a major contribution to equality.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The amount of brands in the beauty industry, in my humble opinion, is never-ending. At times, even for an artist and enthusiast like myself, it can be overwhelming. Who’s concealer do I use? Is this foundation really worth $64?? Does being Paraben free really make a difference??? On top of that, each brand has a story. Who is behind the magic? Who am I really supporting when I hit the “Complete order” button? All valid ass questions. All questions that must be considered by you, the consumer.

Juvia’s Place is one of several brands I have had the privilege of trying. For the purpose of this post, I decided to place the focus on a specific item from Juvia’s instead of recommending a slew of products and brands that you may or may not try. My goal is to present the information in a way that is digestible and encouraging to apply these techniques to your makeup routine. Also, brands are run by humans. Sometimes we do things right and sometimes we do things wrong. To recommend them in their entirety feels reckless. I understand that our words carry meaning and the products I suggest will be those that I have tried over and over.

Here are the things I like most about Juvia’s place. They don’t test on animals, why oh why was that ever a thing? They are inexpensive. Their eyeshadows are pigmented which means you spend less time building a look and they come in big, round pans. It’s a personal preference but it means you can really swirl and get in the palette without making a total mess, woo! The last thing that really impressed me was their choice to organize their foundation shades from dark to light instead of light to dark. I have never seen a brand do that in my 29 years. I’m happy to see a brand changing things up. I chose the Chocolates Palette ($14), featured below, because of its versatility.

There are 6 colors in this palette, 4 mattes and 2 shimmers.

1. Warm matte chocolate brown (Red hues)

2. Warm metallic brown (Bronze shimmer)

3. Cool matte deep brown (Grey hues)

4. Warm matte auburn brown (Red hues)

5. Golden matte mustard yellow (Gold hues)

6. Cool metallic brown (Silver-ish shimmer)

I created 3 wearable eyeshadow looks but realistically the matte brown shades could be used as contour, bronzer, or as eyebrow shading depending on the depth of your skin or hair color. Aside from eyeshadow, I also used Juvia’s I am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation in shade Cebu 610. To be honest the shade is a tad dark for me but we made it work. If you don’t know me too well, you’re probably unaware of my obsession with glass skin. The glowy trend will never end for me. HOWEVER, I do believe in matte products and this one is no exception. It is full coverage baby. In fact, instead of using both a foundation and a concealer, I strictly used the I Am Magic. Who doesn’t love a matte product that keeps the face from getting oily but also doesn’t make ya look like you’re headed for a casket? Another product I tried was their Glass Gloss in shade It’s Electric. Now, I loooove gloss. When it comes to finding new ones, the criteria to compete is no joke. I didn’t love the texture of this formula but the golden specks throughout really changed my mind on returning it. I decided to use it as a highlighter on my cheekbones and I loved the results.

Look #1: Soft winged liner

Products used are shadow number 3, a thin tapered brush, and a couple of spritz of setting spray. I used Morphe setting spray because the mist is continuous therefore generous. Though, any setting spray will do.

  1. Begin by spraying the back of your hand with setting spray.

  2. Swirl the brush into the shadow to pick up your product then dip the brush in the setting spray.

  3. Repeat this step until a paste-like substance is created on the back of your hand. For sanitary reasons, you’ll want to dip back into the portion you created on your hand before dipping back into the palette.

  4. Hold the brush horizontal-ish to your lash line with the tip pointing towards your inner corner and swipe outward. To create the wing, make sure your eyes are relaxed and open.

  5. Make a small flick extending the bottom lash line. Connect the wing to the lash line with your eyes open.

  6. Clean up any thickness with a pointed Q-tip (these will change your makeup game) and some makeup remover.

  7. Let the first layer dry and applying a second to deepen the shade.

With this technique, the cleanup is easier and the application is more forgiving. Give it a try, you might be surprised how great you are at winged liner.

Look #2: Achievable everyday definition

Products used are shadow numbers 4 & 5, a fluffy blending brush, and a dome crease brush. To begin every eyeshadow look, I always use a concealer (You could use your foundation depending on the formula) as the base. I usually apply concealer with a fluffy brush to allow an allover blend.

  1. Take the fluffy blending brush and dip into shade 5, the mustard yellow.

  2. Apply in and above the crease in a windshield wiper motion with eyes relaxed and open.

  3. Blend until there are no harsh lines.

  4. Take the dome crease brush and dip into shade 4, the auburn brown.

  5. Apply to the outer corner of the lash line.

  6. Blend with the fluffy blending brush in small circular motions then transition into the crease. Keep blending until harsh lines are eliminated.

  7. Reapply concealer to the lid if necessary and blend.

This is my foundation for several eyeshadow looks. The actual eyelid is kept light and bright, the crease is blended with a transition shade (a shadow 1-2 shades darker than skin tone) and the deepest shade in the corner. It’s optional but I might add shadow numbers 1 or 3 in the corner to add more definition.

Look # 3: Bronze smokey eye

Products used are shadow numbers 2 and 4, a dense crease brush, and your handy dandy ring finger. Why the ringer finger, you ask? Because the skin around your eye is delicate and that particular finger applies the least amount of pressure.

  1. Pick up shade 4, the auburn brown, with the crease brush and really get in there.

  2. Tap off a little excess because are you really a makeup artist/enthusiast if you don’t tap off the excess?

  3. Pack the shadow onto the lid with pressing motions.

  4. Remove excess shadow from that brush with a towel or simply blend into the crease with a clean fluffy brush.

  5. Pick up shade 2, the metallic bronze, with your ring finger.

  6. Press onto the lid on top of the auburn brown to intensify the smokiness.

Et voila, a smokey eyeshadow look guaranteed to flatter any eye color.

There you have it. Some of the ways you can utilize the shadows in your palettes. As much as I’d love to teach you more, my precious hands are cramping. I will say one of my goals this year is to educate more. I’ve booked more Sip N Learns than I thought I ever would and am really excited to see the program progress.

While I have you here, I’d like to take a second to show my appreciation. To those who have booked thus far, to those watching and following along with my tutorials, to those who have shared, liked, and commented on my posts, to those who have continuously referred my business and most importantly believed in me. Thank you. It doesn’t go unnoticed. I am always brainstorming ways I can give back to this community. Before I log off and step down from my soapbox, there’s one last thing I’ll say.

If you have a palette that’s got some dust on it or you just bought a new one because you couldn’t resist a deal but have no clue what to do with it or you favor some colors over others because you "can't wear" them, I may have a surprise for you. Look for an announcement soon.



Updated: Jan 16

Amanda Rumball, here. This is my first blog post and certainly won’t be my last so buckle up buttercup.

Kidding, but really I’ve found writing to be very therapeutic for me. If you’re reading this, thank you for getting this far. My hopes are similar to the millions of others that blog on the reg; that you find these posts amusing yet educational. Inspiring but also humorous. No better time or place to start than with why I decided to pursue my dream at the bright age of 29 in a town that’s been considered “dying” on several occasions during a global pandemic.

First and foremost, where is Erie, PA? Great question. I usually tell people that it’s that little nook in the top left corner of Pennsylvania. It’s nestled on the smallest of the great lakes in the middle of 3 larger cities; Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo. I call it a little big town because we have mostly everything larger cities do but on a smaller scale. I won’t get too deep but my relationship with my hometown has changed drastically over the years. It’s very possible that it’s just a part of growing up but I came to the realization that where you are doesn’t matter half as much as who you are with.

My inner circle has grown much smaller over the past year largely due to the natural selection of energies that radiate around me. You know those people that just feel like home? That’s my mom, Serene. If you know you know, she has always been a bright light in my life and in the life of many others. Everyone that meets her falls in love. What’s even more great is that she has been passionate about beauty since before I can remember. She began her career with Jafra, moved to Clinique, then to Lancome and ended up as a freelancer herself. It has always been a goal of mine to work with her. Get paid to paint faces and crack jokes on each other all day? Yeah, sign me up. We have had the pleasure of doing large bridal parties together and now we dedicate time each week to create content together. I would have never had these opportunities had I not moved back to Erie from Arizona.

I didn’t just get the beauty genes from my momma but from my dad’s side too. It is legitimately in my blood. My family history is rich with entrepreneurial spirit especially my great-great-great grandmother and her daughter (my great-great aunt) Clare. My great-great-great grandmother was a dermatologist in the late 1800s, whaaat?! She developed a successful cosmetic line with some scary ass ingredients, if I’m being honest, which her daughter Clare later carried in her clothing boutique. My sweet lil grandma preserved all her business materials like her dermatologist certificate, articles, marketing materials, recipes and actual physical products. This information was presented to me after I decided I would actually pursue makeup as a side hustle and I could cry when I think about it. I feel like I am honoring my ancestors and all their hard work each time I pick up a makeup brush.

In fact, my great-great aunt Clare really wanted to keep her business in Erie. Her shop was called “Shop New York with Clare”. She traveled to NYC often to source her products. She had clients from Pennsylvania all the way to Italy. I even have personal letters to Clare from Thelma Chrysler Foy, a well-known socialite and heiress of Chrysler, asking for more of her product and when she would return to New York. She was charging a pretty penny, too. In conclusion, she had the money. She had the clientele. She had the ingenuity but was very adamant about serving the folks of Erie, PA, keeping her mother’s legacy alive. It’s very similar to how I feel today. A huge part of me wants to get out and explore the world as a means of education and opportunity. The other part of me, the bigger portion, wants to pour my heart and soul into a business that is rooted in spreading self-love with its headquarters right here in Erie. Bottom line is I believe in the future of this little big town. I want to give back to the place that made me who I am today.

After obtaining a degree I have yet to use, countless jobs and several moves, I was forced to reflect on who I was or at least who the hell I wanted to be. A loaded question, yes, but simply put I was always the friend that assisted in getting everyone ready. Need your hair curled? I got you. Time to wax your eyebrows? I’m there. An opinion on which outfit you should wear? Let’s go boo, blue is your color. I never really considered makeup as a career until I worked with Clinique back in 2015. I realized I loved getting people dolled up for special occasions and that I had an eagerness to educate myself on new products and new techniques. Through my years in customer service positions, I became someone who could connect with others seamlessly. All traits a great makeup artist needs. All I needed was the belief that I could be successful. It became crystal clear that I could be paid for services I was already offering.

In February 2020, I decided to remove myself from the restaurant industry because I became that crotchety coworker that hisses each time someone asks for a glass of water. Yeah, I know, that’s intense. I honestly couldn’t take the amount of disrespect customer service employees endure. No bish, your appetizer you ordered 30 seconds ago is not ready. See? It makes my blood boil to this day. Tip your servers fat, y'all. All the while, I was applying to a billion jobs each day. I heard crickets. I had no other choice but to start. Start by putting myself out there and actually referring to myself as the bad bish I know I am and was meant to be. I am a freelance makeup artist. I am a business owner. I am an independent beauty consultant. I am a creative, a content creator, a socialite who loves to network. I am approachable. Seriously, the amount of times I’m asked questions in stores that I do not work in that only an employee would know is insane. I don’t know where the bagels are man, but check aisle 3! Most importantly, I am a lover of looking good. Beauty is way more than skin deep, yes, but I want the outside to reflect the inside. I am dedicated to helping others feel the same way. While this year has been trying for us all, I made the best decision of my life. I have never felt more aligned with myself than I do today. My work is all I think about, well besides food. It’s the reason I get out of bed every damn day. Ugh so cringey, but true!

I always effed up the conclusion in English class, but I’m going to give it my best. Sorry, Mrs. Trocki. Here are the key takeaways. My decision to listen to myself and follow my dream as a freelance makeup artist was validated even further despite the additional challenges business owners faced this year. It also validated my decision to return to Erie. There are good people here who want to contribute to a genuine, collaborative community. The final message from your new go-to glam expert has been my life motto for quite some time, better late than never baby. YOLO. Live, laugh, love. (That one is for you Ern) It always seems impossible until it’s done. (That is legitimately tatted on my left foot via spring break 2011) Write the book. Book the trip. Move back in with your parents and start your career as a makeup artist in your hometown that has very little opportunity. You won’t regret it! When you're ready to get glam, my makeup chair is always open. Hope to see you soon.