2016 in Review & 2017 Goal Setting

At C. Johnson Makeup our goal is to consistently improve our skills, services, packages, & overall customer service in order to stay at the peak of our industry. At the end of each year we evaluate our strengths & weaknesses in order to take steps to improve & grow for the following year. To reach our goals for 2017 we have made the following additions & improvements. OUR NEW STAFF MEMBER

We have learned through client feedback & reviews that the biggest area of opportunity for C. Johnson Makeup in 2016 had been our communication & responsiveness via email & telephone. To remedy this, we hired office manager Krissy Bencomo in September. Krissy is professional, upbeat, & and loves to help. She has over 10 years of experience in customer services, events, & marketing. Since adding her to the team we have reached our goal of responding to client inquiries within 24 hours (or sooner) 100% of the time! Now, when you book with C. Johnson Makeup, you can not only count on Christy to provide an excellent beauty experience, you can rest assured that Krissy has your back for all your inquiries, booking, & scheduling needs.


One of our strongest assets has always been our attention to detail when it comes to schedule & timing. We take our client's time very seriously & we hold a very high standard for punctuality & efficiency. To keep on top of our game in this regard, we experimented with wedding day getting ready timing & have decided to include extra time for touch-up services. Now, every bridal makeup schedule includes an additional 15 minutes at the end of the process, for final makeup & hair touch ups for the entire party. We have seen that this small adjustment adds a huge boost of confidence & reassurance that your entire group's makeup & hair will be on point as you walk down the aisle.


We now carry Aveda's stress relief aromatherapy oil blend to use for aromatherapy, hand massage, or shoulder massage as part of our new Elite Bridal Experience Package.


In 2016, we also implemented a new dress code. Stylists and artists now arrive in matching attire & custom name badges for every appointment, making our team easily recognizable & more professional in appearance. We know you’ll be dressed to the nines on your wedding day; we should be too!


We now offer a bigger range of full size makeup products as options to be added to the Bridal Touch Up Kits. Previously, we only carried full size lipsticks & lip liners; we now have full size waterproof mascara, concealer, & oil blotting powder (in addition to all the mini's we've always offered).


Throughout 2016, we noticed that a majority of our brides who booked the large group package were still adding one additional makeup & hair style as an a la carte service. To streamline the booking process & make things easier for our clients we have added one hair & makeup service to this package.


As benchmarks of our success, we love to look back on all the amazing projects we were able to be a part of & the accolades , media, & awards we received from those projects.

This year we were once again honored as winner of The Couple's Choice Award by WeddingWire clients. Our work was featured on television, blogs, & print throughout 2016. Some of the more notable publications are; Femme Rebelle Magazine (print & online)an alternative fashion magazine based in the UK. We also made it in to print in magazines such as the New Mexico Wedding & Event Planner Magazine, Albuquerque the Magazine, The Perfect Wedding Guide, The Knot, & Rocky Mountain Bride, among others.


Real Wedding: Historic Santa Fe Hotel

Last month, C. Johnson Makeup provided makeup & hair at a gorgeous wedding in Santa Fe, NM at the Historic Hotel La Fonda on the Plaza.  Emily Joanne Photography provided these incredible images to capture how exquisite the bride looked in this gorgeous setting.

The September weather couldn't have been more perfect - from prep to final touches on hair & makeup this was one of our most memorable weddings & we're so excited to share these images.




A gorgeous capture of our makeup on this stunning bride.


We love our real weddings & are happy to travel across New Mexico & beyond to serve our clients on their loveliest days. Please call or email for your upcoming event. (505)715-9490 or christy@cjohnsonmakeup.com. Please visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cjohnsonmakeup or online at www.cjohnsonmakeup.com

New Full-Size Luxury Lip Products!

I have some exciting news! We've been working with a NYC cosmetics manufacturer to come up with our own line of lip products for our clients. We have so many brides who request to keep the lip products we use on them for their makeup application, & we just couldn't keep enough extra lip products on hand to fulfill every request. This also means we will now be able to offer FULL SIZE LUXURY MAKEUP products in our bridal touch up kits (instead of sample sizes or generic/drug store products). YAY! (You have no idea how thrilled I am about this.)

Our Luxury Matte Lipstick is available in 23 shades & will retail for $17.50 each.

This lipstick features an extreme long-wear, waterproof formula. This transfer-proof lipstick is perfect for wedding-day wear, clocking in at about 7 hours of color staying power! Unlike most other long-lasting lip colors, it is super-soft as it glides on the lips for a precise application.As always, we are committed to using gentle, safe products so, of course, it is approved by the FDA & is paraben free! Made in the USA.


To accompany our new lipsticks, we will also be offering Waterproof Gel Lip Liner. This awesome, long-wearing lip liner will be available for $16.00 each.

This Waterproof Gel Lip Liner is also extremely long-wearing. It is made with a waterproof formula that glides onto lips for transfer-proof, non-feathering color for up to 7 hours. The super soft texture allows for a precise application & then sets for a professional, all-day look.

Paraben free. Made in the USA.


Gel Lip Liner

Check back after October 1st for swatches of our new lip products!

www.cjohnsonmakeup.com or www.facebook.com/cjohnsonmakeup

Pro Beauty Haul. LORAC, TEMPTU, MUFE & more...

Haul!!!! I recently restocked some staple makeup items & also got a handful of new products to try out (I can never resist!). IMG_5114

Temptu Pro Foundation S/B Makeup Starter Set This is a versatile set with 12 foundation shades with what looks like a good variety of cool, warm, & neutral tones; with this amount of variety they are very easy to custom blend for the perfect shade for any client.. The bottles are only 1/4 oz. each, however when it comes to airbrush foundation, this is sufficient for many, many makeup applications.

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Beauty Blender Sponge Cleanser (blendercleanser) This cleanser smells like lavender essential oil, however the bottle lists "fragrance" as an ingredient, so changes are it is artificial. The bottle also says that it is great for makeup brushes, however I recommend against using brush shampoo because the amount of water needed to get all of the shampoo out of the brush will inevitably cause the glue in the handle to fail & ruin your brush. (I suggest using an alcohol based spritz cleaner/sanitizer instead). This cleanser works very well & gets sponges clean almost immediately. It doesn't suds up, so it rinses out very easily. The only drawback is that the lavender smell is noticeable even after the sponge is clean, & I worry that it may irritate some clients (although probably not many).

Dirty Beauty Blender :(  (Before blendercleanser)

Clean Beauty Blender!

Make Up For Ever Sponge Shampoo The bottle makes a compelling sales pitch about using natural mint oils, & even though it does contain some spearmint leaf extract, the second ingredient listed is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, so it can't be that gentle on delicate makeup sponges. The fragrance is very light which is nice because some clients can be very sensitive to the smell of makeup products. This cleaner works exceptionally well, getting sponges looking like new very quickly. However, you do have to use A LOT of this cleanser to clean the entire sponge thoroughly. It gets moderately sudsy & is very difficult to rinse out of the sponge completely, which is concerning because Sodium Laureth Sulfate can be VERY irritating to most people's skin. The scent is extremely light after being rinsed. In the future, I will be purchasing the Beauty Blender Sponge Cleaner instead of this product.


LORAC POREfection foundation This product is oil-free, paraben-free, & fragrance-free, which I love. I am a huge fan of their original foundation formula so I thought I'd give this one a try as well. This foundation does contain SPF 20 though, so I am concerned about 'flash back'. I'll keep you posted as I continue to use it. Overall, it is very smooth & easy to move around with a sponge or brush, which means that it must be set well with plenty of setting powder.


LORAC Lip Luxe 8 hour lip color. I purchased this item in the shades  "Orchid" & "True Red". Lorac offers this lipstick in six shades total so it isn't the most versatile line of lipsticks however these are VERY pigmented & packed with bold color. They feature an understated glossy sheen with a significant stain quality. The texture is very nice; it doesn't harden or get sticky like a lot of other long-wearing lipsticks. This means that the glossy, high pigment lipstick quality will fade leaving behind the appearance of a stain. Chances are, this lipstick will smudge, smear, or transfer as well.

IMG_5131  IMG_5123

Morphe Blush Palette 10B & Morphe Blush/Bronzer Palette 10D. They both have that unfortunate "cheap makeup" smell when you first open the package which I personally find off-putting, but I think I paid $11 each, so I really can't complain that much. The colors are vibrant & well pigmented, however they seem to fade easily & will require a makeup setting spray or good primer to stay on for a full day. My other complaint is that is appears that many of the shades are duplicated throughout the palette & there isn't as much variety as I would have expected from a 10 shade palette (particularly when talking about the blush palette- 10B). There is a variety of matte/shimmer options, however there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this... some are shimmery, some are not. The bronzers are pretty, however I am  afraid many of them may be too "orangey". Overall, I think there are only 3 or 4 shades between the two palettes that I might use regularly. I'd recommend these to anyone just starting out with makeup & not wanting to invest too much money, but I wouldn't recommend them for professionals.


LA FRESH Travel Lite makeup remover wipes. I used this to wipe off all of the makeup I swatched all over my arms for this post & they work well. They leave a soft feeling, but no greasy feeling or residue. They aren't very moisturizing, but they also aren't drying. They contain mineral oil, but also Isobutylparaben which kind of negate each other as far as moisturizing/drying & unfortunately it is in the paraben family which are known to be potentially unhealthy, disruptive to human hormone levels, & skin irritants. The wipes do smell a bit like baby changing wipes, which I find unappealing, but I know most people don't really mind. They only makeup the wipe didn't easily remove was the LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour  Lip Color, it left only a minor remnant of the stain, so that's pretty darn good. The single wipe packets are very convenient & easy to stash in the car, purse, backpack, pocket, wallet... where ever.


Ardell Invisiband Wispies, Ardell Natural #110 : I am a fan of Ardell lashes & have been for quite some time; the band is flexible, so they fit snugly against the lash-line no matter how curved the eyelid is (just bend them a while before application). These lashes (particularly the #110's) look nice & natural, not shiny or plasticy. I personally find them easy to wear (however some people find them to be too heavy & distracting. This is usually an issue with strip lashes in general, though, not this brand specifically). The Wispies are some of the more dramatic lashes I use regularly & are great for clients who are looking for a more 'glam' look, but not too over the top.




KISS EVER-EZ Lash #11, KISS EVER-EZ Lash #03, KISS EVER-EZ Trio Lashes: I'm not as familiar with this brand as I am Ardell, however, so far, I'm happy with these. In general, I would say they're very similar to the Ardell lashes. The #11's are similar to the Ardell Wispies, but are very dramatic & will probably only work on clients with large eyes. The #03's are very similar to the Ardell 110's & are going to work on just about everyone for a natural eyelash definition. Finally, the Trio Lashes are nice for clients who have a hard time wearing full strip lashes. I haven't had anyone mention any kind of discomfort with them yet. On a side note - I generally stick to using individual lashes because it completely avoids the issue of discomfort & they can be customized for as natural or dramatic a look as the client wants.



Have you tried any of these items? Am I missing out on any awesome products? Disagree with my comments? Let me know!

Engagement Photo Session: Hair & Makeup.

We absolutely loved working with this naturally beautiful bride. In preparation for her wedding day, we provided her with a hair & makeup trial on the day of her engagement photo shoot. Any good photographer will tell you that a professional makeup application is critical for excellent photos, even if the desired look is very natural. A good photo-ready makeup application should obscure any dark shadows, highlight the cheekbones, and emphasize the eyes. We always lightly fill in the eyebrows & add some color to the cheeks because bright lighting & camera flash can cause the natural color in our faces to become washed out. We wanted this gorgeous girl's natural beauty to shine through & we made sure to highlight all of her best features (Hello BOMBSHELL EYELASHES!). Bridal makeup and hair. C. Johnson Makeup

Bridal and engagement makeup. C. Johnson Makeup. Albuquerque, NM.

The happy couple. Albuquerque, NM.

Hair & Makeup by C. Johnson Makeup. Old Town, Albuquerque, NM. Photo by Blue Rose Photography.

Bride, Groom, & Daughter/Flower Girl at their Engagement Photo Session. Albuquerque, NM. C. Johnson Makeup.


Isn't this a gorgeous family? We are so excited to see them get married & to be part of their wedding day.


C. Johnson Makeup is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We offer on-location bridal hair & makeup for the entire bridal party, including the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, Jr. bridesmaids, and flower girls. We specialize in all-natural options for clients who have sensitive skin, & also offer airbrush & traditional makeup options.

C. Johnson Makeup has been Featured on EvokingYou.com

We have wonderful news! Christy from C. Johnson Makeup was recently featured on EvokingYou as a guest writer.

Check out our article Professional Makeup Tips for Photography to learn the best techniques for highlighting your natural beauty for a photograph.



Here's a before & after sneak peek image from the article:



Click here to read the full article.

Thank you to the wonderfully talented Stephanie of S. Strine Photography for the accompanying photos.

Makeup  & hairstyling by Christy of C. Johnson Makeup.

Updated Head Shots

In the upcoming months I'll be presenting at a handful of different Bridal Shows & Expos & needed some updated head shots for marketing materials, handouts, business cards etc... I wanted to make sure everything was polished, pretty, & up-to-date so I sought out after some awesome new photos! The amazing Alicia Lucia Photography met me for a mini photo session. I am not usually the one in front of the camera so this was a fun new experience for me. Alicia has a great way of making the photo taking process easy & comfortable. Here are some of my favorite images from the session: alicialuciaphotography-18alicialuciaphotography-36 alicialuciaphotography-39

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For more info on this photographer, please visit www.AliciaLucia.com

To book C. Johnson Makeup for hair & makeup services for your next event please visit www.CJohnsonmakeup.com

Behind The Scenes: Hair & Makeup/ Sultry Boudoir Photo Session

Makeup & Hair Styling: C. Johnson Makeup. Christy Johnson & Merideth Baxter Photos: DreamSpirit Portraits


Initial prep: old makeup removal & skin prep. We used jojoba oil & a cotton round to gently wipe away any left over mascara. We also used jojoba oil as to moisturize the rest of the face to help provide a smooth foundation application.



Merideth begins curling the hair from the bottom layers to the top, working in small sections & gently spraying with hairspray after each section.


Before & After photos showing the hair & makeup transformation. Natural/dewy skin finish. Pink/natural lip color. Light, smokey grey cat-eye.


Here's the final product from the photo shoot.



Building A Professional Makeup Kit: Part 1 (Overview)

Recently I was on location, doing makeup for a bridal party & my clients began commenting on the size & components of my makeup kit. We all giggled as the girls 'oohed & ahhhed' over all the beautiful products. This happens often; probably about once per week. People generally ask me how much I've spent on my makeup, how long it took me to accumulate so much makeup, or make jokes about the sheer quantity of products I carry in my kit (usually a fella). A few weeks ago, one of my clients' husbands compared my kit to his toolbox (which is a pretty fitting comparison, if you ask me). Anyway, all of this got me thinking about my kit, what I've spent, & the nitty-gritty of what I've got in there. Here are the basics of the case I use to store all the glamorous & wonderful makeup goodies. I am using a professional rolling makeup kit with the dimensions 27.5"H x 12.5"W x 8.5"D. Empty, it weighs about 11 pounds. It has some heavy duty locks with dual keys (which I often do not use because I almost never find a situation where I am not within arms reach of my kit at all times). The case also has a telescoping handle, similar to a lot of large rolling luggage. It also had wheels to help with transport. I purchased my case used online at an amazing deal. These cases usually cost about $100-$200 new & can be found many placed online, including EBay. These cases generally come in black, but can also be found in silver, grey, or pink. I would have preferred a black case because I feel that it would be more professional looking, but I like pink well enough & couldn't beat the deal.


As you can see from the photo, this case has lots of buckles & hinges; that's because the whole box comes apart or opens up for ease of use & versatility. The top third of the case detaches completely & can be used alone or with a shoulder strap. The interior of the small upper box has two pull out shelves & a deep bottom for a variety of differently sized products. For a simple event where a huge number of products are unnecessary the top box is perfect. If you decide to use the two separately, this case comes with a second box lid that you can attach to cover the lower compartment. The lower compartment works very well for larger items & I have packed it with all the little extras that I've learned to bring with me 'just in case'. I will go into more detail about what exactly I keep in my kit further down.  Inside the larger bottom box, there is a shelf & a pull-out compartment that rests atop the shelf. This portion of the box also features a drop down wall for ease of use (so you're not having to reach from the top all the way down to the lowest items). Here are some more photos to help illustrate.


Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this case fits all of my products, particularly once I got good at taking advantage of all of the vertical space by organizing all of the products standing with the tallest side up & down (smaller organizing baskets have been very useful with this).


This is a birds-eye view of the very bottom of this case, with the top & middle sections removed.

Ok... so now that I've explained the case that I use, I'll talk a little bit about what's inside & my suggestions for building your own kit. Starting with the top, moving down; I use the removable top case to hold & organize eye shadow, pigments, mascara, disposable mascara wands, gel eyeliners, eye primers, & dusting powders.


Opening these shelves reveals the lower compartment where all of my palettes & lip pencils & eye pencils are stored. I also have tweezers &  small scissors here (small scissors have come in handy for me more times than I can count).


The next compartment contains all of my foundations (tipped upside down so that the colors are visible to me from their labels which are on the bottom). I also keep a hair stylist cape in this compartment in case I'm working on someone who is wearing their event outfit. The rest of the items are Beauty Blender sponges, concealer palettes, makeup setting spray, bronzers, blushes, HD setting powder, illuminizers/highlighters, skin primers, & facial moisturizer & cleanser. Essentially anything that could be needed for a client's skin.


At the very bottom I keep replacement & backup items.  Washcloths so I can clean & sanitize as I work. Makeup removal wipes, nail polish removal wipes, hair clips, extra sponges, oil blotting sheets, a nail file, hand sanitizer, mints, makeup brush sanitizing spray, instant tanning spray, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (to sanitize makeup between uses), extra mascara wands, cotton pads, gentle eye makeup remover, small empty containers, my makeup brush roll & brush belt, band aids, a hair brush, travel size hair spray, business cards, a credit card scanner, a pen & small notebook, small empty bags for trash, a mixing palette, & a small hand mirror.

Here is a basic list of what a beginning makeup kit might require:

  • Foundations of multiple colors & tones (rose, gold, olive, neutral). Fewer are needed if you are skilled at custom blending colors; however this method can be wasteful &/or time consuming if you are unfamiliar with custom blending.
  • Multiple concealers or a concealer palette. Creams work differently than liquids; depending on your clientele you may want to have a variety of formulas.
  • Foundation primer (clear or green are my most used)
  • Basic skincare: Cleansers, Moisturizers, Gentle eye makeup remover, cleansing cloths, cotton pads, acne cream. Again, choose according to your clientele & build up as you expand.
  • Blushes of multiple colors & tones
  • Highlighter. A light yellow/gold is often the most versatile. I prefer loose powder, but these also come in cream formulas.
  • Bronzers. Typically I only carry one or two. Often time, a versatile shade can work on many, many skin tones. Matte bronzers are more versatile than those that contain shimmer.
  • Eye primer. I typically only carry one or two of these; one dark & one light or white. They do makeup skin tone shades, but a skin tone shade wont enhance the color of the shadow like white or black primer.
  • Eye shadow: This is something that you might have many, many of depending on your own preferences. I suggest starting with a palette that contains many neutral shades (browns, greys, blacks, whites, & nudes) & another palette with brighter colors. Brown & grey shadows can also be used for eyebrow filler.
  • Multiple eye liner pencils & gel eyeliner (my most versatile & commonly used. They can also be used as primer for eye shadow). I do not use liquid eyeliner because it is impossible to properly sanitize.
  • Mascara, both waterproof & a standard formula. Disposable mascara wands are a necessity for sanitization.
  • A variety of false eyelashes, if this is a service that you would like to offer.
  • Lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss. I personally feel that lip primer is unnecessary, lip balms are sufficient.
  • As for random/generic items that you might consider adding to your kit: hair clips or bobby pins, a nail file, nail polish removal wipes, I have heard of makeup artists carrying feminine hygiene products, but I personally don't; a razor, instant tanning lotion, washcloths, a cape, small scissors, safety pins, & aspirin.