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Beautiful Faces by Birmingham Makeup Artist: Kimberly Crawford

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Makeup comes in a variety of brands, shades, tools, and techniques. Not everyone has the knowledge, skill or pure love for all things makeup, but there is one such person who has all of these things. Say hello to Kimberly Crawford: Birmingham resident, professional makeup artist, and makeup enthusiast.

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Whether you need to pop in photos, look glamorous at a special event or just need to learn some every day tips for makeup application, check out this must-book makeup artist.

Kimberly has worked in the makeup industry for over four years at places, such as Bobbi Brown, Dior, Sephora, and Trish McEvoy and has been trained in lines like Make Up Forever, Tarte, Urban Decay, and Laura Mercier. She currently works at Sak’s 5th Avenue at the Trish McEvoy makeup counter, located at the Summit. Her love for her work also takes her profession on the road where she works freelance. What does this mean exactly? Whether you need to book her for a wedding, prom, photo shoot or other event, she will come straight to you! Talk about celebrity treatment!

The makeup love bug first bit Kimberly at a very young age, and as she grew up she became evermore passionate about it.

“[As a teen] I would scour teen magazines and Essence and Ebony and study. I would save my dimes from my lunch money and earn an allowance to go to Walgreen's and buy the latest mascara or eye shadow. In high school I did my friend's makeup or practiced on my sister. It has been love ever since!”

Read on for an exclusive in-depth question-and-answer session with Birmingham’s top-notch makeup artist!

Q. How did you become a makeup artist?
A. I became a professional makeup artist when I got a job at Sephora. The training was fantastic and I became well-versed in several different cosmetic and skin care brands.

Q. What is your favorite makeup look to apply on others?
A. I don't really have a favorite makeup look to do on others. I love it all! I love beauty makeup and, of course, runway. But ultimately, the makeup that I do on others is tailored to fit the needs and wants of each client. I want to make the look specific to her. I make my suggestions and I use my techniques and give them a lesson to help them recreate the look at home.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
A. What I like most about my profession is helping women feel good about themselves. I know that makeup can absolutely be used to transform. But, most women just want to know how to enhance their natural beauty. I enjoy showing women how to get the most out of their investments, because let's face it … makeup is quite an investment.

Q. What are your favorite products?
A. My favorite products change depending on the season or mood I am in. Right now I am loving the new blush from Chanel from their soaring collection in #89 Canaille. It's a beautiful peachy-bronze color. Also, their limited edition Illusion D'Ombre cream shadows in Mirage (taupe-bronze), Utopia (lilac with slight gold shimmer), and New Moon (iridescent copper with traces of gold and plum). I could go on and on!

Q. What products do you feel are most necessary?
A. The [most important] products are ones that [focus on] correct skin care for your own, personal skin, as well as SPF [protection]. Nothing is more important. I cannot stress it enough. Hydration is key! Makeup only looks as good as properly prepped skin. If you have oily skin, a foundation primer and eye shadow primer will help your makeup last longer. In general, concealer is a great staple. A good brow pencil like the ones from Trish McEvoy, MAC or Estee Lauder, or a brow powder like Laura Mercier's or Bobbi Brown's to give some light definition.

Q. What are your favorite makeup brands?
A. I love makeup from many brands, including Trish McEvoy, Maybelline, MAC, and Iman and Illimasqua. I use different things from different lines to suit my needs. I feel like each line has something fun to try and something functional to offer, so I don't have a makeup line loyalty. I really like the new Weekly Peel (a multi-acid weekly treatment) and the 24-Hour Shadow Sticks from Trish McEvoy. The new lip glosses and stains from YSL are amazing! And YSL has combo lip/cheek color that has a gel-like consistency. It isn’t sticky and it lasts.

Q. What tips do you have for applying makeup and picking the right shades?
A. That depends on the look you want to achieve. You can do a beautiful five-minute face with just tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss. Or, you can go for a full face. In general, I suggest using a light hand and building up color as you go. Blending is key; be sure to blend well so that the colors flow into each other seamlessly. Sitting with a makeup artist who will give you a lesson on how to achieve a look that is tailored to you is a good idea. Get samples of foundation or be matched to your color. The best way to choose the right color is to try it on. And have fun with makeup! If you like a red lip, why not wear it?

Q. What can be done in order to have makeup application last longer?
A. Longer lasting makeup equals [these things]: foundation and eye shadow primer, water-resistant foundation, and waterproof mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, and lip liner. Setting sprays [also help] like The All-Nighter setting spray by Urban Decay.

Q. How should makeup brushes be cleaned?
A. I wash my brushes once a week in a mild shampoo. Daily, I use a brush cleaning spray. Just spray a paper towel and swirl the brush on the cleanser in the same gentle motion as when using it. When washing brushes, be sure to only get the tip of the bristles wet or you will loosen the hairs and they will come out.

Q. How often should new makeup be purchased? Does it go bad?
A. Foundation lasts one year. Mascara - three months. Lipstick - three years. Liners - three to five years. Be sure to check for changes in color, smell, and consistency.

Q. What are some must-know dos and don’ts when it comes to applying makeup?
A. I don't like to think about makeup in terms of hard-set rules. However ... do not use such a light highlighter around your brows that they look as if they are hovering. Do not think that contouring methods YouTube "gurus" use is what is [right] for you. Do not take it too seriously. Do have fun with makeup! Do love the skin you are in. Do try something new! And do find your best feature and play it up.

If you’d like to book Kimberly, here’s how:
Phone: 205.612.9788
Email: kimcrawford88@gmail.com

Kimberly is available to come to you for weddings, prom, graduations, photo shoots, makeup lessons/parties, and more! Click here to check out this makeup tutorial by Kimberly for more tips and tricks.

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