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Skyla Arts by Elizabeth Chang is serving the Bay Area and strives to provide makeup and photography that satisfies the client 100%!

For initial consultation and appointments, please email liz@skyla-arts.com or call 323-346-7599 between the hours of 9:00am-5:00pm.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alex | Lifestyle {photography by Sasha Gulish}

Makeup & Hair: Elizabeth Chang
Photography: Sasha Gulish
Styling: Peggi Jeung
Model: Alex @ Stars Model Management

On a warm sunny day...All I wanna do is lay on the grass and lounge around.  Meet Alex - she has a really beautiful smile and a sweet personality! Her southern accent is adorable! ;)  Immediately upon starting her makeup, I was like: "Doesn't she look like Alexis Bledel?!" After the first few looks, I knew the plan was to do a picnic theme, so then...I kept pushing for the red lips - knowing how gorgeous it looks on Alexis and how it will pop from the lush green colors of the grass.  Unfortunately I had to leave the shoot early to make another appointment.  Sasha thought maybe they would switch into a more neutral lip for the picnic, so I handed them a wipe and a empty jar with a tiny bit of lipstick. 

When I got the photos back, I was ecstatic to find that they decided to keep the red lips towards the end and I loved the results. There were many other favorites from this shoot, but I selected 5 of my favorites! Out of the five, my favorite is the first one above! It's such a happy photo...and I love the polka dots against the grassy fields! One of my photography friends pointed out that I seem to be fond of back-lit images - YES it's true!! I like it when the subject looks like they are glowing! ^.~

Peanut, the cute dog featured, belongs to Peggi. As I was doing Alex's hair, Peanut was pacing around the apartment {a very cute studio apartment that Alex was renting out for the duration of her stay in SF} - and Peggi said: "Peanut! Come back! You are in the hair spray zone!"  lol...and Peanut obediently marched back to the safety of the other side of the studio. that was my favorite quote of the day.

I hope everyone is having a good day/good week so far!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From runway makeup & hair (A/W 2012) into wearable looks! {+Behind the Scenes with Matt Edge Photography!}

Hello ya'all! Time for an annual makeup & hair trend report.  It's been nearly a year since my last trend report! yikes!!  I try to be more diligent but honestly...I'm kind of a Fall/Winter gal to begin with (Born in September!) so naturally I enjoy the looks that extend from summer to the fall the most.  Enough babbling and onward with the post!

It was such a pleasure to work again with L.A. based fashion photographer Matt Edge and his beautiful and talented sidekick, Allison Edge! The shoot was styled by Allison with our minimal input (my Tory Burch sunglasses made an appearance!) I snapped all of these behind the scene images with my iPhone and then used photoshop curves to portray the colors I want! I've been really into Instagram but in the end, the photoshop curves give you more flexibility and fun (albeit more time consuming)

Meet Sara J. from Scout SF and Conrad from Stars SF! It was so cool when Matt & I agreed on our top choice of models! I always feel invigorated and inspired to work with professionals that share a passion for the art, and then we work together towards executing the vision!

Similar to last year, I've gone through some of the shows, and decided to pick-up and hone into a few of the looks I've selected to shape the type of look that I'm going for...The huge difference is...I put the looks together and presented it, with the help of my wonderful summer intern, Anna! The ones I've selected will be featured after the Behind the Scenes photos! Scroll down! :) 

I selected one to two elements per look to feature:

Look 1 had the pin-curl classic waves that frames the face. The makeup is similar to the Dior/Ralph Lauren look - I incorporated the flirty but still natural looking false lashes! 

Look 2 really focused on the messy french twist.  I thought about doing the side swept thing in the front, but decided in the end to sweep it back for a more natural volume! I wish I got a photo of the back, but for now you can see it below from a side view. I loved the Vespa scene!!!! Conrad commutes around the city in his Vespa, and it was a perfect (and unexpected) prop for the scene! They looked super cute together! 

Look 3, I emphasize the wing liner slightly, but I mostly wanted to focus on the red lips.  I was inspired to leave it half down - so ended up with this look! My goal was to make Sarah elegant and polished!

We'll see how the photos turn out in a few weeks! :) Scroll down to see the Fall looks summarized.


  • Clean semi-matte skin, full brows, lightly contoured eye shadow, a dust of peachy/pinky cheeks and a tiny bit of contouring for the cheeks, clean winged liner and naturally pinky-nude lip color {as seen in Ralph Lauren & Christian Dior - although I love that Dior added the false lashes, emphasizing the cat-eye shape} Lanvin & Anna Sui had a thicker and more dramatic winged liner, while it may be appropriate for parties, it may be harder to sport on the daily basis!
  • Bright Pop of lipstick - orange-red - even though it is also a great color for spring and summer with brighter colors, when paired with classic colors like black/gold/brown/nudes {Featured here in Dennis Basso, but also seen in Zac Posen and Marc by Marc Jacobs}  A brighter lipstick like a soft fuschia, goes really well with darker colors like black/gray and blues and purples, making it a beautiful and versatile color for fall wardrobes.

  • I am attracted to the classic shape of the pin-curl featured in Dior S/S Couture and Dennis Basso in Fall Ready-to-wear and how it frames the face.   Tuck it in for a faux bob, or let it down for a side pony.
  • Speaking of ponytails, my favorite is the Anna Sui one with a retro flair that is perfectly sleek. The volume in the ponytail for Ralph Lauren is placed low - you can make it sleek, or wear it textured and messy. The 'key' feature of the pony is that it's a low pony by the occipital bone (above the nape).
  • Lastly, I noted the french twists - my favorite would be the messy ones featured in Tory Burch. I was also very drawn to the different placements - in Donna Karen, the french twist is pushed all the way to one side, giving a dramatic asymmetry! But, comparatively I'm more drawn to the ones featured in Valentino - it looks very subtle and elegant in the front, but very dramatic from the side.  

*PHEW* that was a lot of photos to post! Hope you enjoyed it! ;) ;) You can find all the images on my Pinterest as well! ;) Follow me on Pinterest! ;D Until next time!

P.S. I will give brownie points to those that recognize a familiar face in the images above runway looks! The big clue is, she is from Stars Model Management in SF! ;) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

All about Sunscreen!!!

Last month a new federal regulation about sunscreen came out. The new laws primarily influence sunscreen labeling:

  • anything less than SPF 15 that did not pass the new test that was developed must have a big warning label on it saying that it does not protect against sun burn, skin damage, skin cancer, etc. 
  • SPF labels above SPF 50 are banned (basically because above SPF 50 doesn't make much of a difference)
  • terms like "sunblock" and "water-proof" are banned (because nothing can totally protect you from sun damage). FYI - Sunscreens labeled "water resistant" are required to maintain their SPF level after 40 minutes of water immersion. "Very water resistant" products maintain their SPF level for 80 minutes. I didn't know this before and thought that the "very" was just a name!
  • in order to be labeled "broad spectrum," products must protect against both UVA and UVB rays

UVA and UVB rays differ in their length. UVA rays, which are longer and penetrate deeper into the skin, are the cancer-causing and DNA/collagen-damaging rays. UVA rays cause wrinkles by damaging the dermis layer - most importantly, the fibroblasts that produce the collagen and elastin, which is the elastic tissue that gives skin its elasticity. When you pull it or push it, your skin should bounce right back.  Damages to the elastin fibers causes sagging, winkles and aging. Damage done is permanent; the fibroblasts do not regenerate, and thus will not be replacing the collagen/elastin. In contrast, UVB rays are the burning rays that cause sun burn and alter skin color. Melanin is produced by cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis (sitting above the dermis).  Genetics determine the amount of melanin activated - once skin is exposed to UV rays, melanin is produced and is pushed to the top layer of your skin to help absorb and block UV rays. Fair skinned people produces pheomelanin (red to yellow color cells, which is why fair people turn PINK or become tanned), whereas dark-colored skin produces eumelanin, which is dark brown/black pigment.  Another common misconception is that darker skin tones do not need sun screen.  Well - you will not turn that much darker because increased amounts of eumelanin is not readily visible, but it doesn't mean that the UVA rays did not damage your DNA & collagen & elastin!!!

In esthetics, most clients come in to treat acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging.  Let me tell you...the sun exacerbates all three of the above. The sun can cause redness & inflammation (erythma)  to acneic skin, and furthermore, your skin will pump melanin to protect itself as it is more vulnerable when there is a breakout, and that will leave you with a acne scar. If you are not concerned about acne, hyperpigmentation, or youthful appearances, it's still a good idea to wear sun screen because it is good for your health!!  You would not smoke, therefore...you should wear sun screen! 

SPF refers to the Sun Protection Factor and how much longer you can stay under the sun compared to with no sun protection. An SPF 15 sunscreen protects against about 93% of UVB rays, while an SPF 30 blocks about 96.9% of UVB rays. Notice that doubling the SPF number does not double the protection. Dermatologists generally recommend SPF 30 with broad spectrum protection.

The label "SPF" only refers to protection against UVB rays. In the U.S., labels only specify SPF. In Asia, sunscreen labels also contain PA measures (PA+++ being the best protecting against UVA rays and PA+ being less protection). It'd be great if we could get this labeling system going in the U.S., in addition to the new law requiring all sunscreen to meet broad spectrum protection!

How should you go about selecting sunscreens? There are two types of active sunscreen ingredients: those that provide physical protection and chemical protection. The main difference between the two is that physical sunscreens reflect UV rays, while chemical protection chemically absorbs UV rays. Physical sunscreens work immediately upon application, whereas chemical protection needs 15 to 30 minutes to become effective (depending on the quality). 

A very important thing to do is to check the sunscreen you are currently using -- check this chart from this EPA article to see if your product has both physical and chemical protection. It's good to have at least one of each! If your current sunscreen meets the requirements, GREAT! If not, it may be time to look into investing in a great sunscreen.  

The above table is from EPA's article about sun and skin. Check it out: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/doc/sunscreen.pdf

During your annual check up with your physician, ask about any abnormal growths and dark spots that you've noticed and ask your doctor if you should get it checked out by the dermatologists. I've encountered a client who was in her late 20s that had squamous cell carcinoma removed on their nose!

After initial application in the morning, you can use powder sunscreens or makeup with SPF during the day for continuous protection against sun damage. Keep in mind, though, that many of these contain light-reflective metallic SPF (like Zinc and Titanium dioxide). These metallic ingredients reflect light and might cause the skin to appear somewhat whitish or super-shiny, which may also alter your skin color in flash photography. This is totally fine for everyday, but I'd avoid products with SPF for special occasions for this reason. The metals also make sunscreen harder to spread across your face - think of the white pasty look and the stickiness you experience! The ancient Greeks used to bathe in olive oil and then dust their bodies with fine sand in order to protect themselves from the sun. That sounds uncomfortable! Fortunately, many sunscreens on the market today have been refined and grinds the metals micro-fine and manufactured with excellent spreadability and 0 stickiness! 

Even if you don't see the sun (rainy day, cold winter day), or if you're staying at home on your day off, you still need to wear sunscreen. Light from ambient or fluorescent lighting, and light through a window all still contain harmful rays. 

What I use myself is PCA's Weightless Protection SPF 45 for my oily skin type. It's incredibly light and smooth because there's Vitamin E in it, which is a great emollient and antioxidant. It also contains caffeine, which is also an antioxidant but additionally kills damaged skin cells that may turn into skin cancer. Another one of my favorite sunscreens is Perfecting Protection SPF 30 from PCA skin. It contains Licorice Root Extract that not only reduces hyperpigmentation but also suppresses the pigment from forming after being exposed to the sun.
Even with great sun screen, if you are out in the sun for long hours (especially between 10-4:00pm), the effects of sun damage can still be very significant. My husband looked great (and younger) before he began playing golf....He aged significantly since he started. He gets a little sad when I mention this, but alas, it is true. People would not have guessed his age, but ever since his golf habits started, he actually looks his age - when I touch his face, I immediately notice the loss in elastin and the formulation of fine lines where it previously did not exist. It's already a little late, but I've been bugging him to use more serums and stuff. The moral of the story is...by the time you notice the wrinkles, it's already LATE. If you are worried about premature aging/photo damage, wearing sun screen is almost half the battle! 

For the gentlemen reading this, wearing sunscreen does not male you less manly, but enhances your attractiveness in every way. If you are 24 and look 40, it really isn't more manly...!  

Don't forget about your lips (don't want to lose collagen there!), arms, tops of your feet, ears and neck! A good place to look for your sunscreen and lip balm is Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

To read more about the new law, check out these links:



Monday, July 2, 2012

Emily and Ryan {V. Sattui Winery Wedding, St. Helena} - Published on JetFete!

Congratulations to Ryan & Emily! Today their gorgeous 'destination' wedding was featured on Jetfete! They are such a sweet couple! Carolyn & I had a blast on the morning of, meeting the bridal party and getting them ready. What a group of strong, beautiful, athletic woman! It was kind of inspirational, to see them up in the morning, PERFECTLY ready/prepared for their makeup & hair appointment early in the morning - previous to that already worked out/showered/blow dried their hair, coming into the room with positive energies! :) Carolyn & I really appreciated that! After I had packed up and walked to my car, ready to go, I turned to Carolyn and said: "We are so lucky to have wonderful clients like Emily!!!" Emily was so sweet to also write a blog with a personal message to all her wedding vendors - I was truly touched by it!

The beautiful images are shot by Annie Gerber who is based in Arizona! It was a funny moment, when the bridal party thought Carolyn was the photographer because they kind of look alike! (beautiful tall and blonde!) Annie had a quiet, joyful and graceful presence in the room while taking photos of the bridal party getting ready!

Emily is currently in the process of opening up her own bakery in SF! I am looking forward to visiting her new bakery when it opens! ;) I cannot wait! Congratulations again to the beautiful couple!! I hope you enjoy viewing the photos - thanks to Annie for providing them for us!! {Love working with Annie! Please come back to the Bay Area again soon!!!!!!}

Makeup & Hair: Skyla Arts {Liz & Carolyn}
Photography: Annie Gerber
Wedding Coordinator: Events by Darlene
Florist: Fleurs de France
Wedding Venue: V. Sattui Winery
Caterer: Alex 's Catering
Cake Designer: Baker & Banker Bakery

Musicians: Dan Goldfus Trio
Videography: Justine Fone Productions
Transportation: St. Helena Wine Tours

Getting Ready Venue: Harvest Inn