Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blue Skies in Savannah!

The hubs and I took a very quick trip down to Savannah this week so I could 'do' my birthday present! Believe me when I say that deserves a post all to itself!
Anyway, we had absolutely beautiful weather! And in recognition of hubs wearing a different blue shirt EVERY day, I've included my 'blue' pictures from around that beautiful city!

XO Kate :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Delicious fall soup recipe!

I came across this easy and delicious sounding recipe in my Williams Sonoma catalog. However there was a catch, it wanted me to use their butternut squash puree. Not wanting to shell out $12 + tax and shipping (my nearest one is 30 min away), I decided to improvise. After reading the ingredients, it was nothing more than pureed butternut squash with seasoning. And since squash is in season right now, I picked up 2 for no more than a couple bucks. The soup turned out amazing, and now I'm sharing it with you!

P.S. I love being able to make things that are 'in season'! They just taste so much better!

Butternut squash and apple soup! (adapted from Williams Sonoma)

2 Butternut squashes
1 tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion ( chopped or sliced thin)
squash puree
1 local apple, peeled, cored, sliced thin
1 32oz. container of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 c. creme fraiche
1/4 tsp. ground coriander (opt. but recommended!)
dash of ground ginger (opt.)

For the puree: Cut both squashes in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Lay facing up on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 for hour - hour and half. (start checking after hr. - tender like a baked potato!)
Let cool then scoop out to a bowl. Add the pumpkin pie seasoning. Using a food processor or blender puree in batches adding enough water to bring it to a cake batter consistency.

For the soup:
In a large soup pot (I like my cast iron le crueset) sautee the butter and onions until soft, about 10 min.
Add squash puree, apple, stock, bay leaves and 3 tbsp. salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour. Apples should be tender.
Discard bay leaves and add creme fraiche, and the optional seasonings.
Puree using a stick blender or regular blender.


XO Kate :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Get a better experience from your makeup artist!

Hey beauty dolls!

So you want to hire a makeup artist (me!) for a special event. I think we all may have had an 'off' experience at a department store counter. The most I would try for was lipstick and they could never get it right!
My first advice is to have a trial if possible. Now you can't expect perfect results with this. I know with me I like to just get the makeup on the girl so she can wear it for a while and try it out. It usually always ends up being out of her comfort zone, but being able to walk in it all day and see it in pictures with out pressure is the key. You may decide you need less or lighter or heck you may see a picture and say "I need more!"
Now the second and BEST advice! Communication is KEY! Ever heard of a smokey eye? Well there are probably 101 ways to do a smokey eye. My preference for a smokey eye for you and your idea of a smokey eye is guaranteed to be different! So what do you do? Bring pictures!!!
Bring a few! Sounds so simple but ladies rarely do. I always get "just do whatever you think looks good on me." Then when we're done, "Oh, I don't like the eyeliner like that. or I don't like that color of blush." Knowing some of these things before hand will get us closer to your perfect look! And pictures can help you relay that to the artist. It could be a picture that you like that simple eye, or you like that lip color. You don't need to find a picture that has it all (although if you do, great!). Pictures are the communication that translate an idea from your mind to mine.

All makeup artists want the client to get the most from her experience. It never matters if we love your makeup, it's how you feel. We want you to FEEL beautiful!

XO Kate :)

*p.s. got a makeup question? send me a comment!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Carrie Underwood's bridal look

After much research and shopping, I am so excited to be able to show you how to get Carrie Underwood's bridal look! These are the same colors and products used by Carrie's makeup artist for her wedding day! I am using my Airbrushing Beauty eyeshadow brushes to create the look!
The brushes are available on ebay, but you can also message me for them directly.

I just absolutely loved her look and I personally wish more brides would take on the heavier eye! It looks so romantic and perfect for a bride!

Enjoy the video and let me know what other celebrity looks you would like to learn!

XO Kate :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Now available!

I have finally completed and listed my first AlannaK Caftan for sale on EBay!

A lot of this garment is hand stitched using couture sewing methods!

Please check it out and pass it on to someone you may know who would love this look too!

Let me know what y'all think about it!

XO Kate :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eye look how-to's!

I'm so excited about my latest beauty venture! The biggest question I get asked, as a makeup artist is "which brush should I use with what eyeshadow?" and "I just really don't know how to do my eyes!"
Well loves, worry no longer! I created a wonderful, cruel free line of eye brushes! I've picked the 6 most used brushes in my kit and designed a professional line that is more affordable to you! The key to a great makeup application is great tools! But it doesn't stop there! I've created my first how-to video so you can get a great look with these brushes!
Shop the brushes here:
Check out the video!

This is summer bronzed eye look that we did!
I have many more videos up my sleeve!

Have fun playing with this look!

XO Kate :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

AlannaK Caftan Collection!

As an artist, I find myself drawn to wearing many hats to fulfill my creative tank!
I have started designing and sewing my favorite piece of clothing in the world...a caftan!
It is the most comfortable, versatile, and chicest garment ever created! I've taken to sew them mostly by hand using the same couture sewing methods as Chanel and Valentino!

These are just my first two that I have designed and made myself. They are both made out of silk de chine. Which is a fabulous, lightweight, luxurious fabric. The style of this makes it great for these hot and humid Pittsburgh summer days. When you catch a breeze it almost feels like your wearing nothing at all!

Also the best part of a caftan is that it looks amazing on everyone! No matter your height, weight or build!

Wear this length as a blouse with jeans, cover up to the pool, or a chic mini dress with pumps at night!

This shorter length is glamorous for night, perfect for the office, casual with a pair of shorts.

There are many more colors and designs in the works.

I will be doing coats for the fall and winter with lots of great designs! These will be available soon on my ebay store.

Want one now, or in a different color? Send a request to and I will hook you up!

XO Kate

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hi Blog loves!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I started making some of my items available for sale on ebay! I've started with items that I currently sell on my website which are amazing tanning enhancers! I am currently developing makeup brushes also that will be available a short while. I also will put things on that I know my fellow fashionistas will love as well!
Make sure to check all the items I have available!
Thanks so much and pass the word!

Love to all during the beautiful holiday weekend!

Kate XO

Also these amazing Oliver Peoples Sabina (as seen on Rachel Zoe) sunglasses are on there as well!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sew Addicted!

Some pics from a really fun shoot I did a couple weekends ago!
Thanks to Angie from Sew Addicted for the wardrobe!
Chris Maverick photography
Makeup by Melissa, Molly, Stephanie and myself!

XO Kate :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Secret Saturday!

Here is my secret for super smooth , soft, hydrated skin!
I highly recommend this for brides as it will have your skin in top shape come wedding day!
You can use this on your face and all over your body as it is the cheapest and best way to exfoliate.

In a small bowl use 1 tsp baking soda and add approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Use light circular motions. If you have extra dry skin allow to sit for up to 10 min. Use a mild cleanser to rinse off.

For the brides: I recommend starting this the moment he pops the question! Don't start if your getting married next week as you don't want to do ANYTHING new that close to your day!

Now I have major combination skin. It can range from normal/dry - normal/oily- dry/oily!
And this works every time for me!

XO Kate

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hey long time no write!
I've been busy and also enjoying this unusual awesome spring weather we've been having here in the 'burgh!
I wanted to share real quick a few pictures from an amazing shoot I did a couple weeks back. I did the makeup and body painting. The body painting was a shared task between me and the hairstylist. We used a liquid latex and boy was it fun! The whole look was a LOT of work but I truly had so much fun! It really was like I was back painting on canvas again.
The model was a trooper! From nearly fainting with the heat and fumes of the paint to practically getting frost bite on large parts of her body (from the 300 lb. block of ice), she was amazing!
Let me know what you think!

XO Kate

Friday, March 26, 2010

Foodie Friday!

Food and fashion! What a glorious combination! That's what I thought when I heard that Karl Lagerfeld would have a salad named after him! Now if your lucky enough to head to Paris or St. Tropez where the original salad was born then you have a chance of actually tasting the real thing! However I've come to the realization that it will be a few years before the thought of heading to France will appear on my radar.
Next best option? To try to create my own version of what this salad might be like. With only a few ingredients that were shared in various publications this is what I came up with.

Green leaf lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Drizzle with olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt & pepper
Top with lump crab meat and croutons
Finish off a squeeze of lemon.

I fell in love with my version, now I wonder how it stacks up to the original? Probably the fact that I'm eating it in Pittsburgh and not Paris or the south of France already knocks some points off mine. But till then I will just close my eyes and dream!

I would love to hear if any of you try it and how it turned out!

XO Kate

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Frugal Friday!

Who says great makeup has always be expensive? When you can save $7 on this product or $15 on that, it really adds up! Here are some of my favorite products that tend to compete with my professional products for a "place on the face"!!!

This concealer really holds it's own against expensive top brands.
L'Oreal Visible Lift spf 20.
An spf for the eye area? SOLD!

Revlon Colorstay lipliner in Nude
Revlon Colorstay Mineral Lipglaze in Continuous Pink #525.
I'm loving these lips at the moment! I can wear with my "bare"
face or glam with my smokey eye!

Have a great weekend!

XO Kate

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life in a picture!

His ads always make me wish I could be living in them!
How about you?!

XO Kate

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oops! I forgot my....

Makeup brushes!!!!
Here I am on vacation and the first evening I go to start my beautifying ritual and I discover I have gone and forgot my makeup brushes! I mean what is a makeup artist suppose to do?! Well it was time to dig deep, very very deep into my bag of tricks.
So what did I have to work with? A makeup sponge and q-tips. Wow, yup that's it!

Here goes my new routine!

Moisturize then primer.
Apply concealer with finger tips.
Powder foundation with makeup brush. Blend well!
Using 1 side of the sponge, contour any needed areas.
Switch to another side to apply powder blush. (I was lucky I brought my cream blush also!)
*now this part takes a little more planning:
With q-tip start with your lightest color all over lid
Use other side for the brows if needed.
Then move onto your medium color (at this time you can use a fun accent color.)
Finish with that same side for the dark color to contour and define crease. (all 3 eyeshadows used with the 1 side of q-tip)
Apply any eyeliner and follow up by using other side of q-tip to blend the liner.
*The key to getting this to look its best under the conditions is to BLEND BLEND BLEND!!!!
Finish with any highlights using a fingertip.

And the final look!

This has really been a blessing in disguise as I have really needed to tap into some creativity and through that I have experimented more with my own eyes! Something I usually save for the people I'm working on...not usually myself!

Hope this helps you should you find yourself in a similar situation!

XO Kate

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let's get this color started!

With all this drab weather and mountains of snow hanging around here in Pittsburgh I needed a little color in my life! Well on my eyes anyway!
Eyeshadow is always fun to experiment with, especially with the thousand of colors out there! I wanted to share an easy, beginner way to add some fun color to your eyes.

First apply a light neutral shade all over lid and brow bone like MAC Shroom.
Next apply Aquadisiac all over lid, inner corner and then with #266 angle brush, sweep the same color through the bottom lash line.
I then swept MAC eyeshadow in bronze on the outer corner to contour the eye.
Apply your black or black-brown eyeliner on the outer lashline and through the bottom waterline.
Finish off with 2 coats of a great mascara and just feel your mood lift!

XO Kate

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm heading into retro glam!

In preparation for an upcoming shoot I thought I'd give the burgundy lip color a test run. The shoot is a 1930's style look at a "Grand" Pittsburgh location! Do to limited time that I will have to change between an authentic 30's look and a more modern take on 30's glam, I need a way to quickly update it. The solution? A dab of Moth to Flame dazzleglass by MAC applied to the center bottom and top lip.

The key is to get the line very crisp since it's such a dark color...and here's how it goes!

Cover the lips and slightly outside lip line with concealer or medium coverage foundation.
Outline lips with Plum lipliner from Bobbi Brown (make sure its even and symmetrical)
Apply L'Oreal #746 Pure Burgundy* all over lips, blot and apply again.
Go back with your concealer/foundation with a small brush and define the outer lipline.
(this will help clean up and even any 'mistakes')
To finish and bring this lip up to date apply the gloss to center of lips.

*This is on the lighter side of burgundies since myself and the model are blonde. Darker hair and skin tones can go even deeper into the raisin family of colors.

So go retro glam for your next night out with the girls or for that hot date for Valentine's Day!

Come back for the all the looks from my shoot in the next few weeks!

XO Kate

Monday, January 11, 2010

You know Andy....

Because every Pittsburgher should have this book! Andy Warhol is one we claim as our own. We bread him in this town so on my coffee table he will stay!
I am truly inspired by his work and life on so many levels.
Let him inspire you too!

Kate XO

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pittsburgh makes an appearance in WWD!!!

I was way excited today when I opened my Thursday issue of Women's Wear Daily and saw that Pittsburgh had made an appearance in it! While Pittsburgh is an amazing place for art and history sometimes we get swept up in the category of a "fashion-lacking" city!
It was great to see that the article was covering denim and pricing, which is thought of for the young and fashion conscience crowd!

While the denim industry is listening to us by what we are willing to pay for a great pair jeans, local denim store owners are speaking up!

Lawrence Scott, owner of Pittsburgh Jeans Company and Candice Gallagher owner of Billie Jeans in Cranberry Twp. are interviewed as saying "When the customers are refusing to pay over $250 for jeans, (especially ones that are torn and shredded and look like they need to go straight for the trash!) we don't keep an inventory like they used to. And manufactures take notice!'

So what price range will get you a noticibly great pair of jeans? Scott and Gallagher agree it's in the $100-$175 range.

As for favorite brands are J Brand and William Rast. You can immediately feel the quality of the denim and the fit couldn't be more flattering!

*High five to the Burgh!!!*

XO Kate