By Stevie Wilson
Valerie Sarnelle, the woman behind the uber-successful Valerie Beverly Hills line, is a known “secret weapon.” She is known for her make-up artist perfectionism, as well as for her highly popular and innovative cosmetic products, such as Secret Weapon, a dual-colored pan foundation to blend the perfect match, Naturelle Pencil, a soft baby pink brow bone highlighter, Baby Shine lip glosses, and Fairy Dust sparkling powders. One of her most popular (and copied) products is the trademark Star Stencil Kit, which is an utterly foolproof stencil system for creating the perfect brow! Known as the “brow queen,” Sarnelle believes in the importance of a “clean” brow, earning this title as the first make-up artist to offer brow grooming as a service. Nearly every other brow expert around has done their time learning from the best – Valerie Beverly Hills.
For BeautyNewsLA’s debut, we were lucky enough to snag some chat-time with Valerie and learn some of her tips, tricks, and a few cosmetic “secrets” for holiday 2005.
According to Valerie Sarnelle, there are numerous “in” looks for fall and holiday. If you are part of the “black is the new black” crowd, “pale pink will make you look beautiful,” according to Valerie. Pair the pink with smudged eyeliner – black or brown (your pick), it creates an ethereal look.
Another look that Valerie really loves is virtually shadow-less (a wash of a very sheer neutral), with lots of mascara and eyelashes. “If you want to look festive, awake, and gorgeous, eyelashes are great!” Rather than doing lash extensions, Valerie suggests her individual lashes. “Fur lashes are gorgeous. I love the mink ones. Try using the individual lashes with 14 hair clumps and put four at the outer corners and your eyes will look phenomenal!” She recommends using baby oil to help take the faux lashes out ““ without taking out your own. For a thicker look, use the fur lashes in mink or squirrel, she says.
So if you want great lashes, without a huge price (or problems like Alicia Marantz talked about), go with the temporary lashes. Valerie Beverly Hills has every kind you could possibly want, and they will teach you how to apply them if you head into the store!
What’s the most frequent question or request she gets? It’s how to duplicate the look of celebrities like the Jennifers, Lisas, Taras, Rachels, Teri, Tori, Nicole, and more (want last names? Check www.valeriebeverlyhills.com)! While Sarnelle will recommend products that each of these stars have used, it’s more than just “smile and apply the blush to the apples of the cheeks”.
“People want to learn how to do it and want to look like the “stars. What they don’t realize is that to get that “look,” it requires a clean brow, brow highlight, contour of the jaw, nose and cheeks. It can’t be done with minimal makeup.”
Valerie’s tips for approaching that celeb look are:
1. Apply a darker blush or shadow under the cheekbone – preferably cream because it blends well
2. `Highlight down the center of the nose to create the look of a more chiseled look. Of course, make sure to blend well!
Valerie tests and works with every single product she sells. She wants to know how it’s going to work on the skin and she’s a stickler about making the product right. One of her favorite categories to work with is foundation, and this shows in how her foundations are one of her trademark products. Valerie Beverly Hills features a range of foundations including mineral, liquid, dual pancake/powder, and her new Top Secret Foundation, with silicone. Retailing at $75, this foundation is flying out of the store. It covers beautifully – making the skin look flawless, and it lasts all day. It’s Valerie’s choice of foundation these days, and she loves the way it looks on everyone, including me (and I love it!).
Other key products for Holiday 2005 include:
Thumbelina Powder: a superfine, super sheer powder that makes your skin glow. It’s now available in a slightly darker hue
Swan Princess: like the Thumbelina, but in a slightly darker hue;
Angelina: (unrelated to the person of the same name), a sheer pink perfection powder with glittery sparkles
Liquid Diamonds: a silicone serum with Vitamins A, E, alpha lipoic acid, and others, which work to smooth and silken, illuminate and add shimmer to the skin. It’s also available as a Liquid Without Diamonds, for those times you don’t want that shimmer/glimmer.
Magic Wand: a sheer concealer with tea tree oil, Vitamins A, C, D, and E. It’s sheer and blends really well, concealing without making you look cakey (This is fantastic. I love how it works on me).
Shadow Colors: new colors of gold, silver and brown with a golden shimmer. These are perfect to wear slicked across the eye with thick fringy lashes.
Fairy Dust Body Powder in the edible Brown Sugar color and flavor. Shimmer and shine and tasting fine! He will love it!
What is Valerie Beverly Hills‘s suggested look for holiday parties? ” Great foundation, mink eyelashes or glitter mascara, Brown Sugar (Fairy Dust) Body Powder, glitter on the brow bone, and glossy lips with shimmer.” You’ll be good to go!
Talking to Valerie Sarnelle is more than just talking to a celebrity make-up artist. She’s a person – a human being just like you and me. Here are some fun facts about Valerie of Valerie Beverly Hills:
What separates her from her competition? “I am very involved in developing every product. It’s not my job – it’s my life!”
What is she doing for the holidays? ” If I could, I would go to Hawaii, but I have to work.”
What presents are you giving this year? “Lots of Louis Vuitton and home-made cookies. I’m also buying my husband”¦oh wait, I can’t tell! He would find out!”
Any hobbies? “I love to sleep” (She works incredibly long hours!)
Who do you admire? “My daughter, who is everything that I wanted to be.”
If you are in the area of Little Santa Monica and Canon, stop by the Valerie Beverly Hills salon. It’s a huge glass building on the corner, and has the most stunning chandelier. It is tastefully decorated, and everything in it is about making you look gorgeous!
Thank you to Valerie Sarnelle for spending so much time talking with me on the phone and in person. She’s prettier than she is in any of her photos. Not only is she incredibly gifted as a make-up artist, but she is also incredibly warm and friendly, as well!