Beauty Q & A with a Pro | Part 2

If you love chatting all things hair and makeup, then you’re in for a real treat today!! I’m back with another round of your beauty and makeup questions, answered by none other than Suzie Moldavon! She’s the award-winning pro (hello, Oscars and Emmys!) whom I’ve had the privilege of working with on all of our Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection shoots.

Last week when we were in Santa Barbara shooting (announcement coming early January!), I spent a fair amount of time in the makeup chair, so I took the opportunity to pick her brain! Suzie truly has a gift for makeup, and a passion for helping others feel and look their best, so she jumped at the chance to share her tips with us!

Based on the number of questions that came pouring in, beauty is a hot topic, and Sephora is a regular stop for most of us! So let’s get started with more of your questions, and Suzie’s answers! (See Part One of the Q&A HERE.)

Hair //

How do you make hair look full and thick?

The easiest way (without a lot of product!) to create fuller, thicker hair is by adding waves. Waves and curls create space between the hair and add volume. Also, varying the direction of the curls will keep them separated, and therefore add more volume. Once hair is curled and cools a little, shake it out from just the root with your fingertips.

Throughout the day when the volume dies, flip your hair over and shake gently from the roots to create more air. For even more volume, spray the roots with Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast and massage in. I like this duo pack which includes a full-size for home, and a mini for your purse!

BTS Gibson shoot hair makeup

What size curling iron do you use on Cassie’s hair?

Now that she’s wearing it sassy and short, I’ve gone down to a 1-inch barrel. But the trick to keeping it from looking too ‘Curly Sue,’ is leaving the bottom inch straight. I wrap small pieces around the wand, holding the ends away from the heat.

We use the T3 Wand and Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, and the curls stay all day! I’ve yet to find a curling iron that creates and holds a curl as well as T3! It also heats quickly, and has tons of interchangeable heads, which means I don’t have to carry a bunch of curling irons. Wands are less damaging on your hair since it’s not sandwiched between two hot plates, but if you already have a clip iron, you can still use it as a wand by holding the clip open and wrapping the hair around the barrel.

hair tools beauty


Face //

What’s the best way to apply concealer?

You can use a damp beauty blender (I like these), but I always think skin-to-skin is best. No product can recreate the heat of your finger, and the heat is what moves the product around. I tap product in the hollow under the eye, then blend into the v-formation.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is my go-to for women over 30, and Too Faced Born This Way concealer is another great hydrating formula that also adds some brightness. (It’s Cassie’s fave!)

Do you use primer, and if so which one?

I use a zillion primers, each one depending on the skin of my client. But I’m not a fan of smearing it all your face, instead I use it sparingly in only the specific areas that need it. For example, on Cassie’s face for photoshoots, we use several primers, including Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer on just her large pore areas, and Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer on high-shine spots.

But for every day use, I like the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Face Primer or Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer in just the T-zone area.

concealer primer beauty

How do you make eyes appear wider?

This is one of the reasons I love makeup so much! My favorite tricks for creating wider eyes is dabbing a highlighter in the inner corner of your eye (use your pinky or a small brush), and dark eyeliner on just the outer edges. Try the highlighter in Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo and Smashbox’s Always Sharp waterproof pencil in smoke gray.

Can you share eyeliner and eyeshadow tips for women over 50?

Women over 50 usually have pink waterlines, so adding a nude pencil instantly wakes up your eyes. I line Mama Sugarplum’s (and Cassie’s) waterline with Tarte Fake Awake Eyeliner in ‘Universal Nude’ for a brighter eye, to help the eye color pop.

If the eyelids are starting to look heavy, then focus makeup more on the lash line, rather than the lid, to lift the eye. Add liner between the lashes to create thickness, and lots of mascara! I like Anastasia Beverly Hills Darkside or Smashbox’s Always Sharp for eyeliner, and am a long-time fan of Diorshow Mascara, but Cassie’s got me using the IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara, too!

I always have mascara and eyeliner smudges under my eyes by the end of the day! Any remedies?

Yes! If you’re having a lot of mascara and eyeliner transfer, it usually means your skin is oily. The oils are making the products transfer. Using your ring finger or a small brush, gently tap a little powder just under the lower lash line to absorb excess oils throughout the day. I like Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.

You could also switch to waterproof mascara, it tends to stay put with minimal flaking. I like Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara and Diorshow Mascara.

Is eyeliner a yes or no, and does it matter what color?

Eyeliner is very face & shape specific, but I think everyone can benefit from a little black liner between the top lashes (a technique called ‘toplining’). You’re not drawing a line across your eyelid, you’re wiggling it literally at the lash base. This gives the appearance of thicker lashes and defines the eyes without closing them. I use gel and a brush, but Anastasia Beverly Hills Darkside or Smashbox’s Always Sharp are good if you prefer a pencil. They are waterproof and long-wearing! To really keep it in place, set the liner with a powder or eyeshadow of the same color.

Best bright pink lip color for blondes?

There are so many! Just ask Cassie, she has about 10 in her purse at all times! I love discovering new shades for her, and it never fails she finds something new to share with me. A few of our faves include NARS Satin Lipstick Pencil in ‘Yu,’ and NARS Satin Lipstick Pencil in ‘Luxembourg.’ My new newest lip obsession are the Kosas Wet Lip Oil Glosses. I layered ‘Fruitjuice‘ over Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘The Queen’ for our recent shoot.

And I can’t forget the Laneige Lip Mask for keeping your lips moisturized and prepped!

lip colors beauty

I love CC Cream, but how do I keep it from rubbing off?

CC Cream is really just a color correcting tinted moisturizer, so maybe you need a foundation instead. I like Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (sets with a touch of dew), and Makeup Forever Ultra HD (buildable coverage with a little blur).

If you prefer a CC Cream, try IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with Illumination. It offers great coverage, staying power, and a little extra glow! Plus, SPF, too!

My face always feels shiny, should I use a finishing powder?

I don’t use a lot of powder because if you look at younger girls, their skin is naturally juicy and dewy… that’s the look we’re trying to hold on to! So first, I’d encourage you to embrace your skin. But for makeup application, the first step is properly prepping your skin. Try an anti-shine primer, like Smashbox’s Oil & Shine Primer, followed by a dry setting foundation like Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation.

But after makeup application, if it’s still too much shine for your liking, lightly dust Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder or Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder  over your T-Zone, or use Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers mid-day. In general, I steer clear of powder under the eyes of older women simply because it can settle into fine lines and make them more pronounced. I’ll just use the pad of my ring finger to dab and redistribute the product throughout the day.

Brows //

Is there a brow serum to help them grow and thicken just like eye lashes?

Anything that grows your lashes can grow your brows, but it has to be in a spot that previous had hair (before aging or over-tweezing, for example). Hair growth serums don’t create new follicles, but can restimulate existing follicles to grow hair again. The serum doesn’t realize where it’s going, so you can apply to lashes or brows!

Are lash and brow tints dangerous?

They can be if you’re not using the right product! Always make sure your artist is using henna or a vegetable dye, both are all-natural. Never use hair dye around your eyes!

I have little to no eyebrows… what should I be doing?

I love this question because that’s the exact problem I’m trying to solve, and hopefully one day soon I’ll be telling you about my own perfect pencil! For actually replicating individual hairs, I use this extremely thin Anastasia Beverly Hills #7B brush and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Tinted Pomade to draw them on.

It does take practice and an experienced hand, so if you prefer an all-in-one pencil, this Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz and this Hourglass Micro Sculpting Pencil are good alternatives, but keep the tips really sharp. Choose a color that matches your hair, or for blondes, choose colors closest to your root. And if you have no brows, microblading is a great option for you, but do your homework before choosing a professional!

Cassie just needs to add color and edit her shape in thinner areas, so I have her use Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brown Pencil in ‘Taupe.’


General //

As I get older, how should I change the products I’m using?

Your skin is always changing, so you’ll need to assess it regularly. Our skin also changes with the season, so our products need to adapt with it. That usually means adding more moisture through hydrating products like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation.

Heavy lids is another common side effect of aging, so I like to bring the eye up by tightening the eyeliner between lashes and adding lots of mascara to the top lashes. Smashbox’s Always Sharp for eyeliner, and Diorshow Mascara are long-time faves of mine.

What are the bare minimum products if I want a fast routine?

Beautiful skin that glows is a great base, and then of course brows! I follow it up with mascara and lips for a fast and beautiful face!


Isn’t Suzie incredible?! She has also become one of my dearest friends (she has the kindest soul and the most calming presence of anyone I’ve ever met!), and my time in her chair is as good for my soul as it is my appearance. If you’re in the LA and San Fran areas, I can’t recommend her enough for brows and makeup! Find her on Instagram here, and her incredible eyebrow transformations on Flybrow here.

I also asked her the best place to shop hair, makeup, and beauty essentials, and we agreed Sephora is the top choice! Especially right now, during their Holiday Hooray Event, where Insiders can save up to $25 off purchases of $75 with code 2019HOORAY. But hurry, because the sale ends today, December 17! Not a Beauty Insider yet? No problem… sign-up is fast and free HERE.

I hope you loved this round of Beauty Q&A as much as we loved creating it together! If you have questions you want included in future posts, just leave them in the comments!

[Great Beauty Gifts to Give this Holiday]

More Hi Sugarplum beauty posts:
Beauty Q&A with a Pro | Part 1
Five Best Makeup Tips from a Pro
More Makeup Tips from a Pro
Holiday Ready Makeup
My Five Minute Face
How to Create Beachy Waves
Five Makeup Tips to Help You Look Younger
Tips for Applying Self-Tanner
Dyson Dryer – Worth the Hype?


*This post created in collaboration with Sephora and ShopStyle, but all product selections and opinions, and total girl crushes are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*

Leave a Comment


  1. Kelsey wrote:

    Amazing tips! Suzie is so talented, it must feel incredible to be on the receiving end of her work!

    Posted 12.17.19 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      It’s truly a dream come true, I pinch myself every time I get to sit in her chair! xo, Cassie

      Posted 12.17.19 Reply