Beauty Q&A with a Pro!

If you love chatting all things hair and makeup, then you’re in for a real treat today!! Beauty has quickly become a favorite topic around here (along with fitness and overall wellness!), and I love finding new ways to open these conversations with y’all.

Last week when we were in LA shooting the next Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection (announcement coming early October!), I spent a fair amount of time in the makeup chair. But not just anyone’s chair…the Oscar award-winning and Emmy nominated makeup artist, Suzie Moldavon’s chair! I’ve been lucky enough to have her work magic on my face for all four of our Collections, plus the fun Gibson x Glam last holiday, and the transformation never ceases to amaze me.

She truly has a gift for makeup, but her passion is eyebrows! Her mobile brow business, FlyBrow, makes trips up and down the California coast transforming faces at some of the top companies in the world, along with pop-up shops in LA and San Francisco.

Suzie 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. We always share the fun behind-the-scenes on my Instagram Story, but this time we gave y’all the opportunity to ask Suzie anything…and wowza did the questions come pouring in!!

Clearly beauty is a hot topic, and Sephora is a regular stop for most of you, and I’m here for it! We got so many questions, this will be (at least) a 3-part series…so let’s get started with your questions, and Suzie’s answers!



This isn’t technically a question, but can you tell us why brows are so important!?

Brows frame the face and are a focal point. Think of them like window treatments to a room…without them, the window is ‘naked’. You can have very little makeup on, but with manicured brows you look pulled together and refreshed. They also add a youthfulness to your face because thicker, fuller brows, in a flattering color, are synonymous with youth.

As we get older, our brows tend to lighten and thin, which adds age to our face. Simply filling and darkening your brows can take ten years off your face! And who doesn’t want that?! More is always better when it comes to brows!

Before & After Brows! (well, and makeup!)


Do you recommend trimming or tweezing long brow hairs?

I do, but definitely recommend you leave it to the professionals if you can! Remember once a hair is pulled or cut too short, it’s hard to get it back. If you must do it at home, brush all the hair up towards your forehead, and using a straight-edge scissor, trim the tops of what overhangs the brow. Never hold the brow down when trimming or you’ll get a jagged edge!


What’s the best brow product for creating the illusion of brow hairs in sparse areas?

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.

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.’

outfit found here


I’m trying to grow out my brows, any tips so they don’t look crazy along the way?

Step one of growing back your brows is put down the tweezers! You can grab those unibrow strays, but let the rest grow. First fill in your brows with a pencil to get the desired shape, then tweeze just hairs outside that shape. Once you get good regrowth, visit a professional to determine the best shape.


How often should I have my brows professionally shaped and tinted?

Every five weeks is a good average, some people can go a little longer. Anything less than 4 weeks and you likely don’t have enough regrowth to work with. Tint on the skin lasts just a few days, but tint on the hair lasts about a month.



What’s the best curling iron for loose waves?

I’ve yet to find a curling iron that creates and holds a curl as well as T3! I also love it because it heats quickly, and has tons of interchangeable heads, which means I don’t have to carry a bunch of curling irons. When it comes to the waves, I prefer the T3 Whirl Trio Wand over a clip curling iron because it allows you to leave the ends out for a modern style, and gives the curl a better shape. Wands are also less damaging on your hair since it’s not sandwiched between two hot plates!

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.


How do I know which size curling iron to use?

Think of it this way…the bigger the barrel the looser the wave. For Cassie’s new short hair, we fluctuate between a 3/4″ and 1″ depending on how much curl we want (I like the tapered wand for her). For shoulder length and a little longer, try a 1 1/2″ barrel for looser waves. On the flip side, extremely long hair weighs down the curl, so using a smaller 1″ barrel will allow more of the hair to curl.

outfit here



What foundation do you recommend for light coverage and which for full coverage?

For light coverage and a natural everyday look, I stick with tinted moisturizers with SPF. My go-tos are NARS Pure Radiant and Laura Mercier Natural Skin Perfector for a little illumination. Kosas has a new tinted oil that gives you a juicy glow, with just a touch of coverage that I’m having fun with right now.

For fuller coverage, I use iT Cosmetics Illuminating CC+ Cream (love the SPF50!), Georgia Armani Luminous Silk (sets with a touch of dew), and Makeup Forever Ultra HD (buildable coverage with a little blur). 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! And I almost-always choose illuminating formulas…always looking to bring back that glow!


What are some of your fave eyeshadow palettes?

Oh my gosh, there are so many!! I probably have 100s of colors in my kit! I love Tarte’s palettes, and not just because they smell like cookies! They offer a great selection of mattes and shimmers…some of my faves include Tartelette in Bloom,’ ‘Tartelette Toasted and Tarteist PRO.

Charlotte Tilbury has beautiful shades, and they come in harmonious quads for easy, four-step application. My fave combos are ‘Dolce Vita’ and ‘Vintage Vamp.’ And Anastasia’s new Jackie Aina palette has fun colors for holiday…’Supreme‘ with ‘Wiggelase‘. ‘Zamn‘ from that same palette is a great bronze, too.



How do you keep your makeup looking fresh all day?

No makeup will last through an entire day without a little touch-up, regardless if it was applied by you or a professional! We all need a little powder on the T-zone, a gentle tapping under the eyes, and a lip refresh. Or if you’re like Cassie, a complete lipstick change several times throughout the day. Ha! (The girl loves a bright lip!)

Setting sprays do help to extend or revive your makeup. I like Tarte’s 4-in-1 Mist, it smells great and just feels nice as a little pick-me-up!


Do you have to line your lips, or can you just wear lipstick on its own?

Lip liner can look a little dated, especially if you don’t use it correctly or the right color. The original purpose of liners were to help prevent your lipstick from feathering and bleeding, but today’s newer formulas set on their own and don’t require the extra layer.

When over-lining the lips (see our tips on that here), I use this small, angled lip brush from Make Up For Ever to apply lipstick to the borders of the mouth, then fill with the same lipstick. I do like lip liner pencils for darker lip colors like red and plums, but will always match the liner to the lipstick.


What’s your favorite concealer for covering dark circles?

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is my go-to for all ages because it’s great coverage, but very moisturizing. I apply it with a concealer brush, then blend it out with a damp beauty blender, and the last step is to tap it in with the pad of my ring finger.

Too Faced Born This Way concealer is one of Cassie’s new favorites that I’ve since added to my kit, too. It provides great coverage similar to NARS, but also has a touch of brighter. Plus, it comes with a ton of product, and a very little goes a long way.


What do you think about ‘baking,’ and should I be doing it?

Baking is an Instagram phenomenon and not something I recommend (unless you have flawless, wrinkle-free skin like a teenager!). Baking is where you put a ton of powder on the skin with a damp blender, let it sit, then brush the loose powder away. The intent is to super-set your makeup with a bucket of powder to the areas you’re trying to smooth out.

For most of us, the powder is only going to settle deep into every line and pore, highlighting any sign of aging. Plus, it makes your makeup look cakey. I do love the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, but only lightly brushed on in high-shine areas. 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.


I have oily skin, which foundations or cc creams aren’t so shiny?

Oily skin is actually my favorite because that’s what keeps the skin looking younger and glowing! Truly! So first, I’d encourage you to embrace your skin. But for makeup application, the first step is properly prepping your skin first. Try an anti-shine primer, like Smashbox’s Oil & Shine Primer, followed by a dry setting foundation like Charotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation. If you’re extra oily, set your t-zone only with Laura Mercier or Tarte loose powders using a brush, or a puff if you’re really oily.

But be cautious of using too many products geared towards combatting oily skin because that will only make your body produce more.


What’s the best eyeliner that won’t smear or transfer to my lid?

Start with a waterproof, long-wear liner like Anastasia Beverly Hills Darkside or Smashbox’s Always Sharp. To really keep it in place, set the liner with a powder or eyeshadow of the same color. Just use a small smudge brush to tap over top of the liner.

You’ll also need to prep your eyelid with some sort of powder or eyeshadow.



Everyone raves about Shape Tape, but do you recommend it? I feel like it makes my eyes look extra-crepey.

Shape Tape is a great concealer with incredible, heavy coverage…but is best for use on young women with dark circles. It is, however, too thick for older skin and really highlights fine lines. I recommend lighter, creamier formulas like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Too Faced Born This Way.


How do I choose a lipstick color for family photos?

For photos, choose a color that appears somewhere in the photo…whether it be in your outfit or someone else in your family. For instance, in our Glam shoot last year we chose this deep plum for Cassie because it appeared in one of tops another girl was wearing (Kevyn Aucoin ‘Kate.’). Oftentimes I match lip colors to accessories, like a bag, nails or shoes, or even the wall on which they’re standing, and that ties everything together.

If your outfit and accessories are all neutral, then choose a color that makes you feel most like yourself.

gibson x glam collection here


If you got stranded on a deserted island, what’s the one product you MUST have?

I’m a professional makeup artist…surely you don’t expect me to limit it to just one!! Ha! I can’t imagine being on a deserted island with dry lips…so of course I’d have to have my Laneige Lip Mask! I could even use it on my cuticles and ends of my hair if really desperate.

But if we’re talking beauty, you’ll never catch me without an eyebrow pencil and eyelash curler! And if I’m allowed a few more, I’d bring the iT Cosmetics Illuminating CC+ Cream for both the coverage and SPF, and Diorshow Mascara!

My Dream Team, Suzie & photographer Valorie Darling


Isn’t Suzie incredible?! If I were stranded on a deserted island I’d definitely bring her! And not just because she never travels without her extensive kit, ha!

I’ll never forget when I asked her if brows were her passion. She responded, ‘My passion is actually people, and connecting with them. And there’s nothing I love more than showing them their beauty, and makeup and brows are just the vehicle.’ 

You see why I love her so much!!?? If you’re in the LA and San Fran area, 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 Sephora was hands-down her top choice. She calls it the department store of makeup, with all the best lines in one spot! Plus, with their free beauty insider reward program, it’s easy to rack up points and earn extra benefits!

I hope you loved our first 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!


[Shop Our Makeup Faves]



More Hi Sugarplum beauty posts:

Five Best Makeup Tips from a Pro
More Makeup Tips from a Pro
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?


*Most photos by the darling and talented Valorie Darling. This post is created in collaboration with Sephora and ShopStyle, but all advice, product selections, and mind-blowing transformations are Suzie’s! Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!

Leave a Comment


  1. Laura wrote:

    What are your thoughts on eye lash extensions?
    I loved all the information. Thanks so much.

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  2. Lisa wrote:

    She really is so amazing! I met her once in NY for eyebrows. Like you said, good for the soul and appearance! Love Suzie and you too! xo

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  3. Tatia wrote:

    Love it. Thank you for all the tips! Especially regarding eyebrows (never thought about drawing them in and then plucking around that), and the tip regarding “baking”. I’ve probably watched one too many Youtube videos of a 20-something telling me how to brighten my eyes by piling on concealer and powder under my eyes; however, I’m 45 and that skin is definitely starting to get crepe and just looks awful.

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
    • Joanna wrote:

      I love that you share these make up tips with us. The last time you did, you shared how to make your lips look bigger by using a pencil just at the vee. I’ve used this tip ever since.

      Posted 9.25.19 Reply
      • Cassie wrote:

        yay…that’s my fave tip, too!!!

        Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  4. Kristi Sliva wrote:

    love this post! couple of questions…do i need an eyelash primer? wondering how to best get my mascara and liner to stay put also!

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  5. Jill wrote:

    Great post – thanks Cassie!

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  6. Gina Tran wrote:

    Thank you for asking these questions. This post has been helpful.

    Posted 9.25.19 Reply
  7. Lisa wrote:

    The Too Faced concealer Born This Way is awesome for this 53 year old. I also tried the Gimme Brow+ by Benefit for covering grays and thinning brows. I love love both of them, thank you so much for these sharing recommendations. ❤️

    Posted 9.26.19 Reply
  8. Shannon wrote:

    I’m headed to Sephora! Thank you for sharing Suzie with us!

    Posted 9.26.19 Reply
  9. Kim wrote:

    Great Post! Suzie said if she was stranded on a deserted island she would definitely have her eyelash curler with her. In the next Beauty Q & A with Suzie, can you find out which eyelash curler she likes? Thanks!

    Posted 9.30.19 Reply
  10. Whitney wrote:

    So great.. thanks for this! What lip color are your wearing in the very first before and after? It suits you so well!

    Posted 10.8.19 Reply